RCMP Staff Sgt. provides update on crime stats
Williams Lake RCMP Staff Sgt. and Detachment Commander Darren Dodge provided Council an update on first quarter crime statistics dating from Jan. 1 to April 30, 2022.
Dodge touched on detachment resources including five current vacancies, five staff members away on medical leave and two on light duty, however, was excited to share a new Operations Support Sergeant, as well as an experienced police officer, will be joining the team.
He also noted two frontline vacancies have been filled by recent graduates of the Training Academy in Regina.
On crime statistics, Dodge highlighted the following trends for the same time period during the previous year:
- Assault w/ weapon or CBH: up from eight to 10 (25 per cent)
- Assault Common: up from 57 to 63 (1.5 per cent)
- Theft of Auto: up from 21 to 28 (33 per cent)
- Theft From a Motor Vehicle: down from 32 to 25 (-22 per cent)
- Break & Enter Business: no change (16)
- Break & Enter Residence: down from 21 to 15 (-28.5 per cent)
- Robbery: down from six to three (-50 per cent)
- Mischief (property): up from 71 to 77 (8.5 per cent)
- Mischief: down from 68 to 47 (-30 per cent)
- Fraud: down from 45 to 38 (-15.5 per cent)
- CDSA Possession: down from 25 to 11 (-56 per cent)
- CSSA Trafficking: no change (4)
- Impaired Driving: down from 28 to 24 (-14 per cent)
- Calls for Service: Down from 2,353 to 1,972 (-16 per cent)
Dodge also discussed several serious crime events that took place over the same period of time including a death on Jan. 22 resulting in a 34-year-old man being charged with murder, a sexual assault/forcible confinement incident on April 1, and an attempted home invasion on April 17. In both of the latter incidents, charges have been submitted to Crown Counsel for review.
Dodge also noted, unfortunately, a second murder took place outside the reporting period on May 5 where a 19-year-old man was killed on Midnight Drive.
City submits overview of local efforts to Province-led prolific offender investigation
At the direction of Council, City staff sent a submission to Hon. David Eby, Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Housing and Hon. Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, providing an overview of Council's ongoing efforts to address the prolific offender issue in the community and requested the information be included in an ongoing Province-led investigation.
The report includes over 50 pages of documentation dating back to 2018.
During the meeting Mayor Walt Cobb said following the submission of the report he received an email from one of the two independent investigators to meet with Council for their input on the investigation.
Election Officials appointed
Council appointed Ross Coupé as Chief Election Officer and Rena Schill as the Deputy Corporate Officer for the 2022 local government election. Coupé is the City's Corporate Officer, while Schill is the City's Deputy Corporate Officer and Legislative Services Coordinator.
Development variance permit approved
Council approved a Development Variance Permit for Daily Stash, located at 250 Mackenzie Ave. N. to allow the replacement of its front facade, however, upon receiving complaints from a neighbouring resident, staff were directed to provide further detail surrounding parking concerns at the storefront.
City to enter float in National Indigenous Peoples Day Parade
Council allocated up to $500 from the Special Events and Reconciliation budget for the City to participate in the National Indigenous Peoples Day parade and events on June 21, 2022. The City also plans to have a booth set up during the day to further take part in the events.
New business license bylaw approved
Council adopted a new business license bylaw aimed at simplifying the administrative process for both staff and the public.
Hodgson Road water main repair set to begin
Council approved the repair of a section of water main on Hodgson Road with a budget of $200,600 and waived its purchasing policy to direct award the project to Morben Contracting and TRUE Consulting. Council was provided three options to address ongoing land slippage in the area and selected the recommended option to approve single sourcing repair work of replacement of approximately 300 metres of pipe.
Canadian Red Cross grant applications to improve access to mental health services approved
Council approved an application for the 2022 Canadian Red Cross Funding stream for projects that improve access to mental health and psychosocial services and supports for the amount of $350,500.
Council provides CCCTMA letter of support
Council approved a request for a letter of support for the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast Tourism Marketing Association's renewal of the three per cent municipal and regional district tax accommodation tax in the City; however, added a recommendation to see the organization highlight four to five local events through regional tourism marketing.
Hamilton Hotel shelter review requested
In response to concerns from residents in the area, Council requested staff to provide a review of the housing shelter at the Hamilton Hotel on Sixth Avenue South in Williams Lake.
Following a meeting with BC Housing and the Canadian Mental Health Association - Cariboo Chilcotin Branch, Council also asked both organizations (BC Housing and CMHACCB) to provide input for the review.
Scleroderma and ALS Awareness Months proclaimed
Council proclaimed the month of June as Scleroderma Awareness Month and ALS Awareness Month in the City of Williams Lake.
Williams Lake Stampede 2022 proclaimed
Mayor Cobb said he was "so happy to be able to read this one out again," just prior to making several proclamations surrounding the 2022 Williams Lake Stampede:
1.) 2022 is the 94th Anniversary of the Williams Lake Stampede
2.) The 2022 Stampede will be held June 30 to July 3, 2022
3.) The Council of the City of Williams Lake wishes to encourage each and every resident, merchant and service organization to promote the 2022 Stampede.
Council also proclaimed June 1 to July 1, 2022 as 'Stampede Season in the City of Williams Lake' and encouraged residents to decorate their businesses in Western décor, wear Western clothing, support the Williams Lake Stampede Association and extend a "friendly Cariboo smile and hearty welcome to all visitors to the City."
Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Committee hopes to meet with WLFN
Coun. Marnie Brenner, Chair of the City's Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation Committee, made a recommendation for the City to send correspondence to Williams Lake First Nation to discuss opportunities to collaborate on future development and initiatives.
"We are opening that door for opportunity and betterment of our community," Brenner said.
"We want to get together and start working together."
Poplar Glade rezoning process info requested
Council requested staff to provide a report on the process to rezone the Poplar Glade site to allow for residential development.
The City is currently awaiting the results of a request for offers on the property from the owner, School District 27.
Since 2019 the City has expressed interest in the property and, if successful, plans to utilize it to help address the critical shortage of housing in Williams Lake.