Opinion

EDITORIAL: Qualicum Beach politician doesn't believe residents do the bulk of their shopping here

It's unreasonable to expect a local politician to be rah-rah all the time.

But where's the upside, the leadership value, in a politician kicking the local business community where it hurts?

Qualicum Beach town councillor Scott Tanner is an enigma at the best of times, comedic relief at others. He is often ill-prepared for meetings, asking questions and making references to decisions and information revealed previously.

He prepared himself well for the meeting Monday night, however, and revealed his true colours. Or at least his view of how voters in his town do their shopping.

The discussion was centred around the development proposal at Pheasant Glen Golf Resort. Tanner is clearly not in favour of the plan as it has been presented. Fair enough. He believes the plan was better when it was all about tourism accommodation units, not permanent residences. Again, that's a fair opinion, despite the odd notion he seems to be espousing that a town should only allow a land use out there that clearly wouldn't be financially viable.

But, in typical Tanner fashion, he didn't stop there. He said tourist accommodation is preferable at Pheasant Glen because tourists would come into the downtown to spend their money, while permanent residents "do the bulk of their shopping in Nanaimo."

For the last year, Tanner has been town council's liaison to the Qualicum Beach Chamber of Commerce. They sure made an impression on him, eh?

Not surprisingly, at least one business leader wasn't all that fond of Tanner's comments.

"I don't agree with that," said Qualicum Beach Downtown Business Association chair and chamber member Katherine Wilk. "It's very disappointing to hear that, especially since he's been our liaison for the last year."

Tanner gave a bug thumbs-up and a smile later in the meeting Monday night when another councillor, referring to some of Tanner's comments, wondered aloud if the November, 2015 municipal election was already underway.

Guess we know now where Tanner stands in regards to shopping patterns.

— Editorial by John Harding

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