Archives for January 2017
National Park Reserve: A national park reserve is an area set aside as a national park pending settlement of any outstanding aboriginal land claim. During this interim period, the National Parks Act applies and traditional hunting, fishing and trapping activities by Aboriginal peoples will continue. Other interim measures may also include local Aboriginal people’s involvement in park reserve management.
National Parks: A country-wide system of representative natural areas of Canadian significance. By law, they are protected for public understanding, appreciation and enjoyment, while being maintained in an unimpaired state for future generations. National Parks have existed in Canada for well over a century.
Source: Parks Canada
Board of Education Report January 25, 2017
Over the last few weeks, the Provincial Government has announced interim funding of $50 million relating to the recent Supreme Court Decision between the Province of British Columbia and the BCTF. As a result of the announcement, School District No. 53 has received $246,774 under this agreement for additional FTE teachers to address priority measures identified in schools with regard to support services to students, class size and composition.
A total of 4.4 FTE teachers will be hired across the district this month.
As part of the Ministry of Education’s review of rural education practices and funding, Board Chair Marieze Tarr and district staff recently met with MLA Linda Larson, who is also serving as the Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Education. MLA Larson is gathering information from rural districts throughout the province. There will be hosted regional meetings in the upcoming weeks with an open house to start the meeting followed by a facilitated session to review key themes they have heard so far, and discuss possible steps for moving forward.
Further information can be found at the following link: http://engage.gov.bc.ca/ruraleducation
Finally, the district applied for and received a Shoulder Tapper grant in the amount of $17,500 from the Ministry of Education for the 2016/17 school year. The focus area of this grant is related to increasing capacity and careers awareness for our students in the area of technology. This grant will be used in areas such as purchasing a CNC Router that will be shared between schools to increase awareness of technology in wood working, offering CADD (computer aided design) programs at all of our secondary schools, and in collaboration with Accelerate Okanagan, touring students to various tech-related firms in the valley to help students gain awareness of the career possibilities in this growing sector. In the future, the district hopes to investigate the possibility of starting a technology-related academy in our district. If we can get students and teachers interested in exploring the tech sector, we should see more students from our district enter into this field.
Should you have any questions, please contact me at 250-498-7439.
Submitted by Rob Zandee, Vice Chairperson
School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen)
From – Harold Tomlin
We all meet people who influence us in our lives and Val Friesen certainly played a major roll in mine.
Val never was my teacher. But around 1957 I had a cub (scout) father and son banquet and my dad was not available. Val found out, somehow, that I was not going so he stepped up and became my father for an evening and I went with him to my banquet.
Fast forward 8 or 9 years, I had dropped out of school and was working at Oliver sawmill, Val’s dad, Ray, was the sawmill superintendent. Val came to the mill to visit with his dad and found out I was working there, so came out into the yard to visit me. In our conversation he ask me what I was going to do with my life I explained that I wanted to take a trade but my lack of education was holding me back. He said that he thought he could help me and invited me to come to his dad’s place that night after work. At this time he was an agent for First Nations education and was involved in setting up a program at BCIT called BTSD, Basic Training For Skilled Developement.
He sat me down at the kitchen table and dictated a letter for me to write. The BTSD program had 50% native youth put there by Val and the rest were sent by probation officers, corrections, and social workers. Even though I did not qualify under any of these agency’s he pull some strings and I got in. I completed the program in 5 months and was accepted into my trade within a year. I had a successful career and I completed a grade 12 equivalent a few years later.
I was part of a management team with several large corporations and started a successful business which I operated for 20 years. It isn’t often one gets the opportunity to thank someone who played a major roll in their development.
So now in my 70th year I would like to say THANK YOU VAL – you certainly influenced my life.
Federal Minister of Parks Catherine McKenna welcomes a discussion on a national park RESERVE in South Okanagan. This in response to the province of BC deciding to move forward to protect lands including a discussion with Parks Canada of a NEW national park reserve.
Both the federal communication and the provincial new release focuses on the Okanagan Nation Alliance and its communities. The federal parks service is quick to point out that it had nothing to do with the province’s protected area plan nor involved in a recent public review.
The Province has announced that planning discussions to achieve the objectives outlined in the Province’s proposal to protect lands in the South Okanagan are moving forward with the support and participation of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band, Penticton Indian Band and Osoyoos Indian Band, which are the three Okanagan Nation communities most affected by the proposal.
