Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Building Act Update for Local Governments

Courtesy of the Union of BC Municipalities:

In June, the Office of Housing & Construction Standards released the document Changes for Local Governments Under Section 5 of the Building Act, which includes an explanation of restricted and unrestricted matters under the Act.

The following issues have been classified as unrestricted matters. This means that local governments have the authority to set their own building requirements in bylaws.

* Fire access route design
* Matters that fall under the local government’s land use and planning authority (parking spaces for people with disabilities and development permit areas)

* District energy systems and connections

In addition, the document includes a list of temporarily unrestricted matters. It appears that these matters are still under review by the Province, and will no longer be unrestricted once the matter is addressed by a provincial requirement. Temporarily unrestricted matters include:

* Transmission of sound into a building from external sources
* In-building radio repeaters
* Exterior design and finish of buildings in relation to wildfire hazard within a Development Permit Area

For more information, refer to the Building Act Guide or contact the Province by email.

Quesnel Council Highlights - Aug 23rd mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Quesnel Lions Housing Society Development – Corner of Reid Street/McNaughton Avenue
The Quesnel Lions Housing Society, developer of a proposed 30 unit housing development for seniors, recently finalized an agreement to purchase the adjacent lot to the north of the proposed development allowing for a significantly revised site plan.  The revised site plan includes an increase in parking spaces to 17 from 11 and includes one handicapped parking stall.   The proposed parking area is situated north of the building with room for additional parking spaces should this be needed in the future.  This change also will allow for more greenspace, scooter parking and a garden area at the northeast end of the building. The proposed new front yard setback has been increased from 3 meters to 5 meters, with all other setbacks now meeting current regulations.  The Quesnel Lions Housing Society will be hosting an Open House from 3-7 p.m., September 13, 2016 at the Best Western Tower Inn Banquet Room to receive the public’s input regarding the proposed site plan.  A report outlining a summary of this public consultation will be brought back to Council before Bylaws 1781 and 1782 will receive further consideration.

Grace Inn Motel – Convert to Multi-Unit Housing – 530 Carson Avenue

The developer has recently brought forward changes for the proposed development to convert the Grace Inn Motel into multi-unit housing.  Currently, the City is working with the developer to identify the following:

-    Quality and type of units post conversion

-    Market for the units

-    Renovation timeline

-    Level of site management once the conversion is completed

The developer no longer wishes to limit the Grace Inn re-development for affordable seniors housing, but now wishes to open these units for market rent to various demographics.  Also outstanding is the total number of units being developed and project conversion timeline.  Further reporting regarding this development will be brought forward to Council for consideration.

Extension to Recycling Contract

Council has approved an extension to the City’s current contract for recycling services with Northern Recycling Inc (NRI) to June 2020 that will now coincide with the timing of the end of the Multi Materials British Columbia contract for processing the door-to-door recycling collected in the City.  The current City/NRI recycling services contract includes the three recycling satellite stations, recycling at the landfill and the reuse centre.  The Cariboo Regional District contributes 55% of the cost of recycling services, based on population, via a Memorandum of Understanding with the City that expires December 31, 2019.  This approved contract extension will allow the City time to plan for the future of the area’s landfill, recycling services and other zero-waste initiatives.  

Touch a Truck Fundraiser

Council approved Public Works to assist with a partial road closure for the Quesnel and District Child Development Centre “Touch a Truck” fundraiser scheduled for Saturday, October 29, 2016.  McLean Street will be partially closed from the 445 McLean Street to the north end of McLean Street and Shepherd Avenue from 8:00 am to 2:30 pm.  Horns and sirens will be sounding from 12-1 pm.  There is a $6.00/person, or $20.00/family entrance fee.  Please contact Heidi at 250-992-2481 for more information.

Northern Health – New Family Physicians

Northern Health will welcome six new family physicians to the north:  three to Quesnel (August 2016), and one each to Chetwynd, Tumbler Ridge and Dawson Creek (September 2016).  This will be the third group of physicians to arrive to the north through the Practice Ready Assessment process.  Through this process, physicians spend three months with a B.C. physician who evaluates their skills as they care for patients.  Physicians successfully completing this program, commit to practice for at least three years in a designated rural community; providing stability of care in that community.

Bylaws

-    Bylaw 1781/1782 – Seniors Housing Development (Reid St/McNaughton Ave) – Second as Amended

Next Meetings

-    7 pm - August 30, 2016 - Regular Council Meeting

-    7 pm – September 6, 2016 - Regular Council Meeting

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

WL Council-in-Committee -- Aug 23rd mtg

Present: Mayor Cobb (Chair); Councillors Bonnell, Nelson, Ryll, Smith, Walters and Zacharias

Meeting called to order at 6:02pm

Meeting Agenda adopted/Mins of the May 31st COW Meeting adopted

Delegations:

1) Jill Zirnhelt & Tanya Kielpinski - Central Interior Rural Division (CIRD) of Family Practice appeared before the Committee to provide an update to the CIRD's activities

A Question/Answer period ensued

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

Resolved - That the Committee recommend:

Council support the 'Tic Toc/Find Us a Doc' program

2) Sue Hemphill from the Williams Lake Field Naturalists/Scout Island Nature Centre appeared before the Committee to discuss a proposed Natural Playground at the Scout Island Beach

A Question/Answer period ensued

The Chair, on behalf of the Committee, thanked Ms. Hemphill for her time/information

Resolved - That the Committee recommend:

Council authorize Staff to work with Scout Island Nature Centre in regards to an Expression of Interest to the TD Friends of the Environment for a natural playground at the public beach

3) Linda Hillegeist - Moore Mountain Landowners & Residents - appeared before the Committee to discuss the access to Frizzi Rd issue/Agenda Item P2 (Report from Director of Development Services re: WL River Valley Transportation Planning)

A Question/Answer period ensued

The Chair, on behalf of the Committee, thanked Ms. Hillegeist for her time/information

Resolved - That the Committee recommend:

Council send a letter to the Minister of Forests, Land and Natural Resource Operations in regards to the current status of road access to the Williams Lake River Valley and the next steps

Business:

1) Financial Plan - Sewer Costs

The Committee had before it a report of the Chief Financial Officer
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That the Committee recommend:

Council direct staff to undertake the following projects:

1. Review sewer related bylaws, for purposes of updating those bylaws, and bring recommendations
to Council for consideration;

2. Analyze current sources of sewer revenue and payer fairness across sewer system users; and

3. Detail the option of introducing a separate storm sewer fee if this will increase payer fairness.

2) Pavement Rehabilitation & Waterworks 2016 Contract Addition - Soda Creek Road

The Committee had before it a report of the Director of Development Services
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That the Committee receive this report for information and refer this item to the 2017 Budget Process

3) River Valley Transportation Planning

The Committee had before it a report of the Director of Development Services
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That the Committee receive this report and the letter from Linda Hillegeist for information

Meeting adjourned at 7:34pm

Elected Alternate Directors for RD Boards?

At their meeting on Thursday - the Peace River Regional District Board will consider an draft letter to the Province in regards to the system of Alternate Directors' for Regional District Boards'

At their meeting of August 11th - the Peace River RD Board resolved the following, at the request of Peace River RD Area 'C' Director Brad Sperling:

That a letter be forwarded to the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development regarding the appointment of Alternate Directors to a Regional District Board to:

* Request information as to the number of alternate directors that may be appointed from municipalities and rural areas; and
* Suggest that the Local Government Act be amended to allow the appointment of more than one alternate director for a municipality or rural area.


Sections 200/201 of the Local Government Act speaks to the currently authorized system of appointing Alternate Directors, both for Electoral Area and Municipal Directors' serving on a Regional District Board which you can review here

In response, the Peace River RD CAO, Chris Cvik, has drafted a letter for the Peace River RD Board's endorsement, which you can read here

In part of the draft letter, it states:

"Can you please suggest next steps to lobby for changes to the legislation to have Alternate Rural Directors elected to their positions?"


While I am aware of some who think the antiquated Alternate Director system should go entirely, electing Alternate Directors would cause real problems within Electoral Areas given there is only 1 political representative for an Electoral Area however it could work for Municipal Councils' who don't want to get into 'Survivor Week' lobbying each other for the position(s) (Director/Alternate Director) on a Regional District Board yearly or at the beginning of their elected term

For Electoral Area Directors' - I feel the current system of appointing an Alternate Director works well.  If you can't make a meeting, your options include:

* Change your schedule to make meetings or send in your Alternate Director to represent you in your absence

* Allow for Tele/Video Conferencing to deal with "one off's" through your Board Procedure Bylaw 
* Arrange for your fellow Electoral Area Director colleagues on your Regional District Board to take up your Area issue(s) on your behalf at the meeting(s) you expect to be absent from

I will be watching this item closely.  Should the Peace River Regional District Board agree to send the draft letter as proposed by their CAO, then I will be approaching my own Board and requesting that a letter be forwarded to the Province advising that the Cariboo Regional District Board strongly opposes a system of electing Alternate Electoral Area Directors' and that the status quo of appointing an alternate Electoral Area Director for the duly-elected Electoral Area Director remain

~SF

Monday, August 22, 2016

Parade/Rugby Events to Honour Kayla Moleschi this Saturday

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Following the huge success of the Canada Women’s Rugby Team at the 2016 Summer Olympics, the City of Williams Lake encourages the community to join the Williams Lake Rugby Football Club in celebrating our bronze medalist Kayla Moleschi’s return to Williams Lake.

A parade in Kayla’s honour will commence at 10 am on Saturday, August 27, 2016 at City Hall at 450 Mart Street, proceeding down Borland Street and right onto North Third Avenue to Marie Sharpe Elementary. City Councillor and local rugby representative Jason Ryll says, “We want to recognize the achievements made by Kayla, who has worked hard in so many ways. She's been a great ambassador for the game and for Williams Lake. It's the right thing to do.”

From 10:30 on, we will celebrate Kayla’s success at the Marie Sharpe field with speeches from Mayor Walt Cobb and local dignitaries, and the community will have an opportunity to take photos with our local Olympic hero.

The fun will continue at 11 am with an introduction to rugby workshop and Rookie Rugby Day events, followed by a touch rugby tournament from 12 pm – 2 pm. City of Williams Lake Council encourages the community to come out and show their support for our Olympic hero, Kayla Moleschi, and to enjoy the rugby events on Saturday.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Lac La Hache/South Cariboo OCP Consultation at South Cariboo Garlic Festival

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) encourages everyone to visit the Lac La Hache Area and South Cariboo Area Official Community Plans (OCPs) Update booth at the South Cariboo Garlic Festival on August 27 and 28 in Lac La Hache. CRD elected officials, staff and consultants will be available to provide information, answer questions and obtain feedback from residents.

“Engaging with residents, business owners, and vacationers is an important part of the OCP review process,” states CRD Chair and Electoral Area G Director Al Richmond. “We want to create updated OCPs that are useful tools for the Lac La Hache and South Cariboo communities now and into the future and that represent the interests and wishes of our residents as a whole.”

Earlier this year, the CRD launched the process to update the OCPs for the Lac La Hache Area and South Cariboo Area. Late winter and early spring saw a series of engagement activities encouraging community member participation. Open Houses were hosted in Lac La Hache and the South Cariboo area in late February and community surveys were available from February until mid-April. Over 160 people completed the surveys and provided feedback and local information. Work has been rapidly moving forward and the CRD anticipates completion of both OCP reviews by the end of the year.

Preliminary OCPs for Lac La Hache and the South Cariboo are being drafted and they will be reviewed by members of the respective Advisory Committees, CRD Staff and other stakeholders in the fall. The draft OCP policies will then be posted on the CRD website for community input, including a survey. The completed draft OCPs will be presented during Open House sessions anticipated in the late fall.

Public Consultation Summary Reports and Technical Background Reports for the Lac La Hache area and the South Cariboo have been posted on the CRD website cariboord.ca.

Regular project updates will be provided on the CRD’s website, on Facebook at facebook.com/CaribooRegion and on Twitter at @CaribooRD. For further information, call the CRD’s Development Services Department at 250-392-3351 or 1-800-665-1636.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Aug 22-26

With the Boards' of Education for School Districts #27/28 (Cariboo-Chilcotin/Quesnel) still on summer recess - the following local governments' in the Cariboo-Chilcotin will meet next week:

Quesnel - Standing Committee on Financial Sustainability/Audit on Tuesday, August 23rd at 9am.  On the Agenda:

* Review of Action Summary sheet
* Finance Department Update
* Spending Overage
* Capital Review to June 2016
* Permissive Exemptions Review
* In-Camera Meeting -- Section 90(1L - Discussion with Municipal Officers for preparation of annual report - Strategic Planning)

View the full Agenda here

There is also a Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, August 23rd at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* Quesnel Lions Housing Society Update - Seniors Housing Development (McNaughton Avenue/Reid Street)
* Extension of Recycling Contract
* Grace Inn Motel Update (Convert to Multi-Unit Housing)

View the full Agenda here

Wells - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, August 23rd at 7pm in Wells Council Chambers.  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

Williams Lake - Committee of the Whole session on Tuesday, August 23rd at 6pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (Basement - 450 Mart St).  On the Agenda:

* 4 Delegations -- Lisa Mueller and Shauna Harper - Nation2Nation Forum - November 17 & 18, 2016, Williams Lake and Youth 4 Leaders (Y4L Summit), Tl'etinqox (Anaham); ill Zirnhelt & Tanya Kielpinski - Central Interior Rural Division (CIRD) of Family Practice - Update; Sue Hemphill - Williams Lake Field Naturalists/Scout Island Nature Centre - Natural Playground at the Scout Island Beach

* Financial Plan - Sewer Costs
* Pavement Rehabilitation & Waterworks 2016 Contract Addition - Soda Creek Road
* River Valley Transportation Planning

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District:

CC Regional Hospital District Board - Regular Meeting on Friday, August 26th at 9:30am in the CRD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* Capital Expenditure (GR Baker Memorial Hospital Ventilation System and Boiler Plant Upgrades) Bylaw
* Hospital Consent Calendar
* Interior Health Capital Projects and Planning Status Report - July 2016
* Request from Director Forseth – Letter to Interior Health Regarding Meal Practice Changes at 100 Mile General/Fischer Place/Mill Site Lodge
* Request from Comox Strathcona Regional Hospital District to Support Modernization of the Hospital District Act

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo RD Board - Regular Meeting on Friday, August 26th at 9:45am in the CRD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* Various Land Use/Planning Matters
* Funding Shortfall for Capital Improvements associated with the New Russet Bluff Groundwater Supply Well
* Community Works Funding Agreements for Likely Community Hall/Mt Timothy/Horsefly Seniors Activity and Wellness Centre
* BC Ambulance Service Policy Change Cuts Supply of Oxygen to First Responders
* Reallocation and Disposition of CRD Accumulated Operating Surpluses
* Consent Calendar
* Committee/Commission Minutes/Recommendations for receipt/endorsement
* 5 Corporate Bylaws for Adoption -- Directors' Remuneration Amendment, Red Bluff/Dragon Lake Sewer System (Gook Road Extension) Debt Service Parcel Tax Bylaw, Quesnel-Hixon Subdivision Erosion Protection Works Service Parcel Tax Bylaw, North Cariboo Recreation and Parks Advisory Commission Repeal Bylaw, Red Bluff/Dragon Lake Sewer Service Boundary Amendment Bylaw

* Request from Directors' Sorley/Forseth to give $1,000 to the annual Xat'sull Save the Salmon event at the Xat'sull Heritage Village on Sept 9-11
* Request from Director Forseth for CN Rail to be Invited to Present Information on Rail Line Safety
* Report from Director Sorley re: recent NCLGA Board meeting

View the full Agenda here

Community Events:

* Martial Arts Event this evening in the Gibraltar Room at 7pm - more details here
* McLeese Lake Farmers' Market this Sunday from 9am - 1pm at the McLeese Lake Tourism Info Centre (between Oasis Pub/Cafe in downtown McLeese Lake)

* Mobility Adventure Day on Monday, August 22nd from 10:30am - 2pm in Boitanio Park.  More details here

* Last "Performances in the Park" for the 2016 Season on Thursday, August 25th from 6-8pm in Boitanio Park.  More details here

* Chimney Lake Community Mtg re: Local Transfer Station -- Thursday, August 25th at 6:30pm at the Chimney-Felker Lake Fire Hall (2262 Chimney Lk Road).  View more here

WL Indian Band Councillor Election 2016

Last night - the electors of the Williams Lake Indian Band voted in 3 people to serve another 4 year term as Band Councillor.  Those people were:

1) Willie Sellars - re-elected
2) Rick Gilbert - re-elected
3) Andrew Meshue - elected

A total of 8 people ran.  Congrats to re-elected WL Indian Band Councillors Sellars/Gilbert along with Councillor-elect Meshue.

