Wednesday April 16, 2014

question of the week

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Debate being framed and manipulated



Itís interesting to see how the great George debate is being framed and manipulated.

Consider another oft-debated subject: abortion. One can reasonably be pro-choice or pro-life; however, no one is pro-abortion. Itís an irrational position.

In respect of The George, one could be against any waterfront development. You donít hear much from this anti-development camp.

One can be pro-smart development, or perhaps pro-official community plan (OCP), which seems to be the actual position of the crowd currently labeled anti-George. This group raises valid concerns regarding height, the aquifer, the OCP, neighbourhood character, infrastructure, project risks to the Town, and developer touted benefits. They want the right project, not just any project. They seek dialogue.

Then of course, one can be pro-George, which seems to mean, ďWe are for anything that might result in more business and the details really donít matter to us.Ē Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.

So I ask all the pro-George folks: how have you established your criteria? Would you support buildings that were eight storeys higher, or 100 feet closer to the aquifer? Would you complain if the proposed buildings were 50 feet lower? Where do you draw your lines?

On a related note, by all accounts the developer is a very accomplished businessman, one who would not take unnecessary risks when purchasing land at above market prices. Either he somehow knew in advance that he would get his approvals (say it ainít so, Joe) or more likely he fully expects that he will need to negotiate and compromise. Hence my other question to the pro-George crowd: why are you so desperate for this project to proceed that you refuse to engage in any discussion of the very valid concerns that have been raised?

Alan Donenfeld, Gibsons



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