Regional District of North Okanagan QUALITY of LIFE SURVEY COMMENTS JANUARY 16, 2014 CONTENTS INTRODUCTION1 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? 2 2 What improvements would make your quality of life better? 29 Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? 42 How long do you expect to be living in your community and why? 62 OUR REGIONAL CHARACTER 71 What is the first image that comes to mind when you think of the North Okanagan? 71 Tell us what you value most about the North Okanagan, in 5 words or less. 76 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS 89 Our Farms and Food: Local Food Access & Farmland Protection 89 Our Water: Water Quality, Water Use Conservation & Water Resource Conservation 95 Our Environment: Outdoor Recreation Access & Environmental Protection 103 Our Economy: Economic Opportunities & Skills and Jobs Match 109 Our Transportation: Alternative Transportation & Transportation Infrastructure 116 Our Housing: Housing Availability, Housing Affordability & Opportunities for Home Ownership 126 Our Government Services: Service Delivery & Regional Collaboration 133 Our Energy: Personal Energy Conservation & Community Energy Conservation 139 RGS AND SUSTAINABILITY ISSUES Do you own, rent, or other (please specify)? FINAL COMMENTS 143 143 145 Regional District of North Okanagan QUALITY of LIFE SURVEY COMMENTS JANUARY 16, 2014 INTRODUCTION The Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO), with the support of EcoPlan International and the University of British Columbia, has developed a monitoring and evaluation program to track the progress and success of the implementation of the North Okanagan Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) and its effects on various aspects of regional growth and citizens’ quality of life. The monitoring program included a Quality of Life Survey, distributed to residents of the North Okanagan. The RDNO Quality of Life Survey was designed to give North Okanagan residents the opportunity to evaluate their quality of life, provide the RDNO with feedback on how the RGS is affecting their quality of life generally and in various policy areas, and fill gaps in the quantitative indicators, providing a more complete picture of life in the North Okanagan. The Quality of Life Survey questions are linked to specific policy areas in many cases, ensuring that the survey results can be used to inform policy. The Quality of Life Survey asks a series of questions about quality of life generally and the following Regional Growth Strategy policy areas: • Urban containment and rural protection • Economic development • Agriculture and food systems • Housing • Water stewardship • Environment and natural lands • Transportation and infrastructure • Governance and service delivery • Energy and emissions This report presents all comments received in each section of the Quality of Life Survey. Comments have not been edited and were included as written. Graphs of responses to the survey questions are included at the beginning of each section to provide context for the comments. Graphs present responses from respondents aged 18 and over, as the majority of comments were received from this survey group. For further details on survey responses, please see the full Regional District of North Okanagan Monitoring and Evaluation Report (2013). YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? Figure 1. Average rating of the change in quality of life in the North Okanagan over the past 5 years, by community. MUCH WORSE WORSE • Very few well paying jobs available. Area needs to attract large corporations to the area. • Young people need to leave in order to find work. • Not a lot of job opportunities. • Work - a lot of reliance on self-employment, doesn’t seem to be many jobs available. • Retirement - hopefully by the time I retire, there will be more options to continue living in my community with the level of care I may require at that time. P.s. I entered fair, which for me means NO OPINION on “Raise a family” as this does not apply to me, or at least, the only family I am raising is a DOG! :-) • Based on the climate and recreation for “play” and “retirement”; similar for “live”--however not enough facilities to encourage families to come-as well high unemployment deserves a poor rating for “work” 2 SAME BETTER MUCH BETTER • Not enough solid full time work for people. invest more into promoting active lifestyles through such things as paved multi use trails. The political system here lends itself to nothing or very little happening - progress is very slow. • this area is dying, no real jobs. no one supporting local business. when most people work up north and only come home for 1 week a month, they dont go out and spend money. just becuse homes sell and taxes are paid dosnt help the local people. if people dont go out for dinner and tip the waitress, the waitress dosnt go to clothing store to buy cloths. so the clothing store lays off staff. this place is to expensive to live on 10.00 an hour. The futre looks bad if we dont bring some real business to the area • Finding a decent paying job in Vernon is essential for the other items listed. Raising a family is good because there are a lot of amenities for families but to retire is very expensive. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • Lack of good paying jobs and high cost of living. • I think there is a real problem with unfriendliness in Vernon - not sure if it because there are many original residents and so many new-comers or if it is the influx of tourists.....not sure but I have spoken to many people who have had a similiar experience, people seem to keep very much to themselves, do not acknowledge you on the street, and overall, are not friendly and welcoming.......has not been a pleasant experience overall. • Wages are extremmely low in the Okanagan, and people struggle with maintaining employment • The people here are NOT very friendly or welcoming. Finding it hard to meet people. • My job is great as are the people I work with. My teenagers have had a hard time finding work. • Low crime, close to all amenities, outdoor life, skiing, lake activities, beauty of area, very mild climate, affordable • 1979 VSS Grad “Valley Sunshine Tax” - difficult to get quality carreer related experience then average wage at best with high housing costs. • No jobs, dishonest employers, extremely low wages, extremely high cost of living, average family can NEVER hope to afford to buy a home on the wages they can get. No mental health support unless wealthy enough to own a car, as all programs are almost outside of town. • Great environment and recreational opportunities. Lack of jobs and lack of affordability • are issues. • The cost of living isn’t any cheaper here than anywhere else in BC but the wages don’t reflect that. I find wages to be low. I made $50/hr in Vancouver 5 years ago and have a hard time finding a job here for $25 in the same area of work (graphic design). Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • Wages do not equal the cost of living and I don’t believe we can continue to use the excuse “The Sunshine Tax” • Not a lot of industry, hard for work. Great schools and parks and outdoor activity. Wish population density was heavier downtown to retire. • Not enough well paying jobs available. Young people have to leave to find well paying jobs as the cost of living in the Okanagan is too high. • nature provides all the fun, our arts, culture and sport are abysmal compared to even municipalities half our size. • outdoor activities • slower pace • Having a decent full time job allows myself and family to take advantage of all Vernon has to offer. Without a decent job I would be answering this question 100% differently. • Jobs seem to be sparse, and therefore salaries are lower than comparable jobs in other areas. • Few good paying jobs; very few good jobs for young adults, especially if not in construction (during boon days). • There are decent amenities for the elderly, and for younger familys, and tons to do all year round (ski, beaches, camping etc), however finding a decent job is always a challenge. Also the cost of living (especially housing) is outragous for what the north okanagan actually is. • Real estate too expensive, too many transients and panhandlers • The beauty, availability of recreation opportunities and the weather. Also the access to fresh fruit. • Chose to come here for the quality of life Vernon/ Okanagan offer 3 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? • It is a beautiful place to live. I enjoy the summer and winter seasons here. Good place top raise family as it is a small community. • There isnt any way to make good money in the area... Most ppl who make good money have to go out of the area • good services, amenities, recreation. • hard to find good work for most. good for retirement as people come here with money. • Lots of outdoor activities & amenities. • People are very friendlly everyone helps one another. • Hard to find good paying and full-time jobs. • Low paying jobs with much travel required to get to them, high cost of living. City spending way too much money on un-needed projects while letting existing infrastructure rot. • We have 4 definite seasons to work and play in and people from around the world recognize the beauty and opportunities the area has to offer • Best in Canada for - weather, recreation, activities • Vernon has a calm way of life in the middle of a lot of nature’s beauty. It offers outdoor enjoyment for summer and winter. The climate is better than other parts of Western Canada. Unfortunately, to come to Vernon you need an income of your own. • Weather, 4 seasons Lots of recreation opportunities Friendly people Lower cost of living than lower mainland • very few good paying jobs for the prices and tax levels in vernon. • Culture and diversity are important factors that are missing from this survey. • It is difficult to find paid positions in the area of education I have. • While there are many outdoor recreation opportunities there is little in the way of arts and 4 culture. As well, in the winter, the limited access to the pool and the limited opportunities to do more than ski make this a frustrating and uninspiring place to live full time. There are many activities for people who are retired or have children, the rest of the community is not a priority. • Perfect climate, not over-populated,all amenities present. Mind-set of community is small town, my preference. • It is very family, couple and senior oriented. Not as focused on the single lifestyle. Very difficult to find engaging work that pays enough to live on one’s own without starting a side business or working more than one job. • Cost of living is very high in this area • Employment is difficult here. My daughter is a single mother and works minumally 28 hours per week and cannot net get many more hours. She stuggles with the cost of living and ends up coming home to eat and shop for food as she cannot afford much else. There is employement in our community however it seems to be for part time with no benefits and then people have to get a 2nd job in order to survive due to housing costs and cost of living increases • 4 seasons limited work for young people lots of outdoor seasonal activities nice area to raise a family • It offers a wide range of activity opportunities and has not succumed to over-industrialization for which it is unsuitablw. • CLIMATE, EDUCATIONAL CHOICES, RECREATION, SAFETY, FRIENDLY PEOPLE, ACCOMODATION, ETC. • Not enough work for our youth. • Fabulous seasons. Lots to do. Great outdoor experiences. beautiful place to live. • The cost of living here compared to wages are a tough hurdle. It is always a challenge as well to find businesses open after 6:00, when that is the time that many working people are ready to go out and support the local economy. It unfortunatley REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE drives many people to Kelowna - even if it is for later coffee shops.... • Good employment is difficult to find in the Okanagan without being a spcific high education career. • Lots of recreational activities and we are close to larger cities when we want more. • Housing is expensive. Concerns that the area is not growing but rather on a slow decline. • We need growth, preferably not at the kelowna rate but at least some! • There is not enough work • no decent work opportunities • Vernon needs more economic development to raise a family, and enjoy the qualitiy of life. • Great place to play, but we need more sustainable job opportunities. • Play - fair - because not enough sport options in Vernon (no ultimate frisbee league), no great facilities currently exist. But great hiking and swimming. • Jobs seem to be scarce. I am impressed with the school system. We are enjoying retirement here. • Comfortable Living • I’ll start by answering the work part, as I have to complete it. I am retired. But in talking to people who grew up here, and work in the area,we are told there is work for people who want to work. We had a house built and used young local builders. They say it’s a scramble to keep working, but they are managing in a tough economy. They have chosen not to leave town for more money and believe they are better off. We have seen neighbours’ children employed in Armstrong and Vernon. We have talked to businesses that are proud of employing local youth and feel there are talented and hard-working young adults here. Coming from the Lower Mainland, work opportunities are perhaps worse, with far greater competition for jobs, low pay or part time Quality of LIfe Survey Comments work in an incredibly expensive city with terrible housing issues. As with anywhere, people with the right skills for the market will find work. In small communities, people who do their jobs well get known. They will have work. This is what we witnessed. Apart from work,Armstrong has great people who are involved in their community. They are friendly, inclusive, helpful, volunteer so much, and are neighborly. It’s a farm community that never lost touch with its values of helping other people and sharing. Community is valued more than the pursuit of money which has destroyed so many communities. We meet friendly and competent children well supported by the schools and the community. I seems to be a good town for raising families. The arts, theatre, music, all sorts of crafts are wonderful, so many creative people live in the North Okanagan.It’s a good life here for creative people willing to live with less money. The farms are incredible, the food that is produced here, especially organic foods,and the farmers’ markets are amazing. We see young people interested in farming as a living which gives us hope for the future. The farmland is protected from rampant development that plagues the South Okanagan (just look at the disaster of Kelowna in terms of city planning and development), and the Lower Mainland. There is an amazing quality of life here that has been lost elsewhere.We feel we have gained so much by moving to the North Okanagan compared to living in North Vancouver. There is nothing we miss. We feel blessed to live in such a gorgeous landscape. The land around Armstrong, the hills dotted with farms, fields and trees looks exactly like Tuscany. It doesn’t get lovelier, in all seasons. • Beautiful surroundingd, great weather, lifestyle • There needs to be more emphasis on attracting white collar jobs - I like many others grew up here unmoved away for school / early career because of a lack of local options. It took 8 years to be able to come back with a job in kelowna - not vernon • Nice summer climate. • - lack of well paying jobs, my degree in languages/ teaching is not usable here - Not too kids friendly, there could be done much more - lack of long term care facilities 5 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? • the weather is nice overall and the many outdoor activities that are offered. • This is a great community to live for many great reasons. Work, play etc. • As a result of the outdoor recreation opportunities and the climate • There are not enough professional jobs - the wages here and type of jobs do not support the cost of living. • Living here is getting more and more expensive. Not a lot of good jobs. Lots of activities and things to do. Small town feel makes it nice to raise a family. • Retirement is more difficult because of the distances to medical care. • The amenities, the lifestyele, no traffic, lakes mountains etc. Professional work opportunites are hard to find • I love being so close to nature • I have considered moving away from the Okanagan but this is the place I want to raise my kids. There is plenty to do all year round and I love the sense of community we find in Armstrong and the surounding area. • Cost of living/housing is high, there is little in the way of jobs to support raising a family, elected officials think we should buy/build things we can’t afford while our infastructure crumbles and is underfunded? • In terms of work, when I graduated from univesity and moved back to Vernon, there were no entry level jobs for new grads with no work exp. I found it very difficult to find a decent paying job. I had to commute to Kelowna for 3 years to gain exp at a larger organization in order to be hired for my current job in Vernon. • -Good place to live but pretty expensive to own a home. -Wages aren’t very good and not a lot of jobs. 6 • I believe that one thing that needs improvement in this area is better paying jobs. Also, I believe better traffic flow through the city, on 32 Street and 27 Street, is necessary. • This area is a fantastic place to live if you don’t have to work. We moved here 16 years ago and it is a great place to raise children. There are lots of things to do and I really love the small town life. The biggest drawback is finding employment that is more than part time. It can be expensive to live here and without work, that makes it hard. • It is too costly to raise a family here,now. Also, if you are retired and on a fixed income it is impossible to get ahead. • I rated “Work” as poor because it has been hard for my husband to start a business and find adequate work here. • Rent too high, jobs scarce, unwelcoming to teens, hard for low-income to participate in play. • I love living in the North Okanaganan but as for work my grown children find it difficult to find work here and I find the wages aren’t comparable to the rest of BC - they are lower and everyone says it is because we live here. • Beautiful place, great weather. City is trying to move towards more sustainable practices such as bike lanes, transit, all things that are very important to me. • Good amenitites, great access to outdoor recreation opps and airport. Great weather. • More work opportunities, particularly for those with advanced degrees, would be great! • However, we weighed that against our desire to raise our family in a smaller town, and the small town won :) The weather and geographic location is wonderful; however many ammenities and programs for families with small children we are used to are not available here. • You can’t beat the Okanagans scenery • This would be a far more agreeable place to work if we had less conflict in local government REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE governance (Vernon, Coldstream, RD electoral areas) should be amalgamated). Life and work would be better with real economic growth. Economic development initiatives have been few and ineffective. • Nature, great community, high quality of life • sunshine, not hectic • Need more amenities in small towns for retirees: Drs., better bus service, etc. School district is not improving opportunites for kids. More programs, better field trips, etc. • My husband is a teacher & has not been able to get work in the public system since we moved. There are not a lot of decent paying job opportunities in the Okanagan. • Air quality is a bit poor and public transportation and walking routes are spotty if trying to access center from outlying areas. • Small community, clean environment, beautiful natural surroundings,variety of outdoor recreation opportunities, good schools and community amenities • Not enough well paying jobs except those in Government organizations. Limited walking paths near lakes, poor transportation in Middleton Mtn/ Coldstream area. • Play is poor because there is little for young people to do other than ski and drink. There is not enough arts and culture. Raising a family is only fair because the education system is much lower quality than what I saw living in Ontario. • Love living here. Hard to find good work and knowing your kids will likely have to move away to find good jobs. Not alot to do, we tend to use lakes etc. As I look to retirement it is a great place to live, but not a great place to need medical care as a senior. • Work: Few economic/pofessional opportunities; obvious lack of focus on economic development. Other areas: good climate, lots of outdoor rec opportunities, quiet communities • My husband is a teacher & has been unable to get work in the public school system since we arrived. Work opportunities for professionals are very slim in the area. • It is expensive to live in the Okanagan, and there seems to be a shortage of work. However, the people are amazing and it is Beautiful. • Lakes, good community • Few services, not may employment options for professionals, entertainment and cultural activities few and far between. • Access to nature, mostly good climate, good quality food and excellent Arts community • Lack of support for culture, such as live music and visual arts. • We are very lucky in Canada, and especially in BC, to live in a safe, clean city with access to health care, education, policing, firefighting, jobs and year-round leisure activities. • Challenge to find high quality jobs for university educated young to middle aged people. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • Beautiful place with beautiful people • Full time work is hard to get. We have the beauty of the lakes and Silver Star. • The beautiful natural environment & mild sunny climate make it easy to live a healthy & active life. There is also a rich cultural life that offers a variety of reasonably priced entertainment & participation options. • Weather, activities, good roads, less traffic • The people in Armstrong are friendly and the Community comes together in hard times. • I love Vernon but am frustrated at the lack of co-operation between jurisdictions and it has an huge affect on our ability to draw new jobs to town and an even larger impact on our infrastructure, particuallarly recreation and parks. Both functions have been ignored for decades and it shows. The majjority of our play comes from the natural 7 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? beauty or private enterprise such as Silver Star, golf courses, etc. It would be nice to see RDNO lead the charge for better recreation, culture and community. Something we can be proud of. • ...offers many outdoor opportunities to play during any season-hiking, skiing, boating etc. ...not a lot of good paying jobs available for the cost of living ...beautiful scenery • Good jobs have always been hard to find in the NO • Has everything without being too big • Prices for living here are too high • WEATHER, PEOPLE, SCENERY, CLEAN WATER AND AIR • Low Wages Few employment opportunities in the community of Vernon • Many opportunities for sport, outdoor activities, active arts communities, scenery, four seasons. Not overcrowded, but getting that way. I would rather not see the beauty of the Okanagan eroded by real estate development. • The Okanagan has a wide variety of recreational activities available,the climate is great and our family values the proximity of diverse agricultural activity. • Mostly the climate, but the lakes, rivers and parks really do add to the quality of life in the Okanagan. • It’s very expensive to live here...housing is not affordable and jobs don’t pay very well. • There’s also not a lot of cultural activities. And there’s not a lot to do on a rainy Sunday morning with the kids (library closed, science center closed etc). • Climate, recreation, natural surroundings • Re: Work - it’s an excellent place for me to work because I am in employment services...10% unemployment keeps my job secure. Re: Retirement...can’t imagine being able to afford to live here on a limited income! • Thre is a need for higher paying jobs in the area to complement the other “liveable” positive aspects of the region. • Excellent recreational opportunities with SS (both summer & winter) as well as the lakes and summer weather. Career opportunities need to be better. We need to find a way to attract businesses here. • I am not retired, therefore I do not know. Wages are fairly low here, they need the people but do not want to pay the wages. It is tough to play when you just have enough money for the basics. 8 • I have lived, worked and retired in the North Okanagan and have never thought of doing such in any other locale. • We need more infrastructure like dedicated walking paths and bike paths to shopping and parks for this to be a better city for families and to retire. We also need to focus more on lower priced housing options. • lots of amentities. Few good jobs • The town of Enderby is “small town” friendly and it is easy to get involved in the community. • The most ridiculous thing I regularly hear for lower pay in this area is “the sunshine tax”. • People are equally schooled here as in the lower mainland, but employers take advantage of employees and pay them less for living in this area. • Geat place to live but young people can’t get jobs. • There are suitable ammenities, recreation facilities, and work opportunities. • I am single and long from retirement. I have been here since Sept/06 and am still permanent part/ time and scrambling for enough hours to pay my bills each month. • We need better recreation facilites. • It’s a beautiful warm area with plenty to do but the cost of living is way more than what we can afford for the wages we make. This so called REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE ‘sunshine tax’ is outrageous. We can barely afford to live here. • Wonderful advantages living in a smaller community where you know your neighbours. • Terrific access to nature, views, water and organizations that support our lifestyle • There are few jobs for young people and cost of living is high. Climate is very good. • Outdoor activities++ (lakes, skiing, hiking, boating. Family-oriented activites++. Good services for seniors. Abundance of arts and culture activities. BUT - high housing prices and low wages make it hard for young families to earn a living, find affordable housing • No Doctors. Need I say more? And no indoor pool for Armstrong area for the winter for seniors. • The few jobs that are available are usually entry level minimum wage. We need job creation desperately! • Good weather for living in and growing’produce, nice people • We are so lucky to have the lakes, ski hills, golf courses etc. Low crime rate and perfect weather to boot! • Great weather, lakes and mountains close by, beautiful scenery, most services available locally. Walking and hiking trails. • It is a great place to live, but the cost of living here is high. Family sustaining employment is difficult to find. • We need more full time employment opportunities and job creation in the North Okanagan. • It is hard to find good jobs and decent housing • Not many activities for young adults to engage in. • Not enough jobs for those w higher education Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • The paradise of the North Okanagan is a privilege with beautiful outdoor adventure opportunities and strong cultural communities. • Climate, proximity to natural beauty/outdoor activities, cultural opportunities • Weather and accessible activities like skiing and golf and water sports. • weather is fine • To retire here .. has some difficulties for the senior group in acess of services as far as the younger population people seem happy and friendly .. but could not really rate it • Running trails, cycling, rowing, swimming, skiing, down hill and xcountry, the lakes, Kal park, weather, airport, library, hospital, health care, quiet, ease of getting around, clean air... • too many drugs, not enough work or work opportunities, a lot of unemployed people doing mischief around town, families moving out and people aging in the Okanagan • Since moving here every community support service that was here has either been reduced, closed or, taken elsewhere. Particularly medical which is now a two-tiered system in BC - urban and rural. In spite of all the nonsense statements of politicians and administrators that it will change no REAL facilities are added. It takes an ambulance an average of 45 minutes to get here, then another 45 minutes to reach a hospital. When the difference, in case of a stroke is 12 minutes between recovery, or, dead or a cabbage that is way out of line. One doctor who is only allowed to write serious prescriptions for 700 but has a patient load of 2300. Since moving here the promise has been of doctors being recruited and it is an outright lie. When they do manage one they are part time and less effective than even a walk-in clinic which is only good for sprains and bruises. The ONLY health related service here appears to be a cemetery. • Could still be better. Hope that comes up in future questions. 9 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? • proximity to lakes,rivers, mountains Days travel to major centers (Vancouver/Calgary • Sport opportunities for youth • we hVE THE BEST OF EVERYTHING • Close to major center and you have the out doors close by. • sustained employment is modest, at best, however, I don’t think it’s much better than anywhere else, except Alberta -- in Canada • Lack of opportunity for recent graduates and underemployed families • Excellent recreation opportunities, but tough for a small business • I have grown up here and also raised my children here. It has always been the place i come back to even when i have lived anywhere else. • Love living here but there is no good paying jobs. Most people/husbands must work out of town to make a living. • It is a young place with lots of summer activities. • The recession has hit this area very hard. Work for young people is scarce . Raising a family here with the drug culture so vibrant would be a challenge.I’m retired the lakes and golf and skiing make my life full. • For young people jobs are few and poorly paid. We need more industry. • not enough good paying stable jobs for young families • We enjoy four seasons. Wonderful place to raise children; my kids were a ten minute walk to Highland Park Elementary. Now that the kids are grown I see new families in neighbourhood. My husband and I worked for top employers in Okanagan, BC • Assessment & Kal Tire Head Office. We enjoy shopping, performing arts, ski hill & water. • I like the fact that life is more relax and the people are still talk to eachother on the street and care for one an other. Like went I grow up in a small village. • Job opportunities for young people are not too abundant unless you work at a very low paying job. • The weather is amazing all seasons, super easy access to skiing, close distance to all grocery shopping, array of education K-12 options that free as opposed to private and costly in other parts of BC, famers markets to build relationships with people who grow our food, trails to ride bikes and walk, different sport activities for kids, Science Centre, tonnes of reasons! Not so good for employment though, low wages 10 • Love it here raised a family safely fresh air etc • lack of introductory priced housing and lack of industry to create jobs • great weather, lots of outdoor parks and camping. Good paying jobs are needed though, hard to find solid well paying work for some. • The skiing is 25 minutes from our door, the hiking in close proximity to town, varity of walking areas with spectacular views, offering no limit to eco-therapy options.kayaking on smaller lakes. My children, even though they no longer live in this area have had all of these experinces to take with them. However there were few work opportunities for them, so they are all over the country. We are lucky they like to holiday here. Lots of opportunities to get involved in now that I am retired. • The area we live in has all the things we need in our later years. The weather is good, and hospitals are close at hand. • weather, lots of activities, friendly people • Over the years, I have been involved in all of the above and have been satisfied with all. • It’s a good place to live. We love the climate. Jobs are lousy. 3 of our 4 children had to move to Alberta for work. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • climate, natural beauty, small town, rural, safe, clean • i just love living here • Great place to live with lots of outdoor activities, no good paying full time jobs,god schools and kids activities, and expensive to reire, you have to really watch your coin!! • We have an excellent standard of living and the area is beautiful. We can ski, swim, fish and garden. The last three are very low cost. We have good schools. • weather is nice the people are friendly not to crowded • Housing expensive, many jobs are in the hospitality industry and pay is low and seasonal, so more difficult to raise a family. • I have 2 children. I lived in Edmonton for a time and found it thoroughly refreshing to see how valued children are in other cities - there was Always a park within walking distance. Always had sidewalk and safe ways to Walk around from place to place. I have lived in 5 different locations over my life in Vernon and only 1 was within walking distance of a park, muptiple areas around town have little-no or unsafe sidewalk. The recreational facilities are abysmal. The spray water park isnt open on sundays- thats what I was told last year when I called to ask why it wasnt on on a +30 weekend day! The pool is tiny and over jammed with people during public or toonie swims and the rec centre offers little subsidized programs for low income parents to keep their children involved in sports activities. There are very few housing choices available for low income families and some available have become run down and should be fixed or replaced though never have been. The transit system to take people to Kelowna for school is great...problem is the bus arrives almost a half hr too late for OC students to get there. I really could just keep on going...its extreemly disappointing to live here. If my family lived elsewhere I would gladly move away again. • No work and therefore most move away and only those retiring come back. Poor economic growth in Vernon and therefore families moving to where the jobs are. Housing is also unaffordable. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • Compared to most other places, we have no natural disasters and we can eat locally grown foods. • Employment opportunities are limited. Too many minimum wage jobs. • the reasons for all poor are costs are too high and with an aging population the council and district are not controlling costs by lowering the tax burden. Poor place to work no major industry in town now and looks like none in the future • Live-good as needs to be more affordable homes for seniors. Work-fair as few jobs in cities and fewer in rural areas, our kids must move for work and the areas greys as a result. play-lots of possibilities in surroundings and keep the arts funding going or there will be fewer and fewer in those areas of play. Raise a family-Lots of supports for people in Vernon. Retire-need light rail or better bus systems in Vernon at night and more frequent in rural areas, need more co-ops or other rural opportunities for seniors to live and more graduated housing for seniors from independent affordable to assisted affordable; fewer private businesses running these or much more heavily monitored or both. • We are thoroughly content with life in Vernon compared to many other parts of Canada that we lived in. There are plenty of opportunities available for those who wish to live a healthy lifestyle • This is a lovely part of the world. For young parents, it is an excellent environment in which to raise their children but a strong limiting factor is the lack of good jobs. • There is not much for work around here. • Because there is such a shortage of work it is difficult to raise a family, or have extra money to play except at the beaches, winter is more difficult for some families. • It is an amazing place for family recreation, we have lots of options from local ski hills to lakes and the river in the summer. We are blessed to work in our community and we have everything we need. I know some have a hard time finding work in the area though. 11 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? • Unfortunately there not enough jobs around the area that will allow the families to live on one income and therefore the majority of young families have to endure having the husband work out of town for weeks to months at a time. • There are nice neighborhoods, good shopping places, and places to work. • not enough GOOD Extended care facilities for when you are no longer able to live on your own and need intermediate level of care. • Great place to live if you have a good job, but Vernon can be kind of an economic hole. • Lots of activities to get involved in. • Great weather, closer to larger centers ( nearly equal distances between Vancouver and Calgary) Close access to airport. Great place to work if you have an existing job. No so much if you come here looking for work outside of the retail industry. • Pleasant people in a pleasant valley • Great recreational area while small enough to provide safe home environment. Not many job opportunities for young people or mature workers • Because I live here • I love living in a smaller town- spent almost 40 years in Armstrong before moving to enderby 2 years ago-raised my daughter in Armstrong - I love the fact that you know everyone and they know you so we all watch out for each other. Although finding work has sometimes been a challenge in a small town and its sad to see most of my peers and younger have had to move to find employment-my brothers live in different provinces due to lack of work and we don’t see their children often. I do enjoy all our area has to offer but we do sometimes struggle financially where in other provinces -with our career choices - we could have a better quality of life but we choose -for now -to “pay the sunshine tax” • the outdoor lifestyle offers something every season. Armstrong is a particularly easy place to live, good services and taxes, great water. great farm markets and local foods, good post 12 secondary education opportunities, great music and art, wineries, lakes, mountains... • Not enough emphasis on job creation to stimulate the economy and encourage young families to live here. • It’s simply beautiful here. • There are NO jobs for professionals!So much has focused on developing the area but economic forethought has been on the backburner. Who cares if we live where there are lakes for boating and hills for skiing if we cannot afford to live in the day to day reality! • Cost of living is much higher in okanagan. While having a lot of outdoor recreation it is lacking some big city appeal for fun. • Employment is scattered, and cost of living is high, minimum wage jobs abound. • I like that Vernon is a recreational playground with the ski hill, lakes, hiking trails, etc. but I also see those natural features being stressed by overuse which concerns me. We need more “clean” industry to provide our residents with higher paying jobs. We need affordable housing options in the downtown core...no more urban sprawl. • The current provincial government doesn’t adequately support rural living and the agricultural industry. This negatively impacts quality of life in regards to both work and raising a family. • I love many things.....weather, people, facilities, shopping, scenery etc. • Beautiful area, not as busy as large cities but busy enough! • We are fortunate to live within walking distance of almost all of the retailers that carry the things we need. Generally the weather is quite acceptable, not too hot and not too cold. Lots of things for seniors to do. Good care is provided for seniors too. • Clean air, change of seasons, I can walk or cycle to all my destinations in the city REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • employment opportunities are too low and cost of living in the Okanagan too high • Relxed atmosphere • employment opportunities too low and cost of living too high • Good weather, many lakes • climate, good amenities, proximity to an airport wish there was more housing in the downtown area for seniors..I would rather not drive everywhere! • traffic & constant construction inhibit daily travel. Very low wages. Expensive to eat healthy, with poor selection. Too cold for retirement most of the year. • Vernon has a lot to offer. 4 seasons with numerous opportunities to enjoy. We raised our family here and always found a wide variety of things to do. • Weather, Job opportunities, general recreation • small population and enough water to do to live the good life • opportunity and services • mountains, lakes, climate,people, gardens, recreation, services,environment groups • Great place to live and play but opportunities for the younger job market is hard and also lower paying then larger centres • I have worked in Vernon, Armstrong, Enderby and Salmon Arm, also raised my family here and now am retired and all stages have been great for all of us. • Employment opportunities are more limited of course, due to the demographics, but in every other way, it’s a wonderful place to live and raise a family. • We live in a beautiful region and a friendly city and we have many amenities right at our doorstep - how lucky are we to live here? Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • Please improve the bus systems for us non drivers • The positives: Great climate, good people, lots of activities. The negatives: Real estate is expensive; health care is on the edge; full-time, good-paying work is not easy to find here, and it’s pretty hard to raise a family without money. • Weather allows you to complete many physical actives all year, access to larger city life for the odd shopping spree is just a shot drive away, Asa well as, the USA if you so choose. Location Location Location • Destination location. Has everything for everyone. Great weather. As for kids and retirement I have no idea. • many options for recreation and nice climate • it is still small enough to get around easily and to know about the events in the community • excellent climate... ease of access to services and cultural events... not too crowded...good access to international airport • Poor work opportunities for young people - There are lots of babies born here, but the families have moved away by the time they reach school age because of lack of employment. So many fathers are working up north or in Alberta - this is not healthy for family life. • Low population with little (perceived) conflicts and crime. Affordable cost-of-living compared to lower mainland. Fantastic outdoor recreation possibilities (a major reason for moving here); Farmers markets; arts; culture; live music and theatre. • I give the area high ratings because the combination of work opportunity for me, outdoor recreation and a reasonably sized community are important factors in choosing where to live. • It’s hard/expensive to live in many places in BC though it depends on your career or job eligibilities and overall lifestyle, really. Having grown up here it’s most commonly assumed that you live here to make a family, have a pricey vacation home, or retire but there are maaaaaany more of us who don’t fall into those categories. 13 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? • We like this Okanagan Valley!! Anywhere you travel to, it is so nice to get back home to the greenery, the valleys and hills, and the mix of sun and rain. Our community is small enough to enjoy the togetherness of events and big enough to include any who want to fit in for a weekend or more such as the IPE. Work or play there is a variety of it around here. Search it out. Enough to keep you and your family happy, maybe not wealthy, but content!! Stay a little later in life and you’ll have activities to keep you from being bored and more friends than you know what to do with. Enjoy the North Okanagan while you can!! • climate,rec opportunity • I moved from Alberta, for lifestyle. I never thought it was going to cost us so much to live here.Price of gas is ridiculous, insurance is unbelievable and wages...what happened to the wages and the jobs? • Based on the cost of living vs. wages, it makes it more difficult to live, work and raise a family here as compared to other places ie. up north or Alberta. • We need more employment facilities for midcareer people. Vernon cannot survive as an retired person’s community because retired people get old and die; who’s going to take their place? The effect on the quality of life is just worry and concern about the future of the community. • access to healthy options • Amenities, weather, natural beauty, little traffic • Food and gas prices are lower than the Lower Mainland, and the people are friendlier. • I love living in Armstrong. My husband is a trucker and I have to work part time locally to make ends meet. • Low paying wages and lack of opportunity for professional work (other than the typical Dr or lawyer, dentist work) Great opportunity for outdoor adventure/play with Ski areas and Parks nearby • There is too much corporate influence on the small town of Vernon, companies such as Walmart, Mcdonalds, and other large chains kill small bussiness and offer unfullfilling and under paying jobs as well as providing the community with imported products that dont support the community and genetically modified foods which only harm our bodys, minds, and farmers. • our system is killing jobs honest people have little chance to create and produce • Life is generally good here. I think we need more cultural amenities and programming and nightlife. • There is very little affordable housing for young families and not enough well paid jobs. My husband and I chose to move here for the climate and lifestyle, even knowing that good jobs would be hard to find. So we settled for semi-retirement doing part time work and enjoying the many activities found here, such as downhill skiing and hiking. • If you aren’t dependent on employment or are self-employed, it offers a lot of appeal as far as lifestyle is concerned. • Good weather, friendly people, good choice of amenities including shopping, coffee shops, restaurants, movie theatres, parks. • Beautiful lifestyle, nice size town, great community once you find your niche. • As an enthusiast of outdoor recreation I have close access to these activities. • enviroment and friendliness • It has the everything you need!! Plus very beautiful landscape! • Access to services and entertainment are better, and there is a strong arts community. • Although I am employed full-time, I know many people who find it difficult to find work. I had difficulty finding work when I first moved here. 14 • My kids want to stay and live here, but not enough jobs/ job diversity. • Great weather, Lots to do, feel safe, REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • Everything is very close but Armstrong is still a small community • i came here to heal from cancer and am on a disability.i find it very peaceful but i dont know about employment • This is a culture for retired people and those buildings structures for them. For youth, we offer sports and ... well, that’s it. There is no economic, social or aesthetic vision and government is only interest in economics. That’s not enough. Transportation is so poor it might as well not be. • If you are looking for employment in the community that you live in, small communities can only support so many businesses or they all do a bit and do not profit or support many workers; if you are not unwilling to commute, there are endless opportunities and when you thing about the commutes that occur in big cities, driving from Lumby to Kelowna is not only a pleasant drive but not that far either. • Easy living. Prefer larger city to retire • The people are nice, a chance to raise a family in a wholesome environment. • It offers all that our family desires. • I believe we are missing the activities for family here. • Too much in fighting within local governments. Big box stores do not provide a decent paying wage or hrs for workers to rise above the money needed to pay bills and live here. Too many young people leave the area for employment. Seems that any proposals made for improvement in sports facilities or venues meet with opposition from residents way too much. Who would wish to open a business with so much red tape and such reluctance to see them come into the area? Economic development or tourism development is far below what it should be for such a beautiful setting. There is a need for a person or persons with visions for the future of the area that are positive and vital to the economy and the welfare of the residents. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • Cost of living is high, employment opportunities are low, healthcare is minimal and hard to find but the trails and lakes are amazing. • great climate; clean swimming; nearby wildlife • We have 4 distinct seasons. We have lakes, beaches, mountains to ski and hike. We have enough retail and enough entertainment to keep us here. We have a mix of immigrants to make life more interesting. • Love the outdoor opportunities, the diverse arts scene and easy access around town • Great retirement community not alot of family events to do, especially at night • No work and high housing costs make it a bit rich for lower income earners. Wages are not competitive and the ever present Sunshine Tax is an insult to hard working people trying to earn a living • Very little employment for young families, therefore families have to either all move or parent(s) have to commute to employment. Some have to be away from family for a period of time. One parent works away for possibly a month at a time. • Low population density. 4 Seasons playground • Super Natural BC - what else? Friendly, accessible, convenient, organized. • Very few good paying jobs. Poor transit planning moving main Vernon bus exchange. • Poor planning overall main Vernon Library on steep hill &/or poor bus service. Aging poorly maintained sports facility or underused. • Too many drugs Poor paying jobs Too many homeless, and too high unemployment No useable bus system to manage daily needs • It’s a beautiful place to live, but jobs are had to find. The pay scale here is also very low. • The North Okanagan is a great place for my age group, but it can be difficult for the younger 15 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? generation. Many must move away to make a suitable living. • We reitred here to enjoy the outdoor lifestyle of cycling, hiking, kayaking, xcountry skiing and alpine skiing. All within a short distance of our home and plentiful access to gorgeous places. Also for the comfortable winter temperatures and few mosquitoes. Great community feeling of Vernon - very friendly. Access to everything we need on a daily basis. Good hospital within the city. Surprisingly good entertainment with the Jazz Club, Powerhouse Theatre, Performing Arts Centre, etc. Love the Vernon Arts Centre and the classes that are offered. • Plenty of retirement facilities, plenty of parks/ sports facilities, golf courses, lakes, ski hill, trails/ hiking/fishing. Not too distinguishable work industry (a lot of low end jobs). • Healthy, safe, natural environment. Most necessities locally and readily available. Great seasonal weather. • It is an awesome place to live but finding higher level paying jobs for a young person with little experience is hard. • RECREATION AREAS FOR FISHING WOULD LIKE TO SEE MORE CAMPSITES AND OR RECREATIONAL CENTERS • the Good rating instead of VEry Good is because of the lack of smoke control even in Vernon, lack of good transit, and poor access to medical attention (long waiting). • I was born, married and raised my family of three children in Armstrong. I believe that the schools provided my children with an excellent education and opportunities. The recreation provided locally was excellent and lots of choices depending on a person’s interests. The medical services provided to me and our family have been awesome and I know this first-hand having to deal with cancer and other medical issues. The improvements made to the highway have made travelling to Vernon much more relaxing and safer in my opinion. • A fairly safe place to live and raise children • Much slower-paced than Lower Mainland • small but everything here or near. lakes, lakes, lakes. quality outdoor life. • It’s the best place in Canada with it’s friendly people, 4 seasons weather, and outdoor activity lifestyle. Lots of work available. 16 • Great recreation, but lack of jobs / industry. The saying “sunshine tax” comes to mind ! • Housing prices are rather high. • It’s beautiful here. It’s heaven on Earth. We have everything....golfing, skiing, beaches, lakes, camping, shopping, the seasons, it’s safe, not too big......we’re so lucky to have such a beautiful place to live. • Too hot in the summer, too cloudy in the winter but besides that, the natural recreation opportunities are great - lakes and skiing etc. Not enough large companies in Vernon to support large incomes and increase competition. • The weather is very good, not too hot and not too cold. Some good resources for Seniors. Quiet area to raise children, grandkids love the play areas.. • I love living here, but the “sunshine tax” is a killer, as are the gas prices. Also, my property assessment value keeps going down, but my property taxes never do! • I believe that the community resources, e.g., non profits make a difference. We have a strong community of associations that look after the needs of the community. • The best place to be, in my opinion • It is hard to find good paying jobs within the region. • Great place to live, not a huge amount of work. A lot of people have to work away from him, or work seasonally • the Okanagan for retirees is a paradise.. • not enough jobs for young people REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • High cost of living, not enough employment opportunities for young adults. • There are not enough employment opportunities for young people. There are very few adequate places to rent or buy for young families • It’s heaven to live here and be here. Only downside is the mass of tourists taking over in the summer, and it is hard to find well paying jobs/ CAREERS here. • Work can be a challenge to find for professionals as well as some young families. Childcare is expensive and good quality childcare is limited, so this can also pose a challenge to working. • wonderful community not a good variety of good paying jobs I wish there were better quality restaurants • Beauty, opportunity for recreation, climate • Local services (medical, etc.) are available within a short commute. Arts and culture are available in town • Armstrong is a great community for retirement most amenities are easily to get to. • No complaints! • It’s a good place to live, but it could be better with easier public transit, and lower costs of living. It’s a hard place to find work. There are tons of fun things to do. It’s probably expensive raising a family here, and the school districts don’t seem exceptionally above average. It’s a great place to retire because of the weather, amenities for older folks, although more public transit would probably help. • All the amazing places that are here: Monashee mountains, Lakes, Skiing.... • Children get very missled in schoolsytem no work education compare with sweden or switzerland and there are patterns where it goes wrong here for example Forestry, DFO, Agriculture a desaster • Wages are low with few job opportunities, healthcare in my community is non-existent with no Quality of LIfe Survey Comments doctors, hospitals in neighboring communities are crowded with long wait lists and patients being prematurely discharged. If you have money there is lots to do for recreation. • Proximity to nature. Climate. Networks of good people. • Close proximity to nature, parks, trails, fishing, clean lakes, skiing, fresh produce, shopping, medical care, sports, arts, • Expensive to live. Not many job opportunities. Needs more young family/couple oriented attractions. • Beautiful area, nice climate, clean air, clean water, great recreation opps., friends & family here, close to cities like Kelowna & Vancouver but thankfully is NOT Kelowna or Vancouver! • Work in an industry that serves Senior Citizens, live in a nice house with a great view, surrounded by lakes. Doesn’t seem to be much to do for kids. • Lots of outdoor fun, but less of a working culture. Focus on tourism and not long term high earning jobs. • I work in construction, Regional govts with their outrageous fees and roadblocks prevent me from working all year. • More jobs needed, more attention to communication, roads, services such as internet. The quality of life is good but people out in rural areas aren’t considered as important, as families residing in the city and outskirts. Policing needs to be upgraded in the rural areas, RCMP are seen maybe once every 2 months, a community policing station with a locked up ATV, with weekly visits would make a presence in the areas and perhaps drive away crime and unwanted individuals in the rural towns. More tourism needs to be implemented in the Lumby area to bring more jobs and more desirable livestyles. This may boost the housing market also? • beautiful, friendly, peaceful, low-stress environment 17 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? • We are destroying the very reasons why we at least came here -- natural areas and easy access to the outdoors • Salmon Arm is beautiful. We moved here because of the beauty and friendly people. The weather is great. Shopping is getting better • Great community • Beautiful environment Clean not congested • Amount of space, things to do such as using the lake and hiking the beautiful areas in the summer, and skiing in winter. All on our doorstep. • The wages are poor but the life style is the very best!! • There isn’t very many good paying jobs for our kids. It is hard for young families to make enough money to buy a house. • school academics are minimal, doctor issue,if you are on a river/creek like us you are not looked after. best part is being 30min away form a major city if you need anything, otherwise its great country living • RE work: Distance to resources areas of the province is limiting. Locally there is not a obvious primary industry driving the Economy. We can likely overcome it with a diversity of smaller drivers but needs work to foster these to a greater extent • Great area to live but removed from facilities such as medical. • moving here with a young family we realized that the area is suited for retirees, not young families. there is little work and very little amenities for young children/families compared to other regions • The natural environment makes the area a great place to live but its rural nature makes it more difficult to find work, provide activities for kids. • Good weather, employment opportunities, very beautiful, lots of local food, not too far to drive anywhere • It’s one of Canada’s most beautiful areas (actually, the World’s). Lovely scenery, weather, no earthquakes, floods, wars, etc. Friendly people everywhere! Just a great place to be for the young, middle-aged, or elderly. 18 • physical environment, Kal Park, Silver Star summer and winter • Getting to hot in the summers • Tough to have work here, not a lot of development and money from development - not a friendly place for developers. A lot of people have split family situation - dads working out of town. • Main city (Vernon) is large enough to offer variety and competitive prices. Located close to 2 larger cities. Bountiful local produce in season. Reasonable climate, 4 seasons. Close to word class alpine and Nordic skiing facilities. 2 Lakes within city limits. Wilderness accessible to wilderness. • The North Okanagan is the best of both worlds. We get a great summer, and lots of snow in the winter. • Little work for young families. I am a nurse and have been working as a casual employee for almost 2 years. I have friends who moved to Alberta right after nursing school and they got a full time job right away with benefits so its just hard. • Everything is too expensive, there are no jobs, and wages are too low. Its difficult to live in a paradise when no one can afford it. • Varied summer and winter recreational activities • housing is too expensive. .playing is too expensive.. living is too expensive... wages are not great. beautiful place to live. but a hard place to live. • High cost of living with low wages. Young people can not afford to live here. This means extended families live in different communities. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • It is costly to live here but good-paying jobs are not easy to find. • Although the city/town lacks many recreational services you would expect, the surrounding area is tremendous • cycling, hiking, canoeing in many directions from town, nature, untouched landscapes, 4 seasons, neat people , sense of community • Jobs typically pay less than elswhere. I am told it is the sunshine tax. • Despite good qualifications and experience, it is difficult to find adequately compensating employment. It is a beautiful place, but sadly, I feel that not enough is done to preserve its natural beauty and prioritize green spaces, trails and wildlife. Real estate development has top priority. • Lots of recreational things to do and see. • Climate is pretty good. Wonderful scenery and decent schools. • superb, easily accessible recreation peaceful, beautiful great 4 seasons climate • NO DOES NOT HAVE ALOT GOING ON FOR THE WORK FORCE. RETIRING HERE IS NICE BUT LIMITED • reasonable seasonal weather . ..relaxed atmosphere ...managable traffic. • Great climate , topography. Poor economic options. Poor governance. Lack of public amenities (pool, convention centre) poor road design • Cultural amenities are seriously behind the times. Thank you Marie for a modern theatre, and the new Vernon library is great ... in spite of the regional district but there is much more to do ... gallery, museum • It’s a comfortable place to live and there are lots of recreational options, but work is unsteady and sometimes hard to find (perhaps especially for younger people). It’s generally a good place for Quality of LIfe Survey Comments kids, but rural schools have been closing. Parts of it are good places to retire, but hospitals have been closing too. • alot of jobs are seasonal and tourist orientated... they don’t pay much. That is why a lot of our young people leave for North or Alberta. • Peaceful, safe, seasonal change, beautiful surroundings, people stay rather than pass through • Not much work opportunity for people without capital to invest. If middle aged with a mortgage from the 1990’s or earlier housing costs are relatively low. • I LOVE THIS AREA ITS GREAT WEATHER AND NICE PEOPLE • My city, Enderby, is loosing small business and almost no doctors. With the price of gas and no jobs, young ffamilies will have to move to larger locations (hopefully within the N.O.) • lacks sustainable employment. Retired have their own income. Raise young kids but older ones do not have opportunity and resources. lacks access to medical care doctors • I love the Okaganan and I think there are a lot of opportunities for work and play and family activities. But, I think that the cost of living is high, with regards to purchase price of houses, taxes, and the hinderances of the many rules/ regulations of the regional district, with regards to development. • If you want to see a rat race. go to Kelowna • The natural beauty of the area is one of things that brought us back here after university and has kept us here. I did not rate things higher as I have seen development with little consideration begin to negatively change the environment and the appearance of our area and we have begun to talk about moving due to this concern. • The natural beauty of our area is what drew us back here after University. I would have rated these areas as higher but we have been disturbed 19 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? by development and poor planning regarding the area’s beauty and the environment. • Weak long term strategies, no real meaningful plans to move ahead, infra structure continues to be set aside for political reasons. No sound commercial or industrial plans. Area falling behind the rest of the valley. • more a retirement home, not enough good paying jobs, expensive to live here • RDNO has all the amenities that I need, and few of the problems that I don’t need. • We have 4 seasons and we have great recreational resources. • Availability of better paying jobs • the steady decline in service of our health care system Interior Health is a bloated,top heavy bureaucracy.Two decades ago each community had its own small hospitals and local doctorsVernon Kelowna were used for the more seriously ill. Consolidation and being bigger is not always better • These are broad questions, and asked about the N.O. “overall”, of which my situation is not representative. I live in a secluded rural setting. But most people work and live in cities, which in the N.O. are still modest in size, and therefore relatively untroubled by major crime and crowding. • The North Okanagan has everything. Urban settings, forests, walking trails, lakes and rivers, campgrounds, seasonal events, rich cultural opportunities and the chance to grow one’s own food. Its only down side is that economic opportunities trail somewhat. • Difficult to get full time employment, with a high wage to pay for high cost of living here. • The North Okanagan is a great place to live because it has 4 seasons, close to the land where our food grows, great for growing our own food, lakes, mountains, wildlife... • While there is a large population of seniors here, it seems little consideration is given to their needs. Here are two examples: moving the buses back to Cenotaph park which is away from grocery shops and the many senior apartments. It is also challenging to walk from the bus to the Library, especially if you are pushing a walker. • Because of the weather extremes, I rated work a little lower. • A great place to live but no on going industry for people to work for a decent wage. • Small community friendly neighbouhoods • I like ther weather,scenery,people, my children live here,. It is central, I can fly anywhere after a short trip to Kelowna airport. • Good weather • A good area to live because there is not yet a lot of pollution in the air, but there should be better medical care and more opportunities for our young people to stay in the Okanagan. • climate, geographical beauty, diverse population activities and services • everything is very expensive • feels still safe compared to other aereas • There are not a lot of good opportunities for good paying jobs And there is no indication that growth can occur. • Hard to find good paying jobs. • Lacks opportunities for employment. Doesn’t have secondary industry of a large enough scale to attract youth and money. • very few economical activities, especially during the long winters • not a lot of jobs, cost of living is growing harder each year, not a lot of affordable activities • The most beautiful place ,besides Victria, in Canada and North America. 20 REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • Quality of life in the North Okanagan is great, although not a lot of job opportunities here to keep young families here • Just ake a look around you and the answer is there • We need to attract businesses that hire full time employees, that you might be able to suport a family on the wage. Other than that I love it. It is too bad we have to go away from home to find a job. • Expensive to live here and hard to find a job. • Excellent climate = plus Income diversity = bullying at school = negative Poor economy • Not many job opportunities. Great place to grow up in, work outside of the area and return for retirement. • Climate Amenities • Good sizes of towns throughout. • The “ Sunshine tax” makes it hard to get ahead for young families, and makes single income families few and far between. That combined with the lower average rate of pay and cost of child care make it hard to raise a family here. • Homeless issues of circa 2007 have been resolved. .Growth has slowed to reasonable rate. • Families and seniors seem to be taken care of here as to needs. However, finding a resoonable job if one has a univ. education is very tough. The job market for this group is as dry as the desert part of this area. • I can’t answer some of the questions with any experience as I am retired and have only been here 1 year. • Cost of Living is too high and average pay rates do not support single income earning families, this makes it very difficult for young people to raise families. • weather, services, relatively small town size vs lower mainland Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • Living is expensive, salaries quite high enough in the manufacturing fields. • NO HAS THE BEAUTY AND CHARM OF ROLLING COUNTRYSIDE WITH CITY CULTURE. • Climate and resources are some of the best in Canada. • Winter access could be better to Lower Mainland, and Kootenay, also by air to Eastern Canada. The skiing is good. • There are a vast number of parks, lakes, golf courses, wineries and beaches to visit. • vernon is still the best place in bc to live.lots of extras • Sunshine Okanagan. We pay for the so-called Sunshine Tax. Which lowers the rate of pay, etc. forcing people to accept lower level positions and pay. • Wages are so low, even for educated people that it is very difficult. A great place to play and retire, if you have money,. • Community oriented • climate, recreational opportunities, safe...limited work for young families and youth • Lots to do, great weather, wonderful people • not enough good quality work to encourage young families to move the area • the cost of living knocks things out of the very good category, playing, raising a family and retiring is very expensive here and work has generally been quite sporadic for someone in the trades. There were a few good years a few years ago but before and since we lived as if each paycheck would be the last for a long time and often it was. • Need more professional jobs in this area • Reasonable taxes, lakes, golf • Job options limited 21 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? • I will possibly not be able to save enough money to retire in the region • Cost of living is high. Lack of affordable housing and/or house prices so high that it’s hard to get a house (have to keep renting). Beautiful lakes, orchards, etc. Sports for children is great. Fresh air, lack of pollution. • Jobs will come from a thriving environment, yet politicians and residents focus first on jobs which causes everything else to suffer. • Too much pollution, no jobs. • Many choices available locally of ; leisure activities; cultural pursuits particularly music; pleasant surroundings; all needed facilities for health; Transportation facilities are adequate both locally and long distance. Not yet too crowded. • The climate and the nature of the area is very good. The competition for work here tends to reduce the serenity at work. • i just like the weather and there is so much to do • Limited work opportunities for technical people. Extensive backlogs for medical care. Wonderful climate. Good cycling for 8 or 9 months of the year. Many parks. Kal park is a real Gem. There is so many cultural events in Vernon & N OK • vernon is one of the most beautiful places to live and a great place to play but if you are trying to find work and have not grown up here all you life you can quickly find that you lack the connectons to find meaningful work. we need to do better to attract more company head offices to this beautiful city. • this is a beautiful city the only bad thing about it is there are not many good solid jobs out there like there was when i was younger. • A healthy climate, a varied array of recreation and a lot less traffic. Safety is a large consideration also. • All the elements for a simple good life are available 22 • The scenery and climate are fantastic. There are a lot of ways to enjoy the natural environment and lots of activities to partake in. The North Okanagan is lacking in long-term, good paying jobs to attract young families to the area. I think a possible solution is to create an area wide plan to support technology, agriculture and small scale sustainable industry to make this community thrive. The agricultural heritage of the valley should be reinvigorated by encouraging more organic farms. The cutbacks in schools shows that young families are on the decline. • Over all, the climate is favorable, the pace of life is less hectic than in larger centers. Odd as it may seem, since I do live here now, I am NOT a fan of the extra high temperatures. • Poor wages • There is a serious ‘brain/youth drain’ occuring in this region. I was born and raised here save my 4 years going to the University of Calgary (where I studied material such as land use planning). I enjoy living here from a physical geographical sense but there are next to no 20-30 year old people living here. They are all in the larger centres such as Vancouver and Calgary. There are few good jobs here and very little industry. I am incredibly fortunate to have an enjoyable, well paying job here with the opportunity to further my career. However, the lack of people my age and exciting social events occuring here have me searching in Vancouver or possible New Zealand. Yes Vancouver is more expensive and crowded but at least there are social activities to choose from. This is a serious issue. Soon there will be nothing but older families and retirees in this area. Not healthy for any region. • Beautiful environment, interesting and innovative people, lots of opportunities • Size of community, not too big. Proximity to lakes, ski hill. • I live in low income housing because of the control management has over us I feel like I have been institute like jail. When you are poor you do not have to many options for where you live and management knows that !! REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • no job opportunities excellent fishing hiking biking and outdoor opportunities coming out of retirement • There is a lot of unemployment • There is nothing to offer anyone in Vernon. Families stopped moving here, no one comes to here have a family and the senior citizens have nothing either. City council in Vernon is terrible and has been running this city into the ground for years. There is no accountability and no one thinks about the future. Instead of using $7.8million+ on a sports complex that money should have gone towards VJH. • Not much has changes for me personally • Pretty country, good weather, nice size community. More entertainment options would be nice. More job opportunities - good paying ones is important. • High rents, no jobs, poor transit. • Still caters to seniors and it’s hard for young families to make a go. • Increasing costs. • Population Increase - need a Coldstream Community Centre • Drop in economy and growth has forced my husband to leave the valley to obtain steady work. • Small visible growth. • Cost of living • Cost of living going up, but my paycheque is not • Specific to Enderby - the town is dying. Businesses are dissappearing. Lack of local incentives to draw in locals • Economy and lack of jobs • For me, its about working close to where I live, which I do. • More work, more seniors, very affordable • Need money to live here • Need lots of money to live here Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • More options for kids in Lumby • Slowly making downtown nice, plus bike trails • Cost of living has risen; Lack of work; lower wages • Unfocused muncipal decisionmaking, cost over services • Parking downtown has driven people out of the area; taking away wetlands (i.e Walmart at heron nesting site) • The government is making it so you can not bike in lots of places we used to bike at • decline in economic and ecological quality • Upgrades to facilities, roads redune, better environmental chages, bike lanes • Can be difficult to live because of cost of living; quite difficult to find good work; great place to play if you are into outdoor stuff; a nice place to settle down to raise a family; it is nice and peaceful retirement area, especially Lumby; There isn’t much growth in Lumby so there are many farms still • High prices • More activities for seniors. • Did not answer Work or Raise a Family. Able to get a family doctor in Vernon. • More poor people - unaffordable housing larger and larger a problem. More fees, taxes and regulations. • The amount of crime is starting to climb. • More to do. • Has become very expensive. • More homeless people. 23 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? • Low income for people on disability. • Because there’s nothing to do for teens. • Stroke. • Downtown and Vernon growing bigger. • No HST • Price of gas is ridiculous; no good paying jobs; city spends irresponibly tax dollars on library and track at Okanagan College; keep Woman Transition House open instead • Society isn’t the same. • Shortage of work. • Facilities have become more and more better. • I don’t know. • Haven’t noticed much of a change. • It seems the same for me. • Pros and cons balance each other out. • The economy has made employment harder to come by. • Hello t’e belle • Because of all the stuff I do. • For me, it was senior-oriented condo. Also, upgrade and expansion of the Salmon Arm Hospital. • People can’t afford to live here, quality of life goes down. • Economy has gone down. • Due to less tax money going towards roads etc. • Word of mouth. • Loss of well-paid jobs to other communities, esp Kelowna. These have been replaced with low-paid (min wage) part-time jobs, unemployed and meth clinic clients. These impact everyone. • Nothing is really changing with technology etc. • Not much has changed since I have been here. • Expensive and over-crowded • No job any more! Hard to find job. Became a tourist town - not looking after our locals. • I haven’t noticed much change. • People who stay like to drink and smoke pot and stuff. A lot of people leave • More traffic, dangerous • No new major facilities added. VJH still inadequate as well as residential care facilities. Job opportunities about the same. • Multi-laned highways speed traffic past small communities, farmland is being eroded by no enforcement of ALR • Like the roundabouts - improves traffic flow but increasing population increases traffic, better bike routes, walking trails (but lost other hills trails). • I haven’t noticed any change. • Food prices, for the fact it is in our backdoors outside. • It seems that more and more people are working towarda healthy lifestyle, becoming involved in social and environmental issues, striving to make change for the better (e.g. college garden, recreation facilities, etc.) • Not much change. 24 • Limit prolifieration of orchards in residential areas • Try living in Ottawa. • Planning strategies have improved (OCP), cultural activities improved (symphony), urban cycling and trails improved. • Lack of work REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • Government cutbacks to social service organizations - many transients, increased drug activity, poor economy, poor employment opportunities/closure of employment centres. • Because Vernon’s wasting money and killing the environment by making more buildings • I just haven’t noticed much change. • Beautiful scenery is still beautiful - life is beautiful • Less jobs, high gas prices, bad economy • Because I enjoy it. • I haven’t noticed any major changes, maybe HST had a negative effect. • It’s a great place to live beautiful more places and things to do. • Because of Steven my man. • Meeting new people. • Because the older I become the more I am finding to do. • Less jobs, need more recreation locations - pool/ sports-fields • Not any different. • New nice buildings • Don’t think much has changed. • We are developing our cities so there is more options and places to go. • Updates have been made • The cost of living is far too high for standard families to raise a family, although the quality of life is rather “so-so”. • Canada has good health care and the Okanagan is sunny and awesome. • Because it is good to live • Community has become more welcoming • More sports complexes and public facilities have been built • Nothing has really happened • I don’t know. • Not many things to do because of buildings/ centres being closed. • Not sure, just has. • Because I hate people • Haven’t lived here that long. • I haven’t noticed changes just new buildings and such • The nature here is really nice and lakes are nice. • I haven’t been here for 5 years. • Nothing has really changed since I moved here • People man • I don’t know getting busier, no fun stuff • There hasn’t been much change. • Increase of population, commercialized. Urbanized. • I don’t know but I hope so. • I haven’t noticed much just the gas prices rise. • Nothing has really changed besides us getting a new Target. • The school system is going down. • Because they have opened many community events. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • It’s about the same, if not worse. • Haven’t been here for 5 years 25 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? • Because the skiing is fantastic • I’ve only lived here 2 years • Constant turn over of people • No change has been done • Haven’t really noticed a change at all (not much to do though). • The new seniors residence opening and the expected water spray park opening soon. • I find myself more wary than I feel I should be. I don’t feel welcome as a young person here. • Lack of doctors, employment opportunities. Our young families are being separated from partners due to having to work elsewhere. • Worse, children are ruder, elders are ruder • The police and old people keep making the children and teens look like we’re the problem for the Okanagan. The bus system is getting cut back. The new laws for getting your L and N. • I don’t notice a lot of change here. • Because of the problems with the schools. • You tell me. • I’ve lived here all my life and it hasn’t changed that I’ve noticed. • Nothing for teenagers in Lumby to do. • Work opportunities have become very limited. • Decrease in jobs and commissions to sales people due to large employers moving or outsourcing. i.e. Future Shop outsources to overseas to make TV and profit and price drops. Too many young men moving north for oil and energy jobs and taking money elsewhere to spend it. Outsourcing is a huge problem. Our taxes are too high too! • Overdevelopment on agricultural land • My family and I do the same thing as we always do. • Lack of employment opportunities. • Because I haven’t seen a change. • Fewer jobs for younger families (middle age - 30 50 year). No enticement for industries that would employ people with young families. Too much focus on seniors. • You tell me • Not much change around Vernon in my opinion • Cuz we have got more houses built. • It didn’t change • Not much has changed. It is still the boring place it always has been. • I haven’t lived here the whole time • It hasn’t changed much. • Have only lived here 9 months. • Because people have been more kind neighbourly. • Cycling, roads, facilities i.e. parks • It has stayed the same • the job prospects for younger people are diminshing • Because nothing has really changed • Little changes here • Because people are moving away to make more money 26 • It’s very expensive to live in the Okanagan • Because we went from a town to a city • Retirement town (not enough things for teens) REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • As I’ve gotten older, I’ve felt the need for more fun things to do - but there is virtually nothing for teenagers to do or go in Vernon. • Nothing has really changed in the past 5 years • I haven’t really noticed anything changed • Less activities for teens. The elderly police (by law) are rude to teenagers and middle age adults. • I don’t know I haven’t lived here 5 years but in the time I’ve been here nothing seems to have changed. • We have got a lot of nice family places in Vernon that I enjoy going with my family. harder for young people to find good paying full time jobs. • Not much for the youth has changed. There is more to do as an adult but not enough. Plus people are unfriendly. • Nothing really changes. • No real big changes. • Because the place has gotten more things to do. The library! • Nothing changes! • Nothing has changed • Cost of housing, few employment opportunities • I haven’t noticed a change • It’s turning into a town with nothing for young adults to do. • I don’t know • Better energy, a little more community outreach • There have been no significant social changes to improve the quality of life • Because it’s beautiful and there is so much to keep busy. • The quality of life has been about the same • Not a lot has changed over the past 5 years • The water facilities and cost of living • Have not seen change • Very hard to find jobs, cost of living has skyrocketed • It really hasn’t changed • nothing has changed • Larger population • sporting facilities not keeping up with need or other communities • We’re getting more stores • Were 17, who would know? • I don’t think much has changed • quailty in life in some areas has become better, in other areas have declined • It seems to have stayed the same • the lake hasn’t left • Higher costs for basics: gasoline, foods, recreation for fun, recreation of necessity - to exercise, perf arts centre costs, kids activities, shopping Kelowna costs are cheaper. Wages are insulting: businesses are cheap and hide behind it. • Not many employed people, terrible transportation options + roads • Hydro, water, sewer, taxes, gas have gone up much faster than my pension cheques. Seasonal people have driven property values way up. It’s • It hasn’t really gotten better, or worse. Vernon is a constant, like death and taxes. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • A lot more businesses have been established and a lot more opportunities for work and play 27 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | In the past 5 years, how and why has the quality of life in the North Okanagan changed? • economy • there are trying to make it better for us kids • Haven’t noticed anything special • because a lot of things have been improving yet staying the same at the same time which is nice • Not much has changed since I moved here • I haven’t seen much change since I moved here in 2006 • I don’t know • I’m not actually sure about this • lots of development • I have not noticed a difference • Nothing has happened that I know of • I don’t know • There’s no taco time! • cuz • because there is still nothing here to do. We need a H2O • not enough has changed • Roads and sport facilities • Bigger box stores have come to town rather than leaving to Kelowna to shop. • I feel like now is better than before. • Taxes have been raised, cash that we lose • Not much has dramatically changed. • Nothing much has changed • Not much has changed • More opportunities for youth • I, personally, haven’t noticed much change. • Nothing has really changed • Because it doesn’t change • Hasn’t changed much • We have lots of improvements to the roads, buildings and stores • it is awesome • New roads • Just the feel of vernon is different • Nothing ever changes here. • not a lot of change • more jobs • No idea • There seems to be more things to do. • Not much has changed because we still have our Liberal government • Nothing has happened to increase it, only to restore it. • Because of the new features that have been brought to Vernon. • there have been many issues with the water system where I live • A few new companies, landscape and environment didn’t really change • added more things in town • Because there has not been significant change • I lived here all my life • Not much has changed • becoming too crowded 28 REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN What improvements would make your quality of life better? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • Too many people moving in and very hard to get a job. • Many places are closing not many places to work, play • It hasn’t changed • Growing What improvements would make your quality of life better? Figure 2. Number of respondents who chose each of the factors that they considered would increase their quality of life. Respondents were able to choose more than one factor in their response. • For question above, QOL isn’t WORSE, but certainly in terms of additional traffic, I would say it is a BIT WORSE - I notice far more impact on lake accesses, boat launches, etc it has become more difficult to enjoy these amenities due to the crush of people who come and enjoy our area in the summertime. Seasonal residents seem to be increasing in number, especially in my neighbourhood (e.g. in the Seasons, the Outback, etc), but there is no increase in amenities in the Okanagan Landing area to accommodate this increase. Feels like a real squeeze on our parks and beaches, this is definitely not moving in the right direction. Transportation is also becoming more difficult, slower, more lights, more idling, less efficient. We need to look at moving forward and building roads like the Ellison parkway. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • promotion, marketing and education about the benefits of growth. so many people push back against any forward movement and growth of the city because they are happy with their little piece of heaven on retirement income that will never be available for next generations to the extent this cohort has • Its become very busy here with seniors moving in that can afford to live here but do not appreciate the need for cultural and social opportunities to attract young families. • A better recreation center. The current one is outdated. • Quality athletic facilities attract and retain young families. 29 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | What improvements would make your quality of life better? • Regulations to make it so employers can’t lie about hours expected (have had 7 “full time” jobs in the past year, most of which regularly scheduled for only EIGHT hours a week) • Less government restrictions. Government implementing more restrictions so they can tax/ charge for everything. • We need a much bigger recreation centre to server our growing population. • improve the wages • Diversify our economy, politicians must stop making industrial lands into big box stores • A better Rec Center. • Pretty difficult to buy a house in Vernon without a higher level of income. We also need a new recreation centre. For what we have in todays era, is unexceptable compared to other communities. • It’s all about the jobs! We have everything we need except the money to pay for it. • Hard to find a quality paying job to be proud of in this area... every thing costs money if u cant afford the basics how can you enjoy what the area has to offer?? • more commercialzed busineses • More subsidized housing More employment opportunities for People with disabilities • too much traffic for a very small city. • STOP SPENDING OUR MONEY ON SILLY WASTES OF MONEY - FIX WHAT WE HAVE FIRST! • I am financially comfortable so housing is not a problem for me but is an issue for many others. • less sprawling of development which is creating car dependent community and congestion on roads. Improve cycling infrastructure. Invest in cultural opportunities. • More efficient transit system. More social opportunities for singles and/or urbanites. Better 30 jobs that pay well, allowing for more enjoyment of the facilities, lakes, etc. that are here. What good is it if you cannot enjoy all the Okanagan has to offer if you are spending all of your time to keep your head above water? A less clicky community. • We built the Performing Arts center and there has been a increase in the use of the building but I think we could do more. The Multi-Plex should have been thought out more. We should have taken a page from Penticton with their conference center and attracking larger acts to the community. We need more housing for low to moderate income and for our seniors. Full time employment with wages that can sustain a family or one person. • more accommodation for bikes/horse/walking paths to link communitys and feature businesses through access to these activities • NEED SENIOR’S ASSISTED LIVING; ACCESSIBILITY IMPROVEMENTS • Extended hours, or using the facilities that we already have (such as the Wesbuild). We recently wanted to take part in their rollerskating, and were excited that they were offering that. Until we found out that it was on Monday and Wed mornings. I don’t imagine many retired “walkers” would take on skating.... so what I invision is them saying, there wasn’t a turn out so we cancelled it, instead of applying resonable hours that families could attend. • Be careful with developing new subdivision and developing building sites. • Wages to match cost of living. • More business and industry development, more easier for biz to set up, a place where young people can work, live and play - not just a retirement community • When I moved to Greenwood Nova Scotia, I had a town greeter come to my door and we scheduled a time when they would drive us around to all the different amenities and local hotspots. Vernon Needs That! REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN What improvements would make your quality of life better? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • I support all improvements to arts facilities. Vernon is loaded with musical and artistic talent. • Companion / Home Mate for those who may feel safer with someone also living in their home. This may be a couple or a widow/widower who would be much better off staying in their own home much longer. • I don’t see much to improve, and I don’t think people here realize what opportunities exist for a good life. Try living elsewhere and find every community, large and small struggle with transportation (it’s never perfect, and always expensive), housing options and employment. The outdoor, cultural, social and community amenities are terrific for a little community. We found ourselves involved quickly, as people here make their own connections and welcome newcomers. People here are far more authentic than in large urban communities where the social opportunities are often based on how much money a person is perceived to have.People here mix better, creative people, well-paid professionals, academics and the not-so-academic. It’s healthy and invigorating. If anything, I would like to see policies implemented that help small farmers.I think small farming can and will become a truly sustainable economic driver for the region. This will involve provincial policies like the slaughter licenses, etc. but lobbying government for small farm production is important. Keeping our water sources safe is paramount. Industrial animal production is a threat to our water supplies. This is wrong and doesn’t have to happen. Small scale farming doesn’t produce mountains of industrial waste. Manure is manageable, and a valuable asset. Capitalize on the people in our communities and look for opportunities beyond the most profits in the quickest time for the benefit of a few. • Continue to improve water quality • More environmentally friendly options: more sidewalks, bike lanes, bus service, abandonment of landfills (build efficient incinerators) more hiking trails, lake access, • Need better (safer) bike access to the Foothills community Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • Increases in medical care close to home. • More ethnic food choices! • It’s okay to have “visions of castles in the sky” as long as your “foundation is on the ground”, and our foundation is crumbling and under funded. Develop this area to attract good family raising jobs like high tech or maybe film. • Beautification of the City core to make it more desirable to come and spend time in. Also, more tourist & affordable residential development on/ near waterfront. • make transit run later all week long. Improve Sunday service. • Add more for fitness options. Maybe something additional near Wesbild Centre? • I commute every day from my home in Cherryville to my full time job in Vernon and there are no transit options available for me. There is a bus from Lumby but it leaves much too early in the morning as I would be at work two hours early and leaves Vernon too early so I would have to get a ride from a co-worker as far as Lumby so I do the drive every day. • Air and water quality is an issue. Hard to believe that our air quality is so poor, and yet we have no clean air bylaw; we permit open burning; we do little to mitigate road dust - even during spring street-sweeping. Cities like Prince George are years ahead of us in the same matters. • IMPROVED/more SERVICES FOR THE DISABLED • More Dr’s or Nurse Practitioners in small towns. • I think that we need to really focus on what the Okanagan does well - we are a gorgeous area with amazing farms - if we encouraged more of a food culture, with a more vibrant downtown core, we could attract even more tourism. As of now, there are no parks downtown (to attract families - Justice Park should be redone with a new playground & picnic tables) & hardly any decent restaurants. We also need more cultural festivals with free community events. 31 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | What improvements would make your quality of life better? • Improve the downtown core - more (quality) restaurants with outdoor spaces, better shops, park with playground equipment & picnic tables at Justice Park (it’s disgusting & never used now, but it would be used a lot & a draw for families if it was cleaned up & a new playground put in). • Revitalizing the community - lots of vacant shops and much of the town is run down • Better funding & support of students, public schools and their staff. Tennis Bubble. Less street drugs. • No more box stores, let’s support locals. • as stated above, more dedicated walking and bike paths (not painted along busy roads). We need true non-motorized options to get around the city. • more bike trails (non-urban), improve beach facilities • More bike friendly roads so I feel safe enough to ride my bike more. • If pay is lower here then lower cost housing needs to be available to workers. • Recreation facilities (pool, running tracks, ice sheets) • Flat walking trails, bicycle paths (off roadways). Traffic free downtown zones. Better visible policing. More large retailers e.g. Ikea. • bikepath walkingtrails • Stop narrowing roads like 20th Street!! • An improvement in air quality, less heavy traffic passing through town, & better maintenance of sidewalks. • More housing options for retired seniors. • Water quality - especially hardness and taste could be better, but I know that’s not the RDNO’s problem! • More transit options for seniors, e.g. Handidart taxi saver program was stopped, Handidart will not transport seniors to EAST activation program at Gateby. Some people cannot access emergency food programs due to lack of transportation • We are a disjointed community and it is driven mostly by politics. Frankly it is the biggest reason that may cause our family to move. I trust there will be some political will and desire to cooperate and move forward and do something for the betterment of everyone. • Doctor’s available. • protection of wildlife and nature preservation of country life • better school system • LESS TOURISTS. THEY DO NOT RESPECT THE RIVERS, LAKES, AND LAND. • Less traffic on the roads • Better rec center. More free activities for families. • shopping options • Have something to keep the younger generation around. they move because there is no affordable places to rent and the wages are poor. 32 • For me, all of the above are adequate • More elder care facilities-properly managed. • Feel a good job is already being done, keep up the good work • More music based programs, ex.) Vernon Symphony orchestra. • Composting of all food waste. • Like arts groups of every level and interest and social support programs require constant assistance in order for a community to flourish. Also, fewer big box stores and a commitment to preserving wild spaces and grasslands would be beautiful. • I personally do have a issue.. however those lively outside of the down town area and do not drive REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN What improvements would make your quality of life better? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE could have better access to bus travel even if it was once a day through the westside road for example • more opportunities to keep our youth busy at low cost AFTER WORK because single parents can’t afford expensive extracuriculars activities during the day. • Building a new school without increasing job opportunities is really putting the cart before the horse. Every area in the world that uses that kind of a value system finds itself impoverished and without. • regional education do upgrade for skilled trades instead of importing skills. • More things for families to do that are not so expensive, so we would have more families participating together. • We need affordable housing, especially for young families. Bus service to Kelowna for those who cannot drive would also be a plus. • Seniors outdoor activities such as lawn bowling etc. • water quality is always low and the public transportation system to the north Okanagan is lacking. • Armstrong is very poorly laid out for business growth compared to Salmon Arm or Vernon. I’d like to see indoor recreation complex with pool. I’d like to see business growth. • As an self employed I’m on the road a lot and having better road clean up in the winter, and lest sand after winter is over for lest damage in our vehicules will be good. • The thing that worries me is health care and senior care. My mother-in-law died last year but relied on help from drop in nurses from Interior Health. They were very sporatic and not too reliable. She didn’t want to go into long term care but I felt that it was not really an option even if she did want too. • without adequate employment for young adults, not much else would matter. The population would remain the status quo . . . older and more dependant • more community events which involve people from all walks of life - bringing together youth & elderly is very important and that connection is very much missing in this community. • Banning of the growing of GM crops. Banning of industrial/factory farming. Greater protection of waterways. Reduction in funding of arts programmes - art is a product/service just like any other business. More funding for public facilities to reduce reliance on volunteers. • I’m happy with what is available. • the amount that people get on disability needs to go up • I don’t use public transportation but it is the only thing I can think of that might (?) be in line for improvement. Not sure about the bus service but I know we have a pretty reasonable system. • do something about the homeless, • cost of living • My personal quality of life is excellent - but I also have excellent health and my own car. My life could be very different without those. • I stronly suggest setting up a subsidized recreational program for children so that low income children can register and take activities through the rec centre. The benefits are numerous in both the short and long term. Also... Kal beach needs new bathrooms (with Soap!) And a PLAYGROUND. And finally - recently there was a plan popped up to council to combine the new Art Gallery and Museum; saving money by building one building, only having to staff one building and service and run one building for two ammenities is a FANTASTIC idea. I don’t know why council didnt see things this way but the person presenting the plan was right and they need to look again. • passenger train Quality of LIfe Survey Comments 33 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | What improvements would make your quality of life better? • Ensure the safety of our agriculture, i.e. non-GMO. Ensure a vibrant downtown core. • More local government attention to the problems in the environment. • bring all the budgets under control and lower taxes to bring people into town, listen to what the people want by more votes (then doing what we want) and more of these types of questionnaire • Reduced gas prices-not that the local municipalities can do anything about this! • traffic flow could be improved by adding right turning lanes at some intersections • A tennis court in Enderby or at the Ashton Creek School, a year round swimming pool, less red tape for small business start-up. More ice time at the Enderby arena for families and seniors, perhaps an outdoor rink at Riverside Hall or on the ball diamonds in Enderby/Ashton Creek school. • We have just moved here, and it seems like its a great place now. • Affordable outdoor activities for young families and teens. • more residential care facilities to assist seniors who require additional help. • Make area appealing to industry to set up shop here, creates more jobs locally, increases your tax base. Start looking at the bigger picture instead of trying to keep it small town atmosphere. • We moved here because the North Okanagan has the things we want, and not all the things we do not want. I do not want noise, air, water pollution. I do want opportunities to enjoy life. • I am satisfied just as I am.. • More bike paths or paved shoulders to ride on, more walking paths, green spaces. • I would welcome more outdoor community group gathering opportunities. I noticed in Europe, people gather in the community square every evening just to chat, have coffee, snack or drink. 34 the whole community comes out and connects. we need more encouragement to gather together. more outdoor cafes, street markets, etc • Re-routing the highway so it doesn’t run right through the middle of Vernon. Reducing ‘red tape’ to encourage small business. Eliminating parking meters and ruthless bylaw officers. • I come from Richmond where every nook and cranny is filled with plants and/or artwork. banners on light posts/ hanging baskets/ plants galore. I do love the beautification occurring downtown main street and love what the okanagan landing has turned into with pathways and trees. Would love to see more community gardens and curbside composting/ better recycling. perhaps more roundabouts. • I am very pleased that there has been an improvement in transit and bike lane construction in the last few years. Divided bike paths are well used by walkers, bicyclists, kids on skateboards and scooters, etc. College and University students are using the buses to get to school. • Education, for rural residents, especially in the public sector. There seems to be a constant threat of cut backs and closures. As a farm family, living approx. 30 minutes from the closest schools the threat of community school closures is very stressful. Unfortunately, due to a commitment to continue farming, providing a valuable yet unappreciated resource for our community and province the education options for our children are LIMITED. • Repairs to roads, fixing some traffic problems such as leaving the Polson Mall to travel to the downtown area. • Fix our water issues. After all those expensive improvements why do we still continue with boil water advisories?? Is that job security for the local govt workers? • The continual tax increases create a hardship for those on fixed incomes. The city keeps going further and further in to debt. The regular “small” increases in the many and varied taxes are resulting in some people having to move away. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN What improvements would make your quality of life better? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • Better spending of taxpayers money • water treatment centre improvements • more launching sites walking trails lakeside promenades safe biking trails and lanes an area in down town Vernon where people can sit of an evening to enjoy concerts activities or simply visit much like the plaza concept in Mexico and Europe • we are a one-car family and I get around by bicycle a lot. Yet I don’t feel safe riding the bicycle. Every time I cross 25th avenue, I offer a silent prayer that I’ll make it safely. Winter bicycling capability is non-existent. Recreational facitilies (i.e., the Rec center) are overcrowded at the time I wish to use it. we need more swimming lanes. • I am pleased with all of the above • truth from politicians and kick out agenda minded staff (i.e. new sports facility). Plan ahead for needed upgrades of existing facilities. • better air quality. More electric car charging stations, more bike paths and side walks more policing and alternative energy jobs • I am on a small provincial disability plan @1300 dollars per month....700 goes to rent alone need I say more????? • Low cost housing • The valley bottom is so nice and flat. Better pedestrian traffic, more paved trails to the beaches and better use of the public beach space would be lovely. Rollerblading and biking trails are short and unfinished. The parking lots in in the North end of town are NOT BUILT FOR PEDESTRIANS!!!!!!! It drives me CRAZY!!!! The whole North end of Vernon has been built for cars, not people. HUGE DISAPPOINTMENT. • Bike lanes , hiking trails, great improvement, bringing international events to the area is great for volunteering opportunities . • Better income level for single individuals. Rent is tough even with a full-time job in insurance. • There should be an increased emphasis on making greater Vernon a “livable city” We live in one of the most beautiful places in the country, but because of lack of foresight and commitment we have lost an enormous opportunity for green spaces along all the streams and lakes. There should be so many beautiful walking paths within the city and connecting Coldstream to the city. It was a loss having the farmers market in the downtown core - it would be good to have it come back. I was a no vote for the sports field at the college - I agree it should have been more central - out of town participants will have to drive, and having it out of town will limit its use . I feel sports are subsidized a great deal, and the arts need to be supported well I was so sorry to lose the beautiful site we had the library - now parking is not convenient, and the sight lacks the visual appeal outside. • More realistic wages. • more unpaved hiking and walking trails; more bike lanes; continued re-investment in downtown. Stop sprawl and annexations. • Lower costs to run a vehicle!! Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • more sidewalks and less potholes • I am satisfied with some of the above or have no opinion on others. • Based on the Lumby area alone, we would highly benefit from having a walk-in clinic and some form of taxi service. • more free learning opperunities (learning&discussing groups/classes on various subjects) a higher minimum wage better promotion of healthy/local food programs and more support for those programs. education for students and adults which is interactive with the community so that members of the community are aware of and in touch with the proccesses which contribute to how our town runs. • less people....it is getting too crowded no quality work to find, as way too many stupid regulation... • More industry to give higher paying jobs so people don’t have to work away from home. • Let’s keep our young people in this community! 35 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | What improvements would make your quality of life better? • New track, sports fields, hiking trails • less red-tape for business and events • It’s not about making MY quality of life better. For that, I’d welcome a thriving arts community and work at uniting with First Nations. What it’s really about is making COMMUNITY better, and that doesn’t start with individuals. • Better or another food store in Lumby to compete with the prices and bring down the cost of food here. • Less restrictions on building by RDNO. Ability to build a carriage house. RDNO too strict in comparison with CORD, SORD, and CSRD. Many neighbours feel we are in the worst regional district for rules. “We can’t do anything, should have bought in another regional district, too late/ costly now to move”. The feeling we are “stuck” with RDNO’s rules. • I lilke it the way it is. • Build affordable housing. Even more apt and condo buildings for rental purposes. There is a very real shortage of housing for this. Real estate prices also need to be lower for buyers. Build bus shelters for those that do use the bus system here. Amend the bus schedules if it is at all possible. Bring more events into Wesbild Centre and to the beautiful Performing Arts Centre Make prices to attend so that even the average wage earner can go to some of these events. Look after O’Keefe Ranch. One of the few tourist attractions. • More bicycle options are needed to travel safely rather than using the car. • Value for dollar for basic necessities of life. Housing very expensive and over priced. • Cost of living is affecting residence with fixed incomes. • Better planning overall. Downtown Vernon needs to look at attracting developers for combination housing, commercial uses. Too many oold abandoned buildings. Vernon is acquing too many commericla properties downtown 36 • I have a very good quality of life in the North Okanagan, and none of these options apply to me. • We would like to see more walking paths within city limits and surrounding area as well as more bike paths in city and surrounding area. Would like to see development of the empty corner along Okanagan Landing Road and Lakeshore into a hotel, boutique, restaurant, cafe zone along the shoreline. The recreation centre could use a better exercise and weight room area. • All of my necessities are readily available. • ROADSIDE STOPS FOR TRAVELERS WITH RECREATIONAL VEHICLES AND OTHER AMENITIES • I am quite satisfied and can’t think of any improvements.....I continue to feel lucky that we have services such as regular garbage and recycle pickup and a very well organized landfill to take other garbage that are so close at hand. • More overnight camping parks • I’d like to see money going towards a new art gallery. Sports seem to take precedence (in my opinion) • -more locally sourced food -return to small farm abattoirs -expanded recreational facilities, community and social event, including funding and grants for such • Medical needs • Jobs / industry • Better calibration of street light timing (ex. 27 street). A bypass, as traffic through 32 st and 25 Ave, etc is very busy, and will only get worse. • Controlling wood smoke, more trails and controlled bike routes, universal garbage collection, automated garbage collection of organics, recycling and garbage, repair of pavement, developed access to lakes, all throughout the Regional District REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN What improvements would make your quality of life better? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • Roads need repairs. Sidewalks are not very wheelchair friendly and some of the washrooms in restaurants are a joke for a handicapped person. • There are too many people here now and consequently too much development and noise, crime, etc. • improved air quality • in enderby town, after the change in the street light, it really shut down enderby mainstreet. should have become a one way into town, not by pass town • Sport facilities such as arenas, swimming pools • Beach parking on Kal as well as another larger beach on Kal. I would like a bit more commercial/ retail with some cool places to eat breakfast on Sunday or Saturday • We would like to see a new art gallery and a new museum • to have high tech research in are government friendly towards work and production and work education, we have ten time too many government employees in comparisson to other countries but nobody who is able to teach high quality work we live of what nature gave free, minerals, timber ect • Every year at spring I worry about flooding. I think infrastructure needs to be maintained. Dredge a creek and fix things!! • Bike lanes. Music festivals. Better local cuisine. • More dog friendly hiking trails, and connections between existing trails. • Better access to doctors/health care • Economic development for the region and support for weaker area such as downtown Vernon. • Road improvements would help • walking trails • can we please get an upgrade to our recreation facilities... really, have our elected officials visited the pool? • Improving economic connections between communities. Educating those who live here of the many amenities there are, thus increasing usage and perhaps increasing opportunities for those outside of those communities. • More doctors in our area!! Lower gas prices. Better Sr. Housing/Health Care. • please improve the bus service to Kelowna. and more frequent service to Vernon. • More kids stuff, an improved pool/rec center would be nice for Vernon • my quality of life would improve if I got a cushy govt pension like you do, but wait, someone, like me, has to pay for it. • Community events & festivals. • would love to see some walking trails around the Enderby area, other than hiking up the cliffs, or walking by the river • make the fun things less expensive so locals can enjoy them too • Better bike paths • Armstrong is awesome I come from a small town in Saskatchewan and it never had the community feel I thought was only real on tv communities • The RDNO should facilitate the development of a north okanagan network of sustainability organizations and professionals. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • Athletic fields • More well paying jobs and lower cost of housing. • People who have lived here a while don’t want anything to change! • cottage industry encouraged - no ‘garbage’ - all is treated as resource and jobs engineered around the stuff. 37 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | What improvements would make your quality of life better? • I would like to see more bike trails along routes such as Old Kamloops Rd, PV Road. Also public transportation between Desert Cove and Vernon. I would like more trails for hiking, walking dogs and horsebackriding. I also worry that many in the community cannot find affordable housing, pay for basic necessities. • Enderby’s health care is very poor. • More doctors • I find there are too many regulations, restrictions and government. • better walking path between Coldstream and Polson Mall (and therefore, town.) smaller buses running more direct route from town to Coldstream. bus from town to Sovereign Lake ski area in ski season ***** more public bathrooms and bring back some of the public phones affordable apartments/condos near the coldstream “town” area • MORE PUBLIC ACCESS TO BEACHES • some facilities for senior’s recreation • Better facilities Less government ie amalgamation Bypass route to enhance dt Pro development attitude • Becoming GMO FREE , and having a strong support of organic agriculture along with banning the use of pesticides . • Silly question. • Envronmentally friendly transportation - safe bicycle routes to grocery shop or bike to a coffee shop - incentives to stay active and healthy • education • Better bike lanes, improvements to Pleasant Valley rd from Silver star to Greenhough Rd • More thoughtful and environmentally concious development, building practices and planning for the future (addressing clean water needs, pollution control etc) 38 • Better planning and development which incorporate an environmental focus, including such things as better building practices, clean water preservation, pollution control, etc. • A greater sense of personal security, perhaps evidenced by lower crime rates, less drug use (and production), a sense of a safer community. This is more feeling than fact. • The fact that we do not have an extensive set of connected walking and cycling paths like those of many other communities is absurd. We think of ourselves as an active outdoor community but we have a long way to go in providing facilities to acommodate some of those activites. Also, when we arrived here in 1976 I couldn’t believe that we didn’t have a proper running track; and we still don’t, except that we’re going to build one up the hill at the college. This will ensure that few will use it. At time it seems that we really don’t care about providing opportunities for youth and activites for all. Having said that, I deeply appreciate the tireless work of council and community servants. I laud our PAC and arena. I am grateful for the recent improvements on bike and pedestrian routes. Thank you. Of course I still love living here, but I encourage those who make decisions to override the naysayers. • keep the natural beauty of the Okanagan intact by limiting densification in agricultural areas and regulating residential development. support agriculture by providing educational opportunities to the next generation. provide incentives and support to small and independently owned businesses in the Vernon downtown and limit the spread of strip malls or we will end up looking like Kelowna. protect lakeshore areas. • Excessive noise from vehicles needs to recognized as a quality of life factor. Cycle paths have improved since we have been here (seven years) and we’d like to see even more recognition of the bicycle as a mode of transportation for work and play. • health care seniors housing facilities regulation changes to encourage and support small farms and farming REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN What improvements would make your quality of life better? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • Water quality could be improved, or at least not worsened by shortsighted policies for development and waste water. • Far too much red tape, and it all comes at prices that are much too high. Fees for permits, inspections and the lot look more like extortionist charges than valid administrative fees, and they feel much the same. • We need better access to local crown land for hiking and horseback riding. • More evening entertainment • Better air quality! More Green spaces Community gardens More incentives for people to bike and bus to work and school Banning GMO’s from the North Okanagan as well as many sprays... We all share the same air and water after all. • The flow of traffic is frustrating, and the lack of parking downtown makes it an undesirable place to go. • We have a lot of buses to Vernon during the week but only one to Salmon Arm a week. A doctor, no three doctors in town. • Work harder to be more competitive and keep more dollars in the community. It is ridicculous that a shopper can go to Kelowna or Kamloops or even the Coast and still get better deals and more variety. • Less poverty issues, more services for youth. • as example: a bus from Silverstar to downtown Vernon • Economic Development is key to all other improvements, you can improve social, cultural opportunities and all other options but if you cannot find a job to support your family you cannot stay here • Low cost housing and home care for seniors ,,, better Hospital care get rid of code 99 in the hospital • Less bullying at school; nicer • environmental practices such as becoming a GMO free region and implimenting sustainable alternatives to herbacides & pesticides • More commercial developement on the lakeshore i.e hotels, restaurants,parks ....not more condos! • Vernon used to be in a beautiful environmental setting, now all the hillside are being torn up and houses planted, which all look the same. Vernon has lost is personality • better education (in high school)and cost of living decrease. • Bus routes need to be kept or improved. Cycling and walking routes have been improved but this work should be continued, • I don’t comprehend how beautifyihg some steets (22nd St.as ex.) while neglecting to install a sidewalk in a heavy residential area (24th Ave.) is resonable planning. A sidewalk on 24th from Mission Hill to John Howard House would improve the quality of my life and all who live along it. • Education improvements. • There is a large % of the community that are retired and they are impeding opportunities for school/recreational and cultural growth for the younger generation. We have to let fo of our wallets a little and create a strong community. • There is still no real City Centre to Vernon. The new /Renovated museum should stay where it is. We need the new track, plus pool. • Have agricultural practices that are compatible with residential living. Have exemplary farming and land use practices. Excel in “environment first” practices. • Racism Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • create sidewalks and bike paths • Eliminate racism and misunderstand of Aboriginal peoples. 39 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | What improvements would make your quality of life better? • places to house older folks who can not maintain full sized homes yards etc • We enjoy going to other cities and using their trials and bicycle lanes. In Vernon we find so often a bicycle lane just ends. It would be nice to have a better network of trails that join so one could explore all over. We were in Vancouver last week and went from Canada Place through Stanley Park, English Bay, down False creek to lunch at Granville Island and continued on till we had to turn back to rescue our vehicle and leave town. A wonderful day. We are past employment opportunities but I don’t see my children returning here for a long time. software engineer & scientist. Young enough to enjoy the lure of the big city. When they come home Vernon is dirty, pokey and boring. • Generally need for more cultural activities and public art. Better access to Polson Park (pedestrian and by motor vehicle). • government that respect and supports rural communities.......keeping small schools, libraries and transportation • PARKING! I’m single parent with a child. We cannot afford to use the library because I don’t have money to pay for parking, yet that is supposed to be something for the family. I’m very frustrated that the city went ahead a built a library where there isn’t easy access free parking. And now you’ve gone and done the same thing with the track. Not to mention upping the downtown parking meters. I REFUSE to shop downtown now. I got a ticket within a minute of my meter expiring at Sal-Mart. I was in line paying for my purchase at that second hand store to save money for my family, only to get hit with a $5 parking bill. It was like they were waiting there for my meter to expire. That was the last and final time. I shop elsewhere including out of town when I’m there. • Air Quality.Need air care. • Opening up the local under-used countryside to walkers by removing unnecessary restrictions on the use of ‘range-land’. No motor vehs is understood. • Reduction in taxes. 40 • Sometimes rec center (swimming lanes) are too crowded. OK Symphony Orchestra a little expensive - the most expensive thing we do - we have dropped our subscription this year. Flat rate seniors transit passes. • A community committed to sustainability and creating a regenerative culture. This could be the North Okanagan’s opportunity to become known as a forward thinking community that cares about the future. This strategic focus would stimulate current tourism and give more people a desire to move hear (especially young families). Supporting local organic agriculture, tourism, culture (First Nations), creativity (art, music) and small enterprises could turn the North Okanagan into a relocalized icon in BC. • Realizing the cost impact, it would still make great sense to get rid of these 2 lane roads and overly narrow and very unsafe road shoulders. There are way too many safety risks connected to such roadway systems. Higher considerations need to become visible to the growing population of senior residents in these communities. • Better environmental protection (conservation, no-pollution, parks, etc) • more walking biking trails, new pool • none of above fuel six dollars a gallon • The city bus terminal would be relocated back to orignial spot on Coldstream Ave where it is better accessible to the senior citizens. Downtown businesses would not close at 5pm. More support to local businesses and away from businesses like Walmart & Target. • Get rid of Catherine Lord. Why is she against everything that is good for this community? Next thing you know, she’ll be against air. Finish the Polson Greenway. • build a proposed bypass for hwy 97 over existing highway... a 4 lane straight through overpass from hospital hill to past 48th ave above existing 32nd street • More bike transportation routes. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN What improvements would make your quality of life better? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • Cycling paths, Downtown Enderby is becoming a ghost town • More helpful family doctors • Downtown Living/Business • Ecological Protection • Activities for youth, but all youth need to be involved • More venues for young adults (live music!) • Better activities (mall, zoo, downtown) • More hockey rinks • Sports facilities/complexes • Amusement park • More support for sports • To raise above poverty line. • Licensing • Dental care coverage • More work • Didn’t specify. • Need employment for people who are 50+ • Lower rental housing. • Better pay for those of part time jobs • Schooling • Sports • Entertainment (free) • More respect for the environment • Better stores. • More opportunities including entertainment for youth. • New buildings to hang out. • New pool/rec centre • Waste of money on library • sports opportunities. • Giver Vernon museum greater space; more dog parks • Municipal governance and social services • Sports buildings • Transportation to fun activities • Activities • Nothing • Employment opportunities for inexperienced kids. • Little to do unless you’re rich • VJH expansion completed. Parkland on Commonage. New museum and art gallery. • More stuff to do • Health access and options • Better bus system. • License sooner. • Sports facilities • Reduce light pollution Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • Better sports teams • Sports Complexes • Sports Centre • recreation complexes • More places to stay and hangout (youth hotsports) • Retirement Plans 41 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? • Taco Time • Business growth • More things for teenagers • More stuff for teens to do • Activities for youth other than drugs. • Marathons/half marathons • Busing is infrequent. • More sports complexes • Better stuff for youth to do on a daily basis. • Go karts, more bars • New playgrounds/park Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? Figure 3. Word map of comments given when asked to describe why respondents were proud to live in their community. • great place to live • Armstrong is similar to small prairie towns where the people are friendly and really care for others. • There is a concept of crime related to Vernon when I tell people where I live • Very friendly welcoming community • Quiet neighbourhood, easy access to do outdoor activities, fishing, hiking etc. Easy access to walk to the downtown shopping areas, post office, drug store etc. River walk, definately a plus! and affordable housing. 42 • I am not proud at the scars on our hillsides from Turtle Mtn, The Rise, Adventure Bay, etc. I am not proud about how we are impacting Okanagan Lake with excessive spray irrigation above homes on septic, on hillsides above the lake. There are a lot of dirty secrets in this town that make me feel ashamed. Otherwise though, it is a beautiful place to live if you enjoy the outdoors. But in terms of progress, Vernon feels like it has a backwards kind of attitude, not a progressive one. I also don’t feel that my community of Vernon is doing a good job at being a genuine partner in Greater Vernon, I feel like the City tries to throw its weight around and again, for that I feel ashamed. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • Because it’s Armstrong which I feel has some more forward thinking residents than Vernon • i tell people that i am lucky to have one of the few jobs that can still pay a half decent wage so that i dont have to leave the town i grew up in • A lot of people would love to live here because of the weather and lakes and beautiful country side. Don’t allow building on hillsides! • Just love it here. • I feel pretty lucky to get to live here. • Where else can u ski swim and work all in the same day! • I love Vernon but people laugh when I tell them where I live. • Vernon is a wonderful place to raise a family. • Unless you’re able to bring your money from elsewhere, it is very difficult to get ahead here. Nice place to retire, but nearly impossible for young families to thrive. • As stated above, not a friendly and welcoming city. • I love Enderby!!! • Enjoy the oppertunity to support local businesses and growers. • Best in Canada for - weather, recreation, activities • It’s a beautiful place to live, very scenic. • The four season • Because Armstrong is the greatest Community minded place to live • I want to be a part of making Vernon even better • Vernon is like an oasis: it is a place of tranquility. Unfortunately that also means it’s a backward, hick town. Some people like that but it has its disadvantages. I find local politics the largest reason for frustration. The City’s payroll absorbs all revenues which provides high paid employment but leaves no money to do any projects. • Find the community engagement great, climate awesome, scenery amazing and generally love it here. • See reasons above • It is an exceptionally friendly and welcoming community. • However I find the community has no focus, has limited diversity and does not invest in cultural opportunities for residents. Growth has focused on housing at expense of environment and without attention to job diversity or an overall vision - ie Kamloops with tournements, Penticton with tourism.. • other than too many churches and strong redneck mentality • local gov • The Okanagan is a beautiful place to live. • Vernon has lots to offer in recreational activities. • It is beautiful! • Beautiful area; generous people (this town runs on volunteers!) City staff do all they can to promote change in the right direction. • I find Armstrong to be a very quite, friendly place to live (provided you can actually find a place to live there) Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • Its a beautiful place to live • Who wouldn’t want to live where everyone comes to holiday, summer or winter.. • The Okanagan has a reputation for everyone wanting to live here. They don’t actually move/ live here because they cannot afford to do so, let alone afford the potential lifestyle the Okanagan has to offer. • We have an abundance of local food, markets to access same and government support of our agriculture. The environmental aspects of our community is improving -- concern publically 43 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? about GMO’s, sprays and other health hazards. We are talking about prevention rather than intervention in health care • More so than many communities, Vernon has minimized the conversion of “living space” for the personal gain of development interests. • smallish community, easy to get around, many outdoor activities winter and summer, plenty of shopping, restaurants, easy major hwy access, close to major city and airport. • I love the sub division we live in (Blue Jay), but we really do need to support the business community - the shopping is really embarassing, and I found that the hardest thing when I moved here. • because it is so beautiful here and still a relatively smaller town which does provide some benefits. • It is a lovely area to be retired w some means. Would like to see improvements as indicated for some more cultural options • Community support / involvement. • I love the climate, the country feeling but closeness to shopping. • It is a safe place with a great and supportive community spirit • we got the beaches and the lakes. But things that arent given to us by nature... not much to be super proud of. • Weather is reasonable • For all the reasons I gave above. We’re proud to show visitors our town, breakfast at the Brown Derby, drive them around the gorgeous countryside, go to farmers’ markets for glorious food they could only dream of buying in Vancouver. Take them to Caravan Theatre, or on a farm tour. A swim at Waterwheel Park. People from Vancouver don’t know what’s here and are blown away! • It’s a “go to” destination • Nice weather. 44 • It’s the right size, place to live, but there are quite some political issues I don’t agree with. (lack of statement against GMOs of RDNO, a landfill between two drinking water sources, lack of recycling of a lot of valuable resources) • I am proud to live here because it is beautiful and a fun place to live. It is close to Kelowna and Vancouver and we have Silver Star right here. What else could I ask for? • As it is a great place to live. • Vernon is know to be a bit backwards. It is beautiful but the decision making is poor by the leaders. No forward thinking. • Lots of drug use!!!!! • Vernon is a nice place but it’s got a lot of negative issues (economy, slow growth, focus on 55+) that make it sometimes difficult to tell people. Sometimes, when travelling in BC, when asked where I am from, sadly, I say Kelowna - it’s more well known and respected for a growing, thriving community. • Vernon has lots of character in terms of arts, culture, architecture, politics. . . . and it has offered my children tons of opportunity in art, drama, music and sports. The landscape is to die for. • Coldsteamn is a sensibly managed and run city with a lot to offer including great neighbours, rec opportuites and low taxes. Even the climate is better than Vernon! • Vernon doesn’t have the status that Kelowna does, so usually say that I’m from the Okanagan reather than the NOK. • The North Okanagan is beautiful and sunny in the summer and has amazing skiing in the winter. We get the best weather all year round. • There is no art and cultural scene. The foodie scene isn’t very good and Vernon spends too much money on things like the performing arts center where only the older rich people can afford the prices to see a performance. Also, spending REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE money on a track when that money could be better used elsewhere. • It is a beautiful place to live. The weather is great and there are many activities available during all four seasons. • The Okanagan is such a great place to live with all the orchards and lakes around. Some of the most beautiful scenery around too. • there’s been an influx of crime. • Because I like it • Are bike lanes etc are well known in other communities. proud to say that we are trying to be green! • Great downtown lots of park space close to nature and the lakes • I grew up in Cherryville. Vernon isn’t where I pictured myself living after completing a graduate degree! • We could be so much more. Leadership in local government is poor. Economic development is a joke. Employment opportunities for young people are in Alberta, not here. • no pride involved AND, I think the elected politicians have small town heads, currently buried in the sand, regarding transportation • Can be a very unfriendly community - does not represent my family’s values • Volunteerism is very high • Availability of winter and summer sports options,great performing arts centre, great farmers market for fresh local produce • I love Lumby!!! • Such a caring community. • It is actually extremely embarassing to tell people you live in Vernon. About once a year I encounter someone who asks “Is Vernon (they really mean RDNO - but they can’t understand all the layers) still screwed up polically”. And you have to answer “Yes” • ...it is a beautiful area... with incredible scenery... the lakes, the forest, the trees... • It’s a beautiful place. There is a sense of community here, and a willingness to try to mould the community to enrich people’s lives. • I like the slower pace of the smaller towns, and Lumby offers lots of community activities. • We have great outdoor recreation and climate • Geographic location and natural beauty • I love living in East Hill and supporting a downtown core not more strip malls and big box. (let’s learn from Kelowna and Westbank) • My community here provides all that I desire except weatherwise. • Weather, recreation, environment • It’s a good place to live. • I love the name ‘Enderby’, plus the citizens of our wonderful local communities are always so friendly and welcoming. • This community is not green. The public transit system is terrible. It’s overly religious. • So far, the Coldstream views a rural lifestyle as a priority. • It has lovely scenery, I love the murals, the weather is good, and it is a friendly place. • it beautiful here • Its a comfortable and welcoming community. • Enderby has a very welcoming feel to it and the people are friendly and helpful to one another. • I’m happy I was raised in Vernon, and it still has the small town feel that Kelowna has lost. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments 45 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? • I’m concerned that young families will leave Vernon because they can’t find work. I would hate to see this as a “retirement” community. • The politics are embarrassing at times. • This is a winter/summer wonderland - lakes and mountains with lots of opportunity to do outdoor activities. There are no “ooohh awww” moments when I drive through and around our town unlike Kelowna, Penticton, even Peachland . • I don’t live in the best part of town but my specific street is pretty good. We have pretty good neighbors. • I live in a rural community, very little neighbors and facilities. I like it very much others might not. • Everyone I know admires the Okanagan lifestyle and beauty. We moved from Vancouver and would never move back to hustle, bustle and stress of the most beautiful city in the world. • Cherryville is beautiful, rural and people here are dedicated to sustaining the environment. • Tranquil yet hardworking community supporting professionals, farming and manuafacturing. • Good quality of life, community that comes together to support those in need. Thriving arts and culture sector • Being proud of something that is not your own achievement is stupid. • Pleasant people, welcoming community • Downtown stores are hurting financially. Free parking would be helpful. • Because so many people travel here for vacation I get to LIVE here! How lucky is that? • Coldstream is a beautiful community in which to live. Country living next door to an urban centre is ideal. • I have a lot of friends and family 46 • Friendly people, great natural environment/ amenities. • Quiet. Beautiful weather. Skiing and lakes. • Armstrong has much to be proud of, including a dedicated contingent volunteers and a strong sense of agricultural togetherness. • I chose to live here for many reasons and am still happy for my choice .. a little urban and and little rural .. people are friendly and helpful for the most part • Quiet, respectful, sense of community among all age groups. • Lots of community participation • In our own case - lack of medical, and support services, lousy transportation system when any decent specialists are at least 100k away, no home support etc etc. In other words not even pensioners can get by without a car. While the downtown stagnates as they locals fear bringing in even fast food restaurants, have one block of downtown and that’s an fire hazard at best. The turn from the main highway has a second hand store on the corner and a pawn shop across from it - real welcoming. The area looks like it not only is a firehazard it might be the best solution for it. All the city can talk about is money losing things like developing the old rail line to run tourist trains. Millions in upkeep for something that has not worked anywhere in the world as evidenced by the Vancouver-Squamish or the Summerland line. The most notable thing about them is the prodigious amounts of money wasted. The only beneficiaries are in the already over-rich industries in Kelowna. Why should we pay for their profits? The other popular theme is an ‘art community’ which is also a loser as without a good economy in the immediate area you are just creating another slum. • Close nit community • Lack of foresight in attracting businesses to Enderby over many years. • It is so beautiful, and the weather is so nice. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • It is a beautiful place to live, people are friendlyand it is a great place to raise a family. • Very beautiful area with lots of outdoor activity possibilities and fairly moderate weather. • Armstrong has a very strong identity as a friendly, happening small town. • I would say ‘thankful’ rather than proud. • Beautiful place • good quality of life here, close to recreation areas and shopping • People are friendly. Outdoor activites abound. Weather is excellent( i.e. definitive seasons without extremes) • I am proud to live in a beautiful town with lots of recreation but cannot afford to stay. Employment in this area is poor. • it is a popular area to vacation and play. there needs to be more discounts for locals at golf course and other recreational areas like there is in other provinces. • See comments above. Plus natural beauty of our lakes. • Armstrong is a very caring community and because I worked in the service industry I know how friendly and honest the people are! • I love the small feel of Vernon with all the amenities we have and have defended not moving away to bigger money north. • not too crowded • The Interior of British Columbia is an attractive place to live, however industrial expansion for future employment is critical to this area • my community seems to be anti growth and in many ways looks like a small dying community. • It’s a beautiful place • after doing a bit of travelling in Canadda, US, Mexico and Asia I feel very fortunate to live were I am • We consider it God’s country. • friendly, lots to do • While the community is nice to live in, there is very little for work, shopping or recreation. • People have heard of the IPE, they comment on the rural aspect and the beauty of the valley. They are glad to meet someone who lives here. • Vernon has an excellent community spirit. Very friendly people. Beautiful weather, lakes, orchards, golf courses, ski hills, wineries. Still has lots of small farms. • nice place to live and we have all amenities but taxes and living costs way to high • Enderby still has the reputation of a place for less-educated people, and/or people with addictions. Businesses struggle to survive in Enderby as the big-boxes suck business to Vernon and Salmon Arm. Why would the Vernon Chamber of Commerce, and same in Salmon Arm encourage characterless big boxes to take away business from small businesses that have been here decades and contribute to economy and individuality and therefore tourist trade? • the weather is ideal, the community the right size, with sufficient amenities to appease most residents. • people don’t have a good perception of Vernon. It’s run down and not a very nice city to live in. • Coldstream is a great place to live and raise a family • Enderby’s reputation is getting better it used to be embarrassing to say I lived and worked in Enderby because of the public intoxication levels and general run down look of the town. • It is a beautiful place with wonderful people. • i am happy living in a small town Quality of LIfe Survey Comments 47 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? • I agree but am disappointed in the lack of respect for each others opinions in the community. if anyone read the letters to the editor in the Lumby Valley Times i’m sure they would think twice about moving there. • It is a nice place to live • Love it here, but needs more jobs • Nice town nice people • I am busy volunteering here • The four distinct seasons are wonderful • Armstrong stays connected to its agricultural roots and it is a welcoming family community • I’m proud of the natural amenities available in the North Okanagan. I’m not very proud of the way my tax dollars are spent. There is a lot of waste and lack of cohesiveness. • Its a nice place to live and its pretty. Wish Vernon would improve road infrastructure and downtown sector though. • I am proud because I work 5 min drive away from my home, skiing/ biking playgrounds are a mere 15-30 minutes away. We live 1/2 way to coast or Alberta which makes us central. relatively safe place to live. • I think Vernon is on the right track regarding the downtown core plan but fear it might be thrown by the wayside if politicians sway to pressure from the seniors that don’t want to spend any money on improvements or developers that prefer to build on green space rather then in the downtown core. • Its a beautiful place. • I think many people envy those of us who can live in this community. Unfortunately jobs or affordable homes are not always available. • Taxes are becoming much too high for those who’s annual incomes are below $50,000. 48 • Nice small town with lots to do. Not a sprawl like Kelowna. • Because its so far removed from big city life. Country living and being outdoors is very important for living • City is clean. • I do not want people to move here! • healthy environment and stable climate • It’s a great community • having a “home” is important. Identifying with your home location is part of who you are. • The area offers a slower pace of life but still within reach of busier cities and activities. • We live in paradise compared to many parts of the world. • fresh fruit and vegies that we can pick at low cost • See my comments at the beginning of Part 1. But for me, at my age and in my position, the positives outweigh the negatives. • The area is perfect for out door people and is improving all the time. The area is improving road ways to help the flow of traffic easier to get around. • Just the perfect size and distance from everything else you can’t get here. • The natural scenery and the available access to walking places.The orchards all around us. The good weather, the lakes, mts and parks • Please see comments above - all my reasons for moving here 17 years ago. • When traveling elsewhere it’s easy to say I live in Vernon. Most people recognize it and say positive things. That does make me proud. • I’ve moved away and came back so it’s hard to take a lot of pride in moving back in with your parents in your hometown after wanted to get REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE out so badly, the city is a little too small for me personally after living in the big cities. • This community cares about its people - get involved and you will feel more “belonged”. (There is a new word for you!)! • We bought down by Kin Beach in a mobile home park. We walk a lot and I can not believe how people are allowed to leave their lots of land so messy! No matter how good we take care of our area, others who own property and possibly don’t live there it becomes an eye sore. And it appears that it is okay to do that!! • Vernon has passed the point of being a small town and is not yet a big town. I don’t want to encourage more people to live here. • not for the social aspect of our community but for the beautiful landscapes which encompass the Okanagan, I have pride in our hills, lakes, and forest but I am ashamed of the litter and careless behavior that is destroying those things. • there is no community.... too low education • Mostly because of the climate and recreational opportunities. • Its a nice place to live, friendly people, nice scenery • for the above reasons • Because of all the attractions and amenities available in this area. • A progressive open minded environment • great place. • Everybody wants to retire/live in the OK • strong sense of community • Because so much of this community runs on volunteer effort, because our neighbors keep an eye out for each other, because food, entertainment and social networks are easy to access, and because the area is beautiful. • lots of reasons • its rural and feels small town which is nice • because it is heaven compared to the lower mainland • area specific • Downtown could be improved. • The climate, lack of traffic, and natural beauty of the region combine to make it a wonderful place to live. • Beautiful, lush, friendly. • it is beautiful, walkable and friendly • it’s a beautiful place to live and my quality of life is great • Lumby has a great sense of community, the people here are friendly and welcoming! We take pride in our own local resources and support locally wherever possible. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • friendly small town • Positive community • I’m proud to say I’m in Bella Vista, but ashamed of the hash of the subdivision on the Rise. I’m proud to say I’m in the North Okanagan but ashamed of the pettiness of government and the grinding poverty, not just economic but of imagination. So, it’s all more complex than your question allows. Your question is predicated on personal feelings. It’s the community I care about. • Armstrong is a lovely community. We were looking to get back to our small town, agricultural roots when we chose to move here in 1998. In the years since we have lived here, Armstrong has not disappointed. Great place to raise our 4 kids. • We really have the best of all seasons; we are an outdoor wonderland with hiking, fishing, camping, snowmobiling, skiing and wildlife viewing all within minutes to an hour away. The terrain and history is also great! 49 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? • Armstrong is a place of pride. Friendly people walk and greet others as they go about their day. We can walk to everything we need in town. • It is a very friendly community great outdoor activities, strong art community, lots of great restaurants & vineyards & farmers/markets • with the exception of the RDNO rules. Otherwise, we have a very nice community. • Armstrong is a nice little town, just like every other little town. • we have no fire protection, pay seperate for garbage pick up, pay for sewage removal, even though we pay for Vernon’s new facility on our land taxes,We have no dog control, every one cares way too much about the river. Call the Enderby police for problems and the Sicamous detachment responds when they get around to it. Where exactly are we in the location of area F. We follow NORD’s guidelines for building permits, when they want an attached garage and not a seperate one, because they only have one idea of what a city house looks like compared to a country house. • I love the Armstrong area. This area has everything my husband and I want. • We like our neighbours but everyone minds their own business.I don’t approve of some of the going ons but it doesn’t interfere with my life. • WE HAVE COME A LONG WAY JUST NEED TO HAVE BETTER AWARENESS TO TRAVELERS TO THE DIFFERENT LOCATIONS AVAILABLE TO THEM • As I have mentioned above, I believe that this is a very good area to raise a family. I have heard that it is getting harder for the younger generation to obtain suitable employment and be able to afford housing now, especially buying a first home. • Good place to live • City of Vernon needs to have a clean up Vernon campaign as it is beautiful here but grass and weeds sometimes prevail and garbage is allowed to be an unwelcome sight in places. Beautify the entry from the south and from the north into the city. We enjoy the people here and like the community but can see some of these factors hindering growth. • clean,lots to do • We live where others come for vacations. We have it all! • coming from Europe I feel at home here • rual feel but close to ammenaties • For the most part is like living in a small rural town. Friendly people. • Gods country Good weather Mild and shorter winters Defined seasons • Need to go to Kelowna for many more fine dining options and waterfront enjoyment. • Strong community spirit and cooperation. • Because of the natural beauty surrounding the place. 50 • I presently brag about my community and its environment. • I encourage people to move to this paradise. • -increasing culturally and social vibrancy, i.e. farmers markets, community events -expanding awareness of and access to local production, manufacturing, farming, services, etc. • its very nice, walking around downtown, and able to say hello/good morning to strangers. and its fairly good community! • I’m proud of the natural features such as the lakes and hiking trails. • Very nice scenery with the lakes and valley, beaches, skill hill. • As noted above. :) • governance relationships have improved, we have three lakes and lovely creeks/rivers running through,we have great outdoor recreation REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE amenities, we have good civic programs, services and facilities, people care and crime isn’t visible • Haven’t been here long enough. Does not feel like “home” yet. • Who wouldn’t be proud to live here? It’s gorgeous in the summer and tolerable in the winter! • In my sector there is a strong history of working together • We have a forward thinking group of city and regional staff. • It’s a beautiful community that many would love to relocate to. • the people who live here are very connected with one another so it feels like a real community • I find Vernon area to be extremely friendly and happy. The community comes together for so many events it feels like a big family. It is full of people that know how lucky we are to live here. • The Okanagan is a desireable place to live because of the recreation opportunities and the weather. I feel fortunate to have found a professional position and be able to live here to enjoy the lifestyle. • Coldstream is beautiful and a great place to live. Has a good vibe. • Great downtown core (not a city of strip malls, like Kelowna), great seafood store (Kettle of Fish), Performing arts centre, Powerhouse Theatre, Towne Theatre, new library, new sports facility, etc. • The Okanagan is a great place to live. We are lucky with the work that is put in to make it beautiful and liveable. • I am involved in activities that I am proud of, but someone who didn’t get involved in some way would probably feel very loose ties to their community. • great neighbors Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • there is no community out here life in different cultures and in contact back and foward, such a poor community as we have is seldom to see overregulated, there is no space for anybody to do anything logical pot growers everywhere but otherwise not too much to see • Small friendly community, still country folks with limited politicians! • same as comment in “rate the region” question • When I say where i’m from the reaction is immediately about the outdoor activities, not the cultural, economic or political impact of the area. • It’s naturally beautiful, you, the govt has nothing to do with it. • small-town friendliness, surrounding beauty • See above comment • Because of the outdoor lifestyle and lack of traffic congestion. It is easy to find parking, go shopping, can get everything we need. The schooling is also excellent. (Coldstream Elementary). • Everyone loves the okanagan for all of the year round activities and great weather. • Air quality, green space • can we please amalgamate to one community we all use the same amenities and we could be so much better off • While there are drawbacks to living in a rural environment (transportation, jobs), the benefits of its beauty, nice people, varied arts and culture tend to outweigh those drawbacks. • We have a wonderfully friendly community. One in which people care for one another and help one another out. • See my comments above • People outside of Vernon have a somewhat negative opinion of it. I’ve heard it called a “hick town” or “armpit of the Okanagan” and worse. When a job opportunity came up here 51 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? we considered other places first, but ended up moving here because we didn’t want to commute. We’ve been pleasantly surprised to find that it’s a really nice town and will be looking to buy a house in the next year or so. So, to answer the question...I tell people we live here but always follow with “but it’s a nice town!” • There are many nice places to live internationally, the Okanagan is one of many. • Vernon has always had a negative attitude - not in my back yard. • very friendly people live here. • A great place with a strong sense of community. People are very friendly. • Spallumcheen is pro agriculture, lots of farming and green space • NO IS A BEAUTIFUL PLACE AND PEOPLE ARE FRIENDLY • compared to quality of life in the lower mainland ,the Okanagan is hard to beat • Cherryville has a history of standing up for what they believe is best for their community and its future generations . It has an intact sense of community. • I’m not proud to live here, but blessed, when I think of the uproar that people have to live in elsewhere in Canada, not to mention in other countries. • outdoor opportunities, natural beauty, decent weather, safe community, good shopping • Nice place in the summer, terrible in the winter. Not much for employment at living wages. Hard to explain that there are so many governments for so few people. • It is a beautiful place to live, but what comes with it, I would tell people to go elsewere. • Enderby has strived to keep a healthy, comfortable and safe community to live in • I like Lumby. but we do have to do most activities in vernon • I suppose my only negative thought with regards to this questions is just that Vernon is growing fast, and the urban sprawl of the houses is slowly making the rural feel of it’s surrounding area disappear. Perhaps concentrating development in the city/town core would help preserve Vernon’s rural surroundings, which is what many people loved about Vernon. (As opposed to Kelowna which has grown into this endless sprawling city.) • I love living here since there is so much recreational choice. • some work done on transportation options/ housing, bike lanes,... • It is a beautiful place because of the scenery, nature, climate and lakes. It is also a great place for lifestyle and raising children because so many things are easily accessible. • Health care. • Great weather • Armstrong and area is a beautiful place with lots of caring people who volunteer ( not making the big bucks) to make it a good place to live. 52 • Our quality of life is enviable. People are friendly and welcoming. Our children can grow up strong and healthy here. • I am still proud of our beautiful area but am also embarassed by thoughtless planning. • I have become embarassed by thoughtless development that is readily apparent in some parts of our area and I think it is more apparent because it is so contrary to the beauty around it. • No one really knows of Vernon when compared to the name Kelowna! • i am in good employment as i have been with company 25 years and have no morgage,lucky i guess REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • A great combination of natural beauty and recreational opportunities. A fine place to set down roots, raise a family and live my life. • We travel widely and realize that the Okanagan is a beautiful part of the world that must be preserved for future generations. • I am happy to live here, but because my family is here. If my children found work and had to move away from the area, I can’t think of anything extraordinary that would prevent me from relocating. • The small city atmosphere • clean friendly close to all amenities low crime rate low taxes graet weather • the weather is the only factor that brings people here • Leadership embarrassingly unimaginative. • We are have the very best in recreation, weather, and winter sports facilities. • I feel proud because anyone I’ve ever met who has come here raves over the beauty and accessibility to outdoor activities and natural resources (forests, rivers, lakes, etc.) to be found here without travelling very far. • lakes and mountains • It’s. beautiful part of the world. Vernon is still like a small town, but has everything we need here. • Vernon is an accentuation of the have and have nots. I am in the middle and I see many of my friends slipping into the have nothing zone. They are increasingly relying on me for transportation, housing, and entertainment which affects my budget. • While Vernon has been good to me and my children, it reminds me of a depressed relative, in comparison to the other Okanagan centres in the valley. Take a drive to either lake and try to view it as if you are seeing it for the first time...it’s not a pretty drive. Our downtown looks like a patchwork quilt of the different city councils; the art gallery and museum seem symbolic of the pride we take...one in a parkade, the other in a very dated and small building. One only has to walk around downtown Kelowna to see the possibility a little foresight could have...Vernon has and is missing the boat. • look around • Kelowna gets too much attention. North Okanagan needs to have more reps.to the outside world. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • i like vernon, still has small town feel as it grows, sunny • It’s a great place to live and work, but the key word is work, most young people have to leave the north okanagan to find jobs • A beautiful place • Seen as a healthy place to live by outsiders. • Too many homeless and street people • Beautiful area • For the same reason as above. Neglected street conditions. • simply a nice part of the world to live • VERNON IS A VIBRANT COMMUNITY WITH ENORMOUS POTENTIAL TO EXCEL AS A METROPOLIS THAT IS ENVIED EVERY WHERE. • All the things we wanted when we retired were here in this area. • Because it is a great place, and people are friendly. • Proud of my culture and heritage. I am Okanagan (Syilx) • The area is beautiful but I would never promote the area for work. • Family 53 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? • people are friendly and there are many volunteer orgs to help keep you busy • weather (most of the time),summer/winter rec,4 seasons,virtually no mosquitos, • I was born and raised here and have loved it all my life. I am distressed by how crowded and seasonal it has become and how the old Vernonites are suffering with the increased costs of our land but I still think it is one of the most beautiful places on earth • Pride based on association is borne out of feelings that the community is managed with a proper degree of consideration towards the citizens needs and sensible preferences. That emphasis is often barely visible in the decisions coming from the City Hall. • Naturally beautiful place to live • It is the best place to retire • Reasonable pace of life, “just right” population, competitive shopping environment, medical services availability, lots of outdoor recreation options (including Silver Star in winter). • Nearly all of my friends who used to live here and come back to visit say that they dislike coming here. I believe this is simply because there is nothing for young people to do. • no one knows how to use the 4 way stop at the cop shop corner.....why is this not fixed !!!!! • Because my community reflects who I am • this is a nice small quiet place to live. we don’t need any assholes!!!! • Raising children where everyone knows each other and watches out for each other. • Resources not managed on a long term basis, municipal gov. not saving for long term infrastructure needs. Only lipservice paid to our beautiful natural setting. • There exists a feeling of community...people helping people, amongst the ‘senior’ demographic for sure. This is centre’d on the Schubert Centre and other such facilities. • I think that Vernon is a great place to live but more needs to be done to make it an affordable place. It is difficult to see the changes that has happened to Vernon since I was a child. • Most people are envious! • i am always proud of our city even when we dont do things right. • I find Armstrong a very benevolent community and enjoy that I can go in any one of four directions and find something to show friends and relatives who visit. 54 • Vernon has a lot to offer. Safe place to live. • poor job opportunities poor health care options including the MEWS LOCKDOWN FACILITY • There is nothing to be proud about. It is not safe to be a pedestrain in this town because drivers to not pay attention. The police do nothing about the terrible drivers. • I don’t think most people (here and outside the area) respect and appreciate what we have here. • It’s a nice place. It can be hard to get a job, but it’s nice here. • Because it is an awesome place and it’s the best • Because we have 4 seasons • It is a fabulous community, very connected for the most part. • We have the sun and mountains. • Silly Question • People are very helpful and friendly • Because it is kind of lame • Great all-round place to live, not too big, not too small. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • Not much of a “Vernon” identity. • As I go for walks (more recently as I am retired in the City), I admire the old trees and am quite happy with the cleanliness of our streets. • Like most communities it is struggling and too many people are reluctant to come together to address their community issues. • People are very friendly! Kind to one another. • Awesome weather and recreational opprotunities • Love to live here. • The positive social circles I am involved with • For health and wealth! • It is a beautiful region. Unfortunately very few know of it. To mmake a community and region grow it is important to promote it. • I love the skiing and swimming here - as well as access to the outdoors. • We have worked hard as a community to improve amenities and other village options. • Beautiful weather • Can’t explain • The people are extremely friendly • Love Vernon. It’s like a magnet. • Because I love the country • A lot more resources (mostly for women). • Beautiful mountains, lakes, nice people • It’s nice. • Beautiful place to work • Here is a beautiful and attractive city but there are not many entertainments and work opportunities. • Sunny Okanagan • Its a nice town to live in • Because no one knows where Lumby is • I like where I live • Not many amenities • Because I love it here - its a small community with wonderful people • I like it here in Lumby, although I find that sometimes the community can be a bid ridiculous (don’t seem to want to bring in work opprotunities) • Social aspects, feeling of belonging • While I enjoy the North Okanagan, I believe Enderby is in desperate need of improvement. • Friendly, helpful neighbours. Lots to do (exercising, walking, golfing, boating). Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • It’s a beautiful place. • Because I like this town! • I don’t really care. • People from Kelowna that I know make fun of Vernon. • Because Vernon isn’t too big of a city. • It’s a good place to live. • There isn’t as much here as I need to live. • It is a nice area with great views. • It has its pros and cons. • I like living in Vernon. • Because there’s nothing entertaining here. • I don’t really care about what people think about where I live. 55 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? • Beautiful summer place, Can find lots of natural things • Because it’s nice. • It is small enough that I know a signifigant number of the population and I can make a noticable difference • Not a fan of small cities. • Because of how pretty it looks especially with all the mountains around us. • I love Vernon! I live close to town and I can walk anywhere! • A beautiful and healthy environment; OCP reflects concerns and values of the citizens; concerns for sustainablity; sports, cultural, agricultural value and opprotunties; local government concern and support. • It’s a great place to live • Nice place, beautiful country. • Beautiful vistas everywhere you look • Because it’s awesome where I live. It’s gorgeous and I love living here. • I don’t care enough that I would brag about where I live. • It’s nice close to lakes, nice neighbourhood. • Because of the weather, nice scenery, lots of parks, lakes. People friendly in general • Because it is beautiful and peaceful. • Just living in the Okanagan is great, because of the scenery and people. • It is nice here. • Rural Areas 56 • It’s a pretty nice place to live with the lakes etc. • Because I love our nature • Culturally and socially indiverse - conservative (liberal) old people • Because it’s a nice community • It is very friendly; we have lots of volunteers. We have paths and a paved Riverwalk, pool, arena and beautiful scenery. • Personally, it’s a beautiful place to live. • Because I’m happy with it. • Not too big of a deal. • I mean British Columbia, Canada. • Coldstream yes, Vernon no! It has degraded over the years - now I feel it is shabby: big box stores, dollar stores, pawn shops, money lenders, fast food outlets, etc. Loiterers on every corner and alley. • I love Vernon: hot beautiful weather, nice beaches. What else would you ask for? • Why not? • Not proud but not embarrassed. • Everyone is nice and polite. • I think Vernon is the best area of the North Okanagan • It’s a beautiful place with lakes and hills and cultural activities - Performing Arts Centre, theatre, choral groups, birding and nature. • It is an immensely generous community and although not many big industries the ones here are very community-minded. Good city planning, slowly. • I feel neutral, it’s not the best but not the worst. • Small, need help and security and resources that WCRC of Lumby provided. • It’s a beautiful place to live. • It’s a wonderful place to raise kids. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • It’s a beautiful area which is why I’ve made the conscious decision to stay in this area even though lack of employment opportunities are frustrating. • Because I think it’s a wonderful place to live. A lot of good people. • It’s beautiful here. • Good people. • It’s a beautiful place to live. • Don’t care. • Because • I don’t care • It’s very small compared to where I’m originally from. • I love the Okanagan. • It’s beautiful outdoors • I like where I live • I like to learn new cultural. They can raise my English. • The neighbours are all friendly and the area is beautiful. Green, rich grass, open fields, tall trees, peaceful. • Because I love this area • Everybody is friendly and welcoming. • Because it is awesome and I was born here. • Vernon does not have a good reputation. • Because I love living here and it’s beautiful. • I don’t care • Because it’s fun • Good • Because I feel that we have a great community and we are friendly and welcoming. • It’s a good place to live • Because it’s a beautiful place. • Cause it’s a nice place. • Because it is a small town and not a lot to do. • Because it is a very close knit community. • Proud of living in such a beautiful place. • I don’t really care. • Because Vernon doesn’t have much or as big as other places (needs more stores) • The Okanagan is a nice, beautiful area. • Because it’s nice. • Vernon is beautiful and all, but it has a bad reputation (drugs). • Fun • Canada is awesome. • Because it’s Canada and we are an amazing country. • It’s great for the most part, other than taxes and job opportunities. • I think it is very nice here because of lakes and skiing. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • It’s such a beautiful place to live I’m proud to live here. • It’s beautiful here. • Because it’s a very beautiful place • It’s not like a brag or talk about where with others because kids don’t talk about those kind of things. • Awesome place to live! 57 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? • I am already proud to be a Canadian but I also love Vernon because I like the social and cultural background. • Vernon is an incredibly beautiful, relaxed and peaceful town • Because it’s awesome. • Because the Okanagan is very pretty. • It’s safe and small • I love it here • Because it is a very pretty city • I love where I live • I’m not sure • Cause no one real cares where you live any more. • It’s beautiful and the people are good. For the most part life here is quiet and there are no drastic changes. • Because it’s a great place to live. • Because Vernon isn’t as exciting as it can be! • It’s not a shit hole. • The people are nice. • It sucks! • It’s warm here (most of the time) • Beautiful • Because it’s beautiful and friendly • Because it is a great community. • I enjoy living in Vernon but I do plan to move. • It’s a very nice place to be in the summer. • I know I live in a beautiful place which makes me proud but I’m not very proud of how the young people are treated here, like a burden a lot of the time. • It’s a beautiful place to live and some good community • What’s so great about Vernon…It’s almost impossble to like it unless you’re retired. • Vernon is friendly but it’s not diverse and you don’t see a lot of different people/things. 58 • Because though there isn’t many opportunities for kids, I still love the Okanagan! • I like this community and would like it if people come here. • I love the okanagan I think it’s an amazing place. • Cuz Lumby is so peaceful • Because it is a good community • To me it’s just another place. • Because I love it out here. • Beautiful scenery, lakes, wineries, orchards, etc. • It’s a nice place to live • Geography is incredible people are very friendly and generous with donations for people less fortunate. • Because this is where I am raised and also I love to explore more of BC • Because it’s the Okanagan • It’s small and have few play things but it’s nice to live. • Forest is close by • I wish parts of it had a more attractive outer appearance - especially Whitevale and Mabel Lake roads exiting Lumby. • It is a beautiful part of Canada REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • The people, the seasons. We have rivers and lakes to swim, mountains to ski • I love the feel of the small town but I get bored here. • Vernon lacks some energy and employment options. Great lakes and weather though. • It’s a unique and welcoming community nestled in a sunny valley. Our tourism season is what defines us. • My farm isolates me somewhat from developers • We have everything we need! • Climate, scenery, ski hill, lakes, performaing arts centre, trails • Beautiful area • It’s just another community • It’s awesome here • We have everything my family and I love to do • It’s a pretty radical place to live. • Neutral opinion • I neither am proud nor discontent living here • Nothing to do here • I am happy • Because it’s very nice here, and we have good weather in the summer time. Most people are nice towards other. • I live in a safe community that is respectful of where they live • In the Okanagan yes, I feel proud to live in, but specifically in Vernon no. • I don’t really like the city since we have nothing in this town and there isn’t much opportunity. • Because I love it here. • Because it’s a very beautiful place and there are some opportunities. • Is fine. Nothing too exciting. Nothing I’d like to brag about. • It’s beautiful • It’s pretty cool and lots of people like it • Unfriendly. Rich-poor no middle capability. Wages low. Businesses undercutting locals, too much casual and p/t. Nothing for my kids to look forward to. • Love Nature • Needs small tweaks • Beautiful scenery and surrounding lakes • It’s a great place to live and grow up but incredibly hard to find a good job and post-secondary education. • Coldstream is a beautiful place to live • I don’t feel there is a strong “community”. Rather just a place where I live. Don’t feel connected to the people here. • It’s a nice place • Beautiful place but nothing to do • It’s kind of boring and not well known • I don’t really care, don’t think about it • The town is nice • Not too special • It’s a beautiful place to live • I miss Vancouver • It’s small compared to cities like Vancouver Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • It’s a place better than some, worse than others • Why would I lie? 59 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? • It’s one of the most beautiful places on earth in my eyes • Because it’s my country there are great people • Because Vernon is awesome amazing place to live • It’s a nice place to live, and decently safe • good place • sometimes I don’t like small town • Its good • it’s a nice community and its beautiful here • Because it is great • Because I’m cool like that • I know know • because nothing to do • It’s boring • Its beautiful • I live in a nice place where it’s a great place to start a family • generally a good place to live • There’s a nice view from every direction • Nothing to do here with friends • Okanagan is the best • Cause its pretty • Why would I feel pride about that. • Because Davidson’s orchards. And Silverstar, and Electribles (the record store downtown) • It’s a nice place to live. • Nice area • beautiful and safe • I’m not worried about it • I live near the men’s shelder and I live near a lot of pot smokers and pot heads. • I like it here • It’s not a topic I focus on • I like all th ebeaches, nice people, but I would like more things to do, like mall, go karting • I don’t really care to tell people. • It’s a nice, safe community. • It’s better (safer) than my old community. • many people are reduced to living on the streets whereas I have been priviledged to live in a nice house where it’s warm and sunny • There’s nothing wrong with it, however it isnt anything special either • because it isnt the best place • vernon’s awesome • Because it’s really nice, beautiful, welcoming • it’s a good place • Because it is such a nice place to live • it is small and there isnt much to do • Cause vernon’s a good town • because vernon is a really pretty place to live but should be less expensive • It is very nice • Because it’s a nice town 60 • People are nice, good parks and outdoor stuff • I don’t feel bad but its not the worst place on earth REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Why do you feel proud (or not) to tell people you live in your community? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • because it’s a neutral community (?) • It’s considered a nice area • Its not really a bad community • Because it’s nice here • where I live; everyone knows each other and we have a get together at the beach every year • Sports • because it is a good place that I’m sure almost anyone would want to live in • it’s a community that needs improvement in building • I tell but it is a smalltown • because there are positive and negative things about the okanagan • Beautiful place • It’s a nice place to live and has nice people • Cause they’re nice • It’s a good place to live and raise a family, things to do year round • its amazing • Its nice • I think vernon is a lucky place to be; for example silver star ski and snowboard resort • vernon is nice • because its beautiful here • Nice outdoor places • coldstream is a community close to parks and not too far from vernon • Not a lot to offer young families - feels like older community • It’s an ok place • I feel safe here. • It’s nice, but we need more income • Because it’s nice • I don’t feel proud because we are almost over taxed and when we need stuff the government won’t build it. • because we have great sport programs - beautiful seasons good people and opportunities • It’s nice • People don’t really care • It’s a nice place to live • Boring town • We live in beautiful british columbia Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • it’s a beautiful place to live. Very (usually)polite and tight knit • very beautiful • Great climate, but only fair infrastructure roads are rutty and hot holes! • Too small, make it bigger, and make it more attractive • Because of the environment with both. • We have a great and strong community/friendly environment • Mediocre • Because it’s a beautiful area; warm, sunny, with lots of lakes • Vernon is a beautiful place to live. However, not overly unique • Beautiful: 2 amazing lakes 61 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | How long do you expect to be living in your community and why? • It’s very small and not what I’m used to. And there’s lots of violence and drugs. • It is a good peaceful place to live • Because I was born here How long do you expect to be living in your community and why? Figure 4. Responses to the question “How long do you expect to be living in your community?” • Kelowna has better health care systems. We will be moving there to make our parents’ end of life care easier and then ours. • My children can go to univeresity • Still here now, so inertia says I will likely keep staying here! • If we ever move again it will be too soon. • We both have good solid jobs and are raising our family here so we intend to stay. The political system frustrates us to the point of considering leaving. • Raising a family here and will likely stay because extended family here and LOTS of opportunities for young kids. • I plan on retirement here. • Expect to retire within the next five years. Will move to a more rural area where it isn’t so busy and expensive to live. • Would like to relocate to Oyama • Raising two small children • Looking to purchase housing in a more affordable area • Husband retiring as youngest graduating from high school this year and we will be moving to our cabin on Okanagan Lake near Fintry. 62 • Leaving as soon as we can afford to • Hope I can afford to retire here. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN How long do you expect to be living in your community and why? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • Relocated here to ‘make a difference’ in this community, and have since realized what a great challenge this is going to be • If by community you mean North Okanagan, then yes, 5+yrs, if by community you mean Middleton Mtn, then possibly not. Always looking at options to live closer to town, or closer to either lake. • Where else can u ski swim and work all in the same day! • I plan on moving to Kelowna next summer • I may have to leave my family here as we are unable to sell our home for anywhere near what we paid for it, but there is so little work here I am headed to Alberta in order to provide for my family. • Best in Canada for - weather, recreation, activities • Yes, we will live here for a few more years but Vernon is not a good place to be really old. • It is home, but not happy with how it is growing and do not see opportunities here for youth.. • I cannot imagine why we would move from here to another location in BC or western Canada considering that we moved here from greater Vancouver. • Only if I can find sustainable employment,. • Not sure if we want to stay...lack of opportunity... expensive • Suites the life style • Job. • I plan to die here!! • As long as I can find decent work here. If there is no work, I know I will have to move away. I really want to avoid moving away. • I love it here and I am surrounded by friends who are supportive. They are also committed to building a supportive community. • Hopefully this will be the last place I live. • I love living and working her in my community and I plan on changing very little • My whole family is here and the North Okanagan is a wonderful place to live. • I can’t afford to sell my house and move elsewhere. I would be proud to live in Vernon if there was a better cultural and food scene. • kids still at home and in school. • Want to keep living here, but if the job opportunities do not open up soon, I will have to move in order to support my family. • Because I live here • Looking for other opportunities. • We plan to stay here at least until the kids are out of school (approx another 18 years at this point). However, depending on work opportunities, etc, you never know! • I do not beleive I can continue to afford to live here for much longer.It is way too clicky and couple/family oriented for a single person. • employment • Answer is largely in the hands of Father Time. • Will be kept here with work. One or two years for sure, perhaps more. • We are embracing our community and investing time and money into our property for long term enjoyment. • It’s a great place to raise kids & we have strong family connections. If we didn’t have children, we would not be here. • Very likely that I will be moving. • We wouldn’t stay if we didn’t have children. • Will retire here. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments 63 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | How long do you expect to be living in your community and why? • My daughter was born here, my house is here, love the community. • My family is looking at moving to a community that reflects our values. • The area suits our outdoor lifestyle, great support network here. Friends who have retired here say it’s the best place to live in Canada! • Employment, climate and small scale of city. • Will most-likely retire around the Vernon area. • May need to move for employment. • Until the children leave home for school • I like it here. • We have stable employment and my children are in the formative ages - we have no plans to move and have extended family in the area as well. • I hope to move to Ontario or Nova Scotia. • I chose Vernon as the place to retire; real estate transaction costs are prohibitive. • I’ve retired here and plan to stay. • We do not plan to move away from Vernon • I will have to move out if I want more opportunities in my field. • I HOPE to still be able to live here >5 yrs from now! • My family is here and i like it here so i will never move. • friends and activities are here, close to major airport for travel • This will be the last area I will move to. • Not certain. I volunteer a lot but we encoutner many political obsticales. It would be nice to live in a community where you can be proud • If I survive that long! • family in this area. • Partner has full time job and is in a 3 year training program with it currently. • I don’t see a need to move as long as we can climb stairs. (30 years?) • I plan to continue living in Vernon until we retire. • This was a longterm move, we do not anticipate moving • YES! I am now retired an need the physicians and hospital readily available. Moving would make that more difficult. The exception would be if my daughter and her family had to move for employment reasons. I would consider a move at that time • my hope is to retire here if i can • Unsure what the future holds. Family is elsewhere. • Still plan to live in our house as long as we can look after it • I’m less than 10 yrs to retirement. I can’t afford to get started again. I’m hoping I can get some full time work for the last decade of work. • Will be here until I no longer can look after myself. • It’s home, my work is here, why would I leave. • Life is full of opportunites and a lot of places to visit and maybe live when retired!! • We’re moving up north where the work is plenty and pay is great! • as long as I’m healthy enough to maintain a house in the boonies. 64 • We have no plans to leave this area. • i like vernon, i can walk anywhere i need to go • I would Not choose to live here. Ever. Finding work is near impossible and the jobs that do become available are almost all minimum wage positions. Everything else, housing, food, gas and utilities REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN How long do you expect to be living in your community and why? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE are fairly high...the gdp has been almost halved in recent years. Most of the people I graduated with have moved away for work. The only reason I came back was becauase I was a single mom with two young kids and I needed family help. This is Not a good place to prosper or hope to improve your life, the okanagan is stale, stagnate and dead in the water. • Currently attempting to relocate where the jobs are...Alberta. Perhaps once retirement is an option 35 years from now. • Haven’t found a better place. • The Okanagan is perfect for retirement. • maybe this long but when my wife retires we will have to take a long look at costs (like owning our own home) • can’t think of a better place in Canada to live. • We plan to downsize and probably move back to Ontario. • I would love to live here long term if there is continued employment for my husband and I. • God willing • No plans on leaving. • As soon as my children graduate from high school I will be leaving. • Job is here but debating on moving to Kelowna and commuting • we may move homes within Vernon but will remain within Vernon in next 5 years. • I will live in Vernon as long as I can get adequate medical care in my retirement years. • until they carry me away! • It is expensive for a family, so may relocate somewhere more affordable • I wish to live here until I die. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • If we live that long! • unhappy with my townhome complex. • Okanagan is the nicest place to live • love everything about living here • No desire to move from this region, weather is great and the size of our Vernon and surrounding areas are great • With the uncertainty of employment, it would be nice to continue living here, but realistically, if we have to move for work, we would do so. • I will die here • I have no plans to move but if my health deteriorates I will likely move closer to relatives. • Very close to retirement and plan to stay and play, original reason I moved here 8 years ago, and love the area. • Tnking of moving to victoria for school. • I will stay here as long as I live • I have no particular plans to live anywhere else at this time. • I go back and forth between here and Kamloops so even if I’m not living here I will be here regularly! • We like where we live! • I’ve moved enough in my professional career. They’re going to move me out of my current home in a plywood box. • long term affiliations and friendships as well our kids have decided to make NO their home too in their adult life • love it here, love the climate and the lakes and silverstar • Might have to move because due to lack of Work Opportunities 65 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | How long do you expect to be living in your community and why? • if area remains as it is • I don’t see my family living here over the long term. • The beauty of this area makes it a paradise for outdoor lovers. • School for my kid and my family is here. • I expect ,y spouse to be transferred for work; not necessarily in this area • No, as soon as I retire I expect and hope to move away. • Love the Okanagan • job, kids in school • Plan to retire in this area • because my partner manages the ski area, so we’ll be here awhile • can not understand THAT question..I LIVE here NOW.. • but also to live south in the winter • I have a house that we got resently. so wont be moving out of here any time soon. and I like it here. • The referendum in support of the Sort Complex was the last straw for us. The City of Vernon is already carrying more than enough debt and to add millions more for this complex that isn’t even in town, has prompted us to list our place and look for another community to live in. • It’s better than many places in North America, weather-wise and scenery. • If I can afford to stay. • Why move? We have everything we need right here. • I own a home here. My kids go to school here. I have no plans to leave, so far. • It took me 20 years to come home to the Okanagan. Do you think I’m moving again? Ha! Never. • But will depend on the availability of good jobs. • I will be moving to Vancouver for more artistic and cultural opportunities. • I would love to raise a family and retire here. Not much could make me move, Vernon has everything I desire and nothing that bothers me. • Never know what can happen in your life to change circumstances but other than something unusual will still be here. • We have no reason to move. • no plans to move. As long as my employment continues and the cost of living (mainly taxes) doesn’t go up much we can continue to live here. • Unless family has to relocate for employment I will stay here. • Financial and nice home location • Because I want continuity and stability for my young family. 66 • This is our retirment home, however, we may have to move to a more accesible community both for transit & medical services. • Born and raised here, will probably never leave. • we see no reason to move elsewhere. • I can’t stay away from the Okanagan. Weather, people, scenery, services, all are great. • I’m a young professional, just starting out in my career and I don’t have to expertise to start my own business. The North Okanagan is a great place to be entrepreneurial, I’m just not there yet. • May have to leave to find work. Few job opportunities here. • We would hate to have to leave as we love the space. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN How long do you expect to be living in your community and why? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • Assuming I live that long... • Where else is this beautiful? • After that I will need to be closer to amenities • will retire here in summer leave in winter • depending if there is work • I expect to stick around until I am finished schooling, and most likely move back when I’m older. • I have a young family and don’t have the financial means to pack up and move. Therefore, I have no choice but hope that employment opportunities pick up! • another 30 would be great! • Looking to go elsewere. Where there are more jobs. • Friends and family in area. Golf courses / performing arts. Social concious community. Future opportunities for employment ... must be open minded. • I retired here but miss my family. Our grown “children” and our grandchildren are living up north since the jobs are good and they can afford housing. • No changes expected. • Have purchased a home here and have a good full time career • No wish to move - all amenities here - home, friends included • No plans to move right now. • We love the recreational options • My husband was born here and we will retire here. • I CAN’T THINK OF A NICER PLACE TO LIVE, VERNON IS A NICE TOWN Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • I will retire to the lower mainland for the cultural amenities • I expect to live here the rest of my life. • We hope to stay here permanently but once my husband retires if there is not more environmental consideration in planning for the future of our area we may move to a community where they consider these as priorities. • We had planned on staying here permanently but if lack of sensitive and environmental planning for the future of our area continues we may move after my husband retires. • Retired and equity build here, too expensive to move • Will have to move away for a job once I graduate with my PhD in 4 years from now. • luv the 4 seasons and am getting up in age too • This is my home. • Unsure, my neighbours have been recently unfriendly since I purchased two very small dogs, which I need for company since both my parents are dying this year and I was unable to have children. • As long as we can work here. • I need to find a wage that can sustain me, as well as an opportunity to pursue a career in my chosen field. This means moving. • I would like to stay here through retirement. • might leave if i cannot find employment • I have no reason to move anywhere else. I am happy with Dr,s etc, area,I was born in Vancouver and lived 12 years in California in my30’s, but Here is contentment • May move better better job possibilities • will be here till I pass on, my husband was born here. 67 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | How long do you expect to be living in your community and why? • it has what we need for retirement. • we plan on never moning from vernon • I will retire here • unless i die s before then • Depending on number of factors • because my work is here • Like it here • I’m a senior and paying a mortgage. • may retire elsewhere to be closer to family • YES I PLAN TO DIE HERE • May move nearer to family • happy with all that is available for extra curricular activities and not planning on moving. • I go to University in Ontario. When I graduate I plan on coming back to the Okanagan. I am currently back for the summer. • If I can make it financially. • Hopefully longer than 1 year, but sometimes life throws us curveballs. • I will probably be moving to Vancouver or New Zealand. • Why would I leave this community has everything a person could want. • I do not expect to be staying in Vernon for much longer. There is nothing to offer, too many stores are closing and the city council are running this town into the ground. • I would like to live here at least until retirement • would probably have to move to smaller, more accessible housing; closer to amenities like shopping, medical care, etc. • When our child graduates, we’re out of here to find better jobs. • Lived here my whole life so far. • Travel and climate • Friends and my children enjoy coming back • I expect and hope to die in this community. The N Okanagan Hospice is a jewel of senior love and care. • I like living here and my family are here • I was born and raised here and hope to live here for as long as possible. • This is home, good job, family is here. • they’re going to carry me out of here in a plywood box! • as long as I can find good work I will stay • i love it here even if jobs are hard to come by and we are leaning more to the retirement side of things • I like where I am and have no want or need to move. I like that there is a strong sense of 68 community in the North Okanagan, although condensed into many small pockets. I would like to see the different community groups come together and be more active in supporting the growth of the region. Working together towards a common goal would solidify the community and make the North Okanagan more memorable. • Employment/travel options. • Aging can never be predicted • We have deceided to raise our family here (as long as we can afford to stay) • Job • I plan to go nowhere • Close family ties, hope to retire with current employer REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN How long do you expect to be living in your community and why? | YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE • My roots are well established plus deceased family members are here! • It’s pretty much everything I need in a nice, small city. • All my family live here. • Family ties. • Sons live here • Because we think it’s te best area. • I am!! (Did not fill in a circle - cancer mentioned earlier). • I have no plans to leave before I die. • Vernon is good to me and I love my church. • I expect in 10-15 years we will need more supportive living arrangements and there seems to be that kind of development going on. I hope transit can be expanded so there is a possibility of staying where we are. • Because of family. • Beautiful safe place to live • Because I love where I am. • Nature, the lake • Recently moved to lower rent building. • I want to travel and raise a family around the world • (Did not choose an option). Not sure. Would like to spend more time in the city. • I like it. • I need time to graduate from here. And it is a good place to study second language. • It may take this period of time for me to either move or for changes to be implemented. • I want to travel. • My roots are here and I love it. • Can’t afford to live here without a fulltime paycheque. Cost of living and taxes too high. • Because I have been living here for 10 years and Vernon/North Okanagan has best weather year round of anywhere in Canada. • University. • Quality of life • No tired of Vernon • Why move. • See above • I will leave for school, and possibly for a career, but I plan on coming back. • Not moving! • Yes, if we have work. No - we will move if not. • No reason to move! • We love skiing accessibility, hiking, walking trails • school/work • Can we afford to stay? Where will my kids be able to get work (meaningful, lasting, $)? • Own my home • Outdoor lifestyle • Moving for more affordable places. Maybe I come back. Depends on housing market. • More possibilities, family here • I don’t want to move. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • My youngest son done school • I love living where I live now. 69 YOUR QUALITY OF LIFE | How long do you expect to be living in your community and why? • Going to college, but who knows • I’m not entirely certain • Moving to university in September. • No, no job opportunities in Vernon. • Job opportunities are poor. • no • Move away for retirement • leaving from postsecondary education 70 REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN What is the first image that comes to mind when you think of the North Okanagan? | OUR REGIONAL CHARACTER OUR REGIONAL CHARACTER What is the first image that comes to mind when you think of the North Okanagan? Figure 5. Responses to the question “What is the first image that comes to mind when you think of the North Okanagan?” • beautiful natural environment • beaches, golf and apples • small town that has become over built and to compact for all the traffic and sprawl • we need green hills as much as we need green development. dense developments in city centres, open spaces around the edges. • lakes and potential for beautiful recreatoin opportunities. • snow, water and beach :) • we are known for our lakes, golfing and skiing. tourism is the second largest industry. provide Quality of LIfe Survey Comments more opps for people to camp at the lakes, more camp sites required. • small urban in a rural neighbourhood • lots of lakes and camp grounds, hotels, restaurants etc • along with rural atmosphere i feel that farming and farm lands is very closely linked. • it’s got something for everyone! • lakes bordered by huge houses • variety of things to do and the best quality of life in a ‘small town’ 71 OUR REGIONAL CHARACTER | What is the first image that comes to mind when you think of the North Okanagan? • closed businesses, roads filled with potholes, alberta license plates • best in canada for - weather, recreation, activities • the camping, water sports and skiing. • dryland hillsides and lakes • lakes, sun, and wineries. i guess to some degree the rural aspect. when we first moved here i couldn’t get over the litter in peoples yards, and in the city etc. the recycling program does not accept nearly the amount that it should. there are cities where people are required to recycle, and it would be nice to see that here. look at the vancouver waste systems, people (especially businesses) get fined for recyclable items in the garbage. we live in too beautiful of a place to take for granted. keep the waste to a minimum. - that’s my rant :) really though, this is important and needs to be looked at. • would rather check villages and cities w a small town feel • lakes and beaches • small town kid • we love the green and open spaces and the small town feel of armstrong. without the farm lands and farming, the open spaces would be gone as it is around kelowna with its infamous “pizza pie” subdivisions, and increasingly vernon’s sprawl. we were drawn to the green of the north okanagan, not the sage brush drylands. without active farming, there wouldn’t be the exciting farmers’ markets. the small communities can thank their farmers for the beautiful landscape, and for the solid community feel to the towns. farmers, and farm values made these communities and still exist as long as the farmers can. • having space for living, being in the outdoors quickly but still having most of the amenities reasonably close by • lakes!!! • they all apply except for urban experience. love the laid back lifestyle. 72 • it is a series of small town • transition from rural, environment conscious to urban communication conscious • coming from a larger city, i like the feel and the friendliness of the people i have met in the smaller towns • efforts should be made to avoid the destruction of the beauty of the okanagan by increasing ‘development’. • love lumby days, falkland stampede, the pumpkin fest in armstrong. • lakes, mountains and pastoral views...naturally beautiful! • i support nocs (north okanagan cycling society) • enderby and district provide the amenities i favour. • kalamalka beach, kin beach and silver star mountain • boating • there is no anonymity • difficult question. ‘first image that comes to mind’ is a mix of urban experience trying to overtake rural atmosphere - seemingly endless tug-of-war. • swimming in the lakes. • would’ve been nice to have an option that spoke to first nations heritage and community here (and throughout the survey) • lakes and mountains • poverty stricken and deprived communities with a few profitable farms dotted among a lot of losing ones. the majority of those appear to be just convenient write-offs for lawyers and accountants who live elsewhere. • it takes a very short period of travel and then you are outdoors. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN What is the first image that comes to mind when you think of the North Okanagan? | OUR REGIONAL CHARACTER • i think of the lakes • not fair to restrict to one choice!! • small town feel with kelowna close enough for the big city when we need it • not difficult to get out in nature • because so many people living in the okanagan have to go up north for work our community although rural and beautiful does not really feel like a wholesome small town. when the men all leave for weeks or even months at a time to work in oil and gas industry up north you essential all left with a lot of families that resemble single mother typed households. • it is all about agriculture. • armstrong is a farming community • i should be able to chose all those options. • which is really similar in my mind with rural atmosphere, farming and outdoor recreation • we chose vernon because of it’s vibrant city core, and small town feel, not to mention it being in a picturesque valley. • i would like to include more answers then that though as i think of farm land, green space, outdoor recreation and close community equally with my other choice. • lake side, lots of lakes around here. • 4 seasons, lakes, mountains • all of the above - except urban experience. however that is a good thing not to think about. • i would describe rural atmosphere for coldstream. for the rest of the northok i would describe it as behind the times and run down. • i love the lakes and scenery • traffic volume! • i like bumping into friends and acquaintances when i’m out and about. • weather, nice summers and cool winters. not too extreme either way. • how great to look around us and see the hills and trees and the orchards so close at hand plus all the plant life that thrives in this valey. • fields of various crops planted and harvested by the energetic farmer and gardens aplenty by those growing their own food or some to market and share • and lakes • unfortunately, although vernon thinks like a small town, it isn’t; the population fo the vernon and vicinity is 50 thousand people. • thriving community potential • the first “image” that comes to mind is the natural beauty of the ok. but the great part of it is it is combine with urban and recreational amenities and the whole package matters • great outdoor playground • we still have small town feel but we have all the amenities of a large center • mixed ecological zones, poverty, trashed environment, much beauty left if you know where to look, syilx • please see my previous answers about our outdoor wonderland. • when you begin to drive into the north okanagan, you first meet towns and small communities, befor you hit the big cities. • the sunshine,lakes and temperatures here. • lakes • all of the options with the exception of the ‘urban experience’. • hot summers and snowy winters Quality of LIfe Survey Comments 73 OUR REGIONAL CHARACTER | What is the first image that comes to mind when you think of the North Okanagan? • as someone who grew up on the prairies, the first thing i remember hearing about the okanagan valley was that it was warm enough here to grow apples and peaches. • great opportunity for many seasonal sports and activities. • grandparents immigrated to penticton in the early 1900s • do not like big cities • i love all the farms that are right in towns... its nice to see • summer activities • all of the items. • the beauty of the valley... • green space, farms, nature, lakes. • attractive lakes and waterways to explore, benefit, and enjoy. • i hate to see vernon and kelowna spreading over the farmland like cancer. • silver star and sparkling hill. • just the right sized town • i think of the natural beauty and the lakes. • home • it should be farming and farm land • stunted growth • the lakes and beautiful viewscapes • i live in cherryville...it is a completely different image than vernon. i have answered as cherryville resident not vernon. • farmer’s markets, friendly family like feeling, small town manners. • wine country and orchards • destruction of nature we got all for free but we don’t care about he have had prime wildlife, salmon butterflies in the ten thousands and today? everybody thinks he can take and use as he wants we has farmers, steady fences are cut garbage on the meadows along the road , gates open, deer shot and left on field ... • i think it’s got best of the both: rural atmosphere amd urban lifestyle. • mix of urban/rural. just a big cluster of both with no clear view. • although i live in the rdno i am not in the okanagan, north or otherwise. i live in the shuswap! • mish mash - there are too many competing interests between the jurisdictions - need amalgamation to serve the interests of the greater population - not the select few 74 • i don’t like winters, but winters are short here. hiking, walking, biking is possible 10 months a year. • poor planning and an anti-everything attitude. • i am struck with a real combination of all of these plus an overall feeling that we have taken for granted how beautiful and bountiful the natural setting of our area is and not planned well enough to protect, highlight and profit from this. • a old and decaying city propping up ugly buildings with little foresight to making this area the place to be, living off what it once was and not developing a future. • small town values but a good degree of urban sophistication. • only one option? i would hi-lite several on the left. • quick accsess to rural, but with small town and village amenities. • the north okanangan is not over-urbanized, so even in places where there are houses, it does not have the crowded feel common to so many places. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN What is the first image that comes to mind when you think of the North Okanagan? | OUR REGIONAL CHARACTER • lakes • a little bit of everything. • lakes & beaches and skiing • lack of urban sprawl • skiing, golfing, kalamalka lake etc • nature • something to offer in each town. • orchards and farmland, with rich fertile soil. • small town communities • and a big city auto problem. too many cars and not enough infrastructure and not enough enforcement of bad driving • lakes and orchards • first impressions are a combination of many of these, summed up as being “ not big city.” • developing at expense of green space. agricultural lands diminishing - pressure in alr • great landscapes, mountains and lakes • to me, north okanagan is different than lumby; quiet lumby is nice and breezy, but i don’t feel vernon is the same • small towns • all of the above! • lakes • silver star • over populated, over developed • mountains, valleys. • warm and lakes. • lakes buildings • lakes • i do think that we need to maintain the “small town feel” in vernon. there is a lot to be said for not becoming too big - kelowna comes to mind. • beaches • the first image is “rural atmosphere” but that’s not really true - 80% of the populations live in the cities or suburban communities. but another first image is the lakes. • beautiful mountains, lakes, scenery • in summary, the things humanity can not do much to change or louse up ... are considerably easier on the eyes and one’s attempt to make sense of the what is there to be seen and understood? • natural beauty, heritage • orchards, small cities and beautiful lakes • the lakes • i love all the little communities around here enderby, armstrong, etc. - wonderful small town charm. • uncontrolled growth Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • drugs • lakes, hills, views, climate, social/cultural activities • great weather • the lake • lakes and forest • ski hill, sunshine, lakes and great weather. • lakes, beaches, forests • lakes • old people everywhere 75 OUR REGIONAL CHARACTER | Tell us what you value most about the North Okanagan, in 5 words or less. • lakes and beautiful views • sunny okanagan • it’s got shitty people and rains • lakes, beaches, sunny, mountains • desert • lakes • it feels right like everything is how it should be but need more money for the education system • many lakes • lakes and beaches • lakes • tourist place for alberta families. • an urban community that seemlessly transltes to the natural environment • old and tired - needs updating and revitalization • beautiful lake • little town • clean lakes • lakes, silver star • the lake • beaches • warm and sunny • lakes, emphasis of scenic beauty to rolling hills • lakes • kal park and both big lakes • big unsafe retirement home • mountains, valleys, lakes • sunny, lakes • lakes and sun • small city with great outer environment • the lakes • dry, hot, farming, semi-desert • orchards Tell us what you value most about the North Okanagan, in 5 words or less. Figure 6. Map of words used by respondents to describe the North Okanagan. 76 REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Tell us what you value most about the North Okanagan, in 5 words or less. | OUR REGIONAL CHARACTER • fresh air green grass • ALR is protected; • living close to nature • People who’ve become my friends • small town with great neighbourhoods • Friendliness • snow, water, beach • clean air/water/food/life • Beautiful, expensive, growing, overgoverned, overpoliced • The two lakes, outdoor recreation, Silver Star. • Recreation & Outdoors • Laid back lifestyle,weather • lakes, fields, friendly town-folk • recreation opportunities, employment opportunities • a nice area • Volunteer Opportunities, Friendships • proximity to everything you need. • the seasons • The 4 seasons • Living close to lake, small business • our many lakes • climate outdoors play family sun • its where I grew up • beauty, all amenities with small town feel • Lakes & Mountains attract tourist $$$ • it’s real nice • lifestyle • Rectration • weather, outdoor recreation, right size • nothing. • Living in an oasis • location • Sun, Beaches and sports • sunshine, smiles, no traffic, peaceful • Clean air, water, natural surroundings, people. • Beautiful space • walking & hiking opportunities closeby • Good combination of urban and rural • Low polution and outdoor activities. • what nature has given is • Mild climate • outdoor recreation/parks • Climate, skiing, golf, boating, small-town • the landscape • Climate and lakes. • recreation • Mild winters, outdoor recreation • Lakes, safety, parks, outdoor activites • Family, Friends, support in the community • Small town values • ski hill, lakes, Kal Park, performing arts Quality of LIfe Survey Comments 77 OUR REGIONAL CHARACTER | Tell us what you value most about the North Okanagan, in 5 words or less. • Its layed-back character. • rural with urban amenities • all season outdoor recreation • Lifestyle, ambiance, people, peace and quiet • Recreational opportunities • nture and green spaces & lakes • The water - and the orchards. • very close to an excape in the woods • our Lakes and skil hill • close to lakes and my job • Recreation • good recreational choices all seasons • Outdoor recreation • Lakes, work close to home, weather • Weather, outdoor activities, closeto airport • Quality of life • proximity to large cities • The small town feel and proximity of resources farming, etc. • Climate, beauty, the mountains, the friendlyness of the town • I only live here because my family is here. • Mild climate, small town spirit, safe and beautiful place • The varied areas to live • lakes, beaches, trails, volleybal, Slowpitch • arts (especially music), scenery, orchards • Reasonable climate year • great weather, great golf • Pace natural beauty environment • Summers, Lakes, Beaches • open space, lakes, nature • The freedom to swim, ski, hike and bike. • the outdoor experiences • The uncrowded outdoor recreation • Familiar, Lakes, Weather • beauty, proximity to other cities, relaxed pace 78 • Climate, scenery, outdoors, recreation, amenities. • Scenery, lakes, weather, recreational opportunities • The people I get to know and it is the most beautiful place in the world. • Lakes, private lake access • It is easier to live here, compared to Vancouver. • Sun, Water, Open space • it’s been good to us. • Less travel time to amenities • Skiing • Beautiful weather, love the farm lands. • lakes, nature and small town feeling • Access to natural environment • family; outdoor play; safe communities • Rural, small, facilities, outdoor • nature, small, facilities, outdoor, weather • The small town feel, yet having everything i need REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Tell us what you value most about the North Okanagan, in 5 words or less. | OUR REGIONAL CHARACTER • Climate • The scenery & the weather • Climate • Less traffic • Close to my family • the climate • the beautiful mountains • Kalamalka Silverstar Powerhouse HubArtsCollective • easy to get about by car • the sunshine and living pace • Nature, local food, recreation. • The community...fresh air • friends, skiing • Easy access to all things • Access to outdoors and nature • Climate, outdoor recreation, potential. • Nice place to raise a family • Community, family-friendly, nature, bigger city amenities • 4 seasons great recreation opportunities all • Sense of community • Open spaces, green look • diverse natural environment; trails; arts • Visual beauty, lakes, hillsides, outdoor recreation • my job • Nearby national parks, climate, close to Vancouver • small town feel • Recreation, Friends, Diversified Industry • Rural living, clean air (try harder!), access to lakes and wild country, cultural oppoturnites, good medical care • access and availability to activities • variety of recreational actvities • outdoor recreation and hot summers • Outdoor life, recreation, weather, proximity • Parks and recreation • Light traffic, great people, small town charm (need to develop downtown more) • faf • it’s very nice • Being away from the city rat-race • lifestyle • rural character • Natural beauty, small town • access to rural areas easily • gorgeous, beautiful, paradise, happy • Outdoor opportunities and friendly atmosphere • the landscape • Outdoor opportunities and friendly atmosphere • The beauty of the area • outdoor activities - bike, ski, paddle • the beauty of it • pace of life Quality of LIfe Survey Comments 79 OUR REGIONAL CHARACTER | Tell us what you value most about the North Okanagan, in 5 words or less. • safety, community • Proximity to outdoor activities, skiing, lakes, etc. • samll town feel and weather • air quality, library system, skiing • lakes, mountains, atmosphere, traffic • weather, out door activities. • fellow community members • It’s not Kelowna • It’s close to family • weather and mild winters • weather, friendly • beaches and the weather • Ease of living. • if a person actually takes the time to look around you really can see the beauty in what we have. • Hot summers, mild winters • privacy living ,nature, farmers • climate • Sense of community, outdoor recreation • The natural environment (lakes, mountains, trees, etc) • Skiing, countryside. long golf season • fresh food outdoor living • easy access to recreation and healthcare • the lakes and quiet lifestyle • climate and pace of life • access to natural resources/farms • Beaches Restaurants Shopping & Farmer’s Market • small town feel, lakes,golf. • lakes and mountains • Local produce. • Climate • Access to fresh fruit/vegetables. • Everything :) • Not too busy, rural feel • outdoor activities are fantastic • Beaches Restaurants Local Fruit and Wine 80 • skiing weather Kal Lake history green • the lakes and geograpy • Agricultural land, beauty • Weather + lakes, mountains are accessible • The weather • recreation, green spaces, culture, quieter pace • life • Weather, lakes & overall scenic view • fresh air, lakes, mountains • Climate. • Out of the cities to the great outdoors in 20 min any direction!! • The natural environment. • once was out safety • Don’t need lots of chain stores or restaurants. • the Agriculture. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Tell us what you value most about the North Okanagan, in 5 words or less. | OUR REGIONAL CHARACTER • People • hospital, scenery, weather, shopping • Outdoor recreation opportunities • friendly, helpful people • family and friends and beaches • Comfortable place to live. • Friendliness, local agriculture, natural beauty. • strong sense of community • Perfect climate and friendly people • weather, urban living, • the fresh outdoors • location • picturesque, ideal location, friendly people • Weather, Lakes, Size, Location, • The beautiful physical environment. • good place to raise kid • Its outdoor opportunities and great people • Forests rivers fishing • The weather • weather clean lakes less trafic • quiet but close to town • clean air, green space beautiful parks • nothing comes to mind • Natural beauty and healthy environment • Family. Laidback lifestyle. • climate • Weather, outdoors, views, • The outdoors and the weather • Quiet outdoors, pleasant climate, friendliness • Lifestyle, people, area, recreation • lifestyle opportunities • Quiet, fruit, lakes, sun, • people, places, practical participatory opportunities • Good climate, ability to walk most anywhere • Small town feel • Lakes and Trails • The beauty that surrounds us • Weather, safe place to raise kids. • Friends Family here • Recreation playground in our backyard • Recreation, green spaces, clean water • climate and relaxed atmosphere • outdoor activities Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • Outdoor opportunities • Arts, culture, outdoor activities, small town • it’s my home and I love it • our neighbourhood/community • swimming, skiing, hiking, theatre, gardening • Weather • the skiing and the lakes • beaches and parks on kal lake • climate 81 OUR REGIONAL CHARACTER | Tell us what you value most about the North Okanagan, in 5 words or less. • Entertainment! Wow! with hospital facilities • strong sense of community • enthusiasm to share responsibility • Urban-rural fusion potential. Grasslands. • Natural beauty,resorts, sports, arts • environment/climate • the climate and recreation opportunities • outdoor activities nearby & weather • Outdoor scenery, friendly people, • Lakes, open spaces, climate • access to amenities and wilderness • the weather and small town • Local food, natural beauty, work • The beauty of the area and the people who live here • Lots of green spaces parks • farms, beach, lake, hiking, sunshine • Mountains, water, fresh air • quiet • Natural setting, Good people. • the natural environment • proximity of fishing lakes • Primarily the nature (parks & hiking) as well as the ample lakes and free beaches! • hidden culture appreciation for nature • Basic necessities here. • the ability to walk the entire city, no rush hour • My open surroundings • Sunshine, beautiful surroundings • beauty, rural landscape, • Climate and natural environment • I value the ease of access to the outdoors • Amenities without the big city • quiet, friendly, affordable housing, artistic, local food • Lots to do • climate, relative affordability, lakes • Kal Park • access to natural resources • Nature and wildlife. • rural feeling • small town atmosphere with amenities • Weather, Lakes, Soil • less people 82 • small enough to know people • the local artists and their community • rural, outdoor sports, friendly, laid-back • Not too big of a town • lakes and entertainment • We live in a postcard • Recreation, Open Space, Family Oriented • safe, friendly, community atomosphere • atmosphere to raise my family • the outdoor activities and sports REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Tell us what you value most about the North Okanagan, in 5 words or less. | OUR REGIONAL CHARACTER • the nature • Slower pace than large cities • Beauty, Nature, Climate, Family • Connected with community and nature • outdoor recreation • Near the lakes • The scenery of the lakes • Vicinity to activities • Golf, hiking and lakes • location, weather and outdoor activities • clean, safe, beautiful, activities, outdoors, lakes • my family • Attractive lakes and waterways • Outdoor activities • kal lake • weather scenery fishing • peace & quiet • Used to value access to natural areas • Sunshine, quietness, friendliness, lakes • Ski, bike, tennis, hike • The weather, the community, clean air, clean city • Space, friendliness of people, fun. • Environment • small town feel • Recreation opportunities (fishing, hunting, camping) • clean, beautiful, and friendly • having the ability to live here • Small, friendly, happy, quiet, fresh produce, festivals • weather, water, food, wine, culture/arts • Beauty and weather. • The beaches, mountains • 2 Catholic churches, clean water, good hiking, enough places to shop (don’t have to go to kelowna) friendly people • Beautfiul weather • frendly • Recreation, community, no traffic, family • green space • Ski hill & lake access • Healthy lifestyle to raise kids • 4 seasons, scenery, full services • Peaceful lifestyle • Feeling connected • Lakes... Summer • its not a rat race • lakes • weather, outdoor recreation, local fruit • The lakes • People, Lakes, Climate, Agriculture, Safety • Clean beautiful safe fun • most beautiful place in world • The wonderful weather Quality of LIfe Survey Comments 83 OUR REGIONAL CHARACTER | Tell us what you value most about the North Okanagan, in 5 words or less. • small urban outdoor without crowds • Safe, neighbourly, peaceful • outdoor recreation • potential • Less gvt intervention • WEATHER • nice place to raise family • Slow pace, rural landscape, calm. • recreation, scenery, pace, friendliness • air quality • The community feeling • Natural beauty, friendly people, and it’s art community • the outdoor opportunities. • Small town feel. • cross country skiing biking kayaking • The outdoor recreation (mountain biking, cross country skiing) • Weather • home town feelin and lots of recreational activivty • I value the natural habitat. • Natural beauty, lakes, mountains, friends. • Outdoor Recreation, having a garden • lifestyle, climate, work environment, VCMS • Recreation / Lakes / Weather / Size • recreation opportunity • Lakes, Mountains, Hiking, Recreational Facilities • natural beauty • Work and recreation • It is not Kelowna! • outdoor environment • lakes and mountains • culture, green, open space • The season, lifestyle. • Work and recreation • Nature walks, and dog parks • the natural environment • The availability of Organic foods. • Great weather and sense of community • small city yet close to farm • The pace of life. • Central to other cities. • Beautiful place to live • urban with rural nearby • climate , recreation, scenic beauty • Lakes • THE BEAUTIFUL LAKES AND SCENERY PLUS SMALL TOWN FRIENDLINESS • open spaces • Climate, topography, people, family, friends • my friends itis my husband’s choice to live here 84 • Pace of life • quiet. open space. • lakes mountains smaller city REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Tell us what you value most about the North Okanagan, in 5 words or less. | OUR REGIONAL CHARACTER • easy commute, friendly merchants,,hospital • CLEAN AIR AND NATURAL BOUNTY • Mild weather friendly people and quiet • Climate, small town, lakes, friends • Easy access to outdoor recreation • Easy access to countryside • rural-urban blend; little sprawl • affordable • the weather is the main factor • recreation • the nature • smarller • The sense of community • Lakes and the natural beauty • beautiful, peaceful, hopeful, birds, wildlife • the landscape • climate, openess • I value its’ beauty. • close proximity to outdoor activities • the beautiful landscapes • always will be HOME • fresh air, outdoors, good neighbours • Fresh air, clean water, space • climate and outdoor activities • Family is here • the people • Environmental awareness. • pace of life less hectic • I got a job here • Weather, outdoor life, layed back attitude • open spaces • laid-back, green, family, clean, fruit • green spaces • Friendly people; lakeside scenery. • Cultural opportunities and outdoor activities • mountains, lakes, valleys and forest • family and safety • Community, history, small town • Four season climate. • climate and cultural opportunities • Skiing • Lakes, sun, fun, beautiful • Fruit, lakes, sunshine • lifestyle • Air, open spaces,less traffic • community, environment, culture, sustainable economy. • Variety of activities, natural environment • weather, proximity to coast, airport, • Parks and trails Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • Easy access to outdoor activities • outdoor recreation • Sun 85 OUR REGIONAL CHARACTER | Tell us what you value most about the North Okanagan, in 5 words or less. • Nature • Outdoor recreation; not much rain. • city amenities, small town feel • My church Vernon Family Church • Relaxing, community, recreation, diversity • Beauty • beautiful area, good weather, great produce • Sunny weather, lots of lakes. • the climate • Beaches and summer activities. • Friendly - good climate - all outdoor activities • Beautiful scenery • Climate, Seniors services, friendliness • Lots of good friends. • Friendly people • Friendly • It’s green • Warm weather, beaches, orchards. • Warm, friendly, clean air,beauty • Potential Hawi of Canada/Vegas mixed. • Outdoor recreation, good restaurants • The beauty, climate, recreation and leisure. • Scenery and quiet • The sense of community • Climate, outdoor, natural settings • The natural beauty that occurs. • Friendliness of people and old friends • Nice • Sovereign Lake, Kal Park, Ellison • Climate - sunshine • Weather, Outdoors, Lakes, Camping • Beautiful but rural • Nature, open space, weather • Protection of animal habitat. • Riding a tricycle all year • Beautiful nature and fresh scenery. • Temporate weather, wildlife • Climate and Scenery • Weather • Quiet place, friendly area • Climate, friends, landscape • Agriculture, sports, culture, education, environment • Heat summer • Beauty, people, entertainment • Clean, weather, nice people • One of the best longitude and latitude to live on this earth! • Recreation warm summers 86 • Open spaces, no rush hour • Dog parks, lakes, campgrounds • Fresh air, clean, green spaces, low traffic and no city noise, regular sighting of wildlife • Beautiful landscapes REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Tell us what you value most about the North Okanagan, in 5 words or less. | OUR REGIONAL CHARACTER • Outdoors, seasons, snowboarding, longboarding, biking. • Environmental opportunities still salvageable • Lake, sports and family • The beaches • Nature and people chillin’ hard • Nice weather • Sunny weather and beaches • Weather and community feeling • Climate, scenery, friendliness • Size - not too big or too small • All the important services/amenities are here or nearby • Parks, lakes, wildlife, sp recreation facilities • Nature, community, cycline, family culture • Live, work, play • Skiing, golf, lakes • Lakeside beaches • The friendliness • Love it • Lakes • Location, weather, lakes • Beauty, resourceful, friendly and fun • Friendly generous active people • Natural beauty, intimate community • I’m impressed with medical services • Easy busy living, great amenities • Beautiful, natural landscapes and activities outdoors • Skiing, biking, lakes, fruit, wine • Beautiful clean friendly • Sun, lake, fruit, birds, horses • The weather • Good weather beautiful beaches • Great winter and summer climate • Climate, scenery, ski hill • Weather, 4 seasons, camping, hunting • Weather, easy access • The nature and wildlife • The mix of increasing cultural experiences with small town/rural feel • The outdoors and lakes etc. • Fewer (busy) people, green natural, weather • Climate, access to lakes • Small town feeling • Outdoors / recreation • Nature, outdoors, small community • Friendly people and things to do • Sunshine therapy • The weather • Mild weather • Sunshine, weather • Our lakes, green spaces and amenities • Outdoors life and climate • Nature, Outdoor Rec Quality of LIfe Survey Comments 87 OUR REGIONAL CHARACTER | Tell us what you value most about the North Okanagan, in 5 words or less. • 4 distinct seasons with outdoor recreation for each • the lake • The climate. • Outdoor activities. • The beautiful weather. • the familiarization to the area • Hot summers, no rain • Outdoor experience and summer weather • environment • Air, 4 seasons • Many parks 88 REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Farms and Food: Local Food Access & Farmland Protection | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS The comments in this section are general comments in each policy area. Our Farms and Food: Local Food Access & Farmland Protection Figure 7. Average ratings of local food access and farmland protection in the North Okanagan. VERY POOR POOR • Farm lands should be protected but some may need to be used to accomodate employment and recreation FAIR GOOD VERY GOOD does Walmart sell garlic from China? Why does Superstore sell cukes from the US or Mexico? Lets buy LOCAL. • Not really up to local government - what is role of ALC? Nice to keep more farmland but if this cannot be controlled by locals, and locals are subject to influence by developers, perhaps ALC is the only agency able to stop the development? • Stop the sprawl Build up downtown. • Always trying to move alc land around to suite their needs. No net loss example. Looking to develop to increase tax base. • Don’t lose ALR land! • ALR controls agriculture development • Our groceries cost more and more nearly every week, yet my paycheques have stayed the same or gotten smaller for the last 4 years. • Doesn’t matter if it’s protected. People who want to farm are incapable of doing so unless they have a half a million dollars sitting around (ie unless they are highly educated and well-paid, in which case why would they leave that job) • Local grocery stores should be encouraged to supply and source local fruit & veggies - why Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • The only downfall for me is a provincial issue and that’s not having the option for farm gate sales of meat. • wake up to spraying in the air taking place • I see houses going in orchards (Palfrey rd w) why? This has got to be one of the regions most valuable agricultural land. I see lots of area, still suitable for houses. Why did a house get built here? 89 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Farms and Food: Local Food Access & Farmland Protection • This is a highlight of the area that better organized/funded tourism plan should also highlight. • Local food access is great, but the cost has jumped astronomically in the past five years and is hardly affordable for the average person, including the farmers’ markets. • Requests to remove agricultural land from the ALR undermine the policy of senior government. • I am not sure about the Farmland protection, I have not been here long enough to comment. In terms of the Local food, the farmers markets need to be open later, again so working people can have an opportunity to make it down to support the local farmers. • There is a piece of alr land in my area having a giant shop and house built on it. Not much room for farming left! • Not too familiar but would like to see them protected. • Too much control of alr land. Start freeing it up for housing and business development. Too bad they sold all the lake front property and so little of it is available for current residents and visitors to enjoy. • Hate to see them disapear! • We must pay attention to the water and other resources before building too may subdivisions. • Local produce seems costly • It should be harder to take lands out of alr seems too lax • We need to grow. I don’t know how to do this but maybe agri land is needed to develop - not all of it...just a bit to give us a boost. 