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OCTOBER 2013

POWER:

Cheslatta First Nation makes a power play

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Teresa MALLAM/Free Press Riders get ready to roll Sunday from CN Centre parking lot for the 2013 Salvation Army Toy Run. The annual fundraising event collects toys for children to be distributed by the Salvation Army at Christmas.

Harris tops MP expense list Bill Phillips editor@pgfreepress.com Is Dick Harris worth more than Nathan Cullen? He certainly costs more. About $100,000 more. Members of parliament expenditures were released this week with Harris, the MP for Cariboo-Prince George, billing $515,243; one of the costliest MPs in the country. Cullen, MP for Skeena-Bulkley Valley had expenditures of $416,368 for the period April 1, 2012 to March 31, 2013. Prince George-Peace River MP Bob Zimmer was almost exactly midway between the other two with expenditures of $461,244. For all three, the largest expenditure is employees’

salaries. Harris’ staff cost $264,641, Cullen’s $212,767, and Zimmer’s $257,553. So where are the differences? Travel is a big expense for all three MPs. Harris, however, travels more than the other two with travel expense bill of $$77,753. Cullen is also putting the miles on with travel expenses of $76,507. Zimmer isn’t on the move quite a much billing out only $$56,945 in travel costs. Harris’s travel expenses, however, are much larger in the category of designated traveller, which is someone he can designate to travel with him. Harris’ designated traveller bill was $51,773 while Cullen’s was $5,752 and Zimmer’s was $5,879. For dependents travel, Cullen billed $8,869, Zimmer billed $9,119, and Harris $14,493.

Cullen is more apt to take staff with him when he travels, billing $22,703 for staff travel. Zimmer billed $11,503 in staff travel while Harris billed $14,137. Harris billed $9654 in accommodation and per diem expenses, Zimmer billed $6,406, and Cullen $2,616. All three are also accommodated for keeping a secondary residence in Ottawa with costs coming in fairly equal. Harris billed $16,500, Zimmer $19,800 and Cullen $18,383. Zimmer spent the most of the three on advertising and constituency office leases with an advertising bill of $12,118 and a constituency office cost of $41,093. Harris spent $1,240 on advertising and his constituency office cost $18,997. Cullen spent $9,556 on advertising and $23,184 on his constituence office.

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Bill PHILLIPS/Free Press FrontCounterBC manager Tim Mergen (left) accepts a water licence application from Cheslatta Chief Richard Peters while band councillors Ted Jack and Hazel Burt look on.

Cheslatta hopes for some power Bill Phillips editor@pgfreepress.com Another hydroelectric project is being proposed for northern British Columbia. However, this one is being viewed as an environmental restoration project more than a power project. And, it will go a long way towards righting a First Nation injustice. Last week, Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief Richard Peters handed over a water licence application to FrontCounterBC manager Tim Mergen. The application is the start of Nechako River Legacy Project, a $280 million project that would see water directed from the Kenney Dam reservoir back into the old Nechako River and the construction of a 45-megawatt hydroelectric project. “Submitting this application

22

formally starts the process of getting back the water that was taken from us 62 years ago when the government issued a private company license to all of the water in Cheslatta Traditional Territory,” said Peters. That occurred when the Kenney Dam was built in 1952. The result was the flooding of a large portion of the Cheslatta territory, including cemeteries. Even though it was 62 years ago, remains are still being discovered in Cheslatta Lake, the latest being last week. “Until the Cheslatta is back to a state it was formerly at, we will continue to find bones,” said Peters. “It’s a very painstaking event to go and find human remains and try to find out who they belong to. People can’t relate to that idea of us finding our ancestors in the lake.” Water release from the Skins

Lake Spillway causes water fluctuations in Cheslatta Lake, which then erodes the shoreline uncovering the human remains. The Nechako River Legacy Project is designed to stop the flooding of Cheslatta Lake and release the reservoir water directly into the old Nechako River. That would result in water flowing through a five-mile long course in the Nechako canyon that has been dry since 1952. The work now for the Cheslatta is two-fold – get all the permits and approvals in place, and raising enough money to fund the project. The permits and approvals include securing a electricity purchase agreement with BC Hydro and an agreement with Rio Tinto Alcan, which currently holds the water licence for 100 per cent of the water in the Nechako. “Once we get an energy

