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.

Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 Round Up

This letter from Wayne Stetski appeared in the Cranbrook Daily Townsman before Christmas. It is a very good summary of our year's activities. As well as the events that Mr. Stetski mentions our blog is ongoing and continues to be updated daily with short pieces which showcase the pride we have in our community and also with ideas and discussion topics we feel might benefit our community in the future. Our website contains more detailed information about Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook, documents and records of past activities. It is updated less frequently. Members also attend council meetings as well as other meetings which we consider have relevance to the well-being of our community. If you read this blog regularly you will know we report and summarise topics that are of high interest to us and many other residents of Cranbrook.

Community Benefits From Citizens Group

Citizens For A Livable Cranbrook (CLCS) had a busy and productive year in Cranbrook, contributing both to the beauty of our city and to our citizen’s awareness of what is possible!

CLCS members partnered with a number of groups to make a difference for Cranbrook on the ground. Last spring the Society participated in Earth Day with an information booth and plant giveaway. Next was a clean-up of Joseph Creek in the area from Save On Foods to the Kootenay Street Car Wash in conjunction with Wildsight. Cranbrook in Bloom asked CLCS to help them plant the entrances to the Tamarack Mall and a wonderful day followed planting shrubs, perennial flowers and grasses along the strip. The Cranbrook Community Forest Society were looking for help with their ecosystem restoration activities and CLCS members were an active part of making our “Stanley Park” more environmentally productive and safer from wildfire.

The group was also active working to make our city an even better place to live. They held a pancake breakfast fundraiser at the Summer Farmer’s Market with the profit going to the Cranbrook Art’s Council, and helped to clean the windows of the old Super Valu store for the very successful Winter Farmer’s Market weekend. CLCS also organized Cranbrook’s first ever Trash To Treasure’s event to help recycle used but well loved materials.

Another of the group’s goals is to contribute to establishing a better future for Cranbrook by increasing knowledge around what is possible. To achieve this, Citizens sponsored two free movie nights and discussion sessions at the College of the Rockies, one related to city planning called Save Our Lands, Save Our Towns and the other related to the risks of privatization of water called Thirst. Moving from broad scale issues to what is possible in our own back yard, CLCS brought Jeremy Sturgess to Cranbrook in November to talk about sustainable planning and how it can be achieved by increasing density of housing, reducing land used for roads and surface parking and by going green in how we build. Mr. Sturgess is a Governor General award-winning architect specializing in sustainable development who builds innovative communities as well as teaching Environmental Design Studies at the University of Calgary.

It is important to get involved in your community and its future development and to take some time personally to make a difference. Citizens For A Livable Cranbrook are a grass roots organization who care about this city and its future and volunteer their time and energy freely towards making it a better place. To find out more go to their website at  or for the latest news check out their blog at

Thursday, December 30, 2010

What’s Happening

Friday December 31st
Dance 8:00pm
Cranbrook Senior Hall
Country Round Up
Everyone Welcome
426-3844 or 426-2655 or 417-3255

Friday December 31st
Fraternal Order of Eagles
711 Kootenay St.
8:00pm – 2:00am
Doors open 7:00pm
Music Steel Wheels
Tickets $25 per person $40 couple
Tickets at Eagles Nest or Cranbrook Freightliner

Friday December 31st
New Year’s Eve at the Byng

Saturday January 1st
New Year’s Day Celebration
Fort Steele
11:00am – 3:00pm
Sleigh rides, bonfires, skating, games and more
Johnny on the Spot concession open

Sunday January 2nd
Fort Steele
Sleigh Rides, Skating
11:00am – 3:00pm
Johnny on the Spot open

Fort Steele
Skating Rink and Johnny on the Spot open DAILY

Register now for Sustainability Conference
Get your tickets now at Lotus Books for 'Tamara Drewe' Jan 6th -Rotary Film Series and
Banff Film Festival, if any are left, for January 8th High Country Sports or Key City Box Office

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

History of CLCS

This article by Gerry Sobie was originally submitted to The Cranbrook Daily Townsman in the Fall of 2010.

In early 2008, a telephone conversation became the impetus for the creation of Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook (CLC). A group of citizens began expressing concern about how our City was developing and what seemed to be a lack of public consultation on expansion of boundaries. They questioned rapid and extensive growth of Cranbrook’s city borders. It became apparent that others shared these apprehensions and the CLC grew by bringing a large and diverse group of people together.

Gatherings of like-minded people evolved into regular meetings and in February 2009 CLC became a formal Society with a structure for membership from which emerged a group of directors to guide the actions of this newly formed organization. It became evident that people wanted to become more informed about the future direction of our City and share in discussion about what could best serve our collective interests.

CLC Society provides grassroots leadership and an inclusive process with a voice for community members. Our vision is to ensure that our community grows and develops in a way that incorporates an environmental ethic, as well as offering a range of housing and transportation choices. We encourage a vibrant social and cultural life, and support sustainable, meaningful employment and business opportunities.

Our mission is to raise awareness in our community, creating a respectful forum where factual information and reasonable opinion can be presented. Ideas expressed and exchanged can only enhance the engagement of all citizens. Opposing views need not galvanize perspectives and separate neighbours, but add considerations and options to collectively arrive at best solutions and practice.

We support existing community assets and values. Recent initiatives like Rails to Trails, Cranbrook Farmer’s Market, Spirit Square and the public library are all wonderful examples of collaboration to the benefit our city and area. We need to become informed about existing and planned new developments and learn from other communities’ practices to ensure responsible growth. CLC is committed to communicating with the public through articles in the local press, letters to the editor, public meetings, our website and this blog.

On this blog we share information and topics important to our city and our citizens.   It is our hope that readers will not only be enlightened and come to a greater understanding of who CLC is and what we are about but also benefit from topics related to sustainability. We invite and welcome your feedback on this blog at

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Typical Dog Day in Cranbrook’s Community Forest

December 26th, 2010
3:10 – 4:00pm
One trail
One Chow
One Bull Mastiff
One Schnauzer
One Australian Cattle Dog
One Collie
Two Schitzus
Two Labradors
Two Scottish Terriers
Best behaviour
Much socializing
Same for owners
Lucky dogs
Caring people

The many people walking their dogs that afternoon all value our unique Community Forest just as some of Cranbrook’s population did over one hundred years ago. The desire to preserve this area  is not new. In fact our hopes have expanded considerably since then.  Let's hope we don't have to wait another hundred years before we know this area is truly safe from roads and development. 

In an article in the Cranbrook Herald on September 17th 1908 there was a call for the City of Cranbrook to purchase part of the land at that time owned by Robinson and McKenzie.
“It is the opinion of a number of citizens that the city should purchase a portion of this, including the lake for the purpose of establishing a public park”
The idea at the time to pump in fresh spring water and develop a lake suitable for swimming may have been a tad unrealistic however. Motor cars were a new invention and the future damage they were to eventually inflict on our environment was not yet foreseen.  Although the ideas in this article might give us a chuckle, the fact remains many Cranbrook residents have recognised this piece of property for its natural value for over one hundred years. The land and more now known as Cranbrook Community Forest is treasured by many for its unique nature, its wildlife, its proximity to the city, its unfettered trails that can be used year round and many other reasons which you might like to tell us about.

Cranbrook Herald September 17th 1908

Information for membership in the Cranbrook Community Forest Society is provided on the Community Forest website at:

More of man's greatest friends with their human companions enjoying our community forest on different days.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Empathic Civilisation

Schools in Cranbrook as in many other places recognize the importance of empathy to both an individual and social group’s well being. The Roots of Empathy Program is widely taught to young children in many schools.  Our ability to put ourselves in another’s shoes is the basis of forming healthy relationships no matter the size of the social group. According to the research demonstrated in this video we are pre-programmed for this skill.  There may be many factors that influence how well we exhibit empathic behaviour but there is no doubt we all benefit when it is used.

As we move towards 2011 and some of of us make some sort of resolution maybe this video can provide some food for thought.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Shining Lights of Christmas

Some too late to see but still time for others.  The Old Elks Hall on Wattsville, now a private residence lit up for the season in is well worth a visit.

Maybe now it's time to strap on the skates, snowshoes, skiis or boots and enjoy some of our great outdoors.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

'Tis the Season to Recycle

We first posted this one page recycle guide in October.  Much of the paper and packaging that comes with this time of year can be recyled.  We hope this helps with "Where do I take this?"

Recycle Guide 5

What’s Happening?

Friday December 24th
Lantern Lit Christmas Eve Service
Rotary Park 7:00pm
Hot Chocolate, Carols
and the story of Christmas presented by Calvary Chapel

Fort Steele
Christmas Eve Service
WildHorse Theatre
one hour Service 7:00pm
presented by the First Baptist Church
Please bring a donation to the food bank

Monday December 27th
Cranbrook Christmas Bird Count
With Rocky Mountain Naturalists
Meet at Elizabeth Lake at 8:45am
All interested bird lovers welcome
For more information phone Greg

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Draft Erosion and Sediment Control Bylaw Workshop

It was positive all round at last night’s meeting to discuss Bylaw 3692.  City Administrator Will Pearce introduced the meeting and procedure. Mr Jamie Hodge City Engineer gave an overview and intent summary of the draft bylaw which is to protect water-courses like Joseph Creek, as well as protect our airshed (from dust)and city infrastructure.

