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Mayor’s Report, November 12, 2019
I was absent from the October 28 council meetings as I was attending the 8th annual Livable Cities Forum in Victoria, BC. The two-day Forum covered a range of topics about building climate change resilient communities including the business case for adaptation; the impacts climate change has on our physical and mental health; and how to use climate data in adaptation planning. Elected local government delegates created a Call to Action that I hope to bring forward to Council before year-end.
On Tuesday, November 5 I attended the Okanagan Basin Water Board meeting in Kelowna. Here are a few items that may be of interest to our community:
- Although milfoil rototilling is still not allowed along the foreshore in Summerland, some allowances have been made in Osoyoos Lake and some areas in Vernon. OBWB staff continues to work with the Department of Fisheries + Oceans and the Province on this matter.
- The Don’t Move a Mussel program ended for 2019 on October 31. As of September 15, data show that the number of inspections is up over previous years and the number of high-risk watercraft found is down.
- The OBWB will be announcing the next round of grant applications at the end of November.
My thanks to Councillor Trainer for attending the November 7 Regional District Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) meeting. I extend my congratulations to Councillor Holmes, who was elected as vice chair of the RDOS for the 2019/2020 year.
Also on November 7, Works and Utilities staff were honoured by being selected by the Water Supply Association of BC for the Brian Harvey Award of Excellence. The award is given to a public or corporate body that has demonstrated a high standard of service to the public, and is only given when a deserving recipient has proven excellence in innovative or unique solutions to a water issues. Summerland earned the award for actions taken to ensure the District has safe drinking water and ample supply for residents and agricultural users. These initiatives include raising Thirsk Dam, building a water treatment plant, creating a Water Master Plan, separating treated domestic water from agricultural water in Prairie Valley and Garnet Valley, and introducing a metering program to advance efforts for water conservation. Council extends our thanks and congratulations to the District’s water utility team.
Yesterday, Council and I joined hundreds of people in Memorial Park to respect and honour servicemen and women, both those who did not return home and those who are still living. I was asked by media my thoughts on why the numbers attending the Remembrance Day is increasing. I believe it is because we constantly hear about civil unrest, war leading to mass migration and radical policies around the world. People in Summerland—and elsewhere—feel that setting aside an hour to focus on remembering those who fought for the freedoms we take for granted in Canada is becoming increasingly important.
At our Committee of the Whole meeting this afternoon David Hull, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, updated Council on the changes to this year’s Festival of Lights taking place November 29. Many of the changes have been made to address safety concerns, including two Park and Rides where attendees can hop on a shuttle to be transported into and out of the event. There are three stages this year: a relocated Main Stage near the Summerland Library, a Kids Stage in Memorial Park, and a World Stage on Victoria Road next to the post office. Fireworks will begin just after the 7 pm official Light-Up and the activities will begin at 4 pm. Due to the number of attendees expected by the Chamber this year—12 to 14,000—and the earlier start for the fireworks display, the Chamber and the District are requesting your cooperation in preventing potential conflicts: Please leave your dogs at home.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report, October 28, 2019
Since my October 15 report I enjoyed a week’s stay with my son in Bowmanville, a small city of about 40,000 people. The urban/suburban areas are surrounded by agriculture, primarily apple orchards, and I attended the annual Applefest street festival.
I also would like to congratulate the Summerland Refugee Sponsorship Group for being recognized by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees for their work in supporting the successful integration of refugee families in the community. Councillor Holmes founded the 130-member group in 2015 and currently sits as Chair for the non-profit charity.
I am currently attending the Livable Cities Forum in Victoria until October 30 where our Sustainability/Alternative Energy Coordinator, Tami Rothery, is speaking about Low Carbon Resilience: Synergies between Adaptation and Mitigation in Practice. This year, three themes, all focusing on the impacts of climate change, will be examined: Exploring the Climate Change and Health Nexus; The Role of Infrastructure in Building Better Neighbourhoods; and Advancing Low Carbon Resilience for More Livable Communities. The final day of the Forum offers several different tours. I will be attending a multi-modal tour on Community Building, Equity and Wellbeing. This tour showcases examples of safe and accessible transportation infrastructure that encourages cycling, walking and public transit. The tour itself combines these three modes of transportation.
Council and senior management begin the budget process early in November. This is earlier than usual, but it is a process that requires many additional meetings and a lot of thought. I commend our CAO and senior management for the many additional hours of planning they’ve done in preparation.
Thank you, Councillor Barkwill, for attending the October 17th RDOS meeting on my behalf, and for Councillor Carlson, Acting Mayor for October, for chairing this meeting.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor's Report, October 15, 2019
As you know, due to the annual Union of BC Municipalities Convention the last week of September, Council had just one regular council meeting last month. I have written two Mayor’s Minute columns for the Herald about our activities this year at the Convention: they can be found on the District website.
Outside of UBCM, there has been a lot of activity since our last council meeting on September 9. On September 10 I attended a Chamber meeting to hear about the upcoming changes to the Festival of Lights event. Later that week I attended the Summerland Healthy Community Initiative meeting; this group presented the Vaping Awareness event hosted by SD67 last Tuesday, October 6th. I ended that week by walking the 3km Terry Fox Run route with Steve and our dog, Ranger.
September 17th I drove to Peachland to attend a presentation by Emanuel Machado, the CAO of Gibsons, BC about the value of natural assets, (specifically the watershed) and how his community has included this value in their Natural Assets Management Strategy. The presentation was followed by a brief reception where watershed protection was the main topic. I hope to have a follow-up one-on-one discussion with Mr. Machado at the Livable Cities Forum in Victoria at the end of this month.
On September 18th, Councillors Van Alphen and Patan, our CAO and I attended a day-long Hiring and Housing Forum hosted and presented by the City of Penticton. Our focus was the Housing part of the forum; we heard some great presentations and made some good contacts. Council has been invited to the opening of The Rise, a Penticton affordable housing project opening at the end of the month.
