Saturday, October 30, 2010

Brian Carruthers (City of WL CAO) on new Communications Coordinator

Yesterday, the City's Administrator welcomed Ken MacInnis (former Williams Lake Tribune editor) as the City's new Communications Coordinator starting Monday, November 1st

See his blog post here

But my question is - if the City truly believes that a dedicated Staff person for communications is necessary, then why did it let go of Sue Lachance (former Manager of Council/Community Relations) in 2009...?  Just wondering.....?

Regional Districts in BC

Last night, I got the following "Tweet" from ( a blog which reviews civic & governance matters in the Lower Mainland:

"Unelected Metro Board ups budget by 6%"

Now - I guess I take a little issue with that because what they are saying is that the municipal directors' on all 27 Regional District Boards are all "unelected" which is factually not correct

In all 27 regional districts, there are two types of directors - Electoral Area & Muncipal.  And although Muncipal Directors' are not "directly" elected to the local Regional District Board, they (municipal director(s)) are still answerable to their local citizens who elect them to sit on their municipal government (local councils)

Although I was disappointed to read that the Metro Vancouver Board (formerly Greater Vancouver Regional District) raised taxes by 6% and could have cut back more, saying that Directors' from places like Burnaby, Vancouver, Surrey, etc are "unelected" is not true, but they just answer to a different set of people.  Coincidentally, the Metro Vancouver Board only has 1 Electoral Area Director + many Muncipal Directors' whereas the remaining 26 Regional District Boards' have a fair number of Rural Directors' (exact number ranges from Regional District to Regional District) and Muncipal Directors (again, exact number ranges on how many municipalities exist in each regional district)

Weekend Premier Campbell News...

In his column today, Vancouver Sun political columnist Vaughn Palmer says the Premier's latest cabinet shuffle is on the "path to failure".  See here

Also at the Vancouver Sun - today's editorial discusses what the 15% income tax cut means to the HST Debate between now and September 24th, 2011 (HST Initiative Referendum).  See here

Meanwhile, over at the Globe and Mail - BC Edition, columnist Gary Mason says Campbell's latest income tax cuts will fail to win over BC'ers who are still mad over how the HST was introduced and not if the HST is good economic policy or not.  See his column here

Friday, October 29, 2010

Smyth - Campbell uses the oldest political trick in the book to save his political butt

In his column today, Vancouver Province political columnist Mike Smyth reviews how BC Premier Gordon Campbell uses the well-used BC politicians "oldest political trick" to save his political skin

See here

Note - I don't think it'll work as it did once for Glen Clark.  I really think that the 15% tax cut will have the same effect on voters' for the 2013 Provincial Election as it did for Ujjal Dosanjh (former BC NDP Premier) in the dying days of the BC NDP provincial government in May of 2001.  In fact, it may very well spur on voters' to participate and sign recall petition forms in January of 2011 when the 1st set of 3 recall campaigns commence against sitting BC Liberal MLA's like Donna Barnett (Cariboo-Chilcotin), Terry Lake (Kamloops-North Thompson) and Hon. Ida Chong (Oak Bay-Gordon Head)

Palmer - Campbell needed the $2.1 Billion windfall in Provincial Revenue for political reasons

In his column today, Vancouver Sun political columnist Vaughn Palmer states why BC Premier Campbell needed the recent released information that corporate income taxes have increased by $2.1 Billion for political purposes

See here

More Problems for the BC NDP

In continuing problems for the BC NDP, Fraser-Nicola MLA Harry Lali recently having to apologize for making racists comments about the Basi/Virk Court Case, now Nanaimo MLA and the BC NDP A-G Critic Leonard Krog having to apologize to Social Development Minister Kevin Krueger, BC Premier Gordon Campbell and the Canadian Jewish Congress for comparing him (Krueger) to Nazi Information Minister Joe Goebbels.

See the Globe and Mail - BC Edition story here

My new question is - how much longer is Carole James willing to put up with these screw-ups??.  I mean really - the BC NDP truly has a golden opportunity to become government in 2013 and they keep blowing their chances

Public Consultation on Draft Graffiti Bylaw next Thursday

A friendly reminder that the City of Williams Lake will be hosting a Public Consultation Meeting on the idea of a Graffiti Bylaw for the City next week. 

If you have any questions or concerns about the Bylaw, then come to Williams Lake Council Chambers on Thursday, November 4th from 6-8pm

There will be another session as well on Thursday, November 18th from 6-8pm, also in Williams Lake Council Chambers

Living Wage Policy in Williams Lake....?

Earlier this week, Jay Goddard from the local Social Planning Council raised the possibility with Williams Lake Council at the last Committee of the Whole meeting that they intend to come back to Council in the short-term future with the idea around a living wage policy for the City of Williams Lake.  See the Social Planning Council's blog post on this item here

This, of course, is not a new idea.  The City of New Westminister & the Township of Esquimalt either have or are looking seriously at such a policy.  Such a policy has been endorsed by groups like the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.  See some of their material on a living wage policy here

On the other hand, some argue from a municipal government perspective, a living wage policy hurts the very people it was intended to help.  See an article on this argument here 

Question - Should the City of Williams Lake implement a living wage policy here?

I'm interested in any & all comments on both sides on this policy discussion

Quesnel Council Meets Next Week

Quesnel Council will have their regular meeting on Monday at 7:00pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (410 Kinchant St)

See the Agenda & Reports here

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Special WL Council Meeting - October 28th Highlights


Deputy Mayor SPS Rathor and Councillors Bourdon, Hébert and Zacharias


Councillors Barr and Walters & Mayor Cook

Staff Present:

Brian Carruthers – CAO
Cindy Bouchard – Manager of Legislative Services
Candie Laporte – Director of Financial Services

Meeting called to order at 5:03pm

Council adopted the following Bylaws:

i) Bylaw #2126 of 2010 – Williams Lake Revitalization Tax Exemptions Bylaw
ii) Bylaw # 2122 of 2010 - Williams Lake Permissive Property Tax Exemptions Bylaw
iii) Bylaw # 2123 of 2010 - Williams Lake Church Taxation Exemption Amendment Bylaw
iv) Bylaw # 2125 of 2010 - Williams Lake Private School Tax Exemptions Bylaw

Meeting adjourned at 5:08pm

Analysis of yesterday's BC Premier TV Speech

Last night, as all of my blog readers' know, BC Premier Gordon Campbell took to the airwaves in a 30 min speech on Global-BC.

You can read reviews of his TV Performance by Vaughn Palmer (Vancouver Sun political columnist) here
and Mike Smyth (Vancouver Province political columnist) here

This cost BC taxpayers' $240,000 and I thought the transcript of his speech (I was unable to see the video personally, due to a meeting that I was at) was truly sad.  The only good thing (if you want to call it that) was the tax break of 15% announced last night for anyone making up to $72,000.  The money for the TV Speech and tax cuts, in my view, could have been better used for public services and paying down the provincial deficit, just like the Premier and Finance Minister Colin Hansen have promised previously.  The old saying of - just because you have left-over money doesn't mean you should go out and spend it - seems to apply here

Other than the tax break, it was a very poor performance by the Premier who really needed to make a grand slam.  His utter defense of the HST was truly disappointing and should clearly tell British Columbians that he doesn't care about your concerns on the HST.  And I suspect that voters' in Oak-Bay - Gordon Head, Kamloops-North Thompson and Cariboo-Chilcotin will now get even more galvanized for the recall campaigns commencing January 1st, 2011

Will Gordon Campbell survive a leadership vote on November 19th/20th at the BC Liberals' Convention..?  I would say "stay tuned".  If he survives, then I predict that BC Liberals' supporters, like myself, may decide to stay home rather than help a sinking ship.

