Regular Meeting of Council: August 5, 2015

Trent Ernst, Editor


Present: Mayor McPherson, Councillors Howe, Scott, Kirby, Caisley, Mackay



Donny van Dyk, North Gateway Pipeline, to provide Council with an update on the Northern Gateway Project. He has come with answer to four questions council had last time he was here, along with Ray Doering. We wrote about this last issue.

HD Mining

Blair Lekstrom appears before Council to give an update on two aspects of the Murray River project. See update on page 9.

Mayor McPherson asks when training might start. Lekstrom says there is work being done on curriculum. He says the Chinese curriculum has been translated. It is underway. Once bulk sample is completed and determination is made to go ahead, training will go ahead then. “One thing we won’t do is train people if there’s no job waiting at the end.”

First quarter of 2017 is most likely when construction would begin.

Councillor Caisley says he has difficulty following work that is not being done in regard to the housing project. Is it possible to get an overall plan in regards to schedules around time-frame, target dates, what will and won’t be done, that sort of thing. “When we’re being approached by residents, our answer is ‘we don’t know,’” he says. “I think that’s a piece that we’re missing.”

Lekstrom says Council signed the contract last meeting. “Our commitment is to do exactly what we agreed to.” He says there is a plan under development. Things that are being worked on include trees, greenery, inner courtyard. The company will need to meet with the District around bylaw requirements. “I’m coming to this after the fact,” he says. “I have to believe that something came before the District and it was approved. The engineers are finalizing things right now. I expect it will take a couple weeks, but there’s no way this is not going to get done, and there’s no way this won’t look nice when it is done. Main issue will be roads, re-digging of phase two services. These things should be ready in thirty days.”

Councillor Howe asks about Coal Prep plant; he has heard a rumour there is a plan to ship raw coal.

Lekstrom says no, that’s the first he’s heard of it. Plan is still to build coal prep plant.

Howe asks about size of coal prep plant.

Lekstrom says the plan is to get up to 6 million tonnes; he expects it will be in the same scale as Quintette.

Howe says a lot of the issues that he hears about is around cleaning up District land. “If you have to knock my fence to put your shed in, I expect you to put my fence back up once you’re done. That area on the west side of Monkman is one of the first things you see when you come into town. I’d love to see it get fixed up.”

Lekstrom says he’s good with that.

Councillor Mackay asks If it costs $2.4 million to get the housing finished, what happens then? [There is $2.3 million in an account to do the work.]

Lekstrom says then it’s into the courts: “that’s a part of the agreement we’ve made.”



John Massier, Chair of the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District Board, requests Council’s support in providing 20 more physiotherapy academic seats in BC. Council agrees to send a letter.


Council received correspondence from South Peace Community Resource Society, thanking the District of Tumbler Ridge for their donation.


Roxanne Gulick wrote to Council on behalf of the Tumbler Ridge Chamber of Commerce, requesting for a fee waiver for the remainder of 2015 for a pilot project that the Tumbler Ridge Chamber of Commerce is trying to start. Councillor Kirby says she’s a bit frustrated that the letter was written on June 18 but is only being talked about now. The discussion was to have it ready for Grizfest and Emperor’s Challenge. But we’ve missed almost all the summer. I don’t know that there’s even time to implement this, but we can get this ready for next year. Maybe discuss it at a P&P and have everything ready for next year. Mayor McPherson says his concern is that the District is right out of this. “I read it as they can go anywhere and do anything, and I don’t agree with that.”

Councillor Howe says he agrees. “We hope that businesses come in with good intentions, but I know that hasn’t always happened.”

Kirby says the idea was not to take control from the District, but to have the freedom to figure out how this might work, and come up with the rules and guidelines then.

Will be discussed at next P&P.


Kerrie Taylor, Tumbler Ridge Minor Hockey President, wrote to Council requesting arena ice ready for Minor Hockey start date of September 8, 2015. This might be difficult, as the new lighting for the arena won’t be in until August 21, and will probably take three weeks or so to install. It takes another week or so to put the ice in. The earliest it might be ready until late September. Councillor Mackay says this late date means the kids are at a disadvantage. The other issue is that we need to wait for the refrigeration company to install ice.

Councillor Caisley says he thought the agreement was to start putting ice in early. “It’s something that should be done automatically every year.”

Councillor Howe says what needs to be known is the lights don’t push things back even farther.

Ken Klikach says the issue is the shipping date, which he has no control over. The lights can be put in once the ice is in, but not when the ice is going in.

Councillor Mackay moves that Tumbler Ridge try and get a refrigeration company in early this year. Passes.



Council approved the expenditure of $11,849 for the price difference for a new audio visual system for Council Chambers. They awarded the project to O-Netrix Solutions Inc, the only company to bid on the project. Ken Klikach says the cost increase is because of the weak Canadian dollar.

Councillor Howe says he is worried that the money for this motion is being taken out of the Councillor Initiatives budget. “It wasn’t designed as a slush fund for shortfalls,” he says. He understands that costs change, but he wants to see the money come from other place.

Aleen Torraville says in the past funds came from capital projects that came in under budget.  So far, there aren’t any funds available for this sort of thing.

