Despite the recent flurries, spring is in the air.
Yesterday marked the first day of a new season, blooming with hope and rejuvenation.
So it was fitting that Vernon-Monashee MLA Eric Foster marked the occasion by planting some seeds of funding in the North Okanagan.
Money for a spray park in Lumby, upgrades to washroom facilities at Kin and Paddlewheel parks, Vernon Recreation Complex improvements and funds to convert the Lakers clubhouse into a local rec centre are among the beneficiaries.
Each of the projects will add to and enhance the region’s recreational amenities.
Yes, it frees up municipal dollars for infrastructure needs, and may attract more young families to the area. But the investment could also have another potentially positive impact for the area.
Improved facilities could motivate more citizens to get fit and have fun, making them healthier.
That, in effect, is a pro-active approach to reducing health care costs. And as we know all too well, Vernon Jubilee Hospital is constantly overflowing with more patients than it can handle.
While Foster would’ve likely preferred to have been announcing funding to complete the two shelled-in floors in the Polson Tower at VJH, that news is still being waited on.
A positive announcement is anticipated April 2 or 3 when the health minister comes to town. It’s unknown whether the news will be funding for both floors or just one.
Although the budgets are from different ministries, it’s hoped that this week’s inflow of grants to this area doesn’t take away from the strong case for the funding of the top two floors in the Polson Tower.
All we can do is wait and see.
— The Morning Star