Inquire before you vote

I am compelled to respond to David Finnis’ comment at the all-candidates forum.

David Finnis stated two of his priorities are helping small businesses and increasing employment.

So let’s compare what he states he stands for and what he actually did in his three terms as a Summerland councillor.

Kettle Valley Dried Fruit Snacks opened on Highway 97 in Summerland in 1996 with the approval of the Agricultural Land Commission. The plant soon outgrew this location and the owner made another application in 2006 to the land commission for a $10 million expansion on another ALR property. Councillors Finnis, Waterman and Bennest voted against this application even though Finnis supported the 1996 application. This plant would fulfil one of the municipal planning goals of Summerland’s 1996 Official Community Plan, which is to strengthen the economic base of the agricultural sector within our community and was directly linked to agriculture production. Finnis supported the 1996 OCP. The $10 million expansion would provide 100 value-added agricultural jobs.

Kettle Valley’s owner had a vision to establish a clean agri-food park. KVDF was to be the first agri-business and would have opened before the economic meltdown. Yogo Pogo Yogourt was to be the second, but left town when the application was not granted.

I have no idea what the annual wages would be for these two.

Peter Waterman, Lorraine Bennest and David Finnis have used their council vote to delay or prevent other beneficial changes in Summerland. All three are members of the Association of Citizens for Summerland, which according to Amie Harbor (ACS chair), was formed to stop the Summerland Hills Golf Course and Housing Development.

On Nov. 19, 2005, one day after Summerland’s municipal election, the ACS posted on their website: “Association members, you should all be very proud of the work we have done over the past months and of the consequent election results. Three of our members, Lorraine Bennest, Peter Waterman and David Finnis, are now councillors. They are articulate, informed and intelligent people who will do a great job for the community.”

David Finnis now wants to represent the Okanagan-Coquihalla riding. David, a good politician listens to good advice. Do what Superman’s girlfriend advised — vote for her brother. At least then there is a chance your vote will not be wasted.

Heather Mailer





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