Creston Valley farmers gathered outside the Creston and District Community Complex to protest changes to the Agricultural Land Reserve.

Creston Valley farmers gathered outside the Creston and District Community Complex to protest changes to the Agricultural Land Reserve.

2014 in Review: A look back at April in the Creston Valley

Web Lead

  • Dec. 25, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Editor Brian Lawrence compiled this brief look back at some of the goings on in the Creston Valley over the last 12 months, gleaned from the pages of the Advance.

3 — The daylight time controversy died without a chance for the public to vote on the issue. Coun. Judy Gadicke, the main proponent in taking the issue to referendum, made a motion at the March 25 council meeting to remove it from the town’s action plan. She conceded defeat after being informed by Mayor Ron Toyota that there was no chance local Regional District of Central Kootenay directors would support a referendum.

•Nelson-Creston MLA Michelle Mungall said changes to the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) threatened the province’s food security and did nothing to help farmers to keep producing food.

“The ALR has been one zone for the very reason of protecting agricultural land across the province — we really don’t have a lot of agricultural land,” she said. “Every government until now has protected that land. But the Liberals are solely focused on one industry (development of liquid natural gas reserves) and they are sacrificing food security for it.”

10 — Support for Bill 24 and changes to the way the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) is governed wasn’t evident at the April 7 Creston Valley Food Action Coalition meeting.

“A lot of us who have read the bill really closely are very, very concerned,” said Nadine Ben-Rabha, whose family operates a Lister organic dairy farm. “There has been no public consultation with farmers or the public. This is your farmland as well as the farmers’.”

•A report from Supt. Jeff Jones given to the School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) board at the April 1 regular meeting recommended that Homelinks students from kindergarten-Grade 9 move from the Creston Education Centre (CEC) to share existing space at Canyon-Lister Elementary School (CLES), and that students in Grades 10-12 be supported through the Prince Charles Secondary School Learning Centre.

•The Creston Valley Thunder Cats’ 2013-2014 record wasn’t simply better than the previous season’s; it was an almost total reversal, with 17 wins and 28 losses becoming 39 wins and 17 losses.

“For the guys who did come back from last year, I’m so glad they did. … They were able to reap the benefits of going through the hard times,” said former head coach Josh Hepditch.

•A plea bargain on charges stemming from a 2013 home invasion has resulted in 36- and 39-month jail sentences for Brenton Chambers, 21, and Travis Hennessy, 22, who pled guilty in Creston Law Courts to charges of possession of a prohibited firearm with ammunition for the home invasion, and of break and entry and assault for the other crime. A total of 11 charges were laid after the two incidents, but the remaining charges were stayed as part of the guilty plea agreement.

17 — The Association of Kootenay and Boundary Local Governments passed a resolution requesting the provincial government to delay passage of Bill 24, requesting “that the provincial government undertake consultation with the public, the UBCM (Union of BC Municipalities) and other affected parties, and that Bill 24 not be brought into force until such consultation is complete.”

Delegates to the convention passed by a throng of protesters on April 11 before entering the meeting site in Creston. The rally expressed opposition to proposed legislation dividing the province’s agricultural land into two zones, with Creston Valley relegated to Zone 2, joining less productive lands in north and central B.C.

•More than 200 delegates and guests drove into Creston April 9 to take part in the three-day Association of Kootenay and Boundary Local Governments annual conference, with most of the meetings and events held at Creston and District Community Complex. The weekend included agricultural tours, meetings and presentations, highlighted by keynote speaker and former member of Parliament Stockwell Day.

24 — After months of having to keep quiet about the news, Creston town council announced that Telus was installing a fibre optic network to serve at least 90 per cent of town residences and businesses, and possibly spill over to some areas east and west of town.