Politics

COMMENT: As municipal elections approach, what's the cause of voter apathy?

COMMENT: As municipal elections approach, what's the cause of voter apathy?

Taken aback by complete strangers walking up to you this summer to shake hands? Well, that's because they're back. Candidates on the hustings for a city hall near you.

And despite their enthusiasm, it's not a passion shared by most voters if past elections are any indication.

Even though local governments in B.C. oversee more than $7 billion in annual spending, some communities may only see one in five voters go out and cast a ballot this November.

Councillor opposes arbitrary process in policing equipment

Councillor opposes arbitrary process in policing equipment

A city councillor is speaking out against a process that sees the city making massive expenditures without having any say in the decision-making behind those expenditures.

Councillor Kevin Chernoff said he has no problem with getting closed circuit TV surveillance for the local RCMP detachment – but he’s not okay with the city having to foot the bill without any say or input.

City and CUPE 2262 reach accord, but no contract yet

City and CUPE 2262 reach accord, but no contract yet

The City of Castlegar and its union workers from CUPE Local 2262 have not yet hammered out a contract, but have arrived at a mutual accord in terms of proceeding.

Castlegar mayor Lawrence Chernoff says the two parties have agreed on a publication ban, meaning neither side will speak to the press until a settlement has been arranged.

He said the union brought the idea forward and the city readily accepted the notion.

This, after several exchanges between the two sides played out in local media, arguably making successful negotiations more difficult.

OP/ED: Fassbender issues statment re: ongoing teacher strike

OP/ED: Fassbender issues statment re: ongoing teacher strike

This week should be the first week of school. For students and their teachers, it's supposed to be a time of excitement and anticipation. But instead, it's a time of frustration and uncertainty.

I am not happy about where things currently stand. Throughout this dispute, everything we've tried to do is to have schools open on time and reach a settlement. But the BCTF leadership has refused every path to a fair deal. They won't even let teachers vote on suspending pickets while an agreement is mediated.

LETTER: SD 20 Superintendent says Tuesday won't see back-to-school in area

LETTER: SD 20 Superintendent says Tuesday won't see back-to-school in area

August 29, 2014

Dear parents and guardians:

Unfortunately, as of writing this letter, no settlement has been achieved between the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) and the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA). This reality has put the start of the school year in serious jeopardy.

The normal hustle and bustle of the beginning of the school year, where teachers are in schools and classrooms this week preparing for the school year, has not happened this year due to the ongoing labour dispute.

New board director for Interior Health

Pat Dooley . . . appointment to IH board

Interior Health is pleased to announce the appointment of Patricia (Pat) Dooley to its Board of Directors effective Aug. 31, 2014.

“We are very fortunate to be joined by a Director with the heart, drive and focus of Pat Dooley,” said Board Chair Norman Embree.  “She is incredibly dedicated to her community and passionate about health care.”

COMMENT: Thoughts turn to fall as summer nears an end

COMMENT: Thoughts turn to fall as summer nears an end

August has gone by quickly as summer months seem to do. The ‘buzz’ word of the month was ‘staycation’. Many of you have been enjoying holidays in B.C. for many years but perhaps a few more British Columbians decided to look at what was available close to home but still 'away'.

Potential detente between city and union

Mayor Lawrence Chernoff

We’re seeing forward motion in negotiations between the City of Castlegar and its CUPE workers, after a stalemate last month led to limited strike action on the union’s part Aug. 15, with city staff refusing all over time work.

Mayor Lawrence Chernoff says city staff continue to assess a settlement offer sent by the union at the end of last week, and are waiting to hear back from the mediator as his availability to resume talks.

“We will definitely have a written response for the union, hopefully as early as today,” Chernoff said.

SD board of trustees issues letter to parents re: teachers strike

Lorraine Manning, vice-chair, board of trustees, SD 20

Dear parents and guardians:

As you are likely aware, the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) and the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) have not been able to make significant progress over the summer months and so the possibility of schools opening as usual following Labour Day is uncertain. The Board hopes that the recent appointment of an external mediator provides an opportunity for the parties at the table to adjust their positions and reach a negotiated settlement in time for schools to open as scheduled on September 2nd.

COMMENT: Lessons from Mount Polley

COMMENT: Lessons from Mount Polley

B.C.'s economy – already facing what seems like the perfect economic storm of stagnant job growth, an acute skills shortage and the recent Supreme Court of Canada decision on First Nation land title claims – can now add one more low pressure system into that mix: the Mount Polley Mine disaster.

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