Wednesday April 16, 2014

question of the week

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Chamber weighs in on George



In light of recent events which are taking place within our business community, I feel compelled to weigh in on what can only be considered controversial tactics by individuals and groups within our community who are opposed to a pending development project in Lower Gibsons.

The developer, by all indication, is working within all regulatory frameworks in place to ensure our community standards are adhered to, yet the groups opposed are making unsubstantiated claims that confuse the public.

While everyone has a right to agree or disagree whether change should happen, Gibsons could be impacted in the near future with a higher tax burden as the existing infrastructure inevitably starts to fail.

My fear is that the negative impact perceived by the derailment of a major project such as the one proposed will send a clear message to the greater community that Gibsons is not open for business.

The business community is suffering. Failure to recognize that the community counts on people bringing their dollars from off-Coast to spend locally and not being able to provide them with accommodation options that today’s travelling public demands, reflects poorly in the long term.

I have been troubled to hear from several members of the business community about individuals approaching them regarding their support of this proposed project. They are fighting for their very survival in many cases, and while I respect an individual’s right not to shop or patronize a business for any reason they deem valid, this tactic was looking to elicit an emotional response from the business owners and clearly that response was fear.

The Gibsons and District Chamber of Commerce, by virtue of a member poll, endorses this project and as the voice of business on the Sunshine Coast, we will continue to support our members’ views.

Dean Walford, president, Gibsons and District Chamber of Commerce



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