LETTER: Council needs to educate themselves about tree protection

A Langley residents pleads with councillors to research this subject and act.

Dear Editor,

Anyone who attends, or presents a delegation to Langley Township council, as I did this past Monday April 9, knows that the council is frequently split on many issues.

What did surprise me, however, was the lack of basic knowledge demonstrated by Councillors [Michelle] Sparrow, [Angie] Quaale, and [Blair] Whitmarsh, following Councillor [Petrina] Arnason’s motion to implement an interim tree protection bylaw.

MEETING COVERAGE: No to temporary tree protection in Langley Township

As Coun. Quaale put it: “there’s a lot of confusion.” Yes, sadly, there sure is.

Brian Cameron’s letter [No reason for council to block tree protection, April 10 online letter, Langley Advance] provided a smart overview of the absurd discussion that followed.

A number of councillors remarked that the issue of tree conservation in the Township is a divisive one. Why then, wouldn’t council members and staff educate themselves in the basics of what a tree protection bylaw usually consists of or is intended to do?

If councillors took a quick look at any one of the 16 municipalities within Metro Vancouver that do have a tree protection bylaw, they might be able to make more informed decisions.

Sparrow is in her second term on council, and apparently in the last seven and a half years hasn’t had an hour to spend doing some research on the topic.

The comments from council did nothing to resolve anything, but added to the misconceptions and factual errors around tree protection bylaws.

Often staff will interject for clarification purposes if a council member appears to be misinformed. Unfortunately, this was not the case for this particular discussion.

The idea that tree protection will prevent a person from building on their property is false.

The idea that a protection bylaw doesn’t cover clear cutting is absurd.

It would cover trees, which is the point of it.

The idea put forth that a bylaw wouldn’t stop clear cutting but is set up to prevent families from putting up a swing set is incorrect.

The notion that a bylaw would only allow homeowners to remove a tree that is dead or a “hazard” is mistaken.

All of these points are covered clearly in the “interim tree bylaw” that was being discussed.

Most importantly, the idea being put forth that those of us who are concerned about environmental sustainability are somehow “anti-farming” is absurd and wrong.

The real political conversation is not to debate facts, but to debate the ways to solve the problem. Denial delays solutions.

Township citizens rely on mayor and council to make informed, long-term decisions to the benefit of all us all, not to make critical decisions using alternative facts.

Catherine Grey, Langley

SHARE YOUR VIEW: Web Poll – Should Langley have tougher tree protection?

Just Posted

VIDEO: Langley realtor builds holiday party for kids

Realtor Matthew Rufh hosted a gingerbread house-building party for the Langley Boys and Girls Club.

Giants defenceman Byram headed to NHL prospects game

The young player is following in the footsteps of former Giant Ty Ronning.

Langley Rams receiver inks with BC Lions

Jevon Cottoy joined the Rams this season and now has a multi-year contract with the Lions.

UPDATE: Heavy rainfall, strong winds in forecast for Lower Mainland

Heavy rains, snow expected till Friday morning

McGregor Says: Shopping husbands will survive

Columnist Jim McGregor offers a little advise to those husbands required to go Christmas shopping.

Omar Khadr wants changes to bail conditions

‘My life is held in suspension’, says the former Guantanamo Bay detainee

Sissons scores OT winner as Predators beat Canucks 4-3

VIDEO: Vancouver battles back to earn single point in Nashville

Lions announce seven members of coaching staff not coming back for 2019

The operational moves come two days after the Lions announced DeVone Claybrooks as the team’s new head coach

Christmas fun at Aldergrove Library: VIDEO & PHOTOS

Youngsters enjoyed decorating a Christmas tree with their homemade craft decorations

$12K awarded to atheist family who oppose Christmas, Hanukkah in B.C. classroom

Gary Mangel,May Yasue said holidays, Remembrance Day and Valentine’s Day not appropriate in preschool

Kodiaks avenge themselves against Pilots: ACTION PHOTOS

Aldergrove and Abbotsford Junior B hockey teams tie game at 5-5

Coach accused of sexual assault says apology letter was misinterpreted

Dave Brubaker has pleaded not guilty to one count of sexual assault and one count of invitation to sexual touching

Give the gift of nature this holiday season

Please don’t be mad, but I bought you a moose

Aboriginal poet faces backlash for calling out NHL-themed totem poles

Rebecca Thomas says she received backlash for asking a drugstore chain to remove NHL merchandise

Most Read