The City of Salmon Arm, Mayor, Council and Staff share in the community frustration over the disruptive and disrespectful use of Blackburn Park on a number of recent occasions.
Blackburn Park is a cherished community asset welcoming residents and visitors alike. The playground, exercise equipment, sports fields, skatepark, covered picnic area and walking trails are widely used by children, teens, families and seniors. They are maintained by community tax dollars and much of the infrastructure exists thanks to the hard work and fundraising efforts of community groups. It is a shared space worthy of all our care and concern.
It is customary to write Mayor and Council when planning to use the park for a public event. Permission is granted subject to appropriate insurance and the expectation that the event be held in a civil and appropriate fashion. This is done to ensure that the park can be safely used for the enjoyment of all. Failure to do so demonstrates a disregard of the common courtesy so vital to a healthy and vibrant community. This is a fundamental responsibility we all share.
This is not unique to Salmon Arm. Indeed, communities across Canada face similar situations. Municipal bylaws, and the enforcement provisions they legally provide, were not intended nor designed for these troubling circumstances, nor should we, in a democracy, want or need to afford such powers to local authorities.
The City of Salmon Arm is grateful to the vast majority of users for their continued respectful use, our dedicated parks staff for their daily maintenance and our bylaw and RCMP members for their public safety work. If you have an immediate personal safety risk, please contact 911.
Photo: A. Mehmel