A shopping centre on airport land would certainly not be a good idea. The ambience of Sidney would be destroyed and this beautiful little town would become another casualty of modern so-called ‘progress’.
Why not move the tourist information centre to the proposed Gateway land? Add a couple of picnic tables with a playground and a fruit stand — even some booths with local products could delight the tourists —then a bridge would not be necessary, nor any road changes.
The access to Sidney would be easy through already existing roads. Tourists and visitors then would be encouraged to visit the beautiful little town with its unique atmosphere, so visitors would see the beauty of Sidney and appreciate the uniqueness of a walkable town.
Just think about such options, which would be the cheapest solution and would benefit Sidney the most.
Would this be a financial benefit for the airport? Probably not, but they could introduce a low airport tax to get some additional money; this certainly would save Sidney from destruction and would bring visitors to downtown and strengthen local business.
Even growing potatoes on the airport land would be far better than another shopping centre and in addition could feed many people.
Hildegard Horie, North Saanich