Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Message from City of WL CAO

Over at his blog - City of Williams Lake CAO Brian Carruthers' gives a New Years' message to Williams Lake residents'

See here

SBF

Getting Prosperity Mine back on track

Over at Welcome to Williams Lake, former Williams Lake Tribune reporter Sage Birchwater gives his opinion on how we, as a region, can get the Prosperity Mine proposal back on track and make a "win-win" for the Cariboo-Chilcotin people:

See below --

The attempt to establish Prosperity Mine in the heart of Xeni Gwet’in territory, 125 kilometres southwest of Williams Lake, has been a contentious and divisive issue for the people of the Cariboo Chilcotin.


But it didn’t have to be that way.


The mine offered a light at the end of a not so bright regional economic tunnel and many people were counting on it to turn things around.


When the project was turned down by the federal government, a delegation of local civic and political leaders went to Ottawa to find out why the mine got sidelined.


Maybe they needed to look a little closer to home when an important sector of our community got excluded from the process.


Until June 2008 the proposal to develop Prosperity Mine was an inclusive one, with a Joint Panel Review process that included the federal and provincial governments, First Nations, and the proponent of the mine, Taseko Mines.


What was important about this process was that all interested parties were sitting at the same table, working together in good faith to come up with a mine development plan that everybody could live with.


Then out of the blue, and to the surprise of the other parties involved, Taseko Mines and the provincial government pulled out of this consultative process, and announced they would forge ahead with their own provincial environmental review of the project, and let the federal government do their own thing and conduct a separate environmental review.


What was until then a consultative process, overnight became an adversarial one.


Many people on both sides of the debate feel that this inability to work together as a whole community to come up with a common plan, played a significant role in sinking the dream of Prosperity Mine.


Missing from the provincial environmental review process was a buy-in by First Nations who occupy the territory where the proposed mine would be located. First Nations refused to participate in a provincial process they felt was stacked against them.


If it wasn’t obvious before, it should be abundantly clear now that Canada and British Columbia need to resolve the aboriginal land and resource question directly, and not leave it up to a resource development company to do it for them.


Too much is at stake not to do it right.


We could use the failure of the Prosperity Mine proposal to our advantage by learning a valuable lesson. We were on the right track with a Joint Panel Review process that included meaningful involvement by all parties involved.


Let’s get back to that.


Contrary to what some proponents of Prosperity Mine say, the site of the proposed mine is indeed a very pristine and ecologically sensitive area. If something on the magnitude of the deepest open pit mine in the world is to occur there, then it needs to be done right.


That means it needs the consent, goodwill and cooperation of the indigenous people who live there. Their knowledge of the land, resources and environment is essential to come up with a Best Practices plan to preserve the other values that exist there.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mike De Jong vs John Rustad on disclosure of MLA's spending

Over at Globe and Mail - BC Edition, Justine Hunter reports on a little debate within the BC Liberal Party Leadership Race between Mike De Jong (BC Liberal Party Leadership Candidate) and John Rustad (MLA for Nechako Lakes & supporter of BC Liberal Party Leadership Candidate George Abbott)

See the article here

John Rustad's Facebook status message on this subject was:

Mike de Jong has raised the issue of MLA spending accountability. I have no problem with this but I do take issue with my colleague disparaging me. For the record, I've posted my expenses on facebook and I'd be happy to provide details to any reporter's request. The real question in my mind is why don't we expand the Auditor General's role to look at ALL tax payer money being spent? This would include municipalities, first nations and anywhere tax payer money is being spent

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Local Christmas Political Ad from Rudy Johnson...

In last Friday's Williams Lake Tribune Weekender - local rancher and legend Rudy Johnson took out an ad wishing Mayor and Council - City of Williams Lake all the best in 2011 and then went on to list his 3 wishes for 2011;

1) Make local industry use untreated water from the Fraser River for their needs
2) Replenish the level in Williams Lake
3) Continue work on making sidewalks "stroller-friendly" like Quesnel does

Having lived in the City of Williams Lake all my life (32 years).  I've never seen a Christmas political ad like this and certainly, it is innovative, just like the individual (Rudy Johnson) who purchased the ad

Is this the "unofficial" kick-off to the 2011 Civic Election - City of Williams Lake....?

The ad from Rudy Johnson strongly suggests that it is.....

Review of 2010 - Local & Provincial Political Stories

As we get to the end of 2010 - I thought I would take a moment to review my top 5 local political stories and my top 5 provincial political stories

Top 5 Local Political Stories:

1) Community Arts Council "Piano-for-Debt" Deal  - see my blog post here, but this is something that I still hear complaints from residents on this deal and in fact, it may become an issue with residents' as candidates for Councillor and Mayor start to campaign in the fall of 2011

2) Duncan Barnett resigns as CRD Area 'F' Director - see my blog post here.  A By-Election has been scheduled for Saturday, January 15th, 2011.  It will be interesting to see if Duncan's choice of Joan Sorley as Alternate Director for Area 'F' helps her campaign in becoming Area 'F' Director, given that Mr. Barnett is still highly respected in Area 'F'

3) CRD "State of the Region" Meetings - In a new innovative idea and at the suggestion of Area 'B' Director Roberta Faust, the CRD held sub-regional "State of the Region" Meetings in 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and Quesnel.  See my blog post on the meeting in Williams Lake in October here.  At its' December 10th meeting, the CRD Board has decided not to pursue State of the Region Meetings for 2011.  I believe that this is a mistake on the CRD's part and think that if they continued it for a year or two more, public participation will rise.  Think about this though - many Town Halls in rural areas get between 6-10 people, yet the CRD continues those year after year. 

4) Prosperity Mine denied Federal approval - See my blog post here.  Much work is being done to turn a "no" into a "yes" for Prosperity Mine and believe 2011 may see some progress on this front.  The community needs to see what the Federal Cabinet (Ministers Day, Shea, Baird and Strahl) has to say on a re-submitted Prosperity Mine proposal early in 2011 and I, for one, am look forward to that information

5) Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook says "Yes" for seeking 2nd Term in June of 2010, a full 14 months!! before local election plans are usually declared (Sept/Oct 2011) - see my blog post here, but this was a major misstep on Mayor Cook's part as she should have side-stepped this question in June of 2010 as most Mayors' would do and answered that she would announce her election plans when the time was right to do so

Top 5 Provincial Political Stories:

1) Gordon Campbell steps down as Premier and BC Liberal Party Leader - See my blog post here.  A reminder that BC Liberal Party members' select the next BC Liberal Party Leader and 35th Premier of BC on Saturday, February 26th, 2011

2) Carole James steps down as BC NDP Leader - See my blog post here

3) HST passes BC Legislature - See my blog post here

4) Anti-HST Petition declared valid - See my blog post here

5) Vision Vancouver (Vancouver Civic Political Party) declares war on bloggers and Vancouver local media -see my blog post here

2010 was definitely very busy, politically -  both provincially and locally - and we'll have to wait and see what 2011 brings.  I sincerely hope 2011 is both positive and fruitful for all of my blog readers' wherever they may reside

SBF

Mayor Cook's 2011 Goals

As recorded in last Friday's Williams Lake Tribune Weekender - Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook reflected on 2010 and looked forward towards 2011 - see here

As to her goals, I'd like to review those goals for a moment:

1) Economic Development & Business Development - considering that she has had two full years now and nothing to show for it, I believe this is a desperation measure for her, given 2011 is also an election year and she needs to demonstrate that she should continue as Mayor but ultimately I believe the electorate of Williams Lake are beyond patience as to turfing Kerry Cook and her "minions" (Councillors Walters, Zacharias and Bourdon) off Williams Lake Council on November 19th, 2011

2) Development of Community Forest - this was a goal set by the last Council and unless things drastically change in 2011, it is likely that the Williams Lake Community Forest will continue to move at a snail's pace while it goes through administrative and other regulatory issues between the Forests' Ministry and Williams Lake Indian Band and others.  I should note that I do support the idea of a Community Forest as it has worked out well for Likely, with their partnership with Soda Creek Indian Band, and I'm looking forward to a successful Williams Lake Community Forest

3) New Bylaws - Again, there are a few regulatory bylaws coming forward in 2011 including amendments to Zoning and Water Bylaws to permit Secondary Suites and with regard to Noise Bylaws.  It'll be interesting to see if Council takes the time to do the bylaws right the first time, rather than what was observed with this Council ramming the Traffic Control Bylaw through the public process and then consulting the public after

4) On-Going Work with Mayor's Roundtable - It'll be interesting to see what if any tangible results come from this roundtable in 2011.  If not, then the next Mayor could pick up this idea and run with it or he could try another idea to spur community growth (economic and social)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Quesnel residents' encouraged to complete online survey

The City of Quesnel has launched the second phase of its Citizen Satisfaction Survey. Residents and business owners can now complete an online, 26-question survey that is the same as the telephone survey that was completed last month. The survey asks residents for their opinion on a wide variety of subjects, including quality of life, quality of services, and taxation.

Residents and business owners can visit http://www.city.quesnel.bc.ca/ and click on the links to the survey.

The online survey will be open until Friday Jan. 7. The results will be summarized at the first formal budget meeting of 2011 on Monday Jan. 17. That meeting gets underway at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall. It will include a brief budget overview, the formal public input session, and a review of the survey results.

The City of Quesnel encourages residents and business owners to take advantage of this opportunity to share their ideas with City Council. Those views can make a difference when Council discusses important issues at budget time.

