City councillor Candace Batycki voted in opposition to a letter being sent in support of WestJet service to the West Kootenay Regional Airport.

Batycki concerned about environmental impact of increased service to West Kootenay Regional Airport

Nelson city council passed a resolution to send a letter in support of WestJet regional flight service to Castlegar.

Nelson city council passed a resolution at last week’s council meeting to send a letter in support of WestJet regional flight service to the West Kootenay Regional Airport.

Even though the letter will be sent with the majority of council’s support, two councillors voted against.

“My concern with WestJet or any other airline coming into Castlegar, and I’m not sure that this would happen, but having more airlines serving Castlegar or the Kootenay region could mean more and cheaper flights, which would mean more greenhouse gas emissions,” said councillor Candace Batycki who voted in opposition to the letter.

Nelson’s Mayor John Dooley will be joining Castlegar’s Mayor Lawrence Chernoff in Calgary later this month to present a case for having WestJet service to the area.

Councillor Donna Macdonald also voted against the resolution.

“Having reliable service into the West Kootenay is crucial,” said Dooley. “For as long as I’ve been around the unreliability of flights coming into either Trail or Castlegar has been identified as the number one challenge for economic development because business people need to get in and out, and they need to have a schedule and know it’s certain.”

But Batycki said people are able to use the West Kootenay Regional Airport now with Air Canada and that making service cheaper and more frequent will increase greenhouse gas emissions.

“People are getting here now,” she said. “I’m not saying don’t fly, although in the future we may have to say don’t fly, I’m just saying I wouldn’t want flying to become so cheap and so readily available that our emissions go up. We see that in Europe where there are numerous cheap flights available, people fly at the drop of a hat and emissions have gone up 87 per cent.”

According to Dooley, tourism and backcountry ski operators like Baldface need reliable service to draw in and satisfy clients.

“How can they can depend on a flight coming in with 15 clients who are paying thousands of dollars to ski and that plane can’t land in Castlegar. That’s just an example. That’s a big part of our economy now a days,” he said.

While Batycki acknowledged the role of tourism in the economy of the West Kootenay, she questioned what that might mean for long-term sustainability.

“I do believe over time that an economy that is based on burning fossil fuels to move people in and out of the region is actually not sustainable over time,” she said.


Just Posted

Trail company bids to replace Greyhound for Nelson-Kelowna run

Silver City Stage Lines has applied to the Passenger Transportation Board

Observant neighbour averts fire disaster

Blueberry resident spots neighbour’s truck on fire.

COLUMN: Carrot thief, forest fires, and a horse-boat collision

Greg Scott brings us news from the archives of the Nelson Daily News fifty years ago

Kootenay fires grow — more evacuation alerts

Syringa fire prompts evacuation alerts plus HWY 3 closure and U.S. fire crosses into B.C.

VIDEO: Auto repair shop celebrates Nelson mural festival

A painting by Barry Overn at Downtown Automotive turned heads at the festival opening.

B.C. team stays alive in Little League World Series after another nail-biter

Surrey-based squad scored a 6-4 win over Mexico reps in Williamsport on Monday

Kids, seniors at risk as smoke from distant fires hangs over parts of B.C.

B.C. Centre for Disease Control says children’s lungs don’t fully develop until about age 10

B.C. mother charged in 7-year-old daughter’s death appears in court

The 36-year-old mother, of Langley’s Aaliyah Rosa, has been charged with second-degree murder

VIDEO: Teen soccer phenomenon Alphonso Davies to visit B.C. kids camp

The 17-year-old Vancouver Whitecap player is one of the youngest players in MLS history

New plan to lift more than two million people past the poverty line

Anti-poverty strategy will aim for 50 per cent cut in low-income rates: source

Liberals scrap lottery system for reuniting immigrants with their parents

Lottery for parent sponsorship to be replaced, more applications to be accepted

Bear kills off-leash dog in B.C. park

There have been nearly 200 pet or livestock and bear encounters so far this year

Trudeau says he won’t apologize to heckler, pledges to call out ‘hate speech’

Prime Minister had accused woman of racism as she shouted about illegal immigration at Quebec rally

Most Read