RDEK updated on rural development projects

Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition does much more than tackling the mountain pine beetle epidemic.

The Southeast Interior Beetle Action Coalition made an appearance at Friday’s board meeting, as Gordon Borgstrom touted the organization’s success in tackling the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic.

Borgstrom, a consultant with SIBAC, noted that the RDEK is just one of nine regional districts and six Tribal Councils that have banded together to tackle not just the pine beetle epidemic, but also to develop, support and fund projects and initiatives that will stimulate and advance rural development in the southern interior.

Borgstrom appeared before the board for two purposes:

•To ensure the RDEK’s future membership within SIBAC.

•To seek a $5,000 annual grant over the next three years to help pay for administrative costs.

Following his presentation, the RDEK board wasted no time in approving the funding for the organization.

Rob Gay, who chairs the RDEK Board, also sits as the treasurer with SIBAC, and is enthusiastic about the work that’s being done.

SIBAC started with a pool of $3 million in funding, which they’ve been able to leverage with various other levels of government organizations into roughly $16 million that’s been used for studies and projects within the Southern Interior.

There are a few initiatives Gay is keeping his eye on.

“One is called unleashing local capital, where people in our communities potentially have some funds that they would like to invest in their community and we’ve seen this in some communities,” he said.

“The situation may be you have a business in a smaller community that the folks are getting older and they need to sell the business, it’s a large employer in town and nobody has come in to buy it up, because it’s a dying town.

“The community gets behind it, puts some money in and runs it as a not-for-profit society.”

Gay cited an example brought up by Borgstrom as a group of farmers in Alberta bought a CPR rail spur that was going to be scrapped and used it to move their agricultural products and as a tourist attraction.

Another project includes getting interns or co-op students who are studying rural economic development to move to smaller towns to help get projects off the ground.

Borgstrom brought up some of SIBAC’s rural development initiatives which include helping kickstart green energy projects, wood waste to rural heat and rural housing and seniors services.

Borgstrom also touted the provincial government’s creation of a Rural Advisory Committee and a rural dividend program that will provide $75 million in funding over three years.

Gay noted that SIBAC will be pursuing money out of the rural dividend program and that SIBAC has roughly $1.6 million left .

For the future, SIBAC will continue to focus on rural development policies in conjunction with provincial and federal governments and continue with developing projects that benefit the Southern Interior.


Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

It happened this week in 1914

June 6 -12: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers held at the Cranbrook History Centre and Archives

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry on Thursday, June 10, mentioned Grand Forks among two other COVID “hot spots” in B.C. Photo: Screenshot - YouTube COVID-19 BC Update, June 10, 2021
PHO Henry says West Kootenay city is a COVID ‘hot spot’ in B.C.

There are 11 cases of COVID-19 in the Grand Forks local health area, according the BC CDC

Supporters — and shoppers — lined up waiting at the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South, waiting for the doors to open on the store's first day of operations since the pandemic forced its closure. (Photo courtesy Kate Fox)
CHCA Thrift Store re-opens in Cranbrook

After a closure of 15 months, due to the pandemic, the Cranbrook Health Care Auxiliary Thrift Store on 8th Avenue South has once again opened its doors for business.

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read