Friday, April 24, 2015

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Apr 27 - May 1st

Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile Municipal Councils' and the Board of Education for School District #27 will be meeting next week as follows:

Quesnel - Regular Council Meeting on Monday, April 27th at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* Committee Recommendations
* Communications Policy Statement
* Strategic Enforcement of Himalayan Balsam and Amendments to Nuisance Bylaw 1476
* Gymnastics Club, Formal Community Forest Proposal and Reaffirm 2016 Budget Direction
* Approve 2015 Strategic Plan and Receive 2015 1st Quarter Report
* Various Planning Matters
* 2015 Budget Bylaws

View the full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, April 28th at 6pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  On the Agenda:

* Delegation: Peter du Toit from Interior Health to give an overview of Regional and Local Health Services to Council

* Business - Good Neighbour Amendment Bylaw No. 2236 re Repeat Nuisance Service Calls; CRD Landfill Agreements; 6 Bylaws for Consideration for either 1st/2nd/3rd Reading, 3rd Reading only or 3rd Reading/Adoption or Adoption only

View the full Agenda here

There is also a Public Hearing on Bylaw 2231 - 440 Proctor St.  View the full Agenda here

100 Mile House - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, April 28th at 7pm in 100 Mile Council Chambers.  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) - Regular Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, April 28th at 6:30pm in the SD 27 Boardroom (350 2nd Ave, WL).  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

Upcoming Events include:

April 28th - Day of Mourning ceremony at WL City Hall - 10:30am

April 28th - Citizens' on Patrol meeting at the Wildwood Fire Hall at 7pm.  Dave Dickson/Staff-Sgt Del Byron to be in attendance

~SF

CRD Board Mtg - Apr 24th

Present: Chair Richmond; Directors Armstrong, Bruce, Massier, Forseth, Kemp, Sorley, William, Anderson, Coakley, Sharpe, Simpson, Cobb, Campsall and Alternate Director S. Hart (Area H)

Staff:

J. Bell - CAO
S. Reid - CFO
A. Johnston - Corporate Officer
K. Moores - Mgr of Development Services

Meeting called to order at 10:03am
Meeting Agenda approved/Mins of the March 27th CRD Board Meeting approved, as amended

Business:

Planning, Building Inspection and Bylaw Enforcement:

1) Bylaws #4955/4956 (Area A) were given 1st/2nd Reading
2) Bylaw #4957 (Area D) was given 1st/2nd Reading

3) Bylaw #4943 (Area F) was given 3rd Reading following a public hearing

4) Bylaws #4938/4939 (Area L) were adopted

5) DVP #3/2015 was approved by the Board

6) ALR Application #A20150004 was approved for submission to the Provincial Ag Land Commission

7) ALR Application #G20150006 was deferred to the next Board meeting

8) The Board agreed to defer the letter of concurrence for a Rogers Cell Tower application in the 108 Mile area to the next Board meeting

9) The Board agreed to remove a condition of rezoning (fencing requirement) as part of Bylaw #4861 (Area L) by the following vote

Affirmative - Chair Richmond; Directors Armstrong, Bruce, Massier, Forseth, Kemp, Sorley, Cash, William, Anderson and Alternate Director Hart (Area H) -- 11

Negative - Director Coakley (Area L) -- 1

Environmental Services:

1) The Board received the Water/Sewer projects report

2) The Board agreed to renew the contract with Tervita for the hydrocarbon bioremediation cell operation at the 100 Mile House Landfill be renewed to March 31, 2019, and the necessary signatories be authorized to execute the contract.

Community Services:

1) The Board agreed to authorize an additional $10,000 in funding be approved for a project total of $33,000 from the 2015 Community Halls Improvements envelope of the Community Works Fund to install a potable water system at the Likely Community Hall

2) The Board authorized letters of support for Likely & District Chamber of Commerce for various grant applications to aid in the community of Likely’s recovery from the Mount Polley event

Finance:

1) The Board received/ratified the Cheque Register for the month of March 2015 in the amount of $1,860,215.21

2) The Board agreed to authorize funds ($1500 for Central/South and up to $750 for North) from EA Administration for 2015 Activities of the Orange Shirt Day Committee by the following vote:

Affirmative - Chair Richmond; Directors Armstrong, Bruce, Massier, Forseth, Sorley, Cash, William, Anderson, Coakley and Alternate Director Hart -- 11

Negative - Director Kemp -- 1

Administration:

1) The Board received the Consent Calendar as of April 24th

2) The Board received the Level 1 and 3 Corporate Priorities Report

a) Item 7.2 be removed from Level 1 Corporate Priorities Report (electronic distribution of In-Camera Agendas)

Meeting recessed at 10:58am
Meeting resumed at 11:05am

Delegations:

a) Shelley Thomson from FortisBC appeared before the Board to discuss their Fox Mountain project

A Question and Answer period ensued.  Chair Richmond on behalf of the Board thanked Ms. Thomson for her time/information

b) PMT Chartered Accountants / Business Advisors LLP reps appeared before the Board to present the 2014 Audited Financial Statements for the Cariboo Regional District

A Question/Answer period ensued. Chair Richmond on behalf of the Board thanked the delegation for their time/information

Resolved - That the Audited 2014 Consolidated Financial Statements for the Cariboo Regional District, prepared by PMT Chartered Accountants / Business Advisors LLP, be received and approved as presented

Meeting recessed at 12:08pm
Meeting resumed at 1:00pm

c) David Morel, ADM from the Ministry of Energy/Mines and Lori Halls, ADM, Ministry of Environment and BC Energy/Mines Minister Bill Bennett appeared before the Board, via teleconference, to give an update on the Mt Polley file

A Question/Answer period ensued.  Chair Richmond, on behalf of the Board, thanked the delegation for their time/information

Business, cont:

3) The Board received the prioritization of Board Resolutions report

4) The Board received a letter from Richard Linzey, Director, Heritage Branch, Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations, dated March 9, 2015, regarding the Request for Expressions of Interest, Tenure of Cottonwood Lands

5) Late Item - The Board received a letter and discussion paper from the Ministry of Justice, regarding a strategic vision for emergency communications service delivery in British Columbia and the Chair be authorized to attend the consultation session to be held June 1st

6) Late Item  - The Board received a letter from BC Health Minister Terry Lake concerning UBCM Recommendations on Small Water System

Committee/Commission Minutes/Recommendations:

1) The Board received the Minutes of the Heritage Steering Committee meeting held Jan 27th and CC Rural Caucus Meeting held March 25th

2) The Board received the Minutes of the CC Joint Committee meeting held March 25th and endorsed 1 recommendation from that meeting (CCACS Project Grant recommendations for 2015)

3) The Board received the minutes of the March 27th Policy Committee meeting and endorsed 3 recommendations from that meeting (rescind Alternate Director policy and refer two other policies to Staff for recommendations back to Policy Committee - Letters to First Nations and Public Consultation Process for Regulatory Bylaws)

4) The Board received the minutes of the April 14th NC Rural Caucus meeting and endorsed 3 recommendations from that meeting (North Cariboo Community Committee Appointments, MOU between CRD/City of Quesnel and All-West Crane & Rigging Ltd. - Grant Application Endorsement)

Invitations:

1) The Board received an email from Sasha Prynn, Office Coordinator, UMBCM and attached agenda for the Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition Keeping it Rural 2015 Conference and authorized Director Forseth to attend the Conference using up to $1,350 from the Area D Director Initiative Fund

Corporate Bylaws:

The Board adopted Central Cariboo Landfill and Transfer Station Fees and Charges Bylaw No. 4950, 2015

The Board adopted Central Cariboo Recreation Fees and Charges Amendment Bylaw No. 4959, 2015

