Who can vote?
You can vote in the Town of Oliver By-Election if you live within the Town of Oliver, or you are a non-resident property elector (you own property in Oliver but live elsewhere in BC including Area C RDOS).
•be 18 years of age or older on general voting day, December 2, 2017 (born on or before December 2, 1999)
•be a Canadian Citizen
•have been a resident of BC for at least 6 months immediately before the day you register to vote
•have lived in the town, or have owned real property registered in your name in the Town of Oliver, for at least 30 days immediately before the day you register to vote; and
•not be disqualified under the Local Government Act or any other enactment from voting in an election or be otherwise disqualified by law.
Identification Requirements to Register to Vote?
•Resident Electors – Two pieces of identification are required when registering to vote that provides evidence of the applicant’s identity and proof of residence – at least one document must contain the applicant’s signature. If you are unable to provide proof of your place of residence, you must make a solemn declaration as to your place of residence.
•Non-Resident Property Electors – When registering, you must produce two pieces of identification (at least one piece must have your signature) to prove identity, proof that you are entitled to register in relation to the property, and if there is more than one owner of the property, ( one vote only )accompanied with adequate documentation, such as a Land Title Search or a property tax notice from the Town of Oliver, proving ownership of the property claimed as the basis for the single vote.
Editor – info from the Town of Oliver – some editing done to make it VERY clear. If you are confused – contact the Town of Oliver.
Kirila Fire Mobile Structural Trainers are fully self-contained live fire and structural trainers built on a 53’ single drop deck trailer for portability. The training unit is used to give firefighters and emergency rescue personnel a live fire situation. The Trainers generate propane vapor fueled fires under the control of an instructor who watches from a control centre utilizing cameras that operate within the unit.
Fire Departments from around the region will utilize the training sessions in Oliver.
Inside the training unit – mostly steel, with smoke, propane fueled burners attempting to simulate real fire experience in a home or business. The unit features doors, windows, upstairs downstairs and ways of moving about within the structure.
Justice Institute of BC (JIBC)
Last week I told you of our adventures in Washington DC, a charming place to visit and well worth touring if you are going to the east coast.
After our visit there, we took a train to Newark, New Jersey, which was about three hours duration. What a great way to travel into unknown territory, you see so much more from the train that a plane ride has to offer. Dave is an avid photographer of bridges, so the fact that the trip took us close to the coast made it possible for him to see many bridges and capture them for posterity.
We spent the night in a beautifully appointed hotel which had no soul, everything chrome and glass and contained every amenity we could possibly require but no feeling of history, the whole place felt more sterile than any modern hospital.
The next day we boarded ship and began our journey, waving to Miss Liberty as we sailed by. I love the pampering and cosseting that you get on a cruise, but that is another story. I am going to jump ahead two weeks to the end of our cruise.
We landed back in New Jersey around 8.00am on Sunday morning, our plane home was not for another eight hours, so we had decided to take advantage of one of the ships offered side trips. This would be a four hour tour of Manhattan finishing up at the airport in lots of time for our plane. A perfect way so spend a few hours. New York has never called out to me as a place to visit, so much noise and bustle, but never miss an opportunity to see somewhere different.
We boarded our bus and had a marvellous tour guide who seemed to love his city and his job, he made it very entertaining. He said how lucky we were to go on Sunday when traffic was light as, through the week, it could be a nightmare. Sunday or not, the traffic was awful. Many places the road went from three or four lanes to two, with all the resulting jostling, honking and bad manners that go with that situation. Sitting high in the bus gave us a good look down to the tangle of traffic below. The driver used the front of his bus as a battering ram, never actually hitting anything but relentlessly pushing forward into the mess in front.
The tour was really interesting with so many highlights and famous buildings crammed into a relatively small space. We made several stops for twenty minutes which allowed us to take photographs or wander around. Dave was nowhere in sight as he and camera shot through the opened door of the bus like his tail was on fire. I stayed, like a sheep, with a group of people, scared of getting lost and fighting back as I was jostled and pushed by the crowd. I never lost sight of the bus during any of the stops.
Ground Zero was very solemn and seemed to have a cloud of sadness over it as though the souls of all those killed in 9/11 were still hovering there. The new Trade Centre tower that is now open was so tall that I couldn’t see the top of it, trying to look up to the top made me dizzy. Another stop was Rockerfeller Centre with its skating rink. A very popular spot and it was fun to watch the skaters wearing summer clothes with mitts.
The hugeness of Central Park was quite amazing and nice to know that someone had the foresight to keep this green oasis in the middle of this city of noise and bustle.
I guess New Yorkers enjoy their big noisy city with crazy traffic and endless bustle but it was not for me. The charm of Washington has nothing in common with big, brash New York. I am so glad I had the opportunity to see both of these cities, their differences make them unique but I only lost my heart to one of them.
A party of explorers stumbled into hard times as they neared the South Pole. Heavy snowfall had slowed down the expedition and they were now at risk of not making it back to their base camp. Their food supply had dwindled to the point where each of them were left with only a few biscuits in their knapsacks. That night the leader stirred uneasily in his sleep. Half-awake he saw one member stretching out his hand toward the youngest explorer’s knapsack. Was he so desperate that he would steal from a comrade? Had he sunk so low as to become a thief? This would be a crime almost as serious as murder. Then he noticed that the man wasn’t taking a biscuit out of the knapsack, but half of one into the younger man’s knapsack. The younger team member had shown signs of failing strength and this was an act of kindness, however small. The leader felt a warm glow within himself in spite of the bitter cold.
Small acts of kindness can bring in big sunshine.
check it out
Poll revised – I agree with Kevin – not well presented
No matter who says what to whom – this is a bad decision.
- Yes – 2 against
- No – oops we made a mistake – who made that?
- Yes – 1 against – the rotter Jack Bennest has quit his public duty
- Oops we made another mistake there will be a cost to all of this
I am a former insider bound by inside info – but I can tell you – something smells and it starts with “group think” at the regional district.
Oliver, the people. Oliver, the elected town council should make independent decisions about most things and use the RDOS and joint services only when it is to the advantage of the tax-payers.
The communication on this subject has been terrible. Council not well informed by staff and a circling of the wagons – shooting dollar increases at the taxpayers.
Bafflegab at its finest.
Elect someone who will get to the bottom of this!
Jack Bennest ( hey not me I quit!)
Interior Health expanding meningococcal disease immunizations to Oliver, Osoyoos and Okanagan Falls residents aged 15-24
Interior Health (IH) is expanding immunizations for meningococcal disease to individuals 15-24 years of age in the Oliver region. This includes people from Osoyoos and Okanagan Falls who frequent the Oliver area. The Meningococcal Quadrivalent vaccine (Men-C-ACYW-135) will be offered free of charge to ensure appropriate protection.
IH is taking this precautionary measure after becoming aware of a third individual in the community who contracted meningococcal disease in early October. This is not a new case and there is no indication of sustained transmission of the bacteria in the community. This individual did not attend South Okanagan Secondary, but had social linkages to the school.
Although the risk remains low, Interior Health is reaching out to the 15-24 age group for immunization because meningococcal disease is reported more frequently among this age group.
We are also encouraging any students and staff at South Okanagan Secondary School who have not yet been vaccinated to attend an upcoming clinic. Individuals in this age group should continue to practice good personal hygiene by not sharing cigarettes or water bottles, by coughing into elbows or sleeves, and by frequently washing their hands.
Meningococcal disease is a bacterial infection that occurs rarely in Canada. It can affect the meninges (lining around the brain) and/or blood. Transmission is by direct contact with the secretions of the nose and throat of infected individuals, or by respiratory droplets. Symptoms include sudden onset of high fever, severe headache, nausea and vomiting, stiff neck, rash, drowsiness or confusion and seizures. Vaccination against meningococcal disease remains the most effective way to avoid the spread of the disease.
Interior Health will be providing immunization clinics in Oliver at the Oliver Health Centre. Please bring your personal immunization records and BC Services card/Care Card to the clinic.
Immunization clinics at the Oliver Health Centre:
- Saturday November 18, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.
- Sunday November 19, 1-4 p.m.
Interior Health advises that individuals who are showing symptoms such as fever, headache, stiff neck, or vomiting, to seek medical attention. Please do not visit local hospitals to obtain a vaccine, but attend one of the IH-offered clinics noted above
Not sure where to go with this story:
Burn piles, fall burning, venting index etc.
Oliver Fire Department called out this morning with a complaint of way too much smoke and a fire that seemed to be getting out of hand:
a. second fire in a week on same rural street 5500 block Elderberry – adding insult to injury within spittin’ distance of a ranking officer of the FD. These calls cost money and take manpower away from regular jobs.
b. farmers using the day to burn piles but others seemed not to attract attention – burning hot with minimum smoke
By ROY WOOD
All eight candidates showed up Thursday trying to stand out in the very crowded field seeking one seat on town council for the next 10 months.
Sitting eight abreast at the head of the Oliver Legion hall, the would-be councillors took polite turns answering a series questions, first from forum sponsor the South Okanagan Chamber of Commerce and then from some of the 80 or so folk in the audience.
The event was two and half hours of questions asked and answered with a high degree of repetition and widely varying levels of background knowledge. This article will attempt to hit the highlights, rather than offer a recapitulation.
(For a more focused look at the candidates’ positions and platforms, please see the four-part question-and-answer series that appeared on ODN on this week.)
The first chamber question asked about the biggest challenges facing local businesses and how the candidates might help solve them.
Patrick Hampson, a former councillor and mayor, suggested that convincing people to “stop and shop” in Oliver is made more difficult by the heavy truck traffic on Main Street.
He proposed making downtown businesses more accessible by turning Main Street into a one-way road headed southbound. Northbound traffic, he proposed, could be re-routed along Station Street through the downtown area.
Dave Mattes, the other candidate with council experience, said, “Attracting and maintaining customers is a problem (for businesses) everywhere.”
He said potential customers need a reason to start coming to Oliver, so the town needs to get the word out about “what a gem Oliver is.”
The chamber also asked the candidates for their views on the proposed national park reserve in the South Okanagan.
Aimee Grice said she had “immersed myself” in the issue for 24 hours. Her conclusion is that Oliver should hold a referendum on the subject.
Hampson wouldn’t go that far, but said the views of Oliver residents need to be sought out. He said that his view at this point is one of “qualified support” for a national park preserve.
Mattes said the issue came before council when he was a councillor and the group decided not to take a position for or against. “I still agree with that.”
Peter* McKenna, reading from prepared answers as he did most of the evening, suggested: “There can be no solution without dialogue. … We need to get back to the table and get this monkey off our back,” and concentrate on more important issues.
Candidates Charles Pollard and Lutz Stelzner both confessed to knowing nothing about the national park issue.
Susan Kosola recalled the stunning changes that occurred in the town of Banff over the decades and asked rhetorically: “Is Banff the way Oliver wants to go?”
An audience member asked the panel how the town should address the potential financial impact of replacing part of the agricultural irrigation system. The cost is estimated at about $10 million, of which the province has agreed to pay half. The town is lobbying the federal government to cover the other half, so far without success.
Mattes suggested that the two water councillors are reluctant to spend money, but since the bulk of users of the system are in the regional district and not the town, “It might be time to put an extra levy on the farmers.”
Hampson said he “can’t imagine the province letting the town pick up the tab.”
The farming community was on the hot seat again over the issue of seasonal farm workers, many of them from Quebec, and their spring and summer impact on the community.
McKenna said it is the responsibility of the orchard owners to provide housing for their seasonal pickers. Since the orchards tend to be in the rural area, he said, it is the regional district, not the town, who should be ensuring that housing is provided.
He pointed out that farmers are required by the federal government to provide housing for foreign temporary workers, primarily from Mexico.
Grice said she joined the June 24 St. Jean Baptiste celebrations at Lions Park and that several of the Quebecois pickers told her they have experienced racism while in the Okanagan.
Stelzner said, “Whether you’re a picker or tourist you still have to obey the bylaws.”
Asked to assess the performance of the current council, the panel was unanimous in its praise, particularly around its recent success in attracting s a hotel to town.
“I’ve read the minutes of the meetings for the last six months,” said candidate Don Lawlor, “and they aren’t sloughing anything off.”
An audience member asked what Oliver has to celebrate. “If the rest of the world goes to hell,” said Kosola, “we’ve got food and wine. We’ll be fine.”
The advance poll for the by-election is on Wednesday, Nov. 22. General voting day is Saturday, Dec. 2.
- Apologies for the name error
The meeting plagued by a malfunctioning sound system and an overheated hall with the noisy furnace turning on/off in a constant fashion.
The main questions about business development and the possibility of a national park. On the latter – none of 8 candidates seemed to be carrying a No sign or a Yes sign. Most admitted they are sitting on the fence as the issue is not really a municipal one.
ODN’s reporter Roy Wood on the scene till the bitter end and will file his story – hopefully before the clock strikes midnight.
What do you believe are the biggest challenges facing businesses in Oliver and how would you solve them?
What are your plans to stimulate economic development and revitalize Oliver’s downtown?
What is your response to the recent announcement by the federal, provincial and First Nations governments to resume planning discussions on a national park reserve?
Note to candidates – brush up on your responses.
By ROY WOOD
Almost two years after the Gallagher Lake slide and with no federal funding help in sight, the temporary fix to the irrigation system is looking more like it might become permanent.
During discussion of a general overview of the canal system on Tuesday, Water Councillor Rick Machial said: “It doesn’t look like we’re getting any money from the feds … (so) we should be making plans to use the siphon repair into the future. It’s working well.”
The Gallagher Lake siphon and flume portion of the irrigation system was breached in January 2016 by a rockslide. The required rock scaling and blasting for a complete repair were not possible in the time available, so engineers and town staff came up with a temporary solution that saw a steel sleeve inserted into the broken flume, allowing water to flow into the system.
The system opened on time in early April – albeit with a somewhat reduced capacity — supplying farms, orchards and vineyards in the town of Oliver, Electoral Area C and the Osoyoos Indian Band. The temporary fix also performed successfully through the 2017 growing season.
The town has developed a plan for a large-scale diversion of the system around the Gallagher Lake section with a price tag of over $10 million.
The cost would be prohibitively expensive for the town to undertake on its own. The province has agreed to pay for about half the cost and the town has been lobbying the federal government to chip in the other half, so far to no avail.
Asked Tuesday if there has been any response from Ottawa, chief administrative officer Cathy Cowan said, “They say they are looking at it.” She said the town hopes to hear something definitive within six months.
Operations director Shawn Goodsell told council that the capacity reduction caused by the narrower pipe in the repaired section could lead to the imposition of “rolling shut-offs” to sections of the system during particularly hot and dry periods.
Machial said farmers could live with such reductions so long as they were warned in time to schedule around them.
As for the rest of the system, the report indicated it (the ditch-canal) is in a decent condition and with reasonable maintenance and targeted replacements will continue to work well.
Council in August 2016 approved a $105,000 contract for Allnorth Consultants to assess the system. Among the highlights from the report Goodsell offered to council on Tuesday:
•Some 20 per cent of the canal is approaching or past normal maintenance repair and should be replaced within 10 years;
•The other 80 per cent will continue to function with ongoing maintenance;
•The life of the system will continue with annual replacement of prioritized sections of about 300 metres per year; and
•The use of “shotcrete overlay” for the existing canal line should continue because of its cost effectiveness.
Goodsell told council proposals to implement a 300-metres-per-year replacement schedule will be part of upcoming capital budget discussions.
By ROY WOOD
Oliver council will explore what other municipalities are doing before it reacts to a federal budget move that will see the tax exemption for one-third of their compensation eliminated.
Under federal law, federal, provincial and municipal elected officials have been entitled to pay no tax on up to one-third of their pay packets. The rationale has been that such a portion of their income might be used for job-related expenses.
But the 2017 federal budget paper proposes to eliminate the tax break starting in 2019. According to the budget paper: “This exemption is only available to certain provincial, territorial and municipal office holders, and provides an advantage that other Canadian do not enjoy.”
Mayor Ron Hovanes told fellow council members Tuesday that at a recent regional district meeting it was agreed that the federal government “is asking people around the table to work for less.”
He said the likely result is that stipends paid to municipal elected official would be raised to make up for the lost tax break.
Hovanes pointed out that the impact of the tax change will have much more impact on MPs and MLAs than on councillors and mayors.
The mayor’s annual stipend is $23,322 and councillors receive $14,289. Water councillors are paid $5,358.
By way of comparison, the basic salary for a BC MLA is $105,881 with the level rising with the addition of cabinet, committee and other responsibilities up to $201,174 for the premier. Federal MPs are paid $167,400 and the prime minister gets $334,800.
As council discussed how to react to the news, it was suggested that a letter to the federal finance minister might be appropriate. Councillor Larry Schwartzenberger said such a response would be “howling at the moon, in my opinion.”
In the end, council decided to find out what other local jurisdictions are doing and bring the matter back for discussion at a later meeting.
Oliver council typically addresses the remuneration issue toward the end of its mandate with any changes affecting the incoming members of council. The current term ends with the general election in October 2018.
By ROY WOOD
Oliver taxpayers will see their annual waste collection bills jump by five dollars a year for seven years following a recalculation presented to town council Tuesday.
A divided council voted to stick with an earlier decision to switch to a cart-based garbage and recycling system despite revelations from chief financial officer Devon Wannop that earlier cost estimates were considerably understated.
The initial information council received from the administration was that changing from manual to an automated system could be done with no increase in cost to property owners.
On Tuesday, council was offered four financing options for waste collection. They included varying combinations of fee increases and taking money out of the town’s so-called “solid waste reserve fund.”
The option council chose will see annual fees increase from $110 to $145 by the end of the collection contract in 2025. The reserve fund will drop from $356,000 to $177,000 over the contract.
The town is in negotiations with Waste Collections of Canada (WCC, formerly BFI Canada Inc.) for new seven-year contract starting next summer.
Positions of council members didn’t change from the vote two weeks ago. Mayor Ron Hovanes and Councillors Mo Doerr and Larry Schwartzenberger voted in favour. Councillor Petra Veintimilla was the sole voice against the change.
Hovanes pointed out that workplace safety issues might well mandate a switch to automated collection in the future.
Schwartzenberger argued that the increase in fees will be largely offset by no longer having to buy recycling and garden waste bags. As well, he said, “This is the way the industry is going.”
Doerr said the town is “looking to the future and being pro-active.”
Veintimilla said she “didn’t think it was necessary to change when it was the same price … it’s change just for the sake of it.”
Starting in July 2018, homeowners will be provided with wheeled containers for their refuse: one for garbage; one for recycling; and one for garden waste. The carts are designed to be left near the roadway so that a truck with a lifting device can mechanically collect the contents.
Penticton has been using carts for about a year. Summerland, which will share a truck with Oliver, decided two weeks ago that it will also employ the system. Osoyoos, Keremeos and the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen will retain the old-fashioned manual system.
The matter – defeated earlier – brought back by Mayor Peter Waterman.
He was joined by fellow RDOS Director Toni Boot but that support failed to garner support from 5 other councillors.
The motion never made it back to the floor for discussion.