Thursday, May 31, 2012

BC Gov't praises 2012 Spring Session...

Courtesy of BC Government:

The provincial government wrapped up the spring legislative session focused on jobs, families and open government.

Families expect us to bring forward results that will make a real difference in their lives,” said Premier Christy Clark. “Over the past several months our government has announced the first Family Day in B.C., kept hydro rates affordable, increased the minimum wage and ended AirCare. We are growing the economy, and the Six Month Jobs Update is proof our plan is working and we’re delivering results.”

Key highlights of the session include:

· A Family Day for British Columbians, as promised by Premier Christy Clark, on the second Monday of February starting in 2013.
· The Education Improvement Act, which implements a $195-million Learning Improvement Fund to provide additional support to teachers and administrators, and added resources to classrooms with the highest needs.
· Legislation that will ensure people who cheat Metro Vancouver’s transit system will face serious consequences.
· Increasing the minimum wage, a key commitment of Premier Christy Clark, meaning B.C. now has Canada’s second-highest minimum wage – which is great news for employees.
· Ending AirCare for light vehicles, increasing affordability for families while looking for new ways to improve air quality.
· Expanding the AMBER Alert system that will see 30,000 civil servants receive alerts at work and on their mobile devices, helping police return children to their families faster.
· Six Month BC Jobs Update: 59,700 net new jobs added to the B.C. economy.
· Completed the second Asian Trade Mission, strengthening and expanding trade with Japan, Korea and the Philippines to attract investment and create jobs for B.C. families.
· The Income Tax Amendment Act, which establishes the B.C. First-Time New Home Buyers’ $10,000 Bonus and the B.C. Seniors’ $1,000 annual Home Renovation Tax Credit for those 65 years of age and older.

“We have gotten a lot done and we plan to keep working hard over the summer and into the fall, bringing new ideas forward that will place an even stronger emphasis on families, provide new ways for people to engage with their government and ensure we create more jobs and economic prosperity for B.C.,” Premier Clark added.

Bills passed include:

School Amendment Act. The act provides school districts with the opportunity to offer more flexible school calendar options to better meet the needs of students and B.C. families.

Coastal Ferry Amendment Act. British Columbia’s world-class ferry system is integral to the way of life for many British Columbians. The act responds to recommendations by the BC Ferry Commissioner with a three-pronged approach that balances the interests of ferry users, taxpayers and the ferry operator.

South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Act. Through changes to the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Act, the Province is giving new powers to TransLink to go after people who steal transit rides.

Criminal Asset Management Act. Enables prosecutors to pursue criminal forfeiture more frequently by establishing a way to manage assets restrained, seized or forfeited under the Criminal Code and other criminal law statutes.

HST Transition rules legislation. Measures include increasing the B.C. new housing rebate threshold to $850,000 for a maximum rebate of $42,500 and a new grant of up to $42,500 for purchasers of new secondary vacation or recreational homes up to $850,000 outside the Greater Vancouver and Capital regional districts.

Provincial Sales Tax Act. This act meets government’s commitment to return to the Provincial Sales Tax on April 1, 2013. As committed, the PST is being re-implemented with all permanent exemptions but also with some common-sense improvements that will make administration of the sales tax easier for businesses.

Anesthesiologists’ launch online PR war...

BC Anesthesiologists’ Society has decided to launch a website in support of their battle with Victoria.

Parts of the website include sending a message to BC's Premier, Ministers' of Health/Finance and also describes why they are launching the online/offline battle with Victoria

Check out the website here

BC Liberals invoke closure on Bills...again!

Like all majority governments - the BC Liberals' used their majority, again, to pass the following Time Allocation Motion by a 45-38 vote, with the vote among party lines with the 3 Independents (Bob Simpson, Vicki Huntington and John van Dongen) voting 'Nay' as well:

Pursuant to Standing Order 81.1 (2), effective immediately, all remaining stages of the following Bills shall be completed and disposed of in the order prescribed and for the duration indicated:

Second Reading of Bill (No. 47) intituled Coastal Ferry Amendment Act, 2012 (30 minutes);
Second Reading of Bill (No. 49) intituled Protected Areas of British Columbia Amendment Act, 2012 (30 minutes);
Second Reading of Bill (No. 56) intituled New Housing Transition Tax and Rebate Act (30 minutes);
Second Reading of Bill (No. 50) intituled Athletic Commissioner Act (30 minutes);
Committee and Third Reading of Bill (No. 14) intituled Workers Compensation Amendment Act, 2011 (30 minutes);
Committee and Third Reading of Bill (No. 53) intituled Family Day Act (30 minutes);
Committee and Third Reading of Bill (No. 44) intituled Civil Resolution Tribunal Act (30 minutes);
Committee and Third Reading of Bill (No. 46) intituled Motor Vehicle Amendment Act, 2012 (60 minutes);
Committee and Third Reading of Bill (No. 52) intituled Motor Vehicle Amendment Act (No. 2), 2012 (30 minutes);
Committee and Third Reading of Bill (No. 30) intituled Energy and Mines Statutes Amendment Act, 2012 (30 minutes);
Committee and Third Reading of Bill (No. 38) intituled Pension Benefits Standards Act (30 minutes);
Committee and Third Reading of Bill (No. 51) intituled South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Amendment Act, 2012 (60 minutes);
Committee and Third Reading of Bill (No. 47) intituled Coastal Ferry Amendment Act, 2012 (45 minutes);
Committee and Third Reading of Bill (No. 49) intituled Protected Areas of British Columbia Amendment Act, 2012 (30 minutes);
Committee and Third Reading of Bill (No. 50) intituled Athletic Commissioner Act (30 minutes);
Committee and Third Reading of Bill (No. 56) intituled New Housing Transition Tax and Rebate Act (45 minutes).
And further, Committee on Bill (No. 54) intituled Provincial Sales Tax Act shall be completed and disposed of by 4:00 pm on Thursday, May 31, 2012.

The House dealt with Bills 47, 49, 50, 56, 14, 53, 44, 46, and 52 yesterday, as per the Schedule above with the remaining Bills to be dealt with today, as per above

Time Allocation Motions do have their place after very considerable debate on Bills... not so in this case of the above Bills and this act will likely perpetuate the "Politics as usual" feeling among the general voting public...

The BC Legislature would do itself a very big favour and just treat all bills (government/opposition) has "equal bills" and just have members' vote on them on its' merits and allow the Select Standing Committees to review Bills (like the House of Commons and the Ontario Legislature does already) and allow regular people to come and present views on the Bills so referred to them.

Not that it'll happen anytime soon under the BC Liberals... but I did ask George Abbott when he was running in the BC Liberals 2011 Leadership Race to consider/implement such an idea, were he successful in becoming the BC Liberal Party Leader and BC Premier back then


John Cummins on FN Land Claims - Part 2

Yesterday - I made mention of John Cummins' views on First Nations Land Claims which you can read here

In addition - CBC Daybreak South interviewed both John Cummins and Doug McArthur, a professor of Public Policy and Aboriginal Policy at Simon Fraser University. Mr. McArthur has been involved in land claims negotiations, and is a former Deputy Minister of Aboriginal Affairs in B.C. Mr. McArthur suggests in his CBC interview that Cummins will cause chaos in the First Nations Land Claims file, if he were elected Premier of BC next May

With the 'William' decision from the BC Court of Appeal (and likely a decision on this will be handed down by the Supreme Court of Canada) - Cummins is on the wrong side when it comes to First Nations and their Land Claims. We need to resolve them and move forward to provide land base certainty for the economy and settling land claims with BC First Nations is not only the legally right thing to do, it is also the moral thing to do

Listen to the CBC interview here

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bob Simpson to host 2 Seniors' Forums

Courtesy of MLA Bob Simpson's Office:

Editor's Note - one senior in Williams Lake has brought it to my attention that the location for the Williams Lake Seniors' Forum by MLA Simpson is simply inadequate, given it is not "seniors' friendly".  I tend to agree and a better location could have been selected like the Seniors' Activity Centre or even Williams Lake City Hall, given Williams Lake Council's "love and support" for seniors' issues... perhaps next time... 

Update on Wed, May 30th at 7:30pm -- Bob Simpson tweeted me the following information late Tuesday evening:

Steve, Saw your note bout the WL location & agree. We tried to get the Seniors' Centre but the Board (for the Seniors' Activity Centre) deemed the event too political

Ombudsperson Kim Carter will join Independent MLA Bob Simpson in Quesnel and Williams Lake to discuss her recommendations for seniors' care with local residents. Simpson is hosting the two public forums on June 5th.

