EDITORIAL: Complex worth fighting for

If sports teach us anything, it’s perseverance. Even if you lose the first round or an entire game, keep your spirits high and prepare for the next match. Giving up is your worst companion.

The same goes with Greater Vernon’s attempt to get a sports complex.

The Agricultural Land Commission has denied a non-farm use application so 10 acres next to Okanagan College can be used for a regulation-sized track and other recreational amenities.

Instead of just sitting on the sidelines and accepting the ALC ruling as a fait acompli, Greater Vernon politicians, bureaucrats, the college and user groups are doing the right thing. They are preparing a new package to resubmit to the ALC.

And all residents of the North Okanagan should endorse this campaign.

After all, a sports facility will provide an anchor for Okanagan College and  it can be a catalyst for new courses, as well as drawing new students and instructors to the area. Greater Vernon will be able to host large sports events, such as the B.C. Summer Games, and that will directly  benefit hotels, restaurants and other businesses. But more importantly, a sports complex will provide critical recreational services to residents who already live here, and it will appeal to people of all ages looking to relocate.

Sports activities next to the college will also take development pressure off truly viable farm land.

If Greater Vernon has to jump through additional hoops to meet the demands of the ALC, so be it. The bottom line is the concept of a sports complex is sound, and now is not the time to  declare defeat.

—Vernon Morning Star