Jordan River, Public Opinion

“The prime driver and the prime reason why we’ve been looking at doing this is the company has a high debt level and we still have a very high interest rate on that debt,” -Reynold Hert, TC. January 31, 2007

“Water is a major concern out here. There are very few places you can drill and find a good source of water.”- Maureen Nelson, Shirley Education and Action Society, GM, September 18, 2007

"When the minister decided to release these lands from the tree farm licence, he lost all control, and we knew we would start seeing the sale of these lands in one form or another. Now, it's just a private land transaction. There's no environmental review process that has to take place, there's no economic impact analysis, there's no worker adjustment strategy. You're going to have potential watershed impacts and viewscape impacts." -NDP forests critic Bob Simpson, TC, September 19, 2007

"Everyone probably will have his or her own specific reasons for fighting to save JR, Shirley or Jacob's Creek…so I don't know that we'll reach consensus on this issue. However that being said, the greater the number of folks who want to protect this area, the better…our cause will be joined by those protecting the forests, animal habitats and ecosystems, etc. Surfrider Victoria's specific mandate is to protect and conserve the ocean, beaches and waves (on Vancouver Island), so the piece we're fighting for includes those parts of JR. In the past we have lent support to other NGOs and have built some solid relationships with groups doing environmental work. We like to include ourselves in this greater community and the more we can protect and conserve, the better!" -Brooke Finlayson, MJRAPFP, September 28, 2007

"The Provincial Government needs to shake its collective head and make this a park so it is accessable to every one in the province, and does not turn into a commercial development with restricted access!! Mabey the Victoria Land Conservancy can rally and purchase this out door gem just like they did with the Sooke Potholes." -Beverly, MJRAPFP, October 2, 2008

"expansion and change are sadly in inevitable. I hope they responsibly use the land in a proactive way that respects the right of the locals, and the water sport community. The new owner should not be allowed to log and leave it or over build god ugly apartments. i hope it remains a park in its natural state … perhaps a few hot tubs, floating point bar and surf tow in rope would be nice." -Robert Lambert, MJRAPFP, October 3, 2007

"The area in question for development is larger than the Greater Victoria Regional District, something like 14,000 hectares. There are no roads, no water, no sewage. no nothing out there folks.
Guess who will pay the taxes to build the infrastructure that will benefit the billionaries buying these properties? You guessed right, the average BC taxpayer will.I thought our government and local municipalities cared about stopping urban sprawl, managing Southern Vancouver Islands water use, not destroying greenspace for the enjoyment of a select few. I guess not." -Anna Parkes, MJRAPFP, October 3, 2007

"Seeing as not a lot can be built anywhere near the water, the school and houses used to flood if the storms got bad enough, we need to make sure the public access to the beach and undeveloped areas is protected. It's inevitable that there will be some resortlike development but frankly the alternative is to go back to the clearcut that was there when I was a child. WFP has to either sell it or log it sucks but there it is. There's allready a ton of logging going on out there and developers can be placed under much stricter guidelines in regards to the environment. Clearcut or developed? as long as we can still get to beach and have a Shakie burger I'll take developers over loggers." -Sarah Ross, MJRAPFP, October 4, 2007

"As we encroach upon our surrounding environment, the forestry companies continue to see profits from selling off prime "real estate" from what was previously forested land. What is going to stop this? There are already developments going up on the north end of Jordan River, and I think it is dispicable! Maybe if we can propose a park here, then we will create a buffer that can slow down developers eyeing this land? The question is whether our gov't will respond to public outcrying." -Tom O., MJRAPFP, October 4, 2007

"This is going to become a huge trend on Vancouver Island. Developpers are buying up land like crazy, and no thought is going in to the development of this land at all. The forest companies (like all private land owners) are realizing that there is more profit in real estate than there is in forestry. When the forest companies manage for the forests, we all get to enjoy the land. Once it is sold to developpers…it is lost forever! Do you know how much land is owned by forest companies on Vancouver Island. A Whole Bunch. Bear Mountain is just the beginning." -Jacqui Beban, MJRAPFP, October 6, 2007

