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

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Forseth establishes new CRD Area 'D' Election FB Page

As part of my plan to get elected as the next Cariboo Regional District Electoral Area 'D' Director - I have setup a Facebook page which you can view here

The only other official candidate for the Electoral Area 'D' Directorship is local Columneetza teacher Pennie Daffurn.

The actual election is November 15th with Advanced Voting on Wed Nov 5th and Mon Nov 10th.  Advanced Voting takes place at the CRD Office in Williams Lake (180D North 3rd Avenue - across from 7-11).  Details on voting places for General Voting on Nov 15th will be announced by the Cariboo Regional District in late October...


Local Election Expense Limits Cmte Appt'd

Courtesy of the BC Government:

The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia has appointed an all-party Special Committee on Local Elections Expense Limits.

The committee’s recommendations will support the development of legislation and regulations necessary to implement expense limits for local elections in 2018. Expense-limit rules are intended to apply to municipalities, regional district electoral areas, boards of education, special purpose local governments and third party advertisers.

Following consultation with key stakeholders, the committee will make recommendations to the Legislative Assembly in two phases.

Phase 1: By Nov. 27, 2014, the committee will consider and make recommendations regarding the principles for establishing the relationship between elector organizations and their candidates with respect to expense limits and principles for establishing expense limits for third-party advertisers participating in B.C.’s local government elections.

Phase 2: By June 12, 2015, the committee will consider and make recommendations on expense limit amounts for candidates. Among other things, the committee will consider spending data from the 2014 elections and a model of a flat-rate amount in jurisdictions with fewer than 10,000 people, and a per capita formula for those over 10,000 people.

The committee's work will draw upon the joint UBCM - B.C. Government Local Government Elections Task Force report and the results of public consultations on expense limits conducted by the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development from November, 2013 to January, 2014.

Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart -- Committee convener says:

“To keep our democracy strong, we are continuing to update the rules governing local elections. Establishing fair, effective expense limits that reflect the diversity of B.C.’s communities will mark another important step in modernising local government elections in British Columbia.”

Members of the Committee are:

Jackie Tegart - Convener
Mike Bernier - BC Liberal (Peace River South)
Gary Holman  - BC NDP (Saanich North and the Islands)
Marvin Hunt - BC Liberal (Surrey-Panarama)
Jenny Kwan - BC NDP (Vancouver - Mt Pleasant)
Linda Reimer - BC Liberal (Port Moody-Coquitlam)
Selina Robinson - BC Liberal (Coquitlam - Maillardville)
Sam Sullivan - BC Liberal (Vancouver - False Creek)

Zacharias makes twelve!

Today - incumbent WL City Councillor Sue Zacharias filed her nomination papers at WL City Hall and then went to the local media and declared her intention to seek her 3rd consecutive term on Williams Lake City Council

Read more here

Councillor Zacharias other challengers for the 6 WL City Council seats are:

1) Ivan Bonnell - incumbent Councillor
2) Laurie Walters - incumbent Councillor
3) Peter Bowman
4) Sue Lachance
5) Jason Ryll
6) Craig Smith
7) Bobbie-Jo Macnair
8) Wayne Lucier
9) Marnie Brenner
10) Tovi Pare
11) Scott Nelson (he will file his nomination papers Friday)

Deadline for all candidates to file is 4pm Friday


WL Council Nominations - Day 8 of 9

With less than 24 hours to go before the formal 2014 Nomination Period closes - the City of Williams Lake received 2 new nomination packages from incumbent WL City Councillors Ivan Bonnell and Sue Zacharias

As of this writing, here are the official City of Williams Lake Council candidates:

Office of Mayor - City of WL:

1) John Bjornstrom
2) Walt Cobb
3) Surinderpal Rathor

Office of City Councillor - City of WL:

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

Elsewhere in the Region:

Wells  - No information

Quesnel - Incumbent Mayor Mary Sjostrom filed her Mayoral papers.  For Councillor: Ernest Gamache and Kyle Jones

