Friday, May 31, 2013

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of June 3 - 7

A number of local governments in the Cariboo-Chilcotin are meeting this upcoming week as follows:

Wells - Regular Meeting on Tuesday, June 4th at 7:00pm in Wells Council Chambers (4243 Sanders Avenue)

Quesnel - Committee of the Whole Meeting on Monday, June 3rd at 7:00pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  Only item on the Agenda is presentations in regards to Northern Gateway which also includes a presentation from former Prince George Mayor Colin Kinsley.  View the full Agenda here.  The Province announced earlier today that it will not support Northern Gateway, in its' current form.  With a protest slated to occur Monday prior to this meeting, I imagine that Quesnel residents' will be pleased with the Province's stance on the Northern Gateway pipeline

Williams Lake - Regular Meeting on Tuesday, June 4th at 6:00pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  Items on the Agenda include receipt of the 2012 SOFI Report (Statement of Financial Information - will review this item in detail Saturday), Northern Development Facade investment program, request to support Walt Cobb to Barkerville Heritage Trust Board for additional 3 years and the WL Seniors Village writes to Council re: Accessibility concerns for Rink 1 at CMRC.  View the full Agenda here  There is also a Public Hearing on Bylaw #2184 (Daycare at 279 3rd Avenue North) at 7:00pm the same night

Don't forget the following night (Wed. June 5th at 6:00pm) at WL Council Chambers in regards to Place Branding.  Show up and express your opinion on it!

Cariboo Regional District - Multiple meetings as follows (Meetings to occur at Lac La Hache Community Hall - 3997 Highway 97 South):

Committee of the Whole - Thursday, June 6th at 11:00am.  Items on Agenda include Volunteer Appreciation Program, CAO Evaluation Policy, New Cariboo RD Building Bylaw, 'Open Meetings' Best Practice, and Town Hall Meeting Format.  View full Agenda here

Community BBQ to follow this meeting

CC Regional Hospital District - Friday, June 7th at 9:30am.  Items on Agenda include CMH Concept Plan Bylaw, and a letter from Interior Health re: Health Connections Bus/capital funding program.  View full Agenda here

Cariboo RD Board - Friday, June 7th at 9:45am - Items on Agenda include two delegations (CCBAC for support of Rural BC project and Rodger Stewart on update of mid-term timber supply, update to Rural Zoning Bylaws to include things like keeping of hens and bees on property, approval for Alex Fraser Park for lighting upgrades, Area 'D' Director Bischoff seeks permission for funds to attend EcDev conference in Vancouver at end of June, approval for South Cariboo SAR Function, approval to go to referendum in fall for changes to South Cariboo Recreation Function.  View the full Agenda here

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Gateway residents' get new water system

Courtesy of the Rush/Wolf:

Residents of Gateway, a south Cariboo community will have a new water system come the Fall of 2014.

The Cariboo Regional District announced the development recently and it will cost a total of $750,000. Area H Director Margo Wagner says one-third of that the 25 homeowners will pay and amortized over 30 years.

Where will the other two-thirds come from? Wagner explains, "The province had kicked in the $125,000 so the CRD took another $125,000 out of the gas tax fund they received from the provincial government for infrastructure projects and added it to the $250,000 they'd already approved to bring the total up to $750,000."

Wagner says residents who decide not to hook on to the new system right away will not get a discount.

"Anybody who signs on to the water system in two or three years time will end up paying exactly the same as the people did initially. It's retroactive."

The current system is being replaced mostly because it is over 50 years old and doesn't live up to current health standards. Also a factor is that the owner of the land which the current system is on wants to sell. Wagner says he is co-operating with the CRD to not sell until the new system is in place so residents aren't strapped for over a year before project completion.

Babcon Industries supports NC Multicentre

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Babcon Industries Ltd. is building business and community together! The Quesnel based company joined other local businesses in supporting the North Cariboo Multi-Centre with a contribution earlier this month.

“At Babcon, we believe that investing in our community is investing in our business. We are pleased to contribute to this project and along with our staff, look forward to opening day of the Multi-Centre,” said Brian and Judy Bartels, owners.

Bernice Heinzelman, Chair of the Multi-Centre Fundraising Committee says, “Thank you to all of our corporate sponsors for their generous support of our Multi-Centre. It is wonderful to see local companies coming forward to aid in the fundraising efforts. Our community needs the Multi-Centre!”

The North Cariboo Multi-Centre will be a modern facility designed to replace the 62-year-old arena and aging theatre infrastructure. It will feature a 1,600 seat NHL-sized arena, a 450-seat performing arts theatre and accompanying event and assembly area.

For more information about the North Cariboo Multi-Centre project or how you can participate in the fundraising efforts, visit

Inland Kenworth (Quesnel) supports NC Multicentre

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

When Inland Kenworth Parker Pacific was approached to make a donation to the Multi-Centre, they invited their clientele and employees to join in. The local branch proposed a matching program to their corporate office, with the goal of buying a seat section by matching customer contributions up to $10,000 and employee contributions up to $2,500. Expectations were surpassed with a total donation of $27,500, coming from CD Lee Trucking, Zapper Contracting, Nick Richter Trucking, Inwood Trucking, Active Rent-All, Quesnel Sand & Gravel, Unimac Carriers and Inland Kenworth Parker Pacific employees and matched by the head office.

Brent Allen, Parts Manager at Inland Kenworth Parker Pacific in Quesnel says, “It was the generosity of our customers and employees that made this possible. Our contribution reflects our commitment to this community.” He added, “We applaud all individuals and businesses that have made contributions to the Multi-Centre project.”

“On behalf of the fundraising committee, I want to thank Inland Kenworth Parker Pacific for working with their business friends to support the Multi-Centre. It is that kind of community spirit that will help us get to opening day,” expressed Bernice Heinzelman, Chair of the North Cariboo Multi-Centre Fundraising Committee.

Inland Kenworth Parker Pacific and friends will be sponsoring a seat section in the arena as well as 10 seats in the theatre with their contribution.

The North Cariboo Multi-Centre will be a modern facility designed to replace the 62-year-old arena and aging theatre infrastructure. It will feature a 1,600 seat NHL-sized arena, a 450-seat performing arts theatre and accompanying event and assembly area.

For more information about the North Cariboo Multi-Centre project or how you can participate in the fundraising efforts, visit

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

1st Local Gov't Audits announced

Editor's Note - It will be interesting to see what the AG for Local Government reports on the City of Williams Lake under the audit topic of "Local government performance in managing policing agreements and police budget oversight"

Courtesy of

The Regional District of Fraser Fort George is one of the local governments selected to be part of the first three performance audits by the Auditor General for Local Government.

The planned audit topic for the Regional District of Fraser Fort George is “Achieving value for money in operational procurement”.

Other local governments to be included in this audit are the City of Vernon, Corporation of Delta, City of Revelstoke, Comox Valley Regional Distric and the District of West Vancouver.

The other two topics and the governments that will be audited under those topics are:

Local government performance in managing policing agreements and police budget oversight (Williams Lake, Port Alberni, Surrey, Merritt, Victoria and New Westminster)

Learnings from Local Government Capital Procurement Projects and Asset Management Programs (Cranbrook, Rossland, Sechelt, North Vancouver, Dawson Creek and Campbell River)

The work on these audits is expected to start almost immediately with results to be reported on by the end of March next year.

Two other audit topics have been selected, “Local Governments role in Ensuring Clean Drinking Water” and “Managing the Inherent Risks of Limited Human resources within Small Local Governments” but the local governments that will be examined under those topics have yet to be named. Work on the these two topics will start later this year, and is expected to be completed in August of 2014.

