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Posted: May 14, 2016

A Golden celebration!

Letter to the Editor

My family and I had the pleasure of being part of the raft, kayak and canoe flotilla and community celebration in Golden on April 30 and it truly was a day to celebrate!

Rafting the Kicking Horse River will continue to be an important part of Golden’s culture and economy as a result of an almost unprecedented collaboration of people who worked together with one voice. I apologize in advance if I missed anyone who deserves recognition, but I did want to paint a picture of how many people contributed to the victory for Golden and its rafting industry:

The people of Golden stood by their rafters, signed petitions, spoke out on social media, made phone calls and wrote letters.

The six rafting companies, led by spokespersons Carmen Narancsik of Kicking Horse River Outfitters Association and Ryan Johannesen of Glacier Rafting Company, demonstrated what it means to be true professionals under very trying circumstances. Thousands of people signed the petition or wrote letters and emails, including past clients from around the world, which speaks to the quality of the experiences that you all offer and the faith that people have in you.

Tourism Golden and the Kicking Horse Chamber of Commerce were unfailingly vocal in their support for the rafting industry. It is important for businesses in Golden to know that your associations stand behind you in times of crisis, and this was a crisis!

Local and regional media covered the story in newsprint, online, on radio and on television. This was a story that needed telling, a modern version of “David and Goliath.” The media played an important role in getting to the happy ending.

Government representatives at all levels, federally, provincially, regionally and municipally worked tirelessly in support of their constituents.

Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald and his assistant Joy Orr ensured that provincial Ministers Bond and Stone were informed and actively involved. CSRD Director Karen Cathcart was a strong voice on behalf of her rural residents. Federally, I was proud to work with Senator Nancy Greene-Raine and with Mark Angelo of Canadian Heritage Rivers and BC’s Outdoor Recreation Council, and to ensure that CPR, the Ministry of Transport, the Canadian Transportation Agency and Members of Parliament all knew how serious this situation was. It was a pleasure to walk across the floor of the House of Commons on your behalf on May 2 to thank Transport Minister Marc Garneau for a positive outcome.

While we all did our part I want to give special recognition to Golden’s Mayor Ron Oszust who stayed loud, proud and optimistic throughout this challenge! Ron took on this fight with determination but he never stopped saying that he believed CPR were good corporate citizens who would come through in the end. Thank you Ron, and thank you CPR for doing the right thing!

This truly was a community win and well worth celebrating!

Wayne Stetski,

Member of Parliament

Kootenay-Columbia


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