Bill Toews, a Town of Comox resident, is fortunate to live in Comox.
The rest of us are not. Toews destroyed Garry oaks in a Town ‘Special Development Permit Area’ without permission.
In Comox, if you are part of “the set,” it is much easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. Toews wasn’t fined but instead, was issued what amounts to a ‘back-dated development permit,’ and has to replace some of the trees destroyed and have some others monitored, as determined by the Town’s favourite “fix-it consultants.”
Hardly worth the time it took council to decide the matter. Mr. Toews looked contrite as he came to the ‘sympathetic’ council meeting and received the proverbial ‘tap’ on the wrist.
What else could I expect from a council that in July of this year included additional properties containing Garry oaks into a Special Development Permit area and, at the very same meeting, granted permission to Coun. Swift to cut down a mature maple tree on her property because it impeded the view on her lot. (At the same time the national press was reporting that Duncan residents were vigorously protesting the destruction of a similar tree.)
The Town of Comox pays lip service to the environment but they don’t really know the meaning of the word. In their assessment of the Toews’ property let’s hope that they at least ‘signed off’ for possible future sloughing of the hillside into the estuary, now that more ‘vital landscaping’ has been removed. By then they hope that people will have forgotten, and they will dismiss reality with their familiar (as used with the Mack Laing monies) mantra “that was then, this is now.”