Tuesday, April 30, 2019

#NCLGA2019 Resolutions Released!

Earlier today -- the 2019 North Central Local Government Association or NCLGA Resolutions were released.  These 34 Resolutions, covering a wide range of topics, will be debated at the 2019 NCLGA Convention being held in Williams Lake from May 6-10, 2019

Full disclosure: I am Vice-Chair of NCLGA's Resolutions Committee with NCLGA's Resolution Committee Chair being Peace River RD's Brad Sperling...

Link: https://www.nclga.ca/uploads/2019%20Resolutions%20FINAL.pdf


Progress Report on Abbott/Chapman Report Recommendations

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

The B.C. government has released its updated action plan in response to the government-commissioned, independent Abbott/Chapman report on the unprecedented 2017 wildfire and flood seasons in British Columbia.
The initial action plan was released October 2018, with a commitment to provide updates over six-month intervals until October 2020. The update details action taken on the 108 recommendations from Chief Maureen Chapman and George Abbott’s report, Addressing the New Normal: 21st Century Disaster Management in British Columbia.
The B.C. government’s emergency management efforts also consider other recent reports, such as the auditor general’s report, Managing Climate Change Risks, and the federal House of Commons June 2018 report, From the Ashes: Reimagining Fire Safety and Emergency Management in Indigenous Communities.
Since October, work has been completed on 14 additional recommendations, with substantial work completed on another 20. Key updates since October 2018 include:
  • Increasing wildfire management funding by 58% (from $64 million to $101 million). This increased funding is supporting additional Type 2 contract firefighters, improved integration in aviation and increased use of technology.
  • Modernizing emergency support services to decrease the time it takes to receive services, while ensuring the protection of personal data. Enhancements will be piloted in up to four communities during the 2019 wildfire season. Results from the pilot will inform broader rollout.
  • Improved communication and co-ordination processes with all partners.
The next update will be issued Oct. 31, 2019.
Learn More:
To read the action plan, progress update and the Abbott/Chapman report, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/emergency-management-bc
For information on wildfire prevention, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/FireSmart
For information on how to prepare for an emergency, visit: www.gov.bc.ca/PreparedBC

2019 BC Broadband Conference - Day 1 of 2

Today is Day 1 of the BC Broadband Conference being held in Richmond.  I am attending this conference in my capacity as Chair of the Regional District's Broadband Committee and my expenses are being funded by the CRD's Electoral Area Administration fund which is paid by all rural residents'

The full conference agenda can be viewed here


Monday, April 29, 2019

Pile burning project near Williams Lake extended

Courtesy of the BC Wildfire Service:

BC Wildfire Service crews will continue to burn piles of accumulated woody debris near Williams Lake over the next four weeks to reduce wildfire risks in the area.
Smoke and flames may be visible from Williams Lake and surrounding communities.
Firefighters began igniting these piles on March 25, 2019. That work could continue until May 31, 2019, depending on weather and site conditions. BC Wildfire Service personnel will be on-site with firefighting equipment to monitor and control these burns at all times.
This work is part of ongoing fuel management treatments by Cariboo Fire Centre crews in the two locations listed below. By removing this material, less fuel will be available to burn in the event of a wildfire and any such fire will burn with less intensity.
Fox Mountain:
  • This treatment covers about 20 hectares north of the Fox Mountain subdivision, north of Gannett Road and Pheasant Drive.
Airport Road:
  • This treatment covers about three hectares south of Williams Lake Regional Airport, southeast of the junction of Radio Range Road and Airport Road.
These piles will only be lit if conditions are suitable and allow for quick smoke dissipation. Open fires must comply with the Environmental Management Act and the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation. This helps minimize the amount of smoke generated.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone. For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air quality advisories, visit: www.bcwildfire.ca
Follow the latest wildfire news:

Ecosystem restoration burn planned for Place Lake area

Courtesy of the BC Wildfire Service:

A 72-hectare prescribed burn will be conducted in the Place Lake area sometime between April 29 and May 17, 2019, if weather and burning conditions are suitable.
This prescribed burn is being conducted for ecosystem restoration purposes west of Place Lake and east of Alkali Lake, about 36 kilometres south of Williams Lake. Smoke may be visible from Alkali Lake and surrounding communities.
A prescribed burn is an intentionally ignited fire that is planned and managed by a certified “burn boss.” The burn boss is responsible for ensuring initial burn conditions are favourable and the fire is fully extinguished once the prescribed burn is completed. This burn will help restore natural grassland ecosystems and will be managed by the ministry’s Ecosystem Restoration Program, with the assistance of the BC Wildfire Service.
Historically, grasslands in the Cariboo-Chilcotin were renewed through frequent, low-intensity ground fires. Such fires prevented tree encroachment, rejuvenated understory plants and helped maintain more open grasslands and forests with large trees. The reintroduction of managed, low-intensity ground fires to these grasslands is intended to restore and maintain traditional grassland plant communities that are native to these areas.
These types of planned fires also reduce accumulations of flammable material, which will help decrease the risk of significant wildfires in this area in the future.
This prescribed burn is part of an ongoing ecosystem restoration program administered by the provincial government through the Cariboo-Chilcotin Ecosystem Restoration Committee, in consultation with First Nations, local ranchers, forest licensees, outdoors organizations, the Fraser Basin Council, the B.C. Wildlife Federation and the Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society.
The Place Lake burn will only proceed if site, weather and venting conditions are suitable. All prescribed burns must comply with the Environment Management Act and the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation. This helps minimize the amount of smoke generated.
Learn More:
A factsheet about prescribed burns and ecosystem restoration burns is available online: http://ow.ly/7RXg304vw2Z
To learn more about the Cariboo-Chilcotin Ecosystem Restoration Committee, visit: www.ccerc.net

SILGA 2019 starts tomorrow!

From Tuesday until Friday of this week -- the 2019 edition of the Southern Interior Local Government Association's (SILGA) Convention will take place in the lovely City of Penticton, BC, located in the South Okanagan...

During the 4 days of this Convention - there will be learning sessions, networking opportunities and consideration of 26 2019 SILGA Resolutions and a presentation from UBCM President (and Kamloops City Councillor) Arjun Singh.  Full details here

Upcoming UBCM Area Association Conventions:

NCLGA 2019 or North Central Local Government Association -- May 6-10th, 2019 in Williams Lake

LMLGA 2019 or Lower Mainland Lower Government Association -- May 8-10th, 2019 at Harrison Hot Springs


Saturday, April 27, 2019

AKBLG 2019

Starting yesterday and concluding Sunday at 12:30pm in Castlegar, BC -- the 2019 edition of the Association of Kootenay-Boundary Local Governments' Convention is being held

Full details here

Remaining UBCM Area Association Conventions include:

SILGA 2019 - April 30th to May 3rd in Penticton, BC

NCLGA 2019 - May 6th to May 10th in Williams Lake, BC

LMLGA 2019 - May 8th to May 10th in Harrison Hot Springs, BC

The 2019 Union of BC Municipalities Convention will be held in Vancouver, BC from September 23-27


Friday, April 26, 2019

Local Gov't Mtgs - Wk of April 29th to May 3rd

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

Quesnel - Meetings as noted below:

Financial Sustainability/Audit Committee - Regular Meeting at 4:30pm on Tuesday, April 30th in the Fraser Room (4th Floor, 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* 2018 Audited Financial Statements - view here

View the full Agenda here

Municipal Council - Regular Meeting at 6pm on Tuesday, April 30th in Quesnel Council Chambers (4th Floor, 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* Delegation -- 2018 Audit of City Financial Records - KPMG Enterprise - Corey Naphtali, Partner, and Benjamin Campbell, Manager

* Committee Reports
* 2018 Surplus Report
* Minimum Rental Standards Bylaw (Maintenance Bylaw)
* Five Year Financial Bylaw (2019 - 2023) and 2019 Tax Rates Bylaw - 1st, 2nd and 3rd Readings
* Northern Development Initiative Trust May 2019 Grant Intake
* Bouchie Lake Watershed Stewardship Society - Request for Letter of Support for Milburn Lake Boat Launch project

View the full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Regular Council Meeting on Tuesday, April 30th at 6pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St). On the Agenda:

* Presentation -- Certificate of Appreciation to Val & Wayne Biffert
* Delegation -- Rail Ties Be Wise Group re Burning of Rail Ties at Biomass Plant in Williams Lake

* DVP #01-2019 - Kalin/Taschuk - Interior Lot Line Setback Reduction - 121 Mason Road (for Approval)
* DP #01-2019 - Fox Mountain Brewing Company Ltd. - Brewery - 215 Donald Road
* DP #02-2019 - Windsor Plywood - Front Façade Redevelopment - 910 Mackenzie Avenue South
* Airport Investment Master Plan - Approval
* Water Management Strategy - Approval
* 2019 National Indigenous Peoples Day Celebrations & Parade
* Request for Installation of Chief William Statue at Williams Lake Regional Airport

View the full Council agenda here

At 7pm on the same night -- Council will hold a Public Hearing in respect of property at 3018 Edwards Drive (Glendale) -- Full Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District - Meetings as noted below:

Special Committee of the Whole -- Meeting at 6pm on Thursday, May 2nd in the Cariboo RD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake)  Purpose of Meeting:

* Ken Bateman, Chief Negotiator for NStQ, and Gord Keener, Treaty Manager and member of the Xatsull First Nation (Soda Creek Indian Band), will appear before the Committee in an educational session about treaty processes and related information on First Nations governments.

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional Hospital District - Meeting at 9:30am on Friday, May 3rd in the Cariboo RD Boardroom.  On the Agenda:

* Delegation - PMT Chartered Professional Accountants LLP re: 2018 CC Regional Hospital District Audited Financial Statements

* Hospital Consent Calendar
* IHA Capital Projects and Planning Status Report - February and March 2019
* Request for Foundation Partnership Grant Funding by South Cariboo Health Foundation
* Discussion Item – Transportation Needs for Patients Travelling to Kelowna
* BC News Release - Upgrades on the way for GR Baker Memorial Hospital
* Verbal Report from CCRHD Chair

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District Board - Meeting at 9:45am on Friday, May 3rd in the Cariboo RD Boardroom.  On the Agenda:

* Delegations -- PMT Chartered Professional Accountants LLP re: 2018 Cariboo RD Audited Financial Statements & Janice Keyes from Community Energy Association to provide an update

* Various Land Use Items
* Request for Inclusion of the Stanley / Lightning Hotel on the Cariboo Regional District Heritage Registry
* Red Bluff Fire Protection Budget Amendment (Cariboo RD Area A)
* Grant for Assistance Application – 108 Mile Ranch Wildlife Safety Group (Cariboo RD Area G)
* Results of Willoughby Place Streetlighting Establishment Petition (Cariboo RD Area E)
* Consent Calendar
* Committee Minutes/Recommendations for receipt/endorsement
* 4 Cariboo RD Corporate Bylaws for Adoption
* Directors' Requests from Area 'A' Director Mary Sjostrom – Funding Support for Access BC; Area 'D' Director Steve Forseth – FireSmart Employee Program and Request for amendment to Cariboo RD Directors' Remuneration/Expenses Bylaw

* In-Camera Session -- Section 90(1e/k - land and negotiations) of the Community Charter

View the full Agenda here

Finally - I will be attending the BC Broadband Conference in Richmond BC from Tuesday April 30th until the afternoon of May 1st in my capacity as Chair of the Regional District's Broadband Committee.  As I always do, upon my return to Williams Lake, I publish a "Post-Event" report outlining what I learned at the conference..


Thursday, April 25, 2019

Rural B.C. to benefit from expanded high-speed internet

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Editor's Note -- Cariboo RD Staff are currently researching this item and how it may be useful to the Cariboo Regional District's 12 Electoral Areas'.  Once that research is complete, the Board will then need to have a conversation about whether to proceed or not....

Improved connectivity due to updates to the Local Government Act will provide more options for people living in rural and remote areas to connect with friends and family, purchase goods or services, access health services, expand their business or even telecommute.
These changes give regional districts an additional tool to help expand high-speed internet to under-served areas.
“Regional districts have been asking for this. It’s one more way we are delivering results that empower communities, bringing more people online to be involved in, and benefit from, today’s digital economy,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “The changes build on the significant investments our government has already made to connect people and communities by increasing their access to high-speed internet service.”
Changes enable regional districts to provide financing for capital costs to internet service providers where it may not otherwise make sense from a business perspective. This will help advance construction of new connectivity infrastructure for rural and remote communities.
Although the act generally prohibits a regional district from aiding a business, it also contains specific exceptions to this rule for services that are often considered essential, such as telephone, natural gas or electricity. Changes to the Local Government Act reflect that high-speed internet has become a basic service.
“High-speed internet is not a luxury — it’s an absolute necessity in today’s digital world. This legislative change will empower regional districts to help bring this vital service to residents in a way that meets the specific needs of their communities,” said Jinny Sims, Minister of Citizens’ Services. “The greatest successes in expanding broadband in rural areas have come when all levels of government, the private sector and community groups work together to make the most of this essential infrastructure for local businesses and people.”
The Province has defined high-speed internet service to align with standards established by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission. To qualify as a high-speed internet service, the new standards require minimum speeds of 50 megabits per second when downloading information and 10 megabits per second when uploading information.
“We are pleased and supportive of the changes made to the Local Government Act to continue to improve services and connectivity for all rural areas across the province,” said Ian Thorpe, chair of the Regional District of Nanaimo. “We were very appreciative of the federal Gas Tax Funds received in 2017 that helped bring high-speed internet to a rural area within our region.”
Updates to the Local Government Act respond to needs identified by local governments through resolutions endorsed by the Union of B.C. Municipalities.
Quick Facts:
  • Bill 3 amended the Local Government Act to give regional districts the ability to provide capital financing to businesses for the purpose of expanding high-speed internet to underserved areas: http://www.bclaws.ca/civix/document/id/bills/billscurrent/4th41st:gov03-1/search/CIVIX_DOCUMENT_ROOT_STEM:(Bill%203)%20AND%20CIVIX_DOCUMENT_ANCESTORS:billscurrent?14#hit1
  • The Ministry of Citizens’ Services provides resources and expertise to help communities design new digital infrastructure to maximize the benefits of improved connectivity, and include:
    • Projects to improve high-speed internet access are underway or completed in 443 communities, including 75 Indigenous communities.
    • $16 million is available to help local governments, service providers and community organizations connect people in rural and Indigenous communities with high-speed internet.
    • $50 million has been committed to ensure the work to connect people in every region of B.C. continues beyond the current funding opportunity.
Learn More:
Province makes historic investment in rural internet service: https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2019CITZ0006-000348
Northern Development Initiative Trust administers the Connecting British Columbia program: https://www.northerndevelopment.bc.ca/

Federal, B.C. governments commit to continue northern bus service

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Canada’s and British Columbia’s transportation ministers have made a joint commitment to continue BC Bus North, the transportation service that connects B.C.’s northern and rural communities.
“Intercity bus services are important for the people of British Columbia and for Canadians across the country, particularly for those in Indigenous, rural and remote communities where other transportation options do not exist,” said Canada’s Minister of Transport Marc Garneau. “We are working to find solutions and are encouraged by B.C.’s interest to collaborate on this issue.”
The commitment to continue BC Bus North, as well as to address transit needs resulting from Greyhound abruptly withdrawing service, came about following a meeting between the two transportation ministers.
“I expressed our government's firm belief that people in our province need to have access to safe, affordable and reliable long-distance ground transportation – to be able to visit friends and family, to get to work or their classes," said Claire Trevena, B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. "The current interim service in the North established by our government last year, BC Bus North, has been well received and is relied on by many individuals and organizations.”
The B.C. government launched BC Bus North on June 4, 2018, as an interim solution, just days after Greyhound discontinued the majority of its northern bus routes. Private operators are also running bus service in other areas of the province formerly served by Greyhound.
BC Bus interim service was set to expire on May 30, 2019. While details of the joint federal-provincial commitment are worked out, the Province has extended the interim service to September 2019.
Further details on the commitment to provide transit service to northern and rural regions are expected in the coming weeks.
Quick Facts:
  • BC Bus North is operated by BC Transit through its service operator, Pacific Western Transportation.
  • BC Bus North is comprised of a fleet of four 44-seat highway coaches; four routes cover 2,000 kilometres.
  • More than 4,500 people have ridden on BC Bus North since the service began and 20% indicated that they were travelling for employment.
  • BC Bus North covers nearly 7,000 kilometres every week or about 28,000 kilometres per month.
Learn More:
To learn more about BC Bus North, please visit: https://bcbus.ca/
Backgrounder with a timeline can be viewed here

Tŝilhqot’in National Government releases wildfire calls to action with B.C., Canada

