This was submitted to LynnValleyLife by Dan Ellis; it is a copy of his recent submission to North Vancouver District Council.
I’m the Chair of the Official Community Plan Implementation Committee, who are 15 citizens appointed by Council to “watchdog” the process.
But I’m speaking tonight as a Lynn Valley resident of 34 years; not on behalf of the OCP Committee.
Change can be seen as opportunity or threat. A threat to our sense of community means a threat to ourselves, so we can get really emotional. I get that.
But I want to register my dismay that some of my neighbours feel it’s OK to:
- proclaim that one point of view represents everyone – there are 7,500 households in Lynn Valley.
- intimidate residents who’ve said they felt bullied to sign petitions.
- largely block the doorways to public consultation meetings.
- interfere with public meeting attendees – disrespecting their right to self-educate and decide for themselves.
- tell attendees that input to public consultation surveys will be ignored by DNV.
- threaten to disrupt Council and staff from conducting their daily business at the Hall.
- spread other mis-information.
The folks doing this are mostly in my age group. But isn’t planning supposed to be about the needs of children and grandchildren, as well as for ourselves in coming years? Frankly I am ashamed at the tactics being used by some folks who, while understandably upset by the prospect of change, are in large measure uninformed about why the OCP says what it does, and weren’t among the thousands who participated from 2009 – 2011.
Emotion should be respected, but it won’t always get to the best solution. Perhaps it might be helpful if folks in Lynn Valley read the 2011 OCP, ask a lot of questions, and think for themselves before exercising their rights to use political pressure tactics and protest. What I see is that Council and staff really are listening – so you don’t have to yell.