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.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Cranbrook Community Forest and Trap Trees

First it was the Pine Beetle causing havoc in many parts of the province and now an outbreak of Fir Beetle is attacking many Douglas Forest trees. The beetle will choose freshly fallen trees in which to lay its eggs and so a plan is in place in the Community Forest to help control this infestation.

Don't be alarmed if you find one of these 'trap trees'.

pictured to the left:  Forestry workers preparing to cut down some capture trees for the fir beetle.

This fall after the beetles have laid their eggs, the trees will be cut up and burned. This will help diminish the spread of this beetle in the CCF.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

What's Happening....

The Gallery, Baker St
'Welcome to My World Exhibit' concludes Saturday, April 30th
The Work of Cranbrook Junior High students' Exhibit  begins Tuesday, May 3rd

April 29th

Key City Theatre
Jason Collett and Zeus with Kalle Matson

Saturday April 30th

Giant Garage Sale
Friends of the Cranbrook Library
Manual Training Building
9:00am - 3:00pm
Drop off Friday April 29th

Go Go Grannies, Garage Sale
8:30 - 2;00pm
710, 12th Av S.

Sun Valley Song
Baroque to Broadway
Knox Presbyterian Church, Victoria and 3rd
also Sunday May 1st at 2:30pm

Thursday May 5th
Join the Garden Club for the Dutch Canadian Friendship Tulip Garden Bloom Celebration at the old Elko Train Station

May 5th, 6th, 7th

Mt Baker School presents
'Mary Poppins'

Turtle Day

Contributed by Stewart Wilson

More than 220 students from TM Roberts, Amy Woodland, Gordon Terrace, St. Mary’s Catholic School, (Kootenay Christian Academy?) and Parkland Middle School participated in Turtle Day at Elizabeth Lake on April 27. They discovered what type of food western painted turtles eat by identifying the various insects and creatures caught in their dipnets; examined the remains of a turtle nest and its contents; and had an opportunity to handle young turtles while learning interesting facts about them.

Sturgeon Release

Students from several Cranbrook schools including Amy Woodland, Gordon Terrace, Pinewood and TM Roberts travelled to Creston to release year old white sturgeon into the Kootenay River as part of a program to help regenerate this endangered species of ancient fish dating back to before the dinosaurs.

 Students learned that the largest sturgeon caught in the Kootenay River/Kootenay Lake area since being released was over 3 metres about the same length as 3 adults with outstretched arms.

 After being quizzed on their knowledge about the sturgeon, the children were shown how to hold the fish by members of the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho. before each released her/his own sturgeon.

 Thanks to all who made this occasion such a memorable day for all participating students and adults.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The Fashion Statement of Mr Wood Duck

Thank you Stewart Wilson for the photos

Why Christy Clark Shouldn't Talk to Kids about Trees, Vanessa Scott, The Tyee

Why Christy Clark Shouldn't Talk to Kids about Trees

Urban premier doesn't know the wrong logging brings big costs to 'moms and dads.'

When I read Premier Christy Clark's simplistic -- OK, dumbfounding -- comments about how she talks to children about the forest industry, I was really offended.
Then it struck me that Clark was just another urban office-dweller with no real understanding of the industry, or forest communities.

And no understanding that our relationship with forests, and the rest of the world around us, is complex and multidimensional, not foolishly simplistic.
In case you missed it, here's Clark's grasp of forestry and environmental issues. In a speech to an industry conference, she said whenever she visited schools, no matter where she went, there was always one child who said, "We should stop cutting down trees."
"I'm glad they say it, because it's a chance for education," Clark said. "I get a chance to say to them, 'You know, if we don't cut down trees in British Columbia, we have to take more money from your mom and dad."
Clark should visit the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. She would learn that if you do cut down trees -- too many, in the wrong places -- then moms and dads and all taxpayers have to pay more to government.

Not for better schools, or health care. To make up for the damage done when people like the premier don't think seriously or rigorously about the full effects of cutting down trees -- or developing mines or pipelines.
For decades, Comox Lake provided clean drinking water for some 50,000 people in Courtenay and Comox.
Now we face regular boil water advisories because of turbidity in the lake. Water taxes are already set to increase more than nine per cent over the next three years.
And problems with declining water quality in Comox Lake have created the need for a treatment and filtration plant costing $50 to $75 million.
To cover the filtration plant's costs, the City of Courtenay will have to increase taxes and long-term debt. Or as, Christy Clark would say, "take money from moms and dads."
Trees used to store and filter our water for "free." Until very recently, we were known for the quality of our drinking water from Comox Lake.
What went wrong? Our water crisis is part of a bigger picture. We're not the only Vancouver Island community with water trouble.

