In editor John Harding’s rush to ridicule Coun. Scott Tanner in his editorial in your Nov. 28 edition, not only does he choose to ignore the salient facts but he does our community a disservice.
During the Qualicum Beach council committee of the whole discussion on the Pheasant Glen application to rezone its resort property to allow for 100 new homes, Tanner stood as the lone councillor to present a thorough analysis of the issues. He had obviously taken the time to prepare his thoughts, including the identification of economic issues related to the continued conversion of zoning for tourist accommodation to the more lucrative high-end residential development.
He rightly pointed out that prior to his election to council, Coun. Dave Willie was ringing alarm bells, along with the chamber of commerce and others, about the growing deficit of tourist accommodation in Qualicum Beach and its affect on local businesses. Rather than respond to this issue, Willie seemed to shrug off Tanner’s analysis as election campaigning.
Instead of real debate actually breaking out at a council meeting, we got a lot of cheer leading from golf club members in the gallery and the all-too-familiar cries of “lets get on with it” from other councillors. Only coun. Mary Brouilette seemed concerned that a comprehensive review process should be initiated. Qualicum Beach taxpayers should expect that such a review will include a full and open debate between our elected officials about the issues raised by Tanner.
As for the role of the media in all of this, it is a shame that Harding continues his attacks on Tanner and Mayor Teunis Westbroek. I don’t always agree with Tanner’s positions, but have certainly found him to be a thoughtful councillor who serves the interests of the town effectively. It could be discouraging for others of his calibre to enter into local public service when they witness the cheap shots that Harding takes in editorials like this.