PEACHLAND (August 15, 2019) – Despite hosting an extensive ‘phase 1’ evaluation and a series of public consultations, John Horgan and the NDP have announced few options for the proposed highway 97 extension through Peachland. The options that were provided fail to address the concerns of the community and have been met with strong criticism from locals.
Dan Ashton, BC Liberal MLA for Penticton, voiced his own disappointment in the NDP’s treatment of the project.
“This is a crucial issue that the people of Peachland have been heavily engaged in for many years,” says Ashton. “The government has met with both Peachland Council and the Regional District of Central Okanagan as well as consulted a Technical Advisory Committee, representatives of First Nations, and BC Transit. The citizens of Peachland have expressed their needs and the government should take them seriously.”
The NDP introduced three highly controversial options that would cut through crucial parts of the town and expropriate as many as 80 homes.
Transportation Critic Jordan Sturdy has observed a troubling pattern of community engagement by the NDP on infrastructure projects.
“John Horgan and the NDP are more concerned with public image than real consultation,” says Sturdy. “Peachland is another example where the NDP is willing to spend significant B.C. tax dollars on field studies and public forums only to say that they listened. What they learn from these processes has seemingly little impact on what the NDP actually decides to do. Their approach seems to be that if locals don’t like it, well that’s just too bad.”