The Comox Council’s decision to demolish both of Mack Laing’s heritage houses has sparked provincial outrage and is fueling national interest. It is difficult for most Canadians, who are proud of their heritage, to understand why successive Town Councils and Mayors have done so little to honour this pioneer environmentalist’s generous gifts to the Comox Valley.

Stephen Hume has recently covered the story – once again confirming the heritage value of both houses and the Town Council’s anti-environmental bias.

This can be read at:

http://www.vancouversun.com/technology/Stephen+Hume+Comox+demolish+former+homes+naturalist+painter/10966431/story.html

For the record, in 1982 Mack Laing left the Town of Comox $55,000, which is the equivalent of $300,000 in today’s money, plus a house (Shakesides) and chattels in good order, “to be invested” and converted into a “natural history museum.” The Town rented the house and after 33 years, the money has only appreciated to around $75,000, according to Comox Mayor Paul Ives.

So ask yourselves this question: “If I donated a substantial estate to Comox, and financed it with $300K, and had volunteers willing to use the estate as I directed, should I not expect my dying wish to be respected, and the trust honored?”

Please sign the national petition at: http://macklaingsociety.ca/petition/

Comox’s anti-environmental bias is clearly visible in the town’s recent “business-friendly” fake “Environmental Bill of Rights”. A child of 10 sent them a standard template, such as Cumberland endorsed. Comox would not. It removed environmental accounting, the precautionary principle, and time constraints, making what remained useless. They had no hesitation in disappointing the child who presented the original Bill to them, no more than they had in breaking Mack Laing’s trust.

If Comox policies are sustainable and environmentally-sound, Comox should have had no problem endorsing this bill, as did Cumberland and other BC communities. As always the proof is in the pudding.

Loys Maingon

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