Friday, October 9, 2015

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Oct 13-16

Next week - the following local governments are holding meetings next week:

Williams Lake - Council-in-Committee on Tuesday, Oct 13th at 6pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (Basement - 450 Mart St).  On the Agenda:

* Proposed MOU between the City of WL/Central Interior Rural Division of Family Practice
* Review of Proclamation Policy - City of WL
* Review Draft MOU between the City of WL and the Cariboo Regional District

Following the Open Meeting - WL Council will go into a Closed Council-in-Committee session under the provisions of Sections 90(1e/k - land/negotiations) of the Community Charter

View the full Agenda here

100 Mile House - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, Oct 13th at 7pm in 100 Mile Council Chambers.  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

Cariboo Regional District:

North Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus - 3pm on Tuesday, Oct 13th in the CRD Quesnel Office (401 Kinchant St, up from the Quesnel Library.  Only item on the Agenda is an Ec Dev update from CRD Area 'I' Director Dylan Cash.  The full Agenda can be viewed here

North Cariboo Joint Committee - 5:30pm on Tuesday, Oct 13th in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* 2016 Budget Amendment - Confined Space Agreement
* Facility Condition Assessments - Bouchie Lake and Barlow Creek
* 2016 Business Plan and Budget for North Cariboo Recreation/Parks

The North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee will also hold an In-Camera meeting under the provisions of Sections 90(1c/k - labour/negotiations) of the Community Charter

View the full Agenda here

Have a great/safe long weekend


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Cariboo-Chilcotin PACs get support from provincial grant program

Courtesy of the BC Government Caucus:

The B.C. government has provided $86,680 to Parent Advisory Councils (PACs) and the District Parent Advisory Committee (DPAC) in the Cariboo-Chilcotin School District to help support student activities outside of the classroom.

Councils in Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, 108 Mile Ranch, Lone Butte, Forest Grove, Lac La Hache, Anahim Lake and Bridge Lake are receiving grants.

The funds will be used to enhance the student experience through extracurricular activities. These grants cover various costs, including sporting equipment, musical instruments, playground equipment and field trips.

“These are annual grants that help empower parents to be involved in their child’s school,” Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett said. “PACs provide many great services that enhance the school experience for our young people.”

“Parent Advisory Councils provide our students with access to extra-curricular activities,” Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes said. “These activities help students develop lifelong skills like leadership and teamwork. I would like to thank the PAC groups for their work.”
The parent-run councils help ensure B.C.’s children have access to activities that ensure the development of a well-rounded educational background.

Overall, nearly $11.1 million has been delivered to over 1,400 PACs and DPACs throughout British Columbia for the 2015-16 school year. The funding is through the provincial government’s community gaming grant programs.

Local PACs receive $20 per student, while DPACs receive a flat rate of $2,500. The grant funds must remain under the management and control of those that receive them. Funds cannot be used for, or transferred to, curricular purposes or to schools or school districts or their activities or programs.

The provincial government distributes $135 million annually in community gaming grants to benefit more than 5,000 local organizations representing virtually every community in the province.

Celebrating Women’s History Month in B.C.

Courtesy of the BC Government Caucus:

Women’s History Month in British Columbia was officially launched today with a ceremony at the provincial Legislative Assembly in Victoria. 

Each year, a theme is selected to acknowledge the achievements of British Columbia women in a particular area or field and who have led the way for others to follow. This year’s theme was unveiled as Trailblazing Women in British Columbia’s Justice System

Recognized at the ceremony as trailblazers in B.C. justice system were:
·         Mabel French, the first women called to the B.C. bar;
·         Helen Gregory MacGill, B.C.’s first female judge; 
·         Edith Paterson; the female member of the Law Society of British Columbia to become a judge;
·         Patricia Proudfoot; the first female appointee to the B.C. Supreme Court;
·         Beverly McLachlin, the first female Chief Justice of both the B.C. Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of Canada; and
·         Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond, British Columbia’s first female Attorney General. 

“To be acknowledged with such distinguished company is an honour and also very humbling. The legacies created by these pioneers have paved the way for generations of women to achieve their dreams and become successful participants in the justice system,” said Bond, who is also B.C.’s Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Development and Minister Responsible for Labour. “Less than 100 years ago, women could not vote in provincial elections or federal elections. Our voices were literally silenced. Today women are leaders in the legal, political, academic and business worlds. Women’s History Month is an opportunity to celebrate and reflect on the accomplishments of women who have made a difference in our province.”

Today, British Columbia is the only province where the posts of the Lieutenant Governor, the Premier and the Speaker of the Legislature are held by women.

1917 marked the first year women in B.C. were allowed to vote in provincial elections. Also in 1917, B.C. became the first province to grant mothers the same rights as fathers over the custody, control and care of their own children. In 1921 B.C. was the first province to pass maternity leave legislation. British Columbia remains the only province that has been home to a female Prime Minister.

Since 1992, Women’s History Month is celebrated in Canada every October. The month was chosen as Person’s Dayfalls on Oct. 18, recognizing the landmark 1929 Persons Case decision that Section 24 of the British North America Actmust apply equally to women, making them eligible for appointment to the Canadian Senate.

Quesnel City Council Maintains Focus on Cost Control

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

 “As part of its continuing efforts to ensure Quesnel remains a vibrant and resilient community through this transition period, Council has continued to focus on reducing the City’s operating costs and this week we’re announcing some staff and service changes that will help us achieve our target of $525,000 in cost reductions for the 2016 budget,” said Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson.

Earlier this year Quesnel City Council implemented staff changes at City Hall that will result in a net savings of approximately $250,000 starting in 2016. This week Council announced further program and service changes in an effort to achieve the remainder of its targeted cost reductions for 2016. These changes include:

·        Taking advantage of an attrition opportunity to restructure administrative staff at the RCMP detachment;
·        changing the hours of operation at the Quesnel & District Museum to seasonal (May to September) rather than year-round;
·        renegotiating the contract for the Quesnel & District Visitors Center; and,
·        making changes to residential garbage pick-up and landfill operating hours.

Starting the week of November 16, residential garbage pick-up will occur every two weeks rather than weekly. Also starting November 16, the landfill will be closed Mondays and statutory holidays with the exception of Boxing Day. 

Bi-weekly residential garbage pick-up will be aligned with MMBC’s recycling materials pick-up, the revised schedule will be posted on our website shortly.

“The changes to residential garbage pick-up frequency and landfill operating hours are the first steps in Council’s review of our entire waste management system,” said Mayor Simpson. “Council’s overarching goal is to develop and implement a comprehensive waste reduction and recycling strategy that will simultaneously achieve environmental, climate change, and cost reduction objectives.”

