Letter to the Editor: Economic Development in Kimberley

It was with great interest that I read Mr. McRae's article in the Bulletin (Thursday Oct 17) …

It was with great interest that I read Mr. McRae’s article in the Bulletin (Thursday Oct 17), in which he dismissed the idea of an economic development idea based on what appears to be nothing more than his own opinion. Although a prison may not be on everyone’s top ten list of economic development ideas, it and all ideas should at the very least be open for discussion.

Do we immediately say no to potential opportunity that can offer a massive boost to our local economy simply because Mr. McRae doesn’t like the idea? Unfortunately we really don’t know what the community thinks. We have not offered an open and free opportunity for anyone to weigh-in on the idea. There has been no opportunity for council to vet the idea. What do we say to members of the community that see a potential large construction project as opportunity? What do we say to citizens who think the possibility of an influx of a few hundred families to the community as a good thing? What do we say to upwards of 15 million dollars injected into the local economy annually… no thanks we are sitting back with our feet up on the desk waiting for “non geographic dependent businesses” to come calling?

As an elected representative I feel it’s not so important what I think, but critical to what the community thinks. Its insulting to citizens that I or any other elected official can determine “emphatically” what will be endorsed (or not) without asking.

If this is a dead duck Mr. McRae, then please tell me what great non-location dependent businesses are in the works. What have you been working on? Our community (like others) is faced with (to many) jobs that are chronically low paying, in addition we are also facing serious infrastructure sustainability issues that will cost in the order of tens of millions of dollars over many years to deal with. Maybe we can organize a lollypop parade and take donations to help pay for all this, eh?

Many thanks to Don McCormick for showing amazing energy, true leadership, phenomenal networking and communication ability, and above all raw guts to leave no economic opportunity stone unturned. Good for you Don McCormick, keep up the “Great” work!

Darryl Oakley/Kimberley