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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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Word on the street

Posted on July 25th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
Another Vallley Appreciation Day has come and gone, and this year’s event was seemingly so successful that the District of Invermere council has unanimously agreed to follow it up with three more street parties in August.
When VAD hit 25 last summer, the Invermere Farmer’s Market moved over to 7th Avenue to help mark the occasion. For the first time, market vendors joined year-round businesses on the main street to help create a pedestrian-friendly zone rivalling those in bigger city centres with the added bonus of being …

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Sunny side up

Posted on July 18th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
As temperatures in the valley soared to 37 C last weekend, one thing is for certain: there is no shortage of sunlight in the Columbia Valley. And the B.C. government (presumably with a little prodding from Kootenay East MLA and Energy and Mines minister Bill Bennett) has taken stock of this natural inventory and invested in an innovative new solar farm — just south of Canal Flats in Kimberley.
A contaminated old mine donated by Teck Resources (which operates five open-pit coal mines in the Elk Valley) …

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Good news for a change

Posted on July 11th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
If you live in the valley, or are a regular visitor here, likely you’ve been eyeing the disappearing snow line with some skepticism, and more than a little disbelief. But the verdict is in: the annual runoff is a done deal and the valley is emerging unscathed for the first time in years.
From this point onwards, water levels will recede, the sandy beaches will grow, and everyone who’s been hit hard by the flooding events of 2012 and 2013 can breathe a sigh of relief, kick back, …

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Constitutional, or not?

Posted on July 4th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
As the development of Jumbo Glacier Resort Mountain Resort Municipality moves ahead at a glacial pace, the controversy surrounding the project remains ever present. Regular council meetings, a business-as-usual ministerial tour of the area to inspect road access, and ongoing provincial funding of the project don’t seem to be doing the trick when it comes to convincing naysayers the future resort is legit and on its way to being realized.
Set aside the 20 years of debate and community conflict that preceded the government’s approval of the …

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What the TFW?

Posted on June 27th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
The suspension of the federal Temporary Foreign Worker (TFW) program was disappointing news for business owners in the Columbia Valley who have relied on the labour force it’s provided over the years to fill jobs they have otherwise been unable to fill.
The revisions to the program by federal Minister of Employment and Social Development Jason Kenney came much faster than anyone expected; and are an even bigger disappointment than the suspension.
Abuses of the program were supposed to be corrected in the interim, but the wide-sweeping changes …

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Life is a song

Posted on June 20th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
Readers were probably as surprised as we were when The Pioneer came out last week with a little snippet of whimsical storytelling filling the page 3 news box where last week’s teachers’ strike story was supposed to start.
Anyone expecting to read about the latest development in the ongoing B.C. teachers’ strike were instead poetically introduced to a young local talent, Abby Wells, who will be performing at the upcoming Steamboat Mountain Music Festival.
A computer glitch followed by two separate incidents of human oversight caused the glaring error, …

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Holding education hostage

Posted on June 13th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
What kind of government rips up a negotiated collective bargaining contract? Well, the previous BC Liberal government under Gordon Campbell’s leadership also sprung the HST surprise on B.C. residents and locked BC Hydro into a $55 billion debt with IPPs (independant power projects). That this same administration was found guilty by the Supreme Court of B.C. for unlawfully stripping the teachers’ collective agreement of many previously negotiated guarantees seems par for the course.
Campbell’s unpopular legacy — which led to his resignation in 2010 — left his …

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The Whiteway cracks a Guinness

Posted on June 6th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
Local restaurants and bars might find that they have a hot commodity in stock in the coming months as word spreads about the Lake Windermere Whiteway being named the world’s longest ice skating trail in The Guinness Book of Records.
The link between the book and the brew is quite real. The world record book was the brainchild of a Sir Hugh Beaver in 1951, who at the time was the managing director of the Guinness Breweries. An argument over which was the fastest game bird in Europe …

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