Meikle dies from cancer

UPDATE: 12:45 p.m.

Nelson Meikle was a "fun-loving family man" whose "grandson was his life," according to his daughter Lori Cole.

Meikle passed away peacefully and surrounded by family, according to Cole, who said the death was caused by complications from a surgery for pancreatic cancer, which he had been diagnosed with last winter.

Meikle is best-known for his lawsuit against the city and activism surrounding the Skaha Lake Park waterslide and the City of Penticton's deal with Trio Marine Group, which Cole described as a fight for the city's parks and green space.

"Everything he did was for his grandson," Cole said, adding that the Skaha Park issue, too, was to preserve park space for his grandson. "For sure. He always said he was doing it for his grandson. They had a special bond."

Cole described Meikle as a typically private family man, adding that his presence in the media as a watchdog was never for attention, but to hold the city to account.

"He was a loving man that just had just a positive influence, I think, on everybody," she said, adding that he was persistent in his convictions.

"But he always had backup information. The biggest thing, he always had that backup information. He never went forward with something without having concrete information."

While family was able to be by Meikle's side when he passed, the death did come as a shock for the family, as it was rather sudden.

Cole says the family will be holding a celebration of life for Meikle in Skaha Lake Park at a future date to be determined.

ORIGINAL: 11:42 a.m.

Nelson Meikle, a man who made his name fighting against the city on a controversial waterslide project in Penticton, has passed away, according to a close friend.

Meikle passed away Tuesday morning, after a battle with pancreatic cancer, according to fellow activist Kevin Proteau, who wasn't clear on how long Meikle had been fighting with the cancer.

Proteau called Meikle "truly a man that was for the community," a lesson he says he hoped to impart on others in Penticton.

"That's what he was trying to teach a lot of us in our community is how to, when you don't like something, how to stand up for yourself and take on the system," Proteau said. "He was doing that with Skaha Park, and at the end of the day, I think a lot of people realize that kind of had nothing to do with the waterslide."

Meikle's fight on a proposed Skaha Lake Park waterslide project helped to dismantle that part of the project, but Proteau says that was more about holding the city to account and holding it to the law than it was about the waterslide.

"He was determined to make things right, so he's going to be sadly missed here."

Meikle's lawsuit against the City of Penticton continued after the waterslide failed, while another lawsuit from another group was dropped, with Meikle fighting what he saw as a wrongful deal with Trio Marine Group to develop the Skaha marina in the first place.

With Meikle's passing, Proteau says his group, Penticton Citizens First, isn't going away, and the fight will continue.

"With Nelson gone, that just means that there's more to do," Proteau said, adding that he and Citizens First will be "stepping up to the plate." 

"They're not going anywhere, but we're going to learn from what we did with Nelson and continue."

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