Thursday, December 11, 2008

Special WL Council Meeting - December 4th

In Attendance:

Mayor Cook, Deputy Mayor Rathor and Councillors Walters, Bourdon, Zacharias, and Barr


1) Report from GM of Community Services on RCMP Admin Support:

The following Resolution was adopted:

"That Council approve implementation of a one-year pilot program for the provision of RCMP administration and operations support by two qualified civilian employees at a cost of $120,000 to be realized in the 2009 budget through a realignment of priorities with no increase in taxation."

CRD Area 'F' Director sues Cariboo Regional District Board

In what I think is a first in Cariboo-Chilcotin politics, the CRD Area 'F' Director (Duncan Barnett) is commencing legal proceedings against the Cariboo Regional District, over a In-Camera Board Motion, passed on October 10th, 2008

The story on this, from WL, is here

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Letter to Minister Lekstrom

This morning, I dispatched a letter to Blair Lekstrom (Minister of Community Development - Local Government Ministry) requesting that he consider amending the Local Government Act to prohibit candidates from running in either an Electoral Area (Regional District) or Municipality unless they reside in the said Electoral Area/Municipality. I will advise you of Minister Lekstrom's response when I receive it.

I can tell you that I heard, through the "grapevine", rural residents' didn't appreciate the fact that candidates, who resided in the City of Williams Lake, were running in Electoral Area 'F'. Perhaps making the above amendment will ensure that there is a direct link between the elected representative and the electors.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Referendum Questions (2) - Quesnel + CRD

Referendum Question #1:

Are you in favour of the adoption of the Quesnel Cemetery Contribution Service Establishment Amendment Bylaw No. 4422, 2008, which would allow a requisition increase for the Quesnel Cemetery Contribution function taxation limit to a maximum of the greater of $76,000 or an amount generated by applying an overall rate of $0.0731/$1,000 to the net taxable value of land and improvements?

YES - 1,052
NO - 830

Question #1 PASSED

Referendum Question #2:

Are you in favour of the Cariboo Regional District adopting i) Loan Authorization Bylaw 4396 to borrow up to $15,000,000 and ii) Service Establishment Amendment Bylaw 4395 to increase the North Cariboo Recreation and Parks function taxation limit to a maximum of the greater of $3.2095/$1,000 of assessed value of land and improvements or $4,900,000 to provide for the construction of a new arena, theatre and multipurpose event space?

YES - 2,765
NO - 2,525

Question #2 PASSED

The above Voting on the 2 Referendum Questions in Quesnel + CRD Areas A, B, C and I are preliminary, at this point

Mayor and Councils plus Cariboo Regional District Board of Directors' for 2008-2011 Term

Here's your elected officials for Districts of 100 Mile/Wells + Cities of WL/Quesnel and CRD Board of Directors' for the 2008-2011 Term:

District of Wells:

Mayor - Jay Vermette


1) Virginia Wilkins
2) Judy Campbell
3) Richard Wright
4) Aleta Wallace

City of Quesnel:

Mayor - Mary Sjostrom


1) Coralee Oakes
2) Sushil Thapar
3) Ron Paull
4) Peter Couldwell
5) Micheal Cave
6) Laurey-Anne Roodenburg

City of Williams Lake:

Mayor - Kerry Cook


1) Natalie Lynn Montoya
2) Geoff Bourdon
3) Tom Barr
4) Surinderpal Rathor
5) Sue Zacharias
6) Laurie Walters

District of 100 Mile House:

Mayor - Mitch Campsall


1) Dave Mingo
2) Bill Hadden
3) Jeanne Best
4) Mel Torgerson

Cariboo Regional District - Board of Directors' (Electoral Area Directors'):

Area A - Ted Armstrong
Area B - Roberta Faust
Area C - John Massier
Area D - Deb Bischoff
Area E - Steve Mazur
Area F - Duncan Barnett
Area G - Al Richmond
Area H - Art Dumaresq
Area I - Jim Glassford
Area J - Alex Bracewell
Area K - Rick Mumford
Area L - Bruce Rattray

Friday, November 14, 2008

No Blog Posts on Saturday, November 15th (General Voting Day)

As you know, General Voting Day for all Local Government Elections in BC occurs on Saturday, November 15th. I would obviously strongly encourage you to vote for your candidate, whether that is for Mayor and Councillors, Regional District Directors or School Board Trustees

I've received advice that because advertising on General Voting Day for Local Government Elections is strictly prohibited and my blog could be seen as a form of adveritising, I've been asked not to do any "blogging" on Saturday. On Sunday, November 16th, I will report on all Local Government races in Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House and Cariboo Regional District races in Areas B, D, E, F, G, H and L, as well as the voting on the 2 Referendum Questions in Quesnel

Again, regardless of whom you are voting for, please get and vote. Your local democracy depends upon it

My last pitch to Area 'F' Residents

As this is the last official day of campaigning permitted by provincial law, I'm going to lay out my case to those who read my blog and may reside in Area 'F' of the Cariboo Regional District:

Steve's Goals for 2008-2011, if elected

1) Get the Regional District Board to withdraw Bylaw #4420 (Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function) or at the minimum, remove Area 'F' as a service participant in Bylaw #4420

2) Establish a new Function called "Central Cariboo Transit" with Electoral Areas D, E, F as participants. Service to include conventional transit and Handi-DART to Function participants. Also, I would seek funding from Williams Lake/Soda Creek Indian Bands into this Function, with the Function being fully implemented by 2011, at the latest

3) Work at "Garbage" issues at Rural Transfer Stations in Central Cariboo, in concert with Solid Waste Plan Review in 2009

4) Establish Policy around Public Consultation and Amendments to Electoral Area OCP (Official Community Plan) Bylaw / Rural Land Use Bylaws

5) Clarify present CRD Board Policy as such that only CRD Directors to hold public consultation on new Function Bylaw(s) prior to introduction of said Function Establish Bylaw at Regional Board

6) Introduce, by 2011, NQI (National Quality Institute) program at Cariboo Regional District. This is a program that has to do with excellence in Customer Service in Local Government. The City of Kamloops uses this NQI Program and have received numerous awards for their NQI initiative. The City of Williams Lake has this as a Business Goal for 2008/2009.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Taseko lays off 75 workers at Gibraltar Mines

From WL Tribune:

Taseko Mines Limited has announced that 75 employees at its Gibraltar Mine will be laid off effective Jan. 13, 2009.

The company informed the employees at early Thursday afternoon.

“Concluding there was no other choice was agonizing,” Taseko vice-president of corporate affairs Brian Battison said. “But lower costs are essential to keeping the mine operating.”

The announcement comes after the mine, 65 kilometres north of Williams Lake, suspended non-essential spending, and stopped on-site contract work six weeks ago.

“We did a lot of things before we had to take this next step,” Battison said. The mine currently employs 469 people.

Russell Hallbauer, president and CEO of Taseko, said that in the last 24 months, the company has invested $250 million into Gibraltar Mine to reduce operating costs and to ensure it could operate at low copper price levels.

Manpower levels during the construction period increased as the company worked on the concentrator modernization and mine expansion programs. Now that the concentrator and mining fleet are upgraded and more efficient, the size of the work force is inconsistent with the company's new operating efficiencies, he said.

Hallbauer said the company has taken a conservative approach to its expansion plans by not incurring any long-term debt, and its aim is to keep Gibraltar Mine profitable and viable should the copper cycle go back to lower than US$1.50/lb.

Battison said the company expects Gibraltar to operate for the long term, due to the $250-million investment, lower costs for fuel and steel, and zero debt.

“We expect other copper mines in the world will close before we do, which will reduce supply and raise prices,” he said.

"The two top priorities at Taseko Mines are to keep the Gibraltar mine operating and competitive, and to get Prosperity permitted and ready to build.”

Alex Pannu, director of public affairs for the Christian Labour Association of Canada, says the union is disappointed with the layoffs, but says they are a better alternative to shutting the mine down.

"I think you have to look at the economy around the world to see the pressures that everyone is under," Pannu says. "The situation here is obviously not the best, but we think they are making the best of a bad situation."

The union plans to work with its members to provide referral services and to make sure the company ensures that seniority is recognized before laying workers off.

"We're hoping the economic situation will improve so that they can rehire most of these workers," he says, adding that the union represents nearly 300 employees at the mine.

WL Tribune - Thurs Nov 13/08 Edition

In your WL Tribune, you will find the following stories:

a) Duncan Barnett announcing that he wants a 4th term as the Area 'F' Director - story is here

b) Heather McKenzie/Steve Relkov announcing that they both want to be the Board of Education - SD #27, Zone 4 Trustee - Relkov is here and McKenzie is here

c) WL Region Votes 2008 -

WL Mayor Candidates:

Paul French - here
Kerry Cook - here

WL Councillor Candidates:

Sue Zacharias - here
Judy O'Neill - here
Tom Barr - here
Surinderpal Rathor - here
Geoff Bourdon - here
Natalie Montoya - here
Laurie Walters - here
Don Fornwald - here
Sheila Mortensen - here
Chuck Pearson - here
Wayne Reeves - here

CRD - Area 'D' Candidates:

Deb Bischoff - here
Blair Engel - no profile available

CRD - Area 'E' Candidates:

Brandy Dickey - here
Steve Mazur - here

CRD - Area 'F' Candidates:

Duncan Barnett - here
Steve Forseth - here
Charlene Hays - here

d) Remembrance Day ceremony - story is here

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Homelessness Challenge

WL Tribune reports on a homelessness challenge taken up by several individuals including Geoff Bourdon (City Councillor Candidate). Story/Video is here.