Councillor Holmes and I attended RDOS meetings on September 19th and October 3rd. Please see his comprehensive report on these meetings attached to the agenda.
On October 2, I attended the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) meeting in Coldstream. Much of the discussion was about Directors’ meetings with the FLNRO Ministry and staff concerning the resurgence of milfoil in Okanagan lakes. Following the October 3 RDOS meeting, I attended the opening of Burdock House, a beautiful facility built to house 62 homeless persons. Minister Robinson was on hand to open the ASK Wellness Society project which is staffed around the clock by their staff.
On Friday CAO Haddad and I met with Chief Eneas and Councillor Elliot Tonasket to continue our discussion about matters of interest to both our Councils. Staff are continuing to organize a Council to Council meeting but, in the meantime, we will be setting up a Working Committee. Friday was also a day to debrief and celebrate the success of the 2019 Fall Fair; thanks again to the 60+ volunteers led by Society Chair Denise MacDonald. The following day, Councillor Holmes and I attended another celebration: the opening of the dormitory at UNISUS School. This first phase will house 92 boarding students, including international students from seven different countries this school year. That evening, I went to the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards. It was a very enjoyable evening. Congratulations to all who were nominated or recognized as best in their category, especially Summerland’s own Ogopogo Tours who won the Tourism Excellence Award.
On Tuesday, October 8th I helped Grades 4 and 5 students at Trout Creek Elementary School plant 82 indigenous plants at Powell Beach. It was a tad cool, but we managed to get everything in the ground before the few snowflakes that fell later that evening while I was attending the Vaping Awareness event at Centre Stage.
October 9th was the second bi-annual meeting of Interior Health with Regional Hospital Districts (RHD) in their region. I am Vice Chair of the RHD of the RDOS and invited CAO Haddad to join me at the meeting. Later that day I attended the Cultural Development Committee meeting.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor's Report, September 9, 2019
Summer 2019 is coming to an end: temperatures are cooling; harvesting is in full swing; students are back to school; and this is my final Report for the summer. Council will be in Vancouver on September 23 attending the Union of BC Municipalities conference, so tonight is the only regular council meeting for the month. Towards the end of tonight’s agenda, our CAO will be speaking about the Minister meeting requests the District has submitted for this year’s Conference.
On, Tuesday, August 27 I attended the Net Metering Open House held at the arena banquet room, as staff introduced how the program operates in Summerland. In addition to the District information booth, six Valley solar panel installers staffed exhibits at the open house. I went from there to attend the opening of Mixed and Merged at the Summerland Art Gallery. This show, in conjunction with the Ryga Arts Festival, runs until September 27. The Summer Reading Club Awards ceremony was also on the evening of August 27 and I apologize again to Sue Kline and the Library staff, as well as the award winners for not being able to attend. Congratulations to all the young participants and to the staff for another successful program.
I attended the final Music in the Park for the summer on Wednesday evening. It was most appropriate that the Ryga Arts Festival sponsored the Blue City Trio as both Sergei Ryga and his son make up 2/3 of the Trio. This very popular cultural event will return in July 2020.
On the last day of August I travelled to Armstrong to take in the IPE and attend the Dignitaries Luncheon hosted by the Mayors of Armstrong and Spallumcheen. The Interior Provincial Exhibition celebrated its 120th year this year.
The next morning, September 1, I attended the last event of the 2019 Ryga Arts Festival. By all accounts, it was another very successful Festival, particularly Interweaving, the Saturday evening concert.
September 5, Councillor Holmes and I attended the RDOS meeting. Councillor Holmes has submitted an excellent report that summarizes the items that may be of interest to Summerland residents, including the new BC Transit Route 70 between Penticton and Kelowna.
Friday morning I attended the Okanagan Basin Water Board AGM in Kelowna. The meeting included a very interesting panel discussion about the inside workings of an Emergency Operations Centre. After lunch, the OBWB Board met for their regular meeting. We have requested a meeting with Minister Donaldson and FLNRORD staff about milfoil management in the Okanagan Basin. On Friday evening I attended the Summerland Fall Fair events in Memorial Park. Anyone who questions how many young families they are in Summerland should have been at the Park!
Saturday I spent the day going back and forth between the 14th Apple Valley Cruisers Endless Summer Show and Shine at Memorial Park and the 105th Summerland Fall Fair events at the Curling Rink. The change in the Park from Friday evening to Saturday morning was surreal! I was tasked with making the Mayor’s Choice out of 284 vehicles. Thank you, Bill Wakeling for accompanying me for more than 1.5 hours and patiently answering my many questions. Also, thanks to Jacques Lefevre, President, Bob Kelly, Bill Laidman, and the entire Apple Valley Cruisers Club for organizing the Show. Last year alone the Club donated $7,700 to local charities.
The Summerland Fall Fair was another successful festival this year, and has already grown over last year after a three year hiatus. Over the day several people who have lived in Summerland for less than a year approached me to say how much they appreciate the events, especially ones, like the Fall Fair, that have many activities for children. As much as we, Council, would like to take the credit, the festivals and events just would not happen without the incredible volunteers we have in our community. If you haven’t had the chance, stroll through the downtown streets and look at the harvest displays to celebrate our agricultural economy. Therese Washtock, Peter Holler, and decorating committee: thank you for your creative contribution to our downtown.
Finally, in case you haven’t heard, the Summerland Rotary Sunday Market dates have been extended to September 15. The annual Terry Fox Run is also being held this Sunday; registration is at 10 am at the Aquatic Centre.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report, August 26, 2019
I’ll open tonight by welcoming our new CAO, Anthony Haddad. Mr. Haddad most recently led the Development Services Division at the City of Penticton, which included overseeing many other functions including economic development, land management, bylaw services, and business licensing. Mr. Haddad also has experience in the private sector, having filled the role of the Director of Campus Planning and Development for UBCO for two years. Originally from Melbourne, Australia, Mr. Haddad also worked for several years at the City of Calgary in planning and project management. On behalf of Council, District staff, and the community: Welcome; we are looking forward to working with you.
