Regulations around small drinking systems was one of the key issues for the Regional District of Central Kootenay at the recent Union of BC Municipalities convention.

RDCK lobbies province on water, flood protection

Regional District of Central Kootenay directors lobbied the province on three major issues at the Union of BC Municipalities convention.

Regional District of Central Kootenay directors lobbied the provincial government on three major issues at the recent Union of BC Municipalities convention in Vancouver: flood protection, broadband connectivity and legislation concerning small water systems.

“The RDCK board met with provincial ministers to request action on these rural matters,” board chair John Kettle said in a news release. “I believe the board drove home to the ministers the importance these issues have in areas outside the Lower Mainland. The board wanted to make sure the voice of rural BC was heard loud and clear. We were concise and to the point and I firmly believe ministry staff and the ministers went away from our meetings knowing our commitment and engagement to issues we face daily.”

Given the number of flood and debris-flow events over the past few years in the RDCK, the board asked the province to assume more responsibility for flood mitigation on Crown land within regional districts. Pre-emptive flood protection funding and cooperation to assist regional districts was also requested.

“Floods and slides have had devastating, and even loss-of-life consequences in our district. We want protection for our residents and to do that, we need the province’s engagement,” said Kettle. “It is counter to responsible governance not to try to fix in a proactive manner those issues in waterways that could result in loss of life, limb and property. The RDCK stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the Province ready to play our governance role in protecting those folks facing eminent danger.”

Water was also the subject of the board’s meeting with the Ministry of Health; the RDCK wants the province to identify reasonable and affordable options to ensure that water is potable and safe for rural residents. Currently, the province’s drinking water protection act and regulations makes it technically and financially challenging for small water systems to comply with the legislation, Kettle said.

“The RDCK has spent considerable time and effort to seek some resolution to the challenges faced by these small water systems, not only for those currently operated by the RDCK, but also those who wish to become RDCK services,” said Kettle. “Health directives issued to users without any consideration for sustainable funding is counter-productive. Any order other than a single barrier treatment regimen or directive issued by a health authority must come with the applicable Provincial funding to be effective unless issued in times of dire emergency.”

The RDCK also requested that the Province support the efforts of the Columbia Basin Regional Broadband Committee to build networks that would enable rural residents to connect to the global community.

“Broadband service would enable people n rural areas to establish web-based businesses,” said Kettle. “This could really revitalize our communities.”

Representatives from the Columbia Basin Broadband Corporation will attend the October 17 RDCK board meeting to talk about its initiative to expand connectivity in the basin.

In addition to their meetings with ministers, RDCK Directors also attended workshops on wildfire protection, transit, emergency services, and local food networks.

The board was also present for the Province’s announcement that the RDCK has been authorized to implement a bylaw adjudication program.

“This system will give save our taxpayers money and make it easier for us to enforce our bylaws,” said Kettle. “It was the best UBCM convention I’ve been to,” said Kettle. “The board represented our region and its residents strongly. I’m confident we can make a difference.”

Just Posted

Company granted leave to appeal Lemon Creek charges

Executive Flight Centre won a decision in the BC Court of Appeal

Police: cougar still wandering Nelson

The cougar was seen in Lakeside Park

Burlesque fundraiser to benefit Sinixt

Reclaim: A Powerful Evening of Indigenous Burlesque Art runs May 29 at the Capitol Theatre

Nelson to hire climate change co-ordinator

The new position is being funded by a $125,000 grant

Glacier Gymnastics big winner in annual grant funding

Columbia Basin Trust doled out $1.4 million in grants to the regional organizations

Killer of Calgary mother, daughter gets no parole for 50 years

A jury found Edward Downey guilty last year in the deaths of Sara Baillie, 34, and five-year-old Taliyah Marsman

Raptors beat Bucks 120-102 to even series at 2-2

Lowry pours in 25 as Toronto moves within two games of NBA Finals

Body of missing snowmobiler recovered from Great Slave Lake

Police confirm the body is that of one of three missing snowmobilers

Toddler seriously injured after falling from Okanagan balcony

RCMP are investigating after a two-year-old boy fell from the balcony of an apartment in Kelowna

Cost jumps 35% for Trans-Canada Highway widening in B.C.

Revelstoke-area stretch first awarded under new union deal

Is vegan food a human right? Ontario firefighter battling B.C. blaze argues it is

Adam Knauff says he had to go hungry some days because there was no vegan food

Winds helping in battle against fire threatening northern Alberta town

Nearly 5,000 people have cleared out of High Level and nearby First Nation

B.C. sends 267 firefighters to help battle Alberta wildfires

Out of control fires have forced evacuations in the province

Most Read