News Releases

Trail, BC
March 25, 2021
11:30 a.m. PT

Furnace fix for Fruitvale Fire Hall marks more climate action

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary has installed new high efficiency furnaces at the Fruitvale Fire Hall as part of its commitment to reduce both energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by increasing energy efficiency in RDKB buildings and facilities.

“We knew before this project that we could find ways to reduce energy use in our fire halls. With the energy assessment and subsidies FortisBC made available, it was immediately apparent that replacing two old furnaces would shrink our carbon footprint at the Fruitvale Station by close to 15 per cent,” said Dan Derby, Regional Fire Chief for Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue (KBRFR), which includes six fire stations across the Kootenay side of the RDKB.

The RDKB is undertaking energy assessments at nine of its facilities including fire halls and recreation facilities after FortisBC offered free commercial energy assessments to its commercial customers. The new furnaces at the Fruitvale Fire Hall are eligible under the FortisBC rebate program that supports the replacement of old commercial furnaces with high efficiency.

“I am really pleased to see projects like this completed by Kootenay Boundary Regional Fire Rescue Service,” said Linda Worley, Chair of the East End Services Committee that oversees KBRFR. “Our committee and our fire service are doing whatever we can to support our regional Climate Action Imperative. That imperative only means something if we act and I’m proud to say that this project is another action toward reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.”

In 2020, the RDKB launched its internal Climate and Action Awareness program. This program includes a quarterly newsletter to staff, quarterly reporting of energy consumptions at key facilities, quarterly information sessions for staff on a range of energy and climate topics and providing both work and home energy saving tips.

More information about commercial rebates and reducing energy consumption:

RDKB Climate Action Facts

  • The RDKB signed on to the BC Climate Action Charter in 2008 and committed to work towards being carbon neutral.
  • In October 2019, the RDKB declared a Climate Action Imperative, recognizing that the RDKB and its communities are already facing significant impacts of climate change and committing to take measurable actions to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  • The joint Provincial-UBCM Green Communities Committee (GCC) has recognized the RDKB as a climate leader for achieving Level 3, the second highest level in a four-level program toward becoming fully carbon neutral.
  • GCC Level 3 recognition means the RDKB has accelerated its progress on commitments to act at the corporate and community levels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG).
  • The RDKB reports its GHG results to the GCC and the public through the RDKB Corporate Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory and the annual Climate Action Revenue Incentive (CARIP) Report.
  • The RDKB has steadily reduced net emissions by about 575 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) which is a 44% reduction since 2008.

Trail, BC
March 12, 2021
9:00 a.m. PT

Boundary Food Hub Virtual Grand Opening

- Public invited to attend on Saturday, March 20 at 2:00 pm through Facebook live

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary and the Boundary Community Ventures Association (BCVA) will host a virtual grand opening of the Boundary Food Hub on Saturday, March 20 to celebrate a major milestone toward greater local food security and economic opportunities for regional food producers and processors.

To view the event, go to https://www.facebook.com/boundaryfoodhub. Attendees will be able to participate by asking questions and providing comments during the Zoom livestream and anyone can view the recording that will be posted on the Boundary Food Hub Facebook page following the event. The virtual event will include comments from supporters, partner organizations, and features a video with some Boundary processors. The Food Hub will assist individuals and businesses interested in commercial food production and processing opportunities across the region. It will provide facilities and support services to entrepreneurs who wish to create value-added food products and take their local food production to the next level, growing their businesses and showcasing the bounty the Boundary has to offer.

A shared-use commercial bakery will be the first Food Hub facility slated to open in May in Greenwood. It will feature pie making and processing equipment for a variety of baked goods. Construction of a value-added meat processing facility in Rock Creek is in the planning stages. The facility will provide cut-and-wrap and co-packing value-added services for meat producers. A community food-safe laboratory to be operated by FoodMetrics Laboratories, through a partnership with the Small Scale Food Processor Association, will be set up in Greenwood. The lab will allow smaller food producers to meet all required food safety standards to sell their products to commercial buyers, including those in the Hotel/Restaurant/Institutional and Retail markets.

The RDKB is hosting the Boundary Food Hub project which will be owned and operated by the Boundary Community Ventures Assn. This is a new organization created to foster economic ventures best suited to a region-based approach.

The B.C. Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries provided an $800,000 grant to purchase food-processing equipment and to cover other start-up costs in partnership with the RDKB and the BCVA. The BC Food Hub Network helps small-scale businesses access shared food and beverage processing space and equipment to increase their production and sales.

Quotes

“The expansion of the B.C. Food Hub Network means that more communities in the Kootenay Boundary region can enhance food production at the local level,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries. “Farmers and food processors work together to create local food options for British Columbians and I’m excited to see how this investment will help more bakers in Greenwood create new products and how meat producers are going to benefit from the technology in the Rock Creek location.”

"On behalf of our board of directors I gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia through the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries for making the Boundary Food Hub possible. This is exactly the kind of practical support we need to move closer to a sustainable and secure food system for all our residents. I am really proud of the work everyone did to make this project happen so fast – well done,” said Diane Langman, chair, RDKB Board of Directors.

“There is no better way to help people than by giving them the tools to help themselves. The Kootenay Boundary Food Hub is going to make a positive difference to many local food producers who need access to professional-grade equipment and testing facilities to build their businesses,” said Grace McGregor, chair/president, Boundary Community Ventures Assn and RDKB Board of Directors vice-chair.


Trail, BC
January 18, 2021
1:00 p.m. PT

Danna O’Donnell sworn in as new director for Electoral Area D/Rural Grand Forks

Danna O’Donnell is the RDKB Director representing Area D/Rural Grand Forks.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Board of Directors welcomed its newest member when Danna O’Donnell swore her oath to represent the residents of Electoral Area D/Rural Grand Forks in local government today. She was acclaimed to the position after being the only candidate and nominee in a by-election triggered when former director Roly Russell was elected to the provincial legislature on October 24, 2020.

“On behalf of our entire Board of Directors, I welcome Director O’Donnell to the RDKB table,” said Diane Langman, RDKB Board Chair. “We congratulate Danna on her new position and look forward to working with her on many important projects and initiatives as we serve our residents for the next two years.”


“I am thankful and excited to have this opportunity to work for all rural Grand Forks residents and to bring my experience and knowledge as a farmer, Boundary resident, and regional advocate to the RDKB board table. I look forward to working with our twelve other directors on regional initiatives and find ways to cooperate within the Boundary and across our region to make the RDKB an even better place to live and work.”

Director O’Donnell has been a resident of rural Grand Forks for 19 years. She has served on the Boundary Organic Producers Association, Grand Forks and Boundary Regional Agricultural Society, and Grand Forks and District Fall Fair Society. Some projects she is involved in are the Community Centre Stakeholders Group, Central Kootenay Food Policy Council, and the Boundary Area Food and Agriculture Advisory Council. She will join her fellow RDKB directors at the next board meeting at 1:00 p.m. on January 28, 2021 on Zoom.


Trail, BC
January 14, 2021
3:45 p.m. PT

New ladder truck at Big White Fire Department product of five years’ work

New Big White Fire Department ladder truck pushed into fire station

Christmas may be over, but the Big White Fire Department is still celebrating. The January arrival of their one-of-a-kind, 78-foot long Rosenbauer Viper Aerial ladder truck marks the end of a five-year project that started in April 2016. Crews have now ceremonially pushed Ladder 311 into its own bay in the Big White Fire Station, marking a tradition among firefighters that pays homage to the horsedrawn steam engines that were hand maneuvered into their stations a century ago.

“This has been a long time coming and I can’t emphasize enough how pleased our whole department is to see this modern, frontline apparatus in our station ready for deployment,” said Chief Chris Cormack, Big White Fire Department.

“I have to recognize the relentless efforts of retired Chief Jamie Svendsen who kept this project going throughout his tenure here. I also want to recognize the support from Director Vicki Gee and local residents who advocated strongly for this new truck to serve the residents, businesses and visitors at Big White and in Area E/West Boundary.”

Ladder 311 has a 500 horsepower Cummins 12-litre diesel engine that can hold 1136 litres (300 gallons) of water and 114 litres (30 gallons) of fire retardant foam. Its EZ Trac® hydraulic all-wheel drive system means first responders can get to fires and other emergencies even in deep snow at the top of a mountain in winter.

“Fire protection is essential to development at Big White. The ladder truck provides the capacity to protect the taller structures that are in place as well as future development. I’ve seen the work that’s gone into planning and execution of this purchase and adjustments to the fire hall. I am so thankful to everyone who made this happen,” said Director Vicki Gee, Electoral Area E/West Boundary.

