Kimberley year in review, part 3

Looking back on the last four months of 2012 in Kimberley

  • Dec. 31, 2012 6:00 a.m.



There were a lot of questions, and some anger, at a public meeting to update citizens on the progress of the Mark Creek flume project. The main source of contention was the removal of the St. Mary’s Avenue bridge, which the city will be replacing with a footbridge. The reasoning was that with the much wider span on the redesigned  creek a new vehicle bridge would be prohibitively expensive. Mayor Ron McRae promised to work with residents of that area on other options, which could include another bridge further downstream.

STARS air ambulance flew a Wasa boy to Calgary on September 2 after a sandbank collapsed on him at a Koocanusa campground. By year’s end the boy was back home and back in school.

After a period out of cabinet, Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett was named Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

RCMP in Cranbrook said they found 25 forged gas contracts. Businesses had contracts with Active Energy or Active Renewable Marketing with forged signatures from owners and employees.

Kimberley announced a bid for the 2015 World Para-Alpine  Ski Championships as those championships move to Canada for the first time. There was considerable optimism about the bid, but in the end it was awarded to Panorama.

The City  of Kimberley began an Investment Incentive Program which would allow businesses 100 per cent tax relief on increased assessment due to improvements. A further incentive is offered to anyone redeveloping a brownfield property.

The East Kootenay Foundation for Health reached their million dollar goal in less than a year, meaning a new digital mammography unit will be headed to East Kootenay Regional early in the new year.

The Chief Administrative Officer of the RDEK, Lee-Ann Crane, was appointed by the province to sit on an independent panel to look into online voting.

Bear sightings in Kimberley picked up considerably in September after a quiet summer. Four bears were put down in the first three weeks of the month. As always, attractants such as garbage were the main problem. The number of bears put down rose to ten by month’s end.

The JCI Canadian National Convention was held in Kimberley in September and the Conference Centre and all the outdoor activities planned received rave reviews.


Dr. Jane Goodall visited the East Kootenay  to discuss her Roots And Shoots programs with local educators. She also spoke at a sold out event at Key City Theatre.

A carjacking near Creston ended with a police shootout in Cranbrook on October 3. The male suspect was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He was identified as Nicholas John Bullock and was charged with assault with a weapon, robber, uttering threats to cause death or bodily harm, possession of stolen property, and possession of a weapon with a dangerous purpose.

While attending the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, Mayor Ron McRae had a chance to speak with Minister of Environment Terry Lake about Kimberley’s ongoing deer problems. However, the message from the province was that there was no money available to help communities.

The Cranbrook Hospice Society expanded into Kimberley, bringing hospice care back into the community. Two Kimberley Board members were found and more were being sought.

Local company Story & Co. were awarded the contract to tell Kimberley’s story and develop the City’s brand.

Gray Creek Pass was re-opened after the Forest Service found the necessary funds to repair slides, which had kept the popular tourist route closed all summer.

The Kimberley Project Society folded after raising funds for local projects since 1957. Their final bit of money, $2944, was handed over to the Kimberley and District Community Foundation.

Kimberley’s Mike Honeyman, along with Cranbrook teammates qualified for the World Tough Mudder Race in New Jersey after a stellar showing in San Francisco.

Canadian Rockies International Airport was wooing WestJet, hoping to snag the company’s new regional carrier into a Cranbrook stop. However, almost every airport of similar size in Western Canada was doing the same. No announcement had been made at year end.

About 1700 hectares of Crown land to the north, west and south of Cranbrook could become Ktunaxa land if the Ktunaxa Kinbasket Treat is signed. The treat reached an agreement in principle in October. If the treaty is signed, the Steeples mountain range would be given a Ktunaxa name.


Numerous cougar sightings had parents and pet owners on edge as November began.

MADD Kimberley Cranbrook launched its first ever Red Ribbon campaign to raise awareness of issues around drinking and driving. At the same time the first provincial chapter of Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD) was launched at Selkirk Secondary.

After beginning the year with the backflip seen round the world, Josh Dueck was named in the top ten of National Geographic’s Adventurers of the Year. An on line voting contest was launched. Dueck was up against other adventurers such as Felix Baumgartner, who broke the sound barrier with a free fall from space.

Kimberley Summer Theatre announced an ambition season for 2013, in which they will mount two productions; an eight performance run of the Wizard of Oz at McKim Theatre and a 22-performance run of another play at Centre 64.

A new report said that people in southeast BC are dying from prescription opioid overdoses at the same rate that they are dying in drunk driving accidents. 21 people, almost two per month are dying from overdoses of prescribed opioids such as morphine, codeine, oxycodone, hydromorphone and fentanyl.

Cranbrook artist and spiritual visionary ManWoman died at the age of 74.

The Kimberley Nature Park now has a 30 year license of occupation over the nature park lands after their new management plan was completed.


An online survey was launched to poll Kimberley citizens on their thoughts on Kimberley’s story as the branding process got underway. A public meeting was also held.

The Jumbo Glacier Resort will be incorporated on February 19, 2013 despite opposition from a number of different organizations. A Mayor and Council were appointed and the mayor will sit at the RDEK table, although will not yet have a vote. The Union of BC Municipalities had resolved in September that municipalities should have an elected mayor and council. Wildsight and the Ktunaxa vowed to continue the fight against the resort.

Two local people, Peter Moody and Susan Bond, were attacked by a grizzly near Cherry Creek on LD Ranch Road. They were badly injured and flown to Calgary. Conservation Officers made the decision that the bears — and sow and cubs — would not be tracked and put down as the sow was protecting a deer kill and exhibiting normal behaviour.

Coun. Jack Ratcliffe was awarded a Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, recognizing his long years of public service.


The Ktunaxa Nation Council marched with about 350 others through Cranbrook to protest the Jumbo decision. At the same time, other representatives of the Ktunaxa Nation delivered an application for judicial review of the decision in Victoria.

The City undertook another count of the urban deer herd, although numbers were not available before year end. However, Kimberley, like most other municipalities experiencing deer issues, will wait for a decision in the Invermere court case before deciding whether to pursue another cull in 2013.

Kimberley City Council decided not to purchase carbon offsets in a split vote. Under the Climate Action Charter, municipalities were to be carbon neutral by the end of 2012 or purchase offsets to make up for the extra greenhouse gas emissions. However, a majority of Kimberley Councillors voted that until an offset project could be found closer to home, they would put the money in a fund for future investment.

Fines for feeding deer in Kimberley rose to a maximum of $500. It was part of ongoing implementation of the recommendations from the Urban Deer Advisory committee.

The Kimberley Chamber of Commerce decided to focus more on business and less on tourism activities. In that spirit, they handed over duties at the Information Centre to Tourism Kimberley, who will lease the office space and provide tourist information. The Chamber will be looking for a storefront office and will hire a new manager. The Chamber will continue to run the JulyFest event under their contract with the City.