Letter: Process wrong for South Shuswap pot shop approval

Writer challenges fairness, accuracy of regional district’s online survey

Re: Copper Island Cannabis Co. application for Blind Bay.

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District has the process wrong—too short notice about a public meeting, not well advertised and not well attended by just 17 persons.

So, now the CSRD is touting an online survey to help it determine public support or opposition to the application. So far, it has about four dozen responses.

Not much faith can be put in online surveys. Anyone can start one using change.org. Responses are limited to one computer. So if a two-person household has one computer, response is limited to one person’s input. For crafty people, either for or against, online surveys can be manipulated with little to no authenticity control.

Read more: Applicant behind proposed South Shuswap pot shop addresses concerns

Read more: South Shuswap residents’ input wanted on proposed cannabis store

The CSRD do not respect the demographic of Blind Bay and surrounding areas. It is a retirement community. Many of its residents are not online on social media like our children. Give elders a chance to have their say.

Cannabis, like alcohol, can lead to dependency and addiction. Both can lead to impairment. Combine this with very high road traffic densities at the end of Balmoral Road from May through September. About 80 per cent of this traffic comes from the east. Access off the Trans-Canada Highway into Balmoral will increase.

For seasonal residents, with little orientation and road signage, there may well be problems for travel homes, trailers, house boats, etc., to manage safe passage onto the highway eastbound.

The recent road project at Balmoral Road and the Trans Canada Highway requires traffic to use either one-way underpasses off frontage roads, or to use Golf Course Drive to the Cedar Drive underpass.

A cannabis retail operation on the same property as the grocer (store) will only exacerbate traffic problems.

Fred Wilcox

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