Community gathers for Cranbrook Conversation

Municipal hot topics discussed at pre-election workshop

About 65 people gathered at the Heritage Inn in Cranbrook on Thursday, March 13 to talk about the issues facing Cranbrook ahead of this year’s municipal election.

The lively crowd was at a free workshop called Cranbrook Community Conversation, a joint initiative of the City of Cranbrook and the Association of Kootenay and Boundary Local Governments, with funding support from Columbia Basin Trust.

While around 100 people RSVP’ed for the event, reaching the maximum for the workshop facilitation, actual numbers were around 65 on the evening.

Mayor Wayne Stetski introduced the event, reminding participants that the purpose of the evening was brainstorming what would make more people vote in the November 15 municipal election. The last election in 2011 had a 32 per cent voter turnout.

“How do we get people excited about the municipality, enough to get them out to vote?” Stetski asked.

The group was split into tables of about seven people each. Facilitator Leslie Taylor, the former mayor of Banff, led the group through a series of exercises designed to spark discussion about civil issues and local engagement.

First, each table was given a list of government services and asked to separate them by which level of government provides the service: federal, provincial or municipal. Each group then stuck the services to a wall display for each level of government. It was visibly clear that most of the services fell under local government.

Next, the groups were given a paper printout of a loonie divided into 10 “pieces of pie” and asked to guess how much of each tax dollar goes to each level of government. After the exercise, Taylor told the group that about 50 cents of every tax dollar goes to the federal government, 42 cents to the province and 8 cents to the municipality.

In the third, most complex exercise, after tables were shuffled around, each group was presented with a grid of 20 squares and asked to discuss and name 20 issues facing Cranbrook.

Then each person was given five red dot stickers and personally asked to place those dots on issues they felt were most important. Following that, each group was given five larger blue dots, and asked to decide as a group which issues were the most important for the city.

At this reporter’s table, the issues included hot topics such as replacing aging infrastructure (such as roads), enhancing a park and walking friendly community, and youth engagement. Interestingly, while urban deer management did make the list, it was one of few tables that considered it an important issue, and it received only one red dot and no blue dot.

Then each table was asked to think of a fact-based question related to each of the five important issues that would help the group have a more informed opinion. An important issue one table identified was the family physician shortage, and the question posed was, ‘How many more family physicians would be needed so that every person in Cranbrook has a family doctor?’

After another table shuffle, the groups were asked to brainstorm on three questions: how can we encourage people to offer themselves as candidates in the municipal election?; how can we encourage people to get informed about municipal issues and candidates?; and how can we encourage people to get out and vote?

A report will be prepared from the evening’s ideas and presented to the AKBLG spring meeting of elected officials, and to Cranbrook city council.

Just Posted

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

1914
It happened this week in 1914

June 13 - 19: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Cranbrook Arts has opened the doors of their  new gallery space to the public with their inaugural exhibit, Kootenay’s Best.
‘Kootenay’s Best’ opens Cranbrook Arts’ new gallery

This exhibit has been in the works for the past several months and features the work of more than 50 emerging and established artists from across the Kootenays

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Most Read