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Boat patrol program changes

Rules will continue to be enforced on North Okanagan lakes, although changes are proceeding.

The Electoral Area Advisory Committee will investigate options for boat patrols this summer instead of paying the RCMP for the service.

“In some form there will be patrols,” said Leah Mellot, electoral area general manager.

One possibility is to use some of the budgeted $21,000 and contract B.C. conservation officers to patrol Mabel, Sugar and Kalamalka lakes, as well as the Shuswap River.

The RCMP were paid $15,000 last year.

“It got to be a bigger bill each time and we were not getting the bang for our buck,” added Eugene Foisy, Cherryville director.

There was a concern that some of the money went to RCMP patrols on Okanagan Lake, which none of the electoral areas border.

“We’re not comfortable paying for patrols not in our area,” said Jackie Pearase, rural Enderby director.

Vernon has not been approached to provide funds for Okanagan Lake patrols.

“Why do we take all of the initiative?” said Pearase, who believes that local communities paying for enforcement is another indication of government downloading.

“We’re paying to do their (RCMP) job. If there are issues, why do we have to step up to find the answers?”

The RCMP are waiting for more information on the decision made by the electoral area politicians.

“It will reduce our ability to provide patrols but there are some southeast district resources available,” said Insp. Jim McNamara, with the RCMP.

 

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