Islands Trust candidates concerned with planning

An Islands Trust review of Gabriola Island’s Official Community Plan spurred two candidates to run for the planning board.

Gisele Rudischer and Sheila Malcolmson said they want the opportunity to represent Gabriola on the Islands Trust, which oversees planning and land-use issues on the Gulf Islands.

The third candidate, Maggie Mooney, did not return calls or e-mails by press time. Jeremy Baker withdrew his candidacy shortly after filing, although his name will remain on the ballot.

Rudischer, who was Gabriola’s representative to the Regional District of Nanaimo for the past three years, said she sought election to the Trust to preserve the island’s OCP, which she helped craft in 1997.

Issues that surrounding communities, such as Lantzville and Nanaimo, are dealing with, such as urban farming, were included in Gabriola’s plan, as were items like density transfers that allowed for an increase in parkland.

“These things are going to be reviewed,” Rudischer said.

New issues facing the island, like affordable housing, development and water conservation, must be addressed as well, she added.

Rudischer previously served on the Islands Trust for four terms, from 1996-2008, and lived on Gabriola for 38 years.

Voters can contact her by e-mail at

Malcolmson is an incumbent director for the Trust, who sat as council chairwoman of the 26-member board.

“I remain committed to the preserve and protect mandate,” she said.

The OCP doesn’t take into account some renewable energy alternatives, like wind power by restricting building height on the island. Planning in the village core and food security, such as the tight regulations on farmer’s activities, must also be addressed, she said.

Malcolmson also participated in advisory committees for the Islands Trust and has lived on Gabriola for the past 17 years.

Voters can reach Malcolmson by e-mail at

For more information on municipal elections in the Nanaimo area, please visit

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