Monday, November 30, 2009

Breaking News - CRD awarded title of "Forest Capital of Canada

At a press conference this morning, the Cariboo Regional District was awarded the prestigous title of "Forest Capital of Canada" for 2010 & 2011

Congrats to Staff/Directors at the Cariboo Regional District, Staff and Councils throughout the Cariboo-Chilcotin and Forest Industry Leaders in the Cariboo-Chilcotin region for successfully lobbying for this prestigous title of "Forest Capital of Canada"

I look forward to seeing the Cariboo Regional District using the designation of "Forest Capital of Canada" to enhance our economic development efforts in 2010 & 2011

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Steve Rant - City of WL Deputy Mayor & Mackenzie Avenue

On Tuesday, WL Council is set to meet and one of the topics for discussion is the appointment of Acting Mayors for 2010. For the record, this is the recommendation from City of WL Staff on this subject:

That pursuant to the report of the Corporate Services / Records Management Coordinator dated November 25, 2009, Council designate Councillors as Acting Mayor for the calendar year 2010, pursuant to the following schedule:

January - Councillor Tom Barr
February - Councillor Geoff Bourdon
March - Councillor Natalie Montoya
April - Councillor Surinderpal Rathor
May - Councillor Laurie Walters
June - Councillor Sue Zacharias
July - Councillor Tom Barr
August - Councillor Geoff Bourdon
September - Councillor Natalie Montoya
October - Councillor Surinderpal Rathor
November - Councillor Laurie Walters
December - Councillor Sue Zacharias

I do not see any reference to Councillor Rathor being re-appointed as Deputy Mayor for 2010 and I believe that calls into question the sincerity of Mayor Cook's promise to make Councillor Rathor as Deputy Mayor of the City for the entire term.

Also, on Council's Agenda for Tuesday, Council will be considering a recommendation from Staff to give 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Reading to Bylaw #2108 - Mackenzie Avenue Rehabilitation Loan Authorization Bylaw which, if adopted, would permit Council to borrow "up to" $3.5 million for the re-paving of Mackenzie Avenue from where it meets with Highway 97 South (by Husky Gas Station) to Highway 97 North (the Connector)

I sent Brian Carruthers (City of WL CAO) two emails on this subject and he notes the following:

i) The degree of work on any given section of Mackenzie Avenue will depend on the condition of the pavement/base and susceptibility to future damage/failure.

ii) The Mackenzie Rehab and Pavement Management Plan are two separate projects. The Mackenzie feasibility study will take a comprehensive look at the entire length of Mackenzie, the current condition and what will be required to rehabilitate the road based on the failures it is experiencing. The Pavement Management Plan will provide direction with respect to priorities for repaving and reconstruction of our general road network in the municipality and will provide a longer strategy

I would note that while I concur with the above, it would be appropriate to involve the public somehow prior to work commencing on Mackenzie Avenue as I believe the public will legitimately ask for the City's long term vision for road repairs.

Also, with the state of the local economy the way it is - a demonstration to the public of a long term vision of how the rehabilitation of the entire Mackenzie Avenue length fits into the City's long term economic and strategic plans would be appropriate.

Again, if this is not done, this would call into question the legitimacy of Mayor Cook's comments in the fall of 2008 around how approval for long-term borrowing for the new Fire Hall was done and how she indicated that she would do better.

When running for office - it is always ok to criticize the current office holders for their actions, but what it is not ok is to criticize and then to do exactly what you say you wouldn't do. There is only one word for that - hypocrisy.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Local Government Meetings in Cariboo-Chilcotin - Week of Nov 30 - Dec 4

There are several meetings by local governments in Cariboo-Chilcotin this upcoming week:

Cariboo Regional District - no meeting next week, but meets on Friday, December 11th

City of Quesnel - meets on Monday, November 30th at 7:00pm in Quesnel Council Chambers

The link to the Agenda/Reports for their meeting is here

City of Williams Lake - meets on Tuesday, December 1st at 7:30pm in Williams Lake Council Chambers

The link to the Agenda/Reports for their meeting is here

District of 100 Mile House - meets on Thursday, December 3rd at 11:45am in a Special Meeting

The link to the Agenda is here

Also, the Central Cariboo/City of Williams Lake Joint Committee will meet in a Special Meeting on Friday, December 4th. It'll likely be at City Hall - Committee Room #1 at 5:00pm. I'm also told that an In-Camera meeting will occur - if before or after the meeting, I'm not sure. One topic of discussion, in the public portion of the meeting, will be the outcome of the Wednesday, November 25th Public Meeting on the Service Delivery Plan for the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function and any written comments received on this Plan and what recommendation(s) the Joint Committee will provide to the CRD Board on the Service Delivery Plan for its' December 11th meeting

Friday, November 27, 2009

Summerland Council - Out of Work?

In a shocking turn of events, the entire Council of Summerland could be disqualified from office after admitting that they all (Mayor and Councillors') accepted anonymous donations of over $50, prohibited by the Local Government Act.

More on this story from News 1130:

SUMMERLAND (NEWS1130) - Who is running Summerland? The Vancouver Sun reports all six councillors and Mayor Janice Perrino have admitted in campaign finance disclosure statements that they took anonymous donations during the last municipal election. That's illegal if it's more than $50.

The penalty? Disqualification from office. The problem is, no one is in charge of enforcing the law and firing the the mayor and councillors.

Update: The Vancouver Sun has more on this story here

City of WL CAO Blog

Earlier this month, I had asked Mayor Cook to have the CAO update more consistently his blog

The City of WL CAO (Brian Carruthers') has now posted his first blog entry as CAO of the City

The blog address is:

Check it out when you get time, as I know he'll be updating it on a consistent basis

Wood First Resolution/Bylaw & the City of Quesnel

Earlier this year, the BC Legislature passed the Wood First Act. Following up on that, Quesnel City Council has passed the following motion:

THAT WHEREAS BC's forest industry as an integral part of the community ofQuesnel is developing new markets and new opportunities for wood products as a long-term strategy for a sustainable wood industry;

AND WHEREAS the BC Government has passed a Wood First Act to facilitate a culture of wood by requiring the use of wood as the primary material in all new provincially funded buildings, in a manner consistent with the British Columbia Building Code;

AND WHEREAS the City of Quesnel has supported both the Union of BC Municipalities and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in adopting
resolutions to build a wood culture in BC and across Canada;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Quesnel will continue to support the ongoing development of its wood culture by:

- Being a wood champion and supporting the BC government’s Wood First Act
by adopting this Wood First Resolution and developing a Wood First Bylaw that
will establish a long-term strategy for building with wood in Quesnel;

- Selecting wood champion designers and builders for all municipal buildingprojects so that the opportunities for building with wood cost-effectively are maximized;

- Ensuring all requests for proposals will request excellence in building with wood as a key qualifying criterion;

- Seeking those who can find practical, efficient, versatile and cost-effective
building and design solutions through the use of wood, the most sustainable,
natural and renewable building material grown under the sun;

- Ensuring that all municipal construction projects in Quesnel receiving either
public or wood industry financial support optimize the structural and architectural
use of wood. Comparisons to the cost of building with other competing materials
will take into account all long-term and life cycle benefits to BC of building with

I have forwarded this Resolution to Williams Lake's Deputy Mayor (Councillor SPS Rathor) and asked to put this forward to Williams Lake Council as well. If Quesnel Council intends to pass a "Wood First" Bylaw to support their local forest industry, then Williams Lake Council should do the same here and for the same reasons

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Steve Rant - Public Consultation Meeting - Service Delivery Plan (Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function)

Last night, the City of WL/CRD jointly hosted a meeting in Council Chambers allowing members of the public to orally comment on the Draft Service Delivery Plan for the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function. The meeting lasted 1 hour and 20 mins

The public asked lots of good, hard-hitting questions and believe that they were answered adequately.

But I still have some concerns including:

  • The fact that Councillors Zacharias, Montoya and Bourdon failed to show up (Councillors Rathor and Barr were unavoidably absent - Tom Barr is out of town and Surinder Rathor was sleeping before his shift at his workplace) along with CRD Area 'F' Director Duncan Barnett. They needed to be there to observe the public oral comments on the Service Delivery Plan and those comments must be given the same weight as to all written comments received to date and prior to Monday, November 30th on the Plan.
  • This process is being "rammed through", or the appearance thereto, to meet with CRD Budget Guidelines and that is unfortunate, from the public perspective, because I believe that a process should be fair to all sides and not to meet with arbitrary timelines that a local government needs to meet
  • A lot of concerns were raised and were noted by CRD/City of WL Staff and should be addressed and re-presented to the public, prior to the Service Delivery Plan being formally adopted, both by the Central Cariboo Joint Committee and CRD Board
  • No policy governing the use of the "Special Projects Fund"
  • No over-arching plan for a strategic vision for the entire Central Cariboo for the Arts and Culture Sector (this is a City Goal, but presumably it would cover the City only). This is a must in order to decide "where we are, and where we want to get to"

If the above were done (which I suspect it won't be), then it would ensure that the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function and the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Sector works to the full extent it can/should.