The Province’s proposal was presented in an intentions paper issued in August 2015, seeking public feedback on how land may be protected in the South Okanagan. The Ministry of Environment carefully reviewed the feedback received from the public engagement, which drew more than 3,400 submissions. From there, the ministry engaged directly with the three Okanagan Nation communities regarding the priorities identified in the plan.
The plan addresses three distinct areas in the region:
- Area 1 – Portions of the area west of Osoyoos towards the Similkameen River, and south of Highway 3 to the U.S. border including the Osoyoos Desert Centre, the lands around Spotted Lake, and portions of the South Okanagan Grasslands Protected Area sites of East and West Chopaka and South Kilpoola.
- Area 2 – Portions of the area west of Oliver towards Cawston, and north of Highway 3 to the southerly extent of the White Lake Grasslands Protected Area.
- Area 3 – Portions of the White Lake basin area south of Okanagan Falls and including areas in the vicinity of Vaseux Lake.
The plan describes objectives for these three distinct areas. Area 2, will be targeted for protection as a conservancy under provincial legislation, the Park Act. The remaining two areas, Area 1 and Area 3, will be the subject of discussion among the Province, the three Okanagan Nation communities and Parks Canada for possible inclusion in a South Okanagan National Park Reserve (NPR). If these areas do not prove feasible as a NPR then the Province is prepared to open discussions with the three Okanagan Nation communities, to protect these areas using the tools under the Park Act.
The Province will continue to work closely with the three Okanagan Nation communities in a government-to-government process to further develop details of the plan, and will seek to engage with the federal government, along with the three Okanagan Nation communities, around the potential for ***
A number of factors will be considered when developing the final plan, including Okanagan First Nation values and cultural sites, protection of species at risk, recreational users and protection of ranching and existing grazing tenures.
Mary Polak, Environment Minister –
“I look forward to continue working with the area First Nations to ensure lands in the South Okanagan are protected. I know the South Okanagan is a unique area that holds a special place for many people, and I am pleased plans are moving forward to protect this beautiful region for future generations.”
Linda Larson, MLA for Boundary-Similkameen –
“I’m pleased the proposal for South Okanagan is moving forward, and that protecting this special region is a priority. Thank you to British Columbians who took the time to let us know what values were most important to them. The South Okanagan is a unique area that encompasses many features, including geographic and cultural values, as well as recreation and tourism opportunities.”
Harvest of Empire
A powerful documentary that exposes the direct connection between the long history of U.S. intervention in Latin America and the immigration crisis the country faces today. From the territorial expansionist policies that decimated the young economies of Mexico, Puerto Rico and Cuba, to the covert operations that imposed oppressive military regimes in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador, Harvest of Empire provides an unflinching look at the origins of the growing Latino presence in the United States.
“We want the labour, we just don’t want the people.”
Showing at Christ the King Catholic Church, 6044 Spartan Street, Oliver. On Sunday January 29, at 1 pm. Free admission. All are welcome.
16 withdrawal management beds (detox) created in three communities. (Kelowna, Williams Lake, Castlegar)
“Withdrawal management beds help individuals take the first necessary step towards recovery,” said Health Minister Terry Lake. “These beds provide individual support to help minimize the negative physical and psychological effects of withdrawal from alcohol and other drugs. It puts them on the road to recovery, helping new possibilities to become a reality.”
These 16 withdrawal management beds are the first of their kind for the communities they will be located in and will support adults and youth through the early stages of withdrawal from alcohol and/or other substances. Of the 16 new beds, four will be dedicated to providing support for youth aged 18 years and younger.
“Our priority is to have withdrawal management beds open as soon as possible,” said IH Board Chair John O’Fee. “They are a critical support for adult and youth clients within our mental health and substance use strategy, which focuses on our desire to shift services away from hospitals and towards care being provided in the community.”
These 16 withdrawal management beds are part of IH’s commitment to create 73 new substance use treatment beds, including 57 support recovery beds. They’re also part of the Province’s commitment to add 500 additional substance use spaces throughout British Columbia. More than 300 new substance-use beds have already been opened in the past three years, and the remainder will be online by March 31, 2017.
Part 4 of 7
At home Sam thought to himself, “There’s something more that I should tell Mitch. He is sincere about finding the truth. I’ll email him.”
“Mitch, I appreciate the commitment you show to discovering what’s right. Therefore I feel free to add something to what I told you in the last few weeks. The whole premise of survival of the fittest on which evolution depends demands that enough is present all at the same time for something like an organ to appear and thrive. It’s called irreducible complexity. A part in a motor missing, a cable for a computer not there, a section of the optic nerve gone renders each one non-functional. Even a simple thing like a mouse trap has to have all the essential parts present or it is useless. You can’t have one part appear by accident and then wait for thousands or millions of years for the next part to appear. That partly formed item would be gone as quick as it came.
