Sunday, October 19, 2014

Results Hurley River Rd. Survey & More

I would like to thank the communities of Bralorne and Gold Bridge, and the neighborhoods of Marshall Lake, Tyaughton Lake and Gun Lake for your support and encouragement for the last 3 years.
On Friday, October 10, the nominations for local government and in particular, Area A of the SLRD closed at 4 pm .
I have been elected to the position of Electoral Area A Director for the SLRD by acclamation. (all those who have a contest election is on Nov. 15)
I love the Bridge River Valley and I will continue to work flat out for this area for the next four years.
Thank you again for your support, it is truly appreciated and it does give me energy when I get tired. I love emails and phone calls, they keep me motivated. I even like it when you don't agree with me because it makes me think. So away we go for another four years!

Our favorite topic......Results:  Hurley River Rd. Survey

The link below contains the rough results of the Hurley River Rd. survey.  The survey is now closed.

Entire Survey:  Hurley River Rd. Rough Results

Here is a snippet on the question that really inflamed debate this past spring:

I wanted to share this information with the property owners in the area first.

Please note in the last question regarding additional funding through various Regional District sources 28% skipped the question, meaning they vote "no" to any further forms of funding.  This means 72% voted for some form of non-Provincial government additional funding.

I will be going through the individual responses and the rest of the survey to determine trends in responses.

My task is to provide the MLAs and Ministry officials with a consensus view within the current budget.  I welcome any and all of your reflections on what this survey communicates to you in that context. I may be doing some follow ups with the community via surveys etc.   Email is fine, for your thoughts/comments.

Fire Services Review 
I would encourage everyone to follow along on this topic as the community will be involved in discussions and decisions (including financial) regarding fire services in the BRV going forward.

(Just a note, that stuff from the Civic Web loads slowly, be patient).
GLFPS Storage Shed

Darren Oike, the new SLRD Fire Services Coordinator gave the Electoral Area Directors a report/update after his first month:
Fire Services Coordinator Month 1 Update

My last months post on the topic:  Previous Post on this topic

Fire Services Review (I'd read the front part and then scroll through to the sections on recommendations and specific sections on the Bralorne Fire Department & Gun Lake Fire Protection Society).   Fire Services Review Final

Bralorne Sewer
This past month the SLRD Utilities Department had to do an emergency repair.  The funds for this (approx. $50k) came from the Capital Reserve in that service (Bralorne Sewer) that Bralorne Residents have been paying into.

Here is the letter that the Utilities Dept. has prepared about the sewer system in Bralorne:

Letter to Bralorne Residents from SLRD - October 2014

As you know the SLRD has twice applied for Infrastructure funds to fix this very old system and has not been successful either time.

Here is a link to the original engineering study:

It is my commitment to ensure that property owners in Bralorne are kept fully informed and involved as we go forward.   We will be working very hard to figure out how to access funding through the Build Canada funds, the new redistributed BC Hydro Grant In Lieu of Taxes, etc.  I have had an email from a resident blasting the SLRD staff and board.  We all understand the concern both financially and from a health standpoint.  The potential impact of the worst case scenario (borrowing) is not good.  Please give those trying to work for Bralorne the benefit of the doubt, work with us, give us your input, be involved , that's the best way to ensure a Best Case Scenario and the long term sustainability of the Bralorne community!

B.C. Hydro Power Outages:  October 8 & 9 Gold Bridge
On October 8 & 9 there were lengthy power outages in Gold Bridge as crews replaced power poles and transformers in the community.  Unfortunately, these outages affected an important piece of communications infrastructure in the entire valley belonging to Minto Communications Society.  As a result the entire valley suffered significant internet outages on these two days.

BC Hydro has been very good lately in advising the SLRD (and they advise the community) of planned power outages.  Unfortunately, we did not rceive notice of this one.  I called the BC Hydro community relations fellow (good guy), Jerry Muir and he did some investigation.  Here is an excerpt from his response:

"In respect to the outages in in Gold Bridge on Oct 8th and 9th, unfortunately our contractor missed a critical step in planning this outage and did not provide proper notification to customers. I also understand that the outage on Oct 9th was prolonged when the crews identified a transformer that needed to be replaced. As this was not part of the original job, a replacement needed to be sourced and transported to site from Cache Creek.

Since this was brought to our attention last week, BCH has followed-up with the contractor to ensure that, moving forward, they are operating in accordance with our planned outage notification requirements. I can assure you that they will work to improve their notification efforts in the future."

Jerry's followup is much appreciated and hopefully we will not have a repeat of this problem.

Keir Rezoning Public Hearing 

Thursday, October 23 @ 4 pm - Gold Bridge Community Club

Link to Info on SLRD page.  If you scroll down to the bottom of the page after you hit this link there is a specific link to the Keir rezoning information.

BRVCA Community Advisory Notices
You may have noticed you are not receiving Community Advisory notices from BRVCA. The Community Advisory notices often included information on road closures, emergency situations, redistribute SLRD notices, events in the community and so on. With the new Anti-Spam legislation you need to expressly give your consent to receive these.  BRVCA will be rebuilding their contact lists in the new month or so.  If you wish to receive the Community Advisory notices please email and advise them so.

Interesting Links.
Imagine BC  Imagine BC is an annual opportunity for residents of British Columbia to pitch an excellent, innovative and possibly untraditional idea to our jury. Successful pitches receive funding of up to $7,000. Winning ideas are those that address identified community needs or interests, such as volunteerism, small business development, digital literacy, community engagement, cultural programming, or local history.

Take a peek!    If you have an idea get in touch with me!!!

Thought provoking articles on rural community challenges:
Love of Place over Quality of Life
Seeking solutions for communities like Hedley, BC

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.