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What is The Social Planning Council?


o Monthly Meetings: Attend meetings with guest speakers from within the community &/or presentations at each meeting. We currently meet the fourth Monday of every month (excluding summer) at City Hall with light lunch by donation.

o Facebook & Email Group: Utilize the network on Facebook. Start discussions, learn about & share upcoming community events, projects and meetings. If you don’t use Facebook, then join the email network instead.

o Inform City Council: The SPC provides reports to City Council regularly and the City keeps the SPC informed. Use the network and have your voices heard.

Strategic Direction of the Social Planning Council of Williams Lake & Area:

o Poverty Reduction and the local Living Wage Campaign.

o Community Collaboration and Networking.

o Retention and Succession of residents within the Area.

Community Social Planning:

o Supports communities in building an integrated approach to complex problems that take into account social, economic, and environmental concerns.

o Maximizes the effectiveness of often scarce resources by working to reduce duplication, overlap and competition.

o Provides an ongoing forum for communication, coordination and conflict resolution.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Community Updates (18) - Sept 25, 2015

Table of Contents:
1) Social Planning Council Meeting - this Mon Sept 28th at the City from 11:30 am - 1 pm
2) Annual Take Back the Night walk & BBQ - raise awareness about Violence
3) Williams Lake Run for the Cure - Oct 4th
4) Free Leaf Litter Collection - from the Waste Wise Program of the CCCS
5) 2016 Gallery Show Applications due Wed Sept 30th at 4pm
6) Auditions for "Making God Laugh" Oct 4 & 5th
7) Volunteer Training for Williams Lake Hospice Society begins Oct 16
8) Kidney Walk - Sunday Sept 27th at 10 am
9) Disability Employment Month - WorkBC Employment Services Centre (WLES)
10) Arts & Culture Week - Sept 21 - 27th
11) City of Williams Lake's Grant In Aid - Applications due Sept 30th
12) Cariboo Regional District's Grant for Assistance - deadline Sept 30th
13) Horsefly Salmon Festival - Sept 26 - 27
14) Dry Grad 2016 - looking for volunteers - 1st meeting on Sept 30th
15) Williams Lake Job Fair - Oct 7 & 8th from 10 am - 3 pm
16) Meals on Wheels - looking for Drivers
17) Williams Lake Wanderers Group
18) Veritas Program - Community Partner Offering - Oct 9 - Dec 4th

Please click on the following link to view the newsletter:

See you Monday!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

SPC Monthly Meeting Minutes (draft) - Jun 22, 2015

Meeting Minutes draft - SPC Monthly Meeting
Jun 22, 2015 - 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Location: Canadian Mental Health Association Office (51 - 4th Ave South)

In Attendance (from sign-in sheet): Diane Wright, Monica Lamb-Yorski, Joanne Meyrick, Rosanna McGregor, Jan Fichtner, Shannon Thom, Sharon Taylor, Laurie Walters, Sue Zacharias, Diana French, Darrell Garceau, Deb Webster, Larry Stranberg, George Atamanenko, Margaret Anne Enders, Leah Selk, Matt Neufeld, Bruce Mack, Kathie Vilkas, Monica Johnson, Jessica Knodel and Beulah Munson

Accept Minutes & Agenda:
·   Reviewed meeting minutes from May 25, 2015
MFSC to accept minutes as presented

·   Review meeting agenda for Jun 22, 2015
Add Margaret- Anne Anti-racism initiative
Add Gang Violence update from last week's meeting at City Hall
MFSC to accept agenda as amended

·   Revisit action items from last meeting
The City sent updates on the projects Love the Puddle, Project Comeback, and Love Williams Lake.

Guest Speaker - Donna Barnett, MLA
Donna started by giving encouraging words regarding the diverse SPC network, and that it is her pleasure to be here. The City of Williams Lake has lots going on, including the new Autism Centre and Interior Health partnership lead by Dr. Fedor and Nancy Gale.

In regards to fire season, everyone is encouraged to follow general rules such as don't break bottles, don't throw out cigarette butts and extinguish camp fires. The local Fire Centres are doing a wonderful job, and the resources are currently in place. Provincial Emergency planning resources are available for free and include "In It Together: Neighbourhood Preparedness Guide".

New Rural Advisory Committee (RAC) update - This group consists of 14 people from all over the Province including Haida Gwaii, Agassiz and as far as the Kootneys. It is a consensus building table where everyone feels comfortable discussing similar issues.

One current initiative the RAC is exploring is dividends for rural communities. This is a very complex issues with no consensus yet.

A second mandate is building capital for investments for small communities who are not municipalities (e.g. Lone Butte is not an official municipality therefore little help available). In that community there is not much left to pursue except an Abattoir and Slaughter facility.

Building a Community Venture Capital Corporation for people who have wanted to invest in RRSP's, instead can invest in this corporation which makes people care more about the success of the operation. Venture Capital is hard to get without initiatives like this.

The RAC meets again next in October.

Hospital Reno update - no further progress has yet been made in expediting the hospital renovation planning for Cariboo Memorial Hospital.

Robert Hallpenny & Catherine Wittman, both "Champions for the Cause" are leaving their positions which is concerning. Donna is now our champion and she encourages everyone to keep sending letters because pressure from the community helps move things forward. Letters sent to Donna get printed and distributed at Caucus meetings for increased political pressure to move this initiative along.

George Atamanenko pointed out the concept plan was supposed to have been completed by this spring, but it is now summer. Donna agreed to look into this.

Mount Polley Mine Update - Meetings are taking place in Williams Lake at the Recreation Complex this Thursday (and in Quesnel on Wednesday) regarding permits to re-open. A long term management strategy is being presented. Mount Polley remains positive that a decision will be made to re-open soon.

Extras Updates (From Donna)  - At the Tourism Discovery Centre this Thursday there will be an announcement regarding Hwy 97 upgrades near WL Indian Band. A new ferry is something Donna will not give up on because you cannot put a price on scenery and wildlife viewing.

Donna tells the group to please contact her if you need anything.

GP for Me initiative update - Laurie Walters
"A GP for Me" is a province-wide initiative funded jointly by the Ministry of Health and Doctors of BC (formerly the BC Medical Association). The initiative aims to:
  • Enable patients who want a family doctor to find one.
  • Increase the capacity of the primary health care system.
  • Confirm and strengthen the continuous doctor-patient relationship, including better support for the needs of vulnerable patients.
It also includes funding to Divisions of Family Practice over three years to:
  • Conduct research to evaluate the number of people looking for doctors in their community, the needs of the local family physicians, and the strengths and gaps in local primary care resources.
  • Develop a community plan for improving local primary care capacity, including a mechanism for finding doctors for patients who are looking for them.
The Central Interior Rural Division is currently ​in the Implementation phase of the initiative. ​Our project team works on initiatives that identify vulnerable unattached patient groups in our towns and will be a collaborative effort with local health authorities, First Nations, and community groups. Ultimately this will help redefine patient care delivery systems within the Cariboo-Chilcotin region.
Laurie's current focus is getting the community linkages made and gathering local information for the database on the webpage FETCH (visit http://www.fetchbc.ca  - currently Nanaimo's database is a good example to browse). The launch date for our local database will be sometime this fall. Afterwards, it will be maintained by the Rural Division of Family Doctors. There is the opportunity to have a full brochure of services available attached to your listing in the database. For more information  please visit https://www.divisionsbc.ca/cird/agpforme or contact Laurie Walters at lwalters@williamslake.ca

Action - Invite Laurie back to discuss this initiative again.

Emergency Preparedness Plan
In light of dry conditions and high risk of forest fires, discussion about Emergency Preparedness Plans for the region. Joining the discussion in additional to Donna Barnett is Williams Lake Fire Chief, and City CAO Darrell Garceau.

The June rainy season has not been wet enough to make up for the driest spring on record. A common misconception is that after lots of rain, the fire risk is significantly lowered, but this is not true. After an overnight "downfall",  within four hours this water is gone.

The Local Fire Plan incorporates the area from Deep Creek North to 140 Mile House.  Education is given each year including Firesmart programs for new construction.

An Emergency Operations Centre is being setup this week. ALL residents are encouraged to have supplies for up to 72 hours because there will always be a period of time when no help is available.

Recently an agreement was signed between the communities of 100 Mile, Williams Lake, Quesnel, Wells and the Cariboo Regional District for a free emergency broadcast service - for mass notifications of emergencies. Residents must self register for this service (ALL of your numbers and contact information can be registered including your children's school). Everyone is encouraged to sign up for this free notification service. It is for ALL residents living within the major Cities and those who live in the CRD.

Question - What does self-sustaining for 72 hours mean? There are people who require oxygen or home care for example - what emergency planning is required of them?

Answer - The same as others need to do. Having an extra medications, medical supplies and a plan for assistance (e.g. family member). If people do not have any access to supports, they are encouraged to contact the Fire Department 250-392-4321 for advise and to make planning arrangements. If there is a vulnerable person, the Fire Department and emergency services can help but arrangements must be made in advance.

Question - what about evacuations that require people to leave immediately. What would people without access to transportation do?

Answer - Evacuation plans have been in place since 2010 (the City is now zoned into 12 zones for this purpose). There is an agreement in place for people without transportation (e.g. contract with bussing company that runs the mining buses). People want to always fall back on government, but people must be prepared to look after themselves. Planning for transportation in the event of an emergency evacuation notice is something everyone should do.

There is also an ERSS (Emergency Response & Social Services Team) and emergency social services plan too in agreement with the Red Cross and Salvation Army. The Province also has emergency planning in place and the following resources:

Find the Provincial "In It Together: Neighbourhood Prepardness Guide"  at gov.bc.ca/PreparedBC so you know exactly what to do before, during and after a disaster. You can also connect online at the links below.

Web: www.EmergencyInfoBC.gov.bc.ca for alerts
Facebook: BC Forest Fire Information
Twitter: @EmergencyInfoBC for alterts, @PreparedBC for readiness advice, @BCGovFireInfo for wildland fire updates or @DriveBC for road conditions.

If you do not have access to the internet please call 1-800-O-Canada (1-800-622-6232).

Question - What are the Evacuation routes and where is this info available?

Answer - the emergency response system (for initial notification mainly) and will refer people to the appropriate numbers to call and information required.

Question - there is also a moral issue here. If you are responsible for a building, and there are special needs people within this building. It is your responsibility to help these residents?

Answer - Yes (Authorities can only help if able, and if they are made aware their help is required in advance).

Comment - earlier discussions would be more valuable than reacting if something happens. Can businesses and others be told in advance of what to do? Little too late if it happens.

ACTION - SPC to send out the information shared today and links to resources.

Anti-Racism initiatives - Margaret Anne Enders (CMHA)
Welcome to the Canadian Mental Health Association office!

Margaret works within the Multiculturalism program, which is trying to highlight and celebrate the diversity in the community. When we appreciate, we are a richer community for it. E.g. "Spicing Up the Cariboo Cookbook" project last year (copies are still available!), promoted the positive side of a diverse community. It is becoming commonly aware that racism within our region is an ongoing issue that is not going away. Therefore, CMHA wants to put some effort into this and have been talking to organizations for potential program and strategy ideas such as forums, community workshops etc. The problem with this type of outreach is that only the already converted usually attend, not necessarily others who need to be reached as a target audience.

Innovative and creative ways to get the message out with local businesses, schools etc. Is now being sought. Funding is required to implement new idea. The SPC could help with Letters of Support and others area also encouraged to get involved.

ACTION - The SPC will write a LOS for the CMHA's multicultural initiatives as required.

This subject needs a strong "Champion" to start and continue the discussions.

Early Education as part of the school curriculum is key. When you understand there is less chance you will act in this manner. Cheif Sophie Pierre (leader of the table in the Kootneys) is an example of a Champion in our Province. Cheif Anne from WLIB contacted Darrell again to ask where we can start.

There is a good chance for change in our community, in the spotlight of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission work.

From the perspective of an Aboriginal, who lives on the Sugar Cane Reserve, they feel the tension daily. This is occurring because facts are not properly shared via the media coverage of events. E.g. the process of Mt. Polley reopening; Natives are all portrayed as stopping the progress of growth and the economy but are only posing the question...  what other commodities could be developed to stimulate the economy, besides our Natural Resources?. It is very important to ensure the proper facts are given in the media. A general quietness about things is also not good. E.g. the City and RCMP need to be open and proactive about sharing information regarding the recent gang violence (rather than letting rumors and misconceptions fester).

There are increasing number of immigrants from places such as Korea, and the Phillipines who also face the same issues many Aboriginals face. A common name many are even called is "Timmigrants" (because many work in the fast food industry).

The City of Williams Lake (with the Williams Lake Indian Band) is meeting with a consultant this week to look into new industry options/diversification of our region including agriculture . This is also part of a broader discussion regionally  in conjunction with Quesnel, 100 Mile and even Wells.

To address the specific comment that the City did not share enough information with the public right away (after the high speed chase, and shooting last week),  Darrell noted that the City asked the RCMP to release more facts, but could not interfere with their investigation and/or decisions on what they release to the public.

It was also noted, the facebook group "Speak out WL" is not a place to have proactive community conversations. It is a "free for all" place where people say whatever they want with often no regard for others, or facts. The environment of that group is typically very negative and mostly uninformed.

