Videos

Peter Lake first came to Salt Spring in 1972, and has served the community in many ways over the years. He joined the 2002 Incorporation Study Committee because he was worried it was a ruse for developers to take over the island. He realized his concerns were unfounded and subsequently became an advocate for supporting a municipality. Peter retired to the island after a career in business in Australia, South Africa, Singapore, Vancouver and SSI. He was key in saving Fernwood dock for our community and other federal Gulf Island docks Was a PARC commissioner for 5 years Was alternate CRD director for 1.5 terms Chaired Burgoyne waste water facility for 6.5 years, and "experienced extreme frustration over the CRD not listening to our local board"

Listen to the wisdom of our elders: Harold Swierenga, has been a Co-op Farm Director, Commercial Farmer, Economics Professor, and has a ton experience in local governance. - 8 years experience as municipal councillor and reeve of municipality in Ontario. Served as Warden (head) of Lanark County Council. - Served as a director of Federation of Canadian Municipalities, Association of Counties and Regions of Ontario and Municipal Liason Committee. - Served on Health Unit Board, County Planning Board, Visitor and Convention Board ( - Director of farm co-operative - Operated a commercial farm - 35 years professor of economics - Founding member of SSI Transportation Commission - Member and chair of SSI Ferry Advisory Committee Here are his insights about Salt Spring Governance.

Farmer, and much appreciated Salt Spring Island vet, Malcolm Bond was born and raised on Salt Spring. He is not concerned with a possible farm tax increase under a Municipality "it might be a small amount extra and it's for the greater good of our Island."

David Wood, cheese maker and well-respected community member, has moderated many Salt Spring political panels and debates for the last 25 years. He wants to let everyone know that there has NEVER been a threat of ONE “pro-development” candidate on Salt Spring Island in all these years of his experience.

Surprising before and after perspective on some past referendum votes on Salt Spring by Dave Phillips, Salt Springer for 47 years. Owner of Dave's Drilling & Blasting " I'm looking forward to a left wing environmentally responsible, non- elitist compassionate community under local government!”

Right on! Telling it like it is. Some more voices speaking to the need for change.

Must watch!! Another viewpoint from someone who has been extremely involved in local Salt Spring Island projects - how the CRD is not working for us. Robin Williams chairs CRD's transportation commission and is an appointee to the Islands Trust Fund. #realpeople #realissues #realinsight.

"I have seen first hand how the current system is mired in paralysis. It is time to trust in participatory democracy,” Says Bruce Cameron. "I believe that the creativity, community commitment and sense of collaboration that defines Salt Spring Islanders will be best reflected by having a locally elected and accountable council. Those 7 elected individuals will meet and debate issues right in Ganges, openly and respectfully, to help us address our challenges and realize our fullest potential as a place to live, work and play for all of our residents. It is time to trust in participatory democracy by bringing the lively debate about our future back home, where we can all listen and participate, rather than be beholden to voices in Victoria and other islands that do not fully understand or appreciate our situation." Bruce Cameron moved to Salt Spring full time 5 years ago, but has been a frequent visitor for over 30 years. He plays drums in several local bands, and over the past 3 decades has come to love and appreciate the quirkiness that makes Salt Spring such an amazing place to live. Bruce runs Social Media ROi, a market research and social media monitoring company, from the home he shares with his wife Susan Lundy and their two dogs. Bruce also volunteers as a member of the CRD's Community Economic Development Commission, where he has helped formulate a plan to integrate organic waste management efforts in order to enable Salt Spring to become more self sustaining

We are voting yes for creating responsible local government on... Peter Lake, Malcolm Bond and Nicholas Hunt share some key reasons for forming our own local government.

Ron Cooke is involved in a number of affordable housing projects. He is voting yes. "I have lived on Salt Spring for 29 years, raised a family here and worked as a carpenter and later in home design - quite often in conjunction with Rammed Earth. I serve on the Board of Directors at Salt Spring Island Community Services."

Joan McConnell came to Salt Spring Island from Montreal at the end of 1988 with her husband Allen. They were soon involved with their fellow islanders at numerous town meetings as the mandate to preserve and protect the Gulf islands evolved. Joan believes that this sacred trust will endure with incorporation while other problems arising from the growth of the population can be better addressed with our own council. The past has been wonderful and the future is not to be feared believes this nonagenarian. Joan has been a huge supporter of the arts on SSI and has been the main contributor to the prizes for SSNP.

Matt Steffich is a long established islander who has worked on the Ganges Harbour Walk Project (aka 'the Ganges Boardwalk') for 5 years and counting. The project has many participants including the Islands Trust, Transportation Commission, Parks and Recreation Commission and the Chamber of Commerce. Matt describes how difficult it's been to move forward with projects the community wants, like the boardwalk, and why he is voting Yes.

Celia Duthie & Nick Hunt ran Duthie Books in Vancouver for 20 plus years and have lived on Salt Spring since 2004. They opened Salt Spring Woodworks which later became the Duthie gallery. They are active members of the arts community on the island. "We both support the incorporation of the island and will be voting yes in the referendum. We feel that the island is ready for independence from Victoria and mature enough for self-government. We feel the island needs broader representation and more progressive pro-active planning for the future."

Alex Gay is Voting Yes. "Born and raised on Salt Spring Island, I am voting to bring Our leadership home because I believe that by coming together we as an Island community can work together to create a system that works for EVERYONE, not just the few."

A voice of experience. Susan Russell, a business woman, teacher and community volunteer served as a Salt Spring PARC commissioner for 6 years. Having worked within the current system, she became an advocate for a municipal governance. "As a PARC commissioner I helped with the community process of initiating and approving the Rainbow Road Pool, including the successful referendum, ensuring funding, and ensuring community support. I worked with good people as fellow commissioners, but the biggest stumbling block to our initiatives and successes was the lack of an incorporated municipality. I attended meetings, and followed the proceedings of the Island Trust. I came to appreciate the role of the Island Trust in their "preserve and protect” mandate for our community and our values."

Salt Spring Island's Treehouse Cafe faced a huge challenge a few years ago that threatened the cafe's existence and resulted in an online petition signed by thousands of people. Mark explains what happened. And why he is voting yes.

Robin Williams -- on the demolition of the Fulford Inn by the CRD Building Inspection Department based in Victoria. Salt Spring resident Robin Williams is a well known community volunteer. He has chaired a CRD Commission, and is involved with The Islands Trust Fund, which is the land conservation side of Islands Trust. Here Robin speaks about one of the most sad moments in recent Salt Spring history.

Mickey McLeod, CEO, co-founder and owner (with Robbyn Scott) of Salt Spring Coffee has lived on Salt Spring Island since Aug 1981 and has been a self-employed businessman employing a couple hundred people on Salt Spring Island during this time. "The current governance system has proven not to support visionary business leaders who want to do good for the community, provide gainful employment and help change the dial on how business can be conducted in today's world. Salt Spring Island could be a world class example how to do this, but the system is broken. In order to accomplish this, there is currently no plan and no vision. Leaving these kinds of decisions up to two people ( the two trustees on the Islands Trust at any given time) can have devastating costly affects, so I am voting YESS on Sept 9th."