The new ladder truck replaces a 25-year-old fire engine and brings the total apparatus count at Big White Fire Department to one ladder truck, one engine, one rescue truck, one bush/CAFS (Compressed Air Foam System) truck and three support vehicles.


Trail, BC
December 4, 2020
10:45 a.m. PT

RDKB launches Build Energy Smart program with FortisBC

Today the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary launched Build Energy Smart, a program to provide the building industry with resources to prepare for the BC Energy Step Code that will become mandatory in 2022.

The RDKB program is funded by FortisBC through its own BUILTbetter program. These programs support builders by increasing awareness of how to build more energy efficient homes. They also provide resources and training to the industry so by 2022 new buildings will use 20 per cent less energy than today.

The first Build Energy Smart information session will take place on December 10, 2020 at 7:45 a.m. by webinar. It will provide an overview of the Step Code, explain how to work with a Certified Energy Advisor and walk participants through the best way to access FortisBC incentives and rebates.

“We’ve been really fortunate to receive funding from FortisBC so we can support those in the building industry who already follow the BC Energy Step Code, or who want to know how to follow it. Everyone needs to prepare for the Step Code to become part of the BC Building Code in about a year from now,” said Freya Phillips, RDKB senior energy specialist.

“Building to BC Step Code can be a steep learning curve and we’ve seen that supporting builders in achieving this standard is proving to be an effective way to help transform the housing market to net-zero ready homes,” said Siraz Dalmir, key account manager, energy solutions, FortisBC.

“We appreciate the partnership with RDKB on this and many other initiatives that are helping to meet B.C.’s greenhouse gas emissions targets set for 2030 and beyond. We encourage builders to attend these sessions and learn about the many ways we can help.”

The information session is part of - Build Energy Smart – a special project on jointheconversation.rdkb.com that provides the building industry with one central portal to resources, information on education and training sessions as well as an online newsletter, Q and A tool, and discussion forum.

About the BC Energy Step Code

The BC Energy Step Code is a provincial standard that provides a five-step, incremental approach to make buildings more energy-efficient so the Province of B.C. can meet its goal of having all new buildings be Net Zero Energy ready by the year 2032. ‘Net zero’ means that emission of greenhouse gases equals the equivalent of the volume of greenhouse gases absorbed from the atmosphere.


Trail, BC
November 27, 2020
2:30 p.m. PT

RDKB to adopt BC Energy Step Code January 1

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary will implement the BC Energy Step Code for new homes and buildings in RDKB electoral areas A, B/Lower Columbia-Old Glory, C/Christina Lake, D/Rural Grand Forks or E/West Boundary on January 1, 2021. Builders and homeowners can choose to follow the Step Code’s performance path or the existing prescriptive path in the BC Building Code.

“As a regional district, we are committed to taking action to increase our own energy efficiency in our buildings and facilities to move us closer to being carbon neutral. We are also committed to supporting and informing builders and homeowners so everyone is prepared for more stringent energy efficiency requirements coming in 2022 and for owners to understand what they can do to lower their carbon footprint now,” said Diane Langman, RDKB Board Chair.

The RDKB has been in consultation with the building industry and residents over the past year and during that time asked for input on three BC Energy Step Code implementation options. These options were to mandate compliance with the lower steps of the Step Code, make compliance with the Step Code voluntary or do nothing and wait for the Province of British Columbia to adopt the Step Code through the BC Building Code in 2022. Community feedback led to the RDKB adopting voluntary compliance.

“Many builders are already following the Step Code, and we will continue to reach out to those involved in the building industry so we are all ready for it to become mandatory as part of the new 2022 BC Building Code,” said RDKB Senior Energy Specialist Freya Phillips.
“We also want to make people aware of how to take advantage of incentives and rebates available through FortisBC to offset some building costs now,” said Phillips.

FortisBC has adopted the BC Energy Step Code as the energy performance standard for its New Home Construction Program and provides enhanced incentives to build high performance buildings with rebates up to $10,000.

Anyone who applies for a building permit in an RDKB electoral area can choose to follow the BC Energy Step Code. Anyone building in a municipality can contact their municipality for more information about use of the Step Code in those jurisdictions.

