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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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Home is where the art is

Posted on May 29th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
If there is one thing the Columbia Valley community can’t be faulted for, it’s caring. People here care, almost too much (if there is such a thing). Hence, the divisive debate over Jumbo Glacier Resort, over the deer cull, and as of late, over the planned multi-use centre in Invermere. Recently, library supporters have been outspoken about their desire to see the Invermere library included in phase one, not phase two, of the new building’s construction. Admittedly, thirty years is a long time to wait for improvements …

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If schools were dams

Posted on May 23rd, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
Once again, B.C. students are faced with stepped-up job action by teachers. Teachers, if they do end up on the picket lines this coming Monday, likely stand to lose as much money over the next six weeks than the wage increase they’re fighting for if a settlement isn’t reached before the end of the school year, as the strike action is scheduled to continue to the end of June if the government doesn’t come to the table with what the BC Teachers’ Federation deems to be a …

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Eye on Lake Enid

Posted on May 16th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
The May long weekend in the Columbia Valley means a lot of great things to a lot of great people. It’s the time of year when the warmer weather lures everyone out of any lingering winter hibernation: hikers, bikers, golfers, patio patrons, watersports lovers, campers… you name the activity, and its enthusiasts will be out in droves for these much-anticipated three days that mark the early start of summer here on the warm side of the Rockies.
Understandably, like everywhere else, the celebration tends to get a …

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A+ for Area F

Posted on May 9th, 2014 by


By Nicole Trigg
Pioneer Staff
Fairmont Hot Springs has seen its fair share of growing pains over the last couple of years. Flooding events in 2012 and 2013 damaged homes and disrupted business owners’ livelihoods. The community has had to cope with tragedy after a fire ripped through the partially built Columbia Eagle condominium block in late 2012. More recently, a BC Parks plan to formally alter the community’s access to Columbia Lake ignited heated debate.
But luck may be turning for the little resort community with the newest announcement that government …

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Two tales of justice

Posted on May 2nd, 2014 by


By Greg Amos,
Pioneer Staff
On Monday, Invermere saw the final chapters in two high-profile court cases: one a case of justice served, the other a tale of justice being straight-jacketed.
The careless actions of a Vancouver truck driver resulted in guilty verdicts on all four counts of dangerous driving causing death after a horrific July 2011 accident. It won’t bring back the family of four who died in a terrible way, but will at least shine a light on a Canadian justice system that works slowly, but in the end — two …

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Giving ain’t easy

Posted on April 25th, 2014 by


By Greg Amos
Pioneer Staff
Don’t believe everything you read — especially what I wrote last week about donating blood in Cranbrook.
As it turns out, that can’t be done. Although Cranbrook is a regional hub city with a Red Cross office, blood donation is not an option there. In fact, after a quick chat with a Canadian Red Cross agent, I learned one has to travel as far as Canmore in order to donate blood — and only if you’re there on the right day.
The next mobile blood clinic to hit …

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Council sticks to its guns

Posted on April 11th, 2014 by


By Greg Amos, Pioneer Staff
Another pitch made to develop the Athalmer waterfront — and another unenthusiastic response from the District of Invermere council.
Instead of a few good-looking homes, services and paved roads, the area adjacent to Pete’s Marina will likely continue to sit as a dusty expanse of undeveloped lots and basking grounds for the odd river otter. In the long-term, that may be a good thing.
The lack of foreshore access around Invermere is a legacy of poor planning and short-sighted decision making in the past, as well as a …

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