Friday, August 30, 2013

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Sept 2-6

The following local governments in the Cariboo-Chilcotin are meeting this upcoming week:

Quesnel/Cariboo Regional District -- Future of North Cariboo Multicentre.  7pm Tuesday, September 3rd in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Flr - 410 Kinchant St)

Williams Lake - Committee of the Whole meeting on Tuesday, Sept 3rd at 6:00pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (450 Mart St - WL City Hall Basement).  On the Agenda:

* MMBC Financial Incentives (Quesnel Council has rejected this item)
* Fee for Service Policy Amendments to include compliance with City's OCP/ICSP Goals and allowance for 3 yr Fee for Service contract with annual reviews to ensure that recipient meets terms/conditions of Fee for Service Policy

Full Agenda here

There is also a meeting of the local Pool Finance Committee which starts at 11:00am.  No location is mentioned however meetings of this nature are typically held at the CRD WL Office (Suite D - 180 North 3rd Avenue in Williams Lake).  Members of this Committee are Area D/F CRD Directors Deb Bischoff and Joan Sorley with Area E Director Byron Kemp as the Alternate & WL City Councillors Ivan Bonnell and Laurie Walters.  The Committee will report its' findings by October or November of 2013

If travelling this long weekend - please drive safely to your destination.  A reminder that school starts on Wednesday, Sept 4th and the usual 30 km/h speed zone applies to all schools.  The minimum fine for speeding in a school zone is $196 with 3 Driver Penalty Points attached, if your speed is between 31-50 km/h with the highest fine of speeds of 90 km/h+ over the posted 30 km/h school zone totalling $483 with again 3 demerit points applied to the offending driver...

-- SBF

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

WL Council refuses $1500 'Orange Shirt Day' request

Last Friday -- The Cariboo RD Board gave $300 each from several Electoral Area Special Project Funds including Area 'D' for the Orange Shirt Day event in September.  At that meeting - WL Mayor Kerry Cook stated that she felt WL Council would be prepared to provide its' $1500 towards 'Orange Shirt Day' in September

WL City Councillor SPS Rathor called me earlier this evening (I'm down in Coquitlam visiting my grandparents) and let me know that Council has refused to fund the $1,500 for Orange Shirt Day.

One of the reasons Councillor Rathor provided for the refusal was the lack of policy for the Council Contingency Fund.  In fact, earlier today, I had a brief phone conversation about the lack of a policy for this Fund with local City Manager (CAO) Darryl Garceau and Mr. Garceau has agreed to review my concerns and bring something forward to Council for consideration

Some of my concerns included:

a) Use of this Fund to failed Grant-in-Aide (GIA) or Fee for Service applicants after submitting a previous GIA or Fee for Service application and having it rejected because it didn't meet GIA or Fee for Service Policy

b) Which projects should be authorized from the Fund -- emergency, non-profits and what would be the rules to fund either an emergency project or fund an emergency request from a non-profit?

I can only imagine when CRD Area 'F' Director Joan Sorley gets word of this (officially) - she won't be pleased and this will force the 'Orange Shirt Day' group to severely re-work their budget for their September events... but I hope the core elements will still be able to go forward...

-- SBF

Welcome to WL closes...

Got News Network, the company which operated "Welcome to Williams Lake" has decided to call it a day - you can read more here

For myself - it was my true pleasure to assist Got News Network and its' owners, Joe and Cailin Cousins in whatever role I could

I wish Joe/Cailin the very best in the next steps in their lives :)

-- SBF

Friday, August 23, 2013

Quesnel/WL Councils' meet next week

Quesnel and Williams Lake City Councils' are meeting next week as follows:

Quesnel - Regular Meeting on Monday, August 26th at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  Items on the Agenda include:

* Presentation to 2012/13 Miss Quesnel Outgoing Royalty
* Adopt Recommendations from Aug 19th COW Meeting
* Proposed Hendry Rd Bylaw (Racing Rd) -- 3 readings
* New Sign at Quesnel and District Arts/Rec Centre
* Commercial Reno at Billy Barker Casino
* Report from City Manager B. Johnson re: Leonard St Secondary Suite Lawsuit
* Request from Councillor Sushil Thapar to attend COFI Convention - Sept 26th

Read the full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Regular Meeting on Tuesday, August 27th at 6pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  Items on the Agenda include:

* Good Neighbour Bylaw
* Authorization to travel for 2013 UBCM Convention
* Tax Exemption (North End) application for 4535 Cattle Drive
* CMRC Management Contract Renewal - Recommendation from Joint Committee
* Consider $1,500 request for Orange Shirt Day in September
* ACAP funding approval for WL Airport Heavy Airside Mobile Equipment (Runway Condition Reporting System) Project in the amount of $38,991
* Receipt of Mayor Cook's bi-weekly activity report

Read the full Agenda here

Cariboo RD Board Highlights - Aug 23rd mtg

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Editor's Note - I attended today's meeting as the Area 'D' Alternate Director as Area 'D' Director Deb Bischoff was unable to continue the meeting after a morning coffee break and was pleased to contribute $300 of Area D Special Project funds for Orange Shirt Day in September.  Also - the Cariboo Regional District said goodbye to its' Manager of Planning Services, Mr. Rick Brundrige.  Since my appointment to the Area 'D' Advisory Planning Commission in 2009, he has been a valuable resource for me when dealing with planning matters.  I wish Mr. Brundrige all the best in his retirement :)

Multi-Material BC
Mr. Allen Langdon, Managing Director, and Ms. Glenda Gies, Project Manager, for Multi-Material BC, appeared before the Board to discuss proposed recycling options for the Cariboo Chilcotin. Mr. Landon provided an over view of the program, incentives & benefits to local governments participating in the program, and the types of materials collected through the packaging and printed paper (PPP) program. Multi-Material British Columbia (MMBC) is a not-for-profit agency established under the British Columbia Society Act. In April, 2013, Multi-Material British Columbia (MMBC) received approval of the PPP Stewardship Plan from BC’s Ministry of Environment. MMBC was formed to develop a stewardship plan for packaging and printed paper to meet the requirements of the provincial recycling regulations. Further information about Multi-Material British Columbia is available online

CRD Heritage Registry Grows
The CRD Board endorsed recommendations from its Heritage Steering Committee to include Chemo RV (150 Mile Barns) in the central Cariboo along with Cottonwood House and Barkerville in the north Cariboo on the Heritage Registry. The 150 Mile House Barns will be submitted to the provincial and federal registries for possible inclusion while Cottonwood and Barkerville are already listed properties on the provincial and federal registries.

BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action
The Cariboo Regional District will be appointing two members to participate on the BC Agriculture & Food Climate Action Initiative established by the BC Agriculture Council and supported by the Ministry of Agriculture. The CRD will participate in developing Regional Agricultural Adaptation Strategies for the Cariboo Chilcotin. This program is focused on creating regional strategies and actions for agricultural adaptation to projected climate change impacts. Other local governments which are already participating in this program include the Peace River Region District, Cowichan Valley Regional District and the Municipality of Delta.

CRD Bids farewell to Planning Manager
The CRD Board of Directors thanked Manager of Planning Services, Rick Brundrige for his 17 years of service to the Regional District. The CRD Board of Directors and staff congratulate him on his retirement.

CRD Wins Climate Action Accolades
The Cariboo Regional District received information from the joint Provincial-Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) Green Communities Committee congratulating the CRD on its successful efforts to measure and reduce corporate greenhouse gas emissions for 2012. As a Charter signatory who has completed its corporate carbon inventory for the 2012 reporting year, and demonstration of familiarity with the Community Energy and Emissions Inventory, the CRD has been awarded a Level 2 recognition award for "Measurement".

Medicinal Marihuana
The Cariboo Regional District Board of Directors have directed staff to bring forward a text amendment to the zoning regulations to allow the accessory medical marihuana uses in Industrial zones. On June 10, the federal government announced a new regulation called the Marihuana for Medical Purposes Regulations (MMPR). This legislation changes the way Marihuana can be legally grown in Canada for medical purposes. The Health Canada’s Marihuana Medical Access Program (MMSP) which was introduced in 2001, allowed authorized persons to grow Marihuana for their own medical purposes in their home. There are currently over 30,000 authorized persons under this program. This program and the authorizations are to expire on March 31, 2014.

Special Projects Funds Authorized
The Board authorized up to $300 of Special Projects funds from Electoral Areas D, G, H, K and L in support of Orange Shirt Day. The Board also endorsed $1,500 of Electoral Area F funds for this initiative. The Cariboo Regional District, City of Williams Lake, School District 27 and School District 28 have declared Sept. 30 to be Orange Shirt Day in recognition of the harm done to children by the residential school system, and as an affirmation to ensure that every child matters as we continue through the reconciliation journey. The orange shirt taken from one child, has become a symbol of every residential school student’s loss of identity and self-worth. It has become a symbol of defiance against that undermining of children’s self-esteem, and a commitment to anti-racism and anti-bullying. Further information is available on Facebook at

Next Meeting
Board on the Road – Wildwood Fire Hall – Sept. 12 &13
·        Community BBQ – Sept. 12 - 5-7 p.m.
·        Board Meeting – Sept. 13 – 9:30 a.m.

