Shades of the correctional centre

Dear Editor:

Regarding the Penticton Chamber of Commerce (PCC) comments wishing for the community to “heal,” is it possible that the Save Skaha Park supporters are misunderstanding facts one more time?

And how soon is someone supposed to heal after being slapped in the face repeatedly? The PCC president’s comments, where a comparison is made between the Skaha water slide issue and the (failed) Penticton prison proposal, are more appropriate than one might think:

• Both projects are/were shrouded in secrecy and divided the local community.

• Both projects were hastily put together with no independent confirmation of the promised financial benefits. Jobs and progress were words used as carrots for all with little attention to the net costs — are we gaining more in the long term than we are losing as a community?

• Both projects enjoyed the premature and unconditional approval of the PCC. One wonders if all PCC members are polled before adopting such endorsements or is the PCC leadership also on a “vibrant vision” (to quote a certain City Council)?

• The prison proposal became an election issue and culminated in some elected officials being sent packing. The Skaha water slide issue has similar potential and more, should the civic recall petition continue to gain momentum.

I understand the PCC president’s strong support our City Council because after all, he might have been a Councillor in 2014 had he not ended up on Elections BC’s 2014 disqualification list (suggested Internet search terms: “disqualification jason cox”).

The PCC should realize that community respect is not something that is due but rather earned and that actions speak louder than words. It also takes years to earn and hours to lose.

In closing, the community is still waiting for signs they can trust the PCC.  Why continue to “shop local” when the Chamber president (and all its members?) continue to support another poorly thought out project in Penticton?

Therefore, the Skaha water slide issue is not over by any means, especially given the well articulated concerns expressed by so many citizens and despite our Mayor wanting to change the channel.

Benoit Robert

Penticton