korie headshot NEW

By: Korie Marshall, Editor

As I look back on the things that have happened in the valley last year, and some that didn’t happen, at least not yet, it seems to me we are in a good place right now, and headed in a good direction. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot that could happen that may make things better, but as frustrating as it is when things take a long time, I think moving slowly is important.

Recently we received a list from a resident of things that haven’t happened yet, a list of things he called “rumours without substance.” Things like a public swimming pool, a gated community, condos, a bowling alley, a casino, a Tim Hortons, a new hotel, sleds on rails, gondola, zipline, mini farms, paving of all dirt roads, a ski hill; all things that have been talked about in the Robson Valley, but have yet to occur. He suggested that these “rumours” were started intentionally to try to jack up local real estate prices, and points out that none of them have come to fruition. But I have to add a “yet.”

It is of course true that development is likely to benefit people that own property, as well as those involved in selling it – realtors and public notaries, etc. And one big reason people buy land is for investment – it always seems to increase in value, at least if you can hold on to it until the right time to sell it. But some of the things on his list have happened, or are starting to, though maybe not where they were originally “rumoured” to be going.

A log sorting yard is on the list – we have one now in Cedarside, though that is not where he heard one would be. A new gas station – we have a relatively new one in Valemount (Tempo), and a new Petro Canada in McBride, and we hear of plans for a new Esso in Valemount. We have a golf course, and we have hotels. We have lots of ski hills – Crystal Ridge, Five Mile Hill, and many other spots, though you may need a motorized vehicle to get up them. We may not have a zipline or sleds on rails yet, but we are building some mountain biking trails in both Valemount and McBride, and who is to say a zipline or a sled on rails couldn’t be incorporated eventually? Or built somewhere else? There are people with small farms and greenhouses, trying to build businesses or at least feed their communities, and there are groups of people trying to figure out how to encourage more of it. We may not have a geothermal or a biofuel power plant yet, but we have a couple run-of-river projects that are capable of powering the valley, at least part of the year. We have a beer brewery. It’s in Valemount, not McBride, but it is sold in McBride. We don’t have access to our hot springs yet, but we are thinking about ways to get it. A lot of this stuff is about how you want to look at it – do you see the glass half empty? Or is it half full, and is it filling faster than it is emptying?

More importantly, just because something hasn’t happened yet doesn’t mean it won’t. It may not happen the way it’s first proposed or suggested – and often that is a good thing. The thing about this kind of “rumour” is that they are really ideas. Many of them are good ideas that take time, discussion, planning, not to mention investment – and let’s face it, many of us are still struggling from the economic meltdown of 2008. But sometimes that investment is not just about money. Sometimes it is passion, discussion, time, work, and an ability to get a bunch of people together, and to get them to agree. We have all of those things too. I see it in the people who keep their businesses going, those who start up new ones, and the people that volunteer endlessly on our many non-profit organizations.

It is always interesting to me to see who is behind the ideas, but ultimately, if we can all benefit in some way, I don’t think it matters. But I guess that is the trick – sharing the benefits.