Other Government Services

Commonly requested information about government services related to the Islands Trust’s preserve and protect mandate are below. The Islands Trust Area is within treaty and territorial lands and waters of many First Nation governments which may have their own permitting requirements related to land use or applications. Engagement with First Nations may be required.

Report a Concern

Have you witnessed any instances where individuals on the islands may have shown disregard for fisheries, wildlife, or environmental protection laws? Would you like to report a concern regarding a possible violation of bylaws? If you have a concern, report it here.

Agricultural Land Reserve Applications

Agricultural Land Commission

Applications for non-farm uses, subdivision in the ALR, or for exclusion from the land reserve should be made through Bowen Island Municipality or your local trust committee.

Report Improper Use of Agricultural Land Reserve Lands

Agricultural Land Commission
Via e-mailed form


BC Archaeology Branch

All archaeological sites in B.C. are protected under the Heritage Conservation Act. This applies whether sites are located on public or private land, and whether the site is known or unknown. Registered archaeological sites may not be disturbed in any manner without a permit.

Report Archeological Site Damage

BC Archaeology Branch (via Front Counter BC) online form
1-877-952-7277 (Option 2) toll-free

It is illegal to damage or destroy a known or unknown archaeological site in BC.

Building Inspection

Bowen Island Municipality
Capital Regional District
Comox Valley Regional District
Cowichan Valley Regional District
Metro Vancouver
qathet Regional District
Sunshine Coast Regional District
Regional District of Nanaimo

Regional districts offer many more services to the islands beyond the land-use related ones listed. For most islands, regional district building inspection services require Islands Trust planning staff to interpret local zoning and land use bylaws prior to issuing building permits. (building inspection bylaws do not exist In the Denman and  Hornby local trust areas,  but local trust committee siting and use permits are required.) The qathet Regional District does not provide building inspection services on Lasqueti Island.

Dock Applications

Provincial requirements for dock construction
Front Counter BC

The relevant local trust committee, or Bowen Island Municipality, land use regulations apply in all areas and may limit or prohibit dock construction.

The Province of BC requires dock applications for Gabriola, Thetis, Mayne, Salt Spring, Saturna, Galiano, South Pender, part of Ballenas-Winchelsea, and most of North Pender local trust areas.

In the rest of Islands Trust Area, the Province allows “General Permissions” for dock construction, as long as development plans comply with certain criteria.

BC Integrated Land & Resource Registry provides information on over 280 different legal interests on provincially managed (Crown) land including tenures, regulated uses, land and resource use restrictions, and reservations.


Wildfire Reporting: 1-800-663-5555

Non-emergency Fire Inquiries

  • Denman Island Volunteer Fire Dept.: 250-335-0345
  • Gabriola Volunteer Fire Dept.: 250-247-9677
  • S. Galiano Volunteer Fire Dept.: 250-539-2131
  • N. Galiano Volunteer Fire Dept.: 250-539-5453
  • Gambier Fire Equipment Group: 604-916-0531
  • Hornby Island Fire Rescue: 250-335-2611
  • Salt Spring Island Fire Rescue: 250-537-2531
  • Saturna Island Fire Protection Society: info@sifps.ca
  • Mayne Island Fire Rescue: 250-539-5156
  • Pender Island Fire Rescue: 250-629-3321
  • Thetis Island Volunteer Fire Dept.: 250-246-4834

Groundwater Licence

Front Counter BC (groundwater)
Front Counter BC (stream water)

If you divert and use groundwater for non-domestic purposes, you must now obtain a Province of BC water licence. Domestic groundwater users are encouraged to register their well with the province. Registering your well creates a record in the Provincial GWELLS database, to assist in groundwater research, and ensure that your well is considered by a decision-maker if it may be impacted by a new license application. Existing non-domestic groundwater users have until March 1, 2022, to apply for a water license to prove first use to establish first in time first in right (FITFIR) status of the water use.

Highway Access Permits

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Bowen Island Municipality

In local trust areas, highway use permits are required to create or change access off a provincial highway. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is responsible for the safety of all roads, lanes and unopened right-of-ways in the Islands Trust Area (except for Bowen Island, where the municipality is responsible).

Bowen Island Municipality Application and Driveway Design and Construction Guidelines.

Liquor and Cannabis (non-medical) Licenses

BC Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch

Liquor: Some applications for new licenses or expansion of existing licenses are referred to Bowen Island Municipality or the relevant local trust committee for comment and community input.

Cannabis: The Province of BC licenses non-medical cannabis retail sales. The relevant local trust committee or Bowen Island Municipality, must recommend that a licence be issued before the province may consider whether to issue a cannabis retail licence.

Working Near Water

Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, Water Licensing and Rights

When you plan work in or near water, you must take care to minimize the potential risk to aquatic ecosystems and limit water pollution.


Road Maintenance

Bowen Island Municipality

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure contracts to:
Galiano, Mayne, North Pender, Salt Spring, South Pender, Saturna, Thetis: Emcon Services
Gabriola/Lasqueti: Mainroad Mid-Island Contracting
Denman/Hornby: Mainroad North Island Contracting

Sand and Gravel Extraction Permits

Subdivision Approvals

Bowen Island Municipality
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure

The Approving Officer will issue a Preliminary Layout Review, if the application appears to be consistent with the local zoning bylaws.

Except for Bowen Island Municipality, the Approving Officer requires written confirmation from the Islands Trust planning staff that the proposed subdivision meets all local bylaws prior to issuing the PLA. Therefore, landowners should contact the Islands Trust planning staff early to discuss zoning issues.

Making changes to your Lot Line –  Fact Sheet

Telecommunication Antenna Structure Approvals

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada is the approving authority for telecommunication antenna structures and works, and requires input from local governments before issuing approvals. Bowen Island Municipality/the local trust committees performs three main functions:

  • scrutinize the public consultation process and First Nations consultation
  • clarify and communicate land use policies in relation to antenna structures
  • concur or not concur on the proposal regarding land use planning and siting.

While Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada require local government input, the Federal agency could make a decision contrary to local wishes.

Cell Towers in Your Community: How Decisions are Made
Facts about Towers

Trails on Provincially Managed (Crown) land Authorizations

Front Counter BC

All trails contemplated or constructed on Crown lands require First Nation government consultation and concurrence, and a license of occupation or other approval from the Ministry.

Water Supply Management

Regional Districts:
Bowen Island Municipality
Capital Regional District
Comox Valley Regional District
Cowichan Valley Regional District
Metro Vancouver
qathet Regional District
Sunshine Coast Regional District
Regional District of Nanaimo

Improvement Districts:
Graham Lake Improvement District, Denman Island
Schmidt Improvement District, Denman Island
Galiano Estates Improvement District, Galiano Island
Gossip Island Improvement District, Galiano Island Local Trust Area
Montague Improvement District, Galiano Island
Spanish Hills Improvement District, Galiano Island
Wise Island Improvement District, Galiano Island Local Trust Area
Bennett Bay Waterworks District, Mayne Island
Campbell-Bennett Bay Improvement District, Mayne Island
Lighthouse Point Waterworks District, Mayne Island
Mayne Island Improvement District, Mayne Island
Village Point Improvement District, Mayne Island
Georgina Improvement District, Mayne Island
Razor Point Improvement District, North Pender Island
Trincomali Improvement District, South Pender Island
Harbour View Improvement District, Salt Spring Island
Mount Belcher Improvement District, Salt Spring Island
North Salt Spring Waterworks District, Salt Spring Island
Piers Island Improvement District, Salt Spring Island Local Trust Area
Scott Point Waterworks District, Salt Spring Island
Secret Island Waterworks District, Salt Spring Island Local Trust Area
Saturna Shores Improvement District, Saturna Island
Vaucroft Improvement District, North Thormanby Island Gambier Island Local Trust Area

In most areas of the Islands Trust, local water supply is supplied through private wells.

Some areas of the Islands Trust are supplied by community water systems. These systems are either operated by the regional district or privately as a strata corporation or as a community water system or improvement district.