Monday, March 31, 2014

WL Sweeper Operations

From the City of Williams Lake:

The street sweeper is out in Williams Lake, and is currently focused on the downtown areas. Residential areas are being swept as the snow and ice melts, and you can help in the cleanup by sweeping sand and gravel from the sidewalks and boulevards in front of your properties so the sweeper can pick it up. Washing of sidewalks has begun, and will continue, weather permitting.

A reminder also to remove garbage and recycling carts from the curb promptly so they don’t interfere with the sweeper.

Your co-operation is greatly appreciated!

Quesnel Job Fair - Thurs April 3rd

Subsidized Composter Applications due today!

Today (March 31st) is the last day that you can order a subsidized composter for your property through the Cariboo Regional District for 2014

For more details - read here


Quesnel Council meets tonight

Quesnel Council meets in Committee of the Whole tonight (Mon March 31st) at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers - 2nd Floor, 410 Kinchant Street.  The meeting will be chaired by Quesnel Councillor L-A Roodenburg (monthly Acting Mayor)

On the Agenda:


a)- Megan Klitch, Regional Health Promotion Coordinator - Cdn Cancer Society & Archie Gaber, British Columbia Cancer Association re: Public No-Smoking Bylaws and Radon Gas

b) Graeme Armstrong, Quesnel & District Chamber of Commerce President, Alex Kostenko, Quesnel & District Chamber of Commerce Manager, and Patty Morgan, Quesnel Visitor Centre Manager to present Year End Report for the Quesnel Visitor Information Centre

c) Ellen (Honey) Affleck, Commissioner, Peter Walsh, Commissioner and John Messier, Commissioner and Northern Director-Cariboo Regional District to present a 2013 Update on activities of the Museum and Heritage Commission


a) Request for Ashtrays at Spirit Square
b) 2014 Update to 2012-2014 Strategic Plan
c) Review of Five Year Financial Plan Policies
d) 2014 Capital Budget Voting Results

View the full Agenda here

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Should politicians counsel voters' on voting/financial habits?

Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar, in his "State of the City" address to the Kamloops Chamber of Commerce, at their Annual General Meeting, this past Wednesday, March 26th pleaded with local Kamloops voters' to maintain the 'status quo' in November's civic elections for the City of Kamloops - read more here (Kamloops This Week) and watch an item from CFJC-TV here

This is interesting because usually Mayoral addresses given to a local Chamber of Commerce, especially in an election year, tend to focus more around what work a local government has done on business issues (development, red tape, financial, etc) and leave campaign speeches for the campaign trail.

While it is too early to say if this will come home to haunt Milobar's chances for a 3rd term - my experience is that voters' generally do not like their local politicians chiding them how to vote, if even they (politicians) were concerned how a civic vote might look on a local government in the future… both from a political and administrative level

Consider the case of Williams Lake City Councillor Sue Zacharias and her previous commentary to voters to save more of their money and the suggestion that somehow people do not manage their own personal finances well.  My blog readers' have told me previously that they do not appreciate those type of suggestions (financial or political) from local politicians...

Politicians, of all levels (including myself), should stay away from chiding local residents, regardless of the time of year & subject and stick to governing (in non-election years) and state what you stand for in election years


Saturday, March 29, 2014

No School Closures in SD27 for 2014-15 Budget Year

Courtesy of the Board of Education - School District #27(Cariboo-Chilcotin):

The Board of Education passed a motion at its 25 March 2014 closed meeting, that, although the Board is facing financial pressures, it will not be considering school closures as a way to balance the 2014-2015 budget.

Board Chair, Tanya Guenther, stated, “With continued declining enrolment, the gradual loss of our funding protection from the Ministry of Education, and other increased costs, we are in a position where we are not done making difficult decisions. As we carefully examine all of our programs, the continuation of the Balanced Calendar program at Cataline Elementary is one of the programs the Board is going to discuss.”

The Board will be discussing the Balanced Calendar program at the 29 April 2014 meeting of the Board. (Note: This is a new meeting date that has changed from the previously advertised date of 22 April 2014.)

Building Canada Plan - BC Allocation released

The BC portion of the Building Canada Fund has now been released.  It is as follows:

British Columbia:

Base Funding - $250,000,000.00
Per Capita Funding - $839,897,436.00

Total Funding - $1,089,897,436.00

Small Community Fund (under 100,000 in population) - $108,989,743.60

As a point of interest - the Small Community Fund, as defined by Ottawa, would, in my opinion, cover the following local governments in the Interior region:

Cariboo Regional District - All Electoral Areas (12) + Member Municipalities (4)
Regional District of Fraser - Fort George - All Electoral Areas (7) + Member Municipalities (4)
Thompson - Nicola Regional District - All Electoral Areas (10) + Member Municipalities (11)

As you see above - the Small Community Fund could easily get oversubscribed considering the above 3 of the 28 Regional Districts and their infrastructure needs would easily swamp the total Small Community Fund dollars

The total funds available from the Small Community Fund would not even begin to cover the needs of all 28 Regional Districts and its' member municipalities… especially in Metro Vancouver (municipalities under 100,000) will would have infrastructure needs well into the billions and the total Small Community Fund only has $108 million available for the entire Province of BC

In my view - the Small Community Fund, just for BC, should have been restricted to municipalities smaller than 50,000 in population.  That would be extended the partnerships and many local infrastructure projects possible with local governments and the Small Community Fund so once again, a few 'bread crumbs' will be spread around for local infrastructure to make BC MP's look good… especially with the pending Federal Election in the Fall of 2015...

For more details - check out the FAQ Document here

For details on the Building Canada Fund - click here

NC Arena One Project Update

Following the decision of North Cariboo voters' to reject renewing the Multicentre Loan Authorization Bylaw in November of 2013 - there have been two public meetings to consider how to renew Rink 1 of the Twin Ice Arenas in Quesnel.

Following the March 5th public meeting, Cariboo RD Area 'B' Heloise Dixon-Warren posted the following on March 6th via Quesnel Councillor Sushil Thapar:

Last night the public meeting for new arena was good . People have the chance to speak their mind and input is good.
One thing I gathered from that politicians are once again are driving the bus without getting the public on that bus. Should public not have the say what they want to buy instead of politicians telling them that is what they will get.
We all know we need new arena may be not a Cadillac . People can only afford chev cruise or civic that is what has to be looked after.

Then for the March 25th public meeting - has posted the following:

An over capacity crowd attended the Legion to learn more about Joint Planning's proposal for a new arena They provided several drawings and pictures of other arenas with their building costs. These will be on display at the Arena.

I felt everyone in the room was in favour of a new arena but the only stumbling block is can they trust those in Joint Planning when these are the same people that spent far too much money pushing for the Multi-centre and I felt were not honest about the costs.

One thing said last night that really stood out for me was when it was asked about the cost of the Port Alberni arena we were informed that was 2005, and prices have changed. Well, that question was asked about the 30 million for the Multi-Centre and we were told the cost would NOT increase, even five years after the original cost estimate.

Another concern is the "dry" space. There are no real drawings pertaining to this area of the arena. There does not need to be space for conferences and I have no objection to some smaller meeting rooms but I don't want to see a City/CRD project compete with private business.

According to those conducting the meeting the Arena would not start construction until the Spring so a referendum with the election in November makes financial sense.
The North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee made of up all members' of Quesnel City Council and the Cariboo RD Directors for Areas A, B, C and I met on Wednesday, March 26th and Quesnel Councillor Scott Elliot posted the following on Facebook following that meeting:

Here's the latest. Joint Planning Committee (all elected officials. City and CRD) met this evening. The biggest issue was the arena replacement. All members (except one) agreed to the vision of the Arena Replacement. 1600 seats and a referendum sooner than later. We still have legal proceedure that must be followed (timing etc).

Thanks to all that took the time to come to the meeting last night, and the other evenings. Thanks to all that wrote comments. It's still early but approx. 95% were in favour! Also all those that have voiced their opinion to myself and others. We have listened to all and are working to bring it to a referendum asap!

