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The Tribune No injuries in collision north of city wins award The Williams Lake Tribune is pleased to announce it has received first place in the Best Editorial Page category for the 2012 Canadian Community Newspaper Awards. The Independent in New Hamburg, Ont. received second place and the Gazette in Grand Forks, B.C. received third. The Best Editorial Page category was in the General Excellence category for newspapers in their designated circulation class.
Inside the Tribune NEWS NCLGA starts tomorrow.
SPORTS A8 Riders gear up for Peel Out. COMMUNITY A11 Cancer event raises thousands. Weather outlook: Mainly cloudy/chance of showers today, high of 8 C. Mix of sun and cloud Wednesday, high of 13 C.
Monica Lamb-Yorski photo
A car is towed away following a single vehicle collision north of Williams Lake Sunday morning. Police say no one was injured, and that the driver had fallen asleep at the wheel before the car went off the road.
Local mills improve safety after PG explosion Monica Lamb-Yorski Tribune Staff Writer Mills in Williams Lake have beefed up safety measures, in light of the recent sawmill explosions in Burns Lake and Prince George, and a directive from WorkSafe BC issued last Wednesday requiring all sawmill employers to undertake a comprehensive risk assessment. Sigurdson Forest Products has shut down its operations as of April 26 to carry out a major clean up, while Tolko and West Fraser held meetings with managers, instructing them to carry out safety inspections. West Fraser curtailed some of its operations. “We only process beetle kill.
After the Babine fire we were on notice and determining steps and inspections, but after Prince George we decided to be proactive,” Sigurdson mill manager Tom Beddington says. The mill employs around 40 workers and during the shut-down 11-man crews have come to work, but spent their entire shifts cleaning. “They have been going through every nook and cranny. We used water instead of air so we don’t create that air-borne dust to start,” Beddington explains. Normally every shift already had one employee dedicated to cleaning, and that person will continue in that role. However, on Friday the
mill hired a new employee who will be solely dedicated to dust control. That employee will work Friday nights after the planer ends until Monday night. “All he’ll do is make sure the tresses are clean, top to bottom,” Beddington says, adding Sigurdon’s Mill is lucky because most of its operations are outdoors so air is going through the mill all the time. Only the planer is in an enclosure. Routinely workers spray the logs and boards with water as they go through the machines. “That makes a big difference,” Beddington says. Tolko Industries Ltd.’s vice president of forestry and environment says the explosions have rocked
the industry, in terms of the short amount of time between the two explosions, and the catastrophic and tragic nature of both events. Bob Fleet has been in the industry for 35 years and does not remember an explosion ever taking place. “Routinely Tolko’s mills do monthly inspections under its joint health and safety regulations, but the reality is Prince George and Burns Lake thought they had pretty good plans in place too,” he says. Fleet says Tolko normally does inspections around air-borne sawdust, ignition sources, fire extinguishers, flip and pull hazards. See SPECULATION Page A2
Tuesday, May 1, 2012 Williams Lake Tribune
Williams Lake Curling Club
vigil honours MacDonald and Mullett
ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
MAY 9TH - 7:00 PM AT THE CURLING CLUB All Curlers please attend
PUBLIC NOTICE Monica Lamb-Yorski photo
Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake held a candlelight vigil Friday on Carson Drive to honour nursing students Rayel MacDonald, 20, who passed away and Alysha Mullett, 20, who remains in hospital.
Speculation continues Continued From Page A1 “These inspections are really focused at crawling right up on the rafters and looking for sawdust and then vacuuming it up. We do that regularly.” There are other things Tolko’s done at its mills, Fleet says, including at its Quesnel mill, where a humidification system was installed. “The system takes the sawdust out of the air by increasing the humidity. It’s an example that all industry could do if we found sawdust to be the risk that people are starting to think it might be.” Speculation continues around whether there is an added risk due to processing pine beetle wood. Fleet says industry en-
courages WorkSafe BC to step forward with the Burns Lake explosion findings as soon as possible. “If they could do that without compromising the investigation it would help.” The peculiarity is that for 25 years there hasn’t been a similar sawmill explosion and in four months there have been two, Fleet says. “Both mills are processing fairly high amounts of mountain pine beetle kill lodgepole pine. That wood comes to the mills much drier than if you were processing green Douglas fir. We know it seems to produce a little bit more, little bit finer quality of sawdust than processing green fir or even green lodge pole pine.”
West Fraser says over the last number of years it has done a lot of dust collection and reduction work at its mills. “Since the Burns Lake incident, we went around to all of our mills and conducted thorough risk and hazard assessments using third-party expertise,” says solid wood vice president Ray Ferris, adding where needed some mills have curtailed operations to address issues both after Burns Lake and subsequently after Lakeland. The company continues to spend lots of dollars to ensure that issues related to dust are remote. “We continue this week to carry out a number of divisional and corporate inspections, using third party expertise to ensure
Creeksyde Farms Greenhouses 134 Mile
ourselves that our mills are safe and people can come to work with confidence that those types of events can’t re-occur.”
CLOSED FOR 2012 SEASON
WATER MAIN FLUSHING
The City of Williams Lake Water Division will be cleaning and flushing reservoirs and water mains starting May 7th, 2012 for approximately a four week period. The areas that will be affected are: All homes north of Western Avenue, Midnight Drive north from Moxon Place, Moon Avenue, north ends of Smith Street and Pigeon Avenue, north 4th, Haddock and Boitanio Streets, Hubble and Toop Road area to Centennial Drive. As residents may experience a slight discolouration of their tap water, running a tap for a short period of time will clear this up. All inquiries can be directed to the City of Williams Lake Water and Waste Division at 392-1785. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this may cause.
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Williams Lake Tribune Tuesday, May 1, 2012
City of WL, CRD to attend convention Monica Lamb-Yorski Tribune Staff Writer All rooms are booked from Lac La Hache to Lone Butte in anticipation of the North Central Local Government Association Convention taking place in 100 Mile House May 2-4. A number of resolutions will be put forward at the convention from local governments. Ones from the Cariboo Regional District include government funding to help with fencing on secondary roads for ranchers, and lobbying the government to enlist the aid of ranchers when it comes to fighting noxious weeds. The City of Williams Lake is proposing to petition the provincial and federal governments to revise their grant formula so that they do not require matching funding, or come up with a new system that allows cashstrapped local governments to address their critical infrastructure needs without having to borrow money to do so. CRD chair Al Richmond says most of the convention will be held at the South Cariboo Recreation Centre, with the exception of the opening reception on Wednesday (May 2), which will take place at the 108 Heritage Site. “We want to show people some of the heritage we have here.” It will be the first time 100 Mile House has hosted this type of convention before, and Richmond says while it will be a good opportunity to show off the community, it will also allow organizers to learn how well the community can handle an event of this size. “It’s in Quesnel next year, so that’ll be great,”
Richmond says. Included in the NCLGA will be plenary sessions on topics such as healthy families, carbon offsets, mining in Northern BC, and First Nations relationship building. NCLGA president Art Kaehn says there will be a break out session on Friday morning with Don Basserman, from the Omineca Beetle Action Coalition around Northern BC’s farming and food security. “He puts on a great talk and will also be speaking at 3:45 p.m. about a real community look at tourism. I haven’t heard the talk but I can imagine that it will be on par with his food security talk.” Basserman has a real passion for both topics, Kaehn says. Another thing Kaehn is happy about is that the Northern Rockies are rejoining the organization. “We are looking forward to welcoming them back,” he says. Co-hosted by the Cariboo Regional District and the District of 100 Mile House, the convention has attracted 230 registrants, plus presenters, companions, and 28 trade show booths. “It’s a self-funded event with sponsorship that’s very diverse,” says NCLGA president Art Kaehn. “We’re not taking money out of the community. It’s actually bringing in money from other parts of Northern B.C. from major sponsors like Spectra Energy, which serves a big chunk of Northern B.C,” Kaehn says. A total of $90,000 is coming in through sponsorship, $52,000 from registration and $5,000 from the trade booths alone.
Sikh Temple celebrates Vaisakhi Monica Lamb-Yorski photo
The Guru Nanak Sikh Temple on Mackenzie Avenue celebrated Vaisakhi on Saturday and Sunday. Here Neena Bhogal, Ranjit Galsian and Prabh Mudhar work in the kitchen to prepare lunch on Sunday.
TRU works to attract international learners Monica Lamb-Yorski Tribune Staff Writer It’s hard not to get excited listening to Dr. Ray Sanders talk about the next step Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake campus is taking when it comes to attracting new students. On May 2, a delegation of 11 agents from all of the world, including regions in places such as China, India and Saudia Arabia, will be in the city for an afternoon to see what the community has to offer international students. Sitting in his office on a Tuesday afternoon, Sanders, who is the campus director, says Williams Lake can offer a true Canadian experience and he believes what international students will see when they get here will “blow them away,” the idea being to show them that Williams Lake is a great place to live and study. The delegation has been to Kamloops before, but this will be the first time TRU is
furthering the opportunity to include Williams Lake. “That’s huge for us,” Sanders says. Williams Lake, he adds, is a community that rallies around causes. “I know from all my experiences in international education, as I assess what we have here in Williams Lake, it’s just a secret waiting to be told.” The tour will kick off the push to attract international students set by the campus. In three years, the hope is to have 300 enrolled. Kamloops, he explains, has reaped economic benefits of around $88 million generated annually in the community from the foreign students, who arrive with a single suitcase, and then proceed to purchase things they need and pay for rent. Around 1,400 international students are enrolled there. For Williams Lake, that could be an infu-
sion of $12 million once there were 300 students attending school here. “We’re fortunate that we’re able to bring Williams Lake campus into the TRU World fold,” Sanders says. When Sanders is asked why he would pursue bringing international students to the community, he holds up three fingers. First, to globalize the existing Canadian students’ view; second, to expand that global view into the community; and three, to increase the critical mass of the campus’s enrollment. “We’re not displacing our existing students, but the infusion of more students will give us the opportunity to offer more programs,” he explains. The plan is have eight to 10 students enrolled in the licenced practical nursing program in the fall of 2012. By January, it’s anticipated the first big push of students will arrive because it will take time for students to ob-
tain visas. Sanders also believes the influx of international students will cause the faculty to think in new ways, and even the city to think in new ways. “Another benefit of having international students is the longterm relationships that are built in the community.” The initiative is also being prompted by the premier’s office, he says. There are a handful of foreign students enrolled in Williams Lake who may have arrived in the community with a spouse, but the May 2 event will really be the first deliberate attempt to recruit. Housing, he admits, will be a serious issue. However, he points to how many locals have opened up their homes to exchange students. “This community brings in quite a few exchange students throughout the year and many local service clubs help with that.”
In the long run the plan is to build housing, but there’s a chickenand-the-egg dilemma — does the university wait until the students are enrolled, and then build housing? Once there are 300 students, it will catch the attention of the folks needed to build housing, Sanders says, adding the school year will run year-round because foreign students, once they arrive, don’t go home until they are finished their studies. Grateful that TRU already has its TRU World program, Sanders says Williams Lake does not have to start from scratch. When he arrived in Williams Lake a year and a half ago, student enrollment was down, and TRU World was getting too full so it made sense to ask if Williams Lake could be part of the program. “TRU World has even paid for a Williams Lake website, which will be up and running fairly soon,” Sanders adds.
CARIBOO REGION WEATHER FORECAST Normals for BARKING SPIDER MOUNTAIN BIKE the period:
Mainly cloudy/ chance of showers High 80C Low 20C POP 40%
Wednesday Mix of sun and cloud High 130C Low 20C
Cloudy/chance of showers High 100C Low 30C POP 40%
Cloudy/chance of showers High 120C Low 50C POP 40%
Mix of sun and cloud High 150C Low 10C
High 17 C Low 20C 0
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Tuesday, May 1 , 2012 Williams Lake Tribune
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Monica Lamb-Yorski photo
During the Day of Mourning ceremony held April 28 in Williams Lake, United Steelworkers Local 1-425 vice president Dean Colville lays a wreath at the existing worker’s memorial cairn outside of city hall.
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Monica Lamb-Yorski Tribune Staff Writer During the National Day of Mourning ceremony held at the cenotaph in Williams Lake Saturday, organizer Eric Freeston called out the names of the four mill workers recently killed in Burns Lake and Prince George. Afterwards he said it is unfortunate that ceremonies to remember those who have died in the workplace have to take place each year because it would be better if there had been no deaths at all. “But the sad reality is that workplace deaths continue to occur,” Freeston said, adding people working in forestry, mining, and restaurants and even those driving taxis, are subject to injury and it’s necessary to remember people who have lost their lives and pay tribute to their sacrifices on the job. The National Day of Mourning is observed on April 28 in Canada to commemorate those injured, who have suffered illness or have died due to work-place hazards. First initiated by the Canadian Union of Public Employees in 1984, the Canadian Labour of Congress picked up on it the following year, and in 1990 it passed third reading at the federal legislation level and became a national day. Today it is observed in more than 80 countries in the world; however, Freeston said the observance hasn’t reduced the number of deaths. That number has been growing. “Health and safety
vention to make work places safer, Auge added. Mark Stevens, regional manager from Tolko Industries Ltd., said taking time to remember those who have died from all industries is valuable. “As an employer it’s our goal to have an accident-free workplace. We continue to strive to achieve that and find new ways to succeed where we haven’t in the past,” Stevens said, adding safety is a number one priority. United Steelworkers Local 1-425 president Paul French noted that everyone goes to work believing they have the right to come home. “But it’s up to us to look toward that and make that happen. It’s up to us to report haz-
ards and work toward fixing them. Safety is everybody’s responsibility, not just the managers and the bosses. It’s up to us to train, correct, and look out for each other’s wellbeing,” French said. Richard Vollo, regional vice president of the BC Ambulance and Paramedics Association, described some of the workplace incidents he’s attended and the common thread of industrial accidents. “In my 27 years it’s been a lack of education and improper supervision of young workers. One example I can share is a young fellow that was hired for a company that recycled tires. “On his first day, his task was to ensure the tires didn’t get stuck in
the grinder,” Vollo recalled. When paramedics arrived on the scene, he was half in and half out of the grinder. He was told to shut off the machine before he attempted to loosen a tire from the grinder. “What he wasn’t told was not to use his leg and that the wheels in the grinder continue to turn for at least five minutes before they stop. This young fellow lost his life,” Vollo said, adding it’s difficult because often paramedics see accidents that could have been prevented. Vollow said mentoring young workers is crucial “Make sure they know what the safety rules are and how important they are to all of us,” he said.
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Mill workers remembered at ceremony laws haven’t necessarily been enforced,” he said. Cariboo Regional District Area F director Joan Sorley echoed Freeston’s concern, saying it is a shame that the numbers haven’t improved. In 2011 142 workers died in B.C., in 2010 it was 121 and in 2009 it was 121. “We’re not getting better and we’re not off to a good start this year. As a society and as people who care we have to do better. All of us, from the top down, from the bottom up, politicians, we have to do better,” Sorley said. City coun. Surinderpal Rathor, who also works at a local sawmill, thanked Freeston for organizing the event. “The explosions in Burns Lake and Prince George are very close to my heart. It’s important we remember those colleagues, friends and family that have died in the workplace,” he said, adding it’s important that safety is something all employers and employees need to invest in. WorkSafe BC occupational officer Leonard Auge said this year’s remembrance is fresh with the sawmill tragedies. “I want to ensure you that WorkSafe BC, its prevention officers and investigation officers will do everything in their power to find out what happened at these operations to determine what can be done to prevent something like that happening again,” Auge said. The highest honour fallen workers can be given is a legacy of pre-
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City Offers New Bike Protection Program The City of Williams Lake encourages all bicycle owners to register their bicycles in its Bike Protection Program. Bicycle owners can complete a registration form including a photograph of their bicycle. The owner retains the information, and in the event the bike is lost or stolen, he or she can bring the form to City Bylaw Services. This will assist the bylaw department in identifying bikes and owners, reuniting owners with lost or stolen bicycles. Registration forms are available at www.wiliiamslake.ca, City Hall and local bicycle stores. There is no fee for the Bike Protection Program. A City representative will be in attendance at a bike rodeo May 13, 2012 at the Canadian Tire parking lot from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm to help owners register their bicycles.
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CITY OF WILLIAMS LAKE
Williams Lake Tribune Tuesday, May 1, 2012
NEWS Monica Lamb-Yorski photo
Williams Lake Sears manager Rob Harrison says despite rumours, Sears is not closing down.
DOUG & NOLA PURDY
Happy 50th Anniversary - May 5th Mom and Dad, For 50-years, you’ve been the ones Who showed us how to live. Your marriage demonstrates it best, How to love and how to give. You always had a helping hand, A smile and dose of cheer; Your selfless, sweet devotion Kept us sheltered, year by year. You’ve dealt with life like champions For half a century now; You’ve helped all those who know you; Mom and Dad, you’re a good know-how! Love from all your children & grandchildren.
Sears stays put in lakecity Monica Lamb-Yorski Tribune Staff Writer Sears manager Rob Harrison says, despite the rumours being reported to him, the store in Williams Lake is not closing. “People have seen some items on TV. The first one came out about
the United States. Sears Robuck was in trouble so then we got a few inquiries,” Harrison says. Then there was the news that three stores in Canada were closing in Vancouver, Ottawa and Calgary. Harrison explains the flag-ship store in Ottawa is being totally
rebuilt, so in fact only two “big stores” are closing. The term “big store” is different from the kind of store in Williams Lake. “We have what’s called a home-town store. And we’re OK,” Harrison explains. In fact, he adds, the
home-town style of stores is a growing and blossoming item in Sears. “When I started there were only about 100 stores like us across Canada and now there are over 300 and there are more opening every month. This program will never go away.”
CCRHD considers health authority change Monica Lamb-Yorski Tribune Staff Writer After mulling it over for a couple of months the Cariboo Chilcotin Regional Hospital District Board is pursuing the possibility of falling under one health authority. Presently communities within the CCRHD come under the auspices of either Interior Health or Northern Health, depending on where they are located.
At its April 20 meeting directors passed a motion unanimously to explore the option of coming solely under Northern Health. While CCRHD chair John Massier wasn’t at the meeting, because he was attending a health roundtable in Kamloops, he said the board’s plan is to engage in discussions with both health authorities about possibly moving into one health authority. “The idea comes up
mostly from the directors in the Interior Health Authority,” Massier says. Some of the main issues are around recruitment and retention of medical professionals, and the thought that it might be simpler to deal with one health authority instead of two. There is a number of larger cities within Interior Health to compete against too, he explains. So far there have not been any formal discussions with either health
authority so the plan is to gather some data of service over the last decade and invite representatives from each authority to meet with the board. “We don’t really know at this point if the provincial government or the health authorities would even entertain the idea, because those boundaries might be set. However, we still want to see if there is an ability to make this happen,” Massier says.
THE WILLIAMS LAKE STUDIO THEATRE GAZETTE No 201204
Crimes Of The Heart By Beth Henley
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MAY 2-5,9-12 & 17 Doors Open 7:30 pm Show starts at 8:00 pm sharp Williams Lake Studio Theatre at Glendale School
Tickets available at Aboutface Photography $15 Adults • $12 Students and Seniors • $10 Wednesdays Dr. Rudy
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Produced with special permission of Dramatists Play Service Inc.
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A personal ﬁght against cancer takes courage. A community’s ﬁght takes commitment.
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We need YOU!! ~Volunteer - if you have 1 hour or 50, we can use your help ~Sign up your team today Team packages available at the Canadian Cancer Society office or contact Rebecca 250-392-2367 or Kristin 778-412-2424 (evenings only) relayforlife.ca elayfor fe
Tuesday, May 1, 2012 Williams Lake Tribune
s 0UBLISHER3ALES -GR Lisa Bowering s %DITOR Erin Hitchcock EXT email@example.com Free press can, of course, be good or bad, but, most certainly without freedom, the press will never be anything but bad. - Albert Camus
Program improves safety
Will criteria apply to all groups?
y dismay that the Canucks are out of the running for the Stanley Cup is somewhat mitigated by the fact that the Boston Bruins didnâ€™t make it beyond the first go-around either. *** April 28 was the Day of Mourning for workers killed or injured on the job. The Steelworkersâ€™ French union Connection was inDiana French volved in organizing the ceremonies here (good job, Eric) and the recent mill explosions in Burns Lake and Prince George were much on peopleâ€™s minds. The day is meant to remember all workers, not just union members, and in spite of all the rules and regulations governing the workplace, deaths still happen. *** Laugh or cry department. 1. â€œI know at the top you are seeing great sights, but down here on the bottom we too should have rights.â€? Dr. Seuss, Yertle the Turtle. The acting school superintendent in Prince Rupert has banned the Seuss book from the curriculum. He says that line is politically inappropriate given the current dispute with teachers. What next, ban Bambi? 2. Because the Harper government believes some Canadian environmental groups are bad, ugly, and maybe subversive, as well as being under the thumbs of Foreign Funders (FFs), it plans to crack down on their charitable status. So what about the Fraser Institute? That influential right-wing group has charitable status, and it receives significant FFs from Republican oil billionaires, the Koch brothers. Will the Institute have to meet the same criteria as the green groups re their charitable status? The institute says it uses the Koch money for work on the international scene. Air, water, fish, etc. â€” donâ€™t know about geographical or political boundaries, so doesnâ€™t that give U.S. funders an interest in the work Canadian green groups are doing on those issues? #3. I live only a few blocks from the cityâ€™s downtown area, but that doesnâ€™t deter deer from nipping the tops off my tulips. Diana French is a freelance columnist for the Tribune. She is a former Tribune editor, retired teacher, historian, and book author.
What a travesty If they were unpopular before, public school teachers are really walking around with targets on them now. After the British Columbia Teachersâ€™ Federation (BCTF) members voted 73 per cent in favour of withdrawing all extracurricular activities, the uproar from students, parents and the general public was loud and clear. People are madder than hornets, as they realized this placed graduation ceremonies, school sports and field trips in jeopardy. Unfortunately, the only people who will suffer directly are the children from kindergarten to Grade 12. They will lose events that form memories for the rest of their lives if this isnâ€™t resolved. Losing the field trips will be especially difficult for the elementary school children. It is those end-of-the-school-year outings that are so much fun, and for many, they are trips they may not otherwise have the opportunity to take. However, itâ€™s the older students and the grads who may see their formal education end with a sour taste in their mouths. School administrators may be able to re-
arrange cap-and-gown ceremonies during school hours, but there is bound to be disappointment if parents and family are unable to attend the graduation ceremonies because of work commitments. There are senior secondary students who will not be able to compete with their peers throughout the region and the province because they cannot play if they do not have a teacher/ sponsor and that wonâ€™t happen because of the BCTF dictate. Yes, it hurts the children, but we also have to consider there were 27 per cent of the teachers who voted against the motion. These are the ones who would rather volunteer, so â€œtheir studentsâ€? can have those lifetime memories. Teachers feel they are being backed into a corner and are losing all their rights to have a say on whatâ€™s going on in provincial education and their workplaces. The B.C. Liberals have been mean-spirited in their non-negotiation with the teachers and have definitely played a role in what we are faced with today. â€” Ken Alexander
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