Last week’s uproar over letting an outside company move into Powell River to bottle water (our water? I hope not. Someone else’s water? Why bother?) tugged at me long into the first night I read about it. [“Water bottling motion in Powell River draws opposition,” June 12].
My suspicions flew like a murder of crows around my head. What seemed like no big deal was, potentially, a gateway proposition that would most certainly (or had secretly already) lead to the tapping of our own natural resources for foreign or outsider gain. And that irked me.
I’ve never been a political girl. As a rule, I’ll vote, but don’t enjoy politics. But having come back to my hometown nearly 10 years ago, all I hear about are the backdoor deals and questionable activities that have drawn the scrutiny of public sleuths and Facebook users alike. From the loop on ALR land to Sino Bright, foreign investor land deals, tax breaks to corporations and tax increases to local homeowners, cited lacks of transparency in budgeting and spending and more, it’s all made me question whether or not our councillors are actually working for us, as they are elected to do, or working for their own personal gain.
But circle back to the bottled water debate, and the apolitical crowd is starting to pay attention. People who believe in sustainability and environmental responsibility are crying out against the invitation of single-use plastics to a town that so heavily invested in the zero-waste initiative not that long ago. And the question still remains: Why on earth would a bottling plant move to Powell River, if not to take advantage of our sacred natural resources? It’s certainly not the cheap cost of transportation to get here.
The issue can be bottled down not to bottled water, but trust. With an obvious lack of transparency and too many closed-door deals to count, the residents of this fair city are finding it impossible to trust the people it elected to make the decisions.
Our outcry is for transparency, accountability and socioeconomic responsibility. Is it too much to ask?
Crista Whyte, Cranberry Street