Friday, September 30, 2011

Wildwood a busy place tomorrow

Two events in Wildwood (CRD Area 'D') as follows:

1) "Let's Talk Trash" Event (New CRD Solid Waste Management Plan) from 2-5 pm at Wildwood Elementary with formal presentation at 3pm

2) Wildwood Elementary - Saturday, Oct 1st


Face painting, Finger / Mural Painting, fish pond & more!
Try your skill @ the demo disc golf course!


Committee members on site to answer your questions

4 - 6 PM – BBQ

BE PART OF THE FUN! – SHARE YOUR IDEAS! We need your help! A signup list available for those who want to get involved

Local Gov't Meetings - Week of Oct 3rd - 7th

3 Local Governments are meeting next week, as follows:

Tuesday, October 4th - District of Wells

Regular Council Meeting at 7pm in Wells Council Chambers (4243 Sanders Ave)

Tuesday, October 4th - City of Williams Lake

Regular Council Meeting at 6pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St)
See the Agenda/Reports here

Thursday, October 6th - Cariboo Regional District

Regular Board Meeting at 9:30am in the CRD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Ave - Williams Lake)
See the Agenda/Reports here

2 Weeks from today...

Two weeks from today at 4:00pm - residents of the Cariboo-Chilcotin will know who is running in Wells, Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, Cariboo Regional District (Electoral Areas) and School Districts # 27 and 28

With candidates being allowed to file their nomination papers on Tuesday - let us look at where the races stand...

Wells - No announcements to date


Mayor - Mary Sjostrom seeks 2nd term
Councillor - Both L-A Roodenburg and Mike Cave are seeking 2nd terms while another gentlemen (sorry, didn't get his name) is seeking his first term on Quesnel Council

Williams Lake:

Mayor - Kerry Cook seeks 2nd term while both Scott Nelson/Walt Cobb are seeking to return to the Mayors' Chair

Councillor - Surinderpal Rathor is seeking a 7th term while Laurie Walters is seeking a 2nd term.  Steve Forseth is seeking his first term and Ivan Bonnell, a former WL Mayor/Councillor, is seeking to return to WL Council Chambers

100 Mile House:

Mayor - Mitch Campsall is seeking his 2nd term while Maureen Pinkney seeks her first term as 100 Mile Mayor

Councillor - Dave Mingo and Bill Hadden seek re-election

SD #28 (Quesnel):

Ron Caskey seeks re-election

SD #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin):

William Van Osch, Patricia Baker, Heather McKenzie, and Richard Elliot all seek re-election

Cariboo Regional District:

Ted Armstrong, John Massier, Deb Bischoff, Joan Sorley, Al Richmond, Jim Glassford, Alex Bracewell, Bruce Rattray all seek re-election while Heloise Dixon-Warren seeks election in Area 'B' (Quesnel West - Bouchie Lake)

Quesnel Mayor under "siege"

With the municipal election in Quesnel now entering in the "critical" phase - it seems people who disagree with the job that Mary Sjostrom has done as the Mayor of Quesnel have decided to pull the gloves off

Two letters to the editor have been submitted to various media in which they continue the fight that Councillor Sushil Thapar has started including one from Mr. Thapar's colleague, Ron Paull

See the letter to the editor from Quesnel Councillor Ron Paull here
See the letter to the editor from Quesnel resident Ron Campbell here

See below for a video from a recent Quesnel Council meeting between Mayor Sjostrom and Quesnel Councillors Sushil Thapar and Ron Paull on her spending habits and I'll let you be the judge on who is right and who is wrong:

CRD Board at UBCM

From the Cariboo Regional District:

Over the past few days, the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) was honoured with two prestigious awards at the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Conference and AGM which took place in Vancouver from September 26 to 30, 2011.

On Wednesday, September 28, the CRD received a 2011 Community Recognition Award presented by WoodWORKS! BC. Last year the CRD was honoured with this award for its post and beam style construction of the 100 Mile House Branch Library.

This award is presented annually to a community that has shown leadership in the advocacy of wood and wood products. This may be demonstrated through the specification of wood in a community project or through visionary initiatives that work toward building a community culture of wood. Wood WORKS! is a national industry-led initiative of the Canadian Wood Council, with a goal to support innovation and provide leadership on the use of wood and wood products.

During the resolutions session on Thursday, the CRD learned it won an annual Gold Star Award for its successful resolution “Public Telephone Access”. This marks the second consecutive year the CRD has earned a Gold Star Award after winning with a Palliative Care Fees resolution in 2010. The Regional District also earned Gold Star Awards in 2005, and 2008.

The Gold Star and Honourable Mention resolution recognition initiative was launched at the 2003 UBCM convention, and is intended to encourage excellence in resolution drafting and to assist UBCM members in refining their resolutions in preparation for submission to the annual convention. Each year the UBCM executive presents Gold Star and Honourable Mention Awards to members for the best-crafted resolutions.

“It was truly a productive conference with excellent speakers and professional development opportunities,” stated CRD Chair Al Richmond. “I would like to commend the Board and staff for taking concepts and issues raised by our residents and turning them into successful resolutions such as the Public Telephone Access.”

In 2011, the Cariboo Regional District submitted a total of 17 resolutions which saw a majority of success; a total of 15 receiving endorsement by the UBCM membership. The results are as follows:

Resolutions Endorsed

- Flood Mitigation Programs
- 911 Call Levy
- Infrastructure Costs
- Regulation of the Sale of Plants & Seeds
- Agriculture Policy
- Barriers to Small Scale Food Production &
- High Speed Internet/Cellular Phone Coverage
- Authority to Control Weeds

The resolutions along with their full text are posted on the CRD website at under What’s New - Resolutions.

Editor's Note - the City of Williams Lake was also at the UBCM Convention.  For more details - see here

Thursday, September 29, 2011

St Laurent Project Update - Sept 28th

From City of Quesnel website:

St. Laurent Revitalization

News and updates:
September 28
The final touches on the revitalization of St. Laurent Avenue are well underway. Preparation for line painting, installation of existing street lamps, last minute touch ups on the landscaping, and catch basin cleaning are in progress.
The City once again, thanks the downtown business owners as well as members of the public for their patience as this much-needed investment is made in our infrastructure.

Important notes

  • St. Laurent will be closed to traffic for the duration of the project.
  • Traffic will be able to drive north-south on Reid, McLean and Kinchant during construction.
  • The City’s transit stop on St. Laurent Avenue at the Spirit Square has been moved to the east side of McLean Street.

Why I'm signing the CTF "Contract with Taxpayers"

Find above a video explanation as to why I'm signing the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation "Contract with Taxpayers' and a copy of the contract that I've submitted to Jordan Bateman - BC Director with the Canadian Taxpayers Federation

For more detailed information  - see their website on this here

Abbotsford Police to look into allegations involving WL RCMP

From RCMP 'E' Division Communications:

The RCMP can confirm it has asked the Abbotsford Police Department to conduct an independent investigation into an incident on September 10th, 2011 involving a 17 year old female and RCMP members from Williams Lake. They will investigate both the allegation that the 17 year old female was assaulted by police, as well as the allegation that the female assaulted a police officer.

Although Williams Lake detachment had already initiated an investigation by members from outside of Williams Lake, senior managers in the Division felt that, in order to ensure public confidence in the outcomes of the investigation, an independent police agency should be called in.” stated Sgt. Rob Vermeulen, spokesperson for the RCMP in BC.

As the Abbotsford Police Department is assuming the lead of this investigation, any further media inquiries should be directed to Cst. Ian MacDonald at 604-864-4721.

SD #27 Superintendent Newsletter - September 2011

Diane Wright - the Superintendent of Schools for School District #27 has published her "September 2011" newsletter which you can view here

She is also on Twitter - @WrightSD27

Finally - I'm glad to see the local School District making plans to get onto Facebook/Twitter and to have a blog as well.  This is great news as the School District #27 recognizes, I believe, that social media is another tool that they can use to communicate with parents on issues facing the School District

School District #27 Board Highlights - Sept 27th meeting

Trustees Present: Chair W. Rodier and W. Van Osch, P. Penner, P. Baker, H. McKenzie and R. Elliot
Trustees Absent: Vice-Chair B. Mack

Meeting called to order at 7:00pm
Meeting Agenda adopted
Minutes from June 28th Board of Education meeting adopted


1) Motion to support the local Student Leadership Conference in October rescinded
2) Secretary-Treasurer read out a legal opinion sought from the BCSTA (BC School Trustees Assoc) on duties required under Child, Family and Community Service Act with regard to SD #27 Policy 5116 - Child Protection

3) The Board of Education ratified the decision of District Management to postpone the Curriculum Implementation Day scheduled for September 6th, 2011
4) The Board of Education agreed to receive the 2010-2011 Audited Financial Statements after receiving an oral presentation on them from Bonnie Roller - SD #27 Secretary-Treasurer
5) The Board of Education agreed to approve, in principle, the field trip for students in grades 10-12 from Williams Lake Secondary School to Hawaii from March 14-22 2012 to attend the 13th Annual Canada/Hawaii Friendship Soccer Cup, pending all required documentation and procedures are in place and approved by the Superintendent of Schools (D. Wright)

6) The Board of Education agreed to invite the students from Williams Lake Secondary School participating in the school trip to Hawaii from March 14-22 2012 to make, upon their return, a presentation to the Board of Education regarding their educational experiences

7) The Board of Education agreed to submit to the BCSTA its report that provides SD #27 Board's input/recommendations on the Ministry's funding allocation process
8) The Board of Education agreed to receive the report from the June 28th "In-Camera" meeting
9) Diane Wright (SD #27 Superintendent) reviewed current student enrollment numbers and gave a staffing update to the Board
10) Bonnie Roller (SD #27 Secretary-Treasurer) along with the Facilities Manager reviewed school projects completed over the summer and staff positions with the Board
11) The Board of Education adopted the following Policy Committee recommendations:

a) Adopt revised Policy 1110 Communications
b) Adopt revised Policy 4111.1 Employment Equity and delete Policy 4111.11 Gender Bias
c) Adopt new Policy 5124 School Completion Certificate
d) That consideration for use of schools/facilities by Community School Associations be addressed under Policy 3513 Community Use of Facilities, negating the need for a separate policy for Community Schools Associations
e) Adopt revised Policy 1120.5 Committees of the Board with a member from First Nations Education Council to be a member of the Environment Stewardship and Education Committees

12) The Board of Education agreed to receive the correspondence as listed in the Open Correspondence Report, as at September 22nd
13) The Board of Education agreed to provide a letter of support to place the 150 Mile Heritage School on the Community Heritage Registry
14) The Board of Education agreed to suspend all meetings of Board Committees' with teacher representation during teacher job action, unless emergent issues arise
15) During "Public Question Period", upon questioning from Joan Erb (President - Cariboo-Chilcotin Teachers' Assoc), the Chair and Trustee Pete Penner confirmed their intention to not seek re-election while Trustees Van Osch, Baker, McKenzie and Elliot all confirmed their intention to seek re-election

Meeting adjourned at 8:16pm

Adrian Dix: More of the same...

From the BC Government Caucus:

In the 165 days since becoming Leader of the Opposition, Adrian Dix has haphazardly promised expensive new programs and projects that would bankrupt the province.

Adrian Dix is scrambling around, promising the moon without acknowledging the consequences of ratcheting up government spending at a time of global economic uncertainty,” said John Les, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier.

The BC Liberal government re-established British Columbia’s reputation with the international financial community after a decade of economic mismanagement with Dix at the controls.

We simply cannot afford Adrian Dix.”

The following are just some of Adrian Dix’s spending promises:

Hazy promises without a plan:

An array of capital spending promises in the health care sector, amounting to $2.2 billion.
Dix’s plans to rip up clean energy contracts could cost British Columbians upwards of $5.8 billion to compensate IPP owners from the provincial treasury.
A vague plan to “retrofit” all public and private buildings in B.C. based on the $35 million program at UBC. Simply retrofitting each university in B.C. would cost approximately $840 million. The cost to retrofit every building in the province would be too much to even calculate.

Reckless spending:

Although there’s no link between health care spending and health outcomes, Dix stated he wants B.C. to be the highest per-capita health care spender in Canada. The cost: $4.15 billion added to the provincial health care budget annually.
A back-of-the-napkin plan to implement a provincial childcare system, which would cost over $2 billion per year.
An annual student grant program, costing $148 million.

Adrian Dix, chief architect of one of the most fiscally irresponsible governments in Canadian history,” said Les, “obviously hasn’t learned a thing. If given the chance, he would once again spend taxpayers’ money without regard.

The total cost to the treasury to implement the programs outlined above is just under $15.14 billion. Dix has identified “just” $490 million in tax hikes to offset the costs.

On average, Adrian Dix has promised over $1,061 in new spending every second he has been leader of the BC NDP, but has offered no plan to offset these costs,” says Les.

Consider – in the two minutes or so it has taken you to read this, that’s another $127,424 – more than the average family makes in a year.”

British Columbians deserve to know how Mr. Dix is going to afford these promises, and they deserve answers now.”

Quesnel Multi-Centre News...

Out of Quesnel today:

1)  North Cariboo Joint Committee agrees to give Multi-Centre Fundraising Committee a budget of $105,000 for marketing and to hire a fundraiser coordinator with the intent to raise $20,000,000 in two years - see more details here

Editor's Note - I wish the Fundraising Committee the best of luck, but I fear with the state of the economy the way it is - I wonder if that goal ($20 million over two years) is too ambitious but understand why - November of 2013 is fast approaching and North Cariboo politicians will need to go back out and get support again if the Multi-Centre has not started building by then

2) Quesnel Cariboo Observer Editor Autumn MacDonald, in an editorial, explains why she thinks the community of Quesnel must get behind the $20 million fundraising goal for the new Multi-Centre.  See her editorial here

Former WL Mayor/Councillor runs in November's election

Ivan Bonnell (ex-Williams Lake Mayor and Councillor) says that he wants to be back on Williams Lake City Council

See more details here

With his announcement - that brings 4 in the WL Councillor Race consisting of myself, Mr. Bonnell and incumbent City Councillors Surinderpal Rathor and Laurie Walters with just 15 days to go before candidates must file their nomination papers with their local Chief Election Officer

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Cataline Elementary PAC has a website

The Cataline Elementary PAC or Parent Advisory Council has a website to keep parents of students at Cataline Elementary up to date

Find the website here

Being Civil when discussing issues...

Over on his blog - BC Conservative Regional Director Alan Forseth writes a very thoughtful and useful blog post on how to politely discuss subjects without making it personal

View it here

Quesnel wins "Small Business Friendly Award"

Today, at the UBCM Convention, the Province announced that the communities of Prince Rupert, Quesnel, Kamloops, Rossland, Ladysmith and Surrey each won the "BC Most Small-Business Friendly Award".  See the press release from the Government of BC here

My congrats to Quesnel Council and their Staff on this most deserved award

BC faces tough choice - sign 20 year RCMP Contract by Nov 30 or set up new BC Provincial Police

Yesterday, at the UBCM Convention - BC Solicitor-General Shirley Bond dropped a bombshell on UBCM attendees...that BC was handed an ultimatum - sign 20 year RCMP Contract like Alberta/Saskatchewan or face RCMP pullout by 2014 - see stories here, herehere and here

In the meantime - Ottawa says "no deals" - see here

Food for Thought:

Would it not have been prudent to have "Plan B" (BC Police Force) on the shelf, in case negotiations went south.  Now - BC has a very short window to make a decision...either alienate BC Municipal officials who rightly charge the RCMP are costing them too much (Williams Lake's top budget line is the RCMP at roughly $3 million) and sign a 20 year deal or walk away & rapidly plan for a provincial police force by 2014 which, according to  SFU Criminologist Rob Gordon who says both:

a) It is just physically impossible to come up with a police service for the province and for the metropolitan areas in that short a period of time.
b) This is grotesque brinksmanship and not the best way of making social policy.

It'll be interesting to see if Ottawa gets off its' "my way or the highway" stance for a new RCMP contract.  If not - I, for one, think that BC should give Ottawa the "one finger salute" and move into a provincial police force.  We simply can't afford more of the continuing same with the RCMP - no accountability, no flexibility...

PG Mayors' Election Race...