Bottom Line - An 'F' for performance and will make the fledging BC Conservatives look more & more attractive for disgruntled BC Liberal supporters' or centre-right voters'

CRD Finance/Budget Meeting #1 (2011 Budget) Highlights - Oct 28th


Chair A. Dumaresq and Directors T. Armstrong, R. Faust, J. Massier, D. Bischoff, A. Richmond, J. Glassford, A. Bracewell, R. Mumford, B.Rattray, M. Campsall and Alternate Directors G. Davidson (Area ‘E’), Joan Sorley (Area ‘F’) and Sue Zacharias (City of WL)


Directors' Jay Vermette (District of Wells) and Mary Sjostrom (City of Quesnel)

Staff Present:

Janis Bell – CAO
Rick Hodgson – Deputy CAO
Alice Johnston – Corporate Officer
Mitch Minchau – Environmental Services Manager

Meeting called to order at 9:35am

Agenda adopted

The CAO gave a Powerpoint Presentation on the initial 2011 Budget including:

• Requisition Increases/Decreases in 2011
• New Service in 2011 – Central Cariboo HandyDART - $19,700
• Summary of Requisition (difference) to date - $339,000 (Requisition in 2010 - $20,668,584. In 2011 (proposed to date) - $21,007,584).
• 2011 Grants-for-Assistance Review
• Review of Tax Requisition from 2004 to 2014 (projected)

1) Corporate Priorities – Level 2

The CAO reviewed the memo from the Corporate Officer
Discussion ensued thereon on reviewing all Level 2 Corporate Priorities

Committee Action – Remove Level 2 Corporate Priorities item number 4.5 & a letter be written to the Transportation Minister for an update on Item 7.2 (property for community greenbelt & Heritage Park at 150 Mile House)

Area ‘J’ Director Alex Bracewell left the meeting

The Chair declared a 10-minute recess at 10:55am
The meeting resumed at 11:10am

2) Request to Remove item for Level 3 Corporate Priority List

The CAO reviewed the memo from the Communications Manager
Discussion ensued thereon

Committee Action – Board Resolution # 10-05A-31 (Planning Brochures List & Creation of Posters) be made a Level Two Corporate Priority

3) Corporate Priorities – Level 3

The CAO reviewed the Corporate Officer’s memo with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon on reviewing all Level 3 Corporate Priorities

Committee Action – Remove Level 3 Corporate Priority Item #1.2

4) Budget 2011 – Fire Chiefs Workshop

Committee Action – CRD staff’s request for additional funding of $4,000 to the 2011 Fire Chiefs’
Workshop budget, to celebrate the 20 year anniversary of this event be approved

5) Community Works Funding for 2011

The Environment Services Manager reviewed his memo with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

The Chair declared a lunch break at 12:15pm
The meeting resumed at 12:45pm

Committee Action – That the Board approve the distribution of Community Works Funds for the following 2011 projects as follows:

1) 108 Water treatment plant, assessment and design - $300,000
2) Quesnel landfill new scale facility annual contribution - $75,293
3) Tire recycling area at the Central Cariboo Refuse transfer
station- $5,000
4) Tire recycling area at the South Cariboo landfill- $7,000
5) Expansion of the Big Lake landfill - $30,000
6) Expansion of the Watch Lake landfill - $30,000
7) Re-development of the Kleena Kleene landfill - $35,000
8) Energy improvements at major recreation facilities - $410,000
9) Green Community projects - $158,000
10) Energy improvements, lighting, furnaces and insulation at several rural libraries - $82,000
11) Replacement of high-energy consuming computer and server equipment with energy star units - $227,000
12) Energy plan for all CRD facilities - $200,000
13) Detailed engineering for Phase 1 Mountview water and sewer - $340,000
14) Highway #20 Solar Lighting for key intersections & Transfer Stations - $50,000
15) Toilet & Shower Replacement Incentives for CRD Water Service Areas - $50,000
16) Community Heating - $50,000

And that Staff be requested to follow up with BC Hydro/Terasen Gas for free energy audits at CRD Buildings

6) Financial/Staff Resources to accommodate FN Discussions – Board Resolution

The Deputy CAO reviewed his memo with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Committee Action – Memo received

Review of 2011 Business & Financial Plans:

a) Discussion on 911 Service & Variable Tax Rates – late memo from CAO

Committee Action – Modification Option #2 & Requisition for 2011 remain the same and look at “Improvements Only” in 2012

b) Discussion on Requisition Increases greater than 1.5% (based on hand-out given to Directors’ at beginning of meeting)

General Review of South Cariboo Rural Refuse, Heritage, South Cariboo Rec Programming Functions

Committee Action – Refer issue of deficit in South Cariboo Rural Refuse Function to next South Cariboo Joint Committee meeting.

c) Discussion on Requisition Increases of 1.25%

Review of General Admin, Central Cariboo Arts and Culture, Area ‘B’ & ‘F’ Opportunity Funds, Emergency Planning, South Cariboo Transit, South Cariboo Curling Rink, 100 Mile Fire Protection, Alexis Creek Water/Sewer Functions

Committee Actions

a) Refer Requisition in 2011 for Central Cariboo Arts & Culture back to Central Cariboo Joint Committee.
b) Accept changes to proposed 2011 Budget
c) Refer increase from $120 to $185 for “Budget Day” to Policy/Procedures Committee
d) Refer increase in 2011 Central Cariboo Victim Services Budget to Central Cariboo Joint Committee (Area 'D' Director Deb Bischoff opposed)

Meeting adjourned at 3:02pm

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Central Cariboo Joint Committee Highlights - Oct 27th meeting

Present from City of WL:

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

Present from CRD:

Area ‘E’ Alternate Director Glen Davidson
Area ‘F’ Alternate Director Joan Sorley
Area ‘J’ Director Alex Bracewell
Area ‘K’ Director Rick Mumford

Staff Present:

Brian Carruthers - CAO, City of Williams Lake
Cindy Bouchard – Legislative Services Manager, City of Williams Lake
Geoff Paynton – Director of Community Services, City of Williams Lake
Darron Campbell – Community Services Manager, CRD
Mitch Minchau – Environmental Services Manager, CRD

Meeting called to order at 5:00pm
By Consensus – Minutes of September 15th Joint Committee meeting adopted

Delegations – None


1) Amended Joint Committee Terms of Reference

By Consensus – Amended Terms of Reference approved

2) Central Cariboo Arts Center Draft Management Agreement

By Consensus – Draft Management Agreement approved

3) Interim Funding Request from Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society (CCACS)

By Consensus – Item received

4) Report of CCACS re: October 2010 Arts and Culture Status

By Consensus – Item received

5) Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex Advertising Signage Revenue Distribution

By Consensus – Advertising Revenue Distribution to be 50% to indentified 5 Groups

6) Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex – Closures on Stat Holidays

By Consensus – Recommendation to try stat holiday closures on trial basis approved

7) Report of Recreation Portfolio (City of Williams Lake) re: 2013/2015 BC Winter Games Bid Invitation

By Consensus – Report received

8) Central Cariboo Recreation Advisory Committee Minutes of June 17th

By Consensus – Minutes received

9) Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex Building Audit

By Consensus – Report received

10) Draft Policy on Image Recording Devices (Smartphone/Cell Phones) at Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex

By Consensus – Draft Policy endorsed

11) Solid Waste Management Review – Report from CRD Environment Services Manager on Survey Results

By Consensus – Report received

12) Letters from Scout Island Nature Center & Station House Gallery re: Funding Request

By Consensus – Letters received and referred to a Committee to be formed to review Grant-in-Aide Policies and draft Joint Fee-for-Service. Committee members shall be Area ‘F’ Alternate Director Joan Sorley, WL City Councillor Tom Barr and 1 Staff member from City of WL and CRD. Alternate to the Committee shall be Area ‘E’ Director Steve Mazur and WL City Councillor Laurie Walters

13) Letter from Ministry of Community/Rural Development re: Transfer of Fire Protection Services in Williams Lake Local Area adjacent to City of Williams Lake

By Consensus – letter received and placed upon Action Page for follow-up work

14) Verbal Report from Area ‘K’ Director Rick Mumford regarding Central Cariboo Sustainability Committee (from Oct 27th Central Cariboo Rural Directors’ Caucus Meeting)

By Consensus – Report received and placed on Action Page for follow-up work

15) Action Page

By Consensus – Item received

Meeting adjourned at 6:21pm

Premier's TV Speech tonight

On Tuesday, BC Premier Gordon Campbell appointed Chilliwack MLA (and former Solicitor-General & Chilliwack Mayor) John Les as Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Finance on HST Information. 

