By on April 11, 2012

Dear Editor:

This letter is directed to Terry Lake, Minister of Environment for the Province of British Columbia regarding the proposed national park for the South Okanagan Valley.
A small number of individuals in our region are certainly creating a big fuss and doing their utmost to persuade the citizens of the South Okanagan/Similkameen to reject the offer regarding the establishment of a national park in our area.
I have had the good fortune to visit an east coast national park called Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland. I am writing to tell you what I learned and what I want to share about why we MUST HAVE the national park.
The region and the communities close to and inside the national park in Newfoundland bear striking resemblance to our South Okanagan/Similkameen region in that that they are relatively low in population, have been experiencing difficult economic times and do not compare well with other parts of Canada when matters of family incomes and employment are considered using Stats Canada data.
In 1987, the Government of Canada established a national park in the west coast region of Newfoundland.
Tourism went from being a fairly insignificant part of the economy of that region to becoming its No. 1 employment provider and an economy enriching enhancement for what was once one of the poorest regions in Canada.
According to the Red Ochre Regional Board Strategic Plan for 2008-2011, Gros Morne National Park (and area) tourism provided employment for 1,320 annual/seasonal workers in retail sectors that benefit from tourist visits.
The Tourism Industry Value was $35 million annually for the Gros Morne area.
Yes that reads $35 million dollars per year!
In the Gros Morne National Park area the annual visitation increased 60 per cent between 1992 and 2007.
Visitations increased from 100,000 to 160,000. As well as a greatly enhanced infrastructure, they now have 13 motels and inns (nine of which have the capacity to host conferences), 57 bed and breakfast establishments, seven coffee shops, 22 craft stores/shops, six boat tour companies, 12 outfitters (hunting and fishing), 10 private RV parks and 32 restaurants.
Based on this information, I think it is imperative that our municipal, provincial and federal politicians, chambers of commerce and town councils get on board and support the national park sooner rather than later.
Our region has access to an economic miracle. What are we waiting for? I am writing this for fellow citizens, my children and grandchildren.

Stefan Cieslik
Oliver, B.C.

Print Friendly


  1. Michelle Brittany

    April 11, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    Mr. Stefan, I don’t expect you too understand, but the Creator has made this area for our use. Leave it alone, I am an american native blend, please cease you’re involvement in an area which is none of your business. Thank you.

  2. L S

    April 11, 2012 at 4:12 pm

    Sorry, the land belongs to Canada and we can decide–at all levels of our government–what to do with. Besides which, a ‘creator’–and its decisions–is a matter of mere opinion.

    Mr. Cieslik makes wonderful points that will ensure the fragile ecosystem is not trampled by hunters/ranchers and the nearby communities flourish in sustainable, economically viable ways.

    That said, I don’t expect you–with your lack of proper literacy and logic–to understand the points he makes.

  3. MRabbi

    April 12, 2012 at 6:14 am

    Mr. Cieslik, congratulations on bringing things into perspective. Well authored! I agree with LS’ comments.
    Kudos to Osoyoos town council on their recent decision.
    People can be so tunnel visioned including some of the politicians like George Bush. They fail to look at opportunities and the collective benefit. Minister Terry Lake has also demonstrated that narrow vision (if any at all) in his recent decision. One does not need to be an Einstein to see the benefits of this park in this region of Canada.

  4. Les W Dewar

    April 12, 2012 at 9:19 pm

    I agree with both LS and MRabbi! We need this park!

  5. Michelle Brittany

    April 13, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Mr. Stefan:

    You are unkind and have a general lack of respect for humankind, which is obvious. You do not know everything, do not insult what you do not understand, which in muy opinion is mostly everything. Dare you to insult the people that were here before you?

  6. Michelle Brittany

    April 13, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    I misspelled, “my” in my last comment to you Mr. Stefan, I dare you to a game of chess, because you’ll lose.

  7. MRabbi

    April 19, 2012 at 10:38 am

    No one owns the land here, even some people were here long before. You sustain the land for the next generation and generations to come. A National Park is one of the few institutionally supported organized forms of approach to sustain and maintain the unique landscapes of Canada for generations to come. Please get on with this approach, beacause none of us will be there forever! Let our next generation be proud of what we have decided today!

  8. michelle brittany

    April 23, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    MRabbi, you’re also an idiot

  9. molly

    July 2, 2012 at 11:07 am

    Has miss Brittany ever been to any Canadian national park? Such as Banff?, Piction Sandbanks?, Trudeau,? as she does sound quite young. The quality of life would be greatly improved with a national park. Someday hopefully! Besides the work, time, money that it would take to come to standards worth bragging about! Im not to overly concerned. The town ‘Sign Bi-law’ is a prime example of ‘progress’… seriously. LOL

  10. Michelle Brittany

    July 3, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Oh, actually, I’m very young dumm molly. Mama is a lawyer, and and daddy a cop, I think I know what a national park is, and, as such, the creator made it the way it is, you, my dear, are closed minded, care for a game of chess, sweeeeet,,,pea…ha, L…

  11. Michele

    July 5, 2012 at 7:14 am

    If one wishes to hav 10s of thousands of people in your town, I cringe when the cyclists come to town. Good reason for people to visit NOT buy homes in the Okanagan, many people came here to get AWAY from people and enjoy the peacefulness.

  12. J.S. Storle

    September 22, 2012 at 9:30 am

    Has anyone thought about our farming community. The amount of additional controls and red tape could be costly. Taxes will increase. New controls will hinder development. Licensing will be controlled outside of our area. Do not believe the people who support this who are not open-minded to the thoughts of others. I would sit down to chess with Ms. Brttany who sees all sides. What really is Stefan’s angle. I do not buy his rantings.

  13. Bob Parker

    February 10, 2013 at 10:55 am

    Our valleys should be full of wild flowers and wild life . . . the way nature intended and if it takes a national park to achieve this then I support the park.

    The two choices seem to be: PRESERVATION or DEGRADATION.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *