|  Your source for news and events in the Columbia Valley

Currently browsing Editorials

Religious rights

Posted on April 21st, 2017 by


By Dean Midyette,
Pioneer Staff
While in Cranbrook on Tuesday I found myself walking through a gaggle of media types as I entered the courthouse.
I was told that the media, from local to national to wire services, were in town to cover the precedent-setting trial of Winston Blackmore and James Oler. Both Blackmore and Oler are members of a polygamist community in the Kootenay region and both are alleged to have multiple wives, which is a violation of current Canadian law.
Beyond the theatrics of the current court proceedings, the court …

Read More...

Public hearings

Posted on April 14th, 2017 by


By Dean Midyette
Pioneer Staff
We have already had a number of controversial public hearings this year and there are certainly more to come. Criticism has been aimed at elected officials in advance of these public hearings, anger that is misplaced and misdirected. This week I will use this space to explain the how’s and why’s of public hearings.
Public hearings are commonly scheduled when a new bylaw or amendment to a bylaw is being considered, or when a rezoning application has been put before a council.
The first step in the process of …

Read More...

Foolishness revealed

Posted on April 7th, 2017 by


By Dean Midyette
Pioneer Publisher
Another April Fools has come and gone and we at The Pioneer hope that you enjoyed this year’s silliness.
To set the record straight, we start with one of the stories in the RCMP report in which an 18-wheeler ended up on top of Mount Swansea, complete with (photoshopped) picture.
Canal Flats announced that it would be installing traffic lights and that won’t be happening anytime soon.
Our Page Six editorial dealt with the upcoming Sasquatch Centennial, a play on Canada’s 150th birthday, also known as the sesquicentennial. No …

Read More...

Sasquatch Centennial

Posted on March 31st, 2017 by


By Dean Midyette
Pioneer Staff
July 1st, 1917 marked the first official sighting of a sasquatch (also known locally as Bigfoot) by settlers in the West Kootenays, about 60 kilometres north of Creston.
The legend of the sasquatch, or local variants, began hundreds of years ago, passed along through oral history from Aboriginal peoples throughout the world, with the North American stories centered in the Pacific Northwest.
Some of the mythology describes the beasts as powerful and huge while others, like the Ebu Gogo in Indonesia, are described as short and wiry. …

Read More...

Trail talk

Posted on March 24th, 2017 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
Spring has sprung and the snow and ice that’s accumulated around our communities is quickly melting away. If you’re like me, you’ve already been out exploring your favourite trails in the valley floor, revelling in the feeling of terra firma beneath your feet and enjoying the ease of walking freely without all that white stuff around.
Don’t get me wrong, I love snow and ice, but it’s been a particularly long, cold winter and I can’t wait to start up all my summer pastimes of backcountry hiking, …

Read More...

Resident retained

Posted on March 17th, 2017 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
It would appear the Columbia Valley’s Resident Attraction and Retention Strategy is working.
When I moved to the valley in April 2012 to become The Valley Echo’s editor, I thought I’d live here for a fun one to two years before moving onto my next career stint. But then I was offered the position of magazine editor with The Pioneer, and eventually I found myself as the editor of both The Pioneer and The Echo as well as all the magazines our office produces. Somehow five years …

Read More...

Happy Husbands’ Day

Posted on March 10th, 2017 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has make a point of reiterating to Canadians and the rest of the world that he is a feminist — and it appears like he is the only Trudeau who is. Canada’s First Lady Sophie Gregoire Trudeau began International Women’s Day on March 8th by posting a photograph of herself in pink holding her hubby’s hand while gazing adoringly up into his eyes with a caption telling women to share a photo of themselves holding hands with their “male ally” in honour of …

Read More...

Having a healthy fear of fentanyl

Posted on March 3rd, 2017 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
The month of January saw 116 illicit drug overdose deaths in B.C., up almost 40 per cent from the year before. This number averages out to seven deaths every two days in January, and according to the BC Coroners Office, this sharp spike is unequivocally due to fentanyl.
The awareness displayed by local business leaders in training their staff on how to use naloxone kits to rescue someone suffering from a fentanyl overdose is reassuring — and admirable. Acknowledging that the valley is a weekend or holiday getaway …

Read More...

Speculation news and the B.C. budget

Posted on February 24th, 2017 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
The Liberals released their fifth consecutive balanced budget on Tuesday and in-depth analysis of it has dominated headlines and the airwaves. And rightly so — it’s worthy of debate.
The budget contains some dramatic changes for B.C. residents, like the 50 per cent cut to MSP premiums we can expect a year from now and a big re-investment into public education — either positive changes thanks to a healthy economy or pre-election political spin depending on who you talk to, with critics reminding that the rest of …

Read More...

Saying goodbye

Posted on February 17th, 2017 by


By Eric Elliott
Pioneer Staff
When I first arrived in the Columbia Valley, the only intention on my mind was that my stay would be a pit stop in my life. I was a cocky—not to be confused with confident—22 year old kid fresh out of journalism school that thought of my move from Ontario to small town Invermere B.C. as more of a couple lines on a future resume than a life changing experience.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
It started with my first story in May 2016, covering the …

Read More...

