Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Day 1 of "Keeping It Rural" Conference

Elected officials from around the province including from:

* Columbia - Shuswap RD
* Peace River RD
* Cariboo RD
* Thompson Nicola RD
* Central Kootenay RD
* North Okanagan RD
* Village of Chase

and many others are in Salmon Arm attending the 3 day "Keeping It Rural" Conference discussing ideas around Rural Economic Development

After the first day - topics discussed included:

* Providing Context: Some Issues Facing Rural BC
* The Critical Role of Rural Development Organizations
* The Role of First Nations Investment Organizations in Revitalizing Rural Economies.
* “Realizing that Sometimes You Are Just Going to Have to Do it for Yourself – The Sangudo, Alberta Story”
* Mobilizing Local Capital for Rural Economic Revitalization

I also had the opportunity to network with elected officials like Chair Rhona Martin of the Columbia-Shuswap RD, CSRD Area D Director Rene Talbot and other CSRD Area Directors, Central Kootenay Area E Director Ramona Faust, TNRD Area E Director Sally Watson and Chase Councillor David Lepsoe along with other attendees

I'm looking forward to tomorrow's sessions and I'll provide a report on Day 2 at the Conference tomorrow evening...

~SF

Friday, May 22, 2015

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of May 25th - 29th

A number of local governments in the Cariboo-Chilcotin are meeting next week as follows:

Quesnel - Regular Council Meeting on Monday, May 25th at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* Presentation from NCLGA: GoldStar Resolution on Missing/Murdered Aboriginal Women Inquiry
* Report out from previous In-Camera Meetings
* Committee reports
* Quesnel Council to discuss topic Reforestation of ALR Land, at request of Councillor Scott Elliot
* Quesnel School District Budget for 2015/16
* Proposed Design/Consulting Team Public Works Facility
* Sidewalk Food Vendor Permit (Golden Boy Dog)
* DVP 2014-48 (246 Giesbrecht Road)

View the full Agenda here

SD #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) - Regular Board of Education Meeting to be held in 100 Mile House on Tuesday, May 26th at 6:30pm.  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

Williams Lake - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 26th at 6pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  On the Agenda:

* Delegations (3) - Community Policing Volunteer Recognition Presentations; ALS Walk on Sat June 13; Interior Roads re: Summer Roads Project Work

Business:

* 2015 NCLGA Convention Summary from Councillor L. Walters
* Dutch Point Road Access - Remove 'No Parking Signs' and authorize works for parking
* DVP #04-2015 - Jeanette Beddington - Setback Reduction for Carport & Deck - 1185 Second Avenue North
* Amend License of Occupation for Platform Properties (Walmart site)
* Active Transportation Committee Recommendation - Item from Community Services Committee
* Healthy Communities Initiative - Partnership with IHA - Recommendation from Community Services Committee
* 2 Committee of the Whole Recommendations (Oppose Laundry Privatization and Mtg with IHA re: Cariboo Memorial Hospital)
* 3 Requests for Letters of Support - WL Indian Band, WL Construction Association, Quesnel Skyfest
* Airport Pavement Rehabilitation Project - Letter from Ottawa for funding

View the full Agenda here

100 Mile House - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 26th at 7pm in 100 Mile Council Chambers (385 Birch Avenue).  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

Cariboo Regional District (CRD):

a) Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee meeting on Wed, May 27th at 5pm in the CRD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Avenue).  On the Agenda:

* Mtg with SD27 Board on June 2nd
* Pool Upgrade Project - Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program Application
* CMRC Fees/Charges Bylaw
* Handicap Accessibility at CMRC
* Write-off of Debt ($45,203.03) of former TimberWolves Jr A Hockey Team
* City of WL/CRD Employee Access to CMRC
* Esler Recreation Commission - Spring 2015 Mtg Minutes/Recommendations
* Action Page

As I will be attending a Rural Economic Development conference in Salmon Arm from May 26th-28th, CRD Area 'D' Alternate Director Phyllis Webstad will be attending the May 27th CC Joint Committee meeting on my behalf

Please don't forget about this weekend's (May 23rd/24th) "Show and Shine" event put on by the Lakers' Car Club.  More information here as well as the "March against Monsanto" rally which starts at 12pm on May 23rd at Cariboo Growers in Williams Lake (corner of 3rd Avenue/Oliver St) - more information on the rally here

Staff changes at Quesnel City Hall

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Quesnel Council announced today that they are restructuring City Hall in order to more effectively serve the public and to achieve operational savings. The restructuring primarily involves reductions to management staff and the creation of new positions to address skills gaps and succession needs.

In order to maintain its commitment to reduce operating costs and once again tax only to address the City’s infrastructure deficit, Council must find $525,000 in operational savings in its 2016 budget. This is in addition to the $600,000 in operating cost reductions Council achieved in its 2015 budget. The $1.125 million in combined annual savings means Council can avoid imposing an 8.2% tax increase simply to maintain programs and services at 2014 levels.

“While Council must reduce operating costs in order to achieve its budget objectives for 2016, the focus of our City Hall restructuring was on improving the delivery of public services and on succession planning,” said Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson. “This restructuring enables us to create positions that address critical skills gaps at City Hall while also addressing a time-sensitive succession issue in our Public Works Department.”

The restructuring involves:

the permanent elimination of the Communications Supervisor, Corporate Services Supervisor, and GIS Technician positions at City Hall;

the conversion of an Information Technologist contract position to a part-time unionized position;

the conversion of a management staff Purchasing Agent position to a union function in 2016 as part of a re-organization of Public Works;

the creation of a new Senior Accounting Clerk position at City Hall without adding an additional FTE; and,

the conversion of the Airport Manager position to a Senior Clerk within the union, enabling the current Airport Manager to return to the Public Works Department as Operations Manager.

The restructuring results in a net reduction of three permanent positions and cost saving of approximately $250,000 per year starting in 2016. The maximum one-time severance costs associated with the immediate elimination of these three positions is $200,000.

“Council did not make this restructuring decision lightly or easily,” said Mayor Simpson. “We fully understand the impact these decisions have on the people affected by them and we directed our senior management to ensure resources were made available to assist these long-term employees through their personal transition. However, Council has an obligation to make governance decisions that ensure the long term vibrancy and resiliency of Quesnel and the financial sustainability of the City is foundational to achieving that vision.”

Dugan Lk Accessibility Trail Open

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Editor's Note - I joined CRD Chair Al Richmond, CRD Area 'F' Director Joan Sorley and WL Indian Band Councillor Willie Sellars at today's opening

Today, an official ceremony was held to officially open the Dugan Lake Accessible Trail, near 150 Mile House. The trail was built in partnership between the Williams Lake Indian Band, the Cariboo Regional District, Northern Development Initiative Trust, Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition and the provincial government through the BC Community Recreation Program.

“Enjoying nature and our regional surroundings is an important part of living in the Cariboo. I wish to congratulate the Cariboo Regional District on continuing their work on making the Cariboo an accessible area through trail development with the opening of the Dugan Lake Accessibility Trail,” said Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

Approximately one kilometre long and featuring a packed, crushed gravel surface, the trail traverses along the shoreline of Dugan Lake. Dugan Lake is situated among rolling hills in a spruce-lodgepole pine forest, offers a BC Forest Service campsite and is a great spot for viewing wildlife. An accessible dock on the low mobility trail also allows visitors to cast a line into this popular fishing lake.

The trail has a gentle grade with one steeper section. An accessible outhouse, accessible dock, three benches and a kiosk at the trailhead with information about the trail are also available for users’ convenience.

“It is with great pleasure we are able to officially open another trail in the Cariboo Chilcotin and take the next step towards developing the region as an accessible and inclusive tourism destination,” stated CRD Electoral Area F Director Joan Sorley. “Thank you to our partners including the Williams Lake Indian Band, the province, NDIT and CCBAC. It is through these types of projects that we can continue building communities together.”

