Sage Mesa

Forum focuses on future of KVR Trail

The uncertainty surrounding the transfer of a portion of the Kettle Valley Railway Trail to the Penticton Indian Band sparked a feeling of fear from some at Wednesday’s public meeting in West Bench.

“This is a very touchy issue between everybody,” said Chief Jonathan Kruger. “A lot of people use the (trail) right now and it’s just that fear of change and we just have to get past that fear and come to some understanding where we can all live together because we are living together right now. I’m sure we can work together and live together and prosper together.”

Indian Band wants to set the record straight

Penticton Indian band Chief Jonathan Kruger wants to reduce the fear factor surrounding the band‘s application to reacquire the former KVR right-of-way through the reserve.
Kruger and band Councillor Joan Phillip outlined the proposal before about 150 people attending a public information meeting Wednesday night at West Bench Elementary School.
While many residents expressed concern over what the bandís future plans may be for the route, emotions were largely kept in check.

April 13, 2010 public meeting

Here are some links relevant to the April 12th, 2010, public meeting regarding the KVR:

  • The announcement for the public meeting was sent out in a newsletter: link here
  • The Penticton Western News has added notice of the meeting to their website: link here
  • My draft slides for the presentation (subject to change) are available: link here
  • Federal Additions to Reserve (ATR) policy: link here
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April 2010 Rural Penticton Newsletter

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A newsletter regarding the KVR trail (plus a horse and Mariposa Park update) has been mailed to residents in the "rural Penticton" part of Area F (West Bench, Sage Mesa, Red Wing, Westwood Properties, and Husula Highlands).  You can view an electronic copy by clicking on the picture on the left.

Please note that there will be a town hall meeting regarding the KVR trail:
Tuesday April 13, 2010
7:00 pm
West Bench Elementary School Gymnasium

For more information on the KVR issue, please see the KVR page on this site.

Band closes in on deal for KVR land

An agreement in principle to transfer portions of the Kettle Valley Railway trail from CPR ownership to the Penticton Indian Band is likely a done deal, according to the Okanagan Coquihalla MP. “Basically, they are close to coming to a settlement whereby CPR is prepared to transfer the land to the Penticton Indian Band,” said MP Stockwell Day.

“There are court details that they are still working out. But every indication I have, talking to both sides, is that a final official agreement is very close.”

KVR

There is apparently much concern and confusion regarding the transfer of the KVR lands to the Penticton Indian Reserve.  My original blog posting on the topic attracted many hits and some comments. In addition, there have been a few exchanges (not always cordial) in the local newspapers.  What follows is a summary of my current understanding of the situation. As always, your questions and comments are welcome.

Update 17 Oct 2010: I have added a much shorter and cleaner summary here.

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City and band square off over KVR Trail

The Penticton Indian Band is in a struggle with the city over control of portions of the Kettle Valley Railway trail that pass through the band’s land. Penticton Council voted 4-2 Monday to write a letter to Indian and Northern Affairs Canada stating that it is the city’s position that the roughly 139 acres of land, six parcels in all, should be maintained in its current ownership by the citizens of Canada. The letter is a response to an INAC request for any comments or concerns regarding a PIB application to have the land added to Penticton Indian Reserve.

What would a horse fence cost?

As noted in a previous posting, we are having a light year for horses on the West Bench.  Some residents have therefore posed a reasonable question: Why would we build an expensive fence if the horse problem is solved?

Ultimately this will go to some kind of voter assent process (likely a referendum) so you will be asked to decide this question for yourself.  But a couple of things to consider:

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