• The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) made COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for the vast majority of those working under its jurisdiction. At its Nov. 18 meeting, the CSRD’s board of directors unanimously supported CSRD staff’s recommendation to implement the COVID-19 vaccination policy they had been working on since October.
The final draft of the policy states proof of being fully vaccinated will be required by all CSRD personnel as of Jan. 3, 2022. It applies to all CSRD employees and includes union and exempt employees, permanent, temporary, seasonal, casual, co-op and summer students, elected officials, paid on-call firefighters and emergency management volunteers. One of the key elements to a COVID-19 vaccination policy, identified by staff, is having the ability to “accommodate for bona fide medical reasons as well as protected grounds under the BC Human Rights Code.”
• As if to underline, in red, the magnitude of the issue, the annual Dec. 6 United Against Violence Against Women vigil was held on the day the RCMP revealed the remains of Ashley Simpson had been found near Salmon Arm. Her former boyfriend was charged with murder. Ashley went missing from her home in Yankee Flats on the outskirts of Silver Creek on April 27, 2016. At the emotional evening on Okanagan College’s Salmon Arm campus, the candlelight vigil was held to remember the 1989 Ecole Polytechnique Massacre in Quebec of 14 women, as well as murdered and missing women from the Okanagan-Shuswap and beyond.
• Thanks to a long list of supporters the Chase Community Services Society (CCSS) was able to expand its fleet for seniors transit. A successful fundraiser allowed the CCSS to purchase for its Chase Seniors Transit service a 2021 Chrysler Grand Caravan. According to the CCSS, the new wheels will be used to transport Chase seniors, handicapped or disabled individuals to medical appointments in Kamloops, Salmon Arm and Vernon.
• Removal of a trailer park is one option suggested in response to the increased likelihood of debris flows near Sicamous following this summer’s Two Mile Road wildfire. On Monday evening, Dec. 13, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) hosted a public meeting at Sicamous’ Red Barn Arts Centre to discuss post-wildfire landslide risks in the Two Mile area. Leading the meeting was Matthius Jakob and Hazel Wong of BGC Engineering. A key point shared in the presentation involved the Sicamous Creek Mobile Home Park, at the mouth of Wiseman Creek in Two Mile, being at increased risk of debris flows. Jakob explained the destruction caused by this summer’s wildfire made it so that lesser rainstorms that wouldn’t have done so before the fire could now trigger debris flow events. Options for mitigation suggested by Jakob included the strategic upland placement of engineered piles that would serve to block logs, as well as a large deflection berm and basin, also placed upland. A rainfall warning system was also suggested that could be used to issue evacuation alerts. Another option, said Jakob, is moving the trailers out of harm’s way. The task now, Jakob explained, is to determine what options are feasible to do technically and financially, as quickly as possible.
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