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THURSDAY, April 12, 2012
Proudly serving Williams Lake and the Cariboo-Chilcotin since 1930
Arson suspected in park
VOL. 82. No. 29
$1.34 inc. HST
easter eggs a visual treat
Monica Lamb-Yorski Tribune Staff Writer Over the long weekend the fire hall responded to eight calls, but nothing very serious, says fire chief Randy Isfeld. “We had a call for an assist at 150 Mile, but they had it under control by the time we got there so we turned around and came back to town. They had a grass fire that was inching its way towards a house. However, they had got there and secured the scene,” Isfeld says. See NO Page A3
Inside the Tribune NEWS Police search for suspect.
SPORTS A11 Locals picked for BC Cup. COMMUNITY A22 Scout Island banquet April 20. Weather outlook: Rain today, high of 8 C. Cloudy/chance of showers Friday, high of 8 C.
Gaeil Farrar photo
Some cheerful soul with the Easter spirit hung this tree at the corner of Third Avenue and Oliver Street with colourful Easter eggs over the weekend, adding a little festive colour to a little tree that is only now beginning to show signs of spring life. Alisen Paynter and Vito Macchia, visiting friends here from the Okanagan, enjoyed the visual treat.
New Prosperity open houses to run Monday Erin Hitchcock Tribune Staff Writer Two public open houses on the New Prosperity mine will take place on Monday at the Gibraltar Room. The first will be held from 1 to 3 p.m., with a presentation to start it off. The second will take place from 7 to 9 p.m., beginning with a presentation. Brian Battison, vice president of corporate affairs for Taseko Mines Ltd., says there are three reasons the company will hold the open houses: to ensure that people have factual information; to help people understand what the new mine design looks like and for people to better understand the plans to pre-
serve Fish Lake; and for people to understand the potential value and benefits of the proposed project. He says that in addition to an overview of the project and how it can be built, people will be able to ask questions of Taseko staff who are familiar with the different aspects of the project. “For example, we will probably have five or six different stations to go to if you want,” Battison says, citing stations pertaining to economic benefits and community value; water and fish management; mining operations and infrastructure; reclamation, land use, terrestrial assessments; and respecting First Nations interests, for example. Battison says there will be six
representatives from Taseko at the open house, including four local people. He says there has been misinformation circulating about the project. “That is an unfortunate situation,” he says. “We want the public to have all of the information, all of the facts. That’s why we created that microsite (http://www.newprosperityproject.ca/ ) to get people to have all of the facts because it is a very important project.” An animated video on the project will also be shown at the open houses, which will also take place in 100 Mile House from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, April 17 at the Valley Room in the 100 Mile Lodge Con-
ference Centre. “We need to engage with the public, consult with the public, and get them information, and this is one of the ways to do that,” he adds. Battison notes that the environmental review panel hearings are expected to be held in late summer/ early fall as well. “There are still no final terms of reference, and no panel, but we are expecting them (CEAA) to issue the final terms of reference for the panel and appoint the panel members, and we are expecting that to take place in April but we don’t know for sure.” A federal government decision on the project, he says, is expected late this year.
Thursday, April 12, 2012 Williams Lake Tribune
Easter dragon gets lots of attention Greg Sabatino photo
Rose Lake/Miocene 4H Club member Kimberley Davis, 11, shows her bearded dragon to 13-month-old Avery Fournier, and his mother, Desiree Fournier, Sunday at the 4H clubâ€™s Easter Petting Zoo in Boitanio Mall.
Northern BC Winter Games Society â€˘ ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING â€˘ Saturday, April 28, 2012 @ 9am At the
The Hills Health Ranch 4871 Cariboo Hwy. 97, 108 Mile, B.C. Seminar Room For more information: www.bcgames.org/NBCWGS/society.html
Police search for suspect accused of inappropriate touching Williams Lake RCMP report receiving a complaint involving a 35-year-old female being touched inappropriately by a male appearing to be 16 years old.Â The incident is alleged to have taken place at about 6 p.m.
on Monday, April 9. The male was described as Caucasian, with shoulder-length, black, curly hair, and wearing white shoes, blue jeans and a blue T-shirt.Â At the time of the incident, the male was walking on West-
ern Avenue near Columneetza Secondary School, with two small dogs â€” one young puppy that was yellow and brown in color, and one shih tzu or small breed dog similar in appearance to a husky. If anyone witnessed
the event or has information pertaining to this file they are asked to contact the Williams Lake Detachment of the RCMP at 250-392-6211 or call our Williams Lake Crime Stoppers phone line at 1-800-222TIPS (8477).
