Saturna Island Property Owners Association
P.O. Box 21, Saturna, British Columbia, V0N 2Y0
July 12, 2007
The Honourable Gary Lunn, PC, MP
9843 Second Street
Thank you for meeting with the Saturna contingent, Lorne Bolton, Al Sewell and me yesterday. As you requested, I am writing to specifically request the kinds of interventions we would like you to make on behalf of Saturna. I do this on behalf of the members of the Saturna Island Property Owners Association (SIPOA) and for the Saturna Island Fire Protection Society.
There are three parts to our request.
- We are requesting that you as the Minister responsible for Vancouver and the Gulf Islands, in consultation with the Minister of Public Works and the Minister of Environment, write to the province and to the Capital Regional District to ask for a full and transparent examination of the payment in lieu of taxes (pilt) accounting process for park lands in the Saturna administrative district which includes Saturna and Tumbo Islands and the Belle Isles.
The reason for this request is that we believe the allocation of the pilt grant by the CRD to Saturna services is not fair nor is it equitable compensation for the services required on Saturna by Parks Canada. Please note that according to SIPOA’s examination of this matter, out of the approximately $29,000 paid by Public Works Canada to the province, services on Saturna actually received only $2,500. We all need to know what has happened to the rest of these funds.
As we discussed, Public Works of Canada’s Payment in Lieu of Taxes Act (the Act) clearly states that the Government of Canada contributions are intended to provide for services required by federal facilities. And, as is described more fully in Sections 7 and 8 in the the Act, the Minister may withhold funds if services are not provided or there are unreasonable expenses incurred.
We ask that in addition to consulting your colleagues, you copy SIPOA, Murray Coell, MLA for Saanich and the Gulf Islands and Ron Hamilton of Parks Canada on this letter.
- We ask that you and the Minister of Environment request Ron Hamilton, Gulf Islands Park Superintendent, and perhaps Public Works department officials as well, to become more actively involved in helping us to ensure that an equitable portion of the federal pilt grant for Parks Canada’s lands is equitably distributed to the required Saturna services. We ask that their more active involvement also would include working to achieve a more realistic ambulance service on Saturna for the national park and for a safe road infrastructure.
- We request that you write a letter to the Vancouver Island Ambulance Service to ask for funding for ambulance service for visitors to the national park on Saturna Island. As you know, these national park lands on Saturna are the only place in British Columbia which does not have ambulance service provided by the province.
In closing, both SIPOA and the Fire Proteciton Society appreciate your enthusiastic support of our concerns and look forward to having your help in resolving these issues. If you need any further information or have any questions regarding our requests and/or on the background information we provided please contact me at the above email or by phone at (250)539-3397.