Coldstream steps up lobbying

Time with the top dogs of B.C. allowed Coldstream the chance to add pressure on variety of issues

Time with the top dogs of B.C. allowed Coldstream the chance to add pressure on topics ranging from seniors beds to water and a regional referendum.

Mayor Jim Garlick managed to squeeze in meetings with a number of ministers to ensure local concerns are heard at the Union of B.C. Municipalities convention in Vancouver.

“We had a talk with IHA (Interior Health Authority) regarding seniors beds in our area,” said Garlick.

There are currently zero residential care beds in the district yet Coldstream Meadows is ready and waiting to provide them, but must gain the contract. A request for proposals for 85 new beds in Vernon was issued earlier this year and an announcement is looming.

Agriculture was also on Coldstream’s agenda at the convention as it urged the importance of the agricultural land commission as well as manure management.

“There is a consultation paper which we need to get a hold of,” said Garlick, of the manure management topic, which Coldstream has long been pushing for.

“They did a white paper (previously) which they decided not to go ahead with.”

The Ministry of Environment was also asked to do more testing on Coldstream Creek.

Water fund concerns were flowing as well.

“How are we going to deal with funding for master water plans?” Garlick questioned.

Meeting with Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Peter Fassbender, Garlick pointed out the need to have something in place for the future with borrowing, whether that looks like a referendum or a fund that municipalities pay into and the province contributes to.

Mussels were also a topic of concern when it comes to protecting local waterways.

“We will keep pushing the province to do what they can.”

Provincial officials were also questioned about the delay on referendum approval for a twinned rink at Kal Tire Place.

“What was indicated to us was there was a changeover in staff…and they’re just getting up to speed,” said Garlick.

“Oct. 6 is what we said was our drop-dead date, so it doesn’t get lost in a pile of other things.”

 

But it wasn’t all requests and hands out. Coldstream also took the time to thank the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for the paving on Highway 6 as well as the Kalamalka Lake lookout.