Thursday, October 18, 2012

New Water Pump for Gold Bridge and other items: October 2012

Gold Bridge Water System Improvements

$45,000 has been approved under the Regionally Significant Project (RSP) Fund have been approved for federal Gas Tax funding by the Gas Tax Management Committee, composed of representatives from the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM), Infrastructure Canada, and the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development.

Canada's Gas Tax Fund provides stable, long-term funding to local governments to help them
build and revitalize public infrastructure. The UBCM administers the Gas Tax Fund in BC, in
collaboration with the governments of Canada and British Columbia.

The funding for Gold Bridge will allow a badly needed, larger pump to be installed so that residents will have an effective water system and will allow opportunity for growth in the system.

Link to SLRD press release:

Will the Spruce Budworm be back next season???

The answer is yes, the big question is how severe will next years defoliation be?

Lorraine Maclauchlan,  Forest Entomologist, Thompson Okanagan Region gave us a presentation on the Spruce Budworm on September long weekend.  You can see information on that presentation on this blog at this link:

Lorraine promised information once they had done some egg mass sampling and here it is:

Summary of fall 2012 egg mass sampling surveys in the Gun Lake area
Western spruce budworm (WSB)
No. SitesPredicted 2013 defoliation by WSB
4 siteslight defoliation predicted
18 sitesmoderate defoliation predicted
6 sitessevere defoliation predicted
Broad geographic locationDetailed LocationElevation (m)# eggmasses per 10 m2 foliagePredicted defoliation for 2013
Downton LkS side Downton Lake - 14.5 km Bridge R Main837 m214severe
Downton LkS side Downton Lake - 10.5 km Bridge R Main851 m25light
GoldbridgeS side Downton Lk - 2 km Bridge R Main909 m52moderate
GoldbridgeStart of Bridge R Main916 m21light
Goldbridge1 km Hurley724 m58moderate
Goldbridge4 km Hurley951 m102moderate
Goldbridge2.5 km Hurley828 m153severe
GoldbridgeGoldbridge - Start of road to Bralorne808 m77moderate
GoldbridgeGoldbridge - Bralorne Rd949 m117moderate
Goldbridge0.5 km Kingdome Lake Rd1,073 m95moderate
GoldbridgeGoldbridge - Bralorne Rd1,078 m208severe
GoldbridgeHurley R Rd near Bralorne978 m76moderate
Gun Lk1.5 km Slim Cr Main875 m130moderate
Gun Lk3 km Slim Cr Main876 m129moderate
Gun LkLajoie Cr877 m55moderate
Gun Lk6.5 km Slim Cr Main1,042 m151severe
Gun Lk8 km Slim Cr Main1,165 m160severe
Gun LkSumner Cr1,160 m115moderate
Gun Lkoff Slim Cr Main1,182 m53light
Tyaughton Lk0.2 km 5 Mile FSR894 m155severe
Tyaughton Lk0.2 km 5 Mile FSR1,029 m121moderate
Tyaughton Lk5 Mile FSR1,115 m37light
Tyaughton LkTyaughton Lk Rd - S end Tyaughton Lk1,011 m64moderate
Tyaughton LkTyaughton Lk Rd - N end Tyaughton Lk1,143 m132moderate
Tyaughton LkTyaughton Lk Rd - Cinnabar Cr1,118 m96moderate
Tyaughton LkMud Cr1,176 m60moderate
Tyaughton LkMud Cr1,112 m85moderate
Tyaughton LkTyaughton Lk Rd - N of Tyaughton Lk1,209 m72moderate

Lorraine says:   " To summarize briefly, there seems to still be a population present in the area and defoliation will continue in 2013 in many of the same and a few new areas.  Most sites came out as moderate with about equal number predicting light or severe defoliation for 2013.

