Many Mission residents wanted chance to debate

Editor, The Record:

Wal-Mart is coming. No amount of sitting in front of bulldozers will change that now. A couple of hundred or so minimum wage jobs and $700,000 in property taxes have won the day.

All the same, I have questions. Knowing full well that a significant portion of us think this is a terrible idea, did anyone ever think to ask the community our opinion? At what level if any did permissions have to be granted, votes taken? Were decisions made on my behalf by public officials? Who is stepping up to take credit? Or are the people leaning on the shovels at the ground-breaking saying they had no influence on and no prior knowledge of the decision?

If an entrepreneur wanted to open up a perfectly legal but controversial business in Mission like a Hooters, does anyone doubt there would be plenty of advance notice and much public discussion beforehand? Well here we sat, waiting for the opportunity to present our case in democratic fashion and were denied. Maybe nobody was required to ask, but they should have. I feel bushwhacked. This is no way to build community.

Mission, we shouldn’t be bought off so cheaply. I may save $100 on my taxes, but I was ready to pay $200 additional to keep Wal-Mart out. Randy Hawes says the fact Mission folks shop at Wal-Mart in Abbotsford proves we want one here. By the same logic Mission folks also use MSA Hospital, which proves we want our own fully functioning hospital here, too.

James Atebe, my friend, not all of us agree this is a great day for Mission and would like to have had the chance to say so.

Cal Crawford, coming of age means exactly what? I guess we don’t have to be jealous of Abbotsford and Chilliwack any more, but many of us live here precisely because we’re NOT like other communities. If this is inevitable “progress” I would at least like the chance to debate it, even in a losing cause. The cost of not engaging is far higher than any benefit Wal-Mart could bring.

Martin Kelly


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