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  • 20 Years of Childcare Promises

    Childcare has been a significant issue in British Columbia for decades. Over the last 20 years, politicians have made promises to improve childcare access, but progress has been slow. The recent closure of one of Vernon's daycare centers highlights the urgency of the situation in the North Okanagan and emphasizes the need for action to be taken to address the province's childcare needs. Here's a list of campaign promises made by the BC Liberals and BC NDP since 2001 2001: The BC Liberals promised to create 20,000 new childcare spaces over three years. The BC NDP promised to increase funding for licensed child care, create new childcare spaces, and introduce a portable childcare benefit for families. 2005: The BC Liberals promised to create 3,000 new childcare spaces per year for four years, as well as increase funding for childcare programs and training for childcare workers. The BC NDP promised to invest $350 million over three years to create new childcare spaces, reduce fees for parents, and increase wages for childcare workers. 2009: The BC Liberals promised to create 6,000 new childcare spaces over the next three years and to improve the quality of child care by investing in training and increasing licensing requirements. The BC NDP promised to invest $100 million over three years to create new childcare spaces and reduce fees for parents, as well as provide support for early childhood educators. 2013: The BC Liberals promised to create 1,000 new child care spaces by 2016, as well as introduce a new childcare benefit for low-income families. The BC NDP promised to create 10,000 new childcare spaces over the next three years, as well as reduce fees for parents and improve wages and training for childcare workers. 2017: The BC Liberals promised to invest $20 million per year to create new childcare spaces and expand before- and after-school programs. The BC NDP promised to create 22,000 new childcare spaces over the next three years, as well as reduce fees for parents and provide more support for childcare providers. 2020: The BC Liberals promised to invest $1 billion over four years to create new childcare spaces and provide funding to reduce fees for parents. The BC NDP promised to create 30,000 new licensed childcare spaces by 2022, reduce fees for parents, and introduce a $10-a-day child care plan to make child care more affordable for families.

  • Coldstream Belongs in the Greater Vernon Region, Not Kelowna - GVCC

    UPDATE: Coldstream District Council, Vernon Council, and the Regional District of the North Okanagan (RDNO) Area E director have joined the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce in petitioning the Premier to reconsider the electoral boundary change that fragments the long-established North Okanagan region. ORIGINAL REPORT: The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce has written a letter to the Premier of British Columbia and the local MLA, expressing opposition to the recent changes made to the electoral boundaries, which would move the District of Coldstream from an electoral district with the City of Vernon and Areas B and C of the Regional District of North Okanagan to an electoral district with the District of Lake Country and part of the City of Kelowna. The Chamber of Commerce argues that this move would have negative impacts on the Greater Vernon region, as Coldstream plays a significant role in the local economy and is considered a part of Greater Vernon, partnering with them on domestic water, trails, and cultural services. Robin Cardew, the President of the Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce, stated, "We appreciate that the B.C. Electoral Boundaries Commission was responding to population growth in B.C. by redistributing boundaries, but population should not be the only consideration when determining boundaries." The Chamber also expressed disappointment with the lack of consultation on this specific boundary adjustment, with no ability for local government, the public, or organizations such as the Chamber to provide input. Cardew further added, "We urge you to meet directly with our Chamber, the District of Coldstream, and the Regional District of North Okanagan in the hope that this decision can be revisited. We would also encourage the Legislative Assembly, in the future, to provide the public with meaningful input once the Electoral Boundaries Commission’s final report has been tabled and before MLAs vote on the document." The Chamber's letter emphasizes the need for collaboration between communities, highlighting joint ventures such as Greater Vernon's partnership with Coldstream on domestic water, trails, and cultural services. The Chamber believes that keeping Coldstream in the same electoral district as the City of Vernon and Areas B and C of the RDNO will allow for simpler and more effective collaboration between the partners. As Cardew stated, "A single representative will simplify the process for RDNO and the Greater Vernon partners to pursue senior government support for joint projects and local services; Residents and Business Owners will better understand the roles and responsibilities of their representatives within Greater Vernon when there is one electoral district; Organizations such as the Chamber can direct limited resources to a single elected representative when advocating on behalf of their membership and community; A single Member of the Legislative Assembly will be able to provide effective representation for Coldstream and Greater Vernon." The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce is hoping for a reconsideration of the decision and a more collaborative approach to future electoral boundary changes.

  • Arsonist in Vernon?

    Investigators have determined that a tire fire Sunday evening was suspicious. The fire occurred in Vernon between the Canadian Tire and Kal Tires Anderson Way location. It was first reported just after 9:30 PM on Sunday evening. The Vernon Fire Rescue Service quickly extinguished the flames but remained on location to mop up until shortly before midnight. During the cleanup, some of the fire crews were called to an unrelated fire a short distance away. A call to 911 around 11 PM reported two people described as 'transients' were setting fire to cardboard behind a business in the 4800 block of Anderson Way. That fire was quickly extinguished. It was a busy night for firefighters.

