By Steve Hubrecht

The District of Invermere’s environmental planner has moved to northern B.C., but the district hopes to keep her in the role, working remotely.

In summer 2022 the district hired Anne-Sophie Corriveau as its environmental planner after months of trying to fill the position. 

The search and the hire came after sustained lobbying from local residents to hire a designated environmental planner.

At the time Corriveau was already working for Invermere as its FireSmart coordinator, and initially didn’t apply for the job because she modestly didn’t consider herself qualified. When district staff found out about her background, including her Master’s degree in Earth Science, they urged her to apply.

Once hired, Corriveau immediately began working on a number of projects, including setting up electric vehicle stations (for both electric cars and E-bikes), the district’s proposed plastic bag ban bylaw, an updated flood plain bylaw, looking at the potential environmental impacts of a planned trail along the Invermere dike, and Invermere’s storm water management issues. She also set about pursuing grants to help Invermere pay for some of these projects.

But then life intervened, in a positive way, as Corriveau and her partner welcomed their first child. She left on maternity leave, before the family relocated to Smithers for work opportunities for Corriveau’s partner.

Invermere planner Rory Hromadnik has taken up some of the projects Corriveau is working on, but he and other district staff simply don’t have enough time or the background to completely fill her shoes. 

How will the district do that? Invermere chief administrative officer Andrew Young explained to the Pioneer that Corriveau is not, in fact, totally gone.

“We are hoping she can continue on a contractual basis, as a remote worker, at least for a period of time,” said Young, adding this arrangement would be subject to approval in Invermere’s budgeting process, which begins soon.

“She (Corriveau) has done some amazing work for us,” added Young.

Corriveau is originally from Quebec. She joined the B.C. Wildfire Service and worked as a smoke jumper for several summers, before parlaying that experience into her role as Invermere’s FireSmart coordinator. For a time Corriveau was working as both Invermere’s FireSmart coordinator and its environmental planner, before Carey Colin took over the FireSmart position.