Those people who had written letters concerning the bylaw and members of CABBDA led by Mr. Hockley then had a chance to voice their concerns and or ask questions. In attendance at the table were Dave Humphrey and Mr Stewart Wilson who were invited to sit around the table with Jamie Hodge (City Engineer), Will Pearce (City Administrator), and representatives of CABBDA - Dennis Hockley, Sheldon Isaman, Chad Jensen, Jay Savage and Dave Heckford, as well as Jean Horton from Focus.

It was pointed out by Mr Pearce that the city welcomes the formation of CABBDA and in fact encouraged its establishment. In this way the city can deal with one body rather than several different developers or builders. Mr Hockley pointed out that members support one another but at this point do not police one another as such. It would therefore fall upon the bylaw enforcement officer to ensure compliance.

Several issues concerning implementation of the draft bylaw were discussed and the city has requested specific wording with solutions regarding recommended changes be presented in writing before December 31st. It was reassuring to hear the developers present, generally supporting the bylaw and suggesting alternative methods for some of their concerns such as the use of mud mats instead of wheel wells/washers that would be impractical especially in winter.

Mr Hockley spoke of the cost of the bylaw implementation. He felt it could add 7% to the cost of development. However according to the city of Surrey’s bylaw
In places where erosion and sediment control is taken more seriously, it has been shown that taking erosion and sediment control measures adds less than 2% to the cost of development of a single family home. Before this by-law came into effect, a large proportion of the City’s drainage budget was spent cleaning out excess sediment from our sewer system. A construction site produces up to 4 truckloads of sediment in a single rainfall event, which is significantly more than natural erosion processes alone.

Mr Hockley also questioned some of the city’s own practices with regard to sediment control. Mr Wilson asked if it would be possible to stockpile winter salt and gravel laden snow in a location other than adjacent to the creek. Mr Hodge made it clear that this bylaw concerns construction zones and that city practices are a separate issue. Mr Pearce acknowledged that this was a valid concern.

The intent of the proposed bylaw appeared to be unanimously supported. City Administration seems committed to reducing the amount of erosion and sediment affecting our waterways and airshed, and also seems committed to recommending that this bylaw be adopted with modifications only where they are justified.

It was generally felt this was a good way to develop new bylaws and it is hoped this may become a model for the future. Mr. Humphrey pointed out that sitting around a table to discuss issues openly with one another where everyone can listen can be very productive as this evening demonstrated.

Twelve members of the public attended this meeting as well as the ten invited participants around the table. Considering the time of day and the proximity to Christmas it was very encouraging to see the public interest.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kimberley Ski Machine Inventors

A must see...

Hopefully these two Kimberley inventors will be able to continue manufacturing locally.  Any chance of a quiet electric version??!

Sustainable Building and Living Conference in Kimberley

Direct from the Wildsight website comes this exciting information about the Sustainable Building and Living Conference. Registration would make a fabulous gift for anyone in the building industry, municipal employment, home owners, potential home owners and anyone with or wanting a sustainable home or lifestyle!
As 'sustainability' is a serious topic for all of us and is the focus for Cranbrook Connected it would be wonderful indeed to see good representation from Cranbrook at this conference.

Sustainable Building and Living Conference

This year’s conference in Kimberley, BC features pre-conference workshops on Friday, January 28th, an opening event Friday evening featuring leading thinkers in the areas of sustainable building and living at McKim Theatre, a full day of workshops on Saturday, January 29th, and the Sustainable Building and Living Showcase will be open to the public on Saturday between 12 noon and 4:30 pm. The Conference Schedules, speaker list can be viewed at the Wilsight website at:

About the Conference
As ‘sustainability’ evolves from being a concept to reality, we have broadened our range of speakers and their expertise, to include sustainability in both building and living. Workshop topics will cover a wide range from renewable energy sources, low energy architecture, LEED renovations, permaculture, ‘greening of the building code’, to the building of earth ships, and year round food production.

For those coming out of town, Kimberley Vacations is offering a special conference package!
Conference Pricing
The full day of Friday pre-conference workshops is:

*$125 early bird pricing, $149 regular pricing.

The full conference package includes a full day of workshops on Saturday, plus a ticket to the Friday night conference opening event:

*$125 Early Bird Pricing, $149 Regular Pricing

**Early bird pricing available until 4 pm on Friday, January 14th, 2011. Regular pricing available from January 17th until 12 noon on January 21st, 2011 on a space available basis.

A limited number of scholarships will be available!

For more information, including questions regarding scholarships, contact Erna Jensen-Shill, Program Coordiantor, at or 250-427-9360.


To register, contact the College of the Rockies, Kimberley Campus, at 250-427-7116 ext 3752 or download and return the registration forms for Friday and Saturday (with payment) to the College.

Register early to avoid disappointment! The 2010 conference was sold out!

