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, February 28, 2011

The BC Green Games

Every year The BC Green Games offers financial reward to schools that demonstrate environmental leadership.

Science World, BC Hydro Powersmart and Terasen Gas sponsor this competition and a couple of Cranbrook Schools their students and teachers have benefitted from this program in the past. By going to the address below you can see if your child’s school has entered and if you have a student in Gordon Terrace you might find a lovely little surprise!

Scroll down on School District, enter South East Kootenay and then the school of your choice to see if any projects have been listed.

Please vote for them after tomorrow, March 1st!

Bio Fuel at the University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia is using new technology to produce biofuel from wood chips, even wood that has been damaged by pine beetles. The wood is heated but does not burn in the conventional sense as it is kept in an oxygen deprived environment. The by-product is something similar to natural gas which will be used to help heat the university. The UBC Bioenergy Research and Demonstration Project has received an additional $11.2 million in funding from both the federal and provincial governments and will be fully functional in early 2012. The University of Northern British Columbia will also be using a similar system which will reduce their fossil fuel consumption by 85 percent. This is an exciting technology which could be successfully used locally. Perhaps it could become the backbone of a new Green Energy economy right here in the East Kootenays. To read more about this technology and the company that produces it go here  and for more with comment:

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Around Town and Looking Good

by Sharon Cross

On the evening of February 25th I had the pleasure of attending the presentation at the Prestige Inn regarding the proposed Homeless Shelter. There were probably 40 people in attendance - pretty good for a Friday night! Not only is this a much needed facility in our community, but the benefits help move people, in a positive and nurturing way towards being more independent. By lifting people up and off the streets it reduces the impact on our other services (policing, ambulance, hospital, etc.) What was also very encouraging to hear, is that this facility will be built to a Gold LEEDS standard with garden plots. One of the architects that I spoke to was quite enthusiastic about the building in terms of it's minimal impact on the environment.

I am really looking forward to watching this project bloom in our community. It truly is a project of HOPE for many.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Cranbrook and District Science Fair

It was an exciting couple of days at The College of the Rockies this last week when students from the whole area displayed their science projects and were able to view demonstrations, watch the stars, look at fossils and generally emerse themselves in different aspects of science.  The College was seething with students of all ages and the camaraderie, learning and excitement was palpable.  Some great learning was going on.

Elementary School Awards

Inspiration from demonstrations, displays and local inventors such as Tim and his Skizee machine

Congratulations to all the students, teachers and many volunteers who coordinate and organise this huge event!

Friday, February 25, 2011

A Living Wage for Cranbrook

A delegation on the Living Wage was received by Council at the Jan 10, 2011 meeting. Councillors were enthusiastic in their reception of this presentation and praised those with this kind of social conscience. Denise Palleson was interested in how small business could help. Mayor Manjak commented he felt some councillors would be able to attend the February 14th public meeting on this topic although he would be away.

As the wage standards of BC reached the national news yesterday this article submitted by Sharon Cross becomes even more relevant.

Having worked in the community with people wanting to improve their employability levels, I decided to attend the “Living Wage Forum” on February 14th.  A group of approximately twenty people attended. Most were from the social services sector, three from the public (myself included), nobody from the business sector, and a City Councillor dropped by for about twenty minutes.

In one of our exercises we allocated various yearly incomes to the expenses that a family (with two adults working, and two children aged 4 and 7) would incur. There were four scenarios:
- At $8/hr., after tax and transfer our yearly income is $44,846.00

- At $10/hr. the yearly income is $47,426.00

- At $20/hr. the yearly income is $60,326.00

- At $30/hr. the yearly income is $73,225.00

Our group worked on the $8/hr. (two people earning that wage, with two children). To make ends meet we had to cut the bus pass, feeling it was important to keep the vehicle, especially with two children. Miscellaneous expenses were cut nearly in half. We cut after school care for the 7 year old child from 3,000/yr. to $500/yr. We reduced our emergency savings to $1,000 per year. We chopped parent education totally. There was no money for savings or debt repayment, or vacation, or entertainment.

