On Nov. 6, we attended a very well organized and informative meeting of the Coldstream Ratepayers Association. The meeting was billed as a town hall meeting on the proposed sports complex and we made a conscious decision to attend and become more informed on the issue prior to the upcoming referendum.
The speakers were all very passionate and clearly cared a lot about our community. The evening was interesting but more interesting to us has been what has happened since. While one speaker appropriately mentioned that the upcoming referendum is pitting families against families and neighbours against neighbours we did not realize how much until our pictures appeared in The Morning Star article “Residents rally opposition to complex,” on Nov. 9.
Since then more than a few co-workers, neighbours, people at the gym, etc have commented on us not wanting more playing fields. Honestly, we still haven’t decided how to vote and having our pictures in the paper has stirred healthy debate and allowed us to explore other people views on the subject. Gathering more information was our intent and we have certainly done that as a result of our evening out.
We would like to encourage others to find out the facts, hear both sides of the issue, talk to your friends and neighbours and make an informed vote on Dec. 15. Your opinion matters and we know you care about the future of Coldstream – a few of you have shared with us just how much. Thanks for your input.
Pat & Judy Hughes
When did saying yes to agriculture mean saying no to parks, or no to kids?
I am of course referring to the proposed sports complex that would eat up a significant portion of this valley’s limited agricultural land in Coldstream. I have made an effort to read up on as many sides to the issue as I can and I surely sympathize with the need for sports facilities in the North Okanagan.
However, as a community we must not permit any further loss of agricultural land.
Ask any farmer, once land is used for something other than agriculture, it will never come back to farming; especially if a large chunk is paved over for parking. Also, not a single supporter of farmland is saying no to parks.
In fact, I am sure we could all enjoy more park space, but does it have to come at the price of agricultural land?
“But our youth need sports space!” you say, well I happen to be one of the rural youth in the North Okanagan, so I understand the value of sports facilities. I played baseball in a local league for years. Yet, baseball players have no use for soccer fields and soccer players have no use for dog agility space. So why must these things be grouped together?
If you break the complex up into small pieces it will be easier to find suitable, non-agricultural, space. Moreover, what about the youth activities that already happens out on the farm like 4-H and equine sports?
The bottom line is those of us who oppose the sports complex only want to see farmland stay farmland.
Only three per cent of the entire province is suitable farmland and a large portion of that lies in the Okanagan Valley. Yes, we need sports space but agricultural land cannot be the answer.
I do not want my future to be one where we must rely on other countries for the food we eat because we cannot grow it ourselves.
And to those who think we can make an exception just this one time, remember if we keep taking pieces of the pie, sooner or later it is all gone.