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

One year following the signing of the first-ever tripartite Collaborative Emergency Management Agreement (CEMA), the Tŝilhqot’in National Government (TNG), Indigenous Services Canada and the B.C. government are announcing the release of a comprehensive wildfire report by the Tŝilhqot’in Nation, setting out findings and calls to action on emergency management practices.
The report, The Fires Awakened Us (Nagwediẑk’an Gwaneŝ Gangu Chinidẑed Ganexwilagh), was completed as a key milestone under the CEMA, signed in April 2018 between the TNG, Indigenous Services Canada and the B.C. government. This report provides a thorough analysis of the 2017 wildfire season and highlights the jurisdictional, cultural and environmental issues experienced by the Tŝilhqot’in Nation during the 2017 wildfires, as well as 33 calls to action to address these pressing issues.
“The wildfire report and the calls to action we are releasing to the public today feature the all too often misunderstood and missing voice of Indigenous peoples in Canada,” said Chief Joe Alphonse, Tribal Chair, Tŝilhqot’in National Government. “The Tŝilhqot’in Nation commissioned this report in order to create a better understanding of the uniqueness of our communities and our long-held jurisdiction over emergency management. This report, as well as the Collaborative Emergency Management Agreement as a whole, is progress towards implementing UNDRIP and TRC Calls to Action, while driving change in emergency management for First Nations. Practices, protocols and procedures need to change – relationships are slowly improving, and we need these relations to do the hard work ahead of us. Our calls to action outline how this will be accomplished.”
The 33 calls to action work to inform all levels of government, including recognition of inherent Indigenous jurisdiction in emergency response and recovery, improved equipment and infrastructure, and enhanced processes and protocols.
“A lot of progress has been made in some of the areas of concern, but this report shows there’s still a lot of work to do,” said Doug Donaldson, B.C.’s Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. “The report itself is an output of the Collaborative Emergency Management Agreement. It’s a great starting point to come together and do things differently by incorporating the observations and knowledge of the Tŝilhqot’in people.”
Several other benefits have already flowed from the signing of the CEMA, including better working relationships with the TNG communities and the provision of more supports to ensure appropriate protection and response in the case of wildfires within the Tŝilhqot’in territory. These include improved access to training, better engagement with First Nations communities in the area on emergency management concerns, a structural protection unit trailer and enhanced First Nations involvement in wildfire protection and emergency management.
“The Government of Canada stands with First Nations and all British Columbians every step of the way as they rebuild and recover from the devastation caused by wildfires and flooding in the past two years,” said Seamus O’Regan, federal Minister of Indigenous Services. “Thank you to the Tŝilhqot’in National Government for its report on the 2017 fires. It will help inform us as we work together to secure a new approach where First Nations are full partners in emergency management.”
In April 2018, the Tŝilhqot’in National Government entered into a Collaborative Emergency Management Agreement with Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) and the B.C. government that focuses on improving emergency management within the Tŝilhqot’in communities.
ISC has provided funding for the TNG to implement work under the CEMA, including funding toward an emergency management co-ordinator for one year, and a contribution toward a feasibility study regarding the creation of a regional emergency centre. 
“The leadership, courage and commitment of the Tŝilhqot’in and First Nations across B.C. to fight fires, protect their communities, prevent future fires through mitigation and help neighbours continues to be recognized and needs to be supported and hard-wired into the system,” said Joyce Murray, president of the Treasury Board and federal Minister of Digital Government. “We are committed to working closely with the Province and all First Nations to create a new approach where First Nations are full partners in emergency management.”
Learn More:
A copy of the Tŝilhqot’in National Government’s report, The Fires Awakened Us, can be found online: http://www.tsilhqotin.ca/Portals/0/PDFs/2019_TheFiresAwakenedUs.pdf

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee Highlights - Apr 24th mtg

Present from CRD: Co-Chair S. Forseth and Directors A. Delainey/M. LeBourdais

Present from City of WL: Acting Co-Chair C. Smith and Councillors I. Bonnell, S. Boehm. M. Brenner, and S. Nelson

Meeting chaired by Co-Chair S. Forseth and he called the meeting to order at 5:30pm

The Chair acknowledged today's meeting is being held on the traditional lands of the Northern Secwepemc peoples and specifically, that of the Williams Lake Indian Band

The Chair reminded Committee members to put their mobile device into silent/vibrate mode or shut down their mobile device

Meeting Agenda approved

Minutes of the Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee meeting held on February 27th, 2019 were received/adopted


1) A representative (A. Delainey) of Rail Ties Be Wise appeared before the Committee to discuss the burning of rail ties at the biomass plant in Williams Lake

