Wednesday, June 27, 2007

WL Council Meeting Highlights - June 26th, 2007


1) Billy Barker - Mr. Barker came down from Quesnel to invite members of WL Council to attend the Billy Barker Days in Quesnel in mid-July. Several members of Council including Mayor Nelson indicated their intention to participate in Billy Barker Days in mid-July in Quesnel


1) Council has agreed to form a Sustainability Committee jointly with the Cariboo Regional District. Terms of Reference will be formulated after consultation with local First Nations and the Fraser Basin Council

2) A Forum with local First Nations will be held in Fall of 2007. Partial funding to come from UBCM. Past forums have proven successful to focus on joint ventures or items of mutual concern

3) Council will be submitted a resolution on Detox Centres in BC to the UBCM Convention being held in Vancouver later this year. The Central Cariboo Joint Committee agreed at their last meeting that there is a direct link between substance abuse and criminal activity in the City.

4) Council will look at forming a Twin City Agreement with Fusong, China. The Mayor, or his delegate and a local City Staff person will fly to Fusong, China later this year to ink the agreement. The City will pay for the flights there and back and a 1 night stay in Beijing and all other costs to be provided for by the City of Fusong.

5) Council agreed to submit the Statement of Financial Information or SOFI to the Ministry of Community Services. SOFI details such items as the Audited Financial Statement of the City for the period ending December 31st, 2006. It also details how much each Councillor and the Mayor were paid along with the pay of senior Staff at City Hall.

6) Council received an application for more housing just east of the Hamel subdivision. This application received 1st reading and was referred to the Planning Commission for comment/recommendation. Also, rezoning bylaws for applications by Liu/Fei and Tyler Boucher were given 2nd reading and Public Hearings for both will be held on July 24th, 2007 in Council Chambers at 7:00pm

7) Council agreed to fund a $2,500 fund program to help receive tips from the public for vandalism to the City's sprinkler heads

8) Council adopted the Tax Revitalization Bylaw which will allow for municipal tax deferrals for anyone doing a renovation project inside the zone. Acting Mayor (Councillor) Ed Mead commented that 2 applications were waiting in the wings pending adoption of this bylaw

9) Council gave approval to the 2007 Annual Report. No comments were received by members of the public

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Level of Debate during Meetings

I would like to discuss a subject that is relevant for all politicians, myself included, which is debate during meetings of either:

1) Council/Regional District Board Meeting(s)
2) Joint Committee or Regular Committee/Commission Meeting(s)
3) Legislative Assembly or a Committee of the Legislative Assembly Meeting(s)
4) House of Commons/Senate or a Committee thereof Meeting(s)

During the June 12, 2007 meeting of the North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Meeting, the matter of the "Gary Young" report which discusses in detail on how the CRD / City of Quesnel can address the issues of governance, financing of the North Cariboo Sub-Regional Recreation Budget was discussed

During the debate on this report, Director Mary Glassford (CRD Director for Electoral Area "I")
suggested that the City of Quesnel Council was "blackmailing/extorting" the CRD because of the on-going North Cariboo Sub-Regional Recreation Service Review

Now, while I understand we all say things, in the heat of the moment from time to time, we should never suggest that one governing body is blackmailing/extorting another body because of on-going actions of the one governing body. That truly lowers the decorum of the debate on how to solve issues, like the Recreation Function in the North Cariboo

Now, it appears she is still going at it as Director Glassford was still making a suggestion, on the radio, that Council in Quesnel was blackmailing the Cariboo Regional District over the North Cariboo Sub-Regional Recreation Service Review. We should remember, unlike MLA's in our Legislative Assembly and MP's in the House of Commons who have freedom of speech in the Legislative Assembly/House of Commons, as the case may be, Mayor/Councillors and Regional District Directors' do not have freedom of speech at their Council / Board meetings and one can be sued for libel for defamation of character. So, all local politicians need to be careful about the language they use when describing the problem at hand and how to solve it.

Saturday, June 2, 2007