Moving the traffic light at Ross Street and the Trans-Canada Highway will be given provincial profile this month.
City council members will be attending the annual Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention from Sept. 22 to 24, where they’ll be meeting as many as six provincial government ministers. Because of COVID-19, everything will be online.
Mayor Alan Harrison said council will be thanking Transportation Minister Claire Trevena for the long-awaited contract award for Highway 1 at the west end of town.
“It’s always good to thank the people bringing it to you,” he said.
Council will also be focusing on safety improvement details for the highway corridor, particularly the moving of the Ross Street traffic light to Fourth Street, which Harrison said is expected to take place in October or November this year.
On the radar will be a meeting with Housing Minister Selina Robinson, as council wants to talk about having a permanent outreach work in Salmon Arm to liaise with vulnerable populations such as people who are homeless.
“We have a person out of Vernon spending quite a bit of time here and she’s doing a great job. But we know it’s better if we can get full funding for a local outreach worker. I think it’s something that’s likely to happen but we want to reinforce it.”
Council also wants to thank the ministry for the work on the social housing development on Fifth Avenue SE.
“We’ve worked very cooperatively with that ministry to make that happen,” he said.
They’ll also be talking to Agriculture Minister Lana Popham about the provincial food hub network and proposed food innovation centre in Salmon Arm, as well as Environment Ministry George Heyman about recycling issues such as a proposed provincial ban on plastic bags.
Salmon Arm council has not had success pitching its need for more rural police officers to the Solicitor General’s ministry, but will try, try again this year.
Harrison points out that the population in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s Area C – South Shuswap is large, yet there are only five rural RCMP officers looking after the whole area, a number that hasn’t changed in 10 years.
“So we have to rely on our own officers,” Harrison said.
Also on the agenda at the UBCM will be Coun. Chad Eliason’s bid for third vice-president of the organization, following his experience leading the board of SILGA, the Southern Interior Local Government Association.
Keynote speaker at the conference this year will be Canadian author Margaret Atwood.