The regional board office in Trail is located on Rossland Avenue, and houses Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue. Photo: Times file

The regional board office in Trail is located on Rossland Avenue, and houses Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue. Photo: Times file

Kootenay Boundary directors tackle myriad of regional interests

The next RDKB board meeting goes Wednesday, March 9 at 1 p.m. on Zoom

Board directors from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) met virtually at the end of February, discussing several topics including old-growth logging, local homelessness issues, and regional statistics released as part of the Canadian census. The next board meeting is tomorrow, March 9, at 1 p.m. on Zoom.

Old-growth logging ban

Delegate Dr. Rachel Holt, of Nelson, address the board. Holt is a provincial old-growth forestry expert who was hired by the Province of BC to help map old- growth forests. Less than 11 million hectares of old growth is left; 400,000 hectares of that is very large old growth. She spoke about the provincial old-growth logging deferral, which is a temporary measure to halt the decline of old trees and their ecosystems. Holt said British Columbia must change how forests are managed as they are vital and essential for biodiversity, carbon storage, watershed and climate change.

Bridging homelessness

Delegate Jayme Jones from Selkirk Innovates presented details about an anticipated RDKB project to examine homelessness from a regional perspective. The regional district will join 16 other community partners to offer five days a year of ‘in-kind’ time, dovetailing work the planning department is currently involved in.

Project objectives include: conduct research for evidence-based decisions; encourage regional collaboration among stakeholders; use Selkirk College resources; share knowledge learned with other regions.

Census figures

The 2021 census figures have raised some eyebrows, regional staff explained, noting, “particularly where the data does not seem to reflect what is happening in communities.” The board agreed to send a letter to MP Richard Cannings of the South Okanagan-West Kootenay riding, and Statistics Canada, requesting they “investigate and correct seeming data discrepancies, including building statistics,” in the RDKB.

Grant applications

The RDKB will apply for a grant for system upgrades to the Beaver Valley Water Service through a branch of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. In support of the project, the regional district is committing to its share of $1.34 million toward the work.

The regional district will also apply to the Union of BC Municipalities for a Community Emergency Preparedness Fund grant in the amount of $20,910. If successful, the RDKB will use the money to purchase equipment and technology that will support modernization of the EOC (emergency operations centre). Funds will also be used for training to further expand the capacity of regional and municipal staff to work in the EOC.

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