It is good to hear a local politician waxing poetic about the days of a vibrant local industry in the Comox Valley. Unfortunately, those days are long gone, and we have now become a bedroom community for the newly minted house-rich refugees of the Lower Mainland.
“Industrial Zoning” has become a stigmatized curse word among our local City Councils, conjuring visions of mine site tailing ponds and toxic run off; a smart politician would scarcely think to utter the phrase for fear of retribution on Election Day. Instead they seek to “beautify” and “gentrify”; a frontage tax on industrial lots to get some lipstick on the entrance to Cumberland, or more stringent fencing regulations on yet another mini-storage facility whose existence has become an eyesore in Comox.
This is the industry the politicians want; industry that is free from contentious debate, or firm commitment.
When the baby-boomer driven building bubble busts and they move off to greener golf courses, will we have created a sustainable community with well paying, long term, and sustainable jobs or will they go bust with it?
As we bid farewell to one of the last waterfront industrial lots in the Comox Valley, we need to have a good hard look at the future. We are a community with a rich history of innovation, hard work and industry. Are we okay with taking more than we contribute?