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Posted: September 16, 2017

From the Legislature

By Doug Clovechok

I was in attendance at a Caucus meeting when Premier Christy Clark announced her resignation as Premier and as West Kelowna MLA. Although all Caucus members asked her to reconsider, she felt that her decision was in the best interest of the BC Liberal Party and the province of British Columbia. I cannot personally thank her enough for her many accomplishments that benefitted the people in Columbia River – Revelstoke.

Under her leadership our province had the strongest economy in Canada and she should be very proud of her many achievements as our leader and I wish her all the very best.

A leadership race is now underway, and the results of the race will be decided in early February 2018. In the meantime, Rich Coleman is the Interim Leader of the BC Liberal Party.

As a member of the Official Opposition, I have been appointed the Critic for Tourism, Arts and Culture, as well as the Critic for Columbia Basin Trust. I know CBT is a positive force in this region and my primary concern will always be the well-being of our communities.

BC Fires – the worst fire season in the history of B.C.

Photo by Chad St. Pierre Photography

I’d like to recognize the efforts of the men and women who are working on the front lines to protect our communities from these wildfires. They continue to work very long hours in smoky, sooty, and dangerous conditions. We are grateful for the sacrifices that they, along with their families, have made and continue to make during this extreme fire season.

Here are some of the ways that I’ve been working to make a difference:

  • Emergency Management BC and BC Wildfire Service conference calls – participate every morning with MLA’s whose ridings are affected by fires throughout the province; Kootenay Backcountry Closure – Along with Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka, I lobbied the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development to close the area to all recreational motorized use as well as restricting licenced vehicles to maintained roads. This closure continues to extend from the Elk Valley all the way to Revelstoke inclusive of all areas within those boundaries.
  • Regional assessment as Tourism, Arts and Culture Critic – A four-day tour of the Caribou/Chilcotin to assess the wildfire impact on tour operators and their families. The losses amount to millions of dollars. Met with the Canadian Military, as well as Fire Fighters from across the world. Spoke at length with the RCMP about wildfire related crime files, as well as the Conservation Office Service regarding the impact on wildlife.
  • Met with the CEO of the Caribou Chilcotin Coastal Tourism Association.

As a result of the tour, I have had a phone meeting with and sent two letters to Lisa Beare the Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture. The first letter outlines my assessment of wildfire impact on Tourism, along with my recommendations that need to occur. The second letter was a request to the Ministry to provide both the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and the Kootenay Rockies Tourism Association with an immediate $200,000 each for marketing, in hopes of salvaging the remainder of this year’s tourism season. This request mirrors the same amount of money that was given to the Caribou Chilcotin Coastal Tourism Association.

The wildfire season is far from over, and continued vigilance is paramount. Thank you to all community members who have done so much to help prevent person caused fires.


Meetings with your locally elected officials:

I’m building great working relationships with the elected officials in our constituency, and I continually meet with and hear from Mayor Mark McKee of Revelstoke, Mayor Ron Ozust of Golden, Mayor Don McCormick of Kimberley, Mayor Clara Reinhardt of Radium Hot Springs and Chief Barb Coté of Shuswap Indian Band.

I have also had the opportunity to meet with Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) Directors Gerry Wilkie (Area G), Jane Walter (Area E) and Wendy Booth (Area F), as well CSRD Director Karen Cathcart.

Columbia River-Revelstoke is full of many dedicated and talented people who continue to shape our communities and our province; here are many of the meetings I had over the summer with community organizations and businesses:

Kicking Horse Chamber of Commerce: Executive Director, Shelley Wadden;

St. Eugene’s Resort: President and CEO, Barry Zueweste;

East Kootenay Chamber of Mines: Jason Jacob, et al;

Columbia Basin Trust: President and CEO, Johnny Strilaeff and Board Chair, Rick Jensen;

Columbia Valley Arts: Pat Bavin;

Columbia Valley Tourism and Marketing Committee;

Telecommunications for Kootenay National Park: Kootenay-Columbia MP Wayne Stetski, Radium Mayor Clara Reinhardt, Parks 
Canada, and Columbia Valley community members;

Revelstoke Mountain Home Owners Association;

Revelstoke Mountain Resort: Vice-President Operations, Peter Nielsen;

Copper Point Golf Club: General Manager, Brian Schaal;

Provincial Ombudsperson: Jay Chalke;

Emergency Management BC and BC Wildfire Service: Daily Morning Telephone Briefings.


I am so pleased to be hearing from so many of the Constituents.

Here are some of the issues that you have brought to the attention of our riding’s Constituency Assistants who are working with me to address: 

– Entire Region: Air quality monitoring reports and stations; Commercial berry harvesting on crown land; Grizzly bear concerns and trophy hunting ban; Child and Family Service concerns; Road conditions (highway, public, forestry); Water vessel speeds and water access; Adoption support.

– Kimberley: Agriculture land use; Commercial timber harvesting on crown land; Health services for special care Constituents; Homeowner grants; Physician recruitment .

– Invermere: Changes to school bus routes; Public Health and housing.

– Radium: Crosswalk safety on highways.

– Golden: Owner-Builder exam; Provincial Immigration programs; Public road access for residents and businesses; Public transportation; Tenured land applications.

– Revelstoke: Available and affordable Housing, health services available to CPP recipients and special care Constituents, Japanese Internment Signage.

Your concerns are important to me. We are working hard to get our Constituency Offices open in Kimberley and Revelstoke, and they will be open later this month. In the meantime, please continue to send your messages to [email protected].

Doug Clovechok is Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA

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