The inaugural meeting of the new provincial Rural Advisory Council was held recently with a local valley resident representing the East Kootenay region.

Susan Clovechok joined the 13 other regional representatives in Victoria on Thursday, April 23rd and Friday, April 24th where they went through some introductory matters, and met with Premier Christy Clark and Minster of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO) Steve Thomson. The council falls under FLNRO.

“(Premier Clark) spoke to us about the council, our responsibility and her appreciation for us stepping up into the volunteer roles,” said Mrs. Clovechok. “It went really well, it was a great start.”

According to Mrs. Clovehcok, the meeting consisted of a lot of introductory, meet-and-greet type formalities since the councillors have never met before. This is the first-ever Rural Advisory


“We all come from different parts of the province, but everybody is united in a vision for a thriving rural B.C. We definitely have a shared vision, which is great,” she said. “It’s exciting to be part of this dynamic group of people. Everybody is so passionate about their communities and about doing what we can to boost rural development in B.C.”

Mrs. Clovechok said she’s looking forward to the next meeting, when councillors will begin to discuss strategies for enhancing rural development in the province.

“We’ll be bringing ideas for all of our communities to the next meeting to discuss ways to remove barriers to growth and prosperity in rural areas through rural dividends (payments from industry and other development) and other means,” she said. “It’s our first priority.”

Mrs. Clovechok emphasized that although her job her in Invermere is executive director of the Columbia Valley Chamber of Commerce, she is acting as a citizen and representing the region (not the Chamber) in her role on the council and is happy to talk with anybody from the valley or the East Kootenay about rural development.

The council is scheduled to meet four times a year.