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Letter to the editor

Force of Fortis

Last Friday we received a ” Final Notice” from Fortis BC to have our locked analog meter replaced with a ” smart meter” with either the radio signal on or off , or they will disconnect our power immediately. We wanted to keep our analog meter because of all the negative effects of the “smart meters”.
“Smart meters” are known to cause fires, wrong measuring (too much), shorter service life than analog meters, vulnerability by hackers and being associated with negative health effects including cancer.

We always paid our bills on time. The price went up from an average of -.0803 cents/kwh in 2008 to -.1314 cents until Sept. 2015, an increase of 63,62 % and equals about 8 % per year.Who gets a wage raise like that every year?

We immigrated from Germany 22 years ago thinking we move from one democratic country to another one. In Germany customers have a choice between different power suppliers and the meter is read once a year by the owner of the residence. Canada has changed to become a dictatorship of the corporations. The BC utilities commission (BCUC) is supposed to independently control/regulate the activities of Fortis, BC Hydro and ICBC. How can they allow price increases like that? They are rather a puppet than a control organization of our elected politicians and the corporations.

Utility services must be put under communities control. A locally controlled energy system would be concerned with public interest not profits and money earned in the sale of energy should be returned to the communities rather than lost to shareholders.

Fortis is using its monopoly to force us to accept everything as they please and our politicians do nothing about it. On Oct. 19th we have a federal election and we urge every voter to ask their candidate whether he/she supports big business ( oligarchy) or will bring back the power to us the citizens ( democracy ). Our troops don’t need to fight terrorists abroad. They are right here in Canada and wear white collars and ties.

Hansjoerg & Erika Hoeger
714 Newton Drive Penticton

FREE events

Make sure your recent submissions for FREE events are on ODN

This is the time to update all FREE events

Kiwanis Terrific Kids

Submitted
Submitted
At Tuc-el-nuit Elementary

Terrific Kids – Thoughtful

Division 1 Johnny Beattie absent
Division 2 Rachel Dunlop
Division 3 Ruth Otto
Division 4 Ezra Allenbrand
Division 5 Travis Nelson
Division 6 Phoenix Parisien absent
Division 7 Maia Bellingam
Division 8 Lucas Launier
Division 9 Arlan Amaya

Rumble in the Valley

Dan Hodson Photographer
Dan Hodson Photographer
Ken Mickey’s classic-styled, front engine dragster was a special events car at Richter Pass Motorplex Sunday the 27th.

Fans and Racers Pack Richter Pass Motorplex

This past weekend the Osoyoos airport was transformed by the volunteers of Wine Country Racing Association (WCRA) into Richter Pass Motorplex. The valley-wide Car Club Challenge saw its sixth year draw in four car clubs, 94 drivers and over 600 fans. The Kelowna Kustoms, the Okanagan Rodtiques and Oliver’s Coachmasters welcomed the Cam Jammers from Vernon into the mix-up on Sunday.

Oliver’s Cliff Meeds was able to even up the score for the Coachmasters. The Kustoms, Rodtiques and Coachmasters all boast two wins. I’m sure next year the Cam Jammers will be back to see what kind of upset they can cause in the ratings.

Meeds snatched the trophy and prize money in his 1949 Ford pick-up to victory over Kelowna Kustoms’ Darren Williams’ 1937 Buick coupe.

The winner of the “Fast Eight” challenge among the car club members is Reg Krutom. Krutom and his 1958 Yeoman station wagon take a cool hundred bucks back home to Kelowna.

The Rumble in the Valley is always a delight to fans and racers alike.

Results for brackets are as follows:

Street Warrior: Trevan Zimmer (Kelowna, BC – 1988 Mazda RX7) took the win over Kevin Clarke Penticton, BC – 1973 Camaro)
Street Bracket: Glenn Taylor (Osoyoos, BC – 1951 Mercury pick-up) took the win over Tyler Sopel (Lumby, BC – 1965 Beaumont)
Pro Bracket: Ron Carlson (Kelowna, BC – 1970 Nova) took the win over Lee Orsborn (Rock Creek, BC – 1982 Mustang)
Super Pro: Rae Caswell (Lower Nicola, BC – 1927 Ford Roadster) took the win over Brad Heppner (Malakwa, BC – 1989 Dragster)
Bike/Sled: Warren Brown (Oliver, BC – 2002 Kawasaki) took the win over Terry Soluk (Ok Falls, BC – 2007 Kawasaki)
Reaction Time: Brad Heppner (Malakwa, BC – 1989 Dragster) grabbed up the best reaction time with a PERFECT .500 light.