Meanwhile - Cariboo RD Area B Director Heloise Dixon-Warren posted the following on her Director Facebook page concerning the March 26th meeting of the North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee:

I was unable to attend the March 25th Public Open House for the North Cariboo Arena Project held at the Quesnel Legion nor the North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee meeting on Wed., March 26th as I am currently away from the North Cariboo. I hear the Open House was well attended which is great to hear. My Alternate Director, Bruce Johnston, attended the NCJPC Meeting at Quesnel City Hall and once I have a full update on what were the decisions from that meeting, I will post them on my BLOG and perhaps on Facebook.
Any recommendations coming forward from the March 26th North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee will be dealt with at the April 17th meeting of the Cariboo Regional District Board of Directors'

Friday, March 28, 2014

Recreation Land Purchase Complete

Joint Release of the Cariboo Regional District/District of 100 Mile House:

The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) recently purchased a property from Bridge Creek Estate in the District of 100 Mile House adjacent to the South Cariboo Recreation Centre. The parcel, which is 13.5 acres, was purchased for $70,000.

There are no projects or development slated for this property yet, however; the acquisition of this parcel will connect a property which is owned by the District of 100 Mile House behind Peter Skeene Ogden Secondary School, with the existing South Cariboo Recreation Centre property. All three recreation properties are identified in a long-term site plan, and the purchase was a key piece to enable development options, including an aquatic centre, ball fields, equestrian grounds, an agriplex building, the bike park, as well as complementary trail systems.

“Although we have not designated a project for this property, we felt it was a good acquisition for the Regional District,” stated CRD Chair Al Richmond. “It is important for all communities and regions to be well-prepared and strategically ready for future recreation needs of our residents.”

"This tract of land will serve to consolidate all recreation lands in and around the marsh, Peter Skeen Ogden School and the South Cariboo Recreation Centre, enabling long-term planning for various functions well in to the foreseeable future," says 100 Mile House Mayor Mitch Campsall.

CRD Board Highlights - March 28th

Present - Chair Richmond and Directors Armstrong, Massier, Bischoff, Kemp, Sorley, Wagner, Glassford, William, Rattray, Sharpe, Bonnell, Sjostrom (entered mtg during lunch break) and Campsall

Absent - Directors H. Dixon-Warren, C. Mernett

Staff - J. Bell, CAO; A. Johnston, Corporate Officer; S. Reid, CFO;  K. Moores, Mgr of Development Services and S. Burich, Mgr of Communications

Meeting called to order at 9:45am
Agenda approved/CRD Board of March 7th approved


1) Planning Bylaw #4890 (Area G) was given 1st and 2nd Readings
2) Planning Bylaw #4887 (Area F) was given 3rd Reading
3) Planning Bylaws #4838/4839 (Area L) were adopted

4) The Board gave approval for DVP #2-2014 (Wilcox - Area H)
5) The Board gave approval for Temporary Permit #80-2013 (Todorowich - Area D)

6) The Board received the Proposed Water/Sewer Projects Report
7) The Board agreed to allocate $35,000 in Community Works Funds to complete assessments on the Russet Bluff Water System for surface waters influences

8) The Board extended the contract of Huska Holdings Ltd to Dec 31st, 2014 for Wood Waste Grinding
9) The Board agreed to send a letter to the Ministry of Environment asking the current criteria for landfills - Municipal Solid Waste remain status quo

10) The Board will be re-sending a revised letter of petition for the same dollar amounts as the previous Gateway Water System ensuring that the total amount borrowed and the term of borrowing is indicated and that Community Works Funds of up to $50,000 be made available to finance the project should interest rates increase thereby jeopardizing the project.

11) The Board waived its' Policy # 99-7-17 and that the Central Cariboo Transfer Stations Maintenance, Collection, Hauling and Disposal Contract include a five year term.

12) The Board received an agenda item summary from Mitch Minchau, Manager of Environmental Services, dated March 26, 2014, regarding the Water Sustainability Act water pricing principals

13) The Board supported use of $18,000 of Community Works Funds for upgrades to the Lone Butte Community Hall

14) The Board received/ratified the Feb 2014 Cheque Register of $1,697,034.81

15) The Board received from the CAO an overview of the Final 2014 Financial Plan which will see an increase of 1.9% from the 2013 Budget

16) The Board agreed to adopt an allocation of Community Works Funds for local projects in 2014

17) The Board received a request for funds from the "Beyond the Market" program

18) The Board agreed to support $10/day Daycare, in principle, on condition that it is funded via Ottawa/Victoria

19) The Board received an agenda item summary from Alice Johnston, Corporate Officer, dated March 12, 2014, regarding a request to have representatives from School District No. 27 appear before the Board to provide information on proposed changes to their policy on the use of school district facilities. CRD Directors will be meeting with School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) on Wednesday, April 2nd

20) The Board appointed Karen Moores as a building inspector for the Cariboo Regional District

21) The Board received an agenda item summary from Alice Johnston, Corporate Officer, dated
March 20, 2014, and attachments regarding the Mines Act Permit Fees Discussion Paper, and directed that a letter be forwarded opposing the increase in permit fees

Meeting recessed at 11:30am
Meeting reconvened at 11:40am


Harry Jennings, from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations appeared before the Board to discuss the proposed Elk Management Strategy in the region

A Question and Answer period ensued

Chair Richmond, on behalf of the Board, thanked Mr. Jennings for his time/information

Meeting recessed for lunch with the meeting resuming at 1pm

22) The Board received the March 28th Consent Calendar
23) The Board received two correspondence items received from, or relating to the Union of British
Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) and North Central Local Government Association (NCLGA) as follows:

a) District of West Vancouver - Canada Post Proposal to Eliminate Home Mail Delivery Service
b) NCLGA Connector Newsletter - No. 126 - March 2014

24) The Board received the Level 1 Corporate Priorities Report

25) The Board received the Feb 26th minutes of the Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee meeting
26) The Board approved an allocation of $500 from the Area F Special Projects Fund to assist with costs for renting Rink 2 at the CMRC for the City of WL's 85th Birthday by the following vote:

Affirmative - Chair Richmond and Directors Armstrong, Massier, Sorley, Wagner, Glassford, William, Rattray, Sharpe, Sjostrom, Bonnell and Campsall

Negative - Directors Bischoff and Kemp

27) The Board received the Feb 11th minutes of the North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee and endorsed two recommendations pertaining to:

a) North Cariboo Recreation and Parks Outstanding Debt
b) Future Recreation Infrastructure Planning - Arena 1

28) The Board received the March 10th minutes of the South Cariboo Rural Caucus and endorsed the following recommendations:

a) That one public hearing be held in a central location to deal with the laying hens and hobby beekeeping amendment bylaw as well as the housekeeping text amendment bylaws

b) That an update regarding the issues and options for office space be brought forward to the next rural caucus meeting

29) The Board received the minutes of the March 10th South Cariboo Joint Committee meeting and endorsed the following recommendations:

a) That up to $10,000 be allocated in the 2014 South Cariboo Recreation budget to support the efforts of a pool project committee and to undertake a community survey.

b) That confirmation from Darron Campbell, Manager of Community Services, of the property purchase by the Cariboo Regional District, from Bridge Creek Estate, for land adjacent to the South Cariboo Recreation Centre, be received. Further, that a media release be issued advising of this important step towards enabling the preferred site plan for the recreation centre property.

