As one of the thousands of Penticton residents who are opposed to the development of a commercial waterslide in Skaha Park, I deplore the actions of a few who urge opponents to boycott members of the Chamber of Commerce.
There are two issues related to the Chamber executive’s support for a commercial waterslide in Skaha Park. First is whether the executive truly represents the majority opinion of its members. My sense is that it doesn’t, and that President Jason Cox’s hubris gives the City the appearance of much more support than it actually has. I have publicly challenged him to obtain and release an independent, anonymous poll of his members to clarify this. We will wait and see.
The second and more important issue is the wrong-headed action of a few waterslide opponents to urge a boycott of Chamber members. Whether they support the waterslide or not is immaterial. They are as much entitled to their opinion as are we who are committed to saving the park.
It is totally hypocritical for us to condemn our Council’s lack of respect for democracy and then to censure others who are exercising their democratic right to support the waterslide, no matter how wrong-headed that may seem. Our quarrel is with our City Council, plain and simple. Our actions should always be respectful of those with whom we disagree, and must be limited to doing everything we can within the law to reverse their decision to commercialize Skaha Park.
I understand the anger we all feel toward a council that has so arrogantly ignored the voice of its citizens in reaching a covert deal to commercialize this unique and precious natural park. But it is essential that we control our emotions and focus our energy on finding a constructive solution that will save Skaha Park.
To that end, I urge all our residents to attend the musical Celebration of Skaha Park to be held next Sunday, Sept. 6, at the Skaha Park pavilion from 2 – 4 p.m. It will be a great, upbeat afternoon of fun for all ages and an opportunity for us all to appreciate this beautiful, peaceful natural space so integral to the livability of our City. See you there!
Dr. Gerry Karr