Monday, May 20, 2019

Local Gov't Awareness Week - May 19-25

2019 Local Gov't Awareness Week Proclamation
Courtesy of Government of British Columbia

The week of Sunday, May 19th to Saturday, May 25th is Local Government Awareness Week in the Province of British Columbia and is a partnership between the Government of British Columbia and the Union of BC Municipalities.  More resources on promotion of Local Government Awareness Week from UBCM can be viewed here

Whether you are a Staff member of a local government (CAO, CFO, Manager/Director, etc) or an elected official (Mayor, Councillor or Electoral Area Director) -- you are always practicing "Local Government Awareness" each and every day

For myself -- I always try my best to make my local government (Cariboo RD) work for my constituents on a daily basis.... and also be accountable by keeping them in the loop, whether via my blogsite, social media networks, public meetings or one on one contacts

Finally - thank you to local government champions like BC's Municipal Affairs Minister Selina Robinson or the 2018-19 UBCM President (and Kamloops City Councillor) Arjun Singh -- while both have and are currently serving as City Councillors, I know they try very hard to understand the perspective of Electoral Area Directors and work together to find solutions', even when we have to "agree to disagree" once in a while 

To those elected officials/local government staff -- thank you for your public service and ensure the best of local governments in British Columbia -- both this week and year round...


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Xat'sull Councillor Election Results

Back on Tuesday, May 14th -- the electors of Xat'sull-Cmetem (Soda Creek Indian Band) held an election for 2 Xat'sull First Nations Councillor seats (there are 4 on the Xat'sull First Nation Band Council).  The candidates were:

1) Cheryl Chapman
2) Gary Sellars
3) Crystal Harry
4) Micheal Stinson
5) Tony Mack

The official results show that Micheal Stinson and Crystal Harry were elected

Congratulations to the successful candidates and those who ran -- thank you for putting your name forward and I hope that you will find a way to continue to be involved in your community!


Saturday, May 18, 2019

NCLGA 2019 Convention Presentations

If you weren't able to make it to #NCLGA2019 (2019 North Central Local Government Association Convention) and want to see what was presented - click here

Meanwhile - you can read how the 2019 NCLGA Resolutions were dealt with here


Friday, May 17, 2019

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of May 21-24

With the upcoming Victoria Day long weekend -- local governments in the Cariboo-Chilcotin will have a short meeting week as follows:

Quesnel - Financial Sustainability/Audit Committee/Regular Meeting on Tuesday, May 21st at 3pm in the Fraser Room (4th Floor - 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* Downtown Signage
* Fleet Policy and Funding

View the full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Committee of the Whole session on Tuesday, May 21st at 6pm in the Rick Hansen Boardroom (Basement - 450 Mart St).  On the Agenda:

* Delegations (2) -- Chrissie Gertzen, Bob Sunner, Heidi Strong, Carl Johnson and Willie Dye re: Stampede Street Party 2019 Proposal & Barb Stewart, Tammy Schellenberg and Jane Folka, Williams Lake Trail Riders Association re Water Leak and Billing

* No Parking - Second Avenue North from Gibbon Street to Comer Street
* Discontinuation of Memorial Bench Program
* Additional Janitorial Request at TDC
* Ladder Truck Replacement - Early Budget Approval
* Request for Sidewalks - Fourth Avenue North, 500-700 Blocks
* Highway 97 & Toop Road Project Additions
* Well-Being and Community Safety Strategic Plan
* Situation Table

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District - Meetings as noted below:

Central Cariboo Joint Committee - Regular Meeting on Wednesday, May 22nd at 5:30pm in the CRD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* Esler Recreation Advisory Commission - 2019 Spring Meeting Minutes and Recommendations
* Discussion Items:

a) All Nations Pow-Wow/2020 Williams Lake Stampede (Dir Delainey)
b) Boat Launches on Williams Lake (Dir Delainey)
c) Joint Committee Terms of Reference/Meeting Logistics (Dir Forseth)

View the full Agenda here

Policy Committee - Regular Meeting on Thursday, May 23rd at 6pm in the CRD Boardroom.  On the Agenda:

* Rescind Policy No. 2016-06B-16 - P1.6 Volunteer Chief, Deputy Chief and Training Officer Recruitment and Retention Bonus
* Cariboo Regional District Cannabis Policy
* Best Practice – Electoral Area Alternate Directors
* Directors’ Electronic Device Policy
* Directors’ Electronic Device – Software, Hardware and Support Policy

View the full Agenda here

CC Regional Hospital District Board - Regular Meeting on Friday, May 24th at 9:30am in the CRD Boardroom.  On the Agenda:

* UBC - Rural Evidence Review Project
* Northern Health - Fourth Quarter 2018-2019 Capital Status Reports
* Northern Health Capital Funding Request – GR Baker Emergency Room/Intensive Care Addition
* Review of Three Year Commitment to Recruitment and Retention and the Northern Medical Programs Trust

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo RD Board - Regular Meeting on Friday, May 24th at 9:45am or upon adjournment of the CCRHD Board, whichever occurs first, in the CRD Boardroom.  On the Agenda:

* 3 Delegations -- Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Association (CCCTA); National Energy Board and Regional Entomologist and Williams Lake District Manager re: Regional Bark Beetles
* Land Use Matters
* Committee Minutes/Recommendations
* 2 Community Works Fund Agreements for Big Lake/Lone Butte areas
* 2018 Statement of Financial Information Annual Report
* Request for Comments on Name Change Proposals submitted by the Tŝilhqot'in National Government
* Requests from Area 'A' Director M. Sjostrom re: Funding Support for Access BC and Feasibility Study for Streetlighting in Maple Drive area
* In-Camera Session, as per Section 90(1k - negotiations) of the Community Charter

View the full Agenda here


Thursday, May 16, 2019

Flood risk assessment, mitigation funds help B.C. communities

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Editor's Note -- Cariboo Regional District to receive $150,000 for the purposes of Screening level floodplain mapping, Thompson River watershed and floodplain prioritization within the Cariboo Regional District

Twenty-two local and regional governments have been approved to receive their share of more than $3 million in provincial emergency preparedness funding to support flood risk assessment, mapping and mitigation planning.
Since the September 2017 Budget update, communities and governments throughout B.C. have received more than $20 million through the Community Emergency Preparedness Fund (CEPF). The successful applicants for the latest round of funding hail from every corner of B.C.
“It’s critical that we invest now in preparedness and disaster mitigation,” said Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General.  “Funding these projects is another way that we’re building resiliency in our communities to improve public safety.”  
Funding for the flood risk assessment, mapping and mitigation planning component of the CEPF was announced at the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) convention in September 2017. This funding is part of a $33.5-million plan designed to help communities prepare for, and respond to, disasters.
“Being prepared is about understanding hazards and finding ways to better protect the public,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “This funding will help local governments assess the risks that are unique to their communities and take steps to prevent and prepare for disasters before they happen.”
The CEPF is a suite of programs designed to enhance the resiliency of local governments and their residents. The Province provides the funding, which is administered by UBCM and divided into five streams:
  • flood risk assessment, flood mapping and flood mitigation planning
  • emergency support services
  • emergency operations centres and training
  • structural flood mitigation
  • evacuation routes
The next deadline to apply for this program is Oct. 25, 2019 (Structural Flood Mitigation Intake 2).
On May 10, 2019, the Province announced a new, sixth stream of CEPF funding for volunteer and composite fire departments. Proponents, including First Nations communities, local governments and society-run departments, are eligible for the $5 million to go towards equipment and training. This new funding brings the CEPF total to $38.5 million, with more than $15 million still to be distributed.

McLeese Lake FireSmart Meeting

 Picture on Left - Steve Forseth, Cariboo RD Area 'D' Director

Last night - 25 Area 'D' residents', primarily in the McLeese Lake area... took into a presentation from Cariboo Fire Centre reps regarding how to Fire Smart your own property at the McLeese Lake Community Hall

After acknowledging the traditional indigenous lands of the Northern Shuswap peoples and acknowledging  the presence of my predecessor, 2008-2014 CRD Area 'D' Director Deb Bischoff; the Cariboo Fire Centre reps presented a 1 hour presentation on the benefits of FireSmart for the community of McLeese Lake and answered questions of residents'

Many residents' afterwards thanked me for arranging this presentation and felt the meeting was worthwhile from an education point of view....

As I stated at the meeting - the Regional District is aware of the need to help residents' to FireSmart their property and the acute need to have a modern Community Wildfire Protection Plan or CWPP and are working hard to make that happen.... both on the CWPP and helping individual property owners to FireSmart their property via no charges to bring wood waste to your local CRD Transfer Station

Thank you to everyone who made the meeting.  I have asked for permission to receive a copy of the presentation.  If it is granted -- I will be sharing among my social media channels...

Some other FireSmart resources:

1) FireSmart Canada -- click here
2) BC FireSmart materials -- click here


Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Quesnel Council Highlights - May 14th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

BC Hydro – Peace to Kelly Lake Capacitors Project

Mark Alexander, Project Manager, and Dave Mosure, Community Relations Coordinator, provided Council with an update regarding the Peace to Kelly Lake Capacitors Project (“Project”). BC Hydro has three alternative routes they are considering to build this Project, with Alternative Three being the option for BC Hydro to study further due to favourable overall safety, reliability, environment, constructability and cost perspective.  Alternative Three, if chosen, would build three new Capacitor Stations that will be located on, or near, existing BC Hydro transmission lines’ Rights-of-Way.  The locations of Capacitor Stations will be somewhat limited due to Capacitor Stations needing to be located at very specific intervals along the transmission lines.  The preferred Alternative will be confirmed in 2020 and construction to start 2021 and completed in 2025.

Forestry Initiatives Program

The Forestry Innovation Centre is under constructions and the Forestry Initiative Program initiatives are underway.  The Programs initiatives include:
  • Fuel Treatments
    130 hectares of fuel treatments will begin in September 2019 around the following areas:  Airport, Dragon Mountain Communication Tower Site, Ten Mile Park, Hangman Pit, Sugarloaf Park, and private lands by landfill.  Fuel management treatment includes over-story removal, brushing, thinning, piling/burning and chip scatter.
  • Prescription Development
    Assessments and prescriptions are being developed for an additional 600 hectares with work to begin this spring and summer.
  • Forest Health on Airport Lands
    Beetle surveys (Douglas Fir and Spruce Beetle) and found evidence of beetles.  MCH repellent and funnel traps have been applied to push beetles out of large Douglas Fir and into traps.  West Fraser Mills donated repellent, funnel traps and pheromones for this initiative. 
  • FireSmart on Private Lands
    60% of Quesnel Community Wildfire Protection Plan is located on private lands.  The City is collaborating with FireSmart Canada, United Way and the Red Cross to advance innovative strategies for assessing private land and removing barriers for home/land owners.
  • FireSmart Education and Outreach
    City staff are coordinating Wildfire Preparedness Day on June 8, attending events during the summer, and offering four FireSmart workshops to encourage citizens to take the steps to achieve FireSmart Community Recognition.
  • Landscape Analysis and Restoration
    On April 12, 2019, stakeholders met for a technical session to determine the steps for enabling a local Landscape Restoration Pilot Project that looked at current data sets and models, identified gaps, and determined how the Pilot should proceed. 
Additionally, the new Council reaffirmed a Resolution of past Council, regarding the importance of Quesnel’s request to the Chief Forester for allocation of a Community Forest in our area.

Cannabis Retails Shops

Council approved two locations at 140-960 Chew Road and 775 Rita Road for Cannabis Retail Shop Applications to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch to further consider. 

City’s 2018 Statement of Financial Information

The City’s 2018 Statement of Financial Information is now available. 

Transit Custom Service – Taxi Supplement Program

Council approved up to $16,200 in the 2020 Operating budget for the implementation of a Taxi Supplement Program (“Program”), which will reduce the number of unmet HandyDART trips and can be used for after hours service requests.  Subject to BC Transit securing Provincial funding, the program would be implemented April 1, 2020.


1856 – Official Community Plan Rezone Amendment - Regional Shopping Centre – 775 Rita Road – Final Adoption
1864 – Five Year Financial Plan (2019-2023) – Final Adoption
1865 – Tax Rates (2019) – Final Adoption

Next Meetings

6 pm – May 28, 2019 – Regular Council Meeting – City Hall/Council Chambers
6 pm – June 4, 2019 – Regular Council Meeting – City Hall/Council Chambers

Thriving during transition

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

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

The announcement of the Tolko mill closure was inevitable and long expected, but that doesn’t make it any easier for the impacted workers and their families. We will now work with both Tolko and the Province to ensure that these workers, and the businesses and contractors who will also be impacted, receive every support available to assist them during this transition period.
However, Council has been proactively preparing our community for this economic and social transition since 2015; a transition that was predictable as far back as 2002 when the trajectory of the Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) epidemic clearly indicated we would experience an unprecedented and catastrophic die-back of our lodgepole pine forests. The massive wildfires we are now experiencing were also predictable then too, as every jurisdiction that’s experienced major beetle infestations have also experienced the forest fires that follow, and BC had advance warning of the potential extent of those fires with the 2003 “Firestorm.”
The previous provincial government’s decision to address BC’s MPB epidemic with significant increases to the Annual Allowable Cut (AAC) and massive salvage operations has also contributed to the current situation, as it resulted in significant investments in milling capacity for a harvest level that was clearly unsustainable over the mid and long term. The slash piles created by permitting a relaxation of utilization standards and enabling more wood “waste” to be left in cut blocks has now also come back to haunt us as well, as these slash piles are feeding the fires that now ravage the land base year over year.
The fact that this economic and social transition was predictable doesn’t make it any easier for anyone, especially since very little proactive planning was done for this inevitability by the last Provincial government or previous City Councils. The warning signs were all there, but the political leadership of the day, at both levels of government, kept hoping that the worst-case scenarios would not be realized (at least during their tenure in office) and kept labelling those making predictions about an eventual catastrophic fall down in the AAC as naysayers and alarmists.
Well, the alarm bells are ringing: Quesnel has permanently lost two sawmills and one shift as a direct result of the predictable impacts of the MPB epidemic and wildfires; the AAC is coming down precipitously; and our community is living with summers filled with wildfire smoke, the threat of evacuations, and fear of more mill closures.
As a Council, we’ve been proactively working on a transition strategy since 2014. We started with the City’s internal dynamics and developed a long-term financial plan that has enabled us to address an infrastructure deficit and create room to make investments in key amenities that will assist us to attract and retain visitors, residents, and investment. We’ve successfully rebranded the community and we’re now aggressively working on a robust housing strategy, seniors “age-friendly” initiative, community safety initiative, waterfront development plan, and a long-term infrastructure strategy that includes working with the Province on the much-needed North-South Interconnector.
All of our strategies are derived from an integrated economic development plan that will see us diversify our economy at the same time as we work with our forest sector to revitalize and reinvent it to maximize the economic benefits and job potential from a much smaller annual allowable cut.
Without question, this transition period is challenging but it is occurring at a time when the City will see record levels of public sector investments and a provincial government that has proven itself to be a willing partner with local governments. As a Council we also have robust partnerships with the remaining forest companies as we advance our Future of Forestry Think Tank initiative.
In short, we are proactively planning to ensure Quesnel continues to thrive during this challenging time.
For information visit:

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Editorial: Alternate Directors' at Cariboo RD Committees or Board Meetings


Last night in what was referred to as Alternate-Gate -- the North Cariboo Joint Committee whose membership is made up of the Quesnel Municipal Council and the Cariboo Regional District Directors for Areas A,B,C,I (Northern Directors) discussed the role of alternate Electoral Area Directors' at meetings like Joint Committee but that discussion could easily be extended to CCRHD/CRD Board Meetings - view the full breakdown of the meeting here

