Thursday, October 31, 2013

New Prosperity Enviro. Assessment Final Rpt Out

In a surprise - the Federal Review Panel has released its' final report on the New Prosperity Project earlier this evening.  The report was expected out Friday

The full link to the report can be viewed here

According to the Executive Summary of the Final Report, New Prosperity will have unacceptable impacts to the Tsilhqot'in National Government and its' First Nations members.  In addition, the overall impact to Fish Lake is deemed to be 'adverse' and there are no acceptable measures to mitigate the impacts

When word of this report gets to Mayors Sjostrom (Quesnel), Cook (Williams Lake), Campsall (100 Mile House) and CRD Chair Al Richmond, I can only imagine that they will be disappointed while not surprised with the conclusions of the Federal Review Panel.  I also can see them trying to arrange meetings with Federal officials/Ministers to lobby them to approve this project before a final decision is made by the Federal Cabinet, expected by March 2014

One court case which is on-going that will have an impact on this project is the Roger William court case of FN Rights/Title which will get underway next week in Ottawa.  Cariboo RD Area J Director and Xeni' Gwet'in Chief Roger William, Xeni Gwet'in Elders and others are right now on their way to Ottawa to observe the Supreme Court of Canada court deliberations…

Supporters of Taseko Mines will definitely not be pleased with the Panel's final recommendations while I expect those who support the position of Xeni Gwet'in and other First Nations & environmentalists will be pleased with the Panel's conclusions...

-- SBF

More Consult. needed for WL Community Forest

In his 2nd letter to the Tribune - local Big Lake resident Bee Hooker openly challenges Williams Lake City Council to withdraw the current Williams Lake Community Forest proposal and re-consult the affected residents in Horsefly, Big Lake and Miocene and come to an arrangement that works for both sides.  I agree with Bee, you can not have a community forest without local community support, however I don't see the City of Williams Lake/WL Indian Band from backing down on their WL Community Forest proposal, at this point.

Mayor Cook has a number of times raised the WL Community Forest in her weekly columns while Mr. Hooker does rightly point out that the fact that the WL Community Forest reps have failed to attend local community meetings…

From the Williams Lake Tribune:

I will admit that I have not read every issue of the Tribune/Weekend Advisor in the last two years.

So I say with all honesty, last month was the first time I have seen Mayor Kerry Cook mention the Williams Lake Community Forest in her newspaper column.

It wasn’t much.

You would have to pay close attention to catch the four words slipped in, in an off-hand manner.

Her brief note failed to add any detail to a simmering issue being inflicted on Big Lake, Horsefly and Miocene by this proposal.

Also, she does not mention the amount spent to date on this endeavor.

Nor does she mention, that council failed to attend an information meeting held at Miocene earlier.

No mention of the fact that council has not seen fit to hold a public meeting in Horsefly concerning this proposal.

But, the Mayor gives some good detail about rubbing shoulders with the Premier and Cabinet at the UBCM. Hmmm.

The Minister of Forests cannot accept the Community Forest proposal as it stands. Where is the community support?

How can community support be assumed, without the involvement of the three rural communities that surround this forest?

It is now the time for Williams Lake city council to admit to a huge blunder. Council must withdraw the application, sit down and have a fair negotiation with these three rural communities, your neighbours.

Mayor Cook, I remind you to ask around town, about the Cariboo-Chilcotin Land Use Plan and what a fight that was.

The good folks of the Cariboo-Chilcotin fought to have their say against a larger population from Vancouver and Victoria.

Perhaps a little history lesson is in order for the professor.

Monday's Highway 97/Toop Rd Project Mtg

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The City of Williams Lake and the Ministry of Transportation held a joint forum Tuesday on the proposed improvements to Highway 97 between Carson Drive and Fox Mountain.

City and Ministry staff gave a history of the development of the project and public consultation efforts to date. Two configurations of the local street connections are currently proposed on the west side of the new signalized intersection to be located at 11th Avenue. Option 1 consists of two connections from the new intersection. Drivers heading west will have the choice of turning onto McKinnon Road or 11th Avenue. Option 2 has connections to McKinnon Road and 11th Avenue, plus another connection to Johnson Street. Attendees at the forum had the opportunity to ask questions of staff.

“We were pleased to have such a good turnout, and to have the opportunity to have residents’ thoughtful questions answered,” says Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook. “Council will receive a report incorporating the discussions from the forum, and will choose an option at a Council meeting in November.”

The Carson-Fox Mountain project is part of the Cariboo Connector initiative to four-lane Highway 97 from Prince George to Cache Creek, and was identified as a priority in order to increase safety and mobility. The project was begun in 1996, and the premier announced it would form part of Phase 2 of the Cariboo Connector initiative in April 2012.

The PowerPoint presentation made at the forum is available to download from the Ministry of Transportation’s project page at Those who wish to comment on the project can do so by contacting Project manager Lisa Miller in writing at, or to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, 447 Columbia Street, Kamloops, BC, V2C 2T3. Comments can also be sent to City Engineering Technologist Jeff Bernardy at 250-392-1767,, or in writing to 450 Mart Street, Williams Lake, BC, V2G 1N3.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

WL Council Budget Mtg #3 (2014 Capital Plans)

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
Pat Higgins - Director of Finance
Geoff Paynton - Director of Community Services
Kevin Goldfuss - Director of Municipal Services

Media - None
Public - 3

The General Manager of Planning & Operations and the Director of Municipal Services reviewed the 2014 Capital Plan with Williams Lake Council

A Question and Answer Period ensued

Next Budget Mtg: November 18th, 2013

Council gave the floor to the public to address Council as follows:

Elke Reiner/John Cook - concerns around MOTI's Highway 97/Toop Rd Intersection upgrade project

Quesnel announces Community Transition Team

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

The City of Quesnel, together with the Provincial Government, Canfor Corporation, United Steelworkers and many other key community stakeholders are combining their efforts to assist the community, in particular the workers and their families, who have been affected by the closure of Canfor’s Quesnel Sawmill. The announcement of the mill closure was made on Oct 24. Canfor currently employs 209 people directly at its mill operations.

Canfor Corporation has pledged to minimize the impact of the closure on its employees and will offer employees a number of options.

“Everyone in our community who has been impacted by the upcoming mill closure can be confident that the province has taken the lead in partnership with the City of Quesnel on bringing stakeholders together to plan for the future and be there for the people of Quesnel,” said Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, The Honourable Coralee Oakes. “We are doing everything we can to smooth the way and rally to find new opportunities and job placements. Quesnel will survive this change – together we can grow and strengthen the spirit of our community.”

“I’ve spoken with Mayor Sjostrom and assured her that the Province will continue to work closely with the City and provide expertise and support on the ground,” said The Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour. “Wednesday’s regional economic collaborative is building on our ongoing joint work to identify economic opportunities moving forward.”

"The Province is committed to working with Quesnel and all the other Interior communities impacted by the mountain pine beetle infestation," said Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister, The Honourable Steve Thomson. "We will continue to build on our last 12 years of work in mitigating the environmental impacts and economic impacts of the pine beetle, and work closely with communities on economic diversification opportunities."

“Although this is difficult news for our entire community, it is not unexpected due to the impact of the pine beetle epidemic.” said Mayor Mary Sjostrom. “The City has been actively involved and is committed to transitional planning. We have already been in discussions with the Provincial Government and key community stakeholders to offer our support and assistance to those workers and their families. The City also understands the importance of addressing the needs of all those residents and businesses impacted.”

The Quesnel and Area Economic Collaborative Forum being held today will focus on planning for worker transition.  This is the second forum engaging key local stakeholders to help with transition planning for the community.

Booze in Grocery Stores?

Yesterday, the BC Government floated the possibility of buying beer/spirits at your local grocery story like Save on Foods/Safeway as 80% of respondents have asked for in the recent liquor policy review

Read more on this story here

As my readers may be aware - this practice is common place in the US and the Liquor Control Board of Ontario is prepared to try this as a trial there while Nova Scotia already allows for this

From a local perspective - I think that this proposal would be a tremendous step backwards given the challenges we as a community host on alcohol abuse already and giving more opportunities to those who have the 'alcohol demon' is not helpful, given Williams Lake and District does not have a alcohol/drug rehab facility - something that this region has been trying to get for some time

While I get the opportunity that this (selling booze in grocery stores) can bring to businesses like Save on More/Safeway - we should ignore the negative social aspects that increased booze sales in grocery stores would bring to our community, given the social challenges we suffer with alcohol abuse within our community with the existing beer/wine stores we have here already...

-- SBF

Voting on NC Multicentre Loan Extension starts today

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel/Cariboo RD:

Residents within the North Cariboo Recreation and Parks service boundary will be heading to the polls to vote on extending the North Cariboo Multi-Centre borrowing bylaw for a further two years. Residents will be asked the following question at the advance polls and general voting day:

Are you in favour of the Cariboo Regional District extending its authorization to borrow up to $15,000,000 to provide for the construction of a new arena, theatre and multi-purpose event space, for a further two year period, to allow fundraising efforts to continue?

There are two advance voting opportunities, in addition to general voting day. Residents are encouraged to take advantage of these advance voting opportunities because there is lower voter turnout on these days and therefore less time spent waiting in line. Both advance voting opportunities will take place in the CD Hoy Room in Quesnel City Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 30 and Monday, Nov. 4, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

General voting day is Saturday, Nov. 9, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the following locations:

Red Bluff School,
1533 Maple Drive, Quesnel

Parkland Community Hall,
5016 Bjornson Road, Quesnel

Bouchie Lake Elementary School,
2074 Blackwater Road, Quesnel

Barlow Creek Elementary School, 816 Barkerville Hwy, Quesnel
West Fraser Fire Hall, 243 Jackpine Flats Road, Quesnel
Quesnel Legion Branch #94, 262 Kinchant Street, Quesnel

Free bus service will be provided on Nov. 9 between 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on regularly scheduled bus routes.

When heading to the polls, you must bring at least two pieces of ID. One of them must have a signature. Between the two, they should prove your address, but if you do not have something with your current address you are allowed to make a formal declaration of residency. Picture identification is not necessary. Typical examples of ID that people use are driver's license, BCID, firearms license, carecard, credit card, SIN, status card, bank card, etc. Even a utility bill will work as a secondary piece of ID.

All eligible north Cariboo residents are strongly encouraged to participate in this important referendum.

Questions about the voting process should be directed to the Cariboo Regional District’s Chief Election Officer, Alice Johnston ( or Deputy Chief Election Officer, Darron Campbell ( at (250) 392-3351 or 1-800-665-1636. For further information about the proposed project, visit the City of Quesnel at

Monday, October 28, 2013

Politicians speak on Canfor closure in Quesnel

Last Thursday afternoon - the Canfor mill in Quesnel announced it was closing permanently and causing 209 jobs to be lost at this mill by March 2014.  Canfor also announced that it will find new jobs at its' other plants to those displaced. A group has been setup for those who want to stay in Quesnel and find work that route

From CKPG:

1) Union reps and BC Jobs Minister Shirley Bond interviewed on the mill closures in Houston, BC/Quesnel

2) Quesnel Mayor Mary Sjostrom says she is 'confident' of the future of forestry in Quesnel

Meanwhile - former BC NDP Forestry Critic & former MLA for Cariboo-North Bob Simpson has been making the media runs on this story.  Listen to his interview on CBC Daybreak North here

While I thought it was fair game for Mr. Simpson to be critical of provincial politicians, I don't think he should have been equally critical of municipal politicians, given their own role is limited to what they can do on a local level.

Meanwhile - I expect with this decision of CanFor, Mayor Sjostrom will be coming to the Cariboo RD Board in late November to see what it can do to reduce any impact to Quesnel taxpayers for their 2014 Budget to the barest minimum possible

-- SBF

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Director Dixon-Warren vs Quesnel Councillors on NC Multicentre Fundraising Photo-Op

A number of weeks ago - the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for the North Cariboo Multi-Centre Project brought to my attention an email that Cariboo RD Area B Director Heloise Dixon-Warren sent to all of her North Cariboo colleagues (Cariboo RD Areas A, C and I Directors & Quesnel Council) that she will not participate in an upcoming fundraising photo opportunity (photo-op) for the North Cariboo Multicentre Project, given the North Cariboo region is in the throws of a referendum on Nov 9th, 2013

This email was highlighted in the Oct 25th, 2013 Quesnel Cariboo Observer article.  You can view that here (scanned version)

In that article - several Quesnel Councillors said the following:

Councillor Roodenburg -- If you are concerned about elected officials looking like they support the 'yes' side, perhaps you need to take a look at your Facebook page, etc and note you are constantly putting out information in regards to the Coalition of Concerned Citizens for the North Cariboo Multi-Centre Project and their website (click here).  If that is not stating your opinion to the public, I don't know what is.  I have searched for 'positive' comments from you and I don't see any on any of those publications

Councillor Elliot - I'm not impartial.  As a referee for 30 years+ and seeing the conditions of Rink 1, we need this project.  The referendum passed (in 2008) and the people voted on it.  It is my job to work towards that goal.  But personally -- Am I for it? Yes, I am

Councillor Brisco - It's our job as elected officials to be for the Multi-centre Project and not to be impartial.  

Cariboo RD Area B Director Heloise Dixon-Warren said this in reply:

In yesterday's Quesnel - Cariboo Observer newspaper, the following article was on the front page. It pertains to the fundraising that continues on for the North Cariboo Multi-Centre Project. Firstly, it is necessary to acknowledge the VOLUNTEERS involved with the Fundraising Committee. Their time towards the project is commendable. I too am a volunteer for many projects / organisations and I know what that’s all about.
The article refers to comments that I have posted regarding the multi-centre on facebook. Yes, I do have concerns regarding the project given its magnitude and scope but I have never posted any comment on social media that states my favour or aversion to the project. Rather, I use social media for the sharing of information and informing residents what the options are. On Nov. 9th, residents will be asked a question. There are two ways to answer – “Yes” or “No”. This is not an equivalent of a “Pass” or “Fail”. Both answers have consequences and results which residents need to understand.
I realize that the CRD / NC Joint Planning Committee has a mandate from the November, 2008 referendum to support the project. That was 5 years ago and many things have changed since then. Some people who voted in that referendum have left the community; other residents have relocated to the North Cariboo since then and hence, did not vote in 2008. It is so critical that people who live in the North Cariboo TODAY understand what the referendum on Nov. 9th is all about. From my perspective, the focus should be on the Nov. 9th Referendum as that will determine what happens with the loan authorization bylaw. Currently, that Bylaw is set to expire in December, 2013.
People that have concerns are not being “negative” or “critical” which I often hear they are accused of. These people are not trouble makers. Rather, they are simply residents with concerns. We need to address their concerns and the fact that these people are engaged is good thing. The Coalition of Concerned Citizens for the North Cariboo Multi-Centre Project is simply comprised of a group of such people… another group of VOLUNTEERS. I don’t see them as the “NO” side; rather they are interested in OPTIONS. But on Nov. 9th, the question being asked, is limited to having either a NO or YES answer. There is no “ plan B” on the ballet. The Coalition are encouraging a NO vote as it will provide an option for further discussion. They too need to be commended for a job well done. They are regular people that live in our community. They are our neighbours, our friends, and taxpayers. They have come together and worked hard to collect the information (some of which they found to be not easily available), to understand the facts assessed the project from different sides, and ask questions to ultimately become more well informed. I have assisted them in their quest for information and through this and I too have become more informed. I encourage people to look at their website – as it speaks to facts and information.

With great respect to these Quesnel Councillors - I believe they all have it DEAD WRONG.  It is NOT their job to be 'cheerleaders' for a project which is subject of a referendum but to do what Director Dixon-Warren has done -- get the information out and let residents make an informed decision.

As Quesnel Mayor Mary Sjostrom pointed out herself:

It is up to individual elected officials to participate in photo-ops for the NC Multicentre Project

I profoundly regret the negative tone and message used by Quesnel Councillor L-A Roodenburg.  There was no need for it.  She only had to say that she supports the Multi-centre but she also supports the work done by Area B Director Heloise Dixon-Warren.  That would have been the polite and respectful thing to say

Meanwhile - the Central Cariboo will be soon voting in 2014 on a referendum request to borrow $10 million on an upgrade to our local Recreation Facility (Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex).  When the date of the referendum is announced here - I (and I suspect some elected officials here will as well) plan to use my social media tools (Facebook/Blog) to get the information out (pros/cons) for the 2014 referendum to my readers and let them decide if they want to authorize borrowing of $10 million to make upgrades to the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex which will include repairing our local swimming pool. There will be no spinning of information coming from the City of Williams Lake/Cariboo Regional District in regards to this as it occurs in 2014

Finally - great work by Cariboo RD Area B Director Heloise Dixon-Warren so far on the Nov 9th referendum for the North Cariboo Multi-centre and Director Dixon-Warren, keep it up!!!

-- SBF

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Oct 28-Nov 1

A few local governments in the Cariboo-Chilcotin are meeting this week as follows:

Quesnel - Committee of the Whole meeting at 7pm Monday Oct 28th in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor, 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

a) Rural BC Project Presentation
b) Northern Green Supply re: Fed. Regulated Medical Marihuana Grow Op
c) Rezoning Application - 654 Reid St (Sun Sage Yoga)

Read the full Agenda here

*** Reminder that the 1st Advance Vote for the NC Multicentre Borrowing Bylaw extension to 2015 starts Wednesday.  Voting details can be found here

Williams Lake - Committee of the Whole meeting at 6pm Tues Oct 29th in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (WL City Hall basement).  On the Agenda:

Delegations (2) - Sharon Hoffman from Community Arts Council re: Knit Graffiti/Yarn Bombing & reps from the local BIA re: Proposed Budget for the WL Central BIA


a) Place Brand -- Committee of the Whole is being asked to endorse marketing material concept.  Specific tagline to be considered later

b) Bylaw Adjudication Bylaw
c) Parking Concerns at TRU on Western Avenue/11th Avenue

Read the full Agenda here

*** Reminder that the City of Williams Lake/MOTI are hosting a community meeting about the Highway 97/Toop Rd upgrade project Monday Oct 28th at 7pm in the Gibraltar Room (525 Proctor St).  Residents' are asked to come and provide their input based on revised project designs (2).  More details can be viewed here *** 

There is also a Budget Meeting of WL City Council at 6pm Wednesday, again in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (WL City Hall Basement).  Council will consider the proposed Capital Plan from Williams Lake City Staff at this meeting

Friday, October 25, 2013

Cariboo RD Board Highlights - Oct 25th mtg

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Beyond the Market
      Jillian Merrick, Program Coordinator presented an overview of the Beyond the Market project. Some of the issues discussed include the challenges and opportunities of agriculture in the community, contributing factors which have driven change in agriculture such as the economy and crisis within the industry, and partnerships in the program. The Beyond the Market project is an economic development strategy to support the local food and agriculture sector in Northern BC. The project began in 2010 and has consisted of three different initiatives; new farm development, regional beef value chain, and beyond the market: growing the North. Further information about the project is available online at

South Cariboo Hospital Foundation to Receive Grant
     The Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District (CCRHD) approved a request from the South Cariboo Health Foundation for funding assistance towards the cost of renovations required to upgrade the 100 Mile House Hospital chemotherapy consultation office. This project is budgeted at $15,473 of which the South Cariboo Health
Foundation is requesting funding in the amount of $6,189.20 from the CCRHD Foundation Partnership Grants program, representing 40 percent of the total cost.

CRD Support First Nations Museum Proposal
      The CRD approved in principle proposal information to construct a First Nations museum at the 108 Greenbelt in the south Cariboo. The project is led by the Northern Secwepemc Cultural Society, which is comprised of five local First Nations including Canim Lake, Canoe Creek, Williams Lake, Soda Creek and Esketemc. The Society has not secured the funding necessary for the project, which will be in excess of $2 million, but preparing the land use agreements will allow the group to submit major capital grant applications and undertake consistent fundraising. The initial vision for the museum is an approximately 3,000 square foot structure that reflects aspects of First Nations culture and heritage. An example of a similar approach is the gathering place at the Thompson Rivers University campus in Williams Lake.

Green Lake Official Community Plan
      The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) gave first and second reading to the Green Lake Area Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 4853. The OCP, which is a joint project with the Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD) will now enter the Public Hearing Phase of the legislative process before it comes back to both the CRD and TNRD Board of Directors for third reading and adoption.

Community to Community
      The Cariboo Regional District received information from the Williams Lake Indian Band advising that they have received funding from the Regional Community to Community Forum Program. The Williams Lake Indian Band has extended an invitation to the Cariboo Regional District Board of Directors and Williams Lake City Council to participate in a half-day facilitated workshop to identify methods for improved communications between the three parties. The session will be held in January, 2014.

Gateway Water System Moves to Public Assent Process
      The CRD Board of Directors authorized staff to proceed with a public assent process through a letter of petition to affected residents for the proposed Gateway Water System. Under this process each property owner is advised by way of a letter as to the cost of developing the system, tax implications and annual user fees. The appropriate question is posed and each property owner returns the letter indicating if they are in favour, or opposed to the project. At least 50 percent of property owners representing at least 50 percent of property values must consent to establishment of the service for the petition to pass.

