Report on Castlegar City Council

Highlights of December 2, 2013 city council meeting

Wildsafe BC coordinator Jenny Wallace speaks to Castlegar City Council on Dec. 2. In Background are RCMP Sergeant Mike Wicentowich (L) and Corporal Darryl Orr

Community Coordinator Jenny Wallace of Wildsafe BC led the proceedings at the City of Castlegar council meeting of November 2.

The local coordinator, as it happened was pleased to report a very light year in terms of conflict with bears – only four having to be destroyed as opposed to other years when as many as 50 or more needed to be put down.

Wallace described the range of activities and functions she had taken part in over the past season in efforts to raise awareness over wildlife-related issues. In such a capacity she attended, for example, the nature and garden fest, Sunfest, Teddy Bear picnic, the farmers’ market (on five occasions), a Twin Rivers Park display, and the Pass Creek Fall Fair.

A central point was the description of the need for a wildlife attractant bylaw (which will get further attention at the next council meeting of Dec. 17).

“In most cases, me going to the door and suggesting they keep their garbage inside is enough,” she said. “Usually education is enough, but in certain cases, especially with chronic offenders, that’s when we need a bit of a bigger stick to encourage them to take responsibility for attractant management.”

Corporal Darryl Orr and Sergeant Mike Wicentowich of the RCMP’s Kootenay Boundary Regional Detachment were next to address council, the Crime Reduction Unit was the focus of their presentation.

The overall thrust of their message was the commitment and ability of those in the unit, and the effectiveness of the unit in spite of some manpower challenges.

“One of our main focuses is managing the offenders that live in Castlegar,” said Orr. “Most of them you’re probably not aware of, but we’re certainly aware of them.”

The RCMP members are pleased with the tools at their disposal.

“This (pharmacy) robbery case that came up a couple of weeks ago is a good example of how we’re able to throw a bunch of resources at a large investigation like that in a short period of time to try and solve it quickly,” said Orr. “We had seven people for three days, going steady.” He added that it was the same kind of response after the arson fire at the Catholic church. Cpl. Orr updated council on the pharmacy incident, assuring that the investigation is continuing.

The issue of drugs is an ongoing one for police.

“The focus on drug work is something that’s been challenging, specifically over the last year,” said Orr, “because of the medicinal marijuana licensing. There’s definitely a component to indoor growing operations here.

The problem is that a lot of the people we were targeting before for indoor grows, got licences in the meantime. We’re finding that 75 per cent of the grow ops we investigate are medicinal.” Orr described that, “It’s almost like we’re in a holding pattern to see those regulations change again, in April, I think.”

The corporal said he thinks it will become “…harder to get medicinal licenses and it will, hopefully, weed out the people who are getting them for the wrong reasons.”

Chris D’Arcy of the Castlegar and District Heritage Society was next up with an annual report for council.

There was an upbeat theme to D’Arcy’s delivery as he warmly thanked the mayor and council for their interest in local heritage and culture.

“We like to think that helps our community and tourism prosper.”

Although itemized financial data for 2012 and 2013 were not year available, D’Arcy was able to inform that available society funds, as opposed to last December when the amount was $4,100, had grown to $9,500.

“That partly reflects management throughout the year,” said D’Arcy, “and it partly reflects the fact that it’s been a better year.”

In terms of other agenda items:

 

• Council agreed to the purchase of three half-page ads in Kootenay Business magazine for a total of $4,090. The ads are to promote Castlegar in the economic development section of the March/April issue; Castlegar Sculpturewalk in the July/August issue; and Sculpturewalk results in the Sept./Oct. issue.

 

• Council voted in favour of supporting an upcoming Junior Dragon’s Den event – June 6 at Trail’s Charles Bailey Theatre. The City will provide sponsorship in the amount of $2,500.

 

• Council received for information a report from Rich Coleman, Provincial Minister for Housing in regard to the province’s response to a building bylaw with higher radon standards than required by the B.C. building code.

The local bylaw had been submitted in June of this year, and had not met the government’s requirement for provincial uniformity.

The City is interested in taking part in a related upcoming project with the B.C. Lung Association.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP seek public’s help in identifying suspects responsible for keying cars in Castlegar

At least three cars have been keyed in north Castlegar in the last 24 hours

Young farmers find a home through land-matching program

Young Agrarians links would-be farmers with landowners who have land to spare

Morning start: A history of the Arrow Lakes

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Wednesday, May 27

Castlegar residents can now report minor crimes to RCMP online

New reporting tool available for Castlegar, Robson, Ootischenia, Thrums, Deer Park, Glade, Tarrys

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C.’s essential grocery, hardware store employees should get pandemic pay: retail group

Only B.C.’s social, health and corrections workers are eligible for top-ups

Edmonton, Vancouver and Toronto vying to be NHL hubs, but there’s a catch

The NHL unveiled a return-to-play plan that would feature 24 teams

B.C. sees 9 new COVID-19 cases, one death as officials watch for new cases amid Phase Two

Number of confirmed active cases is at 244, with 37 people in hospital

Nanaimo senior clocked going 50 km/hr over limit says her SUV shouldn’t be impounded

RCMP say they can’t exercise discretion when it comes to excessive speeding tickets

Illicit-drug deaths up in B.C. and remain highest in Canada: chief coroner

More than 4,700 people have died of overdoses since B.C. declared a public health emergency in early 2016

CMHC sees declines in home prices, sales, starts that will linger to end of 2022

CMHC said average housing prices could fall anywhere from nine to 18 per cent in its forecast

B.C. Paralympian named to Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame

Three-time world and Paralympic gold medalist Sonja Gaudet is part of 11-member class

Most Read