Harry Lali & Bruce Ralston pushing the limits on using Leglislature Resources for Partisan Purposes

Over at his blog - Victoria Secrets - Black Press Legislative Reporter Tom Fletcher reports on 2 no-no's committed by NDP Finance Critic & Surrey-Whalley MLA Bruce Ralston & Fraser-Nicola MLA Harry Lali.  They used legislative resources for partisan purposes, contrary to a directive issued by House Speaker Bill Barisoff with regard to leadership campaigns for both BC Liberals & BC NDP

See here

Mayor Cook & Double Standards

At noon today, the Rush ran a story on Mayor Cook interrupting Councillor Rathor when giving his year-end statement at the Dec 21st WL Council Meeting (watch Shaw Cable's coverage of Dec 21st WL Council Meeting for proof) as to where he was going with his statement.  I suspect it was more about Councillor Rathor raising concerns over the $500,000 Budget overun on the new Fire Hall and property taxes rather than it taking too long

Yet - Mayor Cook took 20 minutes to give her Year-End Statement and not one member of Council, including Councillor Rathor, interrputed her and that is only because Council, I believe, wanted to show respect to Mayor Cook, as a member of Council, to allow her to give her statement in full and Cook should have done the same to Rathor.  Note - she did not intervene when Councillors Barr, Bourdon, Hébert, Walters and Zacharias gave their year-end statements.  It should not matter how long the statement is, but the fact that we pay attention to what each member of Council is saying

Mayor Cook's justification was  "I had a job to do".  I, as one taxpayer/voter, do not accept that statement.  The true justifiction was - I didn't like his statement as it was too negative and did not promote the positives in our community.  I know this because as Chair/Co-Chair of both the City's Advisory Planning Commission and the CRD Area 'D' Advisory Planning Commission, I do not intervene in statements made by members' unless their statement is clearly "crossing the line" or is breaking established rules for conduct.  To date, I have never had to intervene as Chair

Again - Local Politics in 2011 will be interesting to observe and participate in as we see a new CRD Electoral Area 'F' Director and a full general election for WL Council, CRD Board & Board of Education (School Trustees) in September - November 2011.

Official 2011 CRD Town Hall Meetings List

This morning, the Cariboo Regional District released their list of 2011 Town Hall Meetings to present the 2011 CRD Budget:

Thursday, Jan 13 - Area 'G' - Lac La Hache Community Hall (Director Richmond) from 6:00 to 8:30pm

Saturday, Jan 15 - Area 'B' - Bouchie Lk Community Hall (Director Faust) from 1:00pm to 3:30pm

Monday, Jan 17 - District of 100 Mile - 100 Mile Council Chambers (Director Campsall) from 6:00pm to 8:30pm

Tuesday, Jan 18th - Area 'D' - McLeese Lk Community Hall (Director Bischoff) from 6:00pm to 8:30pm

Thursday, Jan 20th - Area 'H' - Forest Grove Community Hall (Director Dumaresq) from 6:00pm to 8:30pm

Saturday, Jan 22nd - Area 'E' - Chimney Ld Fire Hall (Director Mazur) from 1:00pm to 3:30pm

Monday, Jan 24th - Area 'A' - Kersley Community Hall (Director Armstrong)  from 6:00pm to 8:30pm

Tuesday, Jan 25th - Area 'J' - Anahim Lk Community Hall (Director Bracewell) from 6:00pm to 8:30pm

Wednesday, Jan 26th - Area 'K' - Big Creek Community Hall (Director Mumford) from 6:00pm to 8:30pm

Thursday, Jan 27th - Area 'I' - Nazko Elementary School (Director Glassford) from 6:00pm to 8:30pm

Saturday, Jan 29th - Area 'L' - Interlakes Community Hall (Director Rattray) from 1:00pm to 3:30pm

Thursday, Feb 3th - Wells - Wells Council Chambers (Director Vermette) from 6:00pm to 8:30pm

Tuesday, Feb 8th - Quesnel - Quesnel Council Chambers (Director Sjostrom) from 6:00pm to 8:30pm

Wednesday, Feb 9th - Area 'F' - Miocene Hall from 6:00pm to 8:30pm

Thursday, Feb 10th - Williams Lake - Williams Lake Council Chambers (Director Cook) from 6:00pm to 8:30pm

Presentation Format:

Weekday Town Hall Meeting - Open House from 6-6:30pm, then formal presentation from 6:30-7:30pm then Open House again from 7:30-8:30pm


Saturday Town Hall Meeting - Open House from 1-1:30pm, then formal presentation from 1:30-2:30pm then Open House from 2:30-3:30pm

If you can make these meetings, please do so and provide your elected officials with your views on the 2011 Cariboo Regional District Budget

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Mary Glassford: Social cost for governance more than ability to pay

Former Quesnel City Councillor & CRD Area 'I' Director Mary Glassford reviews the on-going developments in provincial politics

See here

Quesnel RCMP locate missing man

Quesnel RCMP reports that they have located Jason Timms

See here

Clarification: Mackenzie Avenue Rehab Project

Last week - I blogged on my concerns about the City using the remaining $400,000 in the Mackenzie Avenue Rehab Budget for paving in 2011 - see here

Since then - I've received the following note from Ken MacInnis - City of Williams Lake Communications Coordinator

The City did not use funds approved in the AAP for other paving projects. It is using senior government funds for those other projects, with the City’s 1/3 of the funding coming from City revenue, not the money approved in the AAP.

Because the City rolled the Cameron Street work in with the Mackenzie work, it was actually able to get more paving done while using less borrowed money than approved by the electors.

To suggest the City is using those AAP funds for a project other than what the electors approved is false and suggests impropriety on the City’s part.

The blog post in question has now been changed.  Notwithstanding this - I still profusely disagree with WL Council's actions on Mackenzie Avenue Rehab Project Budget and will continue to express those concerns to the public

Christmas Break...

As Christmas quickly approaches, all local governments in the Cariboo-Chilcotin are on break until January 2011 and BC Liberal Party Leadership Candidates will likely be winding down for the Christmas Break, I intend to take a few days to enjoy Christmas with my family and I hope you will consider doing the same

However, next week, stay tuned as I'll be blogging on the top 5 local and provincial political stories as we head in 2011

SBF

Mayor Cook & Prosperity Mine

Yesterday, I blogged on some articles regarding Prosperity Mine that appeared in Business in Vancouver

But I wanted to take a moment to review one comment that I disagree with:

"Mayor Cook believes she might be the person to broker peace between Taseko and First Nations, but it won’t be easy"

If I were Mayor Cook, I would think that she would be wise to leave Taseko and First Nations to talk among themselves as they need to have that conversation on their own.  Failing that, I believe the community is looking for a Mayor who states that he/she is in favour of the projects and politely tell opponents of Prosperity Mine that they respect their views but he/she disagrees

Mayor Cook did report though, at last night's Council meeting, that Dick Harris (Conservative MP for Cariboo-Prince George) stated to her that Federal Cabinet Ministers John Baird, Stockwell Day, Gail Shea and Chuck Strahl have met and will provide next steps early in the New Year

Goldilocks Story & Local Governments

Over at his blog - District of Lake Country CAO Alberto DeFeo reviews the story of Goldilocks and how that relates to local governments and their aging infrastructure

See here

HST having negative effect on restaurants

CBC-BC is reporting that the HST is having a very negative on restaurants on BC.  A cost of a meal has risen three times from a year ago says Statistics Canada

See here

Exports to China exceed Exports to US

Opinion250.com reporting that lumber exports to China now exceed exports to the USA announces Forests Minister Pat Bell

See here

Brian Carruthers on Social Media

Over at his blog - Williams Lake Chief Administrator Brian Carruthers has a interest story on Social Media & City of Williams Lake

See here

However - I would point that, unlike Mr. Carruthers, I see a lot of good use in social media (notwithstanding the challenges it does pose to some teenagers & society as a whole) but again, it is up to individuals to use social media, like any other tool, responsibly and if you do that, then it can/will have a positive impact on your organization or yourself provided that the right policies are in places - both at home/work/office

Rich Coleman backs Kevin Falcon

Globe and Mail reports that Solicitor-General Rich Coleman has decided to back Kevin Falcon for the BC Liberal Party Leadership and 35th Premier of BC.  See here

See Public Eye Online's take on this story here

My take on it is that it is not as signficant as one might think.  Remember to ask - does Rich Coleman's "machine" exist in all of BC or not?".  In my humble opinion - no.  Mr. Coleman backing Mr. Falcon will be significant if BC Liberal Party Delegates do not authorize changes to the Party's Constitution regarding the counting of the Leadership Ballots (1 person-1 vote to a weighted vote system).  Also, Mr. Coleman was never going to back anyone but Kevin Falcon.  If it wasn't for Mary Polak backing Falcon, Coleman would have been on the road campaigning and likely Falcon would be campaigning with Coleman as both come from the right side of the political coalition within the BC Liberals and why there is a push within both the Coleman/Falcon camps (mostly Federal Conservatives) to keep Christy Clark from winning as they see her from the left side (Federal Liberals)

Stay tuned, folks....

Christy Clark News... Dec 22nd edition

Today, Christy Clark announcing, if elected the BC Liberal Party Leader & 35th Premier, that she would add $15 million to Community Grants which assists non-profits and other community groups deliver local services in communities throughout BC.  See here

Also - Christy Clark announcing her stance on News 1130 regarding tougher criminal sentences. See here

2011 City of WL Election Campaign Already On...

At last night's WL Council Meeting, Councillors Rathor and Zacharias gave their year-end speeches. 

