ELECTORAL REFORM? – Meetings Held Soon

Locals tour Kootenay-Columbia to discuss electoral reform

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Local FairVote volunteers, Ann Remnant and Sjeng Derkx, will be touring Kootenay-Columbia to hear from residents on electoral reform . The feedback they receive will be sent to the Special Committee on Electoral Reform, ERRE, which wants to hear from Canadians on a new voting system for Canada.

During the election campaign,  Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised that 2015 would be the last election held under ‘first past the post’. Including the Greens and NDP, over 60%  of Canadians voted for parties which ran on electoral reform.  “Minister of Democratic Institutions, Maryam Monsef,  said she will not implement a new electoral system without broad buy in from Canadians”, according to Derkx.  “This is the best chance in a generation to make our voting system fair and inclusive for all voters” said Remnant, “the committee is accepting public input until October 7,  so now is the time.”

Remnant and Derkx will be making 8 stops in communities throughout Kootenay-Columbia between Sept 22 and Oct 2 to discuss:

  • why our current electoral system needs to be updated
  • which options are being considered, and their pros and cons
  • what the impact would be in Kootenay-Columbia

“Our meetings are non-partisan, free and everyone is welcome,  we want people to have their say” said Remnant.  There will be a short presentation followed by conversation about what electoral reform may mean for Canada, for Kootenay-Columbia and for individual voters.   Participants will be asked to share their opinions about key issues, which will then be forwarded to the Special Committee on Electoral Reform, ERRE. “The current system works just fine for some political parties, but leaves too many voters out in the cold” said Derkx. “ This is one of those very rare moments when political parties are open to change, let’s take advantage of it.”

Here’s the schedule:

Sept. 22 Revelstoke 7-8:30pm Conversations Cafe 205 MacKenzie Ave
Sept. 23 Golden 7-8:30pm St. Andrews’s United Church 901 – 11th Avenue South
Sept. 25 Nelson 7-8:30pm Senior’s Centre, Branch #51 717 Vernon Street
Sept. 27 Kaslo 7-8:30pm Bluebell Bistro 347 Front Street
Sept. 28                            Riondel   2-3:30pm Senior’s Room Riondel Community Cntr
Sept. 30 Creston 4:30-6pm Public Library 531 16 Ave S
2016-10-01 Kimberley 1-2:30pm Public Library 115 Spokane St (2nd flr)
2016-10-02 Cranbrook 3-4:30pm TBA

Ann Remnant, whose Proportional Please postcards were a hit across Canada,  is the Kootenay lead with FairVoteCanada, an advocacy group for proportional representation.

Sjeng Derkx, originally from Holland,  has a life long passion for democracy, has worked in an executive role in both federal and provincial elections, and ran as a provincial candidate in 2013.

Ann Remnant annrem1@gmail.com  250 505 0329
Sjeng Derkx sderkx@gmail.com  250 505 0755
FairVoteCanada www.fairvote.ca
ERRE http://www.parl.gc.ca/Committees/en/ERRE

Household Hazardous Waste Round-Up


Annual Household Hazardous Waste Round-Up: Coming this fall to a community near you!

“This has been a valuable and extremely well received program for our folks and the feedback has been all positive,” says RDCK Joint Resource Recovery Committee Chair Ann Bunka. “We are pleased to continue this important service across the region.” Residents may especially be interested in using this opportunity to safely dispose their motor oil products if they do not already have a receiving depot nearby.

Find an event near you and join in the round-up!

Saturday Sept. 17, 2016 11:00am-2:00pm

Sunday Sept. 18, 2016 10:00am-2:00pm

SALMO RECYCLING DEPOT (Curling Club Parking Lot)
Saturday Sept. 24, 2016 11:00am-2:00pm

Sunday Sept. 25, 2016 10:00am-2:00pm

Saturday Oct. 1, 2016 11:00am-2:00pm

Sunday Oct. 2, 2016 11:00am-2:00pm

Check the Hazardous Waste Round-Up page at the RDCK website www.rdck.ca for updates and a complete list of acceptable waste.

