Wednesday, January 2, 2008


I notice that politicians and realtors can't seem to utter a sentence without using buzzwords like "vibrant" and "diverse" in flattering the towns they hope will support them. MLA Claire Trevena and Cortes Regional District Rep Jenny Hiebert use those words liberally in their newsletters. Even the Mayor of Melbourne, Australia was describing his city in those terms. Yes, everything is vibrant, diverse, inclusive and sustainable these days, isn’t it? It’s a one big happy Walt Disney world.

Well, once I lived in a community that was tranquil, serene and peaceful. Doors were unlocked, there was no crime to speak of and children walked to school unescorted. Then came growth. Just what realtors and politicians love. Realtors had more sales and the politicians had more tax revenue. Though no one ever pointed out that infrastructure costs outstripped that revenue.

Growth brought no only more traffic congestion, and pollution, it brought bikers, drug dealers, addicts, criminals, transients and boom boxes. My quiet community became "vibrant" and "diverse".

It is a funny thing, but almost every "old timer" I talk to preferred the town they knew 50 years ago to the one that planners and developers have forced down their throats today. I guess if you got into a time machine and visited Campbell River in 1960 you might find it rather "dull" , but I bet you could leave your car unlocked on the main street, and the drug problem was much less of an issue. And yes, there were a lot more fish and every kind of wildlife then too.

As a marketing tip I would suggest you drop the emphasis on vibrancy. An increasing proportion of homebuyers will consist of cantankerous old retired bastards like me, typically from Alberta, who simply seek sanctuary from the bustle and mayhem of demographic upheaval. I would speak of Campbell River and the Discovery Islands in terms of an "escape" from vibrancy. If the pulsating city life of Vancouver, Calgary or Edmonton is what we really like, then why would we come here?

"Growth is the ideology of the cancer cell". (Paul Ehrlich)

Tim Murray


Quadra Island

thanks to latest OCP revisions

PS As the saying goes, if you don’t like my principles, I’ll find other ones that suit you. I will customize my writing to fit the ideology of the ruling clique on Quadra Island or the flakes who support them. To serve that market I am currently writing a socially engineered, politically correct, gender-neutral, culturally inclusive set of stories about enlightened First Nations children and their same-sex parents impacting positively on the environment through co-operative, non-confrontational social interaction. In Standard English: bullshit. But it’s the only thing of mine New Society Publishers will print.

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