In a very interesting turn in developments for the Prince George municipal election - first term PG Councillor Shari Green has now decided that she wants to be the Mayor of Prince George - see the article from the Prince George Citizen here and a story from the Prince George Free Press here

Personally speaking - I'm a little stunned at this move as Councillor Green seems to be in "lock-step" with current PG Mayor Dan Rogers' on most issues facing Prince George.  In addition - it isn't too often that a first term municipal Councillor outright challenges a sitting Mayor, more so when that Councillor agrees with most things that Mayor is doing.  If anything - I was expecting a Brian Skakun vs Dan Rogers race, but I've had confirmation that Brian Skakun, will in fact, seek an additional term on PG City Council

The outcome of a Green vs Rogers' race for the PG Mayors' Chair (so far) would result, in my opinion, in Dan Rogers' being re-elected


100 Mile Council Election News...

In the 100 Mile Free Press - they report that Mayor Mitch Campsall and Councillors Bill Hadden & Dave Mingo will all seek re-election while Councillors Jeanne Best and Mel Torgersen will not

See here

Note - Mitch Campsall's opponent for the Mayor seat (and likely the only one) is former CRD Area 'L' Director Maureen Pinkney.  No word on challengers for both Councillor Best/Torgersen's seats'

North Cariboo "Rick Hansen" Relay Nomination...

Joint Release from City of Quesnel/Cariboo Regional District:

Do you know a difference maker, an individual who is a shining example of an ordinary person with an extraordinary story of determination, excellence and teamwork; someone you feel has helped make Quesnel and the north Cariboo a better place to live?

If so, you are encouraged to nominate that individual to complete the final leg of the Rick Hansen Man in Motion 25th Anniversary Relay when it visits Quesnel On March 22, 2012. The individual will have the honour of carrying the Rick Hansen medal onto the stage during the End of Day Celebration held at the Spirit Square.

Nomination forms can be picked up at the Quesnel & District Arts and Recreation Centre and must be returned by Oct. 21, 2011. Nominations will be reviewed by the Community Organizing Committee and three worthy individuals will be recommended for consideration by the Rick Hansen Foundation, which will make the final selection.

For more information, contact Jeff Norburn, General Manager Community Services at 250-991-7479 or

You can also follow the Rick Hansen Man in Motion 25th Anniversary Relay on Facebook at

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

BREAKING NEWS: SD #27 Trustees Wayne Rodier/Pete Penner will not seek re-election

At tonight's School District #27 Board of Education meeting - both SD#27 Board Chair Wayne Rodier (Zone 5 Trustee) and Zone 2 Trustee Pete Penner announced that they will not seek re-election on November 19th

However - Trustees Will Van Osch (Zone 1), Patricia Baker (Zone 3), Heather McKenzie (Zone 4), and Richard Elliot (Zone 7) will all seek re-election on November 19th

SD #27 Board Vice-Chair Bruce Mack (Zone 6) was absent from the meeting and there is no word yet if he plans to seek re-election on November 19th

The announcement from Wayne Rodier was made during "Trustee Reports" at tonight's SD #27 School Board meeting however the remaining Trustee announcements were made after Joan Erb (President - CC Teachers' Association) had asked Trustees' Van Osch, Penner, Baker, McKenzie, and Elliot about their re-election plans during "Public Question Period"

Quesnel wins $10,000 for "Walking Challenge" (5000-10,000 Population)

From the Government of BC:

For the past six weeks, thousands of British Columbians have taken the Healthy Families BC Walking Challenge in hopes of winning weekly draw prizes and the $10,000 prize for their community to support the development of walking trails.

With 190 entries, Quesnel has won $10,000 in the 5,001 to 10,000 population category. The other winners in their population-size category are:

· Tumbler Ridge – population under 5,000
· Esquimalt – population 10,001 to 25,000
· Penticton – population 25,001 to 100,000
· Abbotsford – population 100,001 +

One of these five winning communities is now eligible for the grand prize of an extra $50,000.

By getting out walking and sharing their stories, pictures, videos and maps, families won great prizes like pedometers, fitness passes and family fun packs. Entrants were also eligible to win one of six trips to resort destinations across the province.

During the six-week challenge over 5,000 entries were shared including 2,500 photos and over 700 maps from across the province.

The Healthy Families BC Walking Challenge was offered in collaboration with 2010 Legacies Now and funded by the Provincial Health Service Authority as part of the Healthy Families BC initiative of the BC Ministry of Health.

Michael de Jong, Minister of Health says –

I’d like to congratulate the people of Quesnel for mapping walks around this beautiful community. Walking is a fun, easy way to get active with your family. There’s no better time than now to start making small changes that will lead you to a healthier, happier life.”

Meanwhile Mary Sjostrom, mayor of Quesnel states –

It is so great to see so many residents of Quesnel getting out and being active. I am looking forward to seeing the further development of our trail system for people to enjoy for years to come.”

Quick Facts:

· B.C. has the highest physical activity rates for youth and adults compared to other provinces and territories across Canada.
· Physical activity helps to prevent chronic diseases like cancer, Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
· The direct and indirect cost of physical inactivity in our province is estimated to be $573 million annually.
· British Columbia boasts over 530 trails.
· BC Parks is celebrating 100 years this year.

Learn More:

· View entries and get ideas for walks in your area at:
· For tips on how to make physical activity part of your daily routine visit:
· Many trails throughout British Columbia are easily accessible for everyone. Find trails near you and other outdoor activities at:

2 Ideas for the BC Economy

Recently, I received an email from Gil Picard of Abbotsford who has two ideas for the BC Economy.  This email was also given to the Hon. Pat Bell (Minister of Jobs, Innovation and Tourism) and other BC Political Leaders:


We have, in this province, many talented and hard working people who have good ideas, can and will do all the work to manage and operate a business but they lack the capital to start one and the time or patience to fill forms and try to be both an accountant and a lawyer.

What the province needs to do, is to form a provincial equivalent to the federal Business Development Bank.

This entity would assist people with ambition and plausible ideas, to produce a business plan, and if the plan shows that the proposal would result in a viable enterprise, would finance or guarantee financing of the the business with the following provisos:

1 - the business should provide a specified number of jobs for the money invested
2 - the business should be located outside the lower mainland with preference given to areas with higher unemployment
3 - the business should provide economic diversification for the region, and if possible, use local resources
4 - the plan would include mandatory payroll deductions from all employees, which would make the employees shareholders to an increasing degree and they would eventually buy all shares from the provincial business bank, to the point where the employees/shareholders would end up owning the business and the province would be totally out of it.


Fuel costs are escalating beyond the average working person's budget and we have no means of providing any alternate fuels for heating (in many areas) or transportation, the same as we can not possibly provide adequate public transportation in most areas of the province. There is a solution in sight!

Currently, the U.S. auto industry is producing 5% flex-fuel compatible vehicles - Ford's share is 15%.

The U.S. Open Fuel Standard Act (H.R.1476 / S.835) mandates that 80% of new automobiles must be flex fuel compatible (that is, capable of operating on gasoline, ethanol, methanol or biodiesel) by 2015. Modifying the internal combustion engine to make a vehicle flex-fuel compatible costs manufacturers a mere 100 dollars per vehicle. Existing gasoline fuelled vehicle can be made FF compatible with a kit worth about $400.00.

In view of this, wouldn't it make sense to find a source for alternate fuel as soon as possible?

We can do that right here in B.C. and create more jobs while we're at it!

The following links show you the feasibility of producing ethanol and methanol from our own resources.
see: and

All we need is our plentiful scrap wood, organic garbage, natural gas, coal or one other ingredient.

And the other ingredient? - "Hemp"
No this is not marijuana! Before you panic, go to the internet and inform yourself about hemp.
It is the third most productive crop for producing ethanol (After sugar cane and corn). It grows almost anywhere prolifically.

There is one licensed hemp grower in B.C. and he says his biggest problem is finding a market.
Here's a way for farmers to increase their cash crop - grow hemp where nothing else will grow.
Plus we can use the plan in job producing solution #1 above, to build and operate ethanol/methanol plants all over B.C.

More jobs waiting!

