Have you registered for the Santa Claus parade? It’s coming up quick and the light up follows the parade in Gyro Park. Celebrate the season with hot chocolate and lights!
Thanks to Vicom Design for the poster design.
Congratulations to all the VOLUNTEERS of the YEAR. You are what makes our community exceptional.
Gerry Foster was recognized as Volunteer of the Year for his work with the Grand Forks International baseball tournament.
Certificates of Volunteer Recognition were awarded to: Dave Walsh; Don and Michele Caskey; Gerry and Judy Foster; Kelly and Jason McIver; Derek Taylor; Lisette Kermakin; Lorraine Dick and Ted Invictus.
September 30, 2016
RE: Grand Forks City Council Resolutions Passed at the Union of BC Municipalities
Grand Forks, BC – Grand Forks City Councillors were thrilled to have their resolutions dealing with the privatization of water, municipal tax sales, and the Allowable Annual Cut passed at the UBCM convention. Their leadership showed a belief that municipalities and the public sector positively contribute to a progressive resource management that will bring increased prosperity to all BC residents.
Mayor Konrad said he was “extremely proud of Council for bringing forward these resolutions.”
“[W]hereas privatization can lead to decreased access for the public, increased prices and decreased product and service quality: Therefore be it resolved that the provincial and federal governments take steps to protect the aquifers, surface water, public water and waste water infrastructure of BC from purchase by private corporate interests.”
The “Protection of Water” resolution impacts a few different areas of water related legislation and management. Protection of ground water (aquifers) and surface water falls largely on the Water Sustainability Act although there are many other pieces of legislation at all levels of government that apply to different circumstances. Many recent criticisms of private water companies focus on the social justice of granting them high volume water licenses when legislation would then protect their right to extract water without an explicit requirement to benefit the public. While there are some checks and balances in the Act, water rights activists focus on the “First in Time First in Right” system that comes into play in the event of a water shortage. The City believes that further steps must be taken to protect public water resources from deregulation and privatisation.
“[W]hereas the tax sale process is both onerous and costly to municipalities: Therefore be it resolved that the Province of British Columbia be requested to conduct a survey of municipal tax collectors immediately to obtain current information on the effectiveness of tax sale and their comments on the process.”
Every year the City must go through the tax sale process where delinquent properties are put up for auction. If no one bids on a property then the City takes ownership although this rarely happens. The property owners or the financial institution that holds the mortgage usually come up with the delinquent amount so that the auction doesn’t go ahead. Overall, the process uses a lot of staff time to coax a few property owners to pay their taxes, or means that the City takes on a property that usually is more of a liability than a benefit. The process needs to be reviewed so that it becomes more efficient for the City and yields better results for taxpayers.
“[W]hereas the allowable annual cut may be too high over the long term, and at the current rate, forests are being logged too quickly: Therefore be it resolved that the methodology by which allowable annual cut is determined and approved by the Chief Forester under the Forest Act, be re-evaluated so that stable, long term employment be assured and watershed and wildlife spaces be protected.”
The “Allowable Annual Cut” resolution criticizes the calculation behind the current forest harvest rate in BC. The three goals named in the resolution more or less contradict the restrictions placed on publicly traded companies in the forest industry. That is, they must maximize their profits and the best way of doing that is to cut and sell or process as much high value timber as quickly as they can. The bottom line for the public companies that dominate the forest industry in BC is short term financial gain. Balancing this are the regulations in place, namely the Forest Act and its regulations, that calculate the overall rate at which private interests and community forests can cut on crown land. The City would like the Province to re-evaluate the calculation used to balance short term financial gain with long term employment, watershed, and wildlife spaces.
For information, please contact:
Sarah Winton, Deputy Corporate Officer/Communications
Phone: (250) 442-8266
City Hall Offices:
Monday - Friday: 9am - 4pm
City Works Yard Offices:
Monday - Friday: 7:30am - 3:30pm
Both offices are closed on all Statutory Holidays and as otherwise posted on their doors.