Saturday, July 31, 2010

TRU WL Campus names new Director

Thompson Rivers University (Williams Lake Campus) announced the appointment of a new Campus Director recently

See more here

Friday, July 30, 2010

TNG Chiefs to BC Energy Minister: "Our culture can't be bought"

The TNG Chiefs have a blunt message for Hon. Bill Bennett (BC Energy and Mines Minister) after he suggested openly that he would announce the royalties sharing for Prosperity Mine, should it receive Federal approval

See more here (Letter to Editor from TNG Chiefs) and here (Tribune article on Public Sharing of Mining Royalties - Prosperity Mine)

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Hazy Thursday

Good morning. Yes, it's not your eyes deceiving you, that is smoke outside with wildfires nearby at 140 Mile, McLeese Lake, among other nearby areas as well. The CRD has had to issue one evacuation order and one evacuation alert because of the nearby wildfires

See here (Meldrum Creek Rd evac order) and here (Alexis Creek evac alert)

With the BC Day long weekend upon us, I would remind my blog readers' to heed/obey the campfire ban that will be in effect as of noon today in the Cariboo Fire Center area. When you're out camping this long weekend, there are different ways to enjoy the outdoors without a campfire and I encourage you to make use of those opportunities to enjoy camping in BC's backcountry

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

CRD Board Special Meeting of July 28th

Present: Chair Al Richmond and Directors Ted Armstrong, Roberta Faust, John Massier (entered meeting at 5:11pm), Deb Bischoff, Steve Mazur, Art Dumaresq, Jim Glassford, Alex Bracewell, Rick Mumford, Bruce Rattray, Kerry Cook, Jay Vermette and Alternate Directors Joan Sorley (Area ‘F’) & Laurey-Anne Roodenburg (City of Quesnel)


District of 100 Mile House Director Mitch Campsall

Staff Present:

J. Bell – CAO
A. Johnston – Corporate Officer
S. Burich – Communications Manager

Meeting called to order at 5:03pm
Meeting Agenda Adopted


1) Cost Recovery Options for 9-1-1 Emergency Telephone Service

The CAO reviewed the Chief Financial Officer’s report with the Board
Discussion ensued thereon

Board Action – Report received and a letter be sent to the Ministry of Community and Rural Development requesting that the legislative glitch be corrected to permit the Board to set different tax rates for different assessment classes. Also, the Board asked CRD Staff to proceed with the Section 808 “Local Government Act” (variable tax rate system) option for cost recovery for 911 Emergency Telephone Service with the back-up plan for cost recovery on 911 being a tax on land & improvements in 2011

2) Bylaw 4594(4), 2010 – CRD 2010 Financial Plan Amendment Bylaw

Board Action – Bylaw #4594(4), 2010 adopted

3) North Cariboo Joint Planning Minutes & Recommendations

The Board received the July 19th minutes of the North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee and the following recommendations were endorsed:

• Staff develop the preliminary North Cariboo Recreation and Park Budget based on a 1.25% budget increase in 2011, with guidelines based on the understanding that Capital Projects will be prioritized on importance of safety, operational need and energy efficiency

• “Route C” be endorsed as the route for the North South Connector and QCEDC and City of Quesnel staff explore funding options to proceed with the Multiple Account Evaluation Process.

• Dr. Betsy Ives’ resignation from the Barkerville Heritage Trust Board was accepted. The Board will send a thank-you letter thanking Ms. Ives for her service, on behalf of the Cariboo Regional District, on the Barkerville Heritage Trust Board

• Area ‘C’ Director John Massier was nominated as a replacement on the Barkerville Heritage Trust Board

4) Authorization for CRD Chair to attend Prosperity Mine lobby meetings in Ottawa

Mayor Cook gave an oral report on an opportunity next week (Aug 2-6) to continue lobbying federal elected officials on Prosperity Mine.

The Board then gave authorization for CRD Chair Al Richmond to attend this meeting in Ottawa next week with City of Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook and District of 100 Mile House Mayor Mitch Campsall with the following vote taking place:

Yeas – Directors Armstrong, Faust, Massier, Mazur, Richmond, Dumaresq, Glassford, Bracewell, Mumford, Cook, Vermette and Alternate Director Laurey-Anne Roodenburg

Nays – Directors Bischoff & Rattray and Area ‘F’ Alternate Director Joan Sorley

Meeting adjourned at 5:57pm

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

WL Committee of the Whole Meeting Highlights - July 27th, 2010


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

Staff Present:

Brian Carruthers – Chief Administrator
Brad McRae – Senior Bylaw Officer
Joe Engelberts – Manager of Sewer & Water
Geoff Goodall – General Manager of Planning & Operations
Rena Schill – Corporate Services Records Management Coordinator
Drew Roberts - City Planner

Meeting called to order at 6:00pm

Minutes of June 29th COW Meeting adopted


1) 2010 UBCM Cabinet Minister Meetings

Council Action – Committee of the Whole recommends Council submit the following list to meet with Provincial Cabinet Ministers:

• Minister of Health – Drug and Alcohol Facilities
• Solicitor-General – RCMP & Crime Issues
• Minister of Energy and Mines – Prosperity Mine
• Minister of Transportation – upcoming Transportation projects in the City
• Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts – Arts and Culture
• Minister of Labour – Labour Market Development

2) Development of a Graffiti Bylaw

The Senior Bylaw Officer reviewed his report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Council Action – Committee of the Whole recommends Council endorse the Graffiti Bylaw in principle

3) Incentive Program for Low Flush Toilet Replacements in Williams Lake

The Manager of Sewer and Water reviewed his report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Council Action – Committee of the Whole recommends Council approve the criteria for allowing residents of the City of Williams Lake to apply to the Low Flush Toilet Rebate Program to receive monies for changing old wasteful toilets to more water efficient models.

4) Dewatering of the Sewage Treatment Plant

The Manager of Sewer/Water reviewed his report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Council Action – Committee of the Whole recommends Council authorize the use of the Williams Creek Valley West of the City’s Sewage Treatment Plant for the dewatering of the plant’s anaerobic cells

5) Mackenzie Avenue Rehabilitation - Sale of Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (RAP)

The General Manager of Planning & Operations reviewed his report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Council Action – Committee of the Whole recommends Council authorize the sale of reclaimed asphalt pavement at the rates set out in the report

6) Establishment of a Heritage Register and Subsequent Proposed Listing of Two Heritage Items onto the Register

The Planner reviewed his report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Council Action – Committee of the Whole recommends Council authorize staff to establish a heritage register in accordance with Part 27 of the Local Government Act; and further, approval be given to place ‘The Potato House’, and ‘The Station House Gallery’ on the Heritage Register

Meeting adjourned at 7:57pm and Council immediately went into a Special In-Camera Meeting (Section 90(1g) of the Community Charter)

Blair Lekstrom as Conservative MP for Prince George-Peace River...?

Recently, Jay Hill (Federal Conservative Gov't House Leader & MP for Prince George - Peace River) announced his intention to retire, however there is rampant speculation whether or not former BC Energy Minister and Independent MLA for Peace River-South Blair Lekstrom will run for the nomination for the Federal Conservative Party in Prince George-Peace River

Opinion columnist Ben Meisner seems to think so...

See his column here

Taseko Mines President/CEO responds to Op-Ed by Chief Marilyn Baptiste (Xeni Gwet'in Indian Band)

Russell Hallbauer, President and CEO of Taseko Mines Limited responds with his Opinion-Editorial with regard to the Op-Ed of July 19th from Marilyn Baptiste (Chief - Xeni Gwet'in Indian Band) about the Prosperity Mine Project, west of Williams Lake

See more here

Kevin Falcon for Premier.....?

Micheal Smyth (Vancouver Province Political Columnist) openly speculates about the possibility of either Kevin Falcon or even Carole Taylor become BC's 35th Premier

More here

Quesnel Council Highlights (Special Meeting) – July 26th

Bridge lighting plan approved

Council gave formal approval to proceed with a plan that will see the Fraser River Footbridge decorated with an impressive lighting design. Shaun August, the Director of Design for Eos Lightmedia Corporation presented a number of options to Council. From a static, one-colour display to a system that allows for multiple colour schemes at different times of the year, there are many options for lighting up the old bridge. Council opted to go with a system that allows maximum flexibility for colour schemes. August noted that his company was excited by the architecture of the bridge, especially the Howe trusses. He noted that the lighting schemes will be able to play off the trusses, while also illuminating the concrete pillars.


The system uses heavy duty LED lights that carry a five-year warranty, the best in the industry. The lights use red, green and blue light in combination to create virtually any desired colour combination. As the system uses high-efficiency lighting, it will take less power to light the bridge than it would to run two hair dryers. The annual operating cost is expected to be about $650, based on a six-cent kilowatt-hour. This is about the same as the cost to operate the high pressure sodium lighting system currently in use. The total budget for the lighting project is $224,625. More than 80% of this is covered by a $1.759 million grant from Western Economic Diversification Canada under the Community Economic Diversification Initiative (CEDI), a component of the federal government's Mountain Pine Beetle Program. The City was able to pursue the project because the recent rehabilitation of the bridge came in well under budget.


The City will also revitalize the entrances and planters, while adding wrought iron security gates to replace the older chain link versions used in the past. It is anticipated the entire project will still come in under the original $2.1 million project budget, meaning the City will likely have to contribute less than the $400,000 committed to earlier this spring

Other News

Council approved ordering remedial action of a property at 785 Avery St. The structure has been deemed unsafe due to severe foundation cracking, caving and settling, exposed sheathing and structural walls showing excess decay. The owner has 30 days to take remedial action. If none is taken, the City will demolish the building, with all the work to be completed at the owner's expense.

The City will apply for funding to pay for permanent dike construction in West Quesnel. The estimated cost is $1.3 million. If successful, the City would contribute $429,000.

Important Dates

July 28 - 4 p.m. - Baker Creek clean-up

August 8 - Art on the Farm at Moose Meadows

Future Meeting Dates:

Next Regular Council Meeting:

August 16

Next Delegation Meeting:

September 7


Next Committee of the Whole Meeting:

September 20


Next North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Meeting

September 14

Monday, July 26, 2010

Mayor Cook & CRD Chair Richmond showing respect for our Armed Forces.....?

This past Sunday in Boitanio Park, the City of Williams Lake and area paid tribute to Delta Company of the First Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry. About 30 people of the community came out to pay respect to our Armed Forces by wearing red, as is practice on each Friday in this country

The local politicians in attendance, that I observed, included:

* Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook
* CRD Chair Al Richmond
* Williams Lake City Councillor Surinderpal Rathor

However, unlike Councillor Rathor who wore red to this event, both Mayor Kerry Cook & CRD Chair Al Richmond chose not to wear red to this event. The request of the local Legion to wear red to this event had been out for some time including Councillor Rathor's request at the July 20th Williams Lake City Council meeting.

For that reason and given that both Mayor Cook/CRD Chair Al Richmond hold leadership positions in our community, I was disappointed that they did not wear red to this event and show the amount of respect for our troops as they could have. I am pleased though that at least Councillor Rathor came out and wore the appropriate attire that demostrates respect for the troops that were in our community.

I too wore red to this event in order that I could show my respect and appreciation for the troops who went to Afghanistan to fight for democratic principles and for freedom in Afghanistan

Proposed Graffiti Bylaw & Heritage Registry

On Tuesday, Williams Lake Council is meeting in Committee and two items they are considering have me concerned (For the Record – I have contacted Mayor Cook and Councillors Walters and Bourdon on these items and as of Monday, I've not yet received a response)

  1. Proposed Graffiti Bylaw

City Staff had approached the Policing Portfolio, chaired by Mayor Cook, around the need for a Graffiti Bylaw earlier this year and the direction Staff received on May 11th, 2010 was to prepare a Graffiti Bylaw for consideration of Council.

Major points in the draft Graffiti Bylaw include:

  • $500-$2000 fine for those caught tagging or placing graffiti on a property (residential or business)
  • Property Owners will be required to cover over the tagging or illegal graffiti at the request of the Bylaw Officer, if he/she observes tagging or graffiti on one's property. If the tagging or graffiti is not removed within a 2 week (14 days) period, then the City would have the right to enter onto one's property, do the work and charge the property owner for it and recover those costs, by way of debt to the City or Property Taxes in Arrears

A major concern of mine is that Staff appear not to have consulted with the Local BIA (Business Improvement Area) or the Williams Lake Chamber of Commerce or even the general public at large on this draft Graffiti Bylaw prior to it and applicable comments from stakeholders/public being submitted to Council for their discussions. Staff/Council should have consulted with the Chamber, BIA and the general public on the subject of Tagging and Graffiti prior to now and I'm sure some option, other than a bylaw, would have come out of those discussions to solve the issue of graffiti and tagging in the City of Williams Lake

  1. Heritage Registry

Staff are proposing the City setup its' own Heritage Registry and place the "Potato House" and "Station House Gallery" on the Registry. Note – the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) has had a Heritage Function/Registry along with a Heritage Advisory Committee since 2007

Three problems with this proposal:

  1. No analysis as to why the City rejected joining the CRD's Heritage Function in favour of starting its' own.
  2. No criteria or definition of "Heritage" or "Heritage Building"? Are the Potato House/Station House Gallery the only two buildings that would go on the City's Heritage Registry?
  3. City Staff have suggested that a "Community Heritage Commission" be established in the future. How about using the City's Advisory Planning Commission and expand its' mandate to include protection of Heritage Buildings in Williams Lake, now and in the future as part of what it does. Why re-invent the wheel...?

Victoria launches "Fibre Connections BC"

Today, the Hon. Pat Bell (Minister of Forests and Range) announced the launching of "Fibre Connections BC" - a service that brings fibre users, lumber producers and investors together

See the press release here
See the Vancouver Sun article here

Campfire Bans in place in most of BC

The Hon. Pat Bell (Minister of Forests and Range) announced today that a campfire ban will be in effect for all of BC on Thursday, July 29th, 2010 at noon except in the Southeast Fire Center area

See more here

Provincial Local Gov't Minister to review City of Port Coquitlam Council pay hike

In what I can recall as a first in muncipal/provincial relations...

The Minister of Rural/Community Development (Hon. Ben Stewart) has publicly stated that he plans to personally review with his staff the pay hikes proposed for both the Mayor and Councillors' in the City of Port Coquitlam to see if they are reasonable...

For the record, the proposed pay hikes for Port Coquitlam Council are:

Mayor Greg Moore - From $67,277 to $85, 418 - a 27% raise
6 City Councillors - From $22,257 to $31,654 - a 42% raise

If the Minister orders a roll-back, then I think it'll give both muncipal councils' & regional district boards' reason to pause and ask themselves:

If we approve these pay hikes, will the Provincial Local Government Minister force us to roll them back....?

The Minister should also be monitoring the expenses paid to local politicians each year and to ensure that they are reasonable and not out of control

See the Vancouver Sun article here

Friday, July 23, 2010

Local Government Meetings in Cariboo-Chilcotin - Week of July 26 - 30

3 Local Governments Meetings this upcoming week:

Monday, July 26th - City of Quesnel

Special Meeting which starts at 5:00pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (410 Kinchant Street)

The Agenda/Reports are here

Tuesday, July 27th - City of Williams Lake

Committee of the Whole meeting which starts at 6:00pm in Committee Room #1 at Williams Lake City Hall (450 Mart Street)

The Agenda/Reports are here

Wednesday, July 28th - Cariboo Regional District

Special Meeting which starts at 5:00pm in the CRD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Avenue)

The Agenda/Reports are here

Provincial Press Releases in Cariboo-Chilcotin

The Province of BC announces a $1.4 million investment in the Cariboo-Chilcotin School District. See more here

The Province of BC announces the $7.9 million "Eagle's Nest" low-income Aboriginal Housing project in Williams Lake. See more here

See below for a photo shot of "Eagle's Nest":

Central Cariboo HandyDART & Transit Referenda

From the Cariboo Regional District:

Residents of portions of the Cariboo Regional District Electoral Areas D, E and F bordering the City of Williams Lake, will be heading to the polls September 25, 2010 to vote on the proposed expansion of Transit services into their respective areas.

