It is great to be back in Radium after a trip to New Zealand with a Rotary International Friendship Exchange. Travelling is a good way to gain perspective on how our own community looks within the larger world context.
Despite the obvious differences, New Zealand is similar in many ways to life in the valley… right down to similar priorities by government.
The Member of Parliament for the North Island spoke at a meeting we attended and shared that priorities for government included fresh water rights and management, and the need for high speed internet access for all. Doesn’t that sound familiar?
As a Maori himself, he discussed the work being done jointly between all levels of government throughout the country. Again, some common ground.
While I was away, Councillor Tyler McCauley was busy attending a workshop in Richmond as well as attending Regional District of East Kootenay board meetings on my behalf. I invited him to comment on some work he has been doing and he shared the following:
In the coming months, accommodators in the Columbia Valley have an important decision to make regarding marketing and will be meeting together to discuss the future of tourism for our village and the surrounding valley.
Historically, each community has developed its own marketing plans and budgets to attract tourists to the area. The proposed valley-wide Direct Marketing Organization (DMO) would create a merger of marketing organizations for Radium, Invermere/Panorama, Fairmont and Canal Flats, and would see an increase in Municipal and Regional District Tax (MRDT) funds collected by accommodators.
This would boost our ability to market the valley as one body. For the first time since I moved here, a good portion of the accommodators from the Radium area will be meeting to discuss the opportunity in detail. It’s an exciting time to be a business owner in Radium and the Columbia Valley!
Clara Reinhardt is the mayor of the Village of Radium Hot Springs and a Regional District of East Kootenay director for the Columbia Valley.