Tuesday, December 31, 2019

New Years' Fireworks & Pet Safety

As Cariboo RD rural residents' will likely be setting off fireworks to celebrate the incoming new year (2020) later tonight … please find below tips about setting off fireworks and PLEASE! consider the impacts on pets (Dogs and Cats) as many have pets as "fur babies"....

Also - if you reside in a municipality (Wells, Quesnel, Williams Lake or 100 Mile House) -- please contact your local District or City Hall if you are able to set off fireworks as this will be regulated by the local District or City Council by by-law


Tips for Fireworks & Pets:

* Make sure doors/windows are secure and shut
* Ensure crate or other hiding spot is easily accessible
* Ensure visitors understand the need to keep doors/windows shut as fireworks are launched...
* Ensure your front or back yard is free of debris after the launching of fireworks is complete so your pet doesn't receive an injury as they will be "full of energy" when you let them outdoors...

* Consider a "Thundershirt" jacket or similar if your pet is prone to fearfulness
* Keep your pet(s) in a separate, quiet and low activity room while entertaining guests...
* Ensure your pet(s) micro-chip is up to date and that they have a readable ID tag, should you need to go and search for them...

Monday, December 30, 2019

Forest Worker Survey - City of Williams Lake

Courtesy of the City of Williams Lake:

Mayor Walt Cobb from the City of Williams Lake would like to hear from workers who are impacted by the curtailments in the forest industry. Of particular interest are the self-employed contractors, and small business owners. Mayor Cobb invites you to take this short survey so that he can hear directly from you. All responses will be kept confidential. You can choose to add your name to Mayor Cobb’s mailing list at the end of the survey.

The survey can be filled out here

2019 Cariboo RD Area 'D' Annual Report

Editor's Note -- links to other Year End Reports:

a) Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty - click here
b) Cariboo-North MLA Coralee Oakes -- click here
c) Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett - click here
d) Cariboo Regional District - click here
e) Williams Lake Mayor Walt Cobb - click here
f) 100 Mile House Mayor Mitch Campsall - click here

As we wind down 2019 - I thought I would report on the year that was and look forward to 2020 ....

Firstly - let me thank all of you in the various communities that make up Electoral Area 'D' - whether you live in Marguerite, Macalister, McLeese Lake, Soda Creek Valley, Tyee Lake, 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 neighborhoods the desirous place you wish it to be. Thanks also to all of YOU for your warm & encouraging thoughts/feedback or constructive criticism feedback 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...

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

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that my heart broke this year after McLeese Lake resident Gordon Macarthur passed away after battling an health issue in Summer 2019.  He was instrumental in getting the McLeese Lake Fire Hall construction off the ground and getting to the place of construction in 2020 along with his many, many contributions to the McLeese Lake Recreation Commission.  I also enjoy our many, many conversations and I know many in McLeese Lake along with myself will miss him dearly.  I would suggest that his legacy to the community of McLeese Lake will be the fully constructed McLeese Lake Fire Hall in Fall 2020....

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

1) 2020 Cariboo Regional District (CRD) Draft Budget

The Board held its' first 2020 Budget meeting back on November 13th, 2019 and will be holding another one in January 2020

Within Electoral Area 'D', you will see, generally, a "status quo" budget at this stage. All functions of the CRD that Area D residents' pay for will see either no or modest inflationary increases.  Those who of you in McLeese Lake will see a slight increase in your property taxes as a result of the increase to the McLeese Lake Recreation Service requisition - see Item #2 for the full explanation

I will post the draft 2020 Budget documents here and on social media, once they have been formally approved by the Board, either in January or early to mid-February 2020

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. The Commission has requested an increase in its' annual requisition (taxation) from the Regional District from its' current $15,000 to $25,000 via the McLeese Lake Recreation service and is subject to public consultation. This is intended to do 2 things (if it passes public consultation and the 2020 CRD Budget is fully adopted in March 2020) -- Fix the foundation that was damaged due to heavy rains in July 2019 and save for a roof replacement which is currently anticipated to be done in either 2025 or 2026

Meanwhile - as projects come out through the year -- I will continue to work with the Commission to identify potential sources of funding (CRD, NDIT, Community Works Funds, etc) to fund said projects

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 years 2015-2020 inclusive in the rough amount of $5,000 per year. Their fundraising efforts still continue, as many Independent Fire Departments do throughout BC. The Society has come to a 25 year property lease arrangement with the McLeese Lake Recreation Commission to build a Fire Hall in 2020. The Fire Hall will be built just adjacent to the old skating rink. Construction is anticipated to commence in Spring 2020 and conclude by October or November 2020. I will follow up with BC Assessment in Fall 2020 to ensure that the McLeese Lake Fire Hall is not subject to property taxation in 2021 (Regional District and Provincial)

