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The Real Agenda

Bowen embarked on a bizarre experiment in municipal governance in the last election. Outraged by a possible National Park proposal the electorate voted for a change of leadership. Given the limited options of the ballot they elected both partners of the island’s largest land development company. Now, nine months before the end of their term both partners have resigned, acknowledging their conflict of interest. Noting how self-servicing their resignations are we have to look at how we have been played. Continue reading ›

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Our tourists: what are they really looking for?

by Wynne Nielsen

Visitors are unarguably the most reliable contributors to a broad spectrum of island economic life. They arrive singularity and in friendly flocks, like migrating birds throughout the year to visit  friends/family, attend weddings, stay at B&Bs, walk/hike the island trails and interconnecting parks. They explore our shores in kayaks, visit beaches, view sunsets, sail and seek quietude and inspiration in our still abundant nature — restoring nature deficits of city living. They photograph every aspect of our natural scenery. They play golf, attend workshops, health/wellness retreats, spas, dances/festivals/music venues, tour gardens & art studios. Along the way

Continue reading ›

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DEVELOPMENT/CONSTRUCTION AND PROPERTY TAXATION

by Wolfgang Duntz

In the February 13, 2014 issue of Bowen Bulletin, Ms. Nerys Poole made reference to the January 27, 2014 Council meeting and quoted me as saying: “The bottom line is that we are not sustainable. There is not one community that can sustain itself without growth.…tax increases are bad for morale, because it’s so easy. Get your act together and work toward development, construction.”

While Ms. Poole’s quotation was correct, unfortunately her subsequent conclusions were not. Continue reading ›

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RESIDENTIAL GROWTH AND PROPERTY TAXATION

by Nerys Poole

At the January 27 Council meeting, Councillor Wolfgang Duntz made some statements while discussing the proposed property tax increase for this year:

“The bottom line is that we are not sustainable.  There is not one community that can sustain itself without growth. . .  tax increases are bad for morale, because it’s so easy.  Get your act together and work towards development, construction.”

Councillor Duntz’s promotion of growth to make us a sustainable municipality is not supported Continue reading ›

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A Very Long Analogy

By Margaret Miller

In the equestrian world we have a term – overhorsed. Basically it means that you’ve gotten in over your head. Usually you’re a fairly competent rider and you decide that it’s time to have your own horse and really take charge of where you’re going. You’re probably filled with visions of the future – you’ll be best friends, go galloping through the fields, win every show you enter, etc. So you go out and buy your perfect horse – let’s call him Cocoa Puff. Unfortunately, you have no idea what you’re in for.

For a while everything is brilliant. You’re carried along by your dreams and live in a wonderfully idealized space where any and all things are possible. You’re able to make intellectual decisions about how things should be done and what the outcome will be without worrying about the process because “everything will go perfectly and there won’t be any bumps in the road”.

But then, reality very gently starts to creep back in.  Continue reading ›

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Visual Language and Civic Discourse

By Peter Frinton

Back in November, I was lucky enough to be in San Francisco and camp out at the DeYoung Museum for a couple of days and evenings. The attraction was ‘A Bigger Exhibition’ featuring latter day works by British/American artist David Hockney. Attendant to the show were two symposia – one entitled ‘Wider Vantages are Needed Now’, the other ‘Back Through the Looking Glass’. Continue reading ›

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Living Gratefully

We lost a couple of truly great people this month. Nelson Mandela passed away at age 95 and last week my mother-in-law Marjorie, at age 96. In most regards you could not have found two people with less in common. But looking at all those pictures of Mr. Mandela’s smiling face as Marjorie slowly faded away from this life I saw why some people live well into their 90s. They shared a sense of humanity and humility as well as strength and quiet confidence. I believe both of them shared the secret of happiness and offer lessons during this season of giving and renewal. Continue reading ›

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Predictable Responses to Ferry Cuts

When asked if cuts to ferry service are justified it appears the vast majority of British Columbians don’t know and don’t care. But they’re pleased to see it none-the-less. The classic response is “Don’t expect me to subsidize you if you choose to live on an island.” The more we complain about service cuts and fare increases the happier they are. If we want to have an effective voice when lobbying for better service and lower fares we have to change our message. Continue reading ›

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Playing Politics With Ferries

Our Provincial Government has cranked up the rhetoric on ferry subsidies. The Transport Minister is announcing $18.9 million worth of cuts over two years as if it meant something. BC Ferries is a $1.8 billion corporation. The provincial budget is $44 billion. Yet our TV screens were filled with an announcement of cuts of less than $10 million per year. In the case of Bowen it’s something like a $125,000 per year cut from a $15 million budget. That’s less than 1%, hardly newsworthy. But before looking at Bowen let’s consider the larger picture. The total cuts are spread over 16 routes so some of them are probably getting hit pretty hard. Maybe the big announcement approach is to divert attention from the impact on the smaller and northern routes. Continue reading ›

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Stand Up

When our current Municipal Council was elected most of us expected a policy shift away from things like national parks and long term planning studies and toward things like economic development and density concessions to land developers in exchange for public amenities. But I don’t think we really thought through how our Council would favour individual exploitation of our environment at the expense of the public interest. I’m speaking of their ongoing efforts to ensure that anybody wanting to build a private dock will get their window of opportunity next summer. Continue reading ›

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