Field Recreation Advisory Association Board Meeting March 8, 2021

In Attendance: Sally Watson, Sonya Leenders, Kathryn Cameron, Paulina O’Brien, Heather Galligan

Excused: Greg Dowman

1. Programs

            Health and safety of the community is the FRAA priority, and we will continue to operate by the guidelines and public health orders of the Public Health Officer. There will be changes in the next few months as people receive vaccines. It’s a dynamic situation. The Board will meet monthly to discuss options as changes happen and communicate how those changes affect FRAA operations in 2021. Programs now offered have Covid-19 plans in place; participants are asked to follow protocols. 

Changes to Public Health Order on Gatherings and Events: No change from the most recent order issued on February 10, 2021. Visit the British Columbia Centre for Disease Control website at to read the Public Health Order and also the guidelines issued on February 5, 2021. 

High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): Continues to be available online with Laura Penner on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. For participation details, please visit the Lake Louise Sport and Recreation Facebook page. 

Low Impact Group Exercise: We are looking at options for a low impact exercise option to offer at the Community Hall. Attendance and protocols would follow those in place for yoga. Stay tuned for details.

Yoga Flow With Julie: Thursday evenings at 7:00 pm at the Community Hall, admission by donation. Please wear a mask as you enter the hall, sanitize your hands (sanitizer is on the table at the entrance or wash your hands in the washroom) and proceed to set up your mat a minimum of 2.5 meters from other participants. You can remove your mask for the yoga session. Please put on your mask again and maintain the 2.5 meters distance recommended as you gather your mat, sanitize your hands, put on your coat and boots and exit the community hall. The hall can safely accommodate 10 participants. Residents from Lake Louise have expressed interest in attending. The Board feels that travelling to attend yoga is not considered essential travel, so we’ll keep it local for now.

Kicking Horse Ski Club: The Virtual Yoho Nordic Challenge was a resounding success! People from Golden and Calgary joined in and contributed $2385 to the club. For a full report and to see some great photos, visit Well done Kicking Horse Ski Club!

Skating Rink: There have been some issues with the timer system on the outdoor lights. It appears the system needs to be reset after power outages. We plan to work on some options this summer for next season.

License of Occupation with Parks Canada for School Gym Community Use: The lease surrender between Rocky Mountain School District #6 and Parks Canada for Field Elementary School is officially complete now. The FRAA is working on a Licence of Occupation for the gymnasium. Office renovation/construction scheduled for March 8, 2021 to end of May. Parks Canada says contractor will use gym as a staging area for materials during renovation so not available for community use until the contractor is finished.

2. Community Passes for travel to Golden during Extended Closures in Kicking Horse Canyon Construction Phase 4

            The FRAA has been asked for advice on administering the Community Pass system through Canada Post. 

            The Board recommends that residents who own vehicles be issued their own numbered passes, linked to a vehicle license, similar to Parks Canada Resident Passes, which can be used to book a trip on an online booking app, similar to what skiers use to book their time at the Lake Louise Ski Area, during the limited open periods in an extended closure.
            Our rationale for not using the Post Office or calling Art McLean, at the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI):
1. The Post Office is only open from 9:30 am to 1:30 pm Monday through Friday, offering a very limited time frame for people to book a pass and pick it up;
2. Extended closures will be in effect 7 days per week, so on two of the days, there is no access to community passes if they are in the Post Office;
3. People who live in Field, work in Lake Louise and go to Golden for services (doctor, dentist, groceries, etc.) will find it difficult to manage appointments that may come up last minute when they leave Field for work early in the morning and return to Field at the end of the work day in late afternoon/early evening;
4. The Post Office already has challenges meeting demands of Post Office Services under Covid-19 operational guidelines. Adding this service could impact Post Office operations and service, their priority;
5. Asking Art to be available 24/7 during extended closures is not a realistic option for him. 

            A specific pass for a specific resident who can book online is much more professional and reliable. Commuters will be issued passes they keep and carry to simplify the process. It makes sense that residents be granted the same level of consideration, with the rider that they book online in advance of their trip.

            MOTI will communicate how the Community Pass system will operate. 

3. St Joseph Project 

            We continue to work with the designer and engineers. The focus of the FRAA is to initiate the Development Permit now that engineered drawings are a reality. Also working on grant applications and fundraising options. The new timeline for construction start is spring 2022.

4. Community Hall Use as Emergency Shelter during Power Outage January 26, 2021

            CP used the hall as an emergency warming and registration centre for people who don’t have a back-up heating system to use when there’s no power for forced air furnaces or baseboard heaters. CP provided blankets, food and bottled water. Eleven people made use of the facility, which was staffed by Field Fire and Rescue members from 3 pm to 11 pm that day. No one needed the facility for overnight accommodation.

            The Board will research how other community facilities are funded for use as emergency shelters.

5. BC Hydro Energy Storage Facility (ESF)

            There was an internal fire in the battery banks on February 16, 2021 . The ESF is out of service until repaired. BC Hydro is working on interim power back-up for the community in the event of a power outage. BC Hydro will communicate with us when they have more information.

            The FRAA is concerned about short-term and long-term energy security for Field. We sent this email to BC Hydro and Parks Canada on March 1, 2021:

“The Field Recreation Advisory Association (FRAA) wants to express to BC Hydro and Parks Canada, on behalf of residents and business owners in Field, BC and Yoho National Park, our desire to address electric power supply security for our community and area.

We understand the challenges of terrain, weather, line repair and maintenance, the present state of the Energy Storage Facility, and the role of CP priorities in keeping the power coming to Field. It’s a huge responsibility. We commend BC Hydro for providing service to the community since the line from Golden to Field was powered in the 1990s.

Looking at an immediate short-term back-up option while the ESF is not available, is it possible to install a diesel generator to power the community during outages to replace the ESF?

In the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure meeting with the community on February 25, 2021, we learned that during the Kicking Horse Canyon Project Phase 4, part of the power line will stay above ground and part will go underground. Project managers said they are aware of the sensitive nature of power provision to this area. It appears that section of BC Hydro’s line to Field will remain reliable, however, details about the plan between the contractor and BC Hydro during construction would give residents of Field more information about how there will be guaranteed uninterrupted power during the massive rebuilding of the 4.5 km of highway. 

Parks Canada has held public consultation events in Field to present TransCanada Highway Twinning proposals for review and comment. Given that most power outages in Field have occurred after incidents on the section of the power line installed above-ground along the CP right-of-way, it makes sense to move that line underground along the new highway during the highway twinning project through Yoho National Park when that project proceeds. The FRAA believes that will mitigate the occurrence of most outages in the future and provide a long term solution that allows for much easier access to BC Hydro infrastructure than if the line is left in its present location. This option will also allow for power provision further east to Kicking Horse Campground and Cathedral Mountain Lodge, which operate using diesel generators during their seasons of operation. Have there been any formal discussions between Parks Canada and BC Hydro to include this option in the project?”

6. FRAA Insurance

            Currently, we have three separate policies to cover facilities, programs and director liability. Our insurance provider, Johnston Meier Insurance, has suggested consolidating all three policies into one to address redundancies. Sally and Kathryn had a conference call with Johnston Meier Insurance on March 4, 2021 to answer questions about coverage, programs, state of facilities. The broker indicated we may have options to look at this week. We have renewed two of the three policies and are on month-to-month coverage with the third policy. 

7. Constitution Update

            The FRAA has updated the constitution but hasn’t uploaded the document to the BC Society’s Act website. Given the experience of the pandemic, the plan to work on either a Memorandum of Understanding or Terms of Reference with Parks Canada in 2021, and negotiating a new Contribution Agreement with Parks Canada in 2021, the Board feels we should hold off on registering the updated Constitution until we have digested the impact of the pandemic and signed agreements with Parks Canada. We want everything to dovetail operationally and legally.

8. Financial Report

            To be presented at the Community Update scheduled for March 25, 2021,

9. Contribution Agreement and Memorandum of Understanding or Terms of Reference      

            The Board is making a list of what we would like to see in new agreements with Parks Canada.

10. Next Meetings

Field Utility Board: March 17, 2021

FUB Agenda
1. Quarterly Reports
2. Town Hall Meeting format for March 29, 2021

3. Update on Parks Canada’s requests to LL Fire Department and Golden Fire Department to provide Road Rescue to Yoho National Park

4. TransCanada Highway Twinning through YNP: Do plans include moving the BC Hydro line to underground along the highway?
5. Town Walk About follow-up and Discussion about reinstating an annual walkabout meeting to assess/identify items that need to be addresses
6. Contribution Agreement

7. Memorandum of Understanding/Terms of Reference discussion and goals timeline

Town Hall Meeting: March 29, 2021 


FRAA Report

Treasurer’s Report

Parks Canada Reports

            Townsite Manager 

            Assets Manager

            VE Manager

            Resource Conservation Manager

Friends of Yoho Report

Field Fire and Rescue Report

FRAA Board Meeting: April 12, 2021