November 15th is the election for the Directors of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, along with Mayors and Councilors for Salmon Arm and Sicamous. The people that make up this board of directors make significant decisions that affect our life on the lake. As an organization that needs to work with all levels of government we will not support any individuals directly. What we have done is present our opinion on the upcoming decision regarding the Shuswap Watershed Council, and asked for reply's from those running. We will present those reply's below for you to read and ponder. Visit this page to find out how you can mail in your vote.
The gist of our opinion for the Shuswap Watershed Council is that there should not be a Shuswap Watershed Council. Yes, water quality, monitoring and remediation of a few problems are important, but the $350,000 projected annual cost for the council (no remediation included) is too high and the work could be handled by the CSRD.
On October 25th we sent the following email and supporting documents to the candidates for CSRD Board of Directors, as well as local media.
To All Candidates
Please find attached a letter from SWOA requesting your opinion on the proposed Shuswap Watershed Council and a paper discussing SWOA's position on the SWC.
Thank you and we look forward to your replies.
Bo Wilson, President SWOA
Here are the responses from those we've requested an opinion:
Electoral Area 'C' - South Shuswap
Paul Demenok 2518 Waverly Drive, Blind Bay, BC
(October 29, 14) Hi Bo, Thanks very much for your email with the SWOA letter and position paper on the Shuswap Watershed Council. You've raised some very good points for consideration. As you know, we have several important submissions we're awaiting which will inform the CSRD, RDNO and TNRD Boards and the SWC Steering Committee. After we've reviewed these submissions we will be better able to adopt a position on this matter. Thanks again. Best Regards Paul Demenok
Alan McClelland 2176 Trans Canada HWY, Sorrento, BC
(October 27, 2014)
Good morning Bo In regards to your interest towards how I feel about Slipp and the Shuswap Watershed Council I can offer the following After living here for 35 yrs I have noticed a discouraging habit lately of people clamouring on a bandwagon to promote their complaints, personal agendas and politcal veiw points on government funded studies, or committees. I am also a little bewildered that some groups that say they can't trust the government also ask for government funding and inhouse support. It seems to me to be like asking the wolf to guard the chicken house. There is no doubt in my mind, nor am I happy about the continued pressure put upon our natural resources. Having said that, I am even more unhappy about some of the methods employed to deal with them. Seemingly endless meetings and open houses are costing a lot of tax dollars. Are there issues with people that are choosing to push the boundaries, you betcha . I am aware of people that believe that Carmel Cove dumps raw sewage into the lake, yet I also know the very competent woman who oversees the system who has demonstrated to me the exact opposite. Earth Studies at the Salmon Arm College Campus, or Thompson Rivers University could be approached to do studies and report to the CSRD on a curriculum basis with seed money as an ongoing course that would be at arms length and cheaper than any other method I am aware of today . When I asked one professor, he was very interested.. I believe you can sense where I am headed with this. I was not happy with SLIPP, nor am I happy with SWC. I get a sense that there is a move towards job creation going on rather than making our watershed healthier. Do we need information, sure we do. Maybe we should look at the old weather recording station program that was in effect throughout Canada up until recently, when quietly interested citizens recorded the weather at stations on their properties, and submitted it. We need to find a way to keep things simple, not keep making it more involved and costly. Do we need to keep tabs on the Shuswap watershed ? YES. Can we do it in a less costly way? You know we can. The elected CSRD Directors need to want to and that direction can only come from the electorate. That means people not staying at home and hoping it just all goes away, it won't. I applaud the naturalists for keeping tabs on things, thank you, but I hope you agree we can't just keep dipping into the public coffers for endless sums of money. As a footnote, I was out at the Adams river this morning and watching a private film crew from Vancouver. I talked to the woman who was behind the project and she informed me that at first they had approached all possible Government areas for funding and were turned down. She believed in the project so much she has spent the last few years getting private funding to complete her project and has spent the last month here recording the run thanks to them . My point is, let's look more to ourselves than the government, we will all be richer for the effort . thank you for the opportunity to comment Alan McClelland
Richard Norman #15-2592 Alpen Paradies Road, Blind Bay, BC
No response to date
Electoral Area 'D' - Falkland/Salmon Valley/Ranchero/Deep Creek
Rene Talbot 5755 Tuktakamin Road, Falkland, BC
No response to date
Kelly Stalker 6715 Paxton Valley Road, Falkland, BC
(October 31, 2014)
My initial response to the formation of the SWC is to take a somewhat cautious stance. As I continue to seek out more information on the program and get a better understanding of the nuances attached to the discussion I would not feel comfortable allocating funding for this program given there are many questions that still persist. While it’s critical to have consultation and collaboration on shared concerns within the Fraser Basin, it is equally important to be fiscally responsible with taxpayer’s money. I believe the constituents of Area D will be surprised to learn that the CSRD provided $781,700 to the SLIPP pilot project, preceding the SWC, and that less than half of the objectives were fully implemented as conveyed in their final report. $394,894 went to water quality testing alone even when the water quality was shown to be good. I would require more specific information on how the SWC would be funded and through what mechanisms. I would also like to see how SWC intends to address the level of bureaucracy that inherently exists in multi-partner initiatives which can lead to duplication of services and needless spending.
Electoral Area 'E' - Rural Sicamous/Malakwa/Swansea Point
Rhona Martin 3769 Malakwa Road, Malakwa, BC
(October 28, 12014)
Hi Bo, I am not in a position to provide comment on your request at this time as the Board is currently waiting for a couple of reports that would inform my comments. Thanks for asking for my opinion. Rhona
Dan Letendre 4674 Ackerman Road, Malakwa, BC
Electoral Area 'F' - North Shuswap - Acclamation
Larry Morgan 4246 Saratoga Road, Scotch Creek, BC
No response to date.