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CRD defers agricultural land commission application, nominates Chief Robbins for reconciliation award

CRD provided highlights from its Jan. 13, 2023 meeting
Esk’etemc First Nation Chief Fred Robbins is being nominated for a B.C. Reconciliation Award by the Cariboo Regional District. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Cariboo Regional District board meeting highlights are as follows:

After considering a non-farm use application which would permit soil removal and deposit to occur at 1330 Highway 20, the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) board deferred the application for 60 days.

At the Friday, Jan. 13 meeting, a submission from the Williams Lake First Nation which raised various concerns about the application was considered.

The board has deferred the application for up to sixty days to allow for additional information to be obtained.

Board supports nomination of Chief Fred Robbins for B.C. Reconciliation Award

The CRD board will be issuing a letter in support of the nomination of Chief Fred Robbins of Esk’etemc for the 2023 B.C. Reconciliation Award.

Director Al Richmond noted during the meeting he would personally be providing a letter of support as well.

The Cariboo-Chilcotin region, within the traditional territories of the Dakelh, Secwempec, and Ts’ilhqotin peoples, is home to a wealth of Indigenous leaders, who have continued to lead by example and advance reconciliation as an approach and way of building communities.

The CRD’s nomination will compliment a separate nomination of Williams Lake First Nation Chief Willie Sellars by the city of Williams Lake, and recognizes the strength of Indigenous leadership that benefits all residents in the Cariboo.

CRD to enter agreement with Canadian Red Cross on disaster risk awareness campaign

The CRD will be accessing over $197,000 in total funding from the Red Cross to support continued efforts to promote disaster readiness and awareness in the CRD.

Over the next year, this funding would be used to support an environmental scan and public awareness campaign to identify knowledge and use of flood and fire mitigation programs, promote awareness about existing programs, and improve information on the CRD’s website.

Since 2017, the Cariboo-Chilcotin region has experienced increased risks to residents and property due to past wildfires, including flooding, slope instability, and bank erosion.

These risks are being compounded by increasing levels of serious drought across the region due to changing climate patterns, which are projected to worsen over the coming decades.

The funding for this campaign is available through a recovery and mitigation program that was founded after the 2017 wildfires, which devastated thousands of residents in the CRD.

Previous initiatives that were made possible by this funding include the 2019 Wood Waste Project and the Community Emergency Liaison Project.

Regional hospital district considers Interior Health Authority capital funding requests

The Interior Health Authority (IHA) has presented the Cariboo-Chilcotin Regional Hospital District Board with its capital funding requests for the 2023/2024 fiscal year. The requests total $1,223,720, and would support investments in healthcare equipment, technology, and facility improvements, including the following projects:

100 Mile General Hospital Chiller Replacement – $438,000

IHA-wide Digital Health Investment Plan – $200,000

South Cariboo Health Centre Patient Care Network Partnership – $200,000

The three above projects are subject to approval by the province before IHA can advertise for contract opportunities to initiate these projects, and are currently included in the regional hospital district budget for 2023.

Osisko Development presents updates on Cariboo Gold Project

Chris Pharness and Hayley Archer of Osisko Development provided the board with an update on the Cariboo Gold Project.

This included a status update on the permitting and approval process, projected economic impacts of the project, and current mine site operations and plans. Osisko communicated that they anticipate completing the Environmental Assessment phase of the project by the second quarter of 2023, and anticipate proceeding to construction in 2024.

The board expressed its appreciation of Osisko’s community support efforts, including significant financial contributions to the Barkerville Heritage Site, a key part of the region’s tourism industry.

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