OPINION: Ever encroaching Squamish development | Squamish Chief

OPINION: Ever encroaching Squamish development

I had just made a right-hand turn before the construction site off Government Road when I noticed a bear paused by the wayside.

I stopped and waited for the stunned creature to cross.

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Cars behind me, maybe not seeing the bear, blasted their horns at me. Finally, the bear scooted toward bushes on the other side.

Sadly, I knew that the frightened creature was headed toward further construction and destruction. 

As I drove on, ignoring the finger of the impatient driver behind me, my heart went out to the poor bear. What if it had just come out of hibernation to discover the world it had known had disappeared?

What we are experiencing now is out-of-control development with little regard to the habitat that is being destroyed.

Condo buildings aren’t being built but condo complexes. There are dozens of rows of condo buildings and townhouses all around the town; hundreds of people per building increasing our population by thousands? What about the infrastructure? People can’t find parking spaces as it is. Never mind that all this influx will negatively affect our utilities. And taxes? These stark developments aren’t even affordable to the average Squamish renter or homeowner.

But, back to the bears. We have stolen their habitat and kill them if they go into our areas in search of food. What if it was the other way around? Squamish prides itself on its diversity of birds and wildlife. All under threat.

Yes, we need housing, but where will the children be able to play in the fresh air, in the shade of trees, on the grass?

Trees and greenery are good for the soul. Trees take in CO2 and give us life-giving oxygen for us to breathe. Retain them for our health and quality of life.

If development is inevitable as political will gives way to greed, let’s make our local politicians mindful of the need to protect and to preserve the things we value, like nature in all its forms.

If they must build, ensure that trees, grasses and courtyards add to the landscape.

There’s the idea that density is a good thing.

It’s not.

Squamish’s Melody Wales graduated from Ryerson University and has worked as a columnist for various publications.

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