CBC-BC has a preview of the Premier's TV speech tonight here

As part of the provincial government's "wish" to retain the HST, they are opening an HST Information Center on Monday, November 1st.  See the Opinion story on it here

But honestly - will anyone be listening??  Not likely - most of the people in the Cariboo-Chilcotin I talk to have their minds made up on the HST and believe that this will be a major factor when a recall campaign against sitting BC Liberal MLA Donna Barnett commences in the new year.  The only way Donna Barnett gets to keep her job is when she distances herself from BC Liberal Party Leader Gordon Campbell and state it is time to review the HST and whether or not it is even worth the hassle of keeping the HST around and this should take place long before the HST Vote on September 24th, 2011 and certainly before recall campaigns commence on January 1st, 2011 otherwise she'll been known as an former Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA

Palmer - Campbell's change to Cabinet Portfolios was his alone

In his column today, Vancouver Sun political columnist Vaughn Palmer reviews the situation around BC Energy Minister Bill Bennett publicly griping about the new Cabinet Portfolios that the Premier established on Tuesday.  See here

Also, in today's Kamloops Daily News, Social Development Minister Kevin Krueger says that Bill Bennett's outburst is "out of line".  This coming from a Minister who is well known for being Gordon Campbell's "pit bull".  See here

Items coming forward in November

There are a number of items that Williams Lake City Council will be either reviewing or receiving either next month (November) or in the next few months and I thought my blog readers might be interested in these:

Policies to be reviewed:

1) Grant-in-Aide Policy - City of WL Staff to huddle with CRD Staff around Grant-in-Aide Policies and present report to Central Cariboo Joint Committee for consideration

2) Tournament Incentive Policy - this Policy has been on the books for sometime now and given a fair number of Grant-in-Aide applications fall more appropriately under this Policy, the Policy will be reviewed by City Staff and a report will come forward to Council, likely at a Committee of the Whole meeting

Reports to be received in November:

1) Final Report on new City of WL Fire Hall Budget Over-run of $520,000
2) Piteau Report on status of City's Aquifer
3) Pavement Management Plan

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

WL Committee of the Whole Highlights - October 26th meeting


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

Staff Present:

Brian Carruthers – Chief Administrative Officer
Cindy Bouchard – Manager of Legislative Services
Geoff Goodall - General Manager of Planning & Operations
Annie McKitrick – Acting Manager of Social Development
Brad McRae – Senior Bylaw Officer
Drew Roberts – Planner

Meeting started at 6:00pm
Minutes of October 12th Committee of the Whole Meeting adopted


1) Mike Pederson from the Ministry of Forests and Range appeared before the Committee to discuss the Annual Allowable Cut & Timber Supply Review
2) Jay Goddard and Carrie Sundahl from the Social Planning Council of Williams Lake appeared before the Committee to give an update on the “Communities That Care” Project.  See their presentation to the Committee here


1) 2010 Third Quarter Report

The Chief Administrative Officer reviewed his report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Committee Action – Report received for information

2) 2011 Grants in Aid Applications

Committee of the Whole discussed the Director of Financial Services’s report and the attached 11 Grant-in-Aide applications
Discussion ensued thereon

Committee Action – Report received for information, City Grant-in-Aide policy will be reviewed in conjunction with the Central Cariboo Joint Committee and the Grant-in-Aide applications (11) will be referred to the November 17th Central Cariboo Joint Committee meeting for consideration

3) Removal of Covenant at Best Western Hotel

The Planner reviewed his report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Committee Action – Report received for information

4) Nuisance Bylaw - Proposed "Good Neighbour" Amendments

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

Committee Action – Report received. Amendments to come forward at a future Council meeting

5) Heritage Advisory Committee - Proposed Terms of Reference

The Planner reviewed his report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Committee Action – Report received, Committee of the Whole endorsed the proposed Terms of Reference for the Heritage Advisory Committee and City Staff were directed to engage in a public advertising campaign promoting the Heritage Advisory Committee and call for nominations for membership on the Committee

6) Late Item – Dewatering Sewage Treatment Plant - Extension of Tender for Lambourne Environmental Services to Finish in 2011

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

Committee Action – Committee of the Whole recommends Council extends the tender awarded to Lambourne Environmental Services to 2011 in order to finish the dewatering of the cells at the Sewage Treatment Plant

Meeting adjourned at 8:21pm

Recall Campaign Numbers Update - October 25th reports that the following 3 Ridings have the most canvassers for recall campaigns to commence January 1st, 2011:

1) Oak-Bay-Gordon-Head (189 Canvassers) (Hon. Ida Chong)
2) Cariboo-Chilcotin (174 Canvassers) (Donna Barnett)
3) Kamloops-North Thompson (162 Canvassers) (Terry Lake)

See their full press release here

Williams Lake CAO goes back to school...

In his blog on Sunday, October 24th, Williams Lake Chief Administrator Brian Carruthers talks about how his schooling in Local Government Administration is coming along

See here

City of WL awards Accessibility Award to local Wal-Mart

From the City of Williams Lake:

The Accessibility Award of Merit was presented to the Walmart Supercentre –Store 1106 Williams Lake at the City Council meeting held October 5, 2010. Mr. Mike O’Connor accepted the award on behalf of the store’s management team. Walmart was nominated for the award by the Chairperson of the Seniors Advisory Council of Williams Lake, Audrey MacLise. Audrey noted in her nomination that the store has installed twelve Handicapped Parking spaces close to the main entrance of the store, the automatic door openers at the entrance work very well, and the washroom doors are easy to open.

In addition, there are three wheelchair accessible washrooms, one of which is a family washroom, great for parents with babies. The store aisles are extra wide and easy for people with wheelchairs, walkers and strollers to manoeuvre around. Councillor Surinderpal S. Rathor, representative on the Accessibility Advisory Committee, says that one of his favourite assets is that the store provides a comfortable seating area near the front entrance and has several electric and manual wheelchairs for customers to borrow while shopping. Accessibility Award of Merit nomination forms are available at, or

City of WL hires new Communications Coordinator

From the City of Williams Lake:

Note - I don't remember see this position being put out for competition.  If it turns out to be true - it really is disappointing and lends credence to that old political saying "It's not what you know, but who you know that counts".  I'd also point out that the CRD Admininistrator pointed out to me recently that most orgnizations including the Cariboo Regional District & City of Williams Lake should have (and believe do have) a succession plan for their Staff, but when hiring, you should not be entirely guided by the Succession Plan, but use the Succession Plan as a "guide" to hiring future City or CRD Staff, depending on the circumstances that the City or CRD may find themselves in

The City of Williams Lake is very pleased to announce that Ken MacInnis will be assuming the role of Communication Coordinator for the City of Williams Lake effective November 1, 2010. Ken is well recognized in the Community as the Editor of the Williams Lake Tribune.

According to Chief Administrative Officer Brian Carruthers, “a previous Communications Manager position was eliminated in 2009 due to budget constraints. However, we have found it a challenge to provide appropriate communication services without a dedicated staff member. The City undertook some organizational restructuring so that the new Communications Coordinator could be hired within the existing staffing budget.”

The City looks forward to having Ken MacInnis joining our team and improving the capacity for effective and timely communication with the Community.

Local News - Tuesday, October 26th edition

In the Williams Lake Tribune:

* Tribune editor Ken MacInnis is leaving to take a new job with the City of Williams Lake - see here
* Tribune reporter Erin Hitchcock takes over as Tribune editor - see here
* Tribune out-going editor Ken MacInnis has a final message - see here
* MLA Barnett - "NDP fails to stand up for region on Prosperity" - see here
* CRD Area 'F' Director Duncan Barnett resigns - see here
* Alternate CRD Area 'F' Director Joan Sorley joins Mayor Cook in her condemnation of Walt Cobb's recent comments about Prosperity Mine - see here

"New" Provincial Cabinet

BC Premier Gordon Campbell made some major changes to his Cabinet and here they are:

Premier – Hon. Gordon Campbell

Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation – Hon. Barry Penner

Agriculture – Hon. Ben Stewart

Attorney General – Hon. Mike de Jong

Children and Family Development – Hon. Mary Polak

Citizens’ Services – Hon. Mary McNeil

Community, Sport and Cultural Development – Hon. Stephanie Cadieux

Education – Hon. George Abbott

Energy – Hon. Bill Bennett

Environment – Hon. Murray Coell

Minister of State for Climate Action – Hon. John Yap

Finance and Deputy Premier (Minister Responsible for Small Business) – Hon. Colin Hansen

Forests, Mines and Lands – Hon. Pat Bell

Minister of State for Mining – Hon. Randy Hawes

Health Services – Hon. Kevin Falcon

Labour – Hon. Iain Black

Natural Resource Operations – Hon. Steve Thomson

Public Safety and Solicitor General (Minister Responsible for Housing) Hon. Rich Coleman

Minister of State for Building Code Renewal – Hon. Naomi Yamamoto

Regional Economic and Skills Development – Hon. Moira Stilwell

Science and Universities – Hon. Ida Chong

Social Development – Hon. Kevin Krueger

Tourism, Trade and Investment (Minister Responsible for the Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat) – Hon. Margaret MacDiarmid

Transportation and Infrastructure – Hon. Shirley Bond

Your Parliamentary Secretaries are:

Parliamentary Secretary for the Asia-Pacific Initiative to the Minister of Tourism, Trade and Investment – Richard Lee

Parliamentary Secretary for Health Promotion to the Minister of Health Services – Terry Lake

Parliamentary Secretary for HST Information to the Minister of Finance – John Les

Parliamentary Secretary for the Mountain Pine Beetle Action Committees to the Minister of Regional Economic and Skills Development – Donna Barnett

Parliamentary Secretary for Multiculturalism to the Minister of Regional Economic and Skills Development – Dave Hayer

Parliamentary Secretary for the Natural Gas Initiative to the Minister of Energy – Pat Pimm

Parliamentary Secretary for Silviculture to the Minister of Forests, Mines and Lands – John Rustad

Parliamentary Secretary for Social Entrepreneurship to the Minister of Finance – Gordon Hogg

Note: It'll be interesting to see how the Premier follows this up tomorrow night with his speech to British Columbians.  In any event, the fall-out has started.  The new Energy Minister has let it be known that he is upset that the Premier did not consult the Caucus or Cabinet with regard to the changes.  See that story here

Also - Vaughn Palmer and Mike Smyth (Political Columnists for Vancouver Sun/Province) provide their analysis on the cabinet changes here (Palmer) and here (Smyth)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

"No" Federal Vote on Prosperity Mine would put a "wet blanket" on mine industry in BC

In the Globe and Mail, Justine Hunter interviews BC Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett and Minister Bennett says a "No" Vote on Prosperity Mine from Ottawa would put a "wet blanket" on the mining industry in BC

See here

Mike Smyth: Cost of Basi/Virk on Victoria's shoulders'

Vancouver Province political columnist Mike Smyth reviews BC Attorney-General Mike De Jong calling $18 million spent on the Basi/Virk trial "disturbing" and why Mr. De Jong should look himself in the mirror

See here

BC Premier to shuffle Provincial Cabinet before Wednesday's TV Address

Both the Vancouver Sun & Vancouver Province are covering the story that BC Premier Gordon Campbell is planning a "realignment" of his cabinet Monday prior to his TV Address on Global-BC TV on Wednesday evening at 7pm

See here (Sun) and here (Province)

Note - No re-alignment of the Provincial Cabinet will matter a damn unless BC Premier Gordon Campbell states on Wednesday that he plans to retire and lays out that plan for British Columbians.  Failure to do so will see the BC Liberals reduced from their current 49 seats to 10 seats and a bad drubbing at the polls in 25 years.  See the Globe and Mail story on this here

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Today's CRD "State of the Region" Meeting (Central Cariboo)

At the Overlander Hotel Convention Center, the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) held its' first annual "State of the Region" meeting which allows residents' in a "kitchen-table" format to discuss various CRD services in a relaxed format. 

CRD Chief Administrator Janis Bell, Deputy CAO Rick Hodgson, Environmental Services Manager Mitch Minchau, CRD Corporate Officer Alice Johnston, CRD Bylaw Enforcement Manager Graham Barbour, CRD Community Services' Manager Darron Campbell and CRD Executive Assistant Bernice Crowe were in attendance.  As well, CRD Area 'D' Director Deb Bischoff, CRD Area 'F' Alternate Director Joan Sorley and CRD Area 'K' Director Rick Mumford were in attendance.  City of Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook (also the CRD Director for the City) made an appearance as well later in the afternoon

The various stations set up included:

* Emergency Planning
* Joint Municipal/Rural Services
* Finance
* Bylaw Enforcement
* Public Consultation

About 5 members' of the public (myself included) were in attendance to ask questions of the CRD Staff/Directors' present.  I can tell you I had a wonderful opportunity to provide input to CRD Staff on Finance, CRD Recreation Services and Emergency Planning. 

Although the number of people who came out was low, I believe if the CRD determines to continue these types of meetings next year, I believe the turnout will get better as time goes on.  I thought it was an excellent opportunity to discuss CRD-related business and I would do it again, if given the opportunity

Mayor and Councillor Expenses for period ending September 30th, 2010

As a public service, I intend to publish Mayor and Councillor expenses for each quarter (courtesy of the City's Quarterly Report). For the Councillors', I will list those who spent the least to those who spent the most

Elected Official

Spent to Date

Budget Maximum

Budget Remaining

Percentage of Overall Budget

Mayor Cook





Councillor Rathor





Councillor Zacharias





Councillor Hébert





Councillor Bourdon





Councillor Walters





Councillor Barr






Grand Total





Budget Over-runs on 2 City Projects complete

Well, the bills are in and now we know how much 2 City Projects will cost taxpayers' extra (both projects are 100% complete, according to Brian Carruthers - City of WL CAO.  Information current as of September 30th, 2010:

1) Spirit Square Project - Project $21,432 over budget which includes the $40,000 taken out of the Surplus Account in 2009

2) New Fire Hall Project - Project $520,927 over budget (information updated at Tuesday, October 26th, 2010 Committee of the Whole meeting)

Williams Lake Council should in the near future explain why these 2 projects ran over budget and tell City taxpayers' what, if any processes, have changed to ensure that budget overruns don't happen again.  This is in light of the fact that the Mackenzie Avenue Rehab Project was considerably under budget at $8 million out of the possible $10.5 million project

Friday, October 22, 2010

CRD "State of the Region" Meeting tomorrow

A friendly reminder that the Cariboo Regional District will be hosting a "State of the Region" meeting to discuss with area residents' CRD Services and other like matters

The location of the meeting is in the Overlander Hotel Convention Center (1115 Lakeview Crescent) and the meeting starts at 1:30pm tomorrow (Saturday, October 23rd) and ends at 4:00pm

Local Government Meetings in Cariboo-Chilcotin. Week of October 25th - 29th

There are a number of local government meetings in the Cariboo-Chilcotin this upcoming week:

Monday, October 25th - City of Quesnel

Committee of the Whole Meeting & Special In-Camera Meeting - meeting to start at 7:00pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (410 Kinchant St)

See the Agenda/Reports here

Tuesday, October 26th - Board of Education - School District #27

Regular Board Meeting - meeting starts at 7:00pm in the 100 Mile House Elementary Gym

See the Agenda/Reports here

Tuesday, October 26th - City of Williams Lake

Committee of the Whole Meeting - meeting to start at 6:00pm in Committee Room #1 in WL City Hall (450 Mart Street)

See the Agenda/Reports here

Wednesday, October 27th - Cariboo Regional District/City of Williams Lake

Central Cariboo Joint Committee - meeting starts at 5:00pm in Committee Room #1 at WL City Hall (450 Mart St)

I'll try and post the Agenda/Reports as soon as I can

Thursday, October 28th - Cariboo Regional District

Budget/Finance Meeting #1 - meeting to start at 9:00am in the CRD Boardroom (Suite D - 180 North 3rd Avenue, across from 7-11)

See the Agenda/Reports here

Thursday, October 28th - City of Williams Lake

Special Council Meeting - meeting to start at 5:00pm in Williams Lake Council Chambers

Council to consider amendment to Tax Revitalization Bylaw #2077

Friday, October 29th - Cariboo Regional District

Regular Board Meeting - meeting starts at 9:30am in the CRD Boardroom (Suite D - 180 North 3rd Avenue, across from 7-11)

See the Agenda/Reports here

Breaking News: Duncan Barnett resigns as CRD Area 'F' Director

As posted on the CRD Board Agenda for next Friday (October 29th), Duncan Barnett has submitted his resignation as the Cariboo Regional District Electoral Area 'F' Director (150 Mile House - Horsefly - Likely) as of Tuesday, October 12th.

Although his resignation letter is not been publicly released, I would hypothesize that if he (Barnett) either lost or was well on his way to losing his 2nd CRD Court Case, then he may have felt he had no choice under the circumstances

In any event, the resignation will cause an by-election to be held costing CRD taxpayers' in the tens of thousands of unnecessary dollars.  It was sad to see him make this decision as Mr. Barnett has been a good rep for Area 'F', even though he and I did disagree on the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function. 

I wish Mr. Barnett and his wife and their daughters all the best in their future endeavors

You can see the CRD Staff report on this item here

1,000 Blog Posts

This morning, I've passed the one thousand blog posts mark.  And I want to thank all of my blog readers' who've taken the time to comment on my blog posts and I pledge to continue to let my blog readers' know what is going on in local, provincial and federal politics in addition to other note-worthy items

Interior Health hosts flu clinics in the Interior

From Interior Health:

It’s that time of year again – sniffles, fevers, aches, and pains –
but getting your flu shot can reduce your chances of suffering
from influenza this season.

