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Joint Council - Property crimes have decreased slightly

posted Dec 10, 2018, 8:48 AM by Kathy Carr
The Joint Councils of Carberry and North Cypress-Langford met in the council chambers on Monday evening, Decem­ber 3, with Reeve Adriaan­sen in the chair, and all members present except Councillor Sudak, who arrived later.
The first item of business was a delegation from the RCMP, Corporal Jen McKinnon of Spruce Plains Detachment, who presented the crime statistics for the quarter from July to the end of September. She also presented the comparable statistics for the same period last year. The comparison showed that on the whole, there is a slight decrease in property crimes in the area; the Highway Traffic Act violations are variable as they depend on the activities of the members who specialize in them.
Corporal McKinnon has been working on a thirty or forty-minute Power­Point presentation on how to prevent and reduce property crime and how to give the public the best information on how to discourage rural crime, and what can be done if it is happening. She would like to give the presentation sometime in January, and asked councils to choose a date and a venue, and advertise the event. She will make the presentation, and hopes to have it structured so that other constables can also make it. She agreed that presenting it in Wellwood and/or Brook­dale would also be desirable.
Part of the reason she is making the presentation so that it can be given by others is that she has learned that she is to be transferred out of the detachment in early Feb­ruary. The staf­fing at Carberry is presently down by three, two transfers and a maternity leave, but there is a cadet selected for the detachment, and the selection of a replacement commander is under way.
In response to questions, Cpl McKinnon reported that the changes occasioned by the legalization of cannabis are slowly rolling out to the front lines. They will still be working with the old guidelines for intoxication until December 18, and there will be a learning curve to deal with the new problems. They do not anticipate many new cannabis smokers as a result of legalization, but they are apprehensive about the effects of edible products, both from their perspective of enforcement, and from the public having to learn their new tolerance and metabolization limits.
To another question, she revealed that there seems to be an increasing use of methamphetamines. They are cheap to manufacture, and are being used to cut other drugs. For the moment at least, the greatest concern of the detachment has been with users self-reporting when the paranoid delusions become too severe. Her staff have been working hard to “keep an ear to the ground,” and accumulate enough information to enable some arrests.
Her problems getting medical clearance to house the inebriated are getting less; hospital staff have become more and more helpful in getting clearances in a timely way as it helps them too.
Council thanked the corporal, and wished her good fortune in her new placement. She thanked them, and assured them that the posting has been a very good one, and one that will quickly be filled, as it is one of the most desirable.
Unfinished Business
Council approved a motion to close the office on Monday December 24 this year, and to close it at 12:00 noon on Monday the 31st.
An update was given on the preparations for the Staff Christmas Party. The number of acceptances so far received is less than expected; there will be about 80 guests, and the liquor licensing authority has exempted the event from the need for security. There are some presents prepared, and recognition for retiring members of the councils. The Legion will be looking after the catering. The event will still be held in the hall despite the lower numbers, and the doors will open for cocktails at 6:00. The meal will be served at 7:00.
Another piece of old business is the digital sign that has finally been arranged between the councils and the high school. The best news is that with the commitment from a sponsor to provide $25,000, the sign is almost entirely paid for. As it stands, the school and school division have committed $10,000, councils have committed $5,000 from each and the Community Foundation has committed $5,000. The invoice is for close to $50,000 so all that will be needed is the tax and some installation costs. The CAO was asked to bring the insurance details, the ongoing maintenance costs, and the plans how to provide access to the messaging system to the next meeting of each council.
In response to questions from Councillor M. Tol­ton, it was conceded that this is not a necessity, but it had been agreed as much as two councils ago that such a community sign would be a desirable method of keeping the public informed, and providing a bit of community cohesion. Most small municipalities in the area have one — Austin, MacGregor and Neepawa all do.
General Business
Thanks are due to the whole of the office staff, who have stepped up in the absence of Teresa McConnell to take on duties in addition to their own. Teresa Fiskel has taken on the job of payroll, Trish Fraser has been answering the auditors’ questions, Tricia Zander has been helping out, and Nelli Sippel has been doing the journal entries. The CAO spoke warmly of the spirit of teamwork and cooperation, and asked that councillors who want any extra work done remember that everyone is already working flat out.
RFNow, a distributor of high speed internet connectivity, has advised councils of their plans to run a glass fibre cable through the municipalities. They will be asked to come before councils with their proposals.
Minister of Municipal Relations Jeff Wharton sent a release outlining provisions of the Red Tape Reduction and Gover­n­ment Efficiency Act that have been requested by the AMM. There are several details that will make planning and auditing changes more streamlined.
The suggestion was made by Councillor Ander­son that mileage be offered to any community member nominated by motion of council who is obliged to travel out of the town or municipality to fulfill their duties to the board on which they sit. In particular, he wanted assurance that citizen members nominated to the library board be given mileage if they have to attend meetings of the regional board in Bran­don. The decision will be placed before the separate councils at their next meetings.
Committee Reports
The CAO reports that with the election over, she has been working to familiarize the new councilors with the details of their new job. She also thanked the office staff for the spirit of teamwork that had enabled them to take up Teresa McCon­nell’s duties in her temporary absence.
She attended the Highway Traffic Board hearing in November, and also the AMM Con­vention, of which the highlight for her was the presentation by Darby Allen, the Fire Chief at Fort McMurray during the recent wildfires.
The ACAO has been spending most of her time finding documentation for the auditors, who are reaching the end of the 2017 audit. She has also taken her final examination for her Municipal Administrator’s course. She attended her first AMM convention, and like the CAO was most impressed by the Fort McMurray Fire Chief. She expects soon to be into the pre-budget work.
The manager of Parks, Facilities and Sanitation reports that with the arrival of winter, the parks are closed and plans are being prepared for next year’s construction season. The rink has been very busy. At the transfer station, metals are being collected, and a canvas building is being sourced. A promotion by MMRC will be exchanging used oil for new in the new year; watch for the advertisements.
The Recreation Prog­rammer had lots on the go this month.  Craving Change averaged 6-7 participants each evening, R J Waugh has hall walking From November to March, you can enjoy the warmth and stay off the ice.  November 7 ­­­safe­TALK suicide prevention presentation from PMH had to be rescheduled to due an illness, look for this March 2019.  Novem­ber 19th was the learn to make Kom­bucha and 7 registrants attended.   Decem­ber 1 – Winter­Fest! Lots of events planned.  (and as Council has reported  the event went over very well, with lots of attendance).  Decem­­ber 4th the CP Holiday Train – Rec, Arts and CDC provided cookies, and hot chocolate. December 10th offering another acrylic pour class, this class has 17 registered. Rock club will continue until Decem­ber 20th and had 19 children at­tending weekly, working on youth events for January, and talking with Brett Ken­nedy for a Valentine’s Day themed cake decorating class in February.
The Arts Council reports lots of support for the program by chef Lani Parker on preparing appetizers and dainties for holiday entertaining. The recently held Hand Made Market drew 21 vendors, and the addition of live entertainment was an enjoyable bonus, but drove the event slightly into the red. There was a dance concert on Novem­ber 25, with eight performances, and the next semester of classes is set to run from New Year until March 22. The summer dance camp program is going to be a bit more expensive this year, and the administrator’s hope is that some fundraising will be done to allow it to be offered at the same price as before, so as not to exclude any of the young participants.
The Community Centre is looking at the possibility of backup power for the rink, which may cost as much as $30,000. Because the rink is considered a refuge centre in the Emer­gency Measures plan, this would be an important improvement, and may be eligible for grant money offered for EMO facilities.
The Cemetery will soon be advertising for next year’s flowers. They will be doing extra paving next year since they missed this year, and the columbarium’s pad will be repaired first thing in the spring.
The CDC has been busy with election details. She did not find that the outsourcing of the Senior Election Official saved her or any of the staff any work compared to the last election. Though she was thankful for the knowledge and experience she got working with the SEO, she wouldn’t recommend the expense next election.
The hall has been at its busiest through the holiday season. The large fridge had to be replaced with the help of a new restaurant supply dealer, Grand Valley Restaurant Equipment. The IODE contributed $1,500 to the purchase. Her list of bartenders is quite short; she would like some new names — particularly for New Year’s Eve.
The Holiday Train stopped in Carberry, and the CDC, the Arts Coun­cil and the Rec board will be handing out hot chocolate and cookies at the event. She encouraged councilors to participate in the handouts.
The CDC continues to maintain the website, keeping up with all the Christmas events and fundraisers, and suppor­ting the Christmas Mad­­ness. She attended the Min­nedosa/Neepawa  What’s the Big Idea? Promotion, and got lots of useful ideas. She will be attending Tourism West­man’s social media workshop.
Evergreen reports that the hold-up with the Gasifier has been the US partner, who has been unable to source parts to Canadian specifications. A new partner has been found in Alberta, and a new contract signed. Work is going ahead, with delivery scheduled for June of 2019. They are hammering out Human Resource policies.
The Fire Department has been keeping up with their housekeeping, and has attended several vehicle fires and collisions. They are gearing up for their annual ball, and hope for a good turnout.
The Library board has two new councillors, Blair and Sudak. They returned from their first regional meeting to report that the per capita assessment will rise from $10.80 to $11.00. The Carberry branch has a new head librarian, Car­son Rogers, who is originally from Glenboro. He has several events plan­ned, including a Christ­mas event on December 20.
The Museum just held a concert of the Strathclair Theatre Chorus, which drew an audience of over a hundred. They held a 50/50 and got better than $100, and they took the opportunity to publicly thank Marjorie Kemp­thorne for her many years of work for the museum. They are not sure whose duty it is to check the museum through the winter months. It was explained that though Grady does occasionally check the place, it is low enough on his priorities that the museum board should do the regular checks.
The Planning District has appointed Mayor Olm­stead to head the board. The Planning Docu­ment they have been preparing is down to the final edit stage before going to the government, but it is certainly going to draw some objections, especially around some rural residential areas near the town of Neepawa.
The Handivan now has two regular drivers, which is an improvement, but they still need more drivers. The audited figures for 2017 have been submitted to the people who administer the grants for the mobility disadvantaged.
Communications
MP Robert Sopuck and MLA Eileen Clarke have sent invitations to their Christmas Open Houses.
Crime Stoppers have sent a request for funding on a per capita basis. This will work out to more than has been given in the past. Councils will each look at this at their regular meetings.
Municipal Relations Minister Jeff Wharton and Deputy Minister Jan Forster invite councilors to their reception at the Legislative Assembly.
The AMM will have further information on the soon to be mandatory Code of Conduct for elected officials in the near future. The CAO will make this available to all members of councils; and they will learn more at the Municipal Officials Seminar in the new year.
Around the Table
Councillor Blair asked for a report from the AMM convention that he had been unable to attend. He was advised that the Premier and the whole Cabinet had been present, and had been readily available to municipal officials and answered questions to the best of their ability in the format presented, though not always to the satisfaction of those in attendance.  Almost all the resolutions proposed in the pre-convention program had passed smoothly. Of the entertainment provided, all were impressed by Darby Allen, the Fire Chief who had faced the wildfires at Fort Mc­Murray. Those who attended also praised the presentation by Rick Hansen on respect and access in the workplace.
Councillor Murray reported that he had attended the provincial vet board meeting. Two board vets have been closed, and the infrastructure of several others is such that they are considering selling them off to private practice. A development in animal care came on December 1, when it became mandatory to have a prescription for all biologicals for animal use. There is more and more emphasis on traceability of all animals raised for slaughter. It is already mandatory, but there will be increased enforcement to get the small herds to comply.
Councillor Muirhead noted that the new fire hall is planned in a location very close to the railway tracks. Since one of the most serious threats of fire hazard is the growing use of rail cars to ship flammables, is this wise? Councillor Sudak commented that from the cab of a train you can see just about every fire hall along the right of way throughout western Canada. Ap­parently history hasn’t flagged this as a problem; the Fire Commissioner has approved the location.
Councillor Drayson offered his thanks to those who helped with the Santa Parade on December 1.
Councillor Olmstead offered congratulations to the Fire Department on a well-planned Firemen’s Ball. It was a success with a large turnout and an enjoyable program.
Councillor M. Tolton suggested that the emergency vehicles should have their warning signs in metric dimensions; schools haven’t taught Imperial for several decades now, so fewer people understand the warnings.
Mayor Olmstead asked if anyone had thoughts on how the AMM might improve their convention. One suggestion many agreed on was to improve the seating; it could properly be wider and better up­holstered. Muirhead sug­gested that there could be a provision for people to prepare their questions ahead of time in the event that they might have too little nerve to deliver them properly on the floor. At one time this was the only way the government would accept questions, but things are a bit more spontaneous now.
There had been in the neighborhood of 900 delegates present. The AMM maintains a staff of no more than 10, which makes their achievement very imp­ressive overall.
Councillor Anderson wanted the municipalities to be designated “government bodies” for the purposes of the Whistleblower Protection Act. This is necessary for the provisions of the act to apply to the employees of the two municipalities, and would require a motion to request it.  More information will be forthcoming on this in the future.
Anderson also reported that he had attended the Heritage breakout at the AMM convention, and noted that there are provisions for partnering with the Community Foundation and the Winnipeg Foundation to receive matching funds for any heritage-designated endowment. The minimum endowment for this program is $10,000.
Councillor Blair asked if it would be appropriate to send a gift of thanks to the office staff who have been working so hard in the absence of the CFO and the presence of the auditors. He was assured that the best thing would be to personally offer thanks to the staff.
Reeve Adriaansen apologized for introducing a negative note, but felt that the throwing of candy during the Santa Parade had created some real dangers. It isn’t just the candy landing in the muddy slush of the street; it was landing so close to the floats that children were tempted out into the path of the floats for a serious safety hazard. He commended the CAO and the CDC for walking along and handing the candies out directly, and suggested that the ground rules for future parades should require anyone with candies to distribute do so directly rather than throw them at random. He met with general agreement. Safety is too important, especially with children.
The CAO added her congratulations to the Fire and Rescue for their Firemen’s Ball, and apologized to Councillor Sudak for failing to acknowledge him as a councilor, having seen him as a Firefighter. Sudak graciously dismissed her worries.  Meeting adjourned at 8:50 pm 

by John McNeily
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