LETTERS: Omicron’s retail proposal is a game changer for the Town of Sidney

I think it’s time for the residents of Sidney and North Saanich to engage themselves regarding the proposed Gateway development.

I think it’s time for the residents of Sidney and North Saanich to engage themselves regarding the proposed Gateway development.

If people want to participate in an intelligent and meaningful way on the subject, then we have to make an effort to become informed.

Democratic expression is central to our processes but uninformed voter participation can produce spectacular and unintended consequences (Brexit).

If we rely on the company who will develop the land to tell us about the risks, or the Realtors, or the Victoria Airport Authority spokespeople promoting the plan, then our process is skewed and the outcome is a forgone conclusion.

I would encourage area residents to thoughtfully consider what they want from their Victoria Airport Authority.

While we all want a capable and efficient airport experience, complete with a plan to remain viable and efficient into the future, to what extent should that plan go? Where do we draw the line?

Because a retail mall works at YVR, does that mean it will work for us on our Peninsula? There are numerous and significant differences between the Vancouver and Sidney environments.

Many of us give thanks every day for what we have out here and wouldn’t want to jeopardize it for ourselves, our families and the future.

While the Airport Authority is a welcome corporate member of the Sidney and North Saanich area, do we want them exerting game-changing forces on our community because they have a cash flow problem? Make no mistake, this proposal is a game-changer.

If their vision of future development for our town looks like it currently does, for example that ugly and unnecessary diesel generator powered billboard sign (their motivation to make more money can look pretty ugly and currently does) on the drive to the front of our airport, then I question whether they’re on the same page as most of us, or that they share the same values as most citizens in this area.

Dan Rowbotham, Sidney

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