Simpson invited the Ombudsperson to come to the region to present her reports and recommendations on seniors' care and to listen to specific concerns from local residents. Her 176 recommendations include creating a bill of rights for seniors in residential care facilities and ensuring that people have easy access to information about these facilities.

"Over the past few years my office has seen a dramatic increase in seniors’ care issues," said Simpson, MLA for Cariboo North. "The Ombudsperson has put an incredible amount of work into investigating seniors' care in B.C., so this is an excellent opportunity for Cariboo residents to have their voices heard."

The Quesnel forum will be held on June 5th from 9:00 am – 11:00 am at the Quesnel Seniors’ Centre, 461 Carson Avenue.

The Williams Lake forum will be held on June 5th from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm at the Pioneer Complex, 351 Hodgson Road.

"Seniors and their families are concerned about cost of living increases, a lack of sufficient and appropriate home care, and assisted living and long-term care bed shortages," said Simpson. "I hope people will take the time to hear what the Ombudsperson has to say about these critical issues. This is an important opportunity for everyone to let us know about their concerns and ideas to improve seniors’ care in the Cariboo."

Entitled The Best of Care: Getting It Right for Seniors and British Columbia, the Ombudsperson's reports are available online at

Zellers out - March of 2013

Earlier today - Greg Fry of the Rush/Wolf tweeted the following out a few minutes ago...

Zellers in Williams Lake to close March 17, 2013 owners HBC confirms today.

This is certainly not good news and leaves, in my view, the future of Boitanio Mall up in the air without Zellers in place after March 17th, 2013 if a major anchor is not forthcoming to replace Zellers...

Rural BC suffering from smaller population...

Today, in the Kamloops Daily News, they look at the 2011 census numbers and what they mean for the Thompson-Nicola area but I think it also speaks to the same challenge that most communities in Rural BC have in maintaining the current size of their population

The solution is, in my view, multi-faceted including re-invention/branding of the local community and emphasing the positives/advantages of your local rural community

Read the article here

John Cummins on First Nations Land Claims...

A couple of days ago - John Cummins, Leader of the BC Conservatives' said this, in regards to First Nations Land Claims...

Cummins acknowledged First Nations have a constitutional right to hunt and fish, but said the same test for aboriginal title under the constitution would limit their territorial claim to not much more than the area they live now

"If the province is not owned by the people of British Columbia, and I mean all of the people of British Columbia, then what's the purpose of the legislature, what's the purpose of the Ministry of Forestry or Ministry of Mines if we have to go to the local Indian band to get permission to proceed with a project."

Read the full news article here

However - I, and I suspect a number of First Nations and non-aboriginals disagree with the stance of Mr. Cummins on First Nations... In fact, courts have consistently ruled that both the Federal and Provincial Crowns have a statutory duty to consult with First Nations, when it comes to resource extraction that may be occurring in their traditional territory and to compensate First Nations for any impacts which includes monetary or other compensation packages...

Finally - I received two comments today in relation to Mr. Cummins stance on First Nations as follows:

a) BC Conservative Leader John Cummins said alot about First Nation People, I see his comments as his exit out of the position as BC Conservative Leader and his exit out of the race for all Government jobs with such a negative insight, good bye Mr Cummins

b) I here the comments from Mr John Commins on First Nation people and see his comments as his way of starting his exit out of the political government and taking his hat out of the race for Primer of BC , thank you MR Commins for your early exit

Public Engagement on future of Sam Ketchum Pool

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Public engagement consultations regarding the Sam Ketcham Pool in Williams Lake will be taking place on June 8 and 9, 2012 in several locations around the city.

Consultants from Professional Environmental Recreation Consultants Ltd. (PERC) have been contracted to develop the pool feasibility study and will be setting up booths to engage with community members. They will showcase several options for a renovated or new pool. PERC gathered this information from previous visits to the community and meetings with several groups and individuals. The consultants will also provide information regarding the costs and benefits related to each option.

This is an opportunity for community members to provide their opinions and feedback to the consultants and have ongoing dialogue with them. Interested members of the community are encouraged to visit the following locations on June 8 and 9. Be sure your views are heard!

We are very much looking forward to this next phase of the feasibility study, and to hearing the public’s input,” says Councillor Laurie Walters, Chair of the City’s Community Services Committee. “I encourage all members of the community to take the time to speak with the consultants and to share their needs and expectations for the Sam Ketcham Pool.”

The consultation phase of the feasibility study is extremely important. It is an opportunity for members of the community and the fringe Areas of Electoral Areas D, E and F to learn about the proposed project, and provide opinions regarding options being considered,” says Cariboo Regional District Area F Director Joan Sorley.

The public engagement sessions are scheduled as follows:

Friday, June 8

Seniors Activity Centre 11:00am – 1:00pm
Save On Foods 1:30pm – 5:30pm
City Hall Council Chambers 6:00pm – 8:00pm with presentations at 6:00pm and 7:00pm

Saturday, June 9

Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex 8:30am – 9:30am
Canadian Tire 9:45am – 11:30am
Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex 12:00pm – 1:00pm
Walmart 1:15pm – 3:15pm

Touchy Debate re: Change to North Cariboo Rec Function Boundary

On May 17th - I observed that the Cariboo Regional District would be consulting with residents' in Areas A, B, C and I to look at changing the boundary of the North Cariboo Park/Recreation Function.  Read that blog post here

Yesterday - I received the following comment:

Is it a coincidence that the purposed Multi-Centre is in dire need for funds at the same time tha the boundaries are purposed to be extended? I doubt that! I say; leave us out of it. I will gladly pay for services, if I want to use them, rather than be taxed more.

Meanwhile - I notified Cariboo Regional District Area 'B' Director Heloise Dixon-Warren of this comment and she has asked me to pass along the following:

Please encourage people to email me (& all of the Northern Directors) any comments received re: the proposed expansion of the North Cariboo Rec. & Parks Taxation body. I will ensure that they are forwarded onto the CRD for compilation

To reach the CRD North Cariboo Directors' on this matter:

In Area 'A' - you can reach Director Armstrong via email here
In Area 'B' - you can reach Director Dixon-Warren via email here
In Area 'C' - you can reach Director Massier via email here
In Area 'I' - you can reach Director Glassford via email here

Meanwhile - Director Dixon-Warren sent out the following yesterday (Tuesday) evening:

Greetings to all Area B Residents.

2 Open Houses have now been held in Area B on the proposed expansion of the North Cariboo Recreation & Parks Taxation Boundary. The 1st was held at Bouchie Lake Hall on Thursday, May 24th and the 2nd at Parkland Community Centre on Monday, May 28th.

I have now updated my BLOG ( to include a post on the meetings held in Area B. This post includes a summary of the North Cariboo Recreation & Parks taxation function in addition to the concerns and comments brought forth at the meetings.

I encourage all interested residents to read my blog and /or attend one of the 2 upcoming meetings:

Wednesday, May 30th, 5-8 pm – Barlow Creek Hall
Tuesday, June 5th, 5-8 pm – West Fraser Fire Hall

Should you wish to submit a letter on the proposed expansion outlining any comments, concerns, questions, and /or general thoughts, please email me at with cc to I will ensure that any emails received are forwarded onto the other 3 Northern Directors, Directors Armstrong, Massier, and Glassford.

Thank you so much.

Finally - I read Director Dixon-Warren's blog post and noted some comments like:

a) we don't like paying for something they did not have a chance to vote on (e.g. multi-centre)

b) taxes are already too high for the services received;

c) the proposed multi-centre is detrimental to our rural areas; the multi-centre pre tax ($300,000 for 2012) is unfair as people are paying tax on something that may never come;

It seems the whole issue over the 2008 Vote for the proposed North Cariboo Multicentre is still hitting a sore spot for some North Cariboo rural residents and I wonder if these comments will part of that mindsight, if the need for a re-vote be necessary in November of 2013....


Quesnel Council Highlights - May 28th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

2012 Strategic plan adopted

Council has formally adopted its strategic plan for 2012 to 2014. The plan outlines new, special, and one-time initiatives, but does not outline the regular day-to-day operations of the City. As part of the plan, Council has identified key areas upon which it will focus. Those areas are:
-Sustainability in all Planning
-Community Health and Safety
-Financial Stability of the Corporation
-Economic Diversification
-Infrastructure Re-investment
-Environmental Stewardship

A more detailed look at these areas will be provided in the City's 2011 Annual Report, which will be released in mid-June.