Advance Vote #2 - City of Williams Lake

The City of Williams Lake is holding its' 2nd and last Advance Vote at City Hall (450 Mart Street - across from Royal Bank Parking Lot) for a new Mayor + Council. You will need 2 pieces of ID to prove identity and residency. Examples include:

Utility Bill
BC Drivers' License
BC ID Card
Social Insurance Card
Credit Card
Property Tax Bill

Polls are open from 8am - 8pm today

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

General Voting Day - City of WL + CRD Area 'F'

Saturday, November 15 - General Voting Day for Electors of the City of Williams Lake + CRD Area 'F'

City of Williams Lake:

Polling Station - Marie Sharpe Elementary (260 Cameron Street). Polls are open from 8am - 8pm and don't forget to bring 2 pieces of ID with you.

2 Pieces of ID Examples could include:

BC Drivers' License
BC ID Card (issued by Motor Vehicle Branch)
Social Insurance Card (issued by Human Resources Development Canada)
Vehicle Insurance Papers
Credit Card/Debit Card
Property Tax Bill
Utility Bill

Cariboo Regional District - Area 'F':

Polling Stations - Polls are open from 8am to 8pm on Saturday, November 15th:

150 Mile Elementary (3081 Highway 97 South)
Big Lake Elementary (4060 Lakeview Drive, Big Lake)
Horsefly Elementary (3045 Boswell Street, Horsefly, BC)
Likely Elementary (6163 Keithley Creek Road, Likely, BC)
CRD Office - Williams Lake (Suite D - 180 North 3rd Avenue)

Please bring 2 pieces of ID with you to the Polling Stations.

2 Pieces of ID Examples could include:

BC Drivers' License
BC ID Card (issued by Motor Vehicle Branch)
Social Insurance Card (issued by Human Resources Development Canada)
Vehicle Insurance Papers
Credit Card/Debit Card
Property Tax Bill
Utility Bill (Hydro, Telus or Terasen Gas)

*** No matter who you support or don't support, please get out and vote. Your democracy system depends upon it ***

Monday, November 10, 2008

Important Events this week

Good morning everyone:

WL Tribune reports on the public forum for Williams Lake Mayor Candidates held on Wednesday, November 5th at the old GM car site (510 North Broadway). The story is here

Important Dates this week:

Tuesday, November 11th (Remembrance Day) - This is a day where we remember those who went to Europe during World Wars I + II and other veterans from other world conflicts including Afghanistan to protect democracy and freedom. Events will be held in the Cariboo-Chilcotin at local Cenotaphs in Williams Lake, Quesnel and 100 Mile. I urge everyone to attend your local Remembrance Day ceremony. All ceremonies will start at 11:00am

Wednesday, November 12th - City of Williams Lake Advance Poll #2. If you can't vote on November 15th, then take the opportunity to vote on this day. You'll need 2 Pieces of ID to confirm residency + identity. Documentation can include utility bill, property tax bill, Drivers' License, car insurance, Social Insurance Card, BC Health Card. This Advance Vote takes place at WL City Hall (450 Mart Street - across from Royal Bank Parking Lot)

Thursday, November 13th - CRD Board meets in Finance/Budget Committee. CRD Staff to present budget numbers based on approved 2009 Business Plans. Meeting starts at 6:00pm. Meeting will probably adjourn at 9:00pm

Friday, November 14th - CRD Board of Directors' Meeting starting at 9:30am. Meeting to wrap up in the afternoon. This will be the final meeting of the CRD Board of Directors' for the 2005-2008 Term.

Saturday, November 15th - General Voting Day for All Local Government Elections for CRD Areas B, D, E, F, G, H, L, Cities of Williams Lake/Quesnel and Districts of Wells/100 Mile House. Polls open from 8am - 8pm. Don't forget to bring 2 pieces of ID with you

Friday, November 7, 2008

1st Advance Vote Results - City of Quesnel + CRD (Areas D, E, F)

The City of Quesnel had its' 1st Advance Vote on Wednesday, November 5th and 263 voters took advantage of the opportunity.

The Cariboo Regional District also had its' 1st Advance Vote on Wednesday, November 5th and about 40 voters took advantage of the opportunity at the CRD's Williams Lake Office to vote for Directors in Areas D, E, F

All Candidates Forum - CRD Area 'G' and SD #27 - Zone 2

Last night, an All-Candidates Forum was held in Lac La Hache at the Pioneer Centre. Al Richmond (Area 'G' Director) and Herb Korenberg (Area 'G' Director-candidate) were in attendance along with Deb Ostrander (SD #27 - Zone 2 candidate) and Lac La Hache PAC Chair (sorry, can't remember the name) who was standing in for Pete Penner (SD #27 Board Chair and Current Zone #2 Trustee) were also in attendance. Mr. Penner was in Vancouver on School Board business.

All but 1 question was directed at Herb Korenberg over erroneous statements in his election campaign brochures. All night, it was commented that Mr. Korenberg had personal reasons against Al Richmond as to why he (Herb Korenberg) was running to become the Area 'G' Director.

About 35 people were in attendance. 99% of those in attendance were Al Richmond supporters. I have no doubt in my mind now that Al Richmond will be re-elected in a landslide on November 15th.

Advance Vote #2 - Cariboo Regional District (Electoral Areas D - E - F)

Good morning:

If you can not make to the General Voting Day on November 15th, 2008, then your 2nd and last opportunity to vote in the 2008 Local Government Election - CRD Areas D - E - F is today. The voting location is at Suite D - 180 North 3rd Avenue. Voting hours are from 8am - 8pm. The ballot box is located in the CRD Boardroom. As per usual, you will need 2 pieces of ID that shows identity and residency. Examples include:

BC ID Card
BC Drivers' License
Social Insurance Number
Credit Card
Vehicle Insurance
Credit Card

Thursday, November 6, 2008

City of WL 1st Advance Poll Results

The City of Williams Lake - 1st Advance Poll - results have been released and they are:

278 electors have voted. That is down 28% from 2005's 1st Advance Poll results of 384 electors having voted

The next Advance Vote Day for the City of Williams Lake 2008 Local Government Election is Wednesday, November 12th from 8am - 8pm at Williams Lake City Hall (450 Mart Street)

WL Tribune - Thursday Nov 6 Edition

In today's WL Tribune:

Results from Monday's All Candidates Forum for Williams Lake City Councillor Candidates - story is here

Story about Blair Engel (CRD Area D Candidate) and possible by-election in Area D - story is here

Tolko to re-start its' Soda Creek Division on Monday, Nov 10 - story is here

Williams Lake Mayor Candidate Kerry Cook and Paul French were at a Williams Lake Chamber of Commerce luncheon fielding questions from Chamber members - story is here

Zone 5 Trustee Candidates Wayne Rodier and Peter R. Smith introduce each other to Zone 5 Electors. Story is here (Wayne Rodier) and here (Peter R. Smith)

Prosperity Mine Project - Request from MLA Charlie Wyse to Mayor Scott Nelson and CRD Chair Jon Wolbers

At Tuesday night's Council meeting - Mayor Nelson, in a radio interview, indicated that both he and CRD Chair Jon Wolbers were approached by Charlie Wyse (MLA - Cariboo-South) and were asked to "back off" on their ecstatic support of the Prosperity Mine Project. This is regrettable because usually MLA's don't get directly involved in City Council / Regional Board matters.

However, with discontent of the project with local First Nations out west on Prosperity, this action by MLA Wyse may have more to do with next May's Provincial Election then genuine concern from local First Nations that have direct interests pertaining to the Prosperity Project

I would encourage everyone to please get out to the Public Open Houses on the Prosperity Project tomorrow (Friday) from 6pm to 8pm at the Gibraltar Room (located at Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex), and on Saturday from 10am until noon at the Gibraltar Room and then from 4pm until 6pm at the Alexis Creek Community Hall

I can not emphasize enough that this project must have broad public support, otherwise the Provincial/Federal Governments likely will not give their thumbs up to this project. And that would be a shame as Taseko Mines (Prosperity Mine proponent) has put considerable time/money into this mine project

All Candidates Forum - CRD Area 'F' + SD #27 - Zone 4

The meeting started at 7:00pm

Last night, candidates for Cariboo Regional District (CRD) - Area 'F' + School District #27 - Zone 4 faced the public at an All Candidates Forum at Miocene Community Hall from 7-9pm. Incumbent CRD Area 'F' Director Duncan Barnett along with challengers Steve Forseth and Charlene Hays were in attendance. SD #27 - Zone 4 Incumbent Trustee Steve Relkov with challenger Heather McKenzie was also in attendance. 18 members of the public attended this forum to ask their questions of both CRD Area 'F' Candidates and School District #27 - Zone 4 Trustee Candidates

Questions asked of the CRD Area 'F' Candidates included:

* Integrity - what does it mean to you?
* Property Rights and "Down-Zoning" - will you defend landowners?
* Town Hall meetings - will you respect the will of those in attendance?
* What is the purpose of Bylaw #4420 (Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function)?
* Relationship between First Nations and CRD Area 'F' Director - please define?
* What are the 3 most important issues for you?

Candidates for CRD - Area 'F' were also given a chance to give an opening/closing statement

Questions asked of the School District #27 - Zone 4 Trustee Candidates included:

* Do you feel you had input into Highway 97 Upgrade and allowance for School Buses to turn into 150 Mile Elementary?

* ESL Students - Why push those students to next Grade Level if Reading Comprehension is not of the next Grade Level?

* What' s your position on Junior Kindergarten in School District #27?

* Define the role of a Trustee and your ability to affect change in the local school system?

* What's your position on Re-Alignment of Schools - establish middle schools (ie: K-6, Grades 7-9 and Grades 10-12) and on closure of School Dorm at Columneetza?

Candidates for SD#27 - Zone 4 were also given a chance to give an opening/closing statement

The meeting adjourned at 9:10pm

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Advance Vote #1 - City of Williams Lake + CRD (Areas D, E, F)

Good morning...

If you can't make it to the polls on November 15, you have your first opportunity today to vote in the 2008 Local Government Elections for the City of Williams Lake or Cariboo Regional District - Electoral Areas D, E, F.

City of Williams Lake

You may vote from 8am - 8pm at 450 Mart Street. You will need 2 pieces of ID that shows your identity and residency. Such documentation can include:

BC ID Card
BC Drivers' License
BC Care Card
ICBC Insurance papers
Credit Card
Social Insurance Number

Cariboo Regional District

You may vote from 8am - 8pm at Suite D - 180 North 3rd Avenue. The voting station is set up in the Cariboo Regional District Boardroom. You will need 2 pieces of ID that shows your identity and residency. Such documentation can include:

BC ID Card
BC Drivers' License
BC Care Card
ICBC Insurance papers
Credit Card
Social Insurance Number

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

CRD Board Highlights - Oct 31/08

Delegations - None


1) Alexis Creek Water

The Board of Directors awarded contracts to two local companies who will be completing Phase one and two of the Alexis Creek Water System. The first phase which was awarded to Dawson Construction, will see development of a Distribution and Treatment System. Phase Two construction, is development of a reservoir and was awarded to Western Tank and Lining. The original design concept for a water system at Alexis Creek was for a simple pressure tank system, as its lower cost would be more affordable for the low number of properties. Due to good engineering and competitive prices, the CRD is able to provide a superior water system for Alexis Creek residents

UBCM Tourism Funding Awarded to Communities

UBCM Tourism funding was awarded to three different projects across the Cariboo. In Electoral Area C, Director, Ronda Wilkins granted the Barkerville Heritage Trust with $1,000 to support the purchase and installation of an above ground vehicle fuel dispensing system. This system will provide fuel to all visitors to Barkerville, Wells, and the Bowron Lakes as well as residents of the immediate area.

The Kersley Community Association was given $18,326 by Electoral Area A Director, Ted Armstrong to support the creation of a wheelchair accessible trail, a picnic area, and washroom facilities on the Kersley Lease Land. The goal of this project intent is to create a wheelchair accessible trail, a picnic area, and washroom facilities which will help draw increased numbers of visitors by improving accessibility for all people regardless of their abilities.

In the Central Cariboo, Director Sue Zacharias authorized $8,649 of Area D UBCM Tourism funding to be used by the Williams Lake Cross Country Ski Club for the installation of signage at Bull Mountain. By improving its signage, visitors will be able to locate the ski area with ease and be informed about the various ski trails. The signage will help increase visitor numbers and improve visitor experience.

3) Towns For Tomorrow

After some serious lobbying for CRD communities by the Board of Directors, the Minister of Community Development, the Honourable Blair Lekstrom officially announced that the Towns for Tomorrow Funding program is now available to regional districts and unincorporated communities. The expansion of this infrastructure program will now provide between 75 to 80 percent of the total funding for project costs (to a maximum of $400,000) for communities with a population fewer than 5,000. Communities with populations between 5,000 and 15,000 will now be eligible for the same percentage of projects costs, but to a maximum of $375,000. The Towns for Tomorrow Funding Program is intended to support or help in the development of community infrastructure projects. Further information on this program is available online at or by calling the Regional District at 250-392-3351 or toll free 1-800-665-1636.

4) Take Your Shot – Get Immunized

The annual Ministry of Health influenza (flu) immunization campaign gets underway the first week in November. Influenza is highly contagious and is the leading cause of preventable death due to infectious disease in Canada, killing thousands of Canadians every year and hospitalizing thousands more. See for more information

5) Olympic Mascots

The CRD will be seeking opportunities to invite the 2010 Olympic mascots to events happening throughout the Cariboo Chilcotin. Communities from across the region are urged to send a list of events to the CRD by emailing or faxing 250-392-2812.

6) Wildwood Transfer Station

The Cariboo Regional District will be holding a public meeting to discuss implications and rationale for the closure of the Wildwood Transfer Station. During the meeting, the residents will have an opportunity to learn of alternatives and the costs associated to maintain the site. The Board also discussed proposed options for improved wood waste segregation, recycling options and possible cost sharing agreements with the City of Williams Lake. Watch the CRD website and the local media for dates, times and locations of the public meetings.

7) CRD Bursary Winner Recognized

The CRD Board of Directors will be sending Ms. Shelby Nickless a letter congratulating her on her recent graduation in Criminal Justice from the University College of the Fraser Valley. Ms. Nickless was one of the inaugural winners of a CRD Bursary in 2006

Future Board Meetings:

Thursday, Nov 13/08 at 6:00pm - CRD Finance/Budget Committee meets to finalize numbers for 2009 Budget

Friday, Nov 14/08 at 9:30am - CRD Board of Directors' meeting (Note - this is the final meeting of the CRD Board of Directors for the term of 2005-2008)

Future All Candidates Forum - SD #27, CRD + City of WL

A reminder of the following forums for School Board, Cariboo Regional District and City of WL (Councilors + Mayor):

Mayoralty Candidates Forum on Tuesday, Nov 4/08 - hosted by WL Chamber of Commerce:

Held at Pioneer Complex (not certain of which room though - you can ask the front desk which room exactly they are holding it) from 11:30am - 2:00pm. Chamber members only + guests can attend this event

School District #27 - Tuesday, Nov 4/08 - hosted by C-C Teachers' Association:

Held in WL Junior School Commons Area - for Zones #4, 5, 6 Trustee Candidate's

Mayoralty Candidates Forum on Wednesday, Nov 5/08 - hosted by Cariboo GM:

Held at 510 North Broadway (former College + GM Site) from 7:00pm - 9:00pm. This will be an "Open Mike" Forum, you can go up to the Mike, ask your question and they will allow a rebuttal, as required. This forum is being moderated by John Dressler

CRD - Area 'F' Director Candidate's + SD # 27 (Zone 4 Candidates), hosted by Miocene Community Association:

Held at Miocene Community Hall from 7-9pm on Wednesday, Nov 5/08. This forum is being moderated by Ross McCoubrey (former teacher at 150 Mile Elementary + President - Miocene Community Association)

Mayor + Councillor Candidates - City of WL:

This forum is being held at WL Seniors' Village on Thursday, Nov 6/08 from 3-5pm. I encourage all to attend

Mayor + Councillor Candidates - City of WL Forum - hosted by Social Planning Council:

This forum is being held at the Gibraltar Room on Wednesday, November 12th from 7-9pm. The format used is called "World Cafe". Candidates will be at tables and the public can approach the table where the candidate you want to discuss issues with is - have a discussion and move on to the next table

All Candidates Forum - WL City Councillors at Gibraltar Room on Monday, Nov 3/08

All 11 Candidates for City Council (see previous post on Candidates for WL City Councillor for actual names)

About 60 people in attendance, including myself, WL Chamber of Commerce Directors and Brian Goodrich, who moderated the forum

Topics of Discussion included:

a) Arts and Culture
b) New Fire Hall
c) P3's (Public-Private Partnerships)
d) Identifying 1 Major Issue for next term to focus on and also issue(s) that you couldn't address
e) Thompson Rivers' University in WL and how to improve its' stature in Williams Lake
f) Level of current City of WL Debt

All in all, a good forum, good turnout and as it was said by one individual, some tough choices lay ahead for voters' on Nov 15

CRD Bylaw #4420 - Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function (Proposed)

Recently, I have been going door-to-door providing information on CRD (Cariboo Regional District) Bylaw #4420 (Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function - Proposed). I've been critical on this CRD initiative in the past and now, I'm going to take a step further

If elected, I will work with my fellow CRD Directors to do the following:

1) Refer Bylaw #4420 back to Central Cariboo Joint Committee for further discussion and request them to either abandon the Bylaw in favour of creating a "Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Strategic Plan" and if a Function is necessary then, go for it with full public consultation, led by WL Council + CRD Directors, in all participating areas (ie: Electoral Areas D, E, F, J, K + City of WL - if appropriate in Electoral Areas J + K) or if even borrowing, again as necessary/appropriate, for perhaps a full Arts and Culture Centre - more discussion there, I believe, is necessary

If the Joint Committee wishes to proceed with Bylaw #4420, then I would ask them to have Staff remove Electoral Area 'F' as a Participant in Bylaw #4420 and bring the draft amended Bylaw #4420 back to Joint Committee for discussion before referring it back to the Board for approval

The current Bylaw #4420, is not in the best interest of local government and Area 'F' residents, in my humble judgment and that of all Area 'F' residents that I've talked to so far.

