Jobs will shift with priorities
To council members:
My name is Bill Woollam. I represent retired residents of the North Cowichan district who support “discouraging suburban sprawl and advocating for de-centralized forest management”.
Planning for the future of all Vancouver Island residents must start in our own backyard. As we change the way we live and what our goals as community members are, we cannot let only short-term economic benefits rule our decisions and leave our plans for environmental sustainability at the wayside.
Slowing down urban sprawl will maintain the very reason people have chosen to live in this area so close to nature, and clean water sources. We only need to look at the destruction of the natural habitat surrounding Vancouver as urban sprawl has expanded out towards Chilliwack over the last 60 years. This urban sprawl has been happening here, not only in the Cowichan region, but all across Vancouver Island. Just go for a drive to Sooke, or south Ladysmith, or Comox, or Nanaimo and you can witness how urban sprawl is removing former wilderness areas. If anything, we need to build up, not outwards.
Regarding the shipping out of raw logs and out-sourcing the processing of that lumber to America or China. According to Ken James of the Youbou Timberless Society: “we could cut half as many trees and employ twice as many people were we to mill that lumber in our own communities”. Jobs could shift back to lumber mills and away from building and urban sprawl.
Economic benefits simply shift as our reasons for living shift. As we place our intention on environmental sustainability, employment will shift to support that shift. Yes, jobs will be affected, but, overall, jobs will simply ‘shift’.
Please consider these thoughts in your decisions. We must plan for a better future…one that involves wilderness areas, clean drinking water, proper consideration for the quality of river and streams and animal life. The old model will not allow for these considerations. The old model is based on economics alone. Let us create a new model which supports the natural wilderness which supports us.