Official Council notes are available at Town Hall and on the District website.
Councillors Colledge, Kirby, Way and Steele were in attendance.
Absent: Mayor Iles, Councillors McPherson and Younge
1. The meeting was called to order at 1PM.
2. Minutes Approved February 15, 2005
3. Business Arising From the Minutes: None
4. Review of Agenda
5. 40 Developmental Assets Program presentation by Ben Kostamo.
The purpose of TRYSS is to provide the youth of Tumbler Ridge with a safe and healthy environment to make constructive use of their time and build meaningful friendships, while at the same time having fun. Currently TRYSS finances are generated through the goodwill of people in this community, fundraisers and the concession. Special events and groups that are brought in are also paid for by the society. The attendance at the Teen Centre sits between 8 and 30 teens a night, for special events these numbers can be as high as 60 teens. Families, schools, neighborhoods, congregations, and all organizations, institutions and individuals in a community can play a role in building assets for youth. Last year this program was incorporated into some school programs and the teen centre. Kostamo would like to take this program into the school again if there was an opening. He would also like to request a liaison from Council and financial support for special events. Councillor Colledge said that she is really impressed with this program. Kostamo said that in order for this to be successful, it needs to be consistent and a long term plan needs to be set up. Repetition and promotion are instrumental. Cpl Peats came forward and explained the RCMP?s Crime Prevention program which also works with the 40 Assets. Cpl Peats will work with Ben on this. Councillor Kirby asked what kind of special events does the teen centre bring in? Kostamo replied that they have brought in different groups such as the Street Invaders who spent several days putting on activities for the teens last summer. This was highly successful. Peter Thomas said that he is very impressed by the teen centre and those running it. There have been minimal incidents that have arisen and the teen centre staff always addresses these incidents immediately. The teen centre is a great tenant to have and they work well with other organizations who ask to use the space. Councillor Colledge asked that she be considered as the liaison.
6. Bill Edwards from Bar 77 Horse Logging
Spoke about salvage timber with in the Tumbler Ridge townsite, and susceptible over-mature trees in the area. Edwards pointed out that as a new resident of Tumbler Ridge he has a concern about this towns future. With the recent Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic from Tweedsmuir Park and the Barrier fire catastrophe, Edwards feels it?s important that he shares his experience to safeguard Tumbler Ridge. With his ten years of sanitation (clearing out select trees) and selectively logging Mountain Pine Beetle infected forests and fire hazard tree. Edwards shared that the over mature forests we have surrounding Tumbler Ridge are a target for the Mountain Pine Beetle, and that the beetle will attack the highest ridges first. Edwards presented information on the pine beetle and explained why it is imperative that the forests surrounding Tumbler Ridge be sanitized. There would be no cost to the community for this as all money will come from the sale of the timber to the mill. Councillor Kirby said that we would have to apply for a salvage license. Councillor Steele responded that Council shares this concern. Council and staff will do some research and then have a meeting with Edwards at a later date. MP Jay Hill asked if it matters what time of the year the harvesting would take place. Edwards replied that it takes three days of 42 + weather and the beetles will be flying. The only difference in harvesting is that in the winter the beetle isn?t flying.
7.MP Jay Hill
Attended this Committee of the Whole meeting to touch base with the community and find out if there is anything he can do on behalf of the town. Councillor Kirby asked Jay Hill if he could talk to Minister Emerson about the Pine Beetle. Council has sent a letter to Emerson in support of a request by the city of Quesnel, asking Emerson to come see the destruction for himself. Hill responded that he will talk to Emerson next week when he returns to Ottawa. Hill feels the national government has largely ignored this problem. EDO Proulx talked to Hill about the current status of the CMHC red flag on Tumbler Ridge. The Vice President of CMHC has requested to speak with Mayor Iles regarding this. Hill responded that this issue if very frustrating as he sees this as discriminatory. Tumbler Ridge is doing the right thing by applying pressure on CMHC. It angers him that the discrimination is against a community who needs help the most. Councillor Steel asked Hill?s opinion on the 1.3 billion + dollars that the Americans have held back in the soft wood lumber issue. Hill responded that rather than getting into a full blown trade war with the US, there are other ways to exert Canada?s sovereignty. Respect needs to be apart of the relationship. Canada has not always acted as a good neighbour to the States. Councillor Kirby asked about the money that Canada pledge for the Tsunami relief effort and has it been paid. Hill replied that he is unsure of whether a cheque has been written yet. Councillor Colledge asked how Hill?s new position of House Leader is going? Hill responded that it is very interesting and a great challenge. He has to spend more time in Ottawa and looks forward to these breaks so that he can get back to the constituents. He is excited about the future of this country, province and Tumbler Ridge. Tumbler Ridge needs to continue working to diversify.
8. Shovel Bucket location:
Has not been determined but will be discussed at the next COW meeting on March 15th.