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$1.30 Inc. GST Vol. 36 No. 43

Serving Vanderhoof ● Fort Fraser ● Fraser Lake & Area

Winter havoc Cpl. Craig Douglass Prince George RCMP Every winter our community has a few heavy snowfall days… perhaps a few more than a few. Days when we look out the window in the morning and make a comment about how much snow is coming down and how long it will take to shovel or snow blow the driveway. As bad as your driveway is, there are many more streets and highways that maintenance crews are working hard to clear, often long before most of us wake up. During poor winter conditions, the Prince George RCMP and other emergency services in our community must continue to provide a high level of service to the citizens of Prince George and outlying communities, despite the snowfall. Here are some tips to help everyone get to where they’re going safely: • Don’t drive if you don’t have to. If possible, reschedule plans and run errands on another day. If you must go out, try to get everything done in one trip; • Be prepared. This means having your vehicles properly equipped long before the snow falls. Proper winter tires with adequate tread, fully functioning lights and an emergency kit are essentials; • Listen to the forecast. If snow is in Mother Nature’s plans, get up earlier in order to prepare for the commute. Properly clear off your vehicle’s windows so that you have full vision. In addition, ensure all your vehicle’s lights are clear (and being used) so that other drivers can see you; • Leave earlier. Plan to leave earlier so that you can take your time getting to your destination. Your commute will be improved and safer

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if you travel before the busy times; • Slow down. Take your time getting to your destination. Most collisions in snowy conditions could be avoided if drivers slow down and drive to the conditions. If your late, being later may save your life; • Use four wheel drive. If you have it, most people use it. It obviously allows drivers to have better mobility, but it does not allow drivers to stop quicker than any other vehicle on the road; • Use chains. If you have chains use them. Far too often we see commercial tractor trailers units attempting to travel up a hill without chains on the tires. Often this results in stuck or jackknifed trucks slowing the commute for everyone else. You’re professional drivers, the safety of everyone on the road is of greatest importance; • Being involved in a collision sucks. When it happens our focus often is on our vehicles instead of the surroundings. Please take a deep breath and ensure that if it happens to you, you don’t step out into traffic and put yourself at greater risk. Make sure approaching vehicles can see you and your vehicle; • Most collisions don’t need to be reported to the police. Collisions where no one is hurt and where the vehicles are drivable, do not need to be reported to the police. Call ICBC or your insurance provider and report your claim. Always a good idea to take a photo or two. Although snowy days are extra busy for police, we will be issuing violation tickets and towing vehicles in cases where drivers are not adhering to the rules of the road or where their vehicles are not safe to be on the road. Please, please… if you must drive in poor winter conditions, drive safely.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Struggle for victory

Eric Holland (left) struggles to bring down his opponent Jesse Raymond (right) during the annual Wrestling competition at NVSS. Holland took the win for Smithers after a lengthy and tiring match.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013 Omineca Express

Year End Revue - January 2013

RCMP launch homicide investigation into deaths The deaths of Blaine Albert Barfoot, 29, and Tara Lee Ann Williams, 40, of Vanderhoof are now being considered by RCMP as homicides and a manhunt is on to track down an unidentified third person who RCMP believe may be injured. The discovery of the bodies in a Silvermill Road home on Sunday, Jan. 13, was immediately deemed suspicious by RCMP, but further investigation has led the North District Major Crime Unit to believe the pair were murdered. Constable Lesley Smith, media relations officer for the North District RCMP, said the victims led a “highrisk lifestyle” and were known to Vanderhoof police, but she was unable to elaborate. On Wednesday, Smith said a third party may have been involved and possibly injured during the incident.

“Police are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying anyone who may have a recent injury to their arms or hands,” stated Smith. “We believe the injury may have occurred during this incident and are asking anyone with information to please call the RCMP.” Police are not disclosing details of the murders citing an ongoing investigation. Despite a rash of other murders in B.C. over the same time period, including a stabbing in Nanaimo, a double homicide in Hope and four killings in Surrey, Smith said the RCMP consider the Vanderhoof deaths an isolated incident. The RCMP is asking anyone with information related to the double homicide to contact the Vanderhoof RCMP at 250.567.2222. To remain anonymous, the RCMP advises the public to call Crimestoppers at 1.800.222.TIPS (8477).

Rehearsal for heroes

In the frigid waters of Sinkut Lake, Dave Banham, left, Mike Elwert and Kevin Moutray, volunteer members of the Nechako Valley Water Rescue Team, practice a three-to-one haul system on Sunday, Jan. 13.

CCA pleased with new export capacity to China The Canadian Cattlemen’s Association (CCA) welcomed news on Friday, Jan. 11, that China has approved four additional Canadian processing facilities to export Canadian beef to China. This brings the total number of approved facilities to seven and should lead to expanded access opportunities for Canadian beef. CCA President Martin Unrau said with the successful approval of the additional facilities now achieved by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s (AAFC) Market Access Secretariat,

CCA’s priority for China will shift to further expand access to include bone-in under-thirty-month beef. The approved facilities are all smaller establishments, but each has indicated an interest in serving the Chinese market. These facilities may have the flexibility to meet the Chinese requirement that beef be produced from cattle that have not been fed betaagonist growth promoters such as ractopamine. The number of beef cattle farms in the Nechako Valley dropped 45

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per cent since 2006, according to a 2011 census of agriculture.

Thank You Father and Two Nice People The most beautiful thing happened today Dec. 16 2013. I was not feeling very well thinking about our son that was not going to be here for Christmas when out of nowhere three people dropped by. In their hands was a gift of a memory of my son, and what a feeling that was! I hope everyone enjoys it too. From Ed and Trish Power


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Omineca Express Wednesday, December 25, 2013 A3

Year End Revue - February 2013

Hobson Museum to Public safety meeting scheduled close its doors Cameron Ginn Omineca Express In a matter of weeks, The Hobson History Museum will be empty. Walls will be stripped of pictures. Artifacts will be inventoried and packed away. Documents will be cataloged and placed into storage indefinitely. "Although people who came in loved the tours and collections, there just hasn't been enough of them," said Wayne Deorksen, curator of the privately funded museum located in central Vanderhoof. After only 17 months of operations, the museum is shutting down due to a lack of funds. The decision to close was difficult to make, said Deorksen, who has spent about three years developing the exhibits and archiving thousands of documents and photographs, some dating back

120 years. "It has been a humbling experience," he said. People from almost every continent have visited the museum since it opened in July 2011 to learn about the life and times of Rich Hobson, a rancher whose non-fiction books attracted settlers to northern B.C. and promoted development and investment in the region. “He has done an awesome job, digging into the history and putting the pieces of the puzzle together,” said Gary Blattner, who is helping organize the museum’s collection ahead of closure. The museum started off almost by accident when Deorksen's sister, Barb Penner, stumbled upon a cache of old documents while cleaning out the home of Kathy Hobson, Rich Hobson's daughter and only child. Penner found letters of correspondence addressed to dignitaries, distinguished entities and power brokers from

around the world. "The first day in, she was seeing (U.S.) presidential signatures," said Deorksen. "There isn't enough room in the newspaper to write about it all." With Hobson's permission, Deorksen and Penner began analyzing and sorting through the documents, developing a chronological timeline for people to follow while touring the museum. Deorksen's love of history started at an early age inside a one-room school in Braeside. One day, a door salesman sold his parents a set of encyclopedias, which Deorksen read cover to cover over a period of several years, he said. For Deorksen, the main highlight of running the museum was hearing stories of adventure and survival from visitors who travelled longdistances to get to Vanderhoof. "I'll remember them with fondness," he said.

