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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, June 24, 2016

Community Updates (16) - Jun 24, 2016

Please visit the following link for the updates below:

1) The next SPC meeting is this Monday Jun 27th from 11:30 am  - 1:00 pm
2) Communities that Care - Positive Action Word of the Week(s)
3) Volunteers needed - help stuff welcome packages Jul 9th
4) Billet Accommodation hosts needed - for visitors of the Elders Gathering Jul 10 - 14th.
5) Bids To Help Kids! - Art, Auction and Appy's on Jun 25th at 7 pm
6) Dirty Laundry Campaign Celebration - wrap-up event Tue Jun 28th 4:30 - 6:30 pm
7) Atlantic Power - Open House regarding burning rail ties - Tues Jun 28th 4 - 8 pm
8) 15th Annual Williams Lake Walk for ALS - Sat June 25th
9) Tails & Trails at Scout Island Nature Centre
10) Nature Fun at Scout Island Nature Centre
11) Canada Day Events in Boitanio Park - Friday Jul 1, 2016
12) Stampede Weekend Parade, and community events.
13) Free Fitness in the Park - all summer long
14) Performances in the Park - Thursday evenings in Boitanio Park
15) Williams Lake Garden Club & Arts Tour - July 9th (self guided)
16) Williams Lake Refugee Sponsorship Group update - Family on 5 enroute.

See you Monday!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Monthly Meeting Minutes (draft) - May 30, 2016

Location: City of Williams Lake - downstairs boardroom

In attendance (from sign-in sheet): Bruce Mack, Irene Willisie, Matt Neufeld, Tyson Baker, Jordon Hammond, Kate Lines, Shannon Thom, Sharon Taylor, Carla Bullinger, Joanne Meyrick, Leah Selk, Diane Wright, George Atamanenko, Larry Stranberg, Marleen Morris, Jessica Knodel, Rosanna McGregor, and Tatjana Lauzon.

Accept Minutes & Agenda
During lunch we:

·   Reviewed meeting minutes from Apr 25, 2016
Accept minutes as presented - MFSC

·   Reviewed meeting agenda for May 30, 2016
Accept agenda as presented - MFSC
Growing our Future - Economic Development Plan for Williams Lake 

Presentation/Discussion by and with Marleen Morris from the UNBC's Community Development Institute on the Growing our Future - Economic Development Plan for Williams Lake in partnership with the Williams Lake Economic Development Corp.

As a result of the Mountain Pine Beetle epidemic, the economy is changing. Looking for opportunities for economic diversification.

Looking at growing current trends, and creating new possibilities for our region.

Social Service Sector - a glue than can hold a community together (important element of our understanding).

Cannot have economic development without social development.
People come for jobs, and stay for the social atmosphere.
The two are so intertwined - social must be spoken about.

Today - Marleen wants to hear from us (see italicized questions below).

Within the social service sector, what are the opportunities for growth and expansion?

What are the challenges and opportunities associated with pursuing these opportunities for growth and expansion?

What is needed to move forward?

Is there an interest in social entrepreneurism in Williams Lake?

If yes, what is needed to move forward?

Are there general opportunities for economic diversification that you would like to mention?
An example from our sector lead us into discussion, notably, The Autism Centre in Williams Lake which is attracting new people to our area.

Discussions began:

The Women's Contact Society has a new child daycare centre with extended hours (up to midnight, seven days a week). This is a start, but will not address the entire communities needs. This one centre is a band aid, and simply recruiting staff for this line of work is difficult. Affordable daycare is hard to find. Early Childhood Education is not a regular program offered at our local university.

There is a huge gap in training for Basic and essential skills training (those who leave high school and now want to get an updated job, and need skills to do so). There is nowhere to get this type of training locally anymore.

If people leave for training, they very often do not come back to our area.

We need a change in the Political culture of change - the costs required to investment in our future is a valid cost. But cutting programs and staffing levels, is seen as needed (because there is no money). We are losing services, and this is costing the local economy (because we don't have the trained people).

Racism in our community is another issue. As well as a high tolerance for drug and alcohol use (it is seen as normal behaviour in our community). These ideals are passed on to future generations, and the cycle continues.

The Social Sector is a major employer in our region.

Negative national media does not help our cause in attracting people to our area.


The crux of education readiness is what type of environment students come from when they enter school at age 5. Until there is a recognition of the needs of children not yet in school, no matter what the community and SD has to offer, students are often behind when schooling begins.

Positive signals regarding our region. Graduation rates in our area is increasing.
CTC - Prevention needs assessment in 2009, and data from second survey just completed is very positive (results not yet published).


Adult Literacy is very low in the Cariboo. Lack of programming for adults who are lacking skills. There is also a great variation in the needs of adults lacking literacy skills. 

Federally, programming is lacking and rural communities don't receive any (commuting to Vancouver is almost an expectation for these types of needs).

Funding levels from all sources have been declining over the years. We need convincing arguments to show politicians the promising results of investments. Many regional services have been taken away, and we need them back. This encourages people to stay, or even return to our region.

Educationally, the internet does not solve all our problems. Having a computer, will not help people who cannot use one in the first place. And what works in larger cities (e.g. Vancouver) doesn't always work in smaller communities.

Mentoring is also important.

Filling out forms online is NOT easy for everyone. Also many people need credit cards to do things online, and/or have difficulties getting proper paperwork, without proper paperwork to begin with.

Racism focused discussions then began:

Racism is very common in our region, and is a huge and complex problem. Economic development needs to include ALL people.

Williams Lake Indian Band has a daycare with open spots (tangible example of how racism plays out in our community).

Blue Ribbon Panel came through town, and can help address the current crime problems we are experiencing. Three Chiefs at this panel all mentioned that racism needs to be addressed.

First Nations Communities are a wealth to their surrounding regions (if people would just notice). E.g. most local First Nations communities bring in millions worth to the closet City.

Addictions are powerful in our City and region. There are not many local treatment programs. Only specifically family drug & alcohol, and a youth inhalant program.

We need stats to address problems. Who and what are we targeting? Change is slow, and conversations need to be broader. How is what we are seeing different, at different population levels?

Sense of Belonging - what are the new survey results from CTC showing? Micro analysis needs to be done, but results are positive (e.g. tolerance for drugs and alcohol).

We have a strong social sector in Williams Lake, and we have become more cohesive over the years and diverse in programming. We are good at collaborative practices. Our community tends to think in needs, rather than in terms of growth and opportunity.


Local Housing - if you are from the middle class and looking to buy, we are still an affordable City. If you are a renter, we are NOT affordable and we have very low vacancy rates. Developing and managing housing is not an easy task.

Changing demographics - we have an aging population with lack of services for this cohort. There is opportunity for growth in this sector.

Another opportunity for growth resides within our Aboriginal population.

Marleen - Time is almost done, but there is so much still to talk about. She would like to come back to continue this conversation.

Roundtable Updates
Posters for the Multicultural Gathering on Jun 11 & 12th from the Williams Lake Indian Band were shared.

The BIA is looking for volunteers to stuff 4K gift bags on Saturday July 9th at the Rec Centre.

The CCCACS is contemplating bringing up Lawyer for Jun 14th session on New Societies Act - anyone interested?

Postcards from the Dirty Laundry Campaign were distributed.

Williams Lake Immigrant Sponsorship Group still looking for a family, and there are now four different groups looking or sponsor refugees including our local group, Tatla Lake, 100 Mile House and another group in Quesnel.

Billets for Elders Gathering are still needed.

Meeting was adjourned. The next scheduled monthly SPC meeting will take place on Monday Jun 27, 2016, location TBA.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Next Monthly Meeting - Monday Jun 27th 11:30 am

The next monthly Social Planning Council meeting is scheduled for Monday Jun 27th from 11:30 am - 1:00 pm. Please join us for lunch, and the last meeting until the fall. We will be meeting at the Glass Slippers Boutique, which is across the street from The Hobbit House, and Red Shred's (upstairs - there is a door in the front and back).

Send your updates to spc-coordinator@xplornet.com for inclusion in next week's Community Updates.

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