Engage a community with a real conversation

I was going to ignore Mr. Upward’s first letter attacking me, but I can’t ignore his second.

I was going to ignore Mr. Upward’s first letter attacking me, but I can’t ignore his second.

Despite accusing me of distorting facts, Mr. Upward (a developer) fails to point out where I do so. I stand by my assertions: development increases taxes; the proposed developments are departures from the OCP, the Regional Growth Strategy and the Regional Context Statement; and North Sanich residents should be consulted before changes are made to them.

Furthermore, it’s questionable whether advancing developments, as our council is doing, before even consulting residents, is conducive to genuine, open-minded consultation.

What I really want to address now is this trend I’m noticing among those who seem to have no problem with advancing projects that go against our OCP.  It seems if anyone questions the process by which this is being done, we are immediately labeled backward-looking, anti-development and NIMBYs. It’s assumed that those who are not immediately “for” something, are automatically “against” it. Those of us who ask for a measured and well-thought-out plan that consults the people who will have to live with it and pay for it are dismissed out of hand.

So let’s drop the name-calling and personal attacks and actually engage as a community in a real conversation that looks at demonstrable facts.  What we need is a climate where intellectual rigour and accountability are valued, where our decisions are based on data and facts, where housing that’s ostensibly intended for a certain group is actually affordable for that group, where the majority of stakeholders are actually consulted and genuinely listened to early in the process, and where those of us who ask the necessary questions that should be asked, inside or outside the council chambers, are not attacked or ridiculed.

If Mr. Upward were listening, he would know that I am on the record as being pro-process, and not anti-development.

He and Ms. Eaton also claim I am afraid that the coming generation wants inclusion in the future of North Saanich. Nonsense!  Since they are my neighbours, they well know that I have two children entering their 20s. I’ve spent hundreds of volunteer hours working with children and youth. It’s precisely for the coming generations that I feel compelled to speak out for a long-term vision, not short-sighted projects that are being fast-tracked through Council.

If that’s the Norman Rockwell postcard that Mr. Upward pokes fun at, then I’m all for it. Mr. Upward’s reality is far bleaker.

Bernadette Greene

North Saanich

 

Just Posted

Local cadets gain acceptance to RMC

Military careers one step closer

New Star Cinema project approved

Cameo development gets unanimous council thumbs up

Stelly’s sidewalk gets green light

Federal funding brings project to fruition

Witnesses sought for alleged drunk driver crash in Sidney

Crash happened June 16 on East Saanich Rd. and Canora Dr.

Fake crash warns students about real consequences

Saanich Peninsula emergency crews warn against distracted driving

Victoria Ska and Reggae Fest fills harbour with music

Music festival wraps with free party Sunday at Ship Point

5 fun things to do this weekend in Greater Victoria

Victoria Ska and Reggae Fest, Ride Don’t Hide, Cordova Bay Day and more

UPDATE: Police say story of pretend cops ‘arresting’ woman in CRA scam fake

Vancouver police urge people not take calls from anyone saying they’re from the Canada Revenue Agency

Almost 2,400 young athletes set to compete at BC Summer Games

Full list of participants was released Friday for the Cowichan Valley event

Family raises money for B.C. man burned in campfire mishap

Harold Duncan-Williams suffered first, second and third degree burns when his shirt caught on fire

Canucks ink Markus Granlund to one-year extension

Finnish forward’s contract is worth US$1.475 million

Warning issued as swimmer dies, boater missing this week in B.C. waters

Coroner says statistics show a spike in drownings beginning in May and rising through August

Around 40,000 lightning strikes and over 200 new fires in B.C. in the past two days

‘We’re expecting that the worst of the lightning is now over’

PHOTO: Shark spotted near Vancouver beach

Woman snaps photo of a seal, heron and what’s believed to be a Pacific spiny dogfish

Most Read