Monday November 22, 2010

City Hall News

The Municipal Rub

What have your city councillors been up to?




oun Stam on Tourism

Coun. Chuck Stam reported that on Nov. 3rd, the board of Chilliwack Tourism got together for a strategic planning session. We spent the day talking about our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and challenges. Basically it was a review from the plan of 2007, where we've been, what was accomplished in the last three-years and an update will be brought to the board in the coming week, (when) we meet as a board.

A bit of information that came out of here that I thought relevant especially with our budgetary constraints and interestingly, looking at Chilliwack Tourism as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the City of Chilliwack, a separate corporation, but when it comes to revenue sources, they've created enough of a business model that currently only 23.4% of the revenues comes from the taxpayers.

All of the other revenues are created through some of the business activities and hotel tax, marketing partners programs. So, a very very well run organization and always neat to see when organizations are being weaned off the taxpayer and run as a stand-alone operation.

Vandalism Awareness Campaign

This past week, council Attrill and myself attended the Public Safety Advisory committee. We continue to see crime statistics tumble. It's not good enough, we want crime to be eliminated entirely, as much as that's not a option we continue to work towards that.

I brought the 3rd Quarter Vandalism Report to that committee and had a very good discussion and you're going to see that committee request a public awareness campaign from the City of Chilliwack.

We've seen many of the B&E's in the last couple of months solved as a result of the eyes and ears of the public and the people in the public are working with the RCMP and we feel that the vandalism in a public awareness campaign about vandalism and about how unacceptable it is and what it costs to us as a community, could return us some good results in 2011, so stay tuned as that information comes forward.

7pm Report Coun. Chuck Stam

The City Appreciation Award (See Nov. 18 2010 Voice story)

Nov. 6,  I got the honour of attending the 90th Anniversary of the Chilliwack Elks Association. They had a dinner the same evening as many of you had black ties on and gala dresses during hospice dinner.


Elks Lodge 95th Anniversary

The Chilliwack Elks Lodge, we started to go into the history of the Elks Lodge and they have left tremendous footprints in this community in a good way, they're a very charitable organization and do a lot of good.


Federal Retirees Superannuation luncheon

Nov. 9 last week, Wednesday, I attended the Federal Retirees Superannuation luncheon and brought greetings on behalf of council and did a little presentation on some of the projects in Chilliwack and I was absolutely shocked by their membership. There's probably several hundred at the luncheon, but they have 1600 members within the city of Chilliwack.

I thought our economy kept going because of agriculture and the quota system I'm starting to look at this because of retirees checks, pensions coming into the community keep the economy going, so thanks to them for hosting and I got a really cool pen out of the deal too.

Operation Rednose Kickoff

I represented the city the following day at the 2010 launch of Operation Rednose so for those people attending events at the Cultural Centre or anytime leading up to Christmas. The first weekend will be Nov. 26 and 27. So they're Friday/Saturdays throughout the month of December and the number for that is 393-3000 and anywhere from 9am to 3pm you can call. Tired, had too much to drink, call that number and they will get you home for free, for a donation if you wish to the Chilliwack Youth Restorative Justice Youth Advocacy Association.



This Wednesday I'd like to invite members of our staff, and council and the mayors office to our DEPAC meeting (Development Process Advisory) has been relocated to the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board office on Harvard.

They're going to be hosting us and having a hot breakfast and their guest speaker is going to be Cameron Muir who is a very very interesting speaker, an economist with Canada Mortgage and Housing, he'll be speaking a that event and he'll also be speaking that day at the Chamber of Commerce.

3pm Report Coun. Janzen


Just a note about our Transportation Advisory Committee. We saw some of the presentations today, I did want to thank BC Transit, we're going to have a great visit looking at our local transit as well as regional and look forward to the study and a thank you to all the committee members.


7pm Report Coun. Janzen

Sardis Doorway For Moms

I wanted to congratulate Sardis Doorway. I attended a fundraiser there. They do incredible work in our community with their families, in particular with single moms around education provision and educational programming. So I want to congratulate them. It was a very good crowd there.

Visit their site here.

Pacific Regional Training Centre

Also congratulations to the RCMP for thier PRTC open house training centre presentation on Saturday which was well-attended. I think that a lot of folks know that there's something going on there but it is an amazing place. With their national services that they are offering and it's a huge contributor to our economy so I wanted to thank the RCMP.

Visit their site here.

3pm Report Coun. Huttema

DTC and the Paramount

The Downtown Taskforce Committee continues to meet and some good ideas coming out of that and I believe there is a report coming forward at retreat as well. I also had the opportunity to tour the newest Chilliwack Asset, the Paramount Theatre and it's been interesting and had some conversations with people over the suggested uses of that.

It's not like the Empress Hotel when everyone cheered when it came down, there seems to be more interest in the Paramount. It was definitely an interesting tour.

7pm Report Coun. Huttema

I want to continue on that theme, congratulations to the RCMP for the training centre. That was an excellent open house seminar on Saturday. Reasonably well-attended and I think there was some good information that went out. Also good to know they intend to be here for the long haul. They intend to invest some serious dollars into the community as well.

It's great to have them as a partner on the community. The residents that have to put up with the gun range as well, I think do appreciate there is an end in sight for the most part most will have to put up with that for a little while longer. Congratulations to them.

3pm Report Coun. Attrill

Public Safety Advisory Committee

I don't think I have anything to add to what Coun. Stam had to say about the PSAC except for the fact that I think that it's a very dedicated group of people that are really going to be making a difference so I'm very encouraged by what goes on there.



7pm Report Coun. Attrill

Noises Off

I've been busy getting out and about in the community. One of the things that I did was last weekend, (Nov 6), I went and saw Noises Off at our gorgeous new Cultural Centre which is the Players Guild performance and it was amazingly entertaining. It's such a great venue. Really well-attended, it was their closing night and of course it was too bad because I spent the next several days telling everyone how hilarious it was and of course it was too late for any of them to go see it. Which was too bad, but you know I'm just so impressed by the quality of performances that are coming out of the Cutlural Centre and all the good work they're doing there.


The New Walmart

I also have to mention that I did visit the new Walmart this weekend. You'll have to go check it out. I am very impressed. I think it's going to be a very busy happening place that maybe could have used a couple more lanes to get in there, but anyway we'll see what's going to happen with that.


Remembrance Day Services at the Vedder Cenotaph

I went to the remembrance services at the Vedder cenotaph, and along with Coun. Stam Coun. McLean, th three of us laid the wreath on behalf of the City. Acutally Coun. Huttema was there as well and for whatever reason he was shy that day so he just stood in the background.

It was a great service. It was very heartfelt and I'm always so impressed to see so many kids. Because you think that you know they're the ones in the future that are going to support freedom in our country and to see that they are being raised to apprecaite the veterans is really a great thing to see. So it was a great ceremony, a great day the rain stayed away which was just absolutely wonderful.

3pm Report Coun. McLean

Transportation Advisory Committee

I'd just like to add in regarding the TAC. It's exciting to see a future plan developing for our transportation system and it's going to be even more exciting to see the development of it and what really comes out of it.


7pm Report Coun. McLean

Hospice Gala

Nov. 6 I attended the Hospice Gala at the Coast Hotel along with her worship and it was a wonderful evening as always. The Volunteer committee that puts it together every year just does an incredible job. The commitment of all the volunteers at the hospice is just overwhelming in our community.

I haven't got the exact figure, but I know that it was over $70,000 (raised) and that was before they counted everything. So they did a great job as usual. They raised money that's going to a wonderful cause in our community.

Middle School Student's Day With The Bruins

On Nov. 9, this was a very interesting thing I attended, Chilliwack Middle School, a luncheon with Daryl Porter from the Bruins, the principal, vice-principals from the various middle schools in our community and the superintendent of schools from our school district. And then we went into assembly with over 600 adolescents and the theme behind the asssembly was the Chilliwack Bruins on December 7 are hosting about 3100 of our students from all the middle schools for a whole day with the Bruins and the hockey game that was supposed to be there is actually going to take place at 10am, they've moved the time of it, so the students can be there for that hockey game, but it's not a day off school. They've actually created workbooks for the students to work on for the entire day with the help of the Bruins to look at healthier living and the various ways in which students can do that. So it's just an incredible day that's being planned for the students in the school district and I just have to give thanks to the Chilliwack Bruins again stepping up and being a part of our community in ways like that.

I just can't imagine 3100 middle school students going a whole day in Prospera Centre. 600 for two-hours was overwhelming. I can't believe how much noise they can make. Maybe I'm getting old. I don't know. But it was a wonderful couple of hours that I spent there and I'm really glad that I was able to represent the City at that event.

Also on Nov. 11 I attended the Remembrance Day Ceremonies as councillor Attrill already mentioned at the cenotaph at Vedder and that was as always very touching and it was a really loud crowd that came out that day and I'm sure the weather had something to do with that, but again, it was wonderful to see people from infants in strollers to people very elderly.

3pm Report Coun. Clark


Through our participation in the Dowtown Redevelopment Committee, Coun. Huttema and myself joined her worship and several staff members as well as representatives from CEPCO on Nov. 4 in Vancouver at the Wosk Centre where a business attraction event was hosted by the City of Chilliwack and that is something I hope CEPCO will do on an annual basis. I think it was very worthwhile doing that.


7pm Report Coun. Clark

Nov. 8 Coun. Janzen and I attended the Promontory Residents Association meeting to talk a little bit about some of the work that our housing committee and the Healthy Communities Committee project is doing to update the folks on some of those consultations and what we hope to get out of that and Cultural Centre Board meeting on Nov. 10, now it seems that things have settled into the season, gotten through the very busy opening month of September and talk a little bit about the public open house later on but, board members and staff seemed to have settled into a routine now (with) bookings and events, facilitating patrons there and it seems to be going very well.


7pm Report Coun. Clark

One of the real strengths that we have in our CEPCO and committees such as the Agriculture Commission that flow from that main board is the volunteer participation of a number of business people in the community from all sectors, one of whom is Stan Van Der Wahl who along with his wife Wilma, owned Rainbow Greenhouses and they celebrated 25-years of business and they employ over 100 people in Chilliwack in two locations as well as another operation in an unnamed province, other than British Columbia.

But it was a real delight to be there Nov. 5 as they were hosting friends and business people and community members to their open house and 13 acres under glass of flowers and plants was absolutely outstanding to see.

Congratulations to Mr. & Mrs. Van der Wahl on that.

On Nov. 6, was a Cultural Centre Open House so it was open to members of the public of all ages. I was delighted to be the emcee of the day, introducing your worship and Coun. Stam and Coun. McLean and many other people I can't begin... there were hundreds. We ran out of cake, we ran out of everything, but there were people all over the place looking at this marvelous building, so I'd like to thank all of the various arts groups who were involved in hosting people there that day as well as the staff of Cultural Centre Society and board members who were there to help with that.

On Nov. 11, I attended at the downtown cenotaph and as always enjoyed the parade down Spadina with pipers and emergency responders and everybody who comes out to remember.

Mayor Sharon Gaetz

I'd just want to add a couple things because you jogged my memory, Rainbow Greenhouses as well has been employed by Walmart to do all of their plants so I think that's pretty exciting and they also added another 200 employees. They have 400 employees at Walmart. So I think that's pretty exciting as well.

I'd just like to mention that Coun. Janzen represented us at Sto:lo Nation Coqaleeza Remembrance Day services as well. It's a very moving experience to be a part of a Sto:lo ceremony. I think what is really amazing about this town, is that there were three venues and they were all very very full. I think everyone that I talked to that was at each one of them said it was the busiest year ever, that more an more people are coming to remember and think of our troops in Afghanistan. Maybe its just that people are really hearing the message and taking time to remember and reflect.

A Note About Hospital Fundraising

There is $182,000 left to raise for the emergency room addition to CGH. The group is still working tirelessly and revisiting people for the last little bit. There will be one last raffle to win 2 West let tickets for a trip of choice. The core lab move has been completed successfully without service disruptions. Phase 7a, providing room for enhanced and up to date ambulatory services, and Phase 7b, providing additional administration space, a lab collection station, a future MRJ room and more room in the ER waiting room are nearing completion. The final, Phase 8, will begin in October to complete the hospital's new ER entrance, Foundation office spaces, gift shop and cafe. CGH will host a 100 year celebration in January 2011.



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