The Regional District of East Kootenay will be taking the lead on a governance study in the Columbia Valley.
“We are in the preliminary stages of the process,” explains RDEK Chief Administrative Officer, Lee-Ann Crane. “We recognize this is an issue in which many people in the Valley are interested and we are committed to exploring all possible governing options for the study area, which includes Electoral Area F, the Village of Canal Flats, and the District of Invermere.”
Staff representatives from the RDEK, District of Invermere and Village of Canal Flats will be meeting March 12th to identify the key players, start drafting terms of reference for the study, and determine the first steps in the process. A senior planning analyst with the Local Government Structure Branch of the Ministry of Community Development is working with local officials and will be in attendance at that meeting.
“One of our priorities will be sitting down with the First Nations, discussing their involvement in the process and determining what they’d like their role to be,” adds Crane.
Once the terms of reference have been completed, the working group will be recruiting a third party facilitator to oversee the study. Crane emphasizes that extensive public consultation will be a critical component in the process.
The governance study is expected to take 12-18 months to complete.