This year’s vaccine contains three different flu strains, one of which is the pandemic strain (H1N1) that circulated last year. Influenza (flu) shots are free for those 65 or older, people with chronic health conditions, or other at risk groups, including young children and pregnant women. Flu clinics start around the Interior this week.

“The flu shot is a safe, effective way to reduce your chances of getting influenza and reduce the severity of your symptoms if you do get it,” says Dr. Rob Parker, Medical Health Officer for Interior Health. “The vaccine is 70 to 90 per cent effective in preventing influenza in healthy children and adults. If you aren’t eligible for the free clinics, it is a good idea to check with your pharmacist or doctor to find out about getting vaccinated.”

Influenza is highly contagious and is the leading cause of preventable death due to infectious disease in Canada, killing thousands of Canadians every year and hospitalizing thousands more. It spreads easily from person to person by coughing, sneezing or talking. Seniors, infants under two and people with chronic illness are most at risk from complications that can result from the flu.

“Getting a flu shot protects you and those around you – at home, school, work and in the community,” adds Dr. Parker. “People can spread the influenza virus before they show symptoms, which is why it is so important for people to be vigilant about washing their hands throughout the day and immediately after sneezing, coughing or before and after visiting daycares, hospitals or healthcare facilities. It is also important to stay home if you are feeling sick.”

Tens of thousands of British Columbians are eligible for free flu shots including:
• People 65 years and older and their caregivers/household contacts
• Children and adults with chronic health conditions and their household contacts
• Children and adolescents (6 months to 18 years) with conditions treated for long periods of time
with Acetylsalicylic acid and their household contacts
• Adults who are very obese
• Aboriginal people
• Healthy children age 6-23 months
• Household contacts and caregivers of infants age 0-23 months
• Pregnant women who will be in their third trimester during influenza season and their household contacts.
• Residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities
• Healthcare and other care providers in facilities and community settings who are capable of
transmitting influenza to those at high risk of influenza complications
• People who work with live poultry and/or swine.
• Individuals who provide care or service in potential outbreak settings that house high risk persons
(e.g., crew on ships)

To find the flu clinic in your area simply visit and click on the Flu Locator button,
or call your local public health office (look under Interior Health in the blue pages of your phone book
for your local health unit). Information is also available at

Costs/Time of BC Rail Public Inquiry may give pause to a BC NDP Gov't

In his column today, Vancouver Sun political columnist Vaughn Palmer discusses why a promise by the BC NDP to hold a BC Rail Public Inquiry may come back to haunt them

See here

Note - If the BC NDP win the 2013 Provincial Election (which I hope and pray doesn't happen), then it would be 10 years after the BC Rail "deal" took place and as such, memories fade, etc and perhaps the money that would be spent on lawyers' fees, etc would be better spent on public services like health care, transportation, etc

Continued fall-out of Basi/Virk plea deal

In his column today, Vancouver Province political columnist Mike Smyth reviews the continued fall of the Dave Basi & Bob Virk plea deal.  See here

Note - I agree wholeheartedly with Mike Smyth when he says it's better to get something than nothing.  Certainly, $350,000 is not a lot of money compared with $6,000,000 but again it's the principle that they pay what they can for their legal bills after they plead guilty

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Upcoming Public Meetings on Draft Graffiti Bylaw

From the City of Williams Lake:

The City would like to invite residents of Williams Lake to participate in providing input regarding a proposed Graffiti Bylaw. This Bylaw is currently under consideration due to the ever increasing levels of graffiti in our City and no current municipal regulations to manage this growing issue.

The City will be giving a short educational presentation pertaining to the justification for the development of such a Bylaw. This session is being conducted by Staff as we recognize that decisions such as these to create a Graffiti Bylaw will directly impact some residents, and only by receiving input and suggestions can a Bylaw be crafted to reflect what will work for the community in which it represents. The two presentations are scheduled for Thursday, November 4th and 18th, 2010 from 6-8pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall, 450 Mart Street.

Following this presentation, Staff will be answering questions along with recording suggestions and comments so that we may move forward, taking into account the input of those impacted by this Bylaw.

Your attendance is greatly appreciated. If there are any questions or comments, please contact Brad McRae (Senior Bylaw Officer) directly at (250) 392-2311

Toilet Replacement Program a success!!

From the City of Williams Lake:

The City of Williams Lake is pleased to announce the tremendous success of the Toilet Rebate Incentive Program. The Program was launched 2 weeks ago and during that time the residents of Williams Lake have made applications that have used the entire budget sum that was allotted for this year.

“What an absolutely fantastic response from the residents of Williams Lake” states Councillor Sue Zacharias, Chair of the Development and Public Works Portfolio. “This level of interest by the residents definitely shows the importance of water in the community; it has been an overwhelming success. The number of toilets that have been exchanged in this program could translate into a savings of 4.5 million litres of water per year”.

The Toilet Incentive Program was developed in partnership with the City of Williams Lake and the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society (CCCS). The City and CCCS have worked together on a number of successful initiatives over the years including the Water Wise Program.

Mike Smyth - Basi/Virk plea deal stinks to high heaven

In his column today, Vancouver Province political columnist questions the plea deal that Dave Basi and Bob Virk received relating to the BC Rail corruption trial

See here

Local News - Thurs Oct 21st Edition

In the Williams Lake Tribune:

* Roger William Court Case Appeal begins Monday, Nov 15th - see here (Note - don't be too surprised if this lands in the Supreme Court of Canada)

* WL Council approves Terms of Reference for Cariboo Lodge Task Force - see here (Note - I was disappointed with Mayor Cook and Councillors Bourdon and Barr's comments and believe that they will have to answer for that in next fall's civic election)

* Assembly of First Nations Grand Chief Shawn Atleo was in Williams Lake on Tuesday - see here

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Results are In on Survey for new CRD Solid Waste Management Plan

From the Cariboo Regional District:

The Cariboo Regional District’s (CRD) Solid Waste Management Advisory Committee has received the results of the 2010 survey which was conducted this past summer. The next step will be to identify the priorities and the associated costs of the suggestions leading into stage 2 of the Review process.

A total of 869 responses were received that will be used to help establish a snapshot of the existing programs and highlight the areas where residents feel the CRD should focus the plan for the future. Of those responses, 142 were mailed, while 727 were completed online.

“The survey results clearly show that efficient and responsible waste management is important to our residents,” says CRD Chair Al Richmond. “This information will help provide a clearer picture of what types of recycling, waste reduction and landfill programs are of interest to our residents.”

Overall, residents across the region were generally satisfied with their current waste management services.
Key highlights of preferences for future programs included:
• Expand recyclables collection programs or drop-off locations, especially in rural areas
• Increase the types of materials that can be recycled, such as plastics and glass
• Provide better information on how to recycle electronics as well as hazardous waste materials like batteries, paint cans, propane tanks, etc.
• Investigate options and costs for waste to energy (technologies for turning solid waste into energy through different combustion processes)
• Provide drop-off locations for yard waste composting.

The survey was undertaken as a first step in updating the region’s solid waste management plan, which is required by the Ministry of Environment. Once approved, the plan will provide direction for what new services could be offered in the years to come that will help the CRD reduce waste and conserve resources.

“Public input is key to developing a plan that meets the needs of our communities,” stated Richmond. “This survey is only one of the many activities planned to gain feedback on future waste management programs. Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill in the survey.”

Public input on the survey started with the new Solid Waste Management Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee, made up of residents, community groups, business, local government and Ministry of Environment representatives, reviewed the survey to help ensure questions are relevant and meaningful.

Next, the Committee will review the results and work with the consultants to develop options for new recycling or waste management programs, including the potential costs for residents and businesses. These options and costs will be presented to communities across the region at a series of open houses, to be held in the spring of 2011.

A complete copy of the survey is available on the CRD website at along with the minutes of the Advisory Committee meetings.

A Year from Now...

