I would like to propose a new agenda for Courtenay city council. Let’s focus our resources on building a vibrant city that attracts and supports businesses that can support our children and young families into the future.

Canada’s clean-tech industry grew faster than every other major sector of the economy in 2012, as reported by Analytica Advisors. While oil, mining and gas grew 0.3%, the clean-tech sector grew 9%. So how do we encourage entrepreneurs to come here?

The answer is the same reason we are all here… It’s a better place to live, work and play. We didn’t move here for bigger roads, bigger stores, or bigger houses. We came here for better air and water, better transportation, and better recreation. We came here for a better quality of life!

Currently, Courtenay council votes in favour of spending our tax dollars to develop urban sprawl. Urban sprawl has been proven to be detrimental to small business and creates a stagnant, unappealing, and isolating culture and city landscape. It also quickly destroys any beauty in its path, which in Courtenay’s case is it’s most precious resource.

If Courtenay want’s to attract new businesses, like Internet Technology business, or Renewable Energy business, or Agricultural/Food business, we need to focus on building a better city. We need:

  • Efficient and affordable transportation systems for people of all ages, including children and seniors.
  • Public spaces, such as squares, commons and pedestrian streets, where people can meet and support businesses.
  • Waste management systems that are sustainable, including composting, so we can delay, or even better avoid, creating a new, and very expensive, landfill in our valley.
  • Land zoning and bylaws that encourage infill development and more housing options, like carriage houses, granny flats, and in-law suites within walking distance of commercial centres.

It is time to plan for a future that will foster a better economy for families and small businesses alike. Let’s stop thinking bigger and start thinking better.

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