Kimberley’s year in review

Part I of a look back at Kimberley's top stories of 2014

Year in Review Part I

January 2014

The year began with the receiver-manager in charge of the Shadow Mountain Golf Ltd. confirming that the property had sold to a buyers group out of Edmonton. The company — Denille Industries Ltd – Auburn — is the largest privately owned manufacturer of executive class well site trailers for the oil and gas industry. The real estate portion of the Shadow Mountain property was sold to a separate entity.

Kimberley property values held relatively steady in 2014 as BC Assessment released their yearly property values report.

However, it does depend on the area of town. For instance, a home in Marysville valued at $281,000 last year has dropped to $267,000 for 2014. Chapman Camp homes rose in value from $239,000 to $256,000. At the ski hill values dropped somewhat, from $453,000 last year to $440,000 this year. Values are rising in Lois Creek/Townsite, with an average home worth $180,000 last year and $195,000 this year. In Blarchmont values dropped $3,000 from $160,000 to $157,000. And Wasa lake front property worth $546,000 in 2013 rose to $562,000 for 2014.

Western announced Monday, Jan. 6 that it had completed acquisition of Falkins, which is the largest general insurance brokerage in the Kootenays.

The suspension of the deer cull in Elkford due to the contractor taking deer during daylight hours will have no effect on when Kimberley’s cull starts, said Mayor Ron McRae. “The situation in Elkford doesn’t mean our cull will start any sooner,” McRae said. “We still haven’t closed the process on the contractor. We have to go through the tenders, then it has to go to Council.”

Escalating complaints about highway conditions throughout the East Kootenay, particularly in the Elk Valley, led to a lengthy discussion at the Friday, Jan. 10 meeting of the Regional District of East Kootenay board of directors. Local elected officials appealed to the B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and its highway maintenance contractor Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting to explain why it hadn’t done a better job of cleaning up after a recent weather event.

Pharmacies in Kimberley ran out of the seasonal flu vaccine, which included a vaccine for the H1N1 strain that sent people to intensive care in the lower mainland and Alberta. Due to that tightened supply, IH announced it would no longer be providing pharmacies with the vaccine for publicly-funded shots.

A local pet owner requested a change to trap line policy after her dog, Rosie, was caught in a leg hold trap close to the road near St. Mary Lake. “As pet owners we take such good care of our animals. When you’re out in nature, you assume you are safe. It puts a whole different view on winter and wilderness and safety. The policies around trapping need to change,” said Rosie’s owner Shannon Fraser.

Brian Panebianco of Invermere was reported to be shaking and unsteady on his feet on January 22 as a 12-person jury found him not guilty in connection to the death of Cory Jarock. The jury found Panebianco guilty of two lesser charges: theft under $5,000 for taking about $50 of Jarock’s pocket, and common assault for hitting Jarock in the head as he evicted him from an Invermere house party on April 2, 2012.


At the beginning of February, the provincial government announced changes to liquor policy that could have quite an impact on Kimberley events.Changes include allowing the sale of mixed-spirit drinks at public SOL events and enabling hosts to serve UBrew/UVin at events, such as weddings. Stadiums and arenas throughout the province will have more flexibility around licensing, and be permitted spirit-based liquor sales in the stands.

A benefit concert raised over $8000 through the support of many volunteers and generous donations from all of the local suppliers. With the matching gift from the Tyler Robinson Foundation, the total contribution to the Jenna Homeniuk Trust Fund exceeded $16,000.

Kimberley Minor Hockey began circulating a petition in Kimberley in regards to the future of the Marysville Arena. Council began discussions on the arena when it became apparent a costly new ice plant was required, and was divided on committing taxpayer funds to the project. When it came to a vote, Council went ahead the repairs with Councillors Don McCormick and Darryl Oakely voting no. Those two Councillors were called out by Mayor Ron McRae for making the vote ‘political’.

At a  ceremony in February at Centre 64, the Kimberley Rotary Club honoured Jack Ratcilffe and Shirley Rossi for their years of dedicated volunteering. They both received the lifetime honour of becoming Paul Harris Fellows.

Police were investigating after 10 deer traps were stolen from a government compound in Cranbrook. The traps had been transferred to Cranbrook on Feb. 4 from Elkford, where they had been used in the District of Elkford’s cull. The traps are the property of the B.C. government and are loaned to municipalities when they receive a permit to cull deer. Kimberley’s cull was postponed due to the trap theft.

The born in Kimberley Canadian Cancer Society event Slopes for Hope raised $40,000 in February.

A new event, Mayhem in the Platzl, was held on February 15. The rail jam attracted huge crowds to Kimberley’s Platzl and it is hoped it will become an annual event.

On Thursday, February 21, Canada Post announced the first cuts to door to doorservice and Kimberley was not on the list nor was any British Columbia community. Eleven communities did make the transition to community mailbox delivery beginning in the fall of 2014.


Two suspects were arrested at about 2:30 a.m. February 27 after being observed damaging deer traps in Marysville. Devin Kazakoff, a founder of the Invermere Deer Protection Society, was one of the two men charged. The damage effectively ended the City of Kimberley’s winter cull of 30 mule deer and Mayor Ron McRae said the city would not seek an extension of its cull permit.

Council voted at a budget meeting in March that no more money would be dedicated to deer culls in the upcoming budget. Council felt it was time to engage the province in talks about responsibility for wildlife, urban or not.

One man from Crawford Bay was dead following an avalanche just above the Gray Creek Pass on Tuesday, March 11. Both the Nelson and Kimberley search and rescue units responded.

You certainly couldn’t ask for a more successful Paralympic Games than those experienced by Kimberley’s own Josh Dueck. Not only did the sit-skier win two medals, a gold in Super Combined and a silver in the downhill, but he lead in his Canadian teammates and carried the flag at the closing ceremonies. Dueck would announce his retirement from competitive skiing later in the year.

Kootenay Ice forward Tim Bozon was admitted to ICU in Saskatoon with  Neisseria meningitis. After being in an articial coma for treatment, he was slowly woken by doctors and his health improved.

The City of Kimberley won $25,000 from Kraft Hockeyville for repairs to the Marysville Arena. The Marysville Arena bid made it to the Western semi-finals before being eliminated.

It was announced in March that the Kimberley Arts Council would introduce a new festival to Kimberley. The week-long Kaleidoscope Fest would encompass the former Arts on the Edge fest as well as add many new events to the August week.

Kimberley City Council made the decision to place the two walking bridges contracted from Tyee Log Homes to Mackenzie Street and Marysville Falls to replace two older bridges. The bridges were intended for the flume project but with that on hold last winter, it was decided to place them elsewhere. However, the decision was not arrived at without considerable debate within Council.


The man charged over an October 2012 carjacking near Creston and subsequent police chase through Cranbrook has been sentenced to another two years jail for the offenses. Nickolas Bullock, 27, pleaded guilty last July to two counts of robbery, one count of assault with a weapon, one count of dangerous driving, and one count of evading a police pursuit, resulting from a crime spree on October 2, 2012 that began in Port Coquitlam and ended in Cranbrook.

The Ktunaxa Nation lost its legal challenge to the Jumbo Glacier Resort in B.C.’s Supreme Court. Arguing the proposed resort violated its charter rights to religious freedom, the Ktunaxa asked the court to rule the project would desecrate sacred land and practices. But Justice John Savage ruled the ministry did its duty to consider the First Nation and did not infringe on constitutional rights.

Jumbo also made the news in April as its appointed Council was given a $200,000 per year over five years budget. Opponents, including Columbia River Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald said funding a municipality with zero population was ridiculous.

The City of Kimberley released its 2014 Financial Plan which gave Kimberley residential taxpayers a four per cent increase, and business/light industrial a three per cent increase. Rises in utility rates and a new infrastructure flat tax were also announced.

After considerable discussion, a public hearing and staff reports, Kimberley City Council decided that they will not proceed with a zoning change to allow a car wash to be built on Marsden Street. The lot in question is just to the north west side of the Marsden Street bridge, across the creek and a small road from the Baptist Church. While the lot is already zoned commercial, a car wash was not allowed under the current zoning, so the proponent applied for a change. Council has decided that a car wash is not appropriate in the mostly residential neighbourhood, though not without a lot of discussion.

Kimberley’s teachers, along with their BCTF colleagues across the province, began Phase 1 job action April 23. The job action came after teachers rejected the latest offer from the B.C. Public Schools Employers Association, an offer BCTF president Jim Iker called “lowball”. Teachers voted 89 per cent in March to endorse a three-stage strike plan.

Approximately 65 of B.C.’s mayors met in Kimberley and Cranbrook last week for the B.C. Mayors’ Caucus. The caucus was founded three years ago to help mayors find a collective voice with which to communicate with the provincial government.

The Board of Directors of Kimberley Summer Theatre announced with regret that they would not be producing any shows this coming season, but the Society was not disbanding said board member Roxanne Harper. Harper says it’s unfortunate for all concerned but the Board felt it must deal with the large deficit from the 2013 season before any future plans are made. Fundraising to deal with the debt continued through 2014.