Upcoming Grant Writing Workshops in Cariboo RD

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Quesnel in Top 3 for Affordable Home Ownership

Editor's Note - congrats to the City of Quesnel for the distinction for having the 3rd best place to own a home.  Only Kitimat & Mackenzie placed higher. 

Courtesy of

The latest housing affordability  survey shows, once again, that northern communities continue to be affordable places to buy single detached family homes. 
Based on a purchase with a 5 year fixed mortgage with a 25% down payment, the BC Northern Real Estate Board reports it would take abut 31.6% of a median family income to have a home in Northern B.C.. That  compares to 66.4% of the same family’s income in the rest of the province, and 82.2% in Vancouver.
The most affordable community right now is Kitimat where it would take about 17.9% of family income to buy a home. Prince George home ownership would require about 31.6% of a family’s income, placing it in the middle of the pack. 
Here is how the northern communities  stack up:
Average home Price 2012 (approx)
% of household Income
Prince Rupert
Prince George
Williams Lake
Fort St. John
100 Mile House

Prov Election Results Confirmed - Cariboo-Chilcotin

Yesterday - Elections BC confirmed final election results for Cariboo-North/Cariboo-Chilcotin as follows:


Coralee Oakes (BCL) - 5,867 votes or 41.41% of all valid votes cast
Bob Simpson (IND) - 5,264 votes or 37.16% of all valid votes cast
Duncan Barnett (NDP) - 3,036 votes or 21.43% of all valid votes cast


Donna Barnett (BCL) - 7,679 votes or 56.18% of all valid votes cast
Charlie Wyse (NDP) - 4,740 votes or 34.68% of all valid votes cast
Dustin Price (BC Greens) - 747 votes or 5.46% of all valid votes cast
Gary Young (IND) - 503 votes or 3.68% of all valid votes cast

In Prince George, Shirley Bond's win on May 14th is now confirmed with 11,291 votes over her NDP competitor, Sherry Ogasawara while Mike Morris waits for official Elections BC confirmation of his win in PG-Mackenzie. His lead over his NDP competitor Bobby Deepak currently stands at 3,964 votes

Meanwhile in Kamloops - Terry Lake's re-election win is now confirmed for Kamloops-North Thompson while Lake's counter-part Todd Stone in Kamloops-South Thompson waits for Election BC confirmation. Stone's lead over the NDP's Tom Friedman stands at 5,801 votes

Finally - Elections BC has applied for a judicial recount in the BC Supreme Court for the Coquitlam-Maillardville election as the difference between the BC Liberal and BC NDP candidates stands at 35

Judicial recounts are ordered when the difference between the top two candidates is less than 0.2 per cent of the total ballots cast in an electoral district. In this case, 35 votes separate the top two candidates in Coquitlam-Maillardville with total votes cast being 19,583

Quesnel News - May 29th edition

1) North Cariboo seniors' raise alarm bell over Seniors Services in Quesnel - read here

Editor's Note - interesting to see this.  On Senior Services - you hear more of this in Central/South Cariboo with Interior Health.  

2) Quesnel Councillor Sushil Thapar protests Microbrewery in Quesnel - read here

Editor's Note - I don't share Councillor Thapar's logic here.  As Quesnel Staff note - the Microbrewery would use the same or less water than an restaurant.  If you are going to look at the issue seriously on the basis on volume of water used then the most fairest test is water metering and a rate structure based on water volume consumed.  If water metering is off the table in Quesnel, then a fair water rate comparison based on sectoral water use is the only fair thing to do

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

COW Mtg (WL Council) - May 28th

Present - Mayor Cook (Chair) and Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Hughes, Rathor, Walters and Zacharias


Pat Higgins - Director of Finance
Cindy Bouchard - Manager of Legislative Services
Ashley Williston - Manager of Human Resources
Chris Hutton - Planning Technician

Meeting called to order at 6:11pm

Minutes of the May 14th COW Meeting adopted and Agenda approved


1) Report of the Planning Technician re: temporary closure of 1st Avenue between Oliver and Yorston Streets for the Oliver St Farmers Market

The Committee discussed the report of the Planning Technician
The Committee heard from delegations:

a) Owner of Trattoria's Restaurant
b) Representatives of the Oliver Street Farmers Market
c) Judy O'Neill (Executive Director) and Sheila Mortensen (President) from the Williams Lake Central BIA

The Committee thanked the delegations for their input

Committee Action - That Staff be authorized to initiate a public consultation process on the possible temporary closure of 1st Avenue and other options as it relates to the Oliver St Farmers Market operating from Spirit Square and that a report return to Council for further consideration - Carried

Meeting adjourned at 6:47pm and Council resumed their In-Camera Meeting (Section 90(1)(j) of the Community Charter) from 5:00pm


Special WL Council Mtg - May 28th

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

Staff Present:

Pat Higgins - Director of Finance
Cindy Bouchard - Manager of Legislative Services
Ashley Williston - Manager of Human Resources
Chris Hutton - Planning Technician
Jeff Bernardy - Engineering Technician

Meeting called to order at 6:10pm

Agenda Adoped


1) Council received the UBCM Gas Tax / Innovations Fund funding agreement for the Stormwater Management Phase 5 Project and authorized Mayor Cook & the City's Corporate Officer to sign the agreement on behalf of the City

Meeting adjourned at 6:11pm

City of WL schedules public mtg on Place Branding - June 5th

Editor's Note - On June 5th, I will be looking for the City of Williams Lake to have a "general" discussion on Place Branding with members of the public being given ample opportunity to provide vocal constructive criticism and not a defence of their current Place Brand strategy.  Should the former than the latter occur, then I think it will be a good meeting otherwise it could lead to a more skeptical public on the current actions of WL City Council on the placebranding situation

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The public is invited to a public information meeting on the City of Williams Lake placebranding process on June 5 at 6 p.m. in Council Chambers. The meeting is to communicate the purpose of the place branding initiative and the process that has been followed to date. A Public Input Survey for the project will be presented and available for the public at the meeting.

Development of a formal placebrand will be one tool that can assist in promoting positive aspects of our city and be used in efforts to attract new residents, skilled workers and business investment. Results of the Public Input Surveys will assist in the completion of Williams Lake placebrand concepts for further consideration by the public and City Council.

Residents are also encouraged to check for updates and participate in the online branding survey at Surveys can also be picked up at City Hall Monday to Friday during regular business hours (8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.).

WQLS Program progress

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Over 70 Quesnel residents attended an Open House last Thursday night at Voyageur Elementary School to learn more about the West Quesnel Land Stability Program. City staff and engineering consultants were on hand to speak with residents in a one-on-one setting at 6 p.m., followed by a formal and detailed presentation at 7 p.m. Annual public meetings are held to update residents on the progress of the program.

Engineering studies have indicated that removing groundwater from the area will stabilize the land to a manageable level. The 2012 full-scale dewatering program was a $4.731 million project designed to do just that, help reduce land movement in the West Quesnel Land Stability study area.

A thorough review of the 2012 works was presented which included geotechnical, civil and environmental works. The geotechnical and civil works included 13 productive pumping wells, 13 monitoring wells, 10 horizontal drain sites consisting of approximately 64 drains, major storm drainage work on Hawk and Stork Avenues, and the installation of connection piping on all pumping wells and horizontal drains to carry the water from these wells off site. Environmental work consisted of monitoring the ponds in the area for water levels and quality, vegetation, amphibians, and birds.

The monitoring system takes into account surface movement, groundwater levels, flow data from the horizontal drains and pumping wells, and precipitation data.