Lobbying for infrastructure

The City will forward a resolution to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities regarding infrastructure reinvestment. The FCM meet in Saskatoon June 1 to 4 for their 75th annual conference. The City's resolution requests that the Federal Government be lobbied to commit to creating stable and predictable funding programs that renew the partnership with municipalities in addressing vital infrastructure needs.

Long-term occupancy approved

The City and Great Canadian Rail Tour Company (the operators of the Rocky Mountaineer) will enter into a five-year licence of occupation allowing the latter to use the BC Rail Building for its tourism ventures. While the City doesn't own the building (it is leased from BCR Properties), it is able to sub-lease some of the space to the GCRTC. The agreement generates roughly $8,000 per year in rental revenue, with an automatic 2% increase built in for each year. This year marks the company's seventh in Quesnel.

Other News

-The City will purchase a new one-ton, flat-deck truck for its fleet. The original estimate for the truck was $36,000. After the bid process, a little more than 41,000 is required to purchase the vehicle. Council approved the $5,000 increase, with funds to come from the City's equipment reserve fund.

-The City will create a new category of permissive tax exemptions for land owned by non-profit organizations for the development of affordable housing. Applications will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

-Council recognized several employees for their years of service with the City. Candace King, Kewal Bagri, Dianah Bergeson (25 years) and Chris Schroeder (35 years) all received thanks from Council for the work they do every day. Council also congratulated Dale Gunter, who has retired after 22 years of service.

-This year's annual Prospector Car Club Show & Shine takes place Aug. 24, 25 and 26, with the downtown show scheduled for the 26th. A number of road closures are scheduled for that day, including:
-The 200 block of Reid Street, starting at the Credit Union.
-The 300 and 400 blocks of Reid Street.
-Barlow and St. Laurent Avenues, from alley to alley on each side of Reid Street.

-The City received a "ROPE (Recognition of Performance Excellence) Award from the Provincial Airtanker Centre for excellent service provided at the airport during the 2010 fire season.

-Council approved Doug Larsen being named to the Quesnel Community and Economic Development Board for a two-year term.


June 2 - Access Awareness Day
June 8-14 - World Oceans Week

Important Dates

June 6 - Clean Air Day - City offering free transit.
June 7 - Quesnel Tillicum Society AGM, 7 p.m., Friendship Centre.
June 23 - Antique Machinery Park - Season Opening barbecue.

Next Delegation/Committee of the Whole Meeting: Monday June 4, 7 p.m.
Next Regular Council Meeting: Monday June 11, 7 p.m.
Next North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Meeting: Tuesday June 12, 5:30 p.m.

Artists in the Artrium kicks off summer art events

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Quesnel & District Leisure Services will host a series of art events this summer, starting with Artists in the Artrium on Saturday June 2 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Quesnel Artrium, Quesnel and District Arts & Recreation Centre. Local artists will demonstrate technique and sell their creations, with tables set up for visitors to try their hand at a variety of art materials.

The following two events are the ever-popular Artists in the Market on July 7 at the Quesnel Farmers Market and Artists at Skyfest on Aug. 4 at the Quesnel Regional Airport. Mark your calendars and meet our local artists!

"People enjoy Artists in the Market each summer and always ask for more events like this, so this year I thought we'd try one event a month at different locations," said Elizabeth Waldorf, the Arts Program Coordinator at the Quesnel and District Arts and Recreation Centre. "The first event this Saturday in the Artrium, Quesnel's permanent art collection, will be fun and interesting for people, jam packed with things to see and do."

The Quesnel Art Gallery will also have its new show, On the Way, open, displaying recent photography by Daniel Pfister.

For artists wishing to participate at Artists in the Market and Artists at Skyfest, contact the Arts Office at 250-991-4013.

For further information, please contact:

Elizabeth Waldorf, Arts Program Coordinator
Phone: 250.991.4013

Monday, May 28, 2012

Busy Race in Cariboo-Chilcotin

This past weekend - BC First Party Interim President Gary Young declared his candidacy for the provincial riding of Cariboo-Chilcotin in next year's provincial election.  He'll run as an Independent.  Read more here

Besides Mr. Young - Charlie Wyse of the BC NDP and current Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett (BC Liberals) are declared candidates which leaves the question if or even when the BC Conservatives' step forward with their candidate for Cariboo-Chilcotin.  Should this happen - it'll be interesting to observe what a 4 person race in Cariboo-Chilcotin looks like.  Unlike 2009 when it was a horse race between Barnett/Wyse, any of the, up to, 4 candidates could secure a mandate from the voters' in Cariboo-Chilcotin next May...

Meanwhile - I think a 4 way race for Cariboo-North is also very likely with Bob Simpson seeking another term and candidates from the BC Liberals, BC NDP and BC Conservatives equally as likely...

Stay tuned - provincial politics is going to get hotter from here on in...

Local Gov't Mtgs - Week of May 28 - June 1st

Later tonight - Quesnel Council at 7pm will meet.  Read the full Agenda here

Tomorrow - both School District #27 and the City of Williams Lake Council will meet as follows:

SD #27 - Regular Meeting at 6:30pm - read the Agenda here

Items up for consideration include adoption of 2012-13 School Budget, release of School District Planning for this fall - future of SD #27

City of WL Council (meets in Committee of the Whole) - read the Agenda here

Items up for consideration include Tourism update from Amy Thacker (CEO - Cariboo-Chilcotin-Coast Tourism Assoc), Kids running for Kids - request for support (this item was last considered at the May 8th WL Council mtg) and WL Fire Department Service Delivery Review

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cariboo RD receives Invasive Plant funding...

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

The provincial government is providing over $1.7 million in new grants to control the spread of invasive plants, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced today.

The 28 grants are being given to local governments, Regional Weed Committees and the Invasive Species Council of BC to assist their activities and support the objectives of the provincial Invasive Plant Program. This funding is in addition to the $714,000 already earmarked by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations for invasive plant control and management in 2012-13.

Regional weed committees, the Invasive Species Council of BC, local governments, provincial government ministries and stakeholders work together to raise public awareness, survey invasive plant populations and actively treat high-priority invasive plant sites to control their spread. Funding has also been granted to the Invasive Species Council of BC for provincial collaboration, co-ordination and communication, as well as establishing best management practices for invasive plants.

Regional weed committees serve as forums for land managers and other stakeholders to co-ordinate treatment activities and participate in outreach and educational opportunities. There are 12 regional weed committees around the province. The Invasive Species Council of BC is based in Williams Lake.

Invasive plants are not native to a particular ecosystem and have the potential to displace long-established species and can cause considerable economic or environmental damage. They may disrupt natural ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, increase soil erosion, alter soil chemistry and adversely affect commercial crops.

BC Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Hon. Steve Thomson said –

The B.C. government is committed to preserving wildlife habitat and protecting the interests of B.C.’s ranching and agriculture industries. When invasive plant species put those values at risk, we must take decisive action to deal with that threat. The grants that the government announced today will go a long way to support this important work.”

BC Minister of Environment Hon. Terry Lake also commented –

“This program demonstrates the government’s ongoing commitment to protecting our natural environment. Regional districts, regional weed committee volunteers and other members of the public play a vital role in controlling the spread of invasive plants in B.C. and the new funding recognizes their outstanding contributions.”

Finally Tom Wells, chair, Invasive Species Council of British Columbia –

“The ministry’s contribution for invasive plant coordination is critical not only to our council, but to the many regional committees across B.C. All of us are working to strengthen key partnerships that result in less invasive species being introduced to local environments. By stopping the spread, we reduce future ongoing management costs and resource losses and help protect our natural landscapes. Reducing the spread of invasive plants and species cannot be achieved by a single agency — we all need to work together.”

The Cariboo Regional District will receive $83,000 while the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Invasive Plant Committee will receive $36,500.

