Fort St. James Council held a Committee of the Whole Meeting on Jan 11. The following are some highlights and conclusions from the evening:
Councillor Judy Greenaway was sworn in as new Councillor with the District of Fort St. James.
Conflict of interest procedures for all members of District Council were discussed. Council concluded that there may be times when conflicts of interest might appear during meetings at which time members may have to decline or exit particular discussions based on various positions within the community.
In May 2014, changes to the Community Charter sections on conflict of interest came into effect and in April, 2016, the Conflict of Interest Exception Regulation was introduced. These amendments were provided to Council.
The Transportation Committee minutes were provided. New business included: name suggestions for road leading to Veolia Bioplant, use of traffic control devices in front of Petro is a growing concern. Light is not instant and most pedestrians choose not to uses the device properly. Sgt Wadelius from the Fort St. James RCMP is researching the possibility of increased traffic monitoring due to increased volumes of traffic coming in and out of Fort St. James. The North Road pullout just before Tachie Road is also of concern as trucks sit in a small pullout area to adjust chains but this narrows the road significantly. Those turning left onto Tachie Road are left unsure if a truck is moving or parked. Tachie Road remains a concern due to a growing number of fatalities.
Next Transportation Committee meeting will be held on Feb. 1.
Council received a report on the “Blue Dot Movement”. This is a national campaign for federal legislation regarding environmental rights. Canada is among a minority of countries that does not recognize a right to a healthy environment. The aim of this movement is to have local governments pass municipal declarations supporting environmental rights. Once enough support is received, the group will lobby the Federal Government.
“This allows us to work towards a goal,” Mayor MacDougall said. “We have many challenges including recycling and this encourages us to look closely at our own environmental issues.”
A report was received regarding the City of Quesnel and their Smoking in Public Places Bylaw. Council is considering a similar bylaw not allowing smoking in public places such as parks.
2017 Councillor portfolios have been put in place.
School District 91 has awarded the District of Fort St. James with a plaque of student recognition.
As partners in education, District is recognized as a continued supporter for various contributions and opportunities given to students within the Fort St. James community.
Northern Development has given funding to the District of Fort St. James for the Business Façade Improvement Program in the amount of $19,853.45.
This program gives incentive to building and business owners the opportunity to improve the physical appearance and overall character of buildings in Fort St. James.