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The B.C. Southern Interior Peace Coalition (BCSIPC) met in Grand Forks on Oct. 27 with delegates, supporters and guests attending from Kelowna, Nelson, Castlegar, Grand Forks and Slocan. Delegates represented the Kootenay Region United Nations Association, (KRUNA), the Union of Spiritual Communities of Christ Working Groups (USCC), the Kelowna Peace Group, Kelowna KAIROS, Voice of Women for Peace (VOW) and the Boundary Peace Initiative (BPI) Grand Forks.
The Boundary Peace Initiative represents people of diverse backgrounds officially brought together in 2002 because of mutual concern for the rise in world conflict.
Their mandate is to participate in multilateral non-violent conflict resolution in support of global human rights, ecological and environmental sustainability and international law through education, sharing of information, dialogue and activism locally and globally.
The well-attended meeting received greetings from recently elected Grand Forks Mayor Brian Taylor and re-elected Councilor Christine Thompson. Responding to the greetings BCSIPC Coordinator said that BPI and BCSIPC looks forward to working with Mayor and Council to reinstate Grand Forks as a member of Mayors 4 Peace and maintain its status as a Nuclear Free Zone.
A message of greetings from NDP MP Richard Cannings (South Okanagan West Kootenay) was received with applause. Canning wrote: “To be among people who live and breathe the work of peace (oh yes, it is work) is uplifting, and I’m sorry to miss it. Your work matters. It is important work, even though at times I’m sure you feel you are banging your collective heads against a brick wall. Believe me, if people like yourselves did not work to advocate, educate and inform your community and your elected representatives, who would? You are passionate about the need for peace, and willing to do the hard work required for peace, and for that, I thank you. I thank you on behalf of myself, and on behalf of those who don’t know of you and your work.
The next conference of the coalition will take place in the West Kootenays in April 2019.