Thursday, June 27, 2019

Cariboo RD Board Highlights - June 27th mtg

Present: Vice-Chair Massier; Directors M. Sjostrom, B. Bachmeier, S. Forseth, A. Delainey, M. LeBourdais, A. Richmond, J. Glassford, G. Kirby, C. Mernett, W. Macdonald, G. Fourchalk, W. Cobb, and Alternate Directors' S. Hart (Area H), L. Roodenburg (Quesnel) and M. Pinkney (100 Mile House)

Meeting called to order at 9:45am

The Vice-Chair welcomed Alternate Directors Hart (Area H), Roodenburg (Quesnel) and Pinkney (100 Mile House) to today's meeting of the Cariboo RD Board and acknowledged that the meeting today is taking place on the traditional territory of the Northern Secwepemc (Shuswap) people

Meeting Agenda adopted and minutes of the June 7th Cariboo RD Board meeting were received/adopted

Memorandum of Business - Delegations were received

Development Services:

1) The Board adopted South Cariboo Area Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 5111, 2017 (Area H/Van Osch)

2) The Board approved Development Variance Permit #18-2019 (Area E/Fraser)

3) The Board approved Development Permit #21-2019 (Area A/Renyard Holdings Inc)

4) The Board received the Provincial Agricultural Land Commission Decisions Report as of June 18, 2019

5) The Board gave 1st and 2nd Readings to amendments to Zoning/Rural Land Use Bylaws and Cannabis Licensing Fee Establishment Bylaw No. 5223, 2019.  Board divided on Zoning Bylaw Amendments - Approved by the following Stakeholder - Electoral Area Directors' vote:

Affirmative -  Directors Sjostrom, Bachmeier, Massier, Delainey, LeBourdais, Richmond, Glassford, Kirby, Mernett, Macdonald and Alternate Director Hart (Area H)

Negative - Director S. Forseth

6) The Board received the Cariboo Regional District and Municipalities Building Statistics Reports for May 2019

Environmental Services:

1) The Board received the Refuse Site Inspection Report for February 11, 2019 to April 4, 2019 inclusive

Community Services:

1) The Board approved the proposed renewal of the 108 Greenbelt Grazing License with Blue Goose Cattle Company Ltd for a five-year term at a value of $2,650 per year and that the appropriate signatories be authorized to execute the agreement.

2) The Board authorized submitting a $2,500 application to NDIT's Fabulous Festivals and Events Grant Program from the Bridge Lake Fall Fair Society for their 61st annual fall fair

Protective Services:

1) The Board received a report from the Manager of Protective Services in regards to changes to the BCEHS First Responder program and this topic be referred to a future Committee of the Whole for an in-depth review and discussion


1) At 10:15 - John MacLean, CRD CAO, presented Emergency Operations Centre 101 to the Board

A Question/Answer period ensued

The Vice-Chair, thanked the CAO for his presentation

2) At 11:00am - Representatives from BC Hydro appeared before the Board to provide an update on the Peace to Kelly Lake Capacitors Project

A Question/Answer period ensued

The Vice-Chair, thanked the BC Hydro delegation for their presentation

3) At 11:30am - Tony Fiala, Senior Regional Manager, Regional Operations NE/NW, Debbie Alexander and David Clark, Regional Managers for Emergency Management BC, appeared before the Board to discuss and clarify procedures of the Provincial Regional Emergency Operations Centre

A Question/Answer period ensued

The Vice-Chair, thanked the Emergency Management BC delegation for their presentation

Meeting recessed at 12:04pm
Meeting resumed at 12:55pm


1) The Board received/ratified the Monthly Expenditures Board Summary Report for the month of May 2019 in the amount of $1,664,206.16


1) At the recommendation of the Policy Committee, the Board adopted the following two policies:

a) Directors’ Electronic Device Policy
b) Single Use Plastics Reduction Policy

2) The Board received a report of the Deputy CAO concerning meeting request deadlines during the 2019 UBCM Convention in Vancouver from September 23-27, 2019 and authorized the CAO to work with Directors' requesting Minister meetings at the 2019 UBCM Convention in order to meet the July 17th deadline to submit Minister meeting requests

3) The Board received the Consent Calendar as of June 27th, 2019 and that a letter be forwarded to the Canadian Wildlife Service requesting that they keep the Cariboo Regional District informed, as it relates to the development of the Federal Grizzly Bear Management Plan

Committee Minutes and Recommendations:

1) The Board received meeting minutes from CRD Committees or Commissions:

a) Anahim Lake Airport Commission - May 30, 2019
b) Committee of the Whole Board - June 6, 2019
c) South Cariboo Joint Committee - June 10, 2019
d) North Cariboo Rural Directors Caucus - June 11, 2019
e) North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee - June 11, 2019
f) Emergency Preparedness Committee - June 12, 2019
g) Central Cariboo Rural Directors Caucus - June 19, 2019

2) The Board ratified recommendations from CRD Committees or Commissions, as follows:

a) Anahim Lake Airport Commission - May 30, 2019 (Anahim Lake Airport Financial Plan Amendment)
b) Committee of the Whole Board - June 6th, 2019 (Use of eScribe for In-Camera Agendas)
c) South Cariboo Joint Committee - June 10th, 2019 (South Cariboo Recreation - Ball Fields Maintenance Agreement; South Cariboo Recreation Fees and Charges for 2019 to 2022; Dog Park Update and South Cariboo Recreation Signage Plans)

d) Central Cariboo Rural Directors Caucus - June 19th, 2019 (Soda Creek Indian Band - Funding Request for Xats'ull Heritage Village Repairs).  Board divided - Approved by the following vote:

Affirmative - Directors Sjostrom, Bachmeier, Massier, Forseth, Delainey, LeBourdais, Richmond, Glassford, Kirby, Mernett, Macdonald, Fourchalk and Alternate Directors Hart (Area H), Roodenburg (Quesnel) and Pinkney (100 Mile House)

Negative - Director W. Cobb (Williams Lake)

Corporate Bylaws:

1) The Board gave 1st, 2nd and 3rd Readings to West Fraser Fire Protection Service Boundary Amendment Bylaw No. 5226, 2019 (Electoral Area I)

2) The Board gave 1st, 2nd, 3rd Readings/Adoption to Forest Grove Legion Property Tax Exemption Bylaw No. 5212, 2019 (Electoral Area H)

Directors' Requests:

1) At the request of Director S. Forseth (Area D) - the Board took the following actions in respect of his 3 requested items:

a) Refer the topic of Appointment of Alternate Directors to Advisory Planning Commissions to the Policy Committee for consideration and recommendation back to the Board

b) Endorsed submission of an UBCM Resolution regarding Access to Emergency Preparedness Funding for Independent Fire Services and agreed to send the Resolution to BC's other 27 Regional Districts' requesting their support prior to the 2019 UBCM Convention in Vancouver from September 23-27, 2019

c) Agreed to forward a letter to CN Rail requesting that they consider use manual brushing in respect of their annual vegetation maintenance program and that their public notification program for vegetation control be moved to the beginning of the year so that concerned residents' have time to discuss alternatives prior to commencement of CN Rail's Annual Vegetation Control Program....

The Board received the Chair's activities report up to June 25th, 2019

Closed Board Session:

At 1:57pm - the Board held an In-Camera Session as per Section 90(1k - negotiations) of the Community Charter

Resumption of Open Board Session:

At 2:01pm - the Board resumed its' Open Meeting

Directors' reported on their activities in their Electoral Area or Municipality

The Board agreed to adjourn at 2:38pm

CCRHD Board Highlights - June 27th mtg

Present: Vice-Chair A. Richmond; Directors M. Sjostrom, B. Bachmeier, J. Massier, S. Forseth, A. Delainey, M. LeBourdais, J. Glassford, G. Kirby, C. Mernett, W. Macdonald, G. Fourchalk, W. Cobb, S. Watson and Alternate Directors M. Pinkney (100 Mile House), L.Roodenburg (Quesnel) and S. Hart (Area H)

Meeting called to order at 9:30am

The Vice-Chair welcomed Alternate Directors Hart (Area H), Roodenburg (Quesnel) and Pinkney (100 Mile House) to today's meeting of the CCRHD Board and acknowledged that the meeting today is taking place on the traditional territory of the Northern Secwepemc (Shuswap) people

Meeting Agenda approved and minutes of the June 7th CCRHD Board Meeting were received/adopted

Memorandum of Business - Delegations was received by the Board


1) The Board received the Hospital Consent Calendar, as of June 27th, 2019

2) The Board gave Capital Expenditure Bylaw #160, 2019 (GR Baker Memorial Hospital – X-Ray Equipment) 1st, 2nd, 3rd Readings and Adoption

3) The Board received a News Release from Interior Health, dated June 6, 2019, advising that the Partnership Accord with seven interior Nations and Interior Health has been renewed through 2024

4) After some time, the Board deferred consideration of an invitation from Northern Health for a representative from the CCRHD to join the GR Baker Emergency Department/Intensive Care Unit Capital Project Advisory Committee until the Vice-Chair can contact the Chair about representation from City of Quesnel on this Committee

5) The Board received Interior Health's Capital Projects and Planning Status Reports for May 2019

The Board recessed at 9:43am
The Board resumed at 12:48pm

The Board resumed consideration of a request from Northern Health for a representative from the CCRHD to join the GR Baker Emergency Department/Intensive Care Unit Capital Project Advisory Committee and agreed, by majority voteto appoint the CCRHD Chair (Bob Simpson) to this Committee

The Board adjourned at 12:54pm

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Cariboo RD Policy Committee Highlights - June 26th mtg

Present: Chair M. Sjostrom; Directors J. Massier, S. Forseth, A. Delainey, M. LeBourdais, J. Glassford and G. Kirby

Meeting called to order at 6pm

Meeting Agenda adopted and Minutes of the Policy Committee meeting held on May 23rd, 2019 were received/adopted


1) Proposed Unsightly Premise Policy and Procedure

The Committee reviewed a report from the Bylaw Enforcement Officer
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Report received and the Committee recommended the draft Policy, as amended, to the Regional Board for endorsement

2) Corporate Credit Cards for Electoral Area Directors

The Committee reviewed a request from Director S. Forseth (Area D) concerning Corporate Credit Cards for Electoral Area Directors
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Request received and Staff bring back a draft Policy of use of Corporate Credit Cards by Electoral Area Directors' for consideration of the Committee

3) Review of Existing Policy – Donations and Bequests

The Committee reviewed a report of the Deputy CAO
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Report received and that the Policy be changed to new Policy Format and it be recommended to the Regional Board that the Policy remain as is

4) Revision to Administration Charges Policy for the Allocation of Building Expenses

The Committee reviewed a report of the CFO
Discussion ensued thereon

Resolved - Report received and that the Committee recommend to the Regional Board:

That the CRD Administration Charges Policy No. 03-12C-18(2) be revised to reflect the addition of new space, at the Williams Lake CRD office, to be occupied by Protective Services and Emergency Planning, as proposed

5) Review of CAO Evaluation/Compensation Policy

The Committee reviewed a report of the Deputy CAO
Discussion ensued thereon...

Resolved - Report received and the Committee recommend the Policy, as amended, to the Regional Board for endorsement and the CAO Evaluation Form be reviewed by the Committee in 2020

The Committee agreed to adjourn at 7:30pm

Annual provincial grants support community projects, services

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Editor's Note -- 100 Mile House to receive $379,566; Wells to receive $452,780; City of Williams Lake to receive $613,792; City of Quesnel to receive $614,692 and the Cariboo Regional District (Electoral Areas) to receive $140,000

The Province is providing $110 million to local governments around B.C. for services that British Columbians count on, such as investments in infrastructure, like water and sewer, and services like policing.
“We recognize that local governments need our support to provide many of the services people need to feel safe and thrive in a healthy environment,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “These annual provincial grants help communities pay for expensive infrastructure projects and important community safety and policing services.”
Unconditional funding is provided to local governments through three programs:
  • Small Community Grants: municipalities with populations of 20,000 or fewer receive a grant that can be used to fund any local priority, such as garbage and recycling pick-up services, or infrastructure projects, such as roadworks and water and sewer upgrades.
  • Regional District Basic Grants: all regional districts and the Islands Trust receive a grant to assist with their administration costs.
  • Traffic Fine Revenue Sharing Transfers: municipalities with populations of 5,000 or more that are directly responsible for paying for policing services receive a grant to help pay for community safety programs and policing.
The annual grants enable local governments to spend the funding according to their needs.
“These revenue-sharing programs strengthen the local government finance system and address a range of needs in communities,” said Arjun Singh, president, Union of B.C. Municipalities. “I appreciate the Province’s continuing commitment to supporting local government service delivery.”
For a complete list of approved grants for 2019, visit:
Quick Facts:
  • 158 small and medium-sized communities, regional districts and the Islands Trust will receive more than $55.8 million in Small Community Grant and Regional District Grant funding.
  • 77 communities will receive nearly $53 million in Traffic Fine Revenue Sharing Transfers funding.
  • 85 municipalities and rural communities with populations under 5,000 will receive a reduction in the provincial police tax of approximately $2 million per year.
Learn More:
For more information on Small Community, Regional District and Traffic Fine Revenue Sharing grants, visit:

Register for the 2019 Summer Reading Club

Courtesy of the Cariboo Regional District:

The Cariboo Regional District libraries in 100 Mile House, Quesnel, and Williams Lake invite children of all ages to join this year’s BC Summer Reading Club. The theme for the summer is Imagine the Possibilities.
The program runs from July 2 to August 17. Parents can register for free at the Williams Lake, 100 Mile and Quesnel libraries.
Each week kids will participate in a variety of fun activities, crafts, and story-times based on the theme. Each participant will receive a themed reading record to keep track of the books they read all summer and will be eligible for prize draws. The Summer Reading Club will finish with a celebration party for all participants.
Volunteers are also needed for the program to help with crafts, clean up and provide support for the Summer Reading Club coordinator. Volunteers need to be over 12 years old and will have to complete a criminal record check. This is a neat volunteer experience for teenagers to help build their resume.
About the Summer Reading Club
The BC Summer Reading Club motivates children to read (or be read to) regularly, which helps maintain or improve reading skills while school is out. It makes reading fun by inviting kids to read what they want and when they want. The Cariboo Regional District Library staff can help kids find just what they like, whether it’s a print book, audiobook, e-book, or magazine.
The BC Summer Reading Club reaches more than 85,000 BC children every year. The program is sponsored by the British Columbia Library Association, with financial support from CUPE BC, the Libraries Branch, Ministry of Education and Government of Canada.
Register This Month!
Contact your local Summer Reading Club Program Coordinator for further details. For all current library programs and events, find your library branch on Facebook.

