RDCK prepares anti-discrimination, anti-racism policies

RDCK prepares anti-discrimination, anti-racism policies

Also: building codes, wildfire mitigation, parks openings, and Winlaw boardwalk

By John Boivin

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Staff at the Regional District of Central Kootenay will be drawing up anti-discrimination and anti-racism policies for the regional government. The move comes as the board of directors unanimously decided to endorse the Different Together Pledge initiated by the province’s lieutenant governor.

RDCK recreation and parks reopening

The board has approved the RDCK COVID-19 guidelines for the reopening of recreation and park services. The guidelines include following public health orders and recommendations, having safe work procedures in place as per WorkSafeBC, and following the British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association guideline for restarting operations.

Building code

Changes to the Building Code are coming, as the province has a goal that all new buildings must be net zero energy ready by 2032. To help local governments phase energy efficiency in to their building bylaws, the Province has come up with a five-step approach, called the BC Energy Step Code. However, the step code is not mandatory. It is up to local governments to use it or not.

The RDCK is considering incorporating step one into its bylaw, but directors have been feeling the heat from builders and residents in the district lately, who say the extra costs associated with the new standards are yet another barrier to making homes more affordable.

The RDCK decided to submit a motion for the Union of BC Municipalities to consider calling for building affordability and flexible low-cost building methods to be priorities for the revision of the BC Building Code in 2022. The motion goes on to ask the province to promote building code standards that are non-structural and non-safety related through incentives, and not punitive or prescriptive measures.

Wildfire mitigation

Another motion submitted by the RDCK to the UBCM asks the province to commit to establishing and supporting regional planning tables to take a coordinated approach to wildfire mitigation. The planning tables would include local governments, First Nations, forest licencees (including community forests), Ministry of Forests, BC Wildfire Service, BC Parks, water user groups and other interested parties.

Winlaw boardwalk contract

The Winlaw boardwalk project took another step forward when the RDCK board approved entering into a contribution agreement with the Columbia Basin Trust.

The project will see three aging boardwalks repaired and upgrades made to other park infrastructure to ensure the Winlaw Regional and Nature Park is accessible and inclusive for all users.

The Trust has approved a contribution of nearly $156,500 to renovate and replace portions of the aging structure.

Compressor for Passmore Fire Department

The Passmore Fire Department is getting a new air compressor system. The existing system has failed and a compressor is required to fill SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus) personal protection equipment, like oxygen tanks.

Regional Fire Chief Nora Hannon said in a report to the board that several fire departments will be buying equipment, and the bulk purchase will result in some savings. The money for the equipment ($35,000) was earmarked as a contribution to reserves, so the purchase should have no impact on taxation.

— From the Valley Voice