90 perpetrated by the Brenners next to the RDNO offices. Disgusting! • When opportunities come up to develop some farmland for recreational opportunities, I think this needs to be considered. • There seems to be a real push lately to have lands out of the ALR. So far RDNO and others have not given in to this but I really feel it’s only going to get worse. Let’s hope the ALR is NEVER disbanded. Farm land is critical for our way of life. • Farm land is too expensive for families wanting to buy-in and produce agriculture. I worry about too much development on prime soil. • I need to do more research on this subject • We also need to work on policy to encourage organics & banning GMO crops. • Need to be vigilant to protect farmland from development • I don’t feel well informed on this issue • I think a more global look at the needs of the community needs to be taken. Farmland is important but so is the development of land for commercial/industrial, sports/recreation. To take out 100 acres for the use of industry and/ or recreation/parks should occur without any hesitation but I get the sense that the direction many are going is to insist that ALR land remain untouched. At the end of the day you need a balance. If we do’t have jobs and we don’t have recreation opportunities, then who cares where we are going to get our food from because we aren’t going to be living here and you will have to ship the food to us, • And protection of undeveloped land, please (cf the eastern shore of Kal Lake) • If we can’t provide for ourselves, we lose flexibility in the future, especially with global warming “heating up.” • Don’t develop our agricultural lands! We don’t have the water for a huge population, so don’t build on farmland that will produce food for our region, province and country. • The new council has put a stop to the nickel and dime but constant farmland losses such as that • “Thank God and the NDP for the Agricultural Land Reserve” - this policy is the reason why N.O REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Farms and Food: Local Food Access & Farmland Protection | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS is a beautiful place to live. Must be vigilant to maintain our agricultural land. individuals and families here? A new sports facility for youth etc. but no jobs for parents? • More organic agriculture.No GMO shit. less land grab for rich Albertans. • Agricultural land around the world is being eroded. We need to protect this jewel called the Okanagan as climate change progresses and destroys more of nature. • To easy to get land out of the ARL. All you need to do is neglect the land and have patience and it will get out of the ARL for development. Shame. • Essential we support our agriculture. Concerned about possible loss of Coldstream winter market due to location no longer available • Prime farming land must be protected, however sub-par farm land should be put to the best use possible, even if it is developed for residentail or light industrial use • Farm land in the area is plentiful, urban influence is not a factor. • I wish we could have more farms that have an “open door” so we could buy from them, farmers markets are mostly when people are working, or on Friday night only for employed people. • Dont know a lot about this but dont feel that farms are disappearing for homes and condos • Keeping farm-able ALR land is important, but developing industry on non farm-able land is important as well • stop supporting the NIMPY’s and start looking to create employment opertunities for our youth. • Restrictions on 5 acre land in the ALR is overkill. How can you encourage prosperity when there are constant limitations and it is no longer viable to make a living off of the land? The cost to irrigate the land to control noxious weeds and produce products may also be a factor. Meat inspection laws shutting down the ability of individuals to use that ALR land to raise local food but nowhere to slaughter. Would these not create more employment opportunities in our community for those of working age? It seems the opportunities for a lifestyle in the Okanagan support only those of retirement age. Decreased enrolment in schools is the headline every few months in our paper, but what is being done to keep young Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • sprawling communities are not cost effective. better to leave farmland as is and/or convert to parks rather than dense housing units. • Lest we forget • The ALR is good. • This is the mandate of the ALC. • I am not sure but would love to protect what we currently have. • I would like to see that ALR discontinue the “swapping” of good quality farmland for scrub land in areas that are not able to grow crops for the same length of season. The ALR policies need to be strictly enforced. • All the vacant land within the city limits should be used for construction before outlying areas are developed. • I love the increasing emphasis on local food production and hope to see this increase. • Too much development has taken up potential farmland. Developments have destroyed the natural beauty of the arid grasslands. Too much destruction of the natural environment wrecks it for all, both now and future residents. Build high rise housing downtown, reinvigorate that area and leave the hills alone! • Not interested in Pharma-seeds. I want food from the ground, not a lab. • I see ongoing development as the enemy of farming I saw what happened in Chilliwack over twenty years and similar things are going on here! • only 5% of BC has arrable land and it needs protecting 91 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Farms and Food: Local Food Access & Farmland Protection • Too much land going to grape vines and not to fruit and vegies • The local farmers able to have their produce in some of the stores is great As well as farmer markets held very regularly are a real social event. To see how the ALR is protecting the farm land is great. • I have no idea. • Too much emphasis on development for a tax base and not enough consideration to places to grow food • We definitely need to protect the little farmland we have for future generations • stop sprawl at north end of Vernon on to what was valuable farmland. stop allowing removals from the ALR. Period. • These answers I am not sure of! • We have the ALR but there is an overwhelming feeling that any developer with money can influence them. The ALR administration has no balls. • Because of the irreversible impact of change on agricultural lands, it should always be given utmost consideration in all decisions • We are fortunate to have a municipality that has supported our local Farmers Market through the community and the local government. • Weeds run rampant, new weed invasions not addressed, land removed for sports fields that could have founded an agricultural-syilxcollege partnership, farmland just waiting for development, wetlands filled in, community food and land strategy missing, poor farming practices, idle farmland... I could go on. • We also need protection for our farmland from the invasion of GMO crops. • scarring of the hillsides for development • This the future of food & sustainability & variety are key • We have a farmer’s market but working people cannot access it expect for the small Friday eve event • Would though like to see more industry to create employment • protect the little farmers... • Good things are being done but farm land is under threat: development, GMOs, international buyers. • Perhaps some land could come out of the ALR. • We need to outlaw GMO in order to protect access to organic products! • land for food production (not wine) is important. • DISTRIBUTION OF LOCAL FOOD IS HORRENDOUS • locally grown and healthy food is very important to my decision to continue to live here. protecting farmland and ensuring the availability of non-gmo foods and clean water is essential. • farmland protection and the production of organic, local food should be a community effort but I really don’t feel as though anyone has the time, energy, or education. 92 • We need to support and grow our local farms to probide us with more healthy local choices year round • ALR removal requests all need a flat NO • I see more protection from the ALC than from RDNO or the City but it seems to be working • we need to protect bona fide farmers - not hobby farmers • Protection of agricultural land is of highest priority; a dedicated space of farmers market year round would be wonderful, a major asset to the NO • WE live in a hot and arid climate irrigation of corn, wheat, hay etc seems ridiculous in a country with excellent train service and excellent eastern REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Farms and Food: Local Food Access & Farmland Protection | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS environments for these crops. lets grow fruit like our area is great for and import where we are waisting valuable clean water • work something out where farmers are able to take on young farmers who will take over the farm, but farmer can sell a tiny bit for a house (theirs or someone else’s?) to earn enough to “retire”...but the farm in generally untouched. Farms far too expensive for young people starting out to buy to farm. • I don’t know much about this subject, although I think we’re doing ok.(eg-turned down proposed Aberdeen Rd. development)Don’t know if more attention is needed, but I do think protecting agricultural lands from developement is important. I don’t support livestock operations; these negatively impact water. • LESS SOCCER FIELDS AND GOLF COURSES AND MORE FARM LAND • Farmland protection should be market directed not controlled by government • I am alarmed by the way farmland in the eastern parts of Vernon are giving over to mansions. • Government should not be subsidizing hay fields unless for cattle feed. Horse sales and hay sales for horses are of no benefit to the community as a whole. Hobby farms should not get tax breaks or cheaper water. Since “farms” employ no one, they deserve no breaks. Move those tax breaks to industries that create jobs. • I think that there is a lot of wonderfully produced food in the North Okanagan. I think the challenge is trying to make it a regular habit for people to purchase locally. Whether than means more opportunities to access it (markets, etc) or awareness advertising to tell people where they can purchase it, I’m not sure. But there are a LOT of people who still do not buy from local farmers, and if we could get them switched over, that would make a huge difference to our local economy. Protecting agricultural land from development I feel is really important, however I think that we need to keep in mind that generally farming is not a very lucrative business and farms around the province are up for sale because Quality of LIfe Survey Comments farmers are getting out of farming. If farmers were allowed to generate income off their land in a way that did not compromise the land’s ability to produce, that might be a way to support farmers by allowing them to have enough income off their land to not have to have off-farm jobs on the side to support themselves. I’m thinking of things like a small campground (max 10 sites perhaps), or a small vacation rental cabin with a size restriction? The farms in the Okanagan are some of the most beautiful places and farmers could capitalize on their location and view to earn some extra income. WIth restrictions of course, to ensure that their “farming” land stays in farming production. I just think that the cost of maintaining agricultural land has increased over the years (water cost, property tax, hired labour cost, insurance) while the price of agricultural products goes up and down (beef, lamb, veggies, etc.) and if we want to keep our farmers and encourage new farmers, perhaps we need to offer farmers a way to help pay for the huge cost of maintaining these large farms/ranches in our valley that make our valley as picturesque and beautiful as it is. • RDNO seems to be a puppet for the provincial govt, always talk, never any action • Our area can provide a bounty for ourselves and others and effort should be put into protecting and supporting our food suppliers and not letting valuable and sensitive land be used for development. • The farming community needs to adapt on its own without political intervention. Some politicians feel that they know what the Ag community needs but haven’t a clue! • We have been dealing with the gradual transition from rural to urban since at least the end of World War Two. In the long run, I think we have done reasonably well. • Let’s continue to ride the fine line between right wing rape the land and left wing anal do nothing. • “Local food” must be defined as being from 50 to 100 Km. The CFI definition of up to 3000 Km and includes out of province and in some cases, out of country is inappropriate. 93 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Farms and Food: Local Food Access & Farmland Protection • We support the efforts of the ALR • I am concerned about residents on ALR that use their land irresponsibly, and use it as a dumping ground. There should be more accountability for those people. Fake Green houses should give them tax credits. • We depend on our farms: we need to support them, keep them small and simple and not big and deadly: Allowing GMO’s and round up is like killing life in the valley: it might look attractive at first but it will come back to bite us. No fair to us, our children and our future. And we need to keep the little farms alive: we cannot depend on superstore and walmart (along with California, Mexico and who knows where) to keep us alive! • Demand to develop agricultural lands should be resisted. There are too many “farms” that do not produce, but are rather a “country estate”. • none • Need for agricultural practices that compatible with residential living. Need to pay farmers (subsidize - big time) provincially, federally and locally - to make this area the number one producer of quality, organic, or at least safe and healthy food production. • The farm land around our district has disappeared and homes taken their place this is wrong build the houses on the hillsides and let the farms have the south slopes and flat lands • Would like to be able to access farm raised meats again. • We should Not be changing community plan or zoning for development on an ad hoc basis. Get plan, follow plan = better outcome. • We must help the farmers/orchardist all we can to help produce good food for our tables. • I do not have enough information to answer • Farm and fruit lands need more protection. Having local food sources is important. 94 • It appears we have to keep the retention of farmland as an issue. GMO’s in particular need close scrutiny. • I don’t know. Would like to see agricultural lands remain for agriculture. • Subdivisions should be on the hillsides, and more compact, and farmlands preserved on the flatlands and valley bottoms. • This landscape will never grow back if it is altered too muuch. • there are too many subdivisions separated by distances that require dependence on cars • A lot of our land is quite unsuited to agriculture; good land must NOT be blacktopped over/ developed. • I strongly agree with the 100 km food diet. • I notice the Ogata farm is for sale, labelled “zoned Commercial”. One local orchardist hit retirement age and subdivided his orchard. Even if each subdivided orchard remains in the ALR, each of the new owners is entitled to tear down a fraction of the orchards to build a residence, so there is a net loss of high quality 100-year old orchard. Other large orchards are now for sale (by Priscilla), will they suffer the same fate? We have to be so vigilant. • If land is within the ALR it is nearly impossible to remove it via the ALC. This is the case no matter what arguement you may have or whether the land is useful for agricultural purposes. • There is hardly any effort to protect argicultural lands or any land for that matter. • See new sports field at college • Local groceries should carry local. Need more during winter months. Local grocers like Safeway etc should carry locally grown (or at least BC) produce when in season! • Had lived in rural BX in aerage of 50years and found it hard to get out of the ALR. Then a letter arrived one day and we were released. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Water: Water Quality, Water Use Conservation & Water Resource Conservation | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS • Would like to see Farmers’ Market downtown (like Penticton) • We need to encourage education opprotunties for young people to learn about farming and healthy eating. We also need to encourage land owners to provide opprotunties for young farmers who may not be able to afford to buy thier own land. • Too much land being removed from the ALR with support from City Council • Please stop destroying mountainside to build cardboard houses like above Tronson Road. It belongs to wildlife. Kepp developers away from Vernon’s mountains. • May I suggest the creation of publication of a booklet with information about local food produced and conditions in which food is grown • Keep the hills empty, expand vertically. • Available to those who can drive only. Cost is getting prohibitive at farmers’ markets. • Meat sales at farmgate need to have restrictions removed - pressure provincial government. Monitor ministries responsinle for protection of ALR. • Farmland is being lost to “estates” - big houses and outbuilding on less than 10 acres results in lost farmland. • More within walking distance • I don’t know about this, can’t comment lack of knowledge. • Having to go to the farmers market once a week to buy veggies instead of going to Safeway is ridiculous • no more GMO; need help for GMO farmers to transition away from GMO; need to stop building on good farm land - lower farm taxes. • Don’t know about farmland protection. I buy locally - need to encourage. • Let’s not try to be a city. We are rural, let’s keep that but give values other than making profits • Community needs to promote locally grown organic food. We need to protect our good farm lands from housing development. We need to slow growth so we have adequate water for agriculture as well as residential. Our Water: Water Quality, Water Use Conservation & Water Resource Conservation Figure 8. Average ratings of drinking water, lake water and river water quality in the North Okanagan. VERY POOR Quality of LIfe Survey Comments POOR FAIR GOOD VERY GOOD 95 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Water: Water Quality, Water Use Conservation & Water Resource Conservation Figure 9. Average ratings of personal water conservation and water resource conservation in the North Okanagan. VERY POOR • Ease up on the regulations around grey-water systems in homes and buildings. 96 POOR FAIR GOOD VERY GOOD segregating the two water sources, one for agri one for residential use. • See comments under environment re Okanagan Lake. Even if we as a City don’t take water out of this lake for drinking (some private residents do), we should still take steps to protect it. We should also commit to returning water to the lake so it can be part of the water cycle. Not all wastewater needs to be applied to land - use only what is needed for BENEFICIAL IRRIGATION and instead of WASTE DISPOSAL on poorly suited hillsides, return the remainder to the lake. City should commit to environmental protection and pursue grants to assist remaining 1000 homes to connect to sewer. This would also reduce the need for MILFOIL harvesting as the nutrient load would be significantly reduced. Water quality at Kin Beach is currently DEPLORABLE and worse than our treated wastewater. Kal Lake boaters could use education to reduce their impacts on shoreline degradation, Coldstream Creek still seems to be the largest source of pollutants for this water source, need to work to decrease this impact. • I don’t understand what the question is... • Agricultural users are being subsidized by residents. They water steady, day and night, overwatering at our expense. Farmers need to be educated more on how to use water efficiently and something needs to be done about • Permits for swimming pools should carry heavy fees. • I think there should be positive reinforcement for water conservation - a bonus or small reduction in your taxes if you are able to keep your consumption low and are a full-time resident. I see a lot of people wasting water and I believe the penalizing with a higher utility bill does not resonate with these people. • too many watered lawns, so wasteful, golf courses & car washes and swimming pools - I still see people with garden hoses washing their paved drive ways! WHY? • Good work has been done in the upper watershed protection for Vernon but we can’t get relaxed - it’s going to be an ongoing issue. Also a little nervous about potential new invasive species and other threats to water bodies. • don’t really understand this question?? • don’t understand the question. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Water: Water Quality, Water Use Conservation & Water Resource Conservation | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS • Having seen how water is treated in other areas of our country and elsewhere, the Okanagan generally seems to me to be extremely wasteful of water and not careful to protect our lakes and rivers. • Farmers with sprinklers on private wells should be discuraged to water during the day in the heat. Why having water restrictions if they don’t apply to everyone - it’s coming from the same source in the end. • I don’t understand what you are asking • Not sure what is currently being done. • I have lived here for 10 months. I didn’t know there were water restrictions (stage 1) until I read it in the paper today. I do know my water bill is expensive compared to where I came from - why? • We need graywater storage/reuse capability. This is the real secret to long term water conservation. I hear this is impossible due to conflict with provincial “empires”...cut teh crap! Global warming is upon us! • Treated wastewater is a resource that should stay out of lake and users could begin pay a fee for accessing. Spawling development on dryland hillsides leads to significant wasted water. Vernon should move towards dual distribution in new developments. • It is unclear how much the success of water restrictions depend on self- discipline as opposed to public vetting. Odd/even irrigation days are unfair to even numbered houses. • It drives me crazy when I see garbage in the streams and creeks. The stream that runs through Fulton - always has garbage in it - Tires, waste, etc. Setting up a weekend event where the community comes out to clean up the cities and lakes I think would be great. Local 4-H groups, etc,. It would make people think twice about throwing garbage out their windows, and it would give kids a hands on approach to see how much crap is littered through our city, and may prevent them from doing so in the future. As a kid we had to clean ditches through a school program one day of the year - I will never forget, and was never one of those people who threw anything out of the car. • Unsure of how other consumer usage is. Agriculture usage seems very high, eg watering during heavy rain • Why do people water fields in the heat of the day when water can evaporate? • We are in a semi desert - more emphasis on xeriscaping and native tree/ shrub planting at residential commercial and institutional locations needed Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • More attention needed to curb the abusers/over users. Pay for what you use only. If you are not a legitimate farm producing a marketable product that is your source of living then you should pay your fair share. • You do have to wonder about the golf courses.... • Too many green lawns, not enought enforcement of watering days plus more incentives for xeriscaping needed. Bring back the low flow toilet incentives that Vernon offered at one time. • More workshops on water conservation & rainwater harvesting would be terrific. Zerindipity & the local permaculture initiatives should be promoted & supported. • Our water comes from a well... We would love to be hooked up to city water for the safety of our children, and would pay rather pay city for clean water.. then be on a 4 year boil water alert... • need to protect watersheds (ie no golf courses in watersheds, such as proposed at SilverStar) • I think that new houses/developments should not be allowed to have lawn or hedging cedars, both of which require a great deal of water. As well, there needs to be a stronger voice for water restriction when the supply is low. (Standing up to complaints from people who can’t fill their swimming pools or water their lawn, etc.) • We are concerned about pesticide use and fertilizers near run-off into the lake. I think the xero-scaping is great! 97 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Water: Water Quality, Water Use Conservation & Water Resource Conservation • At some point you need to limit the number of residents as the water limitation is directly connected to the quality of life here. • Fail to understand why we have water restrictions some years when there has been heavy snowpack. Do not understand the system of reservoirs from a technical standpoint. • I often see downtown businesses hosing down the sidewalk. • Economic incentives are how to alter people’s behaviour. Having said that, I resent that treated water is used for agriculture, and I am rewarded for water conservation by rates increasing. • Remind municipal and city councils to give top priority to avoiding further increase of drawing water from the lakes (already low flow, and here comes global warming), consider population control to decrease pressure on water use; avoid runoff into lakes and rivers by increasing foreshore setbacks for development or rebuilds, limit motorboat size on Kal Lake, police discharges into the lakes • I see Polson park (and I’m sure lots of other parks) being automatically watered in the morning rain or shine. They should be watered at night and shut off when it’s raining, perhaps by a sensor or something. • Commercial and domestic watering systems could be much more effective. • Why are we watering lawns and fields with potable water????? Grey water systems should be mandatory in all new construction and grants/ subsidies should be available to those who want to install them in older construction. • why allow beavers to come in our drinking water sources,when our treatmentplants do not provide 100% protection • Over the past few years we seem to have too much water - droughts that you were worried about have not come about. • We must do everything reasonable to protect and conserve our water 98 • watering of lawns in parks and schools is excessive and not necessary.We live in a semiarid part of the valley - we need to get over having green lawns. • Watch for government sprinklers that spill needlessly onto the road, or are in use on rainy days. • When I drive by a soccer field during pouring rain at noon and see the irrigation system operating, it defeats my resolve to follow the City’s request that irrigation be early or late and only when necessary/alternate days. • Don’t know enough to comment • The next project should be upgrading the Kal Lake intake system, similar to our recent upgrade • in this area you can not afford to use any more water. • Not sure what this covers. • As water becomes more scarce we need to implement water strategies that’ll encourage the general population to conserve more water. Waiting until we hit a drought or run low means disaster. • more control on the use of water for yards and use gray water for lawn and garden watering, start charging a high rate for those that are over using water • satisfied with water resources and how it is managed here in Vernon and surrounding area • Critical area • Sorry, don’t understand the question ? • is there a cap on how many more new houses can be created in the okanagan due to water restraints? • We should have a water inventory done so we know exactly how many wells there are in the RDNO, how many homeowners are pumping directly from the lake, how many natural/seasonal springs are in the area, etc. I would also like to REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Water: Water Quality, Water Use Conservation & Water Resource Conservation | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS see outhouses that are too close to the lake moved (Westside) and obvious threats to water quality dealt with. • Universal metering should be....universal. Groundwater use should be regulated. This is a provincial issue but our region should push for it. • There are far too many examples of water wastage especially by the city of Vernon. When the local water use statistics are distributed it’s easy to see where water use could be drastically reduced. Those of us who are very careful pay for those who continually waste our expensive water. • I’m impressed as I wonder around the local neighbourhoods how many yards have converted to Zeroscaping. Nevertheless, I have happy memories of as a youth lying on the lawn, looking at the clouds and fantasizing about the shapes of the creatures formed by the clouds. How are the future generations of kids going to do this when lawns are forbidden by the communitee Nazi’s. We can do more. for example, our community has no rain barrows. But we live in a condominium ruled by a strata association (another layer of government) whose overwhelming concern is the appearance of the community, and they would rule against the use of rain barrels. the strata association is run by a group of limited income retired people that won’t allow anythign that increases there personal expenses. What can we do? • I don’t understand what’s being asked in this question. • I don’t trust the drinking water , so have bought bottled water for years now. • I live in a strata situation and there is no incentive to conserve water there are no meters in each unit and no incentive to put one in because the going rate is too high • do not agree with unlimited use of water for agricultural land have observed lots of waste • cattle are a very big problem for our water sources • we absolutely must separate treated water from irrigation water. We must also improve treatment of drinking water with effective filtration. • Our city does not encourage us top conserve water • Interesting how I am on a meter and my sister in lake country is not and runs water like it is not a valuable asset. I am puzzled as to why the different in how a hose can continually run and I have to manage my water with care, I even have a no grass yard to help with water conservation. • I don’t know much about how the community water is conserved • initiatives to promote more efficient rain collection in homes and trickle irrigation would be good. Do the agricultural users really need the treated water? Should more watering be done at night rather than in the heat of the day? Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • Water shortage over the long term is a big issue for the OK and more steps should be taken to address this issue including strict regulations regarding landscaping, irrigation, etc ... people won’t do it freely in a signification enough manner, it most be imposed/regulated • Water conservation and protection is so important and more should be done. • Rain barrels should pretty much be a given in a drought prone valley like this. ESPECIALLY since the cost of water has gone up so much. • our local clean water is irreplaecable • we need to be proactive in educating the public about conserving water - more funding towards Waterwise education • Education for the people is needed in this area. • From what I see we do a good job. the only crazy year was when we were put on a no water/ no fill up the pool level. I don’t have a pool but rash decision making without due diligence and just reacting usually leads to poor decision making. 99 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Water: Water Quality, Water Use Conservation & Water Resource Conservation • Too many golf courses and other large users of water, (Brewery?) appear to have much cheaper rates than homeowners • Afternoon spraying at Coldstream Ranch Tiered pricing is good (although I get penalized for my big garden) • The entire water use system needs adjustment. It ignores natural water, ignores seasonal climate, evaporates water on the commonage, discourages home food production, subsidizes bad farming practices and inappropriate crops, and is designed for surface water climates only. It’s over a century out of date. We could do so much. • automatic sprinkles are being used when it rains in the city...for example • Watering should be cut to 2 days a week & use of rock & alternative plants should both be used instead of grass • uncertain as to current efforts done, probably needs more public attention as through local newspapers, maybe a dedicated article once a month re. the environment and the RDNO in general • I don’t know where our water is sourced but there are days when the chlorine taste is unbearable. I believe that waste water should be used for irrigation rather than dumping it directly into the lake. • If all residents cooperate • always could you more attention • protect our lakes • More conservation officers are needed to enforce against mud boggers, etc at the watershed. • Get on with separating ag and drinking water offer low flush toilet rebates in whole RD not just Vernon • why are we as a community not saving the water from snow runoff? • Still can’t drink our tap water. • I work in the water department so I may have a skewed opinion, haha. I think it’s extremely important and not enough of the public are aware of this. • I notice more brown and poorly-kept lawns than I used to see. I think more people are becoming aware of the need to conserve water. • What is the question? 100 • I resent being told when to water my veggies because of over development here. I also resent subsidizing large water users which are privately owned for someone’s profit which has been the policy here for years and needs to stop. • since Duteau (2010), we are happy to be drinking tap water. • Xeriscaping (sp?) seems to be a theory here, not a practice, considering the rapid population increase. • Our lakes are only a huge resourse while they are healthy, it is time to protect the resource to maintain the econmomic/tourist potential they have..control and charge motor boats for use • well users drain from lakes etc and pay nothing. Water use very high - no bylaws that expece 6 liter flush or composting toilets. Outback should be cut off and made to provide a local bio treatment system. It’s a crime that potable water is used to flush the pipe material into Vernon due to low use during the year. • Xeriscaping should be mandatory with the rapid population increase. • The watersheds were we get our drinking water from should be out of bounds for cattle ,logging and other industrial activities • housing developers are not good at this. They plant grass (eg - Turtle Mountain road) where they shouldn’t, then waste water to keep it looking pretty. Education, enforcement and fines please! REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Water: Water Quality, Water Use Conservation & Water Resource Conservation | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS • Vernon is in the middle of three lakes. Water shortages should be nil. • Water conservation requires changing personal habits, which is hard. I really appreciate the water conservation tips that occasionally come in the Coldstream water newsletter. Any and all info to help conserve water are appreciated. • I believe we should be actively using gray water reclamation and should have local government initative, education and support to implement this water saving process into homes. • IHA creates the biggest problem as well the Ag community was asked to share their system and now have to pay for the residential cost for extension and quality...go figure and some politicians say that residential are subsidizing the Ag users! • I am concerned about the longvity of the sewage effluent disposal lands. Are plans for replacement land being considered? • It’s not fair to charge for delivery, when someone is in a single person home...they pay extra for everything already. • In the spring we complain about the rain... but we depend on it. The comes summer and everything is dry: which is normal: we live in the Okanagan! But we need to adjust our water usage: classic example: front yards: how many liters of water does it take to make it look nice?? and how much poison to kill those “nasty” weeds? Turn those yards in to gardens: use less water and feed yourself. Use less water at home too... we live in desert (well, almost) so we need to adjust our lives. • There should be more programs to encourage water conservation. I have changed the toilets and showers in my home, but more people should be encouraged to do the same. • people who lived here for years thing that water is free and are very reluctant to change. • We need to meter water flow in and out of homes (like in the Netherlands). Farm use of water needs monitoring - efficiency of watering devices and Quality of LIfe Survey Comments type of system should be the most efficient for the type of crop. • the water that is wasted on lawn watering should be monitored at a better rate let nature water it • Price is going up fast = liveability issue. We know several families who have found it too expensive to live here so they, and their school aged children, have moved away. • After spending the great amount of money to fix our water system, I believe it is now time for the IHA to get a make over. • Planting native shrubs and flowers in all the public areas,instead of watering all the other water hungry plants. • Another issue that needs on-going monitoring. Water is becoming quite valuable. • We need to look ahead to increasing drought conditions. I am restricted in water conservation, by living in a condo where I have to run water , to get hot water. • At all costs do NOT permit industrial contamination of our lakes and rivers. • Beef farming needs to be discouraged. It is a massive waste of water to grow crops for beef. Watersheds need protection from logging and range animals. • We live in a condo ruled by a very conservative Strata Association, they would never support measures such as rain barrels, so our hands are tied. • We are very concerned about the ongoing water discussions at RDNO. $100+ million is outrageous. Why is Vernon subsidizing agricultural in outlying areas? Come on! Coldstream Ranch doesn’t even sell their product locally. It’s profit in their pockets, funded from ours. • the city of vernon is the worst example of water conservation, 101 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Water: Water Quality, Water Use Conservation & Water Resource Conservation • Treat of treated sewer pipe and storm drainage, Coldstream cattle roaming in Coldstream Creek, park at cemetary • Unnecessary water use: schools, green patches by roads, parks, homes • Water is our new gold • Need more info. • We need to seperate domestic water from agricultural water • Very poor planning, long time Lavington resident. Years ago we had agriculture water, now one source so we treat the water for garden service. And what about Duteau Creek that is a disgrace of planning and tax payer dollars. • We need to limit the number of motorized boats on Kal Lake - our source of drinking water • The water source I’m on is brown and gross and we get boil water advisories frequently. • We are stuck with a private water provider wo refused to hook us up to meters. We pay a large fee yearly for water so we get better value if we do not conserve. • Rivers - in Lavington, our creeks are full of debris. Water conservation - May I suggest a rain water barrel collection to set up someones rain barrel. Residents can pay for the rain barrel and a team whould install it at no cost. • Drinking water is AWFUL, needs immediate attention. • People pollution worse. Increased demand for/ by new developments. Animals (cattle) in creeks? Watersheds. • We can always do better in these areas. • I hope the day comes when we don’t have any chlorine in our drinking water and no contaminants are dumped in the creeks or lakes. Wetlands are utilized and not filled in. • I think that spray irrigation is the right way to deal with effluent and worth the cost. We need more public access to lakes and swan lake should be no gas motors. Need to limit power boats on Okanagan and Kal Lakes. Daily quota or book? • stop building on swamp land + flat land • Water tastes terrible, hard to drink • Cattle in the mountain pollute our water resources • Fact says we are running out of vital resources 102 REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Environment: Outdoor Recreation Access & Environmental Protection | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS Our Environment: Outdoor Recreation Access & Environmental Protection Figure 10. Average rating of recreational access to lakes, trails and parks in the North Okanagan. VERY POOR POOR FAIR GOOD VERY GOOD Figure 11. Average rating of environmental protection in the North Okanagan. VERY POOR POOR • My main concerns are with Vernon’s costly spray irrigation program on hillsides poorly suited to that purpose, above homes on septic. Also concerned about impact of Mackay reservoir leaching, not happy about hillside developments in Vernon that were approved. Terrible scars on the most sensitive hillside we have (above Bella Vista). Compared to that environmental degradation, Quality of LIfe Survey Comments FAIR GOOD VERY GOOD the development of Vernon Hill, a forested area, would have far less impact. And yet, the Rise was approved. We taxpayers are funding the pumping of treated wastewater up to hilltop resorts and golfcourses - financially unsustainable and morally just wrong. We live on septic below the irrigation and feel as unwitting accomplices of a 103 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Environment: Outdoor Recreation Access & Environmental Protection city-sponsored pollution program of Okanagan Lake - this is shameful and embarrassing. • Developers are looking for ways to circumnavigate Hillside guidelines. Hopefully local governments will not cave to pressures to develop. Hillsides and hilltops are where all of the wildlife has gone now and we must protect these areas from rich developers. • You have restricted access for only a limited few. • I don’t know enough about this to rate • The natural environment is the font of everything else that we need. If we destroy it we will decrease our flexibility in the future. • Public transit and recycling programs are behind other provinces • There is way too much privatized lake front and the lack of boardwalks and then a thriving hotel/ restaurant/hospitality scene around that is a downfall to me. I will sometimes go to Kelowna for the experience...and that’s not good, would rather have it here. • proactive vs reactive • We’ve lost most of our wetlands to development (sometimes without permits!) with no consequences • is there any undisturbed and sensitive natural environments left? • once lost it will never return • more wetlands protection required • Despite research showing that freshwater is going to become a huge issue within the next generation for the Okanagan Valley, our municipalities and residents continue to be extremely wasteful of it. • Since this is the best place in Canada to live, growth will continue at a fast rate. Good protection is needed. • Public lake access should increase. Development in the region has been poorly planned for the last decade with very negative results. • Can’t afford lake access and should be more public amentities on the water. • I see on a daily basis the destroying of sensitive lake shore by people who have bought along it. I wish that more would be done to protect and promote natural shorelines. • Is there any undisturbed and sensitive natural areas left? • Air quality as noted earlier is a very important issue, thus far quite ignored. • I believe we need to protect areas. Like the Commonage from development. I would love to see more trails, a plan for connecting the 3lakes with a trail. We’ve missed opportunities to create a lakefront environment lthat other Okanagan cities have • The Okanagan’s primary selling point is it’s natural beauty. We need to continue to protect it, which will encourage local food producers & tourism. • Need to be ever vigilant - especially wetland areas and habitat for endangered species. • Again - not sure. • I’m not sure. The only concern that I know of is dog owners bringing their dogs everywhere off leash, even in parks that are supposed to be for wildlife (such as BX Falls). There could be stricter rules for waterfront properties, in terms of shoreline protection. • More environmental staff required - wetland destruction in rdno is shameful • More protection of herons, beaches and foothills is required. • Such studies as the Natural Areas Survey done in the 1990s have received little consideration from City management. 104 • Need more access and provisions for non motorized lakes and trails. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Environment: Outdoor Recreation Access & Environmental Protection | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS • More support to conservation officers is needed to deal with recreation activities (eg ATVs) that damage ecosystems. • Additional large natural park required (Kal Park becoming overused); natural areas should be connected as much as possible • We should have green buildings with solar power and living walls of plants instead of murals. Public transit needs to improve greatly and there needs to be safe places to store bikes downtown. There should be recycling and compost bins around town like they have in Halifax. Trees on 30th were killed removing the little green space we have downtown. Rooftop gardens on government buildings would be good. Laws regarding carbon dioxide emissions by businesses and car idling should be implemented. • Many residents do not appear to have much concern for this valuable resource. • Don’t bulldoze off any more Okanagan grassland. Reclaim lakefront and foreshore of public access. Increase setbacks for lakeshore development. • We need to protect the green spaces and diversity of our environment. Also need to improve access to lake for non-motorized boats. • I do not feel safe taking my children to city parks due to drug needles in the grass and sand areas, being approached by panhandlers • Not enough parks and conservation personnel to monitor our area. I see garbage in our natural environments. • You build everything on swamp lands. • why spend millions on parks when they cannot be enjoyed due to all the goose poop? • Keep on protecting wildlife habitats and natural landscapes. • Losing the legal battle re: road through Kalamalka Provincial Park was a low point. Have been problems protecting the grasslands etc. ever since. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • Regulate off-road vehicles’ habitat destruction. Boating noise. Garbage dumping in boonies. • Polluted waters with so boats on the water. • I don’t witness our natural environment being disturbed. Seems to be OK • Natural landscape in the area is plentiful. • Coldstream Creek should be a priority • Climate change is rapidly affecting our environment. We need to take as many steps as possible to try to stay ahead of the destruction if that’s at all possible. • we need to clean up our lakes and rivers by taking the big motorized boats from the lakes and rivers electric or small motors only and we must do something about the sewer runoff going into the lakes • We have watched Vernon residents cut down trees along creeks adjoining their property without repercussion. Needs to be a better form of enforcement to protect OUR natural environment • See above • We need emission testing done on all cars. • perhaps there is already, but would love to see community plans that include more green space per x amount of people. Doesn’t seem to be enough. Would love to see the 26 acres behind my house that was sold to ? be turned into green space as herds of deer up to 15 at a time roam behind. (I live at 866 Middleton Way) • I feel that Kalamalka Lake Park is stressed due to the crowds that are using it regularily. We need another public park the size of Kal for hiking, biking, walking, etc. I hope the land/lots along Kin Beach can be cleaned up and opened to the public for swimming and beach access. • Too many of our tax dollars go to developing and maintaining all the parks, trails etc., that already exist. 105 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Environment: Outdoor Recreation Access & Environmental Protection • I hate seeing the natural scenery being scarred forever to cater to a select group of wealthy people. • as above development is also the enemy of the environment once gone it is gone! • air quality and lowering GHG needs a lot more work • We conserve water and the city of Vernon taxes us more because we do !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! • Grasslands, wetlands and undeveloped hillsides have been lost to development and modification. Priority needs to be given to preserving and protecting more of these natural environments. • We encourage tourists from Alberta to bring their boats into lakes that we pull our drinking water from - very backwards • I don’t know enough to give an answer. Fron what I see lans and resources are well protected. Or at oeast I hope. • with the Liberal’s plan to exploit natural resources our senstive natural environment will not last long, I fear for my community, our quality of life, and the future of B.C. • We appear to be cutting down some GOOD old trees and putting in sidewalks and curbs that could well be omitted In new developments there seems to be no emphasis on planting trees or other greenery and that leaves the places bare • We ned to balance our growth without overly harming the environment. Saying this, there is always a health balance between growth and the environment if peoples/stakeholders work together to mutually agreeable outcomes! • care of Kal park has deteriorated - control of noxious weeds is poor. Lake pollution by boats and sound pollution is a big problem. • Sometimes too sensitive • This really has to do with how the Crown lands are managed. A lot of areas get abused by Quads and mud boggers. More of our upland areas need to be set aside for quiet enjoyment or just left natural. • I don’t know enough about it • Too many people ignore environmental regulations. Every dog owner seems to feel that they are a law unto themselves and can ignore all posted regulations. How are we to protect bird nesting areas when dogs are allowed to run loose in spite of posted regulations? Every spring, beaches are closed in the local lakes because of runnoff carrying the winter’s accumulation of dog poo that hasn’t been collected. • Same as agricultural lands, the irreversible impact of change on the natural environment requires our utmost attention with all decision making • Lake access needs to be improved. Too much has been privatized and existing access are too few and not very accessible. There needs to be more 106 natural area protection where human user are not allowed and not the focus. • Weeds run rampant, precious grasslands with endangered species are developed, wetlands are filled in, Okanagan Lake a weedy mess, the needs of wild bees ignored... there is no strategy at all. • need to monitor environment closely, so that it doesn’t get degraded • I would like to see more development of small lake accesses. • Better recycling programs - glass, most people just throw in the garbage. Composting Facility should be open all year round to residents. Community gardens should be planned. • There is a need for access to the lakes with adequate parking for people with boat trailers and people with racks for their canoes. Paddlewheel Park should be regarded as a precious family beach and picnic area. Boats should not be allowed to access the lake at that spot because the fumes and oil floating on the water is disgusting when you are trying to swim there. Find another spot for boats, canoes, etc. to access the lake. Thank you for upgrading the washrooms at Kin Beach and Paddlewheel Park. Those REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Environment: Outdoor Recreation Access & Environmental Protection | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS renovations were much overdue. Also, please keep up the good work of maintaining the beach access areas along Lakeshore Road for access to Okanagan Lake. A walkway and park area could be considered along the creek that flows past the soccer field and airport to the beach at Okanagan Lake. • Fairly good • protect the parks.. • Some areas need to be conserved and protected: Commonage, Swan Lake East • Access for the handicap persons is not good. • Our watersheds should be protected more, recreational activities should be discouraged more and an explanation of why • Acquisition of some of the large parcels of habitat would help protect our local environments and habitats. • I would not like to see treated effluent pumped into the lake, even if other communities do this. I would like to see more public access to the lake/ shore. I would be willing to pay more in taxes. • Seems like development trumps all except the questionable “ALR” (see above) Lakes and natural non fram environs need much more attention • always depends on those elected. Original OCP wishes can be ignored by a growth oriented council...happened with Mayor Harvey despite what the public said - developers were helped... • Too many wetlands and other sensitive areas have been allowed to disappear. • we could be doing better with protecting our lakes. Allowing development near Ellison park was a major mistake. • NO PESTICIDES AND HERBACIDES • Protection of natural environment should be focused on land acquisition not private property right infringement • Maintained trails are patchy at best. Please invest in making the grey canal into a wide, long running mixed use trail. Shore line along the lakes is easily accessible, if you are a multi-millionaire. • It’s a balance between our environment and the use by people for recreation, less emphasis on people and more on protection and preservation for the present and the future • Again, I feel that a huge draw for people, both tourists and residents, to the North Okanagan it’s green space. Making sure we maintain those open green spaces and natural areas also ensures that people will continue to want to live here or vacation here. Just a note: In europe, specifically Germany, smaller towns in the country are separated by the agricultural lands. So, when you drive out of one town you really get a sense that you’re leaving that town and driving to the next. There isn’t just a steady speckling of houses along the road that merge into the next town. That really maintains that natural spaces and rural feel for those areas. Perhaps that’s something that we could strive to maintain also. • Protection is getting unreasonable - driving away opportunity. • Protection of water sheds is proving challenging, in part due to insufficient staff. • I believe our wet lands have not been protected. I think there should be an environmental review on Swan Lake.On Swan Lake motor boats should be restricted. There is a carp problem that needs addressing. • Isn’t it time we stopped polluting the lakes with horrible noise pollution from engines, and fuel where people swim. How can one relax on beach with jet ski noise, and swim at paddlewheel with boat launch fuel??? There are healthy ways to • More compact urban communities, less car dependent development, ie tavistock, Rise, foothills, etc • Kal lake powerboating could be trimmed Coldstream Creek is polluted Silver Star is big enough Quality of LIfe Survey Comments 107 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Environment: Outdoor Recreation Access & Environmental Protection enjoy the lake with sailing, kayaking, canoeing, paddling etc. • The Vernon Area is growing but we cannot keep on growing out: we need to build up instead. Waterways need to stay clear of homes as well as marshes and lakefront; Wouldn’t it be nice to bike around a lake or walk along it. Look at Marshall Fields: The marsh is almost gone: marshes are there to clean the ground water before it enters the lake; how can the little remaining patch possibly clean the water now? Lake Okanagan needs all the help it can get from nature since we humans tend to dump a little too much. We also know that investing in trails and sidewalks will save us all money in health care costs down the road. • there is no balance here in regards to environment and light industry. • Access to lakes - need to charge for motorized boats and planes using our waterways - similar to buying a ski pass up the mountain. Need to encourage non motorized use and charge for any activity that has potential to jeopardize the environment. • limited transportation to Lakes ,parks and trails • This is why we live here: need to be world class. • The parcels of land for housing are far too small. Vernon is starting to look like every other small town with big ideas taking them nowhere. Lets make ourselves special. • More trails • It is hard to gain access, even to urban parks if using a mobility device. Invasive weeds around town could be removed more, on private land, and rail tracks etc. • more environmental watches needed on lakes • I am a dog owner and find it difficult to access undeveloped land to walk a dog. The available parks are barely adequate. welfare. Logging is out of control and there needs to be greater regulation for sustainability of logging, watersheds and all life. • Too many dogs on beaches, and very few dogs on leashes. Trails through Kal Park are littered with dog poop. If there’s dogs running loose there will be no wildlife. Congratulations on the new Swan Lake Preserve and the Middleton Mountain park. • An example: think of the possible tourism opportunities if the entire grey canal ditch area was a park/walkway/cycle path. You would be able to ride around much of the north okanagan. It would be much like the Myra Canyon pathway on the Kettle Valley Railway but even more scenic. • Preserve it or lose it. It is imperative to protect sensitive lands from and during development. • Too much new growth. • Protection of hillsides for wildlife • Attention needed to restrict abuve uses (e,g big boats, bikes, ATVs) • Parking for lakes is frustrating and does not work. • I can not walk ot cycle due to a disablity • I believe that Vernon and the community has not protected our natural areas (i.e wetlands, Turtle Mountain, parkland behind Schubert Centre) • Research first, nature things come first. We are guest, let’s respect them. • We are very fortunate to have environmental goups in the region who volunteer to respond to many environmental issues. I think the District needs to countinue to encourage and support these groups. I would also like the schools and colleges to offer a greater variety of opprotunties for students to learn about agriculture and the environment. • More environmental protection from development needed. • Much more natural forest is needed to be preserved for future generations and our general 108 REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Economy: Economic Opportunities & Skills and Jobs Match | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS • The mountainside looks ugly with those houses. Scenery is one of the many reasons people move to a nice place like this. • In Lavington, our park is invaded by dogs on the loose. As a result, the park is deterorating. Trails - I walk the neighbourhood daily. The potential for informal and formal trails is great. I could see putting together a group of young people and an adult leader as a summer project to create maps of trails in this area. • Lot’s of easy access, but could use more parks or hiking trails. • Development and closure of legal lake accesses has seriously restricted general use. Government has supported and allowed NIMBY re public’s use of these (or else plastered with No Parking signs). Wall to wall houses - no wildlife corridors. • Can’t access Kallake in winter. • More handicapped access to lakes needed. Less housing development on hillsides. Protection of grasslands, endangered bird species and rare plants on Commonage very important. • City needs a by-law specifying that any land being annexed to the city will immediately have the zoning adjusted to fit Vernon City zoning and in accordance with Vernon’s OCP. Applicants should be made aware of this before making application. • Lacking knowledge on environmental protection. • More public access to lakefront needed. • Any land that is open or just so wonderful always gets taken by the Government and soon to get worse by housing. That we don’t need. Over half the house in Vernon are not sold or poorly placed. • Too much private land. • need Lakeside promenade. Need proper sand Kal Lake beach • Stop urban encroachment on wetlands • Many smaller, northern, rural communities own much better activities/areas. Nelson, Grand Forks, Quesnel, Smithers, Ft. St. John all have walking paths, community parks, ball diamonds, tracks, fields, play areas. • Under new federal laws, Kalamalka Lake, our main water supply for domestic water is not longer protected. Will our local municipalities be able to protect the lake and other lakes? Our Economy: Economic Opportunities & Skills and Jobs Match Figure 12. Average rating of economic opportunities and skills and jobs match. VERY POOR Quality of LIfe Survey Comments POOR FAIR GOOD VERY GOOD 109 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Economy: Economic Opportunities & Skills and Jobs Match • Who will provide these economic policy areas with “more attention”? Regional Board? Residents? Seems a bit out of our hands? Not sure what local govts can do to improve situation, other than in case of City of Vernon, be more open to allowing other business types to flourish in areas such as along 25th Ave - current zoning is precluding service-based businesses, which you need when you’re adding another seniors complex, more dense housing, etc. Very few options at this end of town. • I have a great full time job, however, being a small town it is one of 3 that exists. if i did not have this job, i would have to work in a different field • Easier for women to find a office job or a service industry job but for men it is more difficult to provide for their families on wages available here in Vernon. • There were employment opportunities for me within Vernon but my husband has to travel to Kelowna for work within the school system. • Completely impossible, have been trying to find stable full-time employment for over TWO YEARS. • Our young have to leave the area to find decent work • I was a full time graphic designer in Vancouver. There isn’t much available locally, not to the same degree. And now as an artist/potter I find it difficult to support my new career - the local economy supports Dollarama, not local artisans. • Relocated for employment opportunity with an excellent organizatin • Lots of Volunteer Jobs but not paid jobs. • Despite constant news coverage about a lack of skilled tradespeople in BC, I am a multi-ticketed Journeyman who struggles to find long term work in the Valley. I am forced to leave the area to find work in order to support my family. • I am retired, but my family ( 2 daughters and their significant others) all are struggling to get work. Three have university degrees, and the 4th a Vernon native, quit a poor job last year to work in the Alberta oil patch. This makes their family life difficult. • Finding jobs in the area that fits my training and experience is difficult due to my disabilities. • There are very few positions that pay well for an experienced generalist in the Okanagan, and the jobs that pay well do not fit my skills, training or experience. I am woefully under-employed. • for others this needs attention not only in our community but accross the province in order for people to able to work and live meeting their needs • Have been employed at the same place for 31 years • Typically in the Okanagan, folks (myself included) are under-employed. If working, then working for less wage and not as advanced in career level as would be in other markets. It’s a problem. Enough of the “sunshine” tax already. • These questions are unsuitable for retired peoples. • I’m very fortunate that my spouse and I are in well-paying, secure jobs but that doesn’t seem to be the case for many others. • Low low wages in the Okanagan compared towhere I lived in Whistler / Pemberton • If you don’t work for government, there are few tech or industrial jobs to offer career opportunities. 