Punk meets Metal Show Featuring Dayglo Abortions with Cast from the Stars and Insidious
Friday April 13th The Limelight 178 Oliver Street Tickets $13 For more info call Mike at 250-398-7709
Come to our Open House and meet experts in life planning t -BXZFST t 1VCMJDHVBSEJBOBOEUSVTUFF t -PDBMIPTQJDFSFQSFTFOUBUJWF t &TUBUFQMBOOFST
April 16th 10 am to 2 pm 3FGSFTINFOUTXJMMCFTFSWFE 5PVSTPG8JMMJBNT-BLF4FOJPST 7JMMBHFXJMMCFBWBJMBCMF Call for information 250.305.3318
PUBLIC OPEN HOUSE Taseko is proposing to develop an open pit goldcopper mine located 125km southwest of Williams Lake, BC. Taseko invites members of the public to Open House information session to be held: Monday April 16th from 1pm to 3pm Presentation to start at 1pm Gibraltar Room, Williams Lake Cariboo Memorial Recreational Complex 525 Proctor Street, Williams Lake, BC V2G 4J1
â€œKIDS EAT FREEâ€?
Tuesday & Saturday only 4:00 pm - 10:00 pm Purchase 1 adult entrĂŠe and drink, receive 2 free kidsâ€™ entrĂŠes.
OPEN 24 HOURS
664 Oliver Street â€˘ Phone: 250-398-5343
AND AGAIN Monday April 16th from 7pm to 9pm Presentation to start at 7pm Gibraltar Room, Williams Lake Cariboo Memorial Recreational Complex 525 Proctor Street, Williams Lake, BC V2G 4J1 For more info please call Taseko at 250.392.3100
Williams Lake Tribune Thursday, April 12, 2011
No open burning permitted in Cariboo Fire Centre Continued From Page A1 The rest were minor calls with alarms going and one grass fire in Boitanio Park. “Somebody walking by decided they wanted to see how well the grass would burn. We had a report of one person fleeing the area,” Isfeld points out, adding there is a lot of dead grass around town. In fact, the fire hall will begin its field mitigation work, weather permitting, over the course of the month of April. Normally the fire department will identify areas in town that could potentially pose a hazard in the event that something happened. The Stampede Grounds are a prime example, Isfeld explains. “All the heavy grass we have down there right now. There’s an area in below the well there just off of Western Avenue that we’re looking at. In fact, there are several areas that we’re looking at.” The idea, he adds, is to get rid of those areas on the department’s terms, rather than having to respond to them on a windy day when the weather is only going to aid the spread of fire. “We have those people around that get a thrill lighting places up. That’s been the case for a number of years so we try and go around and see if we can’t miti-
A wild Goose Easter egg chase? Monica Lamb-Yorski photo
A pair of geese take a spring stroll, perhaps on an Easter egg hunt, through Scout Island on the long weekend.
gate.” Private property is out of their jurisdiction so owners are encouraged to look after areas that might catch on fire easily. The fire department will conduct controlled burns of long grasses in the coming weeks to mitigate fire risk and to conduct training sessions. The burns will take place between 6 and 9 p.m., weather permitting in the following areas: Thursday, April 17 at the Gibbon Street Water Tower; Thursday, April 19, on the hillside behind WLSS; Tuesday, April 24, on the hillside behind Boitanio Mall and vacant lot access from the fire hall; and Wednesday, April 25 at the Stampede Grounds hill, below Oliver Street. Homeowners are being advised that the burns will create smoke, and may therefore wish to take measures to prevent smoke from entering their homes. Before doing any mitigation burning, fire department personnel will go out and hand deliver flyers, letting people know ahead of time, in case they want to keep their windows closed. Isfeld reminds people there is no open burning permitted in town, period. Aside from the risk to setting larger fires, small fires also have an impact on air quality.
City council considers tax shift Monica Lamb-Yorski Tribune Staff Writer City council has tasked staff with bringing back a tax increase option of a three per cent tax increase to include a one per cent shift away from industrial taxation that would be shared 50/50 by business and residential taxation. During a committee of the whole meeting Tuesday evening, council considered various scenarios around a tax shift, and in the end felt that by shifting one per cent to be shared by residential and business, the least
impact would be felt. Staff will prepare the final numbers for council to consider before the tax rate bylaw is prepared for its first three readings at the April 17 regular council meeting. There was an increase in business/and other assessments of $2.7 million and in residential assessments of $12 million in 2012 over 2011, which is why council is considering the tax shift to those two tax classes, said Mayor Kerry Cook. “The only reason I’m looking at the shift to business and residential is because we’ve had a
healthy increase in assessment to business and residential so the shifting to those classes will be very, very minor because of those huge increases.” Councillors Ivan Bonnell and Surinderpal Rathor voted against staff pursuing the option; Cook and councillors Danica Hughes, Geoff Bourdon and Sue Zacharias voted in favour. “This isn’t a huge change or shift. What we’re talking about is very minor shifting,” Cook said. During the meeting chief administrative officer Brian Carruthers
outlined where Williams Lake sits provincially in its tax classifications based on 2010 rates. Out of 144 municipalities, the city sits 28 from the top in residential taxation, third in major industrial, 15 in light industry, and 64 in business taxation. The community of Terrace is above in all categories, while Quesnel is lower in most categories, and just above in business, Carruthers said. Cook said the dilemma all along in taxation discussions is that looking line by line doesn’t depict the whole picture.
“In 2010 we’re number 3 and Quesnel is number 8 in major industry. What it doesn’t show is that we’re at $88 and Quesnel is at $59 per $100,000 so you can’t just use one piece of information.” Quesnel has over 60 per cent of its tax revenue represented by industry, whereas for Williams Lake it’s almost 24 per cent, Cook said, adding that industrial taxation has increased in Williams Lake recently because the city has lost more than $2 million in taxation due to dropped assessments.
Little League field may receive pretty addition Monica Lamb-Yorski Tribune Staff Writer The Little League ball field at Kiwanis Park is going to have an artistic uplift this summer after a teenage girl guide has proposed a service project. During the commit-
tee of the whole meeting held Tuesday at city hall, Tashina Matilpi told city council she wants to make various collages out of painted plywood that will contain segments created by Sparks up to Rangers in Williams Lake. “I want to take pieces
of plywood that will have pictures and inspirational sayings on them and put them up on the fence,” Matilpi said, adding she’d like the pieces to stay up from May 26 until the end of October. The project will fulfill some of the requirements toward Matilpi’s Canada
Cord in the Guide program. All the plywood would be primed, cut into specific shapes, painted, and coated. Council unanimously approved the idea and told Matilpi the project would be a nice addition to the park.
“Thank you for bringing this to our attention,” Mayor Kerry Cook told Matilpi. The matter is expected to be brought up at a future council meeting, as council members cannot officially make decisions at a committee of the whole meeting.
CARIBOO REGION WEATHER FORECAST BARKING SPIDER MOUNTAIN BIKE
Normals for the period:
Sales • Service • Accessories
CROSS COUNTRY SKIS 19 North 1st Avenue, Williams Lake, BC V2G 4T6
Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri 10:00am - 6:00pm • Wed & Sat 10:00am - 5:00pm
250.392.5177 or 250.305.5172 • www.barkingspidermountainbike.com
Rain High 80C Low 40C
Cloudy/chance of showers High 80C Low 30C POP 60%
Mix of sun and cloud/ chance of showers High 110C Low 10C POP 30%
Cloudy High 150C Low -20C
Monday Cloudy High 130C Low 00C
High 130C Low -10C
Thursday, April 12, 2012 Williams Lake Tribune
NEWS District to cut equivalent of 4.4 full-time teachers Gaeil Farrar Tribune Staff Writer In a special public meeting Tuesday evening the School District 27 board agreed in principal to cut the equivalent of 4.4 full-time teaching positions in efforts to meet a projected shortfall of $800,000 in its 2012/13 budget. The Ministry of Education funding for operating expenses is based on a per-student formula with some extra funding provided for rural and remote schools, weather, busing needs, and other criteria, explained secretary treasurer Bonnie Roller in her presentation during the public portion of the special meeting. She said enrollment dropped in the district this year by almost double the original projections. The district expected to lose about 70 students and lost closer to 140 students.
I think we are going in the wrong direction.” - Patti Baker The conservative estimate is that the district will lose 225 students next year, Roller said. Even with special funding protection provided by the ministry for rural districts such as ours, Roller said that based on the projected enrollment numbers, the district expects to have $800,000 fewer dollars to work with next year. She said the district can also expect to have funding protection gradually removed over the next few years until it is completely eliminated. She said the district can expect to lose $1.6 million in funding protection in 2012/13; $2.24 million in funding protection the year after that and will likely
see the end of funding protection the following year. Chair Will Van Osch said the special meeting Tuesday was required in order to meet contract obligations with teachers regarding negotiations on how and where the 4.4 full-time equivalent in teaching time will be reduced. This year the district has about 308.5 fulltime equivalent teachers. Next year, the district expects to need only about 304.1 full-time equivalent teachers based on enrollment projections. Mark Wintjes, director of instruction human resources, said the enrollment projections are based on discussions with principals.
Bright Red Bookshelf Children’s Book Drive A Project of the Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy
April is Book Drive Month.
Donate your used children’s books at the Tribune, elementary schools, Curves, Heartland Toyota, the public library and Bright Red Bookshelves in the community. Booksh he
Donna cleans a book before it is labelled for distribution to one of the Bright Red Bookshelves around the city.
Last year the Bright Red Bookshelf distributed over 5,000 books to children in the Cariboo Chilcotin, www.caribooliteracy.com Sponsored by Heartland Toyota and The Williams Lake Tribune
He said teachers can be added in September if enrollment numbers prove to be higher than projected, but it is more difficult to remove teachers after the fact. Trustee Patti Baker abstained from voting on the resolution. She said she supported keeping teachers in the classroom rather than adding more teacher assistant time to support teachers in managing split grade classrooms and students with spe-
cial needs. Before cutting teacher time she said the board should be looking at other areas of administration to make cuts. “I think we are going in the wrong direction,” Baker said. Cariboo-Chilcotin Teacher’s Association president Joan Erb asked what impact the budget will have on maintaining the class size and composition requirements that were established with Bill 22 and are now in jeopardy with Victoria’s new Bill 33. Assistant superintendent of schools Harj Manhas said the class size and composition guidelines set out in Bill 22 have been maintained in this district, with the
You don’t have to be Autistic to be different. Everyone is different!
Sunday April 15, 2012 12:30 - 2:30 pm Come out and show your support! Everyone will meet at 12:30 at the Child Development Centre (2nd Avenue location)
exception of a couple of classes at the secondary level that have had one
or two students more than the normal 30 students set for that level.
TRU - WL Happenings
Business and Archeology TRU North will begin oīering the rst two years of the Bachelor of Business AdministraƟon degree this September. Students will receive a general educaƟon in the humaniƟes, social sciences, and sciences in Years 1 & 2 as well as a strong grounding in accounƟng, economics, compuƟng, staƟsƟcs, and organizaƟon behaviour. This serves as the foundaƟon for advanced study in business in Years 3 & 4. The Bachelor of Business AdministraƟon is a good addiƟon to our Applied Business Technology which has been in operaƟon for many years. The Applied Business Technology Program oīers a nine-month Business Oĸce Assistant with Bookkeeping ApplicaƟons program. We are proud of our rich history of graduates and students in this program.
