ARCHER: The trouble with Penticton's priorities

Penticton has been all about beaches, peaches, wine and scenery for decades. Our little town is sandwiched between two beautiful lakes and fenced in with mountains and blue skies, so of course it makes sense to market it as a tourist attraction—a place to visit and hopefully stay.

But in order for people to stay here, there needs to be year-round jobs for them. The city is taking steps to encourage businesses to expand and therefore create more jobs. For example, new initiatives in the industrial sector offer tax breaks to businesses if they expand, and additional tax breaks if they create more than 20 local jobs in five years. Not a bad deal.

And we need to see more of this since manufacturing is actually the number one employer in Penticton—not tourism.

Yes, it is important for our town to look nice because there are thousands of tourists who come through Penticton every year, but is it really necessary to spend millions of dollars on two plazas on Okanagan Lake?

Why not take at least some of that plaza money and invest it in the heath care industry, education or industrial areas? They need revamping too. And they provide the jobs people are looking for.

A couple of plazas aren’t going to bring more people to Penticton for the long run, but jobs will.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Meaghan Archer at marcher@infotelnews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.


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