Not being fools, the Capital Regional District tried to amend their bylaws to protect the Juan de Fuca land.
This required the approval of the minister of community services of that time, Ida Chong. She stalled signing off final approval until shortly after April Fool’s Day 2008 — just after Western Forest Products applied to subdivide the land. This meant their application fell under the old bylaws.
Thanks to Chong’s obvious stalling tactics, April Fool’s 2009 saw Ender Ilkay request a 60-unit tourist lodge, a 160-pad RV park and 32 cabins on the Juan de Fuca Trail land he was buying.
Spring of 2010 saw the CRD buy back 2,000 hectares for park land. Laudable — but how foolish we are to put up with buying back a tiny portion of our own land.
And what of this April Fool’s 2011, the fifth anniversary of this travesty? The shameful legacies of Chong and of Rich Coleman, then-minister of forests, continue.
We are fools to tolerate the government’s short-sighted violation of its own ethics and the destruction of what little nearby wilderness land remains.