The cheap and shallow level of deliberations by Qualicum Beach town councillors opens wide our eyes. Last Thursday’s newspaper reports show the quality of the reasoning of one councillor.
The issue is whether citizens of Qualicum Beach should be given an early, open and listened-to voice on land development proposals that come before council — the main mandate of municipalities.
One argument flung out against the adoption of this important and widespread idea in today’s municipal democracies was, “I don’t entirely see what this would add to the mix other than to delay.”
That comment is translatable as, the citizens have not the brains or fairness to add or detract anything of use to what council, staff and developers (“the mix”) have concocted. The people’s entry into “the mix” can only be a waste of time.
The second argument was: “The residents aren’t financially invested. It’s true folly.”
This councillor is blind and mute to the interests of the residents. How the town develops affects the lives of residents and the value of their properties. Their collective investment is superior to that of the developer.
Despite the utter weakness and insult level of this councillor’s reasoning, apparently all council did was hand the issue to staff for advice.
But staff are hardly trained or directed to deal with such constitutional-like matters.
Because the municipal system makes councils all-powerful over how our land will be used and, because of their shuttered ways and their outmoded mantra of growth informed by their unimpressive judgement, this council is therewith dismissive of its citizens-residents.
Councils and developers however, come and go. We the citizen-residents are rooted here and we know — look around you — Qualicum Beach, as it is, is worth defending and improving. That should be our mantra.