What is a “healthy balance”?
I like the tone of the letter “How are local governments going to support local business?” I like the realization that many of us are asking the same questions, that we share the desire for “a healthy balance between the environment and business,” and that we are “friends”. That opening reassured me that our community can remain respectful while championing different solutions to our common questions. Thank you for that.
I am one who hopes our governing bodies take significant action in addressing the effects of climate change on our environment and community sooner rather than later. I volunteer for habitat protection projects. I also am a small business owner. I support local businesses even as I often have to dig deeper into my pockets to do so. I have written letters and spoken to councils asking for greater support networks to allow local entrepreneurs to grow businesses.
However, I think it is a stretch to say that local business is what keeps our community pressing forward. Yes, many local businesses stepped up to offer help and services while we adjusted to the reality of the pandemic. I believe the core motivation of those gestures wasn’t strictly business; they weren’t solely after making a buck or padding their PR. It’s because our community is of a size where we can still know our neighbours, where we meet and greet one another as we pass on the streets, because we’re not anonymous strangers with streets so crowded that we are overwhelmed and have to turn our backs or retreat to find our privacy. It is our community spirit that keeps us moving forward intact.
Don’t take it for granted. It needs to be nurtured. It doesn’t come automatically and shared history is it’s foundation. It can be destabilized quickly in these rapidly changing times.
I don’t want the doors to the Valley thrown open to unrestricted development or development at the cost of the natural beauty of our Valley. My greatest fear is that the rapid onset of development of southern Vancouver Island continues northward and invades our beautiful, happy home.
You say a “healthy balance”. Do you have a goal in sight or is it develop until you retire because that’s how you’re used to making a living? Are you willing to invest in green initiatives that can be incorporated into your present business plan? Do you see your vision happening within our local culture or do you feel a need for outside investors? What percentage of your shopping do you do locally as opposed to Amazon, Walmart, and Home Depot?
I want to hear what your vision of a healthy balance between the environment and business is. Because every day I see more and more land cleared for housing developments and yet I feel we have to fight for the protection of any waterway or inch of green space. What environmental protections do you support and why were you so reluctant to pause for a few months so we could find our common ground?
These questions are asked with sincerity and I don’t know how we can structure coming together for conversation. It certainly isn’t at council meetings. Maybe a town hall minus large, honking trucks. Maybe individuals taking it upon themselves. Maybe just letters.