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MERRITT HERALD FREE

MONDAY, DECEMBER 24, 2012 • MERRITT NEWSPAPERS

Merry Christmas

Marguerite Kempin has brought back her mini Christmas village this year for the public to view on Voght Street. The decorations were on a hiatus last year, but are a common theme in Merritt. Phillip Woolgar/Herald

Mini village is a flurry of activity By Phillip Woolgar THE HERALD

newsroom@merrittherald.com

As Christmas looms on the eve of this cherished day, a mini spectacle of tiny Santas, elves and polar bears wait patiently in a festive village on Voght Street. The imaginative

world features dancing animals and ferris wheels in a snowed-in neighbourhood of funfilled holiday activities — like skating on a tiny rink and turning casually on rotating tea cups. In a village of its own, made up of trinkets collected over the

M E R R I T T

‘I’ve got bumper cars and tea cups and boats. That’s my little circus area.’ —CHRISTMAS DECORATION COLLECTOR MARGUERITE KEMPIN

years, Christmas is within sight. One step inside this little paradise reminds one of

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Street location is an ideal spot to attract people wanting to take a look at the village. “People really like it,” she says. “They’ve been asking me at City Hall where it is, because they are used to seeing it there.”

revived after a hiatus last year as Kempin battled breast cancer. The collection was previously set up at the Nicola Valley Aquatic Centre or at City Hall. But other empty buildings downtown have also accommodated her collection. She says the Voght

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childhood and builds new memories in kids. Many of the decorations dance, speak

or play music. They laugh and sing, and create an environment to bask in. “This is my collection that I put out for people to look at,” Marguerite Kempin says, as she puts the final touches on hundreds of decorations. The mini village is

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2 • MONDAY, December 24, 2012

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NICOLA VALLEY NEWS

Council waives church’s water meter fees By Phillip Woolgar THE HERALD

newsroom@merrittherald.com

City of Merritt council Tuesday waived $207 in water meter fees for Trinity United Church. The decision marks a precedent for other churches wanting to eliminate the same costs. Council made the decision during Tuesday’s meeting after they were presented in November with an appeal from a Trinity United member. Coun. Alastair Murdoch, who several sources have said is a member of the church to receive the benefit, brought forward the motion to waive the fees. The motion only included churches and didn’t specify whether other places of worship would be eligible to apply for the relief.

City administration initially advised the rejection of the request, saying churches fall into the “commercial” category throughout the province. They are also exempt from property taxes. City Public Works Manager Shawn Boven said administration checked with other cities to determine their methods for charging churches. “In all cases, water is being charged at the same rate as other commercial entities,” he said. Richie Gage, a member of the Trinity United Church, appealed to council in November, asking that fees for water meter installation at Trinity United be waived, along with garbage collection costs. He said the church was required to pay $300 for a water meter,

$200 for installation, $150 for turning it on and a “mandatory” $60 plumbing inspection fee. During Tuesday’s meeting, councillors didn’t discuss their reasons for approving the motion, which ended with five supporting and two opposing, (Coun. Mike Goetz and Mayor Susan Roline opposed). The majority of discussions were during the Nov. 20 meeting after hearing an appeal to the charges. At the time, councillors said the churches provide a benefit to the community and should be exempt. The waived fees included $60 for inspection and $147 to turn the water on and off. Several sources have said four of the councillors are members of churches, leaving

individuals who contacted the Merritt Herald to suspect conflict of interests. But the Community Charter states that a councillor is required to leave the room during discussions and a vote only if they have an “indirect or direct pecuniary interest in the matter.” The Charter doesn’t state whether that interest has to be personal, or merely a ben-

efit to the church that an individual attends. No councillor had disclosed such an interest prior to taking the Declaration of Oath of Office, the city has stated. “The question is whether the public would perceive there being a conflict of interest,” chief administrative officer for the city Matt Noble said.

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Treat yourself today.

Merritt woman wins award By Emily Wessel THE HERALD

reporter@merrittherald.com

Merritt’s Shelley Stewart is the latest recipient of the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for her work with SRS Trucking. “It means a lot to me and it means a lot to my husband as well, because he’s very much a part of this business,” Stewart said. Stewart, 28, accepted the award last month at a gala in Vancouver, presented by the BC Aboriginal Business Awards, with her husband and business partner Rob, their two young children, and her mother. Stewart and her husband began their trucking business in 2003 when they hauled burnt wood from the McGillivary fire outside Chase. Having grown up in the Merritt area (she’s from Douglas Lake) with a father who was a trucker, the industry was not unknown to Stewart.

