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Highway Maintenance Operations Information Session – Feb 26/2020

by Garry Jackman, RDCK Area A Regional Director

As is the case during most winters, I have received a number of questions about how to voice concerns (or express appreciation) for the winter road maintenance from various residents. 

In the past YRB and highways reps have been willing to provide an opportunity to answer questions and provide some general information about their maintenance operations plus how best to call in your concerns. 

Most recently meetings were held in Riondel and Boswell. After a series of attempts to coordinate a date we have landed on Wednesday (February 26) from 2:20 pm to 3:30 pm at the Crawford Bay Hall as an opportunity to hear an update on changes to the new maintenance contract (as of June 2019) and ask some questions. Please share this information and attend if you can.

MV Osprey Out of Service Until Feb 13

Kootenay Lake Ferry. Possible ferry service interruption between Feb 8 and Feb 13. Starting Sat Feb 8 at 6:30 AM PST until Thurs Feb 13 at 2:45 PM PST. Ferry will be out of service due to required maintenance. The Osprey 2000 ferry will be out of service for February refit. 

The smaller capacity MV Balfour ferry will be in service operating on the regular winter schedule. For up-to-date sailing information please check  

Western Pacific Marine would like to thank you for your patience.   
Laura Laing, Marine Clerk
Western Pacific Marine
Kootenay Lake Ferries
7721 Upper Balfour Road
Balfour, BC  V0G 1C0
PH: 250-229-5650
FAX: 250-229-5679

Water Quality Advisory Issued for the Riondel Water System

View on the RDCK website:

UPDATE: Water Quality Advisory Rescinded for the Riondel Water System

February 10, 2020

For immediate releaseView it on the RDCK Website

Nelson, BC: The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) has rescinded a Water Quality Advisory for users on the Riondel Water System. The system is located in the community of Riondel, on the east shore of Kootenay Lake with access off of Highway 3A. Riondel is within RDCK Electoral Area A.

On January 31, 2020, the RDCK issued a Water Quality Advisory due to a water main break resulting in low reservoir levels, impacting the effectiveness of chlorine disinfection through decreased contact time. The notice was issued as a precautionary measure due to the reduction of chlorine’s ability to remove or inactivate viruses for a short period of time.

The water main break has been repaired and reservoir levels have been restored. Results from two consecutive water quality tests indicate that water quality is good and the Water Quality Advisory may be removed.

The RDCK appreciates Riondel water users’ cooperation and patience during this time and apologized for the inconvenience experienced.

Previous Post:

Nelson, BC: The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) has issued a Water Quality Advisory for users on the Riondel Water System. The system is located in the community of Riondel, on the east shore of Kootenay Lake with access off of Highway 3A. Riondel is within RDCK Electoral Area A.

The WATER QUALITY ADVISORY has been issued due to a water main break resulting in low reservoir levels, impacting the effectiveness of chlorine disinfection through decreased contact time. Reservoir levels have since recovered and the break identified and isolated. The notice has been issued as a precautionary measure because of the reduction of chlorine’s ability to remove or inactivate viruses for a short period of time.

While health risks are considered low, the RDCK recommends that children, the elderly, people with weakened immune systems, and anyone seeking additional protection drink boiled water or a safe alternative until further notice. For these at-risk populations, water intended for drinking, washing fruits or vegetables, making beverages or ice, or brushing teeth should be boiled for one minute.  Boiled water should then be refrigerated in a clean, covered container. Customers could also choose to use bottled or distilled water, or water that has been filtered through a well-maintained treatment device. 

Owners of all public facilities must post a WATER QUALITY ADVISORY at all sinks or drinking water fountains accessible to the public (alternatively, public fountains and taps may be turned off). As opportunities arise, they must also advise their clientele verbally of the WATER QUALITY ADVISORY.

The RDCK will be taking measures to reduce risk; water quality will be monitored and the public will be notified when the RDCK is able to lift the WATER QUALITY ADVISORY.