To read the entire article go to the link above.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Wild Flower Bonanza

Now is a wonderful time to be walking in the meadows and forest.  Early blooming wild flowers linger in the shade and at higher elevations and a new flush of  later flowering varieties are beginning.
Shooting Stars, Dodecatheon

Prairie Crocus, above and below in various shades, Anenome

Woodland Star, Lithophragma

Spring Beauty, Montia

Lemonweed, Gromwell or Puccoon, Lithospermum

Liberals Must Keep Promises to Protect Local Dairy Farmers, says Stetski

Liberals Must Keep Promises to Protect Local Dairy Farmers, says Stetski

April 25, 2016

Creston – Last week New Democrats tabled a motion calling on the Liberal government to keep its election promises and commitments made at the beginning of its mandate and require all Canadian producers to respect cheese composition standards immediately.  
"The situation is urgent and producers are tired of waiting. The solution is simple and comes down to the government standing up for Canada's dairy industry by enforcing cheese composition standards,” said Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski “Our family dairy farms are being threatened and the NDP will continue to fight for their future.” 
Canadian producers lost a total of over $220 million in 2015 due to imported diafiltered milk from the United States. The industry is calling for this problem to be solved immediately by properly enforcing cheese composition standards. Diafiltered milk is a milk protein concentrate from the United States designed to circumvent Canadian regulations and laws as no American processor uses it.
"The importing of diafiltered milk has significant effects on the dairy industry” said Creston Dairy Farmer Wayne Harris “I am also very concerned about the hormones used in the production of the imported milk products – some are not even legal in Canada.”
Trevor Hargreaves of Dairy BC agrees with Harris “It is a practice that is extremely damaging to BC producers, and the government needs to take action to support local agriculture.”
“The family farms in our region are an integral part of our economy and local food system” said Stetski “Decisions being made in Ottawa will impact their future, and I will be there to ensure our region has a voice in the conversation.”

For more information, please contact:
Laura Branswell: 250-417-2250 or

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Eagle Aloft

photos courtesy, Stewart Wilson

Public Hearing on Amendment to East Hill Zoning Bylaw

The Public Hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 26, at 7:00 PM in the RDEK Board room.

Regarding the East Hill bylaw zoning amendment application to the Regional District of East Kootenay. Adding solar energy facility” to the list of permitted uses for that RR-60 zone would allow a utility scale solar energy facility” to be constructed over some or all of the 6,600 acre property, larger than the size of the City of Cranbook. For City Council and RDEK Directors to suggest that Cranbrook and area residents interests would not be affected by such a potentially massive and visually intrusive development overlooking the east side of the City is misleading.  What assurances are being given to area residents beyond promises by a land owner that cannot be upheld after the bylaw is passed?

Once the bylaw is adopted, there are no opportunities for any further input by area residents or the City of Cranbrook.

The response period:  Address your letter to the RDEK Board of Directors, 19 - 24 Avenue N., Cranbrook, BC V1C 3H8.  They must receive it by April 26th.  Provide your name and address.  (Someone from outside the area might not carry the same weight as a local person.)

The Public Hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 26, at 7:00 PM in the RDEK Board room.

Procedure:  You will have an opportunity to express your views but there will be no debate. Comments are recorded but letters tend to hold more weight. It’s important to be respectful and objective. 

If nobody shows up to the hearing, the RDEK would be right in assuming there is no interest in this item

Will artificial intelligence and robots destroy the human race or make us immortal? by Gerry Warner

