Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Community policing moving

Kate Bouey - CASTANET Nov 21, 2017 / 5:00 am
Vernon's Community Policing Office is moving and changing its name. As of Thursday Nov. 23, the office and the Restorative Justice Society North Okanagan will be at 3010-31 Avenue in the downtown. The building is the former Toppers Cleaners site. The office will now be known as the Community Safety Office. "The new location will offer greater access to the community and is ideally located to provide greater service to downtown merchant," said Rachael Zubick, City of Vernon community safety coordinator.

All contact numbers remain the same.
Community Safety Office 250-550-7842 Email: rzubick@vernon.ca
Restorative Justice Office 250-550-7846 Email:mclark@rjsno.ca
The old community policing building at the corner of 32nd Avenue and 29th Street is slated for demolition.Meanwhile, to mark Restorative Justice Week, the society is hosting the Peoples Law School's Justice Theatre Troupe at the Schubert Centre on Nov. 23, 5-9 p.m. The burger and a beverage night costs $30 and tickets can be purchased online.

Monday, November 20, 2017

New Mayor Likely For Coldstream Next Fall

Vernon, BC, Canada / 1075 KISS FM Tom Mark November 20, 2017 07:13 am
As of Nov. 20, 2017
Coldstream could have a new mayor
next year. Jim Garlick tells Kiss FM he’s been thinking about running for re-election, but maybe for a council seat instead of the Mayor’s Chair. “Just out of the idea to give it some continuity, but I’ve been thinking hard on whether to continue as Mayor. That’ll be ten years. I think to step back a little wouldn’t be bad.” Garlick jokes if you stay around too long you gather moss, but says it might be good to have fresh ideas in the office. It’s not that the fire has burned out. “No, It’s just that you get all those things done you wanted to get done and so you gotta sit back and wait for more of them to come forward. But I think a lot of the stuff that I got onto council to do, a lot of that has taken place.” Garlick says one of the biggest issues for him was parks.“I think things with restructuring with parks within the regional district. To have jurisdictions take them back under care and control because more attention is paid to them and I think a better job can be done of it.” He says it’s been gratifying to be part of developing a Master Water Plan and improving roads, bike paths and sidewalk improvements.“I think some really positive things happen in the community and we want to continue that. That’s why I’d like to continue on council moving forward just to ensure that that stays rather than walking away and letting it fall apart because of you get a whole brand new group of people on council, I think, you want to have some continuity.” Garlick says he’s been encouraging some people to think about taking on the challenge.

Eyes on BX ranch land

Kate Bouey - CASTANET Nov 20, 2017 / 5:00 am 
The possible sale of 55 acres of BX ranch land has sparked some concern, with a community group hoping to save it for public use. The BX Ranch Land Task Force, a group of concerned citizens, will be providing information on the historic land and getting public input during a presentation at the Schubert Centre on Tuesday, Nov. 21 from 7-9 p.m. Everyone is welcome.“We feel this property can be kept as open green space and one possible use is a community agricultural park,” stated a Facebook post by the group. The North Okanagan Regional District spent $2.315 million to purchase 166.96 acres of ranch land in the BX area last year, in order to provide trail connectivity between BX Road near BX Ranch Dog Park, Mutrie Dog Park, the Wetlands bird sanctuary and Black Rock Park. The entire property is within the Agricultural Land Reserve.Paul Williamson, task force spokesperson, said there is fear the regional district will sell a 55 acre chunk of the land on the open market.He said people should know what the community is losing and what type of farm could be situated on the land.“There are some farms that could cause conflict,” Williamson said. “Cherries, for instance, a feed lot, a hog farm or a chicken farm. They are not suitable as farm use when they are next to a city.”The task force is hoping to have 1,500 signatures on its petition by the time it is presented to a meeting of the Greater Vernon Advisory Committee on Dec. 7th.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

The August 2015 CPI for B.C. of a 1.2% increase was used on Dec 1, 2015 to increase the Councillors and Mayor's base rate.

The August 2016 CPI for B.C. of a 2% increase was used on Dec 1, 2016 to increase the Councillors and Mayor's base rate.

The August 2017 CPI for B.C. of a 2.0% increase will be used on Dec 1, 2017 to increase the Councillors and Mayor's base rate.

The August 2015 CPI for Canada of 1.3% was used Jan 1, 2016 in relationship to the Facilities agreement contract for GVAC Members.

The August 2016 CPI for Canada of 1.1% was used on Jan 1, 2017 in relationship to the Facilities agreement contract for GVAC Members.

The August 2017 CPI for Canada of 1.4% eill be used Jan 1, 2018 in relationship to the Facilities agreement contract for GVAC Members.

The Dec 2015 CPI for B.C of 1.9% was used to increase the Directors Stipend at RDNO as well as Committee Pay (From $147/meeting to $150.)

The Dec 2016 CPI for B.C of 1.9% was used on Jan 1, 2017 to increase the Directors Stipend at RDNO as well as Committee Pay. (From $150/meeting to $153)

The Dec 2017 CPI for B.C of ??% will be used on Jan 1, 2017 to increase the Directors Stipend at RDNO as well as Committee Pay. (From $153/meeting to $??)

2017 Honour Roll



On November 6, 2017, 53-year-old Abbotsford Police Constable John Davidson was shot and killed while involved in a possible stolen vehicle file.
At approximately 11:15 am, some citizens observed a vehicle, in the mall complex located on Mount Lehman road in Abbotsford, they recognized as stolen. They boxed the vehicle in and called 9-1-1. The suspect began shooting at the caller as well as others in the mall. At approximately 11:30 am, police were dispatched to the mall complex. There was an exchange of gunfire with Constable John Davidson was hit. The suspect fled in his vehicle a short distance with police in pursuit. Police pinned the suspect vehicle in traffic and many more shots were exchanged. The suspect was taken in custody with non-life-threatening injuries. He has since been charged with first-degree murder. Constable John Davidson was pronounced upon arrival to the hospital.

Constable John Davidson was a police officer for 24 years starting his career in Northumbria England before moving to Canada, spending the last 11 years with the Abbotsford Police Department. Cst. Davidson worked in the patrol, youth squad and the traffic section. He was very active in the community and spearheaded a crash prevention program where he spoke to high school students. He had just completed the Tour de Valley Cops for Cancer cycling ride.

John is survived by his wife and three adult children.Our condolences go out to the family, friends and colleagues.
The sale of Memorial Ribbon Society products, including the distinctive blue and black Memorial Ribbon, support the work of the Society to assist grieving familieshelp establish memorials and monuments, and provide scholarshipsto the children of fallen Police and Peace Officers.
Thank you for supporting the Police and Peace Officers' Memorial Ribbon Society.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Regional District re-elects chair Bob Fleming chairperson for North Okanagan board, Juliette Cunningham vice chair

Nov. 16, 2017 6:00 a.m.LOCAL NEWSNEWS
Bob Fleming will continue to man the board. The Reginal District of North Okanagan chairman was acclaimed to his original position Wednesday, along with vice-chair Juliette Cunningham.“I’d like to thank the board for the vote of confidence,” said Fleming, who represents the BX/Swan Lake area. “I look forward to working with you and with Juliette.” And his dedication remains strong to the tasks that lay ahead. “There’s lots going on and we have lots of work to do. It’s ging to be an interesting year.”

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

$11M Funding For Vernon Homelessness, Addictions

Vernon, BC, Canada / 1075 KISS FM Pete McIntyre November 15, 2017 01:57 pm
The BC government is committing 11 million dollars to deal with homelessness and addictions issues in Vernon.Housing minister Selina Robinson has made that announcement which is for two projects, to be operated by the John Howard Society of the North Okanagan. A new, permanent modular-housing project will be located on land owned by BC Housing at 27th Avenue and 35th Street, which will provide 53 supportive housing units for people transitioning out of homelessness. These will be self-contained units with personal kitchens and washrooms.A new permanent modular shelter with approximately 45 beds will also be constructed at 2307 43rd Street to expand capacity of the current homeless shelter and transitional housing development at Howard House. We know there’s an urgent need to address homelessness in Vernon and communities throughout British Columbia,” says Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “These modular projects will make an incredible difference in the lives of vulnerable people in the city who are struggling to find and maintain stable housing.”

“We’re pleased to see the Province step up to address homelessness with support to deliver these modular housing units in Vernon,” says Vernon mayor Akbal Mund. “We applaud the Province’s efforts to create more safe and secure housing options that support some of Vernon’s most vulnerable citizens.” Vernon follows Vancouver as the second B.C. community to include modular housing as part of a solution to help address homelessness. “The announcement of modular housing projects in Vernon is a significant milestone for us,” said Kelly Fehr and Randene Wejr, co-executive directors of the John Howard Society of the North Okanagan. “We’re pleased to be partnering with the Province to provide supportive housing to those in need.”

The Province continues to work with a number of communities across B.C. to determine locations for additional modular housing. The government is investing $291 million to build 2,000 modular-housing units for people who are homeless and more than $170 million over three years to provide 24/7 staffing and support services.
Also see:  https://www.castanet.net/news/Vernon/211644/New-housing-for-homeless
and http://www.vernonmorningstar.com/news/new-modular-housing-for-homeless-in-vernon/

2018-2022 Proposed Financial Plan ONLINE


Friday, November 10, 2017

Six More Officers Sought For Vernon RCMP

Vernon, BC, Canada / 1075 KISS FM Pete McIntyre November 10, 2017 02:00 pm
RCMP are calling on the city to add six more police officers for Vernon next year. The request will be made to council by Superintendent Jim McNamara at Tuesday’s committee of the whole meeting. It would increase the detachment from 50 to 56 funded officers. McNamara says staffing shortages, changes in crime trends and types, and increases in population have contributed to pressures on the detachment to provide service. “The reduction of funded officer positions since 2010 and the increasing workloads over the same period have had a compounding effect on capacity and a corresponding impact on levels of service,” the superintendent writes in a report to council. The local RCMP boss says four of the extra officers would be used for general duty watches and two officers would be deployed to the general investigation section (plainclothes) — one corporal to sex crimes and one constable to the prolific offender unit. Mayor Akbal Mund says the request will be discussed by council. You have to look at the big picture here, and say is there is an issue with workload and case load, and is ii affecting the duties of members, so it’s something we will take a hard look at.” McNamara says the cost for the six officers would be over one million dollars. “The cost for each of the six funded officers is: $173,759, plus an additional $8,243 for the Corporal position. Total $1,050,797.”
https://www.vernon.ca/sites/default/files/docs/meetings/agendas/171114_cow_0.pdf P.8-25

Thursday, November 09, 2017

NDP matches B.C. Liberal tax cut promise

TOM FLETCHERNov. 9, 2017 8:30 a.m.BUSINESS Morning Star
B.C.’s small business income tax rate has been reduced from 2.5 per cent to two, and the change is being made retroactive to April 1, 2017.

Both the NDP and the B.C. Liberals promised the tax would be reduced that amount, with the B.C. Liberals promising to make it retroactive. In last spring’s election campaign, the NDP promised only to cut the tax by half a point, and to raise the large corporate income tax from 11 to 12 per cent at the start of the new fiscal year, April 1, 2018.

The NDP government is also carrying out the B.C. Liberal promise to remove provincial sales tax from business electricity bills. Half of that tax came off this fall and Finance Minister Carole James said the rest is to be removed in April 2019. PST is not charged on residential B.C. Hydro bills.

In her budget update in September, James announced the return of a high-income personal income tax bracket. Effective April 1, 2018, personal income tax goes up two per cent on income over $150,000 a year, restoring an increase put in place by the B.C. Liberals before the 2013 election and removed two years later.
Don Quixote Note:
When I inquired from the Minister of Finance office about the effective date of te reduction of PST the answer I got is that they will be announcing the effective date with a 1 month notice. The fall implementation date mentioned in the story above appars to be in error.

The Budget 2017 Update announced that the PST rate on electricity will be reduced to 3.5 per cent from the current 7 per cent at a date to be specified by regulation, and then eliminated completely on April 1, 2019.  Government intends to provide at least one month of notice before the 3.5 per cent rate takes effect.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Province to freeze BC Hydro rates

ASHLEY WADHWANINov. 8, 2017 1:00 p.m.NEWS Vernon Morning Star
The BC Government says it will immediately freeze rates at BC Hydro and cancel a proposed 3 per cent hike originally planned for next year. The province will be pursuing a comprehensive review of BC Hydro, and “any cost and revenue adjustments identified will be reflected in rates starting in April 2019,” according to a statement Wednesday. The province said rates have increased 24 per cent over the last four years. The rate freeze follows a budget commitment made in September to phase out the provincial sales tax on electricity. Last week, Premier John Horgan said his government will be meeting with BC Hydro officials in the new year to discuss a number of issues including deferred debt, the steady increase in electricity pricing and also the much maligned two-tier billing process.

Polson Park Goes To the Dogs

Vernon, BC, Canada / 1075 KISS FM Pete McIntyre November 08, 2017 10:35 am

Starting this week, people will be able to take their dogs for a walk in Polson Park, providing they are on a leash.It’s the start of a two year pilot aimed at getting more people using the park, and to increase activity. The City will be adding five bag dispensers and new signage this week, and people will be able to dispose of their doggie bags in one of the 18 garbage bins in the park, which will be emptied daily in the summer and twice a week in the winter. “The City would like to encourage dog owners to use the new bag dispensers installed throughout the park to clean up after their dog,” says a City media release. Residents will be able to comment on the trial starting later this month at Engage Vernon (www.engagevernon.ca). Over the next two years, the City will monitor the comments and will use that feedback to determine the future of the program at the end of the trial in 2019,” says the release.

Monday, November 06, 2017

City rethinks bus changes

by Kate Bouey - CASTANET Nov 6, 2017 / 5:00 am
The City of Vernon will likely not be moving forward with all of its planned changes to bus routes next year, following public consultations. A city spokesperson said members of the public “were concerned about the proposed changes to routes 7 and 8.” Those routes cover Okanagan Landing and Bella Vista. Staff are expected to recommend to city council this month that the changes be delayed until at least 2019 due to the public's concerns, according to Ellen Morrison, a transportation engineer-in-training with the city. “As a result, BC Transit and the City of Vernon are recommending not to pursue changes to routes 7 and 8 in this round of service changes,” Morrison said in an email. “While BC Transit and the City of Vernon do acknowledge that there are opportunities to improve both of these routes, the public's concerns could be more thoroughly addressed as part of future transit expansions planned in the next two fiscal years.” However, Morrison said there was strong support for a new north-south route between the Village Green Mall and the downtown. Morrison said recommendations would be presented ito council at its Nov. 27th meeting. Meanwhile, a BC Transit official said the company was still working with the City of Vernon to improve transit service in the area with significant expansion hours starting March, 2018. "A service change plan summarizing all the final details will be made available to the public by the end of November," said the official.