Henry Braun

Open, transparent, accountable government: My 2016 Expenses

During the November 2011 municipal election, I promised the people of Abbotsford that I would support open, transparent, and accountable government and would apply that same principle to my expenses as an individual member of Abbotsford City Council. To that end, here are my 2016 expenses, open for review and comment.

Scroll down further for links to my previous years' expenses.

1.

BC Mayor’s Caucus-Fort St. John

$1,016.26

2.

Lower Mainland Local Government Assoc. AGM-Whistler

854.49

3.

Federation of Canadian Municipalities-Winnipeg

2,233.15

4.

UBCM-Victoria

1,911.26

5.

Events

1,041.19

6.

Breakfast/Lunch meetings

265.30

7.

Flight for Ministers Meeting-Ottawa

1,301.59

8.

Ottawa Hotel

342.39

9.

Budget day meeting with ministers & MLAs-Victoria

270.48

10.

Delegation to Fukagawa (Sister City flight)

1,402.03

11.

Hotel-Fukagawa

758.32

Total

$11,396.46

Expenses for

2012
2013
2014
2015

Need to get in touch? Call or write to me: 604-864-5500 / MayorBraun@Abbotsford.ca.

Abbotsford's Ledgeview Golf & Country Club: Some facts about one of BC's top full-length golf courses

Ledgeview Golf & Country Club

The City of Abbotsford has received questions about the history of Ledgeview Golf & Country Club over the past several days. Below are some facts about Ledgeview:

  • Ledgeview has operated as a golf course since 1963.
  • Ledgeview Properties Ltd. was acquired by the District of Matsqui in May 1980.
  • The total commitment for the purchase of Ledgeview was approximately $1.1 million* (see breakdown below).
  • When the District of Matsqui purchased Ledgeview, a component of the agreement was that the property be maintained as a golf course for public use for the term of ownership.
  • The Ledgeview Golf Course is currently owned by the City of Abbotsford.
  • For the past 36 years, the Ledgeview Golf Society has managed and operated the Ledgeview Golf & Country Club facilities on behalf of the City.
  • In 2014 the City renewed its lease agreement with the Ledgeview Golf Society to operate the facility with the City receiving revenues in the form of rent and profit sharing.
  • The lease agreement provides the City with competent stewardship of a much needed and well regarded municipal recreational facility, as well as a source of revenue.
  • On February 15, 2016 the City of Abbotsford signed a $1.3 million Community Benefits Agreement with Kinder Morgan Canada to assist with an upgrade to the Ledgeview clubhouse.
  • The Community Benefits Agreement is intended to mitigate the impacts from the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project on the operations of Ledgeview if the proposed project is approved by the National Energy Board and the Federal Government of Canada.
  • On Tuesday April 19, 2016 at 12:05am, Abbotsford Fire Rescue responded to a call of a fire at the clubhouse at the Ledgeview Golf Course.
  • When fire crews arrived, the structure was fully involved and it took crews several hours to bring the blaze completely under control.
  • The building suffered extensive fire and water damage and Fire and Police officials are currently investigating.
  • Insurance investigators and adjusters will need to assess the building and the police and fire reports before determining next steps.
  • Ledgeview golf course and clubhouse occupy approximately 115 acres north of McKee Road in Abbotsford and the course has been rated in the top 20 full-length Golf Courses in BC by the Province of BC.
  • Ledgeview hosts over 50 charity tournaments and banquet functions each year and over 17,000 rounds of golf for the general public each season.

*Cost to District of Matsqui for Ledgeview May 1980

Shares and Debentures (paid from Property Reserve)

$415,000

Assumed current liabilities (May 1980)

$130,000

Present value (May 1980)

$340,000


Total purchase price

$885,000


Commitment to match capital improvement
funds raised by Ledgeview Society

$250,000


Total commitment by District of Matsqui (May 1980)

$1,135,000

Prior to making an offer to purchase Ledgeview, the District had two independent property appraisals conducted in 1980 that valued the property at $1.5M and $1.35M.

The information above can be found on the City's website here.

As always, if you need to get in touch with me, call or write:
604-864-5500 / MayorBraun@Abbotsford.ca.

No strings attached: The facts regarding Ledgeview, Kinder Morgan, City of Abbotsford and the NEB

Over the past two years, the City of Abbotsford has undertaken ongoing discussions with Kinder Morgan Canada over multiple community concerns, the majority of which have been addressed. At the oral hearings before the National Energy Board (NEB) on January 29, 2016, the City of Abbotsford put forward our outstanding key concerns over emergency planning, training, and the need for resources to respond in a timely and effective manner.

