Saturday, March 30, 2013

Republic of Life website

Welcome to Williams Lake on their Facebook page let their readers' know that the City of Williams Lake has already created a "Republic of Life" website which you can view for yourself here

You can view Welcome to Williams Lake's Facebook page here and look for "A Republic of Life website..."

Most of the comments posted so far say that they understand the need to market the City but the "Republic of Life" proposal comes up short.

For myself - WL Council missed the mark by taking the final product to the general public for comment, although they did the right thing by getting input at the beginning of the branding exercise... but with the website in place - it appears that WL Council has decided to go for the "Republic of Life" marketing model

As the City's Manager of Economic Development says - the City, before now, has not had a brand so it only stands to reason to ensure the brand best represents the City and locals buy into the brand so they themselves can sell it to their friends throughout the world, after all, I think the best salespeople for the City are those who live here already....


Fed Review Panel to Taseko -- 11 New Info Requests

After an initial 50 IR's or Information Requests to Taseko Mines from the Federal Review Panel looking into the 'New Prosperity' mine proposal and after a public comment period... The Panel has now written back to Taseko this past Thursday issuing 11 new IR's

Read the Panel letter to Taseko Mines dated Mar 28th here

The Panel that once the information is received - it can proceed to determine if the EIS or Environmental Impact Statement is sufficient to take to a public hearing which appears to be occuring, at the earliest, by early to mid May...

-- SBF

Thursday, March 28, 2013

River Valley Process Line Repair done

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The City of Williams Lake has completed the replacement of a section of process line serving the Capital Power Plant destroyed last year, with a solution to avoid the problem in the future. The line is now functional.

A landslide in the River Valley adjacent to the Williams Lake solid waste transfer station destroyed a large section of the treatment water outfall from the Atlantic Power plant and a storm outfall pipe, which are critical components of City’s infrastructure. Emergency works were completed to ensure service was not interrupted.

Because the process line had to be replaced in its existing location, creative thinking was needed to return the pipe to the same location and not have the same thing happen again. To alleviate any future problems, the pipe was directionally drilled from the top of the escarpment to the bottom. Engineers found a layer of earth that was relatively stable that the drillers could stay under from the top of the escarpment to the bottom, so land from future slides would travel over the pipe, and not affect it. This drilling took months to complete, and the pipe has been re-established at both ends and the process water was able to be turned back on.

Design work for Phase 5 of the River Valley Stormwater Management system, which includes the replacement of the destroyed outfall sewer pipe, is almost complete

Cariboo RD hosts South Cariboo Rec Open House

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

The Cariboo Regional District will be hosting a series of Open Houses regarding the South Cariboo Recreations services and taxation. CRD elected officials and staff will be in attendance to provide information, answer questions and obtain input from South Cariboo residents about recreation services and taxation.

The meetings are scheduled as follows:

Monday, April 8
Lone Butte Community Hall

Wednesday, April 10
Forest Grove Community Hall

Thursday, April 11
108 Mile Ranch Community Hall

Monday, April 22
Creekside Seniors' Centre - 100 Mile House

All sessions start at 6:30 p.m. with a set presentation at 7 p.m.

For residents who are unable to attend these meetings, and interested in South Cariboo recreation services and taxation, the proposed amendments to the service are posted on the CRD website at

FAQ below:

Cariboo Fire Centre urges caution...

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

The Cariboo Fire Centre is asking the public to exercise caution with any outdoor burning activities this spring.

As the snow melts, dried grass from last summer is uncovered and that material can be highly flammable. Almost all wildfires at this time of the year are caused by people and are therefore preventable.

Homeowners and industry personnel are encouraged to consult the B.C. FireSmart manual and take the following precautions:

  • Ensure that enough people, water and tools are on hand to control the fire and prevent it from escaping.
  • Do not burn during windy conditions. Weather conditions can change quickly and the wind may carry embers to other combustible material and start new fires.
  • Create a fireguard at least one metre around the planned fire site by clearing away twigs, grass, leaves and other combustible material.
  • If you are planning a large burn, consider conducting smaller burns around the perimeter beforehand to create a fuel break and help stop the fire from spreading beyond its intended size. Each of these fires should be kept small and must be completely extinguished before starting a new fire.
  • Never leave a fire unattended and make sure that your fire is completely extinguished and the ashes are cold to the touch before you leave the area.

If you are planning to do any large-scale industrial burning or conduct a grass burn over 0.2 hectares (Category 3 fires), you must obtain a burn registration number ahead of time by calling 1 888 797-1717.

Venting conditions should always be checked before conducting an open burn. If conditions are rated “Poor” or “Fair”, open burning is restricted. The venting index can be found at:

In British Columbia, the Wildfire Act specifies a person’s legal obligations when using fire on or within one kilometre of forest land or grassland. If an outdoor burn escapes and causes a wildfire, the person responsible may be held accountable for damages and fire suppression costs.

Anyone found in contravention of an open fire prohibition may be issued a ticket for $345 or, if convicted in court, be fined up to $100,000 and sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person may be subject to a penalty of up to $10,000 and be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

The Province thanks the public for its continued help in preventing wildfires. If you see flames or smoke, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or call *5555 on your cellphone.

To view the B.C. FireSmart manual, visit:

For the latest information on fire activity, conditions and prohibitions, visit the Wildfire Management Branch website at:

You can follow the latest wildfire news:

WL Council must reject new Place Brand

This past Tuesday in Committee of the Whole - Williams Lake City Council received a presentation from the City's Manager of Economic Development (Alan Madrigga) concerning a new Place Brand called "The Republic of Life".  The approved budget for this project, in 2012, was $45,000 with $41,000 being spent to date

Read Mr. Madrigga's report here

During Committee of the Whole discussions - Council was generally in support.  Councillors Rathor/Hughes did ask for First Nations to be part of the brand while Councillor Bourdon stated that he believed that local opposition didn't matter but it was geared towards an external audience while Councillor Zacharias said she was excited for the opportunities that the new brand would be bring to Williams Lake

Council agreed by a 6-1 vote (Councillor Danica Hughes voting in opposition) to recommend approval of the new brand.  Council will consider approving this recommendation from Committee of the Whole on Tuesday, April 9th at 6pm

Since then - I have heard from directly or read online comments expressing disgust or outrage at this decision by Williams Lake City Council, in Committee.  In fact - one went so far as to say that they were looking forward to next fall's election to replace the current 'puppets' with a new Council and another saying that we should cut our losses now at $41,000 before we spend any more money

For myself - it is readily clear that the general public, by large, does not support this decision of Williams Lake City Council.  If the local community does not support this brand, then it becomes impossible, on a moral basis, to promote this new Brand (Republic of Life) beyond our borders because if Council adopts the new brand and promotes it beyond Williams Lake - it betrays that principle of accountability of "you serve the public that voted you in and you should not do such things that the general public, as a whole, do not support"

If you are concerned about this item and wish to contact your members of Williams Lake City Council prior to April 9th, you can find their contact information here

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Bouchie Lk/Parkland Communities support Volunteers

Courtesy of Cariboo RD Area 'B' Director Heloise Dixon-Warren:

The communities of Bouchie Lake and Parkland are working together to celebrate volunteerism and plan appreciation events during National Volunteer Week (April 21-27th). Volunteerism is the heart of rural communities and having a strong volunteer base is a key component of having a healthy community with strong neighbourhoods. Volunteers assist in so many ways – they are involved in program development, facility management, fire protection, creation of trail systems, neighbourhood safety, working with youth, advocating for students, establishing policies, cleaning up roads and public sites, and organizing community events, just to name a few.

At the March 22, 2013 Cariboo Regional District Board of Directors meeting the board approved the allocation of up to $2000.00 from the Electoral Area B Special Projects Fund. Funds are to support NVW (National Volunteer Week) events, for the purchase of promotional materials and celebratory items.

The events are being supported by the Parkland and Bouchie Lake Recreation Commissions and Community Associations through the hiring of an Event / Volunteer Co-ordinator and through the provision of the facilities to host the events. Our newly hired co-ordinator will work to develop a Volunteer Manual and Database, Event Sponsorship Package, promotional campaign, and assist with co-ordinating the events.

The Parkland and Bouchie Lake communities extend a hearty welcome to ALL volunteers within the greater community to come on out, get involved, and participate in these events. There are many ways to participate – you let us know what interests you, a short term or ongoing project or at the grass roots level by assisting with organizing the events. Information on these events is available on the “Bouchie Lake-Parkland Volunteer Appreciation” Facebook site by clicking here

For additional information, please contact:

Terri Bahi, Volunteer / Event Co-ordinator - 250.992.0900 or

Learn to Run program....

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex is starting its 12-week ‘Learn to Run’ program on Thursday, April 4th at 5 p.m. The program is designed for beginner runners and will give you the basics of establishing your own sustainable running program that you will carry on beyond the 12-week program, theoretically the rest of your life.

It will provide you with adequate base training to enter the local Kidsport Classic on Sunday, June 23rd either in the 5 km (team) or 10 km (individual or team) categories. The program is designed to gently increase your running distance. It starts with 30 seconds of running and 4 minutes of walking and slowly increases the endurance so that you are able to participate in a 5km Kidsport Classic Run at the end of the program.

The Learn to Run Program changed the lives of Angela Laprairie, Jillian Neuner, Treena Brown, Jill Jennings, Tammy James, and Janice Laurie. In 2006 Jill Jennings signed up to take the Kidsport Classic training program so that she could learn to run. Jill was soon hooked on running, and convinced three of her coworkers to try the program the following year.

“That first running session, I had ‘lawn mowing’ runners, sweat pants and a T-shirt to wear,” laughs Angela. “And the first thirty seconds of running was the longest thirty seconds ever!’ It was hard for the group to believe that they would actually run 5 kilometres, let alone someday be running ½ marathons.
Although the training program initially brought the four women together, the “homework runs” really developed the group. They met at each others’ houses and carefully stuck to the timed walk/run schedule that their trainer gave them. “It is a mistake to look ahead in the running schedule because you will scare yourself. Just stick to the week in front of you,” explains Dora Foote, who joined the group in 2008.

The cost of the program is $89.00. For more information, contact Denise Skarra at 250-398-7665.

Aud-Gen report on Carbon Neutrality released

Earlier this afternoon - the BC Auditor-General (AG) released his report on carbon neutrality in the Public Sector. Read his full report here

In the AG's press release this afternoon, for a first - John Doyle expressed deep concern with interference in this report by saying:

“Of all the reports I have issued, never has one been targeted in such an overt manner by vested interests,” he stated. “Nor has an audited organization ever broken my confidence as did the senior managers at the Pacific Carbon Trust by disclosing confidential information to carbon market developers and brokers.”

“I was astonished to have to expend my Office’s limited resources responding to an orchestrated campaign of delay and interference, led by a public sector entity on behalf of market interests.”

Both the Provincial Government (read here) and Ind. Cariboo-North MLA Bob Simpson (read here) respond to the AG Report

Finally - I was disappointed to learn that BC Environment Minister Terry Lake still, like his fellow Ministers, openly criticizing BC's Auditor-General by saying:

"Who audits the Auditor-General??"

Read more here

Clearly making "classless" remarks about an individual who serves as an Officer of the BC Legislature will not help the BC Liberals' cause to get re-elected for a 4th term and is very likely to solidly the public's opinion that the BC Liberals are rapidly becoming irrelevant and perhaps should take a "time-out" from being government....

-- SBF

Essential Skills Program at local TRU Campus

Courtesy of the Government of British Columbia:

Government is providing more than $1 million to Thompson Rivers University-Williams Lake (TRU-WL) for a new Cariboo Chilcotin Skills Training Project that will deliver essential skills training to 300 people in the region to help prepare them for employment.

Funded through the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Agreement (LMA), the project will provide First Nations communities and local employers with group literacy and essential-skills level assessments, as well as individual literacy and essential-skills assessments. These assessments will help inform the type of training individuals require, and from there personal training plans will be developed to address the skills gaps that have been identified at both the group and individual levels.

TRU-WL will deliver training that is customized to the needs of the individual. As a result, a broad range of training will be available through this project, including a variety of options to address:

· Literacy – including reading, numeracy, writing and using documents and forms.
· Oral communication.
· Interpersonal skills.
· Thinking skills, including problem-solving.
· Computer skills.

TRU-WL will begin accepting participants for the Cariboo Chilcotin Skills Training Project beginning April 2013. Training will be delivered on location in First Nations communities, at employer worksites, or on campus at TRU-WL depending on the needs of the individual participants. The LMA will cover the costs of tuition and supplies for eligible participants, including employed, low-skilled individuals, or those who are unemployed and not eligible for employment insurance. For those who qualify, transportation supports may also be available.

Now the fourth-largest university in the province, TRU was created in 2005 when the University College of the Cariboo joined with the British Columbia Open University. In addition to its main campus in Kamloops, students can take programs at its campus in Williams Lake, and through regional centres throughout the Interior of B.C. through TRU-Open Learning.

A variety of specialized Aboriginal educational programs and learning centres are offered, in addition to TRU’s unique distance-learning opportunities, that enable First Nations students to remain close to their home communities. At TRU-WL, the Open Learning Centre is housed in the Gathering Place and provides First Nations communities in the surrounding area with access to hundreds of Open Learning courses and programs.

The Carrier, Chilcotin and Shuswap Nations traditionally used the pit house as their winter home. This Gathering Place is modelled after similar pit houses and is a space where individuals can meet with Elders, study, or gather for ceremonial or social activities. The Gathering Place also provides other services, including assistance with the transition to university, one-to-one tutoring, academic support and First Nations counselling.

As a direct result of federal LMA funding, thousands of British Columbians are receiving training that will advance their careers, assist in securing new employment and ultimately improve the social and economic outcomes of individuals in B.C. and Canada. In addition to programs and services offered through the LMA, government is actively creating awareness and encouraging people to consider careers in the trades and technical occupations through a further investment of $75 million for new capital and equipment under the Skills and Training Plan. This funding complements $500 million in annual investments in employment and skills training programs under the BC Jobs Plan.

Local MLA Donna Barnett says:

“The Cariboo Chilcotin Skills Training Project will help people in Williams Lake and surrounding communities get the essential skills they need in order to be successful in the workplace. TRU identified a need for additional supports for individuals, First Nations communities and employers in the region, and this project will help ensure that local businesses and industries have local workers with the right skills to do their jobs.”

Integris CU partners on Nature Mural Fundraiser

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

With a $50,000 contribution announced today, Integris Credit Union is providing a significant boost to the local fundraising effort for a new ice arena and theatre complex in Downtown Quesnel.

Integris Credit Union and the North Cariboo Multi-Centre fundraising initiative are partnering on the development of the North Cariboo Nature Mural, an innovative and artistic feature that will help spur community and corporate sponsorships. This major art installation will be multi-dimensional and make use of a number of materials to showcase the nature of the region, including recycled glass, wood, rock and other items. Individuals and businesses are invited to purchase an art piece component, which include river rocks at $25, $50 and $100, fish and wildlife from $500 to $7,500 and trees for $10,000.

“Integris Credit Union is owned and managed by our people right here at home” remarks Bruce Steele, Quesnel Integris Director. “Our investment in the North Cariboo Multi-Centre represents yet another commitment to people and our community. As a member-owned financial institution, Integris turns a large portion of our profit into meaningful investments that enhance our community; our way of life” continues Steele. “I would like to thank the people who choose to do their banking, insurance and financial planning with Integris. Your choice has direct impact – your choice makes Quesnel a better place to live!”

“We sincerely thank Integris Credit Union for their support of this exciting project,” said CRD Vice-Chair Ted Armstrong. “Their contribution is a testament to their commitment to the residents of the North Cariboo and making our region a great place to live, work and play.”

“I am excited to see Quesnel’s corporate community continue to step up and take a leadership role in the fundraising initiative to support the North Cariboo Multi-Centre,” added Mayor Mary Sjostrom. “Integris Credit Union is an outstanding corporate citizen. On behalf of Council I applaud them for their commitment to this project, an opportunity that allows everyone in the community to participate in being part of the new building.”

With this contribution, Integris Credit Union will be acknowledged for naming the overall mural, and will have a gold pan designation as part of the mural components, the only gold pan to be installed on the mural.

The North Cariboo Multi-Centre will be a modern facility designed to replace the 62-year-old arena and aging theatre infrastructure. It will feature a 1,600 seat NHL-sized arena, a 450-seat performing arts theatre and accompanying event and assembly area.

For more information about the North Cariboo Multi-Centre project or how you can participate in the fundraising efforts, visit

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

1st All-Candidates Forum in Cariboo-North

Bob Simpson, Duncan Barnett and Coralee Oakes
On her Facebook fan page, Cariboo RD Area 'B' Director Heloise Dixon-Warren reports that the Kersley Farming Institute, FARMED and also the Quesnel Cattleman Association co-hosted an "All Candidates" Forum in regards to Agriculture issues this past Monday at Kersley (just south of Quesnel)

Roughly 65 people attended the 1st of a few All Candidates Forums, I expect that will be occuring in the Cariboo-North riding as we get towards May's provincial election

Still no word about a candidate from the BC Conservatives for both of the Cariboo-North and Cariboo-Chilcotin ridings.

I wonder if the BC Conservatives' have now abandoned running candidates in the Cariboo-Chilcotin provincial ridings???

Committee of the Whole (WL Council) Mtg - Mar 26th

Present  - Mayor Cook (Chair) and Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Hughes, Rathor, Walters and Zacharias


G. Goodall - Acting Administrator
C. Bouchard - Manager of Legislative Services
P. Higgins - Director of Finance
K. MacInnis - Communications Coordinator
C. Hutton - Planning Technician

Meeting called to order at 6pm
Minutes of March 12th COW Meeting approved

The Chair advised that a Special Closed Council meeting will occur following adjournment of the COW meeting, as per Sections 92 and 90(1)(k) - negotiations on a proposed Municipal Service - of the Community Charter


1) Lance Marshall re: Subdivision of property at 44 Woodland Drive

Mayor Cook declared a perceived conflict of interest at 6:07pm and left the meeting.  Acting Mayor Hughes assumed the Chair

* General discussion ensued on water/sewer services on Woodland Dr & subdivisions
* Councillor Rathor: I won't support $60,000 per house for water/sewer services for Woodland Dr
* Councillor Bourdon: Increase density for Woodland Dr to increase chances to bring water/sewer to this neighborhood
* Marshall: Anything higher than $5-10,000 per home and residents will reject participation for water/sewer services for Woodland Dr.

Motion - Delegation received & refer item to Planning and Ops Committee for recommendation to Council

Mayor Cook returned to the meeting at 6:25pm and reassumed the Chair


1) City Place Brand

* Carol Taiji/Manager of EcDev presented item to the Committee by way of a Powerpoint presentation
* Brand must be unique to Williams Lake
* Focus on target audience (or end customer)
* Competition - PG, Kamloops, Meritt, Quesnel, Smithers
* Advantages - Quality of Life, Pro-Business WL City Hall
* Weaknesses - Low Profile, Stigma of unsafe community, stigma of boom/bust community and cowboy heritage
* Brand Promise - WL is unique place where you can live fully/honestly
* Brand Beliefs
* Feedback on Brand
* Choosing our Brand

* A Question & Answer period ensued.
* Councillor Hughes: Include First Nations in place brand
* Councillor Rathor: need to add Forestry, Mining, agriculture & First Nations to brand
* Spent $41,000 for place brand exercise with budget of $45,000

Motion - That it be recommended to Council:

That Council adopt the “Republic of Life” place brand concept and logo for use by the City.

Opposed - Councillor Hughes

2) Backyard Chickens/Beekeeping Bylaw

Planning Tech reviewed Planner's report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

* Councillor Bonnell: Do not support backyard chickens within the City for either personal or commercial use

Motion - That it be recommended to Council:

That Council direct staff to prepare a bylaw for first reading only to allow for the keeping of backyard hens; and further,that staff prepare a bylaw for first reading only to allow for the keeping of bees; and further,that staff return both bylaws with a consultation plan to gather input from the community regarding these bylaws.

3) Rezoning at 1400 South Broadway Avenue for RV Park

Planning Tech reviewed his report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Motion - That it be recommended to Council:

That Council direct staff not to proceed with the application to rezone a Part of Lots 2 and 3, District Lot 8871, Cariboo District, Plan 7311, Except Plan 20296 to allow for a Recreation Vehicle Park along Highway 97 South

4) Road Closure of Signal Pt Road Lane

Planning Tech reviewed his report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Motion - That it be recommended to Council:

That Council decline the request to purchase the land currently dedicated as road/lake access situated between 1707 and 1645 Signal Point Road.

Opposed - Councillor Walters

Meeting adjourned at 8:16pm and after a 5 minute recess - Council then convened a Special Closed meeting as per Sections 92 & 90(1k) of the Community Charter

Cariboo RD to hold open house on WL Fringe OCP

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Editor's Note - I will be present at this Open House, both as Alternate Director for Area 'D' of the Cariboo Regional District and as a member of the Cariboo RD's Electoral Area 'D' Advisory Planning Commission to hear what Area 'D' residents' present at the meeting say on the WL Fringe OCP...

The Cariboo Regional District will be hosting a meeting for residents to learn about and provide input into the proposed CRD Williams Lake Fringe Area Official Community Plan. On March 1, 2013, the Board of Directors gave the proposed document OCP two readings and it is now available for public consultation and consideration.

An Official Community Plan (OCP) is a statement of objectives and policies used to guide decisions on planning and land use management within the area covered by the plan. The OCP serves as a foundation for all policies, regulations, and decisions pertaining to land use and development in the plan area.

It is extremely important for residents to attend this session and have the opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions to the CRD’s Board of Directors before the Plan is adopted and forwarded to the Province for final consent.

The meeting is scheduled as follows:

Thursday, April 4 – 5:30 p.m.
The Pioneer Complex (Room 106) - Williams Lake

For residents who are unable to attend this meeting, or for those interested in the OCP’s content, the Williams Lake Fringe Area Official Community Plan and its associated schedules, are posted on the CRD website at

Release of Aud-Gen rpt on PCT delayed??

Earlier today - the report on the Pacific Carbon Trust and of the provincial government's efforts around carbon neutrality from BC's Auditor-General (AG) was set for release but the Speaker of the BC Legislature, Hon. Bill Barisoff (BC Lib - Penticton) has prevented its' release as he investigates the possibility of a "Breach of Parliament" in regards to the AG report

Already the decision by Speaker Barisoff was addressed today by Ind. Cariboo-North MLA Bob Simpson who asked that the report be released immediately or, in the alternative, within 24 hours.  Read more here while the Vancouver Sun reports on this here

Meanwhile - BC's Auditor-General John Doyle released a statement this afternoon saying that his office did not prematurely release the report.  In addition - Keith Baldrey of Global BC reported, on Twitter, that both Bruce Ralston, as Chair of the BC Legislature's Public Accounts Committee and Doug Horne, as Deputy Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, will already have a copy of the A-G's report, as per previous practice

My own view is that if Speaker Barisoff feels that a possible "Breach of Parliament" has occurred with regard to a premature leak of an A-G report, then let's allow the investigation of Speaker Barisoff to occur and if no "Breach of Parliament" has occurred then I believe Barisoff will release the report thereafter

-- SBF

Monday, March 25, 2013

2012 CCACS Grant Prg Results

In looking at the Central Cariboo Arts/Culture Society website today - I see that they report on their 2012 Grant Program and the results from those grants totaling $25,000

Read that report here

One thing I'd like to see more of is photo opportunities or "photo-ops" for short of the CCACS handing out the Grant cheques to successful applicants.  Through these photo-ops, it may inspire private citizens or other groups/foundations to donate to these groups themselves by way of the work the successful applicants do with the approved grants

Clearly, the other good thing here is, through the above mentioned report, that applicants are reporting back what they've done with the money which is indicated in the Grant Program Results Annual Report

MLA Simpson reports on initiatives in Cariboo-North

Last Friday - Ind. Cariboo-North MLA Bob Simpson reported on his website, by way of an interactive map, about the initiatives that he has been working on in the last few years that affect communities within the provincial Electoral District of Cariboo-North

Read that post here

Cariboo RD News - Mar 25th

1) Cariboo RD Library Calendar for March/April 2013:

2) Cariboo RD give thanks to those involved with January's incident in Wildwood - read more here

Editor's Note - great move by the Cariboo Regional District.  Well done!

3) Area 'B' Director Newsletter for March 2013.  Topics include:

News from me to you… across Electoral Area B
Test your home for Radon
Area B Supports Volunteers
Introduction to Agriculture Advisory Committees
Your’re invited to Parkland Community Association EASTER DAY FAMILY PARTY
Congratulations to Bouchie Lake – 31st Annual Senior’s Luncheon
Planning Workshop
Fire Protection in Area B & the Benefits of being a Volunteer Firefighter
North Cariboo Multi-Centre Update

Read the newsletter below:

Sunday, March 24, 2013

CRD Fire Protection Mtg #3

This past Friday with about 130 residents present, CRD Chair Al Richmond, CRD Directors Deb Bischoff, Byron Kemp, Joan Sorley, CRD Administrator Janis Bell and CRD CFO Scott Reid presented those present with the details of the one year agreement with the City of WL Fire Department for rural fringe fire protection until Dec 31st, 2013

During a question/answer period - some still desired an agreement in 2014 with the City of WL Fire Department while the vast majority want out and start up an CRD-led Fire Department for rural fringe parts of CRD Electoral Areas D to F.  CRD Chair Al Richmond made it clear that the City of WL/CRD needed to have an agreement in place by the end of April, otherwise the Regional District would need to take steps to ensure fire protection continued on Jan 1st, 2014.  One resident went so far as to say that we need to have an fire protection agreement to the end of 2014, then wait for a new Williams Lake City Council to be elected and negotiate with them and if necessary, then start a CRD Rural Fringe Fire Department.  CRD Chair Richmond stated to the resident that this may be possible but would depend on political will from both sides - CRD/City of WL

In light of comments made by rural residents at this meeting and comments made by Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook around the City's desire for a new fire protection agreement with the Regional District in 2014 - I'm personally not hopeful for a new agreement but anything could happen between now and April 25th (next CRD Fire Protection meeting).  Should the CRD go out on its own for fire protection in 2014 - the City stands to lose roughly $700,000 to which Williams Lake Council would need to adjust its' 2014 Budget accordingly

The Rush has more on the meeting here

This Wk in Local Gov't - Mar 25-29

With Spring Break/Easter Break upon us - some local gov'ts, in the Cariboo-Chilcotin, are meeting this upcoming week:

Quesnel- Commitee of the Whole meeting at 7pm Monday, March 25th in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor, 410 Kinchant St).  View the Agenda here.  Quesnel Council will hear from 5 different community groups and then consider 3 reports from their Staff concerning the 2013-17 5 year Financial Plan, Survey Results for South Quesnel Garbage Collection and 2013 BIA Levies.  As is practice - Quesnel Council will not be able to make decisions but make recommendations to be considered at a future Quesnel Council meeting

Williams Lake - Committee of the Whole meeting at 6pm Tuesday, March 26th in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (WL City Hall Basement - 450 Mart St).  View the Agenda here.  Williams Lake Council will hear from Lance Marshall concerning water/sewer services for his property at 44 Woodland Dr (note - WL City Staff do not support his request in light of discussions for water/sewer services for all Woodland Dr residents).  As well, Council will consider Staff reports concerning:

a) new Brand for the City
b) Backyard Chickens/Bee Hives - note, the last time I wrote on this, readers were generally supportive of this in the City

c) Proposed RV Park for 1400 Broadway Ave South (by old Crescent Heights Elementary).  Staff are asking if Council wishes to dedicate Staff time for this.  I oppose this as the current configuration of Broadway Ave in this area would not be able to handle traffic load that RV Park, even on a summertime basis, would bring into an area that already suffers from high traffic load due to McDonald's, especially in the summertime with traffic rolling through...

d) Proposed Road Closure Bylaw for 1707 Signal Pt Rd.  Staff are recommending the request be rejected

As is practice - Williams Lake Council will not be able to make decisions at this COW Meeting but make recommendations to be considered at a future Williams Lake City Council meeting


Cariboo RD Board Highlights - Mar 22nd mtg

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Audited Financial Statements

Chartered Accountants, Kane Fraser and JoAnne Francis presented the Cariboo Regional Hospital District (CRHD), the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District (CCRHD) and the Cariboo Regional District’s (CRD) 2012 audited financial statements. According to Mr. Fraser, the financial position of the corporations remains strong. For inquiries contact the CRD’s Chief Financial Officer (Scott Reid) at 250-392-3351 or toll free at 1-800-665-1636.

UBCM Treaty Advisory Committee Funding program

The CRD will be submitting an application for funding to the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Supporting Treaty Implementation program. Applications are currently being accepted by UBCM for the program, whereby local governments may recover eligible operating costs for Treaty Advisory Committees participating at Treaty Negotiation tables at Stage 4 or Stage 5. In past years, the CRD has received $15,000 in funding.

Minister of Community Development, Sport and Culture

During today’s meeting, the Honourable Bill Bennett, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development and Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett addressed the Board with announcements from the provincial government. Minister Bennett presented $125,000 to the Cariboo Regional District to rebuild the Gateway Water System located in Electoral Area H. For up to date news about the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, visit them online at

Area B Special Projects funds approved

Up to $2,000 of Electoral Area B Special Projects Funds will be used to celebrate National Volunteer Week in the communities of Bouchie Lake and Parkland in the North Cariboo. These events are being hosted by the Bouchie Lake and Parkland Community Associations which are integral and the heart of these communities and rely heavily on volunteers for their management and programs.

Feasibility Funds Approved

Up to $5000 of feasibility funds were approved by the CRD Board of Directors to explore the establishment of a McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Department. The funds were approved on the condition that the Community of McLeese Lake can produce a list of a minimum of twenty volunteer's signatures belonging to those community members that are committed to training, practicing and responding as members of a volunteer fire department. This list must be provided to CRD following a community meeting which is scheduled for April 18, 2013 at McLeese Lake Community Hall.

Taxes Held to CRD Target

During the meeting, both the CCRHD and the CRD proposed 2013 Budgets and Five-Year Financial Plans were adopted. At the end of 2012, the Board of Directors provided CRD staff with a 2013 budget target goal of a zero percent maximum requisition increase for inflationary purposes. The overall 2013 budget, including new/and or improved services came in at a 0.8 percent decrease. Without including new services, the tax requisition for 2013 is 2.5% less than the requisition for 2012.

Transfer Stations’ Hour of Operation for manned sites

The Cariboo Regional District Board of Directors received and discussed survey results from the Lac La Hache transfer station pilot project. Based on the results and feedback from residents, the Cariboo Regional District expand total public accessibility hours for the Lac La Hache site and future controlled waste facility sites to 46 hours during the period of October 1 to March 31 and 52 hours during the period of April 1 to September 30.


March 23 – 8:30-9:30 p.m. – Earth Hour 2013
March 2013 – Community Social Services Awareness Month

Next CRD Board Meeting

Friday, April 12, 2013

Thursday, March 21, 2013

WL City Staff volunteer for WL Indoor Rodeo

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

A number of City of Williams Lake employees have volunteered their time to haul dirt into and out of the Cariboo Memorial Complex for the 23rd Annual Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo April 19-21.

The staff volunteers, from the Streets and Parks Divisions of the City, will donate between 70-90 total man-hours to operate a loader and trucks to haul the dirt in and out of the arena. The work will be done outside of the volunteers’ scheduled work shifts. City Municipal Services staff have volunteered to do this work since 2007.

“We are happy to help out the community, and help make these important events happen,” says Matt Sutherland, Streets/Parks Division foreman at the City. “This is one way we can make a difference for the community.”

At its March 19th meeting, Council resolved to fund up to 50% of the cost of bringing soil in and out of the Indoor Rodeo for this year only, including equipment fuel and maintenance, in order to alleviate hardship on the Association due to the short notice before the event.

“The volunteer hours and the City’s support are very much appreciated,” says Kelly Walls, Secretary of the Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo Association. “We’re happy to have the help.”

The Indoor Rodeo Association does an incredible job each year putting on a great weekend of rodeo entertainment,” says Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook. “A huge thank you to our staff for volunteering yet again to help bring this popular event to Williams Lake.”

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

MoneySense Best Community in 2013

As they've done in previous years - MoneySense, a financial magazine, has come out with its' rankings for the Best Community in Canada.  Read the full article here along with their methodology here

For communities around the region:

Williams Lake - Ranked #163 out of 200 which is a significant jump in previous years where Williams Lake was ranked around #189...

Quesnel - Ranked #183 out of 200

Prince George - Ranked #145 of 200

Kamloops - Ranked #64 of 200


WL Council Highlights - March 19th mtg

Courtesy from the City of Williams Lake:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Standing Committees at the BC Legislature

In a video posted by Ind. Cariboo-North MLA Bob Simpson - he calls for permanent Standing Committees  of the BC Legislature, rather than the current Select Standing Committees that currently exist.

If the change occurs - I agree with Bob that it'll lead to better public policy and better provincial governance

View the video from Bob below:

Sunday, March 17, 2013

'New Prosperity' Public Mtg at 100 Mile

Yesterday, a public meeting, hosted by the South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce, was held to discuss the 'New Prosperity' mine proposal by Taseko Mines Ltd.  As you'll see in the video below from Global BC, the two opposing camps have not changed their views on this project and in the end - it'll be up to the Supreme Court of Canada to rule on the 'land claim' issue which is centrally connected to this proposal - that is whether or not the Xeni Gwet'in Band has title to the land in the area where 'New Prosperity' will occur, should it move forward to the construction stage....

More on this here

Global BC Video:

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Mar 19th - 22nd

With Spring Break upon us - only the City of Williams Lake, the District of Wells and the Cariboo Regional District are meeting this upcoming week, as follows:

Wells - Regular Meeting on Tuesday, March 19th, 2013 at 7pm in Wells Council Chambers (4243 Sanders Ave)

Williams Lake - Regular Meeting on Tuesday, March 19th, 2013 at 6pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St)

View the Agenda here.  Items to be considered:

* Kerry Cook to receive a "Queen's Diamond Jubilee Award" from Cariboo-Chilcotin BC Liberal MLA Donna Barnett

Editor's Note - I'm profoundly disappointed that an "apolitical" award is being given out to politicians and I'm sure Her Majesty would as well if she knew an award in her name was been given to people that need no recognition (ie: elected officials)

* Cariboo RD Area 'F' Director w/CRD Planning Manager R. Brundrige the draft WL Fringe Official Community Plan

* Councillor Danica Hughes proposes to establish a "WL Residents" email list - read here
* Naming of Dog Park after a major sponsor - read here

Cariboo Regional District - Regular Meeting on Friday, March 22nd, 2013 at 9:30am in the Cariboo RD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake)

View the Agenda here (CCRHD Board) and here (CRD Board)

Noteworthy Items on the Agenda include:

* Presentation of the 2012 Audited Financial Report for the Cariboo RD
* Request for Feasibility Funds -- McLeese Lake Fire Department - read here
* Director Sorley says "Waive Photocopy charges on documents where those documents pertain to a issue that is subject of CRD Public Consultation" - read here
* 2013 Strategic Planning Action Items - read here

Thursday, March 14, 2013

New WL Combined Sec. School Principal announced


Columneetza Secondary School principal Gregg Gaylord will become principal of the new combined Williams Lake/Columneetza secondary school on two campuses effective April 1.

“As the district continues to experience substantial changes, we are confident that Mr. Gaylord will provide the leadership necessary to work with a team of vice-principals, teachers, support staff, student leaders, and parents in forming the new secondary school in Williams Lake," says Superintendent of Schools Mark Thiessen in announcing the appointment today, March 14.

"Congratulations are extended to Gregg on his appointment.”

Gaylord's appointment as principal of the new amalgamated Williams Lake and Columneetza secondary school will be effective April 1.

Gaylord has been employed with the school district since 1991.

Prior to this appointment, Gaylord has served as principal at Columneetza and Williams Lake secondary schools; vice-principal at Columneetza; and has taught at Kwaleen Elementary, Williams Lake Junior Secondary, and Columneetza Secondary.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

New incentive to recruit doctors to Quesnel

Via Government of British Columbia:

The government of British Columbia and the BC Medical Association are partnering to establish a new incentive that will help improve access to primary and specialist physician care in rural communities.

The Rural Physicians for British Columbia incentive, which will be implemented today, aims to fill 20 pre-designated family physician and specialist positions. The incentive will provide each physician with a one-time payment of $100,000 when they commit to a three-year return of service in 17 designated rural communities.

The 17 communities are Bella Coola, Burns Lake, Chetwynd, Clearwater, Cranbrook, Galiano Island, Hazelton, Kitimat, Nakusp, Pemberton, Port Alberni, Port Hardy, Princeton, Quesnel, Terrace, Tofino and Tumbler Ridge.

"Helping to fill much-needed rural family physician and specialist positions not only benefits local families, but also provides additional support for physicians and other health-care professionals in the community," said Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid. "We often hear about the challenges rural doctors face, but having worked as a family physician in rural B.C., I can tell you that there are many rewards to rural practice from a diverse practice to a unique connection with patients and families."

The Rural Physicians for British Columbia incentive was developed by the Joint Standing Committee on Rural Issues, a committee comprised of the government and the BCMA. The Joint Standing Committee develops programs that strengthen rural health care and encourage physicians to live and practice in rural and remote areas of the province.

"This initiative will be a boost to many patients living in areas of the province that just don't have enough physicians to take care of them," said Dr. Shelley Ross, president of the BC Medical Association. "The BCMA is committed to providing British Columbians with the highest standard of health care, so if we can make it more attractive for physicians to set up practice in rural areas, we should."

Participating physicians will receive $50,000 when they begin working in the community. The remaining $50,000 will be paid once they have completed one year of service.

All applicants must commit to a three year return of service and the full amount must be repaid if this commitment is not fulfilled. Primary and specialist physicians are eligible to apply for the incentive, as well as medical school residents who transition to full-time practice in one of the designated rural communities.

Other eligibility requirements include:

Being recruited to and residing in one of the eligible rural communities.
Moving from outside B.C. or from a non-rural community within B.C.
Residing and practising in the community for a minimum of nine months each year.
Full or provisional registration and licensure from the College of Physicians and Surgeons of B.C.
General practitioners must provide full-service family practice in addition to comprehensive care services required by the community, such as support for hospital emergency department, hospital inpatient care, support for residential care and outreach for First Nations or other communities.
Specialists must provide the full scope of speciality work as required by the regional health authority.
The Joint Standing Committee worked with health authorities to select underserved communities based on those in most urgent need. The committee will provide oversight and incentives will be administered by regional health authorities.

In February 2013, government and the BCMA announced a suite of new physician incentives and supports to improve primary care services and ensure all B.C. citizens who want a family doctor are able to access one by 2015. The provincewide program, A GP for Me, is based on successful pilots in three communities, which have matched approximately 9,400 patients with family doctors since 2010.

For more information on Rural Physicians for British Columbia and other programs to support rural health care in B.C., please visit:

For more information on A GP for Me, please visit:

For Quesnel -- one internist (internal medicine)

Committee of the Whole (WL Council) Mtg for Mar 12th

Present - Mayor Cook (Chair) with Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Hughes, Rathor, Walters and Zacharias

Staff Present:

Geoff Goodall - Acting CAO/GM of Planning and Operations
Pat Higgins - Director of Finance
Anne Burrill - Manager of Social Development
Ken MacInnis - Communications Coordinator
Tom Chung - IT Manager
Lilliana Dragowska - Planner

Meeting called to order at 6pm

Agenda & Minutes from the Jan 29th COW Meeting both adopted


Kelly Walls, from the WL Indoor Rodeo Association, appeared before the Committee to express a willingness on behalf of the Association to help fund costs related to the bringing in and removal of dirt in Rink 1 at the CMRC to hold the annual WL Indoor Rodeo

A Question and Answer period ensued

The Chair thanked the delegation and advised that Council would consider the matter further


1) Outdoor Rink Project - Junior Council

Members of the Junior Council were present to give a Powerpoint presentation on this project and to respond to question from the Committee

Committee Action - That it be recommeded to Council:

" That Council authorize Junior Council and staff to contact School District 27 to discuss the use of Poplar Glade as a site for an outdoor public ice rink and that Council support in principle the concept of a outdoor rink"

2) Donation Request (Reimbursement of Costs) from the WL Bantam Timberwolves

A General discussion ensued

Committee Action - That it be recommended to Council:

"That the letter from the WL Bantam Timberwolves be received and the request for reimbursement be denied"

Mayor Cook declared a conflict of interest on the next item and left the meeting at 7:07pm and Councillor Danica Hughes took the Chair as Acting Mayor

3) Request from Councillor Bourdon re: Council Champion for Woodland Dr Water/Sewer

General discussion ensued

Committee Action - That it be recommended to Council:

"That the email from Councillor Geoff Bourdon be received and further that the Planning and Operations Committee be requested to recommend to Council as to next steps for water/sewer services for Woodland Drive"

Mayor Cook returned to the meeting at 7:22pm and re-assumed the Chair

4) Greenhouse Gas Inventory Update

General discussion ensued with the Planner responding to questions from the Committee

Committee Action - That it be recommended to Council:

"That Council accept the GHG inventory report for 2012 and attachments for information; and further,that Council direct staff to publicly report on the GHG inventory for 2012 by placing an update in the local newspaper and on the City of Williams Lake Web Site; and further, that the draft Pacific Carbon Trust contract be considered by Council and senior staff to purchase 775 t of CO2e at $25 per tCO2e for a total of $19, 375 be authorized from the Carbon Neutral Offset Reserve Fund; and further, that Council direct staff to prioritize drafting a Corporate Emissions Reduction Plan for the City of Williams

5) South Lakeside Drive Redesign Review

The Acting CAO reviewed this item with the Committee with major components of the project to include bike paths on the redesigned South Lakeside Drive and 2 lanes from the WL Fire Hall to the turnoff to Prosperity Ridge (Wal-Mart site)

Committee Action - Presentation from the Acting CAO received and Staff be requested to take steps to expedite this project for completion

6) Response to Delegation - WL Indoor Rodeo

Committee Action - That it be recommended to Council:

"That Council fund 50% of all dirt costs in relation to the 2013 WL Indoor Rodeo event only"

Editor's Note - I would have liked to seen Council make the above motion in front of the WL Indoor Rodeo delegation and not send them away thinking no recommendation to Council would be made at this meeting as Mayor Cook referenced to the WL Indoor Rodeo delegation earlier in this meeting

Meeting adjourned at 8:08pm and Council went back into its' recessed In-Camera Meeting

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

WL Taxpayers won't pay more for extended CAO Search


The City of Williams Lake will not have to pay Waterhouse Executive Search to find a replacement for Don DeGagne.

Mayor of Williams Lake Kerry Cook says that in the contract the City has with Waterhouse Executive Search there is the equivalent to a "satisfaction guarantee clause".

Don DeGagne was chosen to become the City's new CAO (Chief Administrative Officer) but Council decided before DeGagne was to start his new job that he wasn't the best fit for the position.

The City has since failed to explain the reason behind the decision.

Spring Clean-up event in Quesnel gone?


Quesnel City Council has declared the week of April 22nd as Spring Clean-up Week but will it be the last ?

The cost of last year's clean-up was $38,460 and City staff has suggested that Council explore discontinuing the service in 2014.

City Manager Byron Johnson says the city is moving to a controlled landfill where people with heavier loads exceeding 350 kilograms of unsorted materials are expected to pay so he says it doesn't make sense that if they save it up for a year the city will come nad pick it up for free.

Johnson says they want to move away from that in the long run and he says they want to put people on notice that this year it's the same but for next year they will consider eliminating it.

In the end it will be a Council decision however and one councillor who says he definately won't be supporting it is Shushil Thapar.

He (Thapar) says the city already eliminated a Fall Clean-up Program.

Thapar says Quesnel can learn from Surrey where they started charging people for pick-up and the end result was garbage on the streets that the city eventually had to pick up anyways.

Council, at the suggestion of (Councillor) Ed Coleman, will hold a workshop on a number of different budget refinements, including this one.

Coleman says he would prefer to discuss all of them rather than one at a time before bringing them forward for public review and discussion.

Donna Barnett on Constituency Affairs....

BC Liberal Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett speaks on local riding matters like economics, the Beetle Action Coalition and meat abattoirs

View the video below:

New City of PG City Manager named


The new City Manager for the City of Prince George is Beth James.

She has a background with the provincial government with extensive background in infrastructure planning . She will be $212,000 per year the same as was paid to (former City Manager) Derek Bates

She will be paid a one time relocation cost and the City (of Prince George) has negotiated a severance package.

Quesnel Council Highlights - March 11th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

2012 surplus allocated

For 2012, the City had an unallocated surplus of $463,153. The majority of this was due to under-spending in the public works operations budget, and an ambitious capital program. Council opted to use $130,000 of that surplus to reduce the increase to 2013 property taxes by one per cent to 3.2% (about $20 to the average residential property owner). The remaining funds were split amongst a number of projects and reserves:

-$156,153 to the Quesnel Works: Capital Reinvestment Program reserve.
-$35,000 for the West Quesnel Land Stability reserve.
-$50,000 towards the public works building relocation.
-$80,000 for early repayment of the City Hall debt.
-$12,000 to Council projects to support community events, including $2,500 for Billy Barker days 40th anniversary.

Other Budget 2013 news

Capital items approved

Council gave early approval to a number of capital projects, including:

-Moffat Bridge - epoxy injection on deck $375,000
-Baker Creek Bridge deck repairs$35,000
-Avery/Avison ground gas passive venting $50,000
-Street paving (locations to be determined) $350,000
-Roddis Street re-build (carry from 2012) $234,000
-Nadeau Street paving - Nason to Nagra $122,540
-Lewis Drive paving– Beaubien to bottom of hill $110,200
-Hydraulic Road paving $206,000
-Dixon Street paving $85,300
-Trail paving $15,000
-McLean Street parking lot catch basins$21,000
-Pickup truck – ¾ ton, 4 x 4 $35,000
-Landfill compactor $480,000
-Retaining wall on Riverfront Trail $32,000
-Upgrade RCMP cells $50,000
-City Hall domestic water filter system $15,000
-City Hall hot water tank $8,000
-Technology hardware $50,000

Council has a new plan

Council approved the 2013 update to the 2012-14 Corporate Strategic Plan. The series of Goals, Objectives and Actions will be the basis for staff’s quarterly progress reporting.

Development updates

Council approved the following developments:

-Husky Oil Limited’s proposal to build a temporary remediation facility at 2272 Maple Drive.
-A development variance permit to develop the retail space at 262-268 Reid Street to a mixed use development, incorporating a professional health practice, fitness facility, and six residential dwellings on the top floor.
-A Water Corridor Development Permit allowing soil deposits on a lot at the corner of Redwing and Hydraulic Roads, subject to a lengthy list of conditions.

Other News

-A public hearing was set for March 25 at 6 p.m. to discuss an application for a secondary suite at 136 Leonard St.
-The 2012 City of Quesnel annual drinking water report is available at
-Spring Clean-Up Week will run from April 22 to 26.
-Council provided the Waveriders Swim Club with $500 to run their Olympic Swim Camp.
-The 2013 Miss Quesnel contestants received their official banners. This year’s candidates are: Miss TreSpa Charissa Paras; Miss Quesnel Music Cheyanne Benko; Miss Moose Meadows Farm Danielle Robert; Miss Pen-Y-Bryn Farm Isla Butler; Miss Quesnel Dental Group Megan Swaile; Miss Advanced Aesthetics & Skin Spa Tenille Mackenzie; and Miss Joyful Expressions Tori Watson.
-A new parade route for Billy Barker Days was endorsed. The new route will keep Highway 97 open.


March - Kidney Health Month in Quesnel

Future Meetings:

Next Regular Council Meeting: April 8, 7 p.m.
Next Delegation/Committee of the Whole Meeting: Monday March 25, 7 p.m.
Next North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Meeting: Tuesday April 9, 5:30 p.m.

*All above referred to meetings held in Quesnel Council Chambers - 2nd Floor, 410 Kinchant St*

March 2013 update for SCI Fund

The Provincial Government announced today the March 2013 update to local governments (municipal and regional district) from the Strategic Community Initiative Fund.

Money from this fund paid to Cariboo-Chilcotin local governments as follows:

Local Government
Small Community
Traffic Fine
District of 100 Mile
City of Williams Lake
City of Quesnel
District of Wells
Cariboo Regional District

BC Gov't withdraws Forestry amendments

Due to public pressure and based on (I believe) on a public push from people like Cariboo-North Ind MLA Bob Simpson - BC's Attorney-General (and BC Justice Minister) has announced that the government will withdraw Section 24 of Bill 8 (Misc Statues Amendment Act, 2013).  This Section related to make amendments to provincial forestry legislation including allowance for area-based tenure.

Section 24 will now be referred to public consultation prior to returning to the Legislature, depending on who is government after May

This is a good move by the provincial government recognizing that it possibly had flawed legislation and rather than "ramming it through" the Provincial Legislature, it has decided that it needed more public consultation and thought prior to returning such amendments, should they go forward, to the Legislature

-- SBF

Monday, March 11, 2013

CRD to host public mtg on Rural Fire Protection - Mar 22nd

The Cariboo Regional District announced earlier today that a public meeting would be held to update rural fringe residents in parts of CRD Areas D, E and F on the latest developments on Rural Fringe Fire Protection between the City of WL & the Cariboo RD as follows:

Date - March 22nd, 2013
Time - 5:30pm
Location - Gibraltar Rm, Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex

Purpose of Meeting: To provide details of the mediation contract and to discuss options for rural fringe fire protection services after December 31st, 2013

For myself - once the details of the mediation contract are provided to rural residents, I will be looking to see if this mediated contract is sufficient for the residents and what feedback they provide to CRD Directors/Staff

-- SBF

Al Richmond speaks on WL Fire Protection deal

Editor's Note - while it is good that rural fringe residents of the Cariboo RD (parts of EA Areas D, E,F) have fire protection certainty for 2013, a lot of hard work remains by 2014 to ensure that rural fringe residents' continue to have a basic service like fire protection is

Courtesy of the Rush/Wolf:

Statements released by the City of Williams Lake and CRD confirmed late Friday that the two sides had reached an agreement on fire protection.

The agreement will see the city continue provide protection for rural fringe area residents until the end of 2013.

The deal is based on a flat fee of $579,221.00

CRD Chair Al Richmond knows it's a good start but next year residents still have no coverage.

"We're pleased that at this point we have some certainty to the residents of the Williams Lake fringe, we've arrived at an agreement for a flat rate for fire services for 2013. That will allow both parties to go on and look at other alternatives for providing ongoing fire protection for the rural fringe area."

Court proceedings also ended effective Friday with no costs being awarded to either party.

As the deal is only temporary the CRD and the City of Williams Lake will both continue to explore their options for fire protection in 2014.

Representatives from the City were not available for comment

More support for NC Multicentre

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

With a $10,000 contribution announced today, Community Futures North Cariboo is providing a significant boost to the local fundraising effort for a new ice arena and theatre complex in Downtown Quesnel.

“Community Futures North Cariboo recognizes that social development is an important part of community development so we are happy to be able to support a project that will contribute to the quality of life in Quesnel,” says Karen Borsato, Chair of Community Futures North Cariboo. “This project is a critical factor in recruitment and retention of residents that will help sustain our vibrant community.”

A sincere thank you to Community Futures North Cariboo for their contribution which will help bring us closer to our goal,” said Multi-Centre Fundraising Committee Chair Bernice Heinzelman. “Now is the time for our corporate citizens to get involved and make this project happen.”

With their contribution, Community Futures North Cariboo will buy 40 seats, 20 in the arena and 20 in the theatre.

The North Cariboo Multi-Centre will be a modern facility designed to replace the 62-year-old arena and aging theatre infrastructure. It will feature a 1,600 seat NHL-sized arena, a 450-seat performing arts theatre and accompanying event and assembly area.

For more information about the North Cariboo Multi-Centre project or how you can participate in the fundraising efforts, visit, like us at North Cariboo Multi-Centre Fundraising on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @NC_Multi_Centre.

WL Council supports local Mountain Bike Consortium

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

As part of its commitment to economic growth and diversification, City Council resolved at its March 5 meeting to support the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium in its efforts to develop Williams Lake’s mountain bike tourism sector. Council encouraged the Consortium to bring forward proposals to Council to assist in their ongoing efforts. Working to prioritize, protect and link key mountain biking areas to the City and supporting the development of additional trailheads within City limits is part of Council’s World Class Recreation strategic priority in the Official Community Plan.

Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium (CMBC) Executive Director Justin Calof provided Council an update on the organization’s initiatives to date, as well as a 2012 Economic Assessment. With the largest bike park in the Interior, and the largest legalized network of mountain biking trails in the province, Williams Lake is competitively positioned as a destination for mountain bike enthusiasts from within B.C., Canada, and internationally. Mountain biking is now one of the fastest growing tourism sectors in the Cariboo, the total value of the mountain biking sector is estimated at over $2.26 million.

Bike Consortium research profiles mountain bikers as being largely university educated with 75% of riders in the Cariboo region earning $65,000 annually. A further 15% earn more than $100,000 a year. The CMBC’s website has seen a 207% growth in traffic since it was created in 2010, driven by various marketing initiatives; resulting in an increased economic impact of the sport in the Cariboo of 11.5%.

Since 2010, there has been an average 30% increase in use of the trail system, and 2012 estimates for mountain bike visitor spending is more than $294,000. Indirect spending is estimated at more than $427,000, and visitor spending impact has increased 21% since 2010. Participation in annual events such as the Peel Out and Pedal by the Puddle are also increasing. The recently completed Snakes and Ladders trail, which uses 22,000 board feet of lumber, is positioned to become a provincially renowned “signature” trail for the Cariboo. The Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium is planning additional investments in web marketing, trail infrastructure, and partnerships.

The Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium’s ongoing initiative is a perfect example of economic diversification in the age of the pine beetle, and we congratulate Justin and his group’s successes,” says Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook. “The City has been proud to partner on projects with the Consortium, and we look forward to exploring new ways we can help promote Williams Lake’s world class mountain biking experience.”

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Lac La Hache residents' speak on trial at local Transfer Stn

Courtesy of the Rush/Wolf:

Cariboo Regional District staff heard concerns and approvals Thursday night from members of the public over the ongoing Lac la Hache Transfer Station Pilot Project. The project runs through March 31st and was announced back in October.

CRD Chair Al Richmond says while additional dumping and compacting capabilities as well as recycling opportunities have become available, residents haven’t been completely happy.

“People would like to shorten up the time it’s closed during mid-day so take the compacting and a change of shift. The contractor was there Thursday as well so they’re going to look at how they can play with some of that timing and the staffing of the site. Of course some would like to see some extra time it’d be open.”

With regards to the positives and what came of the meeting, Richmond says, “It looks like we’ve been able to reduce our operations costs by about $50,000. People are very pleased with the tidiness of the site and they’re pleased with the opportunity for wood waste and metals and additional recycling opportunities for cardboard. They are also looking forward to other opportunities for recycling which we’re going to provide in the future.”

Richmond says 1000 surveys were handed out at the transfer station, of which 104 were filled out and submitted to the CRD.

He says, finally Directors will take further action based on public response at their upcoming meeting on March 22nd in Williams Lake.

WL Council Bus - March 12th

For those in Williams Lake - your City Council in Committee of the Whole is meeting Tuesday to consider the following:

a) Delegation: WL Indoor Rodeo.  Read here.  I would say that if we hadn't, as a City, gone ahead with a Dog Park (even though no recent recreation survey identified a public need for one), we now would have the necessary money for the WL Indoor Rodeo which brings in many thousands of dollars to the City vs a dog park used by a few people (at least what I've observed)

b) Outdoor Ice Rink at old Poplar Glade Elementary school site.  Read here
c) WL Bantam Timberwolves seek reimbursement for lost $$$ during recent civic strike - read here.  If approved by Council, they could very well open themselves up to a 'Pandora's box' from others who lost money during the strike (an unnecessary one at that)

d) Councillor Bourdon seeks 'Council champion' for Woodland Dr water/sewer upgrade project - read here.  Given Cariboo RD Area 'E' Director Byron Kemp has been turned down twice by Ottawa for grant money for water/sewer for Mountview which is in more dire need that Woodland Drive, I wonder if this should be a Council priority....

e) Greenhouse Gas Inventory update - read here
f) Review of South Lakeside Dr upgrade design works.  No report available, as of this writing.

Quesnel Council Bus - March 11th

For those in Quesnel - your City Council is meeting tomorrow and will consider the following noteworthy items:

1) Approve 2013 update to Strategic Plan (2011-14) - read here/here
2) Changes to Quesnel Council Agenda - read here/here
3) Report on 2012 General Surplus available - read here
4) Early approval sought for 2013 Capital program - read here

Other Business:

1) Adopt Bylaws #1714/1715 (160 Nickel Ridge Ave)
2) Request to approve:

a) Development Permit #60-2013 (old Husky Station on Maple Drive)
b) Development Variance Permit (262-268 Reid St)
c) Development Permit (Corner of Redwing Road/Quesnel-Hydraulic Road)
d) Zoning Bylaw Amendment for 136 Leonard St)

Above five items can be viewed here