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October 27, 2017 8:11 pm

McBride Council….What Now?

Monday, November 21, 2016 @ 3:36 PM

McBride, B.C.-The Minister  of  Community, Sport and Cultural Development,  Peter Fassbender, says  his  Ministry team  is  working on  the options available to deal with the  situation in McBride, where  three Councillors  resigned on Friday, leaving  the Village’s Mayor and remaining  councillor  unable to carry on  business  because they don’t have a quorum.

There are two provisions  under the Community Charter for dealing with this kind of  situation.  One would be to  give the remaining Mayor and Council the  authority to move  ahead until a by-election is  called,  the other  would see  the Province  appoint representatives until  a by-election  can be  held.

Minister Fassbender  is  not ready to say which option  he will choose “In the meantime  the remaining Councillor and Mayor along with the Administrator  must  ensure that residents continue to receive  the services that they  require” says  Minister Fassbender “Any decisions that they make that would result in  any future financial liabilities would be made by the Council once a by- election has been held and a quorum  has been restored to the community.”

Although  he is calling  on the Mayor (Loranne Martin ) and  remaining Councillor ( Rick Thompson) to  ensure the residents  continue to receive the services they require , that  doesn’t mean  he  is giving  the pair  quorum  status “I want the residents to know that the expectation  is that the Mayor  and the Councillor and the Administrator  and staff in McBride will  continue to provide the essential services that the community  needs.  They have the  fiduciary  duty to carry on, providing  essential services, but they have to be careful that any commitments they make  have liability  associated with it in the future, so  in the short term, I would hope the Mayor and remaining  Councillor and the Administrator will continue to make sure  that the water works,  and that the sewer continues to operate and the other essential services (continue)   that’s not an onerous task, it’s pretty clear what has to be done day in and day out.”

As for the long term?  “I’m loath to make a commitment one way or the other at the moment until I get  a briefing from  my staff as to what those options are and what the  elements  of those are and what the commitment would be” says Fassbender.

The  full briefing  on the situation will include  examining  some letters which  are being  sent to  him from former councillors  and others in the community.  Minister Fassbender  can’t say  when a decision will be made on the course of action “I  can assure you that as soon as I am in a position  to do something that is appropriate and   maintains  the stability in the community  I will do that.”

Prince George Robson Valley MLA Shirley Bond says she  too is concerned about restoring stability  to the community “What I’m concerned about is growing the economy in McBride, looking at how we grapple with tough issues that exist in the Robson Valley. We need to have some stability there to do that. So while I’m not privy to the specific details, what matters most to me is that we figure out what the next steps are, make sure we’re supporting the community and then get down to business making sure we can support the community and the residents there.”

This is  the second time in as  many years,  that the Ministry has had to take steps in a  community  because of  a loss of quorum.  In 2015,   the District of  Lantzville lost quorum when four councillors resigned. In that case the Minister issued an order so that the remaining members of the council constituted quorum until a by-election was held to fill the vacancies.



The management and staff can continue to run the services of McBride. Providing day to day services are not done by the Mayor of Council.

Anything that requires a vote of course or requires Council to approve will not get done until this issue is settled on way or another.

Growing the economy of McBride is only part of the problem. We need to grow the entire economy of North Central BC. Cache Creek to Prince Rupert, Kitimat, with a few exceptions, is a wasteland.

The interior has been crippled by losing thousands of jobs over the past 10/20 years, and for all intents and purposes is on life support.

“Prince George Robson Valley MLA Shirley Bond says she too is concerned about restoring stability to the community “What I’m concerned about is growing the economy in McBride, looking at how we grapple with tough issues that exist in the Robson Valley. We need to have some stability there to do that.”

Shirley, and her government, have been parroting the “growing the economy” mantra, and grappling with that same issue, for 16 years now. I am surprised she even mentioned the word “economy” given this government’s abject failure to deliver on anything to do with “jobs and the economy” (it’s their go to slogan in past election campaigns, don’t you know). Anyone remember their “jobs plan”? Hmmm… I wonder how that is going!

    John Horgan and the NDP are completely devoid of anything resembling an election platform and are even more lacking in an economic plan!

    So, what would you suggest be done to grow the economy in the Robson Valley?

    Would you perhaps shut down the Valemount Glacier Destination Plan for starters? Shut down the Trans Mountain pipeline that already exists and has been in place in the area for decades? Reopen non viable sawmills?

    If you have any grand, or even half decent suggestions, give Shirley a call!

    BC has been at the top of the country in job growth since May or even earlier. Small communities are hurt hard when a large employer leaves, like Tumbler Ridge they have to either fold up or find other ways to derive an income. Mackenzie is wood and wood fibre as an employer. The mine probably helped a bit but there just is no other business to keep people employed once the large players close up and move to other locales as they were kept in business by the employees and family of that large player

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