Mayor positive on WestJet question

Word expected this month on who will get WestJet Encore service

Bombardier Q400 is the plane that will serve new regional markets

It’s been more than half a year since WestJet announced the imminent purchase of more than 40 Bombardier turbo-prop aircraft and the creation of a regional service to be known as WestJet Encore. Expressions of interest in WestJet service were solicited by the airline and dozens of communities responded, making formal presentations in Calgary last June.

Announcement day is drawing closer as a planned late January statement date was pushed back.

Communities across the country have eagerly awaited a decision on who can expect WestJet Encore service.

Representing the West Kootenays, a Castlegar contingent felt good about it’s pitch following the effort and Mayor Lawrence Chernoff is every bit as upbeat now as he was  late last spring.

“I’m still optimistic about it,” said Chernoff on Jan. 31.

The mayor hinted that there may have been recent, encouraging signs relating to whether Castlegar’s name is among those cities whose names are read when the news is broken.

“I just think it’s working in a good direction,” he said. “It’s my understanding that WestJet executives were in the community in the last couple of days, either Rossland or Nelson… in the area.”

Chernoff did not indicate any knowledge of who the executives were, or exactly what the purpose of their visit may have been.

WestJet media representative Robert Palmer, in an email, told the Castlegar News on Jan. 31 he had been unaware of any such group visiting the West Kootenays over this period.

Back in June an excited Chernoff had described how towns and cities from Pacific coast to Atlantic coast had taken their 25-minute turns in telling WestJet why they’d be good candidates for WestJet Encore service. His enthusiasm does not appear to have waned.

“I’m still positive,” says the Castlegar mayor, “no doubt about it. I’m extremely hopeful. To me, it’s the right time and I think it’s a great opportunity.”

While the identity of the successful applicants remains a mystery for the time being, according to WestJet, the wait will be over soon.

“We haven’t made the date public,” Palmer’s email concluded, “but it will be sometime in February via news release early in the morning.”

Just Posted

Police investigating man’s death in Winlaw

Foul play not established, but major crimes unit is investigating

Grand Forks woman assaulted in home invasion

The incident took place Wednesday morning

Bilingual child care spaces coming to Castlegar

New daycare opening this summer will teach kids French and English

Parachutes for the Planet made in Castlegar visit B.C. Legislature

The student-led event featured over 30 parachutes from across southeastern B.C.

Woman raising funds to save historic Rossland piano

Rare Steinway piano was in Miners Hall for a century, but was headed to the dump

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

B.C. woman left ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Grand Forks woman assaulted in home invasion

The incident took place Wednesday morning

Kootenay youth substance use trending downward: survey

A bi-annual survey distributed to regional schools shows that youth substance use is decreasing

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Most Read