Imagine the social pressure, not to mention the internal family pressures that could literally tear the fabric of a family apart causing additional hardships. What would happen if any one of them became ill or disabled?

There is a formula that has been applied in various communities to arrive at what would be considered a wage that people could live with. In Cranbrook, this wage has been identified as $14.16/hr. in order to support two people earning that wage in a household with two children. The cost of living in BC is one of the highest.

In other communities that have undertaken a similar exercise, employers have become very creative in identifying ways and means of supporting their workers in alternative ways than wages.  The City of Victoria created the Quality of Life Challenge and came up with a booklet of their process and successes. View it here:

Because the business community works differently from non-profits or government, the diversity of opinions and creative solutions become far greater than that of a single point of view when all groups participate. A shared commitment to a vision, with respect for varying needs, results in the type of leadership that communities need to meet these types of challenges.

When we can lift people up and improve their quality of life, we lift up our entire community, and everyone benefits. The investment in our community is worth it.

Are we up for the challenge, Cranbrook? If so, the next meeting of this group of committed community-minded individuals is March 3 from 10a.m –12noon at the Family Centre (the building by the skateboard park.) You can contact them by e-mail at:

Editorial Note
It would be great to see some members of the business community attend the next session.   To assist in securing existing economy and gain new ideas for making Cranbrook a welcoming place business owners are needed in this process.  As a post note and having read this article, these ideas (which could posibly be used as wage equivalents) come to mind; there are bound to be more.

- provision of over work living space at reduced rent

- lower cost rental unit provided with the job

- having tenants or employees provide security, cleaning or work in kind in lieu of rent or for extra wages

- availability of a work vehicle that could be used for family emergencies on an as need basis

- staggered/ flexible hours of work

- equipment provided to enable work at home

- child care provided, especially in businesses which have multiple employees and space available.  Child care costs could be shared by employees.

- first dibs on left over food or discarded produce

- food products at cost or discount

- in house lunch supply

- provision of bicycles for delivery, errand efficiency or transportation

- holiday bonus for work excellence

- company cottage or condo made available to employees

- clothing allowance for certain jobs (large quantities could be obtained at cheaper rates)

- provision for job sharing

- bus passes provided with job( acquired at a discount in cooperation with a municipality)

- entertainment ticket in house lotto/ incentives each month, (hockey, theatre, movie, dinners etc)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What's Happening ...

Friday, February 25th, 5:30PM-7:30PM Prestige Inn Van Horne Room
Public Forum on the future of the East Kootenay Homeless Shelter
Presented by the Salvation Army.

Friday, February 25th, Ted Outerbridge - Time Capsule Tour at the Key City Theatre. For tickets and information please phone 250-426-7006

Friday, February 25th, Live Music by Tim Ross at Ali Baba's in Finnegans Wake Pub starting at 7pm

Arts Council Fundraiser sale of new and gently used book and art supplies has been POSTPONED from Friday and Saturday until March 25 and March 26

Saturday, February 26 at the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel, starting at 7pm the Royal Alexandra Masquerade Ball. For purchase of tickets please phone 250-489-3918

Monday, February 28th, 3pm-6pm Manual Training Centre
An Open House being put on by the City of Cranbrook regarding the proposed Mosquito Pest Management Plan.The City will be using pesticides which will be sprayed by helicopter and by hand. If you have any concerns or questions now is the time to express them.

Monday, February 28, Starting at 7pm College of the Rockies Lecture Theatre
Madagascar Travelogue presented by Randy Harris. Sponsored by Citizens for a Livable Cranbrook

Tuesday, February 29, Tuesday Night Fun League, Cranbrook Curling Club. All welcome, $5 drop in fee For more information please phone250-426-4415

Thursday, March 3. The entry deadline is 5pm today for the youth artists aged 13 or up to enter a juried art exhibition at the Artrageous Gallery. All mediums are welcome. For more information please contact the Cranbrook and District Arts Council at 250-426-4223

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Kitchen Scrap Composting in Victoria

Many communities across Canada have blue box recycling programs and now these communities are taking their efforts one step further by offering kitchen scrap composting pickup as well. Many of us already compost but we are generally limited to vegetable and fruit scraps. The program initiated in Victoria this spring would also include items that can't usually be composted at home like oil, meat scraps, dairy products etc.  The composting of these types of scraps will further reduce landfill requirements and are part of ongoing sustainability efforts.  Several large cities including, Seattle, Toronto, and Halifax already have similar programs.  In BC, Lady Smith and Nanaimo have started kitchen scrap programs. Many of these cities also require the use of biodegradable garbage bags and limit the amount of "garbage" that the city will pick up.  Isn't it time that Cranbrook started to look into a more comprehensive recycling program?  To read more about Victoria's program go here

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Editorial Comment on the Presentation to Council made by Wayne Stetski on Behalf of the East Kootenay Conservation Program

It was easy to tell from the lack of response from most council members and comments from Mayor Manjak that this kind of program is not within most Councillors’ comfort level. Let’s hope for all our sakes that this will change.

It is most encouraging to see other areas of the province embracing these programs as the value and respect for the land on which we live and by which we are sustained, has been recognised. Considering that our own very scenic area is one of our greatest assets at a time in history when not many such as this exist and considering this very asset is the one most valued by visitors and prospective residents, one can only hope for the interest, excitement and value it deserves, to be placed upon it.

The varied preservation and protection programs such as those that might receive funding from the East Kootenay Conservation program, serve to sustain. At a time when many now take the issues of sustainable economics seriously, lack of interest or value for it from those who serve us, is very worrisome especially considering the current visioning exercises currently happening in the community. The idea of a relatively small flat tax of $20 per property per year is not new or even progressive anymore. Projects which benefit us all are currently funded by much smaller communities within the valley.  We willingly subsidise our sports facilities by a lot more.

Is considering the support, protection and sustainability of our greatest asset, our exceptional environment not something that must be seriously considered? Let’s hope so.

Post Notes for the Council Meeting of February 21st


RCMP Quarterly Report given by Sgt Laurie Jalbert noted assaults on police officers are up from 2 to 11.
It was also noted that cyberspace harassment and bulleying cases are up.

Cell phone use while driving was discussed and it was noted people still do not seem to understand the real danger both to themselves and others with this activity.

Alcohol related offences are still significant in number .

Particular attention will be given to these issues.

Wayne Eburne’s presentation revolved around a new long-range plan for the Cranbrook Museum of Rail Travel. It is anticipated and hoped that a new national historical designation may be given to the museum in the near future. This would have major beneficial financial implications if it happens.

The much anticipated Urban Deer Management Committee’s Report was given by Carmen Purdy and later accepted by council. The major recommendations are that:

- A public education program be started

- a limited cull of problem deer be undertaken this spring in two major areas or others if necessary. In Helena the deer are first baited and trapped humanely before being killed. After inspection the meat is provided to those in need. Although Ministry of the Environment Conservation officers will be asked to conduct this cull the process to be used here is not known.

- A control perimeter of Mule deer around the city be put in place

- Kimberley’s catch and release program be monitored

- An ongoing deer committee be struck to collect and monitor problematic animals and incidents and to determine course of action.

- Further limited culls be undertaken preferentially in November

Wayne Stetski as Manager gave a very informative presentation on the East Kootenay Conservation Program in the Columbia Valley. The number of supporters and partners in this program is impressive although funding to support the area in which we live is always an issue.  Mr. Stetski asked Council to consider a flat tax of $20 be implemented to support the many varied programs this fund offers.  This tax has been implemented in other areas of the valley and the idea was brought to Council several years ago by Nancy Newhouse, so is not a new idea.

Council Enquiries
Councillor Whetham enquired about the piece of property, (Joseph Creek riparian zone) we featured on this blog yesterday. Administration will check into it.

Councillor Wavrecan requested administration and environment committee look into some solar technology with a view to reducing carbon footprint. It was not clear what specific technology was being referred to or how it would be used.

Administration Updates
As reported previously

Correspondence was accepted. $500 was given to Cranbrook Midget Tier 3 Ice Tournament.

In response to a letter from Sharon Cross, Coucillor Whethan also broached the issue of public access to the land (for park) being purchased with the cash in lieu ( which as yet may not have been received) adjacent to the Shadow Mountain Development as it is already a requirement under existing policy. He hopes this public access issue can be resolved.

New Business
Report Recommendations as previously noted were accepted.


Revised version of the Erosion and Sediment Control Bylaw 3692 was adopted.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Is this how much?

A few days ago we posted 'How much should we care about Joseph Creek?'.  It is interesting to read the Riparian Areas Regulation Implementation Guidebook, January, 2006 from the Government of BC.

It is curious to note that the map included does not include this part of the Province although there is no good reason for the regulations not to be applied here.  A Guidelines and Best Management Practices from the Ministry of the Environment is also available would surely seem to be applicable to Cranbrook.

Many municipalities appear to have their own strict regulations with regard to protection of municipal riparian zones. Several great initiatives have been made in recent years to restore some riparian areas adjacent to our Joseph Creek. In fact one such initiative undertaken by the city is adjacent and opposite to this location and a picture of it (taken in summer) was posted a couple of days ago. 

Thirty five years ago both adults and children fishing from the bank of Joseph Creek were not an uncommon sight.

What set back for riparian zones should be implemented ? 
How must this be enforced?
We ask again how serious are we really about protecting our waterways and how much is really understood about the importance and fragility of these waterways and sources?

Advance Notes for the Council Meeting of February 21st

· Wayne Stetski East Kootenay Conservation program re updates on Conservation of Private Lands, RDEK Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund and Establishment of a Local Conservation Fund

· Inspector Brain Edmondson and Sergeant Laurie Jalbert, Cranbrook Detachment, RCMP quarterly Report

· Wayne Eburne, Museum Development Committee re ‘500year Museum Plan’

· C. Purdy, Chair, Urban Deer Management Advisory Committee re Committee Recommendations

Administration Update

This more detailed document contains a lot of information and can be read at:

Of particular note is the good news tree-planting program planned for this year. Trees for Tomorrow
is a tree planting initiative from the Provincial Government and Dianne Walkley has obviously been successful in obtaining some funds both from this source and BC Hydro in order to both replace and plant some new trees. The bare root program, a tree planting program for home owners will be announced soon but homeowners may wish to use the above site for information.

Also included in this package is a section about snow dumping with a letter from the Ministry of the Environment sent to the Municipality in 1997. It states “snow plowed and removed from roadways not be deposited in rivers creeks and lakes.” This subject has been raised on a couple of occasions recently. While we appreciate time and money management issues regarding this subject, we hope more public education about existing Federal and Provincial regulations and Best Management Practice Guidelines will encourage more awareness and protection for our all important water courses.

It is disappointing to see situations such as this.


17 items of correspondence including:

9.3 Correspondence form Sharon Cross concerning Shadow Mountain Properties, Park Space and Cash in Lieu for Park Space, with response

9.6 Rocky Mountain Trench Ecosystem Restoration Program

9.12 Letter concerning Construction Site and proximity to Joseph Creek, with response

All correspondence can be read within the Administration Package.

New Business

  • Waste Water Improvements Project Application under Innovations Fund
  • Report Recommendation under Community Initiatives and Affected Areas programs
  • Report Recommendation from the Corporate Communications Office re Urban Deer Management Strategy
  • Report Recommendation from Corporate Services re Highway Corridor Commercial Development Permit Proposed Lube –X Fast Oil Change Facility
  • Report Recommendation from Corporate Services re Highway Corridor Commercial Development Permit for proposed Wendy’s Restaurant and Drive Through
  • Report Recommendation from Finance and Computer Services re Parcel Tax Roll Review Panel
Bylaw Erosion and Sediment Control Bylaw 3692, adopt

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Around Town and Looking Good

Fabulous February weekend in and around Cranbrook ....

Para skiing on Elizabeth Lake

Strange encounters on Cranbrook Mountain

 one tired dog in a pack pack!
.......... and one glorious view!

Then there was the action at Idlewild in almost spring like conditions .....

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Oh, those beautiful clear ? crisp winter mornings!

The Clean Air Project has come to an end and we may be surprised at the locations of some of the highest particulate matter.  The trusty nephelometer did its work and clearly and consistently demonstrated areas of most concern on its nightly three hour journey around Cranbrook, Wycliffe , Marysville and Kimberley.  Collated results will be out later this year but on a cold morning such as this it's easy to see where older wood stoves might still be in use.  Nobody wants to see the end of the wood fire but hopefully this study will emphasise and educate, as it did me, how to burn better. 

Friday, February 18, 2011

How much should we care about Joseph Creek?

It is disturbing that the protection of Joseph Creek which runs through the center of Cranbrook and which once contained Westslope Cutthroat Trout and Bull Trout is not considered of high enough priority to protect from road pollutants whenever possible. The response given to a resident who drew contamination issues to Council’s attention is very disappointing. At one time Cranbrook even had its own Fish Hatchery but the fish that could once be seen in Joseph Creek are mostly long gone. Recent efforts to restore the creek and bring more fish life back to it, one would think would be enthusiastically supported by the City.

The following links all provide worthwhile and important information. Of particular interest is the Federal Canada Fisheries Act Sections 34 and 35.

The restoration of the creek adjacent to Joseph Creek Village is a project to be praised. If however, other areas of the creek are not respected we need to ask, how serious we are really being in protecting our very valuable watercourses.

Creek restoration at Joseph Creek Village

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wolverines: fierce, tenacious, carnivorous...extreme mountaineers?

Author and biologist Douglas Chadwick tracked wolverines in Montana's Glacier National Park for 5 years. His book, "The Wolverine Way", published by Patagonia Books, chronicles tales of these fascinating creatures.

Chadwick will be bringing his stories and photos to Kimberley and Cranbrook. See below for a preview.

Kimberley: Sunday, February 20, 7:00 pm at Centre 64.

Cranbrook: Monday, February 21, 7:30 pm at the Heritage Inn.

Doors will be open 30 min in advance - a great opportunity to buy a book, get it signed and chat with the author! Admission by donation.

Read more about The Wolverwine Way and Douglas Chadwick's tour of the Columbia Basin.

"They live life as fiercely and relentlessly as it has ever been lived".

~Doug Chadwick

•Chadwick will be in Creston on February 15, at the Rotacrest Hall, 7 pm.

•Chadwick will be in Nelson on February 16, at the Nelson United Church, 7pm.

•Chadwick will be in Revelstoke on February 17, at the Revelstoke Community Centre, 7 pm.

•Chadwick will be in Golden on February 18, at the Kicking Horse Lodge, 7pm.

•Chadwick will be in Invermere on February 19, at the Pynelogs Cultural Centre, 7:30 pm.

•Chadwick will be in Kimberley on February 20, at Centre 64, 7 pm.

•Chadwick will be in Cranbrook on February 21, at the Heritage Inn, 7:30pm.

•Chadwick will be in Fernie on February 22, at the Fernie Arts Station, 7pm.

Whats Happening...

Girl Guides Tea and Bake Sale- Sat. Feb.19 12:30 - 3:30
Cranbrook Guide Hall 1421-2nd Street S. For tickets please call Pam 250-489-3155 or
Lori 250-489-1222

Ali Babas - Friday, Feb 18 Starting at 7:00 Live music featuring Daze of Grace.

Symphony of the Kootenays presents A Suite Serenade, Saturday, Feb. 19 at 7:30pm
Key City Theatre. Tickets available at Key City Theatre 250-426-7006.