These last two weeks I have been in Japan with the Sister City Delegation visiting Toyokoro. At 3,000 residents, our Sister City has a much smaller population than Summerland. The most noticeable similarity between the two communities is the agricultural economy, although Toyokoro’s is much larger.
Toyokoro is located on the island of Hokkaido, the northernmost and second largest island in Japan. It is separated from Honshu, the main island, by Tsugaru Strait; the two islands are connected by an undersea railway. The largest city on Hokkaido is Sapporo, the capital, with a population of almost two million. The Delegation, which included Summerland’s 2019/20 Royalty, spent several days in Sapporo before going to Toyokoro.
For decades, the Japanese and the Russians have had an ownership dispute over Sakhalin Island north of Hokkaido and the Kurile Islands located east and northeast of Sakhalin. The Ainu are the Indigenous people of Japan and live almost exclusively on the island of Hokkaido. Like Canada, Japan has adopted the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples although, like Canada, it has not yet ratified ILO Convention No. 169 that speaks to securing rights and respecting differences of Indigenous and tribal peoples’ cultures and identities.
The best part of the trip for me was the three and one-half days we spent in Toyokoro. The three Royalty stayed with host families, and joined the rest of the Delegation for parts of the tours and events. The most interesting discussions I had were with the Mayor about how their local government works, and with one of the men who oversees the solar array installed a few minutes from the Toyokoro City Hall.
The Toyokoro local government consists of the Mayor (Mayor Miyaguchi), the Deputy Mayor, and nine Councillors. Currently, and for some time, all the elected officials are men. The Mayor and Councillors do not work together as a team; the Mayor makes all the decisions. If Councillors do not like the direction the Mayor is taking, or a project that is being proposed, they can try to persuade the Mayor to change his decision, but he is under no obligation to do so.
Local government is also in charge of the school system and the health system. They are not the jurisdiction of the Province as they are in B.C.
The Town of Toyokoro employs more than 100 people and has an annual budget of $50 million.
Just over five years ago, Toyokoro opened its privately-owned solar park. The park is located on 45 hectares of land that was previously owned by an airport operator and the town of Toyokoro. It consists of 84,000 fixed solar panels that produce 22 MW per year, which is enough energy for 8,200 households. (In comparison, Summerland’s solar array will have approximately 3,200 panels and produce 1 MW annually.) The energy is sold to the Hokkaido Electric Power Co. The project reduces CO2 emissions by an estimated 13,000 tons per year.
The solar array manager who spoke to us gave us some advice: Make sure there is enough room between the rows of panels to accommodate heavy snowfall. (He feels that there rows are too close together.)
I would like to thank Council for the opportunity to visit our Sister City. It was a fantastic trip, but I am very glad to be home!
The Summerland Chair, Toyokoro’s Mayor and I had the opportunity to talk about our Sister City relationship and we all agreed that it is time for it to evolve. Council will be having a discussion about this in due course.
Thank you, too, to Councillor Barkwill for chairing the Council meetings in my absence, and to Councillor Trainer for attending the RDOS meeting as Summerland’s alternate Director.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report, August 12, 2019
Please join me in congratulating Tiana Ferlizza and Jessica O’Gorman, two 2019 SSS graduates who each received a Sharon Amos Legacy Fund for the Arts bursary. These awards go to students who are pursuing post-secondary education in the arts. Tiana and Jessica also represented Summerland as Princesses in 2018/19. Congratulations ladies!
Saturday, July 27th I opened the Summerland Horseshoe Tournament at Memorial Park. The tournament, hosted by the Summerland Horseshoe Club for the 63rd time, saw participants from throughout the Valley and one from Washington State. My thanks to Bill and Pat for giving me lessons earlier in the week to save me the embarrassment of not getting the shoes in the pit. It worked! Later that day, Ranger (my dog) and I attended the opening of the Pet Barn, cutting an enormous cake to celebrate the occasion.
The Summerland Community Arts Council is just over half-way through their Music in the Park concert series for this year. Bring a chair and a friend or two to enjoy free music every Wednesday evening throughout the summer.
Thursday, August 8th I attended the Summerland Healthy Community Initiative monthly meeting. Two community events, tentatively scheduled for October and November, will continue the spring 2019 Health Series. The first is on Vaping Awareness, the second on Radon Awareness. Dates and other details will be announced when confirmed.
Friday afternoon I attended Harry McWatters’ Celebration of Life in Penticton. Mr. McWatters was a driving force in the British Columbia and Canadian wine industry for more than 50 years, and he was known as the Grandfather of the British Columbia Wine Industry. In 1980, he founded Summerland’s Sumac Ridge Winery, the first estate winery in British Columbia and, at the time of his passing, was the founder and CEO of ENCORE Vineyards (Evolve Cellars in Summerland and TIME Winery & Kitchen in Penticton).
On behalf of Council and District staff, my thanks again to Ron Mattiussi who very capably filled the role of interim CAO since early May. It has been a pleasure to work with you and we wish you all the best in your next appointment, wherever that may be.
I am currently in Sapporo, Japan and will be here for several days before travelling with the Summerland Royalty and others to our Sister City, Toyokoro.
Toni J. Boot
Mayor’s Report, July 22, 2019
On July 12, Councillor Holmes and I attended the second Primary Care Network workshop. Also in attendance were a number South Okanagan-Similkameen elected officials, CAOs, family physicians, Interior Health and the SOS Division of Family Practice. The discussion, centred around working collaboratively on recruiting and retaining family physicians and nurse practitioners, continues in August.
On Sunday morning, July 14, I was up bright and early to volunteer for the 2019 GranFondo event. More than 2500 riders participated in the rides this year. The GranFondo is a fundraiser for the Axel Merckx Youth Development Foundation, a non-profit initiative established to help develop the future of Canada’s young cyclists.