At the request of the Tyee Lake Community Association -- a Grant for Assistance in 2020 has been given preliminary approval for the Tyee Lake Volunteer Fire Department (TLVFD) in the amount of $10,000 to complete the Fire Building at Tyee Lake which was constructed earlier this year and received an Area D Grant for Assistance in the amount of $10,470. This building is also subject to no property taxation in 2020 onward after I confirmed with BC Assessment this past October that it qualified for a 100% property tax exemption as it was providing a "public good" namely provision of fire protection for the Tyee Lake community. One of their goals is to acquire a used water tender which both the Tyee Lake Community Association and myself are looking for opportunities for them to acquire this necessary fire apparatus

4) Soda Creek Cemetery

At the request of the Soda Creek Cemetery caretakers -- they have asked me to discontinue efforts to provide a grant for the operations of the "old" Soda Creek Cemetery. However, they are fundraising for same and have cleaned up the entranceway to the "old" Soda Creek Cemetery and both Soda Creek cemeteries are looking very good right now...

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

Work on this item continues but it is slow work due to competing demands on CRD 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... I have confirmed with new SD27 Superintendent Chris van der Mark that the playground equipment will remain at the former Wildwood school site and his and his administrative team along with SD27 Zone 5 Trustee Angie Delainey are aware of the community's great desire to acquire this property for community purposes....

7) Building Inspection in Area D (Tyee Lake/McLeese Lake areas)

Work on this item continues 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) and a failed June 2017 petition in portions of CRD Areas D/E to remove Building Inspection after it was imposed with no public discussion in 2006. Discussions continue with the BC Ministry of Municipal Affairs, as to other options that may be available

8) Community Wildfire Protection Plan

Work on the Williams Lake Fringe CWPP or Community Wildfire Protection Plan continues.  Next steps include signing of a MOU between Fraser Basin Council (who is facilitating the work), City of Williams Lake, CRD and other parties involved

9) Regional Connectivity Strategy

This Board and many Boards' before it have been long aware of the need to upgrade connectivity in the Region, especially when it comes to communications in emergency events, for both high speed internet and cell phone service.

To that end - Staff is working to bring back a proposal in 1st Quarter 2020 to develop the Regional Connectivity Strategy for the Cariboo Regional District (Electoral Areas).  The Province, through Network BC, has given an indication that without a presented connectivity strategy - it is unlikely the CRD will qualify for provincial funding

10) Roads in Area 'D'

Work progresses on road issues with Electoral Area 'D'.  Some of those include Roth Road in Soda Creek Valley, Forglen Road in McLeese Lake, Beaver Lake Road, Lynes Creek Road to Guide/Bremner Roads at Tyee Lake and Radio Range Road, adjacent to the Williams Lake Regional Airport.  Work on these and many other roads within Electoral Area 'D' brought to my attention in 2019 will continue in 2020

11) Conventional Transit in WL Fringe area (portions of CRD Areas D, E, F)

Directors Angie Delainey, Maureen LeBourdais and myself have agreed to ask CRD Staff to look into feasibility for conventional transit for unincorporated communities like Wildwood, Pine Valley, Mountview, Lexington.  I'm hopeful for an update from CRD Staff on this initiative in 2020

Other initiatives that I was involved with in 2019 included:

* Attended 2019 LGLA/NCLGA and UBCM (Local Government Leadership Academy, North Central Local Government Association and the Union of BC Municipalities) Conferences in Richmond, Williams Lake and Vancouver respectively

* Appointed to the NCLGA Board as a Director at Large in January 2019 to fill the remainder of a 1 year term and re-elected as a Director at Large at the 2019 NLCGA AGM in Williams Lake.  I have been appointed as NCLGA Resolutions Committee Chair for the 2019-20 term.  All meetings of the NCLGA Board take place in Prince George.  Meetings in 2019 took place in January, March, July and November of this year

* Attended the 2019 Natural Resources Forum in Prince George from January 22-24, 2019
* Attended the 2019 BC Broadband Conference in Richmond, BC from April 30th to May 1st, 2019
* Attended Board on the Road in Tatla Lake (September 2019).  The Board also held a similar event in Quesnel in June of this year however I was on my annual "Disconnect and Recharge" annual vacation at that time...

* Financial Contributions to Tyee Lake Community Association, Wildwood Community Association and Xat'sull Save the Salmon event via Xat'sull First Nations for events hosted or coordinated by these organizations who do great work on behalf of their local unincorporated communities within Cariboo RD Area 'D'

* Participate on the Gibraltar Mines Technical Advisory Committee

* Serve on the Regional District's Policy/Emergency Preparedness Committees in 2019
* Appointed Chair of the Regional District's Finance Committee by CRD Chair Margo Wagner for 2019

* Last month, lunch with Xat'sull Chief Sheri Sellars and her Band Administrator Craig Smith (who also serves as a Williams Lake City Councillor) along with CRD Areas E/F Directors Angie Delainey/Maureen LeBourdais and CRD Chair Margo Wagner

And much more....

