Wally Vowels’ protected wildlife corridor will also preserve some old growth trees in the midst of a housing development. (Tim Collins/Sooke News Mirror)

EDITORIAL: Take a page from Wally Vowel’s book on development

It’s horrifying that we have to fight our own governments to help save our environment

There is a puzzling dichotomy that arises when Vancouver Islanders consider the inter-relationship between development and the preservation of the natural beauty that surrounds us.

We espouse a love of nature, yet rush to buy homes in developments built on lands that were once home to the very creatures that were the foundations of that natural world.

And when wildlife finds that their millennia-old foraging and hunting grounds have disappeared, and make the mistake of venturing onto the manicured lawns and fenced properties that now inhabit their homes, we see them as pests and rush to have them removed.

That’s why the initiatives of some developers like Sooke’s Wally Vowels are so refreshing. Like Wally, some are beginning to realize that economic growth and environmental protection do not have to be at odds. They can co-exist so long as those developers take a longer-term view of the world, eschewing maximum profit with a more reasoned consideration of the world around them.

Like Wally, a few are accepting and even initiating covenants that will protect wildlife, preserve salmon streams, and create a new paradigm for development.

But it’s time for the governing authorities to catch up.

When Vowels moved to dedicate more than 20 per cent of the land in his latest development to a wildlife corridor, the Capital Regional District completely missed the point by suggesting that it would be a dandy place for hiking trails. (Shaking our heads and slapping our foreheads here.)

And when Vowels pointed out that human activity was not what wildlife corridors were all about, he was hit with a $27,000 bill for his efforts.

It’s horrifying that we have to fight our own governments to help save our environment.

Instead of penalizing developers for doing the right thing, it’s time for our elected representatives to try the same thought exercise that Vowels has described.

They need to take a deep breath and, before making the next decision on development, they need to consider what the impact of their decision will be in 50, 100, or 200 years from today.

Better yet, they need to perform that thought experiment while walking on a seashore, or in the mountains or just in a quiet forest.

And if they need a little help, they should call Vowels. We hear that he knows some wonderful locations that would fit the bill.

Just Posted

Giant metal dragon settles into Saanich

Artist Dan Iochelli spent seven years working on beast, seeks name, permanent home

Aboriginal Care Pharmacist helps Penelakut members achieve control over their own health

Jesse Inkster is passionate about helping people to understand their medications

COLUMN: Halloween shouldn’t be a purity test

We don’t need to turn zombies into zucchinis, this holiday is a time of pretending and fun

Casting call for Big Brother Canada happens in downtown Victoria

Auditions are Friday afternoon at Darcy’s Pub from 4 to 7 p.m.

Greens want climate protection added to international trade agreements

Green Party leader Elizabeth May campaigns in Nanaimo-Ladysmith

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Judge orders credit union’s bank records for Kelowna social worker facing theft allegations

The man is accused of negligence, breach of contract, fraud and a conspiracy with Interior Savings

Leaders pour it on with rallies, boosts for candidates as campaign reaches peak

The federal election campaign has reached a crescendo

Allegations of racism lead to ministry investigation at Vancouver private school

St. George’s School was contacted over school describes as ‘deeply offensive behaviour online’

Not a political question: Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta

Edmonton police estimated the size of the crowd at about 4,000

18-year-old man stabbed near Langford bus exchange

The West Shore RCMP is looking for witnesses to the Oct. 11 incident

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

Proposed student air travel student ban has them arguing in Parksville

Some Qualicum district students believe motion takes away too much from experience at school

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Most Read