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New dock most fish-friendly on the channel Page 6

Learning Centre flexible for adult students Page 7

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Vol. 54 No. 12 Sicamous, B.C., • 1.25 (HST included) •

Celebration: Eagle River Secondary hosted a celebration on March 15 to kick off the school’s run at the Majesta Trees of Knowledge competition. Eagle River is one of 10 high schools across Canada competing to win $20,0000 to build an outdoor classroom. The celebration focused on the school’s offerings and on local First Nations, as the design for the school’s planned outdoor classroom is based on a medicine wheel. Clockwise from top left – Dodie Jones leads a drum workshop with a welcome song; elder Ethel Thomas conducts a smudging ceremony, to drive negative energy out of the school’s inner courtyard where the outdoor classroom would go; Sarah Munro, Melanie Kohinsky and Brendan Moore have a go at making bannock; Parkview Elementary student Armando Gamotan carefully beads a bracelet. To support the school, visit and vote. Photos by Lachlan Labere


Wednesday, March 20, 2013 Eagle Valley News

Blood lab service sees unexpected delay Need Help?

By Lachlan Labere Eagle Valley News

Interior Health is taking some heat for leaving Sicamous residents lined up to use the town’s new blood collection service out in the cold. By 8:30 on the morning of Monday, March 18, there was already a lineup of about 10 people, some with walkers, standing outside the door to Sicamous Health Unit where the health authority’s new, oneday-a-week blood collection service is conducted. The service is scheduled for Mondays from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. But Carol Arbuthnott, one of those waiting in line, said the doors

didn’t open on time as scheduled. Nor did they open at 9 a.m. By then, Arbuthnott says someone contacted the doctor’s office in Sicamous to try and get some answers. “They phoned the hospital and found out that a few people had phoned in sick and they thought they had things in place to work with that but they apparently didn’t,” says Arbuthnott. “Then I asked, “Well, are they going to open?’ And she said, ‘I don’t know, they didn’t say.’ So we all went home.” Arbuthnott says the situation was frustrating with the health unit being closed on Mondays (open only for IH collection service staff), and there being

no signs up as to who to contact. She said the situation was worse for those who had to fast overnight. “So Dr. Beech said to go to the office and he would try and fit them in there and take their blood,” says Arbuthnott. “So some people did that… I wasn’t that bad off so I thought I’ll just wait until they figure it out and try again next week.” This was second day of operation for the clinic, and it did eventually open around 10 a.m., says Terry Brent, IH’s central area manager. Brent went on to explain the person originally scheduled to open the clinic was “unexpectedly unavailable.”

And, due to a communication issue, there was a delay in getting another staff member out to Sicamous for the regularly scheduled time. Brent apologizes for what happened and how it might have had an impact on people, especially those who were fasting. She says measures are being taken to assure this doesn’t happen again. “We don’t want this to happen again so we’ve reminded everybody about our process, to follow it if they are going to be absent, what that process is and who they need to communicate with,” said Brent. “So hopefully we can… eliminate this from happening in the future.”

Brent said IH is also going to come up with a way of communicating with the community in a more timely manner. Asked if the clinic technician in Sicamous means one less body working at the Salmon Arm blood lab on Mondays, Brent said no resources have been pulled from Salmon Arm, and that any delays there are not tied to the Sicamous service. “It’s just busy, and our mornings are always busiest,” says Brent. “We encourage people who aren’t fasting to come in later in the day, late morning or anytime in the afternoon. We don’t book appointments and that’s where it becomes a challenge.