The Sustainable Building and Living Conference is a partnership between the College of the Rockies, Wildsight, the City of Kimberley, and the Kootenay Rockies Innovation Council (KRIC) with funding provided by Columbia Basin Trust. Supporting partners include the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), New Dawn Developments and the Fraser Basin Council's Smart Planning for Communities.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Real State of Real Estate

On December 17th the New York Times published an article by Suzanne Daley and Raphael Minder about the rise and fall of Spain’s real estate market.

Although this story is not unique to Spain or California or other potential resort areas in the world including our own, what the authors say about the situation should make us think seriously about what is often heard locally – that the construction industry provides employment. There is no disputing that. A local business magazine in a recent article included the line “Build it and they will come”, but the reality is ‘they’ might not and then what? Isn’t it about time that our own local governments, banks and developers take a more realistic approach to what is really happening. It is all very well to be optimistic and idealistic but reality must be faced sooner or later. It is not only banks that take a major loss when bubbles burst but also local governments and the residents who may have supported development in one way or another. Local employment also takes a huge hit. Yes, construction provides employment but there have to be the people and employment opportunities for the people to fill the vacant homes. Construction is not an end unto itself. The Daley/Minder article states:

Developments sprang up on the outskirts of cities ready to welcome the four million immigrants who had settled in Spain, many employed in construction. But almost overnight the market disappeared. Many immigrants went home. The national unemployment rate shot up about 20%.

It was interesting to note that a headline in one of our local papers very recently stated that vacancy rates are up. When one listens to those employed in the real estate industry and homeowners who are trying to sell there appears to be a large inventory of homes for sale in this area. Unfortunately the local golf course developments that were ushered in with much fanfare are not bursting with activity. A great deal of leeway has already been granted to some development projects. Investment has been made in sports facilities that cannot pay their way. Public debt affects us all and it is common knowledge that too much of anything is not a good thing. Put any commodity in short supply and it will become more desirable and therefore valuable.

The picture is clear and rose tinted glasses are not necessary. Facing these issues realistically will surely bring about better planning and a better future for all who live here.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Mt Baker Production of A Christmas Carol, the Musical

Awesome job all of you – what a great production and what talent! Bravo.
Looking forward to your 1000 Cranes production in January and also Wild About the Arts Gala on February 9th - both in honour of Rod Osiowy.

For the Birds

Nuthatches, Chickadees, various Finches and Sparrows are just some of the birds that appreciate nuts and seeds at this time of year.  Dense coniferous trees for shelter and protection, deciduous trees for perching, some berry bearing trees and shrubs, left over seed heads and a few feeders and you have an inviting garden for attracting birds in winter as well as summer.  A healthy thriving habitat within the city can provide hours of pleasure, contribute to the overall health of bird populations as well as contribute to a balanced and sustainable world.

Cranbrook's anuual bird count will be happening December 27th - meet at Elizabeth Lake 8:45am. Phone Greg Ross – 250 489-2566 for more information.

Bird Studies Canada tells us…

In 1900, American ornithologist Frank Chapman asked birders across North America to head out on Christmas Day to count the birds in their home towns and submit the results as the first "Christmas Bird Census." The Christmas Bird Count, as it is now called, is conducted in over 2000 localities across Canada, the United States, Latin America, and the Caribbean. These bird observations,have been amassed into a huge database that reflects the distribution and numbers of winter birds over time.

Just a few of Cranbrook's feathered residents this last week:

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Proposed Erosion and Sediment Control Bylaw for Cranbrook

In October of this year Council brought forward an erosion and sediment control bylaw proposal. The draft for this bylaw is thorough and wide in its scope. CABBDA, Cranbrook and Area Business, Builders and Developers Association asked for input before adoption. Council received letters from the public supporting the draft bylaw in its present form. Council and administration have invited those letter writers and members of CABBDA to a workshop in order to discuss the proposed bylaw. Cranbrook residents who have been concerned about washouts, stream and waterway contamination, flooding and storm sewer overload due to subdivision and construction are also welcome to attend this workshop. It is open to the public. If you have concerns regarding these issues and support changes that might assist with these problems, it would be beneficial to attend this workshop.

The proposed bylaw is available to you at the link on the top right of this blog.

Manual Training Building
Cranbrook Library
Tuesday December 21st

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cranbrook's Community Dinner Thursday December 16th

How many are you having to Christmas Dinner?   For Laurie Reed and Neil Cook 350 plus about 50 boxed dinners for those who couldn't come to the party was entirely manageable.  They had some fabulous Cranbrook and Kimberley volunteer help of course but all the organisers, food suppliers, volunteers, guests and entertainers of this special annual event are to be commended. Only great organisation could put together dinner for 400!

