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EDITORIAL: Ministry policy hurts Oyama
The provincial government always insists it is pro-business and red tape has been cut to help entrepreneurs. But you sure wouldn’t know it in Oyama.
The Ministry of Transportation claims it cannot name Oyama on signs along the new Highway 97 because Oyama is not a distinct community and is part of the District of Lake Country.
But this narrow definition of a community has Oyama merchants paying the price.
Shortly after the new highway opened and traffic patterns shifted, customers evaporated at Gatzke Orchards and revenue of about $4,000 a day was lost. Other merchants have also been impacted and tourists stopping at the municipality’s tourist information centre are down to a trickle.
What ministry officials need to understand that is that while Oyama is part of Lake Country, it has a distinct identity and has been around for more than a century. Unlike other neighbourhoods, Oyama has always been right along the highway and that is where businesses have been established.
Renaming the old highway Pelmewash Parkway and putting up a sign for it is fine, but no one associates that name with Oyama. All it has done is create confusion and many motorists drive right past Oyama without even knowing it.
Lake Country officials are demanding something be done.
“They can put a sign up showing the Oyama exit,” said Mayor James Baker.
And that’s how simple the solution would be — a sign pointing to Oyama or at least referencing Oyama Road.
The provincial government needs to act quickly to correct this bureaucratic run-around.