School board facing $1.8 million budget shortfall By Tracy Hughes Eagle Valley News

School district #83 trustees will be sharpening their pencils in preparation for the upcoming budget deliberations — as they will need to find ways to cover the projected $1.8 million shortfall. Secretary-Treasurer Stirling Olsen reiterated the bad news at last Tuesday’s budget meeting, noting the provincial budget outlined no new funds for education. This is coupled with the fact that this school district continues to face significant declining enrolment, which is expected to drop by another 240 students in the 2013-

CALENDAR OF EVENTS This is a FREE listing of community events for not-for-profit organizations and paid advertisers. DEADLINE: 2pm, Fridays

2014 school year. The school district is funded on a formula based primarily, on the number of students attending. This means trustees will need to make reductions, potentially involving student services, as the lions’ share of the school district’s operating budget is allocated to salaries and benefits. The potential sale of eight properties considered surplus to school district needs is not a solution to the budget issue, as the revenue from such a sale can not be used to fund operating expenses. Should the properties be approved for

sale by the ministry, and eventually sold, the revenue generated would be earmarked for capital expenditures only. As part of the budget process the board is asking the public to comment or make suggestions through their website at www.sd83., at the “comments to trustees” link. Chris Coers, board vice chair, noted the school district budget is complex and it may not be easy for parents or the public to come up with ideas for saving money, however the board is looking for input on what is important about the local school system. “Then we know

Thursday, March 21- Ladies Evening out Sicamous Seniors Centre 7:00 pm. Theme is Bloom where you are planted, Guest speaker Geerry Roe. All ladies welcome. Saturday, March 30- $2 Bag Sale at Sicamous United Church Thrift Shop. Saturday ONLY. Clothing & Shoes. 10 am - 3 pm. 250-836-4390. Closed Good Friday Every 1st & 3rd Tuesday- Sicamous Lions Club meets at the Sicamous Seniors Activity Centre, 1090 Shuswap Ave, Sicamous. Doors open at 6:30 pm. Meeting starts at 7:00 pm. Everyone Welcome. For info contact Joan at 250-836-4876 or Kathy at 250-836-3267

what people want us to protect,” she said. The District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) is also encouraging parents to submit their ideas and opinions and has sent a letter to parents. “What would you like protected in our children’s education? What aspects are really working in the funding, what are lacking? These are the questions they are asking” says Jennifer Cook, president of the DPAC. Cook’s letter points to a few areas of potential reductions including a restructuring of the district’s education outreach and adult learning, which is funded at

a deficit of more than $250,000. “If these programs are restructure so they are working within the money that is available, this could be a significant cost savings,” notes the letter. Declining enrolment also means the district will need approximately 10 fewer teachers, which would also reduce the budget. “…However, even with these reductions, the board needs to look at other cost saving measures, not only for 2013-2014, but into the next couple of years as well,” Cook writes. Public feedback on the budget will be accepted until April 12.




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unshine S AWARDS

Sunshine Awards are FREE of charge. 20 words per award, due to limited space. Please do not submit more than two awards per week. Recognize your friend, neighbour or loved one with a sunshine award for doing that extra special good deed!

10:00 am. Join us. $2 each.

Avenue at 12 noon.

call 250-836-2695.

Every Mon. & Fri. - Bridge, Seniors Activity Centre, 1 p.m.

Every Wed. - Seniors Crib, 7:30 p.m., Haven seniors building. Everyone welcome - you don’t have to be a senior. Socializing and coffee served after crib. Info: Esther 836-4373.

Every 2nd and 4th Thurs. Options For Sexual health from 7 to 9 p.m., Sicamous Health Unit.

Every Tues. Stopping the Violence Program in Sicamous - counselling for women who have experienced abuse during childhood or adult relationships. No charge. Call Kathy at 250-832-9700. Every Tues. - Sicamous Amateur Drama Club rehearsals, 7:00 p.m., Red Barn Arts Centre. 836-4705. Tues. & Thurs. - Carpet Bowling at the Seniors’ Activity Centre at 1 p.m.

Every Wed. - T.O.P.S. (Take off Pounds Sensibly) meets every Wednesday morning at the Sicamous Rec. Centre (arena). Weigh in at 9:00 am and meeting at 9:30. Everyone Welcome. Ph: 250-836-4041 for info Every Wed.-Sat. United Church Thrift Store 10:00 am to 3 p.m.