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Colleen Nyce could not accommodate an interview request from the Free Press, however said in an email that the Cheslatta proposal has no impact on its water licence and that the company will “cooperate fully” with the Cheslatta. The project will be adjacent to the Kenney Dam, basically another spillway. The project will have to go through an environmental review process. If all the pieces fall into place, the Cheslatta are optimistic that they could begin construction within three years. Human remains that are being found are being examined at UNBC. The Cheslatta are building a tomb for the remains and will eventually re-bury the remains.

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purchase in place, then we’re going to seek private investors to finance the project,” said Mike Robertson, senior policy advisor for the Cheslatta. “There possibly could be some federal and provincial funding, but we’re not counting on that.” The key discussions will be with Rio Tinto Alcan. “The same water is going to be coming downstream, we just need to hold the licence ourselves in order to finance and get the approvals,” said Peters. “But, of course, Alcan also owns the Kenney Dam so we have to come to arrangements on access and some property out there.” Rio Tinto Alcan spokesperson

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CNC begins search for new president The search for the College of New Caledonia’s next president officially began Friday, as board members met with representatives from the search firm selected to help with the process. Odgers Berndtson officials met with the college community this week and also launched a survey to get feedback from CNC and community members about who they would like to see lead the college. “We chose Odgers because they had the best proposal and are one of the best search firms in the country,” said Sandra Rossi, executive director of human resources. “We invite everyone interested in the College’s future to click on the survey and tell us what they believe the upcoming opportunities and challenges are for CNC and what kind of leadership style they would like to see in a new president.” Go to www.cnc.bc.ca to fill out the survey, which will close on October 4. Odgers is working with CNC’s search committee on timelines and the College hopes to have the new president in place for the summer of 2014. Teresa MALLAM/Free Press Dr. Bryn Kulmatycki is currently in the role of interim Rider Judy Abbott says goodbye – for a good cause – to a stuffed bear before dropping into the Salvation president. He replaced John Bowman, who became presi- Army bin. Toys collected in the Toy Run Sunday will be distributed by the Salvation Army to children in need at dent of North Island College on August 1, 2013. Christmas.

McBride Community Forest fails audit Allan Wishart allanw@pgfreepress.com The general manager of the McBride Community Forest Corporation (MCFC) accepts the findings of a Forest Practices Board

(FPB) audit, but not the way they were presented. “While we accept the findings of the audit,” Marc von der Gonna said in response to written questions, “we are extremely disappointed with the conclusions drawn by the FPB in their press release and commentary.”

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In that press release, FPB chair Al Gorley said the results of the audit were not up to the standards of other community forests which had undergone similar audits. “Each of these findings has potential implications for the overall sound management of forest resources,” he said, “and collectively they raise serious questions about the community forest corporation’s diligence and attention to detail.” The audit, which examined the activities of the MCFC from Sept. 1, 2010 to Sept. 1, 2012, found a number of non-compliances with provincial legislation. Among these were failing to show road locations on site maps, which in one case led to a poorly constructed road causing environmental damage. According to the audit report, a small stream was diverted by the construction, and a trench had to be put in place to redirect the stream to Clyde Creek. The road was also constructed adjacent to Clyde Creek and, for about 40 metres, ran inside the 30-metre riparian reserve zone.

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Von der Gonna says the MCFC was taking steps to remedy that situation before the audit was finished. “We were already working with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans to develop and implement a rehabilitation plan in the summer of 2012. The rehabilitation works were carried out in June and July of 2012, and inspected and signed off by DFO three months prior to the field portion of the FPB audit.” The audit report also noted MCFC had used five access roads which it was not authorized to use. Von der Gonna says that was true during the period of the audit, but no more. “We were working on getting approval for one cutting approval over our whole community forest area, thereby authorizing our use of all roads. This was issued to us on Sept. 13, 2012. Nevertheless, the audit reported on not having authority during the window of the audit.” He says the MCFC considers the biggest problem brought up in the report being communication with government. “We consider the most significant problem discussed in the

