EDITORIAL: How refreshing

Constructive dialogue dominated Qualicum Beach Residents' Association forum on development

This had the potential to turn into a counterproductive complaint-fest.

To the credit of the panelists, the 120 people in attendance and the leadership of the Qualicum Beach Residents’ Association, the forum Thursday night at the civic centre became a constructive dialogue that might yield results.

Clearly initiated by The Clarion development and the speed (according to some) it was passed through council, one would not have been alarmist to guess this forum Thursday was going to see a long line of people at the microphone crying over spilt milk and dividing the council and community once again into little camps.

Alas, it was not. How refreshing.

Some of the suggestions may be entirely unworkable and/or create more problems than they solve, but at least there was some productive, respectful discussion.

Much of the credit for the comfortable temperature in the room goes to the three panelists asked to speak and answer questions about development in Qualicum Beach and how better communication can happen between residents and proponents before the project ends up being approved by council.

Architect and former advisory planning commission member Bruce Fleming-Smith, the town’s director of planning Luke Sales and local realtor/developer Dave Bryan set the tone with their open, honest approach to the evening.

Sales was understandably unwilling to participate in any political parts of the discussion, but he did provide insight into how things work at town hall in regards to development.

Fleming-Smith came with a suggestion for a new group — perhaps formed with representation from the town’s three residents’ associations — to provide input for council on development.

Bryan was engaging, entertaining and informative, even supplying some numbers and profit margins developers are generally loathe to discuss in public.

While we don’t agree the town needs yet another unelected group to advise council, at least this discussion was civil, and perhaps it will alert developers that they must do a better job communicating with the residents of this unique community.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van burst into flames just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville will host the 2021 B.C. Junior Golf Championships. (PQB News file photo)
Morningstar Golf Club in Parksville to host 150 of B.C’s top junior golfers

Provincial boys and girls championship begins June 28

Hannes Grosse, left, and Iris Steigemann, right, as they prepared for their 'Moments of Silence' exhibit. The father-daughter duo are showing at The Old School House Arts Centre in Qualicum Beach until June 26. (Submitted photo)
Cortes Island artists exhibit at Qualicum Beach’s TOSH in first father-daughter show

Both artists will be present at shows on Friday, June 25 and Saturday, June 26

The Lighthouse Country Marine Rescue Society will get more funding from the Regional District of Nanaimo. (Submitted Photo)
More PQB communities to fund Lighthouse Country Marine Rescue Society

RDN to introduce amendment to service bylaw contribution

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

Most Read