Every 3rd Thursday monthly meeting of the Malakwa Community Association at 7:30 in the Malakwa Hall. Every Fri. - Parents & Tots, 10-12 noon at Catholic Church. 836-3440. Every Fri. - Eagle Valley Brush & Palette Club meets at the Red Barn, 10am-3pm, Everyone welcome! For info call Esther 250-836-4373 or Amy 250-836-4756.

Every Tues. & Thurs. - Seniors Meals provided, 12 noon in Common Room at the Haven.

Every Thurs. - Sicamous Crokinole Group meets at 7pm at the Sicamous & District Recreation Centre - upstairs for more info and to join call Dave Reed @ 250-836-3652

Every Wed. Wednesday Arts for Everyone. 10 am - 3 pm. For info contact Juanita at 250836-3019 or Gail- at 250-836-5472

Every Thurs.-Ladies shuffleboard at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #99 in Sicamous. 1pm-3pm. All ladies welcome.

Every 4th Sun. - OAPO Birthday Tea for members & friends, Seniors Activity Centre, 2 p.m.

Every 4th Mon.- Royal Canadian Legion Br. #99 general meeting, 7 p.m.

Every Wed. Girl Guides of Canada. Sparks - 3:00 pm. Brownies - 4:00 pm. Girl Guides 5:30 pm. New members welcome

Every Thurs.- Crib and darts 7 pm at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch #99. Everyone welcome.

Last Saturday of every month -Sicamous Royal Canadian Legion #99 Ladies Auxilliary dinner 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

Every Monday and Thursday -Chairbiotics (low impact exercise) Seniors activity Centre

Every Wed. Lunch by a donation at the Seniors Activity Centre, 1091-Shuswap

Every 1st, 3rd, 4th Thurs. - Keepsake Kwilters meet at the Haven Common room 1095 Shuswap Avenue at 7:00 p.m. For info

Every 1st & 3rd Wed.- Parkinsons Support Group at First united Church. 20 - 4th Street SE, Salmon Arm at 10 am. Contact Doreen at 250-836-2509. Every 1st & 3rd Wed. Eagle Valley Photography Club Everyone welcome. 7 pm at the Red Barn.

Every 1st & 3rd Fri. - Pool Tournament at the Royal Canadian Legion #99 at 7:00 pm.

Fax your events to: 250-836-2661 or visit us at Parkland Mall, Sicamous

Eagle Valley News Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rysz running for MLA in Prince George

By Lachlan Labere Eagle Valley News

Terry Rysz has been racking up the kilometres as of late, driving between Sicamous and Prince George, where he’s running as the B.C. Conservative Party candidate for Prince George-Mackenzie. “I’ve lived in Northern B.C. for close to 30 years, in the Prince George and Vanderhoof areas,” says Rysz. “When those ridings came available, they were kind of looking for a candidate who would fit that role. And I was that person, because I’m very familiar with the dynamics of Prince George and the surrounding area, and the effect that Prince George has on the surrounding area.” Rysz received the nod to represent the Conservatives in the northern riding earlier this month, and

he made a formal announcement to council last week. “If I happen to get elected, and I’m hoping to, I’m going to work very hard, because nothing would please me more that sitting across the hall from Greg Kyllo and debating the issues in the legislature. And then after that going for a beer,” said Rysz. Rysz will continue serving on council until he takes a leave of absence. Kyllo, who is representing the BC Liberals in the Shuswap riding, has been given leave for the period of April 18 to May 15. If either councillor should be elected, the district would be facing a byelection. Rysz made it known months ago that he was interested in running for the Conservatives. The riding he was eyeing was a little closer to

home – Columbia River-Revelstoke. However, when another entered the race in that riding, it was mutually agreed that Rysz would back down. During the election of the Conservative’s

