(File Photo)

Editorial: Politics, tourism and charity in the Elk Valley

The week that was had a little bit of everything

Nominations have closed and residents of the Elk Valley and Kootenay East have their pick for the upcoming provincial election, with the three parties represented in the legislature fielding candidates for the upcoming election.

One could always hope for more, as smaller parties help policy-makers and larger parties understand where community values lie, and what issues have voters passionate enough to spend their vote on what are often one-trick ponies.

Alas, it is not to be, and it’s certainly not a bad thing that Elk Valley residents get to choose between the different priorities and visions offered by the NDP, BC Liberals and BC Greens, and all the nuances that come with policy and politicking.

After all, voters in some ridings only got to pick between two candidates.

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And another thing…

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The release of the tourism master plan for Fernie is a fantastic step for the sector in the Elk Valley, and a wonderful way for the community, city and businesses to come together to plan an adaptable future for tourism in Fernie that looks less like Whistler, Squamish, Banff or Canmore, and more like Fernie.

The timing of its release is also helpful as we get ready for a long haul out of uncertainty, and it’s vital that those who take tourism and Fernie’s relationship with tourism seriously sit at the table to give their two cents.

While the document is very much written for the industry, it has been accepted by the business community, the city, the regional district and the community through the community engagement process.

Given tourism affects everyone in Fernie (whether it’s admitted or not), it’s well-worth a read, even if just to get a feel for what could be on the horizon for Fernie, and what thought-bubbles are floating around out there.

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And another thing…

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The communities of the Elk Valley (and beyond) dug deep for an ultrasound service at the Elk Valley, with $300,000 raised in a little under two months.

Private donations, oversized cheques, bike races, mask sales and corporate piles of money have gotten the campaign over the line, and everyone is to be commended for getting behind such a worthy cause that will help more Elk Valley residents get the medical care they need without needing to drive all the way to Cranbrook in winter.

As a regional community it’s important to fight for the services needed here, lest residents feel compelled to look elsewhere to live.

Tourism

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