There’s no shortage of groups that call themselves stakeholders in the affairs of Parksville Qualicum Beach.
It’s democracy in action and a good sign that people care about the future of their communities. Organizations can be born of, or eventually hi-jacked by, specific political agendas (eg. the Crush Clarion Quickly Brigade), but such is the price of democracy.
By the very nature of who it represents, the Federation of Oceanside Residents’ Associations (FORA) could easily be the most powerful and relevant organization in the region, a real force politicians would ignore at their peril.
With representation from a number of residents’ associations, FORA could speak as the voice of thousands of local homeowners on issues ranging from development to roadwork priorities to water supply.
With its raison d’etre — the construction of a health-care facility — achieved, it would be reasonable for FORA to switch gears and make some serious representation about Parksville’s water issues or Qualicum Beach’s continuous squabbling related to development issues.
In a refreshing move that will pay dividends for local residents, FORA has decided to stick to what it does best and what it believes will be important for all time, health-care issues.
FORA spokesperson Tom Davies says it’s not a bad thing for FORA to be a “one-trick pony.”
We agree. We are also pleased to learn FORA remains active in the affairs of the Oceanside Health Centre. FORA did not pat itself on the back and fade into the background after the $16 million facility opened in June. It remains active and in touch with OHC senior staff and politicians on the progress and growing pains of the facility. At the same time, it is trying to secure more funding and training for professionals in other health-care fields like the ambulance service and hospice.
In short, FORA continues to work for the improvement of health-care delivery in Parksville Qualicum Beach. In the grand scheme of things, is there anything more important in what has been dubbed the community with the oldest average age of residents in the country?
We salute FORA for its focus and the good work it continues to do for the people of our region.
— Editorial by John Harding