This topic was first raised this past February when Quesnel City Council resolved not to attend North Cariboo Joint Committee meetings if an alternate Electoral Area Director was present - read more here.  At the time - John Massier, who is both the Cariboo RD Area 'C' Director and the Cariboo RD Board Vice-Chair responded to Quesnel Council's resolution on alternate directors at North Cariboo Joint Committee - read more here

Up until very recent times (last 2 years) - the role of an Alternate Electoral Area Director has not being discussed publicly however with changing technology for rural elected officials to participate in meetings remotely - it is fair to debate the topic.  Provincial law for an alternate Electoral Area Director can be viewed here.  As well - the Union of BC Municipalities Executive has forwarded its' recommendation last June to the Hon. Selina Robinson -- BC's Minister of Municipal Affairs/Housing -- on the subject of alternate Electoral Area Directors', click here

Meanwhile - the Internal Affairs Committee of the Fraser Valley Regional District has been done some of its' own work, with respect of Alternate Directors, namely providing an email address to FVRD alternate Electoral Area Directors' to conduct local government work, when required and also access to Closed Meeting Agendas.

Alternate Director Email Report - click here
Alternate Director Closed Meeting Agenda Access - click here

As Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson has hinted at -- I think there is grounds that appointed alternate Electoral Area Directors' should get training by Cariboo Regional District Staff about role clarity, etc at the beginning of each term of local government ....  meanwhile, the point he raises about an individual who loses in a general election for a seat on a municipal council and then gets appointed as an alternate director in the local regional district -- unfortunately can not be reconciled with the current language of Section 201 of the Local Government Act.  Until the Act changes, it is clear about the role of an alternate director (as referenced above) at a Committee or Board Meeting of a Regional District and Mayor Simpson is correct to point out, that in recent times, use of Alternate Directors at Committee/Board Meetings of the Cariboo Regional District has never occurred in the South Cariboo and rarely in the Central Cariboo...

As Joint Committees' in the Cariboo Regional District are "creatures" of the Cariboo Regional District Board, via Board Policy -- I imagine that this conversation will, at some point, hit the Cariboo RD Regional Board table for resolution and/or direction...

The above noted editorial is my own opinion and not representative of my elected role on the Cariboo Regional District Board as Electoral Area 'D' Director


Monday, May 13, 2019

Post Event Report -- 2019 NCLGA Convention AGM

As is my personal practice -- find below a "Post Event report" outlining my attendance at the 2019 North Central Local Government Association or NCLGA Convention, held in Williams Lake, BC from May 6-10, 2019:

Saturday, May 11, 2019

QuestWood to close August 2nd, 2019

Courtesy of Tolko Industries Ltd:

Editor's Note -- Statement from the Hon. Doug Donaldson, BC's Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development on the closure of Quest Wood in Quesnel can be viewed here

Tolko Industries Ltd. announces the permanent closure of its Quest Wood sawmill in Quesnel and a reduction from two shifts to one at its Kelowna sawmill.

“This is a difficult but necessary decision,” says Brad Thorlakson, President and CEO. “Quest Wood has been part of the Tolko family since 1981 and Kelowna since 2004 when we acquired Riverside Forest Products.”

“Unfortunately, we do not have enough economic fibre to keep all of our British Columbia mills running efficiently and productively. We knew that AAC reductions were coming in British Columbia due to the devastation caused by the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic. The curtailments announced today are sooner than anticipated due to uneconomic log costs, weak lumber markets, and the catastrophic impacts of wildfires.”

Thorlakson recognizes today will be a hard day for many and with that in mind, Tolko’s HR team is on-site today and will be providing support to employees at both mills throughout the transition.

“This is a business decision and does not reflect on the commitment or work of our employees at these two operations. They have made significant contributions to Tolko over many years, and we are grateful for their efforts.”

“We will be working with a number of agencies to help people transition to new employment, and we will do everything we can to provide opportunities at other Tolko divisions to minimize the impact on employees and their families.”

Representatives from Tolko’s Employee and Family Assistance Program (EFAP) are also available on-site and by phone to assist impacted employees. This service will be made available to employees over the coming weeks to help them with any emotional issues and with financial and career planning.

“These decisions have been made after a long and detailed analysis and are necessary for the long-term prosperity of Tolko and are consistent with our commitment to sustainability,” says Thorlakson who concluded by saying that all remaining Tolko divisions would continue operating on their regular schedules.

The Quest Wood closure process will begin on Friday, August 2, 2019. Approximately one hundred and fifty (150) employees are impacted.

The reduction in shifting at the Kelowna mill is effective on July 12, 2019. Approximately ninety (90) employees are impacted by the shifting reduction

These two decisions will remove 250 million board feet from Tolko’s production in B.C.

Friday, May 10, 2019

Local Gov't Mtgs - Week of May 13-17

A number of the local governments of the Cariboo-Chilcotin are meeting next week, as follows:


a) Public Safety/Policing Committee - Meeting on Monday, May 13th at 1pm in the Fraser Room (4th Floor, 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* General Crime Trend Statistics
* Recruitment and Retention Update (23 FTE for Quesnel RCMP Detachment)
* City of Quesnel First Responder Program
* Safer Quesnel Update
* Bylaw Update - Community Policing and Spirit Centre Utilization
* March 7, 2019 Community Stakeholder meeting Update
* Elliott Street Good Neighbour Committee Update
* RCMP / Northern Health MHSU - Emergency Room attendance
* BC Prosecution Service Media Statement

View the full Agenda here

b) Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 14th at 6pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (4th Floor, 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* Delegation: BC Hydro - Peace to Kelly Lake Capacitors Project - Mark Alexander, Project Manager, and Sabrina Locicero, Stakeholder Engagement - presentation here

* Committee Reports
* Forestry Initiatives Update
* Cannabis Applications - License Review - 960 Chew Road and 775 Rita Road
* 2019 Road Rehabilitation / Overlay Paving Locations
* 2018 Statement of Financial Information Report
* Rezone Application - 644 Allard Street
* Transit Custom Service - Taxi Supplemental Program

View the full Agenda here

School District #28 (Quesnel) - Regular Board of Education Meeting on Wednesday, May 15th at 7pm in the SD28 Boardroom (401 North Star Rd).  When the Agenda is available, it can be viewed here

City of Williams Lake - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, May 14th at 6pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  On the Agenda:

* Delegations -- RCMP Inspector/Detachment Commander re Police Commission 2018 Year-End Report & Kane Fraser, MNP Chartered Accountants re 2018 Audited Financial Statements
* Cariboo-Chilcotin Integrated Community Safety Initiative - Final Report on 2018 Funded Projects
* Number of DVP's for consideration
* Temporary Use Permit Application - TUP #01-2019 - Wilkinson - Retail Food Business - 224 Exshaw Crescent
* Downtown Revitalization Tax Exemption Applications -- 1186172 BC Ltd. - 565 Oliver Street and BC Retail Partners (Boitanio Mall) Ltd. - 850 Oliver Street

View the full Agenda here

100 Mile House - Meetings as follows, all in 100 Mile House Council Chambers (385 Birch Avenue) on Tuesday, May 14th, 2019

5:45pm - 6:15pm -- In-Camera Session as per Sec 90(1k - negotiations) of the Community Charter
6:15pm - 7:00pm - Committee of the Whole Session on Cannabis Production and Retail Sales-Policy and Bylaw Amendments - click here
7pm -- Regular Council Meeting. On the Agenda:

* Bylaw Officers' Report for April 2019
* South Cariboo Sustainability Society – reduction of single use plastic
* Draft Electric Multi-Passenger Vehicle Use Policy
* 2018 Annual Report
* Commissionaires Contract Renewal to 2020
* Cariboo-Chilcotin Funeral Services Ltd. Development Variance Permit

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District - Meetings as listed below:

a) South Cariboo Joint Committee - Regular Meeting on Monday, May 13th at 12pm in 100 Mile House Council Chambers.  On the Agenda:

* 100 Mile House Wranglers - Permission Requested to Install Sign at Arena (South Cariboo Recreation Centre)
* In-Camera Session - Sec. 90(1k - negotiations) of the Community Charter

View the full Agenda here

b) North Cariboo Joint Committee - Regular Meeting on Monday, May 13th at 5:00pm at the Quesnel Youth Soccer Association Boardroom (980 Anderson Drive).  On the Agenda:

* Alex Fraser Park Multipurpose Agriculture Building Project Update
* Use of Electoral Area Alternate Directors - Committee Discussion
* Alex Fraser Park Management Agreement
* West Fraser Centre Facility Enhancements
* Quesnel Kangaroos Occupancy Agreement
* West Fraser Centre Room Rental Rates
* Provincial Curling Event Report - Information only

View the full Agenda here

c) North Cariboo Rural Directors' Caucus - Regular Meeting on Tuesday, May 14th at 3pm in the Quesnel CRD Office (101-410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* Delegation: RCMP Sergeant Andrew Burton
* Royal Canadian Legion Branch #094 - Request for Support
* Quesnel Pride and Community Outreach - Request for Sponsorship of Pride Parade
* 2019 City of Quesnel - Canada Day Sponsorship and Invitation
* Discussion Items -- Quesnel Airport Advisory Committee & North Cariboo Grants for Assistance

View the full Agenda here 

Upcoming CRD Community Events:

1) North Cariboo Multi-Agency Forum on Tuesday, May 14th from 5:30pm -7pm at the Barlow Creek Hall (3801 Tremblay Rd - Area 'C')

2) McLeese Lake FireSmart Community Presentation on Wednesday, May 15th from 7pm - 9pm at the McLeese Lake Community Hall (6178 Forglen Road, Area 'D')


Friday Local Gov't News - May 10th, 2019 edition

The Province of BC has made a number of announcements today which are relevant to local governments' including:

1) Local governments, First Nations to get firefighting funding -- full details here

2) Burning further restricted in Cariboo Fire Centre -- full details here

3) BC Rural Dividend program announces sixth intake in June 2019 -- full details here


NCLGA 2019 - Day 5 of 5

Today is the final day of the 2019 North Central Local Government Association's (NCLGA) AGM/Convention

On the agenda today:

* Exploring a Code of Conduct Framework
* Funding Opportunities for Local Governments
* Responding to Community Risk: Wildfire & Flood
* Closing Ceremonies, Closing Keynote Address by Hon. Doug Donaldson - Minister of FLNRORD, Prize Draws and Networking Lunch

* Post-NCLGA Convention Event -- BC Municipal Climate Leadership Council – 2020 & Beyond:Working Together towards a Clean Growth Future

Full details can be viewed here

After the conclusion of the 2019 NCLGA Convention -- I will publish my "Post Event Report" in regards to the 2019 NCLGA Convention


