Defending Dogwood

Thank you for bringing to light some facts that many of us were previously unaware of, and for raising some important questions.

Who has control over our lands? Is it our communities within the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area? Our official community plans state clearly that we want to preserve the natural environment. Or should we be ruled by the provincially mandated regional growth strategy, which encourages population growth in “settlement areas,” avoiding urban sprawl? Have our CRD planners taken these documents seriously?

Or the Land Use Committee A, made up of the mayors of Sooke, Colwood, Langford, and Metchosin, which are outside our communities, and our regional director? With one exception, these people’s records show that they are very much in favour of development. And the mayors of these urban areas, not elected by us, have the  majority vote.

Next your editor asks: Why is Dogwood, a U.S.-funded organization, interested? Dogwood is funded by an organization whose intent is to: “develop a conservation-based legal and policy framework to devolve control over land in B.C.’s central coast to First Nations and communities in the interest of long-term habitat protection.” Now, that’s scary. Preserving the natural environment, indeed.

“Devolve control over land” — that sounds ominous. Is some U.S. group about to take over our province? But no, it merely means that First Nations and local communities should have more control over their lands than outside groups.

As for Dogwood’s “organizing car-loads of people to come to pump up numbers,”I had naïvely believed those who spoke out so eloquently at the recent meeting took the trouble to be there because they care about this land. I felt their words came straight from the heart. Sorry, my mistake. I guess that’s my “youthful idealism” showing — through the white hair.

Sue Innes

Shirley