Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Another Steve Rant - Various Political Events

Last night, City Council met and with Councillors Jon Wolbers (CRD Chair), Surinder Rathor, Tom Barr at FCM (Federation of Canadian Muncipalities) in Quebec City and Councillor Judy O'Neill in the Dominican Republic representing the City of Williams Lake, the meeting adjourned just past 8pm due to a lack of quorum (Mayor Nelson and Councillors Paul French/Ed Mead in attendance). Several delegations were in attendance including Audrey MacLise (WL Seniors Advisory Council) asking Council to make Williams Lake a "Age Friendly Community" along with making June 7th Access Awareness Day. Members of WL Council in attendance expressing their support for this and will formally deal with this and other items on the May 27th Agenda at a future date. Council members present were also introduced to the WL Stampede Queen contestants (3).

Recently, Mayor Nelson floated an idea that would have seen the Carbon Tax portion of the City's fuel purchases would be placed into a seperate account to demonstrate to the Provincial Government the actual impact on local government budgets. After having a "frank" phone call with the Provincial Minister of Finance (Hon. Carole Taylor), Mayor Nelson nixed the idea as he said that Victoria would not be moved to give considerations to Northern Communities with respect to the Carbon Tax. On May 26th, Charlie Wyse (NDP MLA for Cariboo-South) issued a press release and was quoted on the radio with the following:

1) We (NDP MLA's Bob Simpson + Charlie Wyse) will continue to stand up for northern communities with respect to the Carbon Tax after the astonishing flip-flop by Mayor Scott Nelson

I must say that it is rich for the NDP to accuse a BC-Liberal friendly Mayor of Williams Lake of a flip-flop on this issue. In this case, Mayor Nelson had an idea, had the support of CRD Chair Jon Wolbers and Mayor Nate Bello, and had a discussion with the Minister of Finance (Hon. Carole Taylor) and decided that it was not in the public interest to continue with this idea. Let's compare to this to the NDP record which consisted of flip-flops and picking fights with others, like Ottawa, over Nanoose Bay, which ended up costing this province money for this land. Or how about telling local governments in 1996, after the 1996 Provincial General Election, that there was no way local governments were going to lose their grants and then in the 1997 Budget, those local government grants were completely chopped away, causing local governments to scramble to ensure their budgets remained balanced, which in turn, caused local governments to raise taxes. Besides which, Mayor Nelson has a strong record of standing up for his community, even at the expense of making Victoria not happy with some of his stances of local issues. I'll be writing a "letter-to-the-editor" on this topic for publication, I hope, by next week.

Now, onto matters in Quesnel which deserve comment from me. Recently, Quesnel Council confirmed/re-confirmed its' decision with respect to the local Gymnastics group giving $500,000 to them and calling/re-calling on the CRD Northern Directors' to do the same. Quesnel Council has suggested that a motion from the Fall of 2007 suggested that the Northern Joint Committee agreed to contribute $500,000 from both City of Quesnel and the Cariboo Regional District to the Quesnel Technics Group (local Gymnastics club). However, the actual wording is "jointly work together to raise $1,000,000". However in the meantime, Director Ted Armstrong has proposed that this item be funded through the local Sub-Regional Recreation Budget. The City of Quesnel has rejected this idea on the basis that it would cost City of Quesnel taxpayers' more than it would cost Quesnel Rural Taxpayers'. I believe this idea is worth of support on the basis that gymnastics falls, in my opinion, under the guise of recreation. Soccer should also be considered for funding underneath the Sub-Regional Recreation Function. In the meantime, the battle continues. I would urge Quesnel Council to consider the regional aspect when taking stands on this issues.

That's it for now - I promise to continually update this blog as often as I can


Lack of Posts since November of 2007

As was the case with the blog of the CAO (Administrator) for the City of Williams Lake, I apologize for the lack of posts since November of last year. I admit I've gotten a little lazy, but I'm back and I promise to do better with my posts.

My thanks to the City of Quesnel's Communication Supervisor - Matt Wood for reminding me to update my blog