To the Editor,
Re: Tough first year ahead for terminal, Jan. 22.
I was stunned to read that Victoria has a perfectly good deep sea harbour for cruise ships. How could Nanaimo think it could compete?
Victoria has those charmingly British historic buildings, plus a nice infrastructure of restaurants, pubs, tree-line boulevards, etc., although a much worse drugs and homeless problem right on the downtown streets.
But we might be able to compete by offering a huge First Nations motif – a longhouse with local native foods (organic), ceremonies, sweat lodges (if they do that here), kayak trips up the river, archeologists showing and explaining historic digs, maybe horticulturalists guiding forest walks.
It would have the benefit of also employing a lot of aboriginal people, so they can have a slice of the pie, too.
Maybe we could work in some trips on real fishing boats to watch actual people at work. They have one in Alaska that is very successful. The tourists are protected on deck on viewing benches behind plexiglass (and the catch is miscellaneous fish, octopus, crabs, and all the other stuff in the ocean) put in a no-kill transparent tank for viewing which is released after the tourists have had a look.
Can you see any of that? Could it work? No one else is doing that and Americans and Europeans would love it. It is something really unique that Nanaimo could offer, perhaps without a gigantic capital investment.
Also, people are rightly outraged about highrise apartments downtown that would ruin the view for the rest of us, plus there are supposed to be mine shafts and other dicey foundation problems in that area.
Instead, how about developing Victoria Road for apartments and small businesses? There is lots of foot traffic, people walking to downtown, and I hope the street foundation is intact.
How long can beautiful, well-placed Nanaimo languish? It doesn’t make sense.