      The CRD Board previously approved the expenditure of feasibility funds to determine if a water system could be developed to service 26 properties in the Gateway community. Engineering feasibility studies have been completed, an adequate water source located, and development costs established. Further information about the proposed system is available online at

Recruitment of Health Care Professionals
      MJ Cousins, Lynne Williams and Sally Errey from the Central Interior Rural Division of Family Practice appeared before the Board with an update on the recruitment of health care practitioners to the region. The presentation included an overview of the recruitment coordinators, the working group, community partners and external agencies involved in the program. A draft recruitment and retention strategic plan has been developed and will be released soon. Further information about the program is available online at

Next Meeting
CCRHD & CRD Board Meetings – Nov. 7

Eden Robinson visits' Williams Lake Branch Library

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Award winning novelist and short story writer, Eden Robinson will be visiting the Cariboo Regional District’s Williams Lake Branch Library on Tuesday, Nov. 5 at 5 p.m. to discuss her works and writing process. Admission for this event is free.

Born in Kitamat, B.C., she is a member of the Haisla and Heiltsuk First Nations. Her three works of fiction includeTraplines (1995), Monkey Beach (2000), and Blood Sports (2006). Ms. Robinson has been nominated for both the Giller Prize for excellence in Canadian Fiction, and the Governor General’s Award.

Robinson's first book, Traplines, was a collection of four short stories while her second book, Monkey Beach, was a novel. It is set in the Kitamat area and follows a teenaged girl's search for answers and understanding of her younger brother's disappearance at sea. This retrospective tale tells a story about growing up on a Haisla Reserve. The book is both a mystery and a spiritual journey, combining contemporary realism with Haisla mysticism. Monkey Beach was short-listed for the Giller Prize and the Governor General's Literary Award, and received the Ethel Wilson Fiction Prize.

In her third book, Blood Sports (2006), Eden Robinson returns to the characters and urban terrain of her novella "Contact Sports," from Traplines.

Reviewers praise Robinson's unflinching and compelling exploration of the darkest impulses of humanity. Currently, Robinson is the writer in residence at the University of Northern BC.

The CRD’s Williams Lake Branch Library is located at 180 N. Third Avenue, Suite A in Williams Lake, B.C. For further information, please contact the library at 250-392-3630 or visit the library website at

Area D to host two community meetings

Cariboo RD Area D Director Deb Bischoff will be hosting two community meetings to discuss Area D issues after getting Regional Board approval at this morning meeting to transfer $1,000 from the Area D Special Projects Funds to the Area D Director Initiative Fund and use up to $1,000 from the Area D Director Initiative Fund

The request passed by a 11-4 vote with Area A Director (and Cariboo RD Board Vice-Chair) Ted Armstrong, Area F Director Joan Sorley, Area E Director Byron Kemp and City of WL Director (and Mayor) Kerry Cook opposed

The Regional Board first considered the proposal for up to $1,000 to host two community meetings in Area D by Director Bischoff at its' Sept 13th meeting however the request was turned down

At today's meeting, Area D Director Deb Bischoff repeated her need to discuss what Cariboo RD Functions her taxpayers support now and whether or not they wish to continue supporting these Functions.  Some examples would include Central Cariboo Arts/Culture, Central Cariboo Victim Services and Central Cariboo Cemetery

In opposing the request from Director Bischoff -- Directors Cook/Sorley argued saying that these meetings would, in their view, just "rally the troops" given Director Bischoff's public statement of withdrawing from the local Joint Committee in addition to withdrawing from the local Arts/Culture, Victim Services, and Cemetery Functions

However, Director Bischoff had her supporters in 100 Mile House Director Mitch Campsall, Area I Director Jim Glassford and Area L Director Bruce Rattray who said that the request was reasonable and in-line with the policy governing the use of the Area D Director Initiative Fund

Stay tuned for those two community meeting dates…

-- SBF

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Canfor closes sawmill in Quesnel - Mar 2014

Editor's Note - I will wonder what effect this will have on the Nov 9th vote to extend the $15 million NC Multi-centre borrowing authority to 2015, especially considering that voting on that starts next Wednesday…

Courtesy of Canfor Corporation:

Oct 24, 2013

Canfor Corporation (TSX: CFP) announced today that it will permanently close its sawmill located in Quesnel, British Columbia. The Company anticipates that the closure will occur in March, 2014. Canfor’s 209 Quesnel-based employees will be offered positions elsewhere in the Company.

Canfor has entered into an agreement with West Fraser Mills Ltd. for an exchange in forest tenure rights. Canfor is exchanging 382,194 m3 of replaceable forest licence allowable annual cut in the Quesnel Timber Supply Area as well as 53,627 m3 of replaceable forest licence allowable annual cut in the Lakes Timber Supply Area with West Fraser in exchange for receiving 324,500 m3 of replaceable forest licence allowable annual cut in the Morice Timber Supply Area. The companies are also exchanging non-replaceable licenses and undercut volumes.

“The timber availability in the Quesnel region following the mountain pine beetle infestation unfortunately leaves us unable to continue operation of our Quesnel sawmill,” said Don Kayne, President and CEO of Canfor Corporation. “The additional fibre we have been able to secure in the exchange agreement with West Fraser enhances the fibre requirements for our Houston facility. We are committed to minimizing the impacts of this closure on our Quesnel employees.”

Policy Change for Secondary Suites in Quesnel

From City of Quesnel website:

The City of Quesnel is considering a policy change that will permit secondary suites in all single detached dwellings. Four public consultations (three evenings and one afternoon) are being held to obtain public input and give the public the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback.

Oct 24 7 p.m. Community Policing Office Meeting Room, 345 Anderson Drive
Oct 25 7 p.m. Dragon Lake School Library, 2671 Quesnel-Hydraulic Road
Nov 8 1:30 p.m. City Hall Council Chambers, 410 Kinchant Street
Nov 14 7 p.m. Recreation Centre Multi-purpose Room, 501 North Star Road
If you have any comments, questions or concerns, e-mail or call 250-992-2111 and ask for Tanya Turner, Manager of Development Services.
To review the current reports on this matter, click here.

WL News - Oct 24th edition

1) SD #27 Board reverts high school names back to Columneetza and Williams Lake.  Read more here.  This item also is getting lots of discussion on the Welcome to Williams Lake Facebook page which you can go to that discussion here.  I don't see how Trustees Boehm/Neufeld could survive re-election bids next fall after this reversal after mere months ago of deciding the old names of 'Western' and 'Lake City' campuses

2) City of Williams Lake released their two Alternate taglines in light of the 'Republic of Life' disaster.  Neither of them capture my attention.  If I had a choice, I'd likely go more with 'Life is bigger here' than 'Western, Rebooted'.  But now it's over to you….more on that here.

