Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Quesnel City Council Highlights - May 30th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Miss Quesnel Royalty Self Development Program
The following 2018 Miss Quesnel Royalty Self Development Program nominees, and their sponsors, were formally recognized at a banner presentation ceremony: Branda Eggert (Miss Butterfly Kisses and Paradise Salon & Spa), Savannah Audet (Miss Bliss), Gracie Combs (Miss Hub International), Alaura Jaggernath (Miss AC&D Insurance), Lilly Riley (Miss Willis Harper Hardware), Sierra Moore (Miss Canadian Tire), Hannah Pomeroy (Miss Interior Silvi Services Limited) and Terrah Peters (Miss Cariboo Ford).
Community Wildfire Prevention Initiative / Fuel Management Prescription Program
In order for wildfire prevention fuel prescription work to be completed this summer, Council approved the community’s contribution funding, both cash and in-kind contributions that represents 25% of the total costs, for Fuel Treatment Units #15 and #29 found in the City of Quesnel and Area’s Community Wildfire Protection Plan. Fuel Treatment Units #15 and #29 are 326 hectares located in the Marsh Road area, and 341 hectares located in the Hangman Pit/Nazko Highway area. Council and the City Manager are continuing their lobbying efforts with the Premier, Minister and Deputy Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development requesting that the Provincial government completely fund Community Wildfire Protection Plan Fuel Treatments located on Crown-owned lands and outside of Municipal boundaries.
City of Quesnel – Quarterly Report and 2018 Strategic Plan
The City’s 2018 First Quarterly Report and 2018 Strategic Plan are available on the City’s Website. The quarterly report lists highlights of activities on a quarterly basis for each City department and departmental statistics/data. The 2018 Strategic Plan lists what key strategic actions Quesnel City Council and City staff will work on throughout 2018. The 2018 Strategic Plan is broken down into the following topics: Community Health and Safety; Financial Sustainability; Economic Stability and Diversification; Environment Stewardship; Governance; and Infrastructure Re-Investment.
Master Sign Bylaw
The City Planner and Director of Development Services reviewed for Council highlights of the proposed revisions for the proposed new Master Sign Bylaw. Proposed Master Sign Bylaw revisions include: improved aesthetics, user-friendly layout/organization, improved overall readability to ensure business owners can easily find the number, type, and sizes of signs they could have for their businesses. The Master Sign Bylaw PowerPoint highlights for the public two key sections of the bylaw for business owners: Section 2, Business Districts, and Section 7, Additional Sign Regulations. For more information regarding the proposed changes to the City’s Master Sign Bylaw, please contact the City’s Development Services Department.
Patchett Street Park Playground Upgrade
Council approved increasing the Capital budget for the Patchett Street Park playground construction project from $200,000 to $370,000. The project’s increased funding is mainly due to incorporating play on the Park’s hillside that requires installation of pour in place rubber safety surfacing in order to meet current safety standards. The playground upgrade will also include new play structures, and a new accessible swing structure, that are to be located at the bottom of the Park’s hillside. Please view the student engagement preferred play elements, and the concept rendering based on student engagement.
Bylaw of the Month Program – Unsightly Properties/Overgrown Vegetation
This month, the City’s Bylaw of the Month Program is focusing on developing awareness around the City’s policy on unsightly properties with respect to overgrown vegetation. The accumulation or excess growth of grasses, bushes, trees, noxious weeds, or other plants is considered unsightly under the City’s Nuisance Bylaw. With our growing season well underway, the City’s Bylaw Officers would like to remind the public to continue to be mindful of the maintenance of their properties as this contributes positively to their neighbourhoods. The Nuisance Bylaw fines are accelerated for repeat violations and non-compliance of maintain a sightly property: First Offence $100, Second Offence $300, and Subsequent Offence(s) $500.
Bylaws
  • 1842 – Master Sign Bylaw – First, Second, Third Reading
  • 1853 – Quesnel Emergency Program Bylaw Amendment – Overtime for Staff – Final Adoption
Next Meetings
  • 7 pm, June 5 – Regular Council Meeting
  • 5:30 pm, June 12 – North Cariboo Joint Committee

SD27 Welcomes Special Advisor Mike McKay

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

The Chair of the Board of Education of School District No. 27, Tanya Guenther today welcomed the appointment of Special Advisor Mike McKay. Mr. McKay has been appointed by the Minister of Education to provide assistance to the Board and staff to implement recommendations developed by education specialist Dianne Turner in a report to the Minister earlier this year.

Ms. Turner was directed to assess concerns brought forward by the Cariboo Chilcotin Teachers’ Association (CCTA) in a vote of non-confidence in the Board, the Superintendent and the Secretary-Treasurer taken last November. Ms. Turner’s recommendations focus on improving governance, business practices, communication, culture and relationships in SD27.

Ms. Guenther stated “We welcome Mr. McKay’s involvement in our District to work with the Board, staff and stakeholders to implement actions to address Ms. Turner’s recommendations. We stated in a recent letter to the Minister that our Board and staff are committed to implementing actions to respond to the recommendations. We see this is as an opportunity to improve relationships with all our stakeholders and to request their help to improve the educational experience for our students. Mr. McKay is recognized as an experienced education specialist and we look forward to working with him for the benefit of our District.”

Mr. McKay isn’t wasting anytime beginning his work as Special Advisor in SD27. He, and Assistant Deputy Minister Keith Godin, arrived in the District this morning to begin conversations with the Board, staff and other stakeholders. Mr. McKay will be working in his role as special advisor until the end of December 2018 with further consideration at that time.

The Board is appreciative of the Minister’s support in addressing concerns in the District to ensure student achievement remains our focus while we rebuild our relationships with our stakeholders.

Courtesy and Common Sense

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Editor's Note -- this week's Quesnel Council Column is written by Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson.  He can be reached via email here

The “rules of the road” on the water are complicated and, for some, hard to understand. Despite being a long time sailor, I always have to refresh myself on those rules before setting sail. In open water there is some room for forgiveness, but in busy harbours and narrow waterways knowing and abiding by the rules is essential to avoid collisions.

There are no laneway markings on the water (except in rare occasions); complicated navigational aids that help direct traffic only if people can interpret them; and powerboats (from tankers to skiffs), sailboats, and smaller human-powered pleasure craft, all of which are free to move in every direction and change course at a whim.

Every skipper is also supposed to know how to interpret, on sight, the point of sail that every sailboat is on in order to ascertain which boat has right of way. On the water, boats under wind power have right of way over motorized vessels and there is a complicated system of determining which sailboat has right of way over other boats under sail in the same area.

Despite the complex nature of navigation on the water, however, there are relatively few accidents as a result of boat to boat collisions. I think the reason for this is simple: people generally take the time to refresh themselves on the rules of the road and boaters exercise courtesy toward other boaters. Seldom do boats pass each other without the passengers and skippers waving and acknowledging each other.

We need more of this sense of courtesy on our roads, and a lot more common sense practiced too.

Unlike on the water, the rules of the road on our highways and our municipal and rural road systems are clear, intersections are marked, and directional signage is easy to understand, even for visiting motorists. However, in the haste to get to wherever they’re going, too many drivers act as though the rules don’t apply to them (but lash out when someone else doesn’t abide by the rules of the road).

In recent months, more and more truckers seem to think that stop lights in the City don’t apply to them, and, for some reason that befuddles me, too many drivers still don’t adhere to the right turn only rule on Highway 97 at the Carson and Kinchant, despite multiple clear markings put up by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Spring also seems to bring out the worst in some drivers who cannot abide by any construction delays and who cannot stand cyclists using “their” roads. These drivers fail to recognize that we have a narrow construction window during which to maintain and repair our infrastructure and simply plan their trip accordingly. And, too many drivers still fail to acknowledge that cyclists have the same rights to the use of our taxpayer funded road system as they do (cyclists ought to refresh themselves on the rules of the road too, and adhere to them).

