Agriculture, highways, justice and weighted votes were on the agenda for Coldstream politicians in Vancouver last week.
Mayor Jim Garlick, Councillors Maria Besso and Gyula Kiss and Keri-Ann Austin, director of corporate administration, attended the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference, sharing their concerns with provincial leaders.
“It (conference) is very demanding but it is also very rewarding,” said Besso of the benefit of attending UBCM.
Getting the Kalamalka Lake lookout (off Highway 97) re-designated from a pullout to a rest stop was one topic discussed with the Ministry of Transportation.
Maintenance of the lookout has sparked concerns as overgrown weeds, graffiti and litter are consistently a problem.
If the lookout was designated a rest stop, the ministry would be responsible for the site.
“It would be better cared for,” said Garlick, noting that the ministry is going to be looking at possible re-designation.
Further improvements to Highway 6 are also being sought in Coldstream. The highway is currently in the final stretch of re-alignment from Grey to Ricardo roads.
Coldstream would like to see additional straightening on the highway near the King Edward forest service road and Postill pit, with acceleration and deceleration lanes put in place.
They also met with Coralee Oakes, minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, regarding weighted votes.
“We are trying to get some changes to the rules for some services (such as parks),” said Garlick, noting support from Nanaimo for the initiative.
“There’s a possibility in that moving forward we hope.”
Manure management was another topic Coldstream continues to push.
“Our message was they need to come up with regulations that aren’t so extreme that they hurt the producers,” said Garlick.
“They say they’re going to look at it.”
The district representatives also met with Suzanne Anton, minister of Justice, on bylaw adjudication and restorative justice.
Twinning water systems was another topic Coun. Kiss championed while speaking with the Ministry of Agriculture.
“For small holdings that have agricultural allocation and pay allocation fees, if they don’t have the cheap water then they may not have the agricultural land,” said Kiss, concerned that the high cost of water could lead to more applications to remove land from the ALR.
Coldstream’s mayor was particularly impressed with support from the Vernon-Monashee MLA.
“Eric Foster accompanied us to all but one of the meetings and he is very supportive of us and very supportive of re-designating the lookout.”
Besso also took in an agriculture tour in the Lower Mainland, alongside Area B (BX) director Bob Fleming.
Among the sites visited were a hot house, which is something Besso suggests Coldstream could become home to.
“A place we have that would be ideal for a hot house is the Lavington glass plant.”