Regular meeting of Council, June 6

Trent Ernst, Editor

Present: Councillor Caisley (Acting Mayor), Councillors Kirby, Scott and Mackay (by phone)



Chris Calder from KPMG to present the 2015 Financial Audit information. He says his team has been working on the audit for the last couple months. He has provided Council with a draft audit. For 2015. This year it is a clean audit report for the District. Other than this, he provided Council most of the information during a closed session, so it is a very short presentation.



Correspondence received from the City of Burnaby advising that the City passed a resolution regarding a review of the BC Homeowner Grant Program.


Correspondence received from the BC Emergency Health Services advising that Tumbler Ridge has been selected as one of 73 communities for the Provincial rollout of BC’s Community Paramedicine Initiative. Councillor Scott is wondering what the overlap is between this and the Council for Independent Living. She suggests she can bring it to the Healthy Living Committee and discuss it there and bring it back, if needed.


Chetwynd Councillor Alec Brownlee and the PRLGA – 2016 Host Chair sent correspondence to inquire whether Tumbler Ridge is 1) interested in moving PRLGA meeting to earlier in the year and 2) establishing an opportunity for PRLGA to discuss and offer support for resolutions going forward to the NCLGA. Councillor Kirby suggests that they support it. She moves that staff contact the PRLGA to express their support.


The President of FCM sent a note requesting that Council donate in support of Fort McMurray. Councillor Mackay says there was overwhelming support at the FCM conference for this. He doesn’t know what an appropriate dollar figure would be, but he suggests that Council consider this. Councillor Caisley suggests bringing it to a P&P meeting to discuss a figure.


Correspondence received from Deborah Bain requesting that Council bring the Tumbler Ridge Golf Course into good standing with the Royal Canadian Golf Association by submitting membership fees. This is on the agenda later on, says Wall, and best to wait until then.


Newsletter received from Fulton & Company regarding the Conflicts of Interest Exceptions Regulation.


The Village of Pouce Coupe invites the Mayor to attend the 2016 Canada Day Parade in Pouce Coupe on July 1, 2016. Councillor Kirby says Tumbler Ridge has participated in this historically and would like to see the town participate again this year, but she would not be able to attend. Councillor Caisley says this invitation is extended each year, and every year the District scrambles to put together a float. He suggests waiting until 2017 and doing it right. Councillor Scott says there is a Canada Day event in Tumbler Ridge, too, and it’s probably more important for Council to take care of that. She wonders if this is something that would be better handled by the Chamber of Commerce.



Council gave third reading to the District of Tumbler Ridge Revitalization Tax Exemption Bylaw.

District of Tumbler Ridge Animal Responsibility Bylaw

Council gives first and second reading to the District of Tumbler Ridge Animal Responsibility Bylaw, which would allow not only people to keep backyard chickens, but update the Animal Control Bylaw as well, based on the SPCA Model bylaw. Councillor Scott asks about cats, which is not on the list. Wall says in order to keep track on cats, there would need to be a system for licensing cats, as well as a way to keep them, at the district’s expense; the SPCA is not able to take cats from Tumbler Ridge, so the District would need to either adopt them out or euthanize. There would be a significant price tag to dealing with cats.

Municipal Ticket Information Amendment Bylaw

Council gave first and second reading to the District of Tumbler Ridge Municipal Ticket Information (MTI) Amendment Bylaw, which needs to be amended to reflect “monetary penalties that can be issued to those in violation of the proposed new District of Tumbler Ridge Animal Responsibility Bylaw.”


Council gave first, second and third reading to the District of Tumbler Ridge Traffic and Highways Regulation Amendment Bylaw, which needs to be amended. Since the Bylaw was passed, the District has encountered a number of issues not currently addressed in the existing Bylaw. The proposed amendments will address disabled vehicles parked long term in a parking lot, uninsured vehicles parked in parking lots and on highway, motor vehicles being driven on ORV trails or on green spaces in town, persons occupying District land without written permission from the District and persons camping in backyards, on highways, and camping on District land.

Councillor Kirby asks about a few issues that were raised. Wall proposes that she add the amendments one at a time. She moves to add section 6.1.5 to the bylaw. Passes. Second suggestion to 11.4.0 about commercial vehicle parked in residential areas except when actively engaged in loading and unloading. Passes.

Municipal Ticket Information Amendment bylaw

Council gave first, second and third reading to the District of Tumbler Ridge Municipal Ticket Information (MTI) Amendment Bylaw, which needs to be amended based on the above changes. Councillor Scott asks if the changes that were made above affects this. Yes, says Wall; they can do the first three readings and add the amendments for the final reading.


Council gave first, second and third reading to the District of Tumbler Ridge Off-Road Vehicle Amendment Bylaw. Since the adoption of the Bylaw in March, a few changes need to be made. It has been suggested that language that referenced the mandatory insurance and registration requirements be expanded to encompass users from out of province, and schedule B needs to be amended to “include in the Legend the reference to the trail that falls within the scope of the Ministry of Transportation. It also includes small trail changes , approved by the ATV Club, that will allow the District to reduce the number of controlled crossings that must be installed.” The issue of controlled crossings come up. Right now, the plan is to install a four way stop, as lights would be an additional $40,000 per stop. The total budget right now, says Wall, is $30,000 so it would add a great deal of expense. Councillor Caisley asks if this is something that should be discussed at the P&P meeting. Wall says the sooner the direction is given, the better. Right now the District is in violation of its own bylaw, and staff is waiting for direction on this. Councillor Kirby says put in the four way stops and they can change that in the future if need be. Councillor Scott agrees.

Municipal Ticket Information amendment Bylaw

Council gave first, second and third reading to the District of Tumbler Ridge Municipal Ticket Information (MTI) Amendment Bylaw No. 639 to reflect changes brought about by the updates to the ORV bylaw.

New Business


Council approves a six month leave of absence for Mayor McPherson beginning June 6, 2016.


Council Received the 2015 Carbon Action Revenue Incentive Program Report” for Council’s information. Many of the budget items this year, says Wall, will reduce the District’s greenhouse gas emissions, such as installing LED lights, upgrading the RV park and the Murray River study.


Council approved closure of Front Street on July 1, 2016 for Canada Day celebrations, as well as allowing street vendors on District property during the Canada Day event.


Council asked about the additional cost for running the Transfer Station on Sunday. However, staff is recommending that it be open from 10-6, Tuesday through Saturday, though there is an alternate recommendation for seeing it open Wednesday through Sunday. Councillor Scott prefers to see it open Tuesday to Saturday, as to keep it open Wednesday to Sunday would mean there would be less of a work/life balance for the employees. Councillor Kirby prefers Wednesday to Sunday. She asks how many employees there are at the Transfer station? This would be two full-time employees. She says Tumbler Ridge is a town built by shift workers, and she doesn’t see it as a problem. Scott says people are used to it being open Tuesday, Thursday, Sunday. Opening it on Wednesday and Friday would be the easiest.

Councillor Mackay asks how many residents it would benefit to open Sunday. He just doesn’t see the demand for it to be open on Sunday. Councillor Kirby says she is on the other side of the fence. People do yard work on Saturday, and having no places to dump stuff means people are more willing to go out and dump stuff in the bush.

Council votes to open the Transfer Station from Tuesday to Saturday.


Council supports a grant application to the BC Rural Dividend grant for an Investment Readiness Plan, and acknowledges this project was not accounted for in the 2016 Budget. Wall says things like this are not typically budgeted for, so his budget numbers are going to go up for the end of the year. He says there’s a 20 percent contribution that the District needs make, and the District needs to decide if the 20 percent is something that should be shifted from the Economic Development Budget, or from some other place in the budget. He says that last line is just there so that at the end of the year, Council knows that this was something they decided to do and not something staff decided to do.


Council approves the submission of a “Canada 150 – Community Infrastructure Program” grant application to fund mountain biking development in the District of Tumbler Ridge.


Council receives a Tumbler Ridge Tourism Award report. Acting Mayor Caisley says this is great news, and this is the second award the website has received. Councillor Kirby says it’s great to get this award.


The Tumbler Ridge Rippers Quilt Guild requested a fee waiver for the locker space they are using in the Community Centre. Rental of the space is $100. Acting Mayor Caisley says he doesn’t have any objectives waiving that fee, as it is not a lot of money. Councillor Scott says while she is in favour of the motion, they need to come up with a policy on how they collect these fees. Council denied the request.


During the 2015 season necessary payments to British Columbia Golf were not made. This resulted in Tumbler Ridge losing our membership and members of our club no longer able to participate in sanctioned tournaments. The amount outstanding, $403, has now been paid says a report by Wall. The current golf course operator has been informed and will be registering with British Columbia Golf for the 2016 season.

