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Who really has the power
L. Jack’s letter [Housing here to stay, Aug. 16,] is bewildering, saying “Councils have ignored housing” and “those opposed are vocal, well organized and wield a great deal of power.”
Opposed to what? Hardly to housing since we all live in houses. To spot-rezoning for high-density development and junking the OCP — yes, I’m one of “those”. However, my friends and I have no formal power, are not well organized and have little money — the basis of political power.
There is a council majority, using its power to dismiss views contrary to theirs. We have a consultant’s report that ignores residents opinions (“ALR land is sacrosanct”) recommends high-density development on agricultural land, while the council majority refuses to allow the report to be questioned.
They dismiss a survey of 300 residents conducted by the North Saanich Residents Association — the only unbiased survey open to every North Saanich resident.
Despite these serious disadvantages, perhaps we do wield a great deal of power. Why? Because we speak the truth. The anti-OCP, pro-developers say development keeps taxes low. False; development increases taxes. They say schools will close down. False; we have just built two new schools in North Saanich. They say we have little seniors housing. False; an estimated 50 per cent of residents are seniors. They say young families can’t afford to live here. False; CRD data shows we have more people in the 10 to 19 year old category than the CRD average. They say workers can’t afford to live in North Saanich. False; CRD data shows 825 more workers live in North Saanich than work here.
We have the numbers. The anti-OCP group assert that those who want our OCP respected are a minority. They are not.
When the opportunity comes to prove it with our voting, we must turn out and replace this undemocratic council with one that serves the interests of all residents.
As John Locke wrote: “Nature never makes excellent things for mean or no uses.”