Cameron Ginn Omineca Express

Town and RCMP officials are looking at organizing a community meeting on Feb. 20 to address concerns about public security. Following a spate of unrelated major crimes in Vanderhoof, including the fatal shooting of a teenage girl on Dec. 20, 2012, and the discovery of two suspected homicides in January, officials want to open dialogue with the community about public safety. "When we have crimes that we didn't expect, all of a sudden it's shattered for a bit," said Mayor Gerry Thiessen. "But when bad things happen, such as what we've experienced this past month, we shouldn't generalize where we are as a community." The Vanderhoof RCMP detachment has gradually assumed a more strategic and proactive approach to policing between 2010 and 2012, when Sergeant Jason Keays took over as commander.

The Vanderhoof RCMP detachment. Over the same time period, the town implemented at least three crime-prevention initiatives aimed at reducing loitering, curbing alcohol offenses and increasing the presence of police in the community. According to statistics released by the Vanderhoof RCMP, liquor offenses have risen 88 per cent since 2010, when some of the initiatives were put in place.

Heartfelt Thanks We are so grateful to have such good customers like you. We look forward to working with you again and wish you a very merry holiday season with the best of friends.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year 2425 Burrard Ave, Vanderhoof, BC 250-567-4800


Wednesday, December 25, 2013 Omineca Express

Year End Revue - March 2013

Seasons Greetings In the spirit of the holiday season, we’d like to share our best wishes for a very merry Christmas. May you and yours enjoy a festive season of peace, joy and goodwill. From the staff at

188 Stewart St. E IN THE CO-OP MALL

W.L. McLeod students and staff gather downtown to participate in an anti-bullying flash mob dance.

W.L. McLeod Submitted W.L. McLeod Elementary School students and staff made a statement against bullying. The town cordoned off Burrard Street as 250 students and staff, dressed from head to toe in pink, black and denim, performed a flash mob dance to One Life by Canadian band Headly. The message of accepting diversity, making the most out

of each day and giving to others was expressed. People holding signs introduced the routine, shouting, "One life, one love and one world!" The students' focus on social responsibility, defending human rights and acceptance of diversity was enhanced by the flash mob. W.L. McLeod School would like to shout out our sincerest thanks to the many people who helped and supported us in send-

ing a strong message of one life, one love and one world! We stood together as a street of pink to show that bullying has no place in Vanderhoof. W.L. McLeod School would like to thank the community and council members, local businesses and parents who helped make the flash mob dance happen. The generosity and support of everyone involved is greatly appreciated. We couldn’t have done this without you.

Driver flees scene of crash Two people were seriously injured in a crash in Vanderhoof on Sunday morning. At around 4:20 a.m., a Vanderhoof RCMP officer spotted a truck stunt driving in a parking lot but didn’t A driver fled the scene of a crash on Sunday, March 10, that sent three passenpursue the gers to hospital. Two sustained serious injuries. vehicle when it left two of whom sustained serious ous harm, were deployed to Vanthe scene. Shortly afterward, the offi- injuries. All three passengers derhoof on Sunday afternoon. Vanderhoof RCMP preserved cer discovered the vehicle had were taken to hospital. Personnel from the Indepen- the scene of the crash until late smashed into a post near the intersection of Burrard Street and dent Investigations Office (IIO) Sunday as two other officers colof B.C., a civilian-led body that lected information. Highway 16. The IIO is handling the inThe officer spoke with the conducts investigations into on driver, who later fled, and and off duty police-involved inci- vestigation and North District checked on the three passengers, dents that result in death or seri- RCMP are unable to comment.

Cameron Ginn Omineca Express


Students occupy Burrard Street in colorful crusade against bullying


New Year’s Resolutions! It’s that time of year again! Let’s start this year off right! Think about implementing a healthy lifestyle and making a difference in your life as well as for the health of this world. So here are some things to consider! · Losing weight is a great goal for anyone who is unfit, unhealthy or worried about too much weight and the future of their health. Find a friend to do some activities with and enjoy! · De-stress - find your triggers for stress, if you are worried about money; get some help to figure out the best way to pay off debts! Nothing feels better than having a clean slate and starting fresh, saving money can help reduce anxiety. · Keep in contact with loved ones, friends, and positive influences! · Eat healthy – look back at some previous articles or schedule a drop in time, take a class, or check out your local food network for some great healthy ideas! · Help out others! Join a group to get out and socialize, volunteer at the hospice society, at church functions, NeighbourLink, festivals and many more! You will find this rewarding, and it will help you to meet like minded individuals. · Quit bad habits – smoking, excess drinking, being rude or negative. · Learn something new! Refresh your mind with some new ideas or experiences, want to learn to quilt! There are a number of ladies here that are experts, check the college for new courses, or my website for one day activities and workshops. There are so many things to learn and keeping your brain young, keeps you younger. · Schedule sleep – 8 hours.. Try it.. Make it happen, no more late nights! You’ll love yourself more and more · Adventure – go out and see what B.C, Canada or the world has to offer, expand your horizons and set yourself free, a trip to the ancient forest can be just as rewarding as a trip to Mexico… well.. almost…. Here is a great chance to become a better you, and live & love life. For help feel free to book a visit.

Magdalena Saito Holistic Health Practitioner

250-524-0333 --

Young Living Essential Oils Distributor & Reflexologist

Omineca Express Wednesday, December 25, 2013 A5

Year End Revue - April 2013

A Mother’s plea of Destiny’s body, no charges have been laid either against that individual or anyone else. Wednesday April “We’re still missing 17, the RCMP anthe piece of the puzzle nounced that the that we need to bring death of Destiny Rae closure to this family Tom, 21, was the reand this community,” sult of foul play. said RCMP Cst. Lesley On March 23, Smith. 2013, police respondOn the evening of ed to a call at around Destiny’s death, there 5:30 a.m. and discovwas a gathering or party ered Destiny’s body at the residence where outside of a home on Destiny’s body was the Nautley Indian found. Although some Reserve on the east present at the gatherend of Fraser Lake. ing have come forward Many of Desto provide information, tiny’s extended famnot all have. ily - members of the “It is those people Wet’suwet’en First that she was last with Nation near Burns that we want to speak Lake - gathered at to,” said Smith. Village of Fort FraAn autopsy was ser council chambers Vivian Tom makes a public plea in Fort Fraser, conducted earlier this in support of Vivian B.C. on April 17, 2013, for information that will month and the report Tom, Destiny’s mothhelp with the investigation into the death of her er. She delivered a confirmed that Destiny daughter, Destiny Tom. Destiny was found dead public plea for help Tom died as result of outside of a residence on the Nautley Indian Rewith the investigafoul play. Police are unserve near Fraser Lake on March 23, 2013. Her tion. She implored death has now been officially attributed to foul able to provide further anyone with informaspecifics with respect play. Photo by Walter Strong tion about her daughto the findings as this ter’s death to come would jeopardize the “We believe that someone forward and cooperate with the out there knows something and integrity of the investigation. InRCMP. is yet to come forward with in- vestigators continue to follow up “Our daughter’s badly beat- formation surrounding Destiny’s on information and speak with en body was discovered on the death.” individuals. Nautley Indian Reserve just out“This investigation remains a The RCMP expressed the side of Fort Fraser,” said Tom. same concern. Despite an arrest priority for the RCMP and we en“Whoever is responsible for Des- made shortly after the discovery courage those who knew Destiny tiny’s death is still out there.” Walter Strong Black Press

Support burgeons for community garden Cameron Ginn Omineca Express

During April, the Nechako Community Alliance (NHCA) expects to hash out more details about establishing a community garden in Vanderhoof. Tthe town signed an agreement to occupy land on View Street owned by School District 91, a milestone that will enable the NHCA to take the lead in developing a community garden with plots for both students and citizens in Vanderhoof. But many details have yet to be determined, such as how the garden will be shared among green thumbs and used to cultivate healthier lifestyles through education, says Maya Sullivan, an NHCA director. "It's a big project, there's quite a bit of money and a lot of different stakeholders involved," she said. "We still have a lot of work ahead of us, but we think this will turn into something the community can be proud about." So far, the community garden has received enormous support from the town, which offered to install water lines to the property under the agreement with the school district. Mayor Gerry Thiessen has also endorsed the project, describing it as another positive addition to the community.

Using $2,000 of grant money acquired from Northern Health last year, Sullivan said the NHCA plans to build a greenhouse at the new community garden site. The grant money is part of an overall shift by the Ministry of Health toward actively supporting self-management for chronic health conditions, in turn lessening the economic burden on the province's health care system. "Prevention is key. That is why it is critically important that all of us make healthier choices – to eat more fruits and vegetables, to reduce our caloric and sodium intake, to get regular exercise and to do what we can to avoid chronic disease," a spokesperson for the ministry stated in an email. A second greenhouse, as well as a shed for storing tools, will likely be built at the community garden site, too. The NHCA has started looking at getting bids for fencing. Sullivan also said that, down the road, students from Nechako Valley Secondary School may participate in developing the garden, too. "Right now, we're just trying to bring it to the finish, but it really does seem like it's going to happen now," said Sullivan. "There's such great momentum and great support." For more information on establishing a community garden in Vanderhoof, contact Maya Sullivan at

and were last with her on the Nautley Reserve, to come forward and speak with investigators” stated Cst. Lesley Smith, North District Media Relations Officer “RCMP investigators are working closely with Destiny’s family and friends and they continue to work diligently in order to find the answers we all need to bring the individual(s) responsible for her death, to justice”. Anyone with information is asked to call the Fraser Lake RCMP at (250) 699-7777. If you would like to remain anonymous please Call CRIMESTOPPERS at 1-800-2228477 (TIPS).

SCHOOL DISTRICT NO. 91 (NECHAKO LAKES) EARLY PRE-REGISTRATION FOR KINDERGARTEN AT SINKUTVIEW ELEMENTARY ONLY Pre-registration for children who will be entering Kindergarten and who plan to attend Sinkutview Elementary in September 2014 will take place from now until Jan 13th. LOCATION


Registration will take place at Prairiedale Elementary

8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

REGISTRATION REQUIREMENTS 1. Kindergarten students must be five (5) years old by December 31, 2014. 2. An adult must accompany each child. 3. Please bring the child(s) care card and birth certificate. We encourage that immunizations be up-to date prior to starting school. Inquiries regarding immunization can be made by contacting the Health Unit at 250-567-6900. TO ASSIST US IN PLANNING FOR THIS COMING SEPTEMBER, IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT IF YOU PLAN TO SEND YOUR CHILD TO SINKUTVIEW ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FOR THE 2014 YEAR THAT YOU REGISTER DURING THE ABOVE NOTED DATES. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS CONCERNING REGISTRATION PLEASE CONTACT THE SCHOOL OR ADMINISTRATION OFFICE AT 250-567-2284.

As the Holiday Season is upon us, we find ourselves reflecting on the past year and on those who have helped to shape our business in a most significant way. We value our relationship with you and look forward to working with you in the year to come. We wish you a very Happy Holiday Season and a New Year filled with Peace and Prosperity.

The staff at the Omineca Express




Wednesday, December 25, 2013 Omineca Express

Write The Editor c/o Omineca Express, Box 1007, Vanderhoof, B.C. V0J 3A0 l Fax 250-567-2070 l

NDP protests Site C farmland exemption Tom Fletcher Black Press

The B.C. government’s decision to exempt the Site C dam proposal from review by the Agricultural Land Commission is another step backwards for accountability, NDP energy critic John Horgan said Monday. Energy Minister Bill Bennett notified BC Hydro’s board in a Dec. 11 letter that the 3,800 hectares of fertile land to be flooded for a third dam on the Peace River will not be subject to a second review. Since the agricultural land reserve was established in the 1970s, the B.C. government has had the option of declaring farmland exemptions if they are deemed in the “provincial interest.” Horgan said the B.C. Liberal government has a habit of suspending independent oversight of BC Hydro decisions, most recently on the B.C. Utilities Commission’s review of electricity rate increases over the next five years. “We’ve already seen 28 per cent rate increases coming because of 10 years of mismanagement, and the Clark government is starting off on the wrong foot in my opinion by exempting Site C from the utilities commission, by exempting a rate review from the utilities commission, and now the ALC has also been pulled out,” Horgan said. Bennett said there is no need to hold duplicate reviews of Site C, which would take a decade and more than $8 billion to construct. “This is not the government of B.C. doing this panel process,” Bennett told CKNW radio Monday. “These are independent people who are chosen because of their independence and because of their experience. They will determine what the impact is on agriculture and agricultural land.” The joint federal-provincial environmental assessment of Site

The Omineca Express is published every Wednesday in Vanderhoof by Black Press Ltd. Office: Anne Stevens Creative Services: Julia Beal Wendy Haslam

150 W. Columbia St. Box 1007 Vanderhoof, B.C. V0J 3A0

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- B.C. Press Council


The Omineca Express is a member of the British Columbia Press Council, a selfregulatory 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 We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

in 1968 and the Peace Canyon dam in 1980. BC Hydro estimates demand for electricity in the province will increase 40 per cent in the next 20 years, without the still-undefined demand from liquefied natural gas export development.

