Wednesday, September 17, 2008

WL Arts Council Public Consulting - CRD Bylaw #4420 (Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function)

A friendly reminder that the Central Cariboo Arts Council is hosting an "Open House" at Heritage House (across from Kiwanis Park) on CRD Bylaw #4420, 2008 tomorrow (Thurs. Sept 18) (Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function - Financial Contribution). It starts at 4pm and runs until 7pm

If you didn't make the 1st Public Meeting on the above on Sept 10th at the Gibraltar Room and if you have any questions on CRD Bylaw #4420, then I encourage you to go this meeting and ask your questions on this Bylaw as the AAP (Alternative Approval Process - counter-petition) process is slated, at this point, to get underway in October. Again, I intend with my family to vote against this Function as I don't think it is responsible use of taxpayers' dollars and Arts & Culture funding is not a local taxpayer responsibility, but provincial/federal gov't one.

I'm going to be at a School Board (Board of Education - SD#27) meeting tomorrow evening at 7pm, asking the Board their view on the Marie Sharpe Elementary (replacement) Project

Central Cariboo/City of Williams Lake Joint Committee Meeting

This evening, members of the Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee met to consider a number of items including the future of solid waste in the Central Cariboo (ie: Recycling, diversion of waste, etc) (Note - Directors R. Mumford / A. Bracewell and Mayor Nelson, Councillor Wolbers not present)

Review of the Solid Waste Plan for the Central Cariboo - Recommendations:

i) Close Wildwood Transfer Station

ii) Have Recycling Depot at Central Cariboo Transfer Station - Area 'F' Director Duncan Barnett is opposed to this and prefers another location for these bins

iii) Have attendants at 150 Mile + Central Cariboo Transfer Station - Councillor Ed Mead wants to ensure that attendants are friendly towards the public and ensure the right material gets to the right bin

iv) Increase Tipping Fees

These recommendations, I'm sure, will be subject to the 2009 Town Hall Meetings. I suspect that the closure of the Wildwood Transfer Site will not sit too well with Area 'D' Residents. I still question Area 'F' Director Duncan Barnett's approach to working with the City of Williams Lake to having a strong "Central Cariboo" Recycling Program. Instead of confrontation, he needs to lower his voice and request Staff to look at different options to ensure Recycling is available to all Area D, E and F residents'. I don't particularly care for his confrontational nature towards Staff especially when he reads something in a newspaper and then waving it at a meeting in a confrontational nature and claim "Why wasn't I consulted". My approach is different - work with Staff behind the scenes when I have a difference with them or when something is in the paper and need clarification on it.

Also - we should see something on Marie Sharpe Elementary next year. A Policy Change from Victoria (Ministry of Education) means some more work on the Marie Sharpe Elementary school project. The 5-year, $750,000 Central Cariboo Joint Committee made to the Board of Education - SD#27 to go towards a community gym is still a go (at this point)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

CRD BBQ + Board Meeting

A friendly reminder, as well, that the CRD Board Northern Directors' will be hosting a Community BBQ in LeBourdais Park in Quesnel from 5-7pm on Thursday, September 18th. The CRD Board of Directors' will be meeting at 9:30am on Friday, September 19th in Quesnel Council Chambers. I would encourage all of you to attend either or both events

Quesnel Council Meeting - Sept 15

A friendly reminder that Quesnel Council will be meeting at 7pm on September 15th in Quesnel Council Chambers

Local Government Elections

This is a friendly reminder, to those who read my Blog, that notwithstanding the current Federal Election, there are going to local government elections in the Fall for the following:

School Boards (SD 27 and 28) - 7 Trustees to be elected

City of Williams Lake - 1 Mayor and 6 Councillors to be elected

City of Quesnel - 1 Mayor and 6 Councillors to be elected

District of 100 Mile House/Wells - 1 Mayor and 4 Councillors to be elected

Cariboo Regional District - 12 Electoral Area Directors from Areas A-L to be elected

It only takes 2 voters from each School Trustee Zone, City of Williams Lake and Quesnel and Districts of 100 Mile House and Wells as well as CRD Electoral Areas A-L to nominate a individual to an office. Chief Election Officers' may take nominations on Tuesday, September 30th at 9:00am until Friday, October 10th, 2008 at 4pm. No further nominations will be accepted after 4pm on Friday, October 10th

Quesnel Local Elections:

We know that 2 Individuals (Mayor Bello and Councillor Mary Sjostrom) will be seeking the Mayors' Chair in Quesnel, 1 SD 28 Trustee (Louise Scott) is retiring and another SD 28 Trustee (Caroline Nielsen - current SD 28 Chair - Board of Education) will seek re-election. Councillor Sushil Thapar will be seeking re-election

Williams Lake Elections:

Councillor Paul French has announced that he wants to become the next Mayor of Williams Lake. It is rumoured that Kerry Cook intends to, at some future point, to announce that she will seek the Mayor's Chair for a unprecedented 4th time. Laurie Walters and Chuck Pearson have both announced that they want to be City Councillors. Incumbents Tom Barr, Surinderpal Rathor and Judy O'Neill have not yet announced that they will be seeking re-election but I expect this to occur in due course but prior to October 10. Also, no one has indicated their intentions with respect to SD#27 Board Trustee Elections. I hope that the current Zone 4 (CRD Area 'F') Trustee and Zone 6 SD#27 Trustee (City of Williams Lake) are both defeated as they have failed to serve their residents and do what their residents' have asked of them and stand up for their respective schools. Also CRD Directors (Incumbents) for Areas D, E and F have not publicly stated their intentions for this fall's elections however, everyone does know I am running to become the next Area 'F' Director. No word about Area D and E elections though

WL Council Highlights - Sept. 9th

Delegations (4):

i) Presentation to Numourous Business/Individuals re: Brahma Bull Statue (by A&W on Highway 97 South)

ii) Presentation to RCMP Cpl Dan Brennan after 20 yrs of service to Williams Lake.

iii) Irene Willsie requested Council for "Take Back the Night" walk and placing decals on City vehicles. Both requests were endorsed

iv) Laurie McKenzie presented to Council a 2500 person petition requesting Council to hire 2 new RCMP Officers'


1) Council agreed with the Mayor's recommendation to send a letter to IH informing them that they will be charged for RCMP costs unless a detox centre is provided or there are signs that significant reductions in drug/alcohol activity is evident that involves RCMP resources

2) Council gave 1st, 2nd, and 3rd reading to a Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw. The tax exemption bylaw allows property owners in the downtown specified area to maintain their current level of City taxes for up to three years based on a minimum investment (improvement) to their property

3) Cariboo Friendship Society's "Supportive Housing" Proposal received 3rd Reading and Adoption, after no one to spoke against the proposal at the Public Hearing held earlier in the evening.

4) The City's 80th Birthday is in March of 2009. Staff were directed to make preparations to recognize this event

5) Aviator Hotel proposal, besides Laughing Loon Pub, received 2nd Reading following favourable comments from the APC. The Public Hearing will be held on this proposal on October 14th, 2008 at 7pm in Council Chambers. If you wish to comment formally on this proposal, that will be the date for you to make your submission to Council

6) Council will send a letter to the Provincial Government encouraging them to provide financial support to Heritage Sites like Barkerville, Hat Creek Ranch and Cottonwood House

Next Council Meeting: September 30th, 2008 at 7:30pm

Outcome of Meetings - Arts and Culture Function & Fire Protection from WL to Fringe Areas

Arts and Culture:

I wanted everyone know that I was in attendance at the Sept 10th meeting on CRD Bylaw 4420 (Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Bylaw). I thought the information that was presented was "amateurish" at best. WL Arts Council didn't make a strong case as to why a local Arts and Culture tax bylaw should be adopted. I still intend to both vote against this bylaw when it comes up for AAP in October and if I get the chance, I fully intend to withdraw the bylaw as it is not in the best interest of Area 'F' resident, in my humble judgement

Fire Protection - Fringe Areas of "Front" side of Fox Mountain (facing Highway 97 North), Esler Subdivision and portions of Dog Creek Rd.

This meeting with residents' took place Thurs evening at 7pm. Facts/figures as to individual property owners was presented. Numourous questions around costs for this service and general comments that it was about time for this service to come were made as well. General consensus was that this service, if ultimately adopted, would be in the best interests of Area D and E residents'. It was also commented that Phase 1 and Phase 2 Zone Fire Protection Contracts with the City of WL were in the process of eventually be merged into 1 Master Fire Protection Contract with the City of Williams Lake. Those who will be benefiting from Phase 2 Fire Protection (Fringe Areas) with the City of Williams Lake, I would urge you and your neighbours to get your formal petition documents in ASAP so this service can commence ASAP. Not only that, you will see a reduction in your house insurance.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

BC Liberals Cariboo-Chilcotin Riding Association Golf Tournament on September 19th

Hello all:

Pls note that the September 19th Golf Tournament for the BC Liberals - Cariboo-Chilcotin Riding Association has been cancelled due to lack of registrations

Meetings - WL Arts Council and Fire Services

1) WL Arts Council

Today (September 10th), from 4-7pm, at the Gibraltar Room, the WL Arts Council will be conducting an Open House on CRD Bylaw #4420, 2008 (Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Service Establishment Bylaw). If you get time, pls come out and tell them what you think on this new Function for 2009.

2) Fire Services in Area D Fringe vis-a-vis City of Williams Lake

Tomorrow night (September 11th) at 7pm in Council Chambers, the CRD/City of WL will be discussing extending Fire Services to portions of Fox Mountain, Esler and Dog Creek Road with local residents. If you live in either area, pls attend and tell your elected officials whether or not you want this important service and are you willing to pay for it.

Another Steve Rant

1) Fall Sitting of BC Legislature

Today, Hon. Mike DeJong (Minister of Aboriginal Relations) announced that a Fall Sitting would not take place. The NDP Opposition immediately pounced on the government cancellation of the Fall Sitting. Personally, if there isn't work to do then really it is a judgment call on business to be considered and money used to have the House sit. Obviously the government felt that it wasn't appropriate use of taxpayers' money to have the House sit while the government has no business to propose to the House. 4 Government Bills remain on the Order Paper however the Government has decided that those Bills can wait until Feb of '09.

2) Increasing numbers of Directors sitting on the CRD Board

In today's Quesnel Cariboo Observer, Mayor Bello stated his intention to ask the CRD to increase Quesnel's representation on the CRD Board from 1 to 2. Allow me to pick apart why his logic is flawed. Right now, 16 Directors from Areas A-L (12 Directors) with 4 others from Quesnel, WL, 100 Mile House and Wells (4 Directors) comprise the CRD Board of Directors. The Board has 2 Voting system (Corporate/Stakeholder - Weighted/Unweighted). Unweighted means each Director gets 1 Vote. Weighted Votes are when financial matters are considered. Each Director is assigned a number of weighted votes. The actual formula for weighted votes are: "1 Vote = 2500 persons living in each Electoral Area/Municipality". Therefore, Williams Lake would get 5 Weighted Votes, Quesnel would receive 4 Weighted Votes and the 12 Electoral Areas would be assigned 1-3 weighted votes per Electoral Area, depending on actual population numbers in said Electoral Area. The problem with Mayor Bello's logic is that he complains he is outvoted 4-1 at the Board table, however if he were to work with the Northern Directors and not to act like "Holier than Thou" attitude towards the Directors', I believe that more would get done in the North Cariboo. The same would apply to the Central/South Cariboo regions. At the end of the day, municipal Directors need to work with the rural directors to get things done for their City/District, not increase number of directors at the CRD Board table. The Regional District system of local government works fairly well, although minor tweaking would be a good thing. Also, inviting First Nation Bands' to sit on the CRD Board I think would be a good thing, however that would have to be negotiated with the local First Nations' Bands as to weighted votes, participation in Functions, etc.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Quesnel Council Highlights - September 2nd

Delegations (1) - Council welcomed 2008 Miss Quesnel Royalty to their roles. The Miss Quesnel Royalty will spend the next year being Ambassadors for Quesnel, both inside Quesnel and at out-of-town events. The City of Quesnel provides a Fee-For-Service to help support the Miss Quesnel Self-Development program


1) Council approved a development permit that will see significant changes to the property at 678 Doherty Dr. (Kwik Kleen). The building will have a second floor added, with a significant change to the roofline and general look of the building. Council was pleased with the reinvestment made by a local business owner and noted how the changes will really enhance the area.

2) Council received a different kind of request for an event in LeBourdais Park. As Homeless Action Week runs Oct. 12 to 19, the Quesnel Shelter and Support Society is hosting a “Spend a Night in the Cold for our Community’s Homeless” in LeBourdais Park from 5 p.m. on Oct. 15 to 9 a.m. on Oct. 16. The event is designed to raise awareness of the extent of homelessness, and the causes and solutions to it.

The society is looking for at least 127 participants, the number of unique clients the new shelter facility has welcomed since it opened on May 12, 2008.
Executive Director Shannon Croy also offered an invitation to Council to attend the ribbon cutting and Open House for the new shelter facility, Seasons House, at 146 Carson Ave. The public is invited to the Open House starting at 11:30 a.m. on Monday Sept. 15.
Council approved the request for use of the park and wished the Society well in its efforts

3) Council reviewed the new Frequently Asked Questions document that has been prepared to help inform the public about the Nov. 15 referendum regarding the proposed Multi-Centre. The Cariboo Regional District and City of Quesnel are holding the referendum to determine the future of the Multi-Centre project. For more information, visit:

4) While Quesnel didn’t formally compete in the Communities in Bloom program this year, there’s still a lot of competitive spirit to be found. Once again Council competed in its annual “Council Over a Planter” event, with Councillors arranging a flower planter for display. This year’s winner was Councillor Ron Paull, with Coun. Mary Sjostrom in second and Coun. Peter Couldwell taking third. Council thanked staff for their efforts in maintaining the many annual and perennial beds that beautify the community each year.

5) This Saturday, Sept. 6, sees the first Super Saturday taking place. The event includes Try it Out Day (an opportunity to try your hand at various sports and activities at West Fraser Timber Park), Central Registration at the Arts and Recreation Centre, and a Volunteer Fair at West Park Mall. All the events run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A full schedule is available on the City’s website at

Important Dates:

September 8 - Committee of the Whole Session at 7pm
September 15 - Regular Council Meeting at 7pm

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Another Candidate for WL Council

In today's WL Tribune...

Laurie Walters, longtime City advocate of Arts announces her intention to seek a City Councillor seat

Read more here