Leaving Kinsol without eyes recipe for disaster

What an example of cutting off your nose to spite your face.

It took millions of dollars to refurbish the Kinsol Trestle but now a security camera guarding the historic structure has been allowed to cease functioning, and according to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, may never function again. The vandals who so senselessly attacked this incredible public jewel should be ashamed of themselves.

But the Ministry should be ashamed of itself, too, for so cavalierly dismissing their security responsibilities. It’s an egregious display of a lack of interest in this historic site.

It was thanks to a dedicated campaign by the people in the Cowichan Valley that the Kinsol Trestle was saved at all.

While it’s now always the first place in the Valley any officials travel for a photo op (it’s hosted everyone from Prime Minister Stephen Harper to the Governor General of Canada), the Ministry did not see the restoration of this treasure as a priority until the community stepped up and stepped in.

It looks like we’re going to have to do it again to make sure the Kinsol Trestle remains for future generations to wonder at.

The trestle is located in a very rural area. A camera to provide eyes on the site is a necessity.

We must have a way of identifying idiots like those who have recently taken some kind of hatchet or saw to the railing timbers.

It is also the hope that knowing a working camera is in place will deter others looking to cause damage.

We’ve seen what can happen if such measures are not in place.

Part of the damage done to the old structure before its refurbishment was caused by just such miscreants, some of whom even set fire to the wooden structure, almost destroying it for good.

One would think there would be more investment in the Kinsol’s security, given that some of the restoration money came from the province.

We would have thought they’d be eager to protect their investment.

We can accept that they were at the mercy of Telus’s changing service, which is what put the camera out of commission in the first place.

But what we can’t stomach is that it’s just been left to rot there, not working, for seven months, and that if their upgrades don’t work, there appears to be no plan for an alternative monitoring arrangement.

That’s not good enough. We encourage all of the local businesses and individuals who contributed to the Kinsol campaign to contact the Ministry and voice their concern at this neglect of our important Cowichan icon.

We must be the squeaky wheel once more to get the grease.