MARCH 9, 2012 www.tricitynews.com
TRI-CITY NEWS Does bilingualism work?
Take health challenge
SEE FACE TO FACE, PAGE A11
SEE, PAGE A22
INSIDE Letters/A12 Things-to-do Guide/A21 Elaine Golds/A27 Sports/A50
Spring forward and play it safe this weekend Port Coquitlam Fire and Eme Emergency Services is reminding people to check their smoke alarms when they set their clocks forward this weekend. week Taking a few minutes every six months to maintain a smoke alarm can save lives and firefighters enco encourage homeowners to change the batteries, test and clean their devices every time the clocks change. B Beyond the twice-yearly check-ups, firefighters recommend people follow the manufacturer’s instructions instru for maintenance and even check smoke alarms each week by pushing the test button. Batteries Batte should be chanced twice a year and the devices can be cleaned by gently vacuuming the inside ins using the soft-brush attachment to remove dust from the sensors. Alarms should be replaced repla every 10 years and installed outside each sleeping area on every level of the home. Besides B checking smoke alarms this weekend, the Insurance Bureau of Canada is also urging u Canadians to prepare for an emergency as they spring forward. IBC suggests you prepare or restock emergency supplies kits — for use during a disaster such as a major earthquake — in your home and vehicle. • For more information about smoke alarms, visit www.portcoquitlam.ca/fire or contact the Port Coquitlam fire department at email@example.com or 604-927-5466. Without a smoke alarm, you’re 74% more likely to die in a fire, according to a study of almost 50,000 fires in B.C., Alberta and Ontario between 2006 and 2011. The study also found, however, that a quarter of all smoke alarms found at fire locations do not function properly.
Search called off for missing PM woman A Port Moody woman has gone missing while on a cruise off the coast of Florida. Fariba Amani, 47, was reported missing from the Bahamas Celebration ship on Feb. 29 after the ship returned from a two-night trip between Grand Bahama Island and the Port of Palm Beach, Florida, according to media reports. Her boyfriend, 46-year-old Ramiz Golshani, has told reporters he last saw Amani at 1 a.m. at the gift shop before he headed to the casino. When he woke up later that day, she still hadn’t returned. He reported Amani missing when the ship docked. Crew members searched the ship but did not find her. The U.S. Coast Guard called off its intensive air and sea search after two days.
Strike ended, spring break about to begin Fewer students in schools in 2nd, 3rd days of job action By Diane Strandberg THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Fariba Amani, who went missing from a cruise ship Feb. 29. The Port Moody Police are assisting the FBI’s missing person investigation. Golshani did not respond to messages left by The TriCity News. firstname.lastname@example.org
School District 43 teachers and students are wrapping up a week of job action, rallies and study sessions — followed by two days of classes — and looking forward to a two-week spring break. The week was marked by orderly protests outside TriCity public schools and a student sit-in at the district
board office to raise awareness of youth concerns. As well, fewer students made it to classrooms as the week progressed and job action to protest Bill 22 closed schools. Only four elementary and three middle school students showed up to schools on Tuesday, and five elementary school students on Wednesday, according to School District 43. More high school students have been showing up, about 20 on Tuesday and 58 on Wednesday, but it was mostly Terry Fox students who wanted to take part in sports.
On Monday, 56 students showed up at schools, about half of them high school students. One of the reasons for the drop in numbers of elementary students attending schools could be the district’s decision Monday to allow onsite private daycares to extend their hours to include the period from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. during the strike. Also this week, a group of drama students met at the district board office on Tuesday to raise awareness about the effect of job action on a Terry Fox musical. see PEACEFUL PEACEFUL,, page A19
DIANE STRANDBERG/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Port Moody secondary school teachers Mike Proniuk (TOC) and Wendy Hawkin (English) strike on Monday.
A2 Friday, March 9, 2012, Tri-City News
N OPOW EN
< T H E F O OT H I L L S INFORMATION CENTRE Coast Merid i a n & D avid Ave
Tri-City y News Friday, y March 9, 2012, A3
DOuglas l College rolls out message Douglas College has taken a page out of Nike’s book with its exhortation “DO” to inspire students to take action to explore careers and post-secondary education options. While acknowledging that “DO” recalls the international sportswear company’s “Just Do It” slogan, marketing manager Sean Kelly said the college’s new brand is not a copy but similar in intent. “It’s a little bit aspirational and inspirational,” Kelly said. On Thursday, the college was to roll out the “DO” slogan — which has been seen in advertising for several
months — as part of a yearlong rebranding project. Kelly said “DO” is the short form of the message the college is trying to get out to students to “do what you love and be good at it.” The college spent a year canvassing ideas and opinions from students, Kelly said, and lear ned they wanted their learning environment to be smart, creative and engaging. The college was expected to hand out prizes on Thursday and encourage students to write inspirational messages on a three-dimensional model of the word “DO.” email@example.com
Trains in 2016, delays sooner
DIANE STRANDBERG/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Pouria Mafi, who is looking for work or an internship in marketing, stands with a large logo (backwards) representing Douglas College’s new publicity campaign focused on the word “DO.”
Employers come out in force at college career fair in Coquitlam Health professionals sought but some other students still looking for work By Diane Strandberg THE TRI-CITY NEWS
A Douglas College career fair held Wednesday to match jobs to job seekers was well attended — and it wasn’t only students who showed up at David Lam Campus. Among the college-age students and grads at the Coquitlam campus were older professionals from Iran and Russia looking to break into the job market, said alumni relations coordinator Andrew Senjack, who said the fair drew a large contingent of new immigrants as well as young people and even Grade 12 students. The mix of job seekers shows how competitive the job market is, he said, but the good news is there were a lot of companies, non-profits and public agencies seeking employees. “I noticed a lot of companies really active in coming to the career fair this time,” said Senjack, who said the previous two years’ turnout was less stellar due to a sluggish economy. At a
career fair held at the New Westminster campus on Monday, for example, there was a waiting list of businesses that wanted to attend. Employers ranged from landscaping firms looking for summer placements to health care agencies looking for professionals such as therapeutic recreation workers and nurses graduating from the college’s health sciences programs. A number of financial services and accounting associations, such as the Certified General Accountants Association, also attended the career fair looking to scoop up business students. But for one marketing student, the job market is looking increasingly bleak. Pouria Mafi of Coquitlam said he has been looking for a sales and marketing job or internship for the last two months and hasn’t received a bite despite sending out dozens of resumes and portfolios. “There are just so many students looking for internships,” he said. Mafi’s dream job is to represent a large manufacturing company overseas but for now has settled for a job at Tim Hortons in Coquitlam. In the meantime, though, he hasn’t lost hope. “It doesn’t have to be paid,” he said, “I just want the experience.”
DIANE STRANDBERG/THE TRI-CITY NEWS
More than two dozen businesses, non-profits and public sector agencies turned out to a career fair Wednesday at Douglas College’s David Lam Campus in Coquitlam. For two other Douglas College students, jobs are out there but you have to work hard to get them. Marina Wu, who is studying kinesiology, has worked for the city of Port Moody for two years as a recreational leader and said she got the job because she had good connections and experi-
“Urban Bootcamp has truly changed my life. I feel and look so much better...and have never had so much fun exercising. Thanks Hassan!” Lynn, 53
ence working as a Coquitlam Sharks diving coach. “It definitely helps who you know but you have to put yourself out there,” Wu said. Melissa Cantafio is not currently working while she pursues her studies but said the store she was working at has also closed. “I think
it is more competitive,” said Cantafio, who is trying to get a job as a lifeguard — “something that pays more than minimum wage.” The two said students have to work extra hard to get work in their chosen professions but lots of minimum wage jobs are available.
After years of waiting for Evergreen Line construction to begin, drivers are now getting what they wished for — and it could cause them delays. In Port Moody, for example, work is set to begin Monday on the installation of new underground BC Hydro lines to power a tunnelboring machine during construction and the rapid transit system itself when it opens in the summer of 2016. The work involves digging a 1.5 m trench, installation of BC H yd ro d u c t b a n k s and road resurfacing. Construction activity will begin along Douglas Street and proceed along Spring Street to Electronic Avenue. It will then continue along St. Johns Street, past Moray Street. Construction will take place from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. but road closures are not expected. Drivers could, however, experience minor delays and single-lane alternating traffic at times. A bulletin issued by the project office this week notes that every effort will be taken to minimize disruption and maintain access for cars. Anyone with questions is encouraged to call the Evergreen Line project office at 604-9274452. Traffic information is available at 604927-2080 and a traffic bulletin will be issued every Friday at www. evergreenline.gov.gc.ca. People can also receive traffic alerts via email. To subscribe, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Re s i d e n t s , b u s i nesses and commuters can also receive project updates by visiting the Evergreen Line Facebook page: www.facebook.com/evergreenline or by following, on Twitter, @TranBC. email@example.com
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A4 Friday, March 9, 2012, Tri-City News
PM manâ€™s opium Watermain Flushing charges stayed Newport Village, Noons Creek and Heritage Mountain Boulevard By Sarah Payne THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Charges have been stayed against a Port Moody man who allegedly imported a large amount of opium in the fall of 2009. Earlier this week, the issued a stay of proceedings, which is used when there is either insufficient evidence to proceed or if the prosecution is no longer deemed to be in the public interest. A spokesperson for the federal prosecution service said the reasons for not pursuing a case are never disclosed. â€œWe are disappointed by this decision in one of our major cases,â€? said Port Moody Police Department Insp. Andy
Richards. â€œWe recognize this decision is a reflection of unfortunate pressures in our court system, which are being experienced throughout the province.â€? I n Au g u s t 2 0 0 9 , PMPD were informed by the Canadian Border Services Agency that a bulk quantity of opium was being shipped in the lining of a suitcase to a PoMo address from Istanbul, Turkey. PMPD investigators, together with other municipal and federal agencies, initiated an extensive investigation. The package was allowed to reach its apparent target and on Sept. 5, 2009, Azad Yousefi was arrested in Burnaby. Officers who testified at his trial in
Sex attacker in fed. prison PoCo man, 22, assaulted women in two attacks By Gary McKenna THE TRI-CITY NEWS
A 22-year-old Por t Coquitlam man will serve an additional three and a half years in a federal penitentiary for two violent sexual assaults that occurred two years ago. James Alkenbrack, who has been in jail since his arrest in April 2010, earning 20 months in time served, will also have to participate in a treatment program. The programming is imperative, wrote Judge Marion Bennett in her reasons for sentence, because the accused has the potential to re-offend.â€” â€œIn my view, that has to be intensive programming and this must occur before he is allowed reintegration into society and that may be self-evident: It is to protect the public,â€? the judge wrote in the reasons for sentence. â€œThis is so, especially given his risk to re-offend.â€? Bennett also ordered that Alkenbrack provide a DNA sample to authorities and that he be subjected to a 10-year firearms prohibition. The sexual assaults took place in the winter of 2010. The first victim was walking down a street in Port Coquitlam when a man from across the road asked her the time. A few minutes later, she felt him running at her from behind and he grabbed her by the throat, threw her on the ground and tried to put his hand down her pants. The victim fought back, punching him in
the face and screaming before he ran off. As it turned out, the victim recognized her attacker as Alkenbrack because the two had attended the same middle school. A month later a second, more violent attack occurred. Alkenbrack grabbed a woman at about 11:30 p.m. on March. 23, 2010 and dragged her behind a fenced area, where he raped her for close to 30 minutes. Eventually, Alkenbrack let her go and the victim was able to find her phone and call for help. An additional two months was added to Alkenbrackâ€™s sentence for a later physical assault on his mother. In her reasons for sentence, the judge noted several mitigating factors. A report provided to the court stated that Alkenbrack came from an abusive home and lost his father at an early age. He was also in and out of foster care for a portion of his young life and has shown remorse for the attacks. But given the level of violence Alkenbrack displayed and his potential to re-offend, the judge said a federal sentence â€” i.e., longer than two years â€” was required. â€œThe intensive programming of course is available in both systems but my reading of the information before me is that a more intensive program is available in the federal system,â€? Bennett stated. She later added, â€œI have to state for the record it is with the greatest reluctance that I consider the federal system for any young first-time offender.â€? firstname.lastname@example.org
B.C. Provincial Court in Port Coquitlam this week testified they were watching Yousefi for several days before his arrest. When Yousefi was arrested, officers seized more than 11 lb. (5.3 kg) of opium, which at the time was worth about $500,000 on the street. It was the largest seizure in the cityâ€™s history and was expected to have a â€œsignificant impactâ€? on the opium distribution in the Lower Mainland and across Canada, according to the PMPD. Yousefi pleaded not guilty to charges of importing a controlled substance and possession for the purpose of trafficking at the start of his trial in October 2011. email@example.com
uni-directional watermain cleaning in the areas shown on the map starting Monday March 12, 2012. This procedure may cause pressure fluctuations, some discolouration and sediment in the water reaching your home or business. These conditions should be of short duration and will not pose a health hazard. If your water appears discoloured run a cold water tap, preferably your bathtub faucet, until the water clears. City staff will try to minimize any inconvenience. For more information, call Operations at 604.469.4574. City Hall/Library/Inlet Theatre P.O. Box 36, 100 Newport Drive, Port Moody
Notice of Public Hearing MEETING Public Hearing WHEN Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 7pm WHERE Council Chambers, City Hall, 100 Newport Drive, Port Moody, BC The Council of the City of Port Moody will meet and hold a Public Hearing to consider the following proposed Bylaws:
LOCATION MAP - 2210 Clarke Street
1. Proposed Bylaw: Amendment to Zoning Bylaw t$JUZPG1PSU.PPEZ;POJOH#ZMBX /P "NFOENFOU #ZMBX/P /P Applicant: %S.JDIBFM.D$BOO Legal: Lot 37, Block 2, District Lot 202, Group 1 NWD, Plan 55 1*%
Location: $MBSLF4USFFU TFFMPDBUJPONBQUPSJHIU
Purpose: To rezone the property from One-Family Residential 34 UP$PNQSFIFOTJWF%FWFMPQNFOU;POF $% UPQFSNJUUIF development of a secondary detached dwelling unit (laneway IPVTF POUIFSFBSPGUIFMPUJOBEEJUJPOUPUIFFYJTUJOHQSJNBSZEXFMMJOHVOJUDPOUBJOJOHBTFDPOEBSZTVJUF 2. Proposed Bylaw: 5FYU"NFOENFOUUP;POJOH#ZMBX t$JUZPG1PSU.PPEZ;POJOH#ZMBX /P "NFOENFOU#ZMBX/P /P Applicant: City of Port Moody Purpose: To amend the Zoning Bylaw to revise the definitions of â€œstoreyâ€? to restrict the height of new single family residential CVJMEJOHTUPUISFFTUPSFZTBOEiHSBEFwUPDMBSJGZUIFNFBTVSFNFOUPGIFJHIU"OFXEFĂśOJUJPOPGiDSBXMTQBDFwJTBMTPQSPQPTFE 5IFQSPQPTFEBNFOENFOUBMTPJODMVEFTSFWJTJPOTUPTFDUJPOPGUIF0OF'BNJMZ3FTJEFOUJBM%JTUSJDU 34 [POJOHUPDMBSJGZ UIFFYJTUJOHIFJHIUSFTUSJDUJPOT All persons who believe their interest in property is affected by the proposed bylaws will be afforded an opportunity to be heard JOQFSTPOBOEPSCZXSJUUFOTVCNJTTJPO8SJUUFOTVCNJTTJPOTXJMMCFBDDFQUFEVQUPUIFDPODMVTJPOPGUIF1VCMJD)FBSJOH*GZPV BSFTVCNJUUJOHBXSJUUFOTVCNJTTJPOQSJPSUPUIF1VCMJD)FBSJOH QMFBTFTVCNJUJUUPUIF$JUZCZFNBJMBUDMFSLT!QPSUNPPEZDBPS CZGBYBUOPUMBUFSUIBOOPPO 5VFTEBZ .BSDI #ZMBX/PTBOEBOESFMBUFEJOGPSNBUJPONBZCFJOTQFDUFEBUUIF%FWFMPQNFOU4FSWJDFT%FQBSUNFOU $JUZ)BMM /FXQPSU%SJWF 1PSU.PPEZ #$GSPN.POEBZUP'SJEBZ CFUXFFOBNBOEQN Tim Savoie, MCIP, Director of Development Services City Hall/Library/Theatre P.O. Box 36, 100 Newport Drive, Port Moody
Tri-City y News Friday, y March 9, 2012, A5
A6 Friday, March 9, 2012, Tri-City News
PoCo, get budget info and give your feedback Budget open house Saturday at rec complex By Gary McKenna THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Port Coquitlam residents will get the chance tomorrow (Saturday) to ask questions of staff and city council members and provide their feedback on the upcoming budget at an open house this weekend. The draft 2012 budget has been posted on the city’s website since Feb. 27 and calls for an average $90.56 (4.8%) overall fee increase for the average home owner in the municipality. More than $71 (3.77%) of the increase will be used to pay for two additional police officers and three firefighters along with capital improvements to sports fields and park infrastructure. Some of the money will go toward additional resources for the city’s development services department to improve permit process-
The March 7th ad for The Frog & Nightgown contained an error. The ad should have read “Free Ice” with purchase. The Tri-City News would like to apologize for any inconvenience that this has caused the Frog & Nightgown or their customers. LIQUOR STORE 604.552.2042
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Notice of Public Input Temporary Use Permit – 2037 Lougheed Hwy.
Free tax help in PoCo for those with low income Port Coquitlam residents with a limited income can receive free help with their income taxes at Wilson Centre (2150 Wilson Ave.). Volunteers at Wilson Centre will prepare income tax returns for free for individuals with an income of $26,000 a year or less and couples with an annual income of $35,000 or less. Those receiving the service will need to provide all relevant forms and information related to their 2011 income, as well as a copy of their 2010 income tax return. Wilson Centre also offers services such as free legal advice, visits to isolated seniors, foot and hearing clinics, free denture checkups and assistance with filling out government forms. Appointments are required for the tax preparation service. Call 604-927-7970 for book a time or for further information. More information about Wilson Centre can be found at www.portcoquitlam.ca/wilsoncentre. firstname.lastname@example.org
ing. Funding will also be allocated for cemetery upgrades, expansion of the green waste pickup program, bus shelter improvements and support for the new Port Coquitlam Community Foundation.
Another $19 (a 1% increase) is being collected for an infrastructure levy, which will be used to address issues associated with aging capital assets that are approaching the end of their useful life.
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Residents will also pay an additional $41 in utility fees for water and sewer costs — fees set by Metro Vancouver — while the solid waste levy will remain the same as last year. As a result, residents living in an average valued home will pay $2,009 in property taxes and utility fees in 2012. The open house will be held between 9 a.m. and noon in the main foyer of the PoCo rec complex (2150 Wilson Ave., Port Coquitlam) on March 10. Those who cannot attend this weekend’s event can still send their feedback to the budget suggestion box located on the city’s website (www.portcoquitlam. ca). For more information or questions about the plan, email budget@ portcoquitlam.ca. email@example.com
TAKE NOTICE THAT pursuant to Section 921 of the Local Government Act, the City of Port Coquitlam proposes to consider an application for Temporary Use Permit No. TU0000043 for 2037 Lougheed Highway. There will be a Public Input Opportunity where the public will be allowed to make representations to the Smart Growth Committee on Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm in the Heritage Room at City Hall, 2580 Shaughnessy Street, Port Coquitlam, respecting matters contained in the proposed Temporary Use Permit. All persons who believe their interest in property is affected by the proposed Permit will be afforded a reasonable opportunity to be heard or to present written submissions respecting matters contained in the Permit. The Temporary Use Permit will permit RBD (Cariboo) Developments Ltd. to develop a temporary sales and presentation centre at 2037 Lougheed Highway. A copy of proposed Temporary Use Permit No. TU000004 as described above, may be inspected in the Corporate Of¿ce, City of Port Coquitlam, 2580 Shaughnessy Street, Port Coquitlam, BC, V3C 2A8, between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday, except statutory holidays until Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 4:30 pm. Further information can be seen at www.portcoquitlam.ca/getinvolved p q g and further details can be obtained from the Development Services Department at 604-927-5442. Any written submissions must be received by the Corporate Of¿ce by 4:00 pm, on Thursday, March 15, 2012. Temporary Use Permit No. TU000004 for 2037 Lougheed Highway will be considered for issuance by the Smart Growth Committee at its meeting to be held on Thursday, March 15, 2012, at 4:30 pm in the Heritage Room at City Hall, 2580 Shaughnessy Street, Port Coquitlam. Susan Rauh, CMC Corporate Of¿cer 604.927.5421 firstname.lastname@example.org @p q
PUBLIC NOTICE WATERMAIN FLUSHING The City will be ﬂushing watermains in the areas shown on the map below beginning the week of March 5, 2012. Flushing may cause pressure ﬂuctuations and some discoloration and sediment in the water reaching your home or business. Both of these conditions should be of short duration. If your water appears discoloured, run a cold water tap until the water clears. Please direct inquiries to the Engineering Operations Division at 604-927-5488.
To Register call 604.927.7970 and girls! Emphasis is on skill development and equal opportunities for all! Inline Hockey 6-8yrs & 9-11yrs April 15-June 24 1 hour game Sundays between 8:30am-12:30pm Games: Apr 15, 22, 29, May 6, 27, Jun 3, 10, 24
PAYING TOO MUCH TAX?
Inline Hockey 12-15yrs 15/$235 April 13-June 24 1.25hr hour game Fridays between 7:30-10pm & Sundays 12:30-3pm Games: Apr 13, 15, 20, 22, 27, 29, May 6, 11, 25, 27, Jun 1, 3, 8, 10, 22, 24 Inline Hockey 16-18yrs 18/$280 April 16-June 21 1.5hr hour game Mondays and Thursdays from 9 to 10:30pm Games: Apr 16, 19, 23, 26, 30, May 7, 10, 14, 17, 24, 28, 31 Jun 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21 Mandatory Equipment Team t-shirt included; participants supply: inline skates, CSA approved hockey helmet with full face cage, hockey gloves, jock or jill, stick and elbow and knee/shin pads. Goaltenders Free registration, one full time goaltender per team. Register on a first come, first serve basis, call 604 927-7929. Goalie equipment provided/inline skates supplied by registrant.
Dale Barkman, FCA
Barkman & Tanaka
VOLUNTEER COACHES NEEDED
Apply online at www.portcoquitlam.ca/volunteer
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Tri-City y News Friday, y March 9, 2012, A7
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Analysis in arrests of 2 ‘prolific offenders’ Weapons and drug charges against 2 men By Gary McKenna THE TRI-CITY NEWS
Two Coquitlam men are facing numerous charges after Mounties found drugs and weapons in their City Centre apartment during a search last month. Michael Kim, 24, and Hyun Shin, 22, are facing 10 charges each, including possession of a weapon dangerous to public peace and drug possession for the purpose of trafficking. Kim was expected to appear in court today (Thursday) while Shin is due to retur n on March 26. “Basically, what happened is we received information from our analysts and they turned it into intelligence for the investigators,” said C p l . Ja m i e C h u n g . “That led them to these
two individuals.” Mounties had been following the pair for a while before the arrest, Chung said, and felt that by the end of February, they had enough information to arrest. He added that both men are considered prolific offenders but neither is linked to any gangs in the area. Chung credited the RC M P ’s I n t e g r at e d Drug Suppression Team and investigators’ crime reduction strategy for the arrest. The initiatives target prolific offenders by examining offence patterns and gathering information that can be used in the course of an investigation, according to Staff Sgt. Stan Szelagiewicz, the plainclothes section commander of the Coquitlam RCMP. “Our intelligenceled and evidence-based method of fighting crime has proven to be effective in reducing
criminal acts committed by prolific offenders,” he said. “By focusing on these offenders and crime hot spots our proactive crime reduction method has produced measurable positive results.” He added that co-operation with other police agencies, including the Port Moody Police Department, allows officers from outside the region to contribute to investigations and crime reduction. In 2011, the Integrated Drug Suppression Team street checked more than 350 offenders and conducted 201 drug seizures, recommending 96 criminal charges. Seven firearms were also seized along with a large quantity of other prohibited weapons, including brass knuckles, mace and nunchuks. In addition, close to 100 traffic tickets have been issued to prolific and priority offenders.
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Inform Involve Inspire John Furlong "B9G;8)4A6BHI8EÿćĈć "?L@C<64A7#4E4?L@C<6 *<AG8E4@8F
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Tri-City y News Friday, y March 9, 2012, A9
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A10 Friday, March 9, 2012, Tri-City News
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PICTURE THIS Adrian Raeside
Q WHAT WE THINK:
pring break came early for School District 43 students thanks to the teachers’ walkout this week. Thirty thousand students were off for three days and will be back on a two-week break when the bell rings Friday afternoon. An extra week was added to spring break last year to help balance the SD43 budget after an experiment in 2010 raised few concerns from parents. Some families might have benefited from the break or daycare wasn’t a problem while others might have thought adding 10 minutes per day instructional time to gain an extra week’s holiday and save $400,000 was a smart move. The Coquitlam Teachers’ Association wasn’t thrilled because substitute teachers lose work. This year, though, the extra week comes on top of three missing school days. Maybe everyone does need a break from the protracted teachers’ dispute but the underlying message is schools are underfunded if holidays have to be extended to save cash.
Q WHAT DO YOU THINK? VOTE ONLINE:
THIS WEEK’S QUESTION: Are you concerned about the impact of extra days off on students’ learning?
LAST WEEK’S QUESTION: Would implementing widespread road pricing be fairer than tolling only new bridges?
RESULTS: Yes 46% / No 54%
Register your opinion in our question of the week poll by voting online at tricitynews.com
Some get lousy hands and still are winners AS I SEE IT Nick Greenizan
ey, do you remember Kevin from across the street?” my brother asked me a few Fridays ago during a late-night poker game with some of our friends. “Sure,” I replied. It was only a partial bluff. I did remember Kevin, although I had forgotten about him. It’s been years since our paths crossed. And to be honest, I expected the next sentence out of my brother’s mouth to be bad news. Call me a pessimist but I saw a fair share of foster children come and go from that house across the street. Some stayed for a week, some for a month. And some left when they got into trouble. Kevin was a foster child, too, but he was different. He stayed longer than most, becoming fam-
ily to my neighbours — one of whom was a social worker — and a friend to all the neighbourhood kids, even though he used to drive a few of us crazy, me in particular. He was prone to making inappropriate comments at the worst possible time — like the time when he yelled at a police officer from the passenger window of my car as we drove by. “Why’d you do that?” I asked. “I dunno, I felt like it,” came the reply. Yes, he could be maddening, and no, he didn’t always make the smartest decisions — personally, I make a point of not yelling at law enforcement but maybe that’s just me. So imagine my surprise when my brother finished his sentence. “He’s a professional poker player now — Google him.” Turns out my brother was right. Kevin is, in fact, making a living playing cards — and a healthy living at that. Healthy enough, in fact, that after I figured out how many years I would have to work to equal what’d he’d made in the last 10 months,
TRI-CITY NEWS [CCAB AUDITED CIRCULATION 53,146 (MARCH 2009)] 1405 Broadway St., Port Coquitlam, B.C. V3C 6L6 telephone: 604-525-6397 • fax: 604-944-0703
I took a second to reconsider my career path. Then I looked down at my own quickly dwindling stack of chips and realized a World Series of Poker bracelet isn’t likely in my future. But maybe one day, it will be in Kevin’s. And though poker has its detractors — those who say it’s not a sport or that no one should make an honest living by gambling — there’s something to be said for those who play professionally. It takes skill and intelligence, and the ability to read both people at the situation, often running mathematical probabilities and percentages through one’s head in the short time it takes to draw the next card. It also takes guts and a killer instinct — the ability to take chances and go all-in even if you’re not 100% sure you’ve got the cards. Frankly, it’s not a skill I thought Kevin had. After all, I was standing just outside the sandwich shop where Kevin worked in high school — and where I mooched food for free — the night it was robbed by a man with
nothing more than a small paring knife. As soon as the thief made his intentions known, Kevin — a hulking teenager who towered over the intruder — bolted for the back door, leaving the thief to figure out the cash register on his own. At the time, having seen too many Sylvester Stallone movies, I wondered why he didn’t just take the guy down. Looking back, it was obviously the smartest move he could have made. Gotta know when to fold ’em, too, I guess. Back in my friend’s basement, with my chip stack whittled away to almost nothing, I sat ruing my poor cards. And I thought again of Kevin. Didn’t make me feel much better about my lost cash, mind you, but I was still happy for him — an awkward but good-hearted lug who made his own luck, even if he wasn’t dealt the best hand in the first place. Nick Greenizan is sports reporter at The Peace Arch News, a Black Press sister newspaper of The Tri-City News.
Nigel Lark publisher Richard Dal Monte Don Layfield editor advertising manager Diane Strandberg Mike Kingston assistant editor production manager Lisa Farquharson Kim Yorston regional classified manager circulation manager
Q LEGALITIES THE TRI-CITY NEWS is an independent community newspaper, qualified under Schedule 111, Part 111,
Q CONCERNS THE TRI-CITY NEWS is a member of the BC Press Council, a self-regulating body of the province’s news-
Paragraph 11 of the Excise Tax Act. It is published Wednesday and Friday by Black Press Ltd. Copyright and/or property rights subsist in all display advertising and other material appearing in this issue of The Tri-City News. Second class mailing registration No, 4830 The publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. The publisher’s liability for other errors or omissions in connection with any advertisement is strictly limited to publication of the advertisement in any subsequent issue or the refund of any monies paid for the advertisement.
paper industry. The council considers complaints from the public about the conduct of member newspapers. Directors oversee the mediation of complaints, with input from both the newspaper and the complainant. If talking with the editor or publisher of The Tri-City News does not resolve your complaint about coverage or story treatment, you may contact the BC Press Council. Your written concern, with documentation, should be sent within 45 days to B.C. Press Council, 201 Selby street, Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 2R2. For information, phone 1-888-687-2213 or go to www.bcpresscouncil.org.
Tri-City y News Friday, y March 9, 2012, A11
FACE TO FACE: Does bilingualism work in Canada?
Price too high to help too few I
t seems former prime minister Pierre Trudeau had two objectives when it came to his policy of official bilingualism. First, he wanted to ensure the constitutional right that any francophone ought to be able to walk into any federal government office and be served in French. This is more than reasonable. Second, he wanted to guarantee the protection and survival of the English-language minority in Quebec and the French-speaking minority outside its borders. This has been an abject failure. In British Columbia, for example, Francophones have essentially been assimilated, with their share of the total population dwindling to about 1.3%. It’s the same story in every province. In fact, unilingual speakers unable to speak the majority language in their province (French in Quebec, English everywhere else) account for less than 1% of Canada’s total population. But we continue to spend millions and millions of dollars providing “language services” throughout the country — not just at the federal level but at the provincial level too. French language services (and English language services in
Quebec) such as education, translation, bilingual signage and government forms cost the provinces $900 million a year, according to a recent report written by the Fraser Institute. The B.C. government, according to the study, spends $23 million a year. And that’s only the direct cost to taxpayers. There’s also the useless duel-labelling requirements that increase the prices of Canadian consumer goods across the board. We’ve got to face the fact that the French language is becoming less and less relevant across the country. In most of our major cities, French is being outpaced by other languages, namely Chinese, Korean and Punjabi. About 38% of those in Vancouver report Chinese as their mother tongue. And in Toronto, 8.8% of residents say Italian is their language of choice compared to only 1.7% who say French is their primary language. This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a great event — the Festival du Bois in Coquitlam. I’m all for embracing our French heritage by supporting such events but I don’t think it’s necessary to spend millions of dollars every year on the failed federal policy known as bilingualism.
Bilingualism is not just labels S
“The French language is becoming less and less relevant. In most major cities, French is being outpaced by other languages, namely Chinese, Korean and Punjabi.” Andy Radia
“The tenacity of Canadian tolerance and ‘niceness’ starts with our acceptance of bilingualism.” Jim Nelson What’s your take on this week’s Face to Face topic and what they have to say? Email your thoughts to email@example.com.
upport for biculturalism in Canada doesn’t come cheap. My colleague has parsimoniously pointed out the cost of operating in two official languages. Apart from the cost, bilingualism often strains the commitment of even we regular drinkers of Canada’s bicultural Kool-Aid. The back of the Cheerios box, lists of product ingredients, assembly instructions, more than half of “O Canada” and most of our Olympic athletes seem to be French. (And it seems stores in B.C. must hire people to make sure that the French side of all product labels are visible on their shelves.) Federal employees require both official languages, giving francophones a government employment advantage; and doesn’t Quebec seem to get more than its share of government contracts, grants and patronage appointments? Increasingly, a main tenet of French-Canadian culture seems to be how poorly Canada has treated them and how they are an underappreciated founding people. And our French-Canadian countrymen seem completely unimpressed with the considerable attempts of English-speaking Canadians to embrace the French language by putting their children
in French immersion programs in public schools all over the country. These irritants should be enough to make Anglophones obnoxiously anti-French. But they’re not, and that’s what makes bilingualism important. The tenacity of Canadian tolerance and “niceness” starts with our acceptance of bilingualism, despite its challenges. This underpins the live-and-let-live attitudes of Canadians. It allows us to accept others — and gay marriage and public health care. Biculturalism is the fount of Canadian cultural attitudes. My colleague would get rid of all this French stuff, saving a buck at the expense of Canadian culture. In most of the world, knowing a second language is considered a privilege. Many Europeans speak three or four languages. Yet in North America, we object to having a second language “shoved down our throats.” A recent attack ad aimed at U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, after a long list of indictments, ended with the worst of all: “Mitt Romney speaks French!” We can’t put a price on bilingualism. It means a lot more to Canada than the tantalizing prospect of a unilingual corn flakes box.
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A12 Friday, March 9, 2012, Tri-City News
TRI-CITYY LETTERS Pooches poo & nip The Editor, Re. “Is enough being done to control pooches and their poo?” (Face to Face, The Tri-City News, March 2). I have had two experiences that have clearly shown the answer to the question is “no.” I want to also say it is usually a few irresponsible pet owners that ruin everything for the majority. Last summer, a friend, her two sons, myself and my two daughters were walking along the trail around Sasamat Lake. It is my understanding that dogs are not to be allowed off-leash on this trail. The kids, ages five to nine years, were running slightly ahead of us when they were confronted by a dog that was off-leash. The owner was behind the dog on a cell phone paying no attention and it was running around jumping on the kids. My youngest daughter is not comfortable around dogs and unfortunately the dog nipped her stomach. The dog owner frantically tried to control her
Pooches in parks is a hot topic. dog while my child was hysterical. While I was trying to comfort her, the owner managed to get control of her dog and tried to come back and apologize but my daughter was so upset she ran away as she didn’t want to be anywhere near the dog. The only positive thing about this incident is that it could have been much worse. My daughter suffered only a nip and a scare and is OK now. The second incident involves the other lovely issue, poo. Just last weekend, my older daughter was playing soccer at McLean Park in Port Coquitlam. It
had just finished snowing and the field was covered, and I didn’t realize at first that the snow was concealing so much poo you could not take a step without stepping in it. To make matters worse, the girls’ water bottles were on the grass and when my daughter went to pick hers up her hand got covered in poo. Now, with the amount of poo on a field that size, it had to be more than one dog owner. Is this a common occurrence or was I just there on a bad day? I don’t think I want to find out. I was pretty disgusted. Christine Stuart, Port Moody
Tutoring for the premier
The Editor As a learner-support teacher, one of my goals is to increase my students’ receptive and expressive vocabularies. I often turn to several different dictionaries, both the online version and the oldfashioned paper kind, to put together a comprehensive definition of a word. Thus, with the aid of Oxford, Webster and Wikipedia, I offer this definition of mediation: to resolve or settle differences, through private and confidential negotiation, with all the conflicting parties, using a wholly impartial mediator to promote reconciliation and compromise. It seems Premier Christy Clark could use a little extra tutoring on the concept. I offer my services. Janet Wiltshire, Port Coquitlam
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