A thank you as well to the other 5 unsuccessful candidates.  I know that they would have been loyal public servants.  Democracy is always served when choices are available to the voters

I look forward to continue working with WL Indian Band Councillor Willie Sellars/Rick Gilbert along with new Band Councillor Andrew Meshue

Finally - WL Indian Band Chief Ann Louie and Councillors Heather MacKenzie/Chris Wycotte, Sr continue to serve until August 2018

~SF

Thursday, August 18, 2016

2016 UBCM Resolution Book Released

At next month's 2016 Union of BC Municipalities Convention in Victoria, delegates will consider 177 submitted resolutions covering a large number of different matters that are of interest to local governments' in BC.  View the full Resolutions Book here

The 3 Resolution Sessions at the 2016 UBCM Convention will be chaired by East Kootenay RD Area F Director Wendy Booth and vice-chaired by Fraser Fort George Area E Director/Chair Art Kaehn and they will be assisted by Strathcona RD Vice-Chair Jim Abrams, Invermere Mayor Gerry Taft and Central Coast RD Chair Alison Sayers

It wouldn't surprise me if the Convention fails to get through all 177 Resolutions as there is always a late UBCM Resolution or two that is introduced on the floor during the Resolution debates and thus there is not enough time to get through all submitted Resolutions... but we'll see what happens at the Convention

As I did for the 2015 UBCM Convention -- I plan to post here and on my Steve Forseth - CRD Area 'D' Director Facebook page daily reports from the Convention including passed/defeated UBCM Resolutions so stay tuned here

~SF

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

New City of WL CAO

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb and City Council are pleased to announce that Milo Macdonald has been hired as Chief Administrative Officer and will be starting on September 12, 2016. Milo has had a very successful career with the RCMP over the last 20 years, and was currently serving as Inspector for the Williams Lake RCMP Detachment.

“I am honored to have been selected as the Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Williams Lake. I am very excited about the direction we are headed in and am looking forward to working with Council and the Staff," says MacDonald.

Mayor Walt Cobb states: “We are fortunate to welcome Milo as Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Williams Lake. Council and staff have had the privilege of working with Milo directly during his tenure at the RCMP, and have been impressed with his experience, knowledge and professionalism. The City of Williams Lake is very excited to move forward with such a strong and diligent leader.”

Councillor Scott Nelson, Finance Committee Chair states: “we are very pleased with the stability and qualities Milo possesses as well as his knowledge and already established network within the Region.”

CARIP Grants 2016

Courtesy of the BC Government:

Communities throughout British Columbia will share over $6.4 million in grants from the B.C. government’s Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP), Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Peter Fassbender announced today.

CARIP is a conditional grant program that provides funding to B.C. local governments which signed the Climate Action Charter and commit to report publicly on their progress toward meeting their climate action goals. Local governments receive a CARIP grant equivalent to the full amount of direct carbon tax they pay in a year.

Since 2008, CARIP has granted over $39 million to B.C. local governments to help support communities in their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and work toward Climate Action Charter goals.

For the full community list of CARIP Grants - click here

For Cariboo-Chilcotin Communities:

Wells - $3,348

Quesnel - $48,454

Williams Lake - $27,597

100 Mile House - $5,521

Cariboo Regional District - $13,941

The Hon. Peter Fassbender, BC's Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development said:

“The Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program continues to reward local governments for supporting British Columbia’s Climate Action Charter and helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Thank you to all the participants in this successful program, as well as all the local governments that made submissions to the Climate Leadership Plan.”

The Hon. Mary Polak, BC's Minister of the Environment further stated:

“Local governments can help achieve B.C.’s GHG emission reduction targets through their important role in land use planning, transportation, waste management and infrastructure development. Local governments have been key partners in the Province’s success in lowering greenhouse gas emissions while continuing to grow our economy. We will continue to work closely with communities throughout the province to build strong partnerships for climate collaboration.”

Quick Facts:

Over 40% of all greenhouse gas emissions in British Columbia are under the influence of local governments.

The Province and UBCM established the voluntary B.C. Climate Action Charter in 2007.

96% of local governments signed the charter, which commits them to be carbon neutral in their corporate operations, to measure their community-wide greenhouse gas emissions and to create complete, compact and energy efficient communities.

The B.C. government returns 100% of carbon tax dollars to reporting local governments that have signed the charter.

Learn More:

For more information about Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program -- http://www.cscd.gov.bc.ca/lgd/greencommunities/carip.htm

Check out the provincial government’s role in supporting communities, sport, arts and culture through the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development -- http://www.gov.bc.ca/cscd

Concern about Rural Dividend Program vis-a-vis Electoral Areas

Back on July 28th on this year - I wrote to BC Premier Christy Clark, in my capacity as the Electoral Area 'D' Director of the Cariboo Regional District, respectfully requesting that changes be made to the Rural Dividend program whereby there should be separate and equal funding allocations for Electoral Areas and Muncipalities, given their issues are different & unique ($12.5 million for Electoral Areas and $12.5 million for qualifying Muncipalities = $25 million per year for next 3 years)

Non-Profits/First Nations would then apply to that distinct funding envelope, depending on their location

This past Monday - Mr. David Borth, Executive Director of the BC Rural Secretariat based in Kamloops wrote a response to my letter on behalf of BC Premier Christy Clark

My letter along the response from Mr. Borth can be viewed below:



The Cariboo Regional District Board (Board) has already agreed to have a broad discussion on this program at the request of Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson at our September 22nd Committee of the Whole meeting in Wells and I will be asking the CRD Board at our August 26th meeting to consider inviting Mr. Tom Hoffman as a local resident who currently sits on the BC Rural Advisory Council to help us understand why the BC Rural Dividend program criteria was drafted the way it was.

The Board has already discussed concerns with the Rural Dividend program with Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett earlier this year so hopefully Mr. Hoffman, should the Board authorize his attendance at our September COW Meeting, can further clarify aspects of the Rural Dividend program criteria like why money leveraging is all but not allowed except for use of the Community Works Funding along with small community capital projects are all but not allowed except in very limited circumstances

Unless there are considerable changes to this program that makes applying to this program useful for some of my unincorporated communities like McLeese/Tyee Lake and Wildwood - as an Electoral Area Director, I can't encourage my local communities to apply to this program as the Rural Dividend seems to be only geared towards money for studying things, rather than funding of small community projects which is what my Electoral Area needs at this time, particularly for the unincorporated communities of McLeese Lake, Tyee Lake, and Wildwood

Editor's Note -- this blog post is my own opinion and is not reflective of the Cariboo Regional District, its' Board of Directors, Staff and Volunteers 

~SF

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

WL Council Highlights - Aug 16th mtg

Present: Mayor Cobb; Councillors Bonnell, Nelson, Ryll, Walters and Zacharias

Meeting called to order at 6:01pm
Meeting Agenda approved/Mins of the July 19th, 2016 WL Council meeting adopted

Mayor Cobb acknowledged that the meeting is taking place on traditional Shuswap territory

Delegations/Presentations - None

Business:

1) Council received for information the accounts payable computer cheque listings dated July 21, 28, 29, August 4, 10 and 11, 2016

Councillor Zacharias declared a conflict of interest on the next item and left Council Chambers at 6:02pm

2) Council agreed to support the Cariboo Community Church’s request for a permissive tax exemption for the property located at 35 Oliver Street, legally described as Lot 1, District Lot 71, Cariboo District, Plan PGP42291, and Staff were directed to prepare an amendment to Williams Lake Permissive Tax Exemption Bylaw No 2238, 2015 to include this property’s land and improvements under Schedule D effective for 2017.

Councillor Zacharias returned to the meeting at 6:06pm

3) Council adopted an email poll approving a front canopy encroachment agreement with Thomas and Ulrike Wittal on Lot 7, District Lot 8816, Cariboo District, Plan 7290 at 28 Broadway Avenue North, with all costs associated with registration of this execution and registration being the responsibility of the property owner

4) Council ratified a Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee recommendation as follows:

a) That pursuant to Central Cariboo / City of Williams Lake Joint Committee Report #06-2016 and the report of the Director of Community Services dated July 13, 2016, the City and Cariboo Regional District enter into the Community Partnership Agreement with the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium and the Williams Lake Cycling Club and the appropriate signatories be authorized to sign the Agreement on behalf of the City.

5) Council accepted the street naming application from Don Buchanan and approved adding the name "Buchanan" to the list of approved names for consideration in future street naming processes.

6) Council received the July 20th meeting minutes of the Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee

7) Council approved 3 Proclamations as follows:

a) International Day of Older Persons - October 1st, 2016
b) World Cerebral Palsy Day - October 5th, 2016
c) World Mental Health Day - October 10th, 2016

8) Council received the 'Council Information Package' as of August 16th, 2016 as follows:

• July 22, 2016 - CRD Board Highlights;
• August 2, 2016 - Joint News Release re local governments to host Chinese martial arts performances.

Members of Council gave oral reports on their recent activities

Meeting adjourned at 6:20pm

New Doctors Coming to BC Rural/Remote Communities

Courtesy of the BC Government:

The Practice Ready Assessment program assesses internationally trained physicians for practice in B.C. As part of the program, doctors undergo a rigorous assessment process, spending three months with a B.C. physician who evaluates their skills as they care for patients. Physicians successfully completing the program commit to practice for at least three years in a designated rural community in need.

The program is funded for a total of $7.6 million through March 2018 by the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues – a collaborative committee of the Ministry of Health and Doctors of BC.

Facts about the Practice Ready Assessment-BC (PRA-BC) program:

* The first group of 14 doctors assessed through PRA-BC started in their new communities in July 2015: McBride, Hazelton, Quesnel, Dawson Creek, Fort St. John (two), Terrace, Castlegar, Lillooet (two), Invermere, Port Hardy, Comox, and Powell River.

* In January 2016, 11 international medical graduates were assessed as practice ready and placed in communities of need: Chetwynd, Quesnel (two), Houston, Fort Nelson, Prince Rupert, Campbell River, Princeton, Logan Lake, and Ashcroft (two).

* In July 2016 the third cohort (Spring 2016) saw 13 international medical graduates successfully pass their assessments and move on to provisional licensure with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC. They will start their three-year return of service in August/September 2016 in the following communities: Quesnel (three), Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, Tumbler Ridge, Enderby, Keremeos, Nakusp, Logan Lake, Trail, Ladysmith and Port Hardy.

* Another 15 international medical graduates will be assessed in the fall of 2016. Two additional cohorts of up to 15 internationally trained physicians each will be assessed in the spring and fall of 2017 – for a total of up to 30 practice-ready family physicians in 2017.

* Internationally trained physicians who successfully complete the assessment program can set up practice in one of the designated communities in need.

Facts about rural recruitment:

* In the 2015-16 Budget Year, Government spent over $100 million on incentives to recruit and retain physicians in B.C.’s rural communities.

* As part of this work, government in partnership with Doctors of BC has invested in rural programs such as the rural emergency enhancement fund, rural general practitioner locum program and the rural specialist locum program.

* Recruitment efforts in rural communities are significantly outpacing population growth. In 2014-15, there were 2,441 doctors practising in rural areas in B.C., compared to 2,260 in 2010-11 – an increase of about 8%. During the same period, population in rural British Columbia has grown by 2.1%.


By the Numbers:

* According to the College of Physicians and Surgeons of BC, as of February 2016, there were 6,042 family doctors registered to practice in B.C., an increase of 9% over the previous five years (5,448 general practitioners as of December 2009).

* According to the latest figures available from the Canadian Institute for Health Information, as of 2014 there were 125 family doctors per 100,000 people in B.C. – compared to the national average of 114.

* The provincial government has more than doubled the number of first-year undergraduate medical school spaces in B.C., from 128 to 288 between 2003 and 2011. The number of entry-level postgraduate residency positions increased from 134 in 2003 to 346 positions in 2016, almost half in family medicine. More than 500 additional family physicians have graduated from UBC as a result of the medical school expansion.

* Statistics from the Canadian Community Health Survey show that in 2014, 85.1% of British Columbians now have a regular physician, up slightly from 84.5% from 2013.

* In the latest agreement with the Doctors of BC, the Province committed $67 million in new funding toward ongoing support of the work of A GP for Me and other primary-care focused programs. More than 100,000 previously unattached patients with complex-care needs are now matched with a family doctor or belong to a primary-care clinic, thanks to this work. A further 60,000 were matched with a new doctor when their family doctor retired or moved.

* Nurse practitioners were introduced as an important part of health-care teams in B.C. in 2005, helping meet the growing need for primary and community health care. Since B.C.’s first group of nurse practitioners graduated in 2005, 397 nurse practitioners have been licensed to practise in the province.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Northern Development names new CEO

Courtesy of the Northern Development Initiative Trust:

Earlier this year, Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) announced that our current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) would be retiring this fall and that the Trust would commence the search for her replacement.

The Trust’s Board of Directors has selected a new Chief Executive Officer to succeed retiring CEO Janine North and ensure a smooth transition of leadership this fall. Joel McKay, the Trust’s Director of Communications, will succeed Ms. North as CEO beginning October 3rd, 2016.

McKay joined the Trust’s executive team in 2012, and since then has been responsible for leading the Trust’s communications and marketing, economic research and analysis, as well as the Fabulous Festivals and Events funding program. Prior to joining the Trust, McKay was an award-winning business journalist in Vancouver specializing in coverage of the province’s natural resources industries, notably forestry, mining, oil and gas and renewable energy.

The decision follows a rigorous three-month selection process that fielded potential succession candidates from across British Columbia.

Ms. North will remain CEO until the transition date, helping to ensure the Trust continues to deliver on its mandate to strengthen and diversify the economy in central and northern B.C. Ms. North’s decision to retire comes after more than a decade of service to the Trust, and is driven by her personal desire to spend more time with her family and other board and personal commitments.

Since 2005, the Trust has used its resources to approve more than $150 million in funding for more than 2,000 projects throughout central and northern B.C. In that time, the Trust has leveraged $1.2 billion in new investment to the region and helped diversify the economy. Today, the Trust is sustainably managed with a capital base in excess of $250 million and two dozen programs and services that foster collaboration, sustainability and diversification in the region’s communities.

Evan Saugstad, NDIT Board Chair said:

“On behalf of the Board, I congratulate Joel on being selected to lead this great organization and continue its service to the people, communities and businesses of central and northern BC. Joel’s demonstrated commitment to the Trust and his desire to help grow BC’s central and northern economies will serve the Trust well. Congratulations Joel and we, the Board, look forward to continuing the wonderful achievements the Trust has been able to accomplish under the exemplary leadership that Janine North so capably provided since the inception of the Trust.”

Joel McKay, incoming NDIT CEO further stated:

I feel honoured to have been selected to lead the Trust into its second decade. The north is my home, my family’s home, and I believe very passionately that the best economic decisions for the north should be made in the north. I look forward to continuing to serve our board of directors and collaborate with our regional advisors to ensure the Trust is responsibly responsive to the needs of communities throughout central and northern B.C.”

About NDIT:

Northern Development Initiative Trust combines funding with smart thinking to help Northern British Columbia thrive. The Trust was created for the north and is led by the north. In only a decade, Northern Development has found more than 2,000 ways to say “yes” to economic diversification in our region, attracting more than $1.2 billion in new investment to the region. The Trust is an independent regional economic development corporation focused on stimulating economic growth in central and northern British Columbia. To date, the Trust has committed more than $146 million in funding to projects in communities throughout the region, and has forged more than 3,200 partnerships with over 900 organizations. Approximately 72% of our investments are in small communities with populations of less than 5,000.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Aug 15-19

With the Boards of Education for School District #27/28 (Cariboo-Chilcotin/Quesnel), the Districts of Wells/100 Mlle House not meeting this coming week and the Cariboo Regional District still on summer recess, Williams Lake City Council will be the only local government to meet next Tuesday, August 16th at 6pm - 450 Mart Street

On the Agenda:

* Tax Exemption Application - Cariboo Community Church
* Ratify Poll of Council - 28 Broadway Avenue North Encroachment Agreement (Thomas and Ulrike Wittal)
* Mountain Biking Community Partnership Agreement - Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee Recommendation
* Street Naming Application - "Buchanan"
* 3 Proclamations - "International Day of Older Persons"; "World Cerebral Palsy Day" and "World Mental Health Day"

View the full Agenda here

Community Events this weekend/next week:

McLeese Lake - 4th Annual Metis Jamboree from Friday, August 12th to Sunday, August 14th at the McLeese Lake Community Hall site (6178 Forglen Road).  More details here.  Also, the weekly Sunday McLeese Lake Farmers' Market - between the Oasis Pub/Cafe along Highway 97 North.  August 14th from 9am - 1pm

Alexis Creek - Redstone Rodeo on Saturday/Sunday August 13th/14th.  More details here

Williams Lake - Performances in the Park on Thursday, August 18th from 6-8pm in Boitanio Park.  More details here

100 Mile House - Martial Arts Performance at Martin Exeter Hall on Thursday, August 18th at 7pm.  More details here

~SF

Thursday, August 11, 2016

83 Mile/83 Mile West FSR to close permanently

Courtesy of the BC Government:

The public is advised that 83 Mile (9237.01 Road) and 83 Mile West (9237.02 Road) Forest Service roads near 100 Mile House will be discontinued and permanently closed beginning Aug. 22, 2016, due to ongoing maintenance issues and environmental concerns.

83 Mile and 83 Mile West Forest Service roads are located off the 83 Mile public road in the vicinity of Green Lake, about 27 kilometres south of the town of 100 Mile House. These roads are part of B.C.’s 55,000-kilometre Forest Service road network that provides access to British Columbia’s backcountry.

Creation of Student Transportation Fund

Courtesy of the BC Government:

Students and families throughout B.C. will soon have access to expanded and more affordable transportation options thanks to $14.7 million, under the new Student Transportation Fund.

Education Minister Mike Bernier made the announcement with school district officials today at the Dawson Creek school board office.

School districts can apply for the funding to help parents with transportation costs and services, whether they use the usual yellow bus program or work with local transit operators.

The handful of districts that currently charge families a transportation fee for a student’s local or catchment area school must eliminate those fees to be eligible for the funding. All districts need to use the funding for transportation services to be eligible.

