Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process, with a voice for all community members, to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, offers a range of housing and transportation choices, encourages a vibrant and cultural life and supports sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

What's Happening.......

Friday March 1st and Saturday March 2nd

Parkland School presents
Key City Theatre; 7:00pm
Tickets $10 at the key City Theatre box office

Science Fair
All day
College of the Rockies

Cranbrook Public Library Annual Magazine and AV sale
Manual Training Building
10:00am - 4:00pm
Donations of gently used magazines published in the last five years can be dropped off at the circulation desk until Thursday February 28th.  Donations will not be accepted once the sale starts.

Saturday March 2nd

Kootenay Ice Game 7:00pm

School Spirit Night
Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game to show their support of the anti-bullying theme.

Sunday March 3rd

Care for the Keelers

A Benefit Concert for Dawn Keeler and her family.
 Key City Theatre, 6:00pm
Cranbrook musicians
live and silent auctions
For more information contact Kathy Shuflita 250-464-0928
or Don Kennedy at 778-963-0161

Monday March 4th

Dr, Jennifer Gardy

"Bringing Genomics Home'
a free public lecture
College of the Rockies
This is Jennifer Gardy on another topic:  Influenza - Open Source Outbreak

Monday March 4th

Wayne Sawchuk will present Riding the Divide: 
pack horses and predictions in BC's Northern Rockies,
College of the Rockies 7:00pm

Wednesday March 6th

GoGo Grannies present
Barcelona with Sandra and Gerry Warner
Proceeds to Grandmothers helping Grandmothers

Thursday March 7th

Canadian Federation of University Women

Woman of the Year Presentation
Manual Training Building adjacent to the Cranbrook Library

Martha Hall Findlay and an Opportunity Missed

by Dana Osiowy

It was a poor showing for a rare opportunity in this riding – a visit from a Federal leadership race candidate. We had Martha Hall Findlay in our community on the weekend, and one can examine the poor showing as being a result of a Conservative entrenched federal riding or as a sign of systemic lack of engagement in our community.  Either way it was a great opportunity for those of us who showed up to meet with her. There were attendees at the luncheon who were radical Québécois separatists and embattled Liberals who are waiting for the second coming and everyone was enamoured with Hall Findlay and the “celebrity-free” approach she is taking to the leadership race. She asked for a round table of introductions and for all there to elaborate on what the do and what they are interested in, she then gave a brief overview of her platform and opened to a wide range of questions.

When discussing the free-fall of the liberal party she touched on the fact that the environment is a hot button issue and yet in the 2008 election when the Libs ran an entirely environmental platform the electorate either voted elsewhere or stayed home. This was a segue into discussing voter engagement, women in politics and whether or not Canada is ready for a female Prime Minister. To the last question the response from the attendees and Martha was “Why are we still asking that question?”.

Hall Findlay relayed stories of her ski racing days and even had an elaborate metaphor for ski racing being like politics – although it isn’t always like crashing at 120 km/hr!

The culture of campaigning in Canada today was brought up when we discussed how the attack ads on Stephane Dion and Michael Ignatieff were not addressed. As a country we always say that we loathe those kinds of ads but they work! The narrative around Michael Ignatieff was that he was only here for a short time.  Another opportunity gap was for the Liberals to rally around the NDP to protest the abolishment of the long-form census – that will be a heritage of missed data and a struggle for statisticians and historians trying to study the real state of the union.

The luncheon was a stellar opportunity to connect with someone who could be the future Prime Minister of Canada and that was a huge opportunity missed for our community. 

Western Financial Group Presents Anti-Bullying School Event at Kootenay ICE Game

Groups of students from 13 schools will attend a Kootenay ICE hockey game to show their school spirit and stand up against bullying

Western Financial Group (Western) is proud to present School Spirit Night, an event to bring groups of students from 13 Cranbrook area schools to the Kootenay ICE game on Saturday, March 2 at Western Financial Place. Game time is 7 p.m. MT. Fans are encouraged to wear pink to the game to show their support of the anti-bullying theme.

