Saturday, October 31, 2009

Local Government Meetings in Cariboo-Chilcotin - Week of Nov 2-

Next week, both Quesnel & WL Councils' are meeting. See below for the links to the Agenda/Reports:

City of Quesnel - Monday, Nov 2/09 at 7:00pm

City of Williams Lake - Tuesday, Nov 3/09 at 7:30pm

Elected Officials & Social Media

In the world of elected officials, including myself, using social media to communicate with voters', Vancouver City Councillor Andrea Reimer was forced Friday to apologize after sending a "Tweet" on Tweeter poking fun at Housing and Social Development Minister Rich Coleman's weight has more on this story here

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Central Cariboo Joint Committee Meeting - Oct 29th

Central Cariboo Joint Committee Meeting – October 29th (Meeting held in Committee Room #1 – WL City Hall)

Present from City of WL:

Mayor K. Cook (Joint Committee Co-Chair), Deputy Mayor SPS Rathor and Councillors L. Walters, and S. Zacharias

Present from CRD:

Directors D. Bischoff (Joint Committee Co-Chair), S. Mazur, D. Barnett, R. Mumford and Area ‘D’ Alternate Director John Andrews

Staff Present:

Brian Carruthers – CAO, City of WL
Janis Bell – CAO, CRD
Darron Campbell – Manger of Community Services, CRD
Geoff Paynton – Director of Community Services, City of WL


City of WL Councillors Tom Barr, Natalie Montoya, Geoff Bourdon

Meeting called to order at 5:00pm by Committee Co-Chair K. Cook


By Consensus – Minutes of last Joint Committee be adopted

Fees and Charges Bylaw:

The City of WL Director of Recreation Services reviewed his report with the Joint Committee

By Consensus – That the Joint Committee approves the proposed changes to the Fees & Charges Bylaw effective January 1, 2010

2010 Business, Capital and Financial Plans – Central Cariboo Recreation Function

The CRD Manager of Community Services reviewed the Business, Capital and Financial Plans for the Central Cariboo Recreation Function with the Joint Committee

Questions included:

• Community Gym, new Marie Sharpe Elementary School. Financial contribution of $750,000 to be carried forward in 2010 until such time that the new Marie Sharpe Elementary School project begins
• Museum of Cariboo-Chilcotin financial contribution to be transferred to Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function

By Consensus – That the Business, Capital and Financial Plans for the Central Cariboo Recreation Function for 2010 be endorsed

Waiver of Fees for Gibraltar Room – Royal Canadian Legion

The City of WL CAO reviewed the history of this file with the Joint Committee

By Consensus – Royal Canadian Legion be granted a waiver of fees for use of the Gibraltar Room for the Remembrance Day ceremony on November 11th, 2009 and that use of the Gibraltar Room for Remembrance Day ceremonies be included in the Fees and Charges Bylaw

Central Cariboo Recreation Function Contribution to the Parks, Trails & Outdoor
Recreation Master Plan

The CRD Manager of Community Services reviewed his report with the Joint Committee

Questions included:

• Boundary of Central Cariboo Recreation Function (Councillor Walters)

By Consensus – That the Joint Committee support Parks, Trails and & Outdoor Recreation Master Plan

Central Cariboo Recreation Advisory Committee – Change to Terms of Reference

The City of WL Director of Recreation Services reviewed his report with the Joint Committee

Questions included:

• Use current membership numbers to add youth to the Committee (Councillor Rathor)

By Consensus – Joint Committee agrees to extend the number of members of the Committee from nine to eleven. Membership to include one Youth and one First Nations

Meeting Schedule for 2010 – Central Cariboo Joint Committee

By Consensus – Meeting schedule be endorsed

Grants-in-Aide for 2010 – City of Williams Lake and CRD Electoral Areas D, E, F

The City of WL CAO reviewed the spreadsheet for all Grants-in-Aide applications in the City of Williams Lake & CRD Electoral Areas D, E, F

Questions included:

• Community Arts Council Grant-in-Aide, move to Arts and Culture Function for 2010? (Councillor Zacharias). Staff advised that it would be inappropriate, at this time, as the Arts and Culture Function Budget is not properly set-up at this point

• BC Cattlemen Association, increase Grant-in-Aide (Director Barnett)

• Grant-in-Aid recipients should report out on use of Grant-in-Aide (Director Bischoff, Mayor Cook)

By Consensus –

That the spreadsheet of Grant-in-Aide amounts from City /CRD be endorsed

And the remaining Grant-in-Aid money be held in trust with the City

6:00pm Delegation - Service Delivery Plan for Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function:

Jill Zimonick from Stonefield Consulting regarding the Draft Service Delivery Plan for the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function

Ms. Zimonick gave a PowerPoint presentation, which included:

• Consultation Process
• Key Findings
• Recommended Delivery Model
• Recommendations & Implementation

Questions from Joint Committee included:

• Presentation of Service Delivery Plan to public & clarification of concern from public re: Director of Arts and Culture working for City of WL or CRD (Director Bischoff)

• Concern about 1st Year Proposed Budget (Mayor Cook)

• Composition of Advisory Committee / new Arts and Culture “Group” (Director Mazur)

CRD Manager of Community Services reviewed his report with Joint Committee members

Director Bischoff left the meeting at 7:00pm
Director Mazur left the meeting at 7:07pm

By Consensus -

1) Draft Service Delivery Plan be received
2) Public Review Period to commence including a Town Hall Meeting being scheduled & Media Release being issued
3) $50,000 to be included in 2010 Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function Budget for City of WL Fire Hall renovation

By Consensus –

That the meeting adjourn and reconvene In-Camera

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Grant-in-Aide Process - City of Williams Lake

Last night, WL City Councillor Geoff Bourdon suggested that the definition of "non-profit" should be tightened in light of Grant-in-Aide applications from WL Curling Club, WL Golf and Country Club and WL Indoor Rodeo and the fact that these organizations have the ability to raise revenues to cover costs (capital)

I support his views on the above and certainly, taxpayers' dollars should go to those "true" non-profits who don't have the ability to raise revenues while providing a service to both the City and the Central Cariboo Region

Also, Council agreed to give a $3,500 Grant-in-Aide to the Community Arts Council. This $3500 Grant is required to get the matching $3500 from the Province. However, given that the Community Arts Council financial competency has been, for the moment, called into question and that the fact the RCMP are reviewing the Community Arts Council's Financial Statements, they should have not gotten the Grant-in-Aide for 2010, but instead their Grant-in-Aide application should have been considered for 2011 but with the money coming from the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function's Budget, thereby leaving more money available for true non-profits who do good works in our community

Committee of the Whole (WL Council) Highlights - Oct 27th

WL Committee of the Whole Highlights – October 27th, 2009 (Meeting held in Committee Room #1 – WL City Hall)


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


Councillor Tom Barr

Staff Present:

Brian Carruthers – CAO
Cindy Bouchard – Corporate Services Records Management Coordinator
Geoff Paynton – Director of Community Services
Anne Burill – Social Development Manager
Darcy Lazzarin – General Manager of Corporate Services
Lilliana Dragowska – City Planner
Geoff Goodall – General Manager of Planning & Operations

Meeting called to order at 6:30pm

The Committee adopted the minutes of the October 13th, 2009 Committee of the Whole Meeting

1) The Committee reviewed the 3rd Quarter Report and the followed was noted:

• CAO, General Manager of Corporate Services and the General Manager of Planning & Operations reviewed the 3rd Quarter Report with the Committee including the Budget Cycle process, financials for the 3rd Quarter of the 2009 Fiscal Year, Objectives & Highlights for the 3rd Quarter, Council Action Tracking List, 2009 Capital List with some projects to be carried over to 2010, work on-going on various other capital projects in the City with some to be referred to the 2010 Budget Process including Pinchbeck Street.

• Committee members’ asked a number of questions related to the 3rd Quarter Report including status of 2009 Capital Projects in the City and other City initiatives

The Committee agreed to receive the 3rd Quarter Report and that Staff be congratulated on the Report

2) The Committee reviewed 2010 Grant-in-Aide applications

• The General Manager of Corporate Services reviewed Council’s applicable policy and guidelines on Grants-in-Aids with the Committee

• The Committee reviewed a 2010 Grant-in-Aide Spreadsheet for approval up to $35,000 with recommendations to be forwarded to the Thursday, October 29th Central Cariboo Joint Committee meeting. General Discussion then ensued by Committee members’ on specific applications.

Councillor Bourdon commented that perhaps the definition of “Non-Profit” should be tightened in view of the Grant-in-Aid application from the WL Golf and Country Club/WL Curling Club; also, he doesn’t support a Grant-in-Aid to the WL Indoor Rodeo as they have the ability to increase revenue. Councillor Zacharias commented that perhaps youth fees at Golf Course & Curling Club should be subsided in the name of “Crime Prevention”. In addition, she doesn’t support a Grant-in-Aide to the WL Stampede Association

City Spreadsheet for 2010 Grant-in-Aid to be forwarded to Thursday, October 29th Central Cariboo Joint Committee meeting for consideration of Central Cariboo Grants-in-Aide for 2010

The Committee received the Spreadsheet
The Committee asked Staff to bring forward the Grant-in-Aide Policy for review prior to April of 2010

3) The Committee reviewed a report from the Manager of Social Development & Planner regarding ICSP (Integrated Community Sustainability Plan) - Sustainability Principles and Charter of Sustainability:

• The Manager of Social Development & City Planner reviewed this report with the Committee.

The Committee recommended to Council that it adopt both the Sustainability Principles and the Charter of Sustainability

4) The Committee reviewed a report from the Manager of Social Development regarding Cariboo Lodge Kitchen Equipment Allocations:

Mayor Cook declared a conflict and left the Committee Room at 8:08pm and Acting Mayor Sue Zacharias took the Chair

• Councillor Montoya reviewed actions on this report from Portfolio

The Committee recommended to Council:

That Council allocate the kitchen equipment from Cariboo Lodge as follows:

Salvation Army:
• Commercial Dishwasher,
• Garland Range,
• Exhaust Hood,
• One (1) Walk In Cooler

Food Policy Council:

• Stainless Working Area,
• One (1) Walk-in cooler

Camp Likely:

• Stainless Steel Working Area,
• Bakers Pride Oven,
• Built In Shelving

And further Staff be requested to look into “Right of First Refusal” Policy on equipment not to be used by Salvation Army, Food Policy Council or Camp Likely

Mayor Cook resumed the Chair at 8:16pm

The Committee adjourned at 8:17 pm with the Committee to reconvene In-Camera

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Upcoming Local Government Meetings in Cariboo-Chilcotin

There are a number of local government meetings' upcoming in the Cariboo-Chilcotin for the week of October 27th - 30th:

City of Quesnel (in Committee of the Whole) - Monday, October 26th

The link to the Agenda/Reports is here

City of Williams Lake (in Committee of the Whole) - Tuesday, October 27th

The link to the Agenda/Reports is here

Cariboo Regional District (Regular Meeting) - Friday, October 30th

The link to the Agenda/Reports is here

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

New Provincial Legislation prohibiting all types of cell phone use while driving

The Solicitor-General (Hon. Kash Heed) introduced legislation today which, if passed, would prohibit anyone, other than those in the GLP (Graduated License Program) who will not be allowed to have any cell phone in their posession, period, to text, check email, or call on their cell phone unless they are using a hands-free device.

