Letter: Who supports new visitor centre?

Without exception, citizens I’ve spoken to … are vehemently opposed to the proposed location on the waterfront.

To the editor:

On review of the council meeting held December 12, 2016, I recall statements by members of council to the effect that there is broad public support for the proposed Visitor Information Centre.

This strikes as very, very odd considering without exception, citizens I’ve spoken to (while not opposed to a new visitor centre per se) are vehemently opposed to the proposed location on the waterfront and the city’s likewise support.

Furthermore, combining the letters-to-editors sections of various local media outlet archives and relevant social media postings, by and large most submissions and comments are strongly opposed to the location, with the only real support seemingly coming from Tourism Kelowna directors, staff and other direct stakeholders (i.e. major local hotel operators).

I recently called (the City of Kelowna) to query the quantity of letters and emails that have been received by mayor and council on the visitor centre topic and was advised that between the period of November 1st and December 21st of this year, 84 letters and/or emails have have been received, with 76 in support and 8 opposed.

Again, this unbalance in support versus opposition strikes as very odd and suspect, particularly when typically the majority of letters/emails on an issue of civic importance are more in an opposing vein.

Now most certainly a sample size of 84 out of a population exceeding 130,000 doesn’t even register as a drop in the bucket representing what the positions of the citizen base of Kelowna might be however, there is an appearance that the 76 support submissions may be swaying council to the belief of broad support that may not necessarily be accurate.

With the foregoing in mind, I think it important to analyze the letters/emails to mayor and council supporting the visitor centre in greater detail.

Mayor and council along with the citizenry of Kelowna need to be satisfied that the support letters are not the result of a campaign by Tourism Kelowna and it’s stakeholders to flood mayor and council with support letters swaying council to perceived broad citizen support for the proposed project.

For the record, I am not opposed to Tourism Kelowna or their desire to relocate to different office and presentation facilities.

Tourism Kelowna does good work and that they do, has a value to the broad citizenry of Kelowna.

I am however opposed to the location of the visitor centre on public waterfront lands the lack of transparency by the city in terms of the support costs including land lease revenue amount and terms.

The project publicly pitched as a value of $2.8 million is likely greater than $10 million considering land value and extraordinary servicing and landscaping costs the responsibility of the city.

There is some urgency to this as a public hearing is slated for January 24, 2016.

Jim McMullan, Kelowna


Just Posted

New multi-million baggage system up and running at YLW

Kelowna Airport’s $39 million outbound baggage system can handle 900 bags an hour

BC Transit buses to get safety door for drivers

These new full-length doors will be tested in Victoria, Kelowna and Abbotsford

Death and fire not treated as suspicious

RCMP has turned the invesigation of Monday’s fire on Gaggin Road over to the BC Coroners Service

Reworked plan for Kelowna’s Green Square development approved

After rejecting first version of residential development expansion, council says yes to new plan

Police searching for GoPro owner

Police are looking for the owner of a GoPro seized by police in Kelowna

One person sent to hospital after fire near Keremeos

Fire ripped through a shed and Winnebego at Sunkatchers RV Park Co-operative

Two types of civic engagement in PIB

Some voted in the byelection, others protested the polls, as Penticton Indian Band fissures continue

‘Fresh eyes’ looking into three missing Cowichan Tribes men

First Nations want answers to their disappearances

Pedestrian hit moments after receiving safety reflector from police

The Vancouver Island man was treated for minor injuries by police at the scene

FortisBC LNG site exports first shipment of gas to China

The shipment is part of a pilot project that could see more exports in the future.

BC RCMP hunt for white SUV that rammed cruiser

Kamloops RCMP are looking for a white SUV headed north on the Yellowhead Highway

B.C. to reimburse methadone patients for taking clinic fees off welfare cheques

Provincial government agrees to pay back more than $5.5 million in deducted fees

Locket and brooch turned into RCMP

Kelowna - locket has been engraved with an undisclosed name

Lake Country bridge club supports those in need

Lake Country club challenges others to also donate money to the community

Most Read