• The Low Down

Who should replace Wakefield’s outstanding volunteers?!?

The Editor,


Peter A. Ferguson in his letter (“Out of control government spending,” Aug 17 edition) comments on the cost of the Chelsea community trail. I’m sure Chelsea readers will join in. However, he then throws in a gratuitous comment on the Wakefield boardwalk — the kind of statement that leaves mistrust and doubt in people's minds. He arbitrarily assumes the Wakefield boardwalk was over budget, then suggests the folks responsible should be replaced.


Mr. Ferguson signs himself as being from Aylmer, so I would ask him if he knows how long Wakefielders have championed the idea of a boardwalk. Or how the waterfront project, Wakefield’s very own celebration of Canada’s 150th anniversary, was built with federal, municipal and local grants and managed entirely by local Wakefield volunteers, with local and regional contractors. The Wakefield Chamber officers and its dedicated volunteer committee succeeded in obtaining $500,000 from the federal government's Canada 150 fund, $400,000 in solidarity from La Pêche (whose mayor had long supported the idea of a boardwalk) and another $100,000 from local sources, including provincial agencies. A small dedicated team with much village support brought the million dollar project in under budget at $950,000, and on time — a project which covered not only the boardwalk, but the new docks, the walking path on the old rails and upgrading the gardens from the War Memorial to the beach behind the General Store.


Having recently moved from Wakefield to B.C., I remain extremely proud of Wakefield's volunteers (of which the boardwalk team was only one example), who have given us the covered bridge, a wonderful library, a community centre, the great trails, an historic centre at Fairbairn, the Saturday market, an outstanding theatre and film festival, a well known writers' fête, the wonderful Grannies, environmental champions, a new palliative care unit, and so much more.


I would ask Mr. Ferguson who he would suggest should replace these people!


Carolyn McAskie

Salt Spring Island, B.C. (formerly Wakefield)