An amazing week in the East Kootenays

A letter to the editor about what has been happening in the East Kootenays

Dear editor,

Napoleon Hill wrote that “it is literally true that you can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed”. If his words hold true this past week was marked by the provincial government succeeding in helping East Kootenay communities continue to succeed.

The week of March 19 – 23 began with “Community Recreation Grant” announcements. This government program is unique for small communities as the province pays 80 percent of the cost for projects that improve opportunities for people to be physically active. In real terms, this is actually an investment in healthy living for British Columbians and I am thrilled to say that Canal Flats was one of our local communities to benefit from the program.

Anyone who has ever played or had a son or daughter or grandchild play a game of hockey or have curled in the Canal Flats “barn” know how desperately it needs repairs.

Last Thursday MLA Bill Bennett, RDEK Wendy Both and I joined Canal Flats Mayor, Councilors and staff in the announcement that the town would receive $800,000 to put in a new concrete slab, new pipes and insulation in the metal arena.

An investment so desperately needed that the town administrator stated that, “without this provincial grant it is likely we would have had to permanently close the arena in the very near future”.

The Leisure Centre in the District of Sparwood in the Elk Valley was presented with $400,000 providing the funding for a retrofit of their Leisure Centre which will save them $48,000 a year.  Fernie’s Mayor Guiliano celebrated the news that her community would receive $350,973 for a new soccer field at the Max Turyk School and Crannbrook celebrated after receiving almost $280,000 that will be used for the ongoing work on their trail system. The tiny community of Wasa was also cheering when they received $70,000 for the much needed construction of an outdoor rink that will generate more opportunities for public skating and minor hockey.

The “Proceeds of Crime of Civil Forfeiture” is another government program helping communities with money that has been taken from those who engage in the illicit gains of crime and from this fund Summit Community Services in Cranbrook will be receiving $5000 for Cranbrook and $5000 for Kimberley and the Elk Valley RCMP will receive the same amount. All three grants will be directed to assist efforts to reduce domestic violence in our communities.

The week wrapped up with the announcement of the “Affordable Rental Housing Initiative” which is joint program between the provincial and federal governments and in partnership with Columbia Basin Trust.  Through this program $10 million will go towards the creation of desperately needed affordable family housing in our Kootenay communities. Thank you to the CBT who invested $5 million in this wonderful initiative.

So there you have it; you and your government invested in community recreation and better health, you and your government invested in the very important work  being done to stop domestic violence and finally you and your government invested in much needed affordable rental housing. I call that one amazing week in the East Kootenay’s!

Doug Clovechok

BC Liberal Candidate nominee