LETTER: 'We're going nowhere': West Van Community Stakeholders speak out

Dear editor:

I am writing in response to the recent letter in the North Shore News criticizing a West Vancouver group that has taken the initiative to challenge some decisions being made by the District of West Vancouver.

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While the author never mentioned the group by name, it is obvious she is referring to the West Vancouver Community Stakeholders, formerly known as Stop The Road Closures.

First of all, neither myself nor others from these groups have ever yelled, mocked or bullied anyone. The same is not true for those who were in favour of the B-Line who swore, called the group names and mocked us at any opportunity and continue to do so.

The protest (the largest in West Vancouver’s history) happened because our mayor and council were not listening. 

Public protest is legal, as was the climate march in Vancouver last week. This is one of the fundamental freedoms we have in our country, the same freedom that allowed the author to write her letter and for the North Shore News to publish it.

Never one to hide from criticism, I posted the letter on my personal Facebook page and, thanks to the power of social media and this person’s criticism of what we stand for, the past few days have seen the biggest increase in our newsletter subscribers and donors.

We commissioned a telephone survey to confirm that our position on the key issues in West Vancouver was, in fact, the mood of the community. The results proved we were correct in our assumptions.

We believe that we do speak for the majority and that it is the minority that are trying to over-develop and make dramatic changes to West Vancouver.

The author asked: how dare we oppose our elected officials? It is called a democracy and we have the right to oppose, demonstrate and to have our views heard. I say: how dare anyone tell another person that one cannot oppose the agenda that our district staff and council appear to have in changing West Vancouver. How dare anyone suggest that our actions are dividing the community when in fact it is doing just the opposite.

To quote one email received from an influential and engaged citizen, “Your interest in the community and its values, and your organizational ability in attracting and facilitating previously uninvolved residents into many of the important issues around our development future is greatly appreciated.”

The West Van Community Stakeholders are going nowhere and will stand up for the silent majority and hope that some of you will join us along the way. 

Nigel Malkin

West Vancouver    

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