In her Nov. 4 letter, Wendy Maurer states that development is now considered a “dirty word,” and that we have “a corrosive political environment” in Qualicum Beach.
The question in Qualicum Beach is not, should development occur but rather, should development proceed within the boundaries of our OCP?
The “corrosive political environment” has been the result of decisions made by three councillors to approve development which stretched and even stepped outside our current OCP boundaries. Community protests ensued.
Process matters. A long process of public consultation resulted in our OCP. If the process was flawed, we have the opportunity to review and renew beginning in 2015. Has the process been respected?
Maurer feels it is shameful to disrespect our elected reps. It is every citizens’ duty to watch, listen and be aware of decisions made and to call our representatives to account.
It is shameful for any politician to propagate community division by giving voice to lies. The lies that our town is dying; that division is caused by those insisting the OCP be honoured; that the “corrosive political environment” is caused by anyone other than themselves; and that the protesting public is against development. Reframing reality to suit their agenda does not change reality.
The “gang of three” term came about (and struck a chord with many residents) as a comment on the singularly tight voting record of three councillors. None of these reps ran as a slate in the previous election, all ran as independents, yet they consistently voted as a slate. Sadly, the three councillors were set on changing the OCP guidelines into a form that many residents saw as an abrogation of the process.
Respect is earned, not an automatic given. If incoming politicians want respect, then they must use the OCP guidelines, established by public consultation, to make decisions.