The announcement that Sino Bright School has backed out on the proposal to purchase 10 acres of land below Brooks Secondary School should be considered a positive development at this time [“Sino Bright School withdraws from land deal in Powell River,” March 15].
Instead of addressing real concerns by some residents about this project, charges of "racism" have been levelled at those who opposed it by the mayor, Powell River Waterfront Development Corporation Wayne Brewer and some members of the council. The lack of transparency about this project going back several years has far more to do with local opposition than the perceived racist comments of a few.
Brewer is quoted to have said, "Sino Bright is a clean pillar of economic activity and revitalization, how can we be opposed to that?”
It's quite simple, few residents believe the purchase of 10 acres of waterfront land for $300,000 is a fair market price for publicly owned land within the city limits, land that must be rezoned for residential use in order to build student housing.
The much touted $10 million of expected annual economic activity for Powell River isn't backed with verifiable data, so it is not believable at this time. As an offshore education business, will it receive school “tax-free” status? How does that benefit Powell River's tax base?
Do the taxpayers, present students at Brooks, their parents and all teachers generally feel that adding 400 additional students to share classrooms and facilities at Brooks will be a positive learning experience? We only have the assurances of the proponents of this project that it will be the case.
Our elected officials and the local school district should take this opportunity to actually prove to the residents of Powell River that the Sino Bright project is financially worthwhile.
Answering truthfully and completely the questions residents have about this project will go a lot further than playing the blame game.