Approximately 28 million tonnes of metallurgical coal is produced annually in the Elk Valley. Much of that comes through the Shuswap by rail. Gary Campbell Photography Inc.

Editorial: The power of public engagement

It’s always inspiring when citizens rise to tackle a seemingly insurmountable problem, especially when it’s done with respect, research and real-world engagement.

Every now and then we see examples of this in the Shuswap, where one or more individuals have latched onto an issue and, instead of trolling social media with more unsolicited opinion, they have chosen to address the problem first-hand by actually speaking to people, researching the problem on their own time and dime, with the hope of developing solutions that will be more agreeable to all parties involved.

We saw this with SmartCentres in Salmon Arm, when a group of residents conducted extensive research that showed the developer’s initial plans for the 61-acre property was based on incorrect data relating to the riparian area setback. As a result of the group’s effort, and the subsequent assessment by the B.C. government, the size of the development was reduced from 51 to 16.7 acres.

Another Shuswap resident stepping up for a greater good is Marijke Dake. She has been meeting with residents, local governments and CP Rail to address public and environmental health and safety concerns related to coal dust escaping from rail cars that run through the region.

Instead of pointing fingers, Dake has been addressing her concerns with objective aplomb, making well-researched public presentations to garner support for what she sees as a viable solution, setting up a spray station somewhere east of Salmon Arm (and likely the Shuswap) that would help prevent, if not eliminate, errant coal dust.

Dake has been applauded for her proactive style of community engagement which has impressed even CP, who have told Dake they plan to look at options to help address the problem.

Such examples serve as a reminder that we are not powerless to effect change, provided we are willing to put in the time and effort.

Just Posted

Advance Voting in Revelstoke a success

The municiple election season is well underway with advance voting held on Oct. 10 and Oct. 17

Revelstoke peewee Grizzlies lose to Vernon

The Revelstoke Grizzlies Peewee Tier 3 team played Vernon on Saturday, losing… Continue reading

Fred Penner is coming to Revelstoke

The iconic children’s entertainer will be at the Revelstoke Performing Arts Centre Oct. 20

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

Glimpses of Revelstoke’s past for Oct. 14

125 Years Ago: Kootenay Star, October 21, 1893 Revelstoke Station is rapidly… Continue reading

B.C. NDP retreats again on empty-home tax for urban areas

Rate reduced for all Canadians, dissident mayors to get annual meeting

Jets score 3 late goals to beat Canucks 4-1

Winnipeg ends three-game Vancouver win streak

Okanagan water conference builds connections

Experts gathered to discuss water and fisherie sustainability objectives

Two B.C. cannabis dispensaries raided on legalization day

Port Alberni dispensaries ticketed for “unlawful sale” of cannabis

Canada not sending anyone to Saudi business summit

Sources insist Ottawa never intended to dispatch a delegation this time around

Earthquake early-warning sensors installed off coast of B.C.

The first-of-its kind warning sensors are developed by Ocean Networks Canada

VPD ordered to co-operate with B.C. police watchdog probe

According to the IIO, a court is ordering Vancouver police to co-operate with an investigation into a fatal shooting

B.C. woman looks to reduce stigma surrounding weed-smoking moms

Shannon Chiarenza, a Vancouver mom of two, started weedmama.ca to act as a guide for newcomers to legal cannabis, specifically mothers

B.C. teen gives away tickets to Ellen Degeneres show, plans O Canada welcome

The Grade 9 student wanted to give away tickets in the spirit of inclusivity

Most Read