COLUMN: Cleaning up after the Big Blow

City councillor Janice Morrison has been acting mayor this month, and it's been a busy one.

By Janice Morrison

Time flies … when you are busy. It seems like I just finished writing my last council column and here it is time to write again.

The months of June and July have been my time to be the acting mayor. The role of acting mayor is to represent the office of the mayor on occasions that she has simultaneous requests or is out of town. The acting mayor also chairs the monthly committee of the whole meeting. This gives the mayor the opportunity to participate more freely instead of having to concentrate on the responsibility of being the chair.

So what have I been doing with my time as acting mayor? In early June I participated in a seniors forum sponsored by the local BC Retired Teachers Association. I can assure you we have very engaged seniors in Nelson. Their interests and concerns mirror many of those of council — health care, transportation and housing.

On June 5, I was honoured to be able to address the L.V. Rogers graduating class of 2015. Over $100,000 in scholarships were awarded that evening. Congratulations to all the graduates and scholarship recipients. Many thanks to the local businesses, individuals and organizations that invest in our youth every year. The future is in good hands.

This past week I attended a welcoming dinner for the incoming rural family practice medical residents. This is an exciting new program with the goal of encouraging these bright young minds to set up their future medical practices in a rural community. Four physicians are participating in this initial program and they will be working in local clinics both here in Nelson and in Trail. We have so much to offer in Nelson, let’s hope they decide to stay!

This past Thursday, I gave the opening remarks at the girls U (under) 13, U14 and U15 provincial B cup soccer tournament. This is the third time that Nelson has hosted provincial soccer finals. All the girls played hard and with heart and I had the additional honour of giving out the gold and silver medals Sunday afternoon.

Sports are a significant economic driver for our community. Twenty four teams from around the province participated, with the team from Terrace traveling the furthest. For most this was their first time in Nelson. Many parents I spoke to plan to return!

Many thanks and credit have to be given to Nelson Youth Soccer, Kim Palfenier and the sponsors for hosting a successful event. Congratulations to the U14 Nelson team for winning bronze at the local tournament and the U18 girls for winning silver at the tournament in Penticton.

Just over two weeks ago we experienced a storm unprecedented in the recent history of Nelson — I called it the “Big Blow.”

We will no doubt be talking about this unusual weather event for years to come. I would like to extend a big thank you to all our city staff and contractors that came in to get us up and running again.

I was in Lakeside Park early Tuesday morning to assess some of the damage personally. It was hard to believe that within 24 hours, due to the tireless effort of the city staff, the Chamber of Commerce was able to host another fabulous Canada day party in our Rotary Lakeside park. It is storms like this that remind us that we do live in a rural area and services can be out for significant periods of time. There are many websites out there on how to plan for unexpected emergencies. A good starting place is

Now all eyes are on the Sitkum Creek Fire. So far we are fortunate that this interface fire has not involved any homes of our neighbours in the regional district. It is my hope that the fire crews who are hard at work fighting this fire are able to keep it contained. For information on how to keep your home and community Fire Smart — check out the BC wildfire service site at

As always, I look forward to hearing what you think and have to say. Please feel free to contact me at


Nelson city councillor Janice Morrison shares this space weekly with her council colleagues.

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