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A fond farewell

Posted on March 6th, 2015 by


By Rose-Marie Fagerholm
Outgoing Publisher
The Columbia Valley is a wonderful place to visit and an even better place to call home. Apart from a work contract in the United States, for the past 23 years this valley between the Purcells and the Rocky Mountains has been my home, place of work and where I raised my family.
Although my kids left to pursue post-secondary education and their adult lives elsewhere, I know that their appreciation of a childhood spent here continues to grow every year they are away and gain perspective …

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Time for the valley to be proud

Posted on February 27th, 2015 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
There is much cause for pride and celebration in the valley this week, with local skiers earning a veritable treasure trove of medals last weekend at the B.C. Special Olympics Winter Games and with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) World Championships coming to town starting tomorrow.
The IPC World Championships are a top-flight international event, second in importance only to the Olympics and, by playing host to it for the next 10 days, Panorama Mountain Resort and Invermere will be catapulted onto the world stage (see the Pioneer’s …

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Universal access to birth control

Posted on February 20th, 2015 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
Arguing for publicly funded contraception in British Columbia is not a new initiative. For years, it’s been put forward that government support for planned parenting, by removing all barriers to accessing contraception, will: reduce the province’s child poverty rates; reduce the health risks associated with unintended pregnancies, particularly among adolescents; normalize the conversation around sexual health in school curriculums; and reduce public expenditure in terms of social assistance.
A 2010 proposal by Options for Sexual Health in Vancouver indicated that on average, women used just over $100 …

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Looking ahead in light of layoffs

Posted on February 19th, 2015 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
It goes without saying the layoffs at the Canfor mill in Canal Flats are going to hurt individuals and families. Those directly affected will hopefully be able to use the help being offered to them by their union, Canfor, and the province to find other work in the valley, or elsewhere. Not to say relocation is an appealing option — uprooting families and moving away is not easy, but the end justifies the means if continued income is assured.
Finding other work close to home is the ideal …

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Sympathy for the deer

Posted on February 6th, 2015 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
It’s been three years since the District of Invermere attempted a cull, the Invermere Deer Protection Society halted the effort with an injunction, and concerned community members took to the streets with signs and placards protesting the cull and advocating for more humane solutions to solve the urban deer issue. Since then, it’s been discovered the principal in the IDPS lawsuit and his wife — Shane Suman and Monie Rahman — are guilty of insider trading by the Ontario Securities Commission and ordered to pay back almost …

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Chasing the law

Posted on January 30th, 2015 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
An examination of the development at Whitetail Lake is a fascinating journey into the complexities of land title and law. The Whitetail Lake Development Corporation was able to skip over the Regional District of East Kootenay in its game plan to subdivide the land it purchased from Tembec because of a piece of provincial legislation tucked away in the Strata Property Act.
Why lot averaging regulations aren’t included in regional district zoning bylaws to begin with is puzzling. Regardless, unless a regional district addresses this glitch in …

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Valley’s wild ways

Posted on January 9th, 2015 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
While a deer being killed in one’s yard is a gory episode that no one wants to have to witness or deal with, it is a fact of life living in a rural area that’s located on the doorstop of a huge tract of wilderness. But the challenges that dead carcasses and, for instance, rural health care and restricted shopping hours, pose are just one side of a double-edged sword.
The favourable consequences of not living in a densely populated urban centre are why the valley has …

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Rapture of the Ice

Posted on January 2nd, 2015 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
The moment many have been waiting for has finally arrived. The Lake Windermere Whiteway, the brainchild of the Toby Creek Nordic Ski Club that the entire Columbia Valley community has helped foster and nurture into the world’s longest ice skating trail, is officially being celebrated for securing the Guinness World Record as announced earlier in 2014. And luck is on our side. The Nordic Club has been waiting with crossed fingers as the post-Christmas cold snap has been, inch by inch, creating an ever-thicker layer of ice. …

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Looking ahead

Posted on December 29th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
Another Christmas has come and gone. That 2015 is right around the corner is definitely worth a head shake. While flying cars still aren’t in the picture and there seems to be no end to email spam, the new millennium is progressing at a light speed rate.
Some amazing futuristic breakthroughs took place in 2014, everything from a Swedish woman (who was born without a womb) giving birth to a baby after receiving a womb transplant, to a Dutch man who was fitted with a prosthetic hand …

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Bears some thought

Posted on December 19th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
The decision to delay making the call on a “substantially started” Jumbo Glacier Resort came just days before the provincial government gave Site C dam the green light. Luckily, here in the valley, we don’t have to worry about losing over ten thousand acres of agricultural and archeological land to massive flooding and the displacement of farmers, ranchers and First Nations. A high alpine ski resort planned to have minimal impact on the environment thanks to today’s technology (taken directly from http://jumboglacierresort.com/ in the “About” section) is …

