LETTERS: The people hold the key on Gateway

It is clear where most citizens of North Saanich and Sidney stand but only Sidney gets to decide.

Re: Gateway : Another Chance to get it Right

I have attended both public meetings on Victoria Airport Authority’s Gateway proposal, the first by the proponent, the second by the Support Our Sidney coalition.

Sidney has been in this position once before, in the mid-1990s, when a single vote on Mayor Rosko’s council, on the Costco proposal, decided our future and saved us from the Big Box nightmare. We are at this critical juncture again, but this time we have a powerful and persistent Airport Authority at the helm, with entrenched and intertwined interests with Sidney.

It is clear where most citizens of North Saanich and Sidney stand but only Sidney gets to decide and the recent decision to proceed with the Roberts Bay – Ardwell development indicates that the majority (4/7) are not listening to the citizens.

As was well demonstrated by SOS’s Richard Talbot, an internationally respected business consultant with impressive credentials, the economic statistics generated by the proponent are unrealistic and the passing off of the responsibility by the Town to conduct an independent assessment, like throwing the keys to the fox.

Sidney has one more chance to get it right. If we don’t, another gateway to a potential paradise will be lost, and our entryway will look as uninviting as every other dull community with strip malls on the highway.

We, the citizens and the government of Canada are the landlords here, not the VAA, which is looking after its own corporate interests.

James K. Finley, Sidney