Ideas appear to be at odds

Calling to make the area the Fraser Valley's walking capital doesn't mesh with repealing drive-thru ban

Editor, The Record:

It was more than a little surreal to see in the May 10 Mission Record two separate reports featuring musings by our mayor. One dealing with the notion of ending the district moratorium on drive-thru operations in commercial enterprises, and the second a call specifically by the mayor, outlining a strategy to make the District of Mission healthier by encouraging walking trail development and eco-tourism expansion.

I can’t imagine that I am the only Mission resident to find these two ideas to be quite at odds with each other.

I fully support the notion of encouraging Mission as an eco-tourist destination. I walk in Mission almost every day. I am also an asthma sufferer, and my condition is significantly affected by the quality of the air I breathe.

Discontinuing drive-thru business, with the accompanying engine idling and emissions, may be only a small part of the air quality picture, but continuing the moratorium certainly would be consistent with an overall strategy of healthier living and with encouraging a reputation of Mission being an eco-friendly area.

If I were to bet on the economic benefits of encouraging eco-tourism over the benefits of encouraging drive thru services, my bet would be that the former represents a much more significant economic flow into the community than the latter. Perhaps the subject ought to be systematically studied.

We know that air shed quality is a major interest for Fraser Valley residents. One need only look to the resistance there was in the power plant at Sumas and to current plans by Metro Vancouver to incinerate trash. Our case in resisting such polluting undertakings looks quite disingenuous in the face of ideas such as allowing more drive thru operations, and I might add, the ongoing permissions for open burning some parts of the District of Mission.

I will conclude with the mayor’s apparent assertion that automobile emissions are no longer an issue because most people have gotten rid of their gas guzzlers. This makes me wonder if the mayor lives in a different Mission than the one in which I live? Or perhaps he doesn’t walk round the streets of Mission as often as I do.

Don Chapman

Mission