Not only does one organ or feature have to be complete all at once in order to function, there are untold millions of complex systems and organs in the inanimate and animate world that must be in place in there totality or the item will not even form. The idea of hanging on to the beginnings of an eye until after millions of years the optic nerves and receptor brain cells just happen to develop to match it, is preposterous. The level of complexity is such that if anything is missing from the system it will not work. The mathematical probability of any of those millions of organisms or structures coming into place by chance is effectively zero.
In Darwin’s day the cell was thought to be a very simple blob of protoplasm. Not so! Remember what I told you earlier? You started in your mother’s womb as a one-celled zygote the size of a period at the end of this sentence. In that cell a six foot coiled-up strand contained all the coded information, the computer software program that determined who and what you would become as a human being. Hardly a simple cell. Think about what that means, Mitch. Crucial components in non-living structures and critical organs in living organisms have to occur in completed form immediately to work. They cannot slowly develop over millions of years one part at a time. I’m not trying to put you down, Mitch. I just want to get at the truth.”
Mitchell puzzled and agonized a bit over that one. He decided to check with an expert. He was sure there would be an answer, and he’d find it.
more next week
Damage from a roof leak is impacting our service to you. The Oliver library branch is open during regular hours, but with limited service because there is no access to the main part of the library.
The public is invited to pick up holds, renew or return items, and borrow from a small selection of books and other items.
We hope to have two 15 minute public internet stations (one with a printer) available on Tue. January 31.
We expect that access to our full library collection and services will return to normal on Tue., February 7.
We apologize for any inconveniences caused during the time.
Source: ORL Facebook
The geometric center is the spot that is the same distance from the circumference of a circle. If we want the center of some strange shape it won’t be the same distance from every part of the edge. If we want to balance something we usually pivot it on its center. For a teeter totter that is the middle, which is the same distance from each end. It works best when the weight of the people on each end are close to the same
The gravitational center has to do with weight distribution. In the teeter totter example, a heavy dude on one end with a little guy on the other makes it really hard to make the thing work. If we move the heavy dude closer to the pivot point, it can work again, because the gravitational center is re-established at that pivot point. Physics stuff. Center stage is equal distance left to right but not necessarily front to back
To be the center of attention is neither a gravitational nor a geometric kind of center. It means to have everyone looking at, or listening to, you. Politicians and actors seek this center, except when the step into some cow pukky. The center of the Universe is not exactly a certain location because the Universe is changing, expanding, morphing all the time. Some people believe that they themselves are the center of the Universe
When we speak of the Center, capital C, we mean a place where a certain kind of activity members meet, like say, the Recreation Center. This place may not be at the geographic center of anything but is a place we can go to and find many people or things that are similar. The Center for Business Development or for the Arts or a Health Center are examples. These are places where expertise and common interest meet
The center is the accumulating place, where it all comes together and that center feels safe. You could center me, bring me back to a feeling of safety and Acceptance and encouragement, confidence. Some people are natural centers. They seem so OK in their own skin, so comforting as they personify ‘yes we can’. I want to be near to those I feel are centers. I want to be a center for others. How about you?
Shortly before 6:00 am, a man entered the Shell gas station on Fairview Road in Penticton brandishing a knife and stole the cash drawer before fleeing in an older red two door car.
At 554 am, the employee of the Shell gas station on Fairview Rd called the Penticton RCMP reporting that a male had just robbed her at knife point. Police immediately attended and found the lone employee safe and uninjured.
The male had allegedly entered the store holding a knife and his face was covered with a white cloth. He did not threaten the employee but jumped over the counter, took the cash drawer and ran out of the store. The male departed in an older red car that was possibly a Honda Civic and a plate was obtained. The license plate came back to a different vehicle that had been stolen from a nearby business.
A red Honda Civic had been reported stolen the previous evening from the Penticton Recreation Centre parking lot and it is suspected that this may be the same car.
The suspect male is described as follows:
– 5’5” , 165 cm
– Stocky build
– Black ¾ length jacket
– Black jeans
– Black toque with a white stripe.
Penticton RCMP are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the male responsible for this robbery. If you have any information, please contact Cst. Trina RAE at 250-492-4300 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-8477
Princeton Rotary members present a $15,000 cheque to Walter Despot of Keremeos (front row, second from right), board chair of the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation. The Rotary club hopes to complete its $30,000 donation to help provide the medical equipment for the Penticton Regional Hospital expansion after its annual Wine Festival at the Riverside Centre on Feb. 18.
