Are you concerned about water supply, safety, consumption, protection and conservation in the Kootenay?
You’re invited to a free public forum Tuesday, Nov. 12th at 7pm (Mountain Time) at the Creston District Community Complex. The forum features water experts, government agencies and concerned politicians discussing sustainable, equitable, evidence-based water management policies for the federal government. Pre-register at KootenayColumbia.Liberal.ca or firstname.lastname@example.org
WATER MATTERS has a two-fold purpose:
1. Bring together informed speakers to identify overarching water issues and opportunities in the Kootenay Columbia; and
2. Collaborate on ways the federal government can help solve water issues and proactively support water management in the Kootenay Columbia.
Water is critical to every facet of our existence. Many stakeholders exist in the ‘water matters’ arena with perspectives focusing on supply, safety, consumption, protection and conservation. The goal of WATER MATTERS is to draw together interested people from across political, governmental and environmental lines, and discuss how the federal government can develop a sustainable, equitable, evidence-based water management policy that transcends partisan politics.
Forum panelists hail from regional and political politics, surface water and water safety experts, and across political party lines. Speakers include:
- Antoine Beriault, Hydrologist and Water Stewardship Officer, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
- Corky Evans, former area MLA, founder Columbia Basin Trust
- John Kettle, Chairman of the Regional District Central Kootenay (RDCK) Board of Directors
- Ron Popoff, Environmental Health Team Leader for the Interior Health Authority
- Andy Shadrack, RDCK Board Director, and Executive Member on the Union of BC Municipalities
- Ryan van der Marel, Wildsight Program Coordinator, Columbia Basin Watershed Network
After a blessing from Jason Louie, Chief for the Lower Kootenay Band (to be confirmed), each panelist will make a ten minute presentation. An audience question period will occur after a break.
To continue the work initiated at the WATER MATTERS Forum, a committee has been struck to develop a resolution that will go to Ottawa, with the intent to positively affect water management in Canada. Panelists, audience members and the general public are invited to participate further by sending input & proposals to the committee.
The Kootenay Columbia Liberal Riding Association, Federal Liberal Party, is sponsoring the event, and is committed to providing evidence-based leadership and sustainable stewardship on the water issue.
WATER MATTERS Panelists
Antoine, Water Stewardship Officer for the BC Ministry of Forests, Lands & Natural Resource Operations, hails from up the St. Mary’s River near Kimberley, and is, literally, the man in the field. After managing and consulting in the Saskatchewan Credit Union system for a number of years, Antoine received his MSc in Geography from the University of Regina, specializing in surficial hydrology. He’s worked with Southern Interior Kootenay Water Stewardship since 2005, and brings passion and a solid expertise to the water issues and opportunities in the Kootenay Columbia.
A Slocan Valley resident, Corky brings history & understanding to water issues in BC. Elected to the Provincial Legislature in 1991, under the NDP government Corky led many portfolios including Transportation & Highways, Agriculture, Fisheries & Food, Rural Development; Health & Seniors. He served three terms on the Board for the Central Kootenay Regional District. Now a farmer, Corky has been responsible for many local and provincial initiatives including the creation of the Columbia Basin Trust, and the BC Sharing charitable food program that facilitated the purchase of BC agricultural products for use by poor people.
John hails from Meadow Creek Ranch near Yahk, and brings a solid regional voice to the water issue. John is serving his fourth term as Director on the Regional District Central Kootenay (RDCK) where he chairs the Board of Directors. He is Chairman of the Kootenay East Regional Hospital District, Chair of Arrow Creek Water Commission and Vice Chair of the Ktunaxa/Kinbasket Treaty Advisory Committee. John is a long-time member of the Wildlife Management Authority PAC, a minor hockey enthusiast, and executive member of the local CPC riding association.
A 30 year public health professional, Ron joins the panel to discuss drinking water safety and the challenges community water suppliers encounter to improve drinking water quality and legislative expectations. As the Environmental Health Team Leader, Ron supervises the Drinking Water Safety Program for BC Interior Health Authority. A 25 year Cranbrook resident, Ron is a Director with the Rotary Club of Cranbrook, and a Director on the National Board of Certification for Canadian Public Health Inspectors.
A third term Director on the Regional District Central Kootenay Board, Andy is President of the Association of Kootenay Boundary Local Governments and serves on the Union of BC Municipalities Executive where he sits on the Environment and Health Communities Committees and the Small Water System Working Group. Andy, a Kaslo resident, has a keen interest in land use planning, watershed protection and small water system treatment. Recently he assisted the Gar Creek water users achieve approval for in-home treatment devices. Prior to 2005 Andy was a political science college instructor.
Ryan van der Marel
Program Coordinator with Wildsight, Ryan received his MSc in Resource and Environmental Management from Dalhousie University with undergraduate work in Global Development Studies & Geography. His passion for freshwater systems has taken him from sub-Saharan Africa to guiding canoe trips cross Canada, landing him in Nelson. He chairs the multi-agency Kootenay Lake Partnership using evidence-based research to develop shoreline management guidelines. He is also active with the Friends of Kootenay Lake and the Columbia Basin Watershed Network.