Campbell River erecting billboards supporting two key industries

Fishing boats in front of city residences in Campbell River on a sunny day
Campbell River is erecting two billboards for two key industries. A screenshot from the 2021-2030 Financial Plan by the City of Campbell River.
Roy Hales - CKTZ - Cortes IslandBC | 14-07-2021

By Roy L Hales

Campbell River may be erecting billboards for two of its three key pillar industries — aquaculture and forestry — but not tourism.

With fish farms being phased out in the Discovery Islands by 2022,  and the provincial government moving to curtail old growth logging, mayor and council felt a need to show its support for these two sectors.

At their June 14 meeting, city council decided to erect three 8×16 foot billboards, promoting all all three sectors at the Southern entrances to the city.

In response, the Tourism Advisory Committee (TAC) wrote:

“While we may all realize that forestry and aquaculture are important components of our economy, unfortunately, many visitors do not support these industries. Signs at the borders of our city, expressing love toward logging and fish farming will likely alienate many visitors with opposing views and could do significant damage to our reputation as a tourism destination. Conversely, these signs would do little to benefit forestry and aquaculture since they would only be viewed by locals and tourists. If Council’s intention is to fight for these important local industries, then the message should be directed toward decision makers in Victoria and Ottawa, not toward visitors to Campbell River.”

After some discussion at their July 12 meeting, council decided to move ahead with billboards supporting forestry and aquaculture.

When he made the motion, Mayor Andy Adams said the tourism committee has the the option of opting in, but the city should proceed anyway.

There was only one dissenting vote: Director Claire Moglove wanted to see if there was messaging that all three sectors could agree on.

Adams was expressing the majority view on council when he said he did not want the debate to drag on any longer.

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