Growth in the open
I refer to your story on the RDN board’s defeat of the motion to change Qualicum Beach’s growth containment boundary as a minor amendment to its Regional Growth Strategy (“QB council is denied,” The NEWS, June 26).
Coun. Dave Willie’s complaint that those RDN directors who voted against the motion had not attended an in-camera meeting where the issue was discussed in depth earlier in the day reveals a lot about his underlying approach to governance. Similarly with his claim that local residents who stepped forward to challenge the process are members of a special interest group.
The fact is that the presentations by the public focused almost entirely on concerns about adherence to the rules as they relate to amending the town’s agreement with the RDN to contain growth, prevent urban sprawl and protect agricultural lands.
We don’t know if these special interests were considered at the afternoon meeting because in-camera sessions are conducted in secrecy. We do know that Willie did not address these interests or anything else related to the motion during the open meeting of the board because he chose not to speak, except to object when one local presenter suggested that the proposed amendment was directly related to the housing development plans of the Pheasant Glen Golf Resort.
Notwithstanding Willie’s principle that the elected majority of the town council should not be subverted, surely democracy is best served when there is an open and transparent process and, most importantly, when the rules are followed. Democracy is also well served by the vigilance of an informed electorate, which we have witnessed throughout this process. Thanks to those local residents who continue to speak out on this issue.