Local issues addressed provincially at UBCM

local elected officials met with their provincial counterparts on several items of local interest to the valley.

During the  Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) convention in late September, local elected officials met with their provincial counterparts on several items of local interest to the valley.

Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) Area F director Wendy Booth and Invermere mayor Gerry Taft met with the Environment Minister about the Multi-Material B.C. (MMBC) program and ensuring adequate recycling services in the East Kootenay.

Prior to the meeting Booth had said the minister had previously acknowledge the gap in recycling services in rural areas, such as the East Kootenay, under MMBC and expressed hope there would be some indication from the ministry on how those gaps would be filled.

Taft had said a major sticking point for the Upper Columbia Valley is that MMBC is funding curbside pickup programs but not yellow-bin programs, and that the only recycling depot serving the entire East Kootenay is in Cranbrook.

There was, however, little information from the ministry during the meeting, according to Taft.

“There was a bit of finger-pointing and the excuse we were given (for the lack of service under MMBC in the East Kootenay and other rural areas of B.C.) is that the newspaper industry is not contributing. However, it’s my understanding that signing up for the program might not be financially feasible for many smaller newspapers, so it’s kind of standoff now. It seems that the province is being cautious for the time being on how hard to push the newspaper industry.”

Taft added he’s heard there are bigger implications as other provinces keen on potentially implementing similar programs (such as Ontario) are looking to see how the MMBC-newspaper issue plays out here in B.C.


Jumbo: wait and see

In a meeting with Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Peter Fassbender about the status of Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality, Taft also came away with little new information.

“He (the minster) basically said his ministry is going to wait and see what happens with the revamped proposal for a smaller (Jumbo) resort and with the legal cases involving Jumbo,”

said Taft.

Prior to the meeting, Taft had said that when he’s previously asked ministry officials what the minimum number of year-round residents is needed for a viable municipality, the answer he’s received back is 400 — a number Taft said he feels is unlikely to be reached with a 2,000 bed-unit resort.


Future of Canal Flats mill

Canal Flats mayor Ute Juras met with Canfor chief executive offiver Don Kayne, as well as with Premier Christy Clark and Minister of Jobs, Trades and Skilled Training Shirley Bond to discuss the future of the Canal Flats mill (which Canfor is set to permanently shut down in November).

“I think it was a somewhat promising trip for me,” said Juras, speaking just after the UBCM. “They all committed to a working group being established to look at alternative products or value added products that could be processed at the Canal Flats mill.”

The working group has already had its first meeting last week in Canal Flats, and the group includes representatives from the Ministry of Jobs, Trades and Skills Training; the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations; the Village of Canal Flats, Canfor and other stakeholders.

“We’ve been a mill town for the past 100 years and we want to stay a mill town, or some variation on it,” said Juras.

Although several ideas for potential  value-added or alternative products were tossed around during the meeting, nothing definitive has been decided yet.

Just Posted

The end of an Echo

Invermere Valley Echo shuts down operations in Columbia Valley

Creating a new narrative for Canal Flats

Economic development consultant hired, lists vision for next 90 days

UPDATE: Crews battle as wildfires rage in B.C. Interior

Crews brace for another day on B.C. firelines as no let up is likely

VIDEO: B.C. wildfires by the numbers

Wildfires continue to engulf regions of B.C.’s forests and communities.

VIDEO: More than 180 wildfires burning across B.C.

Firefighters from other provinces called in to assist

DTSS Grad March 2017

DTSS Grad March 2017

59 cats seized in Chase

59 neglected and injured cats were seized from a property in Chase

Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell dead at age 52

The singer/songwriter passed away early Thursday morning in Detroit

Paying tribute to a primeval passage

Uninterrupted celebrates the Adams River sockeye run in an extraordinary way.

UPDATE: Pemberton Music Festival cancelled, no automatic refunds

In the past, the music festival located in Pemberton drew large crowds last year of 180,000 fans

Medical wait times cost B.C. patients $2,300 each

New Fraser Institute report places B.C. at second worst in costs associated with long wait times

UPDATE: 22 killed at Ariana Grande concert

Witnesses reported hearing two loud bangs coming from near the arena’s bars at about 10:35 p.m.

One in three Canadian high school students have rode with drinking drivers, study reveals

Nearly one in five rode with a driver who’d been smoking pot

Top court to hear federal government’s appeal on residential school records

A lower court judge ruled to destroy the stories after 15 years unless consent is given to preserve

Most Read