Monday, March 19, 2018

Ltr to Min. Robinson re: 2018 Local Gov't Videos/Electoral Area Directors'

On Thursday, March 1st of this year -- the BC Ministry of Municipal Affairs/Housing launched a series of videos and other relevant information in advance of the 2018 Local Government elections, being held on Saturday, October 20th for Electoral Area Directors', School Trustees, Mayors and Councillors'

You can view the videos and other documentation here

Before the launch on March 1st - Staff from the Ministry showed a draft version of the videos at the January 30/31st Union of BC Municipalities Electoral Area Directors' Forum held in Richmond, BC.

An Electoral Area Director from the Cowichan Valley Regional District (south of Nanaimo) expressed his concern that the video was far too slanted towards Mayors'/Councillors' and literally nothing for the role of an Electoral Area Director.  Ministry Staff at the time acknowledged the Electoral Area Director's concern.  I too, at the time and still do, shared the Electoral Area Director's concern is the videos were/are far too slanted towards municipal elected officials (Mayors' and Councillors) and not enough for local elected officials from rural areas

Later that week (February 2nd) at the 2018 Local Government Leadership Academy's Annual Leadership Forum, also held in Richmond, BC  - I participated in an evening roundtable conversation on local governance with local elected officials including Comox Valley Regional District's Electoral Area 'C' Director Edwin Grieve who vented that provincial bureaucrats did nothing to hide their disdain at rural elected officials, like him, for a local project in his Area but wouldn't do the same for local elected officials like Mayors' and Councillors' - likely because there are literally thousands of Mayors' and Councillors' locally elected every 4 years in BC and they represented the very vast majority of British Columbians whilst the 155 Electoral Area Directors' in BC (including myself) represent vast unincorporated (rural) areas in BC but a minority of BC residents' and suggested that these provincial bureaucrats and their Ministers' should be "re-educated" about local governments' in the rural areas - a suggestion I fully agree with

To that end -- this past weekend, I drafted a letter to BC's Minister of Municipal Affairs/Housing, Hon. Selina Robinson, make the above noted points and will be sending to her this morning

You can read the letter here.  As soon as I have a reply, I will share that here


Saturday, March 17, 2018

CRD Wildfire Consultation Report released

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Yesterday, the Cariboo Regional District Board of Directors held a special Board meeting to review a wildfire report following the CRD’s community consultations in the fall. The report combines results from two dozen community meetings, a survey and Facebook event, which engaged over 2,600 residents between October and December 2017.

The consultant, Butterfly Effect Communications, presented the report identifying numerous recommendations regarding communications, emergency operations, prevention, wildfire fighting and recovery. Recommendations and information within the report are not directed solely at the CRD, but are designed to be useful for other governments to adapt ahead of emergencies as well. Many of the recommendations also require coordination and collaboration between multiple levels of government and various agencies.

Following the presentation, the CRD Board referred the report to the Board’s newly formed Emergency Preparedness Committee, which consists of Chair Wagner and Directors Armstrong, Massier, Forseth, Sorley, Richmond and Anderson. The Committee will review the report and recommendations in depth and develop an action plan.

As a first step in preparedness efforts, the Board asked CRD staff to prepare a report and implementation plan for the Board’s consideration that would facilitate fuel reduction on private land in the Wildland Urban Interface, including the identification of costs, revenue loss and potential sources for funding. They also requested information on how to provide meaningful and timely information to residents related to the FireSmart program.

The Cariboo Regional District commissioned the report following 262 wildfires burning over 900,000 hectares during a 77-day long disaster from July 6 to September 20, impacting nearly every corner of the region which is home to 61,000 residents.

Three of the largest wildfires in the province’s history were within the region last summer, including the Plateau Fire, which burned nearly 500,000 hectares. Sixty homes and 167 other structures were destroyed in the region’s fires, with no loss of life directly attributed to the disaster despite 60 per cent of the population being under evacuation order or alert.

During the consultations, over 53,000 pieces of data were collected, including verbal and written comments and survey answers. To collect the feedback, meetings were held in communities across the vast area of the Cariboo impacted by the wildfires. The consultant and CRD staff spent over 50 hours listening to residents and traveled over 3,500 kilometres.

Margo Wagner, Chair of the Cariboo Regional District Board of Directors' stated:

“Looking back at the summer of 2017 and what our communities went through, I want to thank the residents of the Cariboo for taking that extra step to participate in our public consultations last fall. Thank you for sharing your feedback and concerns – this is how we can make improvements for the next time and understand how the emergency affected you.”

“We have a lot to digest in this report, but I look forward to working with our Emergency Preparedness Committee to discuss these recommendations further and make an action plan for steps forward.”

Meanwhile, Tim Conrad from Butterfly Effect Communications commented:

“Recovery resources, particularly around mental health and financial assistance, are not meeting the needs of residents. The timing of this disaster, during peak season for many activities, combined with the length of this disaster, which stretched over three months, equaled a devastating impact on residents and businesses in the region.”

The final report can be viewed here with its' Appendix here

Friday, March 16, 2018

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of March 19-23

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

Wells - Public Hearing/Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, March 20th at 7pm in Wells Council Chambers (4243 Sanders Avenue).  On the Agenda:

Public Hearing at 7pm -- Zoning and Tree Protection Bylaw No. 26, 2000, Amending Bylaw No. 158, 2018. Full details here

Following the Public Hearing, the Regular Council Meeting will consist of:

* Appointment of Chief Election Officer for June 9th By-Election for 1 Mayor of Wells and 1 District of Wells Councillor
* Proposed 2018 Council Meeting Schedule Amendments
* Draft Terms of Reference for the Wells Age-Friendly Advisory Committee
* 3rd Reading to Proposed Fees and Charges Bylaws No. 159, 160, and 161-2018

View the full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, March 20th at 7pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  On the Agenda:

* Delegation: Tim Rolph and Court Smith, Williams Lake Stampede Association re: Update on WL Stampede Association Activities
* 2018 Budget Recommendations, for endorsement
* Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 2272 - Managing Legal Cannabis -- Consideration of 1st Reading only
* Appointment of Councillor Scott Nelson as Council Liaison to Indoor Turf / Gymnastics Facility Committee
* 4 In-Camera Resolutions for receipt of public information -- Downtown Williams Lake Business Improvement Association 2018 Renewal; Fire Underwriters Report; Solid Waste Management Contract (2018) and BC Hydro Electric Vehicle Charging Station

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District - Meetings as noted below:

Policy Committee -- Meeting on Thursday, March 22nd at 2pm in the CRD Committee Room (180D North 3rd Avenue).  On the Agenda:

* Committee Terms of Reference
* Draft Workplace Bullying and Harassment Policy
* Review of Election Period Communications Policy
* Information Provided Prior to Elections?
* Policy Development and Review Policy
* Central Interior Rural Division of Family Practice Request for Additional Funding for Recruitment and Retention of Medical Practitioners/Review of CCRHD Recruitment and Retention Policy

The Committee is made up of CRD Directors John Massier, as Chair, Steve Forseth, Joan Sorley, Melynda Neufeld, Jerry Bruce, Dylan Cash and Al Richmond (CRD Electoral Areas B, C, D, E, F, G and I)

View the full Agenda here

Emergency Preparedness Committee - Meeting on Thursday, March 22nd at 5pm in the CRD Board Room (180D North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* Post-Wildfire Community Consultation Meetings - Final Report
* Report from Director Forseth re: Red Cross Phase 2 Funding for Small Business, Non-Profits and First Nations Cultural Organizations
* Update on New CRD Manager of Protective Services
* CRD Emergency Plan

The Committee is made up of CRD Directors Margo Wagner, as Chair, and Ted Armstrong, John Massier, Steve Forseth, Joan Sorley, Al Richmond and Betty Anderson (CRD Electoral Areas A, C, D, F, G, H and K)

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District -- Meeting on Friday, March 23rd at 9:30am in the CRD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* Delegation, 11am -- Trevor Barnes, Executive Director, and Jill Zirnhelt, from the Central Interior Rural Division o f Family Practice, will appear before the Board speak to their request for an increase in annual contribution for health care professional recruitment and retention activities.

* CCRHD 2018 Budget Bylaw - For 1st, 2nd, 3rd Readings/Adoption
* Additional Funding Request for the Cariboo Memorial Hospital Business Plan
* Verbal Update from Chair Simpson on the GR Baker Hospital Project

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District -- Meeting on Friday, March 23rd at 9:45am in the CRD Boardroom.  On the Agenda:

Delegation, 11:30am -- Lindsey Wood, Resource Manager, from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development will appear before the Board, on behalf of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Natural Resource District, to provide an update on the forest recovery plan for the region

* Land Use Items for consideration of the Board
* NDIT Funding Application – Anahim Lake Canoe Race
* Letter and Petition Requesting Transfer of Fire Protection Services to Area 'F' (150 Mile Fire Department)
* Request to Waive Procurement Policy and Issue Direct Award for Turnout Gear - Miocene Fire Department
* Request from City of Quesnel for Support of NCLGA and FCM Resolution regarding Wildfire Crime
* Committee/Commission Minutes for receipt and recommendations for endorsement
* 2018 Cariboo RD Budget Bylaw for 1st, 2nd, 3rd Readings/Adoption
* North Cariboo Agricultural Development Advisory Committee Bylaw No. 5137, 2018 - For 1st/2nd Readings
* Deferred Item – South Cariboo Recreation Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 5130, 2018 -- For 1st, 2nd and 3rd Readings
* Request from Director Forseth to Access Electoral Area D Director Initiative Funds -- April 5th Telus Meeting at McLeese Lake for High Speed Internet
* 2018 Appointment to NCLGA Board
* Request from Director Wagner to Access Electoral Area H Director Initiative Funds - Fire Smart Meeting in Area 'H'

View the full Agenda here

South Cariboo Joint Committee meets today!

At 2pm today in 100 Mile House Council Chambers (385 Birch Avenue) - the South Cariboo Joint Committee, which consists of the Cariboo Regional District Area G, H, L Directors (Al Richmond, Margo Wagner and Brian Coakley) & all of 100 Mile District Council (Mayor Campsall and Councillors Dave Mingo, Spence Henderson, Bill Hadden and Ralph Fossum), will be meeting to discuss the following matters:

Delegation -- Maryanne Capnerhurst, 100 Mile Nordics (Update on Club Activities)


* 100 Mile Community Band - $300 Funding Request
* Use and Occupancy Agreement Renewal with the 100 Mile Agriplex Society - Renew until March 31st, 2019
* Review Public Consultation Results - South Cariboo Recreation Expansion Project - and determine next steps

View the full Agenda here

Thursday, March 15, 2018

BC Hydro Greenlights Energy Purchase Agreement for Tŝilhqot’in Solar Farm

Courtesy of the Tsilhqot'in National Government:

The Tŝilhqot’in National Government (TNG) applauds BC Hydro for their recent plan to pursue power purchase agreement negotiations with the Tŝilhqot’in Solar Farm (TSF). Located within the Tŝilhqot’in territory, once completed, the TSF will be the first large-scale solar power plant owned and operated by a First Nation in western Canada. While producing power for BC, this 1.25 MWdc solar photovoltaic solar farm will help to enrich the local economy

There are numerous expected outcomes of the TSF. This includes generation of clean energy, redevelopment of a closed sawmill and adjacent brownfield site, support to local communities, and creation of employment and business opportunities. Through the purchase of power generated from the TSF, the Electricity Purchase Agreement (EPA) will ensure the success of the TSF through the final implementation stage and the future years while in operation.
The Nation would like to thank the hard work and dedication of Chief Russell Myers Ross along with his community of Yunesit’in in pursuing and leading this project. We would also like to thank EcoSmart for their many contributions to this endeavour.

Chief Joe Alphonse, Tribal Chairman, Tŝilhqot’in National Government said:

“Since having our Aboriginal title recognized we have been looking for diverse opportunities within our territory. The development and operation of this solar farm is not only useful for the area, but also brings employment and training to our Nation. As a Nation we have always said that to do business with us you need to come through our doors and sit at the table in a meaningful way. The solar farm is a great example of that.”

While Michel de Spot, President and CEO of EcoSmart stated:

“Solar energy is the fastest growing and most promising technology in the world. Building the largest solar photovoltaic system in BC makes the Tŝilhqot’in Nation de facto leaders in cleantech development.”

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Overwhelming support for the proposed North-South Interconnector

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Almost 600 residents signed postcards in support of the North-South Interconnector and the proposed Racing Road improvements. All of the postcards and 13 letters of support from the Quesnel business community have been delivered to the Honourable Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. The City also provided a letter of support stating its hopes for a commitment of funds to proceed with the next stage of this necessary project.

For the past 50 years, the City has recognized the need to remove commercial truck traffic away from GR Baker Memorial Hospital. The North-South Interconnector is a solution that is technically feasible, would remove 100% of the commercial truck traffic from downtown Quesnel (other than local deliveries), would see the replacement of both the Quesnel River Bridge and the Railway Bridge, and would see the City gain full control over Carson Avenue, Front Street, and Legion Drive. This project has the support of downtown businesses and City Council.

Over 850 residents attended an open house held by the City and Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Residents were invited to ask questions and provide input for the Quesnel Transportation Plan. Residents were also able to provide input online.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will present their final report from the community consultations at the City Council meeting on March 27 at 7 pm.

SD28 Board of Education meets tonight!

This evening at 7pm in the School District #28 Boardroom (401 North Star Rd) - the Board of Education for School District #28 (Quesnel) meets.  On their Agenda:

* Superintendent's Reports
* 2018/2019 Budget Planning Process
* Trustee Remuneration
* 2018/2019 District Calendar and Two Week Spring Break Decision
* Appointment of 2018 Local General Election Officials

View the full Agenda here


Beyond Budgets and Bylaws

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

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

The main function of any elected Council is to provide governance and oversight to a corporate entity that delivers public services and programs, and which builds and maintains public infrastructure within a legally defined geographic area. All the properties within that geographic area pay taxes based on both the assessed value and use (residential, commercial, and industrial) of their property at a rate established by Council. The tax rate Council sets should cover both the annual operating costs of the corporation and the present and future capital investments required to maintain core infrastructure (roads, sidewalks, sewer, water, etc.).

The other major function of an elected Council is to establish local laws (bylaws) and policies to guide property development within the legal boundary governed by that Council. Bylaws and policies can also be used to help create a healthy, safe, and livable community, and to ensure standards are maintained to protect property values.

There was a time when local governments only had to concern themselves with their core responsibilities: budgets and bylaws. But, as a result of a significant shift in focus at the provincial and federal levels of government, local governments must now tackle a whole host of issues that they are neither mandated nor financially equipped to address; issues like systemic poverty, social housing, health care, seniors’ care, victim services, the opioid crisis, mental health and addiction, economic development, investment attraction and job creation, tourism marketing, and the list goes on.

Some municipal councils and regional district boards continue to resist taking on these “downloaded” responsibilities. Others have embraced them as an opportunity to show real leadership and to work with their residents to create interesting and sustainable communities. Quesnel City Council fits into the latter category.

For example, Council’s proactive partnership with Northern Health enabled us to address what would have been a critical shortage of doctors before this became a crisis. We continue to work with Northern Health on a number of fronts that are essential to addressing the very real challenges confronting our community but that are also clearly in the domain of the provincial government. Specifically: we’re working with Northern Health (NH) and BC Housing on a mental health and addictions initiative that will help us improve the delivery of these services throughout our city; we’re collaborating with NH and our seniors advocacy groups on an age-friendly initiative that will result in significant improvements in the delivery of services and programs for seniors; and, we’re working with NH and our local Green Team to address the serious public safety issue of disposed needles throughout our community.

Council has also taken deliberate steps to address our community’s need for more social, accessible, and affordable housing. A housing incentive bylaw was established by Council that enabled the development of the housing projects currently under construction in the City and we continue to work with BC Housing to attract more such investments.

Economic development has also been a major focus for this Council, and our recent leadership on the wildfire recovery initiative is just another expression of our desire to lead our community through this challenging transition period. Recently, we’ve secured some funding to pull together into one document all the initiatives we have underway to attract and retain more visitors, residents, and investment to our City and our region.

Quesnel City Council has clearly demonstrated, on multiple fronts, that we are willing to go beyond our core obligation of budgets and bylaws. We’ve embraced the challenge to demonstrate leadership on the social, economic, and environmental initiatives that will make our community an attractive and livable community for generations to come

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Grant Funding Announced for Airport Investment Master Plan

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The City of Williams Lake has been awarded a $48,000 grant from the Rural Dividend Program for its Airport Investment Master Plan.

“We were pleased to hear that we were successful in our application to the Rural Dividend Program for this grant,” says Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb. “This project will enable the City to develop a strategy to guide future development of the airport lands.”

The BC Rural Dividend Program provides funding to assist rural communities to reinvigorate and diversify their local economies, with a goal to increase their strength and sustainability, making them more attractive places to live and work. The program is focused on supporting worthy projects that help rural communities navigate changes impacting their economies, such as attracting and retaining youth, using innovation to drive economic growth, and developing new and effective partnerships to support shared prosperity.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Special Committee of Whole Session (WL Council - 2018 Budget) - March 12th mtg

Present: Councillor S. Nelson (Chair); Councillors I. Bonnell, C. Smith, L. Walters, S. Zacharias and Mayor W. Cobb

Media - 0
Members of the Public - 2

The Chair called the meeting to order at 1:00pm

Meeting Agenda approved

The Committee resumed its' consideration of the City of Williams Lake's Draft 2018 Operating and Capital Budgets along with a March 6th update report from the City's Chief Financial Officer - click here

Discussion ensued thereon with the Committee providing feedback/direction to Staff

The Committee adjourned at 1:35pm

BC Rural Dividend funds wildfire recovery projects in Cariboo-Chilcotin

Courtesy of the Government of British Columbia:

Under the BC Rural Dividend Program, the Government of British Columbia is providing more than $2 million to fund 20 projects for community organizations and First Nations in wildfire-impacted communities in the Cariboo Region, Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, announced today.

