A government-funded $ 60,000 study will address the problems of “misinformation” circulating among disgruntled residents of a largely rural area of the central Okanagan.
But the one-year study will not determine whether it is possible or desirable for people living in northwestern communities to separate from the Central Okanagan Regional District and create their own. municipality.
“The study is not an incorporation study – it will not provide detailed technical or financial information on the impact of municipal incorporation,” writes Jodie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs, in a letter to the district Kelowna Regional.
The study aims to engage the residents of the North Westside to “understand their concerns and interests” with a view to better integrating them within the existing governance structure of the regional district, Osborne said.
It will also take into account the region’s tax base, business climate and economic growth trends. “The study will address issues of misinformation and education,” Osborne said.
Some of the roughly 1,400 people who live in northwestern communities, such as Fintry, Westshore Estates, Killiney Beach, La Casa, and Valley of the Sun, believe the Kelowna-based regional district offers poor governance for the taxes qu ‘they pay.
Concerns have also been linked to unrest in the fire department and the high cost of various infrastructure projects.
Discontent has been brewing for years, with more than half of all area residents signing petitions in 2017 calling for a self-government feasibility study.
Within regional council there were also divisions over the issue, with Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran once calling the idea of a governance study for the Northwest a “futile effort that does not will solve nothing ”.
The spirits were even heated, as when the chair of the board of directors, Gail Given, a councilor for the city of Kelowna berated some of her colleagues about their various memories of a meeting with a former minister of municipal affairs. .
“You better not call me a liar here and now, because I’m going to lose my mind,” Given replied angrily.