I am confused about the interest in bringing a Berwick property to the heart of Qualicum Beach.
Qualicum Beach could benefit from higher-density housing. Young professionals in the tech industry are interested in Qualicum but have difficulty managing the housing market here. We are considering supporting a development that will employ people; however, the majority of people employed by Berwick facilities are on the lower end of the pay scale. The Canadian median care aid wage is $18.05 per hour, whereas the median software developer wage is $25.21.
Community costs extend beyond the potential income-earning opportunities that this development displaces. The monthly package at Berwick includes meals, social and recreational activities. Therefore residents are not going to be frequenting the local restaurants, grocery stores, or recreation/wellness businesses that would see a benefit from alternative forms of densification onthe empty lot.
I struggle to understand how encouraging a large population of people who are considered to be high users of our health care system, to settle in Qualicum Beach is a good idea. The transport time to hospital is an obvious issue, however there are other considerations as well. Anticipating their future needs should have us considering available dementia care and facilities, as well as our local palliative program. These are foreseeable needs that the town of Qualicum Beach may not be ready to manage; requiring relocation or separation of families, spouses, and friends.
Overall, Qualicum Beach is a beautiful community that is very desirable to live in. As a local parent, I can’t imagine a better place to raise a family. It saddens me to see how interested we are to bring in another senior housing property at the expense of other densification options that could add to the economic growth and vitality of our community.