LETTERS: Keep business flowing in and around Sidney

There’s a reason many of us chose to live up here and not out in Colwood, Vancouver, etc.

I have noticed many thoughtful letters in the PNR about development plans in our communities. Thank you for providing that easily accessible democratic forum.

It would be nice for local design and construction companies to profit from building the proposed Sandown and Gateway projects. Without a doubt.

But I wonder what the long-term financial forecast for our Peninsula communities would be past that initial phase?

The trend across Canada for the past 20-plus years has been towards more box stores in every community. So there must be some economic benefit there, despite numerous criticisms. However I think it’s important to ask ourselves how many of those operations really leave profits in the local community, and how many remove our hard earned dollars to corporate head offices and shareholders in other cities.

I also share the concerns that others have raised about increased traffic pollution and congestion. They seem like very valid concerns.

There’s a reason many of us chose to live up here and not out in Colwood, Vancouver, etc.

Progress, free markets, Pokemon Go and all that stuff is great. Don’t get me wrong. I just hope our community development plans help our citizens keep our money flowing around our local communities as much as possible.

I also hope they help us avoid being accidentally bedazzled by a few new low-wage jobs while the real profits are funnelled away elsewhere.

It does seem like there’s an opportunity to better utilize existing commercial areas like downtown Sidney. It would be good to see a reasoned explanation for why commercial store fronts are sitting empty.

I’m sure we could find some entrepreneurs to use the space. And perhaps we can figure out a way to use development areas to create more mixed residential-commercial spaces.

Bruce Smith, Sidney

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