Friday, October 31, 2014

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

A number of local governments are occurring next week as follows:

Wells - Regular Council Meeting on Tues, Nov 4th at 7pm in Wells Council Chambers (4243 Sanders Ave).  View the full Agenda here

Quesnel - Regular Council Meeting on Mon, Nov 3rd at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* 2015 Council pay
* Committee reports
* Amend Terms of Reference -- Quesnel Accessibility Advisory Committee
* NDIT 2015 Façade Improvement Program

View the full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Regular Council Meeting on Tues, Nov 4th at 6pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  On the Agenda:

* Adopt Westray Support Resolution ("Enforce the Law" campaign from Steelworkers')
* Letter from Mary Forbes re: Accessibility Concerns in City of WL
* Adopting Committee of the Whole recommendations including contentious Dutch Point RD Vehicle Lake Access Closure Recommendation

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District:

Tues, Nov 4th - Advertised North Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus -- Meeting takes place at the CRD Quesnel Office (410 Kinchant St).  Agenda can be viewed, when available, here

Don't forget about the 2nd Williams Lake Mayoral Candidates Forum - Free to Attend. 6:30pm to 9:30pm Monday, Nov 3rd in the Gibraltar Room.  Please attend as this is last chance before Advance Voting starts on Wednesday Nov 5th, 8am - 8pm for all local governments.  Details for Advanced Voting locations will be published Monday...

City of WL Encourages Residents To Have Their Say on BC 10-Year Transportation Plan

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The City of Williams Lake encourages all residents to provide their input to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s B.C. On the Move 10-year Transportation Plan.

The Province is developing the new 10-year plan to address the transportation network British Columbia uses to move people and goods with the following short-, medium-, and longer-term priorities:

1. Moving people and goods safely and reliably
2. Growing the economy
3. Connecting and strengthening communities
4. Maximizing collaboration and investment with partners, including First Nations, the federal government, regional and local governments, and the private sector.

The Province is welcoming feedback from B.C. residents until December 12, 2014. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will meet with key stakeholders, including First Nations, local governments, port and airport authorities and other community leaders, to talk about transportation issues that are important to them. Discussions will focus on opportunities for improvements to the transportation network that
can help build healthy, sustainable communities and support jobs and families in a growing provincial economy.

Input gathered from this public engagement process and from stakeholder meetings will be considered as government develops the new 10-year plan. The plan will be posted online in early 2015, and will set out a series of short, medium and longer-term priorities for government.

Those interested in providing feedback can do so in a number of ways:

• Information about regional and local transportation and an online survey are available at
• E-mail
• Phone 1-800-855-4850
• Mail P.O Box 3623 Vancouver Main, Vancouver, B.C. V6B 3Y6
• At an upcoming Twitter Town Hall (to be announced by the Ministry).

100 Mile House Early Years Centre launched

Courtesy of the BC Government Caucus:

A new mobile B.C. Early Years Centre will provide parents of young children in the 100 Mile House region access to a range of early learning, health and family services.  

Hosted by the Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre Society, the mobile BC Early Years Centre will travel to communities throughout the region and offer programs like the popular drop-in playgroup Wiggle and Shake, a parent participation play group with special focus on physical, social and emotional development.

During these playgroups, the centre will learn from families about the programs and services that best meet the needs of their children. This information will be used to begin tailoring services at the centre. Continuing through to the new year, the centre will then host outreach events that are focused on each community’s needs.

The centre will also develop an early years app that will notify families when the Wiggle and Shake playgroup is coming to their community and how they can access it. 

This new centre is the first step, as part of the B.C. Early Years Strategy, to implement a network of Early Years Centres throughout the province that will provide families with one-stop, convenient access to a range of services and supports, information and referrals. The strategy is an eight-year government commitment to improve the accessibility, affordability and quality of early-years programs and services for families with young children.

The 100 Mile House BC Early Years Centre is one of 12 new centres across the province. The chosen sites are in a diverse mix of urban, rural and Aboriginal communities, and will build on existing local community resources to enhance services for families. Each centre will receive $52,000 from the Provincial Office for the Early Years for this fiscal year as part of a $5.5-million investment over three years.

Donna Barnett, Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA –

“The Province’s new BC Early Years Centres are another step toward making life easier for families and settling children up for lifelong success. The region of 100 Mile House has been chosen as one of only 12 sites in British Columbia that will support children by helping them grow and give them a head start as they begin their journeys in life.”

Stephanie Cadieux, Minister of Children and Family Development –

“The new BC Early Years Centres are part of our commitment to make life easier for families and ensure young children get the support they need to reach their full potential. Being able to access these early learning and health services at a young age is critical to the healthy development of a child, and bringing services together through these new centres will help achieve that.”

Lisa De Paoli, Executive Director, Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre Society –

“Our long term goal is to reduce the number of children in the South Cariboo who are physically, emotionally, and socially vulnerable entering kindergarten from over 100 children a year to zero.  The Early Years Centre will bring together service providers, organizations, businesses and communities to support the needs of our young children to achieve life-long success.” 
“In the South Cariboo, will be bringing services to the communities surrounding 100 Mile House including Lac La Hache, Bridge Lake, Lone Butte, 108 Mile and Forest Grove." 

Clark announces Shqwi qwal for Indigenous Dialogue

Yesterday - BC Premier Christy Clark announced the first Shqwi qwal (Speaker) for Indigenous Dialogue at Vancouver Island University, Shawn Atleo - the former Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations - more on the announcement here

As I noted to one person yesterday -- I hope that this initiative can lead to the type of dialogue that our society requires to move forward together on economic development initiatives in our region

Video of yesterday's announcement below:

Kerry Cook wants 3rd Term

In today's Williams Lake Tribune - current Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook says what she hopes to accomplish in her 3rd term, if re-elected in 2 weeks

Read more here

As I noted on Williams Lake Speak Up! (Facebook group):

1) "Open Gov" was a Staff initiative, not Kerry Cook's
2) Monthly Cheque Register publication was at the request of WL City Councillor Ivan Bonnell
3) There has been a lack of leadership on the CRD Relationship from the City of WL side from Mayor Cook by her silence... they say silence is signed consent

Also running for Williams Lake Mayor are former Mayor Walt Cobb, current Williams Lake City Councillor Surinderpal Rathor and John Bjornstrom


2nd WL Mayoral Forum Monday

Tim Hortons' is sponsoring a non-partisan 2nd Williams Lake Mayoral Forum as follows:

Date - Monday, November 3rd

Time - 6:30pm - 9:30pm

Location - Gibraltar Room, CMRC (525 Proctor Street)

Cost - Free of Charge

Format - "Open Mike" - person walks up, addresses candidate(s) and proposes question(s) to candidate(s)

I encourage you to come out and ask your question(s) to the 4 Williams Lake Mayoral Candidates

See you there!!

Thanks to the local Tim Horton's for providing the funding to making this 2nd Mayoral Forum happen


Thursday, October 30, 2014

WL Council in-fighting on Dutch Point Rd Lake Access Restriction

Update #1 - The Goat/Cariboo Country looks at this issue -- click here

Yesterday - I noted Williams Lake City Councillor (and WL Mayoral Candidate) SPS Rathor charged his colleagues with 'hypocrisy' on the issue of lake access from Dutch Point Rd - read that here

Rathor then posted the following on his "Elect Surinderpal Rathor for Williams Lake Mayor" Facebook page:

Again, the lake access question is an example of how the present administration speaks on way publicly on an issue and then acts another. Is the present administration really open for business? Are they really listening to the taxpayers/voters?

Please share this post with as many people/friends as you can,

This caused WL City Councillor Sue Zacharias (a public supporter of Mayor Kerry Cook in Cook's re-election bid) to post the following in reply:

My fellow councillor and friend, are part of the Council and as I remember the other night you voted in favour, however you wanted to not do a temporary closure like we voted wanted to do a permanent closure, so you votes no. The site will and always will be open for swimming, kayaking and canoeing. The Scout Island boat launch is targeted for improvements as has been mentioned so it becomes a better launch ramp and better road. Lake access is being looked at for 1690 South Lakeside road. Working with CNN as they want a proposal put forward for 1690. Thanks Sue Z

Councillor Rathor fired back with the following response:

Thanks. For your note Susan. First as you declared your choice Publicly for Leadership of Mayor (Kerry Cook), I feel not to response on PM, but as a good friend for who I always had respect and will remain that way, need to. I want to close it permanently, ONLY after we had opened other access first. And with proper safely Blocked this one. We, on POC (Planning and Operations Committee) worked hard on this to do the right not half right. Making this decision in spite of OUT CRY from local Community, over 300 signature petition, two Forum less then 24 hour was shock to me. Hope explain my reasons. Regards

Councillor Zacharias said finally in reply:

Thank you Surinder. Of course I will always thank Mayor Cook for her leadership and her integrity. Who wouldn't, when it is true. I also thanked my fellow councillors and you are one of them. Have a great day and see you next week. I am visiting daughter Cindy and kids in Calgary. Taking a break! See you next Tuesday night at Council.

I think the above shows the kind of debate we are likely to see on Tuesday in adopting the Committee of the Whole recommendation regarding Dutch Point RD

Stay tuned!!


WL Council on Dutch Point Rd Lake Access

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Meeting as Committee of the Whole on Oct. 28, Williams Lake City Council passed a recommendation to limit the lake access on Dutch Point Road to non-motorized traffic only to address safety concerns. The access is not being closed. Council will consider a parking option for users as part of the 2015 budget process. Committee of the Whole recommendations are not decisions; they are referred to regular Council meetings for final consideration. This item is scheduled to be on the Nov. 4 Council meeting agenda.
Committee of the Whole recommended referring consideration of a right-angle parking solution that would create between 3 and 5 parking spaces and a turnaround for vehicles without trailers to the 2015 budget process. Due to the limited space on Dutch Point Road, this parking area would stretch across the width of the Dutch Point lake access. This proposed solution would block vehicle access to the lake, but allow safe parking, a turnaround, and non-motorized lake access.
Recognizing that lake access is important for all residents of the community, Committee of the Whole also passed a recommendation to direct staff to investigate improvements at Scout Island beach, boat launch area and access to Scout Island and report back to the 2015 budget discussions. City staff also continue to work on a lake access inventory that will examine the overall access to the lake, both in and out of City boundaries.
Dutch Point Road is not a dedicated road right-of-way; it is an encroachment onto CN Rail right-of-way and is only 10 metres in width, which is half of most City roads. This does not allow emergency or municipal services vehicles such as fire trucks or snowplows to travel the road when vehicles are parked on it.
Bollards or another barrier will be installed in the coming weeks at the lake access if Council approves the recommendation. The barrier will still allow access to the lake for non-motorized activities such as skiing or walking or canoeing. However, parking along the road will remain prohibited. In addition, signage will be placed at the entrance to Dutch Point Road alerting motorists that there is no motorized lake access, turnaround, or parking along Dutch Point 

City of WL on Mt Polley Restart

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Meeting as Committee of the Whole on Oct. 28, Williams Lake City Council passed a recommendation to write a letter to the Premier and appropriate provincial ministers expressing the importance of Mt. Polley returning to full operations.
Mine manager Dale Reimer appeared as delegation before Committee of the Whole, and outlined current efforts underway in the wake of the Aug. 5 tailings pond breach. The mine must obtain a number of permits in order to repair the tailings dam and return to normal operations. Currently, approximately 360 employees are working on remediation efforts. For the most part, Mt. Polley employees live in Williams Lake and the surrounding area, and the mine uses local suppliers and contractors.
The City highlighted the importance of the mine to ministers at the recent Union of British Columbia Municipalities Convention, and remains in close contact with Imperial Metals, MLA Donna Barnett, and other stakeholders. Monthly meetings with mine officials are planned.
This recommendation will be referred to the Nov. 4 regular Council meeting for a final decision.

Simpson vs Sjostrom on Tax Shifting

At this past Tuesday's All Candidates Forum in Quesnel -- Quesnel Mayoral Candidates Bob Simpson and Mary Sjostrom spared over the controversial subject of tax shifting from Heavy/Light Industry to Residential

According to Quesnel Mayor Mary Sjostrom, a 1% tax shift away from Industry means a 6% tax hike on residential properties while Quesnel Mayoral Candidate Bob Simpson says it's time to "rebalance" the property tax system

The debate shows the challenge that many local governments are going through -- how to balance concerns from Industry over property taxation vs residential property owners (particularly seniors) who say that they can not afford any more property tax hikes

Listen to that here

Quesnel Election 2014 - Amended FAQ (Voting Locations)

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

WL Council "Flip-Flops" on Lake Access?

Update at 7:12pm, Wed Oct 29th -- Local resident Matt Gertzen appeals to WL Mayor Kerry Cook and WL City Councillors Ivan Bonnell, Danica Hughes, Laurie Walters and Sue Zacharias to reverse their decision from last night at the Nov 4th meeting as it relates to the closure of lake access on Dutch Point Rd - read his letter here

Original Blog Post:

At yesterday's Committee of the Whole meeting, City Staff presented an update report as to lake access from Dutch Point Rd (historical and current information) and gave Council 3 options -- Parallel Parking - 2 Versions and Right Angle Parking each with cost and other implications.  After discussing it for some time, WL Council adopted the following motion with Councillor Rathor opposed:

That Council direct staff to proceed with closure of vehicular lake access at Dutch Point Road; and further, that staff proceed with development of the “Right-angle Parking Option” as discussed in this report, through the 2015 regular budget process.

This Committee of the Whole recommendation will be considered for formal adoption at the Tuesday, November 4th WL City Council meeting - 6pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St)

Read the full Staff report here

Earlier today -- Williams Lake Mayoral Candidate (and local City Councillor) Surinderpal Rathor took to the airwaves and charged that his colleagues were "flip-flopping" on this matter, given this past Monday and yesterday -- Councillors Bonnell, Walters, Zacharias and Mayor Cook all agreed at All Candidates Forums that lake access was important to preserve and enhance

This is also being heavily discussed at WL Speak Up - Facebook page.  View that discussion here

It will be interesting to watch and see if Council bows to public pressure or sticks with tradition and ratifies the Oct 29th COW Resolution on Nov 4th..  and then watch to see if this affects the two Advance Votes on Nov 5th and 12th and the General Voting Day on Nov 15th

The Nov 4th Council Meeting is the final one prior to the Nov 15th Local Government Election


CC Conservation Society Questions

This afternoon - I answered the 4 questions put to WL City Council (Mayor/Councillor) and CRD Director candidates from the Cariboo-Chilcotin Conservation Society

Find the questions and my answers below:

1) Are you familiar with the long term Integrated Community Sustainability Plan of 2009 and if so, what is your vision going forward? Would you reinstate the Sustainability Committee?

Answer: I am very familiar with this plan.  The ICSP Plan was adopted by Williams Lake City Council in July of 2010 and thus this plan does not apply to the Cariboo Regional District.  The Cariboo Regional District does have the Williams Lake Fringe OCP which applies to portions of Electoral Areas D, E, F and will apply the OCP to development and other community development proposals within the applicable parts of Area D and finally, I would be in support of restoration of the Sustainability Committee, as the current Area D Director, Deb Bischoff, has been in support of the Committee’s previous activities 

2.) How would you attract more green entrepreneurs and green jobs to Williams Lake?

Answer: In partnership with the City of Williams Lake and others to pool our resources together in order to diverse our economy to include the traditional sectors (forestry, mining and agriculture) and those of the ‘new and sustainable jobs’ in green jobs…  Nobody can do much alone but together, we can accomplish a lot

3) How can public access to Williams Lake be improved without compromising the Nature Centre?

Answer: As I understand this issue applies to the City of Williams Lake only — I’m not able to comment on this item  as a candidate for Electoral Area ‘D’ Director of the Cariboo Regional District

4.) Do you have any suggestions to improve the water and waste management system within the City and Region?

Answer: The Cariboo Regional District has the recently approved Solid Waste Management Plan and the Region is guided by that Plan for the next period of time (10 years, I believe) however I am open to public input to ensure the Plan meets the needs of the public with respect to recycling/garbage while living up to the goals of the Solid Waste Management Plan which underwent a 2 year public review/input process…

Laurie Walters' Re-election brochure

Williams Lake City Councillor Laurie Walters who is seeking her 3rd consecutive term has now made available for download her re-election brochure.  In it, she is looking forward to, if re-elected:

* Strengthening the First Nations and Cariboo Regional District relationships
* Strengthening Local Tourism and Mountain Biking Sectors'
* Look at 're-balancing' the property tax system in Williams Lake
* Continue to support the City's OCP and Integrated Community Sustainability Plan
* Continue support to grow the Arts, Culture and Heritage Sector

There are a lot of the above goals that I personally support and would seriously consider voting for Laurie Walters...

Download the full brochure here

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Committee of the Whole (WL Council) Mtg - Oct 28th

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


Darrell Garceau - City Manager
Cindy Bouchard - Mgr of Legislative Services
Nigel Whitehead - Planner
Gary Muraca - Director of Municipal Services
Ann Burrill - Manager of Social Development

Meeting called to order at 6pm

Meeting Agenda approved with 1 late item/COW Meeting mins of Oct 14th approved


1) BC Transit appeared before the Committee to discuss the upcoming Service Review.

A Powerpoint presentation was played - view here

The Chair, on behalf of the Committee, thanked the delegation for their time/information

Resolved - That the Committee recommend:

Council approve the draft Terms of Reference for the BC Transit Service Review


1) 2nd and 3rd Avenue Traffic Calming Measures

The Director of Muncipal Services reviewed this item with the Committee.
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved -  That the Committee recommend:

That Council direct staff to investigate options for signage changes for both 2nd and 3rd
Avenue within the Marie Sharpe school zone to include speed restrictions for the playground, in
addition to school zones; and further, that options for increased signage visibility, including LED
lights, be investigated

Resolved - That Council request the City Manager to discuss with the RCMP increased enforcement in school/playground zones throughout the City

Delegations, cont:

Dale Reimer, Mine Manager with Mt Polley, appeared before the Committee to discuss recent developments in regards to Mt Polley

A Question/Answer period ensued

The Chair, on behalf of the Committee, thanked Mr. Reimer for his time/information

Business, cont:

2) Dutch Point Road Update

The Planner reviewed this item with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That the Committee recommend:

That Council direct staff to proceed with closure of vehicular lake access at Dutch Point Road; and further, that staff proceed with development of the “Right-angle Parking Option” through the 2015 regular budget process.

Approved by the following vote:

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

3) 18 Woodland Drive

The Planner reviewed this matter with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That the report of the Planner be received

4) Mount Polley Mine Operation

Councillor Rathor reviewed his report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That the Committee recommend:

That the Mayor write a letter, with copies to the Cariboo Regional District, MLA's for Cariboo-Chilcotin and Cariboo-North & WL/Soda Creek Indian Bands, expressing its' hope that Mount Polley restart as soon as practical - as per tonight's discussions 

5) Late Item - Letter from CRD re: 2015 Canada Winter Games

Councillor Bonnell reviewed the letter with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That the Committee recommend:

That Council authorize $1,000 and staff time to participate with the Cariboo Regional District at the Canada Winter Games in Prince George from Feb 13th - March 1st, 2015

Meeting adjourned at 8:53pm and Council resumed its In-Camera Committee of the Whole Meeting from 5pm, pursuant to Sections 90(1c & k) of the Community Charter

Quesnel Election 2014 - FAQ #8 (Voter ID)

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

WL City Councillor All Candidates Forum Video

Yesterday - the 11 candidates (Marnie Brenner unavailable due to death in family) for Williams Lake City Council explained why they should be elected

Got News Network taped the entire forum and I publicly want to thank them for doing it

Link to the video is here


WL Mayoral Candidates Forum

Candidates present: John Bjornstrom, Walt Cobb, Kerry Cook, and Surinderpal Rathor

Other present: WL City Councillor candidates Jason Ryll, Tovi Pare, Bobbie-Jo Macnair, Craig Smith, Wayne Lucier, Scott Nelson, Laurie Walters and Sue Zacharias.  CRD Area 'D' Director candidate Steve Forseth and SD #27 Zone 4 Trustee Jackie Austin

Roughly 60 members of the public in attendance

Forum starts at 11:55am

Opening Comments by Moderator John Hack

2 min Opening Statements by the Mayoral Candidates

Question Period:

1) Define your vision as Mayor of Williams Lake on CCBAC
2) How will communicate municipal business to the general public and business community?
3) What is your vision for the lakeshore and downtown core and how will you implement this?
4) What is your vision for Arts/Culture? Editor's Note , video on this can be viewed here

Forum recessed at 12:32pm
Forum resumed at 12:47pm

5) Social needs vs Economic Development? Can we have both
6) If elected - will you keep taxes/spending low and how will you do this?
7) If elected - what will be your top 3 priorities as Mayor
8) Explain your position on the 'Corporate Vote'?

3 min Closing Statements by the Mayoral Candidates
Forum adjourned at 1:25pm

Applications to Small Community Fund now accepted

This morning, Todd Stone (BC Minister of Transportation/Infrastructure) announced that communities can apply to the Small Community Fund for qualified projects.  Those include:

Brownfield Redevelopment
Connectivity and Broadband
Disaster Mitigation
Drinking Water
Green Energy
Highways and Major Roads
Local and Regional Airports
Public Transit
Short Sea Shipping
Shortline Rail
Solid Waste Management

Communities can apply now until Feb 18th, 2015.  Each community, under 100,000 of population can apply for one project during this period.  Regional Districts can apply as follows:

Regional districts may submit one application per intake for each community in their area. Community is defined as a settlement area within a regional district electoral area or an established or proposed service area.

Full details can be viewed here


Kerry Cook establishes online presence

Late Monday - current Williams Lake Mayor (and current WL Mayoral Candidate) Kerry Cook set up her Facebook re-election page and her website.  The FB Page can be viewed here

On her website - Mayor Cook groups her re-election platform into 3 categories:

a) Financial Accountability
b) Economic Future
c) Healthy Community

View her webpage here

Monday, October 27, 2014

WL City Councillor Candidate Forum

Candidates Present - Ivan Bonnell, Peter Bowman, Sue Lachance, Wayne Lucier, Bobbie-Jo MacNair, Scott Nelson, Tovi Pare, Jason Ryll, Craig Smith, Laurie Walters and Sue Zacharias

Also Present - WL Mayoral Candidates John Bjornstrom, Walt Cobb, Kerry Cook and Surinderpal Rathor.  CRD Area D Director candidates Steve Forseth/Pennie Daffurn.  School District #27 Zone 5 Trustee candidates Deb Bischoff/Sheila Boehm & Outgoing School District #27 Zone 4 Trustee Jackie Austin

Public: Roughly 100

Forum started at 6:01pm

Opening Comments by WL Chamber of Commerce Acting President Angela Sommer including reading a statement from WL City Councillor candidate Marnie Brenner who was absent due to a death in her family.  Moderator John Hack explained how the forum will be conducted

30 second opening statements from the 11 Candidates

Question Period:

1) All Candidates - Give an example of Management experience with a diverse group
2) All Candidates - What values would you bring to WL Council, would not comprise on and would be willing to be accountable for?

3) To Laurie Walters - How do we attract skilled labour to Williams Lake?
4) To Bobbie-Jo Macnair - Name some practical steps to improving the economy of Williams Lake
5) To Tovi Pare - Name steps to engaging the public on Council decisions on Economic Development  and Affordable Housing

6) To Wayne Lucier - Name steps to encouraging business to come to Williams Lake?
7) To Craig Smith - Name steps to ensure municipal fees/charges are equivalent to similiar sized communities in BC

8) To Sue Zacharias - Name steps that we can take to have a vibrant downtown core?
9) To Ivan Bonnell - Name benefits to attending out of town conferences, like UBCM, and would you agree to report out at a Council Meeting explaining what took place

10) To Peter Bowman - Explain your views on City taxation
11) To Sue Lachance - Do you agree with the BC Chamber's views on the Corporate Vote?
12) To Scott Nelson - How do you engage the public around City taxes and utility fees?
13) To Jason Ryll - Long Term Debt - should we have it?

The forum recessed at 7:02pm
The forum resumed at 7:24pm

14) To Jason Ryll - Name ways to improve access to Williams Lake?
15) To Tovi Pare - How do we achieve environmental sustainability?
16) To Wayne Lucier - How do we balance social needs with Economic Development?
17) To Peter Bowman - Do you support expansion of Bike/Walking Trails?
18) To Sue Zacharias - Do you support the Pool Referendum (borrow up to $10 milllion for renovate the Sam Ketchum Pool, etc)

19) To Sue Lachance - How do we deal with property crime?
20) To Bobbie-Jo Macnair - How do we go about making transportation more affordable?
21) To Craig Smith - How do you propose to cut 'red tape' at Williams Lake City Hall?
22) To Scott Nelson - Name one step to reduce property crime?
23) To Laurie Walters -  How do we improve affordable housing, especially for current and new residents

24) To Ivan Bonnell - Do you support the continuance of the "Water Wise" program, as currently run by the WL Conservation Society?

25) To All Candidates - Name your top 3 priorities, if elected?

2 Minute Closing Statements by Candidates
Closing comments from Angela Sommer (WL Chamber of Commerce Acting President)

Forum adjourned at 8:27pm

Editor's Note - Overall, the forum was a polite affair but it allowed me personally to firm up my 6 votes for Williams Lake City Councillor.  Next up, Tuesday from 11:45am - 1:30pm, the 4 candidates for WL Mayor will get their chance to explain their vision to the voters of Williams Lake

I personally was impressed with the performance of Bobbie-Jo Macnair, Tovi Pare and Sue Lachance... 

Interesting that Sue Zacharias was the only candidate to express outright support for WL Mayoral Candidate (and current WL Mayor) Kerry Cook...


Doherty enters Federal Conservative nomination race

This afternoon before a small crowd at the Tourism Discovery Centre - Todd Doherty declared his intention to seek the Federal Conservative nomination for the riding of Cariboo-Prince George.

Mr. Doherty touted his credentials as someone who has fought for the communities of Williams Lake, Quesnel, Prince George and Vanderhoof.  He also spoke to the need to take advantage of the various economic opportunities including the need to work with local First Nations proactively as a result of the William Supreme Court of Canada ruling.  Doherty also spoke of knowing TNG Tribal Chair Joe Alphonse and the absolute need to work to build that trust over time...

More on this here.  Mr. Doherty has established a website here

The others in this tight race include:

1) Nick Fedorkiw of Prince George - declared
2) Gerald Caron of Vanderhoof - declared
3) T.J Grewal of Prince George - expected to declared
4) Outgoing PG Mayor Shari Green - rumoured to be thinking about running but no confirmation

Mr. Doherty has also received the endorsement of sitting Cariboo-PG MP Dick Harris

No date has been scheduled for the formal nomination meeting...


West Fraser supports Sam Ketchum Pool project

Joint Release of the Cariboo Regional District, City of Williams Lake and West Fraser:

The Cariboo Regional District (CRD), the City of Williams Lake and West Fraser are delighted to announce West Fraser’s commitment of $500,000 towards the proposed renovation of the Sam Ketcham pool.

West Fraser supported the original construction of the pool in 1981 in memory of one of the company’s founders, Sam Ketcham.  Thirty years later, West Fraser continues to support the facility and will be recognized in the naming of the renovated pool area of the complex as the “West Fraser Aquatic Centre and Sam Ketcham Pool.”

“Sam Ketcham long recognized the importance of having great recreational facilities in our communities.” said Ray Ferris, West Fraser’s VP of Wood Products. “As a part of the fabric of this community since 1955, and where Sam spent so much of his time, we are pleased to be a supporter of the renovations to this valued facility and the continued enjoyment of another generation of citizens at the West Fraser Aquatic Centre and Sam Ketcham Pool.”

Dave Walgren, General Manager for Williams Lake Plywood, speaking on behalf of Jordan Townsend, General Manager for Williams Lake Sawmill, highlighted the importance of the donation for West Fraser's mills in Williams Lake, saying: "our mills have been successful because we have good employees. They choose to live and raise their families here because of what Williams Lake has to offer: good employment and great community amenities. We are pleased to be a part of the Sam Ketcham Pool renovation and contribute to making this community a great place to live and work."  

The referendum, which will be held on Nov. 15, 2014, will ask voters if they approve borrowing up to $10 million over 20 years. The remainder of the cost of the approximately $11.3 million project will need to be made up from grants, fundraising and capital reserves.

More information about the referendum and proposed project renovations can be found online at:
o   Cariboo Regional District –
o   City of Williams Lake –
o   Cariboo Memorial Complex -

A Facebook page dedicated to helping provide information to residents and an opportunity for residents to ask questions can be found at A Twitter feed can also be found at @SKPReferendum. Leading up to the November 15 referendum, information will be distributed through various channels including the media, social media, the internet, the mail system and advertisements.

Water Main Break on 12th Ave

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Due to a water main break, residents of 12th Avenue may be temporarily without water during the day, and others may have discoloured water. Work is underway to repair the break. Running taps will help clear the water lines of discolouration. The City thanks residents for their patience.

Women running for local office (Cariboo-Chilcotin)

In a story in the Nelson Star (sister paper to the Williams Lake Tribune) -- they look at woman running for elected office in that region - read here

Meanwhile - let us look at women running for local government elections in this region

In 2011 - females running for local office:

Wells - 2 (for 5 elected positions)
Quesnel - 2 (for 7 elected positions)
Williams Lake - 5 ( for 7 elected positions)
100 Mile House - 1 (for 5 elected positions)
School District #27 - 6 (for seven elected positions)
School District #28 - 5 (for seven elected positions
Cariboo Regional District - 6 (for twelve elected positions)

In 2014 - females running for local office:

Wells - 5  (for 5 elected positions)
Quesnel - 3  (for 7 elected positions)
Williams Lake - 7  (for 7 elected positions)
100 Mile House - 2  (for 5 elected positions)
School District #27 - 7  (for 7 elected positions)
School District #28 - 4  (for 7 elected positions)
Cariboo Regional District - 9  (for 12 elected positions)

In 2011 - men running for local office:

Wells - 3  (for 5 elected positions)
Quesnel - 11  (for 7 elected positions)
Williams Lake - 12  (for 7 elected positions)
100 Mile House - 5  (for 5 elected positions)
School District #27 - 5  (for 7 elected positions)
School District #28 - 5  (for 7 elected positions)
Cariboo Regional District - 13  (for 12 elected positions)

In 2014 - men running for local office:

Wells - 5  (for 5 elected positions)
Quesnel - 8  (for 7 elected positions)
Williams Lake - 9  (for 7 elected positions)
100 Mile House - 7  (for 5 elected positions)
School District #27 - 2  (for 7 elected positions)
School District #28 - 5 ( (for 7 elected positions)
Cariboo Regional District - 11  (for 12 elected positions)


The data generally shows that more females are running for local office (except for School District #28 - Quesnel where the number is down by 1).  It shows all local governments except School Districts is still the man's game.  Likely higher numbers for females in School Trustee races given the societal female role for responsibility for children...

The numbers do show the right trend for females running for local office and having worked with female politicians when previously the Cariboo RD Area 'D' Alternate Director, I can honestly and sincerely tell you that females do bring a different dynamic to the table and one that is needed at our governance tables...

And with the exception of 100 Mile Council which had a 100% male rate (5 of 5) governing the affairs of the District of 100 Mile House -- Councils in Wells, Quesnel, Williams Lake, School Districts #27/28 and the Cariboo Regional District Board had, in my view, had a healthy mixture of female to male politicians.


18 Days to Go...

With 18 Campaign days left (technically 19, but hopefully no candidate campaigns on Remembrance Day - Nov 11th) -- we are now into the 'critical' portion of the campaign which includes 3 All Candidates Forums in Williams Lake and Quesnel this week (Mon - WL City Councillor candidates, Tues am - WL Mayoral Candidates, Tues pm - Quesnel Mayoral/City Councillor candidates).  More details here

There is also 9 days until the 1st Advanced Vote which is mandatory for all local government (SD27/28, CRD and Municipal Councils) elections on Wednesday, Nov 5th

Tonight's format for the "All Candidates" Forum in the Gibraltar Room for WL City Councillor candidates includes opening and closing statements and a series of moderated questions.  The questions I'll be looking to be asked include Mt Polley and a healthy/vibrant downtown core.  Candidates that I'll be looking to see how they perform include Bobbie-Jo Macnair, Tovi Pare, Laurie Walters, Jason Ryll and Sue Lachance.  Please note that Marnie Brenner will not attend tonight's All Candidates Forum at the Gibraltar Room, due to the unexpected death of her father-in-law.  My deepest condolences to Marnie and her family at this sad time...

On Nov 4th at the Lodge Conference Centre, starts at 7pm - the 100 Mile Mayor/Councillor candidates will have their All Candidates Forum, hosted by the South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce.

Meanwhile - campaign signs are now up in the City from WL City Councillor candidates Laurie Walters and Peter Bowman & WL Mayoral Candidates Surinderpal Rathor, Kerry Cook and Walt Cobb.  Watch for others to follow this week including WL City Councillor candidate Scott Nelson

The next couple of weeks will go fast and then it'll be all over but the vote count and the final determination by voters in the various communities of the Cariboo-Chilcotin...

Stay tuned!


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Rathor: Mt Polley must restart NOW

In a report going to Williams Lake Council, meeting in Committee of the Whole, on Tuesday -- Williams Lake City Councillor (and WL Mayoral Candidate) Surinderpal Rathor will call on his colleagues to adopt the following motion:

"That Council approach the senior level of the Provincial government as soon as possible, requesting that measures be taken to assist Mount Polley Mine to continue its operation and production while the investigations are conducted. Further, that it be strongly recommended that the investigation process be accelerated in order to mitigate costs."

I expect Rathor to get a very sympathetic ear when he presents his report to his colleagues Tuesday.  Rathor, in his report, says that if Mt Polley is not allowed to restart, the economic and social repercussions to the City will be significant...

Committee of the Whole meetings are advisory in nature and thus Council can not make an official decision on his motion until its' next Regular Meeting which is November 4th.

To read the full report of Councillor Rathor - click here


Saturday, October 25, 2014

MP Dick Harris to make Retirement Announcement

As reported by CKPG-TV (Prince George)  - current Federal Conservative Cariboo-PG MP Dick Harris is widely expected to announce his retirement from federal politics today and thus not seek re-election in the Oct 2015 Federal Election

In addition - widely rumoured Federal Conservative nomination candidate Todd Doherty is also widely expected to announce his intention to seek the Federal Conservative nomination for the Cariboo-Prince George electoral district.  At this time, there is no formal nomination race underway.  Other people seeking the Federal Conservative nomination for the Cariboo-PG riding include Nick Fedorkiw and Gerald Caron.

Local PG Media have also speculated that current PG Mayor Shari Green, since her announcement to not seek re-election this November earlier this year, will seek to become the next Federal Conservative nominee for the Cariboo-PG electoral district although Mayor Green has publicly denied this

As for myself - MP Harris has been a very good Member of Parliament for the Cariboo-PG riding including his support for the proposed Prosperity and New Prosperity mines, west of Williams Lake, as well as various other initiatives in the riding (Vanderhoof, Prince George, Quesnel and Williams Lake) and the next MP (hopefully a Federal Conservative) will have big shoes to fill...

Watch the video from CKPG-TV below:

Friday, October 24, 2014

All Candidates Forums - Williams Lake & Quesnel

Next week is busy for All Candidates Forums for candidates running for Mayor/Councillor - Cities of Williams Lake and Quesnel as follows:

Williams Lake:

Monday, Oct 27th from 6-9:30pm in the Gibraltar Room (CMRC - 525 Proctor St) -- Candidates for Williams Lake City Councillor

Tuesday, October 28th from 11:45am - 1:30pm at the Pioneer Complex (351 Hodgson Rd) - Candidates for Mayor of Williams Lake


Tuesday, October 28th from 6:30pm - 10pm at the Royal Canadian Legion (262 Kinchant St)-- Candidates for Quesnel Mayor and City Councillor

Come out and ask your questions of your candidates for Williams Lake & Quesnel Mayor and City Councillor


Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Oct 27th - 31st

A few local government meetings are occurring next week as follows:

School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) - Regular Meeting on Tuesday, Oct 28th at 6:30pm in at Peter Skene Ogden in 100 Mile House.  View the full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, Oct 28th at 6:00pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (450 Mart St - basement).  On the Agenda:

* Presentation from BC Transit re: Local Service Review
* Staff reports on Dutch Point Rd/2nd and 3rd Avenues Traffic Calming Devices
* Staff requesting direction on 18 Woodland Drive - Land Use applications
* Report of Councillor SPS Rathor re: Mt Polley Mine restart

View the full Agenda here

100 Mile House - Regular Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct 28th at 7pm in 100 Mile Council Chambers (385 Birch Avenue).  View the full Agenda here

CaribooRD Board Highlights - Oct 24th mtg

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

2014 Community Works Funds Increased

The Cariboo Regional District agreed to increase the original budget of $75,000 to $150,000 for the 2014 Community Works Fund (CWF) Community Hall Energy Improvements to accommodate the needs for further energy efficiency works at community halls and other recreation facilities. Recently, a number of organizations have enquired about accessing CWF funding to complete energy efficiency works at their facilities, including the Forest Grove Recreation Society to leverage CWF funding with other grant monies to replace the Forest Grove Community Hall’s severely compromised roof. The Horsefly Seniors’ Activity and Wellness Society is also looking to upgrade the heating system in the Horsefly Seniors’ Centre. Further information about the Community Works Fund is online at

Town Hall Meetings

The minutes from the CRD 2014 Town Hall Meetings have now been compiled. The Town Hall meetings saw slightly smaller crowds this year with the highest attendance at the meetings taking place in Areas L with 50 residents. Some of the most commonly discussed topics included Solid Waste Management, Recycling and Library Services. A total of 197 people attended the Cariboo Regional District Town Hall meetings last month. During the Open Houses, residents were also requested to complete a survey about the session, recent experiences with the Regional District and the extent to which they understand the taxation process. The survey results also establish a baseline of resident satisfaction throughout the Cariboo Chilcotin and awareness of any issues that may be emerging on the local, sub-regional or regional basis. The survey included general questions, a section about the Town Hall Meeting process, and the financial plan. The Board of Directors and staff will now use this information in consideration to help formulate the 2015 budget and five-year financial plans. Full comments from the Town Hall meetings and results from the surveys are available for viewing on today’s agenda online at

Financial Literacy Month 2014

The Cariboo Regional District has declared November, 2014 as Financial Literacy Month throughout the Cariboo Chilcotin. The request for the declaration in honour of National Financial Literacy Month was received from the Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy. Financial literacy means having the personal knowledge, skills and confidence to make responsible financial decisions. The theme of Financial Literacy Month 2014, is Strengthening Financial Literacy through Collaboration, which underlines the importance of coordinating efforts of organizations that offer programs, resources, information and services to help Canadians understand and manage their personal finances.

2015 Canada Winter Games

The Cariboo Regional District endorsed in principle, participation in the 2015 Canada Winter Games to promote economic development opportunities and tourism of the Cariboo Chilcotin. The CRD will encourage the District of 100 Mile House, the City of Quesnel, the District of Wells and the City of Williams Lake to partner with the Regional District on this opportunity. The Canada Winter Games will take place in Prince George from February 13 – March 1, 2015. As part of the games, Northern BC Tourism has organized an opportunity for areas within the North Central Local Government Association to showcase their regions to the games participants and spectators. The Canada Games Plaza is located at the Prince George Civic Centre. It will be the centre for all Games related celebrations including the main stage with nightly concerts, medal ceremonies, the Games cauldron and other sponsor activities. Through their sponsorship with the Games, Northern BC Tourism has secured space in the plaza, indoors and out, for communities and tourism stakeholders to show off their tourism experiences and assets. It is being called Northern BC Plaza.

NC HandyDART Referendum Open House Nov. 4

The Regional District Board authorized up to $1,000 from each of Areas A, B, C and I Director Initiative Funds for advertising a North Cariboo HandyDART Open House. The Cariboo Regional District’s northern directors will be hosting an Open House on November 4, 2014 from 5-7 p.m., to help provide information and answer questions about the upcoming North Cariboo HandyDART Referendum being held in conjunction with local government elections on November 15. The session will be held in the CRD’s Quesnel branch Library Programme Room located at 101-410 Kinchant Street.

Upcoming Meetings

Nov. 14, 2014 – CCRHD & CRD Board Meetings.

Quesnel Election FAQ #7 (Assistance in Voting)

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Thursday, October 23, 2014

BC Redresses wrongful hangings of Tsilhqot'in war chiefs

Courtesy of the BC Government:

BC Aboriginal Minister John Rustad's audio comments here

This morning, Premier Christy Clark made a statement in the British Columbia Legislative Assembly apologizing for the wrongful hanging of six Tsilhqot’in war chiefs in 1864 and 1865, and stating the Province’s will to exonerate the chiefs to the extent of its ability.

Five chiefs were imprisoned, tried and executed in October 1864 after accepting an invitation to discuss terms of peace to end the Chilcotin War. A sixth chief was hanged the following year.

The statement fulfills a promise outlined in the Sept. 10, 2014, Letter of Understanding between the Tsilhqot’in National Government (TNG) and the Province of British Columbia.

Today’s actions by the Province are understood through a mutual agreement to address the healing that must occur around a difficult history of mistreatment, misrepresentation and lack of recognition of First Nations people within the Tsilhqot’in territory and rest of British Columbia.

Chief Joe Alphonse: Tribal Chairman of the Tsilhqot’in National Government said

“This is an important day for the Tsilhqot’in - the Province of British Columbia has demonstrated leadership by exonerating our six Chiefs and starting the process of healing. We have much more work to do. We call on the Federal Government to rise to this historic opportunity as well, and take the same steps to exonerate these leaders that died for our people and our way of life. If Canada is ready to acknowledge the wrongs of the past, and build real and respectful relationships today, we can move from pain into opportunity, from a dark history into a future we can all be proud of. Together we can transform this province and this country.”

Premier Christy Clark went on to say-

“Today marks a significant step toward reconciliation with the Tsilhqot’in Nation, and to a relationship of respect and recognition. Our government stood with members from all sides to apologize for wrongful acts, and commit ourselves to redressing them so that we can build a better future together.”

"Keeping the BC Interior Forest Industry Strong"

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

2015 CCACS Project Grants

Courtesy of the CC Arts/Culture Society:

2015 Project Grants are available for non-profit organizations or community groups in Williams Lake and the Central Cariboo (CRD Areas D, E, and F) to support and develop arts and culture within this region. The funding for these grants is courtesy of the City of Williams Lake and the Cariboo Regional District (Central Cariboo Arts & Culture function), subject to the availability of funds.
Project Grants of between $300 and $2,000 are available for projects which
  • Are new or build creatively on previous work
  • Are likely to increase participation in arts & culture
  • Take place within the Central Cariboo region (Williams Lake and/or CRD Areas D, E, and F)
  • Will be completed by the end of the year applying for
  • Include some financial or in-kind contribution by the applicant
 The deadline for 2015 applications is Friday, January 30, 2015 at 4pm, and full details, adjudication criteria and application requirements can be obtained by downloading the form here, or by request from
January 8th, 2015, 6pm – 8pm, at the Central Cariboo Arts Centre
Instructor: Graham Kelsey
This is a free workshop – Register by January 6th with Leah at 778-412-9044 or (Pre-reading is required).
The workshop will introduce commonly made pitfalls in grant applications (e.g. budgeting, project description, etc). It will be focused on the CCACS Project Grant application.
For further information please contact CCACS Executive Director Leah Selk at
778-412-9044 or email

Ec Dev #1 issue in 100 Mile Election

In today's 100 Mile Free Press - they cover all 7 Councillor candidates and the 2 Mayoral candidates for 100 Mile District Council

The topics they cover include:

* Taxes
* Economic Development
* Arts/Culture
* Council Experience

View that here (Page 1) and here (Page 2)

Watch for this to appear in the Williams Lake Tribune very soon for all 16 candidates for Williams Lake Council (4 for Mayor; 12 for Councillor)


NC HandyDART Referendum - Nov 15th

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

A referendum is planned for November 15, 2014, in conjunction with the local government elections. The referendum will ask residents if they support an increase to the maximum allowable taxation under the North Cariboo HandyDART service from $15,000 to up to $70,000.

HandyDART, is a door-to-door shared-ride service. It uses specially-equipped vehicles designed to carry passengers with physical or cognitive disabilities who need assistance to use public transit.

Current service levels to rural residents within portions of Electoral Areas A, B, C and I equate to approximately 1,469 service hours and 3,721 rides annually. It costs approximately $60,000 per year to maintain this level of service. Because the contribution from the Regional District has a maximum of about $15,000 the difference from the actual cost has been covered by the City of Quesnel as the local government partner with BC Transit for the service, which is no longer sustainable.

If the referendum does not pass, the contribution from the Regional District will remain at $15,000 and the service will still be available to rural residents; however, the hours of service will be reduced accordingly.

At the polls, residents will be asked the following question:

"Are you in favour of the adoption of Bylaw No. 4917, which would increase the maximum annual taxation for a contribution toward the cost of HandyDART transit services in rural areas to the greater of $70,000 or an amount raised by applying a tax rate of $0.07233/$1,000 to the net taxable value of land and improvements in the service area?  (Based on 2014 assessed values, this translates to a maximum residential rate of $7.03/$100,000 to the net taxable assessed value of improvements.)"

If successful, the referendum will allow for a new requisition limit of $70,000 which accounts for inflationary factors of at least three per cent for the next five years.

Further information about the referendum is available by contacting the CRD’s Chief Election Officer at 1-800-665-1636, or visiting the CRD online at

Renovated Oasis Pub

Courtesy of Rhonda Kolcun, McLeese Lake contributor to Williams Lake Tribune:

The Oasis Pub in McLeese Lake is going to re-open just in time to celebrate Halloween. Owner Rob Swaan, his daughter-in-law Amber Swaan and Kitchen Manager Linda Bard are very excited to see their hard efforts come to fruition. They and many others have been working very hard and their efforts are finally paying off.

Let’s back up a couple of months to when Rob handed over the reins to Amber and both the Oasis Café and the re-opening of the Oasis Pub became her “baby”. She hired Linda to work in the kitchen in June and July but then Linda quit to look after family commitments and her Ranch in McLeese Lake. Amber called her up and negotiated to have her come back and manage both the Café and the Pub. They filtered many ideas back and forth and were very pleased with their final outcome. They came up with a new menu plan for the Pub. Linda says she is “very excited for the new food adventures the Pub will bring McLeese Lake. This is line cooking but with a gourmet twist”. The Café is more of a line cook type of restaurant but they have a few surprises incorporated as well such as Focaccia Bread now being offered. Linda brings incredible chef experience from previously working with a great chef at Tyee Lake Resort. She is most excited to have a brand new Pellet Smoker at the Pub on which she plans to prepare smoked chicken legs, ribs, brisket and pulled pork. They are thrilled to have two new double deep fryers, a new overhead fan system, a full flat grill, a steak grill, a new stand-up freezer and cooler, stainless steel sink and shelves, swinging bar doors and a brand new serving window. Linda says it is an “absolutely awesome kitchen”. They also have a brand new floor that looks amazing.

They will have many new items on the menu which include Pulled Pork Pizza, Pulled Pork Poutine, Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich, Hobo Baked Beans and Corn Bread. They will be also offering new homemade Chicken and Rib Rubs and Barbeque sauces. They will offer an upgrade of an old favorite which is Nachos, but these ones will be Linda’s special recipe. Linda is excited to share that they will be offering delicious homemade burgers. Yours truly has seen the new menu and it looks fantastic. I can hardly wait for my husband, Gordon, and I to visit the newly refurbished Pub and sit down at one of the new tables and chairs and partake in what sounds like very delicious food. They also want to keep some “Greg and Gigi” classics such as Pizza and Smokies as an homage to the previous owners. Like Linda says, “there is a lot of history in the Oasis Pub. Besides being the very first Neighbourhood Pub in BC, it has a ton of memories including those from the previous owners.