30) The Board gave three readings to the following Bylaws:

a) Cariboo Regional District Interlakes Area Fire Protection Requisition Amendment Bylaw No. 4904, 2014
b) Gateway Water System Service Establishment Bylaw No. 4891, 2014

31) The Board adopted the following Bylaws:

a) Cariboo Regional District Bylaw Offence Notice Enforcement Bylaw No. 4886, 2014
b) Cariboo Regional District 2014 Five Year Financial Plan Bylaw No. 4895, 2014
c) CRD Forest Grove Water Service Boundary Expansion Bylaw No. 4903, 2014

32) After some considerable discussion - the Board rejected a request by Area D Director Deb Bischoff to rescind Board Resolution #14-03A-22 and to allow access to $2,000 of Area D Director Initiative Funds to attend the Housing Alternatives for an Aging Population Conference at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver

Editor's Note - the above decision means Director Bischoff may still attend the above noted conference in Vancouver as per Board Resolution #14-03A-22 however she will have up to $1,600 in expenses approved from the Area D Director Initiative Fund and as per the Director Remuneration Bylaw

33) The Board approved a request of Area F Director Joan Sorley for access to $160 from the Area F Director Initiative Fund and policy for the Director Intiative Fund being waived for the purchase of a cake for the Miocene Community Club’s volunteer appreciation event on April 12,2014

The Board then went into a Closed Meeting as per Sections 90(1) (a - appointments & c - labour/employee relations) of the Community Charter

CCRHD Board Mtg - March 28th

Present - Chair J. Massier and Directors Armstrong, Kemp, Sorley, Wagner, Glassford, William, Rattray, Sharpe, Bonnell and Campsall

Absent - Directors H.Dixon-Warren, D. Bischoff, A. Richmond, C. Mernett, and M. Sjostrom

Staff - J. Bell, CAO; A. Johnston - Corporate Officer; S. Reid - CFO; S. Burich - Mgr of Communications

Meeting called to order at 9:37am
Agenda approved/Minutes of CCRHD Board meeting of March 7th approved


1) The Board approved the CCRHD 5 Year Financial Plan for years 2014-2018 inclusive
2) The Board received the Hospital Consent Calendar
3) The Board received a press release from IH regarding the expanded Community Dialysis Unit at Cariboo Memorial Hospital

Meeting adjourned at 9:40am

CRHD Board Meeting - March 28th

Present - Chair J. Massier and Directors Armstrong, Kemp, Sorley, Wagner, Glassford, William, Rattray, Sharpe, Bonnell and Campsall

Absent - Directors H.Dixon-Warren, D. Bischoff, A. Richmond, C. Mernett, and M. Sjostrom

Staff - J. Bell, CAO; A. Johnston - Corporate Officer; S. Reid - CFO; S. Burich - Mgr of Communications

Meeting called to order at 9:34am
Agenda approved and Mins of Jan 17th CRHD Board meeting approved


1) The Board approved the 2014-2018 5 Year Financial Plan.  The CFO noted that the CRHD will dissolve by the end of 2014

Meeting adjourned at 9:37am

RDFFG consider its' own Community Forest

In an interesting move - the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George or RDFFG has applied to Victoria for an "agricultural community forest" - the first one of its' kind in BC. looked at this story last year which you can read here

View below for the story from CKPG:

Bob Simpson on Quesnel Youth Centre closure

Former Cariboo-North MLA Bob Simpson posted his "Letter to the Editor" on Facebook discussing his opinion on the closure of the Quesnel Comprehensive Youth Centre (Quesnel Cariboo Observer Editor Autumn MacDonald confirms the letter will be printed in today's Quesnel Cariboo Observer) which you can read for yourself here

Meanwhile - on, one person has floated the possibility of Bob Simpson mounting a Quesnel Mayoral bid in this November's civic election.  You can read the discussion for yourself here

Having met Bob personally a number of times -- it doesn't seem like he has an interest in being a municipal politician given his real political interest is in provincial land-base issues like Forestry/LNG/Fracking… but stranger things have happened.

Consider the case of former Bourassa, Quebec MP Denis Coderre.  Was a successful Federal Liberal Cabinet Minister, then opposition MP and then was convinced to run for Mayor of Montreal and won in the Montreal civic election last fall.  And Coderre was not the only federal Liberal MP, several others left federal politics for the municipal political arena


Proposed changes to Ag Land Commission

Update, Fri March 28th at 12:15am -- Global BC looks at this topic below:

Original Blog Post: (Thursday, March 27th)

Today - the BC Government announced changes to the provincial Agriculture Land Commission (ALC) which will split the Commission's work into Two Zones - One for Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island and the Okanagan and the Second for the remainder for BC.  Read the official government announcement here while you can read the actual legislation for yourself here

The BC Cattlemen's' Association and the Kootenay Livestock Association both applauded the changes today.  Read more from CBC: British Columbia here

The ALC's Zone 1 will still be required to enforce the need to maintain agriculture on ALR Land while Zone 2 of the ALC while still required to protect agriculture on ALR Land can now take the following into consideration:

(a) the purposes of the commission set out in section 6 (of the Agriculture Land Commission Act - need to preserve ALR land for agriculture);
(b) economic, cultural and social values;
(c) regional and community planning objectives;
(d) other prescribed considerations.

While this is good news for the Cariboo-Chilcotin region - I still have my personal doubts if the ALC is able to withstand developmental pressures in Metro Vancouver.  They haven't so far and I don't believe this change will change the mindset of pro-development on ALR Land especially within municipalities like Delta and the Township of Langley…


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Area B Newsletter - Mar 2014

Cariboo RD Area B Director Heloise Dixon-Warren has just published her "Letter B" Newsletter for the month of March 2014.  In the newsletter this month:

* Upcoming Meetings/Events
* HandyDART Summary - North Cariboo Transit
* Healthy Communities Neighbourhood Project
* Rural Recreation Updates at Parkland/Bouchie Lake

You can read the entire newsletter here


Future of Boitanio Mall debated online

This past Monday on Facebook, the group "Williams Lake.. Ask It" discussed the question of both Bentley's and Bootlegger closing and it resulted in the following conversation (from March 24-27):

Tammy Mattice -- I haven't heard about Bootlegger ...but Bentley will be closed down as of April 30/14

May Cooper -- yeah Bentley's is closing our mall sucks and the owmers have no idea what there doing and i was told that they charge way to much for rent no wonder why they cant get no good stores in there plus it needs major renovations

Hope Tallen -- No it's not. They have a new manager being trained to take over after summer.

Tamara Dika -- Bentley is closing because the mine is not happening and I also heard nothing is going to take the place of zellers for that reason too

Shelby Crowe -- Nothing will come here. the mall sucks and the mine is a no go.. that mine would have done so much for this town.

Cathy Davis -- sad, i like the Bentley store this is horrible... there really isn't much left

Judy Stevens -- cant blame them if they do ..|Will be a sad sight that mall..\hell its so pathetic already..This town is starting to be depressing

Tammy Mattice -- I agree Cathy DavisI enjo shopping a Bentley as well ..another good shop down

Amanda Driver Lilly -- I have hope that maybe one day our mall will return to its once glory self .

Judy Stevens -- I've been here 4 years and each year there is less stores in the mall.
  Bonnie Sabin O'Neill -- It was written on the wall when Walmart came to town.When you move box stores away from the downtown core you kill a town. Our downtown is looking very sad too.I do not shop Wamart but there is getting to be less and less options. 

May Cooper -- agree I shop at wall mart cause there groceries are cheep and there baby items are good and cheaper than our other grocery stores I don't buy clothing from wall mart specially for my daughters there cheap they rip easy and shrink I don't even go in the mall unless we go to mikes spot only

Teresa Tom -- I heard staples is closing is that true? I heard that they didn't renew there lease

Judy Stevens -- they are closing a few staples across Canada , so not shocked that ours would be one of them

May Cooper -- that would suck that's were I get my kids school supplies there way cheaper

Travis McAlpine -- Yeah, when it came to all the supplies this year, Walmart couldn't touch the selection that our school was wanting for our child so we went to Staples too.

Mike J Leech -- Have to stock up before the beer n wine closes then;)

Tammy Mattice -- Oh I seriously doubt that will ever close Mike J Leech.

Brenda Fox Nohr -- Maybe as their contracts/ leases come up .. Some are choosing not to renew?

Tammy Mattice -- That's exactly what is happening Brenda Fox Nohr

Bella Johnson -- I was gonna go to bootlegger saturday!! It better be there!! Lol i need new jeans and love theirs!!!

Kristoffer Harris -- Mike J Leech Mining, Forestry, Ranching & Booze. Williams Lakes 4 main industries, I don't think you will have anything to worry about

Diane Maureen Pleasance -- Kind of like being held hostage, those who said they were coming should have been held to a contract of some kind that would require a financial forfeiture. And I think the reason for closures is Walmart not the mine and I have also heard for years that the mall rental is preposterous!

Bonnie Sabin O'Neill -- I agree Diane Maureen Pleasance.

Diane Maureen Pleasance -- Suzannes by the Bank of Montreal sells great clothing all Canadian made and have good deals on their sale racks

Bonnie Sabin O'Neill -- I sure am hoping we do not lose shoppers, too. I do shop Suzannes and BFF.

Diane Maureen Pleasance -- At least we have a good selection of pharmacies to shop at!

Tressa Taylor -- sad shopping situation in this pitiful , highly dysfunctional town, the mall is a disgrace . The town needs a new plan as the current plan is a bust.

Shelby Crowe -- I dont see how Wal-Mart would make the other stores close.

Jazmyn Douillard -- Haines has a great selection for school/office supplies and they will order anything in I get my Copic markers from them and those are a pain to find outside of Kelowna/Kamloops.

May Cooper -- yup agree I don't shop for anything but groceries I go out of town to shop or on line or I have friends that pick up items for clothing and I just pay them back specially for children's and baby clothing

Shelby Crowe -- I for one am all for Wal-Mart and glad we got one. wish we had a Costco too

Kristoffer Harris -- I don't think Walmart is to blame entirely for the closure of local businesses, most of you have already mentioned the downfalls of the current state of affairs of the mall itself as well as the general economic plight in Williams Lake right now.

May Cooper -- yup we need Costco sometimes I don't trust there food to much after what happen a few years ago they didn't keep there meet factory clean and sometimes there frozen stuff gets a recall on it but I still love Costco

Judy Stevens -- We will never get a costco . Our population needs to quadrupal before that would happen

Tammy Mattice -- I agree with Kristoffer Harris. .it's all about the economic climate. .new businesses will only come if they can succeed. ..

Judy Stevens -- Exactly if we get no new big business to hire people and give job security we won't get other shopping . The mills only have so many years of trees left to cut . Then who will provide higher paying jobs . Our town will get smaller and smaller

Tracy Wilson -- We moved here in 06 and every year it's looking worse, so sad, we are thinking of moving! I wonder how many other families are contemplating a move too?

May Cooper -- the mayor needs to come up with a better game plan for this town we don't even get the carnival anymore theres already nothing to do with our kids

Tammy Mattice -- Nope not thinking about moving don't desert your town just because it is going through a rough patch

Tracy Wilson -- It's not about deserting your town, it's about thinking of your family!

Tracy Wilson -- I find it hard to believe it's only a rough patch, it's been going down since we moved here in 2006, that's 8 years and it still continues to get worse! If prosperity ever comes here then things could turn but how long has it already been going on?

Kristoffer Harris -- I think we all need to come together & pose these questions to our present Mayor & Council or upcoming candidates for election come November. Enough is enough & I know I intend to ask these questions.

Tammy Mattice -- You're right Tracy Wilsonit has been a bit and we do need a wide variety of services. ..shops ..and activities. ..but who can fix these things? Correct me if im wrong but wouldn't that be our mayor and city council?

Tracy Wilson - Sure!

Tressa Taylor -- Look to the little town of 100 mile they have a lot of stores for a small town with hardly any work, people feel safe there , our town has a real policing issue if they took on some of the policies that 100 mile uses maybe we could have evening shopping and entertainment venues, We need a thriving town that's open for business , not broken windows and constant shop lifters, I wouldn't want to open a store here, you would need 6 secret shoppers just for the shoplifters and that's in a small store. 100 mile doesn't tolerate people hanging around town drinking either that my biggest pet peeve about this town couldn't really believe it when I first moved here and still can't believe that's what we have to live with. sorry to be a downer on this town issue , but there is deeper rooted problems here than just what new store can come. clean up the towns problems from the root, or you will never bloom a better town.

Myra Medeiros -- The mall would do fine if they actually ran it with growth, business and community in mind. The problem is that they charge way too much rent. There are a few other factors that play a big part

Brad Morgan -- Yeah I've been told that the people who own this mall also own one down in the lower mainland somewhere, and they charge the same $ per square foot rent here as they do for the other one. Makes no sense. But that's what happens when you have out of town owners with no vested interest in the success of the place. Seems more like they just keep it for a tax writeoff or possibly money laundering purposes because they make no effort to improve it.

Jess Ppfftt -- Does ANYONE, have ANY idea how much land owners pay in tax??????? NO, clearly you dont, that is why land owners have to charge so much for rent is because of their tax base.........Plain and simple........They also, get a tax break if the commercial space is not rented, its actually in the land owners best interest NOT to rent out smaller spaces, because then they wont be charged more tax for little revenue. Its the CITY, and the fact that all our tax money goes to policing for rising crime rates, that are consistently falling.........(well, they cant make their minds up.........They need more money because its high, but then they brag that its been lower..........We pay higher taxes than some of the nicest neighborhoods in Canada.....True story

Jazmyn Douillard -- Jess Ppfftt the mall is owned by a company in Vancouver. We pay a fraction in property taxes here compared to there (same as compared to the Okanagan, etc). The loss in monthly income verses not getting the tax break is huge, but again this is Vancouver so they're not bothering to break a sweat.

They also came out with a letter to the city last year explaining that they believe what they are charging are comparable prices for here, so it goes to show how out of skew their idea of our rental costs are.

The building itself, yes, is likely a tax write off. Though I think few people know exactly what a write off is, and that isn't not near as beneficial as you may think letting it sit empty.

Jess Ppfftt -- The anchor stores pay the rent and if they add extra stores their assessed value goes up, there for so does their taxes. Thats what I'm taking about. Obviosuly, our buildings worth are not as much as that of downtown Vancouver or Kelowna. However, our percentage against the "value" of the building is higher, thank most. We pay a greater percentage against the assessed value of the property.

Jazmyn Douillard -- However we will lose the anchor stores - as we've already lost Zellers and it looks like Staples is on the chopping block - and the lowered value doesn't help out the owners enough to make a relatively empty mall beneficial.

Lisa Dee -- Property taxes here are outrageous, no way would I live in the city, pay those taxes and not have any benefit whatsoever. It's higher here than even some places on the Island which is absolutely ridiculous. When looking into investment properties, it's cheaper to buy somewhere else with the price and the taxes. My question is where are all those tax dollars going??

LLoyd Bleakley -- Does anyone feel they were strung along into believing there was another big store going into Zellers spot.

Diane Maureen Pleasance -- We all were

Amanda Driver Lilly -- Yep it dosent help that there is still a stupid sign outside the old zellers would have been better if they left it alone as i swear it is just an excuse not a answer to the problem .throw the problem under the rug

Ryan Hatt -- Why would they put stores in the mall when they are just going to close in a few months... This town has died off to what it was. I wish they would bring stores and fill te mall how it was years ago but it's not going to happen..

Ryan Hatt -- This town needs jobs to bring the stores in... More jobs= more business for the stores and more money that people will spend... The mills are dying off. This town is starting to be like a ghost town and will be soon. As soon as the mills go down all that there is are the mines... Then what people.. The stores are just going to keep closing.

Debbie Wilson -- This town needs jobs like what New Prosperity would have brought. Its my understanding that that project isn't completely dead. Perhaps its time that we organized a rally like they did in 100 Mile House showing our support for the mine and the jobs that it would bring. (See "Say Yes to the Taseko Prosperity Mine Project" page) I would be willing to help with such an event but am not a public speaker or anything like that. In my opinion if we just keep complaining on here about what we don't have and are losing nothing will ever change.

Jazmyn Douillard -- I agree Debbie, but for everyone that wanted the mine it seemed two more didn't

Tammy Mattice -- I agree with Debbie Wilson...

Debbie Wilson -- I don't think that twice as many didn't, I think that they were just more vocal, Jazmyn Douillard.

Tamara Dika -- Think about what they said when mount polley opened up its going to create so many jobs, we need more Mills for our dying industry it's going to create so many jobs and bring so much to this town. I think the prosperity mine is a huge issue and people should pull their heads out of the sand but It's definitely the new distraction to keep minds away from previous industry problems. This town has been dying for years. As for staples which yes is the anchor store to the mall the lease has not been renewed that is a truth and they probably will be pulling out, so with the mall I'm sure the stores still standing have signed a Co tenancy clause which means the smaller stores can break there lease at any point if the anchor store closes.

Tamara Dika -- The people in power are afraid of change and not opening their minds to new ideas that's what's bringing this town down.

Travis McAlpine -- So many misguided thoughts and ideas in this thread. Please people check your facts that you are so "sure" about before posting your thoughts. There are too many rumors flying around without the need for people assuming what they are "sure" about.

Jess Ppfftt -- A fact is something that is not disputed, and clearly their are

Jess Ppfftt -- You cant dispute gravity, however, you can dispute ones intent.
Meanwhile at today's Chamber of Commerce meeting - Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook addressed the topic of shopping by publicly stating that the City had been in contact of the owners' of the Prosperity Ridge Shopping Plaza and they are planning to put into place more retail space on the existing Prosperity Ridge shopping site (location of where Walmart is)

As we get closer to the mid-October - Nov 15th civic election period and based on the FB discussion - the general themes of shopping and the local economy will be, in my opinion, part of that wider community discussion that will happen as Williams Lake elects their 2014-18 Municipal Council (Mayor and 6 Councillors)


Arts Grants available

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

British Columbians are reminded of upcoming dates for applications to the BC Arts Council for grants for professional project assistance in the areas of music, dance, theatre, literary arts, and training.

Project grants totalling more than $800,000 are available and include the following:

Professional Project Assistance Program – applications can now be made to support a professional music, dance, theatre, literary arts event or activity, or projects of professional training organizations. The maximum grant available is 50 per cent of the total project budget. Applications close on April 15, 2014. Professional Project Assistance is available for the following:

Arts Periodicals
Professional Arts Training
Professional Performing Arts – Dance
Professional Performing Arts – Music
Professional Performing Arts – Theatre
Professional Literary

For more information visit:

The BC Arts Council is the B.C. government’s lead agency for arts funding and development in British Columbia. All grants through the BC Arts Council are awarded through a peer assessment process that relies on the knowledge and expertise of British Columbia’s talented arts and culture community. Again this year, the B.C. government is providing $24 million for the BCAC – the highest level of funding in BCAC’s history. Overall, government is investing $60 million in British Columbia’s artists, arts organizations and cultural institutions in 2014-15.

Big Lake Community Forest Mtg Sunday

From CRD Area F Director Joan Sorley's "Director" Facebook page:

Editor's Note - I will be in attendance at this meeting and all residents' within the areas of Big Lake, Horsefly or Miocene need to and must be at this meeting… Help out your Community Forest Working Group!

If you live in Big Lake, Miocene, or Horsefly, this meeting is important to attend:
Community Forest Community Meeting
Sunday March 30th, 2014, 3 PM at the Big Lake Community Hall

As you know the Williams Lake Community Forest is now approved. An addendum has been inserted into the application, which restricts membership on the advisory committee to those with direct interest in the land base, but the allocation of 5% of net profits to the grant program remains unchanged. Given this approval, and the revised application, the community needs to determine how to proceed with the new licensee. Initial meetings have taken place to see if there is an opportunity to build a consultative relationship, and to determine how our communities might be involved in the management and distribution of benefits. The licensee is planning to host an initial information meeting followed by a series of meetings to collaboratively determine how and who will provide input into management decisions through a committee structure.

The Ministry of Forests decision makers and our MLA have been invited to our meeting to discuss the process which lead to the approval of the CFA.

Your input is needed to discuss if the community is accepting of the Community Forest as currently approved, to work with the licensee to derive the most benefit for our communities, or to explore and take other actions to be determined at the meeting.

Please plan to attend the meeting this Sunday. The working group needs direction from the community members.

Doucette runs for 100 Mile Councillor

Previously including this morning - I had reported that Len Doucette, best known for his efforts to get Ottawa to approve 'New Prosperity' has told Cariboo Country/The Rush that he was considering running for 100 Mile Mayor but has decided that he will be running for one of the four seats on 100 Mile House Council in November's election - read more here

With the move by Doucette to run for 100 Mile Councillor - it is now virtually guaranteed that the race for 100 Mile Mayor in November will be a two horse race in Mitch Campsall vs Maureen Pinkney as was the case in 2011.  I am not expecting anyone else to announce a bid for 100 Mile Mayor…


Round 2: Campsall vs Pinkney

In no surprise here - Maureen Pinkney, the former Cariboo RD Area 'L' Director (2002-2008) and candidate for 100 Mile Mayor (2011 Civic Election) has confirmed that she wishes to try again for 100 Mile Mayor - read more here

In the 2011 Election - current 100 Mile Mayor Mitch Campsall held off Pinkney by a vote of 257-200

Previously Mayor Campsall has said he welcomes competition for his job in November.  Campsall has previously confirmed he will seek re-election for a 4 year term in November

The only question remaining is whether or not "New Prosperity" proponent Len Doucette will seek the post of 100 Mile Mayor himself in November…

If Doucette bows out - it is very possible we'll see a repeat of the November 2011 election result which saw Campsall being re-elected as Mayor of 100 Mile House.

But time will tell as anything can happen in an election campaign…


WL Council Highlights - Mar 25th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Quesnel Council Highlights - Mar 24th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Subsidized composter program
The Cariboo Regional District and the City of Quesnel are once again offering the subsidized composter program. This year, sales will be made in advance only and all orders must be submitted to the Cariboo Regional District by March 31. Green Cone Food Waste Digesters, counter top containers and composters are available. Additional information and order forms are online at and

Expansion at the airport
Council approved entering into a twenty year lease with All-West Crane and Rigging Ltd. for a parcel of land measuring approximately 3,400 meters square, at the Quesnel Regional Airport. This land will be used to construct and operate a multi-purpose hangar facility at the airport.

Council allocates 2013 surplus
Council received a report that indicated a general surplus of 2013 unallocated funds in the amount of $528,942. Council approved transferring $260,009 to the General Capital Reserve for the West Quesnel Land Stability project, $200,000 to the Public Works Relocation Reserve, $65,000 to reduce 2014 taxes by .5 %, and the remainder of $3,933 to the Capital Reinvestment Reserve.

Transportation Manager retires
Council said goodbye to Transportation Manager Harlene Hunt and presented her with a small token of appreciation. The City’s Transportation Manager announced her retirement on March 28, 2014 after more than 30 years of service at the airport. Harlene came to the City of Quesnel in 1997 from Transport Canada. She has always been a dedicated team player providing great leadership in her position. As Transportation Manager, Harlene was responsible for the Quesnel Regional Airport and City Transit operations.
Harlene has been an integral part of the City’s Occupational Health and Safety Program and the EFAP (Employee Family Assistance Program) Committee.
One of Harlene’s most notable achievements has been the success of Skyfest. Over the years she has worked diligently to ensure that this event was safe, well-organized and a positive event for Quesnel.
Harlene will be greatly missed by Council and her co-workers.

