You know, you can make fun of people that are all “corporations are bad” all the time: it’s a position that lacks nuance and the ability to sift the actual bad things from the other stuff that happens. And then your hometown renames itself after an airline.
WestJet’s April announcement that it was buying planes for a residential service—the airline version of those community buses that serve senior citizens and residence kids—and inviting 30 communities to submit in-person bids to become a stop has got Penticton under the collar. Twitter campaign! Online petition! Okay, I guess. But it’s been getting a little creepy. Watch that flashmob video, where parents zealously force their children to dance on a baggage carrier in Penticton Airport, whose departures room is the saddest place in the Okanagan Valley.
And now Council has issued one of those ridiculous declarations municipalities like to make for the day Penticton city officials travel to Alberta to present the bid, but they’ve skipped right past declaring it a holiday or some bullshit to literally renaming the town to Westjetville:
Mayor Dan Ashton has signed an official proclamation changing Penticton’s name for the same day the city delegation will be giving a presentation to WestJet executives in Calgary.
“WestJet and Penticton are a good fit, and we felt changing the name of the City would be the icing on the cake of our presentation,” said Ashton.
I can’t even start with this. Here are all of the reasons why this is awful:
- Penticton already has an airport, with an airline. It is the worst, but how many airlines does Penticton need?
- Seriously, Kelowna is just a 45 minute drive away. Sort out your stuff, BC Transit, and get valley-wide transit.
- Westjet does not care about you. It is a business making decisions based on how many people will use it. It will break your heart just like every other business that cut fares to Penticton when usage got bad.
- It won’t make Penticton better. What if you flashmobbed the Regional District until Penticton decided it wanted to work with the regional areas and hook up transit connections across the valley? What if you renamed Penticton to “We Aren’t Afraid Of Youth Under 30-ville” and tried to retain people?
- Names are important. What the hell is Penticton without it’s name? Names aren’t Dan Ashton’s to change. Penticton is literally selling itself off for a marginally-decent service that will create jobs for almost nobody. You’ve got no soul at this point.
I can’t believe I’m going to be in that goddamn city when it does this. This is the worst. Penticton is the worst.