A few spuds ready to cook

Laurie Reed and Neil Cook discuss game plan

Tables set
Guests arrive

Busy kitchen

and Santa of course

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What’s Happening

Friday December 17th
With a donation to the Cranbrook Food Bank you can skate with Santa from 11:00am to 12:30pm at the Rec Plex

Friday December 17th
Finnegan’s Wake Pub
Ali Baba’s lounge
Saltwater Cowboy, Tom Bungay and friends

Friday December 17th
Mt Baker’s Production of
A Christmas Carol, the Musical
7:30pm Key City Theatre
Adults $15, students and seniors $12

Saturday December 18
Christmas jam session at the King Edward Hotel, hosted by Pete Warland
Starting 5:00pm

Saturday December 18
Mt Baker’s Production of
A Christmas Carol, the Musical
7:30pm Key City Theatre
Adults $15, students and seniors $12

Sunday December 19th
Mt Baker’s Production of
A Christmas Carol, the Musical
2:00pm matinee Key City Theatre
Adults $15, students and seniors $12

Sunday December 19th
Fort Steele
12 noon
A Tuba Christmas
Entrance free with a donation to the Food Bank

Sunday December 19th
Sleigh Rides at FortSteele
From 11:am – 3:00pm  $2.25

Sunday December 19th
Lambi House For Steele
Photo with Father Christmas
11:00am – 3:00pm
Pets Welcome

Monday December 20th
Affordable Art at the Key City Theatre Art Gallery
9:00 – 4:00 pm

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Does good city planning affect your health?

According to an increasing body of research a well planned city can have a direct effect on your health.   Issues such as water quality, air quality, mental health, social capital, physical activity, food security, and housing are all issues which are affected by good and efficient urban planning. For instance, if we build walkable cities it decreases emissions from cars and makes us walk more. Encouraging physical activity by building less car centric developments, preventing sprawl, and increasing density are ways to build healthier communities.  Ensuring that cities have green spaces for recreational activities helps with both physical and mental well being of its citizens.  Let's not just give lip service to citizen health but make it a starting point from which all planning starts.This would mean making choices about how we let our city develop. What opportunities do we have here in Cranbrook to shape our community in a way which improves our health? Why are we allowing sprawl instead of looking into higher density mixed residential and business developments? Let Cranbrook become a leader in what is possible. Let's not look back but let's look forward towards a healthier and better place to live.
To read more about urban planning and health go here

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Would you like to help...

at the the annual Community Christmas Dinner hosted by the Canadian Mental Health Association? This dinner for those who may otherwise not receive a Christmas Dinner will be held this Thursday, December 16th at the Eagles Hall starting at 4:15pm.  It is not unusual for 400 people to show up. If you would like to volunteer please phone Laurie Reed at 426-8019 ext. 36. Volunteers are needed to set up, clean up and serve dinner.

Got Your Christmas Tree Yet?

There's a lot that's good about a locally purpose-grown Christmas tree. Buying one supports the local economy, provides employment,  less carbon emission in transport, cost of tree is less, trees are fresher AND trees will be regrown or replaced with new plants.  This year's tree will be chipped if put out for the Boy Scouts after Christmas and the resulting chips will compost back to the ground.  My beautiful tree cost $20.00.

Totten's trees come from a lot near Jaffray and are available at 37 Little Van Horne Street, Cranbrook- drive past the Prestige on your way south, find Shoemaker Drywall, turn left and Little Van Horne is on your right.

12 Gifts with 'Local' and 'Sustainability' in Mind

Although most Christmas craft fairs and markets are now over there are still places you can buy locally produced items or something that will lighten your impact on the local environment.

1.   Plastic bag dryers, kits $3 available from Mount Baker School until Thursday December 16th
426-5241 ext.657 or
To read about this great project go to

2.   Locally blended teas

3.   Tickets to the Banff Film Festival which will be in Cranbrook on January 8 at the Key City Theatre – tickets $20 at High Country Sports, and Key City Theatre

4.   Memberships in Community Forest Society $10 single $15 family

5.   Ice grippers or hiking poles(for more walking through all kinds of weather) available at most sports stores in town

6.   Rotary Film Festival tickets
Until Christmas, the 4 movie Silver Pass can be purchased for $35, and the 8 movie Gold Pass for $65. After Christmas they will return to their regular price of $40 and $70.

7. On January 6th, at 7p.m.Rotary will be continuing with our Rotary Rockies Film Series at the Columbia Theatre, by showing Tamara Drewe. " Tickets for Tamara Drewe are also available at Lotus books, for $10. Tickets sold at the door with be $12. The official trailer can be viewed at

8.   Timers for your Christmas Lights – inside and out

9.   Biltong meats,

10.  Local Affordable Art - Key City Theatre Gallery

11.  Anything locally or home made - e.g Gem soaps avilable at Lotus Books where books by local authors may also be found

12.  Make a gift donation to the SPCA

Cranbrook Connected Surveys due NOW!

