What changes are needed where action could take place? There are a couple highways safety issues I’d like to see addressed such as a Leighton Crescent turn lane, expanded street lighting and a pedestrian crossing remedy at Gallagher Lake. Items like those need to get into the queue as soon as possible so they can be costed and aligned with upcoming Provincial budgets.
On the general question of change I don’t believe in change just for the sake of change. That costs more for taxpayers for questionable results.
Regarding Area C’s relationship with the Town. One has to consider the decades of negotiations that have shaped the current agreements governing our common services. Fairness is my guiding principle and I would always strive to maintain a fair and respectful relationship.
Your question about enhancing a relationship with the Town sounds like an enhanced financial contribution and there’s nothing on my radar in that regard.
Should the RDOS take over rural fire protection? As Treasurer and Board member of the Oliver Fire Protection District perhaps it’s improper for me to answer that question but if I were allowed to offer an opinion I’d have to say “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
The concept of a District Municipality has previously proposed, studied extensively and rejected. I would still firmly reject the notion. Too costly for all concerned except the Provincial Gov’t.
Regarding promoting or not promoting a National Park. That’s an issue that even serves to divide my own family. I’m sick of how it’s, to this day, dividing our communities. The only thing I would promote would be a referendum question at the next election or sooner to settle this democratically.
Loose Bay water. I firstly have to say “Good on the Rotary Club for spearheading the Loose Bay initiative.” I realize that Loose Bay resides in Area C and that the RDOS should carry some or most of the responsibility for overseeing it’s operation but the Town also garners a great deal of benefit. Consider that the local economy is agriculturally based. A contribution from Town Council would be appropriate.
How can you find ways to bring OIB, Area C and Town closer together? I will say, perhaps at my peril, that this is something I feel strongly about. We enjoy a very special cost sharing arrangement with all three local governments that has evolved over the decades for the benefit of all constituents. Those, previously mentioned include Fire protection, Parks and Rec etc. Personally I feel privileged to have played a part in hosting the Okanagan Nation Alliance at our property for many years as a base for their salmon studies and, just as an aside, perhaps it may be worth noting that I was born on a ‘Rez’ (Bella Bella) and I believe I have an ability to understand such relationships quite well. I also work every single day at being the best ambassador for the region I can be.
More businesses, more industry, more jobs. How, indeed, is the question and there are no easy answers. Naturally we’d love to see our kids have work locally and I’ve been stunned at seeing so many of our locals going north and to Alberta and Saskatchewan for work. They have to do what they have to do and I understand that. Inviting clean industry to the area needs to continue. On a private note I tried to encourage local hydrogen production working with the Lower Similkameen Indian Band, Mike Harcourt, Barbara Sharp and BC Gas to try to take advantage of wind powered electrolysis and a pipeline to the coast that was scheduled to be upgraded with the smaller line to be left in the ground. This coordination effort took years and eventually was thwarted by an abandonment of BC Gas’s project. I was, understandably, deflated but not overly discouraged as it was a useful exercise in getting major players on the same page towards a beneficial goal. I feel confident that experience will be helpful in the future.
Wine Capital of Canada? That was an initiative I was proud to get behind as the liaison to the Chamber at the time. The idea was, as I recall, Jessica Murphy and Paul Bouchard’s and I was pleased to bring it to Council where it was unanimously endorsed. I was given free reign to come up with the grape and Wine Capital logo on the equipment and had the decals produced locally. The idea that we can, quite properly, denote our greater community as the ‘Wine Capital’ takes nothing away from the agricultural and industrial diversity we enjoy. It was simply a superb marketing idea that was low cost and perfect in terms of timing.