In exactly a year, the community will either be finished with next year's municipal election or deep in the throws of municipal elections

I thought I would take the opportunity to look forward to next fall's local government elections in the Cariboo-Chilcotin and see what lays ahead

District of Wells:

Mayor and Council - Mayor Vermette & his Councillors' have been doing a good job managing affairs in Wells and I suspect that all could easily acclaim their offices.  Mayor Vermette "could" face a challenger but I wouldn't bet on it and his 4 Councillors are likely not to see any challengers'

City of Quesnel:

Mayor Mary Sjostrom - She's done a great job and I believe that she can easily be acclaimed to her office, if she chooses to run again in 2011.  The only challenger that could force an election for the Quesnel Mayor's office is former Mayor Nate Bello and even then, she would, in my view, trounce right over Mr. Bello for a 2nd term

Councillor Ron Paull - a fairly competent Councillor and strong advocate for Quesnel.  If he seeks another term, see him remain as Councillor

Councillor Sushil Thapar - again, a competent Councillor and should he seek another term, see him remain as Councillor.

Councillor Peter Couldwell - long-term Councillor who freely gives his time for Quesnel-area events.  Also, strong advocate for Quesnel.  He recently suffered a health challenge and may play a role in next year's civic election on whether or not he seeks re-election.  I hope not...but in any event, if he chose to seek another term, he would easily be re-elected

Councillor Coralee Oakes - strong advocate for Quesnel and certainly her role as Manager of Quesnel's Chamber of Commerce has helped greatly on putting Quesnel on the provincial scene.  If she seeks re-election, she will easily win

Councillors Mike Cave & Laurey-Anne Roodenburg - 1st time Quesnel City Councillors.  Both have done a good job managing the City of Quesnel.  I would be personally disappointed if both decided not to seek re-election.  I know Councillor Cave has had some difficulities with work interfering with Council duties, but that should not be a deterrent from Councillor Cave from being re-elected.  Councillor Roodenburg also has done well and should she seek re-election, she will easily be re-elected

Please Note - The 6 City Councillors will have challengers in any event but it is my expectation that the incumbents will easily fend off any challengers as none of the sitting City Councillors have done anything wrong, in my view, that would come close to justifying a defeat of the sitting 6 Quesnel City Councillors

District of 100 Mile House:

Mayor Mitch Campsall - has done well, on balance, but has made his share of mistakes including critizing former Mayor (and current Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA) Donna Barnett over challenges on 2009 District of 100 Mile House Budget.  Many I talk with in 100 Mile seem disappointed with his performance.  Expect him to be challenged.  If this occurs, it will depend on the dynamic of the election campaign if he wins re-election or not

Councillors Jeanne Best, Mel Torgenson, Bill Hadden and Dave Mingo - have been competent Councillors and I expect that they will seek re-election but there were multiple people who ran for Councillors and expect the same again

City of Williams Lake:

Mayor Kerry Cook - this is a Mayor who acts like she listens, but does otherwise.  She has, in my view, been unable to project a vision or respect or acknowledge people's concerns and act on them.  She has not respected the experience in senior City Councillor Surinder Rathor and I could go on and on.  In short - because of this and because of her unprecedented early announcement for a 2nd term (the earliest in the City's history), she is likely to lose the next election to whomever decides to challenge her for the Mayor's Office - which may include City Councillor Surinderpal Rathor, former City Councillor and Mayoralty-candidate Paul French or even former City of WL Mayor Scott Nelson.  Time will time - but expect the race for the Mayor's office to be hotly contested

Councillor Sue Zacharias - a fairly-quiet Councillor, but she too has made her share of mistakes but not always having her facts straight on issues.  I expect her to run again, but she will face conflict-on-interest questions relating to the Mackenzie Avenue Project, co-owing United Concrete and being Chair of Council's Public Works Portfolio

Councillor Geoff Bourdon - a very competent Councillor.  Does his homework 99% of the time.  I expect him to run again.  His chances of success - pretty good.  Some pitfalls - his support for the Cariboo Lodge Task Force, but I don't expect that to be a major issue unless the community decides that the Cariboo Lodge issue is a priority issue for them

Councillor Laurie Walters - a decent Councillor.  Sometimes gives the appearance of not doing her homework before Council or Committee of the Whole meetings'.  As an active supporter of the Community Arts Council/Studio Theatre Society, her outward support for Arts & Culture can get in the way of making a good decision (ie - recent Community Arts Council "Piano-for-Debt" deal).  Also her support for the Cariboo Lodge Task Force will be a hindrance.  Otherwise, her chances for success are on par with other candidates.

Councillor Tom Barr - a very good and competent Councillor.  Handles Council's Finance Portfolio very well.  Pitfalls for him in next fall's election will include support for Cariboo Lodge Task Force, support for the Community Arts Council "Piano-for-Debt" deal and budget overrun for new WL Fire Hall (if not openly discussed before next fall's election).  His chances for re-election are fair

Councillor Natalie Hébert - a quiet Councillor who too sometimes doesn't have her facts straight or doesn't bother showing up to meetings, outside of Council or Committee of the Whole.  Pitfalls for next fall's election include support for Cariboo Lodge Task Force, Community Arts Council "Piano-for-Debt" deal.  Her chances for success - less than 50%.  New candidates should have an easy time knocking her off Council

Councillor (Deputy Mayor) Surinderpal Rathor - going into his 18th year on Council, Councillor Rathor has really shown himself to be a good representative of "the people".  His lack of support on two City Budgets, no support on the Cariboo Lodge Task Force/Community Arts Council "Piano-for-Debt" deal should hold him in high regard with voters' next fall.  See Councillor Rathor to run again and easily win re-election and in fact, see him get first place in terms of all votes casts among Councillor-candidates

Cariboo Regional District:

Area A - this post is held by Ted Armstrong and has been since the late 70's and to the best of my knowledge has never been an election in Area 'A'.  I expect Mr. Armstrong to go for re-election and get re-acclaimed.  However, with everything in life, and with the recent passing of his Alternate Director, Mr. Armstrong may re-visit a decision to continually run for office

Area 'B' - Roberta Faust is the current Director for this area.  Given her age, she may consider retirement as politics does wear you down with all the meetings that she has to attend.  My guess - she'll go for another term.  Ken Falloon may try & run again and become Area 'B' Director once again.  Time will tell. 

Area 'C' - John Massier is the current Director after getting acclaimed when the former Director Ronda Wilkins retired.  He has done a really good job representing the voters' of Area 'C'.  He is still "young" so I expect him to run for another term and unless I'm aware of any outstanding community issue(s), I expect him to get acclaimed. 

Area 'D' - Deb Bischoff is the current Director after an election in 2008 saw her beat local Wildwood fire-fighter Blair Engel.  She has been extremely busy with various initiatives all over Area 'D' including a new Community Library in McLeese Lake, sewer issues at the McLeese Lake Hall, and other issues in Area 'D'.  I expect her to run and unless there is someone who thinks that they can do better than Ms. Bischoff - I expect Ms. Bischoff to either get acclaimed or easily win re-election

Area 'E' - Steve Mazur is the current Director after defeating former Area 'E' Director Brandy Dickey (daughter of WL City Councillor Sue Zacharias).  He's been busy dealing with Chimney Lake water issues, water/sewer issues in Mountview area and a DVP (Development Variance Permit) issued in the Flett Subdivision.  His chances of re-election are iffy.  He's alienated a lot of people at Flett Subdivision over the issued DVP and that could come back and bite him in the butt next fall.  I've also heard from Area 'E' residents' who are still mad over the recently-enacted Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function.  If an election does take place in Area 'E', it will be interesting to see if he survives re-election in 2011

Area 'F' - Duncan Barnett is the current Director, but has turned over day-to-day administration of Electoral Area 'F' to his Alternate Director, Joan Sorley who lives in Big Lake.  She has been a good representative of Area 'F'.  As most of you know, Mr. Barnett is in the throws of a 2nd lawsuit against the Cariboo Regional District relating to a in-camera motion in October of 2008.  If the lawsuit is not yet done by September of 2011, it will interesting to see if Mr. Barnett offers himself up for re-election or decide to retire.  My guess - he'll run for re-election and then turn things over to his Alternate Director until his lawsuit has reached a conclusion

Area 'G' - Al Richmond (present CRD Chair) is the current Director.  Although he can be busy with other CRD issues or UBCM issues, he is, in my view, a great rep for Area 'G' and I fully expect he'll run again next fall and unless Herb Korenburg decides to challenge him once again, Mr. Richmond will be acclaimed for a 3 year term

Area 'H' - Art Dumaresq is the current Director.  He is a good rep for Area 'H' and is the Finance Chair for the CRD Board.  He was challenged in 2008, but I'm not expecting anyone to challenge Mr. Dumaresq in 2011 and should he offered himself up for re-election, I expect Mr. Dumaresq to be acclaimed for another 3 year term

