Since its 1999 incorporation, the Bowen Island Municipality is represented on the Islands Trust Council by two Municipal Councillors, elected through a 'double-direct' system during regular local government elections. Bowen Island is located within the Squamish Nation and Tsleil-Waututh/ Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh Nation Traditional Territories.
Bowen Island Municipality has a special status in the Islands Trust Area as the only island municipality. Bowen Island is represented on the Islands Trust Council by two municipal trustees who are also municipal councillors. For the 2018-2022 term, Trustee Sue Ellen Fast and Trustee Michael Kaile are elected to Islands Trust Council. The Islands Trust Council has voted to have Trustee Fast also serve on the Islands Trust Executive Committee and Islands Trust Conservancy Board.
Bowen Island Municipality has a special relationship with the Islands Trust that is set out in its Letters Patent and the Islands Trust Act. Bowen Island Municipality must have regard for the preserve and protect Object of the Trust when adopting a bylaw or issuing a permit or license, must submit its Official Community Plan (OCP) bylaws for approval and refer non-OCP bylaws that include a reference to a matter included in the Islands Trust Policy Statement. The Islands Trust and Bowen Island Municipality also have a Protocol Agreement that describes the principles and processes that underpin our positive relationship.
An overview of the services offered by Islands Trust is available in a PowerPoint presentation given to Bowen Island Municipal Council on March 14, 2019.
Bowen Island Financial Requisition
Property owners on Bowen Island pay property taxes towards the Islands Trust which are collected by Bowen Island Municipality as part of their annual requisition. The amount of taxes collected on behalf of Islands Trust is based on the Islands Trust Act and Trust Council’s Municipal Tax Requisition Calculation Policy.
Bowen Island taxpayers contribute to the work of Trust Council and the Islands Trust Conservancy. Bowen Island does not contribute to the operation or planning work of local trust committees. For the fiscal 2020/21 year, Bowen Island Municipality’s contribution to Islands Trust decreased 8.1%, while there was an average 0% general property tax increase for property owners in local trust areas.
For more background on the Bowen Island requisition, please read the following briefings produced in 2019: Part 1
, Part 2
and Part 3
Each year, the Islands Trust Council undertakes public consultation on its proposed budget. If you would like to receive notice of the consultation, please subscribe
for Islands Trust Council updates. Information on previous Islands Trust budgets are available on the Budget webpage.
Islands Trust offers Bowen Island mapping information to the public on MapIT
. In addition Bowen Island Municipality staff and contractors use Islands Trust mapping software, which saves the municipality from purchasing its own. Islands Trust ecosystems maps for Bowen Island include:
Islands Trust Conservancy
The Islands Trust Conservancy
, which manages more than 100 protected areas in the Islands Trust Area, was created by the Province of British Columbia in 1990. As a regional land trust and conservation arm of the Islands Trust, the Islands Trust Conservancy protects in perpetuity ecologically significant and culturally sensitive places. The Conservancy works closely with partners, First Nations, and the public to protect sites through land donation, conservation covenants, land purchases, land transfer during development processes and public education. The Islands Trust Conservancy plays an important role in preserving and protecting the unique and fragile ecosystems found in the Strait of Georgia and Atl'ka7tsem - Howe Sound.
On Bowen Island, the Conservancy manages the David Otter Nature Reserve
, the Fairy Fen Nature Reserve
, the Singing Woods Nature Reserve
, and two conservation covenant areas. The Conservancy welcomes inquiries from landowners interested in donating or covenanting their lands, or donating cash or securities to support this work. A number of landowners have donated properties and money through their wills.
Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program (NAPTEP)
The Islands Trust offers a unique program to encourage landowners to choose to protect their land and provide their island communities with the benefits of increased natural area. The Natural Area Protection Tax Exemption Program (NAPTEP)
provides landowners with an annual 65% exemption on their property taxes for the portion of their property protected with a NAPTEP covenant.
Education and public programs
The Islands Trust offers regional programming that includes the Community Stewardship Awards Program which encourages, recognizes, and rewards leadership in the preservation, protection, and stewardship of the Islands Trust Area’s amenities, environment, and resources. Since its inception in 2002, the Islands Trust Council has given 83 awards. Previous Bowen Island nominees include:
2019: Bruce Russell
for ten years of leadership with the Mannion Bay Restoration Project
History, Heritage and Conservation Grants-In-Aid program (webpage in development)
In 2018, the Islands Trust created a History, Heritage and Conservation Grant-In-Aid Program
that provides up to $5,000 annually to support and give financial assistance to individuals, First Nations, or agencies engaging in activities to gain knowledge about the history and heritage of the Islands Trust Area, and to increase public awareness, understanding and appreciation of that history and heritage.
Reconciliation and First Nations
The Islands Trust Area is situated within the territories of the Coast Salish Peoples and sits at the center of the many gathering places and villages of these strong and vibrant First Nations. Respect for this place inspires us to celebrate the richness of Coast Salish history, knowledge, and culture, and informs the work that we do. Since 2015, the Islands Trust has committed to the implementation of policies and principles guided by the Islands Trust First Nations Engagement Principles Policy. The Islands Trust seeks to create capacity, convene meaningful dialogue and understanding between the people of the Islands Trust Area, First Nations communities and governments, and our staff and Trustees. In March 2019, the Islands Trust Council passed a Reconciliation Declaration
and in June 2019 adopted a Reconciliation Action Plan. The Senior Intergovernmental Policy Advisor is available to support Bowen Island Municipal Council and staff with questions and projects that relate to First Nations relations and referrals.
The Islands Trust Council has a robust advocacy program
to influence change on important issues
in the region. Over the last ten years, the Islands Trust has been a strong, effective advocate for regional issues such as improved oil spill preparedness and response, and funding for abandoned vessel removals. At any time, Bowen Island Municipal Council can request that the Islands Trust Council dedicate resources to an advocacy topic. Examples of letters from the Chair directly relating to Bowen Island include:
In 2017, Islands Trust staff provided immediate support in response to a Crown Land logging proposal on Bowen Island (see slide 25 in the presentation above for a summary of the support provided).
Examples of events:
- March 2019: Islands Trust co-hosted a sea-level rise workshop on Bowen Island with Living Oceans as part of a region-wide workshop series.
- March 2018: Islands Trust hosted a region-wide Freshwater Forum
- Summer 2017: Islands Trust co- hosted a wells and groundwater workshop on Bowen Island as part of a series of workshops and distributed a Bowen Island Groundwater Overview
- June 2016: Islands Trust hosted a region-wide Affordable Housing Forum.
Staff to staff cooperation
Islands Trust and Bowen Island Municipality staff have regular communication. Islands Trust also supports the professional development of Municipality staff. Bowen Island planners are always invited to Islands Trust professional development events. In 2018, Island Trust paid for one Bowen Island Municipality staff member to attend the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Seattle.