Author Archive

Author:
• Friday, October 09th, 2009

Tuesday, October 13th marks what could be the last visit of the internationally acclaimed, award winning Banff Festival of Mountain Film.   This event is co-hosted by the Wolverine Nordic Mountain Society and the Tumbler Ridge Arts Council.  At one point Tumbler Ridge had the distinction of being the smallest community in the world to host these films (it is possible that we still are).  This year the number of attendees must be up in order to see this film festival continue to be a yearly high light for the town.

By attending the film festival tour in Tumbler Ridge, you are not only supporting a local initiative but you are supporting an “understanding and appreciation of the natural world through creative expression of mountain experiences. This festival creates opportunities for dialogue and leadership on environmental and issues.”*

So, I encourage everyone to come out and support this evening of exciting entertainment proudly hosted by WNMS and TR Arts Council.

* From the Banff Centre website

Author:
• Saturday, October 03rd, 2009

When I walked into the morning session at the BC Crime Prevention Symposium in Surrey, I didn’t expect what I heard to have such a huge impact on me.  I was shocked at some of the statistics and horrified at what is going on in our BC communities.

Internet Child Exploitation is a much bigger issue than I ever imagined.  It is estimated that approximately 50,000 kids are currently being exploited on the interent.  There are well over 1 million exploitative photos and  videos  currently online.

During the morning session I attended, the presenter showed a map of BC that was covered in tiny red squares.  The presenter said that  these squares represented the locations of IP addresses that have been flagged as downloading child pornography.  I was shocked at the number of squares that were on this map.

Next the presenter pointed his mouse at one of the squares and clicked on it…the square opened up and a web of red squares presented themselves, covering the map.  The presenter said that each one of the squares represented not one, but many IP addresses within that area.

Peer to peer sharing programs such as Limewire and Nutella are huge transfer agents for child exploitation materials.

I was happy to see that these “invisible criminals” are being watched and monitored.  I was horrified to see the sheer volume of individuals involved in child exploitation activities.

For more information on fighting child exploitation, check out www.kinsa.net.

KINSA, incorporated as the Kids’ Internet Safety Association in 2005 and now known as the Kids’ Internet Safety Alliance, was established as an aggressive and proactive response to the negative aspects of the Internet that harm young people. While addressing this grave social problem, KINSA also acknowledges and celebrates the positive, creative and inspiring ways children and youth are using the Internet.

KINSA’s unique expertise in law enforcement, prosecution, business and technology ensures our ability to achieve necessary results with government, industry and other partners. KINSA’s advocacy efforts as well as their training, research, and awareness initiatives will result in an increasingly effective and collaborative response to the abhorrent behaviour of those who prey on young people online.

Author:
• Saturday, October 03rd, 2009

The last two weeks have been extremely busy.  I spent part of my time in Vancouver attending the BC Crime Prevention Symposium.  This year the conference was arranged differently than in the past focusing youth issues, seniors issues and gang related issues.   What I would like to talk about here is internet safety and child exploitation.

Today, children are meeting a variety of needs online, including having fun, developing and maintaining friendships, seeking privacy, and exploring new interests.  I am going to list just a few of the risks that your child’s internet experiences may pose.

Exposure to sexually explicit material

Never before have children had such easy access to sexually explicit material.  Children are not developmentally ready to handle viewing of such content.  Monitoring websites that your child is viewing and internet blocks are just two methods of protecting your child from this material.  Also ensure that your search engine is set to filter results of searches.

Public nature of the internet

Children often underestimate the public nature of the internet.  The often engge in private conversations and share private information, unaware of the lasting consequences of sharing this information.

Building relationships online

A portion of most children’s social world has moved online.  The Internet is often used as a tool to form peer groups.  Boundaries within relationships are often tested online, and lines are much more readily crossed.  Communications online should be carefully monitored by the parent to prevent situations that your child is unable to handle.

Threats and coersion

Individuals seeking to exploit children may use threats that could result in the child sending an image (clothed or naked) of her/himself to this person.  Talk to your child about the use of threats and that if they are ever threatened online to speak to a trusted adult.

Lack of boundaries

Individuals looking to victimize children online will build a relationship and turn the conversations sexual, asking personal questions.

The above risks are ones that the parent can monitor and teach their child about, but what about those cases where the risk has become the reality.  What happens then?

I will talk a bit about this in my next post.  If you want more information regarding interent safety for your family, please visit the Canadian Centre for Child Protection website at www.protectchildren.ca

Until next time….be good to each other.

Author:
• Tuesday, February 03rd, 2009

Council is currently in the throws of budget talks.

I would like to encourage everyone to get involved in the process.

There will be a public consultation process coming up where community members can review and have input into the budget.

Have a say, get involved!

Be good to each other.

Author:
• Tuesday, February 03rd, 2009

Back in September/Oct 2008, EDO Proulx and myself attended the first half of a Safegrowth course.  We were sent home with an assignment which was to take a specific area of Tumbler Ridge and set up a Safegrowth strategy for that area.  Part of that exercise included having community members do a safety audit on the area.  Thanks to all of those who participated in this audit.  Your input was extremely helpful.

Following the audit Mr. Proulx and myself put together a twenty minute presentation and a ten page report, complete with information from the OCP and Crime Stats and headed back to Vancouver to present our report.

Safegrowth is built upon the principles of crime prevention through environmental design.  Tumbler Ridge was one of the first communities that was designed following the CPTED principles and it was a very valuable course to attend.  If you are interested in finding out more, please contact me and I will be happy to share the information.  Have a great week and remember…be good to each other.