-- SBF

CC Joint Committee Mtg - Oct 23rd


City of WL - Mayor Cook (Meeting Chair), Councillors Bonnell, Rathor, Walters and Zacharias

CRD - Directors D. Bischoff (Area D), B. Kemp (Area E) and J. Sorley (Area F)

Staff Present:

Darryl Garceau - CAO, City of Williams Lake
Rena Schill - Corp Services Records Coordinator, City of Williams Lake
Geoff Paynton - Director of Community Services, City of Williams Lake
Darron Campbell - Manager of Community Services, Cariboo RD
Janis Bell - CAO, Cariboo RD

Meeting called to order at 6:03pm

The Chair asked the Joint Committee to approve bringing forward items 6, 10 and 11 (2014 Central Cariboo Recreation Bus/Fin Plans, CC Joint Committee Terms of Reference & Area D withdrawal from CC Joint Committee and Functions) with remaining items as per the Agenda

Agenda approved as amended by following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook, Councillors Bonnell, Rathor, Walters, Zacharias, Directors Sorley and Kemp

Negative - Director D. Bischoff

Delegations - None


1) 2014 Central Cariboo Recreation Business/Financial Plans

The Manager of Community Services presented this item to the Joint Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved -- That this item be deferred to a Special Joint Committee meeting in November together with the Pool Finance Committee's final report

2) Joint Committee Terms of Reference

CAO D. Garceau reviewed this item with the Joint Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved --  That the Central Cariboo/City of Williams Lake Joint Committee receive this report and direct Staff to report back to a future Joint Committee meeting with proposed revisions to the Committee’s Terms of Reference

Above motion approved by following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook, Councillors Bonnell, Rathor, Walters, Zacharias and Directors Kemp and Sorley

Negative - Director D. Bischoff

3) Area D withdrawal from CC Joint Committee

Director Bischoff reviewed this item with the Joint Committee and requested no further action on this item be taken, given Director Sorley prematurely released the email at the Sept Joint Committee meeting without asking for consent

Discussion ensued including concerns raised about a Director's ability to pull from Functions/Joint Committee and asking if a Director can prevent their Alternate Director from attending.  CAO J. Bell advised that an Alternate Director may only attend a meeting at the request of their Area Director

Resolved -- That the item be received and referred to Staff for a report on the technical feasibility of a Electoral Area Director or their Alternate not sitting on Joint Committee and process to withdraw from Functions like Arts/Culture, Victim Services, and Cemetery

Meeting recessed for a 5 min break at 7:39pm
Meeting resumed at 7:44pm

4) Year End Report -- Canada Day/Performance in the Park

Discussion ensued

Resolved -- Reports be received

5) CC Arts/Culture Society 2013 3rd Quarter Report

Discussion ensued

Resolved - Report received

6) CC Arts/Culture Fee for Service Mgmt Cmte Recommendations

The Manager of Community Services reviewed this item with the Joint Committee
Discussion ensued thereon


a) That three-year Fee-for-Service agreements be provided to the following organizations with annual payments as follows:

Williams Lake Museum & Historical Society $29,000
Station House Studio and Gallery Society $12,000
Rotary Club of Williams Lake Daybreak (for Stampede Parade) $ 5,000
Williams Lake Harvest Fair $ 2,500
Downtown Williams Lake Business Improvement Association
(for Winter Lights and Stampede Street Party) $ 7,000
Horsefly Historical Society $ 2,000
Likely & District Chamber of Commerce (Cedar City Museum) $ 2,000

b) That the Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo Association not be awarded a Fee-for Service Agreement from the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture function, but that the Association be advised to apply for a project grant to support any arts and culture component of its programming that it decides to incorporate in any given year.

c) That a new Fee-for-Service agreement be created for the Canada Day celebrations in the amount of $1,500. This recommendation results from the difficulties experienced over the past two years since the former organizers of the event withdrew. The Committee felt that for this much valued annual event, the “ad hocery” of the past two years needed to be replaced by a longer term arrangement. The Committee would also suggest that, in view of their interest in last year’s event and its stimulating effect, the Downtown Williams Lake Business Improvement Association should be asked to consider incorporating it into their program along with the Stampede Street Party and the Winter Lights recommended above.

Approved by following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Rathor, Walters, Zacharias and Directors Kemp and Sorley

Negative - Director D. Bischoff

7) Grant in Aide Capital Criteria Recommendation

Discussion ensued

Resolved -- That Section 8 of GIA Policy be changed to add the following:

“Grants will not be provided for operating funds, wages and items that are deemed to be consumable or have a functional lifespan of less than one year.”

Approved by following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Rathor, Walters, Zacharias and Directors Kemp and Sorley

Negative - Director D. Bischoff

8) CC Arts/Culture Function 2014 Business/Financial Plans

Discussion ensued

Resolved -- That the 2014 CC Arts/Culture Function Business/Financial Plans be received/endorsed

Approved by following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Rathor, Walters, Zacharias and Directors Kemp and Sorley

Negative - Director D. Bischoff

9) Mountain Bike Consortium - Permanent Funding

Discussion ensued

Resolved - That this matter be referred to special Joint Committee meeting in November for consideration

10) CC Joint Committee 2014 Mtg

Discussion ensued


That the following 2014 Central Cariboo/City of Williams Lake Joint Committee meeting schedule be

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 (CRD)
Wednesday, February 26, 2014 (CRD)
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 (CRD)
Wednesday, April 23, 2014 (CRD)
Wednesday, May 28, 2014 (CRD)
Wednesday, June 18, 2014 (City)
Wednesday, September 17, 2014 (City)
Wednesday, October 22, 2014 (City)
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 (City)

11) Review of City/CRD Memo of Understanding

CAO D. Garceau reviewed this item with the Joint Committee
Discussion ensued

Resolved - Received memo of CAO Garceau and refer to Staff for report on combining MOU and Terms of Reference for CC Joint Committee into one document

12) Pool Fin Cmte - Appt of Alt Rep from City of WL

Discussion ensued
Resolved - Report received

13) Action Page

Discussion ensued
Resolved - Action Page received and referred to Staff for review and report back to Joint Committee

Councillor Rathor requested Joint Committee to revert meeting time back to 5pm in light of Director Bischoff's health needs.  No further action taken on this item

The Committee adjourned at 8:53pm

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Central Cariboo Rural Caucus - Oct 23rd mtg

Present - Chair J. Sorley and Directors D. Bischoff (Area D), B. Kemp (Area E) and C. Mernett (entered meeting at 3:36pm) (Area K)

Absent - Area J Director R. William

Staff present:

Bernice Crowe - Executive Assistant
Darron Campbell - Manager of Community Services
Scott Reid - Chief Financial Officer

Meeting called to order at 3:32pm

The Chair asked for approval of the Agenda to include discussion/approval for all items from the Sept 25th CC Rural Caucus meeting in addition to today's Agenda Items.  Director Bischoff expressed her opposition to today's Agenda however Director Kemp was in support.  Director Bischoff stated that Area D will no longer participate in today's Rural Caucus meeting and left the meeting at 3:36pm

Pursuant to Central Cariboo Rural Terms of Reference, quorum was lost at this point of the meeting (quorum is 3 of the 5 Central/Chilcotin Directors -- Areas D, E, F, J and K)

Director Mernett entered the meeting at 3:36pm and quorum was re-established


1) Elcy LePage from Interior Roads appeared before the Rural Caucus to discuss their 2013 Winter Road Maintenance Program via a PowerPoint Presentation

A Question and Answer period ensued

Chair J. Sorley on behalf of Rural Caucus thanked Ms. LePage for her time/information


1) HandyDART Contact Renewal

By Consensus - That the agenda item summary from Darron Campbell, Manager of Community Services, dated September 18, 2013, regarding the Community Transit Partnership Agreement with the City of Williams Lake for Central Cariboo HandyDart service, be received. Further, that the agreement be extended for an additional three-year term at an annual cost of $10,000.