audit being the reporting to government. In late 2011 we decided to purchase our electronic data management system and have inhouse staff trained in its use. “We are now fully caught up in our reporting requirements.” It was also noted in the audit that MCFC has a licence for 50,000 cubic metres of harvest annually, but over the two years covered by the audit, they harvested about 123,000. “We operate in a five-year cut control window,” von der Gonna explains, “that allows us to harvest 250,000 cubic metres any time within that five-year window. “Within the two-year audit window, the markets were pretty poor, therefore our small-market loggers were operating with less of a profit margin. As such, we allowed them to harvest slightly more than normal.” Von der Gonna says they were satisfied with the thoroughness of the FPB audit, but feels it doesn’t go far enough in its findings. “Unfortunately, the audit is looking for strict compliance with legislation and is not mandated to look at all the good things MCFC is doing for the community, for instance, recreation site maintenance or collaboraresearch with the 23 tive universities.” While he says MCFC has addressed many of the issues cited in the audit, he adds correcting past problems is not the answer. “MCFC is committed to continuous improvement and reserves the right to do better tomorrow than we did today. We are constantly monitoring our operations and welcome any suggestions for improvement.”


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‘I didn’t want cancer to define me’ Teresa Mallam arts@pgfreepress.com It’s a hard way to learn life’s lessons – but cancer is a good teacher and it can make you a better person. In her keynote address at the ninth annual Evening of Pink recently, Dr. Margaret McDiarmid, a former politician and family physician, said she learned a valuable lesson after her diagnosis of triple negative breast cancer. “I didn’t want cancer to define me,” she said. “I am not what I do... I learned to value myself as a person and a human being.” MacDiarmid had just turned 50 when she got the news that would alter, and for a time sidetrack, her life’s path as a rising star in the political arena. She went on to become MLA for Vancouver-Fairview with several important portfolios including B.C. Minister of Health. In her talk, MacDiarmid spoke with characteristic wry sense of humour about her defeat in the provincial election in 2013. But the focus was on her win over adversity. “I am healthy today. I don’t have any sign of the disease,” she said amid audience applause. Along with facts and figures about breast cancer, MacDiarmid spoke of new drugs and treatment being used for the disease which strikes both men and women. She talked about her own experience. “It was in my left breast,” she said, then paused and smiled. “I’m not going to show you my scar.” Teresa MALLAM/Free Press Her frankness made people laugh. Guest speaker Dr. Margaret MacDiarmid, left, chats with Dr. Michelle Sutter at Evening of Pink following a fundraising dinner at the Prince George Civic Centre. Indeed, her ability to laugh at herself and see the humour in life, saw her through surgery, chemotherapy helpful to read, but that is not everybody’s cup of tea. There’s said. and radiation. a library of great resources and librarians who can help by Pointing to facts about breast cancer, the most common “Humour is a way you can cope with a difficult situation,” packaging up a book and sending it out. ” type of cancer for women and second most deadly form of she said. She always had hope for her own survival, she said, because cancer for women, MacDiarmid said statistics show that if we In October 2007, at age 50, MacDiarmid had to delay her as a medical student back in the 1980s, she’d known somelive to be 90, there’s a one in nine chance of being diagnosed nomination bid and political aspirations when it was discovwith breast cancer. ered she had cancer. As it was Halloween time, she arrived for one who’d had cancer and received chemotherapy and who almost died twice – but survived. However, she focussed on the good news: Women today her breast surgery wearing a black witches’ costume complete Her own cancer was discovered following a screening in Canada who have breast cancer are living longer, and B.C. with hat and broom. mammogram which led to further testing. Cancer is graded, has the best survival rate in the country. Treatments have im“I took a big bag of candy.” she said, noting that unlike school exams when you want a proved with a move towards individualized treatment plans. Humour may have been her way of coping but everyone is high score, with cancer you do not. “There are encouraging things on the horizon.” People who different, she said. “I was graded nine out of nine. ” experience cancer – not that they would wish to have cancer “Everyone’s different. Everyone’s experience is different... The cancer was found early and fortunately was a “very – often say they appreciate life more, MacDiarmid said. while I was having chemotherapy, I needed help... and people small cancer” but as a triple negative cancer it is a more ag“What a lot of them say is, ‘I’m a better person because I love helping.” gressive type, she said, and therefore more potentially deadly. had cancer... Life is a gift.” However, there were low points and MacDiarmid says she “Cancer cells usually have receptors on them such as estroDuring her whirlwind tour of Prince George, she visited plans to pay it forward someday, and help someone else who gen receptors which can respond to drugs that help to kill the what she called the “wonderfully gorgeous” new cancer cenmay be struggling with the effects of chemotherapy. cancer cells. tre, UNBC medical school and Kordyban Lodge. “I found it hard to have no hair ...and, at one point, no “If you have triple negative cancer and treatments don’t Evening of Pink is an annual fundraiser with proceeds goeyebrows or eyelashes.” work, they don’t have anything else they can give you. ” ing to Spirit of the North Healthcare Foundation to help with Cancer patients go through a series of emotions, she said. She credits early detection with her positive outcome. the purchase of new equipment used in the diagnosis and “I was shocked. I felt fear, sadness and grief... I found it “I feel the mammogram almost certainly saved my life,” she treatment of breast cancer.

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Gorman new COFI CEO Bill Phillips editor@pgfreepress.com One might think it strange that the new guy heading up the Council of Forest Industries (COFI) doesn’t have a background in the forest industry. However, might be exactly what the organization representing interior forest companies needs. “We really wanted a new set of eyes,” said COFI chair Nick Arkle in introducing new James Gorman as the new president and chief executive officer of the organization. He succeeds John Allan in the role. Gorman brings extensive public policy and senior management experience to the position. Most recently he was deputy minister of Advanced Education and prior to that as Deputy of Education (K-12), where he toiled for Shirley Bond when she was education minister, and the BC Public Service Agency. Gorman has a master’s degree in political science from McGill University and a bachelors degree from the University of British Columbia. “We wanted someone who has dealt with complex issues,” said Arkle. “We saw that in James. It’s important to have someone who can get out in front of issues, not just react.” As for Gorman, he’s obviously looking forward to his new job. “It’s a privilege to take on the role,” he said. “The industry is still the backbone of the prov-

ince … It’s recovering at a steady rate. It’s an exciting industry going through some remarkable transformation at the moment.” Some of those issues, however, will be familiar … the softwood lumber agreement is percolating in the not-to-distant future, the pine beetle and resultant short- and mid-term timber supply issues, timber pricing and more will all be on Gorman’s plate. “It is so much about making the industry successful,” he said. “Government understands and recognizes how important this is to the communities across British Columbia. I think government is also looking for ways that it can strengthen the industry and, in doing so, strengthen the communities where the forest industry resides.” His experience in government, he hopes, will help bridge gaps between the industry and government. He has already starting meeting with COFI members, government officials and will be meeting with local stakeholders. One of the key areas that COFI will be addressing over the next while are effect of the mountain pine beetle and the resultant issues. “The short- and mid-term timber supply issues and how you mitigate the impact of reductions on annual allowable cuts is something we will be spending a lot of time on,” said Arkle. Another issue that is an issue around the industry is timber pricing. “Does the system function as it should,” he James Gorman said.

COMING EVENTS drop at 7:00pm. pgcougars.com or on Twitter at @ pgcougars

For game day tickets call 250-564-5585 or visit the Ticketmaster office located at the front doors of CN Centre

FARMERS MARKET Every Saturday 8:30 am - 2:00 pm May to October Meet your maker, baker and creator. The Prince George Farmers’ Market is the place for local products and fresh produce. Outdoors at the corner of George Street and Third Avenue, and both indoors and out at 1074 Sixth Avenue. One market, two locations, twice as good!

Prince George Cougars Saturday, October 12 7:00pm - 10:00pm Prince George Cougars are set to host the Everett Silvertips Doors open at 6:30pm with the puck

Old Fashioned Thanksgiving Monday, October 14 10:00am - 4:00pm Get out of the house and have a break from turkey this holiday Monday, by bringing the family out to Huble Homestead to enjoy the autumn leaves and try apple bobbing, pumpkin carving, scarecrow making, and learn how pioneers prepared for winter with our heritage demonstrations. Try the special seasonal lunch menu and take a browse through the General Store! Huble Homestead Historic Site is located 40km north of Prince George,

just off Highway 97 on Mitchell Road. Admission is by donation. Huble Homestead Historic Site Phone: (250) 564-7033 Email: admin@hublehomestead.ca

FRIDAY NIGHT MICS Friday, October 11, 18, 25 8:00pm - 9:00pm Join other music enthusiasts to see various artists perform! Admission is free, and it makes a great way to spend the evening! Cafe Voltaire at Books & Company 1685 3rd Ave (250) 563-6637 Email: cafevoltaire@shaw.ca Books and Company

Kidney Walk 2013 Be a Hero! Sunday, October 20 1:00pm - 6:00pm Join the Kidney Walk – Be A Hero The Kidney Foundation of Canada, BC Branch is holding its annual Kidney Walk to raise funds and awareness of organ donation. Everyone can be a hero. Join in, sponsor a walker, volunteer and/or register to be an organ donor. The Kidney Foundation of Canada, BC Branch is a not-for-profit healthcare organization that raises money

IN PRINCE GEORGE to improve the lives of all people affected by kidney disease by funding research; providing education and support, and increasing public awareness and commitment to advancing kidney health and organ donation. Northern Sport Centre 604.736.9775 Ex.228 Email: barbarav@kidney.bc.ca

Great Big Sea Thursday, October 24 7:30pm - 10:00pm To celebrate their 20th year making music, Newfoundland mainstays Great Big Sea are extending their anniversary tour to include a stop in Prince Geroge. Tickets are on sale Friday June 21st at ticketmaster locations. CN Centre 2187 Ospika Blvd 1-855-985-5000 Ticketmaster Website

Halloween Fairytale Saturday, October 26 11:00am - 3:00pm Come and celebrate a Grimm time at the Railway and Forestry Museum during the Halloween Fairy Tale event. Admission is free with a nonperishable food donation to the Salvation Army Food Bank. Don’t get frightened on the haunted tressel!

Railway & Forestry Museum 850 River Rd (250) 563-7351 Email: admin@pgrfm.bc.ca Railway & Forestry Museum

Doc Cinema - Films to change your world Sunday, November 4 2:00pm - 4:00pm BABIES Everybody loves... BABIES. This visually stunning new movie simultaneously follows four babies around the world - from first breath to first steps. From Mongolia to Namibia to San Francisco to Tokyo, BABIES joyfully captures on film the earliest stages of the journey of humanity that are at once unique and universal to us all. Join us for an eye-opening documentary film series hosted on the first Sunday of the month. Prince George Public Library, Bob Harkins Branch 887 Dominion Street (250) 563-9251 Email: ask@lib.pg.bc.ca

Check out: tourismpg.com/ events or cncentre.ca


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If you want Nathan Cullen to lead the provincial New Democrats, keep lobbying him. The Bulkley Valley-Skeena MP, who was one of the contenders for the federal leadership, hasn’t made up his mind yet whether he will make the jump to the provincial scene. “Even a few months ago it seemed like a remote possibility, I was cool to the idea,” Cullen told northern media yesterday morning. “I’m still cool to the idea, but it has been warming up to me.” A big part of the reason he’s warming up to the idea is that he is being lobbied by party members, at all levels, to take a run at the provincial leadership. Current leader Adrian Dix announced last week he will step down as soon as a new leader can be chosen, hopefully by early next year. That lobbying, Cullen says, has been by people whose opinion CHAMBER OF COMMERCE ................... 890 Vancouver Street • 1-250.562-2454 and views he respects. CITY OF PRINCE GEORGE .......................... 1100 Patricia Blvd • 1-250.561-7600 And, he’s humbled by TOURISM PRINCE GEORGE ..........................1300 1st Avenue • 1-250.562-3700 the confidence party members are putting INITIATIVES PRINCE GEORGE ............. 201-1300 1st Avenue • 1-250.564-0282 in him. SERVICE BC ........................................................................... • 1-250.565-4488 “The offers have HELLO BC (TOURISM BC) ...................................................... • 1-800.435-5622 been incredibly sincere,” he said “I’ve been www.pgchamber.bc.ca www.ticketmaster.ca kind of surprised, I www.pgfreepress.com www.princegeorge.ca keep thinking they’re www.tourismpg.com www.pgairport.ca talking about someone else.” www.getawaybc.com www.gopg.ca One of the things www.afterhours.org INFO ON BRITISH COLUMBIA that is holding him www.pgso.com back is that he is comwww.nbctourism.com mitted to what he is www.theatrenorthwest.com www.hellobc.com doing as a member of www.pgtw.bc.ca www.bclocalnews.com the Official Opposition www.netbistro.com in Ottawa.

