It has been busy around the region. At our Thompson Nicola Regional District (TNRD) Board meeting we had a number of delegations, one of which was Mr. Frank Wheatley from Yellowhead Mining Inc.
He was there to update the board on the progress of the Harper Creek project up near Vavenby. The project is now at the stage of resubmitting the Environmental Assessment report. There was a working group meeting recently where the report was given to the members of the working group to review. I missed that meeting, but Mayor Harwood was kind enough to pick up the report for me. There are a few days of reading ahead.
The report to the TNRD board indicated that the project is alive and going ahead as planned. After the Environmental Certificate is obtained they still have to apply for a Mines Act Permit. Once all the required paperwork is done, then the actual building of the mine will take place. Mr. Wheatley stressed that the dam for the tailings pond will be built to the highest standards of the day.
The TNRD board also dealt with an application from the Barriere area. This was a Zoning Amendment Bylaw in the Fishtrap Mountain area that would allow a License of Occupation on 27.25 ha of Crown Land by the North Thompson Fish and Game Club Society.
The Society has worked hard over the past few years to meet the requirements to have a shooting range, and with a little luck and a lot more hard work their dream will become a reality. There will be a Public Meeting scheduled in the near future here in Barriere on the subject. Time, date and location to be announced.
In conjunction with the Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) convention the BC Mayors’ Caucus was held on Monday, Sept. 22. The list of topics to be reviewed was indeed challenging, and included a call for people to serve on sub-committees to review topics like aging infrastructure, ambulance service delivery, grants to local government and the role of the Municipal Auditor General. There was also considerable discussion around the recently leaked BC Public Sector Compensation Review. Issues around mental health and policing where discussed, and a group was formed to look at solutions and best practises.
At coffee the discussion turned to who was going to run for re-election and what challenges everyone might be facing. A lot of different answers, but one common theme was around how communities no matter how big or small always lay blame at the feet of the mayor.
We all know that the mayor is really only one vote at the council table, but it seems this lack of power does not matter when blame is to be given. We all knew this when running for the position, and despite that, I don’t think there was anyone that regretted having taken the task on.
Over the next few days there are a number of meetings at UBCM with ministers and their staff to present briefs on local and regional issues that have an effect on our communities. Solutions are sought for problems to do with everything from recycling the plastics used on farms, to changes in how our local forests are managed.
Here in Barriere, Lower Nicola Backhoe has started in doing the work to get a pipe under the highway for the sewer project. Hopefully they will be successful this time.
At the Sept. 18, regular council meeting, the money that was owed to LNB for a water repair on Kivi was brought before council to decide where the funds would come from. As the project goes forward these issues can and do come up repeatedly. You cannot run a water system for decades with no proper plan of upgrades and repairs. Just like the ad on TV says, it will come back and bite you.
A great turn out up in Clearwater for the grand opening of the old Dutch Lake School. The old school building was rebuilt and re-purposed to be used as the new municipal hall and community centre. Partnerships with various groups and innovative thinking on the part of the Clearwater council have resulted in an absolutely awesome public facility.