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.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Vanderhoof issued community forest

Residents of Vanderhoof are positioned to benefit from added economic stability, employment opportunities and increased local forest stewardship through the creation of the Vanderhoof Community Forest.
Located approximately 15 kilometres north of Vanderhoof, the Vanderhoof community forest agreement covers 23,181 hectares.
The agreement has an initial term of 25 years and is replaceable for another 25-year term after 10 years.
In addition to timber harvesting, other uses of the community forest will include outdoor recreation with the Waterlily Lake cross-country ski and hiking trails, and the Omineca Trail, which is part of an ancient Carrier First Nation trail route.
To support the agreement and build a strong and diverse local forest sector, Vanderhoof Community Forest has partnered with local forest company L&M Lumber Ltd. (Nechako Lumber Co. Ltd.). Additionally, plans are in the works to invigorate a demonstration forest with local education partners such as Nechako Valley Secondary school and the Council of Forest Industries.
Community forest agreements are long-term, area-based tenures designed to encourage community involvement in the management of local forests. A community forest is managed by a local government, community group or First Nation for the benefit of the entire community.
Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations –
“Community forests are one avenue the Province is taking to provide a boost to rural forest economies. With this community forest being offered to Vanderhoof, residents can also look forward to associated job opportunities and greater input into how local forests are managed.”
John Rustad, MLA for Nechako Lakes –
“The Vanderhoof Community Forest is another example of just what can be accomplished when we all set our sights on a common goal. By partnering with a local lumber company, Vanderhoof has been able to secure this community forest. It’s great news for the local economy.”
Gerry Thiessen, mayor, District of Vanderhoof –
“What an amazing day! We have been working on realizing a community forest since I was first elected mayor some eight years ago. We are incredibly excited about the opportunities that a community forest brings. The idea of a community forest for Vanderhoof developed from a desire for long-term employment opportunities, increased self-reliance, and the kind of local-level decision making that leads to sustainable forest management. We will have a much larger role to play within our area’s major industry, forestry.”
Erik Leslie, president, BC Community Forest Association –
“Congratulations to the Vanderhoof community on being awarded this community forest agreement. The BC Community Forest Association represents the interests of community forests all across B.C., and is here to help Vanderhoof leverage opportunities and generate benefits in whatever unique way they choose to manage their community forest.”
Quick Facts:
  • Our Natural Advantage: A Forest Sector Strategy for British Columbia identifies community forests as a key element in supporting prosperous rural forest economies.
  • In British Columbia, there are 57 community forests issued or communities that are close to getting one, accounting for approximately two million cubic metres of timber volume.
Learn More:
District of Vanderhoof:
British Columbia’s strategy for continued growth in the forest sector, Our Natural Advantage: Forest Sector Strategy for British Columbia:

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Hummer's Return

Remember our Hummingbird posts from last year?  
The hummingbird has returned to the same spot for the fourth year in a row.  The nest was built on one day, then the Mom laid her first egg the next day followed by one more egg the following day. Usually she only lays two eggs which take about 2 weeks to incubate.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Food Forest Workshop

Are you passionate about growing your own food in a cold climate? 
Whether you're already on your way to creating your own wonderful edible garden, or this is something that simply inspires you, you will have lots to learn from this weekend with Canadian pioneer Richard Walker.

We'll be celebrating our fourth anniversary of planting a one-acre food forest at Clear Sky. In the video below, Clear Sky's Cara Conroy Low offers an update on the project.

