Tuesday, December 31, 2013

BC Politics in 2013

This past year - I saw something I don't recall seeing, a political party (BC NDP) having a big 20 point lead advantage going into an election and completely watching it collapse due to strategic political missteps and now instead of the BC NDP being in power today, the NDP now find themselves back in Opposition again until 2017.  That will be 16 years in Opposition - a very long time for any political party across the country

The top 3 BC Political Stories in 2013 for me were...

1) BC NDP blow a 20 point lead and allow BC Liberals to secure a 4th term as Government
2) Adrian Dix flips position on Kinder Morgan project and says NDP against it after saying no position on it would be announced ... and NDP support goes downhill from there...

3) 1st BC Green MLA in BC Legislature

More closer to home -- The NDP's Charlie Wyse may have cost himself the Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA seat in this past May's provincial election by 'misspeaking' on Fracking & a possible moratorium (Mr. Wyse was later 'corrected' by his Leader Adrian Dix), in addition to be opposed to 'New Prosperity' while Donna Barnett on being in support of resource development projects like 'New Prosperity'.

Meanwhile - Cariboo-North saw the typical vote splitting of a 3 way race as Coralee Oakes was able to squeeze up the middle while Bob Simpson/Duncan Barnett split the centre-left vote base

In 2014 - we'll see new leaders in the BC Green Party, BC Conservative Party and BC NDP Party.  And these parties will take the time to craft their party platforms between 2014-16 in time for the run-up to the May 2017 Provincial Election

Meanwhile - the governing BC Liberals' will have a balanced budget in 2014 and the mood at this May's BC Liberals' party convention in Kelowna should be one of excitement with a 4th consecutive mandate and how to move the province for jobs/growth throughout all of BC....

The BC Liberals' are off to a good start with new labour agreements with the various unions with a new negotiating mandate which talks about 'profit sharing'.  More on this here

2013 was certainly busy for BC Politics and it will be busy in 2014 but will take a 'break' to this fall's local government elections...


Monday, December 30, 2013

Local Politics in 2013

In a year that saw Williams Lake Council more 'busier' than their counterparts in Wells, Quesnel, 100 Mile House and the Cariboo Regional District, here's a brief look back at the year that was in local politics...

Jan to April 2013 - City of Williams Lake/Cariboo Regional District continue their 'public' fight over Rural Fringe Fire Protection which led to a 5 year deal for Fire Protection to Rural Fringe residents in parts of Cariboo RD Areas D, E, F until 2018

February 2013 - City of Williams Lake announces it has hired a new CAO in Don DeGagne only to rescind the appointment in late Feb 2013.  This matter is still undergoing litigation (lawsuit) in the courts for determination sometime in 2014 and may impact City of Williams Lake taxpayers in 2014, should the City in fact lose this lawsuit

March 2013 - Several Quesnel residents' initiate lawsuit against Quesnel Council in regards to severance payout to former Quesnel City Manager John Stecyk

April 2013 - Facilitated Meeting at 150 Mile House in regards to WL Community Forest.  Both WL Council/WL Indian Band in attendance.  100 people in attendance

May 2013 - St Joseph's Mission Commemoration Event.  Lots of community support for this event is evident

June 2013 - City of Williams Lake announces that it has hired Darrell Garceau as the City's CAO effective July 2013

June 2013 - Several residents in Quesnel launch lawsuit declaring approved secondary suite in Johnston Sub to be 'null and void'.  Matter considered in BC Supreme Court on July 10th, 2013 and ruled in favour of the City of Quesnel

July 2013 - Quesnel lawsuit in regards to severance payout to John Stecyk abandoned

September 5th, 2013 - Williams Lake City Councillor Surinderpal Rathor placed under arrest on a charge of 'Obstruction of Justice'.  Matter to be dealt with in court sometime in 2014

September 7th, 2013 - South Cariboo residents' approve new Search and Rescue Function in their area for 2014 as well as changes to South Cariboo Recreation.  Residents in Area J of the Cariboo RD approve new Search and Rescue Function for 2014

September 8th, 2013 - Another WL Community Forest Meeting held at Miocene.  Williams Lake Council/WL Indian Band are 'no-shows' at this meeting.  Also - local Big Lake resident Bee Hooker pleads with residents of Williams Lake, in a letter to the editor & news story in Williams Lake Tribune to ask their elected officials to show respect to their 'rural neighbours' and work together to have a Community Forest that works for everyone

Late Sept 2013 - Successful 'Orange Shirt Day' events in the Cariboo - a big thanks to Cariboo RD Area F Director Joan Sorley and many others working together who made this event a big success

November 2013 - Proposed North Cariboo Multicentre receives devastating blow as the Loan Authorization Bylaw to borrow up to $15 million for the construction of a Multicentre in Quesnel was not renewed for another 5 years.  Members of the North Cariboo Joint Committee will be holding a 'Strategic Planning Session' as to what to do next in mid Jan 2014

December 2013 - Al Richmond/Ted Armstrong returned for a 6th consecutive term as Cariboo Regional District Chair/Vice-Chair respectively.  

For myself - it was a busy year starting in Feb 2013 when I was appointed the Cariboo RD Area D Alternate Director and thus I was asked on numerous occasions, by Area D Director Deb Bischoff, to represent Area D at various Cariboo Regional District meetings this year and I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Then in September of 2013, I was appointed Chair of the local Catholic School Council (School Board) which manages the affairs of the local Catholic School in Williams Lake.  In 2014 - I expect to remain busy in these two roles for the foreseeable future

Finally -- as 2014 is an election year, all local governments in the Cariboo-Chilcotin have two primary tasks to complete:

1) Pass 2014 Budgets
2) Have their Staffs conduct the 2014 Local Government General Election

In addition, each sub-region will be focusing on the following:

a) North Cariboo -- next steps for renewal of North Cariboo Recreation Facilities

b) Central Cariboo - Nov 15th, 2014 Referendum for $11.3 million project (borrow $10 million and obtain funds for remaining $1.3 million) for Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex which includes upgrades to Sam Ketcham Pool and other upgrades

c) South Cariboo - discussion on Community Forest in Forest Grove area, further progress on South Cariboo Community Foundation

Also - Decisions are pending on both the WL Community Forest and 'New Prosperity' which both projects will have impacts on the future of the Central Cariboo region for a significant period of time to come

During the 1st half of 2014 -- you can expect your elected officials (Wells, Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, Cariboo Regional District and School Districts 27/28) to decide if they wish to run for another term or call it a day.  Some have made up their minds already like Williams Lake City Councillor Danica Hughes who said this past August that she would not seek another term so her seat will be up for grabs on Nov 15th, 2014 as well as Cariboo RD Area D Director Deb Bischoff who said this past September that she would also bow out.

As the current Area D Alternate Director, I will be announcing my local election plans no later than June 1st, 2014.  Expect to see robust elections in Quesnel/Williams Lake in 2014 while tame elections in Wells/100 Mile House and the Cariboo Regional District will occur, in my opinion.  While School District 28 elections is likely to be tame in 2014, elections for the 3 Trustees in Williams Lake for School District 27 could get robust given the school closures for Glendale/Kwaleen Elementary Schools recently...

Finally - Williams Lake City Councillor Surinderpal Rathor's political future is, literally, in the hands of a Supreme Court Judge when he/she considers Rathor's 'Obstruction of Justice' Charge sometime in 2014.

*If* Rathor loses - there will likely be not enough time to appeal the Court ruling and still run for Williams Lake Council. Bear in mind, voters in Port Coquitlam rejected the bid of their former Mayor Scott Young as he was convicted of assaulting his girlfriend, ran for Port Coquitlam Council and lost and you can expect the same here, if Rathor was convicted of Obstruction and ran for WL Council in Nov 2014

*If* Rathor wins and the Crown chooses not to appeal the Court ruling - then Rathor would in the clear to announce either a 8th campaign for his Councillor seat or a possible Mayoralty bid

The various election races will kick off in September 2014 when the Chief Election Officer for all local governments in the Cariboo-Chilcotin will announce that various elected posts (Mayors, Councillors, EA Directors and School District Trustees) are up for Nomination in late Sept/early Oct 2014 and Nominations will be accepted during a 10 day window which starts on Sept 30th, 2014 and concludes on October 10th, 2014

As always - I will endeavour to keep you informed as to what your local governments are doing and when they are meeting and look forward to your comments here

Thanks to all of my visitors here in 2013 and may 2014 be successful for you all


Friday, December 27, 2013

Mayor Cook reviews 2013

In an interview with the Williams Lake Tribune - Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook states how she felt 2013 went

Topics raised included:

a) WL Community Forest
b) Public Fight between City of WL/Cariboo RD on Rural Fringe Fire Protection
c) City's 1st ever union strike
d) Her bid for a 3rd consecutive term

Read more here

Starting Monday - I'll be reviewing 2013 from my own perspective as follows:

a) Local Politics in 2013 - Monday
b) Provincial Politics in 2013 - Tuesday
c) Federal Politics in 2013 - Wednesday

Finally - Local governments will not be returning to work until Monday, Jan 6th, 2014...


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day Messages

BC Premier Christy Clark:

The holiday season is a time to spend time with families, friends and with the ones we love.

It's a time to be thankful for the blessings in each of our lives. A time to rest, relax, and prepare for the year ahead and to be hopeful for the opportunities that tomorrow will bring.

In my house, we say Merry Christmas. But however you and your family say it, to British Columbians throughout the province, please accept my warmest wishes for the holiday season.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper:

“Merry Christmas, everybody.

“And Happy New Year too!

“This is a wonderful season.

“A time for joyful reunions with family and friends, a time to reflect on our good fortune, and a time to remember those in our midst who have less.

“As we count our many blessings, let us also give a moment to our brave men and women in uniform.

“I’d ask you to offer a thought and a prayer for them and their families.

“Friends, as Canadians from coast to coast to coast prepare for this joyous season, I want to wish you and your loved ones a safe and happy holiday, a very Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah and a prosperous New Year.”

Cariboo RD Area D Alternate Director Steve Forseth:

2013 has been a year full of blessings for myself.  To each of your families - may you all have a Merry Christmas and may 2014 be full of your hopes/desires.  If you need to travel to visit with your families, please drive safe and don't drink and drive - please explore alternate options (designate driver or enjoy drinks at home) to enjoy this time of the year without putting yourself intoxicated behind the wheel

Finally - to those in Area D of the Cariboo Regional District (McLeese Lake - Soda Creek - Tyee Lake - Wildwood - Pine Valley - Fox Mountain - Commodore Heights) -- I look forward to continue serving you as the Alternate Director for Electoral Area D of the Cariboo Regional District in 2014


Monday, December 23, 2013

City of Quesnel Operations - Dec 23 - Jan 3rd

From City of Quesnel website:

RESIDENTIAL Garbage Collection from Tuesday, Dec 24 to Wednesday, Jan 1 as follows:

Tuesday pickup will be on Monday, Dec 23 and Monday, Dec 30
Wednesday pickup will be on Tuesday, Dec 24 and Tuesday, Dec 31
Thursday pickup will be on Friday, Dec 27 and will remain on Thursday, Jan 2
Friday pickup will be on Saturday, Dec 28 and will remain on Friday, Jan 3

COMMERCIAL garbage collection will have an extra truck running Dec 24, 27 and 31 to make up for any missed garbage over the holidays.

CITY LANDFILL - Transfer Depot will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. through the holiday season however, the landfill gates will be closed on Wednesday, Dec 25 as well as Wednesday, Jan 1, due to the statutory holidays.

We appreciate your co-operation and wish all Quesnel and area residents a safe and happy holiday season. If you have any questions, please contact Public Works at 250-992-6330 during regular office hours.

Please click on the links below to view the holiday hours for the various departments in the City of Quesnel.
Also more information here (Family Fun during Holiday period)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Joan Sorley gives 2013 Year End Message

Joan Sorley, the Cariboo Regional District Director for Area F (Horsefly-Likely-150 Mile), posts her 2013 Year End message as to what she has being doing on behalf of the residents of Electoral Area 'F'

Read that letter here

Friday, December 20, 2013

End of Week News - Dec 20th edition

1) WL Council delays decision on Highway 97 - Carson Dr - Fox Mountain Project - read here

I wonder how the Ministry of Transportation will respond to this? I can't imagine that they will be entirely pleased but it will be interesting to see how much patience the Ministry will show the City before they say "We're moving on…"

2) Kerry Cook: 'New Prosperity' Message has always been consistent - read here

3) BC Premier looks back on 2013 - read here

4) Tatla Lake resident charged with Gun Trafficking - read here

5) City of Quesnel moves forward on Secondary Suites - read here

6) Chilcotin resident expresses concern about closure of Discovery Tour ferry run (Bella Coola) - read here.  Meanwhile you can your input on this but you have until midnight tonight to do so - click here

Finally - with next week being a 'holiday' week, I'll be take a brief break given no meetings are occurring next week.  When the blog resumes, I'll be reviewing my top 3 local, provincial and federal political stories of 2013… Wherever you are, drive safely to your families, have a Merry Christmas and enjoy the Holidays…


Thursday, December 19, 2013

2010-13 Local Gov't Active Grants

Yesterday, the Union of BC Municipalities or UBCM, through its' last 2013 Compass e-newsletter detailed active grants that local governments has received from 2010-present

For our local governments in this region:

Cariboo Regional District (2010-13) --> $1,991,802.92
District of 100 Mile House (2010-13) --> $49,510.75
City of Williams Lake (2010-13) --> $237,723.21
City of Quesnel (2010-13) --> $0
District of Wells (2010-13) --> $0

Grand Total --> $2,279,036.88

Full background documents here (2010 Grants) and here (2011-13 Grants)

Others receiving grants in our region (2010-13):

School District #27 --> $44,439.88.00
Alexandria Band --> $485,948.82.00
Canim Lake Band --> $422,306.00
Canoe Creek Band --> $122,593.26
Esketemc First Nation --> $14,400.00
Lhoosk’uz Dene Government --> $24,000.00
Nazko First Nation --> $16,000.00
School District #28 --> $89,548.97
Red Bluff Indian Band --> $8,000.00
Tl’etinqox‐T’in Government --> $351,184.48
Ulkatcho First Nations --> $764,435.80

Williams Lake Indian Band --> $195,968.96
Xat'sull First Nation --> $10,662.34
Xeni Gwet'in First Nation --> $241,843.14
Yunesit’in Government --> $12,910.00

Again, you can find the background documents here (2010) and here (2011-13)

Meanwhile in other UBCM News…

They report on the conclusions of the Gas Tax Consultations which will form the basis upon the future direction of a renewed Gas Tax Fund Program going forward.  Read the conclusions here.

2014 Armchair Travel Program

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

The Cariboo Regional District’s Williams Lake Area Branch has confirmed the 2014 Armchair Travel line-up of speakers. Event organizer Pam Hedley-Smith has planned an exciting line-up of new speakers and travel destinations for the upcoming series.

The Thursday evening presentations, which start on Jan. 9, include “Adventures in Turkey with Ross McCoubrey”, “Travelling to Cuba with Deb and Pat Radolla”, “Motorcycling across Latin America with Kurt Williams”, Cycling in Germany and Italy with Leslie Lloyd “, and “Exploring Northern Vancouver Island with Krista Liebe” .

