Wednesday, May 31, 2017

FCM 2017 - Day 1 of 4

Today is Day 1 of 4 & the start of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Convention in Ottawa, ON.  The Full Convention Guide can be viewed here

Day 1 looks like this:

* Delegate Registration
* Off Site Tours
* Orientation Session for 1st time delegates -- I will be attending this event
* Regional Networking - I will be attending this event
* Official Trade Show Opening/Reception

Have a great day!


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Steve's Meeting/Expense Calendar - May 2017

In the month of May 2017 - I attended the following meetings/events:

May 2-5 -- 2017 North Central Local Gov't Association Convention in Terrace BC
May 8 -- Area D Open House at McLeese Lake Community Hall
May 11 -- Meeting with CRD Staff in regards to a camera system for the Wildwood Fire Hall & Special Central Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus Meeting

May 12 -- CCRHD/CRD Board Meetings

May 14th - McLeese Lake VFD Mothers Day Market
May 15th - CRD North Cariboo Multi Agency Forum at Kersley
May 23rd - Wildwood Community Association Meeting
May 30th - Travel Day to 2017 FCM Convention in Ottawa, ON

In the month of May 2017 - I submitted the following expenses:

May 2-5 -- $435 for attending the 2017 North Central Local Gov't Association Convention in Terrace BC and $40 for parking fee at the WL Regional Airport while attending the 2017 NCLGA Convention

May 11th - $75 for CC Rural Caucus Meeting
May 12th - $185 for CCRHD/CRD Board Meetings


Monday, May 29, 2017

BC Greens/NDP form a Partnership

Really to no one's surprise -- the BC Greens and BC NDP announced earlier today that they've agreed to an partnership to have a stable minority government.  Details of the agreement are slated to be released tomorrow, after the BC NDP Caucus ratifies the agreement.  The proposed agreement is purported to run "many pages"

However - the incumbent BC Liberals have put out a statement in response, saying:

"In recent days, we have made every effort to reach a governing agreement, while standing firm on our core beliefs. It’s vitally important that British Columbians see the specific details of the agreement announced today by the BC NDP and Green Party leaders, which could have far-reaching consequences for our province’s future.

As the incumbent government, and the party with the most seats in the legislature, we have a responsibility to carefully consider our next steps. I will consult on those steps with the newly elected BC Liberal caucus, and have more to say tomorrow.”

At this stage - options available to the BC Liberals are:

1) Recall the Legislature and certainly lose a confidence vote on either the Speech from the Throne or a Budget/Supply Bill

2) Resign immediately, clearing the way for Horgan/Weaver to become the new Government of BC

3) Hail Mary Pass -- Clark could, in theory, ask the Lieutenant-Governor to call for a fresh election but there is NO guarantee that the Lieutenant-Governor would accede to her request

Finally - if one looks purely at the math:

43 - Liberal
41 - NDP
3 - Green

If Liberals play their cards right - they could refuse to put up any one of their 43 MLA's for Speaker, thereby causing a 43-43 split in the House.  Normally - this is not a problem for Bills as 1st/2nd Readings, the Speaker is expected, in a tie situation, to vote with the Government to continue debate however I've personally never heard of a tie vote in a Parliament at 3rd Reading of a Bill and what the Speaker would do...

Guess we'll find out what happens next, sometime tomorrow...


New City of Quesnel Website on Wednesday

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

The City of Quesnel is launching its new website May 31, 2017. The need for a new website was identified in Council’s Strategic Priorities in 2016 and 2017.

For potential residents, the City website is often the first impression of the community. For current residents, it is a portal to important information regarding programs, services, current initiatives, taxes and utilities. The old website was outdated, with poor navigation, and missing information.

Launched prior to the proliferation of smart phones, the website did not display well on mobile devices and had a meager search function.

The new City website offers easy navigation, with “mega-menus”, an “I want to” menu and an improved search function. These new features will get site visitors the information they are looking for, quickly. The website also includes online forms for reporting a problem, submitting feedback to the City, applying for a business license, or for a job. Other interactive features include map views of capital projects and points of interest for visitors, as well as a tool to determine whether a building permit is needed for a project, and a tool to determine the next garbage day for any residential address in the City.

The new website is designed to be accessible with a large, readable font size, and best practices implemented for ease of use by screen readers. The website is designed with mobile use in mind, so users will be able to access information regardless of the device they are using to view the site. A translate feature will allow any page on the site to be translated into most world languages, so international travellers or investors can learn about the city.

Engaged residents can subscribe to receive updates on news, events, jobs, or bid opportunities. With the new website design, the City will be well connected to the community.

On Wednesday, May 31, 2017: visit the new City website at

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson stated:

"It’s essential to Quesnel's future that our web presence fully represents the resiliency and vibrancy of our community. Our new website fully achieves that strategic objective while at the same time offering residents improved opportunities to stay informed and to more easily engage in the City's many initiatives."

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Human Rights Impact of Mt Polley Mine Disaster

Courtesy of Amnesty Canada:

Editor's Note -- there is a meeting on this subject with a United Nations Working Group tomorrow (Sunday, May 28th).  Read more here

The Mount Polley tailings pond breach on August 4, 2014 is the worst environmental mining disaster in BC’s history. The disaster shook the public’s confidence in the province’s ability to protect their human rights and the environment from harms caused by the Mount Polley tailings dam failure. In Amnesty International’s view, the disaster raises serious questions about the province`s ability to protect British Columbians’ economic, social, cultural, Indigenous and universal human rights under current mining regulations.

In this briefing, ”A Breach of Human Rights The Human Rights Impacts of the Mount Polley Mine Disaster, British Colombia, Canada”, Amnesty International provides an overview of our findings regarding the human rights impacts of the Mount Polley disaster and our concerns about potential on-going impacts that, if left unaddressed, could result in further human rights harms. The briefing proposes recommendations to the provincial government, aimed at restoring public confidence in the province’s ability to effectively regulate the mining sector and comply with its human rights obligations.

On August 4, 2014, the Mount Polley mine’s four square kilometre tailing ponds failed. The breach released over 24 million cubic metres of water and mine tailings into surrounding waterways. The Mount Polley copper and gold mine is situated near Quesnel Lake, one of the world’s deepest fjord lakes where up to 25 % of all salmon in BC return to spawn. The annual salmon run is of economic, social, cultural and nutritional significance to settler communities as well as Indigenous peoples within the Secwepemc Nation and surrounding Indigenous communities.

This report examines the events surrounding the failure of the Mount Polley tailings storage facility and summarizes Canada’s international human rights obligations which must be enforced in British Columbia as prescribed by international human rights law.

Key Findings

People’s human rights were put at risk by the Mount Polley disaster.
The rights of Indigenous peoples were harmed by the disaster.
The province approved the discharge of mine waste water into Quesnel Lake, despite several important but outstanding impacts reports.
Area residents say the government has not listened to their concerns about the potential long-term impacts of effluent discharge into Quesnel Lake.
Financial surety requirements are not robust enough to satisfy the Polluter Pays Principle, leaving British Columbians open to greater risk.
MEM is perceived to be at risk of regulatory capture.
BC’s mining laws, regulations and policies urgently need reform to bring them in line with Canada’s international human rights obligations.


Amnesty International believes a public inquiry into BC’s mining regulatory regime could identify gaps in human rights protections and identify measures required to bring the province’s laws, regulations and policies in line with Canada’s human rights obligations;
In order for the public to truly assess the human rights impacts of the Mount Polley disaster and understand the necessary remedy and reparations, the province should release the findings of a number of impact studies it ordered as well as the findings of the Conservation Officer Service’s investigation into possible breaches of the law;
Appropriate charges should be laid where there is evidence of wrongdoing;
Ensure Canada’s obligations to respect and uphold the rights of Indigenous peoples are fulfilled in all government policies and decisions with respect to resource development;
Concerns about regulatory capture and over-reliance on company testing must be addressed. In order to avoid potential or perceived conflicts of interest, we support the Auditor General’s recommendation that an independent compliance and enforcement office be created.
Ensure that all environmental and operational reports and studies, and monitoring and testing results, including compliance verification, are made available in a timely fashion to the public;

In 2015, 2016, and 2017, Amnesty International travelled to Likely and Williams Lake, BC to assess the human rights impacts of the 2014 Mount Polley tailings pond breach. Researchers considered impacts on the rights to water, adequate standard of living, a healthy environment, access to information, remedy and reparations, and cultural rights (the rights of Indigenous peoples to use and enjoy their traditional lands).

Researchers met with area residents, local authorities, the union (Steelworkers local 1-425), directly-affected and downstream First Nations, and civil society groups. We wrote to the Ministry of Energy and Mines and the Ministry of Environment. We received a written reply for the MOE. We sought meetings and a site tour from Mount Polley Mining Corporation (MPMC) and its parent company, Imperial Metals. Neither Imperial Metals nor MPMC responded to our requests.

Amnesty International monitors governments’ obligations to protect human rights in the context of business activities and the corporate responsibility to respect human rights. Important guidance on corporate accountability in a business context includes the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, as well as other international human rights instruments, such as the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the UN Basic Principles and Guidelines on the Rights to Remedy and Reparations.

Amnesty International does not take a position for or against mining. We call for rigorous protections of human rights throughout the life-cycle of a project, including assessing its human rights impact, upholding the duty to consult and meaningful consultation and compliance with the presumed requirement that the free, prior, informed consent of Indigenous peoples will be required. In light of the Mount Polley disaster, it is Amnesty International’s view that BC’s mining regulatory framework must be urgently reformed and brought into compliance with Canada’s international human rights obligations. Harms resulting from mining disasters must not be compounded by the State’s failures to uphold rights, including the right to remedy and reparations. The rights of Indigenous peoples must be at the centre of these reforms.

View the full report here

Friday, May 26, 2017

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of May 29th - June 2nd

Next week, the following local governments of the Cariboo-Chilcotin meet:

Wells - Regular Council Meeting on Monday, May 29th at 7pm in Wells Council Chambers (4243 Sanders Avenue, Wells).  On the Agenda:

* Wells and Area Community Association (WAACA) Request and Update
* Climate Action Revenue Incentive (CARIP) Public Report for 2016
* Staff Reports - Fire Chief, CAO, Public Works
* Two Rural Dividend Fund Applications
* Federal Gas Tax Strategic Priorities Fund
* Age Friendly Community Needs Assessment
* Boilers Replacement – Wells-Barkerville Elementary School
* District of Wells Zoning and Tree Protection Bylaw - proposed building width amendments
* Consent Calendar
* In-Camera Meeting: Section 90(1a - Considerations of WBCF Board member appointments)

View the full Agenda here

School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) - Regular Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday, May 30th at 6:30pm in the SD27 Boardroom (350 2nd Avenue, Williams Lake).  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

Williams Lake - Committee of the Whole session on Tuesday, May 30th at 6pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (Basement - 450 Mart St, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* Delegations (3):

a) Jeff Pelley, Inspector/Detachment Commander & Dave Dickson, Manager of Community Safety re Police Commission Report
b) Dave Dickson, Manager of Community Safety re Membership in the Canadian Municipal Network on Crime Prevention
c) Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations re State of the Forests

View the full Agenda here

Meanwhile - Cariboo RD Chair (and Area G Director) Al Richmond plus Area D, F, and K Directors Steve Forseth, Joan Sorley, and Betty Anderson are off to Ottawa next week to attend the 2017 FCM (Federation of Cdn Municipalities) Convention there from June 1-4.  I will post daily reports as to what I'm up to, so stay tuned for those!

Community Events:

* Sunday, May 28th -- Children's Festival in Williams Lake at Boitanio Park from 10am - 2pm
* Sunday, May 28th - Car Show in Williams Lake
* Sunday, May 28th - McLeese Lake Farmers' Market from 9am - 1pm between the Oasis Pub and Cafe
* Thursday, June 1st - Presentation of film called "Surface" - a film regarding Fly Fishing in the Cariboo at 6:30pm (Doors open at 6pm) in the Gibraltar Room (525 Proctor St, Williams Lake) - more details here

* And much more - for details on events in Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House -- click here


North Cariboo Arena Project Update - May 25th

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Site of new North Cariboo #1 Arena 

Arena 1 Demolition: 

Demolition of Arena 1 started last week and is nearly complete. Once the demolition clean-up is completed, civil works in the area will begin, including construction of the new parking lot. In preparation for the demolition, a number of mechanical, electrical, IT, and refrigeration systems have been relocated or installed to ensure that Arena 2 continues to operate without service interruption.

Construction Update:

The wood ceiling is complete including the painting of trusses, installation of ceiling fans, ceiling lighting, and installation of ceiling mounted speakers. Work has begun to prepare for the installation of the arena concrete slab. Over the next few weeks, the refrigeration piping and insulation will be installed before the concrete slab is poured in mid-June. Glass installation has started on exterior windows. Electrical, plumbing, HVAC and refrigeration equipment installation continues. Radiant heaters have been installed and the sprinkler system is complete. The cooling tower support and refrigeration condenser have been installed. Interior work is proceeding, with painting and drywall continuing.

Schedule and Budget:

The project continues to be on schedule for completion by September 2017 and on budget for $20.6 million. This project is a joint initiative of the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) and City of Quesnel under the CRD’s North Cariboo Recreation and Parks function.


Time is running out if you want to sponsor a seat or be a part of the mural project before the facility opens. In order to ensure your donation is recognized when the facility opens in September, donations must be made before June 30. If you haven’t sponsored a seat or made a donation to the project, contact the fundraising coordinator by email at:

Grand Opening: 

The Official Opening of the West Fraser Centre is planned for the weekend of September 16 & 17. Planning for the event is underway.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Editorial: Residential Tipping Fees at CRD Transfer Stations


In an issue that pits the City of Williams Lake (City) vs the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) over the philosophy of how to manage solid waste costs  -- Williams Lake City Council received, at its' meeting this past Tuesday, a final report into a review of the City's Solid Waste System which you can read in its' entirety plus a synopsis of the report from the City's CAO (Chief Administrative Officer) here.

During the City Council meeting this past Tuesday -- both Williams Lake City Councillors Scott Nelson/Ivan Bonnell urged the CRD Board to get on with instituting a residential user fee or admin fee at the Central Cariboo Transfer Station on Frizzi Rd to assist with Solid Waste budget costs -- something not currently authorized in the CRD's Solid Waste Management Plan (read the Plan here) however the Plan does recognize a need to shift to more user pay and less taxation and the Plan outlines that this be further discussed in the development of the next CRD Solid Waste Management Plan, tentatively scheduled for 2020.  The City was advised that in January 2015 that residential tipping fees is not currently permitted however the City could request the CRD Board to do a Plan Amendment to permit residential tipping fees or similiar structure - To date, they have not done so

CRD Central Cariboo Directors' discussed themselves the City's Solid Waste System Review Final Report at a meeting held on Thursday, May 11th - you can read the report from CRD Staff here, a CRD Staff review of cost sharing between City/CRD for the Central Cariboo Transfer Station here and potential impacts on the outlining CRD Transfer Stations at Wildwood, Horsefly, Frost Creek and Riske Creek here.  The Directors' received the report from CRD Staff with no further action taken.  I expect the CRD Board will, at some future point, further take up this matter of residential tipping and/or admin fees at CRD Transfer Stations and when it does, it will be a vote of all 12 CRD Electoral Area Directors' and the Director for the District of Wells - currently Wells Mayor Robin Sharpe - as to next steps including whether deciding to implement residential tipping and/or admin fees immediately and defer it to the development of the next CRD Solid Waste Management Plan

In refreshing my mind recently on this topic -- the Advisory Committee established to guide the process to develop the current CRD Solid Waste Management Plan for years 2013-2022 inclusive -- Committee members were clear that residential tipping fees were not something that they were interested in pursuing, at the time, but should be further discussed at the development of the successor CRD Solid Waste Management Plan

Implementing immediately residential user fees at CRD Transfer Stations or Landfills and/or eliminating/significantly reducing the amount that a resident can bring to a transfer station/landfill before tipping fees kick in would be contrary to the spirit of the current CRD Solid Waste Management Plan, in my humble opinion, however I would support reviewing this topic holistically in the development of the next CRD Solid Waste Management Plan and that is what I will argue to my CRD colleagues if/when this topic finds itself at the CRD Board table


This editorial is my own and not reflective of the Cariboo Regional District  Board of Directors, its' Staff and Volunteers 

41st BC Parliament membership set

Yesterday - Elections BC completed the final count for all 87 Provincial Electoral Districts.  The results, subject to any applied-for judicial recount(s) is:

43 - BC Liberals
41 - BC NDP
3 - BC Greens

Final results from Elections BC for all 87 Electoral Districts can be viewed here.  Given the results, there will be no automatic judicial recount.  However, a candidate, a voter in a provincial electoral district or the district electoral officer can apply for a judicial recount as per Section 139 of the Election Act in the next 6 days.  The only reasons that a candidate, a voter or the district electoral officer may apply for a judicial recount are:

(a) that votes were not correctly accepted or ballots were not correctly rejected as required by the rules of section 123 (of the Election Act);
(b) that unopened or resealed certification or secrecy envelopes contain ballots that should be considered;
(c) that a ballot account does not accurately record the number of votes for a candidate;
(d) that the final count under Division 2 of this Part did not correctly calculate the total number of votes for a candidate.

If the BC Supreme Court rejects an judicial recount application(s), then an appeal may be filed with 2 days of the Supreme Court decision and if the BC Court of Appeal upholds the BC Supreme Court decision re: judicial recount, then there is no more appeals possible as I don't see it likely that the Supreme Court of Canada would agree to hear an appeal from the BC Court of Appeal in the case of a judicial review of a provincial election

Conventional wisdom says that because the BC Liberal Party has the most seats on the basis of plurality (43) - the provincial Lieutenant-Governor would permit Christy Clark first chance to form a government and "meet the House" to see if the BC Liberal Party can command the confidence of the House (legislature). This all could be subject to current/ongoing negotiations between BC Greens and the BC Liberals/BC NDP

Generally - items considered as confidence motions are Speeches from the Throne, Budget and Supply Bills.  If the governing party loses a vote on any one of those three items, its' Leader is required to see Her Honour the Lt Governor and advise that they has lost the confidence of the House.  At that point - the options available to the Lt-Governor, after receiving advice from the BC Premier & external advisors, would be:

a) New General Election (depending on time passed from last election)
b) Give another Party an opportunity to govern

The last minority BC Parliament was in 1952 and lasted 1 year before a new election in 1953 which resulted in a subsequent majority legislative assembly

Also - the Provincial Legislative Assembly must be convened before September as that is when the voted appropriations expire and new authority must be sought to continue to pay the bills. A not well known fact that Special Financial Warrants can be authorized by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council (BC Cabinet) but there are limits as to how this can be done, for more information on this, click here

Finally - we are certainly in for unique political times ahead and one that I personally will be watching closely as it is practice for most of the 191 local governments to meet with Cabinet Ministers at the annual Union of BC Muncipalities convention which is in late September in Vancouver this year and Cabinet Minister attendance could be problematic, given the precious tenure of governing in the BC Legislature and the need for all 87 MLA's to stay close to the Legislature grounds in case of called standing votes in the Legislature


Wednesday, May 24, 2017

New SD27 Superintendent

Courtesy of the Board of Education - School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin):

The Board of Education of School District No. 27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) is pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Mark Wintjes as the new Superintendent of Schools, effective immediately.

Mr. Wintjes has served the District since 1993. He has been a principal of Puntzi Mountain, Bridge Lake, Forest Grove, Buffalo Creek and 100 Mile House Jr. Secondary schools. Mr. Wintjes held the positions of District Principal and Director of Instruction (Human Resources) from 2008 to 2013. In 2013, Mr. Wintjes returned to teaching at GROW/Skyline in Williams Lake. In September 2016, Mr. Wintjes was asked to take on the Acting Superintendent position, while the Board continued its search for a permanent superintendent.

Mr. Wintjes stated, “I am honoured to be selected to lead the School District and to serve the Board of Education in this capacity. Supporting students and their families, teachers, support staff and our administration to build on our successes with respect to student achievement will be a priority. ”

The Board is also pleased to announce the appointment of Mr. Dean Coder to the position of Director of Instruction (Education Services). This is a new position to the District and is geared to assist the Board’s goals in improving student achievement and is effective 01 August 2017.

Mr. Coder has many years’ experience in the Kamloops/Thompson School District and Nechako Lakes School District where he served as a teacher, principal and director and contributed to the leadership at the school, district, provincial and international levels.

Mr. Coder advised, “I am very much looking forward to working together in Williams Lake and being part of the team.”

Board Chair, Tanya Guenther stated, “We are excited to have made these two appointments and have the District return to a more stable environment and in a position to focus on the Strategic Plan regarding student achievement.”

Congratulations are extended to Mr. Wintjes and Mr. Coder!

Shovel Ready Projects

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Communities the size of Quesnel often miss out on opportunities to attract grant funding and infrastructure dollars from the provincial and federal governments because they don’t have projects ready to go when the funding programs become available, as, in many cases, the higher levels of government require projects to be completed within a year to a year and a half of their funding announcements.

For a major project, it can take that long just to secure the land, conduct public and stakeholder consultations, complete construction drawings, put the project out to tender, and award the contract.

Another reason local governments have a hard time applying for major federal and provincial grant opportunities is that these programs usually require the local government to contribute to the project, anywhere from 10 to 50 per cent of the total budget. For local governments struggling to maintain their core infrastructure, programs, and services, it is almost impossible to cobble together the additional funds needed to participate in federal and provincial infrastructure programs, especially when they often require the project to be “incremental” to what the local government would normally do with their property taxes.

In the case of major “incremental” projects, local governments often have to go through the referendum process to secure their contribution toward the project costs (through borrowing). This alone can negate the grant application from being successful because of the additional time involved in securing the funds and the possibility of the referendum failing.

These financing issues are further compounded by the fact that the federal and provincial governments open up their funding envelopes on an ad hoc basis and generally outside the normal budgeting cycle of local governments.

We can never predict when a particular program will be made available, we’re usually given a short window to apply to the program when it is announced, and we never know when the successful applicants will be announced. Frankly, the whole process is disrespectful and more about federal/provincial politics than good public policy and wise investment of your tax dollars.

These are the main reasons why Quesnel City Council and the North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee (NCJPC – made up of Council and the four Northern Rural Directors of the CRD) have been proactively working to develop “shovel-ready” projects for our City and surrounding region, and why the City has focused on making sure it has the reserves needed to take advantage of any federal and provincial grants when and if they are made available. We don’t want to miss out on any opportunity to stretch our limited tax dollars by securing investments in our City and region from your federal and provincial tax dollars.

Bob Simpson is the Mayor of Quesnel.  He can be reached by phone at 250-992-2111 or via email here

Quesnel Council Highlights - May 23rd mtg

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:


Mclean Street Housing Complex
Council approved the Development Permit for the proposed 4 Storey, 38 Unit apartment complex for a vacant lot in the 300 Block of Mclean Street.  The Development Permit includes a reduced parking variance to 37 spaces based on research provided by the Proponent about parking needs at similar-type facilities.  Council also approved final adoption of the Official Community Plan and Master Zoning Bylaw amendments associated with this proposed development.

Shipping Containers
After two years of discussing policy around shipping containers, Council decided to move forward with policy to prohibit any further additions of shipping containers in residential areas of the City due to fire fighter safety, administrative costs and potential liability to the City.  Next steps include a draft bylaw for consideration/public consultation as well as a report that will require Council’s consideration on how to address existing shipping containers found in the City’s residential areas.

855 Rita Road
Council approved the Development Permit for construction of a 1,626 m2 (17,500 ft2) commercial building for two rental spaces at 855 Rita Road in the City’s South Quesnel Highway Commercial Development Permit area.  This development is currently proposed for expanded retail space for Mark’s and Dollarama.  Next steps include a report back to Council to look further at the Applicant’s requested sign variance for the exterior of the building that is asking for larger sign dimensions than what the City’s Sign bylaw currently allows.

Kinchant Street Parking Reconfiguration (200 Block)
City crews are currently rebuilding the City’s parking lot located at the 200 Block of Kinchant Street that includes: a new entrance/exit onto Kinchant Street, a new cross walk (mid-block) to accommodate the safety needs required in the area due to the busy Farmer’s Market held on Saturday’s, and a new reconfiguration of parking that changes the parking style from angle parking to parallel parking. 

Unsightly Properties
The City’s Bylaw-of-the-month program will strategically educate/enforce matters around unsightly properties that includes overgrown vegetation and accumulation of noxious weeds.  The Nuisance Bylaw recognizes each neighbourhood has its own yard standards.  Unsightly fines accelerate for repeat violations:  $75, $100 and $200.

Grant Applications

Dragon Creek
Council agreed to support, in principle, the Baker Creek Enhancement Society’s (BCES) grant application, and gave permission, subject to project feasibility and BCES securing funding, to restore Dragon Creek to a more natural state which will allow Chinook and Coho salmon rearing and overwintering habitat.  The Dragon Creek Daylighting project will be partially located in West Fraser Timber Park adding an interesting feature to one of the City’s showcase park spaces.  Further, Council agreed to cost share with the BCES for the $50,000 feasibility study of this project with Council agreeing to allocate $25,000 from Council Initiatives fund.  All capital costs for this proposed project would be covered by the BCES.

First Nations Cultural Centre
Council approved of City staff to submit a $10,000 grant application to the BC Rural Dividend Fund, Project Development Stream, to fund a business case for a cultural centre showcasing the history and culture of First Nations in the Quesnel area near the confluence of the Quesnel and Fraser Rivers.  This business case, if approved, will be 100% grant funded.

Asset Management System
Council approved of City staff to submit a $100,000 grant application to the federal Strategic Priorities Capacity Development Fund, to 100% fund works to update the City’s asset management information and processes system.

City’s Website

New Website
A sneak peek of the City’s new website was given to showcase the City’s new look and feel of the website based on the City’s new brand.  New features include:  mega-menus, “I want to”, “In our City”, “Report a problem”, “Subscribe for updates”, Capital Projects map, Points of Interests map, “Do I need a permit?”, etc.  The launch of the new website is scheduled to go live on May 31, 2017.

Council reviewed webcast options for Council meetings and decided not to pursue webcasting, at this time, due to costs and the lack of public demand for webcasting.

•           Bylaws 1821/1822 – OCP/Zone Amendments – McLean Street Housing Complex – Final Adoption
•           Bylaw 1825 – 605 Doherty Drive – Zone Amendment – Final Adoption
•           Bylaw 1826 – Repeal Purchasing Bylaw 1726 – Final Adoption
Next Meetings
•           7 pm, June 6th - Regular Council Meeting
•           5:30 pm, June 13th – North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

WL Council Highlights - May 23rd mtg

Present: Acting Mayor L. Walters (Chair); Councillors I. Bonnell, S. Nelson, J. Ryll, C. Smith, and S. Zacharias

Meeting called to order at 6pm

The Chair noted the absence of Mayor Cobb who is on his way back from a trip to China and noted as well that the meeting was taking place on traditional Shuswap territory

Meeting Agenda and Minutes of the WL Council Meeting held May 9 and 11, both adopted


1) The 2017-18 WL Stampede Queen contestants presented themselves to City Council, as follows:

• Brianna Wyness, Miss Tim Horton's
• Kaylee Billyboy, Miss Gustafson's Dodge
• Tennale Sailor, Miss Beaver Valley Feeds


1) Council received for information the computer cheque listing for May 11 and 18, 2017

2) Council approved the purchase of two (2) pickup trucks from Cariboo GM for the tendered price of $83,989, including applicable taxes

3) Council approved the 2017 Economic Development Workplan as presented by the City's Director of Development Services

4) Council received an application for a Development Permit #3-2017 (Platform Properties Ltd - #300-1185 Prosperity Way) and directed that the usual notifications take place and that DP #3-2017 be considered formally at the June 20th Council Meeting

5) Council authorized Mayor Cobb and the City's Corporate Officer to sign the Contract of Purchase and Sale agreement with Williams Lake Developments Ltd. for the Museum property located at 113 North 4th Avenue on behalf of the City

6) Council approved the Into-Plane Aviation Mobile Fuel Agreement with the Province for a term of six (6) months effective May 1, 2017 through October 31, 2017 and that the appropriate signatories (Mayor Cobb/Corporate Officer) be authorized to sign the Agreement on behalf of the City.

7) Council received the Solid Waste Management Review completed by Stuart Lilley, that it become a matter of public record and a link to the report be placed on the City's website and finally that public discussion be encouraged regarding appropriate changes to the process of managing solid waste in the area

8) Council approved applications to the Strategic Priorities Fund as follows:

a) Soda Creek Resource Road Upgrade, with a 25% contribution from the City in the amount of $315,500
b) Hodgson Road Geotechnical Mitigation Assessment of Options, noting ongoing annual City contributions to monitoring and geotechnical management
c) City Facility and Pavement Assessment, with a 20% contribution from the City in the amount of $25,000

9) Council approved the use of water reserve funds as required to support the estimated $636,000 water saddle replacement costs as part of the 2017 pavement rehabilitation program

10) Council authorized Staff to apply for a BC Healthy Communities’ Capacity Building Funds Plan H Stream One: Cultivating Connections grant towards the purchase, installment and program marketing of three (3) play boxes for City green spaces

11) Council approved the Winter Lights Medieval Christmas Market to take place from 5:00 PM on Friday, December 1st through 10:00 PM on Sunday, December 3rd

12) Council received a letter from the Quesnel Skyfest 2017 Society and requested the Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Demo Team and Canadian Forces Snowbirds to perform a flyover of Williams Lake, with permission given to fly below 1000 feet, on Thursday, August 3, 2017

13) Council supported a grant application to Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT), from the Cariboo-Chilcotin/Lillooet Account, from the Williams Lake Central Business Improvement Association, for funds toward the creation of a promotional video to attract businesses to the downtown, as well as new street banners for the downtown core

14) Council agreed to support Telus's proposal to the federal Innovation Science and Economic Development (ISED) Connect to Innovate program for funding towards the implementation of their Enhanced Broadband Connectivity program in the rural areas around Williams Lake

15) Council agreed to proclaim the following:

a) "ALS Awareness Week" - June 18 to 24, 2017
b) "French Immersion Week" - June 12 to 18, 2017

16) Council received the 'Council Information Package' as of May 23rd, 2017, as follows:

• April 18, 2017 - CN Rail re 2017 CN In Your Community Publication;
• May 12, 2017 - CRD Board Highlights;
• May 2017 - Tourism Industry Association of BC re Tourism Week

Members of Council provided oral reports on their recent activities

Meeting recessed at 6:47pm 
7pm Public Hearing on Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2265.  Public Hearing adjourned at 7:02pm
Meeting resumed at 7:02pm

17) After a Public Hearing, Council agreed to give 3rd Reading to Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 2265 (185 4th Avenue North - former Cariboo Lodge site) and referred the Bylaw to the Ministry of Transportation/Infrastructure for approval as per Section 52(3a) of the Transportation Act

Meeting adjourned at 7:03pm

CRD's Infrastructure/Broadband/Cell Committee meets today

The Cariboo Regional District's Infrastructure/Broadband/Cell Standing Committee whose membership consists of Area 'L' Director Brian Coakley as Chair and Directors Margo Wagner, Betty Anderson, Ted Armstrong and Dylan Cash (Areas H, K, A and I) will meet today at 9am in the CRD Committee Room (180D North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake)

On the Committee's Meeting Agenda today:

1) Delegation: Falko Kadenbach, Vice-President of ABC Communications, will appear before the Committee to discuss the 100 Mile Rural and Williams Lake Rural Broadband Projects by ABC Communications

2) In-Camera Session: Section 90(1j - information prohibited from public disclosure as per BC FOIPPA Act) of the Community Charter

View the full Agenda here


Monday, May 22, 2017

2017 Season of McLeese Lake Farmers' Market

McLeese Lake Farmers Market
Yesterday - the 2017 Season of the McLeese Lake Farmers' Market started up.  In addition to charged fees to vendors - the Cariboo Regional District has a 3 year financial contribution agreement with the McLeese Lake Farmers' Market Society through the Area 'D' Economic Development Service until the end of 2018

I personally try to pop in to as many of the weekly ML Farmers' Market sessions as I can thoughout their operating period which lasts now until September

The Market was quite brisk yesterday.  This is obviously helped by their location, just off Highway 97, in downtown McLeese Lake

As the Cariboo RD Area D Director - I wish them much success in 2017! and I encourage everyone to take a nice Sunday drive out to McLeese Lake to take in our local Farmers' Market. 


Local Gov't Awareness Week - May 21 to 26, 2017

Editor's Note -- I have served on a number of Committees, both with the City of Williams Lake/Cariboo Regional District as well as serving as the Area D Alternate Director from Feb 2013 until Nov 2014 before being elected as the Cariboo Regional District Area D Director in the Nov 2014 election.  Since then, my main mission has been to try to make local government easy and accessible for my constituents and I do believe I have been fairly successful thus far...

Provincial Government Proclamation of 2017 Local Government Awareness Week:

Final Step of 2017 BC Election begins today!

Today until May 24th, Elections BC - the non-partisan body established to conduct by or general provincial elections along with provincial referendums and citizen initiative petitions - begins the final step (Final Count) in the 2017 BC Election.  For an explanation on final count - click here

When Elections BC begins Final Count today - it will, between May 22-24:

1) Do a Recount of all Advanced/General Voting completed in the Provincial Electoral Districts of Courtenay-Comox and Vancouver-False Creek, as requested and approved by Elections BC

2) Complete count of all absentee and special voting ballots (Elections BC reports that there are 179,380 to be counted) in all of the 87 Provincial Electoral Districts

3) Certify Final Results for all 87 Provincial Electoral District races

There is still the "Hail Mary" option of Judicial Recount, as per Section 139 of the Election Act.  Click here for more details

Personally - depending on the result of the final count in Courtenay-Comox, an judicial recount there is a distinct possibility, although one only has 6 days to apply for judicial recount after final count by Elections BC is done which puts a deadline of judicial recount at either May 30th or June 1st (depending on how you count 6 days from May 24th - completion of Elections BC Final Count)


Friday, May 19, 2017

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of May 23 - 26

Due to the upcoming long weekend, next week is an abbreviated one for local governments of the Cariboo-Chilcotin however the following ones are meeting next week:

Quesnel - Firstly, a meeting of the Policy/Bylaw Review Standing Committee will take place on Tuesday, May 23rd at 2pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (4th Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* Political Campaign Sign Bylaw - Debrief/Lessons Learned Post May 9, 2017 Provincial Election (Discussion)
* Tree Bylaw - Debrief - Post May 11, 2017 West Quesnel Land Stability (Discussion)

View the full Agenda here

Then a Regular Council Meeting at 7pm on Tuesday, May 23rd in Quesnel Council Chambers

On the Agenda:

* Report from Mayor Simpson re: May 12th CRD Board Meeting
* Reports from 2017 NCLGA Convention - Councillors Roodenburg/Paull
* McLean Street Housing Complex - Development Permit
* Daylighting of Dragon Creek (West Fraser Timber Park) along with request for letter of support from Baker Creek Enhancement Society
* Rural Dividend Third Intake – Project Development Stream – Cultural Centre
* Shipping Containers in Residential Areas as Accessory Buildings
* Website Refresh Update
* Development Permit - 855 Rita Road
* Webcasting of Quesnel Council Meetings
* Kinchant Street Parking Reconfiguration (200 Block)
* Bylaw of the Month - Unsightly Properties
* Letters from Quesnel Downtown Business Improvement Association - Request for Community Event Road Closure - Billy Barker Days Gold Dust Mall; Quesnel Tillicum Society - Request for Letter of Support for Pow Wow Grant Application and Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association - Request for Support of Municipal Regional District Tax Application

View the full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 23rd at 6pm in Williams Lake Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  On the Agenda:

* Delegation: Amanda Fuller, Queens Director and Davana Mahon, Queens Coordinator re Presentation of 2017 Stampede Queen Contestants

* Pickup Truck Tender Award
* Economic Development Workplan
* Development Permit Application - DP #03-2017 - Platform Properties Ltd. - New Retail Building - 300-1185 Prosperity Way
* Sale of Museum - 113 Fourth Avenue North
* Into-Plan Aviation Mobile Fuel Agreement
* Solid Waste Management Review
* Gas Tax Strategic Priorities Fund 2017 Applications
* Pavement Rehabilitation 2017 - Final Budget
* Cultivating Connections: Plan H Grant Application for Play Boxes

View the full Agenda here

Also on Tuesday, May 23rd in WL Council Chambers, there will be a Public Hearing for Zoning Amendment Bylaw #2265, 2017 (former Cariboo Lodge site) at 7pm to rezone the property for the inSite Seniors Care home of 72 Beds.  If Council approves 3rd Reading on the same night, the rezoning application can be finalized as early as June 6th.  View the full Public Hearing Agenda here

100 Mile House - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 23rd at 7pm in 100 Mile Council Chambers (385 Birch Avenue).  On the Agenda:

* In-Camera Session at 6:30pm as per Sections 90(1a,d,k - appointment, security of property and negotiations) of the Community Charter with Open Session to follow immediately at 7pm

* Delegation: Nigel Hemingway re: DVP Application – Hillside Community Church (Agenda Item I1)
* By-Law Officer Report for the period of April 1st – 30th, 2017
* Request from Royal Canadian Legion Branch 260 to Request to reprofile Grant in Aid
* Statement of Financial Information Report 2017
* 100 Mile Fire Department Tenders for SCBA/Compressor
* Approve updating Signing Authorities for the District's Bank Accounts

View the full Agenda here

* Friendly reminder that the 2017 Season of the McLeese Lake Farmers' Market starts up this Sunday from 9am - 1pm between the Oasis Pub and Cafe 

* Also May Day Parade in Likely on Saturday, May 20th in downtown Likely along with Highway 24 from 7am - 6pm (More details here) along with Little Britches Rodeo this long weekend in 100 Mile House - more details here

Whatever your plans this long weekend - stay safe and have fun!!


Thursday, May 18, 2017

IHA/FNHA and First Nations sign Health-Care Declaration

Courtesy of the First Nations Health Authority:

Interior Health, First Nations Health Authority, and First Nations leaders from the Cariboo have signed a Declaration of Commitment to embed a culture of safety and humility, starting with hospital and community services in Williams Lake.

Four representatives from the two health authorities and 13 First Nations and Aboriginal leaders from communities in and around Williams Lake signed the commitment document on the first of a two-day Cultural Safety and Humility Forum, held at the Xat'sull (Soda Creek) First Nation on May 3-4.

"This is an important step toward ensuring quality and safety is an integral part of our IH programs and services. We are committed to making change for Aboriginal patients. It won't happen in a day, but it is a priority," said IH President and Chief Executive Officer Chris Mazurkewich.

The Declaration of Commitment sets out the guiding principles of cultural safety, including identifying opportunities together; engaging in open and honest dialogue; raising concerns without fear of reprisal; and embedding cultural safety and humility in Cariboo Memorial Hospital and Community Health Services.

The signing took place after hearing powerful stories from First Nations community members who had culturally unsafe experiences with health-care providers and the system itself.

The forum was proposed in response to concerns from the Xat'sull First Nation over the treatment of one of their Elders. The Elder's son gave life to the Declaration of Commitment when he shared his mother's experience of what he called racism and neglect within the health care system.

Another community member and his wife recounted their son's escalating mental health crisis and lack of support from the health and justice system. Both speakers agreed to share their stories in hopes that no other family will suffer similar experiences.

"I want to honour the courage of the families who have shared their stories. While it can be painful, being heard is the first step towards addressing these issues. We encourage more First Nations families to share their stories in the hope this care doesn't have to happen within our health system," said FNHA Chief Executive Officer Joe Gallagher. "This work together with our communities and Interior Health partners creates an excellent opportunity for all of us to do our part to change the narrative of this story. It is a chance for all of us to listen and learn on this journey of cultural safety and humility."

Xat'sull Chief Donna Dixon called on all parties to take the Declaration of Commitment seriously and to work for the betterment of each community. She reminded the health authorities to include First Nations in their work.

"We want to be part of change and transformation. We want a bigger say in health-care services in our community. After all, no one knows the needs of our communities better than we do."

Interior Health Aboriginal Health Director Brad Anderson described the Declaration as groundbreaking with all parties taking positive action in response to a negative situation.

"Interior Health needs to continually listen and partner with our Aboriginal partners so we can learn and provide culturally appropriate care."

Copies of the Declaration of Commitment will be posted in highly visible locations at IH health sites in the Cariboo.

"It is our expectation that all our First Nations patients will feel comfortable coming to any Interior Health site and be treated in a culturally appropriate manner," said Mazurkewich.​

Quesnel's Financial Sustainability/Audit Committee meets today!

Later today at 1:30pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (4th Floor - 410 Kinchant St) -- Quesnel Council's Financial Sustainability/Audit Committee will convene.  On their Agenda:

* Budget Principles Policy - Update to Policy report
* Municipal Finance Authority, Socially Responsible Fund - Request to participate in MFA Survey
* Review of all City of Quesnel Parks - Report from Quesnel City Staff
* Permissive Tax Exemptions - Report for direction for 2017 Permissive Tax Exemptions Process
* Letter from BC's Ombudsperson re: Closed Complaint against City of Quesnel re: Unfair Procurement Process
* Letter from Lhtako Dene (Red Bluff Indian Band) re: Use of Pesticides in City of Quesnel Parks/Trails

View the full Agenda here

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Quesnel Council Highlights - May 16th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Miss Quesnel Self Development Society
The following 2017 Miss Quesnel Royalty candidates, and their sponsors, were formally recognized at a banner presentation ceremony:  Alexi Christieson (Miss QTax), Loraine Marshall (Miss Quesnel Music), Danica Mailloux (Miss Super Save Gas), Grace Pontius (Miss Savalas Steak House), Avery Drew (Miss West Quesnel Business Improvement Association), Jesse Janzen (Miss CIBC) and Mierie Sabbarwal, Quesnel's BC Ambassador candidate.

Strategic Priorities Fund
The Federal government will receive grant applications until June 1, 2017 for the Strategic Priorities Fund that can fund up to 100% of infrastructure project costs up to a maximum of $6 million.  Council has authorized two projects for this program’s consideration.  The first project is for an Arts and Recreation Centre Renovation project with estimated costs of $6 million.  The second is for a Gymnastics Facility Project, proposed to be located at the Soccer Complex, with estimated costs of $6 million.

Off-Leash Dog Park 
Council has approved first reading for the proposed rezoning, from Multi Family Dwelling to Park, regarding the proposed Off-Leash Dog Park for Carson Field located between Nadeau Street and the Quesnel River.  There will be a public consultation for the general public to discuss the details of this proposed dog park at the Legion on Wednesday, June 7, 2017 from 5 – 7 pm.  There will be a Public Hearing on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 7 pm at City Hall Council Chambers.

City’s Quarterly Report
The City’s Quarterly Report for Quarter 1 of 2017 is now available on the City’s website.  This report outlines the City’s 2017 Strategic Plan updates as well as Quarter 1 highlights from all City departments.

2017 Road Rehabilitation / Overlay Paving Program
This year’s Road Rehabilitation and Overlay Paving Program will consist of the following areas:
-          Moffat Bridge Approach from McLean Street to Bridge
-          Marsh Drive from west end of Moffat Bridge to Elliott Street
-          Baker Drive from English Avenue to Foster Avenue
-          Gook Road from Hydraulic Road to start of Sewer Line Installation Project/Re-Paving
-          Neighbour Road from Enemark Road to Thompson Road

Purchasing Policy
As of June 1, 2017, the City will have a new Purchasing Policy to addresses the following issues:  local preference in purchasing, living wage, supplier relationship, recent reports and recommendations/suggestions on purchasing by the Auditor General for Local Government and Ombudsperson, and review of the procurement toolkit produced by the Local Government Management Association/Government Finance Officers Association of British Columbia.  Please visit the City’s website for full viewing of this new policy.

BC Rural Dividend – Third Intake
The City will apply for a BC Rural Dividend grant for the Quesnel Place-Making Project that will incorporate the City’s new brand for the following signage types:  Gateway, Trailhead and Directional, Wayfinding, Kiosk/Information Boards, Neighbourhood and Park.  This project is estimated to cost $125,000, with the City to cover $25,000 and, with a successful grant application, BC Rural Dividend Fund would cover $100,000.  This project is meant to attract tourists to not only stop in Quesnel, but to encourage staying in for extended visit(s) to our community.

Award of Contract – Pinecrest Reservoir Tank
STT Enviro Corp, based out of Richmond, B.C., has been awarded the $874,000 (plus taxes) contract to design, supply and install the Pinecrest Reservoir tank.  The City has received grant funding from the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund for the Pinecrest Drinking Water Storage and Supply Upgrades totalling $3,608,900 and includes:  the Pinecrest Reservoir Tank, the Pinecrest Booster Station, and installation of a second supply pipe.

Moffat Street Bridge Deck Repairs
Council approved additional funds for repair work to the Moffat Street Bridge deck, as part of the bridge’s preventative maintenance program, to be completed in 2017. Estimated cost for this work is $48,000.

Bylaw 1824 – Off Leash Dog Park – Zone Amendment – First Reading and Set Public Hearing Date for 7 pm, Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at City Hall Council Chambers
Bylaw 1825 – 605 Doherty Drive – Zone Amendment – Third Reading
Bylaw 1826 – Repeal Purchasing Bylaw 1726 – First Three Readings

Next Meetings - 7 pm, May 23rd and June 6th - Regular Council Meeting

Quesnel OCP brainstorming session

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

One of the more important functions of any City Council is to establish and adhere to an “Official Community Plan” (OCP), which outlines the longer-term vision for the community through objectives and policies that guide decisions on planning and land use management within the municipal boundaries. Quesnel City Council is in the process of renewing the city’s OCP, which will establish the vision and basic policy framework for Quesnel out to 2030.

The first round of public consultations on the new OCP were held at various locations throughout the City and the results of this community feedback (including from an online survey) were incorporated into a draft policy directions memo that was presented to Council last week in an open public meeting. This draft document outlined options for re-envisioning each neighborhood in the City based on current and projected demographics, community feedback, and new and emerging community planning and land use practices.

The document also provided Council with draft policy directions in the areas of: housing; arts and culture; creating an inclusive, age-friendly and accessible community, public engagement and community pride; first nations collaboration; community health and well-being; parks and recreation; environment and sustainability; urban agriculture and food security; marijuana policies; transportation and infrastructure; “smart city” opportunities; and unsightly premises.

Over the course of three hours last week, Council discussed and deliberated opportunities to refresh and re-invigorate Quesnel’s various neighbourhoods based on some creative options presented by the OCP consultants. It was a deep and meaningful dialogue about the future of Quesnel and what kinds of policies and zoning the City needs to have in place to enable Quesnel to continue to evolve into a progressive, healthy, attractive, and diverse community that will attract and retain visitors, residents and investment.

Over the coming weeks Council will continue to provide feedback to the consultants who will take that feedback and incorporate it into a new draft Official Community Plan. This draft OCP will then be subjected to further community consultation, most likely this fall, before Council will finally ratify and adopt a new OCP.

It is critically important that residents engage in this foundation setting process, as the City’s OCP will ultimately establish the zoning and policy directions for the city as a whole and for the neighborhood you live in or invest in. At the end of the month we will be launching the City’s new website, which will make it easier for you to sign up for email updates on the City’s major initiatives. In the meantime, please “like” the City of Quesnel’s Facebook page (click here) to get updates through that medium.

On a related note: I want to give my sincere thanks to the Council members who engaged in last week’s major consultation initiatives. In addition to the three hours Council members spent deliberating the City’s new OCP, they also spent another two hours on the Reid Street redesign project slated for 2018, and two and a half hours at the town hall meeting we hosted on Thursday night to update residents on the West Quesnel Land Stability project and last year’s land slippage monitoring results. Council members are effectively nominally paid volunteers and their extra efforts to engage with the community and involve themselves in the City’s major initiatives should not be taken for granted.

Bob Simpson is the Mayor of Quesnel.  He can be reached via email here or via phone at 250-992-2111

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Free Screening of "Surface" - a Short Film about Fly Fishing in the Cariboo

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The City of Williams Lake is pleased to work with the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (CCCTA) and the Cariboo Reputation Recovery Committee (CRRC) to present Surface, a film from Fly Fusion Films and Vantage Point Media House.

This short film takes Derek Bird of Fly Fusion Magazine and Ross Purnell of Fly Fisherman Magazine deep into the Cariboo. Past the rugged mountains to a nearly inaccessible glacial stream they find some of the best trout waters on the planet. With clean waters filled with fish and wildlife, and stunning scenery, this film captures something much beyond the nature and the sport - it captures the journey, the bond, and the dream.

The Cariboo Reputation Recovery Committee formed in 2014 when Cariboo communities, the CCCTA, and stakeholders came together to continue to promote one of our finest assets - the outdoors. The Cariboo region is internationally recognized as a playground for anyone who enjoys the outdoors, boasting beautiful rivers, lakes and rugged wilderness, along with diverse landscapes, lush forest, and plentiful waterways teeming with wildlife.

To help promote and celebrate this pristine wilderness, the City of Williams Lake, supported by the CCCTA and CRRC, will host a screening of Surface on Thursday, June 1st at the Gibraltar Room. Doors open at 6 pm, with the film starting at 6:30 pm. This free event will feature discussion with industry professionals, a sizzle reel, and the feature film followed by a reception with refreshments. Please join us to celebrate the wild beauty of the Cariboo.

Cariboo RD North Cariboo Multi-agency Forum

Yesterday - the Cariboo Regional District hosted the 2017 North Cariboo Multi-Agency Forum which brings a variety of agencies together in one place for the general public to access in one place.

Agencies in attendance included:

* Cariboo Regional District
* BC Ambulance Service
* Kersley Fire Department
* BC Min of Transportation/Infrastructure
* Emcon Services Ltd

CRD Northern Directors in attendance were Area A Director Ted Armstrong, Area B Director Jerry Bruce and Area C Director John Massier

I attended in my official capacity as the CRD Area D Director (Commodore Heights - McLeese Lake) as I needed to talk with Emcon Services Ltd/BC Ministry of Transportation, in regard to road issues in the McLeese Lake community area

I will be interested in hearing my colleagues thoughts on how they felt the session went, from their own perspectives...


Sunday, May 14, 2017

McLeese Lake VFD Mothers' Day Market

McLeese Lake VFD Mothers Day Market
at the McLeese Lake Community Hall
Earlier today - it was my great pleasure, as the CRD Area D Director, to take in the annual McLeese Lake VFD Mothers Day Market

It first started with a breakfast (which I sadly missed), then later in the day, the Market got underway, both inside the local Community Hall and outside.  The entire site was jammed packed, which was fantastic to see

A very heart warming moment was running into local School District #27 Zone 4 Trustee Christine Dyment and her family who were visiting the Market for the day from her home in Big Lake

Finally - grabbed an "Almost Famous" McLeese Lake VFD Burger which, of course, supports the local VFD in their operation

From talking with locals and visitors - everyone was having a great time overall.

A BIG thank you to the organizers, without their efforts, this day would not occur...


Saturday, May 13, 2017

2017 Xat'sull Elections

Yesterday - the membership of the Xat'sull (Soda/Deep Creek) First Nation held their bi-annual elections for 2 Xat'sull Band Councillors.  Click on picture below for successful Councillors:

Congratulations to re-elected Xat'sull Band Councillors Kelly and Marnie Sellars...


Damage to Reservoir Lake Fishing Dock

Yesterday, after the Cariboo RD Board Meeting, I took a few minutes to visit the fishing dock at Reservoir Lake near Pine Valley in my Electoral Area and sadly came upon this:

I hope that people who are using these fishing docks which are generously provided by the BC Freshwater Fisheries Society, a provincial organization, not needlessly abuse the facilities provided and I ask, as the CRD Area Director where the Reservoir Lake Fishing Dock resides along with a future fishing dock at Jackson's Hole, in the general vicinity of Tyee Lake and in the near future, a fishing dock at McLeese Lake - that people respect these wonderful facilities to enjoy some quiet time at fishing, either by yourself or with your family & others


Friday, May 12, 2017

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of May 15-19

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


1) Closed Executive Committee Meeting on Tuesday, May 16th at 9am in the Fraser Room at Quesnel City Hall (4th Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  Meeting closed to the public under the provisions of Section 90(1c - labour) of the Community Charter

2) Public Hearing on Bylaw 1805 (605 Doherty Drive) at 7pm on Tuesday, May 16th at 7pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (4th Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  View the full Agenda here

3) Following adjournment of the above noted Public Hearing - Regular Council Meeting in Quesnel Council Chambers.  On the Agenda

* Presentation: Miss Quesnel Self Development Program
* Committee Reports
* 2017 1st Quarter Report
* Off-Leash Dog Park - Zoning Amendment
* 2017 Overlay Paving Program
* Revised Purchasing Policy
* BC Rural Dividend Third Intake - Quesnel Place-Making Project and Gateway Signage
* Pinecrest Reservoir Award Contract - Design, Supply and Install of Reservoir Tank
* Letter from Quesnel SkyFest Society - Request for Letter of Approval for Royal Canadian Aircraft Forces to Overfly City

View the full Agenda here

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

Cariboo Regional District:

1) North Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus Meeting on Tuesday, May 16th at 3pm in the CRD Quesnel Office (101-410 Kinchant St, Quesnel).  On the Agenda:

* Grant for Assistance Application from Back Country Horsemen of BC North Cariboo Chapter
* Seekers Media North Cariboo Tourism Marketing
* For Discussion: West Fraser Community
* For Discussion: Renewal of the Master Agreement for Sub Regional Recreation
* For Discussion: Contribution to SkyFest 2017

View the full Agenda here

2) North Cariboo Joint Committee - Special Meeting on Tuesday, May 16th at 5pm in Quesnel Council Chambers.  On the Agenda:

* Quesnel Kangaroos
* Strategic Initiatives
* Suggested Performing Arts and Cultural Centre Facility

View the full Agenda here

Community Events:

1) McLeese Lake Mothers' Day Market - Sunday, May 14th from 9am - 4pm at the McLeese Lake Hall (6178 Forglen Rd)

2) North Cariboo Multi-Agency Forum -  Monday, May 15th from 5:30pm at the Kersley Hall (4829 Edwards Rd, Quesnel)

CRD Board Highlights - May 12th mtg

Present: Vice-Chair J. Massier; Directors T. Armstrong, J. Bruce, S. Forseth, B. Kemp, J. Sorley, M. Wagner, R. William, B. Anderson, B. Coakley, B. Simpson and W. Cobb (10:24am)

Meeting agenda approved/Minutes of the April 13th CRD Board adopted


Delegations MOB was received

Development Services: 

1) The Board gave 1st/2nd Readings to the following Planning Bylaws:

a) Central Cariboo Area Rural Land Use Amendment Bylaw No. 5088, 2017 (Area F)
b) Interlakes Area Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 5089, 2017 and South Cariboo Area Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 5090, 2017 (Area L)
c) North Cariboo Area Rural Land Use Amendment Bylaw No. 5091, 2017 (Area A)
d) South Cariboo Area Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 5092, 2017 (Area L)

The following Planning Bylaws was deferred up to 90 days:

150 Mile House Area Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 5086, 2017 and Williams Lake Fringe and 150 Mile House Area Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 5087, 2017

2) The Board gave 3rd Reading to the following Planning Bylaws:

a) Chilcotin Area Rural Land Use Amendment Bylaw No. 5018, 2016 (Area J)

Board divided.  Approved by the following vote (Stakeholder - Electoral Areas):

Affirmative - Directors Armstrong, Massier, Forseth, Kemp, Sorley, William and Coakley

Negative - Directors J. Bruce, M. Wagner, and B. Anderson

b) Interlakes Area Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 5073, 2016 (Area L)
c) South Cariboo Area Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 5074, 2016 (Area L)

3) The Board adopted the following Planning Bylaws:

a) 150 Mile House Area Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 5060, 2016 (Area F)
b) Williams Lake Fringe and 150 Mile House Area Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 5061, 2016 (Area F)

4) The Board approved Development Permit #6-2017 (Area F)
5) The Board approved Temporary Permit #1-2017 (Area A)
6) The Board received the Building Stats Reports for the month of March 2017

Environmental Services:

1) The Board agreed to submit UBCM Strategic Priority Fund applications for the Lexington Water System and utilities asset management projects.

Community Services: 

1) The Board agreed to provide the Williams Lake Off Road Motorcycle Association with a contribution of $2,000 from the Area D Economic Development Service and no funds flow to the Association until Staff seek and receive assurances that the Cariboo Regional District will be appropriately recognized (i.e.: press release, photo op with local Area Director, etc)

2) The Board agreed to provide support for applications to NDIT/BC Rural Dividend for low mobility trails at the Big Lake Community Hall property, Moffat Falls Recreation Site and Bull Canyon Recreation Site

Director W. Cobb entered the meeting at 10:24am


1) The Board received/ratified the Monthly Expenditures Board Summary Report and Mastercard Summary Report for the month of April 2017, in the amount of $3,786,961.18

2) The Board considered Grant for Assistance applications as follows:

a) 1st Williams Lake Junior Cadets Society - deferred to June COW Meeting
b) 3064 Rocky Mountain Rangers - deferred to June COW Meeting
c) Tyee Lake Community Association - approve $999.99 from Area 'D'
d) Wildwood Community and Recreation Association - approve $900 from Area 'D'

3) The Board approved Canada 150 Grant applications for the City of Quesnel for $1,500 and Friends of the Quesnel & District Museum & Archives Society $500

For a Canada 150 Grant South Cariboo Chamber of Commerce for $1,500.  Board divided. Approved by the following vote (Stakeholder - Electoral Areas):

Affirmative - Vice Chair Massier; Directors Armstrong, Bruce, Forseth, Wagner, William, Anderson and Coakley

Negative - Directors J. Sorley and B. Kemp

For a Canada 150 Grant for Friends of Centennial Park for $1,500 - the Board divided.  Approved by the following vote (Stakeholder - Electoral Areas):

Affirmative - Vice Chair Massier; Directors Armstrong, Bruce, Forseth, Wagner, William, Anderson and Coakley

Negative - Directors J. Sorley and B. Kemp

For a Canada 150 Grant for the District of 100 Mile House for $1,500 -- the Board divided.  Approved by the following vote (Stakeholder - Electoral Areas):

Affirmative - Vice Chair Massier; Directors Armstrong, Bruce, Wagner, William, Anderson and Coakley

Negative - Directors S. Forseth, B. Kemp, J. Sorley

For a Canada 150 Grant for  100 Mile House & District Historical Society ($1,500).  Board divided. Approved by the following vote (Stakeholder - Electoral Areas):

Affirmative - Vice Chair Massier; Directors Armstrong, Bruce, Forseth, Sorley, Wagner, William, Anderson and Coakley

Negative - Director B. Kemp


1) The Board approved a request from the Manager of Procurement to amend the Regional District Procurement Policy to require an open competition for all contracts that are estimated to be over $75,000 in value, to align with the New West Partnership Trade Agreement

2) The Board received a report of the Corporate Officer in respect of the deadline of June 30th to submit UBCM Resolutions for their 2017 Convention

3) The Board received the Consent Calendar, as of May 12th

4) The Board received a letter from the Department of Finance, Canada in respect of the CRD Board's support for Bill C323 (An Act to amend the Income Tax Act (Rehabilitation of Historic Property)

5) The Board received/endorsed the Prioritization of Board Resolutions report

Committee/Commission Minutes/Recommendations:

1) The Board received the following Committee or Commission Minutes:

a) Joint Meeting between North Cariboo Joint Committee/School District #28 Board of Education - February 22nd
b) North Cariboo Rural Directors Caucus - April 11th
c) North Cariboo Joint Committee - April 11th
d) Central Cariboo Joint Committee - April 26th
e) South Cariboo Joint Committee - May 8th

2) The Board endorsed recommendations from the following Committees/Commissions:

a) North Cariboo Joint Committee -- NC Joint Committee/School District #28 Meetings and Unanticipated Expenditures Policy
b) North Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus -- $4,000 Financial Support for 2017 Quesnel SkyFest
c) Central Cariboo Joint Committee -- Sam Ketcham Pool Project (Amend Budget)/ Amendment to Fees/Charges Bylaw
d) South Cariboo Joint Committee - South Cariboo Recreation Centre Expansion Working Group Meeting Notes and Recommendations and that discussion about Grant Applications be referred to the June COW Meeting for consideration
e) Heritage Committee Recommendation -- CCCTA Application for Gold Rush Trail -- 83 Mile/Begbie Summit, 108 Mile Ranch, St. Joseph’s Mission school, 150 Mile House, McLeese Lake (include info about Soda Creek & Xat’sull Heritage Village), Alexandria (include info about Soda Creek & Xat’sull Heritage Village)

Corporate Bylaws:

1) The Board gave 1st, 2nd and 3rd Readings to 100 Mile House Fire Protection Service Boundary Expansion Bylaw No. 5096, 2017
2) The Board adopted 103 Mile Water System Service Boundary Amendment Bylaw No. 5093, 2017

Directors' Requests:

1) The Board received a report from the Municipal Finance Authority, as provided by Chair Richmond

Directors' provided verbal reports on their recent activities