Thursday, May 9, 2019

NCLGA Board for 2019-20 term

Earlier today -- NCLGA delegates voted for the 2019-20 North Central Local Government Association's (NCLGA) Board of Directors'.  Once voting was completed - once in the morning to select a 2nd Vice-President and once in the afternoon to select 3 Directors' at Large from 4 candidates - the following individuals comprise the new NCLGA Board of Directors' for the 2019-2020 term:

1) President - RDFFG Area 'C' Director Lara Beckett
2) 1st Vice President - Fraser Lake Mayor Sarrah Storey
3) 2nd Vice-President - Prince George City Councillor Cori Ramsay
4) Past President -- Fort St John Councillor Gord Klassen
5) Directors' at Large:

a) City of Terrace Councillor Lynne Christensen
b) Cariboo RD Area 'D' Director Steve Forseth
c) Town of Fort St James Councillor Judy Greenaway

The six Regional District Boards' in the NCLGA Region appoint their representatives to the NCLGA Board annually.  The regional district appointees are as follows:

Cariboo Regional District - Cariboo RD Area 'C' Director John Massier
Fraser - Fort George Regional District - RDFFG Area 'H' Director Danielle Alan
Bulkley-Nechako Regional District - Houston Mayor Shane Brienen
Peace River Regional District - PRRD Area 'D' Director Leonard Hiebert
Northern Rockies Regional Municipality -- Councillor Lorraine Gerwing
North Coast Regional District- Prince Rupert Mayor Lee Brain

The new NCLGA Board of Directors' takes over upon adjournment of the 64th (2019) Annual Convention of the North Central Local Government Association which occurs tomorrow afternoon!


Millions of new trees will renew Cariboo-Chilcotin wildfire areas

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Tree replanting in areas burned by the 2017 wildfires is underway in the Cariboo region, which will help re-establish wildlife habitat, increase the future timber supply and capture greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.
Between now and the end of June 2019, about 22 million trees will be planted in burned areas in the Cariboo by contractors working for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. Over 259 million trees will be planted throughout British Columbia this year.
Reforestation activities in the Cariboo this year are concentrated in areas where the three largest wildfires occurred in 2017, with 11 million trees being planted in the Plateau Fire Complex area (545,000 hectares burned), 10 million trees in the Elephant Hill area (192,000 hectares) and 2.5 million trees in the Hanceville fire area (241,000 hectares).
Pine, fir and spruce are the main tree species being planted in the region. Deciduous trees, mainly aspen, will also be planted to improve wildlife habitat and enhance biodiversity. Tree planting will also help stabilize soils and watersheds in the Cariboo region, eventually reducing runoff that could lead to flooding.
The 2017 wildfire season caused record-setting damage, burning about 796,000 hectares of land in the Cariboo region and over 1.2 million hectares provincewide. Slightly over half of the trees in affected areas in the Cariboo were lost to fire, representing about 22 million cubic metres of green timber and 12 million cubic metres of timber already killed by mountain pine beetles.
The first year of this post-wildfire replanting program will focus on areas within fire sites where the government managed plantations of immature trees. These trees were too young to produce seed cones and regenerate naturally. Replanting efforts in 2020 and 2021 will focus on areas containing large numbers of Douglas fir trees, old growth management areas and important wildlife habitat areas. The reforestation of areas affected by the mountain pine beetle epidemic and the 2010 wildfires will continue.
Replanting areas affected by the 2017 wildfires is expected to take about a decade to complete, due to the large amount of land affected and a limited capacity to grow and plant additional tree seedlings. Some areas burned by the wildfires will not require replanting. For example, mature pine forests will be monitored but are expected to self-regenerate over time.
Quick Facts:
  • Pine trees are more likely than other tree species to regenerate on their own following a wildfire because their hardy cones release seeds only after being heated, protecting the seeds from direct flames.
  • Stands dominated by Douglas fir and spruce trees will require more planting to be adequately reforested, since their cones disperse seeds on a seasonal basis. These unprotected seeds often burn up in wildfires.
  • Most tree seedlings are sown two years before the seedlings are planted. The first trees to be planted in the 2017 wildfire areas were sown in 2017, grown in nurseries during 2018, and then boxed up and frozen until the start of the 2019 planting season.
  • Most tree planting occurs between late April and the end of June to ensure that the tree’s growth cycle — the time of year when existing buds flush, grow new needles and leaves, and then set new buds for the following year — remains in sync with the seasons.

NCLGA 2019 - Day 4 of 5

Today is Day 4 of 5 of the 2019 North Central Local Government Association's (NCLGA) AGM/Convention and the official start to the 2019 NCLGA AGM/Convention

On the agenda today:

* National Energy Board Engagement Breakfast Session - 8:00-8:45 am - Full details here
* Northern Development Initiative Trust presentation
* 2019 NCLGA Resolutions Debate - Resolutions Book here
* Municipal Insurance Association and Municipal Finance Authority updates from Gord Klassen and Al Richmond from MIA/MFA respectively

* Preparing for Electric Vehicle Infrastructure in Northern & Rural Communities
* 2019 Annual NCLGA Banquet

Full details can be viewed here


Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Quesnel’s got talent

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Editor's Note -- Weekly Quesnel City Council column, written by Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson.  He can be reached, via email, here