Funding can also be used in a variety of ways, including:

improving service by adding new or amended routes;
improving access to local transit services;
providing accessible services for students with disabilities;
reducing ride times;
boosting student safety by relocating bus stops and improving bus supervision; and,
funding existing transportation services and investing the savings in enhanced student services.

To be eligible for funding, districts must submit a plan to the Ministry of Education by Sept. 30, 2016, outlining how they will use the funding to boost transportation services for students and families. Districts will hear back shortly after they submit their applications on how much funding they will receive.

The amount of funding a district is eligible for is based on a formula tied to the Ministry of Education’s student location factor, which is used to determine the rural makeup of a school district. Districts will also be required to report back on the outcomes and the benefits they achieved as a result of the funding.

As a result of B.C.'s strong economic growth and fiscal discipline, government is able to make key investments like the Student Transportation Fund to improve the lives of British Columbians.

The Hon. Mike Bernier - BC's Minister of Education said:

“As a parent in a rural community, I know about the challenges of getting kids to school on time and then getting them home at the end of the day. This funding will help districts provide better bus and transportation services at lower costs to parents.

“This past June, government returned $25 million in administrative savings to districts – and many of them had found those savings in their transportation money. With close to $15 million more funding flowing to districts parents will see districts enhancing services and eliminating fees.”

Money available to School Districts #27/28 (Cariboo-Chilcotin/Quesnel)

27 Cariboo-Chilcotin – $739,024
28 Quesnel – $274,209

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

LGLA 2015-16 Annual Report available

Last week - the Local Government Leadership Academy or LGLA released their latest Annual Report

In the report, the following topics are covered:

* Review of Activities/Events since the last LGLA Annual General Meeting
* Review of Webinars presented
* Strategic Activities of LGLA
* Review of 2016-17 Goals including instituting a Level 3 Certificate in Local Government Leadership and building closer relationships with/support the activities of Founding Partners

Review the full LGLA 2015-16 Annual Report here

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

1st Round of BC Rural Dividend recipients announced

Courtesy of the BC Government:

The B.C. government is distributing over $464,000 in new grants to help small communities develop projects to diversify and strengthen their economies, Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson and Parliamentary Secretary Donna Barnett announced today.

In the first intake of the three-year, $75-million BC Rural Dividend, 47 grants, totalling $464,294, will be awarded to 30 local governments, 15 First Nations and two not-for-profit organizations from around the province.

The project development grants, of up to $10,000 each, will be used to promote economic sustainability, while contributing to a community’s overall resilience and liveability.

Government made a commitment at the launch of the BC Rural Dividend, April 4, 2016, to give priority to project development applications and announce funding decisions in the summer. The early decisions will give successful applicants the funds needed to develop their project applications for future intakes of the program.

Final decisions on project applications for single applicants (up to $100,000) and partnerships (up to $500,000) will be announced in September 2016.

A total of 62 project development applications were received in the first intake.

Each application was independently reviewed by program staff and an executive review committee, comprised of senior government executives in the ministries of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations; Community, Sport and Cultural Development; and Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, that was established specifically to assess applications.

A second intake of the BC Rural Dividend will run from Oct. 3, to Oct. 31, 2016. Applicants are advised to check for the updated program guide online - www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend - in September, as eligibility requirements are being reviewed as part of a continuous improvement process. Any revisions will be made to the BC Rural Dividend program guide before the second intake.

The Hon. Steve Thomson - BC's Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Operations said:

We’re really pleased with the calibre of applications in the first intake of the BC Rural Dividend. I want to thank all those who were involved in developing the program. The project development funding demonstrates government’s commitment to support rural British Columbians build communities where they can raise their families with pride and certainty.”

Donna Barnett - MLA for Cariboo-Chilcotin and Parliamentary Secretary, Rural Development further said:

“I want to thank the members of B.C.’s Rural Advisory Council. Their contributions to the development of the BC Rural Dividend and ongoing support have been a key factor in the program’s success. These grants will generate economic opportunities and stimulate rural economies.”

Quick Facts:

The BC Rural Dividend is part of government’s multi-faceted response to assisting rural communities and complements existing initiatives supporting rural communities.

The criteria for the BC Rural Dividend was conceived with input from the 13-member Rural Advisory Council, which was formed in March 2015.

Learn More:

Rural Dividend: www.gov.bc.ca/ruraldividend

Rural Advisory Council: http://ow.ly/NFhU301MfRv

A full list of the 1st Round of Rural Dividend recipients can be viewed here

For the Cariboo Region:

Cariboo Regional District -- $10,000
Village of Clinton -- $10,000
Village of McBride -- $10,000
Yunesit'in Government -- $8,500

Local Gov'ts receive Unconditional Grant/Traffic Fine Revenue

Courtesy of the BC Government:

Community, Sport and Cultural Development Minister Peter Fassbender announced today that local governments throughout British Columbia are sharing almost $108 million in provincial funding to support policing and safety measures, as well as community services and projects.

Provided from Small Community Grant, Regional District Grant and Traffic Fine Revenue Sharing Grant programs, the funding allows local governments in B.C. to meet local needs in various ways, including more policing, restorative justice, increased community safety initiatives, infrastructure, administrative support and service delivery priorities.

For a complete list of approved grants, visit: https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/BG_Jun2016%20GrantPayments-Combined.pdf

For the Cariboo-Chilcotin:

100 Mile House -- $354,787 in an unconditional grant however $0 for Traffic Fine Revenue

Williams Lake -- $390,167 in an unconditional grant and $207,144 in Traffic Fine Revenue

Quesnel -- $417,835 in an unconditional grant and $178,992 in Traffic Fine Revenue

Wells -- $369,682 in an unconditional grant however $0 for Traffic Fine Revenue

Cariboo Regional District -- $148,351 in an unconditional grant however $0 for Traffic Fine Revenue

Since 2009, funding from these three grant programs has provided over $922 million to help support services that benefit B.C. residents, businesses and communities.

The Hon. Peter Fassbender, BC's Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development said:

“Local governments can direct the funding from the Small Community and Regional District Grants according to their community needs and priorities. These grants help provide local services, programs and infrastructure in smaller and rural communities in every region of British Columbia.”

While the Hon. Mike Morris, BC's Solicitor-General/Minister of Public Safety further stated:

“I have said time and again that I would rather see net traffic fine revenues that are substantially smaller amounts, because it would mean nobody was behaving dangerously behind the wheel. We know there are still people who text and check their emails while driving, people who speed, and people who drink and drive. As long as people continue to accumulate traffic fines, we can continue to share these revenues to support community safety initiatives and local policing priorities to help make B.C. communities safer.”

Quick Facts:

For 2016, the Small Community Grant, Regional District Grant and Traffic Fine Revenue Sharing Grant funding is allocated as follows:

Communities will receive almost $53 million in Small Community Grant and Regional District Grant funding. These grants are specifically meant to help address infrastructure, administration and service delivery priorities. Since 2009, the Small Community Grant and Regional District Grant programs have provided over $437 million to small- and medium-sized communities, British Columbia’s regional districts and the Islands Trust.

Communities will receive about $55 million in Traffic Fine Revenue Sharing Grant funding. Traffic fine revenue comes from ticket fines and court-imposed fines on violation tickets. The B.C. government delivers 100% of collected net traffic fine revenues and responsibility for paying for policing to communities with populations over 5,000 people. Since 2009, more than $485 million has been provided to fund policing and community safety.

Small Community Grants aid communities with populations of less than approximately 20,000.
Communities with populations of 5,000 or greater pay for policing services and are therefore qualified to receive a Traffic Fine Revenue Sharing Grant.

Communities with populations between 5,000 and 20,000 qualify for both the Small Community Grant and the Traffic Fine Revenue Sharing Grant programs.

Examples of previous years’ unconditional grant funding include:

Supporting the addition of two RCMP officers in Chilliwack.
Providing talks on various topics including Internet and cellphone safety in West Kelowna.
Contributing towards sewage treatment and disposal capacity by the Sechelt Indian Government District.
Purchasing of four police cars in Lake Cowichan.
Planning and flood control in Houston.

Learn More:

For more information on Small Community, Regional District and Traffic Fine Revenue Sharing Grants, go to: http://www.cscd.gov.bc.ca/lgd/policy_research/local_government_grants.htm

Check out the provincial government’s role in supporting communities, sport, arts and culture through the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development at: https://news.gov.bc.ca/ministries/community-sport-and-cultural-development

Taseko Expands Land Package at Gibraltar

Courtesy of Taseko Mines Ltd:

Taseko Mines Limited (TSX: TKO; NYSE MKT: TGB) (“Taseko” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that it has acquired new mineral claims which are adjacent to existing Gibraltar claims, although well outside current mining areas.

In total, these new claims represent nearly 6,000 acres of land located approximately two kilometres to the northwest of the Extension Zone which forms part of Gibraltar’s mineral reserves and resources.

The newly acquired ground was explored roughly 30 years ago with Induced Polarization identifying magnetic highs associated with porphyry deposits. Limited drilling has been undertaken since initial exploration activities. Projections of mineral occurrences, based on a desktop evaluation undertaken prior to purchasing this new exploration land package, indicate mineralization is trending to the north-northwest and beyond previous claim boundaries onto the newly acquired property.

A recently completed exploratory drill hole located northwest of the extension zone area supports the results of the desk top evaluation. The Company is in the late stages of compiling assay data from this hole along with other historical geological data.

For further information on Taseko and the Gibraltar project, please visit the Taseko website at www.tasekomines.com or contact:

Brian Bergot, Vice President, Investor Relations - 778-373-4533 or toll free 1-877-441-4533

Monday, August 8, 2016

Steve's July 2016 Meeting/Expense Calendar

In the month of July 2016 - I attended the following meetings/events:

July 16th - Tyee Lake Community Association AGM/BBQ
July 20th - CC Rural Caucus/Joint Committee and Public Hearing
July 21st - Met with CRD CAO J. Bell re: Area D affairs
July 22nd - CRD/CCRHD Board Meetings
July 25th - CRD Infrastructure - Cell - Broadband Committee Meeting
July 28th - WL Chamber of Commerce Monthly Meeting

For expenses submitted or to be submitted in the month of July 2016:

July 20th - $120 for Rural Caucus/Joint Committee
July 20th - $75 for Public Hearing
July 22nd - $185 for CRD/CCRHD Board Meetings
July 25th - $75 for Infrastructure - Cell - Broadband CRD Committee Meeting

~SF

TNG files Notice of Claim re: Mt Polley Disaster

Courtesy of the Tsilhqot'in National Government:

The Tsilhqot’in National Government has filed a notice of claim in BC Supreme Court against Imperial Metals.

Mount Polley, Knight Peisold, AMEC and the Province of BC have also been named in response to the Mount Polley Mine tailings breach in August of 2014.

In response to the breach, a State of Emergency was declared, and ‘no fishing’ and ‘no water use’ orders were put in place for Quesnel Lake and Quesnel River.

The claim also maintains that the breach seriously impacted traditional fishing of the Tsilhqot’in Nation and also left their people unsure about the safety of consuming fish from the Fraser, Chilcotin, Chilko and Taseko rivers.

The Notice of Civil Claim alleges that the Province of BC failed to meet reasonable standards of inspection and regulation, while the company and the engineers acted negligently or otherwise failed to meet their duties to protect the public and the Tsilhqot’in people from this type of disaster.

Despite filing the notice, the TNG is not yet taking active steps to litigation.

Instead it is extending an opportunity to discuss the Notice with BC and potentially the company before proceeding further.

Chief Francis Laceese, Chief of Tl’esqox stated:

“Ts’eman (salmon) are at the core of Tsilhqot’in culture. Any threat to the salmon we depend on has the potential to directly impact the livelihoods of us as Tsilhqot’in people. The full impact to our Ts’eman is still not fully known. Our people will not stand by and watch environmental disasters wipe out our sources of food, spirit, and ceremony. We already are facing a huge impact to our sustenance because of the dramatic moose decline in the Territory. This is our economy and right that is impacted. ”

While Chief Bernie Mack, Chief of Esdilagh First Nation further stated:

“Not only were our people directly impacted by the uncertainty of the safety of our fish and wildlife for consumption, but the economic development of our nation was also affected as our commercial fishery was effectively cancelled. We are filing this Notice to hold the company, its engineers and the Province accountable and to ensure our people receive compensation for the failure of the Province of BC and Imperial Metals and the huge impact this disaster has had on our food and economies. We are disappointed the Province has given the Company a free pass. This is not an example of responsible and sustainable mining.”



Sunday, August 7, 2016

25th Anniversary of the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin

CRD Directors Steve Forseth/Joan Sorley,
Museum of the Cariboo-Chilcotin President Mike McDonough
Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett and
Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb
Earlier today - I joined my colleague CRD Area 'F' Director Joan Sorley along with Mike McDonough, President of the Museum of the Cariboo-Chilcotin, Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett, Williams Lake Indian Band Councillor Rick Gilbert and Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb as the Museum of the Cariboo-Chilcotin celebrated its' 25th Anniversary

Mr. McDonough, MLA Barnett, Mayor Cobb and Director Sorley congratulated the Museum and its' volunteers for 25 years of showing off the rich history/culture of the Cariboo-Chilcotin.  MLA Barnett also presented a plaque of congratulations from the Province of BC


The Williams Lake Tribune has a story on this that you can view here

It was a pleasure to join my colleague, Director Sorley, at this significant anniversary and I wish the Museum many more years of success..

~SF

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Help for Growing B.C. Ranching Sector

Courtesy of the BC Government:

The B.C government will increase the maximum guarantee limit to $15 million for two popular loan guarantee programs for the B.C. ranching industry, Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes announced today on behalf of Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick.

The loan guarantee programs have been so successful that several regional co-operative associations have reached their current maximum loan limits. The increase, from $9.75 million, will allow industry to finance additional cattle purchases to build inventories with the goal of benefiting from the current strong North America cattle prices. It is anticipated the increase will also support the expansion of planned co-operative associations for Vancouver Island and the Kootenays.

The Bred Heifer Association Loan Guarantee and Feeder Association Loan Guarantee programs support 12 regional producer-owned co-operative associations located throughout B.C. The program, now in its 26th year, strengthens the B.C. livestock sector by helping the local associations negotiate favourable loans for the purchase of feeder and breeder cattle on behalf of their members.

The B.C. ranching sector provides safe, high-quality beef and is a major contributor to the province’s economy and food supply security. In 2014, B.C. beef producers marketed more than 191,000 cattle and calves amounting to over 91,000 metric tonnes, an increase of about 5% over the previous year.

The Thompson-Okanagan, Cariboo, Peace River and Nechako regions are the top beef producing regions in the province. While building a sustainable beef industry, the sector is also recognized for best practices in animal welfare.

The Hon. Coralee Oakes - MLA for Cariboo-North said:

“The B.C. government’s agrifood and seafood strategic growth plan has three key priorities of building markets, increasing production, and driving competitiveness and the loan guarantee increase we are announcing today will help the B.C. ranching sector do just that. We will continue to support industry and the vital role they provide to our province’s food supply security and economy.”

While BC Breeder and Feeder Association president Ken Fawcett stated:

“We commend the B.C. government for recognizing the contribution the beef industry brings to the Province of British Columbia. Our regional co-ops are member owned and operated bringing a successful beef cattle finance program to all areas of B.C. under the government loan guarantee program. With the increase we can now continue with the forming of a new co-op on Vancouver Island to finance feeder and bred cattle to enhance the island beef industry.”

Quick Facts:

In 2014, the B.C. beef industry generated more than $279 million in farm cash receipts an increase of nearly 54% from the previous year.

The breeder co-operative associations are located in: Cariboo, Fraser Nechako, Lakes, North Peace and South Peace.

The feeder co-operative associations are located in: Cariboo-Chilcotin, Central Interior, Lakes, North Peace, Okanagan, Quesnel, South Peace.

Learn More:

BC Breeder and Feeder Association: http://bcbfa.ca/

Friday, August 5, 2016

Local Gov't Mgts - Wk of Aug 8-12

With Quesnel/Williams Lake City Councils', the Cariboo Regional District Board and the Boards of Education for School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) and #28 (Quesnel) still on summer recess, the Districts of Wells/100 Mile House Councils' will be meeting next week as follows:

Wells - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, August 9th at 7pm in Wells Council Chambers (4243 Sanders Avenue).  On the Agenda:

* Presentation by Barkerville Gold Mines (BGM)
* Authorization for Credit Card for the District of Wells CAO
* Pending Property Tax Sales
* Replacement of Water Treatment Sensor at Water Reservoir
* Consent Calendar

View the full Agenda here

100 Mile House - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, August 9th at 7pm in 100 Mile Council Chambers (385 Birch Avenue).  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

Community Events This Weekend:

* Watch Women's Olympic Rugby this weekend in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  More details here

* McLeese Lake Farmers' Market this Sunday from 9am - 1pm at the McLeese Lake Tourist Information Centre (between the Oasis Pub and Cafe).  Check out the new entrance way log signage!

* 25th Anniversary of the Museum of the Cariboo-Chilcotin from 11am - 5pm Sunday.  More details here

~SF

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Watch Olympic Rugby in WL Council Chambers

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

On Saturday, August 6, 2016 and Sunday, August 7, 2016, the City of Williams Lake will be streaming the Women’s Rugby Sevens in Council Chambers as follows:
Saturday 8:30 am (Canada v Japan)
Saturday 1:30 pm (Canada v Brazil)
Sunday 8:30 am (Canada v Great Britain)
Quarter Finals & Placing Matches at 12:00 pm pending Canada’s placement 
City of Williams Lake Council encourages the community to come out and show their support for our Olympic hero, Kayla Moleschi, and to cheer the Canada Women’s Rugby Team on to gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics!

2nd Anniversary of Mt Polley Incident

Courtesy of BC's Energy/Mines Minister - Hon. Bill Bennett:

“Today marks two years since the tailings storage facility (TSF) dam at the Mount Polley Mine failed – that disaster was unprecedented in British Columbia, so we knew our government needed to take strong action. We cannot allow something like that to ever happen again in our province.

“Within two weeks, we appointed an independent expert engineering panel, some of the best experts in the field, to find out what went wrong, and more importantly, learn how we could strengthen the mining code to prevent this kind of failure from occurring again.

“What the expert panel found was that the dam failed because the strength and location of a layer of clay underneath the dam was not taken into account in its original design in the 1990s.

“The panel made seven recommendations to prevent such incidents in the future. Following two years of dedicated work focused on emphasizing protection of the public, workers and the environment, we have now implemented changes to the British Columbia mining code that address all seven recommendations.

“These changes put B.C. at the forefront of global standards for the safety of TSFs at mines operating in this province, and, in keeping with the independent expert engineering panel's recommendations, now include design standards for TSFs.

“Along with the new site characterization guidelines from the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of BC, these updates to the mining code mean that British Columbians can have confidence that our standards for tailings storage facilities are as good as exists anywhere in the world.

“Through these revisions to the mining code, government has addressed 20 of the 26 combined recommendations from the independent expert panel and the chief inspector of mines reports. Work to address the remaining chief inspector of mines recommendations will be complete by summer of 2017 and the remaining 17 recommendations from the Office of the Auditor General’s report, also accepted by government, are expected to be addressed by the end of 2017.

“Not only have we strengthened the mining code, we’ve also strengthened government’s regulatory oversight of the mining industry with changes to the Mines Act, giving the Ministry of Energy and Mines additional compliance and enforcement tools, which include administrative monetary penalties. And in the interest of transparency, we’ve implemented a new web-based records system that provides easier access to permit information, inspection reports and other details about mines in British Columbia.

“But that’s not all that we’ve been working on. For the past two years, the Province has been working closely with First Nations, local governments, mine labour unions and Mount Polley Mining Corporation on environmental mitigation and remediation at the Mount Polley mine site.

“We have overseen all environmental remediation work such as completely protecting the Hazeltine Creek channel against erosion and ensuring water quality in Quesnel Lake meets all provincial guidelines. We will continue to oversee the further remediation and restoration of Polley Lake, Hazeltine Creek, Edney Creek and Quesnel Lake. To date, the company has spent almost $70 million on the restoration.

“Throughout the response to Mount Polley and the code review process, government and Mount Polley Mining Corporation have held hundreds of meetings with First Nations, community, mine labour unions and industry.

“A total of six First Nations were selected to participate in the work of the code review. Two participated on the main code review committee and four are participating in the work of the two sub-committees. This is the first time that First Nations have actively participated in a process such as this.

“To date, more than 20 community meetings have been held for residents of Likely, Williams Lake, and members of the Soda Creek Indian Band (Xats’ull First Nation) and Williams Lake Indian Band.

“Remediation and restoration efforts have seen more than 30,000 trees and shrubs planted, along with over 16 hectares of grass planted in the Hazeltine Creek corridor. Mammal-denning habitats and avian perches have also been put in place. With collaboration, we have slowly begun to restore this beautiful area of the province.

“All British Columbians were shaken by the Mount Polley tailings dam failure. It was unprecedented for our province, but it did happen. We’ve taken a leadership position and have done all we can to ensure such a failure can never happen in B.C. again.”


To view two backgrounders regarding the mining code review, visit:

https://news.gov.bc.ca/files/NGD_BACKGROUNDERS.pdf

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Upcoming Community Gaming Grant Workshop

Courtesy of the CRD Grant Writer:

The B.C. Association of Charitable Gaming (BCACG) will be delivering a series of Community Gaming Grant workshops in Williams Lake and 100 Mile House on August 16th and August 17th, respectively. These workshops are free of charge and will be led by David Sheach, BCACG Executive Director. The workshops will cover information on the B.C. Community Gaming Grant programs, including program and organization eligibility, compliance and use of funds, completing and submitting the online application, and any questions from participants. Please find workshop details below, or on the attached flyer. 

Williams Lake    —          Date: Tues. August 16th               Location:   Central Interior Community Services Co-op (51 4th Ave.)              Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

100 Mile House —          Date: Wed. August 17th               Location:   Horton Ventures Employment Centre (808 Alpine Ave.)         Time: 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.


If you are interested in attending either of these sessions, please RSVP by e-mail. For further information on these workshops, or to discuss your questions in advance, please contact David Sheach via e-mail at executivedirector@bcacg.com

Government of Canada Names Commissioners for National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Courtesy of Indigenous/Northern Affairs Canada:

Canada is committed to real reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls is an important step on this path to end the unacceptable rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls.

Today, Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, along with Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, Patty Hajdu, Minister of Status of Women, announced the five commissioners who will lead the Inquiry as well as the Terms of Reference for the National Inquiry.

Canada is grateful to the survivors, families, loved ones and grassroots women's organizations, front-line, feminist Indigenous organizations, national Indigenous organizations, as well as well as provinces and territories, and experts who provided input during the pre-inquiry process. The input received through the 18 sessions and the online survey helped shape the Inquiry that the Commissioners will now be leading.

The Commissioners have the background, characteristics and experience we heard was necessary in the pre-inquiry design phase to lead this Inquiry.

The Commissioners are:

The Honourable Marion Buller, Chief Commissioner
Michèle Audette, Commissioner
Qajaq Robinson, Commissioner
Marilyn Poitras, Commissioner
Brian Eyolfson, Commissioner

The Terms of Reference for the Inquiry were also released today.

The National Inquiry will be funded by the Government of Canada, with the participation and full co-operation of all the provinces and territories. Together, the federal, provincial and territorial governments have ensured the Inquiry has the necessary mandate and tools to help bring this national tragedy to an end.

In response to the pre-inquiry recommendations, the Government also announced today $16.17 million over four years for the creation of Family Information Liaison Units in each province and territory and to increase Victims Services funding to provide culturally-appropriate victims services for families of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and survivors of violence. The Family Information Liaison Units will provide centralized, dedicated resources for families of missing or murdered Indigenous women and girls and gather the information families are seeking on their behalf. These services will be provided in a respectful and co-ordinated manner during the Inquiry.

The Hon. Carolyn Bennett, MP, PC - Federal Minister of Indigenous/Northern Affairs stated:

"For over a decade, the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls have been demanding action. Today, after meaningful engagement with the families, experts and those with lived experience, ‎I am proud that the Prime Minister, with the support of all provinces and territories, has appointed five outstanding Commissioners ‎who will now be able to do the work needed for Canada to put in place the concrete actions necessary to put an end to this national tragedy."

While the Hon. Jody Wilson-Raybould, P.C., Q.C., M.P. - Federal Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada said:

"The launch of the Inquiry represents a concrete expression of the government's commitment to honouring the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. By examining the root causes that have contributed to this national tragedy, including past and present systemic and institutional barriers, the Commission of Inquiry will play a pivotal role in helping all of us to define where best to continue to act to protect the human rights of all Indigenous women and girls in Canada."

Further background documents including the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry and information about the Commissioners can be viewed here

Ongoing debate over Nenqay Deni Accord

Yesterday - Business in Vancouver wrote on the subject of the ongoing debate over the Nenqay Deni Accord signed by the Tsilhqot'in National Government (TNG) /BC Government earlier this year as a result of the William Title Case decision from the Supreme Court of Canada back in June 2014 and just mere days after the NstQ had just held successful community votes in Soda Creek, Dog/Canoe Creek and Canim Lake on proceeding beyond Stage 4 (Agreement in Principle) by interviewing Xeni Gwet'in Chief/Cariboo Regional District Electoral Area 'J' Director Roger William.  Read the article here

After the Accord was revealed -- the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council expressed outrage at the BC Government for negotiating with the NStQ whilst negotiating with the TNG regarding the Accord where part of the envisioned lands would overlap the traditional territory of the Northern Shuswap area.

Following this - the TNG agreed to engage in a conversation with the NStQ and other affected First Nations in the Region in regard to the Accord.  In the meantime, a concern has been expressed by the Mining Sector in regard to the identified 'Category B' lands including land that is contemplated by Taseko Mines to do exploratory work near Fish Lake - land that Xeni Gwet'in/TNG considers sacred.

