Never throw up your hands

Now, more than ever, residents need to remain involved in the poiltical process

Throwing in the towel, throwing up your hands, is exactly the ‘we give up’ attitude they are depending upon.

Delivering enough tardiness, confusion, inadequacy, irrelevance, bewilderment, and obfuscation can frustrate even the most determined fact-finders to the point of surrender … and there’s another battle they have won.

“They” in this case are the Qualicum Beach (QB) staff and council, with their non-responding response to the QB Residents Association’s request for details about changes to the town’s official community plan (OCP).

Yes, they did produce some paper, but not before using up the days of the legally required response time, and at that, apparently withholding some hundred-plus pages of information. This is freedom of information?

Has the town not hired, at some expense, a communications expert to keep residents apprised of what they have a right to know? How is that expert’s expertise helping residents who, it seems, have been judged incapable of understanding the town’s functioning, deliberations, and decisions without same being funneled through a third party?

When Qualicum Beach residents completed a Quality of Life Survey indicating their preferences, then spent hours and days hammering out an OCP to uphold these choices as much as possible, why are they being denied the right to see how changes are being made, willy-nilly, to the plan they put in place?

And then there’s the “dated material” sent as a “helpful gesture.” It may or may not have any bearing on OCP changes, but it certainly provides a lot more reading which may never get to the point in question.

It does appear that the Residents Assoc. comment, “… accessing information related to the town’s democratic processes were not fully available to us.” And this is disturbing.

Qualicum Beach may have the country’s oldest population, but that does not necessarily diminish its brain power and capacity for thinking and understanding … and requesting relevant information.

Is it questionable that un-elected town staff, rather than town council should make the decisions on which information is to be released to the town’s residents? It was said that council is not involved in Freedom of Information requests. One would expect that his/her elected representatives could instruct staff on what information was to be released.

Qualicum Beach is indeed a unique community in many ways, but it is not unique in suffering from the current economic downturn. This suffering is going on worldwide.

– how could QB, special though it is, avoid a lessening of business, and spending? If there are already blank store fronts, how will building more commercial space bring in more merchants and shoppers? Unless, of course, we bring in some big box stores and fast food outlets. That’ll put QB charm on the line.

What will adding another storey to new building accomplish except to restrict sunlight and views? How much sky and mountain have already been blocked out by uprising new structures? If QB’s attraction lies in its warm, village character why are height restrictions being trashed in the OCP? What was wrong with considering individual applications for a height variance rather than automatically piling on another storey?

What is wrong with being unique rather than like most other towns in the country? No doubt there is a price for being special, but residents for the most part appear willing to pay it. Is it those who consider only the bottom line as evidence of success who want the changes, and the residents be damned?

Of course people go out of town to do certain shopping; that’s one of the costs of retaining warm village character, but businesses which provide the basic necessities are holding their own; there are enough artisans and specialty outlets to lure the tourists; why the rather drastic changes to the OCP?

Individuals tighten their belts in tough economic times. Well run businesses do the same.

 

Maybe there are businesses and would-be business people who don’t wear belts.

When it comes to “… a growing isolation of the town council from the community ..” it’s time for the community to hunker down and fight another day. Never throw up your hands! -30-

 

 

 

Just Posted

Banners could add pop of colour to Parksville business district

District includes businesses between the Orange Bridge and McVickers Street

Last call for the ever-vanishing payphone in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Where many phones once resided, only memories remain

Developers go back to drawing board after high-rise application deferred by Parksville council

IAG Developments has proposed a multi-building development on city’s waterfront

WATCH: Parksville Qualicum MLA Michelle Stilwell takes first extended steps in nearly three decades

‘It actually felt like walking. It’s been 27 years… but it felt realistic to me’

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

Couple found dead along northern B.C. highway in double homicide

Woman from the U.S. and man from Australia found dead near Liard Hot Springs

Injured fawn at B.C. vet will be euthanized Friday night unless claimed by sanctuary

Gilbert the deer is currently being treated at West Kelowna’s Rose Valley Veterinary Hospital

Nanaimo-Opoly will let board game players deal Harbour City properties

Victoria’s Outset Media and Walmart Canada partner on local edition of popular game

BC Wildfire Service warns wet weather no reason to be complacent

Fire risk currently low for much of B.C. compared to same time over last two years.

Bank of Canada lowers qualifying rate used in mortgage stress tests

Home sales softened last year after the federal government introduced new stress test rules for uninsured mortgages

Port Hardy RCMP cleared in arrest that left man with broken ribs, punctured lung: IIO

The IIO noted the matter will not be referred to crown counsel for consideration of charges.

B.C. man pleads guilty in snake venom death of toddler

Plea comes more than five years after the incident in North Vancouver

Most Read