Editorial: User group competition continues

If small town politics were considered a community cause and a caring approach was used, then maybe we would see more success

We’ve seen it before with the Columbia Valley Recreation Area Committee — competing user groups unable to agree on a framework with which to move the discussion forward to a workable solution for all parties.

Now, it’s the planned multi-use centre for Invermere that is highlighting yet another barbed battle between different groups with different interests. This time, the heated debate revolves around an indoor facility rather than the great outdoors, so different personalities are involved, but as we’ve seen on other issues, they are just as irate, angry and cynical.

Unfortunately, these traits have become the common characteristics of community dialogue in our region when more than one point of view needs to be considered.

For such a caring place filled with so many devoted, loving people who volunteer much of their time to improving the quality of life in the valley, it’s frankly mystifying as to why this is the case.

In this particular issue of The Valley Echo, we’ve reported on Search and Rescue volunteers, Volunteers of the Year, and a substantial donation by a volunteer service club to a volunteer fire department that quite likely will help save lives one day.  Yet, within this same community, residents seize the opportunity to attack one another if they happen to have different points of view on environmental and socio-economic issues such as Jumbo Glacier Resort, the Invermere deer cull, backcountry management and a regional community centre.  If small town politics were considered as much of a community cause as, say, the arts or the splash park, and a caring approach was used, then maybe we would see more success in the outcomes.