“We are just as excited about this event as the students are,” said Bob McGill, Senior Executive with Western’s regional partner, Falkins Insurance Group, speaking on behalf of Western. “We’ll be wearing pink to work on February 27, 2013 in support of National Anti-Bullying Day and will be at the game to cheer on the Kootenay ICE. We’re proud to have a part in bringing about an event in support of such an important cause.”

Western will be handing out 2,000 pink hand clappers at the game, and will be donating $500 each to the three schools judged to have the most spirit. Western will also be auctioning off a jersey signed by the Kootenay ICE and will be collecting donations in support of Kids Help Phone.

“This week is anti-bullying week at school, but we’re calling it acceptance week to give it a more positive spin,” said Justin Walburger, a Grade 9 student at Laurie Middle School who is working with two others to lead his classmates to wear pink this week in a protest against bullying. “We’re not just standing up to bullies, we’re bringing them into what we’re doing and getting to know them. Bullies need to understand that the people they’re bullying deserve more respect. People being bullied need to know they’re not alone. There is always someone who cares about them.”

Western Financial Group was founded in 1996 and headquartered in High River, Alberta. (

Riding the Divide - March 4th in Cranbrook

Bruce Kirkby photo
by Helen Sander
Come hunters, horse lovers, nature and outdoor enthusiasts. Wildsight presents the awe-inspiring Wayne Sawchuck, well known photographer, ardent conservationist and wilderness guide. Wayne will present Riding the Divide: packhorses and predictions in BC's Northern Rockies in Golden at on March 2nd, in Kimberley on March 3rd and in Cranbrook on March 4th.All are public events with admission by donation.
Sawchuck, from the north of British Columbia, grew up working in his family's logging business. On the off season, he would explore the Rockies and the Boreal forests with his buddies and his horses, and document his experiences.
Wayne Sawchuk
photo Bruce Kirkby
These days he leads wilderness expeditions on horseback, into the Muskwa-Kechika. He has, in fact, written a book about the area, Muskwa-Kechika: The Wild Heart of Canada’s Northern Rockies. He has been recognized for his conservation work by the provincial and federal Canadian government, in particular for the establishment of the 6.4 million hectares of the Muskwa-Kechika Management Area.       
“The Muskwa-Kechika is North America's most important area for large animals, both for numbers, and for species,” said Sawchuck. “This place of spectacular beauty faces threats from natural gas development, wind power, forestry and mining, yet it remains almost unknown outside of northern BC.”
Sawchuck said that 30 years of horse travel in the Muskwa Kechika convinced him that if it is to be protected in the long term, people need to see its wonders. Sawchuck's expeditions provide an opportunity for people to do just that. Kootenay local and well-known author and adventurer, Bruce Kirkby, has joined Wayne on one of what he calls his “participatory” trips.
“To see Wayne Sawchuck swing a leg over his horse, sitting askew upon the saddle as his keen eyes scan the towering Muskwa Kechika mountainsides, to see him clear trails with a hand-polished axe or decipher a maze of animal tracks upon the forest's mossy floor, to see him shoe a horse on the banks of a gin-clear creek or casually toss a pack cinch and secure a diamond hitch...this is to see a man entirely in his element, at one with his environment – a rare and moving privilege indeed,” said Kirkby.
View Bruce Kirkby's travelogue photos "Explore the Muskwa-Kechika" here and read his article "Ride through the Serengeti of the North" here
Wayne Sawchuk will present Riding the Divide: packhorses and predictions in BC's Northern Rockies, in Golden at St. Andrew's United Church and Centre for Peace on March 2nd at seven thirty pm, in Kimberley at Centre 64 on March 3rd at seven pm, and in Cranbrook on March 4th at the College of the Rockies at seven pm.
For more information email or call Helen Sander at 250 427-2535 ext 222 for information on the Cranbrook and Kimberley events and Joan Dolinsky at 250 348-2578 for information on the Golden event.


Our "Woman of the Year"

Was searching The Cranbrook Guardian for an article or announcement on one of their own bloggers, Jenny Humphrey, who has been recognized as the “Woman of the Year 2012” for the Canadian Federation of University Women - Cranbrook.  Seeing none, I took it upon myself to write something for the blog.

