Calls by Saanich Coun. Ned Taylor to open up local parks to commercial operators like food trucks has received a mixed response from local environmentalist Ed Wiebe. (Facebook/Black Press File). Calls by Saanich Coun. Ned Taylor to open up local parks to commercial operators like food trucks have received a mixed response from local environmentalist Ed Wiebe. (Facebook/Black Press File).

Call for more businesses in Saanich parks receives mixed response

Local environmentalist Ed Wiebe raises concerns about the idea

A local environmentalist familiar with parks issues has raised concerns about calls for more commercial operations in local parks.

Ed Wiebe, who regularly comments on environmental issues in Saanich, raised them after Coun. Ned Taylor said he would be open to allowing more businesses to operate in local parks.

“I don’t see any problems with having a couple of food trucks or a lemonade stand operating in our parks,” said Taylor. “I think that could be a way to enliven our parks. Of course, it is a balancing act. I don’t necessarily want our parks full of food trucks.”

RELATED: Saanich councillor open to more commercial operations in local parks

Wiebe sees some value in the idea, but only if managed well.

“Speaking only for myself and not for any [organization], I think … a food truck at the beach is a reasonable idea if the food truck folks are responsible for cleanup,” he said. “Various ideas may have reasonable use cases but I think they would each have to be evaluated on their merits and harms, with respect to proposed locations, and the commercial operators made responsible for waste and pollution, even carbon dioxide, generated by their operation.”

Wiebe, however, added that he would oppose any commercial activity in parks, if Saanich would have to absorb clean up costs.

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