The B.C. Liberal government has refused to let Abbotsford leave the regional district system. Abbotsford can leave their present position in the Fraser Valley Regional District but they must remain within the system by joining an alternative region.
This would incur a repeat cost analysis with additional expenditures of hundreds of thousands of dollars to investigate other regions, likely with the same unpalatable outcome. It is doubtful Abbotsford will push this any further.
Abbotsford chose the wrong option and the wrong time when they pushed to opt out of the regional system. The current provincial government is running out of gas. It is not going to use the last of its energy to bring changes to the regional system.
So the people of Abbotsford have been hung out to dry.
It also leaves the people of Penticton swinging in the wind with a mayor that controls Penticton appointments to the RDOS thereby controlling salaries of councillors; significantly increasing his mayoral salary as chair of the RDOS; voting as mayor of Penticton in favour of giving away our water below cost then absconding from any responsibility on the RDOS by abstaining from the same vote around the RDOS table. Abstaining at the Penticton council table would have been a better option for Dan Ashton.
From the beginning, John Vassilaki was the only councillor that stood against the flawed West Bench water deal and he carried that through to the RDOS vote. The rest of Penticton’s mayoral appointees should have stayed home as they too abstained from voting.
Suddenly it becomes a conflict for Penticton’s RDOS directors to vote on our water at the RDOS table. However, it is not a conflict for Mayor Ashton and Coun. Andrew Jakubeit, both RDOS directors, to vote in favour of this deal at the Penticton council table.
This water giveaway sets the standard for what is to come as more climb on board. That is Penticton’s purpose isn’t it? Too feed those that choose to live and pay taxes elsewhere. When our plant needs upgrading; well, Penticton taxpayers’ can pay for it.
If you are still young enough to change direction, it is likely better to choose to live in Naramata, West Bench or Kaleden and let Pentictonites foot the taxes. Rural RDOS directors have less conflict of interest interfering with representing their constituents.