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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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Windermere man does valley proud

Posted on October 3rd, 2014 by


By Steve Hubrecht
Pioneer Staff
Often a newspaper is filled with ‘bad news’ — accidents, fires, natural disasters, political blunders and other unfortunate circumstances and small wonder, since these are all the types of things that grab people’s attention and leave them talking.
What a welcome change then, to be able to shine a light on some ‘good news’ — the efforts of Windermere-born and raised Stephen McGarva, who spent the better part of two years helping to rescue and care for abandoned and stray dogs on a remote beach in …

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Including everyone

Posted on September 26th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
Having served the Columbia Valley community in an invaluable fashion for the years it has been in operation, the final parting message from A.C.E. is loud and clear — it’s time for everyone to take responsibility for accessibility initiatives in our region.
What we’re talking about is intentionally incorporating accessibility into our community’s design. Whether it’s a new condo development, house or commercial space, or a renovation on an existing building, making sure that everyone, regardless of mobility issues, can park nearby, come in independantly through the …

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Mitigating with foresight

Posted on September 19th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
The decision by the Distric of Invermere council not to award financial compensation to a downtown landlord in light of the renovations currently underway at Cenotaph Park is a wise one. With ongoing improvements to community infrastructure always needed, whether it’s road paving, or the demolition of the old high school, or construction of the new multi-use centre, or digging up faulty sewer lines, to set a precedent like this would ultimately cost Invermere taxpayers unpredictable amounts of additional dollars.
But this doesn’t negate affected landowners’ or …

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A word from the publisher

Posted on September 12th, 2014 by


By Rose-Marie Fagerholm
Pioneer Publisher
So here we are, at the 10-year mark, which, in this industry in this fast-moving digital era, is quite the feat. The concept born by the Edes and the dedication to deliver a quality newspaper by Elinor Florence in the first six years, provided a great foundation on which to build.
There are so many people to thank, too many to mention by name who have contributed to The Pioneer’s success. In the past four years that I have been the publisher of The Pioneer under the …

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Call the bluff

Posted on September 5th, 2014 by


The teachers’ union has said it will not give up at the bargaining table what it fought to get back through the courts — ie. the right to the same class size and class composition teachers had in 2001 before then-Minister of Education Christy Clark stripped class size and composition language from the teachers’ collective agreement, a move that’s been deemed illegal and unconstitutional by the highest court in B.C. But instead of conceeding defeat, as the Clark administration had to do with the HST debacle, the government has appealed …

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Tree talk

Posted on August 29th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
When the decision was made to fell the beautiful tree that’s been the centrepiece of downtown Invermere for upwards of five decades, district council and staff expected some public backlash — and indeed, they got it.
Several upset residents confronted the arborists during the tree’s removal on Tuesday morning, while more walked into The Pioneer’s office, visibly distressed at the scene taking place at Cenotaph Park. We received calls too, from grieving locals convinced the tree was needlessly being cut down.
The beloved Russian olive tree has been …

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Through the lens

Posted on August 22nd, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
The Pioneer is a widely read community paper for a multitude of reasons. First and foremost, its Cheers and Jeers section ensures that an authentic community voice is heard in every issue. Whether criticizing inappropriate public behaviour or giving credit where credit is due, the zany Cheers and Jeers keep people coming back for more and are often the number one reason why readers pick up the paper in the first place. For this, we are thankful.
Secondly, the full-colour, tabloid style pages allow for great photo displays, …

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Permanent foreign worker mess for MP

Posted on August 15th, 2014 by


By Dan Walton
Pioneer Staff
Reports of severe abuses within the Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program have resulted in thick new layers of red tape enacted by the Conservatives. The reception has been cold in the Kootenay-Columbia riding where Tory MP David Wilks carries the unenviable task of toeing the party line. Defending the recent changes to the program is a tough sell in many parts of the country, but the Conservative Party knows how to pick its battles.
Since the changes were announced in July, the costs of hiring a TFW, …

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Mine moratorium

Posted on August 8th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
News of the tailings pond wall breaching in the Cariboo region, flooding the neighbouring Hazeltine Creek, Polley Lake and Quesnel Lake with millions of cubic metres of milky green toxic waste, has got to sound an alarm that’s long overdue in British Columbia.
Similar to how the temporary foreign workers program was suspended and then re-introduced with much harsher regulations in response to abuse and misuse of the federal employment program, so should a moratorium be placed on any new mine construction in B.C. until every tailings …

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Road to success

Posted on August 1st, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
What a shame that someone local so adverse to change went out of their way to ruin a professional event that brought scores of people to the valley. No doubt, by the time the culprit reads this week’s Pioneer with the news story, letter to the editor, and jeers about the sabotage that happened to the Singletrack 6 mountain bike race, they will feel somewhat chagrined. Though mountain bikers are hardy folk who tend not to hold a grudge because they’re just so stoked about awesome trails, …

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