Mayor's Musings for April 2024—By Steve Fairbairn, Mayor for the District of Elkford

By Tasha

Mayor's Musings for April 2024

by Steve Fairbairn, Mayor for the District of Elkford


Welcome to spring (hopefully for real, this time), Elkfordians! I love this time of year—grass begins to green up, buds swell and crack open, the birds are singing! We have more hours of daylight, warmer days and best of all… motorcycling! 

On that note, let’s talk about traffic safety.


Watch for Motorcycles and Pedestrians

While on a visit out of town recently, a small group of us were walking past some parked cars on the road.

I stopped the group in their tracks and asked them to wait, because I noticed the backup lights on a Volkswagen sedan. It proceeded to back out into the street in our direction. There was the driver, absolutely and totally engrossed in watching the rear-view camera. Watching to the point of being crouched into the centre-screen.

Now, here’s the kicker: the driver did not shoulder check once. Not out the rear nor the side window. And he had NO IDEA we were there. The message here is two-fold: pedestrians and motorcyclists need to remember that drivers don’t know that you are there (and you need to be aware of the actions of vehicles around you), and drivers STILL NEED to shoulder check—both over your right and over your left shoulder—when backing up, rear-view camera or not.

I could have knocked on the driver’s window to let him know that he nearly backed into some pedestrians, but I figured it may have led to a heart attack for the driver or an out-of-control car going backwards.

If you are outside getting some fresh air—and I hope you are—please walk and run FACING the direction of oncoming traffic. Please, please, please keep yourself aware of what is coming toward you when you are walking down the street! On that topic, we have sidewalks for a purpose.


Spring Cleaning: Street Sweeping and Lawn Care Reminders

It’s street sweeping and lawn sweeping season again! You are allowed to sweep gravel back onto the street from whence it came. Do a bit more and clear gravel and muck out of the gutter, moving it more onto the street, but please keep it within one car’s width from the curb.

Please make sure that you finish your sweeping before the last pass of the street sweeper, too! It’s weather-dependent, but that last pass often happens in mid-May. There’ll be an announcement on the District of Elkford’s Facebook page and likely in the Fernie Free Press newspaper as well. Our Bylaw Enforcement Officer will likely be issuing tickets to the tardy that sweep the sand and gravel onto the street and sidewalk after the declared date of the last pass.

On the sweeping lawn note… if there is a sidewalk in front of your house, and you are capable, PLEASE don’t leave your sweepings on the sidewalk! Sweep them that extra metre out onto the street. Seriously. This helps to keep joggers and runners, little tykes who are riding their bikes and those with limited mobility from wiping out unnecessarily on the gravel.


Mountain Meadows Golf Course Clubhouse

What’s going on with the golf course clubhouse? Well, it needs some help! The District of Elkford is having the golf course clubhouse repaired, as the southeast corner has sunk about 10 cm and that corner now needs to be jacked up. The windows are failing and need to be replaced, and the fire code has changed, so the window sizes had to be changed to meet code as well. Along with those repairs, some structural work is also being done to the exterior.

Once the work is done on the clubhouse (which includes repairs to the restaurant section), the District will be looking at options to lease out the restaurant.

Fingers crossed it’s before summer because I, for one, hope to be eating there this season. As for golfing, I hope to do that too—and fully expect I’ll lose a few golf balls on the course this year. 


Healthcare Advocacy

Interior Health and the Kootenay East Regional Health District should be beginning their repairs to the current Elkford Health clinic building any time now. Those repairs and changes will support the new Urgent and Primary Care Centre that is being created for Elkford.

The repairs will also support the use of the current building until the new, modern clinic space gets built. This process could take up to five years for completion. The timeline will depend on how long the project manager and the architect take to design the building, and on then finding builders to do the work.


Elk Valley Lodge (AKA the “Work Camp”)

Following the Public Hearing on March 25—regarding the rezoning of the land on which the Lodge sits—council postponed the decision to further consider the bylaw to rezone the land, which would allow the camp to become permanent in its current location.

The Zoning Amendment Bylaw will be further considered by council at the May 13 regular council meeting.

Did you know that you can attend regular meetings like this one, in-person or electronically? Unless otherwise noted, council meetings take place in Council Chambers in the District of Elkford Municipal Office at 744 Fording Drive. For regular council meetings, electronic attendance is welcome too! Visit and enter the meeting ID: 250 865 4000, then click join and wait for the host to let you into the meeting.


Housing Advocacy

Advocacy on the topic of housing (affordability and so on) continues, and this includes meetings with developers and builders, as well as communications with our Federal Member of Parliament, Rob Morrison, and the B.C. Minister of Housing, the Honourable Ravi Kahlon, to share ideas on ways to stimulate builder activity in town. 

There is exciting potential in the revitalized downtown core, but I am not allowed to share it with you yet. Consider this a teaser that could bear fruit—but hopefully, it’ll fare better than this year’s wine crop in the beautiful rolling hills of the Okanagan (which tragically, for the wineries and for those of us who love wine, has reportedly withered and died on the vine).


Elkford’s 2024 Citizen of the Year

Saving the best for last… congratulations to our Citizen of the Year, Jamie Robertson!

Jamie does a tremendous amount of volunteer work for various sports teams, both schools, nonprofit organizations and groups in our community, and she has given her time this way for many years. She doesn’t like to be singled out, so I will not repeat the news release that the District put out, the one in which two of her nominators are quoted as saying that Jamie “is one of the most selfless, kind-hearted people” and that “despite her commitment to volunteer work, she’s never been one to put herself in the limelight, and she deserves to be celebrated and recognized for all she does for her community.”

I can confirm that this is true, and we are very proud that she is one of our own. Well deserved Jamie, well deserved.


Yours sincerely,
Mayor Steve

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