“Logging’s always been close to home, and ranching as well, and my husband, who was then my boyfriend, was working in logging camps and we just thought it would be good to get into a business where we could work for ourselves and have him home every night, rather than away in logging towns,” she said on the decision to start the business. Though Stewart accepted the award, she said she owes a large part of her success to her husband, drivers, and contrac-

tors. “All the contractors that we work for in this town have been really good to us,” she said. “For that, I’m really grateful to the whole industry.” In true entrepreneurial spirit, Stewart said she’s looking forward to expanding her business even more. “I’m still interested in expanding, whether in logging or in a different business, and I’m always looking for opportunity. If you want a reward, you have to take a risk,” she said.

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MONDAY, December 24, 2012 • 3

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NICOLA VALLEY NEWS

NVIT student has eyes on Australia Megan Fulcher will complete her social work practicum in Perth

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By Emily Wessel THE HERALD

reporter@merrittherald.com

For Nicola Valley Institute of Technology student Megan Fulcher, it’s not just graduation that 2013 has in store. The social work student will be going to Australia to complete her practicum on Jan. 1. “I just like to see other cultures, other peoples, other ways of being and thinking and doing,” Fulcher said. She said going abroad for her practicum was her goal, and she had almost finished planning a trip to Guatemala when the practicum fell through. “They needed things in Guatemala that did not fit my practicum objectives. I had about a month left before classes ended when I found this out, so I had a mini-meltdown,” she said. With the deadline to plan her practicum approaching, Fulcher sent a mass email to her friends and contacts asking for help to set up a work placement. She also applied to places in the Kootenays that work with Indigenous youth and families — which she said is her focus with this practicum — but things were looking even more grim when the Kootenays plan also fell through. However, those emails to her friends did net Fulcher a new opportunity: the one to do her practicum in Perth with the nonprofit Communicate Inc. Fulcher said the opportunity and the organization looked like a good fit, especially when the organization’s

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TODAY’S HERALD FLYERS *Selected distribution Boxing Day Visions Jysk

REMEMBER WHEN? From the Herald archives: December, 1982 NVIT student Megan Fulcher will complete the practicum for her Social Work degree in Australia. Emily Wessel/Herald

CEO offered her free room and board. She also got a provincial scholarship to cover the cost of her flight. “I’ve been trying to go to Australia since high school,” Fulcher said. “For it to actually work out is amazing.” The 29-year-old said she was bitten by the travel bug early, travelling throughout Canada and some of the United States when she was growing up. The northern Alberta native went to Cape Breton to do her

Bachelor of Arts after high school, spent three months in Mexico training with the National Outdoor Leadership School, travelled to Israel and heard bomb blasts at the Syrian border, and spent last summer in Guatemala with Impact Ministries. “I think seeing and being in different countries makes me appreciate what I have more,” Fulcher said. “The opportunity to travel has always been there, and it’s been a priority, so I’ve made it happen more than other people

may have.” Fulcher expects her practicum to end mid-April, although her flight back to Canada isn’t until May 14 — two days before her NVIT graduation. That will give her two more weeks to explore Perth and two to explore Sydney. As for her plans after graduation, Fulcher said she is open to working abroad or back in her homeland. “There’s so much learning to be had,” she said. “I think I’ll end up exactly where I need to be.”

Public invited to view the festive scene From Page 1 Not many Christmas villages can compare — even many stores that sell the decorations. Kempin noticed a picture of a Kamloops Christmas village in a newspaper and was encouraged

to assemble her scene. “I was spurred on when I saw that Kamloops had one. I saw a picture of it and I thought, ‘Oh, God, mine is way better than that.’” Kempin and her daughter dedicate hundreds of hours taking each decora-

tion — which is individually boxed — and placing it on white cotton to create the snowy scene. The decorations require care, and each has survived in immaculate condition since beginning the collection about 30 years ago.

The decorations certainly didn’t come cheap, so Kempin shops for them after Christmas when the prices are reduced, usually by about 30 to 50 per cent. Many of the small decorations cost about $60 each, and some are closer to $200.

Each ornament was placed in Kempin’s shed, but since selling her home, a friend has offered storage. She assembled her village last Tuesday and said she will keep it open through January. Next Christmas,

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she aims to create the scene in November. “Every year is different, and they take on a life of their own. You never know until you get started.” The scene will be opened for public viewing sporadically until an undetermined time in January.

Recreation umbrella society formed Access to further funding for recreation should open up once the formation of a Nicola Valley Recreation Umbrella Society has been completed, says Merritt Recreation Director Carol Susak. The need for such a society became apparent several months ago when the Recreation Commission approached a donation for funding for the construction of three baseball diamonds in Merritt Central Park. About $10,000 could have been obtained for the work had a registered society with a federal tax exemption number applied.

Add meaning to your Christmas. Join us in celebrating the birth of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, at our Annual Candlelight Christmas Eve Service.


4 • MONDAY, December 24, 2012

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HERALD OPINION Dix seeks balance with business

TOM FLETCHER B.C. VIEWS VICTORIA – NDP leader Adrian Dix has completed yearend interviews with members of the legislative press gallery. Here are highlights from my discussion with him.