Thursday News Round-up

In your Williams Lake Tribune:

1) Story on Wal-Mart Grand Opening - more here

2) Video on the Wal-Mart Grand Opening - more here

3) City of WL residents' speak out on Bylaw #2093 (Traffic Control Bylaw) - more here

4) CRD awards Solid Waste Management Review Contract - more here

5) City of WL plans to spend $25,000 on Prosperity Ridge Access Road Study - more here

6) Walt Cobb, Tribune columnist, talks about the BC NDP and the paramedic strike - more here

Public Consultation Meeting - Service Delivery Plan for Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function

Present from CRD: Deb Bischoff (Area ‘D’ Director), Steve Mazur (Area ‘E’ Director), Darron Campbell (CRD Manager of Community Services)

Present from City of WL: Mayor Kerry Cook, Councillor Laurie Walters, Geoff Paynton (Director of Community Services, City of WL)

Others Present:

General Public – 45 (approximate)
Jill Zimonick, David & Sam Zirnhelt– Stonefield Consulting (will present the Service Delivery Plan in PowerPoint format)

Meeting commenced at 7:00pm

Opening Comments by Mike Simpson (Fraser Basin Council) who will act as Moderator for tonight’s meeting

Comments by Darron Campbell (CRD Community Services Manager) on history and steps leading to creation of Draft Service Delivery Plan (in Powerpoint format)

Powerpoint Presentation by Jill Zimonick (Stonefield Consulting) on the Service Delivery Plan – Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function

Question and Answer Period:

Numerous Questions were asked by members of the public on the Service Delivery Plan

Closing Comments by Mike Simpson (Fraser Basin Council)

Get your written comments on the Service Delivery Plan to the CRD WL Office not later than 4:30pm, Monday, November 30th

The Central Cariboo Joint Committee will convene on Friday, December 4th to consider next steps, with regard to the Service Delivery Plan – Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function

Meeting adjourned at 8:19pm

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My Blog and City of WL Councillor Laurie Walters

Last night at the Committee of the Whole (WL Council) meeting, City of WL Councillor Laurie Walters expressed dissatisfaction with one of my earlier posts on my criticism of her and her fellow Councillor, Geoff Bourdon, leaving on Remembrance Day for their 10 day trip to China and the fact that the blog entry did not contain all the facts

A blog is defined as follows:

"a frequently updated personal journal chronicling links at a Web site, intended for public viewing"

Bloggers' are not journalists, per se, but are expected, generally speaking, to ensure that what they write is based upon facts, whether that is personal knowledge or that which is spoken in the mainstream media (local, provincial or national media including newspapers)

I try to blog on items to which I either have personal knowledge of the situation or take quotes from the newspaper/radio. There have been plenty of times when someone writes a letter to the editor to a newspaper on less than the full facts, with regard to a situation and a politician will object that they "didn't do their homework"

Councillor Walters and other politicians should realize that if they don't like what I write, then they can leave comments here, objecting to what I write. Many political blogs have this option. Even the Williams Lake Tribune now has an option for commenting on its' online articles

In the future, I would obviously encourage Councillor Walters and others to read my blog, if they choose to do so, and if they object to what I write, then they can feel free to leave a comment.

Committee of the Whole (WL Council) Highlights - Nov. 24th


Mayor Kerry Cook (Committee Chair) and Councillors Rathor, Bourdon, Montoya, Walters and Zacharias


Councillor Tom Barr

Staff Present:

Brian Carruthers – CAO
Sue Moxey – Director of Corporate Services
Geoff Goodall – GM of Planning and Operations
Darcy Lazzarin – GM of Corporate Services (left meeting at 6:05pm)
Jeff Bernardy – City Engineering Technologist
Lilliana Dragowska – City Planner (entered meeting at 6:13pm, left meeting at 6:55pm)
Anne Burill – Social Development Manager (entered meeting at 6:13pm, left meeting at 6:55pm)

Meeting called to order at 5:30pm


Minutes of the October 27th/09 Committee of the Whole Meeting were adopted


1) Irene Willsie from Woman’s Contact Society – Purple Ribbon Campaign

• Reviewed with the Committee activities related to the Purple Ribbon Campaign including the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women on Monday, December 7th starting at 5:30pm at City Hall

A Question and Answer Period ensued with the delegation. Mayor Cook, on behalf of the Committee, thanked Ms. Willsie for appearing before the Committee.


F1 – Request from WL CBIA (Central Business Improvement Area) to reconsider funding Street Party 2010

The General Manager of Corporate Services reviewed the letter from WLCBIA and the 2010 Grant-in-Aid Process with the Committee.

Discussion ensued thereon

The Committee agreed to receive the letter from the WLCBIA and the WLCBIA request to re-consider their 2010 Grant-in-Aid application be supported and that this request be forwarded to the Joint Committee for consideration with a detailed budget from the WLCBIA on Street Party costs to be provided.

The Committee agreed to refer a request to Joint Committee on discussion for a “Joint Fee for Service” program (70/30 split) in the Central Cariboo Region

D2 - Prosperity Ridge Access Engineering Services

Discussion ensued thereon

The Committee agreed to recommend to Council –

“That Council authorize staff to retain TRUE Consulting Group for engineering services to develop road network improvement options necessary to provide a sufficient level of service to the Prosperity Ridge development at a cost of $25,000.”

Delegations, cont

6:30pm – Whistler Centre for Sustainability re: Item D1 (see below)

D1 – OCP Briefing on Greenhouse Gases & Energy Reduction

A Powerpoint Presentation ensued:

• Climate Action Charter – 3 Components
• Bill 27 & Responsibilities of Local Governments
• Bill 27 & Climate Action Charter

A Question and Answer Period ensued. Mayor Cook, on behalf of the Committee, thanked the delegation for appearing before the Committee

At 6:55pm, the meeting was recessed and with it resuming at 7:00pm in Council Chambers

7:00pm – Public Input Session on Section 5.6 (Prohibition on Parking & Placing of Other Material on Boulevards), Bylaw #2093, 2009 – Traffic Control Bylaw

D5 - Traffic Control Bylaw 2093 re Parking on Boulevards & Section 5.6 of Bylaw #2093, 2009

The Committee had before it a Staff Definition of “Boulevards” under Bylaw #2093, 2009, a letter sent to all residents’ on Bylaw #2093, 2009, a Media Release issued with regard to prohibition of parking on all boulevards in the City and 3 Letters from Jordan & Dorothy Bateman, Marianne Pitt, and Susan Hermanson on Bylaw #2093, 2009.

The Mayor then called for oral submissions from the Public Gallery

Ten people come forward to speak on the Bylaw

The Committee agreed to refer the oral/written submissions received on Bylaw #2093 to Staff, through Public Works and Development Services Portfolio, for a recommendation to Council

The Committee agreed to have the process reviewed, with regard to Regulatory Bylaws, through Public Works and Development Services Portfolio

The meeting then recessed for 5 minutes and resumed its’ meeting at 7:50pm in Committee Room #1

D3 – Water/Sewer to Dog Creek Road

The General Manager of Planning & Operations reviewed his report with the Committee

Discussion ensued thereon

The Committee agreed to recommend to Council -

“That Council approve in principle the request of the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) to explore
options of extending municipal water and sewer services to the Dog Creek Road area; and further

That Council authorize staff to work in conjunction with the CRD to explore infrastructure
extension possibilities.”

D4 – Water/Sewer to Woodland Drive

Mayor Cook declared a conflict of interest, as she is a resident of Woodland Drive. Acting Mayor Geoff Bourdon took the Chair

A Powerpoint Presentation took place, with questions being asked by Committee members during the presentation

The Committee agreed to recommend to Council –

“That Council approve retaining TRUE Consulting Group to complete preliminary design for
Option 1 of the sanitary proposal and Option 3 of the water proposal including installation of a
250mm diameter water main for future use for a cost of $64,430.00 plus GST; and further

That Council direct staff to investigate any funding opportunities that may be available for this
project; and further

That Council authorize staff to begin a public consultation process with affected property owners
on Woodland Drive”


The Committee adjourned at 8:40pm

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday News Round-up

In your Williams Lake Tribune today:

  • TNG (Chilcotin National Gov't) is seeking to ensure that drilling near Scum Lake ceases this week - story is here
  • WL RCMP report on the circumstances of the death of an aboriginal man found in Boitanio Park last week - story is here
  • The Federal Environmental Assessment Office (the Panel) has granted the TNG confidentiality to its' documents that it submitted to the Panel, as part of the Federal Environment Assessment Review process for the Prosperity Mine proposal - story is here
  • The CRD held its' first of two open houses for Dog Creek Road residents, with regard to have a water only, sewer only or water/sewer systems for the Dog Creek Road and area residents - story is here

In other news:

  • WL Council, meeting in"Committee of the Whole", will meet at 5:30pm today to consider certain matters, including providing water and sewer services, to both Dog Creek Rd residents and residents' living on Woodland Drive and then reconvene at 7:00pm in Council Chambers to hear from the public with regard to Section 5.6 (Prohibition of Vehicles and Other Objects on Boulevards) of Bylaw #2093, 2009. Council has received 3 letters on Section 5.6 of Bylaw #2093 so far, expressing a contrary view as to how WL Council dealt with Bylaw #2093 earlier this year
  • Wal-Mart will be having their Grand Opening ceremonies at 7:15am on Wednesday, with the store being officially open to the general public at 8:00am. I'd encourage everyone to check it out if you get time Wednesday or in the days ahead
  • WL Council (except Councillor Tom Barr) and CRD Directors for Areas D, E, F will all be present at a meeting Wednesday evening at 7pm in Council Chambers to hear from the public, with regard to the new Service Delivery Plan for the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function. Please bring your questions for your elected officials on this Plan. The meeting will be moderated by Mike Simpson of the Fraser Basin Council

Monday, November 23, 2009

Upcoming Local Government Meetings in Cariboo-Chilcotin - week of Nov. 23 - 27

City of Williams Lake (meets in Committee of the Whole) - Tuesday, November 24th

Meeting starts at 5:30pm in Committee Room #1, then resumes in Council Chambers at 7:00pm to receive Public Input on Bylaw #2093, 2009 (Traffic Control Bylaw) with regard to Section 5.6 (Prohibition of Parking and Other Materials on Boulevards in the City)

The Link to the Agenda/Reports is here

CRD/City of WL meeting on Central Cariboo Arts and Culture - Service Delivery Plan on Wednesday, November 25th

Meeting starts at 7:00pm in WL Council Chambers

The Link to the Service Delivery Plan - Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function is here

Board of Education - School District #27 for Thursday, November 26th

Meeting starts at 7:00pm at the Board of Education (SD#27) Boardroom

The link to the Agenda is here

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday News Round-up

In your Williams Lake Tribune today:

* TNG (Chilcotin National Government) raises Prosperity Mine water concerns - story is here

* Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett says the new Paramedic contract was not connected to the upcoming Olympics - story is here

* City of WL/CRD announce Grants in Aid for 2010 - story is here

In both the Vancouver Sun & Vancouver Province:

* Vaughn Palmer talks about dissolving BC Rail - his column is here
* Mike Smyth talks about Olympic costs - his column is here

Central Cariboo Joint Committee Meeting - Nov. 18th

Central Cariboo Joint Committee Meeting – November 18th (Meeting held in Committee Room #1 – WL City Hall)

Present from City of WL:

Mayor K. Cook (Joint Committee Co-Chair), Deputy Mayor Rathor, and Councillors Montoya and Zacharias

Present from CRD:

Directors D. Bischoff (Joint Committee Co-Chair), S. Mazur, and D. Barnett

Staff Present:

Brian Carruthers – CAO, City of WL
Janis Bell – CAO, CRD
Darron Campbell – Manger of Community Services, CRD
Geoff Paynton – Director of Community Services, City of WL


City of WL Councillors Tom Barr, Geoff Bourdon and Laurie Walters
CRD Directors A. Bracewell and R. Mumford

Meeting called to order at 5:02pm by Committee Co-Chair K. Cook

The Committee Co-Chair (K. Cook) advised that an In-Camera Meeting would occur after all business has concluded


By Consensus – Minutes of last Joint Committee be adopted


1) Elizabeth Hutchinson, Victim Services Manager & Staff-Sgt Warren Brown (Detachment Commander, WL RCMP) – Update on Victim Service Program:

• Mandate to help with Victims of Crime and helping them with the Court Process and any other needs the victim has
• Local Detachment has highest workload per capita/RCMP Officer & highest number of Criminal Code cases

A Question and Answer Period then took place

By Consensus – Delegation be received and information be provided to the CRD on Victim Services for consideration by the CRD Finance/Budget Committee for their 2010 Budget

2) Carla Glessing & Tom Salley from Central Cariboo Sustainability Committee – Sustainability Checklists

A 10 minute Powerpoint Presentation then took place

A Question and Answer period then took place

By Consensus – Delegation be received and refer to City of WL & CRD Planning Departments for follow-up

Items for Consideration:

1) Correspondence from Community Arts Council & Dollar Dollar Downtown and additional Correspondence on feedback for Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Service Delivery Plan Feedback

• CRD Community Services Manager reviewed with Joint Committee with the format of next week’s Public Meeting on the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Service Delivery Plan.

By Consensus – Correspondence be received and refer to the Public Meeting on the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Service Delivery Plan next week

2) Report from Director of Community Services, City of WL re: Alkali Braves Hockey Tournament

• City of WL Director of Community Services reviewed his report with the Joint Committee

By Consensus – Report received for information and the course of action suggested by the Director of Community Services, City of WL, as outlined in his report, be endorsed and that the support of local Native Band Chiefs be requested.

Action Page:

The City of WL CAO reviewed the Action Page items with the Joint Committee

By Consensus - Action Page received

Meeting recessed at 6:45pm to go In-Camera


By Consensus – That this meeting adjourn at 6:55pm

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Catalyst Paper appeals BC Supreme Court decision on Local Government Property Tax Bill

In today's Vancouver Sun, Catalyst Paper announces its' intent to appeal a BC Supreme Court decision on Catalyst Paper's property tax bill in several muncipalities on Vancouver Island.

The article in the Vancouver Sun on the subject is below:

Catalyst Paper has appealed a B.C. Supreme Court decision that property taxes imposed on the company are valid, and that if Catalyst thinks they are unfair, it should take the matter up with the governments involved. Catalyst sued four municipalities, arguing their tax bylaws were unreasonable and therefore illegal, as they left Catalyst paying taxes out of proportion to the services the company used. For example, in the District of North Cowichan, the company paid about $6.50 in taxes for every $1 in municipal services received, according to Justice Peter Voith's October judgment, which is the subject of the appeal. At issue is a total of about $23 million in tax owed to North Cowichan, Campbell River, Port Alberni and Powell River, where Catalyst's mills are located. Catalyst filed its appeal to the B.C. Court of Appeal on Monday to keep its options open, Catalyst spokeswoman Lyn Brown said. Catalyst is awaiting decisions in the remaining three cases, which were also argued before Voith.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

WL Council Meeting Highlights - Nov. 17th, 2009

WL Council Highlights – Nov 17/09 Meeting (Meeting held in Williams Lake Council Chambers)

Present: Mayor Kerry Cook & Councillors Rathor, Montoya, Barr, and Zacharias

Absent: Councillors Laurie Walters and Geoff Bourdon (away on civic business – trip to China)

Staff Present:

Brian CarruthersCAO
Cindy Bouchard – Corporate Services Records Coordinator
Tom Cheung – IT Manager
Anne Burill – Social Development Manager
Lilliana Dragowska – City Planner

Meeting called to order at 7:30pm

Invocation (Opening Prayer) given by Councillor Rathor

Council approved minutes of the Nov 3rd 2009 Council Meeting


1) Lilliana Dragowska, City Planner – Presentation of Video on ICSP “Youth Engagement”

2) Tatjana Bates, Food Policy Council re "2009 Taste of the Cariboo" Local Food Festival

Council authorized City Staff to assist with preparations for the 2010 “Taste of the Cariboo” Food Festival


1) Council approved numerous Central Cariboo Joint Committee Recommendations including:

• Amending Terms of Reference for the Central Cariboo Recreation Advisory Committee
• New Fees and Charges Bylaw
• Business, Financial and Capital Plans for 2010 – Central Cariboo Recreation Function
• Waive Fee for use of Gibraltar Room for Remembrance Day Ceremony – free use of the Gibraltar Room for Remembrance Day ceremonies in the future will become part of the new Fees and Charges Bylaw
• Joint Committee 2010 Meeting Schedule
• Approved 2010 Grant in Aid applications
• Remaining $4,000 in Grant-in-Aid funds to be set aside for future use, subject to approval by the Central Cariboo Joint Committee

2) Council gave 1st, 2nd, and 3rd reading to Bylaw 2106 of 2009 which, if adopted, would authorize temporary borrowing of money to finance City Operations in advance of property tax revenue. Councillor Barr noted that the temporary borrowing measure has never been used in well over 10 years

3) Council approved an application to be submitted to Affordability and Choice Today (ACT) for $5,000 to assist in addressing secondary suites in the City.

4) Street Naming Bylaw No. 2105 - "Pioneer Drive" & "Prosperity Way" (Wal-Mart Development)

Council adopted this Bylaw

5) 2009 Annual Violence Awareness and Prevention Committee "Walk, Ride, Drive of Remembrance" and "Purple Ribbon Campaign"

Council agreed to the following:

“December 6, 2009 be recognized as a Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women, and approval be given for the annual "Walk, Ride, Drive of Remembrance" to be held on December 7, 2009 at 5:00 pm and the community be encouraged to participate”

6) Council proclaimed December 1st, 2009 as "World Aids Day" in the City of Williams Lake


Council Members’ discussed activities/events in the City that they participated in or wanted residents’ to know about

Council then adjourned at 8:25pm with Council going immediately into an In-Camera (Closed) meeting pursuant to Section 90(1c) of the Community Charter

Tuesday News Round-up

In your Williams Lake Tribune today:

i) Story on Wal-Mart opening in Williams Lake - story is here

ii) CRD to host a community meeting on sewer/water for Dog Creek residents - story is here

iii) Telus reports a planned telephone outage early Wednesday morning - story is here

iv) Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Barnett explains why the legislation to force the paramedics back to work was necessary - story is here

v) Tribune columnist Diana French talks about sustainability in her weekly column - story is here

Monday, November 16, 2009

Steve Rant - Agenda Item: Delegation (Prayer Month) at WL Council Meeting

As I noted in a previous blog, WL Council is meeting Tuesday and one of the 3 Delegations relates to Prayer Month in the City of WL

3 Prayers are to be recited at the WL Council meeting. They will come from:

* WL Ministerial Association
* Sikh Prayer
* First Nations Prayer

Although the WL Ministerial Association prayer may take just a moment or two and the same applying to the First Nations Prayer, I'm told that the Sikh Prayer takes 15 minutes to complete, if you are to show respect to how the Sikh Prayer is done

Also, if WL Council wants to invite the WL Ministerial Association and the Sikh & First Nation community to do a prayer at a Council meeting, then why not invite the Catholic, Anglican, Baptist communities to do a prayer as well.

I believe 1 Prayer from the WL Ministerial Association is sufficient to show respect to Prayer Month (November) in the City. Otherwise, we risk looking like trying to play to all sides and when it comes to Prayers said at a Council Meeting, which Quesnel Council does at the beginning of their formal meetings, 1 Prayer recited is sufficient, otherwise it is overkill

Sunday, November 15, 2009

1 Year Ago...

It was a year ago tonight that local government elections were held to fill seats for municipal councils, regional districts and school boards

I thought, in our area, I would do a little review around how I feel our local elected officials are doing so far and what the challenges that lie ahead for 2010

City of Quesnel:

The entire Council has done a "yeoman's" job so far. This is a example of how a Council & Staff should be working together for the betterment of a community. Mayor Sjostrom has done an excellent job at serving her community. She is constantly communicating with the public on what Council is doing and I know when she receives complaints, she ensures that they are dealt with in a timely fashion and ensures the complainant is happy with the result or with the course of action requested

Challenges include - containing police costs, keep property taxes at acceptable levels, funding of capital needs and the Multi-Center proposal.

District of 100 Mile House:

The entire Council is working really well together and the voters' of 100 Mile should be proud of their Council's performance so far. I know there was a complaint earlier this year about the round-up of ferral cats but sometimes it is hard for Council to please everyone on a touchy subject like this, so the best a Council can do on these items is listen to both sides, take Staff input into consideration along with each Council member's feelings/thoughts on the matter, make a decision and defend it the best way one can and move on.

Challenges include - looking into an aquatic center for the South Cariboo, controlling costs as much as possible so the property tax bill can be affordable for 100 Mile residents

Cariboo Regional District:

The majority of the Board Directors', along with CRD Staff, have done an excellent job representing their constituents so far and should be proud of the person they elected.

Challenges for the CRD include - 2010 Budget development and keep tax increases to a bare mininum, water and sewer projects, and smaller projects in individual Electoral Areas and capacity of CRD Staff to take on new projects as well as the Budget Development Process for 2011.

However, the Area 'F' Director, Duncan Barnett, continues from last term, to verbally lash out whenever an Board Agenda is not formatted to the way he likes or when a Board discussion is not going the way he wants or the Agenda making process is not the way he likes. If he were to try to the indirect approach whenever he finds he has a complaint before he gets to the Board meeting, either with the Board Chair (presently Area 'G' Director Al Richmond) or the Board CAO, Janis Bell, I believe he would be much further ahead

The Regional District has also started to publish its' Joint Committee Agendas. So far, the North Cariboo Joint Committee Agenda is now published online for the public, however this is not yet done in Central Cariboo or South Cariboo and I remain hopeful that this can be accomplished in 2010. As well, I'm hopeful that the CRD Board will ensure that the written publication of when the Board needs to going In-Camera (Closed Meeting) so the public knows beforehand. Such notice could be published, by way of written notice being published, right at the CRD Office.

City of Williams Lake:

City Staff are going a good job so far and have no complaints. I find that Brian Carruthers is very approachable, as the City's CAO, and I encourage you to approach him with any complaints. He will try to understand your problem and he'll work to ensure that it is resolved in a timely manner, if possible, and if not, he'll tell you what he can or he can't do with your issue and suggest a course of action that may result in a resolution to your issue

Challenge for WL Council in 2010 include - Arts and Culture Function, Capital needs for 2010, RCMP Costs, keeping property taxes stable, renewal process of the City's OCP, finish the Spirit Square off

As for Council, I'll now individually review each Council member performance as some have performed better that others.

Councillors Tom Barr - he has done a excellent job so far and look forward to watching perform his job as Councillor for the upcoming year (2010). Councillor Tom Barr was missing in action in the fall this year, due to his wife, Kathy, being struck with cancer and then passing away so he had some family duties to perform, but he is now back and I'm looking forward to Councillor Barr chairing the budget process to lead towards the City's 2010 Budget

Councillor Surinder Rathor - as Council's senior most member, he has done an excellent job as well representing his constituents. I have approached him a couple of times on issues and he makes sure that they get resolved, no matter what. I look forward to his performance in 2010

Councillor Natalie Montoya - as one of Council's 2 youngest most members, she has done an excellent job representing her constituents. I have approached her a couple of times on issues and she makes sure that they get resolved. She asks appropriate questions and does her homework. I look forward to her performance in 2010

Councillor Geoff Bourdon - Overall, a good job in 1 year. Really approachable and find, when asked, he'll drive to resolve complaints in a timely fashion. Mistakes include not defended passionately the BIA's $3,000 for the annual "Street Party" during Grant in Aid 2010 Discussions. Councillors' Bourdon and Barr are Council's reps to the WL BIA. As noted earlier, Councillor Barr was away, due to personal issues, so Councillor Bourdon should have passionately defending the BIA's request for $3,000 for the annual Street Party before the Grant in Aid discussion went to the Joint Committee. I look forward to Councillor Bourdon's performance during 2010.

Councillor Sue Zacharias - Very quiet Councillor - like Jon Wolbers, doesn't feel a real need to step in unless it is her Portfolio or it is something she feels passionately about. Sometimes doesn't have all the facts straight. But overall, she is fairly competent at being a Councillor. Her experience as a former CRD Area 'D' Director helps her to do her job as a City of WL Councillor. My only complaint about her is that Councillor Zacharias has not returned any of my emails and doesn't even take the time to say - "I got your email/phone call and I'll discuss with you later or I'm working on the substance of the email/phone call you sent my way". Otherwise, I'm looking forward to her performance in 2010

Councillor Laurie Walters - Overall, has been fairly competent as a Councillor but she has made her share of mistakes. Those mistakes include:

* Attending the WL Community Arts Council AGM - as my readers' know, the Community Arts Council is under RCMP investigation for financial irregularities. Until that investigation is complete, Councillor Walters should have, for ethical reasons, steered clear of this group until that RCMP investigation is completed.

* Attempted to get the Central Cariboo Joint Committee to endorse "in-principle" the "Service Delivery Plan" for this Function before going out to the public with this document - I had a meeting with her a number of weeks ago and I strongly encouraged her, that while it is OK to be passionate about a subject or subjects, you can not just toss aside the public interest to get what you want. I hope that this is something she thinks about and does practice in 2010.

I look forward to her performance in 2010

Mayor Kerry Cook - On balance, she is a fairly competent Mayor, and she has done well with her "Coffee with the Mayor" sessions but she has made her shares of mistakes including:

* Public Hearing (StarCom Developments by Tera Ridge) - after the Public Hearing was adjourned, Council members including the Mayor met with the developer in Council Chambers with the public watching. In the eyes of the law, a major no-no. After a Public Hearing on a OCP or Zoning Amendment application, members of WL Council are prohibited by provincial law to discuss with members of the public & applicants on planning applications after a Public Hearing is held on the planning application in question

* Spirit Square - this is the person who campaigned on doing things differently on financial matters at City Hall. She encouraged Council to take $40,000 out of the City's "Rainy-Day" account and used it to finance a "routine" capital expenditure. The "Rainy-Day" account was designed to be used for "extraordinary" expenses like sinkholes in City streets.

* Conversion of the present Fire Hall for the Arts Community - again, a worthy project but the City is not into the "Developer" business. As this benefits one small group, the Community Arts Council should be made to put some of its' own money into this project and not have taxpayers' alone fund it. I've raised this with Mayor Cook but she seems not to be too interested in this point

* Hiring of the City's new CAO - again, I'm on public record, this is a job that should have been posted externally and not hire within. The CAO jobs for the District of Lake Country, Queen Charlotte Island, and many other local governments have done this for their CAO job and we should have done the same here.

* Meeting with Community Members - again, I'm told that she is an excellent listener, but unfortunately and I know some feel the same way here - Mayor Cook has failed to ensure follow-up. This is necessary, in my view, to ensure that the public feels that their issue(s) are being dealt with in a manner that is timely and to their satisfaction.

* Deputy Mayor - just after the 2008 Election and at the swearing in ceremony for the Williams Lake Council, Mayor Cook had Council appoint Councillor Surinderpal Rathor as the City's first Deputy Mayor. Unfortunately, there have been numerous times when she has failed to respect his appointment as Deputy Mayor. I've had numerous discussions with her on this subject and she has continuously failed to satisfy my concerns on this subject. If she truly wished to respect Council's appoint of Councillor Rathor as Deputy Mayor, she would pass a "Policy Statement" at a Council meeting which would state the "Presiding Officers List at Council or Committee of the Whole Meeting" would be as follows:

- Mayor (if available)
- Deputy Mayor (if Mayor isn't present and is available)
- Acting Mayor (if both Mayor and Deputy Mayor aren't available and the monthly Acting Mayor is present)

* In-Camera Meetings - Mayor Cook, as head of the City has consistently failed to ensure the public is notified of "In-Camera" or Closed Council Meetings before they occur. I should point out that if Council was discussing something in public but referred to In-Camera, then Council need not notify the public as it would be a "snap" In-Camera. These "snap" In-Camera very rarely occur. I've personally only seen one "snap In-Camera" called and that was last term (2005-2008) of WL Council

* Goals of 2008-2011 Council - Council has failed substantively to move of any of their goals and they need to demonstrate that they have and this must come from Mayor Cook, as head of the Council. One of the goals that they have is:

Create and implement an Arts and Culture Plan

Well, hard to have a comprehensive Arts and Culture Plan if you have a Plan for the City but local funding is sub-regional in nature. However, if you had an Arts and Culture Plan and Function working "hand-in-fist" together, then you would see an vibrant Arts and Culture community, given the Arts and Culture file is not limited to Williams Lake only

* Budget Process - Council agreed earlier this year to consult the public after the Corporate Business Plan for the upcoming year is approved. This is a mistake on Council's part and Council should be talking with the public, in a formal way, before Council indicates to Staff when the budgetary goals for the upcoming budget year are. I've let Mayor Cook know my feelings on this but has yet to do anything with it

* MOU between the City and the CRD - Council earlier this year agreed to ratify the MOU between the Regional District and the City, however 6 days later at a Joint Town Hall meeting between the CRD/City, the Regional District informed the public that they were in discussions with the City on the following, with regard to the MOU:

i) City of WL joining the CRD Planning Function (I believe that this is in the City's longer term interests for various reasons including environmental sustainability and can also benefit us if we need to have Staff positions backfilled for holidays, etc)

ii) City of WL joining forces with the CRD on Recycling - Again, I've blogged on this already but the City must be more proactive with the CRD to get Central Cariboo residents' to become more Recycle-friendly by making it more convenient for rural fringe residents to recycle their household waste.

iii) Invasive Plant Function - City of Quesnel now has a contractual arrangement into this Function and the CRD would like to offer the same to City of WL but only in the context of a full MOU.

The City would have been better off not signing the MOU until the above issues were resolved and then sign off on the MOU

If Mayor Cook wishes to remain Mayor for 2011-2014, she will have resolve the above plus demonstrate her willingness to ensure complainants are being addressed in a timely and adequate way otherwise her term as Mayor will be limited to one term

I wish all Councils in the Cariboo-Chilcotin and the CRD Board the very best in 2010.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Finance Committee of the Legislature tables its' Recommendations on the 2010 Provincial Budget

Yesterday, the Finance & Government Services Committee of the BC Legislative Assembly tabled its' First Report (Recommendations on the 2010 Budget Consultation Paper)

You can find the Report here

Friday, November 13, 2009

Public Meeting on Service Delivery Plan for Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function

There will be a public meeting on the Service Delivery Plan for the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function

Location - Council Chambers @ WL City Hall
Time - 7:00pm
Date - November 25th, 2009

I encourage you to read over the Service Delivery Plan for the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function at either:


And bring your questions on this Plan to your elected officials

Local Government Meetings in Cariboo-Chilcotin - Week of Nov 16-20

A number of local government meetings' will be occurring in the Cariboo-Chilcotin this upcoming week. See below for the links to the various Agendas/Reports for your local government:

City of Quesnel (meets in Committee of the Whole on Monday, Nov 16/09 @ 7:00pm in Quesnel Council Chambers'):

City of Williams Lake (meets on Tuesday, November 17th @ 7:30pm in WL Council Chambers):

CRD Board of Directors' (meets on Friday, November 20th @ 9:30am in the CRD Boardroom):,%202009/agenda.htm

Also - the Central Cariboo Joint Committee will be meeting on Wednesday, November 18th @ 5:00pm in Committee Room #1 at WL City Hall

Agenda Items:

* Minutes
* Receive Action Page
* Report from City's Director of Recreation Services regarding Alkali Braves Hockey Tournament for end of November
* Feedback from Community Arts Council & Carl Johnson (Owner - Dollar Dollar Store) regarding Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function - Service Delivery Plan

Delegations (2):

i) Tom Salley & Carla Glessing from the Sustainability Committee - Sustainability Checklists

ii) Elizabeth Hutchinson, Victim Services Manager - Update on Victim Services Program

Thursday, November 12, 2009

WL Timberwolves & Central Cariboo Joint Committee

Recently, the WL Timberwolves met with the Central Cariboo Joint Committee. Quoted hereunder is the press release following the meeting:

The Timber Wolves Hockey Club met recently with the Central Cariboo/City of Williams Lake Joint Committee to discuss challenges they are having in meeting their revenue targets and dates for paying ice rental and other user fees at the Complex. Despite their challenges, the Williams Lake Timberwolves Junior ‘A’ Hockey Club think they see the light at the end of the tunnel and have committed to have their accounts in good standing by the end of the year.

“Our ownership group was committed to keeping BCHL Hockey in Williams Lake and we knew it was going to be a tough haul to start out, even in the best economic conditions,” said Richard Kohlen, Governor and part Owner of the Club. “No sooner had we made the commitment to buy the team when global economic conditions really took a nose dive making our job even tougher.”

“Our Ownership group has made a commitment to the City and Cariboo Regional District that we are going to have all of our ducks in a row by the end of 2009,” said Kohlen. “We realize it’s vitally important to be a responsible corporate citizen and an active community citizen. This means actively contributing to the community, both on and off the ice.”

In addition to their financial pledge the Timberwolves have stepped up their community outreach efforts in recent weeks and hope those efforts, combined with a rapidly improving team, will translate to more people in the stands for home games.

City of Williams Lake Mayor, Kerry Cook, is extremely pleased by the Timberwolves commitment. “The City has committed from day one to provide an optimum atmosphere for a successful franchise. We believe we have provided the best opportunity we can for success and will continue to do so while encouraging the community to support hockey,” Mayor Cook said.

For more information please contact:

Geoff Paynton
Director of Community Services
City of Williams Lake

Richard Kohlen
Williams Lake Timberwolves

WL Council to consult the Public regarding Boulevard Parking Bylaw

WL Council, after numerous complaints regarding Boulevard Parking Restrictions under Traffic Control Bylaw #2093, 2009, will be hosting a Public Input Session on this topic in Council Chambers on Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 at 7:00pm

Quoted hereunder is the entire Press Release from the City:

The City of Williams Lake would like to inform residents of the new Bylaw regarding Boulevard Parking. Traffic Control Bylaw No 2093, states that:

“No person shall park or store a chattel, obstruction, or vehicle on any City owned boulevard within the City.”

Boulevard is defined as:

“that portion of a highway between the curb lines or the lateral lines of a roadway and the adjoining property or roadway and includes curbs, sidewalks and ditches.”

This bylaw was adopted by the City of Williams Lake on July 28, 2009 in order to address the following issues:

* safe snow removal
* desirable neighbourhoods free of unsightly property
* clear visible sight lines around corners and intersections providing for safe walking, biking and driving.

On October 16, 2009, The City of Williams Lake began a targeted campaign to educate residents on the boulevard bylaw. Information was included in the City Pages to inform all residents of this bylaw. In addition, letters were distributed the week of November 9, to those residents who either had clearly defined vehicles parked on their boulevard or actual built structures on the boulevard.

As a result of numerous complaints and concerns raised regarding the restriction on Boulevard Parking under Traffic Control Bylaw No. 2093, Council will receive public delegations or submissions during the Committee of Whole Council meeting at 7:00 pm, Tuesday, November 24, 2009 in Council Chambers.

For more information please contact:
Sue Moxey
Director of Corporate Services

Brad McRae
Senior Bylaw Officer

Thursday News Round-up

WL Tribune reports that the TNG (Chilcotin National Government) is now asking the Canadian Environmental Assessment Office to apply confidentiality to some of their maps that they providing for the overall assessment on whether or not to proceed to a Federal Government Environment Assessment Public Hearing - story is here

Also - this past Tuesday, CRD Area 'E' Director Steve Mazur held a meeting in the CRD Boardroom with residents of the Flett Subdivision. They discussed a DVP (Development Variance Permit) that was issued to Lee Bunce earlier this year to permit him to have a big shed on his property with conditions that it be used for private use only. This, even though, Mr. Bunce had already built the structure prior to applying for a DVP and Building Permit to allow it in the Flett Subdivision. It was also commented that the DVP was approved, even though both the CRD Planning/Building Departments and numerous residents were opposed to the approval of the DVP for Mr & Ms Bunce. There is now a "Notice on Title" applied on the Bunce's property title.

Earlier today, I submitted the following "Letter to the Editor" to the Williams Lake Tribune, in support of Director Mazur:

On Tuesday, November 10th, CRD Area ‘E’ Director Steve Mazur held a meeting with Flett Subdivision residents’ over a Development Variance Permit given to Lee Bunce by the CRD Board of Directors’ at its’ June 19th Meeting. For the record, the CRD Directors’ for Electoral Areas ‘A’ to ‘L’ were eligible to vote on the issuance of the DVP to Lee Bunce.

However, I believe it was unfair and unfortunate that Director Mazur was forced to defend, in essence, a Board decision, even though the DVP that was issued is for a piece of property in his Electoral Area. It would have been better if a number of Directors’ who voted in the affirmative had been present at the Nov 10th meeting with Director Mazur to explain why they voted to issue a DVP to Lee Bunce. Again, why should Steve Mazur be forced himself to defend a decision of the CRD Board?

I hope, in the future, I don’t be witness to one Director being put into the position of defending a decision of the CRD Board of Directors

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Rememberance Day Message

Make sure you attend Remembrance Day ceremonies in your local community. Let us pay homage to those individuals in years' past and currently who fought and continue to fight the good fight to ensure that we, as a society, have and continue to have the very values we hold near and dear to our hearts as Canadians, like free elections, the right to protest, etc

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mining News in BC & An Apology

Good Tuesday Morning:

In Local Mining News...

The Williams Lake Tribune has a story about the Union of BC Indian Chiefs joining the TNG in their fight against the Prosperity Mine proposal - story is here

In Provincial Mining News...

The Vancouver Sun has an editorial calling on the Federal Liberals & NDP to support Mining in BC from the Federal Government Perspective - story is here

As for the apology:

Yesterday, I blogged on the trip to China by City of WL Councillors L. Walters and G. Bourdon and the decision to leave tomorrow (Remembrance Day)

After that post, I received this comment highly critical of my critique of Councillors Walters and Bourdon on their trip to China:

I'm a veteran and I also know both of these Councilors. I have no doubt they will pay their respects in the proper manner on Nov. 11th and although it is unfortunate they have to travel on this day not everything happens exactly the way we want it.
Please don't use me, and my fellow veterans, as a means to continue your personal and juvenile attacks on Councilor Walters who does a fine job as a whole.

For any veteran that was offended by my post, I wish to offer my whole and sincere apology to you at this time. It is true that Councillor Walters and I do not see eye-to-eye on a lot of things but I intend to be critical of any WL Council member to whom I disagree with but in a way that is respectful, as much as possible

Monday, November 9, 2009

Muncipal Property Taxes & Trip to China by two City of WL Councillors'

In today's Vancouver Sun, Maureen Bader from the Canadian Taxpayers' Federation - BC Division writes a op-ed (opinion editorial) on the state of municipal property taxes and what the Government of BC ought to do. The story is here

Also, with regard to the trip by City of WL Councillors' Laurie Walters and Geoff Bourdon to China starting this Wednesday and returning on Saturday, November 21st. I know there are a lot of residents' here who think that this trip was badly miscalculated. I agree with them and now, I'll state why (note - New Westminster Wayne Wright and his Councillors' are under fire as well for taking a trip to China at a time when their major industries are crumbling under severe pressure from the recession and other factors)

Reason #1 - There is the Phase 2 Development at Prosperity Ridge, potentially worth up to $100 million dollars in economic activity that they and the rest of WL Council need to aggressively push for. A trip to China at this time would not see economic benefits of this level brought back to Williams Lake

Reason #2 - The day that Councillors' Walters & Bourdon are leaving for China is Remembrance Day. If I were a veteran from either World War 1 or 2, the Korean War or even Afghanistan and I saw two local politicians going to China, instead of paying homage to veterans in the City of Williams Lake, I would be insulted by their actions. I believe Councillors' Walters and Bourdon's decision to leave for China on November 11th will come back to haunt them if/when they decide to seek re-election in 2011


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Local Government Meetings in Cariboo-Chilcotin and Remembrance Day Ceremonies - Week of Nov 9-13

City of Quesnel Council will meet in "Committee of the Whole/Delegation Session" on Monday, November 9th at 7:00pm at Quesnel Council Chambers

The link to the Agenda/Reports is here

The North Cariboo Joint Committee, whose membership is all of Quesnel Council plus CRD Directors' for Electoral Areas A, B, C and I, will be meeting on Tuesday, November 10th in Quesnel Council Chambers

The link to the Agenda/Reports is here

Williams Lake Council and CRD Board are not meeting this week.

A reminder that Remembrance Day services will be held in all communities in the Cariboo-Chilcotin on Wednesday. I urge everyone to get out and pay homage to those who fought in World Wars I + II, Korean War and Afghanistan. They are the reason why we are able to practice the values that we hold dear as Canadians. All Remembrance Day Services will be occurring at your local Cenotaph. Call your local Municipal Hall for the location of your cenotaph. Most services will start at or around 10:45am with the traditional 2 minute "moment of silence" to occur at or around 11:00am

Steve Rant - City of WL Council Actions & Hypocrisy

From the "speaking of hypocrisy" file:

Calling of In-Camera Meetings:

In a previous post, I had a meeting with Mayor Cook on calling of In-Camera meetings, she promptly informed me that if an In-Camera Meeting was called prior to a Regular or Special Meeting of Council or Committee of the Whole, then notifying the public was a must, but if an In-Camera was called after a Regular/Special Council or Committee of the Whole Meeting, then notice to the public was not required

I believe it is at the height of hypocrisy when Mayor Cook states that notice to the public is required if an In-Camera Meeting will occur before a Regular or Special Council or Committee of the Whole Meeting, but not after. The public has the right to know when its' Council is going into an In-Camera Meeting, regardless of when it occurs. This principle is consistent with open and transparent local government principles. Obviously, these principles are not ones that Mayor Cook intends to practice. She told me at our meeting last Thursday that this would change, but I'm not holding my breath that promise coming to fruition

I should note the rule of informing the public beforehand of a snap In-Camera meeting following a Regular Council or Committee of the Whole Meeting when a subject that was discussed in public but referred to In-Camera would not normally apply

On the subject of Recycling and Rural Fringe residents in CRD Electoral Areas D and E:

Rural Fringe residents' have repeatedly asked for a partnership between the City and CRD for a sub-regional recycling program. Recently, with the introduction of the new curbside Recycling program in the City, the Recycling Bins at the Complex and Canadian Tire have shut down and Rural Fringe residents are now required to take their recyclables to the Central Cariboo Transfer Station with those living in CRD Electoral Areas D and E have to take quite a drive to drop off their recyclables. Again, the City could have and quite frankly should have offered to extend the curbside recycling to residents' in CRD Electoral Areas D & E, doing so would have met the following goals:

* Diverting Unnecessary Waste from Landfill
* Responding to stated needs/wants from residents
* Council Policy of working in partnership with CRD Rural Fringe Residents and their Elected Officials

Outcome of Meeting with Mayor Cook

This past Thursday, I had a meeting with Mayor Cook, at the Mayor's Office, with regard to the following:

1) MOU (Memo of Understanding) between City of WL & CRD
2) Renovations to current Firehall for Arts Community
3) Lack of Communications from City Hall

On Topic #1:

I informed Mayor Cook that the City and the CRD should have ensured that, with regard to the MOU, that both parties are "singing from the same songsheet". To draw an analogy, if "Company A" and "Company B" had an agreement and then 24 hours later, "Company B" decided to re-open the agreement, I can assure you that "Company A" would take "Company B" to court for breach of contract. Council, in my estimation, rushed to adopt the MOU for 2009-2013 before the CRD presented items for inclusion into the new MOU at the February 16th, 2009 Joint Town Hall Meeting including the City of WL joining the CRD Planning Function, the City of WL and the CRD joining forces with regard to Recycling

On Topic #2:

I informed Mayor Cook that notwithstanding the financial situation of the Community Arts Council, the City should not be playing the role of "Real Estate Developer". The Community Arts Council who had some $30,000 in a "Building Fund" should have been required to contribute funds towards the renovation of the current Firehall for the Arts Community. She and I disagreed on this point. I'm concerned about the implication that other non-profit groups will now ask for similar treatment.

The Budget for this project is as follows:

* $200,000 - Town for Tomorrow (provincial taxpayers' dollars)
* $50,000 - Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function (local taxpayers' dollars)

This project is scheduled for completion for either late December of 2009-January 2010

On Topic #3:

Mayor Cook and I discussed the following:

* Notifying the Public when Council (either Committee of the Whole or following a Regular Council Meeting) will go into a "In-Camera Meeting" - I'll be blogging on this subject in another post

* Quarterly Newsletter - this is in the City's current Communications Policy. She has assured me that this will be done

I encourage everyone who wants to discuss anything of importance with Mayor Cook to take advantage of her "Coffee with the Mayor" meetings. I'm told that when you book your appt with Mayor Cook that you will be asked by City of WL Staff what topics you wish to raise with her

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

WL Council Meeting Highlights - Nov 3rd, 2009

WL Council Highlights – Nov 3/09 Meeting (Meeting held in Williams Lake Council Chambers)

Present: Councillors T.C. Barr (Chair), Bourdon, Montoya, Rathor, Walters and Zacharias

Absent: Mayor Kerry Cook

Staff Present:

Brian Carruthers – CAO
Sue Moxey – Director of Corporate Services
Lilliana Dragowska – City Planner
Randy Isfeld – Director of Protective Services
Tom Cheung – IT Manager

Meeting called to order at 7:30pm

Council approved the Minutes of the October 20thMeeting

Council approved 3 Late Items be added to the Agenda


1) 2 Presentations of “Community Spirit Awards” to the Restorative Justice Committee & Kiwanis Club of Williams Lake – Acting Mayor T.C. Barr presented certificates to members of the Kiwanis Club and Restorative Justice Committee members’ thanking them for their service to the community, on behalf of Mayor and Council

2) Sgt Warren Brown, WL RCMP Acting Staff-Sgt & Dave Dickson, Safer Communities Coordinator - RCMP Update:

• Crime Stats for 2009 to the end of October presented with downward trends evident in all categories except Robberies, which was up from 18 in October of 2008 to 20 in October of 2009. False Alarms up 3% year over year

• Review of Annual Performance Plan – year to date including review of four different goals comprising the Annual Performance Plan of the Williams Lake RCMP Detachment

• 26 members participate in Restorative Justice locally

• 50 members participate in Citizens on Patrol locally

• Review of Oct 19th Gang Workshop held in Council Chambers

• Operation: Red Nose to commence last Friday/Saturday in November


1) Meeting with Pat Bell (Minister of Forests) on Oct 13/09

Councillor Rathor commented on the CAO’s report by stating he is glad that the Provincial Government is attempting to lessen the forestry industry reliance on the American lumber market

Council agreed to receive his report for information

2) Pandemic Response & Control Plan

Council agreed to receive this Plan for information

3) Report of Councillor S. Zacharias re: 2009 UBCM Convention

Council agreed to received her report for information

4) Report of the Director of Protective Services – New Fire Hall

Council agreed to receive his report for information. Several Members of Council praised the progress on the new Fire Hall.

5) BC Lottery Corporation (BCLC) - Gaming Revenue and Proceeds Distributed to Non-Profit Organizations in Williams Lake – Report from Mayor Cook

The CAO reviewed Mayor Cook’s report with Council.

Council agreed to send a letter to the BC Lottery Corporation requesting that there be no reductions to proceeds distributed to non-profit organizations in Williams Lake, and in consideration of current economic challenges faced by the non-profit sector the BCLC increase the percentages of proceeds distributed to non-profit groups.

6) No Parking Zone on 1100 Block of Third Avenue – Report of Director of Muncipal Services

Councillor Rathor reviewed the Director of Muncipal Services report with Council

Council agreed to authorize a no parking zone on both sides of the street in the 1100 block of Third Avenue North.

7) DVP #5-2009 (Harvey Lammi)

Councillor Rathor reviewed the Planner’s report with Council. Councillor Bourdon commented that in the future, he would still like to see DVP’s or DP’s be considered separately, even if there are bylaw conformity issues on the same site.

Council approved DVP #5-2009

8) Street Naming Bylaw #2015 – Prosperity Way & Pioneer Drive

Council agreed to give 1st, 2nd, 3rd reading to Bylaw #2015

9) BC Transit Summary Report - Revision of Services to Accommodate the New Wal-Mart

Council received this report for information

10) Official Community Plan Amendment and Zoning Amendment Applications - Roe / Sharman with Bylaws #2103/2104

Councillor Rathor reviewed the Planner’s report with Council

Council agreed to give Bylaws #2103 and 2104 1st Reading and refer the Bylaws to a Public Consultation Session then refer to the City’s Advisory Planning Commission for comment & recommendation(s)

11) Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination - Draft Resolution to Promote FCM Member Participation

Council endorsed the Draft Resolution of the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities Against Racism and Discrimination (CCMARD) to the Board of Directors of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM).

12) ICSP - Sustainability Principles & Charter of Sustainability

Council agreed to support the Sustainability Declaration with the addition of "using Sustainability Guidelines" in Principles of Smart Growth when making development decisions

13) Allocation of Surplus Kitchen Equipment from Cariboo Lodge

Council agreed to allocate the kitchen equipment from the Cariboo Lodge as follows:

• Salvation Army:
- Commercial Dishwasher
- Garland Range
- Exhaust Hood
• Food Policy Council:
- Stainless Working Area
- Walk-In Cooler and Freezer Unit
• Camp Likely:
- Stainless Steel Working Area
- Bakers Pride Oven
- Built-In Shelving

and subject to the City having first right of refusal on any equipment that is no longer required by the Salvation Army, Food Policy Council or Camp Likely


1) Council agreed to forward a letter to CRTC (Canadian Radio and Television Commission) to support the Canadian Olympic Committee regarding their application to the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Committee (CRTC) for two television licenses, one English and one French, for the Canadian Amateur Sports Network and le Reseau du sport amateur canadien, with both channels dedicated 24/7 to exclusive coverage of Canadian amateur athletes and sports

2) Council agreed to give approval for the 2009 Annual Memory Tree Celebration on December 6, 2009 from 2:30 to 4:30 pm at City Hall, and the event be coordinated with City Staff and the Fire Department.

3) Council agreed to give approval for staff to erect the community Christmas Tree in Courthouse Square for the Winter Lights Light-Up event on Friday, November 27, 2009 and permission be given for heat barrels, as requested, and coordinated by the Williams Lake Fire Department.

