Editor John Harding’s editorial ‘Shoreline Focus’ (The NEWS, Dec. 31) misled readers and residents of Qualicum Beach by implying that the Waterfront Master Plan (WMP) has already come to certain conclusions. This is far from the truth.
Harding wrote that Qualicum Beach’s Waterfront Master Plan to “determine the measures needed to combat the same kind of erosion issues faced by Parksville” is “well underway.” He asserted that “… we are supposed to be the tourism-friendly Riviera of Canada” and that “the trick is also to better connect the beaches to the downtown areas.”
How are these things related? How will this “trick” prevent erosion? Well underway?
Only preliminary engineering reports from SNC Lavalin have been completed to date and they don’t draw the conclusions your editorial implies. Plus, the public input phase does not begin until later this month. Yet here is Harding telling us what the plan should be or already is.
The most astounding part of the editorial was the contorted logic in which he leapt from the recent earthquake and climate change to the WMP and then concluded that the plan needs to focus on the “lack of amenities” because, “people will go somewhere else if they can’t find activities (rentals) or food options or buskers or towels, T-shirts and sunscreen to purchase.”
The editorial used climate change and earthquakes as a smokescreen to turn the Waterfront Master Plan into a tourism plan.
As the only remaining newspaper in the region, The Parksville Qualicum Beach News has a heightened responsibility not to mislead the public and not to tell the residents what to think but instead to reflect what the community is thinking — once people have accurate information. Let the public make up their own minds about what they want.
L. Joan SampsonQualicum Beach