Previous Public Input Received
The following input and submissions were gathered by the commission through public hearings held in 29 communities throughout B.C. from September to November 2014. The public also provided input through the online submission form, by email and by mail to be reviewed and considered as the commission develops a Preliminary Report for further public input.
< All input received

    Keith Olsen, Princeton

    November 16th, 2014

    Greetings! My name is Keith Olsen. I am a retired businessman and former Mayor of Princeton in 2002 to 2005. I have lived in the Princeton area since 1998.

    I believe that Princeton and its satellite communities of Manning Park, Eastgate, Coalmont, Tulameen, Missezula Lake and Allison Lake should remain within the Fraser-Nicola constituency. I know from personal experience as the former Mayor that our interests would be ill-served if we were to be removed from Fraser-Nicola and added to the Okanagan Region.

    All our important links are with Merritt and the Nicola Valley to the north, including geography, history and the economy. We are a part of the Nicola-Similkameen School District. We are also in the same Merritt Timber Supply Area and most of the timber for Princeton’s Weyerhaeuser Sawmill comes from the vicinity of Merritt. Conversely, Aspen Planers and Tolko Forest Products (located in Merritt) get most of their wood from near the Princeton area. In addition to forestry our other common economic links include mining and ranching. The Okanagan is all tourism and fruit farming.

    While Highway #3 travels east-west through Princeton the majority of the traffic on this road is people passing through to the Kootenays or to the Lower Mainland. Meanwhile, the vast majority of the traffic on the Merritt to Princeton Highway is logging trucks going back and forth between the logging sites in the bush and sawmills in Merritt and Princeton, forestry and mining workers going to-and-from work sites, local ranchers, local recreationalists including hunters and fishers, and shoppers going to Merritt, Kelowna or Kamloops to access goods and services. Very little traffic on this road consists of through-traffic. The people of Princeton access the Coquihalla Highway by travelling northward, especially to get to Kelowna in the Okanagan.

    The assertion by some that many Princetoni residents shop and access health care in Penticton, and that THAT should constitute an important “link,” is not valid. I would like to point out that an equal number also do their shopping at the big-box stores in Merritt in order to avoid the longer line-ups at the much-larger Okanagan stores, and many others access their health care needs at Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops instead of Penticton due to lengthy waitlists at the latter.

    I would conclude by saying that Princeton belongs in Fraser-Nicola, not the Okanagan Valley. Please keep it that way. Thank you.

    Keith Olsen

    < All input received