The provincial government threw the Juan de Fuca Electoral area into turmoil with the release of the forest lands from the TFL. The community has been scrambling to deal with the aftermath ever since. One result of that turmoil is that factions have developed as the community struggles with land use issues. I am not happy with this divisiveness. Citizens speaking in the fair and open process of a public hearing about the Marine Trail Holdings Development Proposal should not denigrated within our community.
Some in our community complain that people from “outside” have unduly influenced the land use decision. Outsiders didn’t influence the decision… they made the decision. The Capital Regional District panel who votes on our land use issues are all “outsiders.” Mike Hicks is a businessman in Port Renfrew but every representative on the panel lives outside of the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area. Their decision to stop the development proposal is no less valid.
Prior to the public meeting I personally made sure everyone was invited to speak. I took time out of my busy Sunday and contacted the news media and stated, “everyone who has an interest in the decision whether they are for or against the proposal should attend the public hearing and make their views known.” That is how democracy works – the people get to have their say. Those who felt moved showed up.
Divisive talk weakens our community. We strengthen community by working together.