WEB EXTRA: Not impressed with ‘army of self-professed business-friendly candidates’

Dear editor,

The headlines du jour: “Just Say No,” “Let’s Rein in Spending,” “How to Save Millions.”

Dear editor,

The headlines du jour: “Just Say No,” “Let’s Rein in Spending,” “How to Save Millions.”

A virtual army of self-professed “business-friendly” candidates have bought into the cost-cutting obsession and desperately try to outdo each other.

Of course, who doesn’t want to see lower taxes or well-paying jobs in the region? The slogans are very clear, what’s not so clear is where the cuts will be made and whether there has been any thought given to long-term consequences.

The example I am familiar with is transportation. I am concerned that this movement, lead by a challenging mayoral candidate and supported (we think?) by the obscure “common sense” group, is penny wise and dollar foolish.

The fast population growth in our region will prompt an equally fast growth in transportation demand. Our main arterial roads and bridges are already reaching capacity with increasing frequency.  Mobility in and around the city centre is rapidly decreasing.

This translates to increased cost, pollution, frustration and a general decrease of the quality of life which so many candidates have fervently vowed to preserve. Traffic jams are neither business nor family-friendly.

What are the options?

We can either do nothing and accept a semi-permanent gridlock,  we can build very expensive and intrusive highway expansions, or we can invest in alternatives such as public transportation, cycling and make the city more pedestrian-friendly.

It is puzzling that those incumbent candidates who have the loudest voices for budget cuts seem to be the most eager to support the construction of new highways and the most reluctant to support cycling. (We also note the promotion of a new highway by the “common sense” group).

Last year’s expenditure of more than $3 million for a 300-metre stretch of Cliffe Avenue is a mere drop in the bucket of what would be needed to satisfy unmanaged demand in motorized traffic.

Without a clear vision and a determined planning effort, ever-increasing downtown congestion will push commercial and residential development ever farther away from the city centre, leaving a withering downtown core and the automobile as the only practical transportation option to get to the suburban big box malls.

Currently our transit ridership and cycling mode share are pathetically low. This is a result of an inconvenient bus network and roads that are too scary for the average cyclist.

There is a shortsighted and narrow-minded view that it is not justifiable to spend money on such a small interest group. This view is fuelled by small minds who get into a snit because of a 10-second detour around a street party on a Sunday afternoon!

We need highways, but cycling lanes are a luxury we can’t afford?

There are many smarter and more visionary regions and municipalities all over the world who have recognized that building capacity for cycling is the most cost-effective long-term transportation strategy.

The capital region, for example, is targeting a 25 per cent share of cycling trips on a regional system of over 900 kilometres. Maybe that is optimistic, but you won’t get there unless you reach for it.

It is not only good for the budget, but promotes public health and reduces pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. What is the Comox Valley aiming for?

All candidates have been asked specific questions on this, subject as well as other environmental issues. You can see for yourself what the candidates’ answers are.

See (www.cvconservationstrategy.org).

Wilfred Dreher,


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The three candidates vying for the Courtenay-Comox riding: Ronna-Rae Leonard (NDP) Brennan Day (Liberal) and Gillian Anderson (Green)
BC VOTES 2020 – Courtenay-Comox candidates address affordable housing

In an effort to inform the Courtenay-Comox riding constituents, we have supplied… Continue reading

The Comox Valley Hospice Society recently received a generous donation from a personal donor to help fill a fundraising gap created by COVID-19. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
Comox Valley Hospice Society receives significant donation

CVHS is facing a fundraising shortage created by the pandemic

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. sees record-breaking daily COVID infections with 499 new cases over weekend

Two people, both in the Lower Mainland, died due to the virus over the weekend

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Wave of racist emails ‘unleashed’ on B.C. researchers investigating racism in health care

The team has received close to 600 calls and emails since the investigation started in July

With local MLA Adam Olsen looking on, BC Greens leader Sonia Furstenau said a Green government would convert BC Ferries into a Crown corporation Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Green leader Sonia Furstenau promises to convert BC Ferries back into Crown corporation

Promise comes Monday afternoon with five days left in campaign

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Police confirm human remains were found in a recycling bin in Vancouver on Oct. 18, 2020. (Black Press Media file photo)
Human remains found in recycling bin floating near Vancouver beach

Police asking nearby residents to see if their recycling bin has gone missing

(File photo)
RCMP: Two men face charges in reported Parksville fatal hit-and-run

Investigation into man’s death began in August of 2019

The Comox Valley Glacier Kings sit third in the VIJHL North Division with six points, one behind the Oceanside Generals. The Yetis face the division-leading Campbell River Storm in a home and home this weekend. File photo
Comox Valley Glacier Kings win three of first six games

Six games into the 2020/21 Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League season, the… Continue reading

Most Read