Category: News & Events
Bear Safety Day Saturday, Sept 5th
11:00 – 3:30 pm, Haylmore Heritage Site
Lydia Koot of the Hope Mountain Centre will be there to share her extensive knowledge of co-existing with black bears and grizzlies. A bear spray clinic will be available. This is a great opportunity to practice your “quick draw” with an inert spray. Phil Branca, author of “Miners, Trapper, Hunters, Packers”, will also be on site to sign copies of his new book. All activities will be outside, socially distanced and a Covid-19 event safety plan will be made available prior to the event. Social distancing is in effect.
Public Meeting on Heritage Topics – 6 pm, Wednesday Sept 8th
Zoom meeting id: 826 3502 6353
Area A Official Community Plan & Heritage Permit Area (Bralorne); Community Heritage Register, Local Government Heritage Status 4 buildings.
New Book! Miners, Trappers, Hunters, Packers and other tales from the Bridge River Valley by Phil BrancaWe have a new book for sale by original BRV resident, Phil Branca. It’s a great read with fantastic history about the Bridge River Valley. Available at the Bralorne-Pioneer Museum and Haylmore Heritage Site this summer and on-line here www.bridgerivervalley.ca/store/
Mountain Telegraph subscription
A great way to stay in touch with community news! A subscription includes 10 issues, digital or print available here …www.bridgerivervalley.ca/shop/
The Public Health Nurse will be in Gold Bridge on Sept 24th
Please call 250-256-1318 to schedule an appointment for immunizations
Open for Business!
Both the Bralorne-Pioneer Museum and Haylmore Heritage Site are open to visitors. Strict covid-19 protocols are in place at both sites for everyone’s safety www.bridgerivervalley.ca/covid/
Haylmore Heritage Site – Fridays & Mondays 12 – 4 pm / Saturday & Sunday 10-4 pm
Bralorne-Pioneer Museum – Friday thru Monday 10-4 pm
Community Resource Building remains closed to the public (too small for social distancing).
Membership update – July 2020
A General Membership Meeting was held, via ZOOM, on June 29th. Membership participation was 40% of the total eligible voting members and new by-laws were approved for both organizations. While the new sets of by-laws differ slightly for each organization, the new version is an updated, progressive version with modern and succinct language.
Key features for each organization include:
-A new on-line voting system for directors so all members can be easily included.
-Staggered elections for directors
-Updated criteria for membership:
1. Property ownership or resident
2. Resident for one month minimum
3. Someone with heritage/history here
Along with the by-laws a whole set of new policies were also created to ensure that operations and Annual General Meetings run smoothly and in a fair manner.
With the new staggered elections for the board, the 2020 elections will include the Vice-President position and 4 directors. Due to the Memorandum of Understanding between the Bridge River Valley Community Association and the Bralorne Pioneer Museum there will be a mirror process for the Bralorne Pioneer Museum.
Nominations for Directors
If you are interested in serving on the board of directions, you can email Pat Dahle, Nominations Chair, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Your nomination must be received by: August 28, 2020 11:59 pm
Your term will be for two years. Board policy on expectations of directors will be provided upon acknowledgement of your nomination along with detailed instructions on how to proceed in the campaign period.
Elections can still be by acclamation if there is not a need for an election.
If there is a need for an election, online voting will occur between August 31 12:01 am to September 13 11:59 pm.
The Association is committed to ensuring that all voting members are able to participate in the Election of Directors. To promote active participation in voting measures from Individual members across the province, country, and around the world, the Association uses an electronic voting system that can be accessed from any Internet-enabled device in any location. On request the Association will make available the Association office computer to those that do not have access to one. The Online Voting System is confidential and secure.
All members and organizations that are eligible to Vote, will receive an e-mail link to the Online Voting program.
The announcement of the successful candidates will be announced at the AGM.
Membership Cut Off
As per the bylaws, no memberships related to the Election of Directors or the Annual General Meeting will be accepted after August 30, 11:59 p,
Annual General Meeting
Will be held on September 21, 2020. Due to COVID 19 it will be a ZOOM meeting, no in person. You will need to request a link to the Zoom meeting. The agenda will be as per normal for an AGM. This is a membership meeting and membership status will be verified prior to being admitted.
The BRVCA Board of Directors met in late May for their quarterly board meeting.
Thanks to the work of our Bylaw Working Group – Benno Chapman, Terri Smith, Debbie Demare, Christine Oliver, Jane Roberts – and the expertise of Carmen Stacey and the facilitation of Sal Demare (started before he got on SLRD), a complete new set of bylaws was presented, reviewed and recommended to the membership. The bylaws and accompanying policies are progressive, modern and fit our community. The bylaws feature staggered board elections, clear timelines for things such as membership cut offs and online voting. The online voting will be a work in progress over time, but we have selected a good system used by other organizations, MEC being one example.