click to enlarge

Friday, May 20, 2016

Parliamentary ruckus raises far thornier questions, Gerry Warner

Parliamentary ruckus raises far thornier questions
Perceptions by Gerry warner
Sunny ways?
Things looked anything but “sunny” in Parliament Wednesday when Mr. Sunny Ways himself, otherwise known as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, rushed more than two sword lengths across the floor and created a melee with opposition MP’s that almost led to fisticuffs.
And just ask suspended Senator Patrick Brazeau, Trudeau can punch!
Fortunately, it didn’t quite lead to that, but it did lead to NDP MP Ruth Ellen Brosseau leaving the parliamentary chamber to recover from an accidental blow from Trudeau’s sharp elbow not to mention his use of the F-bomb and a hysterical screaming match between Trudeau and former Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair, who looked like he was going to burst a blood vessel while the media pundits dubbed the whole tawdry affair “elbow-gate!”
What the hell was going on in the citadel of Canadian democracy? Not even Donald Trump has physically attacked anyone recently.
To understand this, we have to back up a bit to Monday when the Opposition engaged in some political chicanery that saw them come within one vote of defeating a majority Liberal government on a snap procedural motion, which embarrassed the mighty Grits profoundly. Consequently, the chastened Liberals were in a sour mood Wednesday when it appeared that some Opposition MP’s were doing the same thing again Wednesday making it difficult for Conservative 
whip Gordon Brown to take his seat and continue debate on Bill C-14, the government’s highly controversial legislation on doctor-assisted death.
Glancing across the floor from his seat on high, Trudeau’s imperious gaze settled on the Opposition’s sneaky tactic and he clearly lost it, leaving his throne and striding across the floor like an NHL goon about to batter his opponent over the boards provoking a most un-parliamentary ruckus the likes of which hasn’t been seen in Ottawa for decades, if ever. Since the dust settled, a contrite Trudeau has officially apologized three times for his bizarre outburst and sent tongues wagging from St. Johns to Whitehorse.
So what’s the takeaway from all this? Clearly even Prime Ministers have bad-hair days, even one with the glorious locks of Justin Trudeau! However, on a more serious level, Canadians from coast to coast to coast have now seen the spectacle of our Prime Minister lose his temper on live TV – and even more importantly – lose control of himself on live TV and physically assault a fellow MP, a woman at that, even if it was accidental.
Sunny ways? Hardly, but to be fair to the Prime Minister his apologies appear to be genuine and the Opposition appears to have played a role in goading his attack. No one is asking Trudeau to resign, nor should they. Everyone loses it once in a while and a prime minister is no different. And in the greater scheme of things, the voters of Canada will pass judgement on Trudeau in the next election whether it be by first past the post or some newfangled voting system.
But there’s another aspect of this situation that needs to be mentioned. The backdrop to this nasty affair is the government’s proposed bill to make physician-assisted death, or suicide if you prefer, the law of the land and that issue is absolutely toxic and deeply divides Canadians. You might also say the fact that the Supreme Court of Canada can impose a deadline on Parliamentarians to do this is also a factor, but I’ll leave that to the Constitutional experts.
It surely goes without saying that reaching a consensus on an issue as profoundly personal, spiritual and philosophical as this is impossible. It’s just not going to happen. In light of this, one can’t help but wonder why we are doing this at all? It’s true that it has been done in other jurisdictions like Holland and Oregon, but like it or not, it doesn’t seem to be flying in Canada.
As trite as this may sound, perhaps the best thing would be for the government to withdraw the bill and send it to an all-party committee and let them have a go at it. They may not reach a consensus either, but it’s worth a try. Otherwise the alternative appears to be more pushing and shoving on the floor of Parliament and I doubt if even “Rocky” Trudeau would want that?

Gerry Warner is a retired journalist, who does favor some form of physician assisted life secession. 


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Serpentine Leafminer of Aspen trees

photos taken from the Rails to Trails where a number of trees are showing infestation

photos Jenny Humphrey
The common aspen leaf miner or aspen serpentine leafminer (Phyllocnistis populiella) is a moth. The larvae  feed on the tissue between the leaf's top and bottom surface.It is found in northern North America, including AlbertaMassachusettsOntario and Alaska.
There seem to be number of trees affected in the area this year.
For full information:

Monday, May 16, 2016

Must we all get ready to move for jobs? Gerry Warner

Must we all get ready to move for jobs?
Perceptions by Gerry Warner
Remember the good ‘ol days when the siren call to the young and ambitious was “Go West” or “Go North” for young men and women looking for work and wanting to get ahead with their lives and careers. 
Well, it’s not that way anymore, according to a CBC story quoting the chief economist of the Bank of Montreal.
In a recent commentary, BMO chief economist Douglas Porter said 100 per cent of the new jobs created in Canada last year were created in only two cities, Vancouver and Toronto.  "Yes, that means the rest of the country has created precisely no new jobs in the past year," Porter told the CBC.
Now, I don’t know exactly what the chief economist means when he says all the   new jobs in the country were created in only two Canadian cities. Maybe he’s speaking metaphorically in terms of the vast majority of job creation or only counting whatever economists mean by “new” jobs. After all, there have been a few new jobs created in Cranbrook and Kimberley the past year.
But who can deny that it’s a different world out there now? There was a time when young people, and people of all ages for that matter, living in rural Canada could pull up stakes and move to the Big City whether for jobs, lifestyle or just because they got tired with the charms of small town life.
Not anymore!
Not when the average price of a detached house in Vancouver soared to $1.4 million this year and for that you may only get a 100-year-old “handyman’s special” on the east side or a 500 sq. ft. new “laneway cottage” in a west side alley. Who in affordable communities like Cranbrook and Kimberley would put up with that? But if you lose your job you might have to consider it because most new jobs are being created in the big cities where housing costs are in the stratosphere. And it’s not just Vancouver and Toronto.
CMHC said in its quarterly market assessment this week Canada’s 15 largest housing markets show signs of “over valuation.” In other words, we have 15 housing bubbles growing in this country and we all know where this eventually leads.
So what’s a working stiff supposed to do to survive or just keep up with the Joneses? Well if they’re young, the standard advice is to get a college degree. But this often means resorting to the “bank of mom and dad” who may be strapped themselves. If they’re older they can cash in on the equity they’ve built up in their homes, but if they still have their children’s educational aspirations to support they won’t be selling their houses anytime soon.
Increasingly the picture unfolding appears to be those of us over 65 will moulder away right where we are in quaint, charming and affordable small town Canada while the young’uns run off to the big cities where the lights are brighter and jobs more plentiful. In fact, look around you, it’s already happening. In the 20 years, I’ve lived in Cranbrook and Kimberley, the population of both communities has barely changed. Cranbrook has held solid around the 20,000 mark while Kimberley has done the same at 6,700 despite losing its largest employer.
I saw this phenomena when I walked the El Camino Santiago in Spain a few years ago and passed through many dusty, deserted villages where goats often outnumbered the few wizened Spanish seniors left while cities like Madrid and Barcelona seethed with millions of people.
It’s the way of the modern world. The rural areas are withering on the vine while the big metro areas are growing like weeds evolving into mega-city-states and taking over the whole economy. And what this means for Canada in the future is surely obvious.
At some point in the future every Canadian will live in either Vancouver or Toronto. Oh, rue the day!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

East Hill Solar Development and the Matter of Representing the Interests of Cranbrook Residents

Editorial Comment
Thank you to RDEK staff and the proponent Ross Priest for their willingness to accommodate the concerns of the majority of letters acknowledged and voices at the public hearing.  One must wonder what was to be gained by not giving credence to those professionals who listened and made adjustments.  While the proponent for this proposal obviously wished to act in good faith by putting forth suggested covenants for the proposed development, only time will tell if others would feel they should do the same.

Futher reporting may be read at:

With respect to the RDEK Public Hearing on April 26th, regarding Bylaw No 2689 for Cranbrook East (known as the East Hill).  Directors Rob Gay (Area C), Lee Pratt (City of Cranbrook), Tom Shypitka (City of Cranbrook), as well as Andrew McLeod (RDEK Planning & Development Services Manager) and Tracy Van de Wiel, (Planning Technician) attended the the public hearing.  29 members of the public attended.  There were 17 letters submitted opposing the zoning amendment as it had no restrictions. Overall, there was support for a solar project in general.  One letter supporting the project and one note supporting the project.

The general focus of comments at the meeting was support of a solar project on the 6600+ acre site, with the exception that there needed to be some restrictions (as there are for some other allowable uses like a gravel pit).  11 people spoke to the need for some restrictions, and 7 spoke in favour of no restrictions.

On May 3, RDEK Planning and Development Services Manager submitted a Request for Decision to the RDEK Board,.  Prior to bylaw adoption the applicant agreed that the following parameters for a development agreement to be registered on the title of the property as a restrictive covenant:
“No solar energy facility may be developed on the property unless:
1.     It is located a minimum of 500 m. from the property boundary;
2.     Is located no more than 200 m north of E-W BC Hydro right of way;
3.     Is located north of SW-NE BC Hydro right of way;
4.     Does not exceed 800 ha (1977 ac) in parcel coverage.”

The RDEK Board had three options to consider on this matter for it’s May 6th meeting:
1.      THAT Bylaw NO. 2689 cited as “Regional District of East Kootenay - Cranbrook Rural Zoning Bylaw No. 1402, 2001 - Amendment Bylaw No. 42, 2015 (Cranbrook East/608534 BC Ltd.) be read a third time; and further, that a development agreement containing the items identified in the May 3, 2016 staff report be registered on title prior to bylaw adoption.
2.    THAT Bylaw NO. 2689 cited as Regional District of East Kootenay - Cranbrook Rural Zoning Bylaw No. 1402, 2001 - Amendment Bylaw No. 42, 2015 (Cranbrook East/608534 BC Ltd.) be read a third time.
3.    THAT Bylaw NO. 2689 cited as Regional District of East Kootenay - Cranbrook Rural Zoning Bylaw No. 1402, 2001 - Amendment Bylaw No. 42, 2015 (Cranbrook East/608534 BC Ltd.) not proceed.


However, it has been reported to us that  Mayor Lee Pratt, City of Cranbrook, opposed Option 1, indicating that none of the restrictions were necessary.  The RDEK board voted to accept Option 2.

Needless to say, it is very disappointing that the RDEK Board did not see the need for some restrictions on a 6600+ acre parcel (larger than the size of Cranbrook) that would address the needs of the proponent and the general public.

The minimum 500 m. from the property boundary would have created a buffer zone between a solar project and the Cranbrook Community Forest.