We apologize for any inconvenience this might cause, and appreciate your cooperation and patience during this time.  For more information contact the RDCK 250-352-8171 or visit our website at  

CBESS High School Drama Class Presents “Alice”

The Crawford Bay School Drama class would like to very warmly invite you to this year’s drama group’s end of term presentation of “Alice”, a Lindsay Price adapted play of Alice in Wonderland on Friday January 31 2020 in the performance space.

The play is suitable for all school age children, so come out for a community evening of delicious pizza, nice conversation, and an entertaining play.

5:30 – PIZZA ($3 per slice)

6:30 – PLAY (45 min duration)

Entrance is free but donations in support of our student’s travel to the famous Shakesfest in Vernon would be greatly appreciated.  There will be a donation jar in the lobby.

Thank you all for supporting our amazing students.  We are looking forward to see you all!

Jumbo Valley To Remain Wild

submitted by David Lalande, Communications Tech, Ktunaxa Nation Council

Jumbo Valley to remain wild through permanent retirement of development rights – Clears path for creation of Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area in the Central Purcell Mountains Cranbrook/ʔa·kisk

̓aqǂiʔit, BC (January 18, 2020) – The Ktunaxa Nation Council (KNC) is honoured and heartened to announce that Qat’muk, which includes the Jumbo Valley, will remain wild. The Jumbo Glacier Resort, a source of great conflict for the last 30 years, will not be built now, or ever. Thanks to a collaboration between KNC, the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia and the Nature Conservancy of Canada, development rights in the Jumbo Valley have been fully and permanently extinguished. Public and private funding has enabled the buyout of all tenures and interests held by Glacier Resorts Ltd. This has been secured through an agreement between the Province and Glacier Resorts Ltd., in turn enabled by an agreement between the Nature Conservancy of Canada (on behalf of the Ktunaxa Nation) and Glacier Resorts Ltd.

After 30 years of resisting development of these traditional lands, KNC is excited to move forward immediately to ensure effective stewardship and conservation of the central Purcell mountains, encompassing Qat’muk. The KNC is working towards the creation of an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA) in the Central Purcell Mountains in southeastern British Columbia. An IPCA is distinguished by Indigenous creation and founded on the Indigenous relationship to land. It will serve to protect both cultural values and biological diversity in part of the Central Purcell Mountains for all time.

The creation of the IPCA will take several years of collaboration between KNC, the federal and provincial governments, and other parties. KNC envisions the area spanning about 70,000 hectares immediately north of the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy and encompassing the Jumbo valley and parts of adjacent watersheds. Defining boundaries and stewardship objectives for a protected and conserved area is hoped to be underway by late 2020 through an agreement between the KNC and the BC government in consultation with local communities and stakeholders. Access in the area will remain status quo during discussions on the IPCA.

This initiative was made possible by a $16.2 million contribution from the Government of Canada through the Canada Nature Fund. An additional $5 million of funding has come from the Wyss Foundation, Wilburforce Foundation, Patagonia, the Columbia Basin Trust and Donner Canadian Foundation. A celebratory event is being held in Cranbrook on January 18 to thank the many organizations and individuals who have made tremendous contributions over the years to keep Qat’muk wild. KNC also acknowledges all those who will be working together to realize a cultural and biodiversity vision for the Central Purcells through the establishment of an IPCA.


“Qat’muk is the spiritual home of the grizzly bear and of profound importance to our Nation. Grizzly bear spirit’s home will become part of a larger Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area (IPCA). So, today marks both an end and a beginning. Finally, we have achieved an end to 30 years of struggle by the Ktunaxa Nation and many other groups to protect Qat’muk and Jumbo, including court challenges all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. But more importantly, today is an important beginning as we work towards developing a Ktunaxa stewardship vision for an IPCA in the Central Purcell mountains. We are deeply thankful that all of this is being made possible by very substantial financial support from the Government of Canada, the Columbia Basin Trust, the Wyss, Wilburforce and Donner Canadian Foundations, and Patagonia. I am particularly pleased that the strong support and collaboration of both the federal and provincial governments is consistent with, and I think founded on their commitments to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. I also thank the Ktunaxa Nation’s Qat’muk Advisory Council for all of their guidance and support for the work to protect Qat’muk.” Kathryn Teneese, chairperson, Ktunaxa Nation Council

