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Praise the Builders

Sep 29 2001

Letter to the Editor
Sept 29, 2001


I would like the opportunity to comment on the envious nature Atlantic Canadians tend to display toward our real estate developers. Protests are becoming more frequent in attempt to influence the people of Charlottetown to resist city council with its plans to rezone potential sites for future development. It is this type of negative behaviour that creates discouragement for local entrepreneurs who are willing to invest in our community.

One such incident is the issue concerning the fate of the former Eric Found Centre in the Brighton area. I find it very difficult to believe that anyone could display sentimentality for a vacant sanatorium that has been condemned as a fire hazard. The former Eric Found Centre was originally used to contain people with contagious diseases to protect the rest of the population from becoming infected. It was later converted into a palliative care center for people who were dying and a detoxification ward for substance abusers. I don’t believe the citizens of Charlottetown could possibly have fond memories of a building that has been plagued with death and sorrow since its construction.

It appears that jealousy may serve as the catalyst behind many of these public objections which oppose the prosperity of our peers. Maritime mentality seems to indicate that an alarming number of people in this region would rather see their counterparts fail than succeed. This may be due to the fact that many people suffer feelings of inadequacy and feel the urge to daunt the efforts of our neighbours from advancing financially and socially.

I believe that anti-development protests are the direct result of an inner conflict within the protesters themselves rather than the demonstration of sentimentality toward condemned buildings and vacant land. It is this negative frame of mind that encourages people to persecute the legacy of the Irving empire as well as object to the rapid growth of promising companies such as APM, without whom our economy would be even more fragile.

Rezoning potential areas to promote commercial development is undeniably within the best interests of the entire city. Not only does it provide more space for housing and businesses and increase the value of our land, it also generates taxable income from various sources which can be used to fortify our weakened economy. As Islanders, we must encourage those who are willing to take personal risks to aid in the progression of our province. Our real estate developers need to be praised, not protested. In my opinion, the efforts of protesters would be better served by assisting in the growth of our community rather than trying to prevent it.

Ryan Livingston,


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