Tuesday, June 27, 2017

SD27 Board Meeting Highlights - June 27th mtg

Present: Chair T. Guenther; Trustees W. Macdonald, L. Martens, C. Dyments, S. Boehm, B. O'Neill and B. Baptiste

Meeting called to order at 6:35pm

Meeting Agenda approved & the Chair recognized that the meeting was taking place on traditional Shuswap territory


1) No members of the public addressed the Board with regard to items ON the Meeting Agenda

2) The Board adopted the June 27th Consent Agenda, as presented

3) The Board approved the preliminary trustee meeting and event calendar for the 2017-2018 School Year

4) The Board approved in principle, revisions to Policy 1210 Parents' Advisory Councils, and that input be solicited via the Governance Committee and for public via the District's website, prior to final approval.

5) The Board approved in principle, revisions to Policy 5145 Protection of Students and Maintenance of Order, and that input be solicited via the Governance Committee and for public via the District's website, prior to final approval

6) The Board agreed to temporarily suspend parts of Policy 1161 Trustee Remuneration (as per draft version), reinstating base remuneration amounts to those just prior to February 2017 and removing extra remuneration paid for the attendance of meetings, with the exception of attending Board approved out of District meetings or conferences of the Ministry, BCSTA (BC Student Trustee Association), and BCPSEA (BC Public School Employers Association), all effective July 1st, 2017 and directed the Secretary-Treasurer to review Policy 1161 Trustee Remuneration and recommend revisions to the Board that support fair, equitable and transparent remuneration for trustees

7) The Board gave 3rd Reading/Final Adoption to School District No. 27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) Preliminary Annual Budget Bylaw for fiscal year 2017-2018 in the amount of $62,991,786.00

8) The Board directed that answers be provided to questions posed to the Board of Education, in respect of the Audit Planning Report from KPMG, as presented to the Board at its' June 27th meeting

9) The Board held an informal Committee of the Whole session in respect to an item put forward by Zone 1 Trustee Linda Martens regarding South Cariboo School Catchment Zones and School of Choice.  The Board did not pass a resolution, in respect of this matter

10) No members of the public addressed the Board in regards to any matter NOT on the June 27th, 2017 Board of Education for School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) Meeting Agenda

The Board agreed to adjourn at 7:43pm

Not too late to register for Summer Reading Club

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

The Cariboo Regional District Libraries in 100 Mile House, Quesnel, and Williams Lake invite children of all ages to join this year’s BC Summer Reading Club:Walk on the Wild Side! The program starts on July 4, 2017, and registration is free.

Once registered, children will receive a special kit to keep track of their reading over the summer months. If they complete the program, they will be awarded a collectible medal.

Children can sign up to attend one free session per week. Each week they will be participating in a variety of fun activities, crafts, and story-times based on the theme Walk on the Wild Side.

The BC Summer Reading Club motivates children to read (or be read to) regularly, which helps maintain or improve reading skills while school is out. It makes reading fun by inviting kids to read what they want and when they want. The Cariboo Regional District Library staff can help children find suitable materials, whether it’s a print book, audiobook, e-book, magazine or any combination of items. The Summer Reading Club will conclude with a celebration party for all participants.

Contact your local Summer Reading Club Program Coordinator for further details. For all current library programs and events, visit us online at cln.ca or find your library branch on Facebook.

100 Mile House
Email:                ohsrcoordinator@cariboord.ca
Telephone:        250-395-2332
Facebook:         facebook.com/100MileHouseLibrary

Email:                qsrcoordinator@cariboord.ca
Telephone:        250-992-7912
Facebook:         facebook.com/QuesnelLibrary
Williams Lake
Email:                wlsrcoordinator@cariboord.ca
Telephone:        250-392-3630
Facebook:         facebook.com/Williams LakeLibrary

The BC Summer Reading Club reaches more than 85,000 BC children every year. The program is sponsored by the British Columbia Library Association, with financial support from the Libraries Branch, Ministry of Education, and the RBC Foundation.

Partial campfire ban Thursday at Noon - Fraser River West

Courtesy of the BC Wildfire Branch:

Effective at noon on Thursday, June 29, 2017, campfires will be prohibited in parts of the Cariboo Fire Centre’s jurisdiction to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.

Campfires will be banned in the Cariboo-Chilcotin Forest District west of the Fraser River and also throughout Itcha Ilgachuz Provincial Park. The use of tiki torches and chimineas will also be banned in these areas as of noon on June 29.

However, the use of campfires, tiki torches and chimineas will still be allowed in the remainder of the Cariboo Fire Centre. A map showing the affected areas is available online: http://ow.ly/u8el30cWFTd

The Cariboo Fire Centre is currently experiencing dry conditions and elevated fire danger ratings. The fire danger ratings are generally “high” to “extreme”, with a small pocket of “moderate” in the far northeast corner of the fire centre. In the areas where campfires will be banned as of noon on June 29, the fire danger rating is primarily “extreme”.

Category 2 and Category 3 open burns are already prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre. Specifically, these prohibited activities include:

the burning of any waste, slash or other materials.
stubble or grass fires of any size over any area.
the use of fireworks.
the use of sky lanterns, burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description.
the use of binary exploding targets (e.g. for target practice).

As of noon on June 29, the use of air curtain burners (forced-air burning systems) will also be prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre.

These 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.

These prohibitions apply to all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but do not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws in place and is serviced by a fire department. Please check with local government authorities to see if any other burning restrictions or fire bylaws are in place before lighting any fire.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, 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.

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.

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

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

You can follow the latest wildfire news:

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

Monday, June 26, 2017

2017 Property Taxes due next Tuesday

For those owning properties in rural areas and muncipalities - the deadline to pay your 2017 Property Taxes to your local government is Tuesday, July 4th.  In the case of muncipalities (Wells, Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House - you pay them directly.  In the case of the Cariboo Regional District - you pay your property taxes in the Government Agent in Quesnel, Williams Lake or 100 Mile House.

Those owning farms/ranches in the Region and have applied to the Farm Extension Program and have been approved - your deadline is October 31st

For those living in CRD Electoral Areas - for more information, click here

For those living in the District of Wells - for more information, click here (although written for 2015 Property Taxes, the information provided is generally still relevant along with contact information)

For those living in the City of Quesnel - for more information, click here

For those living in the City of Williams Lake - for more information, click here

For those living in the District of 100 Mile House - for more information, click here


Friday, June 23, 2017

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of June 26-30

Next week - the following local governments of the Cariboo-Chilcotin will meet:

Wells - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 27th at 7pm in Wells Council Chambers (4243 Sanders Avenue).  On the Agenda:

* Presentation from Julie Fowler of Island Mountain Arts (IMA)
* Wells Municipal Rental Facility Agreement Policies
* 2016 Statement of Financial Information Report
* 2016 Annual Community Report
* Staff Reports - for information only
* Consent Calendar
* District of Wells Zoning and Tree Protection Bylaw - proposed building width amendments (3rd Reading)

View the full Agenda here

Quesnel: As noted below

1) Public Safety and Policing Committee meeting on Monday, June 26th at 11am in Quesnel Council Chambers (4th Floor, 410 Kinchant Street). On the Agenda:

a) Review of Finalized RCMP Annual Performance Plan and Quesnel Detachment Performance Plan
b) Committee Terms of Reference - Review Updated Draft
c) Preventative Measures - Strategies for Break and Enters (Discussion)
d) Quesnel RCMP Victim Services Program - Request for Financial Support - Transportation Costs for Crime Prevention Production

View the full Agenda here

2) Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 27th at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers. On the Agenda:

a) Delegation -- Maya Knauf, Concerned Student re: Single-Use Plastic Bags

b) Committee Reports
c) Annual Allowable Cut Determination - Quesnel Timber Supply Area
d) 2017 Annual Report for the City of Quesnel
e) Shipping Containers in Residential Areas
f) Fire Training Centre Upgrades
g) Supportive Housing (Elliott Street)
h) Spirit Centre - Lease Agreement (Quesnel Downtown Business Improvement Association)
i) Commercial Building with Starbucks Drive Thru (Rita Road/Balsam Avenue)
j) City Hall Office Space Lease Agreement (MLA Cariboo North)
k) Renovation to Existing Canadian Tire (570 Newman Road - DP2017-01)
l) Budget Principles Policy Update
m) Bylaw of the Month - Water Sprinkling/Irrigation Regulations
n) 1 Bylaw for 1st Reading, 1 Bylaw for 1st/2nd Readings , 1 Bylaw for 3rd Reading and 2 Bylaws for Adoption

View the full Agenda here

School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) - Regular Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday, June 27th at 6:30pm in the SD27 Boardroom (350 2nd Avenue, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* Consent Agenda - For Approval
* Upcoming Meetings and Conferences List
* Policies for Review -- Parents' Advisory Councils, Protection of Students and Maintenance of Order and Trustee Remuneration and Expenses
* Multi Function Devices (Photocopiers)
* 2017-2018 Preliminary Budget for 3rd Reading/Adoption
* 2016-2017 Audit Planning Report
* Enforcing School Catchment Areas - at request of Zone 1 Trustee L. Martens

View the full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Committee of the Whole Session on Tuesday, June 27th at 6pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (Basement - 450 Mart Street).  On the Agenda:

* Delegation: Jeff Pelley, Inspector/Detachment Commander & Dave Dickson, Manager of Community Safety re Police Commission Report
* Letter from Rossetta Paxton re Parking at Retirement Concepts (Seniors Village) 1455 Western Avenue
* Parking on Eleventh Avenue - 1000 Block
* Request for a Washroom Bylaw

View the full Agenda here

100 Mile House - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 27th at 7pm in 100 Mile Council Chambers (385 Birch Avenue).  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

Cariboo Regional District - Meetings, as noted below, will take place in the CRD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake)

1) Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional Hospital District - Thursday, June 29th at 9:30am.  On the Agenda:

* Delegation at 10:30am -- Susan Paulsen, Healthcare Recruitment Coordinator, will appear before the Board to provide an update on recruitment and retention activities in Quesnel.
* Hospital Consent Calendar
* Capital Expenditure (GR Baker Memorial Hospital C-Arm Replacement) Bylaw No. 134, 2017 -- For 1st, 2nd, 3rd Readings/Adoption
* Interior Health - Capital Projects and Planning Status Report - May 2017
* Interior Health - Supporting Cultural Safety, Humility and Wellness - National Aboriginal Day
* Request from Director Forseth to Invite the First Nations Health Authority to a Future Meeting
* Capital Funding Request from Northern Health – G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital Anesthesia System

View the full Agenda here

2) Cariboo Regional District - Thursday, June 29th at 9:45am. On the Agenda:

* Delegation at 11:00am -- Gordon Keener, Treaty Manager/Negotiator, Xats'ull First Nation
* Delegation at 11:30am -- Devon Lyons, Project Leader, Negotiations and Regional Operations - Cariboo, Min. of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation
* 1 Planning Bylaw for 1st/2nd Readings, 2 Planning Bylaws for 3rd Reading, 1 Planning Bylaw for 3rd Reading/Adoption and 1 Planning Bylaw for Adoption
* 1 Temporary Permit for Consideration (Area D)
* Consider 2 Grant for Assistance applications in Areas K/L
* Consider a Canada 150 Grant to Likely Chamber of Commerce (Area F)
* Release of In-Camera Resolution – Martin Exeter Hall Upgrade
* Consent Calendar
* Committee Minutes/Recommendations to be endorsed
* Noise Control (Electoral Area ‘F’) Service Establishment Bylaw No. 5102, 2017 - For 1st, 2nd and 3rd Readings
* Cariboo Regional District Forest Grove Legion Property Tax Exemption Bylaw No. 5100, 2017 - For 1st, 2nd, 3rd Readings/Adoption
* Lac La Hache Sewer Boundary Expansion Bylaw No. 5104, 2017 - For Adoption

View the full Agenda here

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Repave of Soda Creek Rd starts tomorrow

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The City of Williams Lake has taken advantage of an opportunity to re-pave a 1.8 km section of Soda Creek Road from the dump turn-off to just past the railroad tracks.

Green Roads Recycling is in the Williams Lake area undertaking work for the Ministry of Transportation, and can perform paving work for the City at a reduced cost, as they are already on site. With equipment capable of performing large volumes of Hot in Place Recycling (HIPR) work at high speeds, it is a suitable and cost-effective treatment for Soda Creek Road.

"The City is happy to be able to address the necessary repairs to a portion of Soda Creek Road, while realizing significant savings. The Hot in Place Recycling process is appropriate for the level of repair required on Soda Creek Road," says Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb. "Paving this road is a priority from the perspective of safety and long- term responsible management of infrastructure."

The roadwork will commence on the morning of Friday, June 23rd through Saturday, June 24th.

Seeding Start-Up awards more $$$

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Another round of successful applicants pitched their business plans and were approved for funding at the latest Seeding Start-Up Review Panel.

The Review Panel, made up of the jointly funded Project Partners included representatives from Downtown Williams Lake BIA, Community Futures of Cariboo Chilcotin, Thompson Rivers University, Williams Lake and Area Chamber of Commerce and City of Williams Lake.

Courtney Vreeman is the owner of Creatively Courtney. As a new Start-Up, Vreeman was eligible for a contribution of up to $1500 from the Youth category of the Seeding Program. Creatively Courtney is a design business creating customized designs on a variety of different materials including wine glasses, t-shirts, ceramics and wood. Vreeman also has a robust business hosting paint nights at CJ’s Restaurant and for private functions like bridal showers.

As a mother of two young children, Vreeman finds that being an entrepreneur works well for her lifestyle, saying “having my own business allows me to work mostly from home around what works for my kids.” Vreeman’s plan for the seed contribution is to purchase a heat press that will allow her to create her products more efficiently. “I am really grateful for this program and that I was able to take the Community Futures Business Plan Workshop,” say Vreeman, “It got me to look at the big picture of where I want to take my business in the future, and was very eye-opening”.

The second successful applicant was Al-Lisa McKay, owner of Miss White Spider Arts. Qualifying in the aboriginal entrepreneur category, McKay has been taking steps to move her “hobby” into a full-time business. Miss White Spider Arts provides multi-media art productions and is becoming increasingly known for Shadow Puppetry productions. She has a full line up of festivals booked for the summer months, and in the winter plans to promote herself as a unique and fun interactive party experience. As a trained ECE, McKay wants to bring her work to children through the robust birthday party market and expose them to the ancestral messages of the many different cultures found in her shows.

“One of the exciting things about participating in both the Community Futures Self Employment Program and the Seeding Start-Up Program is that I have hit a milestone where now I am getting sought out for work rather than having to seek it out.” says McKay.

With an unforgettable name, Miss White Spider, was hired by Downtown Williams Lake to
provide instruction and inspiration to the community through free Chalk Art Workshops in anticipation of Downtown Williams Lake’s Chalk Art Festival scheduled for July 1st as part of the Four Directions Festival. McKay intends on using her $1000 contribution from the Seeding Start-Up Program to produce CD’s for sale, and for printing of promotional materials. “This is making a big difference to me in being able to produce high quality materials that will allow me to market and promote myself.”

The Horticulture Club from Lake City Secondary also successfully pitched to the review panel. As a student-run business, they were eligible for a $1500 contribution that will go towards building a new greenhouse that will be located at the Williams Lake Campus of Lake City Secondary. The business, called “Lake City Grow Operators”, is an extracurricular club that grows plants in the biology lab under the guidance of teacher Jennifer Anderson.

“Being able to build a greenhouse will give us a better space to grow a better product,” says student entrepreneur Tannis Thompson.

Currently the business sells hanging baskets, flowers, tomato plants, and vegetables. Their product is on display in the store fronts of some commercial businesses around town. Profits from the group go back into the business for supplies, and they also fund different sports teams for travel for out of town tournaments. As social entrepreneurs, the seed money will give them a boost to continue to grow more, so that they can sell more and give back more.

“It is a multifaceted program that is run by volunteer students to fund extra-curricular events for other students, it has an environmental approach to growing, provides students exposure to aspects of business and provides a local product to the community,” explains Anderson. The greenhouse and new grow tables are scheduled for construction in the fall, and will enlist the help of the trades-construction program to build it. “I am excited about the seed money that is funding a project that involves cross-curricular programs. It will help build school community and provide opportunities
for the new provincial curriculum of project-based learning. The future goal is to expand our operation to include fresh produce to the culinary arts program. There are many directions this could go, including a course option for students to get graduation credits,” says Anderson.

Participants have been working with Seeding Start-Up Coordinator Beth Veenkamp to get ready for the Pitch Presentations, and for mentorship after the cheques are cashed and the work of running the business continues. “My role is to work with participants to provide whatever support they require to run a successful business. With my ability to connect people to other business mentors in the community, their ongoing association with the strong team at Community Futures, as well as provide my own feedback, participants have a lot of support to get through that initial hump of start-up.”

If you have a business idea that you would like to grow, contact the Seeding Start-Ups Coordinator, Beth Veenkamp at 250-392-8480

41st Parliament of BC begins today!

At 10am today - the 41st Parliament of BC commences.  Firstly - Her Honour, the Lieutenant-Governor (LG) will take her place upon the Throne and will advise MLA's, through BC's Attorney-General (Hon. Andrew Wilkinson), that she can't advise her reasons for calling MLA's together until a Speaker is elected

After the L-G retires, the Clerk of the House (Craig James) will then took over, as per Standing Order 11.  After some brief remarks - the Clerk will advise as to the candidates as per Standing Order 11(c)(i) which requires MLA's not wishing to be candidates to advise the Office of the Clerk no later than 6pm the night before.  Should an election be required, the Clerk and his assistants will conduct the election, as per Standing Order 11, until a MLA receives a majority of the votes or in the case of acclamation, the Clerk will make such a declaration and that MLA will then take the Speaker's Chair, thank the members for the high honour of being elected Speaker, declare a brief recess to change into the appropriate clothing, return to the House, recognize the Premier, the Leader of the Opposition and the MLA for Oak Bay-Gordon Head (Andrew Weaver - BC Green Party Leader) who traditionally congratulate the Speaker on their election win and then the House will adjourn until the afternoon where the Speech from the Throne is read by the L-G, some routine business is conducted and then the House will adjourn until the following Monday at 10am

Will be interesting to see how many MLA's (other than the Premier/Cabinet Ministers' who are not allowed to be Speaker, as per Standing Order 11(b)(iii)) file notice withdrawing their candidacy for the Office of Speaker, in addition to the actual contents of the Speech from the Throne.  It has been already reported by media that the Speech from the Throne will include references to increase welfare payments by $100 and to introduce legislation to "Ban Big Money" from our political system

I believe it will be an interesting Day 1 of the 41st Parliament of BC, from start to finish, for sure!


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

CC Joint Committee Highlights - June 21st mtg

Present from CRD: Co-Chair J. Sorley; Directors S. Forseth/B. Kemp

Present from City of WL: Co-Chair Mayor W. Cobb; Councillors I. Bonnell, J. Ryll, C. Smith and L. Walters

Meeting chaired by Mayor W. Cobb

Meeting called to order at 5:35pm

Meeting Agenda was approved

Minutes of the April 26th, 2017 meeting of the Central Cariboo/City of Williams Lake Joint Committee was adopted


1) CCACS 2016 Annual Report

The Committee was presented with the Central Cariboo Arts/Culture Society's 2016 Annual Report
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Report received

2) Fees & Charges By-Law Amendment re Private Pool Rentals and Sponsorship Swims

The Committee was presented with a report from the Manager of Recreation, City of Williams Lake
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That it be recommended to the CRD Board:

"That the recommended amendments to the Fees and Charges By-Law for Swimming Pool Private Rentals and Sponsorship Swims for the opening of the new facility in late 2017 be approved and the necessary Fees/Charges Amendment Bylaw be brought forward for consideration of 3 Readings/Adoption"

3) Esler Recreation Advisory Commission - 2017 Spring Meeting Minutes and Recommendations

The Committee was presented with a report from the Manager of Community Services, Cariboo Regional District
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That it be recommended to the CRD Board:

"That the report of the Manager of Community Services, CRD, be received and the following recommendations from the Esler Recreation Advisory Commission be endorsed:

i) that the proposed capital projects for Minor Fastball and Slo-Pitch be approved
including: the Minor Fastball league will purchase a new mower and the Slo-Pitch
league will constmct bleachers and fencing. Further, that $5,000 for capital projects
for each user group be approved as allocated in the Central Cariboo Recreation and
Leisure Services (CCRLS) budget and business plan for 2017.

ii) that the Esler Recreation Advisory Commissision members for 2017 be appointed as
follows: Linda Barbondy for the WL Slo-Pitch League, Luke Moger for the WL
Soccer Associations, Nick Surette for the WL Minor Fastball Association and Judy
Reilander and Judy Newbery for the Esler Community Association.

iii) that the Use and Occupancy licence between the Cariboo Regional District and the
Williams Lake Minor Fastball for use of the Esler Sports Complex be renewed for a
further 5-year term at the same terms and conditions, and that the appropriate
signatories be authorized to enter into the renewal agreement."

4) Pool Upgrade Project - Monthly Status Reports for April and May 2017

The Committee was presented with a report from the Manager of Community Services, Cariboo Regional District
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Report received and Staff report back at the September 21st Central Cariboo / City of Williams Lake Joint Committee meeting in regards to options for a Grand Opening event for the newly renovated Sam Ketcham Pool

5) Proposed Amended Central Cariboo / City of Williams Lake Joint Committee Terms of Reference

The Committee was presented with a proposed amendment to the Central Cariboo / City of Williams Lake Joint Committee Terms of Reference
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Item deferred to the September 21st Central Cariboo / City of Williams Lake Joint Committee meeting

6) Late Item at request of the Chair - Rear Parking at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex

The Chair/Councillor C. Smith presented a verbal report to the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That Staff report back to the September 21st Central Cariboo / City of Williams Lake Joint Committee meeting in respect of options for the current rental parking in the rear of the CMRC

7) Action Page

The Committee was presented with a document entitled "Action Page, dated June 21st, 2017"
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Report received

The Committee adjourned at 6:20pm

CC Rural Caucus Highlights - June 21st mtg

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

Meeting called to order at 4:30pm

Meeting Agenda approved/CC Rural Caucus meeting minutes of May 11th approved

The Chair noted that the meeting was taking place on traditional Shuswap territory and that today was National Aboriginal Day and in 2018 - it will be renamed National Indigenous Peoples' Day


1) Central Cariboo Rural Roads

The Caucus had before it a report of the Chair
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Report of the Chair be received and letters be forwarded to the BC Minister of Transportation expressing concerns about the state of both Pigeon Road (Area F) and Campbell Road (Area D)

2) Communications with Highway Contractors'

The Caucus had before it a report of the Chair
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Report of the Chair be received and that a letter be forwarded to Interior Roads requesting that they appear biannually (Spring/Fall) at the Central Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus

3) Membership with the WL/District Chamber of Commerce & WL Central BIA

At the request of the Chair - this item was deferred to the September 21st Rural Caucus Meeting

4) Action Page

The Caucus's Action Page was presented
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Action Page received and Items 2 and 3 be removed

The Caucus adjourned at 4:59pm

Chinese summer camp opportunity for Cariboo students

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Local high school students have the opportunity to participate in a two-week language and culture trip to China this summer. The Chinese Bridge Summer Camp runs from Aug. 13-27, 2017, in Suzhou City, Anhui Province. Interested youth, ages 14-18, must apply by Friday, June 30, 2017.

The goal of the summer camp is to facilitate communication and connections between Canadian and Chinese teenagers. The program will help Canadian youth learn about Chinese culture and the students will serve as ambassadors as they raise awareness of Canadian culture throughout the trip.

During the two weeks, students will take Mandarin Chinese language courses and cultural courses in traditional Wushu, Tai Chi, calligraphy and painting. Students will have opportunity to interact with Chinese students and participate in ambassador activities. They will also tour local attractions and visit the rural areas of the region to understand their peers’ lifestyle better.

The Chinese host school will cover all the costs for the students while they are in China, including food, accommodation, transportation and group activities. Students are responsible for their flights, accommodation and meals to and from China, as well as their personal travel insurance, visa application fees and all other personal expenses.

The Cariboo Regional District and other B.C. local government and business delegates recently returned from a trade mission to several Chinese municipalities. In Suzhou City, the group met with directors at a local university and several secondary schools, including Sucheng No.1 High School, to discuss opportunities to connect the youth of both regions.

Furthering those conversations, Suzhou City has invited Cariboo-Chilcotin high school students to attend a Chinese Bridge Summer Camp. Sucheng No.1 High School and Vancouver-based Canada China City & Town Friendship Association (CCCTFA) are co-organizing the trip with the support of the Bureau of Education and Sports of Suzhou Municipality.

Interested students are encouraged to talk to their school about the opportunity. Recognizing schools may not be able to participate due to the short timeline, students interested in participating independently of their school can email Chair Al Richmond at arichmond@cariboord.ca for trip information and the application form. He will also connect them to Sucheng No.1 High School’s representative in Vancouver.

Learn more about the recent B.C. regions’ trade mission to China at cariboord.ca. To see photos from the trip, visit facebook.com/CaribooRegion

Leadership by the Numbers

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

There was some confusion last week resulting from Council’s decision to affirm the engineer’s recommendation for the Reid Street redesign despite the fact the engineer’s report contained the results of an online survey suggesting the public wanted a different design. The online survey indicated that “the public” wanted status quo, while the consultants had recommended a slight change to the current streetscape to accommodate wider sidewalks. Council’s decision to “ignore” the public’s wishes, as expressed in the online survey, upset and confused some people who attended the Council meeting (and who happened to agree with the online survey results).
There are only two situations in which Council (or any other elected body) is compelled to act as a result of a majority vote: an election and a referendum.
The outcome of an election gives the duly elected Council the mandate and obligation to lead the City over a four-year period. This mandate inherently gives Council the authority to make decisions based on the best available evidence, information, advice from experts, and input from the public. Since many decisions of Council are complex, and all too often the public will have a wide array of opinions and advice for Council on most of these decisions, the elected Council must exercise leadership and make decisions knowing that some members of the public will not be happy and will feel that their voice was not heard.
The critical factor for Council is to strive to make informed decisions in the best interests of the community, even if some members of the community do not agree with Council’s decision. Those unhappy individuals, along with the rest of the community, ultimately get to exercise their authority over Council by marking a ballot at the next election.
The second situation that compels Council to act on the majority will is a referendum. Like an election, referendums give every citizen an equal opportunity to mark a ballot and express their wishes on a particular issue. At the local government level referendums are generally used to seek borrowing authority to fund a major project, like the arena that is near completion or the upcoming referendum on a new public works yard for the City. One authority that a municipal Council or Regional District Board does not inherit as a result of an election is the ability to incur debt, that authority remains with the voting public, therefore locally elected bodies are compelled to abide by the outcome of referendums.
Other than elections and referendums, an elected Council is not compelled to lead by the numbers: whether those numbers are reflected in the results of straw polls, online surveys, or a packed gallery. Straw polls, online surveys, and attendance in the gallery are not necessarily reflective of the majority will, not necessarily informed opinions, and not necessarily reflective of the best interests of the community as a whole (both in the present and in the future). Council should definitely consider the information they gain from all of these kinds of input, but none of them, individually or collectively, compel Council, legally or morally, to act in a certain way.
In the case of the Reid Street redesign, the results of the unscientific straw poll taken at the Open Houses where people sat through the full presentation from the engineers mirrored the desired outcome the engineers recommended in the report tabled with Council. On the other hand, the online survey allowed individuals to vote multiple times and did not require people to read the background material before voting for one of the concept options, and the majority of respondents online voted for the status quo. Council noted all this public feedback on this important investment along with the expert advice provided by the engineers, and then, by majority not unanimous vote, made a future-oriented leadership decision that its electoral mandate enables it to do.
 Bob Simpson is the Mayor of Quesnel.  He can be reached via email here or at 250-991-7477

Quesnel Council Highlights - June 20th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Lhtako Dene Nation Traditional Territory – officially recognized
On June 20, 2017, Council held a Special Open Meeting where all members of Quesnel City Council and the Lhtako Dene Nation Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). This MOU officially recognizes the Lhatko Dene Nation Traditional Territory and a commitment to work in cooperative intergovernmental relations on future partnership opportunities around economic development, natural resource management, efficient and affordable service delivery and cooperative land use planning. Council passed a resolution, at its June 20th Regular Meeting, to officially recognize the Lhtako Dene Nation’s Traditional Territory at the beginning of each Council meeting that is reflective of the meaningful dialogue, that has occurred over the last two-years, towards mutual respect, recognition and reconciliation. Next steps include official Lhtako Dene Nation signage and flags to be permanently installed at civic properties in Quesnel.
Northern Health – Opiate Crisis/Needle Exchange Program
Reanne Sanford, Regional Nursing lead, Harm Reduction and Sexual Reproductive Health, and Carol Mankowskie, Public Health Resource Nurse, from Northern Health presented information regarding the community’s current drug overdose crisis. In 2016, as reported through the GR Baker Memorial Emergency Room, Quesnel area had 19 drug overdoses, and as of March 31, 2017, there have been 11 drug overdoses. Most of the drug overdoes have been a result of opioids (illegal or prescribed) and heroin occurring mostly in private residences. Northern Health’s Harm Reduction program aims to reduce harms associated with substance use for both individuals and communities. Next steps include Council to consider Northern Health’s request to purchase Sharps Disposal drop-boxes for strategic community locations that would assist people who use substances to safely dispose of their needles.
Quesnel Lions Society Seniors’ Housing Complex
Council approved the Development Permit and gave final reading of Zone Amendment Bylaw 1782 for the proposed 30 unit apartment on the corner of Reid Street and McNaughton Avenue for independent seniors housing.
Cenotaph plaques
A group of Grade 5, 6, and 7 students, and their teacher, Sarah Guest, from Kersley Elementary School have been working with community stakeholders on a project to update the Quesnel Community Cenotaph to recognize those who served the Canadian Armed Forces in the service of peace, or in conflicts, overseas following World War I, II and the Korean War. The students have secured $1,350 from the Quesnel Rotary Club, and raised $150 through their own fundraising efforts, to purchase three new commemorative plaques. Council approved the three new plaques to be installed on the Community’s Cenotaph that read: “In the Service of Peace”, “Persian Gulf 1990-1992” and “Afghanistan 2001- 2014”.
Seniors Fair and Resource Guide – grant application
Council approved staff to submit a grant application to the New Horizons for Seniors Program for the development of a Seniors Resource Guide that list senior resources and list local senior-orientated activities. Further, this project will include hosting a Seniors Fair that would: provide an opportunity for all seniors groups and organizations to showcase their senior-orientated services, for local seniors to learn more about the services/activities available to seniors, and volunteer opportunities available for seniors to participate in the community. The Seniors Fair would include a lunch and socialization opportunity for seniors with volunteer drivers that would offer transportation to/from the event. If the $25,000 grant application is successful, this project would be 100% grant funded with no funding required from the City.
6-Month extension for zone amendment application (Racing Road/Valhalla Road)
Council granted a six-month extension, to December 28, 2017, to the Applicant proposing to develop a multi-purpose indoor recreation facility (bowling lanes, mini-golf, banquet room, birthday party area, lounge with liquor license) with an accessory dwelling unit and attached retail space on the corner of Racing Road/Valhalla Road in South Quesnel. A bylaw lapses if the requirements to proceed on adoption (fourth reading) are not completed after one year from the date of the Bylaw’s third reading, which in this case was June 28, 2016, as per the City’s Development Services Policy.
Quesnel Skyfest Society
Council gave their support for the Quesnel Skyfest Society to apply to the Liquor Control Board for a Special Event Permit that would permit the Society to sell beer/wine/coolers to the general public during the daytime shows on August 5 and 6, 2017, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and is restricted to specific serving sizes, prices and quantities.
Bylaw 1824 – Off Leash Dog Park – Zone Amendment – Second and Third Readings
Bylaw 1782 – Zone Amendment – Quesnel Lions Society - Seniors Housing Development (Reid Street/McNaughton Avenue) – Final Adoption
Next meetings
Regular Council meetings
June 27, 2017 at 7 pm
July 25, 2017 at 7 pm
August 22, 2017 at 7 pm

National Aboriginal Day 2017

Today is National Aboriginal Day - an official day of celebration to recognize and honour the valuable contributions to Canadian society by Canada's First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. National Aboriginal Day is the same day as the summer solstice (the longest day of the year) and was chosen for its important symbolism to many Aboriginal peoples. More information can be viewed here.  It was first recognized in 1990 by the Quebec National Assembly (Legislature) with national recognition by former Governor-General Romeo Leblanc in 1996

Later today - the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council is putting on a local parade/event celebrating National Aboriginal Day from 10am - 2:30pm.  More details here

CBC News has done a wonderful interactive story on Canada's Indigenous Peoples which you can view here

Also - Canada's Prime Minister announced this morning that, starting in 2018, National Aboriginal Day would now be known as National Indigenous Peoples' Day.  View his full statement below:

“Over twenty years ago, the Government of Canada, together with Indigenous organizations, designated this day – the summer solstice – as National Aboriginal Day.

