(Sent to the Alberni Valley News May 8 2023 – Published on May 24)
I was born in Beaver Creek and now live within City limits. I believe the residents of this place we all call Port Alberni are being poorly served by their democratic systems. Sproat Lake residents worry a major development will ruin their area but they have just one Director, one vote, and little influence over a split ACRD Board. Cherry Creek is up in arms over changes to Bylaws but again, they have just one Director. The Director for Beaver Creek is sceptical of the new Pool but her residents have little opportunity to influence the process. They all have no influence on the City while the City wields their heavily weighted ACRD votes. Perhaps it’s time rural residents throw their weight around in the City?
It is almost impossible for these separate areas and their constituents to cause large change in governance at the ACRD. We would all be better served if residents of the Valley’s regions could vote for six councillors, and a Mayor, and hold all of them accountable. We have seen City issues be influenced by a committed group of voters. One thousand rural votes is certainly enough to sway the election of a Mayor or many Councillors. Many City voters (including this one) also care deeply about the preservation of Sproat Lake’s beauty, or the viability of local food production, and can and should be allies with rural residents.
Perhaps the answer to all this division is unity as one Port Alberni where we are all involved and we have a government that is truly accountable to all of us.
3854 6th Avenue