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Islands Trust Update on Mari-culture Lease Application ~ Peter Luckham

In light of the interest and concerns regarding the navigation channel and the potential to dredge "The Cut" in the future, I moved the following two motions by Resolution Without Meeting(RWM) today. The local Trust committee supported these motions unanimously, and I thank my co-trustees for the support. The intent of the motions is to seek confirmation from the Provincial and Federal Government authorities having jurisdiction, that the navigational channel will be maintained and the potential to dredge "the Cut" in the future remains possible despite the issuance of the License of Occupation for the purposes of Mariculture. 

The following RWM has passed in favour:

“THAT the Thetis Island Local Trust Committee ask staff to communicate with Transport Canada and request written confirmation that despite the issuance of a License of Occupation for the purposes of Mariculture (Clam and Oyster) in the Navigation Channel between Thetis and Penelakut Islands, the /Navigation Protection Act/ will continue to protect the right of the public to use this channel for the purposes of navigation.” 

The following RWM has passed in favour:

“THAT the Thetis Island Local Trust Committee ask staff to communicate with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Ministry of Forest Lands and Natural Resources and request written confirmation that in the future an application for dredging of the Navigation Channel between Thetis and Penelakut Islands, if applied for by local government or another agency with community support, would "not be approved" solely on the basis that the area has a License of Occupation for the purposes of Mariculture.”

I will remind readers that the Trustees are still unable to receive new information due to the post public hearing requirements and thank you all for respecting this.

However if new substantive information is received by staff from the Provincial or Federal agencies as a result of these letters the application may be reconsidered.

Peter Luckham, Trustee, Thetis Island Trust Area.


Comment on Mari-culture Lease ~ John Gordon

The principles of the Islands Trust are to 'preserve and maintain' the Area under jurisdiction. The development of the Thetis side of the 'cut' to mariculture certainly does not fulfill these fundamental principles.
IF there was some benefit to Thetis Islanders by such development, then it might be considered  by the residents of Thetis, however, I see no indication of there being any benefit only potential negatives to Thetis.  
In my view, the fact that it is potentially a Penelakut organisation that wants the licence does not give me much confidence in the potential operation as illustrated by the 'harvesting' by persons from Penelakut, of almost all the oysters along the foreshore of the Thetis side of Telegraph Harbour over the last two winters.
In summary, I am against the proposal.

John Gordon


Deepening a Navigational Passage in a Mariculture Lease Cont'd

I think it is reckless to legislate a change to the zoning of "The Cut" before knowing the results of that zoning.  Peter Luckham said a lot of words about maintaining the depth of the cut, but really didn't have an answer.

He said it may be already be impossible because of the mariculture lease on the south shore.  But he doesn't know.

He said the waterway was polluted so the dredging spoils couldn't be dispersed on the polluted north shore.  This, if true, doesn't make sense.  It is all the same soil.  Wherever that came from could probably be reversed.

He said dredging would make an unsightly mess on the north shore.  We have been living with "that mess" since 1905.  Is it really a mess?

He said the water depth was OK, and that if you needed a high tide, just wait another 6 hours.  The tides in the Gulf are Mixed, Mainly Diurnal, which means in summer, the daytime tide is low more than it is high, and in winter it is high more than it is low.  Summer is when we have most traffic through "The Cut"

Lots of words. 

He referred to "The Penelakut" a few times in his discourse, It wasn't clear whether he meant the tribe, or the seafood company.  Politics may be moving this rezoning faster than it should.  I refer to them below as "The Penelakut" because I don't know which it is.

I went back to the original espokes notices about the May 9 meeting.  I didn't see any reference to this meeting being the last chance for submissions or public input.  Submissions were not mentioned at all.  And the May 24 meeting espokes notices did not even refer to "The Cut" rezoning as part of the agenda.  I tried to get espokes to mention it, but the best I could get was an offer to put in a notice in espokes under my signature.  I did, and that was the only espokes message about the Islands Trust meeting that said anything about the agenda.  It was very strange.  Islands Trust were not notifying us fully about the meetings.