Jenny Humphrey spearheaded the creation of this blog, The Cranbrook Guardian, featuring topics of interest regarding the welfare of our city, attracting over 12,000 hits a month, and more - depending on the topic of the day.  She attends nearly every City Council meeting, and is often seen taking pictures about town, so that she can report on matters that affect our community, and items of interest.

She has been the driving force behind the restoration of the Fink Fountain, the creation of the Centennial Garden near Gerick Sports, and was involved initially with the beautiful hanging flower baskets which adorn Baker Street.  Her membership in the Community Forest Society, Cranbrook in Bloom, Women’s Wednesday hiking group, Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook, The Cranbrook and District Arts Council, and the Cranbrook Garden Club (she initiated the Club’s Cranbrook Open Garden Day), have enriched those organizations as well as our community.

Ms. Humphrey is a retired teacher, and has touched the lives of many youth in our area. 

While in England studying landscape design, she made a point to learn about types of trees best suited for our climate and shared this information with City of Cranbrook staff.  She has since offered a course in Landscape Design through City of Cranbrook Leisure Services Department.

Her passion for wanting to see the preservation/restoration of heritage buildings in our City has resulted in countless hours of researching and investigating the potential she sees within each one.  Sometimes to no fruitful end, but she will gladly share her findings with anyone else that seems interested.

Whatever her interests are, Jenny’s been fondly referred to as Ms. J. Marple - after the name of the British series “Miss Marple” named for the lead female crime investigator. 

For all of this, for the betterment of our community, we are grateful for her tireless efforts.  Please join in the celebration on Thursday, March 7 at 4 PM, at the Manual Training Centre (attached to the Cranbrook Library building.)

Well deserved honour, Jenny!  Congratulations.

Submitted by Sharon Cross

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Blissett: BC Liberal Budget is Bogus


Cranbrook - Kootenay East NDP candidate Norma Blissett says the Liberals’ so-called balanced budget is bogus.

“The Liberals are cashing cheques on an $800 million one-time fire sale of assets, before the vast majority of those sales have been made,” she said. “In addition, they have deliberately underestimated the cost of many programs in order to make the budget appear balanced.  When the money runs out, just as happened in 2009, we will see cuts to frontline services for some of our most vulnerable citizens including children in care and adults with developmental disabilities.”

“The budget shows a $545 million profit from BC Hydro, while continuing to hide Hydro’s growing debt in deferral accounts,” Blissett said.  She noted that the Auditor General has objected to this practice, saying it “creates the appearance of profitability where none actually existed.”

“The Liberals’ budget simply lacks credibility,” said Blissett.  “The NDP will release a fully costed platform as part of the 2013 election campaign.  We’re going to say what we’re going to do, and we’re going to show how we’re going to pay for our plans. There won’t be any HST-like surprises.”

For more information, contact Norma Blissett:  250-489-3408

Cranbrook's Draft Budget Soon Ready for Public Input

The last of several council draft budget meetings was held on Monday February 25th.  The draft budget will soon be ready for public perusal and it will then go through the normal process of readings and adoption at regular council meetings. 

This last session included the discussion of surplus funds.  The issue of $60,000 in more funds to complete the upgrading and welcome for the West Entrance was discussed once more.  The motion to provide the extra funding passed with Councillor Davis and Pallesen opposed.

The topic of user fees for Western Financial Place and Leisure Service activities provided some debate.  Mayor Stetski spoke to the ‘two tier system’ and suggested that the system be changed on a trial basis to accommodate uniform fees for city dwellers, area C residents and tourists.  He proposed that the fees be the same, no matter where you live, for a period of one year because he felt the financial gain may well be equivalent to the cost of extra staff time in administering the current system and the loss of customers due to the current system.  He said he would also enter into discussion about cost sharing with the RDEK on the basis of something more palatable than the lump sum payment that was proposed at the time of the Rec Plex referendum. 

Chris New, Director of Leisure Services gave an overview of the difficulties staff has in dealing with the current system. He also stated the system used in Cranbrook is an exception within the province.

