Behest of the West: Multiplex survey results could question our dream

Results of survey spread throughout Tofino and Ucluelet expected to be released Wednesday.

I’ve traditionally tip toed in late to the holiday spirit because having a birthday in December has had me humming a different tune before diving into yuletide carols.

Then Jr. showed up, soon followed by my twin daughters Crimson and Clover, so now I crack open the Christmas crafts in November and love soaking up their season’s cheer so much that remembering to whistle ‘Happy Birthday to me’ when Dec. 6 rolls around is darn near impossible.

It’s not that I don’t love the presents and attention that comes with birthday celebrations, but I’m significantly more excited to see my kids faces when they pull their sixth toys out of their elaborate and enormous advent calendars—didn’t those used to be chocolate?

Life changes. The presents we ask for each season, and the feelings those seasons evoke, evolve alongside surroundings and perceptions.

Likewise, communities like ours that are still small enough to share collective wants while eclectic enough to boast impressively divergent opinions, rip through communal dreams that can be likened to our weather; wait five minutes and you’ll be looking at an entirely different landscape.

The first birthday I celebrated on the West Coast came roughly one week after our towns voted to increase property taxes in support of a West Coast Multiplex.

The Multiplex was going to have a swimming pool and an ice rink and the dialogue at the time was almost entirely dominated by excitement. Naysayers were drowned out by the chants of the recreational amenity crowd. A boom was happening and we saw ample space to march into.

Our perpetually expanding tourist seasons had paved the way for an equally increasing local population. Ucluelet completed a $9 million community centre, families flocked in and our schools were filling up. Good times were rolling.

Housing was an issue, but not yet a crisis, and Tofino’s lack of sewage treatment was still seen as more of a quaint small-town quirk than a catastrophe in need of a crackdown.

Then, five years of life happened and we filled the room we had to boom.

Longtime locals now find themselves without places to live and Tofino has until 2020 to build a taxpayer funded, multi-million-dollar, sewage treatment facility.

That has us humming a different tune when it comes to multiplex plans and so too does Tofino’s strengthening pursuit of a pool within its own borders. The change in our town’s tidings were loud enough that our local leaders decided to ask us again if we want a multiplex. The results of that survey are expected on Dec. 13. We’ve been assured that survey was not another referendum, but it sure looks like one. And a referendum by any other name might not smell as sweet to Multiplex fans.

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