More on this story, from Black Press, is here

Public Consultation - BC Budget 2010

Hello all:

As you may be aware, the Legislature's Committee on Finance and Government Services is touring the Province getting oral, written and video input around the public's priorities for the 2010 Provincial Budget

As well, the Committee has established a website where you can provide input as to your priority for the 2010 Provincial Budget. You have until Friday, October 23rd, 2009 to provide online input on the 2010 Provincial Budget to the Committee

The link is here

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

WL Council Meeting Highlights - Oct 20th

WL Council Highlights – October 20th, 2009 Meeting (Meeting held in Williams Lake Council Chambers)

Present: Mayor K. Cook, Deputy Mayor SPS Rathor, Councillors G. Bourdon, L. Walters, and N. Montoya

Absent: Councillors Tom Barr & Sue Zacharias

Staff Present:

Brian Carruthers – CAO
Cindy Bouchard – Corporate Services Records Coordinator
Darcy Lazzarin – General Manager of Corporate Services
Geoff Goodall - General Manager of Planning & Operations
Tom Cheung – IT Manager

Meeting called to order at 7:30pm

Council approved the Minutes of the October 6th Meeting

Council approved 1 Late item (Report of CAO re: UBCM Convention) to be added to the Agenda


1) Darlene Doskoch from Jubilee Care/Cariboo Mental House Association re: Challenge Day 2009

• Challenge Day 2008 offered to 300 Students at Columneetza and WL Senior Secondary. 400 students to take the program this year.
• Need 150 Volunteers this year.
• Challenge Day 2009 will take place December 1st – 4th, 2009
• Ms. Doskoch challenged all parents in Williams Lake to take this program

2) Daniel Hutchins – Operations Manager for Interior Roads re: Road Maintenance/Winter Program for 2009

• Reviewed Winter Road Clearing Readiness with Council
• 5 Types of Classification for Road Maintenance – Class “A” to Class “E”
• 22 Workers in Williams Lake area
• Challenged the public to inform them of any road maintenance issues at any time, 24/7

3) Dean Essex (Shaw Cable – Local Programmer) re: Update on Channel 10

• Thanked volunteers who come out to tape Council meetings’ and also who do local community programming
• Noted that programming from other areas in BC will still appear in Channel 10
• Mayor Cook presented Mr. Essex with a thank-you card


1) Council approved 4 Revitalization Tax Exemptions for the following properties:

• Amol Lal and Ajay Lal – 480 Proctor Street
• Bharat and Hira Lal – 460 Proctor Street
• Richard and Carole Weil – 280 1st Avenue North
• Steve Watson and Sue Watson – 72 Oliver Street

The General Manager of Corporate Services reviewed the history on Revitalization Tax Exemption Agreements in Williams Lake with Council. Councillors’ Rathor and Bourdon noted these Revitalization Tax Exemption Agreements are good for Williams Lake overall.

2) Council approved the following with regard to Remembrance Day:

• Week of November 4th to 11th be proclaimed as “Veterans’ Week” in the City of Williams Lake;
• The Poppy Campaign sale days on October 30 & 31 and November 1, 6, 7 and 8, 2009
• The Parade Route on November 11, 2009 as indicated and Staff coordinate the placement of barricades as requested
• a "2 Minute Wave of Silence" at 11:00 am on November 11, 2009
• Use of the City Hall lobby for the Remembrance Day ceremonies on November 11, 2009

3) Council proclaimed the month of November 2009 as “Prayer Month” in the City of Williams Lake

4) Late Item – Report of the CAO regarding the 2009 UBCM (Union of BC Municipalities) Convention:

• The Mayor reviewed meetings’ with Cabinet Ministers’ at the 2009 UBCM including Ministers Heed (Solicitor-General), Abbott (Aboriginal Affairs), Thompson (Agriculture), Krueger (Tourism, Sports and the Arts), Hansen (Finance), Stilwell (Advance Education) and MacDiarmid (Education). Also Council met with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (Kevin Richter), RCMP “E’ Division (Rob Morrison)

• Mayor & Councillors attend various Resolution Sessions and Clinics

• Mayor Cook, Councillor Bourdon and Alan Madrigga (Economic Development Manager) attended the unveiling of the “Williams Lake” video at the Vancouver International Airport

Information and Announcements:

Mayor and Councillors made announcements around various local communities’ activities on-going in Williams Lake


Meeting adjourned at 8:35pm with Council reconvening In-Camera, pursuant to Section 90(1e and k) and 92 (a) of the Community Charter

Body Armour Act

Today, the Solicitor-General (Hon. Kash Heed) introduced the Body Armour Act, which if passed into law, would restrict the ownership of body armour, with a permit, to security guards/private investigators, law enforcement officials, and prison guards. This new Act is the first of its' kind in Canada. It already exists in Australia and the United States

CBC-BC's website has more on this story here

Phase 2 at Prosperity Ridge & City of Williams Lake

WL Tribune reports on continued progress, by Prosperity Ridge Developments Ltd, the City of Williams Lake and the Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure, to allow the Phase 2 Development at Prosperity Ridge to proceed

The story is here

H1N1 Pandemic Plan & the City of Williams Lake

Last night, Quesnel Council adopted their H1N1 Flu Pandemic Plan which covers all Muncipal Departments in the City of Quesnel. These plans were made public and Byron Johnson, City Manager gave an overview on this subject to Quesnel Council Monday evening

Last week, I asked 2 Williams Lake City Councillors' (Rathor and Montoya) what we were doing on this subject and they committed to me that they would do follow-up. Councillor Rathor now informs me that the City of WL CAO does not intend make their H1N1 Flu Pandemic Plans know, as Brian Carruthers (City of WL CAO) deems it to be an "administration" issue that Council need not get involved in.

