EDITORIAL: Invest in safety

Governments at all levels need to re-shuffle money to increase the amount of people who keep animals and humans safe on land and at sea

There’s a family of cougars living in semi-

urban Nanoose Bay.

A wolf is attacking family pets in Qualicum Beach.

The coast guard saved an orca tangled in a crab-pot line off Columbia Beach.

Unsafe interaction between humans and wild animals is likely to increase and it’s time people and governments paid more attention to causes and effects of this increased interaction.

Long before humans walked the beaches and forest trails of this region — even before First Nations people — this land and sea were the domain of wildlife. We have encroached on their homes, not the other way around.

It’s unlikely we, as communities, will contract. We continue to either spread into the wild, or alter the wilder regions, forcing the animals toward our homes.

The answer is not to stop all development or bring in the bulldozers to rip apart well-established subdivisions on the edges of our towns and communities. Establishing a population limit for towns and cities — shutting the gates — is non-democratic and sounds more like something done in a totalitarian regime.

We are not going to stop these unsafe interactions. We can, however, do more to prepare for, and react to them.

The first step, from our perspective, is a re-allocation of our tax dollars. We need more, not fewer, Canadian Coast Guard staff and vessels. We need more, not fewer, conservation officers. We need more, not fewer, Department of Fisheries and Oceans staff.

This does not mean higher taxes. If the provincial and federal governments would like some help finding the money for these positions, give us about two hours with the budgets of various ministries — we will find the money.

While we agree government doesn’t have to take care of everything, we do believe people are OK with their tax dollars being spent on public safety, which include police, fire, paramedics and, yes, the coast guard, conservation service and DFO. This time of increasing interaction is not a time for decreasing service.

Of all the possible federal election issues that could come to light in this region in the next six months, we believe the safety of humans and animals on land and at sea should be the main focus of both electors and politicians.

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

Search for contaminant at Little Qualicum Cheeseworks continues

Company ‘blown away’ by community support after E. coli recall of Qualicum Spice cheese

BC Housing now involved in Parksville supportive housing project lawsuit

Agency listed as a defendant alongside city over 222 Corfield rezoning

RDN to review water infrastructure

The Regional District of Nanaimo plans to assess the condition of its… Continue reading

Electoral reform ballot returns so far show higher Parksville-Qualicum engagement

Region among top four in percentage of ballots turned in

A cuddle and a coffee: Six Island towns named among Canada’s most cozy

Sidney, Campbell River, Courtenay, Parksville, Tofino and Ucluelet crack Expedia’s top 40

Saving salmon: B.C. business man believes hatcheries can help bring back the fish

Tony Allard worked with a central coast First Nation to enhance salmon stocks

High-end B.C. house prices dropping, but no relief at lower levels

But experts say home ownership remains out of reach for many for middle- and lower-income families

Worker killed in collision at B.C. coal mine

Vehicle collision occurred at approximately 10:45 a.m. this morning

B.C. asking for tips on ‘dirty money’ in horse racing, real estate, luxury cars

Action follows a Peter German report on money laundering in B.C. casinos

Canadian dead more than a week after plane crash in Guyana: Global Affairs

Global Affairs said it couldn’t provide further details on the identity of the Canadian citizen

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

Most Read