Other news
-          Quesnel Lions Club through the Quesnel Lions Housing Society are developing an affordable housing project for Seniors and have asked City Council for assistance. Their presentation can be viewed online
-          2013 Capital Projects list - A final summary of the 2013 Capital Projects showed that the City spent $4.2 M in capital projects in 2013 out of a budget of $6.8 M.
-          Seeking support for the Quesnel Victim Services program, Council approved writing a letter to the Cariboo Regional District requesting a contribution of $20,000 to the City of Quesnel Victim Services program beginning in 2015. A copy of the letter will be forwarded to the Northern Directors.
-          Council gave third reading to Zoning Amendment Bylaw 1732 - Heavy Equipment Repair (Campbell Crescent) and Zoning Amendment Bylaw 1733 - Prohibition of Marihuana Production.

Important dates
Apr 5 -                   Quesnel Community Foundation’s Annual Awards Gala (Senior’s Centre)
Apr 16 -                 Public Hearing on OCP and Master Zoning Bylaw Amendments re Secondary Suites
May 7 -                 North Central Local Government Association AGM (Fort St. John)
May 10 -                Multiple Sclerosis walk (Ceal Tingley Park, 1:00 p.m.)
May 8 -                  World Ovarian Cancer Day

NEXT Regular Council Meeting:Monday Apr. 7, 7 p.m.
NEXT Delegation/Committee of the Whole Meeting:  Monday Mar. 31, 7 p.m. 

NEXT North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Meeting:
Wednesday Mar. 26, 5:30 p.m.

Taseko seeks to quash 'New Prosperity' decision

Update (Thurs March 27th at 8:28am) -- Brian Battison from Taseko Mines talks with CBC Daybreak Kamloops in regards to Taseko Mines plan to seek a judicial order quashing the 'New Prosperity' rejection decision - click here for the interview

In no surprise here - Taseko Mines Ltd (TML) announced yesterday that it was seeking a judicial order quashing the decision of Ottawa in regards to the rejection of TML's "New Prosperity" mine proposal.

Read the official notice from TML here while you can read an article from the Williams Lake Tribune here

Meanwhile - TNG Tribal Chair Joe Alphonse said, in response, to Taseko's latest legal move:

“The bottom line is that TML and both levels of government must end this direct threat to our culture and values once and for all. Two independent federal panel reviews have now found severe environmental problems and threats to First Nations culture and rights that simply cannot be mitigated. The project is so fundamentally flawed that even the generally pro-resource development federal Conservative government and the Prime Minister himself have concluded that the problems are so “scathing” and “damning” that it has rejected the Project twice in four years"

Read the full press release from the TNG Chiefs here

For myself - while I wasn't surprised that Taseko would proceed with this legal action, I was quite surprised at these choice of words:

Wrongdoing by government ministers, ministries, civil servants and agencies caused New Prosperity Mine's latest defeat,

In my view - that is very strong language for what occurred in regards to Ottawa rejecting New Prosperity.  Ottawa really had no choice, if for no other reason, that the pending William case at the Supreme Court of Canada could radically change the issue of Aboriginal Rights/Title across Canada and Ottawa didn't want to make any land moves until the Supreme Court of Canada rules accordingly.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Local Elections Modernization

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Coralee Oakes introduced legislation today that will support greater transparency and accountability in local government elections.

Oakes has tabled two bills to modernize local election campaign finance rules and introduce further changes to local elections. The new legislation responds to the majority of recommendations made by the joint B.C.-Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Local Government Elections Task Force.

The new Local Elections Campaign Financing Act (LECFA) makes significant reforms to campaign finance rules that, if passed, include:

Requiring candidates to file campaign finance disclosure statements within 90 days, rather than 120, following an election.
Ensuring candidate campaign disclosures are published online.
Ensuring the sponsorship information is published on all election advertisements.
Requiring third-party advertising sponsors to register and disclose their expenditures.
Establishing a new compliance and enforcement role for Elections BC.
The Local Elections Statutes Amendment Act (LESAA) is a companion piece to the campaign finance legislation establishing how election participants will transition to the new campaign finance rules. The act also makes further changes to local elections by:

Extending the terms of office for local elected officials from three to four years.
Moving the general voting day from November to October, beginning in 2018.
In 2010, the joint B.C.-UBCM Local Government Elections Task Force made 31 recommendations to modernize local elections, including incorporation of local election campaign finance rules into one act.

The legislation will apply to elected officials in municipalities, regional districts, the Islands Trust, parks boards and school boards. If passed, the legislation will take effect for upcoming general local elections on Nov. 15, 2014.

The legislation follows an extensive consultation process with local governments and key stakeholders. In September 2013, a white paper was published outlining the proposed new campaign finance reforms.

During consultations, some stakeholders expressed opposition to a complete ban on anonymous contributions. Given this feedback, the current rules that permit modest anonymous contributions of $50 or less will be maintained. This requirement will also apply to third-party advertisers effective immediately.

Government also consulted local governments and key stakeholders about campaign expense limits, as part of a phased approach to local government elections reform. As part of this process, expense limits would be introduced in time for the next general local elections following 2014.

The next general local elections will take place on Nov. 15, 2014.

Coralee Oakes - the Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development said:

“British Columbians are fortunate to live in a strong democracy where citizens can participate in local elections freely and fairly. After much consultation with stakeholders, we are modernizing local government elections to maximize fairness, transparency and accountability. This is the most significant update to B.C.’s local elections process in 20 years.”

The Legislation can be viewed here and here (campaign finance amendments)

CC Joint Committee Mtg - March 26th

Present from City of WL: Co-Chair (Mayor) K. Cook and Councillors I. Bonnell, G. Bourdon, D. Hughes, SPS Rathor and S. Zacharias

Present from Cariboo RD: Co-Chair J. Sorley and Directors Kemp and Bischoff (via phone)

Staff: A. Johnston (Corporate Officer - CRD) and G. Paynton (Director of Community Services - City of WL)

Meeting called to order at 6:00pm

Meeting Agenda approved & Minutes of the Feb CCJC Meeting adopted


Dr. Graham Kelsey appeared before the Committee on behalf of the Central Cariboo Arts/Culture Society (CCACS) to discuss their 2014 Grant Program recommendations

A Question/Answer period ensued


1) The Committee received the report of the CCACS Coordinator (L. Selk) and agreed to recommend approval to the Cariboo RD Board of the CCACS Recommendations for the 2014 Grants to be paid out 

2) The Committee received a letter of appreciation from Christian Bates, Grant Writer, BC Fund Development, Canadian Red Cross, dated March 11, 2014, for the support of the Red Cross Volunteer Team at the Williams Lake HELP Depot, from the Committee by providing a 2014 Grant-in-Aid

3) The Committee received a verbal update from Cariboo RD Area 'F' Director Joan Sorley regarding the on-going work of the Pool Communications Strategy.  This item will be appearing on monthly CC Joint Committee Agendas going forward

Councillor S. Zacharias left the meeting at 6:27pm

4) The Committee agreed to receive the Action Page as of March 26th

The Committee adjourned at 6:40pm

Central Cariboo Rural Directors Caucus - March 26th

Present - Chair J. Sorley; Directors D. Bischoff and B. Kemp

Staff - A. Johnston, Corporate Officer

Meeting called to order at 4:04pm

Agenda approved and minutes from the Jan 29th CCRC meeting approved

Discussion items:

a) Public Hearing Dates for Bees/Hens Bylaws - consensus for dates in May
b) Future of Central Cariboo Recreation Advisory Committee

Meeting concluded at 4:30pm

SD27 Board continues Policy discussion - Community Use of Facilities

Last night - I attended the meeting of the Board of Education for School District 27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) to raise two concerns I had with their draft Community Use of Facilities policy.  Those two concerns were:

a) Requirement for local community groups to have $5 million of liability insurance - This was later clarified by the Secretary-Treasurer (K. Futchner) that this would apply to private groups and not necessarily non-profit groups who would be asked to provide $2 million in 3rd Party Liability Insurance.  This requirement could be waived by the District if a non-profit group was not a registered society or corporation

b) Concern that this policy will have a negative impact on rural schools and the communities that make use of  those schools.  One example I gave was that Wildwood Elementary also doubles as a community centre/hall, given the nearest community hall is in McLeese Lake and it doesn't have a gym for use by those who may require access to one and made mention of the local community kitchen which has a purpose for the rural community of Wildwood