“This week’s announced changes to staffing, service levels, and operating hours are all part of Council’s commitment to ensure that the City of Quesnel is fiscally prudent and sustainable,” said Mayor Simpson.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Xat'sull First Nations/WL Indian Band express concern over recent comments from WL Mayor Walt Cobb

Courtesy of the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council:

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Leaders of the Xat’sull First Nation (“XFN”) and Williams Lake Indian Band (“WLIB”) today issued a statement expressing concern over comments made by Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb in a recent CBC interview regarding a UBCM resolution proposing an environmental bill of rights. In particular, XFN and WLIB are dismayed by Mayor Cobb’s statements during the course of that interview that downplay the impacts of the Mount Polley Mine dam failure.

According to Mayor Cobb, the August 4, 2014 release of approximately 17 million cubic meters of water and 8 million cubic meters of tailings/materials into the Quesnel Lake watershed, an area important for salmon spawning and with great First Nations cultural value, does not constitute an environmental disaster. Mayor Cobb compared the Mount Polley event to a mudslide on the Sea-to-Sky Highway and stated, “The stuff that came out of there was water. There were no chemicals in that water.”

Water quality sampling to date has shown elevated levels of potentially harmful substances, including copper, in the receiving environment post-breach. Ongoing monitoring and assessment is being undertaken by the Mine and the Province, with input from XFN and WLIB and their team of experts, to better understand the impacts of the spill, both chemical and otherwise.

“Mayor Cobb’s comments excessively minimize the scope and gravity of the Mount Polley incident,” states WLIB Chief, Ann Louie. “This was no mere mudslide – it was a disaster that resulted in the complete evacuation of mine-related water and slurry from a tailings storage facility that was nearly four square kilometres in size. There have been relatively few incidents of this magnitude in the world, and so proper diligence must be exercised and appropriate research must be conducted before we can draw any conclusions about the possible long-term effects of the Mount Polley disaster. I would submit that Mayor Cobb’s statements are thoroughly misleading, and that they will only service to foment anger and division within our community, and in this country in general. We should not be denying the significance of this event – we should be working together, meaningfully and determinedly, to ensure it is fully understood and that best practices for remediation and restoration are implemented. ”

Both XFN and WLIB recognize the need to align resource extraction practices with more reasonable standards for environmental stewardship. “Our First Nations are not interested in stifling the economy in the Cariboo, or anywhere else,” adds XFN Chief, Donna Dixon. “We do, however, acknowledge that there are numerous shortcomings in existing environmental legislation, policy and standards. We need to renovate this framework to create a more viable and sustainable system. I don’t think that this position is unreasonable. It is a goal that we believe should be shared by all British Columbians. We only have a future, economic or otherwise, if we exercise proper stewardship of our lands and our resources.”

For more information on this media release, or the WLIB and XFN response to the Mount Polley disaster, please contact Julia Banks, XFN Natural Resources Manager, at (250) 989-2323 or Aaron Higginbottom, WLIB Natural Resources Manager, at (250) 296-3507

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

WL Council Highlights - Oct 6th mtg

Present: Mayor W. Cobb; Councillors I. Bonnell, S. Nelson, J. Ryll, C. Smith, L. Walters and S. Zacharias

Meeting called to order at 6pm
Minutes of Council's September 15th meeting adopted and meeting Agenda with 1 Late Item adopted


Councillor Bonnell declared a conflict of interest on the Delegation as it related to Canada Post and left the meeting at 6:01pm

Peter Epp appeared before Council to discuss Location of Community Mailbox at Birch Hill and Hazel Street

Mayor Cobb, on behalf of Council, thanked Mssrs Epp/Moffat for their time/information


1) That the Mayor continue to work with Canada Post to move the Community Mailbox from Birch Hill to a more suitable location

2) That Canada Post work with affected residents' to have community mailboxes in a safe location with regard to accessibility and lighting

Councillor Bonnell returned to the meeting at 6:23pm


1) Council received the accounts payable computer cheque listings for the periods ending September 17 and 24, 2015

Councillor Nelson declared a potential conflict of interest on the next item and left the meeting at 6:23pm

2) Council approved the permissive property tax exemptions for 2016 and gave Bylaw No. 2238 (Property Tax Permissive for years 2016-2025) 1st, 2nd and 3rd Readings

Councillor Nelson returned to the meeting at 6:24pm

3) After 3 members of the public addressed Council on DVP #1-2015 and receiving 8 letters both for and against the DVP  - Council rejected DVP #1-2015 (MacPine Developments - 18 Woodland Drive) by the following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor W. Cobb; Councillors Scott Nelson and Laurie Walters

Negative - Councillors Ivan Bonnell, Jason Ryll, Sue Zacharias and Craig Smith

4) Council ratified the poll of Council to authorize Special Occasion Liquor Licenses on October 10, 17, 31, November 20, 28, 29, December 6 and 18, 2015 and January 15, 2016 at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex, pursuant to City Policy and subject to RCMP approval

5) Council appointed William Wallace as Chief Financial Officer of the City of Williams Lake in accordance with Sections 146 and 149 of the Community Charter and City of Williams Lake Officers Bylaw No. 2095, 2010

Delgations, cont:

Mark Savard appeared before Council to discuss the recently held Mountain Bike Symposium

Mayor Cobb, on behalf of Council, thanked Mr. Savard for his time/information

Business, cont:

6) Council awarded the contract for the supply and installation of eight LED light standards in two City-owned parking lots, located at 97 First Avenue South and 58 Third Avenue South, to D&S Electric for the bid price of $51,315, excluding applicable taxes.

7) Council received an application for DVP #8-2015 (John & Norma Bos - Interior Lot Line Reduction for Shed - 705 Fourth Avenue North). Council will formally consider this application at its' Nov 3rd meeting)

Councillor Smith declared a conflict on the next item and left the meeting at 7:05pm

8) Council gave 1st/2nd Readings to Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2237 ( Joe Hamel - Addition of 'Carriage House' Use - 1999 Broadway Avenue South) and set the Public Hearing for November 3rd at 7pm in Council Chambers and referred the application to the Cariboo Regional District/MOTI for their review

Councillor Smith returned to the meeting at 7:07pm

9) Council agreed to the following with respect to the 153 Mile Museum/Store:

a) advise the Williams Lake Museum and Historical Society and the Cariboo Regional District of the offer from the Patenaude Family to donate the 153 Mile Store and its contents to the City as a heritage building;

b) direct Staff to issue a Request for Proposals for professional services in evaluating and advising Council, the Regional District and the Museum Society, and that a response be brought forward for consideration by the Central Cariboo / City of Williams Lake Joint Committee;

c) direct Staff to arrange a tour of the historic building and its contents for members of Council, the Regional District and Society Directors.

10) Council awarded the contract for the supply of dried bulk highway salt to Lafarge Asphalt Technologies for the tendered price of $136.80 per metric tonne, excluding applicable taxes.

11) Council received the Sept 16th Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee meeting minutes

12) Council authorized the following with respect to Remembrance Day Ceremonies/Poppy Sales:

a) approve the Poppy Campaign sale days from October 28 to November 11, 2015;
b) encourage the community to attend the Remembrance Day ceremonies at the Gibraltar Room on November 11, 2015;
c) approve the parade route on November 11, 2015 as indicated, and Staff coordinate the placement of barricades as requested;
d) approve the use of the City Hall lobby for accumulation of Wreath and Crosses before and after the service parade; and further,
e) authorize the Legion Flag to be displayed on the City's flag pole for the week of November 4 through 11, 2015.

13) Late Item - Council authorized the following with respect to the 2016 Operation/Capital Budget Process:

* City Staff to review the Planning and Development policies and procedures to ensure that the City of Williams Lake’s application and approval framework is efficient and promotes development and investment in the community

* Council maintain the Water and Sewer utility rate fee structure at the 2015 levels

* Council commit to annual contributions of $200,000 to the Water and Sewer Reserve accounts to ensure that sufficient funds are being raised to address future capital upgrade projects to meet the needs of infrastructure and asset management requirements

* Council support a collaborative approach to assessing the costs associated with Solid Waste Management with the Cariboo Regional District;

* Council target a 0% property tax increase for the 2016 Budget

* Council direct a 2% reduction in the respective departmental budgets be achieved from the 2015 approved budget levels

* Council direct senior staff to bring forward, within the 5 Year Capital Plan, options for a 10% annual reduction in Capital spending;

* Council support and maintain the principle of no long- term borrowing beyond Council’s current term of office.

13) Council received the Oct 6th 'Council Information Package' as follows:

• September 11, 2015 - CRD Board Highlights;
• September 15, 2015 - Green Communities Committee re 2014 Corporate Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions;
• October 2, 2015 - CRD Board Highlights.

Members of Council reported on their recent activities

Meeting adjourned at 7:35pm

Finance Cmte Mtg (WL Council) - Oct 6th

Present: Councillor Nelson (Chair); and Councillors J. Ryll and C. Smith

Also Present: Mayor W.Cobb; Councillors Zacharias, Walters, and Bonnell (entered meeting at 5:37pm)

Meeting called to order at 5:30pm

Agenda Adopted


1) Woodland Drive Water/Sewer  - Capital Project Funding

A report was presented to the Committee from Councillors Nelson, Ryll and Smith
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That the Committee recommend to Council:

A Development Policy Initiative for Woodland Drive be established for upgrading water/sewer for Woodland Drive;

Council support/endorse a contribution level of $1 million over a four year period as the City's contribution level in assisting the upgrading of water/sewer in the Woodland Dr area and the lands beyond and will raise $1 million over a 4 year period

Council initiate an updated cost analysis in late 2016 for funding partners and others to assist in reducing the overall costs and acknowledge in the funding formula that the City is contributing $1 million

Meeting adjourned at 5:55pm

Quesnel Council Highlights - Oct 5th meeting

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Green Spaces, Parks & Recreation Plan
After hearing the Executive Summary recommendations for the draft Master Parks Plan (“Plan”), Council asked Staff to bring forward a report to the October 21-22, 2015 Strategic Planning sessions.  This report will remove the Plan’s recommendations that are already in progress by the City and will group recommendations that have not been commenced according to the corporation’s strategic goals with the focus aimed at reducing operational spending while strategically enhancing the City’s green spaces/parks within the City’s capital budget planning process.

Street, Traffic and Parking Bylaw
Over the past eight months, the Policy and Bylaw Review Committee has been reviewing and updating the City’s Street, Traffic and Parking Bylaw (“Bylaw”).  The proposed new Bylaw will consolidate and update six previous bylaws dating back to 1965.  The main areas of focus have been regulations around anti-idling of vehicles on public property and obstruction of sidewalks when soliciting on streets/sidewalks.  Vehicles parked on public property shall not idle a vehicle for longer than five consecutive minutes, with a few exceptions such as emergency vehicles or vehicles actively loading/unloading passengers.  Sidewalk traffic cannot be obstructed by a person squatting, kneeling, sitting, or lying down, with a few exceptions such as a medical emergency.  This Bylaw also includes a $150.00 fine for illegally parked vehicles in an Accessible/Handicapped Parking spot.  Council passed the first three bylaw readings of this Bylaw.  Council and staff will work to promote these changes out to the general public.

Municipal Ticketing Information Bylaw
Council approved the first three readings of the proposed Municipal Ticketing Information Bylaw (“Bylaw”) that will update the City’s ticket and fine structures dating from 1995.  This proposed Bylaw introduces escalating fines for repeat offences in areas such as noise, aggressive dogs and nuisance property violations. 

Creation of Community Theatre Reserve 
Council passed the first three readings of the Community Theatre Statutory Reserve (“Bylaw”).  This proposed Bylaw will allow the the City to issue tax receipts for donations, over $100.00, that will be allocated for the future creation of a Community Theatre. 

Community’s Transitioning Needs
Members of Council met with the Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training/Minister Responsible for Labour, at the recent Union of British Columbia Municipalities (“UBCM”) annual convention to discuss the community’s transitioning needs due to the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic that has devastated the area’s forests and compromised the community’s forest industry.  Discussed was Minister Bond’s letter notifying Council that the Ministry is standing-by to assist once the community’s transitioning needs have been identified.  Council is scheduled to discuss the community’s transitioning needs at the October 21-22, 2015 Strategic Planning sessions and will forward the results of this discussion to the Minister for consideration.

- Bylaw 1767 – Outdoor Smoking Regulations – Third Reading
- Bylaw 1771 – Permissive Tax Exemptions (2016 to 2019 - Non-Profit Organizations) – Final Adoption
- Bylaw 1772 – Permissive Tax Exemptions (2016 to 2025 – Religious/Schools/Seniors Organizations) – Final Adoption
- Bylaw 1773 – Street, Traffic and Parking – First, Second and Third Readings
- Bylaw 1774 – Municipal Ticketing Information – First, Second and Third Readings
- Bylaw 1775 – Group Day Care Use (1341 Pentland Crescent) – Third Reading
- Bylaw 1776 – Appointment of Officers and Delegation of Authority – Final Adoption
- Bylaw 1777 – Delegation of Purchasing Authority Amendment – Final Adoption
- Bylaw 1778 – Community Theatre Statutory Reserve – First, Second and Third Readings

Next Meetings:

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 5:30 p.m.
North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee

Monday, October 19, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.
Regular Meeting

Council Clippings provides a summary of business conducted by Council at Regular Council meetings. For specific details, visit, click the “Council” link and the “Agendas and Minutes” section.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Harvest Run on October 18th

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Runners and walkers of all ages are encouraged to lace up their shoes and kick off the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex’s new event with the Harvest Run event at 11:00 a.m. start on October 18th, 2015. TELUS is a proud community sponsor of the Harvest Run. 
The 5K (10 km if you do the route twice) fun activity starts and finishes at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex in the heart of downtown. This new event is to continue to encourage our residents to remain active and healthy all year long. All community members are welcome to come out and enjoy a stroll in the city, walking, riding or even running with the entire family. All types of active transportation are welcome, along with strollers, wagons, wheelchairs and walkers. 
Prizes for the event will be baskets of locally grown food. Pumpkins will be placed along the route for participants to play “I Spy the pumpkin.” Completed forms of pumpkin locations will be eligible for complimentary family swim/skate admissions. 

This event is free and pre-registration is not necessary. Come out and enjoy the beautiful fall colours, celebrate active living and our local food. Please contact the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex for more information at 250-398-7665.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Oct 5-9

Next week, the following local governments are meeting:

Quesnel - Special Open Council Meeting to be held on Monday, Oct 5th at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St).   On the Agenda:

* Green Spaces, Parks, and Recreation Master Plan - Executive Summary and Next Steps
* Street, Traffic and Parking Bylaw and Municipal Ticketing Information Bylaw
* Community Theatre Fund Establishment
* 9 Various Bylaws to receive 1st 2nd 3rd, 3rd only or Adoption

View the full Agenda here

Wells - Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, Oct 6th at 7pm in Wells Council Chambers (4243 Sanders Avenue, Wells).  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

Williams Lake - Regular Council meeting on  Tuesday, Oct 6th at 6pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart Street, WL).  On the Agenda:

* Delegation: Peter Epp & Norm Moffat re Location of Community Mailbox at Birch Hill and Hazel Street

* Permissive Property Tax Exemptions Bylaw No. 2238 - 1st, 2nd and 3rd Readings
* Development Variance Permit (Amended) - DVP #01-2015 - MacPine Developments Ltd. (18 Woodland Dr for approval)
* Poll of Council for Ratification - Williams Lake Stampeders Special Occasion Liquor License Requests for 2015/16 Home Games
* Appointment of Chief Financial Officer - William Wallace
* Parking Lot LED Light Standards
* Development Variance Permit Application - DVP #08-2015 - John & Norma Bos (705 Fourth Avenue North)
* Zoning Amendment Application - Bylaw No. 2237 - Joe Hamel - Addition of 'Carriage House' Use - 1999 Broadway Avenue South (deferred from previous Council meeting)

* 153 Mile Heritage Building Offer
* Dried Bulk Highway Salt - Award of Contract
* Remembrance Day Ceremonies & Poppy Sales Resolution

View the full Agenda here

CRD Board Highlights - Oct 2nd mtg

Editor's Note - I attended the CRD Board meeting from 9:45am - 10:50am as I had to work at 11am today and the Agenda was reworked I could speak to my item (Value for Money Audit - FCM, UBCM and NCLGA Memberships) which was deferred so the Board could have more time to speak to it, as well as an item from Area 'B' Director Jerry Bruce regarding Board Governance and other matters and a matter from local NDIT Regional Advisory Committee re: Dual Credit Trade Program - at request of Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson.  If you have any questions on the Agenda - view here, leave a comment here or email me here

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:


Bert Braybrook from Telus appeared before the Board to provide an update on the progress for wireless and broadband services in the Cariboo region. Mr. Braybrook reported that the Capital investment in the Cariboo in the last 18 months is in excess of $20M. Cariboo Regional District directors also had the opportunity to express concerns specific to service in their electoral areas including pay phone service in remotes areas and cell and internet service throughout the region.

Support for NDIT funding for Dual Credits Trades Training

Mark Theissen, Superintendent, and Tanya Guenther, Board Chair, of School District 27 appeared before the Board to provide background information about dual credits trades training in the district. The CRD Board of Directors agreed to write a letter of support that NDIT cross-regional and mountain-pine beetle funds be allocated to the “Beyond Northern Opportunities: Expanding Dual Credit Trades Training” in School Districts 27 and 28 and requests NDIT Board to fund this initiative.
The program allows high school students to begin accessing trades training.

Community Works Funds for Sam Ketcham Pool Upgrades

The Regional District Board approved that $427,500 in Community Works Funds to be allocated towards energy efficiency upgrades as part of the Sam Ketcham Pool Upgrade Project. It is expected these costs will be spread over 2016 and 2017 as part of the construction process. The funds will be used towards the incremental cost to install LED lighting, include an air handling unit upgrade and increase the building envelope insulation. These upgrades will result in energy savings in future years.

Support for Bridge Lake Ice Caves Project

The Cariboo Regional District endorsed a resolution that up to $10,000 be allocated from the South Cariboo Economic Development function to the Fishing Highway 24 Tourism Association towards the Bridge Lake Ice Caves project, subject to confirmation that other funding for the project has been secured by the Association. The Fishing Highway 24 Tourism Association has been active in pursuing the development of this site as a tourism attraction and amenity for area residents. The funds will be used towards construction of an access road off of Highway 24. The access road will ultimately connect to a parking lot for visitors once the project is complete.

NDIT Application Endorsed

The Cariboo Regional District endorsed a resolution in support of an application to the Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) from the Lone Butte, Horse Lake Community Association. The request is for $6,206 in grant funding from the Regional Development Account, under the Community Halls & Recreation Facilities program. The funding will be used to purchase new chairs for the hall, and to construct a storage shed that will house a ladder and other supplies. The current chairs at the hall are in poor condition and need replacement so that the hall can continue to host larger gatherings. The new storage shed is expected to allow for more tidy storage of supplies at the hall, leaving more usable space for activities. It is the expectation of the application that these improvements will create better rental opportunities at the hall.

Crystal Lake Recreation Site Improvements

Discretionary funds from Electoral Area L were authorized to help offset the costs of improvements to the Crystal Lake recreational site to ensure a safe area to launch boats off the travelled road, to install fire rings and improve access/egress and parking.

UBCM a Positive Experience for CRD Board

A number of directors commented on their attendance at the UBCM convention last week citing positive experiences with meetings with various provincial ministries and the resolutions debate.

Next Board Meeting

CCRHD & CRD Board Meetings - October 23, 2015

CCRHD Board Highlights - Oct 2nd mtg

Present - Vice Chair M. Wagner and Directors Armstrong, Bruce, Forseth, Kemp, Sorley, Richmond, Cash, William, Anderson, Coakley, Sharpe, Simpson, Cobb, Campsall and Alternate Director F. McPherson (Area C)

Meeting called to order at 9:30am
Meeting agenda approved & Minutes of the CCRHD Board meeting held on Sept 11th adopted

Delegations - None


1) The Board received the Hospital Consent Calendar

2) The Board received Letters of Support for the Establishment of a Northern Physiotherapy Program at UNBC from:

• District of Mackenzie
• District of Wells
• Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako
• Village of Fraser Lake
• Village of Masset

3) The Board received an advisory from Interior Health advising that Trisha Shetler is hired as the New Community Integration Health Services Manager in Williams Lake, 100 Mile House and the Chilcotin

Meeting adjourned at 9:33am

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Steve's Meeting Calendar/Expenses Submitted - Sept 2015

In the month of September - I attended the following meetings/events:

Sept 2nd - Meeting with CRD Staff re: 2016 Area D Ec Dev Function Business Plan Goals
Sept 10th - Community to Community Forum with Canim Lake Band Members
Sept 11th - CRD Board "On the Road" in Forest Grove
Sept 14th - CC Rural Caucus Meeting
Sept 15th - Joint Use Committee meeting
Sept 16th - CC/City of WL Joint Committee Meeting
Sept 21st - 25th - 112th Union of BC Muncipalities Convention in Vancouver
Sept 30th - Meeting with CRD Staff re: McLeese Lake Library & Orange Shirt Day event in Williams Lake

As of expenses submitted in the month of September:

Sept 11th - $185 for the CRD Board Meeting & 115.44 for Mileage from WL-Forest Grove
Sept 14th - $75 for CC Rural Caucus Meeting
Sept 26th - $55 for Parking Fees at WL Airport while at UBCM & $480 for 4 days of attendance at UBCM (UBCM is for 5 days, so I chose to not to bill for the 5th day)


Wednesday, September 30, 2015

CRD Area 'B' Mtg Tonight!

Tonight at 7pm in the Bouchie Lake Hall -- Cariboo RD Area 'B' Director Jerry Bruce will be holding a meeting with his Area residents to discuss the following:

Flowering Rush on Bouchie Lake
Recreation planning & services
Need for lighting at the highway intersection between the school and recreation facilities
Local governance
Long term agreement Between CRD/City of Quesnel
Question & Answer period
Unfortunately - I won't be able to make it personally as I have a Fraser Basin Council Board meeting in Vancouver tomorrow as I sub in for CRD Director John Massier

If you can't make the meeting at Bouchie Lake tonight - you are encouraged to phone Director Bruce directly at (250) 992 – 7400 or (250) 991 – 0696 or via email at


Quesnel Council Highlights - Sept 29th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Campus Way Parking
After meeting with President and Board Chair of the College of New Caledonia at the Quesnel City Council September 28, 2015 Special Open Meeting, Council decided against installing “no parking signs” on Campus Way and the laneway located beside the campus.  For safety reasons, yellow lined “no parking” zones will be painted on the street curb on Campus Way in front of the MacDonald’s restaurant up to the Campus Way/Northstar Road intersection.  City crews will clear snow from the laneway in the winter.  Council passed a resolution to refer a staff report on further improvements to the laneway to the City’s Finance Committee for 2016 budget consideration.

Community Theatre Fund
Council approved the North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee’s recommendation to create a City statutory reserve for a community theatre.  This reserve will allow the City to issue tax receipts to donors wishing to make a contribution over $100 towards the future development of a Community Theatre.  For more information, please contact City Hall.

Land Use Policy – Shipping Containers
Council has instructed staff to proceed with preparing a zoning amendment that:
·   Prohibits shipping containers in residential areas other than on a temporary basis to facilitate construction activities or moving for not more than 30 days, and where greater than 30 days a permit is required;
·   Existing permanent shipping containers in residential areas be removed within 8 months;
·   Shipping containers in commercial and industrial zones will require a permit that includes screening/siting/ventilation requirements and prohibits storage of flammable liquids unless the structure is placarded for such;
·   Requires existing shipping containers in commercial and industrial zones to be ventilated by June 1, 2016.
Council directed staff to consult with the business sector to determine siting/screening requirements and to bring a public consultation plan back to Council when the proposed bylaw is scheduled for first reading. 

Smoking Regulations Bylaw 
Council amended the proposed Smoking Regulations bylaw by removing all references to e-cigarettes/vaping regulations and adding an enforcement section.  This proposed bylaw can be viewed on the City’s website and the public can submit their input/comments via  Council is scheduled to consider third reading at the October 5, 2015 Regular Council meeting.

Updates to Purchasing and Delegation Bylaws
Council approved schedule changes for the Purchasing and Delegation Bylaws to reflect best practises when streamlining automated and electronic processes.

Active Transportation Plan
Council approved Staff to proceed with developing an Active Transportation Plan that will assist the City when applying for infrastructure grants for cycling/commuter infrastructure.  Up to $50,000 in Gas Tax Funds will be allocated for the development of the Active Transportation Plan.

-    Quesnel Self-Advocate Group – Community Living Month – October 2015
-    Ministry of Children and Family Development – Foster Family Appreciation Month – October 2015
-    Quesnel & District Child Development Centre – Child Development Week – October 19-24, 2015.

- Bylaw 1767 – Smoking Regulations – Second as Amended
- Bylaw 1771 – Permissive Tax Exemptions (2016 to 2019 - Non-Profit Organizations) – Third Reading
- Bylaw 1772 – Permissive Tax Exemptions (2016 to 2025 – Religious/Schools/Seniors Organizations) – Third Reading
- Bylaw 1776 – Appointment of Officers and Delegation of Authority – First, Second, Third Readings
- Bylaw 1777 – Delegation of Purchasing Authority Amendment – First, Second, Third Readings

Next Meetings:
Monday, October 5, 2015 at 7:00 p.m.
Regular Meeting/Committee Session

Tuesday, October 13, 2015 at 5:30 p.m.
North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee

Council Clippings provides a summary of business conducted by Council at Regular Council meetings. For specific details, visit, click the “Council” link and the “Agendas and Minutes” section.

Orange Shirt Day 2015

Cariboo RD Area 'D' Director
Steve Forseth
Today is Orange Shirt Day.  A day to remember those who survived Residential Schools and those who did not

There are events in the Cariboo today:

In Quesnel - the Orange Shirt Day event will start at 10am in LeBourdais Park

In Williams Lake - the Orange Shirt Day event will start at 10am in Boitanio Park

In 100 Mile House - the Orange Shirt Day event will start at 1pm in the Arena Ball Park

Finally - I strongly encourage you to read Phyllis Webstad's story, it is powerful.  Phyllis also serves as my Alternate on the Cariboo RD Board.  She is a very wonderful person to get to know so far and hope to learn much more from her in this term of local government

Read Phyllis's story here and the local Orange Shirt Day Facebook page here


Bike Rack Dedication Program Now Available

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb with reps from the WL Business
Improvement Area Association
The City of Williams Lake is pleased to announce it has expanded its dedication program to include bike racks to encourage cycling as a mode of transportation.
In addition to park benches, trees, planters, or waste receptacles, residents can now choose to dedicate a bike rack or bike hoop. Steel racks range in size from three to nine feet, accommodating between five and 11 bicycles. A steel bike hoop can be attached to lamp or sign posts. 
“We are seeing more and more riders, yet bike parking in the city is limited,” says Mayor Walt Cobb. “Increased bike parking in the downtown core and other locations within the city limits will provide safe and convenient places to lock bikes. This will allow these individuals to walk around, increasing foot traffic and local business.”
The City of Williams Lake is inviting individuals, businesses, service clubs and other organizations to sponsor a bike rack. Once dedicated, Municipal Services at the City of Williams Lake will work with individuals to determine a practical location on City property, install the rack and install a heavy duty decal to commemorate the sponsor. Costs will vary depending on the rack or hoop, and the installation location.
Reasons for sponsoring a bike rack may include honouring the memory of an individual, celebrating the accomplishments of an individual or community organization, or simply improving the community of Williams Lake by providing an important asset.
The program is being launched today with three inaugural bike hoops dedicated by the Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Area, to be installed on Oliver Street (near the Open Book and New World CafĂ©/Evening at Ray’s) and on Third Avenue (near the Bean Counter). 
A brochure explaining the bike rack program is available online at Residents are asked to call Angela Cail at 250-398-7665 to take part in the City’s dedication program.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Post-Event Report - 2015 UBCM Convention

As is my practice - find below my Post-Event Report for the 2015 Union of BC Muncipalities Convention for your viewing pleasure

Should you have any questions - please email me here

New Local Gov't AG Appointed

Courtesy of the BC Government:

New AG for Local Gov't Gordon Ruth
Gordon Ruth has been appointed as the new B.C. auditor general for local government (AGLG) with a mandate to lead a new, collaborative relationship between local governments across the province and the office.

“Recognizing there is only one taxpayer, the goal of this office has always been to help find ways to provide the best possible services in the most efficient, cost-effective way,” said Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Peter Fassbender. “I’m confident we have found the right person in Gordon Ruth and know he is someone who will establish himself, and the office, as high functioning, results-based and willing to work with local governments to find solutions that ultimately benefit British Columbians.”

The appointment is effective Oct. 1, 2015, and will allow for transition from his current position.

When the B.C. auditor general for local government was initially launched in January of 2013, it was the first of its kind. Like any new, leading-edge office there have been lessons learned and steps taken to strengthen the office and position it for success moving forward.

We are very pleased to be able to attract an individual such as Gordon Ruth. We feel he will make an excellent AGLG given his experience and background as well as his knowledge of local government,” said Tony Ariganello, chair, audit council, auditor general for local government.

In recognition of the change of leadership in the office of the AGLG, Fassbender had the following to say about the outgoing acting AGLG, “I want to use this occasion to recognize the tremendous work accomplished by Arn van Iersel. He came in at a challenging time for the office and brought superior leadership and stability when it was most needed.”

Fassbender also remarked on a further measure to improve the office to help facilitate the smooth transition to a new AGLG. “Shortly, we expect to announce two new members of the audit council, both of whom have previous local government experience that will help bring more understanding of the challenges faced by local government to the office.”

With new, stable leadership and enhancements to the audit council, the AGLG is now well-positioned for the long term, to help local governments improve their operations and deliver services more efficiently, effectively and economically.

About Gordon Ruth:

Gordon Ruth, FCPA, FCGA is currently the executive vice president of certification and operations for the Chartered Professional Accountants of BC. Ruth was also the chief executive officer for the Certified General Accountants of BC for almost five years. He has held several positions in the public sector, ranging from the federal government to BC Hydro. He spent 15 years with the Greater Vancouver Regional District (now Metro Vancouver) where he became the chief financial officer and helped steward the financial affairs of this regional federation of municipalities.

Ruth has an extensive background volunteering within the accounting profession at the provincial, national and chapter levels. He served on the CGA-BC board of governors from 1998 to 2005 and was elected to the executive committee in 2000. He then served as board chair of the CGA Association in 2002. Nationally, he served on the CGA-Canada board of directors from 2000-2004 as well as on the CGA-Canada executive committee. He was active in both the Vancouver and Southern Vancouver Island chapters. His awards recognizing his contribution to the profession include the J.M. Macbeth Award, a Fellowship Designation and a Life Membership.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

WL/Quesnel Mayors' debate Environmental Bill of Rights

At the recently held 112th Union of BC Municipalities Convention in Vancouver - delegates narrowly approved a Resolution supporting the creation of an Environmental Bill of Rights

Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb expressed concern about the Resolution - read more here

Meanwhile - CBC's Radio West interviewed both Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb & Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson on the subject

Listen to the interview of Mayor Cobb here and Mayor Simpson here

Friday, September 25, 2015

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Sept 28th - Oct 2nd

After returning from a long week of the UBCM Convention (post event report to come in next few days) - several local governments in the Cariboo-Chilcotin are set to return to work this upcoming week as follows:

Quesnel - Special Open Council Meeting at 5pm Monday, Sept 28th in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  The purpose of the meeting is to have a respectful conversation with CNC President Henry Reiser/Chair Vince Prince with regards to pay parking at the CNC Campus in Quesnel  More details here.  Then at 7pm, the Regular Council Meeting will commence.  On the Agenda:

* Resume discussion on Tabled Council Resolution - Develop Parking Along Campus Way
* Development of Community Theatre Fund
* Hope Air Request for Financial Support - Recommendation from Financial Sustainability and Audit Committee
* Dual Credit Program for School District #28 (Quesnel) - NDIT Funding Decision
* Land Use Policy for Shipping Containers
* Smoking Regulations Bylaw
* Updates to Schedules for Purchasing and Delegation Bylaws
* Active Transportation Plan

View the full Agenda here.  There is also a Public Meeting with regard to the North Cariboo Arena Project.  The meeting will be from 6-8pm on Tuesday, September 29th in the Twin Arenas' Lobby area

Williams Lake - Council-in-Committee Meeting on Tuesday, September 29th at 6pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (Basement - 450 Mart Street) .  On the Agenda:

* Introduction of Northern Home Care Program to Williams Lake - Leon Caillier/Marjorie Marinus from Northern Home Care
* Pool Upgrade Project - CMRC Parking Lot Expansion
* Permissive Tax Exemption Administration - Recommendation for 10 year Permissive Tax Exemption Bylaw and related amendments

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District - CCRHD/CRD Board Meetings as follows:

CCRHD - Regular Meeting on Friday, Oct 2nd at 9:30am in the CRD Boardroom (Suite D - 180 North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* Various Press Releases from Interior or Northern Health
* Letters of Support - UNBC Physiotherapy Program
* Interior Health - New Community Integration Health Services Manager

View the full Agenda here

CRD - Regular Meeting on Friday, Oct 2nd at 9:45am in the CRD Boardroom.  On the Agenda:

* Bert Braybook (Telus) to appear before the Board to give an update on cell/high speed Internet services

* Various Planning Items
* DVP #37-2015 (Area A)
* Enforcement of Land Use Violations Regarding Non-Commercial Use of RV’s
* Lone Butte Community Hall Improvements – NDIT Application
* New UBCM Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative for 2016
* Amendment to Banking Resolution to Accommodate the Switch to Electronic Funds Transfer for Vendor Payments
* Committee or Commission Recommendations
* Request From Director Forseth – FCM/UBCM/NCLGA Value for Money Review

There will be no In-Camera Session required. View the full Agenda here

As for community events this weekend and next week:

McLeese Lake - Final 2015 local Farmers Market.  McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Department Society will be holding a Burger Sale at this event.  9am - 1pm between the Oasis Pub/Cafe

Horsefly - Salmon Festival on Saturday, Sept 26th/Sunday, Sept 27th -- more details here

CC Arts Centre Open House/Celebrate Culture Days- Saturday, Sept 26th from 11am - 4pm at the CC Arts Centre on 4th Avenue in Williams Lake (old WL Fire Hall)

Orange Shirt Day - activities in Williams Lake at 10am - Boitanio Park on Wed Sept 30th while at 1pm at the Arena Ball Fields in 100 Mile House.  More details here

Have a great weekend!


Last Day of the 2015 UBCM Convention

After the 4th day which including Resolution Debate where Carbon Tax, 1% Corporate Tax to Local Government, rescind the Auditor-General for Local Government - full rundown of Day 2 of Resolutions Debate here and many clinics, both in the morning/afternoon, then the annual Reception/Banquet

The last day will see three events:

a) Wrap up Resolutions Debate (8am - 10:45am)
b) Install new UBCM President (and current Cariboo RD Chair) Al Richmond (10:45 - 11am)
c) 1 hr speech from BC Premier Christy Clark (Roughly 11am - 12pm)
d) Close of the 112th (2015) UBCM Convention by 2015-16 UBCM President Al Richmond

Have a great day!


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Day 4 of UBCM

Yesterday after a long day of workshops, the official beginning of the 112th Union of BC Muncipalities Convention, resolutions debate including two close votes - Environmental Bill of Right and Internet Voting - Cabinet Sessions, BC Government and CUPE-BC Receptions.  A report of yesterday's UBCM Resolutions that passed can be viewed here

The pace will slow down a little bit today - more UBCM Resolution Debates, clinics in the afternoon with the UBCM Reception/Banquet in the evening

Have a great day!


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Day 3 of UBCM

After a jam packed day of clinics, Forums for the different forms of local government (Electoral Area, Small/Mid/Large Communities) and the UBCM Welcome Reception, today will be no different

There are more morning clinics including Elected Officials/Open Meetings which I will be attending this morning, then the official opening of the 2015 Union of BC Municipality Convention, Start of Resolution Debate, then more Hospitality Suites including the BC Government Welcome Reception this evening

Also today - I will be joining Cariboo RD Chair Al Richmond, CAO Janis Bell and Area 'F' Director Joan Sorley to discuss with Environment Minister Mary Polak/Mines Minister Bill Bennett to discuss Mt Polley/Gibraltar Mines water discharge permit applications and recycling

Have  a great day!


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Quesnel Sewer Utility Work on Thursday

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel website:

The City Utility Operators will be conducting maintenance on the West Side Sewer Station (near Wilma Hanson Park) at 4 a.m. on Thursday, September 24 for approximately 3 hours. Due to the nature of how the system operates and peak flow times, this maintenance must be done at 4 a.m. 
Please note: excessive noise is expected. Thank you for your cooperation.

Day 2 of the 2015 UBCM Convention

Yesterday was a jam-packed day of different events, starting with Moving Forward with First Nations, then a session on Outdoor Recreation (new registration rules for snowmobiles, ATV, etc) then popped in on the Newly Elected Officials Briefing, followed by Meet and Greets for Young Elected Officials & Electoral Area Directors'

Today will be clinics on Participatory Budgeting, FireSmart Communities, Sustainable Service Delivery, the impact of Road Distractions in the Community, then the forums for Electoral Areas, Small Communities, Large Communities followed by lunch.  Then in the afternoon - Provincial Policy Sessions on the Auditor-General for Local Government, Hosting Sport/Cultural Events - Benefits to the Community, Muni/RD Tax Program Requirements, Open for Business (Workshop/Awards), followed by Municipal Finance/Insurance Meetings and then the UBCM Welcome Reception.

Another long day of events to get to....

Have a good one!


Monday, September 21, 2015

UBCM Renews MOU w/Min of Aboriginal Relations/Reconciliation

Earlier today - the Union of BC Municipalities renewed a Memorandum of Understanding in regards to First Nations issues with the BC Ministry of Aboriginal Relations/Reconciliation.

The MOU was signed by outgoing UBCM President Sav Dhaliwal and BC's Minister of Aboriginal Relations/Reconciliation, the Hon. John Rustad

For more information - click here


Stable Funding for Visitor Centres announced

Courtesy of the BC Government Caucus:

A new, three-year base funding model for community visitor services will ensure more stable and predictable funding and allow for greater flexibility and innovation.

Communities receiving annual funding for the next three years:

· Quesnel: $12,500
· Williams Lake/100 Mile House: $18,750
· Wells: $10,000

Destination BC, the province’s industry-led destination marketing organization, has announced the three-year base funding model for the 108 community visitor centres it helps support, following extensive consultation with the community visitor services centre network.

The strategy includes a new minimum base funding of $10,000 annually for the next three years for small and rural community visitor centres as well as an innovation fund available in 2016 to assist communities with projects that help them adapt to the changing needs and expectations of visitors, including through the use of technology.

This is a positive increase for rural and small communities across B.C. and acknowledges their ongoing contributions to the tourism industry.

“As a former manager of the Chamber of Commerce/Visitor Centre in Quesnel for 14 years, I know first-hand the incredible job that visitor centres provide. They play a significant role in diversifying our economy and supporting our small businesses,” Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes said. “Tourism helps keep our local communities strong, diverse and growing. Along with the innovation fund, this new, stable funding will help our visitor centres ensure better long-term planning for the Cariboo region and adapt to changing visitor needs.”

“Our government is committed to providing quality, world-class services for travellers and visitors to B.C.,” Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett said. “Visitors to the Cariboo-Chilcotin area will continue to receive valuable information about the many unique experiences our communities offer.”

As a key sector in the BC Jobs Plan, tourism is an important economic driver in the province.
B.C.’s tourism sector is strong and growing, which is good news in light of fierce global competition for tourists. In 2013, the tourism industry generated $13.9 billion in revenue and a direct contribution to B.C.’s gross domestic product of $7.3 billion, accounting for four per cent of the province’s total GDP.

Quick Facts:

· In 2014, there were almost a quarter of a million (234,079) more visitors coming from outside the country than in 2013 – a 5.3% increase.
· The Province supports Destination BC, an industry-led Crown corporation. Destination BC works closely with tourism stakeholders, marketing the province as a tourist destination and promoting the development and growth of the tourism industry.
· Since 2003, tourism sector employment in B.C. has grown 17.6% and tourism wages and salaries have increased by more than 34.4% ($4.5 billion in 2013).
· In 2013, the tourism sector employed 132,200 British Columbians – that’s about 1 in every 15 jobs in B.C – and the tourism industry paid $4.5 billion in wages and salaries to tourism workers, an increase of 3.8 % over the year before.
· There are more than 19,200 tourism-related businesses in B.C., and over 17,000 (almost 93%) are small businesses with less than 50 employees.