100 Mile House - Rita Giesbrecht filed her Councillor papers

SD28 - Several filed today.  There is now 8 Board of Education Trustee candidates

SD27 - Deb Bischoff and Sheila Boehm both filed for Zone 5 today.  Christine Dyment filed today for Zone 4 while incumbent Zone 3 Trustee (District of 100 Mile House) Chris Pettman filed his papers for re-election

Cariboo Regional District: Area E Director Byron Kemp filed his re-election papers while Area A Director hopeful Susan MacNeill filed her papers today

Deadline to file is at 4pm tomorrow

BREAKING NEWS: Scott Nelson seeks WL City Councillor seat

In news that did not entirely surprise me -- Scott Nelson, former Mayor of Williams Lake, contacted me this afternoon to state that he is indeed running and only for the position of City Councillor

The key theme in his campaign will be Jobs and the Economy!!

Earlier today - he made his formal announcement with the local media and will be filing his nomination papers Friday with WL City Hall.

With Mr. Nelson's announcement - he will be the final candidate (12), in my humble opinion, for WL City Councillor who are seeking the 6 WL City Councillor seats.  The others running for election or re-election as WL City Councillor are:

1) Sue Zacharias - incumbent
2) Ivan Bonnell - incumbent
3) Laurie Walters - incumbent
4) Sue Lachance
5) Peter Bowman
6) Bobbie-Jo Macnair
7) Marnie Brenner
8) Craig Smith
9) Jason Ryll
10) Tovi Pare
11) Wayne Lucier

CRD/TNG engage in Relationship Building

Joint Release of the Cariboo Regional District and the Tsilhqot’in National Government/

On October 7th the Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG) and Cariboo Regional District (CRD) engaged in a Community-to-Community forum as an initial step in relationship-building within a post Aboriginal Title environment.

Attended by a majority of directors and senior staff from each organization, the morning was dedicated to introductions in an effort to increase understanding of the respective backgrounds, roles and responsibilities of each individual. Topics within the agenda included engagement/communication processes, solid waste management and emergency management. The day-long forum concluded by setting next steps in relationship building, including further forums of a similar nature.


Chief Joe Alphonse, Tribal Chairman of the Tsilhqot’in National Government:
“Today was about building trust, respect and an understanding in order to move forward in a positive manner. We have our differences but need to come together around our common interests and goals. Engaging with organizations and different levels of government takes time and energy, but developing resilient and long-term relationships will benefit everyone in the Chilcotin and broader area. The TNG is hopeful that these initial steps will improve relations with the CRD.”

Chair Al Richmond, Cariboo Regional District:

“This meeting was a positive first step in developing a solid working relationship with the TNG based on mutual trust and respect,” said CRD Chair Al Richmond. “We will continue working together to identify areas of common interest and improve on past performances, while gaining a better understanding of our cultures and governance models; this is what building communities together is all about.”

99 Mile Accessible Trail Officially Open

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District: 

The 99 Mile recreation area in the South Cariboo is the latest community in the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) for development of a wheelchair accessible wilderness trail. The 99 Mile Accessible Trail was built in partnership between the Cariboo Regional District (CRD); the Hun City Mountain Bike Club Society; the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development through the BC Community Recreation Program; Northern Development Initiative Trust; and the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition.

Approximately 1.7 kilometres long, the trail winds through verdant forest and features four viewpoints, including one overlooking a wetland and another providing an expansive view of 100 Mile House and Stephenson Lake.  Accessible picnic tables and benches are interspersed along the trail route. The trail terminates at the Nordic Beanstalk cabin site, which features the cabin and a fire pit as well as an accessible outhouse and accessible picnic table. 