Throughout our interactions with Kinder Morgan, the concept of an amenity agreement was always on the table and didn’t just pop up in the last weeks or months.

The amenity agreement is a completely separate matter from Abbotsford’s NEB presentation and was agreed to after our presentation was filed with the NEB, not before. The discussions regarding the amenity agreement were confidential until a final agreement was reached, and rightly so.

I want to be clear: The final amenity agreement was reached after Abbotsford’s presentation was filed with the NEB in January. Abbotsford City Council did this in order to make a principled decision outside of our discussions regarding our concerns.

If the proposed Trans Mountain Pipeline expansion project is approved by the NEB and the Federal Government of Canada, the project will have a direct impact on City-owned Ledgeview Golf & Country Club. For the past 38 years, the Ledgeview Golf Society has managed and operated the Ledgeview Golf & Country Club facilities on behalf of the City. In 2014, the City renewed the lease agreement with the Society to operate the facility, with the City receiving revenues in the form of rent and profit sharing. The community benefits agreement that Council signed will mitigate how the proposed pipeline expansion project impacts the operations of Ledgeview, while also providing for a direct benefit to the community through the addition of amenities (such as a public restaurant and meeting space) at the clubhouse.

While I understand that those who are opposed to the pipeline are not likely to ever support taking any money from Kinder Morgan, Abbotsford City Council choose to accept their gift on a principled basis, without any strings attached. Those are the facts.

Kinder Morgan Canada has been very responsive and a good corporate citizen in working with the City of Abbotsford in understanding the impacts of the proposed expansion on our community and our residents. Seven key events held in Abbotsford include:

  1. Two Open Houses in Fall 2012
  2. ESA Agricultural Workshop Spring 2013
  3. Routing Workshop Spring 2013
  4. Two Information Sessions for Sandy Hill neighbours - Summer 2014 and Spring 2015
  5. Facilities OH Summer 2014
  6. Emergency Management Workshop Winter 2014
  7. Agricultural EPP workshop Fall 2015
Finally, if the project is approved by the NEB and Federal Government of Canada, the City of Abbotsford stands to collect an additional $1.3 million in taxes annually, bringing the total to almost $3.4 million annually. In addition, the expansion will result in an estimated $193 million in construction spending in the City, and workers are expected to spend approximately $18.1 million on things such as accommodation, meals, and clothing in the Fraser Valley, not to mention the $1.3 million announced as part of the Community Benefits Program.

The City looks forward to an ongoing positive relationship with Kinder Morgan Canada and to continuing to foster a proactive working relationship that considers community safety above all other considerations.

If you have further questions, please contact Phil Blaker, Director, Building and Development Engineering at pblaker@abbotsford.ca or 604-864-5505.

If you need to get in touch with me, call or write: 604-864-5500 / MayorBraun@Abbotsford.ca.


Open, transparent, accountable government: My 2015 Expenses

One of the promises I made to the people of Abbotsford during the November 2011 municipal election was that I would support open, transparent, and accountable government. By extension, that meant that I would apply that same principle as an individual member of Council. In other words, whatever taxpayer money I spent would be open to the public for review and comment. Here are my expenses for 2015. Scroll down to catch up with my previous years' disclosures.

Click on this image to view my 2015 expenses online.Expenses for
2012
2013
2014

Need to get in touch? Call or write to me: 604-864-5500 / MayorBraun@Abbotsford.ca.

Drones and UAVs in Abbotsford: Stay Safe and Legal

The Abbotsford International Airport (YXX) and Abbotsford City Council reminds you that for safety sake operators of unmanned air vehicles (UAVs) and drones to be aware of regulations and no fly zones prior to taking flight.

Transport Canada regulates UAVs and drone use in all communities across the country:

  • UAV operators need to be at least 9km away from any airport, heliport, or aerodrome. The diagram below provides an aerial map of the 9km radius around the Abbotsford International Airport. Further safety information can be found from Transport Canada including a quick reference guide:
  • Weight restrictions apply to all UAVs
  • Special Flight Operations Certificates (SFOCs) are required for all UAV (commercial use) operations, but not for a model aircraft (recreational use) less than 35kg.

No fly zone surrounding Abbotsford International Airport:

Transport Canada’s infographic for DOs and DON'Ts of safe and legal drone flight:

For more information on flying drones safely and legally, please visit the Transport Canada website.


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