WL Council Highlights - May 22nd meeting


Mayor Cook with Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Hughes, Rathor, Walters and Zacharias

Staff Present:

Geoff Goodall – GM of Planning and Ops (Acting CAO)
Cindy Bouchard – Manager of Legislative Services
Pat Higgins – Director of Finance
Ken MacInnis – Communications Coordinator
Tom Chung – Manager of IT

Meeting called to order at 6:01pm

Council approved the Agenda with inclusion of 2 late items and moving one item forward (2011 Audited Financial Statement) and approved the minutes of the May 8th WL Council meeting


1) Mayor Cook presented a ‘Letter of Appreciation’ to Captain Claudine Kadonaga and Lisa Ratz, Program Coordinator & Crisis Intervention Counsellor. Captain Kadonaga also gave Council an update as to services provided by the local Salvation Army
2) Mary Forbes gave an update to Council on activties at the Potato House
3) Inspector W. Brown of the WL RCMP and Dave Dickson (Safer Communities Coordinator) gave an update on RCMP/Community Policing activities


1) Council received and approved the 2011 Audited Financial Statements Report as presented and PMT Accounting be reappointed as Auditor of Record for the 2012 Financial Year
2) Council approved the 2012-2032 RCMP Municipal Police Unit Agreement for the City of Williams Lake

Councillor Hughes was opposed

3) Council received a report of the CAO concerning Council’s attendance at the 2012 NCLGA (North Central Local Gov’t Association) AGM in 100 Mile House
4) Council agreed to not proceed with signing the Participation Agreement offered by the Viewpoints television show in 2012; and Staff were directed to investigate television and similar media marketing opportunities for consideration in future City marketing
5) Council approved adding two additional appliances, the clothes washer and dishwasher, to the City’s high efficiency appliance rebate program
6) Council authorized execution of the acceptance of offer of licenses, management plans, certificate of insurances and the licenses of occupation for the phase 5 Storm Water Detention Pond in the Williams Lake River Valley and the adjustment for the Sanitary Sewer and Storm Right-of-Way.
7) Council awarded the engineering services for the Stormwater Upgrade Phase 5 and Energy Plant Process Outfall Replacement Projects to TRUE Consulting Group, for the amounts of $90,000 and $17,000, respectively.
8) Council gave approval for the KidSport Classic Run on June 24th, 2012
9) Council approved the new dog park location in Boitanio Park, as selected by the Community Services Committee – located by the Skate Park in Boitanio Park

Editor’s Note – after this decision and Welcome to Williams Lake put this story online (Facebook) – negative reaction from the public was swift. Comments ranged from “tax more, waste more” to “there are plenty of things that need fixing rather than a new dog park”. Read all comments at!/ and look for “More dog park discussion”

10) Bylaw #2153, 2012 (Sign Bylaw) was adopted by Council
11) Council received/adopted a recommendation from Committee of the Whole as follows:

Paragraph 1 of the Vehicle Use Policy be changed to read “employees living within City boundaries”; and further, Council approve the updated amendments to "Vehicle Use Policy No. 145"

12) Council approved the Aboriginal Day Parade on June 21st
13) Council approved a Special Liquor License for events at the WL Stampede Grounds from June 29th – July 2nd
14) Council received a press release regarding a Special Committee to look at the mid-term Timber Supply and Council will forward a letter asking the status of filling the position of Chief Forester
15) Council received a letter indicating that the 2011/12 C2C (Community to Community) Forum requirements are now complete. Council will forward a letter of thanks to UBCM
16) Council received a press release from the BC Mayors’ Caucus concerning a meeting of the Caucus last week in Penticton
17) Council adopted the following Proclamations:

2012 Stampede – June 1st to July 2nd
Local Gov’t Awareness Wk – May 20th to 26th
Legion Week – June 24th to 30th

18) Council agreed to participate in shared funding with all 16 areas of the Cariboo Regional District to fund the restoration of the Williams Creek Schoolhouse at Barkerville at a cost of $312.50 per area. Funds to come from Council’s Contigency Fund
19) Council received In-Camera Report #3-2012 from its’ May 8th In-Camera meeting to which Council approved the following:

“THAT pursuant to the report of the Manager of Transportation & Buildings dated April 23, 2012, Council terminate the janitorial service agreement with Everbest Janitorial Services for the reason of non-performance, as per Request for Proposals Section 2.3; and further, that Council award the City’s janitorial services contract to PACT Commercial and Specialty Cleaning Ltd., the next lowest priced proposal received, for the bid price of $77,899 for year one and $77,899 for year two.”

20) Council received the Council Information Package as follows:

April 12, 2012 - Thank you letter from Rick Hansen Foundation re 25th Anniversary Relay Celebration events;
April 24, 2012 - Letter from Canadian Cancer Society re Cops for Cancer Tour de North 2012;
May 3, 2012 - Letter from Minister of Justice re Victim Services Program Funding;
May 11, 2012 - CRD Board Highlights;
May 15, 2012 - UBC in Your Community - The Cariboo - Issue 1-2012.
May 22 2012-K1 (Thank You from Rick Hansen Foundation)
May 22 2012-K1 (Cops for Cancer Tour de North 2012)
May 22 2012-K1 (Ministry of Justice re WL Victim Services Program Funding)
May 22 2012-K1 (CRD May 11, 2012 Board Highlights)
May 22 2012-K1 (UBC in Your Community - The Cariboo - Issue 1-2012)

Meeting adjourned at 8:15pm and after a short recess, Council resumed its' In-Camera meeting

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sam Ketchum Pool loses another $65,000

On Wednesday - the Central Cariboo Joint Committee will meet to discuss several matters pertaining to the Sam Ketchum Pool including the chlorine incident shutdown in Feb of this year.  View the full Agenda here

Geoff Paynton - the City of WL Director of Community Services will inform the Joint Committee that the chlorine incident saw a loss of $65,000 with little or no chance of making that loss up in the 2012 City fiscal year without major service reductions.  If those are not forthcoming, City/CRD Staff would then come back to the Joint Committee with a budget amendment to balance the books for the CMRC for this year.  He also reports that usage of the Sam Ketchum Pool is down as a result of the chlorine incident but numbers are beginning to creep upward but no guarantee that they will return to the same levels before the Feb chlorine incident

One question I have (and discussed with CRD Area 'D' Director Deb Bischoff yesterday) -- with the loss of $65,000 because of the closure of the Sam Ketchum Pool in Feb of this year and close to $100,000 because of last summer's Pool shutdown.  Should we discuss an option to temporarily closing the pool until a decision is made around a upgraded or brand new Sam Ketchum Pool?

Mr. Paynton also will report on possible upgrades to the liquid chlorine system and the possible installation of a UV (ultra-violet) water disinfection system.  Mr. Paynton is recommending that upgrades to the liquid chlorine system proceed immediately with discussions about the installation of a UV system occur in the fall for possible implementation in the 2013 fiscal year


One reader has reminded me (and should have pointed this out) that the $95,000 revenue loss at the Sam Ketchum Pool was made up by reduction in expenses and other revenue coming in to balance the 2011 Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex Operating Budget (and this is a good thing) but it is not always possible to see a revenue loss and then make it up throughout the rest of the budget year and as Geoff Paynton has pointed out to me -- running a municipal swimming pool (at the best of times) are still a "money eater" but as long as the community demands such a swimming pool, then I think that taxpayers' will, when push comes to shove, will pay whatever it takes to keep it running.  But on the other hand (and this was my point), if a 30 year swimming pool continues to lose money because of mechanical issues - how much revenue loss do you allow to occur before you decide if it is worth to invest additional dollars into running it with additional improvements or say "it's over", shut it down and plan for a new swimming pool, as the Central Cariboo region is currently doing with the "Pool Task Force".  Just a reminder to get out to the various areas where the Task Force will be engaging the public around what a new or improved Sam Ketchum Pool should look like...


Monday, May 21, 2012

BC Conservative Leader John Cummins interview

Last week - BC Conservative Party Leader was interviewed by Vancouver Sun political columnist Vaughn Palmer on Voice of BC.

Topics discussed included:

a) Changes to Fisheries Act (Federal Bill C-38)
b) Withdrawal of provincial Carbon Tax
c) Internal policy disagreements by Conservative MLA's?
d) Position of BC Conservatives' on Climate Change
e) Full costed election platform/process to vet candidates including credit, criminal and social media checks

f) Withdrawal of Port Mann Bridge toll?
g) BC Teachers' Contract Negotiations
h) Governing Coalition for BC Conservatives?
i) Recent Poll Result - NDP 50%, BC Liberals 23% and BC Conservatives 19%
j)  Policy differences - BC Conservatives' vs BC Liberals -- Trust, BC Hydro,taxation
k) Mary Polak - BC Conservatives -- explain your view on First Nations land rights
l) Native deals re: resource arrangements?
m) Eliminate MSP Premiums?
n) BC Conservative/BC Liberals splitting the vote to allow a NDP win in 2013?
o) Bill Bennett - how will BC Conservatives' attain a majority?
p) Fish Farming?
q) Harmonized Sales Tax?
r) BC Conservative policy on Raw Log Exports?
s) Putting a stop on Corporate/Union donations to political parties

My own take:

I was uncomfortable on his party's take on the Port Moody Bridge toll (again - local improvement so it should be user pay), on First Nations so as a Conservative, I'm apt to stay with the BC Liberals as they best advocate for my Conservative views... but I encourage all British Columbians to watch this interview and like Bob Simpson (Ind. MLA for Cariboo-North) says -- get to know John Cummins and his BC Conservative Party and decide for yourself if you can buy into his party's policies...

Watch the interview below:

Province/UBCM celebrates Local Gov't wk

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Local Government Awareness Week has been proclaimed for May 20-26, 2012, announced Minister of Community Sport and Cultural Development Ida Chong and Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) president Heath Slee.

Local elected officials make key decisions on municipal councils and regional district boards. Local Government Awareness Week aims to generate awareness and further educate the public regarding the important roles and responsibilities of local governments throughout the province.

The timing coincides with National Public Works Week. This year’s theme, “Creating a Lasting Impression” calls attention to the importance of public works in community life. The week is about acknowledging the efforts of the many people who provide and maintain civil infrastructure and services.

The Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Hon. Ida Chong said –

Our lives are directly impacted by the elected municipal, regional and school board representatives who make vital decisions for British Columbians. This week provides an opportunity for B.C. citizens to learn more about how local governance works, and how they can participate in creating sustainable, family-friendly communities.”

UBCM president Heath Slee also commented –

Local governments build and sustain the systems that make our communities possible. They also deliver programs that enhance the quality of life for all and support those who are in need. This week acknowledges the efforts of local governments to build communities that British Columbians can take pride in.”

Finally, Public Works Association of British Columbia executive director Jeannette Austin said –
Since 1960, we have been celebrating the vital work of public works employees. These professionals are always looking for sustainable and safe solutions for their communities. We use this week to energize and educate the public on the importance of the contribution of public works to their daily lives – planning, building, managing and operating the heart of our local communities and building the quality of life.

Quick Facts:

· Local Government Awareness Week is the result of a partnership between UBCM, CivicInfo BC, the Local Government Management Association, the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, the Ministry of Education, the British Columbia School Trustees’ Association and the Public Works Association of British Columbia.

· Local Government Awareness Week coincides with National Public Works Week – recognizing the importance of building and maintaining infrastructure and providing services that improve the quality of life in communities.

· There are 188 local governments in British Columbia.

· Since 2001, the Province has provided $3 billion to B.C.’s local governments over and above previously existing funding streams.

· Under the Community Charter – the most empowering local government statute in Canada – B.C. communities have broad corporate, service and regulatory powers, enabling them to address local issues with a high degree of autonomy.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

City extends rebate program to dishwater/washing machines

In a report from the City's Planning and Operations Committee -- City Staff propose that the existing water appliance program, previously for toilets, be now extended to include rebates for new dishwater/washing machines

Read more details here

Also at Williams Lake Council on Tuesday:

a) 2011 Audit Financial Statements to be adopted - see here
b) Revised Dog Park location, by Skate Park in Boitanio Park - see more details here
c) Mayor Cook to present a 'Letter of Appreciation' to local Salvation Army.  Presumably this has to do with their 'Addictions Program'.  As well, Council will receive delegations from Mary Forbes on the Potato House and RCMP Insp. Warren Brown on how things are doing from a RCMP perspective

2013 Provincial Election - Cariboo-Chilcotin

In less than a year - the voters' in Cariboo-Chilcotin will go to the polls and decide who governs them for the period of 2013-2017

Here is my take on what is likely to occur during next years' election...

We already know that both Donna Barnett (BC Liberal) and Charlie Wyse (BC NDP) will compete for the seat again (just like in 2009) but with the rapid surgence of the BC Conservatives', the BC Conservatives' could come from behind to take this riding, but it would depend on who runs for them in this riding and whether or not they are known well enough to take votes away from Ms. Barnett/Mr. Wyse and stay on top as the winner in next year's provincial election, but make no mistake - in my discussion with BC Conservatives, they fully plan to run 85 candidates for the BC Legislature's 85 seats

Issues likely to be raised in the 2013 Election:

1) HST -- as a BC Liberal, I fully recognize/understand that this item was colossally mishandled from start to finish and likely voters' will ask what other initiatives are the BC Liberals hiding from the electorate and waiting for an election to be over before they get rolled out, like the HST was, in July of 2009, mere months after the 2009 BC General Election

2) 'New Prosperity' - it is likely that debate on this item will not end, even with a 'Yes' vote from Ottawa on this project as I fully expect local First Nations to take this matter to court for resolution.  In the meantime, I expect BC Liberals/BC NDP to firmly state their position on this subject and to accuse each other of being on the 'wrong side' on this file...

3) Education -- watch for local teachers' to 'remind and refresh' voters' minds about the record of the BC Liberals' on Education (even though BC Liberals' have increased education spending to its' highest levels in many years, notwithstanding declining student numbers)

Last time out -- Donna Barnett won this riding by a mere 88 votes.  I fully expect that close margin to be maintained and get smaller - if either Mr. Wyse or Ms. Barnett wins the riding next year

Finally - provincial blogger Alex G. Tsakumis looks at Donna Barnett's role around the 'Gang of Nine' attempting to get former BC Premier Gordon Campbell to retire - read the thought-provoking blog post here

As always - I simply ask the voters' to get informed, make it to your local "All Candidates Forums" and then mark your ballot (even if you spoil your ballot) as we all need to show up and vote -- our provincial democratic system simply depends on it

2013 Provincial Election - Cariboo-North

In less than a year - the voters' in Cariboo-North will go to the polls and decide who governs them for the period of 2013-2017

Here is my take on what is likely to occur during next years' election...

Bob Simpson (unless he says different before April of 2013) will, in my opinion, seek another term as the Independent MLA for Cariboo-North.  In addition, the BC Liberals/BC NDP will also field candidates.  At one point - former Quesnel Councillor Coralee Oakes was being courted by the BC Liberals to run against Mr. Simpson.  As well, I have been informed that current Quesnel Councillor Sushil Thapar is considering running for the BC NDP in Cariboo-North and that Mr. Thapar may facing a challenger for the BC NDP nomination in Cariboo-North.  As well, I have been assured, like in Cariboo-Chilcotin, that the BC Conseratives' plan to field a candidate in this riding as well, but I have heard of no names and I'm uncertain if they even have a riding association established yet

Issues likely to be raised in the 2013 Election:

1) HST -- as a BC Liberal, I fully recognize/understand that this item was colossally mishandled from start to finish and likely voters' will ask what other initiatives are the BC Liberals hiding from the electorate and waiting for an election to be over before they get rolled out, like the HST was, in July of 2009, mere months after the 2009 BC General Election

2) Education -- watch for local teachers' to 'remind and refresh' voters' minds about the record of the BC Liberals' on Education (even though BC Liberals' have increased education spending to its' highest levels in many years, notwithstanding declining student numbers)

One challenge for Bob Simpson will be to get the money he needs to compete on a same level as the BC Liberals, BC NDP and BC Conservatives during next year's election as he previously had access to the BC NDP "machinery" in the 2009 Election.  If he doesn't -- his team may have to make tough choices around how to use a smaller election budget and make more use of social media (Facebook Twitter and blog).  Another question for Mr. Simpson will be -- in 2009, he ran as a BC NDP candidate, but now with him being a Independent and the BC NDP fielding their own candidate, how much of his NDP/Green base can he continue to hold in order to survive re-election.  Finally - if Sushil Thapar does, in fact, run for the BC NDP next year, how will he make himself known in the "other part" of Cariboo - North (Miocene, Big Lake, Horsefly/Likely, 150 Mile) as he is not well known in these parts but obviously in Quesnel/area, most, if not all, know about Mr. Thapar's political record as a Quesnel City Councillor

As always - I simply ask the voters' to get informed, make it to your local "All Candidates Forums" and then mark your ballot (even if you spoil your ballot) as we all need to show up and vote -- our provincial democratic system simply depends on it

Friday, May 18, 2012

Local Gov't Mtgs - Week of May 21 - 25

Quesnel - Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, May 22nd at 7:00pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  Read the Agenda/Reports here

Williams Lake - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 22nd at 6:00pm in Williams Lake Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  Read the Agenda/Reports here

100 Mile House - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 22nd at 6:00pm in 100 Mile Council Chambers (385 Birch Ave).  Read the Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District - Central Cariboo Joint Committee Meeting on Wednesday, May 23rd at 5:00pm in the CRD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Ave - Williams Lake).  Download the Agenda/Reports here

City of WL seeks input on Rental Suites in R-1 Homes

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Editor's Note - Quesnel is looking at this issue as well.  Read a letter from a Quesnel resident in Johnston Subdivision here with the Staff report here

The City of Williams Lake encourages residents to fill out a survey in order to collect public input on rental suites in single family homes.

