There are some serious flaws in our capitalistic society, where a financially viable sawmill can close, leaving hundreds of people out of work, forever changing a community.
It seems like this issue would be a no-brainer to any elected official; a sure-fire way of getting re-elected. Support legislation that disallows for the exportation of raw logs, ensuring that at least some processing takes place in Canada first.
This would save countless communities around the province. Considering the fact that elected officials haven’t done anything so far, 10 years after the Youbou Sawmill closure, it’s understandable why some would lose their patience with the government system. “The man” bringing you down? You’re not alone.
One issue that plagues all major cities, the entire Lower Mainland, and Vancouver Island, is high housing prices that are only getting higher.
Whereas most places in Canada ensure that families are able to find a place to live for under $100,000, this certainly isn’t the case here. Even finding a plot of empty land that’s properly zoned for a single-family dwelling, at this price, is a challenge.
As such, it’s no wonder that when the mill workers and secondary-employees left the area, they were replaced by part-time residents who treat the area as a weekend getaway.
As former Youbou Sawmill worker Stan Sawatzky put it (see Page 1), this purchase of secondary homes “artificially boosts the price.” There’s no way lower to middle-class families can afford to live in the Cowichan Valley, or even on Vancouver Island. They’re leaving for a large percentage of the rest of the country, where they can afford to buy a home. This has long since resulted in Vancouver Island becoming known as “Canada’s Florida.”
So, support low income housing. Young families will thank you.