For 20 years our company has professionally advised municipalities, federal agencies and large corporations on their development plans from a sustainability perspective. During this entire time, we have lived in Gibsons.
Over these two decades it has become generally well understood in Canada that sustainable development must be based on three pillars: a healthy environment, a healthy social fabric and a healthy economy.
If any one of these three pillars is weak, the community suffers.
Professionally we are usually called upon to help municipalities or corporations create strategies to strengthen the environment or improve social impacts in order to offset some negative consequences of economic development.
But Gibsons has a different pattern. Over the past few years, we have seen the loss of important community facilities and economic generators in Gibsons Landing, such as a food market, a bank and a pharmacy, among others. During this same period, we have become increasingly dismayed as we observe an active and vocal minority of citizens consistently attacking efforts in Gibsons to develop a healthy, sustainable economic base. Overall, the economy of the Coast is not thriving; and let’s be honest, Gibsons itself is struggling.
Now enter The George Hotel and Residences proposal, which is predicted to increase Gibsons’ tax base by 40 per cent — funds that are critically needed by the Town — and breathe new life into the entire Coast.
At the same time, it meets the highest environmental building standards in Canada. Socially, it will provide stable year-round employment for several people and add to people’s use and enjoyment of our beautiful harbour, while helping many small coastal businesses with spin-off economic benefits.
In other words, it will be a positive contributor to sustainable development and quality of life on the Coast.
Brian and Mary Nattrass, Gibsons