Letters to the Editor

Remainder of Langley Township is 'second-class' without a tree bylaw

Editor: I was taken aback by Councillor Grant Ward’s statement that the interim tree bylaw would render Brookswood residents as “second-class citizens” (The Times, May 29).

I must ask Councillor Ward if he believes the people of Vancouver to be “second-class citizens”? Perhaps he missed the update, but the City of Vancouver just further restricted their tree cutting bylaw from one tree per year — which saw a loss of 23,000 trees since 1996 — to none. Vancouver consistently ranks in the top five most livable cities in the world.

Yes, the people of Brookswood are “good people.” But so are the people of Vancouver. So are the people of Langley.

Yet we have bylaws we are expected to follow for the good of ourselves, our neighbours, and our environment: from noise bylaws to secondary suite bylaws to RV bylaws. Or should we just throw them all away because we are all “good people.”

I don’t see much evidence that would suggest that cutting down trees lessens livability. Considering that “significant trees” don’t sprout up overnight, any argument about property values should be considered moot. You bought the land with trees on it — get over it and be stewards of your land.

May I remind Councillor Ward that homeowners do not own the land they purchase here in Canada — they own an interest in the land. Because of this, we pay property taxes, we follow property bylaws, and we must be stewards of both the land we hold interest in as well as the commons (which nowadays seems to be code for paved streets and parks with little funding).

I do however, agree, that it is somewhat silly to limit this bylaw to Brookswood. If anything, it may render the rest of us second-class citizens.

Brad Richert,

Langley

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