School, policing issues raised at UBCM

School funding and rural policing were top of the list for the regional district at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities this week.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

School funding and rural policing were top of the list for the regional district at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities this week.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen expressed concern about the process used over the last year for the potential closing of four schools in the area.

“While we understand and respect the role of the school board, the regional district believes that schools also have an economic and social sustainability factor that should require that the local government be included in the discussion,” the RDOS board said in a press release.

Mark Pendergraft, board chair, reported that the Minister of Education advised that the province is working diligently to improve the process prior to the end of the two-year reprieve for West Bench, Trout Creek and Osoyoos schools that had been identified for closure in 2016 and that the RDOS suggestions would be taken into consideration.

At previous UBCM conferences the RDOS expressed a need for additional rural policing as they fall under the provincial policing contract and the province has not increased resources for several years.

There are eight officers for the eight electoral areas in the South Okanagan-Similkameen while many of those districts are facing growth. This includes the new correctional facility and additional administrative duties for RCMP officers.

The RDOS said they made the case at UBCM to the Solicitor General and were advised the effect on the South Okanagan Correctional Facility will be watched closely and that “other options to address policing concerns” will be identified.

With increasing pressure to consult First Nations on development and land use applications on private or community lands, the RDOS asked the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs to consider establishing a provincial position on First Nation referrals to gain consistency across the province and provide support for local government in negotiating any agreements that may be required.

The RDOS had the opportunity to meet with the Minister of Health to discuss several areas of interest to the South Okanagan-Similkameen.

The continual issues with Sage Mesa Water System was brought up. The system is privately held, but was seized by Interior Health Authority because of “poor management.” The province has contracted with the RDOS to manage and operate the service on their behalf. IHA currently has a order against the owner of the system due to the rapidly deteriorating infrastructure which causes continual boil water notices. The RDOS reported to the Minister of Health that IHA seems reluctant to pull the trigger on enforcement and the problem continues to exacerbate.

Other topics the RDOS touched on were youth mental health programming and planning for an ageing population.

Just Posted

(Drive BC photo)
Vehicle incident closes Highway 3 east of Osoyoos

Drive BC says to avoid the area until the road is clear

Osoyoos chef Murray McDonald was ecstatic upon realizing he scored the $1 million guaranteed prize in the June 2, 2021 Lotto 6/49 draw. (Contributed)
Osoyoos chef ecstatic after bagging $1 million Lotto 6/49 win

Chef Murray McDonald was at home and ready to doze off to sleep when he got a text from his wife

(File photo)
Additional service coming to two Penticton bus routes

Both service changes were made to meet increased demand over the summer

It's believed the Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Sunday night. (Aileen Mascasaet Maningas)
UPDATE: Two churches on band land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Okanagan Connector to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation recently announced $1 million in funding for the upgrades

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

(Drive BC photo)
Vehicle incident closes Highway 3 east of Osoyoos

Drive BC says to avoid the area until the road is clear

Salmon Arm RCMP responded to three incidents involving women concerned for their own safety between June 13 and 17, 2021. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP respond to concerns about women being watched, followed

In one of three incidents a woman was invited into a vehicle but declined

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

Traffic will be diverted through Radium along highways 93 and 95 as a part of the closures. (Claire Palmer photo)
Extended closures to Trans-Canada Highway announced east of Golden this fall

It’s the second round of extended closures as a part of Phase 4 of the Kicking Horse Canyon Project

Kelowna Cabs’ dispatchers will be coming back to work now that their union and the taxi company have come to an agreement. (Facebook/Kelowna Cabs)
Kelowna Cabs dispatchers set to go back to work

The taxi company and the dispatchers’ union have reached an agreement

Wild Sky Sisters
Wild Sky Sisters: Cancer Season

Wild Sky Sisters is a joint venture between Angela Moffitt and Tamara McLellan

A pair of Alberta residents were arrested after police responded to a report of a woman who had allegedly been assaulted and confined against her will on June 20, 2021. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP arrest 2 Albertans suspected in alleged assault, unlawful confinement

Firearms, stolen items seized including NHL hockey cards believed to be worth thousands

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

Most Read