Saturday, December 3, 2022
December 3, 2022

Islands Trust seeks contractor for trust policy public engagement

The Islands Trust is looking for public input on a high-level policy document that will guide all of its work into the future, and is seeking a company to carry out engagement with people across the region.

The current Trust Policy Statement has been in place for 25 years and “lacks any reference to Trust Council’s current priorities of reconciliation, climate change and affordable housing,” a Nov. 2 news release stated.

Islands Trust Council chair Peter Luckham said council decided to expand the engagement process after receiving “a great deal of feedback from the public” about the first draft of the proposed revision and now seeks a qualified company to conduct public engagement across the Islands Trust region.

The policy statement is the highest level policy document for the Islands Trust and guides the development of “local official community plans and land use bylaws and inter-agency cooperation, advocacy, engagement, and Trust-wide strategic planning and programming,” the news release stated.  

A draft policy statement has already been made public and garnered opposition from some residents, who have organized as the Southern Gulf Islands Coalition. Some community leaders have found various issues with the draft, including former Senator Pat Carney, who has questioned the population numbers cited in the document and said she found the language bureaucratic. Former Islands Trust trustee for Saturna Island John Money, in a letter to Premier John Horgan, wrote that he feels the draft policy statement, if adopted, would make community plans and locally elected representatives redundant.

Now the Islands Trust are looking to “meaningfully inform and consult the public on the contents of the draft new policy statement,” a request for proposals (RFP) for a qualified company to carry out this work stated. The expected costs for this work is between $90,000 and $100,000 and is expected to be completed by April 29, 2022. This work will be part of Phase 3 of the Islands 2050 Public Engagement Program.

The Trust is also conducting “early and meaningful engagement with First Nations,” the Nov. 2 release read, with Indigenous peoples living on the islands invited to connect with the Trust via reconciliation@islandstrust.bc.ca.

The RFP for a company to conduct this work closes Nov. 12, with a contract to be awarded in late November.  

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