2014 saw the beginning of a new political era in Kimberley as Don McCormick was sworn into office as Mayor in early December.

2014 saw the beginning of a new political era in Kimberley as Don McCormick was sworn into office as Mayor in early December.

Kimberley year in review, part III

A look back at the top stories from September, October, November and December 2014

  • Dec. 31, 2014 7:00 a.m.


The school year began with no students in the classroom. Jim Jenkinson, Chair of the SD6 Board released this statement, “The SD6 Board of Education is very disappointed that a negotiated deal has not been reached prior to the scheduled start of school on September 2nd. We were hopeful that students and teachers, as well as all of our support staff, could at least have returned to school while the negotiations continued. That will not be possible due to the current state of the talks and the ongoing BCTF strike action.”

The Ktunaxa Nation announced it would be appealing the Supreme Court decision relating to the ski resort approved for the Jumbo Valley. Ktunaxa Nation lawyers announced that they had completed the next step in the process of appealing the court’s decision regarding Jumbo, which is known to the Ktunaxa as Qat’muk.

Summer returned to the East Kootenay for the second running of the Kootenay Rockies Gran Fondo, Sunday, Sept. 7. With more than 360 confirmed cyclists, the event was up 40 per cent over 2013’s inaugural Gran Fondo.

Long-time political opponents Bill Bennett went at it again in September over the Mt. Polley tailings pond spill. Macdonald called on Bennett to resign as Minister of Energy and Mines, and Bennett said he would — if his Ministry was found negligent.

Lucky Sikora, who was charged with mischief to property over $5,000 after being found tampering with deer traps in Kimberley, plead guilty and was fined $800 and must pay a victim surcharge of $240 and restitution of $1,000, as ordered by Justice Ron Webb. The fines must be paid within one year.

Volunteers at the Kimberley Health Care Auxiliary’s Marysville Thrift Store worried the store might have to close if more volunteers could not be found.

Kimberley kids returned to school the third week of September as it was announced that a deal had been reached between the BCTF and the BC Public School Employers Association (BCPSEA, the organization which bargains for the provincial government).

Sandra Roberts was the first candidate to announce a run for Kimberley City Council. She was followed the next day by Councillor Kent Goodwin, who said he would seek a second term. Next to announce was Brent Bush.

In a unanimous vote, UBCM delegates passed a motion opposing provincial funding of towns without a population. The motions was squarely aimed at the Jumbo Glacier Mountain Resort Municipality, which was created on February 19, 2013 and a mayor and two councillors appointed.


Kimberley City Council finally gave approval in principal to the Taylor’s Mill development. The development had been under much discussion as smaller diameter water pipes, septic systems, gravel rather than paved roads and other changes which the proponent argued would make the development viable in this climate were requested. To reach agreement, the developer changed the plans to a strata development.

At a regular meeting of City Council in October, Coun. Jack Ratcliffe put an end to speculation about his intentions, by announcing he would not run for re-election this November. “At this moment, my intention is not to run,” said the 86-year old Ratcliffe. “To paraphrase General MacArthur, ‘old soldiers never die, they just fade away’.”

One-term Councillor Bev Middlebrook announced on October 6 that she would seek a second term. Mayor Ron McRae ended speculation about his political intentions on October 8, when he formally announced that he would see a third term. Later that week, political newcomer Nigel Kitto announced a Council run.

A 56-year-old man was recovering in a Calgary hospital after getting mauled by a grizzly bear while hunting near  Fernie.

A third candidate, Doug Johnson, announced he was entering the Mayor’s race. His ideas for what the City of Kimberley should be doing going forward are simple, he said — slow down and zip up your wallet. Realtor Darren Close also announced he would run for Council.

The Oct. 12 deadline passed, and forward progress at Jumbo Glacier Resort was on hold. The environmental certificate for the proposed ski resort in the Purcell Mountains west of Invermere expired on that date and at year’s end no decision on whether a substantial start had been made on construction had been delivered.

Although the City of Kimberley, after much debate at Council, sent a request for the Auditor General to audit the City on capital procurement and asset management, Auditor General Basia Ruta wrote City CAO Scott Sommerville to inform him that the AG’s office will be unable to do so.

A report on Kimberley’s water and sewer infrastructure indicated that About 12 km of Kimberley’s water pipes are 59 to 74 years old and the cost to replace them would be $500,000 annually for 15 years.

Albert Hoglund announced he would seek a tenth term.


On Sunday, November 2, Kimberley Search and Rescue (SAR) successfully performed a technical rope rescue of a woman who had fallen into the creek while hiking near Meachen Falls.  The woman had fallen into the river while walking and spent the night on a shelf of rock before her rescue.

Paralympic gold medalist, double silver medalist, world champion, X-Games champion, Josh Dueck, announced his retirement from competitive ski racing in November.

A new political era dawned in Kimberley as Don McCormick won the Mayor’s seat with 1301 votes to incumbent Ron McRae’s 1142. Doug Johnson received 181 votes. For Council it was Sandra Roberts  – 1898;  Kent Goodwin        – 1853; Darryl Oakley     – 1817; Albert Hoglund –    1601; Nigel Kitto – 1492; and Bev Middlebrook  1447.

Although a staff report presented Kimberley City Council with an option of deferring adoption of bylaws to allow the sale of Kimberley Golf Course lands for a small housing development,  Council opted to adopt the bylaws amending the Official Community Plan and changing the zoning. There had been concern express by St. Mary Lake residents but council opted to go ahead.

The Kimberley Helping Hands Food Bank held their Annual General Meeting on November 25, 2014, with President Stan Salikin reporting to Society members.

“Once again we have heard from our Food Bank Coordinator of the large numbers of clients being served at our Food Bank,” Salikin said. “Totals are 1,946 people in all, including 769 children. Many of the people helped are one time emergency users, while others are recipients of multiple hampers throughout the year. It is significant to note the number of children involved, being close to 37 per cent.”


A FaceBook group called Taking Back East Kootenay Highways was pointing fingers at the highways contractor Mainroad, saying that they are not doing a good enough job keeping the highways in the area safe through the winter months. Al Sander, general manager for Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting, said they take the concerns raised by the public seriously. “We were aware of the impending weather before it came last week,” Sander said. “We were fully prepared. All of our equipment had been deployed.”

Sander said the service levels haven’t changed and there is the same amount of resources as there were in past years.

“It’s been a challenging week for weather conditions in many parts of the province,” Sander said.

Cheyenne Learn was found guilty of second-degree murder by Justice Dev Dley to conclude his trial in the shooting death of Tammy Ellis in December 2007. Learn was previously convicted of second degree murder in his first trial in 2009, but that was overturned on appeal in 2013 and he was awarded a new trial. Second degree murder carries a life sentence, but crown and defence counsel will appear before Dley again in January to argue parole eligibility, which generally ranges anywhere from 10-25 years.

Kimberley Alpine Resort pushed back its opening day to December 20 due to a lack of snow. It was however, able to open December 20 and the resort as busy through the holiday week.

The province’s decision whether Jumbo Glacier Resort was substantially started by the potential expiry date of its Environmental Assessment Certificate has been delayed as the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO) is requesting additional information on the location of Jumbo Glacier Resort’s day lodge.

On December 14, 2014 at 6:30 am, the Cranbrook RCMP responded to a report of shots fired in the neighbourhood of 16th Street South and 15th Avenue South. A residence and vehicle were shot several times. No one was injured during the incident. Police did not believe this to be a random act of violence, but there is nothing to lead police to believe this was the intended residence.

On Monday, December 15, Kimberley City Council sat for a public council meeting for the first time since their election. Mayor Don McCormick requested an update on the SunMine project to bring new Council up to speed on the solar project. City CAO Scott Sommerville informed Council that the project was now projected to connect to the power grid sometime in March, rather than January as expected.