“The rural dividend is just one aspect of our rural-development mandate committed to making rural communities more resilient,” said Donaldson. “Given the unprecedented wildfires in the Cariboo, project applications from those impacted communities were prioritized.”

Among the projects funded in the Cariboo are trail developments in the North Cariboo and near Wells and Williams Lake, and a plan for Indigenous tourism near Barkerville. The District of Wells, as part of its recovery plan, will complete a corridor wildfire mitigation and beautification project. Lillooet will implement a regional tourism and economic development plan. Quesnel received funding for a waterfront development plan, and to market the city as a four-season destination to attract new residents, tourists and investors.

During the fourth intake, applications for rural dividend funding from wildfire-impacted areas were prioritized for review. Three of the projects were funded under the special circumstances provision of the rural dividend, specifically designed to assist communities undergoing economic hardship.

As part of Budget 2018, the Government of British Columbia committed to extending the $25-million-per-year rural dividend to 2020-21.

Projects funded in Cariboo-Chilcotin:

The District of 100 Mile House is being awarded $86,986 to create a sustainable-heating system and upgrade washrooms at historic Martin Exeter Hall in order to meet occupancy standards and improve accessibility.

The Cariboo Regional District is being awarded $75,000 to develop construction-ready design plans for an aircraft staging area and full runway overlay at the South Cariboo Regional Airport, which serves the south Cariboo area from 108 Mile Ranch.

The Cariboo Regional District is being awarded $335,000 under the rural dividend’s special circumstances provision for the North Cariboo Trail Development Project – completing two trail networks over a two-year period, with two more to follow, and partnering with the College of New Caledonia to develop training programs for trail design, planning, building and marketing.
Cariboo Ski Touring Club is being awarded $10,000 to buy and install portable snow-making equipment at its main Hallis Lake venue, near Quesnel.

The Northern Secwepemc Cultural Society is being awarded $100,000 to identify items its five-member First Nations wish to display in a proposed museum and cultural centre. In an earlier intake, the Rural Dividend Program funded construction documentation for the centre.

The Potato House Sustainable Community Society is being awarded $10,000 to hire staff and support marketing, renovation and compost programs at The Potato House Project, a community initiative to celebrate one of the last standing heritage houses in downtown Williams Lake.

The City of Quesnel is being awarded $100,000 for a waterfront development plan at the confluence of the Fraser River, Quesnel River and Baker Creek that is based on stakeholder engagement and considers planning, economic development, archeological and engineering issues.

The City of Quesnel is being awarded $250,000 under the rural dividend’s special circumstances provision to market the city as a four-season destination for visitors and residents, and to target investors to diversify the economy.

The Quesnel Downtown Association is being awarded $68,000 to create a marketing plan to inform the public about the Reid Street revitalization project in the downtown core, and ensure customers continue to access businesses during the construction.

The Quesnel Shelter and Support Society is being awarded $99,458 to create and sustain Rebuild Junction, a second-hand building supply and junk-removal business that offers skills development and opportunities for individuals who are homeless, at risk of homelessness or experiencing other significant barriers to employment.
The Barkerville Heritage Trust is being awarded $100,000 to work with the Lhtako Dené Nation, and other Indigenous partners in the region, to design and implement Indigenous tourism with interpretive and cultural activities and programming.

Ulkatcho First Nation is being awarded $56,960 to train 16 community members to use a portable sawmill, so the business can expand and increase employment in the community.

The District of Wells is being awarded $85,000 to determine the feasibility of extending municipal boundaries, including public and First Nations consultation, infrastructure and environmental reviews, and mapping.

The District of Wells is being awarded $299,450, under the rural dividend’s special circumstances provision, to hire community members to complete corridor wildfire mitigation and community/corridor beautification — a project that is linked to the community’s recovery plan.

The Wells and Area Trail Society is being awarded $10,000 to implement the second phase of the Cornish Mountain ski trail development, including a link to a five-kilometre loop trail being built by the Wells-Barkerville Community Forest and West Fraser Mills.

The City of Williams Lake is being awarded $48,000 to develop an investment master plan to guide future development of airport lands and address infrastructure upgrade requirements.

Williams Lake Indian Band (T’exelc) is being awarded $100,000 to support a marketing strategy for its Coyote Rock community development, which features T’exelc culture and the Coyote Rock brand.

Xatśūll First Nation (Soda Creek Indian Band) is being awarded $96,544 to complete the design and construction of 8.52 kilometres of cross-country and downhill trails, and provide advanced training in trail planning, construction and maintenance for 12 local youth and community members.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Cariboo RD Board to receive Final Report of Post-Wildfire Community Consultation Meetings

At its' Special Meeting on Friday, March 16th - the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) Board of Directors' will receive the final report of the 2017 Post Wildfire Community Consultation Meetings held throughout the Region last fall/winter which was led by Butterfly Effect Communications, an external communications firm hired by the CRD to complete this work and develop a crisis communications strategy.

Funding for the meetings and the final report is being provided by the Province of British Columbia which is greatly appreciated

The final report has a number of recommendations broken down by topic area which includes:

* Communications
* Prevention
* Wildfire Fighting
* Recovery

You can view the final report along with its appendix, which includes comments made at the individual meetings here.  CRD Staff are recommending that this report be referred to the CRD's Emergency Preparedness Committee to develop an Action Plan to consider implementing the Final Report's recommendations which ultimately must be approved by the full CRD Board of Directors'.

The Board will also be presented with the internal debrief with Emergency Operations Centre staff & external agencies the CRD coordinated with during the wildfires and the Board at the same meeting. This report will be available late next week as a late agenda item

The CRD's Emergency Preparedness Committee's membership is comprised of the following Cariboo Regional District elected officials:

Directors' Margo Wagner (Committee Chair and CRD Board Chair), Ted Armstrong, John Massier, Steve Forseth, Joan Sorley, Al Richmond and Betty Anderson (CRD Electoral Areas A, C, D, F, G, H and K)


Friday, March 9, 2018

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of March 12-16

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

Quesnel - Executive Committee on Tuesday, March 13th at 10:30am in Quesnel Council Chambers (4th Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* Rick Hansen Accessibility Grant Application - City Manager Johnson - DISCUSSION ONLY
* New Payroll Tax to Replace MSP - City Manager Johnson - DISCUSSION ONLY
* Agriculture and Forestry Update - Mayor Simpson to Discuss
* In-Camera Session, as per Section 90(1e - land) of the Community Charter

View the full Agenda here

School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) - Regular Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday, March 13th at 6:30pm in the SD27 Boardroom (350 2nd Avenue, Williams Lake).  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

Williams Lake - Meetings as listed below:

Special Committee of the Whole Session (2018 Budget Discussions) - Monday, March 12th from 1-3pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (Basement - 450 Mart St).  View the Agenda here

Regular Committee of the Whole Session - Tuesday, March 13th at 6pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (Basement - 450 Mart St).  On the Agenda:

* Delegation: Brian Hansen, Williams Lake Youth Soccer Association & Kelly Goertz, Cariboo Chilcotin Gymnastics Association re Update on Sites for Indoor Turf / Gymnastics Facility and Request for Council Liaison

* Request for Revitalization Tax Exemption for Lakeview Lumber Sawmill at 180 Hodgson Road (Tolko)
* North Saanich Request for Support for 'Marijuana Addiction Treatment, Prevention and Education' Resolution to UBCM

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District - Meetings as listed below:

North Cariboo Rural Caucus - Tuesday, March 13th at 3pm in the CRD Quesnel Office (101-410 Kinchant St, Quesnel).  On the Agenda:

* Delegation: Lori Fogarty and Linda Atkinson from North Cariboo Partnering for Healthier Communities

* Request from Back Country Horsemen of BC - Collins Overland Historic Telegraph Trail

View the full Agenda here

North Cariboo Joint Committee - Tuesday, March 13th at 5:30pm in Quesnel Council Chambers.  On the Agenda:

* Delegations (3) -- Community Wildfire Protection Plan and Wildfire Recovery - Erin Robinson (Fraser Basin Council) and Alex Fraser Park Society - Greg Brink

* Community Wildfire Protection Plan/Fuel Management Funding - Mayor Simpson to Report
* North Cariboo Arena Project Update Report
* 2018 Quesnel Airport Referendum
* NDIT Strategic Initiatives Grant Update
* North Cariboo Joint Committee Draft Terms of Reference

View the full Agenda here

Special CRD Board of Directors Meeting - Friday, March 16th at 9am in the Cariboo Regional District Boardroom (180D North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* Receipt of Wildfire Consultations Final Report and refer it to the CRD's Emergency Preparedness Committee for consideration of next steps to implement the report's recommendations

View the full Agenda here

New trucks delivered to CRD Fire Departments

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Three Cariboo Regional District volunteer fire departments are proud owners of new fire apparatus. The last truck, a tandem-axel water tender, arrived this week for the Ten Mile Volunteer Fire Department (VFD).

“The new tender will improve our response times to emergency incidents, because it will fill and empty faster than what the Ten Mile VFD has at the moment. We are thankful to the CRD for their cooperation and assistance to help make it happen,” said Ten Mile VFD Chief Danny Keeler.

The CRD also purchased a new fire engine for the Interlakes Volunteer Fire Department and a tandem-axel water tender for the 108 Mile Volunteer Fire Department. These new vehicles were delivered over the last two months.

Interlakes VFD Chief Doug Townsend explains, “It is nice to have a new piece of equipment to work with and this certainly would not be possible without the tax structure of the CRD. We now have something to take great pride in!”

Because of insurance requirements, all the CRD’s fire apparatus are on a replacement schedule. Last year, the CRD made the decision to standardize the trucks used by the volunteer fire departments for the next 15 years. Going forward, this style of engine and water tender will be the standard as departments’ apparatus requires replacing.

“This last summer just goes to show how important our volunteer fire departments are to our communities. Having equipment that is up to standard is critical for the work they do. Many thanks to all the volunteers that serve and protect our communities,” commented CRD Chair Margo Wagner.

The CRD’s Protective Services department provides a variety of services throughout the Cariboo Chilcotin, including 9-1-1, Emergency Planning, Search and Rescue, Highway Rescue, Structural Fire Protection and Wildland/Urban Interface Fuel Management.

The Cariboo Regional District has 14 volunteer fire departments. For more information about the CRD’s VFD’s or information about joining these groups of dedicated volunteers, visit

Local BC Communities benefit from Federal Gas Tax Funding

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Editor's Note - for communities in the Cariboo-Chilcotin, the following local governments received funding from today's announcement

Wells - $498,200 for a District Community Energy System and $58,000 to develop a Community/Economic Development Plan

Quesnel - $100,000 for Asset Data Updates and Improvements

Williams Lake - $100,000 for Facilities and Pavement Condition Assessment

Cariboo Regional District - $80,000 for 2017 Asset Management Planning

British Columbians will benefit from modern, up-to-date community infrastructure that will make communities throughout B.C. even better places to live through new investments from the federal Gas Tax Fund.

The Government of Canada, along with the Government of British Columbia and Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM), announced that 108 projects have been approved and four have been conditionally approved, for nearly $193 million from the federal Gas Tax Fund.

“I am pleased to see the important work that will be done across British Columbia thanks to the federal Gas Tax Fund,” said Amarjeet Sohi, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. “Whether a community needs to expand its recreational centre, repair roads, or make energy-saving upgrades, the Government of Canada will continue to invest in the local infrastructure Canadians want and need.”

The funding supports a wide range of capital and capacity-building projects in communities throughout B.C., including upgrades to drinking- and waste-water facilities; recreational, sport and cultural infrastructure; local roads and bridges; solid waste management; community energy systems; and disaster mitigation measures.

“I’m thrilled to know that all of these projects are going forward, because I know they will make a positive impact for people in B.C.,” said Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson. “Our government is committed to working with local governments throughout the province to make life better for all British Columbians. This is a great example of strong partnerships working together for the benefit of people in the community.”

One of the capital projects being funded this year will improve the drinking-water supply in the Village of Granisle.

Funding is also going towards raising the dikes along the Kicking Horse River in Golden, to provide flood protection for the historic downtown area.

The District of Lake Country will build a new multi-generational activity centre, upgrade the local arena and renovate the seniors centre, significantly boosting recreational and fitness opportunities in the community.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates how all levels of government are working to improve core infrastructure in B.C. communities,” said UBCM President Wendy Booth. “The federal Gas Tax Fund is providing long-term support to renew facilities and strengthen asset-management practices throughout the province. Local governments appreciate this support and welcome this investment.”

The 54 capacity-building projects will focus on improving communities’ asset management, a process that integrates information about a community’s physical assets and finances to support efficient local decision making and sustainable service delivery.

Quick Facts:

The total federal Gas Tax Fund contribution towards the 112 projects in B.C. is $192,980,158.
This includes 58 capital projects ($184,539,746) and 54 capacity-building projects ($8,440,412).
The Government of Canada provides more than $278 million in indexed, annual funding for local government infrastructure in B.C. through the federal Gas Tax Fund.
UBCM administers the Gas Tax Fund in B.C., in partnership with the governments of Canada and B.C. The funding flows through UBCM to all local governments on a per capita basis.
The funding for these projects comes through the application-based Strategic Priorities Fund of the federal Gas Tax Fund in B.C.

Learn More:

For more information about the federal Gas Tax Fund:

For a list of projects funded through the current intake of the federal Gas Tax Fund:

Community Theatre Workshops - City of Quesnel

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Join us for a workshop to discuss the need for a community theatre in Quesnel! Share your thoughts on what a Quesnel community theatre should look like! Choose which workshop time works best for you:

Wednesday, March 14 | 6 pm - 9 pm
Quesnel Tillicum Society Native Friendship Centre, 319 North Fraser Drive

Thursday, March 15 | 9 am – 12 pm
Dunkley Room, West Fraser Centre, 330 Vaughan Street

If you’re unable to attend, take the survey online available on March 19 at

Thursday, March 8, 2018

International Women's Day 2018

Today (March 8th) is International Women's Day -- A global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity - a detailed background of this day can be viewed here

This year's world theme for International Women Day 2018 is Press for Progress.  Canada's 2018 International Women Day's theme is #MyFeminism.  More details about International Women's Day in Canada here

From a local government perspective - there are many women I have tremendous respect for, whether serving in an elected or staff position who do tremendous work in serving the public.

For those serving at a Staff level - the elected officials often do not thank them for the work they do behind the scenes, in my humble opinion.  For the work they do, I am forever grateful and words are never enough to express how much I, as one individual, am deeply appreciative, serving both the general public and the elected officials

At the elected level - there are many female local elected officials whom I hold in very high regard and often talk with for advice including local Cariboo Regional District Directors Joan Sorley and Margo Wagner.  Director Margo Wagner, of course, is our new Board Chair and is only the 2nd or 3rd female CRD Chair in the last 50 years that the Cariboo Regional District has existed.  I consider her to be a mentor and I'm personally pleased that she is Chair

On the CRD Board - there are 4 women on the Board of the 16 seats available or 20% of all seats available which is below gender parity of 50% or even the United Nations standard of a minimum of 33% of elected positions be female.  The closest the CRD Board came to the UN Standard was the 2011-14 Board where 6 of the 16 CRD Directors were female or 37.5% of all 16 seats were held by females.  The 2018-22 CRD Board can make gains on having more females on the Board

I look forward to the day when society treats females on the exact same level as men, whether on the basis of salary, positions, etc ... To do so is the right thing to do!


Preparing for the Next Emergency

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 many of you may have heard on the news, people in the Okanagan are being warned to start preparing for flooding this spring. After record setting floods last year, government officials are giving residents fair warning that 2018 could be just as bad, if not worse, since the region has seen an above average snow year leading to very high snow pack conditions.

Despite the accumulation of snow on the ground here, our region’s snow pack is just below normal. This may surprise some people because we’ve become accustomed to less snow, as our region has been experiencing drought for almost a decade, creating the conditions for greater forest fire risks in our area. While an immediate concern for us is how fast the accumulated low-level snow will melt off if the weather turns spring-like too quickly, our longer-term concern remains our region’s vulnerability to more catastrophic wildfires like last summer’s.

Unfortunately, some people may view the above statements as fear-mongering and others simply may not want to be reminded of last year’s emergencies and this year’s vulnerabilities. One of the reasons political leaders tend to quickly move on to other matters after emergencies are over -- despite their promises to do everything possible during the emergency to make sure the necessary steps are taken to prevent future such events -- is that voters, in general, also want to move on and don’t want to be constantly reminded of their vulnerabilities.

This makes exercising real leadership in the domain of emergency planning very difficult for politicians who are too sensitive to the vagaries of public sentiment. It also means we never get the unprecedented responses politicians promise during our increasingly unprecedented emergencies.

But, our new reality is that as our weather patterns shift as a result of climate change, we need to take more deliberate steps to plan for more weather-related emergencies and be willing to undertake unprecedented measures to moderate and mitigate the risks associated with a changing climate. To date, I have to say that the Provincial government has not undertaken any unprecedented measures to protect our communities from the increasing threats of flood or wildfires under both the past and present government.

To be fair, the current government is conducting a review and seeking public input on last year’s flood and wildfire events. The BC Flood and Wildfire Review is now well underway, and you can weigh in on this process at If you want the Provincial government to truly tackle the challenges associated with emergency preparedness and response, then please take the time to have your voice heard during this process.

The City of Quesnel is formally engaged in this provincial review and is recommending that the Province consider funding a full time emergency preparedness and response coordinator in our region, provide ongoing and easily accessible funding to maintain our emergency response systems and equipment, modernize the Emergency Social Services Response system, provide funding for the regional airport as an integral part of our emergency response system (the Province provides no operational funding for the airport), and consider legislative changes to enable us to coordinate our emergency response at the sub-regional level (e.g. North Cariboo rather than entire CRD) when the situation requires it.

