City gets best of water deal

Infrastructure grant could be better used by West Bench residents to build their own water supply

It appears to me the deal struck with the City of Penticton to supply water to the approximately 350 land owners on the West Bench was done with much political bias and very little thought of political representation for the taxpayers on the West Bench.

Why, I wonder, did the federal government offer the City of Penticton a $3 million infrastructure grant for a filtration plant built many years ago on the condition that the voters of the West Bench agree to buy water from the City of Penticton?

The same $3 million could go a long way to building a badly needed infrastructure for the West Bench water system, and the residents of the West Bench would have the option of maintaining their own water supply independent of the city.

Does any politician, whether he presently be MP, MLA or director of the regional district, really represent the interests of the voters of the West Bench? Do politicians consider the number of voters on the West Bench to be insignificant when compared to those in the City of Penticton? Are the problems of these 350 land owners less important to their political representatives than those living in the City of Penticton?

Our MLA has offered new grants in the latest water proposal only if the West Bench buys water from the city. Area F Director Michael Brydon, after negotiating the proposal of buying water from the city, appears to have convinced the other directors of the RDOS that buying water is the only option for the West Bench residents.

Neither our MLA nor our RDOS director seems the least bit concerned that the $3 million federal grant was only offered to the City of Penticton rather than to the voters on the West Bench where the water problem exists.

It seems to me that with this proposal, the City of Penticton gets the gold mine and the voters of the West Bench gets the shaft.

Randall Enns

Penticton