A letter to Coquitlam’s mayor, council and development GM:
It is hard to overstate the outrage I felt when I discovered that, during the Labour Day weekend, the developer of the lots on the corner of Smith and Robinson in Burquitlam had ruthlessly cut down several giant Douglas firs growing along the edge of the corner lot.
These majestic specimens have graced and benefited this neighbourhood for decades, and would have for decades, even centuries more, because they were all in excellent health, capable of resisting any windstorm, and being on the edge of the lot, would not have been in the way of any sensible construction plan for this site.
This only serves to bring to mind other travesties involving older, healthy trees that we have had to countenance in recent years; for example, the giants removed from the lot across the street on the same corner, to be replaced by a mere duplex, or a similar number on a large lot on Porter, next to the school, not to mention numerous single trees removed from properties to facilitate monster homes, now looking all the uglier for lack of these beautiful guardians.
This regular war on trees is, I am afraid, merely emblematic of the war on people — namely, renters — who have been displaced in the hundreds from their affordable older rental suites, which are demolished to make way for towers full of unaffordable condos and equally unaffordable rentals.
This process, carried out in full face of the worst housing affordability crisis in our province’s history, ironically goes by the name of Coquitlam’s Housing Affordability Strategy.
Is there no limit to the rapacious development going on around this area? Or are development dollars simply blinding this council and city planners to their human and environmental responsibilities?
I am livid.
Come the election Oct. 20, I will not be placing a mark by the names of a single member of the current council.
And I hope others who are paying attention feel the same.
Felix Thijssen, Coquitlam