Monday, October 31, 2011

Into the Home Stretch...

With October all but done... November will be a busy month for both currently elected local officials and their challengers in relation to the Nov 19th local election

We'll have the 3 All Candidates Forums on Nov 2nd, 3rd and 14th in Williams Lake.  We also have a All Candidate Forum in Quesnel on Nov 3rd.  Although nothing yet - I can reasonably imagine that there'll be an All Candidates Forum for the Mayors' race in 100 Mile and in Wells.  Any All Candidates meeting info that I receive will be posted here

As a point of information - there are exactly 17 campaign days left to Nov 19th, but 14 days left to campaign, if you leave out Sundays between today & November 19th and November 11th (Remembrance Day)

Please stay informed, folks, it'll be a "wild ride" for all of the candidates over the next couple of weeks and then go to your polling stations on November 9th/16th (Advance Voting - City of Williams Lake) and Nov 19th (General Voting Day - all local governments).  On Tuesday, November 8th - I'll post the Advance Voting locations for all local governments for the 1st Advance Voting Opportunity in your local community


Ron Paull speaks his mind on the North Cariboo Multi-Centre Project

Steve's Calendar - November 2011

As part of my "Open Government" section of my full platform & if elected - I'll be doing a monthly blog post on my calendar of meetings/events that I'll be at (subject to change at last minute) in the month of November:

Nov 1st - WL City Council at 6:00pm - 450 Mart Street
Nov 2nd - All Candidates Forum (WL and District Chamber of Commerce) at the Tourism Discovery Centre from 5:30pm - 8:00pm
Nov 3rd - All Candidates (WL Seniors' Village) at 1405 Western Ave from 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Nov 14th - All Candidates Forum at TRU - 1250 Western Ave from 7:00pm - 8:30pm
Nov 17th - CRD Finance/Budget Committee Meeting at 180D North 3rd Avenue (Time: TBA)
Nov 18th - CRD Board Meeting at 180D North 3rd Avenue from 9:30am - 2:30pm
Nov 28th - Sacred Heart School Council Meeting at 6:00pm in the Sacred Heart Elementary School Library
Nov 29th - Final WL City Council Meeting for 2008-2011 Term at 6:00pm - 450 Mart Street

Review of Platforms - Sue Zacharias/Kerry Cook

Very recently - both WL City Councillor Sue Zacharias/WL Mayor Kerry Cook put out detailed re-election Platforms which I wish to review...

Sue Zacharias - see here

Goal #1 - Agree with her but have to ask where this Council was the entire term.  Economic Development should be a priority everyday and not just weeks before a local election

Goal #2 - Agree with her.  If Victoria can find $500 million for BC Place (1 facility) and $500,000 for Grey Cup activities - then they should be able to fund recreation and other facilities in Rural BC that generates the funds for our urban cousins' in Metro Vancouver and other urban areas of BC...

Goal #3 - Agree with her here.  The community has seen reductions in various crime categories, but let's remember - it is because of the work of all and not because of one City Council or one individual.  Tackling crime is everyone's job... Also - people I've talked with say that not only do we need a Drug/Alcohol Detox facility but we need to take a closer look at our local social services and ensure that they are providing the very best services that they can and the benefits of those social services are reaching those that need it

Goal #4 - Self explanatory

Goal #5 - I somewhat take umbrage with this statement, given how many Central Cariboo Joint Committee meetings' I've attended.  Personally - I don't think it is "Team Spirit" when you tell your neighbour (City of WL to CRD) how to do their job...

Goal #6 - Agree with most goals she's laid out.  Corporate Vote is one item I don't think you'll see Victoria get into.  Too messy for provincial politicians to get involved in when they have enough to keep them busy, politically.  Also - I question her dedication/respect for seniors' when she voted to turn over Heritage House to CMHA (Can. Mental Health Assoc) when local seniors' have previously said that they wanted it to remain for seniors' purposes, voted to defer any decision on Cariboo Lodge to a Task Force (who knows when that report will be made available) and her reaction to comments from two local seniors' in Sept of 2010 on a development proposal by Luigi Mandarino by using the words "appalling".  Again - we need not agree with what one says but calling one's comments as "appalling" is something we should all steer clear of. All she had to do (and she wasn't at the Public Hearing to hear the full context of their comments) was thank them for their comments and politely say that she disagree with the views

Kerry Cook - see here

Key Goals: Safer Streets - Encouraging Development - Sustaining our Community

Safer Streets:

This Goal I agree with - working on reducing crime, with everyone, should be a year-round job

Encouraging Development:

I know that she is sincere when she says these goals.  The real problem is that she's taking two years with no results except the recent formation of a Task Force on Ec Dev which is slated to report out on Dec 31st.  And if re-elected - will she get that, in business, time is money....?

Finally - for myself, I hope to be in a position to release my own full platform on Friday which will include my full campaign goals - if elected.  Stay tuned!!!


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Pat Bell's Top Ten - Oct 29th

1. With over 50 types of tourism products found in six distinct regions and countless communities province wide, tourism epitomizes how small and medium-sized businesses contribute to the economy:
o B.C. has nearly 18,000 tourism-related businesses province wide.
o 77 per cent of all tourism businesses have fewer than 20 employees.
o 56 per cent have fewer than 10 employees.
o 43 per cent of all tourism businesses are outside the Greater Vancouver area.

2. The tourism division budget is approximately $52 million for 2011-12, up from $24 million in 2001. This budget includes resources for marketing, partnerships, and policy and research.

3. In 2010, the tourism sector employed 127,000 British Columbians, generated over $13.4 billion in revenue for tourism-related businesses and contributed over $1.2 billion to provincial government revenues.

4. The ski industry generates annual revenues of about $500 million dollars.

5. With the tagline ‘Get Above it All in British Columbia’, the 2011-12 North America winter ski campaign has for the first time been developed in collaboration with members of the Canada’s West Ski Areas Association, which includes representatives from B.C.’s 13 export-ready ski resorts. The $1.1-million campaign, which runs from November to March, will focus primarily on the Ontario market (largely Greater Toronto). For four weeks starting Monday, Nov. 14, the city will be inundated with transit shelter ads, subway and underground walkway posters, and elevator wraps in key buildings that provide a link to a B.C. ski microsite and contest.

6. A key priority over the next five years will be attracting more tourists from countries with large emerging middle classes, such as China and India, while maintaining strength in traditional markets such as the Ontario, California/Washington, the U.K., Germany, Australia and Japan. In 2010, China was B.C.’s fifth-largest international market for direct customs entries with 118,481 visitors to the province, an increase of 18.9 per cent over 2009.

7. As I said earlier “Gaining The Edge”: A Five-Year Strategy for Tourism in British Columbia’ also calls for a bigger push to provide marketing products in areas that most motivate people to choose BC. These areas include: touring vacations, city experiences, skiing-snowboarding, Aboriginal tourism, outdoor adventure/ecotourism, and meetings and conventions.

8. The strategy will target a five per cent annual growth in revenue in the tourism sector, expected to reach $18 billion annually by 2016.

9. We will also be implementing stable and predictable funding and working with the Tourism Industry Association of BC towards a new multi-faceted tourism marketing partnership including provincial, regional and community marketing organizations, with clear roles and accountabilities.

10. In addition we will be removing barriers to industry growth by working with the federal government to address challenges to international air access with key existing and emerging tourism markets, and to promote timely air, marine and land border access. The Province will work with the tourism sector to ensure labour market strategies are in place that identify and address the sector’s unique labour market pressures.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

CRD Forest Capital Lecture Series Continues...

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

The Cariboo Regional District’s (CRD) Forest Capital of Canada Committee announced today the final instalment of the 2011 Forest Capital Speaker Series. The series will start on Monday, November 14, at 7 p.m. in 100 Mile House at the Lodge and Conference Centre with Mr. Rob Kozak. This event is generously sponsored by the Williams Lake and District Credit Union and West Fraser – Quesnel Division.

Kozak will discuss Forests and Communities in Transition and will offer ideas on the challenges and opportunities facing the forest industry and their respective communities in British Columbia.

Rob Kozak is a Professor at the UBC Faculty of Forestry and is the Director of Forests and Communities in Transition (FACT). His current research and teaching interests revolve around sustainable business management practices and issues and providing business-based solutions to complex problems related to sustainable development, forestry, wood products and the emerging conservation economy. Currently, his work focuses on the wellbeing of forest-dependent communities, international development and poverty alleviation strategies, forest certification, corporate social responsibility, and forest sector sustainability and competitiveness.

Please join us at one of the following locations as the sessions are open to the general public and organizations that are interested in forests and communities in transition.

100 Mile House - At the Lodge (Vallley Room) at 7pm on Monday, Nov 14th
Quesnel - In Quesnel Council Chambers at 7pm on Tuesday, Nov 15th
Williams Lake - At TRU in the "Gathering Place" at 7pm on Wednesday, Nov 16th

For further information about the Forest Capital Speaker Series, or the CRD’s Forest Capital of Canada program, please visit us online at or email

CRD Board Highlights - Oct 28th Meeting

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

150 Mile House Anniversary Report

Mr. John Hoyrup, and representatives of the 150 Mile House Anniversary Committee, appeared before the Board to report on the 150th anniversary event. 150 Mile House’s 150th Anniversary took place on Saturday, July 16, 2011. Over 1,000 people visited the displays and attended events during the anniversary celebration. Some of the featured events included tours through the historic 150 Mile Red School House, a petting zoo, a family dance, and a number of displays depicting 150 Mile House throughout the years.

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Provides Update

MLA Donna Barnett, Cariboo Chilcotin, provided the Board with an update about priorities and projects the provincial government is working on. During the meeting MLA Barnett also presented awards of appreciation to retiring CRD Directors Art Dumaresq (Area H), Roberta Faust (Area B), Steve Mazur (Area E), and Rick Mumford (Area K). Further information is available online at

CRD Supports CCCTA Resolution

The Cariboo Regional District will provide a letter to the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association in support of a resolution directed to the provincial government. The resolution calls for legislative changes to threshold limits of the Tourist Accommodation Assessment Relief Act. Some of the proposed changes include:
• Increase the $150,000 threshold to $500,000
• Raise the threshold for the reducing formula from $2,000,000 to $4,000,000
• Introduce a formula to increase the threshold and reducing formula ceilings in proportion to average assessment valuation increases for accommodations

Community Works Funding for Alexis Creek & Watch Lake

The Alexis Creek and Watch Lake Community Clubs will be receiving Community Works funding for energy efficiency upgrades for their respective Community Halls. The Alexis Creek Community Club made an application to the CRD of up to $12,500 to install new windows and doors at the Alexis Creek Community Hall. The installation will improve energy efficiencies and reduce heating costs by dropping heat loss. The Watch Lake & District Women’s Institute has requested $12,000 to replace two old refrigerators and perform lighting upgrades.

Miss Canada International 2012

Anna Dell, Miss Canada International 2012, appeared before the Board to provide a presentation about the Teddy Bears of Hope Campaign. Further information about the program is available online at

Anahim Lake Airport Terminal Construction Update

The Regional District received an update from the Anahim Lake Airport Commission regarding construction of the new airport terminal. The Commission unanimously supports the project which will have a footprint of approximately 1,000 square feet and be designed in a log house style. The site design for the terminal building is underway. Issuance of a Request for Proposals for the building design is planned for the winter 2011, while construction will commence in the spring of 2012.

150 Mile School House added to Heritage Registry

Earlier this year, the Heritage Steering Committee reviewed an application for inclusion of the 150 Mile House Red School on the CRD Heritage register. The Heritage Ministry has ensured the Statement of Significance met their requirements and approved the application. The site will now be added to the provincial registry and it is expected the site will also be registered federally on the Canadian Register of Historic Places.

New Agriculture Planning Policy Reviewed

The CRD Board of Directors reviewed a proposed Agricultural Policy. The policy, which will now be distributed to stakeholders for comment and input, is intended to assist with agricultural edge planning to encourage compatible land uses between the rural/non-rural or farm/non-farm interface to reduce conflicts and recognize agriculture as a priority land use. The policy provides a regulatory framework related to fencing, buffering and screening specifications, and other measures such as agricultural awareness, minimum lot size requirements for land abutting existing agricultural operations/crown land in the ALR, and provisions for retention of natural features along the non-farm side of the ALR boundaries. The full document will be posted on the CRD website in the near future at under the Planning Department.

Age Friendly Community Planning & Projects Funding

The Regional District Board of Directors received information about the Seniors' Housing and Support Initiative’s new Age-Friendly Community Planning and Projects funding program. Grants of up to $20,000 are available to support community planning initiatives projects focused on age-friendly communities and the ability of seniors to age in place. Launched in 2004, the Seniors’ Housing and Support Initiative was created through the Ministry of Community, Sport & Cultural Development to assist local governments to prepare for an aging population. The application deadline is December 2, 2011.

Upcoming Meetings

Thursday, November 17 – Finance/Budget Committee Meeting
Friday, November 18 – CRD Board of Directors (Final Meeting of 2008-2011 Term)

The Week of BC Politics... Oct 24th - Oct 28th

1) Preston Manning: "Stick with BC Liberals" - see here
2) George Abbott introduces changes to BC College of Teachers - see here
3) BC Liberal TV "Rewind" video for week of Oct 24-28th - see here

Note - BC Liberal MLA Ron Cantelon has been in the hospital after a heart attack - see here for the details, but Twitter reports that Mr. Cantelon is getting better and I, for one, am glad to see that and I wish him a speedy recovery so we can see him at work, once again, in the BC Legislature...


Results of Poll - Support for WL City Councillor Candidates

About a couple of weeks ago - I asked my readers' this question:


Before I give the results, it should be noted:

1) Results are in no way scientific, they are simply the results of those who chose to participate so results should be viewed as such

2) Web polls are the frequent target of abuse by supporters of a candidate so they should not be relied on as an effective tool for the actual pulse of where the general public is at in their voting decision for a candidate(s) for election

Accordingly, the results are as follows:

1) Paul Kandola - 204 votes or 47% of all votes cast
2) Mike Jacobsen - 157 votes or 36% of all votes cast
3) Mike Bouchard - 151 votes or 34% of all votes cast
4) Surinderpal Rathor - 137 votes or 31% of all votes cast
5) Richard Vollo - 136 votes or 31% of all votes cast
6) Steve Forseth - 133 votes or 30% of all votes cast
7) Laurie Walters - 106 votes or 24% of all votes cast
8) Sue Zacharias - 92 votes or 21% of all votes cast
9)  Geoff Bourdon - 85 votes or 19% of all votes cast
10) Ivan Bonnell - 68 votes or 15% of all votes cast
11) Danica Hughes - 59 votes or 13% of all votes cast
12) Gord Keener - 57 votes or 13% of all votes cast
13) Peter Bowman - 16 votes or 3% of all votes cast
14) Tenessa Fairburn - 12 votes or 2% of all votes cast

Additional Notes:

1) So far, very little advertising among the Councillor candidates.  Only Ivan Bonnell has put an ad in the paper with Mike Bouchard, Mike Jacobsen, Paul Kandola, Richard Vollo and Peter Bowman having signs up and Laurie Walters/Sue Zacharias have an ad in the Stew (local newspaper).  I hope to advertise personally very soon as soon as I have access to my campaign funds... With 3 weeks left - I imagine those who are serious will be advertising in the papers and getting their signs up... the last effective date to advertise in the papers will be Thursday, November 17th.  Also - a number of candidates (myself included) have election online presences (Facebook, Twitter or blogs).  Welcome to Williams Lake has a list of those online by going to "Candidate Social Media Links" and clicking here

However, on the Mayor's race, it seems very one sided with Scott Nelson doing lots of full page ads, signs and radio ads  Kerry Cook does have signs up, with a couple of ads in the papers and a sign at the Transit Exchange in front of Boitanio Park.  Walt Cobb has done ads in the papers with no signs up (that I've observed so far) and a transit sign ad at the former Transit Stop by the WL Public Library

2) With this poll now complete - I'll be watching to see if this poll is reflective of what happens on November 19th or not...but the people I've talked with so far indicate that the "No Parking on Boulevards" and the fees associated with registering your security alarm system will be key factors in their votes for WL Council candidates - both Councillors/Mayor, but there is about 3 weeks left so I imagine I'll hear about different issues as well.  But all candidates (except Sue Zacharias - away on family business.  Info courtesy of her Facebook election page - see here), I'm sure, will hear from the public with 2 Key All Candidate Forums this coming week - the one at the local Tourism Center (TDC) on Wednesday from 5:30pm to 7:30pm and the one at WL Seniors' Village from 7:00pm until (I imagine) 8:30pm

If you can - please make one or both of the All Candidates Forums and question the candidates on what their plans are (including me)


Sue Zacharias's Election Platform

Interested in what a re-elected Sue Zacharias would do for you - the voter?

You can read her platform/goals on her Facebook page here

Update - Editor's Note: for sake of convenience, find below Ms. Zacharias Goals if re-elected:

Platforms and Issues Sue Will Work On:

1. Encourage new and secondary industry to settle in Williams Lake. We have now provided a, thoughtful, Permissive Tax Exemption to strategic industrial areas in Williams Lake. Tax incentives to businesses and industry, whether primary or secondary, whether looking to invest or diversify in Williams Lake, are necessary so we can generate more industrial and commercial tax revenue to help offset rising residential tax rates. I would like to work for you as a member of Council to engage local industry leaders within our community to continue to find innovative ways to do this.

2. Endeavour to work with the Provincial and Federal Governments to bring our tax dollars back into our region. We need new roads, more infrastructure, clean water, and proper sewer for many areas. We must continue to Reduce, Re-use and Recycle in order to bring down our soaring solid waste costs. The City of Williams Lake has now embarked on a modern, innovative recycling and solid waste program which began last year. I had the honour of sitting on the CRD Solid Waste Committee this past year and we will be setting into motion, soon, the results of the committee’s recommendations on how to aggressively begin a new and improved decade of Solid Waste management.

‎3. Crime and vandalism is still the number one issue on everyone’s minds today. This issue affects the well being of the whole community. With Councils support, I will continue to work with the Provincial and Federal governments to bring funding into place to help create programs for youth who are at-risk. We need Community Groups, such as Firemen, RCMP, Sea Cadets, and Scouts, to work together to form mentoring groups for at-risk youth. Prolific offenders must continue be incarcerated for the appropriate amount of time. All citizens need to be doing everything they can to protect their property and be vigilant by reporting any suspicious activity. We need to continue the positive steps that have already been started by our 2008-2011 council. I would also like to work with Interior Health, with Councils support, for a Detoxification Center in our area that would service the Cariboo-Chilcotin Region. Addiction is a disease. We need to show compassion and care for the addict who has this disease, as we would for the person who has the disease of cancer or diabetes. I am also very interested in the Community Court concept. With Councils support, I would like to see a Pilot Program initiated in Williams Lake and surrounding areas. As a Council and working with other partners in the community we have begun to address the issue of low-income housing and homelessness. We have fewer people living on the streets.

4. I enjoyed working with the CRD, with the Cariboo-Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition [CCBAC] in 2007. That experience has given me an overview and regional perspective on the Pine Beetle Mitigation Strategy. We will continue to work very closely with all levels of government over the next 5 years regarding this major event and the transitioning of our economy. There is much to be done in trades training and re-training workers to support a diversified economy in our resource driven region. We lobbied the Provincial government last year and received 3 million dollars for the Cariboo region to help set in motion, actions to help generate economic growth.

5. I have been an active partner in fostering a “Team Spirit” between the City of Williams Lake and the C.R.D over the years. We have achieved some important goals in the last 3 years by partnering with each other.

6. I will continue to work hard for residents to:

-- Promote tourism as a prime economic generator for the community.
--Reduce negative effects of the Provincial Carbon Tax for Northern Residents in our region.
--Increase the ability to process our timber locally.
--Amend Legislation as to who can vote in municipal elections regarding corporate votes.
--Continue to work hard toward a vital, healthy, busy Downtown Core. The downtown core is an extremely important asset to the City of Williams Lake. I believe with the right actions and strategies we can keep the downtown attractive, thriving and an important economic generator for the community.
--Advocate for seniors in our community is another high priority. My mother, Shirley McMillan, has lived in Williams Lake for 50 years. As a councillor I would have an open door policy, at all times, to listen to the issues affecting seniors. I would like to work with Council in attracting more retirees to our region. We offer a uniquely safe and economical community to retire in when compared to other larger centers.
--As a business leader in the community I have a proven track record as someone who can make decisions, think strategically, and act fairly. I will continue to bring those strengths and leadership abilities to Council. In times such as these, we will require strong, committed leaders to take us through the challenges ahead. I want to make a positive impact on this community so that our children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren may have the option to live, work, and play in Williams Lake.

Debate amongst 100 Mile Mayoralty Candidates on Economy

From the Rush:

Maureen Pinkney:

100 Mile Mayoral candidate Maureen Pinkney says she’s running because the District needs more energy injected into Council to get some things happening in town.

Pinkney says 100 Mile needs more economic diversification to create the jobs to bring young families to the area and keep them.

She says we need to do more a lot more exploring on what other avenues are available here as far as business and industry.

Pinkney says 100 Mile is staying the same and going backwards in the number of retail stores and other things that used to be here, while other communities are moving ahead even in tough economic times.

She says we need to see what’s out there and capture it and that’s not really being done right now.

Pinkney mentions a pellet plant, a dog food production facility, or ship building contracts as possibilities for new industries.

In response, current 100 Mile Mayor Mitch Campsall says:

Campsall says they are searching for opportunities in those areas already. He says they are trying to attract young people to the community, but the bad economy is a tough reality. He says they’re looking in to anything and everything.

To that end, Campsall says there are some possibilities, but with the economy in its current state, many industries like Pellet Plants or Bio-Energy, aren’t viable.

Campsall says the focus is on trying to maintain the jobs and industries that we have. He says that while Quesnel and Williams Lake have lost Saw Mills, 100 Mile hasn’t.

He says despite the economic dive over the last number of years, we’re still going well – he looks at a tax increase of 0% this year as an example.

Campsall says economic development is actually the mandate of the Chamber of Commerce, but he’s says Council would certainly be willing to partner with them given a good working strategy.

Wells/WL Councils' meet on Tuesday...

Only Wells/Williams Lake Municipal Councils' are meeting on Tuesday, as follows:

Tuesday, Nov 1st - District of Wells

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

Note - Final meeting of Wells Municipal Council for the 2008-2011 Term.  The next meeting is the Inaugural Meeting of the 2011-2014 Wells Municipal Council on December 6th, 2011

Tuesday, Nov 1st - City of Williams Lake

Regular Council Meeting at 6pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart Street, Williams Lake)
See the Agenda/Reports here

Note - Next WL Council Meeting will be on Tuesday, November 29th at 6pm in WL Council Chambers

Friday, October 28, 2011

Video from last night's Quesnel All Candidates Forum...

Unable to personally make the Quesnel All Candidates Forum at Correlieu School....?

Fear not - it was streamed online last night via the Ron Paull Campaign... :)

View Part 1 here
View Part 2 here

Region Wrap-Up - Oct 28th edition

In Quesnel:

* Quesnel Councillor Sushil Thapar reports on all projects over budget and how much long term debt the City of Quesnel has acquired in the last few years.  See that here.  Also - Mr. Thapar and Mary Sjostrom were discussing this on the radio this morning.  Should Thapar/Sjostrom be re-elected, I wonder if their clearly polarized relationship will continue for the 2011-2014 term of Quesnel Council

* Quesnel Community Economic Development Corporation snags another award - see more details here

In Williams Lake:

* The new Business Expansion/Attraction Strategy Task Force have their first meeting this week - see more here

* This past Wednesday - in the online comment section of the Williams Lake Tribune, user "True54321" said this, in part:

She (Kerry Cook) was in part responsible for the community policing debaucle and the resignation of 32 people in one day including Bob MacIntosh

Interesting comment - I've also heard this confirmed through others as well...if true, it doesn't speak well of our local Community Policing team.  Maybe connected to the decision to no longer have a personal presence for Community Policing at Community Corner, see the blog post I did on that here

* A Reminder that there are three  "All Candidate Forums" in Williams Lake next week.  On November 2nd from 5:30pm - 8:00pm at the Tourism Discovery Centre for WL City Councillor candidates only and at WL Seniors' Village on Thursday, November 3rd at 7:00pm and also Thursday, Nov 3rd from 11:45am - 1:30pm for the 3 WL Mayoralty Candidates only at Beeotcheese's Restaurant (by Lo's Florist). Contact WL Chamber of Commerce at 250-392-5025 or for ticket purchase information for the WL Mayoralty Candidate Forum

WLCTV on Occupy Vancouver

WLCTV or Williams Lake Independent Community TV has posted their latest work - namely the Occupy Vancouver protest

You can view that video here

Station House Gallery asks the 14 WL City Council candidates 2 Election Questions

Recently - Bev Pemberton (President of the Station House Gallery) sent an 2 part election questionaire to myself (and I presume to the other 13 Williams Lake City Council candidates and the 3 WL Mayoralty candidates)

The Questions were:

1. Do you support the relocation of the Station House building? Please explain.

2. Please describe how you will support Arts and Culture in our community if you are elected

Earlier this morning, I was pleased to respond with the following

1) As per the City’s Official Community Plan – I support the move of the Station House Gallery but I would like to see a position paper on this topic that has multiple sites under consideration to ensure the very best site is selected.  It is clear that the present location of the Station House Gallery can no longer support its’ needs however I would not be in favour of physically moving the Station House Gallery building itself, from its’ current location, as it has been identified as being a heritage building in the City of Williams Lake and we need to preserve this building for future generations and moving it would be contrary to the heritage designation, in my view

2) As most know – we have an established Cariboo Regional District Function called “Central Cariboo Arts and Culture”.  Further, there is a management contract between the new Central Cariboo Arts & Culture Society (CCACS) and the Cariboo Regional District to manage the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function.  The CCACS is strategically positioned to know what their members’ needs for the local Arts and Culture sector are and I would expect that if they require support (either political, financial or other) that they’ll let the members of the Central Cariboo Joint Committee (City of WL Council &CRD Directors’ for Areas D, E and F) know and that is where I would take my direction.  Other than that, I’m very much looking forward to when the CCACS is able to report out on a Strategic Vision that speaks to a sustainable Central Cariboo Arts and Culture sector, plans for a Performing Arts facility (given the precarious state of Glendale Elementary, namely no guarantee it won’t close) and also support for our local Arts/Culture Facilities – like the Station House Gallery, the Central Cariboo Arts Centre, the local Museum and the Scout Island Nature Centre.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Outcome of Quesnel All Candidates Forum - Thurs Oct 27th

Quesnel Mayoral Candidates (Craigmyle, Paull and Sjostrom) gave 3 minute opening statements with the 10 Councillor candidates (Roodenburg, Coleman, Thapar, Cave, Vik, Brisco, Kainth, Gulbransen, Delves, Elliot) giving 2 minute opening statements

Editor's Note - I was intrigued that Ron Paull felt it necessary to notify all present that Lori Scott resigned today as the City of Quesnel Chief Election Officer.  Not sure what value there was for that statement...

