A Coldstream councillor has suggested a speed limit for boats on Kalamalka Lake.

A Coldstream councillor has suggested a speed limit for boats on Kalamalka Lake.

EDITORIAL: Boat speeds a sensitive topic

A boat speed limit makes sense but there needs to be public consultation

There’s no question that Kalamalka Lake is increasingly busy.

Particularly during the summer, but even in the spring and early fall, it’s not uncommon to see numerous boats plying the water between Coldstream and Lake Country. On top of this, there are canoeists, kayakers, paddleboarders and swimmers.

That’s why Gyula Kiss’ suggestion of a speed limit for motorized boats on the north end of the lake makes a lot of sense.

After all, boats at elevated speed can cause significant challenges not only for other vessels, but more importantly, for those on paddleboards or in in kayaks.

“It’s a safety issue,” said Kiss, a Coldstream councillor who has a view of the lake from his home.

“I see kids on paddleboards and that part of the lake is the most used.”

However, as the controversy over a proposed boat ban on the Shuswap River has shown, even the talk of changing recreational uses can lead to debate and raw emotion.

If authorities were to pursue the concept of a speed limit on Kalamalka Lake further, there needs to be considerable public consultations and every attempt made to bring residents to the table. The public needs to feel that they were part of the process.

In the end, Kiss’ suggestion may go nowhere, but if it does, politicians and bureaucrats will have two options — navigating difficult waters or making waves.