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estination Osoyoos Chairman’s rebuke of the gentleman’s critique of Destination Osoyoos pamphlet “Report to the Community”, clouds the issues that really matter to society. Referring to Destination Osoyoos Chairman’s response December 17, 2008 to the gentleman’s letter in Osoyoos Times December 10, 2008, the gentleman’s letter offers valid points that don’t deserve to be dismissed -- but society’s focus should not be Destination Osoyoos. 

Destination Osoyoos is doing what the private sector is supposed to do in pursuit of revenue and profit. They market their service to potential customers in the marketplace. Destination Osoyoos’ customer is the Town Council and government, and Town Council and government’s decision to fund Destination Osoyoos is a political decision. Hence, society’s concern should not be Destination Osoyoos, but our Town Council and provincial and federal government that make decisions and spend tax moneys on our behalf.

Since politics cannot be understood without the use of social and natural science, society’s concern should be our elected representative’s understanding of the social, economic and ecological issues society faces, and of course their integrity. The foremost concern should be society itself, not to forget that the behavior in government and Town Council and government funding decisions reflects the level of understanding and moral and ethical values in society. As Walt Kelly put it “We Have Met The Enemy and He Is Us". 

Tax cannot be used in one direction without being at the expense of other aims in the community - the opportunity cost. Funding to Destination Osoyoos involves ethical choices. From the point of view of sustainable development the social, economic and ecological problems facing humanity, and the disparities in society no longer can be ignored. The global ethical responsibility of government in determining the use of tax is becoming critical, as using tax to head hunt physicians from far less fortunate economies. Are Beach Cleaning machines more valuable to society than funding of socially relevant research to increase the understanding required to early enough solve the social, economic and ecological problems we face. Or are they more valuable than shelter and support to those less fortunate? 

What first comes to your mind when reading the Destination Osoyoos pamphlet? Who actually governs Osoyoos, the elected Town Council or Destination Osoyoos? I find it amazing that Destination Osoyoos has the mandate to practice social engineering and designate Osoyoos a Resort Municipality with the provincial government! That seems like a democratic failure. 

What is urgently needed and many years overdue in Osoyoos, is a prudent unbiased examination of the Town’s economic development model and its contract with Destination Osoyoos. That should be a high priority of the new Town Council. 

Since we are the taxpayer for all government levels, and Destination Osoyoos receives tax transfers from municipal, provincial and federal government levels, it would be natural if the provincial and federal government participates in the research. 

As a footnote: technically the concern is “faults in the economy’s allocation mechanism” that hamper sustainable economic production, and allows economic development to usurp social and ecological realities.

The research would be a socially relevant multidisciplinary research project for UBC Okanagan, increasing understanding that would benefit Okanagan and Canada. I trust Destination Osoyoos, would welcome the research. Why wouldn’t they.

Democracy depends on understanding and a free flow of information openly discussed. Support Osoyoos Times your local newspaper.


December 19, 2008

Season Greetings,