MAY 8, 2008 PRESS RELEASE
The Gulf Islands won’t be protected from uncontrolled growth and development without more help from residents and other property owners, says the Gulf Islands Alliance. In its campaign to rally island citizens, the Alliance has delivered information/advocacy packages to 7,300 households in the Islands Trust area.
“Preserving and protecting our islands is not a radical notion,” says Alliance Chair Christine Torgrimson. “In fact it’s the guiding principle of our unique governance system, the Islands Trust. While we think that most islanders embrace this Trust mandate and become upset when certain land-use activities threaten their natural and social neighbourhoods, too many believe nothing can be done. Well, they – and we — can do a lot. Our mail-out package explains how.
“For starters, it contains a simple guide to the Trust. It clears up many misunderstandings about what the Trust is and what it’s supposed to do, and helps people engage more effectively in their local government. We particularly want people to understand how unique the Trust is and how fortunate we are to have it, as it is one of the very few conservation-mandated governments in the world.
“Our letter to island residents explains why our group was formed just over a year ago – we already have about 250 members across the 13 major islands – and it dispels many popular misconceptions that discourage people from doing what’s needed to protect their local and islands-wide community.”
Torgrimson explained that the Alliance is a grassroots, volunteer group that has no affiliation with the Islands Trust or other government or private agencies.