Thursday, October 23, 2014

Renovated Oasis Pub

Courtesy of Rhonda Kolcun, McLeese Lake contributor to Williams Lake Tribune:

The Oasis Pub in McLeese Lake is going to re-open just in time to celebrate Halloween. Owner Rob Swaan, his daughter-in-law Amber Swaan and Kitchen Manager Linda Bard are very excited to see their hard efforts come to fruition. They and many others have been working very hard and their efforts are finally paying off.

Let’s back up a couple of months to when Rob handed over the reins to Amber and both the Oasis Café and the re-opening of the Oasis Pub became her “baby”. She hired Linda to work in the kitchen in June and July but then Linda quit to look after family commitments and her Ranch in McLeese Lake. Amber called her up and negotiated to have her come back and manage both the Café and the Pub. They filtered many ideas back and forth and were very pleased with their final outcome. They came up with a new menu plan for the Pub. Linda says she is “very excited for the new food adventures the Pub will bring McLeese Lake. This is line cooking but with a gourmet twist”. The Café is more of a line cook type of restaurant but they have a few surprises incorporated as well such as Focaccia Bread now being offered. Linda brings incredible chef experience from previously working with a great chef at Tyee Lake Resort. She is most excited to have a brand new Pellet Smoker at the Pub on which she plans to prepare smoked chicken legs, ribs, brisket and pulled pork. They are thrilled to have two new double deep fryers, a new overhead fan system, a full flat grill, a steak grill, a new stand-up freezer and cooler, stainless steel sink and shelves, swinging bar doors and a brand new serving window. Linda says it is an “absolutely awesome kitchen”. They also have a brand new floor that looks amazing.

They will have many new items on the menu which include Pulled Pork Pizza, Pulled Pork Poutine, Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich, Hobo Baked Beans and Corn Bread. They will be also offering new homemade Chicken and Rib Rubs and Barbeque sauces. They will offer an upgrade of an old favorite which is Nachos, but these ones will be Linda’s special recipe. Linda is excited to share that they will be offering delicious homemade burgers. Yours truly has seen the new menu and it looks fantastic. I can hardly wait for my husband, Gordon, and I to visit the newly refurbished Pub and sit down at one of the new tables and chairs and partake in what sounds like very delicious food. They also want to keep some “Greg and Gigi” classics such as Pizza and Smokies as an homage to the previous owners. Like Linda says, “there is a lot of history in the Oasis Pub. Besides being the very first Neighbourhood Pub in BC, it has a ton of memories including those from the previous owners.

Once they have been open for a bit, Linda plans on introducing special nights such as Wing Night, Steak Night and Baron of Beef Night just to name a few. As I sit and listen to Linda talking, the excitement on her face can’t be contained. She has so many ideas on her mind, I’m surprised she can keep it all organized. I can see it is the sign of a great manager. They have been working hard on getting both the Oasis Café and Oasis Pub running smoothly. She is excited that they will be serving Local Barkerville Brew on tap at the Pub. They like to support local suppliers. They just had a wonderful Thanksgiving supper at the Café where they served turkey that had been supplied by a local farmer.

In the summer, the lettuce and produce were bought from local farmers as well. Linda says, “anything that can be utilized to the recipes in our kitchens will be bought local first”.

The Owner and Managers want a Soft opening for the Pub. They plan on opening on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, to begin with. Their first night of opening is planned for Friday, October 31st. More details will be posted at the Café once they are finalized. They plan on having a professional Karaoke DJ with an awesome light show and they will also be supplying appetizers. To help offset all the entertainment and food that will be offered that night, there will be a nominal cover charge at the door. They hope to see many customers, both old and new at the Pub on the 31st and the Café any day of the week. Rob, Amber and Linda are looking forward to having the Pub re-open and once again be an integral part of this community. Linda anticipates it all to be good. It’s her community. She’s not an outsider coming in – she’s an insider coming out of her comfort zone. She credits Rob and Amber as well. Amber really enjoys being involved with both businesses. Rob is a very caring compassionate owner who is willing to do what it takes to not only make his businesses succeed, but he is willing to be a big part of it because he believes one hundred percent in his community. What more can be said!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Statement from PM Harper re: Ottawa Incident

Courtesy of the Prime Minister's Office:

“My fellow Canadians, for the second time this week there has been a brutal and violent attack on our soil.

“Today, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Corporal Nathan Cirillo of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada.

“Corporal Cirillo was killed today – murdered in cold blood – as he provided a ceremonial Honour Guard at Canada’s National War Memorial.

“That sacred place that pays tribute to those who gave their lives so that we can live in a free, democratic and safe society.

“Likewise, our thoughts and prayers remain also with the family and friends of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was killed earlier this week by an ISIL-inspired terrorist.

“Tonight we also pray for the speedy recovery of the others injured in these despicable attacks.

“Fellow Canadians, we have also been reminded today of the compassionate and courageous nature of so many Canadians.

“Like those private citizens and first responders who came to provide aid to Corporal Cirillo as he fought for his life.

“And of course the members of our security forces in the RCMP, the City of Ottawa Police, and in Parliament who came quickly, and at great risk to themselves, to assist those of us who were close to the attack.

“Fellow Canadians, in the days to come, we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had.

“But this week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.

“We are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and our institutions of governance are, by their very nature, attacks on our country.

“On our values, on our society, on us, Canadians, as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all.

“But let there be no misunderstanding.

“We will not be intimidated.

“Canada will never be intimidated.

“In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts and those of our national security agencies to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats, and keep Canada safe here at home.

“Just as it will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores.

“They will have no safe haven.

“While today has been, without question, a difficult day, I have every confidence that Canadians will pull together with the kind of firm solidarity that has seen our country through many challenges.

“Together, we will remain vigilant against those at home or abroad who wish to harm us.

“For now, Laureen, Ben, Rachel and I join all Canadians in praying for those touched by today’s attack.

“May God bless them, and keep our land glorious and free.”

CC Joint Committee - Oct 22nd mtg

Present from City of WL: Mayor K. Cook (Meeting Chair), Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Hughes, Walters and Zacharias

Present from Cariboo RD: Co-Chair J. Sorley and Directors Bischoff & Kemp


Darrell Garceau - City Manager, City of WL
Darron Campbell - Mgr of Community Services, CRD
Geoff Paynton - Director of Community Services, City of WL
Rena Schill - Corp. Services Records Mgmt Coordinator, City of WL

Meeting called to order at 6:02pm

Meeting Agenda approved with 1 late item
Minutes of Oct 2nd CCJC meeting approved


1) Late Item - Canada Day celebrations 2015/16 - Fee for Service RFP

Bonnell/Zacharias - That the CCJC Resolution of Oct 2nd as per below be reconsidered:

That a Request for Proposals be issued for the designing and mounting of the Canada Day Celebrations in 2015 and 2016, and the $1,500 available from the Arts and Culture Function's Fee for Service program be allocated to the successful proposer; and further, that the results of the Request for Proposals be brought back to the January 2015 Joint Committee Meeting.

Approved by the following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Hughes, Walters and Zacharias; CRD Directors Bischoff, Kemp and Sorley - 8

Negative - Councillor Bourdon - 1

Resolved - That the following Resolution be re-affirmed:

That a Request for Proposals be issued for the designing and mounting of the Canada Day Celebrations in 2015 and 2016, and the $1,500 available from the Arts and Culture Function's Fee for Service program be allocated to the successful proposer; and further, that the results of the Request for Proposals be brought back to the January 2015 Joint Committee Meeting.

Defeated by the following vote:

Affirmative - Councillors Bourdon, Walters and Zacharias; CRD Directors Bischoff, Kemp and Sorley
Negative - Mayor Cook; Councillors Bonnell and Hughes

Resolved - That the City of Williams Lake's Community Services Department continue to design/mount the Canada Day celebrations in 2015 and 2016 & that the Arts/Culture Fee-for-Service funds ($1,500) for Canada Day be allocated to the Deparment

Defeated by the following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook; Councillors Bonnell and Walters
Negative - CRD Directors Bischoff, Kemp and Sorley; Councillors Bourdon, Hughes, and Zacharias

Resolved - That Canada Day celebration organization for 2015 be placed on the CCJC Jan 2015 meeting agenda

Approved by the following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Walters and Zacharias; CRD Directors Bischoff, and Sorley

Negative - Director Kemp; Councillor Hughes

2) 2014 Arts & Culture Society Third Quarter Report

Discussion ensued

Resolved - Report received

3) 2014 Performances in the Park Year-End Report

Discussion ensued

Resolved - Report received

4) Pool Renovations & Upgrade Project - Communications Working Group Meeting Notes - October 2, 2014

Discussion ensued

Resolved - Report received

5) Central Cariboo Recreation & Leisure Services 2015 Business & Financial Plans

The Mgr of Community Services presented his report to the Committee
Discussion ensued

Resolved - 2015 CC Recreation/Leisure Services Business and Financial Plans endorsed

6) Central Cariboo Arts & Culture 2015 Business & Financial Plans

The Mgr of Community Services presented his report to the Committee
Discussion ensued

Resolved - 2015 CC Arts/Culture Business and Financial Plans be received/endorsed

Approved by the following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Hughes, Walters and Zacharias; CRD Directors Kemp and Sorley - 8

Negative - Director Bischoff - 1

7) Response to Request for NDIT Board Delegation Status

The Mgr of Community Services presented this item to the Committee
Discussion ensued

Resolved - That the letter from NDIT be received and Staff be authorized to apply for $650,000 of NDIT funds to go to the Sam Ketchum Pool renovation

Approved by the following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Hughes, Walters and Zacharias; CRD Directors Bischoff, Kemp and Sorley - 8

Negative - Councillor Bourdon - 1

8) CRD 2015 Grant in Aid Spreadsheet

Discussion ensued

Resolved - Spreadsheet received

9) Action Page

Discussion ensued

Resolved - Action Page received and Items 3 and 4 be removed

Meeting adjourned at 8:01pm

Scott Nelson launches FB Election Page

Today - former Mayor Scott Nelson launched his Election Facebook page in his bid to becoming a Williams Lake City Councillor again.  The link to that page is here

Meanwhile - only incumbent WL City Councillor Ivan Bonnell does not and will not have a Election FB Page while the rest of the 10 candidates for WL City Councillor have established FB Election Pages.  Links to those are here


McLeese Lake 'Halloween Party" - Oct 31st

Cherish Your Democracy!

Yesterday, I stumbled onto a video almost made 3 years ago precisely by Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz with regard to our local democracy (Ms. Gaetz herself is seeking re-election for a 3rd consecutive term in a 3 way race and I hope that she wins too!)

As we have all watched - others in the world have fought for and in a lot of cases have died to have the voting privilege we have here in Canada...

I know it is easy to be cynical about those running for local government (ie: They're all the same... promise the moon but act differently once elected) - however we need to take as much interest in local elections as we do for provincial and federal elections... even more so given local governments affects us so profoundly (water, sewer, fire, garbage/recycling, recreation) than provincial/federal elections

Watch her video below (and I publicly thank Ms. Gaetz for doing a wonderful job in this video):

District Municipality - Part 3

In her column today - Williams Lake Tribune columnist Diana French calls on WL Council or CRD Director candidates (Areas D + E) to look at the matter of a district municipality.  She notes that two community votes were had on the subject including the last proposal in 1996 and both were defeated by rural voters while approved by City voters - read more here

In BC - there are 51 District Muncipalities with two of those here in the Cariboo-Chilcotin -- 100 Mile House and Wells.

The formation of District Muncipalities with a mandatory vote is regulated by Section 8 of the Local Government Act - view here

Furthermore - I heard from one CRD Area D resident on Facebook yesterday who is just past the City boundary who says he is more interested in the City of Williams Lake election than the one that I am involved in (CRD Electoral Area D election).  He didn't get why he, just past the City border and yet is involved in City life, gets no vote while someone else who owns property in Williams Lake and lives elsewhere gets a vote? While within provincial rules for local elections, I do sympathize with him.  I gave the commitment that, if elected, I would look further into the matter.

While previous City expansion proposals failed with rural voters because they took in too much rural property - I believe inclusion of just Mile 168 RD, Commodore Heights and Douglas Rd could receive favourable consideration because of their relative position to the City of Williams Lake boundary however such a proposal MUST be resident driven for it to be successful, in my opinion but I would be prepared to help residents with information to get the process underway...


Planning Delays for Cariboo Memorial Hospital Renewal...

Yesterday afternoon, Cariboo RD Area 'C' Director & Chair of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional Hospital District John Massier (District) spoke to the Goat and Cariboo Country about the ongoing planning delays which sit currently with Interior Health.

The District places the Cariboo Memorial Hospital project as Priority #1

It is hoped that planning will be complete sometime in the spring of 2015

I'm personally disappointed to learn that Interior Health is not putting the resources to getting this planning exercise done.  Our Hospital serves a wide region and is a powerful asset to community building and recruiting people here and we simply must get the upgrades to CMH completed in the not too distant future and not many, many years from now....

Listen to Chair Massier's interview here

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

WL Council Highlights - Oct 21st mtg

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


Darrell Garceau - City Manager
Cindy Bouchard - Mgr of Legislative Services
Nigel Whitehead - Planner
Tom Chung - IT Mgr
Ken MacInnis - Communications Coordinator
Ann Burill - Social Development Manager
Alan Madrigga - Mgr of Economic Development

Meeting called to order at 6pm
Meeting Agenda approved/Oct 7th WL City Council meeting minutes approved


1) Mayor Cook, on behalf of Council, signed a MOU (Memo of Understanding) with reps from the WL BIA (Business Improvement Area)

2) Inspector Warren Brown and Safer Communities Coordinator Dave Dickson appeared before Council to give an update on RCMP Activities

A Question and Answer period ensued

Mayor Cook, on behalf of Council, thanked Insp. Brown and Mr. Dickson for their time/information

3) Jr Council members Jasmine Tio, Donovan Shaw, Kennedi Pickard, Cassandra Abel, Lexi Pedersen, Brianna Chaffee and Monica Rawlek were sworn into office by the City Manager


1) Council received the accounts payable computer cheque listings for the periods ending October 9 and 16, 2014

2) Council ratified a number of Joint Committee recommendations as follows:

a) That pursuant to Central Cariboo / City of Williams Lake Joint Committee Report #21-2014, the agenda item summary of Alice Johnston, Corporate Officer, Cariboo Regional District dated September 23, 2014 be received and the Joint Committee meeting schedule for 2015 be endorsed as follows:

• Wednesday, January 28, 2015 (CRD);
• Wednesday, February 25, 2015 (CRD);
• Wednesday, March 25, 2015 (CRD);
• Wednesday, April 22, 2015 (CRD);
• Wednesday, May 27, 2015 (CRD);
• Wednesday, June 17, 2015 (City);
• Wednesday, September 16, 2015 (City);
• Wednesday, October 28, 2015 (City);
• Wednesday, November 25, 2015 (City).

b) That pursuant to Central Cariboo / City of Williams Lake Joint Committee Report #19-2014, Staff be authorized to submit an application to the Canadian Heritage Celebrate Canada Fund for up to $2,000 towards the 2015 Canada Day Celebrations in advance of the January 2015 Joint Committee meeting, to ensure the submission deadline is met.

c) That pursuant to Central Cariboo / City of Williams Lake Joint Committee Report #20-2014, the agenda item summary of Darron Campbell, Manager of Community Services, Cariboo Regional District dated September 3, 2014 regarding the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex Pool Renovations and Upgrade Project - Communications Working Group Meeting Notes of August 21, 2014 be received for information.

Council also referred back to the Oct 22nd Joint Committee meeting, the following Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee recommendation from its Oct 2nd meeting

That pursuant to City of Williams Lake / Joint Committee Report #18-2014, a Request for Proposals be issued for the designing and mounting of the Canada Day Celebrations in 2015 and 2016, and the $1,500 available from the Arts and Culture Function's Fee for Service program be allocated to the successful proposer; and further, that the results of the Request for Proposals be brought back to the January 2015 Joint Committee Meeting.

Approved by the following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Hughes, Rathor, and Zacharias
Negative - Councillors G. Bourdon and L. Walters

Editor's Note -- I am profoundly disappointed that Council took this action.  Yes, within the rules, but Joint Committee has already discussed this at length (this item was discussed for nearly 25 mins) and there is nothing new to discuss in my opinion.  Reminds me of the child who constantly "whines" to get their own way until the parent gives in.  I wonder if this late item will be accepted by the CRD Directors tomorrow night...

3) Council approved the updated Memorandum of Understanding with the Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Area (WLCBIA) and authorized the Mayor/Corporate Officer to sign same on behalf of the City

4) Council received the 2014 Third Quarter Economic Indicators Report for information.

5) Council received a report from Councillor Zacharias regarding the 2014 UBCM (Union of BC Municipalities) Convention for information

6) Council received DVP Application #14-2014 (Lorne Marshall - 1265 11th Ave) and directed it be formally considered at the Nov 25th Council meeting

7) Council received DP Application #4-2014 (Buildworks Construction Inc - 1070 Murray Drive) and directed it be formally considered at the Nov 4th Council meeting

8) Council adopted two Bylaws:

a) Permissive Property Tax Exemptions Bylaw No. 2221, 2014
b) Borrowing in Anticipation of Revenue Bylaw No. 2222, 2014

9) Council received/endorsed Minutes of the Oct 2nd Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee meeting

10) At the request of the WL Stampeders Club - Council approved Special Occasion Liquor Licenses on November 1, 8, 15, 16 and 22, 2014, December 13, 2014 and January 9, 2015 from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex, pursuant to City policy and subject to RCMP approval.

11) At the request of CMHA - Cariboo-Chilcotin Branch -- Council agreed to provide a letter of support for their Community Gaming Grant application for funding towards their Multiculturalism Program

12) Council received the 'Council Information Package' as follows:

October 2, 2014 - Official Opposition Leader Horgan & MLA Robinson re 2014 UBCM Convention Meeting;
October 3, 2014 - CRD Board Highlights;
October 9, 2014 - Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business re Small Business Month in BC;
October 10, 2014 - Ministry of Justice News Release re 'BC Takes Next Step Towards Liquor in Grocery Stores'.

13) Council received the monthly City Manager's report for the period ending Oct 16th

Meeting adjourned at 7:51pm

Business Tax Rates and Local Elections

Earlier today - the Canadian Federation of Independent Business or CFIB released a report on business taxation rates relative to residential tax rates

Read the full report here

The CFIB argues that local government should have a 2:1 ratio for business to residential tax rates

Of muncipalities in the Region, Williams Lake fared the best being ranked #43 of 161 local governments, 100 Mile House ranked #44, Quesnel ranked #111 and Wells ranked #130 (1 being best and 161 being worst)


Quesnel Council Highlights - Oct 20th meeting

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Third quarter reports on agenda

Council received the third quarter reports on the following:

- Strategic Planning - Highlights include the parkland inventory which is complete and will be tendered in October; public meeting update on the West Quesnel Land Stability program and request for Phase II funding from the Federal Government; improved snow clearing practices to be implemented this winter season; design work on the new arena is ongoing and fundraising efforts have resumed; work on a 20-year model asset plan for Quesnel Works: Capital Reinvestment Program.
- Financial update - The City’s financial position at September 30 showed the capital program is well underway and at this point, the overall operating budget is expected to be on target.
- Fire Department - Staff, volunteers and active members numbers; fire calls in the last quarter; training sessions; new recruits.
- Quesnel Visitor Centre - Statistics re visitor numbers; summer student summaries and experiences.
For report details are available on our website at, click the “Council” link and the “Agendas and Minutes” section.

Council approves lease renewals at the airport

CENTRAL MOUNTAIN AIR - A five-year Air Terminal Space Lease and Air Service Agreement with Central Mountain Air for scheduled air service at the Quesnel Regional Airport. Rent for the first year will be $1,896.40 (plus applicable taxes) with annual increases of 2%. Air Service Fees will also see a marginal increase.
WESTSIDE LOGGING LTD. - A twenty-year Lease term with Westside Logging Ltd. for a parcel of land measuring approximately 5,600 meters square at the Quesnel Regional Airport. Annual revenue for the first year will be approximately $6,000 with annual 2% increases.

Financial Plan amendment

Council proceeded with the first three readings of the City’s 2014 to 2018 Financial Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 1749. Section 165 of the Community Charter requires the City to adopt by bylaw a Five year Financial Plan. Projects proposed during the year that were not in the original financial plan require approval of an amendment bylaw. Accordingly, in June 2014 Council approved the purchase of Cariboo Fields from the School District and approved the use of $100,000 from the parks reserve for the purchase.
Funds used from reserve funds must be accounted for in the financial plan bylaw. In addition to this change, Council was made aware of an expected adjustment to the Landfill liability accrual this year.

BC on the Move

The Province of British Columbia is developing a new 10-year provincial transportation plan called BC on the Move and are asking for the public to engage in the discussion to help identify the transportation opportunities and priorities ahead. Their goal is to continue to build our economy, connect our communities, protect our environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and provide infrastructure to meet the growing desire to travel by transit, walking or cycling. Residents are asked to complete a survey which is available online at The deadline for submissions is December 12, 2014.

Other News

- Council will send a letter of support to the Chamber for their 2015 Trade Show scheduled for May 8 - 10. The Chambers is applying for a Job Creation Partnership participant through EI and Work BC and the application asks for letters of support.
- Council approved the Development Variance Permit for a Minimum Lot Size Variance for 1275 and 1295 Highway 97 North, permitting two lots less than 1 hectare in size without community sewer as outlined in a Plan of Proposed Subdivision.
- Council denied a Development Variance Permit and Encroachment request for a building constructed without a permit at 836 Elgin Street.

October 31 to November 10 - Veterans Days

Important dates

November 11 - Remembrance Day

NEXT Regular Council Meeting:
Monday Nov. 3, 7 p.m.

NEXT Committee of the Whole Session:
Monday Oct. 27, 7 p.m.

NEXT North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Meeting:
Tuesday Nov. 4, 5:30 p.m.

Quesnel Election 2014 - FAQ #6 (Students & Voting)

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Jason Ryll launches his FB Election Page

This morning - WL City Councillor candidate Jason Ryll launched his Facebook election page which you can view here

Meanwhile, other WL City Councillor candidates who have their own Facebook pages include:

Marnie Brenner - here
Bobbie-Jo Macnair - here
Sue Zacharias - here
Sue Lachance - here
Craig Smith - here
Peter Bowman - here
Wayne Lucier - here
Tovi Pare - here
Laurie Walters - here

The only two to not have a FB Election Page are Scott Nelson and Ivan Bonnell


Author Chris Czajkowski launches new book And the River Still Sings

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) will be hosting local author Chris Czajkowski  at the CRD’s 100 Mile Branch and Williams Lake Branch Libraries to launch her latest book, And the River Still Sings, published by Caitlin Press. Czajkowski will be at the 100 Mile Branch on Tuesday, Oct. 28 at 6:30 p.m., and at the Williams Lake Branch on Wednesday, Oct.29 at 6:30 p.m.

Czajkowski’s was born and raised at the edge of a large village in England, and as a young adult went to Uganda to study farming. After returning to England, she found nothing to hold her attention, so in 1971 she hitchhiked around the world, heading off into remote areas, where she cultivated mountain skills and further learned to appreciate the joy found in solitude.

By 1979, Chris had arrived in Canada, where she travelled to the West Chilcotin and built a cabin deep in the woods. Several years later, she constructed her second cabin alongside a pristine and secluded high-altitude lake and called her home Nuk Tessli. She lived there for twenty-three years, and developed a successful wilderness resort and guiding business.

In 2012, after many contented years of living alone in the bush, Chris sold Nuk Tessli and concluded a pivotal chapter of her life.

And the River Still Sings explores the experiences that led Chris to a solitary lifestyle and details her shift to a life closer to civilization. Although Chris’s “retirement home” has easier access to a road and neighbours, she still lives beyond the end of the power line.

Encouraged by Peter Gzowski, Chris first began writing about her adventures in 1980 and published Cabin at Singing River, to wide national acclaim. This was followed by other books including Diary of a Wilderness Dweller (2005) and Ginty’s Ghost: A Wilderness Dweller’s Dream (2012).

This free event will include a slideshow presentation, conversation, and books will be available for purchase and signing.

Further information about the 100 Mile House event is available by contacting the library branch at 250-395-2332 or email For more information about the Williams Lake event, call 250-392-3630 or email Information about this and other CRD Library events taking place throughout the region is available online at

Monday, October 20, 2014

Local Election On!

Earlier today - the Chief Election Officers for Quesnel, Williams Lake and the Cariboo Regional District officially declared that an election by voting is necessary to vote in Mayors, Councillors, Electoral Area Director for Areas, A, B, D, E, I and K as well as a School District #27 Zone 6 Trustee

For the City of Quesnel:

Mayor – One (1) to be elected

Bob Simpson
Mary Sjostrom

Councillor – Six (6) to be elected

John Wilson Brisco
Ed Coleman
Scott Elliott
Ernest Gamache
Kyle Jones
Ron Paull
Laurey-Anne Roodenburg
Shawna Siemens
Sushil Thapar

General Voting Day is Saturday Nov. 15 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Quesnel City Hall, Correlieu Senior Secondary School and Dragon Lake Elementary School.

Advanced Voting takes place on Wednesday Nov. 5 and Saturday Nov. 8 from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Quesnel City Hall as well as on Wednesday Nov. 12 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the CNC/UNBC Campus.

Special Voting opportunities will be available at Dunrovin Park Lodge -Thursday Nov. 6 from 10 a.m. to noon; Maeford Place - Thursday Nov. 6 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Fraser Village – Friday Nov. 7 from 10 a.m. to noon; and GR Baker Memorial Hospital – Friday Nov. 7 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

For the City of Williams Lake:

View the official notice here

For the Cariboo Regional District:

Directors for Areas C, F, G, H, J and L were declared elected by acclamation from December 2014 until October 2018 as follows:

Area C - John Massier
Area F - Joan Sorley
Area G - Al Richmond
Area H - Margo Wagner
Area J - Roger William
Area L - Brian Coakley

The following individuals in Areas A, B, D, E, I and K are officially declared as candidates for the following Electoral Areas:

Area A:

Ted Armstrong
Cory Delves
Susan MacNeill

Area B:

Jerry Bruce
Heloise Dixon-Warren

Area D:

Pennie Daffurn
Steve Forseth
Blaine Wiggins

Area E:

Byron Kemp
Phyllis Webstad

Area I:

Dylan Cash
Jim Glassford

Area K:

Betty Anderson
Geraldine Charleyboy
Melynda Neufeld

For District of Wells - click here
For District of 100 Mile House - click here
For School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) (For Zones 4/5) - click here
For School District #28 (Quesnel) - click here

For precise voting rules or locations - please contact your local municipal office, Cariboo Regional District office or School Districts #27 or #28 Offices

2014 Election Campaign kicks into high gear...

With all of the statutory withdraw or challenge periods completed at 4pm last Friday - the election campaigns for locally elected officials can kick into high gear...

Today at 4pm in WL Council Chambers - Cindy Bouchard, the City of WL's Chief Election Officer, will announce formally the list of candidates for Williams Lake Mayor and City Councillor in the Nov 15th election.

At this stage - there are exactly 16 days to campaign prior to the Wednesday, November 5th 1st Advanced Vote for local office and 25 days prior to General Voting Day on Saturday, November 15th (minus November 11th - Remembrance Day - where I personally would expect and implore my fellow candidates to "take the day off" and respect/pay homage to those who made the "ultimate sacrifice" so we can practice this thing called "democracy"

There are campaign signs around the community up already with WL Mayoral Candidate Kerry Cook and WL City Councillor candidate Peter Bowman and Cariboo RD Area 'D' Director candidate Blaine Wiggins putting theirs up.  I personally hope to have my campaign signs up in Area D later this week although I don't plan to go "all out" but to place them strategically throughout Area D

Next week - we'll see two forums, both put on by the local Chamber of Commerce, for WL City Councillor and Mayoral candidates.  (Oct 27th, 6-9:30pm in the Gibraltar Rm for WL City Councillor candidates - 12 & Oct 28th from 11:45am - 1:30pm at the Pioneer Complex for WL Mayoral candidates - 4).  These forums should give voters an opportunity to help them decide (if they haven't already) who will receive their vote(s).  As of this writing - there are no all candidate forums scheduled for SD27 Zones 4, 5 and 6 candidates nor Cariboo RD Areas D+E candidates

It is conventional political knowledge that the four WL Mayoral candidates will ask their campaign teams to vote at one of the two Advance Voting Opportunities (Nov 5th + Nov 12th) so that they are available on Nov 15th with getting the vote out or GOTV.  Given what I have heard about the Nov 15th City of WL Local Gov't election - it is probable that we can expect to see high turnout at the two Advance Votes - perhaps even higher than the 2011 Election...

As always - I encourage you, as a fellow voter, learn about your WL City Councillor or Mayoral candidate, ask questions and then, no matter what, get out and vote.  You only have to select one for Williams Lake Mayor and 1 for Williams Lake Councillor (if you select more than one, that is great as well but it is not required)


Saturday, October 18, 2014

My Area 'D' Election Platform

Earlier today - I uploaded my Electoral Area 'D' Director platform for your viewing pleasure.  You can view that here

In summary:

* Lobby for 2nd Floor Upgrades at Cariboo Memorial Hospital
* Assist McLeese Lake VFD Society in their efforts to becoming a full fledged Volunteer Fire Department with pursuing of grants or fire equipment

* Complete process to having a modernized McLeese Lake Community Library
* Assist residents of Wildwood with a process to deal with dog and motorized vehicle conflicts

Other long - term issues:

* Monitor local roads and advise Interior Roads of repairs as necessary
* Continued support for Central Cariboo Arts/Culture and lobby for local investment for Arts/Culture in Area D
* Continued long  term support for Mountain Bike trails on Fox Mountain
* Look into future participation of Building Inspection in Area 'D' - has been requested by Area D residents and the Cariboo RD Board has started looking into the future of the Building Inspection Service
* Assist residents with any concerns (local, provincial and federal) and direct them to the appropriate government for resolution
* Renew the 5 year Rural Fringe Fire Services contract with the City of Williams Lake by Dec 31st, 2017

My recent experiences of attendance at CRD Board meetings since 2004, Chair of the CRD Area D Advisory Planning Commission from late 2008-present and the Area D Alternate Director from Feb 2013 - Oct 2014 shows that I have both time and recent experience to be an excellent representative for the taxpayers of Area 'D'.

Any questions/concerns - pls don't hesitate to contact me at 250-267-6725 or by email at


All Candidate Forum Questions due Tuesday am

Cariboo News/Events reports on their Facebook page that the WL Chamber of Commerce's Forum Committee will receive possible questions to put to the candidates - WL Mayor or City Councillor until Tuesday, October 21st as the Forum Committee meets on this day to establish the list of questions to be asked.

Questions can be emailed here

2014 WL Stampede Survey

I just became aware of a survey that the Williams Lake Stampede Association is conducting in regards to the 2014 Williams Lake Stampede

They are seeking feedback on their use of social media, timeliness of social media updates, best new event and constructive feedback on the 88th Williams Lake Stampede events

I have already taken the survey and you can as well here


Friday, October 17, 2014

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

A number of local governments are meeting this upcoming week as follows:

Quesnel - Regular Council Meeting at 7pm on Mon, Oct 20th in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* 2014 UBCM Reports
* 3rd Quarter Report from City Manager
* Lease at Quesnel Airport
* 2014-18 Financial Plan Amendment
* 2 DVP Applications

View full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Regular Council Meeting at 6pm on Tues, Oct 21st in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  On the Agenda:

* Delegations (3) - Signing of Memo of Understanding between WLCBIA/City of WL, RCMP Report from Insp. Warren Brown and Jr Council Inauguration

* Approve Joint Committee recommendations from its' Oct 2nd meeting
* 3rd Quarter Economic Indicators Report
* Report of WL City Councillor Sue Zacharias re: 2014 UBCM Convention
* DVP Application - 1265 11th Ave North (Lorne Marshall)
* DP Application - 1070 Murray Drive (BuildWorks Construction - Tour Bus Storage Facility)
* Adopt two Bylaws
* Request from WL Stampeders Hockey Club - November 1, 8, 15, 16 and 22, 2014, December 13, 2014 and January 9, 2015 from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex

* Letter of Support request from Cdn Mental Health Association - Community Gaming Grant application - CMHA Multiculturalism Program

* CAO Update

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District:

Tuesday, Oct 21st - South Cariboo Joint Committee meeting in 100 Mile Council Chambers (385 Birch Ave).  On the Agenda:

* Delegation - Interior Roads to appear before the Committee review Summer Operations and preparation plans for Winter Season

* Delegation - 100 Mile Fire Chief Darrell Blades to present Operational Review

* 2015 Proposed Meeting Schedule
* 2015 South Cariboo Recreation - Proposed Business, Financial and Capital Plans
* Report of South Cariboo Pool Working Group
* 2015 Grant in Aide applications
* Discussion Item - South Cariboo Joint Ec Dev Initiative

View the full Agenda here

Wed, Oct 22nd - Central Cariboo Joint Committee meeting in the CRD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* 2014 CCACS 3rd Quarter Report
* 2014 Performances in the Park, Year-End Report
* Sam Ketchum Pool - Communications Working Group -- Meeting Notes
* Central Cariboo Recreation - 2015 Proposed Business, Capital and Financial Plans
* Central Cariboo Arts/Culture - 2015 Proposed Business and Financial Plans
* Response from NDIT re: Delegation Status (this is good news - NDIT reports that the Region can apply to the local Advisory Committee by Nov 14th for a grant over $250,000 for the Sam Ketchum Pool Project.  I hope that the Joint Committee will authorize an application, refer to CRD Board at its' Oct 24th meeting for endorsement)
* 2015 GIA Applications - City of WL & CRD

View the full Agenda here

Friday, Oct 24th - CRD Board of Directors' meeting.  Starting with CCRHD (Regional Hospital District) at 9:30am, followed with CRD Board at 9:45am - both meetings in the CRD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Ave, Williams Lake).  On the CCRHD Agenda:

* Hospital Consent Calendar (various press releases)
* Letter from Horsefly resident Bruce MacLeod re: Alzheimers
* GR Baker/CMH Hospital Capital Upgrades Timelines Report
* Funding for Digital Mammography Unit

There is also going to be an In-Camera meeting under provisions of Sections 90(2b) of the Community Charter (information held in confidence between local government and Ottawa/Victoria)

View the full Agenda here

On the CRD Board of Directors' Agenda:

* Various Land Use matters
* Report from CRD Mgr of Community Services re: Budget for Community Hall Energy Upgrades from Community Works Funding

* 2014 Town Hall meeting notes
* CRD Web Posting Guidelines
* Options of Agenda Software switch
* Opportunities for Cariboo RD - 2015 Canada Winter Games
* Consent Calendar
* Various minutes/recommendations from local Joint Committees or Commissions
* Request from Area D Director Deb Bischoff re: CRD Signage at City of WL Boundaries
* Request to re-direct Grant In Aide funds - Horsefly Seniors' Activity and Wellness Society

An In-Camera session will be held under Section 90(1K - negotiations) of the Community Charter

View the full Board Agenda here

WL City Council Candidate Survey Results

Earlier this week - I did an unbiased two day survey on the candidate for Williams Lake Mayor and City Councillor.

Before I share the results - a number of caveats...

1) The results are in no way scientific but represent those who participated so the results should be taken with a "grain of salt"

2) Pollsters in both BC and Alberta general elections predicted that both Opposition Parties in these two provinces would rout the governing political party and the final result showed that public support for these governing political parties (notwithstanding the pros/cons of the current electoral system - First Past the Post)

So - after two days, the survey results (bold font shows if election were held today who would be elected)

For the Office of Mayor - City of Williams Lake:
1) Walt Cobb - 134 of 275 responses
2) Surinderpal Rathor - 44 of 275 responses
3) None of the above - 33 of 275 responses
4) Kerry Cook - 24 of 275 responses
5) John Bjornstrom - 6 of 275 responses

For the Office of City Councillor - City of Williams Lake:
1) Scott Nelson - 130 of 275 responses
2) Jason Ryll - 127 of 275 responses
3) Tovi Pare - 126 of 275 responses
4) Craig Smith - 126 of 275 responses
5) Bobbie-Jo Macnair - 121 of 275 responses
6) Sue Lachance - 101 of 275 responses
7) Peter Bowman - 62 of 275 responses
8) Marnie Brenner - 53 of 275 responses
9) Ivan Bonnell - 46 of 275 responses
10) Laurie Walters - 44 of 275 responses
11) Sue Zacharias - 43 of 275 responses
12) Wayne Lucier - 36 of 275 responses

While I have heard disappointment with WL City Councillor Sue Zacharias and her comments in the Williams Lake Tribune earlier this week.  It is still, with the realm of possibilities, that 1 or more City Councillor incumbent can win, but time will tell as we get towards Nov 5th/10th (Advance Votes) and Nov 15th (General Voting) if this is possible..

As always - I encourage to stay aware of your local government race (City, CRD - Areas D/E, and SD27 - Zones 4, 5,6), ask questions or contact your local candidate for office and then make a decision accordingly.  Those of you who may be in CRD Area D or know of people in Area D can contact me at 267-6725 at any time or via email at


Economic Impact Survey - BC Ferries (Central Coast)

This afternoon - I was advised by Cariboo RD Area 'D' Director Deb Bischoff of an Economic Impact Survey of the Route 40 closure of BC Ferries

As this route's closure has already demostrated negative economic repercussions to this region - I would strongly recommend all readers' here to take this survey

The results of the survey, I'm sure, will be used to continue to lobby Minister Todd Stone to reverse the decision as it relates to Route 40

Link to survey here

Thursday, October 16, 2014

CC Rural Caucus Mtg - Oct 16th/2014

Present: Chair J. Sorley and Directors D. Bischoff and B. Kemp

Staff: S. Reid - CFO (part of meeting) and A. Johnston (part of meeting)

Meeting called to order at 3pm

Agenda with late item approved
Mins of the Sept 17th, 2014 CCRC meeting approved

Delegations - None


1) Grant in Aide (GIA) applications

The Chair and the CFO provided initial comments

Resolved - That the Committee recommend to the Board that it provide preliminary approval for the following Grant in Aide applications and the City of Williams Lake be advised of those GIA applications which will be funded on a 70/30 (City of WL/CRD) split

a) CMHA (Harmony Walk) -- Area F ($150)

b) CCPL Society -- Areas D, E, F ($150/per Electoral Area)

c) Chimney/Felker Lakes Land Association -- Area 'D' ($5,000) and Area 'E' ($20,000)

d) Horsefly VFD -- Area 'F' ($5,000)

e) McLeese Lake VFD -- Area 'D' ($5,000)

f) Mt Timothy Ski Society - Schedule meeting between CRD Directors for Areas D, E, F, G, H, L & WL/100 Mile Municipal Councils to consider this item

g) Navy League -- Areas D, E, F ($1,200/per Electoral Area)

h) Potato House -- Areas D/F ($500 per Electoral Area)

i) WL Community Living -- Areas D, E, F ($50 per Electoral Area)

j) WL RCMP Aux Police -- Area D ($500) and Area F ($1,000)

k) Gavin Lake Forest Society - Areas D, E, F ($400 per Electoral Area)

l) Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium Area D ($1,000); Area E ($1,600) and Area F ($1,000)

2) CRD Signage at City of WL Boundary

Director Bischoff reviewed the matter with the Committee
Discussion ensued

Resolved - That Staff be requested to replace signage as per Committee discussions

Meeting concluded at 4:09pm

Quesnel Election 2014 - FAQ #5 (Renter/Voting)

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Editor's Note -- information below is equally applicable for those for Wells, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House voters...

WL Council candidates Survey closes!

After two full rounds (2 x 150 responses) of survey responses - I have decided to close the survey early

I will be reviewing the responses today with the survey responses to be published Friday...

THANK YOU to all of you who participated...


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

30 Days....

Exactly 30 days from tonight - the local elections will be over and those who have won will be excited to start and those who lose will be disappointed but hopefully want to stay involved!

As of this writing (and I'm not expecting anyone to withdraw) -- here are the essentially official races by local government

Wells - Mayor Robin Sharpe re-elected by acclamation to 4 year term while 8 contesting for 4 Councillor positions

Quesnel - 2 contesting for Mayor while 9 contesting for 6 City Councillor positions

Williams Lake- 4 contesting for Mayor while 12 contesting for 6 City Councillor positions

100 Mile House - 2 contesting for Mayor while 7 contesting for 4 Councillor positions

Cariboo Regional District - 3 contesting in Area 'A'; 2 contesting in Area 'B'; 3 contesting in Area 'D'; 2 contesting in Area 'E'; 2 contesting in Area 'I'; 3 contesting in Area 'K'while Directors for Areas C, F, G, H, J and L were elected unopposed

School District #28 (Quesnel) - 9 contestants for 7 Trustee positions

School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) - Trustees for Zones 1, 2, 3 and 7 are elected unopposed.  While 2 are contesting for the Zones 4, 5 and 6 Trustee seats

Names of those running:

North Cariboo - here
Central Cariboo - here
South Cariboo - here

CRD Area 'K' - here

The only forums I'm aware of are as follows:

Williams Lake:

Oct 27th - WL City Councillor candidates at the Gibraltar Room (525 Proctor ST at CMRC) from 6-8pm

Oct 28th - WL Mayoral Candidates at the Pioneer Complex (351 Hodgson Rd) from 11:30am - 1:30pm


Oct 28th - All Candidates - 6:30pm at the Royal Canadian Legion Hall (262 Kinchant St)

100 Mile House:

Nov 4th - All Candidates - 7pm - The Lodge Conference Centre (150 Highway 97 North)

There are no scheduled School District #27 (Zones 4,5,6 - WL) or #28 (Quesnel) neither Cariboo Regional District Director All Candidate Forums that I am aware of at this time...


WL City Council Candidate Survey

Update #1 (3:50pm on Wed Oct 15th) - I have received the maximum amount of responses possible.  THANK YOU for that.  Link to new survey (with same questions) is here

Original Blog Post:

Now that the list of candidates for Williams Lake City Councillor & Williams Lake Mayor is out unofficially (official by Friday at 4pm).  I thought I would survey voters as to their personal choices for 6 Williams Lake City Councillor and 1 Mayor of Williams Lake.  No candidate was given any advance notice of this survey

The survey can be taken here

The survey will close Friday at midnight and I will report the results on Saturday..


Concentration of Power at CIty Hall - Part 1

On - Columnists Peter Ewart & Dawn Hemingway write, in a two-part series, on the concentration of power in PG City Hall between current PG Mayor Shari Green and PG City Manager Beth James.  They also discuss the fact that has been shut out of the PG Mayor's Office for the last 3 years in addition to PG City Councillors 'in the dark' on personnel matters before reading them in the media when they are entitled to know at the same time as the Mayor

Read the thought-provoking essay here

The essay shows, in my opinion, how a local government ought not to operate...


Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Bobbie-Jo Macnair's 1st Campaign Ad

Disclosure Note -- I personally endorse Bobbie-Jo Macnair for Williams Lake City Council.  I respectfully request anyone who voted for me in the 2005/2011 City of Williams Lake Local Government Elections to vote for Ms. Macnair.  She will be an excellent WL City Councillor...

Committee of the Whole (WL Council) Mtg - Oct 14th

Present: Acting Mayor SPS Rathor (Chair) and Councillors Bourdon, Hughes, Walters, Zacharias and Bonnell (entered meeting at 6:03pm)

Absent: Mayor K. Cook


Darrell Garceau - City Manager
Rena Schill - Corporate Services/Records Mgmt Coordinator
Nigel Whitehead - Planner
Ken MacInnis - Communications Coordinator

Meeting called to order at 6pm
Agenda approved/COW Mins of Sept 30th approved


1) Lance Marshall of 44 Woodland Drive along with Mr. Troy Weil appeared before the Committee to discuss his subdivision request.

A Question and Answer period ensued
The Chair, on behalf of the Committee, thanked Mr. Marshall for his time/information


1) Subdivision Request at 44 Woodland Drive

The Planner reviewed his report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That the report of the Planner be received

The Committee adjourned at 6:56pm

3 seek the Area 'K' Directorship

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

The following nomination packages have been submitted and accepted by the Cariboo Regional District’s Chief Elections Officer Alice Johnston for the Electoral Area K Director as of 4 p.m. today.

Area K – East Chilcotin

Betty Anderson
Geraldine Charleyboy
Melynda Neufeld

On Friday, October 10, 2014, as a result of no nomination being received, the Cariboo Regional District extended the deadline for Electoral Area K nominations until 4 p.m. today.

Following the legislated deadlines for challenge of nominations and candidate withdrawal, a formal Notice of Election by Voting will be issued with information pertaining to voting dates, locations, etc. For further information, contact Chief Election Officer, Alice Johnston at 250-392-3351 or toll free 1-800-665-1636.

2nd Central Cariboo pool survey results announced

Joint Release of the Cariboo Regional District/City of Williams Lake:

A second survey of residents within the Central Cariboo recreation boundary shows a high level of awareness and support of the proposed project to renovate the Sam Ketcham Pool. The first survey was conducted in January of this year and served as a benchmark study for the project.

The current survey of 400 residents in the City of Williams Lake and portions of the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) Electoral Areas D, E, and F found that 83 per cent of people indicated they were familiar with the proposed project to renovate the pool, including the replacement of the main pool tank and the addition of a three-lane leisure pool featuring a lazy river and waterslide. Sixty-nine per cent of respondents said they support major renovations to the pool.

The statistically valid surveys, conducted by Discovery Research found the following:

·        Public awareness of the pool project has risen substantially from 75 per cent in the January study to 83 per cent.

·        Sixty-nine per cent of residents indicated they support the project, which is also up from 64 per cent recorded in the benchmark survey.

·        The benchmark survey showed that 75 per cent of respondents indicated that they or someone in their family had used the facility. The current survey showed that 81 per cent responded positively when asked the same question. 

·        A large change in awareness of the borrowing referendum was observed in the second survey. When the benchmark survey was conducted in January, 37 per cent indicated they were aware of the referendum. In the recent study, that number grew to 59 per cent.

·        A notable change was observed when residents were asked “If the referendum was held tomorrow, do you feel you have adequate information about the proposed renovations to make an informed decision?” In the January research, only 27 per cent of the respondents said they had enough information. The current survey reports that 50 per cent indicated they had adequate information to make an informed decision.

Thirty-five per cent of respondents were in the 19-39 age-group, 45 per cent were in the 40-65 age group, and 20 per cent were in the 66+ age group. Respondents were represented equally by gender.

To view the surveys, survey summaries and more information about the proposed Sam Ketcham Pool renovation and upgrade, visit us online at the following websites:

Cariboo Regional District –
City of Williams Lake –
Cariboo Memorial Complex -

A Facebook page dedicated to helping provide information to residents and an opportunity for residents to ask questions can be found at A Twitter feed can also be found at @SKPReferendum. Leading up to the November 15 referendum, information will be distributed through various channels including the media, social media, the internet, the mail system and advertisements.

The referendum, which will be held on Nov. 15, 2014, will ask voters if they approve borrowing up to $10 million over 20 years. The remainder of the cost of the approximately $11.3 million project will need to be made up from grants, fundraising and capital reserves. Proceeding with the project would result in a taxation increase for Central Cariboo Recreation services of approximately $40/$100,000 of residential assessment, including operating costs of the expanded facility.

Arts/Culture & 2014 Local Elections

Update #1 at 3:22pm on Tues Oct 14th - WL City Councillor candidate Scott Nelson says on Facebook in regards to the local Arts/Culture Sector:

 i very much support the arts/culture sector in our region and in williams lake -- the arts sector creates a positive ripple effect in our local economy and adds significant value to williams lake

Original Blog Post:

Following the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium - the Central Cariboo Arts/Culture Society has posted a generalized thought question to its' supporters which is:

We would like to ask that our supporters talk to the candidates about the importance of arts and culture in healthy communities, and ask, if elected, how will they support arts and culture in our region?
Again as I did with the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium -- my own thoughts are:

1) While not quite the strong supporter of arts/culture that CRD Area F Director Joan Sorley and WL City Councillor Laurie Walters are -- the evidence shows that not only is Arts/Culture becoming more and more a 'economic force to be reckoned with' but there is growing evidence that placing kids in arts/culture activities like painting, playing an instrument, etc also helps their social growth and generally leads to a healthier society overall

2) As to how I would support Arts/Culture in our Region if elected -- I would continue supporting the already established Central Cariboo Arts/Culture Function.  In addition - I would support using a variety of CRD Budgets to support Arts/Culture activities in the Central Cariboo region.  Finally, I have had a previous conversation with former CCACS President Graham Kelsey and would encourage the CCACS Board of Directors' to consider a strategic 5 year plan to review where we've been and set a targeted direction for the Arts/Culture Sector for the next 5 years, here in the Central Cariboo

View the full message from the Central Cariboo Arts/Culture Society (CCACS) posted on their Facebook page here


Quesnel Election 2014 FAQ #4 - Mail-in Ballot

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

CRD/Northern Secwepemc sign milestone agreement

Joint Release of the Cariboo Regional District and Northern Secwepemc:

The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) and the Northern Secwepemc First Nations signed a milestone agreement today as part of the journey towards building and operating a cultural centre and museum. The Centre will be located near the 108 Mile Heritage site along Highway 97.

The signing today is the culmination of more than ten years of work that has involved:

· Topographic surveys;

· Archaeological and environmental impact assessments;

· Feasibility Studies;

· Architectural schematic design; and

· Business plan development

The building site was acquired through generous donations from TELUS, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and through a lease of the land with the Cariboo Regional District.

Significant funding for the work to date has been provided by the CRD, Northern Development Initiative Trust, Heritage Canada, Western Economic Development Canada, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition. More than $125,000 has been contributed by the five participating Northern Secwepemc Cultural Society Bands.

The next steps in 2014 include commitments from the five Northern Secwepemc Bands to subsidize the centre’s operations. In 2015/2016 applications for funding the construction will be made as well as the final architectural drawings and tendering of all work. Construction of the complex will begin in 2016 and a tentative opening has been scheduled for May 2017.

“On behalf of the Northern Secwepemc Cultural Society and its five member Bands, I am both pleased and proud to be signing this long-term lease agreement with the Cariboo Regional District,” states Irene Gilbert, President of the Northern Secwepemc Cultural Society. “The signing marks the culmination of many years of hard work by numerous Band members as well as many dedicated and talented professional consultants. Our Society wishes to thank those people and all the Chiefs and Band Councillors who have supported our project throughout our long journey to this point. We look forward to the next steps and are hoping that we will be operating our cultural centre and museum by the spring of 2017.”