The 2014 series will end with a special Friday Valentine’s Day presentation: “Touring Prague with Chris and Rita Harris”. Chris Harris is a renowned photographer who has published several books of photography highlighting the Cariboo-Chilcotin, including as Motherstone and Flyover: British Columbia's Cariboo Chilcotin Coast

Each Armchair Travel evening features the recent travel experiences of local community members, through words, pictures, sometimes music and food.

The following is a list of the event themes and dates:

Adventures in Turkey with Ross McCoubrey                                                       Thursday, Jan. 9
Travelling to Cuba with Deb and Pat Radolla                                                       Thursday, Jan. 16
Motorcycling across Latin America with Kurt Williams                                      Thursday, Jan. 23
Cycling in Germany & Italy with Leslie Lloyd                                                        Thursday, Jan. 30
Exploring Northern Vancouver Island with Krista Liebe                                     Thursday, Feb. 6
Touring Prague with Chris and Rita Harris                                                            Friday, Feb. 14

These event are free, but pre-registration is required as space is limited. Registration is available in person at the front desk or by calling 250-392-3630. Doors open at 6:30pm.

NC Rec/Parks Survey in Jan 2014

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel/Cariboo Regional District:

The Cariboo Regional District and the City of Quesnel will be conducting a survey of residents in the North Cariboo Recreation and Parks service boundary from January 2-12, 2014 regarding future recreation infrastructure needs for the area. Discovery Research is the company that will be contacting residents by telephone to conduct the survey on behalf of the CRD and the City of Quesnel.

Residents who reside within the North Cariboo Recreation and Parks service boundary who are contacted by Discovery Research are encouraged to participate as a total of 1,000 surveys are to be completed. This is an opportunity for residents to have their say in the future recreation infrastructure in the North Cariboo

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Quesnel Council Highlights - Dec 16th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Better at Home presentation
Council invited Brenda Gardiner from Better at Home to give a presentation on this new program and the services it provides to seniors. In addition to her report, now available online at www.quesnel.ca, Ms. Gardiner confirmed that they have over 83 clients in the community and receive approximately 3 applications per week. The program is designed to help seniors remain independent at home and at this time, they have a core group of 12 volunteers. Ms. Gardiner asked for assistance in recruiting more volunteers so if you are able to spare between 2 to 5 hours per month, please contact Brenda Gardiner at 250-992-9156 or email her at bgardiner@longname.ca. Students are welcome.

Public consultation update on secondary suites
Council has approved the recommendation to draft an Official Community Plan Amendment and Zoning Amendment Bylaw to allow secondary suites in zones permitting single detached dwellings. The full report is available online (Agenda).

New faces at the Museum and Heritage Commission
Two new members were appointed to Quesnel ‘s Museum and Heritage Commission for a two-year term commencing January 1, 2014. Council welcomed newcomers Judy Anderson and Valerie Peters to the Commission as well as two present members who have chosen to renew their memberships, Ellen Affleck and Bruce Steele.
The Museum and Heritage Commission is made up of eight members-at-large plus a Council and CRD representative. There remains one 1-year vacancy on the Commission due to the recent resignation of a Commission member.

Equipment upgrade at the airport
Council approved entering into an Airport Capital Assistance Program (“ACAP”) Contribution Agreement with Transport Canada that will provide a $39,115 capital contribution for a Runway Condition Reporting System at the Quesnel Regional Airport. NAV Canada provides air navigational service including air traffic control, aeronautical, airport advisory and flight information to commercial and general aviation throughout Canada. As a certified airport, Quesnel must provide runway condition reports to NAV Canada. Currently these reports are hand written and faxed to NAV Canada. The number of reports forwarded to NAV Canada in a day depends upon weather conditions. NAV Canada is digitizing the submission process for runway condition reporting; for Quesnel this means updating our reporting methods to a digital format that will allow the uploading of reports directly into NAV Canada systems.

Other news
Council approved moving forward to assist with the process to have residents in the Gook Road/Dragon Lake area organize and petition the Cariboo Regional District to supply a sanitary sewer system to this community at the residents’ cost.
Council proceeded with the first two readings of the three Business Improvement Area Bylaws which expire in 2013 after receiving the BIA’s strategic plans at Council on November 18. The funds for a BIA are collected through a local service tax and only the businesses in the area are subject to the tax for BIA’s. This means there is no net cost to the City’s budget.
Council appointed Alexandria Kostenko to the Tourism and Civic Price Committee for a two-year term.
Council approved applying for and administering the 2014 NDIT Business Facade Improvement Program.
Council approved applying for a grant through NDIT to have a local government management intern for one 
year starting May 2014. The program is designed to assist interns in local government work experience and act as a pathway to operational learning and placement. The NDIT provides $35,000 towards the cost. Net cost to the City is $20,500 over two budget years

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

WL Council Highlights - Dec 17th mtg

Present: Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Hughes, Rathor, Walters and Zacharias

Staff present:

Darrell Garceau - City Manager (CAO)
Geoff Goodall - GM of Planning and Operations
Rena Schill - Corp. Services Records Mgmt Coordinator
Chris Hutton - Planning Technician
Grant Martin - Senior Bylaw Officer
Tom Chung - Mgr of IT
Ken MacInnis - Communications Coordinator

Meeting called to order at 6pm
Agenda approved and Minutes of the Dec 3rd WL Council meeting approved


1) Rossetta Paxton played a Christmas song for Council

2) Rosanna McGregor, Sharon Taylor and Jessica Knodel from the local Social Planning Council gave an update to Council on its' activities

3) Andre Chevigny, the GM of Pioneer Log Homes, appeared before Council to discuss the New Timber Kings TV Show which will appear on HGTV in Jan 2014


1) Council received for information the cheque run listing for the periods of December 5 and 12, 2013

2) Council adopted a number of Committee of the Whole recommendations as follows:

a) the package of information from Johnson Street residents in regards to concerns over the Highway 97/Toop Rd/Carson Drive road project be received for the public record

b) Council endorse the proposal to align residential snow removal to the day preceding garbage collection
c) Council confirm that the Downtown Snow removal process remain status quo for the current winter season

During consideration of the COW recommendation 'd' below, Mayor Cook/Councillor Walters declared a perceived conflict of interest (employees of TRU) and left Council Chambers at 9:24pm and both returned at 9:45pm

d) Council support implementing the following changes in parking regulations on Western Avenue:

1) Installation of "No Parking" signs from Blair to Midnight for the entire area on the TRU side of Western Avenue.
2) "Resident Only" parking system for the six residences across from TRU (will be given tags to be left on their dash to allow only those vehicles to park in this area).

3) Allow unrestricted street parking from the corner of Comer Park extending towards Columneetza on the park side of the street (roughly 30 spots).

4) The end of this area as you approach Columneetza would be restricted to only 15 minute stopping to allow parents to pick up/drop off their children at Columneetza.

5) Columneetza School Bus pickup area we would extend the No Stopping area past Latin Street to in front of these first four residences on Western from Latin.
6) The remaining area in front of the residences on Western continuing to Blair would be made as "Residential Parking Only".

7) Blair Avenue on the lower end towards Western "No Parking" on both sides of the street.
8) Latin and Beauchamp "Residential Parking Only" zones.

e) Council support the recommendation to restrict parking on the east side of 11th Avenue between McKinnon Road and Pigeon Avenue.

Meeting recessed at 6:59 to conduct Public Hearing on Bylaw #2193 (327 Oliver St)
Meeting resumed at 7:01pm

3) Council requested Staff for a report to hire a independent traffic engineer to study both Options 1 and 2 & related issues (Highway 97/Toop Rd/Carson Dr road project) and report back at the Jan 14th, 2014 Council meeting which was agreed to by the following vote:

Affirmative - Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Rathor, Walters and Zacharias
Negative - Mayor Cook and Councillor Hughes

4) Council received for information a report from the Manager of Transportation and Buildings in regards to he liquid propane gas (LPG) fleet vehicle conversions, including an overview of the fuel cost savings and reduction in GHG emissions of operating on propane

5) After receiving two delegations - Council approved Development Variance Permit #7-2013 for 271 Foster Way by the following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Walters and Zacharias
Negative - Councillors Hughes and Rathor

6) Council referred to the Planning and Ops Committee a report from the Engineering Technologist in regards to the summary and results of the traffic data collection performed on Second and Third Avenues North and consider available options for traffic calming.

7) Council agreed to uphold the property owner's requirements to pay both outstanding Repeat Service Call fees issued to 1621 South Lakeside Drive.

8) Council received DVP #6-2013 & DP #7-2013 for a 50 unit hotel at 1740 and 1820 Broadway Avenue South. These applications will considered at a future meeting of Williams Lake City Council which was approved by the following vote:

Affimative - Mayor Cook & Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Rathor, Walters and Zacharias
Negative - Councillor Hughes (concerned about parking issues)

9) Council agreed to form a task force of community stakeholders in the cultural community, fine arts community, business sector, educational sector and local government to undertake a review and needs assessment of a Fine Arts Centre in Williams Lake.

10) Council adopted the following bylaws:

a) Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 2193 (327 Oliver St)
b) City of Williams Lake Regional Airport Fees Amendment Bylaw No. 2199, 2013
c) Williams Lake Animal Control and Licensing Amendment Bylaw No. 2200, 2013
d) Williams Lake Business License Amendment Bylaw No. 2201, 2013
e) City of Williams Lake Sign Amendment Bylaw No. 2202, 2013
f) Williams Lake Traffic Control Amendment Bylaw No. 2203, 2013
g) Business Improvement Area Bylaw Renewal - Bylaw No. 2198

11) Council received a letter from the Honours and Awards Secretariat of BC dated November 14, 2013 regarding the 2014 Call for Nominations for the Order of British Columbia. This information will be posted on the City's website

12) Council received a letter from the Hon. Shirley Bond in regards to he meeting with City representatives at the 2013 UBCM Convention and moving forward with the formation of a working group for the Rural BC Project with the three Beetle Action Coalitions

13) Council received a letter from the Museum of the Cariboo-Chilcotin in regards to the potential for an application in 2014 for Creative Space Funding for museums and art galleries through the Provincial government and referred it to the Community Services Committee.

14) Council received the Council Information Package as of Dec 17th as follows:

• December 2013 - NCLGA ConnectorNo. 123;
• December 2013 - Economic Development in BC Newsletter;
• December 2013 - Victim Services and Crime Prevention Information Bulletin;
• December 5, 2013 - Harrison Hot Springs re Core Review of ALC and ALR;
• December 6, 2013 - Thank You for High Collission Signage at Western Avenue & Johnson Street Intersection;
• December 6, 2013 - City of Prince Rupert re Importance of Ferry Service to Prince Rupert;
• December 9, 2013 - BC Ferries re Cancellation of Discovery Coast Passage Route in 2014;
• December 10, 2013 - Barkerville Heritage Trust re Announcement of New CEO Ed Coleman;
• December 10, 2013 - WL & District Chamber of Commerce News Release re Williams Lake, South Cariboo, Quesnel Chambers in Vancouver to Call for New Prosperity Project to be Approved;

• December 13, 2013 - CRD Board Highlights.

15) Council received a monthly report of Mayor Cook's activities

Councillor Rathor reported on his fundraising activities for the City's 85th Birthday celebrations

Resolved - At the appropriate time, Mayor Cook be authorized to send thank you letters to those who donated materials or funds for the City's 85th Birthday celebrations

Meeting adjourned at 9:58pm and after a brief recess, Council went into an In-Camera meeting in accordance with Section 90(1)(e - property) of the Community Charter

Contractor – Supplier Boot Camp

Via North Cariboo Community Futures:

How local businesses can access the major projects supply chain

There are over $50 billion in major projects and investment opportunities planned in northern B.C. over the next ten to fifteen years. Millions of dollars of goods and services are needed to support these projects. Local contractors and suppliers can take advantage of this economic boom. Are you ready?

You should attend if:

You are a business owner who is interested in learning about the many major industry projects - mining, hydro-electric, oil and gas, LNG terminals, construction and port development – planned and underway in your region and across northern BC. You want to know how your business can take advantage of these major projects and become part of the local supply chain of commercial goods and services. You want to find out who can help you get prepared and what it takes to get on the preferred local supplier lists of major companies.

Date: Wednesday, 15th January
Time: 5:30pm-8:00pm
Place: Legion Hall, Kinchant Street

Attendance is limited. To reserve your seat, please register by contacting Amy Reid at 250.992.3522 or email: areid@quesnelinfo.com

Sunday, December 15, 2013

1st Ever Strike in City of PG

Just like in the City of Williams Lake almost a year ago now -- residents in the City of Prince George watched as their unionized CUPE City Staff went on the picket line for the first time in that City's history.  Read more on the 1 day strike here and watch a video from CKPG on the 1 day strike below:

I am pleased to see that both sides are not, so far, launching, deeply personal criticisms at each other but expressing 'regret' that the 1 day strike will have on the general public

Contrast that to Williams Lake's 1st ever civic strike where Mayor Kerry Cook, at one point, went into a verbal tirade in which she suggested that local IUOE workers were going on a personal vendetta against City of WL Administration/Council.  I truly hope that the City of Prince George's civic labour dispute is able to be resolved without it turning into a 'war of words' that Williams Lake residents' saw here...

Here's hoping....


Saturday, December 14, 2013

2013 Cariboo RD Year End Address

As delivered by CRD Chair Al Richmond:

Editor's Note - I congratulate Al Richmond on his very fine work this year as Chair of the Cariboo Regional District in 2013.  I would note that he, along with other Cariboo RD Directors, was very welcoming as I assumed my new role as the Area D Alternate Director in February 2013.  I wish him well as he commences his sixth term as Chair/CEO of the Cariboo Regional District


“Members of the Board, Members of the Media, Ladies and Gentlemen
Today, I have the distinct pleasure of reviewing the Cariboo Regional District’s key accomplishments and successes for 2013. Looking back over the past year, our region can be proud of its achievements. The CRD experienced many successes in 2013.

The year started with three sub-regional budget consultation meetings taking place in 100 Mile House, Quesnel and Williams Lake. During these meetings we presented the proposed 2013 budget to our residents to seek feedback from them, before adopting the budget at the end of March.

In May of 2013, the CRD attended the North Central Local Government Association Conference which was held in Quesnel. Delegates and their partners were able to attend some great workshops, business sessions and of course some spectacular entertainment and social events. I would also like to take this opportunity to again thank the many volunteers from the North Cariboo who dedicated their time and efforts to put their best foot forward.

In mid-May, the Cariboo Regional District participated in a precedent-setting event which saw First Nations, local governments, School District 27 and 28 along and non-first nations communities from across the region unite to remember, recover and reconcile. From May 16-19, public events, workshops and seminars were held as part of the Commemoration project. National First Nations Assembly Chief Shawn Atleo and the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Federal Truth and Reconciliation Commission facilitated and participated in the sessions and spoke about reconciliation in Canada. On May 16 & 17, 2013, monuments at the St Joseph’s Mission Residential School site and in Williams Lake’s Boitanio Park were unveiled. These events were planned through an inclusive planning committee comprised of former students, First Nations, Tribal Councils, local government, School District 27, the RCMP and the Sxoxomic First Nations School. During a news conference to announce the monuments, the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) learned of a former student who had her own orange shirt taken from her by the school, only to see another child wearing it days later. The Cariboo Regional District has now declared September 30 annually as Orange Shirt Day. The municipalities within the region, along with School District 27 have also made this same declaration to aide in the healing and reconciliation process and to create a better future for generations to come.

In June, the CRD Board of Directors and staff travelled to Lac La Hache for the first of two, Board on the Road events for 2013. The traditional Board on the Road BBQ was put on in support of the Lac La Hache PAC to raise funds for the Elementary School trip to Drumheller, Alberta.

On September 12 and 13, we were on the road again with our second of two Board on the Road meetings for 2013 – this time Wildwood in Electoral Area D was our destination. The event began early in the day with a Community to Community Forum with the Xatśūll (Soda Creek First Nation) held at the Emporium. The session was followed by a tour of the Xatśūll Heritage village. The Board on the Road event continued with the traditional BBQ which was put on by members of the CRD’s Wildwood Volunteer Fire Department. The following day, the Board reconvened in the Wildwood Fire Hall for its regularly scheduled Board meeting.
From September 16 to 20, the Cariboo Regional District Board of Directors attended the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) convention and AGM which took place in Vancouver. Throughout the convention the CRD met with three provincial ministers and Network BC staff which is a part of the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services, spoke to CRD resolutions and received some prestigious awards.
During the resolutions sessions, the CRD learned it had earned the Honourable Mention Gold Star Award for its “Noxious Weeds & Range Lands” resolution. The resolution requested the Government of BC do everything possible to assist the ranching community in controlling noxious weeds including provincial requirements, assisting with costs associated with obtaining a pesticide applicator’s certificate and more.

Throughout the week, CRD Board members and staff met with three provincial ministers including Minister of Health, the Honourable Terry Lake; the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Honourable Todd Stone; and the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and the Minister Responsible for Labour, the Honourable Shirley Bond to discuss regional issues.

During the UBCM Community Excellence Awards Breakfast Reception, the CRD, Esk’etemc, the Cities of Quesnel and Williams Lake and the District’s of 100 Mile House and Wells were presented with the UBCM Excellence Award in Partnerships for their submission “The St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School Commemorative Project”. The same morning, CRD representatives attended a breakfast meeting with Geoscience BC to receive an update on the work they are doing throughout the province and more specifically within the Cariboo Chilcotin.

During the annual UBCM Banquet CRD Director and Vice-Chair Ted Armstrong was presented with a Special Long Service Award for his 35 years of public office. Director Armstrong was first elected to the CRD Board in 1978 as the Electoral Area A Director after serving as an Alternate Director in 1977. The guests at the banquet also witnessed CRD Director and Quesnel Mayor Mary Sjostrom presented with a lifetime membership to UBCM for her service to the organization.

In 2013, the CRD successfully applied to a number of different provincial and federal funding programs such as the Building Canada Fund, the Towns for Tomorrow program, Northern Development Initiative Trust, the Community Tourism Opportunities program and UBCM’s Fuel mitigation fund for a total of approximately $1 million. The CRD also received approximately $1.7 million from the Community Works Fund which focuses on green initiatives and energy efficiency projects.

So often we forget how far we have come, and the challenges and issues we have overcome, or resolved along the way. Part of the reason for this report is to remind you of our accomplishments, and to compliment you on your successes.

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

Building Communities Together

I would like to thank all the Board members and staff for your dedication and perseverance throughout 2013. Thank you

Friday, December 13, 2013

Final Local Gov't Mtgs of 2013

With the Cariboo Regional District Board & the Boards of Education for School Districts 27 and 28 on break until 2014 - the final meetings of Wells, Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile Councils will take place next week as follows:

Wells - Final Council Meeting of 2013 on Tuesday, Dec 17th at 7pm in Wells Council Chambers (4243 Sanders Avenue)

100 Mile House - Final Council Meeting of 2013 on Tuesday, Dec 17th at 7pm in 100 Mile Council Chambers (385 Birch Avenue).  Items on the Agenda include:

a) In-Camera Session - Sections 90(1) - k (negotiations/municipal service) of the Community Charter from 6:30pm - 7:00pm
b) Update from local Water Park Society
c) Consideration of 2014 Grants in Aide
d) Consideration of Resource Allocation Strategy
e) Adopt 2014 100 Mile Council Meeting Schedule

View full Agenda here

Quesnel - Final Council Meeting of 2013 on Monday, Dec 16th at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant Street).  Items on the Agenda include:

a) Presentation of 'Better at Home' Seniors Program from Brenda Gardiner, Project Coordinator
b) Reports from previous QCEDC, Cariboo RD Board and Tourism/Civic Pride Committee meetings
c) Recommendation to give 1st/2nd reading to BIA Bylaws
d) Secondary Suites Public Consultation Summary Report
e) Authorization to do an emergency purchase - Sewer Backup Generator for Lewis Dr
f) Water/Sewer Survey Reports
g) Request for two RCMP officers on temporary basis
h) Councillor Ed Coleman appointed as CEO of the Barkerville Heritage Trust.  I'd like to add my personal congrats to him for this appointment.  I have no doubt he will do an excellent job

View the full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Final Council Meeting of 2013 on Tuesday, Dec 17th at 6pm in Williams Lake Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  Items on the Agenda include:

a) 4 Delegations - Christmas Music Playing Session, 2015 Canada Winter Games Update, Update from Social Planning Council and new 'Timber Kings' TV Show update from Andre Chevigny

b) Receive info from Johnson St residents re: Concerns for Highway 97/Toop Rd/Carson Dr project
c) Staff recommend Option 2 (Highway 97 project connects to Johnson Street) for Highway 97/Toop Rd/Carson Dr project.  Watch for a full Council Chambers for this item on the Agenda.  Also - how much of a 'political hit' will Councillors/Mayor Cook take if they proceed with this recommendation vs going with request of Johnson St residents for independent traffic analysis.  Watch for Councillor Rathor to push for this but will he have support from his Council colleagues?

d) Initial consideration of DVP/DP for 50 unit hotel between Laughing Loon and Best Western Hotel

e) Strike Task Force to consider new Fine Arts Facility in Williams Lake.  Given the precarious state of Glendale Elementary and current Studio Theatre - this is a good move by WL City Manager Darrell Garceau and I hope that both WL Council supports it and asks for endorsement by the local Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee

f) 7 Bylaws to be adopted
g) Adopt 4 Committee of the Whole Recommendations

h) Council to receive bi-weekly update from Mayor Cook

Read full Agenda here.  There is also a Public Hearing on Dec 17th at 7pm for Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2193 (327 Oliver St).  A public hearing on this was completed on Nov 19th however Staff advised a public hearing for this bylaw had to be re-done as the required public hearing advertising (2 ads in 2 consecutive newspaper editions) for Bylaw #2193 was not properly done.  I expect no opposition to the bylaw and Council will be in a position to re-adopt this bylaw.  See the public hearing agenda here

For those in Electoral Area D of the Cariboo RD - there is also an Advisory Planning Commission (APC) meeting on Wednesday, Dec 18th at 6pm at the McLeese Lake Community Hall (6178 Forglen Rd)

This APC makes recommendations to the Area D Director (Deb Bischoff) and the Cariboo RD Board on land use matters.

