District of Kent Council Briefs June 8 meeting

District Council agrees to buy new truck, discusses Civil Forfeiture Act, at June 8 meeting

New truck:

The District is buying a new, bigger pickup truck to replace one currently being used in the Utilities department.

They’ll be buying a 3/4 ton 4-wheel drive pickup, at a cost of $34,653, to replace the 2000 Chevy 12 ton truck.

The 4-wheel drive will come in handy for all weather conditions on steep gravel driveways and to access utility infrastructure sites. The heavier-duty truck will be able to safely and legally carry crew, equipment and heavy parts to work on the District’s water and sewer systems. It will legally be able to tow the portable backup power generator for the District’s water system. Sensitive and expensive equipment could be fit in the cab to go to job sites, and it will be able to haul six metre full length pipe and fittings to job-sites.

The funds are budgeted for and available in the District’s Financial Plan to cover the purchase of a replacement pick-up truck for the Utilities department.

Councillor Duane Post asked what will happen to the old truck. Thiessen reported that the old truck would replace the assistant public works foreman’s small pickup, and that one could in turn by used by the mechanics department.

Councillor Sylvia Pranger suggested that if the mechanics department did not need the truck that it be donated to an organization such as the Fraser Heritage Society for use at Kilby Historic Site.

Civil Forfeiture:

Could the Civil Forfeiture Act (CFA) for environmental violations impede on farmer’s activities? That was the question asked by District of Kent councillors and presented to staff to research. At the June 8 meeting, staff came back with a report to Council on the matter, which they discussed as it could relate to environmental violations in riparian / habitat and drainage areas.

The Civil Forfeiture Act, which was established in 2005, allows the provincial government to seize property and other assets that were used in unlawful activities or are proceeds of unlawful activity. “Unlawful activities” is defined as any offence under either federal or provincial statues.

“This broad definition opens the door to applying the Act to an extremely wide range of cases, including those concerning natural resources,” states engineering assistant TJ Gooliaff in the report.

The CFA has been mostly used in cases of organized crime and drug trafficking.

Councillor Duane Post, a dairy farmer, was curious how this act would relate to agricultural activities compared to something like residential development.

“What used to be called land improvement, now is called habitat destruction,” Post said of the shift in terminology.

Council received the report, noting that to date as no cases have come forward concerning violations of riparian / habitat and drainage areas in B.C.