A provincial park established in the outskirts of Rossland 85 years ago is slated for a name change as part of reconciliation with Indigenous peoples.
Alynn Smith of the Rossland Society for Environmental Education addressed directors of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) during the Jan. 12 board meeting, requesting the elected officials support renaming King George VI Provincial Park by giving it an Indigenous name.
The park, which is actually located in Area B of the RDKB near Paterson, is currently being restored to a wetland.
Smith informed the board that she had consulted with First Nations groups and is subsequently proposing the park be named p̓aʔáx Provincial Park, which is a Sinixt word meaning “healing.”
The board agreed to write a letter of support for the initiative, which will go to BC Parks for consideration.
King George VI Provincial Park protects several species of endangered plants and is home to a variety of wildlife. Old-growth cottonwoods buffer the park from adjacent land use and offer additional habitat for a variety of cavity nesting birds, such as barred owls, pileated woodpeckers and red-naped sapsuckers.
The park was originally created for picnicking, and later it provided a day-use rest stop and campground for people entering Canada from the United States along Highway 22. Facilities were vandalized several years ago and ultimately removed.
The 162-hectare park was established by Order in Council on May 3, 1937, named in commemoration of the coronation of George VI.
The board agreed to support Telus’ application to extend services in West Boundary. Specifically, the board is backing Telus’ submission to Northern Development Initiative Trust for a grant under the Connecting British Columbia Program to increase 4G LTE and 5G network high-speed wireless voice, text and data coverage along Highway 33 north of Westbridge towards Rhone and the Christian Valley.
As per the RDKB annual planning, the public is invited to listen and chime in to their respective town halls. Of course, with the ongoing pandemic, the town halls will be held virtually again this year.
These sessions give residents the opportunity to review proposed budgets as well as five-year financial plans. Directors and district staff will be in attendance to talk about programs, services and projects, and to explain how tax dollars are spent; answer questions; and gather input.
Area C/Christina Lake is up first on Monday, Jan. 31 at 6 p.m. via Zoom. In the immediate region, Area A is next on Monday, Feb. 7 at 6 p.m. via Zoom, followed by Area B on Monday, March 7 at 6 p.m. via Zoom.
To register and for information on other town hall dates visit: rdkb.com/regional-government/town-halls.
Staff presented their 2022 departmental work plans. Work plans describe each service and its boundaries, requisition figures, human resources associated with the service, the previous year’s accomplishments, significant issues and trends, and a summary of upcoming projects. These detailed and informative plans can be read in full by visiting rdkb.com and clicking on the Jan. 12 board of directors open agenda.
The Christina Lake Fire Department can now respond outside its service area — up to the Paulson Bridge — after the board adopted a bylaw that enables Christina Lake firefighters to respond to wildfires and motor vehicle incidents beyond its current Area C limit. The department can then be reimbursed for such call-outs from BC Health Services, BC Wildfire Service or Emergency Management BC.
The next board meeting is scheduled for Jan. 26 at 1 p.m. on Zoom.