“The Cariboo Regional District is to be applauded for making wheelchair accessible trails a priority. For people with mobility issues, providing accessibility is more than just creating smoother pathways. It’s about opening up opportunities to participate more fully in life,” said The Honourable Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. "Its completion represents one of approximately 13 accessible trail upgrades in the Cariboo region that we were pleased to support with a grant of $401,250 through the Community Recreation Program.”

“I am extremely pleased that we have now completed the 99 Mile Accessible Trail,” stated CRD Chair and Electoral Area G Director, Al Richmond. “This is the next step in making the Cariboo Chilcotin one of the most attractive wheelchair accessible tourism destinations in the world. Projects such as the 99 Mile Trail show what can be accomplished through regional collaboration and commitment to improving the quality of life for residents and visitors of all abilities.”

“Northern Development is proud to have provided financial support for this project through our Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program,” said Northern Development Initiative Trust CEO Janine North. “The development of these wheelchair accessible wilderness trails means that more people will be able to enjoy this beautiful part of our province, which will increase recreation opportunities and visitor numbers to the area.”

“This is the kind of regional project that the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition is excited to be a part of,” stated CCBAC Chair, Chad Mernett.  It is an excellent example of what can be accomplished when supported by partnerships which demonstrate cooperation and collaboration.  Projects such as the 99 Mile Trail improve our communities by making our region accessible to all, and enhance the visitor experience in the Cariboo Chilcotin.”

“Our Club is very excited to showcase the new fully accessible trail at 99 Mile Hill,” said Hun City Mountain Bike Club Society Director, Steve Law. “We would like to thank all of our partners who joined us in making this trail a reality. People who could not previously experience this area are now included and will really enjoy this beautiful trail.”

The trail has a packed, six foot wide crushed gravel surface and a gentle grade, interspersed with a 600m section of moderate difficulty and a 100m steeper section of higher difficulty. 

The 99 Mile Accessible Trail is located about 2 km south of 100 Mile House at the Hun City Mountain Bike Club parking area. Ongoing management of the site is provided by the Hun City Mountain Bike Club.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

WL Council Nominations - Day 7 of 9

The City of Williams Lake accepted two new nominations with two days to go prior to the close of the 2014 Nomination Period - Mayoral candidate Surinderpal Rathor and Councillor candidate Tovi Pare.

As of 4:30pm today - here is the official candidate list for Mayor or Councillor:

Office of Mayor:

1) John Bjornstrom
2) Walt Cobb
3) Surinderpal Rathor

Office of City Councillor:

1) Peter Bowman
2) Marnie Brenner
3) Sue Lachance
4) Wayne Lucier
5) Bobbie-Jo Macnair
6) Tovi Pare
7) Jason Ryll
8) Craig Smith
9) Laurie Walters (incumbent)

Deadline to file is Friday at 4pm

Meanwhile elsewhere in the Region:

Cariboo Regional District - Area 'B' Director Heloise Dixon-Warren and Area 'I' Director Jim Glassford filed their nomination papers.  Area 'D' challenger Pennie Daffurn has filed her nomination papers.  Only Electoral Areas 'E', 'J' and 'K' have yet to file a nomination package.

School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) - Zone 4 Trustee candidate Bev Goldstone and Zone 7 Trustee Joyce Cooper filed their nomination papers

School District #28 (Quesnel) - 1 new nominee for the 7 member Board of Education.  5 nominees to date

Quesnel - Councillor Scott Elliot filed his nomination papers.  Only incumbent Councillor Mike Cave has not

100 Mile House - Incumbent Councillor Ralph Fossum and Councillor candidate Peter Reid (chair of the local Agriplex) has filed

Pare makes ten!

In a surprise to me - local business owner, Tori Pare, has established a Facebook page and declared that she will be running for one of the six WL City Councillor seats.  View that page here

Ms. Pare runs "Event Essentials", a local event rental place in Williams Lake

Ms. Pare says on her Facebook page:

"On November 15th 2014, vote for positive change within our community. I am invested in and strive for a safe, prosperous, entertaining city."

