Letter: Hikers should buy land, charge for its use

Why is it that hiking enthusiasts…expect everyone else in the valley…purchase, develop and maintain another designated hiking trail?

To the editor:

Hiking is an activity that everyone can do with no cost associated with it, golfing on the other hand requires a large parcel of land to be developed.

There are sufficient numbers of golfers that it makes it worthwhile for private entrepreneurs to purchase and develop land into golf courses which in our valley they charge anywhere from $50 – $150 to use and play a round of golf on. Golfers gladly pay these track fees and do not ask the government to cover the cost associated with their passion.

Why is it that hiking enthusiasts which I’m sure number far fewer than golfers expect everyone else in the valley to, through tax increases, pay to purchase, develop and maintain another designated hiking trail and how did they convince three city councils to buy into their dream with no referendum being put forward to all the tax payers in the affected areas?

If these hikers want a designated expensive hiking trail and their numbers are sufficient they should form a group to purchase this land and develop the trail and charge usage fees. Do you want to know why this won’t happen, it’s because there aren’t enough people that will ever use this hiking trail to make it a worthwhile venture.

Unfortunately our existing city councils are so jaded,  used to big numbers, don’t mind debt and don’t think twice about  increasing your property taxes for ever that they are going to plow ahead and make this needless unjustified purchase without giving their constituents a chance to democratically vote on whether they are willing to be burdened with additional taxes to pay for this.

Hopefully although the majority of the population don’t usually cast a vote in municipal elections maybe this issue will cause them to drop their apathy and turn out in numbers to defeat the existing mayors and councillors that are hell bent on making this purchase, I know I will cast my vote against the incumbents. Get out and vote, you can make a difference.

Guy Bissonette,

West Kelowna

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