"That's f*in' bullst. I live in Sooke, and we can not let this happen to Jordan River! It's too gorgeous up there to have this kind of stuff go down. Do people not have a heart for this sh** anymore? That's the reason why I live in Sooke, to get away from sh** like that.. all this developing, and constructing, and destroying.. we need to get in their way, and stand our ground! Somebody post some photos so people can see what we're defending, please. I only have surfing ones with not so many shots of the environment around there." -Frazer Constable, MJRAPFP, October 10, 2007

"This really is something to be worried about- i've been lucky to surf in the states, australia and new zealand, and i can tell you one thing- surfing here is about 20x magical because there isn't a ton of f***ing developments parked in front of the beach!! Bondi beach, tweed heads, byron bay…all turning into wall to wall disasters. The gold coast is basically the best example I have of coastal developments parked right in front of the best breaks in the world. Can you imagine surfing up at jordan river when there's sewege, garbage, ppls dogs running around, boats everywhere, god knows what. Makes me cringe. Tofino is somewhat magical so people around the world because not only is the beach pristine…the forest around many of the beaches is still intact. Respect the beach : )" -Jessika CJ Stewart, MJRAPFP, October 10, 2007

"it makes me sad..this is one of many areas that does NOT need to be more populated or changed.. our Island isnt "like that"….PEACE to the Jordan river folk…." -Valerie Clark, MJRAPFP. October 13, 2007

"I think there is something a lot of people here are missing. I really don't think we should just be concentrating on JR. There is over 4 kms of coastline being put up on the chopping block. Like Keith Martin said. "Once you cut down that old growth, you can't glue it back together" Lets start taking it all into consideration." -Nicolaas Smith, MJRAPFP, October 14, 2007

"I worked in Jordan river. I'm a faller, but I love our beautiful Island and I think what your trying to do is great and support it fully. If enough people get together you can change things but it takes time now is the time to do it cause western is on strike and that can be used as an advantage.
The same thing happened up in clayquate sound and I think it's great." -Stu Vaughan, MJRAPFP, October 15, 2007

"I lived in JR for a couple years and never want to see it gone. although i do see some good points in logging areas, i also see that sometimes people go too far. Finding a way to preserve land in that area is vital!!!!!!!! some things you will never get back even if you plant more trees. why can't we have the next "cathedral grove"" -Stacey Anna-Marie Katzuk, MJRAPFP, October 17, 2007

"Just the developers hesitation when asked if he would preserve the areas in question that have been used freely by the public for generations should raise alarm.These lands belong to the people who live here and those who wish to visit and share in our wealth of beauty and wonder.I think that when you look at the mistakes that were made in the past by our forefathers that we would learn from them.Not continue them.These lands belong to the local and visiting users.Not the shareholders of a forestry company. This deal was rushed through so that the government can say that its a done deal and it would cost too much to undo.I saw some elected foghorn in the legislature pretty much yell that this was going to go ahead.Screw the protesters.I really wanted to go to the meeting last night and now im really dissapointed but im confined at home with contagious stage chicken pox…..but i say enough of the B.S. and a pox on the provincial government.Do what you have to do to right this wrong.NOW" -Rick Greenhough, Make Jordan River A Park Facebook Page, October 23, 2007

"The name of the game in business is: If you have an asset that contributes to your core business, you operate it. If it doesn't contribute it doesn't make sense to hang on to it." -Duncan Kerr, TC, October 24, 2007

"This should be public land. We have seen creeping privatization of all waterfront properties when they should be part of our shared commons. It also increases sprawl, transportation and contributes to climate change. Not what a government that really gets the seriousness of the problem would support. In fact, they would be purchasing the land to keep it in public hands in perpetuity." -Jane Sterk, BC Green Party leader, Make Jordan River A Park Facebook Page, October 25, 2007

