Friday, September 30, 2016

Local Gov't Mtgs - Week of Oct 3-7

Following the conclusion of the 2016 Union of BC Muncipalities Convention - local governments of the Cariboo-Chilcotin are headed back to work next week, as follows:

Quesnel - Firstly, a meeting of the Executive Committee at 10am on Tuesday, October 4th. On the Agenda:

* 2016-17 Annual Meeting Schedule
* Terms of Reference
* Closed Meeting of Executive Committee as per Section 90(1L - Annual Report Preparation) of the Community Charter to receive a Strategic Planning Update

View the full Agenda here

Then at 7pm, Quesnel Council will hold its' Regular Meeting in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* 2016 Union of British Columbia Annual Convention Action Items
* Proposed Changes to Business Regulations and Licensing
* Video Surveillance Request
* Signage Policy Update
* North Cariboo Trails Inventory and Master Plan Project
* Solar Ready Regulation
* Professional and Skilled Trades Recruitment and Relocation Project

View the full Agenda here

Finally on Wednesday, Oct 5th at 1:30pm - the Financial Sustainability/Audit Committee will meet.  On the Agenda:

* Finance Department Update
* Spending Issues (Overage)
* Adopt 2016 / 2017 Meeting Schedule
* Review Terms of Reference
* Master Fee Bylaw - 2017
* Waste Education Update
* Fee for Banner Installation [Referral from Policy/Bylaw Review Committee]

A Closed Meeting of the Committee will take place under Section 90(1L - Annual Report Preparation) of the Community Charter to receive the Closed Financial Sustainability/Audit Committee Meeting Minutes of August 23, 2016

View the full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, Oct 4th at 6pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  On the Agenda:

* 2 Delegations -- Mary Forbes, Potato House Sustainable Community Society re Voting for 'This Place Matters Mainstreet Competition' Opens October 4th; Matt Neufeld, Executive Director, Boys & Girls Club of Williams Lake re 2016 Pop-Up Park Overview

* Permissive Tax Exemption Amendment Bylaw No. 2250 - Adding Exemption for Cariboo Community Church
* Encroachment - 289 Third Avenue North - Youth for Christ
* Recommendations from Sept 14th Joint Committee and Sept 20th WL Council-in-Committee meetings
* Dried Bulk Highway Salt - Award of Contract
* Nominations for New Stop of Interest Signs in BC
* 2 Proclamations for Endorsement -- Waste Reduction Week and Restorative Justice Week
* 2 In-Camera Reports for Public Information -- Remedial Action Order for 27 Seventh Avenue - Slumber Lodge and Proposed Sale of Cariboo Lodge Properties

View the full Agenda here

Upcoming Community Events:

* Culture Days in Williams Lake - Friday, Sept 30th to Sunday, Oct 2nd.  More details here

* Clean Air Event in Williams Lake - Sunday, Oct 2nd from 2-5pm in Boitanio Park.  More details here 

Day 5 of UBCM 2016

Today is the final day of the 2016 Union of BC Muncipalities Convention.

This morning is the final day of Resolution Debates along with Speeches from Peter Fassbender (Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development) and Amarjeet Sohi (Federal Infrastructure Minister)

Today is also Orange Shirt Day so lots of delegates, I expect, will be wearing their orange shirts to honour those who went through Residential Schools, both living and not.  I will be thinking today of my Alternate Director, Phyllis Webstad, whose story inspired this day...

The convention adjourns at noon today and then delegates will be heading home to their various communities ...

Have  a great day,


Thursday, September 29, 2016

Day 4 of UBCM 2016

Today is Day 4 of the 2016 Union of BC Muncipalities Convention.  After morning clinics which include:

* Emergency Mgmt BC Update
* Performance Audits in Local Gov't (Auditor-General for Local Gov't)
* Stretch-Code: A New Tool for Better Buildings
* Targeting Irresponsible Dog/Cat Breeders
* Working Together to Prevent Wildfires in BC

John Horgan, BC NDP Leader/Leader of the Official Opposition will address UBCM Delegates, then the Resolutions Debate will continue until noon, then a delegate lunch will take place

In the afternoon - policy sessions will take place and a Greater Victoria Harbour Tour will be available to delegate to take in

Finally - the annual UBCM Reception/Banquet Dinner will take place in the evening

For meetings today -- again, I have two with the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Staff for Community Gaming Grant Program/Crown Grants

Have a great day,


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Day 3 of UBCM 2016

Today is Day 3 of the 2016 Union of BC Muncipalities.  After a number of morning clinics, the official start of the Convention will commence with addresses from Lt-Gov Judith Guichon, 2015-16 UBCM President (and Cariboo RD Chair) Al Richmond. Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, BC Green Party Leader Dr. Andrew Weaver and FCM President (and Halton Hills, Ontario Councillor) Clark Somerville

There will also be Keynote Addresses from Dr. Samantha Nutt & BC Premier Christy Clark

Resolutions Debate will commence today.  There will then be Area Association Lunches then Provincial Policy Sessions in the afternoon

As for meetings - I have two today: one with Ministry of Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Staff concerning a Crown Grant for the former Wildwood Elementary school site & one with Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development Staff re: reducing the size of the Building Inspection Service Area for Electoral Area D

Have a great day!


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Day 2 of UBCM 2016

Today is Day 2 of the 2016 Union of BC Muncipalities Convention.  First up, Various Clinics including:

* Community Water Fluoridation
* Open Season on Integrity - Hunting for the Right Solution in BC
* Reducing Liability Exposure for Local Governments
* Regulatory Changes Affecting Agri-Tourism in BC
* UBCM/FCM - Local Connections around the World

Then, elected officials will be attending a forum to discuss the communities' challenges.  Forums include Electoral Areas, Mid-Sized Communities and Large Urban Communities, followed up with Forum Lunches

In the afternoon - more clinics for elected officials to take in and then in the evening, the Welcoming Reception from 6:30pm - 8:30pm

Also - various elected officials and their accompanying staff will be attending either Cabinet Minister or Ministry Staff Meetings during the day

For myself - the only meeting today with Provincial Ministry Staff will be a meeting with Ministry of Education Staff to discuss transferring the former Wildwood Elementary school property back to the local Wildwood Community Association

Enjoy your day,


Monday, September 26, 2016

Day 1 of UBCM 2016

Today, the first day of the 2016 Convention of the Union of BC Muncipalities which is been held in Victoria and on the traditional territory of the Songhees and Esquimalt First Nations begins with the holding of a number of clinics.  I will be attending an all day clinic called Agriculture Study Tour: Innovations in Agifood.  

Then this evening, a couple of networking opportunities take place including Young Elected Officials Meet and Greet & Electoral Area Directors' Meet and Greet

Have a great day, 


Saturday, September 24, 2016

Cariboo Local Gov'ts off to UBCM 2016

Elected officials from the Districts of 100 Mile House/Wells, Cities of Quesnel/Williams Lake and the Cariboo Regional District will be attending the annual Convention of the Union of BC Muncipalities being held from September 26-30 in the City of Victoria

The pocket schedule of all events at this Convention may be viewed here

The Convention consists of two days of Pre-Convention events (Mon/ Tues Sept 26-27) with the Convention officially getting started on Wednesday, Sept 28th with the Convention adjourning at noon on Friday, Sept 30th

I will be posting daily reports from the Convention so stay tuned for those here, starting this coming Monday evening


Friday, September 23, 2016

SD27 Board Meets Next Week

The only local government to meet next week will be the Board of Education for School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) on Tuesday, Sept 27th at 6:30pm in the SD27 Boardroom (350 2nd Avenue, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* Unexpended Aboriginal Education Amount
* Superintendent of Schools/Secretary-Treasurer Reports
* Provincial Anti-Bullying Policies
* StrongStart and Kindergym Funding
* SD27 Strategic Plan
* Trustee Code of Conduct Signing Ceremony
* Audited Financial Statements for the 2015-16 Financial Year
* Five Year Capital Plan
* Annual Facilities Grant Bylaw
* School Enhancement Program Funds
* Policy Review Plan
* Alcohol Protocols Policy
* Trustee Electoral Boundaries

View the full Agenda here

For Community Events this weekend/next week:

* Quesnel - 2016 Recycle Fest from 11am - 2pm at Baker Creek Park. Bring your old, broken, and unwanted small appliances and power tools for recycling and enjoy a FREE burger from Savalas Steak House. Baker Creek Enhancement Society will also be joining us with more games, nature education and environmental awareness.

* Williams Lake -- COPA for Kids on Saturday, Sept 24th from 10am - 2pm at the Williams Lake Regional Airport. Hotdogs, drinks and fruit will be available. Pre-registration is recommended. A parent or legal guardian must sign the paper work on site giving permission for the flight.
To register call Linde at 250-392-2262 or Marie at 250-392-5360 or go to The annual Kidney Walk for the Williams Lake and area takes place in Boitanio Park on Sunday, Sept. 25. Registration for the walk begins at 9 a.m. and the walk takes place between 10 and 11 a.m. To register ahead of time go to

The lakecity band Static with Jeanette McDonald, J.J. Bidulka, Randy Randle, Garry Grosso, Grant McDonald and Charli-Anne Erho will hold their second CD release party, Saturday, Sept. 24 at the Ramada Convention Centre from 7 p.m. until 1 a.m. Sunday morning. Their special guests will be the band Run Home Jack. Tickets for this adult only release party are $10 at the door.

* McLeese Lake - Last Sunday Farmers Market for the 2016 Season on Sept 25th from 9am - 1pm at the local Tourist Information Centre site

CRD Board Highlights - Sept 22/23rd Meetings

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Update From Barkerville Heritage Trust
         The Barkerville Heritage Trust gave a presentation at the Cariboo Regional District’s (CRD) Committee of the Whole meeting. Chief Executive Officer Ed Coleman and Commerce, Partnerships & Givings Officer Kiley Sales highlighted their efforts to partner with donors to execute projects that will further the authentic, unique, world-class heritage experience in Barkerville. Some examples of these projects are campground upgrades, new cottages, Visitor Reception Centre upgrades, a new shelter building and upgrades to the Chinese & Richfield cemetery.

CRD Moves To Acquire Lexington Water System 
         Residents on the Lexington Water System were informally surveyed and 86 per cent were in favour of the development of an improved local water system owned and operated by the CRD. The Board thus decided to begin a formal petition process with local residents towards the acquisition of the Lexington Water Improvement District water system.

Board Sends Letter To Agricultural Land Commission
         The Board of Directors will be sending a letter to the Agricultural Land Commission for further explanation about their regulations. The Board will be asking for clarification on the regulation about acceptable use of trees in the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR), for a clear definition of “agro-forestry” and an update on foreign ownership. Clarification on these topics will help the Board make decisions on ALR applications.

Resolution About BCAS Policy Going To UBCM
         Following up from the last Board meeting, the CRD Electoral Area Directors are taking a last-minute resolution to the Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) conference next week regarding BC Ambulance Service (BCAS) policy changes. The resolution asks UBCM to lobby the provincial government to establish a system for the replacement of oxygen and other consumables used in the provision of emergency health care by first responders to patients of the British Columbia Ambulance Service.

CRD Directors To Attend 2016 Nation2Nation Forum
         Electoral Area Directors were authorized to attend the 2016 Nation2Nation (N2N) Community Forum to be held in Williams Lake on November 17 and 18. The Board is looking forward to participating in this opportunity to discuss ways to build economic partnerships and joint ventures with local First Nations. The N2N Forum will bring industry, contractors, local government and First Nations together to networks and identify a framework to address economic priorities while working in partnership on resource development in First Nations territories.

Chinese Consul General Thanks The CRD
         The CRD Board received a letter of appreciation from H.E. LIU Fei, Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Vancouver regarding the recent Chinese martial arts performing tour of the Shaolin Epo Martial Arts School. The Consul General expressed, “The Chinese martial arts performing tour has been a great opportunity for the Central Interior of BC to learn more about Chinese culture and thus further strengthen our relations. I wish it would mark a new start in our bilateral political, economic and cultural exchanges and cooperation in the coming years.”

Mount Timothy Ski Society Receives Funding
         Ryan Wonnacott, President of the Mount Timothy Ski Society Board of Directors, gave an update to the Cariboo Regional District Board about the society’s recent staffing changes and updates to their business plan along with a request for funding. The Board approved funding for energy efficiency and water improvement projects at the Mount Timothy ski facility. The works will include installation of roof insulation, new windows and exterior doors, UV filtration to improve water safety, upgraded lighting and improved heating systems. Up to $49,000 was allocated to this project.

Concerns Raised With Maintenance On Pay Phones
         The CRD Board will be sending a letter to the Canadian Radio and Television Commission and Telus to emphasize the importance of pay phone maintenance in rural areas.

Board On The Road In Wells
         The CRD had a great Board on the Road visit to Wells for their Committee of the Whole and Board Meetings. The visit included beautiful fall weather and a delicious community BBQ hosted by the Wells and Area Community Association. Over 100 people attended the barbecue and visited with the elected officials. The CRD will be making a donation to the Wells and Area Community Association in appreciation for hosting the barbecue. The Board also toured the new Wells-Barkerville-Bowron Medical Clinic.

UBCM Conference Next Week
         The CRD Board is headed to Victoria next week for the Union of B.C. Municipalities conference and will meet with Minister’s and provincial government ministries to discuss regional concerns. Follow the CRD’s Facebook page at for updates on UBCM activities.

Next Meetings: 
Committee of the Whole – Oct. 13, 2016
CRD Board Meeting – Oct. 14, 2016

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Emergency notifications sent broader than intended

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Early in the morning on Sept. 22, 2016, emergency notifications were sent throughout the Cariboo region advising about a hazardous materials incident in 100 Mile House. The District of 100 Mile house sent the emergency notification through the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification System but mistakenly sent the message to a broader distribution than intended due to a human error.

The Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification System was used to send a message to 100 Mile residents who signed up for notifications through the system. The notification was also mistakenly sent to all landlines listed in the white pages for the Cariboo region.

“The District of 100 Mile House apologizes for the inconvenience this broad distribution caused. However, it is important to emphasize that the Emergency Notification System was working correctly and remains a valuable tool to inform the public during emergency situations,” states 100 Mile House Mayor Mitch Campsall.

Cariboo Regional District Chair Al Richmond adds, “Normally, emergency notifications are specific to locations and residents that are impacted. The scenario this morning was an exception to the norm. We urge residents to sign up for this important emergency system to ensure you receive important emergency information.”

On May 5, 2015, the Cariboo Chilcotin Emergency Notification System was launched for residents throughout the Cariboo region. Led by the Cariboo Regional District and in partnership with 100 Mile House, Quesnel, Wells and Williams Lake, the system is available to all residents free of charge and provides mass emergency notifications.

Residents who register for the program will receive notifications about emergency and time-sensitive events happening near their home, work, school or other locations that they have pre-selected during registration. Residents can register to receive these updates using up to six different ways including:

• Home phone(s)
• Office phone(s) with extension(s)
• Cell phone(s)
• Text Messages
• Mobile App (iPhone & Android)
• Email(s)

To register, visit your local government’s website and select the “Sign Up For Emergency Notifications” icon on the home page to register. Everyone that has a cell phone, a personal email account, text messaging or access to downloadable apps needs to register to know what is happening and what to do when an emergency strikes.

If you require any assistance in registering please do not hesitate to contact your local government office:

• Cariboo Regional District – or call 250-392-3351 or toll free 1-800-665-1636
• District of 100 Mile House – or call 250-395-2434
• City of Quesnel – or call 250-992-2111
• District of Wells – or call 250-994-3330
• City of Williams Lake – or call 250-392-2311

Forest Grove Fire Chief passes after 34 years of service

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Former Forest Grove Fire Chief
Bob Felker
On Tuesday, September 13th, long time Fire Chief of the Cariboo Regional District’s (CRD) Forest Grove Volunteer Fire Department (VFD), Bob Felker, lost his battle to cancer. It is a great loss to the CRD and the fire department to lose such a dedicated volunteer who served for 34 years with the Forest Grove VFD. Chief Felker leaves a significant void of knowledge, skills, experience and leadership for others to fill.

Fire Chief Bob Felker joined the Forest Grove VFD on October 1, 1982. The fire service was his number one passion in life. He brought his technical and electrical aptitude to the fire hall creating a living hall that literally turns itself on and off when an emergency call comes in. In the fire service, the Forest Grove Fire Hall is affectionately called “Gadget Grove.”

In October of 2015, Chief Felker was diagnosed with cancer. Bob stayed on duty as Fire Chief until he could no longer spare his energy to anything other than the fight for his life. Unfortunately it was a fight he was not destined to win. Bob leaves behind his wife, his family, his fire department and his brotherhood.

The Cariboo Regional District is submitting an application to recognize Bob’s passing as a Line of Duty Death by the Canadian Fallen Firefighter’s Foundation based on the length of his service and the type of cancer he suffered from.

A memorial service for Fire Chief Bob Felker will be held exactly 34 years from the date Bob joined the fire service. The service will be at the Forest Grove Community Hall on October 1, 2016, at 2 p.m. All are welcome. Prior to the service, a procession of fire and first responder vehicles will be driving from 100 Mile House to Forest Grove.

The family has asked that donations be made in lieu of flowers to the 100 Mile District General Hospital’s Oncology Unit in memory of Fire Chief Bob Felker.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Quesnel Council Highlights - Sept 20th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Quesnel Lions Housing Society Development – Corner of Reid Street/McNaughton Avenue
The Quesnel Lions Housing Society, developer of a proposed 30 unit housing development for seniors, recently held an Open Public House on September 13, 2016.  The City’s Director of Development Services reported that:
-          There were 23 attendees with a majority being in favour of the proposed development and who were mostly interested in obtaining housing either now or in the future. 
-          Attendees asked questions around: building accessibility; the difference between market and on-market units; expected rental rates; and management of the housing complex.
-          One major concern addressed at the Open House was clarification that a portion of the units will be non-market housing (affordable housing). 
-          There was one neighbour that has very strong concerns about noise, traffic and property value, but overall the majority in attendance at the Open House had little to no concerns regarding these issues.
Council set a Public Hearing for 7 pm on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at City Hall Council Chambers regarding Bylaw 1781 (Official Community Plan Amendment) and Bylaw 1782 (Zoning Amendment) for this proposed development.
Bylaw of the Month – Long Vehicles in Angle Parking Spots
The focus for October’s Bylaw of the Month is to develop awareness regarding regulations around maximum vehicle length that is permitted within angle parking spots.  The City’s Streets, Traffic and Parking Bylaw 1773 does not permit vehicles over 6.5 meters to park in angle parking spots.  The 6.5 meters includes any objects or items extending from the front or back of the vehicle such as trailer attachments, snowmobiles, canoes, kayaks, lumber, bicycles, etc.  Oversized vehicles parked along roadways in angle parking spots restrict traffic flow creating a safety hazard for road users and contribute to congestion, especially in the City’s downtown core. 
BC Ferries Services between Port Hardy and Bella Coola
At the April 26, 2016 Quesnel City Council meeting, Council supported the Mid-Coast BC Ferry Working Group and supported the Coastal First Nations communities new vision for a two-ferry solution for economic development and job creation by reinstating BC Ferries services between Port hardy and Bella Coola, known as Route 40 or the Discovery coast Route.  Council has been informed that the Provincial government announced on September 6, 2016 that the Provincial government is committed to a seasonal direct BC Ferries service between Bella Coola and Port Hardy, on a new vessel, to commence in the spring of 2018.  This new ferry will be in addition to the existing “connector” ferry service that services the communities of Bella Coola, Bella Bella, Ocean Falls, Klemtu and Shearwater.   This initiative will support tourism development and economic stability across the region.
North Cariboo Region Community Opportunities Session
Quesnel has been chosen as the first community to pilot a Provincial government outreach session, held at the Quesnel Seniors Centre on September 20, 2016, to support increased economic development and diversification with a focus on small business.
Quesnel Curling Club
The Quesnel Curling Club has expressed concerns about the lack of parking and lighting during the construction of the West Fraser Centre this winter.  City staff will continue to monitor parking concerns as the winter season progresses and commit to work with arena/curling club user groups and the general contractor to address concerns.  Due to the ongoing construction of this large project, parking will be more difficult and users are asked to be patient.  People attending the curling rink and ice arenas are asked to consider carpooling and to give themselves extra time as parking is limited for these facilities.
-    Bylaw 1781/1782 – Seniors Housing Development (Reid St/McNaughton Ave) – Public Hearing – 7 pm October 4, 2016 at City Hall Council Chambers
-    Bylaw 1809 – Permissive Tax Exemptions (Non-Profits Category) – Final Adoption
Next Meetings
7 pm – October 4, 2016 - Regular Council Meeting
5:30 pm – October 11, 2016 – North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee

Text to 911 Service in Northern BC

Joint Release of the Cariboo, Fraser-Fort George, Kitimat-Stikine and Bulkley-Nechako Regional Districts' & E-Comm 911:

Regional Districts in the northern interior are now providing people who are Deaf/Deaf-Blind, Hard-of- Hearing or Speech Impaired (DHHSI) with the ability to contact 9-1-1 through a new specialized text service, called Text with 9-1-1 (T9-1-1). The service is available to residents living within the regional districts of Fraser-Fort George (RDFFG), Cariboo, Kitimat-Stikine and Bulkley-Nechako who pre-register with their wireless providers. The service is provided by E-Comm— the emergency communications centre responsible for answering 9-1-1 calls in the Northern Interior.

“Text With 911 brings our children and families the ability to communicate in the same way that anyone else can in emergency situations. It must be noted, that this service is also a game changer for first responders to Deaf and Hard of Hearing people – now our children and families can communicate the enhanced information that can save lives in emergencies. This service will make a real and significant difference in the lives of Deaf and Hard of Hearing children and families – it will save lives,” says Andrea Palmer, Vice President of the Northern BC Family Hearing Society.

T9-1-1 allows any DHHSI person who has pre-registered their cellphone with their wireless carrier to
communicate with police, fire and ambulance call-takers via text during an emergency. Callers must first place a voice call to 9-1-1 in order to establish a voice network connection and initiate the special messaging technology.

“We are pleased our DHHSI communities now have an improved way of communicating with local police, fire and ambulance services,” says Art Kaehn, RDFFG Board Chair. “I encourage people not to delay in registering for this service and to learn how to use it.”

“We are very proud to be able to offer Text with 9-1-1 services to our Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Speech Impaired residents. We appreciate all of the efforts that have made this service possible,” says Bill Miller, Chair of the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako.

“Bringing the Text with 9-1-1 service to the Northern Interior is a positive asset to our region. For DHHSI members to be able to reach this lifeline through a cellphone is a major improvement over outdated TTY (telephone typewriter) technology which is limited to landlines,” says Al Richmond, Chair of the Cariboo Regional District.

“We are excited to have this service available for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing and Speech Impaired
residents in our region and their families. We hope those who are eligible register their phones with their mobile service provider so they can access the service if they need it,” says Stacey Tyers, Chair of the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine.

When E-Comm receives a 9-1-1 call from a DHHSI person who has pre-registered for the service, an
alert will trigger at the 9-1-1 centre to indicate there is a DHHSI caller on the line. The 9-1-1 call-taker will then launch the special messaging system, allowing them to communicate with the caller through a special text session. This will ensure they get the emergency service they need.

The specialized technology was developed by Canada’s telecommunications services providers and is
available in select parts of the country.

“E-Comm was pleased to be the first 9-1-1 centre in Canada to launch T9-1-1 and we are ready to
provide this important service to DHHSI residents in the northern interior regional districts,” adds David Guscott, E-Comm President and CEO. “We are proud to have played a part in the development of thisservice which is a significant improvement over outdated TTY technology.”

It is important to emphasize that this service is only available to the DHHSI community. Voice calling
remains the only way to communicate with 9-1-1 services for a person who is not Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Hard-of- Hearing or Speech Impaired. Text messages sent directly to the digits “9-1-1” do not reach emergency services anywhere in Canada. Text with 9-1-1 for the public-at-large is anticipated in the future as the nationwide 9-1-1 infrastructure evolves.

Members of the DHHSI community should visit to register their cellphones with their wireless service provider and to learn more about how the system works.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

WL Council-in-Committee -- Sept 20th mtg

Present: Mayor W. Cobb; Councillors I. Bonnell, J. Ryll, C. Smith, L. Walters and S. Zacharias

Meeting called to order at 6pm
Meeting Agenda adopted/Mins of the Sept 6th COW Meeting


1) Finance Committee Recommendations - Nation2Nation Forum; 2017 Budget Schedule and 2017 Financial Plan Direction Report

Discussion ensued

Resolved - That the Committee recommend:

1) Council approve a sponsorship donation in the amount of $2,500 toward the Nation2Nation Forum being held November 17 and 18, 2016 in Williams Lake,
BC; and further, the organizers be provided with information on the City’s Event Hosting Grant Policy and application form for their event.

2) Council approve the 2017 budget schedule as presented

3) Council endorse the following goals for the preparation of the 2017 to 2021 Financial Plan:

a) Continue to strive for the most open and transparent budget process in BC;
b) All budget items be discussed at Committee of the Whole level prior to Council
c) Any potential tax increase be allocated to roads and infrastructure

Resolved -  That the Committee recommend:

Council work at facilitating the location of 70 residential care beds in Williams Lake

2) Fire Protection and Control Bylaw Amendment re Fire Department Full Service Level Designation & Mobile Food Vendor Requirements

A report from the Director of Protective Services was presented to the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That the Committee recommend:

Council endorse the recommended designation for the Williams Lake Fire Department to a Full Service level department, as well as the inclusion of mobile food vendor requirements, and “City of Williams Lake Fire Protection and Control Amendment Bylaw No. 2248” be given 1st, 2nd and 3rd Readings

3) Highway 97 South "Welcome to Williams Lake" Sign & Infrastructure Closure / Removal

A report from the Director of Municipal Services was presented to the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That the Committee recommend:

Council support the closure of the washroom facilities located at the Welcome to Williams Lake sign pull-out area at the south entrance to the City in the winter of 2016, and removal of the “Welcome to Williams Lake” signage and kiosks in the spring of 2017, and Staff be directed to compose a letter this Fall to representative of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure advising them of our intentions this fall; and further, that Staff be directed to reduce the relevant operating accounts to reflect these changes and bring forward a one-time Capital request of approximately $2,500 for the removal of the infrastructure to be included during 2017 budget discussions.

4) Loader Purchase vs Leasing

A report from the Manager of Water/Waste was presented to the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That the Committee recommend:

Council allow staff to redirect the $350,000 capital equipment monies approved in the 2016 capital equipment fund for the purchase of a wheel loader to the lease of a wheel loader for winter month operations only ($40,000) and use a portion of the saved monies to purchase a hook truck ($175,000), saving the 2016 capital equipment fund $135,000.

The Committee adjourned at 6:40pm

UBCM 2016 Convention Program now available!

Yesterday - the Union of BC Muncipalities or UBCM made available the full Convention program to its' membership (local governments).  There is also a pocket version of the program.  Both of which you can view here

Other than the usual speeches, Resolution Debates, various Lunches and networking opportunities in the evening - the most important portion of the Convention Program to UBCM Delegates will be the morning and afternoon clinics during the 2016 UBCM Convention.  Such clinics include:

* Community Water Fluoridation
* Open Season on Integrity: Hunting for the Right Solution in BC
* Is Drought in Your Future? Provincial and Local Government Response and Preparedness
* BC Local Government’s $200 Billion Infrastructure Challenge

Many delegates, myself included, will be looking over all of the clinics available over the next few days and deciding which ones to attend so that delegates attending together from a local government (municipal council or regional district) can try to hit them all (or as many as reasonably possible) and catch up in the evening or the day after with each other with the notes from those clinics so attended


Friday, September 16, 2016

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

The following local government of the Cariboo-Chilcotin are meeting next week:

Quesnel - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, Sept 20th at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* Committee Reports
* Quesnel Lions Housing Society - Seniors Housing Development Public Consultation Summary
* Bylaw of the Month - Long Vehicles in Angle Parking Spots

View the full Agenda here

On Wednesday, Sept 21st, the Policy/Bylaw Standing Committee meets.  On the Agenda:

* Proposed Changes to Business Regulation and Licensing Bylaw
* Proposed Amendment for Banner Policy
* Solar Hot Water Ready Regulation
* Sign Bylaw Update
* Policy and Bylaw Review Standing Committee - Terms of Reference Review
* Policy and Bylaw Review Standing Committee - Draft Meeting Schedule Review
* Standing Resolution for Standard Grant Applications - Discussion Only
* Quesnel Ladies Softball Association - Request for Naming of Sugarloaf Ball Park (Referred to PABCOM by Council at June 28th Regular Meeting)
* Tower Inn 3rd Party Signage - Director Turner to Report

View the full Agenda here

School District #28 (Quesnel) - 1st Regular Meeting of the Board of Education for the 2016-17 School Year on Wednesday, September 21st at 7pm in the SD28 Boardroom (401 North Star Rd, Quesnel).  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

Williams Lake - Committee of the Whole Session on Tuesday, September 20th at 6pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (Basement - 450 Mart Street).  On the Agenda:

* 3 Reports from Finance Committee -- Nation2Nation Forum; 2017 Budget Schedule; 2017 Financial Plan Direction Report
* Fire Protection and Control Bylaw Amendment re Fire Department Full Service Level Designation & Mobile Food Vendor Requirements
* Highway 97 South "Welcome to Williams Lake" Sign & Infrastructure Closure / Removal
* Purchasing of Loader Report

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District:

Board on the Road - firstly, Committee of the Whole session on Thursday, September 22nd at 1pm in Wells Community Hall (4269 Sanders Avenue, Wells), then there is a Community BBQ with the CRD Board of Directors' from 5-7pm that evening, then Friday, September 23rd at 9:30am in the Wells Community Hall will be firstly the regular meeting of the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital Board, following by the CRD Board at 9:45am.  On the Agenda:

Committee of the Whole:

* Delegation: Ed Coleman - Barkerville Heritage Trust
* Corporate Priority Reports
* Review Section 11(2) of CRD Procedure Bylaw (Teleconferencing)
* Barking Dogs at request of Area 'A' Director Ted Armstrong
* Board Meeting Day of Week
* Rural Dividend Discussion
* Reallocation and Disposition of Cariboo Regional District Accumulated Operating Surpluses
* Review of Directors Discretionary Funds and Grants for Assistance Procedures

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District:

* Comox Strathcona RHD - Response from Ministry of Health - Hospital District Act - Cost Sharing Authority
* Interior Health - Additional Residential Care Beds Approved
* Northern Health - Funding Distributed Across the North to Support Community Based HIV-HCV Initiatives
* Northern Health Capital Expenditure Bylaw Requests

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District:

* Delegation: Mt Timothy re: Status Update/Community Works Funding Application
* 4 Planning Bylaws for 3rd Reading
* Adopt Final CRD Agriculture Policy
* Reconsider Mt. Timothy Ski Facility Community Works Funding (CWF) Application
* Library Facilities within School District #27 Properties
* Request of Director Sorley re: Maintenance of Pay Phones

There will be an In-Camera Session as per Section 90(1a - appointment) and 90(2c - Consideration of Matter investigated under Ombudsperson Act which a local government has been notified of investigation) of the Community Charter

View the full Agenda here

Community Events this Weekend:

* McLeese Lake - Sunday Farmers Market (Sept 18th from 10am - 1pm)
* Williams Lake -- Canadian Tire "Show/Shine" on Sept 18th from 10am - 4pm in the Canadian Tire Parking Lot

Thursday, September 15, 2016

2nd Edition of the BC Rural Dividend Application Guide

Today - the Province released the 2nd Edition of the BC Rural Dividend Application Guide.  A copy of which you can view here

Some improvements include:

* Audited Financial Statements not required until project is worth $100,000 or more
* Up to 25% of identified Infrastructure costs permitted (does not include water, sewer sidewalks)
* Trails now allowed

I still have concerns that the program is geared towards 'studying' things, rather than getting on 'building' things which is what a lot of rural communities, including several within my Electoral Area, frankly need right now.


Tuesday, September 13, 2016

WL Council Highlights - Sept 13th mtg

Present: Mayor Cobb; Councillors Bonnell, Nelson (via teleconference), Ryll, Smith, Walters and Zacharias

Meeting called to order at 6pm and Mayor Cobb acknowledged that the meeting was taking place on Traditional Shuswap Territory

Meeting Agenda & Mins of the August 30th City Council Meeting adopted


1) Laura Klassen and Linda Evans from Community Living BC appeared before Council to request approval of a "Community Living Month" Proclamation

A Question/Answer period ensued
Mayor Cobb, on behalf of Council, thanked the delegation for their time/information

Resolved - That October 2016 be proclaimed "Community Living Month" in the City of Williams Lake


1) Council received for information the accounts payable computer cheque listings for the periods ending August 31, September 1, 8 and 9, 2016

2) Council ratified an email poll authorizing the Williams Lake Daybreak Rotary Club Special Occasion Liquor License for the 2nd Annual A-Pork-Alypse II Dinner and Dance on Saturday, September 17th, 2016 from 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm at the Let 'R Buck Saloon at the Williams Lake Stampede Grounds, pursuant to City policy and subject to RCMP approval'

3) Council received a report of the Recreation Coordinator concerning the Fall Harvest Run & Event being held on October 16, 2016

4) Council agreed to receive the presentation concerning the TD Friends of the Environment Fund and express appreciation to the Williams Lake Field Naturalists for bringing the opportunity to the attention of the City; and Council requested Staff to present details of the children's fishing wharf and boardwalk in the respective department's project listings for consideration of inclusion in the 2017 draft budget, pending response from BC Rail on land acquisition

5) Council adopted a number of recommendations from its' September 6th Committee of the Whole Session as follows:

a) The City of Williams Lake endorse the Tl’etinqox (Anaham) Youth Initiative & Youth 4 Leaders (Y4L) Summit to be held on November 2 to 4, 2016 in Williams Lake, and Council support this event by donating a prize, promoting on the City’s website and social media sites, and providing a Council representative to provide a welcome; and further, sponsorship options be referred to the Finance Committee for consideration.

b) The City of Williams Lake endorse the Nation2Nation Forum to be held on November 17 & 18, 2016 in Williams Lake, and that sponsorship options be referred to the Finance Committee for consideration

c) Council approve use of the Nature Centre lower floor for a kindergarten classroom in partnership between the Williams Lake Field Naturalists and Cariboo Chilcotin School District 27, subject to:

Insurance must be amended to name kindergarten use and to save harmless the City and Nature Trust of BC from claims resulting from operation of a public school classroom;
Agreements must be in place to provide daily caretaking and the additional maintenance services resulting from daily school use;
Contributions must be in place for the additional utility charges (power, heat, water) resulting from daily school classroom use;
Agreement for addition of kindergarten use is required from the property owner, Nature Trust of BC;
Confirmation that the main floor of the Nature Centre is still used for public displays, is open for community booking, and for an assortment of nature education programming;
The kindergarten class will occupy the lower floor previously operated as a preschool and is considered same use under terms of the zoning and building bylaws; and
Fire safety upgrades are required prior to public school classroom use, per the September 1, 2016 Fire Department Inspection Report;

and further, the City of Williams Lake will assume the costs of the safety upgrades to the Nature Centre for the purposes of the 2016-2017 kindergarten program.

d) Council meet as Committee of Whole Council for 2017 budget deliberations, to be chaired by the Chair of the Finance Committee; further, during budget deliberations, the Chairs of the various Committees will present their respective departmental budgets with appropriate staff in attendance.

e) The report from the Chief Financial Officer dated August 29, 2016 regarding the 2017 Financial Plan be received and referred to the Finance Committee for further consideration and bring forward financial projection goal options for 2017 to Committee of Whole Council for recommendation back to Council; and further the budget meetings will be held in an open and transparent manner.

f) Council support the proposed changes to the parking times on Borland Street and Seventh Avenue as follows:

Remove the RV Parking on Borland Street and return parking in this area to two-hour parking; and
Change one-hour parking on Seventh Avenue north of Borland Street to two-hour parking.

6) At the request of Potato House Sustainable Community Society - Council authorized both the Halloween Costume Parade on Monday, October 31, 2016 at 5:30 PM and a letter of support to the National Trust of Canada's "This Place Matters" program for a $40,000 crowdsource competition towards the 2017 Halloween Downtown Door to Door Event.

7) Council received the 'Council Information Package' as of September 13th, as follows:

• August 26, 2016 - CRD Board Highlights

Members of Council provided oral reports on their recent activities

Resolved - That public notice of a Special In-Camera Meeting be waived as per Section 127(4) of the Community Charter and that the In-Camera Meeting be held, following adjournment of the Open Council Meeting, under the provisions of Section 90(1e - land) of the Community Charter

Meeting adjourned at 6:38pm and after a short recess, Council then convened their In-Camera Meeting as per Section 90(1e) of the Community Charter 

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Oakes to seek a 2nd Term

Yesterday - Coralee Oakes, the MLA for Cariboo-North and BC's Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction & Minister Responsible for the Liquor Distribution Branch announced that she would be seeking a 2nd Term. 

As a Cariboo Regional District Electoral Area Director whose own Electoral Area (Area 'D') which mirrors a fair chunk of her provincial riding, I have been most appreciative of her office's assistance on a number of files affecting my own constituents and I very much look forward to seeing her re-elected next May.

Coralee Oakes Official Statement:

The last few days have been a flurry of activities. After conversations with my family and leadership circle, I am pleased to announce that I am seeking the BC Liberal nomination for Cariboo North. The next provincial election is May 2017 and I hope to have the privilege to continue to represent the fine citizens of the Cariboo for another four years.

It is a true honour to work with an amazing team under the leadership of Premier Christy Clark. I have great respect for my colleagues, who I am proud to call friends, and I am grateful for their incredible support and advice. Their work ethic, values and shared commitment to our Province is unwavering. It has been wonderful to have the Premier here regularly (three times this year) and it was fantastic to host the entire cabinet and all of the BC Liberal caucus in Cariboo North this June.

The Cariboo is my home. As the MLA for Cariboo North, I have had the opportunity to meet with so many amazing citizens. Hearing their ideas and passion for opportunities in our community. I have also shared more than a few tears with constituents when there are difficulties to overcome. I believe we can and should always be striving to improve and overcome obstacles.

There is much work to do. Every time I return home from representing our community in Vancouver or Victoria, I still feel like I did as a college student when driving home on break; that overwhelming sense of being home and belonging. The Cariboo has been very good to me, I feel a strong sense of purpose and I hope to continue to earn the trust of our community.

Immediately after my announcement, my first stop was the Quesnel Legion. It is an important organization in our community.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Sept 12-16

The following local governments of the Cariboo-Chilcotin are meeting next week:

Wells - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, September 13th at 7pm in Wells Council Chambers (4243 Sanders Avenue).  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

Williams Lake - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, September 13th at 6pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart Street).  On the Agenda:

* Delegation: Laura Klassen and Linda Evans, Community Living BC re "Community Living Month" Proclamation

* Ratify Email Poll of Council - Williams Lake Daybreak Rotary Club Special Occasion Liquor License Request
* Approval of Fall Harvest Run & Event
* TD Friends of the Environment Funding Request
* Adopt Recommendations from the Sept 6th WL Council-in-Committee Meeting

View the full Agenda here

100 Mile House - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, September 13th at 7pm in 100 Mile Council Chambers (385 Birch Avenue).  On the Agenda:

* Approval of Joint Use Agreement between CRD, City of Williams Lake, District of 100 Mile House, School District #27 and Thompson Rivers' University

* Road Naming Amendment By-Law No.1299, 2016 -- For Adoption
* Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 1301, 2016 -- For 1st/2nd Readings
* By-Law Officer Report for August 2016

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District:

North Cariboo Rural Directors' Committee  - Regular Meeting on Tuesday, September 13th at 3pm in the CRD Quesnel Office (101-410 Kinchant St, Quesnel).  On the Agenda:

* Invitation from Northern Health - Quesnel Connect Invite
* Discussion Items -- Quesnel Agriculture Centre Feasibility Study; North Cariboo Recreation and Park Management Agreement Between the City of Quesnel and the CRD; North Cariboo Economic Development 2017 Business Plan; Update on "Community Development Institute Community/Economic Development Project"

View the full Agenda here

North Cariboo Joint Committee - Regular Meeting on Tuesday, September 13th at 5:30pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (2nd Floor - 410 Kinchant St, Quesnel).  On the Agenda:

* Delegation: P4HC Empowering Family Health (pending confirmation on delegation)
* Quesnel Agriculture Centre Feasibility Study Results
* MKT Project Status Reports (Quesnel Arena Replacement Project)
* Arena Replacement Project Fundraising & Communication Update
* Sr. 'A' Hockey Rates
* School District #28 Joint Use Agreement
* Draft 2017 Joint Committee Meeting Schedule

View the full Agenda here.  The Committee will also be holding an In-Camera Session as per Section 90(1k - negotiations) of the Community Charter

Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee - Regular Meeting on Wednesday, September 14th at 5pm in the CRD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* 2016 CCACS Second Quarter Report
* 2017-2019 Arts & Culture Fee for Service Recommendations
* Central Cariboo Arts and Culture - Performances in the Park Renewal Agreement
* Sam Ketcham Pool Upgrade Project - Monthly Status Reports for July and August 2016
* Action Page

View the full Agenda here

Community Events This Weekend/Next Week:

* Quesnel -- Annual Fall Fair this Saturday/Sunday at Alex Fraser Park.  More details here

* McLeese Lake - Car Show/Shine & Sunday Farmers' Market on Sept 11th from 9am - 3pm at the Oasis Resort...

* Xat'sull First Nations -- Annual "Save the Salmon" Traditional Pow-Wow at the Xat'sull Heritage Village from Friday, Sept 9th - 11th.  More details here

* Williams Lake - Annual Harvest Fair at the WL Stampede Park this Saturday/Sunday.  More details here

NCLGA Mayors/Chairs Meet today!

Today, Mayors/RD Chairs' in the North Central Local Government Association (NCLGA) Region will be meeting in Prince George to discuss the following topics:

* Economic Development
* Social Responsibility 
* Environmental Stewardship
* Conclusion: Northern Priorities and Perspectives/Next Steps 

The meeting will be co-chaired by Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall and NCLGA President (and Quesnel City Councillor) Laurey-Anne Roodenburg

The purpose of the meeting is two-fold:

a) To identify common challenges and highlight opportunities where information sharing and/or cooperation within the region would be mutually beneficial

b) To decide future roundtable formatting, content and timing to make best use of your schedules and resources.

To read the letter from Mayor Hall to Kitimat-Stikine RD Chair Stacy Tyers - click here

I have asked the NCLGA Board to give consideration of a future Electoral Area Directors' only Forum to discuss mutual issues within the 44 Electoral Areas of the NCLGA Region and have received assurances that it will be brought forward for consideration of the NCLGA Board

I look forward to hearing from Cariboo RD Chair Al Richmond, when he reports to the CRD Board of Directors' as to what transpired at this meeting at a future date


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Quesnel Council Highlights - Sept 6th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Miss Quesnel Self Development Program

Mayor Simpson and Councillor Roodenburg provided plaques for outgoing 2015 Miss Quesnel Royalty members, Telise Gauthier (Miss Quesnel 2015), Courtney Moore, Maneesha Johal (2015 Princesses).  Incoming 2016 Royalty members, Alexis Poulin (Miss Quesnel 2016) and Emma deBlois and Erica Vahaaho (2016 Princesses) were recognized and presented with a rose from Council.  The Royalty members thanked Council for their continued support and for the many opportunities this self-development program provides for youth in the City.

City of Quesnel – Approved as a Living Wage Employer

The City’s application to become a Living Wage Employer has been approved by the Employers Committee of the Living Wage for Families Campaign.  Council approved the City’s new Living Wage Policy that can be viewed at Quesnel/Council/AgendaMinutesPolicies/2016/Policies/Council-Finance).  Next steps include incorporating Living Wage language into the City’s two collective bargaining agreements and contracts for 120 hours or more/year.  This will result in most City employees and City contractors (while working for the City) paying employees, at a minimum, the calculated Living Wage of $16.52/hour including non-mandatory benefits.  

City’s Water Quality

Council heard from the City’s Utilities Superintendent that Health Canada has proposed new drinking water guidelines around manganese.  Manganese located in well water is a common issue in the Cariboo region.  Council was apprised of the two most common complaints received by the City concerning the City’s drinking water around manganese and sulfur-smelling water. Manganese (black sediment) can be dealt with by:

-    Installing an inline standard filter cartridge to remove manganese and sediment.  This may not remove all the manganese, however it will greatly improve aesthetic quality;

-    Installing a household water softener;

-    Installing a reverse osmosis system for drinking water.

Homes/businesses that have recently updated new taps or plumbing fixtures can sometimes have sulfur smelling water that can be addressed by:

-    Replace the feed lines with metal tubing such as copper or alternatively clean the lines with sodium hypochlorite (household bleach), then rinse and reinstall.


Gook Road Sanitary Sewer Project Update

The Gook Road Sanitary Sewer extension project will commence this month and is anticipated that all mainline work and services will be completed this fall with residents able to connect to the system in the spring of 2017.  Re-paving of Dragon Lake Road will completed in the spring of 2017.  This project will take 22 septic systems off of the Dragon Lake Water Corridor and into the City’s sewage collection system having a positive health/environment impact for this water shed.  This is a Cariboo Regional District project mainly impacting City of Quesnel residents.

City’s Proposed Political Campaign Sign – Public Consultation Summary Results

192 responses were received from the public survey with the following results compiled for the proposed Political Campaign Sign Bylaw restrictions:

-    68% agree, or strongly agree, to restrict political campaign signs in the City.

-    66% agree that six (6) political campaign signs per candidate is sufficient political signage, or too much signage, to be displayed throughout the City during an election/referendum.

-    70% believe erecting signs 30 days before and removing 3 days following an election/referendum is an adequate amount of time to display/remove political signage.

West Fraser Timber Park – Trail Enhancement
Council approved $10,000 towards trail enhancements of the Main Trail at West Fraser Timber Park.  Partnering this initiative is the Baker Creek Enhancement Society, Mr. Scott Trueman, Cross Country Running Coach for Correlieu Secondary School/Quesnel Junior School, local businesses that donate building materials and local citizens who volunteer their time.   These trail enhancements will benefit the general public and the possibility for Quesnel schools to host the BC High School Zone Cross Country Running Championships on October 22, 2016 at West Fraser Timber Park. 


-    Bylaw 1808 – Political Campaign Sign – Second/Third

Bylaw 1809 – Permissive Tax Exemptions - First/Second/Third

Next Meetings

-    5:30 pm – September 13, 2016 – North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee

-    7 pm – September 20, 2016 - Regular Council Meeting

New 4-Way Stop at 5th Ave North/Carson Drive

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Effective immediately, the intersection of 5th Ave. North and Proctor Street (right in front of the Recreation complex) is now a 4-way stop. This is a busy crossroads seeing much traffic, especially during school hours. By forcing people to stop in all directions drivers will be more aware of the high foot, bicycle and vehicle traffic making a safer intersection. Drivers should be aware when approaching this new intersection configuration and plan accordingly.

This planned change to a 4-way stop is a result of the new entrance to the new off-street parking for Kiwanas Park and the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Centre (CMRC). It is expected that the new arm of the 5th and Proctor intersection into the new parking area will opened on Monday, September 12th as work begins on the restoration, and repaving of the old parking areas in front of the CMRC.

City of Quesnel now "Living Wage" Employer

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

The City of Quesnel has been designated as a Living Wage Employer under the Living Wage for Families Campaign (“LWFC”). As part of the City of Quesnel’s Strategic Plan, City Council approved submitting a proposed implementation plan to become designated as a living wage employer under the Living Wage for Families Campaign (“LWFC”) in June. The implementation plan was approved during the summer and the City will now complete the steps outlined in the plan, including the approval of the City of Quesnel Living Wage Policy last night. The City of Quesnel is the second municipality in Canada to receive this designation.

A living wage is the hourly wage a family is deemed to need to cover basic expenses which include: food; clothing; rental housing; child care; transportation; and small savings to cover illness or emergencies. This hourly rate is calculated annually by the LWFC, based on the living expenses of a two-parent family with two children with each parent working full-time. The current living wage rate for Quesnel is $16.52/hour. The rate is calculated including benefits.

“Obtaining this designation is part of Council’s commitment to ensure our community thrives during this transition period,” said Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson. “As we shift from an industrial economy to a more service oriented one, the City can help lead the way by establishing benchmarks which challenge all employers to pay wages that reflect the true costs of living in our community and which also give people the ability to engage more fully in our local economy and social dynamic.”

Employees hired directly by the City of Quesnel will earn at minimum a living wage, with some exemptions for students and social programs. Service contractors hired by the City of Quesnel to perform regular, ongoing work of at least 120 hours per year will only be hired if they agree to pay their employees a living wage. A living wage clause will be included in all future agreements.

The City of Quesnel believes that it is important to demonstrate social responsibility through actions that have a positive impact on the community, City staff and the people it serves. Families should earn an income sufficient for them to pay for the basic necessities of life so that they can live with dignity and participate as active members of our communities.

For more information on the Living Wage for Families Campaign, visit:

To view the City of Quesnel Living Wage Policy, visit: (Policy to be publicly available Thursday)

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

BC Ferries Mid-Coast run returns in 2018

Courtesy of the BC Government:

The Government of British Columbia and BC Ferries are committing to a seasonal direct ferry service between Port Hardy and Bella Coola to support Aboriginal tourism and the mid-coast economy, Premier Christy Clark announced today.

This service will begin by the 2018 summer tourism season. A search is underway for an appropriate used vessel to make that happen.

“British Columbia’s strong, diverse and growing economy gives us the ability to invest in unique tourism opportunities along the mid-coast,” Premier Clark said. “By introducing the right ferry service, using the right vessel, we can take advantage of the increasing numbers of international visitors who come here to experience one of the world’s jewels – the Great Bear Rainforest.”

“We’ve been working with the Mid-Coast Working Group on how best to serve visitors to the mid-coast, given the pending retirement of the MV Nimpkish,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone. “This new service will provide access for visitors to the unique and unparalleled beauty of the Great Bear Rainforest, now protected by the Province, and create additional interest in tourism along the mid-coast and through the Cariboo-Chilcotin for years to come.”

The introduction of a new service between Port Hardy and Bella Coola requires the Province and BC Ferries to amend the Coastal Ferry Services Contract, which outlines the coastal ferry service levels. As this work happens, the government will work with BC Ferries, the Aboriginal Tourism Association of B.C. (AtBC) and its partners in the Mid-Coast BC Ferry Working Group to determine how to best serve the tourism sector and communities of the mid-coast.

“This new service will encourage the development of new cultural and eco-tourism options in the region, which will help create jobs and build our economy,” said Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett. “Equally as important as the new ferry service is the path taken to get here. The collaboration between the Cariboo-Chilcotin tourism industry and First Nations should be held as a model for cooperation.”

A total of 4.9 million international visitors came to B.C. in 2015, an increase of 7.9% over the previous year. In B.C.’s tourism industry, Aboriginal tourism is one of the fastest-growing sectors, with more than 300 Aboriginal tourism businesses in operation.

"British Columbia continues to see record-breaking tourism numbers. One of the reasons for that is the growth of Aboriginal tourism with visitors looking to experience First Nations culture and traditions,” said Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and Minister Responsible for Labour Shirley Bond. “I want to thank the partners for rolling up their sleeves and working hard to create a strategy that will build on the success of current Aboriginal tourism initiatives and inspire even more tourists to make a choice to #exploreBC.”

Those who travel via BC Ferries through Bella Coola come to explore the natural beauty of coastal British Columbia and the Cariboo-Chilcotin. One of the biggest draws on the central coast is the Great Bear Rainforest, the largest piece of intact coastal temperate rainforest in the world. In February 2016, the Government of B.C. announced full protection of 85% of the area’s forests.

Since early 2014, Mid-Coast Working Group members have been analyzing and reviewing marine transportation options that would support the Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal tourism industry on the central coast, as well as meet local transport needs. Mid-Coast Working Group members met with government on numerous occasions to present its analysis. The groundwork done by contributing members of the working group was instrumental in developing this workable, sustainable option.

“This is a significant achievement today and the work of ATAC as part of the Mid-Coast Working Group is one of the best examples of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal tourism industry partnerships in the country,” said co-chair for the Mid-Coast Working Group and Aboriginal Tourism Association of Canada (ATAC) president and CEO Keith Henry. “Aboriginal tourism along B.C.’s coast is yet to realize its full potential and today marks an important step in our work to build new experiences and market this incredible destination to the world.”

“Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism is proud to align with such a diverse group of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal partners on this journey to build a new vision for the Great Bear Rainforest,” said co-chair for the Mid-Coast Working Group and Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association past chair and BC Hotel Association director Pat Corbett. “Today’s announcement reflects the power of partnership, and will lead to job creation and economic development in a vital part of rural British Columbia.”

The province is also investing $198,750 in B.C. Air Access Program funding for the Bella Bella Airport. This funding will help the Bella Bella Airport construct a terminal building, which will improve comfort and convenience for visitors to the region. The Bella Bella Airport Authority will provide the remainder of the funding for the $480,000 project. The Bella Bella Airport provides scheduled passenger services by Pacific Coastal Airlines to Campbell River, Comox, Port Hardy and Vancouver (South Terminal).

Complementing the new ferry service and Bella Bella airport investment are improvements to highway access in the region. A $6.2-million project to rehabilitate a large stretch of Highway 20 outside of Bella Coola, as well as a section outside of Anahim Lake, has recently been completed. This investment on Highway 20, which connects the Interior of B.C. with Bella Coola, provides a safer journey and will accommodate local pedestrians and cyclists along parts of the route.

While the vessel and its capacity have not yet been determined, BC Ferries will ensure it offers the comfort and amenities visitors might expect for this length of voyage. Presently, the MV Nimpkish, with a 16-vehicle capacity, provides a connector service between Bella Coola and Bella Bella. The MV Nimpkish is due to be retired in 2019.

Monday, September 5, 2016

2016 City of Williams Lake Water System Mains Flushing

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The City of Williams Lake Utilities Division will be conducting cleaning and flushing of water reservoirs and mains starting Monday September 12 and ending Friday September 23, 2016. This annual maintenance is required to ensure water quality meets Drinking Water guidelines. The areas that will be affected are: South Lakeside, North Lakeside, Mackenzie Avenue from Highway 97 South to the Glendale area, the downtown core up to Comer Street, and the Golf Course.

Residents may experience a slight discoloration of their tap water but running a tap for a short period of time will clear this up. All inquiries can be directed to the City of Williams Lake Utilities Division at 392-1785. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Steve's Meeting Calendar/Expenses for August 2016

In the month of August 2016 - I attended the following meetings/events:

* August 7th - 25th Anniversary Event of the Museum of the Cariboo-Chilcotin along with CRD Area 'F' Director Joan Sorley/City of Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb

* August 11th - Met with CRD Staff concerning CRD Libraries (note -- I serve as the CRD Library Portfolio Chair for 2016)

* August 20th - Community BBQ at McLeese Lake

* August 26th - CCRHD/CRD Board Meetings

* August 30th - Site Tour of the Sam Ketcham Pool Renovations

* August 31st - Coffee in Quesnel with former Quesnel City Councillor/CRD Area 'I' Director Mary Glassford

As of expenses submitted in the month of August 2016:

* $185.00 for August 26th CCRHD/CRD Board Meetings


Friday, September 2, 2016

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Sept 5-9

The following local governments of the Cariboo-Chilcotin are meeting next week:

Quesnel - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, September 6th at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers.  On the Agenda:

* Presentation: Miss Quesnel Self Development Society - Outgoing Royalty
* Various Committee Reports
* Standing Committee Appointments 2016-2018
* City of Quesnel Living Wage Employer Approved Designation
* City of Quesnel Water Quality
* Gook Road Sanitary Sewer Project Update
* Political Campaign Sign Bylaw/Public Consultation Summary
* Permissive Tax Exemptions (2016 to 2019 for Non Profits Category)
* Management Agreement for Quesnel Visitor Centre
* Letter from Scott Truman re: West Fraser Timber Park Trail Enhancement

View the full Agenda here

Meeting of Quesnel Council's Executive Committee on Wednesday, September 7th at 9am.  On the Agenda:

* Standing Committee Membership - Discussion
* Strategic Planning Discussion -- Agenda Preparation/Strategic Workshops

View the full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Committee of the Whole Session on Tuesday, September 6th at 6pm.  On the Agenda:

* Delegation -- Lisa Mueller and Shauna Harper (Nation 2 Nation & Tl'etinqox (Anaham) Youth Initiative & Youth 4 Leaders (Y4L) Summit
* Scout Island Nature Centre Kindergarten Proposal
* 2017 Budget Process
* 2017 Financial Plan
* Parking Times on Borland Street & Seventh Avenue
* Proposed Fire Protection & Control Bylaw Amendment re Fire Department Full Service Level Designation & Mobile Food Vendor Requirements

View the full Agenda here

Community Events This Weekend:

* Tyee Lake - 2nd Annual "Redneck Show and Shine" on Saturday, Sept 3rd starting at 1pm at the corner at Lynes Creek Road/Guide Rd.  More details here

* McLeese Lake - Sunday Farmers Market from 9am - 1pm behind the McLeese Lake Tourist Info Centre.

A friendly reminder that school starts on Wednesday, September 7th and with that, the applicable 30km/h school zones will be in effect from Sept 7th, 2016 - June 30th, 2017.  Fines range from $196-253 with 3 demerit points attached to your drivers license and PLEASE!! stop for school buses when flashing their red stop signs and if they are flashing yellow, please don't speed past them.  I expect that the police will be out on the 1st day of school for the 2016-17 School Year so drive accordingly


Interior Provincial Political Races Firming Up

With yesterday's announcement of MLA Terry Lake (BC Lib - Kamloops-North Thompson)  not seeking a 3rd Term, the race to succeed Terry Lake as the BC Liberal nominee in Kamloops-North Thompson began in earnest in the local Kamloops media.  Notable names included Kamloops Mayor Peter Milobar and Kamloops North Shore BIA Executive Director Steven Puhallo.  Both Mr. Puhallo/Mayor Milobar stated that they need to take time to speak to their local networks/families before make any firm commitments

This is not unexpected from both Milobar/Puhallo and perhaps others yet to announce - I expect that those who are serious about becoming the next BC Liberal Party's nominee in 2017 to represent Kamloops-North Thompson will take the next few weeks to consider their own positions before making any public announcements.  Meanwhile, the BC NDP, Greens and Communist Parties have indicated that they will run candidates in both Kamloops North/South Thompson ridings. Meanwhile - it looks like a Todd Stone vs Nancy Bepple fight in Kamloops South Thompson, notwithstanding other parties who will put up candidates in this riding.  If I was a betting man - bank on Todd Stone continuing as the MLA for Kamloops-South Thompson after the May 2017 Provincial Election.  Finally - will the BC Conservative Party field candidates in the May 2017 BC Election? The answer to that question will depend who is elected as the BC Conservative Party Leader at its' Leadership Convention in Prince George on Saturday, September 17th and whether or not that new leader will run 87 candidates in the 2017 provincial election or be strategic and run candidates in those provincial ridings where the BC Conservatives have the best chance at winning.  Consider the case of the BC Greens focusing on Oak Bay - Gordon Head in the 2013 Election, hence the election win by Dr. Andrew Weaver

Meanwhile - in other places in the BC Interior:

Prince George - all 3 incumbent BC Liberal MLA's will seek re-election (Shirley Bond, John Rustad and Mike Morris).  Expect BC NDP/BC Greens to run candidates here

Cariboo - No announcements yet.  Watch for the 2 incumbent BC Liberals' MLA's to seek re-election (Coralee Oakes - Cariboo North & Donna Barnett - Cariboo-Chilcotin).  Expect BC NDP/BC Greens to run candidates here

I am expecting election races to be close to completion by the end of this year in Prince George, Williams Lake and Kamloops ridings