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Board votes to prohibit or allow retail sale of non-medical cannabis in electoral areas

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary recently held its October Board Meeting.

Here is a general overview of discussion items and major decisions from the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) Board of Directors meeting. The next board meeting is on (Wednesday) November 14 at 6 p.m. in our Trail office.

Cannabis hearings and bylaws

Commercial cultivation and retail sale of cannabis

The Board reviewed and voted on proposed changes to land use bylaws to prohibit commercial culitivation in cement-based buildings in the ALR and to prohibit or allow retail sale of non-medical cannabis in electoral areas.

British Columbians 19 years or older can buy non-medical cannabis online. They can also buy it in  privately  run retail stores or government-operated retail stores where local government permits those activities. The BC Liquor Distribution Branch (LDB) will operate the public retail stores, and the Liquor and Cannabis Regulations Branch (LCRB) will be responsible for licensing private stores and monitoringthe retail sector. Any licence requires input and a positive recommendation from a local government in whose area the proposed store is located.

Hearing results, hearings to come

The RDKB held hearings this fall in Electoral Area E/West Boundary at Big White and in Bridesville, in Electoral Area C/Christina Lake and in Area B/Lower Columbia Old Glory in the RDKB Trail Board Room.

The Board adopted bylaws to prohibit commercial culitivation in cement-based buildings in the ALR and retail sale of non-medical cannabis in Area B, C and at Mt. Baldy. Based on public input from a hearing at Big White, the Board defeated a proposed bylaw to prohibit the retail sale of cannabis. Staff will notify the public when and where hearings will be held regarding Jewel Lake and electoral areas A and D.

Referendum results

The Board received a report from the Chief Elections Officer and Regional Referenda Voting Officer detailing results of referendums held in the RDKB during the 2018 General Local Elections:

East End Sewer Assets

The vote was an overall collective count from all three municipalities - Trail, Warfield and Rossland. The referendum passed with 3,122 votes in favour of transferring ownership of infrastructure that serves only Trail to the City of Trail (739 votes against) and 2,926 votes in favour of transferring infrastructure that serves only Rossland to the City of Rossland (788 votes against). Voter Turnout: City of Trail, 39%; City of Rossland, 42%; Village of Warfield, 47%.

Boundary Integrated Watershed Service

The vote was an overall collective count from RDKB electoral areas C/Christina Lake, D/Rural Grand Forks, E/West Boundary and the municipalities of Grand Forks, Greenwood and the Village of Midway. The referendum to create the Boundary Integrated Watershed Service passed with 1,535 votes in favour and 1,369 votes against. Voter turnout ranged from 14-16 % in areas C, D and E to 48% turnout in Midway and 52% in Grand Forks.

Energy efficiency and clean crockery in Midway

The Board approved Gas Tax funding of $6,608.51 from Electoral Area ‘E’/West Boundary to the King of Kings New Testament Church for installation of a new energy efficient commercial dish washer in The Bridge Drop-in Centre in Midway. The Bridge offers bimonthly drop-in and a no- cost lunch to people from across the West Boundary. It  also houses a community kitchen, thrift store, food bank storage and is a hub for the Boundary Food Security Network and Boundary service agencies.

Support for Ktunaxa Kinbasket Treaty group

The Board approved an annual contribution of $3,500 in the Five Year Financial Plan to fund the Ktunaxa Kinbasket Treaty Advisory Committee (TAC) for the duration of the treaty negotiation process. The TAC ensures that the interests of local government in the Ktunaxa Kinbasket claim area are identified and taken into account by the Province in the negotiations.

Funding to local groups/projects

Electoral Area ‘D’/ Rural Grand Forks

•   $2,500 to the Rotary Club of Grand Forks for the annual Halloween Bonfire on October 31, 2019 at Angus McDonald Park.

Electoral Area E/West Boundary

•   $400 to the Beaverdell Community Club (BCCRC) for a community Halloween party for Beaverdell, Carmi and surrounding area children.

•   $894 to the Discover Rock Creek Society for insurance for the Rock Creek Market which happens annually from May through September every Saturday.

•   $3,000 to the Kettle River Food Share Society to buy food (beef, chicken, cheese, pork, other protein) for the local food bank.

•   $120 to the Midway Volunteer Fire Department to pay for two volunteer members to take their Food Safe course.

Volunteer firefighters are often called upon to participate in community events where food preparation is required.

Boundary Flood Recovery

The Board endorsed the following seven strategic objectives for the Boundary Flood Recovery project:

1.        Protect Public Safety

2.        Foster and Improve Heath and Wellness and Support Housing Recovery

3.        Deliver Permanent Solutions

4.        Facilitate Economic Revitalization

5.        Facilitate Environmental Resilience and Adaptation

6.        Engage Community ad Stakeholders

7.        Ensure Equitable, Fair and Reasonable Decisions

Heartfelt thanks to outgoing directors

Chair Russell on behalf of the Board and staff thanked directors Cecchini, Danchuk, Martin, McLelland, Konrad and Rotvold for their time on the Board and their service to local government and to the residents of the RDKB. Director Rotvold was singled out in recognition of her 31 years of service showing a remarkable commitment to  the region. The Board wished all six directors well on their future endeavours.