Several key items were listed during the recent village of Canal Flats regular council meeting held at the Columbia Discovery Centre on August 11th, 2014. Notable items, included the Interior Health smoke-free delegation, the progress of a merge water upgrade, and the discussion of the Columbia Valley summer promotional video.
Kerri Wall of Interior Health gave an insightful presentation on the benefits of administering a smoking bylaw within the community, during a presentation that illuminated the efforts of the province to create a Kootenay smoke-free coalition in partnership with Interior Health and the provincial Ministry of Health.
Economic and environmental impacts of tobacco use were brought to light, including the frightening statistic that 85 per cent of lung cancer patients are smokers. “It is guaranteed to kill one out of two, for every smoker,” said Ms. Wall.
Secondhand smoke concerns were on the forefront of the discussion and the possibility of protecting non-smokers from smoke in an outdoor setting were made pertinent. Impacts on wildlife, forest fires, and unsightly butts all contributed to favourable consideration of council members for the implementation of smoke free spaces.
“A strong public policy such as this would be a community principle – the idea being to protect, enhance, and preserve the natural environment,” said Ms. Wall. Mayor Ute Juras also brought up concerns over chemicals from scattered butts seeping into the ground and contaminating water sources.
The merged water upgrade was discussed at length and the overall tone of the in-depth analysis found that Canal Flats water systems were in good shape. Progress would include the introduction of fire flow water to each home and the eventual dissolution of water well systems. Capital, being of utmost importance and necessary to completely finance the operation, was found to be lacking contribution from municipal avenues, who have failed in the past to adequately support such systems.
Councillor Dean Midyette discussed the upcoming Columbia Valley summer promotional video, highlighting the success of the latest marketing project created by Swansea Communications. The Whiteway, which received enormous accolades during its release earlier this year set a premise for further nods at these kinds of united efforts. All council members were in favour of collaborating to create a marketing and promotional vehicle that showcases a montage of all the sites and natural beauty inherent to the Columbia Valley.
Other issues included disturbances over unsightly properties, and the proper channels for bylaw enforcement. Concerned citizens worried about a particular property showed up at the meeting and were asked politely to go through the proper formalities. Councillors were concerned about properly supporting citizens in closing arguments.