1. FRAA Report
Kathryn Cameron, President FRAA
Welcome to the Spring 2021 edition of Field Town Hall Meetings! With flexibility top of mind, I’m almost willing to go out on a limb and say this may be our sunset virtual only Town Hall Meeting . . . a risky statement, I know, but I am personally looking forward to in-person meetings in the Community Hall again, with questions and discussion and laughter and all the rest! In the meantime, it’s great to be able to still share information, and talk via amazing technology. Having this option for people who wouldn’t otherwise be able to attend Town Hall Meetings is really good. Thanks to our tech master tonight, Craig Chapman.
Here’s a recap of events and activities the FRAA have been involved with over the past two months.
We had three Board Meetings (April 12, May 10 and May 24), and attended two Field Utility Board Meetings with Parks Canada (April 14 and May 28).
More stringent Public Health Orders issued on April 19, 2021 meant that we were no longer able to offer indoor low intensity programs at the Community Hall so the last session of Yoga Flow with Julie on April 22 was cancelled. On May 25, 2021 Public Health Orders reinstated offering low intensity fitness programs indoors and high intensity outdoor programs so we’re figuring out what to do for spring and summer programming, including Canada Day options. The changes to Public Health Orders that govern how the FRAA conducts meetings and programs can be found on the government website: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restrictions#pho-order
HIIT with Laura Penner continues to be offered online with Lake Louise Sport and Recreation Society Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Please check their Facebook page for details and registration. Until non-essential travel between provinces is possible, Laura won’t travel to Field to offer in-person high intensity interval training.
The Community Hall is getting some attention, preparing for more use in the future. We have one potential hall rental for Christmas 2021, depending on Public Health Orders. Big shout out to Thomas Caïs and Axel Cameron for cleaning up the change room – organizing the skates, hockey sticks, helmets, vacuuming and sweeping the floor, and bringing in the snow shovels and benches. The kitchen is clean, and it looks like the mice have been vanquished, or they moved outside!
Sonya is working on an application for a Grant In Aid from CSRD to help us cover normal operational costs that would have been covered by hall rentals in the past year, as well as funding to replace the windows and outside door in the change room. We’re applying for the full $5000 the FRAA is eligible to request.
The FRAA has a business license from Parks Canada now! Kicking Horse Ski Club needs a Restricted Activity Permit to do trail preparation and maintenance, and the FRAA needs a Restricted Activity Permit to have an outdoor fire pit for events, like the Yoho Blow. In order to apply for a RAP, the organization needs a business license. Woohoo! We have the business license and also the ski club RAP.
We submitted the Development Permit application to Parks Canada on May 23, 2021 and received an email from the Development Office with a Development Permit number for all interactions on the St. Joseph Project on May 27, 2021 – DP #YNP 21-1081. The owl chicks have hatched. Still no reports of any bat activity on the church site. Next steps are tender packages to get bids from contractors and apply for more project funding.
Parks Canada held a virtual session to go over the proposed Draft Management Plan for Yoho National Park on May 12, 2021. To review the plan and offer feedback, please visit https://www.letstalkmountainparks.ca/yoho-national-park
Thank you to all who sent requests to Interior Health to hold a Community Approach vaccination clinic in our area on May 14, 2021, to clinic organizers, people who administered vaccines, and everyone who attended. Thank you to Emerald Lake Lodge for hosting the clinic. It looks like those who have received their first vaccination will receive an invitation to book their second shot sooner than the 4-month interval expected.
The TransCanada Highway is open again. Kicking Horse Canyon construction information is available at https://www.kickinghorsecanyon.ca. Don’t hesitate to ask questions by calling the 24/7 Construction Information Phone Line: 1-844-815-6111. The FRAA will have a debrief with Art MacLean to discuss options for the next round of extended closures that will start around September 30, 2021 and go until the end of November 2021. When the highway closed on April 12, Field residents made the smooth transition from cross-country skiing to road biking!
There will be a referendum this fall during municipal elections in November for residents of the Town of Golden and Columbia Shuswap Regional District Area A (that’s us!) to vote on borrowing money to build an indoor Aquatic Centre in Golden. Find out more at https://www.goldenondeck.ca
Passages: We offer our condolences to the family and friends of Réjean Lareau on his death two weeks ago. Réjean lived, worked and played in Field and Yoho for decades, built and maintained trails, adventured, built and renovated homes and businesses, skied, climbed, trained for big competitions like Iron Man, and had a laugh we all remember. No one who knew him ever said, “That Réjean is a boring guy.”
2. Treasurer’s Report
Sally Watson, Treasurer FRAA
Financial Reports will be circulated with minutes of the meeting.
The Board will disburse two years of Honorarium payments at the next Board Meeting.
Motion by Sonya and seconded by Kathryn that the financial reports be accepted as presented.
3. Parks Canada Reports
Tracey LeBlanc, Townsite Manager
- Spring Clean Up Bins: Parks Canada is bringing in the spring clean up bins the week of June 7, 2021. They will be in place for two weeks in the Parks Canada parking lot behind Truffle Pigs. A community update will be sent out that identifies what materials can be disposed of in the bin.
- BC Hydro: Parks Canada contacted BC Hydro last week – they are continuing work to prepare for the temporary diesel generator to be installed in Field. At this time, Sally did not have an estimated in service date for the generator but will be in touch as soon as she does to share an update with the community.
- Emergency Services Coordinator Position: I am moving forward with the hiring process for the emergency services coordinator position and have all the interviews scheduled to take place this week. My hope is to be able to get someone in the position by June-July.
- Field School to Admin Conversion: Parks Canada is continuing the work on the Field School to Administration conversion. The hope is to have the work done by July with all Parks staff moved over in the fall.
- Playground Equipment: Parks Canada recognizes that the playground equipment at the school area is an important feature to keep for the community – if there are recommendations for locations for the playground equipment in Field, please let us know and we can look into it. The hope is to keep the equipment accessible and available in Field.
- Twin Falls Tea House RFP: Work is moving forward on getting the Request for Proposal for the Twin Falls Tea House out to the public at the beginning of summer. The intent is that proponents will have the summer to prepare their RFP, submit it and hopefully have the Licence awarded for the fall before the snowfall. If you are interested in getting the information on the RFP, please let me know and I will ensure that you are included in the stakeholder updated when it is released.
- Highways: Highways will start with the clearing of Lake O’Hara Road this week. Early in June, they are planning to starting on the Takakkaw Falls Road.
- MOU: Parks Canada and the FRAA a meeting on Monday to discuss elements for the update of the MOU/Terms of Reference for the FRAA.
4. Friends of Yoho Report
Brenda Selkirk, Manager Friends of Yoho
We hope everyone enjoyed the Spring newsletter that came out last week. It was full of great articles and pictures. We would like to hear your guesses for the baby picture contest found on page 11. Send these to info@friendsofyoho and if correct you will be entered to win a prize. These need to be in by June 15th. Good luck everyone. https://www.friendsofyoho.ca/newsletter.htm
We are having an on-line membership drive in June for 3 weeks. This is being organized for the convenience of payment with PayPal. Thank you to those who have renewed your membership this year. We are increasing our discount from 10% to 15% off gift items at the store. New, renewal, and lifetime members will all be entered into a draw for a lovely original painting of Wapta Falls a gift basket from The Friends of Yoho. More details to come shortly for this event.
The Historical Walking tours will begin again in July with volunteers and board members hosting a fun time around town.
The store has been opened on weekends and sales have been as expected with road closures and restrictions. We will be increasing our hours and days as things ramp up. Memberships can be purchased at the store, and do this soon.
5. Community Paramedicine Report
Craig Chapman, Community Paramedic
- Field Ambulance Station 409 Kilo was busy this winter providing service in Golden as they have been short-staffed.
- Also working in the Covid-19 Vaccination Clinic at Golden Curling Club, and at the Community Approach Vaccination Clinic on May 14, 2021 at Emerald Lake Lodge. It has been particularly gratifying to work at the vaccination clinics, touching base with people but especially rewarding to be able to vaccinate family and friends at the Emerald Lake Lodge Clinic. Good to see that so many people were able to get their first shot so close to home. Believe that 143 people received their first shot at the local clinic. Not sure if there will be another clinic at Emerald Lake Lodge for second shots; believes that with the highway open again the Golden Curling Club clinic site will the closest clinic for further vaccinations.
- Field Ambulance Station is getting a refurbished, updated ambulance to replace the current vehicle this fall.
6. Field Fire and Rescue Report
Patrick Caïs, Acting Chief, Field Fire and Rescue Department
- Members are at 15.
- We had an attempt for training in person in March but we stopped in order to follow the BC Covid-19 restrictions.
- FFRD had a couple of calls through April and May:
- Chimney fire on April 14th. No damage to the owners.
- Smoke alarm. No consequences.
- FFRD signed a one-year contract with PCA, expiring on March 31, 2022. Services rendered by FFRD cover structure fires in Yoho National Park. FFRD will also support PCA when emergency plan is activated.
- Dave Mitchell and Associates finished a needs assessment audit of the fire department, requested by PCA. They wanted to know exactly what the needs of the fire department are. The report is a 90 plus pages document and it needs to be reviewed by PCA and FFRD.
- No word on the new position for Emergency Service Coordinator. The deadline for application was March 26th. We do not know what the roles and responsibilities of this person is. It will be part of discussions with PCA in the coming months.
- Tuesday night training is back on June 15th. It follows the ease by BC Health on gathering restrictions.
- FFRD launched a recruitment campaign and some new Fieldites already showed interest in joining.
7. Questions/Round Table
Sara: Tracey, on the information from BC Hydro about a temporary back-up generator to be in place by the winter, a 9 to 12 month timeline from the time the battery burned to have a back-up power source in place seems to be too much. Will Parks Canada advocate to have that timeline shortened? Winter can happen here in October, colder temperatures certainly in November and December. People are working from home these days. Power is critical. People are anxious about outages, keeping warm, being able to work.
Tracey: Parks Canada has communicated with BC Hydro, sending reminders and identifying the need for power in the community, and will continue to keep that communication open. Parks Canada has no ability to change BC Hydro’s work plan.
Sara: Probably a good idea to work through our MLA and MP as well to keep the sustainable power issue alive with BC Hydro.
Craig: Has heard that with international travel restrictions and strict quarantine requirements it might be some time before technicians from Japan will be able to come to Canada to assess the state of the Energy Storage Facility and determine what BC Hydro should do about it.
Carla: Concerned that BC Hydro is looking at a temporary solution with a diesel back up generator.
Kathryn: Both Parks Canada and BC Hydro know that Field residents want the power line to be removed from the mainline of the CPR and put underground when the highway is twinned in Yoho National Park. That is the most logical long-term solution. We will continue to advocate for that to happen.
Pauline: Tracey, I want to confirm that the current playground location at the school will eventually be a parking lot, equipment that can be moved will be moved (the swing set is definitely dodgy) and Parks Canada is asking for recommendations for potential sites for a new location for the playground?
Tracey: Yes, not sure when the parking lot plan will happen. Parks Canada holds a lease with CP on the current Field Admin site. That is a potential playground site. Parks Canada may need to remove the building once all Admin functions move to the school building.
Sonya: CP may be planning to build their new bunkhouse facility on that site. Plans to demolish the housing north-east of the CP Resthouse seem to be on hold while CP determines the best options for additional accommodation for staff in Field.
RV Parking in Field
Patrick: Tracey, in regards to the proposed parking lot by the school/admin building, traffic congestion in the summer is problematic, especially for large RVs. Is it possible to have RV parking space included in that new parking lot when it is built?
Tracey: I get back to you with an answer.
Meeting adjourned at 7:58 pm