See ‘Dix discusses’ Page 5

Harnessing the spirit throughout the year PHILLIP WOOLGAR Merritt HERALD Christmas is tomorrow, and all that planning and cheer is about to culminate in an explosion of pure joy. Isn’t that right? Well, here’s to hoping, and for

Publisher Kelly Hall publisher@ kamloopsthisweek.com

many children, that is exactly what will happen. Most kids in North America will get their fill of chocolate and run around until the buzz wears off. Then they’ll probably get upset due to a combination of the lack of sleep the night before and coming down off their sugar highs. Some will have a nap in the afternoon and be ready to kick into high gear again by supper. But other than

the pile of wrapping paper and the colossal amount of dishes left teetering dangerously close to the edges of dirty countertops, what is Christmas really about anymore? Of course there is the general good will that is shared by families on Christmas Day (in fortunate cases), the celebration among a growing minority about the birth of Jesus, the excuse to eat an absurd amount

Editor Phillip Woolgar newsroom@ merrittherald.com

Associate Publisher Theresa Arnold production@ merrittherald.com

MERRITT HERALD 2090 G

of food, and the desire among all to at least try a little to get along. But what Christmas now represents to me is the potential of mankind. From at least the beginning of December, many people have a new type of step in their walk. They look up from their feet and start to take notice in a positive way of those around them. The icy windshields that require scraping in the morning don’t

get to them as much, and the lack of sleep from the night before isn’t enough to drive people into a frenzy of miserable behaviour. Of course, some people will always be bitter and disgruntled, but the general good nature usually shines through it all around Christmas. A friendly society is within our capacity. People aren’t meant to be at odds with each other and there certainty isn’t

Reporter Emily Wessel reporter@ merrittherald.com

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an excuse for massacres. The type of hate that is rampant throughout the world, with constant fighting in the Middle East and groups of people — children — massacred, is within our power to eliminate. Even the seemingly small day-to-day misgivings result in a hateful undertone to a society that could be so much more. It could be through more understanding of the reason for alcoholism that

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has led someone to spiteful life stumbling around the streets of downtown Merritt. I’m not saying invite them into your home and give them a stack of cash. Instead, getting rid of any hate that one feels, through compassion, and focusing more on the joys of life — the type that often come out at Christmas — will help all of us live in a society free from hate and keep that loving feeling stable throughout the year.

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Copyright subsists in all display advertising in this edition of the Merritt Herald. Permission to reproduce in any form, must be obtained in writing from the publisher. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada, through the Canada Periodical Fund (CPF) for our publishing activities.

This Merritt Herald is a member of the British Columbia Press Council, a self-regulatory body governing the province’s newspaper 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 complaint holder. If talking with the editor or publisher does not resolve your complaint about coverage or story treatment, you may contact the B.C. Press Council. Your written concern, with documentation, should be sent to B.C. Press Council, 201 Selby St., Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 2R2. For information, phone 888-687-2213 or go to www.bcpresscouncil.org


MONDAY, December 24, 2012 • 5

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YOUR OPINION

Dix discusses pipeline Christmas hamper wrap Dear Editor:

From Page 4 TF: On the Kinder Morgan oil pipeline expansion proposal, federal NDP leader Tom Mulcair says the federal environmental process would have to be strengthened before a project like that could get a thorough enough hearing. Do you agree? AD: The B.C. Liberal government has signed an equivalency agreement that says that the federal decision is the provincial decision on these projects. If it applies to Enbridge Northern Gateway, presumably the B.C. Liberals would apply it to Kinder Morgan. They could have done a joint process, where [the final decision] would have gone to both cabinets. They chose instead to give up jurisdiction. They were so afraid of making any decision on Northern Gateway that they sent it over to the federal government. So what we’ve said is within a week of coming to office, we would end that equivalency agreement, and British Columbia would make decisions about both Enbridge Northern Gateway, which applied in May 2010, and any other pipeline, including the Kinder Morgan proposal, for which no application has been made. Obviously it would have been desirable for everyone had they chosen a true joint review, as they have in Site C [dam proposed for Peace River], as they did with Kemess North [rejected mine expansion proposal] and other cases. TF: You don’t want duplicated review processes here, you just want a provincial cabinet say in the decision? AD: That’s right. TF: On your relationship with the B.C. Federation of Labour, your caucus is considering a proposal that B.C. should once again do away with secret ballots for union certification. AD: The B.C. Fed makes a case to the government on a series of issues on employment standards every year. Labour law, every year. WorkSafeBC, every year. Trades and training, every year. With respect to [accepting signed union cards for certification], it is a democratic process that the Newfoundland Conservative government just put into place a few months ago. So it’s a proposal from the labour movement and we’re looking at it. For most of B.C.’s modern history, since World War II, we’ve had that card-check system in place. The question would be whether [returning to that system] is a priority for this term in government. TF: So those kinds of things will be made clear in your platform? AD: Absolutely. TF: You picked up some serious money from the business community at a fundraiser in October. Is that some kind of a record for the NDP? AD: [Laughs.] It might be a record, I don’t know. I think the business fundraiser we did at the Hotel Vancouver netted $350,000. I think what it reflects is, this year I’ve had about 230 meetings with the business community. The purpose of it has been principally to build understanding, particularly on issues of skills training. With the priority I give to skills training, I think I’m much more attuned to their concerns than the government has been. TF: I suppose that kind of success in fundraising might make it more difficult to follow through with your pledge to ban corporate and union donations. AD: I don’t think so. The B.C. Liberal Party has a very high level of corporate donations as a percentage of its total. We’re overwhelmingly dependent on individual donations. We get support from unions, but it’s not even close to what people would think. TF: So you’ll campaign for that, as you have before? AD: Yes. Tom Fletcher is legislative reporter and columnist for Black Press and BCLocalnews.com tfletcher@blackpress.ca

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Many thanks to all of you who donated gift boxes or money to the annual Operation Christmas Child Shoebox Campaign through Samaritan’s Purse. Our little town of Merritt sent off 343 giftfilled shoeboxes to poor children living in impoverished areas of Central and South America. That means that 343 children will be getting a Christmas present that you packed. If you didn’t get a chance to pack and send a box, you can still make a donation online and even pack a shoebox online. Just go to the Samaritan’s Purse web site at samaritanspurse.ca and click on Operation Shoebox. There are so many other organizations —

Dear Editor: We would just like to write this note to the editor to let all of Merritt know what a wonderful hospital they have. On Sept. 5 we were camping at Harmon Lake when sickness struck. The quick thinking of camp manager Jim Whitehead and camper Jordan McRae got us quickly to the Merritt hospital where we were looked after so well by the emergency team. To Dr. Don McLeod and his team, we

Sue Peachey Merritt

cannot give enough praise. They were all outstanding. I spent three days in the camper on the hospital parking lot. The staff was so kind and considerate and kept me well-informed. If ever we needed to go to emergency again and had a choice, I would choose Merritt. Thank you all and to each and every one of you, a very merry Christmas Anna Schulte and A. Bev Kilburn West Kelowna

‘Bikers can appear invisible’ Dear Editor: This advice of course does not apply to every circumstance, but pedestrians and bicycle riders, when dressed in dark colours at night (espe-

cially when the weather is inclement) are very difficult to see. I drive a lot and often wonder if people realize that they can be almost invisible, but take for granted their right-of-way. The

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extends to the community. Also many thanks to our local radio station, Merritt Herald and Merritt Morning Market for their help in advertising, and to Greyhound Bus lines for shipping all the boxes free of charge to the main collection site in Calgary before they head to their overseas destinations. Also, thanks to all the churches and businesses that participated — Curves Gym and Nicola Valley Dollar Mart as well as James Clark and the Bench school, and Grace Bergmann who raised money to put together around 20 shoeboxes by having a garage sale, and also helped with the radio interviews. Blessings to you and a merry Christmas.

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secular and religious — that you can donate to as a gift in honour of a family member or friend. Research those that have the lowest administration costs so that more money goes to the children/cause and less on administration and advertising. Some of my personal favourites are Samaritan’s Purse, Save the Children, Salvation Army, CARE, Operation Smile, Doctors Without Borders, Christian Children Fund of Canada and Room to Read. There are just so many needs in the world... If you can, please sponsor a child and give them a chance at an education, enough food to eat, clothing and health care. This just doesn’t help one child, but their whole family, and even

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right-of-way will not win you the match in a collision, and there are no winners in these matches. Peggy Paton Merritt

Speak up You can comment on any story you read @ merrittherald.com

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HERALD QUESTION OF THE WEEK To vote, go online to merrittherald.com

Do you celebrate Christmas in Merritt?

PREVIOUS QUESTION Should taxes collected in Merritt be allowed to go to a Nicola Valley group for spending? YES: 20% NO: 79%

LETTERS POLICY The Merritt Herald welcomes your letters, on any subject, addressed to the editor. Letters must be signed and include the writer’s name, address and phone number for verification. Letters may be edited for length, taste and clarity. Please keep letters to 300 words or less. Email letters to: newsroom@ merrittherald. com.