Councillor Holmes and I also attended RDOS on Thursday. Two agenda items that may be of interest to Summerland residents:
- A presentation by RCMP Supt. Ted de Jaager shows a 320% increase in calls related to Mischief or Loss of Enjoyment on Property. I asked Supt. de Jaager about this jump and he stated that it is a combination of at least two factors: in January their system was changed to record EVERY call, even if investigation proves the call was unfounded; and it appears that people are watching out for each other and calling the police if they see suspicious behaviour. This is a good thing, and although it may lead to higher figures, the RCMP would like to continue receiving these calls.
- The RDOS is working with RDOS-area Indian Bands to host a Community to Community Forum in October. The agenda is still to be finalized, but the general theme is creating a Common Understanding. Princeton, RDOS Electoral Areas G and H, and the Lower Similkameen Indian Band recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding that commits the signatories to recognize the Indigenous culture and work collaboratively on economic and social development opportunities in the region.
Related to the second point, I am looking forward the District’s continuing work on developing a stronger relationship with the Penticton Indian Band. Most of Summerland also sits on unceded territory, and, like in the Princeton area, there are many opportunities for us to work together on initiatives.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report, July 8, 2019
Many hours since our last council meeting were spent on working on the Request for Qualifications with staff and a Summerland consultant. This RFQ, submitted last Friday, is the first step in—we hope—securing provincial funding for the South Okanagan Food Innovation and Processing Hub. Should the District be selected, the Hub will be headquartered in Summerland and provide testing and product development services, food processing, and mentorship and guidance for entrepreneurs and agri-businesses.
Council and senior management spent time during the final week of June interviewing our shortlist of Chief Administrative Officer candidates. The District received many excellent applications and we are looking forward to working with our selected candidate. We expect to share the announcement with the public within the week.
On Wednesday, June 26th I attended the Eneas Creek open house. More on the remediation works identified as District priorities later in tonight’s agenda.
On Thursday, June 27th I attended the reception introducing and honouring the five Summerland area artists whose work were selected for the 2019 banner program. Works crews have posted banners along the entrances to Summerland and in the downtown core. If you missed participating this year, the call for submissions will be out again every spring from 2020 to 2023.
On Friday morning I attended the 2019 Summerland Secondary School graduation ceremony. This year, 110 young women and men received their Dogwood Diplomas. On behalf of Council, “congratulations!” We wish you each the very best in the years ahead.
July 1, I attended the Canada Day celebrations at Memorial Park. Dick Norris raised the flag at the beginning of the formal ceremony. Mr. Norris was the youngest crew member on his ship, and one of 150,000 soldiers who landed on Juno Beach on June 6, 1944. Thank you to the Summerland Legion and the Legion’s Ladies Auxiliary for organizing the celebration.
On Thursday, July 4th Councillor Holmes and I attended the RDOS meeting. The Board supported a C2C forum this fall with RDOS-area First Nations. Staff is working with the Bands to establish an agenda for the forum. The Board also selected a number of topics for Minister and/or Staff meetings for the Union of BC Municipalities convention in Vancouver at the end of September. Earlier today, council also had this discussion and we hope to schedule a number of meetings with Ministers and staff.
On the evening of July 4th I presented the provincial proclamation in support of Collector Car Appreciation Day and Month, then attended the opening of the Summerland Art Club’s new show, Razzmatazz, at the Arts and Cultural Centre.
I had a rare weekend off from mayoral duties and thoroughly enjoyed spending time in my garden and dining out with friends and family.
Lastly, I am pleased to welcome Sgt. Dave Preston to the Summerland RCMP detachment. We have been waiting patiently for his arrival and are glad to finally have him on board.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report, June 10, 2019
Earlier this spring Council decided to contract with the Summerland Community Arts Council to administer the downtown banner program, an important piece of downtown beautification. On May 29, as the Council liaison to the District’s Cultural Development Committee, I had the pleasure of jurying the submissions for the 2019 banners. We were able to narrow the field to five selections and, beginning next month, you’ll be able to admire the artwork of local artists until Legion Remembrance Day banners take their place on downtown lamp standards.
Last Wednesday evening I attended the United Way Volunteer Appreciation event at Poplar Grove Winery. For the past three years I have volunteered at their Drive-Thru Breakfast, their major fundraiser for the year. Unfortunately, this year the event lands on the Thursday of UBCM, so I will be unable to participate.
On Friday, June 7 I welcomed the 24th annual Bluegrass Festival to Summerland at the District’s rodeo grounds. I had not realized what a big event this was: about 60 RVs surrounded the fenced competition area and there were fans and competitors from BC, Alberta and Washington State present. The cooler weather did not dampen their enthusiasm!
Yesterday morning, I had the pleasure of attending the Ceremonial Review of the Summerland 902 Nighthawks Air Cadet Squadron. The Cadets demonstrated their marching, public speaking, and range skills. There are eighteen 12 to 18-year-old Summerland boys and girls in the Squadron.
This morning I was invited to attend the presenting of eight Community Foundation of the South Okanagan (CFSO) Neighbourhood Grants. Congratulations to the eight recipients, each of whom are hosting a neighbourhood event ranging from an Amazing Race; to the rehabilitation of an area overgrown with invasive weeds; to a day learning about native bats and their important ecological role; to a Get to Know the History of Your Neighbourhood event. Each of the events includes food—the perfect way to bring neighbours together. Thank you to Kim English of CFSO and these eight community champions for their roles in supporting healthy neighbourhoods in Summerland.
Using grant funding, the District is updating our Community Action Plan and we want your input. Between 6 and 8 pm on Monday, June 17, drop into Council Chambers to share your vision for the future of environmental protection and climate action in Summerland.
Finally, a reminder of the grand opening of the Summerland SkatePark on Saturday, June 22 from 11 am to 2 pm. Meet Olympic Gold Medalist Justin Kripps at the celebration, while you enjoy music, watch professional demonstrations, and pick up free swag and giveaways.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor's Report, May 27, 2019
On Wednesday May 15 I spoke at the Summerland Chamber Luncheon. It was well attended and I thank the Chamber for the opportunity to bring their members up-to-date on this council’s plans and priorities for 2019. I look forward to bringing another update next spring. Several business leaders have contacted me since Wednesday. We know there are both issues and opportunities in Summerland, and the District looks forward to working together to find solutions and move on opportunities.
Thursday I attended the Make Water Work 2019 launch in Kelowna and made a personal pledge to continue to make efforts to reduce water consumption. As in the past, residents in all communities in the Okanagan Basin Water Board area are challenged to make their pledge. Let’s get those numbers up, Summerland! Make your pledge at makewaterwork.ca.
I spent Saturday on a tour through the Trout Creek Ecological Reserve, a Meadowlark Festival tour led by Summerland’s own Don Gayton. The Reserve is one of the first created in BC and is home to 135 plant species as well as an extensive list of bird species. Don spoke about the importance of grasslands and our dry forests, and how fire ecology maintains balance in natural environments.
Thursday was a full day at RDOS. Included in the agenda was a presentation to bring the new board up-to-date on the last many years of discussion on options for a regional composting facility in the RDOS region. Waste management is a complex topic that can be quite divisive. We can anticipate much more discussion in the upcoming months. We also had a discussion on the new ALC regulation that transfers decisions on cannabis processing facilities on ALR land to local governments. The District of Summerland planners will be reviewing our relevant bylaws and bringing amendments forward to council for discussion.
I ended the week with a meeting with the Premier and Minister Selina Robinson, the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, and others. The meeting was an opportunity to discuss the impacts of wildfire on our communities and give our thoughts on what is working and how the Province could better support us.
Later in the day I attended the announcement by Minister Robinson with the South Okanagan Women In Need Society (SOWINS). The Province has funded 12 permanent homes for women and their children who have left domestic violence. Later tonight I will be highlighting a piece of correspondence from the Minister about several funding streams for a variety of housing options. She and I had a short, but very informative talk on Friday about a number of potential housing opportunities that I will be sharing with council and staff in the upcoming weeks.
Please join Summerland residents and visitors at the Action Festival beginning Friday, including the Giant’s Head Walk/Run on Saturday hosted by our recreation staff. Councillor Erin Trainer will be filling in for me at ActionFest duties as acting mayor.
Speaking of activities, don’t forget this week is Bike to Work and School Week. Visit the “GoByBikeBC” website to register for a chance to win prizes.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report, April 23, 2019
I hope everyone had a relaxing and enjoyable Easter weekend with friends and family.
Congratulations to Summerland resident Jacqueline Mansiere, who won the SD67 science fair with her project providing evidence that sound causes stress. Ms. Mansiere will travel to Fredericton next month to compete in the national science fair. All the best, Jacqueline!
On Friday, April 12 I attended two announcements made by Minister of Health Adrian Dix. The first was about the resources being put into a primary care network (PCN) in Penticton and the Martin Street Clinic; the second was the official opening of the David E. Kampe patient care tower at Penticton Regional Hospital. Mr. Kampe was on hand for the celebration; he is a remarkable philanthropist.
On Tuesday evening I attended a presentation at Centre Stage organized by SD67 and Summerland Healthy Community Initiative. Cannabis use can cause significant negative health impacts when used by youth up to age 25 because their brains are not fully developed before that time. Although thoughts on the medicinal health benefits of cannabis differed between the five speakers, they all agree about the dangers of vaping and cannabis use before 25.
Wednesday, April 24 I and three councillors attended the Eneas Creek update, organized by District staff. Three Forest, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development staff, an Associated Engineering representative, and five District staff participated in the presentation and the question and answer session. Check the Eneas Creek Assessment on the District website or contact the District for more on your specific property. Please note that due to significant flood damage to the Peach Orchard Trail in 2018 and the threat of trees shifting or falling as the snowpack melts, the District has closed the trail because of public safety concerns.
At Thursday’s RDOS meeting Councillor Holmes and I enjoyed an excellent presentation by three members of the Agriculture Land Commission on the latest amendments to the ALC Act. Generally, the Commission is tightening the Act to increase protection for land in the Agricultural Land Reserve.
This morning the District received one of just fifty bottles of Maple Roch syrup made from maple trees located in Summerland. Thank you, Roch.
Most of next week will be spent at our local government association convention being held in Penticton. The convention is an excellent opportunity to network, learn, and vote on resolutions submitted by membership. Sessions this year include: responding to wildfire and flood risks; the provincial active transportation strategy; land readiness for investment; engaging youth in local government, and effective communication with First Nations neighbours, to name a few. I especially enjoy the education sessions and keynote speakers: there is always more to learn.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report, April 8, 2019
The last two weeks have been very busy ones for me. On Tuesday, March 26 I attended the Chamber of Commerce AGM at the waterfront resort. After swearing in the new board of directors, I took in the Philosopher’s Cafe at the Arts and Culture Centre. The guest speaker, Dr. Lael Parrott with UBC, spoke about the importance of ecological connectivity and wildlife corridors and the work she is doing on the Okanagan Futures Project. Thanks go to Barbara Thorburn for organizing this interesting presentation.
The next morning, I joined City of Penticton councillors on a tour of the new David E. Kampe Tower at Penticton Regional Hospital, then enjoyed the Legacy Tea at the Legion commemorating 92 years of service by the Ladies Auxiliary of Branch 22.
I joined MP Richard Cannings and Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki bright and early on Thursday morning at Penticton Regional Airport. We were there to encourage passengers on Air Canada’s 6 am flight to Vancouver to fill out an online survey. Effective May 1, Air Canada is cancelling its early morning and late return flights. Although the survey is now closed, Mayor Vassilaki is continuing discussions with other airline options.
