I read with interest the recent letter in The NEWS from Maureen Groves (‘Town not helping’).
I do agree that a broad dialogue about the role and profile of future commercial activity would be helpful to the community of Qualicum Beach.
But all the facts should be brought to the discussion. They would include not only how many vacant shops we have (it’s a good idea to always have some vacancies), but also how many new businesses have opened or expanded recently.
In fact, we have recently added, or are in the process of adding, the Naked Naturals building, the relocated and enlarged private art gallery, new professional offices, new glass repair shop, new video store, a great new hardware store and last but not least, a revitalized hotel facility at the foot of Memorial Avenue.
This looks like very active, careful, and successful town planning to me.
In support of commercial activity, the town and the taxpayers already provide urban spaces and city services of higher standard than those typically found elsewhere.
When we think about commercial activity, shouldn’t we ask ourselves: what kind of commercial activity do we need, what type and quality of commercial buildings will attract businesses, why do some businesses succeed and some fail and should the taxpayers guarantee the success of business ventures?
Yes, we really do need to talk about commercial activity, but only in the context of a balanced quality of life — commercial activity in balance with basic community values, such as environmental sustainability, urban experience, and residential, recreational and cultural vitality.