Lousy partners

Letters

The recreational development in the Jordan River area is going to public hearing, so we’ll probably see the uptown environmental extremists out in force with a couple of local counterparts, trying to look like a majority where none exists, and beating the regional growth strategy drum to death.

With the TLC predictably defaulting on its funding obligation and sticking us with the bill for the Western Forest Products land acquisitions by CRD Parks, perhaps the protesters’ time would be better spent fundraising than rabble-rousing. Evidently Sooke is not the only administration that makes lousy partnerships, and perhaps the CRD should tell the TLC to get lost and quit taxing us to buy them land that the multi-nationals and developers like Ender Ilkay will give us for nothing.

The trend in democratic government for at least the last four or five decades has been towards local governance of local matters. However, Official Community Plans (OCPs) are required to have a regional context statement describing how the OCP is consistent with the regional growth strategy, which is totally backwards. What should be required are local context statements in the regional growth strategy describing how it is consistent with the official community plans. If we each take care of our own house, I’m reasonably sure the neighbourhood will be sustained.

We don’t have a regional growth strategy. We have a regional parks strategy masquerading as sustainable development, constructed on the core philosophy that conservation trumps development, also backwards. Development pays for conservation, as evidenced by the fact that the environmental extremists can’t (or more accurately, won’t) even pay for their current obligations. Without development, we can’t afford conservation.

Recreational development is the best of both growth and conservation.

Terrance Martin

Director

South Island Recreation Association

Sooke