Later that morning the CAO and I drove to Peachland to attend Federal Minister Carolyn Bennett’s announcement about the one-time doubling of the community works gas tax. I had the opportunity to speak about how the District has used this funding in the past including, most recently, the Summerland Skatepark. Summerland will see an additional $553,000 transfer this year.
On Friday, March 29 I spent much of the day at Vernon City Hall reviewing resolutions submitted by municipalities and regional districts within our local government association. These 25 resolutions will be discussed and voted on at the convention late this month. Ones that are passed by the membership will go forward to UBCM in September.
Saturday evening it was my pleasure to present the Mayor’s Award of Excellence at the Chamber’s Community and Business Excellence Awards Gala to Summerland’s Emergency Social Services. This group, led for the past eight years by John Topham, has been especially busy these last two years supporting people who have been forced from their homes not only in Summerland, but in neighbouring communities. Our sincere congratulations to all the nominees and winners in the various categories. Many spoke about what an outstanding community Summerland is: It is their contributions—and those of everyone who lives here—that continue to make Summerland an even better place to live.
One of the principles in our strategic plan is to strengthen our relationship with First Nations. Last Monday I had my second meeting with the Penticton Indian Band; our next meeting will be a council to council meet and greet.
Last Tuesday and Thursday were spent in Coldstream and Kelowna attending the OBWB meeting and the Southeast District RCMP meeting respectively. Thank you, Councillor Trainer, for filling in for me at last Thursday’s RDOS meeting.
Our annual budget open house was held on Wednesday from 4 to 7. All departments participated with interactive exhibits and were available to answer questions. On behalf of council, thanks again to the CAO and her staff for all the time and hard work you put into presenting the budget in an interesting and engaging way.
This past Friday I spent the morning at the Community Climate Action Plan workshop with Councillors Holmes and Carlson and Tami Rothery, the District’s Sustainability and Alternate Energy Coordinator. Community stakeholders at the meeting included members of council’s Community Climate Action Advisory Committee, Interior Health, Fortis, and many others. We had productive discussions on the best way to build on our successes in the area of sustainability and alternative energy in order to achieve our reduced emissions targets.
Saturday I spent a few hours in Osoyoos attending First Things First Okanagan’s event at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery. The event, called Three Ways to Save the Planet, focused on electric vehicles, solar, and energy conservation. The organizers were very happy with the attendance; there was standing room only at the four formal presentations. I heard at this event and the workshop the day before that Summerland is seen by neighbouring communities as a leader in taking action on climate change.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor's Report, March 25, 2019
I am very pleased—and very proud—to begin my report tonight with huge congratulations to Summerland’s Pee Wee Rep team. After a week of round robin play in Lillooet last week, they won the BC Provincial Championship. Not only did they win gold, but they also brought home the Fair Play Award. This award is presented to the team that showed the highest level of sportsmanship and is chosen by officials and the executive who organized the provincial tournament as well as referees and linesmen.
This is the first time in Summerland Minor Hockey history that any team has won the BC Provincial Gold Medal and brought home the Provincial Championship banner. Congratulations, players, coaches, the SMHA, and parents: you represented us well and the whole town can be proud.
On Tuesday, March 12 I spoke to the Population Health group of Interior Health about housing in Summerland and how local government makes decisions on housing. I spent the evening at the SADI fundraiser held at Zia’s. It was every bit as fun as it always is, (although I was nervous to be on the auction block), and the fundraiser brought almost $21,000 to SADI.
Wednesday council and staff had another budget meeting and on Friday I flew to Edmonton for a few days to visit our grandbaby. Thursday, the 21st was an RDOS Board meeting day and Friday I spent the day in Peachland celebrating World Water Day by attending the 2019 Syilx Okanagan Water Forum. The day was focused on the Peachland Community Watershed, part of which also provides water to Summerland. My top takeaway from the day was that collaboration is key in protecting our watershed. We need to work with our partners including Okanagan Nation Alliance and the Province.
This past weekend I attended two Celebrations of Life: for May Lalonde and Bruce Johnson. Both were outstanding volunteers in their communities. May was one of the founding members of NeighbourLink and volunteered for years with the Summerland branch of the Canadian Cancer Agency. She worked as a nurse at the Summerland Hospital for many years. Bruce was raised in Penticton and also taught and worked as a principal. After retirement, Bruce was elected to SD67 and spent years tirelessly advocating for students throughout the district, including in Summerland. He, too, volunteered for the Canadian Cancer Agency for several years.
It’s hard to believe we are in the last week of March already! Spring is finally here: the snowdrops and crocuses are up and it won’t be long before our short but intense winter is forgotten.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor's Report, March 11, 2019
In 2017 the then council received grant funding to commission a report on the state of affordable housing in Summerland. The study, Affordable Summerland 2017, was presented to council after several months of conversations with the community and other stakeholders, and with District staff. This Report, as well as input from other organizations and agencies, is behind one of this council’s priorities: To support a diversity of housing options, including rental housing and attainable housing.
At our public meeting this afternoon, council adopted an OCP amendment to allow for an Affordable Housing—Administrative designation, as well as a zoning bylaw amendment redefining ‘cluster housing’. These amendments will facilitate the Alliance Church affordable housing development on North Victoria Road.
Related to land use, Summerland council has sent a resolution to the Southern Interior Local Government Association (SILGA) concerning lands in the Agricultural Land Reserve. The resolution speaks to the provincial government providing what is essentially a payment in lieu (of taxes) to local governments to cover the difference between property taxes assessed on farm status land and the taxes for residential properties. This resolution will be debated by SILGA members at our AGM next month.
On February 26 I was a guest at the Summerland Rotary meeting to hear about the Club’s current international project. Briefly, the club is assisting in the renovation of a school in Muraj, India. On behalf of council, I would like to repeat my thanks to Summerland Rotary for their service to this community and communities abroad.
Later that same day, Councillor Patan and I attended the 13th anniversary open house at the Seniors Village.
February 28 was a full day of budget discussions, which continues this Wednesday. On March 5, I attended the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) meeting, the Cultural Development Committee meeting, and an evening presentation at Centre Stage about the youth mental health program in Summerland schools.
On March 6 I was a jurist on a panel for one of the Chamber’s Business Excellence Awards. It was a great opportunity to hear more about the nominated local businesses and I was very impressed with the passion each business owner showed. I am looking forward to the Gala on March 30th when the finalists are announced. Congratulations to all nominees: our panel had a tough time choosing our category finalist, and I’ve heard that other panels had the same difficulty.
March 7 I and Councillor Holmes attended the RDOS meeting. The board adopted the 2019 budget, which will see a $9 increase to $113 for each household in Summerland. This amount is our share of regional services such as BC Transit, 911, and heritage conservation. I drove to UBCO later that day to attend the Beyond Climate film, a special screening sponsored by the OBWB and others. It was a beautiful, though alarming, documentary about climate change impacts on BC waters, both coastal and inland, including the Okanagan Basin.
Last Saturday I attended the open house at Swiss Solartech before heading to the Summerland Museum’s AGM. The Museum board had invited Brian Wilson of the Okanagan Historical Society to speak about the early 1900s arrival of European settlers and the first two decades of Summerland. I grew up in Summerland, so I know some more recent history, but this presentation on early 20th century history was very interesting.
This morning I joined Mayor Vassilaki and other south Okanagan mayors and City of Penticton staff to meet with Serge Corbeil, the Air Canada government relations representative for our region. This meeting was to discuss Air Canada’s decision to remove the early departure/late arrival (to and from Vancouver) from their schedule, as they introduce the Q400 aircraft to address the number of flights cancelled due to low cloud at the Penticton airport. Mr. Corbeil is interested in receiving data to the support anecdotal evidence; area Chambers of Commerce, through the City of Penticton, will be distributing a survey to business members and residents to provide input.
Respectfully submitted, Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor's Report, February 25, 2019
Council has reached the 100-day mark of this term. On behalf of council, this mayor’s report includes some of things we have accomplished in this timeframe. We started our term in November with council orientation sessions that are foundational to building a strong team and to preparing us for our strategic planning sessions that were held in early January. Council and senior management identified six themes: active lifestyles; infrastructure investment; good governance; community resilience; alternative energy; and downtown vibrancy. Prioritized initiatives fall into at least one of these themes—usually two or three.
Last week, after several months of work by senior management and staff, council started the 2019 budget process. This process continues over the next few weeks as we consider risks, service levels, and priorities. Budget sessions are open to the public and an open house is scheduled early in April.
Since our last council meeting on February 12, I have attended four events related to arts and culture: the Summerland Community Arts Council board meeting and its AGM last Saturday; an Elder book launch at the Penticton Art Gallery last Friday, and the OneWorld Festival at the Penticton Lakeside on Saturday. Council and I attended the Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards Nominees reception at the Waterfront Resort last Tuesday after an afternoon asset management policy discussion and before returning to the table for a budget session in the evening. Wednesday we spent another six hours on the budget. Both Thursday and Friday Councillor Holmes and I spent on RDOS duties. Thursday morning, we had an excellent governance workshop, followed by the regular RDOS meeting; Friday we had a full day of sessions that covered Emergency Management; Communications; Solid Waste Management, and Planning and Development. These sessions were all within the context of the regional district, but as a municipal director I also found them very informative.
A busy couple of weeks and more on the horizon.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor's Report, February 11, 2019
After more than a week of closure due to a landslide, early this morning the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure opened the Callan Road detour to allow traffic a route around the slide area. I would like to thank District staff for making arrangements to either stay in Summerland last week or drive the 201 forest service road to get to work. Also, thank you to our public safety staff for ensuring that emergency access was available to the two residences on Callan Road during the closure. Overall, Summerland residents have shown patience and understanding as Ministry crews worked to ensure the safety of all travellers. At this time, we do not have an estimated date on when Highway 97 will re-open; your continued patience is appreciated.
Despite the highway closure, the UNISIS Open House of Saturday, February 2 was well attended. Councillor Doug Patan and I were able to tour the renovated school and meet the new senior school principal. The first phase of the dormitory building is expected to be completed in time for Canadian and international students joining the school this fall.
I attended the Fall Fair AGM on February 5th. The Fair reopened in 2018 after a three-year hiatus and was very well received. I’d like to thank the many community volunteers who revived this celebration of Summerland agriculture with such success. Special thanks to Margaret Holler, who is passing off a revitalized event to others to carry it forward.
Tuesday and Thursday were full days with the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB) board meeting on Tuesday and another full day meeting at RDOS on Thursday. Four of us in the south attended the OBWB meeting by webinar, due to the highway closure.
On Friday night I enjoyed the Summerland Arts Council and Montessori School fundraiser called “Sweet Nothings”. The entertainment, desserts and beverages were much enjoyed, as were the two pieces of art by Summerland artists I brought home from the silent auction portion of the evening. They will grace the walls of my office.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report January 14, 2019
I hope everyone had an enjoyable and safe holiday season and Happy 2019 to you all.
On January 3, Councillor Holmes and I attended the first RDOS meeting of the new year. The 2019 budget passed first reading and the RDOS Manager of Finance will be presenting at the Committee of the Whole meeting next Monday, January 21st. This meeting begins at 1:30 and is open to the public.
The RDOS board also approved the conservation projects recommended by the technical advisory committee of the South Okanagan Conservation Plan. Five of the approved projects are within Summerland’s boundaries.
Council and senior management met Thursday evening (January 10th) and all day Friday to work on strategic planning. I found it to be very valuable for prioritizing both the projects that are currently underway and those that Council have highlighted for 2019. There is more work to do in strategic planning, including the budget component which is already underway.
