Saturday, December 29, 2018

Snow Removal Message - Emcon Services/Interior Roads Ltd

Given the big amount of snow in the Region in the last 24 hrs -- Emcon Services (Provincial Road Maintenance Contractor -- Deep Creek to Quesnel) but the message they have put out to area residents equally applies to those who get provincial road maintenance services by Interior Roads Ltd in the Electoral Areas of the Cariboo Regional District....

Emcon currently has 26 pieces of equipment working around the clock to clear the 35+ Cm of snow that fell yesterday. Roads are cleared by class. A/B/C/D/E/

We have a system that keeps track of every road plowed. We will plow your road in order Constant phone calls about your road will not speed up the process. If we play fireman, it will just take longer to get to you.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

2018 Cariboo RD Area 'D' Annual Report

As we wind down 2018 and I commence serving my 2nd term (and thank YOU, the Area 'D' voter, for graciously giving me the opportunity to serve you for a 2nd term)… I thought I would report on the year that was (2018) and look forward to 2019....

Firstly - let me thank all of you in the various communities that make up Electoral Area 'D' - whether you live in South Marguerite, McAlister, McLeese Lake, Tyee Lake, Soda Creek Valley, Deep Creek, Xat'sull, Wildwood, Pine Valley, Commodore Heights, Mile 168 Rd, Soda Creek Road or Fox Mountain - for the great honour to serve you as the Cariboo Regional District Electoral Area 'D' Director. It is a privilege that I take very seriously as I work in partnership with you to make your rural neighborhood the desirous place you wish it to be. Thanks also to all of YOU for your warm/encouraging/constructive criticism comments as I served you this past year. It's nice to know that I'm doing the right things on your behalf or providing me with feedback to better serve you. All comments are always welcomed/appreciated...

In addition, I would like to thank the Cariboo Regional District Board Chair (and Area 'H' Director) Margo Wagner who has ensured that I feel supported in my role as it can be lonely some days as the sole representative for Electoral Area 'D' but she has also challenged me to be the best for our collective regional residents (in addition to Area 'D' residents) and  for that, I am grateful for her feedback as well .... as well as many of my past and current Cariboo RD Director colleagues for their past and on-going support... it is appreciated...

Also - thank you to ALL of the volunteers in the aforementioned communities, it is thanks to your efforts that these rural communities are such great places to live.

As to initiatives that I have been working on this past year:

1) 2019 Cariboo Regional District (CRD) Draft Budget

I am pleased to report that the Regional's District's Finance Committee, which I Chair, has recommended an overall Regional District budget tax requisition increase of 3.3% for its' 127 Services for 2019. The first 0.4% is in relation to 3 new services that will commence in 2019 which includes:

* North Cariboo Airport Contribution Service - Electoral Areas A, B, C, and I
* Benjamin Water Service - Electoral Area 'A'
* Lexington Water Service - Electoral Area 'F'

The remainder of 2.9% is in relation to either inflationary challenges (Hydro, ICBC, new Employer Health Tax, etc.) or approved 2019 Business Plan Goals. The Regional Board will consider the recommendations of the Finance Committee in relation to the draft 2019 Cariboo RD Budget at its' January 18th, 2019 meeting. If the recommendations of the Finance Committee are endorsed (which is expected as the Budget was approved in committee unanimously) - the draft 2019 Budget will undergo public consultation by way of posting the budget/business plans on the CRD Website at

Within Electoral Area 'D', you will see, generally, a "status quo" budget. All functions of the CRD that Area D residents' pay for will see either no or very modest increases

Once the draft 2019 Budget/Business Plans are posted in late January -- As always - if you have concerns about any aspect of the Regional District budget you can reach out to me on Facebook (click here), via email at or by phone at 250-267-6725

2) McLeese Lake Community Hall

I continue to work with the McLeese Lake Recreation Commission to secure grants to improve the Hall through energy efficiency projects, etc. in 2018 and this will continue into 2019. Their key project they have indicated for 2019 is the upgrading of the Hall's Kitchen. Looking forward to seeing the final product

3) McLeese Lake/Tyee Lake Volunteer Fire Departments' (MLVFD/TLVFD)

Much progress was made by the MLVFD Society to get the MLVFD more fully operational for the community's needs. The CRD gave the MLVFD Society Grants for Assistance in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 in the amount of $5,000. Their fundraising efforts still continue, as many Independent Fire Departments do throughout BC. The Society is still working on a plan to construct a Fire Hall in 2019 and the last conversation I had with them was that their plan for 2019 was very promising so stay tuned for those details.

At the request of the Tyee Lake Community Association -- a Grant for Assistance has been approved for the Tyee Lake Volunteer Fire Department (TLVFD) to acquire fire equipment for their VFD in the amount of $10,470 for 2019. Like the MLVFD - The Tyee Fire Department is hopeful that in 2019, they too can construct a building for their fire department needs...

4) Soda Creek Cemetery

I received a request from the caretakers' of the Soda Creek Cemetery for possible funding to update the fencing at the old Soda Creek Cemetery back in late 2015. I was not able to make progress on this item as I would have liked so I'm hoping to make further progress on this item in 2019. I will be checking in with them in Spring 2019 to see how they are progressing...

5) Dog Control Service - Commodore Heights/Pine Valley/Wildwood

Work on this item continues but it is slow work due to competing demands on Staff time...

6) Old Wildwood School Site/Wildwood VFD Fire Training Centre

Work on these two items continues and as new information becomes available, I will report on those here and on my Area D Director Facebook page as well as the local "Wildwood Speak Up Facebook page...

7) Building Inspection in Area D

Work on this item continues with my Area E colleague, Angie Delainey, however it is very slow work, due to how the item was approved for Tyee/McLeese Lake in 2006 and the provincial rules in relation to removing a RD Regulatory Service in an Electoral Area(s).  Director Delainey and I hope to discuss this further in Spring 2019 with the BC Ministry of Municipal Affairs' Deputy Minister.

After that meeting, we both should have an idea about what the next steps might look like...

8) Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP)

The Board has approved applying for funding to create a new Cariboo RD Electoral Areas CWPP.  Our current CWPP dates back to 2006 so it is timely considering the Region's wildfires of 2017 and 2018

If the funding is approved in 2019, then I would seek to have public meetings within Electoral Area 'D' in relation to developing the CWPP.  The Cariboo RD would also work, I would imagine, with the municipalities in the Cariboo RD (Wells, Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House) to ensure that our CWPP works hand-in-hand with their CWPP

9) 2019 North Central Local Government Association's AGM/Convention (NCLGA)

This year's NCLGA AGM/Convention will be held in Wiliams Lake in May 2019.  The Convention is being co-hosted by the City of WL/Cariboo RD.  The last time this occurred was in May 2007.  The last NCLGA AGM/Convention in the Cariboo-Chilcotin was in the City of Quesnel in May 2013...

