Canal Flats ahead of the accessibility curve

The Village of Canal Flats held its regular council meeting

The Village of Canal Flats held its regular council meeting at the Columbia Discovery Centre on Monday, September 8th. Several notable items, including a presentation on accessibility from A.C.E. (Accessibility in the Community for Everyone) informing council the group would no longer be running, were addressed and acknowledged by council.

Wendy Rockafellow, accessibility ambassador for A.C.E., introduced council to new initiatives on accessibility in the community, to be picked up by other groups and local government when A.C.E. winds down. September is disability employment month and the province of B.C. has become one of the most progressive leaders in providing awareness and implementing action to improve the integration, awareness and the tools necessary to bring an under-represented workforce into the community.

“We must be champions of building accessibility and it’s important to provide correct infrastructure to facilitate independence,” said Ms. Rockafellow.

Part of the issue discussed was mobility (access to buildings, community planning) which directly affects the employability of people with physical impairments. Ms. Rockafellow addressed council and congratulated the Village of Canal Flats as being one of the leaders in providing and implementing standard building codes for accessibility.



Bylaw concerns

Concerns during the question period from citizens who were in attendance included the re-structuring, or rewording of documents in regard to zoning bylaws (resulting from the current re-zoning application that would change zoning from a RES 1 to a REC 1) and the potential of removing campground concessions. Citizens were interested to know if certain stipulations could be vetoed within the new bylaw.

Mayor Juras addressed concerns and confirmed that the restructuring, re-editing and rewording of documentation could be undertaken by council and indicated that the new bylaw would include site-specific zoning. “We can change anything we want,” said Mayor Juras.



Miscellaneous items

Other issues included the purchase of a new snowplow as a backup truck. The proposed budget for the new truck is $66,000. Council discussed the disparity of the budget in light of the current costs to outfit the village with a proper snowplow truck, which would be upward of $128,000.

Furthermore, a new public hearing has been decreed for the Benny Boyz zoning approval; the new beach washrooms are estimated to be ready for winter and the plans are projected to be finished by mid-September or early October; and $8,500 is the new proposed budget for an electric sign for the Columbia Discovery Centre. The sign would include public messages, notices, group functions and possibly emergencies. Conflicting viewpoints arose during council about two proposed designs. As such, the motion was defeated.

All were in favour of improvements to the paving of McGrath Avenue at a cost of $25,000. Work will begin immediately.


Notice of a new motion for the rebranding of the village by Swansea Communications was confirmed. Council is looking for 100 per cent information on the proposed marketing strategy of the communications firm before committing.