Letters: Looking at the numbers

Development fight in the Juan de Fuca cost the taxpayers

In regard to “JDF Fight May Be Nasty,” Nov. 9.

It’s high time the myth that the Marine Trail Holdings public process was dominated by voices from elsewhere in the Capital Regional District is finally put to rest.

Some facts: the (JDF)Electoral Area holds less than two per cent of the CRD population. The public hearing was not held in the Juan de Fuca area. Most local JDF residents required extensive travel to attend the hearings: over 160 kms to travel from Port Renfrew, over 50 kms from Jordan River, 40 kms from Shirley and 20 kms from Otter point.

I’ve looked online at the CRD minutes of September’s public hearing and done some basic math. Among the 160 individuals (all but five of them against the proposal) who spoke in person, 47 hailed from west of the Sookahalla (i.e. Metchosin, Sooke and the JDF Electoral Area). That’s about 30 per cent of all those heard over the three nights. I think that is a pretty good indication of local concern.

Hundreds more from this region wrote letters to the CRD in the spring and summer arguing against the proposal. Rather than rowing against the tides any longer, regional director Hicks finally surrendered and made the best of the situation.

Too bad Mr. Hicks’ ability to take the public pulse wasn’t so good in the spring of 2009. That was when Otter Point and East Sooke residents clearly expressed their concerns over Mr. Ilkay’s proposal during local commission hearings – the very same concerns echoed time and again for these months and years. The taxpayers would have saved tens of thousands of dollars. And so-called “outsiders,” provincial taxpayers who care deeply about a magnificent trail we all created together, would not have had cause to fret about their JDF Marine Trail.

Linda Copping

Otter Point