As of now I still cannot say anything about our budget for 2013.  Therefore, whether or not MFLNRO will entertain a spray program in the area is still questionable.  I am going ahead with the assumption we will be spraying (arranging meetings with First Nations, submitting plans to MOE, delineating DRAFT spray blocks etc). "

Debbie's Note:  Please remember that any spraying done by MFLNRO would be on crown land.  I am interested in hearing your thoughts on this so please feel free to email me at, also any questions you have, I will get Lorraine to answer and publish here.

School Board meets at Gold Bridge School

The School Trustees of the Gold Trail School District met at the Gold Bridge school.
Two other important points came out of that meeting for me:
1. The school field is in terrible condition.  As a result of that meeting, I have committed $5,000 SLRD Area A funds to partner with a funding application to the School Connections Fund. This fund is primarily intended to link local government and school districts to work on projects that benefit both the public and students.  At this writing, I am uncertain if the School District has moved this application forward to the funder.  A local person has donated used of excavator and operator and also the Parent Advisory Committee has committed volunteer labor.  Fingers crossed!!!
2. Planning for the future of the school must be done by the community.  School District may partner but cannot initiate this.  With 4 students and challenges continuing around this aspect of our community, this is something we need to work on.  If you would like to be part of a small committee to work on this let me know.  Jim MacArthur (current School Trustee Lillooet) said to call him as well.  We will need to find funding and hire someone to help facilitate, involve community and come up with a plan. 

UBCM Convention - September 2012

The Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) is an organization that all the cities, regional districts and now some First Nation communities belong to.  Every year they have a week long convention and this year there were representatives there from every local government.  The convention is considered very important to attend. Why?

Ministerial Meetings.  This year I took part in 3 meetings.  Two with the Premier – one related to increasing our bandwidth coming into the Bridge River Valley and one related to Economic Development in Pine Beetle affected areas. Both of these meetings were very positive and I felt the message was understood.     

I also attended a meeting with the Minister of Transportation and Forests.  Unfortunately this meeting, 10 minutes long, had too many SLRD “road” topics on it including the Hurley and Hwy 40.  I am going to request a follow up meeting with the Assistant Deputy Ministers of both these ministries.  The Minister’s were very receptive, there just was not enough time for the “discussion” piece.  I did find out though in a meeting with the Premier, that Min. Ben Stewart (who looks after the high speed internet file) new about our area and the Hurley Road.  Bonus!  I caught up with him at a reception later and it turns out he has camped in our area and is well acquainted with the Hurley.

2. Workshops, Panels and Forums.  The first of these started at 7:30 AM!!  I attended workshops on:

         Impact of grow ops on houses and the lack of a standard for remediation of these houses
  • 13,500 estimated grow-ops in BC in 2010, which works out to approx. one in every 137 houses being a grow op
  • Average  home grow op has 27.5 lights and is 24 times more likely to catch fire
  • Damage to homes from grow-op activity can be signficant and include altered support structures, wiring defects, mold, and pesticide residue
  • Legal or not homes were never designed to be grow ops
  • If a home has been a grow-op it affects insurability
  • There is no standard for remediation of homes that have had a grow-op in them
  • Link to RCMP Marijuana Grow Initiative:    This is an excellent and comprehensive website.
  • Link to Vancouver Sun interactive map of discovered grow-ops:
Decriminalization of marijuana and the impact of organized crime in our communities (see a theme yet?)