There will be a General Meeting, June 29 at 7 pm for the membership to approve these bylaws. The Bylaws and Policies will be circulated very soon in completed format for their consideration at the General Meeting. The Bralorne Pioneer Museum will be also pursuing a similar procedure based on that board’s direction and following the MOU between the two.
The board also approved an updated and expanded social media policy. This policy will be available for viewing on the BRVCA website soon. Additionally, the board approved in principle a Code of Conduct and Code of Ethics policy which will now be circulated to the membership and committees for comment and input before final approval. At this point most of our Board of Directors has signed this policy as a sign of good faith.
A Winter Burial Policy for the Cemetery was approved to make it absolutely clear how and when a burial between November and March can be done.
The board also reviewed half way through the year variance reports and budgets will be going out shortly to the board and committees to review and update for the 2nd half of the year, particularly given all the changes as a result of COVID 19.
The Board reviewed some of the very positive accomplishments in the organization including the work of the Bear Working Group and the new Bear Conflict Prevention Coordinator, the completion of the dugout at the Bralorne Ball Diamond (BCAC), the obtaining of the Sec. 57 by the Bralorne Recreation Area (BCAC) and their Phase 1 work to come this summer, and so much more.
There have been two recent resignations from the BRVCA Board of Directors, Ralphie Edwards and Steven Patterson. We want to thank them for giving their time and interest to the BRVCA. Jane Roberts was appointed to Vice-President to serve until the AGM in September to fill in the gap left by Sal Demare’s resignation when he was elected to the SLRD.
Thank you to all of our board members for their positive and engaged commitment to the community and this organization. It is appreciated.
BCAC – Bralorne Recreation Area ( Sunshine)
Several Expression of Interest opportunities for work on the recreation area, deadline May 25th: http://brvca.ca/bra-expression-of-interests/
BCAC Meeting – Sunday May 31th 2:00 pm. This will be a Zoom meeting, please e-mail email@example.com for details.
Dr. Humber will be in Gold Bridge on Saturday May 30th. Please call T: 250 256 7505 for an appointment.
Provincial Parks & Rec Sites- open for day use
As of May 15th many parks and rec site are open for day use only by Executive Order until May 31st. Please check the websites for updates on parks and rec sites in our area:
Is your property ready for wildfire season? Taking simple FireSmart actions on your property will reduce the risk of wildfire to your home and neighbourhood and help firefighters to defend your home. Be prepared with information and tips for homeowners here: https://firesmartcanada.ca/homeowners/
This year the BRVCA on-line store is offering bear spray in two sizes, spray holsters and books about the ecology of bears. Get bear smart and stay safe. https://bridgerivervalley.ca/shop/
A subscription to this monthly newsletter is available in print or digital editions, a great way to stay in touch with all the happening in the Bridge River Valley! https://bridgerivervalley.ca/shop/
2020 BRVCA Memberships available on-line. If you haven’t already become a member you can do so here: https://www.cognitoforms.com/BridgeRiverValleyCommunityAssociation/membershipformnov12019tooct312020
BRVCA – COVID 19 response
We are developing a COVID 19 re-opening plan following protocols set out by Worksafe BC and specific museum/heritage guidelines. However, we do not have an opening date as yet for the Community Resource Building, Haylmore Heritage Site or the Bralorne-Pioneer Museum. Staff continue to work remotely and we can be reached by e-mail which is monitored regularly: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Hope everyone is doing well, as usual, there is lots going on and many things to keep us all busy. One of the things that seems to need a bit of an update is the Bralorne Sewer project.
I reached out to Director Demare and asked for a quick update that I could distribute. He was good enough to pass on my inquiry to the SLRD, and they responded with the letter below, I feel fortunate that we as the BCAC, were able to get the attention of the SLRD in a timely fashion considering the rather unusual times at hand.
I hope that this is helpful. And I encourage everyone to remain vigilant of the project and process, and at the same time exercise patience and tact in their dealings with the SLRD.
It is my strong preference that in moving forward, we as a community use the BCAC to try and get our messages of concern to the SLRD, just how to do that remains to be discussed, preferably at a BCAC meeting, but I believe that Bralorne will garner more positive attention by having one point of contact with the SLRD. There are of course exceptions to this, but for general inquires, let’s try to use the BCAC.
Please feel free to contact me anytime with your concerns or ideas.
Please also share this with everyone you think might benefit from it.