If your family missed this event, don’t fret. WCRA has one more race this year. Sunday October 11, you’ll get your chance to take in the action at Richter Pass Motorplex. Gates open at 9 a.m. Racing starts around 11 a.m. Elimination round starts at 1 p.m. Go to www.winecountryracing.ca for more details.

Photo Credit: Dan Hodson D9 Photography

Media Contact: Shana Cachola (250) 498-9167

Sunday October 4th

tanner22.jpgPicture: (L to R)

Lindsey Kruger (PIB Youth), Amberlee Erdmann (SOVAS, Resource Development Coordinator), Darryl-Jean Cerenzie (ONTEH Community Outreach), Muriel Tanner (Osoyoos Indian Band) Emanuela Sheena (Ooknakane Friendship Centre, Executive Director), Cassie Lezard (PIB Youth)

 

Sisters in Spirit Vigil  – Walk for Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Children

Sunday, Oct 4th, 2015 

Join local organizations, community members and dignitaries for a nationwide movement honoring the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Please come show your support for families and friends who have lost loved ones to violence.

The event takes place at the Osoyoos Indian Band Community Hall, located at 6046 Sandpoint Rd, Oliver.

Dinner starts at 5:30 p.m., with keynote speakers starting at 6:30 p.m. The candlelight walk will start at 8:10 p.m. Keynote speakers will include a Dan Wilson a representative from the Louie family, Roger Hall (Roxanne Louie’s father), Laurie Wilson (Okanagan Nation Spokesperson for Missing & Murdered Women), Coola Louis (Union Of BC Indian Chiefs Women representative), Richard Cannings (NDP candidate in the federal riding of South Okanagan-West Kootenay) and closing remarks by Grand Chief Stewart Phillip.

People are invited to bring flashlights and drums for the candlelight walk. “This event is about raising awareness of the missing and murdered Aboriginal women and children, as well as the over-representation of female Aboriginal victims. We invite community members to stand in solidarity for the loved ones we have lost and to show your support to the friends and family of victims. Walk for Diane Stewart a mother of three whose body was found on the Penticton Indian Reserve, a few kilometers from where she was last seen. Walk for Olive Hill, an 85-year-old Penticton woman who died from asphyxiation. Walk for Roxanne Louie a mother of a three-year-old boy. Walk for the hundreds of missing and murdered aboriginal women” said Amberlee Erdmann, Resource Development Coordinator from the South Okanagan Victim Assistance Society (SOVAS).

Get involved

Do you know or would you like to know about..

The International Order of St. Luke The Physician.

Known by many as OSL, it is an ecumenical organization dedicated to the Christian healing ministry. We are clergy and lay people who believe prayer is an essential part of the teaching and practice of our Lord Jesus Christ, along with medical, physical and mental therapy, and medication. We are an interdenominational Christian order of faith, prayer and service, with members throughout the world.

For more information please call 250-498-2651

Grade 12 – is your future related to courses

school22

What does SOSS offer to a senior high school student? : grades 10-11-12

In Grade 10 – time to plan – where are you going? Vocational School?, into the workforce, a specialty institute or a university/college.

It is an interesting and demanding time of a student’s life where parents/teachers/counsellors can play an important role.

Not all students want or are ready for an institute of higher learning but if you are – then one thing is true.

You need four basic courses offered at ALL high schools that allows you to seek entrance to a college or university.

Here are some facts given by SOSS Principal Marcus Toneatto:

You need four main courses to enter university: Generally those are English, Math, Social Studies and a choice for Arts or Science.

Most grade 12 twelve students take 7 courses which means choice can be make on the other 3 courses (electives). Some of those courses can be Grade 11 courses you did not take the first time around.

If you desire or want a certain course it may not be available to you if insufficient amount of students demand that course. Take the example of geology. Not likely to garner sufficient interest to make a class. But you CAN take that in Distance Learning/YouLearn.

The possibilities seem endless (18 or more) says Toneatto but all students or parents cannot have everything that they may want in the type of courses based on the size of the school (443) ….but what is offered is all that is necessary to get a key to the next level.

Vice-Principal Tracy Harrington also said high school education is NOT just what the course content is. It is the capacity of how to learn and how to make your way in life beyond high school.

Are you a parent that is concerned about what courses are available? Comment now.

Are some parents concerned about courses yes. A number of parents expressed a level of dissatisfaction at a recent PAC meeting (Parent Advisory Council).

ODN contacted PAC chair Bibiana Bailey who said she and her executive was a bit surprised at what came up in conversation by 2 parents at the end of the September meeting.

In five years as chair, Bailey said she had never heard of any level of unhappiness about course choices in Grade 12. The meeting had gone on for 90 minutes dwelling on changes to how the cafeteria is to operate and the dropping of the yearly annual because of a lack of interest, participation and sales.

What is gleaned from private conversation is that a better job needs to be done in communicating with the parents of senior students. That in itself is difficult but more work on it could bear fruit.

Get involved in your child’s education.

What is being done about it?

Oliver has seen an increase in persons attending the RCMP Detachment to report they have received a phone call from either Immigration or Canada Revenue Agency demanding money. The caller will advise you to provide him with a cash amount or the RCMP will come and arrest you, or remove you from Canada. The phone number display may appear to come from the RCMP, Immigration or Canada Revenue Agency, these displays can be taken from the internet and used on any phone. Please do not respond to any request for cash, money sent electronically by computer or Money Transfer Services. Government Agencies in Canada will provide you with documentation before requesting payment. If you have any concerns about a call from Immigration or Canada Revenue Agency, hang up on the caller and find a different number than provided by the fraudulent caller, and confirm what you were being told.

Submitted by Sgt. Blaine GERVAIS
Area Commander
Oliver Detachment

Editorial comment:

Not a day goes by that the police (mainly RCMP) request assistance in getting this story out. With all the resources available to the RCMP and the government of Canada – can we collectively not solve this problem by insisting that telephones/telephone companies cannot be used for this purpose. If we can go to the moon or watch an alien nebula or find water on Pluto – surely we can catch a crook.

Sign terrorism ?

sign terrorism

Several calls about sign damage. I saw on my way to Penticton the other day both an NDP and a Liberal sign defaced with ISIS marked in black paint.

I like most people don’t take this too seriously. No matter what the Election Act says – idiots cannot stop themselves from proving how serious they are.

Poof! …..and I appeared

mikie22Magician Leif David of Kelowna entertains a small crowd outside a retail outlet this morning at the Southwinds Mall.

Mikie Spillett just came out of her store and participated by winning cash.

The event a celebration of the 75th anniversary of Interior Saving Credit Union – thanking its members. Were you invited?

 

Update:

heidi22Heidi Frank is no longer employed with the Town of Oliver. We wish to thank Heidi for the work she completed in the last year and sincerely wish her well in her future endeavors.

Mr. David Svetlichny has been assigned the interim role of acting Chief Administrative Officer as the Town undertakes a process to recruit a new Chief Administrative Officer. Please direct all related inquires to David Svetlichny.

Diane Vaykovich | Corporate Officer
Town of Oliver

Fire ban for another two weeks

In the Kamloops, Vernon, Penticton, Merritt and Lillooet fire zones, the existing Category 2 and 3 burning prohibitions will remain in place until Thursday, Oct. 15, 2015, or until the public is informed otherwise.

A map of the affected areas is available online: http://bit.ly/1VSe0YG

The open fire prohibition applies to:

* The burning of any waste, slash or other materials.

* The burning of stubble or grass.

* The use of fireworks, sky lanterns or burning barrels of any size or
description.

This prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide (or smaller) and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

Anyone who lights a fire must have sufficient personnel, water and tools on hand to prevent the fire from escaping.

This prohibition covers all B.C. parks, Crown lands and private lands, but it does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department. Before lighting any fire, residents should check with local civic authorities regarding any other restrictions.

Letter to the Editor

Aubrey G. White – Vice President
Osoyoos Wildlife Federation

Letter to the Editor:

The Province of British Columbia is again reviewing the possibility of a National Park in the South Okanagan.  They are asking residents to comment on the proposal.  The following are some of the issues we must consider. If our Provincial Government approves the South Okanagan National Park Reserve the following will happen;

•Parks Canada now has full control and local input will be ignored.   Ask those who live in Banff or Jasper.

•1st Nations will been given management control of this National Park as they have in other National Parks.  If that happens they will be allowed special access to the Park that non-1st Nations people will not have.  The following is a current proposal by 1st Nations;  “Areas dedicated to the National Park would be managed in partnership with the Sylix People under a consensus-based cooperative stewardship regime (similar to the successful model used in Gwaii Haanas), including the use of traditional ecological knowledge to meaningfully inform and guide park management and decision-making”

•Both the Federal Government and 1st Nations have now gained full control of our Park-lands which means our local wants and needs are irrelevant.  The Province has given away our Park and we will never get it back.

Provincial Parks currently provide protection and management of the wildlife and wilderness areas while restricting commercial development.  The Provincial Parks are well managed and most local stakeholders are satisfied. We are on a very slippery slope, which may allow Parks Canada, 1st Nations and other special interest groups to control our public lands. To abandon control to Federal agencies and local special interests is a very bad idea.   With few exceptions Wildlife and Wilderness in the South Okanagan are not endangered but our control of this beautiful part of the World is in serious danger and may be lost forever.  Our lifestyle is slipping away. Interference by the Federal Government and special interest groups are not in our best interests. Remember, the Federal Government is big enough to give you a National Park and strong enough to ignore your advice.  We hope the Province of British Columbia will listen to our concerns, keep our Provincial Parks intact, and make them work for everyone.

Time is getting very short but we still have time to write letters asking Provincial officials not to reopen negotiations with Parks Canada. It’s time for the silent majority to speak up and say we are happy with how our lands and wildlife are now protected and a Federal Park is not required.  Numbers count with politicians and the proponents have written many letters in favour of a National Park.  This is why they are reconsidering their options with Parks Canada.  Those of us who do not believe a National Park is a good idea thought the battle had been won when the Province ended negotiations with Parks Canada but the war drums are beating again.  Wake up people, they must hear from all of us to make good decisions on your behalf.

Those of us who speak up run the world.  It only takes a few minutes to write the following Provincial representatives.   Please write today.
MLA LINDA LARSON – PO Box 998, Oliver, BC.  V0H 1T0

Email;  Linda.Larson.MLA@leg.bc.ca
MARY POLAK – Minister of Environment, Parliament Buildings, Victoria, BC., V8V 1X4

Email;  ENV.Minister@gov.bc.ca

Article by Marion Boyd

SOUTH OKANAGAN CONCERT SOCIETY 2015-2016 SEASON

What a concert season we have before us! In South Okanagan Concert Society’s first full series the new Venables Theatre has proved to be a popular venue with attendance soaring and huge community support.  No need to sit under a cloud bank pouting this winter.  Get a flex pass and join friends for an eclectic mix of high standard performances.   Learn the meaning of EXCEPTIONAL!

So what’s on?  First to hit the stage on Friday, October 23rd is Locarno.  Supremely talented Juno winner, Tom Landa, has collaborated with Joby Baker to create a compelling blend of Mexican, Cuban and North American pop music delivered with exuberant energy.  Landa moved to Canada from Mexico City at age 15 and writes lyrics in both English and Spanish.  He loves the true Jarocho rhythms of Veracruz and creates danceable, fun, truly original Latin music and the crowds come.

For those impatient to get tickets, here is the scoop.  Four admission flex pass tickets for $75 are already on sale for the concert series at Beyond Bliss in Oliver, Imperial Office Pro in Osoyoos and at the door.   As always, the pass can be used in any combination: four to one concert or one to four concerts.   Snowbird couples could share a pass.   Single entrance is $20 and students under 17 years are free.  Need a ride from Osoyoos?  Call Maureen at 250 495 7978.  All concerts start at 7:30 pm.

gervaisDaniel Gervais and his trio are returning after three years Friday, Dec. 4th.

Daniel is the only Albertan to win the Canadian Grand Master Fiddle Competition.   His love of music is expressed in the sounds of Swing, Gypsy jazz, classical and Celtic.   He explores the roots of French-Canadian culture through stories and music and is now in high demand in France.   Whatever he explores, Daniel comes up with excellence.   He has a Masters in Music, seven albums and awards so plentiful they look like grocery lists.

What else is in store for you?  On Friday, February 5th the Capilano University Singers, a national and international prize-winning ensemble, perform.  The choir is part of the Diploma of Music Program at the university and most the singers are voice majors.  They have toured Europe and performed in the original venues where composers such as Vivaldi wrote their music.  Lars Kaario, conductor, singer and educator, creates concerts characterized as “unforgettable, delightful, beautiful and deeply satisfying musical experiences”.

The Wolak/Donnelly Duo will be on stage for the finale of the season Friday, March 18th.  Armed with a clarinet, a piano and their personable stage presence, Kornel Wolak and Chris Donnelly present a remarkable blend of classical and jazz music rarely heard in live performance.  Pianist Donnelly is the jazz guy.  Wolak is the classical expert recently seen in the principal clarinet chair with the Ontario Philharmonic.   Together they produce “Common Ground” the name they chose for their debut duo album.

