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The Islands Trust

Dear Editor, The Bowen Island Conservancy has recently circulated an interesting article about the Islands Trust. It brought back memories for me of when and why the Trust was created.

Dear Editor,

The Bowen Island Conservancy has recently circulated an interesting  article about the Islands Trust. It brought back memories for me of when and why the Trust was created.
In the late 1960s when the Regional Districts were created, Bowen fell under the jurisdiction of the Greater Vancouver Regional District (GVRD). In the early 1970s, the GVRD was proposing a new zoning bylaw with a minimum lot size of 6000 sq. ft. This was being vigorously opposed by a group of Bowen residents, headed by the late Georg Helenius, who knew that it would attract more dense population, particularly on the 1,200 acres of the old Union Steamship lands.
Many of the Gulf Islands were experiencing the same pressures as Bowen at this time. The provincial government became concerned and placed a 10 acre freeze on all of the islands, including Bowen. A select standing committee of all parties of the BC Legislature were tasked to come up with a solution to protect the islands. Out of this, the Islands Trust Act was created, then supported, by members of the Legislature. Some gave impassioned speeches in support. It was a great day for many of us on Bowen who were also passionate about saving our beautiful islands.
However, in the early 80’s, Bill Vander Zalm , Minister of Municipal Affairs, put forward legislation which could have eliminated the Islands Trust. Many of us rallied on the lawn of the Parliament Buildings in protest, covering the grounds with people and tents from all the Gulf Islands. The Chair of the Trust, John Rich, was brought in by helicopter to speak.
Vander Zalm got the message and his legislation was withdrawn.

Yours truly

Marion Moore

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