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.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Post Notes for the Council Meeting of Monday, September 15th, 2014

Public Hearing
There was one presentation from the owner and a real estate salesperson from Rivers Crossing (formerly Shadow Mountain Development).  The presentation spoke in favour of increasing the permissible secondary suite size to the generally acceptable percentage of floor area from 25% to 40% in new builds on the Rivers Crossing property.  The reason presented was to enable buyers to accommodate aging parents in their home. This proposed bylaw, number 3810, later passed during the Council meeting.


All bylaws presented at this meeting were carried. They can be read beginning:

New Business

Item 8.4 Urban Deer Management was deferred.
Item 8.7  To inform Council of the vulnerability of the City's Motor Control Center (MCC) for the Irrigation Pump Station, and request funding for design so construction can start this winter season on total
replacement. This half a million dollar item was dicussed and initial design funding carried.

All recommendations carried and can be read beginning:

Administration Update
Several reports including the wall at 11th Ave. and 2nd St intersection, library and Contingency fund beginning:


A petition was received concerning opposition to a proposed Emergency and Transitional Housing facility. This was referred to administration for more information as to precise concerns and zoning.


It was agreed to give Community Connections $1800 from the remaining contingency fund for the purpose of supporting a First Night Celebration at Western Financial Place.
Only approximately $3000 now remain in this fund which originally had a maximum $500 recommended single amount for donation.

Councillor Warner enquired about the Engineer report on the Elizabeth Lake drainage system.  CAO Staudt said that the report had been received from Urban Systems and would be available to the public sometime this week on the City webpage.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Spectacular Day for the Kootenay Country Fall Fair, Sunday September 14th, 2014

From early morning until the auction at 4:30pm, it was a perfect day.  Over 3,000 people attended this year's Fall Fair and those who stayed until the auction were happy to take home some delicious baking and unique garden produce.

photos Jenny Humphrey and Sally Passey

Monday, September 15, 2014

City of Cranbrook Council Meeting, Monday September 14th 6:00pm

The agenda for this evening's Council meeting can be read at:

On the agenda are notes from the Brown Bag Lunch and Coffee with the Mayor, more letters concerning chickens within city limits, the Administration update, a petition, bylaws and new business.  All items can be viewed by clicking on the links on the Agenda.

The meeting begins at 6:00pm and members of the public are welcome in the gallery.

Legal Perspective on Bill E 80

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Lakit Ridge

Great day to view the Fall Fair at Fort Steele from Lakit Ridge.

photo, courtesy Ruoss Family, Saturday September 13th 2014

Saturday, September 13, 2014

What's Happening......

Saturday September 13th

Cranbrook Farmer's Market
Tenth Avenue South
10:00am - 1:00pm

Summer Sounds
Rotary Park
11:00am - 2:00pm

Sunday September 14th

Kootenay Fall Fair
Fort Steele
9:00am - 4:00pm

Kootenay Country Fair

Come out to Fort Steele on Sunday, September 14th where the Kootenay Country Fair will be holding their 37th annual event. This fair is one of the best family days hosted in the East Kootenays.
Besides the exhibits of entries where you can win a red ribbon, the town will be alive with displays, commercial tables, live entertainment and demonstrations. Great fun for the whole family!
Train rides, Wagon rides, and even gold panning!
There is no better way to spend your Sunday.  Looking forward to see you at Fort Steele!

Michael's Musings

"... Of necessity an egotist and an autocrat"

By Michael J Morris

John Wesley Dafoe, arguably one of the most powerful and influential newspaper editors and journalists in Canadian history once wrote that "A prime minister under the party system as we have it in Canada is of necessity an egotist and an autocrat."  
In his essay on Sir Wilfrid Laurier, Mr. Dafoe added, "If he comes to office without these characteristics his environment equips him with them as surely as a diet of royal jelly transforms a worker into a queen bee".  

He was editor of the Manitoba Free Press, from 1901 to 1944  when it was among the great newspapers of the world.  

During the past couple of weeks  Canadians have witnessed one egotist and autocrat Brian Mulroney, a former prime minister slice up the current occupant, Stephen Harper who also fully qualifies on both counts. Arguably Mulroney and Harper are members of the same political party, but rather than quibble over Progressive Conservative, Conservative and let's just say they are conservatives.  
Mulroney let loose his broadsides in an interview on CTV's Power Play, marking the 30th anniversary of Mulroney's big election win. If I had been him, I would have been annoyed too upon learning that the Harper Conservatives marked the occasion with a fundraising letter which apparently included no mention of Brian Mulroney or Progressive Conservative.  
  In brief here are the major points Mulroney made: Harper should not have got into a spat with the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada; Canada should not have lost its seat on the United Nations Security Council; the government’s foreign affairs policy “has to be enveloped in a broader and more generous sweep that takes in Canadian traditions and Canadian history in a much more viable way'.  

