Letter: Precautionary principle argues against Coulter Berry

Dear Editor,

The history of our province and country is written not only in the pages of schoolbooks. It is also written in the lives of people who have come before us – who felt the wind blowing off the Fraser River, and who gazed at the same glorious vista of Golden Ears as we do today.

Those men and women once lived and loved at this unique juncture of the Salmon and Fraser Rivers, much as we do today – farmers, traders, merchants, citizens, and First Nations.

By what means do we honour these pioneers of an earlier era, remembered now (if at all) by an occasional street name, or school, or park?

We do so by preserving their legacy, and in preserving some small part of the history and places associated with their life and times.

We have few enough of such places in this young province. There is no debate over whether or not Fort Langley is such a place. Clearly it is, and it has been recognized, and designated as such.

Given this, we share a mutual obligation to ensure that Fort Langley is preserved as a place where we honour our provincial and national heritage. It is an obligation owed not only to the pioneers who came before us, but also to the generations who will come after us.

It is a heavy responsibility, and I would urge council, in considering any proposed development in the heritage area, to not dwell exclusively on the technical details. While those details are important, they obscure the broader issue.

The broader issue and the real question council faces is this: will it be the council that permits a fatal alteration to the unique heritage ambiance of the earliest settlement in B.C.

That is not overstating the case, for as it pertains to the historical village of Fort Langley, council’s primary responsibility is to ensure that this legacy is not lost.

As a civil society, we talk a lot about the “precautionary principle,” especially with regard to environmental policies, new medications, or new technologies. Under that principle, it is the responsibility of a proponent to establish that the proposed activity or act will not (or is very unlikely to) result in significant harm or damage.

That principle applies no less to preserving our heritage.

The mayor and council are custodians of our mutual heritage. They must modify or make amendments only if they can affirm with full confidence that such modification will not result in significant harm or damage to the heritage shared by all citizens of this province and country.

If they cannot affirm that, it is their civic duty as temporary custodians to reject any rezoning and amendments to the community plan or heritage guidelines until those criteria are fulfilled.

Alister F. Frayne, Fort Langley

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Slippery roads didn’t deter runners in the 11th annual Fort Langley marathon

Most registered runners and walkers still came out, despite ice from an overnight snowfall.

Rebels beat road-weary Giants

Vancouver was playing fourth game in five days

Langley street named after the late Hugh Davis

The street is near the family homestead that’s still a working farm.

LETTER: Langley fence-sitter wishes Mom could have been helped die peacefully

A former hospice volunteer is torn about medically assisted dying, seeing both sides.

Vancouver Giants fall with only 10 second left against Victoria

A Langley hockey team dropped a 4-3 game on the Island, before returing home to play Red Deer today.

Langley welcomes the Year of the Dog

The Live in Langley Chinese Association Lunar New Year gala was a feast for the senses.

VIDEO: Protesters rally for affordable housing ahead of B.C. budget

Residents call on province to keep locals housed

Update: Highway 97C reopened following multi-vehicle incident

Highway 97C is closed to eastbound traffic near Pennask Summit following an incident Sunday afternon

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Liberals to dig deeper, aim higher on gender equality in 2018 federal budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the budget would include measures to boost women in the workforce

Late-winter snow storm blankets Lower Mainland

Some areas got up to half a foot of snow

Body of missing skier found

Man’s truck found in Revelstoke Mountain Resort’s parking lot covered in ‘several days’ snow’

Most Read