Listen to the people

I feel compelled to write this letter.  I became aware in the past month that a commercial development was being proposed for Skaha Lake Park.  It is my understanding that this project is now going ahead despite calls for a referendum.  When I first heard of the proposal, I felt a sense of sadness and disbelief that it was even being considered.  Our family moved to Penticton in the early 1950’s and we literally grew up on the beaches.  When my parents moved to The Springs, they loved their daily walk through Skaha Lake Park.  When grandchildren visited, it was a favourite place to go.  I have great memories of picnics in the park & four generations of family enjoying it.  To be able to sit back on the grass – in the shade – and watch the little ones running through the water park was hard to beat!  Though I no longer live in Penticton I visit frequently and my favourite place to be is Skaha Lake Park.  From sunrise to sunset, people are strolling along just enjoying the natural beauty of this park.  A testament to what  this park means to people is reflected in the number of memorial plaques placed throughout the park.

I understand the need for economic development in Penticton but I fail to understand how something as seasonal as a ‘waterpark’ is a benefit to Penticton.  When you consider the fate of the waterpark that bordered Yorktown Avenue is it really viable?  If it is, then why not choose a more appropriate location – to give up greenspace is just plain wrong.  I don’t know all the implications of the proposal but I do know that when I was in Penticton last week, there was massive opposition to it.  I would encourage Penticton’s mayor, Andrew Jakubeit to look at how Victoria’s mayor Lisa Helps operates.  She makes a point of listening to her people and when she’s wrong, she admits it.  I admire her for that.  I truly hope that somehow Penticton City Council will have the courage to admit they were wrong – have they forgotten that they represent the residents of Penticton and not just those with agendas?

To those people who are so passionately trying to preserve Skaha Lake Park, a huge thank you.

Yours truly,

Maureen Francis (Offer)