City of WL, CRD to attend convention

All rooms are booked from Lac La Hache to Lone Butte in anticipation of the North Central Local Government Association Convention.

All rooms are booked from Lac La Hache to Lone Butte in anticipation of the North Central Local Government Association Convention taking place in 100 Mile House May 2-4.

A number of resolutions will be put forward at the convention from local governments. Ones from the Cariboo Regional District include government funding to help with fencing on secondary roads for ranchers, and lobbying the government to enlist the aid of ranchers when it comes to fighting noxious weeds.

The City of Williams Lake is proposing to petition the provincial and federal governments to revise their grant formula so that they do not require matching funding, or come up with a new system that allows cash-strapped local governments to address their critical infrastructure needs without having to borrow money to do so.

CRD chair Al Richmond says most of the convention will be held at the South Cariboo Recreation Centre, with the exception of the opening reception on Wednesday (May 2), which will take place at the 108 Heritage Site.

“We want to show people some of the heritage we have here.”

It will be the first time 100 Mile House has hosted this type of convention before, and Richmond says while it will be a good opportunity to show off the community, it will also allow organizers to learn how well the community can handle an event of this size.

“It’s in Quesnel next year, so that’ll be great,” Richmond says.

Included in the NCLGA will be plenary sessions on topics such as healthy families, carbon offsets, mining in Northern BC, and First Nations relationship building.

NCLGA president Art Kaehn says  there will be a  break out session on Friday morning with Don Basserman, from the Omineca Beetle Action Coalition around Northern BC’s farming and food security.

“He puts on a great talk and will also be speaking at 3:45 p.m. about a real community look at tourism. I haven’t heard the talk but I can imagine that it will be on par with his food security talk.”

Basserman has a real passion for both topics, Kaehn says.

Another thing Kaehn is happy about is that the Northern Rockies are rejoining the organization.

“We are looking forward to welcoming them back,” he says.

Co-hosted by the Cariboo Regional District and the District of 100 Mile House, the convention has attracted 230 registrants, plus presenters, companions, and 28 trade show booths.

“It’s a self-funded event with sponsorship that’s very diverse,” says NCLGA president Art Kaehn.  “We’re not taking money out of the community. It’s actually bringing in money from other parts of Northern B.C. from major sponsors like Spectra Energy, which serves a big chunk of Northern B.C,” Kaehn says.

A total of $90,000 is coming in through sponsorship, $52,000 from registration and $5,000 from the trade booths alone.

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