Letters to the Editor

Large dogs not in control T:4.3125”

Dear Editor I walk my small dog at the ball diamond’s four times a day on a leash and in control. Why is that people with large dogs think it is OK to let their animals run loose and out of control. I phoned the District of Vanderhoof only to find out that dogs don’t have to be on a leash. They only have to be in control by their owners. I contacted Animal Control and I was informed that unless they are at the scene of a dog bite there’s not much that can be done. Last week a woman was bit by an uncontrolled dog. Luckily Animal Control was at the scene. The RCMP told me that I have the right to defend myself and I will do so.

Happy Holidays from everyone at Northern Gateway. As the year comes to a close, I want to say a personal thank you for your hospitality throughout the year. My very best wishes to the community for a joyous, safe and peaceful holiday season. I look forward to seeing you in the new year. Warm wishes,


Publisher: Pam Berger Editor: Sam Redding

C. began in 2011, with public hearings underway this month in the region. The dam would flood an 83-km stretch of valley bottom between Hudson’s Hope to Fort St. John. It follows the completion of the W.A.C. Bennett dam

Tim Gilmore

Janet Holder Leader of Northern Gateway Prince George, B.C.

NVSS Cares Nechako Valley Secondary School successfully completed a 2.5 week food drive, and raised 2,742 cans for Santa’s Anonymous. We are very pleased to be able to provide meals for the families in our community. The Student Council at NVSS would like to send a HUGE thank you to all the students, parents and staff members for their contributions.

Working in partnership with B.C. and Alberta First Nations and Métis Communities, and leading energy companies in Canada.

© 2013 Northern Gateway Pipelines Inc.

NVSS Student Council

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Omineca Express Wednesday, December 25, 2013 A7

Year End Revue - May 2013

Celebrating BC Arts week and Earth Day in Vanderhoof The Nechako Community Arts Council celebrated BC Arts Week and Earth Day with an Upcycling Fashion Show. There were 18 amazing, upcycled outfits modeled which received tremendous support from an en-

RCMP hold Open House during Police Week Sam Redding Omineca Express Moose head repurposed from old Beer boxes by members from Fort Fraser.

Who knew flyers could look this good! Creative wonders Spring Fawcett and Samantha Pratt both NVSS students made fashion from newspaper flyers.

thusiastic audience. The fashion show was the kick-off event to a week-long Artisan Show and Sale at the Burrard Market. The Nechako Waste Reduction Initiative and the NVSS EcoVikes added displays and creations. Throughout the week several school groups have come to visit the exhibit and participate in the interactive displays. It was the hope of those planning the event that new solutions would emerge on ways to improve waste reduction in our community. This event has created much positive dialogue, thanks to all who participated.

The Vanderhoof RCMP held an open house on Thursday, May 16 as part of National Police Week. The open house welcomed the public, particularly kids, to learn and familiarize themselves with police methods. The cruisers were especially popular. “A lot of kids might be afraid and this is a chance for them to have fun and get over those fears,” said Sergeant Jason Keays. “We’re here to protect you not scare people.” School-children came from all over Vanderhoof to check out the police vehicles and the ambulance. They also got a

tour through the station, and a short stop in cells. Everyone took turns playing with the siren and yelling out commands through the loudspeaker. “Come out with your hands up,” one child’s voice blasted. “And wave ‘em like you just don’t care!” Police week was to “increase community awareness and recognition of policing service” according to their website. But what it’s really about is letting the people know that the officers are part of the community and that they can go to them for help when they need to. This week honors their dedication and sacrifice, so we can live comfortably and they can be there when we need help.

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Wednesday, December 25, 2013 Omineca Express

Year End Revue - June 2013

Knelsen pleads guilty to second degree murder Former Vanderhoof resident, Joseph Knelsen, has pleaded guilty to charge of second-degree murder as of Monday, June 3. Knelsen was charged with the first-degree murder of Gordon Berg of Langford, B.C. According to the Times Colonist, Crown prosecutor Tamara Hodge described the night of the murder in “chilling” detail to a jury on May 27. Gordon Berg and his girlfriend, Laura Carey, were in the bedroom when a masked man burst through the window spraying bear mace. Carey fled upstairs and hid with the homeowner, Shannon Henson, in the upper suite, believing Berg to be right behind her. Carey and Henson hid in the locked bedroom while the assailant hammered on it. “They see a hammer coming through that door,” said Hodge in court. “Shannon opens the door to a man whose face is obscured. He is holding a hammer and he is covered in blood. The man grabs her by

the throat. That’s when Shannon and Laura recognize the accused.” The 53-year-old Gordon Berg was found dead in the downstairs kitchen, reports the Times Colonist. He had been hit at least 10 times in the head and stabbed five times. On May 28, evidence and photographs were shown to the jury by RCMP forensic identification officer Sgt. Nav Hothi who spent two days examining the crime scene. The jury was shown evidence ranging from the battered and bloody doors to the screwdriver, hammer, knives, Vise-Grips, and homemade mask in court on Tuesday. They were also shown pictures of blood on the foyer, on the bannister and the stairs. After the bail hearing in May 2011, Knelsen was released on a $100,000 surety bail and moved back to Vanderhoof to live with his mother. He was not allowed to leave without a family member unless he was going to work. Nor was he allowed to consume alcohol or leave the province.

