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LETTER: Housing vital for local workforce

The NIMBYism, privilege, and blatant xenophobia of the letter writer who blames immigration for the housing crisis in Canada deserves to be checked. As a former resident, I know Oak Bay is a wonderful place to live.

It’s great that you want to live your privileged Oak Bay retirement lifestyle, but how are you going to do that when there is nobody to work in the grocery stores, coffee shops, and other places that you frequent? Not to mention the schools, art galleries, services and shops that make for a vibrant community. Where do you expect workers to live?

Do you think people are going to live out in Langford (not much cheaper there, by the way) and spend two hours on the bus every day to make $16 an hour working at Starbucks? Take your head out of the sand, please. There is plenty of room for growth and density in Oak Bay. New families and immigrants will only make the community better.

There are many reasons for the housing crisis and no easy fix. However, increasing the supply of affordable housing in already established communities like Oak Bay, rather than continuous and environmentally unsustainable suburban sprawl, is a good start. Oak Bay council needs to stop getting in the way of reasonable growth and find ways to welcome rather than turn away potential residents. Oak Bay shouldn’t be a scapegoat for the housing crisis, but it would be great if it became part of the solution.

Derek Murray


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