Letters to the Editor 

What goes around comes around

Page 2 of 7

To councillor Wake: In the future, please spare us the big brother drivel of referenda being divisive. Have the courage to tell us that you are elected to govern for the next three years, and you intend to do so without public consultation, or join with council and truly engage the community. The divisiveness excuse is stale; a past council already used it to endorse the Olympics without community involvement. Using the excuse tells me a vociferous minority is trying to achieve a specific result outside the democratic process. I am prepared to live with decisions reached, as long as they were arrived at in a fair and democratic manner. When that is the case, it will be a reflection of the public’s will. No need to protect us from divisiveness.

To the Housing Authority (WHA): please make a public statement as to what it is exactly we are trying to achieve with "affordable housing". The Barnfield saga raises this question: should the taxpayer subsidize land or home ownership for a select few? No. The operative words here are "affordable housing". Housing does not imply ownership of land or homes. It implies having a place to live. We probably agree that housing should be a basic human right. But for those desiring more, such as ownership, there are choices, priorities, sacrifices and responsibilities. These are up to the individual, and should remain outside subsidization.

Should the taxpayer subsidize rental housing? In the interests of the economic well-being of the community, most likely yes. Should businesses, benefiting most from it, carry a somewhat higher burden of it? Probably. To have truly affordable housing can only mean rental accommodation. The WHA as landlord, tied to the condition that to qualify for low rent you must be employed. You don’t work, you don’t qualify. For that is the open rental market. When public money is involved, administration has to be the highest standard. Real and perceived.

I may be wrong, and if I am, I apologize here upfront. But let me illustrate what an innocent bystander might presently perceive:

Business people owning 19 Mile units. Should they not have been sold to people on the waiting list, not yet established here?

One of the Barnfield plaintiffs, president of the Chamber of Commerce. Hello? Pillars of the community, good example and all that. Another of the plaintiffs appears to have benefited when MDC reverted to the open market, later owned a substantial home overlooking the lake, sold in the seven-plus figures. Not exactly destituteville. How do people like this qualify for affordable housing? You are already here and established. Do you need to be established a second time? With taxpayers’ help?

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