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LETTER: Development comes at the cost of habitat

Saanich council’s recent 7-2 decision to allow an 11-storey, 242-unit condo project at the edge of Elk/Beaver Lake Regional Park at the projected cost of 55 mature trees, clearly tasks the credulity of Saanich’s electorate with some pretty outstanding double-think.

Yes, double-think. Clearing natural habitat for more giant construction projects is not improving the situation in Saanich, let alone globally. Of course, such projects are usually presented as benign and benevolent endeavours, but who stands to gain by this and who and what stands to lose?

The inevitable losers in such a situation are always non-human species and habitat, which are simply brushed under the carpet, amazingly portrayed as something somehow in the way of and impeding ‘human progress’ and then tossed away. Oh how it is to take oxygen for granted in the 21st century.

If this is truly about affordable housing as its proponents have stated (and not merely to extend the pockets of developers), then why is only a minute fraction of the units actually slated to be affordable housing? If we are to take the affordable housing argument seriously, then make 100 per cent of the units slated for affordable housing, instead of only a token handful.

The proponents also claim that higher population density will reduce traffic and lower housing prices. A quick reality check can be achieved by looking at some places like New York, Vancouver and Toronto to see what actually happens in such a scenario.

Sasha Izard


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