A Question/Answer period ensued thereon

The Chair thanked the delegation for their time/information

Response to Delegation:

Director Delainey recused herself from the meeting as she is part of the "Rail Ties Be Wise" group and left the meeting at 5:45pm

The Committee had before it the "Short History of Air Quality and Community Health Controversies in Williams Lake, BC" and draft letter to the Minister of Energy and Mines and Petroleum Resources, as submitted by Rail Ties Be Wise

Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Item received

Resolved - That it be recommended to Regional Board/City Council:

That a Airshed Committee be formed with representation from the City of Williams Lake, CRD, WL Indian Band and the Soda Creek Indian Band with the intent to work towards a new Airshed Management Plan

Director Delainey returned to the meeting at 5:50pm


1) Report of Director S. Forseth - Airshed Management Plan

A report from Cariboo RD Area D Director Steve Forseth in regards to creation of a new Airshed Management Plan was presented to the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Report received

2) CCACS - 1st Quarter Report of 2019

A report from the Central Cariboo Arts/Culture Society (CCACS) in regards to their 2019 1st Quarter Report was presented to the Committee and the CCACS President (Jane Perry) was available for questions

Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Report received

3) City of Williams Lake Report - 2020-2023 Cariboo Memorial Complex Fees and Charges

A report of the City's Director of Community Services in regards to 2020-2023 Cariboo Memorial Complex Fees and Charges was presented to the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Report received and that the Central Cariboo Recreation Fees and Charges Bylaw be amended to include the proposed fees and charges, proposed fees and charges definitions, proposed rink board advertising fees, and proposed Active Living Guide advertising rates, as attached

Resolved - That Staff report back to Joint Committee on further capital projects that will enhance energy efficiency at the CMRC

Delegations, cont:

2) Janna and Chrissie Gertzen, Marketing & Sponsorship Directors for the Williams Lake Stampeders, appeared before the Committee to discuss gym and pool passes for the team

A Question/Answer period ensued thereon

The Chair thanked the delegation for their time/information

Business, cont:

4) Request from Williams Lake Stampeders Hockey Club - Gym/Pool Passes

A Letter from the Williams Lake Stampeders Hockey Club was presented to the Committee
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - That the letter be referred to Staff for a report back to a future Joint Committee meeting in regards to financial implications of the Williams Lake Stampeders Hockey Club's request

5) Action Page

The Committee reviewed the Action Page and directed that Item #6 be deleted

The Committee agreed to adjourn at 6:15pm

CC Rural Caucus Highlights - April 24th mtg

Present: Chair S. Forseth; Directors A. Delainey, M. LeBourdais, G. Kirby and C. Mernett a

Meeting called to order at 3:00pm

The Chair acknowledged today's meeting is being held on the traditional lands of the Northern Secwepemc peoples and specifically, that of the Williams Lake Indian Band

The Chair also welcomed Area 'F' Director Maureen LeBourdais to her first Central Cariboo Rural Directors Caucus meeting and briefly explained the purpose of the Caucus and how it operates (decision making, getting items on an Agenda, etc)

Meeting Agenda approved
Minutes of the CC Rural Caucus Meeting held February 27th, 2019 were received/adopted


1) 2019 Central Cariboo Information Fair

The Caucus had before it a report from the Manager of Communications in regards to the 2019 Central Cariboo Information Fair

Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Report received and Staff prepare a Central Cariboo Information Fair for October in Williams Lake

Discussion Items:

The Caucus held a discussion on the following items:

a) Regular Transit Service for portions of CRD Areas D,E,F
b) Establish a new Central Cariboo Economic Development Service (Areas D,E,F,J,K)
c) Appointment of Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee Co-Chair for remainder of 2019

Following discussion, the Caucus resolved the following:

a) That the previous appointment of Director A. Delainey as CRD Co-Chair of the Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee be rescinded and Director S. Forseth be appointed as CRD Co-Chair of the Central Cariboo/City of WL Joint Committee

Action Page:

Caucus reviewed the April 24th, 2019 Action Page
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Action Page received and that items 2 and 3 be deleted