Gill Picard - Abbotsford, BC

My take on John Cummins' speech at the 2011 BC Conservative AGM

Last Saturday - John Cummins, Leader of the BC Conservatives gave a speech to about 150 members of the BC Conservative Party

Watch Part 1 here
Watch Part 2 here
Watch Part 3 here

While I sympathize with certain parts of the BC Conservatives, like making BC Ferries part of the highways system and where ferries users pay "at cost" to keep the ferry system running, there are also parts I simply can not support

Cummins stance on Natives:

When I first run for WL City Councillor in 2005 - I literally took the same "my way or the highway" stance on natives and hence, it was one of the reasons I lost that election

In the meantime - many court decisions and the Canadian Constitution requires we, as a society, be accommodating to their needs.  Native peoples are not a "special interest" group but "left-out" Canadian society members' that need to be brought back into the Canadian society fold and efforts to date are not at the place, that even I would like to see them at

I have the funny hunch that Mr. Cummins would not change his stance, even if elected as BC Premier.  I, as a Federal Conservative voter and a provincial conservative, can not support his stance with regard to native issues.  This is what happens when you learn about how to deal with native issues in a positive way.  Note - I have a native member on the CRD Area 'D' Advisory Planning Commission and I've learned plenty on this subject from him

Cummins' stance on policing:

While many would share his frustration with the present state of the Canadian justice system - simply handing over charge-authority to the police is a little scary, from my perspective.  While not perfect - I think the present justice system can be strengthened, but let's be clear - no justice system, no matter where it is exists in the world, is pefect.  It does make mistakes and that's why you have "checks and balances" to ensure the system works for everyone - criminals/victims

Cummins' stance on natural resources:

While I agree with him "in principle" on this - I'm not too comfortable with his stance that provincial police (RCMP) should enforce federal fishery law.  I suspect he has never gotten over his "anti-native" stance on Native Food Fishery on the Fraser River.  A stance, I might add, he is somewhat well known for.  Also - it reminds me of the stance that former BC Premier Glen Clark took over Nanoose Bay - a fight BC lost when it took over Nanoose Bay later on, during the Jean Chretien years

Final Conclusion:

For the above reasons - and many others, I believe that staying with the BC Liberals' is my best choice.  Does my political party make mistakes - Yes, they do as they are just as human, as I am.  But this voter is convinced that BC is best served under the BC Liberals'


Volunteer Eligibility for Local Government Elections - Cariboo Regional District

From the Cariboo Regional District:

The Cariboo Regional District has received information from the province of British Columbia, which announced a new regulation regarding the eligibility of volunteers to run in local government elections. The Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development’s announcement provides clarification on what constitutes a local government “employee” versus a “volunteer” for the purposes of running for office in the applicable local government.

The province defined what monetary compensation a volunteer may receive and how it affects an individual’s eligibility to run for office. The regulation also outlines that the following is not considered monetary compensation for volunteers and thereby makes them eligible to run for office, provided they meet the other necessary requirements (18 years of age or older, Canadian citizen, BC resident, etc.):

(a) Reasonable and necessary expenses actually incurred and reimbursed that arise directly out of the performance of the volunteer services for a municipality or regional district;

(b) The provision of insurance coverage, workers’ compensation coverage, personal clothing, equipment or training directly related to the performance of the volunteer services for a municipality or regional district

(c) Gifts in recognition of long or exemplary service in the provision of volunteer services to a municipality or regional district.

For further information or questions, please contact the Cariboo Regional District’s Chief Election Officer, Alice Johnston, or Deputy Chief Election Officer, Rick Hodgson at 250-392-3351 or toll free at 1-800-665-1636 or via email at (Alice Johnston) or (Rick Hodgson)

Williams Lake RCMP Officer accused of assaulting native teenage girl

Over at the Tyee - they report on a case of a local RCMP Officer allegedly assaulting seventeen year old Jamie Haller, an Aboriginal female, back on September 10th - read the details here

However - local RCMP Detachment Commander (Staff-Sgt) Warren Brown says the RCMP Officers on the scene have a different take on what occured that night.  Mr. Brown has formally asked that another RCMP Detachment investigate this particular case

He also pleads with the public to keep an "open mind" and to wait for the "entire story" to come out.

I agree wholeheartedly with Warren Brown on that count



From the BC Government Caucus:

John Cummins came out yesterday with another half-baked news release critical of the makeup of the BC Liberal cabinet. In what has become commonplace, Can’t Trust Cummins tried to mislead British Columbians in an unprincipled and uninformed attempt to score cheap political points.

Here are the facts:

In his capacity as Minister of State Responsible for Multiculturalism, Minister Harry Bloy is a member of executive council.

If John Cummins had ever been part of cabinet during his time in the House of Commons, he might have learned that Ministers of State are full members of cabinet – not just in British Columbia and Canada, but in parliamentary democracies throughout the world.

In addition to the strong representation by private members, citizens on both sides of the Fraser River are well served by several cabinet ministers who represent the Fraser Valley’s interests.

Again, if John Cummins had an understanding of how our democracy works in British Columbia and Canada, he would know that Ministers of the Crown are responsible for individual portfolios and represent broader geographic areas than their home constituency.

Once again, Can’t Trust Cummins is all over the map, showing he has no clue what he’s talking about.

Yesterday, another ill-conceived statement by Cummins pointed out that current Attorney General Shirley Bond is not a lawyer. This is nothing new. In the past, Attorneys General from across the political spectrum – such as Colin Gabelmann and Russ Fraser - have not been members of the bar, nor is there any requirement to be a lawyer.

Members of the Executive Council along the Fraser River:

Harry Bloy, Minister of State Responsible for Multiculturalism; (Burnaby-Lougheed)
Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Social Development; (Surrey-Panarama)
Rich Coleman, Minister of Energy and Mines and Government House Leader; (Fort Langley-Aldergrove)
Mike de Jong, Minister of Health;  (Abbotsford West)
Kevin Falcon, Minister of Finance and Deputy Premier; (Surrey-Cloverdale)
Mary Polak, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. (Langley)

St Laurent Avenue Project on schedule

From the City of Quesnel:

The revitalization of St. Laurent Avenue between Kinchant and Reid Streets is in the final stages, with the street expected to re-open to traffic on Friday.

Over the past eight weeks, the area has undergone a massive transformation, with a new storm drainage system, new curb, gutter, paving stone and sidewalk installation, new landscaping and paving all being completed. All that is left is to install are the new street lights.

The project finished two to three weeks ahead of schedule. While the final numbers aren’t in, it is expected the project will complete on budget.

The City thanks the local business community as this much-needed investment in infrastructure was made. Residents and motorists are also thanked for their patience. The co-operation the City received helped make the project go smoothly.

The City also commends the work of the principle contractor, Jacob Brothers Construction. Their team, in concert with their various sub-contractors, showed a commitment to getting the job done on time and up to specifications.

Work on the $1 million project began on Aug. 4 and was funded through the Quesnel Works: Capital Reinvestment Program, a special levy Quesnel taxpayers pay to support infrastructure reinvestment.

The City encourages residents and businesses to learn more about Quesnel Works by visiting and clicking on the Quesnel Works link.

Williams Lake News...Tuesday, Sept 27th edition

While WL Council is away in Vancouver to attend the week long UBCM Conference, local politics go on with the following news:

* Walt Cobb releases economic development strategy - see here (Tribune) and here (Welcome to WL)
* WL Mayoralty Candidates debate measures for local economy - see here
* WL Independent TV has a new video uploaded (Community Heroes) - click on "play" button and view here
* BC Division of Can Taxpayers' Federation (CTF) calls for municipal election candidates to sign a "Contract with Taxpayers' including the introduction/passage of a "Taxpayer Protection Bylaw" which includes a yearly 15% paycut for Mayor/Councillors who raise property taxes above the rate of inflation (which is currently 2.3%) - see more details here

Over at "WL City Councillor Laurie Walters' Facebook re-election page" - she is being challenged to sign the CTF's "Contract with Taxpayers" - see here 

Also - I've asked local Chief Election Officer Cindy Bouchard to clarify that currently elected officials for Williams Lake are disqualified from using City resources to get re-elected like City of Williams Lake email addresses, etc as I noted, on Kerry Cook's Facebook re-election page, that she is using her City of WL assigned email address for re-election purposes, it appears...

Update - Kerry Cook's re-election team has now removed her City email address from her Facebook re-election page

No new announcements for local election candidates.  So far - we've seen 3 announcements for WL City Council, 3 for WL Mayor, and 1 for SD #27 plus 9 confirmed candidates for CRD Areas A-L and that is a bit concerning, given next Tuesday at 9am - candidates may go to the CRD, SD #27/28, Wells/Quesnel/Williams Lake/100 Mile local Chief Election Officer to file their local elected offices papers.