Directors' Requests:

1) At the request of Director Sorley - The Board authorized a letter to be written to the to the BC Electoral Boundaries Commission urging them not to move the 150 Mile House area from the Cariboo North Electoral Area into the Cariboo Chilcotin Electoral Area

2) At the request of Director Forseth - The Board authorized staff to bring back a report outlining the steps to create and implement an animal control bylaw for dogs at large in the Wildwood Fire Protection Area with an option to have coverage in the Wildwood, Pine Valley and Commodore Heights areas, and a request to the City of Williams Lake to consider providing the service under contract

3) At the request of Director Sorley - The Board authorized letters of support be provided to the Big Lake Community Association, Cedar Point Park Board, Likely Chamber of Commerce, and Miocene Community Club for their applications to the BC Public Access to Defibrillation (PAD) Program

4) At the request of Director Sorley - The Board authorized up to $250 from the Electoral Area F Discretionary Fund to help host the Big Lake Community clean-up

5) At the request of Director Anderson - The Board agreed to invite Ministry of Transportation to discuss rural roads identified by Directors'

Meeting recessed at 2:58pm

At 3:07pm - The Board convened an In-Camera Meeting as per Sections 90(1a + c) and 90(2b) of the Community Charter and reconvened/recessed its' public meeting at 4:37pm and resumed the meeting at 4:48pm

Directors' then gave oral reports from their Electoral Area/Municipality

The Board adjourned its' meeting at 5:25pm



CCRHD Board Meeting - Apr 24th

Present: Chair J. Massier; Directors Armstrong, Bruce, Forseth, Kemp, Sorley, Richmond, William, Anderson, Coakley, Sharpe, Simpson, Cobb, Campsall and Alternate Director S. Hart (Area H)

Staff:

J. Bell - CAO
S. Reid - CFO
A. Johnston - Corporate Officer
K. Moores - Mgr of Development Services

Meeting called to order at 9:32am
Meeting Agenda approved/Mins of the March 27th CCRHD Board Meeting approved

Business:

1) The Board adopted CCRHD Capital Expenditure (GR Baker Hospital Anesthetic Unit 1) Bylaw No. 104, 2015

2) The Board received the Consent Calendar as of Apr 24th

3) The Board received an item from Northern Health regarding Quesnel Collaborative Working on Strategy for Physician Recruitment

4) The Board received an invitation from Interior Health celebrating the retirement of former IH Board Chair Norman Embree and a letter will be forwarded to Mr. Embree thanked him for service as the Board Chair of Interior Health

The Chair provided a verbal update on meetings that he recently attended

Meeting recessed at 10:03am
Meeting resumed at 12:11pm

Delegation:

PMT Chartered Accountants / Business Advisors LLP appeared before the Board to present the Audited 2014 Consolidated Financial Statements for the Cariboo Regional Hospital District.

Resolved - That the 2014 Audited Financial Statements for the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District be approved

Meeting adjourned at 12:14pm

CRHD Board Mtg - Apr 23rd

Present: Chair J. Massier; Directors Armstrong, Bruce, Forseth, Kemp, Sorley, Richmond, William, Anderson, Coakley, Sharpe, Simpson, Cobb, Campsall and Alternate Director S. Hart (Area H)

Staff:

J. Bell - CAO
S. Reid - CFO
A. Johnston - Corporate Officer
K. Moores - Mgr of Development Services

Meeting called to order at 9:30am
Meeting Agenda approved/Mins of the March 27th CRHD Board Meeting approved

Business - None

Meeting recessed at 9:31am
Meeting resumed at 12:08pm

Delegation:

PMT Chartered Accountants / Business Advisors LLP appeared before the Board to present the Audited 2014 Consolidated Financial Statements for the Cariboo Regional Hospital District.

Resolved - That the 2014 Audited Financial Statements for the Cariboo Regional Hospital District be approved

Meeting adjourned at 12:10pm

Category 3 Open Burning Ban - Apr 27th/2015

Courtesy of the BC Wildfire Branch:

Effective at noon on April 27, 2015, Category 3 open burning will be prohibited by the Wildfire Management Branch throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect the public.

Specifically, this order prohibits fires that burn:

* material concurrently in three or more piles, each not exceeding two metres in height and three metres in width; or
* material in one or more piles, each exceeding two metres in height or three metres in width; or
* one or more windrows; or
* stubble or grass over an area exceeding 0.2 hectares (more than 2,000 square metres).

The prohibition will remain in place until Sept. 30, 2015, or until the public is otherwise notified.

This prohibition does not apply to campfires, cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or open fires that are two metres by three metres or smaller. People must ensure that such fires are not lit or kept burning during windy conditions and that adequate tools, water and people are on hand to contain the fire. They must also make sure that the fire is fully extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

This prohibition applies to all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of local governments that have forest fire prevention bylaws in place and are serviced by fire departments. Please check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting a fire.

So far this season, the Wildfire Management Branch's Cariboo Fire Centre has responded to 16 wildfire incidents, all of which were human-caused and therefore preventable.

Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345 or, if convicted in court, may be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

The Cariboo Fire Centre stretches from Loon Lake near Clinton in the south to the Cottonwood River near Quesnel in the north and from Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the west to Wells Gray Provincial Park in the east.

For a map of affected areas within the Cariboo Fire Centre, please visit: http://bit.ly/1Gfc3hg

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or non-compliant open burning, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or dial *5555 on a cellphone.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca or call 1 888 3FOREST.

You can follow the latest wildfire news on:

Twitter at: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo

Facebook at: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo

Media Contact:

Emily Epp
Fire Information Officer
Wildfire Management Branch
Cariboo Fire Centre
250 989-2665

Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Mt Polley Williams Lake Community Mtg

Photo Credit: Monica Lamb-Yorski, Williams Lake Tribune
Gibraltar Room - Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex
Before a packed Gibraltar Room of supporters for Mt Polley to re-start operations with some First Nations present to present their opposing views - Reps from Imperials Metals presented their restricted operations scenario to the public which you can review for yourself here.  In addition representatives from the Ministry of Environment & Energy/Mines were also present to give their perspective on the process to approve permits to allow Mt Polley to re-start on a short/long term basis

Elected Officials being present included all members of Williams Lake City Council except Councillor Sue Zacharias and CRD Directors Steve Forseth (Area D); Byron Kemp (Area E) and Joan Sorley (Area F)

After the formal presentation by Imperial Metals/Ministry of Environment/Energy and Mines, a question/answer period ensued with CRD Area 'F' Director Joan Sorley moderating

Questions coming forward included:

* First Nations never ceded land that Mt Polley sits on
* Accidents' happen, but we learn from them and move on and get better
* Insurance to cover damages to environment/businesses?
* General commentary to re-start the mine ASAP by many including WL City Councillor Scott Nelson

* When will CRD Directors Forseth, Kemp and Sorley indicate their support for the mine re-start? Director Sorley clarified that the Cariboo Regional District Board of Directors', when it has all the information, will consider a letter of support in the near future

* Timing of dam inspections?

Tomorrow evening - Imperials Metals will make the same presentation to local First Nations at Sugarcane (WL Indian Band)

Comments on the proposed Mt Polley Mine Permit are due Saturday, May 2nd and may be provided by email at:

BC Government -- MtPolleyMinePermit@gov.bc.ca 
Imperial Metals -- inquiries@imperialmetals.com


CC Joint Committee - April 22nd mtg

Present from City of WL: Co-Chair Mayor W. Cobb; Councillors I. Bonnell, S. Nelson, C. Smith, J. Ryll, and L. Walters

Present from CRD: Co-Chair Director J. Sorley; Directors S. Forseth and B. Kemp

Staff:

G. Paynton - Director of Community Services; City of WL
D. Campbell - Mgr of Community Services; CRD
L. Schick - Deputy Corporate Officer; CRD
J. Bell - CAO; CRD
D. Garceau - City Manager; City of WL

Meeting chaired by Director Sorley

Meeting called to order at 5pm.  The Chair noted that the meeting was being held on Shuswap territory

Meeting agenda approved/Mins of March 25th CC Joint Committee meeting approved

Business:

1) CC Arts/Culture Society - 1st Quarter 2015 Report

Discussion ensued thereon.  Leah Selk from the CC Arts/Culture Society was present to answer questions of the Committee

Resolved - Report received

2) Pool Upgrade Project - Working Group Meeting Notes – April 1, 2015

The Mgr of Community Services reviewed the item with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Report received

3) Review of Fees and Charges Bylaw

The Director of Community Services reviewed his report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Report received

Meeting adjourned at 6:15pm

CC Rural Caucus - Apr 22nd mtg

Present: Chair S. Forseth; Directors J. Sorley, B. Kemp, and B. Anderson (3:55pm)

Staff: L. Schick - Deputy Corporate Officer; J. Bell - CAO

Meeting called to order at 3:30pm

Meeting Agenda with 1 Late Item and Mins of March 25th CC Rural Caucus adopted

Business:

1) The Committee received a report of the CRD Mgr of Communications in regards to a sponsorship opportunity for Esk'et (Alkali Lake) Rodeo Club

2) The Committee then discussed the following:

a) Meeting with MLA's Oakes/Barnett
b) Aggressive Dogs in Central Cariboo
c) Mountain House Rd - Speed Sign

Resolved - That a letter be forwarded to the local Ministry of Transportation office requesting that speed signs be posted along Mountain House Rd from the turnoff to West Coast Rd to Likely Rd as well as along West Coast Rd past the Wildwood Transfer Station

d) 2015 NCLGA AGM/Convention

e) Late item - May 2015 CC Rural Caucus Mtg

Resolved - That Director Sorley be authorized to chair the May 27th CC Rural Caucus meeting in the absence of Director Forseth

3) The Committee received the Action Page as of April 22nd

The Committee adjourned at 4:15pm

Temporary Closure of Wildwood Elementary

Letter from SD27 to Wildwood
Elementary parents
Update at 12:03pm, Wed Apr 22nd - School District #27 has issued an press release on the temp closure of Wildwood Elementary which you can review here

Original Blog Post:

In a letter distributed to parents of Wildwood Elementary this past Monday - School District #27 informed parents that mold was discovered in the crawl space below the school gym last Thursday (April 16th) and thus necessitated the temporary shutdown of the school

Students at Wildwood Elementary have been given this week off while preparations at Marie Sharpe take place.  Starting this Monday (April 27th) - they will attend a "school within a school" at Marie Sharpe Elementary for the remainder of this school year

This topic is being discussed on Wildwood Speak Up (Facebook Page) which you can find here while Wildwood Elementary Principal Kelly McLellan writes also on this topic here

In addition - School District #27 Staff held a meeting with local parents last night to brief them on the situation and to answer any questions they had.  I understand that another meeting will be held next month to bring Wildwood Elementary parents up to date on this topic once again

I have been also informed that issues around water drainage must be resolved first prior to the mold issue being rectified

For myself as the Area D Director - I remain hopeful that a solution can be found prior to June 30th so Wildwood Elementary can once again re-open for the 2015/16 School Year...

~SF

Quesnel Gym Club benefits from Hosting BC grants

Courtesy of the BC Gov't Caucus:

The Quesnel Technics Gymnastics Club is receiving $2,000 from the provincial government’s Hosting BC program to support the upcoming Goldpan Invitational and Zone 8 Qualifier to B.C. Gymnastics Championships.

“Sports has the power to transform a community and provides an opportunity to demonstrate the hard work and dedication committed through competitive events,” said Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes. “This funding will help support the continued development of the Quesnel Technics Gymnastics Club and provide a fun and healthy environment for our talented gymnasts in British Columbia to showcase their skills.”

The Championships will be held on February 5, 2016 with the help of the Quesnel Technics Gymnastics Club. Participants will be traveling from all across the Zone 8 region, which stretches along the eastern half of B.C. from William’s Lake up to the Yukon Border.

Across British Columbia, 38 events in 25 communities will share more than $125,000 in the latest round of Hosting BC grants, provided by the provincial government and administered by ViaSport.

Hosting BC funds competitive-level events that support long-term athlete development plans for B.C.'s Provincial Sport Organizations.

ViaSport is a not-for-profit organization created in 2011 as a legacy of the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. Its mandate is to increase awareness, opportunity and participation in sport across the province--at every stage of life and in every community.

Information about Hosting BC and other grants offered through Viasport is can be found on their website: http://www.viasport.ca/grants

Cariboo receives BC $$$ for climate change leadership

Courtesy of the BC Government Caucus:

The B.C. Government has announced more than $35,000 in funding to Williams Lake and the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) in recognition of their commitment to support a healthier, more sustainable community.

In March 2015, $6.4 million was provided through the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program to B.C. communities. From this funding, the CRD received $14,821. Next month Williams Lake will be receiving $29,466 while Quesnel received $52,317, Wells $2,825 and 100 Mile House received $5,455

“As a clean energy leader, British Columbia continues to remain on target for being at the forefront of creating incentives for low carbon economic innovation,” says Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes. “This funding will help the both Williams Lake and the CRD move forward with projects that enhance environmental protection, create new jobs, provide more economic opportunities and support for cleaner technologies to take root in our province.”

“B.C.’s investments in carbon offsets support innovation, new jobs, economic opportunities and green technologies in communities in our province,” says Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett. “I am proud that both the Cariboo Regional District and Williams Lake are sharing our province’s success by receiving this funding for climate change leadership and policy innovation.”

The Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program provides conditional grants to communities that have signed the Climate Action Charter and supports their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Communities that report publicly on their progress toward meeting their climate action goals are eligible to receive a grant equivalent to 100 per cent of the carbon tax they pay directly.

Since 2008, the B.C. government has provided more than $25 million through the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program. Currently, 96 per cent of communities in B.C. have signed the Climate Action Charter.

To learn about the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program, please visit http://www.cscd.gov.bc.ca/lgd/greencommunities/carip.htm.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Local Elections/CAO's

Dermod Travis of IntergrityBC writes on Huffington Post BC about the subject of the 2014 Local Government Elections and Chief Administrative Officers' (most senior staff position)

Read his thought-provoking article here

~SF

Canada Day Performers and Vendors Wanted

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake

The Williams Lake Canada Day Committee is seeking local performers and vendors that are interested in helping to celebrate Canada Day 2015 (July 1).

The committee’s goal for Canada Day is to highlight Williams Lake’s diverse arts and multicultural performers. We are seeking a variety of styles of entertainment such as music, theater, and dance that celebrate Williams Lake and our cultural heritages. Your performance will be showcased in the Gwen Ringwood Theater in Boitanio Park between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm. Performances can be between 10 and 20 minutes long.

The sound system will be available for performances; however, music must be supplied by the performer. Performers may receive an honorarium for their time, pending available funding.

The committee is also looking for dynamic, local businesses and organizations with unique products and services to make this truly a special event. There are no fees for this event, but a number of submission guidelines must be met.

For more information and application forms, please visit www.williamslake.ca:

Performers - http://www.williamslake.ca/DocumentCenter/View/1116
Vendors - http://www.williamslake.ca/DocumentCenter/View/1117

Applications can be sent to:

Suzanne Cochrane
Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex
525 Proctor Street
Williams Lake, BC
V2G 4J1
Email: scochrane@williamslake.ca
Fax: (250) 398-7884

Application deadline is May 29, 2015.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Top Places in BC for work

Last Thursday - the magazine VanCity Buzz, in partnership with CKNW, is looking at the topic of Putting BC to Work.  View the article here

The data they use comes from BC Business magazine which ranked 36 communities in BC on the following topics and their weight in the survey:

Income Growth - 30%
Average Household Income - 20%
Population Growth - 10%
Unemployment - 15%
Labour Participation - 10%
People with degrees - 10%
People taking transit - 5%

Local Communities - Williams Lake and Quesnel - were ranked as follows:

Williams Lake - #35

Income Growth - 11.26%
Average Household Income - $74,874
Population Growth - -4.87%
Unemployment - 11.51%
Labour Participation - 67.08%
People with degrees - 12.44%
People taking transit - 3.69%

Quesnel - #32

Income Growth - 11.40%
Average Household Income - $77,366
Population Growth - 1.06%
Unemployment - 12.07%
Labour Participation - 63.66%
People with degrees - 8.65%
People taking transit - 0.89%

Prince George ranked #27 while Kamloops ranked #22

The top 5 communities for work in BC are:

1) Fort St John
2) North Vancouver
3) Coquitlam
4) Burnaby
5) Dawson Creek

Read the full article here while Fort St John Mayor Lori Ackerman speaks to her community's #1 ranking here

Invasive Plant $$$ for Cariboo-Chilcotin

Courtesy of the BC Government Caucus:

The provincial government is providing $204,000 to the Cariboo Regional District and $10,000 to the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Invasive Plant Committee to help control the spread of invasive plants, Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett announced today.

These are two of 29 grants, totalling $1,702,000, that are being distributed province-wide to local governments, regional invasive species committees and the Invasive Species Council of B.C. to assist with their activities and support the objectives of the provincial Invasive Plant Program.

“We need to take a proactive approach to stopping the spread and damage from invasive plant species before they are out of control,” says Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett. “This funding will benefit everyone from farmers and gardeners, to cattle herders and wildlife. This is our land, let’s make sure it stays that way.”

The funding will be invested in activities such as raising public awareness of invasive plants, surveying invasive plant populations and actively treating high-priority sites to control the spread of these plants.

Invasive plants are species that have been introduced into British Columbia from other areas. They displace native vegetation and can cause considerable economic and environmental damage. Some pose a health risk to people (e.g. skin irritation). Invasive plants can disrupt natural ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops.

The Invasive Plant Program identifies sites where invasive plant species have been found and responds rapidly to contain and eradicate them before they become established and start spreading.

This funding is in addition to the $735,000 already allocated by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations for invasive plant control and management in 2015-16.

To learn more about Invasive Plant Program, visit: http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hra/plants/index.htm

Day of Action: STOP Mt Polley re-start

The Secwepemc Woman Warriors Society which has previously maintained a protest camp outside of the Mt Polley Mine Site access road in late August of 2014 has called for a Global Day of Action: STOP Mount Polley Re-Opening for Wednesday, April 29th which is when the 30 day public comment period to review Imperial Metals' permit application to allow Mt Polley to have a partial re-start is slated to come to a close.

View their Facebook page here while you can watch a YouTube video they have produced here

Two key dates to keep in mind this week:

Wednesday, April 22nd - Public Meeting in Williams Lake to review the permit application from Imperial Metals.  6:30-8:30pm in the Gibraltar Room

Thursday, April 23rd - Local First Nations meeting to review the permit application from Imperial Metals.  Meeting to be held at Sugarcane (WL Indian Band territory)

After the 30 day review period is complete - I expect that the Cariboo Regional District Board will consider the topic of a letter of support for Imperial Metals' application sometime during the month of May or early June while Victoria is currently expected to render a decision on the requested permit from Imperial Metals' by the end of June.

I strongly encourage you to come to this Wednesday's public meeting, put on by Imperial Metals and state your own views on Imperial Metals being permitted to partially re-start the Mt Polley site.

I suspect many, if not, all elected officials from Williams Lake City Council and many Cariboo Regional District Directors including myself will be in attendance at Wednesday's meeting

~SF

Friday, April 17, 2015

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of April 20-24

A number of local governments in the Cariboo-Chilcotin are meeting this upcoming week as follows:

Quesnel - Committee of the Whole session on Monday, April 20th at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

Delegations:

a) Coalition of Child Care Advocates of BC ($10/day Childcare)
b) Quesnel Youth Soccer Association

Business:

a) Bylaw Enforcement Strategy (Strategic vs Complaint driven)
b) 2015 Tax Rates

View the full Agenda here

Wells - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, April 21st at 7pm in Wells Council Chambers (4243 Sanders Avenue).  The meeting Agenda may be viewed here

Williams Lake - Council-in-Committee meeting on Tuesday, April 21st at 6pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (450 Mart St - Basement).  On the Agenda:

Delegations (2) - Active Transportation Committee & Reps from Interior Health

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District - Meetings as follows:

Wednesday, April 22nd -- CC Rural Caucus at 3:30pm in the CRD Committee Rm.  On the Agenda:

Request from Esk'et Rodeo re: Sponsorship and Discussion Items on:

a) Mountain House Rd - Speed Limit Signs
b) Meeting with local MLA's
c) 2015 NCLGA AGM/Convention
d) Aggressive Dogs -- Central Cariboo Service?

View the full Agenda here

Wednesday, April 22nd - CC Joint Committee at 5:00pm in the CRD Boardroom.  On the Agenda:

a) Report from CC Arts/Culture Society
b) Update from Sam Ketchum Pool Working Group
c) New Fees/Charges Bylaw
d) Meeting with School District #27 Board - June 2nd?

View the full Agenda here

Friday, April 24th - Meetings of CRHD/CCRHD Boards (Local Hospital District Boards) and CRD Board.  Starting at 9:30am in the CRD Boardroom

CRHD - Receive Mins of March 27th meeting and endorse 2014 Audited Financial Statements

CCRHD - Receive Mins of March 27th meeting, endorse 2014 Audited Financial Statements,  and adopt Capital Expenditure (GR Baker Hospital Anesthetic Unit) Bylaw

CRD Board - On the Agenda:

a) Delegations (2) - FortisBC (11:00am) re: Fox Mountain Project and 11:30am (PMT Accountants for 2014 Audited Financial Statements)

b) Various Planning Matters

c) Consider funding for Orange Shirt Day 2015 from EA Administration?

d) Corporate Priorities Reports - Level 1 and 3

e) Consent Calendar

f) Committee Minutes/Recommendations

g) Adopt CRD Central Cariboo Landfill and Transfer Station Fees and Charges Bylaw No. 4950, 2015

h) Director Requests from:

i) Director Sorley -- Provincial Electoral District Map re-draw; Letters of Support for Free AED Installation; Money from Area F Discretionary Fund for Big Lake Community Clean-up

ii) Director Forseth - Move forward on process for new Animal Control Service; Area D Director Initiative Funds for SIBAC Event - Rural Ec Dev in Salmon Arm at the end of May

There will be an In-Camera Session of the CRD Board as per Sections 90(1a and c) of the Community Charter

View the CRHD Board Agenda here
View the CCRHD Board Agenda here
View the CRD Board Agenda here

Upcoming Community Events:

April 17-19 -- WL Indoor Rodeo at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.  More details here

April 22nd from 6:30pm - 8:30pm -- Public Info meeting on Mt Polley's re-start application.  Meeting being held in the Gibraltar Room

~SF

CRD fire backs at criticism from Mayor Cobb/Councillor Nelson over Mt Polley

After being criticized by Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb and Williams Lake City Councillor Scott Nelson over taking a neutral position in regards to Mt Polley's partial re-start application, CRD Chair Al Richmond says the Cariboo Regional District will not be rushed into making a decision for writing a letter of support for Mt Polley's application

Read more here

~SF

Cobb/Nelson takes CRD to task over Mt Polley partial re-start application

As the first example of tension between the Cariboo Regional District/City of Williams Lake in this new term of local government (2014 to 2018) - the topic of Mt Polley's partial re-start application came up at this past Tuesday's meeting of WL City Council and while Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb expressed a hope that everyone will make it to next Wednesday's public meeting hosted by Imperial Metals on their re-start application for Mt Polley - both he and Williams Lake City Councillor Scott Nelson took the Cariboo Regional District to task over its' neutrality on the subject

While Mayor Cobb acknowledged most of the Board's discussions on this topic have taken place "in-camera" or behind closed doors - he noted "the Board as a whole felt it wanted to remain neutral and couldn’t support whether the mine opened or didn’t open.