Below is what I received from the SLRD:
Sal DeMare forwarded your letter to me for comment. I have prepared a statement for you to share with those who pay into the sewer service. I recognize that in your position, you need to be able to respond to constituents who ask for information and that you’d like it to be accurate.
In an earlier email (sent a couple of weeks ago), I asked for patience until the COVID-19 crisis has abated as the SLRD is, as are all other local governments, responding to immediate and urgent matters in unprecedented times as a result of the pandemic. Please also appreciate that with the resignation of the SLRD’s long-time CAO at the end of February due to her relocation to another town, the SLRD has an Interim CAO. Until the appointment of a permanent CAO in the coming months, the SLRD is and will continue to be understaffed. Also, the Director of Environmental Services is new to her role and is in the process of being brought up to speed amidst all the pandemic-related tasks that are on her plate. However, I can advise you that she is actively working on what needs to be done to complete this project.
I hope that this statement will be useful to you in your community.
SLRD STATEMENT ON BRALORNE SEWER PROJECT May 1, 2020. The sewer project has been ongoing for several years and is still not fully complete. For a detailed account of progress, please use the following link to the SLRD website: https://www.slrd.bc.ca/inside-slrd/current-projects-initiatives/bralorne-sewer-upgrade There will be an update posted on this webpage to address next steps, recognizing the impacts of the evolving pandemic on staff priorities.
You’ll recall that the SLRD has gone through the following processes to obtain the elector approval that was required to secure the additional funding required to complete this project:
- The first AAP was related to Bylaw No. 1594, which sought to increase the service area’s maximum annual requisition to $70,000 (to facilitate debt servicing associated with the long-term loan) and also Bylaw No. 1595, which sought authorization for the long-term loan of up to $700,000 to address a funding shortfall (i.e. after the grant). The AAP related to these bylaws failed on November 15, 2018. The subsequent assent voting related to these bylaws failed on January 26, 2019.
- The second AAP was held in relation to Bylaw No. 1614, which sought to increase the maximum annual requisition to $80,250 (to facilitate a short-term loan of up to $300,000). This AAP succeeded on May 21, 2019.
The previous Area A Director was John Courchesne and he held the office from the local government election in the fall of 2018 until September 21st, 2019. At his recommendation, the Board approved funding of $20,000 per year from BC Hydro Payments in lieu of Taxes (PILT) Funds for a period of five years to be applied to reduce parcel taxes (2019-2023). Following Director Courchesne’s resignation and until the by-election in February 2020, the Area A Director was Steven Oakley and in this capacity during this period of time, he was involved in and aware of the budget development process.
The parcel tax amount for 2020 is estimated to be $349.50 (compared with $346.22 in 2019.)
More work will be done in 2020 to complete the project. The SLRD is awaiting the waste discharge permit for the new facility to be issued by the Ministry of Environment. The timing of this is beyond the SLRD’s control and is estimated to take another 4 – 6 weeks, but with COVID-19, the Province’s process may take longer than planned. Once the permit is issued, the SLRD can then commission the facility.
The SLRD will be commencing with the remaining tie-ins to the properties, taking into consideration the challenges of entering homes with current restrictions in place. The Director of Environmental Services is currently looking at how this can be done safely and in compliance with current physical distancing measures.
The short-term loan (of up to $300,000, as referenced above in relation to Bylaw No. 1614, which was approved via the second AAP) will be brought to the Board for consideration in the coming months.
The 2020 budget for the Bralorne sewer service is available as part of the SLRD’s Financial Plan Bylaw No. 1670-2020 and may be viewed at the following link by scrolling down the document until you reach “Exhibit 2800 – Bralorne Sewer”: https://slrd.civicweb.net/document/120794
There have been two public meetings in Bralorne regarding the sewer project. I have made a commitment to conduct a further meeting in Bralorne once the COVID-19 crisis is past, provided physical distancing requirements can be satisfied. Director DeMare and I will attend along with SLRD staff and will answer all of the questions that have been raised. We also look forward to introducing the new Director of Environmental Services to the community.
Chair, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District
Gold Bridge Ratepayers Meeting Saturday March 14th 12-2 pm at the Gold Bridge Community Club. All Gold Bridge residents welcome.
The Community Resource Building and the BRVCA will be closed for Spring Break from March 13th – 22nd. We will re-open on Monday March 23rd.
Memberships for the Bridge River Valley Community Association are available for 2020. Your support of this non-profit organization is invaluable and helps to ensure various initiatives, projects and programs are delivered to our community throughout the year. Click on the link to submit your application:
EMPLOYMENT & CONTRACTS
Bear Conflict Prevention Coordinator: This is an employment or contract depending on the applicant. www.brvca.ca/bear-conflict-prevention-coordinator
Bralorne Church Washroom Floor and Inside Concrete Staircase Repair – Request for quotes www.brvca.ca/chruchfloorcontract/
Canada Summer Jobs. You must be 15-30 years old but do not need to be a student. These positions are all 30 hours per week, pay above minimum wage, and can start in May but must be for a minimum of 8 weeks. Most of them may involve substantial or some weekend work. We welcome both young applicants and more experienced applicants. We will tailor the job and supervision to fit. Some basic training will be supplied as needed.
- Valley Heritage Assistant:
- Archival Collection Assistant (This is a Bralorne Pioneer Museum position)
- Culture, Events and Tourism Assistant:
- LaJoie Lake Watershed Project Research Assistant (Please note this is a specialized position):
2019 Bridge River Valley Community Association
By President Andre Kuerbis
October 12, 2019
It is hard to believe that another year already went by – it is safe to say that 2019 was a great year in many ways.
I’d like to start again with thanking the outgoing board (Michelle Nortje, Debbie Demare, Anna Driehuyzen, Steve Oakley, Scott McKenzie, Pat Dahle, and John Courchesne) for their commitment, involvement, volunteer time and healthy discussions that continuously keep us moving forward. Particularly Debbie and Michelle need to be named as the solid foundation of our community association.
I’m thrilled that once again the community association was able to provide employment to several community members throughout the summer. Employment in the valley, this means more local spending, and this means sustainability in the long run. We are very blessed to have such an amazing group of people working in the valley.
My kudos go also to all the members of our committees that invested a fair amount of time to keep the ball rolling. It is the passion for the Bridge River Valley that keeps us all going. The committees are the part where things are happening, they are the operational center. The BRVCA board of directors acts as a governance board and only engages in operational decisions if there is a legal or financial risk.
A lot happened over the last year – we had an incredible number of events throughout the year, starting with our record breaking 10th Winterfest, a huge Canada Day celebration and the very successful Bralorne Day. We also saw an increased number of visitors to our Haylmore site and could also facilitate a variety of events at this historic place.
As I look at my comments from a previous report, I’d like to renew my statement from then:
Sometimes the bus we built tries to run us over and we should remind us to look back and realize how much we got done. And sometimes we need to shift down a gear which means we might not get things done as quick as we want. As a volunteer organization we need more people to get involved – talk to the committee chairs how you can help, since this is where operational decisions are made. As more shoulders we have carrying the load, the lighter the pack becomes for everybody.
I’m proud of what got done over the last years and I’m excited about the future. I’m certain we can keep developing great things without losing what we have. We might not agree on everything and all the time, but we’ll find a compromise that will benefit us as a community.
Bridge River Valley Community Association
Recognizing it has been a difficult ten days for you our members and the Bridge River Valley Community Association, and also recognizing that our every action is being interpreted, often misinterpreted, we are providing you a summary of the decisions from our Board Meeting on September 25. Full minutes will be available to all members once they are done and approved. This summary has been approved by our entire Board of Directors. Further updates expanding upon related topics will be made soon.
Steve Oakley resigned from the BRVCA Board of Directors due to a conflict of interest with his role as the interim Area A Director (due to Dir. Courchesne’ resignation). Interim Dir. Oakley remained in attendance and did engage in discussion on one item on the agenda.
On advice of a lawyer, the Board of Directors passed resolutions to explicitly state and define the use of restricted funds in our organization.Due to the decentralized nature of the organization, 95% of our cash on hand are restricted for uses and functions. For example the funds we receive from the SLRD Tax Requisition for the Cemetery cannot be used for any other purpose.
The BRVCA has now updated our policy, through a motion explicitly restricting each source of funds to the use they are generated or funded for. This was necessary to ensure a future board understands that legal repercussions could occur should these funds be used for any other purpose than stated.
On advice of a lawyer, we passed a motion explicitly stating in policy the practice that has existed for membership applications. That practice and now policy is that:
Membership applications must be submitted by the person/corporate entity themselves directly to the Bridge River Valley Community Association – by mail with a cheque, online at link, or in person at the office.
ALL of our 100 membership applications this year prior to Sept. 16 were received directly from the applicant as stated above. On September 16, we received 11 membership forms and cash from a third party, Steve Oakley. Contrary to previous practice and under pressure, we decided to accept these memberships, however our office had to go back and confirmed with each applicant that this was their membership, cash and intent to become a member. The following evening, right before the AGM, a further pile (we estimate 30) were brought in. It was impossible to verify these memberships, brought in by a third party, in order for these people to participate in the Annual General Meeting as members. We have subsequently determined that many of these memberships were actually given to Mr. Oakley up to two weeks before the Annual General Meeting and ALL of them could have been submitted much ahead of the Annual General Meeting and in fact were in Mr. Oakley’s possession when he brought in the other 11 the day before. The conclusion of the Board of Directors that this delay in submitting memberships by Mr. Oakley can only be that it was some kind of strategy or manipulation based on his effort to become President of BRVCA.