The South Okanagan Concert Society invites each and every one of you to get your tickets and join us for the 2015-2016 concert series.   Let the pleasure of good company and good music be yours!

Want to find out about the Columbia River treaty?

The Canadian Water Resources Association (CWRA), in partnership with Simon Fraser University’s Adaptation to Climate Change Team, invite the public to participate in a one-day workshop on the Columbia River Treaty on October 7th.

The workshop, called “Columbia River Treaty: Past, Present and Future” will be held at the Sonora Centre in the South Okanagan town of Osoyoos, B.C. It will feature expert presentations and panel discussions on social, political, legal and environmental issues related to the treaty, with a special focus on the Okanagan valley as a sub-basin of the Columbia River.

“The Columbia River Treaty was negotiated between the governments of Canada and the U.S. in the 1950s to increase electricity generation and reduce flood risk,” noted Brian Guy, CWRA’s workshop co-chair.

“There is now an opportunity to renegotiate the treaty and bring in many perspectives that were unknown or ignored at the time. This workshop will be a fabulous opportunity for dialogue between experts and the public, and the input provided could contribute to substantial improvements to the treaty.”

Bob Sanford, EPCOR Chair for Water and Climate Security at the United Nations University Institute for Water, added that “The Columbia River Treaty has the opportunity to become the first transboundary water agreement in the world to be effectively reformed so as to create a living blueprint for how people would like to live in the Columbia Basin – and in basins like it – now and in a sustainable future.”

The public is encouraged to come and discuss with presenters from various levels of government, First Nations, and academia about the aging international treaty, and contribute perspectives about how a renewed treaty might be negotiated.

The workshop precedes the Osoyoos Lake Water Science Forum, a 3-day conference hosted by the International Joint Commission, the Okanagan Basin Water Board and the Town of Osoyoos. The Osoyoos Lake Water Science Forum will also take place at the Sonora Centre, from the evening of October  7th through to October 9th.

For more information and registration on the Columbia River Treaty workshop, visit http://crtworkshop.ca/.

‘To court we go’ – Save Skaha Park

save22Monday’s press release – Save Skaha Park hires legal counsel and files a civil claim on September 25 in the B.C. Supreme Court, challenging the lawfulness of the city’s deal with Trio Marine to expand the marina with a water slide.

A Kamloops lawyer retained by the Penticton protest group to be paid for by donations. Notice of claim states ten items to be considered by a judge in a request to quash the “signed deal”.

The Save Skaha Park group claims the area is Penticton’s only natural park, “graced with hundreds of beautiful trees, meandering paths, and a small creek.”

“It is a relaxing, restorative place and needs no enhancement. A commercial waterpark is totally inconsistent with its purpose and will destroy its serene and healing ambience so valued by Penticton residents,” reads the press release. The group is also concerned that the lease deal with Trio Marine could set a precedent for other parks, that commercializing the park without community consent would make it easier for this and future councils to do the same in other parks.

“Save Skaha Park thought long and hard before making this decision. We wish no ill to our mayor and councilors or to Trio, but we cannot let this bad decision go unchallenged, writes organizer Lisa Martin in the release. “We feel there is just too much at stake for the future of our City. “We simply can’t stand by and let this happen without a fight. We believe that the purpose of our parks is people, not profit.”

Tenor Michael Burgess has died

Picture from 1997
Picture from 1997

Canadian tenor, Michael Burgess has died.

Burgess came to Oliver twice to help with fund raising efforts by local organizations including Oliver Community Arts Council and Highway to Healing.

“Michael created the role of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables, which was one of the first international blockbusters to have its own production in Canada with a local cast, instead of a touring version,” David Mirvish said. “He was magnificent in the role and led the all-Canadian cast to great heights.”

Burgess died peacefully on Monday evening in a Toronto hospice, surrounded by his family.

Taken at a Michael Burgess concert in Oliver
Taken at a Michael Burgess concert in Oliver

The 70-year-old tenor had been battling cancer for a number of years.

 

Tax exemption given to Curling Centre

The Oliver Curling Club Society will get a break on its 2015 municipal tax bill thanks to an exemption granted by town council on Monday.

The exemption will see the club pay $1,625, or just 12% of the $13,537 property taxes that would otherwise have been owed.

By way of comparison, council was told that the Oliver Elks Lodge will pay $1,898 and the Royal Canadian Legion branch $5,661.

