Terrace City Council briefs from the meeting on April 8, 2019. Some of the key discussions are summarized below:
Terrace armed forces training unit
The City of Terrace has issued a letter of support for a Canadian Armed Forces primary reserve platoon in the city.
The unit, informally being researched by a retired military captain, would host 40 part-time officers and soldiers between the ages of 17-42 and hire two superiors. These officers would live in the community and have civilian jobs and would go to the facility once a week to train.
Murray Hamer, a retired reservist, says having a primary reserve unit in Terrace would benefit youth in the community. Currently, those with an interest in joining CAF have to go to Quebec to take basic training and then be sent to a CAF base anywhere in Canada. They could then be deployed overseas if needed.
“They would benefit from the training of the Canadian Forces, it would help our community immensely,” Hamer says.
He also says the platoon could assist with emergency response efforts for wildfires, flooding or rock slides. A facility to host the platoon still needs to be identified.
Along with the City of Terrace, the proposal has received letters of support from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 13, the District of Kitimat, Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine, Skeena MLA Ellis Ross and Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen among others.
Cedar tree project
Organizers from the newly formed Rural Youth Reconciliation Initiative, a youth-led program by Canadian Roots Exchange, want to see a cedar tree planted in George Little Park to honour residential school survivors and honour Indigenous generational healing.
Events are organized every Saturday this month ahead of the tree planting on April 20, if the city agreed to cover the full $1,932 cost. Money is needed for site authorization, funds to pay for the tree including labour, use of electrical and rental of the park for the event. The tree would be located on the east side of the park.
After consultation with the Indian Residential School Survivor Society there would not be a plaque added with the tree, as youth organizer Brittany McDougall says the tree is not a memorial but a symbol of growth and strength.
“We want to plant this tree to show respect to people of this land,” she says.
Council denied a motion to pay for the full amount, citing $3,192 remaining in a council unbudgeted account for the rest of the year. Instead, they agreed to pay for the city’s portion of the expenses adding up to $472 and inquired about other possible funders for the project.
A fundraiser has been set up to crowdfund the money needed for the project.
Graduated licensing program for motorcyclists
The city agreed to write a letter of support for the establishment of a graduated licensing program for motorcycle riders.
Denise Lodge of the COREY Safe initiative, approached council to tell her story. Her son, 21-year-old Corey Lodge, received his learner’s license and bought a high-speed motorcycle the same day. On March 3, 2005, less than 24 hours later, he died trying to navigate a turn along the highway.
The Coalition of Riders Educating Youth (COREY) Safe initiative was created 14 years ago in his memory, to make young riders aware of the dangers of motorcycling, off road and on road, and to work with the province on legislation for change to bring awareness for safety.
“You go home and write a test, have a supervisor with you, and get on the road… this is where you learn, in the middle of traffic,” says Lodge of the need for a graduated licensing program. “They have to get the skills before they go on the street.”
Council agreed to write the letter of support with additional letters from individual councillors to write their own stories supporting the initiative. Motorcycle deaths doubled through the first seven months of 2018, with 30 victims from January to July, according to the BC Coroner’s Service.
Kitimat looking to host Minerals North 2021
The City of Terrace agreed to write a letter of support for Kitimat to host the Minerals North Conference in 2021. Terrace has hosted Minerals North three times in the past, but Kitimat has never hosted before.
Zoning bylaws for residential subdivisions
Council passed first and second reading to amend the zoning bylaw to change the designation of the property at 4012 Thomas St. from low-density multi-family (R3) to single detached residential (R1).
New owners of the property intend to develop a 30-unit residential subdivision on the 5-acre parcel adjacent to Uplands Elementary School. A public hearing has been scheduled for this fall.
Council also passed an amendment to rezone 4.3 hectares of property at 5350 Mountain Vista Drive, south of Coast Mountain College, from high-density multi-family residential (R5) to semi-detached residential (R2) to accommodate plans for a subdivision.
No changes to fire prevention bylaw
Terrace fire chief John Klie recommended council make no changes to the city’s current burn bylaw, which prevents any burning or burning permits for residential properties.
In January, Terrace resident Vince Heslenfeld asked the city to review the bylaw to allow for one or two permitted burns a year, arguing that it is unfair for residents with larger lots to be expected to take their wood waste to the dump.
Klie says after the review, it was determined the health risks of smoke and possible burn complaints from neighbours were not worth the risk of changing the bylaw. He also mentioned it seems to be the intent of other local governments and the province to restrict open burning as much as possible ahead of wildfire season.