Cranbrook Connected Surveys are due in tomorrow Wedenesday December 15th.  If you do not have one of these surveys, they are available at City Hall, the Library and at the Rec Plex.  This is your chance for input into a sustainable vision for Cranbrook.

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Developer's Guide to Green Building

The LEED-Neighbourhood Development program was designed to provide encouragement to developers who offer alternatives to sprawl. Individual projects will be given points for certain smart growth principals exhibited in their developments. Some of the principles that the initiative encourages are choosing environmentally sound locations, reducing the need to drive, using less land, and conservation of energy and water. There are already many developments that have been registered for this project. Many municipalities are now encouraging or requiring these sort of developments. Perhaps our local developers would be willing to provide us their visions for similar developments that will lead Cranbrook into the future.  The  old development model has led to sprawl and expensive infrastructure that we can no longer afford. Would any of our new developments meet any of the LEED - ND standards? If local developers are serious about building sustainability then its time to start seeing projects using LEED standards right here in Cranbrook.

For more information on Building Green and LEED standards please go to

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Protecting Freshwater Top Priority for Majority of British Columbians

We posted several articles on the topic of Water this fall.  Many of the topics included in the Cranbrook Connected Questionnaire have to do with water. Without a healthy and secure source of water we are in serious trouble.

This article was posted by Vicki Burns on the Community Foundations of Canada Blog.  It is reassuring that survey participants feel this way - can we count on action I wonder.

Protecting Freshwater Top Priority for Majority of British Columbians -Vancouver Foundation and WWF-Canada Team Up to Survey the Public’s Attitudes

A recently released poll of British Columbia residents is good news for all of us who are focussing on water issues in Canada. It confirms once again that Canadians view freshwater as our most precious natural resource. The McAllister Opinion Research Poll found that 91% of British Columbians surveyed felt that freshwater resources in their province were the most important resource and a resounding 94% felt that nature and wildlife needs related to water should be a top priority in new water rules being developed by the province of B.C.
I was impressed to see the Vancouver Foundation partnering with WWF-Canada in polling the public about their attitudes regarding water. When I asked Mark Gifford, the Director of Grants and Community Initiatives for the Vancouver Foundation, what motivated them to be involved he quickly responded “Water and its protection are fundamental in thinking about the long term health of our province and its residents. It made sense for the Vancouver Foundation to be involved in this initiative”.

These poll results will surely give the B.C. government the support they need to move ahead with modernizing their Water Act.

Some of the measures the public would like to see included are:

* Stricter rules for managing industrial and municipal water use (89 per


* Using science to inform water management decisions (89 per cent).

* Requiring commercial enterprises to obtain licences for groundwater use

(89 per cent).

* Requiring active monitoring and reporting of all water use by industry and

municipalities (91 per cent).

Actually, wouldn’t it be great to see these types of considerations for water management put into a federal act for all of Canada? The same principles of protection for one of life’s most essential elements, water, should be consistent across the entire country. It’s hard to imagine a logical argument why not.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Rockyview OCP Discussion Update

To keep our readers informed, a letter from Joseph Cross Community Forest Society appears in the Daily Townsman today.

Our comment on this subject was posted on December 2nd under For the Record Rockyview OCP.

Santa's Workshop Update

An elf at Mt. Baker School informs us that 100 more plastic bag dryers are been made as orders keep coming in. The kits sell for $3 and are available by phoning the school.  Confused? - read the post of
December 4th  Santa's Workshop at the Green Home!

Cranbrook's School Christmas Concerts

The last two weeks of school seem packed with various concerts from all the schools and if you haven't attended any yet you still have Mt Baker's production of A Christmas Carol,The Musical which starts next week and runs for several nights.  Many Thanks to all the teachers who put in many extra hours at this time of year preparing for these very special events.  These concerts are an important part of the Christmas Season, showcasing our younger citizens and making our season bright.  We appreciate you all.

Parkland Choir at the Key City Theatre

Parkland Grade 7 Band

How far they have come in such a short time - Well done

Parkland Grade 8 and 9 Band

Elementary School Mass Choir College of the Rockies

This concert was started in the seventies by the late Roy Barnett and is a favourite every year. Roy's wife Elsie still attends the annual event and looks after the collection of food and cash at the door.  This collection goes to the Salvation Army.  Every elementary school, many teachers and several hundred students are involved and the sound of so many childrens' voices is impressive as well as beautiful, especially when they come together with only one mass rehearsal.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What’s Happening

Friday December 10th and Saturday December 11th
It’s a Wonderful Life
Studio Stage Door
Tickets $15
Highly recommended – if tickets are still available

