Dam dispute has brought out the worst

It is unfortunate that it would take such an issue to unite – or rather ignite – any community.

To the Editor,

Re: Dam delays wasting money, Editorial, Sept. 12.

The removal of the dams has brought out the worst elements in the city. It is unfortunate that it would take such an issue to unite – or rather ignite – any community to the point where we are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars “studying” the inevitable.

Regardless of all the claptrap we have heard, the fact remains that it is unacceptable to have 200,000 cubic metres of water poised over the heads of 600 school students, who have very little choice in the matter.

Some of the Colliery Dam saviours think those kids are irrelevant and that Jamie Brennan and the school district should have no say. It is actually the other way round. We all love the Colliery dams, but the qualified engineers who are responsible for our community safety say that we have an untenable situation. That is all we need to know.

The Colliery dams are the Nanaimo equivalent of the Scopes Monkey Trial, when a teacher was charged for teaching Darwin’s theory of evolution. Arguing over dam safety has made monkeys of everyone in Nanaimo.

The save-the-dams people have harassed council and anyone else who opposes them, including me, to try to win the day. They have put up every spurious argument in the book to make their point.

The only thing I can disagree with you on is that if this issue goes to a referendum, it is quite likely that the majority of votes would go in favour of saving the dams. Most people in town don’t care enough to scrutinize the problem seriously, but the save-the-dammers do.

Have you considered taking an unofficial vote through your newspaper? I don’t know much about the mechanics, but it would be interesting to have an independent poll of some kind. The results might be scary.

Charles ThirkillNanaimo