If that means certain people want to accuse me of being "Anti-Arts and Culture" in Williams Lake, then so be it. I'd rather be accused of being "Anti-Arts and Culture" then abdicate my responsibility to all Area 'F' residents.

Friday, October 31, 2008

C-CBAC Final Plan

There will be a public meeting in Council Chambers (450 Mart Street - WL City Hall) on Thursday, November 6th at 6:30pm. The meeting is being hosted by the Cariboo-Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition (C-CBAC). They will be presenting their Final Plan (Mitigation Plan - they call it) to the Provincial Government.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Today's WL Tribune

Browsing through WL Tribune this morning...

Story about Charlene Hays running in CRD Area 'F' can be found here

Story about Blair Engel running in CRD Area 'D' can be found here

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Steve Rant - Budgets, Process and Respect for Staff

1) In today's WL Tribune, Natalie Lynn Montoya suggested the following:

"Saying that we didn’t require all the money this year and saying we’re going to lower the budget next year and put the money that we didn’t use this year elsewhere is not using a budget properly.

I don't agree with Ms. Montoya, in this case. If you have a surplus in a fund and it is not required, then provided that your strategic goals are being met, using the surplus money elsewhere would be appropriate, provided that Council signed off on the spending and it was not wasteful spending.

2) At the Oct 28/08 Central Cariboo Joint Committee, the issue of the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function came up during discussion for 2009 Grant-in-Aides. Although Duncan Barnett didn't mention me by name, he mentioned that there was a individual that was vocal in opposition to this Function and suggested that residents' in Area 'F' were in favour on this Function. Establishing an Arts and Culture Function, as an Economic Development tool, is not a bad thing and I'm not opposed to that, provided that the Function is used for that purpose and it is something that has broad support from Area residents and all necessary information is provided to the residents' so they can make an informed decision (i.e.: Synopsis of Bylaw and Draft Business Plan and any other relevant documentation)

In this case, the above was not done and consequently, residents' want the Arts and Culture Function withdrawn, at least that is the message I'm receiving at the door while I'm out campaigning in Area 'F' of the Cariboo Regional District

3) During discussions on amendments to the Solid Waste Function for Central Cariboo, Duncan Barnett clashed, or at least, appeared to me to be clashing with CRD Staff. I've said time and again, you must treat Staff like human beings and you treat them the same manner as you would like to be treated. It is, after all, the right and humane thing to do. I intend to push aggressively for a "Code of Conduct for CRD Directors" to ensure clashes between CRD Directors and CRD Director(s) - CRD Staff come to an end. We have many issues to deal with and clashing publicly between a CRD Director and CRD/City Staff is not efficient useful of meeting time, either at the CRD Board or at the Joint Committee level

4) Also today in the WL Tribune, CRD Director for Area 'E' Brandy Dickey, while announcing her bid for a 2nd Term, said this:

"I saw phase one of Cariboo Memorial Complex completed on-budget and on time"

Unfortunately, the above statement can not be supported by fact. The fact remains that Director Dickey, along with WL City Councillor Surinderpal Rathor and CRD/City of WL Staff worked together, as a team, to get the Phase 1 Upgrade to the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex done on time and on budget. I've sent a "letter to the editor" correcting her statement to the Williams Lake Tribune. There is an old saying that applies in this case: "There is no "I" in Team"

WL Council Highlights - Oct 14/08

Delegation - Daniel Hutchins, Operations Manager for Interior Roads and Elcy LePage, Quality Manager for Central Cariboo Interior Roads spoke to Council regarding winter preparedness and road maintenance issues


1) A letter requesting a grant for the Rotary Club using Opportunity funds to support the
Gibraltar Room rental fee for the Citizen of the Year Banquet was received and approved

2) Council supported a request from the Royal Canadian Legion for the Poppy Campaign sale
days from November 1st to the 8th, authorized the use of the City Hall Lobby for the ceremonies
and approved the parade route for November 11th

3) Council approved a recommendation from the General Manager of Financial Services to lease a folder/inserter machine. Currently all folding and inserting of property tax notices, utility invoices and payroll cheques are done manually. The payback period would be approximately 3 years and will free up staff time to focus on other important tasks

4) As the Country Club Boulevard project is now complete and under budget, Council confirmed
that $400,000 of the $2,600,000 borrowed for the project will not be needed. The City’s
Liability Servicing Limit will be increased by $400,000. This “frees up additional borrowing capacity which will be available for future projects.

5) Council granted authorization to enter into the agreement with the Cariboo Regional District,
School District 27 and Thompson Rivers University for joint use of Recreation Facilities.
Under the agreement the parties will work together in a reciprocal arrangement for use of
properties, parks and facilities to benefit the residents of the broader Central Cariboo.

6) Applications for the Revitalization Tax Exemptions were approved for Scott & Jaz
Rentals Ltd. @ 267 2nd Ave North, Woodland Jewellers Ltd @ 150 Oliver Street, AJAX Holdings Ltd Inc @ 197 2nd Ave. N. and Dr. J.D. Neufeld Inc. @ 402 Borland Street. Under the exemption, properties in the specified downtown area who invest over $20,000 in renovations, will receive a three year exemption for tax increases on the City portion of their taxes

7) Council approved entering into a cost sharing agreement with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for an engineering study at the intersection of Toop Rd. and Hwy 97 North. In addition, the engineering contract was awarded to L&M Engineering Ltd. This intersection has experienced a high number of vehicle crashes. Council wants the public to know that there
may be significant changes to these intersections including the possibility of closures

8) After negotiations with Safeway, it was agreed to add natural stone below the windows along the front face of the front elevation of the building. This links in with the City’s Façade program. Council approved the Development Permit for the upgrade.

9) Council supported a proposal submitted to UBCM for Healthy Food and Beverage Sales in
the Cariboo Memorial Complex. An audit of the food environment will start the process followed
by meetings with sports organizations, vending contractors and patrons to create awareness. A
Healthy Food Committee well then be formed to create a plan to have 70% of the food onsite
meet the Healthy Food Guidelines.

10) The annual Halloween Fireworks show will once again take place at the Stampede
Grounds. Bonfire will be lit at 6:30 followed by the fireworks show at 7:45. Council encourages
everyone to attend

11) Council approved Policy #198, which will restrict the installation of private aviation fuel
systems at the Williams Lake Regional Airport and will establish fuel discounts for lease
holders, license holders and volume purchasers. Restrictions are necessary to control the storage and dispensing of aviation fuel on Airport Lands and to mitigate the environmental/public safety and liabilities associated with third party fuel storage

12) Approval was given for the Winter Lights Christmas Magic Light-up Event and Santa’s
Candlelight Procession on Friday November 28, 2008. Staff was authorized to erect the
community Christmas Tree in Court House Square as well as heat barrels for the event

Next Council Meeting: November 4th, 2008

School Trustee All Candidates Forum - hosted by Cariboo-Chilcotin Teachers' Association

The CCTA (Cariboo-Chilcotin Teachers' Association) is hosting an All-Candidates Forum for Trustee Candidates in Zones 4, 5, 6 on November 4th at 7:30pm at Williams Lake Secondary's Commons' Area. Come out and ask the candidates about the education system in the Greater Williams Lake Area

In today's Williams Lake Tribune

Today, CRD Area 'E' Director Brandy Dickey announced that she is seeking a 2nd Term. The story is found here

Also, the last City Councillor candidate, Natalie Lynn Montoya announces her bid for a City Council seat. The story is here

As well, the race in the Board of Education - School District #27 (Zone #6 - Bruce Mack vs Rob Zacharias) is covered in today's WL Tribune. Bruce Mack's announcement is here and Rob Zacharias's announcement is here

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mayor Candidates Forum - hosted by WL Chamber of Commerce

There will be a luncheon, being hosted by the WL Chamber of Commerce and for WL Chamber of Commerce members + guests only to hear from the City of Williams Lake Mayor Candidates on Tuesday, November 4th. You can contact the Chamber at 250-392-5025 for more details.

