Salt Spring’s new SSIWPA PAC

If you live on Salt Spring you have to get used to all the acronyms.  If you have not heard of SSIWPA it’s because it’s new.   SSIWPA stands for Salt Spring Island WaterShed Protection Authority.  Today  was the first meeting of the SSIWPA PAC (Public Advisory Committee).

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The ideal behind SSIWPA is that it will coordinate gov agencies in the protection of the watershed and lakes of Salt Spring.   SSIWPA was created by the island trust bylaw 154  for the purpose of preserving and protecting the quality and quantity of water resources within the Salt Spring Island Local Trust Area.  Here is the actual bylaw; bylaw154delegationpowers.

The photo on this page actually explains how SSIWPA works.  Here is a link to their web site.  There is a Technical advisory committee, PAC and the steering committee. Over the next 6 months or so there will be a series of workshops that will bring solutions forward.  As far as I know there will be no public involvement or public witness and or public minutes of the Technical Advisory committee.  To me this is just wrong.  Part of the terms of reference are to operate in an open, transparent and accountable manner.   On Monday there was another meeting with the company that is paid to write the report and that meeting was not public and no minutes and or tape of the meeting have been published that I know about.

Below are the only audio tape of today’s PAC meeting.   At the end of this rather long tape there is a discussion on how SSIWPA is going to communicate with the public.  I thought it was rather amusing that with their 110k budget they could not spend $50 on an MP3 recorder and tape their public meeting and make it available to the public.  This is why I went to the meeting is to make it available to my subscribers and keep them informed of what is happening on Salt Spring.  I do not want to see a closed door solution put out the public with no public consultation and or input.   My hat is off to Maxine Leichter who is on PAC and wants input and PAC not to be a rubber stamp committee.   For those that do not know Maxine she is one of the driving forces of the Water Preservation Society.  John Borst from the water council is another water advocate on the newly formed PAC.  Along with the other volunteers I think Salt Spring is in good hands.

Here is the actual agenda package for the first PAC meeting; SSIWPA-PAC-Draft-Agenda-Package-Nov-4-2014

Part 1 at the 37:20 mark Maxine ask the coordinator (Chair) about options and will the PAC get the options on how to fix the lake.  To me this is the key question of the meeting.  The taxpayers want options with cost to fix the lake not just a report with one solution.   Again at the 41 minute mark Maxine gets this recorded in the minutes of meeting.

Part 2

Hopefully the end result will be St Mary lake will get the attention it needs and give the island various real options with cost associated to each option.

If you have any questions just send me and email.

Note to readers I’m not any of the committees.

 

I think SSIWPA is a good positive ideal but would like to see all the committee meeting taped and made public.

 

Cheers

Scott Simmons

 

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Comments

  1. Thank you, Scott, for attending both the Nov. 4 2014 PAC meeting and the recent Nov. 28, 2014 SSIWPA Open House. I am happy to bring forward your suggestion that public meetings be recorded and provided on the SSIWPA website as records other than minutes of the meetings. The PAC meeting minutes will be made publicly available – they are sent to SSIWPA Steering Committee as a form of inter-committee communications. Then, they appear in draft form in the SSIWPA Steering Committee agenda package for its upcoming meeting. You can note the timing of when the PAC meeting minutes will be available by going here (http://ssiwatersheds.ca/minutes-agendas/steering-committee-agenda-packages/) – 7 days prior to each Steering Committee meeting date is the time you are able to download the agenda package and see them.
    My request is that you consider me a resource and liaison for your ideas and suggestions to SSIWPA: Please email your letter to SSIWPA or telephone me in the future! Thank you, Shannon Cowan ssiwpacoord@gmail.com

  2. What about the slides from the open house on the 28th? The one speaker from the TAC said the slides would be available and up. I can not find them. What about the minutes of the TAC meetings? Are these not going to be public?

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