“As the Chair of the Cariboo Regional District and on behalf of the Board of Directors and staff, I am proud to be signing this agreement today with the Northern Secwepemc First Nations,” says CRD Chair Al Richmond. “Projects of this nature show what can truly be accomplished when all levels of government, societies and residents work together in collaboration. This is what building communities together is truly about.”

Mumford joins ALC Interior Panel

In today's Kamloops This Week (sister paper to Williams Lake Tribune) - they report that former Cariboo Regional District (CRD) Electoral Area 'K' Director Rick Mumford has been appointed by BC Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick to sit on the Agriculture Land Commission's Interior Panel

In addition to Mr. Mumford, former CRD Administrator Gordon Gillette and Lucille Dempsey will also sit on the panel

Read the full article here

Mr. Mumford was rumoured to be a candidate for Area 'K' of the CRD in this round of local government elections however as a provincial appointee on the ALC, he would normally be prevented from sitting as an elected official.

The extended nomination period for Area 'K' terminates at 4pm today.  Should the CRD receive no nomination for this Electoral Area - the CRD's Chief Election Officer would then have to go to the CRD Board of Directors for a formal appointment of a person to represent Electoral Area 'K' - as per the requirement of Section 78 of the Local Government Act as follows:

Appointment if an insufficient number of candidates are elected

78 (1) If there are fewer candidates declared elected by acclamation under section 76 than there are to be elected, the local government must appoint a person to each vacant office,

(a) in the case of a general local election, within 30 days after the first meeting of the local government at which the persons elected in the election are holding office, and
(b) in other cases, within 30 days after the first meeting of the local government after the declaration of the election results.

(2) If a local government fails to make an appointment required by subsection (1), or if there is no quorum of the local government able to make the appointment, the minister must appoint a person to each vacant office.

(3) A person appointed under this section

(a) must be qualified under section 66 to hold the office, and
(b) must reside in the municipality, electoral area or neighbourhood constituency, as applicable, at the time of appointment.

(4) A person appointed as a member of a local government under this section or any other provision of this Act has the same rights, duties and powers as a person elected as a member.

(5) An enactment that applies to an elected member of a local government applies to a person appointed under this section in the same manner as if the person had been elected at the election in relation to which the appointment is made.

Only the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) Board was the closest to using Section 78 of LGA a number of years ago when no one from the  TNRD's Blue River region came forward to represent that Electoral Area, however at the last minute, a resident of Kamloops came forward as a nominee for Blue River and thus was acclaimed.

We'll know if the CRD Board will make local government history today at 4pm...

Social Media & Local Elections 2014

Today is the 31st day until November 15th when most will vote on General Voting Day to elect an Electoral Area Director (CRD Areas A, B, D, E and I), School Trustee for School District #27 (Zones 4, 5 and 6), School District #28 and Mayors in Quesnel, Williams Lake & 100 Mile House and Councillors (all communities)

Thus to date - we have seen some already take to social media or websites, or both, to ramp their election campaigns

Find below a listing, as of this writing, for those seeking local office who have a Facebook or website page.  I expect this list to grow as we get closer to Nov 5th (Statutory 1st Advance Voting Opportunity)

City of Quesnel:

L-A Roodenburg -

Shawna Siemens -

Ed Coleman -

Kyle Jones -

Sushil Thapar -

Scott Elliot -

Mary Sjostrom - or

Bob Simpson - or

City of Williams Lake:

Surinderpal Rathor - or

Walt Cobb -

John Bjornstrom -

Laurie Walters -

Sue Zacharias -

Bobbie-Jo Macnair -

Craig Smith -

Sue Lachance -

Wayne Lucier -

Tovi Pare -

School District #27 - Zone 5

Deb Bischoff -

Sheila Boehm -

Cariboo Regional District:

Area A:

Susan MacNeill -

Area B:

Heloise Dixon-Warren -

Area D:

Steve Forseth -

Blaine Wiggins -

Area I:

Dylan Cash -

Monday, October 13, 2014

Local Elections and Mountain Biking

In what I expect to be a series of public policy questions to be asked to those running for Williams Lake Council and those running in Cariboo Regional District -- Electoral Areas D and E...

The Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium asks candidates:

1. How will you support mountain biking if elected to office?

2. How do you see mountain biking supporting economic diversification in the region?

3. Do you support permanent funding and support for mountain biking in the Cariboo?

Answering for myself:

1) If elected, I will be pursuing funding for mountain biking through a variety of ways including the local Area 'D' Economic Development Function and potentially the Central Cariboo Recreation Function.  Eventually - I see more stable funds coming through a sub-regional Economic Development Function with potential participation from Electoral Areas/Muncipalities by the pooling of existing resources...

2) Mountain Biking could be an another 'tool in the toolbox' to broaden the 'economic pie' so no one sector is heavily relied upon by local government.  The money they spend here is good for the regional economy and thus lessen the reliance on the forest and mining sectors.  This too would apply to folks working in the Arts/Culture Sector

3) As stated in #1 - I would like to work towards a solution for more reliable funding but with the participation of my fellow CRD Directors and the municipal governments in the region and lobbying the Province to come on board as well

Read more here

Thanksgiving Day 2014

Once a year you get the chance to thank God, your family, friends and every little joy that comes each day.

Make this Thanksgiving, an occasion that you will always remember!

May you have a Happy Thanksgiving!

From BC Premier Christy Clark:

“As we gather with family and friends this weekend, we in British Columbia and Canada have much to be thankful for.

“But during times of plenty, we should never forget those who go wanting. To all those who give their time or money to a good cause this season - thank you.

“I wish you and your family a happy, healthy and safe Thanksgiving.”

Editor's Note -- May Thanksgiving Day today be plentiful for your family.  I have much to be thankful including many friends/family that I count on 364 days of the year..


Saturday, October 11, 2014

Candidate List for Central Cariboo (CRD, City of WL and SD27 - Zones 4,5,6)

City of Williams Lake:

Mayor (4 nominated, 1 to be elected):

COOK, Kerry (incumbent)

COBB, Walt
RATHOR, Surinderpal

City Councillor (12 nominated, 6 to be elected):

BONNELL, Ivan - Councillor (incumbent)
WALTERS, Laurie - Councillor (incumbent)
ZACHARIAS, Sue - Councillor (incumbent)

MACNAIR, Bobbie-Jo
PARE, Tovi
RYLL, Jason
SMITH, Craig

Cariboo Regional District - Areas D and E

Area D:

a) Steve Forseth
b) Blaine Wiggins
c) Pennie Daffurn

Area E:

a) Byron Kemp (incumbent)
b) Phyllis Webstad

Area F - Incumbent Director Joan Sorley re-elected for 4 year term
Area J - Incumbent Director Roger William re-elected for 4 year term
Area K - No nomination received. Period to nominate extended to Tues Oct 14th at 4pm

Referendum Question for WL Residents and those in parts of Areas D, E, F as follows:

Are you in favour of the Cariboo Regional District adopting Bylaws 4906 and 4907, which will authorize the borrowing of up to $10 million over 20 years and increase the Central Cariboo Recreation and Leisure Services annual taxation limit to a maximum of the greater of $3,500,000 or $1.98/$1,000 of assessed value of land and improvements, to provide for the upgrade and renovation of the pool and amenities at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex? (Based on 2014 assessed values, the estimated annual cost to undertake this borrowing and operate the upgraded pool translates to a residential tax rate increase of approximately $40/$100,000. The new taxation limit for recreation services of $3,500,000 translates to a residential tax rate of $148/$100,000 of the net taxable assessed value of land and improvements.)