“This is a highly significant area. The Sooke Hills is the beloved wilderness area of the Capital Regional District. The provincial government has screwed up royally on this … A hole is being punched into a significant area which is the pride and joy of the environmental movement." Ken Wu, TC, October 25, 2007

“[Coleman] could have required the establishment of new parks or lands to replace lost habitat and watershed protections or lands to use as part of the First Nations treaty process. He could have obtained compensation for the loss of sustainable forestry jobs from diminishing TFL lands. He could have removed the right of WFP to continue logging on Crown land." Ray Zimmerman, TC, October 25, 2007

"Unfortunatley this situation is not surprizing given our pathetic government. I am thrououghly disgusted and hope that the developer who bought the property knows that he should expect a intense fight from the people of Jordon River and all B.C. residents .. myself included. As this area should be public land." -Jessica, Make Jordan River a Park Facebook Page, October 26, 2007

"The union is very unhappy that the province allowed these lands to be released. The private lands in the [tree-farm licence] were part of the social contract to create jobs." -Brian Butler, second vice-president of Duncan Local 1-80 of the United Steelworkers, TC, October 27, 2008

"Thanks Western Forest Products… way to give back to the community and province. Sell land that historically does not belong to you to a developer. There needs to be legislation that protects nature. This is a pattern in all of BC. Way to mobilize!" -Erin Brett, Make Jordan River a Park Facebook Page, October 29, 2007

"Mr. Ilkay, what you and your ilk fail to realize, is that this land belongs to ALL of US. You want to purchase develop and privatize paradise, knowing well it was contentious turf…what arrogance! What hubris!I already hear the silencing siren song being sung in the local rag…
The propaganda is to push the idea that the dirty deal's already done, that WFP is practically a tradition, development is good blah, blah blah. Are we returning to bleak feudalism, or can we for once get it right, and claim this sacred land for the Commons, Human and Other?
—concerned resident bear" -Dante Chicano, Make Jordan River a Park Facebook Page, November 1, 2007

"It's an abuse of process to take this land out of the TFL and ask the community to beg for crumbs," Denise Savoie, TC, November 2, 2007

"From the ministry of forests we get sprawl from wall to wall. This is just the first sale and it's larger than Victoria. It's unbelievable." -Ray Zimmermann, TC, November 2, 2007

“What right do the forest companies have to sell this land? The white man stole it from the natives, gave it to the forestry companies to log and now they get to sell it to the highest, the richest, bidder. It’s crazy.” -Barbara Oke, thetyee.ca, November 27, 2007

"It’s a monumental tragedy that our second growth forests, which once offered the opportunity to practice ethical, sustainable logging (there is no such thing as ethical logging in the Earth’s final primeval forests) as well as the harvesting of a variety of non-timber resources, are being squandered now, mostly for the American raw-log market, and then being flipped for subdivision development. How did this happen? Well, when the Gordon Campbell regime came to power, 7 of their top-ten election financiers were logging companies which contributed about $1.5 million to his campaign. It’s shameful how cheaply these corporations bought themselves a BC government." Ingmar Lee, personal blog, November 27, 2007

"The province is the one that got us into this mess! If they had given any forethought to the decision to let WFP take the lands out of the tree farm license, then the CRD wouldn't need to be scrambling around to find a way to block the sale." -Yvonne Mendel, Make Jordan River a Park Facebook Page, February 24, 2008

"To me this issue dwarfs sewage and building height and heritage and homelessness. To me, Jordan River is a cultural hearthstone for the south island - the place where people get on a surf board for the first time, where teenagers go to camp and drink and go a little wild without it bothering downtown residents, where families introduce their children to nature… and where nature herself sprawls rich and thick with biodiversity; river, estuary, sea and forest. This is worth fighting for - and as the Bear Mountain example shows, the fight needs to happen now, not after the paperwork is signed." -Caramia, Vibrant Victoria Discussion Forum, April 24, 2008