Quesnel Groups receive Community Gaming Grant $$$

Courtesy of the BC Government Caucus:

Three local organizations will benefit from $16,800 thanks to the B.C. government’s Community Gaming Grant program.

Organizations receiving grants:

Quesnel Tillicum Society – $6,800
Quesnel Live Arts Society – $5,500
Quesnel and District Heritage Association – $4,500

“All of these organizations provide residents with the opportunity to participate in various arts and cultural activities, improving our quality of life here in Quesnel,” Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes said.

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

Organizations interested in applying for Community Gaming Grants can find information and applications at

NC Arena Open House -- Sept 29th

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

The Cariboo Regional District and the City of Quesnel will be hosting an open house on Tuesday, September 29 from 6-8 p.m. in the lobby of the North Cariboo Twin Arenas. The open house will be an opportunity for residents to view the final construction drawings and ask questions of the project manager, the architects, elected officials and staff about the project status.

A Request for Qualifications was issued in the spring for the project and five firms have been short-listed. These firms will be invited to bid on the Request for Proposals (RFP) to be the General Contractor for the project. The RFP will be issued at the end of October and awarded in mid-December.

Ground will be broken for construction of the West Fraser Centre in the spring of 2016 with an estimated completion date of the fall of 2017.

The City of Quesnel’s Public Works Department has commenced relocation of a number of underground utilities in preparation for the start of spring construction. Water, sewer, and storm water lines will need to be moved to accommodate the building footprint and to service the building. Most of the relocation work will take place on Callanan Street and in LeBourdais Park, immediately east of the curling rink. Smaller portions of the work will take place on Vaughan Street, the Civic Plaza and the lane running north/south between Vaughan Street and Callanan Street.

Further information about the North Cariboo Arena Replacement/West Fraser Centre project is available online at or the City of Quesnel at .

Quesnel Culture Days - Sept 25-27

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

This coming Friday, Saturday and Sunday September 25 – 27 join us for three days of fun, free arts & culture activities during Culture Days. Activities will take place at a variety of locations throughout Quesnel including the Museum and the Quesnel and District Arts & Recreation Centre’s Gallery, Studio & Artrium. There will be a wide variety of offerings for this first time event in Quesnel including music, painting, craft displays, reading, gardening tips, a nature walk, a tour of the painted hydrants and much, much more.

Pick up your map for times and locations at the Quesnel Museum or Quesnel and District Arts & Recreation Centre front desks. Quesnel Leisure Services, the Quesnel District and Community Art Council, local culture organizations, individual artists and craftspeople have all joined together in presenting the wealth and variety of culture in Quesnel.

UBCM 2015 Starts today!

Today - the 2015 Union of BC Muncipalities, or UBCM Convention stats today with pre-Convention activities including study sessions covering First Nations, Medicinal Marijuana, Outdoor Trails, Funding Resources for Local Government, a Walking Tour for Healthy Communities and a all day tour of Farms.  For myself - I will be attending the First Nations Study Session in the morning and the study session on Outdoor Trails in the afternoon

In addition - individual local governments will be having meetings with individual Ministers or the Premier throughout the week

This evening - there are various Meet and Greets and a "UBCM 101" event for new attendees (like myself).

Full attendance is expected to be achieved by Tuesday with most of the Cariboo-Chilcotin attendees already here and the remainder expected to arrive today or Tuesday

View the full UBCM Program here


Friday, September 18, 2015

Quesnel School Board meets next week

Next week - only the Quesnel Board of Education meets next week.  When available, their Meeting Agenda can be viewed here

Meanwhile - the 5 Local Governments (Cariboo Regional District, Wells, Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House) are all off next week as all elected officials (including myself) from these local governments will be attending the 2015 Union of BC Muncipalities Convention in Vancouver from September 21st to 25th.  The full Convention Program Book can be viewed here

As I did with the 2015 NCLGA Convention in Prince George earlier this year - I will be filing a full report upon my return from the UBCM Convention next weekend.  In the meantime, for daily updates, you can follow along via my personal Facebook page (view here) or my CRD Area 'D' Director page (view here)

As for weekend events:

Sat/Sun - Quesnel Fall Fair.  More details here
Sunday - McLeese Lake Farmers' Market from 9am - 1pm between the Oasis Pub and Cafe

Have a great weekend and next week


Thursday, September 17, 2015

UPDATED: TNG to AMARC - Cease 2015 "Ike" Operations

Courtesy of the Tsilhqot'in National Government:

Editor's Note - more on this story here.  AMARC responds here

The Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG) is issuing notice to Amarc Resources Ltd. (TSX-V: AHR) to cease its “Ike” mineral exploration mining project operations for 2015 within the Dasiqox Tribal Park, Tsilhqot’in territory. The Province of British Columbia granted Amarc Resources a permit to conduct mining exploration in sensitive mountainous terrain despite the strong objections of the affected Tsilhqot’in communities. The TNG and communities oppose exploration drilling and mine development in this sensitive area. In spite of documented objections and discussions, Amarc Resources has decided to move ahead with their drilling program. The region in question is near the declared Aboriginal title area and is high value wilderness habitat, which provides connectivity between Tsilhqot’in territory and St’at’imc territory for keystone species such as grizzly bear and mule deer. The area is a known grizzly migratory route and the treeline below the drilling is home to whitebark pine trees, a critical food source for grizzly bears and a species protected by the federal Species at Risk Act. The exploration area is also within a buffer zone for draft mountain goat winter range and the headwaters and source of the Dasiqox (Taseko River), which flows into the Chilko, Chilcotin, and Fraser River systems

Xeni Gwet'in Chief Roger William says:

“Amarc has met with our communities to present an Exploration Agreement in a timeframe that is not appropriate. Our people are still reeling from the trauma of two panel hearings and the Federally rejected plans of the Prosperity Mine Project. If Amarc wants to be successful in gaining the consent of our people, they need to respect our community processes and work with us in a way that suits not only the minimum requirements of the BC permitting process, but also our needs. At this moment in time, our people will turn down any mining practices in sensitive areas, such as the Dasiqox headwaters, which we consider a ‘no go zone’.”

While Yunesit’in Chief Russell Myers-Ross says:

“As a leader looking at a project such as “Ike” and attempting to foresee it’s future – it is located in volatile weather patterns and at high altitude, it is adjacent to a glacial fed stream that flows to a series of glacial streams that connect with the larger Dasiqox Watershed. Knowing that this is a prime location for grizzlies and that for a mine to be developed a road must eventually be carved through the mountain, disturbing the corridor for grizzly habitat – it’s too risky to try to situate a mine in this sensitive area. Amarc ought to consider, that from our perspective, this area is an impossible site for a full-scale open-pit mine. The company should be honest and stop wasting people’s time and money by pretending there is potential of a future mine.”

View the full Press Release here