“I think it’s a mistake to be so dependent on tourism,” he added. “It wouldn’t take much for it to evaporate.”
February 3, 2015
Not long after I decided to totally release the gypsy within me, house sit from place to place and do my psychic readings in any place I am in, I ran into someone I knew from Salt Spring Island, the most populated of the Gulf Islands on Canada’s west coast where I lived for 16 years.
Quickly, the conversation turned to the inability to make an adequate income on Salt Spring Island. I pointed out that tourism is the only industry on the island. She came back with,”And it is not much of an industry.”
You this not? If you do, you might say, “Look at all the island people who sell their art, vegetables, etc.etc. in the Saturday and weekday markets.”
I would respond with, “Have you noticed how the tourists who flock to the markets,carefully go through the entire market at least once before making maybe one purchase?”
Or, you could say, “But look at all the B&Bs who are always filled with reservations for months in advance?”
I would say, “Have you checked if that is true during the long fall, winter and spring months?”
In face, some people do not even realize that if they are the only ones in a Ganges shop or restaurant that this means for many hours a day, there might be no one at all in that shop or restaurant.
I am not saying that I do not love my lifestyle most of the time now but I am just saying….
The following is an article I wrote about fifteen years ago that touches on the same topic that I have just been writing about:
Gulf Islands Driftwood
May 24, 2000
Clear-cutting opponents go for Green Party leadership
by Tanya Lester
Andrew Lewis sees more than the physical landscape when he works as a landscape designer and for the Community Forest Group that has sprung out of the protest against Texada Land Corporation clear-cutting.
“I’m interested in the political landscape,” said Lewis, who announced at the May 4 town hall meeting that he is running for the Green Party nomination in the North Saanich and the Gulf Islands provincial constituency.
Baron Fowler also tossed his hat into the Green Party candidates’ ring recently. Fowler is a key steering committee member in the Salt Spring Hours alternative money system introduced to the island last fall.
Fowler would continue to advocate this kind of local and even provincial system in the legislature. “The system is able to create money at zero per cent interest rates and you don’t have to borrow from the banks,” he said.
Fowler, who has been a Green Party member for five years, believes there is more interest in the party from those who have become disillusioned with the NDP. “The NDP is in the process of committing suicide,” he said.
Fowler pointed out that a recent poll showed 10 per cent of B.C. voters would mark an X beside a Green Party candidate name if an election were called today. He said that percentage probably rises to 20 or 30 per cent in this constituency. He surmises that the Green Party is running neck and neck with the Liberals.
Lewis, who has been Green for two years, sees his party as being the only one focusing on a long term perspective. “The Green Party seems to be the only party asking the hard questions when it comes to the economy and the environment,” he said. “Most parties, including the Liberals and NDP, seem to be focused on the short term . We have to acknowledge we’re part of the eco-system and we’re within ecological limits.”
Lewis said his party believes in more community control of our environment and resources. “People are more motivated to protect their own backyard,” he said.
The Gulf Islands needs more economic diversity, he said, including sustainable forestry,which the Community Forest Group is encouraging.
Fowler as well is opposed to clear-cutting and promotes a sustainable society. He wants more local value-added manufacturing and the development of high-technology industry. He thinks the provincial government should provide economic grants to assist such industry.
Lewis believes more can be done to attract on-line businesses run by people who no longer want to live in urban centres.
“I think it’s a mistake to be dependent on tourism, ” he added. “It wouldn’t take much for it to evaporate.”
Fowler is strongly supportive of First Nations issues. Regarding Mayne Island’s Helen Point logging, Fowler indicated that First Nations people do not need anyone’s permission to log their own land.
On the other hand, he admits there is a scenic beauty to Active Pass and suggests the solution might be to pay First Nations people not to log….
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To read early posts on this blog, go to writingsmall.wordpress.com
Tanya Lester’s most recent book is Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader. It can be purchased from the author or by going to the author and title name at amazon.com to read the first few pages and /or to purchase it.
Tanya Lester’s other books are Dreams & Tricksters, Friends I Never Knew and Women Rights/Writes. They are available in some library systems and at the Provincial Library of Manitoba.