New scholarship debate opens not-so-old wounds

Rossland City Council; Seven Summits Centre scholarship and new hotel at Red Mountain.

  • May. 1, 2014 7:00 p.m.

The April 28 Rossland city council meeting featured a slim agenda, with the majority of the debate occurring over “information” items. Councillors Moore, Spearn and Fisher, along with Mayor Granstrom, just rounded out quorum for the evening.

Seven Summits Centre for Learning Graduate Scholarship

The Seven Summits Centre for Learning made a request of council for a scholarship for students graduating from the program. Councillor Spearn opened the discussion in support of the request, pointing out that two scholarships of $300 and $250 are provided to JL Crowe and it is important for the community to support local schooling. She went on to note that it is a growing program that allows parents to keep their children in Rossland. A value of $200 for one scholarship was suggested.

Councillor Fisher disagreed, stating that the Seven Summits centre has only two students and the support would be greatly disproportional compared to the number of students at Crowe. Fisher’s own two children attend the Trail school and he attested to their contentment and success there. He felt that the size of the financial gift to Seven Summits would be unfair, and voted against the resolution.

Councillor Moore countered that it is important for parents and students to have choice in where education takes place, and that the school has become a huge draw for the community. She noted that the ski academy was highly successful and brought dozens of international students into Rossland.

Mayor Granstrom, while abstaining from the vote, noted that supporting independent schools may be dangerous territory. Independent schools, he stated, draw funding away from public schooling, hurting the majority of the community’s children. He cautioned against encouraging people to send their children outside of the public schooling umbrella.

After a vote of 2-1 in favour of the scholarship, Councillor Spearn sought to redirect funding blame away from the Seven Summits Centre for Learning. “It was the school board trustees who “shot themselves in the foot”, she stated, “by sending Grades 10-12 down the hill despite heated opposition from the community. In seeking $140,000, they incurred a loss of $750,000, and are the main reason funds are disappearing from the public school system in SD20.” She reiterated that having K-12 options in Rossland is important for families staying in the city and for long-term sustainability.

New Hotel at Red Mountain

A motion to approve a development permit for the Red Mountain Hotel passed unanimously, with conditions about environmental sustainability and aesthetics imbedded in the resolution. The new hotel, a venture of Texan investors, is destined for the upper parking lot on Red Mountain.

Councillor Spearn expressed concern over loss of parking space for skiers, to which staff replied that Red Mountain Resort, and not the hotel developer, would be responsible to meet those requirements based on the carrying capacity of the hill. The understanding appeared to be that new lots would be built across the highway from the current parking area.

Roads and pedestrian pathways would also need to be reconfigured to allow vehicle access to the hotel and ensure skier access to the hill from lower lots. Councillor Spearn also wondered aloud if the placement of the hotel would create a divide between locals and urban vacationers, giving prime access to an “elite” consumer, but no further concerns were raised.


Just Posted

Castlegar teens rescue man from river

Will Watt and Shay LaFayette helped save a fisherman from the Kootenay River.

Gas venting from tanker at Castlegar rail yard posed no danger: officials

Argon gas discharged from a CP tanker car on Friday, April 19.

Carfentanil found for first time in Castlegar

Killer opiod found in local illegal drug market

Rossland’s Seven Summits school gets grant to grow global presence

Centre for Learning hopes to triple the number of international students it has

Rural dividend grants awarded in Kootenay West

Kootenay West MLA Katrine Conroy made the grant announcements in Trail on Thursday

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

Defence accuses officer of ‘incompetence’ in trial for B.C. man accused in daughters’ murder

Double murder trial for the Victoria father accused of killing his two young daughters continues

B.C. men challenge constitutionality of Canada’s secret no-fly list

Parvkar Singh Dulai says he received a “denial of boarding” notification under the no-fly program last May 17

Murder on B.C. property didn’t need to be disclosed before sale, court rules

Buyer had tried to break contract after learning a man with ties to crime had been murdered there

B.C.’s largest Vaisakhi festival target of threatening Facebook post: Surrey RCMP

Police say they are investigating the posts on Facebook, after local MLA forwarded screenshots

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

VIDEO: Fish farming company launches $30-million vessel to treat salmon for sea lice in B.C. waters

Freshwater treatment an improvement but fish farms should be removed from sea, says conservationist

Singh says childhood abuse steeled him for scrutiny and stress of politics

He recounts the assaults for the first time in his book Love & Courage

Despite five extra weeks’ parental leave in Canada, dads still face stigma: survey

One reason people said dads don’t need leave is because they can just bond with their kids at weekend

Most Read