I say - bullshit. If Quesnel Council, in its' wisdom, can publicly release its' H1N1 Flu Pandemic Plan there, then the City of Williams Lake Council should "order" its' Staff to do the same here

Not to do so would perpetuate a perception of a City Hall that is neither open nor transparent

Quesnel Council Meeting - October 19th, 2009

Quesnel Council Highlights – Monday, October 19th, 2009 Meeting (Meeting held in Quesnel Council Chambers)

Present: Mayor M. Sjostrom and Councillors C. Oakes, R. Paull, S. Thapar, L. Roodenburg and P. Couldwell


Councillor Mike Cave

Staff Present:

Byron Johnson – City Manager
Lori Scott – Deputy Corporate Administrator
Matt Wood – Communications Supervisor
Kari Bolton – Director of Finance
Jack Marsh – Director of Public Works & Engineering
Tanya Turner – City Planner
Robert Bardua – IT Assistant

Meeting called to order at 7:00pm

Invocation given by Councillor L. Roodenburg

Agenda with late items was adopted

Minutes of August 31st, September 14th (Regular Meetings’) and the Special Meeting of October 5th were adopted

Public Hearing Minutes of September 21st were received


1) Helen Agren – recipient of BCSLA Resident of the Year LEAP Award (resident of Maeford Place)

Mayor Sjostrom gave a brief description of Ms. Agren’s life. Ms. Agren was then presented with a plaque from Mayor and Council.

2) Introduction of New Quesnel RCMP Officers’ by Staff-Sgt Gary Clark-Marlow(Quesnel RCMP Detachment Commander)

3) Baker Creek Enhancement Society – update on Dragon Creek Restoration Project

Ms. House and Ms. Bond, on behalf of DFO (Department of Fisheries and Oceans) and the Society gave a PowerPoint Presentation updating Council on the Dragon Creek Restoration Project.

Council resolved to write a letter of support to the Baker Creek Enhancement Society for this Project

Council Committee Reports:

1) Committee of the Whole Meeting – September 21st

Mayor Sjostrom reported on the outcome of this meeting.

Council agreed to proceed with Five Revitalization Projects in Downtown area. Money to come from Community Adjustment Fund Grant.

Item K12 – Letter from Quesnel DBA (Downtown Business Association) re: Downtown Revitalization Program

Deputy Corporate Administrator read aloud the letter. Carol Pitkin from the Quesnel DBA introduced the project manager to Council

Letter received

2) Committee of the Whole Meeting – Oct 5th

Acting Mayor Roodenburg reviewed the proceedings of this meeting with Council

3) Health Advisory Committee meeting of September 10th

Councillor Couldwell reviewed the proceedings of this meeting with Council

4) North Cariboo Recreation and Parks Commission Meeting of September 3rd

Councillor Roodenburg reviewed the proceedings of this meeting with Council

5) CRD Board Meetings of September 18th and October 9th

Mayor Sjostrom reviewed the proceedings of these meetings with Council

6) UBCM (Union of BC Municipalities) Reports

Mayor & Council reviewed their UBCM Reports

City Staff Reports:

1) Annual Water Report, City of Quesnel – Mr. Marsh reviewed his report with Council. Council resolved to receive the Report
2) DP #30-2009 (Baker Holdings Ltd) – Ms. Turner reviewed her report with Council. Council resolved to issue DP#30-2009 subject to 2 Conditions as Staff Recommendation and Landscaping Security being obtained
3) Computer Loan Program – Ms. Bolton reviewed her report with Council. Council resolved to eliminate the Computer Loan Program.
4) Pandemic Report – Mr. Johnson reviewed his report with Council. Council resolved to approve the Pandemic Plan
5) DP #2209-31 – Ms. Turner reviewed her report with Council. Council resolved to issue DP#31-2009
6) HST Impact – City of Quesnel – Ms. Bolton reviewed her report with Council. Council resolved to receive the report.
7) DP #32-2009 (Billy Barker Casino) – Ms. Turner reviewed her report with Council. Council resolved to issue DP#32-2009
8) Bulk Water Tender – Mr. Marsh reviewed his report with Council. Council resolved to award the tender to Cottonwood River Contracting Ltd for $289,254.45 (excluding GST). Several concerns indicated by Council include project taking too long to finish, water charge rate (report on this to come forward at a future Council meeting). Mayor Sjostrom called the question on the Motion and following vote took place:

Yeas - Mayor Sjostrom and Councillors Thapar, Couldwell, Roodenburg

Nays - Councillors Oakes and Paull

9) Motor Grader Tender – Mr. Marsh reviewed his report with Council. Council resolved to award the tender to Brandt Tractor for $208,280.80 for a John Deere 770G
10) Building Inspection and Account Payable Clerk Cheque Lists – items received

Council Information Package - Individual Council members brought various items from the CIP forward for review.


Council reviewed various Correspondence.

• Letter to be forwarded to Cariboo Regional District from City of Quesnel to support Forest Capital of Canada Designation for 2010-2011
• Council agreed to purchase 1 table at Quesnel Palliative Care Dinner and Auction
• Council proclaimed Nov 15-22 as Restorative Justice week in the City of Quesnel
• Quesnel Downtown Association authorized to host on December 4th a “Santa Parade”
• Letter from Lions Club re: Canada Day and Family Day referred to Canada Day Committee for review
• Delegation from Quesnel to go to Shiraoi, Japan in 2011
• Request from Bank of Montreal for handicapped parking spot referred to 2010 Budget Process
• Council to write a letter to Solicitor-General Kash Heed re: Concerns around User Fees for PRIME
• Council to give $1000 sponsorship for Chamber for Commerce Business Excellence Award Night (Councillor Oakes declared a conflict and left the meeting as she's the Chamber Executive Director). Councillor Thapar noted that this might not be an appropriate use of taxpayers' dollars, at this time of economic upheaval.

