RDEK ponders more Jumbo questions

Motion passed at Friday’s regular meeting to reaffirm the board’s opposition to having an unelected member sit on their board come March.

The Regional District of East Kootenay passed a motion at Friday’s regular meeting to reaffirm the board’s opposition to having an unelected member sit on their board come March.

Board chair Rob Gay said the board had initially requested in August 2009 that the appointed mayor of a potential Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality not become a member of the board.

When the Letters Patent creating the new municipality was released by the B.C. government on November 20, it stated that a member of the appointed council would in fact have a seat on the RDEK board, but would do so without any voting power until the municipality was assessed at $30 million or until 2017.

Gay admits it was a compromise the board was happy to see, but they still have concerns. Much discussion was had at the meeting of the RDEK’s Governance and Regional Services committee held on December 6 ahead of the December 7 regular board meeting, and all board members were vehemently against the appointed member.

“The directors — and it was a unanimous vote — were against that,” Gay said. “It was quite spirited discussion.”

Gay said the board was clear in 2009 when they asked that an appointed member not find their way onto the elected board of directors. This fall the Union of B.C. Municipalities also passed a motion rejecting appointed members on elected boards in response to the Jumbo situation.

Discussion spilled over briefly into Friday’s meeting, with Area F director Wendy Booth pointing out that unelected members do occasionally attend RDEK meetings as alternates for the elected members.

Bob Whetham, director from the City of Cranbrook, expressed his concerns about the lack of guidelines for what a stable population would be for the municipality to begin holding elections.

“This is a serious issue for us,” he said.

Whetham said the appointed member raises a lot of questions and sends the RDEK board directors into uncharted territory.

“I think that’s about unheard of,” he said. “If we’re going to go down this road of a non-elected member sitting on an elected board, I think we need to question how we’re going to function as a government.”

Area G director Gerry Wilkie said he looked into the Letters Patent for Elkford, which is often cited as an example of a town created in a similar way to Jumbo, but found it had a population before the Letters Patent was issued.

“There were people living there,” he said.

Gay told the Townsman what may be best for the new mayor and council of Jumbo is to wait until around 200 people live there. He points to the community of Silverton — the smallest town in B.C. with 195 residents — as an example. That tiny municipality does have a seat on the Regional District of Central Kootenay.

At Friday’s meeting director Ute Juras from Canal Flats suggested the board copy the letter reaffirming the board’s opposition to the UBCM so they are aware of the situation.

Gay said that so far the Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality’s new interim corporate officer Phil Taylor has been in contact with the RDEK’s chief administrative officer Lee-Anne Crane to discuss what services can be provided by the RDEK. Gay stresses that any services they provide will be paid for out of pocket by the Jumbo Glacier Resort Municipality.

“This will not cost the taxpayer of the Regional District of East Kootenay,” he said.

Under the Letters Patent, those expenses will be paid for by the proponent of the resort until a tax-paying population exists.

But further questions exist for Gay and the rest of the board. In the RDEK, taxpayers fund transfer stations in the region and do not pay a gate fee when they bring their garbage in. Gay said the board needs to ponder what happens when construction starts in the Jumbo Valley. He wonders if the RDEK will have to impose a gate fee on Jumbo Glacier Resort Municipality developers so that the costs for using the Columbia Valley Transfer Station are covered until there is a tax-paying base there.

“We’re going to deal with them very much in a business manner.”

Just Posted

Prince Charles Secondary School
School District 8 votes in favour of name change for Secondary School in Creston

In an act of reconciliation, a new name will be chosen for Prince Charles Secondary School

Kootenay-Columbia MP Rob Morrison. Photo courtesy Conservative Party of Canada.
MP Morrison appointed to parliamentary national security committee

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian one of five candidates appointed to national security committee

Repaving of Victoria Ave (3rd St. S. to 11th St. S.) began on Monday, June 12. Drivers are asked to please avoid the area for the remainder of the day, if possible. Please watch for and obey directions from flaggers and signage, as the detours will be moving regularly. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.
Road construction, repaving programs well underway

Local road construction and repaving work continue apace, as summer programs get… Continue reading

Vendors and customers at one of the Cranbrook markets in 2020. (Corey Bullock/Cranbrook Townsman file)
Cranbrook Farmers Market updates operating hours for the summer

Markets will continue to run from 10a.m. to 1p.m. until October 30th

City council passed first reading of a text amendment to a downtown zoning bylaw that would permit the land use for a craft brewery. Photo courtesy City of Cranbrook.
Downtown zoning amendment allowing craft brewery passes first reading

An application is moving forward that will tweak a downtown zoning bylaw… Continue reading

Maxwell Johnson is seen in Bella Bella, B.C., in an undated photo. The Indigenous man from British Columbia has filed complaints with the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal and the Canadian Human Rights Commission after he and his granddaughter were handcuffed when they tried to open a bank account. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Heiltsuk Nation, Damien Gillis, *MANDATORY CREDIT*
VIDEO: Chiefs join human rights case of Indigenous man handcuffed by police in B.C. bank

Maxwell Johnson said he wants change, not just words, from Vancouver police

Tk’emlups te Secwepemc Chief Rosanne Casimir stands outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School after speaking to reporters, in Kamloops, B.C., on Friday, June 4, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Kamloops chief says more unmarked graves will be found across Canada

Chief Rosanne Casimir told a virtual news conference the nation expects to release a report at the end of June

A woman wears a vaccinated sticker after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. ranks among highest in world in COVID-19 first-dose shots: health officials

More than 76% of eligible people have received their 1st shot

A screenshot of the First Peoples Cultural Councils First Peoples’ Map. (First Peoples Cultural Council)
Online resource blends B.C.-Alberta’s Indigenous languages, art and culture

Advisor says initiative supports the urgent need to preserve Indigenous languages

An artists conception of the new terminal building at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport.
Air travel taking off in B.C., but lack of traffic controllers a sky-high concern

There will be demand for more air traffic controllers: Miller

Canadian Armed Forces experts are on their way to North Vancouver after a local homeowner expressed worry about a military artifact he recently purchased. (Twitter DNV Fire and Rescue)
Military called in to deal with antique ‘shell’ at North Vancouver home

‘The person somehow purchased a bombshell innocently believing it was an out-of-commission military artifact’

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz have set their wedding date for February, hoping that more COVID-19 restrictions will have lifted. (The Macleans)
B.C. couples ‘gambling’ on whether COVID rules will let them dance at their wedding

Amy Kobelt and Tony Cruz pushed back their wedding in hopes of being able to celebrate it without the constraints of COVID-19

A plane is silhouetted as it takes off from Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C., May 13, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Report calls for airlines to refund passengers for flights halted due to COVID-19

Conclusion: federal help should be on the condition airlines immediately refund Canadian travellers

Most Read