"The reality here is that WFP has bought (really inherited) lands that were given away to the CPR a long time ago. I'm new to the island, but recognize the need to protect important areas while developing others for homes. It's really hard to buy land on the island these days unless you are really well off. So why doesn't the government offer a deal here: Open up some less valuable land and we will buy the land and make it into a park? That would take some brains, so don't count on it." -Jeffrey Edwards, Make Jordan River a Park Facebook Page, April 27, 2008

“We are calling on Coleman to resign not only on the TFL deletion that he made but because this is very symbolic of what is happened in the forest industry. The continued privatization and trade liberalization schemes are hurting not just recreationalists but the entire forest industry. He is continually stating that there is nothing he can do about the forestry crisis and we disagree.” -Maurita Prato, VS, May 27, 2008

Auditor General's Report

“The minister was the final check in the process … but, given the importance of the decision, he did not do enough to ensure that due regard was given to the public interest.” -Auditor General's Report of TFL deletions, July 16, 2008

“We are offended by this report. It’s totally inappropriate and, if Mr. Doyle thinks this is the way we do business in B.C., he’s dead wrong” -Pat Bell BC Forest and Range Minister, TC, July 17, 2008

"“I’m sorry if it upsets anyone, but I actually believe they [the public] should be well informed.” - John Doyle Auditor General, TC, July 17, 2008

“For the government to attack an independent officer of the legislature is classless,” John Horgan, TC, July 17, 2008

"I think it’s a vindication of the outrage the public has been feeling. … We are asking the government to reverse the decision and immediately put a stop to any subdivision by Western Forest Products.” -Vicki Husband, Globe and Mail, July 17, 2008

"“There is no mechanism to rescind the decision even if the government was so inclined. The bell cannot be un-rung.” -Duncan Kerr, TC, July 17, 2008

"(The Auditor General's) definition of the public interest fails to include a healthy, competitive, world-class forest industry in the province. People should ask the 3,000 forestry workers [at WFP] who are going to benefit from this.” -Rick Jeffery, president of the Coast Forest Products Association, TC, July 17, 2008

"Coleman is a jerk who is deservedly getting roasted for this. But… decisions like this are not made in a vacuum and it would have gone around the cabinet table for sure. Ultimately Gordo and his minions would have okayed it and figured they could slide it through.
Coleman obviously learned his subtle ways as an RCMP clown." -yodsaker, VVDF, July 17, 2008

"It would be nice to listen to the Liberals explain how this is in the public interest, or at least in the interest of that portion of the public that does not hold shares in certain logging companies. Alas, all we’ve heard is self-serving political bluster." -Jack Knox, TC, July 19, 2008

"Questioning the integrity of the auditor general as a diversionary tactic, instead of facing the reality that their actions grossly violate their obligation to uphold the public interest, is an outrageous approach to governing…The government should rescind the release of these lands and the B.C. Liberal party should pay to settle the lawsuits launched by the forest company and land developers. The taxpayers should not finance this sham, just as they should not bail out giant forest corporations who whine about economic hardship." -Jenny Farkas. TC Letter, July 19, 2008

"It’s a wonder how, over our history, so much of our forest has fallen into private hands. The idea that a railway company needed so much timberland that wasn’t even contiguous with the tracks has always puzzled me, almost as much as how a railway company can segue into the hotel business so easily." -Iain Hunter, TC, July 19, 2008

"So we have had a corporation, with a licence to cut down trees on land protected for that purpose, which decided it would rather sell the land and let others build houses and condos and golf courses instead. The minister, applying due diligence, saw that the corporation could use the money. He saw that if it didn’t get what it wanted it might throw people out of work.
But who spoke for the trees or the public on whose land they grow?" -Iain Hunter, TC, July 19, 2008

"Our legacy to the future, as citizens, is this land. We have an obligation to use it with care, often choosing to leave in its natural state…The province’s response is not constructive and shows no concern for the public’s objections. The minimum response from government should be to deny the approval to develop 319 acreages until a full public debate has taken place." -John and Marnie Phillips, TC Letter, August 19, 2008

"The auditor general’s report was professional and said exactly what we have known for a long time — the public interest is of no interest to the government" -David Holmes, TC Letter, July 19, 2008

“If there had been proper consultation, these hasty subdivision applications would simply have not been possible. Therefore they should not be allowed to stand.” -Irene Faulkner attorney, legal submission to Gordon Campbell, July 24, 2008

“My view is the province should do the right thing and not approve it. They should tell WFP if they want to subdivide they should make an application to local government.” -Juan de Fuca electoral area director Erik Lund, CRD representative for the area, TC, July 24, 2008

“I suspect that the next time we go through, if we ever do …that there would be some changes in that process based on what (the BC Government) learned this time.” -Reynold Hert, Western Forest Products president and CEO, TC, August 1, 2008

“(WFP) are in a really difficult situation. They need these land sales … . It will help them buy time until the (lumber) market returns.” -Kevin Mason, an analyst at Equity Research Associates, TC, August 1, 2008

"(The Jordan River Development) would blast a massive hole in the western side of the CRD Regional Growth Strategy, ensure urban sprawl for the wild coasts and forests between Sooke and Jordan River, exacerbate climate change, fence the general public out of the region’s Wild Coast and forests, and ignore legitimate First Nations rights.” Sea-to-Sky Greenbelt Society, Business Examiner (BE), August 5, 2008

“We are entitled to delete lands from the TFL and there has been no hint that we have done anything wrong in this,” -Duncan Kerr, BE, August 5, 2008

“Local governments on Vancouver Island have expressed profound concerns that these lands were removed without adequate consultation with all stakeholders and affected communities,” -letter sent to Gordon Campbell from the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities (AVICC), July 17, 2008

"(the public interest was) totally betrayed by the actions of this government; there was absolutely no consultation. We are losing our wild lands to a company on life support.” -Vicki Husband, BE, August 5, 2008

"(Lands zoned for forestry) have kept our cities fairly compact, but all these deletions from TFLs are taking place next to cities like Nanaimo, Victoria, Comox-Courtenay and Campbell River.” -Calvin Sanborn, UVIC Environmental Law Clinic, BE, August 5, 2008

“They are trying to say there is a problem with private land but there is no problem at all…Owners still have to manage it to provincial standards for water quality, fish habitat, reforestation, critical wildlife, and soil conservation…There’s so much regulation for non-business values that they’ve driven the cost of operating way up…Productivity has been much eroded. They say the private landowners are trying to change the rules, but it is the government that has changed the rules over the past 40 years." -Rod Bealing, executive director of the Private Forest Landowners Association of B.C., BE, August 5, 2008

“This tears up official community plans of regional districts and forces them to accept growth.” AVICC president Barry Janyk, TC , August 7, 2008

“What may not be clear to them is, they cannot alter the land without permits. If they aren’t prepared to comply, we would have to seek an injunction." -Bob Lapham, CRD general manager of planning, Globe and Mail, July 25, 2008

“Western does not agree that it requires a development permit for any activities that are currently being performed on the lands. If the subdivision application is not approved, then we will likely use these roads for part of our future logging operations, but there’s no question that the preparation work underway now is absolutely for subdivision purposes." -Duncan Kerr, Western Forest Products CEO, TC, August 7, 2008

"Western is taking a bit of a gamble here that they will get approval. Especially as there's a downturn in the forest industry, it seems a very haphazard plan. Even if it's not approved all that clearing and blasting will have an impact on the environment." -Maurita Prato, TC, July 11, 2008

“There’s not a lot of case law testing this. The legislation was not developed with the idea that forest companies would become land developers.” -Bob Lapham, CRD general manager of planning, TC, August 7, 2008

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