Items on the Agenda include:

a) ALR Exclusion application for 1561 Kitsul Rd
b) Temporary Permit application for Robertson Rd (up from McLeese Lake General Store)
c) Rezoning Application for Pinnell Rd
d) Rezoning Application to permit Medicinal Marihuana

As a member of the APC and the Area D Alternate Director - if you have time, come to the meeting.  While you won't be able to speak at the meeting, you can observe the meeting proceedings

Meanwhile, in other local government news today:

a) Xeni Gwet'in First Nations protests in front of Taseko Mines offices in Vancouver - read herehere and here

b) City of Williams Lake loses wrongful dismissal case before the Labour Relations Board involving former senior payroll clerk Susan Ronalds - read more here.  City of WL/Ms. Ronalds are currently in negotiations so we all wait and see what the outcome of that is which ranges from return to work at an agreeable time/date to an outright buyout…


Cariboo RD Board Highlights - Dec 13th mtg

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Provisional Budgets Headed to Public Input Process

The Cariboo Regional Hospital District (CRHD), the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District (CCRHD) and the Cariboo Regional District’s (CRD) 2014 provisional Budgets and Business Plans were endorsed by the Board. The provisional budget will then be presented to CRD residents in 2014 through three sub-regional consultation meetings taking place in the North Cariboo (Quesnel Council Chambers) on Tuesday, February 25; the South Cariboo (100 Mile House in Council Chambers) on February 27; and the central Cariboo (Williams Lake CRD Board Room) on March 1.

The CRD’s traditional Town Hall Meetings for 2013 were held at the beginning of the budgeting process in September and October in each of the electoral areas and municipalities. The budgets are currently listed on the CRD website on the December 13 agendas at cariboord.bc.ca.

CRD Chair and Vice-Chair Elected

The CRD’s Area G Director Al Richmond, and Area A Director Ted Armstrong were re-elected during today’s meeting as Chair and Vice-Chair respectively. This marks the sixth consecutive terms as Chair and Vice-Chair for Richmond and Armstrong.

Interior Health Update

Catherine Whitman, from Interior Health (IH) appeared before the Board to provide an update on health issues in the Cariboo Chilcotin administrative area. The presentation focused on chronic disease management, changing demographics in the region, as well as the complexity of health care for seniors. One of the key elements of the IH strategy is moving from reactive to proactive types of care to help reduce the costs for medical facilities and provide a better quality of life for residents of the Cariboo Chilcotin. Whitman also spoke about new initiatives including “Breathwell”, “Home First” and integrating mental health and substance use with primary health care in the region. Further information about chronic disease management or the new initiatives is online at interiorhealth.ca.              

 Ground Water Chlorination

Roger Parsonage, Regional Director - Health Protection, from Interior Health, presented information to the Regional District Board regarding chlorination of ground water drinking water systems. The presentation provided a picture of the drinking water systems within the region. Some of the issues included the number of water systems currently on Boil Water Notices and how these challenges are being addressed, secondary disinfection, and the role of IH in emergency response issues related to environmental matters.

Economic Development Funds Authorized

A total of $1,500 will be shared equally between Electoral Area D and F Economic Development services. These funds will be used to help support the Cariboo Growers Association for funding assistance to a guest speaker during their Annual General Meeting in January. The Association has invited Mr. Marty Frost as their facilitator for the planning session workshop during their AGM. More information about the Cariboo Grower’s Cooperative is available online at cariboogrowers.ca.

Restoration of Phone Service after outages

The Cariboo Regional District will be sending a letter to Telus and the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Company (CRTC), requesting that rural customers who reside in an area with no cell phone service get priority restoration of their land line phone services in the event of outages.

Happy Holidays

The Board of Directors and staff of the Cariboo Regional District wish residents of the Cariboo Chilcotin a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The CRD offices will be closed from December 25 through to January 1, 2014. CRD offices will re-open on January 2, 2014.

Next Meeting

CRD Board Meeting – Jan. 17, 2014

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Pacific Coastal 10 years of service to City of WL

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook today congratulates Pacific Coastal Airlines (PCA) as it celebrates 10 years serving the city with flights from Williams Lake Regional Airport to the South Terminal in Vancouver.

Pacific Coast Airlines Sales & Marketing Director Kevin Boothroyd was in Williams Lake today to celebrate the anniversary with a media event and a celebration.

“I want to congratulate Pacific Coastal Airlines on its 10 years of service at the Williams Lake Regional Airport,” says Mayor Kerry Cook. “Regular air service to an international hub such as Vancouver and the links to other British Columbia communities served by Pacific Coastal enhance our City’s tourism and commerce opportunities.

“Daily air access to Vancouver is an important retention and attraction factor for local residents, business, and industry as well. We sincerely appreciate Pacific Coastal Airlines' commitment to Williams Lake over the past decade. It is business investments like this in our community that are key to our sustainability and growth.”

Since beginning service to the airport on Dec. 8, 2003, nearly 200,000 passengers have flown on PCA.

New Autism Centre for the Cariboo-Chlcotin

From Welcome to Williams Lake's Facebook page:

TRU students to build an autism centre in the Cariboo in 2014

Thompson Rivers University has pooled resources with the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre, SD 27 and the Williams Lake Construction Association (WLCA) to build the Cariboo Autism Centre in Williams Lake. The centre will be built by TRU Residential Construction students. 

“We are happy to include the CDC in our partnership group for the RCP program. The WLDA , SD #27, and TRU are excited to be able to offer this hands-on experience for future carpenters. Partnering is the key to being successful in all of our endeavours,” says Dr. Ray Sanders, Executive Director of TRU Williams Lake Campus.

The next intake of TRU Residential Construction students will build the autism centre from the ground up. The centre will serve as the large project portion of the course and provide students with some of the best experience possible before entering into the carpentry trade. The RCP program is one of the most hands-on programs offered at TRU. Students spend 70% of their time working on construction projects.

“We had the right community leaders at the table to think creatively about leveraging a $96,000 grant from the John Gordon Autism Foundation to expand the CDC facilities to include an autism centre". School District #27, TRU, Williams Lake Construction Association and the CDC will work together to make this happen in 2014," explains Nancy Gale of the Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre Association.

The program is set to begin in February 2014. The University says there are still seats available, but they will fill up quickly. If you are interested in registering for the program and being a part of this project opportunity, contact the TRU Admissions and Registration Office: (250) 392-8020 or visit the website: tru.ca/williamslake.

Editor's Note -- This is great news and looking forward to seeing the final product.  For the record, the facility will be located at the existing Cariboo-Chilcotin Child Development Centre site (690 2nd Avenue North)

Lobbying Efforts a discredit to FN Issues/Environment

Courtesy of the Tsilhqot’in National Government

The Tsilhqot’in National Government responded today to reports that B.C. Mines Minister Bill Bennett was joining a Taseko Mines Ltd. lobbying trip to Ottawa for the controversial New Prosperity mine, continuing his promotion for this mine proposal despite a second, more scathing independent panel report. This follows recent reports that show mining companies are at the top of lobbying meetings with Harper and his Ministers.

“It is a disgrace for the province to have Minister Bennett cheerleading a project despite two independent panels that have left no doubt that it is an environmental disaster and a direct threat to our culture and our communities,” said Chief Joe Alphonse, Tribal Chair for the Tsilhqot’in National Government. “This same willful ignorance of the Tsilhqot’in and the environment led the province to rubber-stamp the original proposal in 2010, only to discredit the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office when even the pro-mining federal government had no choice but to reject this bad project. So it is nothing new for us. We now expect these four Ministers to agree to hear from us as well about the legal situation and their constitutional obligations to us as a First Nation.”

“We have a second independent panel saying this Project would severely infringe our proven Aboriginal rights to hunt and trap and that this impact cannot be mitigated” said Chief Roger William of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government & Cariboo RD Area J Director. “We hope the Ministers have our constitutional rights in mind, because this Project clearly violates our Aboriginal rights, as well as our human rights as Indigenous peoples. If the Federal Government approves this mine, it could be on the hook for millions to the company in compensation when the courts strike down those approvals.”

