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 27, 2014

What's Happening.......

February 28th - March 1st

Friends of Cranbrook Public Library
Magazine Sale
manual training building
Friday 9:00am - 6:00pm
Saturday 9:00am - 1:00pm
Donations can be dropped off until Feb 27th.

Friday February 28th

Last day for The Flathead Exhibit
Cranbrook and District Arts Council
135 Tenth Av S.

Fort Steele 
Pro D Day activities for Grades 1 through 6
Lunch included
$35   417-6000 to register

Saturday March 1st

Locals Coffee House 
Studio Stage Door
7:30pm
Advance tickets Lotus Books $8

Fur Feather and Friends Fundraiser for SPCA
Knox Presbyterian Church
2:00pm
East Kootenay Music Students

Cranbrook Skating Club
Ice Show
7:00pm
Western Financial Place
Tickets $10 adults$5 Children Max $25 per family

Monday March 3rd
CFUW Woman of the Year
Gail Brown
4:00pm, Manual Training Centre
All Welcome

Thursday March 6th
Cranbrook and District Arts Council
"Slapshot' Reception
Sport in Art
Families and children welcome
Kootenay Ice Players showing their artistic side
Kids activities
7:00pm, 135 Tenth Av. S.








Metis Kitchen Party

 The  Metis Kitchen Party held at the Heritage Inn this week was a resounding success.  The ballroom was full and the music was lively.

Councillor Sharon Cross attended as Acting Mayor.  Also present were Joe Pierre (Councillor of 'aq'am), Colette Trudeau (Metis Nation of B.C.), Lynn Hauptman (School District #5), Jason Tichauer (Mt. Baker Secondary School), and Doug McPhee (School District #5).  

Doug McPhee, who has a rich and long involvement with the St. Mary's Band and the Metis, was presented with a beautiful wool blanket featuring a symbolic turtle on it, as well as an eagle feather.  It was a very touching tribute to Mr. McPhee.

After a traditional Metis dinner, Daniel Gervais on fiddle, and the Pacemakers, entertained the crowd.  Members of the public started to arrive to participate in the event.  There were lots of lively jigs, and a butterfly dance that Councillor Cross participated in with a couple of youth.  When asked about the dance, Councillor Cross replied "When it started I realized that it was a dance I learned in school as a child. It came back to me as though it were yesterday, and I was having a ball!"  She also noted that "This is such a wonderful celebration of a rich culture that has helped shape our nation, and I'm so happy the Metis community keeps their traditions and culture alive.  Cranbrook is a better place for it."


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Physician Shortages

This letter was published in the Tyee with the following editor's note:
[Editor's note: The Tyee received this unsolicited op-ed from Dr. Vanessa Brcic, a family practice clinician scholar at the University of British Columbia, and we publish it here for your consideration.] 

http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/2014/02/21/Fee-For-Service/

In light of the recent discussions at the Council table and in Michael Morris's columns on this blog we copied it here for your interest.

VIEW: Why it pays to practice poor medicine in BCBy VANESSA BRCICPublished February 21, 2014 05:00 pm 
 [Editor's note: The Tyee received this unsolicited op-ed from Dr. Vanessa Brcic, a family practice clinician scholar at the University of British Columbia, and we publish it here for your consideration.]Health care is the biggest, priciest, and most important thing that government does. Hospital care swallows up a large proportion of the health care budget, but primary care in the community takes care of most patient needs and keeps people out of hospital. Patients who are connected to a family physician over time are healthier and live longer. But there hasn't been much of a conversation about primary care reform in this province, and it's time to start one. (The auditor general thinks so too.)Doctors like myself are paid well in British Columbia, but we are paid by an antiquated compensation model called fee-for-service, which basically reduces medical visits to a series of billable scenarios. In family practice this is not cost-effective, and often leads to "turnstile medicine," because we can only bill the government for one ailment at a time.The more patient visits we see, the more money we make. With high Vancouver rents that come out of our wages, the pressure mounts. The fee-for-service model is expensive, because it incentivizes illness care rather than prevention. It is also expensive for patients, who bear the burden of having to come back again and again for various issues.But there are better options. In a 2012 research study published in the medical journal Canadian Family Physician, we heard from 133 recently graduated family doctors in B.C. Ninety-three of them (71 per cent) preferred progressive models of payment as opposed to the one-problem-per-visit style of practice that we buy in fee-for-service."As it stands now in the fee-for-service climate, setting up a practice and being tied to the clock is an onerous and very unattractive option for most of us new family physicians," one doctor said. "I never wish to put up a sign on my clinic door saying 'one complaint per visit, please.' Fee-for-service must go."The doctors issued a compelling call for choice to set up practices that would allow them to provide more complex and comprehensive care, take more time with patients in need, and minimize frustration associated with billing.But unlike other provinces and countries moving towards "medical homes" -- a style of primary care that is collaborative, interdisciplinary, and alternately funded -- in B.C., fee-for-service remuneration encourages a walk-in style of practice."Right now it pays to see as many people as possible regardless of the quality of care given. It literally pays to practice poor medicine," said one doctor.It's not just doctors shedding light on the downside of fee-for-service. In a focus group conducted by the University of British Columbia family practice residents in 2012, patients spoke up."Sometimes they'll just shove me in the room," said one. "If I've got an earache and want to follow up on tests, I've got to make another appointment."Another said: "If you have a large variety of problems -- and I'm on disability, both physical and mental -- you are toast. It's almost like you're too difficult a patient, too demanding."Over the last 10 years, Ontario gave all GPs incentives to transition from fee-for-service to alternate funding models, most of which were a blend of fee-for-service and an annual fee for looking after a patient based on the patient's demographic. It was one of the largest and most expensive transformations in how primary care is delivered and funded. Although imperfect, it had positive effects, significantly increasing medical student enrollment in family practice residencies and reducing the province's family doctor shortage.Research has shown how this change could have been more cost-effective and equitable, which gives us a golden opportunity to learn from this example and implement more effective reforms.However, fears of increasing costs and lazy doctors are preventing us from doing so. Instead, we are following the juggernaut of fee-for-service remuneration that incentivizes more service, not necessarily better care. We need to give doctors the space to think and deliver the right service to the right patient, including education and prevention.In recent years, insufficient growth in the B.C. budget has been outpaced by population growth and inflation, meaning that we have less money on the table to work with towards innovation that will pay off in the longer term. This lack of forward thinking reinforces the increasingly inadequate status quo of fee-for-service, and stifles the development of innovative models that will help us better care for patients with an increasing burden of chronic disease.In short, you don't need to pay us more, but by paying us flexibly and allowing room for innovation, you may see 93 more family doctors ready to open a practice in B.C. not too far down the road.Dr. Vanessa Brcic is a family physician in Vancouver, clinician scholar in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia, and research associate with the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives in B.C.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Come On, Join the Conversation