“I guess it’s just a difference of opinion, it’s unfortunate in my mind,”

While WL City Councillor Scott Nelson noted "I'm completely disappointed in the CRD leadership not pushing for a restart."

Read more here

Thursday, April 16, 2015

First Nations can now sue to protect property rights

Today - First Nations were handed a very significant ruling from the BC Court of Appeal that gives them equal rights to sue over property rights, something that was not permitted previously for First Nations...

This court ruling was a result of an initial lawsuit from Sept 2011 resulting from the Rio Tinto Alcan Kenney hydroelectric dam and reservoir, in operation since the 1950s, causes nuisance and breaches their rights to the natural waterway that runs through their land. Local First Nations are seeking damages for property-rights violations, alleging the electricity generator has harmed the Nechako River system and its fisheries.

Rio Tinto Alcan is reviewing the decision and could appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada

Justice David Tysoe wrote in the BC Court of Appeal ruling that setting a separate standard for aboriginal people, before they can sue other parties to enforce their rights, is arguably inconsistent with the charter right to equality.

Read more here

~SF

Next Steps for the NC Arena Replacement Project

Joint Release of the City of Quesnel/Cariboo Regional District:

The North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee unanimously agreed to move forward to the next phase of the North Cariboo Arena Replacement Project based on a revised design developed by CEI Architecture. The decision was made at the April 14, 2015 Joint Planning Committee meeting after a revised plan and project costing were presented to the Committee by CEI Architecture and project management firm MKT Development Group. The revised design has resulted in a reduction of $3.5 million in estimated project costs compared to the quantity survey estimate provided by a cost consultant in February. The estimated project cost is now $18.75 million, which includes a building construction cost of $13.7 million plus site development and design costs.

“CEI and MKT met our challenge to achieve all of the original program objectives, keep the building on the preferred site, and substantially reduce the project’s estimated cost.” says North Cariboo Joint Committee Co-Chair and Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson.

The $3.5 million in project savings were achieved by removing the connecting link between Arena Two and the new arena, leaving the existing ice plant in its current location, and reducing the overall size of the building. Removing the physical connection between the two arenas will allow traffic to enter the new parking lot from the north off Barlow Avenue which will result in significant savings as it is no longer necessary to upgrade parking and laneway access from the south behind Arena Two.

“The new design has resulted in a reduction of approximately 4,000 square feet from the building, but the original program requirements are still there,” says North Cariboo Joint Committee Co-Chair and Cariboo Regional District Vice Chair Ted Armstrong. “It has a regulation sized ice surface, two multipurpose rooms, five full sized dressing rooms, three additional flex and referee dressing rooms, and a concourse that can be used as a walking track.”

The revised design will provide seating for 1,300 people with a spectator capacity, including standing room, of 1,483.

It is anticipated that the construction document phase will be completed by the end of the summer which will allow the project to be tendered in the fall and construction to start in the spring of 2016.

“Our priority is to continue to find cost savings during the next phase of the project,” says Armstrong. “We remain committed to making sure this project meets the needs of stakeholders and the community-at-large at a cost that is as close as it can be to the original estimate.”

To enable completion of the detailed project designs and prepare for construction in 2016, an increase in the North Cariboo Recreation and Parks 2015 budget was approved by the Cariboo Regional District Board at its March 27 meetings. The 2015 budget will result in an increase in the sub-regional recreation residential taxation rate of approximately $25 per $100,000 of assessed value. This taxation increase is consistent with the estimate provided during the referendum process for the project undertaken in June 2014.

The Joint Planning Committee also received a report regarding the status of the fundraising initiative at the meeting. Total confirmed fundraising to date, consisting of both cash donations and pledges, is just over $1.2 million.

“Now that we have clarity regarding the project scope and we’re moving forward based on the new design, it’s time to reactivate our fundraising efforts,” says Simpson.

The Joint Planning Committee passed a resolution at their April 14 meeting to use up to $18,000 previously committed to restart the fundraising effort. The Quesnel and Community Economic Development Corporation (QCEDC) will continue to oversee the fundraising effort activities under the direction of the interim QCEDC Board.

Revised Arena Drawings can be viewed online at cariboord.ca or quesnel.ca

The North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee unanimously endorsed a resolution to proceed with the Arena Replacement Project on the site as proposed during the public consultation process, prior to the referendum in June 2014. The site which is located on the parking lot of the former Cariboo Regional District Library is adjacent to the existing Twin Arenas.

The resolutions will now be sent to the Cariboo Regional District Board of Directors for final endorsement.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

WL Council approves in principle 2015 0% tax increase Budget

At their meeting last night - Williams Lake City Council unanimously gave 1st, 2nd and 3rd Reading to the 2015 Budget Bylaw which calls for a 0% tax increase for 2015 for municipal taxes but exclusive of CRD, School and other property taxes for which the City of Williams Lake collects for other organizations.  Property owners in Williams Lake and portions of CRD Areas D, E, F will see a tax hike of $40/$100,000 of assessed property value, as a result of the successful Sam Ketchum Pool referendum

Other highlights in the City of WL 2015 Budget:

* Use of Water/Sewer reserves to extend Water/Sewer services into areas that don't currently have these services

* $7.845 million in capital for 2015 including a public bathroom in Spirit Square (old Courthouse Square), webcasting of WL City Council meetings, gazebo in Kiwanis Park

* $1.1 million in road works for areas such as Cameron Street from Mackenzie Ave to 3rd Ave North & Borland St from Mackenzie Ave to 4th Ave North

* No new long term debt acquired for 2015 however 2016/2018 will see long term debt acquired for WL Fire Department trucks.  2015 Principal/Interest payments for long term debt for General, Water and Sewer Accounts will be $1,149,721.  Short term borrowing for the Cameron St reconstruction done back in 2010 will be paid off this year

* Taxation growth is expected to be $110,000/year however no growth this year as 2014/2015 Taxation growth effectively cancelled each other out.  2014 saw a decrease while 2015 saw an increase, both $114,000 in each year.  It is hoped that the newly formed Ec Dev Corporation can bring in new development and thus more taxes

Next steps include passing the Budget Bylaw at its' April 28th meeting and give 3 readings to the 2015 Property Tax Bylaw at the same meeting with the 2015 Budget Process concluding on May 13th while WL Council is expected to pass the 2015 Property Tax Bylaw at this meeting

Full 2015-19 Financial Plan Presentation below:



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Quesnel Council Highlights - April 13th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:


Nominees for Quesnel’s 2014 Volunteer Citizen of the Year
Council had the opportunity to meet this years’ nominees for Quesnel Volunteer Citizen of the Year (VCoY). The VCoY Award recognizes outstanding area residents who volunteer their time to the betterment of our community and thanks them for their dedication and service. Florence White and Bob Sales are Quesnel’s nominees for 2014.

This years’ 35th annual Dinner and Awards event will be held in the Royal Canadian Legion Hall on Tuesday, April 21 to coincide with Canada’s National Volunteer Week. Tickets for the banquet are available for sale at Quesnel City Hall.  

Proposed development on Rita Road
Council approved Development Permit No. 2015-78 for construction of an Andre’s Electronics retail store, Andre’s Carwash and vacant leasable space on Rita Road, adjacent the existing 7-11 and Walmart, and the requested variances with respect to the City’s Zoning and  Sign Bylaws subject to meeting the following conditions:

·         Supply engineered storm water drainage plans for approval by the Director of Public Works and Engineering reviewed for best practices. Oil interceptor installation will be required as a part of storm water management;
·         Provide final landscaping plans for approval by Director of Development Services and security for landscaping at 125% of value;
·         Meet any sewer discharge restrictions or requirements as determined by Cariboo Pulp and Paper;
·         Meet any traffic study or improvement requirements as determined as necessary by Director of Public Works and Engineering in consultation with Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure;
·         Provide final servicing plans for Public Works and Engineering approval;
·         Install provision for future installation of water meter (spool piece);
·         Installation of stop signs at two Rita Road access points.

Auditor review
KPMG, the City’s auditors, presented their report to Council which included a review of the City’s 2014 financial statements. Full details of the audit report and the Consolidated Financial Statements are available on our website.

Next phase of ourQuesnel
Members of the ourQuesnel Sustainable Community Task Force met for the final time on March 25. Council thanked the Task Force members who have devoted more than three years to the project. The group felt their mandate was fulfilled with the finalization and adoption of the ourQuesnel Integrated Community Sustainability Plan with the understanding that the ourQuesnel document will be a foundation for moving the community forward and that Council will continue to move towards implementation of the plan.
A sincere thank you was extended to the members - Dora McMillan, Tom Weckworth, Teri Stoneman, Anna Rankin, Bernice Heinzelman, Kelly Pomeroy, Ron Dunn, and elected officials and staff from both the Cariboo Regional District and the City of Quesnel.

Other news
·         Council gave the first three readings to Bylaw 1744 - Emergency ProgramBylaw 1756 - Animal, Bird and Insect Control and Licencing Bylaw Amendment, and Bylaw 1758 - Fire Protection, Prevention and Emergency Services.
·         May 17 to 23 has been declared National Public Works Week. Marked the 55th annual Public Works Week, it is intended to draw attention to the importance of public works in community life. This year’s theme is “Community Begins Here”. Check our website in the coming weeks for public works events in Quesnel.
·         Physician retention and recruitment are important to Quesnel City Council. The Mayor will meet with Northern Health on April 17 to discuss the plan and communications strategy based on the outcome of the meeting held April 1 with Northern Health, elected officials and Quesnel’s doctors. Stay tuned.

Proclamation
Hospice Palliative Care Week in Quesnel - May 4 - 9

NEXT MEETINGS:

Tuesday, Apr. 14 @ 5:30 p.m.North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Meeting

Monday Apr. 20 @ 7 p.m.
Committee of the Whole Session

Monday Apr. 27 @ 7 p.m.
Regular Meeting

Cariboo Chilcotin Local Gov'ts Launch Emergency Notification System

Joint Release of the Cariboo RD & Cities of Quesnel/Williams Lake & Districts of Wells/100 Mile House:

On May 5, 2015, the Everbridge Emergency Notification System will be available to residents throughout the Cariboo Chilcotin. Headed up by the Cariboo Regional District and in partnership with the District of 100 Mile House, the City of Quesnel, the District of Wells and the City of Williams Lake, the system will be available to all residents free of charge and will provide mass emergency notifications throughout the region.

“This new emergency notification system will provide the affected communities and its residents with the required information immediately in an emergency situation,” stated CRD Chair Al Richmond. “Keeping our residents safe and informed during emergency events is a priority and responsibility that we take seriously and we feel this platform will help provide us a better way of serving our communities.”

Residents who register for the program will receive notifications about emergency and time-sensitive events happening near their home, work, school, or other locations that they have pre-selected during the registration process. Residents can register to receive these updates using up to six different ways to be contacted including:

• Home phone(s)
• Office phone(s) with extension(s)
• Cell phone(s)
· Text message(s)
• Mobile App (IPhone & Android)
• Email(s)

“This exciting new service will be huge step forward in the ability to notify our residents in an emergency situation,” says District of 100 Mile House Mayor Mitch Campsall. “It will save precious seconds during these events, when seconds can make the difference between life and death.

“We're pleased to partner with our neighbouring communities to implement this mass notification system,” said Bob Simpson, City of Quesnel Mayor. “This system will allow us to communicate quickly during emergencies and we'll be encouraging Quesnel and area residents to register for the program as soon it's up and running

The new Emergency Notification System will be a giant step forward in providing quick and effective emergency information to the citizens of our communities,” stated District of Wells Mayor Robin Sharpe. “Providing fast factual information will increase the safety of our citizens during an emergency.”

“I encourage all Williams Lake residents to register for the program, and receive real-time notifications about emergencies in the places that matter to them,” stated Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb. “In an emergency situation, prompt, accurate information is critical.”

To register, visit your local government’s website and select the “Sign Up For Emergency Notifications” icon on the home page to register. Every member of your family that has a cell phone, a personal email account, text messaging or Apps, needs to register so that no matter where your family are when an emergency strikes, they will know what is happening and what to do. If you require any assistance in registering please do not hesitate to contact your presiding local government office.

Cariboo Regional District – cariboord.ca or call 250-392-3351 – Toll free 1-800-665-1636
District of 100 Mile House – 100milehouse.com or call 250-395-2434
City of Quesnel – quesnel.ca or call 250-992-2111
District of Wells – wells.ca or call 250-994-3330
City of Williams Lake – williamslake.ca or call 250-392-2311

Monday, April 13, 2015

Prescribed Burn to restore C-C Grasslands

Courtesy of the BC Wildfire Management Branch:

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations advises that an ecosystem restoration burn is planned south of Riske Creek between April 8 and May 1, 2015, weather conditions permitting.

About 120 hectares south of Riske Creek, around Bald Mountain, will be treated to help restore native grassland ecosystems. This controlled burn is managed under the Ecosystem Restoration Program within the ministry’s Range Branch. It will be conducted with the assistance of staff from the Wildfire Management Branch’s Cariboo Fire Centre.

Historically, grasslands in the Cariboo-Chilcotin were renewed through frequent, low-intensity ground fires. Such fires prevented tree encroachment, rejuvenated understory plants and helped maintained more open grasslands and forests with large trees.

The reintroduction of managed, low-intensity ground fires to these grasslands is intended to restore and maintain the traditional grassland plant communities that are native to these areas. These managed fires also reduce the amount of combustible material (fuel load), which helps decrease the risk of catastrophic wildfires.

These fires are part of an ongoing ecosystem restoration program administered by the provincial government through the Cariboo-Chilcotin Ecosystem Restoration Committee, in consultation with First Nations, local ranchers, local forest licensees, outdoor organizations, the Fraser Basin Council, the B.C. Wildlife Federation and the Cariboo-Chilcotin Conservation Society.

