The province and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District are ready to dig into issues and concerns in the North Shuswap.
At its Jan. 19 meeting, the regional district’s board of directors supported a commitment to undertake a community interest and issues identification process in Electoral Area F with the support of the Ministry of Municipal Affairs.
CSRD administrator John MacLean explained in a report that the board has previously discussed concerns expressed by some residents and businesses in the North Shuswap. These discussions have included an interest in exploring incorporation.
Area F director Jay Simpson said this was the reason he got into politics. He explained residents of Scotch Creek and the North Shuswap were dissatisfied with what was going on, and a private incorporation study was done for Scotch Creek. Three hundred people signed a letter to the B.C. government requesting that an incorporation study be done, “and the province said no, but we will do this.”
“So that was back in 2017 and we’ve been trying to get to a point for the last four years – this is a culmination of those efforts,” said Simpson.
CSRD staff at the time found the incorporation request, submitted by the North Shuswap Incorporation Feasibility Study Group (NSIFS), failed to adequately explain why a change in local governance was needed or should be considered.
The board committed $20,000 for the assessment process, which will be led by the province and the ministry. MacLean said the CSRD would also be part of the process, making sure information received from the assessment is timely and topical and would be brought to the board as it moves forward in addressing concerns in the North Shuswap.
A January 2017 letter from the NSIFS to the board explained the community wants greater control over decisions that affect their area.
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