Princeton Rotary’s upcoming annual wine festival will provide a regional boost for Penticton Regional Hospital. The Rotary Club of Princeton has pledged to donate $30,000 to the South Okanagan Similkameen Medical Foundation’s $20-million campaign to provide the medical equipment for the new PRH patient care tower.
The club has already contributed $15,000 and now hopes to raise the remainder with proceeds from its popular wine festival on February 18 at 7 p.m. at the Riverside Community Centre in Princeton. Wineries from throughout the Similkameen and South Okanagan will serve some of their best wines, while the event also features appetizers, a silent auction and more. Tickets are $40 each, available from Princeton Rotary members and the Royal Lepage office on Vermillion Avenue.
Rotary president Mike Talarico said even with the community still very supportive of Princeton General Hospital, club members unanimously supported the decision to donate to the PRH campaign.
“Our hospital does great things, but it’s just a small hospital,” he said. “For anything major, people are sent to Penticton.”
Talarico emphasized PRH is the regional hospital for the entire South Okanagan-Similkameen.
Council Wednesday set a cap on spending of 3% in 2017 for its general budget. A general operating and capital budget excludes water and sewer utilities. (Rates for those seen below)
Every year staff bring in a zero based budget based on the spending of the previous year and ask council to review all projects, possible savings, new initiatives – and ultimately setting an increase to cover increased labour costs and cost of living increases.
The zero based budget included $72 thousand from a general reserve. Council found savings within the documents and eliminated the need for affecting the reserves (actually raising funds to increase the reserve)
Property taxes in 2016 raised $1,386,930. So each increase of 1% only raises: $13,869.30.
Highlights: Crack sealing on the main airport tarmac and a new main security gate. By hiring a new bylaw enforcement officer the Town saves over $18 thousand dollars. South Okanagan Transit Society receives an increase of $12,000 for a new stop in Oliver and more trips from Osoyoos to Penticton.
A capital project will see improvements to Gala Park including a lighted pathway. Council decided against any form of web-casting of council meetings until the new Eastlink Cable tv system is tested and tried. Council goes paperless with the purchase of I-pads for 7 elected officials. The last item will save the budget almost $10 thousand per year on paper and production costs.
In addition – capital projects include up to $72 thousand for a new roof at Town Hall with much of the work paid for by grants. One automobile/electric charging station will be installed at the Visitors Centre.
The Town will contribute $20 thousand to a study of traffic flows and patterns at McKinney Rd and Tucelnuit Drive/Blacksage Rd. That study by the Ministry of Highways is in progress. Council has delayed pushing forward on a sidewalk west of the upper field (OES/SOSS) until a plan is agreed to with the School District.
The repaving and reconstruction of Earle Crescent will be completed at a cost of nearly half a million dollars. New higher street light poles will be installed on Main Street. More street lighting will be added to Airport Street near Skagit Avenue. Funds set aside for more planning at Centennial Park where a new public space is foreseen.
Oliver residents will pay more for water and sewer utilities.
Sewer rates up 5.16 per cent this year.
Water rates will increase 3.41 % n 2017.
Plus a special levy for next five years for canal/syphon upgrades amounting to:
3.0 percent in 2017 and 2018 and 2.0 percent in 2019-2021
I spent the first weeks of 2017 in New Zealand, celebrating my son’s wedding to a Kiwi girl. After the wedding, my wife and I drove around some of that beautiful country, enjoying the beaches, birds, wines and green grass of summer. Fresh apricots in January were a real treat!
During the visit, I talked to a lot of New Zealanders about local politics. They are gearing up for a national election so there was plenty to talk about, and I was especially interested in their feelings about the New Zealand electoral system. Since 1996, Kiwis have used a mixed member proportional system. They switched from the traditional British first-past-the-post model in 1996 after a series of elections that produced majority governments led by parties that had received fewer votes than the opposition, even with an essentially two-party system.
In Canada, we’ve had similar results in recent elections. In 2011 and 2015 the Conservatives and Liberals were given majority governments in which the prime ministers held 100 percent of the power with only 39% of the popular vote. In the last federal election campaign, the Liberal, NDP and Green parties all promised that the 2015 election would be the last federal election held under the first-past-the-post system. People were tired of false majority governments.
On December 1st, after working through the summer recess and the fall sitting, the House of Commons Electoral Reform Committee tabled its final report, recommending that the government bring in a proportional electoral system, where the number of MPs representing each party is proportional to the popular vote of that party.