This past weekend, I had the privilege and pleasure to emcee this year’s Quesnel Festival of the Performing Arts (QFPA) Celebration of Stars Gala Performance. This event highlights and celebrates selected performances from each of the performing arts disciplines that make up the festival: speech, vocal and choral, piano, and dance.
This year marked the 36th anniversary of the Festival of Performing Arts in Quesnel, a large event that uses multiple venues and requires a significant number of volunteers to organize and host. QFPA has its own Board of Directors and is associated with and supported by the Quesnel and District Community Arts Council. Rotary also supports the festival participants by awarding scholarships to selected artists (six performers received bursaries this year). Various community sponsors contribute to the Festival as well and help underwrite the costs.
The performers at the Gala were selected by the Festival’s adjudicators in each discipline. Over the course of the afternoon event’s 46 performances the incredible depth of talent we have in our community in each of the performing arts disciplines was clearly demonstrated and celebrated. In total, the event adjudicators selected 21 performers to compete at this year’s Provincial Championships in Chilliwack May 26 to 30; 17 performers were selected to attend this year’s Provincials as “Non-Competitive Merited Participants” enabling them to gain experience for future competitions.
The quality of the performances at the Gala was second to none. Regardless of the age of the competitor or their discipline it was clear that each and every one of them had put in the time and exercised the discipline necessary to excel and to warrant the recognition they were given by the adjudicators. Some brought the audience to tears, others to laughter, all enthralled and all received much deserved and energetic applause.
But, as I noted at the event, the talent demonstrated on the stage was made possible by a wide range of dedicated and talented teachers, vocal coaches and directors, piano teachers, and dance instructors. All of the vocalists were also accompanied by a number of very talented pianists. It’s this instructional talent (many of whom are also performers as well) that makes it possible for youth and adults in our community to enjoy learning all manner of performing arts disciplines. Whether just for personal growth or for performance purposes, Quesnel offers an incredible array of accessible and affordable opportunities for people to grow their talent or learn a new skill.
As a Council and in partnership with the Northern Directors of the Cariboo Regional District, we are fully aware that we need to support our arts community writ large with improvements to our hosting venues. Even if we do achieve a new community theatre in the proposed Lhtako Dene Cultural Centre (which would be available for bookings for community events like the Festival of the Performing Arts), we know we need to work with all of our private and public partners to improve all the other venues we have in the City and in the fringe areas and, if at all possible, create a new larger venue that would allow us to host larger performing arts events and specialty concerts.
The depth of artistic talent we have in our community deserves our attention and the right kind of investments in appropriate venues that will showcase this talent. Like the artists, Council and our CRD partners will have to be creative and disciplined in order for us to achieve this desired outcome.
I want to offer a huge thank you to the QFPA Board and the many volunteers who made this year’s event possible. If you are at all interested in assisting with the QFPA and ensuring the Festival continues in our community, you are invited to attend their Annual General Meeting on Tuesday June 11 at the Quesnel and District Arts and Recreation Centre.

NCLGA 2019 - Day 3 of 5

Today is Day 3 of 5 of the 2019 North Central Local Government Association's (NCLGA) AGM/Convention and the official start to the 2019 NCLGA AGM/Convention

On the agenda today:

* Opening Ceremonies including annual reports by the 2018-19 NCLGA President Gord Klaassen and UBCM President Arjun Singh
* Plenary Sessions -- Emerging Trends & Opportunities for North Central BC; The Business of Tourism in Northern British Columbia; Rail Transportation Panel; Resolutions Writing 101 and Species at Risk: Community Impacts & Solutions

* Keynote Lunch Address by UNBC President Dr Kevin Weeks -- UNBC Destination 2040

Full details can be viewed here


Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Category 2 Burning to be banned in Cariboo Fire Centre Friday at noon

Courtesy of the BC Wildfire Service:

Effective at noon on Friday, May 10, 2019, Category 2 open fires will be prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre to help prevent human-caused wildfires and protect public safety.
Anyone conducting a Category 2 open burn anywhere in the Cariboo Fire Centre must extinguish any such fire by noon on that date. This prohibition will remain in place until Sept. 27, 2019 or until the public is otherwise notified.
Larger Category 3 open fires have been prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre since April 15, 2019.
Specifically, prohibited Category 2 activities include:
  • the burning of any waste, slash or other materials;
  • open fires larger than 0.5 metres wide by 0.5 metres high;
  • stubble or grass fires of any size over any area;
  • the use of sky lanterns;
  • the use of fireworks; and
  • the use of binary exploding targets.
This prohibition does not ban campfires that are a half-metre high by a half-metre wide or smaller and does not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes.
A map of the areas affected by these open burning prohibitions is available online:
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 a Category 2 open burn prior to May 10 is urged to use caution and people are reminded that they must follow open burning regulations as defined in the Wildfire Act and Wildfire Regulation.
A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online:
These prohibitions apply to all public and private land, unless specified otherwise (e.g., in a local government bylaw). 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 up to $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, as well as the value of resources damaged or destroyed by the wildfire.
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:
Follow the latest wildfire news:

NCLGA 2019 - Day 2 of 5

Today is Day 2 of 5 of the 2019 North Central Local Government Association's (NCLGA) AGM/Convention

First up -- the various tours in the Region from 8:30am - 4:30pm, then in the evening, the Welcome Reception for NCLGA 2019 Delegates

I will participating in a Cariboo RD Meeting in respect of the rural perspective on access to health care in the communities which look to Williams Lake for health care services then off to the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex for a Charge North Advisory Committee meeting in respect of charging stations for electric vehicles

And finally - participate in the 2019 NCLGA Welcome Reception at the Tourism Discovery Centre in the evening...