FACTSHEET 
Prescribed burning used as a fire management tool
  • Fire is a normal, natural process in many of British Columbia’s ecosystems. Many species of plants, birds, insects and other animals depend on fire for its regenerative properties.
  • Fire helps control insects and the spread of disease in forests. It also contributes to forest regeneration, as younger trees replace older trees. Having trees of various ages in a forest helps create biodiversity. 
  • Prescribed burning is one of the tools used by forest professionals to achieve land management objectives. For example, fire can be used to enhance habitat and improve forage for cattle, deer, bighorn sheep and moose. A controlled burn also can reduce fuel loads (combustible material such as underbrush and dead wood) and reduce the risk of wildfire in interface areas (where urban development borders on rural areas).
  • The size and intensity of prescribed burns are carefully planned and controlled to meet management objectives for fire-maintained ecosystems. Prescribed burns are only ignited when weather conditions are favourable and when the fire will not create excessive smoke. Important factors that are used to determine the date of a burn include the venting index, temperature, humidity and wind conditions.
  • The venting index is a measure of how quickly smoke will disperse under specific conditions. Prescribed fires may only be ignited on days when the forecast for the venting index is “good”.
  • All prescribed burns must comply with the Environmental Management Act and the open burning smoke control regulation. This helps minimize the amount of smoke generated.
  • A prescribed burn is ignited and continuously monitored by trained firefighting crews to ensure that the fire does not get out of control. The fire crew supervisor (the “burn boss”) is responsible for ensuring that the initial burn conditions are favourable and that the fire is extinguished once the prescribed burn is completed.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Update to situation at Kwaleen Elementary

Earlier today - School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) provided an update to the Goat/Cariboo Country with regards to the purported seizure situation at the former Kwaleen Elementary school in Williams Lake

Read more here

~SF

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Notice of Seizure issued for Kwaleen Elementary

In an interesting turn of events - a group by the name of the T’silhquot’in Nation has placed a Notice of Seizure and a locked gate at the former Kwaleen Elementary school in Williams Lake on South Lakeside Drive.

In addition, the group has demanded School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) to stop the deposition of school properties at:

* former Glendale Elementary
* former McLeese Lake Elementary
* former Poplar Grove Elementary
* 100 Mile Jr Secondary
* Anahim Lake
* Glencoe School

as these above-mentioned properties lie in the territory of  the T’silhquot’in Nation

Joe Alphonse, Tribal Chair of the Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG) says this group has no affiliation with TNG while SD 27 Superintendent Mark Thiessen is not able to offer a lot of comment except that the current tenant at the former Kwaleen Elementary is vacating...

Read more here


Friday, April 10, 2015

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of April 13-17

A number of local governments in the Cariboo-Chilcotin are meeting next week as follows:

Quesnel - Regular Council Meeting on Monday, April 13th at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* Presentation of the 2014 Audited Financial Statements by KPMG
* Number of Committee Reports for consideration
* Report from Mayor Simpson re: Physician Recruitment/Retention and next steps
* Development Permit - Andre's Electronics/Car Wash by 7-11 on Maple Drive
* Letters from West Fraser re: 2015/16 Tax Increases, North Cariboo Ag Forum
* 3 Bylaws for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Readings

View the full Agenda here

School District #28 (Quesnel) - Regular Board of Education Meeting at 7pm on Wednesday, April 15th in the SD28 Boardroom (401 North Star Rd).  Agenda may be viewed here

School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) - Business Committee Meeting at 3:30pm on Tuesday, April 14th at the SD27 Admin Office (350 2nd Ave).  Agenda may be viewed here

Williams Lake - Regular Council Meeting at 6pm on Tuesday, April 14th in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  On the Agenda:

* Certificate of Merit' Award Presentations
* 2015 Budget Bylaw Presentation for 1st, 2nd and 3rd Reading
* Asset Management Program Grant Application
* Authorize expenses to attend NCLGA Convention on May 6-8 in Prince George
* Various Planning Items
* United Steelworkers - Request for Westray Act Resolution to FCM
* 2 Proclamations

View the full Agenda here

There is also a Public Hearing at 7pm on Tuesday, April 14th in WL Council Chambers to consider the following Bylaws:

a) Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2226 - Regulating Shipping Containers
b) OCP Amendment Bylaw #2229/Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2230 - 18 Woodland Dr (7 new Lots)

View the Public Hearing Agenda here

100 Mile House - Committee of the Whole Meeting on Tuesday, April 14th at 5pm in 100 Mile Council Chambers (385 Birch Ave).  On the Agenda:

* Matt Robertson from Tree Canada to appear before the Committee to discuss their Reforestation project for the 100 Mile Area

* Jenny Green from Interior Health to appear before the Committee to discuss IH's Healthy Communities initiative

View the full Agenda here

Then at 7pm, the Regular Council Meeting will convene.  On the Agenda:

* 2015/16 Transit Agreement for approval
* 4 Bylaws for consideration of either 1st, 2nd, 3rd Readings, 3rd Reading only and Adoption
* Federal Gas Tax Fund – Strategic Priorities Fund grant application

View the Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District - Two meetings in North Cariboo as follows:

a) North Cariboo Rural Caucus - Meeting on Tuesday, April 14th at 3pm in the CRD North Cariboo sub-office (102-410 Kinchant St, Quesnel).  On the Agenda:

* MOU between City of Quesnel/CRD
* NC Committee Appointments

There will also be an In-Camera meeting as per Section 90(1j) of the Community Charter.  View the full Agenda here

b) North Cariboo Joint Committee (CRD Areas A, B, C, I + Quesnel Council) - Meeting on Tuesday, April 14th at 5:30pm in Quesnel Council Chambers.  On the Agenda:

* 2014 Sports Hall of Fame Awards - Presentation by Quesnel Councillor L. Roodenburg
* Update on NC Arena Project
* R.C.M.P. 4th Quarter Report
* Quesnel Green Spaces, Parks and Outdoor Recreation Master Plan
* NC Arena Fundraising Report
* Class Software Report

View the full Agenda here

Other Community Events:

* April 11th - Electronics Round-Up from 12-2 at Bee Line (down by Shaw Cable site) on Borland Rd

* April 12th - Nutrition Run - 5km bike, run or walk

Finally - for the month of April, due to scheduling conflicts, there will not be a report on WL City Council meetings on April 14th/28th

~SF

7 weeks to DeGagne Court Decision

This afternoon - Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb talked with the Goat/Cariboo Country and stated that the City has been told that a ruling of the court case of DeGagne v Williams Lake (City) will be handed down in 7 weeks and he goes on to say how it might be funded, depending on the actual ruling and how much the City is ordered to pay Mr. DeGagne

That puts an estimated ruling date of roughly Friday, May 22nd

Read more here


West Fraser raise property taxation concerns in Quesnel

Shortly after the Nov 2014 Local Election - West Fraser, Tolko and C&C Wood Products wrote to Quesnel Council congratulating them for their election win and outlining some of the forest industry concerns that lay ahead to be addressed including access to forest tenure and the reduction of the industrial tax base.  Read their letters here (West Fraser), here (Tolko) and here (C&C Wood Products)

In addition to those letters, Tolko representatives' have appeared before Quesnel Council at their March 30th meeting while Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb and WL City Councillors Ivan Bonnell, Jason Ryll, Craig Smith and Sue Zacharias met with West Fraser representatives' at a special Council-in-Committee meeting back on Feb 5th, to brief the new Quesnel/Williams Lake Municipal Councils' on the state of the forestry industry and some concerns to make those Councils' aware of

Now - in a letter dated March 30th from West Fraser, they implore Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson to bear in mind that the 5% property tax increase impacts (going to the Quesnel Works program (Infrastructure)) for 2015 and 2016 will have on their operating plants to compete in the world market and going so far as to remind Mayor Simpson as to his commitment in the last civic election that heavy industry was paying far too much of the overall tax bill for Quesnel - read their letter to Mayor Simpson here.  The letter will be received at Quesnel Council's meeting on Monday

As of 2014 (latest stats available) - Williams Lake/Quesnel were in the top 3 communities for having the highest heavy industry tax mill rate in the Province

Obviously - this is not just a local issue but a provincial one where many local governments' struggle as to how to have the "perfect" balance of property tax ratios between various local tax classes (residential, business, heavy/light industry, utilities) and one that I expect to continue, given that residents' have generally expressed no further ability to accept property tax hikes but recognizing that residents' do vote at election time while companies are barred from voting as an entity, as a result of the Corporate Vote being prohibited, via provincial law for local election rules while local governments' struggle to fund basic services while taking ability to pay by residential/industrial/business owners' into consideration...

