This is beyond the pale for those of us who lived through "The Condo Wars." Now, years later, Kris Dubé who was once the main newspeak proponent for the twelve story condo tower that was to be built on the last piece of public beachfront property in Crystal Beach has decided that it was a bad idea after all. Stop the Presses and destroy all those pro-tower, anti-four councillors articles Dubé wrote when he was editor of The Times. He has now conceded that Crystal Beach is a "growing and thrives community." Like he just discovered this?
Kris is now a free-lancer at his former employer after a career move to an on-line newspaper that closed down after it had achieved its agenda. Much like the fate of the former ninja blog that spent a few years trashing anyone who opposed the tower, especially me and the Four Councillors, it is now gone, having achieved its agenda. Unfortunately, we remember and we will never forget the damage that was done to reputations, emotions and finances by those more interested in granting developers' wishes than what is best for the residents and visitors to our community.
And Kris's light-hearted mea culpa is an insult to anyone who worked and fought to save Crystal Beach from becoming an overdeveloped mess. He blithely dismisses the efforts of many people to keep our public lands from being given away to a developer by explaining that he "lived in the opposite end of town," as the reason for his support of the tower. Thus, he pointed out the biggest problem in Fort Erie: the divide of different parts of town. And that's why former mayor Doug Martin was able to be re-elected by five votes in 2010 despite being a poor leader. He and his followers used that divide to create even more of a division in Fort Erie and Dubé, family friend of Martin, made sure that The Times' editorial opinion mirrored the mayor's. It worked extremely well in the 2014 election where two of the councillors (John Hill and Paul Collard) lost their re-elections; one (Don Lubberts) was re-elected; and Bob Steckley tried and failed to be elected as regional councillor. Any other place that values its honest and righteous elected officials would have re-elected The Four. Instead, they were sued, slandered and hectored by the minions of a group of non-elected people who work behind the scenes and who funded the lawsuit to protect their hold on the town. And Kris Dubé has been their helpful public relations scribe at The Times.
So, now Dubé now lives in Crystal Beach and has discovered what many of us already knew a long time ago: Crystal Beach is a hidden gem and a treasure. The "gem" has been polished with the help of hard-working residents and groups who took the recommendations of the 1996 C.A.U.S.E. Study very seriously. Like the study asserted, Crystal Beach is a special place that needs to enhance and celebrate its location, lay-out and heritage. Many of the C.A.U.S.E. Study recommendations were adopted e.g. building height only to be overturned in order to satisfy the ambitions of those involved in the Bay Beach development deal.
The Friends of Crystal Beach has been doing for working for decades, despite the "really bad years" of red-lining, abandonment, dereliction and disgrace. The FOCB did not give up, despite little or no support from "the other end of town."
Kris is now enjoying one of the many events supported by the Friends of Crystal Beach. In addition, there are free Waterfront Park concerts featuring top-rated entertainment; Circle of Art Show in July; and the End of Summer Parade/Festival Labour Day weekend. The group meets all year, usually the last Thursday of the month at the Crystal-Ridge Library.
Perhaps Kris will go "Full Crystal Beach" and join. The FOCB will welcome him. Really.
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