Opinion

EDITORIAL: A call for comments from youth

In the wake of school and business closures, and some senseless vandalism at a downtown Parksville coffee shop, there has been a lot of chatter in social media circles and our letters section about what's available for youth in our region.

The owner of the Pacific Brimm, former city councillor Teresa Patterson, chose a big-picture route when talking about the damage caused at her business last week by what appears to be teens on the surveillance video. It was the fourth time her shop has been vandalized since she bought the business in August of last year.

In her conversation with The NEWS and her postings at social media sites, Patterson put some blame on the parents of youth and she also said city leaders and businesses are not providing enough things for youth to do in our region.

While it's a reach to say acts of vandalism are a certainty if there aren't enough amenities for youth in a community, Patterson put it out there, started the conversation.

Parksville Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Kim Burden wasn't shy with his response to Patterson's comments. He sent a self-described "rant" to many on his e-mail list, including The NEWS.

In his note, Burden said, among other things, in regards to both the vandalism and:

"The question I have been asking is where are these children's parents and what guidance have they been given that would impart some sort of moral compass," wrote Burden, who then listed a large number of things to do for youth in our region. "The real issue here is not availability of activities but the family articulation of values."

Well, discussions about values get murky, at best. Everyone has a different set.

It struck us that there are voices missing in this debate, namely the youth themselves. Why is it always those north of 40 who are debating these issues?

We ask our readers to pass this challenge along to the young people in their lives: tell us what's good about Parksville Qualicum Beach and what would make it better. Go to our Facebook page (facebook.com/pqbnews) or our website to add comments to this editorial (pqbnews.com) or send an e-mail directly to our editor (editor@pqbnews.com).

— Editorial by John Harding

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