November 30, 2023
The bears are almost all denned up for the winter, as is the WildSafeBC Program for the Sunshine Coast.
The program’s goal is to prevent conflict with wildlife through education, collaboration, and community solutions.
This season, we achieved this goal by sharing information about attractant management. Ensuring that attractants such as garbage, compost, and fruit are secured and inaccessible to wildlife is essential in keeping both our community, and wildlife safe.
WildSafeBC’s local coordinator, Julie McNeil, has worked with the community to prevent negative outcomes for wildlife and for people by providing wildlife information and conflict-reduction strategies to residents, visitors, and the business community.
Education outreach has included community events, bin tagging, door-to-door canvassing, wildlife awareness and safety presentations, bear spray workshops, and WildSafe Ranger presentations in schools. To learn more about what we were able to accomplish this year, please view our year-end report, scheduled to be released in December at https://wildsafebc.com/resources/community-reports/
While the bears may be soon in their dens, there are many other animals that do not hibernate such as cougar, elk, coyotes, and deer. We encourage everyone to become more familiar with the wildlife that may be passing through our communities. Please report sightings of bears, wolves or cougars in urban/residential areas, or wildlife in conflict, to the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277. Please visit wildsafebc.com and follow their Facebook page for updates, tips, and other information to assist you in keeping wildlife wild and your community safe!
WildSafeBC Sunshine Coast is grateful for the generous support the program receives from its funders including the Sunshine Coast Regional District, the British Columbia Conservation Foundation, and the Province of BC.
About British Columbia Conservation Foundation:
The British Columbia Conservation Foundation (BCCF) is a not-for-profit organization. BCCF’s mission is to promote and assist in the conservation of the fish and wildlife resources of the Province of British Columbia through the protection, acquisition or enhancement of fish and wildlife habitat.
November 28, 2023
The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) Board and Unifor Local 466 Negotiating Committee are pleased to announce that an agreement has been ratified between the SCRD and Unifor Local 466.
The four-year agreement is effective from January 1, 2024.
“To have an agreement ratified before the current one expires is virtually unprecedented and is a sign of true collaboration,” says SCRD Board Chair Leonard Lee. “On behalf of the SCRD Board, I would like to express my appreciation to everyone involved in the negotiations and I am confident that this agreement shows staff how valued they are to our organization.”
Wage rate increases for all wage bands as follows:
January 1, 2024 – 6%
January 1, 2025 – Consumer Price Index or 4%. Whichever is higher
January 1, 2026 – Consumer Price Index or 2.75%. Whichever is higher
January 1, 2027 – Consumer Price Index
Some highlights from the agreement include:
- Focus on recruitment and retention of staff.
- Consideration of public sector service for vacation and benefits upon hire into a regular job.
- Bundled approach to health benefits selection.
- New scheduling language for the Transit service.
Chief Spokesperson, Unifor Local 466
Senior Manager, Human Resources, and the Chief Spokesperson for the SCRD
November 23, 2023
Utility rates for 2024 are being presented to the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) Board for final adoption on December 14. Prior to this taking place, the SCRD is hosting two virtual information sessions, focused on water rates for 2024.
The proposed rates for 2024 are below. All rates include user fee and parcel tax.
Regional Water Service (Chapman, Langdale, Egmont, Cove Cay, Eastbourne, Granthams and Soames)
Current Rate: $1,043.54
Proposed increase: $121.46
Proposed 2024 Rate: $1,165
North Pender Harbour
Current Rate: $1,303.45
Proposed increase: $101.55
Proposed 2024 Rate: $1,405
South Pender Harbour
Current Rate: $1,194.78
Proposed increase: $165.22
Proposed 2024 Rate: $1,360
Further information on the proposed rates can be found by clicking here in the agenda package for the November 10 Special Committee of the Whole.
During the information sessions, SCRD staff will provide an overview of the systems, ongoing challenges, and funding requirements for 2024. There will also be ample time for questions. Joining information for the sessions can be found below.
Water Rates Information Sessions
Focus on North and South Pender Water
Date and time: Monday, November 27, 6 p.m.
Join by clicking here
Focus on Regional Water System
Date and time: Wednesday, November 29, 6 p.m.
Join by clicking here
Community information spaces for all wastewater systems can be found at https://letstalk.scrd.ca/wastewater. Community members can ask questions directly to SCRD staff at any time on these pages.
Let’s Talk Budget
Round 1 budget for the SCRD will take place from December 4 to 6. The SCRD has developed a community information space for residents who want to learn more about the budget and to ask questions. This can be found at https://letstalk.scrd.ca/budget.
November 17, 2023
As Board Chair of the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD), I feel it necessary to respond to a public statement that was provided by Alternate Director John Henderson on November 16, 2023.