~SF

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Opposition Agriculture Committee in Williams Lake

The newly formed Opposition Standing Committee on Agriculture consisting of NDP MLA's Robin Austin (Skeena), Raj Chouhan (Burnaby-Edmonds), Katrine Conroy (West Kootenay), Nicholas Simons (Powell River-Sunshine Coast), Lana Popham (Saanich South) and Delta-South Ind. MLA Vicki Huntington were in Williams Lake meeting with locals to discuss concerns around the Agriculture Sector.  Read the press release from the Committee here

Meanwhile - Committee Chair Lana Popham talks with the Goat/Cariboo Country on what they learned from delegations yesterday here

Finally - you can visit the Committee's Facebook page here

The Committee's next stop is in the Comox Valley next month

~SF


Proactive Disclosure of Expense Claims

As a result of the Canadian Senate expense debacle that has been on-going - a number of provincial governments, Ottawa, the BC Legislature and 2 local governments in BC (Quesnel and Vancouver) have begun to proactively disclose their expense claims (travel/hospitality/meetings).  In fact, a 2011 note from Stewart-McDannold-Stuart (law firm) advised their clients to implement proactive disclosure policies/practices of their records as a result of recommendations from Privacy Commissioners' across Canada - read more here

In the case of local governments in BC - Quesnel began to implement proactive disclosure of its' expense claim forms back in May of 2011 as a trial program and the current Quesnel Council has agreed to continue the practice.  Since the beginning of 2015 - Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson and Quesnel City Councillor Sushil Thapar have put in 2 expense claims while Quesnel City Councillor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg has put in one expense claim

View the monthly expense claims from Quesnel Council members here

In the case of Vancouver - they have made their quarterly expenses known for the 11 member City Council there since 2009.  View that here

I have requested CRD Chair Al Richmond to add this item to the Cariboo Regional District's Strategic Planning Session to be held in May.  If this item makes the Strategic Planning Session meeting agenda, I hope to convince my colleagues around the Board table that proactive disclosure, while respecting the Privacy Act requirements, of our expense claim forms is far better as a public policy initiative than making people jump through the FOI (Freedom of Information) process to get the same information which is already public.  After all, if we are being reimbursed for legitimate expenses and they have been reviewed/signed off by local government staff, then we should not be afraid to discuss those approved expense claims with our constituents.

In fact, I already produce my own monthly expense report for my constituents in Area 'D' of the Cariboo Regional District to view and provide feedback to myself if those claimed expenses are appropriate or not, both here and on my "Steve Forseth - CRD Area D Director Facebook page".  I am pleased to report that I have not received any negative feedback so far for any expense that I have claimed reimbursement for, in accordance with the provisions of Cariboo RD Bylaw #4862 (Directors' Remuneration and Expenses)

~SF

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Information Gaps exist - Mt Polley partial re-start: Local First Nations

Ann Louie, Chief of the Williams Lake Indian Band expressed her deep concern about the lack of information as it relates to the partial re-start application for the Mt Polley mine at Likely to the Goat/Cariboo Country.  Particularly when Imperial Metals has an agreement with the Williams Lake Indian Band to have a collaborative working relationship....

Read/listen here

Meanwhile - the next community meeting to explain the proposal to allow Mt Polley to re-start will take place on Wednesday, April 22nd (likely at 7pm in the Gibraltar Room) for those in Williams Lake.  In addition - a meeting with affected First Nations takes place the next day on Thursday, April 23rd at Sugarcane

~SF

Citizens' on Patrol Meeting in Wildwood on April 28th

At the request of several residents' in the Wildwood community - I have arranged to have Dave Dickson/RCMP Staff-Sgt Del Byon to address the community about starting a Citizens on Patrol program.

The meeting will take place on Tuesday, April 28th at 7pm in the Wildwood Fire Hall - upper section

~SF

2015 NCLGA Resolutions now available

The Northern Central Local Government Association or NCLGA has published its' 2015 Resolutions for consideration by NCLGA delegates. The NCLGA represents local governments' (Councils/Regional Boards') from 100 Mile House to the BC/Yukon border. Resolutions being considered include:
a) A call for a national public inquiry for missing or murdered aboriginal women
b) Poverty Reduction Strategy for BC
c) Support for BC's Forest Industry (this Resolution is being jointly sponsored by the Cariboo Regional District and its' 4 Member Muncipalities of Wells, Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House)
The full list of Resolutions can be viewed at:
I would appreciate hearing any views you may have on the 19 Resolutions up for consideration by leaving a comment here or via email at sforseth@cariboord.ca

The 2015 NCLGA Convention is being held in Prince George from May 6th to 8th

~SF

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Special Quesnel Council Mtg - April 7th

Present: Mayor B. Simpson; Councillors J. Brisco, E. Coleman, S. Elliot, R. Paull, L. Roodenburg and S. Thapar

Staff:

K. Bolton - Director of Corporate/Financial Services & Deputy City Manager
G. Albers - Deputy Corporate Administrator
T. Turner - Director of Development Services
J. Norburn - Director of Community Services
C. Anderson - Communications Supervisor
G. Pinchbeck - Local Gov't Management Intern

Mayor Simpson called the meeting to order at 6:15pm and noted the presence of Cariboo RD Electoral Area 'D' Director S. Forseth in the public gallery

Meeting Agenda approved

Council discussed the following items:

a) Report of the City Manager re: 2015 Strategic Plan
b) Report of Mayor Simpson re: Draft City of Quesnel Vision, Mission, Values and Principles Statements
c) Report of Mayor Simpson re: Draft Quesnel City Council Communications Policy Statement

Action - Based on tonight's discussions, refer the above 3 items to the next meeting of Quesnel Council for consideration of Adoption

Meeting adjourned at 7:30pm

Quesnel Technics Gymnastics Club receives $1,000 Grant

Courtesy of the BC Government Caucus:

The Quesnel Technics Gymnastics Club is one of 46 organizations across B.C. to receive a grant in the latest round of BC Sport Participation Program funding.

Funding from the BC Sport Participation Program helps community-based organizations organize activities so local residents can enjoy the benefits of sport and physical activity.

The Club will use their $1,000 grant to support its Positive Performance Acro Troupe program that starts on April 13 and runs until July.

“Encouraging children to take up a sport or an athletic pursuit pays dividends down the road. Children who become physically active at a young age are highly likely to keep being fit into adulthood,” says Cariboo-North MLA Coralee Oakes. “For more than three decades the Quesnel Technics Gymnastics Club and its staff and volunteers have been promoting and teaching gymnastics’ positive benefits to generations of youngsters. I thank them for their dedication to our community and congratulate them on receiving this grant.”

$70,000 is being providing to local organizations in this round of funding. Since 2004, the BC Sport Participation Program has provided more than $10 million through grants that include Local Sport Program Development (LSPD), Girls Only, and Forever Active Bodies (FAB) 55+.

The grant for the Quesnel Technics Gymnastics Club falls under the Girls Only category.

For more information about the Technics Gymnastics Club and their Positive Performance Acro Troupe program visit them at www.QuesnelGymnastics.ca or call them at 250-747-3992.

The BC Sport Participation Program is managed by ViaSport. The deadline for applying for the next intake is Thursday, May 7th and interested organizations can find out more information by visiting www.viasport.ca/grants.