Fire mitigation project extended to help more people

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Vulnerable homeowners in areas threatened by wildfire can access free FireSmart advice and support from a government-funded job creation project supported by the United Way. 
Sixteen people will work over the summer to help seniors and persons with disabilities become FireSmart by preparing and protecting their homes from the threat of wildfires in the communities of Ashcroft, Cache Creek, 100 Mile House, Williams Lake, Clinton and Quesnel. This includes educating people about how to make their homes and property safer and removing vegetation that can fuel a wildfire.
To promote safety for people and communities, homeowners will also receive fire prevention materials and a resource list for assistance and support. The project, originally scheduled to end in April 2019, has been extended by four months to meet community need and to provide more job seekers with more opportunities.
"Connecting people with new skills and opportunities is part of our government’s focus on creating good jobs,” said Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “Community-driven projects like this one benefit participants, communities and the labour market, while creating a safer environment."
The project provides extensive training in the formal FireSmart assessment process. The Thompson Nicola Cariboo United Way offers this service for free so people in wildfire-prone parts of the province have help protecting their home from potential fire threats. The crews also remove possible dangers, known as fire fuels, such as bushes, small trees or other organic matter, and provide information on how homeowners can further protect their property.
“There is a high demand for skilled workers to provide advice, support and labour in helping prevent the devastating loss of homes during the wildfire season,” said Jennifer Rice, Parliamentary Secretary for Emergency Preparedness. “Training local people in fire mitigation will help meet the need for skilled workers in this and related fields.”
The Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction provided $729,498 through the Jobs Creation Program stream of the Community and Employer Partnerships (CEP) program. CEP funds projects that increase employability levels and share labour market information.  
“In being able to provide FireSmart activities at no charge to vulnerable people in communities impacted by wildfires, those homeowners feel better prepared and less stressed,” said Monica Johnson, fire mitigation project manager, United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo. “The training and experience we provide to the participants are relevant and definitely increases their employability. We’ve had several participants exit the program because they’ve gotten jobs.”
Quick Facts:
  • Approximately $15 million will be invested in CEP projects throughout B.C. in 2019-20.
  • Job Creation Partnerships are one of five Community Employer Partnership programs available throughout the province.
  • To date, since the start of the project in August 2018, 22 people have received training and work experience.
  • Project participants have completed 264 FireSmart assessments and 220 mitigations. The goal is to complete 100 more. 
Learn More:
Learn about how Community Employer Partnerships are helping local communities:
Find out more about Thompson Nicola Cariboo United Way:
Learn more about FireSmart:

We can’t do what we can’t do

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Editor's Note - Weekly Column of Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson.  He can be reached via email here

The deep social issues impacting Quesnel are a result of multiple, complex issues that were not created by local governments and that are well beyond local government’s capacity to fix. Simply put, local governments have limited powers and rights, and very limited financial resources. Local governments were created by the Provincial government to provide localized leadership for a defined geographic area and they have access to only one form of taxation: property taxes.
In the case of municipalities, Councils have discretion over the revenue they generate each year from property taxes, and they have discretion on how they spend that tax revenue through an annual budget engagement process and a Council vote. Regional Districts do not have general taxation discretion, Regional District Boards obtain taxation authority for specifically described functions through referendum.
Understanding the structure of local government is essential to a better understanding of what Councils and Boards can and cannot do with respect to the social issues we are experiencing today. In short, local governments have no control over the causes of the current problems, nor do they have control of the levers to directly deal with them.
For example, the decision to switch from a needle exchange program to a needle distribution program was made by the Federal and Provincial governments in 2002 based on advice from the World Health Organization. No amount of berating of local Councils to deal with the issue of discarded needles by going back to a needle exchange program will change the Federal and Provincial governments’ decision.
If you don’t like the current needle distribution program, tell the Province, the Federal Government, and the local health authority. 
The same is true of the failure to timely prosecute people engaged in drug related property crime. The criminal code is Federal, the financing for the Court system is Federal and Provincial, and the priorities for prosecution are established by these governments. Local Councils have zero say in these matters. 
If you don’t like what’s happening in the criminal justice system, tell the Federal and Provincial governments.
Likewise, local governments do not build shelters, supportive housing units, detox centres, or mental health facilities. We don’t fund health care, food services, or methadone clinics. We barely have enough resources to do what we’re supposed to do: fire protection, policing, water, sewer, garbage, roads, sidewalks, parks and recreation, bylaw services, etc. 
If you want more local resources for the homeless and for mental health and addictions services, tell the Province and Northern Health.
In short, constraints imposed on local governments by the constitution, by law, and by the Courts strictly limit our powers to directly address community safety concerns. 
Despite these constraints, Quesnel City Council is fully engaged with multiple partners to try to facilitate the implementation of best practices here in Quesnel on two fronts: more robust services for the homeless and people suffering from mental health and addictions issues; and, more enforcement and prosecution services to protect the safety of the general public.
While we can’t do what we can’t do as a result of the structure of government in Canada, we are doing everything we can do. We’re also using any political leverage we have to try and get changes made to the current system.
If you want to see changes too, please use your political leverage more pointedly and productively. Yelling on WTF Quesnel (or other social media groups) helps no one. Pointing your anger at City Council is unhelpful and misdirected. Taking the time to write the Premier, Prime Minister, and appropriate Ministers can have effect, if enough people engage in this process.

Contact information

Prime Minister - Justin Trudeau  - 
Premier - John Horgan - 
Ministers of Health
Ministers of Public Safety
Minster of Justice
Solicitors General 
Attorneys General
Minister of Mental Health and Addictions
Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction
Northern Health

Quesnel Council Highlights - June 25th mtg

Courtesy of the City of Quesnel:

Mental Health and Wellness Supports
Council has approved office space, at no charge, at 345 Anderson Drive (previous Community Policing Access Centre), and up to $5,000 to outfit this office, for a two-year mental health and wellness capacity-building pilot for the community. The Canadian Mental Health Association (“CMHA”) will fund the personnel for this two-year mental health and wellness pilot of one full time Clinical Program Coordinator/Clinician position and one part time administrative support position. This pilot will focus on strengthening capacity for community based mental health and psychosocial services and supports for adults, children, youth and families who live in Quesnel and surrounding areas. Hours of operation will be 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday.
Corporation’s 2018 Annual Report
Council approved the City’s 2018 Annual Report. Included in this report are the:
Message from the Mayor, Information on City Council Members and Council Committee Appointments
Corporate Statements (Vision, Mission, Principles and Values)
Message from the City Manager and Organizational Chart of City Departments
2018 Strategic Plan and Measures
2019 Strategic Plan
Consolidated Financial Reports
This report is available on the City’s website, and the main lobby at City Hall.
2018 Annual Drinking Water Report*
The City's 2018 Annual Drinking Water Report is now available for the public on the City’s website and at City Hall main lobby. This report describes the water system and provides a summary of water quality testing and water management during 2018.
*Important Note for 2019 Drinking Water
In May 2019 Health Canada updated the maximum acceptable concentration (“MAC”) of manganese in the Canadian Drinking Water Guidelines to 0.12 mg/L following a review based on assessing all identified health risks associated with manganese in drinking water. Establishing the value of the MAC is based on the most sensitive population which is infants. It is recommended by Health Canada that an alternate source of water be used when mixing infant formula where manganese levels exceed the guideline.
Water samples for manganese at the City water wells vary between 0.014 mg/L and 0.582 mg/L. Expanded water sampling for manganese at additional locations is now underway and Northern Health has been engaged regarding the updated guidelines.
Smoking Regulation Bylaw Amendment
Council gave the first three readings of the proposed Smoking Regulation Bylaw No. 1871 that will prohibit smoking tobacco/cannabis and vaping in the following downtown streets and sidewalks once adopted:
  • St. Laurent Avenue and Barlow Avenue - 100 to 400 Block
  • Reid Street - 200 to 400 Blocks
Next steps include:
  • Council to consider final adoption of this proposed Bylaw at the next Council meeting scheduled for either July 16 (If Required), or July 30, 2019.
  • Once Bylaw 1871 has been adopted, the City’s Bylaw Enforcement staff will strategically enforce the new no-smoking/vaping areas by educating the public of this new policy.
  • Fines are:
    • $50 for smoking/vaping in the designated areas of St. Laurent Avenue, Barlow Avenue and Reid Street;
    • $50 for smoking cannabis in any manner on all publicly owned land and facilities, including all public right of ways.
  • 1870 – Minimum Rental Property Standards (Maintenance Bylaw) – Final Adoption
  • 1871 – Smoking Regulations Amendment Bylaw (Prohibits Smoking/Vaping in Specific Downtown Areas) – First, Second, Third Readings
Next Meetings
  • 6:00 pm – July 16, 2019 - Regular Council Meeting – City Hall/Council Chambers
  • 6:00 pm – July 30, 2019 - Regular Council Meeting – City Hall/Council Chambers

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Category 2 open burning to be allowed in Cariboo-Chilcotin

Courtesy of the BC Wildfire Service:

Category 2 open burning will be allowed again throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre’s jurisdiction, effective at noon on June 26, 2019.
The BC Wildfire Service is rescinding the existing prohibition due to lower fire danger ratings in the region and expected rainfall and cooler temperatures.
A map of the affected areas is available online at:
Anyone who intends to conduct a Category 2 open burn anywhere in the Cariboo Fire Centre is urged to exercise caution. It is the responsibility of the individual who lights a fire to ensure that burning is done in a safe and responsible manner, in accordance with open burning regulations. Check with local government authorities for any other restrictions before lighting any fire.
The following activities will also be allowed within the Cariboo Fire Centre’s jurisdiction as of noon on June 26, 2019:
  • the burning of stubble or grass over an area less than 0.2 hectares
  • the use of sky lanterns
  • the use of fireworks, including firecrackers
  • the use of tiki torches and similar kinds of torches
  • the use of binary exploding targets (e.g. for target practice)  
  • the use of burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description
  • the use of air curtain burners  
However, Category 3 open fires will remain prohibited throughout the Cariboo Fire Centre until Sept. 29, 2019 or until the public is otherwise notified. A poster explaining the different categories of open burning is available online at:
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:

Yesterday's Quesnel Forestry Meeting

Yesterday from 11:30am to 1pm -- Almost 200 people packed the Quesnel Legion to discuss the current challenges facing BC's Forestry Sector - My Cariboo Now has a good take on the meeting here

The event was hosted by Cariboo-North MLA Coralee Oakes and she was part of a panel discussion including Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart, Nechako Lakes MLA (and BC Liberals' Official Opposition Spokesman on Forestry) John Rustad and Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty

Local government representatives' in attendance included City of Quesnel Councillors Laurey-Anne Roodenburg/Ron Paull; City of Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson and Cariboo Regional District Area Directors Mary Sjostrom (Area A), Barb Bachmeier (Area B), John Massier (Area C), Steve Forseth (Area D) and Jim Glassford (Area I).  Directors Bachmeier/Glassford & Mayor Simpson all spoke at this event

After brief speeches from MLA's Oakes, Tegart, Rustad and MP Doherty - the floor was turned over to attendees to express their ideas about the current challenges in the forestry sector and how to move forward...

The meeting was going well until Mayor Simpson address the 200 attendees and talked about what is occurring in Quesnel to help those impacted by the Tolko QuestWood mill closure... and that seemed to upset some in attendance as to a lack of sharing of information.... a point repeated by MP Doherty

In an interview by My Cariboo Now with Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson - he acknowledged the lack of public information about how local/provincial/federal governments are collaborating together to help assist those displaced by sawmill closures and need to correct that - click here

No matter the level of government or political stripe - there simply must be cooperation on all levels to assist people when they lose their job by a major employer like Tolko, West Fraser, etc - a point repeated on Facebook by those attending yesterday's session.  Residents' don't care about what beefs elected officials have with each other - they expect governments, no matter what level or political party, to assist people with their needs, both short and long term.... when a major employer decides to close their doors....


Monday, June 24, 2019

High-speed internet opens world of possibilities in rural B.C. communities

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

Access to high-speed internet is about to become a reality for people in 12 rural B.C. communities, thanks to a wireless network upgrade funded by the Connecting British Columbia program.
“The ability to access high-speed internet allows communities – especially those in rural and remote areas of B.C. – to have the same social, educational and economic opportunities as those in urban centres,” said Jinny Sims, Minister of Citizens’ Services, at an event with the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce. “The Connecting British Columbia program closes the digital divide between our citizens and the rest of the world, and for these more remote communities, it creates the lifeline they need in order to thrive.”
The Province’s Connecting British Columbia program offers internet service providers and other organizations an opportunity to apply for grants to improve high-speed internet access in rural and Indigenous communities.
“Having reliable high-speed internet in rural areas helps emergency responders improve their service by being able to access important information promptly,” said Wayne Jasper, deputy fire chief, Anarchist Mountain Fire Department. “Technology has become very advanced, with many emergency response tools requiring online updates that can be difficult without a reliable high-speed connection. Having a reliable connection to the internet is a lifeline for emergency responders and a benefit to everyone in the communities they serve.”
The communities benefiting from this investment are rural 122 Mile House, Bouchie Lake, Cherryville, Horsefly, rural Lac La Hache, rural Lone Butte (including Horse Lake), rural Mackenzie (including the Gantahaz subdivision), rural Quesnel, Salmon Valley (including Pineview), Ten Mile Lake, rural Osoyoos (including areas near Bridesville) and Lakelse Lake.
ABC Communications Ltd. will receive $298,406 from the Connecting British Columbia program to help fund wireless network upgrades in 12 B.C. communities. The total project will cost an estimated $596,812.
“We are fortunate to have such a proactive government in British Columbia that invests in future generations and rural economies,” said Falko Kadenbach, vice-president, ABC Communications Ltd. “Connectivity requirements are continually evolving, and without these investments in rural regions, the digital divide would continue to grow in our province. We look forward to delivering new opportunities to the service areas that will be expanded through this project.”
The Province continues to welcome applications for Connecting British Columbia program grant funding. Successful applicants may receive up to a 50% contribution toward projects that improve high-speed internet connectivity for people in rural and Indigenous areas of B.C.
“This broadband investment initiative by the provincial government is a vivid example of focused, effective public policy. Upgrading an existing network in our community to LTE-advanced capability places our residents on par with their urban counterparts,” said Ron Palmer, managing partner, Osoyoos Mountain Estates, Inc. “As we move into the 21st century, reliable broadband is virtually essential to everyday life. As a result of this investment, our residents are able to stay in rural B.C. and be productive.”
Government announced the Province’s largest-ever investment in connectivity under Budget 2019. This $50-million contribution to the Connecting British Columbia program is expected to benefit approximately 200 B.C. communities.
The Ministry of Citizens’ Services also offers resources and guidance to help communities achieve their connectivity goals and maximize the benefits of improved high-speed internet service. Experts in the ministry routinely work with local governments and service providers to find solutions that best meet people’s needs.
Quick Facts:
  • Connecting British Columbia program grants have benefited people in 462 communities during the past two years.
  • A further $50-million investment in the program, announced as part of Budget 2019, means the program will continue to expand access to high-speed internet in rural and Indigenous communities throughout the province.
Learn More:
For more information on grant funding and resources available to assist communities with their connectivity goals, visit:
To see how connectivity changed the community of Granisle, visit:

Blackwater Gold Project granted an environmental assessment certificate

Courtesy of the Government of BC:

An environmental assessment certificate for the Blackwater Gold Project has been issued to New Gold Inc. by George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, and Michelle Mungall, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.
New Gold proposes an open-pit gold and silver mine with a project footprint of approximately 4,400 hectares, located approximately 110 kilometres southwest of Vanderhoof. Blackwater is expected to extract 60,000 tonnes of ore per day with a net annual production of 22 million tonnes per year during the mine’s 17-year operational life.
Having considered the Environmental Assessment Office’s (EAO) assessment report, submissions from Indigenous Nations and the recommendation of the EAO’s executive director to issue a certificate, the ministers are confident that Blackwater will be built, operated and closed in a way that ensures that no significant adverse effects are likely to occur. A record of the factors that the ministers considered in making their decision can be found in the Reasons for Ministers’ Decision at:
In addition to the 43 conditions that are part of the Blackwater environmental assessment certificate, design requirements are specified in the certified project description, which are legally binding requirements that New Gold must meet to maintain compliance with the certificate. The conditions were developed in consideration of the issues raised by communities, the public, Indigenous groups and government agencies, and were collaboratively developed with Lhoosk’uz DenĂ© Nation (LDN), Ulkatcho First Nation (UFN), and the Carrier Sekani First Nations (Nadleh Whut’en First Nation, Saik’uz First Nation and Stellat’en First Nation) (CSFNs). To proceed with construction of the project, New Gold is also required to obtain other federal and provincial permits.
Key conditions for Blackwater include:
  • country foods monitoring plan;
  • community liaison committee and community effects monitoring and management plan;
  • air quality and dust management plan;
  • noise and vibration monitoring and mitigation plan;
  • caribou mitigation and monitoring plan;
  • wildlife management plan;
  • nine conditions related to reducing impacts on water through implementing mitigation measures, water quality analysis, treatment, monitoring and adaptive management and reporting;
  • tailings dam safety transparency plan; and
  • Aboriginal group engagement plan, outlining the engagement that New Gold will be required to undertake in implementing the requirements of the certificate.
The EAO collaborated with UFN, LDN and CSFNs, who actively participated in the working group and technical discussions, frequently discussed issues and concerns, provided assessments on the potential impacts from Blackwater on their Aboriginal interests, and worked iteratively with the EAO on the proposed conditions. The EAO also consulted deeply with Nazko First Nation and worked to ensure Nazko First Nation’s concerns were reflected in the proposed conditions. The EAO provided funding to facilitate these groups’ participation in the environmental assessment process.
New Gold estimates construction of the new mine would create 2,436 person years of direct employment in B.C. during the two-year construction period, with $1.29 billion in project expenditures in B.C., contributing $312 million to B.C.’s gross domestic product. During operations, New Gold predicts that Blackwater would directly support 396 full-time equivalent jobs per year, with annual expenditures (excluding labour) of $161 million per year in B.C., directly contributing $258 million to B.C.’s GDP annually.
The EAO and the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency worked together to conduct co-ordinated assessments, which included co-chairing working group meetings, co-ordinating consultation activities with Indigenous groups and the public, including hosting a joint public comment period, and jointly identifying and addressing technical issues during the review of technical information provided by New Gold. This co-ordination resulted in the development of a provincial assessment report and a federal environmental assessment report to support separate provincial and federal decisions, respectively. A federal decision statement was issued on April 15, 2019, for Blackwater, allowing the project to proceed pending additional permits and authorizations.
British Columbia’s environmental assessment process offers significant opportunities for Indigenous groups, government agencies and the public to influence the outcome of environmental assessments by providing input on the potential for environmental, economic, social, heritage and health effects from a proposed project. 

Peace River RD on Lekstrom Report

Courtesy of the Peace River Regional District:

The Honourable John Horgan, Premier has released a response to the report submitted by his appointed liaison to the region, Blair Lekstrom, regarding the caribou recovery draft agreements and consultation process.

The Peace River Regional District (PRRD) advocated for improved stakeholder consultation throughout 2018 and early 2019. The PRRD is pleased that Premier Horgan allowed the additional time needed for Mr. Lekstrom to undertake additional targeted consultation to inform his report to the Premier, and that the report was received and considered prior to moving toward signing the Section 11 agreement.

The Premier’s announcement of a temporary moratorium on new resource development was accompanied by a stated intent to continue to consult with the region. This is a very positive development and an indication that the PRRD’s perseverance in advocating for transparent and meaningful consultation was heard.

Peace region communities value their economies and the lifestyles they enjoy, both of which intersect with the natural environment shared with the caribou. The PRRD is committed to participate fully in the continued engagement with stakeholders and affected communities suggested by Premier Horgan to find a made in the Peace solution to the challenge of balancing recovery of species at risk with the need to maintain vibrant economic opportunities and a high quality of life in the region.

The PRRD will continue to work with public and all levels of government to minimize negative social and economic impacts in our communities resulting from species at risk protection and recovery efforts.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Local Gov't Mtgs - Week of June 24-28

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

Quesnel - Regular City Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 25th at 6pm in Quesnel Council Chambers (4th Floor, 410 Kinchant St).  On the Agenda:

* Delegations (2) -- Mental Health and Wellness Support Services for Quesnel and Area (United Way, Thompson Nicola Cariboo Branch) & BC Energy Step Code - Joe Hart

* Council Committee Reports
* NCLGA Post Event Reports from Councillors Paull and Roodenburg
* City of Quesnel Annual Report for 2018
* Annual Water Report for 2018
* Smoking Regulation Bylaw Amendment

View the full Agenda here

School District #27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin) - Regular Board of Education Meeting on Tuesday, June 25th at 6:30pm in the SD27 Boardroom (350 2nd Avenue North, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* Presentation -- Local Education Agreement Signing: Ulkatcho First Nation
* Reports from the Superintendent and Secretary Treasurer and Board Committees

View the full Agenda here

Williams Lake - Regular City Council Meeting on Tuesday, June 25th at 6pm in WL Council Chambers (450 Mart St).  On the Agenda:

* Delegations (2) -- George Atamanenko, Accessibility Advisory Committee Chair re 2018 Committee Annual Report and Williams Lake Pride Society re Pride! in the Puddle Parade & Community Event

* 2018 Annual Municipal Report
* Email Poll of Council - Williams Lake Trail Riders Grant-in-Aid of $5,900
* Development Variance Permit Application - DVP #04-2019 - Purdy Cabinets and Design Ltd. - Vary Minimum Front Lot Line Setback - 315 Mackenzie Avenue South - Approval

* Development Variance Permit Application - DVP #05-2019 - Zacharias - Height Variance for Accessory Structure - 1601 Wood Road - Approval
* Williams Lake Airport Electrical Airside Rehabilitation Project - Award of Tender
* 4 Committee of the Whole Recommendations, for Endorsement

View the full Agenda here

Then at 7pm - a Public Hearing will be held in WL Council Chambers for the following Zoning Amendment Bylaws:

* Bylaw No. 2309 - SCR Properties Ltd. - Adds Service Commercial Use - 4775 Cattle Drive
* Bylaw No. 2310 - Zacharias - Allows for Second Principal Dwelling - 1603 Wood Road

View the full Public Hearing Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District:

Policy Committee - Regular Meeting at 6pm on Wednesday, June 26th in the Cariboo RD Boardroom (180D North 3rd Avenue, Williams Lake).  On the Agenda:

* Proposed Unsightly Premise Policy and Procedure
* Request from Director Forseth - Discussion Regarding Corporate Credit Cards for Directors
* Review of Existing Policy – Donations and Bequests
* Revision to Administration Charges Policy for the Allocation of Building Expenses for new Emergency Operations Centre/Protective Services Offices'
* Review of CAO Evaluation/Compensation Policy

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional Hospital District - Regular Board Meeting at 9:30am on Thursday, June 27th in the Cariboo RD Boardroom.  On the Agenda:

* Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District Capital Expenditure (GR Baker Memorial Hospital – X-Ray Equipment) Bylaw No. 160, 2019 (3 Readings and Adoption)
* Consent Calendar
* Interior Health Press Release - Seven Interior Nations and Interior Health Renew Partnership Accord
* Northern Health Request - Invitation to Join the NH GR Baker ED-ICU Capital Project Advisory Committee

View the full Agenda here

Cariboo Regional District - Regular Board Meeting at 9:45am or upon adjournment of the CCRHD Board whichever occurs first on Thursday, June 27th in the Cariboo RD Boardroom.  On the Agenda:

* 3 Delegations -- CAO J. MacLean re: EOC 101; BC Hydro re: update on the Peace to Kelly Lake Capacitors Project and Emergency Management BC re: discuss and clarify procedures of the Provincial Regional Emergency Operations Centre.

* Area E - DVP #18-2019 (453 Johnson Way)
* Area A - DP #21-2019 (1302 Chew Road)
* Cannabis Regulations - Amendments to CRD Zoning and Rural Land Use Bylaws
* Changes to the British Columbia Emergency Health Services (BCEHS) First Responder Program
* Committee Minutes/Recommendations for endorsement
* Cariboo Regional District Forest Grove Legion Property Tax Exemption Bylaw No. 5212, 2019 for 3 Readings and Adoption

* Requests for Director S. Forseth (Area D) re: Appointment of Alternate Directors to Advisory Planning Commissions; UBCM Resolution regarding Access to Emergency Preparedness Funding for Independent Fire Services and CN Rail’s Annual Vegetation Management Program

* In-Camera Session as per Section 90(1k - negotiations) of the Community Charter

View the full Agenda here