The following letter, sent today to the Oak Bay News, addresses an escalating trend in our once lawful neighbourhood. It raises a number of disturbing questions:
Who is behind the theft and vandalism?
Are the instigators even Oak Bay residents?
How many people are behind these actions?
Are special interest groups here taking lessons from our neighbours to the south? Are they trying to silence the rights of others by acts of overt bullying?
Are these illegal actions going to get worse?
If you see anyone destroying community property, please contact the Oak Bay Police: 250.592.2424.
To the Oak Bay News:
Over the past few days there has been a disturbing number of thefts and vandalism of neighbourhood protest signs from our properties. One can only assume that this is the latest tactic of supporters of the United Church mega development project, yet another dirty trick to add to the planting of offensive lawn signs and vile anonymous emails to our website. These supporters are doing their best to intimidate any opposition to the proposed oversized development.
As neighbours don’t have the same access to taxpayer funds that the church has, we rely on volunteers and cost-effective methods to democratically show our widespread opposition to this mega project. The church’s campaign to isolate and bulldoze neighbours’ concerns has resulted in a toxic atmosphere between the church and its neighbours and the latest tactic certainly bears this out. Supporters of this oversized development project should engage in rational debate in appropriate forums and in a respectful manner. The church should be aware that just because some protest signs are stolen or vandalized, widespread opposition to its redevelopment project remains. The work done by the community volunteers can be viewed at the website www.ccn-oakbay.com.
Far from being just a few ‘vocal’ neighbours, or as the church calls us “an organized opposition group”, the neighbourhood challenge to this project is gaining momentum as people become aware of the negative impact it will have on the neighbourhood, the village, traffic and parking and infrastructure overload that this 96-unit apartment block will have if approved.