2013: News – February in review

No potable water for Canim Lake Estates, cause of contamination still unknown

Week 6 – Feb. 6

Taxes drop from projected net-zero

The Cariboo Regional District’s (CRD) public consultation meeting in 100 Mile House on Jan. 30 revealed its preliminary budget and expected impacts on taxation.

While the board had set a zero-increase target the previous fall, it actually revealed an improvement over that goal, with a 1.2 per cent decrease from 2012’s taxes for 2013.

PST draft statute made public

The B.C. Liberal government released an early draft consolidation of the Provincial Sales Tax (PST) statute to take effect April 1 (once approved in legislature).

Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett noted the transition back to the PST and GST was “extremely complicated.”

The BC NDP stated that releasing the draft statute outside the legislature was “unacceptable and inappropriate.”

Still no water for Canim Lake Estates

Canim Lake Estates residents continued to struggle without usable running water when British Columbia’s medical health officer further delayed lifting a Do Not Use order on their water system.

While the cause was isolated to an incorrect polyvinyl chloride (PVC) liner installed in the reservoir roof on Dec. 20, 2012, there were difficulties with gaining information on exactly what else was in it.

Week 7 – Feb. 13

Fire department service sharing

100 Mile House Fire-Rescue chief Darrell Blades brought forward an idea for shared fire department services in the South Cariboo.

The proposal involved investigating shared, non-core services between local fire departments to better cover costs and personnel that were “getting strapped” and potentially deterring new members.

Children’s water park

100 Mile House Waterpark Committee members were pleased when the District of 100 Mile House council endorsed their project proposal for Centennial Park on Feb. 5.

Certain conditions imposed included that 100 per cent of the funds for the design, construction and the lift station be secured before starting construction.

Recreation services input

The CRD began seeking broader public input on the future of South Cariboo recreation facilities.

CRD chair Al Richmond said the board was reacting to residents’ requests to include more facilities, such as for sports and arts-and-culture, within its recreation function. It would amend the bylaw to allow more funding flexibility.

Week 8 – Feb. 20

Throne speech spurned

Premier Christy Clark’s throne speech focused on liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to Asia that would bring billions of dollars in revenue to fuel the future economy.

However, the NDP throttled the plan, saying those were “unreliable predictions” and pointing to a budget half a billion dollars off the previous forecast.

Sustainable water study

District of 100 Mile House was successful in getting $265,000 from its Gas Tax funding application to do a study on efficient use of water for the district now and into the future.

Garry Laursen, district director of operations, said the study would be about water source, protection and treatment to ensure a good sustainable water supply.

On Feb. 5, 2013, councillors received a staff report, Plan for the Efficient Use of Clean Water, to get things rolling.

Bus schedule reduced to twice daily

Greyhound Canada was approved to cut the minimum three daily buses through 100 Mile House down to two.

It received the official thumbs up from the Passenger Transportation Board to reduce its Prince George-Vancouver route, and 14 others across the province, to help mitigate $14.1 million in 2011/12 fiscal year losses.

Week 9 – Feb. 27

Local slaughter capacity returns

The South Cariboo finally secured a local meat abattoir for provincially-inspected, red-meat slaughter, after several years of intense lobbying to government.

Agriculture Minister Norm Letnick told District of 100 Mile House council on Feb. 22 that a mobile abattoir unit would be permanently installed at a local facility to reinstate a capacity for licensed slaughter of beef, lamb, pork and goat.

RCMP commander’s retirement

100 Mile House RCMP Staff Sgt. Brian Coldwell retired after 33 years on the force.

He led the local detachment for the preceding three years, and for about eight years previously (from 1986-94).

Coldwell said he would not leave the community as he and his wife had moved to the South Cariboo with the intention of remaining after he retired.

PSO gym plans scrapped

School District #27 trustees cancelled plans to enlarge the gymnasium at Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School (PSO).

The school board told concerned teachers, parents and staff the expansion plan exceeded ministry-allotted “design space” for PSO.

100 Mile House Free Press