Backing up business

What kind of message does it send to outside businesses if we can’t even support someone in our own community?

A company that does business with clients around the world wants to establish a diversified arm of its aviation department at the Alberni Valley Regional Airport. This company has signed contracts with at least two clients, guaranteeing work for its existing 30 employees as well as potential new positions.

Except the conditions would be even better if our runway was 1,000 feet longer.

If this company originated in Vancouver, Victoria or even Toronto, would we be falling all over ourselves to accommodate it? Entice it to expand and move to the Alberni Valley?

We think the answer would be yes. Which is why we are puzzled that there is so little support for this company, as it actually exists. It just happens to be locally-based Coulson Group.

People and organizations such as School District 70 have criticized—we say unfairly—the Coulson Group for asking the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District to consider extending the municipally-owned regional airport’s runway to increase economic opportunities in the Alberni Valley.

The runway extension proposal is not all about one business, although some would like the voting public to think so.

Read the ACRD’s business case; educate yourself before you make a decision on whether you want the regional district to spend taxpayers’ money to improve this taxpayer-funded piece of infrastructure.

If we want our economy—and therefore our tax base—to grow we need to support the companies that are willing to do business with us. That especially includes businesses already established within our borders.

What kind of message does it send to outside businesses if we can’t even support someone in our own community?

Not a good message at all.

— Alberni Valley News