Mayor Sjostrom called the question on the Motion and the following Vote took place:

Yeas - Mayor Sjostrom and Councillors Roodenburg, Couldwell
Nays - Councillors Paull and Thapar

Councillor Oakes returned to the meeting


Quesnel 2010-2012 Tax Exempting Bylaws Nos. 1667 and 1668, 2009 – Bylaws were adopted

Information and Announcements:

Mayor & Councillors gave information on various activities ongoing in the City of Quesnel

Meeting adjourned at 9:50pm

Monday, October 19, 2009

Provincial Government introduces new legislation - Welfare & Outstanding Warrants in other Provinces

The Hon. Rich Coleman (Minister of Social Development & Housing) today introduced Bill 14 - Housing and Social Development Statues Amendment Act, 2009

The Bill, if passed, will prohibit those who have outstanding warrants for indictable offenses (Murder, Assault, etc) in other Provinces from applying for welfare. Exceptions in the Bill include:

  • Those who are pregnant
  • Those who are in the final stages of life

Global BC has more on the story here

Saturday, October 17, 2009

My 1st WL Timberwolves Game

Last night, being a Friday night, I decided that I would attend my 1st WL Timberwolves game, instead of staying home

The Timberwolves hosted the Vernon Vipers. The game was filled with action, including not 1, but 2 Fights. The Timberwolves won the first bout, but then lost the second one. The game including the Timberwolves taking some dumb penalties and the Timberwolves main goalie allowing an easy goal in after trying to stick handle the puck to the Timberwolves defense man

In the end - the Vipers "schooled" the Timberwolves 9-2.

Next game - Tonight, when the Timberwolves host the Langley Chiefs at 7:30pm at the Cariboo Memorial Complex

Friday, October 16, 2009

Service Delivery Plan - Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function & City of WL Arts and Culture Plan

Earlier this summer, the CRD/City of WL commenced a process to develop a Service Delivery Plan for the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function

Also, WL Council, at its' Strategic Planning Session held in December of 2008, made 10 Strategic Corporate Goals for this term of 2008-2011 which included:

"Develop and implement an Arts and Culture Plan"

The City should have approached the Central Cariboo Joint Committee and said -- If we have a sub-regional Arts and Culture Function, then let's have a sub-regional Arts and Culture Strategic Plan, which identifies goals for the Arts and Culture sector in the Central Cariboo and identify possible funding sources in this Plan, including the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function and other government & non-profit group grants.

By doing this, we would have a vision and a plan to have a vibrant and energetic Arts and Culture Sector, here in the Central Cariboo Region

We can't have a Service Delivery Plan - Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function for the Central Cariboo region, which covers all of Williams Lake plus CRD Electoral Areas D, E, F and then an Arts and Culture Plan, solely for the City of Williams Lake. It demonstrates very poor planning and vision-setting for both the City and the Central Cariboo region

City of Williams Lake Council Meeting - Tuesday, October 20th @ 7:30pm

City of WL Council will meet on Tuesday, October 20th, 2009 at 7:30pm in Council Chambers (450 Mart Street)

The Agenda and Reports can be found here

Please note - Council will be meeting In-Camera immediately following adjournment of the Council meeting, in accordance with Section 90(1) of the Community Charter

City of Quesnel Council Meeting - Monday, October 19th

The City of Quesnel Council is meeting on Monday, October 19th, 2009 at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers, located at 2nd Floor, 410 Kinchant Street in Quesnel

The link to the Agenda/Reports is here

CNC and UNBC in Quesnel - Phase 2 Project Moving Forward

Quesnel Observer reports that the College of New Caledonia & UNBC (University of Northern British Columbia) in Quesnel will begin its' Phase 2 Project (Trades & Technology Center) worth $9.8 million, with financial assistance from Victoria and Ottawa. The Phase 2 Project is scheduled for completion by February of 2011

The full story is here

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Bob Simpson Town Hall Meeting in WL - Tuesday, October 13th

WL Tribune reports on the outcome of Bob Simpson's (NDP MLA - Cariboo-North) Town Hall Meeting on perceived cuts to gaming grants to non-profit groups

The story is here

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Community Forest in 100 Mile House

100 Mile Free Press has a story that the Hon. Pat Bell (Minister of Forests and Range) announcing the establishment of a community forest in 100 Mile House. Local MLA Donna Barnett (BC Liberal MLA - Cariboo-Chilcotin) was on hand for this announcement, which she has been working on since 1997

The story is here

Committee of the Whole Meeting (Partial Proceedings) and Bob Simpson Town Hall Meeting on Gaming Grant Cuts

Committee of the Whole Meeting - S. Forseth in attendance from 6:30pm to 6:50pm

Present: Mayor Cook with Councillors' Zacharias, Bourdon, Walters, Rathor and Montoya

Absent: Councillor Tom Barr

Staff: B. Carruthers - CAO
C. Bouchard- Corporate Services Records Coordinator
G. Goodall - General Manager of Planning & Operations
A. Burill - Manager of Social Development

Delegation - Mike Royal, Darlene Doskoch and Marilyn Livingstone from JC/CMHA re: Challenge Day 2009 in Williams Lake

  1. 12 Minute Video Shown
  2. Group will be approaching CRD (Cariboo Regional District) for funding
  3. Group hope to have all high school students in School District #27 take advantage of Challenge Day
  4. Group has attempting since 2005 to bring Challenge Day to Williams Lake. Got permission in February of 2009
  5. Group is short $3,000 to host Challenge Day program here in Williams Lake

At 7:00pm, Bob Simpson hosted his Town Hall Meeting on Gaming Grant Cuts at the Gibraltar Room. Topics discussed included:

  • 40 people in attendance
  • Intent to submit "Cariboo-North" impact statement on gaming grant cuts
  • By 2011-12, $40 million dollars generated by online gambling
  • 33% of all gaming revenue supposed to go to non-profit groups
  • Some groups saw a 70% decrease in their financial support from the provincial government
  • Suggestion that a brief on gaming grant cuts and their impacts on local groups be prepared for Cariboo Chilcotin MLA D. Barnett with a copy to Bob Simpson (NDP MLA - Cariboo-North)
  • "Invitation-only" meeting Wednesday with BC Lotteries at Blue Spoon Restaurant from 6-9pm. Bingo grants supposedly to be discussed and the future of these grants
  • Local Conservation Society received 3 year funding - First 2 Years of funding came through, but third year was converted in a "direct access" grant where the group has to apply and wait for word from Victoria in February of 2010 to see if their application is successful

Bob Simpson also indicated that he attempted to once again invite Donna Barnett (BC Liberal MLA - Cariboo-Chilcotin) to this event and hand delivered and emailed a notice to Ms. Barnett but she indicated that she was unavailable for this event

Steve Rant - Another In-Camera Meeting (Committee of the Whole)

Tonight, WL Council met in Committee of the Whole and yet again, the Committee was required to meet In-Camera. However, there was not even the mere courtesy of providing written notice to the public in the Public Meeting Notice Board (located in the 1st Floor foyer area at City Hall) of Council's intent to meet In-Camera following adjournment of the "public" Committee of the Whole meeting or even orally announcing at the beginning of the meeting that the Committee would meet In-Camera and specify which sub-section of Section 90(1) of the Community Charter would be invoked to close the meeting to the public

These sort of actions tend to breed a lack of confidence in the local government and more to the point, a local government which prides itself on being open and transparent.

This is not the first time that this has occured at City Hall, under this Council, and unfortunately it probably won't be the last

Monday, October 12, 2009

Steve Rant - Contacting Elected Officials

Recently, I've emailed Mayor Cook and City Councillors' on a variety of subjects and I must say with the exception of City Councillors Geoff Bourdon and Surinder Rathor and the CRD Area 'D' Director (Deb Bischoff), the rest seem to feel that communication between the electorate and local elected officials is a one-way street

When one is elected to office, returning emails, letters and phone calls is part of one's duty being either the Mayor, a City Councillor or a CRD Electoral Area Director and usually it is poor practice to receive an email, phone call or letter without acknowledging receipt

If I'm elected in 2011, I intend to bring forward a policy requiring that emails, phone calls or letters be responded to in a certain amount of time (ie: emails/letters within 1 business day and phone calls within 4 hours)

This is the minimum that elected officials should do to ensure that they are serving the electorate as much as possible and not elected officials serving themselves with the office to which they were elected to and the perks that come along with that office

Steve Rant - City and CRD Documents

Recently, the City of Williams Lake updated its' Community Profile report and it contained a number of errors that should have been corrected before being published. Such errors included:

1) Date of last and next Local Government Election
2) Who the Chair of the Cariboo Regional District was
3) Who the Chair, Superintendent and Secretary-Treasurer of the School District were

If we want to progress as a region, we need to ensure all of our documents are top-notch and are factual as much as possible. A two minute call to both the Cariboo Regional District and School District offices as well as a City of WL Staff-peer review before publication would have ensured that the Community Profile report of the City was 100% factual

Meanwhile, over at the Cariboo Regional District, the Service Delivery Plan for the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function will now be presented at the October 29th meeting of the Central Cariboo Joint Committee (This meeting will be held in Committee Room #1 at WL City Hall, starting at 5pm). All 7 Members of WL City Council plus the CRD Directors for Areas D, E, and F will look over the report and recommend a course of action, to both Council and the CRD Board on this Plan and the future around the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function.

However, public consultations on a Service Delivery Plan for the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function took place during July and August of 2009 and as local tax dollars were used to pay a consultant to put together this Service Delivery Plan, an open and transparent local government would have ensured that this document (Service Delivery Plan) be subject to a 30-day public comment period, to which this document would have been posted to both the CRD and City of WL websites before the local politicians decide what to do with the Service Delivery Plan, having the benefit of knowing how the public feels on the Service Delivery Plan document.

Reminder - Committee of the Whole Meeting (City of WL Council) on Tuesday, October 13th

Tuesday, WL Council will meet in "Committee of the Whole" and the following will be discussed:

1) Receive Minutes from the Sept. 1/09 Committee of the Whole Meeting

2) Delegation - Challenge Day Presentation by Darlene Doskoch, Marilyn Livingstone and Mike Royal from the Jubilee Care / Canadian Mental Health Association - their presentation is here

3) Donation of Kitchen Equipment from Cariboo Lodge - Review of Applications - the report from the City's Manager of Social Development (Anne Burill) is here

The meeting starts at 6:30pm in Committee Room #1 at City Hall

Friday, October 9, 2009

CRD Finance/Budget Committee Meeting - Oct 8/09


Chair A. Dumaresq, Directors Armstrong, Faust, Bischoff, Mazur, Richmond, Area 'I' Alternate Director Ken Falloon, Mumford, Rattray, Sjostrom, Campsall and Zacharias


Directors Massier, Barnett, Bracewell and Vermette

Meeting called to order at 2:35pm

Topics Discussed:

  1. Level 3 Priorities List - consideration of this item was deferred until April of 2010
  2. Per Diem Rates
  3. Functions with Requisition Increases
  4. Functions with No Requistion changes
  5. Functions with Requisition Decreases

City of WL Director Sue Zacharias, seconded by Area 'B' Director Roberta Faust then moved:

"That the Business Plans for 2010 be adopted"


It was commented that the Business Plans approval process would change in time for the 2011 Fiscal Year so Directors will have a complete picture when approving Business Plans for 2011

