What Has Happened:
Ongoing incorporation studies continued. Public input not allowed
1993 A referendum was held in Westbank-area H for incorporation. It was defeated by 66 %.
1994--2009 Unprecedented growth of area--the fasted growing area in all of Canada--Smith Creek, Glen Canyon, Rose Valley, Talus
Ridge, Shannon Woods, Casa Loma, and many other residential areas developed.
2002 Area H and Area G were combined without the consent of the residents and named Westside Electoral Area by the Central
Okanagan Regional District Public input not allowed.
2004 Westbank First Nation is granted Self Government Status
2006 Westbank First Nation begins mega shopping centre.
Referendum vote for incorporation verses amalgamation with Kelowna. Incorporation wins. Letters Patent state new name of
municipality as "District of Westside" even though Len Novakowski, David Knowles, and Doug Findlater lobby MLA Rick Thorpe
to have the name West Kelowna as the new name. Clearwarer and Barrier incorporated the same day our district did but they were al
lowed to do so under their historic names Public input not allowed.
2008 Mayor and Council established a naming committee and this was the first time the public was allowed input for our district name.
2008 There were no formal meetings between the district and Westbank First Nation about a possible name change. The 9,000 residents
on WFN Lands were not allowed to give their opinion even though a name change would affect everyone living within the area. ( eg:
two businesses in the same building--one using Westbank the other West Kelowna as addresses on WFN Land which are staying
2008 An Opinion Vote was held and West Kelowna was chosen as the new name for our municipality. Residents who voted not to
change from the name District of Westside were instructed by the some of the poll clerks ( who were given instructions from the
Chief Electoral Officer )to still choose one of the 4 names giving thus giving 1299 voters a second vote. The difference between the
Westbank and West Kelowna vote was 166 votes.
2008 Citizens for a Historic Westbank was formed to Protect, Preserve and Promote Westbank, V4T.
2008 Dec. 09, 2008 - Citizens for a Historic Westbank met en mass at the Council meeting and presented a final submission of 2876 peti
tion signatures for Westbank and 577 additional signatures collected on IR9 and IR10 just days before the December 09 re-naming
decision by council. .
When the decision was made on Dec. 9th, 2009 to name our new district "West Kelowna" with a capacity crowd in attendance, our Mayor and Council promised the Westbank residents that Westbank would always remain. We would not loose our identity , our history or our addresses. The 2009/10 Visitors guide clearly has ignored the Westbank name, changed the historical facts to West Kelowna history, changed adds that were Westbank BC addresses to West Kelowna without the businesses consent, and some advertising states areas are 5 minutes to downtown West Kelowna.
During the Glenrosa fire DWK news releases did not mention Westbank once. The road was closed from Gellatly Rd to the Connector through Westbank and they still refused to use the name Westbank causing confusion. News media announced that the fires were in Kelowna. Kelowna's reaction was to put out an ad campaign stating that Kelowna was still picture perfect. It was not logical to vote against amalgamation with Kelowna and then turn around and take Kelowna as part of the district name. Many Westbank residents were also forced to sign their address as West Kelowna at the EEC and were told they would not receive vouchers if they used Westbank as their address. We, as a community, are watching our name, our history, and our identity disappear.
Thank you to the authors of Westbank.biz for the effort and research into this history and for allowing us to use their format and dates for our history page.