Friday, August 1, 2014

BC Day Long Weekend

With no local governments in the Cariboo-Chilcotin meeting next week -- I expect most will be off to the lake or campsites to enjoy the BC Day Long Weekend

If you are off to your favourite lake/campsite this long weekend - don't forget to check if you are allowed to have that ol' campfire but I expect, due to long running hot weather, that campfire bans will be on in most areas, if not all areas, of BC this long weekend  (I am just returning from the Lower Mainland where my 4 day camping trip from July 23-27 permitted me a campfire due to cool/rainy weather).  Best place to check on a campfire ban is at the BC Wildfire Branch website here

Drive safe and enjoy your long weekend!

~SF

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Grant Opportunity - Tire Stewardship BC

Courtesy of the Cariboo RD Grant Writer:

TIRE STEWARDSHIP BC’s
Community Grant Program

Registered non-profit organizations, local governments, schools, and First Nations may now apply to Tire Stewardship BC (TSBC) for a matching grant of up to $30,000 for community improvement projects that will use BC recycled tire products.

To be eligible for a TSBC grant, projects must use BC recycled rubber and be fully public and wheelchair accessible. Projects include but are not limited to, pour in place or rubber tile surfacing for playgrounds, water parks or fitness areas, walkways, running tracks, or playing fields.

The application intake period will remain open until December 31, 2014. To apply, visit http://www.tsbc.ca/grant.php

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

2013 Crime Severity Index - Williams Lake

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The City of Williams Lake continues to focus on crime reduction measures as the Crime Severity Index (CSI) produced by Statistics Canada for 2013 shows a 9% reduction in the CSI value compared to 2012, and a nearly 34% decrease since the Index was first published for the year 2008.
Crime has declined in Williams Lake every year between 2008-2011, with a small increase in crime statistics in mid-2012. Some categories of property crime, such as vehicle theft, have decreased by as much as 80% since 2008.
The City continues to work with the RCMP and other community partners to address crime and the social factors behind it. A number of initiatives have been put in place over the past few years, including a prolific offender program, Boitanio Park Working Group, a youth gang crime task force, and a false alarm bylaw to free up RCMP resources. The City also continuously lobbied the Province for additional resources for policing. The City is taking a collaborative approach to crime, recognizing it is a community issue, not just a policing issue.
The CSI value of Williams Lake in 2013 is 216.3, down from 330.5 in 2008, when Williams Lake ranked #1 in Canadian communities with a population of 10,000 or more. The City’s CSI in 2012 was 238.4. In 2013, Williams Lake ranked #4 in overall crime in Canada.
Factors leading to the decrease in the CSI are fewer break and enters (77 in 2013 compared to 117 in 2012), assaults with a weapon (75 in 2013, compared to 100 in 2012), and incidences of cocaine trafficking (8 in 2013 compared to 21 in 2012).
“Reducing crime is a priority for the City,” says Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook. “We are committed to doing the hard work to continue to improve community safety. We’ve had a number of crime reduction successes, with the RCMP’s prolific offender program, partnerships and outreach with local First Nations, and Community Policing programs, among others, and we are moving in the right direction. We need to continue our collaborative approach to crime reduction and community wellness with our community partners.”
The Index also includes sentencing, and in Williams Lake, many people are arrested for breaching bail, probation, and undertakings, which affects the CSI score. In 2013, the crimes with the highest incidences were Disturbing the Peace and Mischief. The Index is also calculated using the population of the City of Williams Lake, while a majority of crime is committed by non-residents. Most violent crime is perpetrated by criminals on other criminals, resulting in little impact on community safety,
“The Williams Lake RCMP is actively engaged in a number of crime reduction strategies that has had some significant successes over the last few years in reducing crime,” says Inspector Warren Brown, commander of the Williams Lake RCMP detachment. “The RCMP will continue to explore creative and innovative ways, in consultation with our stakeholders, to ensure we take every opportunity to make our city and communities safe. From our employees, to our volunteers, to the many good relationships we share with agencies and community people, we will work tirelessly towards reducing our crime.”

Monday, July 28, 2014

Borland St re-construction starts today

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The City’s contractor will begin stripping pavement on Borland Street, beginning at the corner of 4th Avenue and Borland Street on Monday, July 28th as part of the reconstruction project. 

The work will proceed east toward 7th Avenue. Traffic will be alternating as this work progresses.


The City will be providing regular updates as the reconstruction project proceeds. The project is scheduled to be completed in late September.

Gaming grants benefit organizations in 100 Mile House

Courtesy of the BC Government Caucus:

A number of sports programs in 100 Mile House, as well as the 100 Mile House and District Historical Society will receive some added support with Community Gaming Grants totalling $107,440, Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett announced today.

Organizations receiving sports grants:

·         100 Mile and District Minor Hockey Association - $45,000
·         West Coast Blind Curling Association - $8,000
·         Kokoro Judo Association - $4,480
·         British Columbia Special Olympics - 100 Mile House Local - $3,800
·         100 Mile House And District Soccer Association - $26,160

Organizations receiving arts and culture grants:

·         100 Mile House and District Historical Society - $20,000

“The 100 Mile House and District Historical Society will have the resources to help tell the stories of our history to residents and visitors through their museum program,” Barnett said. “Sports associations and groups in 100 Mile will also receive a boost of funding to help with travel costs to tournaments in other locations, arena fees or help purchase new equipment.”

These grants are awarded under Sport and the Arts and Culture categories of the Community Gaming Grant Program, which allows non-profit organizations to apply for provincial gaming revenues from the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. Gaming grants are also awarded in the categories of Public Safety, Environment and Human and Social Services.

