Jamming the gears unnecessary

It angered me to read about the halting of the construction of our public boat launch. To achieve something truly needed in Sooke, at such a relative low cost  to our municipality was a real opportunity which now flounders on the beach.

It angered me to read about the halting of the construction of our public boat launch. To achieve something truly needed in Sooke, at such a relative low cost  to our municipality was a real opportunity which now flounders on the beach.

I find it troubling that some people revel in this failure to achieve a public amenity. To rub the district staff’s collective face in a perceived inability to see all the potential pitfalls in achieving the vision of a boat launch is particularly mean-spirited and petty. When I read in the Sooke News Mirror, the comment, “developers are expected to play by the rules and the district is doing stuff without permission,” my immediate reaction was ‘so what?” 

It’s not like there’s some secret deal here to give something away at taxpayers’ expense, in fact this is quite the opposite. Leveraging $1.3 million dollars, with only a $300,000 investment — legally — is an amazing achievement. Particularly because the end result will be another significant public amenity.  One which will bring substantial dollars into our community, and will work in harmony with all the other things that are happening or will be happening in Sooke. The district may not have done all their homework when it came to getting all the permissions necessary, (on paper) before commencing construction, but they certainly did more than their fair share of homework when it came to bringing this public amenity forward at the lowest possible price to taxpayers. Not only that, but all stakeholders agreed that this project should move forward, regardless of whether it’s on paper or not.

Developers should be held to strict guidelines because they are in the business of realizing return on investment. The less it costs them to develop, the more money they make.  Developers are by definition, profit driven. In some rare cases, profit is made at the expense of a community, which is why guidelines, permits, rules and government exists. Not every developer sees it their duty to give back to the community where they make their money, and those particular developers need to be kept on a tight leash. A very tight leash.

A smart developer sees the opportunities in bringing added value to their development by bolstering and providing amenities for the community. They will not likely complain about things like amenity bonusing or development cost charges and the like, instead they cooperate with the municipality and come up with what is best for the community.

The district is in the business of building a community. The money that comes in, goes back out and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. It is good to save money for a rainy day. But if dollars can be leveraged with a relatively small amount of seed money from the district in order to build public facilities worth far more than the seed money invested, then the district is doing its job. This is why I have no problem paying taxes or business license fees. It helps pay for a quality district staff that is able to act on issues dear to the community and get the best deal possible, including grant funding, when it comes to spending money on community infrastructure. 

Permission to build this boat launch was sought on every level. T’Sou-ke supports it as does Beecher Bay. The province and the feds support it. It’s all just a matter of paperwork at this point. Fact is, if this thing was built, and no one tried to sabotage the process, then it would be built and no one would object once it was done. The tenure would be granted and everything would be fine. But instead, there are those who seek to throw monkey wrenches wherever they see the potential for jamming the gears in this town, and I’m sick of it. I will certainly not be voting for people who engage in this behaviour come next November, and I don’t see why anyone else would either.

Lorien Arnold

Sooke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The State of Aging: COVID-19 exposed a long-term care system already in crisis

A look at Greater Victoria’s aging population and what that will mean for the future

Police seek ‘high-risk sex offender’ last seen in Victoria

Scott Jones is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for being ‘unlawfully at large’

Oak Bay home ready to house refugees, immigrants

District leases two village homes to Victoria Immigrant and Refugee Centre Society

Central Saanich police sport personalized face masks

Masks feature the crest and individual officer pin numbers

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Vancouver Island Tour de Rock riders roll into Parksville Qualicum Beach

Saturday’s schedule includes Port Alberni, Ucluelet and Tofino, followed by Nanaimo on Sunday

97 distressed horses, cats and dogs seized from farm in Princeton

RCMP assisted as BC SPCA executed search warrant

$250K reward offered as investigation continues into Sea to Sky Gondola vandalism

Police also asking for specific footage of Sea to Sky highway around time of incident

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Trudeau ‘disappointed’ by RCMP treatment of Sikh officers over mask issue

World Sikh Organization of Canada said taking Sikh officers off the front lines constitutes discrimination

Liberals reach deal with NDP on COVID-19 aid bill, likely averting election

NDP and the Liberals have reached an agreement on COVID-19 sick-leave

Money laundering inquiry delayed over of B.C. election: commissioner

Austin Cullen says the hearings will start again on Oct. 26

Most Read