Monday, March 19, 2018

Detour In Downtown

Vernon, BC, Canada / 1075 Beach Radio Vernon Pete McIntyre March 19, 2018 09:29 am

Motorists can expect a detour in downtown Vernon, which started today, and will last some time. The City says the intersection of 30th Street and 32nd Avenue will be closed for several weeks, to complete road and utility work. Businesses in the construction area will be accessible during construction.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Payroll Tax B.C. vs Ontario

B.C. Payroll Tax effective Jan 1, 2019
Ontario Payroll Tax 

BC Cons slam NDP tax

Darren Handschuh - Mar 14, 2018 / 5:40 pm CASTANET
The BC Conservative Party is taking the NDP to task over its proposed payroll tax. The Conservatives propose a progressive health premium instead, claiming the NDP is simply downloading the cost of MSP onto municipalities, businesses and public sector organizations, and ultimately the public, while creating a new drag on the economy. According to the Conservatives, the payroll tax, which the NDP is disguising as a "health tax," is being implemented in 2019 even though Medical Service Plan premiums won't be eliminated until 2020. This means employers will have to pay twice in 2019. "Not only is the NDP government taxing businesses in B.C. twice for the same thing in 2019, while giving nothing back to the citizens of B.C., they are also downloading the cost of healthcare onto the workers of B.C. through the back door,” said Scott Anderson, Interim Leader of the BC Conservative Party. 2Anderson said many British Columbian employers – including those in both the private and public sector – are being faced with millions of dollars in new payroll taxes. “These new expenses will force employers to increase prices that they charge consumers, cut back on services, reduce employee compensation, cut back on staffing levels, reduce growth and stall innovation,” said Anderson. “Further, this new tax will be downloaded onto municipal property taxes in the case of municipalities and other public sector organizations, like schools and libraries.” Anderson said under the new payroll tax, Vancouver will have to pay an additional $9 million in payroll tax, while the University of British Columbia alone will be forced to pay $23 million in new taxes. “In the case of the health authorities, the NDP has created a ludicrous situation in which the province is taxing itself to the tune of a billion dollars. To protect consumers, property owners, renters and workers from being penalized by the NDP’s new payroll tax, we call on all MLAs to amend the budget,” said Anderson. The BC Conservatives propose a graduated, progressive health premium with a higher cap of $100. Employers, both public and private, will retain the ability to choose whether to cover the health premium, thereby avoiding municipal downloading, double taxation, and the creation of a new economic drag.
Vancouver Sofi 2016: P.70 & P.46
UBC Sofi 2916: P.148

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Replacing power poles

Josh Winquist - Mar 13, 2018 / 10:43 am CASTANET
Over the next few months, BC Hydro will be replacing 280 wooden distribution poles in Vernon. It's part of a wider ongoing maintenance program project aimed at replacing more than 9,000 poles across the province. Power poles last about 40 to 50 years on average, but weaken and deteriorate over time due to adverse weather, insects and wildlife. The BC Hydro network includes 900,000 wooden poles that hold more than 58,000 kilometres of overhead distribution lines and 278,000 overhead transformers. BC Hydro will notify customers in-person, by mail or phone about any scheduled power outages in Vernon.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Directors recommend water rates bylaw


GVAC directors approve bylaw that shows 2.9 per cent hike for users, 3.7 per cent for agriculture.
Final approval is still needed by the Regional District of North Okanagan, but a hike in water rates is on tap. Greater Vernon Advisory Committee directors are recommending adopting the Greater Vernon Water Rates Imposition bylaw. Directors voted to recommend adopting a bylaw that would see implementation of three-year rates for 2018-2020. The rates would be effective April 1 this year, and Jan. 1 for 2019 and 2020. A one per cent increase over inflation in the metered consumption rate and infrastructure base would be included for all three years, resulting in a 2.9 per cent hike. There would be a 3.7 per cent increase in 2018 and 2019 for agriculture and a 2.9 per cent hike in 2020.
The master water plan, endorsed by the RDNO board in November, and accepted by Interior Health in January, sets a long-term goal of 20 years of an annual average life cycle investment of $9 million to $13.5 million per year to ensure sustainibility of the Greater Vernon Water Utility. A financial implementation strategy recommends a short-term goal of a five per cent rate increase phased in over five years over and above inflation. “What staff have done makes sense,” said Area C director Mike Macnabb. “It’s secure. It’s a signal to customers of what we’re going to do over time. Agriculture agreed to the increase. We’ve had these discussions. We have a utility to run and that shouldn’t be predicated on found money (government grants).” Coldstream directors Jim Garlick and Doug Dirk and Vernon director Bob Spiers were opposed. “This is about lobbying and moving into the future, not dismantling the master water plan,” said Dirk of Thursday’s debate.Added Garlick: “I’m not dismantling the master water plan. It’s how are we going to pay for it. One hundred per cent of users get water from Greater Vernon. We have a large stake in this.”

Money pumped into Valley

Darren Handschuh - CASTANET Mar 9, 2018 / 1:11 pm
Federal money is pouring into the Okanagan, with several multi-million dollar announcements being made Friday. Vernon will see $2.5 million come back to the region from federal Gas Tax Strategic Priorities Fund. Mayor Akbal Mund said the windfall will be used for infrastructure improvements. “The 29th-30th Street corridor and 39th Avenue intersection project was approved for $2.394 million; and the Drainage Infrastructure Prioritization project was approved for $105,175,” said Mund. Some 108 projects throughout the province have been approved and four have been conditionally approved, for nearly $193 million from the federal Gas Tax Fund. Coldstream will see up to $495,000 to build the Kalamalka Road Multi-Use Path Project — a four-metre wide pathway extending 350 meters from the Coldstream/Vernon boundary to the intersection of College Way and Kalamalka Road.Coldstream officials said construction costs of the path will be in the neighbourhood of $520,000. "The completion of the Kalamalka Road Multi-Use Path will provide a key travel connection for commuters and recreational users in the community, particularly with the anticipated increased usage of the Okanagan Rail Trail, said Coldstream mayor Jim Garlick. "It will also support the future development of the District-owned property along Kalamalka Road.” The Township of Spallumcheen will receive $275,000 for the development of an integrated asset management and climate change plan. Lumby also received $2.5 millions for improvements to aging Pat Duke Memorial Arena. "I am pleased to see the important work that will be done across British Columbia thanks to the federal Gas Tax Fund,” said Amarjeet Sohi, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities.“Whether a community needs to expand its recreational centre, repair roads, or make energy-saving upgrades, the Government of Canada will continue to invest in the local infrastructure Canadians want and need.” The District of Lake Country has been awarded $5 million in federal gas tax funding to complete a new, multi-generational activity centre.
Federal Gas Tax Fund-Strategic Priorities Approved and Conditionally Approved ProjectsUpdated as of March 6, 20182017 Intake

Friday, March 09, 2018

One Final Debate On Water Rates

Vernon, BC, Canada / 1075 Beach Radio Vernon Pete McIntyre March 08, 2018 05:26 pm
The Greater Vernon Advisory Committee has given final approval to this year’s water rates.Most customers will see 2.9 percent hikes, while agriculture rates will rise 3.7 percent. Director Bob Spiers felt the increase was higher than it needed to be.“We’re putting an extra million bucks into reserves. That means the water rates have been increased unduly,” Spiers told CJIB News. Director Jim Garlick said most water customers don’t agree with using one percent of the increase for the master water plan, and he feels more emphasis should be put on getting senior government grants before MWP projects proceed. “Moving forward, we’d be foolish to fund master water plan projects on rate increases. We need to have a plan in place to get more grants,” said Garlick. Part of the master plan calls for securing at least two-thirds funding from senior governments before proceeding. Supporters of the increase say building-up reserves reduces the uncertainty of water-use fluctuations from year to year. “When you look at the water rates, you never know how much water you are going to use, and there’s a balance there. You have to maintain the infrastructure, but putting money away for the future master water plan, it’s not a bad thing,” says GVAC director Akbal Mund. The rates are scheduled to go up a similar amount for the next two years.

  • This was a rate decision for the Calendar years 2018, 2019, and 2020.
  • Each year for next 3 years will see a 2.9% increase for all domestic customers. Rates will change from being implemented April 1, 2018 to be effective Jan 1, 2019 and Jan 1, 2019.
  • Ag Rates will increase by 3.7% for 2018 1nd 2019 and then revert to a 2.9% increase on Jan 1, 2020.
  • The Water budget indicates $998,000 will be transferred into reserves in 2018.
  • Water Rates Vote at GVAC was 5 to 3. Will have to be ratified at RDNO at next meeting.
    Water Calculators for 2018 to 2020 at:
    1.  2018
    2. 2019
    3.  2020
    WATER POLL AT 1075 BEACH Radio: Final Results
    Do you agree with G-VAC raising water rates by an extra one percent to build-up reserves for future water needs?

    Wednesday, March 07, 2018

    Boardroom Gets $400,000 Upgrade

    Vernon, BC, Canada / 1075 Beach Radio Vernon Pete McIntyre March 07, 2018 05:09 pm


    The Regional District of North Okanagan boardroom has been brought up to modern standards.The meeting facility has received about 400-thousand dollars in technology and communication upgrades after a two month project. Deputy corporate officer Paddy Juniper says the audio-visual system is the biggest improvement, including several big screen monitors. “We brought MQN (Architects) in who did an analysis of the viewing and set up the four monitors, so it really improves the viewing quality for the participants and the sound quality for the attendees,” Juniper told CJIB at Wednesday’s grand opening of the room.It was the first upgrade to the board room since the building opened 29 years ago.Juniper says it brings the technology forward 30 years — and also creates room for future growth of the board with room for 18 seats.“We have 14 directors and two staff, so we designed this for growth because we do expect that, in the future, we will have First Nationals participation and another board director.” Board chair Bob Fleming says he’s impressed with how it looks, and was looking forward to trying it out at the Wednesday’s meeting.“We had a huge deficit before in the audio visual side of things, both for the directors and for anybody in the audience and anyone that was presenting to us. it was difficult for directors to see and hear, and there’s been a huge improvement in that,” says Fleming.The room also had room for three media, and for staff members, both at the back. Fleming says public seating is about the same as before.“There is little bit of extra accommodation for the public. There is ways we can reconfigure so there is more standing room, if necessary, but for a large gathering, we’re basically as limited as we were before.” Fleming says the work is 98 percent done with fittings, electrical, and audio visual items still to be completed.

    Authorized Licensed Producers of Cannabis for Medical Purposes

    Authorized Licensed Producers of Cannabis for Medical Purposes
    The map below shows all licences issued by Health Canada under the Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations (ACMPR). Only producers who are authorized to produce and sell to the public may sell or provide dried marijuana, fresh marijuana, cannabis oil, or starting materials to eligible persons.

    List of Authorized Licensed Producers
    The tables below contain all licensed producers who have been issued a licence by Health Canada. Contact information is only listed for licensed producers who are authorized to sell to registered persons/clients who wish to access cannabis for medical purposes. The list is sorted by alphabetical order. Please check this website regularly for updated information.

    Monday, March 05, 2018

    Ranch Plan Commended

    Vernon, BC, Canada / 1075 Beach Radio Vernon Pete McIntyre March 05, 2018 06:00 am
    The O’Keefe Ranch is looking to the future — one that involves less reliance on City of Vernon funding. The heritage attraction will see its annual grant from the City go from 100-thousand dollars this year, to 50 thousand next year, and to $10,000 in 2020, with the plan after that to phase it out completely. Max Russman, chair of the Ranch, and the non-profit Interior Heritage Society, says self sufficiency is just one of the goals they’re striving towards. “We’re changing our goal a little bit, away from the status quo, and more toward improving and continuing to grow the Ranch, making it a destination that people want to come to,” Russman tells CJIB News. Russman says in a report to city council, with new board members, a high level leadership team, and a 2-5 year strategic plan, there is no telling how successful the ranch could be. “I believe that the O’Keefe Ranch as we now know it, will not exist in a few years,” he writes. Russman admits the process won’t be easy. “It is a challenge, but it’s a challenge that no one is shying away from, and we actually welcome, because if there is further generosity going forward, which we’ve seen to date, that’s fantastic. We can use the additional capital to improve the operation even further.” Two city councillors, Scott Anderson and Catherine Lord, commended the board on their plan. “I like the idea of reporting to council 3 or 4 times a year. I hope you keep moving in the same direction because you’re moving it the right way,” said Lord.“I’ve seen the board go through tremendous challenges, (but) it’s leading in a very good direction right now,” said Anderson. The ranch, which was founded in 1867 by Cornelius O’Keefe, is located in Spallumcheen and owned by the City of Vernon.

    Saturday, March 03, 2018