Previous to this, at the December 7th Williams Lake Council Meeting, Mayor Cook and Councillors Laurie Walters, Geoff Bourdon, Natalie Hébert and Tom Barr gave their year-end speeches.  Councillors Walters, Bourdon, Barr and Hébert gave speeches totalling just a few minutes

Mayor Cook's Year-End Address last 20 mins (that's fine with me) and I should put out that she had a polite Council who listened with interest.  However, fast forward to December 21st, during Councillor Rathor's speech in which he discussed the following:

* Concerns with rising property taxes (6% higher under Mayor Cook's watch with additional 5% or more to come in 2011)
* Concerns with $500,000 budget overrun at new Fire Hall and no report on why this is the case and what's being done about it)
* Concern that local businesses are doing poorly, save a few businesses that are doing good (I can confirm this as well talking with a few business owners' in Williams Lake)

Mayor Cook rudely interrupted him after 8 mins yet she received no interruptions on Dec 7th for the full 15-20 mins that she spoke.  Mayor Cook should publicly apologize for her actions to Councillor Rathor (I know she won't because she just doesn't care when someone says something she doesn't want to hear).  After that rude gesture, Councillor Geoff Bourdon also harshly criticized Councillor Rathor's Year-End Address as well, Councillor Zacharias all but did the same saying that Rathor's concerns were ridiculous stating business is good and employment is up and Rathor should quit looking for the negative in life (talk about having rose-coloured glasses on Councillors Bourdon and Zacharias!!).  Councillor Sue Zacharias also endorsed Kerry Cook for a 2nd Term as Mayor.  We'll know that if that was a mistake on her part on November 19th, 2011

As far as this voter/taxpayer is concerned, Councillor Geoff Bourdon has just put his political future on the line behind Kerry Cook as Mayor and that is a grave mistake because not only will Mayor Cook be defeated next fall, but so will Councillors Zacharias, Bourdon, Hébert and Walters.  It would be better if they retired on their own terms before the voters (I suspect) do it for them.  Mayor Cook's Councillor backers (Bourdon, Walters, Zacharias, Hébert) I'm sure will be publicly going out there in the community promoting Kerry Cook's attributes and all the reasons why she needs to be re-elected.  I, in addition to others, will be equally as charged explaining to Williams Lake voters' why Mayor Kerry Cook & Councillors' Geoff Bourdon, Sue Zacharias, Laurie Walters and Natalie Hébert need to be turfed from political office, at the first opportunity. 

I intend to continue to lay out what WL Council is doing in 2011, criticize their decisions, where necessary, and what I would, if I was on Council.  Stay tuned, the election race in Williams Lake will be an interesting one to follow, regardless of your feelings of Williams Lake City Council

In the meantime, may all of Williams Lake and British Columbia have a Merry Christmas and a blessed and prosperous 2011.

WL Council Meeting Highlights - December 21st

Present: Mayor Cook and Councillors’ T. Barr, G. Bourdon, N. Hébert, SPS Rathor, L. Walters and S. Zacharias

Staff Present:

Brian Carruthers - CAO
Wendy Dahlman – Corporate Services Clerk
Tom Chung – IT Manager
Ken MacInnis – Communications Coordinator
Brad McRae – Senior Bylaw Officer
Geoff Goodall – General Manager of Planning and Operations
Annie McKitrick – Acting Manager of Social Development

Meeting called to order at 6:00pm
Minutes of Dec 7th WL Council meeting approved

Delegations:

1) Kirsten Braumandl (2011 Miss Rodeo Canada Princess) was presented with the City of WL 2010 Award of Merit

2) Mayor Cook presented Sandra Hawkins with the Solicitor-General’s Crime Prevention/Community Safety Award

3) Ken Day (UBC Alex Fraser Research Forest) appeared before Council regarding Changes to Draft Community Forest Boundaries – Council gave support for the amended Community Forest Areas of Interest

Business:

1) Council adopted a number of Central Cariboo Joint Committee Recommendations, as follows:

a) Council gave approval for Free Admission to the Pool and Fitness Centre on Saturday, February 5th,2011 to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the Sam Ketchum Memorial Pool.

b) Council gave approval for the Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Area 2011 Grant in Aid (2011 Street Party) to be increased from $3,000 to $5,000.

c) Council will send thanks to all members of the local Sustainability Committee for their service after being advised from Jenny Noble that the Committee will be disbanding

2) Council directed City Staff to submit a Project Amendment Application for the Mackenzie Avenue Rehabilitation project in order to take advantage of grant funding deadline extensions and to utilize remaining budget ($400,000) for additional street re-surfacing in the 2011 construction season

3) Council endorsed the strategies to implement a Secondary Suite Policy and that the existing Zoning, Water and Sewer Bylaws be amended accordingly

4) Council received a report for information regarding the progress of the Rick Hansen Man in Motion Celebration Monument and City Staff were directed to proceed with the project as proposed by Three Dimensional Services Inc.

5) Council adopted the Terms of Reference, Oath of Office and Implementation Plan for the Junior Council.

6) The poll of Council to approve release of $10,600 in funding from the Cariboo Regional District’s Arts & Culture Function to the Central Cariboo Arts & Culture Society, was ratified

7) Council adopted Graffiti Bylaw No. 2128, 2010

8) Council adopted two Committee of the Whole Recommendations, as follows:

a) Council referred the proposed budget of $30,000 to complete a City branding process to 2011 budget discussions

b) Council directed City Staff to proceed with the following recommendations from the Bylaw Review Committee on Noise & Nuisance Bylaws and begin the public consultation process:

i) Incorporate amendments to the Nuisance and Noise Bylaws regarding excessive property nuisance complaints;

ii) Fees for repeat nuisance calls be established in the $250 range consistent with other municipalities;

iii) Review proposed changes to the Bylaws with the RCMP;

iv) Invite impacted property owners to meet with the City to review the proposed changes and provide comments;

v) Schedule 2 public consultation sessions to receive comments and input from the public; and further, the definition of "rental property" include multi-family residential units

9) Late Item - Council awarded the Contract to add a new entrance way into the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex Arena to MASS Construction for the tendered price of $177,778

10) Council received for information the “Council Information Package” as at December 21st, 2010

Members of WL Council made oral reports concerning issues/events in the City

Meeting adjourned at 7:55pm

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

George Abbott gets former BC Liberal MLA/Candidate support

In another curious move, George Abbott has received the endorsement of 14 former BC Liberal MLA's & Candidates including Steve Wallace (former Mayor of Quesnel and BC Liberal candidate for Cariboo-North in 2005) and Bruce Ernst (2009 BC Liberal MLA candidate for Cariboo-North)

See George Abbott's press release here

Prosperity Mine in "Business in Vancouver" Magazine

Earlier today, Ken MacInnis (City of Williams Lake Communications Coordinator) forwarded me a copy of 4 articles from Business in Vancouver on the Prosperity Mine debate

If you desire a copy of this, contact either Ken at kmacinnis@williamslake.ca or contact me at sforseth000@hotmail.com or call (250) - 303-0951 and I'll forward you my copy

It is a very interesting read...

Quesnel RCMP looking for missing man

Quesnel RCMP are asking for the public's assistance in locating 32 year old Jason Robert TIMMS.


TIMMS was last seen on November 30th, 2010 and was reported missing by his family on December 13, 2010. He has had some phone contact since he went missing. TIMMS whereabouts remains unknown and family members are concerned for his well being.

TIMMS is described as a Caucasian male, 32 years of age, approximately 5'10 , weighing approximately 200 pounds with brown hair.

If anyone has information regarding the whereabouts of Jason Robert TIMMS, please contact the Quesnel RCMP at (250)-992-9211.

BC Conservatives & Christy Clark

Yesterday, after blogging my support for Christy Clark as the next BC Liberal Party Leader and 35th Premier of British Columbia, I received a rather long-winded diatribe from Alan Forseth, both regional director for the BC Conservatives and also my uncle.  The diatribe in question was:

Hello Steve ... sorry but I don't buy Christy Clark as leader.


Here's what have others said:


… a well-honed ambition does not necessarily translate into performance at the cabinet table. As education minister, she launched many initiatives but delivered on few, and lost a key battle with the B.C. Teachers' Federation over control of the College of Teachers.


"She was energetic with a lot of ideas -- some of which were positive," said Gordon Comeau, head of the school trustees, on the day in early 2004 when the premier shuffled Clark out of education. "But her energy sometimes created conflict in the system that is still there now."


… her second chance was the ministry of children and family development -- "Why me?" Clark was quoted as saying when Campbell gave her the news. Six months later she was gone telling the premier she was quitting cabinet and would not be seek re-election.


… if she runs for Lib leader, she'll face tough queries about Railgate and the HST.


Here's what I say:


We’ve had flash / razzle / dazzle … we’ve had top down directive from the Premiere to MLA’s … and we’ve had political parties / leaders who have said & promised just about anything to get elected. What we have not had are MLA’s that are given the freedom to truly represent their constituents, and the best needs of the ridings they come from.


If Christy Clark becomes leader of the BC Liberals – and by extension the next premier – I do not believe she has what it will take to give Liberal MLA’s that kind of freedom.


It doesn’t matter who ends up as party leader because swinging the pendulum from left to right, Liberals to NDP, is not going to make one bit of difference. Only one party in BC has a core belief that government must be accountable to voters. The BC Conservatives are committed to providing a home for men and women of all walks of life who want lower taxes, a stronger economy and greater accountability.


When we next go to the polls in 2013 our province needs a new conservative government with new ideas and common sense solutions. We don’t need more of the NDP – or the Liberal’s – no matter who is leading them.

