Air quality fails to draw sufficient interest at RDNO

Only Vernon and Coldstream showed interest in region-wide service

The Regional District of North Okanagan will not undertake an air quality service after directors voted it down Wednesday.

The Regional District of North Okanagan will not undertake an air quality service after directors voted it down Wednesday.

A regional air quality service has been scrapped.

Regional District of North Okanagan members voted overwhelming against the creation of such a service, with only the City of Vernon and District of Coldstream showing interest.

The city’s participation was contingent on all other municipalities being in favour.

“We’re one airshed,” said Vernon director Juliette Cunningham. “If everybody’s not going to participate, why bother?”

Electoral area C director Mike Macnabb said there once was such a service.

“I’m not sure it proved to be a benefit,” he said. “Monies were spent on it.”

Director Shirley Fowler from Armstrong said RDNO municipalities have gone ahead and are doing what they can to regulate air quality in their own area.

“There really wasn’t an appetite to get involved (in a regional service),” she said.

Coldstream director Doug Dirk said what he was hearing was that directors were making a decision based on the past, and not the present and the future.

“The whole purpose of having a regional district is to have uniformity,” he said. “What happened in the past, however you perceive it, is not how to succeed at life.”

Vernon director Catherine Lord encouraged the board to set up a new service.

“I look at kids with asthma problems and breathing problems,” she said. “To me, the reasons I’m hearing because of what happened in the past doesn’t hold any water for me. Even if you can’t do a lot, you’ve got to start with a first step somewhere.”