2) GIA (Grant in Aide) Applications:

a) Western Chilcotin Tourism - Approve GIA application of $2,000 to be cost-shared between Electoral Areas J and K
b) Riske Creek Recreation Commission - Approve GIA application for $5,000
c) Horsefly Fire Department - Approve GIA Application for $5,000
d) Horsefly Seniors' Activity/Wellness Society - Approve GIA Application for $8,000
e) Lexington Water Improvement District - Approve GIA Application for $2,000

3) Late Item - Central Cariboo Rural Caucus Terms of Reference

Discussion ensued

By Consensus -- Recommend to CRD Board that the Terms of Reference for the Central Cariboo Rural Caucus be amended to change quorum rules from 3 of 5 Directors to majority of stakeholders on invidivdula items under consideration at a Central Cariboo Rural Caucus meeting (similar to quorum rules for Central Cariboo Joint Committee)

The meeting then adjourned to an In-Camera Session at 4:10pm under Section 90(1)(k) (negotiations) of the Community Charter

Quesnel Council Highlights - Oct 21st mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

City undertakes Policy Review
Council approved the recommendations from the Policy and Bylaw Review Committee and adopted new policies, amendments to existing policies and the rescinding of some existing policies. The four new policies include Council Code of Conduct and Ethics (with an amendment), Governance and Strategic Planning, Policy Development and Review, and Release of In-Camera Items. Six of the existing policies were adopted without revision and ten of the existing polices were rescinded. A complete list of these policies is available on our website (click on “Agenda” link on the right).

Policy change for secondary suites
Council received the updated Public Consultation Schedule and proposed changes to the Master Zoning Bylaw and Official Community Plan intended for public discussion. The City of Quesnel is considering a policy change that will permit secondary suites in all single detached dwellings. Four public consultations (three evenings and one afternoon) are being held to obtain public input and give the public the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback.

Oct 24 7 p.m. Community Policing Office, 345 Anderson Dr
Oct 25 7 p.m. Dragon Lake Sch Library, 2671 Quesnel-Hydraulic Rd
Nov 8 1:30 p.m. City Hall Council Chambers, 410 Kinchant St
Nov 14 7 p.m. Rec Centre Multi-purpose Room, 501 North Star Rd

Master Fee bylaw updated
The first three readings were given by Council on the City’s Comprehensive Fees and Charges Amendment Bylaw 1727 of 2013. As part of the City’s Five Year Financial Plan, one of the policies is to move towards user-fund based funding, where appropriate, to lower the pressure on taxation. Some of the revisions are as follows:
Increase to water and sewer utility fees of 5%. This equals an average increase of $7.64 for water and $10.80 for sewer;
Commercial garbage fees will see a 2% increase for pickup. There is no increase to residential garbage pickup;
Rates at the landfill will be $50/tonne for all commercial mixed waste now. We have removed the non-segregated and segregated waste types for consistency to commercial users.
Cemetery rates and airport fees will see an increase of 2%.

Davie Street Development Variance Permit
Council approved the Development Variance Permit Application, varying the City’s Zoning Bylaw to allow the use of an existing building for a fitness facility as proposed, requiring users and staff to park in available on and off street parking areas. The approval was granted for the use of a fitness facility only and is subject to several conditions.

Other news
Council approved sending a Letter of Support to the Quesnel Skyfest Society for the planned 2015 Quesnel Skyfest Airshow. The City’s forecasted contributions for this years event were less than anticipated.
City Council endorsed the new Quesnel Vacation Planner as the official tourist guide of Quesnel.
Council gave third reading to the City of Quesnel’s Highway Closure Bylaw No. 1720 of 2013 affecting an undeveloped right-of-way abutting West Fraser Timber Park and Rona properties.
Council received the Strategic Planning - Third Quarter Report, guiding the City’s short and long-term corporate management, decision making and implementation.


October 25 to November 10 - Veterans Days
November - Disabled Parking Awareness Month
November 17 to 24 - Restorative Justice Week 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

WL Council Highlights - Oct 22nd mtg

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


Darrell Garceau - City Manager (CAO)
Cindy Bouchard - Manager of Legislative Services
Geoff Goodall - GM of Planning and Operations
Alan Madrigga - Manager of Economic Development
Ken MacInnis - Communications Coordinator

Meeting called to order at 6:02pm
Agenda approved and Minutes of Oct 8th, 2013 WL Council meeting also approved


1) The City Manager conducted a swearing-in ceremony for the following members of Junior Council:

Rebekah Corbett, Hanna Hett, Tanner Nickel, Monica Rawlek, Brooklyn Thiessen and Gagan Vaid


1) Council received the accounts payable computer cheque listings for the periods ending October 9 and 17, 2013

2) Council received a report from Councillor Zacharias in regards to the 2013 Union of BC Municipalities Convention

3) Council received the 2013 Third Quarter Economic Indicators Report for information

4) Council approved Development Permit #05-2013 for Sprucelee Construction Ltd. on behalf of M.H. King Excavating Ltd. for the construction of a new heavy equipment storage and maintenance facility at 4029 & 4025 Frizzi Road

5) Council awarded the contract for the supply of dried bulk highway salt to McTar Division of Lafarge Canada Inc. for the tendered price of $126 plus applicable taxes per metric tonne (price based on a yearly consumption of 1,700 tonnes

6) Council deferred consideration of the placement of restriction of parking on the west side of Western Avenue at 798 and 797 Johnson Street, for approximately 15 metres on either side of the intersection, and the installation of additional signage on the stop signs at Western Avenue that read "HIGH COLLISION LOCATION" at the request of Mayor Kerry Cook to a future Council meeting

7) Council awarded the project to relocate electrical lines underground at Scout Island to McKay Electric Ltd. for the bid price of $112,455.18, plus GST

8) Council approved the Lease Assignment for Airport Lease #CWL5500 between Larry Chambers of Lawrence Aviation and Tim Menning of Hytest Timber Ltd.

9) Council gave 1st/2nd Reading to Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2193, 2013 (327 Oliver St) and set the Public Hearing for this Bylaw for November 19, 2013 at 7:00 PM

10) Williams Lake Permissive Property Tax Exemptions Bylaw No. 2195, 2013 was adopted by Council

11) Council received for information the 2013 UBCM Summary Report dated October 3, 2013 prepared by the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition for the CCBAC Board of Directors summarizing the meetings held during the 2013 Annual Union of BC Municipalities Convention regarding the Rural BC Project

12) Council approved the following events:

a) 2013 Annual "Memory Tree" Celebration - Dec 1st from 3-4:30pm at WL City Hall
b) Santa Parade and Winter Lights Christmas Magic Light Up - Nov 30th in WL Downtown area

13) Council received their 'Council Information Package' as follows:

• October 2013 - NCLGA Connector No. 121;
• October 2013 - e-Newsletter Volume 4, Issue 3;
• October 4, 2013 - CRD Board Highlights;
• October 7, 2013 - Letter from FCM President to Prime Minister Stephen Harper;
• October 16, 2013 - Letter from MP Karygiannis re Thank You for Proclaiming "Veterans' Week";
• October 17, 2013 - UBCM The Compass re Throne Speech Highlights, Treaty Commission Annual Report, Etc.;
• October 17, 2013 - Potato House First Annual Halloween Night Zombie Walk Poster.

