Airport Inn Lakeside owner Raif Fleihan points to some of his memorabilia in his lobby. (David Venn - Kelowna Capital News)

Lake Country’s year in review – July 2019

A look at the biggest stories of the year for the month of July

Teen singer chases big dreams

Keala Morazzin, a 14-year-old singer from Lake Country, put on a show in Lake Country on Aug. 10.

The talented singer already had a number of performances and competitions under her belt, but was looking forward to a performing in front of a home town crowd.

She usually performs solo, but she always enjoys the extra support in group performances, which includes her mother, Amanda, on piano.

Airport Inn residents find a home

Airport Inn owner Raif Fleihan continued to operate his motel without a business permit, hoping he could continue operations despite being heavily fined.

In 2017, the hotel was shut down due to health and safety concerns.

Mayor James Baker said Lake Country’s fines weren’t enough to keep businesses like the Airport Inn accountable so now the district has a motion brewing that could board up the building.

While many view the Airport Inn as a liability, many of the residents viewed Fleihan as their saviour by giving them a home and keeping them off the streets.

Vilification of Trudeau challenge for MP

Liberal Kelowna-Lake Country MP Stephen Fuhr said he is feeling good about the upcoming election despite his affiliation with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who has been vilified by Canadian media.

“When I travel around the world, there’s nothing but kudos and high-fives for Canada,” Fuhr said.

“And they love the prime minister.”

While Fuhr acknowledged Liberal MPs may lose votes because of the controversy surrounding the Trudeau government, he said while the PM has endured some “gotcha moments” over the last four years, many still remain very supportive of Trudeau’s direction of government.

Airport Inn plans to appeal eemedial action

Airport Inn Lakeside owner Raif Fleihan said he was going to take remedial action against the district after it fined him for violating the district’s bylaws.

Fleihan was given 45 days to do so or to comply with district and provincial bylaws and regulations, according to the district of Lake Country community manager Jamie McEwan.

“Despite numerous efforts over the past years to bring the property into compliance the property remains a concern with respect to the building code, the building bylaw, RCMP capacity, among other issues,” McEwan said during an Aug. 20 council meeting.

Council unanimously passed a motion that sought remedial action for the hotel. This means buildings on the property had to be vacated by all occupants, including Fleihan.

The remedial action also demanded that all entrances, windows and other means of accessing the building get boarded up and a 1.8 metre high fence be built around the motel.

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