All Candidates Forum - Miocene Community Hall on Wednesday, Nov 5 from 7-9pm

The Miocene Community Association is hosting an All-Candidates Forum for candidates running in the Cariboo Regional District - Electoral Area 'F' Election. Format to include opening statements from candidates, written questions from the public and then closing statements from the candidates. The forum is being held at the Miocene Community Hall. I would encourage those living in Miocene, 150 Mile or Big Lake to come out and watch your candidates in action

Special Committee of the Whole Meeting - WL Council (Oct 27/08)

Meeting started at 5:01pm

Mayor Nelson and Councillors Barr, Mead, Rathor and O'Neill in attendance

Staff in attendance - CAO A. DeFeo, General Manager of Community Services B. Carruthers and General Manager of Financial Services D. Lazzarin

Delegations - None


1) Communications Policy (Amended Draft) - Committee to recommend to Council that the amended Draft Communications Policy be approved

2) 2009 Grant-in-Aide - '09 Grant-in-Aide spreadsheet matrix of $55,000 approved, subject to Staff clarifing a concern with the BIA Grant-in-Aide application. '09 Grant-in-Aide spreadsheet referred to Tues, Oct 28/08 meeting of Central Cariboo/City of Williams Lake Joint Committee for discussion. Grant-in-Aide Budget for CRD Areas D-E-F + City of Williams Lake is $50,000 per year.

Meeting adjourned at 5:25pm

Prosperity Project - Environmental Assessment Review (Public Comment Period)

There will be open houses Friday Nov. 7/08 and Saturday November 8/08 for the general public to look at documents and comment as part of the Environmental Assessment review of the proposed Prosperity mine at Fish Lake.

The open houses are:

• 6 pm to 8 pm Friday, Nov.7 at the Gibraltar Room - Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex
• 10 am. to 12 pm Saturday, Nov. 8 at the Gibraltar Room - Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex
• 4pm to 6 pm Saturday, Nov. 8 at the Alexis Creek Community Hall.

The public will be able to see the draft federal-provincial environmental impact statement terms of reference, which outlines what studies Taseko Mines Ltd. must conduct to provide a proper environmental impact study.

The public can also view the terms of reference for establishing a federal review panel.
The comment period on both documents runs from Monday, Nov. 3/08 to Dec. 3.
The documents will be available for viewing at the Williams Lake Public Library (180 North 3rd Avenue - across from WL Credit Union) and at Williams Lake City Hall (450 Mart Street) as of Monday, November 3rd, 2008

Carole James statement - Premier's 10 Point Economic Plan

This evening, Carole James gave her official response to the Premier's 10 Point Economic Plan that he delivered last Wednesday. It was filled with the usual NDP rhertoric. It is surprising that she is still calling the carbon tax - a gas tax. Many seniors I talk to are not as concerned about the carbon tax as they now see it as "revenue neutral" through tax rebates and income tax cuts. While the Premier's statement was "live" and carried on Hansard TV (BC Legislature Channel) and on Global-BC and CTV - British Columbia. Ms. James's speech was carried live on CTV - BC but not on Global-BC. Ms James's speech was "taped" earlier in the day

The Premier's speech was filled with government actions to protect British Columbians during the economic challenges that we find ourselves in and took pains to ensure his speech was not political in nature, although you could infer that his speech was the "unofficial" kick-off to the 2009 Provincial General Election.

Friday, October 24, 2008

All Candidates Forums - Mayor + Council (City of Williams Lake)

On Monday, November 3rd - an All-Candidates Forum for City Councillor candidates is being held at the Gibraltar Room (Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex) from 6-9pm and is co-sponsored by the Northern Real Estate Board and the WL Chamber of Commerce and is being moderated by Brian Goodrich. I'd encourage all members of the public to come out and question the candidates on the issues.

On Wednesday, November 12th - an All-Candidates Forum (World Cafe Event) for City Councillor + Mayor candidates is being held at the Gibraltar Room (Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex). This event is being sponsored by the Social Planning Council . This event is an opportunity for all the candidates to sit at tables and mingle with community members and answer questions on social issues of concern.

The idea is to engage in meaningful dialogue that is informal and relaxed. There will be opportunity for individuals to move from table to table and meet all the candidates for Councillor and Mayor.

Candidate Meet 'N Greet - hosted by WL Chamber of Commerce

Last night, all candidates (WL Mayor + Council) along with the candidates for CRD Electoral Areas D-E-F were at the Tourism Discovery Center talking politics with themselves and with members of the local Chamber of Commerce and local community members

Many candidates, myself included, talked about local issues including arts and culture, crime, etc

I had a 10 minute conversation with Anna Barley (Executive Director - WL Community Arts Council) regarding Bylaw #4420 (Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function) and made mention to her that people in Area 'F' see this proposed Function as a tax and encouraged her to write a letter to the editor from the local Community Arts Council explaining the purpose for the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function and explain how it benefits residents' in Areas D + E + F of the Cariboo Regional District. I still believe the timing for this Function, given the local economic climate, is not good and would suggest postponing implementation of CRD Bylaw #4420 until 2010 would be "the right thing to do". Also, delaying implementation for 1 Year would allow for more public consultation with Area 'F' residents at Miocene, Big Lake, Horsefly/Likely, 140/150 Mile House and to get "buy-in" from rural residents on a Arts and Culture Function.

It was a good event and I'm looking forward to the All-Candidates Forum (City Councillors) on November 3rd from 6-9pm at the Gibraltar Room

City of Williams Lake - Committee of the Whole Meeting on Oct 21/08

Delegations - None


1) 2009 Grants-in-Aid - referred to Finance Portfolio for discussion and recommendations from Finance Portfolio to be discussed on Monday, Oct 27/08 Special Committee of the Whole Meeting. Central Cariboo/City of Williams Lake Joint Committee to discuss on Tuesday, Oct 28th at 5:00pm in the Cariboo Regional District Boardroom

2) Communications Policy - Staff requested to make amendments to Policy and bring revised Policy back to next Committee of the Whole meeting on Monday, October 27/08

3) Downtown Parking Commission - Staff requested to research options for dissolution of the Downtown Parking Commission and to report back

4) Proposed 2009 Sculpture Project - Approval-in-Principle to proceed with the Project was granted

All Recommendations from Committee of the Whole to be ratified at WL Council's November 4th, 2008 meeting

CRD Board Highlights - Oct 10/08


1) Tatjana Bates from Interior Health made a presentation to the CCRHD Board (Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional Hospital District) regarding local food procurement for hospitals/schools. Ms. Bates highlighted the Healthy Eating Guidelines for Schools and the new Policy for BC Public Buildings which includes recreation centres and local communities. Ms. Bates also discussed current projects underway for the local Food Action Network.


1) CRD Bylaw #4446, 2008 (Williams Lake Fringe OCP) was read a 1st and 2nd time. The Bylaw now goes out for formal public consultation including referral to different agencies and a public hearing at a future date

2) The CRD will be holding a Referendum on the proposed North Cariboo Multi-Centre in conjunction with the November 15, 2008, local government elections. As part of the process a substantial communications strategy along with support materials have been designed to help residents make an informed decision about the proposed North Cariboo Multi-Centre. Four of the major components of the plan include a newsletter that is being delivered to all residents within the North Cariboo Recreation Boundary, a telephone survey of the residents, two public information sessions, and a comprehensive informational advertising campaign

On Thursday, October 9, 2008, the Cariboo Regional District hosted the official launch of the new Cariboo Chilcotin Promotional DVD in the Gibraltar Room of the Cariboo Memorial Complex. Staff from local governments including the CRD, Williams Lake, Quesnel, the Districts of Wells and 100 Mile House, along with tourism associations from across the region have been working on this production for the past two years. The video highlights opportunities for tourism, economic development, investment and lifestyles within the Cariboo Chilcotin.

On behalf of the Regional Hospital Districts within the Interior Health jurisdiction, the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District (CCRHD) will be sending a letter to the Ministry of Health expressing concern about the recently implemented capital health planning process. While the Regional Hospital Districts respect the desire for a process which allocates funds on a provincial basis to all levels of government-funded programs, assurance that the process will be reasonable, cost effective, inclusive and timely is required

5) The CRD Board agreed to use $10,000 of its Community Works Funding for Bouchie Lake Community Hall. The request was received from the Bouchie Lake Recreation Commission to assist in adding insulation and siding to the Bouchie Lake Community Hall. The recreation commission will contribute $5,000 towards this project to meet the 25 percent community group commitment required for the CWF Community Hall Energy Efficiency program

6) The Cariboo Regional District and City of Williams Lake developed a proposal to provide fire protection services to rural fringe properties located on the south west portion of Fox Mountain, the Esler subdivision and a portion of the Dog Creek area. A total of 334 petitions were distributed, with only 148 being returned, which is under the required 50 percent return rate. Based on these results, the fire protection proposal for these areas cannot proceed at this time

7) The Cariboo Regional District Board discussed the increasing volume of issues with pre-engineered metal buildings, patio covers and sunrooms. These products are built from pre-engineered components, sometimes from provinces that have differing provincial building codes than British Columbia. The Cariboo Regional District reminds residents to check their local or provincial building codes prior to purchasing and installing a prefabricated structure

Friday, October 17, 2008

A Quesnel City Councillor Candidate withdraws his nomination

From Sunday's Quesnel Cariboo Observer, published Friday afternoon...

Curtis Harvie has now withdrawn his nomination for City Councillor. The revised ballot for Quesnel Council, pending the official list from Quesnel's Chief Election Officer is:

City of Quesnel Ballot

Office of Mayor (1 to be elected)

Nate Bello (Incumbent Mayor)
Mary Sjostrom (Incumbent Councillor)

Office of Councillor (6 to be elected)

1) Ron Paull (Incumbent)
2) Coralee Oakes (Incumbent)
3) Sushil Thapar (Incumbent)
4) Peter Couldwell (Incumbent)
5) Brent Oxenbury
6) Laurey-Anne Roodenburg
7) Paul Kainth
8) Michael Cave
9) Gino DeRose
10) Richard Forman

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Voting Dates - Cariboo Regional District and Cities of WL/Quesnel + Districts of 100 Mile/Wells

Hello all:

Advance Polls for All Local Governments (City of WL/Quesnel + District of 100 Mile/Wells and Cariboo Regional District) are:

CRD - Wednesday, November 5th and Friday, November 7th

City of Williams Lake - Wednesday, November 5th and Wednesday, November 12th

City of Quesnel - Wednesday, November 5th and Saturday, November 8th

District of 100 Mile House - Wednesday, November 5th

District of Wells - Wednesday, November 5th

Advance Polls to be conducted at the following locations:

CRD - WL Office (180 North 3rd Avenue - across from Sam's Restaurant)

City of WL - 450 Mart Street

City of Quesnel - 410 Kinchant Street, Quesnel, BC (old Gold's Gym Complex)

District of 100 Mile House - 385 South Birch Avenue, 100 Mile House, BC

District of Wells - Barkerville/Wells Community School

Advance Polls are open from 8am - 8pm

*** A reminder that General Voting Day for ALL Local Governments (CRD, Districts of 100 Mile/Wells and City of WL/Quesnel) is Saturday, November 15th from 8am - 8pm ***

Canada's 40th General Election

Sorry for the late post on this item. My congrats go out to Dick Harris, re-elected MP for Cariboo-Prince George. He had 2-to-1 vote count over his nearest competitor Bev Collins from the NDP. Final Vote Count is:

Dick Harris (C) - 22, 619
Bev Collins (NDP) - 10, 579
Drew Adamick (Lib) - 4,309
Amber van Drielen (Green) - 2,614
Doug Gook (I) - 729

One thing that really disappointed me was the typical "Natural Governing Party" aka Liberal Party Canada response to the election. Drew Adamick stated his view that Dick Harris keeps getting re-elected and Mr. Adamick stated on Prince George TV that it is "disturbing". Hey, Mr. Adamick, how about policies that people in Cariboo-Prince George can support and then perhaps you will have a fighting chance at getting elected here. Not policies like a national carbon tax. The provincial carbon tax here is hated dearly.

Final Seat Count in the House of Commons is:

Conservative - 143 seats
Liberal - 76 seats
Bloc Quebecois - 50 seats
NDP - 37 seats
Independents - 2 seats (1 from Quebec, 1 from Nova Scotia)

Total - 308 seats

The House of Commons is slated to be re-called for the Opening of the 40th Parliament sometime in early November

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

SD#27 Trustee Elections

School District #27 (Board of Education) - Trustee Elections:

Zone #1 - Will Van Osch (Incumbent) vs Caren Folster

Zone #2 - Pete Penner (Board Chair/Incumbent) vs Deb Ostrander

Zone #3 - Pattie Baker (Incumbent) vs Paul T. Scott

Zone #4 - Steve Relkov (Incumbent) vs Heather McKenzie

Zone #5 - Wayne H. Rodier (Incumbent) vs Peter Robert Smith

Zone #6 - Rob Zacharias (Board Vice-Chair/Incumbent) vs Bruce Mack

Zone #7 - Jacqueline Clement (Incumbent) vs Richard Elliot

The deadline for candidates to withdraw from School Board, Cariboo Regional District + Muncipal Elections is Friday, October 17th at 4:00pm. Chief Election Officers' from the CRD, Muncipalities (Quesnel/Wells/Williams Lake/100 Mile House) will publish the official list of candidates for election to offices on the week of Monday, October 20th with the election dates being as follows:

Week of November 3rd to November 7th (Advance Polls for all Local Governments - check with your local government for exact dates and times)

Saturday, November 15th - General Voting Day for all local government elections from 8am - 8pm. Results of City of Quesnel/Williams Lake will be within minutes of the polls closing as voting is done electronically. Polls for Districts of 100 Mile House/Wells and the CRD may take longer as voting is done and counted by hand. As is my practice, I will post as soon as reasonably possible, election results for all local governments as soon as I have the results

Cariboo Regional District - Local Government Elections

I have received the list of nominations for Areas A to L of the Cariboo Regional District (CRD):

There will be elections in Areas B, D, E, F, G, H and L of the CRD

CRD Ballot:

Director - Electoral Area 'B' (1 to be elected)

Ken Falloon (Incumbent)
Roberta Faust

Director - Electoral Area 'D' (1 to be elected)

Debbie Bischoff
Blair Engel

Director - Electoral Area 'E' (1 to be elected)

Brandy Dickey (Incumbent)
Steve Mazur

Director - Electoral Area 'F' (1 to be elected)

Duncan Barnett (Incumbent)
Steve Forseth
Charlene Hays

Director - Electoral Area 'G' (1 to be elected)

Al Richmond (Incumbent)
Herb Korenberg

Director - Electoral Area 'H' (1 to be elected)

Art Dumaresq (Incumbent)
Garry Love

Director - Electoral Area 'L' (1 to be elected)

Bruce Rattray
Ray Carlson

Directors for the following Areas have been elected by acclamation for a 3 year term:

Area A - Ted Armstrong
Area C - John Massier
Area I - Jim Glassford
Area J - Alex Bracewell
Area K - Rick Mumford

General Voting Day - Canada's 40th Parliament (House of Commons)

Today's the day where Canadians' coast-to-coast-to-coast can vote in Canada's 308 MP's (Member of Parliament). I encourage you to vote at your polling place. Your exact polling station will have been identified, when you received your voting card a number of weeks ago, like I did.

I would be very surprised if Canadians vote a Majority Government. I still believe it will be a Conservative Minority, how strong that Minority will be - we'll see....

No matter what your political stripe, please vote today - our democracy depends on it

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Candidates for Cariboo Regional District - Electoral Areas A-L

On Friday afternoon (October 10th), I received a press release indicating the candidates for the Cariboo Regional District Electoral Areas A to L. However, it was recalled 10 mins later as it contained 2 errors. Accordingly, I'm not in a position to tell you who the candidates are for the CRD Electoral Areas.

I hope to be in a position to do so on Tuesday, October 14th. When I receive that list from the CRD Chief Election Officer. I commit to share that information with all of you

Candidates - City of Williams Lake/Quesnel + Districts of 100 Mile House/Wells

City of Williams Lake Ballot

Office of Mayor: (1 to be elected)

Paul French (Incumbent Councillor)
Kerry Cook (Served on WL Council - 1996 to 1999)

Office of Councillor: (6 to be elected)

Tom Barr (Incumbent)
Judy O'Neill (Incumbent)
Surinderpal S. Rathor (Incumbent)
Sue Zacharias (Current CRD Electoral Area Director - Area 'D')
Wayne Reeves (Ran in 2005 Election)
Geoff Bourdon
Don Fornwald
Natalie Lynn Montoya
Sheila Mortensen
Chuck Pearson
Laurie Walters

City of Quesnel Ballot

Office of Mayor: (1 to be elected)

Nate Bello (Incumbent Mayor)
Mary Sjostrom (Incumbent Councillor)

Office of Councillor: (6 to be elected)

Coralee Oakes (incumbent)
Peter Couldwell (incumbent)
Ron Paull (incumbent)
Sushil Thapar (incumbent)
Brent Oxenbury
Laurey-Anne Roodenburg
Paul Kainth
Michael Cave
Gino DeRose
Richard Forman
Curtis Harvie

District of 100 Mile House Ballot

Office of Mayor (1 to be elected)

Spence Henderson (Incumbent Councillor)
Mitch Campsall (Former District of 100 Mile Councillor)
Allan Roberts
Mike Kreschuk

Office of Councillor (4 to be elected)

Dave Mingo (Incumbent)
Pattie Baker
Jeanne Best
Michael Bleidstel
Walter Bramslaven
Julian Kenney
Vern Peever
Dan Schaff
Mel Torgerson

District of Wells Ballot

Office of Mayor (1 to be elected)

Jay Vermette
Neva Hohn

Office of Councillor (4 to be elected)

Richard Wright (Incumbent)
Virginia Wilkins (Incumbent)
Judy Campbell (Incumbent)
Sarai Danby
Dan Pinette
Barb Schmode
Aleta Wallace

Proposed Arts and Culture Function (CRD Bylaw #4420, 2008) - AAP Form

I believe my previous views on CRD Bylaw #4420, 2008 (Proposed Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function) are well known in my previous blog entries. The AAP (Alternate Approval Process) or Counter-Petition Form has now been released. The deadline to hand in the AAP/Counter-Petition Form is Monday, November 17th, 2008 at 4pm. Forms can be delivered to the Cariboo Regional District office in Williams Lake (180 North 3rd Avenue - Across from Sam's Restaurant).

If you want a copy of the form, please email me at and I will e-mail you one. I also intend to go door-to-door in Electoral Area 'F', while campaigning, and make people aware of the proposed Function and give them a AAP Form to fill out if they are opposed to this Function, like I am.

You must be a resident of the City of Williams Lake, or a resident of Electoral Area D, E, F for your AAP Form to count

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Local Government Election News - Update

Hello all:

Councillor Surinderpal Rathor has publicly announced his intention to seek a 6th mandate from the voters' of Williams Lake. The story is here

Also, Geoff Bourdon and Sheila Mortensen have now filed their papers' at City Hall (City of Williams Lake) bringing the number of Councillor Candidates to 4 out of 8. Tom Barr and Laurie Walters have also filed their election papers

Monday, October 6, 2008

Local Government Election - Monday Oct 6/08

I'm going to try and provide an update on Monday and Friday, after the nomination period closes for those whom are seeking office.

As of 11:40am, Monday. The following individuals are confirmed as seeking office for Williams Lake and the Cariboo Regional District:


Electoral Area Director

Area A - Ted Armstrong (has filed papers) - no challenger
Area B - 1 person has filed papers, Incumbent Ken Falloon has not filed his papers yet
Area C - No nomination
Area D - No nomination
Area E - No nomination
Area F - Steve Forseth and Charlene Hays (100 Mile District Councillor) have both filed papers'
Area G - No nomination
Area H - Art Dumaresq (has filed papers, Incumbent) - no challenger
Area I - No nomination
Area J - No nomination
Area K - No nomination
Area L - Bruce Rattray has filed his papers - no other nominations

City of WL


Paul French
Kerry Cook


Laurie Walters
Tom Barr

I will post the full list of candidates as soon as practical on Friday afternoon of all candidates for both City of WL + CRD

Friday, October 3, 2008

WL Civic Election News

Hello all:

I thought I would update you all on those of us seeking local government office:

Cariboo Regional District: (As of Thursday, Oct 2nd)

Electoral Area Director:

Area D -
Sue Zacharias (Incumbent). Rumoured to be running in Williams Lake City Councillor race. No papers filed for this Area

Area E
- Brandy Dickey (Incumbent). No papers filed for this area

Area F - Duncan Barnett (Incumbent). Director Barnett has not filed his papers as of Thursday, Oct 2. Steve Forseth (Challenger) has filed his papers as of Tuesday, September 30th. District of 100 Mile House Councillor Charlene Hays is supposedly looking at running in this Area

City of WL: (As of Friday, Oct 3/08 at 5:30pm)


Councillor Paul French - papers are filed with City Hall
Kerry Cook - papers are filed with City Hall


Councillor Tom Barr
Laurie Walters

*** A Reminder that anyone seeking Local Government Office must have their papers filed with either SD #27, City Hall (City of Williams Lake) or the Cariboo Regional District by 4:00pm on Friday, October 10th, 2008 ***

Update to AAP Process - Arts and Culture Function for Central Cariboo

There is a recommendation going to the CRD Board on October 10th recommending the new date for completion of the AAP or Counter-Petition process be November 30th. I will keep you all informed if this recommendation is approved

WL Council Highlights - Sept 30


1) Leeyann Allan from the Canadian Cancer Society invited Council to attend an upcoming cancer
workshop taking place Oct 18th at TRU. The day-long forum will include Key Note Speaker,
Dr. Lynda Belneaves

2) Steve Griffiths of the Timberwolves organization introduced himself to Council and is eager to get started with the marketing of the team. A corporate season ticket drive is currently
underway. Corporate tickets are $380 and $320 for General tickets which includes 30 home

3) Council was shown the CRD's "Welcome to the Cariboo-Chilcotin" DVD. This project was jointly completed by the City of Quesnel, Williams Lake, Cariboo-Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association, and the Soda Creek Indian Band. Council members were pleased with the DVD. This DVD was also shown at Canada House during the Beijing Olympics


1) A letter from the Community Policing Committe advised that they are seeking a new location for the Community Policing office as the existing location does not adequately serve the public.
The Committee requested Council consider the exiting Firehall upon relocation to a new Firehall. Councillor O’Neill suggested that the high cost of having moved several times is using a large portion of their budget and a permanent home needs to be located for them

2) Council authorized entering into an agreement with the Board of Education - School District No 27 which will allow Williams Lake Emergency Social Services to use School District buildings in the event of a large scale emergency

3) L&M Engineering was awarded the contract for the engineering design contract of Cameron
Street from the cul-de-sac east of 5th Avenue N. to 3rd Ave N. in the amount of $33,880

4) The No Parking zone located at 402 Pearkes Drive will be changed from the west side of the
street to the east side of the street. The block located at 402 Pearkes Drive is a short
and narrow section of road. This section of road serves as the entrance to Sun Ridge Gardens.
City staff have had problems in this area with respect to snow removal and maintenance of the
sidewalk. Staff was instructed to notify residences prior to implementing the changes

5) Council approved the deactivation of all water and mechanical systems in Cariboo Lodge at a
cost of $35,000. The system for Heritage House will remain operational

6) Development Permit application was received which will see the upgrade of the local Safeway
Store. Staff was directed to negotiate the incorporation of natural building materials
such as wood, rock, stone or brick into the exterior in order to suit the downtown façade
program. This is a $3 million project

7) The contract for this year’s winter road salt was awarded to McTar Divison of Lafarge Canada
for the tendered price of $162.64 per metric tonne. The City uses approximately 1,200 tons
per season

8) An agreement with First Choice Marketing (Margaret Lipke) Group will be entered into for
a term of five years for the maintenance and sale of advertising panels on the City bus

9) The following proclamations were made by

“Waste Reduction Week” - Oct 19th to 25th.
“Restorative Justice Week - Nov 16th to 23rd.
“Foster Family Month will be October of 2008.
“Small Business Week" - Oct 19th to 25th

10) At the invitation of Councillor Mary Sjostrom of Quesnel. A member of staff and one Councillor was approved to attend the Measuring Up the North Project Reception on Oct 2nd in Prince George

11) Councillors Ed Mead and Jon Wolbers informed Council that they would not be seeking reelection in November. Both expressed their sincerest thanks to the city staff and fellow
Council members. Mayor Nelson thanked them both for their hard work and wished them well
in their future endeavors

Next Council Meeting: October 14th, 2008 in Council Chambers (450 Mart Street)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

CRD Board Highlights - Sept.19

Delegations - None


1) The CRD adopted several bylaws which will provide for fire protection in the Interlakes area and an expansion of the Forest Grove Fire Protection boundary to encompass Canim Lake residents. In addition, Horse Lake and Canim Lake water systems bylaws received final approval by the Board

Ruth Lake Road residents in the Forest Grove area of the South Cariboo could soon be included in the Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) protection boundary. The CRD has received expressions of interest from Ruth Lake Road residents and will proceed to a formal petition proposal which, if approved, will allow the expansion of fire protection services in the area

The Board endorsed an updated version of the CRD’s Strong Regions Grow Strong Sustainable Communities report as a discussion paper for senior government during next week’s Union of BC Municipalities Convention. Minor revisions to the document will be incorporated into the final draft for presentation to a future Board meeting

The Board approved a recommendation from the North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee to present a zero percent requisition increase budget for the North Cariboo Recreation and Parks budget

The CRD will be hosting a public meeting on September 30, 2008 to provide information about the upcoming North Cariboo Cemetery referendum. The referendum will be held on November 15 in conjunction with the civic elections and the North Cariboo Multi Centre Referendum

Changes to recycling programs in the south Cariboo are underway to make recycling more effective. The recycling bins currently located at Save-On Foods and Safeway will be removed and residents will soon be directed to the Gold Trail recycling facility on Exeter Road. Funds currently used to cover transportation costs will be used to expand recycling in the south Cariboo to include tin and glass on a trial basis. A public education program will be launched to ensure that residents are aware of the new recycling opportunities. Watch for further details in local newspapers and on the Regional District website in coming weeks

The CRD Board toured the new Quesnel Branch Library construction project on September 18, 2008. The new Library, being constructed in the John Ernst/City Hall building by Vachon Construction Limited of Quesnel, is approximately 80 percent complete. Completion of construction is estimated to occur at the end of October, with the existing Library relocating at that time. The project remains within the original budget allocated for this project

CRD Board members will be travelling to Penticton for the annual Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention on September 22 to 26. Board members will be meeting with various Ministers to discuss issues of local concern including the impact of the carbon tax on northern regions, expansion of the Cariboo Connector, sewerage system regulations, and others

The next Finance/Budget Committee Meeting of the Cariboo Regional District is Thursday, October 9th, 2008 at 6:00pm in the CRD Boardroom with the CRD Board meeting being held on Friday, October 10, 2008 in the CRD Board room in Williams Lake

Local Government Election News

Seeing as the nomination period for those who seek Local Government Offices has now commenced, I thought it appropriate to review those seeking office throughout the Cariboo:

City of Quesnel

Mayor - 1 to be elected

Nate Bello - incumbent, confirmed
Mary Sjostrom - challenger, confirmed

Councillor: (6 to be elected)

Sushil Thapar - incumbent, confirmed

City of WL:

Mayor: (1 to be elected)

Paul French - confirmed and has filed papers
Kerry Cook - confirmed and has filed papers

