Meeting of Council: January 18, 2016

Trent Ernst, Editor


Present: Mayor McPherson, Councillor Krakowka, Scott, Kirby, Mackay



Rose Snyder came to discuss the TR Cares, Fee for Service contract for 2015 and 2016. Later in the meeting, Council will be voting on whether to provide Fee For Service funding for the organization, and have invited her to address some of the concerns raised, including the fact that they were not paid third and fourth quarter funding as they were unable to provide the quarterly financial reporting. As the December 31 deadline has passed, special approval of council is needed to process these payments.

As well, the group has over $91,000 on hand, they do not meet the criteria of “evidence of financial need for funding,” as required by the Fee for Service bylaw.

Snyder says she was late getting the information to him as she was unexpectedly out of town for six weeks. Included in the financials she has provided is funding that was provided to other groups as they were managing those programs. She says TR Cares is not just one program but a group of nine programs.

Also a portion of the money in the account has been set aside to save up for a new vehicle, as they are obligated by contract to have a new vehicle every four years.

In the past, says Snyder, TR Cares would apply for a Grant in Aid in October, and would get the cheque from the District in July. As a result, they have to budget to have enough money for nearly a year in advance. While this has changed under the new Fee For Service, that wasn’t in place until last year, and so the money in the account is budgeted for this year. She says the third and fourth quarter payments for 2015 will impact the TR Days society next fall.

Councillor Krakowka asks how many vehicles they have. One full time and one that she herself owns that is used for TR Cares when needed. Sometimes they have four vehicles on the go, as other volunteers will use their personal vehicles, too.

They are entering into their fourth three year contract with Northern Health, which allows 40 trips to DC, six to FSJ, and six to PG. “We had 40 trips last year by July,” she says. There is a growing demand for trips to Fort St. John with the hospital there, too, and while the society does far more than what is in their contract with Northern Health, it is a volunteer organization, and unfortunately can’t meet everyone’s needs.

TR Cares contract with Northern Health is to provide occasional trips for residents who are unable to get to their medical appointments. These are on a first come, first served basis. If someone calls and say they need to go to Grande Prairie next Friday, and then four people call all needing to go to Fort St. John the same day, they will do the first trip to Grande Prairie, as it has already been booked.

They also can’t provide trips on a weekly basis for people who need to go in for reoccurring treatments, like chemotherapy or blood transfusions.

Councillor Mackay asks if there are any issues around privacy that the Fee For Service policy runs afoul of. No, says Snyder.

Mackay says the Councillor’s recently got a letter complaining about the service for trips to Fort St. John for dialysis. Snyder says with only six contracted trips to Fort St. John, they can’t run someone who might need to go once a week to Fort St. John.

CAO Jordan Wall says the reason Snyder was invited is because Council will be discussing funding later in the agenda. Now would be the time to ask any questions around that.

Mayor asks if there is an option for those people. Rose says no. “That’s why we started in the first place. We have never been included on the Northern Health Bus Route. We became a test pilot project for a one-off service. They see no reason for us to stop. Some other places have tried this service, but, as far as I know, Tumbler Ridge is the only one left. It’s because of the good volunteers we have,” she says. Even Dawson Creek patients have been having issues getting to Fort St. John for dialysis.

Unlike the Northern Health Bus, which runs on a schedule, the TR Cares van doesn’t leave you there. “The needs are increasing in our community, and we can only do what we can do.”

Councillor Scott asks about reaching out to Northern Health to do a survey to find needs of the communities in the north.

Snyder says they recently met with Northern Health, and they’ve been doing some services. She doesn’t know the particulars of what’s being offered in other communities, but she can provide contacts, as it is on the level of Council that type of discussion has to happen.

Councillor Krakowka asks what Council can do to help sponsor more trips, especially to Fort St John? Snyder says Fort St. John is becoming the centre for health care.

Mayor asks if extra funding will help that. Snyder says that’s something they would have to talk about. With more funds, the opportunities to do more comes into play. But they can’t change the way they operate, as that would change the contract with Northern Health, and their costs.

Mayor says he’d like to see this come to the next P&P to discuss how to improve health services  in town.


The Geopark is seeking Council resolution indicating support for the TR Global Geopark’s application for the NDIT Marketing Initiatives grant. Geopark Board President, Sue Kenny says she came not just to ask for the resolution, but to thank the District for the space. “We will work with you and the Chamber of Commerce to help you and assist you with how this will work.”

Geopark Manager, Sarah Waters says they’ve been looking at potential grants. Our biggest initiative is to get the word out, she says. There are funds for marketing through NDIT for Non-profit organizations to develop marketing. Max $20,000 for up to a third. She has contacted NDIT, and they’ve recommended they apply for the full grant. But in order to move forward, she says, they need a resolution of support to pursue the grant. CAO Wall says the procedure moving forward is to not vote while they are in front of council. If they were asking for money, it would be referred back to staff, but with just a motion for support, it can be made in Councillor’s business.

Mayor asks if they will do it themselves, or work through the grant writer. Waters says a bit of both, they are working with Chamber Manager, Jerrilyn Schembri.

Councillor Mackay says having the Geopark in the Visitor Centre is a natural fit.



SPARK is hosting a Women’s Leadership Conference in Fort St. John on May 18 & 19, 2016. They are requesting that Council consider being a conference partner.


Correspondence received from Neil Meck on January 12, 2016 requesting that Council provide an outdoor rink in Tumbler Ridge, including associated maintenance services. Councillor Mackay says he called Mr Meck and asked him if he knew about the space at the golf course. He does, but he wants to see something outside with some boards. Councillor Kirby says we’ve supplied the rink out at the golf course. Most places that have these rinks are maintained by the community. Councillor Krakowka moves to have staff look at non-used ice time at the arena to open it up for drop-in hockey. Councillor Kirby asks why we are wasting staff time on this. They want outdoor time, is what he gets out of this. Councillor Mackay says his conversation supported that.

Mayor says there’s a lot more to it than just throwing up the board. “Until the rec centre is used to the max, I can’t support building another rink.”

Councillor Scott suggests moving this to a P&P meeting so they can discuss it further. Councillor Kirby against. Passes.


The NEBC Resource Municipalities Coalition has invited the District of Tumbler Ridge to join the Coalition. Mayor McPherson says District was involved with this when he got elected, but they pulled out around the Fair Share Agreement. He thinks it’s a good idea, but he’s not in favour of rejoining it as it stands, as he doesn’t like the high-paid consultant at every meeting. Bringing someone in for issues like fair share, he says, is fine, but not all the time.

Councillor Scott asks who are members. Mayor says Taylor and Fort St John and Northern Rockies. South Peace pulled out and haven’t rejoined. He went to the last meeting and agrees that a single voice is good thing. What he wants to recommend is to go back to a Mayor’s coalition. He moves tabling this item back in late February, after that discussion has happened. Passes.



Council appoints Jordan Wall as Chief Administrative Officer for the District of Tumbler Ridge.


Council adopts the District of Tumbler Ridge Asset Management Policy.


Report dated January 18, 2016 from the Finance Manager informing Council on the District’s investment progress for the periods ending November 30, 2015 and December 31, 2015.


Report dated January 18, 2016 from the Finance Manager regarding revenue and expenses for the Monkman RV Park for the period from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2015. Mayor says usage has gone way down because of no industry. He doesn’t believe that having a contractor out there costs more than it brought in. He says maybe not doing it next year. Councillor Kirby says having an attendant is a good thing. “We need to start promoting the campground.” Councillor Scott asks if this is a discussion better suited for a P&P meeting. Councillor Krakowka suggests shifting it to an operational agreement. Councillor Mackay says it is a good idea to discuss this further. Mayor says he liked what happened last year. “Only thing I don’t like is this sheet right here.” Motion passes


Report dated January 18, 2016 from the Finance Manager to discuss the Fee For Service (FFS) funding for TR Cares for the 3rd and 4th quarter of 2015 as well as the 1st quarter of 2016.

Council approved the third and fourth quarter 2015 Fee For Service payments, as well as the $7,650 to be paid to TR Cares, Shelter Services for the first quarter of 2016.


Council supports the Tumbler Ridge Days Society’s grant application for the Northern Development Initiative Trust “Fabulous Festivals and Events” grant of up to $2,500 for the 2016 Grizfest Music Festival.

Councillor’s Business

Councillor Kirby attended the town hall meeting. She thinks a lot of good discussions happened. She was asked after the fact about animal control bylaw. She says there are warnings and a fine for people who don’t clean up after their animals. She mentions some of the District web sites are out of date. Branding session went well. She makes resolution that District of Tumbler Ridge supports the Geopark’s application. Passes.

Councillor Mackay attended the open house. He says there was a question around business licenses. Wondering if that has been addressed? He moves that the issue be brought to a P&P meeting for discussion. Councillor Kirby says that it is in the works, and a report will be coming. Motion defeated.

He attended a meeting regarding the uplift of the Community Forest. Without getting into the details, he left the meeting feeling cautiously optimistic.

After the open house he had a chance to talk to Marg Wheeler about the Quintette reunion. They are expecting 900 people. She says they are willing to work with Council on something for Clay Isles.

Councillor Scott attended hiring meeting for CAO. Chair on Building Healthy Community Committee. Had a meeting. Completed and submitted the Government survey. Says there are grants available. They discussed Family Day. Committee feels the Community Centre should be open for that, but there is no time for that to happen this year, but it should be considered for next year. Next meeting is March 8. She attended the town hall meeting. Wonders where they’ll put everyone if more people show up next time, as it was packed. She attended the Grizfest Meeting. They are losing volunteers, and could use some more. Right now, they are working on selecting artists. NCLGA meeting planning is still underway. There will be a tour coming to Tumbler Ridge and they will need to figure out what’s happening with that. Moves to discuss that at next P&P meeting.

Councillor Krakowka attended the open house. Says it was well run. Welcomes Jordan on board. Attended senior’s meeting. Last October talked about AED being installed there. Wondering if there was any update on that. Councillor Mackay says he seems to recall there was a motion to purchase one. Councillor Krakowka moves that staff will look into what happened to that motion.

Mayor McPherson spoke to Marg Wheeler; the Clay Isles event will be put on the Quintette reunion schedule. Open house went well he thinks. Well attended. Good discussion. Attended branding session. Attended Community Forest Meeting. Thinks it went really well. Talked about wind farms at PRRD, and the Standing Offer program. Regional District doesn’t have any rules around Wind Farms. Was on CBC this morning to talk about Agricultural Land Reserve requests for Wind Farms. A lot of people have been complaining about that. Regional District is for Wind Farms, but there is a proper place, so Regional District will be coming up with a bylaw around Wind Farms.