With Growth Comes Discontent and Disillusion
Last week, the Times Colonist reported that Nanaimo was the fastest growing city on Vancouver Island, with a population that has surged to over 115,000 people. Does Nanaimo feel like it has grown this past year? New population estimates show several Vancouver Island communities are growing faster than Greater Victoria, but face comparable demographic realities. The Nanaimo Census Area (CA) recorded 115,743 people as of July 1, 2019, up two per cent compared to the same date in 2018. By contrast, Greater Victoria grew 1.5 per cent. But like Greater Victoria, the area would be shrinking were it not for international migrants, as well as residents from other parts of British Columbia or Canada. However, a city must have a strategic plan in place to manage this growth and ensure that development and the needs of the community are being met. When this fails to happen, residents become discontent with what they actually get from their City, what they think their rights are, or the perceived lack of respect and concern about what their City’s actions (or inactions) are doing to others’ rights.
This week, the headlines have been full of reports of protestors opposing the LNG pipeline and trying to tie in the Indigenous rights to further strengthen their argument, whilst using what seems to be using some professional protestors to carry their message of discontent. They appear to me to have their own agenda and label it with something else to garner wider spread acceptance of their message. I understand that not all people who protest can be lumped into this, but I feel many are there for their 15 minutes of glory, picture on the news, name in print sort of thing. If you are being paid to protest, then really what is your real agenda? Ultimately, when you start to talk to hardworking business owners and see the direct impact the protests are having on their ability to operate and ensure employees have a job to come to, you see how disillusioned someone can become when they only see one side of the coin.
I spoke with a friend who runs a successful business that is being impacted because some of his products are stuck on a rail car right now. His suppliers are now trying to unload those rail cars by hand and load them onto trucks to drive across the country to try to get the goods to businesses. The businesses are trying to not layoff employees because their supplies are running short. These trucks run on gas and are now running back and forth across the country burning….yep, fossil fuels.
So many people who actually contribute to the economy are scared these days to even say anything because the loud voices of the special interest groups seem poised to rip you apart on social media and deem you a heartless racist who cares little about his common man or community. However, that is very often the farthest statement from the truth. Many of those who question the headlines seek the truth and want to foster a peaceful resolution to what ails our beautiful communities.
In my opinion, if we really wanted to help this country, we need to get with the program and ensure that our country’s growth and development is strategic, planned, and is in the best interests of its residents. This requires some “tough love”. This program, unfortunately, is also reliant on the basic understanding that change can be difficult and not everyone will ever agree that it is the right decision at the time. I think we need to have those hard, but necessary, honest discussions with each other, rather than simply labeling someone heartless because they disagree with how to address “red button” topics such as drug addiction, crime, protestor rights, or homelessness. We must be willing to speak our truth while listening with compassion to other sides. We also need to understand that our country of Canada is still fairly new and we are still working some things out, but that it does represent the values that represent democracy. As Lloyd Harvey used to say “this is just one mans opinion”.
Have a wonderful weekend and if you are wondering about the market or want to buy or sell, we would be honored to work with you to make your plans happen.
Brian & Myles
McCullough Marketing Services
RE/MAX of Nanaimo