The Board then resumed its' consideration of the draft Community Use of Facilities policy from its' Jan/Feb meetings.  The Board's discussions centered around:

a) Concern that the impact of this policy will have on Rural Communities and the fact that this policy should not be a 'one size fits all' but should account for the nature of rural schools and our rural communities that make use of those schools (Trustee J. Cooper)

b) Access to School Keys/School Alarm Codes - conditions on how this is done... (Trustee S. Boehm)

c) Appropriate charge to user groups (Trustee D. Neufeld)

After some 40 minutes of debate - the Board resolved to refer the item back to its' Business Committee for further discussion/refinement based on its' discussion tonight

I am pleased to see the Board did acknowledge the concerns I brought forward and I agree that this policy discussion is neither easy for them or for the public who has expressed significant concern about this policy change but hopefully a solution can be found, somehow, that works to address the concerns of SD 27 Administration which includes security of School District property and liability concerns and those concerns expressed by the public


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Auditor-Gen for Local Gov't 2014-15/2016-17 Service Plan

Yesterday - the Office of the Auditor-General for Local Government released its' Service Plan for the years 2014-2015 and 2016-17.  Read the full Service Plan here

Meanwhile - the Audit Themes for the Service Plan for 2014-17 are:

A. Economic Development, Land Use and Transportation Planning and Management

B. Emergency Management and Protective Services

C. Environmental Programs and Services

D. Fiscal and Sustainability Planning, Capacity and Internal Operations

E. Infrastructure Sustainability and Infrastructure Asset Management

F. (Other) Emerging Issues

Finally - as an update on on-going Performance Audits:

a) Achieving Value for Money in Operational Procurement

Affected Local Governments -- City of Port Alberni, City of Surrey, City of Merritt, City of Williams Lake, City of New Westminster and City of Victoria.

Publication Date: August 31, 2014

b) Local Government Performance in Managing Policing Agreements and Police Budget Oversight

Affected Local Governments -- City of Port Alberni, City of Surrey, City of Merritt, City of Williams Lake, City of New Westminster and City of Victoria.

Publication Date: March 31, 2015. No audit reports shall be published between September 2014 and December 2014

c) Learnings from Local Government Capital Procurement Projects and Asset Management Programs

Affected Local Governments -- City of Cranbrook, City of Rossland, District of Sechelt, District of North Vancouver, City of Campbell River and City of Dawson Creek

Publication Date: one individual audit report by March 31, 2014 or early April, 2014. Five individual audit reports will be published by August 31, 2014

Community Amenity Contributions Program

Last night, during estimates debate for the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, Coralee Oakes (Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development) made mention of a new Ministry program called "Community Amenity Contributions" (CAC's) which can assist local government finance infrastructure/amenities to accommodate growth in our local communities

Read the full message to Mayors', Councillors', Regional District Chairs/Directors here

The Ministry itself says this on the subject of CAC's:

Provincial legislation enables local governments to collect development cost charges (DCCs) from developers to pay a portion of off-site infrastructure required to service new growth, e.g. for expansion of a water reservoir or sewage treatment plant.

However, growth and development often leads to a demand for additional community amenities, e.g. libraries and recreation centres, not provided for under these legislative provisions. To secure these additional community amenities, local governments are increasingly relying on one of two different mechanisms as part of a rezoning process:

Community amenity contributions (CACs) – are negotiated amenity contributions agreed to by the applicant/developer and local government as part of a rezoning process initiated by the applicant/developer. CACs can take several forms including the provision of amenities, affordable housing and/or financial contributions towards amenities. The agreed-to CAC is obtained by the local government, if the local government decides to adopt the rezoning.

Read the full CAC guide here while a shortened version of the same guide can be viewed here.

I'm still reading the CAC guide to understand the relationship between CAC/DCC's and how it relates to the management of local growth and affordable housing but I suspect a lot of local governments' will be asking their staffs' to clarify this guide for them and how it relates to local growth/affordable housing and to local OCP's (Official Community Plans) and zoning bylaws..


2014 BC Community Achievement Award Winners...

Editor's Note - congrats to Williams Lake winner Lynette Cobb, wife of former MLA/Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb.  The award is well deserved.  The actual award ceremony is on April 29th at Government House in Victoria.  Previous winners of this Award from Williams Lake include former WL and District Seniors' Advisory Council Chair Audrey MacLise and current Williams Lake City Councillor Surinderpal Rathor.  Read more on Mrs. Cobb's award win here

Courtesy of the BC Achievement Foundation:

Premier Christy Clark and Keith Mitchell, chair of the British Columbia Achievement Foundation, today named this year’s recipients of the B.C. Community Achievement Awards.

"As British Columbians, we are inspired by those in our communities who make a difference by their efforts," said Clark. "Thank you to the 2014 recipients for their contributions; you make our Province stronger with your commitment and generosity."

"We recognize individuals today who have made a significant contribution either as volunteers or in the course of their work," said Mitchell. We’re honoured to celebrate the contributions of these exceptional British Columbians."

The recipients of the 2014 awards are:

Selen Alpay of Prince George
Cathy Ashurst of Burns Lake
Amrik Singh Aulakh of Surrey
Donald Brown of Victoria
Helen Clifton of Hartley Bay
Lynnette Cobb of Williams Lake
John D'Eathe of West Vancouver
Allan De Genova of Vancouver
Judy Dix of Prince George
Wayne Duzita of Richmond
Michael Feller of Richmond
Keith Gibson of Tofino
Daphne Goode of Victoria
Lawrence Haiducu of Surrey
Deanna Hamilton of Kelowna
Jill Hayward of Louis Creek
Carol Hunt of North Cowichan
Valerie Ingram of Southbank
Bonnie Leadbeater of Victoria
Bessie Lee of Vancouver
Morgan Leung of Delta
Larry Leung of Burnaby and Jason Min of Delta
Donald Lindsay of Vancouver
Gordon Marks of Anmore
Michael McCoy of Richmond
John McLernon of Vancouver
Donald Pettit of Dawson Creek
Ethel Smith of Loon Lake
Marilin States of Creston
Fred Titcomb of West Vancouver
Germain Vigneault of Port Clements
Pat Wahlstrom of Quesnel
Miriam Yu of Vancouver

An independent advisory council selects the recipients of the British Columbia Community Achievement Awards from nominations received in the Fall, 2013. The council members are Mayor Stephanie Killam of the District of Mackenzie, Mayor Mary Sjostrom of the City of Quesnel, and past recipients, Maggie Ip of Vancouver, Alan Markwart of Victoria and Don Shumka of Vancouver.

The recipients of the 2014 British Columbia Community Achievement Awards will be recognized in a formal presentation at Government House in Victoria on April 29, 2014. Each will receive a certificate and a medallion designed by B.C. artist Robert Davidson.

The British Columbia Achievement Foundation is an independent foundation established and endowed by the province of B.C. to celebrate excellence in the arts, humanities, enterprise and community service. Launched in 2003, the BC Community Achievement Awards were the first initiative of the foundation, followed by the Carter Wosk B.C. Creative Achievement Award for Applied Art and Design, B.C.’s National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction, the B.C. Creative Achievement Award for First Nations’ Art, and the B.C. Aboriginal Business Awards.

