Columbia Basin Trust (Trust) announced on Monday afternoon that it is putting off open houses, including the meeting slated for Trail on Thursday, March 12, in light of coronavirus fears.
Further, the Trust says this decision is due to the Provincial Health Officer’s recommendations to limit public gatherings as the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve in B.C.
“In response to recommended best practices for public gatherings, Columbia Basin Trust is postponing its public engagement events scheduled for March 11 in Salmo and March 12 in Trail,” the organization stated.
“These were the first in a series of events that invite people in the Columbia Basin to celebrate all they have accomplished alongside the Trust and share their aspirations for the future.”
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Future community meetings might also be affected, the statement reads.
“All postponed events will be rescheduled, and the Trust will inform the public once details are known.”
In the meantime, residents are encouraged to visit imagine.ourtrust.org to join the conversation online.
“We’re disappointed by these circumstances, as meeting with people in person lies at the heart of who we are and what we do,” said Johnny Strilaeff, Trust president and chief executive officer.
“As always, however, the well-being of people in the Basin comes first, and we look forward to getting together at a later date.”
At the centre of this process is an open-ended question.
“Imagine life in the Columbia Basin in 25 years,” the Trust asks. “What are your thoughts on how your community and the Basin can be a great place to live, work and play in the future?”
All insight received at community meetings and through online engagement will be gathered by the Trust and used to renew its strategic plan.
The Trust is also asking locals to save the date for an upcoming symposium in Trail, which will be held from Oct. 2 to Oct. 4. (A second is slated for Golden Oct. 23 to Oct. 25)
Basin-wide symposia happen every three to four years. The 2020 editions have identical agendas and are free to attend.
The Trust is accountable to all the people in the Basin.
Its work is guided by the Columbia Basin Management Plan (CBMP), developed in consultation with people in the Basin. Using the input received through the upcoming engagement process, the Trust will update its management plan and renew focus areas.
For more information on dates and locations, visit imagine.ourtrust.org or call 1.800.505.8998.