Pirjo Raits is right, and not alone in questioning the funding and motivation of the Dogwood Initiative.
Some excellent reporting by Charlie Smith in the Georgia Straight has Dogwood claiming their sign-up campaign for the Liberal leadership race was effective in helping Christy Clark win. That should give some Shirley New Democrats pause.
What I find most troubling is that the “carloads” full of “youthful idealism” are being lied to and misled to elicit their support, with statements such as: there will be a “vacation home corridor” all the way to Port Renfrew, when the Dogwood campaigner has known that isn’t true since attending the first Shirley APC meeting two years ago.
Anyone can have an opinion on, for example, Pacific Rim National Park. But, the locally elected governments in Tofino and Ucluelet get to decide where to place tourism facilities outside the park. Similarly, if the Highlands decides to permit 20 homes to be built on 10 acres in order to save Mary Lake, (a density which is surely against the RGS) that is their business, not mine. The Juan De Fuca cabins proposal offers a similar trade off: 16 per cent developed — 84 per cent park and green space.
Ms. Innes seems to support, “that First Nations and local communities should have more control over their lands than outside groups.” So do I, and in this case the Pacheedaht have supported the cabins from the beginning. They plan to supply the materials from their new milling operation and in conjunction with their purchase of TFL 61 this could mean full employment for their community. This is a big deal.
Again, Dogwood is all about respect for First Nations — except when they don’t toe the Dogwood line.
At the information meeting Ms. Innes said, I believe, that she didn’t support the improved access that the proposed public parking above Bear Beach would provide.
I don’t think that the estimated 100,000 yearly campers and day users (at Sombrio) would agree that access should be denied so the one per cent of park users who are full trail hikers should be the only ones to enjoy the jewel that is Sombrio Beach.
There is no doubt surfers, hiker/campers and white-haired idealists will flock to the Bear Beach access.
I would wager that even certain forest campaigners who didn’t know where the trail was until a week ago might be spotted there.