Whoops, it’s an election year and with just ten – count ‘em, 10! – months to go before Coast residents head to the polls to choose their local government representatives, the issues are on the floor and the invective is in the air.
In Gibsons, the George project is still months away from a Public Hearing, but that’s not stopping its opponents. Landing merchants make no secret of their support for the project – badges and signs are prominently displayed – and thus are easy targets for the coercive anti-George letters threatening a wholesale boycott of their premises that were hand-delivered this past week. First thought: how many of those threatening the boycott actually regularly patronize those businesses? Second thought: How valid are their points of opposition, if they must resort to intimidation to get their way instead of reasoned debate? Apparently, the team that specialized in lies and innuendo in past elections and development hearings are back at work, pumping up the rumour mill. Psst, did you hear that a five-way traffic light will be installed in Lower Gibsons if this project goes forward? Psst, did you hear that … Did you read on Facebook that … Did you share the post on the anonymously-administered page that said … A lack of factual information and the surplus of fear-mongering indicates a weak argument and an old-fashioned political mindset reaching back to the traditions of Tammany Hall.
In Sechelt, the sewage treatment plant prompts fewer letters to the editor but equally emotional responses from the public, pro and con. The writ has not yet been dropped for a recently-proposed borrowing referendum and already we hear calls to VOTE with capital letters. Sometimes with variously coloured and sized fonts, just to make their point. In this issue, as with others that will come forward before election season, reason must trump emotion and votes should be cast based on soundly presented economic data.
While we respect the passion of the various camps, we wonder: without the vitally-important reports requested by Gibsons Council at the last Committee of the Whole meeting, how can either side make a fully-informed decision? Until all the financial data is in the public’s hands, how can voters in Sechelt head to the polls confident of casting an enlightened vote that will impact the future economy of their community?
At The Local, we are waiting until all the facts are in before we weigh in on either debate.
Heather Jeal, Editor
You know, everyone should just weigh the facts as presented in the documents submitted to council, they’re all available to be reviewed and of course, as discussed at the meeting on Tuesday, there’s more to come. I’ve reviewed the OCP and the HAP, the proponent documents, the plans, the Horizon report, the traffic study etc etc, and I’ve come to my own conclusion.
Any none official document, flyer or propaganda spewed onto facebook pages is just noise on the channel. I believe the majority of residents of Gibsons (the silent majority) approve of this project, some see good and bad in the design, and perhaps through the zoning creation, committee recommendations and the public process, things will evolve.
Yup. Here we go again. The same group that says NO to everything is back at their whisper, smear, threaten campaign and most of them don’t even live in Gibsons. Sharing stuff all over the internet, of course, they are mostly preaching to their own choir. Landing Merchants, who these NO people swear will lose business to the George, support the project. Silas White, who lives in the house whose view will be most impacted by the building of the George, supports the project, but still these people absolutely insist that THEY know what’s best for the Town. Unbelievable….
After a life long love with Gibsons, I am declaring myself officially on the fence wrt to The George development.
By some measure, my family and I could be considered “old timers” on the coast. My Great Grandfather was one of the 1st EI Super ‘s @ HSPP. My mother graduated valedictorian from Elphinstone HS. My parents met on the coast while my father was a UBC Forestry co-op and my mother, her siblings & parents and her paternal grandparents were living in Port Mellon. My Uncle & Aunt have owned a place in Heritage Hills since the 70’s and as a 3-mth old in Dec 1960, I spent my first New Years partying it up in Port Mellon & Gibsons. Finally, in 2003, my husband and I purchased a sweet little “cottage”on Gower Pt Rd. spending weekends and holidays enjoying the jewel that is Gibsons — feeling so blessed to have the world’s best drinking water pouring out of our taps — never mind the clean air, stunning views and heavenly boating opportunities (most of the time!).
I have somewhat closely followed all the George development information over the last months trying to take in both sides of the development/no development argument. And today, after getting caught up on the hourly commentary on multiple Facebook pages, myriad websites incl TOG info dedicated to The George, I am on the fence.
Initially, I was all for the condo/hotel development and excitedly talked it up with family & friends. Like many others, I am 100% FOR some kind of economic spark for the Town (there IS gold in them thar’ hills!) however The George, as presented most recently, is, in my humble and full tax-paying opinion, likely too big in size/scope for the current Gibsons waterfront area. It would most certainly change the feel and look of lower Gibsons — forever. And at my age, I have learnt there is no going back.
In last 24 hours some people are proposing a university (interesting idea IMO), or perhaps a condo/hotel that is more in scale to surrounding buildings and respectful of the super natural beauty all around (ie no more than 3 or 4 stories). I find myself leaning now towards these ideas more than The George hotel/condo (as it is currently envisioned @ 125′ tall).
I am strongly for appropriate development in lower Gibsons and, after reading all the info I can get my hands on, am left unsure if The George is fully appropriate.
As an aside, whatever happened to the proposed Seaglass Development? It was initially sent away for rework if I am remembering correctly. How does this development relate to The George or any other future development on the Gibsons waterfront?