Future barrel racer

A young Gymkhana racer takes her horse through the track at the Equifair on Sunday. The horse made sure to keep the pace extra gentle for the young lady. Photo by Sam Redding

Prairiedale elementary closing Sam Redding Omineca Express On Monday, June 17 the School District 91 Board of Education reached a final decision regarding the reconfiguration of Vanderhoof schools. Effective in June 2014, Prairiedale elementary school will be closed. This comes after many schools in the district have been operating under capacity. According to the district website, enrollment has been declining in elementary schools for the last five to 10 years and secondary school enrollment will continue to decline for the next five to seven years. “I think the decision was a difficult one but a good one and it moves the school district in the right direction,” said Stephen Davis, Chair of School District 91 Board of Trustees. “Having the high school more full will allow us to have lots of other programs which might not run if the high school was getting empty.” “Certainly population trends and declining enrollment in schools is something that we’ve been aware of for some time,” said Eugene Marks, director of instruction. “so you can look and say somewhere down the road we’re gonna have to address this issue and we’ve taken our time to make sure that information was accurate.” With Prairiedale closing, other elementary schools in the district will only offer grades K-6, NVSS will become a grade seven to 12 school. The board was excited to see what educational opportunities the new structure will provide. One board trustee stated that this configuration is common in the United States and that it may be beneficial to students who could be thinking about quitting after grade nine. Davis explained in an interview that the plan will allow students more choice at the

tion is that students are moving towards having a chance to get into trades earlier,” said Davis. “So if you’re a grade seven student and find out you like shop classes and like hands-on stuff then being able to move into that at an earlier age could be a big benefit.” Davis also said that since there would be more funds directed at the bigger school he believes there might be an even greater level of care for the students due to the possibility that there could be even more staff on hand than before. Charlene Seguin, Superintendent of schools, understands how parents feel and how difficult these changes are. “Change is very difficult and people become attached, they love their schools and we like that, we really like that,” said Seguin. “So it’s a very difficult thing for them to accept that a school they love is not going to be there anymore… but the district is forced to respond to declining enrollments and to aging buildings.” Prairidale School. When planning for the future, the Photo by Sam Redding board has to look at what schools should be upgraded and which do not high school level for both younger and older need structural replacements due to age and students. Teachers in areas such as shop, art condition. or drama will continue teaching their specific Prairiedale has been overlooked for many programs since they will have more kids in- optional capital upgrades because of the terested in taking those classes. It also allows changes needed elsewhere. students in grade seven to have more options From SD91’s website: “Two of the criterion for their classes. they [the provincial government] look at is the This plan will not increase class sizes but capacity usage data of our schools and where what it will do is allow more classes to remain students live in relation to those schools. They open and available to students. do not consider each school individually but “One of the things we’re finding in educa- rather look at the overall capacity in a given

community. Vanderhoof does have some aging schools and the enrollment has declined at both the elementary and secondary levels.” What this means is that with Prairiedale’s closure more money can be put into the other schools in Vanderhoof. Stephen Davis said that W.L. McLeod is one such “aging” school in need of funds. “Most of our buildings are getting older, our newest building is Evelyn Dickson but the other buildings are all past their prime years definitely and have been slated on ministry lists, especially with McLeod, to get it upgraded.” Eventually, the EBUS Academy will be moved to a new location as well. One board trustee mentioned the possibility of moving EBUS to W.L. McLeod but that discussion has been tabled until phase two of the school reconfiguration plan. Also tabled until phase two is Sinkut View elementary. The school will remain open for now, but it will begin operating as a K - 6 school. If the decreases in enrollment of elementary students continues for the next couple years then Sinkut View might be the next school closed. While there are lots of logging and mining opportunities opening up in the region, according the SD91 website this has not proven to be a factor in increasing enrollment of school age children. “We wanted to give ourselves some breathing room and a chance for conditions to change a little bit. If we closed both schools at this time then it would appear that things would be quite tight within the two schools in town.” Some parents may be asking themselves why they couldn’t vote on the reconfiguration process considering its neglect of democracy. But all trustees of the school board are elected by the community and so their votes are the ones that count.

Omineca Express Wednesday, December 25, 2013

June 2013 New CNC campus within five years Sam Redding Omineca Express

Vanderhoof has long been in need of a new post-secondary educational facility and that time will come within the next five years. This time last year, the College of New Caledonia submitted their capital plan which included a new Vanderhoof campus. The new college campus will be a 40,000 square foot purpose-built facility designed to hold over 200 full-time students, more than double the current students in Vanderhoof. The current facility operates out of a building leased that was part of St. John Hospital and the problems with the facility are many. “It’s not a college campus facility, it’s not designed to be that,” said John Bowman, president of the College of New Caledonia. “[It’s] ancient, classroom space is inadequate, too small, there is no space for student activities, it’s cost us a lot to operate because it’s a very old building and the community and college need and aspire to something better.” The new campus will include real classrooms, trades training shops, computer labs, gathering space, offices and other spaces to accommodate the increase in student population.

Bowman added that he believed Vanderhoof to be “the least well served” community in the CNC region even though hundreds of thousands of dollars has been spent maintaining the campus. The next step to getting the new campus finished will be to receive a funding commitment from the provincial government, this is expected to happen within the next year or two. The campus is expected to cost $15 million plus operating fees. At the same time, a contractor has been hired to scout out a number of preferred sites to build the campus, they will then submit those sites to the government within the next two months. “We’re hopeful that MLA John Rustad and his colleagues will be supportive of making a capital investment and additional funding required for the campus to meet the needs of the community,” said Bowman. Vanderhoof Mayor Gerry Thiessen shared his thoughts on the opening of a new college facility. “It’s an absolute necessity,” he said. “Nobody is going to attract workers into the community, no industry is going to come unless they know that there’s people who have been educated and trained in the trades and technical fields.”


Church Directory For more information or to join Vanderhoof’s Faith Church Directory

Call Pam at 250-567-9258

The Gospel Chapel 448 Connaught Street


11:00 a.m. Worship Service

1393 Highway 16 East (Across from P.J. Collision)

(Affiliated with the Evangelical Free Church of Canada)


For more information call

Sunday Morning Worship 9:30 am Sunday School - 11:00 am


Our Mission Glorifying God by helping all people move closer to Jesus Christ one step at a time.

Vanderhoof Christian Fellowship

The Church on the Corner “Giving you a Purpose to live for and People to live with” Worship Service: 11:00 am Sunday School: 9:45 am Small Groups meeting together regularly: We have a place for you to belong! For more information call

567-9198 263 Vanderview Drive For more information visit our website:

Making Jesus known

Nechako Notes comiNG eVeNTs.... Will appear, as space is available, free of charge in this section. Coming events are available to non-profit organizations only. This area is not intended for thank you submissions or selling products. It is simply a place for non-profit organizations a place to announce upcoming free activities. You can e-mail your item to or by fax (567-2070). Your organizations’ announcement can also be dropped off at our office located at 155 W. Columbia. Decision of the publisher is final. *** A9

PICTURE THIS....Your activity could be featured in “Picture This.” Snap a photo at your groups’ fundraiser. It could be anything from a car wash to cleaning up our streets. It could even include school activities. Basically people making a difference in our community. Send us your photo by e-mail ( or drop it off at the Omineca Express (150 W. Columbia Street). Please provide a brief description accompanied with the photo. This week’s submission....

