Saturday, August 1, 2015

PSA -- Algae Bloom at Horse Lake

Courtesy of Interior Health:

Interior Health wishes to advise users of Horse Lake, located southeast of 100 Mile House, that the current algae bloom does not pose risk to human health at this time.

This determination has been made following testing of the water which revealed the algae bloom is not producing chemicals that would impact human health at this time. Interior Health will continue to monitor as the bloom is still developing and provide updates if there are any changes.

As the algal bloom grows and changes, it may start producing toxin. For this reason we encourage people to use the precautionary principle and avoid surface water ingestion.

Residents using surface water are advised to follow safe drinking water guidelines which include disinfection and filtration before use. This removes naturally occurring germs such as bacteria, viruses and parasites. Residents unable to treat their water should boil all water used for drinking, washing of fresh fruits and vegetables and making ice for one minute or use water from an alternate potable (drinkable) water source.

Although currently no toxin has been detected, if the situation changes and water becomes contaminated with algal toxin, boiling the water WILL NOT remove the toxin and an alternate source (bottled water) must be used.

Additional information on blue-green algae blooms is available at

http://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthfiles/hfile47.stm

Steve's Meeting Calendar/Expenses for July 2015

During the month of July 2015 - I attended the following meetings or events:

July 1st - Spoke at Canada Day celebrations in Williams Lake

July 7th - Cariboo RD Finance/Audit Committee Meeting

July 10th - Cariboo RD Board Meetings

July 15th - Williams Lake Central BIA Annual General Meeting

July 20th - Special CC Rural Caucus Meeting

July 30th - Press Conference for $500,000 for Sam Ketcham Pool Renovation Project from Ottawa (Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program)

As for submitted expenses during the month of July:

July 7th - Cariboo RD Finance/Audit Committee Meeting --> $75.00

July 10th - Cariboo RD Board Meetings --> $185.00

July 20th - Special CC Rural Caucus Meeting --> $75.00

Friday, July 31, 2015

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Aug 3-7

With a vast majority of local governments/Boards' of Education still on summer recess - Williams Lake Council, meeting in Committee of the Whole and the Central Cariboo Joint Committee (City Council/CRD Areas D, E, F Directors) will meet both on Tuesday as follows:

WL Council - Committee of the Whole (3pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom - 450 Mart St)

On the Agenda:

* Gateway Project Update
* Acquisition of property from BC Rail

View the full Agenda here

Central Cariboo/City of Williams Lake Joint Committee (6pm in the CRD Boardroom - 180D North 3rd Avenue, WL)

On the Agenda:

* Presentation - Schematic Design for Sam Ketcham Pool Upgrade Project
* Notes from recent SKP Working Group
* Award of Construction Management Services for SKP Upgrade Project
* Parking and Traffic Flow Options Report for SKP Upgrade Project
* Discussion - Grant in Aide Process (Ltr from CRD to City of WL dated July 29th)
* Action Page as of Aug 4th

View the full Agenda here

Community Events this weekend and next week:

July 31st - Aug 2 -- Quesnel Skyfest.  More details here

August 1st/2nd - Likely Music Festival.  More details here

August 2nd from 9am to 1pm -- McLeese Lake Farmers' Market.  More details here

August 4th at 5pm - Rally to support Responsible Industry.  More details here

August 5th from 3-6pm in the lobby of the Cariboo Memorial Rec Complex - Public Open House for Schematic Design for Sam Ketcham Pool Upgrade Project

Just a reminder that a campfire ban is still in effect "west" of the Fraser River in the Cariboo Fire Centre jurisdiction (Chilcotin area) but you can have a campfire, within Provincial regulations, east of the Fraser River within the Cariboo Fire Centre jurisdiction.  More details here

Stay safe, stay cool and don't forget your sunscreen!

~SF

Quesnel Gets Funding for Phase 2 of WQLS Project

Joint Release of Western Canada Economic Diversification/City of Quesnel:

Residents of Quesnel will benefit from Phase 2 of West Quesnel Land Stability project thanks to joint funding from the governments of Canada and British Columbia through the Small Communities Fund.

Quesnel will use the funding to stabilize about 240 hectares of the uplands area in West Quesnel through the installation of subsurface dewatering and drainage infrastructure. Ground movements are causing physical damage to homes, buildings, and buried infrastructure, resulting in expensive repairs and safety concerns. When completed, the community and local property owners will be less vulnerable to the risks and impacts of the unstable land in the area.

The project announced today is among 55 recently approved in British Columbia that will collectively receive more than $128 million in joint federal-provincial funding under the Small Communities Fund. These projects represent important investments in municipal infrastructure that maintain safe, healthy communities. Once complete, the work will significantly improve key municipal services for residents and help boost regional development.

Through the Small Communities Fund, the governments of Canada and British Columbia are working in partnership to provide funding for priority public infrastructure projects that deliver on local needs in communities across the province that have fewer than 100,000 residents. These investments support job creation and economic growth, thus sustaining a high quality of life in small communities across British Columbia for years to come.

Quick Facts

· The Government of Canada will provide up to $2,425,051 through the Small Communities Fund for the project.

· The Province of British Columbia will contribute up to $2,425,051 to this project.

· Quesnel will be responsible for all remaining costs of the project.

· The total estimated cost for this project is $7,275,155.

· The 55 projects approved for funding in British Columbia under the Small Communities Fund so far include 24 drinking water projects, 22 wastewater projects, four major roads projects, two disaster mitigation projects, two brownfield remediation projects and one solid waste management project.

Dick Harris, MP for Cariboo-Prince George, for Hon. Denis Lebel, Minister of Infrastructure, Communities and Intergovernmental Affairs said:

“We are proud to invest in projects like Phase 2 of West Quesnel’s Land Stability project that will benefit our community by improving much needed local infrastructure. Our Government’s commitment to municipalities, big and small, has never been stronger. Through the New Building Canada Plan’s Small Communities Fund, we are investing in priority infrastructure projects that have a positive and lasting impact on the quality of life of British Columbia’s residents while helping create jobs and economic growth.”

Hon. Coralee Oakes - MLA for Cariboo-North stated:

This next phase of the Quesnel Land Stability project will continue to build on the dewatering and drainage infrastructure that has already been constructed in our community. This will lessen the impact and damage resulting from ground shifts and will better protect private and public properties. This significant infrastructure project will help provide peace of mind to local residents. I commend Mayor Bob Simpson and council for their leadership and commitment to this project.”

Finally - Bob Simpson, Mayor of Quesnel, BC commented on the funding saying:

“The City of Quesnel appreciates the governments of Canada and British Columbia matching our $2.3 million investment in our Westside. This investment will enable us to continue our work on stabilizing the slide area that impacts 750 homes in West Quesnel by capturing and redirecting both the surface and sub-surface water which create the slide conditions. This is a significant and welcome investment in our community.”

Thursday, July 30, 2015

SKP Project receives $500,000 from Ottawa

Courtesy of Western Economic Diversification Canada

Today, Dick Harris, Member of Parliament for Cariboo—Prince George, on behalf of the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced support of $500,000 for upgrades to the Sam Ketcham Pool at the Cariboo Memorial Complex, under the Government of Canada’s Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program.

