Parking lot deal is timely

EDITORIAL: Splatsin First Nation and provincial government reach deal on north end Mabel Lake parking lot just in time for summer

Just in time for the boating season.

The Splatsin First Nation and Victoria have worked out an agreement so that the parking lot at the north end of Mabel Lake can once again be utilized this summer.

Last November the band put up a fence around the property in the wake of the Regional District of North Okanagan wanting the provincial government to make the site permanent parking for boaters and residents in the area.

The Splatsin First Nation say they took the action to protect the area for cultural and spiritual values for the Shuswap people.

Many wondered at the time how this would impact the following summer season of boating and camping, as well as accessing cabins.

And this interim measure, worked out between the provincial government and the band, at least gives everyone a common-sense solution for the foreseeable future.

“We’re pretty excited about having the lot open by mid-May,” said Jason Ladyman, with the province.

That’s likely the sentiment of many who wondered how this impasse was going to be worked out, with the good weather rapidly approaching.

Although there are still issues with the ownership of the land, hopefully that can be addressed over the long term.

What’s refreshing is that all sides have attempted to come up with a solution that works for all sides, while hopefully maintaining the dialogue to resolve longer-term issues. Certainly some will grouse about paying for something that used to be free of charge, but as RDNO director Jackie Pearase suggests, the fees don’t appear to be onerous and the compromise agreement appears workable for everyone involved.

– Vernon Morning Star