Similkameen attractions a resource that deserve investment

New Democrat tourism critic calls for Liberals to partner with local agencies

NDP Heritage critic  Spencer Chandra

NDP Heritage critic Spencer Chandra

The Liberal government should be doing more work with local agencies in the Similkameen region to showcase its attractions, says New Democrat arts and tourism critic Spencer Chandra Herbert following a trip to the area on the Labour Day weekend.

“I’ve been blown away by the beauty, the history and the heritage of the Similkameen,” said Chandra Herbert. “The region is incredible, and the local organizations that have been safeguarding its treasures and sharing them with visitors from British Columbia and across the world should be applauded for the good work they have done.”

Chandra Herbert took time to visit Keremeos’ Grist Mill, which is B.C.’s oldest remaining flour mill, and explored the Snaza’ist Discovery Centre, which teaches visitors about the history of local First Nations and the Mascot Mine.

“Investigating the Snaza’ist Discovery Centre is like taking a trip through time to a different age, a different British Columbia,” said Chandra Herbert.  “The Liberal government should be doing more to help local agencies market this fascinating attraction to both Canadian and international visitors.”

The New Democrat critic noted that in 2009 the Liberal government cut all funds to Heritage B.C. and since then investments in heritage protection have been reduced by 40 per cent.

“Communities and First Nations in the Similkameen need to be celebrated for the important work they have done to protect heritage assets like the Mascot Mine and the Keremeos Grist Mill,” said Chandra Herbert, noting their potential to underpin a thriving tourism industry.

“Adrian Dix and the New Democrats believe that the province should be doing more to partner with local agencies to promote the region and spread the word about the unforgettable vacation experiences these and other B.C. communities have to offer.”

Herbert’s visit took him to the offices of The Review, where he briefly discussed the possibility of the Grist Mill receiving zero funding in future budgets, as cutbacks to the Heritage Ministry continues

“The ministry currently provides funding through endowment monies,” he told the Review. “I believe the ministry needs to return to the former Tourism BC model of marketing and development. Politics are now in charge of it-things haven’t been the same since 2008, and B.C.’s 12 heritage properties are some of our best tourism aspects.”


– NDP press release