Public urged to not let cost cloud trail vision

Trail alliance continues to rally support for local rail trail campaign.

North Okanagan residents are being urged to embrace a vision and not become fixated on the big-ticket price of a rail corridor between Coldstream and Kelowna.

Brad Clements, with the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative, told the Vernon Rotary Club Wednesday that a deal among municipalities to purchase the Canadian National line is a positive move.

“Yes it’s $22 million, but there are tremendous benefits,” said the college economist.

“At some point, someone in Vancouver had the foresight to keep Stanley Park for future generations.”

Among the benefits of purchasing the 49.9-kilometre corridor, according to Clements, are access to 24 kilometres of waterfront, protecting the environment, encouraging a healthy lifestyle among residents and bolstering the economy through tourism.

“By ensuring the corridor remains as a transportation pathway, it will attract people,” he said, adding that a trail could generate $10 million in economic revenue within a decade.

“This is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity. We as a society are better to give up $22 million compared to the benefits that will go on forever.”

The track is within 500 metres of 23 parks and 23 points of interest.

While the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee, Lake Country and Kelowna work out specific details for the purchase, the Okanagan Rail Trail Initiative is looking towards the $7 million needed to actually develop the trail infrastructure.

“We will raise the money. We don’t want to put that burden on taxpayers,” said Clements referring to the need for a campaign for donations and grants.

“There’s enough will in the community that we’ll make this happen. We have people who are very eager to donate. We have one person who has given us a cheque for $250,000.”

There has been some media focus on the fact that a portion of the rail line goes through Okanagan Indian Reserve at Duck Lake. However, Clements isn’t convinced that will block trail development.

“The common vision is there,” he said of discussions between his group and the band.

A portion of the rail line along Kalamalka Lake is also part of the Okanagan Indian Band’s Commonage land claim.

“We can help them (band) find a solution with the federal government,” said Clements.

In the Shuswap, work continues behind the scenes to secure a similar corridor along the decommissioned CP Rail line from Sicamous to Armstrong. If successful, this  would link to the Okanagan Rail Trail.

The Shuswap Trail Alliance continues to be an advocate for the Shuswap/North Okanagan Rail Trail. For more information, visit http://www.shuswaptrailalliance.com and view the public call to action.

 

Just Posted

Market welcomes talking giraffe

Artists’ animated collaborative work comes to life at Westgate Public Market

Stolen vehicle evades attempt to spike tires near Sicamous

RCMP are looking for a black late 1990s Ford pickup with a suspension lift and no licence plates

CP vote deadline rescheduled for Friday

The deadline for the Teamsters Canada Rail Conference and International Brotherhood of… Continue reading

Shuswap Lake just keeps rising

Regional district officials encourage those with vulnerable properties to prepare early.

Tourism Kelowna adopts sustainability initiative

Responsible to environment key to long-term tourism growth

Police release video on how to ‘run, hide, fight’ if there’s an active shooter

Vancouver police offer video with input from E-Comm, BC EHS, Vancouver Fire and Rescue

Penticton homeless campers devastated by park cleanup

Two women, in their 50s and 60s, said they felt like giving up after their only home was cleared out

Study recommends jurors receive more financial and psychological support

Federal justice committee calls for 11 policy changes to mitigate juror stress

Research needed on impact of microplastics on B.C. shellfish industry: study

SFU’s department of biological sciences recommends deeper look into shellfish ingesting microbeads

B.C. dad pens letter urging overhaul of youth health laws after son’s fatal overdose

The Infants Act currently states children under 19 years old may consent to medical treatment on own

Singh sides with B.C. in hornet’s nest of pipeline politics for the NDP

Singh had called for a more thorough environmental review process on the proposal

Size, cost set for proposed Vernon cultural facility

Size of new home for museum and art gallery is about 58,000 square feet; cost is $40 million

SilverStar reaches new heights with gondola

Vernon ski resort installing new feature, with opening date set for July 7

Salmon Arm falls to Vernon in womens masters division Soccer

A close game ends 3-2 in favor of Vernon

Most Read