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MONDAY, December 24, 2012 • 7

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NICOLA VALLEY NEWS

Community members act in the spirit of giving

’TIS THE SEASON (Clockwise from top left) Representatives from Home Hardware donate the $500 proceeds from the ‘50 Shades of Red’ ladies’ night to Nicola Valley and District Food Bank co-ordinator Linda Monkman. Girl Guides dish up a hot meal to a patron at the Community Christmas Dinner on Dec. 18. Clara Norgaard donates two $500 cheques from Norgaard Ready-Mix to Jill Sanford of the Merritt and District Hospice Society. Lower Nicola Indian Band Community Services Manager Bridget LaBelle and Executive Director Arnie Narcisse stand amongst over $2,000 worth of food and toiletries for local hampers donated by band staff and partners. Linda Monkman accepts gifts on behalf of the Nicola Valley and District Food Bank from Brian Thompson of the Mine Maintenance Department of Highland Valley Copper. Wayne Heppner, principal at Bench Elementary School (back row, second from left), dyed his hair pink after students raised 1,029 items for the food bank. The student council (pictured) organized the fundraiser. Representatives from the Nicola Valley Health Care Endowment Foundation together with the Nicola Valley Health Care Auxiliary donated funds for the purchase of a $9,000 bladder scanner for the Gillis House. Representatives from the Health Care Endowment Foundation donated $800 to the Kengard Learning Centre for the Healthy Living Initiative. Emily Wessel and Phillip Woolgar/Herald


8 • MONDAY, December 24, 2012

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NICOLA VALLEY NEWS 9

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CEREAL BONANZA Diamond Vale Elementary School Grade 6 student Shayleen Nelson carries some of the cereal her school collected for the Nicola Valley and District Food Bank. The school donated over 100,000 grams of cereal on Dec. 14. Emily Wessel/Herald

Hospice prepares to celebrate life By Emily Wessel THE HERALD

reporter@merrittherald.com

The Merritt and District Hospice Society is preparing a Christmas tree for its annual Celebrate-ALife campaign. Hospices run the campaign every year around Christmas for people to celebrate the memories of loved ones. This year, the tree at Extra Foods will go up on Dec. 14 and

will stay until at least Christmas Eve. Some of the Hospice’s 28 volunteers will sit with the tree on weekends from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for anyone with questions about the organization or anyone looking for resources to help them deal with grief. They will also accept donations to the hospice, which supports palliative care and provides resources for people

who have life-threatening illnesses and their loved ones. “It can be really hard for people during the holidays,” hospice co-ordinator Jill Sanford said. “It’s just a good way of saying I love you and I remember you.” Sanford said it’s a therapeutic way to heal from the loss of a loved one, and she sees many of the same faces year after year.

She also said people who don’t normally go to Extra Foods make a special stop at the store just for the tree. “I’ve hung a few tags myself over the years, and it helps,” she said. People can hang tags on the trees with a message to a loved one, and when the tree comes down, hospice volunteers have a ceremony with them. “We don’t just

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throw the tags out after we take the tree down. We do something with them that shows a little more respect,” Sanford said, adding that the volunteers haven’t decided who will take care of the tags or how after the tree comes down. There will also be raffles for a quilt and a basket on the day before the tree comes down, the date of which is still to be determined as well.

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THIS WEEK’S MARKETS .... The S&P/TSX Composite was up 0.6% yesterday to close at 12,404. Nine out of ten sectors Änished the day in positive territory led by Financials, Energy and Materials. In the Energy complex, crude oil gained $1.58 (1.8%) to close at $89.51/bbl while natural gas futures declined $0.09 to close at $3.33/MMBtu. Gold bullion Änished the week at $1,670, down $0.70 (0.04%). The Canadian dollar weakened against the US dollar, closing at $0.988/USD.

Canadian Common A&W Revenue Royalties 20.79 ATCO Ltd. 79.97 Arc Resources Ltd. 23.70 BCE Inc 42.75 Barrick Gold Corp 33.45 Ballard Power Sys 0.60 Bonavista Energy Corp 14.37 Bombardier 3.57 Bank of Montreal 60.93 Bank of Nova Scotia 57.97 Can. National Railway 90.42 Canadian Tire (NON VTG A) 69.06 Cameco Corporation 20.51 CIBC 82.26 Canadian Utilities Ltd. 70.50 Can. Real Est. Trust 43.06 Can. Nat. Res. Ltd. 28.42 Enbridge 42.55 EnCana Corporation 20.02 Finning 24.50 Husky Energy Inc. 29.13 Imperial Oil 42.89 Kinross Gold Corp 9.35 Loblaw Companies 40.77 Maple Leaf Foods 11.87 Molson Coors Can Inc. 43.13 Manulife Financial 13.60 Pembina Pipeline Corp. 28.68 Potash Corp of Sask 40.05 Pengrowth Energy Corp. 5.06 Power Financial Corp. 27.57 Precision Drilling Corp 8.36 Rogers Comm Inc. 44.64

Royal Bank 60.53 Research In Motion Ltd. 13.49 Sun Life Financial Inc 26.53 Shaw Comm Inc 22.81 Shopper’s Drug Mart 42.45 Suncor Energy Inc 32.69 Toromont Inds Ltd 21.40 Toronto Dominion Bank 83.10 Transcanada Corp 46.79 Telus Corp 65.40 Tim Hortons Inc 48.58

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Alcoa Inc. American Express Co. Mellon Corp Cisco Systems Inc. Deere & Co. Walt Disney Co. (The) Gap Inc. General Electric Co. Home Depot Inc. Johnson & Johnson Macy’s Inc. Microsoft Corp. Sprint Nextel Corp PÄzer Inc. Pepsico Inc. AT&T INC Staples Inc. United Tech Corp Walmart Stores Inc. Wendy’s Arby’s Gr.