The mayor agrees. He wants to see it done, but doesn’t want to see it coming from Councillor Initiatives. He asks if there is any other pot of money this could come from.

“My fear is the precedent it sets,” says Howe.

Councillor Kirby says she thought this was just new microphones. Howe says it’s for recording, too. Motion passes with changes as recommended.


Council approves an increase in budget in the amount of $26,143 for the supply and relocation of the Audio and Security CCTV system as quoted by O-Netrix. As with the previous motion, a line recommending it be funded from Council Initiatives is struck.


Council adopts the Tourism Action Committee as an official advisory group to Council, and the Terms of Reference for the Tourism Action Committee. Council appointed the following people to the Tourism Action Committee: Jordan Wall, Debbie Peever, Charles Helm, Carmen Drapeau, Roxanne Gulick, Ashley Pindera, Jim Kincaid, Melinda Snider, Cate Curle, Bernd Bohl, and Chris Leggett.

Wall says this ties into signage. There’s not one group, he says, that hasn’t come forward and asked if they could just change or improve one sign. He says this group will help inform the process.

All the tourism groups, says Wall, operate on their own. “There’s no package deals. I can’t go out and make deals with one hotel to create a package, but this group can.”

Finally, he says, this group incorporates a good chunk of the community leadership in Tourism, from the Geopark to the ATV club to mountain biking.


Signage around town has deteriorated (or not existed), making it difficult for tourists to find their way around. Apparently, staff at the Visitor Centre are telling people to watch for “a really faded white-looking sign.” Chamber Manager Carmen Drapeau got so frustrated that she went out and repainted the Kinuseo Falls turn off sign by hand.

A year ago, the Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society applied for a grant to replace 40 highway signs that are damaged, faded or missing. The District agreed to mount these new signs on the old posts.

However, it turns out the posts will have to be replaced, too. This goes far beyond what Public Works is able to do in a reasonable time, so Wall is proposing that the District contract out this work, at a cost of no more than $35,000, to do this work.

This is, admits Wall, the sole responsibility of the Provincial Government. However, there is no money in the Provincial Budget to carry out these replacements, and it needs to be done to help people who aren’t local find their way around the region. “If we don’t do it, it probably won’t get done.”

However, says Wall, “due to this being a Provincial responsibility, administration is of the opinion we cannot provide these funds out of our operational budget.”

Councillor Scott says she doesn’t understand why it falls on us. Wall says he’s going to give an unsatisfactory answer. He could dig into this, but, it would probably take a year to even get an answer.

Councillor Howe says there’s a bunch of signs on the list that aren’t for Tumbler Ridge: Halfway River Train, Steam Vents Trail, etc. He is also worried that this is a slippery slope to go down; if we start paying for this, how much more will the government download onto us?

Mayor suggests we look for a local contractor to put up our own signs, and possibly find grants around this, too.

Councillor Kirby says the signs are made. One of the big things mentioned in sustainability plan was to improve signage. She doesn’t like footing the bill on this, but it needs to be done.

Council moves to put this out for RFP. Councillor Howe opposes.


Presentation from Jordan Wall, Economic Development Officer, to update Council on Provincial Meeting Preparation.

When we went down the first time, says Wall, we laid out our general plan. Took a siloed approach. Asked Minister for Asia Pacific to help market coal oversees. Went to Minister of Education to talk mine training, as well as to make sure the local college could offer courses. Forestry, regarding community forest; that’s ongoing. JTST also on-going. Energy, asked for more wind projects. That didn’t go through.

New asks are to ask that the PRPRC be the provincial repository for fossils, as well as an increase to the size of the Community  Forest. The  first is something they should be doing already, the second is just re-drawing lines on a map.

Wall says there’s a chance to ask for something bigger than just redrawing lines on a map. He says there are no guarantees, but if we hit certain parameters, we have a better chance of it happening. First, it needs to be one time. Second, it falls in JTST. Third, it needs to be something the province can put their name on. Fourth, it needs to have documentation, and finally it needs to fall within current plans and accomplishes a strategic goal.

Now, he says, we need to move forward with this.

The thing that meets all these requirements, he says, is the zip line and bungee jump, or more specifically, the suspension bridge part of the project. He proposes asking for half the project costs. “The more checks we have on this list, the better the chance it gets approved,” says Wall.

Councillor Scott says she still doesn’t think the District should be doing something like this, and she would prefer to see the road to Kinuseo falls fixed.

Councillor Caisley says zip line has wow factor. “People will say ‘You’ve gotta go to Tumbler Ridge.’ Let’s not talk ourselves out of these things.”

Howe is worried it will impact the community forest.  Wall says if this were to go forward he would bring this to the groups. Wall feels that many of the groups would support it.

Mayor says Taylor has a three million dollar boat launch. “What we are talking about is a drop in the bucket.”

Councillor Mackay says we need to strike while the iron is hot.

Discussion moved to P&P meeting. Wall asks Council to forward alternate ideas that fit the criteria.