Development debate

Posted on February 10th, 2017 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
A new development proposed for the east side of Lake Windermere has managed to stir up controversy even though a decision to not approve it seems fairly cut and dry — even appropriate — since most public and political sentiment runs counter to the developer’s vision, as does the area’s Official Community Plan, which is managed by the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) since the land is situated in Area F.
The developer proposes to subdivide 23 acres into six smaller lakefront lots. Strong opposition was …

Read More...

Short Sighted

Posted on February 3rd, 2017 by


By Dean Midyette
Pioneer Staff
As most of us in the valley know, our population grows considerably during the times that families from Alberta choose to visit. At peak season our population can swell from approximately 8,000 to well over 25,000.
It’s during these busy times that our local businesses rely on our students. While getting a great work experience and earning some money for themselves, they also support businesses by making themselves available for extra shifts during the holidays. Our businesses rely on casual student labour to be fully staffed during the …

Read More...

They marched

Posted on January 27th, 2017 by


By Dean Midyette
Pioneer Staff
It started with a simple post on Facebook. “I think we should march”, an invitation to friends from a Hawaiian grandmother. It spread quickly as hundreds of new Facebook pages encouraged thousands of women to sign up to march on Washington.
On Saturday, January 21st they showed up, women and men, girls and boys. Here in British Columbia, they marched in Vancouver and Victoria. In Kelowna and Kamloops. They marched in Castlegar, Prince George, Nanaimo, on Salt Spring and Bowen Islands and in many other communities across our …

Read More...

Electoral reform? Think again

Posted on January 20th, 2017 by


By Dean Midyette
Pioneer Publisher
One of the most visible promises made on the federal campaign trail prior to the election of Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government was to reform the way we vote. Then-candidate Trudeau proudly proclaimed “we are committed to ensuring that 2015 will be the last federal election conducted under the first-past-the-post system”.
Fast-forward 15 months. The original minister of democratic institutions, Maryam Monsef, has been replaced after a rough year during which she derided the findings of the committee tasked with making researching alternative voting systems, amongst other ministerial shortcomings. …

Read More...

That’s valley with a ‘V’

Posted on January 13th, 2017 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
Every journalist and editor in Canada adheres to The Canadian Press Stylebook. It’s actually labelled “A Guide for Writers and Editors” that’s introduced in J-school and delineates such rules as when to capitalize a profession and how to punctuate lists in a sentence.
It’s the reason you see “noon” instead of “12 p.m.” and the “First World War” instead of “World War 1.” And it’s also the reason why your local papers have resolutely refused to use an upper case “v” whenever “the valley” has been …

Read More...

Deep freeze

Posted on January 6th, 2017 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
Brrr… if there’s one thing everyone in the valley can agree upon lately, it’s that it’s been a little on the chilly side. At the time of writing this column (at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, January 4th), it’s a balmy -19 C, slightly warmer than a few hours earlier when Weather.com was reporting -28 C for Invermere while some in the valley experienced -30 or lower in the early morning.
The day before, on January 3rd, BC Hydro set a new record for power consumption province-wide, when …

Read More...

Reflection

Posted on December 30th, 2016 by


By Dean Midyette
Pioneer Publisher
For me, looking into a mirror is scary at the best of times, but the days that linger between Christmas and New Years call for us to gaze not at ourselves, but over our shoulders and reflect on the year that is quickly drawing to a close.
As I was driving into work this week, the radio seemed filled with comments from those who can’t wait for 2016 to end. If we allow ourselves to dwell on international stories, like the ongoing slaughter of innocents in Syria or …

Read More...

Christmas wishes

Posted on December 23rd, 2016 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
Christmas is meant to be a time when wishes come true and people share the goodness in their hearts with others. Arguably, nowhere is this better evident than in our awesome little Columbia Valley community.
The outpouring of generosity so far this winter season has been incredible, from the accommodators who answered The Kanata Inn’s turkey challenge and ensured that many more families would be able to enjoy a traditional turkey dinner this holiday courtesy of the Christmas Bureau, to the cash and food donations that piled …

Read More...

Barbour backlash

Posted on December 16th, 2016 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
Here we go again. A recreational development plan for the Columbia Valley has been put forward and is meeting resistance. Accusations are flying back and forth from either side, and while The Pioneer is proud to be the platform that is encouraging meaningful debate over the Barbour Rock Trail System proposal, one has to wonder why this conversation hasn’t taken place before now? A standard 60-day referral process that invited public comments was announced back in September. At that point, the trail proposal was already fully fleshed …

Read More...

Dumb and dumber

Posted on December 9th, 2016 by


By Eric Elliott
Pioneer Staff
The Liberal Party has set up an online survey to learn what you think about electoral reform. After months of the all-party committee gathering opinion while travelling across the country on the taxpayer’s dime, yes, they claim they want to hear what Canadians think about electoral reform.
Except, not really.
At no point did the survey actually ask me what I thought about electoral reform. Nor did it ask me if I thought a referendum was something that the government should consider when addressing this issue.
Instead, …

Read More...