  • Blue Herons have returned to Vernon

    The herons are found throughout the region, but a significant population nests in the protected area known as the Vernon Wetlands. The large birds have returned to the Vernon region to mate. One favorite nesting spot is just NE of 24th street and 48th ave in a grove of tall trees on a property designated as a bird sanctuary. Besides the safety of the tall trees to raise their chicks, food is readily available at Swan Lake, only a short flight away. Over a dozen nests were visible from below and there are likely many more hidden in the branches. In 2015, a powerful wind storm swept through the region, killing several Blue Herons and damaging a number of nests. Fortunately, the population appears to be on the rebound. Now is the best time to see the Blue Herons. The mating season is from March to May. If you're lucky, you'll catch the herons as they perform elaborate courtship displays, including dancing, calling, and presenting each other with sticks and other nesting materials.

  • Vernon Tire Fire

    Vernon Fire Rescue Service responded to a fire burning in a pile of garbage including some tires between the Canadian Tire store and Kal Tire on Anderson Way. The call came in shortly after 9 PM Sunday evening. A second alarm was called. Despite getting the fire knocked down quickly emergency responders were tied up til midnight.

  • Fast Moving Grass Fire on Highway 97

    Armstrong/Spallumcheen Fire department responded to reports of a fast-growing grass fire beside BC Hwy 97 just North of Old Kamloops road around 1:30 PM Friday March 31/23. The fire was quickly brought under control quickly. Traffic was stopped on Hwy 97 for a short time. A passerby driving a black jeep and a couple of other citizens are said to have attempted to slow the fire's progress until emergency responders arrived on scene. No reports of Injuries or property damage. No cause has been released.

  • Truck Fire in Downtown Vernon Suspicious

    Vernon Fire Rescue Service responded to reports of a vehicle fire in the vicinity of 27th street and 48th avenue Thursday morning (March 30th 2023). The fire was knocked down quickly and is being treated as suspicious

  • Time to Get Growing!

    Attention all green thumbs! Spring has sprung and it's time to get growing! If you're looking to add some more color to your life, head down to your local garden center for a head start on spring. With lots of vibrant flowers and plenty of creative ideas, you're sure to find inspiration for your garden this year. The growing season is almost upon us, so get ready to say goodbye to the dreary days of winter and hello to a blooming, beautiful garden! On your mark, get set, grow!

  • Astrophotography, Shoot The Stars For "Free"

    In the past, astrophotography required expensive equipment such as telescopes, specialized cameras, and lenses, making it a hobby that was out of reach for many people. However, with the advancements in smartphone technology, it is now possible for anyone to capture stunning images of the night sky using just their mobile device. Smartphone astrophotography involves using the camera on your phone to capture images of celestial objects. Although the camera on a smartphone is not as powerful as a dedicated astrophotography setup, it is still capable of capturing impressive images of stars, constellations, and even the Milky Way galaxy. There are also a variety of smartphone apps available that can help with astrophotography, which allows you to adjust exposure settings and capture long-exposure photos, and guides, that help you identify stars and constellations. The bottom line is smartphone astrophotography is a fun and accessible way to capture the beauty of the night sky and share it with others. While it may not produce the same level of quality as a professional astrophotography setup, it is still a great way for amateurs and beginners to get started in this fascinating hobby.

  • Hey... I'm NOT a Stink Bug

    Western Conifer Seed Bug is often mistaken for a Stink Bug. The wee beasties are already starting to appear in the North Okanagan.

  • Special air quality statement is in effect for North Okanagan

    A special air quality statement is in effect for North Okanagan. A dust advisory has been issued for Vernon. This may be a concern for people with chronic conditions like asthma, COPD, heart disease, and diabetes, respiratory infections like COVID-19, pregnant women, infants, and older adults. If you have underlying medical conditions or acute infections, you should avoid strenuous exercise until the advisory is lifted and maintain physical distancing when appropriate. If you experience symptoms like eye or throat irritation, chest discomfort, shortness of breath, cough or wheezing, you may want to seek advice from your healthcare provider. To reduce exposure, it's best to stay indoors. You can find real-time air quality information at and visit to learn how to reduce your health risk and personal contribution to pollution levels.

  • Great news for residents in the Greater Vernon area who drink water!

    Great news for residents in the Greater Vernon area! Greater Vernon Water (GVW) has announced that the Water Quality Advisory (WQA) and water source change notice that has been in effect since fall 2022 has been rescinded. The Headgates Spillway Project, which prompted the advisory, is nearing completion and water treatment has returned to normal. This means that areas that usually receive water from the Duteau Creek Water Treatment Plant will continue to do so. Residents can now enjoy the same high-quality water they have come to expect from GVW. Congratulations to GVW on successfully completing the Headgates Spillway Project and restoring the normal water supply to the area!

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