Friday, July 20, 2018

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of July 23-27

The following local governments of the Cariboo-Chilcotin are meeting next week, as follows:

SD27/28 (Quesnel/Cariboo-Chilcotin) - off until September

Quesnel - Meetings as noted below, in Quesnel Council Chambers (4th Floor, 410 Kinchant St) on Tuesday, July 24th

7pm Public Hearing - 772 Rita Road -  click here with the Regular Council Meeting to follow.  On the Council meeting agenda:

* Presentation - City of Quesnel Employee Retirement
* Committee Reports
* BC Rural Dividend Grant Applications - Quesnel Forestry Think Tank Report Implementation and Dragon Lake Strategic Plan
* Barkerville Brewing Co. - Outdoor Patio Liquor License
* Grace Inn Motel (530 Carson Avenue) - Rescind Bylaw Readings and Stand Down OCP/Zone Amendment Bylaws
* West Fraser Centre - Kangaroos Concession Agreement (Renewal)
* DP2018-12 - Keis Trucking Shop Addition (100 Keis Avenue)
* Two Mile Flat Water Trunk Main - Grant Application
* Crime Prevention Alternatives
* Bylaw of the Month - Fencing Regulations

View the full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Meetings as noted below, in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St) on Tuesday, July 24th:


5pm Public Information Session - OCP Public Consultation Meeting - Bylaw No. 2282 - Wise Creek Developments - 1946 Broadway Avenue South

6pm Regular Council Meeting. On the Agenda:

* Delegation -- Stefanie Hendrickson - Executive Director and Vanessa Moberg - Marketing Coordinator, DWLBIA re Wayfinding Signage Proposal

* Zoning Amendment Application - Bylaw No. 2285 - 3Gen Cabinetry Corp. - Adds "Secondary Suites" Use - 375 Mandarino Place
* Airport Fees Amendment Bylaw No. 2286, 2018 - 3 Readings (Introduction of Per Passenger Airport Improvement Fee of $10 & modernize fees/charges for WL Regional Airport)

* Recreation Complex -- Arena Roof Contract Award
* 2 July 17th Committee of the Whole recommendations for endorsement

View the full Agenda here

Wells Council off until Special Meeting on August 1st, 100 Mile House Council off until August 14th, and Cariboo Regional District Board/Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional Hospital District Board off until August 24th

~SF

90 Days to Local Government Elections 2018

Today marks exactly 90 days until the voters' in Wells, Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House and the Cariboo Regional District elect new Electoral Area Directors, School Trustees, Mayors and Councillors for the 2018-2022 Term on Saturday, October 20th, 2018

2018 Local Government or Board of Education Nomination packages will be available for pickup, starting on Friday, July 27thfrom the Chief Election Officers for the Districts of Wells/100 Mile House, Cities of Quesnel/Williams Lake, Boards of Education for School Districts #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) and #28 (Quesnel) and the Cariboo Regional District with prospective local government elected official nominees NOT being able to file their nominations with the local government or Board of Education Chief Election Officer until September 4-14,2018

A website to keep handy is 2018 CivicInfo Local Elections Portal- click here.  It will list ALL of the candidates for all local government or Boards of Education elections throughout BC.  It is refreshed each time a new candidate files in September with the local government or Board of Education Chief Election Officer

As of this writing -- this is what we know, in terms of the 2018 Local Government/Board of Education General Election Races in the Cariboo-Chilcotin Region:

District of Wells - No public announcements to date by the incumbent Mayor/Councillors

City of Quesnel - Mayor Bob Simpson (also CCRHD Board Chair) and Councillor Ron Paull to both seek re-election. Councillors Scott Elliott, Laurey-Anne Roodenburg, and Sushil Thapar have made no public statements on their Oct 20th election plans while Ed Coleman announced on July 13th that he would not seek re-election in October and John Brisco announced on July 16th that he won't seek re-election this October

City of Williams Lake - Mayor Walt Cobb and Councillors Jason Ryll/Craig Smith to all seek re-election.  Councillors Laurie Walters and Sue Zacharias will not seek re-election.  Councillors Ivan Bonnell/Scott Nelson have made no public statements on their October 20th election plans.  Local Williams Lake Realtor Micheal Jones and current School District #27 Zone 5 Trustee Dr Sheila Boehm to seek election to WL City Council

District of 100 Mile House - Mayor Mitch Campsall to seek a 4th term.  Councillors Dave Mingo, Spence Henderson, Ralph Fossum and Bill Hadden have yet to make public statements on their Oct 20th election plans

Board of Education for School District #28 (Quesnel) - No public statements from Trustees George Natalizio, Tony Goulet, David Chapman (also SD28 Board Vice-Chair), Howie Schonke, Julie-Anne Runge, Wendy Clement or Gloria Jackson (also SD28 Board Chair) on their October 20th election plans

Board of Education for School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) - Zone 2 Trustee Tanya Guenther (also SD27 Board Chair) and Zone 5 Trustee Dr Sheila Boehm will not seek re-election while Zone 1 Trustee Linda Martens, Zone 3 Trustee Willow MacDonald, Zone 6 Trustee Brice O'Neill (also SD27 Board Vice-Chair) or Zone 7 Trustee Bruce Baptiste have made no public statements on their October 20th election plans.  Zone 4 remains vacant after the resignation of former Zone 4 Trustee Christine Dyment, late last year

Cariboo Regional District - Electoral Areas as noted below:

Area A - Incumbent Director Ted Armstrong will not seek re-election.  Area 'A' Alternate Director Mary Sjostrom seeks to succeed him

Area B - Incumbent Director Jerry Bruce will not seek re-election.  No candidates have announced their intention to seek to succeed him

Area C - Incumbent Director John Massier (CRD Board Vice-Chair) to seek re-election
Area D - Incumbent Director Steve Forseth to seek re-election
Area E - Incumbent Director Angie Delainey to seek re-election

Area F - Incumbent Director Joan Sorley will not seek re-election.  No candidates have announced their intention to seek to succeed her

Area G - Incumbent Director Al Richmond (CCRHD Board Vice-Chair) to seek re-election
Area H - Incumbent Director Margo Wagner (CRD Board Chair) to seek re-election
Area I - Incumbent Director Dylan Cash will not seek re-election.  No candidates have announced their intention to seek to succeed him

Area J - Incumbent Director Roger William has not decided his 2018 Election Plans

Area K - Incumbent Director Betty Anderson to seek re-election
Area L - Incumbent Director Brian Coakley to seek re-election

Upcoming Key Local Government General Election Dates:

Friday, July 27th - 1st available day to pickup 2018 Local Gov't Nomination Packages from Local Government/Boards of Education (SD27/SD28) Chief Election Officers

Tuesday, Sept 4th - Start of Nomination Period for 2018 Local Government General Election

Friday, Sept 14th - End of Nomination Period for 2018 Local Government General Election & Declaration of Candidates

Friday, Sept 21st - End of Period for 2018 Candidates to Withdraw and End of Election Period by 12 midnight

Saturday, Sept 22nd -  Official start of 2018 Campaign Period for 2018 Local Elections

Monday, Sept 24th - Declaration of Election by Voting or Elected by Acclamation by Local Government or Board of Education Chief Election Officers

Wed Oct 10th and Mon Oct 15th - Advanced Voting Opportunities

Sat Oct 20th -- General Voting Day/End of 2018 Campaign Period

Tues Oct 23rd - Official Declaration of 2018 Election Results

November 2018 -- Inaugural Meetings of Local Governments/Boards of Education in the Cariboo-Chilcotin for the 2018-22 Term

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your local government or Board of Education Chief Election Officer.  Contact information below:

District of Wells - Andrew Young (Ph: 250-994-3330 or via email at administrator@wells.ca)

City of Quesnel - Gina Albers (Ph: 250-991-7471 or galbers@quesnel.ca)

City of Williams Lake - Cindy Bouchard (Ph: 250-392-2311 or cbouchard@williamslake.ca)

100 Mile House - Tammy Boulanger (Ph: 250-395-2434 or tboulanger@100milehouse.com)

Cariboo Regional District - Alice Johnston (Ph: 250-392-3351 or ajohnston@cariboord.ca)

School District #28 (Quesnel) - Teri Stoneman (Ph: 250-992-0405 or teristoneman@sd28.bc.ca)

School District #27 (Cariboo/Chilcotin) - Kevin Futcher (Ph: 250-398-3833 or connee.newberry@sd27.bc.ca)

~SF

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Legislative Changes Proposed for Alternate Electoral Area Directors'

Courtesy of the Union of BC Municipalities:

Editor's Note - while there is some good legislative proposals here, I don't agree with all of them and I strenuously disagree with how this topic was initiated at the time by Cariboo Regional District Area 'G' Director Al Richmond and I strongly disagree with his stance on Alternate Electoral Area Directors .. however, that been said - it will be interesting to see how the Province responds to this legislative proposal for Alternate Electoral Area Directors' which, if proceeded with by the Province, will require changes to the Local Government Act

UBCM’s Ad-Hoc Committee on Alternate ‘Unelected” Electoral Area Directors has completed its deliberations and conveyed its recommendations for legislative changes to the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. The Ad-Hoc Committee was established in April 2017 to discuss the issue of alternate “unelected” directors.

Committee members were specifically asked to identify possible courses of action for addressing the challenges faced by regional district boards when elected directors are unable to serve and alternates take on a more permanent role.

The Committee’s legislative recommendations are as follows:

Remove the “requirement” to appoint an alternate director.
Require that a by-election be held if a director does not attend meetings for six months.
Permit an appeal to the Minister should a 2/3 majority of the board feel more time should be given to the director, beyond six months.
Establish a quorum for regional board meetings that requires a 2/3 majority of elected officials thereby eliminating a situation where unelected alternate board members make up the majority and therefore able to make decisions.
Align regional districts with councils in regards to filling vacancies so that a by-election is not necessary if the vacancy occurs in the year of a general local election.
The Committee also recommended that, as a best practice, regional district bylaws stipulate that only an elected official can receive a director’s stipend.

The Ad-Hoc Committee issued a discussion paper, made presentations, and sought feedback at both the EA Forum and CEO-CAO Forum in early 2018. This feedback informed the recommendations developed by the Committee.

UBCM wishes to thank the members of the Ad-Hoc Committee for all of their work:

Al Richmond, Ad-Hoc Committee Chair, Cariboo RD
Wendy Booth, UBCM Executive, East Kootenay RD
Art Kaehn, UBCM Executive, Fraser-Fort George RD
Janis Bell, CAO, Cariboo RD (retired in December 2017)
John MacLean, CAO, Kootenay Boundary RD (2017) /Cariboo RD (2018)
Paul Gipps, CAO, Fraser Valley RD (joined Committee in January 2018)
Jim Martin, CAO, Fraser-Fort George RD

Finding wildfire information in the Cariboo

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

While the wildfire season is off to a positive start in the Cariboo compared to last year, it is still important to be prepared ahead of any disaster. One aspect of emergency preparedness is knowing where to find information during an emergency.
Where to find information
First, it is important to know who provides what information during a wildfire emergency:
  • The BC Wildfire Service provides public information around wildfire activity, fire danger rating, fire bans and other information related to wildfire operations.
  • Local governments, such as the Cariboo Regional District, municipality or First Nations government, provide public information around evacuation orders and alerts and Emergency Support Services. A local government Emergency Operations Centre activates when a wildfire is threatening public safety, evacuation alerts or orders need to be issued, or Emergency Support Services need to be activated on a large scale.
  • Local governments, and other agencies like health authorities or the Red Cross, also provide information about returning home and recovering after a disaster.
  • The Ministry of Transportation provides information on route information and road closures.
  • Emergency Info BC also provides information on active emergencies throughout the province.
Navigating the BC Wildfire Service website
When you are looking for wildfire information on the BC Wildfire Service website, here are a few tips.
1. Check the Wildfires of Note page for the latest information on wildfires that are particularly visible or pose a threat to public safety.
This page provides detailed information on wildfires that are considered of note. These fires are indicated with a flame icon on the Interactive Wildfire Map. If a fire on the interactive map does not appear on the Wildfires of Note page, it is not considered highly visible or a potential threat to public safety.
2. Use the Interactive Wildfire Map to see the location and details of wildfires in B.C. 
On the “Active Wildfires” tab, you will see current wildfires that are considered “out of control.” A red dot indicates the fire was discovered in the last 24 hours. An orange dot means the fire has been active for over 24 hours. Wildfires are removed from the map once their status is updated to “being held,” “under control” or “out.”
The “All Current Year Wildfires” tab shows all fires from the current fire season starting on April 1, including fires that are considered being held, under control or out.
When you click on a wildfire dot, click the arrow to see basic details about the fire. Only wildfires of note have detailed information provided with regular updates, such as the number of crews and firefighting tactics.
3. See a list of all current wildfires by region or throughout the province on the All Current Wildfires page.
This page lists all the wildfires in the Cariboo Fire Centre that are larger than 0.01 hectares and all wildfires of note. The page is updated once a day at midnight, so keep that in mind when you are comparing this information with the Interactive Wildfire Map, which shows fires discovered in the last 24 hours. If the incident is a wildfire of note, you can click on the fire number to see more details.
If you are looking at the list of all wildfires throughout the province, note that fire numbers in the Cariboo Fire Centre start with a “C.”
From the BC Wildfire Service home page, you can find this information by clicking on the “Current Wildfire Activity” section and scrolling down to the “All Current Wildfires” heading.
4. Check for current fire bans in the Cariboo Fire Centre on the Fire Bans and Restrictions page
To report a violation of current fire bans, call 1-800-663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. You should also use this number to report an unattended campfire or a wildfire.
Resources for emergency information
The following is a list of some of the emergency resources available for Cariboo residents. This is not a comprehensive list, but it points to the most relevant sources of emergency information.
BC Wildfire Service
Cariboo Regional District

Local Municipalities
Air Quality & Smoke Forecasts

Drive BC – Ministry of Transportation
Resource Road Closures
Rec Sites and Trails Closures
(check under the Alerts and Closures tabs)
BC Parks Closures
BC Hydro

Up for a challenge?

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Editor's Note -- this week's Quesnel Council Column is written by Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson.  He can be reached via email here.  As Mayor Simpson notes today, this will be the last Quesnel Council Column for the 2014-18 term

Do you have a vision for Quesnel? Know where you think our community and region needs to be in 2020 or 2040? Have ideas about how we can address the complex social, environmental, and financial challenges all communities are confronted with? If so, you might want to consider stepping up for an elected position on Quesnel City Council or the Cariboo Regional District this fall.

There are many ways citizens can get involved in shaping their community: volunteer for any number of organizations, engage in community forums or public hearings, organize petitions and lobby efforts to try and effect change, or speak directly with members of Council or the Cariboo Regional District Board. But, one of the most direct ways to get involved in the actual decision-making that can lead to a resilient and sustainable community is by putting your name on a ballot and seeking political office.

Both the Cariboo Regional District Board and Quesnel City Council are made up of regular citizens and ratepayers who were elected to represent their electoral area and/or City residents at the governing table; the place where decisions from the complex and far reaching to the mundane are made. These two governing boards establish a budget that, among other factors, determines your property tax rates and where and how that money is spent. They also determine the strategic direction and priorities of the communities they were elected to serve.

Elected Board and Council members do not, and this is an important distinction, make day to day decisions for their organizations or over specific projects and investments, that work is done by professional staff. So, no special knowledge or skills are needed to serve on the Cariboo Regional District or City Council, just a willingness to learn and a desire to see your community well represented in the governing decisions that affect the lives of your neighbours and friends, and the present and future generations of residents.

This is an election year for all local governments in British Columbia, presenting an opportunity for you to step up and take on the challenge of providing leadership to your community for the next four years. It may appear as a daunting challenge, but that’s the way it has felt to everyone who has ever put their name on a ballot, and very few have regretted taking the risk and serving their community for a term or more.

If you’re interested in running for Quesnel City Council, learn more here

If you’re interested in running for Cariboo Regional District Board (Electoral Area Directors), learn more by visiting the Cariboo Regional District’s website here

This is the last Council News Column for this Council Term. Read more about our Election Period Communications Policy (COMM-3) for more information.

SD28 Bus Schedule for 2018-2019 School Year

Courtesy of School District #28 (Quesnel)

Editor's Note -- Interesting choice of words "misinformation" when referencing the June 26th Quesnel City Council discussion around adding additional transit hours for students in September.  Certainly, as an "observer", there is an "difference of opinion" here and perhaps instead of "airing dirty laundry" in public - a meeting between Quesnel Council/SD28 Trustees would have been the better route.  For full context of the press release below (issued last week) - click here

The Board of Education wish to announce the new school bus schedule for the 2018-19 school year is now available on School District 28's website (www.sd28.bc.ca). There are changes to various bus runs from the previous year as a result of the relocation of Quesnel Junior School (QJS) to the old Maple Drive site and the additional minutes added to next school year’s calendar due to the two-week spring break trial.

The District has made thoughtful changes to better serve the needs of students and to enhance student safety. Efforts have been made to limit buses travelling up and down Dragon Lake Hill which will improve safety in winter conditions. School bus stops near the Recreation Centre are planned but will have a short walking distance and there will continue to be some service around the North Quesnel area/Downtown, though more limited due to the move of QJS.

The District will continue to fulfill our mandate to safely bring students requiring transportation from their neighborhoods to school and back to their place of care at the end of the day. There are no gaps in this service resulting from either the relocation of QJS or the addition of minutes in the school day due to the two-week spring break.

The Quesnel Board of Education also wish to clarify misinformation recently shared at the June 26 Quesnel City Council meeting regarding downloaded costs and last minute requests for public transit changes to accommodate students of the Quesnel School District. The District suggested to Quesnel City staff that aligning public transit would continue to be a supportive arrangement. At no time was there a formal request from the Board of Education to Quesnel City Council for public transit changes. Furthermore, there was no expectation that the suggestion be implemented if additional costs or burden to the City resulted.

The Board of Education’s decision in March to implement the two week spring break trial, resulted in an additional eight (8) minutes being added to the end of each day commencing in September. District staff contacted City staff to discuss how these changes and the relocation of QJS would impact public transit ridership. The initial meeting request came at the beginning of April to allow adequate time for change. The meeting was initiated in good faith in an effort to be good community partners and to allow the City of Quesnel to make changes to their transit schedule, if deemed necessary.

Prior to the two-week spring break change, the public transit system times were consistent with the end of day schedule at both QJS and Correlieu (the school bus hubs in the District). Students or staff could use public transit after school hours with very little wait times.

Once the new school year starts, there would be misalignment between public transit timing and bell times at the bus hubs. The benefit of the public transit aligning with the bell times of our schools is that it allows students alternative means of transport to attend extra-curricular activities at the arena, Quesnel Recreation Centre or to get Downtown for after school jobs. The District will still be able to service the Downtown core and areas such as the Recreation Centre. However, there may be difficulty accommodating one-time or short-term riders in larger than expected numbers. An aligned public transit option would serve these needs.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Reid St Project - July 17th update

Courtesy of the  City of Quesnel:

Crews are preparing and cleaning the construction site for Billy Barker Days. Safety fencing will be on site in order to keep the construct site safe.  A small crew will also work to ensure the safety of the construction site during this weekend’s events. On Monday, sidewalks in Phase I will begin to be poured. A reminder that the Gold Dust Mall is located in the West Fraser Centre precinct this year.
Take a look at our parking map to see free public parking options. http://bit.ly/2HZMQ06

North Cariboo Wildfire Recovery Plan Complete

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

The City of Quesnel’s Wildfire Recovery Team has completed the Wildfire Recovery Plan for the North Cariboo. 831 formal and informal in-person interviews, phone calls, and submitted surveys with businesses and non-profit organizations informed the plan.
The Wildfire Recovery Plan includes specific requests of further support from the Province based on gaps identified by the recovery team. The plan also includes a list of action steps to be taken to start recovery following any future disaster. These steps are based on lessons learned following the wildfires. Finally, the plan contains a long list of completed, in progress, and potential actions that have or could be taken to hasten recovery following the 2017 wildfires. The complete North Cariboo Wildfire Recovery Plan may be accessed on the City’s website: http://bit.ly/2uuAEk0.
The City of Quesnel received funding from Emergency Management BC in order to develop a recovery team. The team’s mandate was to develop a plan to promote economic, social, and environmental recovery in the North Cariboo and begin early implementation steps between October 2017 – June 2018

John Brisco won't seek re-election this October

Yesterday - 2nd term Quesnel City Councillor John Brisco told the Quesnel Cariboo Observer that he will not seek re-election this October.  He goes over his reasons with the Observer here

Meanwhile - his colleague, Ed Coleman, announced this past Friday that he too won't seek re-election this October while Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson and Quesnel City Councillor Ron Paull will both seek re-election this October to Quesnel City Council.  Finally, Quesnel City Councillors Scott Elliott, Laurey-Anne Roodenburg and Sushil Thapar have yet to say publicly if they will seek re-election to Quesnel City Council this October

Although I didn't interact with Councillor Brisco much - he seemed to be very thoughtful and thorough in his work as a Quesnel City Councillor.  I personally thank him for his public service to the people of Quesnel and I very much wish him well in his future endeavors.

Local Government General Elections in BC to elect new Mayors', Councillors, Electoral Area Directors' and School Trustees for the 2018-2022 term will be held on Saturday, October 20th

~SF


Monday, July 16, 2018

WL Fire Department Collecting Donations for Food Bank on July 31st

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The Williams Lake Fire Department is once again conducting its "Christmas in July" food drive to collect donations for the Salvation Army Food Bank.

From 6 pm to 9 pm on Tuesday, July 31st, Fire Department members will go door to door in the areas of Westridge, Country Club Boulevard, Terra Ridge, Western Avenue, Midnight Drive, and sections of 9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th Avenues to collect non-perishable food items.

"This time of year, the shelves at the Salvation Army Food Bank are generally running low," says Fire Chief Erick Peterson. "We’re asking the community to help bring ‘Christmas in July’ to those that rely on the Food Bank by donating non-perishable food items for us to deliver to the Salvation Army."

Residents who would like to participate are asked to place their donations at their front door for the firefighters to collect on July 31st. Donations can also be dropped off at the Fire Hall between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 a.m. July 30 – August 3.

For more information, contact:

Erick Peterson, Fire Chief

Email: epeterson@williamslake.ca
Phone: 250-392-1794

Saturday, July 14, 2018

City of Williams Lake Wildfire Recovery Plan approved!

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The City of Williams Lake’s Wildfire Recovery Plan was endorsed by Council on July 10, 2018. It focuses on recommendations for mid- to long-term recovery support from the Province of British Columbia

To view the Wildfire Recovery Plan - click here

~SF

Sjostrom to seek Cariboo RD Area 'A' Directorship in October

Yesterday - Mary Sjostrom who is currently the Cariboo RD's Area A Alternate Director and a former Quesnel City Councillor and Mayor announced to local media that she will seek the CRD's Area A Directorship in October.  Read here (Quesnel Cariboo Observer) and here (My Cariboo Now)

Current Cariboo RD Area 'A' Director Ted Armstrong announced earlier this month that he would not seek re-election after serving 40 years with the Cariboo Regional District as the Electoral Area 'A' Director

Local Government General Elections to elect new Mayors', Councillors', Electoral Area Directors' and School Trustees for the 2018-22 Term will take place on Saturday, October 20th

~SF


Friday, July 13, 2018

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of July 16-20

With School Districts' 27/28 Boards' (Cariboo-Chilcotin/Quesnel) on summer recess until September -- the following local governments of the Cariboo-Chilcotin are meeting next week, as follows:

Wells - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, July 17th at 7pm in Wells Council Chambers (4243 Sanders Avenue).  On the Agenda:

* 2017 Annual Report
* 2018 Mid-Year Budget Actuals
* Select Committees Terms of Reference
* General Election Preparations and Chief Election Officer Appointments
* Appointment of additional signing authority for the District of Wells (Mayor Vermette/Councillor Andreesen)
* Snow Clearing/Accountant contract request for proposals (RFP)

View the full Agenda here

Quesnel - Special Council Meeting on Tuesday, July 17th at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (4th Floor, 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* Incremental Human Resources Supports - Grant Applications
* Remedial Action Order for Warden Street (Vacant Property Between 257 and 233 Warden St)
* Quesnel Fire Fuel Treatment Project
* Prohibit Overnight Camping - Public Parking Lots

View the full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Committee of the Whole session on Tuesday, July 17th at 6pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (Basement - 450 Mart St).  On the Agenda:

* Delegations (3) -- Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin Society - Funding Request; Cariboo Heritage Park Society - Update from Chair and Urban Systems - Water Management Plan Interim Presentation

* Capital Reserves and Community Forest Revenue Options
* Request for Acknowledgement that Williams Lake Airport is on Secwpemc Traditional Territory
* Manging Legal Cannabis - Setting of Business License Fees/Establishing Interim Council Policy
* Dasiqox Tribal Park - Request for Comments
* 2018 Geotechnical Update - Director of Development Services (Verbal Report to be provided)

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo RD Board Highlights - July 13th mtg

Present: Chair M. Wagner; Directors Armstrong, Bruce, Massier, Forseth, Delainey, Richmond,  Cash, William, Anderson, Coakley, Kuch, Simpson, Cobb, and Alternate Directors J. Darney (Electoral Area 'F') and D. Mingo (District of 100 Mile House)

The Chair acknowledged that the meeting is taking place on traditional Shuswap territory and welcomed Alternate Directors Jack Darney/Dave Mingo to the meeting today who is attending the meeting on behalf of Area F Director Joan Sorley/District of 100 Mile House Director Mitch Campsall

Meeting agenda adopted/Minutes of the Cariboo RD Board Meeting held June 22nd were received/adopted

Delegations MOB was received

Business:

Development Services

1) The Board gave 1st/2nd Readings to Lac La Hache Area Official Community Plan (OCP) Amendment Bylaw No. 5160, 2018 and South Cariboo Area Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 5161, 2018 (Area 'G'/0972514 BC Ltd)

2) Following a public hearing - The Board gave 3rd Reading to North Cariboo Area Rural Land Use Amendment Bylaw No. 5132, 2018 (Area I/Fouty)

3) Following a public hearing - The Board gave 3rd Reading to Central Cariboo Area Rural Land Use Amendment Bylaw No. 5121, 2017 (Area A/Orica Canada Ltd)

5) The Board deferred Development Variance Permit #15/2018 (Area F/Kadonaga) for 6 months for further work

6) The Board approved Development Variance Permit #18/2018 (Area D/Sharman)

7) The Board approved Temporary Permit #14/2018 (Area L/Young) subject to:

a. The recreational vehicles must be parked only within the proposed area for temporary use permit as shown in Appendix D.
b. No recreational vehicles can be parked on public streets.
c. The southern and eastern boundaries of the proposed area for temporary use permit in the parcel must be provided with a screening fence.
d. The business operation must be between 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM

6) The Board received the Cariboo Regional District Statistics Reports and the Inspection Activity Reports for the months of April/May 2018

Environmental Services:

1) The Board received the Rural Refuse Site Inspection Report for the period of March 1-June 25, 2018

Community Services:

1) The Board approved an application for $100,000 under the Single Applicant funding stream/BC Rural Dividend - for development of low mobility trails at the Nimpo Lake Community Trails site, Anahim Lake Trail Network and the Bullion Pit Historic Site near Likely

2) The Board approved an application for $500,000 be submitted under the Partnership funding stream/BC Rural Dividend for construction of a runway overlay at the South Cariboo Regional Airport and that a letter be requested from the District of 100 Mile House confirming partnership in the project

3) The Board approved an application for $500,000 be submitted under the Partnership funding stream/BC Rural Dividend for construction of a new access road and on-site parking improvements at the Esler Sports Complex and that a letter be requested from the City of Williams Lake confirming partnership in the project.

Finance:

1) The Board received/ratified the Monthly Expenditures Board Summary Report and Mastercard Summary Report for the month of June 2018, in the amount of $1,766,059.61

Administration:

1) The Board received a report from the Corporate Officer in regards to an item from the Capital Regional District, for support of a resolution its Board submitted to the 2018 UBCM Convention, relating to local governments being engaged in a comprehensive review of the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) sections of the Local Government Act

2) The Board received a report from the Chief Administrative Officer in regards to the proposed Dasiqox Tribal Park and agreed to have a meeting with Stone Chief Russell Myers-Ross & Xeni Gwet'in Chief Jimmy Lulua to further discuss this topic in early August

3) The Board approved the following 2018 UBCM Meeting Requests (Provincial Senior Staff or Ministers):

Minister George Heyman, Environment

Expansion of stewardship programs to include recycling materials from the ICI sector & Mt Polley

Premier Horgan/Minister Mike Farnworth/Jennifer Rice, Parl Sec

Emergency Preparedness and Response in British Columbia. Specifically addressing the Abbott/Chapman Report recommendation. Key finding/Provincial Commitment/Focus on ESS. Six priorities for us.

Minister Jinny Sims

Provincial Commitment to cellular and broadband services in rural British Columbia.

Provincial MOTI Staff

Commodore Heights Ditching Project
McLeese Lake Boat Launch garbage maintenance.

Meeting recessed at 10:58am
Meeting resumed at 11:01am

Delegations:

1) Cariboo-North MLA Coralee Oakes appeared before the Board to provide a general update

A Question/Answer period ensued

The Chair thanked MLA Oakes for her time/information

2) Williams Lake RCMP Inspector Jeff Pelley appeared before the Board to have a discussion about rural policing

A Question/Answer period ensued

The Chair thanked Inspector Pelley for his time/information

Meeting recessed at 11:55am
Meeting resumed at 12:35pm

Business/Administration, cont:

4) The Board received the Consent and Financial Consent Calendar as of July 13th, 2018

5) The Board received a letter from Township of Spallumcheen in regards to BC's new Employer Health Tax and a letter from the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako in regards to Support of the Caribou Recovery Program and a letter supporting the position of the Bulkley-Nechako Regional District.

6) The Board received a letter of response from the Hon. Jinny Sims (BC Minister of Citizen Services) in regards to the importance of internet connectivity in rural areas

7) The Board received a letter of response from the Federal Department of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs advising that the CRD's request for government funding towards the City of Quesnel's Chilcotin War Chiefs Historical Site project was forwarded to the Minister of Canadian Heritage for response

Committee or Commission Minutes/Recommendations:

1) The Board received the minutes of the Central Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus meeting held June 20th and endorsed the following item:

a) Dust Control on Beaver Lake Road - Letter to BC's Minister of Transportation/Infrastructure

2) The Board received the minutes of the Central Cariboo Joint Committee meeting held June 20th and endorsed the following items:

a) Central Cariboo Recreation - City/CRD Facility Management Agreement Renewal

Board divided - Approved by the following vote:

Affirmative - Directors Armstrong, Bruce, Massier, Delainey, Richmond, Wagner, Cash, William, Anderson, Coakley, Kuch, Simpson, Cobb; Alternate Directors Darney/Mingo

Negative - Director S. Forseth

b) Esler Recreation Advisory Commission - 2018 Spring Meeting Minutes and Recommendations

3) The Board received the minutes of the Service Efficiency and Effectiveness Review Committee meeting held June 21st and endorsed 1 Recommendation:

a) Staff report back on the Administration services of the CRD, similar to the Recreation Service Efficiency and Effectiveness reports provided at this meeting.

4) The Board received the minutes of the Committee of the Whole meeting held on June 21st, 2018 and endorsed the following recommendations:

a) Referred Item - Request from Director Sorley – Chilcotin War of 1864 (Letter to BC/Canada for their acts of apology and exoneration of the Tsilhqot'in Chiefs)

b) Elimination of Non-taxable Portion of Income for Elected Officials (Refer to a Committee of Directors Armstrong, Bruce, Sorley and Cash to bring forward recommendations/communications strategy and meeting expenses be authorized for Committee members)

5) The Board endorsed a recommendation from the North Cariboo Joint Committee in regards to the North Cariboo allotment for Cariboo Strong funding and the matter of funding for the TNG Monument at the GR Baker Hospital site in Quesnel be referred to the Central and South Cariboo Joint Committees for consideration

Corporate Bylaws:

1) The Board gave 1st, 2nd and 3rd Readings to Quesnel Regional Airport Contribution Service Establishment Bylaw No. 5151, 2018 and adopted the following Resolutions, in relation to the Oct 20th vote on the establishment of the Quesnel Regional Airport Contribution Service

a) That Alice Johnston, Corporate Officer, be appointed Chief Election Officer for the Quesnel Regional Airport Contribution Assent Vote on October 20, 2018, and that Lore Schick, Deputy Corporate Officer, be appointed Deputy Chief Election Officer for this assent vote

b) That the question to be put to the electorate for the Quesnel Regional Airport Contribution Assent Vote be as follows:
"Are you in favour of the adoption of Bylaw No. 5151, which would provide a contribution of funds for the provision of airport services at the Quesnel Regional Airport? The maximum annual requisition would be the greater of $90,000 or an amount raised by applying a tax rate of $0.0682/$1,000 to the net taxable value of land and improvements in the service area. (Based on 2018 assessed values, the current residential tax rate for the contribution to airport services would be $3.61/$100,000.)"

c) That by an affirmative vote of at least 2/3rds of the votes cast, the Cariboo Regional District Board hereby provides that the participating area approval is to be obtained for the entire service area in the referendum on Quesnel Regional Airport Contribution Service Establishment Bylaw No. 5151, 2018.

Directors' Reports/Appointments:

At  1:07pm -- Alternate Director J. Darney (Area F) declared a conflict on the next item as he sits on the Big Lake Community Association Executive and left the meeting

1) At the request of Area D Director S. Forseth for Area F Director J. Sorley -- The Board agreed to waive policy and approve $2,000 from the Area 'F' Director Initiative Fund to supply an official bulletin board in Big Lake and Likely, to be mounted at the community halls in Big Lake/Likely

At  1:10pm -- Alternate Director J. Darney returned to the meeting

The Board received the report of the Chair respecting her activities up to July 11th, 2018

Directors' reported on items from their respective Electoral Area or Municipality

CCRHD Board Highlights - July 13th mtg

Present: Chair B. Simpson; Directors Armstrong, Bruce, Massier, Forseth, Delainey, Richmond,  Wagner, Cash, William, Anderson, Coakley, Kuch, Cobb, Watson and Alternate Directors J. Darney (Electoral Area 'F') and D. Mingo (District of 100 Mile House)

The Chair welcomed Alternate Directors Darney/Mingo to today's meeting of the CCRHD Board

Meeting Agenda adopted/CCRHD Board Meeting Minutes of its' June 22 meeting were received/adopted

Delegations MOB was received

The Hospital Consent Calendar was received


Ed Coleman won't seek re-election in October

Current 2nd term Quesnel Councillor Ed Coleman told My Cariboo Now that he won't be seeking a 3rd term in October.  He goes over his reasons why here

Other Quesnel City Councillors John Brisco, Sushil Thapar, Ron Paull, Scott Elliott and Laurey-Anne Roodenburg have yet to publicly state their 2018 Election plans while Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson has publicly committed to running for re-election this October

In the 2 terms I have observed Ed Coleman, I have gained a lot of respect for this gentlemen.  I wish him and his family well as they move forward in the next phase of life, post-politics

Local elections to elect new Mayors', Councillors', Electoral Area Directors and School Trustees for the 2018-22 Term will take place on Saturday, October 20th, 2018 

~SF


Thursday, July 12, 2018

CRD Policy Committee Highlights - July 12th mtg

Present: Chair J. Massier; Directors J. Bruce, S. Forseth, A. Richmond and D. Cash (entered meeting at 3:23pm)

Meeting called to order at 3:03pm

Meeting Agenda adopted/Minutes of the Committee meeting held May 24th, 2018 were received/adopted

Business:

1) Directors’ Remuneration and Expenses Bylaw Update

A report from the Corporate Officer was presented to the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That the amendments to the Directors' Remuneration/Expenses, be approved as discussed by the Committee, and they be referred to the other members of the CRD Board for comment, as per the Board's Policy Development practice

2) Financial (Cheque) Signing Authorities Policy Update

A report from the Corporate Officer was presented to the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That the changes to the Financial (Cheque) Signing Authorities Policy be approved and they be referred to the other members of the CRD Board for comment, as per the Board's Policy Development practice

3) Naming Policy

A report from the Corporate Officer was presented to the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Report received and defer to the new 2018-22 CRD Board for consideration

The Committee adjourned at 4:58pm



Wednesday, July 11, 2018

5-2-1-0 Playboxes in Williams Lake

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The City of Williams Lake is excited to announce the installation of Playboxes in Boitanio, Beauchamp, and Kinsmen Parks. The Playboxes contain soccer balls, Frisbees, skipping ropes, badminton racquets, birdies, bocce sets, footballs and other equipment for families to enjoy while at these parks. 

All Playboxes have a combination. To get the code visit http://williamslake.ca/130/Recreation-Services, click on the Playbox image, answer a few short questions, and receive the code. You can also visit or call the front desk at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex during facility hours to obtain the lock code. 

The Playboxes have been funded by Communities that Care and Success By 6 and have been supported by the City’s Recreation and Municipal Services departments. The goal of the Playboxes is to help get families outdoors, away from screens, and interacting with each other. It’s also a way to get people to visit some of Williams Lake’s great neighborhood parks. 

Playboxes are popping up in cities around the province. Each box has the Live 5-2-1-0 messaging which promotes four simple guidelines for raising healthy children: children should eat a minimum of 5 vegetables and fruits a day, have no more than 2 hours of screen time, participate in a minimum of 1 hour of physical activity and choose 0 sugar drinks. Through the Live 5-2-1-0 message, SCOPE, an initiative of BC Children’s Hospital, is supporting communities as they take action to build healthy environments for children. 

Recreation Services will be maintaining the Playboxes. Donations of equipment can be brought to the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex. If you notice missing equipment or a damaged Playboxes please call 250-398-7665 or email playbox@williamslake.ca

Has “harm reduction” gone too far?

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Editor's Note -- this week's Quesnel Council Column is written by Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson.  He can be reached via email here

I grew up in an age when personal responsibility was the accepted norm; a time when people had to suffer and live with the direct consequences of their actions. It sure sped up the learning process and, in my estimation, instilled a deep sense of personal accountability that is sadly lacking in today’s society.

Today, it feels as though it’s unacceptable to even talk about consequences, never mind actually try to impose them through the law. There’s always an excuse now for why people do “bad” things, either to themselves or to others, and there is a plethora of activist groups that advocate on behalf of “marginalized” groups, demanding taxpayer funded services and programs to reduce the harm people experience from their own decisions.

