Seniors good for economy

Dear Editor:

Many times have I heard these words “we need more young families in the city,” or, “we need jobs for young people,” “everything is for the seniors in Penticton.”

Do those who so often make these statements ever consider the number of young families who have found employment here caring for  seniors? Working in retirement homes, in healthcare and the hospital, mostly professional well-paying jobs?

The services and the employment the senior population create add a considerable amount of economy to the city and please don’t overlook how much the seniors themselves put back into our local economy.

Many retired professionals come hear with disposable income over and above their pensions, purchasing new cars, etc. Yesm Penticton is is very fortunate to have the employment and the additional economy that the retired seniors provide to the city.

So let’s stop suggesting the senior population is turning young families away from wanting to live here, they encourage many young families to come here for employment.

I have a difficult time accepting the Chamber of Commerce statement: “that we need a water slide to support our economy and encourage young families to move here”.

Don’t they realize the business their members derive from the senior population is so much, much more year round than a water slide? I know the Chamber has a responsibility to encourage new businesses but I do take exception that a seasonal water slide is be a great new business and is going to boost our local economy.

Let’s consider what has been done for the “young families”. The biggest investment made by any council since the city’s incorporation was the SOEC. Which was promoted as a project for

future and younger generations and was to replace the Memorial Arena, which was constructed many years ago for just the same reasons.

The SOEC serves the younger population more so than the seniors and yet the seniors helped pay for it!  It also does more year round for the local economy and Chamber members than any seasonal water slide operation ever will.

The SOEC also employs 45 full-time well-paid employees, plus additional jobs for the events.

Persons working at water slides and those using them two months of the year are not going to stimulate Penticton’s economy and bring in the tourists as being suggested by the Chamber.

I can’t imagine a family planning a vacation to Penticton just because we have a water slide. They come here because we are one of the only two cities in the world between two lakes, which I might add, I have never seen promoted in our tourist advertising.

Jake Kimberley

Penticton