Saturday, October 4, 2014

Hurley River Rd. Survey & Fire Services Review

It has been a very great honor to serve as the Area A Electoral Area Director for almost 3 years.  I have done my best to increase communication, provide factual and timely information to everyone.  My goal has been to bring as many and varied resources (money, expertise, etc) to the area as possible in order to support the sustainability of this area as a community.  We have made real progress towards sustainability and we definitely still have some big challenges.

I have submitted my name to serve for one more term as the Area A SLRD Electoral Area Director.   The next term will be four years instead of 3 years due to a change in the Election Act.   Please feel free to contact me at any time with any issue or concern.


I have pasted the press release regarding the Fire Services Review directly into this blog post.  There will be a great deal more communication and interation with the Bridge River Valley Community as we move forward to implement the recommendations and also decide upon the configuration of fire services in our area.  I highly recommend reading the Fire Services Review which is at the link below, particularly the sections regarding the fire services in our area.

For immediate release
September 16, 2014

Fire Services Coordinator hired to begin implementing Review’s recommendations

Pemberton, BC – A Fire Services Review commissioned by the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) is now complete. The purpose of the review was to provide a comprehensive assessment of the SLRD’s six fire services, including operational effectiveness, risk management, administration and governance structures, and for electoral area fire services generally. The review identified several issues with the existing fire services and provided a number of recommendations to address the challenges and provide direction for future development.  
One of the key recommendations of the review was to hire a Fire Services Coordinator. Former District of Lillooet Fire Chief, Darren Oike, has been hired by the SLRD on a one year contract; he began his term as Fire Services Coordinator on September 1, 2014.
“The appointment of a Fire Services Coordinator is a critical first step in implementing the recommendations of the Fire Services Review, and will provide on the ground support for our volunteer fire fighters,” said SLRD Electoral Area Directors Committee Chair, Susie Gimse. “We look forward to working with Mr. Oike to ensure that current standards are met and that fire fighters are supported and operating safely and effectively throughout the Regional District,” added Area B Director, Mickey Macri.
In addition to his former role as Fire Chief at Lillooet, Mr. Oike performed a similar Fire Services Coordinator role for First Nations Emergency Services (FNESS) for 84 First Nations communities across British Columbia where he developed standards for fire departments in the areas of training, operational guidelines, records management systems, operational budgets, bylaws and policies. Along with trainer and instructor certifications, Mr. Oike is also skilled in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). 
With the hiring of the Fire Services Coordinator, the SLRD will begin working with each of the fire departments to implement recommendations from the Fire Services Review. Changes to existing governance and service delivery models may be required in some cases in order to ensure that the fire services meet regulatory requirements and community objectives. The SLRD will conduct community consultation throughout the process in order to provide information, answer questions and gather feedback regarding the options. More details regarding community engagement opportunities will be announced as the process unfolds. 
“The safety of our volunteer fire fighters, residents and their properties is very important to the SLRD and the Regional District is committed to supporting communities that wish to maintain or establish fire services,” said Area A Director, Debbie Demare. “Delivering safe, effective and sustainable fire services is a shared responsibility. We encourage residents being served by any of the existing fire departments to learn more about their fire service and the options for moving forward,” added Area D Director Maurice Freitag. 
The SLRD presently provides for rural fire suppression services through five volunteer fire departments and one volunteer fire brigade (Gun Lake), as well as through service extension agreements with member municipalities. The SLRD provides for fire services in the following communities: Gun Lake and Bralorne in Electoral Area A, Seton Valley in Electoral Area B, Birken in Electoral Area C, and Britannia Beach and Garibaldi in Electoral Area D.  The SLRD also provides for fire service to parts of Area C under contact with the Village of Pemberton and a small portion of Area B under agreement with the District of Lillooet.  
For more information about the SLRD’s fire services, or to download a copy of the Fire Services Review, visit

Our Favorite Topic - The condition of the Hurley River Rd.
If you have not already done this survey, I would encourage you to complete it by October 18.

Please complete this survey thoughtfully.. IT IS IMPORTANT and it will MAKE A DIFFERENCE!    We will leave the survey open until October 18.  

Click on this link to take the survey:

Remember the old expression, where are your kids?  Well, this question is "Where is your dog?

This summer I've had some complaints re dogs - dogs roaming on other private property, dogs roaming in packs, dogs barking at all hours incessantly , dogs doing their thing repeatedly on other peoples property, and so on.    Last summer I had some complaints as well and there was at least one reported rather difficult incident with a dog biting another dog.