A survey is available online at and at City Hall, 450 Mart Street. The survey will also be available during Local Government Awareness Week events next week: 1 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 23rd at Canadian Tire, 1 to 5 p.m. Thursday, May 24th at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex, and 1 to 5 p.m. Friday, May 25th at Save On Foods.

The survey asks questions regarding whether the City should allow secondary suites where the homeowner does not live in the home, and how the City should approach duplexes with secondary suites. Currently, the Policy states that suites are not allowed in homes where the owner is renting both the main part of the house, as well as the suite. This requirement reflects a higher number of complaints about noise and property maintenance, where homeowners do not live in the home. It is believed that if the owner lives in the home, there will be fewer issues and complaints from both the neighbourhood and the tenant. Houses with both the main and secondary suite rented are not permitted and would either need to remove their suite or consider an application to rezone to an R-2 designation (Two Family residential).

Under the Secondary Suites Bylaw, Williams Lake Zoning Bylaws, and the BC Building Code, secondary suites are not allowed in duplexes. There are multiple safety and fire risks for suites in duplexes, as suites in duplexes have been built without building permits.

The City has proceeded cautiously in order to minimize the impact on rental stock, City resources, and so that renters, home owners and the community are well educated on the policy,” says Councillor Laurie Walters, Chair of the Community Services Committee. “As we move forward, it’s very important that we have heard from the public, and I encourage residents to complete this survey.”

WL celebrates Local Gov't Awareness Week

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

To celebrate Local Government Awareness Week May 20-26, members of Williams Lake City Council and staff will set up around the city in order to inform residents about the role local governments play in our lives, and to answer questions from residents.

A large display with information on Council’s draft strategic initiatives, highlights of the 2012 budget, and other information will be set up in Canadian Tire on Wednesday, May 23rd, at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex Thursday, May 24th, and at Save On Foods Friday, May 25th, from 1 to 5 p.m. each day. Council and staff members will be on hand at the display. In addition, residents will be encouraged to complete a survey on the City’s Secondary Suites Policy, which is relevant even to those who do not have a secondary suite in their home.

Local governments affect many facets of our daily lives, from waste and recycling collection, to snow removal, to recreation programs and road maintenance. In B.C., local governments own 65% of the public infrastructure, including water and sewer systems, roads, and recreation facilities.

We encourage residents to come visit us during Local Government Awareness Week and ask questions. We look forward to the opportunity to meet with people and hear what they have to say,” says Mayor Kerry Cook. “Our doors are open, and we want to hear from residents. Government is always better when it listens.”

Ways to contact the City:

• Call City Hall at 250-392-2311 to be added to the Coffee with the Mayor
schedule or arrange a meeting with the Mayor, a Councillor, or staff member

• Write a letter to the Mayor and/or Council at 450 Mart Street, Williams
Lake, V2G 1N3

• Find us on Facebook (see here) or at @CityWL on Twitter

• Send an e-mail to or to a Councillor:

Ivan Bonnell –
Geoff Bourdon –
Danica Hughes –
Surinderpal Rathor –
Laurie Walters –
Sue Zacharias –

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Province of BC supports local gov'ts

Courtesy of Hon Ida Chong - Minister of Community Services

Editor's Note - instead funding everything to everyone - let's simply fund the basics -- water, sewer, garbage, fire, police and roads and let taxpayers' tell local governments' if the 'extra's' get funded...

British Columbia mayors have indicated that they will discuss the possibility of negotiating a potential “new deal” with the Province and the federal government when they meet in Penticton this week.

However, simply giving local governments a bigger piece of the “tax pie” will not change the fact that there is only one taxpayer. Reallocating current tax revenues could put in jeopardy the crucial services delivered by senior levels of government.

We understand how challenging it can be, especially in these economic times, to stretch taxpayer dollars and meet ongoing budgetary demands. That’s why the Province has supported the work local governments do with $3 billion in additional funding since 2001, above and beyond previously existing funding streams.

In addition to this provincial investment, we have secured more than $1.5 billion in federal funds for local governments to enhance community infrastructure.

For the first time beginning in 2004, our government began returning 100 per cent of net traffic fine revenues to local governments. We also doubled the existing unconditional grants program – funds that local governments can use as they see fit.

Grant programs are another important part of the way the Province supports local governments and the reporting requirements associated with these programs help ensure that taxpayer dollars are being used in the most effective and efficient way possible. It’s about being accountable to British Columbians.

Local governments should also turn their minds toward cutting costs. B.C. has held its public service employees to zero wage increases over the past two years. The federal government is also reducing its civil service by 19,000 positions. Meanwhile, local governments have increased compensation to their employees every year – despite the recent global economic downturn.

Rather than just fight for a bigger piece of the pie, governments need to work together to lift the burden on our taxpayers by re-evaluating the potential for shared services and identifying best practices so we can build infrastructure, maintain stability and keep British Columbians working.

The Province’s new office of the Auditor General for Local Government, which will begin operations this year, is one way we are working towards accomplishing these goals.

Special Committee to look at mid-term timber supply

Couresy of the Government of BC:

Update  - Bob Simpson reacts to formation of this Committee here

Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson applauded today’s decision of the Legislative Assembly to form a Special Committee on Timber Supply to examine and make recommendations about mid-term timber supply in British Columbia, as a result of the mountain pine beetle infestation.

The committee will be conducting public consultations and has been asked to deliver a report by Aug. 15 this year.

The committee’s terms of reference are to specifically consider recommendations that could increase timber supply, including direction on the potential scope of changes to land-use objectives, rate of harvest and conversion of volume-based tenures to area-based tenures. The committee will also consider whether any changes to legislation are required.

In making its recommendations, the committee will need to consider the Province’s commitment to balance the budget and maintain competitive electricity rates; the need to maintain high environmental standards and protect critical wildlife habitat; orderly transition for communities to lower harvest levels; maintain a competitive forest industry; First Nations’ titles and rights; and the softwood lumber agreement and other trade agreements.

The committee is expected to hold its first meeting this week to elect its chair, develop a work plan and a schedule for public consultations.

The members of the Special Committee on Timber Supply are:

· John Rustad, MLA Nechako Lakes (convenor)
· Donna Barnett, MLA Cariboo-Chilcotin
· Eric Foster, MLA Vernon-Monashee
· Ben Stewart, MLA Westside-Kelowna
· Harry Bains, MLA Surrey-Newton
· Norm Macdonald, MLA Columbia River-Revelstoke
· Bill Routley, MLA Cowichan Valley

The committee will be supported by a technical advisory committee that will include former provincial chief foresters Larry Pedersen and Jim Snetsinger.

Garage Sale in Wildwood

The Wildwood Community is having a garage sale at the Wildwood Volunteer Fire Department (WVFD) on Saturday May 19 from 8:00am to 2:00pm. Tables $10.00 with proceeds from table rentals going to the WVFD.  Residences throughout Wildwood will be having garage sales the same day including at 29-4195 Wildwood Road in the Wildwood Trailer Park.

Quesnel names new Deputy City Manager

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

The City of Quesnel has announced that Gina Albers is the new Deputy Corporate Administrator.

Albers, a Quesnel resident who has experience in municipal operations at the Town of Slave Lake and also as a legal secretary, began work on Monday May 14.

While with the Town of Slave Lake, she worked with the Administration department (Council / Assistant to City Manager) and the Corporate Services department (Human Resources / Health and Safety). She has also worked with several other government and public sector organizations, including Land Titles offices in Prince Rupert and New Westminster, and various law firms.

The Deputy Corporate Administrator plays a key role in the City's administration; she is responsible for, or involved with, maintaining records, managing City Council agendas and minutes, land title tasks, freedom of information requests, and many other duties.

Open House - Changes to North Cariboo Recreation Boundary

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

The Cariboo Regional District is proposing a change to the North Cariboo Recreation and Parks service taxation boundary.