Will artificial intelligence and robots destroy the human race or make us immortal?
Perceptions by Gerry Warner
Will artificial intelligence (AI) mean we may never die? Or will it mean the end of humanity and the triumph of the machine? Greater minds than this one are feverishly debating this issue around the world and so far the odds don’t look good for the human race.
Here’s what the renowned British physicist Stephen Hawking has to say:
“The primitive forms of artificial intelligence we already have, have proved very useful. But I think the development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race," Hawking told the BBC. And Hawking says the turning point is coming soon. "Once humans develop artificial intelligence it would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate."
For those of us of a certain age this will bring back the terrifying plot of one of the most famous science fiction movies ever, “2001: A Space Odyssey,” when HAL, the psychotic computer aboard the Saturn space ship, mutinies and tries to take over the ship. This, of course, is a metaphor for robots taking over the world and ushering in a New Age of a bot-controlled universe with the human race becoming redundant.
But will it ever get to this? Depends on who you ask.
Alfred Einstein, one of the greatest minds of the 20th century, wasn’t optimistic. “I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” This may sound a tad paranoid, but many today say Google is reducing people’s ability to think independently and over time will cause our brains to shrivel.
But others maintain AI holds great promise for the human race. Eric Horvitz, head of Microsoft’s main research lab, has a more benign view of the AI threat. “In the end we’ll be able to get incredible benefits from machine intelligence in all realms of life, from science to education to economics to daily life.” Benefits like driverless cars, machine-made human organs to replace ours when they fail and robots that will wait on us hand and foot and remove all the drudgery of daily life. A pill that will cure cancer.
Sounds pretty good at first blush, but one of the greatest minds of the current era says be careful what you wish for. Elon Musk, head of the futuristic companies  Tesla Motors, Space X, and Solar City, says AI is our biggest existential threat and calls it “summoning the demon” and in a twitter post says “we need to be super careful with AI, Potentially more dangerous than nukes.”
So what are we to make of all this? Is AI and all the beneficial, and often infuriating, technology we live in these days leading us to a new utopia of unlimited leisure and contemplating our navels or are we heading down a dark, dystopian path to a world dominated by bots and machines where flesh-and-blood human beings don’t matter anymore?
Personally, I’ve never quite bought the notion that someday computers will revolt against us and try to destroy us for all the times we’ve cursed them for screwing up our documents or crashing when we most needed them. I mean computers are just a bunch of bits and bytes and how could they feel emotions like anger or revenge?
Surely it’s a stretch for inorganic objects made of silicon and steel to think in a human sense at all or feel some of the more negative human emotions like anger, envy and revenge? Those are the passions the human race is cursed with. Computers are just big memory banks. They can beat us at chess, but they can’t take any pride in doing it.
But the day will arrive when computers take over our jobs because they can do them faster, better and cheaper. That’s when real threat to humanity will emerge. No work, no career and no sense of identity. We’re hard-wired to our jobs and careers and without them we’re lost.
That’s when humanity will be in danger of being destroyed. Not by computers and robots, but by ourselves. Ask any geek.

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist and is skeptical of the “benefits” of artificial intelligence

Friday, April 22, 2016

Gordon Terrace School Does Earth Day Every Day

Balsam Root on the Buttes

So early, beautiful and prolific this year.

Earth's Days are Everyday

While parts of the world may focus on our mother ship one day of the year, this day, April 22nd, it is our everyday behaviours that will secure her future and therefore ours.  Do you recycle everything you can, compost your garden waste, fly only when necessary, walk or cycle when you can, buy as locally sourced food and products when you can, recreate responsibly - the list goes on? By doing some of these things, we hopefully contribute to our own well-being.
It is saddening to see such things as garbage dumped in our forests, recyclable goods wrapped in plastic and put out for city workers and wildflower meadows ripped up by recreational vehicles. Everyone of us however, is capable of trying a little harder to protect the incredibly beautiful planet we inhabit.  Today is the day to focus on that.  Some are doing it  at . Some are doing it at the United Nations .

Most of us are able to think about these issues in our own homes and hopefully add to the small things we can do everyday to preserve humanity's life line.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Cranbrook Public Produce Garden Info and Planning Sessions

MP Wayne Stetski - Statement in the House - Support for Golden rafting industry - April 19 2016


OTTAWA – Today Kootenay–Columbia MP Wayne Stetski made a statement in the House of Commons in support of Golden’s rafting industry:

“Mr. Speaker, after 40 years of successful and safe operations, the rafting industry in Golden, BC has been notified that, due to safety concerns, they will no longer be allowed to cross Canadian Pacific Railway’s tracks to access the Lower Canyon of the Kicking Horse River.

The rafting industry is a major economic driver in Golden, and community and industry leaders believe that a simple rail crossing with safety education for employees and guests can resolve these concerns.

But now CP is refusing to allow any kind of crossing at all.

Mr. Speaker, CP can’t have it both ways. They can’t insist that the tracks are unsafe to cross, and then refuse to make the crossing safer. To make matters worse, this news comes just before the start of the rafting season. 

Mr. Speaker, I rise in the House today to stand with Golden’s rafting industry and to call on the government to get this issue resolved now.”
For more information, contact Laura Branswell at 250-417-2250 or

Monday, April 18, 2016

Jim Smith Loon

photos Stewart Wilson

Nature calms the brain and heals the body, by David Suzuki with contribution from Aryne Sheppard.

By David Suzuki with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Senior Public Engagement Specialist Aryne Sheppard.
For the most part, our brains didn’t evolve in cities. But in a few decades, almost 70 per cent of the world’s people will live in urban environments. Despite the prosperity we associate with cities, urbanization presents a major health challenge. Cities, with their accelerated pace of life, can be stressful. The results are seen in the brains and behaviour of those raised in cities or currently living in one.

On the upside, city dwellers are on average wealthier and receive better health care, nutrition and sanitation than rural residents. On the downside, they experience an increased risk of chronic disease, a more demanding and stressful social environment and greater levels of inequity. In fact, city dwellers have a 21 per cent greater risk for anxiety disorders and a 39 per cent increased likelihood of mood disorders.

