LETTERS: Succumbing to pressure

LETTERS: Succumbing to pressure

Editor: Re: Voters didn’t agree with philosophy: Lawrence, Oct. 26.

Editor:

Re: Voters didn’t agree with philosophy: Lawrence, Oct. 26.

First, I’d like to thank incumbent candidate Bill Lawrence for his courtesy in responding thoughtfully to PAN and its readership with his analysis of the municipal election.

Doing so shows a strength of character which is not always exhibited, especially in defeat.

But I must say that, personally, I do not think the ‘development’ currently underway in White Rock was too much too quickly for our residents; it is simply wrong for our city.

Take the ‘rejuvenation’ of Johnston Road. This is a misnomer since killing what has been there for decades and replacing it with something else that, in my opinion, does not belong is not rejuvenation.

To be fair to the White Rock Coalition, they succumbed to the view prevalent throughout the Lower Mainland and, indeed, in many centres around the world, that we could build our way out of the housing crisis, thereby solving our homelessness problem by making homes affordable for all.

Unsurprisingly, developers and Realtors alike have constantly trumpeted the mantra of “more product” as the silver bullet. Unsurprisingly? Follow the money, as they say. Unfortunately, councils throughout the Lower Mainland and beyond have danced to their tune.

Theoretically, laws of supply and demand dictate that more product would reduce the cost of housing; however, in this case, it is the supply of global capital that is dictating prices, not the supply of housing. In the words of Bob Dylan, “Money doesn’t talk; it swears.” And it appears that many of us are just now hearing this particular profanity.

In the late 1970s, futurist Alvin Toffler coined the phrase, “Think globally, and act locally.” Since that time, we have acted globally without thinking locally. The power of global capital, global corporations and global “free trade” deals have been widely accepted as inevitable forces that will define our future.

In the early 20th century, when corporations grew beyond the size of states and provinces, national governments were strengthened to provide a democratic counterbalance to these undemocratic political and financial forces. Now that these behemoths have grown larger than many countries, we have no such international organization to bring them under democratic control.

What we do have are municipal governments, our most direct democratic institutions, through which we can determine the shape and substance of our communities if we take up this challenge. It is time to broaden our perspective to include the wide range and strengths of human values that go far beyond the limitations of finance, particularly global finance.

Global pressures are inevitable, but succumbing to them is not. Of course, with any decision there are costs and benefits, but we should determine what is best for us as a community. Whether we won or lost in the last election, hopefully, we will take this away from the process.

Stephen Crozier, White Rock

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