EBC PRESENTATION – VERNON – MAY 13TH, 2015
Good afternoon. My name is Roger Sellick and I have been a resident of the Okanagan Valley since 1980. For 28 years I was the General Manager of the Kelowna International Airport. I also served as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tourism Kelowna for a number of years. In these positions I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work with businesses and local governments across the Okanagan region.
I generally support the proposals put forward for the Okanagan ridings in the Commissions draft document with one exception. I do not support the Commission’s proposal to add Princeton and surrounding communities to Boundary-Similkameen. While I appreciate the additional population would bring Boundary-Similkameen within the -25% deviation, in my opinion there just isn’t that strong community connection between Princeton and rest of the Okanagan, or at least I would argue there is a stronger community interest for Princeton to stay part of Fraser-Nicola.
When you look at the economy of the Okanagan you will see the main industries are tourism, horticulture, agriculture, ranching and wine-making. Princeton’s economy is based on mining and forestry. This is similar to the many communities in Fraser-Nicola
These different economies face different issues.
While I do applaud the work the Commission has done, especially preserving rural seats, I do think the Commission is wrong to add Princeton to Boundary-Similkameen. It might make sense from a population perspective, but it doesn’t line up from a community perspective.
I would strongly encourage the Commission to consider putting Princeton and its surrounding communities back in with Fraser-Nicola where they have similar economic issues and a better community alignment.
The current boundaries for Boundary-Similkameen work for the region as a whole.
I would like to thank you for the opportunity to speak today and express appreciation for the work that you do.
Roger Sellick, Kelowna
Roger Sellick - Submission.pdf