Kiteboard ban not cool

The port authority's decision to ban kiteboarding from the Centennial Pier is a serious step backwards for Port Alberni, says local resident

To the Editor,

The Port Alberni Port Authority’s recent decision to ban kiteboarding from the Centennial Pier is a serious step backwards for Port Alberni. There has not been one single safety incident involving kiteboarders here.

We have a forest industry that while still very important is not a growth industry, and a deep sea port that is in modest decline. If we want to grow then we must promote Port Alberni as an exciting lifestyle destination.

We must market this place to more than just retirees, but also the mobile workforce (those who can work via the Internet), and camp workers (those who work away from home in remote areas). These three groups can choose to live anywhere. Let’s make Port Alberni so desirable that they choose to live here, invest here, shop here, and pay taxes here.

We are blessed to have many incredible natural features in and around Port Alberni. It is time to capitalize upon them and promote them for economic gain.

The steady summer winds and warm water of the Alberni Inlet make Port Alberni unique and a very desirable kiteboarding destination. This activity needs not only to be tolerated, but also embraced, supported, and promoted.  Failure to do so will keep us in the past and result in continued economic stagnation.

Will we continue along as Port Alboring or become a vibrant waterfront community?  It is up to the city leadership to decide.

Malcolm Menninga,

Port Alberni