Full details can be viewed here


Monday, May 6, 2019

NCLGA 2019 - Day 1 of 5

Today starts Day 1 of 5 of the 2019 North Central Local Government Association or NCLGA AGM/Convention in Williams Lake.

The last time the City of Williams Lake hosted the NCLGA Convention was under its' predecessor name, the North Central Municipal Association or NCMA, back in 2007 in partnership with the Cariboo Regional District... the Mayor of Williams Lake at that time was current Williams Lake City Councillor Scott Nelson and the Cariboo RD Chair of the day was former Williams Lake City Councillor Jon Wolbers

First up today -- a pre-NCLGA Convention event called "Northern Healthy Communities Forum".  Representatives from both Northern and Interior Health will be in attendance.  The Forum will take place from 9am - 4pm in the Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex

Full details on this event can be viewed here

I have 1 Cariboo RD Engagement today:

a) 2-2:30pm -- participate in a teleconference at the CRD Williams Lake Office with a Pine Valley resident in regards to their property assessment appeal with the Provincial Property Assessment Appeal Board

And then I will be participating in an NCLGA Board Meeting in downtown Williams Lake in the evening.....

Have a wonderful Monday,


Sunday, May 5, 2019

Post-Event Report -- 2019 BC Broadband Conference

As is my practice after attending a Convention/Workshop, etc on behalf of the Cariboo Regional District -- here is my Post Event Report outlining my activities at the recently held 2019 BC Broadband Conference in Richmond BC on Tuesday April 30th and Wednesday May 1st, 2019

Click here


Saturday, May 4, 2019

Wildfire risk reduction grants benefit Cariboo region

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Editor's Note -- Community resiliency investment funding in the Cariboo-Chilcotin Region includes:

* City of Williams Lake: $100,000 to assist with education, planning, inter-agency co-operation, fuel and vegetation management, and FireSmart activities on private land

* City of Quesnel: $100,000 to assist with education, planning, development, emergency planning, fuel and vegetation management, and FireSmart activities on private land

* Williams Lake Indian Band:$100,000 to assist with planning, development, inter-agency co-operation, emergency planning, cross-training, FireSmart demonstration projects, fuel and vegetation management, and FireSmart activities on private land

* Nazko First Nation: $62,000 to assist with education, planning, development, inter-agency co-operation, and FireSmart activities on private land

* Canim Lake Band: $100,000 to assist with fuel and vegetation management

As part of its ongoing commitment to reduce wildfire threats, the B.C. government is providing $462,000 in community resiliency investment grants to support projects in the Cariboo Fire Centre.
“Community resiliency investment funding will help Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities increase their resiliency to wildfire threats,” said Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “The program is designed to support projects at the local level to help keep British Columbians safe.”
This funding is part of more than $6 million in community resiliency investment grants provided to 85 municipalities, regional districts and First Nations throughout the province, following the program’s first application intake. (See the list of grant recipients in the Cariboo Fire Centre in the attached backgrounder.)
The community resiliency investment program was established in September 2018 with $50 million to assist local governments and First Nations to lower wildfire risks around their communities. As part of Budget 2019, the B.C. government has provided an additional $10 million.
Mitigating wildfire threats is a shared responsibility of the provincial government, local governments, First Nations, industry, stakeholders and individual British Columbians. The community resiliency investment program takes a holistic approach to risk reduction and fuel management treatments by considering fire prevention activities on provincial Crown land, private land, local government land and reserve land.
A key component of the program is that it lets communities apply for funding to cover up to 100% of a wildfire risk reduction project. Eligible applicants facing a lower wildfire risk can apply for up to $25,000, while applicants facing a demonstrated higher wildfire risk can apply for up to $100,000.
The Union of B.C. Municipalities administers the community resiliency investment program and processes grant applications.
Learn More:
FireSmart and the seven FireSmart disciplines:
More information about the application process is available on the Union of B.C. Municipalities website: 

Firefighters Day 2019

Today is Firefighters Day -- a day to thank those who are firefighters - whether volunteer or career

This day goes back to 1999 - more background here

Finally - the creator of Firefighters Day, Lieutenant JJ Edmondson, said this:

The role of a firefighter in today’s society–be it urban, rural, natural environment, volunteer, career, industrial, defense force, aviation, motorsport, or other is one of dedication, commitment, and sacrifice–no matter what country we reside and work in. In the fire service, we fight together against one common enemy–fire–no matter what country we come from, what uniform we wear or what language we speak.
Those all who serve as firefighters -- especially those in Wildwood, Tyee Lake or McLeese Lake - thank you to your dedication to your local communities and know that you are appreciated for the service you provide to your local residents'...


Friday, May 3, 2019

No Local Gov't Mtgs - Week of May 6-10

There are no scheduled meetings of local governments of the Cariboo-Chilcotin as they will be in attendance at the 2019 North Central Local Government Association or NCLGA Convention in Williams Lake from May 6-10, 2019

Full details on what will be happening at #NCLGA2019 can be viewed here

At #NCLGA2019 - Resolutions will also be considered covering a wide range of topics -- you can view all the proposed resolutions here.  Approved 2019 NCLGA Resolutions will then go on to the 2019 Union of BC Municipalities' (UBCM) Convention in Vancouver from September 23-27, 2019 for the endorsement of the full UBCM membership

I will post daily reports from the 2019 NCLGA Convention...