Terry Rysz Shuswap candidate, Tom Birch, Rysz made a speech in which he asserted the importance of having a party member in the running in every riding. One thing led to another, and Rysz wound up with the job for Prince George-Mackenzie. Rysz says that while Sicamous is his home, he’s very comfortable

serving up north. But he also recognizes the riding is currently a hotbed of controversial topics, from the Northern Gateway project to the BC Liberal scandal involving current Prince GeorgeMackenzie MLA Pat Bell, and his behindthe-scenes involvement with the Wood Innovation Design Centre. “I’ve accepted to take on quite a juggernaut, to be quite honest,” laughs Rysz. “But I’ve just spent a week up in Prince George and put our team together so we’re going for it.” If he isn’t elected, Rysz will continue to serve Sicamous through council. If elected, however, Rysz says he will still be working for Sicamous. He says he will be looking at opportunities to link the north and the south. “Sicamous will defi-

nitely be in my sights to maybe put together a program that will help enhance Sicamous’ economic situation,” says Rysz. “I’ve been giving it a lot of thought. For example, the houseboat industry in Northern B.C. – there’s Stuart Lake, Babine Lake, Williston Lake… and the tourist industry in the North definitely is a big issue as well as it is here.” Up against new candidates for the Liberals and the NDP, Rysz is optimistic about his chances – more so than he was going up against Columbia River-Revelstoke MLA Norm Macdonald. But if he loses, Rysz says it’s not a losing situation as he’ll be back on Sicamous council working hard for the community.

Eagle Valley News

The Columbia Shuswap Regional District will be looking at the food we eat – and throw away. The regional district board approved a recommendation by solid waste management co-ordinator Ben Van Nostrand to allocate $60,000 for a food waste composition study and regional waste composition study.

Van Nostrand told the board there has been a growing demand to move into food waste composting from member municipalities and the public. “Food waste can account for 20 to 40 per cent of typical household refuse and recycling that content will help move the CSRD towards its goal of zero waste,” he wrote in his report to the board. “However, it’s impor-

tant to understand the true cost impactions of moving forward with a collection and recycling program for food waste materials.” Van Nostrand advised directors the waste composition study conducted at the Salmon Arm landfill in 2006 provided information for the development of the solid waste management plan. Staff have now proposed to conduct waste

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CSRD study to look at food waste reduction By Barb Brouwer A3

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composition studies at all CSRD landfills in 2013. Van Nostrand says the studies are key to implementing new waste diversion initiatives and to assessing existing programs. With board approval secured, CSRD will release a request for proposals. “Consultants will be selected and the work will commence and be finalized with a report.”

four laning of the Trans-canada Highway from Kamloops to the alberta border The current situation... · Existing two lanes cannot support increased traffic volume, leading to congestion and preventable traffic accidents.

· Avalanches and avalanche control between Revelstoke and Sicamous forces road closures, discouraging tourism to the area.

· Road restrictions limit product shipment, negatively impacting local business.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013 Eagle Valley News

Perhaps it’s time to let another party rip us off


ever mind the platform, forget about spewing out more press releases about all that is wrong in B.C. What B.C. Conservative Leader John Cummins should be doing right now is arranging a long lunch date with Gordon Wilson. It was Wilson, after all, who perfected his timing during the 1991 provincial-election televised debate to establish the B.C. Liberal Party as the centre-right heir to Social Credit. As NDP Leader Mike Harcourt and Social Credit Leader Rita Johnston bickered, Wilson, then leader of the nothing-to-lose B.C. Liberals, quipped: “This reminds me of the legislature and here’s a classic example of why nothing ever gets done in the province of British Columbia.” That remark helped Wilson’s Liberals win 17 seats in the election, which were 17 more than the party held entering the campaign. The B.C. Liberals were caught in a deceitful plan to use taxpayer-funded resources to court the ethnic vote via an extremely cynical agenda. As a result, the party has repaid government $70,000. While the New Democrats were the ones who revealed this secret plan, Adrian Dix’s party is by no means as clean as the driven snow. The NDP has its own ethnic-voter scandal brewing with news the party had diverted more than $500,000 from constituency offices across B.C. to be used for what Auditor General John Doyle has determined to be partisan purposes. The Liberals have accused the NDP of being the pot calling the kettle black, while the NDP has argued its ethnic-voting strategy was at least not secret as the money transfers were authorized by the former legislature accountant. Sometimes — often, actually — B.C. politics makes one yearn to take a shower. One would think Cummins’ Conservatives should be measuring curtains for the offices of the official Opposition. However, since policy documents and press conferences have not ignited voters, perhaps the Conservatives should simply ask voters to give them a chance to rip off the taxpayer, in the spirit of fairness. -Kamloops This Week



