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Council wants better relationship with neighbours

Cranbrook is hoping to get into more co-operative economic and social terms with neighbouring jurisdictions in the future.

Coun. Angus Davis put forward a motion that called for the unification of neighbouring jurisdictions. Council discussed it at the Aug. 18 meeting.

The rationale for Davis's motion is that since Cranbrook is situated in the Southeast corner of B.C., which touches Alberta, Montana, Idaho and Washington.

"These five areas represent jurisdictions of different systems of governments and this leads to barriers to economic and social intercourse," Davis said.

His motion resolved that the City of Cranbrook initiate steps to encourage the social and economic unification of these five neighbouring jurisdictions.

Davis said the reason he brought this forward after his daughter informed him of an organization called the Pacific Northwestern Economic Region.

"I talked to (MLA) Bill Bennett about it and he said it is an organization used by many," he said, adding that it sounded like something that would be a benefit to the city.

The head office is in Seattle, Washington.

“I think if we could just start some dialogue with these people it would be worthwhile for us,” he said.

Coun. Bob Whetham said he agreed with what Davis was trying to do.

“I think there is a lot of common interests among these areas and I think we have a lot of barriers that really don’t need to be there,” Whetham said.

But Whetham questioned the word “unification.”

“I just wonder if that’s a little stronger than we need,” he said, suggesting “co-operation.”

“What we’re trying to do is work together on things, but I’m not sure we can change the structure that we actually have,” he said.

Davis said he agreed with Whetham’s suggestion and council chose to change the word in the motion immediately.

Coun. Diana J. Scott thought it was a great motion.

“Especially since there is an organization that we can sort of tie into for contacts,” Scott said. “About 10-15 years ago there was a whole switch from municipalities fighting for a piece of the loan to all working together and realizing that everybody had more than enough. So this is just the same regional outlook on a bit larger scale. If you bring people to the area and people know what’s going on we’ll get a lot more business and all that sort of stuff.”

Scott said there are all kinds of things the region can do with tourism, bike trails, business and border crossing.

“I’m looking forward to see where this goes,” she said.

Council voted in favour of the motion.

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