10 years ago (2003): The province made $600,000 available through the Economic Measures Fund for the Kinbasket Water and Sewer Company to ensure the provision of potable water throughout the Shuswap Indian Band reserve.The price tag was to break seven-figures as the federal government has already supported the project with $300,000 and the local band has spent $108,000. More than 1,000 new residential and recreational properties were expected to be serviced within the decade to follow.
“This project will create long-term economic benefits for the Shuswap First Nation, stimulate the local economy and attract future economic development to the region,” said Geoff Plant, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Treaty Negotiations.
15 years ago (1998): The valley was eagerly anticipating the arrival of NHL right-winger Sheldon Kennedy, who promised to stop in Invermere during a campaign across Canada, in which he travelled by rollerblade, to raise awareness and funds for victims of sexual abuse. He issued an apology for missing the event, however, after he was found with alcohol in his blood and marijuana in his pocket as he caused a motor vehicle accident. While Mr. Kennedy expressed disappointment in himself through the letter, his message was not lost, as a strong crowd of 200 people gathered to “maintain their support for his cause,” where a $22,000 cheque was donated from the valley.
20 years ago (1993): As Canada’s first female Prime Minister, Kim Campbell, called an election to take place in a month, five hopefuls emerged from the East Kootenay riding. Incumbent Sid Parker of the NDP was facing members from the Liberals, Greens, PCs, and the Reform Party, which was being represented locally by Jim Abbott. Speaking with The Echo, Mr. Abbott said his campaign begun a year earlier with extensive phone calls and meetings with constituents. He found that voters in the local riding were most bound by the deficit, taxation, and the justice system, particularly with youth.
30 years ago (1983): B.C.’s Education Minister Jack Heinrich announced the decision to reintroduce final exams into the public education system, representing 50 per cent of a student’s final grade. The change drew criticism, as one concerned parent attended the following Educational Committee Meeting of the School Board, and challenged the members to continue with their jobs “on the basis of one successfully completely exam.” Instead of “graduation exercises,” students will be writing exams and results will not be known until the following month. Exam rewrites will take place during the month of August, “making financial planning for post-secondary schooling very difficult”.
40 years ago (1973): Excitement was looming in the valley, as a committee formed with the aim of raising enough money for an FM transmitter in Windermere, which would rebroadcast CHFM from Calgary. “F.M. Radio is noted for the high quality of its programming with a minimum of commercial breaks and a maximum of uninterrupted music and news.” A $20 contribution from each household in the valley will cover costs for antennas, batteries, helicopter rental, technical brief and fees, and the CRTC application, the committee said.
50 years ago (1963): “A first bicycle is a pride and joy to a boy or girl,” read a column titled Bicycle Safety. “The exhilarating experience of riding down hill on a bicycle is known to most of us. The ability to get places to do things is increased when a youngster has a bike.” The column then reminds parents to shares the rules of the road with their little riders: “always the right side of the road; always single file; always signal direction turns; always a safe distance behind automobiles; and never hitch rides on cars or trucks.” The column then suggests that a service club award children with “some sort of ‘safe bike’ sticker after an official inspection by some willing and knowing citizen to alert the kids to the very real necessity for safe biking”.