British Columbians betrayed by both parties By Tom Fletcher News columnist

VICTORIA – There was some public business conducted in the final frantic days of the B.C. legislature session last week, but you likely wouldn’t have heard much about it. Premier Christy Clark’s skimpy governing agenda was overshadowed by the delivery of an internal investigation report into her government’s ethnic outreach program. A review by four deputy ministers detailed what reporters already knew from a memo and meeting notes leaked to the NDP. The plan started in the premier’s office, led by Clark’s deputy chief of staff, who resigned as soon as it was made public. A B.C. Liberal Party employee attended the first meeting, expressly intended to organize events to impress immigrant communities, then harvest the goodwill in the form of contact lists for the coming election

campaign. Former multiculturalism minister John Yap knew or should have known that the scheme was being kept secret because it was an inappropriate use of government resources. He won’t be back in cabinet, although Clark said he intends to run for re-election in Richmond-Steveston. Yap’s executive assistant resigned when the report came out, admitting he helped cover the tracks of political meddling in the hiring of three outreach contractors with sufficient loyalty to the party. Clark insists she knew nothing of this plan. She tabled the investigation report, and then announced that the B.C. Liberal Party had written a $70,000 cheque to the government to cover the estimated cost of the inappropriate political work done by non-political staff. Here’s the part taxpayers may not fully appreciate. There are authorized political staffers all over the leg-

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islature, in the premier’s office, the opposition leader’s office and two teams of caucus employees who spend much of their time digging up dirt on the other party. All are paid by you and me. A line is crossed only when a non-political employee such as a ministry communications director acts on behalf of the party. The main offender in that capacity was one Brian Bonney, whose records suggested he spent half of his time on party work. He quit in February, before the plan was leaked, and the party paid back half of his salary for the 18 months he was on the public payroll. NDP outrage over this was blunted by another leaked document. This one was from a never-released 2010 report by Auditor General John Doyle, which condemned a five-year program of skimming money from NDP constituency office budgets all over the province and using it for political work. In a nice bit of symme-

BC PRESS COUNCIL-This Eagle Valley News 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 within 45 days to B.C. Press Council, 201 Selby St., Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 2R2.For information, phone 888-687-2213 or go to

try, much of the more than $400,000 was spent to put three-time candidate Gabriel Yiu on the NDP caucus payroll. In fact, it was the NDPYiu operation that inspired a B.C. Liberal copycat plan. The NDP quietly stopped the budget skimming after Doyle pointed out the blindingly obvious, which is that constituency funds are to serve constituents and are not to be diverted to political organizing. It was kept under wraps by the secretive Legislative Assembly Management Committee. This is the B.C. Liberal-NDP comanaged trough of undocumented MLA expenses and other questionable payments that Doyle has only recently dragged into the light. Both of these schemes have the same stink. Both are intentional abuse of taxpayers’ money for the political gain of the dominant parties. There is no moral high ground for either of them.

