I would like to thank Jesse Norton for his public apology after he interrupted MP Richard Canning’s speech at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding for the South Okanagan National Park Reserve.
Through the apology Jesse showed courage and leadership that, I believe, would have made his father proud. Greg Norton was a friend of mine. We often had major differences of opinion and sometimes got hot under the collar but that did not get in the way of mutual respect.
I believe this community has split over the park issue because opposing forces have tended to have contempt for each other. No one changes their opinion when they are treated with contempt. Moving forward, we need to find common ground by listening to each other and being respectful, not by insulting and being rude.
Attempts to pit “the rich people who live along Tuc-el-nuit lake” against other citizens is uncalled for. I live on Tuc-el-nuit Lake. I’ve worked 45 years as a social worker. Others along the lake came as young teachers, young pharmacists and nurses. There was the occasional doctor, occasional orchardist and a hairdresser turned real estate agent. We worked hard, raised our children here and contributed to the community. We welcome the skills, talents and vision of newcomers in the way we were welcomed when we first arrived.