For decades, Qualicum Beach was an enviable community not only due to its location but because it gave an aura of serenity.
There was a spirit of cooperation, community pride and respect that permeated throughout the town. It was not unusual to see business owners and local professionals having a casual discussion with members of council over coffee and you could count on meeting your local politicians and town administrators any day of the week in a local store or eatery.
Developers and realtors were often called upon for input and discussion on upcoming projects. It was all done within a spirit of co-operation, and it was a beautiful thing. Sadly, these times are no longer a reality.
I cringe when I think of the upcoming municipal election campaign because I know that some candidates will target their opponents by name calling and labeling. These candidates will create an atmosphere of fear and conflict by making sure that people who do not agree with their views are targeted with unpopular labels. There is a name for such behaviour — it is called bullying.
It has already started, Frank Horner’s very unpleasant letter about Councillor Brouilette and a few months ago, someone wrote a letter to the editor lambasting Dave Bryan for his input at the OCP meeting, the writer probably never met Dave and (more than likely) lives in a development that was created by someone like Dave who has vision and expertise.
I would hope that candidates will discuss the issues, respect their opponents’ opinion and realize that anyone running for office is most often driven by their need to make a difference. I, for one, want to hear about issues and taxes and council wage hikes and upcoming plans, don’t you?
However, history tells me that this will not happen; the electorate will again be subjected to immature conduct by a few.
Elementary school children will tell you that name calling and labeling are not acceptable and students who indulge in that activity are ostracized and sent to the principal.