A sign of things to come can be clearly seen at the housing development next to Municipal Hall and practically in John Phillips Park – 15 majestic pyramidal poplars and beautiful firs cut down to the ground to give way for an apartment complex with 121 parking stalls.
How much more emissions will this 140-apartment building with about 400 people plus their cars bring? Plus, add the carbon previously absorbed by cut-down trees.
It’s happening around Sooke – on Brennan, Church, and Charters. The mushrooming construction brings more people, cars, and emissions and will also exacerbate traffic jams that plague Highway 14.
District council has swept aside a reasonable suggestion by Transition Sooke, a group formed by concerned residents, to suspend building permits until an environmental assessment is completed.
Council condescendingly accepted a well-founded report as “a good intention” instead of taking it as a call for action.
Ranting the same mantra – “a small town with a big heart and zero emissions” – does one hope wishful thinking will become true? The town of 15,000 is already big; emissions are increasing. A big heart is good, but how about some brains?
The argument that “we can’t stop people working” doesn’t hold water. We can stop people from destroying the environment and start protecting it.
The municipal government has a lot of power in land use. So are they in denial or self-deception? Hiring an environmental coordinator seems a little late. We don’t have another planet to move to.
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