For information on BC’s product stewardship programs, including depot locations, visit: www.rcbc.bc.ca or call 1-800-667-4321.

Fires in Sanca and Twin Bays

Nelson, BC
August 31, 2016
3:07 pm PDT

Three Wildfires Burning Near Sanca
No threat to homes
Three fires are currently burning in the Sanca area, approximately 12 km south of Boswell.
The South East Fire Centre reports that the fires are not posing a threat to structures or
The status of the fires is as follows:
• Fire south of Sanca Creek: 0.5 ha in size. One initial attack crew is on scene.
• Twin Bays Forestry Service Road: 0.3 ha in size. One helicopter and airtankers attacking the
• Another fire in the Twin Bays area is 0.009 ha in size and is being attached by airtankers.
Anyone who spots a wildfire is asked to call *5555 on their cell phone or call 1.800.663.5555.

Beach Party “Swim-In” Planned in Support of Preserving Queen’s Bay

Event: Queen’s Bay Beach Party “Swim-in.”

When? 1:00 pm Sunday 21 August 2016; This is a rain or shine event.

Why? To show support for keeping the Kootenay Lake ferry terminal in Balfour and preserving the Queen’s Bay beach.

Where? Bike, hike, boat or drive to Turtle Rock beach approximately 4 kms north of Balfour along Highway 31; please park only on the lakeside of the highway.

What? Beach tours of the precious shoreline proposed for filling and paving if the Balfour ferry terminal is moved to Queen’s Bay. 2:00 pm giant “swim-in”; prizes for kids, short speeches, fun.

Swimmers, sun-tanners, kayakers, pleasure-boaters, paddle boarders, fishers, hikers, wind surfers, bird watchers, canoers, water skiers, and anyone else who appreciates Queen’s Bay is invited to a beach party 21 August in support of preserving this unique stretch of Kootenay Lake shoreline. The event will start at 1:00 pm at turtle rock beach approximately 4 kilometers north of Balfour along highway 31. There will be tours of the popular beach marking out the half-kilometer that our Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is considering filling in and paving as parking lot for a proposed new ferry terminal. At 2:00 pm participants will rally for the bay’s first official “swim-in” to recognize its environmental, cultural-historical, and recreational value to the local community and the region as a whole. There will be prizes for the kids, some very short speeches, and a chance for everyone to take some (in)action in support of the bay by enjoying themselves at the beach.

There has been lots of rain and/or shine this summer. So please plan to attend whatever the case as a show of support. Parking along the highway by the beach will be limited so boat, bike or hike if you can. So add this to your calendar. We look forward to seeing you.

Backgrounder: This event is part of an ongoing campaign spearheaded by the Queen’s Bay Residents’ Association and local businesses in Balfour, where the ferry terminal is currently located. It’s in response to last June’s release of a feasibility study by our Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure recommending moving the Kootenay Lake ferry terminal to Queen’s Bay.

  • The Balfour businesses and local residents are widely and deeply opposed to this proposed move. Opposition to relocating the terminal to Queen’s Bay also comes from tourists and the larger community outside the region who appreciate keeping Kootenay Lake the special place that it is. More than 3000 signatures so far have been gathered petitioning the government to keep the ferry terminal in Balfour.
  • Closing the Balfour terminal would likely be the end of the ferry landing businesses costing our local economy dozens of jobs and millions in tourist and local dollars. Dredging and filling the north end of Queen’s bay with 6000 truck-loads of fill covered in pavement would irretrievably ruin a precious and popular stretch of warm water beach including rare Kootenay Lake shallow water fish habitat as well as historical and cultural values
  • The Queen’s Bay Residents’ Association and the Balfour Ferry Businesses Coalition have conducted a technical review of the government study recommending moving the terminal and found it grossly deficient as a fair appraisal of the other options besides relocating the terminal to Queen’s Bay. The document has been found by subject matter experts to be incomplete,  biased and unfit to base a decision to move the ferry terminal.

