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 Explosive interview with Michael Ryan is tendentious.   

It should be stressed this is about the social, economic and ecological issues the community is facing it is about issues not persons.  In his interview with Michael Ryan, the Osoyoos Now Society, Robert Shuster tendentiously or rather blunt blatantly promotes the Town’s economic development model and contract with Destination Osoyoos. 

Hopefully, people don’t buy a car because an ad or TV commercial shows the car sitting on a mountain top. Hopefully in their guise as taxpayer and voter people will recognize tendentious political purpose driven interviews and educate themselves on the issues.  One must assume that the major concern for the Osoyoos Now Society, and Michael Ryan and all other’s, is the social, economic and ecological issues the community faces.  Inevitably then, the major concern must be the Town’s Economic Development model and allied issues, such as land uses, i.e. zoning and ecological and environmental issues, the analysis, planning  and control system  – how could it not.

Assumedly, nobody would travel by air without at least some confidence in the crew and in the air control system.  Why would we not have the same concern for the analysis planning and control standard as “passenger” of society.  The Town Council and Destination Osoyoos seem to stifle justified concerns about the Town’s economic development model.   They would rather cloud the issues by publishing the same rudimentary and virtually meaningless information that Destination Osoyoos has published for years.  Bolstering the positive, telling people be happy don’t’ worry, we are in charge - that should be an insult to the community.   What Designation Osoyoos and Robert Shuster don’t seem to understand, is that the issues are not whether Mr. Mandzuik and Destination Osoyoos have made a positive contribution to the community or not (is any anybody claiming they haven’t).

The fundamental issues are whether the Town’s economic development model and the contract with Designation Osoyoos address the long and short-term issues the community is facing.  Investment in real estate and allied business will come automatically, that is easy.  Osoyoos and the South Okanagan also needs investment in business that can distribute wealth in the community via fulltime better paid jobs, so that ordinary folks can afford to live here, and that is much more difficult than to ride a inflating real estate balloon.   

Therefore, the members of the community should demand an independent scientific prudent analysis and audit of the current economic development model.   Will that happen? So far it hasn’t, the supporter of the current model claim “this is how the voter wants it”, hence be happy don’t worry.   Reminding me of what Winston Churchill said, “the best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter, and democracy is the worst form of government except all the others”. 

What Churchill meant, is that understanding is the lifeblood of democracy, and understanding emerges from vigorous and open discussions in the press and in the community.  So far the Town Council and Destination Osoyoos have refused to discuss the issues letter is unanswered, and so far the society has been silent bystanders, a situation where a free press as Osoyoos Times is crucial for democracy.  

Osoyoos Times is also a business, but Osoyoos Times shows that the papers’ overriding responsibility is to the society it serves, and that is the crucial difference between advertising and good journalism.  Osoyoos support your local weekly paper and get involved in the real issues the community faces.  


October 15, 2005