A national park in the South Okanagan Similkameen would bring substantial benefits to the economy, helping build businesses and strong families through a process of ‘amenity migration’, where people chose to live near lifestyle attractions such as parks.
A national park would also be good for representing the cultures of locals, including First Nations, ranchers and others. Further, a national park would help conserve regional environmental priorities clearly expressed in public opinion polls.
In partnership with B.C., Parks Canada has invested years undertaking a feasibility study. Parks Canada appears willing to proceed, bearing the lion’s share of costs of park establishment, but inexplicably B.C. wants to forfeit those many benefits a park would bring.
We all, each one of us, needs to see the recommendations of that feasibility study to judge if B.C.’s intention is justified. If a SOS national park is lost, this opportunity will never arise again. Forever after, generations to come may regret our lack of consensus courage to proceed.