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Okanagan BC Inland Port near Vernon and Kelowna BC

LAST UPDATE January 26, 2015

Inland Port Comment Form

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‘Inland port’ on the agenda
By Richard Rolke - Vernon Morning Star - June 14, 2008

MP Colin Mayes announces $65,000 for a study on a potential inland port.

The North Okanagan could eventually become a major transportation hub.

The federal government announced Friday that it will provide $65,000 for a study looking at a possible inland port somewhere in the North Okanagan.

“The potential impact of such a facility is enormous,” said Colin Mayes, Okanagan-Shuswap MP.

An inland port would be used to transfer commercial goods from trucks and trains as they are shipped to the ocean port at Prince Rupert.

“It could be a large staging area or smaller transfer area that can hand off goods from one form of transport to another,” said Jerry Oglow, North Okanagan Regional District chairman.

Oglow believes that the North Okanagan’s proximity to the U.S. is beneficial.

“We’re right on Highway 97 and we have rail right on our doorstep,” he said.

The study will look at a number of issues including three possible locations and whether the railway companies and provincial government would invest in an inland port. The study will also consider the costs and potential benefits.

A consultant will be hired, and it’s anticipated that the study will be completed by March.

Besides the federal government, NORD is providing $5,200 towards the study, while $7,800 is coming from Community Futures.

“It will be the first of several phases to come,” said Oglow, who says the port could bolster economic development.

“It would create fairly good-paying jobs.”

The $65,000 is part of the federal government’s efforts to help communities cope with the pine beetle infestation.

Forty per cent of the wealth in the North Okanagan is related to the forest sector.

“There are companies that sell tires, equipment or fuel. It’s not just the guys cutting down trees,” said Wayne Lippert, Vernon’s mayor.

Jane Lister, Community Futures general manager, is pleased that economic diversification is being tackled as the North Okanagan’s population continues to grow.

“Initiatives that assist transportation issues are important now,” she said.

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Study may lead to reality
June 14, 2008 - Vernon Morning Star - Opinion

It's difficult to get too excited about a government study because too many times they end up being just that – a report that leads to nowhere.

So it was with some cynicism that we greet the federal government's announcement Friday that a study will look at the feasibility of an inland port somewhere in the North Okanagan.

Although Okanagan-Shuswap MP Colin Mayes enthusiastically proclaimed a major transportation hub for the area could be potentially 'enormous,' it's as far from being a reality as a real port on Okanagan Lake.

However, the idea has merit.

A so-called inland port that linked the ocean port of Prince Rupert with the rest of the Interior through the North Okanagan may make sense for a variety of reasons. The possibility to create a staging area locally for goods travelling by rail or truck to Prince Rupert sounds doable.

The study will look at the costs and potential benefits, as well as whether the provincial government and the railways will come on board. It will also look at three possible locations.

The North Okanagan Regional District and Community Futures are already onside with funding and the prerequisite enthusiasm.

"We're right on Highway 97 and we have rail right on our doorstep," proclaimed NORD chairman Jerry Oglow.

The federal money is coming from the program to help communities cope with pine beetle devastation. And seeing how a significant portion of the local economy is connected with the forestry sector, we deserve our due.

However, let's hope this study on becoming a possible transportation hub drives forward into a reality and doesn't stall at the study stage.

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Never doubt the ability of a small group of concerned citizens to change the world.  In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.

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If you have comments, ideas, solutions, concerns or complaints regarding an inland port, please make a comment by filling out the form below and/or comment directly to the government itself.

Regional District of Central Okanagan

Government of B.C.

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Democracy Rules on the North Westside!

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