Members of Williams Lake city council are currently in Vancouver attending the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) Convention.
On Monday, members of Council attended a workshop: “Tools, Resources and Funding for Local Governments,” a session providing an opportunity for city councillors to meet with representatives from agencies that provide tools, resources, funding or other supports that help local governments to undertake planning, projects and development.
On Tuesday, members of council attended workshops on the Rural BC Project. The Rural BC project is a focused strategy to assist all levels of government deal with the complex social and economical recovery for regions affected by the forest industry and other sectors.
Increasing public awareness of the issues rural B.C. communities are facing in a constructive and political non-partisan manner and debate is what is required to meet the challenges faced by rural B.C. communities.
The development of a rural strategy is a compelling case to the future and sustainability of rural B.C.
At the Mid-sized Communities forum, Mayor Cook presented on behalf of Williams Lake during a panel discussion on Economic Transition.
The Williams Lake case reflected on the state of affairs in Williams Lake in 2008, the challenges faced by the community and the great work that was undertaken to overcome the many adversities and challenges that the community had to overcome including crime, job loss and the uncertain future.
The community gained ground on the crime prevention front by increasing the detachment members, new crime prevention initiatives, hard work in creating partnerships. Tourism opportunities with the Cariboo Mountain Bike Consortium and the fact that Williams Lake is a mountain biking mecca. Relationships with First Nations has been a success.
The presentation was well received and copies will be available on the city website.
City council met with Premier Clark and Ministers for Energy, Forests, Justice, Health and Aboriginal Relations. Topics included the capital upgrade to the Cariboo Memorial Hospital, a project that is years in the making and is estimated to be $110 million, the issue of crime reduction and efforts to keep the community safe, the joint Community Forest application, and the New Prosperity mine.
Cariboo-Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett has been attending the Ministry Meetings along with city council to show her support and add to the discussion.