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LETTER: Development is not the enemy

There are groups intentionally interfering with the OCP review in North Saanich by spreading false information and intimidating others. The municipality began gathering community input, but when support for sensitive infill and development to meet the housing needs of our community emerged through the first phases of engagement, a small group of indignant people who oppose any development began to spread misinformation to obstruct the engagement process.

Rather than respecting the views of other community members that didn’t align with theirs, these groups began to blame the consultants, berate staff, make false allegations, and spread false information to derail the review process and effectively silence the views of others. Their personal attacks on other community members are concerning. They refer to people who want to subdivide their large lots or see the creation of housing for seniors as ‘cancer’, ‘enemies’, and ‘invasive species’. They claim to want to come together and protect and preserve country life, but their tactics do not bring people together or make for healthy communities.

They warn development is coming to get you, but we all know greenhouse gas emissions and climate change are a much bigger threat to our world than smaller lots. There is a great deal of knowledge and experience in the community planning sector that we can draw on to support the growth of healthy communities while still protecting our natural environment. We know more compact communities are part of the solution so rather than spreading misinformation, let’s all sit down and work through these issues together in a truthful and respectful way.

Lori Pruce

North Saanich