Field Town Hall Meeting October 3, 2016

Field Town Hall Meeting October 3, 2016

In Attendance: Ellen Francis, Alex Goatcher, Hélène Cassista, John Schlichting, Karla Gaffney, Betty Watson, Barbara McNeil, Sophie Cais, Ryan Cameron, Travis Wert, Michael Vanderveen, Kathryn Cameron, Kim Chapman, Claudia Harding, Sebastian Harbottle, Jeremy Schmidt, Helen Barry

Excused: Sally Watson, Craig Chapman, Tyra Cameron, Kat MacNeill, Karen Schmidt, Mike Legrice, Tanje Baker

  1. FRAA/FCC Report – Kathryn Cameron
  • Welcome to baby Sebastian Harbottle born August 8, 2016, and congratulations to Jamie, Claudia and Mikayla on your newest family member!
  • Canada Day Event: Great work by volunteers with BC Ambulance Service (pancake breakfast), FRAA (parade) and Field Fire and Rescue (barbeque at Yoho VRC pond). Final report submitted to Canadian Heritage mid-August, including event photos. The FRAA sponsored a Water Balloon Clean Up Contest, and awarded Super Soakers to the six participants. There are still remnants of water balloons along the parade route – don’t hesitate to pick them up when you see them.
  • Thank you from RCMP Victim Services in Golden for community support to the family and emergency services personnel when a child fell into the Yoho River at Takakkaw Falls the evening of July 8. We opened the Community Hall to the group, and provided blankets, sleeping bags and sleeping mats for their comfort during the initial stage of the search. The family expressed deep gratitude to the community of Field, especially to the two families who supplied dry clothing and footwear for two other children in the group who were rescued from the river. We offer condolences to the family in the death of their son.
  • Community Hall Update: Thank you to the people who came to the Work Party on September 19. Our new Sub Zero fridge was installed and the old fridge removed, major clean up in the kitchen, new bar fridge stocked. Cost of the new fridge covered by donation from the Friends of Yoho Pasta Supper in 2015. The remainder of the Friends’ donation will be used to purchase a new stove. Thank you again to the Friends of Yoho for their generosity.
  • Canada 150 Celebrations: Will dovetail with local anniversaries – Yoho Blow 40th, Friends of Yoho 30th, Kicking Horse Ski Club 30th. FRAA plans to apply for a Restricted Activity Permit for fireworks to ring in the New Year 2017.
  • Electric Car Recharge Station: Research ongoing.
  • East Link Cable Television Service: Contractors were in town to remove East Link Infrastructure in late September. Karla Gaffney working with Shaw to explore options in Field.
  • Mediation Process Requested by Ellen Francis: Welcome Barbara McNeil, and thank you for the time and energy you are investing to prepare for the mediation process. Barbara has attended the Field Recreation and Advisory Association/Field Community Council Regular Meeting (September 12) and the Field Utility Board and Liaison Meeting (September 21). This meeting rounds out the triumvirate of our meeting cycle that has normally taken place every two months.
  • MLA Norm MacDonald extends his appreciation to residents of Field for their support in his election for three terms to the BC Legislature. He will not run in the next provincial election in May 2017. He suggested finding out which organization is responsible for the playground in Parson.

Note: Alex Goatcher offered to stop in Parson on his way through the Columbia Valley this week. He sent photos showing the playground is owned and operated by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD).

  • Field Elementary School: The first day of school was very quiet in Field this fall. The School District wants to remove the playground if the community is not able to assume responsibility for maintenance and insurance.
  • Coffee With Council: Informal opportunity September 17 to talk about what’s going on in the community was quite lovely. We’ll do it again.
  • Columbia Shuswap Regional District update: posted on bulletin board.
  • Rocky Mountain School District #6 will hold the first public consultation for their Draft Facilities Plan on October 4, 2016 7:00 pm at Golden Elementary School Kathryn to attend. The Draft Facilities Plan indicates the School District is in discussion with Parks Canada about the future of their lease and the two buildings (School and Teacherage). Confirmed by Ellen Francis.
  • Increase in Solid Waste Costs: To determine the increase in individual bills, compare the rate on your current bill to your previous bill. Residents understand that solid waste costs are fully paid by residents and businesses of Field, as legislated in the National Park Act.
  • Train Horns: Jeff Lahti found out that the Governing Body for the Village of Field (Parks Canada) can apply to Transport Canada for an exemption to cease the required four horn blasts (Long, Long, Short, Long) when a train will cross a federally regulated public railway crossing. Parks Canada has not received any written complaints about the numerous sound disruptions – day and night – caused by train horns. If the community wants action, residents need to put their concerns in writing to
  • Scheduled Power Outage: Wednesday, October 19, 2016. BC Hydro will do upgrades to the Battery Storage Facility. There will be three 30 minutes outages that day – no battery backup during this work.
  • Annual General Meeting: November 14, 2016. Nomination forms will be available at the Post Office Monday, October 17. There are five positions available on the FRAA and five positions available on FCC. We have an excellent asset: Field Community Hall, and a really great community. Volunteers play critical roles in many organizations in Field, and are the best advocates/activists for education, safety, and community development. Interested in participating? Submit your nomination papers and join in the good work and fun with other committed residents.
  • Gravel Bed Rivers Presentation: November 23, 2016 at Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies in Banff, 7:00 pm, $10 admission, jointly hosted by Y2Y.
  1. Presentations

Solid Waste Presentation – Ellen Francis, Townsite Manager Parks Canada

A revised letter will be circulated to residents about the increase in solid waste costs, as requested by Field Community Council.

Council is concerned about:

  1. How the recycle bins are currently used: substantial number of wine and beer bottles are being put in the glass bin; paper and plastic are being put in the tin bin and vice versa;
  2. Large items dropped off by the garbage bins (i.e. mattresses, desks, old propane outdoor stoves), rather than taken to the CSRD landfill site in Golden, and;
  3. Are Yoho VRC solid waste costs included in the calculation of solid waste costs for the Village of Field?

For the system to function properly and to keep the community’s costs down, users need to put recyclable material in the appropriate bin, take refundable bottles and plastics to a depot, and take large items to the landfill. Ellen advised residents that the Town of Banff currently holds the contract to accept our recycle bin contents. For information on what is acceptable, please look at the Town Of Banff website: To learn more about CSRD solid waste guidelines, please visit:

Highway Operations Unit Winter Maintenance in the Village of Field – Michael Vanderveen

Handout distributed outlining service levels for winter road maintenance in the Field Unit, and specifically for the Village of Field. Copy attached with the minutes.

  1. Treasurer’s Report – Tabled to AGM November 14, 2016
  1. RCMP Report – Sergeant Betty Watson
  • Watson took over responsibility for the Golden RCMP detachment in October 2015.
  • Criminal Code offenses in Field saw a minor increase from 3 reported offenses in 2015 to 5 reported offenses in 2016.
  • With improved cell phone coverage through Yoho National Park (cell tower in the Beaverfoot Valley and cell tower in Field) there has been a marked increase in the number of reports of unsafe drivers.
  • Golden Detachment now has a Traffic Analyst in the detachment; reduces length of road closures when there is a major incident to investigate.
  • Like many government departments the RCMP experience resource challenges. Currently understaffed, but anticipate the arrival of an experienced Corporal from Trail to fill a vacant position and new cadet to fill a Constable position very soon.
  • Thank you to Community for support offered to the family who lost their son to the Yoho River in July. Victim Services expressed gratitude for the compassionate response from Field. For more information about participating in RCMP Victim Services in Golden, we can contact Niela Wolf at the Golden Detachment Office.

Note: Thank you to the RCMP from the community of Field for leading the Canada Day parade this year, and the photo op offered to visitors to pose with members dressed in their iconic red serge uniforms!

  1. Parks Canada Reports

Townsite Manager – Ellen Francis

  • Residents can send comments to:
  • Evaluation of supply/demand of public parking facilities (on-street and off-street). Staff with the Development Office is currently reviewing the provisions of the Field Community Plan (Amended 2010) and Land Use Directive (2010) to better understand the regulatory requirements that influence successful commercial and residential development in Field. The Field Unit is considering whether a formal analysis of current parking supply and projected demand under various redevelopment scenarios would be necessary in the near future. Any comments from FCC regarding the existing number, type(s) and condition of existing on-street stalls and off-street parking lots would be greatly appreciated (please identify priorities areas/items), as well as recommendations about the scope of analysis/review (i.e. commercial downtown, residential guest homes, hotels, hostels, information centre, parking on CPR lands, etc.) would be greatly appreciated.
  • Hélène Cassista will work with FCC to organize Town Walk About, and will include Development Officers. Note: Town Walk About scheduled for October 18, 2016; 9:00 am start at Yoho Admin.
  • Spring bin to be organized for May/June 2017. This is not a free service; cost will be reflected in solid waste fees.
  • Canada150 Branding: contact information for Canadian Heritage sent to FCC by Marthe Boissonnault. Parks Canada will provide banners; design and installation to be determined.
  • Streetlights and nighttime safety: If you see that a light is burned out, please contact Hélène Cassista. Parks Canada will look at need for additional light between intersection of 1st Avenue and 1st Street, and the Fire Hall. Townsite Office will consult Fire Chief.
  • Residents requested predictable access to 6A-30 key to open the gate at the west end of town to drop green waste (garden waste) once the Visitor Centre is closed for the winter season. Hélène Cassista to determine schedule.

