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HomeNewsQuesnel Mayor to meet with Ministers in Victoria all this week

Quesnel Mayor to meet with Ministers in Victoria all this week

Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson will have the ear of a lot of the decision makers in Victoria this week.

He’ll be in the provincial capital for a series of meetings.

“I have 16 confirmed minister meetings, including one with the Premier and hopefully the Premier’s health allows him to continue to be working, and then we have a couple of meetings pending.  And then around those meetings I have other meetings with opposition members and with senior bureaucrats as well to advance the city’s agenda.”

Simpson says it will be the first time in a couple of years he has been able to do this because of COVID.

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” I usually follow up any Union of BC Municipalities meetings, which is a bit of an awkward situation because you are speed dating, every other municipality is down there, it’s hard to break through the noise, but we use those as an opportunity to sow some seeds.   Then, when the legislature is sitting, I have had a practice of going down to Victoria and having one on one meetings with the Ministers and their senior staff to follow up on the ideas that we’ve seeded.”

Simpson says the meetings will be on a variety of topics.

“Well certainly the Interconnector project will be one of the topics that I will be discussing, not just with the Minister of Transportation, but with a couple of the other ministers with a view to trying to get something into treasury board so that we can advance that project.   We will be dealing with housing, both affordable and market housing.  I will be meeting with the Minister of Education on what’s happened with Carson School among other things.  I will be meeting with the Ministry of Forests around our think tank process and some of the changes that they’re doing with the legislation.”

Simpson says he will also be meeting with Minister of Agriculture on Quesnel’s food hub innovation centre, with the Minister of Innovation and Energy around the City’s district heating project and the desire to look at a wood fibre infused asphalt pilot project, as well as with the Ministry of mental health and addictions around the desire for Quesnel to have a youth foundry program.

On infrastructure in general, he says he will also be asking how to price infrastructure projects that they are putting in grant submissions for.

“To make up for the time lag between when the grant application goes in and when we’re approved because that time lag, with inflation these days, often means we end up with projects that are higher priced when we actually go to do them than the grant application price that we put in.”

Simpson uses the city’s fire hall grant, and the childcare grant that they’ve got, as recent examples.

He says he has talked with other Mayors that are struggling with the same issue.

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