EDITORIAL: Paternal politics

Nanaimo's politicians seem to be telling Parksville Qualicum Beach residents they know best about affairs here

The increased involvement of Nanaimo’s mayor and council in the affairs, and pocketbooks, of Parksville Qualicum Beach residents has a distasteful, paternalistic feel.

Recent decisions by the Regional District of Nanaimo’s board of directors serve as evidence the elected officials of the mid-Island’s largest community believe they know what’s best for residents here.

The RDN board has a confusing, weighted system when it comes to voting. Nanaimo’s mayor and councillors — there are seven of them on the unwieldy 17-member body — can, and do, vote in a block to ensure their city’s interests are front and centre.

The most recent example of this paternalistic approach to the hinterland came in late July when the board — on the strength of the weighted votes of the Nanaimo members — voted to release $1 million in taxpayer funds to the Island Corridor Foundation. (Curiously and significantly, French Creek rep and board chair Joe Stanhope sided with the city folk.)

The representatives of places like Coombs, Bowser, Qualicum Beach and Parksville voted against the motion, and for good reason. There is no indication whatsoever that any train will ever travel any kilometre of track north of Nanaimo. The ICF has been dodging questions about schedules for more than a year.

Why would taxpayers here support something that will have little or no benefit to their way of life or commerce? But the mayor of Nanaimo, among others who don’t live here, waxed poetic about a possibile opportunity being lost. One could almost picture the mayor patting us little people of the northern reaches on the head like children, telling us he knows best.

The opportunity presented by rail — and we’re nowhere near certain a passenger train will actually operate on any portion of Island tracks again any time soon — are Nanaimo opportunities, period. Nanaimo has a handsome train station and possible rail operation support businesses that need to get busy.

The civic elections this November would be a good time to debate the relationship between the RDN and local governments here. Hmmm, would an amalgamated Parksville Qualicum Beach make sense in relation to this issue?

— Editorial by John Harding

Just Posted

Parksville’s mystery cowboy revealed

Kevin Gourlay’s horse garners attention for being ‘parked’ outside a liquor store

Qualicum man sentenced for tying up, robbing another man

Gabriel Stephen Nelson robbed and assaulted travelling businessman in 2017

Parksville man ‘parks’ horse during liquor store pit stop

As long as animal wasn’t jaywalking, no problem, says city official

Parksville roundtable highlights need for affordable housing, recreation

Mayor Ed Mayne held facilitated event in January to hear visions for city, council

After mosque attacks, New Zealand bans ‘military-style’ guns

The gunman killed 50 in a Christchurch mosque

Okanagan man, Yorkshire terrier chased by coyote

Animal sightings have been reported around West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan

Having phone within sight while driving does not violate law: B.C. judge

The mere presence of a cell phone within sight of a driver is not enough for a conviction, judge says

B.C. lottery winner being sued by Surrey co-workers

They claim he owes them $200,000 each, in a lawsuit filed in B.C. Supreme Court in Vancouver

Pot industry welcomes decreased edibles tax, but unhappy medical tax remains

Taxes can increase the cost of medical cannabis by as much as 25 per ceny

‘It has to send a message:’ Broncos families await sentencing for truck driver

Jaskirat Singh Sidhu pleaded guilty to 29 counts of dangerous driving and apologized in court

MPs continue voting marathon as Tories protest shutdown of Wilson-Raybould motion

Multiple MPs have resigned from Trudeau’s Liberal cabinet

Canucks hang on for 7-4 win over Senators

Horvat nets 2 for Vancouver

European, Canadian regulators to do own review of Boeing jet

Air Canada plans to remove the Boeing 737 Max from its schedule at least through July 1

Most Read