Residents of Gambier Island are talking about the David Suzuki Foundation’s proposal to create a national park on the west side of the island. Area F director Ian Winn suggests that people should consider the history of Stanley Park when assessing the park’s potential.

Before its dedication in 1888, Stanley Park had been used mainly for food gathering and fishing by aboriginals and non-aboriginals. There had been some logging and a military reserve. A few cabins squatted on the land, but mostly it was wilderness. The government at the time showed great vision in protecting the area so it could become the jewel it is today, Winn says. Gambier has jewel potential too.

Developers and investors see the lush green landscapes of the islands and the Sunshine Coast and “no doubt salivate at the prospects for their interests,” Winn wrote in an email to me. “The time would be now to advance the feasibility studies and concepts of protecting part of Gambier Island as a park for future generations to admire and enjoy.”