The historic public hearings on the "i" word began today... and the eyes of the world were focused on Cedar Heights Community Hall in Blind Bay where a crowd of 50 or so people gathered on Wednesday evening for the first public hearing on the possible incorporation of the rural communities of Sorrento and Blind Bay. Okay, there weren't as many camera crews as at those other "i" hearings (the impeachment ones in Washington DC), but the interest was very high, nevertheless. The question that will be tackled over the next 15 or so months by a blue-ribbon advisory panel selected by the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District is whether the two communities should become incorporated as municipalities, or whether they should continue as a rural electoral district of CSRD. Incorporation is, in itself, simply a tool for organizing communities.
Michael Shapcott, Executive Director of the Sorrento Centre, is honoured to be amongst the appointed members of the advisory committee: "Sorrento, the lovely little village that surrounds the 24-acre main campus of the Sorrento Centre, is a dynamic place with lots of energy and life. We have an energetic community sector (including our health centre, the Lion's Manor housing, the seniors' society, the memorial hall, the foodbank, St Mary's Anglican United and other faith communities - plus the emerging community transportation society and the affordable housing society), a busy business sector, a very vibrant arts and crafts sector and engaged groups like the Newsome Creek Watershed Action Group. One important question for me, as a member of the advisory committee, is to consider whether municipal incorporation will help our community to thrive, to move towards its goal as a welcoming, healthy, inclusive and equitable place for all."
The next public meeting of the incorporation advisory group will be Thursday, December 12, at 6 pm at the Sorrento Centre, 1159 Passchendaele Road.