“The Dugan Lake Low mobility trail is a perfect example of what happens when we work together. Through these relationships we have delivered something that will help bolster the already growing trail network and contributes to more trails in the local area. Providing another tourism option will also further diversify our economy and give people more of a reason to visit our area, take in the views and experience the Cariboo, “says Williams Lake Indian Band Councillor Willie Sellars.

“British Columbia’s Cariboo-Chilcotin is known for its rugged and beautiful landscapes, but these amazing parts of our province are often difficult to access for people with mobility issues. Accessible travel is one of the fastest growing tourism markets in North America, and this trail project means our region has become that much more accessible to residents and visitors alike,” said Janine North, CEO, Northern Development.

The Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition is excited to be a part of this regional project,” stated CCBAC Chair, Bob Simpson. “It is an excellent example of how partnerships, cooperation and collaboration can achieve great results. Projects such as the Dugan Lake Accessible Trail improve our communities by making our region accessible to all and enhance the visitor experience in the Cariboo Chilcotin.”

The Dugan Lake Accessible Trail is located approximately 24 kilometres east of Williams Lake on the Horsefly Lake Road, about 2.5km past the junction of the Horsefly and Likely Roads.

Ongoing management of the site is provided by Recreation Sites and Trail BC.

For further information about the growing list of accessible trails within the Cariboo Regional District, visit us online at cariboord.ca and look under services/recreation.

About the Community Recreation Program

The $30-million Community Recreation Program was developed to address the unique challenges faced by communities in the Province with respect to meeting their recreational infrastructure needs. The program invests in local government capital projects that make communities healthier, more active places in which to live. Through the duration of the program, the B.C. government provided grants for 98 recreation projects throughout B.C. – to help fund everything from bike paths, trails, fitness facilities and walkways to playgrounds and recreation centres.

About the CRD Accessible Trail Network

The CRD Board passed a resolution in 2006 to work towards developing the Cariboo Chilcotin as a world leader in accessible outdoor recreation and tap into niche tourism markets for persons of low mobility. Other wheelchair accessible sites within the CRD include Tatlayoko, Kersley, Cottonwood Historic Site, 108 Mile/Sepa Lakes, Lac La Hache, Horsefly Salmon Spawning Trails, Gavin Lakeshore Trail, and most recently the 99 Mile Accessible Trail which was officially opened last Fall. There are currently seven other accessible wilderness trails being developed by the CRD, some of which were funded through the Community Recreation Program.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Improvements coming to Horsefly Rd

Courtesy of the BC Government Caucus:

Over one million will be invested to resurface 6 km of Horsefly Road this summer, providing safer driving conditions for the travelling public.

“Continually improving safety is our government’s priority, especially in rural areas such as the Cariboo to provide safer driving conditions for all motorists,” said Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes. “Resurfacing these sections of the road will improve safety and efficiency for residents, business, and the community.”

Approximately 6 km of Horsefly Road in the Rose Lake area will be resurfaced. A $1.1-million contract was awarded to Dawson Construction Limited of Kamloops. Work will take place this summer and be completed by September 30.

The rehabilitation of provincial highways, bridges and side roads is a priority of B.C. on the Move, a 10-year transportation plan that outlines critical investments and improvements throughout the province that will improve the daily lives of British Columbians.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

CC Rural Caucus Mtg -- May 20th

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

Meeting called to order at 4pm

Meeting agenda approved and mins of the CC Rural Caucus Meeting of April 22nd received/adopted

Business:

1) Amendment to CRD Solid Waste Mgmt Plan

The Chair reviewed his memo with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon...

Resolved - Memo of Director Forseth dated May 3rd be received

2) Hodgson Road Slide

The Mgr of Development Services reviewed her report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon...

Resolved - That the memorandum of the Mgr of Development Services be received

3) Action Page

Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved  - Action page be received and Item #3 be removed

Meeting adjourned at 5pm

DeGagne Trial Over!

In a matter that dates back to February of 2013 -- BC Supreme Court Madam Justice Dardi released her decision in the court case of DeGagne v. City of Williams Lake - read her decision here

She ultimately ruled that the City of Williams Lake treated Mr. DeGagne "shabbily" and stated the City must pay him $65,250 which consists of six months' severance plus 6 months of loss of his pension and other benefits, $643 in moving costs plus one-third of his legal costs

The local media cover the story here (Tribune) and here (Goat/Cariboo Country)

For its' part - the City of Williams Lake stated:


The City of Williams Lake has received the decision by the Honourable Madam Justice Dardi, who has ruled against awarding special or punitive damages to Don DeGagne.

Mr. DeGagne had filed a notice of civil claim in BC Supreme Court in May of 2013, after his employment was terminated by the Council of the day. Madam Justice Dardi awarded Mr. DeGagne damages equivalent to six months’ notice, calculated as $65,250, damages for loss of pension and other benefits for six months, relocation costs of $643, and one-third of his legal costs. The total amount owing to Mr. DeGagne is estimated at approximately $90,000, plus what has already been spent in legal costs, for a total of about $200,000.

The court rejected Mr. DeGagne’s assertions of breaches of the Community Charter, defamation, and malice, and rejected claims for aggravated, punitive, and special damages, and special costs.

“We have formally received the decision, and we’re glad we can now move on,” says Mayor Walt Cobb. “Out of caution, we had budgeted for a ruling against the City, and we are glad the costs owing are minimal. We’re happy this case is now behind us, and we can focus on the business of governing and growing the City.”

Mr. DeGagne’s employment as the Chief Administrative Officer was terminated on Feb. 27, 2013.
From my own perspective - the City received a very favourable ruling from the BC Supreme Court considering what the City could have been on the hook for and I agree with Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb - it is time to move on.  This is no official word if Mr. DeGagne plans to appeal this decision to the BC Court of Appeal.  He has 30 days to do so

~SF

Deforestation of Ag Land Mtg w/Lana Popham

At a meeting held in the Banquet Room of the Best Western Tower Inn last night in Quesnel - roughly 30-40 people including local ranchers, the assistant to Cariboo-North MLA Coralee Oakes and Cariboo RD Electoral Area Directors Jerry Bruce (Area B), Steve Forseth (Area D) and Joan Sorley (Area F)  showed up to discuss the topic of the use of arable Ag Land Reserve properties to grow trees with Saanich South MLA (and NDP Agriculture Critic) Lana Popham

After a general introduction from MLA Popham - a discussion period ensued including a request to those present to write individual letters to the Provincial Government asking that this practice cease to continue.  Director Sorley also made mention of what the Cariboo Regional District Board had done on this topic in addition to passing a Resolution at the recently held North Central Local Gov't Association in Prince George, at the request of the Nechako-Bulkey Regional District.  This NCLGA Resolution will be debated for endorsement at the Union of BC Muncipalities Convention in Vancouver on September 21st - 25th.

From my perspective - it was a very good meeting with good turnout and I'm looking forward to seeing what transpires from here

~SF

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Changes coming to CC Transfer Station

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

The Cariboo Regional District announced today, that Bylaw 4950 has been established for the Central Cariboo Transfer Station. Under this new bylaw, commercial tipping fees will be increased by 14.5 per cent, with the exception of Demolition and Construction Waste (DLC), which will be increased by 10 per cent. The new bylaw will be effective June 4, 2015.

This bylaw has been established, and will be enforced, to protect our environment and manage tax dollars responsibly. Diverting recyclables from the landfill: conserves our landfill space; keeps harmful substances out of our environment; reduces methane gas production; and conserves resources.

“It is important that we take every possible step in helping to protect our environment from unnecessary and preventable contamination, while providing the service in a cost-efficient manner,” says CRD Chair Al Richmond. “The Cariboo Regional District is a signatory of the provincial Climate Action Charter, and we take that commitment seriously.”

The new bylaw also includes a landfill ban on recyclables. The month of June will be used to educate users and starting July 4, 2015, commercial and residential loads of waste (garbage, wood, or demolition and construction) containing more than 10 per cent by volume of recyclables will be charged $200 per tonne, or a $25 fee as a method of enforcing the ban. Recyclables include, but are not limited to: deposit beverage containers, pharmaceuticals, empty oil containers, oil filters, paints, lead-acid batteries, antifreeze, antifreeze containers, electronics and electrical products including batteries and accessories, passenger and light truck tires, large and small appliances, scrap metal, corrugated cardboard and office paper. If your business generates any of these recyclables you will need to develop alternate handling methods to ensure they are being recycled. All listed recyclables can be recycled at various locations in Williams Lake. A detailed list of recyclables is available on the CRD website, or by emailing talktrash@cariboord.ca.

Fees of $200 per tonne will apply to wood waste that is contaminated with non-wood materials. Attendants will be on-site to inspect all loads coming into the Central Cariboo Transfer Station.

The bylaw also lists prohibited materials such as all liquid, hazardous, and ignitable waste from the Central Cariboo Transfer Station.

The full text of the bylaw is available on the CRD website at cariboord.ca. For further information or questions, commercial users can contact the CRD at talktrash@cariboord.ca or by calling 250-392-3351 or toll free at 1-800-665-1636.

Monday, May 18, 2015

City of WL Water Main & Reservoir Cleaning

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The City of Williams Lake Water Division will be cleaning and flushing reservoirs and water mains starting May 20th, 2015 for approximately a four week period.

The areas that will be affected are:

All homes North of Western Avenue, Midnight Drive North from Moxon Place, Moon Avenue, North ends of Smith Street and Pigeon Avenue, North 4th, Haddock and Boitanio Streets, Hubble Toop Road area to Centennial Avenue.

As residents may experience a slight discolouration of their tap water, running a tap for a short period of time will clear this up. All inquiries can be directed to the City of Williams Lake Water and Waste Division at 392-1785. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Interview with new ALC Chair Frank Leonard

Yesterday afternoon - CBC Radio West interviewed Frank Leonard, the new Ag Land Commission Chair after the provincial government replaced former Chair of the ALC Richard Bullock whose interview you can listen to here.  Mr. Bullock has now opened the door to running for public office as soon as the next provincial election, scheduled for May of 2017

Listen to Frank Leonard's interview here

~SF

BC Farmland - Food or Corporate Carbon Credit?

On Tuesday - Lana Popham (BC NDP Agriculture Critic and MLA for Saanich South) will be hosting a meeting Tuesday at 7pm at the Best Western PLUS Tower Inn (500 Reid St) in Quesnel on the topic of BC Farmland - Food or Corporate Carbon Credit?

The description of the meeting is:

Please join me in Quesnel for a public meeting on Corporations using our ALR lands for carbon offset programs. We are losing thousands of acres of prime farmland and we don't have the legislation to stop it. Is it happening near you? Come and join the discussion!
As of this writing - 14 people have confirmed their attendance on Facebook including myself.  I have heard from ranchers in my Electoral Area very concerned about the practice of reforestation on ALR Land in BC and I hope to connect with MLA Popham to have a one-on-one discussion about this topic...

More details are available here

~SF

Friday, May 15, 2015

Wells/WL Councils' meet Tuesday

On Tuesday - both District of Wells and City of Williams Lake Councils' will meet as follows:

Wells - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 19th at 7pm in Wells Council Chambers (4243 Sanders Avenue).  When available, you can view the Agenda here

Williams Lake - Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, May 19th at 6pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (WL City Hall basement) - 450 Mart St.  On the Agenda:

Delegations:

a) Steven Henderson, Allison Fedorkiw and Sadie Cox from Spectra Energy to appear before the Committee to give an introduction to Spectra Energy & provide an Regional Update

b) Donisa Bernardo fron Hospital Employees Union to appear before the Committee to discuss IH's Laundry Privatization plans

Business:

1) RCMP Auxiliary Funding Request

View the full Agenda here

Former ALC Chair speaks out!

Yesterday afternoon - the BC Government appointed former Saanich Mayor Frank Leonard as the new Chair of the Agriculture Land Commission (ALC)

CBC caught up with Richard Bullock, a farmer, and former Chair of the ALC and he explains why he felt he was dismissed and what his dismissal means to the future of agriculture in BC...

Read more here

Caution urged with fire use in hot/dry weather

Courtesy of the BC Government:

While in Prince George, getting a first-hand update on the Little Bobtail Lake wildfire, Premier Christy Clark is reminding the public to do their part to prevent wildfires during the May long weekend.

Premier Clark was accompanied by John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation and MLA for Nechako Lakes. The Little Bobtail Lake wildfire - the first major wildfire of 2015 - has burned about 13,000 hectares to date. Ground crews, supported by helicopters, airtankers and heavy equipment operators, are working around the clock to control the fire and protect homes, infrastructure, forests and grasslands.

The Wildfire Management Branch is fully prepared for this year’s wildfire season, but B.C. residents and visitors need to be especially careful with fire use during hot and dry weather. Many regions of the province are seeing unseasonably high temperatures and dry conditions. Some parts of B.C. have already experienced “high” and “extreme” fire danger ratings - an early indication that we could be facing a busy wildfire season again this year.

The warming trend that has been drying out forest fuels and grasslands for weeks is expected to continue over the long weekend and into next week in most of the province. The long-term weather outlook for B.C. suggests that temperatures will be above normal in many areas this summer.

Small campfires are currently permitted throughout B.C., so long as people exercise caution and follow campfire regulations. The maximum allowable size of campfires is 0.5 metres wide by 0.5 metres high.

Larger Category 2 and Category 3 open burns are currently prohibited in the Prince George Fire Centre. Category 3 fires are also prohibited in the Cariboo Fire Centre. The Kamloops Fire Centre will implement a prohibition on Category 2 and Category 3 open burning at noon on Friday, May 15. Information about burning and campfire restrictions is available online at: http://bcwildfire.ca/hprScripts/WildfireNews/Bans.asp

Almost half of all wildfires in B.C. each year are caused by people and these fires unnecessarily tie up Wildfire Management Branch resources. The B.C. government is asking everyone to do their part this May long weekend to help keep their neighbours and communities safe.

BC Premier Christy Clark stated:

“Every summer, the risk of fire increases. With many parts of the province facing unseasonably warm and dry weather, that risk increases even more - putting people’s homes and lives at risk. This long weekend, please be mindful and take extra care with your campfires and barbecues.”

While Steve Thomson - Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations said:

“All British Columbians need to do their part to prevent wildfires by learning about safe fire use and complying with all campfire and open burning regulations. I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable long weekend.”

As to outdoor activity reminders:

Recreational activities:

Heat from vehicle exhaust, fireworks, discarded cigarettes and sparks from equipment can easily ignite a wildfire when fire danger ratings are elevated.

Don’t park your motorcycle, all-terrain vehicle or any other off-road vehicle on grass or in areas where the exhaust system is close to combustible material.

Use an approved spark arrester on your vehicles exhaust system to reduce wildfire risks.

Take appropriate precautions with all heat sources, including campfires, outdoor stoves, barbecues and smoking materials.

Ensure that cigarette butts are properly extinguished.

Campfire safety:

Campfires cannot be larger than 0.5 metres high by 0.5 metres wide.

You must maintain a one-metre fireguard around the campfire. This is a fuel-free area where all flammable materials (grass, kindling, etc.) have been removed.

Do not light a campfire or keep it burning in windy conditions.

Never leave a campfire unattended.

Make sure that the campfire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.

CRD Finance/Audit Committee Mtg - May 15th

Present: Chair M. Wagner; Directors Bruce, Forseth, Campsall and Simpson

Guest: CRD Chair Al Richmond

Staff: 

J. Bell - CAO
S. Reid - CFO

Meeting called to order at 10am
Meeting Agenda approved

The Committee discussed the following:

1) Audit Management Letter
2) Finance Chair Procedures
3) 2015 - 2017 Performance Audit Plan - Draft

Meeting adjourned at 11:55am

Xat'sull Band Council Elections

Earlier this week - the Xat'sull (Soda Creek) First Nations held their bi-annual Band Council elections and elected Bev Sellars to complete the term for now-Chief Donna Dixon.  Councillor Bev Sellars is elected until May of 2017 while Shari and Gary Sellars were elected until May of 2019

Congrats to the new Councillors

Find below the Xat'sull First Nations Band Council for 2017/2019:

TitleSurnameGiven NameAppointment DateExpiry Date
CouncillorSELLARSSHERI05/17/201505/17/2019
CouncillorSELLARSMARNIE05/19/2013 05/14/2017
CouncillorSELLARSBEV05/19/201305/14/2017
CouncillorSELLARSGARY05/17/201505/17/2019
ChiefDIXONDONNA03/12/2015 03/17/2019

Thursday, May 14, 2015

New ALC Chair

Editor's Note - my personal congrats to former Mayor/former Chair of the Municipal Finance Authority Frank Leonard on this new appointment.  I'm sure he will do a good job as Chair of the Agriculture Land Commission and my thanks to Richard Bullock for his years of service as Chair of the Ag Land Commission

Courtesy of the BC Government:

The Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council has appointed Frank Leonard as new chair of the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC).

Leonard is a former mayor of Saanich. He was first elected mayor in 1996 after serving on council since 1986. While in public office, Leonard chaired the Municipal Finance Authority of BC, was president of the Union of BC Municipalities and a director of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. He has also chaired the Capital Regional District, the Hospital District, the region’s Housing Corporation, the Saanich Police Board, and has served on the Regional Transit Commission. He has also served on numerous recreation, arts, and community boards.

Over 1,800 hectares, or almost 20%, of Saanich’s land base is located within the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR). Under Leonard’s leadership Saanich Council continued to build on the region’s agriculture heritage, with policies supporting local food production in both rural and urban areas, as reflected in Saanich’s Official Community Plan. Leonard was also a past co-chair of the Farm Assessment Review Panel, which looked at the farm classification process and regulations for municipal tax purposes.

Leonard comes from a family-business background, having managed Victoria Tire Ltd.'s three Kal Tire stores before his election as mayor. While in business, Leonard served as a director of the BC Chamber of Commerce, president of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce, and on the boards of local tourism and economic development groups.

Frank Leonard is currently chair of Parkbridge Lifestyles Communities, vice-chair of the Municipal Pension Plan and a director of the Victoria Airport Authority. He has previously served as a director of the BC Investment Management Corporation.

Leonard holds his bachelor of arts in history (Honours) and his master of arts from the University of Victoria.

Leonard will take up duties as chair of the ALC immediately. He will hold combined duties as board chair and CEO for a period of five months while he leads the search for a new CEO of the commission.

The ALC is an independent administrative tribunal responsible for administering the province’s Agricultural Land Reserve. The commission’s mission is to preserve agricultural land and encourage and enable farm businesses throughout B.C. The ALR is the largest it has ever been in its history, with more than 4.7 million hectares set aside for farming. The land in the ALR has increased by 38,000 hectares since 2001.

For more information visit: http://www.alc.gov.bc.ca/

CRD Board - May 14th mtg

Present - Chair Richmond; Directors Armstrong, Bruce, Massier, Forseth, Kemp, Sorley, Wagner, Cash, Anderson, Coakley, Sharpe, Simpson, Campsall and Alternate Director I. Bonnell (City of WL)

Staff:

J. Bell - CAO
A. Johnston - Corporate Officer
S. Burich - Mgr of Communications
K. Moores - Mgr of Development Services

Meeting called to order at 9:55am

Agenda (with late items) approved and Mins of the April 24th CRD Board meeting approved

Delegation MOB received

Planning Bylaws:

1) Bylaw 4953 - Area H was given 1st/2nd Readings
2) Bylaw 4954 - Area F was given 1st/2nd Readings
3) The following Bylaws were adopted:

i) Bylaw 4860/4861 - Area G
ii) Bylaw 4940 - Area F

Development Variance Permits:

a) DVP #10-2015 (Area D) was approved (Mike King - 5008 Highway 97 North)

Agriculture Land Commission Applications:

a) ALR Application #G20150006 (Area G) was deferred up to six months

Planning/Bylaw Enforcement/Building Inspection - Other Business:

1) A Request for Letter of Concurrence for Rogers Communications in Area G was deferred up to six months at the request of the applicant

2) The Municipalities’ Building Inspection Reports, Cariboo Regional District Statistic Reports and the Inspection Activity Reports for the month of March 2015 was received

3) The Board requested the Chair/CAO coordinate with other RD Chairs/CAO's to formulate a joint letter to the Province with options to consider in regards to reforestation of agricultural lands.

a) The Board agreed send a letter outlining its concerns to Reckitt Benckiser with a copy to MLA Lana Popham and send a separate letter to BC Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick on this subject

Environmental Services:

1) The Board received the Refuse Site Inspection Report for March 5, 2015 to April 21, 2015

2) The Board received a report from Staff in regards to illegal dumping on Crown or Private Lands

3) The Board received a report of the Mgr of Environmental Services regarding the public petition results for Alexis Creek street lighting

4) The Board received a report of the Mgr of Environmental Services regarding the domestic water supply for the community of Forest Grove

5) The Board endorsed two recommendations as to the acquisition of 103 Mile Water System and asked Staff to report to June's Committee of the Whole regarding a policy governing expanded use of the Community Works funding

Meeting recessed at 11:30am
Meeting resumed at 1:04pm

6) The Board agreed to notify Benjamin Water & Utility Ltd that it is prepared to consider taking ownership of the water utility, subject to public assent and that up to $3,000 in Rural Feasibility Funds to facilitate a system assessment and a public consultation/assent process

7) The Board received a letter from John Ranta, Chair, Thompson-Nicola Regional District, regarding a UBCM resolution for the management of bio-solids

Community Services:

1) The Board agreed to endorse an application from the Big Lake Community Association to the Farm Credit Canada AgriSpirit Fund for the replacement of a staff housing unit at the Big Lake Community Hall property

Communications:

a) The Board agreed to proclaim the following dates:

May 25th-31st, 2015 - Bike to Work/School Week
June 6th, 2015 - Access Awareness Day

Finance:

a) The Board received the Monthly Expenditures Board Summary Report for the month of April 2015, in the amount of $1,009,308.56

b) The Board endorsed a request to access Areas G, H and L Discretionary Funds for $100 from each of the 3 Areas to cover the rental charges at the Martin Exeter Hall for a Mill Girl Follies fund raising event

Administration:

1) The Board agreed to rescind the following Board Policies:

#91-4-4(y) Purchasing
#91-4-4(z) Tenders
#91-4-4(aa) Requirement for Revised Cost Estimates
#91-4-4(bb) Awarding of Contracts
#91-6-43 Conflict of Interest
#99-7-17 Contract Renewal/Extension

2) The Board received a request from School District #27 for feedback on proposed policy revisions (Community Use of Facilities, Recruitment/Selection of Teachers/Support Staff and Administration/Management)

3) The Board received a report of the Corporate Officer regarding the 2015 UBCM Resolution Deadline

4) The Board endorsed a Resolution in regards to Fire Inspection Services in Rural Areas as follows:

WHEREAS the provincial government has enacted various building and fire
code regulations for public buildings, including the
Fire Services Act;

AND WHEREAS the provincial government has, through the BC Safety
Authority, and various other provincial agencies such as the Health Authorities,
established regulatory regimes designed to inspect various installations and
operations, such as gas, electrical, health, food safety, etc. aimed at protecting
the public from potential hazards associated with public facilities, while the
Fire Services Act remains without an effective regulatory regime;

AND WHEREAS the provincial government is considering requiring regional
districts to enforce the Fire Services Act and its regulations in the
unincorporated areas of the province, including the obligation to provide for a
regular system of inspection of public buildings;

AND WHEREAS regional districts do not have the capacity to take on an
inspection and enforcement role in the rural areas without significant additional
financial and human resources;

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the provincial government
provide the resources necessary to inspect and enforce provincial safety
regulations, including the Fire Services Act
and its regulations, through either
the Office of the Fire Commissioner or the BC Safety Authority rather than
pursuing options to download the responsibility for inspections and enforcement
of provincial regulations on local governments.

