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(Document from 2018 application) 

Despite opposition from the audience at last night’s regular council meeting, a possible OCP (official community plan) amendment for 1330 Pine Street has moved forward by a 4-3 vote.

In support were Councillors Tony Luck, Melvina White, Travis Fehr, and Mayor Linda Brown. Mike Bhangu, Adam Etchart, and Kurt Christopherson were the three councillors in opposition.

For the group in favour, there was a general theme in their reasoning of wanting to advance the motion to a public hearing.

“I think to just quickly dismiss this, it would not be appropriate,” said Luck. “I think that the proper process is to go to the public and hear from all sides on this one. We were elected with a mandate to change this community, and this is part of that process, is to get all of the public to speak to items like this.”

“I would like to make an informed decision on both sides, I feel it should come to first and second reading and a public hearing,” said White. “The OCP is 15-years old, we are going through a lot of changes in the community and I think we should have the opportunity to have a look at that.”

“I think terminating the process would just be a mistake at this point, we need more information. We need to weigh all sides of it fairly,” said Fehr.

“We’re a Council that promotes development, on the other hand, I worry that moving directly to an R9 for this little plot of land may be a bit of a stretch at this time,” said Brown. “I would like to see us go forward and I do believe we need to bring it to a public hearing. I think all applications have the right to a public hearing.”

Etchart voiced his concerns and those he heard from the public.

“We have a lot of water in the area and I think developing homes there, we need to be very cautious. We can end up with a lot of flooding in residential areas. We’ve had discussions about not having development in flood plains,” said Etchart.

Christopherson also voted against the motion citing wanting to bring this forward as part of the bigger discussion around the OCP and not to piecemeal it out.

City Council is planning to review the OCP in the new year.

The passed motion will return to the table on October 8, for first and second reading, and a possible public hearing would be scheduled for October 22, should it receive second reading.


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Wildfire service

Effective at noon today (Wednesday, Sept. 18), Category 2 and Category 3 open fires will be permitted throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre's jurisdiction, due to a decreased risk of wildfires in the region.

Use of the following equipment and activities will also be permitted:

* fireworks
* sky lanterns
* burn barrels or burn cages of any size or description;
* binary exploding targets
* tiki and similar kind of torches

While the fires are allowed in the Fire Centre, due to a City of Merritt bylaw, Fire Chief Dave Tomkinson confirmed that they are not permitted within city limits.

Anybody planning on conducting a Category 3 burn, must obtain an active burn registration number ahead of time by calling 1 888 797-1717. Burn registration numbers are entered in the Open Fire Tracking System, which allows the BC Wildfire Service to track open burning activity throughout B.C.


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The provincial government has announced $69 million to fund a new series of measures aimed at supporting British Columbia forest workers impacted by mill closures and shift reductions in several B.C. Interior communities.

The Interior forest industry has been reducing production in an effort to adjust to the end of the mountain pine beetle harvest and the devastating 2017 and 2018 fire seasons.

"The previous government knew that the end of mountain pine beetle harvest would disrupt the lives of forest workers, contractors and communities, but they did little to prepare for this inevitable transition," said Premier John Horgan. "While the forest sector must reduce surplus milling capacity to remain competitive, it cannot do so at the expense of the workers, contractors and communities who built the industry. Our government will ensure that forest workers impacted by mill closures are supported."

Premier Horgan and Doug Donaldson, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, met with the chief executive officers of the major Interior forest companies to set out measures to support forest workers in the months and years ahead. Those measures include:

* $40 million to establish a new cost-shared, early-retirement bridging program for older forest workers;

* $15 million to establish a new short-term forest employment program, focused on fire prevention and community resiliency projects;

* $12 million for workers to access skills training, and for employer and community grants for training;

* $2 million to establish a new job placement co-ordination office that will track the transition and employment of impacted forest workers on an individual basis; and

* Community support grants aimed at providing short-term assistance to communities more profoundly impacted by the closure of a major forest employer.

"The Province is committed to supporting the people impacted by this change, but we need the forest industry and the federal government to step up and do their part as well," Donaldson said. "I'm hopeful that the Interior forest sector recognizes that the new industry that will arise from this transition will need skilled, experienced workers to produce new forest products that can compete in global markets."

Donaldson called on the forest industry to increase supports for impacted workers, ensure key corporate leaders are working on the industry transition and ensure that it does a better job of communicating effectively with affected workers and communities.

"The forest industry and its workers have built the success of the industry and bolstered B.C.'s economy for decades," said Harry Bains, Minister of Labour. "I am pleased that my ministry can help deliver solutions that provide direct and tangible support to workers impacted by current challenges in the forest industry and that will help sustain family-supporting jobs in communities that are home to the industry and its workers."


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Robert Mellalieu green party

Yesterday in Toronto, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May unveiled her Party’s platform.

The platform focuses on reconciliation, health care, affordability, education, democratic reform, and of course climate change.

Local Green Party candidate Robert Mellalieu spoke with Q101 about needing to attack climate change from every angle.

“You can’t solve the climate crisis without solving some other stuff around it, it doesn’t stand alone,” began Mellalieu. “If you’re going to solve the climate crisis, you need to find jobs for the oil workers, you need to reduce CO2 emissions which means rebuilding some houses. It does revolve around it, but you need to come at it from all angles.”

Another piece of the platform garnering attention is free tuition for post-secondary education.

“One of our biggest assets is the people of Canada. Many Countries have realised that for a long time and have free tuition for their students,” said Mellalieu. “We’re going to make getting a higher education, being a technical worker and receiving a higher wage something easier to get. It’s still very difficult to go through the post-secondary education system, you need a lot of money, you’re going to be strapped with a loan for a long time. It’s still very difficult and it shouldn’t be in Canada.”

Mellalieu did mention how the tuition model would have to be phased in, as not to break the bank on their budget.

Canadians head to the polls on October 21.

The Green’s full platform can be found -


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(Photo - document from 2018 proposal)

After over a year, the property at 1330 Pine Street will return to the headlines, as tonight City staff are looking for direction as to whether to proceed with an OCP amendment.

Back in May of 2018, the motion to change the 4.55-acre property in Collettville from Agricultural to Intense Residential to accommodate a 20-lot single-family bare land strata development failed to get past first reading.

Director of Corporate Services Sean Smith discussed the issue that Council will have to weigh this evening.

“Frankly we do have a dire need for housing in the City, and that’s right now balanced against the fact that it doesn’t comply with OCP in Collettville, which talks to preserving the semi-rural, large lot, and character of the neighbourhood,” said Smith. “It’s another one where we’re seeing this tension at the intersection where we have this need for housing and we have an established plan for the area. I think to matter what happens there are going to be people that are happy and people who aren’t.”

At this stage, Staff is only looking for direction to proceed, and if they receive it, a full report would come forward at a future meeting regarding changes to the OCP.

All OCP amendments do require a public hearing after two readings.

Council this evening begins at 7 PM at City Hall.


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