press release by the Kootenay Lake Ferry Service Improvements Team
The province will be conducting dredging activities in the West Arm of Kootenay Lake from September 24 to November 30, 2019, to ensure the long-term navigational safety of the Kootenay Lake Ferry service. During this time, dredging with heavy machinery will take place from 7:00 am to 5:30 pm, Monday through Saturday.
After-hours dredging may be required between October 21 and November 4, but will be avoided if at all possible. Local residents will be informed if such work is required.
Ferry Service: Dredging will not impact the operation of the Kootenay Lake Ferry service.We will continue to assess and monitor conditions as the operation progresses to ensure the safety of all ferry users, crew members, and contractors.
Once the dredging is complete, spring low water levels will no longer result in service disruptions to ferry users. Together with other improvements, such as the procurement of a new right-sized electric-ready ferry and safety and amenity improvements to both the Balfour and Kootenay Bay terminals, ferry users will be able to enjoy a safer and more reliable ferry service.
We apologize in advance for any inconvenience and appreciate your patience as we improve this vital service.
Crawford Bay School
welcomes Rod Giles as Principal for 2019-2020
Today is back to school for students around School District 8, which means familiar routines for those returning and for others new faces and new places. For Rod Giles, the new Principal at Crawford Bay Elementary-Secondary, it means a return to the Kootenay Lake School District since his retirement in 2014.
Rod originally started in the district in August 1997. Many students and families will recognize him as the long-time principal at ARES (Adam Robertson Elementary, Creston) where he created a warm, engaging, inclusive and collaborative school community for 14 years. Rod also spent 4 years at Canyon Lister Elementary before retiring to travel across Canada and to New Zealand.
Born and raised in New Zealand, Rod completed his Masters of Education specializing in curriculum and instruction, earned his Bachelor of Education from the University of Victoria, Diploma of Physical Education from University of Otago New Zealand and a Diploma of Teaching from Christchurch Teachers College New Zealand.
Rod also held a recent admin position in Fort Chipewyan, Alberta (225 km north of Fort MacMurray) this past year, a completely different experience from visiting his family’s kiwi orchard in New Zealand to arriving in Fort Chipewyan mid-winter where it was -41 degrees C!
Rod has a passion for students, and is an engaging, relationship-building, caring and welcoming person. As an individual that provided support for Crawford Bay’s school when the community experienced the tragic and unexpected loss of one of its teachers, Rod’s presence in the school will be a warm and welcoming start to the new school year.
Derek Apple, Vice-Principal at CBESS is currently on leave.
About The Board of Education of School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake): The Board of Education of School District No. 8 provides educational services to numerous diverse communities in the East & West Kootenays, including Crawford Bay, Creston, Kaslo, Meadow Creek, Nelson, Salmo, Slocan, South Slocan, Winlaw, Wynndel and Yahk. Its dedicated team focuses on providing the best possible educational opportunities for over 5,400 students and their families. Its mission is to focus on excellence for all learners in a nurturing environment.
WE NEED OUR FERRY RALLY: SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 1ST AT THE KOOTENAY BAY FERRY LANDING!
Posted by Megan Rokeby-Thomas: Everyone affected by the ferry strike is invited for a “We Need Our Ferry” party. Games, guest speakers, music and much more starting at 5:30. All times are approximate and we are open to suggestions. Bring lawn chairs.
Also: Ferry Crew/BCGEU members are expected to put in a presence at the picket line at Kootenay Bay ferry landing tomorrow from around 11am to 3pm.
10:30pm, Aug 29/19 – East Shore, Kootenay Lake: Joey Lewis, Chief Mate on board the Kootenay Lake Ferry and Treasurer and Shop Steward of BCGEU local 2009, contacted Mainstreet to share information from the employee and union perspective.
He stated that the crew wanted to inform East Shore locals as to exactly what is going on and sent a copy of an information bulletin that has been circulated with further details included. It is below.
Lewis informed us that the strike at the Balfour ferry landing will begin at 3:30pm on Saturday August 31, 2019. “Both vessels will end service around the 1pm sailings to ensure that they are docked prior to 3:30. Stephanie Smith, BCGEU President, and other officials from the union will be in attendance from 1:30 to 3:30pm.” He asked for all who can to come out in the afternoon to show support.
Further to this, East Shore residents have expressed an interest in attending the Kootenay Bay Ferry Landing to demonstrate their dissatisfaction with what is going on. Some are calling for a rally/protest to have their voices heard. Watch for further details as to whether this gets organized.
Regarding potential strike action by Kootenay Lake, Harrop/Proctor and Glade ferry workers: Paul Hindson, in conversation with Mainstreet, spoke about his time at the Labour Relations Board hearings in Vancouver last week. Following are points regarding what we might/can expect:
1. The hearings are continuing today and tomorrow (Aug 27/28) and then wrapping up with a decision.
2. The union can give contingent notice to strike at any time. They need to give 72 hours strike notice. That means that if the hearings result in the ferry being deemed a non-essential service, the strike can occur as early as Thursday, Aug 29. If it’s deemed an essential service, strike action would not be occurring.
3. In conversation with ferry hands and workers, Hindson said that there are very legitimate reasons for concern and that the crew have asked for a long time for changes and are aware of the ramifications for travelers (and East Shore residents) if strike action occurs.