Published every Wednesday covering Sicamous, Malakwa, Mara, Seymour Arm and serving Anstey Arm, Cambie, Cinnemousin Narrows, Craigellachie and Solsqua. All material contained in this publication is protected by copyright. Reproduction is expressly prohibited by the rights holder. We do not guarantee placement on specific pages. We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund (CPF) for our publishing activities. ADVERTISING DEADLINE: FRIDAY, 2 PM

Eagle Valley News Wednesday, March 20, 2013 A5

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Private service may have been better option fragile and ill. Many are no longer driving, much less attempting driving in winter conditions. That Dr. Beech provides this service to his patients is a huge gift. Dr. Beech puts the specimen collections into the array of different sized, different coloured collection tubes needed for many types of blood tests. Then he drives the specimens to the lab in Salmon Arm, two days a week, year round. In 2011, a private lab applied for a licence to provide the entire Eagle Valley with lab collection services. Interior Health was given the licence instead, back then in 2011. 

In April 2012, Dr. Beech was advised that the Interior Health could not meet their licensing commitment of a two-day-a-week lab collection service and ECG availability in Sicamous. They said that staff shortages were resulting in long lineups at the Salmon Arm blood lab.  Therefore, Sicamous folks were punished.  Now, in March 2013, with $10,000 from the Shuswap Hospital Foundation, it seems Interior Health is almost ready to give Sicamous and Area E residents one half-day a week of lab collection services, each Monday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30

Meals program appreciated A profound thank you goes to all the people who attended the March 7 benefit lunch at Eagle Valley Haven. The proceeds from this went toward assisting Irene Mahringer, who lost nearly everything in a house fire. She is a valued volunteer at the meals program, and it was most rewarding to see the full

house of support in her time of need. I encourage the continued support of the Haven Meals – not just in a time of crisis but because it is of great importance, especially for those who live alone. The social atmosphere is a good boost for morale. The menus are planned in keeping with nutritional needs

of older citizens in mind and in line with Canada Health guidelines. Don’t forget, this program was started some 23 years ago by a group of volunteers who saw a need for older citizens to have a congenial meeting place.

p.m. I bet if the lab collection licence had been granted to Life Labs we would not have waited until March 2013 for one half day a week of services as opposed to the two day a week collection service and ECG availability. Would Life Labs have gone begging to the Shuswap Hospital Foundation for money?  And knowing we

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Re: A lab collection service is coming to Sicamous. Folks living in rural British Columbia, miles and many weather conditions away from laboratory services, readily understand how useful this service can be.  For many years, lab collection services have been provided by our local physician Dr. Jack Beech. Two mornings a week his office is filled to over-flowing with folks needing blood work for the myriad of conditions that need regular blood testing – like diabetes, prostate cancer, thyroid disorders, and epilepsy, to name just a few. These people are predominately elderly,

have at least one retired lab technician living here (that would likely be delighted to work just part-time close to home) I feel that Life Labs likely would not have punished Sicamous and Area E residents by whining about their staff shortages. Teresa Andrews

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013 Eagle Valley News

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Parkland Dental Centre offers opportunities for “spring cleanings.” Families are welcome to come in together. Make the most of spring break and call 250-836-6665

Proposed quarry defies community OCP Recent legal notices and coverage in the Eagle Valley News have bought to my attention that an open pit quarry-mine is being actively considered by the Ministry of Mines for the very steep slopes directly above Old Town Road in Sicamous. The limited information available on this proposal shows a series of 10-metre by 10-metre steps to be blasted out going up the mountainside to the private

and Crown land boundary. This will leave an eyesore plainly visible from most places in Sicamous. As reported in the News, town council has voted to send a letter to the provincial government opposing such a permit being granted. I support the town council in opposing this open-pit quarry. It is my opinion that this quarry will negatively affect the quality of life and property val-

ues all along Old Town Road and throughout the District of Sicamous. I am also concerned this massive, unnatural disruption in very steep terrain will further destabilize a mountainside which is already unstable enough, to be subject to periodic rockfalls. The water quality and safety of several wells along Old Town Road also stand at risk of being compromised. This open-pit quar-

ry-mine permit request completely disrespects this community’s official community plan and zoning bylaws. Residents of Sicamous should be asking why the provincial ministry

responsible for mining is allowing itself to be used as a regulatory tool to circumvent our local government and its Community Charter. David Cornish