Councillor Scott felt reinstating the current system if it was necessary, would be difficult after a year.  She also pointed out city residents in effect might pay the same as those from outside the city as city residents pay taxes.  Both Councillors Davis and Pallesen expressed difficulty accepting that city residents would be subsidising area C residents.  Councillor Warner pointed out we do not have a two-tier system for hockey games or other entertainment in Western Financial Place.  Mayor Stetski repeated that he felt it was time to offer an olive branch and embark on a plan to do away with the current system.  A change would in fact show that Cranbrook is welcoming and open for business. Councillor Cross suggested maybe a shorter trial period might be more acceptable to some Councillors – a special promotion for the summer for example as this would give a snapshot of the difference in attendance to Leisure Services activities.

Council agreed to look at more options and to bring this item back to a regular council meeting.

Cranbrook operates a different fee system for non-Cranbrook residents as non-residents did not contribute to the cost of building and do not contribute to the cost of operating Western Financial Place.  This building runs at a 3 million dollar a year deficit but serves all area residents and visitors to our city.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dr. Nick Rubidge Receives Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal

College of the Rockies President and CEO Dr. Nick Rubidge was recently presented with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal by MP David Wilks at a surprise ceremony at the College of the Rockies.

MC and Board Chair Orest Federko addresses those gathered for the event
Dr. Nick Rubidge thanks those present

Do you Care about our Agricultural Land Base?

Agricultural land concerns all of us because we all eat and use agricultural products.  Many readers will know Fort Steele Farms has been in the news lately over the family's wish to maintain the farm as a family farm and be able to do it in a way that is practical for their family.  It is not easy for owners of this land under the current legislation.

A new agricultural plan is being developed for the East Kootenay.  As a consumer, producer or retailer you can give input by going to: 

Please give input into this important survey.

Blast from the Past - Cranbrook's Ski Jump

Cranbrook Courier October 22 1931

Cranbrook Courier December 10 1931


Monday, February 25, 2013

The Big Shift - Andrew Niciforuk

From Tyee's Andrew Niciforuk
An energy transition has begun, but it's probably not the one you imagined.

It might have an ugly financial face, an authoritarian political mask or come in the guise of geographic disunion.
But it probably won't look like a solar panel or a windmill. And it won't include flying cars or undersea homes.
Although no one really knows where the globe's energy mix is headed or how it will shape our lives in the future, energy experts now offer a diversity of forecasts, stories and warnings.
Their pronouncements are both myth busting if not startling.
When economies shrink
Jeff Rubin, the former chief economist for CIBC, argues that "the new green" will not be endless arrays of solar panels or windmills but less oil and smaller economies.
Mikal Hook, an analyst at Sweden's Uppsala Depletion Group, goes further and argues that any orderly energy transition might now be impossible because renewables simply can't grow as fast as oil.
He also warns that all citizens should prepare for "high and likely volatile oil prices," and that governments should be "educating their citizenry of the risk of contraction to minimize potential future social discord."
Chris Turner, Calgary's sustainability journalist, believes that an orderly energy leap can be made but political leaders and the status quo aren't showing much interest in public transit or renewable forms of energy at least in North America.
Read the whole article here:

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Ktunaxa Open House

At an informational table on Fisheries and the Salmon Festival,
 two young sturgeon were on display.   
On Friday February 22nd,  the Ktunaxa Nation Council opened the doors of their new office location in the Central School Building, which was purchased by the Ktunaxa Nation in the Fall of 2012.

The gym was used to display the many different aspects of Ktunaxa life and work.  Each of the Corporate, Economic, Social Investment, Lands and Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Language sectors had displays.

Part of the building basement is now used to hold the Nation Council extensive Archives.  Some contents of the archives were displayed in the gym and upstairs in the main building.

Ian Tamasi, an archaeologist with Tipi Mountain Eco Cultural Services led a hands on discussion with children as part of the activities.

Isaac Birdstone

An Adolphus painting of Chief Paul David from Tobacco Plains
In July of 2014 we received different information from Margaret Teneese,  that  this Adolphus Burton painting is actually of Isaac Birdstone in his grass dance outfit. 

