Letters to the Editor: Jan. 4

Letters to the Editor: Jan. 4

Kimberley Industry

I have to say that Carolyn Grant’s statement that Kimberley “desperately needs industry “is flawed (“2017 in Kimberley”, Dec. 29). Here’s why !

1. The population argument: The last two census counts in 2011 and 2016 have both shown a substantial population increase without any new industry whatsoever (I’m talking about the type of industry that would inhabit an industrial park). Further proof is that homes for sale and rental accommodation are in short supply.

2. The need for additional property tax argument: By the mayor’s own calculation (ref. Facebook) the property tax revenue from 25 homes at $400,000 is equivalent to a $8,000,000 industrial assessment.

In 2017 it was reported that 25 residences were built and apparently no new industrial revenue, proving that additional revenue from residential property taxes has serious momentum compared to industry. Actually this has been the case since the mine closed in 2001.Over $2,000,000 additional revenue has been generated from residential taxes replacing the taxes that used to be paid by Teck.

Did you know that 14 acres of the land (sold off in 2014) set aside for the Marysville Industrial Park is still unoccupied after 40 years? Why is that?

That would be an interesting question for you to present to readers. What is it about establishing light industry in Kimberley that makes prospective owners set up shop down the road in Cranbrook at one of their many industrial sites?

Even when Teck was a full-out going concern in the 1970s and 1980s almost no new light industry came to our city. That is my observation as a former member of the business community quite closely connected to the comings and goings of businesses in town.

The reshaping of the post-Teck economy, supported by Federal and Provincial grants, as implemented by former mayors and councils, which really goes back to the inception of the “Bavarian City” in 1974, has been incredibly successful, so I really don’t follow your argument for the desperate need for industry as you state in your article. However it is apparent from all the letters published over the past few months that Kimberley citizens are totally reasonable about the prospect of new industry. They just don’t want it located on the Benchlands which would undermine their core values.

In keeping with the city’s location as a bedroom community there are ample jobs in industry for Kimberley folk — they just have to take the short drive out to Tembec going north of the city or to all the other employment opportunities, even closer, heading south. That could be a good thing.

That brings me back to my original point. The population is growing because people love Kimberley for the community that we have with its beautiful mountain setting and its amazing recreational attractions — you name it we have it.

When they build their homes they create that additional property tax revenue that the City needs. After all, a dollar is a dollar regardless of whether it is derived from residential or industrial taxes.

When you write about the Benchlands issue in the future I hope you can blend in some of the aspects I have mentioned.

David Bellm


Grizzly Hunt Ban

Re: Outfitters and MLA react to NDP Grizzly Hunt Ban:

The arguments against the grizzly bear hunt are three-fold: moral, economical and conservational.

Trophy hunting is unethical, insupportable and has been overtly opposed by a majority of British Columbians (both urban and rural residents) via ongoing surveys and petitions throughout the past year. IF it is concluded that bear population control is needed, properly trained biologists and/or conservation officers should be those responsible for this undertaking.

It is NOT acceptable to place the fate of management in the hands of hunters, of which paying a licence fee is their only requirement, and who certainly have no expertise in biology or wildlife management.

We need to bridge this urban/rural divide in regard to many issues in our province. Wildlife management, and particularly Grizzly bears currently, are at the forefront of a long, overdue provincial conversation. It is time for us to get off the “rural high horse” in thinking that simply because there may be more outfitters, hunters and outdoor enthusiasts in our proximity, that it does not equal entitlement or greater knowledge of wildlife. There is also a significant amount of bears, cougars and coyotes within outlying urban areas such as North Vancouver and the Tri-Cities, which also amounts to issues there with wildlife/human co-existence.

A scientific journal for the Society of Mammalogists recently released articles criticizing lethal control of predators such as wolves and grizzly bears. The article “Carnivore Conservation: Shifting the Paradigm from Control to Coexistence” summarizes studies on the essential role of apex predators in maintaining ecosystem function.

It states that; “The level of human-caused mammalian predator mortality is damaging native ecosystems and biodiversity; and a well-known example of this is how wolf reintroduction to Yellowstone created a trophic cascade that enriched and restored many species to critical areas in the park.”

These issues come back to scientific basis, but there is also an emotional connection. Contrary to what MLA Tom Shypitka expounds to his constituents, emotion has become another consideration to those defining their position on this issue. There is nothing wrong with bringing emotion and compassion to this discussion, because we can no longer continue to view wildlife issues through an impassive, sensory devoid lens. By nature, we are emotional beings. The fact that we choose to live in this part of BC in close proximity to nature and wildlife means it is essential to co-exist with all its inhabitants.

Lastly as a comparison, it was amazing the outrage across Canada with the legal killing of Cecil the Lion and the vilification of the US resident for trophy hunting. Lions are the largest, most majestic, carnivores in Africa. I wonder what African citizens, and the rest of the world, think about killing one of the largest, most majestic, carnivores in North America for either a trophy or because someone is playing amateur biologist.

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated…” Mahatma Gandhi

Michelle McEntee Longstaff


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