Cranbrook Anglican Church Women Pie Sale- Saturday, Feb 19 from 1pm to 3pm.
Pie and Coffee is $4, free for children under 6, pies go on sale at 2pm.

Grant Writing Workshop - Saturday, Feb 19 College of the Rockies from 9am to 11am.
The Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance provide $500,000 to arts, culture and heritage organizations

The Wolverine Way - Monday, Feb. 21 at the Heritage Inn.
Wildlife authour Doug Chadwick will discuss his new book, Tickets $7 at Lotus Books

Dr. Nancy Turner - Ethnobotonist, Tuesday Feb 22 at the College of the Rockies Lecture Theatre.
Dr. Turner is the key note speaker for the two day Western Huckleberry Forum. A limited number of free seats are available to the public for the keynote address. Please contact the COTR Continuing Education Department .

Cranbrook and District Arts Council Book and Art Supply Sale - Feb 25 Noon to 9pm and Feb 26 10am to 3pm. The Council is still looking for donations of gently used art book and supplies until Feb 19.
For more information please call 250-426-4223.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Turning Garbage into Biofuel

The future is here and its closer than you think. A Biofuel facility is being opened in Edmonton at the end of 2011. The facility will take garbage which cannot be traditionally recycled and produce biofuel. Edmonton already composts and recycles 60% of its garbage but this facility means that 90% of all garbage in Edmonton will now be diverted from the land fill. The facility will initially produce methanol and eventually ethanol which will fuel the City of Edmontons garbage truck fleet. This is part of a strategic effort by the City to reduce landfill use and the CO2 which is subsequently produced. To read more about this facility go here

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Gwynne Dyer Gives Lecture at The College of the Rockies

Gwynne Dyer has worked as a freelance journalist, columnist, broadcaster and lecturer on international affairs for more than 20 years and is well known around the world. 
In his trademark leather jacket, Dr. Dyer held the crowd of almost two hundred in riveted silence for an hour and a half at the College of the Rockies last evening. He gave a message of cautious optimism for the future detailing his reasons as the peaceful revolution now happening in Egypt,  the resumption of albeit slow talks on climate change and the acceptance of emerging industrialization and powers of countries such as China and India.  His animated presentation, interspersed with humour was a treat. 


Those in attendance had the opportunity to purchase Dr. Dyer's latest book 'Crawling from the Wreckage' and also to have it signed.

Many Thanks to the College of the Rockies and Sunshine Rotary for making this presentation happen.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentines, the Bakers and a Bouquet

Colonel James Baker, Cranbrook’s founding father had an older brother, son and grandson all of whom were named Valentine. Valentine derived from the latin means strong and healthy.

In honour of the day, a meaningful bouquet for Cranbrook:

Rose - appreciation

Sweet William - finesse
Amaryllis - pride

Poppy - imagination

Peony - prosperity

Rose - happiness
Geranium - comfort

     Happy Valentine's Day

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Waxwing Invasions

If you have any sort of fruit or berry bearing tree tree in your garden, Mountain Ash or Crabapple for example, the chances are you have been invaded momentarily by a flock of Cedar Waxwings this winter.  Out of nowhere it seems hundreds will descend and partake in a feeding frenzy as if there is no tomorrow, then leave as quickly as they arrived having splattered the snow with excess berries and their just as red droppings! Always gregarious and always in a hurry, winter would not be the same without several visits from a flock or two of these beautiful but messy birds.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

GO Kootenay Ice!

This weekend, The Midget Girls Hockey Tournament is taking place at the Rec Plex and Memorial Area. Teams from Saskatchewan, Alberta and BC are all taking part.
The Midget Girls are aged 15 - 17 years old. On Friday afternoon the Kootenay Ice played the Strathmore Storm in an exciting game. The Ice scored a last second goal after pulling their goalie to tie the game. Good Luck to our girls as they progress through the tournament.