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Shuswap success

Posted on December 12th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
It’s the unfortunate nature of media that bad news grabs the headlines and gets people talking above all else. However, one can argue that this trend is more prevalent among provincial and national media than at the community level, based simply on the fact that they serve much larger populations and don’t have the same intimate ties that a community newspaper arguably has.
At the community level, a reader’s submitted photo of his or her cat doing something cute has a pretty good chance of getting published.
At …

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Panoramic shift

Posted on December 5th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
To begin with, a preface is in order… this editorial is not a thinly disguised advertorial written as a result of advertising contracts. It is authentic, inspired by the shift that’s taken place at Panorama Mountain Village, now formally going by the name of Panorama Mountain Resort. No traces remain of Panorama’s past reputation as an aloof enclave within the valley. The level of community engagement the new team at the resort has initiated for the 2014-2015 season is cutting edge.
No doubt, locals will respond in droves …

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Both sides of the story

Posted on November 28th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
It’s not often that I write editorials in the first person. In fact, since I’ve become the Pioneer’s editor, there hasn’t been an occasion to warrant it. But after a reader recently expressed dissatisfaction with our paper’s coverage of a local issue, I feel there’s no time like the present.
The request put to me by this irate individual was to avoid publishing stories on topics where two sides don’t agree. Instead, our paper should direct complaints to entities that are in a position to solve them. The …

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Full steam ahead

Posted on November 27th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
Following the municipal election, the political landscape of the Columbia Valley has hardly changed. Every incumbent was voted back in, and the league of Columbia Valley directors is virtually unchanged (as pointed out in the election story starting on page 3, acclaimed Radium mayor Clara Reinhardt is already a familiar face at the Regional District of East Kootenay board table).
What this means is the valley-wide initiatives that have gained traction over the last three years will continue to pick up steam and forge ahead. The Windermere …

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A new Shuswap era

Posted on November 14th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
The developments that have taken place regarding the Shuswap Band over the last few weeks are nothing short of amazing. First, the band makes headlines across Canada because the First Nations Financial Transparency Act reveals its nepotistic leaders are unethically raking in millions while many in the band are impoverished. Next, the serendipitous timing of the band’s election, scheduled to take place shortly after the news of the band’s financials break. Third, bolstered by the national attention and inspired by Barbara Cote’s fearless challenge to the Martin …

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Freedom of choice

Posted on November 7th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
It’s fitting that this special Remembrance Day issue also happens to contain stories on local government elections — both municipal and First Nations — as well as some irate letters to the editor complaining about Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s style of running the country. It all relates to the same concept of freedom of choice, which Remembrance Day reminds us to honour every year.
Roughly one hundred years ago, countries across the globe were pulled into four terrible years of trench warfare among other horrors. Twenty-one years later, …

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Transparency turmoil

Posted on October 31st, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
In complying with the First Nations Transparency Act, the Columbia Valley’s Shuswap Band has revealed some startling figures. On one hand, the band should be congratulated for its economic success. To be able to pay its chief and councillors a combined renumeration of almost half a millon dollars (split between three people) due to the band’s immense financial prosperity as a result of entrepreneurial management of its traditional territory is quite the achievement in a capitalist-driven economy.
However, there are two obvious issues that result from this disclosure …

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Ambassador adieu

Posted on October 24th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
The Columbia Valley lost one of its greatest ambassadors this week. Kirsten Harma, who’s been the program co-ordinator for the Lake Windermere Ambassadors for the last three and a half years, left Canada on Monday to return to her home soil in the U. S. of A.
Her departure was not her choice. Given the option, she would have gladly stayed and continued her work as an intelligent and effective steward of the environment north of the border. It’s thanks to her knowledge and dedication to our watershed …

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A valley of content constituents

Posted on October 17th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
This year’s local election is shaping up to be a fairly uneventful one, and it’s hardly going out on a limb to make this statement. With the top positions to the north acclaimed, clearly there was no groundswell of discontent brewing large enough to off-seat Invermere mayor Gerry Taft, now-Radium mayor Clara Reinhardt or Area G director for the regional district Gerry Wilkie.
Furthermore, despite the rumours that have been circulating for months, all previous councillors for Invemere (minus Spring Hawes) and Radium are wanting to return, …

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Temporary loss

Posted on October 10th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
The Columbia Valley, with its insurmountable beauty and attractive climate combined with an ever-increasing number of festivals and events plus the world record-breaking Whiteway, is increasingly well-positioned to reap the rewards of a renewed focus on the tourism industry, a focus not only being spearheaded locally, but provincially (see page 8) and federally, with Canadians’ competitiveness spiking in response to what’s become widespread news that Canada has fallen behind its traditional competitors with the number of international visitors it attracts, and the coveted revenue they bring.
That being …

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