Hopefully - we'll see more announcements tomorrow, Thursday and next week but the "clock is ticking", as they say, as October 14th at 4pm fast approaches

Finally - Food for Thought:

There is now "12 Announce" days prior to/on October 14th.  For a candidate to announce after October 14th and plans to win - that candidate, whoever he/she is and for whatever office they run for, I'm told, would have to be a "household" name in their local community.  Names less known would make their election run more difficult after Oct 14th, given the remaining "campaign time" (21 effective campaign days of Mon-Sat, rather than the current 37 campaign days, starting today) available prior to the 1st election vote which is on Wednesday, November 9th

Monday, September 26, 2011

WL RCMP Members assaulted in traffic stop

From the Williams Lake RCMP:

Williams Lake RCMP constable suffered a broken jaw when she was allegedly assaulted by the driver of a car during a traffic stop.

On Thursday September 22, 2011, the uniformed RCMP officer observed a vehicle being driven in an erratic manner in the city area. The officer also noted that the vehicle was not insured which led to further grounds to stopping the vehicle. During the interaction with the unlicenced driver, the man became hostile with the lone officer, prompting her to request for an additional officer to attend.

A uniformed supervisor attended to assist, at which time the man allegedly attempted to initiate a physical confrontation with the officers. In an effort to physically control the man and while placing the man under arrest for obstruction, the man kicked the corporal and also punched the constable in the face. The driver was eventually controlled and arrested for assault causing bodily harm. The man was returned to the detachment and detained in order to appear before the courts to determine his release from custody.

The first visible injury to the constable, was a chipped tooth that required an immediate dental examination that day at which time it was discovered that her jaw was severely fractured.

“It’s troubling that our officer suffered this serious injury, and is a sad reminder of the risks that our officers face while conducting their regular duties. It also does have an effect on the whole community, as we have a previously active and operational officer whom will now be sidelined in order to recuperate from this alleged assault.”stated Staff Sgt Warren Brown of the Williams Lake RCMP.

The Williams Lake RCMP are continuing their investigation into the matter.

Changes to BC Cabinet...

From the Government of BC:

Premier Christy Clark made the following changes to the executive council and parliamentary secretaries effective immediately:

Stephanie Cadieux becomes Minister of Social Development.

Margaret MacDiarmid becomes Minister of Labour, Citizen Services and Open Government.

Harry Bloy becomes Minister of State for Multiculturalism.

Ron Cantelon becomes Parliamentary Secretary for Seniors to the Minister of Health.

Gordon Hogg becomes Parliamentary Secretary for Non-Profit Partnerships to the Minister of Social Development.

Donna Barnett becomes Parliamentary Secretary for Rural Communities to the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

Richard Lee becomes Parliamentary Secretary for Asia-Pacific to the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Should the City of WL/CRD/SD 27 hold a candidate information meeting before October 14th

On Wednesday, September 21st - Kelowna's City Clerk/Chief Election Officer held a "candidate information meeting" for those interesting running for Kelowna City Council in November.  See the story from the Kelowna Capital News here

But it does raise the point - Should the City of Williams Lake, Cariboo Regional District (for Areas D, E,F) and SD #27 (for Zones 4, 5,6) hold a candidate information meeting "before" October 14th?

Benefits would include:

* more public promotion of the upcoming local elections and allow those who were thinking about running for office to get their questions answered before committing to run in the election

As of today - 8 people have picked up nomination papers at Williams Lake City Hall.  

No numbers though for SD #27 or the Cariboo Regional District.  We do know one person is challenging for a seat (Sheila Boehm) on the School District #27 Board and one person for the Cariboo Regional District Board (Heloise Dixon-Warren for Area 'B') and rumoured candidate for Area 'H' - Ron Lister

There would be efficiencies by hold a joint candidate information meeting of City of Williams Lake, School District #27 (Zones 4, 5,6) and Cariboo Regional District (EA Areas D, E, F) to review how local governments work and the overall requirements for candidates - given most of the local election rules are virtually the same as far as campaign finances, etc go for City of WL, CRD and School District #27

Also - I'd like to see the same type of meeting happen in the North Cariboo (City of Quesnel, SD#28 and CRD - Areas A, B,C and I) and the South Cariboo (District of 100 Mile, SD #27 - Zones 1, 2, 3 and CRD  - Areas , G, H and L)


Saturday, September 24, 2011

Mayoralty Candidate and former/current WL City Staff in same picture (Updated)

Earlier this week - I noted that current Williams Lake Mayor/Mayoralty Candidate Kerry Cook has now established a Facebook page which you can view here.  For the record - this page has received "24 likes" so far.

However - in viewing the page this morning, I noticed the following picture that leaves me a little concerned and reminds me of what occured in 2005 when then-Williams Lake Mayoralty Candidate Deb DeMare included a picture of Alberto DeFeo (former WL CAO) in her campaign brochure:

From left to right: Brad McRae, Lilliana Dragowska, Sue Moxey, Danny Moxey and Kerry Cook

Now - while Mr. McRae and Sue/Danny Moxey have left the City of Williams Lake employ - I'm informed that Ms. Dragowska is currently on "stress leave" but still is in the City's payroll

Please note - In 2005 - the then-Chief Election Officer (Sue Moxey) had sent out a warning to all candidates in that local government election that Williams Lake City Staff do not officially support, in any way, candidates for Mayor or Councillor and that City Staff serve whoever is elected.  This was the result of former Mayoralty candidate Deb DeMare including a picture of the then-City of WL Chief Administrative Officer Alberto DeFeo in her campaign brochure

Given this picture could give the impression that Ms. Dragowska is, in fact, supporting Kerry Cook for Mayor (re-election) and because of what the City was forced to do in similiar circumstances in the 2005 Civic Election - I will be writing to the City of Williams Lake's Chief Election Officer (Cindy Bouchard) requesting that she investigate this matter to see if, in fact, it breaches any local election law or local election practices and to take appropriate action, as she sees fit

I'll let you know when I get an answer from Ms. Bouchard on this matter

My intention is to ensure that City Staff don't get "roped" into the election but to just "sit on the sidelines" and observe while the candidates, like myself, do their thing and I'm sure City Staff look forward to working with whomever is elected on Saturday, November 19th, 2011


Update - Sept 24/2011 at 5:39pm

I have received an email from the City of WL's Chief Election Officer (C. Bouchard) thanking me for bringing this matter to her attention.  Further - Kerry Cook's campaign team has now pulled the above photo from their "Re-Elect Kerry Cook for Mayor" Facebook page


BCLTV - September 23rd edition


September 23rd edition of BC Liberal TV "Rewind"

In this episode:

1) BC JOBS Plan
2) Healthy Families, Healthy Communities
3) Granville Seniors' Centre

Friday, September 23, 2011

No Local Gov't meetings until Oct 3

With the Annual Convention of the Union of BC Municipalities set to start on Monday - all local governments are at this convention to meet with Provincial Cabinet Ministers and debate the various UBCM Resolutions put forward by various local governments in British Columbia

The next time that local governments will meet in the Cariboo-Chilcotin are as follows:

City of Quesnel – Monday, Oct 3rd (Tenative)
District of Wells – Tuesday, Oct 4th
City of Williams Lake – Tuesday, Oct 4th
Cariboo Regional District – Thursday, Oct 6th
District of 100 Mile – Tuesday, Oct 11th

While they are away in Vancouver - there may be announcements relating to the local elections in Wells, Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile, the Cariboo Regional District and School Districts #28 (Quesnel) and #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) and should they occur - I'm looking forward to reading and covering them here


School District #27 Board meets next Tuesday

The Board of Education for School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) is meeting next week for the first time in the 2011-12 School Year

See the Agenda/Reports here

Economic Development #1 Priority under Mayor Nelson

This afternoon - Welcome to Williams Lake reports that, if elected, Scott Nelson will elevate the Economic Development Portfolio of Williams Lake City Council into the Mayor's office and make it the #1 Priority for the next Williams Lake City Council.  See that article here

Like Henry Van Soest in this past Thursday's Williams Lake Tribune - I too am beginning to be very troubled by this Council's grasp on the Economic Development front.  But here is the real question for the Mayor's Race in Williams Lake:

On Economic Development - does this community want to continue to support "Ms. Dithers" in Kerry Cook or elect "Mr. Action" in Scott Nelson?


2011 Local Election Guides now available

The Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development has now published two guides, relating to local elections:

1) 2011 Candidate's Guide to Local Elections in BC - view here
2) 2011 Guide to support a Local Gov't Election Candidate in BC - view here

Whether a local election candidate (Mayor, Councillor, EA Director or School Trustee) or someone supporting a candidate, I urge you to read the above guides to ensure your election activities do not run afoul of provincial local election law

Like in previous elections - the City of Williams Lake has previously held a candidate information meeting to discuss the basics of local government, election rules, etc and I don't have any reason to believe they won't being doing so for this election.  The session is usually held in late October, once the official candidate list is published on October 21st, after the 7 day period for local election candidates to withdraw has expired


Hon. Ida Chong on the Municipal Auditor General

By Hon. Ida Chong - Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development:

Premier Christy Clark has made a commitment to set up and fully fund an Office of the Municipal Auditor General for British Columbia.

We are working toward that commitment – listening to the views of Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) Executive, local governments, the business community and the general public.

As the global economy has shifted, we have all had to look at how to be innovative with our resources and stretch taxpayer dollars at every level of government. Provincial and federal expenditures are currently reviewed by an auditor general to ensure that taxpayers are getting value for money. Citizens deserve to have that assurance about local government spending.

While the details are still being developed, we know that the Municipal Auditor General will conduct a limited number of value-for-money performance audits every year. The purpose of performance audits is to help local governments in their stewardship of community assets, to identify best practices, and to provide another measure of transparency and accountability for taxpayers.

For example, did funding a new water conservation campaign achieve its objectives of reducing water consumption during peak summer usage? Can a municipality optimize its fire services by delivering the services itself or through a contract with a larger adjoining municipality?

The Municipal Auditor General will not make or overrule policy decisions of elected officials (such as tax rates or land use); call into question the merits of local government program policies or objectives; make binding recommendations or impose requirements; or duplicate or displace current accountability requirements (such as local governments hiring independent auditors for annual financial audits).

Rather, I see the Office of the Municipal Auditor General as a tremendous opportunity to build on the existing accountability and strength of our local government system. And I am pleased that several locally elected officials have expressed their community’s support for a Municipal Auditor General.

I look forward to further discussion about how best to structure the Office of the Municipal Auditor General at the upcoming UBCM Convention in Vancouver.

Strategic/Sound Fiscal Management Plan for WL City Hall?

Earlier today - Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook responds to criticism from the ICBA or Independent Contractors and Businesses Association on their assertion that spending increased by 43% at WL City Hall between 2000-2008 (note - the CFIB or Can Federation of Independent Business made the same claim last year).  See Mayor Cook's response here

However - one quote in the story left me wondering...

Cook's council will be rolling out at a very strategic and sound fiscal management plan in the near future.

I hope that City of WL voters' will get to see that plan before they vote on November 19th on this City Council's performance or is this a case of "all talk, no action" like they were when they directed City Staff to come up with a Public Consultation Policy for Regulatory Bylaws in November of 2009 and nothing to date after a year and a half of giving that directive to their Staff and also when WL Council directed City Staff to include the role of Deputy Mayor in the Council Procedure Bylaw and after 2 years - nothing has been done

Memo to Adrian Dix - BC JOBS Plan includes every part of BC

From the BC Government Caucus:

Adrian Dix apparently hasn’t taken the time to read Canada Starts Here: the B.C. Jobs Plan, otherwise he’d know the plan stimulates job growth in every part of the province.

“Hearing Adrian Dix and his NDP caucus parrot a ridiculous line about how the B.C. Jobs Plan doesn’t assist Vancouver Island or the Kootenays is simply laughable,” says Minister Pat Bell. “Last time I checked, the Kootenays were home to some of the biggest provincial revenue-generators in the form of coal mines in the Elk Valley. The Comox Valley is one of the most important agricultural regions in B.C. And forestry is a huge part of the economies of those regions.”

The NDP have a penchant for wanting to pick winners and losers – not just industries, but specific companies.

“Skeena Cellulose is the classic example of NDP ineptitude when it comes to economic management,” says Bell. “Throwing money around and raising the debt that our kids have to pay is not what British Columbians expect from their government, but it’s what the NDP delivered in the 1990s, and it’s what they’d deliver again if they get the chance.”

“Our plan is sensible, sustainable, and long-term, and that’s what taxpayers expect.

“We’re getting government out of the way, and helping the private sector do what they do best: create jobs in every single region of B.C.”

BC Conservatives close Policy Sessions to media

This morning, Vaughn Palmer of the Vancouver Sun - one of the province's most veteran political reporters tweeted the following:

BC Conservative annual convention in Nanaimo Saturday. Policy discussions closed to media. Not the practice with NDP, Liberals.

As a card-carrying member of the BC Liberal Party - I agree that Policy Sessions should and must be debated in public.  After all - it has been the tradition of other political parties, like the Federal/Provincial NDP, Progressive Conservatives throughout Canada, as examples and I reject arguments like We don't need the distraction of the media, when discussing policy, in the room.  Bull___ - most political parties have discussed party policy while the media was in the room and I haven't heard any complaining from party members

Now the real question is - What do the BC Conservatives have to hide??  After all - they want to govern BC, they need to show that they stand behind their policies including debating them, in public


Update (Fri Sept 23rd at 10:45am):

Alan Forseth, from the BC Conservatives, says that anyone can read the BC Conservative Party Policy here, but again - it doesn't answer the question - Why don't the BC Conservatives want the media in the room when their members debate their policies, unlike what occurs at BC Liberal Policy Sessions...?

Just asking...

12 Days to Go...

With 12 Days until both incumbents and challengers to various local government elected positions can file their election papers with the local Chief Election Officer on Tuesday, October 4th at 9:00 am, let's take a look at where the local election races stand:

Wells - No announcements to date

Quesnel - Mary Sjostrom announces Mayor re-election bid.  Mike Cave/Laurey-Anne Roodenburg both announce Councillor re-election bids with Peter Couldwell announcing his intention to retire from municipal politics

School District #28 - No announcements to date

School District #27 - Sheila Boehm announces bid for Trustee seat

Williams Lake: Scott Nelson/Walt Cobb announce bids for Mayor seat.  Kerry Cook announced in June 2010 her Mayor re-election bid.  Steve Forseth announces bid for Councillor seat.  Laurie Walters/Surinderpal Rathor both announce Councillor re-election bids

100 Mile House: Maureen Pinkney announces bid for Mayor's seat

Cariboo Regional District: Directors for Areas A, C, D, F, G, I, J and L announce re-election bids.  Directors for Areas E, H, K announce they'll be retiring and Director for Area B has not announced if she (Roberta Faust) seek re-election.  Heloise Dixon-Warren announces bid, via Facebook, for Area 'B' Directorship

With very few announcements coming from the Municipal/School District election races to date, it'll be interesting to see if next week or the week following (start of period to file election papers) will see a glut of local election announcements with the run to October 14th (last date to file nomination papers for the Districts of Wells/100 Mile, Cities of Quesnel/Williams Lake, Cariboo Regional District and School Districts #27/28)...


Thursday, September 22, 2011

Christy Clark releases new BC Jobs Plan

At today's Vancouver Board of Trade luncheon, BC Premier Christy Clark released her BC JOBS plan.  See the full Government of BC press release here.  See the new BC JOBS website here

Expect both the BC NDP and BC Conservatives to take issue with this plan, either later today or tomorrow once they both have had time to review the Plan and put their own spin on it


Kerry Cook gets defensive on Economic Development

After local Realtor Henry Van Soest suggested that both the City of Williams Lake's Economic Development Office/Economic Development Corporation are doing little or nothing on the Economic Development file, Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook with the City's Economic Development Manager Alan Madrigga both explain to the Williams Lake Tribune what exactly the City is up to on the Economic Development front - see that article here

Why the City chose a short-term Task Force over its' already established Economic Development Corporation is beyond me and clearly has not been addressed either from City Staff or the Mayor herself and in fact - she may not be in place at the end of the year when the Task Force is slated to report out on their work, relative to the Business Expansion/Attraction Strategy (BEAS)

If there is any one item where this Mayor/Council is weak on and could come home to haunt them as voters' decide the next Williams Lake Council membership - that clearly is on Economic Development.  Out and about today - voters' tell me that this Council has maybe spent too much time on the "Arts" file and not enough on Economic Development and in the meantime - the community, in the short term, will need to decide what to do about the local pool and an Indoor Turf facility, water/sewer needs for Woodland Drive residents, the issue for re-doing the section of South Lakeside Drive between the Highway #20  Intersection to Pioneer Drive (Wal-Mart site turnoff) and maybe further to Kwaleen School and the fact that the City is sitting on close to $20 million dollars in long-term debt and how to balance all of these different yet competing needs out


Out of Control Municipal Spending at WL/Quesnel City Halls? (Updated)

Phillip Hochstein, President of the Independent Contractors and Business Association of BC or ICBA argued yesterday and today that spending at municipal halls in British Columbia.  See his interview with the Rush here

However - the ICBA numbers' are similar to what the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) had in their "Municipal Spending Report 2010" (see their report in full here) when they cited the following:

Quesnel (2000-2008):

Difference between spending and population/inflation growth: 6.83 times
Money saved if spending limited to population/inflation growth: $2,283 for family of 4

Williams Lake (2000-2008):

Difference between spending and population/inflation growth: 3.94 times
Money saved if spending limited to population/inflation growth: $1,489

So far - there has been no response from the Cities of Quesnel and Williams Lake CAO's or their elected officials...

Update - Sept 23rd at 1:10pm:

Quesnel Mayor Mary Sjostrom responds to the ICBA report here
WL Mayor Kerry Cook responds to the ICBA report here

Should bear spray/dangerous weapons be regulated locally?

Over at Welcome to Williams Lake - they report that WL RCMP Detachment Commander Warren Brown states that bear spray was used in one criminal activity and may have been used in an attempted robbery - see here

As Mr. Brown states in the article - the City of Williams Lake is looking into the mechanics of a "Dangerous Weapons" Bylaws for the City.  However, I would argue that without a provincial ban, a local "Dangerous Weapons" bylaw will have no teeth because others' will go to another community to acquire those same "dangerous weapons" to be used back home.  In addition - people have used common materials to make "home bombs".  Why don't we regulate the sale of bleach, pencils, pens, etc as they can be used in the making of weapons as well.  How far should society go to regulate what can be acquired for personal use, in the name of protecting society as a whole?


Wednesday, September 21, 2011

2 Quesnel City Councillors announce re-election bids

Earlier today - both Quesnel City Councillors Mike Cave (via Facebook) and L-A Roodenburg (via Facebook, The Rush/The Wolf) announced their re-election bids.

For L-A Roodenburg (via Facebook) - she says:

Good Morning People. I am very happy to announce today that I will be officially seeking my second term as a councillor for the City of Quesnel. I hate making promises but I can say this....I will work diligently for the citizens of Q-town. We have set a vision for the community, and with respectful dialogue and debate and lobbying at every level of government, I will be part of a team that will keep Quesnel successful, and a brilliant place to call home.

Meanwhile - Mike Cave, in announcing his re-election bid for Quesnel Council (again via Facebook):

Following the lead of my colleagues I am going to declare my intention to seek a second term on Quesnel City Council. Thank you all for the experience you have allowed my to have. But there is more for us to do. I ask for your support and I promise I will continue to help direct our city to a healthy, sustainable, and green future. Again, thanks to everyone.

So - that leaves Quesnel Councillors Ron Paull, Coralee Oakes, and Sushil Thapar (Peter Couldwell already announced his intention to retire from Quesnel Council) to announce their re-election bids or retirement plans with 24 days remaining before time runs out on October 14th at 4:00pm


Re-Elect Kerry Cook Facebook Page now established

Following up on Williams Lake City Councillor Laurie Walters establishing a "Facebook" page for her re-election bid - Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook has now established her own re-election page on Facebook

It reports that further information will be posted later.  I also reasonably expect that Mayor Cook's campaign will be establishing a website, as they did for the 2008 Civic Election

If you are interested in joining this Facebook page - click here

Not sure if Scott Nelson's or Walt Cobb's campaign team will be setting a Facebook page up specifically for the civic election, but I do know both are on Facebook already, as is Kerry Cook, and Scott Nelson has had comments on his Facebook page relating to the local election

As for myself - my online presence will continue to consist of my Twitter/Facebook accounts as well as my blog


BC NDP/Adrian Dix's record on jobs during the "Lost 1990's"

From the BC Government Caucus:

What was Adrian Dix’s impact on the 1990s B.C. economy? His policies ‘MC Hammer'd’ our growth, employment, and economy.

As the chief architect of the NDP's disastrous economic policies, we know what the results would be should he find himself in the Premier's Office again: he'd take us back to the 1990s. Like Crystal Pepsi and the neutral zone trap, Dix's economic policies are best left in the past.

While citing his desire to see government spend more on skills training, he forgets the most important fact: skilled workers need jobs to go to.

Let's take a look at the facts:


• British Columbia was dead last in job growth in Canada while Adrian Dix was in charge (1996-2000).

• In those same Adrian Dix-led years (1996-2000), British Columbia had the highest unemployment rate of all the western provinces - each and every year.

• Youth unemployment was the highest in Canada west of Quebec and reached all-time highs under Dix's "stewardship" - all when his boss was the Minister Responsible for Youth.

• Between 1997-2001, more than 50,000 people fled British Columbia looking for work in other parts of Canada. Imagine the combined populations of Prince Rupert, Powell River, Williams Lake and Port Alberni disappearing east in search of work.


• Since 2001, British Columbia has the second-best job creation record in Canada - behind only Alberta.

• From 1998 to 2001, B.C. had the highest youth unemployment rate west of Quebec, and was higher than the national average in each of those years.

• In every year since 2005, B.C. has had a youth unemployment lower rate than the Canadian average.

• Since turning the province around under a BC Liberal government, between 2003-2010 almost 65,000 people moved into B.C.

Today, there are more people in British Columbia's post-secondary education system than ever before. Those graduates need a dynamic and thriving private sector to give them jobs and family-supporting paycheques.

To conclude with the 1990s references, we’d be remiss not to point out the fact in relation to the infamous back-dated memo, Adrian was indeed, ‘2 Legit 2 Quit’. He got fired instead.

City of WL Statement Regarding CMRC Provision Of Fitness Programs

From the City of Williams Lake:

The City of Williams Lake has been in communication with Concrete Fitness for the past six months or more, responding to Concrete Fitness’ request for detailed information regarding the finances and various business records related to the operation of the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex (CMRC).

Subsequently, the owners of Concrete Fitness wrote to the City, expressing concerns with costs of CMRC operations, levels of subsidy, and the range of fitness programming offered to the public. The basis of these concerns are that the Complex is competing unfairly with private fitness operators in the community due to the subsidy that is provided through property taxation.

More recently, Concrete Fitness has presented the City and CRD, through the Central Cariboo Joint Committee, with a letter and petition that requests a review of the programs offered at the CMRC in relation to services offered by the private sector. The letter further requests that the CMRC refrain from offering adult fitness programs (yoga, pilates, etc.) that are in direct competition with private fitness establishments.

They have also requested that the gym facility not be expanded or improved.

The CMRC has provided a range of fitness programs and a modest fitness facility for many years. Fees are consistent with other communities in the province with a recognition that municipal fitness facilities are generally intended to provide affordable amenities and services for a range of users. Staff has been challenged by the Joint Committee over the years to maximize revenues at the CMRC to offset operating costs and reduce the level of subsidy required from taxpayers. For the most part, this has been achieved by offering a range of quality fitness programs, thus increasing the number of drop-in and fitness pass holders. As a result of this effort over the past number of years, the CMRC has gone from recovering approximately 30% of operating costs to almost 50%.

The City has received some very compelling and passionate feedback from both the private fitness sector as well as residents who support the programs offered at the CMRC. The question of providing fitness facilities and services at the CMRC is one of public policy and the elected representatives of the City and CRD will have to consider the interests of the community at large in addressing the requests of Concrete Fitness and the other signatories to the petition,” says Mayor Kerry Cook. “In the meantime, I am confident that we will find resolution to this matter that is in the best interest of the community”.

The Central Cariboo Joint Committee will be considering the Concrete Fitness request and petition at the next regularly scheduled meeting on October 26, 2011 at 5:00 pm at City Hall in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (old Committee Room #1)

For more information please contact:

Brian Carruthers - Chief Administrative Officer
The City of Williams Lake
Ph: 250 392-1763
Email -

Possible Election Race in CRD Area 'B'?

On Facebook this morning - Heloise Dixon-Warren announced that she is seeking the Cariboo Regional District - Electoral Area 'B' Directorship - see that Facebook page here

Ms. Dixon-Warren is fairly well known in the North Cariboo including her work with FARMED (see that website here)

Question is - will Roberta Faust (current CRD Area 'B' Director) decide to seek re-election....?


100 Mile News...

In the 100 Mile Free Press today:

* CRD Area Directors' Al Richmond (Area 'G') and Bruce Rattray (Area 'L') both will be seeking re-election, while Area 'H' Director Art Dumaresq will retire when his term expires on November 30th - see here

Editor's Note - With CRD Directors Steve Mazur (Area 'E'), Rick Mumford (Area 'K') and Art Dumaresq (Area 'H') now bowing out of local government on November 30th, only Area 'B' Director Roberta Faust has yet to decide to seek re-election as CRD Directors for Areas A, C, D, F, I, J have already confirmed their intentions to seek re-election

* More on Maureen Pinkey (former CRD Area 'L' Director from 2002-2008) seeking the Mayor's job in 100 Mile - see here

* 100 Mile Council getting frustrated with lack of care beds - see here
* 100 Mile schools' feeling pinch as teachers' not allowed to fundraise for their local school - see here
* North Green Lake/Watch Lake residents must pay their annual fire department fees, otherwise they may not get fire protection services - see here
* BC Conservatives' Regional Director Alan Forseth questions debt-management skills of BC Liberals - see here

St Laurent Project - Sept 20 Update

From the City of Quesnel website:

St. Laurent Revitalization

News and updates:
September 20
• The project is about two weeks ahead of schedule.
• Curb and gutters including landscape curbs have been installed.
• All concrete sidewalks including tie-ins to shops are complete.
• The storm water system is complete.
• Paving stones at the intersections are about 60% complete.
• Shrubs and trees for the planters are on site.
• Road base work for asphalt paving is about 70% complete.
The following is scheduled to take place during the week of September 19 to September 25:
• Completion of paving stones.
• Install landscape materials.
• Install traffic control signs.
• Install street lamps that were existing. The new street lamps over and above the existing lamps will be installed in about two weeks.
• Complete road base preparation.
• Install asphalt on Sunday, September 25.
The City encourages pedestrians to be cautious when walking on St. Laurent Avenue or driving across the affected intersections. Please pay attention to construction crews and obey all signs.
The City thanks the downtown business owners as well as members of the public for their patience as this much-needed investment is made in our infrastructure.

Important notes

  • St. Laurent will be closed to traffic for the duration of the project.
  • Traffic will be able to drive north-south on Reid, McLean and Kinchant during construction.
  • The City’s transit stop on St. Laurent Avenue at the Spirit Square has been moved to the east side of McLean Street.
  • Pedestrians have access to the businesses on St. Laurent throughout the project.
  • As with any major construction job the schedule is fluid and may change.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

CRD Solid Waste Management Public Consultation Process

As most already know - the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) has started its' "Talking Trash" session to engage the public on the future Solid Waste Management Plan.  The CRD has a website on this here

If you are unable to make the meetings between now - October 20th, see the links below for the information that is being presented at these meetings:

Display Panels - click here
Powerpoint presentation - click here
Meeting Handout - click here

After reading the above - I highly recommend that you email your comments to so the Solid Waste Management Advisory Committee can take your comments into consideration as they formulate the new Solid Waste Management Plan and submit their recommendations to the CRD Board later on this year (likely in November or December 2011)

There is also an online survey that you can fill out here

UBCM updates its' position on the Municipal Auditor-General

Just a few minutes ago - the Union of BC Municipalities or UBCM published a "Members Statement" on its' latest meeting with BC Premier Christy Clark and BC Community Services Minister Ida Chong over the proposed Municipal Auditor-General.  See that statement here.  I was pleased to read the Province's commitment to pay for all costs, relating to the Municipal Auditor-General

Also - UBCM will be taking a policy paper to its' members when it meets next week at its Annual Convention at the Vancouver Convention Centre.  See that policy paper here

It'll be interesting to see and follow how this item is debated with all five of the local governments of the Cariboo-Chilcotin at UBCM next week


City of Williams Lake to submit letter to Provincial Finance Committee

At tonight's Special Council meeting, being held at 5:45pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom at WL City Hall, two items will be considered:

1) Adopt Fluoride Referendum Bylaw
2) Letter from City of WL to provincial Finance Committee

On Item #2 - the letter from the City of Williams Lake to the Provincial Finance Committee (who is here tomorrow from 9-12pm at the Pioneer Complex, 351 Hodgson Rd), they raise 3 key points:

* Funding for municipal infrastructure
* Regional Revenue Sharing Arrangement
* Justice System Funding

See that letter here

Quesnel Council Highlights - Special Sept 20th Meeting

Project ahead of schedule

City Council received an update on the St. Laurent Revitalization project, which is about two weeks ahead of the original schedule. The contractor expects to pave the street on Sunday, Sept. 25. This will leave the project about 95 per cent complete, with the only work remaining including line painting, light pole installation and correcting any deficiencies. The project has seen: complete replacement of the storm water system; new paving, curb, gutters and sidewalks; and extensive landscaping improvements. The $1 million project was funded through the Quesnel Works: Capital Reinvestment Program.

Fees bylaw moves ahead

Council gave first three readings to its Comprehensive Fees and Charges bylaw. This "Master Fee" bylaw was put in place in 2010, allowing the City to update and amend fees and charges in one process. The City's Five Year Financial Plan includes a policy to move towards usage-based funding, when appropriate, as opposed to always relying on taxation. Based on this, Council approved several fee increases, including: a five per cent increase to water and sewer rates ($16.72 per year, per household); a two per cent increase to airport fees (not including passenger fees); and some minor changes to some building inspection and development charges. The bylaw will receive final reading in October. Council will also look at the fees it charges at the landfill, but a separate bylaw process will happen for that area.

Dog Park location gets approval

City Council gave approval for a dog park to be located at the Old Soccer Fields on Sword Avenue, the preferred location for both the park's proponents and the City. The location is centrally located and under-utilized. The space can be used without negatively affecting other field users.  The Dog Park will be located in the North West corner of the fields, near the parking lot. The park's proponents will be responsible for paying all expenses related to the establishment of the park, including fencing and signs.

Air Quality champion recognized

The long-time chairperson of the Quesnel Air Quality Roundtable, Dora McMillan, was thanked for her 16 years of volunteerism to promote better air quality. McMillan has retired  to allow, in her words, someone with new blood and fresh ideas to come forward.

Other news

Quesnel and District Leisure Services will apply to the Enabling Accessibility Fund Small Project Component to improve the accessibility in the men's change room and the Arts Centre washrooms at the Quesnel and District Arts and Recreation Centre. The grant, if approved, would fund 75% of the total cost ($24,217) not including taxes. The North Cariboo Recreation and Parks budget would fund the remaining 25% and the HST ($8,650).

Barb Lewis, the woman behind the friendly voice answering calls to the Public Works and Engineering department, is retiring after 19 years of service. Lewis was thanked by Council for her dedication and commitment to the City of Quesnel.


Right to Know week - Sept. 26 to 30
Community Living Month - October

Foster Family Appreciation month - October 
Child Development Week - Oct. 24 to 29
 Restorative Justice Week - Nov. 13 to 20 

Important Dates

Sept. 23 - City of Quesnel Emergency Training Scenario - 9 a.m. to noon at the top of Dragon Lake Hill.
Oct. 7 - Zombie Walk - 3 p.m. departure from Baker Creek Park - GR Baker Memorial Hospital fundraiser.
Oct. 8 - 39th Annual Quesnel Tillicum Society Powwow - 1 p.m. at the Quesnel Native Friendship Centre.

Future Meetings:

Next North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Meeting: Tuesday September 20 - 5:30 p.m.
Next Delegation Meeting:  Monday October 3, 7 p.m.
Next Committee of the Whole Meeting: Monday October 17, 7 p.m.
Next Regular Council Meeting:  Monday October 24, 7 p.m.