OUR VIEW: To hear or to obey

Many people seem to have a skewed definition of ‘being heard’.

Let’s talk about what it means to be heard.

It’s an issue that has been on the minds of many people in Sidney in recent months, as a series of land development proposals has put some residents and their municipal leaders into an adversarial relationship.

As adversarial relationships go, this one has not come to blows. In fact, it’s pretty sedate. In Sidney, community dissent comes in the form of quiet petitions and orderly discourse. Why anyone would feel threatened by such conversations is beyond understanding.

However, the people on the side of the status quo feel their quiet protests should be getting more regard. Yet, is that a fair demand?

Through a variety of venues, people have aired their grievances over proposed higher-density development plans. There is little doubt that local politicians have heard them. If they haven’t, then they are just not paying attention.

Yet, many people seem to have a skewed definition of ‘being heard’.

They can present their arguments and hold the ear of Sidney’s municipal councillors for hours — and they are heard. Where they diverge from the meaning of ‘being heard’ is that they equate it with ‘being obeyed’.

It’s an important distinction, because by insisting that they have not been heard on this issue, they really mean they want councillors to do as they say. That’s an unrealistic expectation of the request to simply ‘be heard’.

The issues raised by people have not been ignored — that would be quite impossible. It can be argued that all aspects of the debate have been considered and were reflected in the decisions made by Sidney councillors.

Where the council must be careful, however, is in their overall attitude towards debate from among their citizens. Too defensive a stance to any form of critique of political decisions, could exude the impression that one simply does not care about the electorate.

And that may be the hardest thing to hear.

Just Posted

More buoys allowed for Brentwood Bay

Proposed number rises from 40 to 60

Victoria airport reaches nearly two million passengers in 2017

This year expected to see additional growth

Peninsula speed skating duo aiming for the national stage

Pair opted to train in long track skating this season for the first time

Tent city resident just wants a home

Roving tent city has made its way to Central Saanich

Island Health, service providers meeting to talk about used needles in Victoria

Recent public needle-prick incidents prompt call to reduce number of needles found

Sidney’s Salish Sea aquarium to close for maintenance

First extended closure for the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea since it opened in 2009

Butchart Gardens is hiring now and paying more

Wages start at $15, job fair Feb. 20

Cash still needed for Stelly’s Cross Path

MLA Olsen wants more specifics first

Injured parachutist wants stolen backpack back

Bag contained important video files of 2017 parachuting incident

VIDEO: B.C. Lions sign defensive back T.J. Lee to contract for upcoming season

The four-year veteran had a team-high four interceptions and 49 tackles last season with B.C.

How an immigrant to Canada helped Donald Trump prove his mental health

Test that cleared Trump was developed by doctor associated with McGill and Sherbrooke universities

Premier touches on multiple topics ahead of Asia trade trip

Housing and childcare are expected to be the focus of the BC NDP’s first budget in February.

Wanted by Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers for the week of Jan. 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

UPDATE: Friends mourn boy, 15, killed in Vancouver shooting

John Horgan: ‘No stone is to be left unturned until we find the perpetrator of this heinous crime’

Most Read