Doug Beale, Operations Manager wants Council to consider and approve changes to the traffic control located at the Monkman Way, Spieker Avenue and Golf Course Road intersection which includes a Three Way Stop and Pedestrian Crossing.

He says the original design of Monkman Way was to continue through to Mackenzie Avenue. If this had come to pass, there would have been a stop sign on Spieker.

This, of course, never happened, and right now, there is concern from the RCMP that this is a dangerous intersection, especially for pedestrians. Engineers have recommended that it be a three way stop, which would allow for safe travel from all directions.

Currently, there is a yield sign from Spieker onto Monkman, but the RCMP is still worried about safety for pedestrians. After discussion, says Beale, the recommended course of action is to make the intersection a three way stop, and add in a cross walk for pedestrians.

Beale says he’s often wondered about the setup of the intersection but it’s never really been at top of mind.

Mayor McPherson says he has never had a problem there. Councillor Howe says he doesn’t understand this. “The only time the golf course is busy is during golf season.” Mayor McPherson and Councillor Scott agree.

Beale says Monkman is a major arterial road. Golf course road is not. Howe says he thinks it is fine

Mackay says if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

Council does not approve the recommended changes of a Three Way Stop to the traffic signage and control at the Monkman, Spieker and Golf Course Intersection with the addition of properly marked pedestrian crossings.


Council approved the request by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 286 for the expenditure of $7,500 for the construction of the Veterans’ Park, the funding coming from Council Initiatives.


Two temporary commercial use permits were issued a few years back; one for a home-based pizza delivery at 132 Murray Drive and one for a dental clinic located at 87 Wolverine Avenue.

Currently, the Zoning Bylaw does not allow for these businesses to operate in a residential area without a Temporary Commercial Use Permit.

Both these permits were issued in March 2013, and have both since expired.

According to Ed Kennedy, there is no feasible way to bring the business up town and be economically viable. He is requesting a 12 month extension to his permit. “Hopefully the economy will show some positive insights and it would be feasible to start the business up town once again in 2016.”

Council approved an extension of 12 months to Temporary Commercial Use Permit issued to Martha and Ed Kennedy for the use as a home-based pizza delivery at 132 Murray Drive from the date of approval.

They also approved the extension for the dental clinic at 87 Wolverine.


Council voted to support the application from the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation to the Department of Canadian Heritage Cultural Spaces Program for a grant of up to $250,000 to support the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation.


To facilitate the smooth operation of the District’s various chequing, savings and investment accounts and to facilitate timely bill management of the District’s financial obligations, Council approved that any two of Barry Elliott, Chief Administrative Officer, and/or Chris Leggett, Finance Manager and/or Aleen Torraville, Administrative Services Manager be authorized to make transfers between all financial institution accounts owned by the District of Tumbler Ridge as needed, regardless of dollar value.


Council approved opening a bank account with North Peace Savings and Credit Union (NPSCU) at their last meeting. Today, they authorized Mayor McPherson or Councillor Howe or Councillor Krakowka or Councillor Kirby or Councillor Scott or Councillor Caisley or Councillor Mackay and one of Barry Elliott, Chief Administrative Officer, or Chris Leggett, Finance Manager, or Aleen Torraville, Administrative Services Manager, or Doug Beale, Operations Manager, or Jordan Wall, Economic Development Officer, or Matt Treit, Fire Chief/Bylaw Enforcement Officer as signing authorities for the District Bank Accounts, Promissory Notes or other banking instruments, held with North Peace Savings and Credit Union; and that any two of Barry Elliott, Chief Administrative Officer, or Chris Leggett, Finance Manager, or Aleen Torraville, Administrative Services Manager, or Doug Beale, Operations Manager, or Jordan Wall, Economic Development Officer, or Matt Treit, Fire Chief/Bylaw Enforcement Officer, be authorized to sign banking instruments valued at $3,000.00 or less.

They also granted access to the District’s banking information and accounts held with North Peace Savings and Credit Union by way of online banking access to Barry Elliott, Chief Administrative Officer, Chris Leggett, Finance Manager, and Dianna Gies, Accounting Coordinator.


Councillor Scott spent much of her last few weeks helping organize Grizfest. Signage was an issue again. Parking also an issue. There were 1128 tickets sold, she says. She’s also working on healthy communities committee.

Councillor Mackay was on the Grizfest float. He says now is the time to take a good look at the land that the District wants to reclaim for when town is on the upswing again.

Councillor Caisley was also on the Grizfest float. “We had 3.5 tonnes of candy, it was almost all gone 100 m down the road.” He thinks District float needs to be updated and upgraded and look more professional.

Councillor Kirby wants to thank NDIT for the Grizfest funding. The new tents and signage was awesome. Golf tourney was awesome. Helicopter tours were awesome. She went by the new VIC, where they had nearly 500 people visit over weekend, while the Museum had 371 people go through.

Councillor Howe attended sunrise golf tournament. He is wondering about plans to work on walking trail across from TRE. This is not in budget for this year says Beale.  Howe moves to see what cost of resurfacing trail.

Mayor McPherson compliments the TR Days Society on their wonderful job on Grizfest.  He had an awesome parade. Suggests the old rescue truck could be used as a float.