South Lakeside Dr Update #8

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Road sub-excavation (removal and replacement of the road base material) and the installation of storm water systems continued this week. Next week’s work schedule includes paving from Hodgson Road to the Hub City auction on Sunday, August 25th (weather permitting), as well as further road sub-excavation east of Hub City Auctions. Installation of the drainage system in the south ditch will be completed.

The public is reminded that the portion of South Lakeside Driveway between the Cariboo Adventist Academy and Hodgson Road is a construction area, and rough patches of road are to be expected. The contractor is regularly working on grading and repairing rough areas, but patience is requested because the high volume of traffic causes road condition to deteriorate quickly. Motorists are also reminded to obey the posted 30 km/h speed limit. Traffic flow will be single-lane alternating.

South Lakeside Drive will be repaved from Hodgson Road to the Cariboo Adventist Academy, the merge lane from Hodgson Road will be extended to Pioneer Drive, and a pedestrian/bike lane will be added from Hodgson Road to the Cariboo Adventist Academy. Work on the project is expected to continue through September.

Blueprint for Local Gov't Finance

This past Wed - the UBCM Select Committee on Finance published its' final report on changes to local government's finance model.  You can read the full report here.  In addition - you can find support material here

The Committee reviewed a variety of tax options for local government including a look at tax models used in the US.  One option I like is a local gas tax for road improvements.  A variation on it could be an imposition of a local gas tax until all roads are repaired and then remove the tax and maintain roads using the yearly capital budget

The report now goes to the UBCM Membership for formal endorsement

I look forward to hearing the government's formal response to this report in due course.  Hopefully this fall...

-- SBF

WorkSafe BC visits WL City Hall

In the summer of 2011 -- a concerned citizen emailed me with concerns regarding the process to count and deposit cash at around the time the City of Williams Lake receives the vast bulk of its' property tax revenue (by July 3rd of each year)

At that time, I followed up with City of WL Administration of the day and asked for certain documents which were refused to me via the FOI process.  Since then, WorkSafe BC visited WL City Hall in 2012 to review violence prevention procedures the City had for workers in the Finance Department at WL City Hall and to ensure that the City was complying with the Workers Compensation Act and were issued various orders to bring the City back into compliance with the Act at that time

On July 3rd of this year - Worksafe BC re-visited WL City Hall as a follow-up to their visit in 2012.  The City on this recent visit were issued 2 orders and in addition, several observations were noted as it relates to the configuration for the Finance Department (1st floor counter area)

You can read the WorkSafe BC document for yourself below however I would be remiss if I didn't say that since the arrival of new WL City Manager (CAO) Darryl Garceau and my two personal meetings with him - I am very confident that given the benefit of time - I am certain that City Staff morale and safety at 450 Mart Street will turn around and improve

I ask the sceptical public and others, please give Mr. Garceau a chance to turn things around at 450 Mart St -- He is very open and transparent but within what the Community Charter and other provincial Acts that apply to local government will allow... If you have a question/concern - contact him via email at or by phone at 250-392-2311 and I promise you, he will address every concern you have with a fair and measured response

Worksafe BC Inspection Report -- July 3rd, 2013:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Trail at Gavin Lk open

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Gavin Lake, B.C. is the latest community in the Cariboo Chilcotin to develop a wheelchair accessible wilderness trail. It’s called the Gavin Lakeshore Trail and was built in partnership between the Cariboo Regional District (CRD); the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development; Northern Development Initiative Trust; the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition, and the Gavin Lake Forest Education Society (GLFES). Ongoing management of the site will be provided by the Gavin Lake Forest Education Society.

“The Cariboo Regional District is to be applauded for making accessible trails a priority. For people with mobility issues, providing accessibility is more than just creating smoother pathways. It’s about opening up opportunities to participate more fully in life. It’s wonderful to see this accessible trail project come together so close to my home in B.C.,” said Coralee Oakes, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development. "Its completion represents one of approximately 14 accessible trail upgrades in the Cariboo region that we were pleased to support with a grant of $401,250 through the Community Recreation Program.”

From the $401,250 Community Recreation Program grant awarded to Cariboo Regional District for the accessible trail upgrade projects, $26,500 was dedicated to Gavin Lakeshore Trail.

“I am extremely pleased that we have now completed the Gavin Lakeshore Trail,” stated CRD Electoral Area F Director, Joan Sorley. “This is the next step in making the Cariboo Chilcotin one of the most attractive wheelchair accessible tourism destinations in the world. Projects such as the Gavin Lakeshore Trail show what can be accomplished through regional collaboration and commitment to improving the quality of life for residents and visitors of all abilities.”

The wheelchair friendly trail is approximately 365 metres long, but options to expand the trail by another 31 metres will be completed by the end of 2013. The trail consists of an accessible boardwalk traversing through wetland along the shores of Gavin Lake, picturesque viewpoints, and an accessible bridge that crosses over Gavin Creek where it flows into Gavin Lake. Accessible washrooms and benches have been placed in convenient locations along the route.

“The official trail opening is the completion of a vision that started over two years ago,” stated Gavin Lake Forest Education Society Chair, John Stace-Smith. “It will allow many more people from the adjacent communities to enjoy the beauty of Gavin Lake and take in the outdoor experience in a self-guided, safe and enjoyable way. The trail construction has involved many volunteers and tremendous support from all sectors: governments, agencies, academia, corporations, individuals and the GLFES board itself. ”

“Northern Development is proud to have provided financial support for this project through our Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program,” said Northern Development Initiative Trust CEO Janine North. “The development of these wheelchair accessible wilderness trails means that more people will be able to enjoy this beautiful part of our province, which will increase recreation opportunities and visitor numbers to the area.”

“This is the kind of regional project that the Cariboo Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition is excited to be a part of,” stated CCBAC Chair, Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook. It is an excellent example of what can be accomplished when you have champions willing to roll up their sleeves and get the job done, supported by partnerships that demonstrate cooperation and collaboration. Projects such as the Gavin Lake Trail improve our communities by making our countryside accessible to all, and enhance the visitor experience in the Cariboo Chilcotin.”

About the Community Recreation Program

The $30-million Community Recreation Program was developed to address the unique challenges faced by communities in the Province with respect to meeting their recreational infrastructure needs. The program invests in local government capital projects that make communities healthier, more active places in which to live. Through the duration of the program, the B.C. government provided grants for 98 recreation projects throughout B.C. – to help fund everything from bike paths, trails, fitness facilities and walkways to playgrounds and recreation centres.

About the CRD Accessible Trail Network

The CRD Board passed a resolution in 2006 to work towards developing the Cariboo Chilcotin as a world leader in accessible outdoor recreation and tap into niche tourism markets for persons of low mobility. Other wheelchair accessible sites within the CRD include Tatlayoko, Kersley, Cottonwood Historic Site, 108 Mile/Sepa Lakes, Lac La Hache and the Horsefly Salmon Spawning Trails. There are currently 12 other accessible wilderness trails being developed by the CRD, some of which were funded through the Community Recreation Program.

Councillor Rathor fires back at Councillor Hughes

At this past Tuesday's Committee of the Whole meeting -- local City Councillor Danica Hughes charged that her colleague, Councillor Surinderpal Rathor, was insubordinate and preventing City Staff from performing their duties, as per Section 153 of the Community Charter

Now - Councillor Surinderpal Rathor has responded to the charges on his "Councillor Surinderpal Rathor" Facebook page - see below excerpt from his "Councillor..." Facebook page:

Councillor Hughes challenged my integrity by suggesting that I was insubordinate to the Mayor/Staff and also that I was interfering with City Staff's job. If asking questions during a Council meeting is 'insubordination' - then I say 'Guilty as charged' and I will continue to ask the questions that the community asks of me. I have served this community faithfully for 20 years and I don't need a 1st first term Councillor to tell me how to act. Councillor Hughes has neither the education, age, or public service experience to tell me how to ask questions or how to act as a Councillor. I have served with 6 different Mayors, I am pretty sure I know the role of Mayor. I don't think it is good use of Staff time to bring forward a report of the Mayor's role and responsibility. Councillor Hughes may very well need this however I do not. The saddest part of the meeting was Mayor Cook did not stop Councillor Hughes from making an unproven accusation which tells me that the Mayor supports this Councillor's behaviour.

I take great exception to being accused of 'campaigning' when Mayor Cook announced her intention of future political plans at the July 9th Committee of the Whole meeting and Councillor Hughes announced her political plans at the August 13th Council meeting publically. We should serve the community for the entire term and campaign when the time is right as required by the Community Charter

In response - I told my colleagues that I've done no such thing except to respond to community concerns which is my primary job as a Councillor for the City of Williams Lake and if that is campaigning - I do not apologize for that and I will continue to do so for the remainder of this term

Quesnel Office Olympics

Yesterday - the 1st Annual "Office Olympics" was held in Quesnel.  The event was co-created by the North Cariboo Community Futures & the Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce as a summer networking event.  Games included coffee mug relay, water balloon toss, and lawn bowling

To view the pictures from the event - click here

Well done to all the organizers for this event and hopefully it'll become a yearly tradition in Quesnel

-- SBF

Area 'B' Aug newsletter

Cariboo RD Area 'B' Director Heloise Dixon-Warren has released her "Letter B" newsletter for August 2013.

In the newsletter:

News from Me to You… Across Electoral Area B
Upcoming Events / Meetings
Agricultural Advisory Committee Report
Town Hall Meeting – Area B: September 26, 2013
Update on North Cariboo Mult-Centre Meeting – September 3, 2013
Grants for Assistance – Area B
BC Healthy Communities Funding awarded to the CRD to host Workshops in Bouchie Lake and Parkland
Skyfest 2013
Wildfires in BC – online information

Please note in the newsletter - Director Dixon-Warren will present her AAC report to the CRD Board on Sept 13th and not September 14th (which is a Saturday) as she notes in her newsletter

Read the newsletter below:

Billboard on Sea-to-Sky promotes Mountain Biking in the Cariboo

Joint Release of Cariboo RD/City of Williams Lake:

Mountain biking in the Cariboo is front and centre on a billboard located at Britannia Beach, 10 kilometres south of Squamish, B.C. Strategically placed in the Lower Mainland-Whistler corridor, this 10’ by 20’ billboard is designed to catch the eye of mountain bikers heading to and from Whistler.

The billboard was erected this year, on July 29 and will remain up until the end of August, strategically placed to catch BC Day long weekend traffic as well as those travelling to and from Whistler’s 10th annual Crankworx Mountain Bike Festival. This event attracts international riders and visitors, who travel this corridor to get to the event.

Not only does the billboard feature the sky berms, a visually stunning and extremely fun feature on one of Williams Lake’s more popular trails called Snakes and Ladders, but it is ridden by James Doerfling a local rider that has made a name on the international scene in events such as the Redbull Rampage. It is also no surprise that the photo was taken by local photographer and mountain bike enthusiast, John Wellburn.

The Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association administered a grant from Destination BC (formerly Tourism BC) for this prominent advertisement and these funds were matched by the City of Williams Lake and the Cariboo Regional District (CRD).

We see more and more mountain bikers coming to town and that stimulates our economy,” states Williams Lake’s Mayor Kerry Cook. “It is important to support endeavours that bring people to the Cariboo.”

“The Cariboo has long been known in the mountain biking community as a premiere destination and we want to let everyone else know what we have to offer,” says CRD Central Cariboo Co-Chair Joan Sorley. “We take every opportunity to work with our partners to promote the important resource that we have to share.”

The Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium (CMBC) has been working with the CRD and the City of Williams Lake for a number of years to market the Cariboo as a must-ride region with easy access to an extensive and diverse trail network. “Not only are we seeing countless new faces on the trails,” says Justin Calof, Executive Director of the Consortium, “but we are seeing people returning to discover more of what this region has to offer.”

Williams Lake has been receiving provincial, national and international attention as a mountain biking destination. The Peel Out and Pedal by the Puddle have been successful at drawing out-of-town riders as has the reopening of Snakes and Ladders. This summer, the Cariboo was the chosen destination for Mountain Biking BC’s 7-Day Giveaway 2013 contest. Riders from around the globe entered to win this contest which helped in building the reputation of riding in the region.

Ride the Cariboo is the buzz in the mountain bike community, and the Britannia Beach Billboard reinforces the notion that Williams Lake is a must ride destination and the Shangri-La of mountain biking.

40th BC Election - Election Financial Results

Earlier this week -- Elections BC has tabled the financial results for candidates in the 40th BC General Election

For the riding of Cariboo-Chilcotin:

Donna Barnett received $125,011.59 in financial contributions and spent $109,980.28 - view the full disclosure form here

Charlie Wyse received $88,074 in financial contributions and spent $86,028 - view the full disclosure form here

Gary Young received $3,350 in financial contributions and spent $5,250.22 - view the full disclosure form here

Dustin Price received $500 in financial contributions and spent $606.74 - view the full disclosure form here

I was surprised to see an Independent to receive/spend move then the Green Party candidate however the results clearly show that Donna Barnett has much support across the riding and thus was able to secure re-election and still have plenty of money left over (roughly $15,000 left vs less than $2,000 for Charlie Wyse)

Meanwhile in Cariboo-North:

Coralee Oakes received $101,953.14 and spent $80,143.61 - view the full disclosure form here
Duncan Barnett received $87,547.00 and spent $91,912.00 - view the full disclosure form here
Bob Simpson received $30,119.80 and spent $31,267.45 - view the full disclosure form here

While I was surprised to see that Mr. Barnett overspent by $4,300, MLA Oakes was able to secure election while having $21,809.39 left over.  This is likely due to the fact MLA Oakes is hugely known in the Quesnel area which comprises a big part of Cariboo-North.  The results also shows that spending more doesn't get you elected - a point that was proven in the 2011 City of Williams Lake election where Scott Nelson outspent his opponents but still lost the election for Mayor of Williams Lake

-- SBF

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Municipal Election Reform moves forward..

Kelowna Capital News is reporting that Victoria is moving ahead with local government reforms as follows:

* Local government elections are held every three years in British Columbia. The next election is scheduled for Nov. 15, 2014.

* The purpose of a white paper is to indicate government's direction prior to the introduction of legislation. White papers also can serve as educational tools.

* The campaign finance rules apply to election participants including candidates, elector organizations, and third party advertisers in local elections.

* The deadline for public comment on the white paper is Oct. 23, 2013.

* A website link and email address will be provided when the white paper is released.

* The Local Government Elections Task Force received well over 10,000 written indications of opinion on the topics it reviewed and on other aspects of local elections.

Read more here and the full government press release here

While I don't take umbrage with the Ministry's moves overall on local gov't election reforms, I do take exception to delaying the move for an October election from 2014 to 2017.  There is no reason to do so now except to appease the request of UBCM.  This was an item pushed for aggressively by Williams Lake City Council Surinderpal Rathor and there is no real reason not to implement it for next year's civic elections'


Council Voting Record Sheet

In a very innovative move - Staff with the City of Prince George starting with the July 22nd mtg of PG City Council recorded every vote of all items coming before PG City Council.  You can read the full voting record sheet here (July 22nd) and here (August 19th)

I tip my hat to Beth James - PG City Manager and her Staff for this innovative move and I'd like to see replicated in all of BC's 160 Local Gov'ts

-- SBF

Leaders Moving Forward discussion

At last night's Committee of the Whole meeting -- Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook had her hands full in discussions involving the Leaders Moving Forward committee.  It should be noted that Councillors Sue Zacharias and Laurie Walters were absent from this meeting

The topic on the floor was the concern raised by Rathor at the Aug 13th WL City Council meeting about $85 for the 'Leaders Moving Forward' committee for food.  This committee was initiated by Cook in the fall of 2010 following the then Federal Review Panel meetings in the region reviewing Taseko Mine's "Prosperity" mine proposal to ensure Williams Lake was ready for a yes or no vote by Ottawa on the then 'Prosperity' Mine proposal

Unfortunately - it degenerated into a heated discussion, at times, about Rathor's political motives at Council meetings.

Councillor Geoff Bourdon asked what specific action Councillor Rathor was seeking in regards to his concern around the Leaders Moving Forward committee.  Rathor for his part said he was seeking clarity on how a Community Committee could receive funds for food which was not authorized by Council

Meanwhile - Mayor Cook raised a concern with Councillor Rathor of a perception that he was attacking her in Council Chambers while Rathor asked his questions at Council meetings to which he said that was not his intent and if Cook perceived his questions as 'attacks', he apologizes to her but doesn't apologize for asking questions at Council that the community has asked of him

Finally - Councillor Danica Hughes, participating in the meeting via teleconference, made the strongest accusation by accusing Rathor of 'insubordination' and for interfering with municipal officials, contrary to Section 153 of the Community Charter as follows:

Prohibition against interfering with municipal officers and employees

153 A person must not interfere with, hinder or obstruct a municipal officer or employee in the exercise or performance of his or her powers, duties or functions.

Hughes also requested a report outlining for Council the role/responsibility of Williams Lake's Mayor

Rathor said if anyone was 'campaigning' - that was Mayor Cook with her declaration at the July 9th Committee of the Whole meeting that she was seeking a 3rd term as Mayor of Williams Lake and also Councillor Hughes who announced on Aug 13th that she was not seeking a 2nd term on Williams Lake City Council

No motions were made following the discussion

Steve's views:

1) Councillor Hughes was totally out of line for accusing Rathor of 'insubordination' without providing evidence as was her accusation of interfering with municipal officials.  One should not make an accusation of that nature without clear cut proof.  I was quite surprised that Mayor Cook did not stop Hughes from making her accusation against Councillor Rathor, given she gave no evidence of how Rathor being insubordinate or how he allegedly interfered with local municipal officials (City Staff).   In all the years (since 2000) I've following local governments in the region, that is the 1st time I've heard a City Councillor accuse a colleague of insubordination and interfering with municipal officials without proof

As Quesnel Mayor Mary Sjostrom said to Quesnel Councillor Sushil Thapar at the Aug 1st Quesnel Council meeting:

"You don't have to like us as individuals, but you should respect our office(s)"

2) Mayor Cook should have shut down the discussion once it was clear (and it was clear to me at several points that the discussion that the Committee was having did not pertain to Leaders Moving Forward) that it was going off-track.  If a discussion doesn't relate to the matter at hand, the Chair had an obligation to direct the discussion back to the matter at hand.  I don't question allowing COW (Committee of the Whole) discussions to have a more free structure then at Council, but it's knowing when it is time to shut down the debate.  With 5 of the 7 elected officials in the room, after 20-25 mins of debate, that it was sufficient time to render a decision on the matter on the floor and then move on to the next item on the Agenda

3) I agree with Councillor Geoff Bourdon when he said that if you have a concern and want it referred to COW for discussion - come prepared with your concern(s) and a solution, otherwise it will inevitably turn into the 60 minute "free for all" I observed last night

4) As Williams Lake City Manager (CAO) Darryl Garceau pointed out to me yesterday  -- Council should consider themselves 7 unique individuals around their table and this should be welcomed at Council, as part of the decision-making process...

This will not be the last time, I wager, Council questions the political motives of Councillor Rathor but with roughly a year left prior to the 2014 Civic Election - it remains unclear if a "meeting of the minds" would help the situation or not.  From my perspective - it wouldn't given you have two 'visions' on Council - those of Mayor Cook and Councillors Bourdon, Hughes, Walters and Zacharias & those of Councillors Rathor/Bonnell and ultimately - the question that will face the community is:

Do members of the 2011-14 Williams Lake City Council who are seeking re-election deserve to be re-elected or does the community want new blood on Williams Lake City Council?

We will have that answer from the residents' of Williams Lake in roughly a year from now...


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Committee of the Whole (WL Council) - Aug 20th mtg

Council present - Mayor Cook (Chair) and Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Rathor and Hughes (via teleconference)

Council absent - Councillors Laurie Walters and Sue Zacharias

Staff present:

Darryl Garceau - City Manager (CAO)
Rena Schill - Corp Services Records Management Coordinator
Des Webster - Fire Chief/Director of Protective Services

Meeting called to order at 6pm
Agenda approved with 1 Late Item/Mins of July 23rd COW Mtg approved


1) Fire Protection/Control Bylaw #2189, 2013

The Director of Protective Services reviewed his report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Moved - Councillor Bonnell;
Seconded - Councillor Rathor:

THAT it be recommended to Council:

"That Williams Lake Fire Protection and Control Bylaw No. 2189” be given 1st, 2nd and 3rd Reading"


2) Leaders Moving Forward Committee

General discussion ensued by the Committee
No resolution resulted from the discussion

3) Late Item - Ltr of Support to Soda Crk Indian Band (Xatsull First Nation)

The Chair reviewed the item with the Committee
Discussion ensued

Moved - Councillor Bonnell;
Seconded - Councillor Bourdon:

That Council issue a letter of support for the Soda Creek Indian Band for their CCBAC application in regards to Soda Creek's Whispering Pines campground upgrades


Meeting adjourned at 7:20pm

COW/Special Quesnel Council Meetings - Aug 19th

Council present - Mayor Mary Sjostrom and Councillors J. Brisco, M. Cave, S. Elliott, L. Roodenburg, and S. Thapar

Council absent - Councillor Ed Coleman (holidays)

Staff present:

Byron Johnson - City Manager
Gina Albers - Deputy Corporate Administrator
Kari Bolton - Director of Corporate and Financial Services
Mike Bolch - Director of Public Works and Engineering
Jeff Norburn - Director of Community Services
Tanya Turner - Manager of Development Services

In the Committee:

Acting Mayor Cave called meeting to order at 7pm
Agenda adopted


1) Chad Marlatt, Real Estate and Government Affairs, TELUS appeared before the Committee to discuss a recent initiative to install a new Cell Tower in South Quesnel - full presentation here

Wireless Network Coverage in Quesnel
How Does a Wireless Network Work?
Wireless Facilities and Siting Considerations
Existing Wireless Infrastructure in Quesnel
Proposed new TELUS Wireless Facility
Review TELUS’ consultation Efforts
Next Steps/Relocation of Proposed Facility

A Question and Answer period ensued
Acting Mayor Cave, on behalf of the Committee, thanked Mr. Marlatt for his time/information


1) Admin Rpt #100/13 - Permissive Tax Exemptions

The Director of Corporate/Financial Services discussed her report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Moved - Councillor Elliott;
Seconded - Councillor Roodenburg:

THAT it be recommended to Council:

THAT Council approve a 100% permissive tax exemption for the two folios held by Quesnel Lions Housing Society for the years 2014 and 2015 and direct staff to prepare the required bylaw and undertake the required public notification process.


2) Admin Rpt #104/13 - MMBC/Residential Recycling

The Director of Public Works/Engineering discussed his report with the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

The Committee deferred further consideration of this item pending a presentation by MMBC on Friday at the Cariboo Regional District Board meeting.  City Manager Johnson will attend this meeting

The Committee adjourned at 7:51pm

Special Council Meeting:

Council/Staff being present same as at start of the COW Meeting
Meeting agenda adopted with two late items


1) Admin Rpt #101/13 -- DVP #2013-39 (Motherlode Car Wash)

The Manager of Development Services reviewed her report with Council
Discussion ensued thereon

The applicant appeared before Council to discuss his proposal with Council

The Deputy Corporate Administrator read a late letter tabled with Council expressing concerns with this item

Moved - Councillor Cave;
Seconded - Councillor Elliott:

THAT Council requires the proponent correct the access and egress deficiencies prior to considering the development application by requesting the proponent:
1) Submit a Ministry of Highways and Infrastructure approved access and egress plan; and
2) Construct the required improvements.

AND THAT Council supports the proponent submitting the following prior to Council’s official consideration of the development proposal:

1) Submitting an internal traffic movement plan from a qualified traffic engineer;
2) Receiving an estimate for landscaping and bonding in the amount of 125% of the estimate; and
3) Submitting plans and receiving approval from Public Works and Engineering for a storm water oil


2) Admin Rpt #56C/13 - Barkerville Microbrewery Co./DP Application

The Manager of Development Services reviewed her report with Council
Discussion ensued thereon

Moved - Councillor Elliott;
Seconded - Councillor Brisco:

THAT Council approve DP2013-64 to permit the fa├žade improvements as specified in this August 19th, 2013 report to Council subject to submitting a quote and bonding for the landscaping components of the plan.


3) Admin Report #83B/13 - Bylaw to Extend Redemption Period

The Director of Corp/Financial Services reviewed her report with Council
Discussion ensued thereon

Moved - Councillor Elliott;
Seconded - Councillor Roodenburg:

THAT Council amend City of Quesnel Redemption Period Extension Bylaw No. 1722 of 2013 to add 785 Avery Avenue, legally described as Lot 16, Block 2, District Lot 704, Plan 5248 (Folio 470-04041.000)


Moved - Councillor Roodenburg;
Seconded - Councillor Cave:

That Council give 3rd Reading to City of Quesnel Redemption Period Extension Bylaw No. 1722 of 2013, as amended


4) Admin Rpt #103/13 - Pioneer Park License of Occupation

The Director of Community Services reviewed his report with Council
Discussion ensued thereon

Moved - Councillor Roodenburg;
Seconded - Councillor Elliott:

THAT COUNCIL enter into the attached five-year license of occupation with the Cariboo Regional District, Quesnel River Archers and Quesnel Canoe Club for the use of Pioneer Park;

AND THAT the Mayor and the Corporate Administrator be authorized to execute such documentation as required to complete the Agreement.


5) Late Item - Request to change name of local skateboard park

The Deputy Corporate Administrator read a late letter concerning a request to change the name of the Skateboard park in Quesnel

The City Manager further discussed this item with Council

Discussion ensued thereon

Council referred this item back to Staff for further discussions with the family involved with the request

Mayor Sjostrom reviewed upcoming Council meetings

Meeting adjourned at 8:47pm

Saturday, August 17, 2013

South Lakeside Update #7

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The installation of new storm water works has continued this week. Next week’s work schedule includes the installation of a drain system in the drainage ditch on the south side and the continuation of road sub-excavation from Hodgson Road to the Pinnacle Pellet area.

The public is reminded that the portion of South Lakeside Drive between the Cariboo Adventist Academy and Hodgson Road is a construction area, and rough patches of road are to be expected. The contractor is regularly working on grading and repairing rough areas, but patience is requested because the high volume of traffic causes road condition to deteriorate quickly. Motorists are also reminded to obey the posted 30 km/h speed limit. Traffic flow will be single-lane alternating.

South Lakeside Drive will be repaved from Hodgson Road to the Cariboo Adventist Academy, the merge lane from Hodgson Road will be extended to Pioneer Drive, and a pedestrian/bike lane will be added from Hodgson Road to the Cariboo Adventist Academy. Work on the project is expected to continue through September.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Aug 19-23

All local governments in the Cariboo-Chilcotin (except School District #27/28) are meeting this upcoming week as follows:

Wells - Regular Meeting on Tuesday, August 20th in Wells Council Chambers at 7pm (4243 Sanders Avenue, Wells)

Quesnel - Committee of the Whole & Special Open Council Mtg starting at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers at Quesnel City Hall (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St, Quesnel).  Items on the Agenda include:

Committee of the Whole:

a) Presentation from Telus on Wireless Services/Towers in Quesnel region
b) Permissive Exemptions
c) Curbside Recycling

Special Council:

a) DP/DVP for Motherlode Car Wash
b) 3rd Reading of Tax Sale Properties Extension of Redemption Period Bylaw
c) Adoption of Zoning Amendment Bylaw #1719 (Barkerville Microbrewery)
d) License of Occupation -- Pioneer Park

Full Agenda for above here

Williams Lake - Committee of the Whole meeting at 6pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom at WL City Hall (450 Mart St).  Items on the Agenda include:

a) New Fire Protection and Control Bylaw.  Bylaw to include provision for allowance of small backyard fires.  A welcome relief in the summer to City residents... :)

b) Discussion of 'Leaders Moving Forward' group and authorization of payment for reasonable expenses for this group, as requested by Councillors Ivan Bonnell/Surinderpal Rathor.  The group is currently designated as a 'Community Committee' and not an internal Council Committee which means, by practice, Leaders Moving Forward would not normally receive payment for food and other related expenses however Council could pass the following motion to fix the issue:

"THAT Council authorize reasonable expenses for the Leaders Moving Forward Committee"

And that would easily solve the issue raised by Councillor Rathor at the Aug 13th Council Meeting over this group's payment for food at their previous meetings

Full agenda here

100 Mile House - Committee of the Whole at 6:30pm, then Regular Council at 7:00pm in 100 Mile Council Chambers - 385 Birch Avenue.  Agenda when available can be found here

Cariboo Regional District - Regular meetings of the CCRHD/Cariboo RD Boards starting at 9:30am in the Cariboo Regional District Boardroom

On the Agenda - CCRHD - No notable items except adoption of July 12th CCRHD Minutes and receipt of Consent Calendar for the CCRHD Board

On the Agenda - Cariboo RD Board:

a) Consideration of Planning Bylaws
b) Consideration of Development Variance Permits
c) Consideration of 2 Agriculture Land Reserve applications
d) Consideration of 3 Properties onto Heritage Registry
e) Medical Marihuana Grow Operations - text amendment to Zoning Bylaws
f) Changes to Bylaw Enforcement Policy
g) Letters of Objection from Xeni Gwet'in/Alexis Creek First Nations over development at Chilko Lake Lodge septic system

h) Permissive Tax Exemption for Forest Grove Legion
i) Area F Director Joan Sorley seeks funds for 'Orange Shirt' Day & Reconciliation Walk in Vancouver
j) Release of I/C Motion -- new contract between Cariboo RD & City of WL re: CMRC Management Contract
k) Special Voting Minutes of July 24th concerning three items of a time sensitive nature
l) Amendments to Directors' Remuneration Package
m) Possible Change to Membership of Sam Ketchum Pool Finance Committee
n) Ministry seeks direction of Cariboo RD in regards to Nina Lake Dam at Likely (Area F)

Full CCRHD Agenda here
Full Cariboo RD Board here

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Donna Barnett writes in support of New Prosperity

Earlier today - the Federal Review Panel on New Prosperity posted on its' Public Registry a letter written on July 17th, 2013 by Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett in support of New Prosperity

In the letter, MLA Barnett says:

* Look at New Prosperity project based on scientific and economic evidence.

* The unemployment statistics in the Chilcotin are astounding, we must give these young people the jobs this project will provide to move these communities out of poverty.

* I have taken the time to monitor the environmental concerns of those who oppose this project. These concerns have been in my opinion, addressed many times. The regulations for permits under the Province of BC guidelines are the strictest in the world. It is time that science became the guiding factor in resource based industries decision-making processes by both provincial and federal governments. Lobbyists that oppose resource development are just that – lobbyists – who are opposed to everything.

* While I appreciate that some of our First Nation communities have concerns, I believe that through this consultation process, and with revenue sharing, the opportunities for the First Nation people, can be addressed. Young First Nation people will have the opportunity for good paying jobs if they so choose to work in this field. The Prosperity Mine Project will open up many doors for these communities, the economic and social benefits are limitless. The revenue sharing, and employment opportunities will help these communities have a hand up instead of a handout! This will help to build a strong region, Province and country.

Read MLA Barnett's full letter to the Panel here

Upcoming Mail Delivery Changes - Williams Lake

Earlier this week - I received the following card from Canada Post:

Upon receiving this card - I contacted Canada Post for further details but the clerk I talked with was unable to provide further details.  I am disappointed that Canada Post sends a card like this but doesn't have anything thought out beforehand.  For example, could delivery of that important pension cheque be delayed until 4pm on a Friday and thus depriving a single senior of important funds until 9:30am Monday morning, given deposit rules on weekends (first $100 allowed, remainder held for 4-7 business days) at all banks...

It would have been better to know the exact new mail delivery route beforehand and then notify the public and then be ready to answer the public's questions when they come

Meanwhile - the Rush reports on the recent survey done in the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo riding with regards to Canada Post services - read here

Esk'etemc Nation ask two requests of Fed Review Panel: New Prosperity

In the last 48 hours - Esk'etemc Nation or the Alkali Lk Band has asked the Federal Review Panel reviewing Taseko Mines "New Prosperity" proposal for two items:

1) In-Camera meeting to present sensitive documents at the upcoming Panel meeting at Alkali Lake - read here

This request has received support from Ross MacCoubrey, and the Friends of Nemiah Valley, however the request has been opposed (so far) by the Cariboo-Chilcotin Resources Society (Bill Carruthers)

2) Request to a site visit - August 19th - read here.  Esk'etemc does not say specifically but seem to be referring to a site visit at Fish Lake however one reader has pointed out that they may be referring to an upcoming visit to Little Dog Creek later on this month and want the same conditions to visit Little Dog Creek on the same terms/conditions that was available to Xeni Gwet'in when they/Panel visit Fish Lake last Friday

On Items #1/2 - I expect the Panel to rule in favour of both requests from Esk'etemc

Finally - lawyers on behalf of Taseko Mines have filed a letter of protest regarding the filing of late submissions and expert reports - read that here

In my opinion - I do not believe Taseko Mines has a case here - they could easily have an individual monitor the Registry several times a day.  In the alternative - one reader has told me that Taseko should have been "cc'd" or copied on all documents before the Panel and Taseko could have its' response ready within 1-2 days.  But I'm forced to agree with Taseko on one point -- the Community sessions were to hear from community members on their views on "New Prosperity" and not from experts except in those cases where community members relied on information provided by experts as part of their presentation(s) - then background details from those experts could have been filed "late" if they weren't available at the time community members presented to the Panel but an undertaking was given to provide those documents to the Panel as soon as reasonably possible

-- SBF

Preston Manning: Help those wanting to run for civic office

In an op-ed (Opinion Editorial) in today's Globe and Mail - Preston Manning, founder of the Manning Foundation, based in Calgary, says those running for civic office (Mayor, Councillor, RD Director, School Board Trustee) need training before running for office and not after one is elected...

Mr. Manning says in this regard:

"The majority of sensible Canadians will agree that strengthening the knowledge, skills, ethical foundations and leadership capacities of candidates for municipal office is a good idea and well worth supporting if we want to strengthen democratic governance in Canada at its most basic level".

How often do we see examples of what training for municipal candidates could have eliminated had the training that Mr. Manning discusses in his op-ed had occurred?

Read his op-ed here

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Pool Finance Cmte Established

Joint Release -- City of WL/Cariboo Regional District:

The Central Cariboo Joint Committee, comprised of the City of Williams Lake Council and the Cariboo Regional District Directors from Electoral Areas D, E and F, have agreed to establish a finance committee for the major renovations and expansion of the Sam Ketcham Pool. The purpose of the committee will be to determine funding sources and strategies; and provide recommendations to the Joint Committee as the project moves forward.

Establishment of a finance committee, which includes members of both Williams Lake City Council and CRD Directors, was a key recommendation from the Williams Lake and District Pool Feasibility study.

“Establishment of this committee will allow elected officials and staff to source appropriate opportunities and funding channels for this project,” stated Central Cariboo Joint Committee Co-Chair, (Williams Lake) Mayor Kerry Cook. “We will partner with senior levels of government to ensure this project moves forward, and in a cost-efficient manner for our taxpayers.
The results of the finance committee's work will provide the Joint Committee and the Regional District Board with specific information and options to proceed to additional detailed public consultation and the eventual referendum process to borrow funds for the renovations and reconstruction."

The pool feasibility study was conducted as a thorough and inclusive community engagement process, which will be carried forward in the next phases of this project,” stated Central Cariboo Joint Committee Co-Chair, Director Joan Sorley. “The committee members are dedicated to this project, and will keep residents apprised of its progress through a comprehensive communications process from start to finish.”

The committee will review options for a preferred date of the referendum. They will also consider the feasibility of various funding sources available prior to the referendum, and others that may become available afterwards, but prior to construction.

Regular status updates as a standing item on the Joint Committee agenda will provide a consistent communications process and a report from the Finance Committee will be due in four months.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

WL Council Highlights - Aug 13th mtg

Council present - Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Hughes, Rathor, Walters and Zacharias

Staff present:

Darryl Garceau - City Manager (CAO)
Cindy Bouchard - Manager of Legislative Services
Tom Chung - Manager of IT

Meeting called to order at 6:02pm

Meeting minutes of July 16th adopted/Agenda approved


1) Inspector Warren Brown and Safer Communities Coordinator Dave Dickson appeared before Council to give an update on RCMP/Community Policing activities


1) Council received for information the accounts payable computer cheque listings for the periods ending July 18 and 25 and August 1 and 8, 2013 on the following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook and Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Hughes, Walters and Zacharias
Negative - Councillor Rathor

Editor's Note - Councillor Rathor is concerned about some spending pertaining to Mayor Cook's "Leaders Moving Forward" group and authorization by City Council thereon.  This matter will be further discussed by Council at the next Committee of the Whole meeting

2) Council approved the renewal of two Revitalization Tax Exemption certificates for the following locations:

a) 249 Bernard St (0728823 BC Ltd. / Dr. Rudy Wassenaar)
b) 240 Oliver St (Wave Properties Ltd)

3) Council received for information the Statement of Revenue and Expenditures reports for the six-month period ending June 30, 2013

4) Council approved the 2013 Terry Fox Run and approved Mayor Cook or her alternate to officially open the event on Sunday, September 15th

5) Council ratified 4 Central Cariboo Joint Committee recommendations as follows:

a) The letter of the Manager of Legislative Services dated June 13, 2013 and attachments related to a letter from Janet Catalano regarding accessibility at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex be received and a letter of response be forwarded to Janet Catalano; and further, that accessibility improvements be identified as a priority when developing the capital plan and input of the Accessibility Committee also be considered

b) The report of the Manager of Active Living dated June 11, 2013 regarding the healthy vending contract for the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex be received

c) The report of the Director of Community Services dated June 17, 2013 regarding the final report of the Williams Lake and District Pool Feasibility Study be received; and further, that the final report be endorsed, thereby endorsing, in principle, a project that would proceed with the Recommended Option at a cost of $11.3 million to include major expansion of the leisure water area, fitness centre, change rooms, and renewal of the main pool tank, subject to a successful referendum

d) The agenda item summary of Darron Campbell, Manager of Community Services for the Cariboo Regional District, dated July 3, 2013 regarding establishment of a Finance Committee, as recommended by the Williams Lake and District Pool Feasibility Study, be received; and further, that Directors Sorley and Bischoff and Councillors Bonnell and Walters be appointed to work with staff on the committee, and that a report be brought back to the Joint Committee within four months

Council recessed its' meeting at 7pm for the Public Hearing (Councillor Hughes declared a conflict and left the meeting at 7pm)

Councillor Hughes returned to the Public Hearing at 7:08pm

Council resumed its' meeting at 7:18pm

6) After a public hearing - Council gave 3rd Reading to OCP Amendment Bylaw #2185 - Shirley Cameron (907 Proctor St)
7) After a public hearing - Council gave 3rd Reading to Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2186 - Shirley Cameron (907 Proctor St). This bylaw will now be forwarded to MOTI for approval under Section 52 of the Transportation Act

8) After a public hearing - Council adopted Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2191 - Kathleen Wittenberg (2008 2nd Avenue North)
9) After receiving no public comment -- Council adopted Bylaw #2190 (Road Closure Bylaw - Lakeview Crescent) by the following vote

Affirmative - Mayor Cook & Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Rathor, Walters and Zacharias
Negative - Councillor Hughes

10) Council adopted Bylaws #2187/2188 (1148 Broadway Avenue South - new Audiotronic store) by the following vote:

Affirmative - Mayor Cook & Councillors Bonnell, Bourdon, Rathor, Walters and Zacharias
Negative - Councillor Hughes

11) Council received/endorsed the July 10th minutes of the Central Cariboo Joint Committee meeting
12) Council received a letter from the Green Communities Committee dated July 17, 2013 congratulating the City of Williams Lake on the City's successful efforts to measure and reduce corporate greenhouse gas emissions for the 2012 reporting year and providing the City with 'green communities' branding for use on official websites and letterhead

13) Council agreed to provide a letter of support for their Elevator Fundraising Project to assist them in securing support and funding for the installation of an elevator to improve accessibility in St. Andrew's United Church.

14) Council proclaimed September 10, 2013 as "World Suicide Prevention Day" in the City of Williams Lake

15) Council received the 'Council Information Package' as follows:

• July 2013 - NCLGA Connector No. 119;
• July 12, 2013 - CRD Board Highlights;
• July 12, 2013 - Glen Arbor Cariboo Park Home Society re Securing Funding for Business Plan and Preliminary Drawings for Additional Seniors' Apartments;

• July 15, 2013 - News Release re Prime Minister Harper Announces Changes to the Ministry;
• July 17, 2013 - UBCM The Compass: Gas Tax Survey & Eligible Project Costs and Federal Cabinet Shuffle;
• July 23, 2013 - WSCA Backgrounder to the 2013 Wildfire Season;
• July 25, 2013 - FCM News for Week of July 22, 2013;
• July 25, 2013 - Minister Thomson's Response re City's Letter on Mitigating Mid-Term Timber Supply Issues in the Cariboo Region;
• July 26, 2013 - NDIT News Release re Board Approval of $240,000 in Funding for Business Facade Improvements;
• August 2013 - NDIT Cariboo-Chilcotin/Lillooet Region Quarterly Report - Summer 2013;
• August 6, 2013 - Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure Response re Traffic Issue at Tim Horton's Drive Thru & Sun Valley Gas Station.

16) Council received a monthly activities report of the CAO
17) Council received Mayor Cook's bi-weekly activities report

Members of Council reported on issues/events that they were involved in

Meeting adjourned at 7:48pm

BREAKING NEWS - Danica Hughes won't seek re-election

In a surprising move -- Danica Hughes announced at tonight's Williams Lake City Council meeting that she will not seek re-election next November.  I personally didn't expect to hear re-election announcements until the summer of 2014

I asked her why and stated that she is unable to maintain the home/work balance as a single mom and may return to politics later.  Hughes' announcement left Councillor Walters a little emotional at tonight's Roundtable period.  Not surprising as Walters probably didn't expect her colleague to make an re-election announcement tonight

I was saddened to hear Danica make this announcement as I personally planned to lobby Councillor Hughes to seek a 2nd term.  She has been one of the bright lights on WL Council.  I wish her the very best in her future endeavours.  

-- SBF

North Cariboo Farm Country gets prov $$$

Courtesy of the Government of British Columbia:

Residents in the North Cariboo are learning more about the range of foods and farmed products grown in their region through the "North Cariboo Farm Country - Grown For You" campaign that received $22,000 from the B.C. government's Buy Local Program.

The campaign is being led by the Quesnel Community and Economic Development Corporation and the North Cariboo Agricultural Marketing Association (FARMED). The campaign includes plans for the promotion of North Cariboo-grown products and farm-based services through signs and banners, product packaging, in-store promotional materials and an upgraded website.

The campaign will promote more than 50 products produced in the North Cariboo ranging from dairy, fruits and vegetables, livestock and specialty meats to natural fibres, plants and flowers, honey, jams and syrups as well as other prepared foods. The "North Cariboo Farm Country - Grown For You" focuses on the region from Nazko to Barkerville and McLeese Lake to Strathnaver in the north.

The Buy Local program offers successful applicants matching funds up to $100,000 to launch or expand local food marketing campaigns.

Building the local market for British Columbia foods is a key commitment of government's Agrifoods Strategy, a component of the BC Jobs Plan, to lead the agrifoods sector growth into a $14-billion-a-year industry by 2017.


Agriculture Minister Hon. Pat Pimm stated -

"The North Cariboo offers residents and visitors great local food options and this program helps spread the word about them in the marketplace. Shopping locally, the dollars stay in the community and in the pockets of B.C.'s ranching and farming families."

Further, Cariboo North MLA Hon. Coralee Oakes said -

"Our region is home to numerous hardworking producers who make and sell some incredible agricultural products. Thanks to this Buy Local funding, they will now be able to get their Cariboo-made items to a larger audience, and at the same time, assist our local economy."

Further, Quesnel Community and Economic Development Corporation chair Jim Gorsline said -

"The branding expansion and awareness project will lead to new employment in the future by supporting local producers, farm-based business and agri-tourism."

Finally, North Cariboo Agricultural Marketing Association chair (and Cariboo RD Area 'B' Director) Heloise Dixon-Warren said --

"The funding support from the Buy Local program will increase the awareness, and raise the profile, of locally produced agricultural products and farm-based services by further promoting the "North Cariboo - Grown for You" brand. This will result in us all having better access to quality locally produced products and will ultimately bring agricultural producers together through collaboration and partnerships."

Further details at

2013 Tax and Charges on Home - Cariboo Region

Recently -  the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development released the 2013 Tax/Charges information for all 160 municipalities in BC - view those here

In reviewing the numbers - Williams Lake's tax/charges could become a liability as people who are looking at moving here may see the typical tax/fees charges on their home as too big of a burden and may easily look elsewhere for a lighter tax/charge load and there are many places that fit this bill.  Places could include Burns Lake, Princeton and Chase as examples

For the 4 Municipalities in the Cariboo:

Please note rates quoted below are for residential only and not for business, heavy industry, etc which are a tax multiple of the residential tax rate

District of 100 Mile House:

Home Value - $169,314
School Taxes - $531.00
District of 100 Mile General Taxes - $782.00
Cariboo Regional District Taxes - $242.00
CRHD/CCRHD Taxes - $99.00
BC Assessment/Muni Finance Authority and Other Taxes - $79.00
Parcel Taxes - $125.00
User Fees - $459.00

Total Bill - $2,317

City of Williams Lake:

Home Value - $197,744
School Taxes - $620.00
City of Williams Lake General Taxes - $1,117
Cariboo Regional District Taxes - $284.00
CRHD/CCRHD Taxes - $119.00
BC Assessment/Muni Finance Authority and Other Taxes - $51.00
Parcel Taxes - $124.00
User Fees - $499.00

Total Bill - $2,814

City of Quesnel:

Home Value - $164,120
School Taxes - $631.00
City of Quesnel General Taxes - $685.00
Cariboo Regional District Taxes - $293.00
CRHD/CCRHD Taxes - $97.00
BC Assessment/Muni Finance Authority and Other Taxes - $10.00
Parcel Taxes - $169.00
User Fees - $440.00

Total Bill - $2,325.00

District of Wells:

Home Value - $74,683
School Taxes - $287.00
District of Wells General Taxes - $227.00
Cariboo Regional District Taxes - $104.00
CRHD/CCRHD Taxes - $45.00
BC Assessment/Muni Finance Authority and Other Taxes - $40.00
Parcel Taxes - $474.00
User Fees - $326.00

Total Bill - $1,503.00

Revised 108 Mile Water Restrictions...

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) has revised the water sprinkling restrictions for the 108 Mile Ranch water system, as a result of over-use. Even numbered premises can only water on even numbered days of the month, and odd numbered premises can only water on odd numbered days of the month. The use of yard sprinklers is allowed from 6 to 8 a.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.

The CRD also received the July interim report from consultant Kala Geosciences regarding the water levels of the 108 Mile and Sepa Lakes. The company has expanded the monitoring program over the past year to better determine the effects of the community wells on the 108 Mile and Sepa Lake levels.

The report concludes that the withdrawal of groundwater affects lake levels during drought conditions such as those that have occurred over the past few years. The wells are not drawing water directly from the lakes, but rather are intercepting groundwater that would otherwise support lake levels during drought conditions. Kala also reported the monitoring revealed that the aquifer to the north of the 108 Mile Ranch subdivision, may not be associated with maintaining the lake levels during drought periods. Further testing will confirm if this aquifer can be utilized, allowing the CRD to reduce or eliminate its use of the current wells.

Kala Geosciences will be investigating this aquifer further during the summer and fall of 2013. A 60 day pump test will occur whereby an existing well located on the 108 Golf Resort property will be pumped with the water being discharged into 108 Mile Lake. With the on-going cooperation of The 108 Golf Resort, should testing be favourable, the Cariboo Regional District will consider development of a community well in the north aquifer.

To view the July interim report, please visit us online at For further information or questions about this report, please contact the CRD’s Environmental Services Department at 250-392-3351 or toll free at 1-800-665-1636.

Monday, August 12, 2013

2014 Budget Discussions - City of WL

Editor's Note - in a modified model that the City of Kamloops has used for their budget process with their residents', the City of Williams Lake proposes to use a series of tables where you go and discuss budget proposals with the relevant Department Manager.  However, I am disappointed the City continues to hold meetings at 6pm when making a start time at 7pm would be more appropriate for the general public, but I disgress....

Meanwhile - I applaud the City for this latest venture to engage the public for the City's Budget Process and I would encourage residents' of the Cariboo RD Rural Fringe areas & City residents' to take part in this process...

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

All residents are encouraged to participate in a roundtable public engagement session on Thursday, Sept. 12 to provide their input on the 2014 budget process.

Each member of Council will be in attendance, sitting at tables and speaking to members of the public. City managers will be on hand to provide support for the discussions. Everyone is invited to come speak to Council members and provide their thoughts the budget process, municipal operations, and the City’s vision.

Information available at the meeting will include the five-year financial plan, a departmental cost breakdown, the five-year capital plan, business plan, long-term debt analysis, and financial forecasting. The same information will also be made available on the City’s website at

“We have made great progress in improving the budget process over the past four years, and now we are taking another huge step forward,’ says Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook. “We want residents to fill the Gibraltar Room and sit down with us so we can hear what they want to see next year’s budget look like.

“This is your chance to help choose how Williams Lake moves forward. A municipal budget affects everyone in the community, and we want everyone in the community to participate in this meeting.”

Following the meeting, there will additional public meetings during September and October where Council will discuss public input and deliberate the budget. It is anticipated the provisional 2014 budget will be approved in November. Having a provisional budget in place allows for improved planning of capital projects, and a simplified process as Council deliberates the final budget, which is required to be submitted to the provincial government in May.

The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. in the Gibraltar Room at the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex on Thursday, Sept. 12.

Quesnel Art in the Park -- Aug 24th

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Residents and visitors are invited to the Shiraoi House cultural centre in LeBourdais Park on Saturday, Aug. 24 from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. to see and experience Art in the Park. Quesnel & District Leisure Services host this event, where artists and artisans will sell and demonstrate their art in tents surrounding Shiraoi House.

In and around the cultural centre will be scheduled art demonstrations with lots of hands-on craft projects for guests of all ages. Water colour, acrylic, drawing and sculpture demonstrations will take place inside while origami, wind socks, bubble painting, and tie dye streamers in the trees will be located outside.

Leisure Services’ Art Program Coordinator, Elizabeth Waldorf, said “The event has run for years in the farmers market, and it has become so popular with visitors and artists that this year we have moved to a new, central location where the event can grow. Regional artists and artisans have all been welcomed, the more diversity the better. It is a great way for the public to discover many kinds of art forms and meet those in the community that practice art, be it jewelry, photography, carving, writing, painting, or ceramics. The Shiraoi House cultural centre is a beautiful facility, and it lends itself wonderfully to an event where people can buy, sell, demonstrate and practice art.”

Friday, August 9, 2013

WL Council meets Tuesday

Williams Lake City Council is the only local government in the Cariboo-Chilcotin to meet next week

On Tuesday for those in Williams Lake - your City Council will consider the following:

a) Delegation - Inspector Warren Brown and Safer Communities Coordinator Dave Dickson to give local RCMP/Community Policing update

b) Business:

1) 6 month 2013 Budget Update (at June 30th, 2013) - Staff warns Council that the legal budget sits at $111,498 out of a total budget of $140,000 or 80% has been used to date

2) Receipt of Cheque Runs information
3) Council approval sought for renewal of 2 Tax Revitalization agreements
4) Endorsement of 4 Central Cariboo Joint Committee reports including endorsement of Final Pool Task Force report
5) Consideration of 6 Bylaws - 3 of which are subject to a mandatory public hearing at 7pm Tuesday
6) Request from St. Andrews Church for a letter of support for their bid for the installation of an elevator at their Church

7) Mayor/CAO submit activity reports

Editor's Note -- I recently met with the City's CAO and he advised me at that meeting that this was something he was planning on doing on a monthly basis and urge my readers' to read his monthly reports. It should prevent 'surprises' from being sprung on the community and on Council... and so I congratulate Mr. Garceau for being so proactive with not only Council but the community he now calls home

The full Council Agenda can be viewed here

There is also a Public Hearing to be held on Tuesday at 7pm.  Bylaws on the Agenda include:

a) Bylaws 2185/2186  - Shirley Cameron at 907 Proctor St (behind Gustafson's Dodge)

Editor's Note -- Councillor Danica Hughes will declare a conflict of interest, given her father has property in the area

b) Bylaw 2191 - Kathleen Wittenberg at 2008 2nd Avenue North (Glendale)

Agenda can be viewed here

Finally - a Special Closed (In-Camera) meeting of Williams Lake City Council has been scheduled for Monday at 5pm in the Upstairs Boardroom of WL City Hall.  The meeting will be closed under Sections 90(1)(g) and (i) of the Community Charter as follows:

g) litigation or potential litigation affecting the municipality;
i) the receipt of advice that is subject to solicitor-client privilege, including communications necessary for that purpose;

View the official Closed Meeting Notice here

South Lakeside Drive Update #6

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The installation of new stormwater works and removal of vegetation and topsoil from the roadside continued this week on South Lakeside Drive. Next week’s work schedule includes the installation of storm sewer works near Pioneer Drive, and the beginning of road sub-excavation near Hodgson Road. The unsuitable base material under the road will be removed and replaced.

The public is reminded that the portion of South Lakeside Drive between the Cariboo Adventist Academy and Hodgson Road is a construction area, and rough patches of road are to be expected. The contractor is regularly working on grading and repairing rough areas, but patience is requested because the high volume of traffic causes road condition to deteriorate quickly. Motorists are also reminded to obey the posted 30 km/h speed limit. Traffic flow will be single-lane alternating.

South Lakeside Drive will be repaved from Hodgson Road to the Cariboo Adventist Academy, the merge lane from Hodgson Road will be extended to Pioneer Drive, and a pedestrian/bike lane will be added from Hodgson Road to the Cariboo Adventist Academy. Work on the project is expected to continue through September.

Highway 97/Johnson St Open House - Aug 28th

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The City of Williams Lake invites the public to attend a Project Development Open House Aug. 28 to preview plans for the proposed upgrades to the Johnson Street and 10th Avenue road network, associated with the Highway 97 four-laning project.

There will be an opportunity for the public to review the plans and provide input. City and Ministry of Transportation staff will be on hand to provide information and to answer questions.

The Open House will run from 4 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 28 in Council Chambers at City Hall, 450 Mart Street.

For more information, please contact Jeff Bernardy at 250-392-1767.

August Celebration - Xat'sull Heritage Village

Looking for something to do on Sunday -- Check out the poster below.  Visit the Xat'sull Heritage Village north of Williams Lake this Sunday (signage on Highway #97 North) for their August celebration.  As the Alternate Director for Area 'D' of the Cariboo RD, I plan to attend this event and I encourage everyone to come out and experience Xat'sull hospitality at their Heritage Village :)

-- SBF

No shortcuts to governing...

In yesterday's Huffington Post - CFIB BC Director Mike Klassen looks at how former Vancouver Mayor Phillip Owen was successful in what he did during his term as Mayor which is summed up best in this quote from Mr. Owen:

"You have to follow the process. For public policy to succeed you need to get buy-in from staff, citizens and your business community. There are no shortcuts."

Obviously - this quote would equally apply to ALL local governments in BC including the 60 School Districts in BC

Read more here

Thursday, August 8, 2013

BC Chiefs stand with TNG against New Prosperity

Courtesy of Vancouver Sun blog section:

The Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs will take a stand against Taseko’s New Prosperity Mine at a federal review panel site visit in Teztan Biny (a.k.a Fish Lake) tomorrow, warning that “First Nations are watching closely.”

UBCIC members are visiting the site in a show of support for the Tsilhqot’in Nation on the UN’s International Day of the World’s Indigenous People.

This is the second Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency review for the area. The proposed open pit Taseko site would mine gold and copper.

Chief Bob Chamberlin said in a statement that the New Prosperity Mine “will effectively kill Teztan Biny and will have detrimental, cumulative and long-lasting impacts on the environment, Xeni Gwet’in and Tsilhqot’in families and communities.”

But Williams Lake Mayor Kerry Cook has argued the environmental effects of the mine would be small potatoes in comparison to the economic benefits it would bring to her city.

The proposed billion-dollar New Prosperity Mine was initially approved by the federal government, but rejected by a federal environmental assessment panel in 2010 because of a plan to drain Teztan Biny, a culturally significant spot for the Tsilhqot’in, among other environmental concerns. The federal visit tomorrow is part of a chain of public hearings for a revised mine proposal set to stretch into August.

Grand Chief Stewart Phillip called the proposal “significantly deficient.”

“If there is federal government approval of Taseko’s New Prosperity Mine proposal it will signal to Indigenous Peoples across Canada that their values, beliefs, and ways of living will be trampled upon whenever the federal government deems a potential resource development project economically significant,” he said.

“First Nations are watching closely.”

BC Ministry of Transportation Service Survey

This afternoon - Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart alerted me on Facebook to a 5 minute survey that the provincial Ministry of Transportation/Infrastructure is doing to see how the general public feels about the various services that the Ministry is providing to the general public

I have already completed this survey and if you are satisfied or dissatisfied with the performance of the Ministry - I urge you to complete this survey and let the Ministry know where they can improve

Complete the survey at

-- SBF

Local Councils' are not fiefdoms...

In a submitted article to - IntegrityBC Executive Director Dermod Travis asks:

Why can't local governments' in BC be more civil with their residents'?

I certainly found it an interesting article to read and I agree that we need not use harsh language to disagree with each other as we debate issues in our communities to make them better places to live -- regardless if you live in the rural areas of the Cariboo Regional District or in muncipalities like Wells, Quesnel, Williams Lake or 100 Mile House.

Disagree with each other -- yes, but express that disagreement in a civil but firm way without resorting to personal attack (yes, I once did this myself (personally attack local politicians) but learned it won't be tolerated by local voters')

Read his thoughts below:

Small town B.C. may be facing a plague of what disgraced former U.S. vice president Spiro Agnew called the nattering nabobs of negativity or at least that's what a number of B.C. mayors and their allies would have you believe.
The crime these nattering nabobs have committed? Having the temerity to challenge council gospel.

In one town the local mayor accused those who opposed plans for a new sewage treatment plant as behaving like bullies, in another the chief administrative officer referred to his critics as “a cancer.”

Someone else took issue with a newspaper column critical of the local mayor and inquired through a letter to the editor as to “What are her sources? Are they my neighbours, your neighbours?”

Some of it reeks of McCarthyism, some amateur hour.

One B.C. mayor went so far as to criticize local citizens for contacting the media and province-wide watchdog groups (including IntegrityBC), while falsely claiming that no one in his administration would ever stoop to such a dastardly deed.

Blissfully ignoring the fact that his chief administrative officer was given free rein to attack local ratepayers on CBC Radio.

Pick-up many of B.C.'s community newspapers and chances are you'll see these fights playing out in the letters to the editor section, if not on the front page. Sometimes those same papers find themselves drawn into the brawls through no fault of their own.

Trace the origins of many of these civic street fights and the common denominator seems to be what the Captain said in Cool Hand Luke: “What we've got here is a failure to communicate.”

It's as though “you can't fight city hall” is giving way to “you can't criticize city hall” and that's not a good omen for local democracy.

While some town councils are finding innovative ways to engage their citizens online, in town halls, and through creative advertising; others are hiding behind closed doors, barring citizens from critical decisions that effect their community's future.

Something is seriously amiss when Central Saanich meets in camera more often than the City of Toronto. Chances are most local councils across B.C. are in the same boat. And what's getting decided behind those doors isn't small potatoes.

White Rock ratepayers woke up one morning to learn that their council had decided to purchase the municipality's water system from the City of Edmonton-owned Epcor, even though the system isn't for sale and no one is saying what it might cost if Epcor was willing to sell it.

The report council based its decision on must be stamped “Top Secret,” because outside of a select few no one else has seen it. Councillors allegedly don't even have a copy.

In a tongue-in-cheek series of newspaper columns – 13 Ways To Kill Your Community – Alberta's Municipal Affairs Minister Doug Griffiths wrote: “the seventh of thirteen things that you can do to ensure that your community fails and dies is to refuse to meaningfully cooperate with other organizations, businesses, agencies, boards or communities.”

Griffiths could have easily added ratepayers to that list, because election to local office doesn't come with a blank cheque. Democracy doesn't end when the polls close. To succeed you need buy-in.

And when two out of three voters stayed at home in the last civic elections, councils should be encouraging citizen involvement instead of trying to snuff it out.

Consider that in 2011, Prince George mayor Shari Green was elected by 13 per cent of all registered voters, Kelowna's mayor Walter Gray by 15 per cent of voters, and Nanaimo's mayor John Ruttan by 14 per cent.

With local elections a little over a year away maybe it's time to hit pause on the vitriol, because there's something to be said for civility.

In his new book, The Importance of Being Civil: The Struggle for Political Decency, McGill University professor John A. Hall explains that civility is the glue that holds society together.

In an interview with the Globe and Mail, Hall went on to explain that: “Talking is crucial because, if you talk, you make people more reasonable. Civility on the part of government is absolutely vital.”

Hall's book should be required reading for local councils and every candidate before next year's local elections.

Read responses to this article here