Cranbrook Community Conversation
Thursday, March 13, 2014, 6:30 to 9:00 pm
Heritage Inn and Convention Centre, 803 Cranbrook Street North

Join a lively, facilitated discussion about questions such as:
·         What are the issues Cranbrook should be talking about this year?
·         What are the issues that you’d like more information about?
·         How can we get everyone engaged in the municipal election this fall?
This is a conversation, not a presentation, and you will be a part of the action, not a part of the audience.  Talk at round tables with your fellow citizens and your mayor and council, and share your ideas and your point of view, while also getting to hear the ideas of others.  Don’t worry about dinner – pizza and salad will be provided

The Association of Kootenay & Boundary Local Governments and the City of Cranbrook are working together to host this community event.  It’s open to all citizens of Cranbrook – please feel free to forward this invitation!


We are limited by the size of the venue, so we’d like to know if you’re planning to attend.  Don’t miss out - please RSVP to Kelly Thorsteinson at Thorsteinson@cranbrook.ca

Friday, February 21, 2014

Michael's Musings

GO CANADA GO at the Olympics while Justin is being Justin

By Michael J Morris

My hunch is that most Canadians are much more interested right now in the Winter Olympics in Sochi than the biennial conference of the federal Liberals in Montreal, but I just can't resist mixing metaphors.

In 1967, when Dr. Jacques Goutor, who was one of my favourite History professors, arrived in Canada from France, the headlines in the first newspapers he saw were LEAFS WIN STANLEY CUP.  At the time Dr. Goutor had no idea who the Leafs were or what the Stanley Cup was, but when he found out, he told his wife this must be a pretty safe country if the top story was about a sporting event.

Dr. Goutor had been raised in France during World War II.

Judging by the frenzy on Facebook and Twitter where it seemed like everyone had become a sports commentator as Canadian athletes increased their medal count at the Winter Olympics, Dr. Goutor's point, albeit about hockey at the time, includes other sports too. Whatever may divide us politically disappears for the moment at least as the Olympic games gives us a common cause as  we  cheer on our athletes.

Too bad our politics has become so divisive.

Let's go to Montreal for a moment where the federal Liberals, for the past year led by Justin Trudeau, are putting on their face for the 2015 election.

Just before the convention, an IpsosReid/CTV News poll showed that 54% of Canadians shared Mr. Trudeau's values, up eight points over an earlier poll, centred around "innovative and forward thinking". 

Interestingly perhaps, the poll also shows that support has increased most in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Alberta and Ontario. The Prairie provinces in recent years have been pretty solidly Conservative, and of course still may be, but maybe, just maybe, folks there are tired of the same old, same old.

Having attended Mr. Trudeau's no frills meet and greet in Cranbrook last summer as he toured British Columbia in a motor home, it was obvious a new political style was emerging in Canada. I was impressed to be honest, and I have never been a card carrying liberal.

Jane Taber, writing in The Globe and Mail as the Liberal convention opened noted that the Liberal 2015 election campaign focus will be "all about Justin Trudeau".

Will  Justin being Justin work?  Too soon to tell methinks.

But, for the moment Canadians are preoccupied with our athletes at the Winter Olympics, and it is refreshing to follow the Likes, comments, tweets and retweets and cheers as we join together in our support of them. Dr. Goutor had it right but more sports are now included, and we do live in a great country. GO CANADA GO! My email is mj.morris@live.ca

Full disclosure: I am not now and never have been a member of the Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society; however, I did conduct a workshop for its members for which I was paid.



Thursday, February 20, 2014

How Wolves Change Rivers

With the very sad death of four cougar kittens in Cranbrook this week, once again we are forced to think about the balance of nature.  Many knew this family was about but many did not want to see this ending despite also being aware something probably had to 'happen'.  It is ironic that we lament the over abundance of urban deer but kill their predators.  ...and now we will probably lament the reappearance of the deer that have been absent from the South Hill the last few weeks.

What's Happening....

Saturday February 22nd

Girl Guides Tea and Bake Sale
Cranbrook Guide Hall
1421 2nd st S.
12:30-3:30pm
250-489-3155

Thursday February 27th

Friends of the Cranbrook Library
Travelogue with Allister Pederson
Bonaire, Netherland's Antilles

February 28th - March 1st

The Friends of the Cranbrook Public Library
Magazine Sale
Donations can be dropped off until Feb 27th.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Post Notes for the Council Meeting of February 17th 2014

No Delegations

In accordance with the newly approved Council meeting procedure:

Bylaws
https://cranbrook.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=3673
6.1 3790 Automated voting machine authorisation
carried
6.2 3791 OCP Amendment
The proposed amendment will: 
• add a new area plan for lands in the northern part of the City which were incorporated in a 2007 boundary extension; 
• add new land use designations to the properties in the plan area which currently do not have an OCP land use designation
carried
6.3 3792 Athletic Commission repeal
Carried
Now that the Provincial Government  has taken over the monitoring of such events as Mixed Martial Arts and Boxing there is no need for a local commission.

New Business

Report Recommendations
8.1 Coffee with the Mayor report.
https://cranbrook.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=3676
8.2 Appointments to the Economic Development Committee
The representatives nominated by the organizations are not residents of Cranbrook and thus these appointments would be an exception to the Terms of Reference for 2014. 
Mike Adams and Joey Hoeschman appointed.
8.3 Appointment to Highway 3 Committee
Coenraad Fourie appointed as representative of the Ministry of Transportation

8.4 RDEK Referral Development Variance Permit 1-14 Wycliffe pk Rd.
8.5 Downtown Commercial Development Permit for Kootenay Kwik Print
Approved
8.6 Climate Resiliency Project Selection
Approved
This $10,000 matched grant will enable reduction of fire hazard material in the Community Forest.

8.7 Graduated Business Licence
Resolution 
Whereas there is only one business license fee of $150 charged by the City of Cranbrook regardless of the size of the business.
And whereas there are approximately1 ,300 to 1,400 businesses in the City of Cranbrook at any given time.
And whereas these businesses range greatly in size, from single proprietorship's and home-based businesses to large businesses and corporations with many employees.
And whereas, despite their size, they all pay the same business license fee regardless of their size and the revenue they generate.
And whereas this seems on the surface to be unfair to small businesses that generate far less revenue than big businesses that pay the same business license fee.
Therefore be it resolved the City investigate how other cities in the province deal with this situation and whether a graduated business license fee would be a more fair and equitable way of dealing with business license fees than the one size fits all approach being used now.
Councillor Gerry Warner
Feb. 11,2014
This resolution was discussed at length by those present and there was agreement that although the intention is a good one, the fee is for the work involved with the issuing of a business licence is the same regardless of the size of the business.  Monitoring of a graduated license fee system would involve more work and potentially produce more problems.  This issue was examined several years ago by Council and turned down then.
Defeated

Committee Recommendations
9.1 Urban Deer
Councillor Warner expressed his strong feelings that a cull should take place.  However, it was felt by the majority of Council that it was time to gauge the predominant feeling of the community once more.  A survey, possibly on line, will be put together.  All Councillors were in agreement that the Province is not doing its part in this provincial problem.

Administration Update
https://cranbrook.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=3684

Correspondence
12.1 - 12.10
beginning:
https://cranbrook.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=3685
12.1 It was agreed to contribute $1250 to the Wildsafe program which will benefit the community with education around wildlife
12.2  It was agreed to contribute $700 in work in kind to assist with the installation of a ventilation system required for the pottery room at the Senior's Centre.
12.5 Councillor Whetham will follow up with the Ministry of Sport and Cultural Development over the issue of Preliminary Layout Approval procedure - the point being that currently a PLA can trigger sales before proper planning is in place for the land development.
12.6 Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration Program
https://cranbrook.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=3690
12.9 Correspondence from Theresa Bartraw seeking to establish a peer network for the visually impaired
Please contact Lori Harris coordinator for Better at Home if interested. 426-2943
12.10 Correspondence from Daniel Pizarro Senior Regional Transit Manager.  More effort is being put into finding smaller buses for Cranbrook.
12.11 A new community infrastructure grant has been announced.  The City has three priorities for  application - The sewer pipe connection to the Spray Irrigation Site, Idlewild dredging and Roads.  The proportion of cost sharing is not known at this time.

Reports and Inquiries
Mayor Stetski asked for updates from administration on earlier requests concerning:
A Sidewalk Clearing bylaw, The Two Tier System of pricing for recreational facilities, which Mayor Stetski would like to see removed and the Barriers to Business program.
Councillor Warner passed on public frustrations over lack of outcome for the Dog Park discussions that have been ongoing.



Monday, February 17, 2014

Advance Notes for the Council Meeting of February 17th, 2014 6:00pm

No Delegations

In accordance with the newly approved Council meeting procedure:

Bylaws
6.1 3790 Automated voting machine authorisation
6.2 3791 OCP Amendment
6.3 3792 Athletic Commission repeal

New Business
Report Recommendations
8.1 Coffee with the Mayor report.
https://cranbrook.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=3676
8.2 Appointments to the Economic Development Committee
8.3 Appointment to Highway 3 Committee
8.4 RDEK Referral Development Variance Permit 1-14 Wycliffe pk Rd.
8.5 Downtown Commercial Development Permit for Kootenay Kwik print
8.6 Climate Resiliency Project Selection

8.7 Graduated Business Licence
Resolution 
Whereas there is only one business license fee of $150 charged by the City of Cranbrook regardless of the size of the business.
And whereas there are approximately1 ,300 to 1,400 businesses in the City of Cranbrook at any given time.
And whereas these businesses range greatly in size, from single proprietorship's and home-based businesses to large businesses and corporations with many employees.
And whereas, despite their size, they all pay the same business license fee regardless of their size and the revenue they generate.
And whereas this seems on the surface to be unfair to small businesses that generate far less revenue than big businesses that pay the same business license fee.
Therefore be it resolved the City investigate how other cities in the province deal with this situation and whether a graduated business license fee would be a more fair and equitable way of dealing with business license fees than the one size fits all approach being used now.
Councillor Gerry Warner
Feb. 11,2014

Committee Recommendations
9.1 Urban Deer

Administration Update
https://cranbrook.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=3684

Correspondence
12.1 - 12.10
beginning:
https://cranbrook.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=3685



Sunday, February 16, 2014

"The crisis in Canadian democracy is not that Canadians are voting more than once but that they are voting less than once." Elizabeth May

http://thetyee.ca/Video/2014/02/14/elizabeth-may-in-the-house-on-fair-elections-act/



From the Tyee:
'Mr. Speaker, the crisis in Canadian democracy is not that Canadians are voting more than once but that they are voting less than once. And this bill will... increase cynicism.'


'And:I think it undermines political resonsibility and civic understanding to refer to voters as customers. There is something fundamentally wrong with an elections act that talks about customer service when we're talking about voting. It's a right. It's not shopping. And every Canadian must be allowed to vote.For the full transcript of the speech, go 
here.' 


Zoom Out and In

We never tire of the views from Elizabeth Lake.

Photos courtesy Stewart Wilson



Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day


Michael's Musings

Colin's birthday bringing millions together on Facebook to celebrate

By Michael J Morris

 Sitting alone in a school office at lunch time and not having any friends to invite to a birthday party, may not be the usual situation for a 10-year-old boy.

Quite possibly,  it may be more common than we think, but as Valentine's Day approached, and I was thinking about an appropriate column, likely about the usual "stuff" one writes for this occasion, an article in The Huffington Post caught my attention.

But before I tell you more about Colin, who will turn 11 on March 9, I was beyond shocked, and trust me, that takes some doing, when I read in Northern Life magazine online that in the United States, in 2014, total spending is expected to reach $17.3 billion -- yes, "billion" for Valentine's Day.

I double checked and that amount comes from a survey  conducted by the National Retail Federation in the United States,which claims that "the average person plans to spend $133.91 on candy, cards, gifts, dinner, and more, up slightly from $130.97 last year. Total spending is expected to reach $17.3 billion."

That's in the United States with a much larger population than Canada, but, to me at least, it's a staggering amount.

Back to Colin. The Huffington Post reported that Colin who lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan told his mother, Jennifer, that when she asked her son what he wanted to do for his birthday, he said he didn't want a party. 

“Mom, who am I going to invite? I don’t have any friends,” he explained.

The Huffington Post article added that Colin was diagnosed with a disorder similar to autism about a year ago, and because of it, he has difficulty socializing.

His mother was devastated, but she took action and created a Facebook page which at the outset was set up for family and friends to send Colin birthday wishes so he could see how loved he is.

The Facebook page also demonstrates the best of the use of social media.

Here is the mother's story taken from the Facebook page:

"I am Colin's Mom, I created this page for my amazing, wonderful, challenging son who is about to turn 11 on March 9th. Because of Colin's disabilities, social skills are not easy for him, and he often acts out in school, and the other kids don't like him. So when I asked him if he wanted a party for his birthday, he said there wasn't a point because he has no friends. He eats lunch alone in the office everyday because no one will let him sit with them, and rather than force someone to be unhappy with his presence, he sits alone in the office. So I thought, if I could create a page where people could send him positive thoughts and encouraging words, that would be better than any birthday party. Please join me in making my very original son feel special on his day."

Colin is in for a surprise on his birthday. As I write this column, Colin's birthday Facebook page had received more than 1.8 million Likes, and growing. I spent some time going through the comments being made, and they reflect an outpouring of affection and understanding from people all over for Colin, along with suggestions like the Best Buddy Club to help him make friends.

It made my Valentine's Day. In a society which so often today seems divisive, selfish and uncaring, the support being shown to this one child because of an action taken by his mother, shows we still have the ability to focus on those things that bring us together rather than those that divide us. And without spending $17.3 billion to show our love.

If you would like to become part of Colin's birthday, here is the link:

Or perhaps, you may wish to undertake your own Act of Random Kindness, keeping in mind the the following quotation, attributed to Etienne de Grellet, (1773-1855), a Quaker missionary,  and others. "I shall pass this way but once; any good that I can do or any kindness I can show to any human being; let me do it now. Let me not defer nor neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."

Happy Valentine's Day. My email is mj.morris@live.ca




Thursday, February 13, 2014

Time to Think about the Garden and Rockstar Farming



Rockstar Farmer Tour - Six Figure Farming for Small Lots
Full day workshop
March 12, Cranbrook

Jean-Martin Fortier, Canada’s rockstar farmer, leads a workshop teaching his smart, intensive farming techniques married with smart business sense. You’ll learn how you can start a market garden and make it both productive and profitable—without a large acreage or big capital outlay. The workshop follows on the success of Jean-Martin’s 1.5 acre microfarm in Quebec, where he grows $140,000 of vegetables annually, and the success of his book The Market Gardener, which has sold more than 15,000 copies.

Tickets are available on a sliding scale from $45-$75. The workshop is co-sponsored by the Young Agrarians, Wildsight, and the Cranbrook Food Action Committee.
More info and tickets at: youngagrarians.org/jmf
###

Rockstar Farmer Tour - Big Yields, Small Lots
7:30pm, March 11, Centre 64, Kimberley

Jean-Martin Fortier, Canada’s rockstar farmer, will share the story of his success as a young professional farmer on his own microfarm. He’ll also give an overview of his low-tech, high yield production methods, many of which can be used by gardeners everywhere, including soils and fertility, crop rotations, seeding, starting & transplanting, row covers and low tunnels, season extension techniques, weed control and more. Learn about Jean-Martin’s 1.5 acre farm in Quebec, where he grows $140,000 of vegetables annually, and his book The Market Gardener, which has sold more than 15,000 copies.

Admission is by $10 suggested donation. The presentation is co-sponsored by the Young Agrarians, Wildsight, and the Cranbrook Food Action Committee.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Gordon Terrace is 40 Years Old

Friday, February 14th at 11:15am Gordon Terrace School will celebrate its 40th birthday.  If you have a connection to Gordon Terrace you are invited to drop by and share in the celebration.  Displays of 1973 toys and household objects, even teachers born that year will be of interest.




Kite Skiing at Elizabeth Lake

photo Stewart Wilson

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

City Experiences Water Main Breaks

As reported to CBC by Chris Zettel
Corporate Communications Officer
City of Cranbrook

The fact that Public Works needs to repair 5 water main breaks in one day appears to be a bizarre occurrence to most people, but considering the age of the City’s infrastructure overall, our Public Works staff tell me it is not all that strange. The fact that the leaks occurred after a period of quite cold weather giving way to much warmer conditions is really just a fluke.

Three of the breaks are actual water mains, out under the street; two of the leaks are in fact service lines into individual properties and both are suspected to have been occurring for some time.    In fact is it is a much more common occurrence in the wintertime, because if a service line to a home leaks then, the water will bubble to the surface faster due to ground frost and the water has nowhere to go but up.   In the summer with no frost to contend with the service line to a home can leak all summer and no one would know.

In 2012, the City commissioned an Asset Management Investment Plan to look at costs around replacing our entire infrastructure (water, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, road infrastructure).  The report places the total cost at about $463.5 million.  (This figure is likely overinflated because it takes into consideration the need to replace all the Pressure Reducing Stations (PRV’s) around the City and to completely replace the dam at the Phillips Reservoir which provides all the potable water the municipality needs).  That means the City of Cranbrook’s  overall infrastructure has decreased in value by $271.8 million, which mean the estimated cost just to bring our infrastructure up to where standards should be today, would be about $191.6 million.  

Cranbrook is not unique in its challenges in dealing with infrastructure deficiencies.  It is very common knowledge that every municipality across North America is dealing with failing infrastructure – some are in a much worse situation than Cranbrook – some are much better.   The biggest challenge is finding the necessary funding to deal with the issue – and that is something every level of government is trying to come to terms with.


Sunday, February 9, 2014

Flathead Wild, Conservation Meets Art


The reception for the Flathead Wild Exhibit was held on Friday February 7th at the Cranbrook and District Arts Council Gallery in Cranbrook.  Artists Laura Nelson, Simon Haiduk and Joseph Cross were in attendance and enlightened the many there about their wild painting experience.

This beautiful exhibit is on show until the end of February.

Laura Nelson with her painting 'Current Directions'

Simon Haiduk with his painting 'Roses Canyon Wild'
Marisa Phillips chatting with Robyn Duncan of Wildsight .  Wildsight initiated this project.


Joseph Cross with his pastel, 'Swimmers at Roses Canyon'


'Just Around the Bend' oil by Tara Higgins

Why not attend the Cranbrook and District Arts Council Valentine Tea on February 15th 11:30 am to 1;30pm and enjoy the exhibit at the same time.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Out and About with Stewart

Wrong Place Wrong Time


Stewart Wilson


On Sunday while the Rocky Mtn. Naturalists were on a geocaching walk at E.L. to learn about some of the history of the area, a Virginia  Rail was spotted feeding at the outflow. This was a great surprise because they are not typically found so far north in winter. The following day there was a pair but it was noticed that one had an ice build up on its beak but appeared able to feed. On Tuesday there was only one bird and even it seemed to be experiencing difficulty between cold and ice build up. Neither bird has been seen since. We wonder if both have been able to survive the extreme cold and have found a sheltered spot with open water?


If any one spots either one or two of these birds, we and the Rocky Mountain Naturalists would be happy to know.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Michael's Musings

Cranbrook and Castlegar move forward on health care as Feds get 'close to zero' grade on reducing wait times.

By Michael J Morris

As Cranbrook moves toward having a new medical centre, and Castlegar launches a family doctor recruitment program, the Harper government receives a grade of "close to zero" on reducing wait times for Canadians to see a regular family doctor.


According to news reports, it will be called the Baker Street Professional Centre as New Dawn Developments has formed a new business to take over the Baker Street Mall, formerly the Cranbrook Mall in the downtown area.


Reportedly it will contain two clinics for family practices, a physiotherapy practice and a pharmacy with space for other family doctors who wish to locate in Cranbrook. It is expected part of the plan will be in effect later in 2014.
Good news indeed as the centre will provide space for health care providers but it is also located in the downtown which needs revitalization.


Meanwhile, over in Castlegar the City and Regional District of Central Kootenay (Areas I and J) are each putting $10,000 into a fund to begin proactively recruiting doctors to the area, according to a report on castlegarsource.com retweeted by Kootenay Business, this week.

Apparently an ad hoc group took the initiative and a meeting was held with the the Chamber of Commerce, Castlegar mayor and council, and RDCK directors for Areas I and J.  Castlegar city councillor Florio Vassilakakis  said they will take “a whole different approach to the issue”, castlegarsource.com reported. Apparently it will follow a successful program undertaken in Creston.


Castlegarsource,com reported that Chamber of Commerce executive director Tammy Verigin-Burk said the money will be used primarily for promotional material, and to hire a recruiter working with Health Match BC, a service for doctors looking to relocate to our province.  “They screen for qualifications (ie: for international candidates) to help get doctors into BC towns,” she said. “That's often where it all falls apart."  She added, "hiring the recruiter means taking that extra step and ensuring the lifestyle and amenities here are a good fit for the candidate in question, so they'll be willing to stick around for the long haul and invest years in the community."


That's potentially more good news on the health care front in southeastern British Columbia along with the recent announcement that Selkirk College has created the Rural Pre-Medicine Advanced Diploma and Associate Degree Program to be offered at its Castlegar Campus. 
The program will offer students, not limited to Castlegar wanting to pursue a career in medicine a three-year opportunity to learn at a rural college starting in September 2014.

The developments on the medical front in Cranbrook and Castlegar are certainly most welcome, and show serious action is being taken. For the over 1,000 Cranbrook citizens who received a letter recently advising they would no longer be able to see a family doctor at one clinic, it's a sign that the situation may improve.
It seems that in many rural areas now, hospital emergency rooms are becoming "walk-in clinics", but in some hospitals service is reduced because they don't have enough  doctors to staff them 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


John Geddes reported in Maclean's magazine online on February 7 that as Stephen Harper's government marked eight years in power, the Health Council of Canada released a report that placed Canada dead last, among 11 prosperous countries surveyed, when it comes to how quickly patients can get an appointment with a regular family doctor.


Although Rona Ambrose, the federal health minister, issued a statement pledging to work with provincial and territorial governments on the wait time issue, Mr. Geddes says that  John Abbott, the council’s chief executive officer, described the Harper government’s level of engagement on the problem as “close to zero.”
Mr. Geddes adds a quote from Harper in the House of Commons in 2006: “In this country, there is a deal between the state and its citizens...  If they pay their taxes into a public insurance system, they are supposed to get necessary medical treatment when they need it.”


He also promised  “to act right away to make things better and faster.” 


The result eight years later: Canada Dead Last among 11 prosperous countries surveyed.


I wish those involved in the Baker Street Professional Centre in Cranbrook well with its plans, and much success to Castlegar on its initiative.   Hopefully, more will become involved in ensuring adequate health care for all citizens.  My email is  mj.morris@live.ca

Full disclosure: I am not now and never have been a member of the Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook Society; however, I did conduct a workshop for its members for which I was paid.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Business without Borders- Workshop Opportunity

It is not too late to arrange a workshop for your business.  Business Without Borders, a Welcoming Communities Project funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia, is offering workshops at no cost until March 31st 2014.

Every business owner or manager knows that competitive pricing is only part of what encourages customer loyalty. The entire shopping experience and working environment created by employers and staff can establish your business as the top choice for consumers.

College of the Rockies  partnered with the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce and the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy for a free Business Without Borders Workshop for local business owners and managers, which was held on Wednesday, February 5th.

The Benefits of a Diverse Workforce and the BFOR Criteria, which helps to reduce employee turnover, are only two of the topics discussed and explored through group activities. Other topics include improving staff communication, developing loyalty and commitment as well as considering new Canadians in your succession plan.

Those interested in broadening business strategies to include finding and learning new ways to increase clientele and staff communication must register  to participate by calling the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce at (250) 426-5914 or by email to businesswithoutborders@cranbrookchamber.com

Business Without Borders, a Welcoming Communities Project funded by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia, is offering workshops at no cost until March 31st 2014.


What's Happening.....

February 6,7,8.

Two One Act Plays
"Next" and "The Exquisite Hour"
Studio Side Door
Tickets Lotus Books
$15 non members $13 members

Friday February 7th

Reception for the Flathead Wild Art Exhibit
Meet some of the artists from this stunning exhibit
7:00pm -9:00pm
Refreshments
The Gallery
135. Tenth Av. S.

Ongoing

Cranbrook Library
Art Display with work
by the late Jimmy Warland

Tuesday February 11th

Romeo and Juliet
Ballet Jorgen
Key City Theatre
Tickets at the key box office or call 250-426-7006

Funtastik Singers
Sing a long with others who just like to sing
at:
The Gallery
135 Tenth Av S.
6:45pm - 8:15pm




So How Corrupt Are We Perceived to Be?

Click on to move around.
http://www.transparency.org/cpi2013/results


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Penticton Deer

CBC News Posted: Feb 05, 2014 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/deer-droppings-lead-to-artistic-protest-in-penticton-1.2523625

Someone in Penticton, B.C., made and dropped off this deer scat sculpture on the steps of city hall. The Okanagan city has been overrun by urban deer, and approved a $15,000-project to relocate the deer, rather than instituting a cheaper cull. (City of Penticton)



Dressed for the Weather

Photos courtesy  Geraldine White
Mission Road Coyotes




Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Post Notes for the Council Meeting of February 3rd 2014

Council meeting presided over by acting Mayor, Sharon Cross.  Councillor Pallesen absent.

Delegation - RCMP 4th Quarter Mayor's Report

Cpl. Barry Graham gave a very positive report showing there have been decreases in crimes across the board in the last quarter. Focused investigations into drug related events have been part of the reason for the drops in crime. The full report can be read at:
https://cranbrook.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=3639

A new order of business begins this evening after the adoption of the new Council procedure.  This will enable those coming to the meeting to see their business completed before Correspondence and the Administration report.

Bylaws

6.1 Board of Variance Bylaw 3787

To increase the number of regular scheduled meetings of the Board of Variance from four to six on the second Tuesday of February, April, June, August, October, and December
Adopted

6.2 Zoning 3788
To consider third reading and adoption of an amendment to the City's Zoning Bylaw to change and  add new definitions, and to amend the C-6 Tourist Commercial Zone to better clarify regulations and permissible uses for an RV park development located on the Mission Hills Golf Course property.
Adopted

6.3 Zoning 3789
To consider third reading and adoption of a bylaw to amend the City of Cranbrook Zoning Bylaw 3737, 2012, to enable Medical Marijuana Grow Operations (MMGOs) with associated land use regulations, as a permitted use within an industrial zone, in anticipation of new Federal regulations concerning the licensing of MMGOs.
Carried.

6.4 Voting Machines 3790
To provide for the use of automated voting machines, voting recorders or other devices for voting in
the 2014 General Local Elections and subsequent elections.
Automated voting machines have been used in British Columbia for many years. According to data 
collected by Civic Info, among the same size municipalities (Courtenay, Dawson Creek, Fort St. 
John, Powell River, Salmon Arm, Williams lake) Cranbrook, Terrace and Prince Rupert are the 
only communities not using voting machines. In the province, over 70 municipalities, including 
Nelson (10,230 pop.), Trail (7,681 pop) and Castlegar (8,992 pop.) are using automated voting 
machines. 
Municipalities contacted had only positive comments about their experience of using automated 
voting machines and expressed that they would never go back to manual count.
Three readings carried.

New Business
8.1 Year of Reconciliation
Motion to be considered:
WHEREAS the City of Cranbrook is committed to furthering our positive relationship with our 
Ktunaxa neighbours; and 
WHEREAS on October 21, 2013 Cranbrook City Council unanimously passed a proclamation 
declaring October 21, 2013 to October 21, 2014 as a Year of Reconciliation with the Ktunaxa 
nation; 
THEREFORE be it resolved that Council direct City staff to organize a joint meeting between 
Cranbrook City Council and the Ktunaxa Nation Council to discuss ways to best implement the 
Year of Reconciliation.
Carried

To consider directions to be given to City of Cranbrook's representatives on the Regional District of 
East Kootenay Board related to receiving Elk Valley Waste at the Central Landfill. 
https://cranbrook.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=3645
There was some discussion around this issue which at first glance appeared might possibly be a worthwhile venture. However on further investigation into costs and with the proposal from the Elk Valley of a $50 payment per ton, the current proposal was rejected.  

8.3 RDEK Bylaw referrals
https://cranbrook.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=3646
To consider a referral from the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) for proposed amendments 
to the Rockyview Official Community Plan (OCP) and Cranbrook Rural Zoning Bylaws to allow a 
campground. 
The RDEK has referred a proposed OCP and Zoning amendment to the City for comment. The proposed amendments will change the OCP and Zoning designations of a 4.2 acre (1.7 hectare) property located at 1873 Jim Smith Lake Rd. and Laidlaw Rd. area, legally described as Lot A, District Lot 3575, Kootenay District, Plan 4296. Bylaw No. 2506 would amend the Rockyview OCP designation of the property from MH, Medium Holdin9s to C, Commercial designation. Bylaw No. 2507 would amend the Cranbrook Rural Zoning Bylaw designation from RR-2, Rural Residential (Small Holding) Zone to C-4, Recreation Commercial Zone. The amendments would facilitate development of a campground use with up to 20 RV campsites and a small area for possible tenting. Campground servicing is indicated as being minimal with the 
use of outhouses and a well sourced, water tap proposed (see attached site plan).
Carried

8.4
To consider approval of an application for funding through the BC Healthy Communities Society, 
Health Communities Capacity Building Grants for Local Government Stream Two: Innovate Grant in 
partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Cranbrook. 
RECOMMENDATION BY: Staff 
That Council endorse the City being the applicant of a grant application on behalf of Big Brothers Big Sisters Cranbrook to BC Healthy Communities Society, Health Communities Capacity Building Grants for Local Government Stream Two: Innovate Grant for funding of $21,000 to assist Big Brothers Big  Sisters Cranbrook in their "Friendly Youth Initiative" focused on parents and expansion of youth projects.
Councillor Davis enquired as to whether this would be setting a precedent for other grant applicants.  It was explained that this is a grant to Municipalities and must be applied for through the municipality channel.
Carried

8.5 Parcel Tax Roll Review Panel
"THAT Council set a date for the Parcel Tax Roll Review Panel to be held on April 28,2014, at 3:00 pm in the Council Chamber." 
"AND FURTHER THAT Council appoint Denise Pallesen, Councillor; Wayne Staudt, Chief Administrative 
Officer; and Charlotte Osborne, Director of Finance & Computer Services, as members of the Parcel Tax Roll Review Panel." 
Carried


Administration Update
Can be read fully at: 
https://cranbrook.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=3649


Correspondence 12.1 - 12.11
beginning:
https://cranbrook.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=3650

12.4  Worthy recipients for the hometown hero awards for those involved in care of the environment can be nominated at"
They overcome environmental obstacles. They engage others in support of a sustainable community. You may know them as a neighbour, volunteer group or local business, but to Earth Day Canada, they’re Hometown Heroes working to support a healthier environment.

12.5 Letter from Dave Butler Chamber of Commerce regarding Economic Development


12.8 Final payment from Federal Government of $25000 for Waste Water Capacity Improvements


12.9 Correspondence from Auditor General for Local Government - project is much bigger and taking longer than anticipated. Results now not expected until August. Councillor Whetham enquired as to staff time involved and so far it has been tagged at 108 hours.



12.11 This letter concerning potential additions to Reserve Lands within municipal boundaries resulted in some discussion.

https://cranbrook.civicweb.net/Documents/DocumentList.aspx?ID=3660
It was felt the letter has not adequately addressed the concerns expressed by municipalities as to problems that would arise.  A meeting with MP Wilks will be requested.

Councillor Warner gave Notice of Motion for graduated Business License Fees dependent on number of employees.