Additionally, many of these unsuspecting people who gave Mr. Oakley their Memberships thought that in doing so they were members of the society. For example, we had people asking for dial in numbers to the AGM that we had no idea who they were. They were refused as they were not a member. However, it turns out Mr. Oakely was holding their membership. He however chose to publically via social media posts condemn us in this regard.
To end this abuse of our membership application system, the Board passed a policy motion at this meeting that memberships must be submitted by mail with a cheque, in person or by online (credit card/pay pal). No third party submission of membership applications will be permitted in the future. Future reworking of our bylaws may include a specific statement to this effect as well.
Unfortunately, Mr. Oakley has continued to pursue the BRVCA accepting these membership applications. He brought the same 28 in again this past week. The board has resolved to try and work through these applications individually with these 28 people to request they go through the normal process as described above. The membership applications brought in by Mr. Oakley are not to be processed. The 11 memberships that Mr. Oakley brought in on September 16 have been processed and are members.
Membership in a Non Profit Society – what does it mean? The Board of Directors discussed that membership in a non-profit society shows support of the organization, its mission, mandate and activities. It indicates a wish to be a guiding force in the organization. Membership drives are done by BRVCA in November and December, the start of our fiscal year. It is easy to become a member, use the online form, come into the office or mail it to us with a cheque.
Some people who attended the postponed AGM when they arrived said “I just want to vote”. Some of the 3rd party membership forms also included an attached statement that they wanted to vote for Steve Oakley for President. The board thinks that these were good people who were not fully aware of what it means to be a member of a non-profit society.
We are very thrilled though with the interest in the society and will work to include everyone while educating them on what it means to be a member.
Membership List. We clarified that anyone wishing to view the membership list must apply in writing. We also discussed the Society Act provisions to restrict that access and to indicate that the list may not be used for stated purposes , most particularly to solicit votes for election to our board of directors.
Annual General Meeting was set for Saturday October 12 at noon at the Gold Bridge Community Club. The Agenda for the Annual General Meeting is set out in the bylaws – Director’s Report, Review of Financial Statements, Election of Officers. There is no special business and no additional business (as per the bylaws) can be added to this agenda. No memberships will be accepted in any form after 3 pm on Thursday October 10. Our membership list is time dated so that can be documented. There will no proxy/distance voting as per our bylaws. Corporate Members must designate in writing who is voting for their entity. If the designated individual is also a member, they can also vote as an individual member. That will be established upon verification at the door or prior to the meeting if you email the office.
Voting on most matters will be by show of hands, voting for the Board of Directors will be by secret ballot. This will necessitate that member status be verified at the door and voting (If necessary) will be verified again before ballots are provided. We will have two Scrutineers count the ballots (if necessary). Non-members can attend. Unacceptable behavior will not be tolerated. Unacceptable behavior includes obvious signs of intoxication, speaking loudly and angrily at anyone, and any type of intimidation or harassment, interruption of proceeding or attempting to get off topic. We are exploring having security on site to ensure order, as per Sec. 10 of our bylaws is maintained. Please be aware, much like the postponed AGM, if order cannot be maintained the meeting will be once again postponed or adjourned.
Individuals wishing to be on the Board of Directors will be nominated at the meeting. Campaigning publicly for a seat on the Board of Directors on a non-profit society is inappropriate as it is only the members of the society who will elect. This is a community organization not an election for a government position.
The new Board of Directors will stay after to talk to anyone, listen and record informally any concerns or Input from members.
President Andre Kuerbis resigns! At the end of our meeting our President and Board Member for 9 years, resigned. He cited the public posts on Facebook and elsewhere that ridiculed and embarrassed him and his performance as our President. He also cited the threatening and inappropriate behaviors suffered by his family and our wonderful BRVCA staff member endured at the postponed AGM. Other board members thanked him and also commented on how, even though all of us have various and often opposing views outside of our Board, together we have become trusted colleagues and have built strong relationships. This is a lesson at this time for all of us.
Andre Kuerbis has been a devoted and honest board member of BRVCA, and despite being accused of “not wanting to lose”, willingly walked away after public abuse and ridicule. Thank you so much Andre and we are so sorry it had to happen this way.