Smithers considers building crematorium facility, public weighs in

A black and white screenshot of a development proposal application to the Town of Smithers with two royal blue stamps on top.
An approved application for the process of a land use rezoning for a proposed crematorium in Smithers, BC. Photo courtesy of the Town of Smithers website.
Pamela Haasen - CICK - SmithersBC | 23-11-2021

Smithers is considering a proposal for a crematoriam facility to be built built near Slack Road near the airport.

Director Mark Fisher represents the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako Electoral Area A which includes Smithers and the Village of Telkwa.

When asked about the possible concerns from the public, Fisher said "it is in someone's backyard, and I can understand why someone might not want that ."

The original applicant for this rezoning process was Smithers resident Laurel Menzel. She later retracted her application due to "too many clerical errors" and not realizing how much administration was involved in this process (according to a Smithers Interior News article).

Later, that application received corporate support by West-End Ventures, a company owned by Colin Bruintjes, who is the current landowner.

The Advisory Planning Committee (made up of the applicant, directors of the regional district, and town council members) held a meeting to discuss the reasons for and against a crematorium and rezoning of the land usage.

Just the mention of a crematorium has members of Smithers’ public speaking out against the land use. Some residents fear the safety of a crematorium facility—the emissions and environmental factors—and some just don’t want to be reminded of death on a regular basis (especially for those who live nearby the proposed area).

Some of those concerns are due to lack of understanding, research, or discourse, which is why Fisher said he put a post on his professional Facebook page to clear the air as to what this process is, where it stands now and how to voice your concerns in the proper arena.

CICK News spoke with Mark Fisher—listen to that full interview below: