Council Matters for January 19, 2022

Council met for three hours during our Regular Council meeting on January 19, 2022. Here are some highlights from the meeting:

Troy Clifford, Provincial President of the Ambulance Paramedics and Emergency Dispatchers of B.C. was on hand to discuss their September 3, 2021 letter to Council. Mr. Clifford explained the challenges facing the 4,500 paramedics and dispatchers across the province including events such as fires, flooding, heat domes, and cold and snow, together with significant issues related to staffing shortages. This has resulted in ambulance shortages in communities. They are working with the province on implementing changes to address these issues.

The Revenue Anticipation Borrowing Bylaw was adopted. This bylaw provides the Municipality the ability to borrow money for a short term, if needed, to continue municipal operations while we wait for people to start paying their property taxes in June. North Cowichan passed a similar Bylaw last year, but we had sufficient money in reserves to preclude the need for short-term borrowing. 

The 2021-2025 Financial Plan Amendment Bylaw was adopted. This bylaw formalizes Council resolutions related to spending made during 2021.

Pre-budget approval was granted for three projects to proceed prior to the adoption of the 2022-2026 Financial Plan. These include the Cemetery Services Plan ($75,000), Fuller Lake Arena dehumidifier replacement ($290,000), and the South End Fire Hall roof replacement ($465,000).

The Climate Action and Energy Plan Update (CAEP) was adopted. The CAEP identifies opportunities to reduce North Cowichan's energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions through community actions, policy, and other municipal mechanisms by 80% by 2050. The CAEP articulates a detailed understanding of the social, environmental, and economic impacts of the proposed emissions and energy reduction actions which will guide us as we select the best actions to pursue. The plan was informed by significant engagement with the public, the Environmental Advisory Committee, and Council.

Three trial dog off-leash beach access locations will not become permanent. Survey results and proximity to existing off-leash beach areas deemed these trial locations were not warranted.

Along with the Mayor, Councillor Sawrie will attend the 2022 FCM Conference and Trade Show in Regina in June. Typically, a councillor is selected at random to attend the annual conference, however since Councillor Sawrie did not attend the 2021 FCM conference after it went virtual due to COVID, Council voted to extend her selection to 2022.

The Local Government Leadership Academy Forum date change conflicted with the April 6 regular Council meeting, so Council agreed to reschedule it to Tuesday, April 5 at 1:30 p.m.

The next Council meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 2, at 1:30 p.m.

Thank you for reading and staying informed!

Al Siebring, Mayor
Municipality of North Cowichan
T 250.746.3117