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Gold River To Receive Government Funding For Business Improvement

March 30, 2019

 Gold River is receiving $29, 140 to develop a plan to create a business improvement area in consultation with local merchants. The plan will include a “shop local” campaign, as well as explore the feasibility of Wi-Fi in the downtown area.

The plan also includes a business ambassador program to support and welcome prospective investors and entrepreneurs in Gold River.

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Gold River To Receive Government Funding For Business Improvement

March 30, 2019

 Gold River is receiving $29, 140 to develop a plan to create a business improvement area in consultation with local merchants. The plan will include a “shop local” campaign, as well as explore the feasibility of Wi-Fi in the downtown area.

The plan also includes a business ambassador program to support and welcome prospective investors and entrepreneurs in Gold River.

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Gold River To Receive Government Funding For Business Improvement

March 30, 2019

 Gold River is receiving $29, 140 to develop a plan to create a business improvement area in consultation with local merchants. The plan will include a “shop local” campaign, as well as explore the feasibility of Wi-Fi in the downtown area.

The plan also includes a business ambassador program to support and welcome prospective investors and entrepreneurs in Gold River.

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Blaney Plan To Help Seniors With Taxes

May 19, 2019

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney has tabled a bill to prevent seniors from being cut off their pensions for not filing taxes on time.

The NDP Seniors Critic has heard from numerous pensioners who are late with their taxes because of illness, either to themselves or their spouse. Come July, the penalty is a temporary suspension of the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS).

“Something happens in their life, and they don’t get their taxes in on time,” Blaney said.

The first call her office received came from a woman in her mid-80s who was facing eviction because she wasn’t receiving her GIS, which paid a significant portion of her rent. Blaney’s office managed to have the woman’s GIS re-instated, and assured her landlord the money would be there.

“When I became the Seniors Critic, we were getting calls from all over the country about this issue. What we could see very clearly is 30,000-plus seniors lost their GIS, and by October they were mostly re-instated. For those low-income people, it’s up to four months without their Guaranteed Income Supplement, which can make it very hard to even survive.”

Blaney’s bill aims to give GIS recipients a one-year grace period if unable to file taxes by deadline. It also requires Employment and Social Development Canada employees to reach out to affected seniors to assist them through the process.

“Of course if they continue not doing their taxes, that’s going to be a problem,” Blaney said. “After a year, they will eventually lose it. But this is for the seniors in this country, the vast majority who, for one reason or another, can’t get their taxes in on time. This will help tens of thousands of seniors, keep them out of dire straits in terms of poverty, and give them a little more time to deal with these issues as they face the challenges they face…It’s a very simple solution to a very important issue.”

The next step is to discuss the matter with Seniors Minister Filamena Tassi. Blaney hopes the Liberals will “take this under their wing” and implement her plan.

Mobilie Mammography Comiing May 29 & 30

May 17, 2019

Mobile mammography service performs about 10% of the total number of screening mammograms in BC. There are three mobile screening units that serve rural and remote communities in BC: Get your screening May 29th and 30th at Aquatic Centre parking lot call 1-800-663-9203 to book.

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Peter Schwarzhoff announced as Liberal candidate for North Island-Powell River

May 13, 2019

He was a candidate in 2015, and he will be a candidate again.

Peter Schwarzhoff was the Liberals’ North Island-Powell River candidate during the 2015 federal election. According to a release, Schwarzhoff was acclaimed as the party’s North Island-Powell River candidate on May 11th.

Before running as a Liberal candidate, Schwarzhoff spent 30 years as a meteorologist, air quality researcher, and science manager with Environment Canada. As such, he said that one of his top concerns is climate change.

“For the Island, I know we care about that. But there’s so much more. The Oceans Protection Plan has been a really big boost, not only for the area near where the oil tankers may eventually transit but throughout our area as well, improving safety both for anybody at sea and the sealife within it,” Schwarzhoff said in an interview with the MyCampbellRiverNow.com newsroom.

He added that working towards reconciliation with First Nations is important to the Liberals, as well as to him personally.

“We’ve only just begun to travel that path and I look forward to continuing our path to reconciliation.”

Schwarzhoff has served as a board director for Campbell River Community Living, as well as volunteering with Greenways Land Trust.

“The families of North Island – Powell River need a trusted voice in government who will be a champion for a stronger middle class while protecting our precious environment,” Schwarzhoff wrote in the release.

“I will never stop working hard to build a better future for the families of our riding.”

He said he was able to personally come to Port McNeill, Port Hardy, and Gold River during the 2015 campaign season. He hopes to come to as many communities as possible in the riding.

There is no timeline yet on when he will start visiting communities and voters within the North Island-Powell River riding.

GOLD RIVER VILLAGE COUNCIL - MAY 6, 2019

May 09, 2019

Suzanne Trevis –

Please Note These Are Not the Official Minutes

Present at the regular council meeting were Mayor Brad Unger, Councillors Brenda Patrick, Rachel Stratton, Kirsty Begon and Joe Sinclair. Village Administrator, Brad McRae was also present. There were seven members of the public, one delegation and the press, in the gallery.

There was one question from the public during open session regarding the closing of the water wells at the municipal campsite.  Council confirmed that the cost of capping the pumps permanently was roughly $10,000.  However this was quite a bit less than the cost would have been to upgrade the water system.

Two items were added to the agenda before council approved it as amended.  They then approved the minutes from the Regular Council Meeting held April 15th and the Special Council Meeting held April 24th.  The Special Council Meeting had been held in order for the public to have the opportunity to view the 2019-2023  Five Year Financial Plan and ask questions of council.  Two members of the public managed to show up. 

Greg Deane of Paradigm Auto Works in Victoria was in attendance with a plan to hold a TARGA Road Race in and around Gold River later this fall.  His presentation included a slide show and a question/answer session with council and members of the public.  The idea would be to host a two day event that includes timed interval races on different sections of road rather than one closed course.  It would, in theory, bring hundreds of people to the community both to compete and to watch. Some of the questions asked included whether Gold River had the capacity to manage that many visitors at once and what the cost would be to the village.  While the event would necessitate the need for a number of volunteers, Mr. Deane felt quite confident that we have the ability to host such an event. He went on to explain that costs are worked out ahead of time and factored into the registration fee. There should be no cost to the village, in fact they expect to be able to donate a healthy sum of money back to the community following the event. They also take care of a great deal of the planning. Council agreed to let the CAO continue working with Paradigm on the idea, with the Mayor saying, “Its outside the box, but it’s a way everyone can enjoy our community.” 

The first of three reports was the Village’s new Social Media Policy.  This document is long overdue and if it does all it promises will be of huge benefit, not just to those of us that live here, but also to anyone thinking of visiting or doing business in our community.  It’s primary goals include: increased awareness of municipal services and events; advising taxpayers of upcoming capital projects; the ability to correct misinformation, remedy mistakes, or alter services; and to utilize social media as an additional way to collaborate with the public and other municipalities on mutually beneficial programs or initiatives.  Council was in full support.

The Climate Action Revenue Incentive Public Report (CARIP) is an annual report put together by staff to show how the community is planning and progressing toward meeting their climate action goals and carbon neutrality.  The report itself is a condition of a Carbon Tax grant (approx. $9,000) that the village receives.  Following receipt of the report Councillor Patrick asked if some of this grant money could be used for a community garden or a composting program.  Mayor Unger first pointed out that neither of these ideas have come forward as council initiatives, and asked Councillor Patrick if there were groups in the community who were currently trying to make those things happen. “There are some funds available,” he said, “if the community wants to do them.”  She said she would look into it.

Financial Statements for the year ending Dec 31, 2018 along with the auditors report were received.  CAO McRae thanked the Deputy Director of Finance, Maxine McLean for the hard work she had put in. He went on to give his full support for the report, which was then received by council.

Council Information Items included a report from Councillor Stratton on the April 18th Chamber of Commerce meeting.  Among other things Chamber members will be looking after the Parade and Go Cart Races during this summers Gold River Days. 

Mayor Unger reminded everyone that Saturday, May 11th is SARA Trails clean up day.  Members of the public are invited to hike local trails with clippers and garbage bags to help clean things up in anticipation of summer!  All of our local trails are maintained by volunteers.  Plans are also in the works for members of the public to be able to advise when hazards such as downed trees or washed out trails are found.  Volunteers could then go out and deal with things in a timely fashion.  The Mayor gave a shout out to Ken Merlo who already went out and fixed the one culvert that had eaten up half the trail.

Councillor Patrick submitted a report on her trip to AVICC (Association of Vancouver Island & Coastal Communities) convention in Power River April 12th-14th.  They went on a tour of Stillwater Tree farm Licence #39, which is about to undergo its third harvest.  It is good to remember that logging is all about farming, trees are replanted and grow up to be harvested again and again, just like other crops. Councillor Patrick attended two workshops, one The Provincial Active Transportation Strategy hosted by the Ministry of Transportation, and a CCSPI workshop that promoted local government and First Nation usage of social procurement. There were a number of speeches by Ministers, and keynote speaker, Mark Collins, President and CEO of BC Ferries, spoke about clean tech, shipbuilding plans and long term noise mitigation plans.  BC Ferries boasts more than 174,000 sailings a year on the Salish Sea.  The Department of Fisheries and Oceans also put on a very lengthy presentation.  The meat of the meeting though, is in the resolutions put forward.  One of particular interest to Gold River and other north island communities was Resolution 44, Protection of Old Growth Forests submitted by the City of Victoria.  There had been a lot of feedback on this resolution ahead of time, so it was no surprise when the resolution was withdrawn prior to the vote, by Victoria.

  Other resolutions of note included:

•      R6, Off Road Vehicle (ORV) Management Framework submitted by the Village of Tahsis & Village of Sayward,  which resolved that the following changes be made:

•      Only one (1) Operation Permit required for approved access to multiple jurisdictions and/or communities along a connecting designated ORV route and trail network issued in any of the jurisdictions or communities along the route.

•      Operation Permits can be issued by any local RCMP or local government along a designated route.

•      Operation Permit term extended from 2 years to 5 years to align with the driver's licence term.

However, the resolutions committee made no recommendations, noting that “more broadened endorsed resolutions related to ORV’s” have gone forward to UBCM (Union of BC Municipalities).

•      R15, Groundwater Extraction submitted by the Strathcona RD, resolved that the Premier of British Columbia and the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development be requested to immediately cease the licensing and extraction of groundwater for commercial water bottling and/or bulk water exports from aquifers.The resolutions committee made no recommendations, noting that more than 7 similar resolutions have gone forward over the last 15 years.

•      R18 Cave Protection Act submitted by the Village of Tahsis, which resolved that the Provincial Government should pass a Cave Protection Act in order to conserve caves, in perpetuity.  The Resolutions Committee advises that the UBCM membership has not previously considered a resolution asking the Province to enact cave protection legislation in order to conserve caves, and made no recommendation.

Councillor Begon asked if the village could forward a letter to the Ministry of Transportation regarding Broom Busting efforts.  She wants to know what plans and funding are available to eradicate the broom that is growing abundantly along Highway #28. We can only do so much within our community and much of that effort is in vain, if they are not doing anything to address this aggressive, invasive species outside of our jurisdiction.  Council agreed to write a letter expressing their concern.

Mayor Unger advised everyone that a date has been set for the Community Consultation Meeting with Telus regarding a cell tower within the community of Gold River.  There will be an open house and presentation Thursday, June 6th at the Gerry Morgan Memorial Centre.

The Mayor went on to report that the Clean Up Day last Saturday went very well. Four or five dump sites had been identified in the forests around the community.  Volunteers headed out with trucks etc and pulled what is sadly, a massive amount of debris out of the woods. One site behind the Conuma Pit netted a 900 kg haul. Early estimates put the total number at roughly 2,000 kgs. Final numbers will be reported by the CVRD in the near future.

If you spot an illegal dump site or see someone disposing of trash in our environment call toll free 1-800-331-6007 or report it online  www.cswm.ca/illegaldumping.

Council gave final adoption to two bylaws, No 715, 2019 regarding the Financial Plan for 2019, and No 716, 2019 to authorize the levying tax rates for Municipal Regional District, Regional Solid Waste Management, Regional Hospital District and Library purposes for the year 2019.

There were six items of correspondence, three received attention.

The Gold River Skating Club, who had four members in attendance, were looking for a letter of support for their annual Gaming Grant.  Council fully endorsed the request and asked the club to meet with the CAO to specifically advise what they needed. 

The Eco