Special guest speaker on investing in Canada: Long-term infrastructure plan
The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, provided the board with a presentation on the Government of Canada’s infrastructure plan.
Minister Champagne presented a summary of the long-term Investing in Canada Plan, which is based on three key objectives: create long-term economic growth, support a low carbon, green economy, and build inclusive communities.
To do this, the federal government is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in five main infrastructure priorities, which are public transit, green projects, social initiatives, trade and transportation as well as rural and northern communities.
Delegation: Community Energy Association
The board was given a tele-presentation by Janice Keyes, senior manager of the Community Energy Association (CEA) on “Charge North.”
Charge North is working toward the installation of a full network of Direct Current Fast Chargers (DCFCs) to ensure electric vehicles can travel safely and reliably across six regional districts in BC.
CEA requested the board direct staff to provide a letter of support acknowledging the collaborative approach to the development of an electric vehicle network across northern and central BC, including DCFCs, Level 2 charging stations, public education and car dealer outreach.
Staff will work with each area director to get an indication on how many Level 2 charging stations the TNRD would like to consider installing on TNRD lands as part of a project-wide grant application to the CleanBC Community Fund.
Delegation: Western Canada Theatre
The board received a request for sponsorship from James MacDonald, artistic director of the Western Canada Theatre (WCT). WCT is seen as an important asset that impacts economic growth to the Thompson-Nicola Regional District.
Financial support in the amount of $5,000 was requested to help fund a substantial holiday production happening Nov. 28—Dec. 11.
Fire Protection Committee
The board adopted an amendment to Bylaw No. 2599, which will allow both property owners and residents to serve on the Fire Service Advisory Committees.
The previous bylaw noted committee members must be residents of the service area. The amendment will now allow individuals who own property or individuals who reside in the relevant Participating Service Area, to serve on the Committee.
Vavenby Fire Service capital reserve fund expenditure
The Board approved the purchase of a 2011 Rosenbauer Pumper truck for the Vavenby Fire Protection Service. This purchase will meet the Vavenby Volunteer Fire Departments needs for a primary engine for the next seventeen years.
The pumper truck will be purchased from Rocky Mountain Phoenix at a price of $257,602.50, net of GST. The Board also adopted Bylaw No. 2674, 2019 to authorize $246,345 of the purchase to be funded from the existing capital reserve balance.
Water metering implementation
The board was provided with a report on the implementation of water metering on all 11 water utilities owned and operated by the TNRD. The project will take place over the next two years, and public information meetings will be held in each community six-eight weeks in advance of installation.
The TNRD was successful in obtaining federal Gas Tax funding in 2018 in the amount of $3,475,074, which will cover 100 per cent of all eligible project expenses.
The board resolved to lobby the Province of BC to initiate legislative changes that would allow local governments to implement online or electronic voting in the next local government elections.
While four members of the Board of Directors were not in support of this, the motion was carried 22-four.
Federal Gas Tax Expenditures
The board approved expenditures from the Federal Gas Tax—Community Works Fund revenue for the following community works:
A maximum of $28,000 to complete energy efficient electrical upgrades at the Ashcroft Royal Canadian Legion building.
Barriere Fair Grounds
A maximum of $30,000 to fund energy efficiency upgrades at the Barriere Fair Grounds main building.
An additional $51,000 to fund the Savona Community Water System pump upgrades and decommissioning of the old reservoir project.
Cannabis regulation recommended updates
The board directed staff to amend Zoning Bylaw No. 2400 in an effort to provide more clarity to potential applicants, staff, and bylaw enforcement.
The amendments are as follows:
Define cannabis to ensure concordance with the current Cannabis Act;
Revise s. 3.22 to include all cannabis production (medical and recreational);
Maintain the requirement for rezoning for any retail sale of cannabis;
Reduce required parcel area for micro-scale cannabis production in RL-1 from 8 ha to 4 ha;
Reduce the required setback for micro-scale production to 30 m; and
Establish a Retail Licensing Referral Policy to ensure all applications are assessed against a standard set of criteria.
It was expected that some bylaw changes like these would be necessary once federal and provincial regulation was rolled out after the legalization of recreational cannabis on October 17, 2018.