14) Council received Mayor Cook's bi-weekly activity report covering the period of Oct 2-15, 2013

Members of Council gave oral reports outlining their activities within the community

Meeting adjourned at 7:15pm

Concerned Citizens Open House - October 30

The Coalition of Concerned Citizens for the North Cariboo Multi-Centre Project this morning emailed me and let me know the details for their Open House on October 30th as follows:

Citizens of the North Cariboo want to know what's going on; Citizens of the North Cariboo want Options. The Coalition of Concerned Cititzens is holding an Open House on Wednesday, October 30th, from 6 pm, at the Royal Canadian Legion in Quesnel.

YOU can help to invite people to come out to the Open House - word of mouth, email, facebook. What else?

We need help to invite Citizens to participate in the discussions on October 30th.
Meanwhile - Cariboo RD Area B Director Heloise Dixon-Warren has written a note on the issue of the North Cariboo Multicentre & taxation of the North Cariboo Recreation and Parks Function

Read her note here

Community Mtg at Wildwood Elementary

Last night - roughly 20 people showed up to discuss the issue of the use of dirt bikes and ATV's in Wildwood.

At the request of Cariboo RD Area D Director Deb Bischoff -- Insp. Warren Brown of the Williams Lake RCMP along with 2 other RCMP Officers came out to Wildwood Elementary and reviewed this topic from a police perspective which in turn led a 1 hour discussion about appropriate use of dirt bikes/ATV's and related road safety issues within the Wildwood community

One aspect of the meeting that I was uncomfortable with was the suggestion by one individual that Director Bischoff was using her political office to get back at those who may use their dirt bike inappropriately.  Knowing Deb Bischoff like I do, I know she would not act on her own but upon receiving written concerns... but as Director Bischoff told me last night, the community discussion has now taken place and it is up to the community to take the next steps...

Finally - Denise Thompson from the local Wildwood Community Association reminded those in attendance that the AGM of the Wildwood Community Association will take place on Monday, November 18th, 2013 at 7pm - Wildwood Elementary.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Letter B Newsletter - Oct 2013 edition

Earlier today - Cariboo RD Area B Director Heloise Dixon-Warren released her October 2013 "Letter B" newsletter

In this month's edition:

From Me to You... across Electoral Area B
A Plug for Barlow Creek Recreation Commission - Haunted House / Halloween Celebrations
A Look at the Residential Tax Rate for Recreation in the North Cariboo
North Cariboo Multi-Centre Referendum - Please plan to exercise your voting rights
Area B Resident Engagement Opportuntiies
Childcare at Parkland Community Centre
Rural Recreation - Bouchie Lake and Parkland

View the newsletter for yourself below:

Friday, October 18, 2013

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Oct 21-25

A number of local governments are having meetings this upcoming week as follows:

Quesnel - Regular Council Meeting on Oct 21st at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor, 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

a) Members of Council report out on the UBCM Convention in late September
b) 3rd Quarter Report - City of Quesnel
c) DVP #41-2013 (158 Davie St)
d) BIA's (3) renewal Process
e) South Hills Neighourhood Assoc. requests debris clean-up in South Quesnel (Frank's Supermarket & Dragon Lk Hill)

View the full Agenda here

School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) - Regular Board of Education meeting on Oct 22nd at 6:30pm in the SD#27 Boardroom (350 2nd Ave North, Williams Lake).  Items on the Agenda including:

a) Various Committee reports
b) Reconsideration of names for former Columneetza/WL Secondary Schools

View the full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Regular Council meeting on Oct 22nd at 6pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  Items on the Agenda:

a) Junior Council members to be sworn in by City Manager (CAO) Darrell Garceau
b) Report from Councillor S. Zacharias re: 2013 UBCM Convention
c) Receipt of 3rd Quarter Economic Indicators Report
d) Consideration of DP #5-2013 (4029/4025 Frizzi Rd)
e) "High Collision Location" signs going up at Western Ave and Johnson St
f) Rezoning Application for 1st two readings - 327 Oliver St
g) Receipt of Mayor Cook's bi-weekly activity report

View the full Agenda here

100 Mile House - COW/Regular Meetings starting at 6:30pm on Oct 22nd in 100 Mile Council Chambers (385 Birch Ave).  View the full Agendas here

Cariboo Regional District:

Oct 21st -
South Cariboo Rural Caucus at 4pm in 100 Mile Council Chambers.  Items on the Agenda include Ron Ehmann to raise concerns with the Caucus re: wood burning boilers, 1st Ecomomic Forum at Interlakes and resume consideration of a community forest at Forest Grove/Canim Lake areas.

View the full Agenda here

Oct 21st - South Cariboo Joint Committee at 5:00pm in 100 Mile Council Chambers.  Items on the Agenda include an RCMP update, Interior Roads to give an update to the Committee and Canlan Ice Sports to give an update.  Consideration of Grant in Aide applications, 2014 South Cariboo Recreation Plans, curb-side garbage/recycling for 100/108 Mile, review of South Cariboo Landfill tipping fees, Fees/Charges Bylaw for refuse sites within Cariboo RD Areas G, H and L

View the full Agenda here

Oct 23rd - Central Cariboo Rural Caucus at 3:30pm in the Cariboo RD Committee Room in Williams Lake (180D North 3rd Avenue).  Items on the Agenda include update from Interior Roads, Grant in Aide applications, and an update from the CRD Manager of Enviro. Services in regards to the MOU between Williams Lake/CRD re: Landfill Use/Recycling Services

View the full Agenda here

Oct 23rd - Central Cariboo Joint Committee at 6pm in the Cariboo RD Boardroom (180D Third Ave North, Williams Lake).  Items on the Agenda include Final Report of 2013 Canada Day/Performances in the Park, 3rd Quarter Report of CCACS (local Arts/Culture Society), Arts/Culture Fee for Service Program Review, Grant in Aide 'Capital' criteria review, 2014 Central Cariboo Recreation/Arts & Culture Business and Financial Plans, consider future funding model for local Mountain Bike consortium, and review Joint Committee Terms of Reference & email from Area D Director Deb Bischoff re: withdraw Area D from the Joint Committee

View the full Agenda here

Oct 25th - CCRHD Board at 9:30am in the Cariboo RD Boardroom.  Items on the Agenda include hearing from MJ Cousins from the Central Interior Rural Division of Family Practice in regards to recruitment of physicians, Interior Health's Capital Strategy for 2013/14, a funding request from the South Cariboo Health Foundation

View the full Agenda here

Oct 25th - Cariboo RD Board at 9:45am in the Cariboo RD Boardroom.  Items on the Agenda include Jillian Merrick to talk about 'Beyond the Market' project, Gateway Water Supply Project (Area H) moves to public assent stage, FN Museum proposal at 108 Greenbelt, reconsider item from Area D Director Deb Bischoff for $1,000 for two Open Houses (One at Wildwood Elementary and the other to be determined) to discuss local community issues (please note - this item was rejected at the Board's Sept 13th meeting at Wildwood Fire Hall), and consideration/approval of recommendations from sub-region Rural Caucuses or Joint Committees.