This was an excellent panel workshop that presented skilled professionals in various fields with differing views on how to tackle the marijuana dilemna.  Some points I jotted down were:
  • 70% of marijuana produced in BC is exported to the US in exchange for guns and cocaine.  That trade is primarily facilitated by organized crime.
  • The gang violence is primarily to control the commodity trade in marijuana
  • Organized crime is highly adapative and this is why despite so much money being spent on policing of marijuana, the business of growing marijuana continues to flourish
  • Americans are getting ahead of Canada on this file on a state by state basis, many states have initiatives on this November's ballot to decriminalize and regulate (or some combo of)
  • As an American police chief described it, he is keeping the lid on the garbage can as he chases it around the block
  • Medical marijuana licences are actually a grow op.  Health Canada does not have a single inspector in BC.    The local RCMP are not advised by Health Canada (who issues the licences) where the medical marijuana licences are located.  There is no inspection of the buildings these medical marijuana licence holders use to grow pot.  In addition, some medical grow-ops are also growing illegally.
  • Approx. 525,000 BC residents identify that they are current users, that is a huge number of people disregarding the law.  That disconnect is troubling.
  • There is a relationship with majijuana use in the young and schizophrenia developing
  • Use of marijuana by young impacts in many ways, just as alcohol and other drug use does
  • American police chief believes that education and awareness raising is critical and is the only thing that will change overall use of drugs and alcohol
  • A lot of money is being spent on policing and prosecuting marijuana possession
  • Regulation and an inspection regime will take steam out of the illegal marijuana trade

Internet Voting in 2014:  Below are a couple of links to presentations from this workshop.  This may be a very good way for an area like Area A, SLRD to encourage non-resident property owners to vote for the Regional District Director. 

Other workshops I attended:

 Cabinet panel on jobs and the economy
BC Ideas (go see it at
Municipal Finance

3. Resolutions.  When an issue is important to a local government they often pass a resolution and forward it on to UBCM.  It is then considered by the 1800 or so local government representatives that attend.  If it is passed then it becomes something that the UBCM Executive (Board made up of local government elected people) and Staff start following up and working on with other levels of government etc.  UBCM has an excellent and long standing reputation for moving various issues forward in a way that is very helpful to local governments.
The newsmaker resolution this year was:  Therefore be it resolved that UBCM call on the appropriate government to decriminalize marijuana and research the regulation and taxation of marijuana.  It passed by with about 70% vote.  In talking to other elected people it was felt the vote was mostly symbolic and a statement that the current regulations are not working.  Nearly 75% of the marijuana grown in BC is exported to the US and traded for cocaine and guns.  The organized crime related activity around this has escalated to significant levels in most communities in BC. Port Moody councillor Port Moody councillor Bob Elliott said his "quaint, safe city" has seen three gang-related murders in the past six months. He pleaded for support for decriminalization.  His words really swayed me although the arguments on both sides were excellent.  We have been pouring massive amounts of money into policing to try and control this and it isn’t working.  I added my voice to the majority calling for something different to happen. 
Although this was the resolution that caused the most fuss, many other very practical and relevant resolutions covering a huge range of topics were endorsed. You can see all the resolutions and whether or not they were endosed at:

4. Receptions, Lunches and Dinners.  Every day there are sponsored lunches, dinners and receptions.  Each evening between one and four receptions.  I think I attended 13 in all!  These are excellent opportunities to make connections with other elected people, provincial and federal cabinet ministers and other lobbyists representing various industries and organizations.

So, can you imagine walking into a reception with 1500 people all talking?  It is noisy and intimidating.  

I managed to move around and made a ton of good connections and had several key conversations.   Receptions were hosted by the Government of BC, the City of Victoria, Fortis BC, Epcor, B.C. Library Trustees, the Canadian Petroleum Producers, to name a few.   To access the CPP reception there was a gauntlet of protestors on the Northern Gateway Pipeline project.  The most novel food I ran across was mashed potatoes topped with curried chicken in a wine glass!!! 

Let me tell you my bed was SO welcome after a day like these.

Both Adrian Dix, leader of the NDP and Premier Christy Clark gave major speeches.  Then, much to my shock, at the very end I won the Door Prize, a $5,000 gift certificate for a cruise sponsored by the Port of Vancouver.  The trick will be getting Sal on a boat!

Attending the UBCM convention can definitely net many benefits for our area.  Victoria was a beautiful place for it however I really didn’t see much except the Legislature, the Victoria Conference Centre and my bed in the EmpressJ  For my first UBCM convention as Area Director, I was pretty happy with how I did and will learn from this experience and next year really go for it!