The Land Conservancy of BC and Ecoforestry Institute Society to Create Committee Regarding Future of Wildwood

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NEWS RELEASE

THE LAND CONSERVANCY OF BC AND ECOFORESTRY INSTITUTE SOCIETY
TO CREATE COMMITTEE REGARDING FUTURE OF WILDWOOD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 8, 2015

Victoria, BC –The Land Conservancy of BC (TLC) and the Ecoforestry Institute Society (EIS) have agreed to create a committee to review the options regarding Wildwood Ecoforest and present recommendations to TLC’s Board of Directors.

Representatives from TLC and the EIS met Saturday, June 6, to continue discussions regarding the 77-acre ecoforestry site. Discussions began in April under the guidance of the Attorney General of B.C. The two groups have agreed to work towards the establishment of a special purpose trust for Wildwood.

TLC purchased Wildwood Ecoforest from Merv Wilkinson in 2000. After seeking creditor protection in 2013 under the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act (CCAA) as a means of resolving TLC’s outstanding debt to creditors, the organization has found innovative means of protecting the properties it can no longer afford to own while meeting the need to satisfy creditors.

Further to the May 21st joint statement issued by both TLC Board Chair Briony Penn and EIS Vice-Chair Barry Gates expressing that the two groups had found common ground to assure the future protection of Wildwood, the organizations have now formed a committee to that end.

“TLC has proposed the creation of a covenant on the property and a Special Purpose Trust, both of which would legally protect the future of Wildwood,” said John Shields, Director of Operations for TLC. “It is my hope that the committee will be able to recommend a path forward that will both protect Wildwood and see TLC’s creditors paid in full.”

The Board of TLC has agreed to remove Wildwood from the bylaw amendment to be voted on at TLC’s Extraordinary General Meeting on Friday, June 12. TLC’s proposed bylaw amendment would allow TLC’s creditors to be paid according the Supreme Court of BC approved Plan of Arrangement.

Bylaw amendments regarding TLC’s Wildwood Ecoforest will be delayed until the organization’s next Annual General Meeting.

To accomplish the transfer of any of TLC’s other inalienable properties to other trusts, as presented in the Plan, TLC must amend the organizations bylaws which currently prohibit such a transfer. The membership of TLC is being asked to vote on that change. TLC encourages all Members to attend the meeting to participate in their democratic right. For those unable to attend, proxy forms are available to assign said vote to another individual.

“We are glad to have EIS’s assistance in creating the best plan possible for the future of Wildwood,” said Briony Penn, Chair of TLC’s Board. “We have been working with the Attorney General of BC to ensure that TLC is in compliance with the Charitable Purposes Preservation Act (CPPA) to ensure donors’ intentions of charitable gifts continue.”

About The Land Conservancy of BC:

The Land Conservancy of BC (TLC) is a non-profit, charitable Land Trust working throughout British Columbia. TLC’s primary mandate is to benefit the community by protecting habitat for natural communities of plants and animals. Founded in 1997, TLC is membership-based and governed by an elected, volunteer Board of Directors. TLC relies on a strong membership and volunteer base to help maintain its operations.

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Media contacts:

John Shields, TLC Director of Operations (778) 350-1040

By | 2016-10-26T18:37:59+00:00 June 8th, 2015|Press Release, Vancouver Island, Wildwood Ecoforest|4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Roblyn June 10, 2015 at 7:38 am - Reply

    Changing the bylaw to be able to sell inalienable properties is a terrible precedent. Even if Wildwood were to be excluded for now, it will not assure future donors that properties that they donate to will be protected. If properties purchased can then be sold to a private interest why would anyone donate? This bylaw recommendation is so short sighted.

    • dstenberg June 10, 2015 at 9:31 am - Reply

      Good morning Roblyn,

      Thank you for your comment.

      The proposed bylaw amendments are to enable the organization to sell or transfer inalienable properties to either a trust or non-profit society or as part of the Plan of Arrangement approved by the Supreme Court of B.C. As TLC will be fulfilling the Plan of Arrangement in the next year, this portion will no longer be applicable to TLC’s properties.

      TLC’s Board has worked diligently to create a Plan of Arrangement that will protect properties as best as possible while paying creditors to the greatest extent possible. These two priorities have guided them through the Companies’ Creditors Arrangement Act process since 2013. The Plan of Arrangement, approved by the Supreme Court of B.C., includes innovative means of fulfilling the organizations’ responsibility to creditors; property transfers to other non-profits, density sales, and debt forgiveness are all part of the Plan. Justice Fitzpatrick of the Supreme Court of B.C. has found that the Boards’ “passion and commitment to the land conservancy movement has been plain to see.”

      As most TLC Members are aware, the organization has transferred thousands of hectares to local governments, the province and other institutions over its 18 year history to be enjoyed for future generations. TLC will continue to partner with others, especially local communities, in future acquisitions.

      For more information about the proposed bylaw amendments I would encourage Members to read the Notice of Extraordinary Meeting http://blog.conservancy.bc.ca/2015/05/19358/ or give our office a call at 250 479 8053.

  2. M. Gauley June 10, 2015 at 11:24 am - Reply

    I believe any amendments to the motions being presented by TLC at the June 12 meeting must be sent to TLC members. Members must have time to consider any changes to the original motion before it is presented for a vote.

  3. Roblyn June 11, 2015 at 8:08 am - Reply

    The bottom line for me as a donor is that no property that has been designated inalienable, should be allowed to be bought by a private interest whether through a trust or otherwise. This has far reaching consequences that go far beyond Wildwood. This is not ‘innovative’ in my opinion but lacking in vision for what the consequences are for this decision.

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