Governance on Pender & Saturna Islands
Politics function through cooperation between three main entities on Pender and Saturna Islands; the Saanich North and the Islands elected representatives of the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, the Capital Regional District (CRD), and the Islands Trust. Each of these entities is responsible for different components of governance on Pender and Saturna Islands. When we speak of the government on the Southern Gulf Islands we are usually referring to either one of these components or areas where their responsibilities overlap and meet.
Saanich North and the Islands is our provincial electoral district for the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Canada
Saanich North and the Islands is our provincial electoral district for the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia, Canada is comprised of elected representatives for parts of Vancouver Island including a range of suburbs around Victoria, North and Central Saanich, Sidney, and of course Pender and Saturna among other Southern Gulf Islands. This is where our little Island politics tie in with the provincial and federal political system with our representatives traditionally being voted on along established party lines such as the Liberal, NDP, Conservative, and more recently the Green Party. It is due to elections in this riding that Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party won her MP status, which brought this little electoral region into national historical prominence in 2011.
Capital Regional District (CRD)
The CRD is the regional government for our Southern Gulf Islands (among 13 municipalities). The CRD is governed by a 24-member Board of Directors that is composed of one or more elected officials from each of the local governments within the CRD's boundaries. The services the CRD provides are diverse, a partial list includes: Animal Care & Control, Arts and Cultural Support, Building Permits & Inspections, Capital Regional Hospital District, Community & Public Health, Community & Recreation, Docks & Moorage, Drinking Water, Fire & Emergency Services, Integrated Watershed Management, Libraries, Theatres & Museums, Marine & Science Research, Noise & Nuisance, Parks & Trails, Regional Housing, Solid Waste & Recycling, Stormwater, Wastewater & Septic, Sustainability & Climate Change, Traffic Safety, and Transportation.
The Islands Trust
The Islands Trust was established in 1974 with the mandate to preserve and protect the islands' unique amenities and environment. Local Trustees are elected regionally and the Islands Trust oversees many elements of land use planning and regulation under the BC Local Government Act. Locally elected trust committees develop and adopt community plans and land use bylaws for each local trust area. The Islands Trust also operates a trust fund which accepts donations, grants, as well as land and covenants in order to preserve and protect significant natural and cultural features.