Candidates learn about water

All candidates running for elected office in Vernon and Coldstream are invited to a master water plan meeting

The Regional District of North Okanagan is trying to set the record straight over Greater Vernon’s water referendum.

All candidates running for elected office in Vernon and Coldstream, as well as those who have been acclaimed, have been invited to an information session today at the RDNO office to learn about the process that led to the master water plan and funding the $70 million project.

“We want to make sure that when we give the information, it is widely available,” said David Sewell, chief administrative officer.

The election campaign has recently been dominated by questions of how some current politicians could support developing the master water plan and holding a referendum but won’t vote yes during the borrowing referendum Nov. 15.

“There is a difference between the process to develop the master water plan and providing asset to meet Interior Health Authority requirements,” said Sewell.

Director Catherine Lord supports the information session.

“There is the perception that we don’t like the plan but we do,” said Lord, who stands by the content of the master water plan but will vote no to put pressure on senior government to provide grants as a way of easing the burden on local ratepayers.

All of the councillor candidates in Vernon oppose the referendum as do all of the mayoralty candidates except for Mary-Jo O’Keefe. Many of the Coldstream council candidates are also opposed.


“This (today’s session) will make it difficult for people with strongly held views when you give them the information,” said Rob Sawatzky, Vernon’s current mayor and RDNO director.