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 Qualicum Beach drivers spotted speeding, missing stop signs and talking on cellphones

Intersection of Marks Avenue and Highway 4A in Parksville is big for scofflaws

Sand sculpture winners announced at Parksville Beach Festival

Works from international competitors on display until Aug. 18

Coombs resident wants better transit service to area

Pilcher said it would especially help people with physical challenges

Parksville security camera rebate program raises concerns for privacy advocates

‘Everyone has the right to their own privacy within their own home and their own area’

RDN aims to improve Ravensong Aquatic Centre solar heating system

Grant sought for the $100,000 infrastructure project

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

Health Canada revokes licences of B.C.-based pot producer Agrima Botanicals

The agency said it notified the company of a suspension in November due to non-compliance with regulations

Deals, protests during Amazon Prime Day

The Seattle-based e-commerce behemoth says it is offering more than a million deals

Canadian national softball team wins second straight Canada Cup

Team Canada defeats Texas-based Scrapyard International in gold-medal game Sunday in Surrey

June sees drop in home sales, prices for real estate across B.C.: report

Sales dropped by 11.8%, while prices fell by 4%

Video captures driver narrowly avoiding hitting Granfondo cyclists in Okanagan

“I’m just glad that everything aligned enough and no one got hurt,” said Shaun Siebert

Most Read