By Andrea Arnold

The McBride council meeting was called to order at 7:07pm by Mayor Gene Runtz.

Expanded seating at train station

Dannielle Alan from the Whistle Stop Gallery presented to Council regarding the parking lot on the west side (in front of the Whistle Stop Gallery) of the train station in McBride. She proposed that the area be partitioned off using no-posts and concrete flower pots to provide a seating area. These changes would facilitate gathering and add to the limited seating for downtown. In her presentation, she suggested using items they already have on hand like bike racks and flower boxes to help create the space. She hopes the area will provide seating for people looking for a spot to sit and eat, with the convenience of a bathroom nearby, as well as providing seating for those who enjoy the Tuesday Night Jam music sessions.

She expressed concern that the current state of the side of the station that faces Main Street looks junky with several garbage cans, recycling cans and even a smokers ash bucket. When seen in contrast to the shiny new ball diamond and the beautified main street, she would like to see it brought up to the same standard.

Council opened up a discussion with Alan and agreed that something should be done and that perhaps funding through the Destination Development Fund could help cover the costs. Alan requested that Council give permission for a short-term solution for this year while they work to find funding for a longer term solution for future years. They also discussed that the seating and fencing will need to be removed before snow removal season. Alan hopes to have something in place by July 1st.

Destination Development Fund

Council directed staff to prepare an application to the Destination Development Fund for the Elevate McBride’s Historic Train Station project and bring new cost estimates back to a future meeting for a resolution of support for the project. The goal is to acquire funding to allow for upgrades to the train station like bathroom renovations and changes allowing for better accessibility.

By election date set

Council received a report announcing that September 30, 2023 would be the date of the Village Council by-election. The delay has stemmed from the absence of a CAO whose job is strictly CAO. Once a CAO is in place, that individual will be appointed the Chief Election Officer. This appointment will occur at the July 25, 2023 meeting allowing the required 80 days to pass before the election occurs. 

Union of BC Municipalities meeting planning

Council directed administration to respond to Premier David Eby regarding meetings with him, Cabinet Ministers and the Minister of Municipal Affairs at the UBCM Convention in September. Council would like to discuss BC Hydro services, Old Growth, and the Agricultural Land Reserve. There may be more topics brought forward before the June 30th deadline. They would like to speak directly to the Ministers of Transportation, Health, Agriculture, Forests, Land and Natural Resources, Energy and Heritage and Culture. The exact topics for each of these discussions will be decided on at a future special meeting.

Council directed administration to respond to the Honourable Anne Kang, Minister of Municipal Affairs regarding meetings at UBCM. In this meeting, Council would like to discuss a possible increase in funding to the community as well as housing problems.

Council told administration that before the deadline for submission on August 30th they will decide who else they want to meet with at UBCM. 

Council directed Administration to present the following list of topics for discussion with a meeting with BC Hydro’s Senior Leadership: power quality and substation installation possibilities. Also, Mayor Runtz wants to approach the possibility of McBride being welcomed into the Columbia Basin Trust family. This topic may be shared between this meeting as well as other minister meetings.

Retail cannabis zoning

Council gave third reading to Zoning amendment Bylaw No. 817, 2023 to allow retail cannabis, and further, council directed staff to forward the bylaw to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure for signature prior to final approval. The amending bylaw will only permit Retail Cannabis in the Highway Commercial and Main Street Commercial zones of the Village of McBride. There are additional provisions that restrict any cannabis retail location being operated within 150m of a school. There is a map available through the village illustrating clearly which properties would be an eligible location.

Business Facade grant

Council approved a grant from the Village of McBride Business Facade Improvement program to Jason Beniukk for 50 per cent of eligible facade project costs at 466 Main Street “Mansion on Main,” to a maximum of $5,000.

Seating area approval

Council approved a trial run seating area in front of the McBride Train Station and Visitor’s Centre for the summer 2023 with the requirement that everything be removed for the winter allowing for efficient snow removal, no later than October 13th.


Council moved in an In-camera Council meeting for consideration of matters of the Community Charter related to Section 90 (1): (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 of another position appointed by the municipality, (c) Labour Relations of other employee relations; (e) the acquisition, disposition or expropriation of land of improvements, if the council considers that disclosure could reasonably be expected to harm the interests of the municipality and (k) negotiations and related discussions respecting the proposed provision of a municipal service that are at their preliminary stage 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.

Council closed off the public portion of the meeting at 8:04pm.