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

Photo credit: cropped image from 2019 Annual Report, City of Campbell River

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 14th meeting, City Council decided to erect three 8×16 foot billboards, promoting 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.”

At their July 12 meeting, council decided to move ahead with billboards supporting forestry and aquaculture.

When he made the motion, Mayor Adams said the tourism committee has 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.

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

Links of Interest:

Top photo credit: Screenshot from 2021-2030 Financial Plan, City of Campbell River

This program was funded by a grant from the Community Radio Fund of Canada and the Government of Canada’s Local Journalism Initiative