“It is totally premature that provincial cabinet Ministers are actively lobbying while their own B.C. Environmental Assessment Office is still reviewing the proposal,” said Chief Russell Myers Ross of the Yunesit’in Government. “It is unprofessional and makes it clear that B.C. does not care about good process from which to make decisions. If the BC EAO is to maintain any shred of credibility then it had better question the conduct of these politicians.”

Chief William: “Minister Bennett has clearly not read the panel report, or he doesn’t understand it, because the panel concluded that the impacts on Teztan Biny (Fish Lake) and on our people cannot be mitigated. Bennett’s suggestion that the company needs only adopt the panel’s recommendations is misleading and shameful. This project cannot be saved and for the federal government to ignore its own experts now would be a huge mistake that would discredit their own claims of respecting the science.”

Chief Alphonse: “It’s disappointing that the provincial government is not more concerned with relationships with First Nations, who hold the keys to an estimated $650 billion in development projects in western Canada. This is a bad project and there’s no way it can be approved. We’d rather work with the Province on acceptable proposals elsewhere, so this is all a waste of time and energy. We’re hearing a lot these days from the Federal Government about ‘responsible resource development’ – well, here’s where the rubber hits the road. We’ll see if this has any meaning for the Federal Government or if they want to take the road of all out conflict with First Nations, like British Columbia seems intent on.”

The recent report on federal lobbying by the mining industry can be found at http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/12/09/canadian-federal-lobbying_n_4400614.html?ref=topbar

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Committee of the Whole Mtg (WL Council) - Dec 10th

Present - A/Mayor S. Zacharias (Meeting Chair), Mayor Kerry Cook (entered meeting at 6:29pm), Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Hughes and Rathor

Staff present:

Darrell Garceau - City Manager (CAO)
Geoff Goodall - GM of Planning & Operations
Grant Martin - Senior Bylaw Officer
Wendy Dahlman - Corp Services Clerk

Meeting called to order at 6pm by the Chair
Meeting Agenda approved (remove item re: CAO-WL Council relationship discussion) and Minutes of Nov 26th COWC meeting were also approved


1) S. Smith, G. Stevenson and J. Moon appeared before the Committee to discuss their concerns in regards to Min of Transportation's Highway 97/Toop Rd project.  Concerns expressed include need for City to do independent traffic analysis, inability of City to formally respond to residents' letters/petitions and deal with left hand turn problem from Highway 97 onto Carson Drive

A Question and Answer period ensued
The Chair thanked the delegation for their time/information

Resolved - Delegation be received and that information presented to the Committee tonight and previous information from delegation be presented to Council at its' Dec 17th 'for the public record'

2) Kathryn Steen from the Station House Gallery Society appeared before the Committee to discuss the future of the Station House Gallery

A Question and Answer period ensued
The Chair thanked the delegation for their time/information

Resolved - Delegation be received and that this matter be referred to the Community Services Committee for development of an Action Plan for the Station House Gallery Building and further the delegation be invited to appear before this Committee


1) Residential Snow Removal and Parking

The Senior Bylaw Officer reviewed this item with the Committee
Discussion ensued

Resolved - That the Committee recommend to Council:

The report of the Senior Bylaw Officer dated December 3rd, 2013 be received and that Council endorse the proposal to align residential snow removal to the day preceding garbage collection

2) Downtown Snow Removal and Parking

The Senior Bylaw Officer reviewed this item with the Committee
Discussion ensued

Resolved - That the Committee recommend to Council:

The report of the Senior Bylaw Officer dated Dec 2nd be received and that Council maintain the status quo for snow removal in the Downtown Core for this snow season (2013-14)

Both Mayor Cook and Councillor Walters declared a perceived conflict of interest on the next item as they both are employees of TRU and left the meeting at 7:27pm

3) TRU Parking Issues

The Senior Bylaw Officer reviewed this item with the Committee
Discussion ensued

Resolved - That the Committee recommend to Council:

The report of the Senior Bylaw Officer dated Dec 4th be received and Council support the following restrictions in regards to parking near the TRU Campus:

1. No Parking signs be installed from Blair to Midnight for the entire area on the TRU side of Western Avenue. This would address the current safety issues for vehicles pulling out of TRU onto Western as no vehicles would be parked on that side of the street allowing great visibility. 

2. For the six residences across from TRU allow a “Resident Only” parking system where residents are given tags to be left on their dash to allow only those vehicles to park in this area. 

3. Allow unrestricted street parking from the corner of Comer Park extending towards Columneetza on the park side of the street (this would allow some on-street parking, roughly 30 spots for students). 

4. The end of this area as you approach Columneetza would be restricted to only 15 minute stopping to allow parents to pick up/drop off their children at Columneetza. This area would extend to opposite the 4th residence in from Latin Street. 

5. To ensure school buses the room to turn into the Columneetza School Bus pickup area we would extend the No Stopping area past Latin Street to in front of these first four residences on Western from Latin. 

6. The remaining area in front of the residences on Western continuing to Blair would be made as “Residential Parking” Only. 

7. Blair Avenue on the lower end towards Western would be made No Parking on both sides of the street (one side is already No Parking). This street is very narrow and with vehicles parked on either side school buses can barely get by. 

8. Latin and Beauchamp would be made as “Residential Parking Only” zones.

Councillor Rathor attempted to move a motion to ask the provincial Minister of Advanced Education to review this matter (imposition of parking fees on TRU property without formal consultation with the City of Williams Lake) however it failed, due to the lack of a seconder

Mayor Cook and Councillor Walters returned to the meeting at 7:47pm

4) 11th Avenue Parking Concerns

The Senior Bylaw Officer reviewed this item with the Committee
Discussion ensued

Resolved - That the Committee recommend to Council:

The report of the Senior Bylaw Officer dated December 6th be received and Council impose 'no parking' on the east side of 11th Avenue from McKinnon Road to Pigeon Avenue

After a brief recess, the Committee of the Whole then adjourned to a closed meeting of Williams Lake City Council at 8:02pm

Continued Push for 'New Prosperity'

From Kelowna Chamber of Commerce:

Today, provincial business and community leaders came together to encourage the Government of Canada to approve the New Prosperity project and to raise awareness of how mining drives B.C.’s social and economic well-being.

The federal minister of environment and the federal cabinet are expected to make a decision on whether to approve the New Prosperity project within the next few months. Today in downtown Vancouver, leaders from business and mining associations, political leaders, mining suppliers and other stakeholders gathered together in a show of support for the project.

We’ve come together to send a clear message to Ottawa: Our province needs this project,” said John Winter, president and CEO of the BC Chamber of Commerce. “It’s our collective view that the New Prosperity project must be evaluated with full consideration for both the great social and economic benefits it would create and for B.C.’s proven track record of building and operating mines in a safe and environmentally sound manner.”

The New Prosperity project is a proposed open-pit copper-gold mine near Williams Lake that would employ 700 people during construction and support 500 full-time direct jobs and 1280 indirect jobs for many years to come.

Winter said the project’s value is magnified by the economic need in the region.

“Communities in the Cariboo have been hard hit by the mountain pine beetle epidemic and are looking for ways to regroup and rebuild,” Winter said. “Our Williams Lake and South Cariboo Chambers have been working tirelessly, with the support of the Quesnel Chamber, to explain how much the region needs the jobs and opportunities that New Prosperity represents.”

Kerry Cook, mayor of Williams Lake, also spoke about the value of the project to the region.

“We view the New Prosperity project as an opportunity to provide new jobs, training opportunities and enhanced economic activity,” she said. “In addition, it is a project that affords our region – municipalities and First Nations communities alike – an opportunity to work together and address common challenges we face in terms of job growth, business and community development.”

