Saturday, August 4, 2012
We are a community split in two. One part is comfortable and satisfied with the status quo. Some would say, many of these people don't want things to change. Typically, these are for the most part long-time residents many of whom are 2nd, 3rd or more generation. Followed by many public service retirees (teachers, law enforcement, bureaucrats, etc. (many of whom are also from the former class) receiving handsome government pensions others would die for) and the well-heeled professional types who are either still actively working and/or retired too. For simplification, lets call these people the 'moneyed class'.
Then there is the rest of us who make up the majority of the population here. The ones fortunate to have jobs (in an area having few if any, especially the well-paying ones) who are just getting by, if that, needing to work (in many cases even after retirement), and those on basic pensions and fixed incomes who find themselves in financial hardship struggling each month in a hopeless attempt to keep up with the ever rising cost of living these days, with little to no chance locally to supplement their meager incomes. We'll call these people the 'money-less class'.
It stands to reason then that the moneyed class are not in real 'need' or 'want' but historically all there perceived needs and wants are met by a subservient local municipal government that caters to their every wish and desire, at the expense and lost opportunities, some would say, of the money-less class.
As already mentioned, the latter group are more predominant but because of their financial circumstances (or lack of) carry little to no weight in getting local governments to work on their behalf, to address the inequalities in living here in the Pass.
Which brings me to the subject of this post. This community needs a paradigm shift in thinking, if we hope to turn things around here and go from a depressed community - regressive in nature - having an on-going decades long declining population with high unemployment levels and economic stagnation, to one that is progressive, that encourages and promotes population growth and business development, ensuring a future for all.
In other words, what this community needs is a reality check in that the self-satisfied status quo for the few can no longer come at the on-going despair and misery of the many. We must open our doors so that all residents have an equal opportunity to live the good life by ensuring jobs and opportunities are here for everyone. Progress and growth must be encouraged and accepted by all as a necessary requirement to turn things around here.
In this regard, residents must step forward with ideas and suggestions on how we can do that? Sinister 7 and Thunder in the Valley are good starts but we need more of them along with businesses and services capable of being economic generators by being operational year round, such as the idea of turning the use of our ski hill from a one season operation into four.
Have you got some ideas or suggestions of your own? If so, lets hear them!
With the above in mind, one idea that I have spoken out on for some years now that I still feel has merit is taking our existing Crowsnest Centre and turning it into a Hotel/Casino Convention Centre capable of employing literally hundreds of locals, never mind the spin off effects that will come from such a venture. Just like Sinister 7 and Thunder in the Valley this would draw people to our community like a magnet. Doing so year round, rather than just for a weekend. The only thing stopping this idea from achieving fruition is the lack of vision, and political will.
The last we heard council is presently engaging in negotiations to bring an ordinary run of the mill hotel, along with strip mall businesses. Nice to have these types of facilities but they will by themselves as a whole not necessarily attract people to come to this area. At the very best all they will do is provide convenient services to those already travelling through, or to those who decide to stop for the night. Not much bang for the buck, so to speak. This would be selling us and our community short. Just as you don't sell a piece of property for $1m when you can get $10m, you shouldn't, because of a lack of vision and forethought by our currently elected representatives, miss out on an opportunity to do so much more.
Choosing the former versus the latter option would once again be catering to the moneyed class vs the money-less, now wouldn't it?
Location, location, location!!! A Hotel/Casino Convention Centre is ideally suited for this site. Anything less is a lost opportunity!
Awareness leads you forward, while lack of awareness leads you nowhere.
Don't worry about people stealing an idea. If it's original, you will have to ram it down their throats.