Grand Forks City Council had a full day with 3 public meetings starting at 9AM and ending near 9PM. Two items appeared in both meetings: Library repairs – something tangible council can work on . . . and Whispers of Hope; a thing not as easily solved.
Committee of the Whole saw 3 delegations BC Wildfire Branch, Gallery 2 gave their Quarterly Report as did the Boundary Museum. Repairs needed by the Library (a roof amongst other things) figured into the meetings. In addition they discussed a number of proposed Bylaws Read more about that in the Agenda in PDF or HTML format.
At 6PM there was a Public Feedback Session where almost none of the public showed up to ask questions or give feedback. The topic was 3 applications by Cannabis retailers.
The evening meeting of council had a few items requiring decisions: capital assets being written off, support of the Grand Forks Fall Fair, and the Dollorama Signage. For Information they got the Crime Stats from the RCMP (though not presented by anyone from the RCMP). And they also heard from some citizens with concerns regarding the Whispers of Hope’s choice of location for the soup kitchen. Read those letters to council and more about that in the Agenda in PDF or HTML format.
City Council had a short agenda for the Feb 25, 2019 meeting.
The only things they really had to decide on were whether or not to grant Temporary Use permits to retail Cannabis outlets and whether the development at the north end of Boundary Drive would get a permit or not or would council listen to the neighbours who don’t want it.
Along with the things on the agenda were a pair of motions to lobby higher levels of government on behalf of the businesses in town. The ones whose results from dealings with the provincial government and insurance companies have been, shall we say, less than fruitful. Maybe shabby would be more appropriate.
The Disaster Financial Assistance And Emergency Program Act. Whereas many small business owners in British Columbia have many different household income sources and whereas small business form a critical part of rural communities because of the employment taxes and services they provide therefore let it be resolved that the province change the emergency program act and the disaster financial assistance program to better address the needs of rural British Columbia small business owners.
at 10:35 into the meeting a Motion by the Mayor with amendment by Zelinsky
And the second one is to do with insurance: Whereas many property owners and small businesses were recently affected by floods and fires across British Columbia and whereas many of those property owners and small businesses were unable to get insurance coverage, were unable to access that coverage in a timely manner or were denied insurance coverage from their insurance provider therefore be it resolved that the Ministry of Finance review insurance practices in British Columbia. To identify ways to better serve property owners with small businesses affected by disaster. They’re talking both flood and fire.
at 13:05 a Motion by the Mayor
On a sober note council has essentially put consumers of medical cannabis in the position of possibly having to resort to the black market. When faced with the decision to offer Temporary Use Permits to Medical Cannabis shops council voted No. And No to the same for Recreational Use shops as well.
Warning – Rampant Editorializing ahead. Picture your ailing grand parents visiting the same dealer you or your friends do. On the down low with an eye out for the cops . . all because even though the federal government has played with medical cannabis for years. and NOW recreational cannabis is LEGAL technically medical cannabis shops are not legal. For now. Medical Cannabis shops have been treading a fine line as to if they dispense or not. Publicize or not. Publicizing is a very tricky thing and not always best . . . In the recent past we had a lesson in how the system responds to Pot Shops appearing in the public media when the RCMP traveled from Nelson past multiple illegal shops to shut down a shop here in Grand Forks because it had appeared in the media. Having someone in city hall go out of their way to CC the RCMP on the shop’s application for a business licence didn’t help matters. When local government gives support or declines support to entities like these it adds to the calculus used when higher levels of management in the RCMP decide which targets to go after and when. A quasi-illegal shop serving the community has its local government turn its back on it. That sends a message
So you might potentially be faced with this situation: If you want to help your parent / grand-parent to keep their food down ‘cuz their medical treatments are murder on their digestive system and they can’t get the stuff that let’s them keep their food down . . . you might be forced to share your stash with them. But what if they also have asthma or COPD and smoking is not an alternative? What then? Does your dealer (we have no pot shops here yet) have tinctures, drops, edibles, CBDs . . . ? Does your doctor give referrals to dealers? They do to medical cannabis dispensaries.
Whether or not this situation comes to pass now has more to do with how much spine the medical cannabis shop has and how much scrooge the system is willing to be. Sad.
Budget Planning for the 2019 year. Not only is this a new budget for the new year but it’s a new council as well. Added to that is all the issues hanging over the city as a result of the flooding last year. So the planning sessions have become a bit more involved.
I’m recording all of them and making them available here for your information. The video below is a YouTube playlist with all the planning sessions in the order in which they happened.
Feb 11 was a very busy day for City Council. They had 5 meetings that day. Committee Of The Whole began at 9AM. That was followed by an in-camera meeting. In the afternoon they had a Budget Planning session. At 6PM there was a Public Hearing. And at 7PM they had the regular meeting of council.
The pie charts are for the committee of the whole and the regular meeting. All the meetings (except the in-camera one) are watchable below in the order in which they happened.
The agendas for all of these meetings are as follows: