Tuesday, November 30, 2010

WL Council receives 2nd Phase Piteau Report - status of City's aquifer

From the City of Williams Lake:

The Williams Lake aquifer has stabilized over the last five years, according to a Piteau Associates report received by council at its Nov. 30 Committee of the Whole meeting.
The report, commissioned in 2008, is the second phase of an ongoing aquifer study, and will now be referred to the City’s Water and Wastewater Advisory Committee for recommendations. Approximately 62 per cent of the $230,000 total cost for this second phase came from the federal government’s Community Economic Diversification Initiative.

The report found that aquifer stabilization has coincided with the drilling of a fifth well at the end of Duncan Road in 2004 and decreased water usage in the city. Water usage has decreased every year since 2006, a total reduction of almost 22 per cent, or 246 million Imperial gallons between 2006 and 2009.
The report recommends the drilling of a sixth well at the old city beach site off South Lakeside Drive to distribute water withdrawal from the aquifer over a larger area, which will mitigate impacts on the Scout Island well field.

“This report has given us good news about the state of the aquifer, and a great deal of information as continue to define the characteristics of the aquifer,” says Joe Engelberts, Manager of Water and Waste. “Going forward, the City will regularly monitor the water level and water quality in the test wells drilled by Piteau Associates as part of this phase of the study.”

The information collected will help to paint an even clearer picture of the status of the aquifer and its withdrawal rate over the next few years, and help assist the City in making informed decisions in managing our water resources in the future.

“Decreasing water usage is still important for the long-term health of our aquifer, and we thank those who have reduced their consumption,” says Councillor Sue Zacharias, who holds the Development and Public Works portfolio. “The Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society partners with the City of Williams Lake to deliver the Water Wise program, which has been instrumental in reducing water consumption. I encourage all residents to use water responsibly.”

Follow-up to City of WL Director of Finance gone

Earlier today, I noted the fact that Candie Laporte is no longer the City of WL's Director of Finance.  I'm told that the current Manager of Finance will take over as Director of Finance and the Manager of Finance job will be re-advertised.  See that blog post here

However, a number of questions now arise because of WL Council's decision to let go of Ms. Laporte including:

1) Did Ms. Laporte get or was entitled to severance and if so, how much?  and when was this decision made?  and why?  This given Ms. Laporte's hiring as Director of Finance only took place in April of 2010 and she left her post 7 months later - completely unheard of in the Province unless something untoward had happened internally.  Again, WL Council needs to clear the air here
2) Why has Mayor Cook and her Council permitted 3 senior City Staff members (Sue Lachance, Jill Zimonick and now Candie Laporte) to be let go in the last 15 months and how much severance has those decisions cost City taxpayers, given the region is in an economic downturn?.  Especially considering Mayor Cook campaigned on doing financial things differently at City Hall in the Fall of 2008?  I'm told through my sources that the 3 severance proceedings have cost City taxpayers in excess of $100,000.  This on top of property taxes being raised 6% in two years.  Yet she made a big fuss over small amounts of money for the 2011 Grants-in-Aide.  Obviously no consistency here

Mayor Cook needs to answer these questions very quickly and I hope the local media that reads this blog will do due diligence and ask Mayor and Council to answer these questions as well

Committee of the Whole (WL Council) Meeting Highlights - Nov 30th


Acting Mayor Laurie Walters (Chair) and Councillors Barr, Bourdon, Hébert, Rathor, and Zacharias


Mayor Cook (trip to Ottawa re: Prosperity Mine) and Deputy Mayor SPS Rathor

Staff Present:

Brian Carruthers – CAO
Cindy Bouchard – Manager of Legislative Services
Geoff Goodall – General Manager of Planning & Operations
Brad McRae – Senior Bylaw Officer
Kim Emsley-Leik – Marketing & Events Coordinator
Alan Madrigga – Economic Development Manager

Meeting called to order at 6:00pm
Minutes of November 16th COW Meeting adopted


1) Bob Sunner (BIA President), Sheila Mortensen (BIA Vice-President) and Judy O’Neill (BIA Manager) gave an update to the Committee on their recent activities

Presentation Points:

Review of events ongoing (Downtown Cameras, Winter Lights Event)

A Question and Answer Period ensued
Acting Mayor Walters, on behalf of the Committee, thanked the delegation for their presentation

2) Kim Emsley-Leik (City of WL Marketing & Events Coordinator) gave a presentation on her most recent activities

Presentation Points:

Completed Projects
Future Directions

A Question and Answer Period ensued
Acting Mayor Walters, on behalf of the Committee, thanked Ms. Emsley-Leik for her presentation


1) Aquifer Assessment Report by Piteau Associates

The General Manager of Planning and Operations reviewed the report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon – Water consumption down 22% and Well #6 will be moved to below Big Mama’s Restaurant

Committee Action – Committee received the report and referred it to the Water Advisory Committee for review and comment back to a future Committee of the Whole Meeting

2) Application to TD Green Streets Funding – Tree Farm Project at WL Airport

Councillor Hébert reviewed the Planner’s report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Committee Action – Committee of the Whole recommends:

Council approve an application to the ‘TD Green Streets’ funding program, to fund up to 50% of costs to initiate a ‘tree farm project’ on the Williams Lake Airport lands to grow seedlings for planting vegetation across the City; and further, Council commit to funding the remainder of the project’s costs.

3) Off-Street Parking Signage & Parking Passes for CMHA's Jubilee Place Employees at Cariboo Lodge Site

The Senior Bylaw Officer reviewed his report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Committee Action - Committee of the Whole recommends:

Council approve the implementation of off-street parking signage and passes at 175 4th Avenue North in order to provide the Canadian Mental Health Association’s (CMHA) Jubilee Place staff with exclusive parking spaces in front of the Cariboo Lodge, pursuant to Section 4.1 Easement of the current Cariboo Lodge Lease Agreement between the City of Williams Lake and CMHA.

4) Proposed Graffiti Bylaw - Review of Public Consultation Information

The Senior Bylaw Officer reviewed his report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Committee Action – Committee directed Staff to bring the Graffiti Bylaw forward for three readings

Meeting adjourned at 7:11pm

Fraser River Footbridge in Quesnel shows off Holiday Spirit

The Fraser River Footbridge will show off some holiday spirit as its automated light display will be officially lit this Saturday. A seasonal light theme will be the first in a series of light displays to be showcased on the historic bridge. The lights will come on at around 5:15 p.m., 10 to 15 minutes after the conclusion of the fireworks display after the Quesnel Downtown Association’s Santa Parade.

The best views of the lights can be seen along the sidewalks near the east and west entrances to the bridge. Viewing from the Moffat Bridge sidewalk is strongly discouraged by the City. Not only is the view from that vantage point not as good, but there are safety concerns as well.

“This project has been such a great success,” said Mayor Mary Sjostrom. “The Fraser River Footbridge is such an important symbol of our heritage that will entice visitors to spend a bit more time in our community.

A three-and-a-half-month work program from January to April gave the Footbridge a significant facelift. The decking as well as many of the truss members and metal connectors were replaced. In October and November, a complete makeover of the entrances to the bridge, including new flower planters, was completed. The lighting display that provides a wide range of colour schemes designed to accentuate the architectural features of the bridge was also added.

“I’m thrilled to hear that the Fraser River Footbridge will light up the city on Saturday,” said Dick Harris, Member of Parliament for Cariboo-Prince George. “Our government is extremely pleased that Community Economic Diversification Initiative projects like this one are being successfully completed and demonstrating tangible results in communities like Quesnel.”

The City received $1.759 million for all of this work from Western Economic Diversification Canada under the Community Economic Diversification Initiative (CEDI), a component of the federal government’s Mountain Pine Beetle Program. The Quesnel Community and Economic Development Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of the City of Quesnel, played a major role in securing the grant from the federal government. The City committed the remaining $400,000 as its share of the $2.1 million project budget. The City anticipates the project will wrap up under budget.

Update on Secondary Suite Policy

Earlier today, I received an email from Williams Lake City Councillor Natalie Hébert advising that the draft Secondary Suite Policy that had been out for public consultation is now in the hands in internal City Departments who are providing comments on it but no date when Council will take up this matter formally with an eye towards adopting a Secondary Suite Policy in the City of Williams Lake

When WL City Council considers this item - either at Council or Committee of the Whole - I'll let you all know


City of WL's Director of Finance gone

Earlier today, I was up at City Hall and noted that the picture of Candie Laporte, the then-City of Williams Lake's Director of Finance was removed and it was announced that the post was vacant. 

For what reasons - only Ms. Laporte knows.  It is strange though given Ms. Laporte had the post only for barely a year.  In any event, I wish Ms. Laporte the very best in her future endeavours.

Hopefully - the City will announce a replacement fairly soon as they need a Director of Finance to start building a budget for the 2011 Fiscal Year.

BC Liberal Party Leadership News...Tuesday, Nov 30th edition

Mike Smyth from the Vancouver Province reviews the announcement of Kevin Falcon announcing that he wants to be the Province's 35th Premier (and yes, he has stepped down as Health Minister).  See here

Ian Bailey from the Globe and Mail - BC Edition reviews Kevin Falcon's bid to become the next Premier and BC Liberal Party Leader.  See here

CBC-BC is running a story on Kevin Falcon's bid for the BC Liberal Party's top job.  See here

Tomorrow, Mike De Jong (BC Attorney-General & Gov't House Leader) is widely expected to announce that he is running to become the Province's 35th Premier.  As well, by next week, Christy Clark could announce that she wants to become the Province's 35th Premier.  I now believe with Mary Polak supporting Kevin Falcon, watch for Rich Coleman to announce that he will not seek the BC Liberal Party Leadership but also watch for Mr. Coleman to work behind the scenes to influence who becomes the next BC Liberal Party Leader & BC Premier. 

After Mr. De Jong & Ms. Clark announce - stay tuned here as I will announce who I'm personally supporting for the next BC Liberal Party Leader and the Province's 35th Premier

Local News - Tuesday Nov 30th edition

In the Williams Lake Tribune:

* Review of last week's public meeting on the CMH Master Site Review - see here
* 108 Mile resident Karl Post explains why recalling Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett is not a solution - see here
* Letter write Oleh Lazarchuk explains why the Cariboo Memorial Hospital upgrades are long overdue - see here

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Status of City of WL Aquifer Report (Piteau Report) now available

In my previous post, I noted that WL Council, meeting in Committee of the Whole, will be discussing the Piteau Report (Status of the City of WL's Aquifer).  In case you don't wish to dig for the Report, I'll post the direct links below

Report - see here
Transmittal Letter to City of WL - see here
Part 1 - see here
Part 2 - see here

Committee of the Whole (WL Council) Meeting next Tuesday

With local governments in Quesnel, 100 Mile House and the Cariboo Regional District not meeting next week - to get your political fix next week - Williams Lake Council, meeting in Committee of the Whole, has a meeting next Tuesday at 6pm at WL City Hall (450 Mart St) in Committee Room #1. 

Interesting items on the Agenda include the "Piteau" report for the status of the City's Aquifer and 2 Delegations - Judy O'Neill from the local BIA on what they are up to and Kim Emsley-Leik (City Events and Marketing Coordinator) on her recent activities. 

See the Agenda and Reports here

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cariboo Lodge Task Force members appointed...

From the City of Williams Lake:

On Tuesday, Nov 23rd, Williams Lake Council appointed the following people to the Cariboo Lodge Task Force:

• Development and construction: Luigi Mandarino
• Community: Bobby Sunner

• Non-profit housing society: Maureen Tickner
• Financial sector: Paul Eves
• Social Planning Council and families: Rosanna McGregor
• Seniors: Audrey MacLise
• BC Housing: Peter Chau
• Ministry of Child and Family Development: Diane McHardy
• Interior Health Authority: Allison Ruault

And City Councillor Natalie Hébert & Acting Manager of Social Development Annie McKitrick

First Meeting - December 8th, 2010 to elect a Chair, orient Task Force members' & decide future meeting dates/times.  Meetings are open to the public

Mayor Cook goes to Ottawa over Prosperity Mine

From the City of Williams Lake:

Mayor Kerry Cook will be in Ottawa Monday, Nov. 29, to ask federal ministers to provide clarification on the Nov. 2 federal decision to deny approval of the Prosperity mine project, and to determine the way forward for the project.

“For as long as the proponent, Taseko Mines Ltd., sees a way for this project go ahead, the City will not give up,” Mayor Cook says. “It’s important for Ottawa to understand how important this project is for the Cariboo.”

Mayor Cook will join Members of Parliament Dick Harris (Cariboo-Prince George) and Cathy McLeod (Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo), Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett, and representatives of the Williams Lake and District Chamber of Commerce to meet with Environment John Baird and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea.

Mayor Cook will ask the ministers to provide specific reasons for the government’s no decision on the mine, and ask them to work with Taseko Mines to determine an acceptable proposal. In announcing the no decision, the government said the project could not proceed “as proposed.”

In addition to the meetings, Mayor Cook will deliver a letter addressed to Prime Minister Stephen Harper and signed by the mayors of Williams Lake, Quesnel, 100 Mile House, Wells, and the chair of the Cariboo Regional District asking for the government’s co-operation in moving the project past the no decision.
“We believe that the Prosperity mine still represents an opportunity for the residents of Williams Lake and the Cariboo Chilcotin,” Mayor Cook says. “This trip to Ottawa is to make sure we continue to work to make that opportunity a reality.”

Mayor Cook says that the City is willing to work to bring all parties back to the table to address the environmental and aboriginal concerns. “Seeking clarification is the first step,” she says.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

WL Council Meeting Highlights - November 23rd


Mayor Cook and Councillors’ T. Barr, N. Hébert, SPS Rathor, L. Walters and S. Zacharias


Councillor Geoff Bourdon

Staff Present:

Brian Carruthers - CAO
Cindy Bouchard – Manager of Legislative Services
Tom Chung – IT Manager
Ken MacInnis – Communications Coordinator
Brad McRae – Senior Bylaw Officer

Meeting called to order at 6:00pm
Minutes of November 9th WL Council meeting approved


1) Sikh Community Prayer led by Gian Sandhu & First Nations Prayer led by Millie Emile
2) Erin Hitchcock (Editor – Williams Lake Tribune) introduced Council to new Tribune reporter Robyn Chambers


1) Council received for information a report from the City’s ICSP Coordinator on her and Mayor Cook’s trip to Saskatoon for the Ahead of the Curve: Tapping Into the Prairies' Rich Leadership History Conference held in October

2) Council adopted Bylaw #2127, 2010 (Williams Lake Security Alarm Systems / False Alarm Bylaw)

3) Council adopted 2 Committee of the Whole recommendations as follows:

a) Council approved the proposed changes to the parking fine rates within Bylaw No. 2093 (Traffic Control Bylaw) and Staff were directed to organize public consultation hearings and bring forward the necessary amending Bylaw for Council's consideration

b) Council will provide a letter of support to School District No. 27 for their application to the School Community Connections Grant Program for the upgrade or installation of kitchen facilities in a number of schools within the School District.

4) Council gave approval for the 11th Annual Barton Family Christmas Gathering’s horse-drawn wagon rides on Friday, December 10th, provided that proof of $3 million of 3rd Party Liability Insurance is demonstrated. This event will be coordinated through City of WL Staff and all emergency services (Fire, Ambulance, Police) & BC Transit will be notified of this event.

5) Council proclaimed the month of November 2010 as “Adoption Awareness Month” in the City of Williams Lake

6) Late Item - Council approved travel and associated costs for Mayor Cook to travel to Ottawa, Ontario from November 29 to December 1, 2010 to meet with Federal Cabinet Ministers John Baird (Acting Environment Minister) and Gail Shea (Fisheries and Oceans) regarding the Prosperity Mine Project.

7) Late Item – Council received for information In-Camera Report #8-2010 (Appointments to Cariboo Lodge Task Force)

Mayor & Councillors gave individual oral reports on issues/events occurring in the City
Meeting adjourned at 6:47pm

Restoration of Highway #20 almost complete

Provincial Transportation Minister Shirley Bond announcing that the restoration of Highway #20 from Williams Lake to Bella Coola is almost 100% complete

See the press release here

BC Political News - Tuesday, November 23rd edition

In the Tyee - Fraser-Nicola NDP MLA Harry Lali discusses his dissatisfaction with the recently-held NDP Provincial Council meeting - see here.  Also, Skeena MLA Robin Austin lets his dissatisfaction be known with last weekend's NDP Provincial Council Meeting.  See here.  Global-BC interviews Harry Lali with the infighting with the BC NDP.  See here

In the Globe and Mail - BC Edition - Education Minister George Abbott in his strongest hint yet that he is running for the BC Liberal Party Leadership explains why the HST Referendum needs to be moved up to June of 2011, rather than September 24th, 2011.  See here

Wrong Priorities at City Hall....

The City of Williams Lake announced yesterday that traffic fine amendments to Traffic Control Bylaw #2093 will be subject of public consultation meetings in January of 2011.  This is in advance of a Council decision on this matter.  As a rule - City Staff are not supposed to anticipate what Council will decide.  After all, suppose Council decides to defer putting the purposed increased traffic fines to the public, then Staff would look like fools, given the press release (see below) was published in today's Williams Lake Tribune

Furthermore, this Council is going to put the small matter of increased traffic fines to the public in January of 2011, yet the more serious matter of what City of Williams Lake residents' as it pertains to the new False Alarm Bylaw (specific fines and fees) will not be put to the public prior to Council adopting this bylaw tonight (Tuesday, Nov 23rd).  Some would call this hypocrisy.  Another reason why Council needs to expedite the idea of a Public Consultation Policy (Regulatory Bylaws) at City Hall.  This on the heels tomorrow (Wednesday, November 24th) that Council promised the community that a Policy on Public Consultation for Regulatory Bylaws would be forthcoming (this after Council passed Bylaw #2093 - Traffic Control Bylaw in 2009 but failed to consult the community prior to adopted it in the summer of 2009)

See the City of Williams Lake Press Release below:

Public consultation will be held in the coming months before City Council considers any changes to the bylaw regulating parking fines to encourage fine payment.
Council, meeting as Committee of the Whole, heard a staff presentation Nov. 16 outlining suggested changes to the bylaw in order to have fines paid, and paid in a prompt manner.

“There will be no changes to the bylaw until public consultation is done, as with any amendment to a bylaw,” says General Manager of Planning and Operations Geoff Goodall. “We always welcome input as we work to make our bylaws more effective, and we will let residents know when public consultation events will be held.” Public consultation will likely take place in January.

Under the suggested changes, there will be a slight increase to the fines for some parking violations, from $20 to $25, if paid within five calendar days. All City parking violations would be levied a $25 fine. If not paid within that time frame, the cost of the ticket rises to $75, the same fine levied in Quesnel.

“We don’t want the $75; we want tickets to be paid promptly,” Goodall says. “Currently, 60 per cent of our parking tickets go unpaid, and it is an unnecessary burden to our bylaw staff to have to go through the time-consuming task of chasing down unpaid tickets.”

When a ticket goes unpaid, the costs associated with processing a ticket largely outweigh the costs of the initial ticket, and this increase for failing to pay a ticket
(within the allotted time) is meant to cover paperwork costs and court time officers spend waiting in court to prosecute these unpaid fines. Residents can still challenge the ticket and proceed with all the previous steps of appeal if they feel the ticket was given in error.

Mayor Kerry Cook reiterated that no changes will be made to the bylaw without public consultation, and that parking fines will increase only slightly for those who pay promptly.

“Council has been apprised of staff’s suggestions, and we want to hear from residents,” she says. “We will be interested in what they have to say during public consultation, and I encourage anyone with ideas, suggestions, or concerns to participate.”

She added: “We want our bylaw staff to be able to work effectively to offer service to our residents, and their time should not be used in trying to recover unpaid parking tickets. Hopefully, with more incentive, residents will pay their fines promptly, and free up staff to address other bylaw matters.”

Lone Butte Fire Department mourns loss of member

South Cariboo - It is with deep regret the Cariboo Regional District's Lone Butte Volunteer Fire Department announces the passing of volunteer firefighter, Henry Van Kessel as a result of a motor vehicle incident (MVI) that happened on the morning of Saturday, November 20, 2010.

At approximately 10:30 a.m., Van Kessel, a member of the department since 2007, was travelling to the Lone Butte Fire Hall in response to a mutual aid call from the Watch/Green Lake Volunteer Fire Department for a chimney fire. Just east of the fire hall on Highway 24, Van Kessel was involved in a two vehicle incident.

The Lone Butte Volunteer Fire Department responded to the MVI, and discovered it was team member, Henry Van Kessel. The Lone Butte VFD initiated first responder and auto extrication tactics, and called for mutual aid assistance from the 100 Mile House Fire Department's auto extrication unit. Van Kessel was transported to the 100 Mile House and District Memorial Hospital where he unfortunately succumbed to his injuries.

150 Mile House Volunteer Fire Department Chief, Stan McCarthy provided Workman's Compensation Board critical incident counselling to Lone Butte members on Saturday and will also be returning to Lone Butte this evening for further counselling.

The 62 year old Van Kessel leaves behind family and many friends from the south Cariboo, Vancouver's Lower Mainland, Ontario and Cuba. Members of the Lone Butte Volunteer Fire Department and Henry's family are in the process of making service arrangements.

The Cariboo Regional District Board of Directors and staff offer their condolences to Mr. Van Kessel's family, friends and the members of the Lone Butte Volunteer Fire Department for their loss.

Quesnel Council Highlights - November 22nd Meeting

Third quarter update
Council received a report regarding the City’s financial performance to the end of the third quarter (Sept. 30). Overall the City is performing as budgeted, with expenses and revenues in line. Council did receive notice, however, that the City is not projected to have a surplus for 2010.

Recycling station options sought

Council received a request from the West Park Mall that the City relocate its recycling station located in that facility’s parking lot. The mall management indicated there were concerns regarding loitering, garbage and parking availability. City staff have been unsuccessful in finding a resolution that would see the popular recycling station remain as is. The City will continue to investigate options regarding where the bins may be located.

City to seek grants for infrastructure - St. Laurent avenue improvements

The City will apply to the provincial government’s Towns for Tomorrow grant program for $375,000 to pay for a portion of the reconstruction of the 200 and 300 blocks of St. Laurent Avenue. The City’s share of the $890,000 project would be $515,000 and come from the Quesnel Works: Capital Reinvestment Program. The work includes repaving, new sidewalks and new curb and gutter. All the detailed engineering work is complete, meaning the project is ready to proceed. This project was slated for the 2010 season, but was cancelled.

Municipal Landfill improvements

The City will apply to the General Strategic Priorities Fund (A Gas Tax program that local governments may apply to) for improvements at the municipal landfill. These funds are used to support local government infrastructure that contributes to cleaner air, cleaner water and reduced greenhouse gas emissions and may be used to improve a wide range of environmental issues, including solid waste management. The improvements will include weigh scales, a scale house, fencing and various traffic control improvements. The City will have much greater control over the materials entering the landfill once the project is complete. It is anticipated that the improvements will also encourage greater recycling. The project budget is $648,900, with the Gas Tax funds potentially paying for 100% of the costs.

Other news

Council will increase business licence fees in 2011 for all businesses except those that are home-based. The fee will increase by $25, from $50 to $75 for the majority of businesses. Council also approved some regulatory changes to the business licence bylaw. All businesses will receive an insert with their 2011 business licence explaining: the changes to the bylaw; the reasons for, and benefits of, a business licence; a revised application form; and notice that the fee structure will be revisited in 2011.

Council approved a 1.6% increase to their indemnity, following established policy. That policy states that Council indemnities will be linked with the increase to the Consumer Price Index in September of each year.
Council appointed four members to the Museum and Heritage Commission. Peter Walsh, Bob Lebeck and Brian Milthorp were re-appointed, with one new member, Lori McKee, appointed for her first term.
The Quesnel Kennel Club will continue to call a portion of City Hall home. Council approved renewing the club’s lease for a portion of the basement. The rent for 2011 was increased from $500 to $525 per month.
Council approved its meeting schedule for 2011. Of note, the first official Council meeting of 2011 is Dec. 6 2010. The first public budget meeting is slated for Jan. 17, with further budget discussions on Jan. 31 and Feb. 14. The final meeting for this Council’s term is Nov. 21. The complete schedule is available at http://www.city.quesnel.bc.ca/

Important Dates

Dec. 3 and 4 - Museum Gift Shop Sale - 20% off every item.
Dec. 4, 3:30 p.m. - Santa Parade along Reid Street.


November - Adoption Awareness Month

Next Regular Council Meeting:
December 6

Next Delegation Meeting:
November 29

Next Committee of the Whole Meeting:
December 13

Next North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Meeting:
December 14

Monday, November 22, 2010

Lekstrom out, Stilwell in...

As reported in the Globe and Mail - BC Edition, Peace-River South MLA Blair Lekstrom has declined to run for the BC Liberal Party Leadership however Minister of Economic Development (Dr) Moira Stilwell has decided to run for the BC Liberal Party Leadership

See the Globe and Mail article here

Note - I was saddened to learn that Mr. Lekstrom will not run for the BC Liberal Party Leadership and I intend to personally contact him in the next day or two to express my appreciation that he took the time to consider the opportunity

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Carole James News...

In his column today, Vancouver Sun political columnist Vaughn Palmer looks into the unfolding situation around Carole James's leadership and the BC NDP Caucus - see here

Also - CBC-BC is reporting that Carole James has earlier this afternoon a "non-confidence" in her leadership - see here

Williams Lake CAO reviews Portfolio vs Committee structure

At his blog - the City of Williams Lake CAO (Brian Carruthers') - reviews the difference between a Portfolio vs Committee structure and why the Committee system is better

See here

Friday, November 19, 2010

Phase 2 Improvements to WL River Valley complete

From the City of Williams Lake

The second phase of improvements to the River Valley Trail are complete. Phase II included the construction of storm water lagoons and the restoration of the site’s original ecosystem.
The lagoons, directly below the entrance to the trail, will filter city storm water before it is released into the Williams Lake River, ensuring the water re-entering the natural water cycle has been treated.

As part of the phase, Richard Case of RL Case & Associates – Watershed Consulting and the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society Conservation Society planted more than 1,200 native shrubs, trees, and wetland plants to restore the ecosystem. This is addition to about 1,300 plants planted during Phase I of the improvements, which included the addition of sewer detention ponds.
A new picnic shelter has been built and trails have been created in a park area uphill from the lagoon site, surrounded by additional new vegetation. A concrete salmon also marks the site. “This is a unique system that will contribute to treating the city’s storm water,” says Director of Municipal Services Kevin Goldfuss. “Storm water will no longer go unfiltered into the river.”

“More than just planting, we are working to restore the ecosystem to what it was here 100 years ago,” says Case. “We planted 6 different species of trees, five species of wetland plants, and nine species of shrub, all native species and well-suited to the site.”

The City plans to add interpretive signage at the site in the future, in order to inform visitors how the lagoons were integrated into the ecosystem.

Local Government Meetings in Cariboo-Chilcotin - Week of November 22-26

There are a number of local government meetings in the Cariboo-Chilcotin this upcoming week:

Monday, November 22nd - City of Quesnel

Regular Council Meeting which starts at 7:00pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (410 Kinchant St).  There is an In-Camera Meeting scheduled following adjournment of the Quesnel Council Meeting

See the Agenda/Reports here

Tuesday, November 23rd - Board of Education (SD #27)

Regular Board Meeting which starts at 7:00pm in the SD #27 Boardroom (besides Marie Sharpe Elementary)

See the Agenda/Reports here

Tuesday, November 23rd - District of 100 Mile House

Regular Council Meeting which starts at 7:00pm in 100 Mile Council Chambers (385 Birch Ave)

Tuesday, November 23rd - City of Williams Lake

Regular Council Meeting which starts at 6:00pm in Williams Lake Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  Reminder - WL Council has a In-Camera Meeting scheduled at 5:30pm on Tuesday, November 23rd, in accordance with Sections 90(1)(a) and (c) of the Community Charter

See the Agenda and Reports here

Wednesday, November 24th - Interior Health

Public Meeting on update on process with regard to Master Site Plan for Cariboo Memorial Hospital and Health Center

Meeting starts at 2:00pm in the Cariboo Memorial Hospital & Health Center Cafeteria

I'm on holidays next week but anyone who has a interest in seeing our local hospital becoming the very best it can be should be at this meeting

Former NDP MLA's signs joint Letter of Support for Carole James

CBC-BC is running a story on former BC NDP MLA's, Cabinet Ministers, former Cariboo-South MLA Dave Zirnhelt and 2 former BC NDP Leaders (Mike Harcourt and Joy McPhail) expressing their support for Carole James as Leader of the BC NDP. 

See the story here

I'd point that the list of invidiuals on this joint Letter of Support for Carole James as BC NDP Leader are the same people in the 90's that almost destroyed our province.  I don't put much stock if their letter will have much weight on the current situation within the BC NDP.  I suspect, short of Bob Simpson being allowed to return to the BC NDP Caucus, the question of how long can Carole James remain as BC NDP will still remain

Province of BC provides weblink for new civic election rules

The Province of BC is announcing a new website for candidates, agents, civic political parties, local governments, and others with an interest in local government elections about the new civic elections rules to come into effect for next fall's local government elections. 

This is a follow-up to the Local Government Elections Task Force which submittted its' recommendations to the Provincial Cabinet earlier this year and Victoria signed off on the recommendations, earlier this summer

See here

2012 NCLGA Conference

As announced at today's Cariboo Regional District Board meeting, the District of 100 Mile House & the Cariboo Regional District will be co-hosting the 2012 NCLGA (North Central Local Government Association) Convention

This will be an excellent opportunity for our region to showcase the Cariboo-Chilcotin.  The last time the NCLGA was in the Cariboo-Chilcotin was in 2007 when the CRD and City of Williams Lake co-hosted the NCLGA Conference

Lots of Provincial Political News (Updated)

Mike Smyth from the Vancouver Province reviews on-going battle between Kootenay-East MLA Bill Bennett & BC Premier Gordon Campbell - see here

Vaughn Palmer from the Vancouver Sun also reviews the on-going battle between Kootenay-East MLA Bill Bennett and BC Premier Gordon Campbell - see here

Kootenay-West MLA Katrine Conroy quits as NDP Caucus Chair - see here (Province reports that Vancouver-Mount Pleasant MLA Jenny Kwan, North Island MLA and the BC Legislature's Assistant Deputy Speaker Claire Trevena and Saanich-South MLA Lana Popham support Ms. Conroy's decision to step down as BC NDP Caucus Whip

As I feared, Bill Bennett is now an Independent MLA for Kootenay-East after being thrown out of BC Liberal Caucus - see here

Finally - a poll came out today stating that NDP have only a 7 point lead on BC Liberals.  Even Carole James's support level came down as well.  It'll be interesting to see if the poll results & Katrine Conroy's resignation as Caucus Whip have a bearing on this weekend's BC NDP Provincial Council meeting.

CRD Board Meeting Highlights - Nov 19th


Chair A. Richmond and Directors T. Armstrong, R. Faust, J. Massier, D. Bischoff, S. Mazur, A. Dumaresq, J. Glassford, A. Bracewell, R. Mumford, B. Rattray, M. Sjostrom, M. Campsall, K. Cook and Area ‘F’ Alternate Director J. Sorley

Staff Present:

Janis Bell – CAO
Rick Hodgson – Deputy CAO
Alice Johnston – Corporate Officer
Rick Brundrige – Manager of Planning Services
Graham Barbour – Manager of Bylaw Enforcement (entered meeting at 9:59am, left meeting at 10:26am)

Meeting called to order at 9:45am

Agenda Adopted
Minutes of Oct 29th CRD Board meeting adopted


1) Board received the updated Delegations MOB (Memo of Business) as at Nov 19th
2) Board added CCBAC as a delegation in early 2011
3) CRD Planning Bylaws #4650-4654, 2010 were given 1st and 2nd reading (New 108 Resort Inc – Area G)
4) Board changed Board Resolution #10-10B-50 (3rd Reading of CRD Planning Bylaw # 4612, 2010) to read: - Area ‘L’

(1) prohibit any further construction or development on that approximate 0.436 ha portion of that part of the common property on Plan EPS174 located south of Hwy 24 and north of the natural boundary of Lac Des Roches (the proposed “Common Property”).

5) Board rescinded Resolution #09-09A-19 and gave new approval for DVP #455-2010 – Area L
6) Board deferred consideration of DVP Application #470 for 6 months – Area H
7) Board authorized Chair Richmond to write Interior Health expressing concerns around provided comments on Planning Applications
8) Board deferred consideration DVP Application #473 to December 10th, 2010 – Area F
9) Board approved ALR Application #F255 for submission to the Provincial ALC with a recommendation to approve – Area F
10) Board agreed to amend Policy #4 – Appendix E of the Heritage Implementation Plan as follows:

“4. The Cariboo Regional District will provide an annual budget to support the mandate of the Heritage Steering Committee.” And all references in Appendix E to ‘Heritage Commission’ were amended to read ‘Heritage Steering Committee’

Area ‘I’ Director Jim Glassford opposed

11) Board received from CRD Staff a memo re: Remote Community Implementation Program
12) Board approved 1 Notice on Titles in Area H and the Notice on Title in Area I was deferred for 60 days
13) Board received Building Stats for September and October 2010
14) Board granted a 5-day time extension for a Remedial Action Order in Area L
15) Board received Water and Sewer Projects report
16) Board changed CRD Policy No. 99-7-17 to read as follows:
“ Upon completion of the Cariboo Regional District public tendering policy, an initial contract when awarded shall not exceed a three-year period. Contracts may be renewed for an additional term of no more than two years, at the sole discretion of the Cariboo Regional District, provided no increase is requested. Prior to completion of the term, the contract shall be extended or tendered 4 months prior to expiry, when warranted.”
17) Board authorized a letter of support to the School District to submit a grant application for funding to perform upgrades to kitchens, to develop or upgrade community gardens, or to develop community trails or green spaces at schools within the school district with respect to the UBCM (Union of BC Muncipalities) School Connections Program
18) Board permitted the authorized signatories to sign a property transfer agreement for Ranger Park Ball Fields (Barlow Creek Recreation – Area C)
19) Board authorized, as per CRD Board Policy No. 06-05A-24, CRD Staff to purchase gifts for Area ‘L’ Director Rattray to present to these members (Deka Lake Fire Commission) on behalf of the Cariboo Regional District.
20) Board ratified Cheque Register for October 2010 in the amount of $2,438,319.46
21) Board authorized the Area ‘D’ Director to access funds from her Area ‘D’ Opportunity Fund for the McLeese Lake Annual Community Christmas dinner in the amount of $75.00
22) Board received a request from Area ‘C’ Director John Massier from the Fraser Basin Council to designate the Pacific Salmon as a official symbol in BC and that the request from the Fraser Basin Council (designation of Pacific Salmon as official symbol in BC) was endorsed by the Board
23) Board gave permission to allow the Big Lake Community Association to apply to the Community Entrance Signing Program through the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
24) Board received Level Corporate Priorities List as of Nov 19th
25) Board received/endorsed the Prioritized List of Board Resolutions as of Nov 19th
26) Board received the Consent Calendar as of Nov 19th
27) Board received 4 letters from Minister Ben Stewart re: 2010 UBCM, Canada Post re: preserving the Canadian Mail system, BC Attorney-General Mike De Jong re: criminal activity/police levels in the Cariboo Regional District and the UBCM President re: 2010 Resolution on Local Gov’t General Election dates
28) Board received a quarterly report on the Grant Writer Support Program
29) Board received minutes from the Parkland Recreation Commission of October 18th and the Anahim Lake Airport Commission of October 21st
30) Board received minutes from Oct 25th South Cariboo Rural Caucus meeting and endorsed the recommendations from that meeting
31) Board received minutes from the Oct 27th Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee Meeting and endorsed all recommendations, as amended.
32) Board received minutes from the Oct 27th Central Cariboo Rural Caucus and endorsed all recommendations from that meeting
33) Board received minutes from Oct 28th Finance/Budget Committee meeting and endorsed all recommendations from that meeting

Meeting recessed at 10:57am
Meeting resumed at 11:07am

At 11:07am, John Betts (Executive Director – Western Silvicultural Contractors’ Association) appeared before the Board to discuss silvicultural activities within the Cariboo region

A Question and Answer period ensued
Chair Richmond, on behalf of the Board, thanked Mr. Betts for his presentation

Meeting recessed for lunch at 11:58am
Meeting resumed at 12:38pm

34) Board received minutes from Nov 10th South Cariboo Joint Committee meeting and endorsed all recommendations from that meeting
35) Board authorized Area C Director John Massier to attend the “Invasion of the Aliens” IPCBC 2011 Forum to be held on January 18-19, 2011 in Richmond, BC
36) Board rescinded 3rd reading of CRD Bylaw #4617 and re-read the bylaw a 3rd time as there was a technical error in the Bylaw regarding how taxes are collected and needed to be corrected(South Cariboo Recreation Service – Amendment)

Directors made oral reports on issues or events in their Electoral Area or Municipality

Board agreed to write 4 letters:

1) Letter to Ottawa requesting clarification on rejection of Prosperity Mine proposal (Area 'D' Director Deb Bischoff opposed)
2) Letter to Robin Hood thanking him for his service on the Electoral Area 'F' Advisory Planning Commission
3) Letter to Janine North (Executive Director - Northern Trust) congratulating her on her recent 2 year appointment to the BC Hydro Board of Directors'
4) Letter to NAV Canada re: reinforcement of Cariboo-Chilcotin Region's wish to have Williams Lake Regional Airport's Flight Service Station continued operation

Meeting adjourned at 1:30pm

CCRHD Board Meeting Highlights - Nov 19th


Chair R. Mumford and Directors T. Armstrong, R. Faust, J. Massier, D. Bischoff, S. Mazur, A. Richmond, A. Dumaresq, J. Glassford, A. Bracewell, B. Rattray, M. Sjostrom, M. Campsall, K. Cook and Area ‘F’ Alternate Director J. Sorley and TNRD Area ‘E’ Sally Watson

Staff Present:

Janis Bell – CAO
Rick Hodgson – Deputy CAO
Alice Johnston – Corporate Officer
Rick Brundrige – Manager of Planning Services

Meeting called to order at 9:30am
Minutes of Oct 29th CCRHD Board meeting adopted


1) Memorandum of Business – Hospital was received
2) Consent Calendar – Hospital was received
3) Hospital Board received 2 press releases re: Fischer Place Set to Open (100 Mile House) and Deni House Project moves forward (Williams Lake)

Meeting adjourned at 9:36am

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Bob Simpson - Gordon Campbell has lost his mandate to govern

Indendepent Cariboo-North MLA Bob Simpson has an interesting column on Gordon Campbell's resignation

See here

CRD Finance/Budget Meeting #2 (2011 Budget) Highlights - Nov 18th


Chair A. Dumaresq with Directors T. Armstrong, R. Faust, J. Massier, D. Bischoff, S. Mazur, A. Richmond, J. Glassford, A. Bracewell, R. Mumford, B. Rattray, M. Sjostrom, K. Cook, M. Campsall and Area ‘F’ Alt Director J. Sorley


Wells Director Jay Vermette

Staff Present:

J. Bell – CAO
R. Hodgson – Deputy CAO
A. Johnston – Corporate Officer

Meeting called to order at 1:33pm

Agenda Adopted


1) Corporate Goals

The CAO reviewed her memo with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Committee Action – Memo received and endorsed

2) Travel Time Remuneration

Chair Dumaresq reviewed the Corporate Officer’s memo with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Committee Action – Travel time remuneration request referred to the CRD Board’s Policy & Procedure Committee

3) 2011 Financial Plan Adjustments

The CAO reviewed her memo with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Committee Actions – Increase 2011 Central Cariboo Victim Services Budget to $24,711 (Directors Deb Bischoff and Alex Bracewell opposed).

Staff were requested to look at reducing reserves to get 2011 final requisition to 1.25% (year over year) (minus new services)

Staff were requested to create new budget line for Forest Capital of Canada (2010 and 2011 designation)

4) Review of 2011 Business Plans for Governance, Electoral Area Administration, Admin Services, Feasibility Study, Rural Feasibility, Anahim Lake Airport (as amended)

The Committee then reviewed the following 2011 Business Plans:

xxxx Governance – add LGLA (Local Government Leadership Academy) Training as 2011 Business Goal
1002 Electoral Area Administration
1003 Administrative Services
1004 Feasibility Study
1019 Rural Feasibility
1111 Anahim Lake Airport (as amended)

5) Endorsement of 2011 Financial Plan

Committee Actions:

1) Separate Central Cariboo Arts & Culture Function from 2011 Financial Plan
2) 2011 Financial Plan be endorsed
3) 2011 Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Financial/Business Plan be endorsed – Director Bischoff opposed

CRD Finance/Budget Committee then adjourned to In-Camera (Section 90(1)(c)) of the Community Charter

Gordon Campbell - I stay put until February 26th, 2011

Williams Lake Tribune is running a story which states that BC Premier & BC Liberal Party outgoing Leader Gordon Campbell will remain until February 26th, 2011

See here

Upcoming In-Camera Meetings - City of Williams Lake

In about an hour at 6:00pm today, Williams Lake Council is meeting behind closed doors to discuss items suitable for discussion In-Camera in accordance with Section 90(1)(a) of the Community Charter which says:

a) personal information about an identifiable individual who holds or is being considered for a position as an officer, employee or agent of the municipality or another position appointed by the municipality

Then on Tuesday, November 23rd at 5:30pm, Williams Lake Council will once again meet behind closed doors to discuss items for discussion In-Camera, in accordance with Sections 90(1)(a) and (c) of the Community Charter which says:

a) personal information about an identifiable individual who holds or is being considered for a position as an officer, employee or agent of the municipality or another position appointed by the municipality

c) labour relations or other employee relations

Given I believe in Open Government, I feel that the community has a right to this information.  Again - I hope the community is always made aware when Council is meeting in a open session and when it is meeting behind closed doors and why?

But certainly, this Council is getting a reputation on making secretive decisions without consulting the community (Heritage House lease to CMHA) and having more In-Camera meetings' then its' precedessor Councils'

Quesnel gets funds for BC Spirit Festival

Earlier today, the Province Government announced roughly $1 million in funds to host BC Spirit Festivals in 49 Communities

In the Cariboo-Chilcotin - the Quesnel & District Arts Council will get $5,000 to host a BC Spirit Festival there.

See the complete list here

Nov 17th Central Cariboo Joint Committee Proceedings

A couple of things came out of Joint Committee that I found interesting:

1) Start of Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function

During debate on the new Cultural & Implementation Plan for Arts & Culture - a little "war of words" between CRD Area 'D' Director Deb Bischoff & WL City Councillor Laurie Walters took place with Director Bischoff suggesting that the Central Cariboo Arts & Culture Function is a "child of CCBAC - Cariboo-Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition" whereas Councillor Walters stoutly denied that suggestion.

Well - both are right and wrong.  It is true that CCBAC did start the "conversation" on a Regional Arts and Culture Function but ultimately the CRD Board of the Day (2008) rejected a region-wide Arts, Culture and Heritage Function, but allowed the-then Area 'F' Director Duncan Barnett to proceed with a Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function which was approved by voters', via an Alternate Approval Process or counter-petition, in late 2008.  However, I do sympathize and agree with Director Bischoff that the new local Arts and Culture Society should approach the local Beetle Action Coalition for funding, in addition to other sources, to fund improvements to the Central Cariboo Arts Center.  I also agree with Councillor Tom Barr who says that taxpayers' should not be on the hook for improvements to the Arts Center and perhaps fundraising should be pursued in addition to other measures.  This idea didn't get unanimous support as Councillor Zacharias feels fundraiser is inappropriate given the structure of the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society (CCACS).  All the more reason that Dr. Graham Kelsey and his collegeus on the CCACS need to meet with the public (90% of their budget is coming from taxpayers - local Arts & Culture Function)

2) Mayor Cook and Grants-in-Aide

Last night in a verbal tirade, Mayor Cook demanded the Joint Committee to be careful around approvals for Grants-in-Aide for 2011 as Joint Committee will have to defend this in front of taxpayers.  This coming from a Mayor who raised property taxes two years running and doesn't blink a eye and doesn't raise her voice to it except to say - We have no choice.   Talk about moral indignation and hypocrisy...

And while I'm at it - I'm disappointed that Council's reps to BIA - Councillors' Geoff Bourdon & Tom Barr - did not do their homework to ensure that BIA's Grant-in-Aide application for $5,000 for Street Party 2011 matched what was before Joint Committee.  Now, Joint Committee did approve $3,000 for Street Party however the BIA Manager, Judy O'Neill, has given me assurance that she intends to follow-up with Councillor Bourdon to ensure he understands why BIA, if it is going to put on a successful Street Party in 2011, needs its' full $5,000 rather than $3,000.  For the record, Joint Committee approved-in-principle (will be ratified at Dec 9th meeting) roughly $42,000 in Grants-in-Aide with a surplus of $7,000 remaining so BIA's full $5,000 Grant-in-Aide application could be accommodated and it should - Street Party is a huge & successful event in concert with the Williams Lake Stampede.  Ms. O'Neill tells me that BIA's ultimate goal is to fund Street Party via Fee-for-Service and that's a goal that I wholeheartedly endorse and I hope that she is successful in that goal.  If not, I would be prepared to assist her in that cause, if asked

Steve Rant - Political Games in Victoria

Resign is defined in the dictionary as:

"to give up a paid or unpaid position voluntarily"

and usually means that you leave right away and not sit around and leave when you want.  Premier Campbell seems to have forgotten the definition of the word "resign", given the firing of former BC Energy Minister and Kootenay-East MLA Bill Bennett.  This coming from Premier Campbell said that previous verbal tirades of Bill Bennett, as a Cabinet Minister, was "healthy" and welcomed.  If this that was the case of a 2nd & final chance for Bill Bennett - he sure said in a very weird and strange way

See articles on this subject here (Province), here (Vancouver Sun) and here (Globe and Mail)

However, I think everyone knows that only the First Minister (Premier) can demand the resignation of his Ministers' and not the collective wish of Cabinet.  What's more troubling is that Colin Hansen asked his boss, Premier Gordon Campbell to leave the room while Cabinet demanding that Bill Bennett leave his post as Energy Minister.  Talk about breaking 150 years of Parliamentary Government in addition to if that happened in the private sector (worker asking the boss to leave a meeting that the boss convened), you'd be fired on the spot!

Given the recent fiasco come out of Victoria - this is additional proof that Gordon Campbell should do us all a favour and quit today & not Feb 26th, that is if he truly loves the Province and wants to do the right thing for it & allow the BC Liberal Party to begin the healing process of division today before it is too late in voters' minds and lest they hold their nose and vote NDP.  The next Leader of the BC Liberals' needs to ensure that Colin Hansen is booted out as Finance Minister to ensure we, as a Party, make a true fresh start with voters', as I believe with Campbell out and Hansen being fired as Finance Minister - we can truly make a clean break with voters' on the HST and other financial matters.  There is precedent for this - former BC Premier Glen Clark after meeting with the Lieutenant-Governor announced his resignation in 1999 then immediately launched a process for a caretaker Premier in Dan Miller, pending a selection of a new BC NDP Leader who was Ujjal Donsanjh in 2000 until the disastrous election for the NDP in 2001

Also - surprising yesterday, Cabinet decided to "suspend" the 15% income tax reduction.  Some media reports state it was "terminated".  You can read the official press release here and decide for yourselves.

Also - Hon. Steve Thomson was named Energy Minister.  See the official press release here

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Central Cariboo Joint Committee Meeting Highlights - Nov 17th

WL City Council – Mayor Cook (Committee Co-Chair) and Councillors Barr, Bourdon, Hébert, Rathor, Walters and Zacharias

Cariboo Regional District – Area ‘E’ Director Steve Mazur (Committee Co-Chair), Area ‘D’ Director Deb Bischoff, Area ‘F’ Alternate Director Joan Sorley, Area ‘J’ Director Alex Bracewell and Area ‘K’ Director Rick Mumford

Also Present:

Brian Carruthers – CAO, City of WL
Darron Campbell – Manager of Community Services, CRD
Geoff Paynton – Director of Community Services, City of WL
Cindy Bouchard – Manager of Legislative Services, City of WL

Meeting called to order at 5:33pm by Co-Chair Mayor Kerry Cook

By Consensus – Agenda accepted for consideration with addition of 2 late items (Reconsideration of 2011 Business & Financial Plans for Central Cariboo Arts and Culture & 2011 Business/Financial Plans for Central Cariboo Victim Services Function)

By Consensus – Amended Minutes of Oct 27th Joint Committee meeting adopted

Delegation – Dr. Graham Kelsey from CCACS (local Arts and Culture Society) re: new Cultural Plan & Implementation Plan

Dr. Kelsey reviewed his letter to the Joint Committee
A Question and Answer Period ensued

Co-Chair Cook thanked Mr. Kelsey for his presentation


1) 2013/2015 Northern BC Winter Games

The City of WL Director of Community Services reviewed his report with the Joint Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

By Consensus - Joint Committee not support a bid for the 2013 or 2015 Northern BC Winter Games at this time & that City/CRD Staff with Central Cariboo Recreation Advisory Committee prepare a Strategic Plan for criteria for applying to host large sporting events

2) Cultural Plan / Implementation Plan for Central Cariboo Arts and Culture

The CRD Manager of Community Services reviewed his memo with the Joint Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

By Consensus – Cultural Plan/Implementation Plan be endorsed & recommendations of the strategy be endorsed to form the basis for an arts and culture service delivery agreement between the Regional District and the Society to begin in January
2011 & Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society be requested to consider supporting CRD Forest Capital of Canada designation in 2011 in some manner. (CRD Area ‘D’ Director Bischoff opposed)

3) Late Item – 2011 Proposed Business/Financial Plans for Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function

CRD Area ‘D’ Director Deb Bischoff & CRD Area ‘F’ Alternate Director Joan Sorley reviewed this item with Joint Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

By Consensus – 2011 Proposed Business & Financial Plans for Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Function be re-confirmed
(CRD Area ‘D’ Director Bischoff opposed)

4) Proposed 2011 Joint Committee Meeting Schedule

By Consensus – Joint Committee endorse attached meeting schedule for Joint Committee meetings’ in 2011

5) 2011 Grants-in-Aide

The City of WL CAO reviewed attached spreadsheets for 2011 Grant-in-Aide applications with the Joint Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

By Consensus – 2011 Grants-in-Aides be approved as follows (funded on 70% City of WL and 30% CRD split):

• Canadian Mental Health Association - $5000
• Lake City Derby Girls - $2500
• SPCA - $4600
• Gavin Lake Forest Education Society - $2500
• Cariboo Festival Society - $5000
• Blue Fins Swim Club - $2000
• WL Business Improvement Area (Street Party 2011) - $3000
• Farmers Market - $575
• Growers Co-op of Cariboo-Chilcotin - $5000
• WL Indoor Rodeo - $2000
• Winter Lights - $2800

WL City Councillors’ Geoff Bourdon and Natalie Hébert were opposed

6) Discussion Items – Director Bischoff:

a) Recreation Advisory Committee Quorum Issues – City of WL Community Services Director Geoff Paynton explained some of the quorum issues at the Committee and what was being done to fix the problem

By Consensus – Item received

b) Rotate 2011 Joint Committee Meeting locations – General Discussion ensued.

By Consensus - Item received. Status Quo endorsed (Meet 6 months at CRD & Meet 6 Months at City of WL)

7) Late Item – 2011 Business/Financial Plans for Central Cariboo Victim Services Function

CRD Area ‘F’ Alternate Director Joan Sorley & CRD Manager of Community Services reviewed this item with Joint Committee

Discussion ensued thereon

By Consensus – Victim Services 2011 Budget be increased to maximum allowed - $24,711 – and that a review of the Victim Services Function Bylaw be completed with a goal to increase the maximum requisition limit.

CRD Area ‘J’ Director Bracewell was opposed

8) Action Page

By Consensus – Item received

Meeting adjourned at 7:36pm

Gary Mason - James should escape knives for her job

At the Globe and Mail - columnist Gary Mason reviews the unfolding situation in the BC NDP around Carole James' leadership

See here

Palmer - BC Liberal Cabinet dumps wrong guy...

Vaughn Palmer (Vancouver Sun political columnist) over at his blog says the Provincial Cabinet fired the wrong guy (Bill Bennett)

See here

City of WL Projects...

1) New OCP

I have been asked this question - What's happening with the Imagine Our Future project

So I had a chance to discuss this with City Staff and they advise that the project has hit some complications and consequently, progress has slowed on this project but they hope that once the complications have been fixed that sometime early in 2011 - the process to develop/adopt the City's new OCP will begin to pick up steam.  In the meantime, stay tuned

2) Council Committee Structure at City Hall

At last night's Committee of the Whole - Council received a report from City Staff regarding switching Council Governance from "Portfolio" to "Committee".  What I found troubling is how unprepared Mayor Cook seemed to be for the switch, given Dec 1st is coming up fast and she/City Staff had been working at this for months and seemed unable to address concerns by Councillor Rathor who asked who the Committee Chairs would be and admitted that she hadn't thought of his concerns.  Furthermore, Staff stated that Portfolios are not recognized in provincial law, but Committees are.  This coming from City Staff who knew this for 11 years (length of time that Portfolios have been in use at Williams Lake City Hall).  The Committee structure was last used at City Hall for the 1996-1999 term of the-then Council of which Mayor Cook was a then-Councillor

George Cuff - a well-known civic government governance expert - states that changing civic governance is a process should be done methodically and carefully to ensure everyone understands their role

Again - this is a case of Kerry Cook - not a leader.  Also - the old saying of "If it ain't broke, why fix it?" seems to come to mind

Last night's WL Council In-Camera Meeting

Last night and prior to its' regularly scheduled Committee of the Whole meeting, WL Council held a closed Committee of the Whole meeting from 5:30pm - 6:07pm.  They closed this meeting to the public in accordance with Section 90(1)(j) of the Community Charter which says:

information that is prohibited, or information that if it were presented in a document would be prohibited, from disclosure under section 21 of the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act

Now normally, In-Camera are traditionally secret for various reasons, as per Section 90(1) under the Community Charter but you get a sign of what was discussed by who leaves those meetings, other than elected officials & City Staff.  After the In-Camera Meeting adjourned but prior to the public Committee of the Whole meeting commencing, I saw Tom Hoffman (Tolko Industry's local Woodlands Manager) leaving the meeting.  This suggests that either Mr. Hoffman had direct knowledge of what was being discussed or provided insight to WL Council on what it was discussing behind closed doors. 

In any event - I hope for the day that the City of Williams Lake will post its' In-Camera Agendas & Notices on a regular basis, both at City Hall and on the City website as routine business

Colin Hansen must resign as well

As we all know, Gordon Campbell (outgoing BC Premier & BC Liberal Party Leader) has now signified his intention to resign and the BC Liberal Party has launched the process to select a new leader

Earlier today, Bill Bennett was fired for what I call "speaking the truth".  This is in sharp contrast to what Gordon Campbell said about Bill Bennett complaining about the recent cabinet re-shuffle:

"Bennett was free to express his opinion, and would remain on the job"

Talk about hypocrisy...

Now, with Bill Bennett's firing as BC Energy Minister - you'd think that Campbell as Premier and head of government would explain this decision, but lo and behold - it was Colin Hansen who announced that Bill Bennett had failed to be a "team-player".  That's fine....except it was his boss (Campbell) who said it was OK for Bennett to express concerns

The reason I believe that Hansen should resign as well is because he has failed to recognize that the HST is a "lost cause" & has failed to consult adequately with the people of BC (remember - they sat on explaining the HST for over a year), as I believe Campbell has now recognized, and needs to be abandoned as any good government recognizes that policy should never trump the ultimate goal of a politician or political party - to remain in power as long as possible and that any policy or individual is secondary to that goal.   If he is unwilling to recognize that, then perhaps Hansen should be removed as BC Finance Minister & Deputy Premier whenever the next BC Liberal Party Leader is selected.

In the meantime, Campbell's conduct in the firing of Bill Bennett is deeply troubling and reeks of hypocrisy & intellectual dishonesty and he should explain himself forthwith and kudos to Bill Bennett to have the "cojonés" to speak out and tell the truth & damn the consequences


HST could still be remain in place...

Tom Fletcher (Black Press Legislative Bureau Chief) reviews how reason could prevail over why the HST should remain in place

See here

Other BC Political News...

In today's Vancouver Sun, political columnist Vaughn Palmer reviews the NDP's role in recalls' throughout BC - see here

Over at the Globe and Mail - reporter Ian Bailey reviews 2 candidates for the BC Liberal Party Leadership in Blair Lekstrom & George Abbott - see here

Bill Bennett turfed from BC Cabinet

CBC-BC is reporting that Bill Bennett has been thrown out of the BC Cabinet for publicly calling on Gordon Campbell to leave earlier than Feb 26th (date for selection for next BC Liberal Party Leader)

See the story here

Regional News - Nov 17th edition

In the Quesnel Cariboo Observer:

* Mining Industry says HST is good for them - see here
* City of Quesnel delays a decision on business license fee bylaw - see here

In the 100 Mile Free Press:

* Explosion at Ainsworth OSB Plant - see here
* High public interest for Green Lake OCP Public Hearing - see here
* Branding Project underway in 100 Mile House - see here

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Committee of the Whole (WL Council) Meeting Highlights - Nov 16th


Mayor Cook, Deputy Mayor Rathor and Councillors Hébert, Zacharias, Barr, Bourdon and Walters (via teleconference)

Staff Present:

Brian Carruthers – CAO
Cindy Bouchard – Manager of Legislative Services
Brad McRae – Senior Bylaw Officer
Geoff Goodall – General Manager of Planning & Operations
Lilliana Dragowska – ICSP Coordinator
Annie McKitrick – Acting Manager of Social Development


Allison Ruault – Interior Health
Rick Mumford – Chair, Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional Hospital District Board

Meeting called to order at 6:00pm
Minutes of October 26th, 2010 COW Meeting adopted


1) Jackie Watson & Aaron Miller from Interior Health appeared before the Committee to give an update on the Master Site Planning for the Cariboo Memorial Hospital & Health Site

Presentation Major Points:

• What is a Master Site Plan?
• Why do we need a Master Site Plan?
• Who is involved in developing the Plan?
• When is the Community Information Session? – Wednesday, November 24th, 2010 at 2:00pm in the Hospital Cafeteria
• When will the Master Site Plan process be completed? - January of 2011

A Question and Answer period ensued
Mayor Cook, on behalf of the Committee, thanked Ms. Watson and Mr. Miller for their presentation


1) Council Committee Structure

Mayor Cook & the CAO reviewed his report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Committee Action – Report received for information

2) Ecological Gifts Program - Donation of Land at 1501 Juniper Street (David Hall)

The CAO reviewed the Planner’s report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Committee Action – Committee of the Whole recommends:

Council direct Staff to proceed with the process of receiving Lot Parcel ‘A’, District Lot 8835, Cariboo District, Plan 25852, as a donation under the Ecological Gifts Program

3) Proposed Amendment to Traffic Control Bylaw No. 2093 re Parking Fines

The Senior Bylaw Officer reviewed his report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Committee Action - Committee of the Whole approved the proposed changes to the parking fine rates within Bylaw No. 2093 and Staff was directed to bring forward the necessary amending Bylaw for Council’s consideration

4) 2010 School Community Connections Grant - Request for Letter of Support

The CAO reviewed this item with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Committee Action – Committee of the Whole recommends:

Council give a letter of support to School District #27 for their 2010 School Community Grant application

5) Central Cariboo Sustainability Committee

Councillor Hébert, the CAO and the ICSP Coordinator reviewed her report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Committee Action – Committee of the Whole recommends:

Council recommend to the Central Cariboo Joint Committee that they ask the Sustainability Committee to review their terms of reference and work as an independent community committee, rather than a committee of Joint and that they seek partnership with local governments on projects and initiatives that support the community’s sustainability goals;

And that Council inform the community members involved on the Sustainability Committee that Council is supportive of the work and expertise that this group brings to the community and to the implementation of the ICSP

Meeting adjourned at 7:24pm

City of WL Events at City Hall

Some note-worthy City events this week include:

Wednesday - ESS Volunteer Reception at City Hall from 5:00-8:00pm in City Hall Lobby Area & Council Chambers to thank the ESS Volunteers for their dedication and hard work during the 2010 fire season and to de-brief what went right & wrong

Thursday - 2nd Public Consultation Meeting on Draft Graffiti Bylaw from 6-8pm in Council Chambers (450 Mart St)

Quesnel Health Expo

Do you know your numbers? How's your blood pressure? Are you eating right? Are you active enough?

Find out the answers at the Quesnel Health Expo, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday Nov. 20 at the Quesnel & District Arts and Recreation Centre. Visitors will be able to sign up for comprehensive health screenings, listen to talks by experts, or ask questions about improving health and wellness at a number of exhibitor booths.

"We've developed a partnership between Leisure Services, Northern Health, and the Canadian Diabetes Association to provide our community with comprehensive health screenings at a convenient location," said Diane Rogers, Leisure Services Recreation Manager. "This is a great opportunity for all of us to get our loved ones to have a screening and spend some time learning about how we can improve our health."

Visitors will be able to register for medical screenings with public health nurses and physicians. The screenings cost $10, and cover topics including: cholesterol; blood glucose; managing stress; smoking cessation; blood pressure; activity; goal setting; and eating sensibly. The public is encouraged to consider registering for a screening if they are over 40 or have a family history of heart disease or diabetes. Child-minding and bus passes are available for screening participants.

Northern Health's nurses from public health, chronic disease clinic, home care, primary care, and mental health and a dietician will provide their expertise at the screenings and information booths. Dr. Jerry McFetridge, Dr. Morne Smit, Dr. Peter Slabbert and other physicians will also participate in healthy goal settings and Dr. McFetridge will present a talk how exercise is important medicine.

"There is no substitute for having your own family doctor and getting regular checkups, but health fairs such as the Quesnel Health Expo can supplement your health care through providing low cost risk screenings for heart attack, giving information on important cancer screenings, and lifestyle changes for prevention of chronic illness, and setting personal goals for lifestyle changes" said Margie Wiebe Primary Care Nurse and Primary Health Care Developer from Northern Health. "Early detection of heart health risks, cancer, and chronic illness are the most important factors for reducing heart attacks, and having better outcomes for cancer and chronic illness."

As November is Diabetes Month, information about prevention and living with diabetes will have a prominent place in the Expo and throughout the medical screenings and presentations. In recognition of Diabetes Awareness Month, the Association is asking individuals to visit diabetes.ca to see the stories of incredible volunteers, sponsors, members, partners, researchers and supporters - who are living healthy with diabetes, advocating for the cause and breaking ground towards a cure.

"Today, more than 9 million Canadians live with diabetes or prediabetes - a condition that, if left unchecked, puts you at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. In Quesnel, there are over 1,500 people living with diabetes," said Boyanne Young, Branch Coordinator of the Canadian Diabetes Association, Northern Region.

For more information, or to register for a screening, please contact 250-992-8200.

District of Lake Country CAO's Blog

Former City of Williams Lake CAO Alberto DeFeo (Chief Administrator) and now CAO for the District of Lake Country has now established a blog for his readers' in the District.  I find his blog posts to be fascinating and I hope you find them to be the same.  I believe the community is poorer since losing Alberto DeFeo to the District of Lake Country.  He is truly a very unique individual

The address is http://lakecountrybc.blogspot.com/.  I've also placed the blog link in my "Political Links" which is found on my right side of my main blog page


MLA Donna Barnett Recall Campaign to start on Jan 31st, 2011

FightHST.com is reporting that a campaign to recall sitting Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett will start on Monday, January 31st, 2011.  Like her colleague, Ida Chong, in Oak Bay - Gordon Head, she will name the BC NDP as the trigger for her recall campaign.  The recall campaign against MLA Barnett is slated to conclude on Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Some questions to ponder include:

1) Will anger over the HST in Cariboo-Chilcotin subside by Jan 31st, 2011 or will it be a major issue for voters' as they ponder whether or not to sign the recall petition?
2) Will other issues play a role - legislated contract for paramedics/paramedic issues, public education, etc?

We'll soon know, but the one thing I'd like to point out is that I don't consider any recall campaign an abuse of the Recall and Initiative Act.  If voters' think Donna Barnett or targeted BC Liberal MLA's are doing a good job as MLA, then they'll refuse to sign the recall petition, but I suspect not, especially in the riding of Cariboo-Chilcotin, but a lot will depend on the campaign - how will Donna's supporters come out with ads in favour of her and how aggressive will recall canvassers' be to get the official Elections' BC numbers to formally remove Donna Barnett from office

See FightHST.com's full press release here

Province of BC provides BC Muncipalities with $16.8 million in place of property taxes

The Province of BC today released individual amounts to Muncipalities in lieu of property taxes

Here in the Cariboo-Chilcotin - 100 Mile House, Williams Lake, Quesnel and Wells received the following amounts:

100 Mile House - $23,888
Williams Lake - $52,189
Quesnel - $53,115
Wells - $1,482

See the Province's press release here

Did WL Council focus too much time on Prosperity Mine...?

Williams Lake Tribune columnist Diana French publicly wonders if members of Williams Lake Council spent too much time advocating for Prosperity Mine and further wonders where the City could have been if Council had spent the same effort working on other economic measures

See her column here

Palmer - Campbell staying causing BC Liberals' to fret...

In his column today, Vancouver Sun political columnist Vaughn Palmer reviews the untenable situation of Gordon Campbell staying as BC Liberal Party Leader while other BC Liberals' want him to leave to make a "fresh start" with disenfranchised BC voters'

See here

Smyth - Few willing to step up and save BC Liberals'

In his column today, Vancouver Province political columnist Mike Smyth reviews the deplorable situation concerning the BC Liberal Party Leadership issue

See here

Monday, November 15, 2010

Gary Mason - Campbell needs to step aside now

In the Globe and Mail - BC Edition, columnnist Gary Mason argues why Gordon Campbell needs to leave immediately and allow the selection of a caretaker Premier, pending the selection of a new BC Liberal Party Leader

See here

BC Liberal Party 1st Leadership Vote date set

The BC Liberal Party's Provincial Council passed a motion Monday night setting a Leadership Vote to select a new BC Liberal Party Leader to take place on Saturday, February 26th, 2011.  Two weeks before that, a special Convention of the BC Liberal Party will take place on Saturday, February 12th, 2011 to ratify changes to the Party's constitution to change the leadership voting rules

See the BC Liberal Party's press release here

Palmer - Campbell can leave, it just takes courage

On his blog - View from the Ledge - Vancouver Sun political columnist Vaughn Palmer says outgoing BC Premier Gordon Campbell could leave immediately and there is precedent for this, using the example of the BC NDP when Glen Clark resigned in the late 90's.

See here

Future BC Liberal Party Leadership Hopefuls...

With Surrey Mayor Dianne Watts out of the running for Gordon Campbell's job as Leader of the BC Liberal Party and BC Premier, here's a snapshot of some others who may seek the post. 

See an article on this from PublicEyeOnline.com here

1) Christy Clark - there is a Facebook group for her supporters, but I would note that she has a pretty nice job at CKNW and she has already gone on TV saying no and the forcefulness of her "No" is such that I don't think she can be convinced to change her mind

2) James Moore - again, there is a Facebook group for his supporters, but if Chuck Strahl (BC Conservative MP & Federal Minister of Transport) has said no, then I highly doubt James Moore would leave his comfy post in Ottawa to join not exactly a sure thing

3) George Abbott - BC's Education Minister has been dropping strong hints that he will seek the post of BC Liberal Party Leader.  Believe an announcement is imminent

4) Blair Lekstrom - former BC Energy and Mines Minister and current MLA for Peace River-South.  I've personally talked with Blair about seeking the post of BC Liberal Party Leader and he's doing some soul-searching himself.  He would be a good candidate as he was the 1st Cabinet Minister to declare that Victoria royally screwed up on the HST.  But, like Dianne Watts, has family considerations to think about.  By the end of November, I suspect he will announce one way or the other if he will or won't seek the BC Liberal Party Leadership

5) Rich Coleman/Kevin Falcon - current BC Cabinet Ministers.  Too much political baggage over the HST.  They may very well decide to seek the BC Liberal Party Leadership.  But Kevin Falcon just got married over the last year and has 1 child.  I would be really surprised if he goes for it.  Rich Coleman, on the other hand, wouldn't be a surprise if he went for it, but with media speculation that he plans to retire, he may decide to campaign for someone he likes, rather than campaign for the BC Liberal Party Leader post himself

6) Carole Taylor - Have blogged on this previously.  See here.  Has previously said "No" on multiple occasions and is set to take over as Chancellor of SFU.  Couldn't see how she would accept this post if she wanted to take over as BC Liberal Party Leader/BC Premier.  No - I believe Carole Taylor will not be a candidate for the BC Liberal Party Leader

As they say - stay tuned...

City of WL releases results of 3rd Quarter

From the City of Williams Lake:

The activation of the Emergency Operations Centre, and the rehabilitation of Mackenzie Avenue are among the highlights in the City’s third quarter report, received by City Council at its Nov. 9 regular meeting.

During the wildfires this summer, hundreds of Cariboo and Chilcotin residents were forced to evacuate to Williams Lake, where they were attended to by Williams Lake Emergency Social Services. The fires escalated to the point where an evacuation alert was issued in the northwest corner of the City. The City Emergency Operations Centre was activated and detailed planning was initiated for the possible evacuation of all City residents.

The paving of the entire length of Mackenzie Avenue was complete at the end of September, and both the provincial and federal governments gave permission to reallocate surplus funds to other paving projects in the city. The result was an additional $1 million in paving, completed this fall, with one-third of the funding coming from the City and two-thirds from senior governments.

Other highlights from the report:

• Council and the CAO attended the Union of British Columbia Municipalities Convention in Whistler from September 27 to October 1st. Highlights included the commitment of $1,000,000 to the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition for three years and possible head-way with CN Rail on some pedestrian rail crossing issues.

• The City’s greenhouse gas emissions inventory and targets were approved by Council, leading the way to developing specific GHG strategies and monitoring progress in achieving the City’s GHG targets.

• Expenditures to the end of the third quarter are on target with the City’s budget.

Let Recalls Begin

CBC-BC is reporting that FightHST.com has now formally targetted the following MLA's for Recall on Jan 1, 2011:

1) Donna Barnett - (Cariboo-Chilcotin) - Parliamentary Secretary for Pine Beetle
2) Terry Lake - (Kamloops-North Thompson) - Parliamentary Secretary to the Health Minister
3) Ida Chong - (Oak Bay - Gordon Head) - Minister of Universities (This recall to take place on Monday, November 22nd)
4) Murray Coell - (Saanich North & the Islands) - Minister of Labour
5) Don McRae - (Comox Valley)

See their story here

2nd Public Consultation Meeting on Graffiti Bylaw on Thursday

From the City of Williams Lake:

City residents are invited to have their say on a new proposed bylaw that would give the City of Williams Lake more control in combating graffiti.

“Graffiti is a serious and growing problem in the City and we need to have an appropriate tool to remove it when it occurs,” says General Manager of Planning and Operations Geoff Goodall, who has responsibility for City bylaws. “We’d like to get the public’s input on our proposed bylaw as we work to put that tool in place.”

A 2nd public consultation meeting will be held Thursday, November 18 from 6 to 8 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall, 450 Mart Street. The public is invited to come to share questions, concerns, and ideas to City staff as they prepare the bylaw.

The proposed bylaw would give the city the ability to enter onto property to remove graffiti if a property owner fails to remove it within 14 days of being notified. While some communities such as Kelowna, Kamloops, and Abbotsford charge property owners for the cost of removing graffiti, the Williams Lake bylaw would not. However, the City will not colour-match paint when covering over graffiti on property.

“This bylaw ensures we all take responsibility for fighting this problem,” says senior bylaw officer Brad McRae. “By leaving graffiti unattended, we send a message that our community accepts it.”

“This bylaw is one more step in taking back our community,” says Mayor Kerry Cook, also Chair of the Policing Portfolio. “We can no longer ignore the disrespect that graffiti symbolizes. I encourage everyone to come to the public consultation meeting and be part of the solution.”

Passenger Numbers up at WL Regional Airport this past summer

From the City of Williams Lake:

Despite huge wildfires and a large volume of smoke in the Cariboo Chilcotin this summer, the Williams Lake Regional Airport saw a 16 per cent increase in aircraft movements between May and August this year over the same period in 2009.

10,257 passengers went through the airport between May and August 2010, compared to 8,839 in the same period in 2009. “This increase in passenger traffic shows that the airport operations staff and our tenants did a fantastic job accommodating the Ministry of Forests temporary tanker base during the wildfires this summer,” says airport coordinator Angela Cail. “The BC Forest Service used a corner of the airport apron as a temporary tanker base for re-fueling, loading fire retardant and transporting fire personnel.”

Airport operations staff were responsible for ensuring jet fuel was always available to BC Forest Service air tankers. During the wildfires, airport staff delivered 51,000 litres of jet fuel every few days and at the fires’ peak, the airport accommodated 35 helicopters and dispensed 54,000 litres of jet fuel in one day.

Airport staff provided logistical support such as a “sick bay” for helicopter maintenance and parking for BC Forest Service vehicles. The airport also received 12 Boeing 737 planes used for transporting fire crews to and from the region.

“Airport staff worked through many challenges during the fire season, and earned kudos from our tenants and the BC Forest Service,” says Reg Ryan, City Manager of Transportation and Buildings. “We are proud that there were no disruptions to commercial flights due to wildfire operations, and that passenger number actually increased during the summer months.”