Tuesday, October 17, 2017

View from proposed park

 Kate Bouey - CASTANET  Oct 16, 2017 / 2:36 pm
An enthusiastic crowd of 30 rambled above the Foothills neighbourhood at the north end of Vernon on Saturday.The ramble, hosted by the local community association, was an effort to convince local politicians to save the land for a large natural park. The photos of the ramble tell the story best, showing the spectacular views of Vernon's lakes from above the Foothills. The Foothills Community Association has approached the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee a number of times with a park proposal. Three separate properties, currently in private hands, would be needed to create the park envisioned by the association. One has just been sold for development.During the ramble, association president Wynn Polnicky emphasized the ecological, scenic and recreational significance of the area.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Hotel Tax Rising

Vernon, BC, Canada / 1075 KISS FM Pete McIntyre October 11, 2017 12:19 pm
Vernon’s hotel tax will be going up next year. The current 2 percent tax charged to hotel and motel guests will jump to 3 percent on January 1 after the city got provincial approval for the change. It’s expected to bring in an extra 300-thousand dollars a year for tourism marketing and programs. The City of Vernon will receive 2.8% of the 3%, officially called the municipal regional district tax (MRDT), with the rest going to the provincial Tourism Events Program. “There are over fifty community in BC collecting the MRDT including fourteen that moved to a 3%. Kelowna and Kamloops began collecting a 3% MRDT on July 1, 2017,” says Vernon’s economic development and tourism manager Kevin Poole. Poole says date from BC Stats indicates Vernon has had the fastest growing MRDT in the Thompson Okanagan each and every year since its first full year of collecting in 2011. “This strong growth has continued into 2017, with room revenue up 8.3% as of the end of July 2017.”

Saturday, October 07, 2017

2016 Census Data / RDNO Board Voting Effective Nov 1,2017

https://www.vernon.ca/sites/default/files/docs/meetings/agendas/171010_reg_2.pdf  (p.67-69) Excerpt below.

The concepts outlined above form the foundation for the key voting rules that guide decision-making at the board table. Three primary rules exist:

Unweighted Corporate Vote — (14 Directors- Vernon Has 4)
This type of vote is used to decide matters that affect the  corporation and all jurisdictions that comprise the regional district. Every director is entitled to vote and receives one vote. Unweighted corporate votes are used to determine a range of matters, including:
• establishing bylaws for services
o regulatory bylaws
▪ resolutions and bylaws on the conduct of the board's business (e.g.,procedure bylaws, the conduct of meetings)
• several issues under LGA Part 26 (planning and land use management)

Weighted Corporate Vote —  (42 Weighted Votes- Vernon Has 17 )
Weighted corporate votes govern decisions on money matters, including the adoptionof the annual financial plan, borrowing,property acquisition and disposal, and key contracts. Each director on the board is entitled to vote; each receives the number of votes as determined by the voting unit. All votes accorded a director, incidentally, must be used as a block (i.e., all in favour, or all against).

Stakeholder Vote (Weighted) — For GVAC Stakeholder votes -Total 27 votes-  Vernon has 17)
Stakeholder votes are used to make decisions related to the administration and operation of regional district services. Only directors representing jurisdictions that participate in the service in question are entitled to vote in stakeholder votes. All stakeholder votes are weighted votes; as such, each participating director receives the number of votes determined in accordance with the voting unit.

By Homeless camp hostility

By Darren Handschuh - CASTANET Oct 7, 2017 / 6:25 am
Vernon bylaw officers are dealing with increasing hostility from residents living in a homeless camp at the linear park along 25th Avenue. In a report that will be presented to council Tuesday, Geoff Gaucher, manager of protective services, said bylaw staff are encountering hostile residents and open drug use. There are four groups consisting of eight to 10 people living in the park. That number increases during the daylight hours as others congregate in the area. Staff report members of the public are bringing food during the day, which is increasing the numbers gathering there. “There are recent incidents involving open drug use and hostile behaviour toward bylaw compliance officers,” said Gaucher. “RCMP have been contacted, and administration is currently setting up a plan to patrol in teams with the RCMP to ensure the safety of city staff during darkness.” Gaucher said homeless are also camping in other areas of the city. “Displacement of camps at Polson Park and allowance for temporary shelter has moved individuals into other areas of the community, and created issues both within the downtown core and on private property,” he said in the report.
“For now, Linear Park and the surrounding neighbourhood are the most convenient for people who are homeless due to proximity to services. City council could opt to limit access to Linear Park, but that would most likely shift people into more residential-commercial spaces in the area.” Gaucher said shelters are usually erected in compliance with city bylaws, but are often not being taken down at 9 a.m., until bylaw officers attend. Bylaw staff remove those sheltering in prohibited areas as well as on boulevards and other city property, he said.
Council report P.55 https://www.vernon.ca/sites/default/files/docs/meetings/agendas/171010_reg_2.pdf

2016 Shadow Community Analysis

This is an analysis of Home owner Grant Claimants (Full time residents in their principal property) as a percentage of all residential tax folios. The # of Residential tax folios include the home owner claimants and those that are not eligible because the property is a rental, unimproved land, or a secondary home situation. The properties in the unclaimed category are referred to as the shadow community. Vernon has a total of 11,224 properties that claim the 2016 home owners grant. The balance or 4124 are the shadow community not eligible. It is interesting to note the under and over 65 breakdown of the home owner grant claimants. Approximately 44.36% of Vernon's claimants are over 65 while only 35.3% of Coldstream's are over 65.


Friday, October 06, 2017

Median Barrier For Highway 97

Vernon, BC, Canada / 1075 KISS FM Tom Mark October 06, 2017 10:34 am
New traffic medians are going to be installed on Highway 97 just south of the Vernon. The approximately two and a half kilometres of barrier separating southbound and northbound traffic will be installed starting south of Stickle Road and continuing to 48th Avenue to prevent cross-over incidents. The work is to begin shortly and be completed by the end of the month. Kon Kast products of Kelowna was awarded the 346 thousand dollar contract. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure says on average, 23,000 vehicle trips are made every day along this section of the highway.

Dangerous trees at Kin

By Kate Bouey CASTANET- Oct 6, 2017 / 5:00 am |
Three trees affected by spring flooding at Kin beach have become dangerous and need to be chopped down, but the problem could be much more extensive than that. Members of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee learned Thursday there were a number of trees in local parks that could be dangerous and an assessment needed to be carried out. “With flooding this year, there are quite a number of dangerous trees,” said David Sewell, chief administrative officer, for the North Okanagan Regional District, pointing to other areas, including BX Creek Trail and Camp Hurlburt. Sewell stressed that it was an expensive fix, there was no budget and that the trees would have to be “prioritized.”

But Vernon director Akbal Mund pointed out that an assessment had already been done at Kin where an arborist hired by the City of Vernon pointed to three trees that needed to come down immediately at a cost of approximately $10,000.“Why do we have to send someone to do another assessment?” Mund asked. When GVAC chair Juliette Cunningham asked if there was money in the budget for the project, Sewell replied, “The answer is no.” “What options do we have?” asked Mike Macnabb, electoral area C director. “Do we run out with yellow tape and say 'do not enter'? Do we cough up 10 grand? What would be the next step in this?” Sewell said a comprehensive risk assessment could be accomplished through the fall with implications for next year's budget prompting an outburst from Vernon director Bob Spiers. “If there is an immediate risk, let's damn well do something about it,” Spiers said. Macnabb said the Ministry of Forests might do the job for free. Meanwhile staff are to request a risk assessment of Greater Vernon trails.


Thursday, October 05, 2017

Bucks spent on board upgrades

RICHARD ROLKE Thu Oct 5th, 2017 5:00amNEWS Morning Star"

A major face lift is underway at the Regional District of North Okanagan. Directors have voted to spend $400,000 to upgrade the board room to improve technology and communications. “It’s a good plan and worth doing,” said Bob Fleming, chairperson. There have been several concerns that the board room, which was constructed 28 years ago, isn’t functionable for elected officials or the public. “Some times people have difficulties hearing or it’s not accessible,” said director Hank Cameron. The current layout of the board table means some directors can’t see their colleagues. “We have a hard time having ourselves heard and seen so the new layout will be better,” said director Catherine Lord. Once the work is done, each director will have a microphone while audio-visual technology will be improved. Seating for the public will be expanded, with some of it suitable for the mobility challenged. Lighting will be upgraded and noise from the adjacent foyer will be reduced. Furniture will be movable so the room can be used for other activities. It’s not known when the upgrades will begin but the goal is to minimize the impact on board meetings.
Details at https://rdno.civicweb.net/document/79825 P68-79
(Weighted Corporate Vote)
That staff be authorized to proceed with the Regional District Boardroom Upgrade at a total projected cost of $400,000; and further  That the 2017 Financial Plan be amended to include the Regional District Boardroom Upgrade project with $300,000 in funding from the General Government (010) reserve and $100,000 in funding from the existing General Government (010) capital budget.
RDNO Boardroom Renovation - Project Budget (p.79)

Say Of The Day 107.5 KISSFM

Results as at 4 PM Mon. Oct. 9
What do you think of the RDNO's plan to spend 400 thousand dollars to renovate its boardroom.
Voting ends: Oct. 10, 2017 @ 6:00 AM

Digging For PickleBall

Vernon, BC, Canada / 1075 KISS FM Pete McIntyre October 05, 2017 05:45 am

Work is finally ready to start on a new 600-thousand dollar pickleball facility in Vernon. Crews will start digging the foundation Tuesday at the site in Marshall Field, along with moving water and power lines.Project manager Don Friesen from the Vernon Pickleball Association says they’ve been waiting for final approval. “Everything is 100 percent go. All the services will be worked on, the irrigation system will be moved, the hydro line, we’re working on getting that moved, and we’ll be working on digging the foundation Tuesday morning as well.” Friesen, who has hired contractors to do the work, hopes to have the concrete and paving done before the snow flies, otherwise it will have to wait until spring. “The problem with waiting til spring is now you have to wait for areas to dry up before you start hauling big trucks in an out, so it stretches it out considerably.”Friesen says the goal is to have the 12 courts open by next May. “That will be a summer time facility, and the club will be raising funds for putting a building over top of the courts to make it a covered court so we can use it most of the winter as well.”Friesen says the cost for covered courts is an extra $1 million on top of the $600,000 for the basic facility. The club and the regional district are splitting the $600,000 cost. Friesen says the pickleball club has close to 400 members, and these will be the first courts specifically for the sport. “In the 55 Plus BC Games, we had 900 pickleball games, so that’s an indication of how popular pickleball has become,” states Friesen.

Wednesday, October 04, 2017


NEWS RELEASE October 4, 2017


VERNON BC-The British Columbia Conservative Party is pleased to announce that Scott Anderson has been appointed the party's Interim Leader. The appointment was confirmed by an unanimous decision by the newly elected Board of Directors immediately following the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Langley, British Columbia on Saturday, September 30, 2017.

Scott Anderson is a long time member and a four term board member of the BC Conservatives, having served on the Executive Board as a Member at Large since 2013. He has variously served the party as Chair of the Policy Committee, Election Readiness Committee, and most recently as Director of Communications.

Anderson is a business owner, recently retired (2017) military officer (Reserves), and has been serving as a City Councillor in Vernon, BC, since 2014. His education is in Political Studies with a focus on international relations, and he is currently finishing a Master's degree in international relations at the University of British Columbia, preparatory to pursuing a doctorate in the same field.

"I am deeply honoured to be entrusted with the role of Interim Leader of this great party," said Anderson. "But I want to assure my constituents in Vernon that my commitment to them as a City Councillor will be in no way diminished. My role on City Council will remain unchanged, my commitment to that role will remain unchanged, and I will continue to serve in any capacity the Mayor deems appropriate."

The term of Interim Leader will last until a new leader is elected by the general membership of the BC Conservatives in 2018.
For more information:
Scott Anderson, Interim Leader, BC Conservative Party
Twitter: @Conservative_BC
Telephone: (250) 540 2333

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Wrapping up the rail trail

By Kate Bouey - CASTANET Oct 3, 2017 / 5:00 am
The northern end of the Okanagan Rail Trail could be completed this year, according to Bob Fleming, the chair of the North Okanagan Regional District board. Last week, it was announced that construction was set to begin on just over half of the 48.5-kilometre trail, including 12 km within Coldstream and Electoral Area B. “At first, rock scaling was supposed to take place but now it appears that rock scaling and construction will be underway at the same time,” said Fleming. The Electoral Area B representative said he believed about 13.5 km lay within the North Okanagan region and he was hopeful that all of the work to get it ready for hikers and bikers would be wrapped up this fall.“I'll have to check that but it appears to be the case.” As weather permits, crews will build approximately 26 km of the trail with compacted crushed aggregate between now and the end of November, with five km being completed in Lake Country and nine in Kelowna. The balance will be completed in the spring. "Construction is underway," proclaimed the Okanagan Rail Trail fundraising website. It showed approximately 31 kilometres had been funded through donations.

Members of the public have a chance to view the latest plans at three information sessions, including today, Oct. 3 at Coldstream Municipal hall, Oct. 4 at the George Elliot community complex in Lake Country and Oct. 5 at Parkinson Rec Centre in Kelowna. All three are scheduled to run from 4 to 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, October 01, 2017

Singh takes NDP leadership

The Canadian Press - Oct 1, 2017 / 12:38 pm CASTANET
The New Democrats have tapped Ontario politician Jagmeet Singh to take over for Tom Mulcair and lead the embattled party into the next federal election. Singh romped to a first-ballot win with 35,266 votes, easily outstripping his three rivals: northern Ontario MP Charlie Angus, Manitoba MP Niki Ashton and Quebec MP Guy Caron. Angus came in second with 12,705 votes, followed by Ashton with 11,374 and Caron with 6,164.

