Victoria Town Crier Bob Alexander, MLA Adam Olsen and MP Elizabeth May re-affirm their Canadian citizenship at Sidney’s Canada 150 events. (Steven Heywood/News staff)

Olsen pledges to help heal rift caused by Salt Spring Island vote

Weekend vote saw the Island remain a rural area under the Islands Trust and CRD

Pledging to work with Salt Spring Island on local governance issues MLA Adam Olsen says he’s reached out to the province following Islanders’ rejection of incorporation over the weekend.

Residents of Salt Spring Island were voting on whether to incorporate as an island municipality and on the weekend, the results showed a majority of resident there rejected the idea.

“Over the past couple of years Salt Spring Islanders have been discussing how their community is governed. It has been an emotional and divisive process which resulted in a vote against incorporation this weekend,” Olsen stated in a media release Monday morning.

As a result of the vote, Salt Spring Island remains a rural area under the control of the Islands Trust and the Capital Regional District (CRD). Has the vote passed, the community would have become a municipality and elected a mayor and council. Currently, most of the Gulf Islands in the Trust are overseen by an elected group of 26 trustees, two from each island.

The process and weekend vote had caused a split among voters, who lines up on either the ‘yes’ side, or the ‘no’ side.

“We have a responsibility to help the community heal and I am focused on that. Now is not the time to turn our attention away from this important discussion about community governance but rather to continue it in a compassionate and productive way that respects the democratic decision of Salt Spring Islanders while seeking solutions to the very real governance challenges that exist on the Island and throughout the Southern Gulf Islands,” said Olsen, the BC Green Party MLA for Saanich North and the Islands.

“I pledged that I would work with whatever Salt Spring Islanders decided. Moving forward, I have already reached out to Community Affairs and Housing Minister Selina Robinson to investigate what options are on the table to address the governance challenges facing the Island.”

In an online post, Islands Trust Executive Committee Vice-Chair George Grams stated the result “marks a conclusion t the question of which governance model is appropriate for our community and I hope others feel likewise.”

“Work remains to be done on island to continue to preserve and protect our environment and to build a better community and I look forward to devoting my energies as a trustee to advance both,” Grams wrote.

Just Posted

Pedestrian struck in downtown Sidney after receiving safety reflector

Man treated for minor injures by police who were at the scene handing out reflectors

New map targets Sidney’s hot crime spots

Local RCMP issue monthly crime statistics map to help raise awareness

Local growers partner with Country Grocer to help kids in need

Bouquet and tree sales to help kids with special needs

Price tag revealed for proposed Stelly’s theatre

Long-awaited plans for a theatre at Stelly’s were finally revealed at a… Continue reading

Songhees youth among those recognized by province for achievement in sport

Team BC athletes in North American Indigenous Games, Canada Summer Games recognized

VIDEO: Innovating healthier homes

NZ Builders bring commercial concept into residential realm to improve energy efficiency and health

Sidney fire hall, parking lot, go up for sale

Town hopes to sell properties to offset cost of building its new fire hall

BC Hydro issues storm safety tips

Bulletin indicates “electrical contact incidents resulting in serious injury are on the rise.”

Cost to fix Phoenix pay system to surpass $540 million: auditor general

Michael Ferguson’s review hints the entire system should be scrapped

Ikea relaunches dresser recall after eighth child dies

Recall is for all Ikea chest and dressers and include 8 million Malm chest and dressers that were sold from 2002 through June 2016.

David Cassidy, teen idol and ‘Partridge Family’ star, dies at 67

Cassidy announced earlier this year he had been diagnosed with dementia

Vic High students take Saanich-reared comic’s words on mental illness to heart

School counsellors see uptick in visits after Kevin Breel relays his depression story

LETTER: Jumbo Valley is part of Ktunaxa territorial claim

Ktunaxa Nation Council responds to Tom Fletcher column

3,800-plant grow-op busted on First Nation reserve

Three men face charges after RCMP bust a large drug operation on the Soowahlie Reserve near Chilliwack

Most Read