In Economic Action Plan 2015, the Government of Canada announced further support for communities with the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program. Thanks to a commitment of $150 million, communities from coast to coast to coast will see support for improvements to local infrastructure, creating a lasting legacy as Canada prepares to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017.

The Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program will help fund renovations, expansions and rehabilitations to existing infrastructure that provides community and cultural benefits for the public. The Program represents one of several infrastructure-related initiatives that the Government of Canada has undertaken to generate well-being and prosperity across Canada.

Quick Facts

The national Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program provides $150 million over two years to be delivered by regional development agencies across the country. It is part of the federal government’s activities to honour Canada’s 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017. WD is responsible for the distribution of $46,200,200 over two years for Western Canada.

Funding for this project will go towards expanding the leisure pools and change rooms, adding a multipurpose fitness centre, and replacing the main lap pool tank and mechanical and electrical systems of the Sam Ketcham Pool at the Cariboo Memorial Complex in Williams Lake.

Dick Harris - MP for Cariboo-Prince George said:

“A healthy and thriving community requires the necessary sporting facilities to ensure that the community is able to stay fit and active. Our Government’s investment in the renovations to the Sam Ketcham Pool will contribute towards the health and wellness of our community while helping to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Confederation.”

Also - Joan Sorley, Cariboo RD Director for Electoral Area 'F' stated:

“The Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex and the Sam Ketcham Pool provides enormous social and economic benefits to the region and plays an important role in the overall wellness of our residents,” Thank you to the Government of Canada for the financial support of this much needed upgrade project. This is another great example of what can be accomplished for our communities, when different levels of government work together in collaboration.”

Changes to the BC Cabinet (Executive Council)

Courtesy of the BC Government:

Premier Christy Clark announced the following changes in cabinet responsibilities today:

Peter Fassbender is now Minister of Community, Sport, Cultural Development and Minister Responsible for Translink.

Coralee Oakes is Minister of Small Business, Red-Tape Reduction and Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch.

Naomi Yamamoto is Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness, which will now be in the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Mike Bernier is Minister of Education.


“Today’s changes are about making sure British Columbians in every region benefit from our plan to create jobs by growing our strong and diverse economy,“ said Premier Clark. “We have the opportunity now to build on a record of student achievement with long-term labour peace in place, to strengthen our support for small business, which is the backbone of our economy, to work together with communities to prepare for the future, and to put in place a plan to prevent and manage emergencies or natural disasters so that our province can recover with our future secured.”

As well, Premier Clark has made the following changes to parliamentary secretaries:

Jordan Sturdy is now Parliamentary Secretary for Energy Literacy and the Environment for Minister of Environment Mary Polak. Sturdy also will chair the Climate Leadership Panel.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Evac Alert for Puntzi Lake lifted

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Effective at 12 p.m. today (Wednesday, July 29th), the remaining Evacuation Alert area for the Puntzi Lake fire has been rescinded. The Cariboo Regional District's Local State of Emergency will expire today as well.
Residents and visitors to the area are reminded that the fire suppression efforts will be ongoing. People living in or travelling through the areas that have been affected by the Puntzi Lake wildfire should use caution as some hazards, such as dangerous trees or hot spots, may still exist.
The Puntzi Lake fire is currently estimated at 8,078 hectares and is 85 per cent contained.
Residents are reminded to register for the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification System by visiting the Cariboo Regional District at cariboord.ca. For up to date fire information, please visit the Cariboo Fire Centre online Bcwildfire.ca or call 1-888-336-7378. For more information regarding evacuations, please visit the CRD's website at cariboord.ca, or follow us on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/CRDEmergencyOperations or on Twitter @CaribooRD.

Phase 1 of Mt Polley Restoration Program complete

Earlier today - the BC Ministry of Environment released the final Phase 1 Report of the Mt Polley Recovery efforts - read that here

While you can watch a video recap below:



My Cariboo Now is covering this story here


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Quesnel Council Highlights - July 27th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Community Gardens of Quesnel

Colleen Gatenby highlighted for Council the activities that take place at the Downtown Community Garden, the West Quesnel Community Garden and the College of New Caledonia greenhouse by members, volunteers and the many community donors.  The Community Gardens offer educational sessions to the public covering such topics as how to compost and basic gardening skills and tips. A goal of the Community Gardens is to increase food security in the community.  Council’s Policy and Bylaw Review Committee will be exploring options for community food security policy and local food growing options and opportunities.

Notices on Title – Contravention of Building Regulations

Council passed two resolutions regarding outstanding deficiencies for expired Building Permits for 1320 and 1394 Picard Avenue.  By filing a Notice of Contravention of Building Regulations on title, the City is able to alert potential purchasers that building deficiencies exist and do not meet Building Code requirements.  This protects the safety of the community as a whole. 

Cariboo Regional District – Request for Dog Control Services

Council passed a resolution approving staff’s recommendations regarding a proposed one-year trial for aggressive dogs and dog-at-large in the Red Bluff area only.  Originally, the request from the Cariboo Regional District was for Kersley, Red Bluff and West Fraser areas.  This proposed service will be based on a cost-plus basis and will now be forwarded to the Cariboo Regional District for consideration.

Development and Rezoning Applications 

Council passed a number of resolutions regarding a Development Permit and two Rezoning Applications.  Council approved a Development Permit, on behalf of Fresno Construction, to build a new shop and office at 2372 Larch Avenue.  The precise location of the new shop and office is pending approval from BC Hydro as there is a Three-Phased Power right-of-way that affects where construction can occur on this site.
Council approved first and second bylaw readings for two spot rezoning applications regarding two secondary suites, one located at 545 Jones Street and one located 791 Beaubien Avenue.  Public Notices will be sent out to surrounding property owners and the Public Hearing has been set for Monday, August 24, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. inside Council Chambers.

Pay-Parking - North Cariboo Community Campus

Council continues to look for options for students and what the impact to surrounding businesses will be due to the implementation of pay-parking at the North Cariboo Community Campus.  The College of New Caledonia has issued notice that pay-parking will commence August 1, 2015 and will be in effect 24/7.  A brief summary of rates are $567 annually; $189/semester; $0.50/1.5 hr; $3.00/day.  Council passed three resolutions:  1. Invite the College President, the Board Chair and the Regional Representative to a Special Open Meeting of Council to discuss the pay-parking initiative.  2.  Staff to bring forward a report regarding transit service options to/from the campus.  3. Staff to bring forward a report outlining safety issues around increased road-side parking and increased roadside pedestrian traffic.  Staff will bring forward a report regarding overflow parking options for the Alex Fraser Park grounds and for the Quesnel & District Arts & Recreation Centre parking lots (both located near the campus) to the September 8th North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee meeting.

Council Committee Appointment

Mayor Bob Simpson replaced Councillor Ed Coleman as the City’s representative for the Post-Secondary & Training Committee.

Bylaws

- Bylaws 1769 & 1770 – Secondary Suites – First/Second Readings with the Public Hearing on Monday, August 24, 2015.