Join us after for pizza and refreshments!
Don’t forget the Summer Archeology Field School that will be oīered this July. There is sƟll Ɵme for you to take an IntroducƟon to Archeology as required for entry into the eld school. The eld school is oīered in partnership with the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council. Enrol today for the Archeology Field School.
For more information contact: Williams Lake Autism & Other Related Disabilities Support Group Florence Gonyer firstname.lastname@example.org Or Leah Volkman email@example.com
Apply now for the new business program, nursing, career programs, associate of arts, or any of our trades programs. Don’t be leŌ out by waiƟng too late. You can save approximately $8,000 per year in living costs. We will not cancel classes due to small numbers.
Sponsored by: Williams Lake Daybreak Rotary & Cariboo Chilcotin Metis Association Aboriginal Supported Child Development Program
Applications for Summer and Fall Semesters are now being accepted. Your University in the Cariboo
250.392.8000 > www.tru.ca/williamslake
Everything Tack for You, your Horse & More!
Monday - Friday 9:30-5:30 • Saturday 9:30-4:00 Sunday Closed 811 Alder Ave. 100 Mile House
250 • 395 • 1123 Next to Regency Chrysler
Saddles • Bridles • Halters • Leads Chaps • Boots • & More
Williams Lake Tribune Thursday, April 12, 2012
WILLIAMS LAKE CITY PAGE
COMPLEX PARKING The Cariboo Memorial Complex would like to advise all parking patrons of the following confirmed Cariboo Memorial Complex and Boitanio Park events that will affect the parking at the rear of the Complex. During these events, please park in the front parking lot of the Cariboo Memorial Complex.
PUBLIC NOTICE CITY OF WILLIAMS LAKE
Public Notice is hereby given, pursuant to Section 94 of the Community Charter, of Council’s intention to adopt Bylaw No. 2154 and establish a Revitalization Tax Exemption Program for the areas designated below:
Williams Lake Indoor Rodeo April 17, 18 and Monday April 23rd, 2012 Parking Bays 20 to 40, directly behind Rink I, may be unavailable as dump trucks will be hauling dirt into the arena starting on Tuesday, April 17th and out on Monday, April 23rd. Friday, April 20th, 2012 - All parking bays may be affected because the livestock and participants will be arriving.
City of Williams Lake • The Rush FM Cariboo Regional District • Williams Lake Tribune Welcome to Williams Lake website • Cariboo Advisor Scotiabank • West Fraser WLCTV • Shaw Cable Rotary Club of Williams Lake Williams Lake Daybreak Rotary Williams Lake RCMP & traffic services Citizens on Patrol, Mounted Patrol 3064 Rocky Mountain Ranger Army Cadets 202 Chilcotin Sea Cadets Stampede Royalty and Contestants • Don Alder Robyn Ferguson • Cariboo Men’s Choir Goddard family • Perfect Match & friends Mike Berns • Anna Dell Williams Lake Indian Band drummers Sight & Sound & Paul Mass Youth Fiddlers • Junior Council Mascots- Sparky, Smokey, Williams Lake Willy & Ronald McDonald
The Cariboo Memorial Complex would like to thank you for your cooperation during these events. Should further events be booked, we will attempt to notify all parking patrons immediately. PLEASE REMEMBER THAT ALL PARKING PATRONS MUST DISPLAY A VALID PARKING TICKET IN THEIR VEHICLE AT ALL TIMES.
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES Please go to www.williamslake.ca and click on Human Resources tosee employment opportunities
THE DEPARTMENT WILL CARRY OUT A CONTROLLED BURN OF THE LONG GRASS IN THE AREA, TO HELP ELIMINATE A POTENTIAL FIRE HAZARD. IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS PLEASE CALL THE FIRE DEPARTMENT AT 392- 4321, MONDAY TO FRIDAY, BETWEEN 8:30AM AND 4:30PM.
The establishment of the North End Industrial Revitalization Tax Exemption Program will provide incentive with the objectives of increasing the city tax base, increasing local job creation, and encouraging green building practices in the Revitalization Area. The maximum term for a Tax Exemption Certificate shall be five years. Proposed Bylaw No. 2154 will be considered by Council at its regular meeting to be held at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 8, 2012 in the Council Chambers at City Hall. Copies of the proposed Bylaw may be inspected between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, inclusive, excluding holidays, at City Hall, 450 Mart Street, Williams Lake, B.C. DATED at Williams Lake this 4th day of April, 2012. Cindy Bouchard, Manager of Legislative Services City of Williams Lake
CEMETERY SPRING CLEAN-UP
The City of Williams Lake invites tenders for the purpose of operating and maintaining the Williams Lake Crematorium for a period of three (3) years. At the City’s sole discretion, the agreement may be offered for a further period of three (3) years.
The City of Williams Lake began its annual spring clean-up of the Williams Lake Cemetery on March 21st, 2012. Please claim ornaments or other personal belongings at the City of Williams Lake Municipal Services Yard at 555 Second Avenue North or contact Matt Sutherland, Streets Foreman, at 250-392-1781.
The Tender Package is available free of charge from the City at: City of Williams Lake 450 Mart Street Williams Lake B.C. V2G 1N3 The deadline for submitting sealed proposals to the above mentioned office is 2:00 p.m. local time, April 27, 2012.
The Rick Hansen End of Day Celebration Committee would like to recognize the following local organizations, entertainers and volunteers. Their participation and generous donations assisted in making the event a huge success! As a result of community donations received, $1300 was raised from the BBQ for the Rick Hansen Foundation. Support for this event truly illustrated commitment toward community spirit and pride. Just another reminder of why Williams Lake is such a great place to live! Thank you once again.
Over 75 individual community volunteers you are amazing!
Northern Shuswap Tribal Council Thursday, June 21, 2012 the Northern Shuswap Tribal Council is hosting Aboriginal Day in Boitanio Park.
BETWEEN 6:00 PM & 9:00 PM WEATHER PERMITTING
LOCAL ORGANIZATIONS, ENTERTAINERS & VOLUNTEERS:
Williams Lake Rotary Club Home Show Thursday, May 3rd and Friday May 4th, 2012 the Rotary Home Show will be setting up. Some stalls may be affected.
The Williams Lake Fire Department will be conducting Fuel Mitigation/Training Sessions on the following dates: Tuesday April 17, 2012 Gibbon Street Water Tower Thursday April 19, 2012 Hillside Behind Williams Lake Secondary School Tuesday April 24, 2012 Hillside Behind Boitanio Mall Vacant Lot Across From The Fire Hall Wednesday April 25, 2012 Stampede Grounds Hill Below Oliver Street
WANT TO STAY UPDATED?
To receive City of Williams Lake media releases, Council Highlights, and updates, contact Communications Coordinator Ken MacInnis at 250-392-8488 or firstname.lastname@example.org
FOOD, DECORATIONS & OTHER DONATIONS: M & M Meats • Safeway Save on Foods • Karen’s Restaurant Cool Clear Water • McDonalds Restaurant Real Canadian Wholesale Club • Wal-Mart Gazebo Flower & Gift Shoppe Lo’s Florist • Dollar Dollar • United Carpet Staples • Canlan Ice Sports South Cariboo Rec Centre Rec & Roll - Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex
JOIN US ONLINE! www.facebook.com/ f b k CityWilliamsLake
OPEN BURNING Campfires / backyard “Open Burning of any kind” is not permitted at any time of the year within the City Of Williams Lake Boundaries. A fine of $100.00 may be levied for contravening, the Fire Protection & Control Bylaw # 1947. Residents living within the Williams Lake Fire Protection Area, but outside the City Limits (In the Regional District) are not governed by this City bylaw. Note: From the Cariboo Fire Center. Open Fire prohibition April 1st, 2012 at 12:00 Noon. The prohibition is in effect till September 30, 2012 or until further notice. The notice prohibits • The burning of any waste, slash or other materials (piled or unpiled) at a size larger than one meter by one meter. • The burning of more than two open fires of any size at the same time. • Stubble or grass fires of any size over any area. BE FIRE SAFE
Thursday, April 12, 2012 Williams Lake Tribune
s 0UBLISHER3ALES -GR Lisa Bowering s %DITOR Erin Hitchcock EXT email@example.com Free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad. - Albert Camus
A change in direction
What about our future?
