Chair, Al Richmond
Cariboo Regional District
Members of the board, members of the media, ladies and gentlemen.
Today, I have the distinct pleasure of reviewing the Cariboo Regional District’s key accomplishments and successes for 2013. Looking back over the past year, our region can be proud of its achievements. The CRD experienced many successes in 2013.
The year started with three sub-regional budget consultation meetings taking place in 100 Mile House, Quesnel and Williams Lake. During these meetings we presented the proposed 2013 budget to our residents to seek feedback from them, before adopting the budget at the end of March.
In May of 2013, the CRD attended the North Central Local Government Association conference which was held in Quesnel. Delegates and their partners were able to attend some great workshops, business sessions and of course some spectacular entertainment and social events. I would also like to take this opportunity to again thank the many volunteers from the North Cariboo who dedicated their time and efforts to put their best foot forward.
In mid-May, the Cariboo Regional District participated in a precedent-setting event which saw First Nations, local governments, School District 27 and 28 along and non-first nations communities from across the region unite to remember, recover and reconcile.
From May 16-19, public events, workshops and seminars were held as part of the Commemoration Project. National First Nations Assembly Chief Shawn Atleo and the Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Federal Truth and Reconciliation Commission facilitated and participated in the sessions and spoke about reconciliation in Canada. On May 16 & 17, 2013, monuments at the St Joseph’s Mission Residential School site and in Williams Lake’s Boitanio Park were unveiled. These events were planned through an inclusive planning committee comprised of former students, First Nations tribal councils, local government, School District 27, the RCMP and the Sxoxomic First Nations School. During a news conference to announce the monuments, the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) learned of a former student who had her own orange shirt taken from her by the school, only to see another child wearing it days later. The Cariboo Regional District has now declared September 30 annually as Orange Shirt Day. The municipalities within the region, along with School District 27 have also made this same declaration to aide in the healing and reconciliation process and to create a better future for generations to come.
In June, the CRD board of directors and staff travelled to Lac La Hache for the first of two, board on the road events for 2013. The traditional board on the road barbecue was put on in support of the Lac La Hache parent advisory council to raise funds for the elementary school trip to Drumheller, Alberta.
On Sept. 12 and 13, we were on the road again with our second of two board on the road meetings for 2013 – this time Wildwood in Electoral Area D was our destination. The event began early in the day with a Community to Community Forum with the Xatśūll (Soda Creek First Nation) held at the Emporium. The session was followed by a tour of the Xatśūll Heritage Village. The board on the road event continued with the traditional barbecue which was put on by members of the CRD’s Wildwood Volunteer Fire Department. The following day, the board reconvened in the Wildwood Fire Hall for its regularly scheduled board meeting.
From Sept. 16 to 20, the Cariboo Regional District directors attended the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities convention and annual meeting in Vancouver. Throughout the convention the CRD met with three provincial ministers and Network BC staff which is a part of the Ministry of Technology, Innovation and Citizens’ Services, spoke to CRD resolutions and received some prestigious awards.
During the resolutions sessions, the CRD learned it had earned the Honourable Mention Gold Star Award for its “Noxious Weeds and Range Lands” resolution. The resolution requested the Government of B.C. do everything possible to assist the ranching community in controlling noxious weeds including provincial requirements, assisting with costs associated with obtaining a pesticide applicator’s certificate and more.
Throughout the week, CRD board members and staff met with three provincial ministers including Minister of Health, the Honourable Terry Lake; the Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, the Honourable Todd Stone; and the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and the Minister Responsible for Labour, the Honourable Shirley Bond to discuss regional issues.
During the UBCM Community Excellence Awards breakfast reception, the CRD, Esk’etemc, the cities of Quesnel and Williams Lake and the district’s of 100 Mile House and Wells were presented with the UBCM Excellence Award in Partnerships for their submission The St. Joseph’s Mission Residential School Commemorative Project.
The same morning, CRD representatives attended a breakfast meeting with Geoscience BC to receive an update on the work they are doing throughout the province and more specifically within the Cariboo Chilcotin.
During the annual UBCM banquet CRD Director and Vice-Chair Ted Armstrong was presented with a Special Long Service Award for his 35 years of public office. Director Armstrong was first elected to the CRD board in 1978 as the Electoral Area A director after serving as an alternate director in 1977.
The guests at the banquet also witnessed CRD Director and Quesnel Mayor Mary Sjostrom presented with a lifetime membership to UBCM for her service to the organization.
In 2013, the CRD successfully applied to a number of different provincial and federal funding programs such as the Building Canada Fund, the Towns for Tomorrow program, Northern Development Initiative Trust, the Community Tourism Opportunities program and UBCM’s Fuel Mitigation Fund for a total of approximately $1 million. The CRD also received approximately $1.7 million from the Community Works Fund which focuses on green initiatives and energy efficiency projects.
So often we forget how far we have come, and the challenges and issues we have overcome, or resolved along the way.
Part of the reason for this report is to remind you of our accomplishments, and to compliment you on your successes.
Creating new partnerships, enhancing services, undertaking capital projects, informing the public and responding to residents’ needs is what building this region is all about.
Our organization will continue to respond to community and residents’ needs thereby achieving our goal of:
I would like to thank all the board members and staff for your dedication and perseverance throughout 2013. Thank you.