In recent months people have raised concerns at North Saanich Council meetings regarding property rights and community well-being.
Finding a workable balance between individual and community rights doesn’t come easily, yet both are important.
Individual rights include freedom of expression, assembly, travel, and property rights, among others. Community rights include the rights of the commons, such as the rights of our neighbours, the rights of the natural world including water- and land-based creatures, and the rights of all to clean air, water and environment.
Recently we’ve seen considerable focus on individual rights. Carried too far, this leads to an erosion of our traditions of cooperation, inclusivity, compassion and environmental care. Examples include derelict vessels, a backlash to public use of beach accesses and foreshore incursion and degradation.
We can do better.