MP David Wilks; Mayor Gerry Taft

MP David Wilks; Mayor Gerry Taft

East Kootenay benefits from disability funding

Communities in the region were awarded $140,723 in funding for projects aimed at increasing accessibility for people with disabilities.

  • Aug. 21, 2014 2:00 p.m.

Trevor Crawley/Daily Townsman

Cranbrook and Kimberley, along with other communities in the region, were awarded $140,723 in funding for projects aimed at increasing accessibility for people with disabilities.

Announced by Candice Bergen, the Minister of State for Social Development, the funding will go to a pair of projects in Cranbrook and Kimberley that will make a few municipal facilities easer to access by wheelchair.

In Cranbrook, funding went to installing automatic doors at five locations that include the curling centre and Western Financial Place and an accessible washroom at city hall, while Kimberley built three accessible bridges over Mark Creek trail system.

“We’re proud to be able to support these projects, to be able to partner together with this community with individuals and groups who are helping Canadians with disabilities access the things we take for granted,” said Bergen.

In a speech in council chambers at Cranbrook city hall on Wednesday, Bergen punctuated her point with a personal anecdote.

“I have some very good friends who are in wheelchairs and have accessibility issues and sometimes we call a restaurant or call a community place and we ask ‘Are you accessible?’ and they say, ‘Yes, we are,'” Bergen said. “And you get there and they’re not accessible. The door’s not wide enough, it’s difficult to get up to the door, there might be just three or four steps, which doesn’t seem like a big deal, but when you’re in a wheelchair, that is a big deal.”

In addition to Cranbrook and Kimberley, funding was also distributed to the District of Invermere and the Valley Community Resource Society, out of the federal government’s Enabling Accessibility Fund.

Cranbrook mayor Wayne Stetski recounting a day of touring the community in a wheelchair shortly after he was elected with two local citizens who were concerned with accessibility.

“Until you’ve actually done that, spent a little time trying to make your way around, you really do not understand the challenges,” Stetski said. “I got beaten up by doors trying to get into buildings. They set me up where you can get on one of our sidewalks in Cranbrook, you can wheel down to the end, but you can’t get off.

“…We want a community that is as welcoming to all our people as possible, so over the last couple years, we’ve been on a bit of a journey to improve accessibility for people in Cranbrook.”

In addition to community projects, Bergen also put out the call for small businesses to apply for funding that is available for improving accessibility at the workplace. Roughly $5 million in grants are available with a 50/50 cost sharing between the federal government and small business project proposals with a deadline of Oct. 1st, 2014. Applications and more information can be found at: www.esdc.gc.ca/eng/disability/eaf.

Just Posted

The Kimberley Refugee Resettlement Group is active again after a few years off and are working to find a home for Gloria in Kimberley. Photo taken at a KRRG fundraiser several years ago. Bulletin file.
Kimberley Refugee Resettlement Group active once more

KRRG working to find a refugee a safe place to live in Kimberley

The Kimberley Aquatic Centre is set to reopen its doors to the public on July 6, after being shut down due to the pandemic in March, 2020. The Centre will be initially operating with reduced occupancy and limited program offerings. Bulletin file.
Kimberley Aquatic Centre set to re-open July 6

New safety infrastructure, limited guests and programming allow facility to open again

Interior Health is reporting a COVID-19 exposure at Selkirk Secondary in Kimberley. Bulletin file.
COVID-19 case identified at Selkirk Secondary in Kimberley

Interior Health is conducting contact tracing

The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League met for their AGM and announced a number of new initiatives, new awards and changes in their executive committee, as well as the starting date for the 2021-22 season. Paul Rodgers file.
KIJHL announces start dates for 2021-22 season

Season set to begin Oct. 1 with league still following all health guidelines

Calvin Dickson photo.
Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for East Kootenay

Conditions favourable for the development of thunderstorms, hail and heavy rain

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Grace (left), a caribou that was born in a maternal pen north of Revelstoke, is alive and well said the province. It appears she even has a calf. Maternity pens aim to increase caribou calf survival by protecting them from predation until they are older and less vulnerable. (Contributed)
For the first time in years, caribou numbers increasing near Revelstoke

North herd growing but south herd still concerning

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Kelowna General Hospital. (File photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Kelowna General Hospital declared over

Three people tested positive for the virus — two patients and one staff — one of whom died

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Most Read