The spirit of our City is amazing, but the media coverage lately does not showcase any of this. The local RCMP are doing a great job and have attended over 6500 calls for service this past year alone.

Monica mentioned that in regards to published articles in the Tribune newspaper, the positive stories (e.g. grad ring found, lottery winners) get read more "hits online" than crime stories (statistically).

Donna commented that multicultural initiatives belong to everyone. From her personal experience, the solution is simply engaging each other, and talking to your neighbours etc. In the "good old days" (30 plus years ago) everyone in our region felt as "one" and we can get there again someday by simply interacting with each other more.

Anti-gang violence meeting - update
Many people at the SPC meeting attended meeting(s) that were held at City Hall last week in response to the recent gang activity, and high speed chase and shooting in WL. The people who organized last week's meeting are new to the community, and not associated directly with any local community groups.

Question - Can anyone at this table please explain what this meeting's purpose was?

Answer - The presentation's intent was apparently to propose some solutions to gang voilence. Rather it felt misguided to the specific needs of our community; an ex-member of a Biker Gang spoke about his experiences. Finger pointing was prevalent from the start and there was distorted negative media attention (including on CBC radio). Matt Neufeld from the Boys & Girls Club was one person wrongly singled out. This public display of promoting mis-information was not considered appropriate or appreciated by many around the table.

Comment - This was NOT a City Sanctioned event. It was organized in a very short period of time and took on a life of it's own. It was only held in the Chambers because the group became too large to fit in the community boardroom downstairs. The City had no idea with was going to be presented at this meeting, and in summary "Lessons were learned".

Question - Is there a way to coordinate an accurate dissemination of facts to the public on a regular basis?
Answer - Statistics have shown that acts of racism are lessening in our community. Speaking out loud against it is the next steps everyone needs to take.

Roundtable Updates
With such a full agenda, there was not time for roundtable updates. Instead, updates were sent out via community updates.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Community Updates (21) - Sept 11, 2015

Table of Contents
1) Cariboo Chilcotin Early Years Conference Sept 26/15 - "Let's Connect"
2) Williams Lake Hospice Society AGM - Wed Sept 16th at 6:00 pm
3) Volunteer Training for Williams Lake Hospice Society begins Oct 16
4) Pro-D Day BBQ at Belles Acres - Sept 25th 12:00 - 3:00 pm
5) Job Posting: Early Childhood Education Childminding Services for IMSS
6) Strong Start Centres are open again & the "3 Year-old Round-up" Sept 19th & Tails and Trails Fall Program at SINC
7) SSDC Committee's updated Community Suicide Postvention Protocol
8) Children of the Street Society - It can happen to anyone workshop - Sept 25th
9) Kidney Walk - Sunday Sept 27th at 10 am
10) Williams Lake Harvest Fair - Sept 12 & 13th
11) NWT Disability Service Final Report - available by request
12) Central Cariboo Arts & Culture Society BBQ - Sept 18th 5 - 8 pm
13) Disability Employment Month - WorkBC Employment Services Centre (WLES)
14) Fall Programs from the Recreation Complex
15) 39th Annual Williams Lake Harvest Festival - Sept 12 - 13th
16) Arts & Culture Week - Sept 21 - 27th
17) City of Williams Lake's Grant In Aid - Applications due Sept 30th
18) Cariboo Regional District's Grant for Assistance - deadline Sept 30th
19) BBBS Annual Tour de Cariboo Fundraiser - Sept 12th
20) Horsefly Salmon Festival - Sept 26 - 27
21) Please send us your information for distribution over the SPC network
22) Next Social Planning Council Meeting - Sept 28 at 11:30 am

Please visit http://cm.pn/1c0w to view these updates.

The Social Planning Council thanks the City of Williams Lake and United Way for their funding support.

Contact Us

The Social Planning Council is made up of volunteers from the community. Many of us work in social services agencies or also volunteer for other organizations.

Our Mailing Address is Box 20045, Williams Lake BC V2G 4R1

To reach the Society Coordinator Jessica Dunn please email spc-coordinator@xplornet.com or call 250-243-2126

To reach the Communities that Care Project Manager Carla Bullinger please email carla@caribooliteracy.com or call 250-267-8249

To reach the THRIVE Williams Lake Project Manager Anne Burrill please email anne@changemakerconsulting.ca or call 250-267-7211

To reach the current SPC Chair Larry Stranberg please email happytrails@cfdccariboo.com or call 250-392-3626