By Andrea Arnold
McBride Mayor Gene Runtz called the November 14, 2023 council meeting to order at 7:06pm.

Bank closure concerns
Brad Kope addressed council regarding the recent announcement by Scotiabank regarding the branch closure in McBride. He asked that council send a letter to the head office Scotiabank, asking them to reconsider the closure, and cc Shirley Bond and Bob Zimmer. Village Economic Development Officer Karen Dube had submitted a report to council outlining some of the issues that would face the community if no financial services are available to residents.
The report also stated that Village administration had reached out to a PG based credit union to invite them to meet with village staff to discuss the opportunity to open a branch in McBride. EDO Dube confirmed that the meeting has been scheduled for Friday, Nov 17th.

Letter of Support
Council directed staff to write a letter of support to the Province for Community Futures Fraser Fort George’s application to the Rural Economic Diversification and Infrastructure Program for the Strengthening Community Resilience and Food Systems in Rural Fraser Fort George project to foster food and agriculture resilience within the region, including the Robson Valley.

Bylaw amendments
Council gave final reading and adoption to Business Licence Bylaw Amendment No, 820, 2023 and Sign Bylaw Amendment No. 819, 2023. Both of these amendments are needed to ensure regulations are met following the new cannabis retail bylaw.

Earlier meeting time
Council gave first, second and third reading to Council Procedure Bylaw Amendment No 823, 2023. This amendment would change the start time for regular council meetings from 7:00pm to 6:00pm. The purpose of this change is to allow more time for discussion during Council meetings.

Approving officer
Council appointed Jeanette McDougall as the Village of McBride’s Approving Officer to take effect immediately.
Trans Canada Yellowhead Highway Association
Council confirmed the Village of McBride’s continued membership in the Trans Canada Yellowhead Highway Association.

Tactical plan and budget
Council agreed to support the Village of McBride 2024 One Year Tactical Plan and Budget as endorsed by the McBride Tourism Committee, for submission to DestinationBC.

Signing authority
Council authorized the addition of councillor Tina Bennett as a signing officer on the Scotiabank signing authority package. Council also authorized the addition of CAO/CO Jeanette McDougall as a signing officer on all Village of McBride Scotiabank signing authority packages, Municipal Finance Authority banking investment purposes and corporate credit card.

Elks liquor licence
Mayor Runtz removed himself from chambers prior to the next item as he is a member of the Elks.
Council directed staff to gather public input regarding the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks #247 application for transition for a liquor primary licence. This would allow more community members to be welcomed without the requirement to sign in at the front door. Council also asked staff to prepare a draft resolution for Council’s comments/recommendations at the council meeting on December 12th.

Land survey proposal
Council approved moving forward with the proposal from McElhanney Associates Land Surveying Ltd. File # P001-3578, and authorize CAO McDougal to sign the proposal.

Christmas cards
Council directed Administration to prepare and send out digital Christmas Cards.

Christmas party
Council approved administrations request for $1000 budget for a staff and council Christmas Party.

Council proceeded 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. The regular meeting was recessed at 7:34pm to conduct the in-camera meeting.