For more information, contact: John Betts 250-229-4380 or Maureen Jansma 250-229-4661 – Queen’s Bay Residents’ Association





ytPerhaps by now you’ve heard about the amazing financial opportunity through Columbia Basin Trust that our region is expectantly facing in the upcoming funding cycle.

Earlier this year, CBT announced $4.65 million ($1.55 million annually) over three years for the development and support of a Basin Youth Network for youth aged 12 to 18. Community Youth Networks are eligible for up to $55,000 per year for up to three years for the hiring of a local youth coordinator and the funding of local activities and events for youth.

As it turns out, the East Shore has done such a good job with creating opportunities for local youth over the past four years with the Community Directed Youth Funds, that CBT is glad to help support the East Shore Youth Council with continued funding for the next three years.

The Youth Networks, supported through a CBT regional coordinator, will engage youth directly in order to increase activities and provide diverse opportunities based on local youth’s priorities.

The current funding cycle (the final of four years of funding – $25,000/year) is finishing up in October of this year, and it is now time to consider our options as to how we might allocate up to $55,000/year.

We would like to invite the community (parents, youth, businesses, school staff, everyone!) to an open meeting on August 11 at the Crawford Bay Hall at 7pm. We need your input!

  • Do you have good ideas about how to spend some of this money?
  • Have you imagined some programming that you think would be beneficial to local youth?
  • What about infrastructure or job creation?
  • Do you see yourself offering something?
  • Do you just have an idea and want to submit it for consideration?

We have to create something of a template of activities/programs with approximate costs in order to receive the funding, so we need the communities help! We have opportunities and endless options. We can pay local teachers/mentors/coordinators to host workshops or events on a sliding scale of $20-$30/hour.

We hope to create some important community partnerships and invest in creating valuable volunteer/community service programming for youth, where they reap benefits from helping others within the community.

We are also looking for a new youth coordinator for the program. Steve Sayer has announced that he will be moving on to other things and will be resigning the youth coordinator position. The job is posted in this issue and more information can be obtained through Carol Vanr at 250.505.3760. This job may be a single position or may be shared with an ESYC administrator and be more of a projects and events dedicated person/position, depending on the applicant. The ESYC would like to warmly thanks Steve Sayer for his past year with the group and wish him all the best in his next adventures.

Please join us on August 11 at 7pm at the Crawford Bay Hall for this important feedback/input session regarding youth opportunities on the East Shore.

All are welcome!




The parade doesn’t move… the spectators do!

Saturday, July 30

10-noon on Ainsworth Avenue

Network and socialize. Need some ideas? Play some fun music, set up prize wheels, balloon bursts, fish bowls, duck ponds, face painting and color hairspray, hole-in-one, kissing booth, garden vegetable booth, craft booth, baking booth. Show off your musical or dancing talents…. So many options! Get a group together to split working shifts! Promote your business, your club to increase membership or your non-profit organization to increase volunteers.  

Contact Wendy Miller at 250 225 3516 or email bobsbar@bluebell.ca  to register (it’s free!!) or for further information

The Riondel Daze Parade will take place on Saturday, July 30 from 10am – noon. If you wish to participate, you can pick any open spot and set up along Ainsworth Ave between Fowler and Hedley Street anytime between 9am and when the event starts at 10am (you can judge how much time you need for set-up).  The very first spot and the very last spot are reserved for our emergency vehicles in case of a call out.

If you know any children who would like to enter the bike decorating contest, they can pick up a bag of decorations at the pub in Riondel. Bikes will be paraded and judged during the last half of the stand-still parade.

To those of you who have not yet entered, there is still time. And if you don’t have an entry, we hope to see you and your family out at the parade!

