Re: Recent letter by Mike Bell.
Too bad he hasn’t read a little history of the beautiful Comox Valley or based his conclusions on facts.
Fact No. 1 — WestJet came into the valley primarily to service the heavy load of local employees who had to leave the valley to commute to well-paying industrial jobs in other parts of the country.
Fact No. 2 — Tourism creates little or no wealth — it only shuffles money. The majority of tourism jobs are only seasonal or part-time and notoriously low paying
Perhaps the $4 million for the tourist centre would have been better spent supplying low-cost housing to accommodate the low-paid tourist industry employees. Just look at the mess Greece is in to see the results on its economy from trying to survive on tourism as its main industry.
I’m all in favor of a robust tourist industry but aren’t full-time, well-paying industry jobs of much more importance? Consistent wages of the employees would enhance the revenue for the downtown merchants and restaurant owners.
Now to a little history — beautiful British Columbia was built on the resource industry, forestry, fishing, mining and agriculture. The Comox Valley was party to all these industries. Coal was mined here for nearly 100 years, and forestry was once king, fishing and agriculture to a lesser degree.
Now aquaculture from fish farms, oysters, etc. surpasses agriculture revenues.
The Brittania Mine museum, Cumberland heritage site and Barkerville, to name a few, are all tourist attractions.
There were no lasting ill effects from many years of mining and logging, all the traffic on the estuary from log dumps in the river and down to the bottom of Baynes Sound, the four petroleum tank forms, freight hauled up the river, sawmills and other industry on the river.