8.64 56.79 25.87 20.27 86.09 49.94 32.16 20.82 61.77 70.63 38.77 27.31 5.46 25.35 69.88 33.91 12.11 83.03 68.52 4.81

Fred is an Investment Advisor with RBC Dominion Securities specializing in efÄcient money management strategies. Any questions or comments can be directed to him at 1-800-774-9631 or e-mail fred.feistmann@rbc.com

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This article is supplied by Fred Feistmann, an Investment Advisor with RBC Dominion Securities Inc. RBC Dominion Securities is a member company under RBC Investments. The member company and Royal Bank of Canada are separate corporate entities that are afÄliated. Member CIPF. (tm) Trademark of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under license. ©Copyright 2012. All rights reserved.


MONDAY, December 24, 2012 • 9

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NICOLA VALLEY NEWS

Feds agree to $20-million settlement By Tom Fletcher BLACK PRESS tfletcher@blackpress.ca

The B.C. government has agreed to a $20 million compensation deal that will see Shell Canada give up a disputed coalbed gas tenure in the remote Klappan region of northwest B.C. Shell’s exploration of 4,000 square kilometres at the headwaters of the Skeena, Nass and Stikine Rivers has been opposed by the

Tahltan Nation since the tenure was awarded by the province in 2004. The company drilled three exploration wells in the first year, which it now intends to decommission as it leaves the area. The B.C. government has agreed to provide Shell $20 million in gas royalty credits to compensate for its investment in the Klappan region. That is to be put towards a water recy-

cling project that Shell is building to supply hydraulic fracturing operations on its shale gas developments in the Peace River region of northeast B.C. Coalbed gas extraction has additional hazards because of salt-contaminated water that often surfaces with natural gas when coal deposits are drilled. Hydraulic fracturing can be used in coalbed development, but it is more extensively used in

McPhee added that the Tahltan have received offers of support from local, provincial, national and international organizations in their opposition to the development. Shell Canada president Lorraine Mitchelmore said the company’s shale gas tenures in northeastern B.C. offer “better commercial and geological prospects,” and sustainable water use is important to that

drilling deeper shale formations to extract natural gas. “The Klappan is one of the most sacred and important areas for our people,” said Annita McPhee, president of the Tahltan Central Council. “It is a place of cultural, spiritual, historic and social importance. Our people do not want to see it developed, and we look forward to working with British Columbia on achieving that goal.”

development. Energy Minister Rich Coleman said shale deposits offer much greater gas volumes, in regions where roads and other infrastructure already exist. Aboriginal Relations Minister Ida Chong said the government is looking forward to further “government-togovernment” talks with the Tahltan over resource development in their entire traditional territory.

Doug Donaldson, NDP MLA for Stikine, said protests against coalbed gas drilling in the Klappan are similar to those directed against the Enbridge Northern Gateway oil pipeline proposal. “People in the northwest understand the importance of resource industries, but they also understand that it’s impossible to put a price tag on a clean environment,” Donaldson said.

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D Y A G B OX I N The installation took place Oct. 18, which marked the 102nd anniversary of the 1910 Declaration of the Tahltan Tribe. The Declaration affirms sovereign rights to the Tahltan people to over 97,000 square kilometres of traditional territory in northwest British Columbia. Black Press

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10 • MONDAY, December 24, 2012

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HERALD SPORTS Have a sports story tip? Tell us about it by calling 250-378-4241 or emailing sports@merrittherald.com

Centennials set to enjoy a Merry Christmas By Ian Webster

tinction, B.C.’s Maktaak, Schaefer and Birks all plan to play a ton of pond hockey while Albertan’s Johnson, Huber and Saunders prefer to call it time spent at the “ODR” (outdoor rink). Coaches take note — only the three Hs (Harper, Huber and Huisman) made any mention of working out in preparation for the second half of the BCHL season.

THE HERALD

sports@merrittherald.com

When the final buzzer sounded on Saturday night at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena in the game between the Merritt Centennials and the Vernon Vipers, you can bet that Cents players and team personnel wasted little time changing into their civvies and heading out for a welldeserved nine-day Christmas break. The Merritt Herald conducted a survey to find out just what the members of this year’s Centennials were going to be up to over the holidays – where they were going to be, who they were going to be with, and how they and their significant others would be celebrating the season. It all makes for great reading. Enjoy!

