I’ll never forget the time when, as a student attending the University of British Columbia, I was on a late-night bus bound for campus. I was one of many returning from a great night out on the town — both the seats and aisle were packed. Someone in the back decided to hold an informal poll… “Who on the bus is actually from B.C.?” To my surprise, I was the only one to raise my hand. That I was in the 0.001 percentile in my own hometown left me absolutely flabbergasted. Fast forward to the here and now. A recent transplant from the West Coast, I’ve noticed the distinct lack of two B.C.-based newspapers in local newstands — The Vancouver Sun and The Province. I saw some in the newstands in Golden last week, but I have yet to come across them in Invermere while on my errand runs. Instead, I’m bombarded with Calgary news whenever I’m standing in a grocery store lineup. Now, I’m not saying these publications are worth their weight in gold, but having their daily headlines visible around town — not just sequestered away in The Book Bar, which is where I was told to find them — would do wonders for keeping the local populace up-to-date on politics and issues province-wide. While I greatly appreciate  the local economy relies heavily on our Albertan cousins — and it is a brilliant customer service strategy to make them feel right at home on their sojourns out west — for our own provincial papers to not even be offered to locals and visitors alike is a poor reflection of what it means to live in, as the licence plate slogan  goes, Beautiful British Columbia. Whether local businesses like it or not, we are all a part of the acronym that on occasion tends to be translated as “Bring Cash.” Our taxes, our insurance rules, our voting system, our education, our healthcare care …yep, all B.C. And while Columbia Valley may sit on the far eastern side of the west, snuggled up close to its landlocked neighbour,  it is still part of a collective consciousness that is continually refining what B.C. is all about and how to make it more prosperous for everyone.

On another note, the second part of  the deer aggression story was forced to hold a week due to space constraints as a result of the unforunate late-breaking news story of the Fairmont Hot Springs mudslide, and will appear in next week’s  July 25th edition of The Valley Echo.