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Fish-friendly structure: Brad Gallant, of Sicamous’ RW Gallant Equipment Ltd., hauls decking plates to attach to a new dock the company is putting up for a marina at the former Waterway Houseboats property on Weddup Street. The raised dock, is the first of its kind on the channel, adhering to the latest federal and provincial requirements, protecting fish habitat while allowing the channel to flush out. Photo by Lachlan Labere


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Eagle Valley News Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Centre offers learning at your own pace By Lachlan Labere Eagle Valley News

Back to school: Sicamous Learning Centre instructor Tim Lavery offers student Margaret Baxter some help with her computer studies. Photo by Lachlan Labere

Student Margaret Baxter is in the process of upgrading her computer skills in order to build a website for a home-based business. “I’ve had courses in Word and Excel and things like this, and last summer I bought a new computer. I just turned it on and I thought, ‘Oh my God, what’s that?’ because it was way different from what I learned,” explained Baxter with a laugh. Baxter says she is grateful for the learning centre, and that she couldn’t justify the cost of driving to Salmon Arm. “I think every community should have something like this,” she says. “I’ve been to the college a couple of times farther back… it




was a two-week course and you’d have to be there every day. But here, if your kid gets sick, you can stay home and nobody is going to jump all over you. And you don’t miss a whole eight hours of class, because you come back in and you start where you pick up. I think that’s great.” That flexibility was also of great importance to Connie Allen, who is currently pursuing a law degree. “Without the learning centre and the flexibility there, that would have been really difficult, if not impossible to do… it enables you to work if you have to work, and their hours are flexible enough to attend school.” Lavery says enrol-

ment at the centre has diminished substantially over the past year. In fact, enrolment in School District #83’s continuing education programs in Salmon Arm, Armstrong, Enderby and Sicamous dropped from 129 adults in January 2012 to 36 adults in January 2013. And, with the expectation of another budget shortfall, the school board will be reviewing the programs and how they might be


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If anyone is aware of the value of a Grade 12 education, it’s the Sicamous Learning Centre’s Tim Lavery. The learning centre provides opportunities for anyone who hasn’t completed Grade 12 to do so on their own terms, in a relaxed environment. Though it is open to high-school students, Lavery, an instructor at the centre, says the centre is currently most utilized by adults seeking to fulfill a personal goal, or pursue a post-secondary education and/or increase their employability. While there are plenty of avenues for upgrading available online, Lavery says adults tend to get more out of the learning centre’s faceto-face approach. “Really, for adults, they can grow into that mode of delivering, but most of them aren’t either confident enough, or do not have the technology access, or are not really self-directed learners yet,” says Lavery. “They’re not independent learners yet. They need a lot of support to get going. And that really means face time… coming in and using this as a resource centre to get help. That’s kind of where we come from.” The centre offers B.C. approved courses, placement testing and academic counselling. Adults wanting to upgrade, for whatever purpose, will receive an academic assessment to help determine their education level, in order to create an individualized program to help them meet their goals. “We’ve seen all sorts of people who dropped out at Grade 9 and who are reading at a university level, and people who dropped out of Grade 9 because school was hard for them and they’ve made this decision to come back and try again, sometimes to show their kids, sometimes because they promised themselves, in their heart, they were going to get Grade 12,” says Lavery.

impacted in the 2013-14 school year. Allen knows well the positive impact the Sicamous Learning Centre can have on a person’s life, and the opportunities that would be lost if it were affected by any cuts. “The ironic thing is that it’s so often, I find in society, the people who need the most help are the first ones who have their programs cut…” said Allen. “If they cut back or close down Sicamous, those people, whatever number they are, each one is equally important as anyone else. And they are not going to have an opportunity. Because a lot of them can’t miss work or they can’t afford to travel to Salmon Arm or a bigger centre. It’s just so important. I don’t know how to stress it any more than that.” For more information about the Sicamous Learning Centre, visit, or call 250836-3741. A7



Wednesday, March 20, 2013 Eagle Valley News

Volunteers needed for Lifeline By Lachlan Labere Eagle Valley News

Volunteering with Interior Health’s Lifeline program is relatively simple and brief task that can yield lifesaving results. The program is offered through the health authority to provide emergency response home monitoring for individuals recovering from surgery, people with chronic health problems, or for seniors wish to continue living safely and independently. Most people are familiar with the technology behind the Lifeline program from TV, and the famous tag line, “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up.” While the technology has advanced, the premise is generally the same. “They wear a little button, and if they have any kind of trouble, they just press the button and it tells a little communicator to dial into our response

centre where there’s staff on duty 24-hours a day,” says IH Lifeline program manager David Kelcey. “It comes up on a computer screen at our monitoring station and it has all the information about the individual, including the names of some neighbours or friends or family – we call them responders – who can come and check on them.” Kelcey says the response is based on the seriousness of the situation. If it’s a fall and the person is not hurt, a responder is called in. If it’s more serious, an ambulance is dispatched. Where the volunteers come in is with the installation of the technology. “The volunteers actually install the equipment in the home. It’s not complicated,” says Kelcey. “They hook it up and show the individual how to operate the equipment.” Volunteers are cur-

rently needed in Sicamous and Salmon Arm. Rollie Durocher, who currently lives in Salmon Arm but has deep roots in Sicamous, has been volunteering with the

Rollie Durocher Lifeline program for about two decades. Durocher says the job of installing the Lifeline equipment was initially taken up by retired Telus employees, but he assures it’s easy to do, and easy to use. For Durocher, it’s also a great opportunity to socialize – catch up with friends and make new ones. “I actually quite enjoy it. I go out and visit some people I don’t know, but it’s surpris-

ing how many people you do because I’ve been around here since 1971,” said Durocher. “It’s sort of something I do that keeps me busy.” To anyone considering taking part in the Lifeline program, Durocher tells them to think of it as peace of mind for the rest of the family. And he has seen how the little waterproof, voice-capable communicator can save lives. “I’ve had some situations where I’ve put them in and the people have had to use them within 24 hours,” says Durocher. There is a fee for Lifeline, but, there is sponsorship funding available for individuals experiencing financial hardship. Anyone wanting more information about the program, or wishing to volunteer, may call Kelcey at 1-800-994-8414, or by email to

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013 Eagle Valley News

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Word advertisements should be read at the first issue of publication. Eagle Valley News is not responsible for any errors appearing beyond the first insertion. AGREEMENT: It is agreed by any Display or Classified Advertiser requesting space that the liability of the paper in the event that errors occur in the publishing of any advertisement shall be limited to the amount paid by the advertiser for the portion of the advertising space occupied by the incorrect item only, and there will be no liability in any event beyond the amount paid for such an advertisement.


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2 BDRM. APT. in Sicamous. NP, NS. $650/mo. plus DD. 250-804-3485. LGE 1 & 2 BDRM. BRIGHT apts. In suite storage, green space, live-in manager. Cable incl. Sicamous, 250-836-4516.

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Eagle Valley News Wednesday, Wednesday,March March20, 20,2013 2013 A11 A11


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Ph: 250-836-2570 Fax: 250-836-2661 1133 Parksville St. Parkland Ctr.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013 Eagle Valley News

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Eagle Valley News, March 20, 2013  

March 20, 2013 edition of the Eagle Valley News

Eagle Valley News, March 20, 2013  

March 20, 2013 edition of the Eagle Valley News