Reset the conversation

Conversations about improving Penticton require more listening and less knee-jerk reactions.

With social media poking into every corner of our lives, we probably communicate more than ever before. The problem is, are we listening?

The fate of Skaha Lake Park has divided this community for more than a year, and while there will be a task force of community members investigating the future of Memorial Arena, it does have the potential to be as troublesome.

One local man, Ron Smuin, tried to start a different conversation on Facebook, saying that he and other community members are tired of endless comments saying nothing good is happening in Penticton, along with accusations some people oppose everything that might improve the city.

“I am tired of senior bashing, I am tired of repeated, vague allegations, I am tired of faulty analogies and comparisons, I am tired of profanity and negativity,” wrote Smuin. “I, and many others like me, want to conduct a reasoned, respectful, logical discussion.”

Real conversation is the first step, and listening is the key to that. Not just at the citizen level, where we really need to stop the name-calling and spreading opinion and theories as if they were fact, but also by city council and staff, who are just as guilty of trying to push through their vision of Penticton as any of us.

Right now, the face Penticton is presenting to the world is that of a community that is constantly arguing; hardly an attractive place to move your family or business to. Let’s reset the conversation and start talking about making Penticton a livable community and defining what we need to get there, rather than the grand and somewhat meaningless tagline of vibrant Penticton.

That conversation is wide ranging. It can run from affordable housing to the aging Memorial Arena and many more topics that add up to creating a great place to live.

Social media provides us with a powerful forum to hold this discussion, something city council should participate in along with the residents to help them really understand. What the conversation doesn’t need is knee-jerk reactions to opposing positions, sneering, invective and all the other methods people use to shoot down ideas without ever considering them.


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

Just Posted

QUIZ: How much do you know about the Kelowna Rockets?

This quiz challenges the knowledge of those who claim to be the biggest Rockets fans

12-year-old Kelowna resident celebrates birthday with help of community

The community greeted Kate Pauling with ballons, banners and gifts along her paper route on Friday

COVID-19: More infected passengers on planes flying to and from Okanagan and Kamloops airports

The BC Centre of Disease Control has identified numerous flights with COVID-19 cases

Land once belonged to Grand Chief Nicola

Summerland was once known as Nicola Prairie

‘Better days will return’: Queen Elizabeth delivers message amid COVID-19 pandemic

The Queen said crisis reminds her of her first address during World War II in 1940

Emergency aid portal opens Monday, cash could be in bank accounts by end of week: Trudeau

Emergency benefit will provide $2,000 a month for those who have lost their income due to COVID-19

Education, not enforcement: B.C. bylaw officers keeping a watch on physical distancing

A kind word, it turns out, has usually been all people need to hear

COVID-19: Hospitals remain safe for childbirth, say Vancouver Island care providers

North Island Hospital has been asked to share its perinatal COVID-19 response plan

Canadian cadets to mark 103rd anniversary of Vimy Ridge April 9 virtually

Idea of Captain Billie Sheridan in Williams Lake, B.C. who wondered what to do in times of COVID-19

Okanagan nordic centre loses out on 2021 nationals

Sovereign Lake near Vernon was to host 2020 Canadian championships, canceled due to COVID-19

COVID-19: North Okanagan spring leagues wiped out

Ladies softball, indoor and beach volleyball leagues shut down over pandemic

Most Read