Letters: Filmer’s absence, roundabout, airport noise, Higson foreshore

  • Councillor Filmer’s leave of absence
  • Planned QB Waterfront roundabout
  • QB Airport management
  • Higson Crescent application for foreshore alteration

In response to our story on Councillor Filmer’s leave of absence

Although recent events at QB town council may seem chaotic, they were clearly heralded in the initial meetings of the new Council. Among their first priorities was the ditching of Robert’s Rules of Order, sponsored by the mayor [Brian Wiese] and the former mayor [Teunis Westbroek], with the advice of the CAO [Daniel Sailland]. Robert’s Rules was replaced by a few loose suggestions on the conduct of meetings.

Robert’s Rules is a universally respected and legally recognised manual on parliamentary procedure. It defends the rights and duties of the majority while respecting the rights and integrity of the minority. The disbandment of formal rules enhances the power of the controlling faction while diminishing the minority.

Henry Robert grew up in the shadow of the American civil war and was acutely aware of the need for order and careful procedure in the protection of parliamentary democracy. He wrote “Where there is no law, but every man [sic] does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real democracy.”

Among the areas covered in Robert’s Rules are the correct procedures in the rare cases when an organization may go into a confidential mode and the conduct of such meetings. 

Notwithstanding Robert’s Rules or any other parliamentary manual, no matter how carefully a set of rules is observed, situations can arise where a small group or an individual can become isolated and victimized. The only remedy for this is to hope that human decency will prevail. In the longer term the ballot box can provide corrective action.

Colm Harty, Qualicum Beach

In response to our story about the planned QB Waterfront roundabout

What a travesty of justice and what a waste of money!!

And, I know three is a quorum, but seems the gang of three put this through quickly in the absence of Filmer and Walker.

Dianne Cafik

In response to letter received about our story on QB Airport management

Hello and thank you to Todd Provost for an excellent letter. I feel the same way. The noise is a serious nuisance, and we can hear it at the very opposite end of the town. With the amount of jet fuel they burn for hours on the tarmac, they could very easily fly 10 minutes away to do their training away from residential areas, and the extra cost would be marginal.

Bruno Sterckeman

As we reported in a previous article, the public was invited to submit comments in writing to Annette Bailey, land officer for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, regarding the application by the owners of a Higson Crescent waterfront property to alter the foreshore which is Crown land.

Qualicum Beach resident Dave Golson has shared with our readers his submission as follows:

Dear Annette,

I am opposed to the development as it stands at present.

I am for soft foreshore developments as long as a thorough evaluation of environmental drivers and impacts on any potential surrounding residences and associated foreshore features have been properly assessed.

In this case this has not been addressed, even to a limited degree.

A similar, and larger scale shoreline retrieval request was made by the town of Qualicum Beach itself to provide a fish habitat improvement at Beach Creek, at the intersection of Memorial Avenue and Hwy 19A. This work started in 2019.

The first attempt resulted in severe erosion of the beachfront immediately west of the new spit, requiring significant modifications to the rip/rap additions, 2 years after the first plan. The jury is still out on the 2nd modification, but so far this early in the winter, there appears to be less erosion in the nearby vicinity.

I was part of a working group 4 years ago, with the town, when a study was conducted by SNC-Lavalin on the beachfront improvements required to meet climate change and the preferences of the local community. One challenge apparent from the get go was the ability to handle tremendous costs associated with implementation of any hard or soft foreshore solutions. You cannot do this in isolation to other facilities nearby (the section of waterfront assessed was several kilometres long in that portion of the bay and headland). Impact of predominant wind, erosion and sedimentary transfer has to be properly assessed.

A proper analysis is therefore required, with costs shared by the proponent, the town (or taxpayer), and potentially the support of nearby neighbours impacted by the proposal as it stands or if expanded to nearby properties. The challenge will then be how to apportion the costs.

To summarise, I do not support this application without further deeper and more effective analysis.

Kindest Regards,

David Golson, Qualicum Beach, BC