Regional district off base

The RDNO misled the public during the 2015 boating regulations survey

The RDNO misled the public during the 2015 boating regulations survey by repeatedly restating, through the media, their five reasons for the proposed regulations as if they were fact when they were not.

They also set up booths to drive surveys only at events that were unrelated to boating. They did not set up booths at any boating-related events or locations. The RDNO has embraced a special interest group’s agenda and has carried out this unwarranted campaign against boaters.

The results of the survey are only close because the RDNO’s actions left the public with the impression that the Shuswap River was in a dire state and that boats are responsible, neither of which are true. Even with the RDNO’s campaign, the survey shows more people are against the proposed regulations than for them.

Further to the above, when you are proposing dramatic changes that will have devastating effects for a large number of people and families in a community the threshold for imposing such changes should be 75 to 90 per cent of the community in favour before they are even considered.

If these changes were to proceed hundreds of people and families would suffer the effects, alternatively, not making these changes does not inflict changes on anyone’s financial situation, retirement plans, succession and estate planning or lifestyle.

Despite the RDNO’s rhetoric, these proposed changes are a result of a small group who do not like boats period.

One of the claims of the RDNO is “safety” concerns (the RDNO acknowledges there are no recorded accidents involving motorized users on the river). We all agree safety is important and should always be considered.

However if the government is so concerned, why has neither the RDNO nor the City of Enderby put up proper swim barriers, or even a single sign, around Waterwheel and areas of concern near Enderby. I asked the mayor of Enderby this last year at one of our group’s meetings. Mayor McCune’s response was that it would cost $40,000.

To this day the RDNO continues to exclude boaters and affected stakeholders (as they have since 2009). Just recently they have denied, for the fourth time, our applications to present to the board. These denials are in violation of their own administrative procedures.

Had the RDNO embraced and included all sides from the beginning in 2009, we could have had meaningful conversations to identify “true” issues and address them accordingly. Instead the RDNO excluded the very groups that will be affected and has now driven a wedge between the community members.

We expect more from our elected officials and our administrators. All RDNO officials and management, who had any part of this, should be ashamed of their handling of this process all the way back to 2009.

Mike Steiner, Vernon