The Gwaii Trust Society wants to hear from any and all islanders as it prepares its new five-year plan, says administrator Tanu Lusignan.
The board will be holding community discussions later this month throughout the islands to find out what the public thinks about how the current programs are working, and what they’d like to see the Gwaii Trust doing with the millions of dollars it controls.
Directors have already started talking about the new five-year plan, which will take effect at the beginning of September 2006, and guide the trust until 2011, Mr. Lusignan said. Now, they want to hear from residents.
“We’re basically just gathering input from the public on their sentiments and ideas about what works with our current five-year plan,” Mr. Lusignan said. The trust currently hands out grants in several categories, including healthy communities, infrastructure, education and the arts. “Is that consistent with now, with today’s reality?” he said. “Maybe there are other priorities now.”
The society has been getting a relatively high rate of return on its investments over the past several years, Mr. Lusignan noted, which allow it to hand out between $3.5-million and $4-million a year. However, the society’s actuaries have warned the board to be prepared for lower returns in the future, which may mean the society will have to reduce the amount of grants, he said.
The community planning sessions will start Nov. 22 with a meeting in the Massett area, followed by Queen Charlotte on Nov. 23, Port Clements on Nov. 24, and Sandspit on Nov. 28. A session will also be held in Skidegate, but the date has not yet been set. All sessions start at 7 pm, with locations to be announced next week.
Everyone is welcome and encouraged to attend, but there are also other ways to make your views known.
“The public has the chance to voice their opinion about the Gwaii Trust all the time,” Mr. Lusignan said ÃŸ- either through their director, or by contacting the office through e-mail, snail mail or telephone.
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