5) The Board received a report of the Executive Assistant in regards to the new Special Occasion Liquor License process

6) The Board received the following In-Camera Resolution released from In-Camera:

That the Memorandum from Janis Bell, Chief Administrative Officer, dated
March 12, 2015 regarding the Watch Lake/Green Lake Volunteer Fire
Department’s request for the Cariboo Regional District to collect dues, be
received. Further, that the request be denied.


7) Late Item -- The Board received a letter from the Honourable Coralee Oakes, Minister
of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, regarding the Interlakes
Economic Association’s concerns about governance in the Interlakes area of the
Cariboo Regional District and that the Interlakes Economic Association be invited to appear before the Board to discuss their concerns with the Cariboo Regional District

Meeting recessed at 2:28pm

The Board convened an In-Camera meeting under Section 90(1c - labour) of the Community Charter at 2:37pm

The Board resumed its' public meeting at 5:30pm

8) The Board received both the Consent and Financial Consent Calendars as of May 14th

9) The Board received the NCLGA April 2015 Newsletter

10) The Board received the Board Prioritization of Resolutions Report

Committee or Commission Minutes/Recommendations:

1) The Board received the April 22nd minutes of the Central Cariboo Joint Committee meeting

2) The Board received the April 22nd minutes of the Central Cariboo Rural Caucus meeting and endorsed the following:

That correspondence be forwarded to Todd Hubner at the Ministry of
Transportation and Infrastructure, requesting that Speed Limit signs
be erected on West Coast Road, past the transfer station; and on
Mountain House Road, past the intersection of Mountain House Road
and West Coast Road

Approved by the following vote:

Affirmative - Chair Richmond; Directors Armstrong, Bruce, Massier, Forseth, Kemp, Sorley, Wagner, Cash, Anderson, Sharpe, Simpson, Campsall and Alternate Director Bonnell (Williams Lake)

Negative - Director B. Coakley (Area L)

3) The Board received the March 24th meeting minutes of the Heritage Steering Committee

4) The Board received the April 14th meeting minutes of the North Cariboo Joint Committee and endorsed two recommendations as follows:

a) West Fraser Centre - Construction Document Stage
b) West Fraser Centre - Fundraising

5) The Board received the May 4th meeting minutes of the South Cariboo Joint Committee and endorsed 4 recommendations as follows:

a) Water Park Location
b) Functional Integration Workshop
c) South Cariboo Highway Rescue Services
d) Laundry Services at 100 Mile District General and Cariboo Memorial Hospitals

Invitations:

The Board received two invitations without allocated funding as follows:

1) Regional Gold Rush Trail workshop scheduled to be held between June
9th and June 12th, 2015

2) Invitation from the Fraser Basin Council to attend the opening
reception of its upcoming Board meeting to be held in Quesnel on June 3, 2015

Directors' Requests:

a) The Board endorsed a request from Director Anderson to access $400 from the Area 'K' Discretionary Fund for two turkey shoots in Riske Creek ($200), and $200 for remodeling of bathrooms at the Alexis Creek Community Hall to increase accessibility

b) The Board endorsed a request of Director Forseth to increase access to the Area 'D' Director Initiative Fund for the Keeping It Rural conference in Salmon Arm from up to $1,350 to up to $1,600

Meeting adjourned at 5:41pm

CCRHD Board - May 14th mtg

Present - Chair Massier; Directors Armstrong, Bruce, Forseth, Kemp, Sorley, Richmond, Wagner, Cash, Anderson, Coakley, Sharpe, Simpson, Campsall and Alternate Director I. Bonnell (City of WL)

Staff:

J. Bell - CAO
A. Johnston - Corporate Officer
S. Burich - Mgr of Communications
K. Moores - Mgr of Development Services

Meeting called to order at 9:30am

Meeting agenda approved/CCRHD Board Minutes of April 24th approved

1) The Board received the Consent Calendar as of May 14th

2) The Board received an item from Interior Health regarding the new Urology program at 100 Mile General Hospital.  Letters will also go forward to MLA Donna Barnett/South Cariboo Healthcare Foundation thanking them for their hard work on this matter

3) The Board received an item from Interior Health regarding Capital Projects/Status Report for March 2015

4) The Board received an item from Northern Health regarding the Quesnel Physician Recruitment Strategy

5) The Board received a copy of a letter from the Ministry of Health to the WL Seniors' Advisory Council regarding the Cariboo Memorial Hospital revitalization project

6) The Board received a letter from MLA Jackie Tegart (Fraser-Nicola, BC Liberal) in regards to an oncology program in the South Cariboo

7) The Board received a letter of response from Interior Health regarding the "Car 40" program.  A Letter will also go to Interior Health requesting that they appear before the Board to discuss Cariboo Memorial Hospital/Mental Health

Meeting recessed at 9:55am
Meeting resumed at 11:35am

Delegation:

Lynn Roberts and Trevor Barnes appeared before the Board on behalf of the Central Interior Rural Division of Family Practice to discuss their Recruitment & Retention program

A Question/Answer period ensued

Chair Massier, on behalf of the Board, thanked the delegation for their time/information

Meeting adjourned at 12:23pm

CRD Finance/Audit Committee meets Friday

On Friday at 10am - members of the CRD Finance/Audit Committee, which includes myself, will meet in the CRD Boardroom to discuss the following:

a) Audit Management Letter
b) Finance Chair Procedures
c) 2015-2017 Performance Audit Plan (Draft version)

View the full agenda here

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

WL Council Highlights - May 12th mtg

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

Staff:

C. Bouchard - Mgr of Legislative Services/Corporate Officer
C. Hutton - Planner

Meeting called to order at 6pm

Agenda approved/Mins of the Council Meeting held on April 28th as corrected

Delegations:

1) Kathee Sukert, Queens Director and Alexis Forseille, Queens Committee appeared before Council to present the 2015-16 WL Stampede Queen contestants as follows:

• Paige Brinoni, Miss Titchener Contracting
• Stephanie Warnock, Miss Minton Creek Ranch
• Cheyleigh Sand, Miss Daybreak Rotary

2) Nancy Gale from the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre (CC-CDC) appeared before Council to discuss recent activities of the CC-CDC and the grand opening of the new Autism Center on Wednesday, May 20th

A Question/Answer period ensued

Mayor Cobb, on behalf of Council, thanked Ms. Gale for her time/information

3) Donavan Shaw, Junior Councillor appeared before Council to discuss ERASE Student Advisory Council and Social Media Guidelines for Students

A Question/Answer period ensued

Mayor Cobb, on behalf of Council, thanked Ms. Gale for her time/information

Business:

1) Council received for information the accounts payable computer cheque listings for the periods ending April 24 and May 1, 2015

2) Council approved the 2015/16 Annual Operating Agreement with BC Transit and the Lakers Go Bus Society

