Duncan City Council Meeting – 19 November 2018
This was the first real business meeting of the new City of Duncan Council elected 20 October 2018.
Here is the Agenda for the City of Duncan Council Meeting of Monday, 19 November 2018. Here are the MInutes of the Meeting as compiled by City of Duncan staff.
Here is the video of the meeting:
Council Members Present at the Meeting – Mayor Michelle Staples; Council members Bob Brooke, Jenni Copps, Stacy Middlemiss. Councillor Garry Bruce was not physically present but “attended” the meeting by phone. Absent: Councillors Tom Duncan and Carol Newington.
Here Are Our Comments On The Meeting
Item 5 – Delegations
5.1 Inspector Chris Bear of the Duncan/North Cowichan RCMP Detachment presented the Quarterly Update on Policing for the period July, August, September 2018. Here is the Quarterly Update of Policing for the three month period July, August and September 2018. [Note: PDF]
This presentation consisted of Inspector Bear basically just reading through the highlights of the written Quarterly Update. It took about 13 minutes and there were no questions from Council and no discussion by Council.
5.2 Michelle Kirby, Childcare BC
The highlights of this presentation were:
- BC Provincial Budget 2018 has allocated $1 billion for Child Care over next 3 years;
- There is an Application deadline of 18 January 2019 for local governments to apply to the Province for planning funds of up to $25,000 per local government. These funds are to be used for planning Child Care facilities within local government jurisdictions;
- Michelle Kirby encouraged the City of Duncan to partner with the CVRD and Municipality of North Cowichan to apply for $75,000 in planning funding. This $75,000 figure represents $25,000 per local government (3 local governments x $25,000 / local government = $75.000)
- There is a Province of BC program for subsidizing local governments partnering with non-profit child care providers to supply child care in local government owned facilities.
No questions from Council. This presentation went from 1814-1830.
Following this presentation a motion was passed: That Council support partnering with the Cowichan Valley Regional District to submit an application to the UBCM Community Child Care Planning Program to undertake a child care needs assessment within the Cowichan region.
Item 6.0 Report of the CAO
- Trans Canada Highway Boulevards
- City Water Main Project
- Cairnsmore Neighbourhood Plan – MacAdam Park Neighbourhood Open House
- Meeting scheduled with BC Housing on grant applications for housing. [Note: given the attention to housing issues in the recent municipal election we will be following this topic closely. We will ask about the result of this meeting and post what we find.]
The CAO Report was only 4 minutes from 1839 to 1843. There were no questions from Council and no discussion by Council.
8.0 Cannabis Retailing Within the City of Duncan
City staff delivered a PowerPoint point presentation which is not attached to the Agenda. The main items covered in the PowerPoint are in this document in the Meeting Agenda. [Note: PDF]
- Temporary Use Permit (TUP) – Duncan wants to deal with Cannabis retail applications on a case by case basis under Temporary Use Permits;
- The Province of BC has established regulatory requirements for Cannabis retailing and other uses. Here is a link to a document listing these regulatory requirements.
- Other municipalities, including Langford and Cumberland, have done more research on this topic than has the City of Duncan. The City of Duncan staff wants to watch municipalities like Langford and Cumberland to see what happens in those jurisdictions before finalizing recommendations to Council on Cannabis retailing in Duncan.
Councillor Jenni Copps asked:
- does this apply to existing businesses which might apply for cannabis retailing licenses or just to newly formed businesses? Answer: Nobody knows yet.
- Public hearing required for each Temporary Use Permit? Answer: Undecided at this point.
Mayor Michelle Staples asked:
- has City of Duncan had discussions with Municipality of North Cowichan, CVRD and Cowichan Tribes on Cannabis licensing issues? What happens if a proposed cannabis retail location in Duncan is within 150m – 400m of a jurisdiction border? Answers: Staff has had a meeting with North Cowichan, CVRD and Cowichan Tribes but nothing definite yet. Staff says there have been No agreements with other neighbouring jurisdictions yet on any matters relating to Cannabis retailing.
CAO Peter de Verteuil stated that City of Duncan staff recommendations on Cannabis retailing are in line with what other jurisdictions are doing. Queries about starting Cannabis retail operations in Duncan are coming from companies, not from individuals. Langford and Cumberland are ahead of Duncan on developing Bylaws on Cannabis retailing so Duncan can watch these other jurisdictions to see what happens there.
Item 8.0 was Unanimously passed by Council. Discussion of this item took place between 1844-1907
8.5 Cultural Connections Workshops – The Village Project: The Journey of Our Generation
This item asked Council to approve the following motion:
That Council approve sending all staff hired since January 1, 2016, and all new Council members, to the “Cultural Connections workshops” organized by Social Planning Cowichan at a cost of approximately $41.33 per person.
Mayor Michelle Staples had to leave the room during consideration of this motion because was, until very recently, the Executive Director of Social Planning Cowichan and is still a member of Social Planning Cowichan.
This motion was passed by Council. All present voted in favour; Councillor Garry Bruce voted against the motion.
Our comments on Item 8.5: Given Mayor Staples’ active involvement in Social Planning Cowichan [she was the Executive Director of Social Planning Cowichan until October 2018 and, as far as we know, is still an active member] we are very wary of any training being given to City of Duncan staff and Council members by Social Planning Cowichan. The fact that Social Planning Cowichan will be paid ($41.33 per attendee according to the Motion) by the City of Duncan to deliver this training workshop to City of Duncan staff and Council members is also a matter of concern to us. We will be following this closely.
8.6 Reports of Mayor and Council.
No Councillor reports.
Report by Mayor Staples: Raising Riel flag was done for Riel Day and she wants to continue this in future years; she recommends seeing a current Cowichan Valley Museum Museum display on Japanese internment during World war II, residential schools, racism, portrait of Simon Charlie.
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The 20 October 2018 Municipal Elections featured two Referendum questions placed on the ballot by the Cowichan Valley Regional District. The two questions asked voters whether they approved CVRD Bylaw 4201 and Bylaw 4202.
Both these Bylaws passed in the Referendum. DuncanTaxpayers.ca was opposed to both both Bylaw 4201 and 4202.
But now that both Bylaw 4201 and 4202 have passed by referendum, we think it is important to monitor developments on both continually. Both Bylaw 4201 and 4202 authorized new CVRD taxes and we believe the use of these taxpayers funds needs to watched very closely.
Here is what CVRD Bylaw 4201 said:
CVRD Bylaw No. 4201 – Service Establishment
“CVRD Bylaw No. 4201 – Cowichan Housing Association Annual Financial Contribution Service Establishment Bylaw, 2018″, will allow the CVRD to annually requisition up to the greater of $765,000 or an amount equal to the amount that could be raised by a property value tax of $0.04584 per $1,000 of net taxable value of land and improvements within the service area to assist the Cowichan Housing Association with costs associated with providing programs and services related to affordable housing and homelessness prevention in the Cowichan Valley.”
Note that amount raised from taxpayers “to assist the Cowichan Housing Association with costs associated with providing programs and services related to affordable housing and homelessness prevention in the Cowichan Valley” can be “up to the greater of $765,000 or an amount equal to the amount that could be raised by a property value tax of $0.04584 per $1,000 of net taxable value of land and improvements…”
So it could be $765,000/year, or it could be more than $765,000/year, paid annually to the Cowichan Housing Association by taxpayers.
Note also that the “programs and services related to affordable housing and homelessness prevention in the Cowichan Valley” are not defined in the Bylaw. This is one of the primary reasons we voted No on this referendum question. We did not deem it prudent to vote Yes without specific details of the program being provided to voters beforehand.
Here is the Cowichan Housing Association Attainable Housing Strategy for 2018-2019. Note that no plans have yet been formulated by the Cowichan Housing Association despite the Cowichan Housing Association now having been given $765,000, or more, per year in taxpayer funding raised by new CVRD taxation.
We will monitoring the CVRD and the Cowichan Housing Association use of these taxpayer funds very closely in the upcoming years. There will be more posts about this in future
We came across this video posted to YouTube in 2017 by Michelle Staples, who was elected Mayor of Duncan on 20 October 2018.
This video was apparently made by Social Planning Cowichan, of which Michelle Staples was then Executive Director, and the Cowichan Housing Association, an offshoot of Social Planning Cowichan which is to be given $765,000/year, or more, of taxpayer funds as a result of the Yes Vote in the recent Referendum on CVRD Bylaw 4201.
Just for your information, here are some other videos which appear on Michelle Staples’ YouTube channel:
This is a short election video with music taken from the chorus of a 1990s hit called Tubthumping by a British band called Chumbawamba. If I recall correctly the rest of the song is about drowning one’s problems through binge drinking.
Here’s a video of the full Chumbawamba song:
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