4) Council agreed to give approval for the Winter Lights Christmas Magic Light-up Event and Santa's Candlelight Procession on Friday, November 27, 2009

5) Council agreed to give permission to close Third Avenue South from Yorston Street to the Canada Post parking lot driveway on Saturday, November 14, 2009 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm for the Hockey Night in Paradise fund and food drive

6) Council agreed to give approval for the horse drawn wagon rides for the 10th Annual Barton Family Christmas Gathering on Friday, December 11th.


Council proclaimed the week of November 9 to 13, 2009 as "Hockey Week in Williams Lake”

Late Items:

1) Council agreed to provide a letter of support for Ear to the Ground Planning for their submission to the Ministry of Citizens Services Dialogue Initiative Request for Qualification

2) Council agreed to designate Councillor Laurie Walters in the place of Mayor Kerry Cook as a City representative on the November 2009 BC/Asia Twinning Mission to Guangdong Province, China.

3) Remedial Action Resolution for 238 Crosina Crescent

The CAO reviewed the report of the General Manager of Planning & Operations with Council

Council agreed to issue the Remedial Action Resolution

Information & Announcements:

Members of Council made announcements relating to local events in Williams Lake


Council adjourned at 9:25pm with Council to move to an In-Camera meeting

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

City of Quesnel Council Meeting - Monday, November 2nd, 2009

City of Quesnel Highlights – Nov 2/09 (Meeting held in Quesnel Council Chambers)


Mayor M. Sjostrom and Councillors L. Roodenburg, S. Thapar, R. Paull, P. Couldwell, C. Oakes and M. Cave

City Staff Present:

Byron Johnson – City Manager
Lori Scott – Deputy City Manager
Matt Wood – Communications Supervisor
Kari Bolton – Director of Finance
Jack Marsh – Director of Public Works & Engineering

Meeting called to order at 7:00pm

Invocation (Opening Prayer) provided by Councillor C. Oakes

Council adopted the Agenda with 3 Late Items

Council adopted minutes of the September 19th Regular Meeting of Council

In-Camera Resolution ($50 / month for Technology Adjustment Expense effective Nov 1/09) from Closed Meeting of October 26th – received for information

Council and Committee Reports

1) Acting Mayor L. Roodenburg reported on Oct 26/09 Committee of the Whole Meeting.

Council agreed to approve the rates put forward in Administration Report 102/09 for inclusion in the revised Cemetery Bylaw to be brought to Council for 1st,2nd and 3rd Reading later this evening;

Further that Council agree to match the Cariboo Regional District capital contribution of $17,500 each year, to be put in a reserve for future capital work at the cemetery

2) Councillor Paull reported on Oct 14/09 meeting of Museum & Heritage Commission.

Council agreed to add the Keen family name to the list of names used in naming Quesnel streets and parks in recognition of contributions and long-time standing in the community and that the Museum and Heritage Commission bring forward other notable names to be added to the list of names when naming streets/parks in the City of Quesnel

3) Councillor Roodenburg reported on Communities in Bloom meetings held on Sept 22 & Oct 20/09.

Council agreed to adopt the Amended Terms of Reference for the Communities in Bloom Committee

4) Mayor Sjostrom reported on Oct 30/09 meeting of CRD Board.

• H1N1 issue discussed
• Presentation by Encorp Corp including depot in 100 Mile House and disappointment on Electronic Recycling file
• Dog Barking Policy Passed
• NAV Canada issued discussed
• Invasive Plant Bylaw Passed allowing City of Quesnel to participate in the Invasive Plant Management Function, by way of contract

5) Councillor Roodenburg reported on Oct 15/09 meeting of the North Cariboo Recreation Commission.

• Business arising out of the minutes to be discussed at next North Cariboo Joint Committee Meeting

City Staff Reports

1) Administration Report 103/09 - Equipment Disposal

Director of Public Works & Engineering reviewed his report with Council

Council agreed to dispose of seven Vehicles by way of “sealed bid” and one by way of Public Auction House, if the New Holland Loader does not sell for the upset price first

2) Administration Report 107/09 - City Website redevelopment and grant application

Communications Supervisor reviewed his report with Council

Council deferred consideration of Administration Report #107/09 until the next Committee of the Whole Meeting

3) Administration Report 105/09 - Travel Policy

Director of Finance reviewed her report with Council

Council agreed to remove the words “(where there is an overnight stay)” from the Draft Amended Travel Policy

Council agreed to adopt the Amended Travel Policy with the following Vote taking place:

Yeas – Mayor Sjostrom and Councillors Roodenburg, Thapar, Couldwell, Oakes and Cave
Nays – Councillor R. Paull

4) Administration Report 104/09 - Quesnel Kennel Club Rental of space at City Hall

City Manager reviewed his report with Council

Council agreed to approve the rental of the basement space to the Kennel Club on a trial basis, with Staff directed to send a letter to Library Staff informing them of the rental with the following Vote taking place:

Yeas – Mayor Sjostrom and Councillor Roodenburg, Paull, Couldwell and Cave
Nays – Councillors Thapar and Oakes

5) Administration Report 106/09 - Third Quarter Review

Director of Finance reviewed her report

Council agreed to receive this report for information

6) Cheque Listing from Account Payable Clerk

Council agreed to receive/ratify the Cheque Listing

7) LATE ITEM - Agenda Summary - Removal of notice of contravention

Deputy Corporate Administrator reviewed her report with Council

Council agreed to approve the recommendation of the Building Inspector that the notice of contravention of municipal building regulations be removed from title of the property described as Lot 1, District Lot 3974, Cariboo District, Plan 28156 (672 Racing Road, Quesnel, B. C.) as all outstanding conditions have been met.

Council Information Package (CIP):

Deputy City Manager reviewed items from the CIP with Council

Moved – Councillor Paull
Seconded – Councillor Thapar

“That a letter be forwarded to the Provincial Government opposing the implementation of the HST”

Mayor Sjostrom having called the question, the following vote took place

Yeas – Councillors Paull, Thapar, Cave
Nays - Mayor Sjostrom and Councillors Oakes, Couldwell, and Roodenburg


Council agreed to receive the CIP


1) Career Leap 2009

Council agreed to proclaim the week of Nov 2-9, 2009 as “Career Leap Week” in the City of Quesnel

2) Letter from United Aboriginal Housing Society - Affordable housing in Quesnel

Council agreed to receive the letter. Staff will communicate with the Society requesting clarification on their request for land

3) City of Quesnel Social Club - Annual Donation to Children’s' Christmas party

Council deferred the consideration of the contribution of $2,500 to this event to the next Committee of the Whole Meeting

4) West Quesnel Business Association (WQBA) - Concerns about Lewis/Anderson Intersection

Council agreed to write a letter to WBQA advising of City actions on this item. Councillor Roodenburg to meet with WQBA on Wednesday morning on this topic

5) Embassy of Japan - Request to promote JET program; Scholarship information

Council agreed to refer this item to UNBC/CNC for their information


Quesnel Council agreed to give first, second and third Reading to Quesnel Cemeteries Regulatory Bylaw # 1669 of 2009


Council Members’ provided information on events they attended in the City of Quesnel

Council adjourned at 8:56pm

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Next Steps: Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function

At the Thursday, Oct 29th meeting of the Central Cariboo Joint Committee, Jill Zimonick from Stonefield Consulting presented the Service Delivery Plan for the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function

After Ms. Zimonick's presentation, Director Duncan Barnett (CRD Electoral Area 'F') and WL City Councillor Laurie Walters desired to receive/endorse-in-principle the Service Delivery Plan and then consult with Central Cariboo residents. This view met with stiff resistance from Mayor Cook, Deputy Mayor Rathor, CRD Area 'D' Director Deb Bischoff and her alternate, John Andrews and so it should have. Consulting with the public on the Service Delivery Plan after you've endorsed it looks like you've made up your mind before talking with the public.

For Director Barnett to say there's no public controversy tells me, at this point, that both he and Councillor Walters have an Agenda and do not care to hear what the public has to say and quite frankly, they desire to invoke "closure" and git 'er done, no matter what the cost and no matter what the public has to say.

Finally, for Director Barnett to say at the last Area 'F' Election in the Fall of 2008 that he understands what integrity is but yet wants to ram a tax down Central Cariboo residents' throats demonstrates to me that he still doesn't understand the word "integrity" and desires not to demonstrate this - day in and day out. At this point, I feel sorry for residents' in Area 'F' who has a Director who serves himself but not his Area residents'

When the Town Hall meeting date and location are announced with regard to the Service Delivery Plan, I'll let you know