Breaking News

Letters to the Editor – Opinions

Editor’s Note: The following letter was sent to Mayor and Council of the Town of Gibsons and copied to The Local for publication.

Town needs economic driver

I have lived in and around Gibsons all of my life and am a descendant of some of the first outside settlers to arrive here in the late 1800s. I have seen Gibsons grow, in my lifetime, from a sleepy little hamlet, home to mostly loggers, fishermen and millworkers, to a more diverse community. This diversity has given much in terms of flavour and colour to an already beautiful gem on BC’s west coast. As our town has grown over the years, there have been many changes – some positive additions that have increased the quality of life for the residents, others that have had little effect or detracted from the overall experience of living here.

The one constant central concern in our community has been the need for rational, well-planned economic development. Lacking this, there are those of us who, still, have been fortunate enough to remain and raise our families here. But as the population of our village, then town, increased, the lack of meaningful opportunity drove most of my contemporaries to find their fortune elsewhere. There needs to be economic drivers that stimulate the growth to provide employment opportunities in the community and generate, for other local businesses, the customers who will leave positive impact as they explore our small piece of paradise.

I believe it is well past the time for Gibsons to have such an economic driver.

I have been to many industry conventions and witnessed their positive effects on local businesses, which generate tax revenue sorely needed by local government to support programs and infrastructure.

There are ways to attract business and development, one being by example.

The George would provide much needed revitalization of lower Gibsons and provide such an example, attracting other groups with investment capital to enhance the Town’s potential. This is an opportunity we cannot afford to ignore. Gibsons is here, you cannot pull up the drawbridge.

There are those who oppose this development proposal and while I respect their opposition I do not share it. I clearly remember the Gibsons Bay area in the 1960s, most of it being a tidal flat with open sewers running to the sea. The homes were, for a large part, ramshackle and subject to tidal flooding every winter. A sewage system built in the 1970s addressed that problem but over time the old houses disappeared not to be replaced and a large part of our bay area became an unruly blackberry patch.

I have seen the plans and as I noted previously, I am in support of the development bein put forward by Mr. Klaus Fuerniss.

Brad Norris,
Norris Oil Sales Ltd., Gibsons


Support our activists and athletes

Thank you to The Local Editor for giving many of us the opportunity to air our concerns.

As many have noticed , there is a great deal of local frustration being directed at BC ferries. This frustration is not new but what appears to be new is the size of the protests. Historically, local government leaders and knowledgeable hard-working locals have warned BC Ferries not to raise fares too quickly and to be mindful of what costs should actually be borne by the Langdale run users. I would suggest that continuing to support this escalation in pricing without nary a whimper is unwise. Thank goodness, some local leaders and activists have said enough is enough. These people need your support, your prayers and your strength as this will be a long fight against a monolith.

Another group that will need your support is our Olympic athletes going to Sochi. Cheer for them and pray, hope, that they do well, hit personal bests on the largest stage, and make their home towns proud. I, for one, will be hoping and praying that they are safe. I know that our Olympic athletes will make us all proud, but I am very concerned about their safety: innocent targets of angry Chechens, or spillover Middle Eastern Jihadist politics. I have mentioned Sochi security before in a letter to the editor and my tune has not changed. Good luck to our athletes.

Darren Inkster,


That’s business

I see a number of letters to the editor implying that the economic viability of The George is the public´s business. It is not – any more than it was with London Drugs. Nor should anyone have asked about my viability when I opened a business. Well, except me. And my accountant. That´s what free enterprise is all about. Risk. The people spending the millions of dollars to do this have probably done some feasibility studies. It’s their money to lose and we only gain from it in the form of jobs, taxes and some much needed revitalization. If The George were to not succeed the banks would take over, not the Town, it would go up for sale and someone would come along and pay thirty-five cents on the dollar for it and suddenly it’s a hotel again. That´s business.

Morley Baker,


Size matters 

We have lived in Roberts Creek since 1977, raised our children here and always hoped they could find employment here and not have to leave the Coast like most other young people.

When our son furthered his education to specialize in renewable energy production, and found employment in Gibsons with a renewable power company, it was a blow to find that a number of the environmental groups we had supported for 30 years or more (to oppose fossil fuel use, off shore drilling, oil tankers off the BC Coast) also oppose renewable power, except solar.

I often find myself in a conversation where I am asking “which form of energy production do we support?” since 99 per cent drive a car, all of us have electric lights and possibly heating, a TV and a computer or two, plus the various other electronic devices most people have these days, including sometimes an electric car.

The headline in The Local (‘Dam It’, January 23) impedes our challenge to get off fossil fuels and onto renewable energy. Your blatant disapproval of a micro-hydro project seemed to put it in the same camp as the fossil fuel disasters with which we are familiar… the Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989, the BP Gulf of Mexico oil spill in 2010, the Lac-Megantic derailment just last year, and Enbridge.

I hope we as a community can get it together soon to meet the challenge of energy use, conservation, and production in a way that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and preserves our environment, or what is left of it.

Carolann Glover


Celebrating where we live

The Sunshine Coast Conservation Association gathered a lot of great musicians for the recent Celebration of Conservation, to celebrate and recognize the work done by countless groups and people striving to maintain biodiversity in our community. It was inspiring to see the number of people willing to donate their time, talents, money and goods, and there are too many to thank here.

The challenge now is to keep our momentum, and become more engaged in issues that affect all of us.  We have great diversity in our forests, oceans and waterways, but we also have diversity in the people who are lucky enough to live here.  Organizations and charities need all of us to pitch in and we all have skills to offer.  The coast is facing a lot of challenges, and we need to raise awareness about the loss of our rare Glass Sponge Reefs, the changing face of our forests, food security, water shortages, coal barges plying our waters, and the loss of habitat for wildlife, to name a few.  If you can help, check out the volunteer opportunities in our local papers and the websites of your favourite charity or group.

Melissa Rayfield,  


Weigh the facts for yourself

You know, everyone should just weigh the facts (re: The George) 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 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.

Dave Weldon,



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….

Cheryl Baron,
Maple Ridge (and Gibsons property owner)


Officially on the fence

After a life long love with Gibsons, I am declaring myself officially on the fence with regard 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 first EI Supers at Howe Sound Pulp and Paper. My mother graduated valedictorian from Elphinstone Secondary. My parents met on the Coast while my father was a UBC Forestry co-op and my mother, her siblings, parents and paternal grandparents were living in Port Mellon. My uncle and aunt have owned a place in Heritage Hills since the 70s and as a three-month-old in December 1960, I spent my first New Year partying it up in Port Mellon and Gibsons. Finally, in 2003, my husband and I purchased a sweet little cottage on Gower Point Road, 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 including Town of Gibsons information page 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 and friends. Like many others, I am 100 per cent 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 in my opinion), or perhaps a condo/hotel that is more in scale to surrounding buildings and respectful of the super natural beauty all around (i.e. no more than three or four stories). I find myself leaning now towards these ideas more than The George hotel/condo (as it is currently envisioned at 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?

Julie K.


Sunshine Coast Compromise

It is time for the proponent of The George to compromise. If you read the newspapers and feel the tension in this town, it seems like a war zone. Fortunately without the bombings and deaths. I have made a compromise, from no hotel in the landing to a small one that abides by the zoning by-laws and the OCP.

The proponents of The George tell us that they have the interests of the town at heart. So far the only thing we are seeing is The George tearing the citizens of our town apart. If The George proponents are really not thinking of their own profits, then they would compromise. All the jobs that may materialize or for that matter the taxes that the town will receive will not be worth the conflict this project will have created. The Gibsons Landing that I am so proud of and that tourist come to see will be changed forever if The George were built. The building of The George will also create a precedent for other tall buildings that are waiting to be built. If these monstrosities must be built on our coast, why in the Landing?

Jack Stein,

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Scroll To Top