Congratulations to the Ktunaxa Nation for putting life once more into this valuable building  and for adding another  important chapter in its life.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Wood Stove Exchange

2013 Wood Stove Exchange Program Begins March 1
The Ministry of Environment and Wildsight, with the goal of air quality improvement, will be offering a Wood Stove Exchange program to residents of the City of Cranbrook, City of Kimberley, and RDEK Areas A and E starting onMarch 1st, 2013.
Rebates of $250 will be offered to qualifying purchasers of new, EPA certified wood, pellet or gas stoves when replacing old, uncertified models. There are 45 rebatesavailable on a first come, first served basis. During March and April 2013, participants will benefit from an additional consumer discount of $150 off the supplier’s suggested retail price (MSRP).
For more information contact Wildsight’s Program Coordinator, Erna Jensen-Shill @ or by phone 250.427.9360.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

What's Happening...

Thursday, February 21

Ballet Jorgen's Swan Lake
Key City Theatre
Tickets are $45 for KTC Subscribers and
$50 for the general public

Friday, February 22

Kin Club and Cranbrook Eagles Heritage Day Dinner 
Eagles Hall starting at 5:30
Tickets are Free of Charge from the Senior's Hall

Saturday,  February 23

Cranbrook Anglican Church Pie Sale
From 1:30-3pm, 13th Ave. S.
A piece of pie and coffee or tea costs $3.50
Whole pies go on sale at 2pm

Girl Guides of Canada are hosting a Tea & Bake Sale
Cranbrook Guide Hall, 1421, 2nd St. S.
12:30-3:30pm, Tickets available at the door
For more information please contact Pam at 250-489-3155

The Legion is holding a BBQ First Responders Appreciation Day
3pm-6pm at the Cranbrook Legion

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

This is Heritage Week

  • The Ktunaxa Nation Council (KNC) are inviting the public to an Open House on Friday February 22, between 1-7 p.m., at their new office location in the Central School heritage building. The Ktunaxa Nation purchased the building in August 2012 and it is now home to over 100 staff members.

  • To mark Heritage Week Fort Steele has invited the public to attend a special Heritage Week Open House as an introduction to the new thermal installation in the Wasa Hotel.  Staff from M and K Plumbing will be on hand to explain the concept and answer questions. 1:00 - 3:00 pm Saturday February 23rd.

Hit the Road

A presentation delivered by John Lewis at the Canadian Institute of Planners Conference, Banff, 2012.

Hit The Road from John Lewis on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Post Notes for the Council Meeting of February 17th 2013

Prior to the meeting Mayor Wayne Stetski received the Queen's Jubilee medal for dedicated service to peers, community and Canada.
Chief Administrator Staudt and Mayor Wayne Stetski with Queen's Jubilee Medal

5.1 ICSP Committee (Cranbrook Connected) - Quarterly Report re: Changes to the Builders Award
The name of the award will now be the Sustainability Community Builder Award.  Chris Ayling stated that the remainder of the ICSP Committee's work could be monitored in house by Dave Butler, Committee member and Kevin Weaver, Economic Development Officer.

5.2 RCMP re: Mayor's 4th Quarter Report
Staff Sgt Lorne Craig who is new to Cranbrook and Cpl Pat Prefontaine  presented the RCMP report for the last quarter of 2012.  Drug charges were up 23% with 66 charges between Cranbrook and Kimberley.  Traffic offences were up in the last quarter but down overall for the year and 100 drivers were removed from the road in the last year. 68 checks were made on 3 prolific offenders.

5.3 CAMAL re: Railway Museum Final Development Plan
Wayne Eburne and Chris Ayling presented a brief overview of plans for the Museum's future. With the imminent retirement of the Museum's Chief Executive Officer, Gary Anderson, plans are in place for transition.  A slide show history showing the museums development and growth since 1977 was shown.  Immediate needs include the completion of the catering facility for the Alexandra Hall, the Tea Room kitchen and complete overhead protection for the rail car collection.  It is hoped plans will facilitate more community use of the facilities and national showcase.