Just a shoutout to Wildwood resident Phyllis Webstad for serving as Area D Alternate Director (who also serves on the Area D Advisory Planning Commission) - Even with her very busy calendar with the Orange Shirt Society -  I sincerely appreciate her feedback and suggestions this past year -- they were all greatly appreciated

In 2020 - 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 CRD Area 'D' Director Facebook page which you can view at


On my own behalf - I wish ALL of your families a very happy/healthy 2020

Respectfully submitted,

Steve Forseth
Director - Electoral Area 'D' (Commodore Heights - McLeese Lake)
Cariboo Regional District
Ph: 250-267-6725
E: sforseth@cariboord.ca

Friday, December 27, 2019

Cariboo Memorial Hospital Redevelopment Update #1

Courtesy of the Interior Health Authority:

The Cariboo Memorial Hospital (CMH) redevelopment project is moving forward this week. Interior Health has released a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) for CMH Redevelopment, asking qualified Design-Build teams interested in building the project to come forward.

“Our government is committed to the redevelopment of Cariboo Memorial Hospital, a project that will improve health-care for people in Williams Lake and the Cariboo Chilcotin,” said the Hon. Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “This important next step of releasing a request for qualifications means we are moving forward step-by-step to the construction stage. Like many of you, I can’t wait.”

The RFQ lays out the necessary qualifications for a team that will design and build the three-storey addition to CMH, which will also include a basement and renovations to the existing hospital building.

The RFQ will close in March 2020. Following that, a Request for Proposals (RFP) will be released to the short-listed companies that respond to the RFQ, requesting a more detailed proposal.

CMH Redevelopment will be completed in two phases. Phase one will begin in 2021, with work on the new addition expected to finish in 2023. Phase two renovations to the current hospital are expected to be complete in 2025.

To help oversee the CMH Redevelopment project, IH has engaged:

• IBI Group Architects Inc. (architectural, interior design and landscape consultants) 
• AES Engineering Ltd. (electrical engineering consultants) 
• WSP Canada Inc. (mechanical engineering consultants)

CMH Redevelopment is a $217.8-million project being funded by the provincial government, Interior Health and the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District. Features include a larger emergency department, expanded ambulatory care and maternal and women’s health units, a mental health and substance use inpatient unit, and space for the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine.

During planning for CMH Redevelopment, there has been a high level of community involvement. This will result in a redeveloped CMH that will reflect the unique identity and needs of the local communities, including an inter-faith sacred space and the inclusion of space for Aboriginal Patient Navigators

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Christmas Day 2019 Messages

Courtesy of the Rt Hon. Justin Trudeau - Canadian Prime Minister:

“Merry Christmas, Canada!

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

“Whether you are sharing a meal with friends, keeping the kids entertained in the snow, or spending time gathered around the Christmas tree, this season is full of joy, light, and love.

“No matter how you celebrate, our greatest holiday traditions are the ones of giving and giving back. Rain, shine, or snow, as Canadians, we take care of each other
From helping a neighbour shovel their driveway to serving a hot meal to someone in need, lending a hand is what brings us closer to the people around us.

“At this time of year, we are especially thinking of our brave Canadian Armed Forces members serving here in Canada and overseas. Thank you for everything that you do to keep us safe and defend the values we hold dear.

“Today, and every day, let us reflect on how we can live the Christmas message of peace and compassion as we come together and keep moving forward in the new year.

“From our family to yours, Hadrien, Ella-Grace, Xavier, Sophie, and I wish you a merry Christmas and all the best in 2020.”

Courtesy of the Hon. John Horgan - Premier of BC:

“On Dec. 25, Christians around the world gather together with family and friends to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Many Christians will use this time to attend services and rejoice in Jesus’s message of peace, joy and love.

“For others, Christmas is a chance to rest, recharge and reflect as we prepare for the new year ahead. It is a holiday that unites people across different countries and backgrounds all around the world. It reminds us that charity, generosity and kindness toward our fellow humans is something we can practise every day – not just during the Christmas season.

“To all those celebrating, I wish you a safe and happy holiday.

“Merry Christmas!”

On my own behalf of the Cariboo RD Area "D" Director (Commodore Heights - McLeese Lake) -- I wish all of my constituents and their families/friends a very Merry Christmas. If you can, please give a thought to those who are less fortunate than ourselves and those working in the energy or forest industries, they haven't had a good year and hopefully 2020 sees better progress.. I wish you all health, happiness and progress in 2020!


Monday, December 23, 2019

Government provides support to Interior mill workers, families

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

The provincial government is providing $875,000 to 11 Interior communities to help with delivery of transition services and supports to B.C. mill workers and their families who have been affected by permanent or indefinite mill closures or shift reductions.
“The challenges facing Interior forest communities are unprecedented, and that’s why we are getting these resources where they are most urgently needed,” said the Hon. Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “Funds from these community support grants are going directly to the local governments, as they have first-hand knowledge of what supports are most needed in their communities.”
Through the Community Support Grants Program (CSGP), Interior communities with permanent mill closures are eligible for $100,000; communities with indefinite mill closures are eligible for $75,000; and communities with permanent shift reductions are eligible for $50,000. Communities may use CSGP funding to provide transition and support services for affected forestry workers. The following communities are receiving community support grants:
  • Clinton, Clearwater, Quesnel and Kelowna are each receiving $100,000;
  • Fort St. James, Fort St. John, Mackenzie, 100 Mile House and Regional District of East Kootenay Area B (Jaffray) are each receiving $75,000;
  • Regional District of Fraser Fort George Area C (Isle Pierre) and Merritt are each receiving $50,000.
Communities have identified a variety of support services and programs they will deliver to impacted mill workers and their families, including employment workshops and training, counselling services and support for food banks.
“Our government is working hard to make sure the supports are in place for contractors, workers and communities,” said Ravi Kahlon, Parliamentary Secretary for Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “For me, this situation is very personal, having experienced first-hand the challenges families face when a local mill closes or reduces shifts. I understand the struggles many are facing in these communities.”

Friday, December 20, 2019

Local Governments' on Christmas Recess!

All local governments of the Cariboo Chilcotin are now on Christmas Recess until mid January 2020

City of Quesnel - Holiday Hours here
Cariboo Regional District - Holiday Hours here
City of Williams Lake -Holiday Hours -- City Hall closed December 25th/26th, 2019 & January 1st/2nd, 2020

School Districts' 27/28 (Cariboo-Chilcotin and Quesnel) -- Winter Break from December 23rd, 2019 to January 3rd, 2020.  Resume school on Monday, January 6th, 2020

On my own behalf -- I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a successful and healthy 2020

In the last week of December -- I will have my 2019 Cariboo Regional District Electoral Area 'D' Annual Report published...

Until then -- rest well and enjoy your time with your families and loved ones!


Thursday, December 19, 2019

Tŝilhqot’in, Taseko, Province work to resolve mine dispute

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

The Tŝilhqot’in Nation and Taseko Mines are working with the B.C. government to reach a resolution to the long-standing conflict over the proposed New Prosperity gold-copper mine project southwest of Williams Lake.
The Nation and the company have agreed to pause certain litigation and regulatory matters related to the project while discussions are underway to reach a long-term solution. The Province has been asked to facilitate this dialogue. The details of this process are confidential.
To support the discussions, the Province has agreed to consider a request from the Tŝilhqot’in Nation and Taseko Mines to extend the project’s current environmental assessment certificate for one year, while the parties work toward a resolution. By request of the parties, the BC Environmental Assessment Office has placed Taseko’s application to amend the current environmental assessment certificate in abeyance.
All parties involved in the process acknowledge Taseko’s commercial interests and the opposition of the Tŝilhqot’in Nation to the project.
The proposed New Prosperity project has been the subject of ongoing litigation over several years. The location is within Tŝilhqot’in territory, outside of the declared title area designated in the landmark 2014 Tsilhqot’in Supreme Court of Canada decision, but within the area of proven Aboriginal rights to hunt, trap and trade.
Quick Facts:
  • Taseko obtained a provincial environmental assessment certificate in January 2010, which was extended for a further five years in 2015.
  • Federal approvals sought in 2010 and 2014 were not granted, due to concerns about environmental effects.
  • Taseko was issued a provincial permit to conduct exploratory work at the site in July 2017 under the Mines Act and Mineral Tenure Act. A federal environmental assessment certificate is not required to conduct exploratory work.

BC secures affordable rental housing in 100 Mile House

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

The Province is buying a 33-unit apartment building in 100 Mile House to preserve rental housing and provide affordable options for people in the community.
“We are taking action to protect these homes for people in 100 Mile House,” said the Hon. Selina Robinson, BC's Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “Much-needed upgrades to the building will now take place, and rents will be kept affordable.”
The Province is providing approximately $2.9 million to finance the purchase and renovation of Sheridan Manor. Funding is being provided through the HousingHub, a BC Housing branch that works with community, government and non-profit and private-sector stakeholders to help create affordable rental housing and home ownership options for middle-income British Columbians.
Located at 440 Cedar Ave., Sheridan Manor had 33 separate strata-owned units, which complicated budgeting for needed repairs and maintenance. With the acquisition, ownership of the units will be consolidated so that repairs and upgrades, such as new thermostats, heaters and electric baseboards, can be undertaken immediately.
The current tenants of the building will not be affected by the acquisition. Monthly rents will be carried over at the same rates. BC Housing is working to find a non-profit partner to own and operate the building.
“The decision to acquire and secure this rental housing in 100 Mile House is important to the long-term well-being of our community,” said Mitch Campsall, Mayor of the District of 100 Mile House. “It helps ensure that we have the homes people need to stay, work and build lives here in the Cariboo.”
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
Learn More:
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is online: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
To find out what the Province is doing to improve housing affordability, visit:

Looking back on 2019!

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

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

This past year was both a challenging and a good one for Quesnel. Challenging in that we continued to see a decline in our forest economy and also that we continued to experience an increase in crime, vagrancy, and other social problems.  But, 2019 was also a good year as we saw an unprecedented investment in our community from the Province of British Columbia and we continued to implement our community transition strategy.
The announcement that Tolko was permanently shutting down their Quesnel operations and West Fraser permanently reducing their sawmill by one shift was certainly a stark reminder that all is not well in our traditional economic backbone. On behalf of Quesnel City Council, our best wishes and thoughts go to the workers and their families directly impacted by these decisions and to the contractors and other businesses whose economic livelihood was also negatively impacted.
As a Council we will continue to take advantage of every resource made available to us to assist impacted workers, contractors and businesses while at the same time continue to drive our Future of Forestry Think Tank process in an effort to facilitate the transition of our forest sector to what we believe can be a bright and sustainable future. The provincial government has been a proactive partner in our endeavors and we are using every resource they provide us with as effectively as possible.
This past year also saw Quesnel once again ranked high on the national crime statistics and we experienced even more vagrancy, public consumption of drugs, aggressive panhandling, squatting, and drug related property crime. As I’ve stated before, this is a phenomenon impacting all communities, one that Council is very much alive to and taking every measure available to us to address, with respect to both much needed social supports and law enforcement. We are also focused on this issue as we develop our 2020 budget and will continue to work with agencies like the RCMP, BC Housing, Northern Health, Crown Counsel, and the Provincial Government to find viable solutions to address these complex social issues.
While we were confronted with these serious challenges, we also had a lot of good things going on in the community and a lot of great announcements and investments by the Province.
Early in the year we hosted our first major sports event at our new “hosting precinct” (West Fraser Centre, Curling Rink, Arena 2, and the plaza linking these facilities). The Northern Development Trust investments we made in this precinct enabled us to host a world class curling event that boosted our local economy and showcased Quesnel. A fall event in this area was also a great success (the Ale Trail Dinner), as was the dinner on the walking bridge hosted by our Downtown and West Quesnel Business Associations. 
As a result of provincial funding through the Rural Dividend, we saw the development of two new mountain bike trail systems, a new building constructed at Alex Fraser Park, and more resources for our community marketing efforts. The provincial Ministry of Agriculture also provided us with financial support to establish a regional food hub here in Quesnel.
We also celebrated the major announcements of the GR Baker Hospital addition (a new ICU and Emergency Room) and a new Junior School, both of which will see construction start in 2020. Provincial funding is also going into more social housing in the City in addition to the Elliott Street project which is now under construction.
As 2019 closes, Quesnel has much to be thankful for and much to look forward to, notwithstanding the challenges we face as a community in transition.
Council news is now finished for 2019. This column will begin again in mid-January.

Wednesday, December 18, 2019

WL Council Highlights - December 17th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Wiliams Lake:

Williams Lake City Council Highlights here

Next Meeting of Williams Lake City Council: January 14th, 2020

Quesnel Council Highlights - Dec 17th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Next Steps on Trail Development

Council approved $15,000 from the 2019 Council Initiatives budget to fund a master trail plan for the area adjacent to West Fraser Timber park, to include a Rec Centre connector, Red Bluff connector and family friendly trail network. 

2019 Paving Program Review

The 2019 budget for paving was $750,000 and included:
  • Keis Avenue
  • Quesnel Hixon Road (Hwy 97 to Carradice Road)
  • Nason Street
  • Norman Street
  • 400 block Murphy Street and Shepherd intersection
  • Winder Street
  • Lark Avenue
  • Callanan Street [Gray Avenue to St. Laurent)

Quesnel Regional Airport Contribution Agreement

Council approved entering into a three year Contribution Agreement with the Cariboo Regional District whereby the CRD will contribute $66,000 per year toward the operating costs of the Quesnel Regional Airport.  In 2018 the Cariboo Regional District held a successful Referendum to establish an Airport Service in order to contribute funding toward the cost of the Airport.

Floodplain Mapping Project

By way of grant funding through the National Disaster Mitigation Program, the City of Quesnel received $241,800 for a technical assessment of flood hazards in Quesnel.  The City’s current flood mapping was produced by the province in 1992.   The Flood Mapping and Hazard Study will improve our understanding of flood hazards and assist development planning in the City.  In the new year, communications and stakeholder meetings will be held to raise awareness on changing flood hazards in Quesnel. 

Industrial Traffic on Johnston Avenue

In October, 2018, the City of Quesnel placed a 10,000 kilogram weight restriction on Johnston bridge, re-routing industrial truck traffic to Maple Drive, after a bridge inspection revealed some corrosion problems on some of the main beams. 
In response to public inquiry, Council resolved that Johnston Avenue will remain a residential neighbourhood road, without heavy truck traffic and the City will encourage, and assist where able, the Cariboo Regional District, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and School District #28 to implement solutions to improve traffic and pedestrian safety concerns on Maple Drive.


  • 1881 – Council Procedure – Third Reading
  • 1879 – Official Community Plan – Final Adoption
  • 1880 – Zoning – Final Adoption
  • 1882 – Comprehensive Fees and Charges Amendment Bylaw – Final Adoption

Next Meetings

  • 6 pm – January 7, 2020 – Regular Meeting
  • 5:30 pm – January 14, 2020 – North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee Meeting
  • 6 pm – January 21, 2020 – Regular Meeting

Monday, December 16, 2019

Garbage bin tagging helps reduce human-wildlife conflict in South Cariboo

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

Beginning in June 2019, the Cariboo Regional District and District of 100 Mile House partnered with WildSafeBC and the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society on an education campaign to prevent human-wildlife conflict. The campaign focused on 108 Mile Ranch and 100 Mile House and there were significant decreases in black bear reports in both areas compared to 2018.

“If we want to prevent human-wildlife conflict, we need to address garbage as it is the number one attractant for black bears,” explains Amber Gregg, local WildSafeBC coordinator. “The best practice is to only place your garbage on the curb on the day of pickup. As part of our education campaign, we put bright yellow stickers on garbage bins placed out the night before pickup to warn residents that their garbage is an attractant.”

In the 108 Mile Ranch, WildSafeBC staff tagged garbage bins once per month from June until September. In one neighbourhood, there were 30 bins out on the first round of tagging, but that decreased to only seven bins in September. Further, between August and October 2019, the Conservation Officer Service only received four reports for black bear encounters in the 108 Mile Ranch compared to 47 reports for the same time period in 2018.

100 Mile House also saw a decrease in bear encounters. Compared to the 103 black bear conflicts reported in 2018, there were only 48 reported in 2019.

Overall, there were no calls to the Conservation Officer Service in the 108 Mile Ranch for September and October 2019, and only 18 in 100 Mile House for the same months.

“The 2019 WildSafeBC Cariboo season was very successful. While our education campaign may not have been the only reason for fewer bear encounters, the communities were receptive to the education and improvements were made in both 100 Mile House and 108 Mile Ranch,” says Gregg. “I’m looking forward to seeing the continued success of this program in reducing human-wildlife conflict in our region.”

WildSafeBC is the provincial leader in preventing conflict with wildlife through collaboration, education and community solutions. The 2019 garbage tagging program was funded by the Cariboo Regional District and delivered by the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society.

For further information about the program or for tips on wildlife safety visit wildsafebc.com, follow WildSafeBC Cariboo on Facebook, or contact your local Community Coordinator, Amber Gregg, at 250-398-7929 or cariboo@wildsafebc.com.

New Indigenous Court in Williams Lake to improve delivery of Justice - April 2020

Courtesy of the BC Provincial Court:

 Provincial Court Chief Judge Melissa Gillespie announced today that British Columbia’s seventh Indigenous sentencing court will open in Williams Lake in April 2020.

Indigenous Courts currently operate in six B.C. communities - New Westminster, Duncan, Kamloops, North Vancouver, Merritt and Prince George.  The Indigenous Court working group in Williams Lake invited the Provincial Court to work with them to develop a court process that could help address the overrepresentation of Indigenous people involved in the criminal justice system.

As a result of their initiative, the Court was involved in the process of consultation and planning with the Indigenous community, B.C.’s Ministry of Attorney General, the community of Williams Lake, B.C. Community Corrections, lawyers, the Legal Services Society, the Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of B.C., the Law Foundation, police, and support services groups.

Today’s announcement is a significant step in the ongoing process of community involvement in the creation of innovative solutions to improve the delivery of justice.  In May 2020, the Court will begin sitting monthly at the Williams Lake courthouse.

The opening ceremony for the Court will take place in April 2020.  Further details to follow in due course.  The event will be open to the public.

An Indigenous Court is a sentencing court.  It provides an Indigenous perspective, based on a holistic and restorative approach, to sentencing Indigenous persons who have acknowledged responsibility for their criminal offence(s).  Local Indigenous Elders and Knowledge Keepers who have completed a program of orientation give advice on a healing plan.  The healing plan may then be incorporated as part of a fit sentence for the Indigenous person who has pled guilty.

For more information, please contact the Legal Officer, Office of the Chief Judge, using the Media Inquiry Form at  https://www.provincialcourt.bc.ca/Media.

2019 McLeese Lake Christmas Community Dinner/Auction

Scenes from 2019 McLeese Lake
Christmas Dinner at McLeese Lake Hall
Last night -- the community of McLeese Lake got together for its' annual Christmas Community Dinner/Auction

Organized by the local McLeese Lake Recreation Commission -- it is a fundraiser to keep the McLeese Lake Community Hall on Forglen Road in McLeese Lake operating.  The Regional District also contributes $15,000 annually via property taxation to the Commission to support the operations of the McLeese Lake Community Hall, via the McLeese Lake Recreation Service.  Roughly 80-90 people were in attendance along with myself as the Regional District Area 'D' Director, whose area includes McLeese Lake

Steve Relkov who is President of the McLeese Lake Recreation Commission - provided some remarks about what was occurring at the Hall this past year, the loss of its' active Vice-President Gordon MacArthur, due to a health challenge and its' on-going relationship with the McLeese Lake Volunteer Fire Department Society including a long term land lease with the Society for a new Fire Hall to be constructed in 2020

Following that - Grace was said and then, the community partook in a most wonderful meal prepared by local chefs.  Santa Claus made his annual appearance and the silent auction took place which also came with a few laughs as well

All-in-all -- the community of McLeese Lake and myself thoroughly enjoyed our annual Christmas get-together and I wish everyone in McLeese Lake a very Merry Christmas and that 2020 be prosperous for the fine people of McLeese Lake and area!


Saturday, December 14, 2019

McLeese Lake Community Celebration to launch building of McLeese Lake Fire Hall in Spring 2020

Earlier today - the community of McLeese Lake gathering at the future location of the McLeese Lake Fire Hall

This point in time has been six years in the making with the paperwork between the McLeese Lake VFD Society and the McLeese Lake Recreation Commission for a $1 lease over a long term arrangement having been signed back on December 4th

Both Cariboo-North MLA Coralee Oakes and I were both in attendance for the groundbreaking ceremony

It is hoped that construction can commence as soon as the frost comes out of the ground - likely around April 2020.  It is anticipated that lock-up stage of the new McLeese Lake Fire Hall can be completed by October or November 2020.  I know the McLeese Lake VFD Society is beginning to receive offers of assistance for the McLeese Lake Fire Hall.  This should go a long ways to easing the financial strain for this project. As I stated earlier -- my final part in this project will be to ensure BC Assessment Authority applies a statutory taxation exemption for the McLeese Lake Fire Hall and I will ensure this occurs in October 2020 for the 2021 taxation year...

I look forward to the completed McLeese Lake Fire Hall - roughly a year from now


Friday, December 13, 2019

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of Dec 16-20

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

Quesnel: Meetings as noted below:

Financial Sustainability/Audit Committee - Special Committee Meeting on Tuesday, December 17th at 3:15pm in the Fraser Room (4th Floor, 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* Quesnel Regional Airport Review
* Capital Budget Update
* In-Camera Session - Sec 90(1c - labour) of the Community Charter

View the full Agenda here

Municipal Council -- Regular Meeting on Tuesday, December 17th at 6pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (4th Floor, 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* Committee/Council Reports

* Next Steps on Trails Development
* City of Quesnel/Cariboo Regional District - Mutual Aid - Fire Protection Services for Electoral Areas A, B, C and I (Editor's Note -- this was approved at the December 6th, 2019 Cariboo RD Board meeting)

* 2020 Community Resiliency Investment Program - Grant Application
* 2019 Paving Program Summary
* Quesnel Regional Airport Contribution Agreement (2019 - 2021) (Editor's Note -- This was approved by the Cariboo RD Board at its' November 15th meeting)

* Sewer Treatment Agreement (2020 to 2024) (Editor's Note -- this was approved by the Cariboo RD Board at its' December 6th, 2019 meeting)

* Floodplain Mapping Project
* Heritage and Museum Annual Stakeholder Meeting
* Industrial Traffic Johnston Avenue
* Community Gardens

View the full Agenda here

Executive Committee - Regular Meeting on Wednesday, December 18th at 9am in the Fraser Room (4th Floor, 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* Community Forest Update
* Council resolutions to Associations (ie. UBCM, FCM), status update
* Disposition of Alex Fraser Room pictures and other City/gifted items
* In-Camera Session -- Sec 90(1L) of the Community Charter (Strategic Planning Update)

View the full Agenda here

School District #28 (Quesnel) -- Regular Meeting of the Board of Education on Wednesday December 18th at 7pm in the SD28 Boardroom (401 North Star Rd).  When available, the Agenda can be viewed here

School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) -- Regular Meeting of the Board of Education on Tuesday, December 17th at 6:30pm in the SD27 Boardroom (350 2nd Avenue, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* Presentation: Building Resilient Learners' Plans -- click here

* Reports from Superintendent and Secretary-Treasurer
* Committee Reports
* Reports from Chair Macdonald and Trustees Delainey, Forbes, Forseille

View the full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, December 17th at 6pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  On the Agenda:

* Authorization for Mayor Cobb to attend 2 Events -- Truck Loggers Association Convention' - January 15 to 17, 2020 and 'BC Natural Resource Forum' - January 28 to 30, 2020

* Water and Sewer Parcel Tax Bylaws
* Council Remuneration
* Development Permit Application - DP #06-2019 - Ministry of Citizens' Services - Exterior Façade Renovations & Parking Variance - 280A Third Avenue North
* 7 Recommendations for Approval from recently held Committee of the Whole session
* Letter from BC Solicitor General Mike Farnworth re: Crime Statistics Reporting
* Letter of Support from the Williams Lake Indian Band re GPS Electronic Monitoring of Prolific Offenders in Williams Lake

View the full Agenda here

Gaming grants fund community capital projects throughout B.C.