3) Council approved registration, travel and associated expenses for Mayor Cobb to attend the 78th Annual Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Conference being held June 4 to 8, 2015 in Edmonton, Alberta and the LGLA CEO Forum - June 24 to 25, 2015 in Vancouver, BC as per Council policy

4) Council adopted Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2231 (Red Tomato Pies - 440 Proctor St) and Development Permit #1-2015, also for Red Tomato Pies at 440 Proctor St

5) After receiving no public input - Council adopted DVP #02-2015 for 740 4th Ave South (Thomas & Julie Pinette)

6) Council agreed to defer consideration of Development Variance Permits #01-2015 and #03-2015 for road improvements and stormwater management, respectively, on 18 Woodland Drive (see agenda items C3e and C3f) following receipt of public comments; Council also directed Staff to invite MacPine Developments Ltd. to request reconsideration of the previously declined variances subject to submission of a servicing plan after receiving significant public input

At 7:15pm - Council recessed to conduct the Public Hearing for Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2234 (420/440 Proctor St)
At 7:17pm - Council resumed its' meeting

At 7:45pm - Council recessed its' meeting after approval of Item #6 above
At 7:49pm - Council resumed its' meeting

7) Council adopted Bylaw #2233 (2015 Tax Rates Bylaw) and gave 3rd Reading to Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2234 (420/440 Proctor St)

8) Council received the Minutes of the Central Cariboo / City of Williams Lake Joint Committee Meeting held April 22, 2015

9) After a presentation from WL Junior Council - Council received the correspondence covering memo of the Director of Municipal Services dated May 8, 2015 together with the letter from the Williams Lake Junior Council dated May 7, 2015 requesting support for their project to purchase and have installed nine stainless steel recyclers on garbage cans within the downtown area of Williams Lake and the project be approved in principal. The letter was referred to Staff for further investigation regarding the cost of installation and maintenance and source of funding.

10) Council proclaimed the following events:

"Bike to Work & School Week" - May 25 to 31, 2015
"2015 WL Stampede Proclamation" - June 1st - 30th, 2015
"Access Awareness Day" - June 6, 2015
"National Health & Fitness Day" - June 6, 2015

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

• April 24, 2015 - CRD Board Highlights;
• May 5, 2015 - City of Burnaby re BC Housing Non-Profit Asset Transfer Program.

Members of Council gave oral reports on their activities

Meeting adjourned at 8:15pm

Quesnel Council Highlights - May 11th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Community Achievement Award

Mayor Simpson recognized Mr. Tom Moffat receiving the British Columbia Community Achievement Award which is given to those considered to have made outstanding contribution to their communities. Mr. Moffat’s community contributions include involvement with the Cattlemen’s Association, the forest industry, and the Museum and Heritage Commission. Mr. Moffat is a 68-year Royal Canadian Legion member and the Canadian veteran chosen to attend Holland’s World War II Liberty Day celebrations on behalf of the Canadian Air Force. He is part of the Moffat pioneering family from Quesnel, and was recently selected to ride from Quesnel in the send-off parade for the “Veteran’s Ride Across Canada”.
Mr. Moffat expressed his gratitude and was honoured to receive the British Columbia Community Achievement Award. He hoped that he represented the City of Quesnel with dignity and respect.

Capital Works Program

City Council has approved the 2015 Capital Works Program which includes Road Rehabilitation/Overlay Paving in the amount of approximately $375,000.
These paving projects are part of our infrastructure upgrades funded through the Capital Reinvestment Program. The 2015 program totals $399,060 and includes the following:
- Johnston Ave from Leonard St E to Lambert St = $74,690
- North Fraser Dr from Elliott St S to English St = $38,940
- Gavlin Rd from Grosz Rd to Phillips Rd = $65,830
- Kinchant St from St. Laurent N to Shepherd Ave = $60,990
- Barlow Ave from Front St E to McLean St incl. Reid St intersection = $76,170
- Brownmiller Rd S bound lane only from McLeod Rd N to Tolko scales = $82,440
Four additional projects were approved by Council as well. They are:
- Johnston Flats from the traffic circle W to Carry St = $101,030
- Johnston Bridge Loop from the N end of Johnston Bridge to a point 355 meters W, near the train bridge = $84,420
- Wade St from Anderson Dr to Willis St = $37,950
- North Fraser Dr from near Gemini Rd N to Mills Rd = $161,530

The total of the projects combined (ten) have an estimated cost of $783,990.

Downtown core rejuvenation

The downtown core will soon see some exterior renovations. Council approved the Development Permit for the Circle S Western Wear facade renovation at 343 Reid Street.
The applicant is proposing both front and rear facade improvements as well, new siding and awning signage will be added to the front. The rear and sides will be painted.

Parks Plan survey revealed

Council was presented with an overview of the Master Parks Plan survey results which was conducted in March of 2015. The survey was to obtain public views on City parks. With 357 respondents to the survey, an excellent overview on the community’s opinions of City Parks was obtained.
The survey showed there was a high level of value and satisfaction with City Parks and identified a list of amenity and park improvement requests. For the complete survey results see the City’s website at www.quesnel.ca/ourquesnel.html.

Public Consultation on the Draft Parks Plan is set to take place Tuesday June 23. Times and location will be announced shortly.

Other news

- Representatives from the Canadian Cancer Society and Northern Health attended at Council to raise awareness on their Smoke-Free Communities campaign. The City was encouraged to join other BC communities in passing a bylaw on Outdoor Tobacco Use. The matter was referred to the Policy and Bylaw Committee for review.
- Remedial Action Order for 371 Lewis Drive remains in effect. Owners have until June 1, 2015 to demolish the buildings at that location.
- Council approved the option for Wilson/Jones Street Storm Water Connection Project in Lebourdais Park which provided for a different layout of the system. The option is less invasive on the property but at an increased cost of approximately $31,000.
- Council concurred that the Notice of Title on property located on Oval Road not proceed as the proponents have addressed and completed all building deficiencies.
- Council provided the first three readings on the following bylaws:
- Bylaw 1761 - Repealing Bylaw;
- Bylaw 1762 - Sewer Regulations; and
- Bylaw 1763 - Water Regulations.

FUTURE MEETINGS:

Monday May 25 @ 7 p.m.
Regular Meeting

Tuesday, June 9 @ 5:30 p.m.
North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Meeting

Tsilhqot’in Nation/Federal Court moves forward with two Judicial Reviews

Courtesy of the Tsilhqot'in National Government:

The Tsilhqot’in National Government supports the Federal Court’s decision to move forward with two judicial reviews rather than granting the request of Taseko Mines Limited (TML) to restart its litigation as a full trial proceeding. Both judicial reviews relate to the rejection of TML’s proposed New Prosperity Mine.

The Federal Court’s decision to proceed by way of judicial review, rather than the much lengthier trial process, means that a resolution of TML’s allegations will come within months rather than years. As a party to this case, the Tsilhqot’in National Government strongly believes the allegations against the Federal Government lack merit and look forward to seeing TML in the court room again in order to end this decade long battle.

TML’s application for the Prosperity Project has been drawn out for years, acting as an example for how not to proceed with resource development. Keeping First Nations engaged within a consent model is the only way to ensure projects will be approved and continue into the future.

Chief Joe Alphonse, Tribal Chairman of the Tsilhqot’in National Government said:

“TML trying to convert both judicial reviews into a trial was them gasping for air as their project drowns in Federal rejections and faulty plans. It says a lot that this company tried to delay the hearing of its own court proceedings by years. The allegations against the Federal Government are a last ditch effort. The Tsilhqot’in Nation agrees with the courts that the two judicial reviews should be dealt with separately and in a timely manner. We all know the truth to TML’s allegations – I just hope TML’s investors do as well.”

