By: Andrea Arnold

The McBride Council met for their regular meeting on April 30, 2019. The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Gene Runtz. Councillors Smith, Green, Hruby and Frederick were present.

Community Forest, Care Aids and Cannabis

Three delegations were on hand to present to Council.

First, Kevin Taphorn, Board Director of the McBride Community Forest Corporation told Council that the plan is to present quarterly. Mayor Runtz recused himself for this presentation due to his role as manager of MCFC. Taphorn first touched on what they have done since January. They harvested 33,000 square metres and by hiring independent brushers, they have created eight jobs this season. The tree planting campaign will also give locals work.

Second to present was Keltie Barlow, Health Services administrator with Northern Health. She spoke of the community’s need for qualified care aids. She presented an option to Council that could bring and keep qualified workers in the valley. Thompson Rivers University is offering a 27-week Care Aid program. Barlow hope is to find local groups willing and able to sponsor individuals wanting to become certified. The idea is in its infancy, but if she can find support, she will delve deeper into the process and form a plan.

Finally, Bridget Uhl and Melissa Boulianne, Coordinators of the McBride Community Literacy Outreach Program addressed the group with their plan for “Community Conversations about Cannabis” to be held on June 26, 2019 at the McBride and District Public Library 6:30-8:00pm. They are making arrangements for an unbiased, informative information-gathering event that will feature a variety of presenters. They extended a formal invitation to members of Council to attend. Later in the meeting, Council passed a motion approving Village participation at the Community Conversations about Cannabis information session on June 26, 2019 at the McBride and District Public Library.

End of Autoplan at the Village
Council passed a motion to receive a report approving the termination of the Autoplan Agency Insurance Agreement with ICBC at the April 9, 2019 meeting. Council directed administration to develop an exit plan to phase out these services from the Village of McBride offices. The closure of services will be posted at the Village Office beginning this week and be outlined in the paper. The final day of services will be June 21, 2019. Councillor Hruby recused herself as she runs the local insurance agency that also offers ICBC insurance.

Council Representation Requests
Dillion Consulting representative Patricia Maloney will be in McBride June 18 & 19, 2019 to consult with key stakeholders regarding the Airport Development Plan. Administration is seeking confirmation on Council’s attendance at a meeting with Maloney on June 18, 2019. Due to scheduling conflicts, other date options will be discussed with the representative.

Council passed a motion to approve expenses related to attendance at the Northern Regional Education Networking and Tradeshow June 13, 2019 for Councillors Frederick, Green and Smith. Sessions will cover mental wellness, navigating new building projects, guiding tenants from shelter to permanent housing, affordable housing in boom-bust economies and much more.

Administration requested confirmation of Council member’s attendance at a meeting on July 16, 2019. In attendance will be Shawn Rice Carrier Lumber Resource Manager, FLNROD, Dannielle Alan and other Carrier Lumber staff. All members of council confirmed including CAO McCutcheon.

Ancient Forest Presentation
Council approved the receipt of information regarding a presentation on the Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Whudujut Park & Slim Creek Park on June 8, 2019 at the Robson Valley Community Centre 6-8pm. The presentation will cover the ecosystems of the parks and the management planning process that BC Parks is undertaking.

Rezoning Application
Council passed the motion to give Zoning Amendment Bylaw No. 786 first and second reading regarding the request by Doug Monroe to rezone 1479 & 1413 2nd Ave from Residential and Rural Industrial to Multi-family zoning for their proposed seniors housing project. Council approved the scheduling of a Public Hearing for the same bylaw on Tuesday June 25, 2019 at 6:30pm.

Maples for McBride
Administration’s application through the BC Hydro’s Tree Canada grant program was successful. The Village received a grant of $4,000 for Re-greening and beautification. Delivery of 26 Scarlet Jewel Maple trees approximately 8 feet tall are scheduled to arrive in late June. Administration is recommending that trees be planted as follows: replace missing trees a Gaglardi Park, Robson Centre Park- trees planted along berm in the park to increase beautification of the frontage road, tree planting near the caboose at the park near the CN Train Station, and will consider other options from council. Council passed a motion to approve receiving this report.

Council adjourned the public portion of the evening at 8:15pm to move into the In-Camera session.