Surprisingly, the Liberals voted down a motion in the House to concur in the report, and Maryam Monsef, the Minister of Democratic Institutions, insulted the committee by saying it “hadn’t done the hard work expected of it”. Monsef then released a universally mocked survey that undermined the last six months of public consultations and didn’t even ask Canadians about what kind of electoral system they would prefer. Last week, Monsef was replaced by Karina Gould as Minister of Democratic Institutions, and we are waiting to see whether this new appointment will bring a renewed effort from the government to follow through on its election promise for real electoral change.
New Zealanders seem to really like their electoral system. Its mixed-member proportional system creates a parliament where the number of MPs for each party matches the popular vote for that party, while retaining the riding system of local MPs that many people—and certainly most Canadians–prefer. It gives New Zealanders a simple ballot where they vote for a local candidate—and many people like to vote for someone they know and trust without regard for party affiliation—and then vote for the party that they feel best matches their values and beliefs.
The new Minister has an opportunity to move this issue forward in a new spirit of collaboration and cooperation. The NDP has offered to work with Minister Gould in a bipartisan way; together we can turn words of consensus into action and create a Canadian electoral system where every vote counts. The committee did its job and now it’s time for the Liberal government to do theirs.
Canada 150 grant Mosaic – staff applied for a $15,000 Canada 150 grant. Approved. Council gave direction to contact arts groups in Oliver OCAC, ODHS, SOCC) for input into the project: 9 foot by 9 foot mosaic tile presentation on a streetscape. $15 thousand available for the 2017 project.
Staff will contact Oliver Community Arts Council for input. the mosaic would be constituted by many tiles done by people/groups to form a theme that reflects Canada’s 150 birthday.
Don Prokopetz writes
A beaver has been working on this large poplar off and on for a couple of years. He resumed the project with enthusiasm a couple of days ago.
“It has been more than ten years since Bernard and Robert reunited in Paris. The times may have changed, but Bernard has not. When his plans to get Jaqueline out of the house for the weekend fall apart he is going to need help explaining the presence of his mistress. Thank heavens Robert is coming over!
But can Bernard count on Robert, who has a secret of his own?”
Actors’ (shown in pictures) names are: Trevor Leigh, Craig Bjornsen, Angela Stuart, Jackie Brockholm, Louise Szalay and Bryan Sykes.
Tickets available at:
•Venables Theatre Box Office (all shows)
•Online at www.venablestheatre,ca (all shows)
•Sundance Video (Oliver shows) and
•Your Dollar Sotre with More (Osoyoos shows
Mayor Ron Hovanes say they have recently sent out requests to 30-40 hotel companies across North America urging them to take a hard look at Oliver.
“About two years ago we did a hotel feasibility study, and it showed that Oliver could support – with the events that it has, with the travellers that come through, the visitors and amenities we have here… that we could foster a hotel,” Hovanes said.
He says the idea has been on the books for about 12 years, and came close to fruition at one point, but fell apart with the 2008 financial crisis.
Hovanes points to the Okanagan Regional Corrections Centre and Area 27 Speedway opening up as signs it’s time to make another major effort on the file.
“We’ve got a little bit of life that’s really kicked up in the last years,” he said.
Right now, people coming to Oliver for events like the Festival of the Grape or to enjoy the surrounding area, are often forced to stay outside of town and take their dollars with them.
“At the same time, we lose a lot of other things too. Small weddings, we lose those to neighbouring communities because they have the accommodation where they can keep a whole wedding party in one location,” he said
The Osoyoos Indian Band is also working to attract a hotel, which Hovanes says would also be a big boost to the region.
with files from Castanet
British Columbia small business owners and their clients say they’re excited about relaxed liquor regulations that have come into effect.
One of the biggest changes will allow any business to apply for a liquor licence.
John Yap, parliamentary secretary to the Minister of Small Business says he expects spas, bookstores and cooking schools will apply.
Liquor permits for charity events, legalization of complimentary cocktails upon check-in at hotels and new rules intended to speed up liquor license application reviews come into effect this week.
Many of the changes were recommended as part of B.C.’s 2013 Liquor Policy Review, which consulted with the public, police, businesspeople and public health officials.
Yap, who oversaw the review, said the changes strike a balance between “enhanced convenience for customers,” increased “business opportunities” and “social responsibility.”
Yap concluded in his review that the changes will create jobs, particularly in the tourism sector, which employed 126,000 British Columbians at the time of the review.
Ian Tostenson, president of the BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association, said restauranteurs are “very happy” with the changes, many of which are “behind the scenes.”