June 26, 2015 - 4:01 PM
WEST KELOWNA - Premier Christy Clark recognized the former District of West Kelowna at a brief ceremony this afternoon as the province’s 51st city.
“I think most of you would agree this has been a city for some time in all but name,” Clark says. “There is 30,000 residents and 1,400 businesses. It’s time to recognize that reality.”
Clark was joined by Mayor Doug Findlater who was presented with a ceremonial citation confirming the community’s new status.
“I would like to extend my thanks to the Premier for how quickly this happened,” Findlater says. “I have influence,” replied the Clark.
Findlater defended the district council’s rationale for making the request of Minister of Community Coralee Oakes, saying too much confusion exists between the District of West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan Regional District.
He also predicted marketing a city, not a district, to businesses looking for a place to locate would be easier.
“It sounds like something rural,” he added.
West Kelowna incorporated in 2007 after a contentious referendum. The population has been growing rapidly, estimated last year by B.C. Stats at 32,600.
Between 2006 and 2011, the district recorded a growth rate of 13.5 per cent, helping make it the second largest municipality in the Central Okanagan Regional District and fourth in the Okanagan Valley.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015