Area 'I' - In typical "Glassford" family fashion, Jim Glassford is the current Director taking over from former Area I Director Mary Glassford.  He's been a good rep for Area 'I' and I expect he'll run again and get acclaimed.  I'm not expected a challenge to Mr. Glassford in 2011

Area 'J' - Alex Bracewell is the current Director.  He's been a good rep for Area 'J', also busy with accessibility issues.  I expect that Mr. Bracewell will run again and face no opposition, thereby ensuring he receive another 3 year term

Area 'K' - Rick Mumford (current CRHD/CCRHD Chair) is the current Director.  As the local Hospital Board Chair, he's been busy with health care (capital) issues in the Cariboo-Chilcotin, in addition to Area 'K' issues earlier this summer (forest-fires in Alexis Creek area).  I expect Mr. Mumford to run again and face no opposition for another 3 year term

Area 'L' - Bruce Rattray is the current Director after an election.  He's been busy with major development in Area 'L' including the new Green Lake OCP.  If Mr. Rattray decides to run again, I expect him to face little or no opposition in receiving another term, if he so chooses

The Cariboo Regional District will see few elections, otherwise the majority of current Electoral Area Directors (Areas A, C, G, H, I, J, K) will see acclamations in addition to 1 or no election for offices in the District of Wells

The District of 100 Mile House and Cities of Quesnel/Williams Lake will see active elections occurring next fall.  Perhaps less so in Quesnel and 100 Mile House but expect the election in Williams Lake to be active especially with the need for a strong WL Council to be proactive on several issues in Williams Lake in the next few years

WL resident arrested for failing to obey his bail conditions

Kurtis BILLY remains remanded in custody and has been charged in relation to his alleged involvement in a number of thefts from vehicles during the past week in Williams Lake. BILLY, who is well known to police, was arrested early Monday morning after he was seen running from police near the scene of an earlier theft from a vehicle. BILLY, who had been arrested two days earlier for an unrelated offense, and had been released on conditions which included a "no go" to the City of Williams Lake, was apprehended and arrested for failing to abide by those conditions. Further investigation suggested that BILLY was in possession of stolen property related to other thefts from vehicles as well as being in possession of break and enter instruments.

BILLY has been remanded in custody and has been charged with: Possession of Stolen Property, Possession of Break and Enter Instruments, Failing to Comply with an Undertaking and Trespass by Night.

BILLY will appear in court at a later date. Williams Lake RCMP continues to investigate.

"The Williams Lake RCMP would like to remind people to ensure they don't leave valuables in their vehicle. If you have to carry valuables in your vehicle, please ensure they are placed out of view from the general public".

"It is also very important to remind hunters and this time of year to ensure their firearms are stored safely and out of sight in their vehicles. If you need to park your vehicle while in town, please keep your firearm out of sight and stored safe. Firearms left out in the open or displayed in a back window will attract thieves. We do not want firearms on our streets and in the hands of thieves."

WL & Area Seniors' Advisory Council AGM Meeting

Earlier today, the Williams Lake & Area Seniors' Advisory Council held their Annual General Meeting.  Topics of discussion included:

* Cariboo Lodge Task Force
* Renovations to Deni House
* New CRD HandyDART Function
* Interior Health/Northern Health Health Connections Bus

Allison Ruault, from Interior Health, came to speak as a guest speaker and spoke about a trial "Tele-Pacemaker" clinic in addition to work on-going for an updated Master Site Plan for Cariboo Memorial Hospital

About 15 people came out to the meeting and they had a good discussion on seniors' issues in Williams Lake & area.  I certainly will try to attend more of their meetings as I certainly learned lots about seniors' issues that I didn't know before

Carole James - NDP infighting a distraction

In today's Vancouver Sun, political columnist Vaughn Palmer talks with Carole James about the infighting withint the BC NDP and how it is distracting her from promoting a united front as a "government-in-waiting"

See here

Ethics lacking at WL City Hall

At last night's WL Council meeting, Mayor Kerry Cook remained in Council Chambers while the following two items were discussed:

a) Williams Lake Church Taxation Exemption Amendment Bylaw No. 2123, 2010 (Salvation Army, 272 Borland Street)

b) Support for TRU to Host the 2011 BC Rural Network AGM & Workshop

While both items do not benefit Mayor Cook personally as defined in the Community Charter, previous Williams Lake Council members' have left Council Chambers when a item related to their employer or where a item could negatively affect their public perception by staying in the meeting, just like Councillor Surinder Rathor did in 2007 when a rezoning application was brought forward by his employer, Tolko Industries

On item "a", Mayor Cook is well on public record supporting the Salvation Army's "Soup Kitchen" and as such, she should have practiced prudence/ethics and recused herself from Council Chambers when Bylaw #2123, 2010 was discussed

On item "b", it is well known that Mayor Cook works for TRU and as such, she should have recused herself from Council Chambers when a letter of support from TRU to host the 2011 BC Rural Network AGM was discussed

I believe people respect politicians who practice prudence & ethics in the conduct in their office (Mayor, Councillor or Electoral Area Director)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

WL Council Meeting Highlights - October 19th meeting


Mayor Cook and Councillors T. Barr, G. Bourdon, N. Hébert, SPS Rathor and L. Walters


Councillor Sue Zacharias

Staff Present:

Brian Carruthers – CAO
Cindy Bouchard – Manager of Legislative Services
Candie Laporte - Director of Financial Services
Annie McKitrick - Acting Manager of Social Development

Meeting called to order at 6:00pm
Minutes of October 5th Council meeting approved


1) Mayor Cook presented a “Community Spirit Certificate” to the City of WL Winter Lights Committee


1) Council received for information a report from the City CAO regarding the 2010 UBCM (Union of BC Muncipalities) Annual Convention

2) Council approved associated travel expenses for Mayor Cook to co-present at the Ahead of the Curve: Tapping into the Prairies' Rich Leadership History in Saskatoon on October 29th, 2010.
3) Council approved placement of a quarter-page advertisement at a cost of $239.00 in the Williams Lake Tribune's 2010 Forest Capital commemorative magazine
4) Council approved the amendments to the Revitalization Tax Exemptions Bylaw #2077 and gave three readings to Williams Lake Revitalization Tax Exemptions Bylaw No. 2126, 2010. Council also referred Bylaw #2077 (Tax Revitalization Bylaw) to the Bylaw Review Committee
5) Council adopted Bylaw #2121, 2010 (2011 Borrowing in Anticipation of Property Tax Revenue)
6) Council adopted a number of Committee of the Whole Recommendations, as follows:

• Council approved the proposed permissive property tax exemptions for 2011 and Williams Lake Permissive Property Tax Exemptions Bylaw No. 2122, 2010 was read three times – Councillor Geoff Bourdon was opposed. Council also asked Staff to bring forward a Policy/Application Form on Permissive Property Tax Exemptions to a future Committee of the Whole Meeting
• Council approved the amendment to the permissive church property tax exemptions for 2011 and Williams Lake Church Taxation Exemption Amendment Bylaw No. 2123, 2010. City Staff were directed to bring back an amending Bylaw in 2012 to include the complete legal names, civic addresses and denominations for all properties contained therein
• Council approved the amendments to the private school tax exemptions for 2011 and Williams Lake Private School Tax Exemptions Bylaw No. 2125, 2010 three times. City Staff were directed to bring back an amending Bylaw in 2012 to include the complete legal names, civic addresses and denominations for all properties contained therein
• Council approved signs for lane usage on Mackenzie Avenue for vehicles over 11,500 kg gross vehicle weight.
• Council approved the Terms of Reference for the Cariboo Lodge Site Redevelopment Task Force as contained in the report from the Acting Social Development Manager – Councillor Surinder Rathor was opposed
• Council adopted the updated Housing Report and the proposed recommendations for developing an affordable housing strategy contained in the report from the Acting Social Development Manager as follows:

