Calling for more transparency

Re: Dec. 16 letter to the editor by Ross Walton about the proposed medical marijuana plant in Deep Bay.

Re: Dec. 16 letter to the editor by Ross Walton about the proposed medical marijuana plant in Deep Bay.

I was very interested to read the letter from Walton regarding his trip to see the Tilray medical marijuana plant in the industrial area of Duke Point. He points out it is a 5,300 square foot plant located at the remote Biggs Industrial Park, away from any residential areas, surrounded by 10-foot high chain link fence topped off with multiple strands of barbed wire, etc., with security guards and cameras. This does not sound as though it is the kind of industrial plant that would be suitable in rural residential Deep Bay/Bowser.

I live two minutes from the proposed industrial marijuana site in Deep Bay situated at the busy intersection of Gainsberg Road and Highway 19A. Its boundary borders residential homes on Thompson Clark Drive and is in extremely close proximity to Bowser Elementary School on Faye Road in Bowser. As Walton mentioned, the residents of Deep Bay/Bowser have heard numerous rumours during 2013/14 regarding this application, but were not officially notified by Area H director Bill Veenhof until September,  2014 — only after a report by The NEWS.

It would be expected that a director inform residents of any proposed project that comes to the attention of the RDN board so folks can be advised of the facts. I believe Veenhof knew about this application in December 2013 and did nothing, said nothing, until almost a whole year later.

Veenhof prides himself on “being transparent” in his intermittent e-mail “update” reports to residents. To myself and to other folks who live here, this is not being transparent. This is being secretive. It would appear he wants to get this proposal through without any opposition.

I would like to see a town hall-style meeting to find out how residents really feel about the matter, instead of Veenhof stating in his e-mail update that most residents are in support of the idea, which is presumptuous to say the least.

It’s time for Veenhof to become a facilitator for public discussions on this issue. Without public discussions, we can’t expect “transparency” from Veenhof in the future. Continued secrecy for the next four years can do considerable damage to this community. What other information is being withheld from residents?

Greta TaylorBowser

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