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Prosperity Mine and Federal Environmental Review Panel

The federal review panel considering the proposed Prosperity project has set a deadline of Nov. 17 for First Nations to provide traditional use information to Taseko Mines Ltd., so it can address a deficiency in its Environment Impact Assessment

You can find more on this story here

Community Arts Council and Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function

WL Tribune reports today that the RCMP have been called in to look into possible financial irregularities with the Community Arts Council's financial books. A complaint was laid with the RCMP in June of this year. You can find the story here (Tuesday) and here (Thursday)

Earlier today, I sent an email to Mayor Cook with copies to both Councillor Laurie Walters and CRD Area 'D' Director Deb Bischoff (in her capacity as Central Cariboo Joint Committee Co-Chair) requesting that until the RCMP investigation into the financial books of the Community Arts Council has wrapped up and until the Central Cariboo Joint Committee members have an opportunity to meet with executive members with the Community Arts Council to clarify their status and their future vis-a-vis operation of the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function, then they (Community Arts Council) should not receive any funding from this Function for the interim and perhaps the Function's taxation should be temporarily suspended, pending the outcome of any legal proceedings on this subject and the RCMP investigation

WL Council Highlights - Oct 6/09


Mayor Cook with Councillors Rathor, Montoya, Walters, Bourdon and Zacharias


Councillor Tom Barr

Meeting called to order at 7:30pm


Anna Dell (Miss Ambassador BC) - Ms Dell discussed with Council her recent trip to Merritt where she was selected as 1 of 3 "Miss Ambassador BC" for 2009-2010. Discussion included selecting a location for the "community board" she was required to make for her competition and offering her services to the community. Mayor Cook commented that her "community board" will find a good home - locations including 1st Floor Foyer area at City Hall or at the Tourism Discovery Center as well Mayor Cook stated that Ms. Dell's services would be put to good use throughout the City


1) DVP #5-2009 (Applicant - Harvey Lammi) - Sue Moxey (Corporate Officer) read a letter from a community member opposing the application including storage of material and heavy duty equipment on site and the inappropriateness of this. 2 individuals commented orally on this application as well. Harvey Lammi came forward and expressed what he was doing to remove the offending material on site and the fact he had the siding for the double-wide trailer ready to go, once DVP #5-2009 is approved by Council.

Council then debated the motion "That approval for DVP #5-2009 be withheld pending resolution of the City bylaw issues being resolved and that Staff have an opportunity to discuss the building permit requirements with the applicant". Councillor Bourdon then attempted to propose an amendment which would have granted DVP #5-2009 pending resolution that the applicant comply with all City Bylaws, but was unable to get a seconder for the amendment. Councillor Rathor then advised that by adopting the motion on the floor then Council can ensure that the applicant complies with all City bylaws. The Question was then called with the following vote taken place:

Yeas - Mayor Cook and Councillors Zacharias, Walters, Rathor and Montoya

Nays - Councillor G. Bourdon

2) Waiver of Fees for Gibraltar Room for use by the Royal Canadian Legion for Remembrance Day ceremonies - Council passed the following motion:

"Council confirm Resolution Number 424/08 in support of the request from the Royal Canadian Legion to the Joint Committee to waive the fees for use of the Gibraltar Room for the Remembrance Day ceremonies, that the fees be waived by Resolution for November 11, 2009 and that the Remembrance Day Ceremony be included in the Cariboo Regional District Fees and Charges Bylaw for exemption in future years for use of the Gibraltar Room"

3) Strategic Community Investment Funds - City Staff Report detailing how the funds were used was received for information

4) Halloween Fireworks Show - Council gave permission to allow the annual Fireworks show to take place at the Stampede Grounds on Saturday, October 31st, 2009 at 7:30pm

5) Letter from Bill Chapman re: Burning of Creosote Ties - Letter received and referred to Staff for investigation and report back through Committee of the Whole

6) The month of October 2009 to be proclaimed as "Foster Family" month in the City of Williams Lake

Also, Mayor Cook commented on Councillor Barr's absence, due to Councillor Barr's wife, Kathy, passing away due to cancer.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

PM Harper calls 4 Byelections for November 9th

Prime Minister Stephen Harper today called four (4) by-elections to be conducted on Monday, November 9th, 2009 in the following Federal Electoral Districts:

1) New Westminister - Coquitlam, BC. Dawn Black resigned this seat to run in the 2009 Provincial General Election here in BC. The Federal Conservatives Candidate might be hurt by the recent agreement between the BC Liberals' and the Federal Conservatives to combine BC's Provincial Sales Tax and the Federal Goods and Services' Tax into a combined HST (Harmonized Sales Tax) Tax of 12%.

2) Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley, Nova Scotia - Bill Casey held this seat as a Conservative until in 2007, he voted against the Federal Budget over concerns about the Atlantic Accord and payments due to Nova Scotia and was kicked out of the Conservative caucus and remained as a Independent until 2009, when he resigned this seat to become Nova Scotia's point person in Ottawa. The Conservatives are heavily expected to retain this seat.

3) Hochelaga, Quebec - This seat was previously held by Réal Ménard (Bloc Quebecois) and is expected to remain with the Bloc Quebecois.

4) Montmagny-L'Islet-Kamouraska-Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec - This seat was held previously by Paul Crête (Bloc Quebecois). It's expected to remain with the Bloc Quebecois.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Premier and Carole James speak at UBCM

This past week, the UBCM (Union of BC Muncipalities) held their annual convention in Vancouver. This is an opportunity for all local governments (Cities, Towns, Villages, Districts and Regional Districts) to lobby cabinet ministers' on their local concerns and projects

There are also plenty of seminars and policy discussions that take place during this convention

As well, the provincial Leader of the Opposition and the Premier speak at the tail-end of the convention. The Leader of the Opposition speaks on the Thursday and the Premier speaks on the Friday

This past Thursday, Carole James (BC NDP Leader and Leader of the Official Opposition) spoke to 400 Delegates and although her speech was full of usual NDP rhetoric, it contained 1 item that set off alarm bells

She called for corporate tax cuts from the Carbon Tax to be suspended for next year and 2011 and that money re-diverted into a "Green Fund" to finance "Green" projects and transit throughout BC. She estimated the amount in this "Green Fund" by 2011-12 to be $150 million.

After her speech was done, there was an immediate reaction by Rick Jeffery, President of the Coast Forest Products Association who said:

"To me, what she said today makes us think the us versus them is the NDP versus business," he said."

Carole James has some serious fence mending to do if she wants to be Premier as she needs the centre-right vote, along with the NDP base, if she ever wants to be Premier. But speculation is that she might not make it to 2013 as some in the BC NDP want her replaced before then to ensure the BC Liberals' defeat in 2013. Personally - I don't see it happening

On Friday, the Premier gave his usual address to UBCM Delegates. He reviewed numerous topics including introduction of the HST and why it had to be done and the fact that Victoria is still going to proceed, even though a resolution from the UBCM membership passed by a vote of 185-159 calling on Victoria to halt introduction of the HST (Harmonized Sales Tax)

Also, he announced the formation of a task force to review the Local Government Election structure including a new Chief Electoral Officer for local government elections and passage of a new "Local Government Election Act" in time for the 2011 civic election. The task force will be co-chaired by the Minister of Community and Rural Development and the President of the UBCM along with 2 designates from the UBCM and 2 Government MLA's.

Vaughn Palmer reviews the Premier's speech here
Micheal Smyth reviews Carole James's speech here

Provincial Government Announces "Local Government Election Act" Task Force

The Premier announced a task force would be formed to consult with local governments around the province on writing a new piece of legislation called the "Local Government Election Act". Persons on this task force would include 2 Government MLA's and appointees from the UBCM (Union of BC Muncipalities)

The full press release from the Premier on this is here

Friday, October 2, 2009

Upcoming Local Goverment Meetings in Cariboo-Chilcotin

A reminder that there are a number of local government meetings coming up this next week (Oct 5 - 9) and here are the links' to the various Agendas:

City of Quesnel for October 5th -

City of Williams Lake for October 6th -

Cariboo Regional District for October 9th -,%202009/agenda.htm

Have a great weekend

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Carole James says cancel Corporate Tax Cuts to establish new Green Fund

A new plan by NDP Leader Carole James to scrap legislated tax reductions for rural industries will devastate job creation during the worst economic downturn in 27 years and ignores concerns raised by local governments at the UBCM convention, Government House Leader Mike de Jong said today.

“At a time when local governments have made their concerns clear that local, job-creating industries are challenged in their ability to pay their municipal taxes, Carole James wants to clobber those same industries with even more costs,” said de Jong. “That is going to put even more pressure on local governments and destroy jobs in communities in every region of the province.”

De Jong was responding to an announcement today by Carole James that she would scrap corporate income tax reductions that have been legislated as part of the revenue-neutral carbon tax. This comes on the heels of active debates and resolutions at the Union of BC Municipalities convention in Vancouver in which local governments expressed ongoing concern about the ability of local industries to remain viable and afford to pay their existing property tax bills.

“The NDP has absolutely no credibility on the carbon tax, or on any tax for that matter,” said de Jong. “They have rejected every tax cut brought forward since 2001, and proposed $1 billion in new taxes on our economy during the election. Now they want to eliminate key tax reductions that are fundamental to creating new jobs and protecting existing jobs in our communities. This goes completely against the spirit of what the UBCM membership is trying to achieve.”

This follows the NDP’s recent rejection of the provincial budget that provides everyone earning up to $118,000 with the lowest personal taxes in Canada, and the NDP’s rejection of the government plan to raise the small business tax threshold and reduce the small business tax rate to zero by 2012.

“The NDP has flip-flopped on the carbon tax since it was introduced. First they supported it, then they ran on a platform of eliminating it, and then after the voters endorsed it they said they agreed with it. Now they want to turn it from revenue-neutral to pure revenue,” said de Jong. “In these economic times, our industries can’t afford the type of instability that the NDP is creating with these ever-changing positions. Businesses currently pay 70 per cent of total carbon taxes, and industry has been clear that the associated tax cuts are critical for them to remain internationally competitive and protect jobs.”

Industry and Property Taxes

Today, the WL Tribune has a story about heavy industry not paying their property taxes and its' effect on local governments in BC. As an aside, this subject is being discussed at this year's UBCM (Union of BC Muncipalities) Annual Convention. You can find the story here

However, I must say that I can't empathize with these industrial companies who complain about high property tax bills but yet did not take the opportunity to express their concerns about their City Council budget and high industrial property tax bills, when all of them (City Council or Regional District) must host a public consultation meeting on their annual budget & 5-Year Financial Plan, or even request a meeting with their local Mayor or Councillor who holds the Finance Portfolio to discuss their concerns with the local industrial tax rate.

It is kinda of like calling the kettle black. I could empathize with them, if they took the time to express their concerns at a public consultation meeting on the local government's 5-Year Financial Plan and Annual Budget and their local elected representatives told them to "Go shove it".

This need not be dealt with, initially anyways, at the provincial level, but have their discussion around industrial tax rates at the local level, then if industry feels they aren't getting anywhere, then by all means, go to Victoria and have the discussion around inequity of industry vs residential property tax rates. Although, most local governments have already stated a collective opinion that the setting of local tax rates is the responsibility of local elected officials and that would, by the way, fly in the face of the Community Charter which states in Section 2a:

"the Provincial government respects municipal authority and municipalities respect Provincial authority"