If drivers simply slowed down (at least adhered to the posted speed limit) and obeyed all of the posted road signs, our roads would be a lot safer for everyone using them and accidents would be minimized. And, if all road users exercised some common courtesy, our driving and cycling experiences on our taxpayer funded road system would be more pleasurable and a lot safer for everyone.

This Bike to Work Week, let’s courteously and safely accommodate cyclists using our public road system so we encourage more people to cycle for health and environmental reasons.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

WL Council Highlights - May 29th mtg

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

Meeting called to order at 6:00pm

Meeting Agenda, with the late items, adopted

Minutes of the Special Meeting of WL Council held May 14, 2018 and the Regular Meeting of WL Council held May 15, 2018 were both received/adopted

Presentations/Delegations:

1) Mayor Cobb presented a 'Certificate of Merit' Award to Mr. Rex Moon

2) Les Husband, Fire Centre Manager, Prince George Fire Centre, BC Wildfire Service appeared before Council to discuss the Abbott/Chapman Provincial Wildfire/Flood Response Report entitled "Addressing the New Normal: 21st Century Disaster Management in BC'

A Question/Answer period ensued

The Mayor thanked Mr. Husband for his time/information

Business:

1) Council received for information the accounts payable computer cheque listings dated May 10, 17 and 24, 2018

2) Council adopted Central Cariboo Joint Committee recommendations from its' April 25th meeting as follows:

a) That Central Cariboo / City of Williams Lake Joint Committee Report #05-2018 regarding the Cariboo Regional District partnering with the Bull Mountain Ski Club to submit a Special Circumstances grant application to the Rural Divident Fund for a maintenance shed be received, and the City of Williams Lake provide a letter of support for their application

b) That Central Cariboo / City of Williams Lake Joint Committee Report #04-2018 be received and the City of Williams Lake and Cariboo Regional District go on record as being in support of Enbridge undertaking equipment enhancements and a compressor replacement at Compressor Station 6A near 150 Mile House.

3) Council received/approved the 2017 Statement of Financial Information (SOFI) report for submission to the Province

4) Council agreed to support the resolution of the Council for the City of Langley and request the Province of BC to exempt local governments, regional districts and school boards from the imposition of the EHT to lessen the financial burden on local taxpayers, especially those that are on fixed incomes and further that correspondence to that effect be sent to the Province of BC.

5) Council awarded the engineering, supply and installation of a stand-by generator for the City's Public Works yard booster station to Harrison Industrial Contracting Ltd. for the tendered price of $145,965, excluding GST.

6) Council approved the purchase of three (3) pickup trucks from Lake City Ford for the tendered price of $139,538, including applicable taxes.

7) Council approved the purchase of a tandem axle dump truck from Premium Truck and Trailer Inc for the tendered price of $279,330, including applicable taxes.

8) Council endorsed two recommendations from its Public Works Committee, as follows:

a) That pursuant to Public Works Committee Report #01-2018, the letter from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 139 dated May 2, 2018 requesting millings and the use of City equipment to repair their upper parking lot be received and Council authorize Staff to arrange for the sale of an adequate amount of millings to the Legion at cost, as well as an in-kind donation of City equipment and an operator to load, deliver and compact the millings.

b) That pursuant to Public Works Committee Report #02-2018, the report of the Engineering Technologist dated May 17, 2018 be received and Council direct Staff to reallocate the unused budget of $83,215 from the 2018 Asphalt Rehabilitation Project toward extending the current Second Avenue streetworks rehabilitation and water saddles one block further up Second Avenue from Third Avenue to Moxon Place.

9) Council approved entering into an agreement with Cariboo Chilcotin Funeral Services for the operation of the Five Rivers Crematorium for a further three-year term commencing June 1, 2018 and expiring May 31, 2021, with an amendment to the re-bricking fund and schedule of fees to increase the re-bricking amount from $30 per cremation to $50 per cremation

10) Council awarded the contract for the supply and installation of a complete engineered air heating unit to RL7 for the tendered price of $75,977

11) Council received the Minutes of the Central Cariboo / City of Williams Lake Joint Committee Meeting held April 25, 2018

12) Council received the Carson Drive and Toop Road Intersection Improvements Progress Report from the Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure dated April 12, 2018

13) Council gave approval for the National Indigenous Peoples Day Celebrations Parade at 10:00 AM on Thursday, June 21, 2018

14) Council proclaimed the week of June 4th to 8th, 2018 as "French Immersion Week" in the City of Williams Lake

15) Council dealt with the late items as follows:

a) Council advised the public of the cancellation of the business licence for Mary Jane's Glass and Gifts Ltd. located at 71 Oliver Street in Williams Lake effective immediately

b) Council approved entering into an Agreement for ten (10) GPS Monitoring Devices and Associated Services with SafeTracks GPS Canada Inc. for a one-year term effective May 30, 2018, or upon installation of the first ankle bracelet

c) Council agreed to provide a letter of support to the Museum of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Society for their application to the Northern Development Initiative Trust for funding of up to $27,000 toward the construction of additional mobile display cases, cabinets, counters and service tables.

At 7:00pm - Council recessed to the Public Hearing for Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 2277, 2018
At 7:02pm - Council resumed its meeting

16) Following a Public Hearing - Council gave Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 2277, 2018 3rd Reading and forwarded the Bylaw to the Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure for approval

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

* May 2018 - Access Awareness Day (June 2, 2018) Poster - click here

Members of Council reported out on their recent activities

Media Question Period -- Cancellation of the Business Licence for Mary Jane's Glass and Gifts Ltd

Council agreed to adjourn at 7:25pm and after a brief break, Council convened an In-Camera Meeting as per Section 90(1e - land) of the Community Charter

Monday, May 28, 2018

Special WL Council Mtg - Proposed Cannabis Zoning Bylaw

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

Meeting called to order at 6:00pm

Meeting Agenda Adopted

Presentations:

1) WL RCMP Detachment Commander (Insp.) Jeff Pelley on the subject of Legalization of Cannabis

2) City Staff on the proposed zoning changes regarding legalization of cannabis within the City of Williams Lake boundaries and steps taken to date

Public Input:

Members of the Public addressed Council on the subject of the proposed Cannabis Zoning Bylaw  and Questions or Concerns being responded to

City Staff Report:

Council had before it a report from the City Planner dated May 25th on the subject of "Managing Legal Cannabis - Cannabis Zoning Bylaw #2272, 2018" - click here

Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That the report of the Planner dated May 25, 2018 be received and Council directed Staff to bring Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 2272 forward to the June 12, 2018 Regular Council Meeting for second reading, with amendments based on public input if necessary

Council adjourned at 7:25pm

Reid Street Project May 28th Update

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Crews have installed the storm main in Phase I of the project. Sidewalks and street lights are being removed from Phase I. The contractor is ensuring access will be given to businesses as soon as sidewalks are removed.  Crews made a connection of the new water main to the Carson Avenue water main. They also eliminated a section of the old water main at the intersection of Reid Street and Carson Avenue.  This week crews will be focusing on water connections to buildings in Phase I and water main connection on Barlow.

