Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Letter: National park will not damage property values

I trust that the Willowbrook residents will consider the facts more carefully

The best response to Mr. Knodel’s and other Willowbrook residents’ concerns (Penticton Western News, Dec. 13, Willowbrook resident shares thoughts on national park) about the national park reserve affecting their properties and way of life is those given by Parks Canada and the B.C. Ministry of Environment.

The lack of set boundaries is a function of the process of creating a park; broad concept (or what are called ‘soft’) boundaries are established, which may appear to include areas that really aren’t in. This is the case here: “Parks Canada (said) it does not include communities within new national park reserves,” a comment supported by the B.C. Ministry of Environment.

Also, “It should be noted that no boundaries or park concepts have been considered at this time,” said Parks Canada. “As we restart discussions, our area of interest will primarily focus on the areas that were the subject of previous consideration.”

Concerns that residents will not be allowed to keep pets or livestock without permits, along with guests have to pay fees to access their properties, not be able to have their volunteer fire department, not be able to change properties in any way, and be unable to move legally owned firearms through the park are similarly unfounded.

“The community of Willowbrook would not be within the national park reserve boundary, and as such local fire departments will continue to maintain their existing responsibilities,” Parks Canada said in its emailed response. “The local fire department will not be affected, so home insurance premiums should not be affected.”

“Area residents will not have to pay a fee to access their homes or to receive guests,” Parks Canada said. “Parks Canada does not include communities within new national park reserves.”

They also dispute the claims of park opponents that property owners would lose the right to keep pets, build additions or sell their property to people other than the government.

“The Government of Canada cannot expropriate private property in order to enlarge or establish a national park or national park reserve,” said Parks Canada, citing the Canada National Parks Act Section 15(6).

“Private lands would only ever be purchased on a willing-seller/willing-buyer basis, based on independent property appraisals,” Parks Canada said. “The federal government has no jurisdiction over property rights on privately owned land adjacent to the boundaries of a national park.”

Regarding firearms, Parks Canada also said …the law governing transportation of firearms — the Firearms Act — applies throughout Canada, including in national parks.

Mr. Knodel fears losing all local control over the park lands. Parks Canada now requires a local advisory committee for new parks.

I trust that the Willowbrook residents will consider the facts more carefully as the park process moves ahead. Far from damaging property values, experience around the world is that these are increased, not decreased, by being close to any protected area.

Eva Durance

Penticton

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reported 91 new COVID-19 cases in the region Jan. 20, 2021 and three additional deaths. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
95 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health, two deaths

Another member of Vernon’s Noric House has passed

Fiction writing contest
A call to writers in the Okanagan

UBCO holds annual fiction writing contest

Vaccine rollout is focused on health care workers first, especially those dealing with long-term care facilities. (Nathan Denette - Canadian Press)
General public shouldn’t expect vaccines until fall: Interior Health

Interior Health focused on vaccinating long-term and first-line care workers

A mother hold hands with her daughter while sharing about her struggles with addiction during Overdose Awareness Day. (Jesse Major/Black Press file)
Overdose and suicide support group starts in Penticton

Penticton was one of the province’s communities hardest hit by the overdose crisis in 2020

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen has given first reading to its 2021 budget. (RDOS image)
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen budget to rise by 2.8 per cent

Impact of budget increase will not be the same in all communities or electoral areas

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Kevin Lee Barrett is charged with attempted murder and aggravated assault. (Facebook)
Court hears of victim’s injuries in West Kelowna attempted murder trial

Two-week-long trial continues for Kevin Barrett, accused of trying to kill mother in West Kelowna

Robert Riley Saunders. (File)
Disgraced Kelowna social worker faces another class-action lawsuit

Zackary Alphonse claims he was not informed of resources available to him upon leaving government care

McBain Insurance in Summerland gave a donation of $816 to Angus Place. The money will go towards a new floor in the bathing room in the seniors care facility. From left are Chris Emmons of McBain Insurance, Stacey Schieman of McBain Insurance and Charmaine Kramer of Parkdale Place Housing Society. (Contributed)
Donation to help with bathing room work at Summerland seniors facility

Earlier contribution will be used to replace aging tub at Angus Place

The steel mills in the Hamilton waterfront harbour are shown in Hamilton, Ont., on Tuesday, October 23, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Dyer: Stay the course on Carbon pricing

Kristy Dyer has a background in art and physics and consulted for Silicon Valley

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Voting is the number one, bare minimum way to have your voice heard by government. (File photo)
Jocelyn’s Jottings: Want to make change? Here are some suggestions

As a citizen you have a voice, you just have to know who to talk to

Most Read