A study published in Nature links city living with sensitivity to social stress. MRI scans show greater exposure to urban environments can increase activity in the amygdala, a brain structure involved in emotions such as fear and the release of stress-related hormones. According to the study, the amygdala “has been strongly implicated in anxiety disorders, depression, and other behaviours that are increased in cities, such as violence.”

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Behold the NDP lost in the wilderness without a leader

Behold the NDP lost in the wilderness without a leader
Perceptions by Gerry Warner
Wither goest the NDP? How about purgatory for starters? At least in purgatory, there will be company around for Canada’s tired socialists. There’s precious few fellow-travellers around the party now and Tommy Douglas must be rolling in his grave.
And that’s a shame because Canada would be a lesser country today if it wasn’t for the party that wears its social conscience on its sleeve as opposed to the gun-totting, mean spirited, Empire on our southern border. Who wants that? Not many Canadians, I believe.
But how can we keep that from happening with the only left wing party in Canada clearly on life support and a young, charismatic, left-leaning leader firmly ensconced at 22 Sussex Drive for the next four years and maybe more? Ironically, the NDP, the party that’s supposed to put people first and people before profits was soundly rejected by the “people” in the federal election last year and now they’ve done the same thing to their own leader only in a crueler, more devastating way. And they did it without an heir apparent in sight. Does the word scape goat come to mind? How about vindictive? And even though I truly hate to say this, what about stupid?
Remember we’re talking about Tom Mulcair, the first politician to cut Stephen Harper down to size in Parliament and he deserves as much credit for defeating the harsh Conservative interregnum as does Justin Trudeau. That’s why Mulcair went into the momentous campaign with the dizzying possibility of being the first socialist prime minister of Canada. But politics is a cruel world as the former NDP leader found out quickly when the longest campaign in recent Canadian history heated up. At that point, Mulcair made two fatal mistakes that sealed his doom. Ironically there were good reasons for both mistakes, but good reason turned out to be bad strategy.
First there was the balanced budget promise. Why not a balanced budget? Right wing parties have been winning on that promise for years. No less a socialist icon than Douglas himself brought in balanced budgets as Saskatchewan premier. What better way to counter the false criticism of socialist governments everywhere that they can’t balance the books. They can and they do. But on this occasion the timing was wrong. Oil markets had collapsed. Canada’s economy was sagging, making Mulcair’s promise appear bogus and he paid the price, especially when Trudeau came in with a deficit-driven promise to spend billions on infrastructure and job creation.
And then there was the niqab! Who can deny that Mulcair’s defence of Muslim women’s right to wear the niqab was principled? It was principled to a fault. But in a country deeply uneasy about the symbolism of the black face-covering and nervous about terrorism, defending the niqab was a bridge too far. And Trudeau cynically seized on this by keeping his mouth shut on the subject even though his own party shared the NDP’s stand.
So it was a case of two strikes and you’re out. Politics isn’t like baseball where it takes three strikes to remove you from the game. But what has the NDP accomplished by tossing Mulcair out so unceremoniously? I would say nothing!
Worse than that, they’ve once again shot themselves in the foot. Or maybe in the head, depending on your point of view. First, they should have let Mulcair go on his own terms instead of humiliating him the way they did on live TV. He was a good man who gave his best for public life and he didn’t deserve to be treated like that. Secondly they made him an instant lame duck with no replacement in sight. That’s plain dumb politics.
But the worst thing the NDP did with its knife between Mulcair’s shoulder blades was to expose the ugly, ideological chasm in NDP ranks between moderate social democrats and the hardline ideologues who want to bring capitalism to its knees in favour of Big Brother government and use all its muscle to shutter pipeline producers as outlined in the unrealistic Leap Manifesto in vain hope it will cure all of society’s ills, social, environmental and financial.
Oh, how I wish it could! But anyone with insight into human nature knows that ordinary people are led into revolutionary change by inspired leadership, not by the heavy hand of government force or socialist purity. Alberta Premier Rachel Notley knows this and it wouldn’t surprise me if she tore up her card and formed a new version of the NDP that would be more practical and less antediluvian.

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist who distrusts any politician with magic solutions.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

More on 'East Hill bylaw zoning amendment application to the Regional District of East Kootenay adding “solar energy facility” to the list of permitted uses

Editor's Comment

While it is doubtful any person would be opposed to solar energy, the placement and construction of such a light industrial facility requires careful planning.  Planning for facilities such as the Kimberley sun mine located on 'brown field', a previously contaminated piece of land close to the old tailings ponds from the Kimberley lead and zinc mine would seem to make good common sense.  There are more 'brown field' sites in this area and the City of Cranbrook has more than one old dump site. Some question the proposal to add such a use to green forested property within clear sight of the City of Cranbrook.  No details have been provided with this application and until such details are provided there remain many questions and no assurances.

Regarding the East Hill bylaw zoning amendment application to the Regional District of East Kootenay. Adding solar energy facility” to the list of permitted uses for that RR-60 zone would allow a utility scale solar energy facility” to be constructed over some or all of the 6,600 acre property, larger than the size of the City of Cranbook. For City Council and RDEK Directors to suggest that Cranbrook and area residents interests would not be affected by such a potentially massive and visually intrusive development overlooking the east side of the City is misleading.  What assurances are being given to area residents beyond promises by a land owner that cannot be upheld after the bylaw is passed?

Once the bylaw is adopted, there are no opportunities for any further input by area residents or the City of Cranbrook.

The response period:  Address your letter to the RDEK Board of Directors, 19 - 24 Avenue N., Cranbrook, BC V1C 3H8.  They must receive it by April 26th.  Provide your name and address.  (Someone from outside the area might not carry the same weight as a local person.)

The Public Hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 26, at 7:00 PM in the RDEK Board room.

Procedure:  You will have an opportunity to express your views but there will be no debate. Comments are recorded but letters tend to hold more weight. It’s important to be respectful and objective. 

If nobody shows up to the hearing, the RDEK would be right in assuming there is no interest in this item

The Public Hearing is our only opportunity to voice concerns.  The Public Hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 26, at 7:00 PM in the RDEK Board room.

For additional information contact Sharon Cross, 250-489-4412.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Hellebores Galore

The Christmas or Lenten 'Roses', Hellebores are not really roses but they are in their glory right now. Easy to grow in semi-shade, these perennials will reward you, year after year.

What's Happening......

Saturday April 16

Key City Theatre
Finest Irish traditional Music
$40 and $34 members

Monday April 18th

Interested in beautification projects for Cranbrook
Garden Club meets
46, 13th Av s

April 18 to 30

'Welcome to my World'
The art of
Jim Robertson
The Gallery
1013 Baker St.
meet the Artist, April 21st 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Science, supercapacitors and hemp

Researchers at the University of Alberta in Canada have developed a high performance electrode material for supercapacitors at just one thousandth the cost of the more commonly used graphene.

Read more:

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Sunshine Bliss

photos Stewart Wilson

Liberal East Kootenay MLA Bennett votes ‘no’ to taking big money out of politics

Liberal East Kootenay MLA votes ‘no’ to taking big money out of politics

Liberal East Kootenay MLA, Bill Bennett, stood in the legislature alongside Premier Christy Clark, and voted against taking big money out of politics in B.C.

TEAMWORK MEDIA TV INC. – (NDP Media Release) Last week, New Democrat Leader John Horgan introduced the Campaign Finance Reform Act, a bill that would ban corporate and union donations and limit the amount of personal donations to a political party. In an immediate vote, Christy Clark and the B.C. Liberals voted unanimously ‘no’ to even debate this bill.

Stetski makes good on Columbia River Election Promise

Stetski makes good on Columbia River Election Promise

Cranbrook – Member of Parliament Wayne Stetski has delivered on a commitment that he made during the 2015 election.  Stetski pledged that if elected he would support and advocate for regulations  to keep high-powered motorized boats off the main stem of the Columbia River between Invermere and Golden, as well as the main stem of the river near Fairmont Hot Springs.
The 20HP restriction also known as a Regulation Amending the Vessel Operation Restriction Regulations (VORR) has been discussed in the Columbia Valley for over ten years, and is well supported by communities and local governments. The process to move the regulations forward was stalled under the Conservative government, waiting for approval from Transport Canada.  
“We have an opportunity to enhance the safety of navigation and minimize threats to a unique and globally recognized ecosystem” said Stetski “This is a conversation that has been happening in communities along the Columbia River for a long time, and I am very pleased to report back to them that the ministry has responded to my request and has taken the steps to continue to move this initiative forward.”
In February Stetski wrote the Minister responsible asking him to re-start the process. On April 2, the Ministry of Transportation published the proposed regulation in the Canada Gazette, allowing for a 30-day public comment period.  The regulations would not impact motorized use of Columbia Lake or Lake Windermere.
The recent steps taken by Transport Canada have been well received by local governments and environmental groups.  “From an environmental and recreational perspective these regulations would be positive for our community and the river north of here” said Invermere Mayor Gerry Taft “I am pleased that MP Stetski is taking action on this initiative and the process is moving forward again.”
“The lakes and rivers in our region our integral to our environment, economy and way of life” said Stetski “I am committed to continue working with the communities of Kootenay-Columbia and the federal government to protect our water systems.”

