There are indeed citizens who act as watchdogs – in every community. We vote to elect responsible government, after diligent research of the candidates. We keep abreast of local issues by attending public meetings, including those of Town Council. We avail ourselves of information pertaining to proposed developments, via the internet and the Freedom of Information Act. We network, we exchange information. And when something doesn’t smell right, as so often it doesn’t, we react. We form committees, we stage protests, we write letters to the editors of our local newspapers – sometimes we even throw our hat into the ring and run against the mayor in the next election. It is our right and our duty, as citizens and taxpayers, to do this.
For the sake of brevity, I will limit my remarks to the Trellis proposal. Are you aware that the proposed Trellis Facility will be a “for profit” enterprise, and profits will be gleaned from an operational budget that VCH assures us will not change? Is it fair to expect residents and staff to accept cuts in wages, services and amenities, so that Trellis can make money? Are you aware that there is a covenant on the proposed site, stipulating that the land not be used for profit by a private entity? Are you aware that this proposed facility will increase present capacity by (at most) 20 beds? Hardly a guarantee that there will be beds available when needed, considering the bed crisis at the existing facilities, and at Sechelt Hospital. A better solution is needed and we will continue to seek it.