C34 | WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24, 2010 | GULF ISLANDS DRIFTWOOD
1989 | 50 YEARS OF COMMUNITY
A lengthy land-use bylaw case came to an end. After hearing Dee and Lloyd Kinney defend their case for close to a year, Judge R.E. Hudson dismissed charges of violating an Islands Trust bylaw. Judge Hudson said Hal Wright’s use of the Kinneys’ Kings Lane property (from where he ran a trucking operation until 1988) fell under the definition of a legal non-conforming use. About 40 Gulf Islands farmers told the Capital Regional District medical health officer they opposed a meat inspection bylaw proposed for the region. The controversial bylaw received three readings from the CRD and needed one final reading prior to adoption. The bylaw would prohibit the sale of uninspected meat to the public and, opponents said, make the Gulf Islands one of the few rural areas of the province subject to meat inspection.
Higher taxes, a divisive effect on the island and loss of land use control topped the concerns of islanders attending a meeting to discuss the possible incorporation of Ganges. The annual general meeting of Lady Minto Hospital and Greenwoods societies rejected a proposal to amalgamate the two facilities. Amalgamation was key to forming a community health services society. Participants in the meetings expressed favour for the health services society, but were against joining the two facilities under one administration. Ganges RCMP laid theft charges against a former CIBC bank employee. The 46-yearold woman allegedly took more than $60,000 from various customer accounts. The withdrawals occurred between 1987 and 1989. All the victims had been reimbursed by the bank. With the announced intention of closing the Blackburn Road garbage dump on Salt Spring, the CRD indicated that a garbage transfer station would be created in Fulford to ship waste to the Hartland Road dump in Saanich. The proposal met with immediate opposition from south Salt Spring residents. The seawalk in Ganges came under attack from the Farmers’ Institute, which claimed the scenic walkway did not conform to either the community plan or zoning bylaws. Institute president Ian Clement also took the Trust to task for approving a scheme to landfill a portion of the harbour shore. Almost 300 people from the Gulf Islands joined a demonstration at the gates of Fletcher Challenge pulp mill in Crofton. The group was protesting air, noise and water pollution at the mill, which had been listed earlier in the year as one of Canada’s 10 worst polluting mills. With a promise of a proclamation of the new Islands Trust Act, the 26 trustees of the islands in the Strait of Georgia began a reorganization effort. The result of the new act would be autonomy for the Trust with the severing of close ties with the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.
NRS Salt Spring Realty real estate ad, July 12, 1989.
Isabella terminal plan raises island ire “Hell hath no fury like an islander scorned,” notes an April 1989 Driftwood editorial: it wasn’t so much the announcement that the “go-ahead” had been given to build a ferry terminal at Isabella Point, but the fact islanders had not been adequately consulted. “By announcing a start to the Isabella Point project last Friday, transportation minister Neil Vant thumbed his nose at those islanders who believed they would hold some influence over the same question when they appeared at regional transportation committee meetings called by the province. . . . “Twisting the knife, the minister declared that consultations on Isabella Point had been held with islanders, and that the terminal was an acceptable solution. All of which was news to Salt Spring residents.” Although Saanich-Gulf Islands MLA Terry Huberts and finance minister Mel Couvelier immediately said the new terminal was “not a certainty,” a B.C. Ferry Corporation spokesman said the proposal had been “given the go-ahead” by the government. In addition to being furious that the government had not adequately consulted islanders on the project, residents denounced the proposal as a “threat to the island’s rural lifestyle.” Some 160 islanders gathered at the activity centre in Ganges
From left, Kathy Scarfo, Bob Andrews and Sid Wigen at a transportation meeting. at what was supposed to be a meeting to formulate a submission to the regional transportation committee set to study the Isabella Point option. Instead it became an opportunity to condemn the province and the ferry corporation for announcing the project before it had been studied. Islands Trust chairman Nick Gilbert said, “Our whole effort has been pre-empted by this announcement. It (the new terminal) destroys our links with the Outer Gulf Islands, it destroys a very large payroll on the island, it displaces workers, and it puts a monumental piece of pavement down the back of our island, which we don’t want.” The proposal called for a ferry terminal at Isabella Point to replace the terminal at Fulford Harbour, cutting the sailing distance between Fulford and Swartz Bay in half, and
allowing for hourly service between the two points. The project would also mean closure of the Long Harbour ferry terminal and subsequent shifts in inter-island routes and terminals, including a fixed link between Mayne and Saturna islands. Couvelier stressed that the ferry corporation’s announcement was premature, but noted that money for the project was included in the budget as a means of ensuring it was available “if and when” it was needed. Target date for the project was 1992. He added that no matter which way the final decision went, the problems that the Isabella Point terminal would address would not go away. “We need to address space problems that will force us to act in three or four years,” Couvelier said. In announcing the project,
Vant said: “It appears that’s going to be an acceptable option . . . generally the decision has pretty much been made.” The proposal generated a rift between different south Salt Spring groups. Bruce Patterson, representing the Fulford Business Association, said some Fulford businesses were concerned any expansion of the terminal would “ulitmately consume the village.” He also expressed concerns over congestion in the village and the need for an expanded highway to accommodate increased traffic flow. He added that while his group shared a number of concerns with those opposed to construction of a terminal at Isabella Point, “if it has to be us or them, we’d prefer it was them.” Speaking on behalf of the Isabella Point Protection Association, chairman Harry Leader said the association’s concerns included inherent engineering problems with the site (the area is vulnerable to storms and low tides), its popularity with sports fishermen and divers and its aesthetic beauty. Islanders were also concerned about increased traffic to Isabella Point and the subsequent need for a new road. After more than a year of back-and-forth on the issue, the ferry corporation ultimately withdrew the proposal in September, 1990.
"The more things change, the more they stay the same" ...isn't that the old adage? The qualities that have brought islanders here have always been the same: community atmosphere, caring spirit, environmental observance, love of beauty, the allure of the sea, the desire to be "slightly apart". So glad to have called Salt Spring "home" since 1989, and so lucky to have been able to help others to enjoy ownership here. Congratulations, Driftwood, for having been the Island's interpretive voice, all these years!
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