Notwithstanding the fact that the BC Teachers' Federation is well-known as being one of the most radical unions', regardless of the provincial political party in power in Victoria.  The BC Conservatives is just as much a legitimate political party as the BC First Party and the BC Heritage Party.  In fact, the BC Conservatives have only 13 Constituency Associations registered (pending Elections BC approval) at the end of 2010 and they say that the remaining 72 Constituency Associations will be established by the end of 2011.  I doubt that very much but I stand to be corrected.  Also, the BC Rail issue is "dead" as voters' in two elections had an opportunity to vote on the BC Liberals' over the BC Rail deal and the BC Liberals' were re-elected in 2005 & 2009 and believe voters' have moved on from BC Rail onto other pressing matters', like the HST, the economy, etc

In the meantime - I believe the choice before voters' will be a strong BC Liberal Government vs a stumbling in-fighting BC NDP in 2013.  Note too the BC Conservatives have polled at high as 11% but have fallen back to 6% public support while the two main provincial political parties (BC Liberals and BC NDP) have polled in the 37-43% range for public support

The choice is clear - we need to re-elect the BC Liberals in 2013 under the leadership of Christy Clark.

Christy Clark on Good Economic Planning

Yesterday, BC Liberal Party Leadership Candidate Christy Clark uploaded a well-thought out message on Good Economic Planning.  See the video here (Note - you'll need a high-speed connection for this)

See Kevin Falcon's outrageous response to that video here (article from today's Globe and Mail)

2 CRD Area 'F' Candidates formally announce their candidancy

Both Charlene Hays and William Sellars have both announced that they want to become the next Cariboo Regional District Electoral Area 'F' Director

See here (Sellars) and here (Hays)

Concerns over the BC Ambulance Service & Local First Responders

Williams Lake Tribune is reporting on a story - concerns from local First Responders' in rural areas around supplies being used on behalf of the BC Ambulance Service

See here

Kevin Falcon addresses BC Liberals' in Williams Lake

Kevin Falcon, a former Minister of State for Deregulation, Minister of Health and Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure addressed a room of 30 BC Liberal Party members which included Mayor Kerry Cook and WL City Councillor Laurie Walters as to why he should be the next BC Liberal Party Leader and 35th Premier of British Columbia

Mr. Falcon was first introduced by Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett then he went out to lay out why he is the best candidate in a field of 5.  Mr. Falcon's comments included:

* Review of his work as Minister of State for Deregulation, Minister of Health & Transportation/Health

* Best Candidate to hold the "coalition" together (Federal Conservatives/Liberals)

Mr. Falcon then held a Question & Answer Period with BC Liberal Party members.

Mike De Jong & Christy Clark have previously been in Williams Lake to address BC Liberal Party members' on their leadership aspirations.

Central Cariboo Joint Committee announces 2011 Grants-in-Aide

From the City of Williams Lake & Cariboo Regional District

Editor's Note - WL Council & presumably the CRD Board will consider an increase in the Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Area's Grant-in-Aide from $3,000 to $5,000 for the 2011 Street Party at their respective meetings'.  Accordingly, the amount that both the City of WL & CRD have remaining for Grants-in-Aide(assuming it is approved) will be changed accordingly and I have provided those numbers for my blog readers

Twelve organizations and societies could benefit from more than $42,000 in grants-for-assistance in
the upcoming year. Recently the Cariboo Regional District Board of Directors, and the Williams Lake City Council, gave preliminary approval to the following grants-for-assistance.

The groups slated to receive 2011 grants-in-aid are:
 Canadian Mental Health Assoc. (Challenge Day) - $5,000
 Cariboo Festival Society (Festival of the Arts) - $5,000
 Dry Grad Committee (use of Gibraltar Room) - $5,850
 Growers Cooperative of the Cariboo-Chilcotin (replace front garage doors) - $5,825
 Lake City Derby Girls: (CMC fee waiver, host prov. Boot camp, travel incentive for refs, coaches & competitors) -$2,000
 WL Blue Fin Swim Club (host Swim BC sanctioned swim meet) - $2,000
 WL Farmers Market (fund electrical costs) - $575
 WL Indoor Rodeo Association (offset rental of CMRC & opening act) - $2,000
 SPCA - WL (canine exercise pens & livestock accommodation) - $4,600
 Gavin Lake Forest Education Society (upgrade insulation for energy efficiency) - $3,500
 WL Central Business Improvement Area (2010 Street Party) - $3,000
 Winter Lights Celebrations (Christmas Magic Light up Event) - $2,900

The City of Williams Lake has agreed to contribute $30,975, while the Cariboo Regional District is proposing to contribute $13,325, apportioned equally among electoral areas D, E, and F. Unallocated dollars from the CRD ($1,725) and City of Williams Lake ($4,025) will be set aside, with any further allocation to be approved by the Central Cariboo Joint Committee.

Regional Districts are required to adopt their final budgets by March 31 each year. Once endorsed, these grants-for-assistance will be finalized. Funds are then distributed to the groups for their specific projects in August 2011.

“Community groups do so much to enhance the lives of residents,” says Williams Lake mayor Kerry Cook. “City Council is pleased to assist these groups to perform the valuable work they do in serving the community. They help keep our city active, vibrant, and attractive to visitors.”

“As Co-Chair of the Central Cariboo Joint Committee, I feel it is very important to assist and support community groups when possible,” says Central Cariboo Joint Committee Co-Chair and CRD Director Steve Mazur. “These groups, along with their dedicated volunteers are the fabric of our communities and make our region a great place to live, work and play.”

City of WL aims to reduce nuisance complaints

From the City of Williams Lake:

Editor's Note - This press release is in a long-line of press releases that anticipates a Council decision.  It would have been better if it came out Wednesday...

Amendments to two City bylaws will give bylaw officers the tools needed to more effectively manage nuisance residences in the community.

Proposed changes to the Prevention and Abatement of Nuisances bylaw and Noise bylaw would allow bylaw officers to issue excessive nuisance fees of approximately $250 to property owners who incur more than one noise complaint in 24 hours or more than three complaints in a calendar year.

“This provides City staff with essential tools to manage a small number of properties that cause a large number of issues,” says Geoff Goodall, General Manager of Planning and Operations. “We want to provide all residents their right to safety, peace, and enjoyment of their neighbourhoods.”

The changes mean the RCMP, while still attending complaints, will bring the complaints to the City bylaw department for follow up and action. Fees for nuisance complaints are currently $50.

“This is part of a collaborative working relationship between the Williams Lake RCMP and City bylaw officers to keep the peace in our community,” says Mayor Kerry Cook.

Two public consultation sessions on the proposed amendments will be scheduled in January 2011.

Monday, December 20, 2010

My Endorsement for next BC Liberal Party Leadership Candidate & 35th Premier of BC

Now that the 5 "legitimate" candidates for the BC Liberal Party Leadership have announced (Dr. Moira Stilwell, George Abbott, Mike De Jong, Kevin Falcon and Christy Clark), I'm now prepared to say who has my vote and I'll go through my analysis as to why each candidate can or can not have my support:

Dr. Moira Stilwell - Having been just elected to provincial office in 2009, I believe Dr. Stilwell has much to learn before becoming a leader of a provincial political party.  She hasn't even held a role within the BC Liberal Party Caucus at the BC Legislature (ie - Caucus Whip, Government/Deputy Government House Leader...).  No, I don't believe she is truly ready to lead

Kevin Falcon - Mr. Falcon was elected in 2001 in the BC Liberal "sweep" over the BC NDP and since then, has held a variety of posts including Minister of State - Deregulation & Minister of Transportation and Minister of Health.  Mr. Falcon's campaign launch was well done.  And I respect his ability to capture the voters' hearts & minds - I fear that Mr. Falcon gives the impression that he is "Gordon Campbell, Jr" and we all know we don't need another Gordon Campbell in the Premier's office.  Some of his campaign promises are impressive (changes to the provincial Agricultural Land Commission mandate), in addition to his BC Liberal Caucus supporters which number 12.  My good friend Steven Puhallo is a strong supporter of Mr. Falcon and though he'll be disappointed in my choice, I hope that both he and I can come back together to ensure the BC NDP do not become government in 2013

George Abbott - Mr. Abbott was elected in 1996 after a long career in local government with the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District including time as its' Chair.  He is also a Political Science Professor and owner of a berry farm in the Shuswap area.  He has held posts such as Ministers of Health, Aboriginal Affairs, Local Government Affairs.  His campaign launch was low-key as his stops in the province been low-key with the media.  Again, some of his campaign promises and positions are ones I agree (not calling a snap election).  Again, one of my former friends Chris Sandve is helping Mr. Abbott's campaign and he too will be disappointed in my choice but hopefully we'll come together as a team to help re-elect the BC Liberals' for a 4th time.  I have no doubt that Mr. Abbott would be a great Premier but he doesn't have the tenacity against a strong BC NDP after April 17th, 2011, but would make a very strong Deputy Premier

Mike De Jong - Mr. De Jong was elected as well in 1996.  He is a lawyer by trade and has been Minister of Forests, and Aborginal Affairs & Attorney-General.  His campaign launch rivaled Kevin's Falcon leadership bid launch but his "Open Mike" initiative is very impressive as he is setting the tone that BC Liberal Party supporters have the answer and not himself.  Having met Mr. De Jong personally, it pains me to say that I do not believe that he would be the right choice for the BC Liberal Party Leader, at this time, but would make a very strong Minister, but primarily because he, along with Kevin Falcon and George Abbott are connected to the HST and we, as BC Liberals, must elect an individual who has no connection to the HST

Christy Clark - Ms. Clark was elected in 1996, as well.  In 2001, she was elected in Port Moody and held the post of Minister of Education and Deputy Premier as well as Minister of Children and Families.  She also gave birth to a son, Hamish, in the 2001-2005 term.  In 2005, she decided not to seek re-election to give more time to her family.  Since then, she has gone on to become a radio host with CKNW (and do a good job at it).  Her campaign launch was high-key with lots of media coverage and I'm sure all of the other BC Liberal Leadership Candidates were left in awe.  She was in the Cariboo on Dec 9th and unlike Mr. De Jong, Ms. Clark's first words were about the rejected Prosperity Mine and the need to expeditiously move on it to turn a "no" into a "yes".  She's also talked about the need for a "Family First" agenda and move the HST issue back into the BC Legislature for a free vote (note - Fight HST proponents have said this move will likely kill all recalls).  She is warm, compassionate and media-savvy, something that dogged Gordon Campbell for the 17 years as BC Liberal Party Leader.  And finally, she is not connected to the HST debacle and she would be seen as "credible" in the voters' minds.  Some have said that she has no BC Liberal MLA support while George Abbott has 13 MLA's in his corner with Kevin Falcon having 12 BC Liberal MLA supporters.  I'm not too sure MLA support translates into BC Liberal Party Member votes

Bottom Line - selecting anyone other than Christy Clark is a huge mistake and wasted opportunity and that is why I'm proud to say I'm now a Christy Clark supporter.  I might add that both former Williams Lake Mayors' Scott Nelson and Walt Cobb are Christy Clark supporters' as well

SBF

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Honest Reporting...

On Tuesday, Council will deal with a report from the City's Acting Social Development Manager on proceeding with amendments to the City's Zoning and Water/Sewer Bylaws (Secondary Suite "Bylaw")

See her report here

However, 1 Glaring omission is that WL Council, at the Tuesday Dec 14th Committee of the Whole Meeting was did not decide on utility rates for secondary suites, due to a 3-3 tie vote, even though the report from the Acting Social Development Manager states that Council agreed on a 20% increase to the utility rate.  Now, how do I know thisI attended the meeting and took notes.  See that blog post here (Clarification Note - WL Council did agree on a 20% utility rate for secondary suites earlier this year but that was solely for the purpose of public consultation and the public responded that the utility rate should be 30-50% for secondary suites)

For the record, on a charge for utility rates for secondary suites, this is how each Councillor and the Mayor voted on Dec 14th:

For a 20% utility rate for secondary suites:

WL City Councillors SPS Rathor, Laurie Walters and Tom Barr

For a 30-50% utility rate for secondary suites:

Mayor Kerry Cook and Councillors Sue Zacharias & Geoff Bourdon

City Councillor Natalie Hébert was absent from the meeting so I'm not 100% sure of her feelings, given the results of the public consultations on secondary suites, but she was previously in support of a 20% utility rate for secondary suites when the issue came up previously at the Committee of the Whole (WL Council) meeting earlier this year

I hope that this is clarified on Tuesday but a City Staff report should accurately reflect decisions that were agreed to at the meeting.  If Councillor Hébert is in support, here and now, of a 20% charge of utilities for a secondary suite, then the report should accurately reflect this and not hypothesize a decision of Council when Council itself could not agree on a utility rate charge for secondary suites on Dec 14th

SBF

Cariboo Regional District releases Official List of Candidate for Electoral Area 'F' By-Election

From the Cariboo Regional District:

As of 4:00 p.m. today, the following candidates have been confirmed for the up-coming Electoral Area F By-election. The candidates that will appear on the ballot include;

Charlene Hays
William Sellars
Joan Sorley

Oleh Lazarchuck has withdrawn his name from the race.

At 4:00 pm on Monday, December 20, the CRD’s Chief Election Officer will officially declare an election by voting for the position of Director for Electoral Area F. General Voting Day will be Saturday, January 15, 2011 between the hours of 8:00 am and 8:00 pm for qualified electors of Electoral Area F of the Cariboo Regional District at the following locations:

150 Mile House Fire Hall
3038 Pigeon Road

Big Lake School
4060 Lakeview Drive

Advance Voting Opportunities will also be available at the Cariboo Regional District office, 180 D North Third Avenue in Williams Lake, on Wednesday, January 5, 2011 and Friday, January 7, 2011 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.

For further information, contact Chief Election Officer, Alice Johnston or Deputy Chief Election Officer, Rick Hodgson at 250-392-3351 or toll free 1-800-665-1636.

More Hypocrisy around Mackenzie Avenue Rehab Project Borrowing

On Tuesday, Williams Lake City Staff are proposing that Williams Lake Council submit a Project Amendment Application to take advantage of the new deadline for Ottawa's Stimulus Funding which expires on October 31st, 2011 to take advantage of $400,000 still remaining to pave roads in the City during the 2011 Construction Season

See the report here

While I agree getting projects funded on a 70/30 split (Ottawa/Victoria & City of WL) is a good thing.  I believe voters' should be offended at this move as City Council is intending to use the Mackenzie Avenue Rehab Project grant money for a purpose other than its' primary intention (Mackenzie Avenue Rehab Project) and to which I am opposed (Editor's Note - blog post changed at the request of Ken MacInnis - City of WL Communications Coordinator)

The next Council should declare that it will not use AAP (Counter-Petition) for borrowings except in the smallest of borrowings (ie - $10,000) as it is both the democratic and right thing to do as you see used over at the Cariboo Regional District as a result of the recent approval of the rural Transit Function via full referendum, rather then counter-petition

Mike De Jong - Annual BC Liberal Party Conventions a good idea

Over at Tom Fletcher's (Black Press Legislative Reporter) blog Victoria Secrets, Mike De Jong (BC Liberal Party Leadership Candidate) says he agrees with Christy Clark's idea around annual BC Liberal Party Conventions'

See here

BC NDP Leadership Convention Date set

Globe and Mail is reporting the BC New Democrats have selected Sunday, April 17th, 2011 as the date for their Leadership Convention.  It will be a 1 Person-1 Vote Rule

See more here

BC Liberal Party Leadership Candidates & BC Liberal MLA Support

Over at Public Eye Online - they review which BC Liberal MLA's are supporting the 5 BC Liberal Party Leadership hopefuls

Dr. Moira Stilwell - No supporters

Mike De Jong - No supporters

Christy Clark - Harry Bloy (Burnaby-Lougheed) 1 MLA

George Abbott - Murray Coell (Environment Minister), Eric Foster (Vernon-Monashee), Randy Hawes (Minister of State - Mining), Kash Heed (Vancouver-Fraserview), Gordon Hogg (Surrey-White Rock), Richard T Lee (Burnaby-North), Norm Letnick (Kelowna-Lake Country), Don McRae (Comox Valley), John Rustad (Parliamentary Secretary - Silverculture), John Slater (Parliamentary Secretary - Water Supply/Allocation), Jane Thornthwaite (North Vancouver-Seymour), John Van Dongen (Government Caucus Whip) and Terry Lake (Parliamentary Secretary - Health Promotion).  13 MLA's

Kevin Falcon - Iain Black (Labour Minister), Stephanie Cadieux (Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister), Ron Cantelon (Parksville-Qualicum), Dave Hayer (Surrey-Tynehead), Doug Horne (Coquitlam-Burke Mountain), Rob Howard (Richmond-Centre), John Les (Parliamentary Secretary - HST Information), Pat Pimm (Peace River-North), Mary Polak (Minister of Children & Families), Joan McIntyre (West Vancouver-Sea to Sky), Marc Dalton (Maple Ridge-Mission) and John Yap (Minister of State - Climate Action).  12 MLA's

MLA's that haven't committed to a BC Liberal Party Leadership Candidate: Donna Barnett (Parliamentary Secretary - Pine Beetle Community Recovery), Pat Bell (Minister of Forests, Lands and Mines), Bill Barisoff (Legislature Speaker), Shirley Bond (Minister of Transportation), Ida Chong (Minister of Science & Universities), Rich Coleman (Solicitor-General), Colin Hansen (Ministers of Health and Finance), Margaret McDiarmid (Minister of Education), Mary McNeil (Minister of Citizens' Services), Linda Reid (Legislature Deputy Speaker), Ben Stewart (Minister of Agriculture), Ralph Sultan (West Vancouver-Capilano), Steve Thomson (Minister of Natural Resources Operations and Energy), Naomi Yamamoto (Minister of State - Building Code Renewal), and Gordon Campbell (Vancouver-Point Grey).  14 MLA's

Both Kevin Krueger (Minister of Social Development) and Barry Penner (Attorney-General) sit on the BC Liberal Party's Leadership Vote/Convention Committee

Friday, December 17, 2010

Williams Lake City Council Meeting on Tuesday

With all other local governments having adjourned for the Christmas Break, Williams Lake Council will have its' final meeting of 2010 on Tuesday, December 21st in Williams Lake Council Chambers, starting at 6:00pm

See the Agenda/Reports here

Please Note - *** Miocene Community Association has tentatively scheduled an All-Candidates Forum for all CRD Area 'F' Candidates on Thursday, January 7th at 7:00pm.  If the date/time changes, I'll endeavour to let you know ASAP.  By the end of the day Friday, there should be officially 3 Candidates for the upcoming CRD Area 'F' By-Election on Saturday, January 15th:

a) Joan Sorley
b) Charlene Hays
c) Williams Sellers

Kevin Falcon comes to the Cariboo-Chilcotin

My good friend Steven Puhallo tells me on Facebook that Kevin Falcon (former BC Transportation and Health Ministers) will be through the Cariboo-Chilcotin this upcoming week

Monday, Dec 21st - 7pm at Quesnel Legion
Tuesday, Dec 22nd - 10am at Pioneer Complex in Williams Lake (351 Hodgson Rd)

If you get a chance this week and you're a BC Liberal Party member and live in either Quesnel or Williams Lake, get out and see him and tell him why he is a good choice for the next BC Liberal Party Leader

Now only if George Abbott can swing through the Cariboo-Chilcotin soon.........?

City of WL to embrace Social Media in early 2011

From the City of Williams Lake:

The City of Williams Lake will join the Facebook and Twitter communities in the early spring of 2011 at the same time it launches the new version of its website at http://www.williamslake.ca/

The City’s Facebook page will update residents on important City initiatives and messages, and allow for resident feedback through the wall feature. The Twitter feed will update followers when council meeting
highlights, media releases, and other important information is released.

The new City of Williams Lake website will be a user-friendly, interactive site that will connect residents, businesses, and visitors alike with the information most relevant to them. It will also feature the ability for residents to submit their photos and videos of the city.

“Social media is a powerful communication tool, and the City is excited about the potential for more interaction with residents,” says Communications Coordinator Ken MacInnis. “We hope many people will ‘like’ us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.”

“Having a presence on Facebook and Twitter means more opportunity for conversations with our residents,” says Mayor Kerry Cook. “I look forward to having those conversations, which will help inform council as we make decisions in the future.”

Currently, the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex has a Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cariboo-Memorial-Recreation-Complex/147840115912, where recreation events, news, and photos are posted.

Surinderpal Rathor: Local Media needs to be independent voice

Over at Welcome to Williams Lake (http://www.welcometowilliamslake.ca/), Senior Williams lake City Councillor Surinder Rathor clarifies his comments about the local media when discussing a new Social Media Policy for the City of Williams Lake at this past Tuesday's Committee of the Whole Meeting

See here

BC Liberal (Cariboo-Chilcotin) Delegate Selection Meeting on January 8th, 2011

As published in the Williams Lake Tribune, the BC Liberal Cariboo-Chilcotin Riding Association is holding a Delegate Selection Meeting for the Special BC Liberal Party Convention being held in Vancouver on Saturday, February 12th, 2011 for the purpose of adopting changes to the Party's Constitution relating to Leadership Voting Rules

The details are:

Date: Saturday, January 8th, 2011
Time: 10:00 - 10:30am - Registration with the meeting to get under way at 10:30am
Location: Pioneer Complex (Room TBA - To Be Announced) - 351 Hodgson Rd, Williams Lake, BC

*** Please note, you must be a member of the BC Liberal Party as at Friday, December 10th, 2010 ***

If you have any questions/concerns, contact Bill Carruthers, President of the BC Liberal - Cariboo-Chilcotin - Riding Association, via email at bcarruthers@caribouroads.com

SBF

BC Political News - Friday, Dec 17th edition

Elections BC says they need 6 months to prepare for a snap election, which means the earliest a snap election in BC could be called would be August 26th, 2011 - see the Globe and Mail story here

Vancouver Province political columnist Mike Smyth says George Abbott may be in the best position to win the BC Liberal Party Leadership on February 26th, 2011 - see here

Dr Terry Lake, MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson is throwing his support behind George Abbott for the next BC Liberal Party Leader and 35th Premier of British Columbia.  See here

Kevin Falcon says it's time to review the Carbon Tax as it may be uncompetitive for the BC economy - see here.

Also - On Monday, stay tuned as I announce who I'm supporting for the next BC Liberal Party Leader & 35th Premier of BC...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My Take on the Public Meeting on an Indoor Turf Facility

Earlier tonight, City of Williams Lake Staff & Elected Officials along with CRD Elected Officials from Areas D and F met with the public around the idea on an Indoor Turf Facility for the Central Cariboo region

In the hour and a half meeting, a good dialogue, moderated by Brian Carruthers (City of WL CAO), was had around the idea for a Indoor Soccer Facility for the Williams Lake area.  Concerns around how it would be financed and whether investing in sports got prefential treatment to investing in the arts

I believe the elected officials (City of WL & CRD) got a clear message around where the public is at on an Indoor Turf Facility.  The public who attended tonight agreed to get back on a Task Force to move this project forward

My only concern is that we have forgotten that the local Recreation Complex will very soon need some major facelifts, costing in the tens of millions of dollars and again, we may need to borrow money for that or another option on the table is to partner with the private sector to get this done.  If we want a good, high-quality recreation facility then we need to be open to all options and I believe the public agrees with this, especially with regard to an Indoor Turf Facility - that all options, including funding, are on the table

Stay tuned, as they say....

Public Meeting on Indoor Turf Facility - Wednesday, December 15th

Public Indoor Turf Facility Meeting in WL Council Chambers – Wednesday, December 15th

Present: CRD Area ‘D’ Director Deb Bischoff and Alternate Director John Andrews, CRD Area ‘F’ Alternate Director Joan Sorley, City of Williams Lake Councillor SPS Rathor, Laurie Walters and Sue Zacharias

Staff Present: Brian Carruthers (City of WL CAO) & Geoff Paynton (City of WL Director of Community Services)

Public: 30+

Meeting called to order at 6:30pm

Introductory comments by Geoff Paynton, WL City Councillor SPS Rathor and CRD Area 'F' Alternate Director Joan Sorley

Review of History on Indoor Turf Facility by Geoff Paynton (City of WL Director of Community Services)

A Question and Answer Period ensued – moderated by Brian Carruthers (City of WL CAO)

Questions included:

• Why expand purpose from “one building” to “multiple-purpose” building?
• Taxation – how much will it cost each homeowner?
• Where will the money come from?
• How can the general public lead the charge for this project?
• How about investing in capital building(s) for the Arts?

Wrap-up comments from Geoff Paynton & Councillor SPS Rathor

Meeting adjourned at 7:50pm

Busy Time for Central Cariboo Search and Rescue

Accompanying snowy roads and a drop of temperatures in November brought a busy period for the Central Cariboo Search and Rescue's Auto Extrication team. Extremely icy roads and dangerous conditions had vehicles sliding in all directions, leading to a flurry of calls requesting aid in over 30 motor vehicle incidents between November 9 to 24, 2010.

“The Auto-Extrication members are Cariboo residents who understand the challenges of driving in winter conditions,” says Auto Extrication Assistant Chief, Cody Grier. “Because of the incidents we respond to, we know that leaving extra time for your trip, making sure your tires are proper for the snow, and driving with respect for the conditions can make your trip safer.”

Residents of the Cariboo Chilcotin are well acquainted with low temperatures, snowy roads and icy conditions. They can all appreciate proactive measures such as having an emergency road kit in their vehicles. Extra sets of mittens, jackets, blankets, a bright flashlight and even a few packs of hand warmers are great to have in an emergency.

As the holiday season approaches and with increased traffic on the roads, giving some extra time for travel is always a good idea. Take time and get there safely.

Steve Rant - Councillor Rathor & Local Media/Press Releases at WL City Hall

Last night, at the Committee of the Whole Meeting, during discussion on a Social Media Policy for the City, Councillor Rathor raised two concerns with WL Council:

1) Local media using City of WL Press releases "word-for-word" rather than doing "true journalism"
2) Length of Council Meeting Highlights Press Release - 1 Page (City of Quesnel) vs 3 to 5 pages (City of WL)

On Point 1 - City Staff pointed out, and rightfully so, that they can't and nor should they, tell the local media (Tribune, Advisor, Welcome to Williams Lake, The Rush/The Wolf) how to do their job.  However, Councillor Rathor's colleagues, like Councillor Geoff Bourdon and Laurie Walters, should have been as civil as Mayor Cook and City Staff were.  Instead Councillors Bourdon and Walters went for the "jugular" and that is unfortunate because they could have been diplomatic and constructive in their criticism of Councillor Rathor's concern about local media & City of WL Press Releases.  Councillor Rathor should take up this matter properly with Erin Hitchcock/Lorne Doerkson at the Tribune/Advisor and I have no doubt that they would listen to his concerns with an open ear and try to work with him to address his concerns

On Point 2 - I knew what Councillor Rathor was talking about but unfortunately Council rushed to judgement on his concern, mainly because his English is not as polished as myself and others in this community and Council really did him a disservice by not waiting for him to express his concerns before trying to work with him on addressing his concern.

Notwithstanding this - his concern is valid - if the City of Quesnel, the Cariboo Regional District, Thompson-Nicola Regional District and others can have a 1 Page Highlight detailing the outcome of their meeting then there is no real reason for the City of Williams Lake not to do so as well.  In fact, the City of Williams Lake was, as recent as 2009 was doing a "1-Page Council Meeting Highlight" and it is time to return to that practice as it makes for easier reading for others in this community/local media

SBF

CRD Chair 2010 Year-End Address

“Members of the Board, Members of the Media, Ladies and Gentlemen, today, I have the distinct pleasure of reviewing the Cariboo Regional District’s main accomplishments and successes for 2010. Looking back over the past year, our region can be proud of its achievements. 2010 has truly seen many successes for the CRD and most importantly, its residents.

The year started with a flurry of activity in January. On January 22, 2010 the Cariboo Regional District participated in the handing over ceremony becoming the Forest Capital of Canada for 2010/2011. During this same time we held our annual Town Hall meetings throughout the electoral areas and the member municipalities, and we welcomed the 2010 Olympic Torch to the Cariboo. The communities of Lone Butte, 108 Mile Ranch, Lac La Hache, 150 Mile House, and Kersley were named as Route Community stops while 100 Mile House, Williams Lake, and Quesnel were named host to Celebration Stops.

As February drew near, the CRD finalized plans to use the 2010 Olympic Games as the launch to its Forest Capital of Canada campaign by participating in BC Street. BC Street, an 18,000 square foot venue, showcased seven major regions of the province at the Richmond Olympic O Zone – a 66 acre celebration site. Celebrating its recent designation as the 2010/11 Forest Capital of Canada, the CRD partnered with the CCCTA to promote and celebrate all of the recreational benefits our natural environment provides including, eco-tourism and wilderness adventure. By the end of the Olympic Games, 475,000 spectators had visited the pavilion and an estimated 3.4 billion people either heard, read or saw a feature on BC Street worldwide. For this effort the CRD was acknowledged with awards throughout the year including;

• 2010 WoodWORKS! – Community Leader Award;
• 2010 Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association – Best Tourism Marketing Initiative;
• 2010 Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Community Excellence Award – Tourism Partnerships Honourable Mention;
• And the 2010 Williams Lake Chamber of Commerce Newsmaker of the Year Award.

As the south Cariboo representative on the Forest Capital of Canada committee, I am truly looking forward to some of the projects we have in store for 2011 to help promote the forest industries in a holistic approach.

In August and September, our forests were ravaged by wildfires in many areas of the Chilcotin, north Cariboo and portions of the central Cariboo. Our Emergency Operations (EOC) team jumped quickly into action, and working with our provincial emergency program officials, municipalities, our first nation’s partners and many affiliated agencies such as the RCMP, the Emergency Social Service (ESS) teams from Quesnel, 100 Mile House and Williams Lake, we were able to help protect our residents. The area had not seen fires of this magnitude in a very long time. To give you an idea of just how big these events were;

• A total of 750 Evacuees were registered with Williams Lake ESS;
• 186 residents registered with Quesnel ESS;
• Between 1,500 – 2,000 residents were on evacuation alert during the height of the fire events;
• The Bull Canyon Complex experienced 6 alerts and 2 orders between August 1 – 24;
• The Heckman Pass fires saw 2 evacuation orders and 4 alerts between August 16 to 19;
• The Pelican Complex fires caused 6 orders and 8 alerts between August 8 to 27;
• The Place Complex (Canoe/Dog Creek First Nation) experienced 1 order and 3 alerts;
• The Tsacha Lake fire saw 5 orders and 4 alerts between August 13 to September 2;
• And the massive Meldrum Twan Complex required 15 evacuation orders and 18 alerts;
• In total, the CRD’s EOC enacted 31 Evacuation Orders and another 43 evacuation alerts between
July 28 – September 2;

Overall, the CRD’s EOC and all the agencies that worked together to respond to the wildfires of 2010 can be proud of the services that were provided to our residents in a time of need.

In May of 2010, the CRD Directors travelled to Smithers for the annual North Central Local Government Association AGM and conference. The conference was an extremely successful event for the CRD and the resolutions it put forward to the membership were all endorsed. For the second consecutive year, the Cariboo Regional District was awarded with the Gold Star Award, this year for its “Palliative Care in British Columbia” resolution.

During the conference, the CRD was also honoured with an award as part of the first annual Measuring up the North Accessibility Awards of Excellence. In the category of Over 5,000 Population, the CRD was awarded Honourable Mention for its approach to wheel chair tourism and trails projects, while Horsefly received Honourable Mention in the Under 5,000 category. In 2010, through the Towns for Tomorrow funding, the CRD was able to open accessible Trails at the Sisters Creek Recreation site in Kersley, Cottonwood Historic Site, Horsefly, and Sepa Lake at the 108 Mile Ranch.

In September 2010, the CRD continued its winning ways at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities Conference in Whistler. The Regional District received the following honours;

• Community Leader Award for 2010 as presented by WoodWORKS! BC for the construction of the 100 Mile House Branch Library;
• An Outstanding leadership and achievement Award in community wildfire prevention presented by the Minister of Forests and Range, the Honourable Pat Bell;
• Community Excellence Awards Honourable Mention in the category of Tourism Partnerships for the 2010 Olympic Games BC Street Campaign;
• And again, our Palliative Care earned its second Gold Star award for the best crafted resolution of 2010.

We also had a number of successful resolutions that were voted on by the provincial UBCM membership and we met with over eight different provincial ministers and their staff to lobby for issues that are relevant to residents of the Cariboo Chilcotin. We will continue to follow up with these issues, and will collaborate with our regions’ provincial MLAs and federal MPs to ensure the people of the CRD have a voice in Victoria and Ottawa.

Speaking of the federal and provincial governments, in 2010, the CRD successfully applied to a number of different provincial and federal funding programs such as the Community Works Fund, the Towns for Tomorrow program, Northern Development Initiative Trust, the Community Tourism Opportunities program and UBCM’s Fuel mitigation fund. To give you an example, for our water and sewer systems, and fuel management projects we received through these programs almost $2.6 million. These funds went directly back into and benefitted our communities throughout the region.

I often hear Directors, our municipalities, the media and the general public express concern that we never seem to accomplish anything. Part of the reason for this report is to remind you of the major accomplishments this past year, and to compliment you on your successes.

Creating new partnerships, enhancing services, undertaking capital projects, informing the public and responding to residents’ needs is what building this region is all about. Our organization will continue to respond to the community and residents’ needs thereby achieving our goal of Building Communities Together.

I would like to thank all the Board members and staff for your strong support during 2010 and look forward to working with each and every one of you in the upcoming year. Thank you.”

CRD Board Meeting Highlights - Dec 10th

Master Plan and Deni House Updates

Jackie-Ellen Watson, Director of Planning, Capital Planning and Projects, of Interior Health, presented an update to the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District (CCRHD) Board on the Cariboo Memorial Hospital Master Plan and Deni House Project. Further information is available online at http://www.interiorhealth.ca/

2011 Provisional Budgets Approved for Town Hall Meetings

The Board adopted the 2011 provisional Cariboo Regional Hospital District, CCRHD and the CRD provisional budgets and business plans. The financials will now be presented in January and February at the CRD’s annual Town Hall meetings where residents will have the opportunity to provide their comments before the budgets’ final adoption in March 2010. Visit the CRD website at http://www.cariboord.bc.ca/ or look for information in the mail about local meeting times, dates, and locations.

Green Lake OCP

The Cariboo Regional District gave third reading to the proposed Green Lake Official Community Plan (OCP). The CRD has been working in collaboration with Thompson Nicola Regional District and the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development on an interregional OCP process in response to the requests to establish long range planning policies.

Geoscience BC

The Cariboo Regional District will be providing a letter of support to Geoscience BC’s “Data Discovery” initiative which will require a $10 million annual investment from the province over the next five years. Geoscience BC, is a non-profit organization, which aggressively encourages mineral and oil and gas exploration investment in BC. Further information about this organization www.geosciencebc.com

CRD Chair and Vice-Chair Elected

The CRD’s Area G Director Al Richmond, and Area A Director Ted Armstrong were re-elected during today’s meeting as Chair and Vice-Chair respectively. Chair Richmond presented his year-end address highlighting some of the successes the Board and staff achieved in 2010. His year end address will be available on the CRD website at www.cariboord.bc.ca under news releases

Small Mouth Bass

Lee Williston, Small Lakes Biologist, Ministry of Natural Resources, appeared before the Board to present information regarding Small Mouth Bass in Big Lake and the Beaver Valley area. Small Mouth Bass are voracious predators that reproduce quickly, and can dramatically alter the habitat of native species. The species has been introduced to BC waters primarily through illegal introductions caused by people, which will result in catastrophic impacts if not contained and ultimately eradicated. The Ministry of Environment is developing both short and long term strategies, as well as a public awareness campaign to mitigate and eventually eradicate this species from the Beaver Valley Lakes chain. Further information about the introduction of Small Mouth Bass to the BC watersheds is available online at http://www.elp.gov.bc.ca/ under invasive species.

State of the Region Meetings Feedback

Feedback was received on the Public Consultation, Bylaw Enforcement, Finance, Emergency Planning, Solid Waste Management, Joint Municipal and Rural Services, and general comments or concerns. For a full report on the State of the Region meetings, visit the agenda of today’s meeting online at http://www.cariboord.bc.ca/

Electoral Area F By-Election

Residents of Electoral Area F will be heading to the polls on January 15, 2011 to elect a new Electoral Area 'F' Director. The nomination period closed today at 4:00 p.m. Candidates have until December 17, 2010 to withdraw their name from the election before the list of candidates is official. Further information is available online at www.cariboord.bc.ca or by contacting the Chief or Deputy Chief Elections Officers at 250-392-3351 or toll free at 1-800-665-1636.

Happy Holidays

The Board of Directors and staff of the Cariboo Regional District wish residents of the Cariboo Chilcotin best wishes for a happy and safe holiday season and a prosperous 2011. The CRD offices will be closed from December 25 through to January 3, 2011. Our offices will re-open on January 4, 2010.

Next Board Meeting

January 14, 2011

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Quesnel Council Highlights - December 13th Special Meeting

2010 in review

2010 was a busy year for the City of Quesnel. Mayor Mary Sjostrom presented a list of accomplishments including such highlights as: the Olympic Torch's arrival in Quesnel; passing the province's first Wood First Bylaw; the reconstruction of the Fraser River Footbridge; and working with the Cariboo Regional District to complete the Wood-First Request for Qualifications and Request for Proposals for the North Cariboo Multi-Centre. Other notable accomplishments include: the bulk water distribution plant opening; SkyFest 2010; and the 100th anniversary of the Quesnel Volunteer Fire Department. The complete report is available on the City's website at http://www.city.quesnel.bc.ca/.

Recycling station to remain

City staff were able to reach an agreement with West Park Mall management that will see the recycling depot remain in its popular location on a trial basis. The station will move to another location in the parking lot, closer to Baker Creek. The City has also promised enhanced patrols of the area to discourage loitering and to keep an eye on the station's cleanliness. The trial will be re-evaluated at the end of January. City Council thanked the West Park Mall for their cooperation and flexibility.

Committee appointments set

Council reviewed the list of committee appointments for the upcoming year. Councillors' portfolios for 2011 are:

Mayor Mary Sjostrom - Executive Committee Chair.
Coun. Peter Couldwell -Executive Committee
Coun. Sushil Thapar - Finance
Coun. Ron Paull - Transportation
Coun. Coralee Oakes - Safety and Protection Coun. Laurey-Anne Roodenburg - Community Involvement Coun. Mike Cave - Environment The representative to the Cariboo Regional District Board will be Mayor Sjostrom, with Coun. Roodenburg acting as the alternate.

A complete list of Council's responsibilities is available on the City's website at http://www.city.quesnel.bc.ca/

Other News

Two new working groups of City Council will be created to review the City's bylaws and policies. Staff will prepare a list of bylaws and policies that need an update for the working groups to consider.

The City will apply to the TD Green Streets program for $15,000 in funding for new trees in the West Fraser Timber Park. TD Green Streets is a national program that encourages leading edge practices in municipal forests.

Council will provide the Quesnel Flying Club with an additional $1,800 to cover the cost of fuel associated with SkyFest 2010. As the event was such a success and generated significant infusion into Quesnel's aviation tourism industry, Council deemed the expense appropriate. The funds will come from Council's contingency account.

Council received a report outlining the City's climate action progress. This report is required for communities to receive a grant equal to 100 per cent of the carbon tax paid in 2010. It outlines: the commitments made by the City; the measurement work regarding greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption; and a summary of corporate and community actions taken this year and those proposed for 2011.

The City will apply to the Innovations Fund and the Green Municipal Fund for $100,000 each to prepare the City's Integrated Community Sustainability Plan (ICSP). As a local government that receives Gas Tax funding, the City must prepare an ICSP. The ICSP is a long-term planning tool that considers multiple sustainability factors (environment, economy, culture etc) and sets direction for the community to follow. The only cost to the City, if the grant application is successful, is an estimated $5,000 to prepare the application plus staff time.

Important Dates

Next Delegation Meeting:
Tuesday, January 4 (if necessary)

Friday, Jan. 7 - Deadline for applications for the Quesnel Community Foundation.

Next Regular Council Meeting:
Monday, January 10

Next Committee of the Whole Meeting:
Monday, January 17
Budget meeting, including public consultation and results of the Citizen Satisfaction Survey.

Next North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Meeting:
Tuesday, January 11th

Committee of the Whole (WL Council) Meeting Highlights - Dec 14th

Present:

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

Absent:

Councillor Natalie Hébert

Staff Present:

Brian Carruthers – CAO
Cindy Bouchard – Manager of Legislative Services
Ken MacInnis – Communications Coordinator
Geoff Goodall – General Manager of Planning & Operations
Brad McRae – Senior Bylaw Officer
Kim Emsley-Leik – Marketing & Events Coordinator
Alan Madrigga – Economic Development Manager
Kevin Goldfuss – Director of Muncipal Services
Tom Chung – IT Manager

Meeting called to order at 6:00pm
Minutes of November 30th COW Meeting adopted

Delegations:

1) Pavement Management Plan Presentation

Presentation Points:

• Project Background (Collection of Data, 96 kms of road in City of WL, measuring pavement strength and budget planning)
• Pavement Repair Strategies
• Pavement Condition Reporting
• How Pavement Asset Value is calculated?
• 2009 Pavement Asset Value of $39 million
• Recommend $1.4 million be spent on roads per year which translates into almost a 14% tax increase

A Question and Answer period ensued
Mayor Cook, on behalf of the Committee, thanked the delegation for his presentation

Committee Action – Presentation received and referred to City Staff for Recommendations to Council

2) Glen & Debbie Lehey re: Update on Sister City Project (Sosua, Dominican Republic)

Presentation Points:

• Project Background
• What’s needed to continue this project? Formation of City-led Committee and why the Sister-City project should continue?
• 3 Minute Video Presentation played with Sosua’s Mayor making direct appeal to Mayor/Council – City of WL

A Question and Answer period ensued
Mayor Cook, on behalf of the Committee, thanked Mr. Lehey for his presentation

Committee Action – Presentation received & referred to City Staff to report back on formation of City-led Committee & locating suitable location for Sosua trailer

Business:

a) Secondary Suite Bylaw

The Acting Manager of Social Development reviewed her report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Options approved by Council:

1) Secondary Suites to be limited to owner-occupied single family homes
2) An on premise parking spot must be made available for the Secondary Suite tenant
3) Alternate Life & Safety Standard to be enforced for existing Secondary Suites and full regulations for new Secondary Suites
4) Inspection Fees for existing Secondary Suites to be waived for 12 months
5) Complaints for Secondary Suites with Safety Issues will be responded to promptly
6) Issue of charging of utility fees for secondary suites will be decided at Council’s December 21st meeting as the Committee could not agree to leave it at 20% of standard utility (water/sewer) rate for single family home or increase it to 30-50% of utility rate for single family home

Committee Action - Council directed Staff to prepare the necessary Bylaw amendments for Council’s consideration

b) Social Media Policy

The Communications Coordinator reviewed his report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Committee Action – Social Media Policy endorsed-in-principle

c) Community Branding Proposal

The Economic Development Manager reviewed his report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon including a Powerpoint Presentation

Committee Action – Refer $30,000 Community Branding Project to 2011 Budget Process

d) Amendments to Bylaw #806 – Prevention & Abatement of Nuisances and Bylaw #970 – Noise

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

Committee Action – Staff directed to proceed with recommendations from Bylaw Review Committee and begin public consultation process

Meeting adjourned at 8:50pm

Local News - Tuesday, Dec 14th edition

In the Williams Lake Tribune today:

* Success in Tribune's 8th Annual Toy and Food Drive - see here
* Pioneer Log Homes to be involved in 2nd project for Extreme Makeover - see here
* Recall still "an option" for Donna Barnett says local recall organizers - see here
* Local Chamber of Commerce looking at mininum wage - see here
* Christy Clark (BC Liberal Party Leadership Candidate) in Williams Lake last Thursday - see here
* Local truck driver Tim Best blasts WL Council over new signage requiring truck drivers to drive in curb lane only on Mackenzie Avenue - see here (Note - I'd be curious if other truck drivers in the City feel the same as Mr. Best and if so, perhaps WL Council should revisit the signage on Mackenzie Avenue)

Bill Bennett: Bring in new voting rules or I tear up my BC Liberal Party membership card

Over at the Globe and Mail; BC Edition, former Energy Minister and MLA for East Kootenay Bill Bennett says the new rules for voting of the next BC Liberal Party Leader must be approved or he'll tear up his BC Liberal Party card and guarantees that other "right-wing" parties like the BC Conservatives will be successful in getting their candidate(s) elected

See here

Mike Smyth: Snap Election risky for BC Liberals'

Vancouver Province political columnist Micheal Smyth reviews why a snap election by the BC Liberals' following their Feb 26th Leadership Vote would be a risky decision for them

See here

Saturday, December 11, 2010

New BC Liberal Party Executive Director

Earlier today, BC Liberal Party President Mickey Patryluk appointed Chad Pederson as Executive Director of the BC Liberal Party.  He previously served as Director of Communications and Membership Services

I congratulate Mr. Pederson on his new job and wish him well

See more here

CRD Area 'F' Prelimenary Candidate List

This will be a most interesting Area 'F' By-Election to follow, given 4 Candidates have filed papers for the Area 'F' seat.  I suspect none of the 4 candidates will withdraw by next Friday.  See below for the full CRD Press Release from the CRD Manager of Communications:

The following nomination papers have been submitted to and accepted by the
Cariboo Regional District’s Chief Election Officer, Alice Johnston as of 4:00 p.m. today. The nomination process is now officially closed, however candidates have until December 17, 2010 at 4:00 p.m. to withdraw their name from the by-election.


The candidates who have submitted their nomination papers are as follows;


Charlene Hays
Oleh Lazarchuck
William Sellars
Joan Sorley


An update will be provided on December 17, 2010, with the names of the confirmed candidates.


For further information, contact Chief Election Officer, Alice Johnston or Deputy Chief Election
Officer, Rick Hodgson at 250-392-3351 or toll free 1-800-665-1636.

Social Media Policy

On Tuesday, WL Council in Committee will consider a proposal from the Communications Coordinator on a draft Social Media Policy.  See his report here

Overall - this is a good news story and believe you'll see many other muncipalities & regional districts go down this road as well

One part of the proposed Policy I think could be improved is the suggestion that Mayor and Council are prohibited from uploading content to the City's Facebook, YouTube and other social media accounts.  It should be changed to: Mayor & Councillors' can not upload content to the City's Social Media accounts unless prior approval from the City's CAO is sought and approval granted & it relates to their Committee

Nonetheless though - this is something the City should move forward on quickly

Note - Ken MacInnis states in his report that updates to the current City website should be done in 1st Quarter of 2011 (Jan 1 - March 31, 2011)