AHN FEB 8 2018

Page 1

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2018 Vol. 75, No. 6

Serving Fort St. John, B.C. and Surrounding Communities

$1.50 inc. gst.


“The Only Newspaper in the World That Gives a Tinker’s Dam About the North Peace.”

fsj to get overdose action team

taking his father’s mantle

huskies lose star goalie




calm, cold, and chiseled

Nursing school talks underway matt preprost editor@ahnfsj.ca

When You Are Out in the Field, Time IS Money. QUALITY PARTS, EXPERT SERVICE!

HoursMon-Fri: 8am - 5pm Sat: 8am - Noon

9224 100 Street, Fort St. John, BC (250) 785-0463

After Hours - Leave Message

eve petford Photo


 phone 250-785-5631  fax 250-785-3522  email circulation@ahnfsj.ca  online alaskahighwaynews.ca  facebook AlaskaHighwayNews  twitter @AHNnewspaper

Russian ice carver Dmitry Klimenko chisels away at his carnival-themed sculpture for the High on Ice festival last weekend. The festival kicks off Friday, Feb. 9 at 4 p.m. in Centennial Park, when the ice slides open and a bonfire is lit, and professional ice carving, live music, kids activities, and circus entertainment will take place throughout the night. Mayor Lori Ackerman will give her opening remarks will start at 6:30 p.m. For a full schedule, visit alaskahighwaynews.ca

Taylor approves marijuana zoning changes

Wilkinson elected leader of BC Liberals

Police seek mall vandals, stolen truck

matt preprost

matt preprost

matt preprost




Councillors adopted a bylaw that bans the the selling, dispensing, and cultivation of marijuana in the municipality on Feb. 5. Councillors again reiterated caution ahead of full cannabis legalization expected this summer, and entrepreneurs looking to get ahead of municipalities, which have the ultimate say over whether growers, distributors, and retailers will be allowed to set up shop, and which may not have appropriate bylaws in place by the time the drug is legal. Just four people showed up to a public hearing on the matter in January, none of whom spoke directly in favour or opposition but were there for information; councillors received just one letter of opposition.

Andrew Wilkinson is the new leader of the BC Liberals. Wilkison won on the fifth and final ballot in vote that went down to the wire on Feb. 3. In the end, Liberals opted for a party veteran over newcomers Dianne Watts and Michael Lee, who appeared poised to win after the fourth ballot. Peace River North Liberal MLA Dan Davies said he was happy to have a leader at the helm after a first session of opposition marked by instability. Wilkinson was Davies’s second choice after former finance minister Mike de Jong, who was knocked out of the race early. “He brings such breadth to the table,” Davies said of Wilkinson and his career as a doctor and lawyer before becoming an MLA.

The Totem Mall reopened for business last week, while police search for the stolen truck used to smash through its walls. The mall reopened Jan. 31 after it was forced to close its doors Jan. 29 after a truck crashed through three different sections of the building, causing extensive damage to the exterior and interior of some stores. “As with any incident such as this, a full security review will be undertaken,” manager Rob Schlitt said. According to RCMP, video surveillance shows a stolen, single cab flat deck pickup truck reversing into the mall wall several times. Two individuals are seen entering the holes, police say, but no access was gained and nothing was stolen. See VANDALS on B13

PAVING % 100 Canadian Owned

Residential • Commercial • Industrial Roads • Driveways • Parking Lots

Efforts to establish a nursing program in Northeast B.C. began in earnest last week, though it will be at least two years before the first cohort of students don their scrubs and take their seats. Stakeholders including the University of Northern BC, Northern Lights College, Northern Health, and the City of Fort St. John met Feb. 1 to begin ironing out the details of a training program to accommodate high school graduates and those with a completed degree, or those in the middle of their postsecondary studies. On the table right now is a proposal for a five semester, two-year Bachelor of Science in Nursing program that would support 32 students when it reaches full capacity. “We just want a nursing school,” Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman said in a recent interview. “I don’t care if it’s an associate degree, I don’t care if it’s a bachelor degree.” The proposed program would admit 16 students per year and give priority seating to Northern Lights College and Indigenous students. Students would need a minimum of 60 university transfer credits to apply, to ensure they have the necessary prerequisites and background before plunging into their nursing training. “There needs to be a background understanding of a wide variety of specific courses and areas to make sure they’re up to a certain standard before they begin the nursing program,” said Dan Ryan, provost and vice president academic for UNBC. Northern Health is projecting Northeast B.C. will need an average of 78 registered nurses per year over the next four years to fill staffing gaps, a number that will only get worse if education needs aren’t addressed, Ackerman said. The health authority would partner in the program’s development and open up placements to meet the program’s clinical practicum needs. Operating and capital funding will need to be secured, and UNBC estimates it would take at least two years before the first students are admitted once funding is approved, meaning a start date sometime in 2020 at the earliest. See NURSING on B13



COMMERCIAL AND RESIDENTIAL GRAVEL SALES AND DELIVERY Serving Dawson Creek, Chetwynd, Fort St. John & Surrounding Areas


Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.