Friday and Saturday December 10th and 11th
Artist Demonstrations
Fisher Peak Art and Gift Gallery

Friday December 10th
George Canyon
Key City Theatre
Ticket Information Key City Box Office

Friday December 9th and Sunday December 11th
Polar Express
7:00pm Saturday
2:00pm Sunday
Fort Steele Wild Horse Theatre
Tickets$7 at SaveOn Gas Bar and Safeway

Saturday December 11th
Cranbrook and District Arts Council
Christmas Crafts Workshop
With Colleen Routley
For children
Artrageous Gallery

Twice Loved Art Auction
Cranbrook and District Arts Council
Closing date for bids is Saturday December 11th at 2:00pm
Artrageous Gallery

Saturday December 11th
White Christmas at Fort Steele
Dinner, Sleigh Ride and the movie
Tickets $30 for all
Film only $7

Sunday December 12th
Sleigh Rides at Fort Steele
11:00am – 3:00pm

Sunday December 12th
Photo with Father Christmas at Fort Steele
Lambi House
11:00am – 3:00pm

Highland Dancers at Fort Steele
Sunday December 12
Wild Horse Theatre
6:00pm 250-427-8757
Admission by donation
Proceeds to Diabetes Research

Get your tickets NOW for

Wednesday thro’ Sunday December 15th to 19th
A Christmas Carol, The Musical
Mount Baker School Production
Key City Theatre
Adults $15, Children and seniors, $12
Tickets at Key City Box Office

Banff Mountain Film Festival
Saturday January 8th
Tickets at Lotus Books $20

Kootenay Ice vs Prostate Cancer. Check.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Some of Us Lit a Candle for Kyoto - you can too!

Cranbrook Connected and the CLC

On Tuesday night nearly 30 members of the Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook took part in a Cranbrook Connected workshop at the Laurie Middle School Library. Laurie Cordell and Chris Ayling of Cranbrook Connected (Integrated Sustainability Plan) led us in this visioning process for Cranbrook.  Cranbrook Connected goal is to develop an Integrated Sustainability Plan which will provide the city with a long term strategic plan that will give the city council a "shared vision of our future to work towards." We all shared our hopes for Cranbrook's  future and many people expressed their love of living in this city and the area around it.
Some of the issues mentioned included;
-the arts
-prevent sprawl
-natural beauty
-better city planning
-let Cranbrook be a leader, not a follower
-sustainability needs to be more than a talking point
-adhere to a solid plan
-increase diversity

Cranbrook Connected has been given considerable autonomy by the City Council and it is encouraged by the participation of so many of Cranbrooks residents. We look forward to the ongoing efforts of the Cranbrook Connected committee and it will remain interesting to see how successfully its' recommendations are implemented by the city.
To learn more about Cranbrook Connected go to:

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

City Council Meeting Notes

Norm Walters - At last night's city council meeting we heard of the sudden death of Norm Walters, Area E Director from the Regional District of East Kootenay. We were all shocked to hear the news and we extend our deepest sympathy to his family. Norm loved representing  Area E and was always available for a bit of straight shooting advice on a particular issue.

Memorial Arena -While every attempt will still be made to open the Memorial Arena on time (Dec 18) there may be a delay as there is a problem with some of the poured concrete. While the contractor feels it will be fine the city is asking for absolute assurances that we will not face any issues in the future. Considering the amount of monies being spent we certainly support the cities approach on this issue.

Correspondence - Mayor Manjak addressed Mr. David Humphrey's concerns by stating  that he would be investigating further and would report back in January.

Downtown Gas Leak -The council discussed the gas leak which effected many residences and businesses on Saturday. City crews and Terasen worked around the clock to resolve the problem safely. The leak occurred when contractors for our high speed broadband system hit the gas line which was supposed to be inactive.

Slaterville- discussion occurred around the correspondence received by the citizens of Slaterville. The city will be holding a community neighbourhood meeting on April 30, 2011. Many of the councillors expressed their support for the area and how it was a unique historical area in Cranbrook.

911 Call Forwarding -An interesting revenue stream for the City of Cranbrook is our ongoing contracts with various communities in BC including Castelgar and the Regional District of East Kootenay to supply them with a 911 call forwarding service and fire services which produce a revenue of $700,000 a year. This is a significant amount of monies added to our budget and it is something which many citizens of Cranbrook are not aware of.

Increased fees for water and sewer -Due to the ongoing improvements to our Spray Irrigation site and a shortfall in funds rates for sewer and water will be increasing. This will enable the city to not borrow further monies for this ongoing project.

The next city council meeting will be January 11, 2011. See you there!

Rockyview OCP For the record:

In reference to the article by Gerry Warner in yesterday’s Townsman
Wilks defends fellow RDEK director over hearing handling

Mr. Wilks was not present at the hearing to which he refers. Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook are very well aware of public hearing protocol.

