Penticton 2021 byelection candidates

Clockwise from top left: James Blake, Amelia Boultbee, Steve Brown, Karen Brownlee, Jason Cox, Katie O'Kell, James Miller, Keith MacIntyre, Kate Hansen, Isaac Gilbert.

Acting editor's note: This is the seventh piece in a 10-part question-and-answer series with the 10 candidates. The entire process, including crafting the questions, was handled by freelancer Roy Wood. Responses were run through a spellchecker, but otherwise unedited. Candidates were asked to keep their responses to 100 words or less. Responses that ran longer have been clipped as indicated by an ellipsis. We're presenting the responses in random order each day.

Question 7: Parks and other green spaces are vital to the liveability of urban areas. What is your view of Penticton’s inventory of parkland and green spaces?

Steve Brown

Penticton is in a tough situation as land is a scarce resource. We all want and need park space. This is a consideration that should and is, woven into the fabric of our development guidelines. The tough part is the pressure that is put onto the City to make land available for housing. If the City buys more land for park space it takes away inventory for housing development. What we do not want is to be giving away parkland or greenspaces already in inventory without appropriate reciprocal replacement to ensure a continuum of park space availability.

James Blake

The people of Penticton take great pride in the natural beauty of the environment around them. The beautiful lakes and mountains are a daily joy to us all.  To ensure future generations will enjoy what we take for granted I propose that throughout the city small areas of land be part of a network of an urban forest.  These are areas in the city where animals can stop and be safe on their journeys through our city. 

Amelia Boultbee

Penticton has world class parks and green spaces, and it is important we keep them and prevent any reduction in green spaces. I know there are some groups in the community who are seeking additional parks and recreational areas for families, and I think this is a great idea and will make Penticton more liveable for young families. I would encourage additions to Penticton’s parks and green spaces.

Karen Brownlee

Well, as President of PPPS, I know we have epic battles with city hall who is forever trying to commercialize or take away green space.  Our founding fathers and mothers put into place guidelines to prevent money hungry developers, council and mayors to use our precious resource as real estate.  Once gone, it is forever gone.  It seems this council is no better than the last one and I know this personally as not one of them has helped PPPS and the residents keep our parks pristine.  Their doors are closed as they try to find a way to use …

Katie O’Kell

I love how much green space we have in Penticton! Most communities are within walking distance to a park or playground, which are used year round. We are bordered by beaches and mountains which provide access to nature right outside our doorstep. We have sports fields, walking trails, hiking trails, the Channel Parkway – there is an abundance of nature for us to enjoy. I have noticed a significant shortage of dog-friendly spaces. The dog park on Industrial is often a dust bowl, while the very small dog beach on Okanagan Lake is often littered with needles and glass.

James Miller

Outstanding. Using Skaha Park as an example, citizens and civic leaders need to preserve this gem. Rotarians have made amazing contributions to this park. Many citizens have left memorial donations. More effort is needed to naturalize the pond. And don't ignore our dragon boat community. They bring more participants to our city for a weekend event than any other sporting activity. Fortunately, the waterslide debacle is in the rear-view mirror. I won't allow it to resurface.

Keith MacIntyre

We have so much green space in Penticton and it is very under-used.  I live near the Leir House and see a huge green space that is never used.  When I was at the Shatford Centre the green space there was rarely used.  There is a perception that certain areas in Penticton aren’t public space, and people are unsure if they can use a space.  We should ensure the public knows that they don’t need ‘permits, and if they are required, the requirements should be cancelled.  Citizens could work to build a sense of community and utilize the spaces near …

Kate Hansen

Our parkland and greenspaces are an integral part of our community.  Over and over, I have watched this community rally against development(s) that would take away from the natural beauty that Penticton possesses. Green spaces and parks are needed for our families to relax or play, for tourists to come and enjoy, and for the variety of festivals that celebrate all that we have come to be known for.  To lose these areas of refuge and celebration, would be to lose the natural beauty that we have been blessed with.  Our community has overwhelmingly stated, these spaces must be protected.

Isaac Gilbert

As our population grows it is important to continue to protect the parkland we have and look for ways to increase our green spaces as well. I think the most important aspect is to ensure people can access our green spaces by walking, biking, and public transportation. Making them more accessible will help our community to connect with nature and their neighbours in a more meaningful way and give us a place of peace. As neighbourhoods develop, I would like to push the City to plant more street trees and create green way connections.

Jason Cox

I would like to see an increase to Penticton’s parks and green spaces. Innovative community gathering areas and incorporating green space in building and neighbourhood design are a priority for me. A liveable city with lots of amenities makes Penticton a great place to live, work and a great place to visit.