In the afternoon of January 10 I attended the Water Stewardship Council meeting in Kelowna. This group is the technical advisory committee for the Okanagan Basin Water Board. There was a good cross-section of people representing groups interested in water including cattlemen, farmers, provincial staff, OBWB directors and staff, UBCO, water purveyors, and water consultants. We enjoyed a very informative presentation on the Columbia Water Treaty including and truncated update on the ongoing treaty negotiations with the United States. I was particularly pleased to hear that First Nations, for the first time, have a seat at the negotiation table alongside BC Hydro, the province, and the federal government. Round 5 of the negotiations is being held in Washington D.C. at the end of next month.
This Thursday after the RDOS meeting in Penticton I will head to Kelowna to attend the Okanagan Sustainability Leadership Council meeting. We will be working on selecting four or five projects to pursue in 2019. I should have an update for you in my next report.
The Summerland Chamber is calling for nominations for their Business Excellence Awards and Community Awards. Visit the Chamber’s website to submit your nominations. Also, the first Chamber business after business for 2019 is being hosted by the Summerland Review at their office. On January 24 from 4:30 to 7 pm.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor's Report December 10, 2018
Thanks are extended to the Summerland Chamber of Commerce and the many sponsors, volunteers, and District staff who made the 31st annual Festival of Lights such a success last Friday. The fireworks, sponsored by the Summerland & District Credit Union were spectacular. All the extra planning that went into the activities in Memorial Park made the event that much more enjoyable for families: they even had their own light-up ceremony. Well done everyone! For those who are wondering: the timing of the end of our national anthem with the Light-Up countdown clock hitting 00:00 was perfectly planned. (Not.)
On December 1 I enjoyed a delicious breakfast served by our Summerland Fire Department as part of their annual Toys and Toonies for Tots and Teens fundraising event. The event was very well attended; the generosity of Summerland citizens was demonstrated yet again. Thank you, Alison, for hosting this fundraiser at Second Home.
Council spent Monday afternoon with our Director of Finance and Works and Utilities staff looking at rates for our three utilities: water, sewer, and electrical. It is sobering to see the gap between existing reserves and the funds required to address upcoming infrastructure expenditures. More on utility rates later in tonight’s agenda.
On Wednesday, BC Transit presented Summerland options for the new regional service that will connect Penticton to Kelowna beginning in September 2019. This additional route will do more than connect the south Okanagan to Kelowna; it will also connect the Similkameen Valley to Penticton and all RDOS residents to West Kelowna who are travelling on to Vancouver.
On Wednesday, I and most of council attended the Chamber of Commerce annual Christmas reception held this year at Second Home. Thank you, Chamber Board and staff, Jordan and Tyler with Lightning Rock Winery; and Alison and staff at Second Home for a wonderful evening.
On Thursday Councillor Holmes and I attended the first regular committee and board meetings of the new RDOS board. With Area D splitting into two electoral areas (D and I), there are now 19 directors around the table. I have been appointed to the Okanagan Basin Water Board; Councillor Holmes will speak to his appointments. Thursday evening, I attended the Trails, Cycling Network and Sidewalks Master Plans open house at the arena banquet room. If you were unable to attend and wish to provide your input, the online survey on the Summerland.ca website is open until December 13.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor’s Report November 26, 2018
The last two weeks have been busy ones for council and the next two promise to be the same.
Councillor Holmes and I attended two days of orientation at the Regional District two weeks ago and a full day budget session last week. There are two significant Regional District items of interest to Summerland residents in 2019: the BC Transit bus linking us to Kelowna, and the opening of the new facility at the Penticton Regional Hospital. Speaking of the PRH, I was elected vice chair of the Okanagan Similkameen Regional Hospital Board.
On November 14, councillors Holmes, Patton, and Barkwill and I attended an information session regarding the Eneas Creek flooding and resulting property damage this year. Staff from Forest, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations and Emergency Management BC joined District staff to answer questions and engage with affected homeowners. We are expecting the Eneas Creek risk and hazard assessment by the end of December.
On November 21, I attended a meeting of the Southern Interior Local Government Association executive in Coldstream, then stopped in Kelowna to attend a Community Water Forum. The forum focused on BC’s action plan to the 108 recommendations in the Abbott/Chapman report on fire and floods released in the summer. One of the actions underway is the new $50-million Community Resiliency Investment Program for FireSmart and emergency planning initiatives. Item 12.1 on tonight’s agenda concerns a District grant application to this Program.
The damage caused by Eneas Creek and the Mt. Eneas wildfire to both private and public property are just two examples of how climate change is impacting Summerland. As this council moves into strategic planning in January, climate change mitigation and adaptation measures may be considered along with many other potential initiatives and projects. It will be exciting to plan for the next four years, but it will also be difficult. There is a limit on staff capacity and financial resources. First, we must carefully decide which of the growing number of projects are priorities and then plan accordingly.
Council looks forward to celebrating with you at the 31st annual Festival of Lights starting at 5pm this Friday evening.
Mayor Toni Boot
Mayor's Report November 13, 2018
On Saturday night, Councillor Carlson, Councillor Patan, and I attended the Diwali ceremony at the Hindu Temple in Trout Creek. Light is an integral part of Diwali, representing the triumph of light over darkness and good over evil. It was a night of music, ceremony, lights, colour, and delicious traditional food.
I was honoured to lay a wreath at the Cenotaph on Remembrance Day on behalf of the District of Summerland. It was wonderful to see such a large crowd of people remembering and honouring those who died fighting for the freedoms we enjoy today.
As the sun was setting, I attended a 100 Bells of Peace ceremony at the Catholic Church. This event included the bell being struck 100 times to mark the number of years that have passed since the end of World War I. Then, I joined over 150 people for a turkey dinner at the Legion. Thank you to the Summerland Legion Branch 22 for organizing the special memorial events of this day, the Catholic Church for hosting the Bells of Peace ceremony, and the other Summerland churches that also rang their bells in remembrance.
The week ahead is very busy. Council orientation sessions continue tomorrow and both Thursday and Friday are full days at Regional District with the Board’s inaugural meeting and orientation sessions.
Mayor Toni Boot