LETTERS: Clean-up bill always left with community, taxpayers


I owe an apology. I thought for many years, that the band “Crash Test Dummies” was Australian. I learned a few years back that they are Canadian, with some Irish influence, and I was thrilled to get the chance to see them at the beach.

It was a brilliant evening with music, happy people and nice weather. It was well organized, and thanks to the many volunteers, who are making a great and unselfish effort to help the local community rebuild its main asset. The perpetual mentioning of sponsors, mainly the usual suspects making profits on our money, and the lack of closing of Marine Drive, which enables drivers of beefed up mopeds to disrupt nice sound pictures, annoys probably only me.

I wonder, however, how the story about the pier being smashed by stray sailboats has been spun into a story giving the blame to a violent storm. Without the boats tearing loose and ramming the pier relentlessly until it broke, there would have been no damage. I still have the pictures in my mind’s eye and on my phone.

Nobody suggests, it was not an accident, but lack of due diligence and reluctance to spend resources on proper mooring for the boats caused the destruction, and that responsibility ought to be carried.

When we walk the exposed beach at low-tide, we still find debris from the boats. Cables, glass fibre, plastic and other polluting bits and pieces can be picked up. That is the secondary damage nobody worries about, because it does not damage the businesses on the beach.

Compared to the destruction and pollution of oceans, and in lakes and rivers around the world, the pier and the beach in White Rock is hardly an itch. One thing all of them have in common, though, is that the polluter or the one responsible for damages is never held responsible.

The bill for cleaning up and repairing is always left with the local communities and taxpayers.

Soon the reconstruction of the pier will be finished, and we should be happy for the swift response to a real problem for the city, and thrilled by the fact our community is affluent enough to get the job done.

Ole Nygaard, White Rock

Editor’s note: Lower Mainland Yacht Co-op told PAN last January that they felt they were unfairly shouldering the blame for the broken pier, explaining that the float to the west of the pier came loose and carried the sailboats to the pier.

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