Islands Trust is seeking input on its draft 2020 budget, including from residents of Gabriola Island. (News Bulletin file)

Islands Trust is seeking input on its draft 2020 budget, including from residents of Gabriola Island. (News Bulletin file)

Islands Trust draft budget sees 1.5-per cent tax hike for Gabriola Island

Input on budget being sought until Feb. 9, approval expected in March

Islands Trust seeks input on a draft budget that could see Gabriola Island residents in line for a 1.5-per cent tax increase, with some tax dollars going to climate-action initiatives.

The organization of local governments covering islands on the Salish Sea is proposing an $8.18-million budget for 2020-21, which would see $383,650 of reserves spent to balance the budget. Scott Colbourne, trustee for Gabriola, said he and a colleague co-sponsored a climate crisis declaration last March and that has been considered in strategic planning and the budget.

“This is very much a climate action budget and of course, this is something we need to get the turnaround going quickly and so we decided as a trust council to dip into the surplus to sort of [take] extraordinary measures that are necessary…” Colbourne said. “It was a matter of some debate at trust council. Some people made some very good cases for a zero per cent increase or to not go into surplus as much, but it was decided because of the extraordinary circumstances that we see ourselves with the climate crisis that we need to take action.”

READ ALSO: RDN draft budget proposes higher taxes in 2020

Environmental-minded projects in 2020-21 include an eelgrass and kelp bed mapping project at $50,000 and development of a regional freshwater strategy, budgeted at $4,000. While the trust is currently working on coastal Douglas fir protection, it won’t be reflected in the upcoming budget. Staff said work will continue as part of usual work of the Islands Trust Conservancy and project information from the current year will be incorporated into local planning practices.

Tax dollars are also set for testing live-streamed meetings. Colbourne said $2,500 will go towards audio-visual hardware, $3,500 for an encoder and $1,000 for a private streaming service.

The proposed budget also takes into consideration a two-per cent wage increase for B.C. Government Employees Union workers on Gabriola Island and a two- per cent increase to trustee’s base remuneration.

Gabriola Island residents saw tax increases of two per cent in 2018-19 and again in 2019-20.

An online survey for Gabriola taxpayers is available online and public comments can be submitted to Islands Trust until Sunday, Feb. 9. Final approval is expected at the trust’s quarterly meeting on Salt Spring Island from March 10-12.

More information is available at

Like us on Facebook and follow Karl on Twitter and Instagram


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Capt. Bryun Ashlie, left, and Lieut. Stu Kenning, of Nanaimo Fire Rescue, tackle fires burning in two shopping carts in St. George Ravine Park, Thursday afternoon. The cause of the fire, which destroyed both carts and their contents, is undetermined. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Shopping carts found burning in Nanaimo park

Firefighters douse flaming carts and contents on asphalt pathway

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a motorcyclist who refused to stop for police near the Nanaimo River Road and White Rapids Road intersection on April 10. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP seek ‘stunting’ motorcyclist, who fled from police

Rider spotted near intersection of Nanaimo River Road and White Rapids Road April 10

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on the property

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map shows new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 11-17. (BCCDC image)
Nanaimo sees fewest new COVID-19 cases since mid January

B.C. Centre for Disease Control reports 31 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Nanaimo from April 11-17

Island Health has issued an overdose advisory for Nanaimo. (Black Press Media file photo)
Overdose advisory issued for Nanaimo

Island Health warns of ‘toxic drug supply’ in Nanaimo, Victoria, the Comox Valley and Campbell River

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)
Woman hopes cat-stalking Fanny Bay cougar can avoid euthanization

Conservation officers do not relocate the animals from Vancouver Island

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Police executed a search warrant at the Devils Army Clubhouse on Petersen road in Campbell River on August 10, 2017.
Murder trial: Victim left to conclude out-of-court settlement on the day he disappeared

Trial of Richard Alexander in death of John Dillon Brown continues in B.C. Supreme Court in Victoria

Most Read