The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) has been awarded $30,000 from the province to study issues unique to the community of Big White, after the local community development association had asked the regional district in 2018 to look at what it would take to incorporate as a distinct resort municipality.
In a November letter, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson wrote that “this issues assessment study provides an opportunity for the RDKB and the Big White community to explore the current governance and services framework in the area and to identify potential gaps in governance and service delivery.” The grant confirmation followed a January 2019 suggestion from the province that the RDKB and Big White first explore options to support the resort community within the structure of the RDKB.
“While the [Big White Community Development Association] has indicated interest in an incorporation study as a first step to address their concerns,” wrote a representative from Robinson’s ministry last winter, “it would be prudent for the Regional District to first explore if solutions may exist within the current governance model.”
Big White, currently part of director Vicki Gee’s Area E/Big White region, boasts around 250 residents, just over 10 per cent of Gee’s total electorate, and less than one per cent of the RDKB’s total population.
Meanwhile, numbers presented in 2017 show the mountain resort community’s assessed value at over half a billion dollars, or approximately 11 per cent of the sum of property values across the RDKB.
Currently, Big White has its own fire, security, waste and noise control services.