Author:
• Monday, January 26th, 2009

Wow, it has been a busy January so far. Let’s start with the Policies and Priorities Committee Meeting from January 12th.  The agenda was fairly short.  The main point of discussion was the terms of reference or TorRs for the standing committees of Council.

TorRs simply present an overview of the requirements, expectations and set parameters for the committees.

After discussion it was decided that the TORs should be standard except for the objectives which should be pertinent to each group.  Staff will make up a ToR document for Council to vet and once that is done each committee will set up their objectives.  Committee members will be selected from interested community members.

There was also a brief discussion on the issue of snowmobilers within town.  This will become an issue that will be given to the transportation committee to deal with.

Have a great day and remember….be good to each other.

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Author:
• Thursday, January 01st, 2009

I took a bit of a break from writing as the Christmas season was very busy with the traditional holiday celebrations and also the wedding of my son, which was beautiful. I now have an amazing daughter-in-law who is the perfect addition to our family. For those asking about pictures, a few are up at www.eyefordetailphotos.com.

I just wanted to start the New Year with a quote from Benjamin Franklin…

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.  ~Benjamin Franklin

I want to take this opportunity to offer my deepest condolences to Anna and children, as well as Wendel and Val Patriquin following the sudden death of Troy.  I also want to send my heart felt condolences to Suzanne and Lana Stier following the deaths of Lenard and Michael as well as the families of the other snowmobilers lost in the avalanche.  My thoughts and prayers are with your families.

2008 was a difficult year for many but it was also a year that brought great hope for change.  We have seen world wide concern over the global economic situation and we have also seen elections that have changed both international and local outlooks.  Although many are looking at tightening their financial belts during 2009, the year ahead is filled with great potential.

May 2009 be a year of tremendous personal growth for each of you.  Here we go………

Remember…be good to each other.

Author:
• Saturday, December 13th, 2008

The Mayor’s Food drive started out just like every other year…with fire trucks, sirens and a horse drawn wagon.  Although it seemed colder than normal, the fire trucks drove around with sirens announcing the food drive had commenced.  This lasted for less than half an hour, when due to an unforeseen event, the fire trucks all disappeared and we were left with four “Mayor Food Drive” signs and some very dedicated and cold individuals.

While Harry, the horses and their group were doing the upper bench, we put the signs on a couple of trucks,  and proceeded to finish off the lower and middle bench. Because of the weather, the lack of sirens and the missing fire trucks, the food drive didn’t collect as much as previous years so I just want to encourage everyone to bring their non perishable food items in so that we have enough for everyone who needs a food hamper.

Thanks to all of the very dedicated individuals who braved the cold and snow to collect the food items and to all of the very generous Tumbler Ridge residents who donated items and money to ensure that all Tumbler Ridge residents will have enough this Christmas.

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Author:
• Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Here’s my take on the meeting…..

The meeting was Chaired by Mayor White.  The first presentation was given by Dave Price and Charles Helm on the Seniors’ Needs Strategic Plan.  I won’t go into a lot of detail on this document but it is well worth the read.  The strategic plan covers very diverse issues looking at meeting Seniors’ needs…from housing to medical and from sidewalks to employment.

“An age-friendly city adapts its structures and services to be accessible to, and inclusive of, older people with varying needs and capacities.”  This is a quote by the World Health Organisation that forms part of this document.

On December 2nd, Standing Committees were approved by Council.  These include Government, Protective, Transportation, Environmental, Recreational and Culture,  and Public Health Services.  At this meeting we discussed establishing strategic goals and terms of reference for these committees.

Several Councillors have expressed an interest in having Council held on Monday rather than Tuesday.  This was discussed and the majority of Council was in favor of this.

A quote is coming for upgrading the sound system in Council Chambers.

Lakeview Inns are going to be invited to a future P and P meeting to discuss progress on their hotel.

Councillor McPherson was appointed Deputy Mayor.

Don’t forget about the Mayor’s Food Drive that takes place Saturday afternoon.

Have a great weekend and as always, be good to each other.

Author:
• Saturday, December 13th, 2008

“Oh, the weather outside was frightful but the films were so delightful, la la la la la la la la….let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.  It was snowy and cold but people came from as far away as Grande Prairie, Fort St. John and Hudsons Hope to view these world class films.

Every year the District of Tumbler Ridge teams up with the Tumbler Ridge Arts Council and Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society to bring these films to town for the enjoyment of our residents and those in the region.  I have had the privileged of being involved in this event eleven of the twelve years that it has come to town and every year there are films that move, inspire and amaze.

Last night it was a great showing considering conflicting events.  The films tended to be a little more cultural this year but there were still several extreme sports films and even a cartoon or two.

Next year organizers are looking at changing the Tumbler Ridge date to sometime in January…..this hasn’t been possible before because when the tours are developed they tie Tumbler Ridge in with other BC communities and the December date is what we have been given.

I want to thank those that work tirelessly to bring these films to Tumbler Ridge. It is a lot of work and I really appreciate it.

As Margaret Mead said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”

We are fortunate to have volunteers in our town that change our world.

Sherri-Marie, your mom and dad are doing fine.  Your dad is doing a great job and really moving things ahead.

With less than two weeks till Christmas I hope everyone finds some time to relax and enjoy the sights and sounds of the season.

Have a great week and as always….be good to each other.

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