For more information, please contact:

Laura Branswell: 250-417-2250 or

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Wildsight Kimberley Cranbrook AGM - This Wednesday in Cranbrook

Wildsight Kimberley Cranbrook AGM - This Wednesday in Cranbrook

Cranbrook and Kimberley BC – Wildsight Kimberley Cranbrook will be hosting their AGM on Wednesday April 13th at 7:30pm at the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce. Attendance is open to everyone in the community, and those interested in the inner workings of the organization.

The meeting will include elections, project summaries, and mingle with snacks and beverages. A speaker’s corner will also be set up to act as a way for community members to voice their ideas for future Wildsight Kimberley Cranbrook activities.
Board President Dean Chatterson encourages people to come out because, “the AGM is a double opportunity. We get to hear ideas from some of the many people who share our vision for thriving healthy communities with sustainable livelihoods based on a conservation ethic. And it’s a relaxed atmosphere where the public get to meet the interesting people who work passionately behind the scenes to bring that vision to life.”
Anyone and everyone can attend the AGM though only Wildsight members are allowed to participate in elections. For anyone looking for more information please contact Andrea Chapman at 250-427-9325 x 221 or
About Wildsight (Kimberley/Cranbrook):
Wildsight works locally, regionally and globally to protect biodiversity and encourage sustainable communities in Canada’s Columbia and Rocky Mountain regions.

Wildsight Contact: Andrea Chapman - Phone 250-427-9325 x 221; email

Cranbrook Community Forest AGM Tonight

CCFS news and presentations on forest restoration and our new trail plan.
Please attend to support your Community Forest !
TUESDAY   APRIL 14  at the COTR  Lecture Theatre Room 250    7:00 pm
Everyone welcome ! - this is our annual membership drive as well for renewals and new members.  We encourage your participation in the CCF Society so we may be able to continue responsible management and care of our Forest Recreation Area.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Blossom a Buzz

photo Stewart Wilson
Sand Cherry Blossom with Honeybee

'This could be a game-changer if there ever was one' by Gerry Warner

This could be a game-changer if there ever was one
Perceptions by Gerry Warner
Who is the most important person in the world today, the one with the most potential to change the course of civilization? Or even save civilization? I’ll give you a hint. He’s half Canadian!
O.K., now you know it’s a man, but I don’t think that will help you very much. And it’s not Stephen Hawking, Mark Zuckerberg, Barack Obama, Pope Francis or Justin Trudeau, who, after all, is a full Canadian.
He was born June 28, 1971 in Pretoria, South Africa. His mother was a model from Regina, Saskatchewan and his father a South African electro-mechanical engineer. He’s a regular at the Burning Man Festival in Nevada every year, he’s the largest shareholder in Solar City, he wants to establish a colony on Mars and after a recent block-buster announcement, he’s being compared to Henry Ford.
Yes, he’s Elon Musk, 44, and if his launch two weeks ago of the Tesla Model 3, the world’s first affordable (US $35,000) electric car is a success in a decade we could all be driving electric vehicles. And that would change the world and our civilization in more ways than we can imagine.
For starters, good-bye King Oil. Good-bye the need to build any more pipe lines. Good-bye giant oil tankers cruising the world’s coast lines. Good-bye fracking and good-bye a world economy based almost completely on the price of a barrel of oil. Wouldn’t that be a good thing? In fact, if would be a great thing! And we all know it.  
Do I detect a sense of skepticism among you? Well, consider this. Since the Tesla Model 3 launch March 26, which has been called “the week that electric vehicles went mainstream” and the most successful product launch in history, some 325,000 pre-orders worth US $14 billion flooded into Telsa’s coffers the first week. The first week! Those are impressive numbers for a car that won’t be available until late next year.
But what a car! It will do zero to 60 MPH in less than six seconds and travel 215 miles – not kilometers – between charges, which is enough to drive from Cranbrook to Calgary or Spokane. That should do a lot to reduce so-called “range anxiety,” which is the biggest criticism of electric vehicles and it should only be a matter of time that a Tesla vehicle could drive from Cranbrook to Vancouver.
Who would own a gas-guzzling SUV when an electric vehicle could do that? And they will sooner than we think. But the electric vehicle isn’t the only way Musk wants to revolutionize our world and other worlds too.
In 2001, Musk launched “Space X,” a project to establish a human colony on Mars, which Musk believes to be critical for a  backup to civilization on earth in case of nuclear Armageddon or if our home planet was threatened by a comet or modern day Bubonic Plague. Using greenhouse technology on the red planet and super battery power similar to what goes in the Tesla vehicles, Musk hopes to have a Martian colony established within 20 years if ISIS doesn’t get us first.
e initially He initially approached the Russians to supply rockets for the venture, but when the Russians didn’t take him seriously he decided to build a rocket of his own and within seven years launched a family of Falcon launch vehicles that were the first privately-funded rockets to put a satellite in orbit and are now being used by NASA to supply the International Space Station orbiting the earth. We’re not talking about a dreamer here or a writer of science fiction. Musk walks the talk.
In fact, Musk believes mankind should become a “true space-faring civilization” and he’s working feverishly to accomplish just that.
Will he make it? Of course, no one can say for sure, but based on past performance Musk can’t be counted out and if anyone could extend our civilization to other planets, and even the stars, it’s probably him.
Not bad for a half-Canadian, eh!


Gerry Warner is a retired journalist and was science fiction fan in his youth and is leaning that way again.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Report from MP Wayne Stetski

Wayne’s World – Ottawa

As we approach the 6th month anniversary of the October 19 federal election I want to provide you with a brief summary of life in Ottawa as your Member of Parliament. Let’s start with legislation.

Three of the more significant bills have been the legislation to cut income taxes for the middle class, which for the Liberals means anyone who earns between $45,000 and $190,000 (we believe it should have started at $20,000 and have a much lower top end), bringing home our jets from bombing Daesh/ISIS/ISIL in Syria and instead increasing our armed force’s boots on the ground for training and intelligence gathering (all 338 MPs believe Daesh must be defeated but the parties disagree on the best way to do it), and the 2016/2017 federal budget where the Liberals went from a campaign promise of three years of annual deficits of $10 billion and a balanced budget the 4th year, to a whopping $29.4 billion deficit for next year followed by significant deficits for the following 3 years with no balanced budgets in-sight. Adding it all up the Liberals will add $69.5 billion to our deficit over their 4 year term IF they meet their revenue targets. This will bring our National debt to $718.2 billion by 2019/2020! How will future generations pay it down? Will your day-to-day circumstances improve as our debt grows?

There are 3 pieces of legislation coming up that will change our way of life in Canada.

By June of this year, as mandated by the Supreme Court of Canada, parliament needs to pass a bill that guarantees Canadians the right to Physician Assisted Suicide for adults who are suffering with intolerable pain from an incurable disease. I believe it needs to be accompanied by enhanced palliative care.

The second piece of legislation will fundamentally change how we vote in federal elections, moving from the current first-past-the-post system to a form of proportional representation (PR). I recently attended a breakfast meeting on this topic for MPs and Senators and asked the presenter, who has studied PR around the world, which system he thought worked best. He suggested we check out Finland. You will be asked for your input as part of this significant change.

The third bill will be looking to fulfill the Liberal’s campaign promise to legalize marijuana (our position was to decriminalize it which could have already been put in place). There are many questions that need to be answered. What should the legal age be? Will it be sold only through government stores or will mom and pop businesses be licensed? Who will be allowed to grow it and under what circumstances? Governments really don’t like to miss out on taxes so will enforcement against non-licensed growers be increased as a result of its legalization? The Minister has reaffirmed in Parliament that all existing laws should be enforced until the new legislation comes in, as police agencies were wondering what to do in the interim.

Another role for MPs in Ottawa is to meet with individuals and groups important to our ridings. In the first six months I met with over 50 organizations including CP Rail, BC Fruit Growers, a State Representative from Montana, BC Building Trades, BC Dairy Association, Canadian Cattleman Association, Canadian Health Coalition, Canadian Police Association, Canadian Association of Firefighters, the National Allied Golf Association, Teachers Institute, Canadian Federation of University Students, Teck Resources, the Green Budget Coalition and several unions and Ambassadors, to name just a few. I have also held meetings with, and written letters to, senior government Ministers and staff to talk about infrastructure and other needs for the riding, and to discuss concerns related to my critic portfolio – National Parks. I generally leave my apartment around 7:00am and return around 9:00pm daily. While it is extremely busy I like the fact that every day is different and every day brings new challenges and learning!

Every MP works long hours both in their riding and in Ottawa and are dedicated to their job and to their constituents. When I’m in my office in the evenings I will often see lights on in other offices long after the staff have gone home. We recently lost one of our Conservative party MPs, Jim Hillyer, who exemplified that commitment.

The morning of March 23 I arrived at the Valour Building for an 8am BC Caucus meeting. There is always tight security at every location frequented by MPs and Senators but that morning there was more security than usual with questions being asked about what floor people were heading to. We found out later that Jim had died in his office overnight. Even though he wasn’t feeling very well he wanted to be in Ottawa for the presentation of the budget on March 22. After parliament finished for the day he went to his office to catch up on work. When he didn’t call home later that night, his wife called security and asked them to look for him. They found him in his office.

