A message from Mayor Giuliano
Volunteerism is considered an honourable action as it is when an individual or group provides services for no monetary gain. Volunteers are love in motion. Without the many persons giving so generously of themselves Fernie certainly wouldn’t enjoy the many events or amenities.
For instance how many are aware that the Aquatic Center, Community Center, Miners Walk, arena art, skateboard park, dirt jump bike park, banners, trails, Museum, Library, Arts Station, Seniors Center, Ghostriders Club, and so much more were initiated, fundraised and worked on by volunteers? And think of the numerous organizations that are made up solely of volunteers. Many of these people have never been acknowledged or even want recognition as they just work to better the town they love. They don’t complain, they just make things happen, they are instruments of change.
In order to say thank you to volunteers an event has been planned to take place on Nov. 27 from 12 p.m. till 2 p.m. at the Senior’s Center.
The City of Fernie and Columbia Power will host a luncheon to show our appreciation to all of the volunteers in this community. Please attend and let us say thank you in this small way. The invitation is extended to all volunteers including those in churches, all sports, organizations, service clubs, committees, whatever you do in a volunteer capacity, we invite you and say thank you for all you do for our community. Please respond by Nov. 21, to City Hall (250 423 6817) or to the Library (250 423 4458) so that we have an idea of numbers to prepare for the lunch.
The Elk Valley Community Directed Funds have come to an end, the monies have been distributed with the largest amount dedicated to the Trails Alliance for work on trails. Over $400,000 is to be matched by the Trans Canada Trails organization.
Council attended the UBCM convention in Vancouver in September. It was worth while to attend just to have any opportunity to speak with the Minister of Transportation Todd Stone regarding the lack of safety of the Lizard Creek Bridge. We were told that a bridge replacement isn’t in the plan in the next five years however when asked if we could have a pedestrian and bike lane next to the bridge he said that could be doable. As this was a meeting I attended with the RDEK and Mike Sosnowski, we also asked for a traffic study to be done on the highway in regards to bringing West Fernie into our boundary and also for additional passing lanes to the Alberta border as well as supporting Sparwood’s request for a re-do of the Highway 3 and 43 intersection.
The conference was interesting, with topics including housing affordability, policing and mental health, and a session on marijuana regulations. Tony Wilson of Boughton Law Corporation said that, “The possession and sale of marijuana remains prohibited in Canada and only the federal government can amend the Criminal Code to change this. Only lawful medical marijuana may be obtained, only with a doctor’s prescription from a licensed provider and only if delivered by mail through Canada Post.” He also said, “The proliferation of marijuana dispensaries in Vancouver and elsewhere are like Mahatma Ghandi’s Salt Tax protest in the 1930s, a brilliant campaign of civil disobedience and spin doctoring”. A highlight of the week was keynote speaker Dr. Roberta Bondar, first Canadian female astronaut.
The annual meeting of elected officials from southern Alberta and B.C. was held in Sparwood, with each mayor providing an update of their respective community, it’s a good way to keep friendly ties to our neighbours. I attended a meeting with RDEK chair Rob Gay, Mayor Cal McDougall and Mayors of the Crowsnest Pass and Pincher Creek to discuss Highway 3 and its designation of being “an electric highway” as Highway 3 ends at Medicine Hat. A discussion on difference of provincial laws in regards to treatment of bears was held and Mayor Painter said although the Pass sees a lot of bears they are euthanized and relocated, unfortunately the majority return. The Pass has a $250 fine for first offence of having bear attractants on property with a $500 fine for a second offence.
A presentation was made to Council by Riley Wilcox and Jody Jacobs from the Cranbrook Community Foundation. These two have been working to bring a community foundation to Fernie that is now becoming a reality. Seemingly the Elk Valley is the only area that doesn’t have this service.
While at UBCM CAO Jim Hendricks and I attended three meetings in regards to the RMI funding. At one point there was stress that this program wouldn’t continue however Minister Bond has reassured that it’s secure for the next two years and also that the funding for tourist information that was previously threatened is safe for now as well.
Telus has placed important fibre throughout town and we thank Telus for this service that was done without any cost to the City.
An enjoyable part of this job is hosting visitors to City Hall, especially children. This year saw 13 students from Germany and visitors from Holland and other areas as well as children that came for a tour of the facility and to meet the Mayor. I enjoy providing a little town history, showing them around the building and letting them sit in the Mayor’s chair and bang the gavel. I had the opportunity to co-host the Go Program on Shaw TV. It’s always great to have a chance to say good things about this town and also to present the Citizen of the Year for 2015 award to Rick Ganter, truly a great volunteer as is the Volunteer of the Year Kevin McIsaac, Sincere congratulations to them both and to winners of the other categories as well as all the nominees.