For good measure he also criticized Harper on his lack of a "pristine" environmental policy, and supported an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women, something Harper so far has opposed.  

However, it may have been his comments about Justin Trudeau, leader of the Liberal Party that would have enraged Harper most.  “He’s a young man, attractive, elected two or three times to the House, attractive wife, beautiful kids — this is a potent package when you’re running in these circumstances,” he told Power Play, adding  “His program is that he’s not Stephen Harper.”  
Wow! Nothing like a fight in the political family when one autocrat and egotist attacks another and praises the leader of a different political party who wants to be prime minister. My email is 

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. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Cranbrook Community Forest Society

This presentation was recently given to the Cranbrook Rotary Club.


Presentation made to the Cranbrook Rotary Luncheon on August 14, 2014

The Cranbrook Community Forest is 2000 hectares of crown land on the eastern boundary of Cranbrook and the Eager Hills area north of Hwy 3/95. It is a semi-wilderness recreation area and is managed as an interpretive forest and protected under the Forests and Range Act regulations. It contains a mixture of forest, grassland and lakes, providing a home to an abundance of birds, waterfowl, deer, coyotes, ground squirrels, and other wildlife species, as well as amazing wildflowers and plants.  There are several identified & registered archeological sites at various locations in the forest containing cultural heritage materials that many people do not even realize are there!

The CCFS is a provincially registered, non-profit society incorporated in the year 2000.
We have seven directors on our board including the president, secretary, treasurer and membership chairwoman.
The membership including family members is approximately 200 people.
The membership fee is $15 for a family and $10 for a single person.  Fees have never been increased since our incorporation.  These fees are our only source of consistent, annual revenue, however the Society has been successful in raising operation funds through grant applications to BC Hydro, East Kootenay Community Credit Union, Columbia Basin Trust and Recreation Sites & Trails BC.

The society was established in response to the demonstrated need for a non-government community based organization that enabled volunteers to become actively involved in the management and development of the CCF which was facing challenges that could not be adequately met through government actions alone.

The purpose of the society is to raise community awareness and support for maintaining the long term integrity of the CCF as a valuable outdoor educational and recreational asset for all members of the community and visitors alike. For this purpose funds must be raised to support projects that will help enhance visitor experience and provide opportunities for people to appreciate a healthy and diverse eco-system in a semi-wilderness setting.

In 2007 the society stepped up to the plate and entered into a Management Agreement for the CCF with Recreation Sites and Trails BC in response to an appeal from government for volunteer groups to take over some responsibilities.  A new agreement was signed this year that will be in effect for 10 years.  The Agreement is more detailed than our previous one, and sets out the responsibilities of both the Province and the CCFS in managing the Community Forest.  An insurance clause covering any injury to registered volunteers working on sanctioned CCFS events is one of additions to the Agreement.  We are also required to submit an annual report; and to complete an Operating Plan to be done on an annual basis.  Two priority undertakings included in our Plan for this year are to complete a trail inventory with a corresponding map to identify issues or problems with grade or erosion on trails that may need remediation work; and, to pursue additional parking to the West of the gasline parking area that leads to Sylvan Lake.  More and more people are using the Community Forest for recreation and the parking area at the ‘gasline’ often overflows onto 2nd Street South.  This congestion could be solved by expanding the parking area to the West, using the city’s property, which at present is undeveloped and is already being encroached upon by people trying to squeeze in a parking space between the few trees. We have since been notified by the City Council that our request for additional parking will be directed to the 2015 budget process for consideration. 

Since 2010 we have held four eco-system work bees in the forest in conjunction with the Rocky Mountain Trench Natural Resources Society and Recreation Sites & Trails BC.  Tasks included tree thinning and collection of brush for the chipping machine borrowed from the city for these events.  This work improved the forest health by removing saplings, opening the forest floor for renewal of grasslands and encouraging mature trees to become stronger without the competition of smaller trees for water and nutrients.  Volunteers were rewarded with a free bar-b-que and a fun prize draw.

We undertook the replacement of all the informational kiosks in the Southern area of the Forest and have now installed new, updated signage for seven large kiosks and numerous smaller kiosks located at the most popular trailheads providing users with a sense of security in knowing where they are and information about the CCFS and its purpose.  The little interpretive signs posted around Kettle Lake providing information about the flora and fauna of that area have also been replaced with new signage this year.  If you have never enjoyed this little interpretive trail (less than a kilometer) it is well worth the walk around the lake!