The current sub-regional recreation taxation boundary was established 30 years ago and therefore doesn't reflect new subdivisions and development that have occurred at the edge of the boundary. Current sub-regional recreation services include the facilities and programs at the Quesnel and District Arts and Recreation Centre, the Twin Arenas, Alex Fraser Park
equestrian grounds and several rural recreation properties; the Bouchie Lake Hall and grounds, Barlow Creek Hall, Kostas Cove on Ten Mile Lake and the Parkland Community Centre at the Parkland Elementary School. As part of our public consultation process, we will be hosting information sessions in your area about the proposed changes


Thursday, May 24th from 4-8pm - Bouchie Lake Community Hall
Wednesday, May 30th from 5-8pm - Barlow Creek Community Hall
Monday, May 28th from 5-8pm - "Community Centre" at Parkland Elementary
Tuesday, June 5th from 5-8pm - West Fraser Fire Hall

The meetings are an open house style from 5:00 to 8:00 pm with brief presentations of background materials every hour.

For questions on the proposal, contact the Cariboo Regional District, Manager of
Community Services at 1-800-665-1636 or

Comments and feedback may also be provided directly to Regional District Directors in the North Cariboo as follows:

Area 'A' Director (CRD Board Vice-Chair) Ted Armstrong -
Area 'B' Director Heloise Dixon-Warren -
Area 'C' Director John Massier -
Area 'I' Director Jim Glassford -

WL looks for Cabinet Wrap Art submissions

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The City of Williams Lake and the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society invite art submissions for their Cabinet Wrap Initiative.

Winning submissions will be printed on vinyl and wrapped around the 13 City-owned utility cabinets, with credits to the artist on both the installed art and on the City’s website. The initiative will not only help beautify the City, but address one of the blank canvasses for graffiti in the community.

Submissions will consist of photos or photos of artwork that relate to the 10 priority areas of the Official Community Plan:

• Social Well Being
• Lively Downtown
• Active & Convenient Transportation
• Affordable Housing & Livable Neighbourhoods
• World Class Recreation
• Cherished Local Ecosystems
• Arts, Culture and Heritage
• Partnering with First Nations
• Resilient Economy
• Local Food & Agriculture

The submission deadline is June 15. A submission committee made up of City of Williams Lake councillors and representatives of the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society board will select the winning submissions, Winners will be invited to attend the installation of the vinyl wrapping of the utility boxes, their biographies will be posted on the City website, and will be recognized by City Council for their contributions to the City of Williams Lake.

“This initiative is an opportunity to partner with artists and the art community, to make our city even more beautiful, and to protect City infrastructure from graffiti,” says Councillor Laurie Walters, Chair of the Community Services Committee, and along with Councillors Geoff Bourdon and Sue Zacharias, a member of the Submission Committee. “I encourage everyone to submit their work and be part of this exciting project.”

For more information please contact Liliana Dragowska with the City of Williams Lake at 250-392-1768 or by email at

Quesnel Council Highlights -- May 14th meeting

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Community sustainability moves forward

Staff was directed to submit two grant applications to the General Strategic Priorities Fund and Innovations Fund for the following storm water projects, both identified in the Five Year Capital Plan. If the grant applications are successful, these projects could receive up to 100% funding:
• North Quesnel drainage project, phase I: Sheppard Avenue from Kinchant Street west to the Fraser River including storm water interceptors and outfall to the river (estimated cost $1,115,460);
• West Quesnel storm water on Anderson Drive from Baker Creek to Avison Avenue (estimated cost $2,472,000).

Q-City Map, a leader in technology

Latitude Geographics has requested to publish a story about Q-City Map in their corporate trade newsletter regarding the development of Q-City Map. They will also prepare a case study to be posted to their website. The story and case study will show how new technologies can be implemented with limited resources. “Users can now create their own maps and find information about zoning, official community plans, floodplains, administrative boundaries, parcels, land status and other infrastructure. It has reduced workload on City staff, with users able to get land use and property information immediately and with minimal support needed from support staff.” Latitude developed the software that the City uses to develop, create, program and maintain its external web mapping site.

2012 Financial bylaws ratified

The Five Year Financial Bylaw 2012 to 2016 and the 2012 Tax Rates Bylaw were passed by Council. In summary, the average residence will see an increase of 3.3% to the municipal portion of their property tax bill ($20.71), a decrease of 2.3% to the Cariboo Regional District portion of their property tax bill (-$9.36) and an overall increase of $1.47 to their property tax bill. This is based on a house assessed at $161,489, which declined 1.7% from last year.

Officer appointments

Council approved the following City officer appointments: Ken Coombs as Acting Co-Corporate Administrator and Acting Approving Officer for the City; Kari Bolton as Acting Co-Corporate Administrator; and Gina Albers as Deputy Corporate Administrator.

Other news

• The kiosk in Lebourdais Park will receive a facelift. FARMED has been granted permission to take over the sign and will be used to educate the public on the need for local production of food.
• Business license reports will now be available to the public on a monthly basis. The request came from Community Futures and the City feels there would be benefits to the new business, business development organizations and the community as a whole.
• Council contributes $312.50 to the Williams Creek Schoolhouse project at Barkerville.
• Local baseball gets a hit! Quesnel Minor Baseball Association will see some much needed improvements to benches, fences, etc. at the Cariboo Field, Rotary Ball Park (new roof) and the Albert Johnston Memorial Park.
• Residents will see a second sidewalk food vendor on the corner of St. Laurent Avenue and Reid Street this summer. Council approved the permit to Diane Louise Murray.


July 19 to 22 - Billy Barker Days

Important dates

June 9 - Family Day

Sunday, May 13, 2012

City of WL attempt to make recycling opportunities at various locations...

At their May 8th meeting - Williams Lake City Council received a delegation of Grade 7 Mountview Elementary students requesting that the City make available recycling containers to allow people to recycle pop bottles, etc and thus would allow the City to maintain a more cleaner image.  Upon question from Council - the City's General Manager of Planning & Operations, Geoff Goodall, confirmed that the City would be employing a trial run to allow individuals to recycle various items at garbage receptacles throughout the City of Williams Lake.

See below for the final product

As you can see above - there isn't a lot of room for people to place recyclables like pop cans/bottles and the like.  As one person pointed out to me - if the City had invested in a seperate reycling receptacle and took all of the recyclables to AMANDA Enterprises to get the deposit back - the payback for the recycle receptacles could have been achieved in less than two years.  But the City should be congradulated for making this 'small step' to allow further recycling opportunities throughout the municipality

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Local Gov't Mtgs - Week of May 14-18

The following local governments are meeting this upcoming week:

Wells  - Regular Meeting on Tuesday, May 15th at 7:00pm in Wells Council Chambers (4243 Sanders Ave)

Quesnel - Regular Meeting on Monday, May 14th at 7:00pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  View the Agenda/Reports here

School District #28 (Quesnel) - Regular Meeting on Wednesday, May 16th at 7:00pm in the SD #28 Boardroom (401 North Star Rd)

Williams Lake - Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, May 15th at 6:00pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (WL City Hall basement).  View the Agenda/Reports here

Editor's Note -- "Adoption of the Agenda" has appeared on WL Council's last 2 meeting agendas and is not currently recognized as an official agenda item in the City of Williams Lake Procedure Bylaw but is in the Cariboo Regional District and the City of Quesnel Procedure Bylaws.  Is this a sign of a possible amendment to the City of Williams Lake's Procedure Bylaw in the future....?  Also - Council will receive a delegation from Spanish Mountain Gold regarding their project in Likely.  As well, Council will resume their deliberations regarding an amendment to the City's Use of Vehicle Policy after local City Councillor Ivan Bonnell raised objections to it at the May 8th City of WL Council Meeting.  For myself - the amendments are technical in nature to allow certain members of City Staff take home a City vehicle to allow them to remain "on call", even if they live outside the municipal boundary but in the fire district boundary and make sense from an organization point of view and if I was on Council, I would have voted in favour of them

CRD Board Highlights - May 11th edition

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Northern Health Update

Margaret Sadlon of Northern Health provided the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District Board with an overview of current health issues in the Northern Health administrative service area. The presentation included information on orthopaedic, mental health and addictions out-patient, dietary, primary health care and elderly care services at GR Baker Memorial Hospital in Quesnel. Sadlon also discussed the facilities and services at Dunrovin Park Lodge and the de-commissioning of Baker Lodge. Further information about Northern Health is available online at

Petroglyph Repatriation

Phyllis Webstad presented an update to the CRD Board on the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem/High Bar First Nations petroglyph repatriation. The repatriation of the petroglyph will be held at 3 p.m. on June 13 at the Churn Creek kiosk.

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Update

Amy Thacker, CEO, Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (CCCTA) presented current information about tourism in the Cariboo Chilcotin. Information presented included the structure of tourism programs in BC, the Community Tourism Funding program, and other services offered by the CCCTA. For further information about the CCCTA, visit their website at or on Facebook at

Board on the Road

On June 14 and 15, 2012, the Cariboo Regional District Board of Directors will be travelling to the Barkerville Heritage site for the first of two Board on the Road events in 2012. In celebration of the 150th Anniversary of Billy Barker’s Gold Strike, the CRD will be holding its Board meeting on Thursday, June 14. On June 15, the Board will be holding a Committee of the Whole meeting in the morning followed by a joint meeting with the Regional District of Fraser Fort George to discuss issues of mutual interest. A free community BBQ will be held in Barkerville from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. in honour of Barkerville’s anniversary.

Support for Barkerville

The Cariboo Regional District will be contributing $5,000 to the Barkerville Heritage site. The funds will be used to help reproduce the original Williams Creek Schoolhouse in Barkerville. The original Williams Creek Schoolhouse, an iconic Barkerville landmark, was destroyed by fire decades ago. The funds will be presented in June when the CRD Board of Directors travels to Barkerville for its first 2012 Board on the Road event.

Electoral Area Funds allocated

The Cariboo Regional District approved up to $500 of Electoral Area D Director Initiative Funds to conduct two meetings within the electoral area. The first meeting is planned for June and the second meeting will be in September. The Board also approved authorization of the allocation of up to $500 of the Electoral Area D Special Initiative Funds for 2 communication signs to be erected at McLeese Lake and Wildwood Transfer Station sites. Later in the meeting, up to $151 of Area H Special Initiative funds were approved for a sign that will promote the new Forest Grove Farmers’ Market. In the north Cariboo, up to $2,000 of Special Initiative Funds will be shared equally among Electoral Areas A, B, C, and I to support North Cariboo Agricultural Marketing Awareness projects.

CRD Board supports The Potato House

The Cariboo Regional District will be providing letters of support for The Potato House Sustainable Community Society for three grant applications to be submitted in 2012. The Society is submitting grant applications to Farm Credit Canada’s Agrispirit Fund, the BC Community Gaming Grant program, and CCBAC to support the Potato House Project. The Potato House is a 1930s heritage home and subsistence garden historically consisting mostly of potatoes. This site now showcases urban farming and shares a community garden on the property.

Next CRD Board Meeting

Thursday, June 14 & 15, 2012 – Barkerville (Electoral Area 'C')

Thursday, May 10, 2012

CRD Library conduct satisfaction survey

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

The Cariboo Regional District invites all Cariboo Chilcotin residents to complete its survey for rural community library services.

If you reside in or near a community serviced by one of our twelve Community Library Branches, please complete the survey, regardless of whether you use the library are not.

The survey is available online at or stop by one of the CRD branch libraries to receive a hard copy. Completed surveys need to be returned by August 31, 2012.

The purpose of the survey is to gauge current levels of public satisfaction, in terms of access to the libraries, services currently provided, and services residents might like to see in the rural branches. Completion of the survey will contribute to the CRD plans to further improve and enhance library service throughout the Cariboo.

For further information about the current library service offerings visit us at or call 250-392-3630.

WL Council interested in Dog Parks then Seniors' Issues?

Courtesy of the Rush/Wolf:

A senior’s advocate in Williams Lake says the city isn’t moving quickly enough to bring back wheelchair accessible taxi service.

Audrey Maclise is Chair of the Seniors Advisory Council of Williams Lake & Area.

“people here at the Senior’s Activity Centre are dismayed that we can’t get this program going. And you know we’ve been talking about it now for three years and they see so many benefits.”

Maclise claims that since most events take place on weekends or in the evening, the recent extension of handy dart hours still isn’t enough.

She also had this to say: “I don’t think Williams Lake would like to be known as the only city in North America that takes better care of their dogs than their seniors.”

The issue of handicap taxi service was raised at this week’s council meeting where they decided to initiate dialogue with Town Taxi to encourage them to purchase a wheelchair accessible taxi in a timely fashion.

Quesnel Council supports Mayor Sjostrom

Courtesy of the Rush/Wolf:

Editor's Note -- In addition to below, I too believe that Mary Sjostrom is doing a great job as Mayor of Quesnel and I look forward to seeing her continue in that role.  Meanwhile - I wonder, as I'm sure many on Quesnel Council and in Quesnel, why Councillor Sushil Thapar does the things he does at present ...






Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Municipal Garden Crews Out...

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Editor's Note - the following would apply in Williams Lake and 100 Mile as well

The City of Quesnel reminds motorists that construction, parks and gardening crews are now out in full force and that they will encounter slow moving equipment. Please be patient.

The gardening crews maintain flowerbeds along some of our busiest streets in Quesnel, so it is important to SLOW DOWN in these areas. As well, construction crews are repairing streets and sidewalks throughout the City so PLEASE OBEY ANY TRAFFIC CONTROL SIGNS or FLAG PEOPLE.

Thank you for your cooperation and we hope you have a safe and enjoyable summer.

Federal Review Panel for 'New Prosperity' appointed

The Honourable Peter Kent, federal Minister of the Environment and Minister responsible for the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (the Agency) announced today the establishment of a three-member review panel for the federal environmental assessment of the proposed New Prosperity Gold-Copper Mine Project in British Columbia.
The Minister has appointed Bill Ross as the Panel chair, as well as George Kupfer and Ron Smyth as Panel members. Biographical information on the Panel chair and members is available in the accompanying backgrounder.
The Minister is also releasing today the Panel Terms of Reference for conducting the environmental assessment. The Terms of Reference establish the mandate and authority of the Review Panel, as well as the procedures and timelines for the review.
The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Guidelines for the project were issued by the Minister on March 16, 2012. The Guidelines provide direction to the proponent, Taseko Mines Ltd., and identify the information that is required in the EIS. The EIS, to be submitted by the proponent, provides a detailed analysis of the potential effects of the proposed project on the environment.
The Panel Terms of Reference and EIS Guidelines were finalized following consideration of comments received from Aboriginal groups, the public, government authorities, the proponent, and other interested parties.
The Terms of Reference, the Guidelines, as well as additional information on the project, are available in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Registry on the Agency website at , under reference # 11-05-63928.
To be added to the distribution list and be kept informed of activities relating to the panel review process, contact:

Livain Michaud, Panel Manager
Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency
160 Elgin Street, 22nd Floor, Ottawa ON K1A 0H3
Tel.: 613-948-1359 / 1-866-582-1884
Fax: 613-957-0941
Taseko Mines Ltd. proposes the construction and operation of a large open pit gold-copper mine development, approximately 125 km southwest of Williams Lake, B.C.
The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency administers the federal environmental assessment process, which identifies the environmental effects of proposed projects and measures to address those effects, in support of sustainable development.

CMRC Fire Lane to close May 31st

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Ongoing issues with speeding and dangerous driving has resulted in several close calls and near misses between Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex users and vehicles speeding through the parking lots and fire lane which runs along the east side of the Complex between the pool area and the Senior’s Centre. As a result the fire lane access will be permanently closed to public traffic effective May 31st, 2012.

This fire lane is frequently used as a shortcut between 7th Avenue and Proctor Street by vehicles not accessing the Complex, and these vehicles tend to travel at high speed and are not driving appropriately for the amount of pedestrian traffic in the area, especially in the winter months. It is estimated that well over 100 vehicles a day, that are not accessing the Complex or its rental parking, use this route as a shortcut, often weaving around the speed bumps and concrete barriers as well as cutting through designated parking and pedestrian areas. Reports of pedestrians and vehicles accessing the Complex almost being struck by this type of traffic have grown substantially over the past few years.

Attempts to address the situation without closing the lane access by adding speed bumps, signage, metal bollards, cement barriers and other measures have been instituted over the past year but these have done little to curb the problem.

Signage will be going up shortly at the 7th Ave entrance to the rear Complex parking lot and in the front CMRC parking lot to warn users of the pending closure date. On the date of closure the large metal gate will be locked and the lane will only be accessible by emergency vehicles. The gate will be open during events at the Complex to allow access to the rear parking lot, but will be closed immediately following the events.

The amount of vehicles that use this shortcut, and the speed at which they drive through it, must be addressed. Many of these vehicles completely disregard safe speed limits, marked routes through the lots, and also ignore high volume pedestrian areas,” says Councillor Laurie Walters, Chair of the Community Services Committee which oversees the Complex. “Safety of persons using the Complex and its amenities is of primary importance to us. We regret having to close this lane access but all other attempts to slow traffic have failed.

We recognize this will be a minor inconvenience to some Complex customers, but we feel the added safety benefit that will result from the change more than makes up for this.