Monica Lamb-Yorski photo Craig Smith, Williams Lake city councillor (left), WLIB Chief Willie Sellars and Gerald Kirby, Cariboo Regional District Area J West Chilcotin were among 20 representatives from three local governments who met for a community to community forum on Wednesday, March 13 at the Longhouse.

WLIB, CRD and City attend community to community forum

The meeting was a follow-up to a protocol agreement signed in 2016 initiated by former WLIB Chief Ann Louie

Representatives from Williams Lake Indian Band, City of Williams Lake and Cariboo Regional District who attended a community to community meeting are keen for more of the same.

It was the first of its kind since the three governments signed a protocol agreement in 2016, said WLIB Chief Willie Sellars.

Read more: Local governments sign protocol agreement in Williams Lake

“We have not had a follow up meeting since then, just because of all the things that have been going on in the region, such as wildfires, floods and busy schedules, changes in government and changes in leadership.”

Crediting former WLIB Chief Ann Louie for championing the idea, Sellars said WLIB thought it was a great initiative.

“We loved the idea of it, being able to talk with other local governments, and building those relationships. We reached out and wanted to implement what had been envisioned in the protocol agreement back in 2016.”

John Massier, CRD vice-chair, said it was a good four-and-a-half-hour meeting.

“It was a great opportunity to sit down and have a good talk with the WLIB and the City of Williams Lake,” Massier said. “We all share in many of the same initiatives in the same area, but we don’t often enough get together and compare notes and make sure we are all rowing in the same direction when it comes to supporting our region.”

Massier said he looked forward to the next meeting and hopes everyone can keep the momentum going.

Williams Lake city councillor Craig Smith said the meeting was “great.”

“Anytime you do a community to community forum it’s about relationships,” Smith said.

“Some of us have already had relationships through other things, other than the political arena, but I found in the last four years during my first term there are a lot of things that the three organizations are doing separately. Why are we spending that money separately when we could combine and do things as a region and as a whole?”

During the closing remarks, Smith referred to a “30,000-foot approach,” which he said meant the group was looking at topics from a general overview and not getting into specifics.

“The specifics are what the implementation committee is supposed to come up with and then it comes back to one of these community to community forum meetings,” he said, noting the implementation committee was outlined in the protocol agreement.

“The committee has two members, plus an alternate, from all three organizations and it meets on a quarterly basis and brings up topics that are mutual for all three organizations.”

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