4. If strike action occurs, the ferry would run a morning and afternoon run. If the pass closed, they would do more runs to clear traffic. Prioritization will likely be given to those traveling for health and education purposes.
Watch for more info to follow and if there are any corrections/additions/changes, please inform. We are posting what we know as we go.
Please be advised that the Regional District of Central Kootenay currently has a Request for Proposal (RFP) for Economic Development Officer Services for the Creston Valley-Kootenay Lake Economic Action Partnership.
It is important to note that the RFP closes Wednesday September 11, 2019 at 2:00 p.m.
The board has approved the appointment of Derek Apple to Crawford Bay School. Derek will be acting Vice Principal of Crawford Bay and JVH, working with Principal Dan Rude who will be overseeing JVH, Jewett and CBESS.
Derek Apple comes to SD8 from Gibsons, Sunshine Coast where he has been a teacher for 20 years. During this time he has taught in the areas of Science, Math, Special Education, Alternative Education and Physical Education.
For the last 13 years he has served as a high school counsellor and sat on a number of school and district committees which emphasize student transition, health and safety. He has also been an active member of the local teachers association.
He is very excited about joining SD8 and he and his wife Jan are looking forward to enjoying Kootenay life. He is an active hiker, cross country skier and has served with Sunshine Coast Search and Rescue. We welcome Derek to his new role.
KIMBERLEY, August 6, 2019- After a court decision, Jumbo Glacier Resort no longer has a valid environmental certificate and the resort cannot be built until re-assessed.
Wildsight and the Jumbo Creek Conservation Society are celebrating a win for the Jumbo Valley, part of B.C.’s Purcell Mountains, the sacred area of Qat’muk to the Ktunaxa Nation and an important habitat for grizzly bears.
Today, the B.C. Court of Appeal ruled that the 2015 decision of the Provincial Minister of Environment—that the project’s environmental assessment certificate was expired because the project had not been “substantially started”—should be reinstated after being previously overturned by a lower court.
“Wildsight and the Jumbo Creek Conservation Society have spent decades fighting to keep Jumbo Wild. We are thrilled that the court has come to the logical decision that the project was never substantially started and its environmental assessment certificate has expired,” shares Meredith Hamstead of the Jumbo Creek Conservation Society.
“With the resort dead in the water, Jumbo is going to stay wild. Now, it’s time for Qat’muk to be legally recognized,” shares John Bergenske, Wildsight’s Conservation Director, “and beyond Qat’muk, wildlife need long-term protection in the broader Central Purcell Mountains, all the way from the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy to Glacier National Park.”
Since 2014, Ecojustice has represented Wildsight and the Jumbo Creek Conservation Society in the proceedings before the Minister and, along with the Ktunaxa Nation Council, made submissions that formed the basis for the Minister’s decision.
“It stands to reason that developers can’t be allowed to hang on to an Environmental Certificate for ever. The original assessment for this project was conducted in the 1990s, and was based on information which is now outdated. The law in B.C. requires project proponents to start their projects within ten years of receiving their certificates to ensure that up to date information and the best technology is used to avoid the harmful impacts of large projects like these,” shares Olivia French, Ecojustice Lawyer.
Jumbo Valley, part of the area known as Qat’muk, is a sacred and spiritual place for the Ktunaxa people. The Valley is part of one of North America’s most important international wildlife corridors and recent research reinforces the importance of this area as grizzly bear habitat and connectivity.
The proposed resort’s environmental certificate expired ten years after it was first granted because by then the project’s developer had only managed to pour a pair of concrete slabs in the remote mountain valley. At issue in the appeal was whether the Ministers’ determination was reasonable that those concrete slabs did not constitute a “substantial start” to the proposed billion dollar resort, planned to include thousands of bed units and numerous lifts.
This is an important win for the Jumbo Valley and was only possible due to a persistent, collaborative effort of more than two decades by many organizations and individuals passionate about protecting this special place.
Crawford Bay resident Susan Hulland sent in these photos (and words below) after finding significant rubbish left behind at the Crawford Bay boat ramp and beach area. Are you noticing more garbage being left behind by visitors and/or residents lately? What can be done to encourage the “pack it in, pack it out” philosophy? Is signage at these gathering places perhaps required?
From S. Hulland: “Some people are not treating our community right. Visitors need guidelines, a code of conduct if you will, about how to act around here. The included pictures were taken two days apart. The large pieces of very heavy blue plastic were discarded at the old Crawford Bay boat ramp.The campfire, smoking and smoking, was found early Saturday morning near the mouth of Crawford Creek. Beside it an empty rum bottle and various Pepsi cans. Of course I suppose it could have been local residents but I sure hope not.”
by Ingrid Baetzel, Editor – The East Shore Mainstreet
July 26/19 – Kootenay Lake, BC: As of Monday, July 29, B.C. Wildfire Service will impose a ban on Category 2 fires in the Kootenay region.
Banned fires include open fires larger than half a metre wide and half a metre high, stubble or grass fires, the use of burn barrels or burn cages, the use of air curtain burners, the use of fireworks and the use of tannerite for target shooting. Small campfires or cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes are not included in the prohibition.
The prohibition covers the Southeast Fire Centre, which includes the Rocky Mountain and Selkirk resource districts. The ban applies to all public and private lands unless otherwise specified by municipal or regional government bylaws.
Penalties for violating the ban can include significant fines, jail time or bearing the financial responsibility for wildfire cost.