View the full Agenda here

City of WL Business Plans Review complete

At last night's meeting - Williams Lake Council completed their review of their 2014 City Department Business Plans.  From here, Williams Lake Council will turn next to review the proposed Capital Plan on Oct 30th at 6pm - likely in the Rick Hansen Boardroom

At the end of the meeting - Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook challenged her colleagues to focus on 'actions items' that residents' can see for the 2014 Budget (i.e.: road work), rather than studies like geo-technical work and Pavement Management Plan

This, in turn, led a debate on the topic of generating revenue (property tax hikes vs other methods)

Councillors Sue Zacharias and Geoff Bourdon pleaded with their colleagues to focus less on the percentage of a tax increase and more on the precise number that residents' will be asked to pay for.  Councillor Danica Hughes told Council focus on 'out of the box' solution that doesn't burden taxpayers right off the bat, suggesting selling un-used parks for housing and generate revenue that way.  Meanwhile, Councillor SPS Rathor pleaded with his colleagues to not get 'hyped' with the building permit stats as he said 'they are one-time numbers' and look at the big picture and pleaded with his colleagues to stretch the tax dollar as far as possible.  Councillors Zacharias & Rathor also debated the issue of how taxpayers/businesses are doing.  Zacharias says people she talked with don't mind paying an extra $200 in property taxes in 2014, provided there are tangible benefits to those increased property taxes while Councillor Rathor said the people he is talking with say that can't afford anymore tax hikes

City Hall watcher Elke Reiner gave her opinion last night on the Business Plans and what Council should focus on including making use of the former Jackpine facility (Engineered Wood plant) on Mackenzie Avenue for economic development.

I have requested an audience with local City Manager (CAO) Darrell Garceau to review with him individual department plans.  Some items do concern me including the $500,000 annual request by the RCMP for a Crime Target Team (4 officers and 1 civilian) for Prolific Offenders.  But it is far too soon to say if these business plans will necessarily lead to a tax increase because Council needs to review its' capital plan, get specific budget numbers and begin the budget reconciliation process which will lead to a balanced budget with the specific tax numbers by May 15th - required deadline for local governments to have adopted their annual budgets and tax rate bylaws

Finally - the Cariboo RD will soon start its' budget process including consideration of business plans and a provisional budget by Dec 31st, 2013.  Its' first budget meeting is tentatively set for November 29th from 9:30am - 4:30pm in the Cariboo RD Boardroom.  I expect input from the 16 Town Halls in Sept/Oct plus what comes from the November 6th Strategic Planning Session and the 2014 Sub Region Recreation Plans from Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile plus the Central Cariboo Arts/Culture Business/Financial Plans will form the primary basis for the 2014 Cariboo Regional District Budget

Find below the document that I received from City Hall that includes the Draft 2014 Business Plans & Supplementary Requests for City Staff:

Thursday, October 17, 2013

City of WL Bus Plan Review (Day 2 of 2) - Oct 17

Present - Mayor Cook with Councillors Bonnell (entered meeting at 6:04pm), Bourdon, Hughes, Rathor, and Zacharias

Absent - Councillor L. Walters


Darrell Garceau - City Manager (CAO)
Pat Higgins - Director of Finance
Des Webster - Director of Protective Services (Fire Chief)
Alan Madrigga - Manager of Economic Development
Deb Radolla - Manager of Active Living
Geoff Paynton - Director of Community Services
Insp. Warren Brown - WL RCMP Detachment Commander

Public: 2
Media: None

Meeting called to order at 6pm by the City Manager
To review the previous meeting notes, click here

The City Manager gave some opening remarks in regards to the 2014 Budget Process

Council then resumed its' Business Plan Review with the following Departments:

2) Fire Department
3) Economic Development
4) Community Services

Members of the public were given an opportunity to speak to Council in regards to the 2014 Business Plans

Mayor Cook then addressed & challenged Council on the topic of the 2014 Budget. A general discussion ensued

Next meeting - October 30th, 2013 at 6pm

Meeting adjourned at 8:13pm

BC Creative Spaces grant now available

Editor's Note -- I hope that Arts/Culture/Performing Arts Groups either in Wells, Quesnel, Williams Lake or 100 Mile House will seriously consider making an application to this new funding as they could easily make use of those funds in these communities

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Communities throughout the province will benefit from a half a million dollars in B.C. government funding to help non-profit cultural organizations, First Nations and friendship centres improve local arts infrastructure, including theatres, studios and galleries, Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Coralee Oakes said today.

Launched earlier this year, the arts-focused program BC Creative Spaces supported

37 projects that improved arts facilities in British Columbia communities.

Approved projects included:

Expansion at Chemainus Valley Museum
Construction of a longhouse for cultural celebrations on Haida Gwaii
Renovations at Sunset Theatre in Wells
Upgrades to The Arts Station in Fernie
Creation of a recording studio/rehearsal space in Dunster

New one-time funding will support similar projects. To be eligible for funding, organizations must be governed by an active board of directors or band council and be focussed on delivering arts and/or other cultural programming. Projects must develop new spaces, improve existing facilities, or purchase or upgrade specialized equipment.

For information on how to apply for funding, visit:

Improved cultural facilities help make B.C. communities vibrant, interesting places to live, visit, work and raise a family. Projects funded under BC Creative Spaces also benefit local contractors and businesses.

Cariboo-North MLA & Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Coralee Oakes says:

Communities need more than bricks and mortar to build local identity and pride. Lively arts and culture add soul and spirit to communities large and small, urban and rural throughout British Columbia. BC Creative Spaces helps local cultural organizations support a quality of life that can attract new residents and investment. First Nations can enhance opportunities to celebrate and share their unique cultural heritage."

Quick Facts about this program:

* Originally intended as a one-year program funded with $1.25 million for 2012-13, BC Creative Spaces is receiving an additional $500,000 from the B.C. government for 2013-14 because of its success.

* According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, British Columbia's arts and culture sector experienced a steady three-per-cent annual real GDP growth from 2002 to 2007.

* In the same time period, employment in the arts and culture sector grew to represent almost four per cent of the provincial workforce.

* The arts and culture sector contributed $6.344 billion to provincial GDP in 2009.

* Stakeholders in the sector include over 2,000 not-for-profit arts and cultural organizations, 87,420 cultural workers including 25,890 artists, approximately 126,000 donors and 88,000 volunteers.

* In 2013-14, the B.C. government increased funding for arts and culture to over $60 million - about $7 million higher than last year.

* This year, the B.C. government provided BC Arts Council with a record high funding of $24 million.