North Westside director slams provincial ministry

Wayne Carson upset with letter received from Peter Fassbender

Wayne Carson

North Westside’s director insists Victoria isn’t telling the full story about governance.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan board received a letter Monday from Community Development Minister Peter Fassbender about a recent meeting to discuss a possible governance study.

“It is factually inaccurate,” said director Wayne Carson of the letter.

“They talk about a Killiney group. A Killiney Beach group was never mentioned.”

Carson says the discussion with Fassbender revolved around the entire North Westside — LaCasa to Westshore — considering a municipality.

“We’re not just Killiney Beach. We’re talking about 1,100 to 1,500 people. That would put us about half way down the list of municipalities (by population) in B.C.,” said Carson.

In the letter, Fassbender says studies of governance and service issues vary in communities.

“For some communities, an incorporation focus makes sense. For others, approaches  within the existing regional district  electoral area structure are most appropriate,” said Fassbender.

“Given the size of the community at Killiney Beach and the lack of similar requests from other communities within the electoral areas, this study falls into the latter  category.”

However, Carson says a majority of residents are opposed to remaining as an electoral area and they want autonomy as a municipality.

Largely, he added, there are concerns that North Westside issues aren’t taken seriously by RDCO.

“When Lake Country and West Kelowna moved towards incorporation, they got fully support from our (regional district) board. Why aren’t we getting fully support?” he said.

Carson says Fassbender’s letter needs to be clarified.

“I want a proper letter that reflects both times we met with the minister,” he said.

When asked about Carson’s claims about Fassbender’s letter, the Ministry of Community Development stated it, “Will continue to support the Killiney Beach community area residents and the Regional District of Central Okanagan to develop a collaborative process to examine regional district services in their community and make informed decisions about governance.”