Development moratorium will destroy jobs
The motion to pause development put forth by Councillor Justice is short sighted and will hurt our community both long term and short term.
Mr. Justice and his supporters may be very comfortable about taking away people’s jobs but I certainly am not. Have they thought through the ramifications of how many of our local people could lose their jobs?
I am talking about good paying jobs that enable workers to not only purchase a home in our community and pay down their mortgage and raise a family, but also all the apprentices who work for trades that will be thrown out of work. Young people are the life spring of our community. We need to guard their employment and ensure that they stay in our community. They will leave the Cowichan Valley and head to Victoria or elsewhere where companies are desperate for workers.
Restaurants, pubs, clothing and shoe stores, vehicle sales, gas stations, grocery stores, hotels and other businesses too numerous to be mentioned all will be negatively impacted. High paying jobs in construction and trades will grind to a halt. With loss of young people also comes the reality of less children in our schools impacting the number of teachers in our area that earn their living here and spend their money here. For those who believe that tourism is the answer to society’s ills, let me ask them to talk to people who work in the service industry — the pay is not enough for anyone to own their own home even if it is an apartment.
Lower income and teenagers or those working their way through college and university find work in many of these places. With the drying up of income that will take place, there will be a loss of jobs, denying those who need jobs the most an income. Over the years homelessness will increase, taxes will rise and people who wanted to live here and raise their children here will have to leave as less and less opportunities arise. It will be impossible to maintain the present tax costs in North Cowichan which already are rising. Rising property taxes will push pensioners out of the homes that they thought they could live out their lives in.
A vibrant community has people from all segments — upper, middle and lower income and they all contribute in their own way to our community’s vibrancy and health.
Governments work extremely slowly which means that North Cowichan will be closed for years. By the time common sense kicks in, our young people and the companies that support them will be gone. It will take many more years after changing yet again that the area will start to come to life. Businesses need stability to risk investing money here in North Cowichan. Why jeopardize this investment in our community, not only by businesses but also by all the people who work in this area unless you want a community for the wealthy and homeless only?