‘You live in Granthams Landing and are a member of the GWA, Granthams Wharf Association, aren’t you?’ Camp said when I stripped of my winter coat and sat down, at our usual place in our own local watering hole which is awfully quiet these days.
‘Yes, we are. You probably want to know what I think about the lodge proposal at the old Granthams post-office site. I’m in full support of the present owners and their plans. They are doing a fantastic job in renovating the historic building and improving the parking and access to the wharf.’
‘I thought you’d say that,’ Camp said, nodding. ‘Of course, there is a vocal opposition, claiming that the proposed lodge with 5 short term rental apartments, will forever change the character of the community as well as endanger and impact the lives of the present residents.’
‘The usual luddites,’ I said with a dismissive wave of my hand. ‘They don’t want any change and never have any solutions, just opinions and innuendos. It’s not their money that’s at stake here. I think the present owners are doing a fine job in improving the historic property, which was a teardown until they undertook the expensive task of renovating it.’
‘The ‘luddites’, as you call them, complain about inadequate parking and increased traffic of ‘strangers’, impeding access and disturbing the peace and tranquility of the residents.’
‘Of course, they are,’ I said. ‘Except parking will be more than doubled and the owners are doing everything by the book and are very approachable. They want to work with the community and have presented their plans to the Granthams Wharf Association and the public.’
‘I see, you’re rather passionate about this,’ Camp said. ‘It reminds me of The George development where a small vocal opposition, the so-called Gibsons Alliance of Business and Community Society, was able to stop the project by dragging the developers through lengthy court battles, which the plaintiffs all lost. But they were able to delay and obfuscate, nourish false rumours and sway public opinion and then came the virus. Now the abandoned site is a messy lot, stripped of all the trees and surrounded by an unsightly construction fence. Right in the center of the harbour. So much better than the proposed hotel and condo project?’
‘It’s always the same story Camp. A few uptight citizens, who have no skin in the game, are opposed to any change in their neighborhood and want their views enforced, despite local elections, which do not support their point of view as was the case with The George,’ I said.
‘It’s refreshing talking about something local instead of the pandemic,’ Camp said. ‘The other good news is that Biden terminated much of Trump’s legacy with a rash of executive orders, but like sandcastles they can be wiped out again in four years. The bad news are the politicised vaccine rollout stumbles.’
‘Considering the gigantic logistics of this endeavour, it’s no surprise that there are initial hick-ups and delays. Blame the politicians and their promises,’ I said.
‘We are lucky here in BC because our politicians have gotten out of the way and Bonnie Henry and her team have never really deviated from their plan. Be kind, be calm, be safe and be vigilant and thoughtful.’
‘As time goes on and frustrations mount, politicians will always defer blame like to travellers,’ I said. ‘In Switzerland they regulate entry from low to high-risk countries and you can cancel quarantine by taking a test after arrival.’
‘Sounds like the common-sense approach,’ Camp said.
‘I heard you talking about the Granthams Wharf,’ Vicky said when she exchanged our empties for two full ones.
‘Do you think turning the old post office building into a lodge with 5 suites is a good idea?’ I asked her.
She steadied the tray with our empties and thought about it. ‘I think it’s a good way to preserve the building and bring some life back to what used to be a major hub in the community: first a steamship dock, then the post-office, now a small lodge. It’s progress. Why not?’