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Williams Lake Council has productive meeting with MP Todd Doherty
City of Williams Lake Council and staff had the opportunity to meet with Member of Parliament for the Cariboo – Prince George riding Todd Doherty during his visit on April 15th, 2019.
Throughout the productive conversation a number of items were discussed that aligned with both the priorities of The City and those of the MP. “It’s always positive to be able to speak directly to Todd about the issues that our residents and us as a council have made a priority,” said Acting Mayor Craig Smith. “Dialogues like these ensure that Williams Lake continues to receive support from Federal partners where needed.”
On the agenda for conversation was moving forward with infrastructure programs that will provide exponential benefits to the residents of Williams Lake. Several different projects were discussed, including the airport, water treatment, emergency planning and evacuation routes. Further to the discussion of infrastructure was the conversation of the ancient slide around the Hodgson Road area and the effect it has had on the city’s infrastructure. CAO Milo Macdonald commented that the “The City has been working diligently to monitor the area to ensure our infrastructure is not severely affected. We will keep partnering with property owners and the government as we continue to seek an overall solution.”
Crime reduction and crime statistics were also discussed with focus placed on the ability to use electronic tracking anklets for prolific offenders. “Council is focused on reducing issues of public safety and security and we are confident that these monitoring devices will provide those who are charged with our protection the best possible tools to do that job,” said councillor Scott Nelson. “These will help knock down crime in our community and help deal with those who threaten our community and its residents by being a consistent nuisance with lengthy records.” Additionally, the topic of crime statistics revolved primarily around the misrepresentation of crime rates in Williams Lake due to statistics Canada attributing crime rates to the municipal population, rather than taking the much larger population Williams Lake services into consideration. “The reality is that crime numbers are nowhere near as bad as the numbers suggest; our police force serves our rural outlying communities, but those numbers are all reported as Williams Lake,” commented Councillor Marnie Brenner. “It’s not just an issue in Williams Lake, it’s a persistent issue across a number of smaller communities who have similar policing situations,” added Councillor Sheila Boehm.
One of the final items on the agenda was the recent consultations that were held in the Cariboo region and Williams Lake regarding the Caribou Recovery Programs. “We share a very heavy frustration about how this process has been undertaken by the Provincial government,” remarked Councillor Jason Ryll. “Our residents made it very clear on April 8th that a lot more work needs to be done to ensure that everyone is getting an equal opportunity to voice their concerns and to guarantee that the Province is listening to them.” The discussion was echoed by MP Todd Doherty who had attended one of the sessions himself.