Dear Editor:

Re: Columbia Lake Provincial Park Development Public Consultation Concerns

We write to you as the lakeside community of Columere Park to comment on the October 7th, 2016 Pioneer article written by Mr. Steve Hubrecht regarding the upgrades at Columbia Lake Provincial Park.

Our community and others that live in close proximity to Columbia Lake have great concerns regarding RDEK Area Director Wendy Booths attempt to shape BC Parks lakeshore access recommendations. Ms. Booth is well aware of the lakeside communities desire to ensure that any development is appropriate from an environmental and archeological perspective (see the April 28th, 2016 letter CPCA to BC Parks and September 1st, 2016 letter CPCA to Booth); and our repeated requests for further inclusive and transparent consultation.

Whilst Ms. Booth speaks of balancing the interest of recreational users, environmental protection and recognizing the cultural significance of this area (cf. October 7th, 2016 Pioneer article), she has nonetheless chosen to insert herself into BC Parks development design process after the prescribed inclusive consultation period, and reminds us (September 8th, 2016 letter Booth to CPCA) that the RDEK Official Community Plan (OCP) supports the establishment of a new public boat launch at the north end of Columbia Lake, which is clearly not recommended by BC Parks scientific analysis and evaluation.

The Columere Park Community Association (CPCA) and other lakeside stakeholders support BC Parks publicly validated, science based recommendation to develop appropriate lakeside access within Columbia Lake Provincial Park as described in its July 2nd, 2014 Open House and Meetings Summary: Columbia Lake Park Facility Access Improvements Report .

BC Parks is the competent authority having jurisdiction in this matter not the RDEK, which, like the lakeside communities, is a stakeholder. The CPCA has asked the Minister of Environment (Hon. Mary Polak) to require further transparent and inclusive public consultation if BC Parks is contemplating development other than that which has already been publicly vetted it is essential that due process be respected by everyone, including Ms. Booth.


Mark Thomas on behalf of the Columere Park Community Association

Fairmont Hot Springs