EDITORIAL: Mayor Spitball

Thoughts on the Canadian dollar and Parksville mayor's recent trial balloons

Some random thoughts that didn’t grow up to be full-fledged editorials:

• The dip of the Canadian dollar in relation to the U.S. greenback could be good news for local tourist-related operations.

It seems not-too-long ago our dollar was around 67 cents U.S. and Canada was a very attractive destination for U.S. tourists. And it seems like yesterday our buck was at par with the greenback, which made cross-border shopping very attractive for those who live in B.C.

Now hovering around 91 cents, the Canadian dollar isn’t going to buy as much as it did in the U.S. even a few weeks ago. Perhaps it makes less sense for British Columbians to parade across the border for cheese, milk, gas and other goods.

Conversely, a trip to Vancouver Island for people from Seattle or Portland is a little more attractive now, and that’s a good thing for Parksville Qualicum Beach.

• Perhaps Parksville’s mayor has earned a new nickname: Chris ‘Spitball’ Burger.

And it’s not meant to be a negative moniker.

The latest balloon Burger is floating relates to the empty spaces that will be created when, not if, the school district decides which schools will have to be closed in Parksville Qualicum Beach.

Burger, who says he has gained some first-hand knowledge of the health-care system while helping his father recently, believes there could be some use for schools once they close.

Burger says the school space might be used for people who are transitioning out of Nanaimo Regional General Hospital after surgeries or other procedures, freeing up valuable, limited space at NRGH.

The mayor acknowledged it was just an idea and he hadn’t done any research related to the challenges this would create.

However, like the casino and marijuana grow-op spitballs he flung against the wall a few months ago, it’s good to hear at least one local politician isn’t afraid to think outside the box and he isn’t afraid to start discussions. Too often, ideas sit around and are studied to death before they see the light of day, which could quash unique perspectives from people and organizations who can help make them a reality, if only the ball got rolling.

— Editorial by John Harding

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