Barry Ovington

Political newcomer wants to heal divided community

Barry Ovington has never wanted to live anywhere else.

“I was born and raised here…My dad worked at the Princeton Brewery and when it closed down the family ended up in Vancouver where he worked at a brewery. That was about 1961…So I spent four years spending most of my time hitchhiking back to Princeton. This is where I belong. “

Ovington has spent his entire professional life in the forestry industry, first as a logger and for the last 41 years at Weyerhaeuser where he is the union’s plant chair.

The skill required in representing workers to management, and resolving issues, is one that he feels would stand him in good stead as a Princeton town councillor.

“After all these years I know I am getting close to retirement and I decided it was time to give back because of my love for the community. I want to give back to the community and I strongly believe I can make a difference.”

Ovington’s number one priority is introducing more activities for the town’s youth.

“I think we lack there,” he said, adding that introducing an archery program and related events is one of his ideas, along with holding special events that would bring the area’s ATV enthusiasts into town to meet with young people and introduce them to the pastime.

“I want to see a group get together and take children and those that have never had an opportunity to ride in a side-by-side, and take them out on trips and give them the experience.” Ovington said he feels the town is divided, largely on the issue of the KVR trail in town boundaries.

“My belief in all this is to try to show everyone we can work together and bring this community together.”

Regarding the trail specifically, Ovington said he doesn’t think just reopening the KVR for motorized use is a workable solution.

“It may be possible to put another trail beside it,” he said. “As a member of council I would look into that…If we are going to revisit the KVR you have to get all the facts and make a common sense approach. It’s all about making things work for everyone.”

As for the pool, Ovington does not support its proposed facility. “The location, I think, is an issue. And I’d like to see certain things, a multi-complex, and that is because you have everything together in one place. He believes that would be more cost effective and “number one is the saving of tax dollars.” Before deciding to run for council Ovington spent many hours meeting with local business people.

“Our bylaws and zoning bylaws need to be reviewed. There are a lot of frustrations from a lot of people who are trying to open a business or expand their business and they come up against too much red tape and too many road blocks. I believe that has to change.”

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andrea.demeer@similkameenspotlight.com

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