the BBC's coverage.What isn't dubious is that it is still a great achievement and done for a good cause. Check out
Locally, a lot of press coverage has been given to the on-going debate concerning the Mega-Yacht Marina proposed for Victoria's Inner Harbour (our latest coverage is here), but there's another big land-use issue brewing on the west coast of the Vancouver Island in the area between Sooke and Jordan River. A couple of years ago Western Forest Products asked the BC Liberal government, through the office of then Forests Minister Rich Coleman, to allow it to remove land from three Vancouver Island Tree Farm Licences so that it could sell it for development. The Minister approved the request, no doubt delighting his brother who is an executive with Western Forests Products which will reap a windfall of $150 million on the sale of the land.
Some however weren't delighted, namely local residents, First Nations councils, local town councils and other stakeholders, none of whom were ever consulted. A 2008 Auditor General's report on the matter slammed the decision, saying, "Based on this evidence, I concluded that the removal of private land from TFLs 6, 19 and 25 was approved without sufficient regard for the public interest...I expect that such decisions will be thoroughly informed and that stakeholders will be consulted. In this case, the minister's decision was based on an incomplete analysis." Our pro-business provincial government continues to not give a damn on this issue and has refused to revisit the decision. And now it's getting down to crunch time as WFP finalizes its plans to sell the land.
Last night, Richard (Adventures on the Blue) attended a public information session on the matter and wrote a fine piece about it here. These are huge tracts of land whose development will drastically alter the Island's west coast. The Dogwood Initiative has more info here.
And finally, Sarah Palin is shopping around a reality TV show idea starring her family. Oh, is that the sound of the last of the four seals being cracked open I hear? You betcha!