“Every year, we join together on this day to recognize the fundamental contributions that First Nations, Inuit, and the Métis Nation have made to the identity and culture of all Canadians. The history, art, traditions, and cultures of Indigenous Peoples have shaped our past, and continue to shape who we are today.

“No relationship is more important to Canada than the relationship with Indigenous Peoples. Our Government is working together with Indigenous Peoples to build a nation-to-nation, Inuit-Crown, government-to-government relationship – one based on respect, partnership, and recognition of rights.

“We are determined to make a real difference in the lives of Indigenous Peoples – by closing socio-economic gaps, supporting greater self-determination, and establishing opportunities to work together on shared priorities. We are also reviewing all federal laws and policies that concern Indigenous Peoples and making progress on the Calls to Action outlined in the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I wish everyone a happy National Aboriginal Day. I invite all Canadians to take part in the #NADCanada activities in their community and to learn about the history, cultures and traditions of Indigenous Peoples. The 150th anniversary of Confederation this year reminds us of the legacy of the past. As we look forward to the next 150 years, we commit to move ahead together in a spirit of reconciliation and respect.

“This year, I am also pleased to announce that from here forward the Government’s intention is to rename this day National Indigenous Peoples Day.”

Finally - this day has always significance on a personal level as I'm always thankful for having/knowing Indigenous Peoples in my life including my Area's Alternate Director Phyllis Webstad, CRD Area 'J' Director Roger William, Cheryl Chapman from Xat'sull First Nations, Gord Keener - Xat'sull's Treaty Negotiator and also sits' on my Area's Advisory Planning Commission and Wayne Lucier who is Metis.  All of these people, I greatly appreciate in my life, both political/personal and I thank you for what you provide me with in education and otherwise -- Sechanalyagh! (Thank You in Chilcotin) and Yerí7 skukwstsétsemc! (Thank You Very Much in Shuswap)


Tuesday, June 20, 2017

WL Council Highlights - June 20th mtg

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

Meeting called to order at 6pm

Meeting Agenda and Mins of the June 6th, 2017 meeting of WL City Council, both adopted


1) Mayor Cobb presented a "Accessibility Award of Merit" to Nirmal Singh of Town Taxi

2) Venta Rutkauskas, Coordinator and Marg Evans from the Community Arts Council of Williams Lake appeared before Council to discuss their Proposal for Wind Chime 'Soundscape' Project

A Question/Answer period ensued thereon

Mayor Cobb, on behalf of Council, thanked Ms. Rutkauskas/Evans for their time/information

Resolved - That Council authorize Staff to work with the Community Arts Council in respect of their Wind chime 'Soundscape' Project


1) Council received for information the accounts payable computer cheque listings dated June 8 and 15, 2017

2) After one member of the public (John Pickford) addressing Council -- Council received/approved the 2016 Annual Report in accordance with Section 98 of the Community Charter.

3) After receiving no public input -- Council approved Development Permit #3-2017 for property at 300-1185 Prosperity Way (Platform Properties)

4) Council approved a proposed purchase and sale of a portion of 850 Oliver St. at a value of $4.25 per square foot, subject to property consolidation

5) Council received a Temporary Commercial Use Permit Application - #01-2017 for property at 80 Fourth Avenue South, directed the usual notifications take place and that the application be formally considered at the July 18, 2017 Regular Council Meeting

6) Council awarded the three (3) year contract for Waste & Recyclable Collection to Central Cariboo Disposal Ltd. for the annual cost of $513,670.20

7) Council received/ratified an email poll pertaining to Airport Lease Agreement No. CWL2100 - Ireland / Connatty, as follows:

"That the proposed new Lease Agreement No. CWL2100 for David Ireland and Lyle Connatty be received and Staff be authorized to post the required Notice of Disposition in accordance with Section 26(3) of the Community Charter; and further, subsequent consideration of approval of the Lease Agreement be referred to the July 4, 2017 Regular Council Meeting"

8) Council awarded the Pavement Rehabilitation & Waterworks 2017 contract to Peter Bros. Construction Ltd. and directed City Staff to reduce the project scope up to 15%, per the terms of the contract, to meet original approved budgets

9) Council adopted the following Bylaws:

a) Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 2265 (185 Fourth Avenue North - former Cariboo Lodge site)
b) Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 2257 (105 to 117 Paxton Road)

10) Late Item - Council approved the use of City equipment for the repair of the Thunder Mountain Speedway track in conjunction with Municipal Services volunteer labour.

11) Council received the June 20th 'Council Information Package' as follows:

* 2017 Canada Day Weekend in Williams Lake - Events Poster;
* June 8, 2017 - Salish Sea Trust re A Personal Proclamation for Our Oceans & Waterways;
* June 9, 2017 - Cariboo Regional District Board Highlights.

Members of Council gave oral reports as to their recent activities

The CAO gave an oral report as to his recent activities

Media Question Period:

a) Radio - History on Volunteer City Staff labour for local community projects - Mayor Cobb/Councillor Bonnell responded to the question

Council agreed to adjourn at 6:47pm

Post Event Report - 2017 FCM Convention

As is my usual practice -- find below a Post Event report of my attendance at the 2017 Federation of Canadian Muncipalities Convention in Ottawa, ON from June 1st - 4th

Friday, June 16, 2017

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of June 19 - 23

The following local governments of the Cariboo-Chilcotin are meeting next week, as follows:

Quesnel: Meetings as noted below

Special Open Council Meeting - Tuesday, June 20th at 5:30pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (4th Floor - 410 Kinchant St) with respect to a Lhtako Dene (Red Bluff Indian Band) Ceremony.  The full Agenda can be viewed here

Public Hearing - Tuesday, June 20th at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers.  Bylaw under consideration is Zoning Amendment Bylaw #1824 (Dog Park on Nadeau Street).  View the full Agenda here

Regular Open Council Meeting - Tuesday, June 20th following adjournment of the Public Hearing on the same date in Quesnel Council Chambers.  On the Agenda:

* Retirement Presentation - City of Quesnel employee
* Delegation: Northern Health, Opiate Crisis/Needle Exchange Program
* Committee Reports
* Meeting Norms - Recognition of Lhtako Dene Traditional Territory Statement
* Development Permit - Quesnel Lions Society - Seniors' Housing Complex (Reid Street/McNaughton Avenue)
* Cenotaph Memorial Plaques (Previously considered at the June 13th North Cariboo Joint Committee Meeting)
* Fresno Construction Ltd. Lease Agreement
* New Horizons Grant Application
* Request for 6 Month Extension for Application of Zoning Bylaw 1802 - Proposed Zone Amendment for Multi-Purpose Indoor Recreation Facility (Racing Road)
* Letters for consideration from Barkerville Historical Town & Park - Trust Board Position - Request for Board Nomination & Skyfest - Request for Special Events Permit (Liquor Sales) at 2017 Skyfest Community Event

View the full Agenda here

School District #28 (Quesnel) - Regular Board of Education meeting on Wednesday, June 21st at 7pm in the SD28 Boardroom (401 Northstar Rd).  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

Williams Lake - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 20th at 6pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart Street).  On the Agenda:

* "Accessibility Award of Merit" Presentation to Nirmal Singh, Town Taxi
* Delegation: Venta Rutkauskas, Coordinator and Marg Evans, Community Arts Council of Williams Lake re Proposal for Wind Chime 'Soundscape' Project
* 2016 Annual Municipal Report - For Adoption
* Development Permit Application - DP #03-2017 - Platform Properties Ltd -- For Council Approval
* Land Disposition - Boitanio Mall - 850 Oliver Street - For Council Approval
* Temporary Commercial Use Permit Application for Massage Therapy - 80 Fourth Avenue South
* Waste & Recyclables Collection Contract - Central Cariboo Disposal
* Pavement Rehabilitation & Waterworks 2017 Contract Award

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District: Regular Meeting of the Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee on Wednesday, June 21st at 5:30pm in the CRD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* Central Cariboo Arts/Culture Society's 2016 Annual Report
* Fees & Charges By-Law Amendment re Private Pool Rentals and Sponsorship Swims
* Esler Recreation Advisory Commission - 2017 Spring Meeting Minutes and Recommendations
* Pool Upgrade Project - Monthly Status Reports for April and May 2017
* Proposed Amended Central Cariboo / City of Williams Lake Joint Committee Terms of Reference
* Action Page

View the full Agenda here


AAC set for Quesnel TSA

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Effective immediately, the new allowable annual cut for the Quesnel Timber Supply Area is set at 2,607,000 cubic metres, chief forester Diane Nicholls announced today.

While the new cut level is about 35% less than the four million cubic metres set in 2011, it is close to the average annual harvest over the past three years of about 2.7 million cubic metres and consistent with the allowable annual cut set in 1996 – before the mountain pine beetle infestation began.

The new allowable annual cut sets limits to harvest maximums of 127,000 cubic metres from deciduous tree-leading stands and 1.25 million cubic metres to living trees. The remainder must be harvested from dead trees.

The mountain pine beetle epidemic and the salvage logging of dead pine are ending in the Quesnel Timber Supply Area. This new cut level reflects a transition to lower mid-term harvest levels that will allow newly reforested areas to grow.

The Quesnel Timber Supply Area covers approximately 1.6 million hectares. Dominant tree species include lodgepole pine, spruce and Douglas-fir.

Communities in the area include Quesnel, Red Bluff, Barlow Creek, Dragon Lake, Bouchie Lake and Wells, as well as 13 First Nations communities.

The chief forester’s determination takes into consideration winter range for ungulates, including deer, caribou and moose, as well as habitat requirements for other wildlife, including the American white pelican and blue heron, which are managed through wildlife habitat areas.

There are three sawmills, two pulp mills, a plywood plant and a medium-density fibreboard plant operating within the timber supply area.

BC's Chief Forester Diane Nicholls stated:

“After considering all of the available information on timber and non-timber resources – including social and economic objectives – I am confident that this new cut level will maximize the long-term supply of timber in the Quesnel Timber Supply Area.”

Quick Facts:

The chief forester’s allowable annual cut determination is an independent, professional judgment based on information ranging from technical forestry reports, First Nations and public input to the government’s social and economic goals.

Under the Forest Act, the chief forester must determine the allowable annual cut in each of the province’s 37 timber supply areas and 34 tree farm licences at least once every 10 years.

Learn More:

The allowable annual cut determination is available from the Quesnel Natural Resource District office, or online: https://www.for.gov.bc.ca/hts/tsa/tsa26/

New Trailhead Opening Saturday

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Construction of the new trail connecting into the Fox Mountain Trail system is now complete, with the official opening scheduled for Saturday, June 17th at 4 pm. This trail provides access to the mountain on an official pathway that will limit the impact of riders on private property throughout the area. With the access point at Tourism Discovery Centre, this trail provides access to Fox Mountain Trails and acts as a gathering point for out of town riders.

The City of Williams Lake would like to extend its sincere appreciation to the following groups for their dedication in making this a reality:

* Cariboo Regional District
* Signal Point Gaming
* Ministry of Recreation Sites and Trails BC
* Williams Lake Cycling Club
* Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium
* Soda Creek First Nation
* Longhorn Fencing
* Tim Menning and Hytest Timber
* Red Shred’s Bike and Board Shed
* First Journey Trails

The ribbon cutting ceremony will take place on Saturday, June 17th at 4:00 pm at the Visitor Reception Parking Area at the Trail Head.

"We are pleased to see the completion of this community partnership and extend our gratitude for the effort put in by so many volunteers and members of the local bike associations to move this initiative forward. This will become an anchor site for the Williams Lake bike trail system, and a great addition for our community," says Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb.

Acting Mayor Sue Zacharias will be on site for the ribbon cutting ceremony and Adventure Charters will be providing shuttle services to the top of the trail head for riders.

Imagination Park Summer Fun Program to run July 3 - Aug. 31

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

Imagination Park is a great way for children aged six to 12 to spend the summer at the Quesnel & District Arts and Recreation Centre.

Imagination Park has nine theme weeks: Canada 150 “Happy Birthday Canada,” Throwback Week, Star Wars, Mad Scientists, Raiders of the Lost Adventure, Imagination Park’s Got Talent, Harry Potter, Little Chefs, and It’s a Mystery.

Imagination Park runs Monday to Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., with pre-program options available starting at 8:00 a.m. and post-program options available until 5:00 p.m.

In addition to Imagination Park, a special event takes place each Friday. These events include a trip to Yorston Farms to explore the corn maze, two days of waterslides in the park with lunch, an exciting river rafting trip, a kids carnival, and the ever-popular Arts and Recreation Centre sleepover.

“Imagination Park is an amazing opportunity for kids to make the most of their summer by connecting with new friends in an upbeat, fun environment. I am very excited for a great summer here at the Arts and Recreation Centre. This year will be jam-packed with games, crafts, and activities that every child is sure to enjoy.”

-- Kelsi Brown, Imagination Park Supervisor at the Quesnel & District Arts and Recreation Centre

For more information, or to register your child for Imagination Park, visit the Arts and Recreation Centre at 500 North Star Rd or call 250-992-8200.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Log Carvings unveiled at McLeese Lake

This afternoon with McLeese Lake locals -- I unveiled the two latest log carvings to come to downtown McLeese Lake:

From L-R: Howie Chamberlin, Leah Selk and Steve Forseth

From L-R: Steve Forseth, Howie Chamberlin, Leah Selk

These two projects received funding from the Central Cariboo Arts/Culture Society and the Cariboo Regional District via the Area 'D' Economic Development Function as well as in-kind services

There will be another log carving slated for installation in 2018 along with a mining mural.  Funding will likely come from the Regional District/Central Cariboo Arts/Culture Society along with other grants and in-kind services

I believe I speak for most in McLeese Lake that these two log carvings are an excellent addition to the community and will attract people to visit McLeese Lake, be it either regional residents' or tourists travelling through the community....


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Recognition, reconciliation, and partnerships

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Next week’s regular Council meeting will be preceded by a long overdue ceremonial and celebratory special open session during which Council will formally recognize that the City of Quesnel is on the traditional territory of the Lhtako Dene (Red Bluff Band) and we will enter into a formal protocol agreement with the Chief and Council of the Lhtako Dene Nation.

This process started in 2015, after I had attended my first public session as Mayor and realized that I could not state, even pro forma, that I recognized we were meeting on the traditional territory of the Lhtako Dene and the Southern Carrier people. The simple reason for my reluctance to make this statement as Mayor was that, at that point, the City of Quesnel did not recognize the traditional territory of the Lhtako Dene in any civic property, green space, or in any formal agreements with the Lhtako Nation. So, it would have been hypocritical for me to verbally claim, on behalf of the City and Council, that we recognized Lhtako territory, when in fact we did not.

In order to redress this issue, Council passed a resolution during its 2015 strategic planning session to begin the work of recognition and reconciliation with all four Southern Carrier nations, starting with the Lhtako Dene, who originally settled the area we now call the City of Quesnel. In fact, the Lhtako Dene once had a population of 15,000 in the area surrounding the Quesnel and Fraser Rivers and Baker Creek (Lhtako means “where the three rivers meet” and Dene means “people”), the second highest concentration of aboriginal people in the province of BC next to Haida Gwaii.

The advent of settlers to this area brought western diseases and the Lhtako, like so many aboriginal communities and populations, were devastated. It is not a stretch to state that the City of Quesnel is built on the bones of the Lhtako Dene, as there are known graves, including mass graves, scattered throughout the downtown core and along the banks of both the Quesnel and Fraser rivers.

Over the past two years, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting with the elected leaders, elders, and community members of the Lhtaho Dene. I’ve listened to their stories and we’ve enjoyed meals together, beginning the process of establishing a relationship that will help the City and the Lhtako Dene forge new partnerships and productive working relationships. During those meetings we worked with the elders and leaders to develop recognition symbols and language that will be displayed in the City’s buildings, the Lhtako Dene developed a new flag that will be flown on the set of flagpoles beside the Visitor Center, and we jointly drafted a protocol agreement in which the City formally recognizes the traditional territory of the Lhtako Dene and which lays out a framework for government to government partnerships and communications.

The signing of a protocol agreement and the placement of recognition greetings and symbols in civic properties is only the beginning. It is Council’s intent to deepen our relationship with the Lhtako Dene and eventually build a new cultural center at the confluence of the Fraser and Quesnel Rivers. Initial dialogue has also begun with the other Southern Carrier bands in an effort to achieve similar formal relationships with these nations too.

This week the topic of recognition and reconciliation is also on the agenda of our joint Regional District (Northern Directors), School Board, and Council meeting (we’ve started to meet together regularly). It’s Council’s desire to see our local first nations heritage celebrated and recognized throughout the City and integrated into our school curriculum.

Council recognizes that we are merely taking the first steps on the road to true reconciliation, but the journey has begun.

Bob Simpson is the Mayor of Quesnel. He can be reached via email here or via phone at 250-991-7477 or click here

2017 Canada Day Celebrations in Williams Lake

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Everyone is invited to join the Canada Day events in Boitanio Park on Saturday, July 1st from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

Official ceremonies by the Royal Canadian Legion, the Williams Lake Pipe Band and a welcome to traditional Secwepemc (Shuswap) territory will commence after the Daybreak Rotary parade.

This year’s performance lineup includes First Nations Drummers and Hoop Dancers, the Lucier Brothers, Rebecca Solomon and the Williams Lake Community Band.

Throughout the park there will be activities that reflect Canada’s 150 + years and offer opportunities to express what we would like our future to look like. Some active fun during the day will give people a chance to try family-friendly activities such as axe throwing, Highland games, cheerleading, and table tennis. There will also be some quiet space under the trees to relax, listen to Secwepemc stories of the land and people, and enjoy some Canadian books, quotes and poetry. Visit the commemorative time capsule where the community can bring a photo or write or draw what they would like to share with others in 25 years.

The 150 Mile School House, the Indian Residential School Survivors Society, Secwepemc and Tsilhqot’in Elders, and the Canadian Mental Health Association Multiculturalism Program are providing numerous traditional and heritage activities. The Big Sky District Girl Guides will be showcasing their heritage uniforms throughout the day along with providing free face painting.

Many local businesses and organizations are sponsoring a Skateboard and BMX Jam, starting at 11:30 am at the skate park. All ages and levels are encouraged to participate.

The Williams Lake Quilters will be showcasing a selection of their Canada themed quilts, along with demonstrations from the WL Spinners and Weavers.

Don’t pack a lunch, as delicious foods such as curry, burgers, chicken and mini donuts will be available. There will also be small businesses selling jewelry, novelty items, and woodworking, and doing glitter painting, henna and air brush tattooing. Save on Foods will be serving cupcakes at around 1:00 pm.

This year’s event is organized by 150 Mile Schoolhouse, Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin, the Indian Residential School Survivors Society, Canadian Mental Health Association Multiculturalism Program, Young Catalyst, passionate volunteers and Recreation Services. Funding for the Canada Day event is provided by the Government of Canada, Cariboo Regional District and City of Williams Lake.

Please contact Suzanne Cochrane, Recreation Programmer or Denise Skarra, Recreation Coordinator at 250-398-7665 for more information.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Cariboo RD North Cariboo Rural Directors Caucus meets today!

At 3pm today in the Cariboo RD Quesnel Office (101-410 Kinchant St), the North Cariboo CRD Rural Directors' Caucus Committee will meet.  On their Agenda:

* Delegation - Lori Fogarty and Wylie Bystedt from the Quesnel Agricultural Working Group to provide an update

* Deferred Item - Grant for Assistance Application from Back Country Horsemen of BC North Cariboo Chapter
* Canadian Parents for French - Request for Support
* Discussion Item: Cariboo Strong Regional Ec Dev Program

View the full Agenda here


Monday, June 12, 2017

New BC Cabinet

This afternoon - Christy Clark went before Her Honour, the Lieutenant-Governor to swear in the new Provincial Cabinet.  The new Cabinet is:


John Rustad (Nechako Lakes): Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation

Andrew Wilkinson (Vancouver-Quilchena): Attorney General & Minister of Justice

Norm Letnick (Kelowna-Lake Country): Minister of Agriculture

Stephanie Cadieux (Surrey South): Minister of Children & Family Development

Mike Bernier (Peace River South): Minister of Education

Mary Polak (Langley): Minister of Health

Michael de Jong (Abbotsford West): Minister of Finance

Steve Thomson (Kelowna-Mission): Minister of Forests, Lands, & Natural Resource Operations

Donna Barnett (Cariboo-Chilcotin): Minister of State for Rural Economic Development

Teresa Wat (Richmond North Centre): Minister of International Trade and Minister Responsible for the Asia Pacific Strategy and Multiculturalism

Shirley Bond (Prince George-Valemount): Minister of Jobs, Tourism, & Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour

Mike Morris (Prince George-Mackenzie): Minister of Public Safety & Solicitor General

Coralee Oakes (Cariboo North): Minister of Small Business & Red Tape Reduction and Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch

Rich Coleman (Langley East): Minister of Energy & Mines

Michelle Stilwell (Parksville-Qualicum): Minister of Social Development & Social Innovation

Todd Stone (Kamloops-South Thompson): Minister of Transportation & Infrastructure

Ellis Ross (Skeena): Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing

Jas Johal (Richmond-Queensborough): Minister of Technology, Innovation, & Citizen Services

Sam Sullivan (Vancouver-False Creek): Minister of Community, Sport, & Cultural Development

Jordan Sturdy (West Vancouver-Sea to Sky): Minister of Environment

Linda Reid (Richmond South Centre): Minister of Advanced Education

Parliamentary Secretaries

Jane Thornthwaite – Parliamentary Secretary for Child Mental Health and Anti-Bullying to the Minister of Children and Family Development

John Yap – Parliamentary Secretary for Liquor Reform Policy to the Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction and Minister Responsible for Liquor

Darryl Plecas – Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors to the Minister of Health

Simon Gibson – Parliamentary Secretary for Independent Schools to the Minister of Education

John Martin – Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations

Laurie Throness – Parliamentary Secretary for Corrections to the Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General

Greg Kyllo – Parliamentary Secretary for the BC Jobs Plan to the Minister of Jobs, Tourism, and Skills Training

Dan Ashton – Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance

Linda Larson – Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Education to the Minister of Education

Marvin Hunt – Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development

Michael Lee – Parliamentary Secretary for Housing Affordability to the Minister of Natural Gas Development and Minister Responsible for Housing

Joan Isaacs – Parliamentary Secretary for Early Childhood Education to the Minister of Education

Doug Clovechok – Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier

Congrats to the Cariboo MLA's on their return to their Cabinet posts

CCRHD Board Highlights - June 9th mtg

Present: Chair M. Wagner; Directors T. Armstrong, J. Massier, S. Forseth, B. Kemp, J. Sorley, A. Richmond, D. Cash, R. William, B. Anderson, B. Coakley, R. Sharpe, B. Simpson, W. Cobb and M. Campsall

Meeting called to order at 9:31am

Agenda Adopted/Mins of the May 13th Board Meeting adopted


1) The Board received the Hospital Consent Calendar, as of June 9th, 2017
2) The Board received Interior Health's Capital Projects/Planning Status Report for April 2017
3) The Board received a funding request from Northern Health in regards to a New C-Arm in the GR Baker Memorial Hospital and directed the necessary Capital Expenditure Bylaw be brought forward to the June 29th CCRHD Board Meeting for 3 Readings/Adoption

The Chair reported on the recently held Traveling Medical Road Show in Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House, along with the Dr Charles Jago retirement dinner in Prince George

The Board agreed to adjourn at 9:40am

Friday, June 9, 2017

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of June 12 - 16

The following local governments of the Cariboo-Chilcotin are meeting next week, as follows:

Wells - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 13th at 7pm in Wells Council Chambers (4243 Sanders Avenue).  On the Agenda:

* Wells Wheels ATV Club – Proposed New ATV trail, Highway crossing & ATV Bylaw
* 2017 UBCM Convention - potential Ministerial meetings (Consideration in Committee of the Whole)
* Potential Rural (Liquor) Agency Store – Jack O Clubs General Store
* 2016 Statement of Financial Information Report
* District of Wells’ Annual Community Report for the year ended December 31,2016

View the full Agenda here

Quesnel -Executive Committee meets on Tuesday, June 13th at 9am in Quesnel Council Chambers (4th Floor, 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* Review results of Dog Park Public Consultation
* Review Agenda of June 20th Joint Open Meeting (Quesnel Municipal Council/Lhtako Dene Nation)
* Reid Street Project Next Steps; Public Engagement & Communications

View the full Agenda here

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

* Delegation: RCMP Update from Corporate Management & Comptrollership Branch

100 Mile House - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 13th at 7pm in 100 Mile House Council Chambers (385 Birch Avenue).  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

