5 years ago (2008): “The days of soft, lenient penalties are over,” MP Jim Abbott wrote in a letter to The Echo. A Conservative minority government saw Bill C-2, the Tackling Violent Crime Act receive royal assent last week. The new law aimed to impose tougher mandatory jail time for serious crimes; new bail provisions; raise the age of protection for sexual activity from 14 to 16; harsher sentencing for repeat offenders; and create new tools and stronger penalties to present alcohol-impaired driving. “These changes have been long overdue, but late is better than never. Today, families and communities in Kootenay-Columbia and across Canada can feel safer.”
10 years ago (2003): Days after the United States invaded Iraq without Canadian support, The Echo’s editorial this week read, “Canada’s own bitter, twisted, deranged little dictator has come across even worse than Bush. The Great Waffling Throwback, otherwise known as Jean Chretien, and his ship of fools, are effectively jamming a hockey stick in the front wheel of the bicycle built for two that Canada and America have been sharing these past few decades. But it isn’t going to be the American rider who will fly off and smash his teeth out on the curb. It’s going to be Canada. Chretien seems to think he has the same abilities as Saddam Hussein, in that he can rage and storm and his backers will scuttle away in fear of being tossed to the dogs.”
20 years ago (1993): A tip led the Columbia Valley RCMP to pull over a car occupied by two teenagers. The officer discovered nearly $30,000 worth of stolen goods from unlocked cars and a liquor store robbery. One youth spent six months in kids jail, while his buddy hasn’t yet been sentenced. The judge gave a stern warning to the teen, explaining that his habits will land him in adult prison if his jail term doesn’t teach him to smarten up.
35 years ago (1978): The Canada Pension Plan saw changes implemented which increase benefits for those who are divorced, annulled, parents of disabled children and foster parents. Also, retroactively benefits were to be paid out for up to 12-months to retirees and family members of entitled dead people.
40 years ago (1973): In an advertisement, the Insurance Corporation of BC reminded readers that “If you think a driver’s premium is hard to swallow, you’re wrong. It’s only rough on the reckless driver. And it should be. The speeders, the illegal turners, the light runners are going to pay more. A lot more. After all, fair is fair. So watch it.”
45 years ago (1968): Students at DTSS were upset and staged a protest. On a Wednesday afternoon, vice principal Tom Hutchison addressed the concerns of the teens. He said that the girls bathroom is locked during lunch hour because of the amount of smoking occurring in it – far more than in the boys washroom. Dangerous travel was the reason behind the stoppage of the inter-house ski club meetings, he said, and the Sadie Hawkins Dance was cancelled because it would disrupt the academic atmosphere, and because the last school dance was very poorly attended. “You have to co-operate if you want the school to co-operate”, he told the students.
50 years ago (1963): The Invermere Television Association reached almost 40 subscribers, enough to hit their $2,000 target for Ottawa to consider a TV Satellite in the District of Invermere. The campaign was being spearheaded by the Kinsmen’s Club, who said, “Why wait for expensive television to be piped in with a hookup charge? If residents of Athalmer, Invermere, Wilmer andWindermere area join now and support the Invermere Television Association, reception will be quicker, cheaper and there will be the satisfaction of community cooperation.