Other initiatives that I was involved with in 2018 included:

* Attended 2018 LGLA/NCLGA and UBCM Conferences in Richmond, Fort Nelson and Whistler respectively

* Financial Contributions to Tyee Lake Community Association AGM, Wildwood Community Association and Xat'sull Save the Salmon event at the Xat'sull Heritage Village in the Soda Creek Valley

* Continue to participate on the Public Liaison Committee with respect to Mt Polley
* Participate on the Gibraltar Mines Technical Advisory Committee
* Capital Financial Contribution in 2018 to the Williams Lake Direct Farmers Market Association, along with Areas E and F

* Serve on the Regional District's Policy/Emergency Preparedness Committees in 2018 and I have requested to continue to serve on these Committees in 2019 and I should know if I will be serving on these in 2019 by late January 2019...

* Presentations of 30 years of service to Wildwood VFD Fire Chief Randy Worsley in May (Cariboo RD) and November (Governor-General)...

* Appointed Chair of the Regional District's Finance Committee by CRD Chair Margo Wagner for 2019

* Recently applied for a Director-at-Large position on the NCLGA Board, as a result of vacancies on that Board resulting from the 2018 local government elections.  I should know in early January 2019 if my application is successful and if successful in an NCLGA Director-at-Large appointment, I will have to run for re-election to the NCLGA Board at the 2019 NCLGA AGM/Convention in Williams Lake

And much more....

In addition, the vast majority (7 of 8) of the 2014-18 Area D Advisory Planning Committee members have been or will be re-appointed for a 2nd term as well as the Area D's Alternate Director, Ms Phyllis Webstad who resides in Wildwood.  I do appreciate their efforts in providing me with their advice, comments, etc and I thank them all for agreeing to serve with me for a 2nd term in their respective roles...

In 2019 - I plan to report out on what I'm up to as often as I can plus my monthly expenses/meeting calendar as well - both here and on my Facebook page which you can view at

On my own behalf - I wish ALL of your families a very happy/healthy 2019 and thank you for all you do in Electoral Area 'D' during 2018....

Respectfully submitted,

Steve Forseth
Director - Electoral Area 'D' (Commodore Heights - McLeese Lake)
Cariboo Regional District
Ph: 250-267-6725

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Provincial/Federal Christmas Day 2018 Messages

From the Hon. John Horgan - BC Premier:

“On Dec. 25, Christians around the world celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ; in prayer, in feast and in festivities.

“For many, Christmas represents the hope of peace on Earth and reminds us to treat everyone in our communities with love and kindness.

“This special day is also an opportunity to rest, recharge and reconnect with friends and family, and is an opportunity to refocus on the things that matter.

“As we reflect on our blessings this Christmas, let us also remember those who are less fortunate than ourselves and commit to living with a spirit of charity and generosity every day of the year.

“May all those who celebrate have a safe and joyous holiday season.

“Merry Christmas!”

From the Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau - Prime Minister of Canada:

“Merry Christmas, Canada!

“Today, our family joins Christians across the country and around the world to celebrate the birth of Christ.

“It’s a time to spread joy and cheer, appreciate our blessings, and honour traditions – whether that’s opening presents, decorating the Christmas tree, sharing a meal together, or setting aside a couple of cookies for Santa.

“We’re also well into winter, from coast to coast to coast – and here in Canada, we’ve always known how to smile through the cold days and long nights. This time of year, that Canadian spirit shines through most – because this season is about bringing light to the people around us.

“We also know this is a difficult time for some families. For Canadian Armed Forces members who are far from home, it’s just one example of the many sacrifices you and your families make. We’re thinking of you, and we’re grateful for everything you do for Canadians.

“And we’re thinking too of hardworking Canadian families who might be struggling to make ends meet this Christmas. Our government is working hard to make things a little easier for you – whether by putting the first ever National Housing Strategy into action, supporting seniors, or putting more money in the pockets of nine out of ten families with the Canada Child Benefit.

“We will always stand with you, because that’s what Canadians do. We pull together – with our families, our neighbours, and folks in need anywhere. We find strength in our differences, and celebrate everything we have in common. And we do our part to take care of each other, and make life better for the people around us. That’s what Christmas – and Canada – is all about.

“This season and on into the new year, let’s stand together, celebrate each other, and keep building a brighter future for all of us. From our family to yours, Sophie, Xavier, Ella-Grace, Hadrien, and I wish you joy, health, love, and peace this holiday season. Merry Christmas.”

Friday, December 21, 2018

Cariboo/Chilcotin Local Gov'ts/Boards of Education off until mid-January 2019!

Local Governments/Boards of Education in the Cariboo-Chilcotin are now on Christmas Break until mid-January 2019.  Local Governments/Boards of Education in the Cariboo-Chilcotin will resume meeting in 2019, as follows:

District of Wells - Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

City of Quesnel - Tuesday, January 8th, 2019

City of Williams Lake - Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

District of 100 Mile House - Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

Cariboo Regional District - Thursday, January 17th, 2019 (Special Regional Board Meeting) and Friday, January 18th, 2019 (Regional Hospital District/Regional Board Meetings)

School District #28 (Quesnel) - Wednesday, January 16th, 2019

School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) - Tuesday, January 22nd, 2019

May all of you have a Merry Christmas with your families next week.... If you are travelling to be with your families, please drive safely and check "Drive BC" for the latest road conditions (click here)


B.C. Air Access Program helps create safer airport facilities

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Small, regional airports, heliports and water aerodromes around the province have the opportunity to improve their infrastructure for travellers, thanks to funding from the B.C. Air Access Program (BCAAP).

A call for applications is now open and will be received up until February 18th, 2019. BCAAP is a cost-share program that provides funding to assist communities with improvements to their aviation infrastructure, including funds to support safety improvements, economic opportunities and green initiatives.

The program introduced new funding incentives last year for airports working on environmental improvements that will benefit the communities, staff and travellers who use them. Incentives around green initiatives help aviation facilities align with the Province’s recently announced CleanBC plan – a plan aimed at reducing climate pollution, while creating more jobs and economic opportunities for people, businesses and communities.

Since its launch in 2015, BCAAP has provided nearly $30 million in funding to 50 airports throughout the province. Projects have ranged from improvements for crack sealing at Vanderhoof Airport, to a terminal building expansion in Terrace.

B.C. has more than 300 public airports, heliports and water aerodromes, which play a significant role in connecting communities and in supporting the economy. The province’s airports handle 20% of Canada’s airport traffic, and nearly a quarter of all takeoffs and landings.

Learn More:

For information on the B.C. Air Access program, visit:

City of WL 2019 Budget in Development...

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

The public is invited to observe and participate in the City Council's budget meetings as Council members began discussions on the 2019 budget and 2019-2023 financial plan.

The Committee of the Whole Council (COWC) met on August 21, 2018 to discuss proposed Budget 2019 and Five Year Financial Plan development timeline and budget direction. The timeline was approved by Council on August 28, 2018.

On November 13, 2018 the COWC discussed the award of grants in aid and fee for service agreements for 2019.

On December 5, 2018, the COWC in a special public meeting and consultation discussed City's preliminary operational budget and capital plan.

The Council has adopted early capital and provisional operating budget at its' meeting on December 18, 2018.

(Preliminary budget documents that were discussed are presented on this web page - click here).

The discussions will continue in 2019 to finalise the budget and set property tax rates by May 15, 2019.

In addition to seeking public feedback at the Council meetings, the City will also use public engagement platform and online budget consultation tool. This interactive tool to allow residents to see how their property tax dollars are planned to be spent and to provide valuable input on how they would like to spend their tax dollars on programs and services in our community. The 2018 interactive budget tool can be found at, the 2019 tool will be active as soon as preliminary budget numbers are developed.

Residents are also encouraged to take a look at the City’s budget presentations on this web page (to be added, as information is presented to the City Council). The budget and expenses for all City departments and divisions to be presented as well as the City's capital plans. Residents will also see the 2019 budget and revisions as Council deliberates and makes decisions in the coming weeks and months.

If you would like to leave a comment on the City's 2019 budget for City Council, please e-mail (click here) us a message, stating your name and Williams Lake address (anonymous comments or comments from non-residents will not be presented to Council).

City of Williams Lake/Water Meters

Courtesy of the City of WL Public Works Department, via Twitter:

Editor's Note -- the City's Director of Municipal Services can be reached via email here while members of Williams Lake City Council can be reached by email - click their name on this webpage here

Many questions about why the City of Williams Lake is considering water meters in 2019. The obvious rationale is the available grants and water conservation. Additionally, we have taken a strategic approach that includes a water management study, identifying alternate sources for industry water metering and finally treatment.

Metering will show our community is responsible with our water and identify deficiencies such as leaks and high users. Once these deficiencies are addressed, a water treatment plant and infrastructure can be sized properly for what we use and the price will be less than what we would pay at todays consumption. We have access to some large grants in the next few years and we want any advantage we can get.

The City of Williams Lake Public Works Department is happy to answer any questions residents may have

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

WL City Council approves New Economic Development Strategy

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

At its Regular meeting on December 18, 2018, City of Williams Lake Council approved a new Economic Development Strategy. Funded through Northern Development Initiative Trust, the Strategy is the result of six months of focused work undertaken by the City’s Economic Development Officer, developed by Randy Sunderman of Peak Solutions Consulting in association with Trevor Kier of Kier and Associates.

A draft of the report was presented at a recent Committee of Whole Council meeting, and received praise from several Councillors for its depth in addressing some of the challenges that the City is expected to face; notably, as the forest industry continues to refine operations in preparation for a reduction in the annual allowable cut.

An aspect of the report highlighted by Economic Development Officer Beth Veenkamp was the amount of community consultation that formed the basis for much of the Strategy. "We looked at the community from a wide range of perspectives," says Veenkamp. "We were really impressed by the participation of our community members, and believe that this level of engagement will assist us in creating the kind of liveable community that we are all interested in." More than 300 people responded to the on-line survey, and ten focus group sessions with more than 60 participants were held capturing a wide range of perspectives. "We had great attendance at all of our focus group sessions, which ranged from tourism, health, senior residents, value-added forest products, and education, as well as the more traditional groups you would expect to be captured in a Strategy like this, such as heavy industry, small business, and downtown Williams Lake merchants."

The survey results showed that most residents were happy living in Williams Lake, due in large part to the small town feel and sense of community. Most respondents indicated that they would like to see Williams Lake grow a little, but not too much.

Four major themes emerged from the consultation sessions, and have been captured in the Strategy as follows:

1. Enhanced Liveability and Quality of Life: includes housing diversification and rental development, increasing investments, and partnerships in mountain biking development, which repeatedly emerged as a community asset worth investing in.

2. Investment Attraction and Business Development: includes opportunities such as airport development, tourism product development and agriculture diversification.

3. Skill Development and Labour Force Attraction: includes attracting skilled workers and expanding education opportunities.

4. Partnership Development: includes collaborating on projects with neighbouring First Nations communities, leveraging opportunities with the Cariboo Regional District, and focused work with the Province to tap into its programs and initiatives.

Overall, the Strategy breaks down these higher-level priorities into actionable items that will form the basis of the work and focus of the City’s Economic Development Office for the next 3-5 years. In addition, the Strategy outlines a monitoring and reporting initiative that highlights tracking the progress of implementation.

"There were a few topics that we heard repeatedly from just about every group we spoke with, such as telling better stories about what a great place Williams Lake is to live, capitalizing on the potential that Williams Lake has to become a premier mountain biking/outdoor destination, and being home to a micro-brewery. Every single group, as well as many survey respondents, stated that Williams Lake needs its own brewhouse," continues Veenkamp.

A baseline report was created to assist in the Strategy development that includes area demographics, income levels, and survey question results. The baseline report and Economic Development Strategy are available on the City of Williams Lake’s website at, or follow the links to the Economic Development Strategy at,

and the Baseline Report at

"We encourage other groups to use this Strategy to help guide their priorities, and hopefully align their focus so that we are all working together to achieve some good outcomes in the next five years," says Veenkamp. "There is a lot of positive momentum happening in the community right now, and it is exciting to see this work come together so we can continue to capitalize on all the great things about Williams Lake."

For more information, contact Beth Veenkamp, Economic Development Officer, at, or call 250-392-8480 (office) / 250-302-1585 (cell)

Elephant Hill and Allie Lake fire areas closed to off-road vehicle use until Dec 2020

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

The Province is taking action to restore and recover portions of Elephant Hill and Allie Lake that were severely affected by wildfires in 2017 and 2018.

Effective Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, fire areas that are part of Elephant Hill and Allie Lake will be closed to motorized vehicles, including automobiles, trucks, motorcycles and all types of off-road recreational vehicles, except on existing roads. The closure will be in effect until Dec. 31, 2020, while restoration and recovery activities for the areas’ sensitive ecosystems are implemented. These areas are part of the Thompson Rivers and 100 Mile Natural Resource Districts.

A map showing the boundaries of the closure is available online at:

In 2017, the Elephant Hill wildfire burned an estimated 191,865 hectares. The motorized closure for the Elephant Hill fire was originally set to expire Dec. 31, 2018, but is being extended to Dec. 31, 2020, given the extent of the access management, rehabilitation and other restoration activities that need to occur.

The Allie Lake wildfire in 2018 burned an estimated 2,700 hectares and opened up areas that were previously difficult to access.

The closure of these areas aims to support wildfire-recovery management strategies and mitigate unauthorized off-road vehicle use that may have negative effects, including soil compaction, erosion and increases in invasive plants. This affects grassland health, wildlife habitat and quality/availability of water for wildlife and livestock.

The closure will not apply to:

authorized users performing activities associated with agreements awarded pursuant to provincial statute, such as existing tenures
snowmobiles operating on a minimum of 0.5 metres of snow
the following existing recreational trails:
Green Lake Snowmobile Trail (REC6246)
70 Mile – Green Lake Trail (REC6897)
Interlakes Snowmobile Trail (REC6961)
Existing roads will remain open for public access into the closure area. Non-motorized uses are not restricted.

Note that off-road vehicle owners must register their off-road vehicle if it will be used or operated on Crown land, including resource roads, and must comply with the registration and insurance requirements of the jurisdiction where the off-road vehicle is operated.

Secwepemc communities and the Province of B.C. are working collaboratively on wildfire recovery and land base management in the Elephant Hill fire area and surrounding area. The access closure is supported through this collaborative work.

Learn More:

For more information about the closure, visit:

Thompson Rivers Natural Resource District road safety information:
100 Mile House Natural Resource District road safety information:

For more information about motorized closures under the Forest and Range Practices Act, visit:

For more information about off-road vehicle requirements, visit:

Quesnel Landfill Charges/Disposal Limits for 2019 changing...

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Effective January 1, 2019, the City Landfill rates and disposal limits will be changing.

The new rates apply to residential loads over 200 kilograms and all commercial loads regardless of weight. Residential loads under 200 kilograms are free (previously 350 kilograms).

Most residential landfill users will not be impacted by these changes.

In order to maintain the landfill and to prepare for the future costs of closing the landfill, the City needed to change the user fees and disposal limits.

For the 2019 Landfill Fees/Charges -- click here

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

WL Council Highlights - Dec 18th mtg

Present: Mayor W. Cobb; Councillors S. Boehm, I. Bonnell, M. Brenner, S. Nelson, J. Ryll and C. Smith

Meeting called to order at 6pm
Meeting Agenda Adopted and Minutes of the Williams Lake City Council meeting held December 4th, 2018 were received/adopted


Sheila Mortensen from the Williams Lake Daybreak Rotary appeared before Council in regards to Support for Replacement of Williams Creek Mountain Bike Bridge

A Question/Answer period ensued thereon

Mayor Cobb, on behalf of Council, thanked Ms. Mortensen for her time/information

Resolved -- Council received the request of Sheila Mortensen, Williams Lake Daybreak Rotary Club dated December 5, 2018 requesting support for their project to replace the mountain bike bridge over Williams Creek in the Williams Lake River Valley and agreed to refer it to the Central Cariboo Joint Committee for consideration



1) Council received for information the accounts payable computer cheque and EFT listings dated December 3, 4, 5, 6, 13 and 14, 2018

2) Council awarded the contract for the supply of unleaded gasoline and diesel to RMA Fuel for the tendered price of $1.1479 per litre of Unleaded and $1.2190 per litre of Diesel

General Governance

1) After receiving no public input -- Council approved both Development Permit #6/2018 and Development Variance Permit #7/2018 for property situate at 1238 Broadway Avenue South (old Shell Gas Station)

2) Council authorized submission of an application to the Canada-British Columbia Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program under the Community, Culture and Recreation stream, and if the $117,328 grant application is approved, directed Staff to add the proposed Waterfront Recreation Concept Plan to the 2019 budget and work program

Public Works

1) Council authorized submission of an application to the Rural and Norther Communities Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) on behalf of the City of Williams Lake for the Universal Water Metering project.


1) Council adopted the following Bylaws:

* General Capital Reserve Fund Repeal Bylaw No. 2297, 2018
* Airport Fee Amendment Bylaw No. 2286, 2018
* Business Improvement Area Bylaw Renewal - Bylaw No. 2294

Committee of the Whole Recommendations

1) Council endorsed the following recommendations from the Dec 11th, 2018 Committee of the Whole session:

* That pursuant to Committee of Whole Council Report #39-2018, the report of the Economic Development Officer dated December 6, 2018 together with the presentation of the Economic Development Strategy by Randy Sunderman and Trevor Kier, Peak Solutions Consulting be received and Council endorse the City of Williams Lake Economic Development Strategy as presented.

* That pursuant to Committee of Whole Council Report #40-2018, Staff be directed to bring forward reports to Council on the creation of the following advisory committees:

Economic Development Advisory Committee, and
Parks and Trails Advisory Committee.

* That pursuant to Committee of Whole Council Report #41-2018 and the report of the Chief Administrative Officer dated December 6, 2018, Council participate in the Local Government Management Association’s (LGMA) “Commemorative Tree Planting” initiative to celebrate Local Government Awareness Week, being held May 19 to 25, 2019, and authorize Staff to proceed with selecting a tree to plant in a suitable location, and to hold a commemorative tree planting ceremony in recognition of the local government profession and ongoing commitment to the community.

* That pursuant to Committee of Whole Council Report #42-2018, the report of the Chief Financial Officer dated December 7, 2018 be received and Council endorse preliminary 2019 tax rate and valuation change option #2 for a 0% tax increase, and support the proposed capital changes as follows:
 Deferral to 2020 of the purchase of the Fire Ladder Truck for $1,200,000 (to replace 017);
 Withdrawal of $495,900 for Landfill Storm Drain Improvements for the Frizzi Landfill project (withdrawn by the CRD);
 Addition of $115,000 for FireSmart and Fuel Treatment within Williams Lake to the 2019 plan; and
 Addition of $5,000,000 toward the Universal Water Metering project in the 2021 plan.

* That pursuant to Committee of Whole Council Report #43-2018 and Finance Committee Report #02-2018, Staff be directed to bring back a budget based on 2018 assessment figures and:
With a projected tax increase of 0% in year one, 0% in year two, 1.5% in year three and 1.5% in year four, with Staff providing the numbers that include inflationary increases for comparison;
Council endorse City-wide water metering and Staff be directed to apply for grant funding;
Council endorse a water treatment facility in 2023; and
That a “Build In & Up” concept be adopted in our community.

* That pursuant to Committee of Whole Council Report #44-2018, Finance Committee Report #03-2018 be received and Council authorize the creation of a fire department equipment reserve funded by emergency deployments undertaken by the City’s fire department on behalf of the Province, with funds to be utilized for fire equipment replacements and purchases.

* That pursuant to Committee of Whole Council Report #45-2018 and Finance Committee Report #04-2018, Council approve a policy directing that any revenue generated by tax increases is to be used for road improvements.

* That the report of the Chief Financial Officer dated December 12, 2018 be received and Council approve the provisional 2019 operating budget as presented.

* That pursuant to Committee of Whole Council Report #46-2018 and the report of the Economic Development Officer dated December 10, 2018, Council authorize submission of an application on behalf of the City of Williams Lake to participate in the BC Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP) Entrepreneur Immigration (EI) Regional Pilot.


1) Council received a letter from School District No. 27's Lake City Secondary - Williams Lake Campus dated December 5, 2018 requesting monetary support toward the purchase of new wrestling mats for their wrestling program and referred it to the Central Cariboo Joint Committee for consideration

Rise/Report from In-Camera:

1) Council received In-Camera Report #09-2018 regarding authorization for Staff to initiate the recruitment of a Grant Writer / Communications Outreach position

Council received the 'Council Information Package' as of December 18th, 2018 as follows:

 November 29, 2018 - CCACS' Performances in the Park 2019 Call for Performers;
 December 7, 2018 - CRD Board Highlights.

Meeting recessed at 7:01pm for Public Hearing on Bylaws #2292/2293, 2018 (Hamel Construction/1946 Broadway Avenue South)

Meeting resumed at 7:05pm

Bylaws, cont:

2) Following a Public Hearing, Council gave 3rd Reading to Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 2292, 2018 (Hamel Contracting Ltd/1946 Broadway Avenue South) and agreed to hold adoption in abeyance until corresponding Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 2293 is approved.

3) Following a Public Hearing, Council gave 3rd Reading to Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 2293, 2018 (Hamel Contracting Ltd/1946 Broadway Avenue South) and agreed to forward the Bylaw to the BC Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure for approval, as per Section 52 of the Transportation Act

Members of Council/CAO MacDonald reported on their recent activities

Media Question Period - None

Council adjourned at 7:24pm

Heli-logging operations help manage Douglas-fir beetles

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

A third year of helicopter logging operations in the Williams Lake area is expected to start this week to help minimize the spread of Douglas-fir beetles on Crown land.

These natural forest pests normally attack small groups of trees. A significant infestation can weaken and eventually kill a tree over a period of about one year. However, helicopter logging (to selectively remove infested trees and protect other trees nearby) and related containment treatments have helped slow the spread of the beetles in the Williams Lake area over the past two years.

These logging activities are being conducted under the direction of the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Monitoring of Douglas-fir beetle infestations within previous treatment areas has identified fewer trees currently under attack, so the helicopter logging project is being expanded to new sites.

Helicopter logging flights are expected to begin as early as Dec. 20, 2018, in the Esler area, a few kilometres southwest of Williams Lake. Once work at that site is completed, operations will move to the South Lakeside area and then to a site further south off Anderson Road. All of these helicopter logging activities should be completed by mid-March 2019.

Residents can expect to see helicopters in the air as selective logging operations get underway, but no flights will occur over residential buildings. The aircraft will only be flying during daylight hours and will not be in the air on the upcoming statutory holidays.

Owners of livestock and pets are advised to take precautions to protect their animals from injuring themselves. Horses in particular can be sensitive to helicopter noise and may run if startled.

For safety reasons, members of the public should stay away from active harvesting areas. They are also reminded that unmanned aerial vehicles (drones) must not be operated anywhere near the harvesting areas, since doing so can endanger the safety of pilots and workers on the ground.

In addition to directly harvesting infested trees, the Williams Lake Beetle Management Unit 2018 Treatment Plan includes the following activities:

The anti-aggregative pheromone methyl cyclohexenone will be used to prevent or disrupt Douglas-fir beetle attacks on small infestation sites. This naturally occurring pheromone can successfully repel the beetles from vulnerable areas and also help protect small stands of trees near parks, protected areas, campgrounds, residential properties or old growth management areas. In some cases, the application of this pheromone has reduced Douglas-fir beetle attacks by over 90%.

“Trap trees” will be established by cutting down large, healthy Douglas-fir trees in accessible areas. The trees will be left on the ground to attract adult beetles in the spring. Trap trees are more successful in attracting adult beetles than standing trees and therefore can greatly reduce the number of attacks on healthy Douglas-fir trees nearby. Once adult beetles and larvae are established within a trap tree, it will be taken to a mill where the beetles and larvae will be destroyed in the milling 

Where appropriate, and if no other practical options are available, some infested trees may be cut down and burned on-site to destroy the beetles present in the bark.
Funnel traps will also be deployed within mill yards and log storage areas to capture adult beetles.
The ministry is committed to addressing the spread of Douglas-fir beetles in the Cariboo-Chilcotin Natural Regional District and mitigating impacts on the mid-term timber supply, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities and wildfire management.

Quick Facts:

The Williams Lake Timber Supply Area contains 3.24 million hectares of forest, with 1.83 million hectares considered available for timber harvesting.

Douglas-fir beetle infestations tend to be cyclical. The last major outbreak in the Cariboo-Chilcotin Natural Regional District (prior to the current outbreak) peaked in 2008, covering about 68,550 hectares.

According to the ministry's latest mapping data (based on aerial surveys conducted in the summer of 2018), Douglas-fir beetles affected 48,584 hectares within the Cariboo-Chilcotin Natural Resource District in 2018. About 45,862 hectares were affected in the same region in 2017, with 53,311 hectares affected in 2016.

Learn More:

Read more about Douglas-fir beetle management or read a guide for managing the beetles on private property:

Sunday, December 16, 2018

2018 McLeese Lake Christmas Community Dinner

From L-R: Cariboo-North MLA Coralee Oakes,
ML Recreation Society President Steve Relkov
and "Santa Clause"
Last night, the community of McLeese Lake gathered for their annual Christmas Community Dinner

Special Guest of Honour was Cariboo-North MLA Coralee Oakes who stayed before dinner was served to say hello to the community before she had to head up to the communities of Alexandria and Kersley for Christmas Dinners there.  Alexandria/Kersley are both located within Cariboo RD Electoral Area 'A'

After a wonderfully prepared dinner - Steve Relkov, who is serving this year as President of the McLeese Lake Recreation Society/Commission, provided the community with an update as to the activities of the Society in 2018.  I said a few words of thanks to the community and indicated that I was looking forward to working with the community of McLeese Lake in 2019 and wished them all a very Merry Christmas!

My personal thanks to Cariboo-North MLA Coralee Oakes for her ability to attend this year's McLeese Lake Christmas Community Dinner and everyone who played a role in making this year's McLeese Lake Christmas Community Dinner such a wonderful event it is every year...


Friday, December 14, 2018

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Dec 17-21

Next week - Williams Lake City Council & the Board of Education for School District #28 (Quesnel) will be meeting next week while Wells/100 Mile House Municipal Councils', Quesnel City Council, Board of Education for School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) and the Cariboo Regional District Board of Directors' are all now on Christmas Break and will not meet again until mid-January 2019

Details of meetings of Williams Lake City Council & the Board of Education for School District #28 (Quesnel) for next week listed below:

Williams Lake - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, December 18th at 6pm in Williams Lake City Council Chambers (450 Mart St). On the Agenda:

* Delegation -- Williams Lake Daybreak Rotary re Support for Replacement of Williams Creek Mountain Bike Bridge

* 9 Recommendations from Committee of the Whole - Dec 11th, 2018 meeting
* Unleaded Gasoline and Diesel Fuel - Award of Contract
* Development Permit Application - DP #06-2018 and DVP #7/2018 - Sprucelee Construction (Jim Man Lee Ltd.) - Renovations & Addition to Existing Building - 1238 Broadway Avenue South - Approval

* 2019 Community, Culture and Recreation Grant Application -- Waterfront Concept Plan
* Rural and Northern Communities Investing in Canada Infrastructure (ICIP) Grant Application - Universal Water Metering
* 7pm Public Hearing -- OCP Amendment Application - Bylaw No. 2292 - Hamel Contracting Ltd. - 3 New Residential Lots - 1946 Broadway Avenue South and Zoning Amendment Application - Bylaw No. 2293 - Hamel Contracting Ltd. - 3 New Residential Lots - 1946 Broadway Avenue South

* In-Camera Rpt #09-2018 re Grant Writer / Communications Outreach Position -- Authorization to Staff to proceed

View the full Agenda here

School District #28 (Quesnel) - Regular Board of Education Meeting on Wednesday, December 19th in the SD28 Boardroom (401 North Star Road, Quesnel). When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

Communities around B.C. to host sports events with Provincial Government help

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Editor's Note -- 100 Mile House is receiving $3,000 for British Columbia Blind Sports and Recreation – West Coast Blind Curling Provincial Playdowns from Jan. 10-13, 2019

British Columbians can look forward to 37 new provincial, regional, national and international sport events close to home next year, thanks to support from the B.C. government.

“Sports events bring people together, attract new visitors to our province and boost local businesses,” said Lisa Beare, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture. “From skiing to sailing, fencing and more, the Hosting BC Grants will help communities around B.C to attract and benefit from major sport competitions.”

The Province will provide $185,500 to support 37 sport events throughout the province, including the North American and Canadian Biathlon Championships, the 2019 World Ringette Championships and the 2019 West Coast Blind Curling Provincial Playdowns. The B.C. government provides $500,000 in Hosting BC grants each year as part of its annual $50-million funding commitment for amateur sport in the province.

Hosting BC grants are administered by viaSport, a non-profit society that provides funding and support to more than 70 provincial sports organizations.

“Events like these make it possible for communities across the province to host an incredible lineup of sport competitions, helping to make them healthy, vibrant and connected spaces,” said Sheila Bouman, CEO, viaSport. “These grants help provide access to people of all ages and abilities to participate in sport that is safe, inclusive and meaningful.”

The Hosting BC program was established to promote sport, economic and community development and to maintain B.C.’s reputation as an exceptional sport event destination. Three times per year, applicants can apply for grants to help host international, national, Western Canadian, provincial and regional sport events in their communities. The next intake period is planned for January-February of 2019.

Since 2004, the Hosting BC program has provided $6.6 million, supporting more than 1,000 sporting events.

Quick Facts:

ViaSport British Columbia is a not-for-profit organization created with the support of the provincial government in 2011. ViaSport envisions a society where people and communities are truly healthy, vibrant and connected because they value and participate in sport. By leading collaboration across sectors, viaSport’s purpose is to transform and scale the impact of sport through social innovation, investment and capacity building. It emboldens and enables leaders to provide sport experiences that are inclusive, safe and meaningful.

Hosting BC grants range from $1,000 to $35,000.

Applications for funding are reviewed by the Hosting BC review committee, which is comprised of leaders in the sport and tourism sectors.

In the summer of 2018, viaSport awarded $175,650 in Hosting BC grants to help sports organizations stage 39 competitions throughout B.C., including the 2018 Junior Grand Prix of Figure Skating.

Hosting BC grants open for applications every four months.

Learn More:

viaSport British Columbia:

For information on the Hosting BC grant process and application:

Learn more about the Province’s new hosting toolkit at:

Tipping fees change at Central Cariboo Transfer Station for 2019

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

In 2019, Cariboo Regional District and City of Williams Lake residents will see changes to the rates and free disposal weight limits at the Central Cariboo Transfer Station on Frizzi Road. The changes come as the City and CRD move towards a user pay system where residents who are generating above average amounts of waste pay a fee instead of taxpayers covering those costs.

As of January 4, 2019, residents will be able to drop off 100 kilograms of waste for free at the transfer station, which is a decrease from the current limit of 200 kilograms without charge. Any loads over 100 kg will be charged for the entire weight of the load.

Waste disposal rates are changing as well. The rates apply to residential loads over 100 kilograms and to all commercial loads, regardless of weight.
Waste TypeRate as of Jan. 4, 20192018 Rate
Household waste$0.08 per kg$0.07 per kg
Clean wood waste$0.08 per kg$0.07 per kg
FireSmart wood wasteFREEFREE
Asphalt roofing waste$0.08 per kg$0.07 per kg
Demolition/Construction waste$0.20 per kg$0.20 per kg
Concrete & Rock$0.025 per kg$0.023 per kg
Since most people’s loads are household waste and weigh less than 100 kilograms, most users at the site will not be affected by these changes. So far in 2018, over 35,000 vehicles have crossed the scale at CCTS with household waste and the average weight of all these loads was 36 kilograms.

Currently, the actual cost of managing household waste in the Central Cariboo is over $0.10 per kg ($100 per tonne); however, fees for household waste are only $0.08 per kilogram ($80 per tonne) for residential loads over 100 kilograms and all commercial load weights. The remaining costs are paid through taxation. By moving towards a user pay system, users will pay for their extra waste rather than all taxpayers.

Starting in 2020, the CRD will be developing its next 10-year Solid Waste Management Plan. User pay systems, rates and recycling participation will be reviewed as the plan develops.

A few reminders about waste disposal:
  • Wood waste and debris from FireSmart activities will still be accepted free at the Central Cariboo Transfer Station (and all CRD disposal sites) in 2019 regardless of weight or residential or commercial origin.
  • Please make sure to pre-sort clean wood waste, metals and recyclables out of demolition and construction waste. Not only does this help with waste disposal, but it decreases the weight and saves users money on the cost of their load.
  • There is a landfill ban on recyclables including, but not limited to: deposit beverage containers; pharmaceuticals; used oil; empty oil containers; oil filters; paints; lead-acid batteries; antifreeze; antifreeze containers; electronics; electrical products including batteries and accessories; passenger and light truck tires; large and small appliances; scrap metal; clean wood waste; corrugated cardboard; and office paper.
  • For more information on what can be recycled and where please visit
Find hours of operation, recycling information and the tipping fees bylaw for the Central Cariboo Transfer Station at For more information, contact the CRD at 1-800-665-1636 or

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Xeni Gwet’in First Nation/BC Conservation Officers collaborate on enforcement

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

The Xeni Gwet’in First Nation and B.C. Conservation Officer Service (COS) took part in an official signing ceremony to promote the sustainability of wildlife through a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

The MOU aims to foster an understanding of Xeni Gwet’in First Nation’s customs, traditions, cultural and spiritual practices, as well as traditional knowledge. It also promotes communication and collaboration between the COS and the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation, allowing for joint enforcement with the Tsilhqot’in Title Land Rangers. This includes enforcing communal restrictions, which prohibit the harvesting of cow moose for Xeni Gwet’in membership in its traditional territories.

“This memorandum of understanding is one more step in bolstering compliance, education and enforcement within our Aboriginal Title Lands and entire caretaker area of Xeni Gwet’in. Our food sources are of top priority to us as First Nations people,” said Xeni Gwet'in Chief Jimmy Lulua of Xeni Gwet’in First Nations Government. “Collaboration is one of the best ways to ensure success with our wildlife initiatives.”

Located in the Nemiah Valley, 200 kilometres northwest of Williams Lake, the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation is home to approximately 400 people who are strong in their culture and traditional ways. The valley is also home to a variety of animals, such as moose, cougars and bears.

The MOU, which came into effect in August 2018, promotes collaboration on the management, protection and stewardship of natural resources, fish and wildlife in its traditional territory, according to Xeni Gwet’in First Nation, provincial and federal laws.

“The B.C. Conservation Officer Service is pleased to work with the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation on enforcement within their traditional territory and the resulting collaboration and communication that has developed,” said Andy MacKay, COS acting inspector and provincial co-ordinator, restorative justice and First Nations. “The relationship will help strengthen respectful engagement with our agency and Xeni Gwet’in.”

Learn More:

To learn more about the Xeni Gwet’in First Nation, visit:

To learn more about the B.C. COS, visit:

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

150 Mile Fire Chief receives Medal of Good Citizenship

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

The CRD’s 150 Mile Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief, Stan McCarthy, is being honoured with the B.C. Medal of Good Citizenship. Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett nominated Chief McCarthy for the medal.
“Fire Chief Stan McCarthy goes beyond the call of duty in his daily life. He is true to his family and community and his leadership during the 2017 wildfires will never be forgotten,” MLA Barnett explains regarding her nomination of Chief McCarthy.
The Province of B.C. awards the Medal of Good Citizenship to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the well-being of their communities. 18 recipients were selected this year from more than 100 nominations.
“Congratulations Chief McCarthy! You are so deserving of this honour,” states Electoral Area F Director, Joan Sorley. “Thank you for your service to the 150 Mile VFD and the broader community for the past 37 plus years. Your selfless dedication has not gone unnoticed.”
Chief McCarthy has served the 150 Mile VFD since 1981 and is one of the founding members. He has filled many roles in the department, including being Fire Chief for nearly 20 years. As a recipient of the Medal of Good Citizenship, a biography of McCarthy is published here:
The Cariboo Regional District has 14 volunteer fire departments, which are managed through the Protective Services Department. For more information about the department or to learn about joining these groups of dedicated volunteers, visit

More construction projects for Quesnel in 2019

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Editor's Note -- weekly column by Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson.  He can be reached by email here.  The next Quesnel City Council news will be January 9th, 2019

Quesnel’s building and renovations scene is booming; any reputable company working in the home renovations or building trades will tell you that they’re booked solid for some time to come and that they’re struggling to find trained and competent workers, especially tradespeople, to keep up with demand. This is good news for our local economy, and the trend will continue in 2019.
As the two multi-unit housing projects in downtown Quesnel move into the finishing stages, we expect to see two new multi-unit housing projects start in 2019: the Elliott Street project and the recently announced BC Housing sponsored project in North Quesnel. These large scale housing projects will provide lots of opportunity for local workers and local suppliers and will continue to boost our local economy during construction.
Council hopes to add to these public sector housing projects with some private market housing developments and is embarking on a comprehensive reassessment of our community’s housing needs with a view to creating a new, detailed strategic plan for housing, from shelter to high-end market housing. We know we have a significant housing issue and that it is not limited to social or affordable/accessible housing needs but also encompasses the need to have more modern, high end single family residential housing and multi-unit housing options.
There is already a mini-boom in single family residential housing underway, with newcomers buying lots in existing subdivisions to build new homes and others undertaking significant renovations in the community’s existing housing stock. There is also market pressure on owners of rental housing to upgrade their offerings and that pressure will only increase as Council introduces its proposed secondary suite bylaw and maintenance bylaw (which will set minimum standards for rental housing). 
On top of all this construction activity on the housing front, Council is working hard to commence construction on the new public works facility in 2019 as well. This is a long overdue project for our City and we’re very grateful to the citizens of Quesnel for giving Council the mandate (with 76% approval on the referendum) to build a new facility to create a more efficient and effective workplace for our public works employees.
Two other large scale public sector projects are also going through their approval process with the hope of getting a decision from the provincial government in the 2019 budget: a new junior secondary school at the Maple Drive location, and the addition of a new intensive care and emergency room facility at G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital. Depending on the provincial government’s approval process, the very early stages of these projects could commence later in 2019.
There are also two other large-scale projects being put forward for grant funding in January, 2019: a major renovation to the Arts and Recreation Centre, and a proposed new Indigenous Cultural Centre at the confluence of the Quesnel and Fraser Rivers. If we’re successful with the Recreation Centre grant (which is being submitted by the Cariboo Regional District at the request of the North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee) the provincial and federal governments would provide 73% of the funding for this project. A successful application for the Indigenous Cultural Centre would see the senior levels of government provide 100% of funding needed for this project.
All-in-all, 2019 is shaping up to be another busy construction year for Quesnel, with many of the approved or applied for projects continuing our construction boom beyond 2020

Monday, December 10, 2018

By-election to be held for Cariboo RD Electoral Area F Director

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Today, the Cariboo Regional District confirmed there will be a by-election in the spring for Electoral Area F Director. Electoral Area F Director-Elect, Conrad Turcotte, was unable to take his oath of office by the deadline following the Oct. 20 election.

Turcotte had until Dec. 7 to be sworn into office, as Directors have 45 days to take the oath after the declaration of official election results. If a Director-Elect does not take the oath of office within those 45 days, the current Electoral Area Director continues in the position and the CRD holds a by-election as soon as is practical.

General election day for the Area F by-election is tentatively scheduled for March 30, 2019; however, the by-election details and timeline will be confirmed by the CRD Board at the Board meeting on Jan. 18, 2019.

Previous Area F Director, Joan Sorley, continues to hold the position until the by-election.
By-election information will be posted at when it is available.

Electoral Area F includes the area around 150 Mile House, Likely and Horsefly. If you are unsure if your property falls within Electoral Area F, use the interactive map to search your address at

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Cariboo RD's 2018 Year End Report

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Editor's Note -- the following address was provided at yesterday's Cariboo Regional District Board meeting by Cariboo Regional District Chair (and Cariboo RD Area 'H' Director) Margo Wagner:

Members of the Board, Members of the Media, Ladies and Gentlemen,

At the last Board meeting of every year, the Chair delivers a report with a review of the Regional District’s accomplishments in the previous year. I can’t believe we’re here in December again.

This year is a special year to commemorate since it was our 50th year providing local government services to the region. To celebrate, we held birthday parties, events and a photo contest. Staff held a spirit week and an internal photo contest to celebrate as well. Thank you for being part of this milestone for the regional district.

A main theme for this year has been rebuilding. 2017 ended with a focus on recovery and public consultation following our unprecedented wildfire season and that continued to be a primary focus into 2018. Early in 2018, the Board reviewed three main reports on our emergency response, communications and recovery efforts and the Emergency Preparedness Committee prioritized the recommendations and developed an action plan.

In the midst of our review, our Emergency Operations Centre was activated for spring flooding and then for wildfires two months later. I consider it a success that we have been able to make progress on the recommendations while supporting the region’s recovery and responding to subsequent emergencies. Some of those actions include staff training, a FireSmart wood waste disposal program, improvements to our EOC processes and developing a crisis communications plan.

We are committed to continued work on the recommendations from the 2017 wildfires review. A majority of that work depends on securing funding and, to date, we have applied for 1 million, three hundred and twenty-five thousand dollars ($1,325,000) in funding from the Canadian Red Cross and the Union of BC Municipalities to support our priorities, with plans to apply for more. Continuous improvements in emergency preparedness, response and recovery remain a priority for the Regional District.

This past year brought a variety of referendums. The CRD started the year with extensive public consultation on the proposed South Cariboo Recreation Centre Expansion, which went to referendum in June. While it was a close vote, the majority of residents decided against the project. We also successfully held a referendum to purchase two new fire trucks for the Interlakes Fire Department and to establish a North Cariboo Airport Service to provide a contribution for the Quesnel Regional Airport.

The Regional District has also continued efforts to communicate and engage well with our residents. We’ve held engagement processes around several projects, including the referendums held this year, and the Cariboo Regional District Library’s strategic plan. We hosted two information fairs on emergency preparedness in the spring in Electoral Areas I and L. Incorporating learnings from the 2017 wildfire season, we made efforts to improve our emergency communications and our residents indicated they did see an improvement comparing the 2017 and 2018 wildfire seasons in our survey this fall.

There have also been numerous other successes and growth in our services in 2018, such as:

  • Establishing new water services for the Benjamin subdivision in Electoral Area A and the Lexington area in Electoral Area F;
  • Adding three new wheelchair accessible trails to our network in Big Lake, Bull Canyon and Moffat Falls;
  • Opening a new branch of the CRD Library in Interlakes;
  • Completing water system improvements for 108 Mile Ranch and 103 Mile residents;
  • Forming a North Cariboo Agricultural Advisory Committee;
  • Finalizing the Lac La Hache Official Community Plan; and
  • Purchasing new fire trucks for the Ten Mile, Interlakes and 108 Mile Volunteer Fire Departments.

Our Board members have been very busy this year with training, attending events, supporting our constituents, serving as representatives on external committees and groups and, of course, during the fall election period.

This year, the CRD attended the Electoral Area Directors and Local Government Leadership Academy Forums in Vancouver in February and the North Central Local Government Association Convention and Annual General Meeting in Fort Nelson in May. In June, the Chair and Vice-Chair attended the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Conference in Halifax. At all these events, delegates and their partners were able to attend some great workshops, business sessions and, of course, some spectacular entertainment and social events.

In September, the Board of Directors attended the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention and AGM in Whistler. Throughout the convention the CRD met with provincial ministers and staff, attended workshops and spoke to CRD resolutions, which all received endorsement. We also celebrated with Director Al Richmond on his 25-year service award from UBCM and with former Director Ted Armstrong on his 40-year service award from NCLGA.

Some other highlights from 2018 have been:

  • assisting numerous non-profit groups and supporting funding requests for community initiatives through our grant writing program for a total of $1.8 million in grant funding applications;
  • applying to several different provincial and federal funding programs such as BC Air Access, Northern Development Initiative Trust and the BC Rural Dividend fund for nearly $1.8 million;
  • plus applying for the aforementioned $1.3 million from UBCM and Red Cross towards emergency response and recovery efforts; and
  • receiving approximately $1.8 million from the Community Works Fund to support green initiatives and energy efficiency projects.

As we reflect on our accomplishments and successes, we can see that our partnerships, service delivery, communications and governance have grown and developed significantly over the past 50 years. Through the dedication of previous and current Board and staff members, we have built a strong foundation as a local government.

I would like to welcome you all, new and returning Directors, to the term ahead. I know we are all committed to continuing the CRD’s momentum through our next four-year term, and through the CRD’s next 50 years, as we strive towards our goal of Building Communities Together.

Thank you.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Dec 10-14

The following local governments or Boards' of Education of the Cariboo-Chilcotin will be meeting next week, as follows:

Quesnel - Meetings as noted below in the Fraser Room (4th Floor, 410 Kinchant St)

Policy/Bylaw Review Committee on Tuesday, Dec 11th at 10am.  On the Agenda:

* Review Committee Terms of Reference
* 2019 Meeting Schedule
* Review Committee Workplan
* Administration Report #1/19 - Official Community Plan and Zoning Bylaw Update

View the full Agenda here

Financial Sustainability/Audit Committee on Thursday, Dec 13th at 3pm.  On the Agenda:

* Review of 2019 Community Supports/Legislative Budgets
* Financial Plan Amendment

View the full Agenda here

School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) -- Final Regular Board of Education Meeting in 2018 on Tuesday, Dec 11th at 6:30pm in the SD27 Boardroom (350 2nd Avenue North, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* PSO Use of 100 Mile Junior
* Policy 1161 - Trustee Remuneration (Policy to be suspended until ad-hoc Committee formed to review this policy)
* Amend Board Procedure Bylaw in relation to when Agendas are distributed to Trustees

View the full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Committee of the Whole Session on Tuesday, December 11th at 6:00pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (Basement - 450 Mart St).  On the Agenda:

* Delegation -- Jeff Pelley, RCMP Inspector/Detachment Commander & Dave Dickson, Manager of Community Safety re November 2018 Police Commission Report
* Presentation of Draft City of Williams Lake Airport Master Plan by Operations Economics/TetraTech Canada
* Presentation of City of Williams Lake Economic Development Strategy by Peak Solutions Consulting and Trevor Kier
* LGMA Commemorative Tree Planting
* 2019 Budget -- 2019 Budget and 2019-2023 Financial Plans - City Funds - Additional Information, Provisional Budget Recommendations, Structure Protection Unit Revenue Policy,
Tax Increase Revenue Policy and Grant Writer Position

View the full Agenda here

100 Mile House - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, December 11th at 7pm in 100 Mile House Council Chambers (385 Birch Avenue).  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here