To the Editor,
Sunday’s Centennial kick-off celebration was truly impressive. Countless volunteers had worked long and hard to entertain us— for free, no less. It will be a memorable year in the community.
I feel really fortunate to live here at this time, and being able to participate in the events yet to come.
We have a centennial poem now, too. However, the poem calls forth an image of future Port Alberni as “green and radiant”, windsurfers playing on the inlet. It leaves out coal ships spewing their toxic black fumes, and a colossal coal storage sticking out at the Harbour Quay.
It does not talk about the planned industrial waterfront road, or the endless procession of coal trucks and logging trucks limiting our access to the waterfront, spoiling the tranquil view and the rich estuary.
Above all, what will be the fate of one of the world’s best salmon runs?
Every self-respecting town on the planet, big or small, is trying their best to reclaim the waterfront. They understand the value of it, and realize how lucky they are to have a waterfront at all.
Beauty is priceless, and it is also very fragile. The choices that are made in this, our centennial year, will decide Port Alberni’s future.
Will it rise, green and radiant, at the water’s edge, or disappear into black smoke?
The choice is here, it is now, and it is ours.