Nanaimo’s problem with Naysayers

The following was overheard this morning on Front Street. Two women, one pulling one of those small suitcases on wheels indicating that perhaps she was visiting or had been away, asked her friend what’s happening with the empty lot where the hotel was going to be. Her friend said she understood that the developer had withdrawn and the City was now looking for someone to build the hotel but this time not including the land in the park for condo towers. And that hopefully that would work out. But, she said, the problem is that in Nanaimo there are so many naysayers. People take pride in opposing things without making the effort to suggest something better.

I hear this mantra often. Why does Nanaimo seem to be teeming with naysayers? Giving it some thought, I came to realize that the reason there are so many naysayers is because so many dreams are floated here which demand other people’s money. In days not so long ago, if someone wanted to build something, they put together the money and built it. Or they syndicated their dream and sold it to their friends and neighbours. This latter is the way that both the Malaspina Hotel and the Civic Arena were funded. The money was not simply plucked from the pockets of taxpayers. How did we get to a state where people who are protecting their own interests against taxation for non-essential projects are naysayers? Whatever happened to personal responsibility?

Ron Bolin