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.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

What's Happening...

One day left today Thursday June 30 (until late August)

to get tickets for September Concerts
Irish Rovers Sept. 27th
and CMT on Tour Sept 26th
Key City Theatre Box Office will be closed July and most of August
Check out the fabulous anniversary season planned for 2011 - 2012

Friday, July 1 -Happy Canada Day
Fort Steele - Dominion Day Celebration
Special Events from 11am to 3pm - Birthday Cake, Music, BBQ, Family Game, Horsedrawn wagon rides, and the Wild Horse Theatre Shows.

Sunrise Rotary Canada Day Celebrations - Moir Park
Entertainment starts at 4:45. Fireworks start 10:45, Make sure to bring your own lawnchair.

Saturday, July 2
Cranbrook Farmers Market
9am - 1pm on 10th Ave. near Rotary Park.
Come out to week 2 of the Farmers Market

Bird Watching at Elizabeth Lake
Join the Rocky Mountain Naturalists
for a morning of bird identification
and information about turtles.
10:00am - 12noon

EK Outdoor Club
Hike Silver Springs Ridge
Ron 250-426-2669

Get tickets NOW for
Cranbrook's 12th Open Garden Day
Sunday July 10th
Tickets Top Crop and Lotus Books $10
Optional Lunch and Floral Arrangement Competition
$8 at Anglican Church

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

School's Out!

Congratulations to all the students and teachers who embark on some well earned rest and rejuvenation today. For the Grade twelve students the day has a great significance but the excitement is no less felt by those graduating from Elementary School to Junior High and those graduating from Junior High to High School. Summer will provide a time for individual reflection and thoughts of new directions but the end of the school year is celebrated by all students coming together in assemblies and group activities. It is a special time.

One such activity at Gordon Terrace involved both the students of Gordon Terrace and some students at the High School. The Grade 6 students at Gordon Terrace with the help of Mount Baker students made enough wooden tree cutouts for all the students at Gordon Terrace. After each student decorated their tree it was fixed to the school fence as a way to show passers by that they, all the students and teachers of Gordon Terrace, are proud to be as green as they can be. A school composting program, a no idling policy, creek stewardship, native planting at Elizabeth Lake and many other environmentally focused activities are just some of the projects about which the staff and students can be proud.  It's not easy being green and we appreciate all your hard work and help in being more environmentally sensitive.

Have a great summer students and teachers.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Mayor Scott Manjak Announces Retirement

It appears the rumours that have been circulating for a few days now, are true.

See The Townsman Facebook page: and

Cranbrook Mayor Scott Manjak announces his retirement. See The Townsman's website this afternoon and issue tomorrow for the full story.

Post Notes for the Council Meeting of June 27th 2011


1. Hans Dekkers - 2011 Cranbrook Air Show. To be held July 20th. Static displays 2:30 – 5:45pm  Show starts at 6:15pm with Canada’s own Snowbirds, Bill Carter with his Pitts Special and one of only two shows in Canada this year from The United States Air Force and their F 16’s, as just part of the program. The producers of this show are expecting a crowd of 5000.  Mr Dekkers spoke of the economic spin offs of an air show such as this.
Ticket information

2. Cranbrook Connected. Chris Ayling with the help of Laurie Cordell presented a summary of the work completed by the Cranbrook Connected Committee. Their work after months of consultations and public input has been distilled into Eight Big Ideas. These ideas and all supporting documents and findings can be viewed at:

Cranbrook has received approximately 5 million dollars for infrastructure as part of the Federal Gas Revenues and one of the conditions for these funds was that the city embark on a sustainability plan. The committee only spent one third of the $150.000.0 allocated for this project. As a result a recommendation was made to council that the remaining funds be assigned to the hiring of a sustainability coordinator. Council adopted the Cranbrook Connected Plan. They also moved to bring back terms of reference to create a standing committee as well as to draft a position description for a sustainability coordinator.

Council Enquiries


Mayor Manjak moved to spend up to $750 to sign areas of tall grass and undergrowth in order to warn residents of the potential for young fawns and protective does.

Fibre Optic

Councillor Scott asked about the status of the fibre optic project. Kevin Weaver, Economic Development Officer informed council the first phase is almost complete. This first circuit runs from the College of the Rockies to the Fire Hall to the hospital and includes all of the downtown area.The actual fibre will be inserted into the cables in July. When the first circuit is complete the second circuit which involves the Industrial Park will be started.

Administration Update

This report can be read at:

Kevin Weaver gave a report on his part in the trade mission to China and Korea. Part of the purpose of this mission is to seek an appropriate Asian town with which to twin. Bioenergy was the focus of potential economic development partnership. Mr. Weaver will be returning to Asia in the fall.


Most correspondence and responses when given can be read at:

Business Arising

The notice of motion on a Boulevard Maintenance Policy was tabled.

New Business

Gary Anderson was appointed to the Wellness and heritage Committee.


Amendment Bylaw 3726 was defeated. The piece of property in question contains too many city easements/covenants of importance.

There are several job postings for the City of Cranbrook this week including a position that has been held in the past by Raeleen Manjak, that of Human Resources Manager.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Advance City Council Meeting Notes - June 27


1. H. Dekkers will discuss the 2011 Cranbrook AirShow

2. Chris Ayling, from Cranbrook Connected will be presenting the Integrated Sustainability Plan "Connecting to Our Future".  We are very much looking forward to this final presentation by Cranbrook Connected and to hear what our fellow citizens feel about our community and its future.

Administration Updates

Councellor Jim Wavrecam visited Cranbrook, UK

BC Housing Seniors Housing Project Update -
The project is well underway despite some delays due to the weather.  The operator will be the Canadian Mental Health Association. Occupancy is expected in early Sept.

Boundary Expansion for the College of the Rockies Gold Creek Campus has been approved.

Two participatory workshops were held for the residents of Slaterville. 20 members of the public participated in the workshops.  The information gathered from the participants will be used as part of the ongoing development plans.  A Slaterville Neighbourhood Plan Advisory Committee has been formed and its first meeting will be held June 28. This is exciting news for this historic Cranbrook neighbourhood.

Leisure Services

-Elizabeth Lake - Rocky Mountain Naturalists continue to upgrade the trails in the area and the project should be completed in July.

-12 Senior Ambassadors have been trained to instruct  people in the use of the low impact exercise equipment at the RecPlex. Ambassadors are onsite Tuesday and Wed. mornings from 10am - 11am and Thursdays from 1:30pm - 2:30pm.

-Idlewild Music Fest will be held on August 20. Tickets go on sale in July. Proceeds go towards the Cranbrook Library.

-RCMP bike patrols. We will soon be seeing the RCMP on bikes in our community. An area being patrolled will be the Rails to Trails.


9.2 BC Hydro letter informing the City that over the coming months they will upgrading all meters.
9.6 In response to a letter from the City, BC Hydro explains why they will not be removing the Steeples Substation.

Business Arising

Concillor Bob Whetham puts forward a motion "that administration prepare a policy for landscaping and maintenance of the City and Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Boulevards."

New Business

12.2 Report Recommendation
To consider approval of a Baker Hill Development Permit to enable constructions of an accessory building (detached garage) on a property located at 222-12 Avenue South

12.3 A resolution of Council to approve an application for funding for an operational fuel reduction treatment project in the City of Cranbrook watershed.

12.4 A resolution of Council to approve a funding application for an operational fuel reduction project in the Shadow Mountain Park space.

13.1 Bylaw 3726 - To consider a first reading of a proposed amendment to the Official Community Plan to change the designation of a property located on Theatre Road from Light Industrial to Highway Commercial.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Fabulous Flower Finds of the Week

Tread carefully around these delicate beauties - Bitteroot


Golden Daisy

masses of Lupines - looking up the St.Mary's Valley
Miss Rumphius,“The Lupine Lady” story and Pictures by Barbara Cooney is a lovely story for children

Western Indian Paintbrush
and another lovely children's story to read - 'The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush' by Tomie dePaola

Cranbrook Farmer's Market Opening

It looked like a record crowd went to the first market of the summer.  Several new vendors delighted attendees with such things as fabulous jewelry, cupcakes, wooden spoons and breakfast pizzas.

The Backyard Bakers were teasing customers with samples of their brick oven baking - much more next week!

Blair Jacobson with his fine handmade wooden kitchen utensils sharing a table with a friend and her  tutus!

Chloe loved her Dad's breakfast pizzas so much, she persuaded him to set up at the market.

Delicicious cupcakes from JJ's Custom Cakery delighting young(and old) customers.

Despite very successful internet sales Jenny of La Belle Fairy displays her unique corsets and other items.

Reusing at its best - Christi Crawford of Salvage Accessories talks to a customer.

These very creative and beautiful watch bands and bracelets are the products of Shooting Starfish Jewelry.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Around Town and Looking Good

Elizabeth Lake Lodge - Great, new, almost complete addition George and Rachel! 

OPEN HOUSE, Tuesday June 28th 11:00am - 1:00pm

Eleven B.C. Schools Power up with Solar

We hope those who have the power to assist the power supply in this the sunniest city in BC, start using it soon - homes now must be solar ready but how many of us use it we wonder!  Campbell River (see post
one of BC's wetter locations has been named the province's greatest user of solar power and now again we are not on this list of schools bringinging solar to their schools.
Our post:
an article by Wayne Stetski originally published in the Townsman, also points out that maybe we could do better in this department.

VICTORIA – How much energy does the sun produce in a day? Students at 11 B.C. schools will soon learn the answer through a grant for $20,000 per school to buy and install new solar panels.

Students will be involved right from the start in bringing solar power to their school. They will help to find the best location and angle for the solar panel to take advantage of the sun’s rays. Students will take daily readings to see how much power is produced by the panel. Through these readings, they will be able to determine greenhouse gas emissions and energy savings.

Students at these 11 schools have an opportunity for hands-on learning about the benefits of this renewable source of energy. Teachers will make solar energy an important part of the daily curriculum. For example, they will use solar energy for cooking classes and making solar-powered cars.

The schools will share what they have learned about solar power with their community and other schools. Through videos, tours, science fairs and more, the schools will help to encourage families across the province to investigate clean, renewable energy solutions in their own homes.

The 11 schools receiving $20,000 in funding are:

o Sir Charles Tupper Secondary school, Vancouver

o Rockridge Secondary school, West Vancouver

o McNair Secondary school, Richmond

o Claremont Secondary school, Saanich

o Shawnigan Lake school, Shawnigan Lake

o G. P. Vanier Secondary school, Courtenay

o Kelowna Waldorf school, Kelowna

o LV Rogers Secondary school, Nelson

o Golden Secondary school, Golden

o Highglen Public Montessori Elementary school, Prince George

o North Peace Secondary school, Fort St. John

· In total, the 11 schools will generate about 29,500 kWh/yr of electricity from solar power, approximately enough energy to power three homes per year.

· The 11 schools will save approximately 712 tonnes per year in greenhouse gas emissions, which is equivalent to taking 140 cars off of B.C. roads.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Farmer' s Market tomorrow Saturday June 25th

It's back and a little birdie told us there will be more this year - someone got a whiff of fresh bread from the east of us.  Can't wait!

Edmonton's Pedestrian Affair

Something to think about for Cranbrook?

A Pedestrian Affair: Downtown Block gets Eco-mobile

June 18, 2011

Residents of all ages and all walks of life helped the City of Edmonton celebrate sustainable transportation and active, healthy lifestyles at Park(ed) – Car Free Day.

Part of the City’s efforts to improve Edmonton’s livability, Park(ed) encouraged citizens to leave their cars at home and re-imagine city streets as “paved parks.”

“Events like this highlight how active living and sustainable transportation can connect communities and create a healthy and active city,” said Councillor Don Iveson. “By considering other options, Edmontonians improve their own well-being and help preserve our environment at the same time.”

During Park(ed), two blocks along 102 Avenue became an extravaganza of healthy living as participants enjoyed an array of healthy, eco-friendly activities like walking tours, cycling, roller-blading, zumba, spin-cycle and skate boarding.

“We wanted citizens to think about greener ways of getting around while engaging in activities that are fun and free,” said Dot Laing, Active Edmonton program coordinator. “Today was an opportunity for people to come together and see how easy it is to do something good for themselves, their city and the environment. The challenge for each of us is to get up, get out, and get active.”

The concept behind Park(ed) originated in the 1970s in Bogota, Columbia, where the successful Ciclovia Car Free Sundays program opened the streets for people and closed it off to car traffic.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cranbrook's Part in the World

Some may wonder why have we posted several pieces on alternative methods of transport and land conservation and wonder what do these topics have to do with Cranbrook? Living in this quiet part of the world it is difficult sometimes to come to terms with some of the major issues facing our planet. It is all too easy to assume that we are surrounded by enormous natural spaces, with crisp mountain air to breathe, that we need our SUV’s to get through winter, and there is a ready supply of food shipped in on a regular basis so we need not worry about providing our own. There is however, an obvious awakening to the realities that face our future. These realities are forcing us to look at alternative ways of doing things. Cranbrook Connected, formed as part of a condition of funds received from Terasen Gas, has been a large and valuable part of looking at Cranbrook, its’ residents and their future but we must not forget we are part of a much bigger picture.

Economy and the Environment - A lot of talk and emphasis goes on about economy but without a sustained environment there will be no economy.

In order to sustain the world and our area within it, action rather than reaction is called for. Cranbrook Connected will be presenting their conclusions and recommendations at the Monday, June 27th Council Meeting at 6:00pm.

If you cannot be there their website can be found at:

What's Happening .......

Friday June 24th
Fly Fisherman Artist
Tex Wiebe
demonstrating his watercolour painting
11a.m - 2 :00pm
Fisher Peak Gallery

Saturday June 25th
Cranbrook Farmer's Market
9:00am - 1:00pm
10th Av S.

East Kootenay Outdoor Club
Check out their schedule at:

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Electric Transport is Becoming Reality

Electric vehicles are becoming a reality - see previous posts on Ucluelet, Maple Ridge and Montreal.  Pictured are electric vehicles in Florence, Italy this spring.  Electric bicycles are very popular in Europe and there are a few in Cranbrook .... are we, in Cranbrook, planning for this change in our way of travel?

Montreal, QC, June 16, 2011 - Hydro-Québec and its partners—RONA, les Rôtisseries St-Hubert, METRO and the Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT)—are pleased to announce the creation of "The Electric Circuit", Canada's first public charging network for plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Supplied with clean, renewable energy, the first charging stations will be operational in early 2012 at the founding partners' business sites and at several AMT park-and-ride facilities.

PEV operators will be able to drive worry-free, knowing that a public network of charging stations is available to meet their needs. Initially, "The Electric Circuit" will consist of about a hundred 240-V charging stations. Quick-charge (400-V) stations will be rolled out in 2012, once they have obtained Canadian certification.

"We are proud to be able to count on partners of this caliber whose banners can be seen at over 900 locations in Québec. These are solid, well-established companies that, like Hydro-Québec, put a high priority on sustainable development, customer satisfaction and growth in electric vehicle use," said Hydro-Québec CEO Thierry Vandal. "While the vast majority of recharging will be done at home and at work, the availability of a public charging network is essential to meet customers' backup or emergency needs."

For the full article:

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Terri Clark and Cranbrook Airport

 Although this new promotional video names Kimberley it does include our airport. For that reason and the potential for more commercial videos, we show it today.

Ucluelet, Maple Ridge and now......

For immediate release:

Montréal, June 6, 2011

Largest electric vehicle trial in Canada - Hydro-Québec delivers 15 i-MiEVs to Boucherville businesses

Hydro-Québec is pleased to announce that Mitsubishi i‑MiEVs were delivered this morning to the Boucherville businesses selected for the second phase of the largest electric vehicle trial in Canada.

“We are delighted with the response we’ve received from Boucherville businesses. This second phase brings us to the very heart of the project, focusing on the needs of businesses and their employees who work in Boucherville,” noted Thierry Vandal, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hydro-Québec.

Coordinated by Hydro-Québec, the road trials are designed to study users' charging habits, driving experience and overall satisfaction as well as vehicle behavior when interfaced with the electric grid. The initiative follows the Action Plan for Electric Vehicles unveiled by the Québec government last April 7.

“I hope that drivers working for the businesses selected in the second phase will be as delighted as I am to be driving an i‑MIEV! The project has not only caught the attention of Boucherville businesses, but also sparked considerable interest among citizens," declared Jean Martel, Mayor of Boucherville and spokesperson for the project’s institutional users.

"Our partnership with Hydro-Québec and our joint pilot project have met with much success over the last four months," said Koji Soga, President and CEO of Mitsubishi Motor Sales of Canada. The data collected and monthly reports have demonstrated that the i-MiEV technology is well suited to the Canadian market. "The second phase of our program will help us better understand all-electric vehicles and will give them more visibility, allowing Québecers to become more familiar with this technology."

About the i-MiEV

i-MiEV, which stands for Mitsubishi Innovative Electric Vehicle, is based on the Japanese i-Car platform. It is an all-electric, highway-capable, charge-at-home commuter car with zero tailpipe emissions. Capable of traveling 120 km on a single charge, Mitsubishi’s i-MiEV can be recharged in 6 hours using a 240-volt outlet or 13 hours using a 120-volt outlet. Alternatively, it will be possible to replenish 80% of the battery in 30 minutes using a quick-charge station.

About Hydro-Québec
Hydro-Québec generates, transmits and distributes electricity. Its sole shareholder is the Québec government. It uses mainly renewable generating options, in particular hydropower, and supports the development of wind energy through purchases from independent power producers. It also conducts R&D in energy-related fields, such as energy efficiency. For more information on Hydro-Québec, please visit For details on its electric transportation projects, visit
more sites:

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sam Steele Days

Many Thanks to all the many organizers. A good time was had by all.

The Parade


The Events 

The Legion Commemorative Garden Dedication

Sunday in Rotary Park

'Til next year!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Spring Flower Extravaganza

With all the rain received this spring, wild flowers have put on an amazing show.

Purple Larkspur and Desert Parsley

Balsam Root, Sunflowers

Fairy Slippers

All these flowers have been seen from a bench or trail very near Cranbrook.  You might try looking in the Community Forest, South Star Trails, NorthStar Trail or near the Airport Lands.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Gordon Terrace Children take Leadership Roll in Creek Stewardship and Win WWF Award

We look forward to the time when our own city who also tries to set an example of creek stewardship on its property is able to enforce regulations for others to do the same. 

This excerpt comes from the World Wildlife's Fund own website.

WWF-Canada is pleased to recognize the recipients of the third-round of its Green Community School Grants Program. Chosen from over 550 applications from across the country, these 28 projects represent everything the Green CommUnity Program was looking for: reduced impact on the environment, positive solutions, leadership and inspiration for students and communities to take action. From outdoor classrooms to energy projects to rain gardens and bike projects, these grants demonstrate how we can all have a positive impact on our environment when we work together.

Thanks to the generous support of Loblaw Companies Limited, these schools will receive up to $5,000 each to complete their projects by May 2012. To date WWF-Canada has provided $300,000 in grants to 87 school groups to help lead to real long term change. We will continue to monitor and report back on these schools and their stories over the course of the next year.

British Columbia

Gordon Terrace Elementary
"Over the last 10 years, I've worked with my classes to raise awareness about the environmental stewardship of Joseph Creek," says Stewart Wilson. Wilson teaches at Gordon Terrace Elementary School, in Cranbrook, B.C., and, he says, "The creek is Cranbrook's main water source."

In the past, Wilson has taken his students on field trips to pick up garbage and remove noxious weeds from the banks of the creek. Now he wants to take the school's creek stewardship to the next level.

"We hope to involve the whole school in planting native plants in Kinsmen Park, which is in the centre of town," says Wilson. Five years ago, the concrete slabs that had lined the banks of the creek within the park were removed, but Wilson says the amount of planting that was done to replace the concrete was limited due to lack of funding.

With money from this grant, the school will be able to buy native plants. Before planting begins, though, the students will learn why they're doing it. "Returning native plants to the riparian zone in Kinsmen Park is important for the creek's health," says Wilson. "The plant cover will eventually provide a well-developed root system to stabilize the banks and reduce erosion."

Wilson plans to publicize the project in the school newsletter and local newspapers. But he hopes that the project will become its own best advertisement. "As the plants mature, they'll attract wildlife, raising awareness of what a riparian zone should be."

Friday, June 17, 2011

Sam Steele Days - Around Town and Looking Good

Sam Steele Days is already underway and there are many events for people to attend this weekend.  The full schedule can be found in The Townsman and The Advertiser.

On the left Jean prepares tables for the Taste of Cranbrook Event in Rotary Park.

Below - this beautiful new Legion Commemorative Garden will be dedicated on Sunday at 1pm.  With a grant obtained by the Ladies of the Legion, the garden was designed and created by City staff including Alan Watson and Simone Geary.  The reintroduction of real gardens and the planting of so many trees this year by the city builds on the work of Communities in Bloom, Cranbrook in Bloom, the Garden Club and all those who have partnered - uplifting the face of our city - flower power!

Growth Management Study

The Growth Management Study (GMS) was finally completed and delivered to the City last fall by the consultants over 2.5 years after initially being requested.  Much of the information is now over 3 years old but we have still not heard about a comprehensive review from the City.  We were informed in December of last year that a review would take about six months.  It seems as if publicly it has not been mentioned since.  This is a $500,000 or $1000 a page study.  It contains valuable material, ramifications of which will have an effect on residents.  We wonder what is the city's perspective on this information?

We will continue to post excerpts from this study on the right hand side of this blog and we remind our readers that the full document is available on the city's website.

Did you know for example that "the current City boundary has the capacity to house a population of approximately 36,000 or approximately double the current population? At an average annual growth rate of 1.2%, it would take 57 years for the City to reach a population of 36,000." GMS Section 1, Page 22.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Land Tax Discussion Continues

To put this post into context you may wish to read:
and resulting comments.

The example set in Boulder was actually achieved by a sales tax and indeed is public money. It was and is used to puchase and or to pay farmers to maintain the land. The result has not been without problems – the price of housing for example. There are many more examples of sites where interesting information is available around this topic (see previous articles) but this one gives the history of Boulder’s tax.

The discussion topic here is really about the need to protect our land base in whatever ways might be appropriate. It is not about choosing between a hot breakfast program for children or an economic development tax or any self-interest group mentioned by ‘anonymous’. It is about much more. It is not about Mr. Stetski’s proposed tax for it is not 'his' although it may be his wish to see something like this tax considered as it has been in other forward looking communities.

Our very existence and everything that comes with our lives including a breakfast program for children is dependant on a healthy land base. There are countries in the world buying land in nations other than their own, just for food production. Madagascar is an example. The UK apparently determined it would need a land base five times its own size if it had to be responsible for all its own food production. At a recent Forum on this topic Richard Bullock from the Agricultural Land Commission admitted there is not enough staff to do the job for which they have been appointed. ‘Not enough staff’ is a common cry, while probably true, becomes an excuse for us, the stewards of the land, to do nothing. Do we sit back and look at this fast changing and very populated world and cling to past practises? Or do we look at alternatives and plan for a healthy future?

The decision to not rush into more development close to Wasa is refreshing and gives a ray of hope that more consideration is being given by some to these very serious issues.

We welcome and look forward to ongoing comment.

What's Happening.....

Thursday June 16 to Sunday June 19
Sam Steele Days
Schedule in The Townsman and Advertiser

Thursday June 16th
'Music in the Air' Exhibition
Artrageous Gallery
11th Ave S.

Friday June 17th and Saturday June 18th
Joseph Cross painting Demo
11:00am - 2:00pm
Fishe Peak Gallery

Friday June 17th
Opening of the Cranbrook History Gallery
Canadian Museum of Rail Travel

Friday June 17th
Peak Potential Prediction Run
Sounds like fun!
6:00pm Community Forest
or call 250-426-5728

Friday June 17th
Alter Ego at the Byng
4:00pm on

Saturday June 18th
Auditions for 'Noises Off'
1-3:00pm Key City Theatre
also Monday June 20th 6:30-8:30pm

Saturday June 18th
Last day of Jim Robertson Exhibition
at Key City Theatre

Saturday June 18th
Checkpoint 5 at Freindz,
Days Inn 8:00pm

Sunday June 19th
Father's Day at Fort Steele
11:00am - 5:00pm
'Playing with Trains' Activities

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Opening Discussion on Land Tax

It seemed appropriate to post this piece today after our post notes from the Council Meeting.  This topic needs input from a wider audience than those who make decisions for us.  If you have opinons about this topic please let us know. 

More Notes from the Conserving Working Landscapes Forum of May 29th

Part 4     Ecological Good and Services

Dave Zehnder, Director with the BC Cattleman’s Association spoke of the program being put in place in more northern part of our valley where farmers will be compensated for conserving riparian areas. These important areas can be quickly degraded by poor grazing practises. A landowner tax has been in practice in the northern part of our valley for a few years now and provides income for many different conservation projects including some small potential compensation for best management practise by farmers. Protecting riparian areas we have learned is one of the most important things that can affect, quality of water supply, preserve diversity of plant and animal species and keep fish stocks healthy – all essential for a healthy environment.

This land tax practice has been in place for many years in various parts of the world including cities such a Boulder, Colorado where it has been used since the seventies and it is disappointing that our local government does not recognise or wish to discuss the value both for our farming economy and for conservation of land on which the health of food, farming and environment and therefore our livelihood depend. 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Post Notes for the Council Meeting of June 13th

Special recognition was given to Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce for being named Chamber of the Year.

No Delegations

Council Enquiries

1. Councillor Palleson passed on an enquiry about Street Cleaning. A resident had asked her about the timing of cleaning 27th Avenue. Administrator Pearce responded that cleaning goes on all summer with residential streets being cleaned on a revolving basis.

2. Councillor Scott passed on an enquiry from an hotelier regarding regulations that might be in place if an hotelier were to rent bicycles to guests and possibly other visitors to Cranbrook. Administrators Pearce and Hale responded that this would be an extension of the current business licence and would be treated as an accessory use permitted under the permitted purpose of business. Liability insurance would be the responsibility of the business owner.

3. Councillor Scott also enquired as part of her volunteerism with the Quality of Life Committee (previously known as Living Wage) whether she would through council be able to obtain a copy of the work that New Westminster has done. Administrator Pearce agreed to look into this.


Making an enquiry to a member of council is sometimes an expedient way to receive an answer about city matters. The above enquiries are good examples of this.

Administration Update

Administration Updates can be read at:


Most although not all correspondence can be read at

If there is an item not available on line it can be requested at the front desk of City Hall. Several letters this week had to do with traffic matters and were referred to the appropriate committee.

Item 9.2

Letter from Wayne Stetski in response to a letter sent from Sean Campbell Chamber of Commerce to the City. This letter and its response from Mayor Manjak with approval from Council can be read at:


Mayor and Council seem to have missed the point of this letter from Mr. Stetski, which was to further explain the benefits of having a Local Conservation Fund and to support the approach of letting the people decide on whether or not a tax for conservation is appropriate. Nowhere in his letter do I see a request or motion to bring in a tax. In fact his letter finishes with ”We would welcome the opportunity to help Chamber members learn more about the value of having our own Local Conservation Fund here in the city of Cranbrook. EKCP looks forward to presenting to Council again in future."

In Mr. Manjak’s response letter he makes several references to the fact that the Columbia Valley Local Conservation Fund was “passed by a narrow margin (54% to 46%) and so “all of the participants within the service area now participate in the Fund, regardless of whether the individual community or Area voted in favour. This is how democracy works – Mr. Manjak was elected in 2008 by 51% of those who voted and is our Mayor regardless of whether the individuals voted in his favour or not. This is not the first time the bias of Mayor and Council has been evident over this matter.

Mayor Manjak raises, as did Mr Campbell, some very valid points of taxation protocol and these points would provide an excellent basis for discussion. Maybe there are alternatives for putting in place some sort of conservation revenue policies for land, which needs in some opinions, some sort of special status and protection. This topic looms large and in many forms, is very topical, will not go away and deserves more ongoing open discussion with input from ALL.

A sampling of further reading around this topic:

New Business

12.1 concerned the rezoning of a property on King Street. Council did not support this rezoning application, as it would contravene the City’s long-standing policy that fragmentation of the rural land base around the city is not in the best interests of the city.

Mayor Manjak made the point however that the City needed to re-examine the City’s Official Community Plan in light of the events of the last two years.

Airport will increase the airport improvement fee from $10.00 to $11.00 to assist in the improvement costs.


Unissued debenture was cancelled. Most of this pre-approved loan was for the debt incurred by the Rec Plex. Due to the restructuring of this debt and some unused funds for other projects it was possible to cancel this debenture enabling the City to increase its borrowing capacity once more.


Municipal Election Bylaw

Council is considering changes to the Municipal Election Procedure. Councillor Schatschnieder spoke to waiting for third reading until all councillors have returned. (Wavrecan and Whetham absent). To affect the upcoming November election, the new rules need to be in place by August 8th. Council agreed.

Councillor Schatschneider voiced her concern over the removal of a lottery system should there be a tie between 6th and 7th place for a council seat. Under the new regulation a bye-election would need to be held at a cost. Councillor Schatschneider felt this was a waste of money and Councillor Davis agreed. Councillor Scott spoke in favour of the newly proposed system.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Advance City Council Meeting Notes - June 13

Administration Updates

There remain rebates available for both the Low Flow Toilet and Tree Planting programs.  If you are interested please go to or drop by City Hall.

The City of Cranbrook Economic Development Officer (EDO) is traveling to South Korea and China as part of a trade mission sponsored by CanBio.  The EDO will be making several presentation regarding opportunities in the Bio Mass industry.  The EDO will report his trip to Council on June 27.  The presentation is available here

A tender process to fulfil the annual Capital Roads Program was completed.with BA Blacktop putting in the lowest bid of 1.6 million dollars.  Most work will be done on the weekends with notifications to try to minimize disruptions to citizens.


9.2 Letter from the East Kootenay Conservation Program and its Manager, Wayne Stetski responding to a letter from the Chamber of Commerce regarding the $20 parcel tax.
9.5 Letter from the Royal Canadian Legion asking the City to declare June 19 - 25 Legion Week.

New Business

12.1 Referral from RDEK regarding a proposed amendment to the Cranbrook Rural Bylaw to accommodate a 2 lot subdivision.
12.2 Increase of Airport fee from $10 to $11
12.3 Cancelling authorized but unissued debenture debt in the amount of $9.9 million.
12.4 The Council approve the renewal of the 911 call forwarding agreement with the City of Castelgar.


13.1 Bylaw Amendment to Bylaw 3724, 2011. Giving third reading to an amendment to allow mail in ballot voting during municipal elections.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Another BC City Unveils an Electric Vehicle

Direct from the Maple Ridge Municipal News:

The District of Maple Ridge unveiled a fully electric truck as part of the celebration of Public Works Week. This new 'Zero Emission Vehicle' was built by George Veltin with the assistance of his colleagues at the Operations Centre garage.
District Electric Truck
From the outside, the vehicle looks like any of the GM Sonoma Extended Cab trucks that are part of the District Fleet. The only difference is some new decals that herald this as our first 'Zero Emission Vehicle.'
George stripped the old V-6 motor and automatic transmission out of the Sonoma and installed thirty-two 200 amp lithium ion batteries and a 96 volt three phase motor and a new transmission into the truck. The range of the truck is 100 kilometres on a charge, and the truck's speed can get up to 80 kilometres per hour. The cost to recharge the vehicle is estimated at $1.30.

The District of Maple Ridge Vision 2025 document talks about our community striving to be one of the most sustainable communities in the world. The Vision talks about working towards carbon neutrality and the use of leading edge 'environmental technologies.' This vehicle represents a significant step towards this Vision. This project grew out of research done by a District staff member on the feasibility of converting their family vehicle to electric power based on the increasing cost of gasoline. When they shared their research and ideas with colleagues at work, the team realized that the concept held enormous potential and represented a significant opportunity to test the economics of the technology to improve the carbon footprint of the District.
Mayor Daykin noted, "Council members had a chance to look at the work done by George and his co-workers first-hand at a function at our Operations Centre on May 19. What's impressive is that from the outside the truck looks like any similar vehicle on the road. When you pop the hood, or tip back the bed of the truck you can see how the crew has managed to incorporate all of the battery systems and engine seamlessly into the truck."

He continued, "The lessons that we learn from the conversion of this vehicle and monitoring it in everyday use are going to become important as fuel prices continue to rise and electric vehicles become more widely available. Maple Ridge will have expertise and knowledge that will help us to make solid choices as we look at the economic and environmental costs of operating our fleet of vehicles."

This vehicle will be on display throughout the summer at community events.
Electric truck, under the hood
Electric truck, battery packs

For more information, please contact:
Wayne Hardy
Roads Superintendent
Tel: 604-467-7363

Friday, June 10, 2011

What's Happening...

Friday, June 10
Native Grasslands Workshop
Clear Sky Centre is hosting a native grassland workshop.
To register go to

Friday, June 10
Vancouver Canucks vs Boston Bruins. Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final

Saturday, June 11
East Kootenay Outdoor Club hike to Lakit Lake
Contact Lorne at 250-426-8864

Saturday, June 11
Fancy Hat Workshop at Fort Steele
11:30 to 4:30 pm. Fee is $65 and includes trims and Victorian High Tea.
For Reservation call 250-417-6000

Saturday June 11
3 for the Show, Key City Theatre 7:30pm
Three local bands will be performing at the Key City Theatre to launch their new albums.
60 Hertz, redGirl, and Heather Gemmel will all be performing.
Tickets are $30 which include copies entry to the concert and copies of the 3 CD's.

Monday, June 13
City Council Meeting, 6pm
Cranbrook City Hall, Council Chambers

Tuesday, June 14
Music In the Air at the Artrageous Gallery
featuring an exhibition on the these of Music in the Air.
Opens June 14 and runs through July 9.
For more information contact Cranbrook and District Arts Council

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Climate Change Locally

In the last weeks we have listened to the news of people being displaced in Slave Lake due to wild fire and people killed and displaced by massive tornadoes in the American mid-west.

At the recent Cranbrook forum on Conserving Working Landscapes Dr. Walt Klenner spoke on the topic of Climate Change Scenarios for Forest and Grassland Management.  His main message for those who care for the land is that we can only expect the unexpected.  The gradual increase in temperatures will not be a steady event.  Erratic weather patterns with unusual highs, lows, extremes and extreme events will be the norm so we should not be surprised at all the unusual weather that has occurred in the last few years.  The prediction is that it will continue and become more extreme.  His advice was to be prepared. 

Dr. Klenner went on to talk of the change in plant and animal life and the difficulty that plant and animal species have with the speed of change. This includes people and their dependency on the land.  Facing such predictions is not easy but by learning all we can about how to be better caretakers of the land we hope to cope with the changes that are inevitable.

Several news stations reported these figures in the last few days.  This is from CBS News:

OSLO, Norway - About 42 million people were forced to flee their homes because of natural disasters around the world in 2010, more than double the number during the previous year, experts said Monday.

One reason for the increase in the figure could be climate change, and the international community should be doing more to contain it, the experts said.

The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre said the increase from 17 million displaced people in 2009 was mainly due to the impact of "mega-disasters" such as the massive floods in China and Pakistan and the earthquakes in Chile and Haiti.

It said more than 90 percent of the disaster displacements were caused by weather-related hazards such as floods and storms that were probably impacted by global warming, but it couldn't say to what extent.

"The intensity and frequency of extreme weather events is increasing, and this trend is only set to continue. With all probability, the number of those affected and displaced will rise as human-induced climate change comes into full force," said Elisabeth Rasmusson, the secretary general of the Norwegian Refugee Council.
"There is increasing evidence to suggest that natural disasters are growing in frequency and intensity and that this is linked to the longer-term process of climate change," Guterres said.

