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Council Highlights - June 23, 2020

June 25, 2020
Council Highlights

Bridges Supportive Housing (355 Elliott Street) and Seasons House (146 Carson Avenue)

At the request of Quesnel City Council, Malachy Tohill, BC Housing Regional Director and Melanie McDonald, Quesnel Shelter and Support Society (“QSSS”) Executive Director provided an update on the new supportive housing development to be located on Elliot Street (Bridges Supportive Housing) and Seasons House Emergency Shelter located on Carson Avenue. Council requested discussion around 1) expectations of the City; 2) confirmation that terms of agreements in place (Housing Agreement and Good Neighbour Agreement) are being met; and 3) clarify what the future of the Seasons House Emergency Shelter is.

Expectations of the City of Quesnel
At the meeting outset the Mayor confirmed that the City of Quesnel is not a housing agency, as this role is fulfilled by the Provincial Government (BC Housing), but Council/City Staff will continue to work with BC Housing on publically funded housing developments that addresses the needs of the entire community. 

Housing Agreement and Good Neighbourhood Agreement
BC Housing confirmed that the Housing Agreement is in place between them and the City to ensure the operation of the facility meets the conditions Council set out in the development approval process requiring the Operator (QSSS) to enter into a Good Neighbour Agreement and maintain a process for such.

The Quesnel Shelter and Support Society is going to re-initiate the Good Neighbour Agreement (GNA) Committee. The public GNA meeting is on July 22, 2020 from 1 – 3 pm.  Due to COVID-19, this meeting will be a teleconference. Please visit https://www.qsss.ca for 1) more information on the facility; 2) the events page to register for the July 22nd meeting; and/or 3) the contact page to provide comments/concerns to be addressed at this meeting.  Council also recommended QSSS canvass the neighbourhood, around the new facility, to identify neighbourhood concerns and inform the neighbourhood of the GNA process of which neighbourhood residents may participate.

Seasons House – Future of Emergency Shelter Services in the Community
Council requested BC Housing and QSSS provide the following to determine future shelter needs in the community:

  • That the Homeless Count Report be forwarded to the City;
  • More information on the “hard to house” population that currently resides in the community;
  • Meeting(s) to be scheduled, in the fall of 2020, to discuss future shelters needs for the community.

Annual Drinking Water Report

The City of Quesnel Annual Drinking Water Report, that includes water-monitoring results, is now available for public to view, as per the Drinking Water Protection Act, and the Drinking Water Protection Regulation.

COVID-19 Business Support Team and Community Marketing Update

Council was updated of COVID-19 Business Support Team/Hotline and #InQuesnel Campaign activities, and the planned community marketing tactics that will go forward once COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted in the Province.

Business Support Hotline launched on April 8, 2020, in partnership with the Community Futures North Cariboo, City of Quesnel, Quesnel & District Chamber of Commerce, West Quesnel Business Association, Quesnel Downtown Association, and District of Wells, provided the following assistance to local businesses around COVID-19 government financial supports:

  • 755 businesses were called
  • 218 intake forms completed
  • 113 referrals made
  • 147 follow up connections made to date
  • $16,415 average amount received so far
  • $3.6 million estimated total amount received by businesses contact by the hotline team
  • 20% of businesses are asking for additional application support
  • 60% of businesses are open with staffing levels the as pre-COVID-19; 11% remain closed

#InQuesnel
A series of shop local/support local campaigns have been launched through the Love Quesnel channel, using the #InQuesnel hashtag that resulted in: 28 days of $100 gift card giveaways (best ever engagement 9,400 engagements and 1,300 entries); and a week long “takeover” of the page for each of partner organizations.  The upcoming campaign will have $1600 worth of giveaways to local businesses and four staycation themes.  This fall, watch for videos featuring local business owners giving reasons to shop local and more changes to win when you support local businesses.

Tourism Marketing
Once Provincial travel is permitted, under Phase 3 of the BC Restart Plan, the following tourism marketing tools will be launched by the City:

  • Mountain biking video, landing page, and a social media campaign.  The new trail map is complete and has been distributed to the Visitor Centre and businesses who advertised in the map.  Quesnel is now also featured on Mountain Bike BC. 
  • Tourism and marketing videos through the City and its consortiums including:  Explore Cariboo, BC Ale Trail, #SkiNorthBC, and Mountain Bike BC.

Next Meeting

6:00 pm – July 7, 2020 – Council Meeting

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