Time for Change

Of dogs, and drinking, and swearing, and fighting, and cigarettes, and a CRD UnDirector.

Over the past 2 1/2 years our federal, provincial, Capital Regional District and Island Health government bodies managed to enforce/impose a wide range of regulatory actions against us “for our safety.”

Locally, the Capital Regional District enforced the wearing of masks outdoors in the Saturday Market at Centennial Park and everyone was threatened with fines if they didn’t comply. CRD Bylaw Enforcement officers patrolled the market on a Saturday ensuring the rules were being complied with…on a Saturday….at an event the CRD profited from.

Meanwhile, as continues to today, during the rest of the week, the CRD turned a blind eye to the drinking, smoking, daily loud shouting of obscenities, open drug dealing, fighting and dogs running wild in Centennial Park. This week I saw an uncontrolled large dog attack a small dog ON A LEASH, in the adjacent parking lot. There was also a very violent, drunken, physical assault that sent one person to the hospital and another to jail.

Further, the CRD has a bylaw prohibiting “unsightly premises.” Unsightly premises like the waterfront gazebo they own which has been in a constant state of deterioration over the past decade….to the point where the graffiti riddled, rotten structure has been an eyesore and public disgrace in the neighbourhood for over 5 years now.

Do they consider writing themselves an unsightly premise ticket? Do they consider actually spending the few thousand dollars, which are already budgeted, to repair it before it falls into the ocean?

Well, they may “consider” it but they sure in the Hell don’t do anything about it.

The CRD steadfastly refuses to enforce their own bylaws (even against itself) which prohibit all of the above actions.

This October we need to elect a CRD Director who actually lives full time on Salt Spring, and cares enough about Salt Spring to take the proverbial bull by the horns and clean up the park. Its completely obvious at this point that the bureaucrats in charge are incapable, and, are not receiving sufficient direction from the career politician whose job it is to give them direction. “Make it so” isn’t just a saying limited to Captain Picard’s power at the helm.

The completion of the 34 year old, 1988 boardwalk project, remains stalled after having been made a priority by CRD PARC and then removed as a priority last fall. It lies in Limbo….slowly rotting.

Our current CRD Director wants us to give him a Local Community Commission. I say screw his LCC until such time as he can show us why on Earth we would give him any more bureaucracy or power, by actually using existing regulations to achieve what the existing regulations were designed to achieve, and which were enacted into law to achieve those goals.

The mechanism is simple, and, I understand the CRD have already provided the RCMP with the power to BANISH from any park on Salt Spring, ANYONE they find is breaking the bylaws of the park through the use of the Trespass Act. Why then aren’t they directing the RCMP to enforce the bylaws?

Over a year ago I sent the CRD Director a simple, proposed draft of an amendment to the Animal Control Bylaw for Salt Spring Island, which would see all dogs in the greater Ganges Area required to be on a leash. https://islandstrust.wordpress.com/2021/01/05/proposed-salt-spring-island-animal-control-leash-law-amendment/

To this day he has not bothered to bring it forward for consideration. Dogs are dogs, and, unless they are on a leash, they are not under full control. I have witnessed dozens of dog fights in the park over the past 6 years, some leading to major injuries to the losers. Children are scared when they witness them as well.

So, bottom line….This October please vote in someone who will firmly pledge to clean up the park…and please, don’t get me wrong. I think it would be great to be able to drink RESPONSIBLY in the park. I think it would be great to have your dog on a leash RESPONSIBLY in the park. I even think having a designated smoking area in the park would be acceptable.

I just think its time for the wild west park life to end. It was never like this 10 years ago. Why is the CRD allowing it now?

And one final CRD bitch…Two years ago, after cleaning up hundreds of cigarette butts off the park lawn, planters, and sidewalks, I installed 4 large cigarette ashtrays to encourage their use. Those ashtrays were well used…right up to the point where the CRD removed them out of the park, I assume on the orders from the head bureaucrats running the show.

Last year John Fraser and I manufactured and put up 5 more around Ganges. Made out of recycled propane tanks, painted and decaled to be attractive, we are happy to report they have been working as intended.

Last week I went around and cleaned them out. This is what 1 years worth of cigarette butts, that would have been left on the streets of Ganges, or washed into Ganges Harbour, looks like:

Now ask yourself how many more would there have been collected in the 4 ashtrays in Centennial Park during the same time if the brainiacs at CRD hadn’t removed them?

I’m done politely asking (as if that wasn’t abundently clear by now) for the CRD to act like the local government it is pretending to be.

This October, please choose wisely….then demand action on their election promises.

Its time to elect someone who will “make it so,” not “let it go.”