Results provided in the 2012 Annual Monitoring Report released in April, 2013 indicate (1) movements historically have been between 6 and 87 mm/year; (2) higher ground movement rates in 2008 and 2009, lower rates in 2010 and 2011 and a return to the higher rates in 2012; (3) natural groundwater levels were constant in 2012 after a slight decline noted in 2010 and 2011; (4) the first effects of horizontal drains and pumping wells were noted (a decrease in the groundwater levels); and (5) annual precipitation below normal (since mid-2009) but wetter than normal in late 2011 and first half of 2012.

“The completion of this phase and the continuous monitoring of the area would not be possible without our federal and provincial partners and for their financial support and commitment to the project we are grateful. The West Quesnel Land Stability issue is and will continue to be a top priority of City Council,” said Quesnel Mayor Mary Sjostrom. “From a preliminary perspective, these first monitoring results are an indication that our previous trial programs were on the right track and we are optimistic about the eventual outcome. Thank you again to the residents and property owners in the study area who have supported and worked with us throughout the process.”

“I strongly support the efforts of City staff and engineers for their geotechnical and civil works and commend them for their environmental leadership throughout this process,” said Mike Cave, Councillor and Chair of the West Quesnel Land Stability Advisory Committee. “I too feel confident of the work we are doing and look forward to the next steps.”

Ongoing monitoring in the key areas will continue for the next 12 to 14 months and will include all new and existing installations as well as 134 automated instruments generating data by the minute and 47 quarterly GPS readings. Once the 2013 annual monitoring report is submitted, we will be better able to assess what effects the full-scale dewatering program has had.

Detailed information and reports on the West Quesnel Land Stability Program can be found on the City’s website,

More than $3.154 million was provided by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia, through the Building Canada Fund-Communities Component program, part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan for this project. The City of Quesnel also contributed more than $1.557 million to pay for the full-scale dewatering program. In addition to the generous federal and provincial contributions, the City of Quesnel has invested more than $2.1 million on the West Quesnel Land Stability Program since 2000.

The next steps will include interpreting the data, further design work, addressing any deficiencies, and lobbying senior levels of government for their continued financial partnership. Building restrictions can only be eased once we have demonstrated that land movement has been brought under control.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Kerry Cook defends Place Branding

Yesterday afternoon, the City of Williams Lake published, on YouTube, a series of 5 short YouTube clips defending the Place Branding concept which included Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook and 4 other local business owners.  View the 4 'business owners' videos here

Meanwhile - Mayor Cook says Place Branding must happen to draw the young families and professionals that Williams Lake needs here.  Watch her video below (runs 1 minute)

Two items I question:

1) Did advertising influence a decision to stay here 30 years ago??  I doubt the City, at that time, did the same level of marketing that you see by municipalities today.  Usually, the decision is based on need to settle near family or because one had a job waiting for them in their new City, Town, Village or Regional District

2) What happened to hearing from the public prior to taking a stand on Place Branding.  It appears that Mayor Cook has her mind made up and that of her supporting Councillors of Bourdon, Walters, Zacharias and Hughes

Meanwhile - Carole Taiji herself explains why Place Brands fail.  Read here.  Finally - a 'public information' meeting has been scheduled for June 5th at 6:00pm in WL Council Chambers on this subject.

This member of the public is still himself doubts whether place branding will be the 'grand success' that Mayor Cook and Councillors Geoff Bourdon, Sue Zacharias, Laurie Walters and Danica Hughes says it will be. That is right up there with spending $12 million to upgrade the local Recreation Complex and saying that expenditure will see a flood of people come to Williams Lake.  The pool... yes, it needs an upgrade.  The rest of the Complex... I think it can wait.... On the pool, let's use capital budget money (i.e.: tax money rather than borrowing money).  The rest of the Complex can wait until 2015 when Federal Heritage Minister James Moore says a new grant program will be available to municipalities to help build up local infrastructure.  View that letter here

--- SBF

Oliver St Farmers Market request 1st Avenue temp closure on Friday evenings

On Tuesday - WL Council, meeting as Committee of the Whole, will receive a report from its' Planning Technician proposing that the 1st Ave block between Oliver & Yorston Streets be temporarily closed from 4-9pm on Fridays.  Read his report to the Committee here

One aspect of the report that I'm disappointed in is the lack of comparison of foregoing (on a temporary basis) several parking stalls near Spirit Square in the same time period (4-9pm on Fridays) vs temporarily closing 1st Ave between Oliver and Yorston Streets during the same period

Meanwhile - I think that if the parking issues can be resolved, the evening farmers' market could be a wonderful thing for the downtown area....

-- SBF

Friday, May 24, 2013

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of May 27 - 31

Quesnel, Williams Lake and the North Cariboo Joint Committee (City of Quesnel/Cariboo RD) are meeting next week as follows:

Quesnel - Regular Meeting on Monday, May 27th at 7:00pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Flr - 410 Kinchant St).  Items to be considered include Long Service Award Presentation to Mr. Jack Forkin, adopt Recommendations from May 13th COW Meeting, presentation of NCLGA AGM Reports from all members of Quesnel Council except Councillor Sushil Thapar, a number of Planning or Land of Occupation items including two readings to Zoning Amendment Bylaw #1719, 2013 to permit a microbrewery in Quesnel.  View the full Agenda here

North Cariboo Joint Committee - Regular Meeting on Tuesday, May 28th at 5:30pm in Quesnel Council Chambers. Items on the Agenda include Sports Hall of Fame Awards Ceremony, Presentation from Quesnel Affordable Housing Action Committee, presentation from Quesnel RCMP, and a letter from Federal Culture Minister James Moore re: North Cariboo Multicentre.  View the Agenda here

School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) - Regular Meeting on Tuesday, May 28th at 6:30pm in the SD #27 Boardroom (350 2nd Avenue).  As of this writing - the Agenda is not presently available but when available (hopefully Monday), it'll be posted here

Williams Lake - Committee of the Whole Meeting on Tuesday, May 28th at 6:00pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom.  Only item on the Agenda is the possible closure of 1st Avenue on Fridays to accommodate the Oliver St. Market from 4-9pm on Fridays.  More on that tomorrow.  View the Agenda here

Should public fundraise for equipment for local police??

Last night - the following poster showed up in my Facebook feed:

As you can see - the intent of the above event on June 20th from 7-9pm at the TDC is to privately fundraise for an AED (or defibrillator) and other 'emergency equipment' for our police (presumedly they are referring to the local RCMP as the City doesn't have its' own municipal force)

Three thoughts that come to mind:

1) For a City service (RCMP) that receives over $3 million per year - surely we should be able to find the money in their budget for that item

2) Interesting that the public hasn't recently indentified the need for AED's or other emergency equipment that the police lack and they want funded through tax dollars (same argument I made recently with the public fundraising for a FLIR (Infrared Camera) for the local Search and Rescue service, again funded by local taxpayers in Cariboo RD Areas D, E, F, G and City of Williams Lake)

3) Should WL City Council consider a policy on this subject (fundraising privately for services and related equipment needs funded primarily by tax payers'? (In case of RCMP - local taxpayers pay 70% with Ottawa picking up the remainder of 30%)

-- SBF

Thursday, May 23, 2013

WQLS Meeting tonight...

Tonight - there will be an update meeting on the West Quesnel Land Stability or WQLS Program tonight.  Details below from the City of Quesnel:


May 23, 2013
Open House 6:00 p.m., Presentation 7:00 p.m.
Voyageur Elementary School gymnasium

Everyone is encouraged to attend. This matter affects all Quesnel taxpayers and area property owners. You will have the opportunity to speak with City staff and program consultants in a one-on-one setting at 6:00 p.m. or after the presentation.

To view the summary on the latest 2012 Monitoring Report, click here. For the full report, click here
Meanwhile - CBC British Columbia writes on this subject which you can read here

Hopefully, there will be a good turnout by affected Quesnel residents' this evening....

-- SBF

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Adrian Dix stays on as BC NDP Leader

As I personally suspected and in a press conference held today, Adrian Dix stated that he would stay on as Leader of the BC NDP

View the article from CBC British Columbia here while Mike Smyth of the Province writes on this subject here and former NDP MLA David Schreck writes on this topic here

Meanwhile - watch Mr. Dix address the topic below:

Dix has now called for an comprehensive review of the 2013 Election Campaign and "no stone will be left unturned".  In addition, there is the BC NDP Party Convention this fall which includes a Leadership Review.  Should Dix either step down then or be forced out - there begs the question of:

Who then next as BC NDP Leader?

A couple of obvious choices include Mike Farnworth of Port Coquitlam and John Horgan of Juan de Fuca.  Both Mr. Farnworth and Mr. Horgan are very effective communicators and hopefully Dix will make use of these two gentleman in the 40th Parliament of BC

The NDP have no real reason to rush into a Leadership Race as the next election (at this point) is on May 8th, 2017.  Sufficient time to review the entire 2013 election campaign (and no, you can't blame it 100% on Dix, in my opinion) and determine what steps need to be taken to ensure no repeat of the 2013 Election Campaign for the next election campaign.  In my opinion, the Leader of a political party doesn't solely make for a bad election campaign.  It is usually the result of mis-steps by many to make a election campaign go south.  Methinks that the NDP Party faithful will say that it was Dix's first election campaign but the question will be -- Should you change party leaders after an election loss, like Carole James in 2009 and hope that the change is sufficient to get an electoral win at the ballot box in 2017.  I don't think the answer is that simple when you talk about winning in a province that typically has "divisive politics".  As a BC Liberal - I will be interested to see how the NDP struggle internally with the issue and where they take it...  but let's be clear - simply hoping for a win because of a change of leadership will not, in my view, improve your chances at the ballot box.  A successful election campaign has many elements to it, aside from a very good political leader who is able to connect with not only their supporters but with the 'undecided' vote as well which was roughly 20% in this recent provincial election.  A successful election campaign also needs to put good policies forward and communicate them with the 'apolitical' public in a way that they understand

I should add the BC Conservatives' should be (if not will be) going through the same process themselves like the BC NDP.  Unlike the BC NDP however, it is likely that John Cummins will resign his post and call for a new Leadership Race which the conclusion of this race could result in a better performance for the Conservatives' in 2017

2nd Round of Place Brand Consultation "Off the Rails"?

Over this past long weekend - I received a complaint from a member of the public who informed me that they were blocked from providing input on the Place Brand website as they already provided input which included the infamous catch slogan 'Republic of Life' from last July.  You can visit that Place Brand website here.  A copy of the email was also forwarded to Councillor Rathor and Mayor Cook who has since forwarded of a copy of her email to the rest of Council, save Councillor Rathor

It should be noted that the questions asked on the Place Brand website from last July have since changed to include a head scratching question like "What 3 inspirational words would you use to describe living in Williams Lake?" Not sure what that has to do with getting people to move to Williams Lake?

Meanwhile - the City of Williams Lake announced yesterday, via Twitter, that a 'Public Information Meeting' has been scheduled as follows:

Date - Wednesday, May 29th
Time - 6:00pm
Location - Williams Lake Council Chambers

Steve's Observations:

1) If one had already given input previously on the Place Brand which included the tag line of 'Republic of Life' and this had been rejected by WL Council (tag line, not Place Brand), then from my perspective, the process to engage the public begins anew.  Even if you disagree with this, if we don't limit public input at a formal Public Hearing to 'once' only, then we shouldn't do so in this case.  More public input is better than less (providing that one member of the public is not 'totally dominating' the discussion which rarely if ever occurs in any event)

2) Scheduling a meeting at dinner time (6pm) , rather than 7pm or 7:30pm, does not serve the public interest in the case of the Place Brand file and may further alienate the public on this topic.  Further, there is a big difference between a 'public information meeting' vs a 'public consultation meeting' and the City has yet to clarify the structure of the May 29th meeting.  The difference essentially is between one way communication (public being informed with no chance for public to provide input) vs two way communication (presentation with opportunity for the public to ask questions).  Case in point - we saw the public get frustrated at the Apr 22nd Open House for the WL Community Forest issue over the process to engaging the public and the fact one side had their own version of 'public engagement' and the general public had another

3) Place Branding is nothing more than general marketing which I believe the community doesn't need at this time.  As the old saying goes 'Clean up your home before you attempt to sell it'.  Ex: let's make sure we have the services/infrastructure that people moving here want before we attempt to 'sell ourselves to the world'.  In fact, this point was driven home yesterday to me in receiving comments on Place Branding:

a) The Mayor, Council and Staff should start managing the City's tax dollars more effectively, they should enforce bylaws, they should encourage good citizenship, they should ensure that the facilities are up to standards and we have not only sports facilities but Arts venues that can support Theatre, music and dancing concerts. It is not the City's job to do the PR job to attract employees for the Mining companies or even the Health is the City's job to govern and manage the tax dollars wisely so there is money to pave the roads, and ensure that the quality of life is high for all its present citizens!

b) Until Mayor, Coucil and RCMP take crime in Williams Lake seriously we need to stop spending any money on this so called branding.
We have a brand. It needs to be tweeked, massaged and implemented. BUT
We cannot sell Williams Lake until we take care of the crime.

CC Joint Committee Mtgs resume

After a brief hiatus due to the previous dispute between the City of WL/Cariboo Regional District over rural fringe fire protection - the Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee will resume its' meetings starting this evening in the CRD Boardroom at 5:00pm.

Major items on the Agenda include:

1) Update on Sam Ketchum Pool Task Force Final Report (via teleconference)
2) Reconsider a Grant-in-Aide to WL Blue Fins Swim Club
3) Increase to Advertising Fees at CMRC
4) 2012 Stat Holiday Report at CMRC
5) Recommendations from 2012 Esler Rec Commission Spring Mtg

View the full Agenda here

In addition - the Central Cariboo CRD Directors of Electoral Areas D, E, F, J and K (D. Bischoff, B. Kemp, J. Sorley, R. William and C. Mernett) will be holding their own meeting earlier in the day.  Meeting to occur at 3pm in the CRD Committee Room at 180 North 3rd Avenue.  Read their Agenda here

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

WL Council Highlights - May 21st mtg

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

Absent: Councillors Sue Zacharias and Surinderpal Rathor


Geoff Goodall - Acting CAO
Rena Schill - Corp. Service Records Management Coordinator
Pat Higgins - Director of Finance
Chris Hutton - Planning Technician
Ken MacInnis - Communications Coordinator
Tom Chung - IT Manager

Meeting called to order at 6:00pm
Agenda approved and Minutes of WL Council meetings held on May 7th/14th were adopted


1) Eileen Campbell and Candace Morrison appeared before Council to discuss the upcoming ALS Walk - read more here


1) Council received the Account Payable Cheque Runs for the periods of May 9th and 16th

2) Council received the 2012 Audited Financial Statements Report for information and accepted the 2012 Audited Financial Statements

3) Council received for information an update on the Mayor's activities for the two week period ending May 20, 2013

Editor's Note - it seems to me that Mayor Cook giving an update on her public activities but not allowing the 6 City Councillors' the same opportunity violates the principle that all members of Council are supposed to be equal at the Council meeting table....

4) Council approved travel and registration costs, not to exceed $800, for Councillor Walters to attend the 'Women Transforming Cities Workshop' on May 30, 2013 in Vancouver

5) Council received an application for Development Permit #2-2013 and directed it be referred to the June 4th, 2013 Council meeting for formal consideration

6) Council awarded the Water System Model Development project contract to Associated Engineering Ltd. for a total cost of $109,141, excluding GST.

7) After a Public Hearing where no one spoke for/against this item, Council gave 3rd reading to Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2172, 2013 (David and Louise Campbell – 3020A Edwards Dr)

8) After a Public Hearing where no one spoke for/against this item, Council gave 3rd Reading/Adoption to Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2176, 2013 (MH King – Frizzi Rd)

9) Council adopted Bylaws #2171, 2179, 2180, 2181 (False Alarm, Graffiti, and Noise & Nuisance Amendment Bylaws)

10) Council adopted two Committee of the whole Recommendations as follows:

a) Due to the limited interest in Mobile Food Trucks at this time, Council agree to allow Mobile Food Vendors at the designated locations in the City as per the criteria and fees specified in the Pilot Project of 2012, excluding the location on Oliver Street below Herb Gardner Park; and further, Staff report back to Council in the fall with an update on how the project has progressed.

Councillor Danica Hughes was opposed

b) Council approve a Memorandum of Agreement between the City of Williams Lake and the Food Policy Council for the use of City lands for community gardens and the Mayor and Corporate Officer be authorized to sign the agreement.

11) Council received the FCM News issue for the week of April 29, 2013
12) Council approved the annual Grad Parade
13) Council received the letter from the Williams Lake Air Quality Roundtable dated May 10, 2013 together with the 'Williams Lake Airshed Management Plan Review (2013)' Report dated February 13, 2013 and referred it to the Planning and Operations Committee

14) Council proclaimed the period of June 1st – July 1st as "Stampede Season" in the City of Williams Lake

15) Council proclaimed the week of May 19 to 25, 2013 be proclaimed as "Local Government Awareness Week" in the City of Williams Lake

16) Council proclaimed June 1st as Access Awareness Day" in the City of Williams Lake

17) Council received the Council Information Package as of May 21st

Meeting recessed at 6:49pm to conduct Public Hearing on Bylaws #2172/2176
Meeting resumed at 7:04pm

Meeting adjourned at 7:08pm and Council then held an Closed (In-Camera) Meeting

Friday, May 17, 2013

Wells/WL Councils' meet May 21st

With the long weekend upon us - only the District of Wells and the City of Williams Lake Councils' are meeting next week as follows:

Wells - Regular Meeting on Tuesday, May 21st at 7:00pm in Wells Council Chambers (4243 Sanders Avenue)

Williams Lake - Regular Meeting on Tuesday, May 21st at 6:00pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  View the Agenda here.  Items on WL Council's agenda to consider include:

a) 2 Recommendations from Committtee of the Whole (Mobile Food Vendor & MOU for Community Gardens)

b) 5 Bylaws up for adoption

c) 2012 Audited Financial Statements

d) Request from Councillor Laurie Walters for up to $800 from her travel budget to attend the Women Transforming Cities conference on May 30th.

Editor's Note - based on the information that I've been able to research on this conference, if I was on Council - I would have opposed this on the grounds that the conference was being held the day before the FCM (Federation of Canadian Municipalities) conference which Mayor Kerry Cook is already authorized to attend.  In addition, I don't see, based on the information presented, where the information applies to a place like Wiliams Lake.  The conference is geared towards bigger centres like Prince George, Kamloops, Kelowna and Vancouver.  Read Councillor Walters' request here and conference details here

There is also a scheduled Public Hearing for Bylaw 2172 (David and Louise Campbell - 3020A Edwards Drive) and Bylaw 2176 (M.H. King - 4023, 4025, and 4029 Frizzi Rd, by Central Cariboo Transfer Station).  View the Agenda here

Please stay safe during the long weekend....


Boulevard Parking in Williams Lake

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

In order to ensure that vehicles are not illegally parked on City boulevards, the City will focus on enforcement of the 2011 Boulevard Parking Traffic Control Bylaw, which prohibits boulevard parking in residential zones without an approved boulevard parking spot approved by the City.

Vehicles parked on City boulevards can impede safe snow removal, obstruct clear sight lines for motorists and cyclists, and can be a factor in unsightly properties. Residents are reminded that vehicles parked illegally on the boulevard could be subjected to fines and/or towed.

To apply for an approved boulevard parking area, residents must submit a Request For Boulevard Parking form to the General Manager of Planning and Operations. The parking area must meet all criteria set out in the bylaw:

1. Parking spot must be delineated (must have a clear border)
2. Parking spot must be surfaced either by paving (preferred), crush, or with grindings (available from the City at a low cost)
3. Parking spot must be connected to driveway
4. Homeowner can request a “curb drop” however this cost will be borne by the homeowner
5. Plans for parking spots must be approved by the General Manager of Planning and Operations (GMPO) BEFORE construction takes place
6. Parking spot must be clearly marked in the winter months for easy identification by snow removal crews
7. All passenger vehicles parked within boulevard parking spots must be licensed and insured
8. No recreational vehicles, trailers, or storage of any kind
9. Vehicle must not exceed size of allotted area both in width and length
10. Deadline for markers: October 31 of any given year to correspond with beginning of snow removal season.

To request Boulevard Parking forms or more information, contact the City at 250-392-2311.

Cariboo RD Solid Waste Plan gets Victoria's assent

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

At its Board meeting of Friday, May 10, the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) endorsed its new 10-year Solid Waste Management Plan. Earlier this year, the province of British Columbia’s Ministry of Environment approved the plan with a few conditions.

“It’s exciting that the CRD’s new Solid Waste Management Plan, which was created in collaboration with our residents for our region, has received provincial assent,” stated CRD Chair Al Richmond. “I would like to extend our gratitude to the Advisory Committee and regional residents who participated in the development of this new plan, through committee meetings, open houses, surveys and emails. This is building communities together in its purest form.”

As a condition of the Ministry of Environment’s approval of the CRD’s Solid Waste Management Plan, a Plan Monitoring Advisory Committee will be formed to facilitate on-going public involvement during implementation of the Plan.

The Plan is designed to achieve improved environmental management of solid waste transfer and disposal sites, and encourage further diversion of materials from landfills. These actions will conserve resources, create job opportunities and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The approved Plan outlines how solid waste, including recyclables, will be handled in the Region for the next 10 years. Highlights include:

· recycling access for all CRD residents;

· improved operation of nine of the CRD’s refuse sites to improve diversion, achieve greater efficiencies and reduce environmental risks;

· organics diversion;

· improved wood waste management; and

· increased education, including easy access to waste management information.

Phase One of the implementation schedule will start in 2013 and end in 2015. This phase will focus on Transfer Station improvements and providing recycling access. Subsidized backyard composter sales are also a phase one initiative. The first composter event took place May 1, 2013, in 100 Mile House, Quesnel and Wells. Subsidized sales will return in the spring of 2014.

Phase Two spans 2016 to 2018 and will focus on the establishment of Eco Depots in Williams Lake, 100 Mile House and Quesnel as well as a centralized windrow composting pilot project. The final Phase Three will see the continuation of initiatives which commenced in Phase One and Two, and completes the 10-year plan in 2022.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

False Alarm Bylaw Update

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

At its May 7 meeting, Williams Lake City Council received an update on the Security Alarm Systems Bylaw, implemented in 2010, and gave first three readings to amendments to the bylaw. Since the implementation of the Bylaw requiring all monitored alarms in the City to be registered, the Williams Lake RCMP have seen an overall reduction in the number of false alarms. Before implementing the bylaw, false alarms costs totaled approximately $150,000. False alarm calls to the Williams Lake RCMP have dropped by one-third since 2010, from 850 to 565 in 2012. False alarm calls to the Williams Lake Fire Department have seen a slight increase, which is attributable to a small number of businesses with alarm problems. Through its fee schedule, the bylaw allows the City to recoup some of the costs of responding to these false alarms. No costs were recovered before the implementation of the bylaw.

The primary proposed change to the bylaw is to remove an exemption from a fee in cases where the alarm has been cancelled prior to the RCMP or Williams Lake Fire Department arrival and within five minutes from the time of dispatch to the RCMP patrol unit or the Fire Department. All false alarms, whether cancelled immediately or not, will be assessed a fee. There is no delay in responding to these false alarms, and within the first 5 minutes a response has already been initiated and expenses have already been incurred.

The bylaw has been effective in reducing the number of false alarms, which saves our emergency responders precious time and resources,” says Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook. “We also recognize that monitored alarm holders may have to be more diligent about their alarm systems to avoid unnecessary calls to dispatch the fire department.”

Fire department costs to respond to false alarms are estimated at approximately $22,000 a year. RCMP costs to respond to false alarms are estimated at approximately $56,000.

Monitored alarm owners are reminded that registration every year by February 28 is mandatory. The fee is $15 for residential alarm systems and $20 for commercial and other alarm systems. Fees for excessive false alarms will be charged after three false alarms in a 365-day period. The fees for residential and non-residential users start at $100 at the third false alarm, and increase to a maximum of $300 for five or more false alarm calls in a one-year period. It is important to note that emergency service providers will continue to respond to all alarms, regardless of how many fees have been assessed at an address.

Information on how to reduce false alarms is attached to this media release. For more information on the bylaw or how to reduce false alarms, please contact the Bylaw Department at 250-392-2311.

In addition, Williams Lake City Council has authorized the installation of four “No Overnight Parking” restricted parking signs on Borland Street between First Avenue and Mackenzie Avenue

WL Council wants more public input on Place Brand

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Editor's Note - based on people I've talked to in last 48 hours - I think Williams Lake Council, except Councillor SPS Rathor, has seriously underestimated the public anger around how this Place Brand proposal was handled and I don't, at this point, see general public support around the idea to spend $40,000 for a place brand, given we have one already.... but I stand ready to be corrected by my readers'...

Williams Lake City Council is turning to local residents for more input on the City’s placebrand. Interested citizens are encouraged to share their opinions through an online survey on the Williams Lake Place Brand site – and organizers are hoping to get more participation this time around.

The brand input site has been up since last summer,” says Alan Madrigga Manager, Economic Development. “And we want to get more participation to build on the one on one interviews and the variety of opinions we have already recorded.”

The first brand presented featured the tagline “Welcome to the Republic of Life” which was aimed at “thirty-something” people who are looking for a great small town where they can live, work, and raise a family. The concept was meant to be a modern take on the area’s cowboy heritage, and it resonated strongly with the intended audience. However, once it got out into the community it generated a lot of controversy. As a result, Council has decided to go back to the people for more input.

“Our goal is to arrive at something which captures the imagination of the young people we are trying to attract and which works for those who live here now,” states Madrigga. “The fact is that we need a strong brand to use in marketing Williams Lake to the outside world. It is a basic tool for community development in the 21st century.”

Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook explains that Williams Lake is competing against many other similar rural cities to attract new residents and new investment. “Attracting more population is important to maintaining and growing existing services and businesses,” she says. “If we’re going to build a sustainable economic future, we absolutely have to find a way to attract young families who will help build entrepreneurial energy and skilled workforce.”

Mayor Cook points to Red Shreds, and Barking Spider bike shops, the Sandpiper Fly Fishing shop, Juniper Trails B&B, and a variety of industrial supply contractors and stores as the types of dynamic businesses that are reflective of local lifestyle pursuits, and industry based opportunities that help attract people to the area. “We want to create new momentum by showcasing our competitive strengths – both old and new – to bring in a diversity of people.”

Participate in the Williams Lake Place Brand online survey at

WQLS Open House - May 23rd

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

An Open House detailing the West Quesnel Land Stability Program has been scheduled for Thursday May 23 in the gymnasium at Voyageur Elementary School, 1337 Lark Avenue. The session will begin at 6 p.m., with City staff and engineering consultants on hand to speak with residents in a one-on-one setting. This will be followed by a formal presentation at 7 p.m., which will outline the work that is scheduled to take place this year as well as the results of the work completed in 2012.

“Finding a lasting solution to the West Quesnel Land Stability issue is a top priority of City Council, one we have dedicated a great deal of time and funding to,” said Quesnel Mayor Mary Sjostrom. “On behalf of Council, I offer my sincere thanks to all the residents and property owners in the study area who have worked with us throughout the process to make this program a success.”

Councillor Mike Cave, Chair of the West Quesnel Land Stability Advisory Committee said “this Open House is yet another avenue that allows the City of Quesnel to reach out and let people know about the progress we’re making. I encourage people to attend the Open House, speak one-on-one with our engineers and learn more about the project.”

As part of an ongoing public information campaign, the City recently sent a newsletter to all residents and businesses within the City boundaries, as well as out-of-town property owners. The newsletter, sent at the beginning of May, highlighted the plans for this year and provided a brief look at the progress to date. It also encouraged all residents to attend the Open House as the project affects all Quesnel taxpayers.

The 2012 full-scale dewatering program was a $4.731 million project designed to help reduce land movement in the West Quesnel Land Stability study area. It saw the installation of 13 pumping wells in the study area and ten horizontal drain sites consisting of approximately 64 drains across the eastern toe of the valley slope.

Information about the West Quesnel Land Stability Program is found at

More than $3.154 million was provided by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia, through the Building Canada Fund-Communities Component program, part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan for this project. The City of Quesnel also contributed more than $1.557 million to pay for the full-scale dewatering program. In addition to the federal and provincial contributions, the City of Quesnel has invested more than $2.1 million on the West Quesnel Land Stability Program since 2000.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

BC Liberals secure 4th term!

In a stunning fashion - the BC Liberals' shocked everyone, myself included, by securing a 4th term by securing 50 seats vs 33 for the BC NDP and 1 Green Party MLA in Oak Bay - Gordon Head and the first re-elected Ind. in Delta-South (Vicki Huntingdon), as of this writing (Tues May 14th at 11:38pm)

Closer to home - Donna Barnett was able to easily secure re-election vs Charlie Wyse by a vote of 6,924 to Wyse's 4,244.  Meanwhile in Cariboo-North, BC Liberal Coralee Oakes was able to squeeze up the middle and defeat incumbent MLA Bob Simpson by a vote of 5,459 (Oakes) to 4,933 (Simpson)

Up in Prince George -- both Mike Morris (PG - Mackenzie) and Shirley Bond (PG - Valemount) secured election

Down in Kamloops - both Terry Lake (Kamloops - North, BCL) and Todd Stone (Kamloops - South, BCL) secured election

Lessons from the election:

1) NDP was not agressive enough vs BC Liberal campaign.  Questions tonight include would this re-election for BC Liberals would have happened if Carole James was still NDP Leader....?

2) Tonight, BC Conservative Leader John Cummins says he'll stay on for the 2017 Provincial Election, but as Keith Baldrey says -- with the poor results tonight, changing the BC Conservatives' Leader will be necessary in order to ensure the BC Conservatives' go from 'fringe party' to 'mainstream party' status

3) Charlie Wyse's defeat effectively sees him not being the BC NDP Candidate for Cariboo-Chilcotin in 2017....

4) Remember the old saying -- "All politics are local".  I believe the push by Donna Barnett over 'New Prosperity' had a lot to do with the nearly 2,300 vote win by Ms. Barnett...

I currently don't see, unlike some others, any risk to Adrian Dix's leadership and I expect him to get a big thumbs-up at the next BC NDP Convention, but I admit I would be surprised if he stepped down as BC NDP Leader after only 1 election run under his belt...

I was pleased with the results tonight.  I'm saddened we won't see Bob Simpson on the provincial scene but I wish him and the other defeated candidates in the Cariboo-Chilcotin the very best in their future endeavours...

Next general election before voters' - Local Gov't elections in November of 2014

Committee of the Whole Mtg (WL Council) - May 14th

Present - Mayor Cook (Chair) and Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Hughes, Rathor and Zacharias

Absent - Councillor Laurie Walters


Geoff Goodall - CAO
Cindy Bouchard - Manager of Legislative Services
Cindy Walters - Development Services Clerk
Ken MacInnis - Communications Coordinator

Meeting called to order at 6:00pm
Agenda adopted and minutes of April 30th COW Mtg approved

Delegations - None


1) Mobile Food Vendor Questionnaire

The Development Services Clerk reviewed her report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Committee of the Whole recommends to Council:

That Council receive the results of the Mobile Food Questionnaire and due to the limited interest in Mobile Food Trucks at this time, agrees to allow Mobile Food Vendors at the designated locations in the City as per the criteria and fees specified in the Pilot Project of 2012, excluding the location on Oliver Street below Herb Gardner Park. Council agree to allow this program to continue on a case by case approval until such time that the popularity of Mobile Food Vendors warrants a full review of the project or all of the locations are filled. This will allow Staff to follow up and review any issues that arise from mobile food vending, and have the option of making changes as necessary. Staff will report back to Council in the fall with an update on how the project has progressed.

2) Community Garden Memorandum of Agreement

The Acting CAO reviewed the item with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Committee of the Whole recommends to Council:

That Council approve a Memorandum of Agreement between the City of Williams Lake and the Food Policy Council for the use of City lands for community gardens.

The Committee adjourned at 6:12pm

Special WL City Council Mtg - May 14th

Present - Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Hughes, Rathor and Zacharias

Absent - Councillor Laurie Walters


Geoff Goodall - Acting CAO
Cindy Bouchard - Manager of Legislative Services
Ken MacInnis - Communications Coordinator

Meeting called to order at 5:45pm
Agenda Adopted


1) Council adopted Bylaw #2178, 2013 (2013 Tax Rates Bylaw)

Council adjourned at 5:46pm

General Voting Day - Cariboo-Chilcotin Region

Well - after a 28 day election campaign which went from a 20 point lead for the BC NDP to a perceived 2-9 point lead for the BC NDP as of yesterday - it's now up to the roughly 3 million registered BC Voters to decide the 40th Parliament of British Columbia

Regardless of your political affiliation - I request, if you have not already, please take the time today to vote at the multiple locations in both of Cariboo-North & Cariboo-Chilcotin - I'll list the locations in a moment

I want to thank Bob Simpson, Coralee Oakes, Duncan Barnett (Cariboo-North) & Donna Barnett, Charlie Wyse, Gary Young and Dustin Price (Cariboo-Chilcotin) for putting their names forward for election.  Our democracy works best when people have choices for their vote - regardless if it is a local, provincial or federal election

All of the campaign teams today will be very busy ensuring their preferred candidate gets the votes they need to be (re) elected.  I imagine we'll see not only tight races in Cariboo-North/Cariboo-Chilcotin but also in a lot of ridings throughout the province.  It may be a long day/night for candidates and their campaign teams....

You can look up the prelimary results here (initial results could be available as early as 8:30pm today)

Voting Locations -- Cariboo-North:

General voting places are: 

West Park Mall, 9 155 Malcolm Dr, Quesnel
Maple Park Shopping Centre, 2222 Maple Dr, Quesnel
Kersley Comm Hall, 4829 Edwards Rd, Kersley
Big Lake Comm Hall, 4056 Lakeview Rd, Big Lake
150 Mile Fire Hall, 3038 Pigeon Rd, 150 Mile House
Miocene Comm Hall, 3615 Horsefly Rd, Miocene
Bouchie Lake Comm Hall, 1975 Sentinel Rd, Bouchie Lake
Barlow Creek Comm Hall, 3801 Trembley Rd, Quesnel
Horsefly Comm Hall, 5772 Horsefly Lake Rd, Horsefly
Nazko Valley Comm Centre, 9560 Nazko Rd, Nazko
Baker Creek Comm Hall, 1207 Tibbles Rd, Baker Creek
Narcosli Creek Elem School, 5976 West Fraser Rd, Narcosli Creek
Wells Comm Hall, 4269 Sanders Ave, Wells
Red Bluff Hall, 1286 Lust Rd, Quesnel
Dragon Lake Elem School, 2655 Quesnel-Hydraulic Rd, Quesnel
Wildwood Elem School, 4252 Wildwood Rd, Williams Lake
Correlieu Sec School, 850 Anderson Dr, Quesnel
Overlander Hotel & Convention Centre, 1118 Lakeview Cres, Williams Lake
Trinity Lutheran Church, 375 Hartley St, Quesnel
McLeese Lake Comm Hall, 6178 Forglen Rd, McLeese Lake
Likely Comm Hall, 6281 Rosette Lake Rd, Likely
Parkland Rec Commission, 5018 Bjornson Rd, Ten Mile Lake
Quesnel & District Sr Centre, 461 Carson Ave, Quesnel
Williams Lake Indian Band, 2672 Indian Dr, Sugarcane

Voting Locations -- Cariboo-Chilcotin:

St. Andrews United Church, 1000 Huckvale Pl, Williams Lake
Cariboo Memorial Complex, 525 Proctor St, Williams Lake
108 Mile Ranch Comm Hall, 4924 Telqua Dr, 108 Mile Ranch
Creekside Sr Activity Centre, 501 Cedar Ave, 100 Mile House
Forest Grove Comm Hall, 4489 Eagle Creek Rd, Forest Grove
Alexis Creek Comm Hall, 2620 Stum Lake Rd, Alexis Creek
Watch Lake Comm Hall, 6355 Little Green Lake Rd, 70 Mile House
Canim Lake Band Office, 45 Canim Hendrix Lake Rd, Canim Lake
Dog Creek Comm Hall, 15 Upper Dog Creek Rd, Dog Creek
Lee Residence, 6550 Hwy 20, Hanceville
Interlakes Comm Hall, 7592 Hwy 24, Bridge Lake
Lone Butte Comm Hall, 5910 Hwy 24, Lone Butte
Chimney-Felker Lake Fire Hall, 2622 Chimney Lake Rd, Williams Lake
Anaham Band School, 1000 Anaham Reserve Rd, Alexis Creek
Bonner Residence, FLETCHER LAKE RD, Big Creek
Glendale Elem School, 4100 MacKenzie Ave N, Williams Lake
Chilcotin Road Elem School, 709 Lyne Rd, Williams Lake
Tsi Del Del School, 20 Hwy, Chilanko Forks
Naghtanequed Elem School, 8450 Nemaiah Valley Rd, Nemaiah Valley
Marie Sharpe Elem School, 260 Cameron St, Williams Lake
Cataline Elem School, 1175 Blair St, Williams Lake
100 Mile Elem School, 145 Birch Ave, 100 Mile House
Mountview Elem School, 1222 Dog Creek Rd, Williams Lake
Kwaleen Elem School, 1729 South Lakeside Dr, Williams Lake
Deka Lake Fire Hall, 7449 Burgess Rd, Bridge Lake
Lac La Hache Sr Centre, 4822 Clarke Ave, Lac la Hache
Toosey Band Office, 2790 Hwy 20, Riske Creek
Canim Lake Store, 7296 Canim Lake South Rd, Canim Lake
Tatla Lake School, 6780 Hwy 20, Tatla Lake
Sxoxmic School, 1001 Esket Dr, Alkali Lake
Anahim Lake Courthouse, 22541 Hwy 20, Anahim Lake

Monday, May 13, 2013

Final Advance Vote Numbers - Cariboo Region

Elections BC reports today on the 4 Days of Advanced Voting as follows:


Number of people who voted in the Advanced Poll Opportunity: 3,299
Number of registered voters', as of Apr 23rd: 20,926

Percentage of registered voters' who voted in an Advanced Poll: 15.77%


Number of people who voted in the Advanced Poll Opportunity: 3,273
Number of registered voters, as of April 23rd: 23,375

Percentage of registered voters' who voted in an Advanced Poll: 14.00%

Using 60% overall turnout as a benchmark - it appears that 44.23% of registered voters' in Cariboo-Chilcotin and 46% of registered voters' in Cariboo-North will cast a ballot on Tuesday which will make for busy 'election campaign war rooms'....

You can read the full Elections BC document on Advancing Voting Results here

-- SBF

Quesnel Council Highlights - May 6th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Airport to see expansion

At a special open meeting of Council held Tuesday April 30, City Council supported the concept of a proposed 15,000 square foot multi-use hangar facility with office/shop space located at the airport, adjacent to the terminal building by All-West Crane and Rigging Ltd.
As well, Council allocated up to $105,000 in the 2013 budget from accumulated surplus for expansion to the airport apron. Staff was directed to bring forward the required Financial Plan Bylaw amendment for approval and submit an application to the Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) for 70% of the estimated project cost. Council was clear in their motion that should this NDIT application be unsuccessful, the City’s total allocation to this phase of the apron expansion project remains at $105,000.
A Lease Agreement will be entered into with All-West Crane and Rigging Ltd.
More details are available in the May 6 agenda which you can locate here

Auditor’s report received
Independent City auditors PMT Chartered Accountants/Business Advisors LLP presented Council with their report on the City of Quesnel’s Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2012. In the auditor’s opinion, the consolidated financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the City of Quesnel as at December 31, 2012.
Council received the report and approved the 2012 Financial Statements.

Financial bylaws adopted
Council received the report on the final tax rates for 2013, including school tax rates and their effect on the average residence as well as other property classes as follows:
• average residence will see an increase of 3.0% to the municipal portion of their property tax bill ($19.82);
• average residence will see a decrease of 4.0% to the Cariboo Regional District portion of their property tax bill (-$15.88);
• other taxes including school taxes will increase $6.79;
• average residence will see an overall increase of $10.73 to their property tax bill (based on a house assessed at $162,365).
The overall residential tax rate is $10.45 per $1,000 of assessment. Of this tax rate, $4.17 is for municipal taxes.
The remainder of the tax rate is comprised of school taxes, Cariboo Regional District taxes and taxes from other taxing authorities such as BC Assessment and the Municipal Finance Authority. The tax collected from residents may be reduced by home owner’s grants.

New policy in the works
Quesnel Minor Baseball Association received $500 from Council projects to assist the Quesnel Blue Jays attend the provincials this year. Their request has prompted the need for staff to develop a policy for Council when associations come forward and request financial assistance from the City of Quesnel.

Other news
• Council to send a letter of support for the Quesnel Shelter and Support Society’s grant request of $10,000 to hire a development consultant to assist them in the development of a Business Plan and the acquisition of donated lands.

Important dates
May 26 - Quesnel Minor Baseball Association’s Skills Day Fundraiser (Rotary Ball Diamond from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)

May 6 - 11 - Mental Health Awareness Week

Next Regular Council Meeting:  Monday May 27, 7 p.m.

Next North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Meeting:
Tuesday May 28, 5:30 p.m.

WL Place Brand - Round 2

Last Tuesday - Williams Lake City Council by a 6-1 vote (Councillor Rathor opposed) approved a process to re-engage the public for a place brand for the City, in light of the April 9th WL City Council meeting where the public in large numbers rejected the tag line of "Republic of Life".  Read more on this subject here and read the report of Alan Madrigga on this subject here

Watch a video clip below of Williams Lake City Council discussing this subject:

Meanwhile you can provide your input via this website here.  In reviewing the website, it seems the rephrasing of questions asked should provide better input and hence we should see a better public response.  All of WL City Council except Councillor Rathor says that the public supports a place brand for Williams Lake.  We'll soon know if the general public agrees with them

As a mild criticism - I'm disappointed that the City of WL is not using their social media accounts to more widely seek input on the City's proposed Place Brand, other than directing people to the April 9th presentation from Tajiri Branding Group.  We know how powerful Facebook was to get the roughly 90+ people to Wiliams Lake City Hall over the 'Republic of Life' tag line for the City's Place Branding marketing scheme

In the meantime - it'll be interesting to see what the final results of this 2nd round of public consultation for a place brand for the City will generate

-- SBF

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Cariboo RD Highlights - May 10th mtg

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Mount Polley Update
Mr. Tim Fisch, General Manager, Mount Polley Mining Corporation, appeared before the Board with an update on the Mines' operations. Topics of discussion included an overview of the operations, the Boundary Underground Mine Development, human resources, community relations, and a review of 2012 production statistics. More information about the mine is available online at

Gateway Water System
The Regional District will now proceed with an engineering design and construction cost estimate for the Gateway Water System. During the CRD’s March 21 Board meeting, the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development presented $125,000 to the Regional District to help rebuild the Gateway Water System located in Electoral Area H.

Residential Schools
The Cariboo Regional District has declared Sept. 30 as “Orange Shirt Day” throughout the Cariboo Chilcotin annually. This annual declaration will stand for the recognition of the harm residential schools did to children’s sense of self-esteem and wellbeing, and as affirmation of our commitment to the importance of all residents of the region.

IH Capital Funding Request Approved for CMH
Deb Runge, Director of Acute Care Services Cariboo, Peter Du Toit, Regional Acute Care Director, Todd Mastel, Director of Business Support & James Kinakin with Interior Health were on hand today as the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District endorsed their request for 2013/14 capital funding. The total CCRHD funding in the amount of $240,000, represents 40 percent of the total cost of the Concept Plan development for the Cariboo Memorial Hospital Inpatient Unit addition. The capital expenditure bylaw will be presented to the Board at its June 7 2013 meeting for three readings and adoption. Further information about Interior Health is available online at

New Solid Waste Management Plan Endorsed
The Cariboo Regional District’s Board of Directors endorsed the Ministry of Environment conditional approval of the CRD’s proposed Solid Waste Management Plan. The Regional District accept the conditions of the approval provided by the Minister of Environment. One of the conditions is that the CRD establish a Plan Monitoring Advisory Committee comprised of political and technical representation from member municipalities, geographically distributed political/public representation from the north, central, south and west (Chilcotin) Cariboo Regional District. First refusal of Membership on this committee will be offered to past members of the Solid Waste Management Plan Advisory Committee. Further information about the Solid Waste Management Plan will be released next week. The Plan will be available later next week on the CRD website at

Overnight Parking at Stewart Beach
The CRD endorsed a recommendation from the 108 Mile Greenbelt Commission which will see an amendment to the Greenbelt By-Law to prohibit parking on Greenbelt lands between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

Board on the Road
On June 6 and 7, the CRD Board and staff will be travelling to Lac La Hache Community Hall for the first of two Board on the Road events in 2013. Residents of Area G will be treated to a community barbecue on Thursday, June 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. while the regularly scheduled Board meeting will take place on Friday morning starting at 9:30 a.m. All residents are welcome to attend.

Important Dates
May 19-25, 2013 - Local Government Awareness Week 
                                       National Public Awareness