Two-tiered user fees

I sent the following email to Penticton Mayor Dan Ashton regarding two-tiered user fees for recreational assets owned by the City of Penticton:

-----Original Message-----
From: "Michael Brydon"
To: "Dan Ashton"
Subject: Two-tiered recreation fees

Hi Dan,

I was just catching up on my reading following a couple of weeks of vacation and was alarmed to read a story in the Herald (12 Mar, 2009) about the City of Penticton "scrambling" to implement a two-tiered recreation fee. I inherited a binder from Ron Perrie entitled "Sub-Regional Recreation" that discusses the current situation in which 23% of those who register for programs with the City of Penticton's Recreation Department are not residents of the City. Documents in the binder argues for "fairness" in shouldering the burden of subsidies for these programs.

Government, investments drive Okanagan‘s economy


By Steve MacNaull Saturday, March 28, 2009 (link to story)


The Okanagan economy is a lot more dependent on government and personal investments than most people realize, says Jason Cox, the commercial credit manager at Valley First Credit Union and the president of the Penticton Chamber of Commerce.

The Okanagan prides itself as an entrepreneurial hotbed where innovation drives a diversified economy based on real estate, forestry, tourism, agriculture and high technology.

The reality is the Valley is dependent primarily on government jobs, government handouts and people living off their investments.

“That‘s surprising to most people,” said Jason Cox, the commercial credit manager at Penticton-based Valley First Credit Union.


The city of peaches and beaches?

The RDOS recently followed the lead of other regional districts in the Okanagan and awarded a grant to the Okanagan Film Commission.  I am against such grants/subsidies for many reasons.  But the most important is that the economic impact of film production in the Okanagan is negligible.  Indeed, the economic impact of the entire tourism sector is much smaller than most people realize.

I collected some census data and submitted a report to the RDOS board in order to back up these claims.  The full report can be found here, although the central argument is captured in the graphic below

Sources of income in the RDOS