Saturna Island Residents and Ratepayers Association (SIRRA)
President’s Report for the AGM September 11, 2021
I have the honour to report on the actions of your board of directors since the last AGM July 18, 2020. It has been a strange year with the presence of Covid and the restrictions on meetings in person. We all learned more about how ‘to Zoom’ and work on Teams. Thanks to Helen Wale for her technical support with this challenge. I also want to acknowledge the passing from our community of long time resident and SIRRA colleague Harvey Janszen. We will miss his assistance with our website and his other contributions to the Saturna community.
We started the new SIRRA year with controversy over the installation of a hydrophone array in Boundary Pass by Jasco under contract to Transport Canada. SIRRA intervened by letter to the CRD and Trust, and consultation with Local Trustees to help sort out the complaints of neighbours and the community about nuisance and lack of oversight by local government at 198 Cliffside Road.
Work continued through the year on the new website which is now in place at SIRRA.ca. Thanks to Mairead Boland, Ron Hall, Colin Curwen, Tyler Stolting and others for all the hard work or reorganizing it. You can find our minutes, correspondence and other important information there.
Mairead, Ron and others worked hard to reorganize and expand the membership of SIRRA, and the communications with members. We have had a successful membership drive, still in progress, thanks in part to the initial generousity of Rob Alloway. We changed from Yahoo to Freelists for our list serves to members and for board communications.
We heard concerns from some community members about the B.C. property assessment process and SIRRA offered to assist with a joint effort to influence the process, but this did not come to pass this year.
We thank Colin Curwen for his time and efforts on the board of SIRRA as a director and Treasurer. We all know how busy he has become with his other important commitments in our community and we were sorry to lose him. The board is grateful that Ron Hall agreed to come back as an interim director and Treasurer.
The current major issues with respect to the organization and actions of the Islands Trust began with news of proposed new tree-cutting regulations in the Trust area in January, 2021. The management review currently under way, the proposed changes to the Trust policy statement, and a movement to add jurisdiction over trees to the Trust powers consumed our attention since then. We communicated in June with our local trustees and intervened with the Trust to urge, along with many others, that the Trust delay first reading of a new policy statement and engage in further extensive consultation with the SGI communities. That process is now under way. Our Local Trustees are here today to talk with us about critical issues with the Trust. Thanks to them for coming.
We encourage you to think about joining your board in this important work, as a director, or as a volunteer in other capacities. Thanks to our past and current members and directors. It is a pleasure to work with you.
David Osborne, President