Last year we completed a four-year mapping project that culminated in the production of a colourful, pocket sized trail map with lots of information about the forest ecology and history and new updated trail routes.  Local businesses have been very supportive in the promotion of the map by stocking it for sale in their locales.  2013 also was the year new breakaway trail signs were installed throughout the entire forest.  These signs are similar to the Trans Canada Trail signs and provide trail names and arrows indicating the direction of travel for people out enjoying and exploring.
New cedar trail signs to be mounted on trees will be installed on some of the more heavily used trails this summer.  A lot of the older cedar signs are very weathered and hard to read. Trail work has also been completed to prevent erosion and sloughing of side slopes on some of the “at risk” trails, and surface grip treatments were installed on bridge decks. 
All of the contractors we have hired for CCFS projects have been local businesses!

The Community Forest has been the site of several mountain bike races, notably the “6 in the Stix” events that brought participants from the entire East Kootenay area into Cranbrook, and there are other cycling events held throughout the year. 

The North American Orienteering Championships were held in the Eager Hills area in 2010.  Over 600 participants and families from all around the world attended this event.  The CCF was also the venue for the Western Canadian Orienteering championships, and, the International Orienteering Organization is considering Cranbrook as the site for a World Youth Championship.  On September 7th this year the BC Long Distance Championships will be held at Eager Hills.  All these types of events attract visitors to our area, adding to Cranbrook’s economy.  Recently the decision of a new Doctor moving here was based in part by the outdoor lifestyle Cranbrook offers.  The CCF is mentioned often in Real Estate advertising, as well.

In July we hosted a “weed pull” led by the East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council, as an educational event which also resulted in 10 big garbage bags of invasive weeds pulled and removed from the area around Sylvan Lake.

A big challenge for us has been to educate and encourage users to use the pet waste stations, located at the three main trail entrances to the forest, and clean up after their dogs.  Thanks to the Playpen, who donated the sign posts and disposable bags, we have a solution to the dog poop inevitably encountered on trails, we just have to keep persisting in our efforts to get people to responsibly pick up after their pets.

We have a website and Facebook page, as well as g-mail for individuals to access for information, news, photos and announcements about the Community Forest.

Participating in local Farmers Markets has given us a chance to promote the forest and let people know it is not just an area that is out there as a free place to recreate, but it is actively managed, looked after, and protected by a committed group of volunteers operating as a non-profit society & in conjunction with the Ministry of Forests, continues to pursue improvements and educational opportunities.  As you know it takes many hundreds of volunteer hours to be successful in providing opportunities and resources like this to the community.

Environmental damage caused by the illegal use of off road vehicles and dirt bikes in the forest has been a concern for many years.  The Society has an ongoing security contract from June 1 to October 31 where the road is monitored and checked daily and the north entrance gate is locked overnight from 10 pm to 6 am daily to prevent unauthorized vehicle access.  Still, there are individuals who continue to abuse the use of the forest, causing environmental damage.  We continue to work with RSTBC Enforcement Officers trying to curtail the abuse.  The introduction of off road vehicle licensing legislation by the Province, which we hope will come into effect this year, will provide an avenue to identify the vehicle operators who are trespassing, and to enforce the consequences of non-compliance.

We have worked closely with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations on all our projects to date and have received tremendous support and encouragement from them. We are proud in what we have achieved over the years but much more needs to be done to preserve this special place which can be enjoyed in all seasons by all people.  The CCF is available to every citizen irrespective of age or socioeconomic status.  The CCF is a vital link to maintaining good mental and physical health of our citizens.  The ability for people to take part in recreational activities creates a sense of community and allows for many social interactions.  On any given day the CCF is used by scores of people, including families with young children, grandparents, hikers, biking groups – people out enjoying this exceptional resource at our doorstep!  Not many communities have such a unique area so close by.

We hope to maintain a lasting legacy for our community.  Having responsible stewardship will preserve the Forest in perpetuity and maintain its integrity.  The Cranbrook Community Forest is a remarkable place that with care and attention will be used by generations of people from Cranbrook and the surrounding area as well as providing a sustainable environment for wildlife, and a destination for tourists & visitors.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

More Perspectives on the Education Dispute.

In an interview on CBC radio today the point was made that people read articles which support their point if view. There is no doubt about that.  Go to Global BC and you will find a poll that as of today mostly supports the Government's side of this dispute. The Angus Reid poll also shows teachers are supported more than Government.  However, it is the information on which these opinion polls are based, that is more important and one needs to read all sides to get a balanced perspective.

These links provide more reading material.

Tyee Poll:
Last week's Tyee poll on whether reader sympathies have changed throughout the course of the B.C. teachers' strike was one of our biggest polls ever.
By Friday afternoon, more than 3,330 readers had cast a vote, with 90 per cent saying they've always supported the teachers' position, and still do. Five per cent said they've always supported the government's position, and still do.

Everything you need to know about this round of teacher bargaining: