According to at least one scientist, one reason for so many deer in Penticton these days are the miles of fencing around vineyards and orchards forcing the animals into the interstices: gardens, backyards, Main Street, and so forth. This being the case, council might consider continuing the exclusion concept around the whole city. Penticton could become the very first 21st-century city to take a page from the urban centres of Medieval Europe with innumerable benefits to its citizens and the economy. A walled city has many attractions, a few of which I outline below.
Deer would cease to be a presence in city boundaries as they would be summarily shooed away from the entry gates. So too moose, bear, cougars, wild horses and coyotes. Well, perhaps not the last; the Trickster is very resourceful.
But why stop at excluding wild animals? As in medieval times, ‘undesirables’ could be turned away by the gate guardians and sent to other places less protected from such people. The city could have its very own ‘No Entry’ list just like the ‘No Fly’ lists. Of course, there would be disagreement about who should be on the list, but that’s democracy; those who lose the argument get added to the list.
Unruly teenagers could be sent outside the gates until they shaped up, though there is always the danger that being ‘sent out’ might become a rite of passage and a badge of honour, ruining the salutary effects of the punishment.
And think of the tourist possibilities. Come to Penticton for the experience of ancient Europe and Asia! No worries about crime; all those people are excluded. No vicious deer to harass your kids or cougars to snap up Sweetums. And, if your teenagers express overly abundant hormones, just escort them to a convenient gate.
The job possibilities in this scheme are quite exciting too: producing the materials for the wall, erecting it, maintaining it, and staffing the gates day and night are obvious, but there are likely others. And of course, if the area is chosen for a prison, it could simply be an add-on to a section of the wall, undoubtedly with huge savings for the province.
Of course, traffic would be slowed up a mite, but that’s all to the good. In any case, toll booths at the entry gates could help the city’s bottom line enormously and they’d be much cheaper than more parking lots.
Yes indeed, a walled city would seem to be the solution to a lot of problems. “Penticton, a place to live forever” would acquire a whole new meaning