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Editor's Note -- Congrats to the Invasive Species Council of BC, based in Williams Lake who will be receiving funding of $164,581.00 to purchase a mobile ‘Education Centre’, a custom built 16-foot trailer to deliver the ‘Take Action Against Invasive Species’ project across the Province

Not-for-profit organizations that provide community resources will receive capital project funding to support people in communities throughout B.C.
These organizations include recreation and arts facilities, health and social services, and search and rescue operations.
“We’re proud to provide capital funding through Community Gaming Grants program to organizations that are connecting people to services in their communities,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We are excited to see these investments take shape as they will have a profoundly beneficial effect on people and communities throughout British Columbia.”
In 2019-20, the Province is providing $5 million in capital project grants for organizations to buy and upgrade community facilities, infrastructure and equipment. Examples of the projects funded this year include:
  • $116,000 to the Rise Women’s Legal Centre in Vancouver to upgrade the office, including making the space more accessible.
  • $121,000 to the Prince Rupert Search and Rescue Society to buy a mobile command-centre vehicle with equipment and supplies for first aid, tracking and initial response teams.
  • almost $50,000 to Dze L K''ant Friendship Centre Society in Smithers for the building's revitalization, including energy-efficient building upgrades.
  • $100,000 to the Oliver-Osoyoos Search and Rescue Society to build a truck and trailer station to support search and rescue efforts.
The capital projects program is part of the annual $140-million Community Gaming Grants program supporting about 5,000 community organizations that deliver arts and culture, sport, environment, public safety, human and social services, and parent advisory councils.
“The 2019 capital project sector program provides another round of long-term investments in not-for-profit organizations across British Columbia,” said Caroline Miller, chair, BC Association of Charitable Gaming. “It is critical that not-for-profit organizations have access to funding for major capital projects, so they can support people in need, support children and families, and help build vibrant communities.”
Quick Facts:
  • Every year, commercial gaming generates revenue that the Government of B.C. invests in key services.
    • These investments support organizations in the areas of health care and education, arts and culture groups, sports, environment, public safety, human and social services, as well as parent advisory councils in schools throughout B.C.
  • Up to $140 million of the revenue generated is directed into the community through the Community Gaming Grants program that supports about 5,000 community organizations each year, with $5 million dedicated to funding the capital project sector.
  • Each year, eligible organizations can apply for a capital project sector grant, in addition to one of the six sectors of regular Community Gaming Grants.
  • The next round of applications for the capital project program will be accepted from June 1 to July 31, 2020.
Learn More:
The full list of capital projects sector recipients is available online:  

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Affordable Housing opens in Williams Lake

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

People with low to moderate incomes, including those with disabilities, now have access to 39 new affordable rental homes with the opening of a project at 253 First Ave. North.
“Everyone deserves to have a secure and affordable home, where they are welcomed as part of a community,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We’re proud to support this project, which will provide safe, affordable homes for more people in Williams Lake.”
Williams Lake Association for Community Living is operating the five-storey building, which includes eight units for people affected by intellectual disabilities or mental health challenges and two fully accessible units.
“We are very excited to see this project come to fruition,” said Ian McLaughlin, executive director, Williams Lake Association for Community Living. “It means a great deal to the people we support to have modern, affordable housing, and the building is a great addition to the neighbourhood and community.”
Monthly rental rates for the studios and one- and two-bedroom units range from the provincial shelter rate of $375 to $825. These homes will be available to households with incomes from $15,000 to $33,000.
The new homes offer easy access to the amenities and services of Williams Lake downtown core.
This project is part of more than 22,000 new homes that are completed or underway throughout B.C. because of provincial investments.
Delivering affordable housing is a shared priority between government and the BC Green Party caucus and is part of the Confidence and Supply Agreement.
Quick Facts:
  • The Province provided $8 million for the project through the Affordable Rental Housing Program, a $208-million investment announced in the 2017 September Budget Update.
  • Monthly rents for this project are:
    • Four studio units: $375 (provincial shelter rate);
    • Four one-bedroom units: $500;
    • 27 one-bedroom units: $690;
    • Three two-bedroom units: $825; and
    • One three-bedroom unit that consists of two accessible rooms for people with disabilities and one caregiver room. Community Living BC will pay the monthly rent of $1,600.
Learn More:
A map showing the location of all announced provincially funded housing projects in B.C. is available: https://www.bchousing.org/homes-for-BC
To learn about the steps the Province is taking to tackle the housing crisis and deliver affordable homes for British Columbians, visit: https://workingforyou.gov.bc.ca/