NEW EVENTS.... The NechAKo VALLey fesTiVAL of The performiNG ArTs...has a new website. www.musicfestivalweb. com/nechako. Please visit the website for syllabus and registration information. You can view the syllabus online. If a paper copy is required, there is a limited number available at the Vanderhoof Public Library. Registration for the festival will be online starting Jan. 1, 2014. The festival will take place from Apr. 12-25, 2014 with the festival concert happening on Apr. 27, 2014. *** VoLuNTeers Needed for ididALAp4cANcer...For more information please contact Carrie Smith. Email: *** NechAKo VALLey hisToricAL socieTy...meets at 7pm on the 2nd Thursday of the month at the OK Cafe. *** AduLT BAdmiNToN...every Thursday at 8pm at NVSS gym. Bring your own racquet. Indoor runners required. For more info call Ann at 250-567-9908. *** sTuArT NechAKo mANor...looking for volunteers. Help needed with outings, Serving meals, entertainment and visits for the residents. Please contact Marnie at 250 567 6290 for more information. *** VoLuNTeers Needed....Would you like to become part of a team working together to improve the quality of life for stroke survivors? The Vanderhoof Stroke Recovery Group is looking for volunteers to join their team. Vanderhoof Stroke Recovery’s goal is to encourage stroke survivors to improve their lives through education, exercise, work groups, crafts, outings, etc. No special skills required; training and orientation are provided. Patience and caring understanding a necessity. Volunteers share responsibilities: assisting with activities, exercises, education, crafts, outings, fund raising. Time commitment: 3 hour meeting each Monday morning (excluding stat holidays), from September through mid-June. Please contact Penny (250) 567-3966 vanderhoofstrokerecovery@ *** seNiors coNNecTed... is looking for Seniors in need of Outreach & Transportation. We are also taking applications for Volunteers wanting to take part in the VSC Program. Vanderhoof Seniors Connected is a program dedicated to improving the quality of life for Seniors/Elders in our community through Companionship and Transportation Assistance. For more information contact DebraAnn Bishop at 250-567-0623 or email at *** cALLiNG ALL seNiors... come and join us for carpet bowling, pool or snooker - Monday and Thursday afternoons at the Friendship Centre. We also have cards or bingo on Wednesday evenings. Music nights are also popular and these are the last Friday night of the month. Come and have some fun! Everybody welcome young or golden agers. Call Oscar for more info: 250-567-4582. *** AL-ANoN...Has your life been affected

Cariboo Magi presentation by the Vanderhoof Community Theatre held in December at the Burrard Market Square. Photo by Michelle Roberge by someone elses drinking? The AlAnon is for you! Meetings held on Mondays at 7pm in Community Room at Omineca Safe Home Society. For more information contact Gail at 567-4318. *** The NorThside WomeN’s iNsTiTuTe...meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month. Newcomers always welcome. For more information call Brenda, 250 567-9705. *** V’hoof hospice socieTy... Do you have a few hours a month to give? Are you sensitive to the special needs of those persons at the end stages of life? Want to be part of a great organization that makes a difference in our community, then we are looking for you. The V’hoof Hospice Society is a not-for profit charity looking for new volunteer members. Our Society has a desire to help others. We are sensitive to the special needs of the dying patient and their families. We do not have personal agendas or “missions” to our Hospice work. Our main fundraising come in the form of donations to our Tree of Life. We are looking for new members to continue this great service. For more info contact Debra-Ann at 250-567-0623 or email *** The food BANK... is in serious need of food donations. Specifically the following is needed: “Chunky” soups and stews and canned milk. *** BAdmiNToN AT fLess Gym... Every Thursday at 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. come out and have some fun! *** The VANderhoof cANcer supporT Group...meets the first Friday of every month @ noon at the The Reid. For more info call Karen @ 5674828. *** eNdAKo hALL socieTy...meets every THIRD Wednesday of the month in the hall at 7:30pm. *** The yeLLoWheAd drAfT horse an organization for those interested in light and heavy horse driving. Monthly meetings every second Tuesday of the month. For more info contact: Jon 250-567-8484. *** NechAKo QuiLTers GuiLd... meets the third Tuesday of the month 9:30 am (Sept. - May) at Nechako View Seniors Common Room. Fran Sheeley 5675254. *** The frAser QuiLTers GuiLd... meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at 10am at the Fort Fraser Community Hall. Newcomers welcome. *** hospice Tree of Life... is to honour the living as well as to remember and honour those who have passed on. For more info call Debbie @ 250-567-7956.

*** The frAser LAKe cANcer supporT Group... meets the 3rd Tuesday of every month at 12 noon in the New Fraser Lake Restaurant. For further information call Judy at 250699-7763. *** NechAKo VALLey hisToricAL socieTy...meets every second Thursday of the month 6:30 pm at the Chamber of Commerce office. *** VANderhoof 899 Air cAdeT sQuAdroN...Cadets will meet every TUESDAY night – 6:30-9:30 p.m. at the 480 Connaught St. at the Gospel Chapel. Anyone age 12 to 18 interested in the Cadet Program is welcome to attend. Any adult interested in assisting in anyway, please contact the officers at the 480 Connaught St. at the Gospel Chapel Tuesday night. For more information call: Capt. John Callaghan 250-640-0218, Yvonne Melo - 250-6907496 Evenings. *** AA meeTiNG... Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. United Church Hall. 567-8087 or 5674588 *** frAser LAKe AA meeTiNGs... Tues & Thurs 8:00 p.m. at St. Wilfred’s Church just across from police station. *** sT. JohN hospiTAL AuXiLiAry socieTy... meets second Tuesday of the month (with the exception of July & August) at 7:00 p.m. in the hospital cafeteria. For further info contact Edna 567-9759 - New members welcome. *** VANderhoof LiBrAry hours Tuesday 10:00am to 5:00pm Wednesday 10:00am to 5:00pm & 6:30pm to 8:30pm Thursday 10:00am to 5:00pm Friday 10:00 am to 6:00pm Saturday 10:00am to 5:00pm *** frAser LAKe LiBrAry hours Sunday & Monday Closed Tuesday 10am - 4pm Wednesday & Thursday 3pm - 8pm Friday 10am - 4pm Saturday 10am - 2pm *** NVss BoTTLe depoT hours Open Mon, Tues, Friday 11am-5pm Saturday 10am-5 p.m.

A10 A10

Wednesday, December December 25, Wednesday, 25,2013 2013Omineca OminecaExpress Express

Your community. Your classifieds.

