Apparently the Regional District of North Okanagan’s steering committee has budgeted in excess of $25,000 for a communication process to inform the public leading up to the referendum to borrow $8.5 million to fund the proposed track facility encompassing the 10-acre site adjoining Okanagan College.
Patrick Nicol, the regional district chairperson, insists the process, “must be transparent.” My suspicion is, however, those funds will simply be used to convince the public to vote in favour of the financing package without mentioning the irresponsible use of the college site, considering the property’s historical significance, strategic and irreplaceable location relative to the current infrastructure and future educational opportunities.
On that basis, the process is less than transparent and nothing more than unabashed propaganda positioned at the taxpayers’ expense.
The issue is not only whether or not it is prudent to borrow $8.5 million in particular during these uncertain times of austerity. The issue also relates to whether or not the proposed location is a sensible use of that land.
If, indeed, clarity and transparency are important, then who in this community will fund a balanced opinion in this matter?