Good vibes at the McBride Council meeting

by Andru McCracken

All councillors were in attendance and council was in good humour at the short Village of McBride council meeting of September 12.

Reports

Written reports from mayor Loranne Martin, councilor Rick Thompson and councillor Rosemary Hruby were received with little comment.

Councillor Harold Edwards, who hadn’t submitted a report said he would write one next time.

Council reviewed the financial statements and Chief Financial Officer Claudia Frost was on hand to answer questions.

MIA

The Municipal Insurance Association had requested council appoint an alternate director to sit on their board. Councillor Rosemary Hruby offered to stand as the main representative for the organization.

Mayor Loranne Martin was momentarily taken aback.

“To replace me?” she asked.

Hruby explained her rationale.

“This council should play to our strengths, and insurance is my strength,” said Hruby.

Martin allowed it and Hruby was appointed as the voting representative to the Municipal Insurance Association, with Martin as the first alternate and Councillor Rick Thompson as the second alternate.

Temporary Business License

A report from CAO Cheryl Martens detailed her decision to provide a temporary business license to Bobby Ann and Nelson Hicks so they could sell their baked goods on the street.

Martens said she offered the couple a ‘one-time only mobile vendor permit’ because their vehicle had broken down and they were unable to deliver their goods to Jasper.

Councilor Hruby recognized the report and the intent of administration to help the Hicks but said vendors must be on private property according to the bylaw.

“It’s an important distinction we need to be aware of,” said Hruby.

Martens said that she would take that into consideration in the future.

Council approved an application by AG Foods for the Village of McBride Business Facade Improvement Program for up to $7000. The facade improvement program is run in conjunction with the Northern Development Initiative Trust.

Council also approved the installation of a feather flag for the Robson Valley Region on their property.

Community Consultation Committees

Because of a change in the structure of their management committees, the Regional District sought the appointment of councillors to their new community consultation committees.

Regional District Director Dannielle Alan was present and was given permission to speak to the issue.

“It allows for community consultation and taxpayer input into the services they are paying for,” said Dannielle.

Edwards, who sat on the old management committee, was appointed to the new Robson Valley Recreation Centre Community Consultation Committee.

Councillor Thompson was appointed to a new McBride Fire Protection Community Consultation Committee. The outdated management committee hadn’t met in many years.

Greyhound Service Cuts

Thompson brought the issue of Greyhound service cuts to council and suggested council write letters to the Ministers of Transportation and Public Safety.

“Greyhound has made a request to remove a number of rural routes including all of the passenger transportation between Valemount and Prince Rupert,” said Thompson.

“My concern is that if this service is removed that people in small rural communities will be isolated even further.”
“This is part and parcel of the highway of tears situation,” said Edwards. “This is going the wrong way to solving the problem. It may produce an opportunity if another carrier could be induced to provide a service better than what we currently have.”

“Greyhound transportation has not been very convenient for quite some time.”

Martin agreed with Edwards.

Councilor Thompson said the provincial government introduced a transportation system from Prince George to Prince Rupert.

“We’re included on Highway 16 and we should be considered for that service.”

Council voted to send letters to the appropriate ministers.

In Camera

Council closed the meeting to the public shortly after 7:30 pm to go in camera in accordance with Section 90(c) of the community charter, “labour relations and other employee relations.”

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