Sparwood Livability Study

A mine expansion on Sparwoods doorstep has prompted them to look at livability more closely.

What is meant by livability?
Livability is another word for quality of life. In Sparwood, the quality of life results from a lot of factors. One of the biggest factors is mining; it is the biggest part of the economy, and is directly or indirectly the reason why most people choose to live in Sparwood. Mining also brings noise, dust, visual impacts, and other effects which need to be monitored and managed to ensure that our quality of life stays high.

The District of Sparwood is undertaking a livability study for the community. Over the next six months (January to June, 2019), community members will have a chance to share insights on what they value most about Sparwood, how best to measure their quality of life, and ways the community can ensure residents have an outstanding quality of life well into the future. A comprehensive engagement process is a key component of the livability study. Their goal is to ensure that all area residents have a chance to participate, sharing their perspectives and priorities.

District council appointed seven community members, as well as two representatives of council, Councillors Joe Jarina and Jason Christensen, to the first term of the committee.

Teck’s Don Sander, General Manager of Elkview Operations, and Chris Stroich, Superintendent Environment from Elkview Operations, along with Nic Milligan, Manager, Social Responsibility, will sit on the Committee. Volunteer community members Allison Burton, Don Crawford, John Ralph, Keenan Adams, Maeve Scannell, Tracey Brook-Baker, and Wes Pinsent will meet with the group for the first time in the coming weeks to begin their work in understanding and providing recommendations on the impact management approaches to the Baldy Ridge Extension project.

The livability study is a permit condition for Teck’s Baldy Ridge Extension project (“BRE”), and will serve as part of Teck’s Socio-Community and Economic Effects Management Plan (SCEEMP). It will also be used by the District to inform community planning and development activities in coming years. The study gives Sparwood an excellent opportunity to take the pulse of the community, learn what area residents value most and plan for a safe, sustainable and positive future.

From January 21 – February 28, 2019 the District will be seeking resident and visitor participation in engagement activities related to the livability study. Community participation is vital to the success of this process, as it is the area residents, businesses and community groups who live and work in Sparwood that make Sparwood what it is today and therefore need to inform our livability concerns, opportunities and priority setting.

Responding to the key questions will help Sparwood understand how Sparwood residents, businesses, work force and visitors feel when it comes to their quality of life, and will also help to guide future policies, services and programs related to making Sparwood an even better place to live and work.