experts: real estate column Monday, July 31, 2000

THE COMOX VALLEY - NOT ONLY THE PRESIDENT'S CHOICE

The Comox Valley, thanks to the City of Courtenay, is open for business! The City of Courtenay approved the development of a 22 acre commercial site, the first tenant of which will be a 100,000 plus square foot Wal-Mart.

By Marty Douglas

The Comox Valley, thanks to the City of Courtenay, is open for business! With a hair raising 4-3 vote concluding a five year process from land assembly to fourth reading of a comprehensive development plan, the City of Courtenay approved the development of a 22 acre commercial site, the first tenant of which will be a 100,000 plus square foot Wal-Mart.

The final weeks of the approval process were not without excitement. Four nights of public hearing prior to third reading saw hundreds of protesters, the majority from outside the city boundaries, dragging the red herrings of fear and undue profit before council. The flavor of the month from the lexicon of the left? "Transnational."

Transnational? Whatever happened to good old fashioned emotionally charged phrases such as "running dogs of the capitalist war machine"" or "Capitalist industrial military complex" or "western imperialist lackey." I mean really, "transnational"? About as emotionally charged as a dry heave.

And pathetically na´ve. Who isn't a transnational these days? And if not, who isn't aspiring to become one? What could be a better example of a "transnational" than the Roman Catholic Church? No protest when their housing and new church development takes place. And hasn't a lot of their money been flowing from Vancouver Island to the USA lately? For land development schemes and horses?

Alaska Airlines is a key ingredient in developing an air freight industry from the civilian side of the Comox airport (YQQ). Should they be rejected as a carrier? And speaking of CFB Comox - we're getting a Cormorant helicopter squadron in the near future. Guess who built the helicopters? Well, it wasn't Bombardier!

If Shakespeare had been reporting the public hearings and by-law readings, in the early days his play would have been "Much Ado About Nothing" followed by "The Tempest" then "The Merchant of Menace" concluding with "Twelfth Night."

Democracy means everyone gets their say, not everyone gets their way!

So we move on with a huge construction project and new jobs in the overall development. Courtenay is now on the map as the next regional shopping centre for Vancouver Island. But that doesn't mean we've been idle in other areas. Over $40 million dollars has been poured into the infra-structure at CFB Comox, including preparations for the helicopters mentioned above, a glider training squadron, a new Air Traffic Control Tower rivaling Vancouver International, a rec centre and new military housing.

North Island College is bursting, rushing to keep up with the demands of technical and academic training for the North Island, particularly eco-tourism. Between the college and local school board, more than $22 million has been committed to new construction.

And lest anyone think we're culturally bankrupt, five musical theatre presentations have been in production through the summer, international jazz and classical musicians have filled the college campus, and in the Fall our new-to-us theatre will present the music drama Amadeus.

All of the above may explain the recent visit to the Comox Valley by President and Barbara Bush, Prime Minister John Major, and Jim Pattison's 150 foot yacht, the Nova Spirit. Ignore the ferry, bring your own yacht and visit the Comox Valley.




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Recent Articles by this columnist:

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All articles by Marty Douglas

Related Links:

http://www.coastrealty.com/ComoxValley/

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