The NStQ warn that the accord jeopardizes the treaty negotiations that they have been involved in for more than two decades – a process that has racked up a $28 million bill in repayable federal loans.

“The province’s decision to sign the accord also has the potential to erode the confidence of the NStQ nations in the province’s commitment to the B.C. treaty process generally and to negotiations with the NStQ specifically, which could adversely affect the ability of NStQ to complete a final agreement,” 

On July 5th of this year - Chiefs representing the Canoe Creek-Dog Creek Indian Band, Williams Lake Indian Band and Soda Creek Indian Band launched a petition in BC Supreme Court against John Rustad, BC's Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation. Minister Rustad has not yet made public comment on the lawsuit initiated by the Canoe Creek-Dog Creek Indian Band, Williams Lake Indian Band and Soda Creek Indian Bands.

Whatever your view on the Accord - it seems the debate over how the Accord was agreed to and the impact upon many in the Region/Province/Country will be discussed over the months and years to come

Lawsuit from Canoe Creek-Dog Creek Indian Band, Williams Lake Indian Band and Soda Creek Indian Bands below:



~SF

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Clarity determined regarding Agri-Tourism activities on ALR Land

Courtesy of the BC Government:

The British Columbia government has brought clarity to permitted agri-tourism activities and has established new opportunities around events, such as weddings in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), to help farmers grow their incomes and help British Columbians share the growing passion for local foods and farming.

The Ministry of Agriculture has developed a regulation that establishes that ALR land owners will not need a permit from the Agricultural Land Commission (ALC) to host specific activities like commercial weddings, concerts or non-agriculture related festivals, providing that:

The farm is classified as having farm status under the Assessment Act;
No new, permanent structures are being built;
All parking must be on the farm (no road parking) but the parking area must not be permanent nor interfere with the farm’s agricultural productivity;
The number of guests at any event is 150 or less; and
The number of events is 10 or less in a calendar year.
An application to the ALC is required if any of the above conditions are not met. For example, a farm that wishes to hold a wedding with 200 guests, or hosts the 11th wedding on their farm in a calendar year will need to apply to the ALC. In addition, regardless of whether an application to the ALC is required, farmers must also continue to meet all relevant local government requirements, such as event hosting, liquor licenses, and fire code requirements.

The restrictions in the regulation do not apply to wineries, meaderies and cideries, as many are established providers of these services and already have infrastructure, licensing and procedures in place. These facilities can continue to operate as they have been without requiring an application to the ALC.

In addition, irrespective of the above criteria, no application to the ALC is required for a famer hosting weddings for family members or friends at no charge. If famers are receiving a payment for hosting the wedding of a family member or friend, an application to the ALC is required if any of the above conditions are not met.

Local governments cannot prohibit weddings from taking place on land in the ALR, but can require the farmers to apply for a permit which could specify conditions related to amplified sound, parking, fireworks or other disturbances.

The policy of not requiring permits for activities described in the ALC’s Policy on Agri-tourism Activities has also been formalized into the regulation. Activities that do not require an application to the ALC include:

Farm tours and farm demonstrations
Hay, tractor and sleigh rides
Corn mazes, pumpkin patch tours and related activities
Seasonal promotional events (e.g., harvest and Christmas fairs and activities)
Special promotional events (e.g., private or public special occasion events for the promotion of farm products)

The regulation is in effect immediately. The clarity regarding agri-tourism and new opportunities related to events were established through discussions with the Union of British Columbia Municipalities, the British Columbia Agriculture Council, the Agriculture Land Commission, and the British Columbia Young Farmers Association in February 2016.

The Hon. Norm Letnick, BC's Agriculture Minister stated:

“The B.C. government is committed to an Agricultural Land Reserve that works for farmers and helps them grow their businesses through farming, food production and activities like agri-tourism. These regulations offer a needed balance while allowing B.C. farmers to supplement their incomes through secondary activities that support farming and agriculture on their land.”

While Al Richmond, President of the Union of BC Muncipalities further stated:

“This regulation will provide additional clarity for local governments, the Agricultural Land Commission and ALR land owners. Minister Letnick engaged with UBCM as this regulation was being developed and I support the proposed changes.”

The regulation may be viewed here while the Agriculture Land Commission Policy on Agri-Tourism on ALR Land can be viewed here

Local governments host martial arts performances

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Local governments in the Central Interior region of B.C. are hosting a series of Chinese martial arts performances between Aug. 18 and Aug. 22, 2016, in partnership with the Cultural Department of Henan Province, People’s Republic of China.

The performing group is comprised of 18 elite martial arts practitioners from the Shaolin Epo Martial Arts School of Dengfeng City, Henan Province, People’s Republic of China. The communities of 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and Prince George are hosting evening cultural performances. Barkerville Historic Town & Park is hosting an afternoon performance which coincides with their Mid-Autumn Moon Festival, a traditional Chinese celebration honouring Barkerville’s Chinese heritage.

During the performances, these high calibre performers will demonstrate various Shaolin Wushu martial arts techniques including pictographic animal boxing, knife and whip group boxing, variations of hard qigong (involving pikes and steel nails) and use of the 18 weapons developed by Shaolin monks over many decades.

The Cariboo Regional District (CRD); Cultural Department of Henan Province, People’s Republic of China; District of 100 Mile House; City of Williams Lake; District of Wells; City of Prince George; Regional District of Fraser-Fort George and Barkerville Historic Town and Park are sponsoring the performance series with the support of the Central Interior Regional Arts Council.

“The CRD is proud to be partnering with our municipal members in the Cariboo and our friends in the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George and the City of Prince George to host the Shaolin Martial Arts School performers from China. This upcoming martial arts performance series will be a great cultural opportunity for the Central Interior and further strengthen our relations with China by facilitating cross-cultural learning and exchange,” says Al Richmond, CRD Chair and Area G Director.

The CRD and its member municipalities have been taking an active role in recent years to build new partnerships and strengthen relationships with China. In June, the CRD hosted a group of business delegates from China in partnership with member municipalities. The Chinese delegation travelled the Cariboo region to learn about the local culture and heritage and explore potential business and investment opportunities.

This event series is also part of the ‘2015 – 2016 China-Canada Year of People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges’ initiative the Government of Canada and the People’s Republic of China launched in 2015. During the two-year-long initiative, China is organizing or participating in major cultural events across Canada to give Canadians an opportunity to enjoy outstanding artworks reflecting modern China’s artistry and cultural development without leaving home.

The Shaolin Epo Martial Arts School is world renowned for skillful and exciting performances and has won numerous national and international awards. The teachers and students from this school have toured more than 80 countries and delivered over 3,000 performances.

Shaolin Wushu, also known as Shaolin Kung Fu (or Shaolin Quan), refers to the style of martial arts first adopted more than 1,500 years ago by Zen Buddhist monks at the temple of Shaolin at Songshan (or Majestic Song Mountain) in Henan Province, central China. Shaolin Wushu was born from necessity as a way for the monks to protect their monastery and its extensive grounds from marauders at that time. It has now become the dominant school of kung fu, with an extensive repertoire of both barehanded and weapon styles of engagement.

Students at the Shaolin Epo Martial Arts School still practice a monastic life which involves a rigorous regime combining several hours a day of martial arts practice ("quan") with regular periods of religious study ("chan"), as well as the routine domestic and administrative chores of communal life.

Tickets will be on sale starting Wednesday, Aug. 3 at the locations listed below for $15. A limited number of tickets will also be available at the door; however purchasing advance tickets is recommended. The evening performances will be 70 minutes long, including a 10 minute intermission. The afternoon performance in Barkerville will be 40 minutes.

100 Mile House
Thursday, Aug. 18
Martin Exeter Hall (Highway 97)
Doors Open at 6:30 p.m. Show starts at 7:00 p.m.
Advance tickets at CRD Office (Unit 3 – 170 Cedar Ave.), District of 100 Mile House Office (385 Birch Ave.) and Donex Screamin’ Reel (145 Birch Ave.)

Williams Lake
Friday, Aug. 19
Gibraltar Room, Cariboo Memorial Complex
(524 Proctor St.)
Doors Open at 6:30 p.m. Show starts at 7:00 p.m.
Advance tickets at CRD Williams Lake Office
(Suite D, 180 N Third Ave.) and The Open Book (247 Oliver St.)
Barkerville Historic Town & Park

Barkerville
Saturday, Aug. 20
Theatre Royal, Barkerville Historic Town & Park
Doors Open at 12:30 p.m. Show starts at 1:00 p.m.
Advance tickets at Barkerville Visitor’s Reception Centre and www.theatreroyal.ca

Prince George
Monday, Aug. 22
Prince George Playhouse
(2833 Recreation Pl.)
Doors Open at 6:30 p.m. Show starts at 7:00 p.m.
Advance tickets at Studio 2880 Ticket Centre (2880 15th Ave.) and Books & Company (1635 Third Ave.)