Administration Updates

Draft Official Community Plan Amendment - An open house was held on Feb. 5th with approximately 20 people in attendance. The City is collecting feedback until Feb. 28
A summary of the proposed changes can be collected at City Hall.

Summary of Fire and Emergency Services
-52 Fire Related
-239 First Responder
-77 Rescue Responses
-23 Public Hazard Calls
-57 Fire Alarm Activated


9.1 February RDEK Highlights
9.2 Request for Donation from Canadian Fallen Heroes Foundation
9.3 David Wilks MP re: Canada Summer Jobs
A valuable summer student employment opportunity
9.4 Correspondence from Governor General David Johnston re: Mayor Stetski's receiving the Queen Elizabeth 2 Diamond Jubilee Medal
9.5 Call for Order of BC Nominations
9.6 Request for Donation from Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary re: 2013 Grand Fondo
Council resolved to grant the $1000 request to Sunrise Rotary for the Grand Fondo project which will take place Sunday September 8th and involve Cyclists using the North Star Trail for part of their 150 kilometer ride.
There was some debate around this large sum of money as Council had previously resolved the maximum grant amount to be $500.  In light of the 'with discretion' clause and in light of the considerable service that Rotary gives to the community an exception was made.
9.7 Proclamation: Intergeneration Day Canada, June 1, 2013

New Business

12.1 Report recommendation re: Appointment to Environment and Utilities Committee
Paul Willis was appointed to this committee.
12.2 Report recommendation re: Liquor Control & Licensing - The Black Dog Brewpub
12.3 Report recommendation re: Downtown Commercial Development Permit Exterior Facade Renovations
12.4 Review and Update of the Five-ear Economic Development Strategy
It was resolved that this go ahead and be ready for 2014 Budget Deliberations.
12.5 Notice on Title 3664 Collinson Road
No permit for construction was ever issued on this property resulting in the Notice on Title requirement.


13.1 OCP Amendment Bylaw No. 3751,2013
The first step in planning for industrial development on the Airport Lands.  First Reading. Carried.
13.2 City of Cranbrook Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3763,2013
for Tattoo, Barber and Beauty Shop.  Third reading.  Adoption. Granted
13.3 Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3764, 2013
First and second Readings Carried.  This recommendation will allow for accommodation of wider mobile homes on existing lots by reducing the 6 meter space between models to 4 meters.

In the round table comments Mayor Wayne Stetski addressed the 'deer issue'.  He accepted that communication to residents could have been better but Council was acting on outside advice around much of this issue.  He reminded residents that deer are the property of the Province and as such there are parameters which must be adhered in dealing with them.  Mayor Stetski acknowledged the topic of how to deal with deer in the city is an emotional topic. He suggested that those who are recommending alternative methods for reducing numbers within the city, provide some funding to potentially put those methods into practise.  Mayor Stetski assured residents that Council takes this issue very seriously, is doing its best to listen to and deal with differing opinions and is doing its best to resolve the issue. 

Monday, February 18, 2013

Advance City Council Notes for the Council Meeting of February 18th 6:00pm


5.1 ICSP Committee (Cranbrook Connected) - Quarterly Report re: Changes to the Builders Award
5.2 RCMP re: Mayor's 4th Quarter Report
5.3 CAMAL re: Railway Museum Final Development Plan

Administration Updates

Draft Official Community Plan Amendment - An open house was held on Feb. 5th with approximatley 20 people in attendance. The City is collecting feedback until Feb. 28

Summary of Fire and Emergency Services
-52 Fire Related
-239 First Responder
-77 Rescue Responses
-23 Public Hazard Calls
-57 Fire Alarm Activated


9.1 February RDEK Highlights
9.2 Request for Donation from Canadian Fallen Heroes Foundation
9.3 David Wilks MP re: Canada Summer Jobs
9.4 Correspondence from Governor General David Johnston re: Mayor Stetski's receiving the Queen Elizabeth 2 Diamond Jubilee Medal
9.5 Call for Order of BC Nominations
9.6 Request for Donation from Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary re: 2013 Gran Fondo
9.7 Proclamation: Intergeneration Day Canada, June 1, 2013

