To the Editor,
The Money Sense rankings which place Port Alberni as a very poor place in which to live are essentially correct and focus on our high unemployment, high crime rate, and low household income.
Yet our “leaders” specialize in reality avoidance. One comment, for example, is that the new high school is “one of the best” in Canada despite the facts that it’s ugly, too small, and that some of its facilities are inadequate. The writer then goes on to refer to our “modern, full-facility hospital” which isn’t full facility and is too small. Where’s the advocacy to increase the acute-care beds to 60 at WCGH? Certainly not from the chamber of commerce, which limps on in an aging community that has at least 50 vacant stores south of Dunbar Street.
As regards the idiocy of an LNG plant here, the facts are that both Prince Rupert and Kitimat are two shipping days closer to Asia and that the costs of building new pipelines from northeast B.C. to here are prohibitive.
There’s an outside chance that the trans-shipment hub down the inlet may become a reality.
As regards Canal Beach, why spend almost $500,000 to put a walkway on the pilings there? There’s no view and no real purpose.
A pile driving company will remove the pilings for free.
Money would be better spent on acquiring the Esso property beside Harbour Quay, which has a lovely little beach from which you can swim and an area which could be grassed over.
The facts are that we’ve lost about 6,000 high-paying jobs in the forest industry alone (now just over 300 employed at the paper mill which once had 1,500, for example), and there will be no economic renaissance here.
The good old days are gone.
Yet city council has raised our taxes by more than 50 per cent in the last five years (compounding included) and handed out absurd pay increases in a severely depressed economy.