LETTER: Mission has been a divided community for years

Residents need to realize their role in helping develop the community

Councillors Tony Luck and Jeff Jewell alluded to inaction by our former MLA Randy Hawes being missing in action, which is essentially a reflection of performance while in office.

Mission has been a divisive community for years, lacking innovation and visionary development, particularly of major projects like downtown/waterfront.

Hawes was instrumental in the formation of the Citizens for Responsible Municipal Government slate until a difference of opinion witnessed his departure. Now, he appears back on the political horizon and the politicking emerges.

Mission sits as a divided community. A consultant described Mission as rife with “silos,” a byproduct of political rule for many years which stifled visionary or new progress, such as downtown truck traffic and the foolhardy notion to not progress with a bypass.

We reached 30 per cent voter turnout at the last election, so 70 per cent were apathetic and indifferent, another factor supporting the divisive nature, perpetuated by self-interest.

Examples abound, such as a lack of funding for the Fraser Valley Humane Society and overpopulation of cats. Also, Mission is one of the few communities without an independent seniors’ activity centre.

So, listening to Hawes try to justify his ideas and continued negativity as expressed, in part, in his rebuttal to Couns. Luck and Jewell is, in my opinion, lacking the awareness, vision and innovation needed to continue getting Mission on the pathway to prosperity for all.

Failures downtown cannot be explained, as tried by Hawes, by red herrings of Ministry traffic engineers not agreeing, or need for costly multi-tier parking downtown. He further exacerbates his lack of insight claiming “problem solved” with cessation eventually of Ruskin Dam truck traffic. This truck traffic, existed back to 1992 and has worsened over the years.

The impressive plan for downtown evolved from some public input and leaders’ direction that needs to be continued carefully and not integrated into a referendum which would be a further stall tactic.

Residents need to do some soul-searching and introspection to realize their role in the development of an inclusive community and not perpetuate self-interests. Thus, in part, to achieve this goal, we need innovative and visionary leadership, we need inspired and adept leaders who will inspire the masses and in time Mission will become the desired inclusive, caring, compassionate and progressive community it can be.

George F. Evens