No Gwaii Trust election

  • Oct. 29, 2008 9:00 a.m.

There won’t be an election for Gwaii Trust directors for Central Graham Island and Moresby Island this year because the two incumbents were the only candidates who submitted nominations. Jim Abbott and Warren Foster will both be acclaimed and will serve for another two years on the Gwaii Trust board. Mr. Abbott, a resident of Tlell, was first elected to the Gwaii Trust in 2006, beating three other candidates. Mr. Foster, of Sandspit, has served five previous terms on the Gwaii Trust board and was part of the group of islanders who came up with the Gwaii Trust concept in the early 1990s. He is a member of the Gwaii Trust executive committee, along with chair Ken Rea and Skidegate director Rose Russ.Mr. Abbott said he has enjoyed the past two years on the board and wanted to run again for several reasons. With years of experience as the owner of a small forestry business, he is very interested in the potential use of the Gwaii Forest Fund to buy all or part of a TFL.Mr. Abbott said he is only in favour of such a move if he sees a strong business plan and a good structure set up to run it.However, he is generally in favour of more local control.”I would really like to see control of the forest industry on island,” he said. “I’m most interested to see it happen but it would have to be done with a system that would work.”Both the Gwaii Trust and the Gwaii Forest Fund have been challenged recently by stock market fluctuations and Mr. Abbott said that will continue in the future.”You can lose money on the stock market and I don’t think anybody realized how much and how fast,” he said. “With this market downturn there’s going to be challenges, no doubt.”The Gwaii Trust is good for the islands and is working pretty well he said. In his next term, he would like to see more applications coming forward from Port and Tlell, the communities he represents, and he is thinking about ways to enable groups to think about what they want and put together good proposals.