By Andrea Arnold

Mayor Runtz called the Nov. 23, 2021 McBride Council meeting to order at 7:06 p.m.

Downtown Revitalization Plan
Anne Marie Whittaker of Ecoplan International presented on the Village of McBride Downtown Revitalization Plan. The goal of the plan is to build on and improve what is already going on in the downtown core by redefining the heart of McBride. They want to support the great things that are already present. Three priorities have been identified: Steve Kolida Park and facilities, main street lighting and amenities, and train station revitalization. The next step of the plan is to finalize so that funding can be pursued.

Meeting with Ministers
Council confirmed the following topics for a meeting with Dale Morgan, Ministry of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, and John Huybers, Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development: Guidelines for reconciliation processes, and Old growth deferral impacts on First Nation and small communities.

Revenue & expenditure report
Council received the Revenue & Expenditure Report up to Oct. 31, 2021.

Council directed administration to schedule a follow-up meeting with Adriana Poveda, Service BC, for the morning of December 8, 2021. Council wants to discuss their desire to have Ministry employees permanently stationed in McBride. This was a topic council discussed at UBCM With Minister Beare, Minister of Citizen Services: “In-person provincial services need to be restored in McBride and the Robson Valley.”

Caribou Recovery
Council directed administration to register Councillors Smith, Green, and Mayor Runtz, for the Caribou Recovery Program update meeting on Dec. 9, 2021 from 1-2 p.m.

Old growth deferral support questions
Council moved to have administration send a letter of response asking how plans around old growth deferral support will be felt in our community to Tara Faganello, Assistant Deputy Minister regarding the October 2021 Regional Meetings with Minister Josie Osborne and UBCM President Laurey-Anne Roodenburg. The letter will also be sent to neighbouring communities, MLA Bond, the Premier and the Minister of Forests.

Council meeting schedules
Council defeated the motion to give Council Procedure Amendment Bylaw 803, 2021 first, second and third reading. Administration had proposed that over the summer months, the sole monthly meeting occur on the third Tuesday of July and August. It was also proposed that the first September meeting be moved to the first Tuesday of the month, avoiding the conflict in timing with the UBCM Convention. Instead, Council passed a motion made by Councillor Green to return to the previous yearly schedule, continuing with two meetings a month except when it conflicts with Christmas break and UBCM in September. The amended bylaw will be brought back to council for first, second and third reading.

Deputy Mayor appointment deferral
Council deferred the appointment transfer of Deputy Mayor from Councillor Hruby to Councillor Smith until February 1, 2022.

Referral letter
The request for administration to send a letter to Local First Nations Communities about the referral announcement was tabled until after the meeting with Dale Morgan and John Huybers on Nov. 26.

In Camera
Council moved to proceed to an In-camera meeting for consideration of matters per Section 90 (1) of the Community Charter related to: (a) personal information about an identifiable individual who holds or is being considered for a position as an officer, employee or agent of the municipality or another position appointed by the municipality, (c) labour relations or other employee relations, and (k) negotiations and relate discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service that are at their preliminary stages and that, in the view of the council, could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality if they were held in public.

The public portion was adjourned at 8:16 p.m.