The letter from  "The Penelakut" agreeing to allowing maintaining the depth of "The Cut" may be useless, as the conditions of the mariculture licence preclude dredging, and I don't see any way to get a variance from DFO, unlike the 2012 licence.

Maintaining the waterway has to be done at a local governmental level - Transport Canada made it clear they don't maintain waterways.  I suspect CVRD would identify a need, and take it to the BC govt for funding.  Islands Trust don't have the answer yet as to how or if it can be done, and yet they are going to change the zoning.  Like I said earlier, this is reckless.  Future generations may look back to the Quarterlys of this date to see what went wrong, and that is why I am writing you.

Ken Hunter of Islands Trust is to be commended for objecting, and refusing to vote for this.  Third reading of Bylaw 97 was delayed, pending the letter from "The Penelakut".

I finally got an email back from DFO with contacts to query a solution.  Maybe it is possible, maybe not, but we should know before going forward.  Islands Trust seems to have lost interest and have cut themselves off from contact after the May 9 meeting.  What to do?

Arthur Gooding



Deepening a Navigational Passage in a Mariculture Lease

I received this yesterday.  I had a thought about 2 avenues that haven't been tried,: both involve lawyers, but shouldn't be very expensive.

1. Notice to landowners.  Both marinas feel cheated, as they weren't aware of the meeting.  Was the notification adequate?  Should Islands Trust have used the local papers, should local mailings been made?  Obviously the notification wasn't adequate if interested parties weren't aware of the meeting.  Perhaps another meeting could be forced.  Check out legal options. 

2. The issue of maintaining the waterway hasn't been dealt with adequately.  I feel we are being fobbed off by various levels of government with a "don't worry, it'll be all right" attitude.  Get a legal stay of proceedings implemented until Islands Trust can show HOW the cut can be maintained.  The email below details a starting point.  Fortunately there is no gag order on this email. 

In assume if the cut could be maintained as a waterway, the rezoning would be acceptable. 

I cc'd e-spokes and The Quarterly as well - I think public exposure on this could only help.

We still have a little time as third reading on Bylaw 97 has not been done yet.

Arthur Gooding


Begin forwarded message: 

Hi Arthur,

The Fisheries Protection Program (FPP) does not review projects that are a part of an aquaculture licence and the regulations stipulated under the licence. If the project you wish to conduct is not within the regulations of the licence, we can review your project through our request for review process. Below is some general information about our process for projects near water. 

The Fisheries Act requires that projects avoid causing serious harm to fish unless authorized by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

Please review the Self-assessment guidance on DFO’s “Projects Near Water” website assists proponents in deciding whether to submit their project for DFO review.  The website includes information on how to comply with the Fisheries Act, request a DFO review of a project, and request a Fisheries Act Authorization.

Ultimately, the proponent is responsible for being in compliance with the Fisheries Act. If, after considering all project planning options, they are uncertain whether the project is in compliance with the Act, then their best option is to engage DFO via the project review process.

A qualified environmental professional (QEP) may be able to assist you in designing your project so as to avoid serious harm to fish.

Projects Near Water Website: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pnw-ppe/index-eng.html

I believe you may have called as well? If you have any further questions, please feel free to call me.



Kristin Singer

Biologist, Fisheries Protection Program

Fisheries and Oceans Canada/Government of Canada

kristin.singer@dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Tel: 250 756-7252 

La protection des pêches Progamme

Pêches et Océans Canada/Gouvernement du Canada

kristin.singer@dfo-mpo.gc.ca/Tél: 250 756-7252


Submitted by Arthur Gooding

Projects Near Water Website: http://www.dfo-mpo.gc.ca/pnw-ppe/index-eng.html


Mosquito ~ Control 2015 response

Regarding the flap gate on the culvert: mosquito nuisance issue

MainRoad Contracting was planning to repair the flap gate before spring.

If there are other plans, please let MainRoad know ASAP before we go ahead and start fabrication, taking time & money to fix it.


Grant Gordon