OUR VIEW: Park plan needs bigger picture

It looks like there’s a no-win situation brewing over the future of Island View Beach Regional Park

It looks like there’s a no-win situation brewing over the future of Island View Beach Regional Park, as a small group of residents clash with the Capital Regional District over what’s best for the land.

And the situation is being created by the stubborn positions being taken up by both sides and the rhetoric thrown back and forth — instead of respectful debate that could actually breach the gap of misunderstanding between the two parties.

Mark Hawkes of Citizen Canine is correct when he says the residents and CRD must talk with each other, instead of talking about each other. Only then can progress be made.

It’s getting to that point of realization that’s the tough part after taking up belligerent positions on the issue.

There’s a balance here that must be struck, as it would over any park space that yearns to be as close to natural as possible — but is so close to urban populations that they cannot be ignored.

From the debate outlined on today’s front page, it seems all sides have valid perspectives on what came before on the land that is now called Island View Beach. It was, at one time, all natural. It was, at one time, home to First Nations. It was, at one time, agricultural land. It is, today, a park operated by the CRD with its responsibilities to the public and to its own bottom line.

From out of all of that history and current activity, there must be a balance point, where all interests are represented. After all, people aren’t going to vanish from around the park and the land probably isn’t going to revert back to any purely natural form. Whatever plan eventually comes out of the CRD will not please everyone, but hopefully it will address the major concerns around human activity in and around the park.

Most people simply enjoy the area for its recreational opportunities and as long as this battle doesn’t impact that, the debate will be confined to the minutiae of planning, which generally interest very few.

It’s time both sides address the bigger picture and work on a plan that lives up to that mission.

 

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