I felt a deep sense of sadness for his wife Livi and his 4 children back home in Medicine Hat, along with an intense feeling of loneliness – Ottawa can feel a long way from home sometimes. But I was pleased and proud of what happened later on that Wednesday.

Parliament convened for Question Period at 2pm but instead of the usual, and unfortunate (my words) acrimony, the Prime Minister and the leaders of the other 4 parties took the time to praise and thank Jim Hillyer for who he was and for his dedication to the people of his riding of Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner and to Canada. After the last tribute was paid, the House of Commons shut down for the rest of the day to honour MP Jim Hillyer.

While we as Members of Parliament come from differing perspectives, in the end we are a family of 338 people who can and do pull together in time of tragedy. It doesn’t get much more Canadian than that…

Wayne Stetski
Member of Parliament

Kootenay Columbia

Thursday, April 7, 2016

What's Happening...

Saturday April 9th

Anglican Church garage sale
46, 13th Av S.
9:00am - 12noon

The Little Prince
Puppets and more show
by Monster Theatre
Stage Door Theatre
Tickets $15 at Key City Theatre

'Til Death
The Six Wives of Henry the Eighth
Stage Door Theatre
Tickets $20 at Key City Theatre

Cranbrook Farmer's Market
Ktunaxa Gym
10:00am - 1:00pm

Symphony of the Kootenays
"Symphony Energy"
Key City Theatre
Open Rehearsal 12noon  to 1:30pm Key City Theatre

Thursday April 14th

Utah travelogue
College of the Rockies lecture Theatre
Allister and Denise Pederson

Saturday April 16th

Ireland's Celtic super stars
Tickets Key City Theatre
$34 for members $40 non-members

No objection voiced by RDEK Planning and Development Meeting to addition of, 'Solar Energy Facility as permitted use' on 6656 acre East Hill property.

At the RDEK Planning & Development Committee meeting today, item 9.1.9 was discussed briefly (East Hill property owned by Mr. Novak, with Mr. Priest as agent).  Director Gay indicated he discussed the matter with Mr. Priest re the scale and scope of any proposed solar project. 

This item is being forwarded to the RDEK Board for their meeting tomorrow (Friday, April 8) starting at 9:00 AM in the RDEK board room.  It appeared that there was support for this matter going to a public hearing.

Despite the visibility of the property from the City of Cranbrook, and the scale, which is larger than the city, there seemed to be little concern regarding the proposed change.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Pay for Play Politics in BC Must Stop; Bill Tieleman, The Tyee

Pay for Play Politics in BC Must Stop

Ban on corporate, union donations only way to remove taint of big money.
By Bill Tieleman, Yesterday, 

Secret dinners where corporate executives and lobbyists can pay $10,000 each for a private meal with Premier Christy Clark are simply wrong.
But that's happening -- and BC Liberal fundraising chair Bob Rennie is planning at least 20 similar events before the May 2017 election, according to a Globe and Mail report.
The clear perception is that big money buys access to the province's most powerful politician that is unavailable to British Columbians who don't have $10,000 -- about 20 per cent of the average annual wage.....

The fundraising tactic has cast a shadow over B.C. politics for years.
On a single March day in 2010, the BC Liberal Party received more than $300,000 from liquor businesses, 24 Hours Vancouver reported.
Liquor business representatives were invited to discuss their concerns over lunch at a Vancouver steak house with Rich Coleman, then the minister responsible, and then-premier Gordon Campbell. The price of admission was a $15,000 donation to the Liberals......

Fortunately, it's not hard to fix the system.
Jean Chr├ętien's federal Liberal government sharply limited corporate and union donations in 2003, and Stephen Harper's Conservatives banned them in 2006. The new rules only allowed donations from individuals, and set strict limits on annual giving.
Federal political parties can still run their operations and vigorous campaigns, as we saw in the October 2015 election. But there are no huge gifts given in backrooms by special interests.
Clark is still in desperate denial, talking about introducing "real time disclosure" of donations on a quarterly basis -- a change that will do nothing to end the secret suppers.
That's not surprising. In 2014, the BC Liberals raised $10.1 million -- more than $5 million from corporations -- while donations to the BC NDP were only $3.2 million, including just $132,000 from business and $384,000 from unions.
When the Liberals can take in $2 million more from corporations than the NDP raises from all sources, they're not likely to be interested in reforming political financing laws.........

And Democracy Watch, a national public advocacy group, is calling on provincial conflict commissioners to crack down on the practice of providing access in return for donations, arguing they violate conflict laws.
But Clark and the BC Liberals are unwilling to act, given their big funding advantage gained from corporate contributions.
That should be offensive to every voter.
If British Columbians want an end to corporate and union donations, they have to make it clear that politicians who refuse to make changes will pay -- in the 2017 election