Once they have been open for a bit, Linda plans on introducing special nights such as Wing Night, Steak Night and Baron of Beef Night just to name a few. As I sit and listen to Linda talking, the excitement on her face can’t be contained. She has so many ideas on her mind, I’m surprised she can keep it all organized. I can see it is the sign of a great manager. They have been working hard on getting both the Oasis Café and Oasis Pub running smoothly. She is excited that they will be serving Local Barkerville Brew on tap at the Pub. They like to support local suppliers. They just had a wonderful Thanksgiving supper at the Café where they served turkey that had been supplied by a local farmer.

In the summer, the lettuce and produce were bought from local farmers as well. Linda says, “anything that can be utilized to the recipes in our kitchens will be bought local first”.

The Owner and Managers want a Soft opening for the Pub. They plan on opening on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, to begin with. Their first night of opening is planned for Friday, October 31st. More details will be posted at the Café once they are finalized. They plan on having a professional Karaoke DJ with an awesome light show and they will also be supplying appetizers. To help offset all the entertainment and food that will be offered that night, there will be a nominal cover charge at the door. They hope to see many customers, both old and new at the Pub on the 31st and the Café any day of the week. Rob, Amber and Linda are looking forward to having the Pub re-open and once again be an integral part of this community. Linda anticipates it all to be good. It’s her community. She’s not an outsider coming in – she’s an insider coming out of her comfort zone. She credits Rob and Amber as well. Amber really enjoys being involved with both businesses. Rob is a very caring compassionate owner who is willing to do what it takes to not only make his businesses succeed, but he is willing to be a big part of it because he believes one hundred percent in his community. What more can be said!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Statement from PM Harper re: Ottawa Incident

Courtesy of the Prime Minister's Office:

“My fellow Canadians, for the second time this week there has been a brutal and violent attack on our soil.

“Today, our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Corporal Nathan Cirillo of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada.

“Corporal Cirillo was killed today – murdered in cold blood – as he provided a ceremonial Honour Guard at Canada’s National War Memorial.

“That sacred place that pays tribute to those who gave their lives so that we can live in a free, democratic and safe society.

“Likewise, our thoughts and prayers remain also with the family and friends of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was killed earlier this week by an ISIL-inspired terrorist.

“Tonight we also pray for the speedy recovery of the others injured in these despicable attacks.

“Fellow Canadians, we have also been reminded today of the compassionate and courageous nature of so many Canadians.

“Like those private citizens and first responders who came to provide aid to Corporal Cirillo as he fought for his life.

“And of course the members of our security forces in the RCMP, the City of Ottawa Police, and in Parliament who came quickly, and at great risk to themselves, to assist those of us who were close to the attack.

“Fellow Canadians, in the days to come, we will learn more about the terrorist and any accomplices he may have had.

“But this week’s events are a grim reminder that Canada is not immune to the types of attacks we have seen elsewhere around the world.

“We are also reminded that attacks on our security personnel and our institutions of governance are, by their very nature, attacks on our country.

“On our values, on our society, on us, Canadians, as a free and democratic people who embrace human dignity for all.

“But let there be no misunderstanding.

“We will not be intimidated.

“Canada will never be intimidated.

“In fact, this will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts and those of our national security agencies to take all necessary steps to identify and counter threats, and keep Canada safe here at home.

“Just as it will lead us to strengthen our resolve and redouble our efforts to work with our allies around the world and fight against the terrorist organizations who brutalize those in other countries with the hope of bringing their savagery to our shores.

“They will have no safe haven.

“While today has been, without question, a difficult day, I have every confidence that Canadians will pull together with the kind of firm solidarity that has seen our country through many challenges.

“Together, we will remain vigilant against those at home or abroad who wish to harm us.

“For now, Laureen, Ben, Rachel and I join all Canadians in praying for those touched by today’s attack.

“May God bless them, and keep our land glorious and free.”

CC Joint Committee - Oct 22nd mtg

Present from City of WL: Mayor K. Cook (Meeting Chair), Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Hughes, Walters and Zacharias

Present from Cariboo RD: Co-Chair J. Sorley and Directors Bischoff & Kemp


Darrell Garceau - City Manager, City of WL
Darron Campbell - Mgr of Community Services, CRD
Geoff Paynton - Director of Community Services, City of WL
Rena Schill - Corp. Services Records Mgmt Coordinator, City of WL

Meeting called to order at 6:02pm

Meeting Agenda approved with 1 late item
Minutes of Oct 2nd CCJC meeting approved


1) Late Item - Canada Day celebrations 2015/16 - Fee for Service RFP

Bonnell/Zacharias - That the CCJC Resolution of Oct 2nd as per below be reconsidered:

That a Request for Proposals be issued for the designing and mounting of the Canada Day Celebrations in 2015 and 2016, and the $1,500 available from the Arts and Culture Function's Fee for Service program be allocated to the successful proposer; and further, that the results of the Request for Proposals be brought back to the January 2015 Joint Committee Meeting.

Approved by the following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Hughes, Walters and Zacharias; CRD Directors Bischoff, Kemp and Sorley - 8

Negative - Councillor Bourdon - 1

Resolved - That the following Resolution be re-affirmed:

That a Request for Proposals be issued for the designing and mounting of the Canada Day Celebrations in 2015 and 2016, and the $1,500 available from the Arts and Culture Function's Fee for Service program be allocated to the successful proposer; and further, that the results of the Request for Proposals be brought back to the January 2015 Joint Committee Meeting.

Defeated by the following vote:

Affirmative - Councillors Bourdon, Walters and Zacharias; CRD Directors Bischoff, Kemp and Sorley
Negative - Mayor Cook; Councillors Bonnell and Hughes

Resolved - That the City of Williams Lake's Community Services Department continue to design/mount the Canada Day celebrations in 2015 and 2016 & that the Arts/Culture Fee-for-Service funds ($1,500) for Canada Day be allocated to the Deparment

Defeated by the following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook; Councillors Bonnell and Walters
Negative - CRD Directors Bischoff, Kemp and Sorley; Councillors Bourdon, Hughes, and Zacharias

Resolved - That Canada Day celebration organization for 2015 be placed on the CCJC Jan 2015 meeting agenda

Approved by the following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Walters and Zacharias; CRD Directors Bischoff, and Sorley

Negative - Director Kemp; Councillor Hughes

2) 2014 Arts & Culture Society Third Quarter Report

Discussion ensued

Resolved - Report received

3) 2014 Performances in the Park Year-End Report

Discussion ensued

Resolved - Report received

4) Pool Renovations & Upgrade Project - Communications Working Group Meeting Notes - October 2, 2014

Discussion ensued

Resolved - Report received

5) Central Cariboo Recreation & Leisure Services 2015 Business & Financial Plans

The Mgr of Community Services presented his report to the Committee
Discussion ensued

Resolved - 2015 CC Recreation/Leisure Services Business and Financial Plans endorsed

6) Central Cariboo Arts & Culture 2015 Business & Financial Plans

The Mgr of Community Services presented his report to the Committee
Discussion ensued

Resolved - 2015 CC Arts/Culture Business and Financial Plans be received/endorsed

Approved by the following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Hughes, Walters and Zacharias; CRD Directors Kemp and Sorley - 8

Negative - Director Bischoff - 1

7) Response to Request for NDIT Board Delegation Status

The Mgr of Community Services presented this item to the Committee
Discussion ensued

Resolved - That the letter from NDIT be received and Staff be authorized to apply for $650,000 of NDIT funds to go to the Sam Ketchum Pool renovation

Approved by the following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Hughes, Walters and Zacharias; CRD Directors Bischoff, Kemp and Sorley - 8

Negative - Councillor Bourdon - 1

8) CRD 2015 Grant in Aid Spreadsheet

Discussion ensued

Resolved - Spreadsheet received

9) Action Page

Discussion ensued

Resolved - Action Page received and Items 3 and 4 be removed

Meeting adjourned at 8:01pm

Scott Nelson launches FB Election Page

Today - former Mayor Scott Nelson launched his Election Facebook page in his bid to becoming a Williams Lake City Councillor again.  The link to that page is here

Meanwhile - only incumbent WL City Councillor Ivan Bonnell does not and will not have a Election FB Page while the rest of the 10 candidates for WL City Councillor have established FB Election Pages.  Links to those are here


McLeese Lake 'Halloween Party" - Oct 31st

Cherish Your Democracy!

