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Smart growth

Bob Fisher’s letter in a local paper last week was very engaging. Something that stands out is his idea that by Bruce Milne publicly stating his intent to hold town hall meetings (if elected) to “ask the community” what they want, somehow panders to “special interest” groups? The “community” is everyone, voters, taxpayers, the general public. Town Hall meetings are very much at the root of our democracy; without such gatherings and feedback from constituents this country, and many others, would not exist, at least not in the form we now cherish. I agree with his assertion we need good paying jobs in Sechelt. After living in or near Sechelt for 25 years, I’m starting to get the sense we all want the same thing. We want to keep the Coast livable while attracting new people while striving to bring taxes in line with the rest of BC. A tall order. Lets face it, living here comes with a premium. It will never be Whistler or Calgary or Toronto, we like it that way. But economic diversity is paramount or as Mr. Fisher says, we will stagnate, (there are books written about what happens when great places are gentrified; they eventually collapse.) How we achieve diversity though is what gets people so riled up at election time. Mr. Fisher is right when he says City Hall should not be the biggest employer. Having said that, we need not sell the farm to encourage investment. We don’t want more smoke stacks. Our proximity to Vancouver is a blessing and a curse, we need to capitalize on it and pick the best aspects of that fact by inviting the highest value investors who will leave the smallest possible foot print. Otherwise known as, “smart growth”.

Keith Thirkell, Sechelt


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