Post Event Report - 2018 NCLGA Convention

As is my practice following attendance at a seminar or convention as the Cariboo Regional District's Electoral Area 'D' Director - see below my "Post Event Report" from attendance at the 2018 North Central Local Government Association's Convention/AGM in Fort Nelson, BC from May 7-10, 2018

For the report - click here

As always, I'm happy to take questions on it.  Phone -- 250-267-6725 or via email here

Thanks,

SF

Saturday, May 26, 2018

CCTA/SD27 Relations

Editorial:

Last November - the Cariboo-Chilcotin Teachers' Association (CCTA) passed a motion of non-confidence in the senior management of School District #27 and the local Board of Education.  In the motion, it expressed concerns around personnel practices, financial mismanagement and failure to follow the collective agreement. In response to the motion, SD27 Superintendent Mark Wintjes stated the union (CCTA) has several channels available to express their concerns and that he finds it “troubling” they chose instead to communicate through the media, not them, in an attempt to apply political pressure on School District #27 officials and went on to explaining what has been occurring in the best interest of students

At the direction of the Deputy Minister of Education - a Special Advisor was appointed (Dianne Turner) to look into the "motion of non confidence" from the CCTA.  The report of the Special Advisor references issues of poor relationships over many years, poor "tone at the top", governance issues, etc.  The Special Advisor tabled 12 recommendations covering subjects including further refining work on governance, visioning exercise, roles of Staff vis-a-vis the Board of Education among others

The full report from the Special Advisor can be viewed here (note: some sections were redacted for privacy reasons).

The Minister of Education directed the Board of Education to respond to the report no later than May 31st. Read the response of School District #27 here while School District #27 wrote its' own report entitled "An Inside Look at School District #27 which you can read here and a press release entitled "SD27 Report counters CCTA Accusations" - click here while CCTA speaks to this matter here

In a press conference held yesterday afternoon with SD27 Board Chair Tanya Guenther, SD27 Superintendent Mark Wintjes and SD27 Secretary-Treasurer Kevin Futcher - Superintendent Wintjes called the report of the Special Advisor "hopeful and positive & expressed hope that the report and its' 12 recommendations will move the district forward in a positive manner with stakeholders,” - click here

SD27 Board Chair (and Zone 2 Trustee) Tanya Guenther confirmed to the Tribune, upon being asked at yesterday's press conference, that she will not be seeking re-election this October. In addition, SD27 Zone 5 (WL Fringe) Trustee Sheila Boehm already announced that she would be seeking a seat on Williams Lake City Council in the Oct 20th election. SD27 Zones 1, 3, 6 and 7 Trustees have yet to publicly confirm their election plans for the Oct 20th local elections. Zone 4 is currently vacant after the resignation of former SD27 Zone 4 Trustee Christine Dyment

As a community member - the report of the Special Advisor and the responses of School District #27 and the CCTA indicate that there is a lot of work to do in order to get back to a collaborative state within the School District but I get the sense that all parties want to improve the situation in School District #27 and hopefully this occurs, both short and long term, as it is imperative all sides work together for the best interests of the students - School District #27 Students deserve nothing less...

This editorial is my own opinion and not that of my elected role as Cariboo Regional District Electoral Area 'D' Director

~SF







Friday, May 25, 2018

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of May 28 - June 1st

The following local governments are meeting next week, as follows:

Quesnel - Meetings as noted below in Quesnel Council Chambers - 4th Floor, 410 Kinchant St:

Municipal Council - Meeting on Tuesday, May 29th at 7pm. On the Agenda:

* Reports from Councillors R. Paull/L. Roodenburg re: 2018 NCLGA Convention in Fort Nelson, BC

* 1st Quarter 2018 Report
* Master Sign Bylaw
* 2018 Strategic Plan (For Approval)
* Patchett Street Playground Upgrades
* Bylaw of the Month -- Unsightly Properties (Vegetation Overgrowth)

View the full Agenda here

Public Hearing - Elliott Street Supportive Housing Complex Proposal on May 30th at 6:30pm. Full details here

Williams Lake - Meetings as noted below in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart Street):

May 28th - Open House/Special Council Meeting on the subject of amendments to the City of WL Zoning Bylaw pertaining to Retail Sale and Production of Cannabis within the boundaries of the City of Williams Lake.  Open House at 5pm with Special Council Meeting to follow at 6pm.  Full details here

May 29th - Regular City Council Meeting at 6pm.  On the Agenda:

* 'Certificate of Merit' Award Presentation to Rex Moon
* Presentation from Les Husband, Fire Centre Manager, Prince George Fire Centre, BC Wildfire Service - FLNRO re Report 'Addressing the New Normal: 21st Century Disaster Management in BC'

* Bull Mountain Application to BC Rural Dividend - Special Circumstances Fund
* Number of Public Works related Items
* Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex Air Handling Unit - Award of Tender
* Carson Drive and Toop Road Intersection Improvements April 2018 Progress Report - Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure
* National Indigenous Peoples Day Celebrations & Parade

View the full Agenda here

Then at 7pm on May 29th in WL Council Chambers - a Public Hearing will be held with respect to property at 1411 Borland Road.  View the full details here

A reminder also about the Wildfire Information Expo Meetings in the Region next Tuesday - Thursday (Tuesday from 3-7pm in 100 Mile House, next Wednesday in Williams Lake (noon - 8pm) and next Thursday in Quesnel, 3-6pm).  Details here

~SF

CRD EOC stands down with reduced flooding concerns

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

The Cariboo Regional District’s Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) is standing down, as the risk of flooding has reduced throughout the region. Some areas may continue to see typical spring flooding conditions and the EOC is prepared to activate in case of any new emergencies.

The Regional District continues to support the recovery efforts in the Nazko area. For recovery questions or concerns, please contact the CRD’s recovery information line at 1-866-759-4977 during business hours. In the event of an emergency, please call the Provincial Emergency Reporting Line at 1-800-663-3456.

Cariboo residents should remain diligent and take steps to prepare ahead of emergencies.
  • Have an emergency plan
  • Prepare personal emergency supply kits for your home, car and work (plan for at least a three-day supply of food and water for each family member)
  • Have a grab-and-go kit ready if you have to leave your home quickly
  • Keep important papers in watertight containers and have a record of your valuables in a safe place
  • Consider arrangements for your pets and any livestock
Find more information on emergency preparedness and emergency updates at:

Cariboo RD Board Highlights - May 25th mtg

Present: Chair M. Wagner; Directors T. Armstrong, J. Bruce, J. Massier, S. Forseth, A. Delainey, J. Sorley, A. Richmond, R. William, B. Anderson, B. Coakley, B. Kuch, B. Simpson, W. Cobb and M. Campsall

Meeting called to order at 9:45am
Meeting Agenda adopted/Minutes of the Cariboo RD Board Meeting held May 2nd received/adopted

Delegations Memorandum of Business received

Resolved - That a meeting of the Cariboo Regional District Board be scheduled for November 9th, 2018

Business:

Development Services

1) The Board gave approval to the following Planning Bylaws:

a) 1st/2nd to Central Cariboo Area Rural Land Use Bylaw Amendment Bylaw No. 5133, 2018 (Area 'F'/Young and Alexander - Quesnel Lake)
b) 1st/2nd to South Cariboo Area Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 5140, 2018 (Area 'G'/Goldschmidt - Lac La Hache)
c) 1st/2nd to Quesnel Fringe Area Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 5141, 2018 (Area 'B'/Head and Mayers - Baker Creek Rd)
d) 1st/2nd to South Cariboo Area Official Community Plan (OCP) Amendment Bylaw No. 5142, 2018 & South Cariboo Area Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 5143, 2018 (Area 'H'/Elliott - Eagle Creek Rd)

e) 150 Mile House Area Official Community Plan (OCP) Amendment Bylaw No. 5144, 2018 & Williams Lake Fringe and 150 Mile Area Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 5145, 2018 were both rejected by the Board, at 1st/2nd Reading Stage, as the use proposed (Heavy Industry) was inappropriate in a rural residential setting (Area 'F'/MacDonald - Dugan Lake)

f) Following a public hearing - 3rd Reading to Chilcotin Area Rural Land Use Amendment Bylaw No. 5125, 2017 (Area 'K'/Reuter - Beece Creek)

g) Following a public hearing - 3rd Reading to South Cariboo Area Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 5134, 2018 and Cariboo Regional District South Cariboo Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 5135, 2018 (Area 'L'/van Loon - Horse Lake Rd)

h) Following a 2nd Public Hearing - the Board approved 3rd Reading/Final Adoption to amendments to Cariboo Regional District Land Use Bylaws to authorize Secondary Suites/Detached Accessory Dwelling Units (All Electoral Areas/Cariboo Regional District)

i) Final Adoption to Quesnel Fringe Area Official Community Plan Amendment Bylaw No. 5123, 2017 & Quesnel Fringe Area Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 5124, 2017 (Area 'A'/Sales - Sam Toy Road, Quesnel)

2) The Board deferred for 60 days to consider Development Variance Permit #18-2018 (Area 'F'/Kadonaga - Likely)

3) The Board approved for submission with a recommendation to approve to the Provincial Agriculture Land Commission ALR Applications #1803 (Area 'F'/Cantex-Okanagan Construction) and #1803 (Area 'D'/Macalister)

4) The Board approved Temporary Use Permit #4-2018 (Area 'H'/Fleming - Perkins Rd) and deferred consideration of Temporary Use Permit #14-2018 (Area 'L'/Marlborough Rd) for up to 60 days

Resolved - That the APC Bylaw be reviewed by Staff and recommendations be brought forward to a future Committee of the Whole meeting

Community Services:

1) The Board authorized for submission the following NDIT or Northern Development Initiative Trust Applications:

a) BC Farmers’ Market Trail: Northern BC
b) Anahim Lake Community Hall Renovations
c) Horsefly Salmon Festival
d) Quesnel Wonderland Trails
e) Telegraph Trail: Blackwater River

2) The Board agreed to enter into an agreement with Dennis Christianson, dba Nick’s Rag and Tube, for a five-year term at a value of $100,000 plus applicable taxes annually for South Cariboo Regional Airport Management and Operations

3) The Board agreed to renew an agreement with the 150 Mile Greenbelt, Trails and Heritage Society for a heritage park property at 150 Mile House for an additional 5 Year Term

Finance:

1) The Board received/ratified the Monthly Expenditures Board Summary Report and Mastercard Summary Report - April 2018 in the amount of of $1,983,489.26

2) The Board agreed to submit the 2017 Statement of Financial Information Report to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing

3) The Board agreed to the following Grant For Assistance - Year Round Intake Applications:

a) 100 Mile and District Women’s Centre Society - Areas 'G', 'H', 'L' - $682.50
b) 1st Williams Lake Junior Cadets Society - Receive only
c) Nazko Emergency Management Team - receive/refer to North Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus
d) Riske Creek Recreation Commission - Area 'K' - $500.00
e) Wildwood Community and Recreation Association - Area 'D' - $500.00

4) The Board authorized a request to change the terms of a 2018 $5,000 Area 'D' Grant for Assistance given to the McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Department Society

5) The Board received a report of the CFO concerning a Budget Amendment to use Community Works Funds for Office Roof Upgrade and that the budget be amended to source the funding for the roof upgrades entirely with Community Works funds and to include the additional insulation as quoted in the successful bid received to complete the project.

Administration:

1) The Board received a report of the Corporate Officer concerning the June 30th deadline to submit UBCM/Union of BC Municipalities Resolutions for consideration at the 2018 UBCM Convention at Whistler, BC from Sept 10-14, 2018

2) The Board received a report of the Corporate Officer reporting that Special Voting resulted in the following Resolution having been adopted

“That the email from Frankie Nelson, Business Manager, Williams Lake Power Plant, Atlantic Power Corporation, sent on May 4, 2018, requesting a letter of support for their short term extension for the Electricity Purchase Agreement with BC Hydro, be received. Further, that the letter of support be provided as requested.”


3) The Board received a report of the Corporate Officer reporting that Special Voting resulted in the following Resolution having been adopted

“That the Cariboo Regional District partner with the 100 Mile Nordics Ski Club to submit a Special Circumstances grant application to the Rural Dividend Fund in the amount of $388,375 for an upgrade to the ski trail lighting system, so that the project can be completed this summer in advance of the upcoming winter season.”

4) The Board received a report of the Corporate Officer in regards to BC Reg 41/91 (Regional District Special Voting Regulation)

Meeting recessed at 10:55am 
Meeting resumed at 11:00am

Delegation:

David Zirnhelt, Chair, and Serena Black, Coordinator, for the Cariboo Agricultural Research Alliance (CARA), appeared before the Board to provide information with regard to the CARA, its accomplishments to date and goals moving forward.

A Question and Answer period ensued

The Chair, on behalf of the Board, thanked Mr. Zirnhelt and Ms. Black for their time/information

Meeting recessed at 11:33am to CCRHD Board
Meeting resumed at 12:30pm

Business, cont:

5) The Board received a report of the Corporate Officer in regards to the Board’s request for the Province to grant additional authority under section 296 of the Local Government Act, so that the CRD may regulate/prohibit the sale and use of fireworks and referred the matter to a future Committee of the Whole meeting

6) The Board received the Consent Calendar as of May 25th

7) The Board received a copy of a letter from NDIT to the Lac La Hache Community Club approving their application to the NDIT Fabulous Festivals/Events Fund in the amount of $2,500 for the annual Garlic Festival

8) The Board received NCLGA/UBCM/FCM Member Items as follows:

a) District of Clearwater - Employer Health Tax
b) District of Kent - Cannabis Production Facilities on ALR Lands
c) Township of Spallumcheen - Cannabis Production Facilities on ALR Lands

9) The Board received a letter from the Canada Revenue Agency in response to its' previous letter in regards to Capital Gains Taxes being applied to property owners clearing private property of timber in fire-affected areas

Committee or Commission Minutes/Recommendations:

The Board received the following meeting minutes from the following CRD Committees/Commissions:

a) Emergency Preparedness Committee Meeting Minutes - April 3, 2018
b) North Cariboo Joint Committee Meeting Minutes - April 10 2018
c) Policy Committee Meeting Minutes - April 12, 2018
d) Central Cariboo Rural Directors Caucus Meeting Minutes - April 25, 2018
e) Central Cariboo Joint Committee Meeting Minutes - April 25, 2018
f) Service Efficiency and Effectiveness Review Committee Minutes - May 1, 2018
g) Central South Cariboo Joint Committee Minutes - May 2, 2018
h) South Cariboo Joint Committee Meeting Minutes - May 14, 2018

The Board ratified recommendations from the aforementioned CRD Committees/Commissions, as follows:

a) Emergency Preparedness Committee April 3rd Meeting -- Butterfly Effect Communications/Wildfire Consultation Report (Recommendations to CRD Board)

b) North Cariboo Joint Committee April 10th Meeting -- Gold Rush Cycling Club and Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium Partnership Agreement; Cariboo Strong Funding Application - North Cariboo Trail Development Project

c) Policy Committee April 10th Meeting -- Election Campaigning at CRD Fire Halls; Code of Conduct

d) Central Cariboo Rural Directors Caucus April 25th Meeting -- Waive Policy/Approve $1,000 from Area E Grant for Assistance Year Round Intake Fund ($1,000 to Cariboo Director Farm Market Association)

e) Central Cariboo Joint Committee April 25th Meeting -- Support of Enbridge Inc. Equipment Enhancements and Compressor Replacement Projects (receive only); Bull Mountain Cross Country Ski Trails

f) Service Efficiency and Effectiveness Review Committee May 1st meeting -- Terms of Reference / Committee Direction

g) South Cariboo Joint Committee May 14th Meeting -- 100 Mile Wranglers Hockey Club Society - Use and Occupancy Agreement Renewal

h) North Cariboo Joint Committee May 22nd Meeting - Funding for Alex Fraser Park Fur and Feather Building ($30,000 from NDIT, Community Halls Envelope and up to $26,780 of the Sub-Regional Recreation Capital Reserve Budget)

Corporate Bylaws:

1) In regards to the Interlakes VFD Loan Authorization Assent Vote, the Board authorized the following:

* That the Cariboo Regional District proceed to an assent vote (referendum) to obtain public assent of the electorate in the Interlakes Area Fire Protection Service Area to be conducted on August 18, 2018 with advance voting opportunities on August 8th and 13th.

