Class of 2010 valedictorian offers input on waterslides

Dear Editor:

I graduated from Pen-Hi as a valedictorian in 2010 before moving to Victoria to pursue my post secondary education. Most of my family lives in the Penticton area, and I

always felt that I would return to start a family of my own.

However, as the years have passed, I have become less sure of that course. Can I really live in a city that prioritizes unsustainable growth? That ignores her people?

I love Penticton. It has been my home. Unfortunately, I’m no longer sure it will be again, as seeking out cities that truly reflect the wishes of their citizens, creating a sustainable community by focusing on issues that will actually benefit the citizens, is the best way I can create a good life for my future family.

I can’t live in a city that would replace public green park land with a fiberglass monstrosity available only to paying customers. I can’t live in a city that would disrespect the land donations of former citizens (donated for us all to enjoy) who have passed away, by ripping out trees dedicated to them. I can’t live in a city that actively pursues waterslides as B.C. enters what is predicted as a multi-year drought, as our farmers are forced to obey water restrictions, as grapes shrivel and burn on the vine from the dry heat. I refuse to live in a city run by a short-sighted council who would support the wishes of a few rich investors over an overwhelming public outcry against them.

Penticton’s city council shouldn’t be asking “What will draw even more tourists?” They should be asking, “What is it about Penticton that makes people want to live here?

How do we build a home not just for our current citizens, but all of us young people that Penticton raised, who have left to better themselves?

How can we make Penticton a home instead of a tourist trap?”

I promise our council the answer to those questions are quite different.

Carl Keys

Pen-Hi, Class of 2010

Victoria