Harbour should be front and centre

Don Harrison says the Ladysmith Harbour should be front and centre on the council agenda


For about six years, I have been nagging/cajoling/ urging/encouraging  our governing elected mayor and council to put the Ladysmith Harbour front and centre on the council agenda.

Invariably, I have been reminded that our harbour is horribly polluted, and all will be considered once the environmental study has been completed.

Well guess what? Our town manager gave me a CD which was originated at the conclusion of a very comprehensive environmental study by Golder Associates. However, the most interesting aspect of this report was that Golder completed its study and presented the report in 2005.

So for six years, the excuse of waiting for an environmental study does not  seem to be valid.

My grandfather would have said, “Looks like you have been hornswoggled, son.”

This study is very detailed and complete regarding what, where and whose pollution is in the Ladysmith Harbour. It details where the test holes were drilled, what was found as a result. It also details where and what foreign materials have been dumped and approximate volumes that would have to be removed.

Every industrial lessee from approximately 1898 has been listed and what pollution they created. The yearly lease amounts paid to the provincial government have also been listed, along with photocopies of documents.

So the most important unanswered question has to be why during the last six years has absolutely no progress towards a cleanup and development occurred?

The merchants in Ladysmith are struggling for their business lives to continue in our town. However, without some progress on the above, it is a futile effort.

Ladysmith must experience real effort in development towards being a destination point for marine traffic, as well as RV traffic. However, the merchants have got to finally realize there is just no way to compete with the malls in Duncan and Nanaimo, along with the two biggest Walmart stores in British Columbia. They will have to realize great changes must be made toward selling products and services not found anywhere else on Vancouver Island. Small example: Coombs.

They would be very well advised to jointly visit LaConnor or Leavenworth in Washington State to get some ideas what the merchants in these towns did to go from a ghost town to places where parking a car is almost impossible.

Don Harrison