The comments that Mr Wilks strangely characterised as 'an attack' were made by Mr Cross as a member of the Cranbrook Community Forest Society and in response to a very late change requested by the City of Cranbrook. Not only was the change made late in the Rockyview OCP process but no consultation with Cranbrook Community Forest Society occurred with regard to this change. CCF is the holder of the Community Forest Management Agreement and is therefore a major stakeholder. We appreciate Mr Gay’s candid comment “that he wished he’d handled the presence of former Mayor Priest differently” His honesty is refreshing. It is our opinion that it was unfortunate more questions about the hearing were not asked by RDEK directors before the Rockyview OCP was adopted.

The Cranbrook Guardian's original accounting of these events can be read on the posts of October 27th 2010 'Priest and others Speak Out' 
and November 6th 2010, 'RDEK Ignores Public Concerns'

Monday, December 6, 2010

Advance City Council Meeting Notes

City Council Meeting tonight at 6pm at city hall. You can also watch on the local Shaw Channel
Here are some of the hi-lites from tonight's Council Agenda/Package

Administration Updates for December 6th, 2010

- Municipal Fibre-optic Broadband Network
This $2.25 million project is moving ahead with Prestige Telecom Inc. in association with Consulting Gateway Corp. The fibre optic network is being built entirely underground using directional drilling technology. Construction commenced the week of Nov 15 with scheduled completion date of March 31, 2011.
- Memorial Arena should re-open Saturday Dec 18, 2010. While all the upgrades are not  complete the ice will be available to the public. Remaining items include exterior work, painting, mechanical room upgrades and fire control upgrades
-Library Services. During the month of December people can pay off their fines by donating a non-perishable food item.  All food to be donated to the Cranbrook Food Bank 


There were 6 letters submitted to the City including;
-Correspondence from the Regional District of East Kootenay stating its November highlights
-Correspondence from the from Minister of Health Services Kevin Falcon regarding a new health promotion initiative
- Correspondence from the Mayor of Trail re: Excise Tax Act Amendment
- Correspondence from Gerald Jolliffe regarding the donation of the pedestrian bridge over Joseph Creek to the city.

-The 2 most significant pieces of correspondence included a letter from David Humphrey regarding the Spray Irrigation Site and the ability of cattle on that site to drink run off containing effluent. The contents of pond G1 tests above government guidelines for cattle watering.  While the city has repeated that there are no problems at the site, Mr. Humphrey's diligent investigative work has discovered just the opposite. Is it not about time that the City respond in an adequate way to the obvious issues of non-compliance.

The second letter comes to us from the community of Slaterville and some of the ongoing issues it faces regarding lack of public transportation, no curbs, no gutters, no storm sewers, no side walks among many other issues. Now is the time for Slaterville to get some of the attention it deserves and ensure its ongoing success as a neighbourhood here in Cranbrook. The city has arranged to have a community meeting on April 30, 2011

New Business

- Rails to Trails Maintenance. That the council commit to $10,000 for future maintenance of the Rails to Trails as per an operating agreement between the City of Kimberley and the City of Cranbrook in anticipation of a Society being formed over the next 2 years
- recommendation re: Audio/Visual System replacement  If you have been watching on Shaw you know there are ongoing issues with the sound quality making it very difficult to listen to the meetings.
- From Corporate Services comes a recommendation to take the St Mary River Crown land out of the Agricultural Land Reserve to create a city park adjacent to the Shadow Mountain Development.  Concerns have been raised over public access to this park and we will continue to follow this story with great interest.


By-law 3710 and 3715 are increases to the rates for the water and sewer billing. Water rates would increase by $1.00 per month while sewer billing would increase by $2.00 per month.

By-law 3716 would support a "wood first" policy when it comes to building.  The city would encourage the use of wood in  all building projects and that the procurement procedures would reflect this new requirement.

To read the entire package please go here

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Cranbrook Community Forest Announce New Website
How about a Cranbrook Community Forest membership for a Christmas gift? Membership money supports ongoing efforts to preserve and maintain one of our most valued assets.  Information is on the website.


Snowshoers head off out of the parking lot

Happy Dog Walks
A True Winter Wonderland

Well Marked Trails

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Santa’s Workshop at The Green Home

In Waste Reduction Week we posted this picture of a nifty plastic bag dryer. Paul Knipe a Mount Baker teacher saw the potential for an ideal project between his students and the residents of the Green Home. As a result, with donated offcuts of wood and enthusiastic participants a hundred plastic bag dryers have been made and presold. Community, sustainability, integration of all ages .... some fun and satisfaction – what a great project!

Mr. Paul Knipe demonstrates how the gadget will go together and work

David Bernier showing the finished kit