A look back at Kimberley 2014

The top stories from May, June, July and August in Kimberley

Kimberley lost long time Mayor Jim Ogilvie in August of 2014.

Part II of III


Kimberley continued to celebrate the life of former Councillor Bob McWhinnie with another successful McWhinnie Day at the skatepark. The family event raised $1200 for park improvements.

The City of Kimberley lost a wealth of experience in one day  as both Chief Corporate Administrator George Stratton and Deputy Fire Chief Jack Paterson retired.

A young girl whose fight became an inspiration passed away. Jenna Homeniuk, 16, lost a long, courageous battle with leukemia. Kimberley residents supported Jenna and her family as much as they could through the past few years. Numerous events raised thousands of dollars so her family could stay at her side.

The long-awaited announcement on flume funding finally arrived. The City of Kimberley received notice that the federal and provincial governments will provide $1,034, 291 each for the Mark Creek Flume rehabilitation project.

See 2014, page 2

The City will also commit $1,034,291.

The Ktunaxa Nation launched a legal appeal against a B.C. Supreme Court ruling about the proposed Jumbo Glacier Resort. The First Nation announced on Monday, May 5, that it has filed papers with the B.C. Court of Appeal. The decision came after the Ktunaxa argued in a judicial review that Jumbo Glacier Resort violates its charter rights to religious freedom by desecrating land that is sacred to them, which the Ktunaxa know as Qat’muk.

Kimberley Fire Department members responded  to a fire at the Columbia Salvage scrap pile on May 11. The fire, which sent a huge plume of noxious smoke over Marysville and caused Highway 95A to be closed due to poor visibility and fumes, was called in just around 10:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

Kimberley City Council adopted a Multi-Use Recreation Trails Bylaw. The Bylaw outlines allowed uses, regulates the operation of motorized vehicles on recreation trails and imposes a 20 kph speed limit on all trails owned or operated by the City of Kimberley.

Cpl. Chris Newel of the Kimberley RCMP reported that police were called to the Second Steps Day Care after unknown persons wrote a number of obscenities on the children’s play equipment. “Sometime over the long weekend the suspect(s) used day care play paint to write obscene words and diagrams on the play house, desks, tables, posts, basketball board, windows and other items,” Newel said. “Police and day care workers are at a loss as to why subjects would do such a thing. What have they achieved other than to demonstrate their own lack of respect?”

Kimberley students were not in the classroom Monday morning, May 26, 2014 as Rocky Mountain School District 6 was one of the first to be hit with rotating strikes by the B.C. Teachers Federation. Teachers in Cranbrook, SD5, were also on the line that day.

At Council in May, Coun. Don McCormick moved that the City CAO be directed to request the services of the Municipal Auditor General specifically around the flume project. This came just after a vote by Council to proceed with the flume project now that funding from the provincial and federal government had come through. McCormick told Council that he had been researching some of the municipal audits already completed by Auditor General Basia Ruta, and said that they were uncovering and providing valuable feedback on ways communities could save money on big projects.

The Elkford East Community Credit Union was closed after an attempted robbery. An Elkford East Community Credit Union (EKCCU) employee was taken to hospital and treated for a stab wound after an attempted robbery on Saturday morning, May 31. The victim was stabbed in the leg during the incident and has since been treated and released from the hospital, RCMP Sergeant Will Thien said in a press release Monday. Police say the suspect had already fled the scene when Elk Valley RCMP responded to the incident at 9 a.m. on Saturday.


Members of the Cranbrook and Kimberley RCMP detachments and Cranbrook Fire and Emergency Services marched in formation to the Alliance Church from the Tamarack Centre parking lot to attend the live streaming funeral of three New Brunswick RCMP officers who were slain in the line of duty. Fabrice Georges Gevaudan, Douglas James Larche and Dave Joseph Ross were gunned down after responding to a report of a man with firearms in a residential neighbourhood in the northwest area of Moncton. Two other officers — Constables Eric Dubois and Darlene Goguen — were wounded and have been released from hospital.

A 19-year old Cranbrook woman faced impaired driving charges after crashing through the window of a house in the early hours of Monday morning, June 16. The accident occurred on Archibald Street after the driver failed to negotiate the corner on Archibald Street and crashed through the window causing extensive damage to the house.

More than 420 participates, with about 60 per cent from outside the local area took part in the 20 and 40 km, bike, run or hike events of Kimberley’s Round the Mountain Festival.

Don McCormick, a one-term City Councillor, announced that he would be seeking the Mayor’s seat in the fall municipal election. McCormick promised a different leadership style.


The goal for the Food Bank Duck Race was higher in 2014, with more ducks for sale — 4,000 — up from  3,000 in previous years. And the goal was met, with Food Bank volunteers tirelessly selling tickets for several months. Race organizer Marilyn Jolie of East Kootenay Realty, who furnishes the $2500 first prize herself, reports that the race raised $22,083 — $20,000 from duck sales and $2,083 from the barbecue.

It was an appropriately sunny morning on Monday, July 7, as dignitaries and guests gathered at the Kimberley Conference Centre to celebrate the official launch of the Sun Mine project. The Sun Mine will have over 4,000 solar-cell modules, mounted on 96 solar trackers which follow the sun’s movement, maximizing solar exposure. It will be the first solar project in B.C. to sell power to the BC Hydro grid, and also the largest solar project outside of eastern Canada.

Premier Christy Clark visited Kimberley in July for a round table session with local business owners. At that time she said that she had no intention of ordering striking teachers back to work.

Pipe Major Dave Ekskog led the Kimberley Pipe Band for the final time at the JulyFest Parade. Ekskog retired after leading the band for almost 30 years. Large crowds lined the route to cheer him on. JulyFest itself was well attended, with the Saturday dance featuring Wide Mouth Mason and Big Sugar selling out.

The City of Kimberley hosted a six-hour open house to provide all the available information on the Flume Rehab and SunMine projects.

Response to the new Thursday evening Farmers’ Market on Howard Street was overwhelming from the start. By the end of the third market, Wildsight reported that the markets were an unqualified success, drawing hundreds each week.

A fire between Whiteswan Lake and Canal Flats began to cause concern as the 2014 fire season heated up. That particular fire complex drew a lot of attention and resources from the Southeast Fire Centre through August.

On Tuesday, July 29, the Canadian Radiotelevision and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) approved the application by Clear Sky Radio for a new FM radio station for Cranbrook.

The station will be known as “Summit 107,” will have repeater FM frequencies in Fernie, Sparwood and Invermere. However, by year’s end the new station was not yet on air.


The City of Kimberley has renamed the back road between Kimberley and Marysville. It will now be known as Jim Ogilvie Way in honour of the former Mayor, who served the City as Alderman, beginning in 1965,  then Mayor beginning in 1972. He served 36 years as Mayor, with one break of three years from 2005 to 2008.

Environment Canada meteorologist Andre Besson reports that the weather station at Canadian Rockies International Airport recorded July 2014 as the third hottest July on record. The daily average temperature for the month was 22 degrees Celsius.

A woman spent the night in a ravine on Lakit Mountain on Thursday, August 7 before being rescued by helicopter on the next morning. Kimberley RCMP and Cranbrook Search and Rescue, with an assist from rope experts from Golden SAR were all in on the rescue.

After eight days of hard work, hot weather, and great entertainment, the first Kimberley Kaleidoscope arts and culture festival closed on a high note with an estimated 250 people at the Saturday Night Blues Party.

A family vacation at a mountain cabin ended in near tragedy on Wednesday, August 13, after a propane explosion destroyed a cabin. Cpl. Ayers of the Columbia Valley Detachment says both members from his detachment and the Kimberley Detachment of the RCMP attended the scene at Whitetail Lake, at kilometre 26 on the Finlay Creek Forest Service Road. “Some time after 4 in the morning on August 13 one of the rental cabins at Whitetail exploded,” Ayers told the Bulletin. “The roof blew off and the cabin is demolished.” Ayers says two families from Britain had rented what he described as a duplex type cabin. He said in spite of the severity of the explosion, all eight people were accounted for.

A special prosecutor with the Criminal Justice Branch approved criminal charges against four individuals associated with Bountiful. Peter Wilson approved the charges, which allege polygamy and the unlawful removal of children under the age of 16 years from Canada with the intention that an act committed outside Canada would be an offence against section 151 (sexual interference) or 152 (invitation to sexual touching) of the Criminal Code.Winston Blackmore and James Oler both face charges of polygamy, while Oler also faces a charge for the alleged unlawful removal of a child from Canada.

As a direct consequence of the tailings dam breach at the Mt. Polley Mine earlier this month, the chief inspector of mines has issued an order to all mining companies to conduct a Dam Safety Inspection for every tailings storage facility at a permitted mine by Dec. 1, 2014. Under the order, those inspections must be reviewed by an independent, qualified, third-party, professional engineer from a firm not associated with the tailings facility. This includes the Sullivan Mine tailings ponds in Kimberley, Teck confirmed.

August ended on a somber note in Kimberley as former Mayor Jim Ogilvie passed away on August 26.






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