By Jo Manning
There is an orphan in James Bay, a neglected orphan, quite alone. You may ask how could this happen here in our ‘perfect’ community? How could an orphan lie, neglected, for countless years, severed from its parent, Beacon Hill Park?
The Park certainly didn’t notice, it has experienced loss before this; so much land has been taken away that it is inured to suffering. But we are not. We, the citizens of James Bay, do notice, and care. It is now up to us to see what can be done to right this wrong.
The land in question is a triangle, severed from its parent by a road joining Douglas and Dallas. At that time, no one envisioned that there would be so many cars, or that travelling leisurely around the Park would be a forgotten memory. It has a claim to fame, Mile Zero is here, and the statue of Terry Fox, an icon of endurance, standing alone on the clipped grass. Currently the landscaping is two large trees, a chestnut and an English elm, spaced apart, and a small cluster of small evergreens at the SE corner. There is a token bed of flowers bordering the NW corner.
There is a plan afoot to close the divisive road, rejoining the orphan to the Park proper. Dreams? South East James Bay has been neglected for too long. The current divisive road permits traffic through there in all directions, north, south, east, west. Crossing Douglas to the Park south of Beacon Hill is dangerous, especially for the many seniors in the area who use walkers. So we dream.
There is so much beauty in this lesser known part of the Park — the daffodils and camus meadows, and wildflowers so rare and lovely that dot the hillside, and the fields of golden grass that follow in summer, make for wonderful walks. The tall totem pole at the edge of the woods, is a destination for many.
Closing of the cut-off would accomplish so much — traffic reduction for a start, and with this, less pollution. Terry Fox and Mile Zero could be moved a little farther east and be landscaped with native plants and an informative display, telling his story in greater detail. This would make it into a real photo-op for the crowds of tourists who visit this site every summer. A pedestrian/cycling path from Battery into the Park would provide needed, safe, access.
Terry Fox gave his life for his cause. We don’t have to go to that extreme; we do not have to lie down at Battery and Douglas to make our point. No martyrdom is needed, (fortunately). Just logic, and, hopefully, a fulfillment of our desire to rescue our orphan before it is too late.
Truth, in Government
Amid current highest-level Provincial Government accusations of various malpractice, how many remember (yet another) and much earlier scandal, with B.C. Rail? As I, and other thinking taxpayers recall, convictions were handed down, and we taxpayers paid $6,000,000 legal fees for those scoundrels? Since when do the unwitting innocent have such proper obligation? Truth in Government; real accountability. To my knowledge, we, the taxpaying public, have never been offered a truthful explanation of a glaring question.