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Looking back at a successful 2023 in 100 Mile House

District of 100 Mile House Mayor Maureen Pinkney looks back over the past year
Mayor Maureen Pinkney laughs during a coffee-with-council meeting in February. (Patrick Davies photo - 100 Mile Free Press)

So this was a very busy year.

I attended Cofi and Natural Resources Forums in Prince George and it was noticed that the District of 100 Mile House were present and that resources are an important economic factor in our community. At my last meeting with West Fraser, they mentioned that they appreciated the support.

The district attended the North Central Local Government Association meeting, the Union of BC Municipalities meetings in Vancouver and The Economic Development Forum in Penticton. The awareness of what other communities are engaging with helps us know that we are not alone out there in any struggles with other levels of government or business.

We are all looking forward to our relationship building with the Tsq̓éscen̓ First Nation. We attended their open house celebration when they announced the Bridge Creek Ranch is now part of their holdings. Opportunities have opened up for shared recreation and business, as well as partnerships on the Oriented Strand Board plant facility and what economic benefits that will have for our community.

Our Youth are our future, so to be able to participate in the Capstone Projects is marvelous. Heavy Metal Rocks is a tremendous undertaking by both the school district and the local business that donates machinery and products for the two days of machinery trials.

The UNBC Road Show visited us last year, showing our local students opportunities right outside our door in the health field and that is expanding this year. Now is the time to take up a career in the health industry.

Our award-winning booklet The Path Forward recognized the difficulties in job loss for those who were employed and suddenly lost their jobs from large closures and the effects on the communities. To this day we have shared this book with the Province that now uses it as a manual and guide, as well as many of our neighbouring communities that have faced the same challenges we did with the closure of the Chasm Mill and the OSB plant. Thank you to Joanne Doddridge and her team for the amazing product.

There is no other place like 100 Mile House, I am sure of that. 100 Mile House rocks the world when it comes to volunteers. Our Spring Fling Event was outstanding, thank you to the staff for arranging every available facility in our community for residents to come out and enjoy a free day of fun and frolicking, from games of all sorts at the community hall, to book reading and entertainment at Martin Exeter Hall, movies at the Theatre, and bowling at Big Country Lanes.

We started the year in Spring with our Volunteer Day at the community hall. It was a huge success, sharing volunteers and signing new ones up. Just recently, RE/MAX 100 and eXp Realty ran food and toy drives, 100 Mile Fire Rescue ran a food drive and the annual Turkey Day fundraiser has almost hit 500 turkeys – that is $12,500 for the food bank. That is just a normal week in our community. That is community.

We lobby on behalf of our residents every day, sometimes people seem to be listening. Thank you to the gas companies in our community who, after many years of letters and communications with no responses, we can now thank for lower gas prices. We can only plead and hope that they continue to be in line with surrounding communities from now on.

Our planning department was very busy with many subdivisions having passed through council and we await some additional housing to be done in the future, great growth opportunities for our community.

When the Province announced the new rules on Secondary suites, we could proudly say, well we already do that. The need for affordable housing is such a worldwide issue and we can be proud that we were already aware that people need affordable housing and that more options were out there.

I want to congratulate all of our staff, for a great year of accomplishments and Tammy Boulanger for her promotion to CAO and Sheena Elias’ promotion to CFO. It is a pleasure and an accomplishment to be able to promote within an organization.

Thank you to everyone who helps make our community the absolute best place on earth.

Mayor Maureen Pinkney