It’s sadly no surprise that Langford council has again dismissed the need to protect the natural areas that drew many of us here in the first place. Mayor Young and most of the council seem to subscribe to a long-outdated vision that emphasizes rapid development over a more balanced approach to growth that values the beautiful natural environment we were blessed with here.
Instead of blindly dismissing residents’ concerns about the loss of green space and trees, Mayor Young need only take a look around to see the truth. We have experienced years of environmental degradation to make way for new developments. Sustained and ongoing deforestation on a massive scale is causing a compounding range of problems, such as the spread of invasive species, deteriorating water quality and increased flooding around lakes and streams, soil erosion, and displacement of birds and wildlife.
There is no question city staff work hard, but they do so at the direction of and with the priorities set by council. Langford has weighted its committees heavily in favour of development for years. Their current approach to environmental and tree protection is reactive rather than proactive, only considering the preservation of natural areas late in the development process, if at all, or after petitions have been created by concerned residents.
It is way past time for a change. We need to bring some balance back to Langford. An environmental protection committee that is proactive in preventing harm to the remaining natural areas in Langford is the bare minimum.