Questions asked include: (Each candidate given minute and a half to respond)

Round 1

1) How to get aboriginal youth involved in Quesnel? (Question to Ron Craigmyle)
2) What is Plan ‘B’ for the Multi-Centre (Question to Ron Paull)
3) Will the City forfeit property taxes in lieu of fixing the West Quesnel Land Stability issue? (Question to Mary Sjostrom)
4) How do you propose to bring new industry and jobs to Quesnel (Question to John Briscoe)
5) How do you propose to keep up with infrastructure (roads, water, sewer) in the City of Quesnel (Question to Mike Cave)
6) If elected, would you support a “phased-in” approach to build the Multi-Centre? (Question to Ed Coleman)
7) How do you propose to keep up with infrastructure (roads, water, sewer) in the City of Quesnel (Question to Cory Delves)
8) How do you propose to bring new industry and jobs to Quesnel (Question to Scott Elliot)
9) How do you propose to keep up with infrastructure (roads, water, sewer) in the City of Quesnel (Question to Trevor Gulbransen)
10) Waste of time/money to resolve divide on Quesnel Council? (Question to Paul Kainth)
11) How do you propose to bring new industry and jobs to Quesnel (Question to Laurey-Anne Roodenburg)
12) How do you propose to resolve the West Quesnel Land Stability issue? (Question to Sushil Thapar)
13) Why would voting for you to Quesnel City Council be a step in the right direction? (Question to Mitch Vik)

Round 2:

1) How do you propose to bring new industry and jobs to Quesnel (Question to Ron Craigmyle)
2) Should regular reporting of open/closed Council meetings’ be done? (Question to Ron Paull)
3) If elected, would you support a “phased-in” approach to build the Multi-Centre? (Question to Mary Sjostrom)
4) If elected, would you support a “phased-in” approach to build the Multi-Centre? (Question to John Briscoe)
5) How many Quesnel Council meetings did you miss? (Question to Mike Cave)
6) How do you propose to bring new industry and jobs to Quesnel (Question to Ed Coleman)
7) How do you propose to bring new industry and jobs to Quesnel (Question to Cory Delves)
8) If elected, would you support a “phased-in” approach to build the Multi-Centre? (Question to Scott Elliot)
9) If elected, would you support a “phased-in” approach to build the Multi-Centre? (Question to Trevor Gulbransen)
10) If elected, will you attend only one meeting a week? (Question to Paul Kainth)
11) What have you accomplished in your 1st term on Quesnel Council? (Question to Laurey-Anne Roodenburg)
12) If elected – how will you support the Miss Quesnel and similar programs? (Question to Sushil Thapar)
13) How do you propose to keep up with infrastructure (roads, water, sewer) in the City of Quesnel? (Question to Mitch Vik)

Mayoralty Candidates (Sjostrom, Paull and Craigmyle) gave 4 minute closing statements
Councillor candidates (Roodenburg, Coleman, Thapar, Cave, Vik, Brisco, Kainth, Gulbransen, Delves, and Elliot) gave 3 minute closing statements

CRD Finance/Budget Meeting #1 (2012 Business/Financial Plans)


Chair A. Dumaresq with Directors Armstrong, Faust, Massier, Bischoff, Mazur, Sorley, Richmond, Glassford, Mumford, Rattray, Campsall and Alt Director Zacharias (City of WL)


Directors Bracewell, Vermette, and Sjostrom

Staff Present:

J. Bell – CAO
R. Hodgson – Deputy CAO
S. Reid – CFO

Meeting called to order at 1:03pm
Agenda adopted

CAO J. Bell reviewed her & CFO’s report on 2012-2016 Summary of Proposed Business/Financial Plans for all Functions


1)      Review of 2012 Business Plans for the CCRHD/CRHD (Regional Hospital Districts)

Discussion ensued thereon
Committee Action – That the 2012 CCRHD/CRHD Business Plans be endorsed

2)      Review of All Business/Financial Plans with requisition over,at or less than 2% or no requisition changes or decrease in requisition or with no taxation

Business/Financial Plans for the following Functions were reviewed:

a)      Red Bluff Fire
b)      WL Rural Fire Protection/WL Rural Fire Protection (Phase 2)
c)       Emergency 9-1-1
d)      Wildwood Fire Protection
e)      150 Mile Fire Protection
f)       Lone Butte Fire Protection (Staff were directed to put $3,000 into Capital Reserves)
g)      Wells Fire Protection
h)      Central Cariboo Search and Rescue
i)        Emergency Planning
j)        Esler Streetlighting (Staff asked to look into LED lighting)
k)      McLeese Lake Recreational Facilities Service
l)        Bylaw Enforcement
m)    Building Inspection
n)      Central Cariboo Cemetery
o)      Admin Services (New Goal: Internal Audit w/$30,000 budget – 20,000 from EA Admin and 10,000 from General Admin and amend Goal #2- continue use of admail for Board on the Road and Town Hall meetings w/social media use and New Goal – develop Program for Promotional Items)
p)      Rural Refuse

Meeting recessed at 4:09pm
Meeting resumed at 4:16pm

Consideration of Reports:

1)      Level 3 Corporate Priorities

Discussion ensued thereon
Committee Action – Staff requested to report on relevance of Forest Planning Policy and completion of Ag/Forestry Policy

2)      Proposed New Criteria for Opportunity/Special Initiatives Funds

Director Rattray (Policy Chair) reviewed the report of the CAO with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Amendment #1 – Change proposed policies with 2/3’s Majority Vote and cap “recharging” the Special Projects/Directors’ Initiative Funds at $3,000 per year

Amendment #2 – Maintain “Status Quo”

A vote was taken on Amendment #2 which Carried with Directors Richmond/Mumford opposed
A vote was taken on Amendment #1 (2/3’s majority vote of Board only) which Carried with Directors Faust and Bischoff opposed

The main motion, as amended, Carried.  The motion as passed was:

That the Finance/Budget Committee recommend to the Board that the existing policies be rescinded and replaced with the proposed Special Project Fund and Director Initiative Fund policies with a 2/3’s Majority Vote of the Board required and allow the Special Project/Director Initiative Funds to have a maximum requisition of $5,000 with no restriction as to how much can be put into the Funds each year, subject to the ceiling of $5,000 each year

3)      New Format for the CFO Report

Discussion ensued thereon
Committee Action – Report of CFO received

4)      Approval of Business/Financial Plans

Committee Action – That the Business/Financial Plans, as considered earlier today, be endorsed

The Committee adjourned at 5:03pm

CCACS asks election candidates questions on Arts and my response...

On their Facebook page - the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society (see their Facebook page here) is asking election candidates about the Arts & Culture Sector with the following questions:

1) How will you advocate for the Arts?
2) What is your vision for the Arts and Culture (sector)?
3) What measures will you put in place to ensure and sustain arts and culture’s contribution to our community?
4) What is your stance on investment in the arts?

My response:

1) As we know - we have the local Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society (CCACS) and they've done a good job advocating for their members' needs, after one year in existence.  Further, I believe politicians should allow those in the Arts and Culture sector to come forward for their needs, from time to time, and then we (politicians) should step out of the way and allow the sector to grow without political interference.

2) Again - I am aware of the CCACS is right now in the process of developing a Strategic Vision and the public/candidates should allow this process to unfold.  But I personally would be looking to see in that vision things like helping the Station House Gallery to flourish and grow, plans for a future Performing Arts facility, given the unstable future of Glendale Elementary where the WL Studio Theatre Society puts on its shows and how to achieve a sustainable Arts and Culture sector in the Central Cariboo

3) Again - the CCACS, as per their contract with the Cariboo Regional District, puts together its' Business/Financial Plans as Manager of the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function that the Central Cariboo Joint Committee will consider each year as part of the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function.  Above that - if there is a discussion about raising the current $200,000 tax threshold for the local Arts and Culture Function in the future, that an appropriate public consultation process, including considering submitting this question to the electorate through a referendum, will be used to discuss a need to increase the taxation for this Function, if $200,000 is insufficient for the needs of the CCACS.

4) My personal opinion is that investment in the arts must be considered, in the context of the overall budget for local governments (City of WL/CRD).  This theorem also applies at both of the provincial and federal levels.  There are many competing interests on budgets on a local, provincial and federal level and sometimes groups may have to be told "no" in one year but could be told "yes" in the next year

Review of Oct 26th Central Cariboo Joint Committee meeting

Last night - the Central Cariboo Joint Committee met for the final time in this term.  See the meeting notes I took here.  However, there were two incidents that come up that deserve commentary:

1) During discussion on the newly revised Fee-for-Service Policy - CRD Area 'D' Director Deb Bischoff informally advised the Joint Committee that she was beginning the process to withdraw Area 'D' out of Functions/Processes including Joint Fee for Service, Joint Grant in Aide, Victim Services and Arts & Culture.  It should be pointed out that to pull out of these services/functions requires a legislative requirement which involves the Minister of Community Services, as per the Local Government Act.  That caused WL City Councillor Sue Zacharias to interject and ask Director Bischoff on what grounds that she feels she can proceed with these steps.  It is a "unspoken practice" that a sitting member of WL City Council, even when that member lives in the Electoral Area Director's area, does not directly challenge how a CRD Director makes a decision.  There is a process outside of the meeting to raise concerns about how the CRD Director makes that decision(s).  As a City voter - I have a reasonable expectation that members of WL Council will concentrate on managing the affairs of the City and not tell others, including CRD Directors, how to manage their affairs, even when that member of Council lives in the Director's Electoral Area

2) The Joint Committee agreed to direct Staff to apply  to the Province's $30 million Community Recreation Fund.  However - during discussion, Central Cariboo Joint Committee Co-Chair and Area 'F' Director Joan Sorley took exception to considering this late item when she had no prior knowledge of this before consideration.  City CAO Brian Carruthers clarified that his staff followed standard procedure which is when City of WL manages Joint Committee affairs - every member of WL Council is emailed the Agenda and late items and the CRD Executive Assistant is also notified, via email.  It should be noted that Mayor Cook, as Chair at this meeting knows procedures for introducing late items, after 3 years, and should have introduced this item at the beginning of the meeting.  This, in my view, says that Joint Committee Agenda prep, etc should be managed by one body (namely the Cariboo Regional District in my opinion) so things like this don't occur in the future


WL News - Oct 27th edition

1) Byron Kemp explains why he wants to be CRD Area 'E' Director again - see here
2) WL Mayoral Candidates explain their views on the City of WL's $19.4 million debt - see here
3) Fluoride Open House tonight at WL Fire Hall - view here

Editor's Note - interesting the Fire Hall was selected, instead of WL City Hall which is more centrally located, I would argue, for most of the City's residents'...

4) Explanation of how City debt is $19.4 million debt is composed - see here
5) Review of SD #27 "All Candidates" Forum - view here
6) Mark Thiessen: Scott Nelson, pls give the electorate more credit - view here
7) David Williams (Pres - Friends of Nemiah Valley) - Prosperity Mine "wrong mine in wrong place by wrong company" - view here
8) Vancouver Sun editorial - Prosperity Mine 2nd environmental review must be fast-tracked - view here
9) Debate on Fluoride Referendum Question continues - view here

Editor's Note - interesting that current Mayor Kerry Cook chose not to respond to Item #9, as above, and instead deferred to City CAO Brian Carruthers.  Sooner or later - she have to give her own thoughts on this at all candidates forums and she'll won't have Staff to lean on

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Central Cariboo Joint Committee - Oct 26th Meeting Highlights


WL City Council – Mayor Cook (Committee Co-Chair) and Councillors Barr, Bourdon, Rathor, and Zacharias

Cariboo Regional District – Co-Chair Area ‘F’ Director Joan Sorley, Area ‘E’ Director Steve Mazur, and Area ‘D’ Director Deb Bischoff

Absent – WL City Councillor L.T Walters

Also Present:

Brian Carruthers – CAO, City of WL
Darron Campbell – Manager of Community Services, CRD
Geoff Paynton – Director of Community Services, City of WL
Pat Higgins – Director of Finance, City of WL
Deb Radolla – Manager of Active Living, City of WL
Wendy Dalman – Corporate Services Clerk, City of WL

Meeting called to order at 5:00pm
By Consensus – Minutes from Sept 14th Joint Committee Meeting approved


1) Dan Hutchins from Interior Roads appeared before the Joint Committee to discuss the upcoming Winter Season preparations

A Question and Answer period ensued
Co-Chair Cook, on behalf of the Joint Committee, thanked Mr. Hutchins for his presentation


1) Report of G. Paynton re: Fitness Services at CMRC

By Consensus – Joint Committee resolved the following:

a) The report be received for information
b) City of Williams Lake/Cariboo Regional District is in the business of providing affordable recreation programming
c) That a comprehensive business plan for the Cariboo Memorial Rec Complex be put together which includes targets for revenue, operations, etc
d) And that a Joint Press Release be issued ASAP on this

Opposed – CRD Area ‘D’ Director Deb Bischoff

2) 2012 “Bout” Contract from Lake City Derby Girls

By Consensus – Approval to advance Grant in Aide funds for event in April of 2012

3) Report from B. Carruthers re: Revised Fee for Service Policy

By Consensus - Joint Committee recommends approval of this Policy to the CRD Board/City Council

Opposed – CRD Area ‘D’ Director Deb Bischoff

4) Memo from D. Campbell re: 2012 Business/Financial/Capital Plans for Central Cariboo Recreation Function

By Consensus – Memo received and 2012 Business, Financial and Capital Plans for the Central Cariboo Recreation Function were endorsed

5) Report of G. Paynton re: Recreation Facility Planning Options

By Consensus - Joint Committee appoint a small Task Force of a City Councilor, CRD Director and Sr. staff from the City and CRD & members of the Central Cariboo Recreation Advisory Committee and that this Task Force be empowered to secure the services of an industry expert to undertake an analysis of community need and develop options for consideration by the Joint Committee in regard to the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex and in particular, the Sam Ketcham Memorial Pool

6) 2012 Grant in Aides

By Consensus:

The following Grant in Aide applications be approved in the amount of $19,958 subject to 3 Grant-in-Aide applications being successfully converted to Fee for Service contracts and those being approved

a) Can Mental Health Association - $1,500
b) Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy Society - $1,408
c) WL Farmers’ Market - $500
d) WL Curling Club - $10,000
e) WL Food Policy Council - $3,550
f) Gavin Lk Forest Education Society - $3,000

Application from Cariboo Festival Society referred to CCACS Grant Process

7) Report from G. Paynton re: Condition of Playing Fields in/around Williams Lake

By Consensus – That the letter from the Central Cariboo Recreation Advisory Committee regarding condition of playing fields in and around Williams Lake be referred to a future Joint Use Agreement Committee meeting for discussion

8) Report from D. Radolla re: Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Celebration – Progress Report

By Consensus – Report received for information

9) Central Cariboo Arts & Culture Society Report – Sept 2011

By Consensus – Report received

10) Verbal Report of B. Carruthers re: Fire Protection Agreements Update

By Consensus – Verbal report received

11) Fee for Service Contracts

By Consensus – the following Fee for Service Contracts be approved:

Central Cariboo Recreation Function

a) Boys and Girls Club - $15,000
b) Scout Island Nature Centre - $12,500

Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function

a) Station House Studio & Gallery Society - $4,500
b) Stampede Parade Committee - $5,000
c) WL Harvest Fair - $2,500
d) WL BIA - Winter Lights - $3,500
e) WL BIA - Street Party - $5,000
f) WL Indoor Rodeo - $2,000

and that the 2012 Central Cariboo Recreation & Leisure Services and Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function Business and Financial Plans be amended accordingly

12) Late Item – Report of B. Carruthers re: $30,000,000 Community Recreation Fund

By Consensus – Report received and Staff authorized to submit application

13) Action Page

By Consensus – Action Page received and Items 3, 5 (Paragraph 2) and 8 be removed

The Joint Committee adjourned at 7:23pm

Election Voting Locations - School District #27

You can vote for School District #27 Trustees Zones 4 to 7 only as follows:

Advance Voting Day #1 - November 9th

Zones 4 and 7 - School District #27 Admin Offices (350 2nd Avenue, Williams Lake).  Usual rule of 2 pieces of ID (identity/residency) applies

Zones 5 and 6 - School District #27 Admin Offices (350 2nd Avenue, Williams Lake).  Usual rule of 2 pieces of ID (identity/residency) applies if you reside outside the boundaries of the City of Williams Lake, otherwise you vote at WL City Hall Foyer (450 Mart St)

Advance Voting Day #2 - November 16th

Zones 5 and 6 - School District #27 Admin Offices (350 2nd Avenue, Williams Lake).  Usual rule of 2 pieces of ID (identity/residency) applies if you reside outside the boundaries of the City of Williams Lake, otherwise you vote at WL City Hall Foyer (450 Mart St)

General Voting Day - November 19th

Zone 4 - Big Lake School, Horsefly & Likely Schools and 150 Mile Elementary

Zone 5 - Chilcotin Road Elementary, Dog Crk School, McLeese Lake Community Hall, Mountview School and Wildwood School (only for those who live outside the City of Williams Lake - those who live in City of WL but within Zone 5 boundaries will vote at Marie Sharpe Elementary)

Zone 6 - Marie Sharpe Elementary

Zone 7 - Alexis Creek School, Anahim Lake School, Chilcotin Road Elementary, Naghtaneqed School, Toosey Band Office (Riske Creek), Tatla Lake School, Tsi Deldel Cultural Centre (Redstone) and Yuestin?esgul School (Stone)

Quesnel Council goes at it.....Again!

This morning - Quesnel Cariboo Observer reports that both Quesnel Councillors Ron Paull and Sushil Thapar take major exception to a recent City of Quesnel press release which praises Quesnel City Staff (read the full press release here)

See the article from the Observer here

I wonder if this will help or hurt either Mary Sjostrom's or Ron Paull's Mayoral bids or could it even give a boost to Ron Craigmyle's Mayoral bid by saying "Here we go again...elect me and I'll put an end to this "in-fighting" at Quesnel City Hall".  Time will tell though - although as I noted's two weeks from today to the 1st Advance Vote and roughly 3 weeks to General Voting Day

2 Weeks from today...

Exactly two weeks from today - residents of the Cariboo Chilcotin will head into the 1st Advance Voting Opportunity to elect Mayors (Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile only), Councillors (Wells, Quesnel, and Williams Lake only), Electoral Area Directors (CRD Areas E, H, J and L), School District Trustees (in SD 27 - Zones 4 to 7) (in SD #28 - all 7 Trustees)

The 1st Advance Vote will be held on Wednesday, November 9th in the following communities/locations:

Wells - Wells/Barkerville School from 8am - 8pm
Quesnel - Quesnel City Hall (410 Kinchant Street) from 8am - 8pm
Williams Lake - WL City Hall Foyer (450 Mart Street) from 8am - 8pm
100 Mile House - 100 Mile Council Chambers (385 Birch Ave - 4th St entrance) from 8am - 8pm

Cariboo Regional District:

Areas 'E' and 'J' - 180D 3rd Avenue North, Williams Lake
Areas 'H' and 'L' - 175 Airport Road, 100 Mile House

School District #27:

Zones 4 and 7 - School District #27 Admin Office (350 2nd Avenue North, Williams Lake) from 8am - 8pm

Zones 5 and 6 - If you reside in the City of Williams Lake, vote at 450 Mart Street (WL City Hall) otherwise you can vote at 350 2nd Avenue (usual rules of 2 pieces of ID applies - identity and residency)

For School District #28, please contact the Chief Election Officer to where you vote for Trustees:

SD #28 (All Zones) - Teri Stoneman at or (250) - 992-0405

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

CareerLeap coming to Quesnel... Friday, Nov 3rd

I've been advised that CareerLeap will be coming to Quesnel on Friday, November 3rd from 9:00am to 5:30pm at the North Cariboo Community Campus (College of New Caledonia) by McDonald's except for the Keynote Address which is being held at the Northstar Fellowship Baptist Church (301 Northstar Rd, Quesnel BC)

For more details about this event - click here

Final Quesnel Mayoral Candidate online

Previously - I'd reported that both Mary Sjostrom/Ron Paull (Quesnel Mayoral candidates) have established an online presence.

Now, I can report that the 3rd and final Quesnel Mayoral candidate, Ron Craigmyle, has now established an online presence himself - see his Facebook page here

As well - you can read his campaign brochure here.
Finally - you can reach him, by traditional means: (from his campaign brochure)

Email -
Phone - 250-747-1235 

Detailed Review of 3rd Quarter - City of WL

See the full 3rd Quarter Report here

Budget Numbers:

General Fund - most #'s on track except "Other Finance Charges" which is 153.55% over budget.  Spent $56,966 with $37,100 budgeted
Water Fund - on track
Sewer Fund - on track
Transit Fund - on track
Airport Fund - Revenue down significantly.  $634,974 received to date but 2011 Budget booked $1,538,120 or 41.28% of the 2011 Budget with 3 months to go

Mayor/Council Budgets:

To the end of September 2011

Mayor Cook - spent $4,456 of $10,600 or 42.04% of her Budget
Councillor Rathor - spent $3,943 of $5,560 or 70.92% of his Budget
Councillor Barr - spent $2,412 of $5,560 or 43.39% of his Budget
Councillor Walters - spent $1,816 of $5,560 or 32.66% of her Budget
Councillor Bourdon - spent $1,361 of $5,560 or 24.48% of his Budget
Councillor Zacharias - spent $741 of $5,560 or 13.32% of her Budget

Other Significant Info:

1) Community Services Committee recently reviewed options to move forward on Station House Gallery project.  A meeting is scheduled to occur with the Station House Gallery Board in Quarter 4 (Oct 1 - Dec 31st).  Attempt underway to purchase land at cost of roughly $50,000

Editor's Note - wouldn't it be more appropriate, now that the provincial grant for this project was denied, to put this project on hold until the next Council is elected and sworn in and then they can decide if they want to pursue this project or not...?

2) No decision to date on federal grant to help complete Woodland Drive Water/Sewer Upgrades
3) Building Inspection, Fire Department and Snow Removal Service Delivery Reviews to be completed in Quarter 4 (Oct 1st - Dec 31st)
4) A number of projects were deferred until 2012 including:

a) Electronic Signs for McKenzie Ave
b) Duncan Rd Cul-de-Sac
c) Phases 1, 2 and 3 of River Valley Storm Outfall Upgrades
d) Tree Farm at WL Regional Airport

Election Voting Places - CRD Areas E, H, J and L

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District

Advance Voting Days on Wednesday, November 9th and Monday, November 14th at the following locations from 8am - 8pm:


Cariboo Regional District Office
180D North Third Avenue, Williams Lake


Cariboo Regional District Office
175 Airport Road, 100 Mile House

General Voting Day on Saturday, November 19th at the following locations from 8am - 8pm:

Electoral Area 'E':

Mountview School 1222 Dog Creek Road, Williams Lake
Chilcotin Road School 709 Lyne Road, Williams Lake
Dog Creek School 753 Dog Creek Road, Dog Creek
Cariboo Regional District Office 180D North Third Avenue, Williams Lake

Electoral Area 'H':

Buffalo Creek School 5282 Canim-Hendrix Lake Road, Buffalo Creek
Forest Grove School 4497 Eagle Creek Road, Forest Grove
Cariboo Regional District Office 175 Airport Road, 100 Mile House

Electoral Area 'J':

Anahim Lake School 2493 Hudson Road, Anahim Lake
Naghtaneqed School 8350 Nemaia Valley Road, Nemiah Valley
Tsi Deldel Cultural Centre (Redstone) Redstone Reserve, Puntzi Lake
Tatla Lake School 16776 Chilcotin Highway 20, Tatla Lake
Cariboo Regional District Office 180D North Third Avenue, Williams Lake

Electoral Area 'L':

Bridge Lake School 7567 Bridge Lake Bus. Rte, Bridge Lake
Horse Lake School 6548 Ryall Road, Lone Butte
Watch Lake Community Hall 6453 Little Green Lake Road, Watch Lake
Cariboo Regional District Office 175 Airport Road, 100 Mile House

Requirement(s) to Vote:

Elector Registration

There is no need to pre-register to vote as the registration of all electors for this election will take place at
the time of voting. You will be required to make a declaration that you meet all of the following
a) 18 years of age or older;
b) Canadian citizen;
c) resident of British Columbia for at least 6 months immediately preceding voting day;
d) resident of OR registered owner of real property within the area in which the vote is taking place for at
least 30 days immediately preceding voting day; and
e) not otherwise disqualified by law from voting.

Resident electors will also be required to produce 2 pieces of identification at the time of voting (at least
one with your signature). Picture identification is not necessary. The identification must prove both
residency and identity.

Non-resident property electors must produce 2 pieces of identification (at least one with a signature)
to prove identity, proof that they are entitled to register in relation to the property, and, if applicable,
written consent from the majority of the property owners. **IMPORTANT: To ensure that you will
as there may be documentation requirements to be met prior to voting day.

Harry Bains: Post Pine Beetle Strategy Needed

From the Rush:

Surrey NDP MLA Harry Bains says a post pine beetle strategy is needed in BC.

Here Bains explains: “A post beetle strategy is not there. Steelworkers and forestry workers, they’re telling me that in the next three to four years when the pine beetle wood is gone, they’re annual cut will go down anywhere from 25 to 40%, that means that many jobs and sawmills will be shutting down.”

Bains says the NDP has a plan in place which includes making forestry a number one industry again in BC.

He says they’d achieve that by working with industry, communities and forestry workers to ensure raw logs stop leaving the province and by encouraging locals to process logs here.

Bains was in Williams Lake and 100 Mile House this past weekend.


1) Like Bruce Ralston over the HST Debate - doesn't Harry Bains have enough work to do in Surrey-Newton and being the NDP Transporation Critic, rather than coming up here and telling us what we already know.  The Cariboo-Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition, for years now, has been working on a Post Beetle Strategy which has received some money (not the amount this region needs I'll grant you) but work progresses in this regard and no thanks to Mr. Bains and his party but thanks to great work from our local MLA, Donna Barnett and BC Cabinet Ministers like Pat Bell and Steve Thomson

Mayoral Debate on the Fluoride Referendum Question

Earlier today, Walt Cobb (WL Mayoral Candidate) said this on the Fluoride Referendum Question:

Walt Cobb is also critical of how fellow candidate Scott Nelson has handled the issue: “Well first of all, they’re (the city) suggesting through the referendum we’re already putting fluoride in the water which isn’t true. The second is the other candidate who is pointing fingers because he is saying the mayor should be doing something when in fact fluoride hasn’t been used since his term of office.”

The City hasn’t put fluoride in the water supply since 2005.

The referendum question will be put to residents when they vote in local elections November 19th. 

Cobb and Nelson are challenging incumbent Kerry Cook for the mayor’s chair.

Meanwhile - Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook (seeking re-election herself) says:

“There is certainly no intent to be misleading on this issue, we want people to be as informed as possible when they come out to vote on the issue November 19th.”

Cook also said the fluoride issue should have been handled years ago.

My take:

1) Ms. Cook, who's been here long enough, knows that this has been put to a vote a number of times including in the 2005 Election ( I remember voting no to continue putting fluoride in the City's water system but the community, as a whole, said to continue putting fluoride in)

2) Let's leave this issue as a "personal health issue" and not a political one, allow the community to decide, one by one, if it wants to continue or not.  But I suspect given the fact that the public is now informed that fluoride, in fact, has not been injected in the City's water since 2005 that they'll vote to kill it altogether


Election Voting Places - Quesnel Municipal Election

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel

Advance Voting Days - Wednesday, November 9th and Saturday, November 12th

8am to 8pm at Quesnel City Hall (410 Kinchant St)

General Voting Day (Saturday, November 19th):

8am to 8pm at:

a) Quesnel City Hall - 410 Kinchant Street
b) Correlieu Secondary School - 850 Anderson Drive
c) Dragon Lake Elementary School - 2655 Hydraulic Road

Quesnel Council Highlights - Oct 24th meeting

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

New well closer to completion

A new water well that will improve the capacity of the City's water system is closer to completion after Council approved a $343,823 contract to Canadian Western Mechanical. The contract includes: installation of a 200 horsepower vertical turbine pump; a well head enclosure; all associated piping and fittings to tie into the existing pump house; all associated electrical work; and closure of well No. 5. The new well is capable of producing up to 1,800 gallons per minute, far superior to the City's other five wells that produce from 250 to 1,000 gallons per minute. The total cost of the project is estimated at $1,099,789, which is up from the last estimate of $876,785 and the original 2009 project estimate of $660,000. A grant of $375,000 was received by the City to fund a portion of the work. Some of the reasons for the budget increase include: a larger pump and associated infrastructure due to the increased well capacity (the City had anticipated less water volume); and a seven-month delay after a serious technical issue during the testing process.

Fees bylaw moves ahead

The City's Comprehensive Fees and Charges bylaw was approved. This "Master Fee" bylaw was put in place in 2010, allowing the City to update fees and charges in one process. 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.

Recreation contract on the way

Council approved the City entering into a five-year agreement with the Cariboo Regional District to manage its North Cariboo Recreation and Parks function. The agreement reflects the current management structure and operations, and provides a framework for service delivery in the future. It is based on a municipal contract operating budget that increases by 1.5% per year.

Visitor Centre contract renewed

Council approved the City entering a new, five-year agreement with the Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce for the operation of the Quesnel Visitors Centre. The Chamber has provided management of the building since 2002. In 2011, the fee for that service was $90,562, less grants received by the Chamber for an estimated cost to the City of $73,842. In 2010 the Chamber reduced their fee by $7,000, and by $4,000 in 2011. The new agreement sees an increase of 13.9% to the fee over five years.

Other news

A number of point of interest signs along the City's Riverfront Trail will be updated thanks to the community winning $10,000 in the Healthy Families BC Walking Challenge.

The City received its Community Excellence Award from the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. The award, given under the Best Practices - General category is for the City's online mapping program and accompanying tutorial video. The City's Geographic Information System technician Rhonda McCabe was recognized by Council for her work on the project.

City Council also formally received two more awards. The first was as the Cariboo region's most small-business friendly community, awarded by B.C.'s Small Business Roundtable. The second was from WoodWorks for being the first community to have a wood-first bylaw linking to the province's Wood First Act.


Oct. 28 to Nov. 10 - Veterans Days (poppy campaign)
Nov. 13 to 20 - Restorative Justice Week

Important Dates

Oct. 31, 4 p.m. - Halloween march starting at Reid and Carson
Nov. 11 - Remembrance Day

Future Meetings:

Next Regular Council Meeting:
Monday November 7, 7 p.m.

Next North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Meeting:
Tuesday November 8, 5:30 p.m.

Next Committee of the Whole Meeting:
Monday November 14, 7 p.m.

Next Delegation Meeting:
Monday December 12, 7 p.m.

WL News - Oct 25th edition

a) Election Announcements or News:

City of WL - Mike Bouchard wants a seat on Council - see here
                     Danica Hughes wants a seat on Council - see here

Editor's Note - Ms. Hughes, on the Rush, suggested that "certain candidates" were running to line their own pockets rather than serving the community interest.  I profoundly regret her making that comment.  Let us all keep the debate to policies or positions that candidates advocate for, and not what a candidate(s) personal motivation is for running.  Interesting that she came right out and endorsed Kerry Cook for Mayor.  I wonder if that will hurt her bid for a Councillor seat or not...

Mayoral Candidate Walt Cobb accuses WL City Hall of "deceit" on the fluoride referendum question - see the video here

Brice O'Neill says "too little, too late" on current WL Council's action with regard to economic development - see here

CRD - Both Stacy Wong (see here) and Bill Carruthers (see here) explain their reasons for running for the Electoral Area 'E' Directorship

School District #27 - Both Jackie Austin & Heather McKenzie explains why they want to become the new Zone 4 Trustee - see here (Austin) and here (McKenzie)

b) Other News...

TNG Tribal Chief Joe Alphonse reports out on their recent trip to Ottawa re: lobbying effort to kill 2nd Prosperity Mine Proposal - see here

Event on using the Internet safely tomorrow evening at the Gibraltar Room - see here
WL and District Chamber of Commerce questioned on why no free forum for WL Mayoral candidates - see here

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mary Sjostrom (Quesnel Mayoral Candidate) on Facebook and has a website

Mary Sjostrom (current Quesnel Mayor and Quesnel Mayoral Candidate) has also established an online presence as follows:

Website -
Facebook -

Ron Paull (Quesnel Mayoral Candidate) on Facebook, Twitter and website

Ron Paull (Quesnel Mayoral Candidate) has established an online presence as follows:

Twitter - @RonPaullQuesnel
Facebook -
Website -

Update - Ron Paull is now on YouTube at

CRD Area 'E' Campaign Lit - Stacy Wong

Earlier this evening - Stacy Wong, candidate for the Cariboo Regional District - Electoral Area 'E' released her campaign brochure

Interesting she chooses to use the word "City" as part of her brochure given the Electoral Area she is running for is rural in nature

I wonder if any voters' will question her on this point...


Editor's Note - this blog post was updated on Oct 25th at 8:30am as Ms. Wong campaign brochure contained the Cariboo Regional District's logo which is a no-no in this election.  It should be noted in the 2005 Area 'B' election, then Area B candidate Steve Wallace had also included the CRD logo on his campaign signs which the then CRD Chief Election Officer ordered its removal

No Nov 15th City of WL Council Meeting

The City of Williams Lake has announced that the Tuesday, November 15th Council Meeting has been cancelled

The next meetings of Williams Lake City Council are on Tuesday, November 1st and Tuesday, November 29th

No reason was given as to why the November 15th WL Council meeting was cancelled


City of WL seeks RFQ for local viability for District Heating

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The City of Williams Lake invites interested firms or organizations to submit their qualifications and interest in assisting the City and its partners to assess the viability of establishing a local District Heating precinct.

Two thoughts:

1) No deadline for this Request for Qualification...?
2) Wonder if the City should be moving forward on District Hearing when we should be looking after the CMRC (local Recreation Complex) and its' needs first.  Also - City of Prince George is doing District Heating as we speak and I hear that it is considerably over budget... just my two cents on it


2012 Business Plans - Cariboo Regional District

On Thursday at 1pm - the CRD Board will meet as a Finance Committee to begin discussing the 2012 Budget starting with its business plans for next year.  You can view the Agenda here

The Agenda falls into 7 Sections: (requisition = taxation)

1) CRHD/CCRHD Business Plans
2) Functions with proposed requistion above 2% (above inflation)
3) Functions with proposed requisition at 2% (inflation)
4) Functions with proposed requisition below 2% (below inflation)
5) Functions with no change to requisition
6) Functions with decrease in requistion
7) Functions with no taxation

One Business Goal inside the Administrative Services Function truly troubles me...

The Goal is:

2) Replace the Town Hall Meeting and Board on the Road event unaddressed admail campaigns with social media to communicate with residents in order to reduce meeting costs and align with the CRD Greenhouse Gas Emissions reduction goals.

This goal should be totally re-thought.  Many communities in the Cariboo-Chilcotin do not have high-speed internet access or do not access the Internet and thus putting Town Hall Meeting/Board on the Road information on social media only would be a major step backwards.  The Board should continue its' current practice of a mixture of admail, newspaper ads and social media, especially if the Board wants to try to increase the number of people attending either the Board on the Road event or Town Hall Meetings in January/February of 2012.  As far as costs goes - if this mixture model costs more money then so be it as that is the cost of engaging residents as far as the regional government (Cariboo Regional District) goes...


Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Can't Afford Adrian Dix" website

Courtesy of the BC Liberal Party:

A new website has been launched to inform British Columbians about Adrian Dix, the chief architect of the disastrous ‘90s and BC NDP leader.

The new website, details Adrian Dix’s reckless funding promises to increase government spending in British Columbia by over $15 billion and his devastating track record from the '90s.

As the chief architect of the BC NDP government in the ‘90s, Dix is responsible for the financial chaos left behind by his party’s fiscal mismanagement of the province’s economy.

If elected Dix’s uncontrolled tax and spend promises will bankrupt the province, leave future generations in debt, and drive investment and jobs away from B.C.

The website reminds the public of the remarkable change in British Columbia's fortunes since the BC Liberals formed government in 2001.

We Can’t Afford Adrian Dix and the BC NDP, below are some examples why:

• Adrian Dix fabricated a memo from the premier’s office meant to protect his boss and close friend, Premier Glen Clark, from a police investigation.
• Adrian Dix and the NDP introduced the job killing corporate capital tax in 1992 as a temporary measure, but it remained in place until the BC Liberals phased it out in 2002 – a decade later.
• Adrian Dix and the NDP introduced a surtax of up to 3 per cent on what they deemed “luxury” vehicles – anything selling for $30,000 or more – which particularly punished drivers in rural B.C., where a pickup is not a luxury.
• Adrian Dix’s reckless funding promises to increase government spending in British Columbia by over $15 billion and his devastating track record from the '90s.

These facts and much more can be found on

We have worked very hard to make British Columbia the best place to live, work and play, we can’t afford to go back.

Official Local Gov't Candidates - Cariboo-Chilcotin Region

This past Friday was the deadline for candidates to withdraw from the November 19th civic election

Find below - the official/confirmed list of candidates for local elected offices in the Cariboo-Chilcotin, by community:

District of Wells:

Mayor - Robin Sharpe (elected by acclamation - official)
Councillor: (4 to be elected):

1) Judy Campbell
2) Carol Pinette
3) Mike Wallace
4) Virginia Wilkins
5) Richard Wright

City of Quesnel:

Mayor (1 to be elected) - Mary Sjostrom (incumbent) vs Ron Craigmyle vs Ron Paull
Councillor (6 to be elected):

1) Mike Cave (incumbent)
2) Laurey-Anne Roodenburg (incumbent)
3) Sushil Thapar (incumbent)
4) Ed Coleman (challenger)
5) Cory Delves (challenger)
6) Scott Elliott (challenger)
7) Trevor Guldbransen (challenger)
8) Paul Kainth (challenger)
9) Mitch Vik (challenger)
10) John Brisco (challenger)

School District #28 (Quesnel):

7 to be elected:

1) Ron Caskey (incumbent)
2) Caroline Mitchell (incumbent)
3) Tony Goulet (incumbent)
4) George Natalizio (incumbent)
5) Gloria Jackson (incumbent)
6) Cody Dillabough (challenger)
7) Charlotte Kurta (challenger)
8) Howie Schonke (challenger)
9) Blanca Schorcht (challenger)
10) Betty Walters (challenger)

City of Williams Lake:

Mayor (1 to be elected) - Kerry Cook (incumbent) vs Walt Cobb vs Scott Nelson
Councillor (6 to be elected);

1) Geoff Bourdon (incumbent)
2) Surinderpal Rathor incumbent)
3) Laurie Walters (incumbent)
4) Sue Zacharias (incumbent)
5) Ivan Bonnell (challenger)
6) Mike Bouchard (challenger)
7) Peter Bowman (challenger)
8) Tanessa Fairburn (challenger)
9) Steve Forseth (challenger)
10) Danica Hughes (challenger)
11) Mike Jacobsen (challenger)
12) Paul Kandola (challenger)
13) Gordon Keener (challenger)
14) Richard Vollo (challenger)

School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin):

Zones 1 to 3 - all acclaimed
Zones 4 to 7 - one to be elected

Zone 1 - Will Van Osch (elected by acclamation until Nov 1st, 2014 - official)
Zone 2 - Tanya Guenther (elected by acclamation until Nov 1st, 2014 - official)
Zone 3 - Patricia Baker (elected by acclamation until Nov 1st, 2014 - official)
Zone 4 - Heather McKenzie (incumbent) vs Jackie Austin (challenger)
Zone 5 - Sheila Boehm vs Oleh Lazarchuk vs Jim Ritchie (all challengers)
Zone 6 - Dr. Doug Neufeld vs Rob Zacharias (both challengers)
Zone 7 - Richard Elliot (incumbent) vs Joyce Cooper (challenger)

District of 100 Mile House:

Mayor (1 to be elected) - Mitch Campsall (incumbent) vs Maureen Pinkney (challenger)

1) Ralph Fossum (elected by acclamation until Nov 1st, 2014 - official)
2) Bill Hadden (elected by acclamation until Nov 1st, 2014 - official)
3) Spence Henderson (elected by acclamation until Nov 1st, 2014 - official)
4) Dave Mingo (elected by acclamation until Nov 1st, 2014 - official)

Cariboo Regional District:

One to be elected in Electoral Areas 'E', 'H', 'J' and 'L'

Area A - Ted Armstrong (elected by acclamation until Nov 1st, 2014 - official)
Area B - Heloise Dixon-Warren (elected by acclamation until Nov 1st, 2014 - official)
Area C - John Massier (elected by acclamation until Nov 1st, 2014 - official)
Area D - Deb Bischoff (elected by acclamation until Nov 1st, 2014 - official)
Area E - Bill Carruthers vs Brandy Dickey vs Byron Kemp vs Stacy Wong (all challengers)
Area F - Joan Sorley (elected by acclamation until Nov 1st, 2014 - official)
Area G - Al Richmond (elected by acclamation until Nov 1st, 2014 - official)
Area H - Ron Lister vs Margo Wagner (both challengers)
Area I - Jim Glassford (elected by acclamation until Nov 1st, 2014 - official)
Area J - Alex Bracewell (incumbent) vs Roger William (challenger) vs Ted Hlokoff (challenger)
Area K - Chad Mernett (elected by acclamation until Nov 1st, 2014 - official)
Area L - Bruce Rattray (incumbent) vs Tom Baraniak (challenger)

Next Steps:

1) Voting Days/Location to be announced by the Districts of 100 Mile House/Wells, the City of Quesnel and the Cariboo Regional District.  Once confirmed, I'll post those here, by community

2) A number of all candidates forums have been or are likely to be scheduled: (I'll post further all candidates forums in Wells, Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile or in the CRD - Areas E, H, J and L here)

3) A Candidates Meeting (City of Williams Lake) will be held in WL Council Chambers on Tuesday, October 25th at 10:00am

All Candidates Forums:

In Williams Lake:

Oct 24th - SD #27 All Candidates Forum at Thompson Rivers University (1250 Western Avenue, Williams Lake) which starts at 7pm.  Co-hosted by the local District Parent Advisory Council & the Cariboo-Chilcotin Teachers Association
Nov 2nd - Councillor Candidates only at the Tourism Discovery Centre from 5:30-8:00pm
Nov 3rd - Mayoralty Candidates Forum at Beeotcheese's Restaurant (160 2nd Avenue, Williams Lake) from 11:30 - 1:00pm then at 7:00pm - forum at WL Seniors' Village (1455 Western Avenue, Williams Lake)
Nov 14th - Forum at Thompson Rivers University (1250 Western Avenue, Williams Lake) from 7-8:30pm

Note - No forum format has been established for the above forums

In Quesnel:

Oct 27th - Quesnel & District Chamber of Commerce to host an All-Candidates at Correlieu Secondary School (850 Anderson Drive, Quesnel) from 6:50pm to 9:15pm