Highway Service Centre – Michael Vanderveen

  • Rock Scaling Update: Project proceeding well; delays significantly shorter than expected. For current information visit If you want to receive email notifications from the Field Unit, please send an email to to be added to the mail list.
  • Other projects underway: Replacing seven culverts under the TransCanada Highway in Yoho, starting with one to the East of Field near the Yoho pit and west to the park boundary; adding diversions where needed. Removing accumulated material from avalanche gully and berm on Mt. Stephen.
  • Working on an Environmental Assessment on milled asphalt. The product was used on 2nd Avenue in Field. Residents not impressed with the product. Report to be presented at the next meeting.

Asset Management – Travis Wert

  • Mount Dennis and 2nd Avenue: Dewatering Mt. Dennis seems to be going well. Monitoring ongoing. Looking at diversion work to move water west of Waste Water Treatment Plant. Consultant from Tetra Tec has been on site, completed draft report but not ready to share. Seem to have stepped back from original claims; situation now seen as less catastrophic.
  • Fire Hall Roof: Contractor on site to make temporary repairs.
  • Consultant has been retained to assess operational space at Boulder Creek, Fire Hall, etc.
  • Yoho Trading Post site now on Contaminated Site Index; eligible for funding. Assessment to be conducted on site in fall.
  • Superintendent’s Residence: Work to be done on electrical, heating and building envelope in the fall. Stringent guidelines for Federal Heritage Building. Green technology project would provide few benefits for very costly initiatives like wind or solar power, or geothermal heat.
  • Federal Infrastructure Initiatives (FII) Funding for Staff Accommodation in Field to replace Boulder Creek Bunkhouse: Lots have been identified for flexible housing to replace the bunkhouse. Concepts in development. May see something in next construction season. Proposal resubmitted today to National Office for FII funds to do maintenance on all Parks Canada housing in Field. Some budget increases made for urgent work. Note: Housing is critical to overall function of operations in Yoho National Park.

Visitor Experience – No Report

Resource Conservation – No Report

  1. Friends of Yoho – Helen Barry, President

The Friends of Yoho had a busy season in the store, and hosted some great programs this summer as well. Historic Walking Tours of Field were offered twice a week from late June to early September. There were two Full Moon Hikes. Parks Day Celebrations included a “S’Mores” event. Sweet. History of the CPR Course was offered again in summer 2016.

  1. Field Fire and Rescue

Since last report we have had 11 callouts: 9 motor vehicle collisions; 1 motor vehicle fire; 1 water rescue assist. Turnout to all calls was adequate. No serious injuries.


New purchases – electric positive pressure fan, which will complement the gas powered EPP fan. Key components required for an offensive attack on a single-family building.


In house training has been concentrating on exterior fire attack.

Members sent to: Rapid Intervention Team – for a rescue team inside a structure fire; Live Fire 3; Fire Service Instructor One

Membership is low right now- roster has 18 (including part time members who are only in Field occasionally) and due to various circumstances (including seasonal membership) lost 3 fire fighters. Minimum membership is 16. If anyone knows someone interested in joining, please send him or her our way.

  1. Roundtable

Karla Gaffney shared a letter dated September 2, 2016 from the Diocese of Nelson to Parks Canada stating that all attempts had been made to assign the former Catholic Church property, unsuccessfully. Consequently the Diocese has advised Parks Canada they have decided “to demolish the property and relinquish our lease . . “. Discussion was held about heritage values, different assessments of the state of the building, zoning restrictions, and the diminishing pool of volunteers to take on big community projects. No resolutions offered.

Meeting adjourned at 9:10 pm.