If you are interested in learning more about our region’s growing wildfire risks to stimulate your thinking about how to respond to the Province’s Flood and Wildfire Review, please attend a special free presentation of the “Era of Megafires” this Thursday (March 8) at the Seniors Centre at 6:30 pm.

Quesnel Council Highlights - March 6th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Elliott Street Supportive Housing Project – Second Proposal

BC Housing, Proponent for the Elliott Street Housing project, has submitted a second proposal for their Supportive Housing development that would be located on 6 vacant lots within the 300 Block of Elliott Street. Highlights of the second proposal submitted includes:

Removes the short stay shelter and emergency shelter components of the development

Has 32 units of supportive housing with space for staff, programming and common facilities on the first floor.

Floor plans will continue to be a three storey building, although the footprint may be reduced.

30 residential units will be self-contained one-bedroom units with full washroom and kitchen with shared common laundry rooms.

2 units will be used by Northern Health for 4 beds of support recovery.

Next steps include:

BC Housing will issue a Request for Proposal to invite qualified non-profit societies to operate this project.

Once the Operator contract has been awarded, the exact needs for the first floor will be determined and finalized floor plans will be determined.

Public Consultation

Council to determine if the discretionary open house hosted BC Housing is required

Council will consider setting a date/time for the required Public Hearing should this development proceed.

City’s 2017 Fourth Quarter Report

The City’s fourth quarter report for 2017 was presented and includes each department’s key activities and statistics and lists an update for activities included in the Corporation’s 2017 Strategic Plan.

Sidewalk Food Vendor Permit

Council approved a Sidewalk Food Vendor Permit for Site #1 that is located on the corner of Reid Street and St. Laurent Avenue to Golden Boy Dog. The Proponent will have access to Site #1 for up to three years. City staff will work with the Proponent on alternative locations that may be required during the Reid Street Revitalization project that is scheduled to commence April 2018 and continue to late Fall 2018.

Bylaw of the Month Program - Dog Regulations

For the month of March 2018 the City’s Bylaw of the Month Program will focus on providing educational awareness, through the Bylaw Enforcement Department, around the following dog regulations:

Residents can keep up to a maximum of 3 dogs per house/dwelling and any dog over the age of 3 months must have a valid license which must be applied for prior to March 31st of each year.

Owners or caretakers must also ensure dogs are leashed in public spaces and clean up feces in a timely and sanitary manner, especially during the spring snow melt.

There is a $50 fine that may be applied if in contravention of the above regulations.


1829 Official Community Plan Amendment – Elliott Street Supportive Housing Development (1st Proposal) – Rescind First Reading and Stand Down

1830 Zone Amendment – Elliott Street Supportive Housing Development (1st Proposal) – Rescind First Reading and Stand Down

1848 Official Community Plan Amendment – Elliott Street Supportive Housing Development (2nd Proposal) – First Reading

1849 Zone Amendment – Elliott Street Supportive Housing Development (2nd Proposal) – First Reading

Next Meetings

5:30 pm, March 13, 2018 – North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee

7 pm, March 27, 2018 – Regular Council Meeting

Friday, March 2, 2018

Delainey vs Neufeld for Cariboo RD Area E Directorship

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

At 4 p.m. today, Chief Election Officer for the Cariboo Regional District, Alice Johnston, announced the candidates for the upcoming Area E by-election. The by-election is scheduled for April 7, 2018.

Angie Delainey and Melynda Neufeld were nominated to run for Electoral Area E Director in the by-election.

Advance polling will be available at the CRD’s Williams Lake office on March 28 and April 3, 2018. General voting day will be April 7, 2018. Polling station locations will be announced closer to the date.

The nomination period for candidates began at 9 a.m. on Feb. 20, 2018 and closed at 4 p.m. on March 2, 2018.

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of March 5-9

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

Wells - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, March 6th in Wells Community Hall - Banquet Room (4269 Sanders Avenue).  On the Agenda:

* ABC Communications Proposal
* District of Wells 2018 Proposed Budget
* 6 Letters from local Wells residents'

View the full Agenda here

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

Policy/Bylaw Review Committee - Tuesday, March 6th at 1:15pm. On the Agenda:

* Flexible Ride-Sharing Regulation in the Province of BC
* Follow Up Research - Petitions and Public Hearings - Policies and Brochure
* New Council Orientation Program - Discussion to Guide Staff

View the full Agenda here

Regular Council Meeting - Tuesday, March 6th at 7pm.  On the Agenda:

* 2018 North Central Local Government Association Resolutions - Professional Reliance/Changes to Grant Funding Programs
* 4th Quarter 2017 Update
* Sidewalk Food Vendor Permit
* New Elliott Street Supportive Housing Development (2nd Proposal)
* Bylaw of Month - Dog Regulations

View the full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Meetings as noted below:

Committee of the Whole Session (2018 Budget) - Monday, March 5th from 1-4pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (Basement - 450 Mart Street).  Agenda can be viewed here

Regular Council Meeting - Tuesday, March 6th at 6pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart Street).  On the Agenda:

* Delegations (2) -- Derek Godin, Cariboo Chilcotin Child Development Centre re Request to Install R.C. (Remote Control) Race Track in Boitano Park & Jeff Pelley, RCMP Inspector/Detachment Commander re Police Commission Year-End Report & New Strategic Plan

* 3 Permits for Approval -- 1 Temporary Permit, ! Development Variance Permit and 1 Development Permit
* 2 Committee of the Whole recommendations pertaining to Wildfires
* In-Camera Resolution to be reported -- Land Disposition/Rona Properties (GRB Holdings Ltd.) - 298 Proctor Street

View the full Agenda here

Finally - next week, there will be re-playing of the Era of Mega-Fires as follows:

100 Mile House

Tuesday, March 6 at 7 PM
100 Mile House Community Hall (265 Birch Avenue)

Williams Lake

Wednesday, March 7 at 7 PM
Gibraltar Room, Cariboo Memorial Regional Complex (525 Proctor Street)


Thursday, March 8th at 7 PM
Quesnel Seniors Centre, 461 Carson Avenue

Description of Era of Mega-Fires:

The Era of Mega Fires is a 90-minute live presentation featuring Dr. Paul Hessburg, a research landscape ecologist with Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station. In this live presentation, Hessburg explains that over the past decade, the number of large, severe wildfires has been on the rise. These megafires are wildfires that burn more than 100,000 acres; they can destroy or severely damage human communities, wildlife habitat, and natural resources. This special presentation conveys the conditions that lead to megafires and how they might be managed or mitigated.

“A future without wildfire isn’t an option,” Hessburg says. “So, what kind of future do we want for our forests? The goal of this project is to share a vocabulary and increase the understanding and ability of ordinary citizens so that they can enter into local discussions and planning for a more certain future for public forest lands."

Dr Hessburg will be present at both sessions (100 Mile House/Williams Lake)

CRD Board Highlights - March 2nd mtg

Present: Vice-Chair J. Massier; Directors T. Armstrong, J. Bruce, S. Forseth, M. Neufeld, A. Richmond, D. Cash, R. William, B. Anderson, B. Coakley, B. Kuch, B. Simpson, W. Cobb, M. Campsall and Alternate Directors J. Darney (Electoral Area 'F') and R. Cash (Electoral Area I)

Meeting Agenda adopted/Minutes of the CRD Board meeting held February 16th adopted

Delegations Memorandum of Business (MOB) received and at the request of Director Forseth, the delegation pertaining to CN Rail was removed from the Delegations MOB

Late Item -- Resolved, The Board gave 3rd Reading/Adoption to Quesnel Fringe Area Zoning Amendment Bylaw #5120, 2017 (Area A - Dougherty)


1) The Board received the January 2018 Municipalities and Cariboo Regional District Building Statistics Reports

2) The Board received an memorandum from the Manager of Development Services in regards to Additional Regulations for Secondary Suites, endorsed the 3 recommendations contained within it and directed Staff to report back at the March 23rd Board meeting

3) The Board endorsed two NDIT (Northern Development Initiative Trust) applications, as per Board Policy, as follows:

a) Nimpo Lake Community Trail System
b) Barkerville - Underground Mining Interpretation Project

4) The Board received Grant for Assistance applications (Year Round Intake) as follows:

a) Carrier Chilcotin Tribal Council - $1,000 from Areas I/J/K
b) Tatla Lake Elementary Junior Secondary School - $800 from Area J
c) Alexis Creek Community Club - $1,000 from Area K
d) Chilcotin Rod and Gun Club  - $1,000 from Area E/K

5) The Board approved changes to the 2018 Business/Financial Plans for the Building Inspection Service by increasing tax requisition by an additional $10,000 in 2018 to fund changes to the service delivery model for the function and the 2018 Business/Financial Plans for the Building Inspection Service be changed accordingly and a letter be forwarded to the Province in regards to lack of Building Inspectors

6) The Board approved changes to the 2018 Business/Financial Plans for the Planning Services Function by increasing tax requisition by an additional $122,000 to fund an additional position in the Planning Department and the 2018 Business/Financial Plans for the Function be changed accordingly

7) The Board approved submission of an 2018 North Central Local Government Association Resolution pertaining to Regional District By-Elections held in the year of a local general election as follows:

WHEREAS under the Local Government Act, municipalities are not required to conduct a by-election if a vacancy occurs after January 1st in a general election year;

AND WHEREAS under the Local Government Act, regional districts are required to conduct a by-election unless a vacancy occurs after June 1st in a general election year, which is expensive and unnecessary for such a short period of time:

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the NCLGA and UBCM lobby the provincial government to amend the Local Government Act to enable regional districts to decide whether they wish to conduct a by-election if a vacancy occurs after January 1st in a general election year.

