CRD must consider all lake users

We can’t continue to ban things simply because they are annoying

I’m writing to express my frustration at the Capital Regional District for their consideration to ban motorized boats at Elk and Beaver lakes.

I’m a mulit-use user of the park, at my peak visiting the park three or four times a week to run, swim and yes, go out on the water in my boat.  Multi-use parks are a great way for people to learn co-operation with other groups in the community and Elk and Beaver Lake Park is a prime example of this.  It has some of the most diverse group of users in the CRD park’s system, all sharing and enjoying the park together.

This multi-use co-operation is a great way to learn appreciation for all forms of recreation.  There is already a time limit for boats in the morning and restrictions during rowing regattas. As a power boat user I was well aware of, and respected these limits.  I felt great that we could share our park with out-of-town guests and didn’t mind planning my recreation for a different time.

Sharon Glyn’s comments about the speed of personal watercraft moving so fast they create a large wake shows how misguided the facts are in this case.  A water vessel like a powerboat or a personal watercraft is built to plane on the water, and as a result, will produce a smaller wake the faster it will go.  By far, the biggest wakes come from boats running just slow enough to stay on plane to give wakeboarders a larger wave to jump.

This leaves just one argument against personal watercraft, that they are ‘annoying’.  We can’t continue to ban things simply because they are annoying.

Ben Isitt’s comment: “You can’t use a fossil-fuel belching engine in our lakes,” is even more alarming.  Whose lakes is he referring to? The CRD’s? The sense of entitlement and ownership over a small lake in Saanich by a councillor from Victoria should raise alarm bells with anyone who is unfortunate enough to fall under the CRD’s jurisdiction.  His last comment: “That means you adjust your practice. Things change over time,” is especially ironic considering the CRD’s propensity to ban and regulate any and all recreation seems destined to continue well into the future.

Dogs bark, I find that annoying, should we ban them at the park?  Runners in groups of five or more cause me to adjust my path, should we ban them?  The sounds of cars along the eastside of the park is loud and annoying, should we ban cars on the Pat Bay Highway?  Don’t laugh, this is the group that banned camping at Jordan River and limited city street traffic to 40 km/h.  And let’s not miss the point that they were brought a petition against personal watercraft and instead of saying, “thanks, we’ll consider it,” said to effect, “great, let’s also ban boats, something that no one else has complained about.”

The CRD needs to consider all users of the park before they bow to every complaint.

David Anderson

Saanich