EDITORIAL: Public reactions to Skaha no surprise

While this project is a good example, it is not the first time council have mishandled communications with the public.

City hall seems a bit surprised at the reaction to their endorsement of Trio Marine’s plans to lease parkland from the city and build a waterslide park and other amenities.

Though there was a special council meeting to hear public input about the plan on June 29, where council listened to public concerns about the project for three hours before giving Trio Marine the go-ahead, public concern has continued to grow. It is unlikely to encourage city council to reverse its decision on the Skaha Marina plan, but a rally is planned for city hall steps before the regular council meeting on July 20.

Council shouldn’t be surprised at the reaction. While this project is a good example, it is not the first time council have mishandled communications with the public. Rumours of the Skaha Marina project have circulated through the community since last fall, including some far-fetched speculation, like a major hotel complex. But rather than engage the public, council remained silent, and encouraged Trio Marine to do the same; to not talk about their plans, even in a general way. Even then, it was clear that public park land might be part of the deal.

This was an ideal point to begin engaging with the public, and before the deal had gone too far, find out if the community was willing to give up park land for a privately-operated waterslide park — a worthwhile tourist attraction for a city with a tourism reputation based on peaches and beaches.

Or the city and Trio Marine could have engaged the public after the deal was more fully-formed. But instead, the public only found out the details at the beginning of June, with only a month for any public consultation — far too short a time for a major project. Compare that with the downtown revitalization project, where a year was spent consulting the public in a variety of venues.

You might argue that this is a private company, not a public venture, but the fact remains that the Skaha Marina project is based on removing public land from our park inventory.

 

Just Posted

Police watchdog investigating death of man following attempted arrest

Man is said to have died of head injuries on Nov. 14

Soup Bowls Project raises over $20,000 for Penticton Art Gallery

Attendees had over 200 bowls and plenty of delicious soups

Summerland Festival of Lights will have entertainment three stages

Organizers anticipate 12,000 to 14,000 people to attend event to launch festive season

Four Penticton residents celebrating their 100th birthday

They shared some of their stories and advice on living well

Award-winning artist Belle Plaine coming to the Dream Cafe

Belle Plaine and the Vultures have multiple shows next week in the Okanagan starting in Penticton.

Investigation ongoing after shots fired in North Okanagan

RCMP have no updates from Nov. 1 incident

Kamloops woman sues Armstrong IPE for Slingshot mishap

Woman claims ride gone wrong caused injury, loss of wages and other damages

UPDATED: Vancouver Island’s Joe gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty case

Melissa Tooshley expected in court on Thursday in same case

Alleged drunk driver survives crash into Kettle River

The crash happened Saturday near Grand Forks

Woman ‘horrified’ after being told to trek 200 kilometres home from Kamloops hospital

‘I can’t get from Kamloops back to 100 Mile House injured, confused… no shoes, no clothes whatsoever’

Canadian universities encourage exchange students in Hong Kong to head home

UBC said 11 of its 32 students completing programs in Hong Kong have already left

Midget no more: Sweeping division name changes coming to minor hockey in Canada

Alpha-numeric division names will be used for the 2020-2021 season and beyond

Duncan man gets suspended sentence in Teddy the dog cruelty trial

Joe also gets lifetime ban on owning animals

B.C. pushes for greater industry ‘transparency’ in gasoline pricing

Legislation responds to fuel price gap of up to 13 cents

Most Read