For background about the recipients, please visit

Monday, March 24, 2014

Cariboo-Chilcotin Riding Report - March 16th

Taped on February 24th of this year and played on Shaw TV on March 16th - Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett reported to her constituents on the following items:

a) New Prosperity
b) Highway Projects
c) Ranching
d) Carey Price
e) Expansion of Gibraltar Mines by Taseko
f) Forestry
g) Tourism

Watch the video below:

MLA Donna Barnett - March 16, 2014 from Constituency Report - BC Liberal on Vimeo.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Support Rally for New Prosperity

Yesterday - 40 people in 100 Mile House braved cold weather to rally in support of a new application for Prosperity Mine, west of Williams Lake.  Read more here.  Meanwhile - a rally that was supposed to take place yesterday as well in support of the Friends' of Fish Lake's fundraising dinner cancelled over safety concerns for the participants that were set to participate in the walk to the fundraising dinner for Friends of Fish Lake - read more here

Finally - watch a 7 minute YouTube video which captures the rally of those in favour of a 3rd application by Taseko Mines for Prosperity Mine:

The New Prosperity mine application was rejected by Ottawa in late February over environmental and First Nations concerns while Taseko Mines is currently in litigation over the 'New Prosperity' Federal Review Panel's final report which Taseko Mines argues led to Ottawa rejecting its' New Prosperity mine proposal.

No official word when the matter will be deliberated in Court...


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Rathor on Cdn Rev. Agency Scam in WL

Courtesy of Williams Lake Tribune:

A Canada Revenue Agency scam has claimed at least one victim in Williams Lake, city councillor Surinderpal Rathor warns.

Rathor told the Tribune Wednesday a close relative recently lost $3,200 to the scam.

Unfortunately Rathor didn’t hear about the scam until after he phoned to warn his relative that he himself had received a call from someone claiming to be from CRA.

At first Rathor couldn’t hear the caller very well, so he told him he’d call right back on a landline.

When he did, the scammer identified himself as an investigator and immediately quoted a section from CRA and alleged Rathor had been entering false numbers on his income tax returns.

Even though Rathor has been voluntarily preparing hundreds of income tax returns for low income citizens in the Williams Lake area for more than three decades, he said at first the caller sounded valid.

“I was scared,” he said. “He told me they were going to press charges. He told me I had one hour to solve the problem.”

When Rathor insisted the caller send him some information in the mail, he was told he couldn’t.

Earlier this month CRA put out a bulletin alerting Canadians to beware of telephone calls, mail or e-mails that claim to be from the CRA but are not. Read that bulletin here

CRA also said it does not ever request by e-mail personal information of any kind from a taxpayer. It will never request information from a taxpayer pertaining to a passport, health card, or driver’s license.

“I want the community to be aware of the scam,” Rathor said. “The number of the caller was 613-519-1363.”

Upcoming Grant Opportunities - March 22nd report

Courtesy of the Cariboo RD's Grant Writer:

1) BC Equestrian Trails Fund | Deadline: April 15, 2014 |
Twitter: @HorseCouncilBC (HCBC)

The BC Equestrian Trails Fund was established to provide support for HCBC member clubs and affiliates who have researched and planned a specific project related to the construction and/or maintenance of an equestrian trail, trailhead or horse camping site in British Columbia for public use. Grant funding can be used for trail construction, upgrades and more.

For more information, visit

2) Success by Six | Deadline: May 31, 2014

Success by 6 is a program administered through the United Way which provides support for aboriginal and non-aboriginal community organizations and programs that benefit children up to the age of six. Eligible projects include children’s festivals, playground equipment, computer software, toys, craft supplies, cultural programs, and more.

To apply, complete the application form attached to this email. For more information, email LeRae Haynes at or call (250) 398-9848.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Mar 24-28

Various local government meetings are occurring next week as follows:

Wells - No meeting

Quesnel - 2 Meetings on Monday, March 24th - both in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St)

1) Public Hearing at 6:30pm for Bylaws 1732/1733 (Campbell Crescent and Medical Marijuana) - Full Agenda here

2) Regular Council Meeting at 7pm - On the Agenda:

1) Presentation to Harlene Hunt - retiring Transportation Manager, City of Quesnel
2) Delegation - Quesnel Lions Club
3) Reports from QCEDC, CRD Board and Tourism/Civic Pride Committee
4) 2013 General Surplus Level - $528,942.  Council asked for direction
5) 2013 Capital Projects
6) Letter to CRD Board re: Quesnel Victim Services Program

Full Agenda here
Full Council Information Package Agenda here

School District #28 (Quesnel) - no meeting

School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) - Regular Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday, March 25th at 6:30pm in the SD 27 Boardroom.  Agenda, when available, can be viewed here

City of Williams Lake - Regular Council Meeting at 6pm on Tues, March 25th in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  On the Agenda:

a) Receive Cheque Register - in light of Mayor Cook's recent regret of spending $300,000 in legal fees in 2013.  The City has expensed $29,111.73 for legal fees in the 1st Quarter of 2014

b) Consideration of 3 DVP's - 1707 Signal Pt Rd, 1820 Broadway Avenue and 340 Centennial Drive
c) Consideration of 1 DP - 1820 Broadway Avenue South
d) Receive Project ComeBack Update Report
e) Adopt Bylaws 2204/2205 - 340 Centennial Drive
f) Mayor Cook's Update Report
g) City Manager's Update Report

View full Agenda here

100 Mile House - Regular Council Meeting at 7pm in 100 Mile Council Chambers (385 Birch Ave).  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

Cariboo Regional District:

a) North Cariboo Rural Director Caucus - Wednesday, March 26th at 3pm at the Cariboo RD Quesnel Office.  On the Agenda:

Discuss Area B Recreation Facilities, Maintenance of CRD Property, Public Hearing on Bees/Hens Bylaws and North Cariboo HandyDART

View the full Agenda here

b) North Cariboo Joint Committee - Wednesday, March 26th in Quesnel Council Chambers.  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

c) Central Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus - Wed March 26th at 4pm in the CRD Committee Room (Suite D - 180 North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

1) Discuss Public Hearing on Bee/Hens Bylaws

d) Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee - Wed March 26th at 6pm in the CRD Boardroom (Suite D - 180 North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

1) Receive/Approve 2014 CCACS Grant Recommendations
2) Receive Letter from Red Cross for 2014 Grant in Aide
3) Pool Communications Strategy Update

Read full Agenda here

e) CRD/CCRHD/CRHD Board Meetings on Friday, March 28th  at 9:30am with the CRHD Board Meeting at 9:30am in the CRD Boardroom

On the CRHD Agenda:

* Adopt 2014-18 5 Year Financial Plan

View the full CRHD Agenda here

On the CCRHD Agenda:

* Adopt 2014-18 5 Year Financial Plan
* Receive Consent Calendar
* Receive item from Prov Health Authority re: expansion of Williams Lake Dialysis Unit

View the full CCRHD Agenda here

On the CRD Board Agenda:

* Delegation from Ministry of Forests, Land and NRO re: Elk Management Strategy
* Various Planning Matters including final consideration of a Temporary Permit at McLeese Lake (C. Todorowich) for a commercial bakery on Robertson Road (up from McLeese Lake General Store)

* Extend Wood Waste Grinding Contract
* Min of Environment proposing changes to Landfill Criteria for Municipal Landfills - CRD Staff recommend letter be sent to maintain 'status quo' on the criteria

* Presentation of 2014 Budget Overview - Final Budget set at 1.9% increase (2014 vs 2013).  1% for inflationary costs (wages, Hydro, etc) with .9% for new/improved services

* Consideration of  Beyond the Market funding proposal of $14,500 over two years
* Consideration of Support for $10/day DayCare
* Cariboo Mining Association raises concerns about proposed changes to Mines Act Permit Fees
* Receive Consent Calendar
* Approve recommendations from North, Central and South Joint Committees
* Receive minutes of March 10th South Cariboo Rural Caucus
* Rescind Motion of March 7th and re-approve Travel Motion to allow Area D Director Deb Bischoff for authorization for travel to Vancouver for Housing Conference at SFU.  Money to come from Area D Director Initiative Fund

* Request from Area F Director Joan Sorley for funds from Area F Director Initiative Fund for Miocene Community Club "Volunteer Appreciation Event on April 12th

* Request to support "Little Britches" Rodeo with money to come from Areas G, H and L Special Project Funds

The CRD Board will also be holding an "IN-Camera" Session in accordance with Sections 90(1) (a - appointments) and (c - labour/employee relations) of the Community Charter

View the full Cariboo Regional District Board Agenda here