New Business

12.1 Report recommendation re: Appointment to Environment and Utilities Committee
12.2 Report recommendation re: Liquor Control & Licensing - The Black Dog Brewpub
12.3 Report recommendation re: Downtown Commercial Development Permit Exterior Facade Renovations
12.4 Review and Update of the Five-ear Economic Development Strategy
12.5 Notice on Title 3664 Collinson Road


13.1 OCP Amendment Bylaw No. 3751,2013
13.2 City of Cranbrook Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3763,2013
13.3 Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 3764, 2013

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Site C Dam and the true cost of “prosperity”

Perceptions by Gerry Warner
Is history about to repeat itself? Sadly this appears to be the case as about 30 people heard at the College of the Rockies last week when they attended a presentation on BC Hydro’s plans for the Site C dam on the Peace River.
Come hell or high water, Hydro appears totally determined to go ahead with the controversial, $8 billion dam on the already heavily dammed river and the provincial government appears eager to help them. So eager, in fact, that in 2010 Victoria removed the independent oversight that normally accompanies billion dollar projects like this by taking the BC Utilities Commission out of the picture. It’s the Commission’s job to determine whether projects like this and the environmental impacts caused by them are in the public interest.  But this won’t be the case with the Site C even though the 280 ft. high dam will create a 50 mile long reservoir on the Peace flooding almost 8,000 acres of Class 1 and 2 farm land that could feed northerners and other British Columbians for untold decades to come.
Sound familiar?
Well, if you’re as old as I am – and this ill-advised project makes me feel very old – and if you grew up in the Kootenays, you may remember the signing of the Columbia River Treaty in 1964. In those days, environmental assessments and regulatory bodies to give expert advice on the validity of projects were almost unknown. Instead it was politicians talking to politicians with a few engineers thrown in the mix. As for the people flooded out of their homes and land, it was a case of “eminent domain,” the government, or a Crown corporation like BC Hydro, had virtually a carte blanche right to seize your home and property and offer you whatever compensation they felt fit. Like it or lump it. That’s the way it was. Now, fast forward 50 years and things are done so much more civilized and fairly. Right?
Well, if you believe that I’ve got a nickel for you from the Tooth Fairy and they soon won’t be making nickels either.
Outside the rolling, green hills of the Peace River country, few British Columbians even know about the Site C project or care. No public hearings have been held south of Prince George while most public concern in the province has been focused on Enbridge, the Northern Gateway Pipeline and the specter of oil tankers cruising down BC’s treacherous coast. And this is exactly the way BC Hydro and the provincial government wants it. But in the Throne Speech this week, BC Premier Christy Clark tipped her hand as to what Site C is really about, fulfilling her dream – pipe dream many would say – of a $1 trillion “Prosperity Fund” that will pull British Columbia out of the economic doldrums and usher in a new golden era of wealth for the province that will put flat screen TV’s in every household, pay off the province’s $56 billion debt – and the ultimate stretch – pay for removal of  the provincial sales tax someday.
Even Bill Vander Zalm in his wildest dreams never came out with anything as fannnntastic as this!
But let’s get back to reality. How’s Clark going to finance her unbelievable  scheme? As she made clear in the Throne Speech, BC is to become the Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) capital of the world. And how do you make LNG? With lots of electricity. Cheap electricity. And where is a big chunk of this supposedly “cheap” electricity going to come from? (This is too easy.) It’s going to come from the Site C dam, a project rejected by the Utilities Commission  and the government more than 40 years ago as too costly and environmentally damaging. And where does Shell plan to build its first LNG plant?  In Kitimat, of course, from where it will be shipped to Asia where all those flat screen TV’s and trinkets come from. In other words, Clark’s grand scheme is yet another giveaway to the oil and gas companies financed by a publicly-owned utility that’s supposed to be working for us.
If this ghastly scheme succeeds, say hello to Enbridge’s Northern Gateway Pipeline and remember to wave when you see those tankers cruise by.

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist and Cranbrook City Councillor. His opinions are his own.


Blissett says Throne Speech Ignores Forestry, Mining and Tourism

Norma Blissett, NDP candidate for Kootenay East, says she is disappointed that Tuesday’s Throne Speech ignored important sectors of the BC economy like forestry, mining and tourism.