Other than that, no word on her election platform. The other candidates for WL City Councillor are:

1) Ivan Bonnell - incumbent Councillor
2) Laurie Walters - incumbent Councillor
3) Peter Bowman
4) Bobbie-Jo Macnair
5) Wayne Lucier
6) Craig Smith
7) Jason Ryll
8) Marnie Brenner
9) Sue Lachance

Deadline to file is Friday at 4pm


Rathor opens his campaign office

This morning, in front of 48 supporters, Williams Lake Mayoral Candidate (and City Councillor) Surinderpal Rathor opened his campaign election office.  He also took the time to address his supporters.  Watch that video below:

Rathor will be filing his nomination papers for Mayor this afternoon with Cindy Bouchard (City of WL Chief Election Officer).

After that, only current Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook will be left to file her Mayor nomination papers with the deadline to file being Friday at 4pm


Update at 4:17pm - Wed Oct 8th:

Goat/Cariboo Country interviews Rathor on his Mayoral bid.  Click here

Quesnel Election 2014 - FAQ #2

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

WL Council Nominations - Day 6 of 9 (updated)

The City of Williams Lake received two new nomination packages today.  The official candidate list is:

1) John Bjornstrom - Mayor
2) Walt Cobb - Mayor

1) Marnie Brenner - Councillor
2) Sue Lachance - Councillor
3) Wayne Lucier - Councillor
4) Bobbie-Jo Macnair - Councillor
5) Craig Smith - Councillor
6) Peter Bowman - Councillor
7) Jason Ryll - Councillor

The above 7 Councillor candidates comprise the entire publicly declared list of people running for the Office of City Councillor - City of Williams Lake.  Only the 3 Incumbent City Councillors - Bonnell, Walters and Zacharias have yet to file their nomination papers

Meanwhile - Wells/100 Mile report no new nominations.  Quesnel Councillor L-A Roodenburg reports on her Facebook profile that she has filed.  So it is 6 for Quesnel Councillor and 1 for Quesnel Mayor as of this writing

Both local School Districts (SD28 in Quesnel and SD27 in Williams Lake/100 Mile) report no new nominations

Finally - only Electoral Areas E, I, J and K in the Cariboo RD have yet to table a nomination package

It seems everyone is waiting until the last moment to file so we should see increased activity between tomorrow to Friday...


WL Council Highlights - Oct 7th mtg

Present - Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Hughes, Rathor, and Zacharias

Absent - Councillor L.T. Walters


Darrell Garceau - City Manager
Cindy Bouchard - Mgr of Legislative Services
Tom Chung - IT Manager
Nigel Whitehead - Planner
Deb Radolla - Active Living Manager
Ken MacInnis - Communications Coordinator

Meeting called to order at 6pm
Meeting Agenda accepted/Sept 16th WL Council meeting minutes adopted


1) Bob Macnair from Steelworkers local 1-425 appeared before Council to discuss Enforce the Westray Amendments to Canada's Criminal Code (view here).

A Question/Answer period ensued
Mayor Cook, on behalf of Council, thanked Mr. Macnair for his time/information

Resolved -- Item be referred to Staff for a report for presentation at next Committee of the Whole meeting


1)Council received for information the accounts payable computer cheque listings for the periods ending September 18, 25 and October 2, 2014

2) Council ratified an email poll of Sept 18/19th authorizing a Special Occasion Liquor License on Friday, October 3, 2014 at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex, pursuant to City policy and subject to RCMP approval

3) Council approved the permissive property tax exemptions for 2015 and Bylaw No. 2221 was introduced and given 1st, 2nd and 3rd Reading

4) Council gave 1st, 2nd and 3rd Reading to Bylaw No. 2222, being a Bylaw of the City of Williams Lake to provide for the Borrowing of Money in Anticipation of Revenue - 2015

5) Council awarded the contract for External Audit Services to Fraser Bevz Broughton Chartered Accountants LLP for a three (3) year term, beginning with the 2014 financial audit and with an option to extend for two (2) additional years, at the bid price of $27,499 per year, excluding GST

6) Council endorsed submission of a funding application to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure's Cycling Infrastructure Partnerships Program for the eligible costs of the bicycle related infrastructure of the Highway 97 / Toop Road / Carson Drive intersection improvements project

7) Council ratified a Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee recommendation as follows:

That pursuant to Central Cariboo / City of Williams Lake Joint Committee Report #17-2014, delegation status at the October 15th Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) Board Meeting in Prince George, BC be requested; and further, that the Mayor or alternate be authorized to attend in support of the proposal for the waiving of NDIT policy to allow for submission of a grant application in excess of the $250,000 limit for the pool renovations and upgrade project.

8) Council approved the annual Halloween Fireworks Show & Bonfire on Friday, October 31, 2014 at 7:15 PM at the Williams Lake Stampede Grounds

9) Council awarded the three (3) year contract, from 2015 to 2017, for the production and printing of the Williams Lake and Area Active Living Guide for the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex to Black Press Group Ltd. (Williams Lake Tribune) for the bid price of $29,700

10) Upon the recommendation of the Social Planning Council -- Council authorized a letter be written to the Thompson Rivers University in support of them offering a full-time Early Childhood Education diploma program at the Williams Lake Campus.

11) Council adopted Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 2220 - Mark & Sandra Chipman (533 Gibbon St)

12) Council adopted 3 Committee of the Whole recommendations, and rejected one as follows:

a) That pursuant to Committee of Whole Council Report #32-2014, the report of the Engineering Technologist dated September 24, 2014 regarding revisions made to the proposed changes to Highway 97 as identified in the Road Safety Audit be received and Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure be advised that the City has no objections to closure of the Jubilee Place driveway off Carson Drive and relocation of the main entrance and reception to the rear of the complex at no cost to the City.

Approved by the following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, and Zacharias
Negative - Councillors D. Hughes and SPS Rathor

b) That pursuant to Committee of Whole Council Report #33-2014, after consideration of the revisions made to the Highway 97 Project as identified in the Road Safety Audit, Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure be advised that Council approves the closure of Western Avenue highway access with a south bound right in movement only subject to coordination of improvements to Donald Road.

Rejected by the following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook and Councillors Bourdon and Zacharias
Negative - Councillors I. Bonnell, D. Hughes and SPS Rathor

c) That pursuant to Committee of Whole Council Report #34-2014, the report of the Planner dated September 26, 2014 be received and Council approve the name of "Stevenson Place", as per Street Naming Policy No. 157, for the extension of road currently identified at 199 Eagle Crescent; and further, Council direct staff to bring forward to a regular Council meeting City of Williams Lake Street Naming Bylaw No. 2221, 2014, designating the name "Stevenson Place" for the portion of Road proposed to be dedicated over Lot 13, District Lots 8840 and 8841, Cariboo District, Plan PGP39470, Except Plan PGP45352 off "Eagle Crescent"

Approved by the following vote:

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

d) That pursuant to Committee of Whole Council Report #35-2014, the report of the Director of Financial Services regarding Five Year Roads and Streets Plan be received and referred to the 2015 budget discussions together with further details on utilities and financial costs.

13) Council authorized the 2nd Annual Halloween Zombie Walk 2014 which will take place Friday, October 31, 2014 at 5:00 PM from Herb Gardner Park to the Potato House at 49 Borland Street, as a sidewalk procession

14) At the request of the local Legion, Council authorized the following:

a) approval of the Poppy Campaign sale days from October 27 to November 11, 2014;
b) encourage the community to attend the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Gibraltar Room on November 11, 2014;
c) approve the parade route on November 11, 2014 as indicated and Staff coordinate the placement of barricades as requested; and approval be given for the use of the City Hall lobby for accumulation of Wreath and Crosses before and after the service parade; and further,
d) proclaim the week of November 4 to 11, 2014 as "Veterans' Week" in the City of Williams Lake, pursuant to City Policy, and approval be given to display the Legion Flag on the City's flag pole for this week.

15) Council received for information a press release from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations dated September 23, 2014 regarding the new Rural Advisory Council struck to support government decisions in relation to rural communities, and the September 2014 report titled 'Supporting Rural Development: Creating a Voice for Rural British Columbia'

16) Council proclaimed the following:

a) "Foster Family Month" - October 2014
b) "Small Business Week" - October 19 to 25, 2014

17) Council received the "Council Information Package" as of Oct 7th as follows:

• September 12, 2014 - CRD Board Highlights;
• September 19, 2014 - Social Planning Council 'Community Updates';
• September 23, 2014 - Auditor General for Local Government re Annual Report;
• September 24, 2014 - AMTA Update on New Membership Program;
• September 25, 2014 - NDIT 'Building a Stronger North' Newsletter;
• October 3, 2014 - Social Planning Council 'Community Update'

Meeting adjourned at 7:40pm

Dixon-Warren vs Bruce for CRD Area B Directorship

In an interesting surprise - Jerry Bruce, VP of Babcon Industries in Quesnel, has filed his nomination papers for the Cariboo RD Electoral Area 'B' Directorship.  Meanwhile - on her Facebook community page (view here) - Cariboo RD Area 'B' Director Heloise Dixon-Warren confirms that she will be filing her own nomination papers on Wednesday

As of this writing - there is no information why Mr. Bruce is seeking the CRD Area B seat although more information may be forthcoming in Wednesday's Quesnel Cariboo Observer

Elsewhere in the Regional District:

Ted Armstrong vs Cory Delves for Area 'A'
John Massier in Area 'C'
Steve Forseth in Area 'D'
Joan Sorley in Area 'F'
Al Richmond in Area 'G'
Margo Wagner in Area H'
Bruce Coakley in Area 'L'

Deadline for all candidates to file their nomination papers is Friday at 4pm


NC Arena renamed "West Fraser Centre"

Joint Release of Cariboo Regional District/City of Quesnel:

The Cariboo Regional District (CRD), the City of Quesnel and West Fraser are delighted to announce the North Cariboo Arena Project’s official naming as the West Fraser Centre.

“I would like to sincerely thank West Fraser for their continued support of our North Cariboo communities,” stated CRD Vice-Chair Ted Armstrong. “Your generosity and financial support of this project is a testament of dedication to the North Cariboo and its residents.”

“West Fraser’s contribution to our new arena is very much appreciated and I thank them for standing behind their original commitment to the project. This is a corporation who has supported many initiatives in our community,” said Quesnel Mayor Mary Sjostrom. "I look forward to the first event in the West Fraser Centre.”

“Our employees and their families have built their lives here. It’s important for all of us to be a part of making Quesnel an exceptional place to live,”
said Ray Ferris, West Fraser’s VP of Wood Products. “We are pleased to support the continued vitality of the communities of Quesnel and the Cariboo through the West Fraser Centre, which will be a lasting benefit to the health and well-being of everyone in the region.”

An early supporter of the project, West Fraser’s steadfast commitment of $1 million to the arena project is a $500,000 contribution and an additional $500,000 of matching monies to encourage community donations. West Fraser’s donation means every dollar of local community fundraising contributions, including the seat sale program and the mural, will bring the project closer to its funding goals. 

A celebration to recognize the naming of West Fraser Centre and community kick-off of the project is being planned for October 24, 2014.

West Fraser Centre will be an energy efficient “green” structure that will house a 1,600-seat arena with a regulation size ice surface and dry floor space for arena programs and events to be run year round. The Centre will also feature an indoor walking track and rooms for community meetings and gatherings. Be part of it - West Fraser will match your contributions! Donation options start at just $25, visit for details and donation forms.