* That Alice Johnston/Lore Schick be appointed as Chief and Deputy Chief Election Officer for this assent vote

* That the question to be put to the electorate for the Interlakes Area Fire Protection Loan Authorization Assent Vote be as follows:

“Are you in favour of the Cariboo Regional District adopting Bylaw 5147, which will authorize the borrowing of up to $800,000 over 10 years to replace two aging engine/pumper fire apparatus for the Interlakes Area Fire Protection Service?
(The estimated annual cost to undertake this borrowing will not require any adjustment to tax rates.)


* That Cariboo Regional District Interlakes Area Fire Protection Loan Authorization Bylaw No. 5147, 2018 be read a first, second and third time

2) Cariboo Regional District Forest Grove Legion Property Tax Exemption Bylaw No. 5148, 2018 was given 1st, 2nd, 3rd Readings/Adoption

3) South Cariboo Regional Airport Fees and Charges Bylaw No. 5146, 2018 was given 1st, 2nd, 3rd Readings/Adoption

Directors' Requests:

1) At the request of Director A. Richmond (Area 'G') - the Board authorized funding of up to $1,000 from the Area 'G', 'H' and 'L' Director Initiative Funds for the purpose of helping with the transportation of 6 elementary schools to a tree planting event on June 1st at the 108

Chair/CAO Reports:

1) The Board received the report of the Chair dated May 23rd outlining her recent activities on behalf of the Board

At 1:54pm -- the Board convened an In-Camera Meeting as per Sections 90(1j/k - information prohibited from Public Disclosure/Negotiations) of the Community Charter

At 1:58pm -- the Board resumed its' Public Meeting

Directors' Roundtable:

Directors reported out on activities in their Electoral Area or Municipality

The Board adjourned at 2:16pm


CCRHD Board Highlights - May 25th mtg

Present: Chair B. Simpson, Directors T. Armstrong, J. Bruce, J. Massier, S. Forseth, A. Delainey, J. Sorley, A. Richmond, M. Wagner, R. William, B. Anderson, B. Coakley, B. Kuch, and M. Campsall

Meeting called to order at 9:30am

Meeting Agenda Adopted and Minutes of the CCRHD Board held May 2nd received/adopted
Delegations Memorandum of Business was received

Business:

1) The Board received the Hospital Consent Calendar

2) The Board received an invitation from Northern Health, dated May 14, 2018, for the Welcome Signage unveiling at GR Baker Memorial Hospital on May 25th at 3pm.  This is to recognize that GR Baker Hospital and its' guests/patients' is on the traditional territory of the Lh'tako Dene First Nation

3) The Board received Interior Health's Capital Projects and Planning Status Report for April 2018

4) The Board received a response letter from Northern Health pertaining to the subject of recruitment and retention of health care professionals to Northern BC Communities

The Board recessed at 9:39am
The Board resumed at 11:33am

Delegation:

Penny Anguish, Chief Operating Officer, Debbie Strang, Health Service Administrator, and Peter Kallos, Regional Director of Development Services from Northern Health appeared before the Board to provide an update on the Quesnel Health Services Administrative area

A Question/Answer period ensued

The Chair thanked the delegation for their time/information

The Board adjourned at 11:57am

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

2018 City of WL Property Tax Notices Mailed!

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Property tax notices were mailed to all property owners within the City of Williams Lake the week of May 21, 2018.

If you own a property within City limits and have not yet received your notice, please contact the City of Williams Lake at (250) 392-2311 to ensure that we have your current mailing address.

Note that property taxes are due and payable on or before July 3, 2018.

All unpaid 2018 taxes, including unclaimed home owner grants, are subject to 10% PENALTY AFTER JULY 3, 2018.

Eligible taxpayers are urged to apply for their home owner grant as soon as they receive their tax notice.

Taxes can be paid by cash, cheque, interac, on-line through your banking institution (payments by credit cards are not accepted). Please make sure that your payment reached the tax office by July 3, 2018 to avoid penalty.

Further information could be found at the back of your tax notice, online at http://williamslake.ca/702/Property-Taxes or by contacting your City Hall at (250) 392-2311.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Singh launches formal bid for re-election in Oct 2018 City of Kamloops General Election

Earlier today - Kamloops City Councillor Arjun Singh (who is also a Thompson Nicola RD Director and 1st Vice President of the Union of BC Municipalities) officially launched his 4th bid for Kamloops City Council.  In his pitch to his constituents, he talks about his 2014 Election Platform, goals met relative to his 2014 Election Platform and what he has been up to on Kamloops City Council in this term- click here

Meanwhile. back in January of this year -- Kamloops Mayor Ken Christian confirmed to CFJC Today that he will seek re-election this October as will Kamloops Councillors Kathy Sinclair, Dieter Dudy and Donovan Cavers.  Kamloops City Councillor Pat Wallace will retire from Kamloops City Council after serving for 31 years.  Kamloops City Councillors Tina Lange and Denis Walsh are mulling over their options and are expected very soon to reveal their October re-election plans - click here

Kamloops City Councillor Ray Dhaliwal told Kamloops This Week back on April 30th that he is seriously mulling a Kamloops Mayoral Bid and he will make up his mind by August - click here

Local Government Elections in BC to elect Mayors', Councillors', Electoral Area Directors (Regional Districts') and School Trustees (Boards of Education) will be held on Saturday, October 20th to elect individuals to these positions for a 4 year term covering the years November 2018-2022 inclusive...

~SF


Sunday, May 20, 2018

2018 Season of McLeese Lake Farmers' Market commences!



Today saw the start of the 2018 Season of the McLeese Lake Farmers' Market.  Although the weather wasn't the greatest today (overcast and rain), there were quite a few people in attendance including former Wells Mayor Robin Sharpe.  CRD Area 'D' contributes funding for the operating costs for the McLeese Lake Farmers' Market via the Regional District's Area D Economic Development Function.

The agreement expires at the end of 2018 and I hope to be in a position in 2019 to renew the agreement with the McLeese Lake Farmers Market Association for an additional 3 year term (2019-22)

The McLeese Lake Farmers' Market is open 9am - 1pm every Sunday in downtown McLeese Lake (between Oasis Pub and the former Oasis Cafe) until this fall

~SF

2018 Local Government Awareness Week

Today through to May 26th starts Local Government Awareness Week in the Province of British Columbia.  Local governments affected so much of what people do, whether in recreation, water/sewer or home construction/renovations as a few examples

As one who has served on local government committees, appointed as an Alternate Electoral Area Director and currently serves as an elected Electoral Area Director - I have always been and continue to be passionate in my work serving in local government.  I am appreciative of my local government colleagues who serve both on the North Central Local Government Association Executive or the Union of BC Municipalities Executive who lobbies for those serving in local government Board of Directors or Municipal Councils for our collective priorities and making the Provincial/Federal Governments and other stakeholders aware of our issues/concerns.  Their efforts are appreciated.  It is an honour to serve the great people of Electoral Area D of the Cariboo Regional District and ensuring their issues/concerns/priorities are addressed in a timely manner and will continue to do so as long as I retain their confidence as their duly elected Electoral Area Director

See Proclamation from the Province of British Columbia below:




Friday, May 18, 2018

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of May 22-25

The following local governments of the Cariboo-Chilcotin are meeting next week in a shortened week due to the Victoria Day long weekend, as follows:

Wells - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 22nd at 7pm in Wells Council Chambers (4243 Sanders Avenue).  On the Agenda:

* Proposed Gateway Park Concession Agreement Renewal
* Proposed Health Bus Transit Renewal with the City of Quesnel
* Jack O Clubs General request for Council resolution in support of a Liquor License application change to allow for a Licensed Patio addition
* Numerous Letters from Wells residents
* Staff reports for information
* Bylaws for consideration from 1st, 2nd, 3rd Readings or Adoption

View the full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Committee of the Whole Session on Tuesday, May 22nd at 6pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (Basement - 450 Mart St).  On the Agenda:

* Police Commission Report from RCMP Inspector J. Pelley (WL RCMP Detachment Commander)
* Williams Lake Airport Improvement Fee Proposal
* RC Race Track in Boitanio Park - Requests to Council
* Business License Busking Downtown - Verbal presentation from Director of Development Services

View the full Agenda here

School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin)- Presentation of 2018-19 Budget/Regular Board of Education Meeting starting at 6:30pm at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary in 100 Mile House (200 - 7th Street, 100 Mile House).  On the Agenda:

* Public Input - Proposed SD27 2018-19 Budget
* Presentation - Rural Secondary School Program
* Consent Agenda for Adoption
* Reports from the Superintendent and Secretary-Treasurer
* Request to Ministry of Education to combine SD 27 Zones 5/6 (WL Fringe and City of WL) was denied
* A number of Bylaws for consideration

View the full Agenda here

100 Mile House - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 22nd at 7pm in 100 Mile Council Chambers (385 Birch Avenue, 100 Mile House).  On the Agenda:

* By-Law Officer report for April 2018
* Tender Award – 2018 Sidewalk Projects
* PSO Graduation Promenade Route Approval
* Several Bylaws for consideration

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District - Meetings as noted below:

North Cariboo Rural Directors Caucus -- Regular Meeting on Tuesday, May 22nd at 3pm in the CRD Quesnel Office (100-410 Kinchant St, Quesnel).  On the Agenda:

* Grant for Assistance Application – Quesnel Tillicum Society
* City of Quesnel - 2018 Canada Day Sponsorship Request

View the full Agenda here

North Cariboo Joint Committee - Regular Meeting on Tuesday, May 22nd at 5:30pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (4th Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* Presentations: Sports Hall of Fame / Quesnel Midget Hockey Team and the Organizing Committee
* Referred Item from Cariboo Regional District Board re: North Cariboo Joint Committee Terms of Reference
* Referred Item from Quesnel City Council - Children's Charter
* West Fraser Centre Liquor Permits and Licensing
* West Fraser Centre Banners and Memorabilia Policy
* Arena Precinct Project Update
* Alex Fraser Park Fur & Feather Building Replacement
* SD#28 News Release - Quesnel Board of Education approves two week Spring Break for 2019/2020
* Letter from Friends of Bouchie-Milburn Society re: Access to Bouchie Lake Hall
* In-Camera Session as per Section 90(1c/k - labour/negotiations) of the Community Charter. Items for Discussion -- Alex Fraser Park - Operating / Capital Agreement & West Fraser Centre Concession

View the full Agenda here

Emergency Preparedness Committee - Regular Meeting on Thursday, May 24th at 11:30am in the CRD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake).  The Committee will continue its' review of recommendations from 2017 Wildfire Review Reports and review the recently completed George Abbott/Maureen Chapman report reviewing the provincial response to Wildfires/Floods.  View the full Agenda here

Policy Committee - Regular Meeting on Thursday, May 24th at 3pm in the CRD Boardroom.  On the Agenda:

* Remuneration Bylaw Review
* Financial (Cheque) Signing Authorities Policy Update
* Naming Policy

View the full Agenda here

Public Hearing at 7pm on Thursday, May 24th in the Bouchie Hall Hall to consider an amendment to the North Cariboo Rural Land Use Bylaw.  Full details here.  The Public Hearing will be chaired by Cariboo RD Area 'B' Director Jerry Bruce on behalf of the Cariboo RD Board of Directors'

Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District - Regular Board Meeting on Friday, May 25th at 9:30am in the CRD Boardroom.  On the Agenda:

* Delegation: Northern Health at 11:30am to provide an update
* Hospital Consent Calendar
* Item from Northern Health regarding Welcome Signage at GR Baker Hospital

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District - Regular Board Meeting on Friday, May 25th at 9:45am in the CRD Boardroom.  On the Agenda:

* Delegation: Cariboo Agricultural Research Alliance (David Zirnhelt, Chair, and Serena Black, Coordinator) re: provide information with regard to the Alliance, its accomplishments to date and goals moving forward

* Consideration of Land Use Applications
* Number of NDIT Applications
* Discussion on Use of Special Voting (by email)
* Approval of Several Grant for Assistance Year Round applications
* Office Roof Upgrade - Funding Options
* 2017 Statement of Financial Report - for submission to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs/Housing
* Banning Fireworks in CRD Electoral Areas - Round 2
* Committee/Commission Reports
* Request from Area G Director Al Richmond for Director Initiative Funds -- up to $600 to assist with the cost to transport local youth to a CRD-coordinated event at the 108 in an effort to help community members recover from the 2017 wildfires

* In-Camera Session (Section 90(1j/k -- information prohibited from public disclosure/negotiations) of the Community Charter

View the full Agenda here

Public Open House and Special Council Meeting on Proposed Cannabis Zoning Bylaw

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

On Monday, May 28, 2018, starting at 5:00 pm, the City of Williams Lake is holding an Open House followed by a Special Council Meeting at 6:00 pm in Council Chambers to discuss the proposed Cannabis Zoning Bylaw No. 2272. The proposed Zoning Bylaw Amendment would enable storefront retail cannabis to be located in certain zones and allow cannabis production and distribution facilities in conjunction with existing heavy industrial uses in a newly created North End "Cannabis and Heavy Industrial (M-4)" Zone. 

Members of public are invited to attend the meeting to review the proposed changes and provide valuable input on the proposed bylaw. Staff and Council will be available at the meeting to provide information, receive comments, and respond to inquiries from the public. 

If you have any questions, please contact Hasib Nadvi, Planner, at hnadvi@williamslake.ca or 250-392-1770. 

Category 2 Open Fires to be banned May 23rd at 12 noon!

Courtesy of the BC Wildfire Service:

Effective at noon on Wednesday, May 23, 2018, Category 2 and 3 open fires will be prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.

Specifically, prohibited activities include:

the burning of any waste, slash or other materials
open fires larger than 0.5 by 0.5 metres
stubble or grass fires of any size over any area
the use of burning barrels or burning cages or any size or description
the use of sky lanterns
the use of fireworks
the use of binary exploding targets (e.g. for target practice)
the use of air curtain burners

A map of the area affected by this open burning prohibition is available at: http://ow.ly/q40P30k4sHB

Anyone conducting a Category 2 open burn anywhere in the Cariboo Fire Centre must extinguish any such fire by noon on May 23. Category 3 open fires have been prohibited since April 23, 2018. This prohibition will remain in place until Sept. 29, 2018, or until the public is otherwise notified.

This prohibition is being implemented due to an increase in fire danger ratings caused by a drying trend throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre. Anyone conducting Category 2 open burning prior to this date is urged to use caution, and must follow open burning regulations as defined in the Wildfire Act and Regulation.

This prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre by a half-metre wide or smaller, and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.

A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at: http://ow.ly/znny309kJv5

These prohibitions apply to all public and private land unless specified otherwise — for example, in a local government bylaw. Please check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

The Cariboo Fire Centre stretches from Loon Lake near Clinton in the south to the Cottonwood River near Quesnel in the north, and from Tweedsmuir Provincial Park in the west to Wells Gray Provincial Park in the east.

To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca

You can follow the latest wildfire news:

On Twitter: http://twitter.com/BCGovFireInfo
On Facebook: http://facebook.com/BCForestFireInfo

Be safe over May long weekend!

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

The May long weekend is a great time to travel and visit friends and family.

However, with flooding in some areas the Province of B.C. is asking residents and visitors to plan their destinations and travel routes carefully. Many areas – including regions experiencing flooding – are still open and ready to receive visitors. But travellers need to check their plans, travel routes, and know before they go.

The 2018 spring flooding season has progressed aggressively, due to melting snow pack compounded by heavy rainfall and warm weather. These conditions have triggered flood warnings and evacuations, with an estimated 4,500 people already forced from their homes. Forecasts are calling for emerging flood risk for communities along the lower Fraser River, spanning from Hope to Vancouver. At the same time, the fire danger rating in other areas of the province is starting to increase.

For updated information on flood-affected areas and tips to help plan your weekend, please visit: www.emergencyinfobc.gov.bc.ca

Staying safe around flood waters

Assume that all surface water (lakes, rivers, ditches, etc.) is naturally contaminated during a flood. Check with the local health authority or First Nations Health Authority for current drinking water advisories.
Never drive or walk through flooded streets. Water can be deeper than it appears, and levels can rise very quickly.
Keep clear of eroded banks, as they may result in unstable ground and keep children and pets away from stream banks.
Stay alert for changing conditions, particularly if you are in low-lying areas or near waterways.
Listen to local officials and follow their instructions if asked to evacuate.

Highway and road closures

Plan your travel routes ahead of time – some provincial routes may be affected by floods, while others may be busier than usual due to higher volume of long-weekend travellers, or if being used for evacuation.
People who must travel should make sure that someone knows their plans, including routes and timing in case they experience difficulties while in transit.
Pack extra food and bottled water for yourselves, as well as your pets, allow for plenty of extra time and drive safely.
Slow down and obey traffic control.
For the most up-to-date traffic information check: www.drivebc.ca
Follow on Twitter at @DriveBC

Visitor information and centres

Visitor Centres around the province can provide helpful trip planning information and have up-to-date details for all travellers. They can help you adjust your travel plans if needed. For a list of centres, visit: https://www.hellobc.com
Indigenous Tourism BC can help connect visitors and residents with Indigenous entrepreneurs, artists and designers: www.indigenousbc.com

Camping and outdoor recreation

Most provincial parks and sites remain open for recreational and camping activities. However, some parks have been closed to protect public safety. BC Parks website now has a link to all of the campground closures due to flooding: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/
In the event of an emergency, follow the instructions of BC Parks staff, RCMP, conservation officers and other authorized personnel in the area.
BC Parks: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks
Recreation Sites and Trails BC: http://www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca
Boaters on lakes and rivers in flood-affected regions should be aware of high-water levels and debris, and obey posted speed limits as to not adversely affected shorelines.
To avoid problems with bears and other wildlife, lock up all food in a vehicle overnight. Use the garbage containers provided and maintain a clean campsite. Never feed or approach bears.

Fire safety

Despite the flooding that is occurring in some parts of B.C., forests, grass and other types of vegetation are drying out quickly in other areas. From April 1 to May 16, 2018, the BC Wildfire Service has already responded to 134 wildfires.
Remember that campfires must not be larger than 0.5 metres high or 0.5 metres wide. Never light a campfire or keep it burning in windy conditions. Weather can change quickly and wind may carry embers to other combustible material.
Maintain a fireguard around the campfire. This is a fuel-free area where all flammable materials (grass, kindling, etc.) have been removed right down to the soil.
Never leave a campfire unattended.
Have a shovel or at least eight litres of water available to properly extinguish your campfire. Make sure that the ashes are cold to the touch before leaving the area for any length of time.
Anyone lighting a campfire is legally responsible for making sure it doesn’t escape and could be held accountable for damages and fire suppression costs if their negligence results in a wildfire. Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a violation ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail.
Anyone riding an all-terrain vehicle or dirt bike must have a spark arrestor installed on the vehicle. Check the condition of the muffler, stay on dirt paths and avoid tall grass and weeds to reduce wildfire risks.
Smokers must dispose of cigarette butts and other smoking material responsibly, making sure that these materials are completely extinguished.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. To report suspicious activities, environmental damage or a natural resource violation, call 1 877 952-RAPP (7277) or *7277 on a cellphone.

Off-road vehicles

Most provincial parks are closed to off-road vehicle use unless otherwise posted.
When riding off-road vehicles, respect the environment and use trails that are designated for motorized use. Keep vehicles out of sensitive sites that could be easily damaged, such as wetlands, grasslands, alpine areas and subalpine environments.
Operators of all-terrain vehicles are reminded that these vehicles must be insured if they will be driven on forest service roads.
Protecting your home, property and family for flooding

Create a household emergency plan, put together your grab-and-go bag, and connect with your neighbours.
Move equipment and other assets to higher ground.
Clear perimeter drains, eaves troughs and gutters. Maintain your sump pumps.
Move electrical appliances to upper floors and make sure to anchor fuel supplies.
Park vehicles away from streams and waterways.
Protect your farm and livestock

The British Columbia Premises Identification program for livestock operations has many benefits, particularly during an emergency or disease outbreak.
Knowing where livestock are located and how to contact owners can reduce potential economic, social and environmental impacts to livestock operations.
Ranchers and farmers can register their livestock in the Premises ID program online: www.gov.bc.ca/premisesidprogram

Learn More:

PreparedBC is British Columbia's one-stop shop for disaster readiness information. For tips on how to prepare an emergency plan and what to include in an emergency kit, visit www.gov.bc.ca/PreparedBC

Flood prevention tips: http://ow.ly/E2JV30bttgr

PreparedBC: Flood Information for Homeowners and Home Buyers guide: http://ow.ly/t4lg30bttjr

River Forecast Centre: http://bcrfc.env.gov.bc.ca/

BC Wildfire Service: http://bcwildfire.ca

Thursday, May 17, 2018

South Cariboo Wildfire Recovery Plan released!

Courtesy of the District of 100 Mile House:

Today, the District of 100 Mile House released the South Cariboo Wildfire Recovery Plan. The Recovery Plan was prepared over the past several months, and a total of nearly 500 points of contact were made to gain a thorough understanding of the short and long term impacts of the wildfires in the South Cariboo

The plan, prepared by South Cariboo Recovery Manager, MJ Cousins, identified several themes during the impact assessment phase of work. These themes include: business continuity challenges, resiliency and preparedness for the future, mental health and wellness issues, communication improvements, and business growth opportunities.

Economic, psychosocial, environmental and infrastructure impacts are detailed in the plan, along with medium and longer term recommendations for moving forward with recovery efforts.

100 Mile House Mayor Mitch Campsall stated:

Thinking about what our community went through last summer, I sincerely appreciate our residents and business people taking the time to talk with the Recovery Manager and share your stories to help us more fully understand and meet the challenges of recovery. There is a lot of information in this Recovery Plan, but I look forward to further discussing the recommendations and making an action plan for moving forward with recovery. Working with the community and the region will be key to implementing the plan and achieving positive outcomes and success.

While Cariboo Regional District Board Chair Margo Wagner further stated:

“The South Cariboo Recovery Plan documents the needs and steps forward for the businesses and residents of the South Cariboo. This plan connects well with the CRD’s overarching recovery strategy and we look forward to working with the District of 100 Mile House on continued recovery efforts in the South Cariboo.”

The full Plan can be viewed here

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

2018 BC Beef Day

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Barbecue fired up? Check. Tasty B.C. beef on the grill? Check. Big appetite at the ready? Check!

The day that is circled on many people's calendars is underway with the official proclamation of B.C. Beef Day at the provincial Parliament Buildings.

The celebration is about recognizing the ranching sector’s contribution to communities throughout the province, and acts as an unofficial kickoff to grilling season in B.C.

“B.C. Beef Day is an opportunity to recognize our province’s ranching sector,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “I’m excited to continue to work with the dedicated people who represent ranchers, farmers, and meat processors across BC. It is important to connect our consumers, restaurant industry, and tourism industry to this incredible B.C. product. Today, we celebrate the important contribution that B.C. ranchers make to our rural and urban economy.”

The Province has proclaimed May 16, 2018, as B.C. Beef Day, recognizing the partnership between government and industry stakeholder groups, including the BC Cattlemen’s Association, BC Association of Cattle Feeders, the BC Breeder and Feeder Association, and the BC Association of Abattoirs.

“B.C. Beef Day is a great day to fire up the barbecue and recognize ranchers for the hard work they do supplying a healthy, nutritious product for British Columbians,” said Brian McKersie, BC Cattlemen’s Association president. “It gives us an opportunity to meet with government to strengthen the partnerships, and discuss how we can grow our industry together for today and the future.”

In her remarks at B.C. Beef Day, Popham acknowledged the hard work of the sector, as it continues to recover from last summer’s wildfires. The governments of Canada and B.C. are continuing to provide support through AgriRecovery, and this includes making funding available for those ranchers who lost grazing land in fire-damaged areas.

The B.C. beef is being grilled at today’s barbecue by the award-winning team from House of Q. The beef was supplied by Meadow Valley Meats. The family-owned business in the Fraser Valley has been supplying meat products for almost 50 years.

District of Wells 2018 By-Election Formally Proceeds!

Courtesy of the District of Wells:

Public Notice is given to the electors of the District of Wells that Advance Voting and General Voting for the offices of:

Mayor (1) & Councillor (1)

Candidates for Mayor are:

a) Jillian Merrick (currently a Prince George City Councillor)
b) Jay Vermette (formerly Mayor of Wells from 2005-2011)
c) Richard Wright (former District of Wells Councillor for multiple terms)

Candidates for Councillor are:

a) Dianne Andreesen
b) Mark Dawson
c) Kathy Landry
d) Buffy Rummel

Source document here

The District of Wells 2018 By-Election will take place as follows:

ADVANCE VOTING: Wells Community Hall Banquet Room 4269 Sanders Avenue Wells, BC V0K 2R0 From 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Wednesday, May 30, 2018

GENERAL VOTING: Wells Community Hall Banquet Room 4269 Sanders Avenue Wells, BC V0K 2R0 From 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Saturday, June 9, 2018

Please note, in accordance with District of Wells Bylaw No. 134, 2014, a qualified person may register as an elector only at the time of voting.

Documentation:

To register as a resident elector, the qualified person must complete the application form and provide 2 pieces of identification (at least one with a signature) to prove both residency and identity. If the elector does not have documentation showing residency, 2 pieces of identification are still required (at least one with a signature) and the elector must make a solemn declaration as to their place of residence.

To register as a non-resident property elector, the person must complete the application form, provide proof that they are entitled to register in relation to the property, provide written consent from a majority of the property owners (if there is more than one owner), and produce 2 pieces of identification that provide evidence of identity (at least one with a signature). Only one of the registered owners can vote on behalf of the property.

Further information may be obtained by contacting: Andrew Young, Chief Election Officer, District of Wells (tel: 250-994-3330)

Tsilhqot’in Respond to Independent Wildfire Review

Courtesy of the Tsilhqot'in National Government:



Floods and Wildfires – our new normal?

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Editor's Note -- this week's Quesnel Council Column is written by Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson.  He can be reached via email here

As I listen to the daily news stories about this season’s record setting floods it’s easy to forget our forests are experiencing drought and that fire bans are already in effect. Against this backdrop, I read with interest the newly released report on last year’s floods and wildfires (bcfloodfirereview.ca).

Last fall, Premier Horgan asked former Liberal MLA and Cabinet Minister, George Abbott and Hereditary Chief of the Sq’ew√°:lxw (Skawahlook) First Nation, Maureen Chapman to conduct a comprehensive review of last year’s flood and wildfire events and make recommendations to the government about any changes the Province should undertake to mitigate the risks associated with these natural disasters, better prepare for future disasters, and better help communities to recover from such events.

Entitled “Addressing the New Normal: 21st Century Disaster Management in British Columbia,” Mr. Abbott and Chief Chapman state at the outset of their report that “(t)he challenges faced in 2017 may not have been an anomaly, but a strong indication of a new normal our province and planet now face due to the unpredictable and increasingly volatile impacts of climate change.”

Given we are experiencing even more unprecedented flooding this spring before the high snowpack starts to melt off, it certainly looks like our “new normal” is settling in with a vengeance. Consequently, the provincial government needs to act swiftly to implement the recommendations contained in last week’s report.

Of note for our community is the recommendation in the report that the Province needs to be more serious about protecting communities from the threat of wildfires and that it should consider giving interface communities area-based tenures (e.g. community forest licenses). The City of Quesnel formally requested an interface community forest tenure over two years ago, but the process of allocating timber rights in the context of a reduce annual allowable cut is a major stumbling block to getting such a tenure, a point the new report fails to address.

The Flood and Wildfire report also states that the Province must undertake significantly more fuel management treatments in our forests to mitigate against catastrophic wildfires. The previous government failed miserably on this front, as noted in a BC Auditor General’s report released earlier this year (“Managing Climate Risks”). Hopefully, the current government will actually undertake a comprehensive fuel treatment strategy in earnest this time.

But, there are other systemic issues last week’s report barely touches on or merely makes passing mention of. For example, there is incredible frustration within local government with the process for obtaining funding and approval of community protection and fuel treatment plans under the current Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative (SWPI). The City of Quesnel has been trying to get our new Community Wildfire Protection Plan (CWPP) approved through this process for over a year now, but, despite continually getting feedback from forest professionals that we have one of the best technical plans ever submitted to the SWPI program, the BC Wildfire Service continues to drag its heels in approving a new CWPP for the Quesnel area.

Without an approved plan we can’t get approval for any treatments under that plan, meaning we can’t begin the process of actually protecting our community from the very real threats of this year’s and future year’s wildfire threats.

If climate change induced catastrophic natural disasters are our “new normal,” then we desperately need a new normal from government agencies: faster and more courageous decision-making. It’s all well and fine to have a new report with new recommendations, but if government agencies are not forced to be more responsive to change then we’ll never get the unprecedent response we need to the unprecedented challenges we face.