By Andrea Arnold

Mayor Gene Runtz called the McBride Council meeting to order on Jan 10, 2023.

Convention attendance 

Administration requested that Council reconsider the number of people attending both the COFI Convention and BC Natural Resources Forum. Due to inflation and increased costs, the amount budgeted for these events may need to be adjusted depending on how many council members plan to attend. Following discussion, Mayor Runtz will be attending the COFI Convention. Mayor Runtz, Councillors Joe Kolida and Peter Caputo will attend the BC Natural Resources Forum.

Splash Park on hold

Council directed staff to pause the development of Splash Park Steering committee Terms of Reference, the formation of a Splash Park Steering Committee and the researching of feasibility study costs until 2024. Council discussed that although they would like to see a splash park put into McBride, there is a lot more aspects to consider and utility infrastructure upgrades needed before things can progress.

Electronic Devices

Council moved to rescind Mobile Technology Policy, AD-09 and adopt AD-09.01 as presented. The old policy is not comprehensive enough to cover the current needs of the village. The new policy will provide an appropriate level of detail to ensure the appropriate use as well as the security and safekeeping of all the various types of mobile devices.

Temp Use permit

With a vote of 4-1, Council moved to receive a report regarding an application to authorize a TUP for a period of three years at 851 2nd Ave to allow for the continued use of two short-term rental units. Councillor Diane Smith was opposed as she would like to see more possible long term rental units available in town and thinks there are enough short-term spots.

Council also directed staff to undertake public notification and bring the proposed TUP back for approval at a future meeting.

Travel costs

Council moved to rescind Travel for Village Staff and Council Policy, AD-02.01 and adopt AD-02.02. The previous policy was adopted in 2015. The new policy will take into consideration current costs for staff during travel for Village business.

Cannabis Retail zoning

Council received the report “Cannabis Retail Stores – Zoning Bylaw Amendment Options” for informational purposes, and direct staff on next steps. Council agreed to option #3 presented in the report.This option states that amendments to both the official community plan and zoning bylaws would need to be addressed to allow this use in both the C1 – Commercial Core Zone and C2 Highway Commercial Zone. Regulations regarding location and appearance of business, along with public consultation and approval would need to be addressed prior to a business being established. Council directed staff to proceed to the next steps.

Northern Medical Programs Trust

Council appointed Councillor Glen Frear as the delegate to the Northern Medical Programs Trust Board.

Council Calendar

Council moved to keep Administration informed if there are any additional meetings, activities, or events that should be added to a stand-alone Council Calendar for January (or future months). The calendar will be presented on the regular agendas. The calendar will allow for easier planning when council attendance is requested for events. It also provides a way that members of the public can see what members of council are attending. It will also serve as a reminder to Mayor/Council to submit reports in a timely manner.

ICBC Drivers Services

Council voted unanimously not to terminate the Village’s Driver Services Agency Agreement with ICBC, giving the required 60 day’s written notice. All members of council do not want to see the community lose these services. A cost breakdown as to what providing the service is costing the village was provided. Annually, the village is approximately $2,760.00 in the red. The services that the village currently provides are: issuing of BC Driver Licenses, Services Cards and BCID cards to current and new residents, provision of driver knowledge tests and ICBC road testing. The report from administration also stated that these services are typically provided at Service BC Centres and at private insurance providers that also sell ICBC Autoplan Insurance in other small communities. Council is open to revisiting the possibility if another vendor within the community would be willing to take on these responsibilities.

Dominion Creek Watershed proposed logging

Council passed a motion directing staff to write a letter to MCFC to request that MCFC suspend and cancel all plans to conduct logging operations within the Dominion Watershed; Council also asked that staff request the MCFC provide a response confirming the cancellation of all logging within the Dominion Watershed. Council then also passed a motion regarding the Lucille watershed area. Council directed staff to write the letter expressing the same thoughts and request as the Dominion watershed letter.

MCFC meeting & director shuffle

Council made a motion to request a meeting of Shareholders of the McBride Community Forest Corporation. 

Council moved to have the following motions be included in the notice of meeting:

i. Motion that the Shareholder of McBride Community Forest Corporate (MCFC) remove Harold Edwards and Lucille Green from the MCFC Board of Directors.

ii. And the Shareholder appoints Terry Kuzma and Mike Monroe to serve as directors to the MCFC Board until the next Annual General Meeting in June 2023.

Council asked that the meeting take place on January 24 in Council Chambers at 7:00pm and that attendance via video conference be permitted.

Councillor Smith read out a letter she had prepared, opposing the motion. Mayor Runtz provided a heated rebuttal, and Councillor Kolida provided his views as he sits on the board for council, before the motion was passed with a 4-1 vote, Councillor Smith opposed. Please see separate story in this week’s edition.


Council moved to an in-camera meeting for consideration of matters of the Community Charter related to Section 90(1) (c) labour relations or other employee relations, (e) the acquisition, disposition or expropriation of land or improvements, if the council considers that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality, (g)litigation or potential litigation affecting the municipality; and, (k) negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service that are a their preliminary stage and that, in the view of the council, could reasonably be expected to harm the interest of the municipality if they were held in public.