By Abigail Popple, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Valemount Council heard a delegation on building a Via rail station, discussed the Village’s annual municipal report, and made its appointments for the Resident-Directed grant adjudication committee at last Tuesday’s regular meeting.

Mayor Owen Torgerson called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m. Council amended the night’s agenda to add an in-camera session. After approving minutes from the June 11th regular meeting, Council moved on to the night’s delegation.


Executive Director of Tourism Valemount Marcie Down made a presentation to Council highlighting the need for an enclosed shelter where Via Rail passengers can wait for the train. While Council cannot make decisions during a delegation, Torgerson said staff would share contact information with Tourism Valemount’s board of directors to begin discussion on the possibility of building a shelter.

Read more about the shelter in this week’s issue.

2023 Annual Report

Each year, the Village must make an annual report outlining the year’s activities and progress on ongoing projects available for public viewing before June 30th, in accordance with the Community Charter. 

Completed projects included in the 2023 report include the purchase of a building for Village and Northern Health staff housing, procurement of a new garbage truck, and the installation of new playground equipment at Centennial Park, among others.

Council moved to approve the report.

“We got a lot of stuff done. Congratulations, Council and staff,” Torgerson said.

Statement of Financial Information

According to the Financial Information Act, local governments must prepare an annual statement of financial information and make it available for public viewing by June 30th of each year. Staff recommended Council approve the 2023 statement so it could be made available online.

The statement includes the remuneration Council and staff received in 2023, and the amount of money paid to suppliers for various goods and services.

Council unanimously approved the statement.

Grant for Lheidli T’enneh meeting

Valemount staff requested Council approval to apply for a Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) grant that would provide funding for a meeting with Lheidli T’enneh First Nation.

UBCM administers grants for community to community (C2C) meetings, with funding from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Indigenous Services Canada. The C2C program aims to support reconciliation efforts between First Nations and local governments.

Staff hope to hold a C2C meeting with Lheidli T’enneh leaders in October, to begin building a relationship similar to Valemount’s relationship with Simpcw First Nation, according to the staff report. The grant covers up to $10,000 in costs, which staff anticipate will be sufficient for the meeting.

Council unanimously approved the request.

ReDi grant committee

Council reviewed applications from residents to sit on the Columbia Basin Trust’s adjudication committee for Resident-Directed (ReDi) grants. Each year, an adjudication committee made up of a Council liaison and Valemount and Regional District residents selects projects to receive ReDi grant funding.

Four residents applied for a seat on the committee: Eugene Jamin, Jane Weeks, Rick Plamondon, and Cindy Etty.

Council unanimously approved to appoint all four applicants to the committee.

Mulyk thanked the applicants.

“This is welcome news,” he said. “Having this interest so early… is gonna definitely be very helpful for next year.”

Pearson also thanked applicants.

Trans Mountain land use

In late May, Council gave initial approval for Trans Mountain to renew its temporary use permit for a lot within village bounds as the company wraps up construction, restoration and cleaning of pipeline sites in the area. Since then, the Village distributed notices of the temporary use permit application so nearby residents would have the opportunity to provide input on the permit.

Torgerson said the Village did not receive any feedback.

Council unanimously approved granting the permit, and moved on to discuss their reading file.

Columbia River Treaty

The Columbia River Treaty, which governs Canada and U.S. use of the Columbia River for hydroelectricity and other services, is currently under negotiation as the current treaty may be terminated after this September if a new one is not signed. Treaty negotiators sent an update to the Local Governments Committee, which Council reviewed.

Pearson said the treaty is an opportunity to negotiate for a weir to be built at the Kinbasket reservoir, which would provide access to the lake for recreational activities year-round. He also said he heard from two residents in the past week who had to temporarily leave the village due to dust exacerbating their breathing problems, and suggested using the treaty as a way to broach the subject of air quality with BC Hydro. He asked if Hydro had provided any data on air quality to Valemount Council.

Torgerson said such data has not been shared, and added that the PM10 sensor in Valemount that measures air quality does not provide real-time updates.

BC Hydro Resource Breakfast

BC Hydro wrote to invite Valemount Council to its annual Resource Breakfast Series, to be held September 17th-19th. The event brings together resource ministers, local government officials, and leaders in the natural resource industry to discuss news and ongoing projects in B.C.’s natural resource sector.

Pearson asked if Council would book travel plans for the event soon. Torgerson said the event overlaps with the UBCM annual general meeting, which does not yet have a published schedule. He said Council will wait to plan for the Resource Breakfast until the UBCM releases the meeting’s schedule.

In-Camera session

Council moved to an in-camera session in accordance with sections (d) and (k) of section 90 (1) of the Community Charter. Section (d) allows a council meeting to be closed to discuss the security of the property of the municipality, while (k) allows closed meetings to discuss negotiations and related 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.

Torgerson adjourned the open session of council at 7:30 p.m.