District of Vanderhoof - Message

March 2014

A Larger Community

Today I went skiing with my grandson at Murray Ridge. While I was skiing, it occurred to me how lucky we in Vanderhoof are to be part of a much larger community. The many benefits of living in the Nechako region are enjoyed not just by Vanderhoof, but are shared with all of our neighbouring communities.

This past week the Councils of Vanderhoof and Fort St James met for dinner and to talk about common goals and challenges. We had very productive discussions on topics such as housing, transportation, recreation and post-secondary education. It was surprising to see just how many of Vanderhoof’s concerns are shared by Fort St James. I believe that if success is to come to our region, we must work together. The meeting with Fort St James confirmed the need for both communities to co-operate so our concerns are heard by both the provincial and federal governments.

Our relationship with Fraser Lake has also become very close, especially on the topic of community forests. About a year ago, the Minister of Forests, Land and Natural Resources encouraged both communities to apply for a community forest. We have had many meetings, not only with elected officials, but also with our community forest partners. Fraser Lake and Vanderhoof will continue working together to ensure the success of our communities, and that we have input into local fiber supplies.

In February, Vanderhoof Council was invited by Saik’uz’s Chief and Council to discuss common issues. We enjoyed a fabulous dinner catered by Saik’uz culinary students. Our relationship with our neighbouring First Nation is extremely important. It’s vital that we continue to grow that partnership. We found that issues of health care, post-secondary education, crime and recreation are not limited by municipal boundaries. We also spent a great deal of time talking about the lack of public transportation in our communities, and the citizens from both communities who are falling through the social cracks.

After these meetings, it has become much more evident that many of the qualities that make Vanderhoof great, are shared with the larger community of the Nechako Valley.
Remember, we love to hear from you. I can be reached at mayor@district.vanderhoof.ca and feel free to attend a council meeting.

~ Mayor Gerry Thiessen