Where are you headed for Christmas? While most Cents players and coaches won’t be venturing too far from the Nicola Valley (nine to the Lower Mainland, five to the Okanagan, four staying in Merritt), a few will be hitting the highways and skyways to get to their destinations. Derek Huisman will travel north to his hometown of Smithers. He’ll hitch a ride with his cousin and former Centennial, Bill Marshall, who spent the fall studying and playing CIS hockey at Mount Royal University in Calgary. Heading to Calgary will be rookies John Saunders and Bennett Huber. Also Alberta-bound will be Sam Johnson, a native of Okotoks. Traveling all the way to Winnipeg is Centennials trainer and therapist Kyla Knox, who will spend a few precious days with her own family before joining her boyfriend and his clan in Prince George after Christmas. Merritt’s two American-born players, Charlie Donlin and Kevin Lohan, will make the long journey home to Shorewood, Minnesota and Cold Spring Harbour, NY, respectively. Who will you be spending the holidays with? Christmas is first and foremost a family time, and Cents players and coaches are definitely keeping with tradition. Almost everyone’s plans include mom and dad, aunts and uncles, grandparents, oodles of cousins, and even a few nieces and nephews. If time allows, girlfriends might be in the picture, too. What are you most looking forward to? Answers were all over the map to this question, from the expected (time with family and friends, pres-

Will you have any New Year’s resolutions?

HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR, MERRITT - Merritt Centennials players and coaching staff. Ian Webster/Herald

ents, Christmas dinner) to the somewhat surprising (ice fishing, having a capable spotter at the gym). Huisman is looking forward to hanging with his friend (and currently-unemployed NHLer) Eric Brewer, while Lohan can’t wait to sink his teeth into real New York pizza and bagels. To be expected, many of the Cents are excited about this year’s World Juniors.

What was your most memorable Christmas? Fourth-year Centennial Silvan Harper summed up the feelings of many Centennials in saying, “Every Christmas is memorable. You can never beat spending time with family.” Teammate Sean Maktaak said much the same: “They’re all special in their own way.” Lofty sentiments aside, defenceman Dylan Chanter will never forget his first iPod (“One of the best days of my life.”) and Lohan, his first BMX bike. Vacationing in special places at Christmas time made an impression on Cents captain Brent Fletcher (Whistler) and both Huisman and Coquitlam’s Jeff Wight (Mexico). Hockey is never very far from the mind of Merritt’s own Payton Schaefer. He’ll never forget his first-year peewee team winning the Prince George AAA Christmas Invitational all those years ago.

What would you like for Christmas? Cents netminder Tyler Steel says he’ll be happy with anything, while Johnson and Scotty Patterson will be satisfied if their presents are thoughtful and memorable. Many other Centennials are far more specific. First-year goalie Russell Sanderson would like a new phone, Saunders a new TV, and head coach Luke Pierce some new ties. With tongue-in cheek, Harper is hoping for a Red Ryder BB gun, while his buddy, Huisman, wants a signed Silvan Harper hockey card. The pragmatists on the team are looking for an upgrade in hockey gear — namely new shin pads (Maktaak) or a new hockey stick (Fletcher, Dane Birks). Being a minister of finance must be in their futures as both Wight and Brendan Lamont are looking for new shoes. The always-humble Schaefer says, “Anything other than coal is good.” What family traditions do you celebrate? Visiting with family and friends topped most Centennials’ lists, along with lots of eating, drinking and generally being merry. While the vast majority of Centennials families open most, if not all, their gifts on Christmas

morning, Wight and Saunders love the excitement of one present being opened the night before. Harper looks forward to an annual hot dog roast outside each Christmas Eve. The Johnsons content themselves with chicken wings and Nacho’s. Christmas stockings are the best, says Patterson. Huber would seem to agree: “My grandparents stuff a stocking for every single family member. That’s 24 of us!” After all the presents have been opened, many Cents sit down to a hearty late-morning brunch. “My dad makes huge omelettes,” Sebastien Pare says.

What’s the best part of Christmas dinner? Many Centennials cherish Christmas dinner in the company of numerous extended family members. While the turkey is popular, so is the stuffing, the gravy and, of course, the dessert — no matter what it is.

What else will you do during the break? Shopping will dominate the time before Christmas Day, and visiting the period after. Strangely, only the coaches ranked sleeping as an important (and elusive) objective. “I want to say sleep, but I know with the kids that won’t happen,” coach Pierce says. In an interesting provincial dis-

It must be the age, because plans to “turn over a new leaf ” in January were few and far between. School boys Chanter and Birks want to buck up their grades, while Saunders and Huber are looking to peak for the SAT exams in the spring. Steel is determined to eliminate junk food from his diet; Huisman wants to say goodbye to sugar. Penny and Andrea make a note of this: Fletcher says, “I want to help out more around the house.” Always the realist, Tyler Martin sums it best for his mates: “I usually make a resolution that lasts two weeks to a month tops.”

