Local organizer seeks canvassers for Sensible BC petition

The local campaign organizer believes the West Kootenay riding has a good chance of gathering the necessary signatures to chance the law.

The Sensible B.C. petition campaign to decriminalize marijuana in the province kicks off Monday and the local organizer believes that the Kootenay West riding has a good chance of gathering its share of necessary signatures to change provincial law.

“You know our area is a good area for it,” Susan Yurychuk, Kootenay West campaign organizer, said  from her home in the Slocan Valley.

“My challenge with the Kootenays is that everybody thinks we’re a shoe-in here and they may not come out.”

As part of the Elections B.C. initiative process the Sensible B.C. group has 90 days, as of the official start date, for the petition to gather signatures from 10 per cent of the population in each of the province’s 85 electoral districts.

Reaching that mark would compel the provincial government to hold a province-wide vote to pass the group’s “Sensible Policing Act” in September of 2014.

Although the initiative process only calls for 10 per cent, Yurychuk is pushing for 15 per cent in this area to ensure a safe margin.

“We need 4,694 signatures in our district,” Yurychuk said.

“We need canvassers even if it’s just to collect 10 signatures. Many hands make light work.”

Yurychuk said she believes that the legislative change is needed in British Columbia for many reasons but had specific priorities in mind.

“We’re spending all this money on policing and courts and we have schools closing, there’s something wrong with that,” she said. “And I don’t think marijuana should be available to kids but right now there’s no realistic education about it because it’s all in the closet and that just breeds terrible things.”

Provincial organizer for Sensible B.C., Dana Larsen, said that he believes that controlling access to marijuana is a big part of what the whole campaign is about.

“Anybody who is concerned about young people should support this campaign,” Larsen said from his Vancouver office. “It’s not about ‘what do we do to eliminate it’ it’s about ‘how do we reduce harm’ and that comes from legalization and regulation. Regulations and age limits, that’s what we want with this campaign.”

The West Kootenay region has developed a somewhat notorious reputation in the province for the cultivation and use of marijuana over the years and Larsen doesn’t feel a pressing need to visit the area to promote the cause but doesn’t rule out a campaign stop in the future.

“I was there last fall and again in the spring but the local team has a good handle on things,” said Larsen. “We’ll see if we get out to the Kootenays again but if we don’t it means things are going well and we don’t need to bring in more people.”

Unlike the 2011 initiative to eliminate the HST, which was the first of nine initiatives to pass since the process became legislated in 1995, the proposed Initiative to Amend the Police Act has no official opposition.

“No one applied to Elections B.C. as an opponent of the initiative and the deadline was August 12,” said Andrew Watson, communications coordinator for Elections B.C. “There still could be advertising against the campaign but they would have to register with us as an opponent advertiser.”

In the Kootenay West electoral district canvassers are already set for many areas but local organizer, Yurychuk, says they’re looking for more people to collect signatures in a number of communities.

“We still need people in Trail, Rossland, Fruitvale, Montrose, Warfield, and other places throughout the riding,” she said. “Anyone interested can go to the Sensible B.C. website to register because they have to be registered with Elections B.C.”

For more information or to register as a canvasser on the web go to http:sensiblebc.ca or go to the local organization’s Facebook page at Sensible B.C. Kootenay West.

Just Posted

Area A Director Ali Grieve (right), Village of Fruitvale Mayor Steve Morissette (front), and Village of Montrose Mayor Mike Walsh (left) held a congratulatory ceremony for Beaver Valley students who are part of the Class of 2021 graduates of J. L. Crowe Secondary at Beaver Creek Park on Thursday. Photo: Jim Bailey
Beaver Valley Grads of 2021

Beaver Valley mayors, RDKB Area A director celebrate their 2021 graduates with gift ceremony

Adrian Moyls is the Selkirk College Class of 2021 valedictorian and graduate of the School of Health and Human Services. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College valedictorian proves mettle in accomplishment

Adrian Moyls is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Services

A volunteer delivers food to families as part of a West Kootenay EcoSociety program. Photo: Submitted
Farms to Friends delivers 2,500th bag of food to families in need

The program services communities in the Nelson, Trail and Castlegar areas

Selkirk College has begun its search in earnest for a leader to replace president Angus Graeme who is set to retire from his position in May 2022. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College seeks community input for president search

Current president Angus Graeme retires next year

A report shows nine West Kootenay communities are have more low-income persons than the provincial average. File photo
Study casts new light on poverty in the West Kootenay

Nine communities in region have more low-income residents than provincial average

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read