The current “harm reduction” approach to drug use is a case in point. On the surface and in its original form, this strategy seems to make sense: provide sterile drug paraphernalia to drug users to reduce the spread of communicable diseases and reduce the health care costs associated with the treatment of these diseases. The cost effectiveness of adopting this policy at the national and provincial levels was front and center in the arguments to government and citizens prior to its adoption.

Since its initial implementation, however, “harm reduction” has been expanded to include housing (both shelters and longer term supported housing), food programs, and, more recently, safe injection sites. In other words, providing full supports to individuals with drug addictions, up to and including helping them to inject their drugs, with no questions asked, as there is no requirement to participate in any programs to access any of these taxpayer funded services.

Activists constantly claim that this strategy is “evidenced based” and “successful.” The problem is, our lived experience (more addicts on the streets and shooting up in public spaces, discarded needles, more property crime) begs the question of what success looks like. The fact that every community is seeing more demands for homeless shelters, 24/7 supportive transition housing, harm reduction supplies, and, now, overdose prevention sites and safe injection sites, begs the question of whether we are simply enabling people to remain in their addictions rather than allowing them to reach a point in their lives where their experience with the consequences of their addiction makes them want to get help to change their lives.

Unfortunately, the proponents of a full services, no-questions-asked approach to harm reduction for drug users consistently fail to take into account that the way many of their “clients” access their illegal drug of choice is by stealing from other people – most often the people who are paying for all the services being provided to them at taxpayer expense.

Most local governments are now scrambling to devise strategies to deal with the consequences of the national and provincial governments’ harm reduction policies and programs. We’re all struggling to address the public health and safety issues associated with discarded needles, increased property crime, more vagrancy and panhandling, and more public incidences of illicit drug use. All too often, the outcomes of the current harm reduction approach to illicit drug use directly undermines our investments in new infrastructure and amenities and our efforts to create safe, resilient, and sustainable communities.

I’ve spoken to a number of Mayors' over the past month and we’re all feeling similar frustrations: the current approach to harm reduction for illicit drug users has simply marginalized the majority of our citizens and passed the harm of drug addiction on to them in the form of unsafe streets and increased property crime.

Something needs to change, and soon.

Friday, July 6, 2018

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of July 9-13

The following local governments of the Cariboo-Chilcotin are meeting next week, as follows:

Boards of Education for School Districts #27/28 (Quesnel/Cariboo-Chilcotin) are on summer recess until September

Williams Lake - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, July 10th at 6pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  On the Agenda:

* Central Industrial Area Revitalization Tax Exemption, Bylaw No. 2279 -- 1st, 2nd and 3rd Readings
* Development Permit Application - DP#04-2018 - Wave Properties Ltd. - Redevelopment of Front Façade of Building - 29 Third Avenue South -- For Approval
* Williams Lake Wildfire Recovery Plan
* Development Variance Permit/Development Permit Applications - DVP #04-2018 - RONA Properties (GRB Holdings Ltd.) - Construction of Storage Building - 252 Second Avenue North

* Encroachment Agreement - 357 Oliver Street (All Ways Travel)
* Zoning Amendment Application - Bylaw No. 2281 - Platform Properties Ltd. - Adds "Beer and Wine Store" Use - 1185 Prosperity Way (Prosperity Ridge Shopping Centre) - 1st/2nd Readings
* Notice of Proposed New Council Procedure Bylaw
* Central Cariboo Recreation - City/CRD Facility Management Agreement Renewal -- Recommendation from Central Cariboo Joint Committee
* Development Cost Charge Bylaw, No. 2280 - Adoption

View the full Agenda here

100 Mile House - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, July 10th at 7pm in 100 Mile House Council Chambers (385 Birch Avenue).  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

Cariboo Regional District - Meetings as noted below:

North Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus -- Regular Meeting on Tuesday, July 10th at 3:00pm in the CRD Quesnel Office (101-410 Kinchant Street, Quesnel).  On the Agenda:

* Delegation: FLNRORD re: Anahim/Kluskus Connector Rd Project
* Financial Request from City of Quesnel re: 2018 Canada Day Celebration (deferred from May 22nd NC Rural Caucus meeting)

* $1,000 or less Grant for Assistance Application – Nazko Emergency Management Team
* Discussion Item: Bouchie Lake update

View the full Agenda here

North Cariboo Joint Committee -- Regular Meeting on Tuesday, July 10th at 5:30pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (4th Floor, 410 Kinchant St, Quesnel).  On the Agenda:

* Delegations -- Schick Shiner and Associates re: Feasibility Study - Performing Arts Centre; Charlene Lawrence - Event Coordinator Report

* Quesnel Youth Soccer Association - Senior Walking Program
* West Fraser Centre Banners and Memorabilia
* Quesnel Kangaroos Agreement
* Alex Fraser Park Capital Budget
* West Fraser Centre Air Temperature Control
* Cariboo Strong Final Projects
* Wildfire Recovery Final Report

View the full Agenda here

Policy Committee - Regular Meeting on Thursday, July 12th at 3pm in the Cariboo RD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* Draft Directors' Remuneration Bylaw Update -- Cell Phone/Home Office Credit ($125 per month); $50/day for Area Directors' whose Electoral Area is under a State of Local Emergency and $100/day per diem for meals, when on Regional District business - whether inside or outside the Regional District

* Financial (Cheque) Signing Authorities Policy Update
* Naming Policy

View the full Agenda here

CCRHD Board - Regular Meeting on Friday, July 13th at 9:30am in the Cariboo RD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* Delegations Memorandum of Business
* Hospital Consent Calendar

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo RD Board - Regular Meeting on Friday, July 13th at 9:45am in the Cariboo RD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* Delegations: 1) Cariboo-North MLA Coralee Oakes re: Update; 2) A/Commr. Eric Stubbs, Criminal Operations Officer for Core Policing, RCMP re: Rural Policing Issues

* 2 DVP's -- Areas 'D' and 'F'
* Bylaw 5132 for 3rd Reading - Area 'I'
* 1 Temporary Use Permit - Area 'L'
* Building Stats Reports - April/May 2018
* Low Mobility Wilderness Trails Network Expansion Project Application to the BC Rural Dividend Program
* Rural Dividend Fund Application – Esler Sports Complex New Road Access
* Request for Support - Review of the Regional Growth Strategy (RGS) Legislation -- Letter from Capital Regional District (Southern Vancouver Island)
* Proposed Dasiqox Tribal Park - Letter from Tsilhoqot'in National Government
* Consent Calendar
* Committee Minutes/Recommendations
* North Cariboo Airport Contribution Service Establishment Bylaw - 1st, 2nd and 3rd Readings and Assent Vote Resolutions
* Request from Area 'F' Director J. Sorley re: official bulletin boards in Big Lake and Likely - Area 'F' Director Initiative Fund

View the full Agenda here

CaribooRD 2018 Nomination Packages available July 27th

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Williams Lake, B.C. – Now is the time to start thinking about whether you would like to run for local government office in the upcoming 2018 general elections. For those considering running as a Cariboo Regional District electoral area director, nomination packages will be available starting July 27 on the CRD website and at the CRD offices in Williams Lake, Quesnel and 100 Mile House.

The nomination period for candidates begins at 9 a.m. on Sept. 4, 2018 and closes at 4 p.m. on Sept. 14, 2018.

Residents of B.C. interested in running for local government office in the upcoming general local election must meet certain eligibility requirements to be nominated. They must also run and finance their campaign according to provincial legislation.

Candidates must meet the following criteria:
  • Canadian citizen;
  • 18 years of age or older;
  • resident of British Columbia for at least 6 months immediately before the day nomination papers are filed; and
  • not disqualified by the Local Government Act or any other enactment from voting in an election in British Columbia or from being nominated for, being elected to, or holding office.
General voting day for the local general election is on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Advance polling opportunities will be on Oct. 10 and Oct. 15, 2018.  Additional special voting opportunities may be announced and polling station locations will be confirmed closer to the date.

Local government elections in British Columbia currently happen every four years. This includes elections for regional district electoral area directors, municipal mayors and councillors, and school trustees.

For more information:

Tŝilhqot’in Nation welcomes Court Victory

Courtesy of the Tsilhqot'in National Government:

The Tŝilhqot’in Nation welcomes today’s B.C. Supreme Court decision to grant an interlocutory injunction against an exploration permit issued by British Columbia to Taseko Mines Ltd. (TML) for an extensive drilling program in the Teẑtan Biny (Fish Lake) area. TML had planned to start the drilling work as early as next week.

The injunction prohibits TML from carrying out the drilling program until the B.C. Supreme Court has ruled on the Tŝilhqot’in Nation’s legal challenge to the drilling permit issued in July of 2017, based on breaches of the Crown’s duty to consult and accommodate the Tŝilhqot’in. That case was argued in B.C. Supreme Court last week, June 25-29.

Taseko’s proposed drilling program is for the stated purpose of supporting construction of the New Prosperity Mine, despite the fact that the Federal Government rejected New Prosperity over four years ago, and the proposed mine cannot be built as matters stand. Two independent federal panels have confirmed the unique and special significance of Teẑtan Biny (Fish Lake), Yanah Biny (Little Fish Lake) and Nabas (the surrounding area) to the Tŝilhqot’in people as a valued hunting, trapping and gathering grounds. This area is also significant as a place for ceremony, spiritual practices and community gatherings, as an actively used cultural school, and as “home” to the many Tŝilhqot’in members born and raised there.

The Tŝilhqot’in Nation is cautiously relieved that the B.C. Supreme Court has temporarily protected Teẑtan Biny and Nabas from further damage and disruption by TML, over the opposition of the Nation, and in the face of the rejection of New Prosperity by the Federal Government.

The drilling permit in question was approved on the final day of the outgoing Liberal Government.

The Tŝilhqot’in Nation calls on the current BC Government to step up and honour its commitment to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples by protecting this critical cultural space from further threat in the name of a mining project that has been rejected twice for its unacceptable environmental and cultural impacts.

TNG Tribal Chair Joe Alphonse said:

The Tŝilhqot’in Nation being granted this interlocutory injunction is one more small victory in the long standing fight to protect Teẑtan Biny and the surrounding area. This permit created a lot of distress for Tŝilhqot’in communities directly in the midst of the largest wildfire season that we have ever seen.”

“It’s amazing that a company like TML continues to try to advance their interests even when there is virtually no chance that the Federal Government will grant a go ahead on this project.”

“We were caught between two parties on this issue. The outgoing Liberal party left a hand grenade for the incoming NDP party. This is a low blow tactic by the BC Liberals. The Tŝilhqot’in calls on the current B.C Government to step up and implement the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, along with the Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, as they have long committed to do. It’s time the B.C Government pulled the pin on this project.”

While TNG Tribal Vice-Chair Russell Myers Ross further commented:

“Our people are cautiously optimistic as we continue on the reactionary fight to protect our sacred sites. The Tŝilhqot’in have long had a vision for Teẑtan Biny and surrounding area as outlined in the Dasiqox Tribal Park. As Canada begins implementing Indigenous Protected Areas, we call on BC to take a hard look at where their vision for the future of this province lies.”

Thursday, July 5, 2018

New BC Cannabis Retail Store Regulations announced!

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Detailed information regarding eligibility requirements for prospective non-medical cannabis retail licence applicants is now available online.

The Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (formerly the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch) has established regulatory requirements for private cannabis retail store licences, which will allow licensees to sell non-medical cannabis in B.C.

The site also informs prospective licensees about the rules governing cannabis retail stores, and the necessary security screening requirements. The site will generally help prospective licensees prepare for the upcoming application process.

The regulatory framework for private cannabis retail stores focuses on meeting government’s goals for legalized cannabis that prioritizes public health and safety, including keeping cannabis out of the hands of minors and reducing the illegal market. Therefore, the application review process will include rigorous security screening and robust licensing requirements.

In addition, the Province recognizes that local governments and Indigenous nations are often best equipped to make decisions based on their own community needs. When an application is received, the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch will notify the appropriate local government or Indigenous nation when the proposed location is on a reserve, Nisga’a Land, or treaty settlement land. The branch must receive a positive recommendation in order to consider the application. The positive recommendation will be considered, but is not binding on the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch.

By early August 2018, the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch will open its application process. It is strongly recommended that potential licensees visit the website to carefully review all the available materials to be prepared for the opening of the application intake site.

Quick Fact:

The Liquor Control and Licensing Branch has been renamed the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch, representing its new additional responsibility of licensing and monitoring the retail sale of non-medical cannabis in British Columbia.
Learn More:

For information on cannabis retail licensing, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/cannabisregulationandlicensing

Highway 97 Improvements in Quesnel announced!

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Residents and visitors to the Cariboo will experience better safety and traffic flow with changes to a key intersection on Highway 97, as a result of the now-finalized Quesnel Transportation Study.

The study examined the traffic patterns and short-, medium- and long-term transportation needs for the community. As a result, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will take the following actions:

* Reconfiguring lanes on Highway 97 at Front Street in downtown Quesnel, to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety, and upgrading to LED lighting at the intersections of Carson, Shepherd, 

* McNaughton and St. Laurent avenues. This work will begin in the coming weeks and finish in fall 2018.

* Advancing design work this fall for safety improvements in the Racing Road/Hydraulic Road area of Highway 97. This project will involve consolidating access to the highway and installing a traffic signal with full-access movement along this section of highway. Additional community engagement is planned as part of this design phase.

* Engineering work to further investigate the proposed North-South Interconnector route, which received significant support in public engagement. This will help enable the ministry to build a 
business case for future funding.

The comprehensive study analyzed the corridor from the Highway 97/Barkerville Highway Junction to Basalt Road in the Quesnel area. Within 14 kilometres, conditions along Highway 97 change significantly as a result of the challenging geography and adjacent land uses.

The Quesnel Transportation Study included community engagement throughout the process, with open houses in April 2017 and February 2018. The engagement results are also posted on the project website.

Learn More:

The completed Quesnel Transportation Study is now available for viewing: www.gov.bc.ca/quesneltransportationstudy

Reid Street Project - July 5th update

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

In Phase I, concrete curbs will be poured Thursday through Saturday. This critical, time-sensitive work will create disruptions to pedestrian traffic. Extra flaggers and security personnel will be on site to direct pedestrians and to protect the poured curbing.
In phase II, crews will continue installing the water main.
Thank you for your cooperation!
Take a look at our parking map to see free public parking options. http://bit.ly/2yhoTl6

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Employer Health Tax Details released

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Editor's Note -- I agree with the comments earlier today of Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian when he calls the Employer Health Tax "downloading in its' purest form" and "it's a bit of a sham" - click here.  Meanwhile, the Cariboo Regional District will be sending a Joint Municipalities/Boards of Education letter asking the Province of BC to reconsider its' stance on the Tax.  I also expect that this will be discussed at the 2018 UBCM or Union of BC Municipalities Convention at Whistler from Sept 10-14, 2018

The Ministry of Finance has released an Employer Health Tax (EHT) tax notice, as part of the next steps toward the elimination of Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums and transition to the EHT.

“Our government is working hard to make life more affordable for people in our province. We are proud to be eliminating regressive MSP premiums, and returning up to $1,800 each year to families across our province,” said Carole James, Minister of Finance. “While other provinces scrapped MSP premiums, the former government doubled and downloaded these unfair fees onto middle-class individuals, families, and seniors. Replacing MSP premiums with the EHT follows the lead of other provinces, and is a much fairer and progressive approach.”

The tax notice includes implementation information on effective rates, calculation and scheduling, remuneration, payroll definition, rules regarding instalment payments, locational and threshold rules for non-profits, and other technical implementation details.

A full list of the implementation details can be found at the Ministry of Finance’s EHT tax notice here: www.gov.bc.ca/EmployerHealthTax

For over a decade, British Columbia has been the only province to maintain MSP fees. MSP premiums were increased and downloaded onto people and the services they relied on, including schools, colleges, universities and hospitals.