“I would like to congratulate the Ktunaxa Nation Council and their partners, on their work towards the establishment of the Central Purcell Mountains Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area. It took foresight and leadership from local First Nations people and other communities to get to the point where we can now work toward conserving critical habitat for species at risk over this vast area, namely the Grizzly Bear, the Southern Mountain Caribou and the Whitebark Pine. Our government is proud to support you in this work by investing over $16M in this initiative. By working together, we will reach our nature protection goal to conserve 25% of Canada’s land, and 25 percent of Canada’s oceans by 2025.” The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Canada

“Today reflects the strength, tenacity and courage of Kootenay people, especially the Ktunaxa Nation. To be able to say that Jumbo, Qat’muk, will remain wild is a long time coming. That we are working towards an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area is reconciliation in action and it is the right thing to do. Keep Jumbo Wild is no longer a bumper sticker pleading for the very center of our region. It is a reality.” The Honourable Michelle Mungall, BC Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources

“Together with the Wyss Foundation, Wilburforce Foundation, Patagonia and the Donner Canadian Foundation, we are honoured to support the Ktunaxa Nation in their decades-long effort to protect and steward Qat’muk and its cultural and ecological treasures for current and future generations. Congratulations!” Johnny Strilaeff, CEO, Columbia Basin Trust, on behalf of the non-government donor group

“The Nature Conservancy of Canada extends our heartfelt congratulations to the Ktunaxa Nation in light of today’s announcement. This marks a significant step towards conserving Qat’muk in perpetuity, which will help to maintain crucial wildlife habitat connections while also safeguarding a living, cultural relationship with this land. We are honoured to support the Ktunaxa in achieving their vision of an Indigenous Protected and Conserved Area in the Central Purcell Mountains, and we welcome the opportunity for shared learning of Ktunaxa stewardship principles and natural law.” Nancy Newhouse, BC Regional Vice President, Nature Conservancy of Canada

 Backgrounder on Indigenous Protected and Conserved Areas
 Backgrounder on funding partners
 Backgrounder on planning and community engagement
 Photos of Qat’muk area (and from the Jan. 18th event):

Wood Stove Exchange Program extended into 2020

Provincial funding announced

View on the RDCK website:

Nelson, BC: Since 2009, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) has been collaborating with local municipalities to help residents save money and improve local air quality through the Wood Stove Exchange Program. This program, funded by the Government of British Columbia and the BC Lung Association, provides homeowners with rebates when they exchange their old wood stove for a new emissions-certified one.

The RDCK is one of 20 regions across the province to receive funding from the Province and the BC Lung Association to administer a local wood stove exchange program. All RDCK electoral areas and municipalities have also committed “top-up” funding, bringing the value of rebates to between $350 to $800 (depending on the type of new appliance installed and location of the property within the RDCK).

A total of 50 rebates are available on a first-come, first- served basis. The Provincial base rebate is $250 for a new qualifying wood stove and $400 for a qualifying gas appliance. Top-up rebates are as follows:

City of Castlegar – up to 10 rebates of $100

Town of Creston – up to 20 rebates of $100

Village of Kaslo – up to 5 rebates of $100

Village of Nakusp – up to 10 rebates of $100

City of Nelson – up to 10 rebates matching Provincial grant amount

Village of New Denver – up to 5 rebates of $100

Village of Salmo – up to 2 rebates of $100

Village of Silverton – up to 3 rebates of $100

Village of Slocan – up to 3 rebates of $100

RDCK – up to 50 rebates of $100

In order to qualify for the rebate, residents must replace an old (pre-1994), uncertified wood stove with a new, locally purchased, EPA- or CSA-certified appliance. Qualifying replacement appliances include:

·         wood stoves;

·         gas stoves;

·         pellet stoves;

·         Enerchoice designated gas or propane fueled inserts or electric inserts;

·         EPA-certified factory-built wood fireplaces that replace a non-EPA-certified wood stove or non-EPA-certified wood insert – not an existing factory-built fireplace;

·         Electric heat pumps that meets the criteria for BC’s Home Renovation Rebate and Efficiency BC Program (;

·         EPA or CSA B415 certified woods or pellet furnaces ONLY if replacing an existing uncertified wood-burning furnace.

The replacement appliance must be in active use for home heating. One rebate permitted per property.  Old stoves must be dismantled and brought to a RDCK landfill or transfer station for disposal.

For more information on the program, or for a copy of the rebate application, visit

Incorporated in 1965, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) is a local government that serves 60,000 residents in 11 electoral areas and nine member municipalities. The RDCK provides more than 160 services, including community facilities, fire protection and emergency services, grants, planning and land use, regional parks, resource recovery and handling, transit, water services and much more. For more information about the RDCK, visit

Close Call in Crawford Bay – Thanks From Homeowner

A close call occurred at Fishhawk Marina at the home of Glenn and Alana Strom in Crawford Bay. A fire ignited in the garage which is attached to the house. The wood for heating the house was smoldering and smoking, with embers and flames visible inside of the pile when Trevor Ferguson showed up to work on the router. No one was home. Ferguson quickly called Alana and informed her about it, put calls in for assistance and set to work. Many volunteers showed up quickly and helped remove the burning firewood. Several first responders also attended to assist with securing the animals on site and with public safety. A couple of bunnies who were exposed to the smoke were given oxygen while local volunteers got the fire under control and saved the house.

Ali George gives oxygen to one of the rabbits affected by smoke at a house fire that was controlled by local volunteers.

Chief Cory Medhurst sent in information about these pet masks which are now being used by the Riondel Fire Department and First Responders. He wrote: We received our 3 pet mask sets for all apparatus in 2016; with yesterday’s fire being our first use. Why we used the mask and oxygen on January 2/2020 is that I had noticed PFF Ali George inspecting the rabbits in the cage, specifically one breathing extremely fast. I also noticed the cage had been scorched by flames, telling me the pets were pretty much in direct contact with the flames. I asked her if she wanted to administer some oxygen with our pet masks to which she replied, “Yes please!”. Within the three sizes we have for pets, Ali found the one that fit and gave the bunny oxygen for approx 20 minutes or more. She also administered oxygen to the other bunny for a short period, who seemed to be okay. A note on our response to this event: As this potential structure fire was out of our fire boundary, our members responded in our Rescue truck for public safety to ensure that those community members helping out stayed safe, and to ensure that any possible occupants of the home were assessed, including any pets that may have been exposed to smoke. Our response to these incidents is limited to medical First Responders attending to essentially watch the public try and effectively put out a fire. There is no fire coverage for any of the communities on the East Shore with the exception of Riondel and Riondel Road North, South and East. 

Alana Strom, who was on the other side of the lake at the time, wrote in with the following message:

“I want to send a great big thank you to all of the kind people who dropped what they were doing and rushed to save my house and animals.

‘A special thank you to Trevor Ferguson from ESIS who discovered the fire in my garage and rushed right in through the thick smoke more than once to put it out (and fixed my internet).

‘Thank you to Cory and all of the wonderful volunteer first responders: Al, Ali, Rowan, Felix, Christy, Chuck, and Robert, who arrived so quickly and were such a huge help.  Also thank you to Myrna, Janet, Juergen, Ingrid, Luke, Steve, Brian, Matt, Kristy and the staff on the ferry.  The community not only helped to save my house, but also made sure my bunnies, bird and dog were out and safe. They also went above and beyond and gave my bunny oxygen. I am so grateful to live in a community where people are so willing to drop everything to help. Thank you all so much.”