Yesterday, I stumbled onto a video almost made 3 years ago precisely by Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz with regard to our local democracy (Ms. Gaetz herself is seeking re-election for a 3rd consecutive term in a 3 way race and I hope that she wins too!)

As we have all watched - others in the world have fought for and in a lot of cases have died to have the voting privilege we have here in Canada...

I know it is easy to be cynical about those running for local government (ie: They're all the same... promise the moon but act differently once elected) - however we need to take as much interest in local elections as we do for provincial and federal elections... even more so given local governments affects us so profoundly (water, sewer, fire, garbage/recycling, recreation) than provincial/federal elections

Watch her video below (and I publicly thank Ms. Gaetz for doing a wonderful job in this video):

District Municipality - Part 3

In her column today - Williams Lake Tribune columnist Diana French calls on WL Council or CRD Director candidates (Areas D + E) to look at the matter of a district municipality.  She notes that two community votes were had on the subject including the last proposal in 1996 and both were defeated by rural voters while approved by City voters - read more here

In BC - there are 51 District Muncipalities with two of those here in the Cariboo-Chilcotin -- 100 Mile House and Wells.

The formation of District Muncipalities with a mandatory vote is regulated by Section 8 of the Local Government Act - view here

Furthermore - I heard from one CRD Area D resident on Facebook yesterday who is just past the City boundary who says he is more interested in the City of Williams Lake election than the one that I am involved in (CRD Electoral Area D election).  He didn't get why he, just past the City border and yet is involved in City life, gets no vote while someone else who owns property in Williams Lake and lives elsewhere gets a vote? While within provincial rules for local elections, I do sympathize with him.  I gave the commitment that, if elected, I would look further into the matter.

While previous City expansion proposals failed with rural voters because they took in too much rural property - I believe inclusion of just Mile 168 RD, Commodore Heights and Douglas Rd could receive favourable consideration because of their relative position to the City of Williams Lake boundary however such a proposal MUST be resident driven for it to be successful, in my opinion but I would be prepared to help residents with information to get the process underway...


Planning Delays for Cariboo Memorial Hospital Renewal...

Yesterday afternoon, Cariboo RD Area 'C' Director & Chair of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional Hospital District John Massier (District) spoke to the Goat and Cariboo Country about the ongoing planning delays which sit currently with Interior Health.

The District places the Cariboo Memorial Hospital project as Priority #1

It is hoped that planning will be complete sometime in the spring of 2015

I'm personally disappointed to learn that Interior Health is not putting the resources to getting this planning exercise done.  Our Hospital serves a wide region and is a powerful asset to community building and recruiting people here and we simply must get the upgrades to CMH completed in the not too distant future and not many, many years from now....

Listen to Chair Massier's interview here

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

WL Council Highlights - Oct 21st mtg

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


Darrell Garceau - City Manager
Cindy Bouchard - Mgr of Legislative Services
Nigel Whitehead - Planner
Tom Chung - IT Mgr
Ken MacInnis - Communications Coordinator
Ann Burill - Social Development Manager
Alan Madrigga - Mgr of Economic Development

Meeting called to order at 6pm
Meeting Agenda approved/Oct 7th WL City Council meeting minutes approved


1) Mayor Cook, on behalf of Council, signed a MOU (Memo of Understanding) with reps from the WL BIA (Business Improvement Area)

2) Inspector Warren Brown and Safer Communities Coordinator Dave Dickson appeared before Council to give an update on RCMP Activities

A Question and Answer period ensued

Mayor Cook, on behalf of Council, thanked Insp. Brown and Mr. Dickson for their time/information

3) Jr Council members Jasmine Tio, Donovan Shaw, Kennedi Pickard, Cassandra Abel, Lexi Pedersen, Brianna Chaffee and Monica Rawlek were sworn into office by the City Manager


1) Council received the accounts payable computer cheque listings for the periods ending October 9 and 16, 2014

2) Council ratified a number of Joint Committee recommendations as follows:

a) That pursuant to Central Cariboo / City of Williams Lake Joint Committee Report #21-2014, the agenda item summary of Alice Johnston, Corporate Officer, Cariboo Regional District dated September 23, 2014 be received and the Joint Committee meeting schedule for 2015 be endorsed as follows:

• Wednesday, January 28, 2015 (CRD);
• Wednesday, February 25, 2015 (CRD);
• Wednesday, March 25, 2015 (CRD);
• Wednesday, April 22, 2015 (CRD);
• Wednesday, May 27, 2015 (CRD);
• Wednesday, June 17, 2015 (City);
• Wednesday, September 16, 2015 (City);
• Wednesday, October 28, 2015 (City);
• Wednesday, November 25, 2015 (City).

b) That pursuant to Central Cariboo / City of Williams Lake Joint Committee Report #19-2014, Staff be authorized to submit an application to the Canadian Heritage Celebrate Canada Fund for up to $2,000 towards the 2015 Canada Day Celebrations in advance of the January 2015 Joint Committee meeting, to ensure the submission deadline is met.

c) That pursuant to Central Cariboo / City of Williams Lake Joint Committee Report #20-2014, the agenda item summary of Darron Campbell, Manager of Community Services, Cariboo Regional District dated September 3, 2014 regarding the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex Pool Renovations and Upgrade Project - Communications Working Group Meeting Notes of August 21, 2014 be received for information.

Council also referred back to the Oct 22nd Joint Committee meeting, the following Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee recommendation from its Oct 2nd meeting

That pursuant to City of Williams Lake / Joint Committee Report #18-2014, a Request for Proposals be issued for the designing and mounting of the Canada Day Celebrations in 2015 and 2016, and the $1,500 available from the Arts and Culture Function's Fee for Service program be allocated to the successful proposer; and further, that the results of the Request for Proposals be brought back to the January 2015 Joint Committee Meeting.

Approved by the following vote:

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

Editor's Note -- I am profoundly disappointed that Council took this action.  Yes, within the rules, but Joint Committee has already discussed this at length (this item was discussed for nearly 25 mins) and there is nothing new to discuss in my opinion.  Reminds me of the child who constantly "whines" to get their own way until the parent gives in.  I wonder if this late item will be accepted by the CRD Directors tomorrow night...

3) Council approved the updated Memorandum of Understanding with the Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Area (WLCBIA) and authorized the Mayor/Corporate Officer to sign same on behalf of the City

4) Council received the 2014 Third Quarter Economic Indicators Report for information.

5) Council received a report from Councillor Zacharias regarding the 2014 UBCM (Union of BC Municipalities) Convention for information

6) Council received DVP Application #14-2014 (Lorne Marshall - 1265 11th Ave) and directed it be formally considered at the Nov 25th Council meeting

7) Council received DP Application #4-2014 (Buildworks Construction Inc - 1070 Murray Drive) and directed it be formally considered at the Nov 4th Council meeting

8) Council adopted two Bylaws:

a) Permissive Property Tax Exemptions Bylaw No. 2221, 2014
b) Borrowing in Anticipation of Revenue Bylaw No. 2222, 2014

9) Council received/endorsed Minutes of the Oct 2nd Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee meeting

10) At the request of the WL Stampeders Club - Council approved Special Occasion Liquor Licenses on November 1, 8, 15, 16 and 22, 2014, December 13, 2014 and January 9, 2015 from 7:00 PM to 9:30 PM at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex, pursuant to City policy and subject to RCMP approval.

11) At the request of CMHA - Cariboo-Chilcotin Branch -- Council agreed to provide a letter of support for their Community Gaming Grant application for funding towards their Multiculturalism Program

12) Council received the 'Council Information Package' as follows:

October 2, 2014 - Official Opposition Leader Horgan & MLA Robinson re 2014 UBCM Convention Meeting;
October 3, 2014 - CRD Board Highlights;
October 9, 2014 - Minister of State for Tourism and Small Business re Small Business Month in BC;
October 10, 2014 - Ministry of Justice News Release re 'BC Takes Next Step Towards Liquor in Grocery Stores'.

13) Council received the monthly City Manager's report for the period ending Oct 16th

Meeting adjourned at 7:51pm