Green Party Leader Elizabeth May Visiting Nelson/Creston This Month

press release by Greens of BC

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NELSON B.C. – Hot on the heels of BC Green Party Leader, Andrew Weaver, Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party of Canada, will tour Nelson-Creston with MLA candidate, Kim Charlesworth, on Thursday, April 20.

“Elizabeth is visiting to support and inspire the Green Wave that we’re seeing in BC.”,
Charlesworth said. “The people of Nelson-Creston need to know that the Greens present a real option for reclaiming our democracy and solving problems that affect individuals, communities, our environment, and our climate. ”

Elizabeth can be booked to meet with the media for half an hour after her events in Creston and Nelson.

CRESTON: Apr 20, 12:30- 2:30pm – The Green Groundswell continues with Elizabeth May. Speeches by Kim Charlesworth & Elizabeth May. Discussion with citizens. Cookies & drinks. Creston & District Community Complex , 312 19 Ave N

NELSON: Apr 20, 7-9pm  – The Green Groundswell continues with Elizabeth May
Keynote Speaker – Green Party of Canada Leader, Elizabeth May, Speech by Kim Charlesworth, Questions & Answers with citizens, silent auction, music, snacks & drinks.
Rod and Gun Club, 801 Railway Street.

Legalizing the Recreational Use of Cannabis

Wayne’s World – A Monthly Submission by Kootenay-Columbia MP, Wayne Stetski

Legalizing the Recreational Use of Cannabis

There was not a room in Kootenay-Columbia big enough to accommodate the 3000+ people that took part in the Town Hall I hosted on Marijuana Legalization in Canada.  Conveniently most of the participants were sitting comfortably in their own living rooms taking part over the phone!

Since being elected in 2015, I have received hundreds of questions and comments about Justin Trudeau’s election commitment to Legalize Marijuana.  Since the Prime Minister’s cynical retreat from his promise of democratic reform, it is difficult to know how many more promises the Liberal government might break.  With that being said, we know that the issue of Marijuana Legalization is a complex one; it will undoubtedly have effects on our health, our local economies, and our law enforcement.   The current state of limbo has created chaos for municipalities, police forces, businesses and recreational cannabis users.   In November 2016, a government taskforce released A Framework for the Legalization and Regulation of Cannabis in Canada, but until we see legislation a very problematic grey area remains.

On March 14 I hosted a telephone town hall; the intent of the town hall was to bring people together from all corners of Kootenay-Columbia to share their questions, concerns, knowledge and opinions about the legalization of cannabis for recreational use.  I also wanted to prepare myself to represent the diverse views of the riding when the government brings forward legislation, which could happen as early as this spring.  I assembled a panel consisting of the Mayor of Nelson, a drug and alcohol addictions expert, and a Kimberley marijuana retailer. I also invited the RCMP to take part, but they respectfully declined.   3,378 people from across Kootenay-Columbia joined us on the call to listen, ask questions and share their opinions.

We heard concerns about the effects of second hand smoke and impaired driving.  There were questions about possible effects on life insurance and the age limit for legal use.  There were a number of comments and ideas about how the tax revenue could and should be used.  Questions and comments also touched on about how people who have gotten criminal records for simple possession would be pardoned and whether or not cannabis is a gateway drug.  Another of the themes focused on who could and should grow and sell recreational cannabis. The panelists were able to respond to most of the concerns, and referencing the task force report provided insight on some of the other questions.

Since the town hall I have heard from many constituents who were grateful for the opportunity to hear from their neighbours and other communities across the riding; many have spoken on the value of having broad community conversations.   I really appreciated the thoughtfulness of the participants. Even though this is an issue that can be divisive, all participants engaged in the conversation in a respectful and productive matter.  Many folks who were not comfortable with or able to share their thoughts on the phone have since emailed them to me, so I can take them forward to Ottawa.

If you were not able to take part in the town hall, it was recorded and can be found on my website and youtube channel for your reference.  As with all federal issues, please contact me with any feedback.

We will have to wait and see what the federal government’s next steps are when it comes to Marijuana Legalization.  Many questions will remain unanswered until we see legislation come forward.  The input I have received will inform my advocacy on behalf of the residents of Kootenay-Columbia when we see that legislation in Parliament.  Remember that the Liberal Justice Minister continues to say that until the law is changed, it is illegal to be in possession of cannabis and you can end up with a criminal record for using it recreationally.


Mentorship Opportunities

Be A Mentor!

by Matthew Winger, Mentorships Coordina­tor, CBESS

For six years the in­novative Crawford Bay School Mentorship Program has been mat­ching secondary stud­ents with community members to provide personalized learning experiences.  We have been very fortunate to be able to coor­dinate the myriad ac­tivities and to witn­ess the wonderful in­teractions between the students and their mentors.  Students have summed up their experiences with statements as profound as “I have a new best friend” and many mentors have found a “renewed interest and inspiration” sha­ring their interests and expertise with students.  It’s said that “it takes a vi­llage to raise a chi­ld”.  The mentorship program contributes to a stronger commu­nity through these shared experiences and connections.
We will again be see­king mentors for this year’s program sch­eduled to begin in early May through to early June.  Please feel free to contact me if your talents and skills align with the following list of student interests and to refer commu­nity members to the program at 250-227-9218  or cbessmentorships@gma­
Student Interest Top Picks:
  • computer repair
  • rock climbing
  • video game coding
  • vet assistant
  • photography
  • sewing
  • creative writing
  • automotive repair
  • trail building
  • piano
  • ESIS
  • sound mixing
  • massage Therapy
  • archery
  • welding
  • tanning
  • sailing
  • candy making
I thank you once aga­in for your enthusiastic support of this pro­gram.  Other schools in our district and the province are ea­ger to replicate our results so we may be proud of what we have accomplished tog­ether.  For those of you who have been mentors, thank you for caring and sharing your time, effort and sometimes patience to support a stude­nt’s learning.  For those of you who have not yet had the re­warding opportunity to be a mentor, I ho­pe you will soon.

Ooops! So Sorry…


The back page of the March Mainstreet listed the MV Osprey as being out of service in March, when in fact it isn’t until April that the servicing occurs. We are sincerely sorry for any confusion this mis-print may have caused.


Columbia Basin Trust to fund Avalanche Canada with $450,000 over three years

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(Columbia Basin) – Winter backcountry users in Canada often rely on Avalanche Canada to help keep safe. To support the important work it does—including notifying backcountry users of avalanche conditions and risks—Columbia Basin Trust is funding the non-profit organization with $450,000 over three years.

“We’re blessed with beautiful mountains here in the Basin, which means we have to be smart when we play out there in the winter,” said Johnny Strilaeff, Columbia Basin Trust President and Chief Executive Officer. “The efforts of Avalanche Canada not only help protect residents, but help our region continue to attract winter tourists. This boosts our economy, as does the fact Avalanche Canada and its employees are based right here in the Basin.”

“We are extremely grateful for this support from Columbia Basin Trust,” said Gilles Valade, Executive Director, Avalanche Canada. “Predictable multi-year funding is critical for our operations and allows us to maintain our services for the backcountry community.”

To increase public avalanche safety, Avalanche Canada issues daily avalanche forecasts throughout the winter for many of the mountainous regions of western Canada, providing this free information via their website and mobile app. It also coordinates and delivers avalanche awareness and education programs, acts as a central point of contact for avalanche information and performs avalanche research projects. In winter it employs over 30 people through its head office in Revelstoke and its field team in Fernie.

Virtually the entire Basin is served by its programs and services. Of its 12 forecast regions, eight are in the Basin, making up over half of the area it covers. The Basin is also where most avalanche fatalities occur in Canada: 52 per cent between 2000 and 2014. That’s why the work of this organization is so vital to this region.

The Trust also funded Avalanche Canada in 2015, with $370,000 over two and a half years. In addition to continuing its ongoing activities, the organization used this for items like developing a new website, upgrading its technology and introducing the Mountain Information Network, which allows backcountry users to share real-time data and observations from the field.

The Trust has also committed $50,000 over two years to help Avalanche Canada deliver a program specific to youth. In 2015/16, the organization delivered the program to 36 schools in 26 Basin communities, raising avalanche awareness and reducing risks amongst nearly 4,000 students of all ages.

To learn more about Avalanche Canada, visit

Columbia Basin Trust supports the ideas and efforts of the people in the Columbia Basin. To learn more about the Trust’s programs and initiatives, and how it helps deliver social, economic and environmental benefits to the Basin, visit or call 1.800.505.8998.