We do not have a bylaw in our area about dogs and to be really honest I don't think we want a bylaw. The folks that are complaining though are kind of coming to their limit and have asked me to ask the question, you support a nuisance bylaw that addresses dog problems?  Send me an email and let me know what you think?  

So please give some thought to where your dog is and what your dog is doing?  If you own a dog, it needs to be in your control at all times particularly when it is off of your property.

I don't say this to be preach-y as Sal and I have had a dog that has roamed and have had to go out on a quad to round him up.  But this type of behavior disturbs others and so you have to make an attempt to keep your dog in your control at all times.


  1. Four more years with Debbie Demare as our voice in government will be a blessing.

  2. Tyaughton Lake Property Owner. Hi Debbie, Thanks for all your hard work, support and communication efforts. I'm glad you want to throw your hat in for another 4 years. Just want you to know, I think you are doing a great job!

  3. Gun Lake Property Owner:Hi Debbie,
    Thanks for your updates on the Gun Lake area. My husband and I have a cabin on Gun Lake, but also live in the Pemberton meadows. We love it up there, but the Hurley is getting ridiculous!! We have travelled it for years, and it has never been so bad. We just spent $4500 on our pick up repairs, and our mechanic says it is directly related to that road. I appreciate how hard you are working to get some maintenance done on it.
    As for the dogs, I have had it with barking dogs at the lake. It seems to be out of control this year. In particular, there is a family across the lake from us, and everytime they get into their boat, the dog barks non stop. The sound carries across the lake as if the dog was right beside me. Some weekends, he will bark for 4 hours straight. This has indeed spoiled our rest time at the lake. It is very sad in my opinion. We have a dog also, and very much like dogs. I just wish certain owners of dogs would respect that we are all at the lake to enjoy the peace and beauty of nature.
    Therefore, I would indeed support a nuisance by law.

  4. Gun Lake Property owner (I've edited for privacy) I tried posting on your blog but the whole Google account/profile thing is too much work , LOL.

    I am just replying to your query about the dog by-law issue. As a dog owner I'm sure you can guess my feelings about it. Realistically we would be talking about dogs on leashes at all times, fenced yards or dogs tied up in non-fenced yards. What else could a by-law mean ? So, no, I would definitely not be happy living here with a dog by-law.

    Having said that if it is my dog then I would try to correct her behaviour and make an effort to not have her roam. Although she does not roam very far either. She does not seem to bother my neighbours, she is walked every day with us and she is not a barker but perhaps she does bother people and I have not be told. A simple phone call would work ( our number is on her tag ;)

    As am example last fall there seemed to be a lot of deer or coyote in and around our property and "our dog" was going out fairly early and started barking which was out of character for her. "Our neighbor" e-mailed us and let us know it was bugging him and so I kept her in until later in the morning when we walked her. It had only been for a few days till the wildlife settled down and the problem was solved. No early morning barking since but I know if the deer are on the move again or whatever it is that fall seems to bring in the early hours I will make sure to keep her in.

    I know this is a summer thing and I think to be fair the owners should be contacted and given the details of the complaint and a chance to remedy the problem before we resort to by-laws for all dogs. I worry that a by-law would create a lot bad feelings and bad neighbours, Minto all over again !

    Thanks for listening and nice to see you running for another 4 years too !

  5. Bralorne Property Owner: Dog Bylaws = No thanks, I don't think we need any dog bylaws.

  6. BRV Resident: (Edited for Privacy) Thank you for keeping us up to date with events happening in our valley.
    I fully support you running for a further four years as the area director.

    I am responding in regards to a bylaw re dogs.
    I am against any bylaws being placed as we live in the country and find no need for it.
    We are in an isolated community and the reason we live out here is we enjoy the freedom that nature has to offer.
    If I wanted to live in a place where my dogs can not be free as us, and be on a leash, then I would simply live in the city.

    In the 20 years I have been involved in this community, I have never had a problem when other people's dogs that have been on our property and have never complained.

    If there is an aggressive dog, let the RCMP deal with it

  7. Marshall Lake property owner: I was holding my breath reading your update as I thought you were going to say you were retiring or some such terrible news, so glad you are going to "hang in there!"
    Thanks again for all your hard work, much appreciated!

  8. Gun Lake Property Owner: Hi Debbie! Just a quick note to say how much we enjoyed the improvement of the six to seven kilometers of road on the Pemberton side of the Hurley. Thanks for helping to spearhead the effort to get this work attended to this year. The dollars spent are well worth it and hoping survey results will indicate the need to keep upgrading this road access to Gold Bridge and Bralorne areas! Have a Happy Thanksgiving as we give thanks