Waterfront trails need more public consultation

Last Thursday’s front page informed readers of a “Trail to link popular parks” with public input likely this fall.

Last Thursday’s front page informed readers of a “Trail to link popular parks” with public input likely this fall for work starting in 2017.

Inside the same paper, page A9 an article told of a “New coastal trail discussed” to be an extension of the B.C. Marine Trails Network with a loop up from Victoria to this area, across to the Sunshine coast and down to the lower mainland.

I can’t recall exactly which paper recently mentioned the proposed waterfront development plan for Qualicum Beach, but all I remember the paper article eluding to was a change in the number of fast food businesses or quotas.

Both the town council and The NEWS have failed to inform residents that the waterfront plan does in fact propose a walking/cycling trail, maybe even a pier, which would be built on the ocean side of present buildings in the central beach area.

Next Thursday, August 11 at 10 a.m., Qualicum Beach town council will hold a committee-of-the-whole meeting with an opportunity for citizens to comment on the proposed waterfront plan, which is available on the town website. The town has failed in its duties to inform and consult residents by not making the waterfront proposal for the ocean boardwalk; the opportunity for public input (necessary to move the plan forward); and this specific meeting, public knowledge and actively seeking public input.

Maybe it is already a done deal? Maybe it is a plan they can say they gave lip service to but it was never supported by residents? Whatever the underlying agenda for not informing or publicizing the boardwalk component of the waterfront plan I hope residents will air their comments either by e-mail to the town, or attend the meeting in person on Aug. 11.

We all enjoy nearby communities like Parksville, Campbell River, Powell River etc. with their beautiful oceanfront trails. Let’s bring Qualicum Beach into the present age with this positive new development. It would be a real bonus if it included a cycling as well as a walking trail.

Susan BlacklinQualicum Beach