On November 16, the elected directors of the Regional District of Central Kootenay are going to vote on a bylaw that, if passed, will see sweeping changes in Blewett, Harrop, Procter, Balfour and Bealby Point. For about 100 years these areas have raised families, managed farms and small businesses, and organized their own lives. We decided ourselves where to put a new barn or a garage or a new house, and what colour to paint it.
A couple of years ago, for reasons still not clear to me, Area E director Ramona Faust and the planning department of the regional district embarked on a program to stop all this crazy freedom and get everyone under the friendly umbrella of central planning.
The trouble I have with this is that I, and many of my neighbours, don’t think it was us that asked for this. In fact at the public meeting held regarding the proposal, voices against outnumbered those in favour by at least five to one (at a public meeting last week at the RDCK, it was more like 20 to 1!). Yet the planning plan has been steamrolled ahead as if everyone was on board. There is a lot of talk these days about bullying. Well, we are feeling bullied!
Democracy demands that the people be heard on this issue and it is time the RDCK step back and allow the people affected by this to have their voice heard in a verifiable and transparent process.
Maybe the people of Area E want to have their lives organized for them. And if that is the case then this program will proceed. But it should not go ahead without clear, unambiguous direction of the people affected.