Queen Charlotte lobbies for cell phone service

  • Mar. 5, 2007 11:00 a.m.

By Heather Ramsay-Cell phone service, crown leases and emergency infrastructure are the subjects of three resolutions drafted by the Village of Queen Charlotte to send to the North Central Municipal Association.
The resolutions were introduced at the Feb. 19 council meeting. This is the first time Queen Charlotte has sent resolutions to the association, which is holding its annual conference in Williams Lake this May, says Mayor Carol Kulesha.
These are issues Queen Charlotte would like the NCMA to lobby for on behalf of northern communities and if adopted, the resolutions will be brought to the Union of BC Muncipalities in the fall.
The first resolution deals with small rural communities that are unable to access cell service. Some major cellular providers hold the territorial rights in those areas but seem unwilling to provide the service. The resolution asks that major carriers, the province and regulatory authorities work together to provide cell phone service.
Ms Kulesha said she has had no reply to e-mails to Telus about when cellular service will be available here. She saw on BCTV news that Telus’s third quarter profits tripled.
“I think they have a responsibility to serve us better than they presently do,” she said in her report to council on Feb. 19.
The second resolution deals with crown leases in municipal boundaries. It notes the province is landlord for many properties in municipal boundaries, but municipalities are forced to pay taxes and service fees on behalf of tenants in arrears. Municipalities are also forced to respond to complaints about unsightly premises, illegal building and alteration of property.
“Be it resolved that the province review its buildings within municipalities and discharge their responsibilities as a landlord including duly enforcing their lease agreements,” the resolution states.
The third topic is emergency infrastructure. This resolution notes the province provides money for emergency planning but does not provide funding for infrastructure to put the planning to practical use. Queen Charlotte is asking the province review its program funding to address this.
Ms Kulesha said the resolutions have been sent well in advance in case there are any problems or revisions that need to be made before the annual general meeting in May.