The following is a list of important dates for this year’s referenda;
o Monday, September 13 – *mail in ballots will be available from the CRD office in Williams Lake.
o Wednesday, September 15 – Advance Polls open 8:00 am to 8:00 pm at the CRD office.
o Friday, September 17 – Advance Polls open 8:00 am to 8:00 pm at the CRD office.
o Saturday, September 25 – General Voting Day at locations in 150 Mile House, Wildwood, Mountview and the CRD office.
* Only mail ballots received before 8:00 pm September 25 will be considered valid.

“Based on the feedback we received from our public consultation meetings held this past May, we felt it was prudent to provide residents with two different options,” stated CRD Central Cariboo Rural Caucus Chair Steve Mazur. “Over the weeks leading up to the referenda we want to provide residents within the proposed service area with the information that will allow them to make a decision that is right for them before they head to the polls.”

There will be two referenda with two separate questions. The first one essentially asks if residents wish to receive both fixed route transit and HandyDART services and will read as follows;

‘Are you in favour of the adoption of Central Cariboo Transit Contribution Service Establishment Bylaw No. 4624, 2010 which would allow the following:
• the establishment of a service in a portion of Cariboo Regional District Electoral Areas D, E and F to contribute toward the costs of public transit and HandyDART service with a maximum annual requisition not to exceed the greater of $60,081 or an amount raised by applying a tax rate of $.0948/$1,000 to the net taxable value of land and improvements in the service area (based on 2010 assessed values, the residential rate is $8.46/$100,000 on assessed value of residential land and improvements)?’

The second question will ask residents if they wish to have only HandyDART services available within the immediate area as outlined below;

‘Are you in favour of the adoption of Central Cariboo HandyDART Contribution Service Establishment Bylaw No. 4625, 2010 which would allow the following:

• the establishment of a service in a portion of Cariboo Regional District Electoral Areas D, E and F to contribute toward the costs of HandyDART service with a maximum annual requisition not to exceed the greater of $20,027 or an amount raised by applying a tax rate of $.0316/$1,000 to the net taxable value of land and improvements in the service area (based on 2010 assessed values, the residential rate is $2.82/$100,000 on assessed value of residential land and improvements)?’

Current service levels for the proposed expansion routes consist of four roundtrips per weekday to Commodore Heights, 150 Mile House, and the Mountview/Hodgson Rd areas. Services would be delivered under a Community Transit Partnership Agreement between the Regional District, the City of Williams Lake and BC Transit. Service level changes or route extensions are possible within the service area and may be negotiated in the future with the City and BC Transit.

A map of the proposed service areas along with detailed information about the proposed services will be posted on the CRD website at next week. If you have further questions about the proposed services or are unsure if you reside within the proposed service areas, contact the CRD’s Manager of Community Services or for voting inquiries such as identification required to vote, or voting station locations contact the CRD’s Chief Election Officer at 250-392-3351. Watch your local papers and mail for further details.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Victoria looks at replacing RCMP with BC's own Provincial Police Force?

From today's (July 22nd) Vancouver Sun: This is interesting as Rich Coleman said back in 2003 when he was Solicitor-General that the RCMP would be the Provincial Police Force and Victoria would not consider any new requests to start up a muncipal police force, beyond the ones that already exist:

Despite official denials that the B.C. government is considering replacing the RCMP with a new provincial police force, a briefing note has been prepared for the solicitor-general on the costs of such a move.

The province's contract with the RCMP expires in 2012.

A version of the document written in April was released to The Sun in response to a Freedom of Information request. However, it's so heavily censored it's difficult to determine what conclusion it reached on the cost of replacing the Mounties.

Solicitor-General Mike de Jong has stated publicly the province has no intentions of ditching them.

But his ministry is refusing to say why, if that's the case, it's calculated the cost of replacing them, or even who requested the briefing note in the first place.

The three-page note, dated April 6, 2010, is titled "Issue: Cost of replacing the RCMP with our own BC Provincial Police Force."

It notes that under the terms of B.C.'s agreement with Ottawa, B.C. pays 70 per cent of the cost of provincial policing and the federal government picks up the remaining 30 per cent.

"In 2008/09 the budget for the RCMP provincial force was approximately $428 million, of which the province paid $299.5 million and Canada paid the remaining $128.5 million," it states, adding Ottawa also picks up 100 per cent of the cost for things like building security and some specialized units.

Beyond those few details, however, the rest of the document was blanked out by the government on the grounds that the information it contained could be harmful to intergovernmental relations or the financial position of the province.

The Sun asked to speak with de Jong about whether B.C. was seriously considering a provincial police force.

Ministry spokesman Ian Indridson said the minister was not available for comment, but directed The Sun to an answer de Jong gave to NDP MLA Mike Farnworth in the legislature on June 3 in which he said B.C. plans to stick with the Mounties.
"We're in these negotiations to continue the relationship with the RCMP," de Jong said, according to a transcript of the exchange.

"This is not an exploratory mission [where maybe an] option is to recreate a provincial police force. The objective here is to settle upon an agreement, a long-term agreement with the RCMP."

Asked who requested the briefing note, Indridson refused to say.
"We cannot advise on why this specific note was created, but generally speaking, briefing notes are typically generated for a range of reasons for the information of senior government officials," he wrote in an e-mail.

The date on the briefing note, April 6, was three days before former solicitor-general Kash Heed resigned over an investigation by the RCMP into alleged offences involving his election campaign.

The Sun made several attempts to contact Heed to ask if he was the one who asked for the briefing note, but did not receive a response.

RCMP spokesman Insp. Tim Shields said, to his knowledge, the force has not created its own estimate of whether a provincial police force would cost B.C. more than using the Mounties.
But Shields said B.C. gets good value from the RCMP and the province benefits from the fact the force can bring in officers from across the country in emergencies.

B.C.'s "E" Division is the largest RCMP division in the country, with about one-third of all RCMP officers in the country working here

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

City of WL & Red Cross partnering to prevent injuries

As the weather becomes hotter, BC residents and tourists will be spending time in, on and around lakes, rivers and the ocean this summer to enjoy water related activities. The Canadian Red Cross, in conjunction with Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and in partnership with the City of Williams Lake will be ensuring people are reminded on two important water safety principles: Lifejacket Use and Parental Supervision.

According to the most recent Red Cross “Drowning Report” the highest percentage of drowning accidents among children occur in large bodies of water. It is at these locations that parental supervision and wearing a lifejacket are extremely important. These drowning accidents are preventable with the proper education and supervision practices in place.

“We are excited to launch this initiative in high risk drowning areas to remind people to be safe in, on and around the water says Nancy Feeley, First Aid and Water Safety program Representative of the Canadian Red Cross. “Lifejackets really do save lives, but you must wear them. Using your lifejacket as a seat cushion, or stowing it away, won’t help you if something goes wrong. Close by isn’t close enough when it comes to lifejackets.”

Through the Island Aquathon Legacy Fund, where Victoria resident Rob Dyke became the first person to successfully swim 1,400 kilometers around Vancouver Island to raise awareness of water safety, the Red Cross can now leave a lasting legacy with these signs. According to Councillor Surinderpal Rathor, “The City has now posted signs at the boat launch and swim area at Scout Island to remind people that “lifejackets save lives” and to “watch your children around the water at all times.”

The final swim lesson session for the summer starts at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex on Tuesday, August 3 and continues until Thursday, August 12. Daily lessons foster quick learning and are a great way to prepare for August family vacations around the water.
Members of the media are invited to attend the official launch of this initiative on Monday, July 26 at 4 pm at the Scout Island Boat launch. The City’s Aquatic Coordinator, Nancy Feeley, Deborah Radolla, Manager of Active Living and Williams Lake City Councillor Surinderpal Rathor will be on hand to answer questions.

Mackenzie Avenue Rehab Project - Weekly Update

This Week - July 19th to July 23rd

• The milling, prep, and pouring of concrete in the northbound slow lane from Comer Street to Rose Street took place this week. The pour should be completed by Wednesday evening. This marks an important milestone, the completion of the concrete portion of the project.
• The replacement of broken curb & gutter, and sidewalk continues this week. This is ongoing, but most sections have been completed.
• Various infrastructure components are being prepared for paving. This includes things like manholes and water valves, which must be adjusted and ready for when the pavers come through.

Next Week - July 26th to 30th

• Depending if all preparation is complete, the reconstruction of the southernmost part of Mackenzie near Highway 20 is scheduled for next week. This includes filling in the ditches and widening for the bike/pedestrian path.
• Paving preparation, which is ongoing, will continue this week, as will the repair of curb and gutter.

Hon. Kevin Falcon opens Dunrovin Lodge in Quesnel

QUESNEL – Minister of Health Services Kevin Falcon and others officially opened the $20.6-million expanded and renovated Dunrovin Park Lodge, providing seniors in the North Cariboo with a greater range of care options.

“Dunrovin Park Lodge provides seniors in Quesnel and North Cariboo with high-quality, state-of-the-art care,” said Falcon. “To better meet the demands of an aging population all across British Columbia, we are providing our seniors with compassionate and innovative care options, which meet their changing needs. This includes building new additional beds as well as updating and modernizing thousands of existing beds.”

Project funding for renovating and expanding Dunrovin Park Lodge was shared by the Province through Northern Health ($12 million) and the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District ($8 million). The City of Quesnel assisted in gaining necessary approvals for the project to proceed, including land acquisition and rezoning, and the Quesnel and District Palliative Care Association raised and contributed over $600,000 to develop palliative care beds and purchase furniture for the hospice unit.

“Redevelopment of Dunrovin Park Lodge, including the addition of the new hospice palliative care unit, is part of Northern Health’s ongoing work to provide a range of health-care services that meet community needs,” said Cathy Ulrich, Northern Health president and CEO.

The renovated and expanded Dunrovin Park Lodge is home to 117 residential care beds, including three palliative care beds, four respite/convalescent care beds, and a revitalized adult day centre. The project replaced outdated care facilities at Baker Lodge, adding six net-new residential care beds and upgrading the beds to care for seniors with more extensive health needs.

The 117 new and replacement beds at the expanded Dunrovin Park Lodge meet up-to-date standards for the highest level of residential care for seniors needing around-the-clock nursing care in a home-like environment. The expansion includes full wheelchair accessibility, appropriate space for clients and caregivers, and the ability to include patient lifts and support devices.

“The Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District is pleased to have played a part in bringing this project to fruition,” said CCRHD chair Rick Mumford. “This is another great example of what can be accomplished working together with our partners. The expansion and renovations to Dunrovin Park Lodge have provided a comfortable, modern and safe facility for our North Cariboo seniors, now, and into the future.”

The expansion also features a new hospice palliative care unit that was officially opened in August 2009. It includes three palliative care beds and four respite/short-stay beds. Palliative care focuses on making the last stages of life as comfortable and as peaceful as possible for patients with life-limiting illnesses. Respite care aims to ease the strain on family caregivers supporting loved ones.

The project began with an official groundbreaking in July 2007, and was originally scheduled for completion in the summer of 2009. The phase one expansion was completed in November 2008, and 48 residents moved into the new space in February 2009. The phase-two renovation of the original facility required more extensive work than originally expected, and was completed in December 2009. Residents from Baker Lodge moved to their new home at Dunrovin Park Lodge in February 2010.

“Through working closely with the other partners in this project, the City of Quesnel was able to assist in making it a reality by assisting with land acquisition and road closures,” said Mayor Mary Sjostrom. “We believe that outstanding facilities such as Dunrovin make our community more accessible, more senior-friendly and more livable. On behalf of council, I offer congratulations to the Ministry of Health Services, Northern Health and the Quesnel and District Palliative Care Association on this showcase of a facility.”

Since June 2001, the Province has built 6,327 net-new beds/units and created a total of 13,780 new and replacement beds/units. Northern Health has increased their total number of residential care beds and assisted living units by 39 per cent since 2001, with a total of 1,409 beds today.

For those facing end-of-life, government has opened new hospice palliative care beds across the province, increasing the number of subsidized beds by more than five times – from 57 in 2001 to 296 today.

Councillor Zacharias upset at Interior Health not meeting with WL Council

During discussion on the Cariboo Regional District Board Highlights for July 9th at last night's Council meeting, Councillor Sue Zacharias let it be known that she was dissatisfied with Interior Health meeting with the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District Board but not with City Council

Presently, this is done through Councillor Natalie Hebert's Portfolio with her Portfolio reporting to Council on meetings with Interior Health. It seems that Councillor Zacharias is unhappy with this arrangement

I think that the best way to address Councillor Zacharias's concern is to have quarterly meetings with Interior Health in a Committee of the Whole meeting and I hope that Mayor Cook will do this because Councillor Zacharias's complaint is legitimate and needs to be acted on

Will it happen?? .....doubtful under the leadership of Mayor Cook

Steve Rant - Outcome of July 20th WL Council Meeting

Last night, Williams Lake Council gave 1st reading to Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2119 (Westridge Ventures Ltd) which will see property owned by Westridge Ventures Ltd rezoned from R-5 (Manufactured Home Park) to R-1 (Single Family Residential) if this Bylaw is adopted

During Council discussion on this item, City Councillor Sue Zacharias raised some concerns about a trail as part of this residential development and she stated she hoped that the City's APC (Advisory Planning Commission) would make recommendations on the trail as part of APC's recommendation on whether or not Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2119 proceeds to 2nd reading

A small problem with Councillor Zacharias's request is that Council did not formally ask APC to look at this trail as part of their recommendation on whether or not Bylaw #2119 proceed to 2nd reading

Section 6(a) of APC Bylaw #1704 states:

The Advisory Planning Commission shall have no authority to act on any matter. It shall be the duty of the Commission to advise Council on matters referred to them by the staff of the City of Williams Lake, City Council, or the Administrator.

As a Vice-Chair of the City's APC, it would be hard for me to bring up the trail issue if Staff don't bring it up themselves or Council refers the issue directly to APC as I'm the only member of APC that directly attends Council meetings so I would be aware of Council's concern but yet APC members wouldn't have access to the same concern information. In addition, Geoff Goodall briefed Council last night on the issue of the trail as part of Westridge's proposal and he rarely attends APC Meetings. Traditionally, the City Planner attends APC meetings and as both of the City's Planner were not in attendance at last night's Council meeting, it would be hard to raise the matter when both City Planners' have no knowledge of the discussions' that took place

If Council wanted to have APC's input on the trail as part of Zoning Bylaw #2119, then they should have either referred the matter to APC directly or request City Staff to brief APC on the matter and APC then could have provided their advice on the matter as part of whether or not APC recommends Bylaw #2119 proceeds to 2nd reading. In addition, Councillor Zacharias could have chosen to come to APC (APC meets at noon and would work well with Councillor Zacharias' work schedule) as APC is part of her Portfolio and raise her concerns directly with APC

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

WL Council Meeting Highlights - July 20th


Acting Mayor Tom Barr and Councillors Bourdon, Hebert, Rathor, Walters and Zacharias


Mayor Kerry Cook

Staff Present:

Geoff Goodall - Acting CAO
Rena Schill - Corporate Services Records Management Coordinator
Tom Chung - Manager of IT
Candie Laporte - Director of Financial Services

Meeting called to order at 6:00pm

Council adopted the June 30th and July 6th meeting minutes


1) Melanie Ablitt from Lake City Derby Girls appeared before Council with regard to their request for a Special Occasion Liquor License at their event on Saturday, August 21st at the Cariboo Memorial Complex


1) Council approved a "Letter of Approval in Principle" being provided for RCMP Contract increases for the Federal Governments fiscal year 2011/12.

2) Council gave 1st, 2nd and 3rd reading to Bylaw #2120, 2010 (Mackenzie Avenue Rehab Project Temporary Borrowing)

3) Council approved the amended Schedule 5 to the Financial Information Act - 2009 Statement of Financial Information (restating of expenses in 2009 for City Councillors Geoff Bourdon and Laurie Walters).

4) Council awarded the contract for the supply of a Sodium Hypochlorite Generating System to Smith Cameron Pump Solutions for the tendered price of $138,380

5) Council gave 1st reading to Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 2119 (Westridge Ventures Ltd) and referred to the City’s Advisory Planning Commission for review/recommendations

6) Council approved the Special Occasion Liquor License request from the Lake City Roller Derby Girls to host the Rated PG Roller Girls for a three-hour spectator event from 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM on Saturday, August 21, 2010 in Rink II of the Cariboo Memorial Complex, in accordance with City policy and subject to Williams Lake RCMP approval and that the community be encouraged to attend this event

7) Council adopted Bylaw #2118 (Cameron Street Reconstruction Short-term Borrowing)

8) Council received for information the Cariboo Regional District’s July 9th 2010 Board meeting highlights

9) Council authorized a member of Council and Staff be authorized to attend the UBCM Consultation Meeting - Major Industrial Taxation being held at the Delta Vancouver Airport Hotel on Friday, August 13th

Members of Council gave verbal reports on issues/events occurring in the City

Meeting adjourned at 6:53pm

Region gets "Class B" License

Williams Lake Tribune reports that the Cariboo Central Interior Poultry Producers Association (CCIPPA) has received a class “B” license from the province for its mobile processing unit (MPU).

See more here

Update to my email to MLA B. Simpson

Earlier this month, I decried the fact that Bob Simpson (NDP MLA - Cariboo-North) was taking up to 14 days to respond to my email to him (even factoring the fact that the email was sent on July 1st and the fact that I wouldn't get a response until after July 5th). You can read the original blog post here

On Monday, I received a phone call from MLA Bob Simpson's staff apologizing for the length of time for a response. And while I appreciate that they took the time to apologize, I still feel quite strongly that regardless whether or not you agree with the email, letter or phone message or whether or not the message is too political or partisan in nature, those in politics (local, provincial or federal) have a moral duty to return the message when you receive it (with Blackberry's and iPhone's, receiving messages in a timely way shouldn't be a problem) and this is regardless if you are on vacation or not (I know some politicians think that there is "public's time" and "personal time". Well....if you are going to be in politics, there is no real thing as personal time because if you are going to be an elected official, there is only "public's time" and the public has an right to contact you over an issue, wherever you may be in the world

HST Battle News...

Both the Vancouer Sun & The Province have stories from their political columnists on the HST Battles (Supreme Court/Elections BC)

See more here (Vancouver Sun) and here (The Province)

Quesnel Council Meeting Highlights - July 19th

Quesnel blooms again

Quesnel put on a great show last week as the international competition of Communities in Bloom (CiB) kicked off right here in the Goldpan City from July 14 to 17.
Councillor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg, chair of the CiB committee, provided a recap of the visit to Quesnel by international judges Katy Moss Werner and Arlene Janzen. They were led on a whirlwind tour of many features of Quesnel. Besides visiting all the areas one would expect, such as beautiful landscaped areas, community facilities and special events, they also visited other sites, such as 2 Mile Flat, the bulk water plant and municipal landfill to learn more about Quesnel’s sustainability and environmental initiatives. These initiatives are highly valued in the CiB competition.

The judges also indicated that they were very impressed with the number of effective partnerships between government, service clubs, businesses and organizations that create better services, events and facilities in Quesnel.

Coun. Roodenburg thanked the community for participating, as well as local sponsors, businesses, the committee, the parks and gardens crew and City staff for helping make Quesnel’s showing a great one.

Bulk Water rates remain unchanged

Council reviewed a report regarding rates at the newly constructed bulk water plant in the North Star cloverleaf.
One bulk user approached the City asking for a reduction in rates given the large quantity of water it anticipates using. Council opted to keep the rate of $5 per cubic metre for all users.
In June, the City sold 2,215 m3 of water, totalling just over $11,000 in revenues.
Another item Council discussed was how to bill City residents who do not have access to the City’s main water system and use the bulk water plant for their purposes. Council opted to have staff prepare a report for discussion later in the year.

“State of the Region” sessions planned

During a report on the latest Cariboo Regional District Board meeting, an initiative the CRD is planning was discussed. The CRD will present “State of the Region” meetings this fall before their annual financial planning process. The sessions will allow residents to explore the regional district, its municipal partners (the City of Quesnel is a member municipality), and the services offered. Residents should watch or newspapers for session dates and times.

Busking Rules to remain

At a previous meeting, Council had requested that staff work with the Business Improvement Associations regarding regulating buskers and street performers. While the option of instituting a business licence or permit process is available for consideration, Council agreed with a staff report stating the Safe Streets Act, Trespass Act and Criminal Code of Canada provide ample protection from aggressive panhandlers or buskers.
The City will instead offer to present at various business association meetings.

Other News

Council approved auctioning off a variety of surplus items from the airport and public works department. A full list will be advertised and placed on the City’s website.
Council approved the development permit for Phase 1 of the new Quesnel Search and Rescue headquarters. The building will sit on the old mini-golf site. The zoning will change from Public Park and Open Space to Highway Service Commercial.
An application for a development permit at 370 Westland Road has been withdrawn by the applicant. An application was made to amend the Mobile Home Park Bylaw to increase the minimum distance from a fire hydrant beyond 120 metres. Staff was not going to recommend the variance, and although the applicant could have taken the matter to Council, opted not to.

Important Dates in the City of Quesnel

July 28 - 4 p.m. - Baker Creek clean-up
August 8 - Art on the Farm at Moose Meadows

Future Meetings:

Next Regular Council Meetings:

July 26 (special meeting), August 16 (regular)

Next Delegation Meeting:

September 7

Next Committee of the Whole Meeting:

September 20

Next North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Meeting

September 14

Monday, July 19, 2010

Interior Health hires new Health Administrator for Kelowna General Hospital

Interior Health, in a press release, announced this morning that they've hired Ms. Tracy MacDonald as their new Health Services Administrator for Kelowna General Hospital.

Ms. MacDonald previously worked in Ontario in various health admin. roles

As well, Ms. MacDonald previously worked as the Director of Health Services here in Williams Lake

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Expenses at City Hall (2003-2009)

Yesterday, I blogged on the revised list of stipends/expenses list in 2009 for Williams Lake City Council members. See more here

However, I thought it would be interesting to see what past Councils' stipend/expenses lists looks like:

So, in 2003 - Former WL Mayor Rick Gibson and the then 6 City Councillors (Deb DeMare, Paul French, Surinder Rathor, Patrick Reid, Jon Wolbers, and Scott Nelson) in their first full year in office racked up a combined stipend/expenses of $103,666.36. Note - Mayor earned $33,000 and Councillors earned $10,000

The range in expenses submitted in 2003 ranged from $569.95 (former WL City Councillor/Mayor Scott Nelson) to $2,804.64 (former WL Mayor Rick Gibson)

In 2006 - Former WL Mayor Scott Nelson and the then 6 City Councillors (Paul French, Surinder Rathor, Ed Mead, Jon Wolbers, Judy O'Neill and Tom Barr) in their first full year in office racked up a combined stipend/expenses of $133,480.47 Note - Mayor earned $33,000 and Councillors earned $10,000

The range in expenses submitted in 2006 ranged from $364.59 (former City Councillor & CRD Chair Jon Wolbers) to $8,078.66 (former WL City Councillor Judy O'Neill)

In 2009 - Mayor Kerry Cook and the 6 City Councillors in their first full year in office racked up a combined stipend/expenses of $173,459.49 Note - Mayor earned $45,000 and Councillors earned $15,000

The range in expenses submitted in 2009 ranged from a low of $2,968.92 (Councillor Barr) to a high of $8,818.24 (Mayor Cook)

So, Council stipends and expenses have risen from $103,666.36 (2003) to $173.459.49 (2009). An increase of 60% in 6 years.

A good thing or bad thing?? - As City of Williams Lake taxpayers - you alone must decide that!!

Personally - I don't think the rise in expenses/stipends of 60% in 6 years is a good thing and I believe the time has come to reign in expenses including use of technology to get the high level of expenses down to a more modest level from $8,818 to $1,000 or less. This also includes monthly reporting of expenses incurred. This would be part of an open & transparent politician at Williams Lake City Hall so Williams Lake taxpayers' can evaluate on their own, monthly, if they are getting good value for their tax dollar and this includes all monthly meetings attended by a member of Williams Lake City Council


2003 Stipend/Expenses List - see here
2006 Stipend/Expenses List - see here
2009 Stipend/Expenses List - see here

Friday, July 16, 2010

Restated List of Renumeration/Expenses for WL Council for 2009

At Tuesday's Council meeting, the City's Director of Financial Services will be bringing forward an report asking for Council's approval to re-state the Remuneration/Expenses List in 2009 for Williams Lake Council members. This is due to certain City Councillors' expenses being wrongly charged to a City Staff members' account. You can read the actual report here

For the record, here is the re-stated Remuneration & Expenses List in 2009 for members of Williams Lake City Council:

Mayor Kerry Cook - Remuneration of $44, 051.96 and Expenses of $8,818.24
Councillor Surinder Rathor - Remuneration of $15,367.00 and Expenses of $7,878.19
Councillor Laurie Walters - Remuneration of $15,367.00 and Expenses of $6,209.93
Councillor Geoff Bourdon - Remuneration of $15,367.00 and Expenses of $5,890.07
Councillor Natalie Montoya - Remuneration of $15,367.00 and Expenses of $4,466.85
Councillor Sue Zacharias - Remuneration of $15,367.00 and Expenses of $3,973.33
Councillor Tom Barr - Remuneration of $15,367.00 and Expenses of $2,968.92

Revised Grand Total of Remuneration & Expenses for Williams Lake City Council for the financial year ending December 31st, 2009 - $176,459.49

Good use of taxpayers dollars - you decide!!

Local Government Meetings in Cariboo-Chilcotin - Week of July 19 - 23

There are two local governments meeting next week (July 19-23)

July 19 - City of Quesnel

Regular Meeting which starts at 7:00pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (410 Kinchant Street)

Agenda/Reports are here

July 20 - City of Williams Lake

Regular Meeting which starts at 6:00pm in Williams Lake Council Chambers (450 Mart Street)

Agenda/Reports are here

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

MLA Bob Simpson & Voice of the Cariboo

After reading Cariboo-North MLA Bob Simpson's weekly column of July 1st entitled "Just a Politician", I sent him an email praising the weekly column

That was on July 1st and today is July 14th. Now, I know Bob Simpson, like all MLA's, have access to a Blackberry and I find it hard to believe that after 13 days that he or his staff hasn't seen my email and at the very least, reply and say that they've received it and when I will get a response. So much for being the "Voice of the Cariboo". Looks like Bob Simpson is in politics for himself and not for serving the great people of Cariboo-North. They deserve better. Even Mayor Cook responds sooner to my emails - 5 days instead of Mr. Simpson's 13 days and counting......

For the record, here's the email I sent to Bob Simpson - NDP MLA for Cariboo-North on Thursday, July 1st:

Hi Bob:

I've just read your weekly Thursday column in the Williams Lake Tribune and though I don't personally live in your riding of Cariboo-North, I want you to know this is one of your best columns that I've read in some time

I believe your column speaks to a certain Mayor in Williams Lake who I believe,now with the evidence available, holds office to serve her own ego, rather then serving the public. She only listens to the public for the sake of the appearance of listening, rather than yourself, listen to the public and act on their concerns.

I fully intend to run in the next local government election in the fall of 2011 and I fully intend to make use of all tools available to me to communicate with my fellow residents as a Williams Lake City Councillor - both to listen and to communicate their concerns/suggestions to Victoria/Ottawa. Something that the current City Council of Williams Lake doesn't do now, in my humble opinion. Some of these tools will include: Facebook, Twitter and Blogging (as you may or may not be aware, I blog on all local government matters - Cities of Quesnel/Williams Lake and the Cariboo Regional District).

I also intend to ensure both the Cariboo Regional District and Williams Lake Council has yearly meetings' with its' MLA's - both yourself and Donna Barnett (should she survive a recall campaign) as I believe it is the right thing to do.

Should you or your staff wish to discuss this email with me further, please see below for my contact info

Keep up the good work on your weekly column (although I don't agree with the contents on your weekly column from time to time, I agree with the principle reason of your column - communicate with your voters' in Cariboo-North)

Former Boot Cabaret Owner has some choice words about Williams Lake City Council

Former Boot Cabaret owner Nick Weekes was recently interviewed by local media and had some choice words about his recent experience with Williams Lake City Hall

See more here

Note - This is not the kind of news that Williams Lake City Council needs at this time, given the state of the local ecomomy. Hopefully, Williams Lake City Council heeds the advice of Mr. Weekes, otherwise Mayor Cook and a number of Williams Lake City Councillors' may find themselves out of a job come November 19th, 2011

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Road work on Oliver Street - Sundays, July 18 & 25

The City of Williams Lake would like to advise the general public that on Sunday, July 18 and Sunday, July 25, the City’s Water and Waste Division will be doing an upgrade to the Sanitary Sewer System that will have Oliver Street blocked off to all West bound traffic for both days. West bound traffic on Oliver Street will be detoured at 8th Avenue. The work will commence at 07:00 am and continue until the work project is complete.

There will be traffic control persons on the work site at all times directing traffic around the site using the West bound side of Oliver Street. Please use caution when going through the construction site and if possible please avoid that area of Oliver Street completely.
After July 25, the work will continue South on 7th Avenue over the next week with minimal traffic disruptions.

“The work being done on Oliver Street has been identified as needing an upgrade to the City’s Sanitary Sewer System to facilitate current and future development in that area,” states Councillor Sue Zacharias. “City staff and Council are looking at the long term development plans for the City of Williams Lake and want to ensure the City can accommodate future development when it happens.”

The City of Williams Lake thanks the public for their patience and cooperation while this project is underway.

For more information please contact:

The City of Williams Lake
Water and Waste Division
250 392-1785

Follow-up to "Town Hall" Radio Program....

Last Thursday, I blogged on the fact that no Williams Lake City Councillor (Mayor Cook on holidays) showed up to do the weekly Thursday "Town Hall" radio program with Dale Taylor

See that post here

However, I'm informed that Councillor Tom Barr (the City's Acting Mayor for July) showed up the next day (Friday, July 9th) to do the "Town Hall" local radio program and Dale Taylor was perplexed at his actions. Again, Mr. Taylor, being the MC-pro that he is, agreed to do the show.

However, it does expose a flaw in Council's thinking and that is --

You can't show up to do interviews when you want. If you've scheduled an interview at a time and place, show up or at least have the common decency to advise that you will be late or re-schedule for a different day

This time, it's a local interviewer, next time - it could easily be a interview played out on provincial or national media (radio, TV or newspaper)

CRD Board Highlights - July 9th meeting

Interior Health Update

Allison Ruault, the Cariboo Health Service Administrator for Interior Health, presented an update on health issues in the central Cariboo. Topics included the Cariboo Memorial Hospital (CMH) Master Plan, health care services in the Chilcotin, the temporary provision of Obstetrics services for the south Cariboo in Williams Lake, development of a new recruitment video, and the recruitment and retention strategies of health care professionals to the region. Further information about Interior Health is available online at

Woodstove Exchange

Jeannine McCormack from the Baker Creek Enhancement Society (BCES) appeared before the Board to present an overview of the 2009 Cariboo Woodstove Exchange Program. The Provincial Government Woodstove Exchange Program is designed to encourage people to exchange old, smoky woodstoves, with cleaner, more efficient appliances. The goal of the program is to improve air quality in communities with a demonstrated need. Residents that participate in the program can receive rebates of $250 from the province. BCES received funding to administer the program for the entire Cariboo Chilcotin. For further information on the woodstove exchange program, visit the provincial website at

Waste To Energy

Invitations to the workshop will be provided to all Board Directors, Mayors and Councilors of member municipalities and members of the Solid Waste Management Review Committee. The Board previously resolved, following a presentation from the Interior Science Council, to invite the Science Council back to the Cariboo Regional District to provide a one day workshop on waste to energy options. The workshop date has been set for Wednesday October 13, 2010 at the Cariboo Regional District office in Williams Lake.

Digital Aviation Cameras for Anahim Lake Airport

Nav Canada and the Cariboo Regional District will be entering into a licence agreement for the installation of digital aviation weather cameras (DAWC). The term of the licence is for five years, commencing on August 1, 2010. Nav Canada wishes to install the cameras at the Anahim Lake Airport to provide frequently updated photos showing the current weather at the airport. These photos will then be available to be viewed by pilots on Nav Canada’s weather camera web page

Stampede Appreciation

On behalf of the Williams Lake Stampede Association, City of Williams Lake Alternate Director Surinderpal Rathor presented the CRD with a framed 2010 Stampede poster in appreciation of the Regional District’s support.

State of the Region

The Cariboo Regional District will be holding a number of State of the Region meetings this fall prior to commencing the financial plan process. The intent of the sessions would be to conduct “kitchen-table” type discussions with residents about various aspects of the regional district, our municipal partners, and the services we offer. The sessions will include a series of stations manned by elected officials and staff to have casual, informal discussions with constituents. The purpose of the sessions will be to engage constituents in a two way dialogue in advance of financial plan preparation. Watch the CRD website at or local newspapers for local dates and times of the sessions.

CRD Chair Richmond to seek re-election to UBCM Executive

The Regional District agreed to nominate CRD Chair and Electoral Area 'G' Director Al Richmond for re-election for the position of Regional District Representative on the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) 2010/2011 Executive. Having representation on the UBCM Executive ensures that the Cariboo Chilcotin region has a provincial voice. UBCM is The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) is an organization that has served and represented the interests of local governments in BC since 1905. UBCM initiates, monitors, interprets and reacts where changes or actions at the senior levels of government could have an effect on local governments and the communities they serve. Further information on UBCM is available online at

Mountain Bike Skills Park

The CRD Board agreed to provide support in principle for a proposed mountain bike park in Quesnel behind the Arts and Recreation Centre. CRD and City of Quesnel staff will work with representatives of the Gold Rush Cycling Club to indentify the next steps for development. The club originally presented information to the North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee to establish a mountain bike skills park that is fun, safe, free of charge and accessible for all ages and abilities.

Referenda for Central Cariboo Transit and HandyDART

Residents of portions of Electoral Areas D, E and F, will be heading to the polls September 25, 2010 to vote on the proposed expansion of Central Cariboo Transit services into their respective areas. There will be two referenda with the first one asking if residents wish to receive transit and HandyDART services and the second will ask if residents wish for HandyDART services only. A map of the proposed service areas along with detailed information about the proposed services will be posted on the CRD website at next week. Watch your local papers and mail for further details.

Next Board Meeting:

Friday, August 27, 2010

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Performances in the Park - Summer 2010 Schedule

Here's the schedule for July and August 2010 for the "Performances in the Park". The local musicians play their music for the general public at Boitanio Mall on Thursdays. They usually start at 6:30pm

July 8 - Skid Marks / Jesse Chapin
-Sponsored by the Williams Lake Log Hauler’s Association.

July 15 - Oren Barter / Soup Bone
-Sponsored by the Bank of Nova Scotia.

July 22 - Kira & Earthbound / My Wife’s Quartet
-Sponsored by The Rush & The Wolf.

July 29 - Lava Lamp & the Mood Poodles / Drum & Bell Tower

August 5th - The Cat & the Rat & the Hat / Art Pruce

August 12th - Carmen & Dena / Arlen Part
-Sponsored by the Williams Lake Tribune.

August 19th - Melody & Craig / Al-Lisa Spirit Song

August 26th - Still Before Nowhere / Colin Easthope
-Sponsored by Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association.

Contact info:

WL Community Arts Council
Suzanne Butterfield
Phone - 250.398.3310
Email -

City of Williams Lake
Kim Emsley-Leik
Phone - 250.392.1771

Weekly Update: Mackenzie Avenue Rehab Project as of July 7th

Work Currently Underway

• Milling of existing asphalt in the northbound slow lane starting at Pine Street will begin on Friday, July 9th. This is in preparation for the installation of the concrete lane, which will extend past the Frizzi Road intersection.
• Concrete in this section will begin to be placed on Saturday, July 10th.
• Replacement of curb, gutter, and sidewalk continues all week. This is composed of various sections throughout Mackenzie that have failed.

Work Planned for Next Week

• Concrete placement work in the Frizzi Road area should wrap up on Monday, July 12th. Due to road elevation adjustment, the concrete lane will remain closed to general traffic.
• Curb, gutter, and sidewalk replacement will continue all week, and will be ongoing until all the broken or failed sections along Mackenzie have been dealt with.

Town Hall Radio Program & No City of WL Representative

As is usual, the weekly Thursday Town Hall Radio Program takes place with Dale Taylor & the City of Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook or her alternate

Unfortunately, and as Dale himself pointed out, no City Councillor attended the radio program today, in Mayor Cook's place. Dale Taylor, being the radio DJ pro and MC-extraordinaire he is, he stalled for a few minutes to wait and see if any elected official (Mayor Cook is on holidays for the entire month of July) from Council would show up to do the Town Hall radio show. No City Councillors' showed up and when that happened, Dale did the only thing he could and moved on to other business

It is rather shameful that no Councillor, regardless if it was the Acting Mayor (Councillor Tom Barr) or the other 5 Councillors could not arrange to ensure that someone was there to represent Council and to discuss with Dale what the City was up to.

Hopefully this will not occur again next Thursday (July 15th) as it is a good tool for the City to use to communicate out to the residents' of Williams Lake

Provincial Deficit Lower than anticipated

See here for a press release from the Province of BC announcing that the April 1 2009-March 31st 2010 Budget finished lower in the red. The 2009-2010 Provincial Budget finished with a deficit of $1.779 billion

See more here

Thursday News Round-up

In the Williams Lake Tribune:

* The Provincial Cabinet has given its' blessing to the recommendations from the Local Gov't Elections Task Force - more here

* Discussion on what the Federal Cabinet will take into consideration as it considers whether or not the Prosperity Mine receives Federal Approval - more here

* Former Federal Green Party Candidate for Cariboo-Prince George Heidi Redl gives her take on Prosperity Mine's Federal Review Panel Report

In the Vancouver Sun:

* Political Columnist Vaughn Palmer discusses the possible political future for Carole James, Leader of the BC New Democrats - more here

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Seniors' & Master Site Plan Review of Cariboo Memorial Hospital Site

On Friday, the Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional Hospital District Board meets. This Board is made up of the Cariboo Regional District's 16 Directors plus the Electoral Area 'E' Director (Sally Watson) of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District

One item up to consideration is a letter from Interior Health regarding the review of Deni House and whether or not it is suitable for use as residential care for seniors' (Note - I believe it can easily be accomodated for seniors' care, if the political will is there).

From the letter: (See the whole letter here)

Your letter of 19 March 2010 expresses concern about the rationale applied to the
decision to issue an RFP for a 20 bed expansion for residential care beds without any
consultation with the community and in advance of the CMH Master Planning Process.

This concern primarily relates to the issue of potentially using Deni House for residential care and the need to make a decision about this before proceeding with the Master Plan and/or the RFP (Request for Proposals).

We have committed to doing a site assessment of Deni House to determine its appropriate use before determining the next steps for residential care in tie conimunity. Once the assessment is done we will convene another meeting with you to review the findings from that work. Please note that this is a priority; we expect the work will be completed by July 2010.