110 • Since I am retired I am thinking of my family who would like to move here. • So many people struggle with wages matching or exceeding their living expenses. • I was in the high tech area and became quickly outdated once moving here • Finding and keeping a job is a problem in this region for people of all ages and backgrounds. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Economy: Economic Opportunities & Skills and Jobs Match | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS An aggressive approach needs to commence for economic development and job creation. • The pay scale does not meet the cost of living in most jobs • I recently changed career by choice but this was not possible without months of planning which most are not able to do. • We need to keep and attract young people who can raise families. • In Vernon, there seems to be a “hire who you know” mentality, mixed with a lack of desire to get to know people... • no jobs available that don’t require the degree i am in the progress of. • I am a stay at home parent but I have searched for part-time work that fits my qualifications and have had difficulty finding something appropriate. • As a stay at home parent I have tried to find part-time work that fit my skills and have found it difficult. • While I have had opportunity here ( in healthcare) others I know have challenges due to lack of opportunities and attitudes. • My husband is a qualified elementary school teacher with years of experience from Vancouver, yet he cannot even get hired as an on-call teacher in SD22. • I’m highly qualified in H.R. With excellent references, but can’t find a job. In this town you need know someone to be given a chance. • I am retired, so question does not apply, but young people need access to skill training and employment • There is a need for organizations to set up in the N. Okan. Manufacturing (light), transportation/ warehousing hubs, corporate headquarters, I have given up looking for suitable employment - this was precipitated by BC Government initiative to reduce free enterprise services in the employment sector. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • In my field it is much less competitive here than Ontario. That’s why I moved here. Back home they ask for 5 years experience at basically all relevant jobs. Here I got hired straight out of school and there are several openings in my organization. The problem has been recruiting educated workers to live here. None of my smart young left-wing friends want to move to a conservative notoriously religious area that caters primarily to seniors. • The RDNO needs to focus on economic development to increase the tax base so we can fund the things that we want. Rely on retirees is not viable; in the long run it will lead to irrelevance. • I am fortunate my skills are very transferable. My wife on the other hand, has much fewer opportunities and is very limited in the work force. • self employed so create own oportunities to match my skills. • Variable at times but overall job situation has not improved in last 60 years • Age and advanced qualifications limit my opportunities • The college does not offer enough degree programs. I have a family and want to get back into the work force with a good paying job. Moving for school is not an option therefor my opportunities are limited. • I have had very fulfilling work the entire time I have lived here. • The economic development plan is not made clear to us. It would be nice to know at least what the plan is. • I feel very lucky to have good employment but I worry about losing my job. • We need industry in all areas to employ people. • I am close to retirement age but worry a great deal about how difficult it is for younger people to find meaningful employment. We need to bring jobs back to the area so our children can live and work here. 111 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Economy: Economic Opportunities & Skills and Jobs Match • Have a degree in the health care field so no problem finding employment here. • Doesn’t apply to me but, young people need more employment opportunities. • Almost ready to retire, moved here for retirement • More full time above minimum wage jobs are needed in the North Okanagan especially Vernon. • Very limited spectrum of arts minded people in the community to support a career in the area. Publicly funded arts programs could aide in the advancement of these jobs. • Retired • even with a decent salary, everything has been increasing so much and all at the same time this past year (hydro, gas, water, gas to go to work, food, cable) that it is hard to have any money left after paying the bills • retired self-employed • My same skill set and education makes me highly employable from Victoria and northern BC where we lived before the NO and yet I have been looking for months for employment • The training is available at Okanagan College, but my grandchildren aren’t likely to remain in this area after education is completed • I’m on disability • Have had to go back to school for training twice. Even when you have the training its hard because there are fully trained people in need of work here. • See above comments. • the young generation is leaving this area in droves because they cannot find a full time job that will allow them to own a home • although we are satisfied, young people are not. There are few well paid jobs available to entice them to remain in the north Okanagan. We need more industry and manufacturing. 112 • I see this as a huge challenge for the region • More industry means more jobs, means more families and young people stay in the area. • There is a huge disparity between the direction set by the politicians and what administration actually implements. If Council wants to encourage local economy, then they need to take a minute to review all of the cumbersome regulations and red tape that is in place (and then reduce it !) • This is a very blue collar region, more opportunities are needed for white collar skillful individuals at yearly wages, not hourly. We need urban innovative thinkers and doers here. • Young families cannot afford to move here or remain here. My family is much worse off than we were 10 years ago - nothing has been done for economic development. My husband and I are both professionals, college graduates but good paying jobs are sparse, and not even my friends who are teachers can get jobs anymore. No one leaves their jobs, and people work longer so they have no choice. Try and attract some businesses besides Kal Tire and Tolko. So many places have closed and not even the mall can keep tenants. • Very hard to find a good paying tech job in Okanagan. Affected by high number of colleges in area and sunshin tax. • Minimum wage combined with no affordable housing makes it very difficult for people who live in Vernon. I hope the new downtown core buildings will have commercial space on the main floor, professional offices on the second and a mix of housing options on the upper floors. Batchelor suites for singles and one and two bedroom apts. for married couples or young families are a necessity. Having these housing options in the downtown core will also enable residents to walk to work taking more cars off the roads and lowering our greenhouse gas emissions. I see good public transit as an integral part of the downtown plan. Car co-ops that are owned by the building might also help in this manner. This has been done in Kelowna with success. • I’m retired. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Economy: Economic Opportunities & Skills and Jobs Match | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS • Considering going to northern Alberta to improve my chances of working for a reasonable compensation. • The work I do is common every where but for youn people the career opportunities are limited as large employers are limited, lots of retail not full time. Not sure how you can bring large industry to the area without a huge impact on the area. • Wages are. No in accordance with cost of living. • I happen to be fortunate to have exactly the kind of work I am trained for, and can be based on Vernon doing it. I’d like to see more people have this opportunity here. • I have many skills that I can’t find work for! • I’m a high tech person. I help companies utilize laser technology in manufacturing processes. No opportunities here. • I am very unfortunate to have opportunities to do have work in my field but in general this is one of the most important downfall of the OK, there aren’t enough good, permanent, full time jobs. Governments at all levels most take steps to encourage and bring in big employers that provide not only full time jobs but good wages and benefits. We have far too much seasonal, low paying jobs • I am lucky, not all people can answer this question the way I have. Diversity within our economy is key. We should be looking to new industry to ensure employment. Sustainable industry that fosters new technologies, renewable energy, food security, etc. would benefit our economy and our future. • More well-paying job opportunities needed so that young people/families can afford to live here. • Because I am a social person and grew up in Vernon, I had more opportunity. New people entering the North Okanagan have a more difficult time finding work for sure. • I work in mental health Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • As I said, my own employment status isn’t an issue, but it is an issue for many others I know. • We could encourage more firms to start here. We have a lot of people that work independently • people often refer to this area as “The Brokanagan” I’ve had many friends have to leave for school and then once they’ve graduated with degrees they are unable to move back because there are no job oppertunities. Instead of our local governments creating employment initatives and thinking out side of the box to try to support the people of the Okanagan I feel as though most people have just given up and buckled to the lure of working long hours, being away from home, and working labour intensive jobs up in northern B.C. in the oil and gas industries. • At present I am OK. The opportunities as to the pay in Vernon and the Okanagan is not very good. There truly is a sunshine tax and employers must wake up because we are losing lots of young people and good talent to where the higher paying jobs are in the North and AB • Again, it’s not about me. It’s about the community. The community needs to build opportunity. • I have to work out of Vernon to get decent-paying work -- have done so for 20 years • I am self-employed and have had no problem finding work. • My background is Financial with Excutive assistant & HR • There doesn’t appear to be much employment available for young people in the North Okanagan. There should be more effort put into attracting tech businesses into the area and provide more employment opportunities for young people with young families. • NOt enough good paying jobs, not enough industry as mentioned • retired • Need more industry 113 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Economy: Economic Opportunities & Skills and Jobs Match • Most people who go to college/university cannot come back to work here in their field. I was lucky. • I travel to large industrial jobs out of town. • Need more employment opportunities (more big businesses?? Costco, Toys R Us, etc attracted to the area) with decent wage and benefit offerings... People are attracted where opportunities exist that provide a living wage and benefits for families. • I’m lucky to have the great career I have. I am aware, though, how difficult it is for people to get good jobs here. Even if I were to think of leaving my current job I don’t know if I could find another like it in the area. With so many low paying jobs/ service industry jobs, I would be worried I might have to leave the area to look for work. • I have been fortunate to find a position, but realize that there are not many positions in the North Okanagan that would fit my skill, training and experience. • Forest Industry work • I work in sustainability and social responsibility. still limit amount of opportunities in these areas. • I am middle aged and work part time which is ok for me - because we have a home paid for - but for young families and kids getting out of schooling it is very difficult to find good paying jobs. • we would have to move to gain alternate employment - there simply is limited employment within the region that will sustain the $$ required to live here • Employment is the most important focus for people in our region. Jobs that are meaningful and provide a good income are essential for a thriving community. My family is split with some having great jobs, others unable to use their skills, obtained from OC. Maybe the College should not be educating people if jobs don’t exist in the province! • retired 114 • I currently work in as a research manager (plant biology) at ubc-okanagan. I would LOVE to work in Vernon, but science/technology/horticulture jobs with incomes that match housing cost are few and far between. • I am in a rare case of having skill in an Okanagan industry, it seems thought that my partner and friends struggle to make ends meet here • Am retires, however do feel that there are not enough jobs around - but people need to get support and learn how to create their own, not expect a high paying company to “bail them out” with a great job. • one has to be prepared to work part-time or oncall at first, at least in my profession; I recognize this may not work for everyone. • COST OF LIVING KEEPS GOING UP BUT THE WAGES STAY THE SAME. ALWAYS BETTER WAGES FOR MEN THEN WOMEN • A correction in housing prices could decimate the employment in the RDNO. • I am in the farming industry, and I strongly feel that a big hinderance to the future sustainablility of my job is the availability of slaughter for our animals. There are such few options available (both for poultry and larger livestock, that I worry about what happens if any of the existing slaughter facilities close. The business of slaughtering animals is not one that has people lining up to take on as a career, so who is going to want to take over these slaughter facilities when the current owners retire? I STRONGLY feel that moving back to allowing on farm slaughter of animals for farm gate sales is the only way to ensure that farmers will be able to sell their products. Farmers are willing to slaughter their own animals and take pride in their products. This also comes back to finding ways to keep farmers in farming - the cost of transporting animals and paying someone to slaughter for you makes the profit that the farmer gets even smaller. I have heard that there is or may be a change to the slaughter regulation that allows for on farm slaughter of up to 10 animals for farm gate sales. It’s a nice gesture, but a farmer cannot feed his family and pay for his farming costs for a year REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Economy: Economic Opportunities & Skills and Jobs Match | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS off the sales of 10 animals. I truly believe that the North Okanagan needs to find a way to make on-farm slaughter feasible for farmers again, if we want to keep farms with livestock in our valley. • This area has and continues to be paid at minimal wage levels, if it was not for a few major players this community would be an extension to CherryVille • There is often a tough trade-off between economic growth and development and the preservation of the lifestyle that brought us here in the first place. Over the long run, I think we have had a reasonable compromise. When both sides of this issue are dissatisfied, then you are likely on the right course. • There is not much around in my line of work: so I am going back to school in order to find something in the area: we want to stay here and not work up north.... • There are many people that cannot find fulfilling employment. Not sure how a government can stimulate this, but the efforts should be made. • Weak economy with little driving it beyond tourism. • Plse, let’s drop the ‘sunshine tax’ as an excuse for poor employment opportunities and poor pay in this area. • I worked in Health Care, so did not have a problem. People in other occupations have more difficulty. • retired • however, we need to do more to attract and retain young families as the opportunities for them are diminishing • I’m a certified teacher, yet there are few jobs and they keep graduating new teachers! Stop overloading the province with new teachers when there isn’t even enough work for the ones who are here! And let go of the teachers who just shouldn’t be there and aren’t suited for the profession to make room for the good ones who want (and do) make a difference in the lives of students. • need to bring industry here to keep young people and poor wages. • Thankfully I’m retired. My three sons have found work in the KELOWNA area, there’s nothing in the North Okan that appeals to younger people. • I am at the point of getting ready to retire. It is the opportunities for younger people/families to maintain a standard of living here. • We need to develop industry for clean, renewable energy. We could easily become leaders in this field. • We need industry and manufacturing!!! We need to become an example of sustainability, responsible economic growth, leaders in environmentalism and pioneer what healthy living in our global world can look like. • I”m overeducated for the Okanagan • I have full time employment with a municipal government....however there does not seem to be enough economic development here in the okanagan to keep young people here • There are no above poverty paying jobs for the younger people here and the seniors have to work to subsidize their government pensions [oap-giscpp] • We need more than part time, minimum or almost minimum wage employers here Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • I am fortunate to have a unique and specialized job here. Most of my friends are not so fortunate and have moved to other locales. I may move soon too for this reason alone. • Businesses keep closing in Vernon. More American companies are coming into Vernon and destroying local businesses. The downtown core needs to stay open longer than 5pm • I’m a professional and there are very limited opportunities for me. If I lost my job, I would have to move. • we need to attract more industry for younger workers 115 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Economy: Economic Opportunities & Skills and Jobs Match • I think we need to put more effort into inviting clean sustainable projects to help support young families • I am a public servant but husband (carpenter) has had to go to Alberta to get steady work. • Jobs for youth and young adults are hard to come by, or bad jobs. • I’m retired! • More work opportunities for disabled. • Need wider spectrum of job opportunities - on the job training. • Job opportunities seem to be pretty rare, may have to move elsewhere if this continues. • Only lateral movement, not upward • I feel there is a need to encourage small business - particularly in the fields of agriculture and food production as well as tourism. • I was lucky to find a job but it did not use my full skill set. I had to adapt to fit into it. I am getting paid much less than if I was back east. Cost of living is more. • Glass plant is a great example - Don’t create businesses, keep what we have. New fees for parking metres a joke. Businesses in downtown are closing because there are no good paying jobs for those that can work. • Summer jobs for students - I would like to see this start again. Local businesses and residents could 116 champion programs and realize/create what the Regional District would like to create for the future. • If I were looking there is nothing available besides min wage, part-time “jobs”. No opportunities for young people! • I am very qualified in retail. No jobs. • As a working person I had my own business and could still be gainfully employed in it if I chose to work. • Need more jobs for 50+ • Very little in Vernon for employment. Either lowincome jobs or need qualifications. • Start-ups and support of home-based business • Because I’ve lowered my expectations, because my kids are still in school, because my husband makes a good wage (by working in Yukon) I can find work BUT our local, sustainable future, potential LM is very lacking. Where will my kids work? Why should I stay here? • It’s tough to find sustainable employment • Just needing the school certification, lots of experience • I don’t plan on going back to work part time or full time • Retired, volunteer a lot REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Transportation: Alternative Transportation & Transportation Infrastructure | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS Our Transportation: Alternative Transportation & Transportation Infrastructure Figure 13. Average ratings of opportunities to use alternative forms of transportation (take the bus, cycle or walk) in the North Okanagan. VERY POOR POOR FAIR GOOD VERY GOOD Figure 14. Average ratings of transportation infrastructure in the North Okanagan. VERY POOR POOR • Cycle lanes are still misunderstood, vehicles parked in them make it even more difficult for cyclist to share road with cars. Educational opportunity? Roads in the Landing area are inadequate, this is a known issue without any timeline for resolution, other than inviting MORE development, which will make the problem worse before it gets better. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments FAIR GOOD VERY GOOD • While there are more cycle lanes it is still challenging to ride in town. Accessing Polson Park, for example, by bike is a challenge and in most examples requires venturing into busy traffic - not a comfortable experience for parents and kids. • Not everyone can take a bus to work. Those who must use their own vehicles because they live 117 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Transportation: Alternative Transportation & Transportation Infrastructure out of town should not be penalized by paying high parking prices. It’s hard enough for workers to support their families without governments looking to suck more money out of our already over deducted pay cheques. • Unsafe to cycle anywhere in town, cannot get to most places without using or crossing the highway, people swerve in ATTEMPTING to hit my husband on his bicycle and police do nothing unless they personally witnessed event. • There is no bus out to my area/house. Not a regular route by any means - I haven’t bused once since moving here but took transit daily in Vancouver. • I live very close to town but in Area B and we have NO buses on our roads. The roadways are terrible surfaces and there are no sidewalks. It’s OK some of the time as tax levels are low, but there could definitely stand to be an improvement. It’s unsafe in some instances and I won’t ride my road bike much out here, it’s mountain bike territory...and that’s ON the road. • always important to keep on top of this • too many potholes; looks like have not been worked on in over 10 years, since I last lived here • Need enclosed shelters like at old terminus at Downtown Safeway Superstore and Walmart. The new style shelters are poor windbreaks. • need sidewalk / bike lanes on Kal Lake Rd. s/b one lane each direction with bike lanes on each side, and a left turn lane in the middle. Sidewalks are none existent from Middleton to town in many places. Bike lanes are often full of potholes, sewer drains, gravel, gooey tar, and other bits and pieces of crap... cyclists can’t ride as far right as ‘appears’ to be safe, as it’s not safe. If we build for cars, we’ll get lots of cars, if we build for bikes, we’ll get lots of bikes. I really like the adrenaline rush of putting my life at risk to get to work, but can understand why many others choose not to cycle or walk to town. The Rec Centre should have bike lockers, which could be a combined rate with a yearly pool pass so cyclists can ride, then lock up their bike conveniently and safely in town, then shower and walk to work. I would ride to run more 118 errands if there were more secure bike parking available (out of sight). • Bike lanes should be no where near let alone on main roads! Bike lanes should be pushed off roads. .. why not use alleyways or side roads! ? You won’t find me or my daughter using any of vernon bike paths (except on ok road) • where I live, we do not even have sidewalks! There is heavy foot traffic on my street, yet the City continues to over-improve other areas while completely ignoring this area. • Vernon is the best I have seen for all those mentioned above, compared to Ontario. Keep those cycle lanes coming. We need to strive for a european transportation life style. It would be ideal if we didn’t use our cars, get to work or get groceries. • Sprawl, car focus has created a huge challenge.. • For individuals using canes/wheelchairs sidewalks are extremely important for getting around the city and I still think there should be more attention paid to clearing this of hazards, especially during the winter. • Require more efficient transit: add bus routes to make it possible to travel to and from work in a timely fashion. • We have lots of section of roads that need repair. Sidewalks were not done using an accessiblity structure. There are many lips on the sidewalks that are not wheelchair or cart safe for people. This needs to be address so everyone can be safe. The cycle lanes provide some sense of safety but I think it is a false one. There should be on buisier roads, such as 25th Ave, a seperate section for bikers that are not on the road with drivers. We have already had accidents and death between drivers and cyclists • Has been a lot of improvement. Still room for more bike lanes and safe walking areas. • Silver Star road is in particularly bad condition (except for the lower section) REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Transportation: Alternative Transportation & Transportation Infrastructure | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS • We need to be aggressive with a transportation system. How can we draw business and employment if we have crappy transportation? • It is dangerous to travel in anything other than a car to come in from the Coldstream area!!!! • some roads are really good, some roads are ridiculously bad (potholes and washboards). sidewalks exist where I’d want them to be. Cycle lanes are being seen on most roads which is great. • We need better painted lane lines. Some are so faded it feels unsafe to drive sometimes. • It’s unbelievable that there is no schedule at most bus stops. How are people supposed to take the bus if they don’t know when it’s coming??? • Limited safe non motorized access to Foothills • Some places in town are missing sidewalks making it undesirable to go to those areas. • As sidewalks are built or replaced it would be great to have defrosted ones as in Norway. The bylaws regarding cleaning of sidewalks MUST be enforced!! Walking is treacherous here in the winter. • Aberdeen Road in Coldstream NEEDS a sidewalk from Kalamalka Rd to Appletree Preschool (where the bus stop is located). There are at least 30 children who live between Kal Rd and Appletree Preschool who are in Coldstream school. They have to walk from the busstop home during busy traffic times. Also, they would most likely walk/ ride a bike to the school if there was a sidewalk. Plus, a riding lane along all of Aberdeen road is needed, it is unsafe and something else terrible is going to happen. • Aberdeen Road between Kalamalka Lake Road and Appletree Preschool needs a sidewalk. About 30 children live between these two streets they get dropped off by a bus and walk on that dangerous road daily. Also, more parents would feel compfortable letting their children walk to school if there was a sidewalk. Aberdeen Rd is dangerous for pedestrians and there needs to be a sidewalk immediately before something tragic happens. • Anyone tried to walk on sidewalks on 29th avenue? Crumbling asphalt on many side-streets. Alleyways are like a third world country. Public parking lots in bad shape. • Our bus system is grossly underused and smaller equipment should be substituted so that the carbon footprint of BC transit does not exceed that of commuting. • I am fortunate to live within a short walk to work and can carpool in days I need to travel to Kelowna, however I , try to walk or cycle for exercise and utilitarian means. Sidewalks that end unexpectedly, in poor condition, attitudes that bike lanes and multi use paths are “cosmetic” are really frustrating. • Our rural/city out shirt roads are dangerous and under maintained. Vegetation overhangs onto roadways, there are no shoulders, and motor vehicle users use excessive speed. • Would love a side walk along Dixon Dam Road and up toward Tillicum Village..their are so many children, and people with dogs up here that would love a side walk. • We need a bike lane on Old Kamloops Road, along with some traffic calming. • Roads full of potholes and sidewalks uneven in many places. In winter, sidewalks not cleared of snow and hence ice build up, especially in residential areas • buses need to run the same schedule predictably every day, and the 90 needs another bus. cycling lanes are clearly not well marked based on the amount of hits occurring with cyclists. • Need to continue with alternate transportation means of travel. More sidewalks please. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • Tearing up roads for long periods of time and then just patching as a replacement is very wearing and not indicative of quality work. • There is a patchwork of bicycle access lanes, dangerous areas in the Middleton Way area - have 119 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Transportation: Alternative Transportation & Transportation Infrastructure raised it with City of Vernon since 2007. More people would walk or cycle if it was easy and safe to do so and leave vehicles at home (winter months not applicable of course) • I don’t drive and there are many areas in the city where there is no sidewalk or the sidewalk switches back and forth what side of the street it’s on with no safe crosswalks to get to the other side with the sidewalk. People park across sidewalks and aren’t ticketed. Buses stop too early to take after work or to go to the movies. The routes and schedules are significantly less helpful than those in the last 4 cities I’ve lived in. I would not feel safe on a bike downtown as things are and everyone I know who does has had a bike stolen when locked in front of a downtown business during the day. It’s terrible. • The word haphazard seems to apply. Bike lanes are only useful when weather is good and where altutude is not an issue. Mass transit a great idea in principle, but needs to pay for itself. • Stop making more cycle lanes, thereby narrowing much needed roads! • We lack cycle pathways. The commuter lanes are okay for seasoned cyclists but the average adult will never use them and children will Never use them. What we need to focus on are - pathways that are away from traffic that can be used to cycle, walk, scooter, rollerblade or otherwise around the community. Ideally it would scenic, quiet but still functional to move people. Penticton has it along their beaches and the channel, Kamloops has it along the dikes, Quesnel has it surrounding the city along the river, Vancouver has it along the seawall and Engilish bay (coupled with roadway system along Georgia that has converted a roadway to a bike only road), Whistler has it joining all their sports fields, golf courses and lakes. It is by far and away the largest item missing from our community. No place to take a nice walk on a flat paved scenic pathway. • more bike lanes please! One along highway 6 (from tim hortons to Aberdeen road)and Bella Vista would be nice too :) a wheelchair or with limited mobility. Even new cutouts (eg 25th Ave and 33rd st)are too steep. • No more bike lanes! Quit narrowing roads • Please raise my taxes to fix potholes properly (not patches that are gone again in 2 weeks). I’m paying anyway in wheel alignments • I never use transit. • It takes forever to get somewhere on the bus. Trying to get to a job would be at least an hour. • Keep adding cycle lanes - it will draw tourists to the area and keep the locals more active. • City making good progress to making Vernon more cyclist friendly. More attention needed to making sidewalks more accessible and safer for scooter and power wheelchair users, seniors using walkers. Especially on 20th Street between Heron Grove and Walmart shopping centre - very dangerous • Shoulders on almost any road are either almost none existent or poorly maintained. Very dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists. • Few biking lanes • I always travel in my own car, but think services for this size of city are reasonable, cost has to be balanced with usage and need • sidewalks and cycle lanes stop and start all over town. Some are on this side of the street, and then you have to cross the street to regain access to the sidewalk or cycle lane. • A lot of roads do not have sidewalks so pedestrians have to share the road with vehicles. Some older road surfaces could use some resurfacing. Transit is improving as usage increases. The 90 Vernon to UBCO is fantastic! Great for shopping and appointments in Kelowna. • Transit schedule is not openly advertised in more rural sections of the community. • Sidewalks are poor to non existent in most areas. Downtown Vernon is a disgrace for anyone in 120 REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Transportation: Alternative Transportation & Transportation Infrastructure | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS • Ensure sidewalks along areas of new businesses / malls. Eg.- outside of Superstore and in the Walmart area. • public transport in this city needs to be scraped, many buses are running with 3-4 people on them, total waste of tax $$ • how come we have to repair the same road again and again, shouldn’t it last at least 10 years for the price we pay for them? • Need more separate multi-use paths. • would like to see cycling made as easy as in Victoria • We used the bus quite a lot in Victoria, so much that we were able to sell our car but the bus system is not the same here in Vernon and had to buy 2 vehicles as the bus system would not work for us. But we have increased our bike use as well that we didn’t do as much in Victoria • Sidewalks are a disaster in this community. Children are walking on the roads in almost every area of this city, and is the result of very poor planing. This has to be the worst city I have ever lived in with sidewalks NOT being available • The bike lanes in front of Harwood and the old Baker’s Dozen are ridiculous and a complete waste of tax payers money. Lets hope that the investment into downtown pays off. Not sure that is where the money needed to be spent. • Public transportation will be the way in the future so we should get prepared and encourage it more. • A difficult and expensive area but transit especially needs to be upgraded • No buses above Middleton Way. Very steep hill to walk up and down. Especially for older people. • More lighting is needed in some areas where there are no sidewalks (see Highway 6 between Kalamalka Lake Road and Middleton Way) • We’re not big enough to support the current transit system. Vernon should listen to the KPMG recommendation to reduce transit to just the major routes. • More cycle paths would be appreciated. Some roads in smaller cities very narrow and in need of repair • The RDNO has done a good job of improving the bike routes in Vernon and Coldstream to make them connect better but more work still needs to be done. My daughter is a daily cyclist and she has had 2 “near misses” just this week. Dividing cycling trails are preferred but marked lanes are the next best thing. I would like to see bike lanes around Swan Lake and down Old Kamloops road in the future. The Cycling Advisory Committee has a good “list of priorities” that should be implemented as new roads are built or old ones repaired. • I hate how sidewalks and cycle lanes suddenly stop/start. 39th Avenue is particularly bad above PV Rd. Also 19th Street between 39 & 37 Ave. Love the new transit facility. Don’t like how buses loop through neighbourhoods--I can walk downtown faster than if I were to take the bus. • you are not listening to the public about transit you keeping hold meetings and our concerns are not being addressed. Why are there cycle lanes on 27 street when it is hard enough to drive on the street and nothing on 32 ave move the bike lane up to 25 street and use the extra room on 27 to better advantage • Potholes and gravel on the highways have cost me considerable amounts in repair costs& permanent damage to my car. • Vernon needs to reduce the size of their busses and have them operate longer hours. Large busses should only be used where fare paying customers warrant. eg. to the university, college etc. • I need a bus that goes to the medical center on 25th and 97th Ave Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • more bike paths are needed. Buses should be smaller in many areas like East Hill. They could be electric buses • Nice to see the round abouts to bad people cannot adjust to these better as the flow of traffic 121 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Transportation: Alternative Transportation & Transportation Infrastructure is great. The main highway through the centre of town, well it would be nice for alternatives, where ??? • The cycle lanes are crazy and dangerous and come to many abrupt ends • I work in Kelowna so much of this doesn’t directly pertain to me. • cycle lanes still stop and start and are very unsafe in many places, Bus schedules are too infrequent. There are not enough attractive places to walk within the city. • I see so few cyclists using the cycle lanes • More paths connecting neighbourhoods. More trails (multi-use, paved and unpaved) are needed. Maintain roads but don’t build new ones. • In our area sometimes it is quite unsafe to walk. traffic too fast and narrow shoulders to walk on. • Sidewalks: generally OK but as I walk to downtown or church there’s regions where I have to cross the road for sidewalks because of discontinuous sidewalks. Cycle Lanes. Same. Sometimes switch from Left hand side or road to Right hand side. No enforcement of laws against parking in bicycle lanes. Bylaw enforcement is upon compaint only, needs to be proactive. Transit is OK, can only improve as public demand increases, but cost seems pretty high. No passes for seniors??? Maybe not enough public awareness. • We are on the right track improving cycling and walking facilities. Our transportation network has been too focused on the vehicle historically. We need to improve alternative modes of transportation. • Bus transportation is poor in some areas, eg. the Foothills. • heaving roads and sidewalks that just end or jump across the road or just nosidewalks • Many major roads (39th Ave., 32nd Ave.) that are difficult to cross on foot have sections with sidewalks only on one side of the road - this is a minor concern for me, but a bigger concern for elderly people, people with assistive walking devices, etc. Additionally, snow removal on sidewalks in non-residential areas is very bad some years. The transit system and bike lane system are both improving, which is great to see, 122 but further improvements could be made (esp. more buses linking Vernon to Kelowna; more cycling lanes along key routes). • Transit is a joke. We’d do better with a central parking hub and a rapidly cycling small bus loop through downtown or down 27th. The car dealers have one. The bus to Bella Vista is not usable. I can walk faster. But the road is rather dangerous on foot. It is a race course, after all, with inadequate shoulders, especially past Sunnyview. • Need bus shelters on routes as weather is not always conducive to waiting for a bus. Out on Anderson Way in Vernon I see people standing in the rain, wind and cold waiting for buses. At least put a roof over the benches • lots of places in town missing decent sidewalks -- or any sidewalks • Lack of sidewalks in some major corridors (like 15th St to Hwy 6) • I live out of town (Predator Ridge) which limits my mode of transit. a buss twice a day down Commange to Carr’s Landing & back would be great. The road is shared by Vernon/Prov - need wider shoulders for biking to town. • One of the reasons my husband and I moved to Vernon was because of the cycle lanes and cycle paths. We are avid cyclists and are thrilled with the early clean-up of the bicycle lanes in the spring. Thank you for that. We would like to see more bicycle paths of course but greatly appreciate the ones that exist at the present time. We do not use the bus but that is primarily because we cycle to run errands, use my Eco-bike on occassion and otherwise use our vehicle. • All seems fairly good • Huge job for communities is maintaining a costly always expanding transportation infrastructure. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Transportation: Alternative Transportation & Transportation Infrastructure | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS • Transit should be reduced to major routes. Way too expensive to operate current transit system. • I don’t agree with narrowing (substantially) of roads to accomodate sidewalks and bike paths. The traffic and parking will only get worse with that continously done. • better and more cycling lanes, hubby cycles to work in Armstrong from Vernon and route is dangerous and not maintained for bikes • Focus on infill development to reduce burden of replacing asphalt (can’t keep up as it is), standardize sidewalks and ensure physically challenged can use, use barracades to protect cycling lanes, improve bus shelters and add more and improve bus stops and their signage • No sidewalks, bus service where I live. • There are no crosswalks near Silver Star School on 32nd Avenue above 15th Street... apparently the safety of the children living on THIS side of the school don’t matter as much as that of the children living on the other 3 sides?? Also, cars come out of the school zone on 32nd avenue, the drivers hit the gas, and gun it to the end of the street because it’s a no thru road! The “No Thru Road” sign is practically ignored by drivers, and there are DOZENS of u-turns made on 32nd above 11th Street DAILY. I don’t let my kids play out front for this reason... too many cars driving too fast for a dead end street, and too many u-turns (and ALOT of drivers drive ONTO the sidewalk to complete their u-turns!) • Although busing is brutal here there is no economical way to improve it based on # of people using it. Do not waste money on buses with the exception of buses to Kelowna. The city design does not lend itself to public transit. Bike lanes are awesome and bike to week is growing. Keep up the work with bike week. • The roads I travel on frequently (Okanagan Landing) are in poor shape. I think it should be a priority to repaint the lines on high-traffic roads frequently (e.g. intersection at 25th Ave and 32nd St.), incl. cycling lanes and shoulders Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • KPMG says cut the bus routes - get real, this is preparing for the future. I’m a regular bike commuter, luckily still alive. • The children walk / cycle to school on the side of the road (Aberdeen road) and there is little to no protection for them from some drivers who do not care about the speed limit. It would be wonderful to have more cycle paths and sidewalks so we don’t feel it is ‘safer’ to drive our kids everywhere. • On Middleton Mountain there are streets (11th) and husband that don’t have good sidewalks at all in some places and no street lights so in the winter its pretty dangerous and really a drag to walk around up there in some areas. • I drive pottery road every day (I live on galiano) Pottery road is terrible. Some side roads attaching on have potholes that you can get lost it. • we live just on the outskirts of Vernon in Coldstream. There is no bike path, trail, sidewalk or anything if you want to walk into vernon or to the lake you walk on the road... (Kalamalka Lake Road)and it is a very busy road. • Vernon is my focus in that sidewalks end and people must continue on the street. Frequently there is no way to safely cross streets. No sidewalks exist on busy roads used to get to and from schools, downtown. Priority is sidewalks, then cycling paths. • fairly safe to get around by bicycle • I am very frustrated with the continuous up-heaval of Old-Kamploops Road. I realize this road is in two different jurisdiction but it is in poor condition and unsafe for cycling. • Though there can always be improvement, I am grateful for the opportunity to commute by bicycle in Vernon. • We keep building cycle paths that dead end before they arrive at a significant destination.... finish what we have already started. We know there are hard parts but they are the important/ dangerous ones. 123 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Transportation: Alternative Transportation & Transportation Infrastructure • I am grateful for the opportunity to commute by cycling. • the bike lanes are great, and I support their construction on 43 Ave. (I used to live near there). The new Kidston road trail is fantastic; I hope it can continue. An all- season walking path just off Kal Lake Road connecting Kal Lake and Polson would be amazing; using the train tracks one in the winter is not great. Transit stop actually at Polson Mall? I’d like to be able to take transit bus to shop/go to appointments in Kelowna without multiple transfers ... • If you want people to drive less, don’t build more bike lanes, build more mixed use neighborhoods. • I feel that Vernon/Coldstream is already so sprawled out that increasing sidewalk infrastructure won’t necessarily enable people to walk to work or school more than already now. BUT, I do think that cycle paths, that are separate from roads (not just of the side of the road) would encourage people to ride their bikes to work or to the market or school. Especially middle aged people, who don’t feel safe on a bike lane that’s right next to the traffic, may actually use a bike path if they don’t need to contend with vehicle traffic. These bike paths could also double as walking paths and outdoor leisure paths. Europe has these all over the place and it’s common to see elderly women biking to the store to pick up their groceries. I wish we could encourage this. I think that road construction projects, like the one currently on Hwy 6 between Coldstream Ranch and Vernon, are unnecessary. Removing corners from a road only encourages drivers to go faster. I don’t know how many millions of dollars are going into that project, but it seems a bit ridiculous when there are corners before and after that section that we expect drivers to navigate. That money could have gone towards bike paths. Or a commuter train from Lumby to Vernon and on to Armstrong and beyond on the existing rail line. 124 strollers, carts, wheelchairs etc safely through intersections, over curbs, tracks etc. There are also some areas where the bike/car relationship is confusing and at times dangerous. • We are a rural setting, leave as such or move on but until we are a big city why try to be like them! • I really wish that the #90 bus ran at least a couple of times on the weekends and more frequently during week days in the summer. I would take the bus to UBCO instead of driving if it were possible during those times. • How to improve bus coverage in a small community is a very difficult task. How to increase the usage of bus transport in a small community is also a difficult task. • We welcome more cycle infrastructure since we are retired people who cycle several times a week from March to December. • I bike to: work, town, markets, and parks. I walk in the winter when the biking lanes are covered (sometimes I bus). I rarely bus: I only live 4-5 bus stops from downtown: and it gets too expensive for that short distance (especially with the kids in tow) I would bike to Kal Beach with my family but the road in not safe enough between the golf course and the beach. • For eg. 24ave between 43st and 34st contains a high population base, yet there aren’t any sidewalks...If you want people walk to amenities rather than drive, why are there several residential areas that surround the downtown without sidewalks?! • It’s a catch 22 - government is reluctant to expand transit unless the riders are there, and people are reluctant to use transit until service improves. Government needs to take a chance on improving service. • Bike lanes shouldn’t be considered as an after thought • We really neglect transportation for those that can’t drive for economic or health reasons. • As a family we try to walk, bike or ride bus whenever possible and we chose a home close to town to enable this more easily. We have noticed that there are areas where it is difficult to get • Love to walk in the District of Coldstream, although if you are walking on Kalamalka or Aberdeen Roads traffic seems to be travelling at REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Transportation: Alternative Transportation & Transportation Infrastructure | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS a much faster pace than the posted speed limit encounter a lot of • Fix the streets never mind spending big dollars on new projects like 30th Ave • Due to the distance I travel, transit is not an option, but it looks to me like there are good choices available. Hwy 6 is horendous to drive on! • Huge busses travelling almost empty not overly useful. Small population base could mean smaller busses with more frequent runs- more frequent = more likely useful. • The bike lanes are ignored by most drivers, they should be enhanced with rumble strips • I think the side/back sidewalks need much more attention than they are getting. I believe we should be fixing up these sidewalks to make it easier to walk. • More sidewalks and cycle lanes that are safe. • All of the non-automotive modes of transportation should be improved and emphasized. • If you want citizens to walk, then put in sidewalks on all main roads, esp. those leading to downtown. • Ice is a big hazard to walking in winter, so I drive more. • Narrow marked bicycle lanes on the side of roads is neither safe nor does it encourage bike commuting • I have 33 years experience in the Human Services field. A Master’s Degree is asked for for Case Management positions. I cannot afford further education with the wages paid. • narrow, painted cycle/walking lanes next to busy roads do not encourage bicycle/foot traffic, its just dangerous • Use of a private motor veh is essential and must NOT be mindlessly penalised. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • transit such as buses would have greater use if the rates were lower and the routes covered greater areas. • Sidewalks are frequently not kept clear of ice and snow in the winter, in spite of bylaws and citizen’s duties. THey can be dangerous. Both bicycle lanes and sidewalks are discontinuous; continuous networks are needed. I don’t take the bus often enough to comment; I am pleased that I can take the bus to the college or to the coldstream; getting to OK college for evening presentations (7pm) is a problem, however. • transit doesnt work for anyone who has night jobs • The BX could use some road upgrades especially on well used routes such as L&A, Pottery and East Vernon. • I live in South Vernon. If I were to take the bus to work I would either arrive 30 minutes early or 10 minutes late. Not convenient. I would prefer to live in a condo closer to downtown so I could walk places. This is a main reason that downtown is dying. Many of the condos at the west end of Main Street are for geriatric individuals or do not allow renters. There are no other medium to high density housing downtown. We don’t have to have skyscrapers. Most of Vancouver’s buildings are 4-6 stories high south of False Creek. Vernon has the opposite of what a healthy downtown core should have. • A bike running north - south along a main thoroughfair would be nice. • It is not safe to walk or ride a bike in Vernon because the drivers do not pay attention. If you are waiting in a crosswalk, traffic will keep going, even if you are half way across people will still keep going. Drivers impatiently inch closer to you as you cross or they start to turn into you making it even more hazardous. • We need a serious shift with the politicians in this area - it’s the 21st century, people! We want public transportation, off street bike trails and more sidewalks. Why is parking considered more important than accommodating people willing to walk and bike? I pay taxes, too, and when I ride my bike or walk, I don’t need a parking space. I 125 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Transportation: Alternative Transportation & Transportation Infrastructure constantly feel that car drivers are considered more important than those of us who seriously try to reduce our footprint and live healthier lives. Not everyone can get rid of their car, of course, but MOST people can use their car more judiciously. • the transit system is way too much, we need to cut back, most of the runs are empty or almost empty most of the time • Poor road repair. • Many residential areas don’t have sidewalks • Bikers would say “more bike lanes:, need smaller, more frequent buses. • There are some newer developed areas in town with NO sidewalks on either side of the road. It is terrible. • 24th Avenue, between 34th Street and Sewage Plant desperately needs sidewalks • Bus times don;t correspond to my work times (shift work); Getting across 32rd and 27th Streets can be very dangerous on bikes • Long distances to walk, hilly cycling, not enough bus service. • Disabled • Buses should come and go more frequently. Some turns on roads require signs and buses and unreliable (late/early). • Nobody is king even if they drive monster truck. Respect for families. Let’s slow down when we drive. If everyone takes the bus to shop and takes a walk, the air will be cleaner and less cars ont he road • Kal Lake Road from KalTire to town needs walking and biking path upgrades for safety reasons. • I live off Tronson Road - no transit, sidewalks or cycle lanes • Why not build a cycle path that goes from one side of town to the other. Could pave a trail beside the train track - would be very convenient. 126 • In Lavington, if you come for a walk you would notice the absence of sidewalks. In the years I have lived here, I am suprised to see school age children walk on the street. • Feel very unsafe as a cyclist. • Get some decent bus shelters - no weather protection or seating - very 3rd world. Unshovelled in winter. • Why do people keep repairing rods that don’t need to be? It’s inconvenient. Repair roads that actually need to be. • When you bike you are taking your life in your own hands. • Handydart • In retrospect, I chose to live in an area not served by buses/really car access only. Silver Star Rd. is dangerous for walking or biking. • Unfortunate that Vernon in past allowed sprawl making transport to outliers non-economic. Municipal/city infrastructure needs not being met by current taxation - need new sources of income at this level - downloading has been awful. • Inner town (downtown) bike space is poor. Bus stops could use coverage (weather shielding). • Appreciate the UBCO bus! • It’s good but the bus needs more time throughout the day and short lay over time. Stop refixing the roads that have been refixed for the last 9 years and need way more sidewalks and stop making the roads smaller and smaller! • Need more transit facilities • More paved shoulders for cycles on rural roads (e.g. commonage). Extend paving on Commonage beyond Predator Ridge. Sidewalks or traffic calming within Predator Ridge. • I live out of town. Cycle lanes too narrow in places. • It is practical to take the bus when the service is hourly. Coldstream roads are kept repaired but not in Vernon. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Housing: Housing Availability, Housing Affordability & Opportunities for Home Ownership | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS Our Housing: Housing Availability, Housing Affordability & Opportunities for Home Ownership Figure 15. Average ratings of housing availability, housing affordability, and home ownership in the North Okanagan. VERY POOR POOR • Most homes are attainable in this market. No need for city-sponsored or driven initiatives, let the free market build what it wants. Still a need for AFFORDABLE options for working families. • Housing prices have been driven up by those who can afford to move here making the purchase of first homes by our kids vertually impossible. So they move. • Pay at least 75% of income on rent, still well over 65% when fully employed. Could never ever hope to afford to own a home here. Would need to triple our income to mortgage-qualify for low-quality homes in dangerous neighborhoods. • Money is tight and the mortgage is high. Same story everywhere. • Prices are market dependent - we will be needing to purchase another home in the next year or so and are finding limited availability of houses that won’t require major cosmetic renovations. FAIR GOOD VERY GOOD • 2/3 of my income goes to rent. • I don’t see why housing is so expensive here. It is 20% more than it should be. This is reflected in most people I know (and I don’t know many) having to double up in some way with their housing. • my ability okay - my young family members - very poor. • Due to my lower capability to find employment, finding affordable quality housing for a family is also difficult. • Monthly cost of housing is supposed to be 30% of income, but I am at approximately 49%. I require a suite to make it affordable, but the startup and ongoing costs of legalizing a suite are prohibitive, especially as the aim is to assist financially. It is an incentive to keep it under the radar. • Don’t know how young people can get into the market though... • Housing is an ongoing issue. WE have addressed some of the need however it continues to grow due to people loosing their jobs or not being paid enough to provide for their family • Lack of accomodation and hostile landlords who ‘prey’ and abuse renters need to be accountable and educated • how can I answer the 2nd part if I have indicated “not applicable’ on the first part? I have put in “same’ which is unfair to those who are renting Quality of LIfe Survey Comments 127 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Housing: Housing Availability, Housing Affordability & Opportunities for Home Ownership • Housing costs are too high...people are leaving or living in dumps. Time to fix this big problem. • There is a lack of affordable housing for many locally. • house ownership made difficult due to market prices still well above assessed value. • The number of houses for sale is not the issue... it’s the cost of the housing that is ridiculous. Average people and households can’t afford $400K + homes. • I think there should be more low income and special needs housing available. • I own a condo - that’s all I can afford. I make a decent living but can’t afford a house. • What we don’t have is much disabled housing. That could use more attention. • I have not been in the market for some time. • I have not been in the market for a long time. • We bought in ‘98 but I feel sorry for the young people. • We wouldn’t be able to afford our home at today’s prices. Lucky we purchased 15 years ago! • I purchased my single family detached 20 years ago. I could not afford to purchase the same today. When I did buy my house in Vernon the prices were higher then other communities even at that time. • I feel fortunate that I found a suite almost 6 years ago that is amazing, as well as having amazing landlords. I haven’t had to look for housing. • can’t even afford to move out of my mom’s house until after graduation. (both filled out together) • Rents are crazy high for this area. • Way too expensive in the okanagan • I think housing prices in Vernon are reasonable. • My family owns this house. • I already own my house. • we need more 55+ communities. We need more affordable housing. We need to consider building up vs building out. • There are not enough places for young professionals to live. Most nice building discriminate based on age or even marital status. Even if they have the money, young people are forced to live in crummy neighbourhoods in noisy unkept buildings because most apartments and condos don’t like people under 40. It’s also very difficult to find a place you can have a pet. • One reason I moved here was the wide choice and avilability of housing. 