Save Skaha Park Statement of Purpose, Goals and Boundaries
- Impetus: The Save Skaha Park (SSP) group has emerged from a larger group of citizens who have felt betrayed by recent actions of our Mayor and Council to dispose part of Skaha Park through a long-term lease, without adequate consultation or a process for approval by the electorate, for the construction of a commercial waterpark that would be accessible only to paying customers and would defeat Skaha Parks role as the premium natural park in our City. Council’s action in reaching this decision is perceived by a large portion of the public as a serious abuse of the democratic process, which has led to a plethora of expressions of outrage, including demands for a referendum, Council’s resignation as well as the initiation of a recall petition. These actions are ongoing in our community.
- SSP Purpose: SSP advocates solely for the preservation of Skaha Park for unrestricted public use in its entirety other than lands currently leased as a marina, and, specifically aims to prevent or overturn the long term leasing of a portion of Skaha Park for a commercial waterslide by any legal means available.
- Boundaries: SSP feels strongly that this purpose is the highest priority with a limited window of opportunity. While it is the right of other individuals and groups to pursue other actions (e.g. resignation, recall), we feel that these are a distraction and we will not be associated with them. Further, we understand that the success of our advocacy depends on continued public support for our goal and respect for our conduct, both of which will determine their willingness to contribute financially to enable our work. For this reason we choose to avoid actions that appear disruptive or disrespectful of the business of Council and our civic administration and to distance ourselves from such behavior. We recognize that some who wish to be part of SSP also may choose to support other protest initiatives. We fully respect their democraticright to do this but ask that they not invoke the name of SSP while doing so. We also recognize the right of others to disagree with SSP on appropriate use of park space. We respect their right to express their opinions and do not condone calls to boycott their businesses.
Our Goals Include:
- To force a referendum on the decision to lease a portion of Skaha Park to a commercial developer for the construction of a waterslide
- To obtain a legal opinion from a lawyer experienced in Municipal Lawon whether the City has acted entirely within its authority in leasing a portion of Skaha Park to Trio Marine Group Ltd. for the purpose of constructing a waterslide
- If supported by the legal opinion and within our means, to initiate whatever legal action(s) the lawyer recommends to achieve our goal of preventing a commercial waterpark from being built in Skaha Park.
- To research the history of Skaha Park land acquisition and any conditions that may have been applied, as well as any other documents that may be needed for a legal opinion
- To develop an external communication strategy that
- achieves maximum updated public awareness of the issue as the situation develops
- recruits and retains wide public support for our purpose and respect for our actions
- demonstrates that support through the signing of a statement such as the Save Skaha Park petition
- encourages supporters to contribute to a fund for a legal opinion and for legal action, should we choose this option
- To maintain up to date communication within group members regarding our business
- To raise funds for legal action and other expenses directly supporting our legal action
- To establish a fiscal policy and guidelines that assures prudence, transparency and accountability.