The District of 100 Mile House and the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) have organized a town hall meeting for community members to have their voices heard on July 27.
“I think it will be more like a round table forum where people can express their concerns,” said Anny Horton, the chief executive officer for Horton Ventures and organizer of the meeting. “I think the other thing we would like to reiterate is that all of us have a common goal, a common purpose, and that is to ensure that our area continues to be viable for all of us to live in and to get through this little blip again – another blip in the timeline of the Cariboo.”
The meeting is set to take place at the South Cariboo Rec. Centre from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The CRD and District of 100 Mile House will be listening to ideas and thoughts from the residents of the area concerning the local economy and the impact on it from fires, pine beetles, mill and mine closures, and agricultural, ranching and tourism changes.
“I think we will gather those [ideas] up and have different people working on what we can do to resolve some of those things immediately and go forward with some other items and things we have already been going forward with,” said Horton.
Horton and the two political bodies have also worked together to create a self-employment forum and a job fair in collaboration with Work BC.
The self-employment forum will be at the TRU shared classroom (808 Alpine Avenue) on Aug. 20 and is targeted to community members and their families who have been affected by the recent mill layoffs.
“We’ve got the self-employment forum plan to hopefully keep some of our workers in the community to transfer their skills into self-employment,” said Horton.
The job fair will be on Sept. 12, but a location has yet to be determined.
However, Horton said many employers have been in contact, including some that provide opportunities in remote camps.
Horton said the discussions about the town hall started shortly after Norbord announced their curtailments last month and the district and the CRD indicated they would like a town hall meeting to take place. She added there has been interest within the community.
“In my other role in Work BC, we’ve had many of the precariously employed coming in saying they feel like the community needs to be heard,” said Horton. “I think we want to be positive. I think there may have been previous hurdles in our community that have been a lot worse than this that we have sort of overcome. I think people just need to be heard.”