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Trustee Information

To contact the board of trustees by email:

Please note the link will also copy to the Fire chief and Corporate officer.

Together with the Fire Chief, the Gabriola Fire Protection Improvement District trustees provide long-range planning and oversight for our fire department.

Trustees are elected for a three year term at the GFPID annual general meeting, which takes place each April.

Who can be a trustee?

To be eligible to vote, or to be a candidate for trustee, a person must be eighteen years of age, a Canadian citizen, an owner of land in the improvement district and a BC resident for the previous six months.

What powers do the trustees have?

The improvement district’s Letters Patent, applicable sections of the Local Government Act, and other applicable provincial statutes outline the powers that can be exercised by the board of trustees. These powers include the ability to enact and enforce its regulations and charges, to assess and collect taxes, to acquire, hold and dispose of lands, to borrow money and to expropriate lands required to carry out its functions. The board of trustees exercise these powers through the passage of resolutions and bylaws.

The Letters Patent of the Gabriola Fire Protection Improvement District states:

The object of the Improvement District shall be the provision of fire protection and the acquisition, maintenance and operation of works, buildings and equipment for the purpose and all matters incidental thereto.


Current trustees:

  • Paul Giffin (Chair)​

  • James Arends

  • John Lewis​

  • John Moeller​

  • Diana Moher​

  • Chris Windess​

  • Fred Apstein 

Trustee Bios:


Paul Giffin MB

Has  been a resident of Gabriola Island for over 20 years and was elected as a Trustee in 2019.

Presently retired, however  was involved in Emergency Response and Emergency Management on all 3 Canadian Coasts for over 50 years.  In addition has instructed First Aid Courses at the Provincial Level and has instructed and coordinated underwater recovery training and operations at the Provincial and National Level.

Paul is currently involved in the following in addition to trustee duties:
∙ A member of the Canadian Air Search and Rescue Association unit in Nanaimo. ∙ Holds the position of Regional Emergency Radio Representative for the Vancouver Island Region with Emergency Management British Columbia. Is the Emergency Radio Coordinator(Amateur Radio) for the City of Nanaimo and the southern half of the Regional District of Nanaimo which includes Gabriola Island. Is President of the Coast Emergency Communications Association and is responsible for the delivery of auxiliary communication during times of the loss of normal communications. This organization has 35 members with an area of responsibility from Nanoose to the Nanaimo Airport. Serves as Secretary of Gabriola Emergency Communication society.∙ Serves on a National committee of the Radio Amateurs of Canada to create a National digital radio network and develop training criteria.
Has been a member of the Gabriola Island Lunch Bunch since 2008.

James Arends    (Pending as of 12th May)

John (Seán) Lewis Canadian Registered Safety Professional (ret.), is a Master Mariner with a chemical tanker background. Since 1987, he has worked with fire services and marine agencies in North America and around the world, as a safety and risk management consultant. He instructed marine fire fighting for vessel personnel and for land-based firefighters, fireboat and small vessel operations, confined spaces entry and rescue, oil and chemical transfer operations, and command of emergencies. He is trained as an emergency responder, Provincial Instructor, and Professional Manager, and ran the BC Fire School for ten years (as manager with PMTI/BCIT, and Asst. Chief with the Justice Institute of BC). A published writer on marine fire and safety topics, he is also a musician, gardener, sailor, and martial arts practitioner, and has lived on Gabriola since 2007.

John Moeller is a long time Gabriola resident and entrepreneur. He has lived in the community for over 25 years and has been a GFPID Trustee since 2017. John has a background in finance and business development and would like to see the Fire Department continue to run efficiently and cost effectively.

Diana Moher has been a resident of Gabriola since 1986. Earned their BA and worked as a paralegal in Edmonton for 12 years and in the Nanaimo school district for 31. They had various first aid tickets, training in SARS and Emergency Prep. They've participated in numerous community boards over the years; in addition to the Fire Hall they currently sit on Community Hall Board.

Chris Windess trained as a teacher in England. After Weymouth Teacher Training College, attached to Southampton University, he worked in the building industry as a quantities surveyor and contracts officer as teaching positions were very sparse in the UK. First Teaching was in garrison/provincial schools for the British army, then into civilian schools, Middle and Elementary for almost 34 years. He served on many scholastic panels and committees before retiring. Chris stood for election as he wanted to serve the local community to the best of his ability and to continue fostering accountability and transparency in the island organization.

Fred Apstein has spent more than 50 years working with not for profits, government, and small business. Founder (one of five) Gabriola Arts Council. Ten years, Chair, Co Chair, BC Ferries Advisory Committee, Gabriola Is. Founder, General Manager, Silva Bay Shipyard School (Canada’s only accredited school of wooden boat building – no longer in operation). Board, Gabriola Chamber of Commerce. Immigrated to Canada, 1996. Port Commissioner, Port Townsend, Wa. 1989 -1996 (Elected. Annual budget $1.2 mil. Projects to $10 mil). Built a few boats, bought, sold, sunk, and salvaged a lot more. Musician, song writer, poet, handyman.




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