I guess the one problem I have with this is the appearance that our local seniors' will not be consulted in any meaningful way, given there is 18 business days left in July (I don't know of too many people who want to be at meetings on the weekends during the summertime). If Interior Health doesn't consult with seniors' and I don't think it should be left to Mayor Cook to do this as I believe she's not really consulted with seniors' on the Cariboo Lodge file (consultation means you listen to people's concerns and then you act to address their concerns)

I've said this before - there needs to be an annual meeting with the local Williams Lake and District Seniors' Advisory Council and the regional politicians (Rick Mumford/Al Richmond and the 3 Central Cariboo CRD Directors) & Mayor and Council - City of Williams Lake on seniors' issues. This meeting could take place at a Central Cariboo/City of Williams Lake Joint Committee meeting

I have personal knowledge of this watching my grandfather pass away in a hospital bed. Many times, he wanted to be at home but the level of care he required mandated him to stay at Cariboo Memorial Hospital. Clearly, our seniors' need various options to ensure that they get the care they need and this is defintely not from a hospital bed

Seniors' deserve better and it's unfortunate that the politicians - both local/provincial/federal haven't delivered

Mid-Week News

Big changes coming for the Advisor group of newspapers in the Cariboo-Chilcotin - more here

BC making a lot of headway on ensuring everyone has access to a family doctor - more here

Victoria's plan to promote the HST this summer is already got HST critics riled up - more here

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

WL Council Meeting Highlights - July 6th


Acting Mayor Tom Barr and Councillors Rathor, Bourdon and Walters


Mayor Cook and Councillors Montoya and Zacharias

Meeting called to order at 6:00pm
Minutes from June 22nd Council meeting approved


1) Kirsten Braumandl, 2009/2010 Williams Lake Stampede Queen appeared before Council to request financial support for her bid as a “Miss Rodeo Canada” contestant
2) Tatjana Bates & Ryan Veitch from the Williams Lake Food Policy Council appeared before Council regarding the 2nd Annual “Taste of the Cariboo” Local Food Festival on August 26th – Council agreed to support this event


1) Council received the 2010 Strategic Community Investment Funds Report for information. This report will be forwarded to the Province for its’ information
2) Council denied the request of 2009/2010 Stampede Queen Kirsten Braumandl for financial sponsorship as a "Miss Rodeo Canada" contestant
3) Council supported a request of the City’s Deputy Fire Chief to apply to UBCM for funding for the proposed Community Operation Fuel Management Project on White Road.
4) Council denied the request from John Sykes to split the cost of repairing the fire hydrant damaged in his motor vehicle accident on Mackenzie Avenue in February of 2010
5) After receiving no public comments, Council approved DVP #04-2010 (Jean & Johanna Oosthuizen)
6) Council deferred consideration of reducing the speed limit from 50 to 30 km/h on Duncan Road for two weeks until the residents of Duncan Road have been contacted. This item will be considered again by Council at a future meeting
7) Council awarded the purchase of a Three-Wheel Mechanical Street Sweeper to Falcon Equipment Ltd. for the tendered price of $169,785 for the Street Sweeper and $2,609 for the Gutter Broom Extension
8) Council awarded a tender to complete the engineering requirements for the installation of the on-site Hypochlorite Generating System at Well #5 to TRUE Consulting Group.
9) Council adopted two recommendations from Committee of the Whole:

a) Council will write the Provincial Government urging them to review the provincial minimum wage and establish a process for regular reviews of the minimum wage (Committee of Whole Report #42-2010)
b) Council gave permission to City Staff to distribute flyers describing students’ who are working at City Hall for the summer (Committee of Whole Report #43-2010)

10) Council received the May/June 2010 edition of the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition (CCBAC) newsletter be received for information.
11) Council approved a business card size full colour ad in the 2010 "Military Service Recognition Book" at a cost of $295.00, at the request of the local Royal Canadian Legion #94
12) Council proclaimed the week of September 27 to October 3, 2010 as “Celebrate Life Week” in the City of Williams Lake

Council members made oral announcements on issues/events occurring in the City
Meeting adjourned at 6:40pm

Announcing things after the fact....?

Earlier today, I received a press release from Williams Lake City Hall stating that the 2009 Annual Report is now available for public review. This after Council, last week formally adopted the 2009 Annual Report.

Talk about being behind the 8-Ball. This Council should have been ahead of the 8-Ball by putting this press release in the beginning of June, and not in the beginning of July when most people are off at the lake or doing other summer activities. This is another example of how Mayor Cook and Williams Lake Council clearly don't know what they are doing

Contrast that to the City of Quesnel who put out a press release on June 11th on their Annual Report for 2009 and adopted their 2009 Annual Report on June 28th and this is the same process that Williams Lake Council should have used. Perhaps next year, Williams Lake Council will get its' act together, then again (and next year is the election year), don't bet the farm on it

My Take on the Prosperity Mine Federal Review Final Report

On Friday, July 2nd – the Federal Review Panel, headed up by Robert Connelly, issued its' Final Report concerning the Prosperity Mine. They held hearings, both general and community, along with topic-specific hearings in Williams Lake, 100 Mile House and in First Nations communities, west of Williams Lake over a two-month period from March until May of this year

According to the Globe and Mail – BC Edition, the Federal Cabinet has about 10 weeks to render a final decision on the Prosperity Mine Federal Review Panel – Final Report. So with that timeline in mind, expect a decision by the Federal Cabinet by the end of September

In this 296 page report, which is highly technical in nature, there were 24 recommendations for the Federal Cabinet to consider. It should be noted as well that the Panel has noted that the impacts to First Nations, generally speaking and specifically on grizzly bears and fishing, can not be overstated and had no recommendations on how to mitigate those impacts. This is something the Federal Cabinet will have to consider when deciding to grant or deny a Federal Environmental Certificate. The Panel did indicate, for the most part, that the impacts to the environment and other social impacts can be overcome if the 24 recommendations are adhered to

For those who are in favour of this mine going forward (like myself), I strongly encourage everyone to contact our local Member of Parliament, Dick Harris (Cariboo-Prince-George)in the following ways:

Email -

Phone - (613) 995-6704 or (800) 668-4282

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Mayor Cook officially responds to the Federal Review Panel's Final Report on Prosperity Mine

Mayor Kerry Cook has responded on the City's view of the Federal Review Panel's Final Report on the Prosperity Mine Project

See her comments here

Black Press buys local newspapers

The Georgia Straight is reporting that Black Press has bought the 100 Mile, Cariboo and Quesnel Advisor Newspapers

It'll be interesting to see how the print media is handled in the Cariboo-Chilcotin with one owner

See more here

Friday, July 2, 2010

Local Government Meetings in Cariboo-Chilcotin - Week of July 5-9

2 Local Governments are meeting the week of July 5-9

July 6 - City of Williams Lake

Regular Meeting which starts at 6:00pm in Williams Lake Council Chambers

Link to the Agenda/Reports is here

July 9 - Cariboo Regional District

Regular Meeting which starts at 9:30am in their Boardroom

Link to the Agenda/Reports is here

City of Quesnel receives new BC Transit Trial Bus

Quesnel Cariboo Observer (sister paper to Williams Lake Tribune) reports that the City of Quesnel is the test municipality for the new BC Transit "Vicinity" bus (new European-style community bus)

The BC Transit-sponsored trail will take place for six weeks' in Quesnel

Read more here

Federal Review Panel's Final Report out on Prosperity Mine

At 1:35pm, the Federal Review Panel's Final Report for the Prosperity Mine was released. It will be now up to the Federal Ministers of:

* Transport
* Fisheries and Oceans
* Environment
* Natural Resources

to review this report and make a final determination whether or not to grant a Federal Environmental Certificate, based on the recommendations in this report

You can read the report here (Warning - the report is 7 MB's long so you have dial-up, you may have to wait a few mins for the report to load)

Williams Lake Tribune has a story on this as well here

I'll be reviewing this report over the weekend and I'll blog on this subject on either Monday or Tuesday giving my take on the report

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day

Happy 143rd Birthday to the Dominion of Canada - a reminder that Canada Day celebrations in Williams Lake start at 12:00 noon until 4:00pm at Boitanio Park. Also, the Williams Lake Stampede starts today and runs until Sunday. Find info on Stampede and related activities at

Also - the Harper Sales Tax, ummm, I meant the Harmonized Sales Tax officially comes into effect today. Enjoy!!

In political news....

1) Pete McMartin (Vancouver Sun columnist) talks about Stephen Harper "schooling" Gordon Campbell on the politics of the HST. A interesting read. Read here

2) Both Micheal Smyth/Vaughn Palmer (Political Columnists - Vancouver Sun/Province) both discuss Bill Vander Zalm's arrival at Election-BC headquarters in Victoria to drop off the 705,000 filled HST Petition forms. See here (Province) and here (Sun)