Council receives this report for information.


During the May 9 Policy and Priorities (P&P) meeting concern was raised, based from a mention in a guide book for elected officials, that the new museum lease may be offside with the Community Charter. Wall says in a report this concern came from the guide book making mention that only in limited circumstances could Council enter into an agreement that is more than five years. But, writes Wall, section 6 of the Municipality Liabilities Regulation clarifies the scope of this rule as applying only to loan guarantees and liabilities of a capital nature. “The District would only be offside of the Community Charter if in this lease agreement we had contractually agreed to take on capital expenditures on the building that would bring into existence a new building or significant upgrade (outside of normal repairs and maintenance). This is not something that is within the agreement and as such the District is operating within the Community Charter,” writes Wall.

Concern was also raised as to whether or not Council should be entering into agreements or making decisions that limit the choices of the council that will follow. However, says Wall, many decisions Councils make will permanently affect what subsequent Councils are able to do. “For example constructing a community center will burden the next Council to maintain and staff it.” One of the issues this Council raised at the beginning of their term, he says, was that too many issues were left at their feet to deal with immediately, so there does seem to be a need to allow for a smooth transition into new Council. But, writes Wall, “it becomes anti-democratic if Councils begin to make decisions in a manner to specifically take away political options from the Council that will follow them, especially if it is out of fear they may not share the same political leanings. Without an exit clause, it is possible that some would think committing the town to giving up such a large resource for an extended period to the Tumbler Ridge Museum Foundation would have been inappropriate.”


Council discussed whether to retain the current unspecified wording in the Official Community Plan that relate to permitted hotel, motel and lodge uses in C1 zoned areas, and permitting long term stays for guests in good standing, in tourist accommodation units. The motion would also favour maintaining the range, quality and capacity of tourist accommodation in Tumbler Ridge over changes in zoning that allow for changes of use and lead to a decline in accommodation choices and direct staff to lift the current covenant on the Wilderness lodge preventing long term stays in the building.

Acting Mayor Caisley is wondering if this is something that needs to be discussed in depth at a P&P meeting. He is also worried that if this change is made, if it will mean that there will be less options for use for, say, tourists. If the economics of the town change, he says, would it mean that suddenly the town is stuck not having a space shortage. Councillor Kirby asks if this would affect how the other hotels operate. Wall says this is not something that is in any zoning bylaws, so the Tumbler Ridge Inn is able to do long-term occupancy. He isn’t sure about the Trend Mountain hotel, if they are limited by any agreement, but he knows that the Wilderness Lodge is limited by this. Councillor Kirby says she remembers when hockey teams came to town for a tournament and were unable to find space because the rooms were all full with workers. She doesn’t want to see it again. Councillor Scott says the issue is that the Wilderness Lodge is at a disadvantage in this. Wall says true, but they were also at an advantage because of the low cost of the start-up. Discussion moved to July P&P.



Councillor Kirby is requesting the following motion pertaining to rail tourism: “THAT Council adds rail tourism to the Economic Development Strategic Plan.” She says at the NCLGA she talked to the mayor of Prince George and he was willing to discuss a partnership about running a tourist train through to Tumbler Ridge. Acting Mayor Caisley says this is a great idea. Councillor Scott says there are higher priorities on the list. She isn’t opposed to it; just she wants to see some of these other things carried through to fruition. Kirby says it’s not something that needs to be at the top of the list, just adding it to the list.


Councillor Scott says the NCLGA tour was a big success. She says both motions from the District of Tumbler Ridge were supported.

Councillor Kirby says she attended NCLGA. She attended the SD59 board meeting, where she raised issue of soccer fields. Sevec kids presented to board; it went really well. They discussed issues around busing for kids. She says the Tourist Advisory Committee has finished with the branding exercise and will be bringing recommendations forward to Council. She has questions about parking down around the boat launch and what the District can do? Wall says it is the province’s launch. He says if town does anything, they take on liability.

Acting Mayor Caisley attended Regional District Meeting. Attended School District meeting. Attended NCLGA.

Councillor Mackay says the Community Forest Met with Minister Thompson regarding uplift and expansion. He had opportunity to make a pitch to host next year’s convention. Brought the three books published by the museum. Looks like Tumbler Ridge will be hosting next year. Attending FCM big thing is infrastructure grants, which Tumbler Ridge needs to be all over when they came out.