With its long-haul leadership race now over, the party — which has just 44 of the 338 seats in the House of Commons — is now free to focus on presenting a unified front to battle Justin Trudeau's Liberals in the 2019 federal election. Insiders and political observers alike say it's high time the NDP regrouped, put the disappointment of the 2015 election result in the past and start laying the foundation for a strong showing in two years. More than 124,000 card-carrying members were eligible to take part in the vote, which was conducted online and by mail by way of a ranked ballot — voters were able to rank the candidates in order of preference. Kathleen Monk, an NDP stalwart who worked as director of strategic communications to former leader Jack Layton, said a new leader will now allow the party to begin growing again after two years in the political wilderness.

Tom Mulcair, who took over the party after Layton's death in 2012, carried on his shoulders the party's long-standing dream of forming a federal government for the first time. Those hopes were dashed during the 2015 election campaign when the party's support collapsed in the face of Justin Trudeau's Liberal juggernaut — an electoral disaster many blamed on Mulcair himself. Even after party members voted resoundingly to turf their leader during a spring convention in Edmonton, Mulcair chose to remain on an interim basis until a successor could be named. Following that convention, the party opted to take the long road towards choosing a new leader, culminating in Sunday's first round of voting results. "The reason I was able, with eyes wide open, to stay on after Edmonton is my profound belief that the NDP offers the only real hope for a progressive government in Canada," Mulcair said in an interview. The two front-runners brought diametrically opposed perspectives to the race: Angus the elder statesman, with years of House of Commons experience and name recognition among party members, versus Singh the outsider, a member of the Ontario legislature with a youthful, more suburban following. Former NDP national director Karl Belanger admitted it is "long overdue" for the NDP to get on with building towards 2019. "Hopefully that is what is going to happen," he said. "I think there's lots of people who are still reeling and debating the reasons behind the defeat in 2015." It's also high time the party got serious about fundraising: Elections Canada returns show the NDP has some $5.5 million worth of debt on its balance sheet.

BC Conservative Party Launches Anti-Carbon Tax Petition

The British Columbia Conservative Party has launched a new website and petition dedicated to fighting the BC Liberal-imposed Carbon Tax. The new website is located at https://scrapthecarbontax-bcconservative.nationbuilder.com/petition

The BC Liberal Party first introduced the Carbon Tax in 2008, and planned to eventually raise it. Now the tax-hungry BC NDP, with the active encouragement of the BC Green party, has vowed to not only raise the tax, but go a step further and drop all pretense of revenue neutrality.

The BC Conservatives have steadfastly rejected the Carbon Tax as a punitive tax on the poor and middle class. Following a threat by the federal Liberal Party to impose a national carbon tax, other western conservative parties have followed suit in a strong rejection of the tax, including the Saskatchewan Party and the United Conservative Party of Alberta.

“Conservatives across the west are united in opposition to this regressive, punitive tax that will hurt the poor and middle class, and won’t achieve what it is supposed to achieve,” said Scott Anderson, Director of Communications for the BC Conservatives. “It will drive up the cost of everything from farming to transportation, and in the absence of any commercially viable alternative energy source, it can’t possibly achieve any significant reduction in GHG production. It’s nothing but a green-washed tax grab.”

The website and petition are the latest tools in the ongoing BC Conservative advance against the Carbon Tax. “We have no intention of giving up this fight,” said Anderson. “A BC Conservative government will stand shoulder to shoulder with other western governments in firm opposition to this disgraceful tax grab.”

Scott Anderson | Director of Communications
BC Conservative Party

1/2 billion of GST on Carbon Tax from B.C. Shipped off to Ottawa

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Update: Council Approves Dogs in Park

Vernon, BC, Canada / 1075 KISS FM Pete McIntyre September 18, 2017 05:00 pm

Off to the Park.
Council has approved all the measures for Polson Park, including allowing on-leash dogs.City staff says the earliest dogs could be allowed would be in about a month.The program would cost 28 thousand dollars for dog bag dispensers, signs, garbage pickup, and adding a dual height fountain that both dogs and people could use.Council also supported $32,000 for vegetation removal and improvements to the trail and boardwalk area in the southern part of the park. Council will also consider an increase of $31,185 to the parks operations budget during 2018 budget discussions to provide additional
maintenance to those areas.