It has come to the attention of the chair of the Sunshine Coast Conservation Association (SCCA) that, during the heated Gospel Rock neighbourhood plan (GRNP) discussion at the Gibsons council committee of the whole meeting on April 10, Coun. Gerry Tretick referred to Coun. Dan Bouman as having been a paid lobbyist with the Sunshine Coast Conservation “Society”.
Coun. Tretick’s assertion is entirely incorrect. Before resigning his position prior to standing for municipal office Bouman was executive director of the SCCA for many years. He was indeed paid, but was not a lobbyist.
The SCCA is a registered charitable organization under the rules of the Canada Revenue Agency, and is therefore not permitted to engage in political lobbying, paid or otherwise. Our mandate is the protection of biodiversity in the Sunshine Coast Forest District. We fulfill this mandate in a variety of ways, including research, public education, and assisting our member groups in advocating for conservation values within our mandated area.
During the planning process for the GNRP the Town of Gibsons invited both the SCCA and the Friends of Gospel Rock Society to provide input on biodiversity and ecosystem protection in the plan area. In his capacity as SCCA executive director, Bouman acted for both groups in assessing the plan area, educating the Gospel Rock select committee and the refinement working committee on the area’s ecological status and sensitivity, and suggesting improvements to the draft plans produced by both Town committees. This work is entirely within the SCCA’s mandate, and was in keeping with Mr. Bouman’s duties as executive director.