August 05, 2015 - 6:30 PM
PENTICTON - The second rally to protest the decision to move ahead with plans for a waterpark at Skaha Lake turned out to be an anticlimactic affair on Monday, Aug. 4.
Turnout for the rally appeared to be roughly the same as the number of people that massed in front of city hall on July 20. Very few, if any waterpark supporters were on hand for the second rally though.
There was little new in the way of messages coming out of yesterday’s rally, which ended suddenly when a heavy downpour made things uncomfortable for the crowd of about 650.
Signs bearing slogans such as “Save Skaha Park,” “Referendum,” “Maintain the status quo,” “Your trees, my trees, not Trio trees,” and “Listen to the People” mingled with others espousing such things as “Save our softball park. No hotel/casino in our school’s backyard,” and “Save Munson Mountain Farmland. No BMX park.”
The rally crowd listened to a number of speakers decry the city’s decision to proceed with the plans without a referendum. Former Penticton Mayor Jake Kimberley addressed the crowd, which appeared to have a majority demographic of citizens aged 55 and older.
Kimberley said it took multiple councils 50 years to assemble the park lands, and present council’s contract with Trio Marine Group (a 29-year lease) was “almost as long.” He suggested a lease of that length could be used as an argument to say the land was disposed of for public use.
“Waterslides are for young people with families who can afford them, while parkland is free to all,” he said.
Several of those attending the rally expressed fears Trio had ulterior motives in making the deal with the city and questioned the likelihood of a waterpark succeeding.
Mayor Andrew Jakubeit and council reaffirmed their decision to proceed with the deal with Trio Marine Group following a special council meeting on July 29, just prior to the 30-day deadline for council to revisit the issue.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015