Attract retirees

Re: editor John Harding’s editorial May 1 about the elementary school closure in Qualicum Beach

Re: editor John Harding’s editorial May 1 about the elementary school closure in Qualicum Beach, specifically his view that “the last 10 years have not been banner years for the growth and demographic diversity” of Qualicum Beach.

My husband and I consider ourselves relatively new to Qualicum Beach, having moved here from Victoria three years ago (after retiring “young.”) Since our arrival we’ve read numerous depressing comments in letters to the editor about the town’s demographic, such as: there are too many ‘old’ people, too few families and children, there’s too little for young people and singles to do, our elementary school closure will bankrupt the town, families will move away, and… you get the picture, a bleak future full of woe.

But hold on just a minute. We’re Canada’s capital of over 65s. Baby boomers and those just behind us are a burgeoning group. As many wait now until 65 to 70 or later to retire, we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg of retirees from the big cities looking for a relaxing environment like Qualicum, in which to enjoy life.

So thinking outside the box, as Harding suggests we do, here’s a completely different idea: let’s capitalize on and expound the virtues of our demographic to attract more boomers and retirees to settle in our town. Retirees are a ‘business.’ Free up land to build more of The Gardens and more residences for all levels of independent and dependent living and care (convert the elementary school?). A bonus and needed attraction strategy is that “support services” for these residences, workers of all ages and their families, will move to our town.

Not taking the opportunity to capitalize on this big business of aging, for which Qualicum’s reputation is renowned already, means we’re not seeing the forest for the trees. While even retirees need the occasional box store and fast-food fix when visiting elsewhere, to be truly honest: we shop in our town, eat in our restaurants, pay taxes or rent, spend money here where we live, and sustain this community in a big way. Consider retirees the life’s blood of Qualicum. We need many more of “us” too.

Pam Bates

Qualicum Beach

Just Posted

Qualicum Beach council big on support for multi-use cinema proposal

Society asks for 10,000 square feet, gets recommendation to consider with strategic plan

Lincoln stolen from Parksville dealership found near Duncan

Vehicle was located three days later with minor damage

Ballenas student experiment going into space

Science experiment designed by five SD69 students will travel to International Space Station

Fire engulfs trailer, vehicle and home in Bowser

The fire began around 6:45 p.m. at a property on Laurel Crescent

B.C. storm totals $37M in insured damages

The December storm wreaked havoc on B.C.’s south coast

Trudeau says politicians shouldn’t prey on Canadians’ fears

The Prime Minister was speaking at a townhall in Ontario

B.C. chief says they didn’t give up rights for gas pipeline to be built

Hereditary chief: no elected band council or Crown authority has jurisdiction over Wet’suwet’en land

Thieves steal thousands from 140 Coast Capital Savings members

Online fraud tactics included phising and ‘brute force’ in November and December

Condo rental bans may be on way out with B.C. empty home tax

Many exemptions to tax, but annual declarations required

UPDATE: B.C. boy, aunt missing for three days

The pair are missing from Kamloops

Daredevil changes game plan to jump broken White Rock pier

Brooke Colby tells council daredevil event would help boost waterfront business

Liberal bows out of byelection after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

Truck hauling compressed gas for ‘virtual pipeline’ crashes on B.C. highway

Driver charged and highway closed for nine hours - containers did not rupture

Most Read