School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin for Zones 4,5,6):

Zone 4:

a) Christine Dyment
b) Bev Goldstone

Zone 5:

a) Deb Bischoff
b) Sheila Boehm

Zone 6:

a) Brice O'Neill
b) Jana Ross

Friday, October 10, 2014

Candidate List for South Cariboo (CRD, SD27- Zones 1-3 and 100 Mile Council)

Cariboo Regional District:

Incumbent Directors for Areas G and H re-elected by acclamation for 4 year term (Al Richmond, Margo Wagner) while Brian Coakley was elected by acclamation in Electoral Area 'L' for a 4 year term

School District #27 (Zones 1, 2 and 3):

Trustees for Zones 1-3 re-elected by acclamation for 4 year term (Linda Neilsen, Tanya Guenther and Chris Pettman)

District of 100 Mile House:

Mayor (1 to be elected):

a) Mitch Campsall (incumbent)
b) Maureen Pinkney

Councillor (4 to be elected):

a) Bill Hadden (incumbent)
b) Ralph Fossum (incumbent)
c) Spence Henderson (incumbent)
d) Dave Mingo (incumbent)
e) Rita Giesbrecht
f) John McCarvill
g) Peter Reid

Candidate List for North Cariboo - Quesnel/SD28/CRD Areas A, B, C and I

City of Quesnel:

Mayor (1 to be elected) - Mary Sjostrom (incumbent) vs Bob Simpson

Councillor (6 to be elected):

1) Ed Coleman (incumbent)
2) Laurey-Anne Roodenburg (incumbent)
3) Scott Elliot (incumbent)
4) Sushil Thapar incumbent)
5) John Brisco (incumbent)
6) Ron Paull
7) Shawna Siemens
8) Kyle Jones
9) Ernest Gamache

Cariboo Regional District - Areas A, B, and I

Area A (1 to be elected)

1) Ted Armstrong (incumbent)
2) Cory Delves
3) Susan MacNeill

Area B (1 to be elected)

1) Heloise Dixon-Warren (incumbent)
2) Jerry Bruce

Area I (1 to be elected)

1) Jim Glassford (incumbent)
2) Dylan Cash

Area C Director John Massier re-elected via acclamation for 4 year term

Also there is a referendum on HandyDART for those in Areas A, B, C and I. Question is:

Are you in favour of the adoption of Bylaw No. 4917, which would increase the maximum annual taxation for a contribution toward the cost of HandyDART transit services in rural areas to the greater of $70,000 or an amount raised by applying a tax rate of $0.07233/$1,000 to the net taxable value of land and improvements in the service area? (Based on 2014 assessed values, this translates to a maximum residential rate of $7.03/$100,000 to the net taxable assessed value of improvements.)

School District #28 (Quesnel)

School Trustee (7 to be elected)

1) Howie Schonke (incumbent)
2) Tony Goulet (incumbent)
3) Gloria Jackson (incumbent)
4) George Natalizio (incumbent)
5) David Chapman
6) Wendy Clement
7) Mitch Guitard
8) Angela Mezzatesta
9) Julie-Anne Runge

District of Wells:


Robin Sharpe - re-elected by acclamation

Councillor (4 to be elected):

1) Kelsey Dodd
2) Tyler Doerksen
3) Mandy Kilsby
4) Lorraine Kozar
5) Phil Leroy
6) Robert Machan
7) Virginia Wilkins (incumbent)
8) Richard Wright (incumbent)

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Oct 14-17

With the forthcoming Thanksgiving long weekend upon us - only School District #28 (Quesnel), Williams Lake Council, 100 Mile Council and the Central Cariboo Rural Directors Caucus will be meeting next week as follows:

School District #28 (Quesnel) - Regular meeting at 7pm on Wed Oct 15th in the SD28 Boardroom (401 North Star Rd).

View the Agenda here

Williams Lake - Committee of the Whole meeting at 6pm on Tues Oct 14th in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (450 Mart St - Basement).  Only item on the Agenda is a subdivision request from Lance Marshall - 44 Woodland Drive.  View the Agenda here

100 Mile House - Regular Council Meeting at 7pm Tues Oct 14th in 100 Mile Council Chambers (385 Birch Ave).  View the Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District:

a) North Cariboo Joint Committee -- 5:30pm on Tues Oct 14th in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* 3 Delegations
* 2015 Budget Discussions
* Bouchie Lake Project
* North Cariboo Arena 1 Project

View the full Agenda here

b) Central Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus - 3pm on Thursday, Oct 16th in the CRD Committee Room (180D North 3rd Avenue - Williams Lake).  Only item on the Agenda is 2015 Grant in Aide applications.  View the full Agenda here

2014 Nomination Period closes at 4pm today!

Today is the last day that anyone can file a nomination package for Councillor, Mayor, Electoral Area Director or School Trustee in the Cariboo-Chilcotin with the local Chief Election Officer or their designate

The Williams Lake Tribune decries the fact, while there are plenty of choices for Williams Lake Mayor or City Councillor, there appears to be a lack of choices for School District 27 or Cariboo Regional District Areas E/F while there will be a battle for the Area D seat between Steve Forseth & Pennie Daffurn.  Read that editorial here while Tribune/Weekend Advisor columnist Ken Wilson says "Don't Vote, Don't Complain" - read here

Meanwhile - as of 8:30am this morning when Chief Election Officers can resume accepting nominations, here are the formal list of candidates listed by organization:

Wells - No information available.  I have been advised of the fact that incumbent Mayor Robin Sharpe is running for re-election and will all but be acclaimed as of 4pm today.  I also understand that at least two of the four incumbent Councillors there are not planning to seek re-election

Quesnel - It will be, barring a last minute decision, Mary Sjostrom (incumbent) vs Bob Simpson (challenger) for Mayor while it'll be the following for Quesnel City Councillor (6 to be elected):

1) L-A Roodenburg - incumbent
2) Scott Elliot - incumbent
3) Ed Coleman - incumbent
4) John Brisco - incumbent
5) Sushil Thapar - incumbent
6) Shawna Siemens
7) Ron Paull
8) Kyle Jones
9) Ernest Gamache

Also - barring a last minute decision, it appears that current Quesnel City Councillor Mike Cave will not be seeking another term.  If this is confirmed today at 4pm - it will end, in my view, a successful two term run of Mike Cave as Quesnel Councillor and as such - I would wish him the very best in his future endeavours...

Williams Lake - It will be a four way contest for Mayor of Williams Lake consisting of John Bjornstrom, former Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb, current Williams Lake Councillor Surinderpal Rathor and incumbent Mayor Kerry Cook (Cook will be filing her election papers today while the 3 challengers have filed already).  As for WL City Councillors, here is the list of candidates so far (6 to be elected):

1) Ivan Bonnell - incumbent
2) Laurie Walters - incumbent
3) Sue Zacharias - incumbent
4) Peter Bowman
5) Sue Lachance
6) Wayne Lucier
7) Bobbie-Jo Macnair
8) Tovi Pare
9) Craig Smith
10) Jason Ryll
11) Marnie Brenner
12) Scott Nelson (nomination papers to be filed later today)

I have heard that there may be 1 more candidate to come... while it appears that Geoff Bourdon does not plan to seek re-election.  I have sent him an email thanking him for his two terms of public service to the electors of Williams Lake.  Meanwhile - I will be sending the same to outgoing Councillor Danica Hughes as she announced last August that she would not be seeking re-election in the 2014 Local Gov't election

100 Mile House - Barring a last minute nomination -- it'll be a repeat of the 2011 Election of incumbent Mayor Mitch Campsall vs challenger Maureen Pinkney.  While for 100 Mile Councillor (4 to be elected):

1) Ralph Fossum - incumbent
2) Bill Hadden - incumbent
3) Spence Henderson - incumbent
4) Dave Mingo - incumbent
5) Peter Reid
6) John McCarvill
7) Rita Giesbrecht

I am surprised that publicly announced Len Doucette has yet to file his nomination papers.  It appears that he has changed his mind...

Cariboo Regional District:

There will be 6 Electoral Areas being re-elected or elected by acclamation as follows:

Byron Kemp - Area E
Joan Sorley - Area F
Al Richmond - Area G
Margo Wagner - Area H
Jim Glassford - Area I
Brian Coakley - Area L

While there will be battles in Electoral Areas A, B and D as follows:

Area A - Ted Armstrong (incumbent) vs Cory Delves vs Susan MacNeill
Area B - Heloise Dixon-Warren (incumbent) vs Jerry Bruce
Area D - Steve Forseth vs Pennie Daffurn

No word on nominees for Areas J or K although I did talk with current Area J Director Roger William earlier this week and he said that he was indeed running for re-election so he may be filing later today.

No word on any candidate(s) for Area K.  I have also heard, via the grapevine, that Area D may yet have a 3rd competitor in Wildwood resident Oleh Lazarchuk

School District #28 - Quesnel: The 7 up for grabs Board of Education Trustee seats are elected at large (vs by Zone in School District #27).  There are 8 candidates so far as follows:

1) Howie Schonke - incumbent
2) George Natalizio - incumbent
3) Tony Goulet - incumbent
4) Gloria Jackson - incumbent
5) David Jackson
6) Wendy Clement
7) Mitch Guitard
8) Julie-Anne Runge

School District #27 - Cariboo-Chilcotin: The 7 up for grabs Board of Education Trustee seats are elected by Zone.  Unless something drastic changes today - Zones 1,2, 3 and 7 will be acclaimed at 4pm today while Zones 4 and 5 will have election battles.  No one has filed for Zone 6.  Details below:

Zone 1 - Linda Nielsen
Zone 2 - Tanya Guenther
Zone 3 - Chris Pettman
Zone 4 - Christine Dyment vs Bev Goldstone
Zone 5 - Deb Bischoff vs Dr Sheila Boehm
Zone 6 - Vacant
Zone 7 - Joyce Cooper