128 • It took over 2 years to find our current location but was worth the long haul to get there • The market decides. Local government should not get involved. • Housing is very expensive for younger people and people with low to middle incomes. I hope that low cost to middle cost housing with become more available. • fine for us but not for young families- we could not afford the property we have if we were buying now. • Not a family friendly home ownership market. • houses are very pricey but salaries don’t keep with the house prices • Very expensive to rent and to live here. Very concerned since many young families can’t afford to move here or live here. • haven’t been in the housing/rental market for over 30 years • Definitely pay for the lifestyle in Vernon and don’t get a lot of house for middle class family • Affordable housing for EVERYONE is just a dream. Each family is accountable for itself. Work harder and save. Nobody has a free ride in this area REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Housing: Housing Availability, Housing Affordability & Opportunities for Home Ownership | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS and it’s always been that way . . . it isn’t going to change anytime soon • We’ve owned our home for 25+ years--affordability isn’t an issue for us. • Mine is good, others due to the low pay scale will not have the same answer • Rents are to high because of poor selection and municipal licensing for secondary suites. • How can we expect youth and young families to stay if they cannot afford to buy a place to set roots. • There’s just no way we could afford to step onto the housing ladder. I’m 44 and my wife is 41 and stays at home with our daughter. We might just be able to afford a very small condo or townhouse, but we probably couldn’t afford the extra fees and costs such as property taxes, utilities and other stuff. That’s why we rent. It’s cheaper and much less complicated. • Housing is way too expensive now. • again as the population ages the cost of owning a home for retired persons is getting out of control and affordable, clean rentals are hard to find • More rental units are necessary. More units are required for the different socio-economic groups. There are few high end rentals, and not enough low end rentals either. Why not incentives for landlords to provide rental buildings, rather than owned units? Downtown core could use more rental buildings - especially on city owned vacant lots which have been empty for decades. • Young families need affordable housing. • Having been here just over a year, not sure what, if any, issues there are with affordable housing yet • We’re not large enough to spend a lot of time / money on affordable housing. We need to spend time / money on encouraging the economy, which will create less need for affordable housing. • There is a strong need for 55+ ranchers in our district. • Houses are expensive in okanagan valley • I live in a single family home and know there are a lot of large single family homes available in the area. We do not, however, have affordable housing options for seniors forced out of their family homes due to poor health or age, students, young married couples, etc. We need a mix of housing. There are many unsold single family units around the RDNO and many more already approved for development. I think the focus should now be on apartments and alternatives to the single family home. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • I was fortunate enough to buy my home in 1999 before prices rose. I could probably not afford to buy now. • The variety of housing is great the prices very quite a bit a view or water costs but that is life anywhere. • Again, my wages after 4 years at the same job with training does not cut it for a single person to have a life on. It is simply enough to survive. • Many rental units are now old and often over priced. We need some NICE housing for seniors in central locations that are affordable • Prices have come down a bit, but it’s still pretty expensive for people who are locally employed. • I live with my mom... buuut I shouldn’t and have been looking for rentals. • We downsized to move here and it is working good! • My concern is about the future when my wife or myself may have trouble with stairs. For this reason alone, we may be forced to downsize. A single level home is available only as a small apartment or a large single family home, two large for just a couple. But we’re not an uncommon constituent of our aging society. • There needs to be more supply of smaller new homes ie 1200 sq ft first home type. All new homes are huge and expensive, young people and many retirees cannot afford these houses 129 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Housing: Housing Availability, Housing Affordability & Opportunities for Home Ownership • More housing diversity is needed close to amenities. This would improve affordability. • can’t afford to move though. we’re starting to out grow our place! • Rents just about anywhere else are $150-200 cheaper. • Own my home • There seems to be a lack of newer moderately priced bareland strara single-detached homes in the area. • development is expensive and rentals are few and expensive. The cost to buy a home in this area is very difficult for young families. The average wages here are too low to realistically afford a house in this region. • We currently own our single family home and are very happy with it. I cannot speak for young families looking for homes. • i am lucky to be in a job that allows me to be able to afford to own a home on a single income. this is not the reality oif most people in vernon and i think we need to make housing and home ownership, including townhouses and apartments, more affordable for the average wage that is earned in vernon • I own my condo but finding rent for someone who cannot afford the high rates is not a good thing in Vernon. Wages are much to low to accomodate person looking for a place/\. • I have a definite feeling that I will never own a home. I could never afford to buy a house with my wages (and I have what is considered to be a good paying job in the Okanagan) without being in a life time of debt which would cause me stress and hardship. • I live here since 14 years • Our home prices are quite reasonable but there are stil many who can’t afford to buy due to our lowere earnings in Vernon and the North Okanagan. • We owned our home for many years 130 • Having moved from Victoria this is an improvement, however, if I was mid career there is little employment opportunities. We have heard of the “Sunshine Tax” given as a reason for poor wages & benefits, but you can’t see & live in the sunshine! • Best place to live and retirement destination makes it an expensive place to live. • Housing prices do not reflect wages in RDNO. Dual income is most likely needed if anyone wants to buy a house. • I haven’t had an issue with rental costs or price of housing, however I am lucky to have a well paying job. • I’m thankful we bought in 2001, or we’d still be working (and not retired) in order to pay for this house. • Look, it’s not about me. It’s about the community. And it’s tough out there. This is not a wealthy town, and it’s a town that can’t retain youth. Jobs and small housing close to the centre, that’s what youth needs. The big housing developments way out? In twenty years they’ll be empty. The kids will never afford them. • Need to incent the developers away from monster homes and toward low income. • Not enough rental units being built in comparison to other communities. Don’t know why contractors are not building new condos for rent here??? There are a lot of retired people in the area and even working people need a decent place to rent. • a 2 person family working on minimum wage (which is what they would get if they had to go out and look) could not survive in this region • the more affordable places in vernon are dives. • We need more affordable homes for young families. • Not all retirees are well off, same is true for young families. Too few options are available for housing, REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Housing: Housing Availability, Housing Affordability & Opportunities for Home Ownership | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS small homes/townhouses, not these monster home that cost a fortune to maintain. • Make it easier for developers and let the market decide how much is enough. • Affordable HOusing not sufficient - need apartments that families can live in and own as is the case in Europe. Need all ages communities, NOT age specific ghettos. • there should be more apartment/condo/ small dwellings for singles in Coldstream, preferably near town centre and transit • Free market solutions is the best method to reduce cost. Land use is over regulated • I feel like house prices to purchase are pretty high - seems crazy to me that a young family needs to spend over $300,000 to get a decent sized house. That is a LOT of money for a young family to have to mortgage. • Let there be developers knocking at our door but there needs to be jobs for the affordable housing units and more affordable well laid out strata built in the out laying areas that could bring a better planned infra structure and not one designed around previous poor planning! • I moved to Vernon from Kelowna because I could afford to purchase a house here. • We would like to trade down from our single family dwelling to a townhouse, but the options open to us are far fewer than are available in many other BC communities. If builders would pursue the townhouse market in the 300 to 350 thousand range I think they might find ready buyers. • In future I will be looking for low cost, small and suitable for mobility challenged seniors. • I say fair because we own a home and are in the market, getting in now would be harder. • I have had to provide housing for several friends due to the cost of rent, and also lack of work. I have a friend who lives in a very tiny place under a rent subsidy in a old building, just because she was unfortunate to have schizophrenia...why is Quality of LIfe Survey Comments she being punished twice? She volunteers many places, and yet lives in a horrible old apartment with no balcony. No I am not proud of Vernon. • none • need for low income housing • We need to focus on more affordable housing • most people are spending the major portion of their income on rent ??????? • I believe rental properties should be more closely monitored as it appears that most people renting do not take care of the outside of their properties making it difficult for their neighbours. • Have owned our home for many years. • Can’t see that RNDO gov’t should be involved in creating and changing housing options. If there is a market need, businesses will respond and supply it. • I can only afford my home bec. I bought when prices were lower in 2005. Today I would not be able to afford this place & rent would certainly be higher for it’s equivalent. • We need more low income housing • Our children find housing very unaffordable • however, young people, including our children are finding it difficult to afford housing • Rent is so high that it’s hard enough to get through the month as a single parent, let alone ever being able to save up enough to get a house or other more suitable housing for me and my child :( Housing prices are too high, or people are being crammed into apartments. Children and families need space, and houses are much nicer. We need access to be able to get a house or townhouse where we can have a more familyfriendly environment. • Affordable housing is required for lower income workers. This housing needs to be for families and single people. Wages and hours of work are decreasing for too many people. 131 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Housing: Housing Availability, Housing Affordability & Opportunities for Home Ownership • I understand that laws concerning rentals e.g., return of damage deposit) are very much in favour of the rentor and make life difficult for the rentee. MOre rental units may be available if laws favoured this form of investment. There does seem to be a shortage of single level accomodation for aging seniors who can’t do stairs, except smaller apartment type units. • Too long for waiting lists. Ex. native housing, CMHA, BC Housing. • Prices are over inflated due to out of province ownership which may be good for some but it forces undue burden on new home owners. On the upside it is probably better for taxes and revenue for the Regional District. • Still expensive to rent/to own • House prices are inflated partially due to the retirees that move here. They have saved up all there lives and can now afford a big, expensive house. I don’t want to live in a big house and nor do many of my friends. Yet, this is most of what is getting built in this region. I am a young professional (earning a healthy wage) and it is going to take me 4 years of heavy saving for a down payment on a $300,000 house such that I qualify for a non-CMHC mortgage. • Lots of houses avaliable, but I bought when prices were higher and I would sell at a loss and owe the bank. My house is too large but I can not afford to move. • There is not enough low income housing being developed and the ones that have been are in horrible locations. • This has become a very rich place to live • I would like to see legalization of secondary suites as well as more housing for seniors and low income families. • Home ownership for young families with children is out of thier financial reach. Real estate, I suspect, promotes monster houses. It is time to reexamine smaller size houses. Only municipal, provincial or federal housing programs can change this. “small is beautful” and we can afford housing again. • Mainly to do with difficulty finding employment. • How about more new homes in urbanized areas, instead of suburbs? Support infill housing. • Pricing should be lowered to be affordable for young new renters. • Extremely overpriced real estate. • As a senior wishing to move to smaller house/ townhouse with a view our choices were very limited 6 years ago. A little better now. • Coldstream needs areas of denser housing, perhaps within a proposed community centre • Real estate prices far outweigh incomes. • A little pricey • I desire a small, quality condo. None suitable unless 55+ • The price of renting is unbearable! Can’t afford! • Attn. needed for less expensive housing. • Low rental. 132 • I am still a student that lives at home and even then things are hard to live with. Money is very tight. • Housing is expensive - few new subdivisions • Going to school for 5 years, getting a job to pay debt when would I invest for a house? • Need new adult senior housing • Needs more low cost housing for people with disabilities and people between 45+. • Housing if you have any kind of life, dogs, visiting family, is all my income. • Not very knowledgeable re. this! REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Government Services: Service Delivery & Regional Collaboration | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS • Housing prices are exorbitantly inflated. Housing prices must be lowered. • Tough to find affordable housing. • Poor job availability (wages, f/t, advancing, manufacturing, benefits) expensive lots, too big houses, allowing realtors’ greed to drive up prices • It is nearly impossible to find quality housing in Coldstream for under $350,000 Our Government Services: Service Delivery & Regional Collaboration Figure 16. Average ratings of the quality of government services and regional collaboration efforts. VERY POOR POOR • For example, forcing out a successful service business to keep hold of that 1.4% light industrial designation within the City of Vernon at all costs, instead of working together with regional partners to promote regional INDUSTRIAL opportunities. We have known for FOREVER that Vernon does not have the land to support INDUSTRY, and that we need INDUSTRY here. The fact that we are all reviewing OCPs at the same time - Vernon, Coldstream and Areas B&C, with barely lip service to the RGS, is astonishing. We should be looking at developing the Swan Lake Corridor and working with Spall to attract industry to their industrial park - who cares which community collects the tax dollars, we will all benefit from the JOBS that are generated. Need to get over this parochial, possessive system we currently have, take that leap of faith and WORK TOGETHER for the benefit of everyone in our REGION, not only your particular jurisdiction. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments FAIR GOOD VERY GOOD • Who ever put in the parking charges at the boat launch should be re assigned to a different job. there does not need to be a boat lauch attendant and no fee needed for parking. or you should start to charge for all parking. you have to maintain beaches, parks and fiels but you dont charge people to use those parking lots. SOME ONE NEEDS TO WAKE UP AND STEP BACK AND LOOK AT SOME OF THE POOR DESISIONS THAT ARE MADE. • Overgoverned! Duplication of services is costly to the taxpayer. Different views of staff and directors make development and employment difficult for developers. • Too many over lapping layers of government. • Too much overlap...Vernon and Coldstream should amalgamate 133 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Government Services: Service Delivery & Regional Collaboration • Getting much better in the last year or two, but it’s been a long road. • There should be only one group for this region! • Amalgamation is needed!!! • amallgamation necessary • I don’t know. • Amalgamation. • Too many levels of gov’t. Amalgamate • For the 10 months I have been here, it seems that regional collaboration is good. I will be trying to determine if this view is correct. Are $ being spent well. • coldstream and vernon need to work better together. • This is the largest area for change: amalgamate the whole area to get rid of all this ridiculous bickering over the interest of communities with a few thousand people. Maybe we need to amalgamate all of the Okanagan north of Kelowna. • regional districts should collaborate more as well. Vernon/coldstream should amalgamate. • We need to amalgamate - it is ridiculous to have different mayors,etc. for an aread this small! • There is an issue between Coldsstream and Vernon that i hear about, but don’t completely understand. • I feel some progress has been made but there is an awful lot of duplication. • We need to seriously investigate amalgamation • I am very disappointed with break-up of regional parks function - this is one of my most important quality of life issues - it was a backward move. • huh? • Too much overlap..City of Vernon and Coldstream should amalgamate. Duteau water plant needs to divide raw and treated water to cut treatment costs. • Replacing people with machines and centralizing services makes cost the most important factor not people. With an urban/rural mix it is difficult not to have turf wars • The convoluted layers of government (RDNO, GVAC, City, etc.) here do not make for an efficient use of taxpayer dollars or for easy collaberation. • Should be better collaboration on parks management • ALL local governments need to cooperate more on items such as water supply and quality • It’s disjointed. The RDNO and municipalities seem to be locking horns on so many issues. We need a more centralized approach to government and efficient spending. • More fundig is required to keep people working in the field. • Important to work together • RDNO should join the numerous communities that are against growing GMO foods. Now or 134 never, it’s time to act! Protect our organic farming community • Need to look at amalgamation. • There appears to be a disconnect between what COV, Greater Vernon and RDNO do, and a perception of duplicated services, overlap, too much red tape. • Even within the same branch of government there is no communication. Ending a common law relationship is treated with lots of disrespect, there is no clarity and after piles of paperwork I was informed a year later that we were just considered “separated”. My ex moved to a different province and notified all the relevant people but I get tons of his government mail and it took countless phone calls to convince people he didn’t need to be paying taxes in an area he no REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Government Services: Service Delivery & Regional Collaboration | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS longer lived, was only in a brief time and had no intention of returning to. • Governance of the North Okanagan is a dog’s breakfast. I’ve been trying to prod various authoirties to create more local parks and trails and have found the structure to be complex, unproductive and unworkable. • The whole region desperately needs to be UNIFIED as ONE city, thereby saving taxpayers a lot of money! • Need to study amalgamation more seriously • Lock them in a room until they get along. I am serious it works for 5 year olds. Figure it out, quickly! It over shadows everything that government does. I am sure they have done some good things but it is lost in this policital hell • part of equine industry. was involved with race track transfer to Vernon and the verbal promises made at the time are being totally ignored. • Vernon and Coldstream need to become one municipality. • Getting better in last couple of years. There APPEARS to be better dialogue but action seems slow • I have no expertise in this area • I have little expertise in this area • There does not appear to be any regional collaboration. To the contrary, it seams like there is much waste of resources in this area. Make us one municipality and this will be fixed. • I don’t feel that anyone’s voice is heard when it comes to services. • It is what it is. The rural/urban conflict won’t go away. • There seems to be great improvement in how the regional governments work together now congratulations. Keep up the good work. I just moved from Coldstream to Vernon and do believe Quality of LIfe Survey Comments that someday the two communities will have to amalgamate. • I don’t know enough about this to comment • Squabbling in public over issues is not helpful! There seems to be good work being done, but it is often overshadowed by negative public comments. • Arts in the community lack. • Amalgamate already! It is a waste of government $ to try and constantly organize all of these different areas together. Only in the North OK will people just down the road from you in 2 different areas will all have different governance. The Electoral areas are unreal. • Dont know a lot about this but seem to be working • Government’s can work for us, however, everyone must pull their weight, including increased taxes. Money is needed for everything. It’s getting responsible individuals to carry this task and this isn’t FREE either • between you guyes and the other local government’s is is always a fight not to give up ones turf. very childish on the part of all of you. • Coldstream and Vernon should become one city. • all the areas are acting independently and all want to the big city well it cannot and will not happen until the smaller areas realize that under one big area more can be done • too many communities and too many committees take too many dollars to arrive at solutions. Amalgamation is required to run more efficiently • I understand the history but Vernon and Coldstream need to amalgamate as soon as politically possible. We are all in this together. • Everything can always use some kind of improvement. • I see difficulties between the City staff & NORD staff. 135 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Government Services: Service Delivery & Regional Collaboration • Stop spending time arguing and trying to be “king of the hill”. Collectively figure out what is best delivered at the municipal level and what is best delivered at the regional level (and then do it !) • The earth provides us with the food, air and water that we require to live - thus the utmost priority should be to protect our land so that we may continue to sustain life. • All these small districts should amalgamate and save administrative/operational costs. • We have to start working and collaborating together to get some economies of scale working in the North Okanagan. It is not just about us but the region as a whole that is important for growthm lifestyle and business growth. • I am glad that Vernon and Coldstream are now attempting to work together to provide services in a cost effective, cooperative manner. I hope this continues. • Too many local government offices for this area. Just waiting for the provincial government to amalgamate us all. • Vernon and Coldstream should amalgamate. • The various parts of the region seem to be silos--particularly Coldstream and Vernon. I don’t understand why amalgamation is such a hot button issue. • While I said fair here, I think it’s improving. • We should amalgamate for crying out loud • “Our Government Services” “Service Delivery” not sure what government you’re referring to? • Seems to me like there are too many local governments and they spend far too much time navel-gazing and arguing over service delivery and who pays for what. This can lead to dysfunctional local government. • Too many people live in the outskirts, work and shop in the city, but are not considered part of the city. We need amalgamation. Hopefully this will reduce the cost of government services. • Not sure about the question • I think it is important to keep vernon and coldstream as separate municipalities • All jurisdictions need to cooperate, find efficiency and collaborate on regional initiatives. • Collaboration makes good economic sense. 136 • we have too much government • I say poor because the region needs great amalgamation and less duplication of services and all the waste time and financial resources that go into brokering inter-governmental affairs. • Too much squabbling and infighting. Work together or amalgamate which would also save costs to the taxpayer. Why pay for representatives from all these areas? Put them under one umbrella • Planning for everything from buses to parks & Rec facilities. Medical service delivery for all communities needs to improve - this is a major issue for both families & retirees moving here! • Sometimes government has their hands tied. Our municipal does not like changes. • needs more hospital attention • well... • Improving but still needing work - need to continue strong leadership • The Regional District and the City needs to have a friendly relationship, work together as a unit on things rather than fighting. • Why there are so many areas here is beyond me. Eliminate that and save money at the top. Make partnerships with all government agencies. Why have city buses and school buses. Charge fees for parents who use the school buses and combine the services. Schools such as VSS and Coldstream were just built without allowing for community input into the use and structure of they gyms. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Government Services: Service Delivery & Regional Collaboration | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS • Right now, the issue that is most important to me is my local water system. The regional district and the City seem to be passing the buck back and forth. In the meantime, the owner of our aging system is himself over 80 years old and in failing health. We need to have the agencies cooperate and take over this system so that it can be kept in good order. Of course, we expect to pay for this. • sustainability collaboration is important. • Historically too much in fighting. Some collaboration seem to be coming but we need more work here. • there is far too much overlap - we need to amalgamate to get our dollar to go as far as we can for the taxpayer • uncertain, not promoted well to the public • Amalgamation • Roads are a problem! Especially Old Kamloops Road. • The rest of Canada has moved forward with amalgamation...it really is time to quite doubling up on services in such a small community. • working across ‘borders’ is improving. Do feel that RDNO is “stodgy” • good to see parks responsibility issue is moving forward; washrooms at Kal Beach, for example, have been a regional embarassment • Amalgamation will solve much of this problem • The greater Vernon area should be just that. • Egos seem to be front and center instead of common sense. No need for 4 levels of gov’t when none can get along. Dist of Coldstream is redundant as is the Regional District, should be combined with the City of Vernon • Amalgamate, the out lying communities are well served through RDNO and this close need a single governance structure consisting of elected bodies living in certain areas, not all from on nieghbourhood. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • Tension between Coldstream, where I live, and Vernon has ebbed and flowed periodically over the years. Different priorities and choices make for a more diverse and interesting community. • Down loading from the Provincial government (both cost and elimination of services) is absolutly inappropriate. The industry rich areas of the province should be contributing appropriatly to the recreational/industry poor areas of the province. • Improving of late • I don’t know what this is in reference too. An example might have helped. • Need better communication between the various levels of government. • Too much over lapping of services and in fighting. Local government does not listen to the residents. • none • our government is too complicated, too top heavy and doesn’t have a common philosophy or vision and there is not enough money put into action and too much put into debating and politicing. • The Provincial Government needs to quit downloading expenses on our municipal and regional budgets • Again, too much competition for business dollars • Good perception of developments in this area over last 3 years. • I think there are too many groups who get nothing done, except forming more committees to provide a report that never gets done • I am happy that many of the former spats between the electoral areas and the City of Vernon has been eliminated with the current politicians and administrations. These better relationships are much more productive. • Very little communication between local government/regional government on any issues. Regional governments should be consolidated - right hand doesn’t know what the left hand 137 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Government Services: Service Delivery & Regional Collaboration is doing. Decision making takes way too long with the out-dated method of City, RDNO and everything in between. • I appreciare Coldstream Council and thier willingness to engage the community in decision making • I favor amalgamation of Vernon, Coldstream, etc. • I have not had much to do with the government • AMALGATE VERNON, COLDSTREAM, AREA B&C • A lot of bickering between municipalities, regional districts, GVPRC, etc. • allow us to vote on amalgamation!!! its ridiculous to have all these little kingdoms. • Too much parochialism between municipalities. Stop behaving like spoilt teenagers. • Taxes need to be reduced for people to afford to live here and enjoy life. This means reducing all government spending, especially for new building projects where most of the money has been spent. • Low rentals needed. • City is full of retirees and handicap with disabilities - need more health care professionals for in-home support. • The government doesn’t seem to keep its word when it comes to things that are important to me. • I am pleased that different levels of government are pleased to solicit the publics opinions. Too bad that so few people respond. I believe there are too many levels of government; e.g., the fiasco about ownerships of parks. Abandon economy of scale and go for balkanization and local control. • We are fortunate at this time to have what Im see as a olligial relationship between the local and regional offices. • the surronding areas need to work way better with each other. • Our mayor and Council spend irresponsibly. We could have expanded the old library for way cheaper than $12 million and provide and extend services to other agencies like giving money to the food bank, keeping woman transition house open and many other projects. The City wanted a library - we did not need one. • I’ve never hear the issue of the regional ‘youth/ brain drain’ come up in local government. • Governance taking too long to rectify. • The local government does not properly address important issues like education, health care and the enviorement. GMO foods need to be banned!! • I don’t know what is going on at RDNO. We all suffer when the politicians can’t see past their own boundaries. It’s time for amalgamation. 138 • Don’t collaborate well! • They seem to be bickering a lot according to the Vernon Morning Star • Make it easier to speak to the people in charge. Since I have retired, I’ve has to contact the provincial services often. It can be frustrating esperience just trying to reach the right service, the right person. How about having a contact person locally (provincial rep) to provide info. Why always call Vancouver ot Victoria. • like combining the new fields at the new VSS with the new community fields up by the college, why do we need both. • Government is good in Coldstream • Water district always seems to be an issue. Too much local government and costs. • I believe amalgamation would streamline services considerably, reducing red tape and regional infighting. Delivery of health care needs improvement but is a provincial issue. • Too fragmented and confusing, especially parks REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Energy: Personal Energy Conservation & Community Energy Conservation | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS • Personally I favour amalgamation of Vernon, Coldstream, areas etc. We are top heavy in governance. • Collaboration is improving • Lack of knowledge. • Stop listening to elders and retired people. Don’t stop but teens are suffering. • Too much government. Combine Vernon and Coldstream. • We need a more comprehensive recycling pick-up (styrofoam, glass, plastic, etc.) • We have good government in Coldstream. However, water issues and parks are taking a long time to decide on who has responsibility for what. It is often hard to negotiate with Vernon. • The mayor is my neighbour and I still don’t have any relationship to the government. • Less in-fighting among RDNO and its smaller towns, areas please! Our Energy: Personal Energy Conservation & Community Energy Conservation Figure 17. Average ratings of personal and community energy conservation efforts. VERY POOR POOR • Not sure how visible these efforts are? Sorry I can’t offer a more informed comment. • Efforts are underway but all goverments must step up to the plate if they are serious about energy conservation. FAIR GOOD VERY GOOD overnight. were they to simply open a window; they would probably want their heat on! • I have no idea. • I think everyone could do more to conserve energy. • There is so much waste in govt and community buildings, including energy use. For example, How about shutting off the huge blazing lights at the DND when there is no one on the field? • don’t really know.. • Don’t really know • people here are so very wasteful. every night this week, I can hear my neighbour’s air conditioners running all night long; despite outside temperatures dipping down to single digits • I am wondering why the power fails so frequently. e.g. there were one or two lightning flashes and our power went out for 2 hours last might (May 13). This happened several times last year too. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments 139 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Energy: Personal Energy Conservation & Community Energy Conservation • Financial incentives would be helpful ( I.e. rebates for energy efficient appliances) • Our fleet could be a little more energy efficient. • all they have done is force us to have smart meters which make it very tough to balance bill appropriately. they still allow stores to run lights over night. • Trying to promote reduced energy such as the anti-idiling campaign. • our new library doesn’t have led lighting or use green energy for a new building I think that pretty poor • Vernon should have a yard waste pick up and composting pick up. • We need to harness alternative power like solar and wind. We need public buildings to be built green. We need better transit so people can choose not to drive themselves • This ties to transit alternaitves. Where I live, there are none, I **must** drive to get to a grocery store even though I live in Vernon. • Don’t know • lights at the skateboard park in Coldstream do not need to be on during the day. • Business owners constantly leave lights on during non-operational hours, a security system could suffice. • Have not notice and wasteful behavior. • do we reely need all those street lights on?? • A lot of businesses don’t turn off the lights at night • Very expensive for old buildings to be upgraded to new standards. • Every person is responsible in this area. The more conservation, the better. Each person either takes away or adds to this responsibility 140 • Energy is becoming more expensive. We should be concentrating on renewable resources where ever possible. • more places to park and lock bikes up downtown, not encouraging business to update with environmentally friendly equipment • smaller public transportation busses please. more efficient traffic flow is required. This will reduce pollution. • We need evidence of community energy conservation. • Dimming of street lights to conserve energy much like Perth Australia • Walk by any office at night and you’ll see a lot of unnecessary lights on. The over-use of air conditioning is also astounding. It’s the Okanagan - it’s supposed to be hot !! • The City takes into account the improvements that can be made to reduce energy in buildings that are new and to upgrade old ones when they are being repaired. • We have made major changes to our home to reduce our energy and water bills. • The hoops required to use the tennis lights at Marshall field are prohibitive. All other communities I’ve lived provide free light till 11:00 pm. • The city of Vancouver has 55 electric cars and we have none. • I think in general, people are not even aware of the waste of resources that goes on, particularly in the case of energy that they don’t have to pay for. People, in general are also unaware of the cost of the energy they do pay for. • I have gone grass less, major recycle, compost and try and walk or cycle to work as much as possible, trying to get my co workers involved is difficult and many live close to work than me, so how can we change that as a city - community REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Our Energy: Personal Energy Conservation & Community Energy Conservation | REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS • Too much water used on golf courses and some parks; too many lights on streets eg. lights on 30 Ave and Alexis Pk Drive there are 7 street lights on poles right at that one place • We just opened up a Target, Carl’s Jr, Supersized the Walmart, etc..... though it does give hope that the farmer’s market runs basically 3 times a week and more stores do mean more entry-level jobs • give it a try... • consider allowing green building options in housing permitting bylaws and development bylaws - assist instead of hinder • I try to support local businesses. • The region should put a priority on this issue. • Re community: I think the effort is good but the results are only fair. Re personal: we’re stuck in a strata where the strata is domianted by another level of government who’se participants are ruled by short term expenses. • Single driver cars, nobody is switching to bus carbon tax the gas and make the buses cheap or free • We can all do a better job in this area including governments & businesses. I would also like to see more in terms of alternative energy • Don’t know, there does not seem to be much publication and therefore I’ll assume not much effort by out region. again Amalgamation despite our petty personal differences. • So much more can be done here and needs to be. • I feel that the public is under educated, there isn’t any accountability held to bussinesses to think about their energy conservation efforts. High hydro bills are not enough. People must understand how these systems work and what the consequences are. • From what i see we appear to be doing a good job but we can always do better. • I see no efforts at alternative energy generation and use. • Not everyone rides a bicycle nor can they all walk to work!!! All we hear anymore is bicycles and bicycle lanes. We have a lot of winter weather here too which prohibits cycling. • Hard to answer since there seems to be little media on our efforts to cut energy usage - hoping it is happening! • Solar power - Let’s use that Sunshine! Arts facilities located in proximity to each other or joint buildings. Same with Rec centres. Better transit routes, times, etc • In our condo complex we have kept our energy use low Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • uncertain • Should be user pay - parking costs need to more than double. Should be a user fee depending on how much a person drives, size of house and energy use there, consumption etc. • we can always be doing better here. Too many businesses leave lights on. We don’t invest in alternate energy sources as often as we might. • It is not Governments job to tell the people what they need. It is the Governments job to give the people what they want. • I drive by the Duteau Creek Water Treatment facility often at night, and notice that there are a lot of flood lights lighting up the driveway there and the facility. As far as I know, there isn’t much going on there at night, so why not turn the lights off or put them on a motion sensor??? Also, I’ve noticed that schools often have lights on at night. Perhaps they could turn their lights off too? • Don’t know • There are a lot of lights left on in Vernon at night, particularly car dealerships...don’t they have insurance, and locks, gps trackers??? Light pollution affects peoples health, insomnia etc. • Not sure what efforts are being made at the community level. 141 REGIONAL GROWTH QUESTIONS | Our Energy: Personal Energy Conservation & Community Energy Conservation • none • waste of money is terrible • How would anyone know this? • I cannot believe the amount of light pollution in the Vernon area. I am particularly disturbed by the DND sports fields’ lighting and the amount of light pollution from it. • So many people idle their vehicles. Even after the media attention, I went to Polson Park with my son and there was a father with his kids who left his car running for over 20 minutes so that he could keep his headlights on so his kids could play out longer. Seemed so illogical to me, and not a very good model to his kids. And so many people leaving their vehicle running for air conditioning, etc. • I live 8 km away from shops/doctors/social centres. Inevitably I am obliged to use my car. I do so as responsibly as possible. • Light pollution from most street lighting at night is a complete waste of energy that could be used for industry and development of cleaner, renewable energy. • local governments need some way to interface with strata organizations, pursuade them that energy conservation saves $$$ in the long run. • Businesses should not have lights on if it is closed. • I am extremely disappointed with Vernon’s lack of effort to support the reduction of GHG emissions. Alternative transportation, infill development, stopping development on greenfield areas, supporting education and outreach to the community on why it’s important - this should be a priority. Council should be the leaders on this, not the obstacle to achieving it. • We can all do more • Anti-idling woruld help • I don’t use much energy in the first place. Even then we try to conserve. • I would like to see more widespead use of transit, movement towards provision of infrastructure for electric vehicles, less use of gasoline engines. • We try to keep the electrical and gas usage to a minimum to avoid costly bills. Winters here are expensive in terms of heating costs. • I try to do my best to reduce electricty use, but wish I could attend an information session on energy conservation (maybe set up a local group). Naturla gas and electricty costs should be less for residents over 60. • No idea on this, really. • Our government lawns are watered too much when we are on water restrictions. Not good. • City has been doing a good job encouraging recycling of waste materials and water however the number of city owned cars and small trucks vehicles seems disproportionate to city size. • Still see plant irrigation in city done during day (boxes, baskets, gardens). • Government and businesses could turn off more lights • My presumption would be they could do better (on community energy conservation). • Alternative transport - housing density increases are needed • My family has gone to one vehicle. House temps kept lower. Lights off, water planters not yards. Willing and able to reduce our comfort levels. Why does Middleton Mountain (any/all neighbourhoods) need to have street lights on between midnight and 6am (light time)? • I am very opposed to smart meters. They will only save energy if you use less energy. The rates will continue to go up. • Need more info. Gas prices way too high. 142 REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Do you own, rent, or other (please specify)? | RGS AND SUSTAINABILITY ISSUES RGS AND SUSTAINABILITY ISSUES Do you own, rent, or other (please specify)? Figure 18. Responses to the question “Do you own, rent, or other?” • I own a duplex rental property in the Coldstream and I live in a rental property in the Okanagan Landing. • My mom owns it. • would like to own • I live with my boyfriend who owns his home, I do not pay rent. • Remember that preference choices of elderly citizens on type of neighbourhood etc.may be dictated by present physical condition rather than actual preferences. • Would be much better being a Home Mate for those concerned • We also rent the pad we are sitting on. • basement suite. owner lives upstairs with her daughter. • 15 years in this house • My mom owns the house and I pay her rent. • :most pressing need Q below is missing a note about housing inn the downtown core - then no bus is needed, no car etc... • I am a new home owner with a 35 years morgage! • sold home, live with daughter • would prefer to rent but no available housing with the amenities we want is downtown • One of the lucky seniors living below poverty canadian poverty level • as a senior this is now my best choice of housing • Still pay a mortgage. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments 143 RGS AND SUSTAINABILITY ISSUES | Do you own, rent, or other (please specify)? • I am a dependent of my parents so I do not own the house. • Difficult to find an affordable townhouse in a decent area. Many townhouses/duplexes/ fourplexes, etc. are in more drug/rougher areas that I don’t feel safe to raise my son in. So we pay a lot more to feel safer. It shouldn’t be that way. • re “Time to walk to...” I have restricted ability to walk anywhere, that’s why I choose to live on the semi-rural interface edge of town for its enjoyment of peace and quiet and accept the limitation of having to use my car. • I would own a condo if prices were lower. My parents’ bought a 4 year old house in a neighbourhood near me in 1988 which they paid $64,000 for. According to BC Assessment that 144 house is now worth $244,000. Job wages have not increased by 4 times. How am I supposed to afford a house? • 343 per month • Live with parent. • I have an in-law suite • Not sure about % household income • Host family • Parents’ home (they own it) • Own house and lease land • Live in my camping car REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN Do you own, rent, or other (please specify)? | FINAL COMMENTS FINAL COMMENTS • In this section, respondents were given the opportunity to comment on the survey generally, elaborate on survey topics, or discuss issues missed in the survey. • The RGS sets an excellent direction for our region. I hope our regional partners can set aside jurisdictional differences to work together for the betterment of our region. We should be working together to promote the North Okanagan (versus Kamloops, Kelowna, Penticton, etc), not pitting one jurisdiction against another. If that means Vernon’s EDO is paid by the region to also market industrial lands in Spallumcheen, so be it - we need those jobs, regardless of which jurisdiction receives the property tax dollars. For people who move here from elsewhere, pointing out the differences between Vernon or Coldstream must seem like a huge joke. Coldstream is more similar to Vernon than it is to Lavington. There is a larger divide or obvious difference between urban and rural, than between jurisdictions. Treasure and respect our differences, and let’s work together on our similarities to strengthen and present a united REGIONAL front. • My quality of life is abysmal. I would prefer dying to continuing to struggle in this way, and have honestly considered suicide because of a sheer lack of opportunity and sympathy from this region. • Vernon is a lovely place to live. That said we, as a young family, are struggling to enjoy some of the finer points of our community. Because money is tight we can’t affort things like a skiing pass (we haven’t gone once in the 5 years of living here), golfing, buying or renting a motor boat to enjoy the lakes from more than the beach, even the water slides pass are often out of our reach financially. So although we live in the place we used to come visit, we can’t afford many of the amenities offered locally. Even buying swimming lessons for our children are things we have to budget for months in advance. It’s frustrating as a mom to not be able to offer more to our children in the way of fun outdoor entertainment. We also came from a single car family in Vancouver, using transit for me primarily, and now have to have a second vehicle as there is no regular public transit out Quality of LIfe Survey Comments where we live. The extra vehicle costs, insurance and gas etc are stressing to our monthly budget. And additionally to this, the road on which we live, Baker Hogg, is narrow and many farm and dump trucks travel at high speeds leaving us feeling like it’s unsafe to walk and bike with our young family. I would love to see our road widened enough that there was room for a proper paved shoulder with a marked road line. • Vernon and area is a very desirable place to live; that is why a lot of people come here as a destination, yet, there is a small town feel; and a small town ‘attitude’ amongst some. I have sensed a depressed attitude from some people, even in some of the stores, which does not welcome people who move here. I hve lived in many communities throughout this province and found every community has a ‘personality’. For the most part it has been positive, but there is an ‘element’ of negativity with a few that impacts the ‘quality of life’ here. Perhaps that is why I have come here, to make a difference and change for he better, to be part of the ‘solution’ through example. :) • I’m glad I did this survey. I feel that my opinion is important. • Please, please please stop building monuments to yourselves and focus on what this community really needs. Please. In the last 4 years, I personally know about 20 tradespeople who have been forced to leave the Okanagan for Alberta or Saskatchewan; taking their young families (and tax dollars) with them. While fancy new Libraries, Municipal building additions, racetracks, etc are being built; our roads and bridges and Community are falling apart. While the private sector lays people off; somehow Municipalities are able to keep hiring more and more people. Young people are leaving here in droves, can’t you see that? • I moved to Vernon, because I think it has the best climate and outdoor opportunities in Canada. However it is expensive here - and I don’t think it needs to be. I have only been here 10 months and I don’t know the reason. Water and municipal taxes are high. There are lots of amenities, like 145 FINAL COMMENTS bike lanes, pools and theater. I use these things and they are great. Don’t know yet how these are paid for. I see lots of city employees and contractors doing maintenance. I wonder if these are all needed - don’t know just got here. Park maintenance is immaculate - what is the cost? and is it justified. • With respect to the last question: I don’t want to have the City Administration involved in housing at all. That is just a subsidy from my property tax. I want to reduce the salaries for firefighters, policemen, teachers, and city staff. I don’t want a Librarian that gets paid $132,000. The City should enable people to live safely and enjoy electrical power, water, gas, garbage pick-up, street cleaning and all those common community services. I don’t want you to collect $5000 in taxes from me and then redistribute that to a plethora of clubs. It would be nice if all those local government layers were reduced. • also thought that housing for young families is important - however there are few good paying job opportunities for young families - so why would they would move to vernon. If we do want to attract companies to base themselves in Vernon for young professionals with families to move there, then yes we need more affordable housing options. Time and resources have been devoted to expensive housing stock developed outside the core for over a decade that offers little alternate benefit and this is already impacting the potential of the greater community. • Growing up in this region has always been great with opportunities to thrive in areas of education and recreation. I have always felt safe in the city and in the rural village, and still do today. I appreciate that this community takes into consideration the economic standings of diverse families in the area when planning community events and tries to make them accessible to all community members, but I still feel there could always be more done. Even more city planning of venues for individuals with a variety of disabilities, making the area more accessible, especially parks and beaches surrounding the city. • We live in a truly beautiful part of the province. Great climate, not overpopulated. Councils manage the communities well. Everything is 146 within reasonable distance, from skiing, to golfing and boating. Stores and services are all well represented in the community. New hospital wing has been a draw retirees, and others chosing the north Okanagan. Coldstream/Vernon has been the best small town place we have every lived. • I think we live in a great community. There is definitly better ways to support our community to make it better. We need to encourage the big buisnesses already here to expand and employ people in our community. We need work with buisiness owners to come up a plan to keep their buisiness in our community such as the call center that had to move to the states due to there being a large contractor. We need to look at ways our spending is out of control and listen to the people in the community that have some great ideas on how to save money but do a great job. I work in the non-profit sector and we are always looking at ways to cut redundent costs. We need to rethink some of the spending that has already happened and look at other communities like Penticton and their Conference Center that brings in people from different areas to attend concerts there. • Care needs to be taken with new innovations that may look like good ideas but are essentially unproven. The concept of “nodes of development” on the hillside above Bella Vista (on the arguement of it being environmentally considerare), is an absolute disaster. Building height restriction requires strong management. Allowing an increase for one developer means all future developers will regard this as the new target and each in turn will subsequently apply for variance to allow additional height. • Water quality/quantity, and sophisticated sewage treatment are number one priorities for the future of the Okanagan. • I believe that I was able to “vent” in the other spaces available. - More recycling - Clean up the city program so we can take pride in where we live - an incentive for home and acreage owners to clean up their properties, instead of them looking like a used car lot, or a retired garbage pit. - More recreation opportunities (ex rollerskating at reasonable hours), very excited about the track going in at the college - Please allow out door REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN FINAL COMMENTS rollerskating on the surrounding walking path..... Thank you for giving people the chance to voice their opinions.... • Surveys are a great idea. I think this one was asking for a lot of good information. • With those (couples/widows/widowers) who would be much more comfortable in their own home for much longer, Home mates would be a plus. • Would be nice to have some high rises for housing. • It’s sad, that there wasn’t more foresight in the last years and that there are so many pojects needed right now - sports facilities - museum art gallery - water upgrade - roads - Rec centre - hospital I find it hard to understand that the community has to raise so much funds for a new hospital and its furnishings like devices. What kind of system is that? Why not pay more for health care but then REALLY get health care provided? Swan lake should be a protected area, motorised boats and planes should be prohibited, it can be done now before it’s too late. • Thank you very much for asking these questions. I really believe that the number one issue in this town is the lack of opportunity for people to earn a liveable income. It doesn’t seem that we can change the cost of living here. Fuel will remain high. Groceries are expensive and housing cost are high. I think that the leadership of the Vernon area should be working around the clock to attract business and stimulate the economy here. • I am scared for the future of the North Okanagan. We’ve seemed to build a community focused on 55+ but was about everyone under 55? A sustainable community needs to offer incentives for “younger” people to move and live here. Recreation, landscape and beauty are great, but not enough. Jobs are a huge driver of growth. Not just jobs, but good jobs - enough to make a living, save and spend in the community. We’ve seen industries shut down and it doesn’t appear that we’re doing much to build back up. I look at communities like Kelowna and, especially, West Kelowna, and see how they are thriving. The North Okanagan seems to be at a stand still. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments Our towns are looking run down, homelessness and addiction are growing, and entertainment/ restaurants etc. have grown stale. I am not sure anymore why someone would want to move here. :( • We desperately need a new MP. This man Mayes is a climate change denier, a puppet of harper and of no value whatsover in assisting our region with anything...disgraceful...and I actually voted for him once!!! I have attempted to communicate with him on many occaisions and I gets only PMO approved drivel in return. In all seriousness, his vacuous presence, for me and many others, is about the only bad thing about living in the RDNO. Let hope for the winds of change!! • We need to move away from this “if we build it they will come” attitude designed to attract a select few user groups. Let’s take care of our infrastructure that needs replacing and are being used. Art galleries, performing arts centres, mmuseums etc, let’s see what the usage rates are and who are using them and determine a cost/benefit to the community before we indebt everyone so a select few can go out a couple times a year. I walk almost everyday. If I can walk somewhere within an hour and I don’t have to haul a load I will. It has become increasing dangerous to walk or cycle in this community,especially our rural roads. Amalgamate, amalgamate, amalgamate! • I am happy with the area we live in, but there could be a bike lane added, since they are doing road construction anyway. In regards to elections, we are not able to vote for a Vernon mayor because we live in electoral area “B”. • Thank you for allowing me to share my views with you. • RDNO is doing a lot of things right. Waste Management / sanitary landfill / blue box program: Good! Operation of the Wesbild Centre / Kal Tire Place or Multiplex - whatever it’s called should be contracted to the private sector. The facility is underutilized. Governments are good managers but lousy marketers. There is no inclination to take risks. Promotion of concerts and special events leaves a lot to be desired. Penticton and Kelowna have left us in the dust. 147 FINAL COMMENTS • I lived for many years in Vancouver & left to move here to raise my family closer to nature & other family members. We also wanted affordable housing. It would be wonderful to have the downtown core improved further through better access to entertainment, culture & good food. I love the downtown having the library, art gallery, Vertigo, the jazz club, the Town Theatre, the museum, the rec centre & a couple of options for grocery shopping. It would be terrific if we could encourage some better restaurants & coffee shops (for residents & tourists - think Nelson). I would also love to see another live music venue open up downtown. We desperately need a playground/greenspace in the downtown core Polson Park is too far off track for parents taking their kids to the library or downtown workers eating their lunch. It would draw in so many more families to improve Justice Park by installing a new playground & eating spaces. (see: Grandview Park in East Vancouver). The Sunshine Festival & the Winter Carnival need improvement. Right now they seem like they are just a big sale of goods by the merchants in the downtown core. I’d like to see more family events - family ice skating, family dances in the street downtown or at the rec centre, giant community potluck? There are so many things that could be done that could be done for a lower price or for free so that the entire community could come out. I’d also love to see more free live music and /or movie screenings outside downtown in the summer (it would really help to have Justice Park redone to accomodate that) - it would bring more folks downtown to spend money at local merchants. • Dixon Dam Road and Tillicum Villiage would love to be hooked in to city Water. Furthermore for the safety of our dogs,children and visitors,sidewalks along both sides of Dixon Dam road and Tillicum roads, linking up with the foothills family, would create a warm community feel in our area. • Turning Vernon into more of a Tournament capital and promoting tourism with events and attractions coupled with beach maintenance should be top priority. Also, support of public schools, students and school staff should be increased. More child’s counsellors are needed. More family counsellors are needed. More healthy breakfast & lunch programs and after school 148 programs and sports programs for children are needed. • I believe that the level of water filtration IHA is insisting on is unrealistic. It makes no sense to spend all the communities resources on filtration and then send it through pipes that have 30 or more years of use. If the concern is for individuals with “compromised immune systems”, it would be cheaper to give grants for them to filter their drinking water on site which gets around the question of the integrity of the water pipes. • There should be more control of unauthorized motorized recreation use in natural areas (concerns re: noise, habitat destruction, fire, etc.). Completion of the Grey Canal trail should be a higher priority - would benefit all ages and abilities, and be a great tourist attraction. There should be better efforts to build relationships with indigenous communities. • Given the demographics for this area we cannot ignore the needs and desires of the population 55-90. To attract and keep families and young, single people we need to have jobs that pay more than minimum wage and are service-sector only. We are losing families or the male wageearner to Alberta and or Northern BC Oil, Gas and Mining sectors. We cannot ignore the needs of the farming/agricultural basis and the BC Government needs to be continually lobbied in regards to changing of slaughter regulations. In my opinion we should not be trying to increase Cultural/Arts centres at the cost of recreation, sports locations. Most people I’ve spoken to over the past 17 years either stay in the N.O. or moved to this area for it’s rural-feel, outdoor lifestyle, summer weather conditions. As people age they need access to medical facilities so living in the outlying areas of Enderby, Lumby, Falkland, etc. becomes less appealing and they relocate into Vernon (city). The region should consider more senior residential facilities accompanied by medical centres and health practitioners (physio, natural healing, dentists) and good shopping facilities. Alternately there would have to be a very strong public transport infrastructure to get seniors to and fro. An issue I have and didn’t see reference to in your survey is the amount of graffiti. The city is rampant but now so is REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN FINAL COMMENTS Coldstream and very little seems to be taking place to counter it, or cover it up. • Retired couple presently in house but are looking for fourplex or eightplex within walking distance of downtown Vernon. Most existing gated communities were built in the 90’s and are outdated for current retired folks. Would include exercise facility, library, etc. RV parking etc. • More condo residences with 3 bed rooms or 2 bed rooms + a den - most are only 1 or 2 and are very small • Thank you for providing this survey. The questions were well thought out. I hope you are able to take the comments and put them to good use. I love Vernon but hate Vernon politics and the lack of pride and lack of community I feeling we have. I would love to be part of a new Vernon that is proactive, co-operative, and can find a way to get things done instead of always saying no. Thanks • I’m disabled. Sorry, I don’t walk far. • Overall I LOVE living in Vernon. We have everything we need plus more. The access to outdoor activities (lakes, golfing, wineries, skiing etc) is second to none. However, there is tonnes of room for improvement. Schools. Roads. Bike lanes. Cultural activities. Housing. Employment. Small steps...brighter future... • Vernon City Council needs to be more forward thinking in their approach to Vernon. The city is going to grow and change and getting behind the changes that you want is a better approach than resisting change. We need to attract businesses (that pay wages that reflect housing costs not big box or retail) and develop our downtown (hi-rise and densification). Urban sprawl does not serve any community well. • I support the idea of developing a walkable city where cultural, shopping, entertainment and dining are all located in an area that supports walking and biking. I am not certain however if mixed residential and commercial is desirable in Vernon. We have far too many empty lots in the downtown area. If they are not being developed due to zoning requiring residential, then we must drop the residential. I am not sure if Vernon will Quality of LIfe Survey Comments ever be a city where people wish to live downtown. There are many other options of living very close to downtown that it may not bee needed. Lets just get moving on developing the downtown area so it doesn’t look like a work in progress for another 10 years. • I moved here from Nanaimo in 2006 and found it very tough to “fit in”. Vernon did not present as a friendly town, in fact I found it to be very clicky. I moved here to be closer to at least one of my children (the other lives in Alberta). My children grew up in Salmon Arm so I was familiar with the Vernon area while living in Salmon Arm for 13 years. Vernon was never a town I felt a desire to visit - only drive through. It didn’t and still doesn’t have “curb appeal” in my mind. I think that opportunity was missed way back when Vernon was built where it is, not utilizing any of the 3 lakes that we have in town. The downtown area feels like it’s a very transient town - many people begging - almost on every block of downtown at any given time of the day. I think it’s a shame that we have a main highway running through the middle of downtown. It’s not pleasant to walk along any stretch of 32nd Street due to the high volumes of big rigs and general traffic. I keep thinking that a bypass would be so awesome, but then I ask myself, where could it be? I live in Coldstream with an incredible view of Kal Lake and looking across at Kal Lake Park. Everyday I am thankful for the beauty of the area from my place. Once I get downtown Vernon, I don’t have that same feeling. I love that I have access to hiking, cross country skiing, swims in the lakes and for the most part road cycling out of town (even though I find the mind set of some drivers intolerant of cyclists). I am super excited about the “New” track that is going in up at the College. Vernon and area has a lot of seniors who are here to retire and are opposed to anything that involves recreation and culture. There are a lot of long term residents that would love to keep Vernon and area the way it has always been so are reluctant to see anything change. • Rivers and lakes belong to everybody. I wish you weren’t selling all possible water fronts to private owners preventing easy access to the lake for people and animal. 149 FINAL COMMENTS • Transit doesn’t cover enough of the city. Parking meters downtown cost too much. Especially if you’re only going to be a few minutes. Bring back the 10cent option. Snow removal doesn’t seem to be enforced, even downtown. We need either a traffic light or, a traffic circle at Pleasant Valley Road and 39th. Potholes around the city need to be dealt with promptly in the spring. • I look forward to the day when my children can feel safe riding their bikes on the city streets and when we can walk to the grocery store with ease. We live on East Hill and to access groceries we must drive currently. Coopers is literally a stone’s throw from my back yard but there is no pedestrian access from East Hill that is safe and efficient. I support the idea of incorporating a pool facility into a downtown school model - SD 22 showed a video of a school in Fort Nelson, if I remember correctly, that had incorporated an ice rink/hockey training facility into their local highschool which also acted as a community centre. I believe that model would be idea for Vernon as well, making the school more of a community building with year round use and allowing cross generational interaction on a daily basis. Obviously with VSS just being built, the budget for new school buildings is limited but if the school district and the community worked together on the project, we could potentially resolve the issues of needing a middle school and pool facility all at once. Perhaps renovating Seaton to include a pool would be the best use of land/current facilities. It is very central. I also support the idea of a year round Public Market where local farmers and artisans can sell their wares to the general public. The ideal location in my mind would be the Packing House located on 30th Street, North of the Powerhouse theatre. Affordable housing is also one of my interests. I have not gotten as involved in the process as I would like to be but plan to attend the next forum/meeting regarding the initiative. These are just some dreams of mine for the future of Vernon... it’s my home. • I’d like to see highway 97 along Swan Lake have lower speed limits and easier on/off access. Have seen too many close calls due to speed and left hand turns. Perhaps a centre barrier? Lights? Wider turn lanes? Ramps? It’s a frightening stretch of road. 150 • housing should keep up with employement, if there are no jobs why build housing to bring more people in? we would just have a high population on social assistance which wouldn’t be good for our overall economy. • The city of Vernon and surrounding area have a great deal of appeal to me, and thus the reason for living in Vernon since 1979. However, the ability of any community rests on EMPLOYMENT. The loss of the local glass plant . . . restaurants and retail space is becoming more main stream. Look at Village Green Mall and Polson Mall. When I want to shop for an expensive item, I usually go to Kelowna. Not always, but generally that crosses my mind. For example, when looking for men’s suits, I was forced to go out of town, and found what I wanted in Orchard Park Mall . . . quickly and at another men’s store a few minutes away. • I love living in the okanagan. My only complaint of BC is that the amount i get on disability is too low. i have struggled to get proper housing and keep myself fed. thank goodness for the local mission. • If taxes (water, land, garbage, recreation) continue to go up and wages stay the same or go lower, only the retired established people will be able to stay in the North Okanagan. • This survey was challenging to complete, as I have only lived in this community for 10 months. However, I do work in the Human Services field so I am aware of the lack of affordable and social housing that is available for many individuals. • Due to climate change I feel all levels of government should be cooperating and concentrating on taking action to mitigate the effects. The conversation about the causes of climate change are not irrelevant. Scientists need to be listened to, respected and given priority over corporate interests and lobby groups who act on their behalf. • The district is going down the path of build not matter what the cost without looking at the costs; environmentally, socially, actual cost to the taxpayer. The amalgamation of all the areas will not happen until it can be decided who is the large and more responsible municipality. The area elected officials must start to listen to the REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN FINAL COMMENTS taxpayer and respond to what they are saying, progress is not at any cost. • I really like Vernon but I worry that young families will leave the area to find meaningful work. • We love living here. The area needs to attract more industry to create more jobs for the young people. That would also increase the tax base to a more equal mix of industry and residential. You need to look to the future, not maintain the status quo and keep it a small area. Also not very many areas to access the lakes for the public, as most is in private hands or inaccessible. Makes for very crowded beaches in the summer. If you get more young families staying enrolment in schools increases, thus more funding. More people who stay also help the economy. • The Okanagan is a ‘small fish’ in a big pond. Politicians try to solve big city problems, but we’re not a big city. Stop wasting time and scarce dollars on affordable housing, O’Keefe Ranch, and building a multi-million dollar art gallery. Focus on encouraging small business - not harassing them with petty bylaw issues. Reduce the astronomically expensive transit system down to just the major routes. Trying to do ‘everything’ is expensive and futile. Focus on just the items that are applicable to a community of our size (and then do it well !). Stop trying to “fabricate” a good quality of life in the North Okanagan. If tax payer dollars were spent wisely, the economy would thrive and the quality of life would improve all on its own, without interference from local government. • I think i have said above what already needs to be said. Economic development must be addressed. We are the working poor. My husband is making less than half of what he did 10 years ago but housing, taxes, etc. are way up. I heard on the radio today that the District of Coldstream has more than 11 employees making over $75,000.00. Really! In a community of 10,000 you have that many employees with that kind of income. It must be nice. Like I said as soon as my kids graduate from high school I am out of the NorthOk unless things drastically change. One thing not mentioned was that Vernon has the WORST lake access in all of the Thompson Okanagan. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • My issues are: More green space and/or beautification of space with art eg. Bend Oregon has art work in the middle of all their round abouts and have seek and find maps with prizes to encourage visitors to find the artwork. Also Castlegar has art work scattered within their downtown core. as previously mentioned, Richmond finds spaces like putting up wire on skytrain columns to hide the cement pillars. Use of banners to light posts to add color. Love the bike path communities such as Whistler where there is continuous flow of trail systems. I live in Vernon and love what they’ve done to paths along okanagan landing but need to continue that idea throughout Vernon. providing better recycling opportunities at curbside. Richmond has a strict composting/recycling policy. You can be fined for anything that could be composted or recycled if found in regular garbage. currently Lumby residents do not have curbside recycling. Would love it if glass could be recycled curbside also. • Thanks for asking for input. I think our entire growth strategy will come down to our access to clean water and the ability to grow food for the residents of the NORD. I would like to see all new growth happen in the downtown core. If urban sprawl is allowed, it will ruin our green spaces and hillsides and make driving everywhere a necessity. Being able to offer new residents a mix of housing options is important and new “green” industries are a necessity if we are going to grow our tax base and enable our youth to remain in the area. • I love living in Vernon The lakes the ease of getting around except in the summer the weather the fruit and veggies make for a wonderful life style Proximity to an airport and a hospital were prime considerations when we decided to move to Vernon! • The district needs to look at filling in empty lots in all of the different areas of the community before developing new subdivisions. There are hundreds of lots that are available for a large number of new homes so there is no need to sprawl out to new developments for a long time. • I think that Vernon/Coldstream has a lot going for it in so many ways. It would be wonderful to get in the housing market, but again, the cost of living 151 FINAL COMMENTS is expensive, so it’s hard to see that happening anytime soon, at least not before my wife is working full-time. • Great questions - I look forward to your results • The survey covered a good variety of topics • The North Okanagan is a wonderful place to live, but it can be so much better. If we want to maintain a thriving and growing community we need to develop employment opportunities to that young families can afford to raise a family here. There needs to be healthy and affordable options for childcare. We need to constantly improve walking paths and other initiatives to make especially Vernon a livable city - this will take an attitude shift from our politicians. There must be protection of our limited agricultural lands and support for people trying to make a living from farming. • People thought I was crazy for moving back here from Vancouver but I have no regrets! • We are relatively new here, 15 months. But there are lots of things I notice very different than where we lived in Alberta. The biggest things are costs of living. Seriously, why does insurance have to be so high.Just for one vehicle we pay as much insurance for 6 months, as we did for 2 vehicles for 12 months in Alberta. I also wonder why landowners are not held accountable to keep their property tidy and clean. It definitely brings down the intrinsic value of a community. • this turned out to be an extremely time consuming survey. Perhaps your response would be better with a simpler survey. • There is much talk about access to our lakes which is probably the greatest feature of the N OK. Personally, I think boating access is fair but what I do believe is lacking is a boarkwalk / lakefront promenade. We have 3 lakes within Vernon and not one place where the citizens and tourists can go for a stroll along this beautiful scenery. A promenade is not just an outdoor activity it is a place where people meet, chat, connect ... I am aware of the development plan for OK Lake but that is street centered and will take far too long to put in place, and a good reason is 152 the costs because this is already occupied with residential properties. While I would definitely prefer a promenade at OK or Kal lake (and yes, it should be close to some cafes, restaurants, accomodation) if those locations are not feasable during this lifetime or ever, maybe we should consider Swan Lake. When one looks at the greatest and most pleasant urban areas, they all involve a place where people can mingle, run into their neighbour, enjoy the scenery. Whether Kelowna, Penticton, Vancouver, San Francisco, Ottawa, Quebec City, even Sicamous! they all have that and one might think that part of the success of these cities is their access to a promenade. We have to make this happen here in Vernon and faster than 10-20 years from now. • I dream of a more vibrant downtown, greater housing diversity with a focus on smaller homes that have easy access to services and protection of rural areas, farmland and natural areas. What the North Okanagan offers is access to urban and rural life but both aspects could be fostered and improved. • Everyone’s quality of life would be improved if NORD outlawed open burning. The air quality in this valley is adversely affected by this practice, especially in the fall season when there is very little venting. The laws that are in place are regularly flaunted by many individuals and there seems to be no penalty enforced despite complaints to the NORD office (often there is no officer available to even take complaints). This practice is archaic and has been outlawed in most modern jurisdictions. For the sake of our lives, let’s follow suit! • I love my city and area but I own a smart car and the roads are horendous, I also walk quite a bit and have noticed the lack of sidewalks • I think this community has a lot to be thankful for. There is always room for improvement, and we must embrace change - we can’t become stagnant. • I grew up in Vernon and left when I graduated because there was not much here foryoung people. We have progressed with amenities that I mentiond earlier and this is a great place to retire. I moved back in 1998 and enjoy all that Vernon REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN FINAL COMMENTS has to offer, Mostlt importantly the small town feel. we need to manage our growth but we need more opportunities for employment in higher paying professions such as IT, manufacturing etc. This is up to our elected officials to work towards with our local and federal governments. the more we can offer peple to come live in our area, the more we will grow and prosper! • This region has the land resources and urban resources to create an alternate form of urban organization, perfectly poised for sustainable future community, including a vibrant youth economy, food sustainability, alternate water and energy generation, first nations partnerships, new educational and artistic initiatives, and new forms of farming and land use, but they are undeveloped and the vision to develop them are lacking. All that empty farmland along Bella Vista Road, for instance, could be used to create a community of young farmers growing innovative crops, with some community infrastructure. Community resources poured into food production and sales infrastructure would open that energy into the community. We need to get our kids out of school and into living in this place, so that when they reach adulthood they have a range of choices, only one of which is the current single choice: education in and eventual migration to a distant urban space that matches the educational model. Millions are spent on sports fields. Zero is spent on community farming infrastructure. Huge sums are spent on tourism advertising. Nothing much is spent on tourism opportunity development. I spent the spring in iceland. I’ve seen what they do there. It’s a difference of night and day. • Overall the quality of life in the Okanagan is excellent. I feel strongly that we need to find ways to keep it vibrant and moving forward but in a sustainable way. I do get a bit frustrated with the reluctance to change (and whining) that I have observed since moving here. • my personal income has not increased at a similar rate to the house costs in Vernon. There is continual talk of the “sunshine tax” where we get paid less for the same job here in the okanagan than one would get paid in a major center. luckily the cost of living is not as much as a large city center, however it would appear that Quality of LIfe Survey Comments we are heading that way. I don’t know how the city would change the cost of housing but I’d like to purchase a house for my family with a reasonable sized back yard. However it’s about 50 thousand dollars out of range for my income and I work for Kal Tire. • We love living in Vernon. It has a wonderful smalltown feel to it. People are friendly and courteous. It lacks the dreaded, fast-pace that one is aware of when visiting Kelowna. It has most of the shopping one needs for daily living and more. On rare occassions I shop in Kelowna. There is a great selection of restaurants and cafes. We love being close to Silver Star and Sovereign Lake for our winter sports. In the summer we are within walking distance of Paddlewheel Park for a daily swim. We love having access to the lakes for kayaking and canoeing but find parking a bit of an issue. Maybe we just haven’t figured out the best places to access the lake for putting in our kayaka or canoe. A small dock is always helpful and there are some at some of the access points, but not all. We were lucky enough to find medical doctors without too long of a wait and have made use of the hospital emergency room where we found the service was good and the wait time was not terribly long. That is of course based on our experience in Winnipeg where we used to live and where one can wait for many hours in the hospital emergency unit before seeing a doctor. We find that The Morning Star does a good job of reporting what is going on in City Hall and in the community, which we appreciate. The Morning Star is an integral part of keeping people in the community connected and aware of what is happening locally. I wanted to acknowledge their efforts. The same goes for the local radio station, which unfortunately I cannot listen too very often because of poor reception where we live. However, when I am in the car running errands I enjoy the local updates (and their music selection). My husband and I thought that when we moved to Vernon that we would never have the variety of entertainment and access to cultural events that we had experienced in Winnipeg. To our surprise the Performing Arts Centre has been a real treasure. We enjoy the symphony and other attractions that pass through this great facility. The Jazz Club has provided us with many evenings of wonderful music. I have to applaud the City for the summer Thursday evening music 153 FINAL COMMENTS series in front of the museum. Such a wonderful way to spend a summer evening. I have taken part in some Vernon Arts Centre courses and truly love the venue and what it offers. I will be glad to see the improvements on 30th Ave when they are unveiled. I like the feel of 30th Ave., the twinkling lights in the trees at night and the sense of safety at night. It is nice to not be harassed by pan-handlers like in some cities. I love the boutiques, shops and cafes along 30th. and try to support them when I can. It is sad to see that some lovely shops have closed in the past year. We have not had to make use of any Emergency Services as yet, nor the RCMP. They appear to be doing an adequate job and we feel that we would be well served if ever we need to call on either. Street cleaning and garbage collection services are well handled and we appreciate the recycling depots for all the glassware, etc. Overall we feel we have chosen one of the most beautiful places in Canada to retire to. • I would love to see a walkway/community developed around o.k. lake such as they have in Kelowna. We pack our bikes up a lot and go to Kelowna so that the kids have a FLAT bike trail and then go out for lunch as a family outing. We WOULD do that here if there was more flat biking in a nice area and restaurants for kids on the lake. We love the huge soccer field facility. We are all for the running track at the college as we live near there and would walk up to use it. The bike trails near there are great but would be nice if they continued out to the lake not near cars/exhaust but anything would be great. Love the beaches that are kept clean and love to see the weedwacker out on Kal lake. Sometimes Okanagan lake is not as clean as I would like for swimming. Always could use more kids activities like street parties/etc. but fairly good here. Love the winter carnival and many winter activities. Love Kal Lake park. Clean and fabulous to have in our backyard. Very important that we do not lose that. Not at the stage where my kids have to go to the OUC in Kelowna but will be going in about 5 years and would be nice for them to be able to take a bus from the College to Kelowna. I think this is in place now but not sure if there is enough for everyone to be comfortable. That will be a very important benefit for my kids in the future. That would cut down on cars on the road or my kids having to move to Kelowna. Boat launches are 154 a concern as I am not sure if there are enough although I do not want to have more boats on our precious lakes but that is a huge lifestyle here. Have to have the apprenticeships in the schools to keep our families here. Would be nice if my kids to get there post secondary education and then be able to work here. Love Fintry park and any of the camping areas would like to keep them. Find that the lines on the roads are not very good after winter and would like to see them updated on a regular bases. We love living in this area and everything is pretty great but there are always room for improvement. • Thanks for your dedicated work in creating this survey. It’s always a challenge in meeting peoples’ variety of needs. Especially during economic hardships. Less money, resources, and people to do the work results in even more challenges. My hat off to you!! • Transportation is needed for those of us who do not live in the city... • I’ve said it before and I’ll keep sayingit. There needs to be sidewalks connecting East Hill to Hwy 6 and the Shops at Polson. That one little portion before Fitness West is dicey dicey dicey. It’s just a small portion that so desperately needs a sidewalk!! • Creating jobs is far more important than having housing options. The economic theory of supply and demand will resolve the housing issue. If someone is unemployed they can’t buy a house if it is $400,000. Offering affordable housing at $300,000 isn’t going to resolve the problem. The person still won’t be able to buy the house. Creating an atmosphere that encourages small business and encourages industry will bring jobs, which will in turn boost the local economy. All of the red tape and frustration needs to be removed to make it easier for business owners. • As a young person trying to save and buy for my first home, I find that there are not many affordable homes for buying as a starter home. The homes available are in neighborhoods that I do not want to live in or are very run down and needs lots of renovations. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN FINAL COMMENTS • While I love living here, I am disappointed that so many young adults are moving to Alberta for jobs that give them independence and the ability to support themselves and their families. The cost of living in Vernon seems high compared to other communities of similar size. • I love Vernon. I love how small and friendly it is. Yes it would be nice to have more conveniences, more restaurants, more stores, etc. But too much growth will ruin the friendly small town feel. Think of how Kelowna was 15 years ago. It’s horrible now and I avoid it at all costs. I just wish we could stay the size we are, encourage farming and rural life. • Thanks for seeking input. I’ll be interested in seeing/reading the results and what action is to be taken. • Vernon is still a great place to live, with good amenities. Most critical focus for me is alternate transportation. • I think investment in diversifying more neighbourhoods is important. A lot of newly developed areas like Middleton Mt are so empty of any life because there are nothing but houses up there. We need more access to coffee shops, small markets and shops, venues, restaurants, green spaces, in all our neighbourhoods. Invest in sustainability and the green economy like the City of Vancouver is. • Walking to almost anything becomes problematic in the winter months. This also applies to public transportation which is also not feasible for families with children and any shopping to be transported with more than one bag. • I am in the land development business. 15 years ago it was hard to do business here and there was no tax money or DCC money available for operating and maintaining infrastructure. Allowing more development and not chasing it away started to help catch up and fund infrastructure projects. Now we are where we were or worse than 15 years ago. Developers bypass Vernon / Coldstream / RDNO because it is so hard to work here with local government. it is disjointed, inconsistent, and plain difficult. Infrastructure reserves are depleted, borrowing is Quality of LIfe Survey Comments high, and staffing levels and wages for municipal government are out of control. I have 20% of the staff now vs 7 years ago. When the economy slows - we cut back. Local Government is growing as are wages. Time to cut back!!! We love living in Vernon - our kids love it here - it is safe. However, I am now working 2 days a week away from home. There are many family’s that have dads working away from Vernon area. This is hard on family’s and will degrade our community. We need jobs here - good jobs. Amenities and good infrastructure with a choice of housing will attract business. • This community has been a great place to work, play, raise a family, and live in. It has everything one could want, with the possible exception of good paying jobs for young parents, and even more warm sunny days. We moved to the Kootenays and the Island for a short time but ultimately chose to come back to the place we love. The winters are okay but we are starting to consider snowbird options. • forgot to mention that a public trail across the big gully between Coldstream Creek Road and Coldstream town centre would allow more people in the subdivisions above the road to easily access the town centre if one were to be more developed. While I believe it’s important to welcome all who come to live in our area, I believe the local newspaper continues to push the idea that it’s important that the area keeps growing. They want to “put us on the map.” We don’t need to keep growing. The quality of life was great here, even years ago. The good life is not all about shopping and supporting local businesses, although I do think we should try to buy locally when we do shop. Our good life here depends a great deal on our environment, and all initiative to preserve it will be supported by our household. The north ok area is getting busier, noisier and faster paced. Noise is pollution too, and is a major reason we moved out of Vernon and into Coldstream. We also support local policing efforts to slow traffic down; too many people are driving too fast, especially for some of our elder drivers. Thanks for the opportunity to take this survey. • 1. Algamate the 7 local governments and use the saved money for amenities. 2. Reduce land use 155 FINAL COMMENTS regulation and allow market forces to supply more affordable housing • Quit looking after the Areas and Coldstream in your policy making. • I think that the North Okanagan has an opportunity to really take a look at what makes us unique and different and hold on to that. Embracing the “Slow City” idea perhaps, and making sure our valley keeps it charm. I often hear people saying that Vernon is going to become “a Kelowna” and that one day the highway from Kelowna to Vernon will just be a never ending stretch of houses. That would be really sad. Let make sure that we keep our rural charm in the North Okanagan. Once that’s gone, we can’t get it back. And since the North Okanagan has a large population of elderly people, let’s also see what we can do to meet their needs, with housing that ‘s close to their amenities (with transit, bike or walking access). And keeping our small town feel. People love shopping and visiting “quaint” towns, and love the atmosphere. In towns like Lumby, Coldstream, Armstrong and Enderby we still have the opportunity to stop big box and chain stores/ restaurants from moving in and changing the feel of the town. Yes, those stores often create some jobs but they take the money out of our local economy. I don’t feel like they are worth it. People got by just fine before Walmart, Target and Superstore, we can get by in the future without it. And - those big stores distort people’s sense of what food and items are worth, because they can buy things so cheaply. They don’t realize that somewhere down the line there is a larger cost (environmental, social or something else), and they simply compare prices with small local business and products and say they can’t afford to buy local. That’s silly. Like I said, we could afford to purchase from local businesses/farmers before those big chain stores arrived, we could do it now. • Pleasant Valley Rd is a joke, no real attention is made to improve it. Heavy trucks, school buses, semis use this route to avoid going over the weigh scales. Regional District chooses to ignore the situation. When I talk to weigh scale staff, they claim it is responsibility of Reg Dist to make a complaint. Only response from Reg Dist is to turn the monster holes into useable cowpaths. The 156 PV school is a fine example. their buses have the road chewed up big time yet they get reduced or free taxes. There is no shoulder to ride a bicycle on, what there is, is a series of broken down, crumbling pavement. The Reg Dist has the Hwys fill the holes with a ridge of tar and sand that can throw a rider off balance. If the ridge was ground down even with the road, would improve the issue. Not enough policing of speeders is done as well. • Health care is an important issue that does not seem to be included in the survey. I am generally satisfied with local access and infrastructure. I am pleased that we have a variety of “health care” practitioners and facilities in our community, not just “sickness and injury” care. Thank you for asking all these things. • Improve bus service. Low frequency of bus service seems to be a major stumbling block for me. Improved bike lanes will go a long way to creating a safer bike culture. A small number of people on bikes seem to create the feeling that cycles are unsafe. By providing safe bike lanes will create better cooperation between bikes and cars. Mixing pedestrian and cyclist is not a safe solution. Being “ Green” is more expensive than being carbon dependant. • Yahoo, I think we’ve finished this survey! • It would be nice if neighborhoods had local corner stores/bakeries so that people could walk to pick up a few tho gs that they need vs driving to the big stores. Also more smaller neighborhood parks with fenced in kiddie park and surrounding dog park, like on Mission Hill. • I am aghast with the many friends and acquaintances I have come across who have no place to live. These people are homeless educated people in their 40-60’s who are struggling with work/health issues, and trying to maintain their sense of dignity. The fact that most of Vernon seems to have blinders on is concerning to me. I feel like I am sheltering Jews in Germany. No one seems to look to the repressed economy, the unfairness to people with disabilities...some of which are invisible...just like viruses. All I hear again and again is get a job mentality...when there are very few jobs and they pay minimally and for someone with experience 40-60years of age, how REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN FINAL COMMENTS are they supposed to maintain near their standard of living let alone their dignity?? It seems to me the haves just keep on having while doing very little to help those less fortunate. Misfortune, and ill health can hit anyone at anytime. If you are not helping when you have a lot, then woe to you when misfortune strikes. I volunteered and had a client who was unable to work/keep a job because of his autism spectrum disorder, however high functioning, he ended up on welfare, of which his rent took 90-95% in shared accommodation. I asked him how he could eat... he was eating potatoes and garbanzo beans to survive. He was a tall young man and had to walk everywhere which would only increase his caloric requirement. Some people are not able to work for various health reasons, and for them life is completely not affordable in any quality way...you might as well euthanize them, instead of torturing them. One girlfriend was clinging to a $35. gift certificate she used to get from downtown Vernon association for her volunteering to go to quality meats. Unfortunately the staff have all changed there and are unaware that volunteers used to receive this. Such a small thing is such a big blow to my friend. She takes one vacation a year camping to Ellison, and I drive her and her boyfriend or they wouldn’t be able to get there. I do not take vacations because I simply cannot afford them, as a single woman with a house I have to pay all the expenses myself and that leaves very little. I am very depressed living here. • Thank you for reading. We love to live here and believe there is room for improvement. We try to do our part and also to teach our children to shop local, eat local, live in a multi-family building, park the car and bike, walk, bus, use less water and energy.... • vernon has a misture of ages from young to old, we need to accomodate the elderly as well as young families who want to raise their families here • I have lived in this district for more than 50 years and have watched this fertile farming area become an area for retired imports yes we need growth but at what cost to the residents of our beautiful area; We raised our family here and are proud of what they have accomplished by hard work ,not by having any thing handed to them Quality of LIfe Survey Comments on a silver platter If we had a better Provincial government that realized there are different problems for different areas ,we are not all lower mainland residents • I love living in the N Okanagan and hope to stay for a long time. I find it very unsettling to have to ship all my and my neighbors kids off to somewhere else to find a good job. My husband is currently working away from home and hates it. My 2 daughters have just move also to find work, so out of 5 of us, only 1 has found employment in the area. I don’t know a solution to this, except to attract new business and make the current ones pay a competitive wage, not charge the ‘Sunshine Tax’ paying way below the average pay scale. Good luck • Where a community plan / zoning is in place it should not be changed without a new community plan. Ad hoc changing of zoning or community plan because of a proposed development reduces/ removes public confidence in process and reduces public participation in process. • I think it is time that Vernon became a City all on its own. Lets do something first, instead of being a sheep. Make the lots bigger so we don’t have little boxes on the hillside, made of ticky tacky and looking all the same. (to quote a famous song). When we build something lets go all the way. Why build a sports centre and cut back by not putting a roof on the grandstand. The entrance to Polson Park looks like a cemetery entrance and the fountain in the park is a joke. Where is our imagination to create something beautiful, so industry and people will come. How can you get industry or anything similar to that to invest in a City when the City does not even care to invest in itself. When it can’t even beautify the entrances to itself. It takes a businessman (Swan Lake) to know and do the job. The hills around Vernon in the summer are dry and arid, so when entering Vernon should look like an oasis, not a dirty little town. Why cut back on Cities in Bloom, you want the green and the colour to brighten and invite. Its time for our mayor and council to take some risks instead of sitting back and letting other cities get the glory. • Keep up the work trying to get people out of their vehicles, walking, cycling and taking buses. 157 FINAL COMMENTS • I took the time to complete this survey in hopes that the results will indeed be taken seriously and action will follow. Also, I must say that this is a great idea to gather information for the citizens who actually live here. Making this survey known was somewhat obscure though, as I spotted only today in the Morning Star on a back page. Too bad not more exposure was given it. • THE NORTH OKANAGAN NEEDS PLANNERS AND DEVELOPERS THAT RECOGNIZE THAT BLENDED, HEALTHY COMMUNITIES THAT CAN LIVE SYNERGISTICALLY UTILIZING LOCAL RESOURCES AND PROVIDING SUSTAINABLE LONG TERM EMPLOYMENT THAT HELP RETAIN POPULATIONS AS WELL AS WELCOME NEWCOMERS IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL TO STABILITY AND GROWTH. • I hope that a suitable alternate site is found soon for the Race Track. We need a permanent solution for O’Keefe Ranch to be sustained in a viable way. It is an important part of our heritage. Parking is becoming an increasing problem in the area to the East of the new library, and the Nixon Wenger building, especially on Court Days Increased meter fees is not the way to bring people to the enhanced downtown area. A frequent Mini Bus service might help. Keep up the good work. The new 30th Avenue is going to be great. • Amalgamation is the only way to fix this area. Please allow the citizens to vote on this issue. We love our community but feel that local political division is standing in the way of allowing the community to thrive. • Need for more vision in planning efforts is needed. We should strive to build upon the positive existing qualities of our region and yet allow for compatible changes that will enable us to realize more of our potential. • In the beginning of the survey, it asked if I was unemployed, part-time, full-time, home-maker, retired, etc. It did not give me the option of selecting that I was an employee who had to go on Long Term Disability. I’m working with occupational therapy to see if I can go back to work, but I may never be able to. I find that question unfair, because it didn’t give me an option that I fit in to and I was forced to select 158 more than one that might somewhat fit. I wish the city would ban smoking in the parks and lake areas. It’s awful to take my son to Polson Park or to the beach and then have someone walk or sit next to us smoking their cigarette and then tossing the butt on the ground. Gross. Marijuana is a problem. I don’t like living in areas where people smoke it right outside your house and you or your child has to close up all the windows to try to stop it from coming in your house. That is a big problem with more congested living situations. I want to be able to buy/rent a house where I don’t have neighbours sharing the same wall, smoking a few feet from our windows or door, or having their music pounding through our wall. Families needs space to be healthy, happy, and grow, and it’s hard with expensive housing. I wish there were more things available for single parent families of people with disabilities. My child goes without a lot of things. I see all these “Senior Discount” things going on, and yet I know that some of those seniors are really well off. They have so much more than I do and yet I have a child and have a disability that makes it so difficult to provide for me and my child. I love living in Vernon, but it’s so expensive and there’s not always the support that we need, nor is there a lot of constructive opportunities and activities for families with young teenage kids who don’t want to get into trouble. Thanks! PS: Could we get an Olive Garden? (Just had to ask! It’s a long drive out to Langley!) ;) • We need to pay of our community debts before any new projects are started. Taxed can then be lowered to allow for growth. The renewable energy industry would be perfect for this valley. Saved energy could be used to grow more local food. Beef must be discouraged as it is wasteful of energy, water and land. More education is required in all renewable resources and climate change. Serenity needs to be considered as a valued commodity in our home, at work, at play and at all times. • This survey is main comprised of economic information and hardly touches on the actual quality of life people are experiencing in the North Okanagan. What are the things that make a community? What attracts people to a certain place? How safe do people feel in this community? How are inter-community relations? This survey goes to show that the North Okanagan REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN FINAL COMMENTS is still encompassed in an outdated economic model that can only focus on quantitative data and still has not realized the need for qualitative data collection. There are more issues that make up a community than economy and environment. There is a social landscape and a target demographic that needs to be addressed. A balance must be found to attract a wider age range and diversity of people to the Okanagan. My observations have shown me that there is very little cultural diversity in Vernon, what can be done to change this? There is merit in this survey but there should be less focus on economics and more on the picture as a whole to create balance. • I am very happy with the fact that this survey has been available to the public. I don’t know how many young people would have completed it as I did not see it advertised anywhere. I do not read the newspaper if it was in there. I stumbled upon the survey by being on the RDNO website. Vernon has some serious issues ahead with the ‘youth/brain drain’. It is a very scenic area with great access to many healthy outdoor activities. The severe lack of access to healthy social/art activities are killing this town. Many of my friends and myself have noticed this in the past 5-10 years. I really felt the need to tell you all this and hope my that my comments triggers some change in this area. I do enjoy living here when my friends come back to visit. • I live in low in come housing which is a great gift for low income people. But the people that are allowed to manage these places are abusive. They have board members who do not Validate anything you tell them even with proof. There exact words are don’t let the door kick you in the ass on your way out. They know we will obey them because we are poor and there is no place to go. So we isolate what terrible sad life living like we are in dictatorship instead of leadership !!! • Vernon city council needs to take accountability for their actions and start thinking about the future. GMO foods need to be banned. There needs to be better planning for Vernon, instead of spending $7.8million+ on a stupid sports complex out by the college, the money should have been spend on the hospital and getting more beds and staff. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments • I walk 5-15 kms a day rather than drive - there are areas that need improvement. We spent so much resources on bike routes that sidewalks have (or lack of) not been a focus. By the new Kal Tire offices there is no sidewalk from Polson Mall to Kal Tire. Anderson Way developments no sidewalks. Also transients (sorry for using this term) have overrun Polson Park. The other day 2 people obviously stoned or something threatened to kick me in the “ass” as I was sitting reading. Then walking out of the park another day I thought one of the people were going to push me into traffic. Why can’t the “safe zone” I’ve heard about (drug free zone around downtown area) why can’t this zone be extended to include Polson Park? It would help keep this area safer for the community, visitors and people passing through. • At my age, it is difficult to predict or forsee what I may need in the future; as I am able to drive, walk and have many friends here - but who is diminishing rapidly. Just read the local paper. • I was bearly able to buy my house 13 years ago and cannot pay morgage - only interest. I worry about my children having good employment here. • Face it, housing issues for the poor are complicated but necessary, are all these 500,000+ homes really needed? Not very eco friendly in most cases! • I am a 3-time plus cancer survivor and walking is now a severe struggle! • Needs home low rentals, handicapped units. Housing for seniors, low rentals for family. • More places that allowed pets would certainly help out (rentals). Better transit system needed. Better education is a must. • Please sweep the sidewalk and bike lanes. If it is paved, nobody likes bumpy road. If people want to get cyclists off the highway, please sweep and clean the spaces beside the highway. Let’s be nice and gentle to everyone and we can create a good community together. • I think it is important that the District encourage and support new business related to agriculture and agri-tourism, recreational activities, the 159 FINAL COMMENTS environment and tourism. I would like to see the glass plant property put to use in one or more of the above industries. • We do not need more sports facilities. We need to fix our infrastructure and roads, transit, building repairs like the Rec Centre. We are getting txed to dealth. Every time we turn around, we are getting billed for extra facilities - library, museum, art gallery, city hall - everyone wants improved space at the same time. • I am sorry if I sound negitive. I am honest and this is what this survey is about. There are more pressing needs in Vernon that the ones I describes. Hostpital beds and providing food for the Salvation Army are more important than a race track at Okanagan College. Affordable housing, we need ot stretch out tax dollars. • I use to live in Hull, QC. I could aford to buy a rowhouse because the federal government has a housing program for first time buyers. I could not have done it otherwise. I feel it is time to bring back a similar program. I think it would stabilize the cost of housing and real estate in the Okanagan. Homeownership for young families is practically impossible these days. It is a shame. • All of us younger families are moving. Vernon should lower rent, housing and become easier for young to live. If not addressed soon, this town will solely be an elderly community. • Offer more jobs here in Vernon! • That was fun. • This questionnaire is too long! Vernon has changed a lot in the 40 years we have lived here. The quality of planning has improved immensely recently. Please don’t let it fall off the rails in order to cut costs. We don’t need another round of sprawling developments like the Outback, the Rise or the one above Adventure Bay. They have cost us far more than the cost of a planner! • Thank you for being concerned about my opinions. • 1) The greatest need I see is for increasing income to cities/municipalities to maintain infrastructure. Green solutions wherever possible. 160 Keep up the move to transit, cycling and trails. 2) Amalgamation is needed. • A map of the area of the North Okanagan that this survey covers would be useful. • This survey for the average student takes longer than 15-20 minutes. • Local government in this area needs to cooperate better, elected members need to show better leadership and vision. Much more emphasis should be put on making downtown more pedestrian friendly and vibrant. Vernon will end up with no young families if things do not change. • Need coop housing. • Many homeless students in the school where I work. • Coldstream should allow rental suites in homes to alleviate the rental problem and help with mortgage payment • It was fun and interesting completing this survey; very helpful. Thank you for your time and energy as well, in addressing these important matters of the RDNO. Most sincerely, Tjana L. Witt • Should ask about culture and arts. Institutions like O’Keefe Ranch and Allan Brooks need major support. • I love Vernon. I live out of town and really enjoy how naturally gorgeous and peaceful it is. That being said, Vernon needs more entertainment, arts and culture. We have it in the nooks and crannies, but it needs to be more prevalent. There also needs to be more for youth. Many young adults are frustrated and bored because they feel like they live in a community that caters to seniors alone. • Kalamalka and Okanagan Lakes need to focus on more public access. Keep these assets open for future generations and not just for the wealthy. Affordable housing would help the economy because it would allow employers to attract young people or lower income seniors or middle-age to live and work. We really need more jobs here but not at cost of environment or natural beauty. REGIONAL DISTRICT OF NORTH OKANAGAN FINAL COMMENTS • Too many unsightly homes/yards ie tall weeds, fences in disrepair, junk in sight of the street mainly downtown and South Vernon areas. • Most people in Vernon I speak to do not wish us to become another Kelowna. A concrete city with no regard to the environment or nature and the animals that inhabit the area. • Vernon is an amazing community to live in. However, jobs and affordable housing is a bit difficult to find. • It took 3 years of hard research and patience along with word of mouth to find safe and adequate housing for my two children. Over priced, mould along with building neglect. Sad picture but it is the truth. So happy it’s over…I hope. • I would like to see the North Okanagan be GMO free. We need to limit housing growth to water available. By allowing seasonal growth in housing we end up with neigbourhoods that are partially deserted except in summer. We need to value our water, environment and air quality more. • No real comments I just want some money or an ipod. This survey seems goofy housing isn’t the problem. Kids are excessively using drugs because it’s the only thing to do around here. The excessive wealth and boredom are a perfect breeding ground for addictions. Give kids something to do. • the roads in the north BX are in great need of fixing!! • I think there should be more attempts to cooperate - with provincial and municipal governments and branches - too much money spent on pleasing small, vocal special interest groups and expensive consultants. Quality of LIfe Survey Comments 161 Acknowledgements: Major funding for this project was provided by the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, to whom the Regional District of North Okanagan, EcoPlan International and University of British Columbia are greatly appreciative. The Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia provides funding and information to local governments and non-profit organizations that are engaged in innovative projects that contribute to sustainable, resilient and healthy communities. The project team would particularly like to acknowledge the support of Leanne Sexsmith at the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia for her support, advice and feedback on this project.
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