Winter noted that New Prosperity is just one example of the critical role that mining plays in B.C.’s economy and in its communities.

We know first-hand how important mining is to our province and we need to continue to attract and support resource development and investment,” Winter said. “Mining sustains dozens of small towns across British Columbia, providing the well-paying jobs and investment that support recreation centres, libraries and other services that make these communities great places to live, work and raise a family.”

Mining provides approximately 30,000 well-paying, secure jobs throughout British Columbia with average salaries of over $100,000. Mining is one of the most important industries in the province and needs the support of every level of government.

British Columbia’s mining industry is respected around the world for its leading safety and environmental protection practices that take place on a daily basis at dozens of mines across the province.

“B.C. mines are world leaders in sustainable development and environmental stewardship,” said Karina Briño, president and CEO of the Mining Association of BC. “We take every precaution to assess risk and mitigate any potential effect on the environment and we are committed to responsible and sustainable development.”

Speakers and special guests at today’s event included:

Iain Black, President and CEO, Vancouver Board of Trade
Karina Briño, President and CEO, Mining Association of BC
Kerry Cook, Mayor of Williams Lake
Greg D’Avignon, President, Business Council of BC
Gavin Dirom, President and CEO, Association for Mineral Exploration BC
William Lacy, Vice-President, Quesnel Chamber of Commerce
Wayne Mills, President, Local 115, International Union of Operating Engineers
Patty Moore, Past Chair, Mining Suppliers Association of BC
Terry Mulligan, President, Mining Suppliers Association of BC
Jason Ryll, President, Williams Lake Chamber of Commerce
Keith Sashaw, President and CEO, Association of Consulting Engineering Companies of BC

The BC Chamber is the largest and most broadly-based business organization in the province. Representing more than 125 Chambers of Commerce and 36,000 businesses of every size, sector and region of the province, the BC Chamber of Commerce is “The Voice of Business in BC.”

- 30 -

For further details, please contact:

John Winter
President & CEO
BC Chamber of Commerce
T 604.638.8110
C 604.376.3577
E jwinter@bcchamber.org

Jenny MacPhee
Communications Officer
BC Chamber of Commerce
T 604.638.8114
C 604.366.4990
E jmacphee@bcchamber.org

Monday, December 9, 2013

$20,000 for local projects - NC Comm Futures

Via Cariboo RD Area B Director Heloise Dixon-Warren:

North Cariboo Community Futures has announced an additional $20,000 in funding to support local non-profits with community projects.

NC Community Futures’ Chair, Karen Borsato, is excited about the opportunity to provide grant funds in support of projects that will improve the quality of life in the North Cariboo region and help Community Futures meet its mandate of creating a sustainable and diversified economy. “There are many great ideas for community projects out there. We hope that our funding will leverage other resources and help to move some of them forward”.

Since 2010, Community Futures has provided over $100,000 in funding to the following projects: Cariboo Ski Touring Club for an Elementary School Ski Program; Island Mountain Arts for the Art is Your Business program; Alex Fraser Park Society for a Manure Composting Facility; Gold Rush Cycling for the Bicycle Skills Park; North Cariboo Agricultural Marketing Association for their Agricultural Awareness Program, Quesnel SkyFest Society for SkyFest 2012 and 2013; Baker Creek Enhancement Society for the West Side Community Garden; and the Quesnel Canoe Club for their Boathouse project.

An information session will be held at NC Community Futures Thursday, December 12 at 4:30 PM.  335 Vaughn Street

More information on the Community Economic Development (CED) Fund can be found on Community Futures web-site at www.cfquesnel.com or by calling Community Futures at 250-992-2322.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

SD 27 SOFI Report - 2012/13

On Tuesday - the Board of Education for School District 27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) will meet and one of the items that it'll receive is its' Statement of Financial Information or SOFI Report pursuant to Section 2(3) of the Financial Information Act which requires a "corporation" (School Boards/Local Governments) to file a SOFI Report with Victoria 6 months after its' fiscal year end.  The School District uses a July - June fiscal year unlike their local government counterparts that use a Jan-Dec calendar fiscal year.  This same requirement applies to the 5 Local Government (Wells, Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House and the Cariboo Regional District) and their SOFI Reports are due by June 30th, 2014 for their 2013 Fiscal Year

Meanwhile - the SOFI Report lists all those teachers/administrators in School District #27 as well as what Trustees made in the 2012-13 Fiscal Year.  One eye raising aspect in the report is Zone #2 Trustee (and new SD27 Board Chair) Tanya Guenther claimed $11,515.43 in expenses during the 2012-13 Fiscal Year.

Read below: (I have published the portion of the SOFI report for Trustees/Staff salary/expenses information)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Dec 9-13

School Districts 27/28, the City of Williams Lake, the District of 100 Mile House and the Cariboo Regional District are meeting next week as follows:

NC Joint Committee (Cariboo RD Directors for Areas A,B,C and I & Quesnel Council) - Regular Meeting on Tuesday, December 10th at 5:30pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St)  ON the Agenda:

a) Presentation from Cariboo RD Invasive Plant Coordinator re: Funding Increase Request for Invasive Plant Mgmt Function

b) Letter from 12 year old Alyssa Brown re: Twin Ice Arenas concerns

c) Future of North Cariboo Recreation
d) MMBC Update from Quesnel CAO B. Johnson

Full Agenda here

SD #28 (Quesnel) - Regular Board of Education meeting on Wed Dec 11th at 7pm in the SD28 Boardroom (401 North Star Rd - Quesnel).  View the Agenda here

SD #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) - Regular Board of Education meeting on Tues Dec 10th at 6:30pm in the SD27 Boardroom (350 North 2nd Ave, Williams Lake).  View the Agenda here

Williams Lake - Committee of the Whole meeting on Tues Dec 10th at 6:00pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (Basement - 450 Mart St, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

a) Delegations (2) - Johnson St residents re: Toop Road/Highway 97 Intersection & Station House Gallery re: Future of Station House Gallery Building

b) Senior Bylaw Officer G. Martin to report to Council on:

i) Snow Removal/Parking - Residential/Downtown area
ii) Parking issues near TRU on Western Ave and 11th Avenue

c) Ongoing 'conversation' between WL Council/City Manager G. Garceau re: Council/CAO Relationship

Full Agenda here

100 Mile House - Regular Council Meeting on Tues Dec 10th at 7pm in 100 Mile Council Chambers (385 Birch Ave).  View Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District - Both CCRHD/Cariboo RD Board to meet on Friday, Dec 13th in the CRD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Ave, Williams Lake)

On CCRHD Agenda:

a) Interior Health to present update to Board
b) 2014 CCRHD Provisional Business/Financial Plans - For approval

Full Agenda here

On Cariboo RD Board Agenda:

a) Interior Health to give an update on chlorination of ground water/drinking water systems

b) Various Planning Items

c) Director Sorley request funds from Area F Special Projects Fund to assist the Cariboo Growers Cooperative for their planning session workshop during its Annual General Meeting in January of 2014

d) Director Sorley asks for Board support for to send a letter to Telus/CRTC re: calling for priority treatment to rural residents living outside of cell phone coverage for restoration of their phone services in the event of outages.

Editor's Note - I have to agree with Director Sorley here, if your telephone goes down for days and you don't reside in an area with cell phone service, you should get priority over other areas "with" cell phone service...

e) Ratification of Recommendations from Nov 29th Cariboo RD Finance/Budget Committee meeting

f) Request of Area 'B' Director Heloise Dixon-Warren to reconsider 5 Grant in Aide applications from Electoral Area B.  These applications were just "received" at the Nov 29th Cariboo RD Finance/Budget Meeting

Full Agenda here