250.567.9258 fax 250.567-2070 email Announcements

In Memoriam

150 W Columbia Street, PO Box 1007 Vanderhoof, BC, V0J3A0

In loving Memory of Judy Wiebe Feb 4, 1976 Dec 22, 2003 10 years have passed since I listened to your heart beat it’s last, and with it shattered my world. Through our children you live on today as I can see it in so many ways. We have learned to live on but will miss you forever and always. Donny, Dawson & Dezirea





E-Mail: advertising@ ominecaexpress. com OFFICE HOURS Monday thru Friday 8:30am - 5:00 pm Omineca Express published every Wednesday Stuart/Nechako Advertiser published every Friday

Information ADVERTISE in the LARGEST OUTDOOR PUBLICATION IN BC The 2014-2016 BC Hunting Regulations Synopsis

The most effective way to reach an incredible number of BC Sportsmen & women. Two year edition- terrific presence for your business.







Help Wanted

Help Wanted


Financial Services

Misc. for Sale

Experienced parts person required immediately for James Western Star in Williams Lake. Full time, competitive wages, benefits and signing bonus. Fax resume to 250-398-6367 or email:

Hotel, Restaurant, Food Services

INCOME TAX PROBLEMS? Have you been audited, reassessed or disallowed certain claims by Canada Revenue Agency? Call Bob Allen @ 250-542-0295 35yrs. Income Tax experience, 8.5yrs. with Revenue Canada. Email: C- 250-938-1944

HOT TUB (SPA) COVERS. Best price. Best quality. All shapes & colours available. 1-866-652-6837 newspaper?

Cellular Telephone Technician req’d. Sal: $29.00/hr. 40hr./wk. F/T, Pmt. 2+ yrs. exp. Duties: Install, arrange, remove and maintain telephone equipment, wiring and associated hardware. Test telephone systems. Locate transmission faults. Repair or replace defective and damaged parts to telephones. Lang: English. Contact: Kashif from Star Accessories in Prince George, BC. Please apply at:

2 Salesperson req’d. Sal: $12.00/hr. 40hr./wk. F/T, Pmt. No exp. req. Duties: Greet customers. Advise customers on use and care of products. Estimate or quote prices, credit terms and warranties. Prepare sales. Accept cash, cheque, credit card or automatic debit payments. Assist in display of merchandise. Maintain sales records. May help in take inventory. Lang: English. Contact: Kashif from Star Accessories in Prince George, BC. Please apply at:



• Labourers • Tradesmen • Class 1 Drivers

Call 24Hr. Free Recorded Message 1-888-213-2854

Help Wanted

WANTED F/T Cook at SUSHI DEN Rest. 609 Abbott St. Vancouver. 2 yrs. exp., high school diploma. wage: $2240/mth. 40hrs/wk. Apply: duties: cook Japanese meal, plan menu, create item. Staff training.

Ofce Support EVENCE Ltd is a furniture supply company and we are looking for an administrative assistant for our busy office. This position requires strong organizational skills, attention to detail and good interpersonal skills. Duties include but are not limited to data entry, reception and production administration. The Successful candidate will: -Have strong analytical and communication skills, -Be a self-starter who is able to work with minimal supervision, -Have a sound knowledge of MS Office (Excel, Word, Outlook) Candidates with more than 2 years experience will be given preference.Salary is very attractive with other benefits attached. Please forward resume and cover letter to for consideration.

Help Wanted

Selkin Logging Ltd

Is currently looking for full time Heavy Duty Mechanic, and Owner/Operator Logging trucks to work in the Vanderhoof and Fraser Lake areas. ONLY EXPERIENCED OPERATORS TO APPLY. Benefit package and registered pension plan available. To apply fax resume to: (250) 699-6545 email:

Vanderhoof Machine Works Ltd.

CENTURY PLAZA HOTEL Best Rates. 1.800.663.1818

Employment Drivers/Courier/ Trucking EXPERIENCED CLASS 1 Drivers, F/T, P/T needed for California & Arizona produce hauling, excellent pay and benefits+ safety bonus and home time. Call Jerry or Brian 1-877-539-1750.

Merchandise for Sale

ASHCROFT: Cowboys wanted. Start on/before Feb. 1. Should be able to shoe, know calving & range riding. Good housing provided. Wage & benefits. 250-453-2550, e-mail

Please call Annemarie 1.800.661.6335 email:

ADVERTISING DEADLINES Express -- Friday, 12-noon Advertiser -- Tuesday, 12-noon

Advertisements should be read on the first publication day. We are not responsible for errors appearing beyond the first insertion. NO CASH REFUNDS 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 advertisement. DISCRIMINATION LEGISLATION: Advertisers are reminded that provincial legislation forbids the publication of any advertisement which discriminated against any person because of race, religion, sex, colour, nationality, ancestry, place of origin, or age unless the condition is justified by a bona fide requirement for the work involved. COPYRIGHT: Copyright and/or property rights subsist in all advertisements and in all other advertising material appearing in this edition of the Omineca Express. Permission to reproduce wholly or in any part and in any form whatsoever, particularly by a photographic or offset process in a publication, must be obtained in writing from the publisher. Any unauthorized reproduction will be subject to recourse in law.


A well-established business in Vanderhoof, BC is looking for an experienced Bookkeeper. The position will be full time, Monday to Friday, wage will be commensurate with experience, and includes an attractive benefits package. The successful applicant shall have the following attributes: mature, reliable, responsible, self-motivating, and have good customer service skills. Responsibilities will include general bookkeeping and some reception/secretarial work. Experience in Simply Accounting, MS Office, PR, AP and AR are essential. Knowledge of various office equipment and spreadsheets would be an asset. This position requires a high level of confidentiality. All resumes will be handled in the strictest confidence and should be sent by mail, fax or e-mail to the following immediately. PO Box 1216 Vanderhoof, BC V0J 3A0 Fax: (250) 567-2382 E-mail:

Searching for a New Career?

Misc. Wanted Local Coin Collector Buying Collections, Olympic Gold & Silver Coins etc 778-281-0030

Classifieds Get Results!

Omineca Express Wednesday, 25,2013 2013 Omineca Express Wednesday,December December 25,

Rentals A11 A11


Apt/Condo for Rent

Apt/Condo for Rent


BURRARD APARTMENTS. Two bdrm suites. No pets 250-567-9128

SNIFF OUT A NEW CAREER IN THE CLASSIFIEDS Silvermill Apartments Secure quiet apartments VACANCY 250-567-4208

Victoria Manor Large 2 Bdrm from

$725 - $755

Large 1 Bdrm from

$695 - $725

NO SMOKING - NO PETS * Balconies * Landscaped View * Cablevision Available

250-567-4048 or 250-567-9080

We’re on the net at

Townhouses 3/bdrm townhouses in a family- friendly complex. Close to downtown, schools & park. $695/mth. 250-567-4430


Sport Utility Vehicle 2008 CHEVROLET Equinox AWD. Power windows and locks, Air Conditioning, cruise control only 95230 km. Asking 16900 obo. Call (250) 8458785.

