City parks committee has similarities to national park focus group

Parts of two items in the Penticton Western News on the Skaha Park issue (Dec. 30, 2015, Parks group doesn’t include Skaha society) struck me as having a disturbing and eerie similarity to the situation with MLA Linda Larson and the national park reserve proposal.

As most readers will recall, her view seems to be that anyone who disagrees with her opposition to the park proposal is a “crazy” and “extremist”  and in setting up her (now disbanded) secret “focus group” or public comment review committee she omitted anyone who is in favour of the park.  Mr. Jakubeit summarily dismissed the (for this area) huge number of people against the Skaha Park waterslide proposal by saying “No matter what decision we make, Skaha or whatever else, there is always going to be someone (one?) who doesn’t like it.” And, according to David Korinetz’s letter (Western News, Jan. 1, 2016, Extend an olive branch), the new Parks and Recreation Steering Committee has not a single one of the 4,000-plus citizens’ against the waterslide.

Somehow the ideas of free speech, the right, and obligation, to engage in public processes whatever ones views, and the power of the majority wishes in democratic discourse appears to have escaped these politicians.

May the new year bring them to a greater appreciation of these principles!  As with New Year’s resolutions, one can always be optimistic on Dec. 31.

Eva Durance