“The Liberals seem to be relying on natural gas exports as their main approach to the economy,” she said. “BC needs a diverse economy, not a single-minded agenda that relies on possible future revenues from natural gas exports that are years away from being a reality.”

In the Throne Speech, the government projected that natural gas exports would produce a minimum of $100 billion in revenue over the next 30 years.

“The problem is that the Liberals' record of predicting natural gas revenues is dismal,” said Blissett.  “In last year's budget they were wrong by a half-billion dollars over just a six-month period.”

“The Liberals’ future fantasy fund ignores the need to take care of BC today,” Blissett said. “It is clear, we need a new and better government with new and better priorities.  Of course I believe that’s an NDP government,” she added.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

How to Make Filthy Water Drinkable

What's Happening...

Friday,  February 15

Vagina Monologues
Being performed at the Key City Theatre
Fundraiser for the Cranbrook Women's Resource Centre
Tickets are $25 available at KCT and the play starts at 7pm

Valentines Jam at the Cranbrook Legion
Featuring Brad and the Boyz
Starting at 8pm

Saturday, February 16

Heart and Stroke Curlathon
The Cranbrook Curling Club is holding its
33rd Annual Heart and Stroke Curlathon.
Early Bird Registration is $160 per team.
Includes curling, live entertainment, prizes, silent auction,
dinner and dance.
You can register online at
or call Lynn Lee at 250-489-1800

Seniors Social Dance
Cranbrook Seniors Hall on 2nd St. South
Dance to the music of 'Old Spice' from 7pm-11pm
Admission is $10 with a lunch served
Call Flo at 250-489-2720 for more information

Flea Market and Fun Fair
Fundraiser for Mt. Baker Senior Boys Basketball Team
Mount Baker Gym from 10-4
Call Pearl for more information at 250-426-7410

Valentine's Lunch
St. Mary's Church Hall, 11:30-2pm
Tea, baked goods, and craft tables
Call Bev at 250-426-4047

Monday, February 18

Friends of the Cranbrook Public Library present
the travelogue "Bicycle Tour of Catalonia Spain"
with Jim Bailey
College of the Rockies Lecture Theatre at 7pm
Admission by Donation

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The NanoLight

From CBC and The Huffington Post

An eye-catching invention that produces as much light as a 100-watt incandescent bulb using just an eighth of the power has become a crowdfunding star for three University of Toronto graduates.
The NanoLight, billed as "the world's most energy-efficient light bulb" has raised $133,022 on the U.S. crowdfunding site Kickstarter and generated pre-orders for more than 3,000 bulbs since the project started seeking backers on Jan. 7.
The project had original hoped to raise $20,000.
"It's been incredible for us," said Gimmy Chu, product developer for Nanolight, the company he founded with Tom Rodinger and Christian Yan, two former teammates on the University of Toronto solar car project whom he met in 2005.
"What's next is to set up manufacturing lines so we can actually start producing for all our backers."
People who have pledged $30 or more to the project on Kickstarter can expect to be among the first to get one of three versions of the Nanolight shipped directly to them for free anywhere in the world:
- 10 watts, equivalent to a 75-watt incandescent bulb.
- 12 watts, equivalent to a 100-watt incandescent bulb.
- An even brighter 12-watt bulb, created "using the best components available without any regard for price."
"To get that kind of efficiency, we had to redesign the whole idea of an LED light bulb from the ground up," recalls Chu, who began working on the project with Rodinger and Yan about three years ago.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tree Removal in Rotary Park

After nearly a century of service to Rotary Park, it is time for several of the old cottonwood poplars to be removed.  Many of the trees have been showing signs of weakness for several years and their replacement will be phased over time.   About eight trees will be removed this year and it is hoped by summer end about eight younger, stronger trees will have taken their place and be establishing themselves in the park.
To see how the park looked when the trees were first planted click:
It is interesting to see the already 10 year old Bowness Mansion in the top right corner of the photo at this link.

the decayed core of one felled Rotary Park tree