In the 2012/13 fiscal year, Government contributed $135 million in gaming grants for eligible community programs and services.

Organizations interested in applying for Community Gaming Grants can find full application information at pssg.gov.bc.ca/gaming.

Gaming grants benefit organizations in Williams Lake

Courtesy of the BC Government Caucus:

Two organizations in Williams Lake are receiving Community Gaming Grants totalling $51,400, Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes and Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett announced today.

The Cariboo Chilcotin Gymnastic Association will receive $35,400 for a gymnastics instruction program. The Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo will receive $16,000 under the arts and culture category to assist with costs for their event.

“This funding will go to good use helping the Cariboo Chilcotin Gymnastic Association provide lessons to more youth in Williams Lake and surrounding region,” Barnett said. “And the Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo will benefit from these grants helping them put on an even better show next year.”

“This distribution of gaming grants truly demonstrate the diversity of community programming offered in Williams Lake,” Oakes said. “From rodeos, health and safety initatives, to arts and crafts groups, all eligible organizations should apply for gaming grants to support their work in the community.”

These grants are awarded under the Sport and the Arts and Culture categories of the Community Gaming Grant Program, which allows non-profit organizations to apply for provincial gaming revenues from the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. Gaming grants are also awarded in the categories of Public Safety, Environment and Human and Social Services.

In the 2012/13 fiscal year, Government contributed $135 million in gaming grants for eligible community programs and services.

Organizations interested in applying for Community Gaming Grants can find full application information at pssg.gov.bc.ca/gaming.

Gaming grants benefit organizations in Cariboo North

Courtesy of the BC Government Caucus:

A number of sports, arts and culture programs in Quesnel and Wells will receive some added support with Community Gaming Grants totalling $212,500, announced Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes today. 

Organizations receiving sports grants:

·         Quesnel And District Minor Hockey Association - $63,500
·         Quesnel Youth Soccer Association - $50,000
·         Quesnel Figure Skating Club - $28,000
·         Waveriders Swim Club - $15,000
·         Quesnel Ringette Association - $12,950
·         Quesnel Girls Softball Association - $9,300
·         Quesnel Aquatic Club - $8,800

Organizations receiving arts and culture grants:

·         Island Mountain Arts Society - $25,000

“From minor hockey, ringette, competitive swimming, youth soccer, and more these sports grants will support both participants and organizers with the necessary equipment or costs of attending tournaments or competitions in their sport,” Oakes said. “Additional grants will benefit our artists, musicians and the Island Mountain Arts Society to continue to do great work showcasing wonderful local talent in Wells.”

These grants are awarded under Sport and the Arts and Culture categories of the Community Gaming Grant Program, which allows non-profit organizations to apply for provincial gaming revenues from the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. Gaming grants are also awarded in the categories of Public Safety, Environment and Human and Social Services.

In the 2012/13 fiscal year, Government contributed $135 million in gaming grants for eligible community programs and services.

Organizations interested in applying for Community Gaming Grants can find full application information at www.pssg.gov.bc.ca/gaming.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Quesnel Council meets Tuesday

Quesnel City Council is the only local government in the Cariboo-Chilcotin to meet next week as follows:

Quesnel - Committee of the Whole meeting followed by a Regular Meeting of Quesnel Council, starting at 7pm on Monday, July 28th in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor, 410 Kinchant St)

View the Agenda here

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Cariboo RD 2013 Annual Report

As the Cariboo Regional District traditionally does - the 2013 Annual Report is now available.

The report goes over the activities of the Cariboo RD for the past year.  In my opinion (although I'm slightly biased), a very good report.  I'd like to hear your thoughts on it.  Post a comment or email me here

Download the report here

~SF

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

WL Fire Depart. "Christmas in July"

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Your Williams Lake Fire Department will be knocking on doors canvassing for non-perishable food items on Tuesday, July 29th from 6 to 9 p.m

Donations are also being accepted at the Williams Lake Fire Hall (ON Hodgson Road by Canadian Tire) Tuesday night.

WL Council Highlights - July 22nd

Present: Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Hughes, Rathor and Walters

Absent: Councillor S. Zacharias

Staff:

Darrell Garceau - City Manager
Rena Schill - Corp Services: Records Mgmt Coordinator
Margaret Stewart - Director of Finance
Tom Chung - IT Manager
Ken MacInnis - Communications Coordinator
Nigel Whitehead - Planning Tech
Brendan Foote - Bylaw Officer

Meeting called to order at 6pm
Agenda approved and Mins of July 8th WL Council meeting approved

Delegation:

Laura Klassen from the BC Self Advocacy Foundation appeared before Council to discuss Benefits of a Diverse Workplace for Local Employers and Communities

A Question/Answer period ensued

Mayor Cook, on behalf of Council, thanked Ms. Klassen for her time/information

Business:

1) Council received the accounts payable computer cheque listings for the periods ending July 3, 10 and 17, 2014

2) Council received the 2014 Second Quarter Economic Indicators Report for information.

3) Council received a report of Councillor I. Bonnell concerning the July 11th Cariboo RD Board meeting

4) After receiving a report of Councillor Bonnell, Council agreed to acknowledge the June 26, 2014 Supreme Court of Canada decision to uphold the 2007 ruling of the BC Supreme Court in declaring Aboriginal title to approximately 2,000 km2 in the heart of the Tsolhqot'in traditional territory in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region of BC and a letter of congratulations be sent to Chief R. William and the Tsilhqot'in people on their success; and that Council offer to co-host a community forum to gain understanding of the effects of the Court's ruling.

5) Council authorized registration, travel, accommodation and associated expenses for members of Council (Mayor/Councillors) and the CAO to attend the 2014 Union of BC Municipalities Annual Convention from September 22 to 26, 2014 in Whistler, BC at an approximate cost per person of $3,700, excluding applicable taxes

6) Council received a report from the City's Director of Finance concerning a financial snapshot of the City's revenues and expenditures for the six-month period ending June 30, 2014

7) After no public input - Council approved Development Variance Permit #11-2014 for Mark Russell - 1706 Hazel Street

8) Council approved the new Pound Services Contract with the BC SPCA for a five-year term, effective August 4, 2014 to August 3, 2019

9) Council received/endorsed the new transit fee structure, as contained in a report from the City's Manager of Transportation/Buildings dated July 3rd.  View that report here

Approved by the following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Hughes and Walters
Negative - Councillor SPS Rathor

10) Council awarded the Request for Quote for the purchase of a new Backhoe to Finning Canada for the bid price of $136,900, excluding applicable taxes

11) Council received an application to renew Airport Lease #CWL1900. This matter will be formally considered by Council at its' August 19th meeting

12) Council gave 1st/2nd Reading to Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2217 (City of WL/Cariboo Fire Centre - 3020 Airport Rd). The public hearing for the bylaw was set for August 19th at 7pm in Council Chambers

13) Council directed City Staff to submit a letter of application to the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) for a $10,000 interest free loan for a feasibility and business planning process for the Cariboo Lodge site

14) Council authorized submission of an Expression of Interest (EOI) for the 2015 Canada Winter Games Torch Relay, based on the draft EOI and incorporating feedback from Council, and approve a base budget of up to $5,000 for the event itself; and that Council appoint a Councillor(s) to head a Community Organizing Committee which would plan the event and seek sponsorship, donations and in-kind services for the event.

Approved by the following vote:

Affirmative -  Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Rathor & Walters
Negative - Councillor Hughes and Bourdon

15) Council gave 1st, 2nd and 3rd Reading to 'Good Neighbour' Bylaw #2194, 2014

16) Council received the report of the Director of Financial Services dated June 30, 2014 regarding the Auditors Management Letter recommendations

17) Council received the 'Council Information Package' as of July 22nd as follows:

• June 26, 2014 - City of Prince George re UBCM Resolution on Resources to Support Sexually Exploited Children & Youth;
• July 11, 2014 - CRD Board Highlights.

18) Council received a report from Mayor Cook outlining her activities for the period ending July 15, 2014.  Read Mayor Cook's report here

Members' of Council gave oral reports on activities that they participated in

Meeting adjourned at 7:31pm and after a brief recess, Council convened a In-Camera meeting in accordance with Section 90(1)(e - property) of the Community Charter

City of Quesnel replaces aged fire engine

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

The City of Quesnel has purchased a new fire engine for use at the Quesnel Volunteer Fire Department. The new engine which cost $630,000 is a replacement and, along with the 2009 fire engine, now provides the City of Quesnel with a modernized fleet to service the community.

“Our staff and volunteers at the Quesnel Volunteer Fire Department have shown their commitment to the safety of our community time and time again,” said Quesnel Mayor Mary Sjostrom. “This engine is just one way the City can assist in providing a reliable, state-of-the-art machine for our fire fighters and is certainly something we can all be proud of.”

The engine was purchased from Fort Garry Fire Truck located in Winnipeg, Manitoba in the fall of 2013 and arrived in Quesnel on July 11. The model is a 2014 Spartan Gladiator custom cab with a 20" raised roof. The vehicle is equipped with a Waterous pump rated at 1,750 gallons per minute. It also comes with a compressed air foam system that when used, will reduce the amount of water needed to fight a fire. With this system we can produce foam and use one-third less water that would normally be used on a house fire. The vehicle is also equipped with an onboard 6 kilo watt generator, 1,250 gallon water tank, and seating for six firefighters.

The vehicle will replace the 1990 Ford Phoenix fire engine.

Timely introduction to WildSafeBC Program in Quesnel

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Residents in the City of Quesnel are being asked to take responsibility for garbage and attractants on their properties. There have been a heightened number of bears sited in the residential areas and they are looking for food. Attractants for bears include fruit, bird feed and domestic pet food. By keeping your containers in your garage or secured between pickup days, they will have no reason to stay in the area. Garbage should be secured until the morning of scheduled pickup.

Quesnel City Council recently endorsed the funding to bring the WildSafeBC Program (formerly “Bear Aware”) to the community. Local WildSafe Coordinator Dennis Girodat says “Summer is here and wildlife is on the move in particular, young black bears looking for food and territory. Foraging in communities is a learned behavior that threatens the safety of both the bears and the residents.” Mr. Girodat urges residents to be responsible with their garbage and other attractants and to ask questions.

Visit the WildSafeBC website at https://wildsafebc.com/, call the WildSafeBC representatives Dennis Girodat or Emma Alexander at 250‐992‐5743, email at Quesnel@wildsafebc.com, or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Wildsafebc.

The City of Quesnel will make every effort to post any changes to garbage pickup schedules on the website www.quesnel.ca and social media channels: Facebook https://www.facebook.com/cityofquesnel and Twitter https://twitter.com/cityofquesnel.

The Cariboo‐Chilcotin Zone/Conservation Officer has confirmed that fines under the Wildlife Act range from $230.00 to $575.00 for violations under the Act.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Tsilhqot'in Community Forum?

In a report authored by WL City Councillor Ivan Bonnell - he will propose to his colleagues at Tuesday's Williams Lake City Council meeting that the following occur with respect to the June 26th Tsilhqot'in Supreme Court of Canada decision:

a) Write a letter of congratulations to Xeni Gwet'in Chief Roger William and the Tsilhqot'in people on the Supreme Court of Canada win
b) That Williams Lake Council offer to co-host a community forum on the future implications of the William Court Case

I agree with Councillor Bonnell on Item 'B' because it would help both aboriginal/non-aboriginal on what the William court case means for the people of this region.

In fact, there was already a community forum at UNBC in Prince George a few weeks ago on the implications for First Nations/Non-First Nations as a result of the William Court Case and people at that forum still were digesting the ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada and we all may be doing so for some time to understand its' implications to us all

Read Councillor Bonnell's report to WL City Council here

Saturday, July 19, 2014

City of WL Travel Budgets - 2013 vs 2014

Update on Sun July 20th at 10:37pm - WL City Councillor SPS Rathor has asked me to make it clear to my readers that although his 2014 YTD travel expenses, which includes travel to the 2014 FCM Convention in Niagara Falls, Ontario, is over the annual allocated amount of $5,560 - the FCM Expenses will be eventually charged back to Mayor's Cook travel budget and hence his actual expenses to date are below the $5,560...

Original Blog Post:

In a report going to Williams Lake Council on Tuesday - the City's Director of Finance (M. Stewart) will report on the City's state of finances for the period ending June 30th 2014 - read that here

In that report - the Travel Budgets for Mayor/Council for the period ending June 30th, 2014 are reported

Mayor Cook has spent $5,052 on Travel to June 30th, 2014.  In 2013, this was $5,221

For the six City Councillors for travel to June 30th, 2013 vs 2014:

Councillor
June 30th, 2013 Travel Expenses
June 30th, 2014 Travel Expenses
Bonnell
 $817
$0 
Bourdon
$1,729 
$0
Hughes
$0 
$2,083
Rathor
$914
$5,942
Walters
$1,674 
$375
Zacharias
$0
 $0

Notes:

a) Councillors' Travel Budgets are set at $5,560 each year while the Mayor's Travel Budget is $10,600
b) While individual Councillor travel budgets may appear to be over (note Rathor's travel budget is over for the 2014 budget year), Travel Budgets are managed on a 'global' basis and forms the basis for a balanced budget for each year

~SF

Friday, July 18, 2014

WL/100 Mile Councils' meet Tuesday

The only two local governments to meet next week are the District of 100 Mile House/City of Williams Lake Councils':

Williams Lake - Regular Council meeting at 6pm Tuesday in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St).

On the Agenda:

Delegation -Laura Klassen, BC Self Advocacy Foundation re Benefits of a Diverse Workplace for Local Employers and Communities

Business:

a) Councillor Bonnell reports out on July 11th Cariboo RD Board Meeting
b) Councillor Bonnell requests Council authorize letter of congrats to TNG Government on their June 26th Supreme Court of Canada legal win

c) 2nd Quarter City of WL Finances Update
d) Receive/Endorse local Transit Fare Structure
e) City to apply to CMHC for $10,000 interest free loan to complete a feasibility study/business planning process for the Cariboo Lodge site
f) Canada Winter Games - Community Torch Celebration

Editor's Note - Item 'F' was considered at the June 18th CC Joint Committee meeting however the Committee was unable to agree on how to move forward on the item.  Both Councillor Geoff Bourdon and I (as the Cariboo RD Area D Alternate Director) felt the priority for the Central Cariboo was for the Sam Ketcham Pool Referendum

g) 'Good Neighbour Bylaw' to receive 1st, 2nd and 3rd Reading
h) Mayor Cook to present her Monthly Activities Report.  As of this writing, the report is not currently available

View the full Agenda here

100 Mile House - Regular Council meeting at 7pm Tuesday in 100 Mile Council Chambers (385 Birch Avenue).  View their Agenda here

Thursday, July 17, 2014

NC Arena Replacement Design Open House - July 22nd

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

The Cariboo Regional District and the City of Quesnel will be hosting an Open House to provide the public with the opportunity to view the design work so far and to provide direct feedback to the design team.

The Public Open House will be Tuesday, July 22 from 4 – 6 p.m. in the Twin Arenas’ lobby. We are seeking input from the community about the design of the new arena.

Date:               Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Time:               4 to 6 p.m.

Location:         Twin Arenas
                        500 Barlow Avenue, Quesnel, B.C.
                                   
Who should attend:  All residents within the North Cariboo Recreation and Parks Service Boundary.

Further information about the North Cariboo Arena replacement project is available on the Cariboo Regional District site at cariboord.ca or the City of Quesnel at www.quesnel.ca.

Open Fire Ban in Quesnel

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

A Category 1 open fire ban will be in effect for the City of Quesnel starting immediately. This ban keeps the City of Quesnel in line with a ban put in place by the Cariboo Fire Centre. The City determined it would take the action on the advice of the Fire Chief.
A Category 1 open fire ban prohibits the use of campfires and any other backyard open fires, including those in fire pits.
“Public safety protection is the top priority for the City of Quesnel. By reducing the potential for person-caused wildfires, we’re meeting that goal,” said Mayor Mary Sjostrom. “Given the extremely dry conditions, it is prudent to implement this ban to ensure the safety of our community, infrastructure and, most importantly, our residents.”
The ban will remain in place until the Cariboo Fire Centre has advised that it is reasonable to remove it. Questions about the City’s fire ban may be directed to the Quesnel Volunteer Fire Department at 250-992-5121.
To report a wildfire or unattended campfire call 1-800-663-5555 or *5555 on most cellular networks. For information about fire restrictions or for wildfire activity updates, visit www.bcwildfire.ca

You can also get Facebook and Twitter updates, as well as details about evacuation orders and alerts, road conditions and air quality advisories by visiting www.firesafebc.ca.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Curbside Recycling in Quesnel - Sept 2/14

Courtesy of Multi-Materials BC:

This week, Quesnel residents will start to receive information by mail about the city’s new curbside recycling program, whichstarts September 2, 2014. The program, managed by Multi-Material BC (MMBC) on behalf of businesses that supply packaging and printed paper to residents, will collect those materials for recycling from approximately 3,300 Quesnel residences.

Starting July 21 and continuing until late August, households slated for curbside recycling collection will receive two new recycling boxes—a smaller one for newsprint, cardboard, and household papers, and a larger one for metal containers, plastic containers, and paper packaging that held liquid when sold—and a recycling guide that outlines how to sort materials. The boxes and guides will be delivered by Emterra Environmental, the company that MMBC selected to collect recycling from Quesnel households.

“We are pleased to be making it easier for Quesnel residents to divert packaging and printed paper from the landfill,” said Allen Langdon, Managing Director of MMBC. “Increasing access to curbside recycling is one of the objectives of our program.”
Materials that will be accepted in the curbside collection program include newsprint, paper, cardboard, plastic containers, metal containers, aerosol containers, milk cartons, and foil and plastic take-out containers.

Additional details about the curbside recycling program, including the full list of materials that will be accepted, are available on MMBC’s website atwww.RecyclingInBC.ca. Quesnel residents can also download a smartphone app for personal recycling collection reminders by searching Multi-Material BC in smartphone app stores or visiting www.RecyclingInBC.ca/quesnel.

MMBC is among more than 20 Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs introduced in British Columbia over the past two decades, which has seen industry assume responsibility for end-of-life management of items such as beverage containers, electronics, paint, used oil, tires and batteries. The concept behind EPR is to make businesses responsible for collecting and recycling the products they supply into the BC marketplace.

About MMBC
In May 2011, BC's Recycling Regulation was updated to include packaging and printed paper. The regulation shifts the responsibility for managing the residential recycling of packaging and printed paper from regional and municipal governments and their taxpayers to business.

Multi-Material BC (MMBC) is a non-profit industry-led and financed organization that assumed responsibility for managing residential packaging and printed paper recycling on behalf of industry in May 2014.

More information, including lists of MMBC collectors and members, is available at www.multimaterialbc.ca

Media Contact:
Sarah Stephen, 778-588-9505, sstephen@multimaterialbc.ca

Open Fire banned in WL

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Due to hot, dry conditions, and in conjunction with open burning bans imposed by the Cariboo Fire Centre, the City of Williams Lake is prohibiting all campfires and backyard burning within City limits until further notice. This prohibition is in effect beginning at noon today, Wednesday, July 16.

The prohibition applies to all open air fires in Fire Protection Bylaw 2189:
? Outdoor cooking fires that do not use natural gas or propane
? Fire pits


Non-compliance with the City fire prohibition could result in a $450 fine. For more information, please contact the Williams Lake Fire Department at 250-392-4321.


The Cariboo Fire Centre has prohibited open burning throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre area. This prohibition applies to open fires of any size, fireworks, sky lanterns, tiki torches, chimineas and burning barrels. This prohibition does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus with a CSA or ULC rating that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.

Editorial: Council/Staff relations

At last night's Committee of the Whole meeting -- WL City Councillor (and WL Mayoralty Candidate) SPS Rathor raised three items of concern in regard to Staff action on the following:

a) 3rd Avenue Traffic Calming devices
b) Road Patching on City Streets
c) Dutch Point Rd - No Parking Signs

In addressing the Committee - Councillor Rathor complained that it was taking too long for Staff to move on the aforementioned 3 items.  This led to a public discussion about how Council members should be interacting with their Staff (talking with Staff about City business vs talking with the CAO - Chief Administrative Officer) and where the line should be drawn

Certainly as an Cariboo RD Alternate Director (and hopefully Director later on this year) - I've always understood that you may request 'technical information' on a matter from an individual manager but if it relates to an actionable item or relates to a Staff member directly- then you need to go to the local government Administrator (CAO, City Manager, etc) and discuss your concern/action item with them and leave the matter there

Criticizing Staff on how long it is taking to implement an item in public, even indirectly, is not appropriate and should be discussed with the CAO one on one and left there and hence I profoundly disagree with how Councillor Rathor brought up this matter at last night's Committee of the Whole meeting.  Once he raised his concerns with Williams Lake's City Manager (CAO), Darrell Garceau, he should have stopped it there and not re-raised his concerns in a public meeting...

In my humble opinion- this discussion needed to be an In-Camera item (Labour or Staff items are always discussed behind closed doors) rather than a public discussion

The general rule is that the local government (municipal council/regional board) approves Staff time for an item and the CAO role's is to get that item completed, subject to the task deadline (next meeting, etc).  If a member of that local government has a concern about the length of time it is taking to complete a task - that member needs to go to their CAO and discuss it with him/her and not "micro-manage" Staff at a public meeting and I agree with two recent blog comments left on this blog that Williams Lake Council needs to stop "micro-managing" its' CAO and to resume its' role as Policy/Decision Maker and leave the CAO and his staff to do the "day to day" items...

~SF

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Update: Cariboo Fire Centre expands Campfire Ban

Courtesy of BC Wildfire Branch:

Effective at noon on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, the Cariboo Fire Centre will expand its campfire prohibition across the entire Cariboo Fire Centre.

This prohibition will remain in place until Sept. 30, 2014 or until the public is informed otherwise.
WILLIAMS LAKE -- Effective at noon on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, the Cariboo Fire Centre will expand its campfire prohibition across the entire Cariboo Fire Centre.

This prohibition will remain in place until Sept. 30, 2014 or until the public is informed otherwise.

This step is being taken to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety. The fire danger rating is currently �high� throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre, with some areas rated �extreme�.

With the current trend of warm and dry weather, wildfires in the Cariboo Fire Centre may display aggressive behaviour and require additional fire suppression resources. Human-caused wildfires can divert critical resources from responding to naturally occurring wildfires.

Open burning is also prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre. This prohibition applies to open fires of any size, fireworks (including firecrackers), sky lanterns, tiki torches, chimineas and burning barrels. This prohibition does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus with a CSA or ULC rating that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres.

A map of the affected areas is available online at: http://bit.ly/W8ApY0 

The open burning prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws and is serviced by a fire department. Please check with local authorities for any other restrictions before lighting a fire.

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 responsible 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 covers an area of about 10.3 million hectares, stretching from Loon Lake in the south to just north of Quesnel at the Cottonwood River. From east to west, the boundaries stretch from the western edge of Wells Gray Provincial Park to the eastern boundary of Tweedsmuir Provincial Park.

To report a wildfire or unattended campfire, please call 1 800 663-5555 or *5555 on your cellphone.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to www.bcwildfire.ca 

WL Committee of the Whole Mtg - July 15th

Present - Acting Mayor I. Bonnell (Meeting Chair) and Councillors Bourdon, Hughes, Rathor, Walters and Zacharias

Absent - Mayor Kerry Cook

Staff:

Darrell Garceau - City Manager
Rena Schill - Corp Services Records Management Coordinator
Margaret Stewart - Director of Finance
Alan Madrigga - Mgr of Economic Development

Agenda approved with 3 Late Items
Mins of June 17th COW Meeting approved

Delegations - None

Business:

1) Auditor's Management Letter

Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That the letter be received

2) UBCM Meeting Requests

The City Manager presented his reports to the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That Council support UBCM Meeting requests for Premier Clark and Ministries of Health, Justice, Forests, Aboriginal Affairs, Energy, Jobs/Tourism along with topics for Tourism & Woodland Dr Water/Sewer project update along with meeting requests for RCMP and BC Transit

3) Late Item #1  - 3rd Avenue Speed Bump

Councillor Rathor presented an oral report to the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That Committee of the Whole requests a report from Planning/Ops Committee on the matter of traffic calming devices on 3rd Avenue (by Marie Sharpe Elementary) and such report be presented to a future Committee of the Whole meeting

4) Late Item #2 - Dutch Point No-Parking Signs

Councillor Rathor presented an oral report to the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That Staff be requested to provide an update on the matter of Dutch Point No-Parking at a future Committee of the Whole meeting

5) Late Item #3 - Potholes/Road Repairs on City Streets

Councillor Rathor presented an oral report to the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

No motion made

Video presentation called "20 Ingredients of an Outstanding Downtown"



MoTI Customer Satisfaction Survey

Earlier today - The provincial Ministry of Transportation/Infrastructure tabled a survey calling for input on how they are provide service to you and I.  

I have filled out the survey personally and I'd like to encourage you to consider doing the same.  If you don't like MOTI runs the highway system - let them know so they can change for the better

Survey can be filled out here

~SF

Housing Need/Demand Study Update Released

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The City of Williams Lake is pleased to release the 2014 Housing Need and Demand results. The document supplements and updates the full study, which was completed in 2012. It provides a snapshot of the existing affordable housing stock, along with outlining future needs for affordable housing.
“It is our intention to use this information for the community to move forward in addressing the wide range of housing needs in our community” says Anne Burrill, Manager of Social Development.
“Understanding housing needs can be a real challenge as there is a wide range of housing types and needs,” says Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook. “This study outlines the needs along the whole housing continuum, from shelter beds to rental housing and affordable home ownership.”
The update identifies housing for youth, as well as low income single people, families and seniors as a priority for the community. Although Williams Lake currently has 330 units of affordable supportive housing (including shelter beds) in the community, the study estimates that there is a need for at least 200 more, plus additional housing for students. And within the bigger picture of affordable market and non-market housing, the study identifies the need for over 800 more units of affordable housing.
“This gives us a great tool to move affordable housing forward,” says Mayor Cook. The City is grateful to the United Way for $9,800 in funding for the housing study update

Appliance Rebate Program Underway

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The City of Williams Lake is again offering its High Efficiency Toilet/Appliance Rebate Program.


The program has been designed to assist residents of Williams Lake in replacing their old inefficient toilets, clothes washers, and dishwashers with new, more efficient models. Older toilets can use as much as 20 litres of water per use whereas newer low flow toilets use only 4.8 litres or less, some using as little as 3 litres. As a result, changing only one toilet to a more efficient model can save tens of thousands of litres of water per year. 

Replacing residential toilets also saves wastewater entering the sewage treatment plant, saving on treatment costs and on the amount of effluent leaving the plant.

Additional Information and forms

Monday, July 14, 2014

Campfire Ban in Cariboo Fire Centre (West of Fraser River)

Courtesy of BC Wildfire Branch:

Effective at noon Pacific Time on Wednesday, July 16, 2014, campfires will be
prohibited in the Cariboo Fire Centre west of the Fraser River to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.

This campfire prohibition does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, but does apply to campfires, open fires in an outdoor stove, tiki torches and any portable campfire apparatus that is not CSA/ULC approved.

Also effective at noon Pacific Time on July 16, 2014, open burning will be prohibited throughout the entire Cariboo Fire Centre. Anyone conducting Category 2 or Category 3 fires must extinguish any such fires by noon on July 16, 2014. The use of burning barrels, sky lanterns, fireworks will also be prohibited.

A map of the affected areas is available online at: http://bit.ly/1m1Ft5N

Specifically, prohibited activities include:

East of the Fraser River:

• Category 2 open fires
• Category 3 open fires
• fireworks, including firecrackers
• sky lanterns
• burning barrels

West of the Fraser River:

• campfires
• Category 2 Open Fires
• Category 3 Open Fires
• fireworks, including firecrackers
• sky lanterns
• burning barrels, chimineas (wood-burning patio heaters), tiki-type torches
• outdoor stoves and portable campfire apparatuses that are not CSA or ULC approved, or if the flame exceeds a height of 15 centimetres

These prohibitions will remain in place until Sept. 30, 2014, or until the public is informed otherwise. These prohibitions cover all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but do not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws and is Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Cariboo Fire Centre Connect with the Province of B.C. at: www.gov.bc.ca/connect Sandra Wagner Fire Information Officer Wildfire Management Branch Cariboo Fire Centre 250 989-2665.

With the current trend of warm and dry weather, wildfires in the Cariboo Fire Centre may display aggressive behaviour and require additional fire suppression resources. Human-caused wildfires divert critical resources and fire crews from responding to natural wildfires.

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 responsible 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 covers an area of about 10.3 million hectares, stretching from Loon Lake in the south to just north of Quesnel at the Cottonwood River. From east to west, the boundaries stretch from the western edge of Wells Gray Provincial Park to the eastern boundary of Tweedsmuir Provincial Park.

Report a wildfire or unattended campfire by calling 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

For further information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, go to: www.bcwildfire.ca

DeGagne trial concludes

Last week, Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook & City Councillors Sue Zacharias and Danica Hughes along with 3 City of WL Staff were in Vancouver to testify in the civil trial of DeGagne vs Williams Lake (City).  View the relevant court documents here

The trial concluded late last week

Now, we all await the decision of Madam Justice Emily Burke (Judge overseeing this civil trial).

I personally don't expect a verdict to be handed down for several weeks.  When I become aware of the verdict in this civil trial - I will let you know...

~SF


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Euchiniko Lake Ranch Lodge under Evacuation Order

Editor's Note -- In related wildfire news, BC Wildfire Branch responded to a fire near Dunlevy Ranch, home of "Soda Creek Sweet Corn" earlier in the day.  Read more on that here.  Also - Quesnel Councillor Scott Elliott reports on his Facebook page that the Kluskus FN Band is being evacuated to the Quesnel Arts/Recreation Centre, due to a fire in their area.  Read more here

Read more on the Euchiniko Lakes fire from the BC Wildfire website here

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:


Effective immediately (4:20pm Sunday, July 13th), the Cariboo Regional District has declared a local State of Emergency and has issued an Evacuation Order for the Euchiniko Lake Ranch Lodge (Lodge only).

For up to date fire information, please contact the Cariboo Fire Centre at 250-989-2600 or online bcwildfire.ca . For more information regarding emergency operations, visit the CRD’s website at cariboord.ca  or contact the Cariboo Regional District at 250-392-3351 or toll free 1-800-665-1636.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Engage, Support and Participate in Local Elections

Opinion-Editiorial of Hon. Coralee Oakes - Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development:

As we look ahead to the 2014 General Local Elections on Saturday, November 15, 2014, we can reflect on how fortunate we are, as British Columbians, to live in a strong democracy where all citizens can participate in elections freely and fairly.

I have been honoured to serve my fellow citizens, first through election to local government in my home community and now as a Member of the Legislative Assembly and Minister responsible for working with B.C.’s 189 local governments. Every day, I see first-hand the important decisions elected leaders in local governments make to build successful communities, urban and rural, throughout British Columbia. Local government provides the forum for a community to create democratic aspirations and accomplish shared goals. Local government builds the infrastructure essential to strong communities.

Citizen engagement is the lifeblood of democracy. I encourage all B.C. citizens to stay informed about their local government and fully participate in local government elections. There are many ways to participate in local democracy, whether as a voter, a candidate or campaign volunteer. Take your choice, but do participate.

Earlier this year, the Government of British Columbia approved the first significant local elections reforms in 20 years. I was proud to introduce the legislation and celebrate Royal Assent for new rules to modernize the local election process.

Voters, candidates, elector organizations, third party sponsors and individuals or organizations that have acted as campaign organizers need to understand the new rules. B.C. citizens can now access online local election guides detailing how to participate in local elections. The Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development publishes guides online for: voters, candidates, elector organizations and how to support a candidate.

The Ministry has also developed a new brochure highlighting elections rules that every candidate needs to know. Citizens can get a copy of the brochure at local MLA offices or access the information online at: www.cscd.gov.bc.ca/lgd/elections_home.htm

As part of the new local elections campaign finance requirements, Elections BC has a new role in local elections to provide education and to ensure compliance and enforcement of local elections campaign finance and third-party sponsor advertising rules. Elections BC expanded its website to include information for the public, candidates, elector organizations, third-party sponsors and individuals or organizations that have acted as campaign organizers. For details, visit: www.elections.bc.ca/lecfa

Requirements that are new for the 2014 General Local Elections include:

Candidates, elector organizations and other election participants must file campaign finance disclosure statements with Elections BC within 90 days after an election, rather than 120.

Sponsorship information must be included on all election advertisements.
Third-party sponsors must register with Elections BC and file disclosure statements.
All campaign disclosure statements will be published online by Elections BC.
These new requirements will ensure local elections are more transparent and accountable.

The Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, along with Elections BC, the Local Government Management Association, the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, the BC School Trustees Association and other stakeholders are working together to provide on-going education to help election participants comply with the new local elections campaign finance and advertising rules.

Be sure to vote on November 15, 2014, in your community. Consider running for office. Above all, participate and help keep democracy strong in British Columbia
.

Editor's Note:

If you are planning a bid for local office (Electoral Area Director, School Trustee, Mayor or Councillor) on either the Cariboo Regional District Board, Quesnel, Williams Lake, Wells or 100 Mile Municipal Councils or on the Boards of Education for School Districts #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) or #28 (Quesnel), some useful resources to look at before making the decision to run for locally elected office are:


a) Local Elections in B.C.: What Every Candidate Needs to Know
b) Candidate's Guide to Local Government Elections in B.C.
c) Elector Organization Guide to Local Government Elections in B.C.
d) Guide to Supporting a Candidate for Local Government Elections in B.C.
e) Voter's Guide to Local Elections in B.C.

The above mentioned guides can be viewed here



Friday, July 11, 2014

Wells/WL Councils meet Tuesday

Next week - only District of Wells and City of Williams Lake Councils meet as follows:

Wells - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, July 15th at 7pm in Wells Council Chambers (4243 Sanders Avenue).  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

Williams Lake - Committee of the Whole Meeting on Tuesday, July 15th at 7pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (Basement - 450 Mart Street).  ON the Agenda:

* 2 UBCM Items for discussion - Meetings with Ministers and Provincial Agencies
* Auditors' Management Letter
* Video Presentation - 20 Ingredients for a Outstanding Downtown

View the full Agenda here


CRD Board Highlights - July 11th mtg

Editor's Note - once again, on behalf of Area 'D' as the Area D Alternate Director, I attended today's Cariboo RD Board Meeting

 Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

New Northern Health Chief Medical Health Officer           
     Northern Health recently announced their new Chief Medical Health Officer, Dr. Sandra Allison. Dr. Allison comes from Manitoba where she spent the last two years as a medical health officer based in Brandon. Her career also includes practice as a family physician in Brandon, Churchill and Winnipeg. Further information about Northern Health can be found online at northernhealth.ca.

Northern Medical Programs Trust
     The CCRHD received correspondence from Mr. Gerry Thiessen, President, of the University of Northern BC’s Northern Medical Programs Trust. The letter outlined the Trust’s appreciation for the support and financial contribution received from the CCRHD to the Northern Medical Programs Trust. Since the first disbursement of $20,000 in 2006-07, nearly 400 students have benefitted from more $600,000 in financial support over the years. More information about the Northern Medical Trust Program is available online at unbc.ca/northern-medical-programs-trust.

Support for Orange Shirt Day
     The Cariboo Regional District authorized up to $1,500 of Administration funds to support the 2014 Orange Shirt Day events taking place on September 30. The purpose of the program is to continue the reconciliation process and raise awareness about the residential school experience. This year’s ceremonies will be held, starting at 10 a.m. in Boitanio Park in Williams Lake, and at 1 p.m. in the Arena Ball fields in 100 Mile House. More information is available on Facebook at facebook.com/orangeshirtdayeverychildmatters

Community Works Funds Approved
     The Cariboo Regional District Board of Directors authorized up to $40,000 of Community Works Funding to install REALice technology at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex. REALice would allow the Complex to use cold water on the arenas’ ice surfaces, rather than hot water. Using hot water on ice surfaces has been the preferred method in arenas as heating water removes air bubbles; however, REALice technology is able to remove the bubbles. Therefore, the water is not required to be heated, resulting in energy savings. REALice technology also improves the quality of ice surfaces.

     The Regional District also approved Community Works Funds for the Watch Lake and District Women’s Institute. Up to $9,600 of Community Works Funding will be used by the Institute to install an energy efficient furnace at the Watch Lake Community Hall.

     Later in the meeting, the Board also endorsed an application for up to $18,500 of Community Works Funding from the Forest Grove and District Recreation Society. The funds will be used to perform an energy efficient lighting upgrade at the Forest Grove Community Hall.

Director Initiative Funds Authorized
     The Regional District authorized up to $600, shared equally from Electoral Areas G, H & L Director, Initiative Funds for the South Cariboo Fall Fair. The funds will be used to sponsor Don Basserman as a guest speaker at this year’s event. Mr. Basserman is a well-known speaker about urban farming and the sustainability of food supply.

Annual Report
During the meeting, the Cariboo Regional District unveiled its 2013 Annual Report. The document features departmental overviews, 2013 accomplishments, and goals outlined for the upcoming year. The report is available on the new CRD website at cariboord.ca while hard copies will be available for viewing at all CRD offices soon.

Support for Reconciliation Canada
     The CRD will be providing a letter of support to Reconciliation Canada in support of the 100 BC Reconciliation Dialogue Workshops. Reconciliation Canada requires letters of support from the local communities where events are planned in conjunction with Orange Shirt Day on September 30. In partnership with the BC Association of Aboriginal Friendship Centres and the Union of BC Municipalities, Reconciliation Canada has been called on to deliver 100 Reconciliation Dialogue Workshops in communities throughout BC. These Reconciliation Dialogue Workshops bring local leaders and community change-makers together to develop a shared understanding of our collective history, examine what reconciliation means and take positive steps to building vibrant and resilient communities.

Upcoming Meetings
August 22 – CCRHD & CRD Board Meetings