The transition to the EHT includes funding that ensures public services will not be impacted. This includes funding for colleges and teaching universities, research universities, community-health and social-service providers, school districts and health authorities. After full implementation, the net funding required for the public sector is estimated to be no more than $90 million annually.

Administration of MSP premiums is costly and inefficient. The transition to the EHT will result in savings of over $50 million annually on an ongoing basis.

The elimination of MSP premiums and introduction of the EHT will result in a net tax decrease of approximately $800 million per year for British Columbians. Families will save as much as $1,800, and individuals will save up to $900 each year.

The government will introduce legislation in fall 2018 to implement the EHT.

Learn More:

EHT tax notice: www.gov.bc.ca/EmployerHealthTax

For questions about EHT administration, contact:

Email: ITBTaxQuestions@gov.bc.ca
Phone: 1 877 387-3332

A backgrounder can be read here

BC Arts Council sets course toward more support for the Arts

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

British Columbia’s diverse arts and cultural communities will benefit from a new strategic plan, the BC Arts Council has announced.

The plan sets out the council’s new commitments to enhance arts and cultural development throughout the province.

“The strategy offers renewed vision, values and strategic direction for the BC Arts Council,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “This plan will strengthen opportunities for British Columbians all across the province, to participate and thrive in the creative economy today, and in the future.”

New Foundations: Strategic Plan for the British Columbia Arts Council 2018-2022, lays out the framework for the goals and actions of the council for the next five years. Working in collaboration with arts and culture organizations around B.C., the strategy is aimed at improving delivery of arts and culture supports.

Key objectives include:

* improving sustainability and creative development;
* enhancing engagement with Indigenous arts and culture;
* increasing equity, diversity and access; and
* expanding regional arts and community arts.

“The BC Arts Council has heard a clear message that artists and cultural organizations are seeking new approaches to support sustainability and resiliency in B.C.'s arts and culture sector," said Susan Jackson, chair of the BC Arts Council. "This strategic plan reflects the council's strong commitment to renewal, artistic expression, equity and access, so that all people in British Columbia can participate in the arts and celebrate culture."

The BC Arts Council is British Columbia’s lead agency for arts funding and development in the province. Funding provided by the council is done through a peer-review adjudication process. Grant recipients represent a diverse group of artists and arts organizations from every region of the province, including Indigenous groups, scholarship students and community arts councils.

Quick Facts:

This is the third strategic plan released by the BC Arts Council since 2009.

The new strategic plan was the developed following a series of consultations with artists, cultural organizations and communities around the province over the past three years.

In the 2018 Budget, the Province increased its support of the BC Arts Council by $15 million over the next three years.

Learn More:

For an online copy of the New Foundations: Strategic Plan for the British Columbia Arts Council 2018-2022, visit: http://www.bcartscouncil.ca/mediaroom/publications.htm

Good things are Happening

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Editor's Note -- this week's Quesnel Council Column is written by Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson.  He can be reached via email here

It was great to see so many people enjoying Canada Day in LeBourdais Park this past weekend, despite the iffy weather. A big thank you to the organizers, sponsors, and volunteers who put this event on, giving us all a chance to celebrate this great country. It was fun to see so many families in the park, and so many children playing in the new playground or sliding down the makeshift waterslide on the hill.

It’s too easy today to focus on the negative, as the news, with a lot of help from social media, tends to amplify the problems and concerns in our community and elsewhere in the world. Don’t get me wrong, like every other community we have serious issues that need to be dealt with, but we also have a lot of good things happening in our community that we can and should celebrate and appreciate.

Quesnel has phenomenal recreation venues and amenities, better than most communities our size, and we’re making every effort to keep improving them to maximize their availability and accessibility in order to make our community more attractive to visitors, residents, and investment.

Pop over to West Quesnel and see how great the Lewis Drive Rink revitalization project looks. This old outdoor rink is getting completely renovated to enable it to be used for lacrosse and basketball in the summer as well as skating and hockey in the winter. Baker Creek Park has also been prepared for the new addition to the skateboard park and work will begin this summer to replace the big red slide at the Patchett Street playground with exciting new hill-play structures.

The West Fraser Centre is undergoing refinements this summer to make it an even better venue to host events. The walking track has been rubberized, three new feature walls will be installed, finishing touches to the locker rooms are being added, and accessibility improvements to the seating areas will all be completed before the ice goes back in late summer. The whole precinct around the Centre will also undergo a major transformation to make it a great place to host tournaments, conferences, and events; all of which will bring direct economic benefits to the City.

Portions of the riverfront trail have been repaved and a new section added. A comprehensive riverfront development plan is now being created to maximize the attractiveness of this phenomenal natural asset. It’s Council’s hope that we will soon see some major cultural and tourist attractions developed along the City’s riverfronts, including some world class First Nations cultural facilities.

On top of these important developments, the City continues to make significant investments in core infrastructure. The Reid Street project is the largest of these and when this project is completed the City will have a beautiful new retail space in our downtown core. The City’s road paving program saw significant road improvements in West Quesnel, Johnston Sub, North Quesnel, and South Quesnel and our road rebuild program will take place later this summer. Major improvements to the City’s water system are also underway.

While these amenity and core infrastructure improvements are being made, Council continues to seek more investment in both affordable and market housing in order to make more housing options available for our seniors and for younger workers and families moving into our community. And, we continue to work with the Ministry of Transportation to get improvements to the Highway through the City, including a commitment to the proposed North-South Interconnector.

Over the summer, and especially during Billy Barker Days, I hope you will take the time to celebrate all that our community has to offer. Quesnel is a great place to live.

Monday, July 2, 2018

2017 Statement of Financial Information Reports/Cariboo-Chilcotin Local Gov'ts

Recently, quite a number of people have been looking for the 2017 Statement of Financial Information or SOFI Reports for a number of local governments in the Cariboo-Chilcotin so as a public service, I will list those in a chart below in a moment

The SOFI Report is a requirement for all local governments/Boards of Education under the provisions of BC's Financial Information Act.  The SOFI Report must list all pay/expenses for local government or Board of Education Staff above $75,000 and a summary of staff pay/expenses below $75,000 as well as pay/expenses for all elected officials (Mayors, Councillors, Electoral Area Directors and School Trustees)

Local Governments (Cities of Quesnel/Williams Lake & Districts of Wells/100 Mile House plus the Cariboo Regional District) must file theirs no later than June 30th in each year for the previous fiscal year which runs on a January to December financial calendar

Boards of Education (School Districts 27/28) must file theirs no later than December 31st in each year for the previous fiscal year which runs on a July 1st - June 30th financial calendar

2018 SOFI Reports will be available by June 30th, 2019 for the Cities of Quesnel/Williams Lake, the Districts of Wells/100 Mile House and the Cariboo Regional District and December 31st, 2019 for the Boards of Education for School Districts #28 (Quesnel) and #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin)

Status of 2017 Statement of Financial Information or SOFI Reports:


Local Government
Status of 2017 SOFI Report
When
Link to 2017 SOFI Report, if available




District of Wells
Unavailable
N/A
Contact the District’s CAO here
City of Quesnel
Adopted
April 3rd, 2018 Regular Council Meeting
View the report here
Board of Education for School District #28 (Quesnel)
In Progress
By December 31st, 2018
N/A
Board of Education for School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin)
In Progress
By December 31st, 2018
N/A
City of Williams Lake
Adopted
May 29th, 2018 Regular Council Meeting
View the report here
District of 100 Mile House
Unavailable
N/A
Contact the District’s CAO here
Cariboo Regional District
Adopted
May 25th, 2018 Regular Board of Directors Meeting
View the report here (CRD Directors) and here (CRD Staff)

Latest SOFI Reports (2016-17 Fiscal Year - latest information available) for:

School District #28 (Quesnel) - click here
School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) - click here