In the two articles on the proposed South Okanagan-Similkameen National Park, Joe Fries and an unidentified staff writer (Penticton Western News) explain that Environment Minister Terry Lake “cited a lack of public support when he confirmed the province had pulled the plug on the idea.”
Fries refers to a 2007 survey where 39 per cent of respondents supported the park while 19 per cent opposed it.
Apparently Minister Lake believes that “19 per cent against is a strong lobby” and that 39 per cent is “not at a high enough level for the government to impose something on the local area.”
The articles fail to point out, however, that the recently released National Park Feasibility Assessment includes the results of two more recent surveys (2008 and 2010) which show that 63 per cent of local residents support the park and 26 per cent oppose it.
I would also like to note that in the last provincial election, Minister Terry Lake won his Kamloops-North Thompson seat by 47 per cent and his closest opponent received 45 per cent of the vote.
Applying the same logic, I wonder if Minister Lake would agree that this percentage does not represent a high enough level of support to have him sit in the provincial legislature.