FRAA Board Meeting via Zoom December 16, 2020

In attendance: Sally Watson, Kathryn Cameron, Sonya Leenders

Excused: Paulina O’Brien, Heather Galligan, Greg Dowman

1. St. Joseph’s Project – Grant extension and quotes from structural engineers

            Grant for engineered drawings, architectural approval and geotechnical work was originally due to be completed by December 15, 2020. However, the FRAA revisited the whole concept in June 2020 following consultation with neighbours, which meant new drawings with public consultation before going ahead with engineered drawings. This was completed by November 30, 2020. We have received acceptable quotes for electrical and mechanical drawings, and architectural review through the process and are currently waiting for quotes from two structural engineering firms. The FRAA anticipates receiving the quotes by the end of this week. We applied for an extension and the final grant report is due by January 15, 2021.

2. FFRD 

            In a meeting with Parks Canada on December 11, 2020, the FFRA learned that Parks Canada is pursuing their regional solution approach. 

  • Parks Canada met with the society that administers Lake Louise Fire Department (LLFD), Banff Lake Louise Emergency Services Society (BLLESS) last week, and Parks Canada will ask to enter into a formal agreement for LLFD to respond to road rescue in Yoho National Park between Lake Louise and Field. BLLESS Board to review the request in January 2021. 
  • Parks Canada has sent a formal request to Town Of Golden Chief Administrative Officer to Have Golden Fire Department (GFD) respond to road rescue from Yoho National Park West Gate to Field. 
  • No timeline on when agreements will be signed.
  • Emergency Management British Columbia (EMBC) will reimburse any Fire Department that responds out of their jurisdiction in the province of British Columbia. Responses to road rescue in Yoho National Park by LLFD and GFD will be reimbursed by EMBC. No cost to Parks Canada
  • This is not a stop-gap measure. Parks Canada sees this as a reasonable way to provide a long-term approach to road rescue services in Yoho National Park. Only talking about road rescue service from LLFD and GFD. FFRD will continue to provide structure fire protection services to Field and Yoho National Park. On the question of HazMat response, it is 99% fuel spills and long term clean-up is required, there is seldom short-term containment needed. 
  • FFRD will continue to provide structure fire protection services so no foreseeable impact on insurance in the community. Parks Canada has a strong interest in maintaining FFRD long term.
  • CP Rail is responsible for providing emergency response to CP Rail emergencies.

Rebuttal from FRAA:

  • LLFD has recruitment issues, greater than those experienced by FFRD. LLFD has a minimum 30 minute response time on a highway that covers four weather patterns over the 27 km distance from Lake Louise to Field.
  • GFD is 57 km away, so longer response time on a highway that is approaching the start of a 4-year construction project to twin 4.8 km in Kicking Horse Canyon, with long and short-term closures expected.
  • Risk of Kicking Horse River contamination from hazardous materials/spills.
  • Do these departments have the resources to expand their areas of response?
  • Response time to any road rescue incident is critical. FFRD can respond much faster with a team that is trained and competent.
  • Parks Canada regional solution is downloading the same concerns to two other volunteer fire departments that deal with the same difficult responses. Looking at the timeline and substance of FFRD request to Parks Canada for a full-time Fire Chief it shows that the shared demands of leadership without a Fire Chief were put on the Captains that increased their responsibilities and time commitments. FFRD asked for a position to provide leadership. The proposed Parks Canada regional approach seems to dismantle and sideline a functional organization.
  • FFRD, LLFD and GFD were working on mutual aid agreements so the idea of a regional solution was already substantially in play. With identified areas of jurisdiction for each department, there has been a very functional model. 
  • Parks Canada leadership is not listening to feedback or critique of their “regional solution”. 

3. Kicking Horse Ski Club

            E-transfers to purchase memberships are in place via and they’re working out well. Set up for automatic deposit so not passwords necessary. Ski Club is charting membership list. Conditions improve with each snowfall. For all Kicking Horse Ski Club details, please visit the website at Marilyn is keeping us informed!

4. Programs

HIIT is on Zoom with Lake Louise Sport and Recreation Society. Please visit their Facebook page for details. Classes were free in December; there may be a fee to attend virtually in January.

All the equipment for the gym grant has been purchased and delivered. When the gym can be used as a public space again there will be circuit training and ping pong. Final report for the grant has been submitted and a press release to publicly thank Columbia Basin Trust for support of the program will be sent to The Golden Star.

Public Health Orders have changed and in-person low-impact yoga classes are once again allowed to take place. This means, for lucky us, that Yoga Flow with Julie will start again January 7, 2021. Mark your calendar and dust off your yoga mat. Please wear a mask and use hand sanitizer on entrance to the community hall. Once people are on their mats, in their allocated space, masks can be removed for the yoga session then put back on to exit following the class.

5. Rink Protocols 2020

            Weather has not been our friend this year when considering the ice rink. We’ve had big snowfalls, then warm weather, then more snow . . . and not much good cold weather to get some floods on the rink. Thanks to the rink people who have been clearing the snow, doing some floods, then clearing more snow. It’s a slow process. Once the rink is usable, only ice maintenance people will have access to the change room. Please bring your equipment and take it home; no equipment storage in the change room this winter.

6. Round Table

  • Parks Canada has not paid any invoices submitted in 2020, some of which are for services from 2018. Tracey LeBlanc said the invoice for the Honorarium must be resubmitted following the guidelines outlined in the new Contribution Agreement. Sally is working on it and will also submit invoice for public washroom for 2020.
  • Given the proximity of CP Rail infrastructure and operations to the community of Field, the FRAA feels that sole response by CP to CP emergency situations has the potential to put Field residents in grave danger. 
  • Public Health Guidelines for Christmas gatherings has meant many people may be alone this Christmas. Any word on what’s happening or ideas on how to mitigate?

Meeting adjourned at 8:20 pm.Next FRAA Board Meeting scheduled for January 11, 2020 via Zoom and invitations sent to Board Members.