Dear Editor: The timely editorial in the Sept. 4 issue of The Western Star — “We can’t stop caring” — got me moving on a response in support of such a common-sense statement.
It’s as plain as the noses on our faces. The innermost south corner of the always beautiful Bay of Islands — the city of Corner Brook — is experiencing a dramatic downward spiral.
The free fall is contrary to the area’s hard-won accomplishments which are the result of a lot of unselfish effort and sacrifice by an exceptional, hardworking population.
People of great determination saw to it that the western region’s hub always got the rightful entitlement due its second-city status — complete with amenities.
My intention is not to blow things out of proportion but I am compelled to comment on what’s negatively happening around me.
Corner Brook’s record, more so of late, is consistently worsening and allowing negative influences to take over.
The latest was the loss of its community hockey team — a great image booster and asset dating back to the early 1930s ... if not the 1920s. The departure of the Corner Brook Royals is a major loss and says nothing good about the city’s fabric.
The dire consequences of city council’s apathy and team management’s failure to communicate and secure a better financial arrangement, plus leaving fans without a say, leaves a void in the city’s image that only reinstatement can mend.
Corner Brook is capable of a much better showing in every way and that fact needs to be promoted — not ignored as it is.
One of Corner Brook’s main promotional arguments over the years, and from which it has benefitted greatly, is that it is the western region’s hub.
I believe these days things are going downhill for the great City of Corner Brook and the tendency seems to be to take it all in stride.
In all too many cases, without a murmur of protest, residents of a once totally self-sufficient growth centre appear content to accept losing important assets as if they couldn’t care less. Think about a few examples of what has been lost: the cement plant, gypsum plant, an egg-grading facility, a chicken-processing facility, Brookfield, Lundrigans, shipping facilities and a paper mill that has been reduced to a fraction of what it once was.
Where is the leadership fighting for the western region garbage facility and a promised new western regional hospital? What’s next for the chopping block?
There’s something wrong with city council’s line of thinking that allows it to so readily be seen as shirking its responsibilities as the region’s hub?
Is being cooped up in the brand new monstrosity blinding them to what’s happening on their door-step and beyond?
We just can’t afford to stop caring and trying to do better in our own best interest. It’s when we honestly care about our circumstances that we try and try and even try again to improve.
Nobody should allow themselves to be seen as settling back and relying on the old cliché “being victims of circumstances” as an excuse to avoid caring and settling for doing nothing.
Melvyn (Lou) Smith, Christopher’s Cove, Summerside, Bay of Islands