he crime reduction in Williams Lake over the past few years has been impres-
sive. Weâ€™ve seen huge drops of more than 50, 60, even 80 per cent, in some crime categories, and that is something to be celebrated. But as Iâ€™ve always said, there is always room for improvement. Domestic violence is a great cause for concern. While domestic violence occurs behind closed doors, it is a community problem. So Iâ€™m pleased a From the number Mayorâ€™s of comChair munity Kerry Cook groups are working together to address domestic violence by bringing counsellor and speaker Kamal Dhillon to Williams Lake this week. She will do a presentation Friday night, April 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cariboo Bethel Church for the whole community, and a workshop Saturday, April 14 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at WLSS on awareness and prevention of domestic violence. There is a materials fee of $25. I encourage everyone to participate in these events. We all have a role to play in eliminating domestic violence, understanding that it is not acceptable, not to be kept in the shadows. Council has given the first three readings to the five-year financial plan, which includes the 2012 budget. Itâ€™s not a flashy budget, but is a change of direction. It contains deep cuts to address uncontrollable fixed costs, including $303,000 in increases in policing costs (representing a three per cent tax revenue increase on its own), and to allow future projects such as South Lakeside widening and repaving to be done without long-term borrowing. This plan takes a strategic long-term view, so that decisions made now lay the groundwork for continued fiscal responsibility. I spoke to two Grade 10 Planning classes at WLSS last week, and I thoroughly enjoyed the studentsâ€™ questions and their enthusiasm. It was a great opportunity to highlight one of my passions â€” the importance of education, and a dedication to life-long learning. Itâ€™s important to plant seeds that education opens doors to future success, and that high school graduation is only the beginning. Kerry Cook is the mayor of Williams Lake.
Shame, shame, shame Following a condemning report on the joint strike fighter program from the Auditor General Michael Ferguson earlier this month, Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Conservative government finally admitted there were problems with their beloved F-35 jets. The report also accused the Department of National Defence (DND) for not being wholly open with the information it was giving to government and its bureaucrats, especially about the escalating cost estimates. It appears Mr. Harper suspected the jig was up when there was no mention of the F-35 jets in the budget speech, other than to note that the CF-18 Hornets had to be replaced. Immediately after the Auditor Generalâ€™s report was released, the Tories froze the spending for the F-35 program. Next, the government announced it was withdrawing DNDâ€™s ability to purchase new weapon systems and hand them off to Public Works. Obviously, this was a move to appear to be doing something and to deflect opposition criticism in the House of Commons. However, the $30-billion, and possibly growing, price tag on the F-35 jets isnâ€™t new information for the Tories. In March 2011, Parliamentary Budget Officer
Kevin Page noted the cost of the F-35 program would be closer to $30 billion because the $15-billion price tag DND was tossing around didnâ€™t include ongoing training, personnel and operating costs. At the time, the Tory government and its MPs stubbornly refused to admit costs were spiralling out of control for the F-35 stealth fighters, and pointed accusatory fingers at Mr. Page for not providing accurate fingers. While the federal Liberal Opposition hammered away at getting a true costing for the F-35 jets, the Harper government continued to defend the F35s. This refusal to come clean and share the information with the House of Commons came to a head when the opposition passed a lack of confidence vote against the minority government and forced last yearâ€™s federal election. During the ensuing election campaign, the Conservatives continued to pull the wool over the nationâ€™s eyes by denying the escalating cost and technical problems. They were rewarded for their evasiveness by being handed a majority government. It lends credence to the old adage you can fool all of the people some of the time. â€” Ken Alexander
A politically independent community newspaper published Tuesdays and Thursdays by: Black Press Group Ltd. 188 North 1st Ave., WilLIAMS ,AKE "# #ANADA 6'