BREAKERS: Town Planner’s credibility questioned – QB’s Joanie Appleseed of childrens’ books – PQB News fails to disclose Todsen supporter identity

May 01, 2022

  • Media Watch – Supporter’s relationship to Todsens not disclosed in PQB News story
  • QB’s Joanie Appleseed of children’s books creates A Wonderful World
  • Credibility of Town’s Planning Department plummets to new low
  • A legendary singer-songwriter’s marvellous new acoustic performance
  • Scene around Town – a chuckle for the merry month of May

Media Watch – Supporter’s relationship to Todsens not disclosed in PQB News story

“In the interests of proper disclosure, we point out that the supporter of the Todsen project quoted by PQB News reporter Michael Briones in their April 30th online post, Residents again share views on proposed Qualicum Beach housing development, Kari Knutson, is the daughter of the applicants Rick and Linda Todsen.

Kari Knutson is also a local realtor who obviously would have an inside track to make tens of thousands of dollars in realty fees from sales of the proposed subdivided properties.” — GS

QB’s Joanie Appleseed of children’s books creates A Wonderful World

Photo courtesy of The Wonderful World of Books.

Imagine spreading the love of reading for generations to come, just like Johnny Appleseed spread the apple tree far and wide. Well, Qualicum Beach has its version, except that the purveyor of the glorious world of books is a Joanie Appleseed.

The Wonderful World of Books is a local foundation that gives 130 books to 3 and 4 year olds in School District 69 every month, for free.

Founder Eva Hilborn is a long-time Qualicum Beach resident, champion of women’s rights and a tireless volunteer for community causes. Did we mention she’s 95 years old? Her friend and colleague, Cathy Van Herwaarden, says ““She’s a 95-year-old dynamo!”

“What I want these children to learn is the rhythm of language,” said Hilborn in an interview with CBC Radio, adding they must learn to read, but she hopes having an early start will help them love it.

READ an engaging interview that Adam Sawatsky of CTV News conducted with QB’s amazing Eva Hilborn. — LS

Credibility of Town’s Planning Department plummets to new low

The April 27, 2022 Public Hearing for the Todsen application resolved none of the bitter acrimony that this project has fostered in our community over the past several years and, in the process, has further compromised the credibility of key Town officials, Town Planner Luke Sales and his current boss, Acting Chief Administrative Officer Heather Svensen. Note:  QB’s new CAO assumes the post on May 16, 2022, following the resignation of former CAO Daniel Sailland last fall.

In their staff report to Council for the Todsen Public Hearing (appended to the meeting agenda), Sales and Svensen are now suggesting that an RDN decision back in 2018 conveniently nullified what is arguably the firmest policy directive in the Town’s Official Community Plan (OCP): section 2.2.6, Policy #7 prohibiting residential development of greenbelt land within the Town.

Sales and Svensen now propose to erase this foundational OCP Policy “as a housekeeping item.” The question is why.

Perhaps Mr. Sales didn’t understand the full impact of the RDN’s 2018 change to their Regional Growth Strategy — a change that Sales himself actually requested. If so, we need to seriously question whether the job has become too challenging for Sales’ abilities.

On the other hand, perhaps Luke Sales fully understood that the RDN’s decision would in practice eliminate the very clear OCP directive prohibiting the Todsen grand plan. If so, Sales chose to not fully and honestly inform the public of the true impact of the RDN decision. If that’s the case, then the Town must question the ethics of the head of our Town’s Planning department and his superiors. Is this incompetence or corruption? Whichever it is, Qualicum Beach deserves better.

We also need to ask whether the RDN actually had the legal authority to approve a decision that nullified a fundamental directive in Qualicum Beach’s OCP.

Lest Council pretend to be unaware of this troublesome issue, Qualicum Beach resident and active contributor to the development of the Town’s current Official Community Plan, Kevin Monahan, submitted a concise explanation of the Policy #7 issue to Council for the Public Hearing. His submission, Town unilaterally erases OCP protection of QB’s rural properties, is included in this issue of Second Opinion QB.

Continuing deception about the potential Todsen windfall

As we have reported previously, the Town’s attempts to apply its own Community Amenity Contribution policy fall far short of credible.

Now, after a third attempt to estimate what the value of the Todsen land parcel would be if approved for a 16 lot subdivision, Sales has managed to come up with the most absurd result yet — a maximum total estimated value of $2.5 million for all 16 lots, in other words, only about $150,000 for each of the 16 individual lots! By comparison, just a chip shot away, three undeveloped building lots at the Cottages at Eaglecrest were listed for sale this month at $555,000, $620,000 and $699,000.

This subterfuge is cheating the community, and diminishing public trust in both senior Town administrators and Council. Should we be asking our new CAO to bring a Planning manager with her? — GS

Legendary singer-songwriter Jackson Browne’s marvellous new acoustic performance

Sit back in your favourite chair and listen to Jackson Browne performing his new single, Walls and Doors with Val McCallum, live from home.

Jackson Browne, with Val McCallum, Walls and Doors (live from home). Photo courtesy Jackson Browne YouTube Channel.

LYRICS: Ever since the world’s existed There’s one thing that is certain / There are those who build walls And those who open doors / Ah, but this my love I’m thinking you already knew /For some it’s always winter While others have the spring / Some people find good fortune While others never find a thing / Ah, but this my love is something you already knew / That’s how it’s always been And I know you know it /There can be freedom only when nobody owns it…

Jackson Browne has been described as a visionary, poet, troubadour. A voice and style like no other. Reminding us of what the world should look like and how we should treat each other.

You can hear more from Jackson Browne live in Vancouver on May 12, 2022 at Rogers Arena. — LS

Photo taken “somewhere” on Vancouver Island. Photo image credit withheld by request 🙂

Scene around Town – does this look familiar?

This photo image was sent to Second Opinion QB from “somewhere” on Vancouver Island.

May it bring a smile to the face of “workers” everywhere in this merry month of May. — LS