Last week, I represented Williams Lake at the BC Business Summit, featuring leaders from the province’s business community. I was part of a panel with Minister of Environment Mary Polak, Mining Association of BC CEO Karina Brino, and Pacific Oil and Gas President Ratnesh Bedi discussing the opportunities and challenges for future natural resource development in the province.
The Summit had more than 600 attendees from across the province, the country, and the world, and was attended by the premier and provincial and federal cabinet ministers. This was an unprecedented opportunity to build a stronger economy for B.C. The major themes of the summit parallel the Williams Lake example of community collaboration and First Nations relations. We need resource development and it’s a not matter of if but how. We need to innovate and to move away from polarized positions. The importance of social license was stressed throughout the conference. Times have changed.
Sgt. Ken Brissard and safer community co-ordinator Dave Dickson presented the RCMP’s third quarter statistics to Council Tuesday night, and they are encouraging. Property crime is less than half of what it was in 2008, down an average of 30 per cent from last year, and very near the 10-year low we saw in 2011. False alarms, which use up valuable RCMP and fire department resources, are also down dramatically, 29 per cent from last year, and 49 per cent from 2008. As always, there is still work to do, as domestic violence rates are increasing slightly.
We are always looking at ways of improving service and efficiency. The City is proposing to restrict on-street parking on the day before your garbage and recycling collection, to help City crews make their snow removal operations quicker and more thorough. I encourage everyone to attend the forum on the proposal on Nov. 28, 6 p.m. at City Hall. Please come and share your thoughts! You can also e-mail your comments to email@example.com.
Kerry Cook is the mayor of Williams Lake.