Published on the DaninOttawa.com site on July 1, 2011.
Never let it be said that being an MP is not a very interesting or rewarding job. It’s hard to believe that one week ago today I was in Ottawa, engaged in the great filibuster debate of 2011 with my fellow government caucus colleagues and members of the opposition.
Today Ottawa seems like a million miles away and spending the day in the beautiful riding of Okanagan– Coquihalla for Canada day (my first as your MP) is one that I will never forget. One of the more interesting stops along today’s journey was in the community of Okanagan Falls.
I plan on profiling more about Okanagan Falls in future posts but what made today so special was being on hand to help open a new waterfront park. Okanagan Falls was a community created with a vision a great many years ago. The majority of the waterfront in Okanagan Falls was always protected in the hopes that one day a park would grace the shores of Skaha Lake for all citizen’s to enjoy. However with a small tax base and challenges to provide other important civic infrastructure, the park has been slow to evolve. But not today. Thanks in part to Federal Gas Tax funding, and the leadership of local RDOS Area “D” director Bill Schwarz, we had a ribbon cutting ceremony for what will truly be one of the best family waterfront parks in the Okanagan. I say one of as Peachland has also done an amazing job in increasing public use of their waterfront as well.
What made today’s ribbon cutting all that more special was the attendance of two lovely seniors who are lifelong residents of Okanagan Falls. For them this was a truly special day, and for me to hear them share fond memories of their childhood in this exact same location were very rewarding. I was also really happy to see that those with mobility challenges can also now have access to the waterfront in a way that they could not previously do so prior to this project getting underway. I also have to pay a tribute to Bill Schwarz. I was probably not one of Bill’s favorite persons in local government, but I have always had a deep respect for Bill’s commitment to his community and for getting things done on behalf of his ratepayers. Bill is soon to retire from local government and not only would I like to wish him well, but also formerly acknowledge that Bill’s efforts have left behind a better community where citizens will enjoy a higher quality of life.
Happy Canada Day to the community of Okanagan Falls!
In addition to his weekly MP Report. the Dan in Ottawa blog is another resource for residents of Okanagan-Coquihalla. Chronicling Dan’s personal experiences as he travels to Ottawa and throughout the riding as your MP.
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