While Chief Roger William - Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government stated:

“This was the right decision. We’re looking forward to getting this matter to court so that we can put an end to TML’s allegations once and for all. The protection of our sacred sites comes first and foremost to the people of Xeni Gwet’in. We will stand our ground with integrity and honesty in this fight against unsound mining plans and practices.”

Monday, May 11, 2015

Ltr to Local Gov'ts re: BC Transit

Earlier today - Todd Stone, BC's Minister of Transportation sent a letter to all local governments in BC in regards to BC Transit in regards to their fiscal plan for the next few years.  This letter will not make people like Kamloops City Councillor Donovan Cavers very happy who is a big transit and alternate transportation methods advocate

Read the letter from Minister Stone below:


Re: Letter to local government - Transit Services

I am writing to update you on steps government is taking to ensure that B.C. continues to lead the nation in its level of funding support for transit services, and in doing so, to support stable levels of transit services over the next three years. Despite protected funding, delivery costs may challenge some communities to maintain current service levels. Therefore, ensuring that every transit dollar possible is focused on providing front-line transit service is a critical priority for the province. Consequently, I have provided direction to BC Transit to refocus its approach, in concert with local governments, to deliver on this objective.

First, on March 26, 2015 a Crown Agency Review of BC Transit began. My expectation is that this review will contribute to a dialogue amongst the partners in each community through the identification of revenue opportunities as well as efficiencies, ensuring each transit community reflects best practices. Secondly, we are working with BC Transit to develop options which will ensure it has maximum flexibility in applying provincial funding to community transit service priorities within the current service plan period. I am confident that these steps will immediately inform local planning discussions now underway, and will go a long way towards positioning participating communities in their efforts to get the most out of their transit systems.

These initial efforts by the province are only part of the story. Local governments and contracted service providers must also play their part in managing costs and optimizing revenues as local service priorities are considered. That is why I am also calling on BC Transit to work with local governments to develop broad and clear strategies based on local ideas for service innovations, cost savings (such as through administrative or route efficiencies), and increased revenues (such as through increasing marketing and advertising opportunities like bus wraps). These strategies must play an important role in ensuring both provincial and local funding contributions are fully leveraged to the benefit of those who rely on transit services.

With these steps, I am confident we can continue to build on the mutual success of our transit record. The Province of British Columbia's financial commitment to transit operations is the highest in Canada, twice the national average, and we are committed to maintaining this leadership position with investments of $312 Million in transit services over the next three years alone. In partnership with our local government partners, our record level of funding support for transit service resulted in 51 Million trips on BC Transit buses last year and a 40 per cent increase in overall transit service since 2001. Together with our partners, we will continue our commitment to environmental stewardship with investments in compressed natural gas bus fleets in Nanaimo and Kamloops, and in fact we will replace approximately half of BC Transit's fleet (500 buses) over the next five years. What makes this even more exceptional is that this is all being accomplished while keeping our promise to British Columbians to balance the budget and exercise fiscal discipline in all provincial programs.

By aggressively employing cost saving and revenue strategies, BC Transit has assured me that it will be able to stabilize service hours in your community through 2017. I look forward to BC Transit's continued progress with its partners in developing a transit service strategy that meets the needs of both transit users and taxpayers.

Sincerely,

Todd G. Stone
Minister

Copy to:

Kevin Mahoney, Chair
BC Transit

Manuel Achadinha, President and CEO
BC Transit

2015 NCLGA Post-Convention Report

As promised - find below my 2015 North Central Local Government Association Convention/AGM Post Conference report for your review...



Sunday, May 10, 2015

Quesnel receives GoldStar Resolution Award

Quesnel Councillor L-A Roodenburg
At this past week's 60th North Central Local Government Assoc Convention held in Prince George, BC - many Resolutions proposed by NCLGA members were debated and approved except for one pertaining to Canada Post from the City of Quesnel

The Resolution pertaining to Missing/Murdered Aboriginal Women sponsored by the City of Quesnel was passed unanimously by NCLGA Delegates and will be forwarded to the Union of BC Muncipalities Convention being held in Vancouver this September.  Read the Resolution here

At the end of the Convention this past Friday - it was announced that the City of Quesnel won the "Gold Star Resolution Award" for best Resolution -  Missing/Murdered Aboriginal Women 

This Resolution was put forward at Quesnel City Council by Councillor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg.  She speaks more to the resolution at that meeting here.  Meanwhile - Councillor Roodenburg was also interviewed by CKPG-TV which you can view below:

Saturday, May 9, 2015

John Massier new NMPT Chair

Members of the 2015-16 Northern Medical Program Trust
At this past week's North Central Local Government Association Convention - the AGM of the Northern Medical Program Trust was held and it was agreed to elect Cariboo RD Area 'C' Director & Cariboo-Chilcotin Reg. Hospital District Chair John Massier to the position of President of the Trust for 2015-2016

The Northern Medical Programs Trust was established to connect students with communities, growing the success of the Northern Medical Program and other health care education programs in building stronger health care in northern communities.  More fuller details on the Trust here

Members of the Trust in this region include:

* District of 100 Mile House
* City of Quesnel 
* Cariboo Regional District

Joining Massier on the NMPT Trust Board will be 100 Mile Mayor Mitch Campsall.  Congrats to my colleagues, particularly Chair Massier in his new role

Read more on this story here while watch a story from CKPG below:

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of May 11-15, 2015

With a successful conclusion to the 60th North Central Local Government Association held in Prince George this past week (stay tuned in the next few days for a post-conference report from myself) - local governments in the Cariboo-Chilcotin are back to work as follows:

Quesnel - Committee of the Whole Session/Regular Council Meeting on Monday, May 11th at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* Presentation on Outdoor Tobacco Use
* Reconsideration - Remedial Action for Order for 371 Lewis Drive
* Various Committee Reports
* Parks Plan
* 2015 Paving Program

View the full Agenda here

School District #28 (Quesnel) - Regular Board of Education Meeting in the SD28 Boardroom (401 North Star Rd).  When available, the Agenda may be viewed here

Williams Lake - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 at 6pm - WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  On the Agenda:

* 3 Delegations -- i) 2015-16 WL Stampede Queen contestants; ii) Nancy Gale re: New Autism Centre Grand Opening; iii) Donavan Shaw, Junior Councillor re: ERASE Student Advisory Council and Social Media Guidelines for Students

* Authorize travel for Mayor Cobb to travel to FCM and LGLA - Chief Elected Official conferences
* Various Planning Matters
* Adopt 2015 Tax Rate Bylaw
* Junior Council Project re Recyclers on Garbage Cans
* 3 Proclamations for adoption

View the full Agenda here

Then at 7pm, Council will convene a Public Hearing to consider public input on Bylaw #2234 (420 and 440 Proctor Street).  View the Agenda here

100 Mile House - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 12th at 7pm - 100 Mile Council Chambers (385 Birch Ave).  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

Cariboo Regional District - Meetings as follows:

Tues, May 12th - North Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus Meeting at 3pm in the CRD Quesnel Office (102 - 410 Kinchant St, Quesnel).  On the Agenda:

* Delegation: North Cariboo Healthier Communities Committee re: Caucus Committee Appointments

Agenda can be viewed here

Thursday, May 14th - CC Regional Hospital Board Meeting.  9:30am in the CRD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Ave, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* 11:30am Delegation - Trevor Barnes from Central Interior Rural Division of Family Practice re: Recruitment & Retention program
* Hospital Consent Calendar
* Various Information Items from Interior or Northern Health
* Interior Health Car 40 Program

View the full Agenda here

At 9:45am - the CRD Board meeting will convene in the CRD Boardroom.  On the Agenda:

* Various Planning Matters
* Reforestation on Agriculture Land
* Biosolids - letter from TNRD Chair J. Ranta
* Illegal dumping on Crown/Private Lands
* Acquistion of 2 Water Systems
* Fire Inspection in Rural Areas
* Various Committee Minutes/Recommendations
* Request from Area 'K' Director B. Anderson re: access to $400 of the Area 'K' Discretionary Fund for support of two turkey shoots and re-model of bathrooms at Alexis Creek Community Hall to increase accessibility

There will also be an In-Camera session under the provisions of Section 90(1c - labour) of the Community Charter.  View the full Agenda here 

Upcoming Community Events in the Region:

May 9th

a) Grand Opening of the Bouchie Lake Country Store starting at 11am - 2338 Bonny Road, Bouchie Lake - Quesnel

b) Seedy Saturday - 10am to 2pm, Herb Gardner Park and Community Corner (3rd Ave/Oliver St) in Williams Lake

c) Walk with your Doc - 10am, 100 Mile Marsh
d) 3rd Annual Quesnel MS Walk - Ceal Tingley Park from 1-3pm
e) 2015 Quesnel Home and Outdoor Adventure Show - 9am to 5pm today and 10am to 4pm Sunday. More details here

May 10th

Various Mother Day events including out at the McLeese Lake Community Hall from 9am - 3pm.  More details here

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Quesnel Council Highlights - May 4th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Emergency notification launch
Council received an update on the new Emergency Notification system. Residents should know:

1.  This is a FREE community-wide system and available to all residents in the Cariboo Regional District including 100 Mile House, Quesnel, Wells, and Williams Lake. Quesnel residents register
through their local government website, www.quesnel.ca.

    2.  By registering, residents will automatically be registered for emergency notifications. They can also opt in to register for Public Works notifications within the City. This means they will be notified of any major work (paving, sewer/water breaks, etc.) that may restrict or affect access on the roadways or water service disruptions to their residence. 

    3.  Residents listed in the white pages have been automatically added to the notification system and will receive notifications through their listed lines. They must register to add all other contact information and locations.

    4.  There is a Terms of Use (TOU) agreement when residents register. Here are a few highlights from that agreement:

    -   You must agree to the TOU when registering. They may change from time to time without notice so it will be residents’ responsibility to review the TOU on an ongoing basis.

    -   The service is not intended for anyone under the age of 18.

    -   The service is not a replacement for the City’s direct communication. Residents should call 911 if they have an emergency.

    -   The service will entitle specific officials from the City to broadcast notifications to those registered via the communication tools residents have listed.

    -   It is the residents’ responsibility to update their contact information.

Physician recruitment positive
A collaborative partnership has developed in Quesnel to address the issue of physician recruitment, a situation that is shared across other rural communities. This partnership is set to start the implementation of a locally driven physician recruitment strategy which includes developing a new Northern Health owned local primary care clinic for unattached patients and supporting social integration and spousal support for new recruits and their families.

2015 tax rates finalized
All property tax rates from the various taxing authorities have now been received and were presented to Council.
There will be a total average municipal tax increase of 4.9% to most classes, including residential. That increase is $34.55 for the municipal portion for the average house assessed at $165,655. This is based upon the average assessment increase in Quesnel of 0.6%. If a home’s assessment increased by more than the average, the tax increase is more than the average; if it is less, the tax increase is less.
The average house will also see an increase of $43.86 for North Cariboo Recreation. There were slight reductions in the Cariboo Regional District Taxes and the Cariboo Chilcotin Hospital Taxes. In
total, the average house will see an increase of $74.04. 
Detailed information on the average residential increase and a breakdown of the Property Tax Rates for 2015 are available on our website at www.quesnel.ca.

Other news
-          Council received the 2014 reserves and surplus report showing $7,479,532 in statutory reserves and $1,770,318 in allocated surplus. The City also had $10,187,296 of gas tax funds and unallocated surplus which includes capital funds for both water and sewer.
-          Council accepted the City of Quesnel’s 2014 Annual Drinking Water Report which provides a summary of quality testing and water management throughout the year. A copy of this report and the monitoring results are available to the public at City Hall and at www.quesnel.ca/Reports2015.html.
-          The Statement of Financial Information (SOFI) for 2014 was received by Council. This statement is required on an annual basis and reports on council remuneration and benefits. The expenses listed include all expenses incurred, not just those from the training and travel accounts. The full report is available online in the Agenda section of the website.
-          Council gave final consideration and adoption on the following bylaws:Bylaw 1757 - Nuisance Amendment;
Bylaw 1759 - Five Year Financial Plan; and
Bylaw 1760 - 2015 Tax Rates.

NEXT MEETINGS:Monday May 11 @ 6:30 p.m.
Two public hearings for Zone Amendments

Monday May 11 @ 7 p.m.
Regular Meeting/Committee of the Whole Session

Tuesday, June 9 @ 5:30 p.m.North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Meeting

2015 NCLGA Convention begins

Today through Friday - 300 local government politicians, First Nations, industry leaders, and staff will descend upon the City of Prince George to attend the 2015 North Central Local Government Association (NCLGA) AGM/Convention. The NCLGA represents municipal councils' and regional boards from the District of 100 Mile House to the BC/Yukon border

Many members of local governments'  throughout the Cariboo-Chilcotin will be in attendance including myself as the CRD Area 'D' Director at the two day NCLGA Convention

Read the full Convention Agenda here while you can review the Resolutions Book here

Upon my return from the NCLGA Convention - I will post a full post-conference report here and on my CRD Area D Director Facebook page for your review

Finally - watch a Shaw TV story below on the 2012 NCLGA AGM/Convention held in 100 Mile House where CRD Chair Al Richmond, Fraser-Fort George RD Chair Art Kaehn and 100 Mile Mayor Mitch Campsall talk about what happens at the Convention



~SF

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Housing Affordability in Cariboo-Chilcotin

250 News looks at housing affordability in the North. The report from the BC Northern Real Estate Board says housing remains affordable in the North

The average price of a single family home in Northern BC last year was $280 thousand, that is significantly less than the average price in Vancouver which hit $880 thousand last year.

For the Cariboo-Chilcotin:

100 Mile House - 33% of income for housing required
Williams Lake - 28.6% of income for housing required
Quesnel - 26.5% of income for housing required

Read more here

Emergency Notification System launches today

As earlier advertised - the Emergency Notification System that was sponsored five ways by the Cities of Quesnel/Williams Lake, the Districts of 100 Mile House/Wells and the Cariboo Regional District will launch its' registration process today.  Read more on the system here while you can register here

As the Cariboo Regional District Area 'D' Director - I urge everyone to register and get the latest information from the source on emergencies that are occurring 

~SF

Monday, May 4, 2015

Update on Fair Share MOU Negotiations

This afternoon - the City of Fort St John issued a press release advising that it was preparing to enter into negotiations with the Province over a new Fair Share Agreement to 2030.  The Province has now committed to the current Fair Share agreement for 2015.

Hopefully - this is a good sign that an agreement for Fair Share can be arrived at for the Northeast communities of Chetwynd, Hudson's Hope, Taylor, Tumbler Ridge, Dawson Creek, Fort St. John, Pouce Coupe and the Peace River Regional District

Read the full press release of the City of Fort St John here

~SF

2016 Property Tax Exemption Applications

From City of Quesnel website:

The City of Quesnel is accepting applications from non-profit groups, associations and religious organizations who own or have a registered interest in property within the City limits and who wish to apply for property tax exemption beginning in the 2016 taxation year. Applications are due prior to July 31, 2015 and must include financial statements and other details requested.
The Permissive Property Tax Exemption package is available at City Hall or click here. To review the Permissive Property Tax Exemption Policy click here.
Renewal packages are being mailed out to all religious and non-profit groups who received a property tax exemption in 2015. Applications must be submitted for all groups in 2015. 
Questions may be directed to the Director of Corporate and Financial Services, Kari Bolton, at 250-992-2111 during normal business hours.