Caucus adjourned at 3:48pm

Improved visibility and safety coming to B.C. highways

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Pavement marking is now underway throughout the province with higher standards than previous years, which makes the paint easier for people to see.
In December 2018, new pavement marking service agreements were signed around the province through an open bidding process. The following changes were made to improve on the previous agreements:
  • 20% more lines painted annually throughout the province;
  • use of larger glass beads in coastal areas for increased reflectivity and visibility at night, and thicker paint for longer-lasting pavement marking;
  • second-coat application in areas that experience premature wear; and
  • enhanced contractor monitoring and auditing to maintain consistent performance.
There are five pavement marking service areas in the province: Vancouver Island, the Lower Mainland, Thompson-Cariboo, Okanagan-Kootenay and the North. Each of the pavement marking service agreements have five-year terms and include an optional two-year extension.
Due to more favourable weather conditions, the first lines were painted on the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. Pavement marking is now taking place in all regions and this week crews will be working in the following areas:
  • Highway 16 near Vanderhoof and Highway 97 in the Prince George area in the North;
  • Highway 1 in the Salmon Arm and Cache Creek areas and Highway 6 near Nakusp in the southern Interior;
  • Highway 1 in the Abbotsford area in the Lower Mainland; and
  • side roads in the Duncan area and parts of Highway 1 between Duncan and Victoria on Vancouver Island.
These schedules are weather dependant and subject to change. Drivers are reminded to slow down, obey all traffic control personnel and use caution when travelling through areas where crews are marking pavement.
Quick Facts:
  • Private contractors are responsible for repainting more than 20,000 kilometres on highways and provincially owned side roads in B.C. every year.
  • The ministry invests approximately $20 million annually on the pavement marking program.
Learn More:

More than 400 kilometres of resurfacing for southern Interior in 2019

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Editor's Note: Road projects to be completed in our Cariboo-Chilcotin Region include:

* Highway 97 near Quesnel – hot-in-place asphalt recycling 13 kilometres of Highway 97 between the Highway 26 junction and Cottonwood River Bridge.
* Highway 24, sealcoating from the Highway 97 Junction to Lone Butte and side roads near 100 Mile House (47 kilometres)
* Highway 97, intermittent resurfacing from Clinton to Lac La Hache and side roads (30 kilometres)

A resurfacing project on Highway 3 near Princeton is now underway, marking the start of a busy season of resurfacing in the southern Interior that will cover more than 400 kilometres of highways and side roads.
“Maintaining high-quality roads and highways is important for everyone on the road, whether private citizens or commercial vehicles,” said Claire Trevena, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “All these paving projects in the southern Interior in 2019 will make a big difference to local people and those travelling through the region.”
This first project, on Highway 3 between Saturday Creek and Whipsaw Creek Bridge, includes 13 kilometres of resurfacing in three sections. Work on this $4-million resurfacing project is underway and is expected to be completed in early July 2019.
Other major resurfacing projects taking place in the region this spring and summer include:
Highway 1 near Revelstoke – from Revelstoke Park East Gate to Glacier Park West Gate, resurfacing 20 kilometres of Highway 1.
Highway 1 and Highway 5 in Kamloops – resurfacing Highway 5 from the Yellowhead Interchange to CN Junction, the Highway 1 bypass from Yellowhead Interchange to Columbia Street, and miscellaneous areas along Highway 1 through the Valleyview corridor and various on and off ramps.
Highway 31 in and around Kaslo – between Ainsworth and Lost Ledge, resurfacing and base repairs to approximately 59 kilometres of Highway 31.
Highway 97 near Quesnel – hot-in-place asphalt recycling 13 kilometres of Highway 97 between the Highway 26 junction and Cottonwood River Bridge.
Side roads near Salmon Arm – numerous side roads west of Highway 1 and east of Highway 97, including Salmon Valley Road, McTavish Road, Yankee Flats Road and Haywood Armstrong Road.
More than $70 million is being invested in highway and side road improvements in the southern Interior in 2019. The following projects make up the rest of what will be resurfaced in the region this year:
  • Highway 1, resurfacing two sections from Annis Pit to Malakwa near Sicamous (34 kilometres)
  • Highway 3, sealcoating between Stirling Creek Bridge and Riverside RV Park, and Sunday Summit area near Princeton (26 kilometres)
  • Highway 3 and Highway 395, hot-in-place asphalt recycling in Christina Lake and Cascade Falls areas near Grand Forks (29 kilometres)
  • Highway 24, sealcoating from the Highway 97 Junction to Lone Butte and side roads near 100 Mile House (47 kilometres)
  • Highway 97, intermittent resurfacing from Clinton to Lac La Hache and side roads (30 kilometres)
  • Highway 97, intermittent hot-in-place asphalt recycling from Loon Lake Road to Clinton and from Lovett Road to Wright Station (39 kilometres)
  • Highway 97C, resurfacing from Lower Nicola to Logan Lake and Tunkwa Lake Road between Savona and Tunkwa Lake (67 kilometres)
While these resurfacing projects are underway, drivers can expect minor delays and, at times, single-lane alternating traffic. The ministry appreciates peoples’ patience while this work takes place.
Drivers are reminded to slow down, obey traffic control personnel and check DriveBC.ca for the most up-to-date highway information.
Learn More:
For more information on the various types of resurfacing methods used on B.C. highways and side roads, visit:

Construction Time!

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

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

Last week’s announcement of the addition to GR Baker Memorial Hospital is welcome news on multiple fronts. The new, $27 million Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Department will address a number of long-standing issues with our hospital, it will also help us to attract and retain medical professionals (especially specialist nurses), and will provide a great boost to our local economy during both the construction phase (commencing as early as this Fall) and when it comes into operation in 2021.
But, the addition to the hospital is only one major construction project that we’ll see in Quesnel over the next few years. The Elliott Street housing development is approved and construction on that 32-unit supportive housing project will commence this year, along with potentially two other BC Housing approved projects in our City. Council’s housing strategy, slated to be completed by the end of September, will hopefully also stimulate private investment in multi-unit housing and we already have a number of investors making queries about what kind of market housing we need.
The City’s Public Works facility will be put out to tender this year and the new building at Alex Fraser Park will be going up this spring. We’re also awaiting notice from the Union of BC Municipalities about the Cariboo Regional District’s application for funding for the Recreation Centre addition and Lhtako Dene’s application for a fully-funded new cultural centre.
If the School District is also successful in obtaining approval from the Province for a new Junior School, then over the next few years Quesnel will potentially see the highest levels of public sector investment in our community’s history. We are also hoping to attract high levels of private sector investment through both our housing strategy and our forest sector manufacturing strategy.
All of this construction will create local jobs and opportunities for all of our businesses to engage with and benefit from these investments. As a Council, we’re hopeful that our business community will connect with the successful contractors and sub-contractors to ensure they maximize the benefits to our local economy from these projects.
In conjunction with these large projects, Council has approved a capital investment plan this year that will keep our public works department busy throughout the City repairing roads and sidewalks and maintaining and enhancing our core infrastructure. Some carry over projects from last year will also be completed; such as: the landscaping of the skate board park; the completion of the Patchett Street playground; the beautification of the plaza at the West Fraser Centre using the same theme as Reid Street; the replacement of the gazebo at LeBourdais Park; and new, on brand, gateway and directional signage throughout the City.
As a result of a number of years of disruptive road projects and all of the construction projects that will be happening throughout the City, Council decided to focus this year’s capital on maintenance and enhancements projects rather than major, disruptive road projects. Our overall intent for this year is to make sure that the entire City is spruced up to reflect our new brand and enhance our community’s attractiveness. The timing for this kind of work is perfect as it will all be completed in advance of our next major hosting event: Minerals North in spring 2020.
As a Council, we hope that our ratepayers and citizens will appreciate seeing their tax dollars invested in our community and that everyone will be patient and understanding as we move into what will be a very active construction period for our community.

Coffee with a Cop

Courtesy of the Williams Lake RCMP:

Have you ever had a question you’d love to ask a police officer? Well then this event is for you.
The Williams Lake RCMP invite you to their very first Coffee with a Cop.
The RCMP are inviting you to pull up a seat and join us on May 2nd to meet some of our local officers and enjoy a coffee with a cop.

We encourage anyone interested to stop by, have a chat in an informal environment, and learn about the people who police our community says Constable Joel Kooger.

This event is being hosted by the Bean Counter and so we give a huge thank you to their management and staff.

When: Thursday May, 2 2019.
10:00am – 11:45am.

Where: Bean Counter
180B – 3rd Ave N.
Williams Lake

We recognize most people never have the opportunity to meet us and just talk, says Constable Joel Kooger, a Frontline officer of the Williams Lake RCMP. We are looking forward to meeting and sharing our experiences as a RCMP officer with you.