Turning their backs on a guiding vision

Last Monday (Dec. 10), city council aborted a year-long program helping Abbotsford develop a sustainable future. The project, in its final draft stages, and after many studies and community consultations with business, industry, agriculture, and hundreds of citizen participants, was funded with grants that we will now be required to return out of taxpayers’ pockets. We may also lose millions in provincial gas tax credits accessible only to communities that have sustainability policies in place.

That council, after many years of acknowledging the importance of integrated planning, and after developing an official community plan reflecting the values inherent in sustainable principles, would turn its back on a supporting and guiding vision is simply unbelievable.

We are only beginning to understand that environmental health is just as important, just as fragile, in fact, interconnected to social and economic health. We can only make progress toward a truly sustainable future Abbotsford when we learn how to grow our city and economy without destroying our natural capital (our air, water, soil, forests) and our natural environment.

With very little cost to our city, we could have acquired a valuable instruction manual to help encourage us toward a prosperous, healthy future, setting an example for other communities in the Fraser Valley and beyond. I can only hope council made this decision without enough consultation. I can only hope they will reconsider.

John Vissers

Editor's note: City council reversed its decision on the matter, and has now brought the Community Sustainability Planning Initiative back for consideration.

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Clark on climate, clawbacks, credit cards
COLUMN: ‘Everyone pays’ seems fair to me
COLUMN: My ‘needs’ pale by the need of others
UPDATE: Avian influenza confirmed at ninth Fraser Valley farm
Crews called to crash on Sumas Way
New medical pot regime beset by complaints
Home mail delivery to stop in Abbotsford city centre
Canada faces long conflicts in Iraq/Ukraine
Large tree taken down in 7 hours

Community Events, December 2014

Add an Event

Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Dec 19 edition online now. Browse the archives.