Monday, February 23, 2015

Success in Saanich! Maltby Lake to receive new environmental protection

Gillian Harvey (Pip Holmes' granddaughter),
Carmel Thomson, Patrick Brown and MLA Lana
Popham. BC Supreme Court, February 23, 2015
April 2, 2015 Breaking News!
Today the Supreme Court of BC formally accepted TLC's restructuring plan. This includes the agreement to sell most of TLC's interest in Maltby lake for $750,000 to Woody and Carmel Thomson. This is a huge victory for the environment and for those who want to see pristine Maltby Lake protected forever. The agreement of sale to Woody and Carmel (who are the long-time environmental stewards of this land) includes a covenant that requires them to dedicate the land as a park and conservation area. In effect, Woody and Carmel are making a $750,000 donation to protect Maltby Lake. Wow!

March 30 2015 Update
Creditors today accepted TLC's plan to restructure and exit bankruptcy protection. The plan would see ecological protections maintained for Maltby Lake.

March 19 2015 Update:
Maltby Lake update. On March 30 the TLC's creditors will vote on the court monitor-approved TLC plan to pay off its debts. Most of the creditors are prepared to accept the plan. They will get almost all of their money back, but in accepting this plan they are also agreeing to take less money than they would have if the bankruptcy process had operated as it usually does, liquidating assets for the highest possible return. And if that happens this case will make legal history. You might think it is a no-brainer (I do) but if all goes well we will have an important legal judgement emphasizing the logic that it is necessary to give "robust" consideration to the ecological value of land when it is being sold through bankruptcy proceedings. This resolution to the TLC troubles is far from perfect but it is important to note that a number of key properties will be protected In Saanich South, hard work by many people is expected to strengthen the environmental protections for Maltby Lake.

In October of 2013, the Land Conservancy of BC was granted creditor protection by the Supreme Court of BC.

The protection was to give it time to come up with a plan to avoid bankruptcy. The TLC currently owes creditors 8.4 million dollars.

Just moments ago the TLC's plan was approved by the Court.

The plan will see TLC repay most of the money owing to creditors while respecting its mandate to protect property with high ecological or heritage value.

There is a fine balance here. Nowhere is this more evident than with Maltby Lake.

As I have written previously, Maltby Lake is an extraordinarily important and robust ecosystem in Saanich.

Under the plan approved by the court today, the TLC will sell 83% of its interest in Maltby Lake for $750,000.

All of this money will go to TLC’s creditors.

It is important to note that Maltby Lake land was not sold to the highest bidder, but to the buyer best able to protect its ecological value. This shows TLC’s commitment to protecting the land it owns.

The purchaser will be Woody and Carmel Thomson, the long-time environmental stewards of that land. Their personal generosity and commitment to the environment are worthy of genuine praise and thanks from all residents of Saanich. The sale of this land includes legally-enforceable provisions protecting its ecology.

The TLC intends to sell the remaining 6% of its Maltby Lake share to the Friends of the Maltby Lake Watershed Society. I look forward to working with the Thomsons and the Society to reach this goal.

The court decision today is of tremendous value to the people of Saanich. Thanks in large part to the dedication and financial contributions of the Maltby Lake Society, and Woody and Carmel Thomson, as well as to the hard work and passion of TLC, we now have a court sanctioned and legally-enforceable plan to protect a large portion of Maltby Lake.  

I am also pleased to note that the TLC will be retaining ownership and maintaining its support of Madrona Farm, its other property in my constituency. Land trusts like this one are a key method for British Columbia to ensure that valuable agricultural land remains accessible to young farmers. 

Lana Popham, MLA Saanich South

Friday, February 20, 2015

Doctor-assisted dying: Statement in the Legislature

"It’s a great privilege today to rise in this house and speak to the legacy of Sue Rodriguez, a woman who lived and died right here on Vancouver Island. She is best known to us all for her brave fight to have the power to end her own life 22 years ago….

“'If I cannot give consent to my own death, whose body is this? Who owns my life'?"

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Happy Year of the Goat!

Happy Lunar New Year Saanich South! I hope the Year of the Goat is a year of good health and prosperity for you and your family. 恭喜發財Lana

Monday, February 2, 2015

Democratic Reform

Dear Saanich South,

When people talk to me about politics one thing I hear repeatedly is a demand for more integrity.

In my opinion one of the very best ways to make that happen is to strengthen the actual rules of democracy.

Here are three simple changes that would move us in the right direction:
  1. Don’t let corporations or unions make donations to political parties. That way we are more likely to get politicians who make decisions based on their own values and the best interests of the people they serve …not what is most advantageous for those with the deepest pockets. 
  2. Protect “whistleblowers”: Governments should not punish civil servants who expose government misdeeds. 
  3. Formalized online petitions. They are an inexpensive and efficient way to demonstrate how much public support there is for a policy change or a potential new law.
The Opposition is also committed to moving forward on the key question of proportional representation. If elected government in 2017 we will give British Columbians the opportunity to consider and then vote on potential reforms to our electoral system.

Furthermore, the Opposition is calling for a fixed parliamentary schedule including a spring and fall session; stronger conflict-of-interest rules for ministerial staff; and closing of loopholes in the lobbyist registry

And that is just to start! I’m proud of the Opposition’s commitment to democratic reform… and very excited about the efforts of my colleague Saanich North and the IslandsMLA Gary Holman on this file. Gary is the Official Opposition Spokesperson for Democratic Reform and he has organized two town halls on the subject.

The first will be held tomorrow, February 3rd, at the Mary Winspear Centre, Activity Room. The second will be held on February 5th at Central Saanich Senior Citizens’ Centre. Both are free and open to the public, running from 6:30pm-8:0pm, and include representatives from Fair Vote Canada and Fair Voting BC.

Please attend and support our efforts to strengthen the democratic process in BC. 

For more information contact MLA Holman at 250 387 3655 or

Warm reagrds,


Lana Popham, MLA Saanich South