Councillor: (6 to be elected)

Surinderpal Rathor - confirmed
Tom Barr - confirmed and has filed his papers
Judy O'Neill - will announce shortly
Sheila Mortensen - confirmed
Chuck Pearson - confirmed
Geoff Bourdon - confirmed
Laurie Walters - confirmed and has filed her papers at City Hall
Sue Zacharias - rumoured to be running, presently CRD Area 'D' Director

District of Wells - Mayor/Council Candidates unknown at this time

District of 100 Mile House

Mayor - 1 to be elected

Mitch Campsall
Spence Henderson

Councillor - 4 to be elected

Unknown at this time

Cariboo Regional District - 12 Electoral Area Directors to be elected

Area A - Ted Armstrong - incumbent, confirmed/has filed papers
Area B - Unknown - challenger, confirmed/has filed papers
Area C - Seat is open as Incumbent Ronda Wilkins is retiring on December 1st
Area D - Incumbent Sue Zacharias is rumoured to be running in City of WL Election for Councillor so the seat may be open by next week
Area E - Brandy Dickey - incumbent/has not filed papers
Area F - Duncan Barnett - incumbent/has not filed papers although his challenger, Steve Forseth is confirmed/has filed papers, District of 100 Mile Councillor Charlene Hays rumoured to be running in this Electoral Area
Area G - Al Richmond - incumbent/has not filed papers
Area H - Art Dumaresq - incumbent/has filed papers
Area I - Seat is open as Incumbent Mary Glassford is retiring on December 1st
Area J - Alex Bracewell - Incumbent/has not filed papers
Area K - Rick Mumford - Incumbent/has not filed papers
Area L - Seat is open as Incumbent Maureen Pinkney is retiring on December 1st, Bruce Rattray has filed his papers for the Area L seat

SD #27 - No individuals have filed for any of the 7 Trustee seats

As always, I will keep you appraised of any news with respect to the above

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

WL Arts Council Public Consulting - CRD Bylaw #4420 (Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function)

A friendly reminder that the Central Cariboo Arts Council is hosting an "Open House" at Heritage House (across from Kiwanis Park) on CRD Bylaw #4420, 2008 tomorrow (Thurs. Sept 18) (Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function - Financial Contribution). It starts at 4pm and runs until 7pm

If you didn't make the 1st Public Meeting on the above on Sept 10th at the Gibraltar Room and if you have any questions on CRD Bylaw #4420, then I encourage you to go this meeting and ask your questions on this Bylaw as the AAP (Alternative Approval Process - counter-petition) process is slated, at this point, to get underway in October. Again, I intend with my family to vote against this Function as I don't think it is responsible use of taxpayers' dollars and Arts & Culture funding is not a local taxpayer responsibility, but provincial/federal gov't one.

I'm going to be at a School Board (Board of Education - SD#27) meeting tomorrow evening at 7pm, asking the Board their view on the Marie Sharpe Elementary (replacement) Project

Central Cariboo/City of Williams Lake Joint Committee Meeting

This evening, members of the Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee met to consider a number of items including the future of solid waste in the Central Cariboo (ie: Recycling, diversion of waste, etc) (Note - Directors R. Mumford / A. Bracewell and Mayor Nelson, Councillor Wolbers not present)

Review of the Solid Waste Plan for the Central Cariboo - Recommendations:

i) Close Wildwood Transfer Station

ii) Have Recycling Depot at Central Cariboo Transfer Station - Area 'F' Director Duncan Barnett is opposed to this and prefers another location for these bins

iii) Have attendants at 150 Mile + Central Cariboo Transfer Station - Councillor Ed Mead wants to ensure that attendants are friendly towards the public and ensure the right material gets to the right bin

iv) Increase Tipping Fees

These recommendations, I'm sure, will be subject to the 2009 Town Hall Meetings. I suspect that the closure of the Wildwood Transfer Site will not sit too well with Area 'D' Residents. I still question Area 'F' Director Duncan Barnett's approach to working with the City of Williams Lake to having a strong "Central Cariboo" Recycling Program. Instead of confrontation, he needs to lower his voice and request Staff to look at different options to ensure Recycling is available to all Area D, E and F residents'. I don't particularly care for his confrontational nature towards Staff especially when he reads something in a newspaper and then waving it at a meeting in a confrontational nature and claim "Why wasn't I consulted". My approach is different - work with Staff behind the scenes when I have a difference with them or when something is in the paper and need clarification on it.

Also - we should see something on Marie Sharpe Elementary next year. A Policy Change from Victoria (Ministry of Education) means some more work on the Marie Sharpe Elementary school project. The 5-year, $750,000 Central Cariboo Joint Committee made to the Board of Education - SD#27 to go towards a community gym is still a go (at this point)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

CRD BBQ + Board Meeting

A friendly reminder, as well, that the CRD Board Northern Directors' will be hosting a Community BBQ in LeBourdais Park in Quesnel from 5-7pm on Thursday, September 18th. The CRD Board of Directors' will be meeting at 9:30am on Friday, September 19th in Quesnel Council Chambers. I would encourage all of you to attend either or both events

Quesnel Council Meeting - Sept 15

A friendly reminder that Quesnel Council will be meeting at 7pm on September 15th in Quesnel Council Chambers

Local Government Elections

This is a friendly reminder, to those who read my Blog, that notwithstanding the current Federal Election, there are going to local government elections in the Fall for the following:

School Boards (SD 27 and 28) - 7 Trustees to be elected

City of Williams Lake - 1 Mayor and 6 Councillors to be elected

City of Quesnel - 1 Mayor and 6 Councillors to be elected

District of 100 Mile House/Wells - 1 Mayor and 4 Councillors to be elected

Cariboo Regional District - 12 Electoral Area Directors from Areas A-L to be elected

It only takes 2 voters from each School Trustee Zone, City of Williams Lake and Quesnel and Districts of 100 Mile House and Wells as well as CRD Electoral Areas A-L to nominate a individual to an office. Chief Election Officers' may take nominations on Tuesday, September 30th at 9:00am until Friday, October 10th, 2008 at 4pm. No further nominations will be accepted after 4pm on Friday, October 10th

Quesnel Local Elections:

We know that 2 Individuals (Mayor Bello and Councillor Mary Sjostrom) will be seeking the Mayors' Chair in Quesnel, 1 SD 28 Trustee (Louise Scott) is retiring and another SD 28 Trustee (Caroline Nielsen - current SD 28 Chair - Board of Education) will seek re-election. Councillor Sushil Thapar will be seeking re-election

Williams Lake Elections:

Councillor Paul French has announced that he wants to become the next Mayor of Williams Lake. It is rumoured that Kerry Cook intends to, at some future point, to announce that she will seek the Mayor's Chair for a unprecedented 4th time. Laurie Walters and Chuck Pearson have both announced that they want to be City Councillors. Incumbents Tom Barr, Surinderpal Rathor and Judy O'Neill have not yet announced that they will be seeking re-election but I expect this to occur in due course but prior to October 10. Also, no one has indicated their intentions with respect to SD#27 Board Trustee Elections. I hope that the current Zone 4 (CRD Area 'F') Trustee and Zone 6 SD#27 Trustee (City of Williams Lake) are both defeated as they have failed to serve their residents and do what their residents' have asked of them and stand up for their respective schools. Also CRD Directors (Incumbents) for Areas D, E and F have not publicly stated their intentions for this fall's elections however, everyone does know I am running to become the next Area 'F' Director. No word about Area D and E elections though

WL Council Highlights - Sept. 9th

Delegations (4):

i) Presentation to Numourous Business/Individuals re: Brahma Bull Statue (by A&W on Highway 97 South)

ii) Presentation to RCMP Cpl Dan Brennan after 20 yrs of service to Williams Lake.

iii) Irene Willsie requested Council for "Take Back the Night" walk and placing decals on City vehicles. Both requests were endorsed

iv) Laurie McKenzie presented to Council a 2500 person petition requesting Council to hire 2 new RCMP Officers'


1) Council agreed with the Mayor's recommendation to send a letter to IH informing them that they will be charged for RCMP costs unless a detox centre is provided or there are signs that significant reductions in drug/alcohol activity is evident that involves RCMP resources

2) Council gave 1st, 2nd, and 3rd reading to a Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw. The tax exemption bylaw allows property owners in the downtown specified area to maintain their current level of City taxes for up to three years based on a minimum investment (improvement) to their property

3) Cariboo Friendship Society's "Supportive Housing" Proposal received 3rd Reading and Adoption, after no one to spoke against the proposal at the Public Hearing held earlier in the evening.

4) The City's 80th Birthday is in March of 2009. Staff were directed to make preparations to recognize this event

5) Aviator Hotel proposal, besides Laughing Loon Pub, received 2nd Reading following favourable comments from the APC. The Public Hearing will be held on this proposal on October 14th, 2008 at 7pm in Council Chambers. If you wish to comment formally on this proposal, that will be the date for you to make your submission to Council

6) Council will send a letter to the Provincial Government encouraging them to provide financial support to Heritage Sites like Barkerville, Hat Creek Ranch and Cottonwood House

Next Council Meeting: September 30th, 2008 at 7:30pm