Our letter to the Undercurrent concerning the “dock bylaw” process
Missing from the discussion concerning the Mayor's rudeness at the Council meeting two weeks ago is any conversation about the underlying issue which is obviously the thorn in his paw: the controversy over the docks at Cape Roger Curtis, and the proposed “dock bylaw” which is currently under consideration.
It is clear from his behaviour that the Mayor doesn't want to hear anything more about docks and beaches at all. No more time spent on it in Council meetings; no more time for municipal staff to work on the bylaw; no more open houses and public discussion; no more listening to constituents who are unhappy with the Cape Roger Curtis docks and who wish to see improvements to the proposed bylaw.
This is very unfortunate because the issue is not going away any time soon. In our March 2012 letter to the Province, copied to Bowen Island Municipal Council, the Conservancy gave extensive reasons and a legal basis for rejecting the first four Cape Roger Curtis dock applications. After the approval of those applications in November 2012, the Conservancy spoke in a delegation to Council about the lack of protection for our beaches, and since then some progress has been made to remedy the situation. Council and municipal staff deserve credit for their efforts so far; much remains to be done, though, and many Island residents are waiting for an outcome that provides a suitably high degree of protection for the public foreshore.
So, there will be more delegations to Council, more opinions expressed on the Forum and in the Undercurrent, and more public discussion as we move closer to a solution. It would be less stressful for all concerned, and more productive in the long run, if the Mayor would acknowledge that this level of constructive and thoughtful public involvement is inevitable as the bylaw process moves ahead. Not only does it provide for transparency in Municipal Government, but it also represents a process that the local community can trust.
The Board of the Bowen Island Conservancy
Adrian van Lidth de Jeude