Questions? Give Wendy a call at 250.225.3516.

There are lots of other fun events during the day:

  • Children’s bike decorating
  • Pancake breakfast
  • Book Sale
  • Cake Walk
  • Chair painting
  • Pool Tournament
  • Baseball
  • Ice cream social

Come on out and enjoy a fun-filled day.



Crawford Bay Park/Playground Gets $20,000

Five B.C. Communities Win $260,000 For Playground Transformations Surprise Double-Win For Lillooet and Victoria In BCAA Contest

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July 11, 2016, Burnaby, BC: Children in Lillooet and Victoria will soon have a better place to play thanks to a surprise double-win in the first, annual BCAA Play Here initiative.

Two, $100,000 Winners:

BCAA Play Here and its partners will now deliver two, $100,000 play space transformations: at Lillooet Recreation, Education & Cultural Centre (REC) and Victoria’s Torquay Elementary School.

The two winners were among over 500 play space nominations from across BC. The public cast over 300,000 votes to decide which of five finalists should receive the $100,000 play space revitalization.

“Lillooet and Victoria were neck and neck through the voting period, frequently swapping the lead. The two communities have very different stories but both have real need for a new play space,” says Shawn Pettipas, Community Manager, BCAA. “We ultimately decided to declare two winners and found a way to deliver exciting new play spaces to children in both communities. We can’t wait to get to work!”

Three Other Finalists Win $20,000:

To make the first year of BCAA Play Here even more special, the three other finalists will each receive a surprise $20,000 contribution towards making their play space projects a reality: Burnaby, Windsor Elementary; Crawford Bay Community Park and Vancouver, General Brock Elementary.

“We’ve been inspired by the passion of our finalists, and wanted to make a big impact for children in all five communities,” says Shom Sen, President & CEO, BCAA. “Thank you to all British Columbians for voting, and to BCAA and Evo Members for making it possible for us to make such a positive impact for so many children.”

BCAA Play Here is a multi-year, community investment initiative to protect kids in B.C. communities, by rejuvenating play areas to make them safer and more enjoyable. BCAA Play Here builds on a long-time focus on child road safety programs and recognizes the importance of play in healthy childhood development, including problem-solving, critical thinking, socializing and physical development.

Middle Ground on the Ferry Issue? Deadline Extended for Public Input

by Galadriel Rael for Mainstreet Online

Could there be a middle ground for the ferry landing situation? YES!  BUT, we need more time, and it looks like we have it.

The deadline for community feedback and input on the potential Balfour/Queen’s Bay ferry landing move has been extended until Oct 6, 2016. 

As a local, the idea of more frequent and faster ferry crossings has huge appeal, but what is currently being proposed is potentially going to cost substantially more than it may provide in gain.

Officials have already publicly stated that the cost involved in building the Queen’s Bay terminal will (while being lower in operating costs) likely come out to be the same, if not more, than a new boat and renovations for Balfour and don’t factor in the big picture, including economic and environmental impact. There are many options to weigh here, and a lot more information needs to still come in before residents understand the full picture.

If a new boat is built, there is still a possibility for more frequent crossings and better schedules. It may be that petitioning for a more convenient schedule is easier and more beneficial that running the risk of damaging local businesses, community spaces, and causing huge negative environmental impact.

In short, requesting more thorough research and information before we decide to go one way or another seems prudent. In a conversation with Michelle Mungall, MLA, we were assured that this is by no means a done deal. We still have the opportunity to voice our concerns and ideas. The deadline for community input has BEEN EXTENDED TO OCTOBER 6th, 2016!  

Go to www.gov.bc.ca/balfourterminal for more information and search the web for other sides of the equation, like choosebalfour.com and balfourcanada.ca

If you write letters, you can send them to balfourterminal@gov.bc.ca 

Be sure to cc your MLA: michelle.mungall.mla@leg.bc.ca