Williams Lake in the News... Public Beach Cleanup/new RCMP Inspector

Yesterday - CBC Daybreak Kamloops did a couple of stories involving Williams Lake as follows:

a) Karen Frey on cleaning up of Scout Island's public beach - listen here

b) Interview with new Williams Lake RCMP Detachment Commander (Insp. Milo MacDonald) - listen here

~SF

Monday, July 27, 2015

Campfire Ban lifted EAST of Fraser River - Cariboo Fire Centre

Courtesy of the BC Wildfire Service:

WILLIAMS LAKE - Effective at noon on Monday, July 27, 2015, campfires will once again be allowed east of the Fraser River within the Cariboo Fire Centre's jurisdiction.

Campfires remain prohibited west of the Fraser River.

Specifically, the following activities will be allowed east of the Fraser River but remain prohibited west of the Fraser River within the Cariboo Fire Centre:

* Campfires (no larger than 0.5 metres high by 0.5 metres wide).
* Outdoor stoves and other portable campfire apparatuses.
* Tiki torches, burning barrels, burning cages and air curtain burners. 

Category 2 open burning, Category 3 open burning, fireworks, firecrackers, sky lanterns and binary exploding targets will remain prohibited throughout the entire Cariboo Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.

Anyone lighting a campfire east of the Fraser River must maintain a fireguard by removing flammable debris from around the campfire site and have a hand tool or at least eight litres of water available nearby to properly extinguish the fire. The person must make sure that the campfire is completely out and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

Campfire prohibitions do not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus with a CSA or ULC rating that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel, so long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres. The use of a campfire apparatus that does not meet these specifications is prohibited west of the Fraser River.

These prohibitions cover all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but do not apply within the boundaries of a local municipality that has forest fire prevention bylaws and is serviced by a fire department. Please check with local municipal authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.

The Cariboo Fire Centre stretches from Loon Lake near Clinton in the south to the Cottonwood River near Quesnel in the north and from Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the west to Wells Gray Provincial Park in the east. For a map of the affected areas, please visit: http://bit.ly/1ICuTnm

The fire danger rating in the Cariboo Fire Centre currently ranges from "very low" to "low" east of the Fraser River and "low" to "extreme" west of the Fraser River. In areas with a "high" or "extreme" fire danger rating, there is a serious wildfire risk.

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

For information about where campfires are banned in the province and to get tips on making responsible burning decisions, see: http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp

To report smoke, flames, an unattended campfire or an open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or dial *5555 on a cellphone.

For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity and open burning restrictions, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca or call 1 888 3-FOREST.

You can follow the latest wildfire news:

* On Twitter: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo
* On Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Quesnel Fire Ban cancelled

From the City of Quesnel website:

The City of Quesnel fire ban has been lifted effective Friday, July 24, 2015, 12:00 p.m., all open burning including campfires and fireworks, will be allowed in the City of Quesnel boundaries. This only applies to the City of Quesnel boundaries.   
For more detailed information on fire bans outside of City limits, please visit the Cariboo Fire Centre Wildfire website: http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/FireCentrePage.asp?FC=7
For more information regarding the City of Quesnel lifting the fire ban, please contact the Quesnel Fire Hall at 250-992-5121.
The fire ban within the municipal boundaries of Williams Lake is still in effect

Friday, July 24, 2015

Campfire Ban still on in Cariboo Fire Centre

Courtesy of the BC Wildfire Branch:

Although campfires are currently allowed in some areas and municipalities in northern B.C., the BC Wildfire Service is reminding the public that campfires are still prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre's jurisdiction.

Despite cooler and unsettled weather in recent days, the fire danger rating in parts of the Cariboo Fire Centre is still "high" or "extreme". It would only take a couple days of warm, dry weather for the wildfire risk to increase.

The BC Wildfire Service has responded to eight lightning-caused fires in the Cariboo Fire Centre this week. Over 140 firefighters are working hard to suppress these fires, as well as the Puntzi Lake and Bald Mountain fires.

During periods of high fire activity in B.C., it is important that firefighting resources are not diverted from naturally occurring (lightning-caused) fires to deal with human-caused fires.

Current prohibited activities include:

* Open fires of any size, including campfires.
* The use of fireworks, fire crackers, sky lanterns, tiki torches and similar kinds of torches.
* The use of burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description.
* The use of binary exploding targets.
* The use of air curtain burners (forced-air burning systems).

This prohibition does not apply to a cooking stove that uses gas, propane or briquettes, or to a CSA-approved or ULC-approved campfire apparatus where the flame height does not exceed 15 centimetres.

This prohibition covers all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but it does not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest-fire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department. Before lighting any fire, residents should check with local authorities to see if any other burning restrictions are in place.

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

For information about where campfires are banned in the province and tips on making responsible burning decisions, visit:http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp

To report smoke, flames or an open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or dial *5555 on a cellphone.

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

You can follow the latest wildfire news:

Quesnel Council Meets Monday

On Monday - Quesnel City Council will be the only local government to meet in the Cariboo-Chilcotin while the remainder (SD's 27/28, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, Wells and Cariboo RD) are on summer recess until mid to late August).

On the Agenda:

Delegation (1) - Quesnel Community Gardens

Business:

a) Notices on Land Title - 3 items
b) Report on providing Dog Control services to Cariboo RD Electoral Areas A and I
c) Report on City of Quesnel options to block pay parking at the CNC Campus
d) Give 1st/2nd Readings to Zoning Amendment Bylaws #1769 and 1770
e) Change Council appointee to Post Secondary Education/Training Committee to Mayor Simpson

View the full Agenda here

Puntzi Lake Evac Order now a Evac Alert

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Effective immediately, residents from the Puntzi Lake area that were under Evacuation Order can return to their homes. This area will now be under an Evacuation Alert until further notice. See the attached map for the specific areas.

The new Evacuation Alert area will be re-assessed on Monday, July 27. Forestry will be maintaining security in the general area to ensure safety for their crews and the public. Only those living, working, or with legitimate business within this area will be allowed access.

People living in or travelling through the areas that have been affected by the Puntzi Lake wildfire should use caution as some hazards, such as dangerous trees or hot spots, may still exist. Please be aware that fire suppression activities will still be underway within these areas.

The Puntzi Lake fire is currently estimated at 8,078 hectares and is 67 per cent contained.

Residents are reminded to register for the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification System by visiting the Cariboo Regional District at cariboord.ca. For up to date fire information, please visit the Cariboo Fire Centre online Bcwildfire.ca or call 1-888-336-7378.  For more information regarding evacuations, please visit the CRD's website at cariboord.ca, or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CRDEmergencyOperations or on Twitter @CaribooRD

Quesnel's Dr Recruitment/Retention Plan

With 9 doctors planning to leave Quesnel in the next short while - a small Primary Care Committee consisting of Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson, Cariboo Regional District Area 'C' Director (and CC Reg Hospital Board Chair) John Massier, Cariboo-North MLA Coralee Oakes' office and Northern Health have been working on a plan to recruit/retain doctors to Quesnel and have them hopefully stay in Quesnel

Read a report authored by Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson here on funding temporary housing for doctors

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson was interviewed by Global BC's Prime last night.  Watch the interview below:







Thursday, July 23, 2015

Federal Tax Deferral for BC Ranchers

Courtesy of the BC Government:

B.C. Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick issued the following statement today, about the Government of Canada’s decision to grant tax deferrals to B.C livestock producers in regions affected by drought.

“I’d like to thank Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz for extending the opportunity of tax deferral to B.C. ranchers. The ability to defer a portion of their income to the following year, offers the ability for ranchers to replenish their stock and prepare a sustainable business plan for the impacts of this year’s drought. The unprecedented hot and dry weather brings the immediate challenges of heat and water, and the longer term impacts of more expensive, and harder to find cattle feed, and the announcement made today, is one tool to help ranchers better prepare for it.

“In addition, the B.C. government will continue our partnership with the Government of Canada in providing a range of risk management programs that compensate ranchers for weather related losses and declines in income. Farming and ranching is hard work, with risks and perils, and the B.C. government is doing our best to ensure B.C. farmers have access to programs and products to help mitigate that risk.

“British Columbians have a role to play in supporting our farmers and ranchers too. I’d like to encourage British Columbians to show their support for local farmers and ranchers this summer and all year long. By choosing B.C. products you’re investing in your community and B.C. food security.”

Learn More:

Government of Canada news release: http://news.gc.ca/web/article-en.do?nid=1005549

Business Risk Management Programs available in B.C.:

http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/agriculture-business-and-economy/insurance-and-income-protection

Sam Ketcham Pool Reno Open House - Aug 5th from 3-6pm


New Pavement on Mountain House Rd

This afternoon while out for a drive - I noticed that new asphalt had been put down on Mountain House Rd, starting at the junction of West Coast Rd/Mountain House Rd and going for a 1-2 km stretch

My personal thanks to local Ministry of Transportation for this road work.  Me and my constituents are thankful for the improved road surface along this stretch of Mountain House Rd

~SF

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Crime Severity Index for 2014 out

The latest statistics for the national Crime Severity Index (CSI) has been released today by Stats Canada.  The stats below show, in Williams Lake, rural areas are still a safe place to live however Williams Lake municipal crime stats are not trending overall in the right direction while in Quesnel, both rural and municipal, they are trending in the right direction

Quesnel Council will be pleased with the stats while Williams Lake Council will not be happy with the stats.  100 Mile Council should be pleased overall with the stats

For Williams Lake (Rural)

CSI 2013 - 55.75
CSI 2014 - 54.83

Violent CSI 2013 - 59.04
Violent CSI 2014 - 51.41

Non Violent CSI 2013 - 54.43
Non Violent CSI 2014 - 55.96

For Williams Lake (Municipal)

CSI 2013 - 217.86
CSI 2014 - 235.23

Violent CSI 2013 - 226.52
Violent CSI 2014 - 314.20

Non Violent CSI 2013 - 214.26
Non Violent CSI 2014 - 206.00

For Quesnel (Rural)

CSI 2013 - 69.38
CSI 2014 - 69.28

Violent CSI 2013 - 86.09
Violent CSI 2014 - 107.35

Non Violent CSI 2013 - 91.38
Non Violent CSI 2014 - 96.77

For Quesnel (Municipal)

CSI 2013 - 181.59
CSI 2014 - 171.59

Violent CSI 2013 - 198.42
Violent CSI 2014 - 160.98

Non Violent CSI 2013 - 175.09
Non Violent CSI 2014 - 175.09

For 100 Mile House:

CSI 2013 - 50.12
CSI 2014 - 52.48

Violent CSI 2013 - 40.73
Violent CSI 2014 - 65.29

Non Violent CSI 2013 - 53.44
Non Violent CSI 2014 - 47.70

For Wells:

No stats available

For full details - click here

City of WL Honours George and Gloria Atamanenko with 2015 Accessibility Award of Merit

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

At the July 21 Council meeting, Mayor Walt Cobb presented George and Gloria Atamanenko with the 2015 Accessibility Award of Merit.

George has been on the Accessibility Advisory Committee for many years. Recently he took the lead role as Chair of this committee. In his role as Chair of the committee, the past two years he has led the committee to assist in establishing more accessible parking stalls downtown, negotiated with local taxi drivers to assist with getting more disabled persons access for rides, worked with BC Transit giving input and advice on transit issues for seniors and those with mobility issues along with communicating needs to our hospitals, services and construction community for livable housing and habitable areas for all to access in and around Williams Lake.

Gloria has been growing hundreds of seedling tomato plants that she donates for sales at the Scout Island Spring fundraising sale annually. These seedlings are just a small portion of what Gloria does for local organic food production and protecting our resources. Gloria is an advocate for the growth of arts and culture, along with venues that can be accessed by all residents.

Together, George and Gloria are members of the local chapter of the Council of Canadians, which advocate for environmental and water concerns. They are both supporters of Scout Island, Seniors activities, accessible transportation, visitable housing and supporters of downtown businesses that allow for easy access to shop in their establishments.

The City of Williams Lake Accessibility Advisory Committee invites nominations each year for the award, to recognize people, businesses, and organizations that make a difference in removing physical and social barriers which impede the full participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of community life.

Honourable mentions for 2015 are:

• Sacred Heart Catholic Church nominated by Shirley O’Conner for the dedication to services in the community and the installation of a ramp for access to the lower level of the church

• Bill Reid nominated by Chris Hornby for his dedication to disability issues and advocacy for seniors and the endless hours bill and his late wife put into the local Meals on Wheels program.

• Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex (Facility and Staff) nominated by Margaret Waring for the continual encouragement to participate in activity and services in a building striving to upgrade change rooms, automatic door openers and spectator viewing for those with mobility issues.

Williams Lake City Council debates proposed Dasiqox Tribal Park

At last night's Williams Lake City Council meeting - the topic of the proposed Dasiqox Tribal Park was debated at length. This Tribal Park was first raised in the fall of 2014 - read more here while you can read the proposed letter of opposition to the proposed Dasiqox Tribal Park here

First up to address Williams Lake Council -- Cariboo Regional District Electoral Area 'K' (East Chilcotin) Director Betty Anderson who said, while she respects her First Nations neighbours and friends and noting her husband is of Shuswap descent himself, that someone had to stand up about the proposed Tribal Park and why it is bad for her Electoral Area

After Director Anderson made her presentation which at one point became emotional for her, due to her deep respect for her fellow Chilcotin CRD Director - Area 'J' Director (and Xeni Gwet'in Chief) Roger William, Yunesit’in (Stone) Band Chief Russell Myers-Ross also presented on the topic of the proposed Dasiqox Tribal Park, going through the background of how it came forward and what was coming up including upcoming consultation sessions.  Chief Myers-Ross also stated that the Tsilhqot'in National Government is open to discuss this Tribal Park proposal with anyone.  Xeni Gwet'in Chief (and Cariboo RD Electoral Area 'J' Director) Roger William also presented to Council on the subject and reviewed the various history connected to the proposed Tribal Park.  In addition - CRD Area 'K' Alternate Director Ervin Charleyboy and CRD Area 'F' resident George Atamanenko addressed Council on the subject of the proposed Tribal Park as well.

During responses to the various delegations - Williams Lake City Councillors Scott Nelson, Jason Ryll, Laurie Walters and Ivan Bonnell collectively stated a need to meet to understand the proposed Dasiqox Tribal Park and how that could reflect the best interests of the Cariboo-Chilcotin region

During Council consideration of a motion offered by WL City Councillor Scott Nelson to defer consideration of endorsing the joint letter of opposition to the proposed Dasiqox Tribal Park for 6 weeks, pending a meeting with the Tsilhqot'in National Government - Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb stated his strong opposition to the Tribal Park proposal and stated that he was prepared to continue his opposition to the Tribal Park proposal notwithstanding Council's resolve to defer.  This caused Williams Lake Councillor Ivan Bonnell to suggest that Mayor Cobb was somehow "threatening" WL City Council.  Mayor Cobb took great offence to Councillor Bonnell's suggestion by addressing him as "Mr. Bonnell" in a fairly strong voice

In the end - Williams Lake Council approved Councillor Nelson's motion by a vote of 5-1 with Mayor Walt Cobb voting in opposition.  Williams Lake City Councillor Sue Zacharias was absent from the meeting

Director Anderson strongly hinted during her presentation that the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) Board may be asked to discuss this matter.  The CRD Board's next meeting is on Friday, August 21st

~SF

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

WL Council Highlights - July 21st mtg

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

Meeting called to order at 6pm

Meeting agenda approved/Mins of WL Council's July 7th meeting adopted

Presentation/Delegations:

1) Mayor Cobb presented the Accessibility Award of Merit to George/Gloria Atamanenko

2) Matt Neufeld, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of Williams Lake & District appeared before Council to present an update on Local Community Services provided by the Boys/Girls Club of WL and District

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

3) Cariboo RD Area 'K' Director Betty Anderson appeared before Council to discuss her proposed joint letter of opposition in regards to the Dasiqox Tribal Park.  Stone and Xeni Gwet'in Band Chiefs Russell Myers-Ross and Roger William appeared before Council to discuss same along with Cariboo RD Area K Alternate Director Ervin Charleyboy and George Atamenenko

A Question/Answer period ensued
Mayor Cobb, on behalf of Council, thanked the various parties for their time/information

Business:

1) Council received for information the accounts payable cheque listing for July 9 and 16, 2015

2) Council authorized travel and associated expenses for Councillor J. Ryll to attend a meeting regarding BC Ferry service on July 23, 2015 in Vancouver, BC, hosted by the Aboriginal Tourism Association of BC

3) Council deferred consideration of the joint letter of opposition to the proposed Dasiqox Tribal Park from Mayor Cobb/CRD Electoral Area 'K' Director B. Anderson for 6 weeks, pending a meeting with the Tsilhqot'in National Government.  Approved by the following vote:

Affirmative - Councillors Bonnell, Nelson, Ryll, Smith and Walters
Negative - Mayor W. Cobb

4) Council endorsed a Remedial Action Resolution (demolition) as it pertains to 27 Seventh Avenue South (Slumber Lodge)

5) After receiving no public input - Council approved Development Permit #3-2015 for 36 Broadway Avenue - Burgess Plumbing/Heating ( Replacement of Exterior Façade & Roof Canopy)

6) Council received for information a report of the Director of Development Services regarding the three year renewal of the downtown Revitalization Tax Exemption Agreement for 232 Third Avenue North, Dr. Mike Bos / M.A.P. Ventures Inc

7) Council received a report from Councillor L. Walters concerning an overview of the North Central Local Government Association (NCLGA) meeting held July 10 and 11, 2015 in Prince George, BC

8) Council approved a front façade and canopy Encroachment Agreement with Burgess Plumbing, Hearing and Electrical with all costs associated with registration of the Agreement being the responsibility of the property owner

9) Council accepted a Development Variance Permit application from MacPine Developments Ltd. requesting to vary Section 3.17 Insufficient Capacity In Existing Systems of City of Williams Lake Subdivision and Development Servicing Bylaw No. 1730, 2000 and directed that the matter return to Council at its' August 18, 2015 meeting for further consideration

Councillor C. Smith declared a conflict of interest on the next item as he is in the sign business and left Council Chambers at 7:59pm

10) Council accepted a Development Variance Permit application from Grosso Developments Ltd. requesting to vary the City of Williams Lake Zoning Bylaw No. 1825, 2002 (10 variance requests) and directed that the matter return to Council at its' August 18, 2015 meeting for further consideration

Councillor C. Smith returned to Council Chambers at 8:00pm

11) Council received a report from its' Planner in regards to a progress update on the current BC Transit Service Review process

12) Council approved Airport Lease #CWL6700 - Redekop

13) Council adopted 3 Committee of the Whole recommendations as follows:

a) That pursuant to Committee of Whole Council Report #11-2015, the letter from Central Cariboo Economic Development Corporation dated June 23, 2015 regarding a Community Gathering Space in the Tourism Discovery Centre be received and their request for moving the current car display in the main area to provide a valuable opportunity for community meeting and greeting space be endorsed and Policy be developed for the placement of displays at the TDC

b) That pursuant to Committee of Whole Council Report #12-2015, the report of the Chief Administrative Officer dated July 6, 2015 regarding Ministry meeting requests for the 2015 UBCM Convention be received and endorsed.

c) That pursuant to Committee of Whole Council Report #13-2015, the report of the Chief Administrative Officer dated July 6, 2015 regarding the provincial agencies, commissions & corporations meeting requests for the 2015 UBCM Convention be received and endorsed as amended with the additions of BCR Properties and the BC Lottery Corporation.


14) Council gave approval to close the alley below Oliver Street which connects Third Avenue South and Fourth Avenue South for the Boys/Girls Club's 13th Annual Family Street Party on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 from 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM

15) Council received the "Council Information Package" as follows:

• July 10, 2015 - CRD Board Highlights.

Council members gave oral reports on their recent activities

Meeting adjourned at 8:23pm

Quesnel Council Highlights - July 20th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

R.C.M.P. Staff Changes
On behalf of the City, Mayor Simpson bid a fond farewell to outgoing R.C.M.P. Members Staff Sergeant Steve Vroylk and Constable Krysta Vroylk who have proudly served our community for the last six years.  Although not new to our community, Mayor Simpson introduced and welcomed Staff Sergeant Andrew Burton who will now replace Mr. Vroylk as Quesnel’s Detachment Commander.

Hope Air
Hope Air is a non-profit organization that assists people with free medical flights.  In 2014, 23 Quesnel residents were the recipients of 113 free medical flights totaling $23,000.  Hope Air would like to raise awareness in Quesnel as well as ask for the community’s assistance in raising funds to assist local residents further.  All funds raised locally stay local.   Local area residents, Terry and Lynn Worden, Hope Air Ambassadors, have started a local campaign to raise funds to assist area residents with medical flights.  Please visit the local fundraising campaign at https://fundrazr.com/campaigns/fyXhe or Hope Air’s main website at www.hopeair.ca for more information.

Pay Parking - North Cariboo Community Campus
In light of the decision by the Board of Directors for the College of New Caledonia to implement pay-parking at the community’s North Cariboo Community Campus, Council passed a resolution to reiterate its strong opposition to this initiative. 

Temporary Physician Housing
In an attempt to avoid curtailment of emergency room services at G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital from July to October 2015, Council passed a resolution to allocate $4,800 from the “Council Committees” budget to cover lease payments for two relief physicians.  One physician arrived this month and the remaining physician is scheduled to arrive in August 2015.  Quesnel’s doctor shortage is being proactively managed by the Primary Care Committee comprised of the Hospital’s Chief of Staff, Hospital Administrator, MLA’s office, Hospital District Board Chair/Cariboo Regional District Director and Quesnel’s Mayor.  

Community Partnerships
On behalf of the City, Council wanted to express their appreciation and recognize the good deeds being carried out in our community by local companies and groups.  Tolko Industries donated materials and their employees’ time to rebuild and replace ball diamond bleachers at both Rotary Ball Park and Cariboo Field.  Regency Chrysler donated two insured vehicles for the two locum doctors that will fill-in at the Hospital’s Emergency Room this summer/fall.  Seasons House staff worked above and beyond to relocate two tenants who previously resided in the “Brown Cabins” allowing the City to carry-out the Remediation Order of this property.  West Fraser donated plywood and lumber to rebuild the tennis practise wall and add netting to wind-proof the tennis fencing at West Fraser Timber Park. 

Remedial Order Action Update
The Remedial Order has been completed in full with the demolition of the “Brown Cabins”, located at 371 Lewis Drive.  Seasons House was able to relocate the two tenants who previously resided at this property.  Final cost of this demolition is yet to be determined, but is estimated at $53,725.  The property owner will be invoiced for the full amount of the demolition and any outstanding balance will be applied to the property’s municipal tax bill.  The “Brown Cabins” were in a state that posed significant risk to health and well-being of the public.  Demolition materials were treated as hazardous, were removed and disposed of in accordance with WorkSafe BC’s hazardous material guidelines.

Request for Transit Buses/Drivers
Council approved the request of two transit buses, pending availability of drivers, to shuttle participants from Dragon Lake School to the Dragon Lake Boat launch for the Quesnel Fall Women’s Challenge scheduled for Sunday, October 4, 2015.  Council’s approval of this request will assist with improving the high level of both vehicle and pedestrian congestion on Quesnel-Hydraulic Road, and side roads, during this event.

Proclamation
- November, 2015 – Disabled Parking Awareness Month

Next Meetings:
Monday, July 27th at 7 p.m.
Regular Meeting/Committee Session
Monday, August 24 at 7 p.m.
Regular Council Meeting
Council Clippings provides a summary of some of the business conducted by Council at regular Council meetings. For specific details, visit www.quesnel.ca, click the “Council” link and the “Agendas and Minutes” section.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Central Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus Mtg - July 20th

Present - Chair S. Forseth; Directors B. Kemp, J. Sorley, and B. Anderson

Guest - CRD Chair A. Richmond

Agenda approved, as amended and June 17th CC Rural Caucus Meeting Minutes adopted

The Caucus discussed the following items:

1) Letter from the City of Williams Lake regarding 2016 Grants for Assistance Process - matter to be discussed at the August 4th Joint Committee meeting
2) Central Cariboo Victim Services Function - matter to be discussed at the September Joint Committee meeting

The Caucus, at 3:20pm, then convened an In-Camera Meeting as per Section 90(1k - negotiations) of the Community Charter with the Caucus resuming its' public meeting at 3:40pm

3) Discussion of Draft MOU (endorse as amended) and Draft Boundary Expansion Agreement (endorse as presented)

Meeting adjourned at 4:00pm

Local Governments by far well managed

Editorial -- 

This past Friday - Dermod Travis of Integrity-BC wrote an Op-Ed (Opinion Editorial) regarding the state of local government affairs.  Read that piece here

In the piece - he raised a number of concerns involving local governments in Grand Forks, Nanaimo, Lantzville, Lillioet, Chase, White Rock and Pouce Coupe.  Please note that there are a total of 191 local governments (municipal councils or regional district boards') in the Province of BC and Mr. Travis flagged issues with seven of them, representing just 4% of all local governments in the Province of British Columbia

He also raised a concern about a number of CAO's (Chief Administrative Officer) on the move including in Lillioet, Mission, Kitimat, Fraser Lake, Sicamous, and the Regional District of Central Kootenay (note - I have not been able to confirm the CAO move in RDCK but have for Lillioet, Mission, Kitimat, Fraser Lake and Sicamous via local media reports)

He finally called upon BC's Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development (and Cariboo-North MLA) Coralee Oakes to address the issue before things "go south"

With great respect to Mr. Travis - I don't see a real problem that speaks to the Province needing to intervene in a deep and genuine way except in the case of Lantzville, due to the legalities of no quorum as of this writing on the current Lantzville Council which Minister Oakes appropriately intervened in that case and set Lantzville Council back on track for a full seven (7) member Municipal Council later this year

Yes - the stories that Mr. Travis may appear to be of concern on the surface, but once one digs deeper into the issue, it will show that all of these cases either have to do with life changes or simple retirement in the cases of the CAO's or in the case of local governments - usually it is a case of people not willing to cooperate with each other.  And yes - these cases do, at the end of the day, sadly cost time, energy and money for not only the elected officials, but the appointed ones as well (CAO/Staff) as well as the community at large

It is my personal view that if one genuinely takes part in orientation for newly elected officials (Mayor, Councillors' or Electoral Area Director) and also in Strategic Planning Sessions - most problems resolve themselves.  For those that don't -- well managed local governments should have a Code of Conduct or Dispute Resolution process in place to deal with those rare cases where people have a fundamental difference of opinion on where the local government is going.  Bearing in mind - in one of his recent books - renowned parliamentary expert Eli Mina said in 100 Boardroom Problems and How to Solve Them - that some natural tension in our local governance systems is ok but when it crosses over to full out governance dysfunction, that is when you should sit the warring parties down and fundamentally attempt to address their issue(s) in a meaningful but respectful way.

To conclude - the issues flagged by Mr. Travis represents a mere 4% of all local governments in British Columbia today and most, if not all, will resolve themselves over time and is not, in my opinion, reflective of fundamental problems with local governance in BC today - either by virtue of the Local Government Act or Community Charter

Editor's Note - the above editorial is the opinion of Steve Forseth and is not reflective of the Cariboo Regional District Board of Directors', its' Staff and Volunteers


Friday, July 17, 2015

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of July 20-24th

3 local government meetings in the Cariboo-Chilcotin will be occurring next week as follows:

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

* Presentation - Outgoing RCMP Constable Krista Vrolyk and Staff-Sgt Steve Vrolyk and incoming Quesnel Detachment Commander, Staff-Sgt Andrew Burton

* 2 Delegations: Hope Air/Spectra Energy

* 3 Reports from Mayor Simpson re: Pay Parking at CNC Campus, Temporary Doctor Housing, Recognizing Community Partnerships

* Various Committee Reports
* Free Admission Request to Quesnel Museum from Red Bluff Indian Band
* Mayor Simpson vs RB re: Purchase of Agriculture Lands for Carbon Offsets

Full Agenda can be viewed here

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

1 Presentation - 2015 Accessibility Award of Merit Presentation to George & Gloria Atamanenko
2 Delegations -- Matt Neufeld, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of Williams Lake & District re Update and Overview of Local Community Services & CRD Director (Area K) Betty Anderson re: Chilcotin Tribal Park Designation

Business:

a) Joint Letter of Mayor Cobb/Director Anderson re: Dasiqox Tribal Park Concerns
b) Remedial Action Order - The Slumber Lodge (7th Avenue) - For Demolition)
c) NCLGA Board Report (July 10/11) from Councillor L. Walters
d) 3 Recommendations from July 14th Committee of the Whole Meeting

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District - Central Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus Meeting on Monday, July 20th at 3pm in the CRD Committee Room (180D North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* Letter from City of WL re: Grant in Aide Process for 2016 (For Discussion)
* Action Page

There is also an In-Camera Meeting scheduled as per Section 90(1k - negotiations) of the Community Charter

View the full Agenda here

Likely Debris Flow Update

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Likely, B.C. – The debris flow that occurred yesterday over Keithley Creek Road at Cariboo Lake near the town of Likely, BC, was the result of water being released from a lake above the debris site. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure expects to have the road open to single lane traffic this evening.

The CRD has been advised that there are no records of any man-made structures being built in that area and there is confirmed evidence to support the loss of water from the lakes being the result of a beaver dam failure.

There is also history of a similar event occurring at this same site approximately ten years ago – also due to a beaver dam failure.

BC Hydro and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure are on site today. BC Hydro had to make the site safe for large equipment to start moving the debris material that is 3metres deep in places and spans a distance of up to 100 metres along the Keithley Creek Road.

The RCMP were in the community isolated on the far side of the slide and the residents are well supplied and able to manage on their own for the next few days.

Video of Likely Debris event

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Aerial Shot #1:



Aerial Shot #2:



Aerial Shot #3:



On the Ground Footage:



Thursday, July 16, 2015

Likely debris flow impacts one home

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:


The Cariboo Regional District has just learned of a debris flow near Likely on the Keithley Road at Cariboo Lake. The flow is approximately six to 10 feet deep and 100 metres in length.

One house has been impacted by the flow and it has been confirmed that the residents have gotten out of the house and were reported as being in a boat on Cariboo Lake. The area is still unsafe as the debris flow is still occurring. The Ministry of Transportation geotech should be on site early this evening to assess the situation.

Residents are reminded to register for the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification system by visiting the CRD website at www.cariboord.ca or calling the office at 250-392-3351 or toll free at 1-800-665-1636. Unfortunately, the residents within the impacted area did not register for this system; therefore no notification has been issued.

More updates will be provided as information becomes available.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

NCLGA welcomes a new Member

Courtesy of the North Central Local Gov't Association:

The Gitlaxt’aamiks Village Government is the newest First Nation to become a member of the North Central Local Government Association (NCLGA). As the second Nisga’a village to join the ranks of the local government coalition, NCLGA’s President hopes it won’t be the last.

“It’s what we set out to do in our Four-Year Strategic Plan,” says Brian Frenkel. “We recognize that local governments, whether they be regional districts or councils, don’t always encompass all voices needed to be at the table. By reaching out to our First Nations communities, we’re looking to build an even stronger voice for the region by articulating all northerners’ priorities and perspectives.” 

“When you consider all the work that lead to their historic treaty, and the community building they’ve done over the past decade, I can say with certainty that all NCLGA members will greatly benefit by bringing on Gitlaxt’aamix as a member.” 

As the governmental advocacy body for every community north of 100 Mile House, the NCLGA is key in advocating for Northern issues at the provincial and federal levels, as well as connecting organizations and spearheading initiatives to benefit all those who call Northern BC home. Nine First Nations have been identified as Nations who qualify for membership, and two have already come on board: the Nisga’a Villages of Gitwinksihlkw and Gitlaxt'aamiks.

“Our offer of membership has received some great uptake from surrounding First Nations,” says Oliver Ray, NCLGA’s Executive Director. “Now, we need to work on keeping communication open and building those relationships. Quite frankly, we need all of Northern BC to be on the same page – whether that’s industry, local government, or First Nations. With only 7% of the province’s population, we need to speak with a united voice. The NCLGA, as the elected voice of North Central BC, is ready to step forward & take on that role.”

Chief Will Yum MTB Trail Network Complete

On Monday - Pinkbike (A BC-based Mountain Biking Magazine) announced completion of the Chief Will Yum Trail Network with dollars from Northern Development Initiative Trust provided to help complete this project.  This was a joint project with the Williams Lake Indian Band

This will add the huge network of Mountain Biking Trails in the area which includes Fox Mountain, De Sous Mountain, South Lakeside and Westside Trail Networks.

The project was initiated in 2014 and finished in April of 2015.

Read the article in PinkBike here

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

WL Council-in-Committee - July 14th mtg

Present: Mayor W. Cobb (Chair); Councillors I. Bonnell, S. Nelson, L. Walters and S. Zacharias

Meeting called to order at 6pm

Meeting Agenda approved/Mins of May 19th COW Meeting and June 22nd Special COW Meeting received/adopted

Delegation - Andre Chevigny:

Andre Chevigny appeared before the Committee to discuss Gateway Project Design Options

A Question/Answer period ensued

The Chair, on behalf of the Committee, thanked Mr. Chevigny for his time/information

Business:

1) Gateway Project

The CAO reviewed his report with the Committee in conjunction with the delegation
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Item received

2) Tourism Discovery Centre - Community Gathering Place

Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - The Committee recommends to Council:

Receive letter from Central Cariboo Economic Development Corporation and endorse the request to move the car display at TDC to another location freeing up the space for community use

3) UBCM 2015 Minister Meetings

General discussion ensued

4) Provincial Agencies, Commissions & Corporations Meeting Requests for 2015 UBCM Convention

General discussion ensued

5) DVP-01/2015 - 18 Woodland Drive

The Director of Development Services presented her report to the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Report of the Director of Development Services be received

Meeting adjourned at 7:56pm


Cariboo News/Events to return?

This afternoon - a fundraiser drive was started to resurrect "Cariboo News/Events".  The goal is $70,000 by the end of August.  This is being promoted around Facebook this afternoon

More details are available here




Prov $$$ for Local Priorities

Courtesy of the BC Government Caucus:

100 Mile House along with the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) have received $338,682 in combined funding as part of almost $75.2 million being invested into communities across B.C. to meet local needs including more policing, new equipment, increased community safety initiatives, infrastructure and service delivery priorities.

100 Mile House has received $242,975 in Small Community funding. The CRD has benefited from $95,707 in Regional District funding.

“Public safety funding is important to rural communities and essential in strengthening law enforcement and providing additional resources for crime prevention,” said Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett. “I am grateful that 100 Mile House will see this funding go back into our community to help support important programs and projects that will make a real difference in peoples’ lives.”

This is the second of two annual payments. A payment of $40 million was made in March 2015.

Since 2009, the Small Community, Regional District and Traffic Fine Revenue Sharing Grants have provided more than $792 million in funding to support B.C. communities enabling them to invest money in projects that are identified as priorities at the local level.

Williams Lake to receive $29,000 for Greener Community

Courtesy of the BC Government Caucus:

The B.C. Government has provided $29,466 to Williams Lake in recognition of their commitment to support healthier, more sustainable communities.

“Continuing to find innovative ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address the impacts of climate change, is critical to ensuring that future generations can continue to enjoy our beautiful home in this province, said Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett. “This funding is good news for Williams Lake as it will save on energy costs and improve inefficiencies.”

“Williams Lake is dedicated to reducing our carbon footprint while still allowing businesses to thrive,” said Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes. “This funding will build on that commitment to sustainability and help us continue to work toward our climate action goals.”

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

In March 2015, $6.4 million was provided to B.C. communities.

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

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

Monday, July 13, 2015

Update #8 - Puntzi Lake Fire

Courtesy of the BC Wildfire Service:

Due to an up-to-date tight line map, the Puntzi Lake Wildfire burning on the north side of Puntzi Lake is now estimated at 8,089 hectares. This wildfire is now 30 per cent contained on the south west flank. The fire has received approximately 17 millimetres of rain since Saturday, July 11, which contributed to suppression efforts on the fireline.

Favourable weather in the last few days has allowed crews to direct attack the fire along the perimeter. Mop up efforts continue in and around private property and homes affected by the wildfire. The forecast is calling for three to five days of continued cooler temperatures and isolated showers. The BC Wildfire Service will be taking advantage of this downturn in weather to further establish control of the Puntzi Lake Wildfire.

Due to progress on this wildfire the Cariboo Regional District has revised the Evacuation Order to allow some residents to return home. For more details and updated maps please visit the Cariboo Regional District's Emergency Operations Facebook page at: CRDEmergencyOperations

It takes a significant amount of sustained rain to snuff out a wildfire. The effects of rain on a fire would depend on the amount of rain, how long it fell for, the humidity of the area around the fire, and the current level of fire activity being observed at the incident. While the fire danger rating in the Cariboo Fire Centre is low to moderate all it would take is a few days of hot and dry weather to increase the risk of fire activity.

To report smoke, flames or an unattended open fire, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or dial *5555 on a cellphone. For up-to-date information on current wildfire activity visit: www.bcwildfire.ca

You can follow the latest wildfire news on:

Twitter at: @BCGovFireInfo
Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo?fref=ts

Testing for Tougher Road Line Paint

Courtesy of the BC Government:

Is there an approved paint tough enough to withstand sanding, scraping and the daily pounding of thousands of tires? The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure intends to find out by testing new types of paint on B.C. highways.

Pavement marking is done at least once a year, but the water-based paints that meet federal environmental standards for emission of Volatile Organic Compounds wear differently than the old oil-based products, which were discontinued in 2010.

This year, test strips will be painted on three sections of highways that represent the various weather conditions and traffic that paint must endure. The test paint will be applied horizontally across one lane, with four-inch stripes of white and yellow paint. Test locations will be near Prince George and Kamloops, and at a location to be determined in the south coast region; the areas will have signs so motorists will know that testing is underway. Over one year, the products will be tested for durability, longevity and reflective qualities.

The results of these tests should provide information on the performance of different types of paints and paint thicknesses, to measure how they withstand the elements, including the application of abrasives and winter plowing.

BC's Minister of Transportation - the Hon. Todd Stone said:

“Faded lane markings are one of the top concerns I hear from drivers across this province. Lane and road-edge lines are an important safety feature on our highways. This test involves different formulations of environmentally-acceptable paint to identify the ones that will work best on our highways.”

City Centre Water Upgrades Commence

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:


Paving and roadworks will be underway in Williams Lake City Center from mid- July until the early September. Construction will begin with upgrade of water lines in July, followed by street paving in August. Access on the following roads will be periodically restricted to single-lane alternating traffic during the day, or closed along one block overnight.

* Yorston Street (4th Ave to MacKenzie Ave)
* 1st Avenue (Oliver St to Borland St)
• 3nd Avenue (Proctor St to Oliver St)
• Cameron Street (3rd Ave to MacKenzie Ave)
• Borland Street (4th Ave to MacKenzie Ave)
• Mart Street (Borland St to Oliver St)
• 7th Avenue (Oliver St to Recreation Complex)
• Oliver Street (Fronting Boitano Mall)

Please watch for flag persons and proceed with caution whenever work is in progress.

The tender for this construction was awarded to Peters Bros Contracting. Please direct questions on the above to Project Manager, Dan Colgate, TRUE Consulting at 250 305-6605

South Cariboo Joint Committee meets tonight

The South Cariboo Joint Committee consisting of the Cariboo RD Directors for Areas G, H and L plus all of 100 Mile District Council will be meeting tonight at 5pm in 100 Mile Council Chambers (385 Birch Avenue)

On the Agenda:

* Update from 100 Mile RCMP
* The Lodge, Architectural Review
* Proposed Water Park Location (Funding from South Cariboo Recreation?)
* Appointment to Joint Use Committee
* Interior Roads - Request for Feedback
* Request from South Cariboo Aquatic Society

The full Agenda may be viewed here


Sunday, July 12, 2015

Update # 7 - Puntzi Lake Fire

Courtesy of the Cariboo RD Emergency Ops Centre:

Effective Monday, July 13 at 1 p.m., residents on the southern shores of Puntzi Lake, including the Kokanee Bay Resort and all properties south, will be allowed to return to their properties. This area will remain on Evacuation Alert. Coordinates of the new Evacuation Alert and Evacuation Order areas are included on the attached map.

Further changes to Evacuation Orders and Alerts will be determined as areas are deemed safe for re-entry and normal activities.

The Cariboo Regional District, the Cariboo Fire Centre and the Tsi Del Del First Nation are working together on recovery and re-entry preparation for affected residents.

The Puntzi Lake fire is currently estimated at 8,089 hectares and is 30 per cent contained on the southwestern flank.

The Cariboo Regional District has established a Public Information line at 250-398-5117.

Residents are reminded to register for the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification System by visiting the Cariboo Regional District at cariboord.ca. For up to date fire information, please visit the Cariboo Fire Centre online bcwildfire.ca or call 1-888-336-7378.  For more information regarding evacuations, please visit the CRD's website at cariboord.ca, or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CRDEmergencyOperations or on Twitter @CaribooRD

30th Anniversary BBQ of the Wildwood VFD

Yesterday - I attended the 30th Anniversary BBQ of the Wildwood Fire Department.  Many members of the community came out to celebrate 30 years of their local fire department.  Unfortunately - I know CRD Chair Al Richmond did want to make it but got tied with the Puntzi Lake fire situation and I know the community understood that he was needed to deal with that wildfire.  I was able to have one on one discussions with the community on local matters as well.

I want to congratulate members of the Wildwood Community Association and several members of the Wildwood Fire Department for making the 30th Anniversary BBQ the success I believe it was... The event was partially funded from the CRD Electoral Area 'D' Discretionary Fund ($500) as well as the Wildwood Community Association own funds as well...

Find below some pictures I took from yesterday's event: