Council supports honey bees

After the usual business of accepting the agenda and previous minutes of the various council and committee meetings, the District of Barriere Council meeting of Monday, Feb. 21, moved on to more interesting items on the agenda.

Mayor Fennell announced that the District will be participating in a discussion based training exercise based on a propane explosion scenario.  The exercise will take place on April 6, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and will include a large number of organizations including the Thompson Nicola Regional District Area ‘O’, BC Hydro, the RCMP, Search and Rescue, and many others.

The District of Barriere officially proclaimed May 29, 2011, as the second annual Day of the Honey Bee.  It was noted that some might not immediately realize how important the honey bee is to our way of life.  However, it is a truth that honey bees are responsible for approximately one-third of the food we eat; they are responsible for about 70 per cent of our food crop pollination; they are a keystone species and as such, they are the very cornerstone to the sustainability of our agriculture and stability of our environment.

It is also an unfortunate truth that honey bees have been disappearing for unexplained reasons not only in Canada, but in every country and across every continent where they are raised.  The Canadian Association of Professional Apiarists (CAPA) suggests that Canada recently sustained a national honey bee overwintering mortality of 21 per cent.  This amount of loss is greater than what is considered sustainable.

The proclamation encourages that municipal authorities, school boards, and private residents review the use of pesticides, especially on flowering plant-life while in bloom, as pesticide use is foremost among the many causes of the worldwide honey bee decline.

It was reported that the District had received a letter from a citizen of Barriere commending the politeness and patience of city worker Paul Amos, while he was repairing a broken water line on February 11.

Council members received information about a project called ‘Embracing Light from the Darkness’.  This project invites every Canadian interested in the art of photography to submit photographs that bring into sight the legacy of the Canadian residential school system, and the hope for a future where this past is healed, reconciled and restored.  The intent of the project is to support Aboriginal students who follow the dark years of the Canadian residential school system.

‘Embracing Light from the Darkness’ was created and developed by the Bishop’s Gospel Choir of B.C. and is endorsed by Archbishop Fred Hiltz, Primate of the Anglican Church of Canada.  All funds raised will be used to support the Choir’s two education projects that assist Aboriginal students in financial need to achieve their goals of post-secondary education: the First Nation Computer Technology Fund and the Aboriginal Bursary. More information is available at www.bishopsgospelchoir.ca.

The next District of Barriere Council meeting will be a preliminary budget review on February 28, at 6 p.m.