Cariboo Regional District: Meetings as noted below

South Cariboo Joint Committee - Meeting on Monday, June 12th at 12 noon in 100 Mile House Council Chambers.  On the Agenda:

* Delegations: RCMP Staff Sergeant Svend Nielsen/MLA Donna Barnett

* Collection of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Products at South Cariboo Solid Waste Refuse Sites
* District of 100 Mile House Memo - Royal Canadian Legion Branch #260 6 Request
* SC Recreation Centre Expansion Project Working Group Meeting Minutes - May 25, 2017

View the full Agenda here

North Cariboo Joint Committee - Regular Meeting at 5:30pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (4th Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* Delegations: Kersley Elementary Grades 5 - 7 - Global Conflict and Resolution and awareness for contemporary Veterans & P4HC North Cariboo - Heloise Dixon-Warren

* Arena Construction Update Reports
* Fees and Charges Bylaw (deferred from April 11th)
* NCJPC Terms of Reference - Committee Review & Discussion (Deferred from Feb 14th)
* Quesnel Skyfest Society - Request for In-kind use of Equipment
* Quesnel & District Community Arts Council - Concern

View the full Agenda here

CCRHD Special Board Highlights - June 8th mtg

Present: Chair M. Wagner; Directors T. Armstrong, J. Bruce, J. Massier, S. Forseth, B. Kemp, J. Sorley, A. Richmond, D. Cash, B. Anderson, B. Coakley, R. Sharpe, B. Simpson, and M. Campsall

Meeting called to order at 1:00pm

Director M. Campsall provided a warm welcome to the District of 100 Mile House

Meeting Agenda Adopted

1) Review of CCRHD Capital Reserve Level

The Board had before it a report of Director S. Forseth in regards to the CCRHD Capital Reserve Level

Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Report received/annual reviews of the CCRHD Capital Reserve Level take place

The Board agreed to adjourn at 1:37pm

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Random reflections on progress

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Last week the City launched its new website; a long overdue investment in the future of our community! This major project was funded in part by the Northern Development Trust, and a big thank you goes to our Economic Development Officer and Communications Clerk for the blood, sweat, and tears they put into this major undertaking. The final outcome is fantastic!

In today’s world, a community’s web presence is paramount for: attracting visitors; enticing people to consider residing here; recruiting the entire range of the workforce we need to keep our base economy going (labourers, technicians, professionals), as well as the workers needed to grow and diversify our economy; and, for attracting investment. Quesnel’s website was outdated, virtually unsearchable, and awkward to use on mobile devices, which is now the main way people access the internet.

Our new website integrates our new branding, is mobile friendly, and enables a greater degree of consultation with the public and direct notification to individual citizens based on their interests. Please visit the website at quesnel.ca/subscribe and sign up for the notifications you want. The new site also offers a first for local government in BC: a tool to determine whether you need to apply for a building permit based on answering some online questions about the project you want to undertake.

Last week, I spent some time in Victoria, Esquimalt, and Saanich. It was a mix of business and pleasure and a good chance to see what was happening in these (and other) communities. Interestingly, each of these municipalities is investing in their community amenities: playgrounds, bike lanes, sports complexes, and core infrastructure. In all three communities, the various Council’s are beset by people who are either defending the status quo or who claim change isn’t happening fast enough. As I’ve stated a number of times before, it’s getting harder and harder for elected Councils to find the “balance” between opposing interests. Ultimately, City Council’s have to make their decisions based on the best available information and in the best interests of both the present and future generations of citizens in our respective communities.

I also noted that all the new playgrounds in these communities used engineered wood chips for their base; so we’re not unique in this regard. In Saanich, every bus stop has been equipped with various forms of lawn chairs in lieu of bus shelters (which has been a bone of contention for some here). And, in every community new housing and development ventures (like the new marina in the inner harbour in Victoria) are met with protests and resistance by those who want their community to remain the same (while also wanting jobs and economic development to occur, but just not in their neighbourhood).

Sometimes we think that what’s happening here in Quesnel is unique to us; it isn’t. Change is hard no matter where you live, and I understand that. But, progress is essential no matter where you live too. For Quesnel, the pace of change may simply be a bit more rapid, because we have so much catching up to do.

The best way want to engage in shaping our community is to stay abreast of what’s happening and actively participate in the dialogue, and our new website is designed to facilitate that. Please visit our web page often and like the City’s Facebook page. Better yet, sign up for notifications and stay informed about all the great things happening in Quesnel.

Bob Simpson is the Mayor of Quesnel. He can be reached via email here or via phone at 250-991-7477 or click here

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Quesnel Council Highlights - June 6th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Quesnel Independent Builder & Homeowner Protection Act
Mr. Reg Meisner, a Quesnel Independent Builder, appeared as a delegation to Council to express his frustration with the costs, the lengthy process and the overall red tape involved with the Home Owner Protection Act regulations for Owner-Builders wanting to build their own home(s). Mr. Meisner asked Council to lobby the Provincial government to reduce the costs, lengthy process and red tape around the Home Owner Protection Act regulations requirements originally put in place as a quality control measure for the construction of new homes. Next steps include a future City staff report outlining what lobbying efforts Council may wish to consider around the Home Owner Protection Act regulations and how the Home Owner Protection Act regulations process may be improved upon for owner-builders. Since 2012, approximately 50% of new homes in Quesnel have been built by owner-builders.
Reid Street/Barlow Avenue Revitalization
After multiple public consultation sessions, Council has approved the general concept design for the revitalization of Reid Street (Blocks 200 – 400) and a portion of Barlow Avenue (Front Street to laneway between Reid Street and Mclean Street) that was initiated because of an aged-out watermain that requires replacement. Urban Systems, on behalf of the City, will now proceed with finalizing the detailed design for the Reid Street/Barlow Avenue Revitalization project. A brief summary of the design concept features are:
  • 1 single extra-wide vehicle travel lane 
    • Single lane is wide enough for two pickup trucks to pass even if a 6 m truck has angle parked
    • Delivery vehicle pull-out spot has been designated on each block
    • Small car parking has been designated for the first four spots of each block (small cars can backed of angle spots quicker if their views are not impacted by larger vehicles)
    • A mid-block pullout has been provided on each block where vehicles can pull over out of the single lane for short-term passenger drop off and pickup.
  • Parallel and angle parking similar to the current parking layout.
  • Improved street lighting
  • Wider sidewalks (3 meters for Blocks 200 – 300 and east-side of Block 400; and 2 meters for west-side of Block 400)
  • Parking capacity will see a decrease of 7 total parking spots, from the existing conditions, for Blocks 200 – 400 
    • Provides a balance of space between providing wider sidewalks, drop-off pullouts and parking stall spaces.
Project costs will are dependant on construction market value costs, but the preliminary design for this project is estimated up to $5.3 million. Next steps include the detailed design going back out to the public for consultation and work on an overall strategic parking plan for the downtown core.
Curling Club Exterior Refresh 
Council approved $10,500 from the Council Initiatives Fund for the exterior west and south walls of the Quesnel Curling Club to be painted. The west wall is now fully exposed unpainted masonry due to the demolition of Arena 1 that is to become the new parking lot for the new West Fraser Centre. In refreshing the West Fraser Centre immediate area, Arena 2 has been painted and, through a City Capital Works project, new sidewalks and paved parking lots/laneways/roadways are also underway.
Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Issues
Council has been dealing with ongoing issues with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure regarding:
  • The west-bound right-hand turn lane from Highway 97 at Carson Avenue/Kinchant Street will be reinstated. Expect road marker and signage to be installed sometime this month.
  • Highway’s electronic digital sign has been relocated from Chuck Beath Park to the bottom of Dragon Lake Hill.
  • Council issued a new request to change parking, along the 100 Block of Front Street, from truck-only parking to automotive parking that aims to provide tourists and visitors convenience parking to visit Heritage Corner.
Security Cameras – Downtown Community/Accessible Space at Spirit Square
Council approved the costs and installation of three new security cameras for the new community/accessible space, that includes public/accessible washrooms, located off of Spirit Square. There will be two security cameras located on the exterior of the building overlooking the facility’s entrance and one security camera overlooking the facility’s public front lobby space.
Next Meetings
June 13, 2017, 5:30 pm
North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee
June 20, 2017, 7 pm
Regular Council Meeting