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Island Municipalities, Restructure Studies and Referenda

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Legislative and Policy Framework

In 1989, the Islands Trust Act was amended to permit the formation of municipalities within the Islands Trust Area.

The governance structure of the Islands Trust showing how municipalities fit is displayed here.

The Islands Trust Council does not take a position for or against island incorporation.

Islands Trust has a formal agreement with the Province defining roles for every step of municipal incorporation.

Trust Council has a policy guiding how to assess costs and resources for incorporation studies and a policy for calculating municipal share of the Islands Trust budget.

In 1999, Bowen Islanders voted to incorporate and Bowen Island Municipality was incorporated as the first municipal government within the Islands Trust Area in December, 1999. Because it is within the Islands Trust Area, it was incorporated as an Island Municipality, a special form of municipality that recognizes the object of the Islands Trust.

Current Municipal Incorporation Initiatives

In April 2015, the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development announced funding for another incorporation study on Salt Spring Island. A governance study on Salt Spring Island was initiated in 2012 and continues today. Click here for details.

Previous Municipal Incorporation Initiatives

Previous events and studies related to municipal incorporation in the Islands Trust Area include:

Occasionally island communities invite Islands Trust staff to discuss governance options at public meetings. Slides used at these presentations can be viewed here:

Restructure Studies in the Islands Trust Area - Trustee and Staff Role 

Islands Trust staff have prepared a briefing clarifying trustee and staff roles when a community in the Islands Trust area is considering or actively engaged in a local study of governance structure such as a municipal incorporation study.


For more information, or to share your ideas about Islands Trust governance, please contact:

Russ Hotsenpiller
Chief Administrative Officer
(250) 405-5160

Page last updated: 01/11/17
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