Cortes Island Tussle: Case Study In Disappearing BC Forest Land

Posted on Tuesday, February 28 at 11:40 by BC Mary
"Courtesy?" Stephen Lippman said later. "The whole thing was distasteful. We're tree-hugger types. They should have talked to us privately."


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  1. by wasjod
    Wed Mar 01, 2006 12:51 am
    Private property is exactly that, private. To compare Canada to the UK is not fair. The UK would fit into Alberta but has 60 million people in that same area. I lived in the UK for 5 years, people are polite out of neccesity and if it were not for public footpaths you would not have anywhere to walk due to the high concentration of the population. Canada is a very big country, lots of room and our national parks already are bigger in area than the entire UK. From the sound of things, this is not the only beach in the area. If someone is willing to put in 80 hours a week to earn the money to buy private property then so be it. If they can't access "public" land because private land blocks an access route then yes, a footpath should be allowed through but that is it. I don't put in 80 hours a week at work so some hippy freak can tell me he has the right to frolic on my private land. Maybe they should stop being a trust fund Tammy or Tommy living off of mommy and daddies money and go find gainful empoyment so they can buy their own land.

    "What's *just* has been debated for centuries but let me offer you my definition of social justice: I keep what I earn and you keep what you earn. Do you disagree? Well then tell me how much of what I earn *belongs* to you and why?" Walter Williams

    My freedom is more important than your great idea.

  2. Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:03 am
    wasjod: perhaps the British are polite because of something they
    learned while walking on those 100,000 public footpaths.

    Beach access is another hot topic for people owning oceanfront
    property, as I did for 17 years on Pender Island. Beaches are
    public property so how else are people to get to the seashore?
    How else are the Search and Rescue teams going to do their jobs
    when so many things go wrong out on the saltchuck?

    I was wondering, wasjod, how you feel about gated communities?
    Is this where we're heading? It's not a frivolous question, these
    days, with marijuana as B.C.'s the leading export product.

  3. by wasjod
    Wed Mar 01, 2006 6:05 am
    If land has previous history of being accessed by the public then it should stay that way, but just access. By maritime law the pubic should have access to all ocean sea front to the high tide mark but lets see you try and access sea front around some North and West Vancouver homes and see what happens to you, the old double standard. If beach access is so important why can't I walk along the coast all the way from Squamish to Vancouver? How much property am I going to have to cross? Private property is exactly that, private. I have the right in the UK to walk on the footpath but I do not have the right to run around your field and stress out your sheep, even if I am a Welshman. In this case people should have access to the beach and a way to get there but that is it. I would like to take the moral highground but I can't. If I own property then I don't want people walking trough it and hanging out, they can cross via a pubic right away but that is it. As for gated communities, if people feel so inclined then so be it, who are you or I to tell people what they can or can't do? I prefer 10 acres in the middle of the wilderness but that is my preference. If someone wants to lock themselves away so be it.

    My freedom is more important than your great idea.

  4. Wed Mar 01, 2006 8:14 pm
    Walking on footpaths was the extent of the Cortes Islanders'
    wishes ... so that they can reach Hank's Beach. Nobody was
    applying for a licence to cavort or make free with private property.

    But without legitimate public access, then the newcomers have
    quite literally removed Hank's Beach from the public domain, a fact
    which was apparent to them even before they bought their

    That really doesn't seem fair. I'd say that high-jacking a beloved
    community picnic site is even more unfair than the occasional
    transgression of walk-through picnickers.

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