To begin, what we cannot lose sight of, is that Alternate Director Henderson’s comments, directed at an SCRD staff member and witnessed by staff members, fellow Directors and members of the public have had a very real and lasting effect. This issue was initiated by him, was directed at staff in front of witnesses who immediately documented what they heard, reported their concerns, and, as per SCRD Policy and the WorkSafeBC regulations on bullying and harassment, it had to be investigated and ultimately addressed. To be clear, it could not be ignored, swept under the carpet, or forgotten because he eventually expressed some regret. At the advice of legal counsel, an independent law firm conducted the investigation, arrived at their findings, and summarized those findings into a report that was presented to the SCRD Board.
As Board Chair, I will always stand up for our staff and we do not tolerate any comments or actions that create a toxic workplace. The actions taken by the SCRD Board were to ensure that staff could expect that the Board and SCRD management will take whatever action is necessary to promote a work environment that is free of bullying and harassment.
It should be noted that on numerous occasions, Alternate Director Henderson has been in the company of the numerous staff who were present at the meeting where he made his comments. He knows who they are, and he has had ample opportunity to apologize and/or directly express his remorse or regret. I know of no restriction that would prevent him from providing an apology to those staff, especially to the person to whom he directed his comments. He has had over six months to take such action and has not done so. An immediate apology might have gone a long way to addressing the concerns of the Board. Only he can advise why he has not apologized to the recipient of his comments and to those that were nearby.
For those that are not fully aware of the process, Alternate Director Henderson has not resigned from the SCRD Board. He has apparently, publicly, noted an intention to resign. For Alternate Director Henderson to be replaced on the SCRD Board, the District of Sechelt must first identify a replacement and notify the SCRD of the change. This has not yet happened.
I agree with Alternate Director Henderson that we should focus on important priorities. It is unfortunate that he did not show the restraint that should, in my opinion, be expected of his office and chose to contravene the Board’s Code of Conduct Policy and the SCRD’s Respectful Workplace Policy. His actions and his actions alone have resulted in expense to the SCRD and extra work for our staff.
We will continue to encourage and expect nothing but respectful dialogue at the SCRD Board table, and I am confident that the District of Sechelt will be well represented by the two outstanding individuals who currently sit on our Board.
I hope that, for the sake of the staff who bore the brunt of Alternate Director Henderson’s comments, they accept that this Board has taken the necessary and appropriate action and that we can now move forward and concentrate on the important work that we have been elected to do in our communities.
Board Chair, Sunshine Coast Regional District
November 16, 2023
Parks services staff from the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) have closed public access to the South Kleindale Bridge on the Suncoaster trail effective immediately due to user safety and a deteriorating bridge structure.
The South Kleindale Bridge is a part of the Suncoaster Phase 1 trail network and is located off the North end of McKay Road in Pender Harbour, as shown on map below.
“This closure is being implemented immediately for the safety of the public,” says Jessica Huntington, Interim, SCRD Parks Services Manager. “The next step will be to have a qualified individual perform an assessment and determine options for the Kleindale Creek crossing. A timeline for completion of the assessment is early Spring 2024.”
Parks operations staff have identified that a support structure on the downstream side of the south Kleindale Bridge has a major crack in it which compromises the safety of the entire bridge.
The closure will impact access to the Suncoaster Trail between McKay road and Lions Park (approximately one kilometre of trail). The next available access point is a logging road 300 metres up the Sunshine Coast Highway from McKay Road or from trails through Lions Parks located 800 metres up the highway from McKay road.
The SCRD will continue to provide updates on the work and the status of the bridge closure to residents via social media and on the SCRD website.
November 16, 2023
The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) is pleased to announce that it has received the Government Finance Officers Association’s (GFOA) Distinguished Budget Presentation Award for the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2023.
The award represents a significant achievement by the entity. It reflects the commitment of the governing body and staff to meeting the highest principles of governmental budgeting. In order to receive the budget award, the entity had to satisfy nationally recognized guidelines for effective budget presentation. These guidelines are designed to assess how well an entity’s budget serves as:
- a policy document
- a financial plan
- an operations guide
- a communications device
Budget documents must be rated “proficient” in all four categories, and the fourteen mandatory criteria within those categories, to receive the award.
When a Distinguished Budget Presentation Award is granted, a Certificate of Recognition for Budget Presentation is also presented to the individual or department designated as being primarily responsible for its having achieved the award. This has been presented to the SCRD’s Corporate Services Department.
“Achievement of this award demonstrates the SCRD’s commitment to high-quality financial reporting and transparency,” says Tina Perreault, General Manager, Corporate Services and Chief Financial Officer. “A special thank you to our staff who have shown their commitment in making sure that our residents are informed with quality financial documents.”
There are over 1,700 participants in the Budget Awards Program. The most recent Budget Award recipients, along with their corresponding budget documents, are posted quarterly on GFOA’s website. Award recipients have pioneered efforts to improve the quality of budgeting and provide an excellent example for other governments throughout North America.
Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) advances excellence in government finance by providing best practices, professional development, resources and practical research for more than 22,500 members and the communities they serve.
To view the document, visit www.scrd.ca/Budget