Dollar signs are behind Sidney’s zoning bylaw

Sidney council is following the money, ignoring residents' concerns with zoning change

The abuse of power and process in this country has reached epidemic proportions. It is endemic and widespread. It is frequently practised by the federal government, the provincial government, the police, even parts of the clergy, businesses and corporations, and unfortunately, also by local government.

The prevailing mindset of power seems to be “let’s do it anyway, we can get away with it and if anybody objects we can make it so difficult, time consuming and expensive for them they will give up.” It is clearly the attitude of the Harper government relative to the tar sands development and environmental protection in general. The provincial government is little better, they perhaps learned a small lesson with the HST, but the embarrassment has obviously quickly worn off, and the explosive feelings around Sidney bylaw 2015 is apparently another example.

The reason for this seemingly universal dismissive attitude to the electorate or clients is not difficult to uncover or understand. The old adage “follow the money” pretty well sums it up. It is my opinion that the bylaw fiasco in Sidney has been largely brought about by unrelenting pressure on council from developers and business interests. Greed and self interest will always win out, it is the way of our species.

Sidney council has not been blameless either. While communications with the affected may have met the letter of the law, they did not meet its spirit.

Sprucing up the entrances to Sidney with new apartment and condominium buildings (read: money) will attract more visitors and residents (money again) and more building will bring in more taxes (still money).

The bureaucracies and organizations that essentially control our lives want and require a docile public easily led and convinced. Consumer units, who are simply “sheeple,” are what they really want. They definitely do not want a public that is analytically inclined and that takes issue with their decisions. Their lives and jobs are much easier if we are “sheeple.”

In the interest of fairness however, there are many people in all these powerful groups who genuinely want to do the right thing. To these people we should say thanks and give them our support, as without them nothing in the system would work for us.

G.R. Chislett