Mack Laing Heritage Society director misses facts

Dear editor,

It is unfortunate that Dr. Loys Maingon has taken such a confrontational approach in his Sept. 11 letter to The Record by stating that neighbours of the Baybrook area “don’t have their facts straight”.

In fact, Maingon makes claims that are very misleading. He implies that only newer residents have not been consulted. We have lived on Orchard Park Drive. for 18 years and have recently spoken to a number of neighbours. We have yet to find anyone, except a friend of the director, who has been consulted by the MLHS.

Maingon also claims that over half of the directors are neighbours of Baybrook and “as long-time residents they have taken care to discuss the project with their neighbours.” Only three of the eight directors are actually living in the area which will be affected by development of the park (from Comox Avenue south, between Filberg and Mack Laing parks). One, the president of the MLHS, has only lived in the neighbourhood for a few months.

Another claim, the glowing endorsement for historical preservation, is not substantiated by the architectural report on the MLHS website.

We look forward to attending the planned public tea. If Dr. Maingon might slow his rush to push this proposal through he could take time to learn from residents, some who have spent hours in Mack Laing Park appreciating the quiet beauty of a natural place. It is indeed a wonderful place for people of all ages (and neighbourhoods!) to enjoy. However, without careful thought development could easily change this small conserved natural area into a groomed city park. We hope there will be some genuine discussion about creating/protecting a space that respects and inspires an appreciation of history and nature. It is definitely worth walking through the park to read the memorial dedicated to Mack Laing, to get a sense of the man and wonder – what would his wishes for a natural history museum, nature park and bird sanctuary look like? Cathy Cook and Barry Walker