Editorial: Kevin Falcon needs to wise up

Exclusion of Port Renfrew from Recreation Home Grant unfair

Does anyone out there believe that Port Renfrew is NOT a recreational town?

Juan de Fuca Regional Director Mike Hicks is hopping mad and ready to spar with Minister Kevin Falcon. What has Hicks riled is the fact that the province refuses to acknowledge Port Renfrew as a recreational town thereby allowing the foregiveness of the HST on home purchases.

The Recreation Home Grant would do so much to encourage sales of all of those newly-built vacation homes in Port Renfrew. Tourists are flocking to Port Renfrew for the fishing, to hike the West Coast Trail and admire the trees at Avatar Grove. Port Renfrew bases its whole economy on recreation, fishing and tourism, that’s all it has. For the ministry to exclude the town points to a government out of touch with small coastal communities. Hicks has every right to be mad and he needs people to get on his side and start lobbying the province to change that ruling. It is so obvious that this ruling is discriminatory and exclusionary. Does Lake Cowichan, Tofino or Salt Spring Island have more to offer? Perhaps. Each of those communities attract high-end home buyers while Port Renfrew attracts the average middle class buyer. All the more reason to encourage recreational home buyers to pristine Port Renfrew.

We think the Liberal government has to take a good hard look at this issue and reconsider the importance of attracting revenue and summer residents to isolated tourism-based villages, not just in the playgrounds of the rich. It’s a shame that once again the “little guy” gets the short end of the stick.