For the full article:

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Bike to Work Week

With the end of Bike to Work Week (May 20 - June 5) I wonder why more people in Cranbrook aren't biking to work or school? As someone who has just started commuting to work on my bike in Cranbrook I think we have the potential to be a great cycling city.  Cranbrook is small enough that the commutes aren't overly long and there are many alternative routes to avoid some of the traffic. That said we need more bike lanes and when planning shopping complexes bikers as well as pedestrians need to be kept in mind.  How easy is it to bike on "the strip" or in the WalMart/Superstore shopping complex!?  Many other communities are starting to see the advantages of commuting by bike and are making it easier to commute by expanding the use of bike lanes like the City of Fredericton. Isn't it time that the City of Cranbrook started taking cyclists into account in some of their traffic planning and maybe require businesses to provide a place to park bikes. What do you think about making Cranbrook more bike friendly?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Statement by Federation of Canadian Municipalities President on Federal Budget Commitment to Develop a New Long-Term Infrastructure Plan for Cities and Communities

We shall look forward to hearing how this announcement might help Cranbrook's infrastructure needs.

JUNE 6, 2011

OTTAWA - The following statement was released today by Berry Vrbanovic, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), following the federal budget commitment to develop a new long-term infrastructure plan:

"We applaud the Government of Canada for committing in today's budget to develop a new long-term infrastructure plan in partnership with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), provinces, territories, and the private sector.

Working with municipalities, the federal government has fought the global recession and started rebuilding the roads, water systems, and public transit that our businesses, workers and families depend on. Today's budget shows the government is ready to continue working with municipalities to build an economy that keeps growing and creating jobs over the long-term.

2000 municipal leaders are heading home today from FCM's annual conference in Halifax, ready to help turn today's budget commitment into a plan for better infrastructure and transportation systems right across the country. We look forward to working side by side with the new Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Denis Lebel, a former mayor who knows firsthand the fiscal challenges municipalities face and the importance of all governments making sustained investments in core infrastructure.

The federal budget also included a commitment to enshrine the permanent Gas Tax Fund in legislation, an important first step to providing greater certainty to municipalities, provinces, and territories.

The road to a stronger economy and safer streets runs straight through our cities and communities. We look forward to building on our partnership with the federal government to reverse the decline in our aging infrastructure, and also to keep police on the streets, fix cracks in our housing system, and protect core services as the federal government balances its budget deficit."

Time for the Growth Management Study Review

In the last few months we have provided excerpts from just one section, Transportation, of the Growth Management Study. This half a million-dollar study, paid for by taxpayers was received by the city almost a year ago after a very long wait. When it was finally released to the public in the fall of last year we were told staff review would take about six months. We are wondering if council will release their review of the study in the near future. With an 8% municipal tax hike already predicted for next year, many of us are more than curious to know what the city’s assessment of the study has been and how it will compare to our reading and interpretation.

For example:

What upgrades to infrastructure are necessary now and at what cost?

What upgrades to infrastructure will need to be made if and when the city expands?

What are the recommendations with regard to DCC (Development Cost Charges) rates?  When will the city be addressing this issue which is listed in the Annual Report for 2010 as a goal for 2011? 

What recommendations were made as to how and where should the most efficient city expansion might take place when and if necessary?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Bicentennial David Thompson Columbia Canoe Brigade

It was a visual spectacle and glance into the past along the Kootenay River on Sunday June 5th. The bicentennial celebration of David Thompson’s venture and discovery of the final leg of a fur-trading route through the Rockies to the Pacific Ocean, passed our way. This reenactment by the David Thompson Columbia Brigade is celebrating the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers, Native history and the life of explorer David Thompson. The group of new ‘voyageur’ paddlers came from many different walks of life including the surveyor community who have been dedicated sponsors for the group’s project.

John Armstrong, the lone local(Cranbrook) paddler and modern day surveyor

Wayne Stetski addresses the crowd
canoes at rest

After paying tribute to the trading post, Kootenai House, in Windermere, where David Thompson spent time, this present day group of voyageurs began their long paddle to the sea in Canal Flats at the head of the Kootenay River. On Sunday a stop was made at Bummer’s Flats in order to unveil a new historical/interpretive sign, which celebrates the Kootenay River’s history in this area and the Ktunaxa Territory through which it passes. This unveiling provided an opportunity for many people to be thanked including Joseph Cross who gave free access to one of his commemorative David Thompson paintings. Kimberley Mayor Jim Ogilvy spoke about the importance of keeping history alive. Wayne Stetski gave the history of how Bummer’s Flats came to be a conservation area and St Mary’s Band Chief Cheryl Casimer who had paddled a distance with the Brigade spoke about her territory. Other speakers included Cheryl Bradford who coordinated the new sign project and Ross MacDonald as a coordinating member of the Brigade.

Paddlers arrive at Fort Steele

The subsequent arrival at Fort Steele saw a piper-led parade walk up from the river into Fort Steele followed by more presentations and several activities including traditional dances in which the audience participated. Informational displays were available all day. A special geocaching event and story telling by ‘Jacco’ concluded the day’s events. This first hot day of the summer and an appreciative crowd from many parts of the continent reinforced the reasons why so many people consider this area so special.

One River Many Nations - the paddlers parade up into Fort Steele

Traditional Dancing

Paddlers with 'Jacco', story teller

Bill McColl with the black powder
 to sound the arrival of the Brigade