a) Assemble a meeting of housing providers (non-profit, private and public), members of the City’s Affordable Housing Committee, Social Planning Council, Canadian Mental Health Association Housing and Homelessness Committee and City Planning staff to begin the development of an Affordable Housing Strategy for the City that incorporates the ICSP strategies (the Affordable Housing Strategy should prioritize community needs, strategies and build a timeline and action plan based on identified current and future needs);
b) Meet with the Prosperity Mine proponents to discuss their HR strategies and the potential implications for housing in Williams Lake in the short and long term;
c) Support the provincial government Rental Subsidy program which helps working families with their rent;
d) Continue to identify potential land for affordable housing developments that can be designated in the Official Community Plan for that purpose;
e) Work with the existing Williams Lake organizations interested in housing to build capacity in the organizations to be able to undertake more complex housing projects such as the Cariboo Lodge site redevelopment; and Council will send letters to Interior Health after the consultation process with stakeholders regarding seniors living.
7) Council received for information the CRD Board Highlights from its’ October 7th, 2010 meeting
8) A letter from the Cariboo White Cane Chapter of the Canadian Council of the Blind regarding a request for the installation of acoustic locators for crosswalks at City intersections was received and a letter will be forwarded to the Cariboo White Cane Chapter – Canadian Council of the Blind advising that their request is being addressed in all current and future signal light upgrades, including those of the 2nd Avenue and Oliver Street and 8th Avenue and Oliver Street intersections
9) Council agreed to provide a letter of support for the request of the Cariboo Friendship Society to the Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation for annual funding to sustain the vital role of Friendship Centres across BC
10) Council agreed to provide a letter of support for funding from the Salvation Army Divisional Headquarters for a Salvation Army Non-Residential Addictions Program
11) Council proclaimed the month of November as “Prayer Month” in the City of Williams Lake
12) Council approved the following with regard to Remembrance Day ceremonies/events in the City of Williams Lake:
• A “Poppy Campaign” sale days on October 29-31 and November 5-7, 2010 be approved
• Council approved the “Remembrance Day” parade route on November 11, 2010 and Council proclaimed the week of November 7 to 13, 2010 as "Veterans' Week" in the City of Williams Lake
• Council proclaimed a "2 Minute Wave of Silence" at 11:00 am on November 11, 2010;
• Council authorize use of the City Hall lobby for the Remembrance Day ceremonies on November 11, 2010
13) Council agreed to provide a letter of support to the local TRU Campus in their application to host the 2011 BC Rural Network AGM & Workshop

Members of Council gave oral reports on issues/events occurring in the City of Williams Lake
Meeting adjourned at 6:57pm

News You Can Use - Tuesday, October 19th edition

In the Williams Lake Tribune:

* CCRHD Chair Rick Mumford responds to BC Care Providers' Association concerns over renovations to Deni House - see here

* TNG Tribal Chair Joe Alphonse charges the Tribune poll on support for Prosperity Mine "weak attempt" to influence Ottawa's decision on Prosperity Mine - see here

In the Vancouver Sun:

* Political Columnist Vaughn Palmer charges BC Rail deal tainted from start in 2003 - see here

Monday, October 18, 2010

City of Quesnel surveys the public on their website

The City of Quesnel ( is looking to revamp their website

They are accepting input, via a survey, here

They also ask the public to review their website before completing the survey

Carole James - Here's why Norm MacDonald gets to stay and Bob Simpson does not

In today's Globe and Mail - BC Edition, BC NDP Leader Carole James explains why Norm MacDonald (former BC NDP Caucus Chair and MLA for Columbia River-Revelstoke) gets to stay in her caucus but Cariboo-North MLA Bob Simpson does not

See here

Another Week and more media problems for the BC NDP

The beginning of a new week and more public problems for the BC NDP (over at Public Eye Online):

1) Fraser-Nicola NDP Riding Assoc demands Bob Simpson (Cariboo-North MLA) be returned to BC NDP Caucus / Leadership Convention in 2011 - see here 

2) Comox Valley NDP Riding Assoc wants "Leadership Review" not "Leadership Convention" - see here

3) Saanich South NDP MLA Lana Popham seeks NDP event, more indications of dissent with BC NDP Caucus? - see more here

This is stunning - and here I thought all along the BC Liberals' were (and still are in trouble) but the NDP just keep managing to shoot itself in the foot, even after the governing BC Liberals' handed them (NDP) a real gift (continuing debate over the HST)

BC Rail Corruption Trial over

Gary Mason of the Globe and Mail - BC Edition reports on the guilty pleas of Dave Basi & Bob Virk.  Aneal Vasi's charges were dropped

See more here

Quesnel Council Highlights - October 18th meeting

Literacy champion thanked

Rebecca Beuschel, a long-time literacy advocate, was thanked by Quesnel City Council and applauded for her recent Canada Post Community Literacy Award. These awards were created in 1993 to recognize the achievements of Canadians "who have made a special effort or an important contribution to literacy." Beuschel, the Literacy Outreach Coordinator for the Literacy Quesnel Society, has worked in the literacy field for more than 10 years. She's taught English as a Second Language to adults and coordinates adult literacy tutoring programs and family literacy programs.

UBCM wrap-up

Council reviewed a summary of the various awards and meetings at the annual UBCM convention held in late September.
- The City received an honourable mention in the UBCM Community Excellence Awards - Best Practices for its Bulk Water Distribution Plant.
- The City received an honourable mention in the partnerships category for the work of the Quesnel Community and Economic Development Corporation with the Lillooet economic development office on the Gold Rush Living partnership.
- The City was a funding partner and participant in the Cariboo Regional District's BC Street initiative during the Olympics, which received an honourable mention in that same category.
- Quesnel City Council saw both of their resolutions endorsed at the convention. The first involved the location of assessment appeal hearings, which received an honourable mention in the Gold Star Resolution recognition initiative.
- Quesnel's second successful resolution revolved around the idea of a single transferable license plate.
- Mayor Mary Sjostrom will begin a seventh year on the Union of British Columbia Municipalities Board, having been elected this year as second Vice-President.
- Council members also reported out on their highlights, including the ministerial meetings, workshops and seminars they attended.

Other News

- Council awarded the contract for lighting improvements to the Fraser River Footbridge at a special meeting held Oct. 4. The tender was awarded to James and Sons Electric for $131,600, including HST. The work includes installation of a lighting system that allows the bridge to be enhanced by multiple colour schemes.
- The Quesnel Regional Airport has collected $109,000 more in revenues than was projected for 2010. Due to a very busy forest fire season, a tanker base was set up for three weeks at the airport. In addition, about 24 helicopter companies used the airport as an overnight base and equipment storage area.
- Council approved the installation of a five-piece fitness station at the West Fraser Timber Park. The Quesnel Rotary Club is providing the $26,000 in required funding.
- Council approved a development permit for a property at 884 Front Street. The application was for a 2,300 square-foot storage area addition at Canadian Western Mechanical.
- Council approved a development permit for a property at 1410 Hwy. 97 North. The application was for the addition of a second storey and a service bay at Cariboo Propane.

Important Dates

Oct. 19, 7 p.m. - Town Hall meeting hosted by Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson at the Royal Canadian Legion Oct. 23 - Quesnel and District Child Development Centre Annual Variety Show Fundraiser Nov. 6 - Diwali Fireworks display Nov. 20, 5 p.m. - 10th Annual Taste of Quesnel Variety Dinner and Artisan Auction at the Seniors' Centre in support of the Quesnel and District Hospice Palliative Care Association.

Oct. 18 to 24 - Waste Reduction Week
Oct. 18 to 23 - Child Development Week
October - Foster Family Appreciation Month Nov. 14 to 21 - Restorative Justice Week

Future Quesnel Council or North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Meeting Dates:

Next Committee of the Whole Meeting:
October 25

Next Regular Council Meeting:
November 1

Next Delegation Session Meeting:
November 8

Next North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Meeting
November 9

158 Canvassers' ready to launch recall campaign against Donna Barnett reports that 158 canvassers' are ready to launch a recall campaign against Donna Barnett, Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA.  That puts the Cariboo-Chilcotin riding in total canvassers' behind Oak Bay-Gordon Head which is currently represented by Hon. Ida Chong (Minister of Healthy Living) which has 178 canvassers' ready to go

See here

Debate over Deni House renos not yet done....?

The BC Care Providers' Association has some concerns over the Deni House renovations which were approved by the CCRHD (Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional Hospital District) in September totalling just below $1.9 million

See the story here
Link to the BC Care Providers' Association website here


1) If the BC Care Providers' Association was so concerned about the process, why come forward now?  Seniors' in Williams Lake want the same opportunities afforded to them that their friends in Quesnel and 100 Mile House receive - choice between a bed provided by the public or private sector

2) If you check out the BC Care Providers' Association website, keep in mind that their Board of Directors' are made up of invididuals who represent private senior care home companies, like Azim Jamal of Retirement Concepts.  Just so my blog readers' know

It will be interesting to see if the CCRHD Board takes up this concern of the BC Care Providers' Association at its' Friday, October 29th meeting