Information Session December 10, 2020

The RDKB will hold a BC Energy Step Code virtual information session on Thursday, December 10 to review the RDKB Building Bylaw, provide an overview of the Step Code, and explain how to work with an Energy Advisor and take advantage of incentives and rebates. Registration is through Zoom or email fphillips@rdkb.com.

The information session is part of - Build Energy Smart – a special project on jointheconversation.rdkb.com that provides the building industry with one central portal to resources, information on education and training sessions as well as on online newsletter, Q and A tool, and discussion forum.

About the BC Energy Step Code

The BC Energy Step Code is a provincial standard that provides a five-step, incremental approach to make buildings more energy-efficient so the Province of B.C. can meet its goal of having all new buildings be Net Zero Energy ready by the year 2032. ‘Net zero’ means that emission of greenhouse gases equals the equivalent of the volume of greenhouse gases absorbed from the atmosphere. This will start with the Province requiring by 2022 that all new buildings are 20 per cent more energy efficient than what the current building code requires.

The Step Code’s performance path establishes a desired outcome, and leaves it to the design and building team to decide how to achieve it. The current BC Building Code’s prescriptive path means buildings must meet specific requirements for insulation, windows, furnaces, water heaters, lighting and other equipment and systems. The aim is to build more energy efficient buildings and reduce the volume of greenhouse gases produced by heating and cooling homes, apartments and commercial buildings.


Trail, BC
November 10, 2020
4:00 p.m. PT

Warfield Director Diane Langman acclaimed chair of the RDKB Board of Directors

- Electoral Area ‘C’/Christina Lake Director Grace McGregor re-elected as vice-chair

Diane Langman has been named board chair for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary for a second term. Chair Langman has served for the past four years both as Warfield director at the RDKB and mayor of the Village of Warfield.

Electoral Area C/Christina Lake Director Grace McGregor was re-elected as board vice-chair for a fourth consecutive term. Rossland Director Andy Morel also ran for the position of vice-chair.

Both the board chair and vice-chair serve a one-year term.

“I am humbled that the board has once again placed their confidence in me to lead our regional government. The ongoing pandemic and a lengthy freshet emergency in the Boundary in Spring 2020 were two major challenges we faced and continue to face in 2020. I pledge to continue to work closely with Vice-chair McGregor to lead us through the next year not only as we face the Covid-19 pandemic but as we continue to deliver important services to our residents across the region,” said Chair Langman

“I thank the board for re-electing me as vice-chair. Chair Langman and I already have a good working relationship after a year serving together, and I know we will build on that relationship to do our best to serve the board and the residents of our region,” said Vice-chair Grace McGregor.

The next meeting of the RDKB Board of Directors will take place at 1 p.m. on November 26 by Zoom Meeting.
 


 

Trail, BC 
April 22, 2020 
4:30 p.m. PT

RDKB Community Initiatives & Affected Areas projects open for public comment until April 27 

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives and Affected Areas programs (CIP/AAP) 2020 project applications are available online for public comment until April 27 at jointheconversation.rdkb.com.

The public can review and download detailed descriptions of projects proposed in electoral areas and municipalities within the Columbia Basin. Basin residents within the RDKB who register on the site have can send comments to RDKB staff and directors about which projects would most benefit their own electoral area or municipality and why. They can also ask questions or contact the RDKB for more information.

The RDKB had originally scheduled community meetings to engage with the public about the CIP/AAP in April of this year, but the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent public health orders required the RDKB to cancel all face-toface meetings and move the engagement process entirely online as of April 17. To date, the RDKB has seen 117 residents participate, but wants to encourage more comments before the April 27 deadline.

The CIP/AAP is intended to be flexible and incorporate community-based funding decisions. The programs support local projects that provide additional value to Basin communities, and that benefit the broad community and public good. Program funds are distributed annually to the Trust’s local government partners: the regional districts of East Kootenay, Central Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary, the City of Revelstoke, Town of Golden, Village of Valemount, and to our Indigenous partners: Ɂaq’am, Ɂakisq’nuk, Lower Kootenay (Yaqan nuɁkiy), Tobacco Plains Indian Band (Ɂakink’umŧasnuqŧiɁit) and the Shuswap Indian Band.

For more information about specific CIP/AAP projects proposed in the RDKB, visit jointheconversation.rdkb.com. For more information about the programs themselves, visit cbt.org.

Public Hearing