Sports and culture

It was a great week for sports and culture in Burns Lake.

It was a great week for sports and culture in Burns Lake.

At the arena we had competitive, non-minor hockey league action between five teams including a hybrid Burns Lake Bruins team that included minor hockey league players as well as older players. The competition was part of the Carrier Sekani Family Services first winter games.

Nothing against minor hockey – it’s great to be able to catch competitive hockey almost every weekend in town – but Burns Lake does feel a little left out of regional action without the Burns Lake Braves. The bleachers were well-used for hard and fast hockey all weekend.

Speaking of full bleachers, the turn out for the ballet last week was staggering. When was the last time you saw people lined-up outside of the high school doors eagerly hoping that a ticket or two might become available?

The hard-working volunteers of the Lakes District Arts Council should be thanked for the opportunity to experience the show in the intimate environment of the highschool main stage.

Great hockey and a professional ballet should be enough for any Canadian, but last week had even more on tap with ski racing at the Omineca Ski Club.

It seemed like an endless field of racers was on hand as category after category of racer lined up at five minute intervals to torture their aerobic systems on a mild and sunny winter day. They raced so hard that I got fit just watching.

The Omineca Ski team is mostly represented by a group of young skiers. They show a lot of potential not only as athletes but as examples of good sportsmanship with their indefatigable energy and positive dispositions. They will be a fun group of athletes to keep your eyes on as they grow into the older age categories.

On a completely different note, we’ve seen the beginning of the election season up here. Minister Bill Bennet began the natural gas sales pitch in Terrace and Prince Rupert. According to his media handler, there may or may not be a Burns Lake visit on tap, even though pipeline proposals are on everybody’s mind around here.

The provincial liberals are taking a lot of fire in open editorial pieces by politicians and regular media commentators for their proposed changes to forest management policy. One thing that stands out is the war of semantics that has defined the early exchanges.

Critics of area-based forest management want to keep the phrase tree-farm license (TFL) at the forefront of the conversation. Defenders of area-based management want to get past a term that’s loaded with more than 30 years of  baggage to describe what they see as a positive approach to forest management.

Semantics get tiresome fast.

Whether it’s a TFL, an area-based tenure, a First Nation’s woodlot license, or whatever other term might evolve to describe it, the essential question is whether or not the system maintains independent and transparent oversight of forest stock and health.

The vitality of our forests is more important than a quick political score.