Boats 1989 SUN RUNNER boat. 21.5 feet, 125 aq Volvo inboard motor, Merq leg, excellent running condition. $7000 (250) 698-7533 leave a message we will call you back.







All jobs BIG or small, give us a call!

Tandem dump truck, 4x4 Backhoe, gravel sales, general hauling, foundations, water & sewer lines and snow removal.

3393 Sinkutview Rd, Vanderhoof, BC V0J 3A2 567-2029

250-567-3010 EXCAVATING



“Your Water Professional”


ACCOUNTANTS Chartered Accountants



Cell: 567-0031

Plumbing & Heating Rural Water & Sewer Systems Water Treatment & Filtration Systems INSTALLATION & REPAIRS


Box 2033 Vanderhoof

EX100 Excavator 4x4 Extend-a-hoe Rubber Tire Backhoe Basements, Foundations, Waterline, Septic Systems, Lot Clearing, Hoe-Pac, Hydraulic Breaker and more! We are in the business to serve you!


) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) )

Schneider Services Ltd.


Serving Fort St. James and area since 1972 Pam Berger Publisher


Fax: 996-8451

Advertising: News: Website:



Providing a Full Range of Business Services

Accounting Computers ● Financial Planning

HST Income Tax ● Payroll

KPMG Prince George #400 - 177 Victoria Street Prince George, BC, V2L 5R8 250-563-7151



Reaching Every Door

Serving Vanderhoof, Fort St. James, Fort Fraser and Fraser Lake

Serving Vanderhoof, Fort St. James, Fort Fraser and Fraser Lake

Pam Berger Publisher

Pam Berger Publisher 150 W. Columbia St Box 1007, Vanderhoof BC V0J 3A0

Tel: 250-567-9258 Fax: 250-567-2070 Email:

150 W. Columbia St Box 1007, Vanderhoof BC V0J 3A0

Tel: 250-567-9258 Fax: 250-567-2070 Email:


Wednesday, December 25, 2013 Omineca Express

y t i B n u u i l m d e m rs o C

Brought to you by your MLA John Rustad


Courageous Battles



Human Interest

Serving the communities of... Endako, Fraser Lake, Fort Fraser, Cluculz Lake, & Vanderhoof

Featuring the spirit of the local people

Man of faith, man of action

Sam Redding Omineca Express Wayne Shenk has traveled to many countries in his efforts to bring stability and a sense of community to people in war and poverty ravished nations. Shenk has traveled as a kind of missionary but not the proselytizing kind. He goes to these countries and just tries to help in anyway that he can including fostering peace, providing money and medicine and connecting with religious leaders from all cultures. But he didn’t start out wanting to do any of that. Shenk moved to Vanderhoof with his parents in 1959. “I hated school I didn’t want to have anything to do with school and if I ever had to go to university I wanted to go to be a game biologist,” he said. “My dad was a logger so I started driving and logging when I was really young. My first job was logging up on Blue Mountain with the old-timers. Guess I’m an old-timer now too.” Shenk also worked as a herdsman for Bill Martens but during his time there he began to feel like he needed to be a teacher. This was not an easy choice for him to make because his opinion up until that point had been that

teachers, preachers and salesmen were not real jobs. But he went to university and graduated with a degree in science and education. When he graduated in 1966 he was hired at Mapes elementary as the school principal. He arrived at a time when several of the other educators at the school were very new to their positions as well. Shenk said some of the best times of his life were had teaching at that school and community that he still loves. After working in Vanderhoof for a few years Shenk and his wife decided that they wanted to spend more time giving back to Canada so he moved to a First Nation’s reserve community in Northern Ontario that could only be reached by air. After traveling back to Vanderhoof, Shenk decided that his faith called him to be more involved with people in remote countries that could really use help. Using connections that he acquired from working as a consultant for places like Bulgaria, Albania and Hungary where there were really poor education systems, Shenk traveled to Liberia in West Africa where he worked with a Dr. Kofi to try and hold the country together. Liberia was in the middle of a civil war at the time which basically boiled down to tribal warfare. “A city of 400,000 people grew to 1.5 million with no sewer, no water, no electricity. Transportation was shot to pieces. So then we felt, ok what do we do? We better start in the basic roots of families and churches,” said Shenk. “So we started saying let’s get these church leaders together and do com-

mon work together.” In Liberia, Shenk never felt scared for his life, even though he could hear guns going off and see the effect on the people with amputated limbs. “I personally believe that just packing a bible around and spouting and just proselytizing is a crock but in every case we’re trying to work with church leaders because I’m a church guy but I’m also an educator and I’m also interested in the world around me,” said Shenk. “I’m not just trying to live in this little bubble of religion so our goal in every one of these countries is to get with indigenous people who would benefit from a friend or friends in the west.” Shenk said that he truly believes in the value of every culture including their own beliefs which he may not agree with. He has made friends with Muslim Imams and when one Imam’s son converted to Christianity, all the Imam did was hug Shenk. They were just happy to know that other people out there in

John Rustad, MLA Nechako Lakes

Box 421 183 First Street Vanderhoof Tel: 250-567-6820 Fax: 250-567-6822

Toll Free: 1-877-964-5650 E-mail: Website:

the world cared about them. But Shenk had his work cut out for him in Liberia, his friend Dr. Kofi was trying to keep an orphanage together where there were about 1,000 kids packed into a space smaller than the gym at Northside Christian school. “They were ‘trusting god’ for food,” said Shenk. “So we took this group of 55 people in there and then of course our people were devastated in their hearts. Oh my goodness I can’t believe this stuff. Heads chopped off, kids having to applaud while their parents are killed in front of their eyes and they cry at night.” When Shenk told people back home about the plight of these children, he managed to raise $30,000 in two days. He spent a lot of time stuffing the money into medicine bottles and into the seams of a backpack in order to get it to the people. He faced several obstacles in which the armed forces would have just killed him if he hadn’t been a white guy carrying a letter from a local MP saying that the Canadian government would take a very dim view if anything were to happen to me. And after the war ended in 2003, funding stopped coming in to support these people. Shenk keeps trying to scale back their operations but there just is no way to support that many people without help. Shenk still goes over to Liberia and Sierra Leone, which are neighbours, at least three times a year for a month. He also goes to Haiti three of four times a year and Cambodia at least once. Sitting in his office at Northside Christian school, one can see the number of places he’s traveled writ out on the walls and the shelves. There are many carvings and various art pieces that Shenk’s foreign friends have sent home with him. He has visited and been involved in assisting many countries including Hungary, Albania, Bulgaria, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Nigeria, Haiti, Mexico and Cambodia.

Vanderhoof Omineca Express, December 25, 2013  

December 25, 2013 edition of the Vanderhoof Omineca Express

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