Gwaii Trust’s assets at record level

  • Dec. 20, 2006 7:00 p.m.

The market value of the Gwaii Trust fund has reached almost $77-million, islanders heard at the society’s annual general meeting Saturday (Dec. 16) in Old Massett. Gwaii Trust chair Miles Richardson said the fund spent just over $5-million in its latest fiscal year, which ended on Aug. 31. That amount includes $3.7-million given out in grants to islands organizations, $1-million which was reinvested to protect the fund’s principal from inflation, $386,000 in administration and $254,000 for professional fees. Mr. Richardson told the public that the society’s first objective is to make sure the fund’s principal is never spent, and keeps growing by the national inflation rate. The principal started at $38.2-million in 1994; it now stands at $49.3-million. This year was the first year that the society was allowed to invest in international equities rather than being limited to Canadian equities, Mr. Richardson said. The board took advice from its actuary Watson Wyatt Canada and invested $19.4-million in foreign and US equities, through a Calgary-based investment firm. Auditor Michael Johnson of McAlpine and Co presented the financial statements. The Gwaii Trust more than doubled its investment income in the year ended Aug. 31, 2006 to $16.2-million, compared to $7-millon the year before, but Mr. Johnson cautioned against reading too much into these numbers. “The gain is more of a paper gain than anything,” he said, explaining that the revenue was triggered when managers sold some equities in order to reinvest the money in the foreign and US market. The gain reflects steady growth over many years, he said, and the realignment did not affect the trust fund’s actual market value. “The market value of the fund hasn’t increased significantly,” he said. The Gwaii Trust’s market value stood at $76.3-million at the end of the 2004-05 year; at the end of the most recent year it had reached $76.8-million. As in other years, islanders submitted many more applications to Gwaii Trust programs than could be funded, Mr. Richardson said. The society received 217 applications in the 2005-06 year to its eight programs, with requests ranging from a few hundred dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The board approved 124 of those applications, totalling just under $4-million. The board worked on a new five-year business plan during the past year, which will guide it through to 2010. Mr. Richardson said public meetings were held in every community and the board listened to many opinions from islanders. In the end, very few changes were made to the existing programs, and Mr. Richardson said it seems the public is happy with the way the Gwaii Trust is operating. The most significant change is the addition of a new program, the Haida Parity Program, which will hand out $12.3-million to Haida communities over the next 15 years. For this year, $840,000 is available and some of it has already been awarded, as the first application deadline was in October. Copies of the new business plan, which include details about the programs and deadline dates, are available at the Gwaii Trust office or on the internet at gwaiitrust.com

Just Posted

Subsea internet cable to link up Haida Gwaii

Cable to connect Haida Gwaii, Prince Rupert, Vancouver Island, Sunshine Coast with mainland network

Nearly $500,000 available for internships with First Nations government

Funds announced through partnership with Northern Development and Government of Canada

Photos: Ts’aahl wins super-close Clan Tournament

Three games finished in overtime. In the semi-final, the defending Clan Tournament… Continue reading

New year, same tips from B.C.’s forestry watchdog

Pointing to Haida Gwaii, Forest Practices Board says district managers need more enforcement powers

Fat Tire Girls

Tough north-island duo braves river crossings and storm winds on cycling trek from Tlell to Tow Hill

Solitary-confinement veto a chance to address mental health: advocate

B.C. Supreme Court made the landmark ruling Wednesday

B.C. civil rights group files complaint about RCMP arrest of man who later died

Dale Culver, a 35-year-old Indigenous man was arrested in Prince George last July

Lawyer says former B.C. government aide ‘barely guilty’ in ethnic vote scandal

Brian Bonney pleaded guilty to a breach of trust charge

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan to Abuja when they were ambushed around Kagarko

Whistler role in potential Calgary Olympic bid would be welcome: IOC

Calgary is mulling whether to vie for the 2026 Games, and could look to facilities in B.C.

Food industry failing at voluntary sodium reduction: Health Canada

Health Canada report shows the food industry made no meaningful progress in curtailing salt levels

Most Read