Your vote and your beaches
Private docks on public beaches and the Cape Roger Curtis shoreline remain an ongoing community issue on Bowen Island. The next Council will have an opportunity to plug holes in the 2013 dock bylaw, complete the promised second bylaw initiated by our current Council, and move on. There are many important matters such as seniors’ and low cost housing, enhanced tourism, building a community hall and others that need us to be pulling together as an island. Healing this division – and maintaining our public beaches – is a relatively quick way to demonstrate leadership and help bring us all back together, so it really matters what candidates believe.
On October 25th, StopTheDocks sent a request for a position statement about private docks to all the candidates in the 2014 Municipal Election.
We provided each candidate with a form: three yes/no questions and space for a comment. We followed up with calls and emails to anyone who may have missed our first request, to invite their input, and we extended our deadline to give every opportunity to participate. To date, ten of the fourteen candidates have responded on this topic to the over 1300 people who petitioned for a stop to the docks at Cape Roger Curtis. Four candidates (Tim Rhodes, Alison Morse, Marcus Freeman & Michael Kaile) decided not to state their positions, though they are welcome to add their voices whenever they wish.
The questions were:
1. Do you support the future construction of private docks on public beaches at Cape Roger Curtis?
2. Do you support the future construction of private docks on Bowen Island’s public beaches?
3. How would you rate the priority of proceeding with Phase 2 of the Bowen dock bylaw?
4. Please provide a brief statement to reflect your position on the issue of private docks on Bowen Island.
To questions 1 and 2, all but one of the respondents answered ‘No’. Each provided their own take on the importance of the subject to them and/or the direction they would take. Among those who stated a priority level, the average priority was 8/10.
The survey provides insight into the thinking and responsiveness that potential council members may bring to future decisions pertaining to the natural and social environment of our island home. In an election with so many excellent potential candidates and one of the highest participation rates in our democracy, we’re very optimistic that a balanced Council will emerge with the resolve to protect our public beaches.
Another Dock Application is in process at Cape Roger Curtis
Council adopted the first phase of a new docks bylaw on November 25, 2013. Unfortunately, the new bylaw fails to achieve protection for the Cape Roger Curtis shoreline and Bowen’s other public beaches. Many other Vancouver Metro municipalities have stopped accepting large docks. But here, an eighth dock application is actively under review at Lot 17 at the Cape. This makes the docks bylaw a top priority.
Concerned citizens need to submit comments by December 4th.
W E ‘ R E I N I T T O W I N I T – H A P P Y V O T I N G !