Letter: Kelowna’s shoreline should be accessible to all

Dozens of obstacles (fences, walls, docks and bogus No Trespassing signs) put in place by Kelowna lakeshore home owners.

To the editor:

Little known fact: It’s illegal for most lake-front homeowners in Kelowna to block you from walking along the foreshore in front of their houses. The foreshore is the strip of beach that lies between the lowest and highest lake levels—in some places it’s about 10 feet wide.

If you’ve ever tried to walk along the lakeshore in Kelowna, you’re probably familiar with the dozens of obstacles (fences, walls, docks and bogus No Trespassing signs) put in place by these owners. So, why does this continue when it’s illegal?

The province has the responsibility for enforcing these laws. If you phone toll-free 1-877-952-7277 then 2, an operator will take your report of this type of violation. Unfortunately, it appears the province doesn’t have anywhere near the number of natural resource officers that they need to actually do anything to help us here in Kelowna.

I phoned, then emailed the locations and photos of several of the most flagrant offences, nearly eight months ago. Zero results.

I suspect this lack of enforcement also has a lot to do with the considerable political influence wielded by the owners of these expensive shore-side houses.

If the province was actually interested in acting on this issue, they could easily finance the hiring of more enforcement officers through increased fines to the people who thumb their noses at the rest of us. Our premier, Christy Clark (250-768-8426), is also the MLA for Westside-Kelowna. She ignored me when I asked why the province hadn’t acted on this issue, maybe she’ll get interested if more of us call her office.

Al Janusas, Kelowna