Friday, December 30, 2011

Quesnel Council meets Tuesday...

Quesnel Council will be the first local government in the Cariboo-Chilcotin to meet in 2012

See their Agenda here

The meeting takes place on Tuesday at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Flr - 410 Kinchant St)

Final News Wrap of 2011

In Quesnel:

Quesnel Cariboo Observer looks like the tragic accident on Highway #97 near Hixon - see here

In Williams Lake:

Williams Lake Tribune concludes its' look at the 2011 Year in Review - see here
With the New Year being rung in this weekend - see this Tribune editorial asking you stay safe and not drink and drive this weekend - see here

Local ranchers speak out on choices for predator control - see here
Local firefighters respond to dump truck fire on Dog Creek Rd - see here
And if you aren't too busy - support those who are going to be in the Polar Bear swim at Scout Island on Sunday - see here

My Top 3 Federal Political Stories of 2011

The federal political scene was busy in 2011 but my top 3 picks for federal political stories in 2011 are:

1) Stephen Harper gets majority gov't and the NDP becomes the Official Opposition
2) Jack Layton passes away
3) Andrew Scheer becomes the youngest Speaker of the House of Commons

On #1:

Since Stephen Harper became Prime Minister in 2006 - it was well known that he desired a majority government and after receiving minority governments in 2008 and 2010, Canadians handed him the majority government he so desperately wanted.  Not only does he have a 10 seat majority in the House of Commons, he also has a majority in the Senate with a number of Senator seats to be filled in 2012, thus increasing the Conservative majority in the Senate.  So far, since the May election, we've seen the Harper majority gov't use its' legislative majority muscle on a number of bills including the Safer Communities Act (C-10), the Wheat Board Act (C-18), and the Keeping Canada's Economy and Jobs Growing Act (C-13)

Meanwhile - the NDP, by electing 103 MP's, became the Official Opposition, and crushing the Bloc Quebecois to 4 seats from its' previous 47 at dissolution of the 40th Parliament (March 26th, 2011). The NDP also handed the Federal Liberals their worst electoral performance to date ever with only 34 MP's elected, down from 77 at dissolution of the 40th Parliament of Canada (March 26th, 2011)

On #2:

In a story that touched all Canadians, regardless of their political affiliation, Jack Layton of the Federal NDP passed away on August 22nd, 2011 from an undisclosed form of cancer.  Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered a Federal State Funeral to the Layton Family which they accepted.  As of today - the Federal NDP and Liberals are undergoing Leadership races which should be concluded by 2013 (2012 for the NDP) which should leave the new Leaders plenty of time to get warmed up for the 42nd Federal General Election scheduled for October of 2015

On #3:

In not a surprise here - the 40th House of Commons Deputy Speaker Andrew Scheer (Regina-Qu'Apelle) became the 41st House of Commons Speaker and at the young age of 32, became the youngest Speaker in Canadian history.  He defeated candidates like Denise Savoie (NDP - Victoria) to get the post.  He is 4th in line in the Canadian list of Precedence.  Only the Speaker of the Senate (Hon. Noel Kinsella), the Chief Justice of Canada (Rt. Hon. Beverly McLachlin), the Prime Minister of Canada (Rt Hon. Stephen Harper) and the Governor-General (Rt Hon. David Johnston) are ahead of the Hon. Andrew Scheer

Looking ahead to 2012 - we'll see the election of a new Leader of the Federal NDP, the repeal of the Gun Registry and passage of the 2012 Federal Budget  and I'm sure other issues that are sure to dominate the federal political scene

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Top 3 Provincial Political Stories in 2011

Although there was plenty occuring on the provincial political scene - there are 3 provincial political stories that stood out in 2011:

1) 3 New Provincial Party Leaders in BC
2) HST goes down in defeat...
3) 2 BC Liberal MLA's call it a day...

On #1:

Change was the key theme for provincial political parties in 2011.  Firstly, we saw Christy Clark beat out others like Mike DeJong, Kevin Falcon and George Abbott to assume the leadership of the BC Liberals in late February and assumed the post of Premier of BC.  Later on in April - Adrian Dix beat out people like John Horgan and Mike Farnworth to become leader of the BC New Democrats and thus became Leader of Her Majesty's Loyal Opposition then in June - former Delta-East MP John Cummins was acclaimed as leader of the BC Conservatives' where no others in that party put their name forward

On #2:

After the use of the Initiative Petition, as part of the Recall/Initiative Act, and after referred to the Select Standing Committee on Legislative Initiatives and the Committee deciding to refer the Petition to a province-wide vote and subsequent decision by former BC Premier Gordon Campbell to submit the referendum vote from a double-majority decision to simple majority - the HST went down to defeat on August 26th by a vote of 54% to kill the tax with 46% voting to keep the tax.  As of today, discussions are ongoing to revert back to the old PST/GST with Bill Vander Zalm of the Fight HST group openly musing of a class-action lawsuit to force Victoria to get on with the conversion - see the article from the Globe and Mail here

On #3:

2 BC Liberal MLA's decided to call it a day in politics including Iain Black from Port Moody and Barry Penner from Chillwack.  Both of their ridings face mandatory by-election deadlines by April or May of 2012.  As of today - the BC Conservatives have declared candidates in Port Moody and Chillwack with the NDP have a candidate ready in Port Moody consisting of former Port Moody Mayor Joe Transolini.  The governing BC Liberals' have yet to name candidates in Port Moody/Chilliwack

It'll be interesting to see if this is a trend or just 2 people who were "burned out" and needed a change of pace

One thing for sure - 2012 will be interesting in provincial politics just like 2011 with the two upcoming by-elections and other issues sure to dominate the provincial political scene

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

My Top 3 Local Political Stories in 2011 (Updated)

So as we wrap up 2011 - let's look at my top 3 local political stories for 2011:

a) Re-elected Williams Lake Mayor
b) New OCP/ICSP in Williams Lake
c) First-time elected First Nations Cariboo Regional District Rural (Electoral Area) Director

a) Kerry Cook did what has not been done in 15 years in Williams Lake (since 1996) and that is become a re-elected Mayor of Williams Lake.  The last re-elected Mayor was Walt Cobb in the mid-90's.  Sometime in the new year, Municipal Councils' in Wells, Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House will begin "Strategic Planning" to set their goals for the 2011-2014 term.  In fact, we know already that Quesnel Council will be doing their Strategic Planning and Orientation Session on Friday, Jan 13th/Saturday, Jan 14th & Friday, Feb 3rd/Saturday, Feb 4th. It'll be interesting to read about the municipal councils' "Strategic Plans" for the upcoming term as they are released to the public

b) The City of Williams Lake started the ICSP/OCP development process back in 2007 where it was called "Imagine Our Future" and unlike the typical process of asking the public to come to their local Municipal Hall to provide input for a new Official Community Plan, the City of Williams Lake took the process of developing an Official Community Plan straight to the public and won a Federation of Canadian Municipalities award for it and it is fair to say that amending the new OCP/ICSP will be a "tall order" for this Council or any future Williams Lake City Council.  The next major planning task, in my opinion, will be to repeal City of Williams Lake Zoning Bylaw #1825, 2002 and enact a new Zoning Bylaw.  This action was also recommended by Staff to ensure the City's OCP/Zoning Bylaws compliment each other

c) For the first time (and readers' can correct me if I'm wrong) - Roger William became the 1st Cariboo Regional District Director for Electoral Area 'J' with local First Nations' heritage.

Director William will bring, in my view, his years of First Nations experience around how First Nations view various issues like land-use planning, resource extraction issues, etc to the Regional Board table.  This, in my view, is a positive development and hopefully inspires other First Nations people to run for local offices like Mayor, Councillors', School Trustees and Regional District Director

Update on Jan 4th, 2012 - a reader has informed me that CRD Area 'K' Director Chad Mernett also has First Nations heritage.  With 2 First Nations based CRD Directors at the Regional government table - I believe it adds to the quality of decision around the Cariboo Regional District Board table... :)

Tomorrow - I'll look at my top 3 picks for provincial political stories in 2011 and Friday - I'll look at my top 3 picks for the federal political stories in 2011

Mid-Week News - Dec 28th edition

In Williams Lake:

Tribune begins its' 2011 Year in Review (Jan - June) - see here
Tribune columnist Diana French says: Be kind to each other! - see here
Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett looks ahead to 2012 - see here

In 100 Mile House:

a) Local Agriplex agreement finalized - see here
b) Some object to a recent rezoning application - see here
c) 100 Mile Free Press editor Ken Alexander (sister paper to WL Tribune) says: Pay attention to local government in 2012 - see here
d) Fraser Institute questions effectiveness of newly-established Auditor-General for Local Govenment - see here

Friday, December 23, 2011

Local Gov't Office Hours - Christmas Break

With local governments on the usual Christmas Break until early January - your local City, District Halls or Cariboo Regional District offices in Quesnel, Williams Lake, and 100 Mile House will be closed as follows:

Williams Lake - closed Monday, Dec 26th/Tuesday Dec 27th
Quesnel - see above
100 Mile/Wells - see above
Cariboo Regional District (all offices in WL, Quesnel and 100 Mile) - closed until Tuesday, Jan 3rd, 2012

I'll be off from the blog until next week when I'll reveal my top 3 local, provincial and federal political stories of 2011 and what my top 3 stories for 2012 may be, in my opinion

Until then - may all of my readers' have a Merry Christmas and all the best to all of you and your families in 2012.  Drive safe to your destinations and don't forget - don't drink and drive!!


Christmas Message from Canada's Prime Minister

Courtesy of Rt. Hon Stephen Harper - Prime Minister of Canada:

“Christmas is a time to gather with family and friends, and to look back with gratitude, and to look forward with hope.

“In spite of continued global instability, Canada’s economy has performed well, compared to other countries. And our country is more confident and more united than ever.

“Our Government will keep working hard to create jobs and growth. And we will keep promoting the things that unite us as Canadians. This holiday season let us remember those who are less fortunate. Let us honour our men and women in uniform. And let us give thanks for our great country, Canada.

“From Laureen, Ben, Rachel and me, to your family, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and all the best for the holiday season and for the year to come.”

New Crime Stats for Cariboo-Chilcotin Region...

Yesterday, the Rush reported on the Province of BC releasing Crime Stats for 2010 which you can read the full report here

The reports shows reductions in the overall crime rate, clearance in crime cases and the overall crime severity index (BC and Canada),

In the Cariboo-Chilcotin region:

Wells - No report (District of Wells too small to report on - population of 235)


Overall CSI (Crime Severity Index) of 184.0 (down from 267.2 in 2009) or 12th in the Province
Violent CSI of 188.1 (down from 333.4 in 2009) or 18th in the Province
Non-Violent CSI of 182.4 (down from 241.7 in 2009) or 10th in the Province

Williams Lake:

Overall CSI (Crime Severity Index) of 211.6 (down from 233.2 in 2009) or 4th in the Province
Violent CSI of 227.3 (down from 292.1 in 2009) or 11th in the Province
Non-Violent CSI of 205.6 (down from 210.5 in 2009) or 4th in the Province

100 Mile House:

Overall CSI (Crime Severity Index) of 71.6 (down from 79.2 in 2009) or 114th in the Province
Violent CSI of 75 (down from 94.3 in 2009) or 80th in the Province
Non-Violent CSI of 70.2 (down from 73.5 in 2009) or 124th in the Province

Another report released by the Provincial Ministry of Public Safety reports:

Read full report here

a) 88 RCMP officers in Cariboo-Chilcotin region -- 45 policed the Cities of Quesnel/Williams Lake while the remaining 43 policed the provincial areas

b) Cariboo Regional District population up in 2010 (65,414) vs 2009 (65,075)

c) 9% decrease in case load per officer (90 in 2009 vs 81 in 2010)

d) Crime Rates (per 1,000 population) as follows:

District of Wells (policed as provincial force) - 73 per 1,000 in 2010 vs 72 per 1,000 in 2009

City of Quesnel (policed as municipal force) - 204 per 1,000 in 2010 vs 245 per 1,000 in 2009

City of Williams Lake (policed as municipal force) - 260 per 1,000 in 2010 vs 252 per 1,000 in 2009

District of 100 Mile House (policed as provincial force) - 52 per 1,000 in 2010 vs 57 per 1,000 in 2009

End of Week News Wrap... Dec 23rd edition

In Prince George:

Residents in the Haldi and Leslie Rd areas initiate legal proceedings against the City of Prince George over rezoning changes to allow a women's recovery centre - see here.  Meanwhile - the City of Prince George explains what happened at the last PG City Council on this topic - see here.

Finally - the PG Free Press does a good editorial explaining why the letter from the City of PG does nothing to settle the Haldi Rd rezoning issue and why there is likely a lack of trust between PG residents/PG City Council on this or other rezoning issues in the future - see here

In Quesnel:

Phase 2 (Trades) at CNC (College of New Calendonia) opens - see here

In Williams Lake:

WL Mayor Kerry Cook initiates weekly column (and I'm glad to see this and hope it continues) - see her inaugural column here

Williams Lake Tribune states their "Santa list" for 2012 - read here

Local schools work towards preventing bullying - see here

Local RCMP reports breaking up fights at a local high school/CRD Library among other things in their weekly report - see here

Fire at local sawmill total $15-20,000 - see here

RCMP respond to shooting in 4000 block of Mackenzie Avenue - see here

Kamloops Daily News reported on the salary for School District #73's (Kamloops) Superintendent which you can read here.  You can look up your local school district information on pay for the local Superintendent here.  This is an additional requirement imposed on School Districts' in BC (report to Public Sector Employers' Council), if they make above $125,000 per school budget yr (July 1st - June 30th).  This is above/beyond the SOFI (Statement of Financial Information) (report out on staff salaries above $75,000).  SOFI requirement also imposed on all local governments

In School District #28 (Quesnel) - they report that Sue-Ellen Miller (Superintendent) made $159,764 for the school year ending June 30th, 2011.  She also made $158,072 for the school year ending June 30th, 2010 and $149,641 for the school year ending June 30th, 2009.  You can read the full details here

Meanwhile in School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) - they report that Diane Wright earned a salary of $165,908 for the school year ending June 30th, 2010.  For the school year ending June 30th, 2010 - she earned a salary of $169,035.28.  For the school year ending June 30th, 2009 - she earned a salary of $150,719.31 plus a principals' salary of $9,872.90.  She took over from Wayne Leckie who retired on July 31st, 2008 who made for the school year ending June 30th, 2009 - $72,319.29 - see more full details here

In 100 Mile House:

Local hemp projects facing financial and equipment challenges - see here
Recent decision by 100 Mile Council upsets local watershed stewardship group - see here
Parents at local Christian school "against clock" to save their school - see here
CRD Area 'L' Director Bruce Rattray reports on his website that the 2012 Area 'L' Town Hall is scheduled for Monday, February 6th at the Watch Lake Community Hall starting at 7pm

In Kamloops:

Kamloops City Councillor Arjun Singh explains at why he voted the way he did on the controversial "Solar Hot Water Ready" regulation - see that explation here

From UBCM (Union of BC Municipalities):

They report that techinical briefings on the new RCMP Contract for British Columbia will commence on Jan 11th in Richmond, Jan 12th in Prince George and Jan 18th in Kelowna. See full details here

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Public Hearing - Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2151, 2011


Mayor Cook (Chair) and Councillors’ Bonnell, Bourdon, Hughes, Rathor, and Zacharias


Councillor Laurie Walters

Staff Present:

Brian Carruthers - CAO
Rena Schill - Corporate Services Records Coordinator
Tom Chung – IT Manager
Lilliana Dragowska - Planner

The Public Hearing was called to order at 7:00pm

The Chair asked the Corporate Services Records Coordinator to explain the purpose/intent of Bylaw #2151, 2011 (Grosso Developments - 555 Wotzke Dr)

It was noted that no letters of support or opposition had been received

The Chair then called for oral submissions on Bylaw #2151 with Elke Reiner, Steve Forseth and Gerry Stanley (Developer) addressing Council on same.

Hearing no further submissions - Council agreed to close the Public Hearing and refer Bylaw #2151 to Council for consideration of 3rd Reading

Meeting adjourned at 7:09pm

See video from the Public Hearing (and Council's subsequent decision on 3rd Reading of Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2151) below:

WL Council Highlights - Dec 20th edition


Mayor Cook and Councillors’ Bonnell, Bourdon, Hughes, Rathor, and Zacharias


Councillor Laurie Walters

Staff Present:

Brian Carruthers - CAO
Rena Schill - Corporate Services Records Coordinator
Tom Chung – IT Manager
Ann Burill - Social Development Manager
Lilliana Dragowska - Planner

Meeting called to order at 6:00pm
Minutes of November 29th WL Council meeting adopted


1) Erin Hitchcock (Editor - WL Tribune) appeared before Council to introduce the Tribune's new reporter - Monica Lamb-Yorski - to Council


1) Council denied submitting a proposal to the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association to host their annual 2012 Regional Tourism Conference

2) Council received a report from the Manager of Economic Development regarding the creation of economic development marketing materials to assist with implementation of the Business Expansion Attraction Strategy

3) Council agreed to permit two representatives from Junior Council to attend and participate in discussions at future Committee of Whole Council Meetings

4) Council approved execution of the SmartTool contract for the City's emissions accounting and CARIP (Carbon Action Revenue Incentive Program) submissions

5) Council approved the renewal of the Leases of the Williams Lake Stampede Association, Williams Lake Trailriders, Cariboo Friendship Society, Williams Lake Curling Club and the Gavin Lake Forest Education Centre for the designated Stampede Grounds areas for a five-year term from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2016, as amended

6) After receiving no public submissions and receiving a recommendation to proceed from the City's APC (Advisory Planning Commission) - Council approved Development Permit #6-2011

7) Council referred an application for a Development Variance Permit (Ross Cawley) to the City's APC for review/recommendations. Council will consider this DVP application at one of its' future meetings in January of 2012

8) Council approved entering into an Encroachment Agreement for the encroachment of a landing step on the 1st Avenue North allowance at 147A 1st Avenue North.

9) Council approved a submission of an application to the Community Recreation Program for $550,676 to undertake the construction of an underpass of the CN lines at the former Praxair location and Staff were directed to approach CN Rail about the possibility of partnering on the project.

10) Council awarded a five-year contract for the supply, installation and operation of an ATM Machine in the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex to Blackstock Ventures Ltd., with the City receiving $0.75 per $2.00 transaction fee.

11) After a statutory Public Hearing - Council gave 3rd Reading to Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2155, 2011 (Grosso Development - 555 Wotzke Dr). The bylaw will be referred to the Ministry of Transportation for approval under Section 52 of the Transportation Act.

12) Late Item - Council authorized Staff to proceed with a Request for Proposals for a Housing Need and Demand Study

13) Council received the Council Information Package for December 20, 2011, as follows:

Nov 21, 2011 - Letter from Central Interior Regional Arts Council re Congratulations and ArtsFest Info - see here

November 24, 2011 - Letter from UBCM re: Gas Tax Agreement Community Works fund Payment ($241,554.58 on Nov. 29th, 2011) - see here

December 2, 2011 - Letter from Hon. Shirley Bond, Solicitor & Attorney General re: UBCM Convention Meetings - see here

November-December, 2011 - Letters of Congratulations to Mayor and Council on Elections/Re-Elections - see here

Meeting recessed at 6:27pm
Meeting went into In-Camera at 6:41pm
Meeting resumed at 7:09pm after a Public Hearing (Bylaw #2151)
Meeting adjourned at 7:13pm and resumed In-Camera

Reminder: Winter Garbage/Recycling Collection

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The City would like to remind residents that their garbage/recycling containers need to be placed at the curb in the same manner during the winter the rest of the year. The containers must sit as close as possible to the driving surface of the street and cannot be placed on top of any snow bank or windrow caused by the snowplow.

It will be the responsibility of the resident to shovel the snow away from the spot where they normally place their containers and to ensure there are no piles of snow in front of the containers. Containers must not be moved further out into the street.

As in the past, the City will continue to clean the streets when it is snowing and the plow trucks will be paying special attention to the areas where the garbage/recycling containers will be on the street. They will be avoiding the containers with the blades of the truck as well as the snow that comes off the blades. When City crews need to use trucks to remove snow they will do so on days when there is no garbage collection.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Joe Engelberts, Manager of Water & Waste at (250) 392-1785. Thank you for your support and patience during these winter months!

For more information please contact:

Joe Engelberts
The City of Williams Lake
Ph: 250-392-1785

City addresses recent fire incident at WL Regional Airport

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

On Sunday December 18, 2011, the City's Fire Department responded to a call at the Williams Lake Regional Airport as follows:

At approximately 6:4pm Sunday, an aircraft on a scheduled flight to Vancouver was starting one of the engines when it experienced an interruption in the start sequence. As a result, there was a small amount of raw fuel that ignited as it exited the outlet/exhaust portion of the engine. As a precaution the aircraft fire suppression system was activated to eliminate any further risk of fire. The passengers disembarked the aircraft and waited in the terminal building.

The Williams Lake Fire Department attended to ensure that there was no further risk to the aircraft.

The Air Carrier maintenance personnel needed to recharge the suppression system before the aircraft could return to service, and as such the flight was delayed until the following morning.

For more information, please contact:

Shea De La Mare
Airport Coordinator
Williams Lake Regional Airport
Ph: 250-989-4713

City of WL issues sidewalk safety warning

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The City of Williams Lake would like to advise the public that all sidewalks, pathways, and stairways are extremely icy due to the recent warm temperatures and rain that we have received over the weekend.

Kevin Goldfuss, Director of Municipal Services states, “City crews are continuing to treat problem areas with sand and salt. They expect to have the situation under control over the next few days.

The City asks for the public’s patience and to please use caution while walking.

For more information, please contact:

Kevin Goldfuss
Director of Municipal Services - City of Williams Lake
Ph: 250-392-1783

Mayor Cook writes to defeated WL Council Candidates

On December 1st - WL Mayor Kerry Cook wrote to defeated candidates who ran for WL Council in last November's civic election of which you can read a copy of that letter here

I applaud her for this initiative as it shows that all candidates - whether elected/defeated - have something to offer to our local democracy and in that vein, society itself is the ultimate winner.  When I first ran for WL  Council in 2005, I received a letter from then-Cariboo-South MLA Charlie Wyse thanking me for running for public office.

In the future though - I'd like to see both the Cariboo Regional District and School Board Chairs write similiar letters to defeated candidates thanking them for their contributions to the local election races


PS: Because of the message that Mayor Cook conveyed to defeated candidates, like myself - I'm in the process of drafting a letter to her making suggestions about what improvements that her Council could make in order that Williams Lake can be one of the greatest communities in British Columbia.

When the letter is complete - I'll share a copy of it here

CRD Area 'F' Town Hall Meeting details

From CRD Area 'F' Director Joan Sorley's Facebook page:

Area F Town Hall meeting will be held at the Horsefly Community Hall on January 16th. We will start with a potluck supper at 5:30 before the formal budget presentation at 6:30, and end with our guest speaker Inspector Warren Brown of the RCMP. This is your chance to have input into the financial plan, so plan to bring your favourite dish, and share in some great food with your neighbours!

Editor's Note - the above information should be considered as preliminary until the full schedule of CRD Town Hall Meetings' has been released which as of 2:03pm today, it has not been

West Quesnel Land Stability program starts in earnest - Spring 2012

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Editor's Note - more information on the West Quesnel Land Stability program can be viewed here

A large-scale initiative to develop and implement measures to reduce land movement in Quesnel is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2012. The West Quesnel Land Stability Program, a $4.7 million project, will install 14 pumping wells; build nine horizontal drain sites consisting of more than 70 drains; and provide significant storm water system improvements for West Quesnel and area residents.

Over $3.1 million was provided by the Government of Canada and the Province of British Columbia, through the Building Canada Fund-Communities Component program, part of Canada's Economic Action Plan for this project. The City of Quesnel also contributed over $1.5 million to pay for the full-scale dewatering program. In addition to the federal and provincial contributions, the City of Quesnel has invested more than $2.1 million on the West Quesnel Land Stability Program since 2000.

"Our Government's investment is helping to create jobs and economic growth here in the City of Quesnel," said Dick Harris, Member of Parliament for Cariboo-Prince George, on behalf the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. "We are pleased to invest in projects that contribute to the local economy while developing municipal infrastructure and enhancing the quality of life for West Quesnel residents."

The Province of British Columbia added $1.2 million in 2006. This funding supported more than 10 years of work, including significant data collection and analysis, a trial dewatering program, and ongoing project administration.

"Families rely on their community to identify needed improvements, and the funding needed for rehabilitation," said Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Ida Chong. "Managing groundwater as it affects the safety and stability of those parts of the city inhabited by citizens is an important use of this funding."

The City and its engineering consultants have spent the past 18 months completing a stringent environmental approval process; with those approvals in place, the final work plan is nearing completion. The City will hold a public open house in late winter to update residents regarding that work plan. In addition, a newsletter will be mailed to every home and business inside City limits in early January.

"This announcement is encouraging, especially for the more than 2,000 people who call the land stability study area home," said Mayor Mary Sjostrom. "We're committed to finding a solution and keeping our residents informed of our progress along the way."

Dewatering techniques such as those proposed for West Quesnel have worked in other locations, such as Aberdeen in Kamloops. The City's trial dewatering program, which ran from June 2007 to May 2008, showed that by removing large volumes of water, a drop in groundwater levels and pressures was noted at nearby measuring stations. The full-scale dewatering program was designed based on this information.

The area affected by the ground movement includes about 940 parcels of land, 750 homes, several businesses, one elementary school and more than 20 per cent of the City's population.

The Canada-British Columbia Building Canada Fund - Communities Component (BCF-CC) is a federal-provincial program that addresses the unique infrastructure needs of both rural and urban communities with populations of less than 100,000.

Through this unprecedented Building Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is providing long-term, stable and predictable funding to help meet infrastructure needs across Canada. Building Canada supports a stronger, safer and better country.

Since October 2008, over $5.5 billion has been committed by the province to over 900 infrastructure projects in British Columbia, which are estimated to create more than 35,000 jobs over the life of the projects.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

City of Williams Lake completes 2010 Corporate Emissions Inventory

From the City of Williams Lake website:

As part of its commitment to the BC Climate Action Charter and to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the City of Williams Lake has completed a corporate emissions inventory for 2010.

The 2010 Inventory Report outlines the City’s emissions for 2010 totaling 685 tonnes of CO2 equivalent (t CO2e - this is the standard measurement for Greenhouse gas emissions). GHG emissions are down 6.7% from 2009 and 3.4% from 2008. This trend is on target for the City’s reduction goal of 33% below 2008 emissions by 2020. A staff report further details the methodology undertaken to complete the inventory, as well as a number of recommendations to improve the accuracy of future emissions inventories.

At this time it is difficult to determine what proportion of the overall decrease in the City’s emissions between 2008 and 2010 is due to reduction efforts, and what proportion is due to weather/climate patterns (2008 and 2009 had colder and snowier winters than 2010). Many of the City’s emissions reduction efforts are in their early, foundation building stages, and the next few inventories will help indicate the real impacts of the City’s energy planning and reduction initiatives that will take place in 2012 and on.

The City is committed to reducing our emissions, and this inventory is one of the first steps,” says Councillor Sue Zacharias, Chair of the Planning and Operations Committee. “Council has also resolved to consider in the budget process setting aside funds that would go into an emissions reduction fund in order to make the necessary upgrades and changes to reduce our emissions.”

City staff are developing a Corporate Emissions Reduction Plan that will provide a comprehensive strategy for aggressively reducing the City’s operational emissions to meet our commitments. City staff also plan to release an emissions inventory report for 2011’s emissions in early 2012.

In September, City Council adopted a Green Fleet Strategy as a guiding document for the operation and management of the City’s Fleet as the City works to meet its commitment to reduce carbon emissions. It allows for the City to make an organized and directed approach to improving the overall efficiency of the City’s fleet during its operations. This also has the positive side effects of reducing fuel and maintenance costs, improving the resiliency of the fleet, and promoting environmentally conscious actions to the community.

The complete 2010 Corporate GHG Emissions Inventory Report can be found on the City’s website at: The City made use of student funding from the Pacific Institute for Climate Solutions to hire a Greenhouse Gas Planning Assistant to complete the inventory.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Snow Removal Update - City of Quesnel

From the City of Quesnel website:

Friday Dec. 16 - 9 a.m. - Quesnel has received more than a foot of snow over the past 36 hours. All equipment is out, working in the commercial areas and moving to the residential areas later today. You can help by:

a) Not parking on residential streets
b) Not ploughing your snow into the street
c) Staying off the roads if possible

For more information about snow clearing (in the City of Quesnel), click here

Editor's Note - good advice to heed for those in Quesnel.  For those in Williams Lake, they too should heed the above advice and get information on Williams Lake Snow Clearing Operations here

Upcoming WL Council Business...

On Tuesday, WL Council will meet for the final time in 2011.  Major Items on the Agenda include: (see full Agenda here)

a) Two Junior Councillors' to attend future Committee of the Whole meetings - see here

b) DP #6-2011 (Platform Properties) set for approval - see here and here (APC Report)

c) Council to apply to $30 million Community Recreation Fund to build an overpass at former Praxair location (near entrance to Home Hardware) and Staff will be directed to request CN to assist in the building of this overpass - see here

On Item 'C' - interesting WL Council has waited until the last possible moment to apply while other local governments in the Cariboo-Chilcotin, like Quesnel, 100 Mile House and the Cariboo Regional District, have already applied and are likely to receive more favourable consideration for their applications than Williams Lake

Also - there is a Public Hearing at 7:00pm for property at 555 Wotzke Drive.  See the Agenda here.  The applicants, Grosso Developments Ltd, is asking for a change in the zoning on this property from R-5 (Manufactured Home Park) to R-9 (Bare Land Strata).  I intend to speak for a minute or two at the Public Hearing, indicating that while I don't take issue with the zoning change but I do take issue somewhat with process, as follows:

a) No APC Report at 2nd Reading for Bylaw #2155 (standard practice for WL Council is to have the APC Report ready at 2nd Reading).  If no report was available then Staff, Mayor Cook or Councillor Zacharias (Planning and Ops Committee Chair) should have orally or in writing explained why the report was not available and why Council should proceed at this point without the APC Report

b) At 1st Reading - Staff presented to Council a proposal that the Public Hearing be held on a date in January 2012 however on Dec 6th - Council passed a motion (Resolution) that Bylaw #2155 be read a 2nd time and the Public Hearing be held on December 20th.  Again - if you propose a date for a Public Hearing then call the Public Hearing sooner than the suggested Public Hearing date, then a simple explanation for the earlier Public Hearing date - either from Staff or Mayor Cook/Councillor Zacharias - either in writing (report) or orally, otherwise it doesn't appear "transparent".  After all - this Public Hearing is being held 5 days before Christmas and most peoples' minds are wrapped up in the season rather than community development.  If I was on Council today - I would have deferred this to the New Year to allow as many people as possible to be aware of this and offer input, if they so wish

When Williams Lake Council adjourns Tuesday -- all local governments in the Cariboo-Chilcotin will be on a Christmas Break until early January when Quesnel Council will be the first local government to meet in 2012 on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012


Friday, December 16, 2011

Wells/WL Councils' meet next week

As Christmas time approaches - only two of the five local governments are meeting next week as follows:

Wells - Regular Meeting on Tuesday at 7pm in Wells Council Chambers (4243 Sanders Avenue)
Quesnel - No meeting until January 3rd, 2012

Williams Lake:

Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday at 6pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  See the Agenda here
Public Hearing on Bylaw #2151 (555 Wotzke Dr) on Tuesday at 7pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  See the Agenda here

100 Mile House - No meeting until Tuesday, January 10th, 2012
Cariboo Regional District - No meeting until Friday, January 20th, 2012
School District #27 - No meeting until Tuesday, January 10th (Special Meeting)
School District #28 - No meeting until Wednesday, January 18th

Local 2012 Budget Discussions...

Although a little early yet to discuss 2012 Budgets - some local governments are already discussing the subject: (Note - Inflation, at last word, was 2.9%)

Wells and 100 Mile House - No word yet...

Quesnel - Early indication - to maintain a "status quo" budget means a potential 3.5% tax hike in Quesnel taxpayers' - see more details here.  Public consultation is set to commence on Feb 27th and the City of Quesnel Operations' Budget is set to be posted on the City of Quesnel website (see here) by Jan 30th, 2012.  2012 Budget/Tax Rates to be passed by May 14th, 2012

Williams Lake - Under a previous 5 Year (2012-2016) budgeting plan passed (with Councillor SPS Rathor opposed), City Staff were directed to begin planning for the 2012-2016 5 Year Financial Plan which called for tax hikes of 2-3% during 2012-2016 inclusive.  WL Council was previously set to receive a briefing on a draft 2012 Budget by the end of December.  WL Council is likely to work on this draft in January/February 2012 with public consultation likely to occur by the end of March 2012

Cariboo Regional District -  Board approved-in-principle the 2012-2016 5 Yr Plan which calls for a region wide tax increase of 2.4%.  You can view the line by line budget here.  Public Consultation on this budget will be the subject of the 16 Town Hall Meetings that the Cariboo Regional District conducts starting in January and wrapping up in early February.  It should be noted that not all regional taxpayers' are subject to the full 2.4% tax hike.  How much of the 2.4% tax hike in 2012 you pay depends on where you live...

But please take an interest in your local government's budget planning process as their decisions will hit your pocketbook in the form of higher property taxes.

A Conversation with the Premier

BC Premier Christy Clark sat down with the Globe and The Province summarized her time as BC Premier in 2011. Read those articles -- here (Globe) and here (Province)

You can also watch a YouTube video where Premier Clark goes over what the BC Government will be doing in 2012

See below:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Regional News Wrap - Dec 15th edition

In Prince George:

* PG Free Press congratulates Mayor Shari Green for her new Select Committee on Business (see here).  However, the City of PG will be the recipient of a lawsuit from Haldi Rd residents after PG Council adopted a bylaw to permit a women's recovery centre with next to little notice to the public - see here.  PG Free Press wonders where Cariboo-PG MP Dick Harris spends his time...? They have the answer here.  Finally - Macleans' looks at the top 100 Cities in Canada and who's the most dangerous City in Canada...? See the full list here.  But for the record in BC - Prince George made #1, Victoria made #2, Kelowna made #7, Surrey made #10, Nanaimo made #12, Chillwack/New West made #14/15 respectively, Kamloops made #16, Vancouver made #18, and Langley Township made #20.  Prince George RCMP take issue with the #1 ranking - see here and here.  Country wide - Nunavut was the most dangerous place to be in Canada, BC was sixth dangerous with Ontario being the most safest place to be in Canada

In Williams Lake:

* CRD Board: Not enough time to discuss Natural Resource Roads Act - see here.  Editor's Note - Like the Ministry of Natural Resource Operations... I wonder what the CRD was up to given the time to comment on this was from Oct 17th until Dec 15th?? Just asking...

* Ad-Hoc Committee seeks input on locations for dog park - see here.  Editor's Note - I believe the time to have properly discussed this was when the public was discussing the Parks, Trails and Outdoor Recreation Master Plan or PTORMP.  Is the City of Williams Lake now willing to re-open the OCP after its' adoption??  Sure sounds like it...

* TNG Tribal Chair Joe Alphonse/Xeni Gwet'in Chief Marilyn Baptiste comment on proposed changes to length of terms for First Nations' Bands - see here

* Independent MLA Bob Simpson comments on what he and his staff have been up to since the BC Legislature adjourned the Fall Session in November - see here

* Lots of letters discussing the "New Prosperity" mine proposal - see here, here and here
* WL Sportsmens' Assocation President expresses concern about delay to pass new Federal Law to eliminate the Gun Registry - see here
* Local business owner complains that the City of Williams Lake takes too long to issue a building permit - see here.  Editor's Note - not the kind of positive press WL Mayor Kerry Cook and her Council needed, just after the recent election and also her comments on the new contract between the City/CRD for Building Inspectors which is partially likely as to why this owner waited so long for the building permit.  Still - the City should look into this, apologize for the delay and tighten things up to ensure a repeat of this situation doesn't occur again...

In Kamloops:

* Kamloops Councillor Donovan Cavers' proposal for standing votes at Kamloops Council meetings' was resoundly defeated in a 8-1 vote.  Meanwhile - Kamloops Daily News editor and former Kamloops Mayor Mel Rothenberger takes both Kamloops Councillors' Donovan Cavers/Arjun Singh to task for some of their proposals at recent Kamloops Council meetings' - see here

In BC:

* UBCM names members' to the new RCMP Management Committee that'll oversee the new RCMP Contract - see the press release from UBCM here.  Our local City Administrator Brian Carruthers was not appointed to the Committee.  In fact, the Committee seems to be dominated by elected or appointed officials in the Metro Vancouver or Vancouver Island areas.  Our closest reps is Mayor Lori Ackerman of Fort St John, Mayor Peter Milobar of Kamloops and Area 'C' Director Grace McGregor of the Kootenay Boundary Regional District

Also - UBCM Executive at their Nov 24th/25th meeting received a briefing from Langley City Mayor Peter Fassbender on status of the new RCMP Contract.  Approval-in-Principle was given, subject to approval by Federal/Provincial Cabinets (Executive Councils').  Local governments to receive briefings in 1st Quarter (Jan 1st - March 31st) of 2012.  Local governments above 5,000 in population to be askedpopulation would be given until March 31, 2012 to determine whether or not they wished to sign a Municipal Police Unit Agreement with the Province for RCMP services. He (Fassbender) pointed out that the Province is developing a Companion Document to go with the new RCMP agreement and intends to hold a technical briefing on the new RCMP agreement for local governments

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ice Palace returns to the Quesnel & District Twin Arenas

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

The ever-popular Ice Palace returns to the Quesnel and District Twin Arenas next week, with fun events planned for the entire family.

The winter celebration runs Tuesday, Dec. 20, Wednesday Dec. 21 and Thursday Dec. 22 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day. Some of the activities include skating, a miniature toboggan hill, ice painting, games, crafts, a fishing tank and more.

"This family event gets better each year. The miniature toboggan hill is always a big hit," explains Leisure Services Recreation Manager Diane Rogers. "What better way to lead into the holidays than to take the family out for some activity, exercise and fun."

As a bonus, Leisure Services will give away about 20 Christmas trees on Thursday at 4 p.m. on a first-come, first served basis.

Admission to the Ice Palace is $2.70.

For more information about the Ice Palace, call 250-992-7125.

For further information, please contact:
Diane Rogers, Recreation Manager
Phone: 250.991.4010

WL Council 2011 Christmas Message

A Christmas Greetings' Video Message from your local Williams Lake City Council

WL Community Forest and surrounding rural communities

At the October 28th Cariboo Regional District (CRD) Board Meeting - CRD Area 'F' Director Joan Sorley raised a concern regarding the WL Community Forest and the possible impact on her local communities including Miocene/Big Lake.  As a result, the Board agreed to the following Resolution:

Moved Director Sorley; Seconded Director Mazur:

“That the Chair correspond with the City of Williams Lake, the Williams Lake Indian Band and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources, regarding the proposed new Community Forest Agreement (CFA) for the City of Williams Lake, which surrounds the communities of Big Lake, Horsefly, Miocene and 150 Mile House to ensure that the Cariboo Regional District is included as a participant in the CFA in order to provide a meaningful voice on behalf of the communities into the management of timber and nontimber CFA resources such as recreation, wildlife, water and scenic viewscapes, as well as other community objectives, values and priorities, and to share in the beneficial returns of a community forest.”

Carried Unanimously

Then at the November 17th CRD (Cariboo Regional District) Finance Committee meeting - Director Sorley tabled the following amendment to the Electoral Area 'F' Economic Development Function

Goal: To develop a framework to allow the communities of Big Lake, Miocene and Horsefly to benefit from the proposed Community Forest to be located surrounding the communities.

Strategy: Work with the City of Williams Lake and the Williams Lake Indian Band to ensure that the communities have a meaningful voice in management decisions that best support, preserve and enhance the communities within the influence of the Community Forest proposal.

Rationale: Community forests offer an economic benefit, a portion of which should flow to those communities most closely linked to the forest land base. In addition to the economic benefit, there are many management decisions that will need to be addressed to protect community viewscapes, recreational attributes and other community values and priorities.”

For the record - I support this new Goal for the Area 'F' Economic Development Function

However - CRD 100 Mile Director Mitch Campsall, Area I Director Jim Glassford and former Area 'E' Director Steve Mazur voted against the amendment to the Electoral Area 'F' Economic Development Function

At the December 9th CRD Board Meeting - the above recommendation from the Nov 17th CRD Finance Committee was formally opposed by Williams Lake CRD Director (and Williams Lake Mayor) Kerry Cook and 100 Mile Director (and 100 Mile Mayor) Mitch Campsall

The question I have for Mayor Cook is:

Why are you opposed to the communities of Miocene, Big Lake, Horsefly and 150 Mile House having meaningful consultation, with regard to the proposed WL Community Forest.  Instead of pitting Williams Lake vs Area 'F' communities - let's make the WL Community Forest work for everyone.

As a former CRD Area 'F' resident and a resident of Williams Lake - I strongly applaud the actions to date of the CRD Area 'F' Director on this issue and I would strongly encourage her to keep up the good work on this file...

"Prostitution Politics" and Unparliamentary Language

Yesterday, my uncle - Alan Forseth - looked at the idea around "Prostitution Politics" which you can read that blog post here.  One aspect of that blog post I want to review here though:

What a sad comment that is on how people feel about where things are these days with the operation of our political process in the BC legislature. Other than two independent MLA's, BC's political process involves just the NDP and the Liberals. Here are just a few of the things that they agree on:

1) Imposing the highest gas taxes in the country on the Lower Mainland
2) Wasting millions to subsidize electric cars
3) Making the average BC family pay more in taxes than in any province west of Quebec
4) Letting big union and corporate money control politics
5) Giving first nations vetoes over resource development
6) Treating our criminal justice system as an afterthought
7) Handing out juicy contracts to insiders and cronies

On Item #1 - the BC Legislature recently passed this at the request of the Mayors' Council on Transportation. A lot of folks thought that the incumbents Mayors' would be hurt by this but looking at the recent local elections - Mayors' in Surrey, Vancouver, City of Langley, for example, were all re-elected

On Item #5 - I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that fact that Victoria/Ottawa are obligated to consult with First Nations over resource development proposals as a result of a Supreme Court of Canada decision in 1997, commonly referred to as the "Delgamuukw Decision" of which you can read the highlights of this (courtesy of Wikipedia) here

Also - today, iPolitics released a list of unparliamentary words in response to Justin Trudeau's "sh" bomb launched at the Federal Environment Minister today during Question Period in Ottawa (Mr. Trudeau has since apologized).

My uncle has a good look at the list here

Next Steps for new Solid Waste Management Plan

Courtesy of Cariboo Regional District's website:

The Cariboo Regional District thanks you for “talking trash!” Literally!

Close to 200 people attended one of 13 open houses during September and October. In addition, 
435 surveys were completed providing valuable feedback about plans for future programs to improve recycling, particularly for rural areas, composting and yard waste, wood waste management, illegal dumping as well as education programs.

The feedback from the open houses and the survey is being used to help guide decisions on what options to include in the region’s draft Solid Waste Management Plan. Next, the draft Plan will be presented to the Solid Waste Advisory Committee as well as the Board and member municipalities for consideration.

The open houses were held as part of the process to update the region’s Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP), as required by the Ministry of Environment. This plan provides direction for the types of garbage, recycling and other waste reduction programs we need to develop over the next 10 years. The goal is to create a plan with input from residents and businesses that will meet our needs for managing waste – for the good of our communities, our environment and our pocket books.

John Les: BC NDP going back to 'Tax 'n Spend 90's'

From John Les (Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier):

Today on CKNW's Bill Good Show, Adrian Dix acknowledged that he is considering jacking up personal income taxes on "high income levels".

"Before Adrian Dix and the NDP left office, a "high income" earner was classified as anyone making over $60,009 a year," said John Les, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier. "While Dix is eager to use rhetoric and vague statements to get his point across, he can't hide from the fact that average British Columbians suffered from a punitive tax regime the last time Dix had his way."

Let's take a look at tax rates in British Columbia.

• In British Columbia, a family earning $90,000 a year paid $5,988 in provincial income tax in 2001. Today the same family pays just $3,166 in provincial income tax – a cut of 47%.
• Similarly, a family of four earning $60,000 a year paid $3,272 in provincial income tax in 2001. Today, the same family pays $1,302 in provincial income tax – a 60% tax cut.

The tax cuts brought in by the BC Liberal government have put more money back in the pockets of hard working taxpayers. In fact, British Columbia's personal income taxes are the lowest in the country for individuals earning up to $119,000.

"Once again, Adrian Dix is hiding his true intentions under the guise of taxing 'high income' earners," said Les. "We saw his plan in action the last time the NDP were in power, creating the highest personal income tax regime in Canada and driving entrepreneurs and families out of British Columbia. The BC NDP treated taxpayers like their very own ATMs."

All levels of earners are far better off today than before the BC Liberal government took power in 2001. In fact, the lowest income earners no longer pay any provincial income tax.

Mid Week News... Dec 14th edition

In Williams Lake:

* Tribune columnist Diana French says the City could use more Christmas lights... - see here
* Look back at last Saturday's Tribune Food/Toy Drive - see here
* Gary Young of Lac La Hache argues the BC Liberals have put BC Hydro in a negative fiscal position - see here
* Tribune editorial on debating "New Prosperity" mine proposal on facts alone - see here
* Resident Hunters vs Guide Outfitters' over allocation for wildlife harvest - see here
* CEO of Chilcotin Harvest - Felix Schellenberg - says his company is getting a raw deal from a local CFIA inspector - see here

In 100 Mile House:

* Local ranchers comment on collapse of 100 Mile House Meat Co-Operative - see here

Editor's Note - I can appreciate why the co-op failed when Victoria keeps moving the "goal posts".  It's hard to plan for anything when Victoria/Ottawa keep changing the rules... hopefully the Co-Op can get back on track and the meat co-op can become reality.  The local MLA (Donna Barnett) indicates that she is committed to this goal

* Newly elected 100 Mile Councillors Ralph Fossum and Spence Henderson look to the new term of 100 Mile House Council - see here

* Garfield Lamb of 100 Mile House says high gas prices drives shoppers' out of 100 Mile House - see here

* Hugh Thomas - BC Hydro Smart Meters .. "a sham" - see here

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

12 Days of Christmas Amnesty with CRD Libraries

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

In celebration of the Christmas season, the Cariboo Regional District Library (CRDL) is pleased to offer its first “ Twelve Days of Fines Amnesty”, to be in effect at all CRD Libraries during the two weeks leading up to Christmas Eve Day on Saturday, December 24, 2011.

Library patrons are asked to bring donations of non-perishable food items that will be given to local food banks, in exchange for waiving up to $20 in fines, per library card.

For a full listing of the CRDL locations and further information about the library system, please visit our website at

*Tentative* North Cariboo CRD 2012 Town Hall Meeting Schedule

Courtesy of CRD Area 'B' Director Heloise Dixon-Warren's Facebook Page:

Public Consultation on the proposed 2012 Cariboo Regional District (CRD), Cariboo Regional Hospital District and Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional Hospital District Budgets will take place in the North Cariboo, as follows:

UPDATE on Dec 14th - The schedule below is tentative and I'll revise this schedule once the entire 2012 CRD Town Hall Meeting Schedule is confirmed by the Regional District

Area 'A' (Director Ted Armstrong) - Sat. Jan 14th at 1pm - Dragon Lk Elementary (2655 Hydralic Rd, Quesnel)

Area 'B' (Director Heloise Dixon-Warren) - Thurs. Jan 19th at 7pm - Parkland School (5016 Bjornson Rd, Quesnel)

Area 'I' (Director Jim Glassford) - Mon. Jan. 23rd at 7pm - West Fraser Fire Hall (243 Jackpine Flats Rd.)

Area 'C' (Director John Massier) - Mon. Jan. 30th at 7pm - Barlow Creek Fire Hall (860 Highway #26)

City of Quesnel (Mayor Sjostrom) - Wed., Feb. 1st at 7pm - Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St)

If you live in either CRD Electoral Areas A, B, C, I or the City of Quesnel, come on out and tell your Electoral Area Director or Municipal Director (Mayor Sjostom - City of Quesnel) what you think of the proposed Cariboo Regional District or Regional Hospital District Budgets... believe it or not, your input does matter...

As soon as I have the Central and South Cariboo 2012 Town Hall Meeting Schedules, I'll post those here as well


Monday, December 12, 2011

Final Community Medal Bearer for Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay named

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The Rick Hansen End of Day Celebration Committee is pleased to announce that Horsefly resident Bruce MacLeod has been chosen as the Final Community Medal Bearer. Mr. MacLeod will carry the medal to the stage during the End of Day Celebration when the Rick Hansen 25th Anniversary Relay arrives in Williams Lake March 25th, 2012.

Bruce MacLeod is a dedicated volunteer in his community and Horsefly, and is an excellent representative of our community,” says Councillor Surinderpal Rathor, who is the City’s Accessibility Committee’s representative on the End of Day Committee. “Not only does he work to increase accessibility – he promotes his hometown and volunteers for a long list of community projects and organizations. We are so proud to have him be the final community medal bearer when Rick Hansen himself comes to Williams Lake.”

“This was a complete surprise to me, but I am both honored and humbled to be even considered for anything. Nothing I have ever achieved in life before or after my accident on December 16, 1981 has been accomplished without a network of support from many different sources,” says MacLeod. “I look forward to meeting Rick, who is after all the real reason for the relay, and whose accomplishments are responsible for this 25th year celebration.”

There is still an opportunity for local residents to participate in the Relay, by entering the contest at for a chance to carry the Rick Hansen Medal for a 250-metre leg of the relay. The relay, which began in Cape Spear, Newfoundland, on August 24, and ends in Vancouver May 22, 2012, commemorates Hansen’s Man in Motion world tour 25 years ago.

Attached to this release is Mr. MacLeod’s nomination form from local residents Joan Sorley and Linda Bartsch, and below are expanded comments from Mr. MacLeod.

View that here (nomination form) and here (expanded comments from Mr. MacLeod)

Standing Votes in Kamloops Council Chambers...

In an intriguing proposal -- newly elected Kamloops Councillor Donovan Cavers is proposing at tomorrow's (Dec 13th) Kamloops Council meeting the following:


WHEREAS We need regular exercise to keep our brains exercised during a meeting;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the raising of hands be replaced with rising (Standing Votes)

If the above motion passes, then it'll be the first time, to the best of my knowledge, that Standing Votes will be used to vote at City Council or Regional District Board meetings.  It should be noted, that in BC, that only Vancouver Council members' are required to stand while speaking but not to vote.

My guess -- the motion will fail although it is likely to get support from fellow Kamloops Councillor Arjun Singh


City of Williams Lake and CRD work together to provide Building Inspection Services

Joint Press Release from City of WL/CRD:

Williams Lake City Council has signed a contract with the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) to provide building inspection services for Williams Lake. The City has been without a dedicated Building Inspector since January, 2011 and has encountered difficulty in recruiting personnel for this position due to the level of certification required for the City’s building inspection function.

This agreement will increase efficiency and cost savings to ensure an adequate level of service for the City.

The benefits of the contract with the Regional District include:

• The Regional District has three building inspectors, all of which the City can draw on to complete services in a timely fashion;
• The CRD has building inspector oversight. Inspectors are being managed and reviewed by a qualified Level 3 inspector. This ensures that services are provided consistently and within the limits of the City and CRD Bylaws;
• The City will pay for services rendered. If no inspection services are required, the City incurs no cost;
• The number of inspectors the CRD has ensures that even during heavy demand times there are people available to respond. In addition, if new inspectors are required, the Level 3 oversight allows flexibility to hire Level 1 and Level 2 inspectors.

The contract is on an interim, temporary basis and will cost the City approximately $40,000 annually, compared to approximately $104,000 the City had spent previously. Either party can opt out of the contract with 90 days’ notice. The City will also conduct a service review of building inspection services.

The City has had four different building inspectors between 2006 and 2011, and recruitment is a challenge,” says Councillor Sue Zacharias, Chair of the City's Planning and Operations Committee. “By signing this contract, the City can still provide a high level of building inspection services, while keeping costs to the City taxpayer low. The City wants to make it clear that we are open for business and encourage new development.”

“This is another great example of our commitment to building communities together with our municipal partners,” stated CRD Central Cariboo Joint Committee Co-Chair (and Area 'F' Director) Joan Sorley. “By realizing opportunities to provide shared services, residents of the Cariboo Chilcotin will be able to receive the best in possible service delivery, in a cost-effective and efficient manner.”

Battle of City of WL vs Wayne Kidd continues...

Earlier this year - the former Senior Bylaw Officer ( Brad McRae) asked the last WL Council to start proceedings against local resident Wayne Kidd, based on complaints received.  View his report to WL Council at its' January 25th, 2011 meeting here

Now, on Tuesday, November 29th, 2011 - Wayne Kidd appeared before Council, in Committee of the Whole, and alleged the following occurred by the City: (see here)

1) Harassment of his residence
2) City of Williams Lake breaking the law (Mr. Kidd's own words')
3) Removal of Wayne Kidd's property
4) Non-Recognition of his Storage Compound

Mr. Kidd has requested WL Council to:

1) Reverse Invoice for removal of vehicles
2) Compensate for damaged fence and landscaping
3) Issue a Letter of Apology to Mr. Kidd and his neighbours for harassment

No word yet on what WL Council's formal response to Mr. Kidd's request is... except in discussing this matter with Geoff Goodall in late October (GM of Planning and Operations), he states that his Department has tried to be fair as possible with Mr. Kidd, but in this case, I have to side with the City.

The City, in my opinion,  has been more than fair with Mr. Kidd but when your efforts results in Mr. Kidd yelling profanities at City Staff... then proceeding with enforcement of a legitimate Remedial Action Resolution is City Staff's only choice and as I've said before, if you want to have a Storage Compound... then that's no problem but only in appropriate places in the City.

One of those places is not on Pigeon Avenue which has primarily Single Family Residential or R-1 Homes...


City of WL on YouTube

The City of Williams Lake announced late last week that it was officially on YouTube - see details here.  You can watch the Inaugural addresses from City Councillors' Bonnell, Bourdon, Hughes, Rathor, Walters and Zacharias and Mayor Kerry Cook.  View those videos here.  From Nov 19th - Dec 12th - they've had 95 video views.  Williams Lake now joins a small group of BC Municipalities on YouTube including the City of Prince George

Also - the City of Williams Lake is seeking nominees for its' Certificate of Merit.  View the press release here

Local Gov't Meetings - Week of Dec 12th - 16th

Here are the meetings of Local Governments in the Cariboo-Chilcotin for this week (Dec 12th - 16th)

Wells - No meeting until Dec 20th
Quesnel - Delegation/COW Meeting tonight at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  See the Agenda/Reports here

Williams Lake - No scheduled meetings this week
100 Mile House - Meeting on Tuesday, December 13th at 7pm in 100 Mile Council Chambers (385 Birch Ave)

Cariboo Regional District:

Their online meeting calendar reports meetings as follows:

Monday (tonight) - South Cariboo Joint Committee in the District of 100 Mile House Meeting Room from 5-6pm

Tuesday, Dec 13th - North Cariboo Rural Caucus from 3-4:30pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St) and then North Cariboo Joint Committee from 5-6:30pm which normally meets in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St)

* NOTE - I've been advised of a Special Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee meeting to take place at the Cariboo Regional District Boardroom this week but I'm working on details such as Open or Closed Meeting and the date of the meeting.  If the meeting takes place, it'll start at 5pm.  The CRD Boardroom is located at Suite D - 180 North 3rd Avenue (across from 7-11 in Williams Lake)

News Week in Review - Dec 12th edition


* Bryan Withage laments that only two of nine defeated candidates in 2011 City of WL Election showed up to Dec 6th Inaugural WL City Council Meeting  - see here

* Former TNG Tribal Chair Ervin Charleyboy says current TNG lacks "intestinal fortitude" - see here

* Bob Simpson - "I'm making my detailed expenses public and the remaining 84 Provincial MLA's should as well" - see here

* Alexis Creek RCMP seize large weapons cache - see here

* Outcome on TNG sponsored event on "New Prosperity" Mine Proposal - see here
* Letter from Carmen Núñez of Tl’etinqox (Anaham) says people in the Cariboo-Chilcotin are in the same boat, when it comes to the "New Prosperity" Mine Proposal - see here

* January 25th, 2012 is the date of the next local BIA AGM.  Please mark this down!! and attend if you are a member of the BIA.  Want to find out more... contact Judy O'Neill (WLCBIA Executive Director) at 250-398-5717 or email her at


* BC Premier Christy Clark tasks BC Education Minister George Abbott to lead year long process to develop BC Liberal Party policy in advance of May 2013 election - see here

* Meanwhile - BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix focused on become BC Premier in May of 2013, coming out of 50th Anniversary of the BC NDP Convention...  - see here

* BC Government reimburses BC Parent Advisory Councils' for playground expenses - see here.  No reimbursement for School District #28 (Quesnel) but for School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin), the following was reimbursed:

School District 27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin)

· 150 Mile Elementary - $30,000
· Big Lake Elementary - $4,500
· Marie Sharpe Elementary - $40,000
· Nesika Elementary - $23,000

* BC Government announces "sustainable and equable" funding for School Districts - see here.  In School District #28 (Quesnel) for the 2011-12 School Year, they'll receive (estimated) $ 35,451,008 - see precise details here meanwhile in School District #27, they'll receive (estimated) $53,530,336 - see precise details here

* Finally  - Victoria is changing residential care rates in order to allow seniors' to keep the upgrade ($50) in the Federal GIS (Guaranteed Income Supplement) rates - see more details here

CRD Board Highlights - Inaugural Dec 9th Meeting

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Oath of Office & Invocation

Today’s Cariboo Regional District Board of Directors meeting started with Judge Marguerite Church who administered the Oath of Office to all 12 Electoral Area and four member municipal Directors. The invocation portion of the ceremony was conducted by Pastor Miles Faulkner.

CRD Chair and Vice-Chair Elected

The CRD’s Area G Director Al Richmond, and Area A Director Ted Armstrong were re-elected during today’s meeting as Chair and Vice-Chair respectively. This marks the fourth consecutive term as Chair and Vice-Chair for Richmond and Armstrong. A full list of the 2011-2014 CRD Board of Directors is available online at

Provisional Budgets Headed to Town Hall Meetings

The Cariboo Regional Hospital District (CRHD), the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District (CCRHD) and the Cariboo Regional District’s (CRD) 2012 provisional Budgets and Business Plans were endorsed by the Board. The budgets and business plans will now be presented to residents for feedback and input through the 2012 Town Hall meetings taking place throughout the region between January 11 and February 1, 2012. The information gathered during those sessions will be taken into consideration by the Board before the final budget is endorsed in March, 2012. Watch the newspapers and mail for information about your local meeting, or visit us online ( next week for a complete listing of the 2012 Town Hall meeting schedule.

Update from Cariboo North MLA Bob Simpson

Independent MLA Bob Simpson from Cariboo North appeared before the Board to provide an update regarding his recent activities and projects. Simpson focused on watershed issues, the Rural Resource Road Act and support of the invasive plant management strategies throughout the province.

Drinking Water Week 2012

The Cariboo Regional District declared May 13-19, 2012 as Drinking Water Week throughout the Cariboo Chilcotin. Organized by British Columbia Water and Waste Association, Drinking Water Week is a public outreach campaign specifically dedicated to raising community awareness about BC’s water supply. Further information about the program is available online at

Barkerville Heritage Trust

The CRD will be supporting the Barkerville Heritage Trust and its 150th anniversary by incorporating the June 2012 CRD Board on the Road event as part of the celebrations. The Heritage Trust is hoping to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Cariboo Gold Rush by working together with communities along the Cariboo Wagon Road to grow the collective profile and encourage the tourism industry. Further information about the Barkerville Heritage Trust is available online at or by calling 1-888-994-3332.

Support for the South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce

The Cariboo Regional District endorsed a recommendation from the South Cariboo Rural Directors’ Caucus regarding financial support for the South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce. The South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce requested financial assistance for the development and promotion of a new website. A total of $2,500 will be allocated from the South Cariboo Economic Development budget for the project.

CRD Accessible Trails Program

The Regional District Board reviewed information about the continuation of the CRD’s Accessible Trails program as part of its application to the BC Community Recreation (BCCR) Program. A total of 14 trail sites are planned throughout the Cariboo Chilcotin. Each site is in partnership with a local community organization committed to managing the project and the on-going maintenance of the site. A full listing of the proposed sites is available online at under Recreation.

Happy Holidays

The Board of Directors and staff of the Cariboo Regional District wish residents of the Cariboo Chilcotin best wishes for a happy and safe holiday season and a prosperous 2012. The CRD offices will be closed from December 26 through to January 2, 2012. Our offices will re-open on January 3, 2012.

Next CRD Board Meeting

Friday, January 20, 2012

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Inaugural Meeting - City of WL Council (2011-2014 Term)

Meeting commenced at 6:00pm

Brian Carruthers (Chief Administrative Officer or CAO) gave opening remarks and then proceeding with the swearing in of Mayor Kerry Cook and City Councillors Ivan Bonnell, Geoff Bourdon, Danica Hughes, Surinderpal Rathor, Laurie Walters and Sue Zacharias

CAO B. Carruthers then proceeded to preside of the swearing in of the City's Junior Council (Talia Baptiste, Cody Haley-York, Ana Lomavatu, Patrick Newsome, Ivona Ognjanova & Abbi Taylor)

The meeting was then turned over to Mayor Cook.  The Invocation was presented, a Drumming Ceremony took place and a Poem was read out by CAO B. Carruthers on behalf of Frank Gleeson, Official Poet of the City of Williams Lake

First Nations Band Chiefs Anne Louie (WL Indian Band), Percy Guichon (on behalf of Tsihqot'in National Government) and Fred Robbins (Alkali Lake Band) gave oral remarks to Council

Mayor/Council each gave Inaugural Speeches

Mayor Cook presented a gift to retiring Councillor Tom Barr


1) Council received the report of the CAO outlining the appointments of Mayor Kerry Cook for Council appointments to Committees, Standing Committees, Ad Hoc/Select Committees and Community Committees for the 2011/2012 term - view the report here

Chairs/Members of Council's 3 Standing Committees as follows:

General Governance - Chair G. Bourdon with Mayor Cook and Councillor Bonnell
Planning and Operations - Chair S. Zacharias with Councillors Bonnell and Rathor
Community Services - Chair L. Walters and Councillors Rathor and Hughes

2) Council appointed Mayor Cook as the CRD Director for Williams Lake with Councillor Sue Zacharias to act as Alternate Director, in Mayor Cook's absence

3)  Council appointed Mayor Cook to serve on both the Cariboo-Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition and Northern Development Initiative Regional Advisory Committee

4) Council designated members of Council to serve as "Acting Mayor" in 2012 as follows:

a) January/July - Councillor Ivan Bonnell
b) February/August - Councillor Geoff Bourdon
c) March/ September - Councillor Danica Hughes
d) April / October - Councillor Surinderpal Rathor
e) May / November - Councillor Laurie Walters
f) June / December - Councillor Sue Zacharias

5) Council set the 2012 Meeting Schedule, as follows:

January 10 & 24 July 3 & 17
February 7 & 21 August 21
March 6 & 20 September 4 & 18
April 3 & 17 October 9 & 23
May 8 & 22 November 6 & 20
June 5 & 19 December 4 & 18

6) Council designated January 2nd, 2012 as "Wrestling Day" in the City of Williams Lake, in accordance with City Policy # 115
7) Council gave 2nd Reading to Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2151 (Grosso Developments Ltd - 555 Wotzke Dr)and set the Public Hearing for this application on Tuesday, December 20th at 7:00pm

Council adjourned at 7:20pm

My Observations:

1) I was surprised to see Councillor Rathor lose his post as Chair of the Community Services Committee - I thought his experience on Council over the last 18 years counted for something but as Councillor Rathor says himself to the Rush:

A lot of people accuse other candidates as running a slate, you can see who had the slate. Some say it was visible, some say invisible. I did not publicly endorse any candidates for Mayor, and other people did, I didn’t support anybody publicly, other people did. And you can see the support and what was there. It’s public evidence, everybody can see that

Also - Geoff Bourdon as Chair of the General Governance Committee may not have been a wise move, given his lack of experience (only 2nd term on Council).  A wiser selection would have been Ivan Bonnell, given his years (14) as Councillor and 3 as Mayor...

2) Many parts of tonight's Inaugural Agenda were not available to the public until late Monday and even late today.  This is contrary to Section 13.3 of Council Procedure Bylaw #1940, 2004 as follows:

Council agendas shall be available to members of Council and to the public on the Friday afternoon prior to the meeting.

This is a stark departure from previous Inaugural Meeting Agendas when these were available to the public as per the above requirement