Meeting recessed at 10:48am
Meeting resumed at 10:57am

8) The Board received the Consent Calendar, as of March 2nd, 2018

9) The Board received NCLGA/FCM/UBCM Member Items, as follows:

a) Village of Chase - Copy of Letter to Minister of Public Safety - Revenue from Cannabis Sales
b) Town of Oliver - Copy of Letter to Premier Horgan - Alberta-BC Trade War
c) Village of Chase - Prevention of Quagga and Zebra Mussels
d) District of Sicamous - Cannabis Sales Revenue Sharing
e) District of North Saanich - Resolution re Marihuana Addiction Treatment, Prevention and Education
f) City of Enderby - Revenue Sales from Cannabis
g) Township of Spallumcheen - Copy of letter to City of Courtenay - 2018 Resolution/Asset Management

10) The Board received the following minutes from its Committees/Commissions, as follows:

a) North Cariboo Joint Planning and School District #28 Joint Minutes - June 14, 2017
b) North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Minutes - October 25, 2017
c) North Cariboo Rural Directors Caucus Minutes - February 13, 2018
d) North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Minutes - February 13, 2018
e) Special Meeting, Committee of the Whole - February 15, 2018

11) The Board endorsed recommendations from its' Committees/Commissions as follows:

a) North Cariboo Appointments (North Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus Meeting - February 13th, 2018)
b) Proposed North Cariboo Agricultural Development Advisory Committee (North Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus Meeting - February 13th, 2018)

Board divided. Approved by the following vote:

Affirmative - Vice-Chair Massier; Directors Armstrong, Bruce, Neufeld, Richmond, William, Anderson, Coakley, Kuch, Simpson, Cobb, Campsall and Alternate Directors Darney/Cash

Negative - Director S. Forseth (Area D)

c) Funding Options for Quesnel Amateur Radio Operators (North Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus Meeting - February 13th, 2018)
d) Request for Funding - Paramill for the Arts and Recreation Centre (North Cariboo Joint Committee - February 13th, 2018)
e) Think Tank Session on the Future of Forestry (North Cariboo Joint Committee - February 13th, 2018)
f) Cariboo Strong Program - (Special Committee of Whole Board Meeting - February 15th, 2018)
g) Communications regarding Planning Applications and Issues - (Special Committee of Whole Board Meeting - February 15th, 2018)

12) The Board agreed to adopt West Fraser Fire Protection Service Boundary Amendment Bylaw No. 5131, 2018

13) At the request of Director Richmond (Area G) - the Board agreed to authorize funding from the  Area 'G' Director Initiative Fund up to $3,500 for him to attend the 2018 Federation of Canadian Municipalities Convention in Halifax, NS from May 31st to June 3rd, 2018

14) The Board received the report of Chair M. Wagner as of February 25th, 2018

Directors' reported on activities in their Electoral Area or Municipality

The Board then convened an In-Camera Meeting under the provisions of Section 90(1k - negotiations) of the Community Charter and after some time, adjourned its' meeting

CCRHD Board Highlights - March 2nd mtg

Present: Chair B. Simpson; Directors T. Armstrong, J. Bruce, J. Massier, S. Forseth, M. Neufeld, A. Richmond, D. Cash, R. William, B. Anderson, B. Coakley, B. Kuch, W. Cobb, M. Campsall, S. Watson and Alternate Directors J. Darney (Electoral Area 'F') and R. Cash (Area I)

Meeting Agenda adopted/Minutes of the CCRHD Board meeting held February 16th, 2018 adopted


1) The Board received the Hospital Consent Calendar

2) The Board received the Interior Health Authority's Capital Projects and Planning Status Report for January 2018

3) The Board received a Vancouver Sun article entitled "Metro Exempt from Hospital Capital" and a letter be forwarded to BC's Health Minister and copies to Northern/Interior Health  regarding cost sharing principle of 40/60 (RHD/Province) for hospital capital

4) The Board received the minutes of the special CCRHD Committee of the Whole meeting held on February 15th and endorsed 3 recommendations from that meeting, as follows:

a) Capital Planning Processes with Interior/Northern Health Authorities
b) Review of CCRHD Recruitment/Retention Policy
c) Funding Request from Northern Health - Building Integrity Projects

A Message from the Acting Mayor of Wells

This past Wednesday (February 28th) - the current Acting Mayor of the District of Wells (Councillor Birch Kuch) put the following message on the District of Wells website (see below):

To the People of Wells,

It came as a shock, 11 days ago, to find out that I would be Acting Mayor of our town until the end of March. Councillors Mandy Kilsby, Lindsay Kay, and I serve as your interim Council. Now that the shock has subsided, I look forward to a period where together we can develop a new set of customs for Council’s proceedings. By holding deliberations and negotiations in the open wherever it is allowed, and by incorporating the feedback of the community into our decisions, I hope to eventually engage all of you in determining the direction of our town.

Councillor Mandy Kilsby will take over as Acting Mayor from the beginning of April until June. There will be a by-election on June 9th, with a nomination period from April 24th to May 4th. It is expected that we will elect a new Councillor and Mayor. The municipal general election will be four months later, in October, where we will elect a whole new Council.

In other news, I recently met with Falko Kadenbach of ABC communications. I learned some details about our town’s internet system that I would like to disambiguate.

First, the communications tower on Slide Mtn was decommissioned in 2011. Our internet comes exclusively through fibre optic cable to the Community Hall, where it is spread around town. BGM, itself, has its own separate connection and does not contribute to the overload experienced in town. The town has three 4G WiMax Distribution systems, with 30 clients each. The increased population in town, in conjunction with people switching to bigger packages and using more, has led to regular peak time overload and the resulting problems.

I have invited Falko to present to Council next Tuesday a proposed Radio Site Lease Agreement between ABC and the District of Wells. He can explain our current situation, and the upgrades that would be possible under the agreement. There will be an opportunity to ask him questions, and to give input to Council.

Tuesday’s (March 6th) meeting will be held in the Banquet Room downstairs in the Community Hall. I will bring microphones, and we will talk about the 2018 budget and consider amendments. We may start earlier than the usual 7:00pm,  so keep posted. Please have your questions and comments somewhat prepared, and try to be succinct.

Thank you to staff for tuffing it out through the uncertainty.


Councillor Birch Kuch
Acting Mayor of Wells

Thursday, March 1, 2018

NStQ Leaders Encouraged by Federal Budget Indigenous Initiatives

Courtesy of the NStQ Treaty Group:

"As the prime minister has said many times, when it comes to renewing the relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples, we have a responsibility to do better and to do more," said Finance Minister Bill Morneau in his speech to the House of Commons. From the perspective of Northern Secwepemc te Qelmucw (NStQ) leaders, Mr. Morneau’s comment is a huge understatement. Perhaps it is finally time for Canada’s First Nations to see real, significant and positive change in the way Indigenous peoples are respected, viewed and treated within the fabric of Canadian society.

“This budget is a reflection of what First Nations have been saying for several years; that FN’s have not received equal funding for services provided, in comparison to the general society and provincial funding.” says Ann Louie, Northern Shuswap Tribal Council Board of Directors Treasurer and Williams Lake Band chief. “This is a very positive step towards reconciliation, especially in the area of Treaty negotiations where we will no longer have to take out loans to negotiate what was rightfully ours in the beginning. Hopefully these measures are implemented immediately, so that we do not have to continually go to court to prove our overall rights.”

The federal budget commits new dollars to allow First Nations to move beyond the Indian Act while continuing investments aimed at closing spending gaps in areas long seen as irritants in the relationship between Canada and Indigenous peoples. Under a chapter titled 'Reconciliation', the 2018 budget earmarks new funding for Indigenous child welfare, health care, water and housing, alongside new funding arrangements and cash for self-government and modern-day treaty negotiations.

Canada is also planning to end its use of loan funding for First Nations negotiating modern treaties, which the NStQ see as a tremendously positive step forward, having been engaged with the tripartite BC Treaty Process for almost 30 years. Negotiations have often generated substantial debts for First Nations, compelling them to borrow from government to pay negotiators. Ottawa will now provide such funding through non-repayable contribution agreements.

