or Sophie's Choice!
Update: Wednesday Morning, June 9, 2010
At last night's New Denver council meeting it was moved and carried unanimously that first and second reading of Bylaws 646 and 647 (to rezone lakeshore by the Slocan Lake Health Centre from "Public and Institutional" to "Multi Family Residential") be RESCINDED. Therefore the Man from Marathon and his proxies from the Inferior Health Authority and BC Housing (the terra-guys from Victoria) will need to go back to the drawing board before they can turn our Health Centre into condos to bring profit to the pockets of the usual suspects. Hopefully before they can regroup we can remove them and have a government with an agenda other than alienating public assets for private profit for the "in" crowd!
June 8, 2010
The terrorists in Victoria who never tire of attacking British Columbians who don't live in the Lower Vainland, or the smokey hole where all the money goes have tried to make the village of New Denver make a deal with the Devil - the Devil in this case being the proxy for the Campbell Crime Family affectinately known in these parts as the Inferior Health Authority.
Ever since the Campbelloids swept to power with 77 terrorists against 2 opposition women they have been on a tear in the Kootenays, closing schools, courthouses, hosptials and trying to reduce or privatize inland ferry services - that we in this region NEED just to get to work etc., in many cases because of flooding for BC Hydro and other projects to benefit the USA or the paper shufflers at the coast.
About a year ago the IHA and BC Housing Authority offered the village a million dollars to build "assisted" housing for seniors, on the far edge of the property where our hospital sits. Our hospital still exists and still has emergency services 24/7, only thanks to years of resistance by the community and the medical staff to threatened reductions - which have been kept to a minimum with great effort from us.
As the time approached for a decision by council about the project, all of a sudden the IHA wanted the land rezoned for multi-family, not assisted living housing, AND for some perverse reason known only to the Inferior Health Authority this housing (trailers really) could only be built on top of our heli-pad which over the years has saved many lives by making it possible for accident or heart attack victims to be transported to Trail or Kelowna in less than the 4 to 6 or more hours it could otherwise incur.
Many in the community saw it as a backhanded attack to rezone the land, so in accordance with typical Gordon Campbell procedure it could eventually, after closing the hospital and ER due to lack of adequate ambulance service or air evac capacity, be converted to condos on the lake and more profit for the man from Marathon and his sleazy associates.
The poor village council was in a tight spot, not wanting to turn down $1,000,000 from the province which usually laughs at our requests for anything and with the village suffering from a shortage of affordable housing for seniors or anyone. A week or two ago there was a very contentious meeting, many in the community thought they were being sold out by they elected representatives, who didn't think they should refuse the cliche six pieces of silver. Of course the province through its proxies, the IHA and BC Housing, turned up the pressure by imposing artificial deadlines pleading that this was "stimulus" funding which wouldn't be available later for use for a similar project at a more logical location - this location would strand seniors over a mile from downtown, the post office and grocery store.
However last night there was another meeting with the largest space in town, Bosun Hall, packed with over 200 people who followed each other to the microphone with presentations unanimously AGAINST the Deal with teh Devil and the loss of the chance to access emergency service from a remote village that is often rendered inaccessible in three direction in winter by storms and slides and oft times in summer by fires.
The lone currently qualified EMT (other than a couple drivers training for their 1st Aid) pleaded for the heli-pad to stay. People whose lives were saved by the ability to get out in bad times or whose parents' lives had been saved told their tales. The fire chief himself told how he was rescued after an accident over in the Vahallas and almost died, but was able to access care thanks to air evacuation. Then a delegation from the volunteer fire and rescue folks pointed out how disgusted they would be if one of their own was injured in the line of serving the community and then couldn't get an ambulance if the road was closed, as isn't a rare occurance here anytime of year. They suggested that if the heli-pad, which they consider one of their tools, was taken away they would resign enmasse.
And the doctors who respond to emergencies have made their feelings about losing the pad clear for weeks - they feel it is necessary, and certainly don't want it moved even to somewhere where one would need to wait for an ambulance to then get to the helicopter, which now is just outside the entrance to the emergency department.
After about forty submissions at the microphone, many representing multiple people, the village clerk read off a bunch of written submissions again ALL OPPOSED and two petitions from areas in the local regional district opposing the rezoning. Often logging plans or other development (think the telus cell phone controversy) divide the community and the loggers and the tree huggers are opposed and at loggerheads (pun intended). But in this case if anyone other than the Inferior Health Authority and the Campbelloid Real Estate Speculators are in favor of risking rezoning this unique piece of village lakeshore, they were well hidden last night.
Tonight there is a special council meeting to consider the rezoning proposal, for third reading, in other words it will be a go or no go. This meeting also is being moved to a larger venue than the council chambers because of the intense community interest. As the mayor said this morning during a brief interview on the CBC Morning Show, never since 1929 has the mayor and council gone against the CLEAR wishes of the community. So I will be going to the meeting tonight (as will probably a couple hundred other folks) but I'm pretty confident in the way the vote will go - unless the current mayor (an excellent mayor - incumbent for about thirty years) and council are simply tired of being councilors and mayor. I'm pretty sure that the proposal will fail, because OUR mayor and council aren't like the terrorists in Victoria, who think they know better than us what we need.
* Coincidentally (and who believes in co_inky dinkies?) this chopper from the Federal Department of Transport arrived during this local debate to "check out" the helipad. To the chagrin of whomever sent it (though the official story was it was a routine inspection) other than the need of some paint and maybe a new windsock - the helipad and its approaches are super fine. A lot of us locals have spent a lot of time firefighting, doing forestry work etc. in choppers and the helipad by the lake/hospital is a cadillac of places to land a chopper, even in terrible conditions. A clear approach over water, with no obstructions. Though it is only used for medical emergencies 3, 4 to a half dozen times per year, it is often used during summer fire fighting seasons for refueling or other errands when the local skies are filled with helicopters. Hell, even the Fuzz land there during their autumn sky searches for the vile weed growing in the bush!