Councillor Jack Bennest said the tax levels coincidentally, “kind of correspond with the level of alcohol sales” amoung the three organizations, “so there is some justification and fairness.”

Many non profit organizations, housing societies,  and churches etc. apply for property tax exemption.

Oliver CAO ‘not in her office’

Oliver’s chief administrative officer (CAO), Heidi Frank, was missing from the town council meeting on Monday, replaced at the senior staff table by acting CAO David Svetlichny.

Asked about the missing top staff member, Mayor Ron Hovanes would say only: “(She) is not in her office for the time being.”

The mayor said chief financial officer Svetlichny has been appointed acting CAO.

Frank could not be reached for comment Monday evening.

She was appointed as corporation manager a little more than a year ago, after holding a similar position in Sicamous.

A report from Marieze Tarr – Chair of School District 53

School is back. Back to business at School District #53 (Okanagan-Similkameen)

This weekend trustees from around our branch (Revelstoke to Kamloops to Cache Creek and Princeton and all the communities in between) will come to our district to hear about the many great initiatives in our schools.

We will also showcase our new Southern Okanagan Secondary School, hear about school initiatives, and watch students perform in the Frank Venables Theatre.

Students and staff in Oliver are very grateful to Tinhorn Creek Vineyards for their generous donation of $6,000 to fund arts programs at Tuc el Nuit Elementary, Oliver Elementary and Southern Okanagan Secondary School. These funds will support extra music, dance and fine arts programming for students.

Thank you Tinhorn Creek Vineyards for establishing your “Celebrate the Arts program” which will benefit children locally.

Our district will once again run the Gateway to the Trades program. This year the program will be offered at Similkameen Elementary Secondary School from September 21st to December 11th, 2015. This program provides a valuable opportunity for students to gain first-hand knowledge of the different trades. In this program students will learn practical skills and industry requirements for a variety of building trades and learn how to be successful in future employment and training. Most of our students in the Secondary School Apprenticeship Programs/Ace-it Programs continued their training over the summer. All but one of the students was successful which is a huge success!

Thank youto Rod Kitt, Career Preparation Coordinator, for supporting the students over the summer and checking in to ensure their success. School District No. 53 will receive $20,000 from the Industry Training Authority (ITA) for SSA program support for the 2015/16 school year. This support will fund an SSA Support Coordinator to help SSA students in grades 10, 11 and 12 attain practical experience with local employers. Students will “earn while they learn” and gain credit towards their high school diploma and the apprenticeship portion of their trades training. SD53 registered 14 new SSA students during the 2014/15 school year, the most registered in one year. We have set a goal to increase that by at least one student for the upcoming 2015/16 year. Last year’s SSA registration numbers were the highest they have been since the 2009 pre-recession years.

We would like to remind everyone that October 5th is recognized annually and globally as World Teacher Day. It is meant to commemorate teachers’ organizations worldwide and acknowledge the work teachers do across the globe to meet the needs of future generations. We want to recognize the wonderful work that our teachers do with our students every day. Thank you for making a difference!

During our spring budget and staffing process the district projected school enrolment of 2,159.50 FTE. On September 17th schools reported enrolment of 2,156 FTE which is a decrease from projections of 3.5 FTE and a reduction of 65.25 FTE from 2014/15. Final numbers on September 30th will determine the final 2015/16 enrolment and funding.

Highlights from the 2014/15 financial statements include the following:

Total Operating Deficit for the year was $693,741 leaving us with an Operating Surplus of $1,431,236.

A restricted operating surplus of $1.43 million is committed to funding specific expenditures in 2015/16 and general expenditures approved by the Board for the 2015/16 budget. Special Purpose funds include funds received from the Ministry of Education or other sources that have been designated for specific purposes. During 2014/15 grants from the Ministry of Education by bylaw capital projects totaled $506,430. During 2014/15, $699,392 was spent on capital projects including various additions to Similkameen Elementary Secondary and Cawston Primary school buildings.

We are hoping that you will join us for our first Learning Forum scheduled for October 14th at 4:30 pm in the board office annex. These forums are open to our parents, students and community members. The topic will be School Learning Plans. The purpose of the forum will be to share the goals and inquiry questions for 2015/16 for our school sites. Each school will have an opportunity to do a brief presentation to outline their learning goals (inquiry), how they are planning to get there and how they will monitor for success. We encourage you to attend!

Should you have any questions, please contact me at 250-498-1333.