What would you like to improve in the second half of the season? Consistency was the go-to word for many Centennials. They also want to score more goals (who wouldn’t), win more faceoffs, finish more checks, block more shots and be more aggressive on the puck. Birks is looking to improve his leadership abilities, Lohan his skating and footwork, and Maktaak his speed and shot. Saunders perhaps says it best: “To improve in all areas of my game and do whatever it takes to help the team win.”

What should be the team’s ultimate goal this season? The Cents have high expectations. Winning the Interior Division of the BCHL is an absolute minimum. Taking the Fred Page Cup is definitely on the radar, as is a trip to the Royal Bank Cup. How to get there? “Give 100 per cent every shift”, (Patterson), “string some wins together”, (Schaefer), “play to our strengths”, (Johnson), and “play every game like it’s our last”, (Huber).

Any final thoughts? “Hopefully the best is yet to come.” (Harper) “A big thank-you to all Cents supporters. Have a very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2013.” (Coaches Pierce and Martin)


MONDAY, December 24, 2012 • 11

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MERRITT HERALD Ph: 378-4241 Fax: 378-6818 Advertising: sales@merrittherald.com Publisher: publisher@merrittherald.com Editorial: newsroom@merrittherald.com Production: production@merrittherald.com www.merrittherald.com 2090 Granite Avenue, P.O. Box 9, Merritt, B.C.

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Employment Automotive BUSY Commercial Truck & Trailer Repair Shop in Salmo, BC seeking JOURNEYMAN or fourth year APPRENTICE MECHANIC. Shop works a four on three off schedule. Extended health care & pension plan available. Wages dependant on experience & qualifications. Please email resume to: rob@summitrepair.ca (PDF) or fax to 250-357-2009 attn Rob.

Business Opportunities PYRAMID CORPORATION is now hiring! Instrument Technicians and Electricians for various sites across Alberta. Send resume to: hr@pyramidcorporation.com or fax 780-955-HIRE.

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Help Wanted An Alberta Construction Company is hiring Dozer and Excavator Operators. Preference will be given to operators that are experienced in oilfield road and lease construction. Lodging and meals provided. The work is in the vicinity of Edson, Alberta. Alcohol & Drug testing required. Call Contour Construction at 780-723-5051. Required for an Alberta Trucking Company. One Class 1 Driver. Must have a minimum of 5 years experience pulling low boys and driving off road. Candidate must be able to pass a drug test and be willing to relocate to Edson, Alberta. Fax resumes to: 780725-4430 WANTED SHORT Logger and Hayrack for work till the end of March. Call 604-819-3393.

Hotel, Restaurant, Food Services WE’RE looking for Kitchen Helper (Merritt, BC) We, Travelodge Merritt o/a Nicola Sushi Restaurant, are currently searching for full-time Kitchen helper for our company. Our company is Travelodge Merritt and the restaurant, NICOLA SUSHI is included into our hotel. Now we are looking for kitchen helper who will be working for Nicola sushi. We are located at 3581 Voght St. Merritt BC and we have 35 rooms. We can offer you a fulltime job and a wage/salary C$10.25 per an hour and you should work 40 hours per week. *Job Requirements ; Completion of High School On-the-job training is required. - Ability to work evenings & weekends - Basic English *Main Job Duties ; -Wash work tables, cupboards and appliances -Remove trash and clean kitchen garbage containers -Perform other duties to assist cook and kitchen staff *E-mail your resume to travelodgemerritt0@gmail.com

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Editor The Merritt Herald, an award-winning twice-weekly newspaper published in the Nicola Valley, is seeking an editor. The editor will manage a newsroom of one reporter and both will be responsible for all aspects of getting the newspaper to press — writing, editing, taking photographs and laying out using InDesign. The successful candidate will be community-oriented and have a serious interest in current events — locally, provincially, nationally and globally. The ideal candidate will be a self-starter with some experience in journalism, one who works well with others in an office setting, one who thirsts for an opportunity to improve their skills while helping to mentor those around them, one whose copy of CP Style is dog-eared and one who has a passion for new ideas. Qualifications • Proficiency with InDesign and Photoshop are required, as is a background in the community newspaper industry. • Previous experience in the community newspaper industry • Own transportation required. Please apply to:

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Theresa Arnold Merritt Herald 2090 Granite Ave. Merritt , BC V1K 1B8 Phone: (250) 378-4241 Fax: (250) 378-6818 Email: publisher@merrittherald.com

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ENTER TO WIN!

0% FINANCING. OAC

1 LUCKY WINNER WILL RECEIVE A FREE 7 NIGHT RESORT ACCOMODATION AT 1 OF OVER 3000 RESORTS* *WINNER WILL BE CHOSEN BEFORE DOORS OPEN

MAIN LOCATION & CLEARANCE CENTRE

HOURS 123 456 789

2025 Coutlee Ave.

Merritt

Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday 9:30a.m. to 5:30p.m. Closed Sunday

250-378-2332


Merritt Herald, December 24, 2012