Richard Branson, when interviewed a while ago, was asked about ethics and business. His reply was “Business is just business: a scramble for profit. Right? Well, that might describe crime, it certainly doesn’t describe business. Ethics aren’t just important in business. They are the whole point of business.”
I have been involved with the Columbia Valley Recreation Advisory Council (CVRAC) Steering Committee to help administer and offer guidance for the process. The reason I started with the quote at the beginning of this letter is it points to what has been lost by some groups and people attending the meetings of the CVRAC – ethics!
The idea of bringing locals together to discuss problems, some conflicts and future needs for recreational use of the Crown land was hatched by locals. In good faith, many wanted to have this discussion and came to meetings. As expected, there were doubters and skeptics who were upfront with their concerns but have hung in there and are providing input. Then there are the unprincipled who have lost sight of community ethics. Some have written articles in the paper while others have sought to undermine a local process by various other means and outside influences. Is it for self esteem, want to suppress locals voicing their concerns or trying to dominate we “country bumpkins” — whatever it is, very concerning!
Our area is a great place to live and as the world moves to adding 2 billion more people by 2050 I can’t help but think how our community will be affected. I am not only concerned how our urban area will be shaped, but as well uneasy how our green spaces next to the community will be impacted and changed. That is the reason I believe so many local groups want to have this discussion on recreation use take place. To have a few narrow-minded and self-centred individuals try to take away that right is completely unacceptable. As much as I hope the community can retain its rural values in the future, we simply live in too nice an area so we need to lay down some guidelines and principles on how to use and respect our natural capital. It is both a need and a responsibility for a sustainable community.
“At every stage there is a threat of mutiny, of rebellious individualism that might destroy the collective spirit” — Matt Ridley, 1966.