“The NStQ fully supports Canada in its steps to move towards a rights recognition approach. A big part of this change in direction will be the much needed changes to our fiscal relationship with Canada”, says Patrick Harry, Northern Shuswap Tribal Council Board of Directors Spokesperson and Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation chief. “NStQ fully supports these steps to replace the current use of loan funding with non-repayable contribution funding. These changes will assist NStQ with its ultimate goal of reaching, and thriving under, an NStQ government. The Northern Shuswap plan on meeting with Minister Carolyn Bennett over the next week in our territory and these changes will definitely be on our Agenda.”

In January 2016, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal determined that Ottawa discriminated against FN’s children by underfunding child welfare services and ordered Ottawa to increase funding and overhaul the system. The new funding announced in the 2018 budget brings total investment in Indigenous child welfare services — including base funding and dollars announced in 2016 — to about $6.67 billion over the next five years. The budget also provides about $101.5 million over the next five years for First Nations to create their own governance structures outside of Indian Act rules, which have been long criticized as restrictive and paternalistic.

“While the tribunal ordering the Federal Government to increase funding for child & welfare services is seen a positive move forward, we also require the resources to support moving this forward in BC, utilizing First Nations’ preferred Holistic approach. We want jurisdiction over our children, which is a big piece of Self Government”, stated Mike Archie, Northern Shuswap Tribal Council Board of Directors Vice-Chair and Canim Lake Band chief. “It is of the utmost importance that we take our rightful place in society, by meeting the needs of our community now and in future, without the constraints of the Indian Act.”

The NStQ looks forward to working with the government of Canada with a renewed sense of optimism, and the hope that the British Columbia government also immediately moves forward with its commitment to improving efficiencies within the tripartite treaty negotiations process.

Canadian 2018 Most Dangerous Places

Recently - Maclean's Magazine published its "Most Dangerous Places in Canada, 2018 list

According to its ranking which requires a location to have a population of 10,000 or greater, the City of Williams Lake (population: 10,508) ranked 4th of 229 places in Canada that is dangerous to reside in, according to MacLean's magazine's statistical data that they've obtained from Statistics Canada

Nearby other BC City rankings included:

Prince George - 11th of 229 (population: 73,004)
Kamloops - 23rd of 229 (population: 90,280)

View the full list here


Thinking about running for local office in October 2018?

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

People considering running in local elections now have access to resources that provide information about the roles and responsibilities of elected local officials.

Educational videos and a brochure are available online, at local government candidate information sessions and at orientations for newly elected officials. These new resources will help people to make informed decisions about running for local government offices.

General information about expectations of locally elected officials, their roles and responsibilities and about how local governments make decisions is available through these new resources.

The informative videos feature current local government officials and staff from throughout the province providing their perspectives in five areas:

What is local government?
Characteristics of an effective local official
Roles and responsibilities of staff and elected officials
Testing readiness to be an elected official
What contributes to effective decision making?

In an effort to create awareness, the Local Government Management Association, Local Government Leadership Academy, Union of B.C. Municipalities and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing worked to develop the materials for a diverse audience of prospective candidates.

Learn More:

Thinking of running for local office?


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Steve's Meeting/Expense Calendar - February 2018

In the month of February 2018 - I attended the following meetings or events:

Feb 1st/2nd - 2018 Local Government Leadership Academy's Annual Leadership Forum, held in Richmond BC

February 14th - Conference call with TELUS Northern BC General Manager Lance MacDonald to set up a meeting for McLeese Lake for High Speed Internet and also High Speed Internet service concerns for those on Fox Mountain in Electoral Area 'D'.  The meeting at McLeese Lake is currently scheduled to be held on Thursday, April 5th at 7pm at the McLeese Lake Community Hall

February 15th - Committee of the Whole Sessions for the Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional Hospital District and Cariboo Regional District Boards'

February 16th - Meetings of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional Hospital District and Cariboo Regional District Boards'

February 20th - Site visit to Orica Canada Ltd, near Gibraltar Mines which has applied for a rezoning change to the Central Cariboo Rural Land Use Bylaw with Cariboo RD Area 'A' Director Ted Armstrong and Orica Canada Ltd/Xat'sull First Nations representatives.

February 22nd - Attended the monthly meeting of the Williams Lake/District Chamber of Commerce and also the McLeese Lake Recreation Commission

February 28th - Meeting of the Central Cariboo CRD Rural Directors' Caucus Committee

As for expenses submitted in the month of February 2018:

Feb 1st/2nd - $150 for 2018 Local Government Leadership Academy's Annual Leadership Forum and $399.60 for mileage from Richmond BC to Williams Lake

February 15th - $185 for Committee of the Whole meetings
February 16th - $185 for CCRHD/CRD Board meetings
February 28th - $75 for Central Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus Committee


New Chief of Xeni Gwet'in First Nations Gov't (Nemiah Valley)

This afternoon, the electors of Xeni Gwet'in (Nemiah Valley), one of the 6 Bands that make up the Tsilhqot'in National Government elected a new Chief for a 5 year term, commencing immediately

His name is Jimmy Lulua, 33

More details here


BC Rural Dividend grants support community projects in the Cariboo

Courtesy of the Government of British Columbia:

As part of its rural development mandate, the Government of British Columbia is providing a total of $139,900 to 14 community organizations and First Nations in the Cariboo Region, Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Minister Doug Donaldson announced today.

The funding is part of nearly $700,000 in project development grants being awarded to eligible local governments, First Nations and not-for-profit organizations under the BC Rural Dividend program. These grants, of up to $10,000 each, help rural communities develop projects to stabilize their economies and create long-term local employment.

“Congratulations to everyone involved,” said Donaldson. “The selected projects reflect the strength of rural communities – people working together for the good of the community.”

Project Funded:

Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association in Williams Lake is being awarded $9,992 to help tourism operators and businesses improve digital marketing to world markets through a feasibility study and database for digital readiness, and a foundation for future applications if gaps are identified.

The Cariboo Mining Association in Quesnel is being awarded $10,000 to produce a Placer Mining Best Management Practices Guide to cover the basics of prospecting – with one document for hand operations and one for mechanical operations.

The Carrier Chilcotin Tribal Council is being awarded $10,000 to create a framework for two of the main components of a project to enhance the 350-kilometre Nuxalk-Dakelh Grease Trail – restoration/maintenance logistics and promotion/marketing.

The City of Quesnel is being awarded $10,000 to prepare an economic transition strategy for the city with measureable objectives, timelines and action steps.

The District of Wells is being awarded $10,000 to complete a business recruitment, retention and expansion strategy to identify ways to support existing businesses and attract new ones.

The Esk’etemc First Nation in Alkali Lake is being awarded $10,000 to update its economic development strategy, creating a foundation for the next five years by engaging with the community and working with a consultant to identify and support new opportunities.

The Island Mountain Arts Society in Wells is being awarded $9,950 to purchase donor management systems and find other ways to increase the sources and types of funding to offset annual operations.

The McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Department Society is being awarded $9,958 to train and upgrade the skills of its volunteer members so they can be on the BC Wildfire Service standby list for wildfire season, and can train to become first responders.

The North Cariboo Agricultural Marketing Association in Quesnel is being awarded $10,000 to help the newly formed North Cariboo Agricultural Development Advisory Committee establish a Quesnel Agriculture Centre that will encourage retention, expansion and development of agri-businesses and farms in the region by providing a knowledge hub for best practices.

The Pet Safe Coalition Society of Canada in Quesnel is being awarded $10,000 to develop a post-wildfire strategic plan so it can identify ways to more effectively prepare for future disasters.

The Quesnel and District Heritage Association is being awarded $10,000 for a 10-year strategic plan to develop the Quesnel Antique Machinery Park into an attractive historical tourism destination for the North Cariboo.

The Quesnel Crafters Society is being awarded $10,000 to create a marketing plan to expand their market for high-quality art and artisan products, and increase opportunities for their Cariboo Keepsakes retail store.

The Quesnel Rodeo Club is being awarded $10,000 for a marketing strategy that identifies opportunities, potential partners and strategies to reach future participants and potential audiences.

The Sunset Theatre Society in Wells is being awarded $10,000 to assess the requirements for a touring and outreach program to bring plays developed by First Nations artists through its exploration series to the Cariboo Region and beyond.

The rural dividend encourages economic diversification, innovation, sustainability and collaboration, and recognizes the diverse needs of individual communities.

Quick Facts:

Projects were assessed and approved based on the following criteria:

Rural communities most in need.
Improved community resiliency and economic strength.
Partnership building and enhanced shared prosperity.
Project feasibility and sustainability.
Economic impact on rural communities.
Attracting and retaining youth.
Innovation in economic development.

Learn More:

Rural Dividend:

CC Rural Directors' Caucus Highlights - Feb 28th mtg

Present: Chair M. Neufeld and Directors S. Forseth, J. Sorley and B. Anderson

Meeting called to order at 3:00pm

Meeting Agenda approved
Minutes of the January 24th CCRC Meeting approved


Williams Lake RCMP Inspector Jeff Pelley and City of Williams Lake Community Services Mgr Dave Dickson appeared before the Committee to provide an update

Discussion ensued thereon

The Chair, on behalf of the Committee, thanked Inspector Pelley/Mr. Dickson for their time/information


1) The Committee received two items from Director Forseth, deferred from last month's Committee meeting, as follows:

a) Round 2 of Wildfires Engagement Meetings
b) Proposed Conventional Transit Services in Electoral Areas D, E, F

2) The Committee received an invitation to the March 15th, 2018 City of Williams Lake Birthday Tea

3) The Committee held a discussion on its' Terms of Reference

The Committee adjourned at 4:35pm

Engaging with our youth

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 always bothers me when I hear decision makers, especially political leaders, say “the children are our future,” as the reality is that the decisions we adults make today dramatically impact the future our children will actually inherit. That’s why it’s so critical to make every effort to engage our youth in decision making at all levels of government and that we ensure we keep their rights in mind as we shape their future.

But, engaging young people in our decision-making must, as with all engagement efforts, result in actual influence over the decisions we make. Youth, in particular, are very cynical of the efforts of adults who want to engage them just to say they have and not to actually change the outcome of their deliberations. However, decision-making is often complicated and very seldom black-and-white, and most young people don’t have the necessary background, the patience, or the willingness to compromise required to participate in most decision-making processes (few adults do too!). Therefore, it’s up to us to try and engage youth in ways that enable them to see success, to see the direct outcomes of their input and insights, in order to entice them to participate more often and more deeply in the decisions that matter to their present and future well-being.

Some teachers and activists are very good at empowering young people to influence events and decisions in their community. The year over year efforts of a group of young people, coordinated by a couple of parent activists, toward fundraising and visioning for a new skate board park in West Quesnel is a prime example of how youth can persist in pushing an agenda even when the odds appear to be stacked against them. When the new skate board park is completed this year, I hope these young people will be able to take great pride in their efforts and feel empowered to take on other similar challenges in the future.

Last week, two grade eight students presented Council with a cheque on behalf of their last year’s grade seven class at Riverview Elementary. With their teacher’s help and guidance, the students fundraised for a community legacy project and last year’s class chose to donate the money they raised toward the planned revitalization of Lewis Rink. It was great to see these two young people appear before Council to formally make their contribution to our community on behalf of their class.

There are times though that young people in our community truly challenge us to think very differently. One young girl appeared before Council last year to educate us on the serious problems associated with single use plastic bags, both at the community and global level. Her presentation was thoughtful and detailed and her challenge to Council to address single use waste materials was turned over to an intern working for the City (another bright young mind) who laid out the issue for our Policy Committee in all its complexities. Nothing is simple when it comes to consumer waste!

The initiative and courage this young girl demonstrated in order to appear before Council and to challenge us to take on a complicated issue has now morphed into a complete rethink of how we will be approaching our planned review of our entire waste management system. Rather than simply undertaking a technical review of our landfilling and recycling processes, we will now be engaging in a process to better understand how Quesnel can become a leader in zero-waste and full material recovery initiatives. We also want to engage the public in this process as, at the end of the day, everyone needs to make better consumer choices if we want to truly reduce the waste we create in the first place.

As a Council we will continue to seek ways to engage youth in our decision making so they can actively shape their future here in our community.

Quesnel Council Highlights - Feb 27th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

West Fraser Timber – Quesnel Fibre and Operations Update

Council received an update regarding West Fraser Quesnel fiber and operations from D'Arcy Henderson, Regional Manager and Stuart Lebeck, Woods Manager. The presentation provided an overview of:


Located in Quesnel – Head Office and five mills: West Fraser Sawmill, Cariboo Pulp & Paper, Quesnel River Pulp, WestPine MDF, West Fraser Plywood
1,441 direct employees with an annual payroll of $111.3 million to direct employees
1,945 indirect and induced jobs in the region
$19.3 million annual provincial and local taxes paid
$81.3 million paid for contract services from loggers, truckers and other businesses
$1.3 million in donations over the past five years, with the most recent contribution to the West Fraser Centre

West Fraser - Managing the Land

West Fraser manages an area-based tenure, Tree Farm License 52. West Fraser has sustainably managed Tree Farm License 52 for more than 60 years that ensures a stable future supply of timber for mill operations and corresponding community jobs.
West Fraser – Green Bioenergy

Produce renewable energy at three mills in Canada, using Organic Rankine cycle bioenergy generators. West Fraser has a further 20 mills across Canada that produce green energy in other ways.

Region-Wide Fibre Impacts

Harvest level reduction expected from current: 50% for 100 Mile House, 51% for Williams Lake and 60% for Quesnel.
Timber supply has been further impacted by 2017 wildfires.

Explore Cariboo Grant Application

Council approved City staff to submit a grant application to the Northern Development Initiative Trust, Marketing Initiatives fund, for the Explore Cariboo project. The City of Quesnel has partnered with the Cariboo Regional District, District of Wells, City of Williams Lake, Williams Lake Indian Band, and the District of 100 Mile House on an Explore Cariboo project that will promote travel to the region. The messaging and materials focuses on festivals throughout the region and encourages travellers to arrive for a festival and stay to explore the area.

Minerals North – Hosting Opportunity

Council approved City staff to put forward an application package for the City of Quesnel to be considered to host the Minerals North annual conference in 2020. If the City of Quesnel is successful in this bid, the Minerals North conference would be held in Quesnel over three days tentatively scheduled from Wednesday, April 29 to Friday, May 1, 2020. The City is interested in becoming more of hosting venue for conferences and conventions utilizing the City’s facilities.


1843 Council Procedures – Change Start Time of Council Meeting to 6 pm – Final Adoption (Take Effect November 6, 2018)
1827 Solid Fuel Burning – Final Adoption

Next Meetings

7 pm, March 6, 2018 – Regular Council Meeting
5:30 pm, March 13, 2018 – North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee

Pink Shirt Day 2018

Today is Pink Shirt Day - a day to recognize bullying, in all of its' forms and everywhere it occurs - in public, in the workplace and at home

The history of this day goes back to Nova Scotia in 2007 when local Grade 9 student Charles Mcneil was bullied for wearing a pink shirt during the first day of school. Subsequently, David Shepherd and Travis Price of Berwick, Nova Scotia then bought and distributed 50 pink shirts to support Charles Mcneil. Since then, it has grown all across the world. It is also referred to as "Anti-Bullying Day". in 2012, the United Nations declared May 4th as "Anti-Bullying Day"

2018's Pink Shirt Day theme is "Nice Needs No Filter" and a focus on "Cyber-Bullying"

More details can be viewed here

And if I might - a little personal testimony here:

From 1993 - 1997 was the period of high school and it was where I suffered either bullying or intimidation and back then, the consequences were not as easily understood as they are today.  A couple of years ago -- an individual, whom I won't name here, reached out to me and asked for forgiveness for his actions where he/I were in the same high school - Columneetza Senior Secondary in 1995-97.  After so many years, I felt it was important to forgive him and move on.  Primarily because, most in their teenager years don't appreciate the consequences of their actions until many years later, which this situation reminded me of a story I heard at an economic development conference I attended in Salmon Arm in April 2015 around how poorly Nelson Mandela was treated in South African prisons and later on became the President of South Africa -- Mandela asked the same guards who treated him poorly to attend his presidential inauguration and it was noted at the end of the story  -- That is forgiveness

Tips I've learned over time experiencing bullying whether in school, in the workplace or elsewhere:

1) Take time for yourself/allow a period to cool down/take a holiday to achieve balance
2) Build support networks in your workplace - also important for those serving in local, provincial or federal governments
3) If you have a Code of Conduct in your workplace (like the Cariboo RD does) and suffer humiliation, bullying or intimidation -- make use of it and try to get the behaviour corrected...

I hope for the day that bullying, in all its' forms, will be something left in the past and where everyone is accorded respect and feels safe in their workplaces/homes and where difference of opinions are welcomed


Tuesday, February 27, 2018

2018 NDIT Business Facade Improvement Program Available

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) has approved the City of Williams Lake’s application for a $20,000 Business Façade Improvement Program grant for another year. The funds will be delivered through a local Business Façade Improvement Program to improve retail and commercial building facades in the City’s downtown and highway commercial corridor. A primary purpose of the program is to assist in improving the physical appearance and/or functionality of commercial buildings to increase business viability and service to the public.

By facilitating improvements to business facades, business areas can become more appealing to consumers, thereby increasing the marketability of commercial spaces and assisting business viability and retention.

Existing buildings in the Downtown and Highway Corridor Development Permit areas of the City of Williams Lake are eligible for the program. Building owners, or business owners with written authorization of the property owner, can apply to the City for a 50% reimbursement grant up to a maximum of $5,000 for approved façade improvement projects.

Examples of eligible improvements include exterior works such as decorative and architectural details, signage, accessibility and entranceway improvements, and lighting.

The City is accepting applications until May 31, 2018.

The Business Façade Improvement Program application and guidelines are now available on the City’s website at

For more information about funding programs and Northern Development Initiative Trust success stories, visit their website at

For more information, please contact Linda Evans, Development Services Coordinator, at (250) 392-1765 or