August 13, 2013
From Stop The Docks to Keith Anderson, Province of BC:
In reviewing the response to our requests for intervention, I wish to reflect some personal comments. Firstly, let me say how much I have appreciated the access and support from you and your team in responding to our multiple inquiries in our efforts to understand what happened, and when and who was responsible. I believe you have been both generous and fair in the process.
Ultimately, however, I am deeply disappointed by how the province has failed British Columbia residents with respect to the private docks at Cape Roger Curtis. Fundamentally, I reject the notion that BC has put forward that the responsibility lies solely with third parties such as Bowen Municipality, DFO, Transport Canada or First Nations. BC owns final responsibility for granting licences of occupation for private docks – your department decides. It’s not only a local government issue – we belong to the Islands Trust (an agent of BC) and there are numerous policies and regulations that are in place (provincial, Islands Trust, BIM) to ‘preserve and protect’ the unique features at the Cape. Yes, local bylaws could be strengthened, and yes the local government should have stepped in (and still should step in) to properly and responsibly exercise their powers, but the tools are essentially already in place for the province to properly deny the applications. We know this, you know this.
The harm to our public use and enjoyment and the environment of the Cape is now manifest. Less evident, but equally manifest, is the harm to our community. It is not an overstatement to say that the Cape docks have pierced the soul of our community – you’ve created anger, conflict, stress and … well, I guess, just simply profound grief. Your failure is also our failure – many of us tried, but faith and ignorance didn’t trump bad decisions. Maybe more of us needed to do more, or maybe you would have chosen to permit these docks, even if all 1300 of us had written to oppose these docks at the outset.
Understand what has been done: a large, ugly scar has been erected in the middle of our most sacred natural seascape – in the middle of three public parks and our only coastal trail. A place where families and individuals went to play, learn, reflect, create and heal and nourish themselves. A place that had been protected for generations by good stewards, wiser governments and more diligent public servants. Desecrated. Why? Because one person wanted something for himself, over the needs of the community, visitors and the plants & critters.
Shame on us for letting this happen.
From Keith Anderson to Stop The Docks:
I understand that you have received a letter from the Minister recently that addresses your appeal.
I also understand that the Bowen Island Municipality has initiated the process to establish zoning regulations for private moorage. We are currently waiting for a response from Bowen Island Municipality on how long they expect the process to take so that we can consider their request to defer our review of the applications for private moorage at Cape Roger Curtis.
I believe you have articulated your concerns and preferences on the docks fully and we have no doubt where you stand on the matter. The ministry’s position continues to be that if the residents of Bowen Island want to prohibit the construction of docks at Cape Roger Curtis, then the local government must implement the appropriate zoning bylaws, which they have the power to do, to reflect those community goals. [emphasis added]