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“There’s just so much to do and it’s good work,” he said, adding that he will launch a tour of the North next month to gain input on what the area thinks about liquefied natural gas. He will start his tour in Prince George, coinciding with the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council’s liquefied natural gas summit. There are plenty of others who are being touted as possible contenders for the leadership and Cullen says the talent pool is pretty deep. John Horgan and Mike Farworth, who both sought the leadership last time are “formidable voices,” said Cullen. He added that David Eby, who defeated Christy Clark in the Vancouver-Point Grey riding is “fantastic, as it George Heyman.” One of the good things, Cullen said, is that discussion within the party isn’t focusing solely on the new leader, but about winning the next election. “There’s not a worry in my mind that if I don’t go then it’s Bad News Bears,” said Cullen.

5

TAMARACK

Bill Phillips editor@pgfreepress.com

R U N • S K I • S W I M • A P PA R E L

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Nathan Cullen pondering provincial politics

cross country ski team, Canadian Figure Skating Association, Prince George Cougars, and Canadian women’s judo team. Farrance is the owner of Brian Farrance Orthotics. His role will support Ames’ by recruiting and managing the team of therapists. Most recently, Farrance served as an athletic therapist with the Halifax 2011 Canada Winter Games and the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics. Farrance has worked as part of the medical team for many Canada games including the Grand Prairie 1995 Canada Winter Games, Kelowna 1993 Canada Summer Games, Prince Edward Island 1991 Canada Winter Games, and the Saskatoon 1989 Canada Summer Games. Archer is the education and best practices coordinator for the provincial Health Services Authority, Provincial Infection Control Network. In addition to being a registered nurse, she also holds a Critical Nursing Certificate, Advanced Emergency Nursing Diploma, a Bachelor of Technology in Specialty Nursing and a Masters of Arts, Disability Management. Archer was also a member of the athletes’ medical team from the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria.

UPLAND

Teresa MALLAM/Free Press Hannah Stevens with the Old Time Fiddlers plays a tune for the crowd at Saturday’s Mennonite Fair. The event took place at the Civic Centre.

In collaboration with the Canada Games Council and the Northern Health Authority, the 2015 Canada Winter Games Host Society has appointed three members of its medical services team. Dr. Janet Ames has been named as chief medical officer, Brian Ferrance, chief therapist and Joanne Archer, head nurse. These three planning volunteers will begin developing the medical services plan and recruiting members of the medical team for the 2015 Canada Winter Games. As chief medical officer, Ames will be responsible for overall medical services of the Games. Ames has a private practice in orthopedic and sport medicine, is the medical director for the CBI Health Rehabilitation Centre and clinic physician for the Opt Youth Clinic at Northern Interior Health. She served as a member of the host medical staff for curling at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, the chief medical officer for the Canadian health care team at the 1998 Nagano Winter Olympics and was a member of the medical team for the Kamloops 1993 Canada Summer Games. Ames has also been involved in many sporting events as part of the medical team such as the Canadian

Cory Watts

1655A 15th Ave. Prince George (Across from Parkwood Mall) www.strideandglide.ca • 1-866-612-4754 • 250-612-4754


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