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No bike parking at UBCM site where pols talk carbon

While UBCM convention delegates were speechifying about how it’s just not possible for northern and interior communities to cope with the B.C. carbon tax, a Vancouver city councilor was outside the gleaming new Penticton Trade and Convention Centre searching for a bicycle rack.

There isn’t one.

Heather Deal is one of a handful of UBCM attendees who brought bicycles to get across town from motels near Skaha Lake to the convention hall. Unable to find a rack in which to lock her sorry-looking old purple bike, Deal asked the convention centre staff for directions.

“We’ll look into that,” is the answer Deal said she was given.

“After consulting among themselves for some time, they walked me outside and pointed to a little chuck of cement chained to a drainpipe. They said that’s the bike rack,” Deal said. “At first, I thought they were joking.”

Whistler Mayor Ken Melamed, who is also cycling to and from the Penticton convention hall, said he found the cinder block, but couldn’t fit the fat tires of his mountain bike into its narrow slot.

“I just chained my bike up to a post out front,” he said.

Melamed, who spoke against the both UBCM resolution opposing the carbon tax and the northern amendment, said the Penticton bike rack was typical of the kind of thinking that’s holding back too many rural B.C. communities.

“Everybody wants to stop global warming,” Melamed said. “So long as it doesn’t cost them anything, and so long as they don’t have to consider any changes to their lifestyle. It’s frustrating.”

Monte Paulsen is editor of The Hook.

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