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Nicola Valley’s News Voice Since 1905



Teachers to take strike vote today By Michael Potestio THE HERALD

In an effort to spur contract negotiations with the provincial government, the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) is playing its ace in the hole, but if it’s implemented, changes won’t likely be seen until about April of this school year. Today, teachers across the province’s 60 school districts will take a strike vote. The vote needs at least 50 per cent approval to pass. BCTF president for the Nicola Valley Teachers’ Union Peter Vogt said the union is hoping for strong support from teachers. “I think strike votes are a fairly common tactic to try and put pressure on the employer to get them to bring something reasonable to the table,� he said, noting the BCTF has seen little movement from the government in about a year of negotiating. Vogt said if the strike is approved, it will be implemented in stages. If it comes to a strike, in the first


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stage of implementation teachers won’t be walking off the job or be asked to cease extracurricular activities. They will also still communicate with parents and issue report cards. Vogt told the Herald he couldn’t comment any further on what steps would be taken in stage one or what job action would be taken in stage two as it is currently in committee. He also said the union has no timeline for implementing stage two. Vogt said job action wouldn’t likely take effect until after spring break, which begins the third week of March. He said the results of the strike vote will be revealed on Friday, and even if it’s a yes, they are required to give a 72 hour strike notice. “If you look at where spring break falls, you can probably draw some conclusions about whether or not they’re actually going to take action before spring break,� Vogt

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PAINTING THE PICTURE Feather McKigney (foreground) mixes melted wax with pigments to use as paint on one of the many panels that will make up Merritt’s newest mural. Katie Mitchell (background) uses a blow torch to melt the wax on one of the mural panels. Many people stopped by the Desert Inn on Feb. 21 to lay down the first few layers of paint on the Michelle Loughery Foundation’s Wayfinder Project mural. The student-artists made their own designs and will embed images of discriminated people on the mural by rubbing in the ink from the photo into the heated wax. The mural is set to be unveiled on March 21. Michael Potestio/Herald

said. “We have 90 days after the strike vote to actually give notice that we’re going to take any kind of job action,� he said, noting that he would be surprised if the union gave strike notice any time soon after a strike vote in favour of job action. School District 58 superintendent Bob Peacock said he doesn’t

foresee a quick reaction to any strike vote. “I think that if you read BCTF’s messages that go out to members or in the media, it talks about wanting to give the government a message about let’s get serious about negotiations, and so I think if that’s what they say their intent is, I believe that that would be [what] their intent is,� Peacock

said. Peacock said monetary issues between the teachers and their employers are handled at the provincial level while non-monetary issues are handled at the district level. Those non-monetary issues are not being discussed as of yet. “No negotiations are taking place at the dis-

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trict level at this time regarding non-monetary issues. I mean theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re at the table discussing class size, composition; theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re talking salaries, things that have an impact on the budget,â&#x20AC;? Peacock said. B.C. teachers have been without a new contract since June of 2013, and ongoing labour disputes have

centred on contract term, salaries and contract clauses related to class size and composition. Back in October, Minister of Education Peter Fassbender told the Herald a 10-year contract for the teachers was the provinceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s goal, noting the need for long-term stability.

See â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;Strikeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Page 3

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2 • TUESDAY, March 4, 2014



Family shaken after man points gun at kids By Michael Potestio THE HERALD

Police are on the lookout for a man who waived a long-barrel rifle at a group of children during a birthday party on Feb. 21. That night, Merritt resident Bobby Garcia was at home wrapping gifts for his 10-year-old son’s birthday. The Garcias had about 12 children over to the house for their son’s party, who were playing in the backyard with cap-guns when at about 6 p.m. the party came to a halt. The children came inside the house to tell him there was someone outside with a gun and he was in Garcia’s truck. “At first I thought they were just joking around, but then my nephew came in – and he’s 14 – and he said ‘No, Uncle Bob, there’s really a guy in your truck with a gun,’” Garcia said, noting the serious tone of his nephew’s voice convinced him it was no joke. Garcia said his son and two other nephews, who are between nine and 10 years old, told him the man pointed the gun at them and told them not to move. Garcia’s truck was parked in his backyard just outside the garage of his home on Coldwater Avenue. His backyard is open to the alley behind his house, Garcia told the Herald. He went outside and saw a man walking down the alley with a rifle on his back. Garcia got into his other car and drove up alongside the man. When he did this, he said the man took a step back and pointed the rifle at him. His finger was on the trigger, Garcia said. “And I could see in his face that he wasn’t kidding around, so I stomped on the gas and I just took off as fast as I could because I didn’t know what this guy was going to do,” Garcia said.

‘I could see in his face that he wasn’t kidding around.’

“It was pretty intense.” He stopped his car by the Elks Hall and the man walked by his vehicle as if nothing had happened, Garcia said. Garcia watched the man until he disappeared into the night somewhere between the Ska-Lu-La workshop and Quilchena Avenue. He said the man was staggering and appeared intoxicated. Garcia described him as a native man, about 5-foot-7, wearing a baggy camoflage-printed jacket. The male was also described as approximately 25 years old with a skinny build and some facial hair. He was carrying a rifle with a scope. The man did not steal anything from the truck, Garcia said. “There was even a $5 bill in my console and he didn’t take that, so I don’t know if he was trying to steal the truck or if he was just too drunk [and] he didn’t know what he was doing,” Garcia said. Garcia called the police who responded in about four minutes, he said. The RCMP sent out their Police Dog Services and Forensic Identification Services, but the man was not found. Garcia said the next day, an RCMP member from Kamloops came to his residence, examined his truck and found a fingerprint, but wasn’t sure if it would yield any results. On Feb. 23, the police called Garcia and said the print was being put into their database. He also said they informed him that they had a person of interest in regards to the incident. Garcia said his son


and nephews who had the gun pointed at them were shaken up by the incident. “They were super scared. They’re still super scared,” Garcia said on Feb. 24, noting

RCMP Victim Services were coming to talk with the three children that day. Garcia said his whole family has been shaken up by the incident. “We don’t know who this guy is,” Garcia said. Garcia’s home is located near Merritt Secondary School and he’s never had any problems.

“We have tons of schoolkids walking through the alley at all times, and we’ve never had a problem,” Garcia said. Merritt RCMP Staff Sgt. Sheila White told the Herald that they can only confirm that no arrests have been made in regards to this case so far, but could not confirm if police had a person of interest.

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Wednesday March 5, 2014 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM Contact Jen Narcisse, Communications and Events Officer 250.378.3336 or

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TUESDAY, March 4, 2014 • 3

NICOLA VALLEY NEWS FREEDOM TO READ Go! Merritt producer Vanessa Ybarra reads during the library’s Freedom to Read Week read-a-thon on Feb. 25. Every 10 minutes from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. that day, a different person from the public stood at the podium to read whatever they wished. Freedom to Read Week ran from Feb. 23 to March 3, and events held across the country were intended to bring awareness to the issues of censorship and banned books. Emily Wessel/Herald

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GOOD MORNING! Opinion --------------------- 6-7 Sports ------------------------ 9 Classified ------------------- 10

REMEMBER WHEN? From the Herald archives: March 1978 Council receives applications for two new neighbourhood pubs

Strike action not expected right away From Page 1 Vogt said that is still an area of frustration. “Back in June of last year, teachers voted 96 per cent to reject a 10-year deal,” he said. “So we’ve already rejected that as a possibility and the government keeps coming back as if it’s a done deal on their side.” Vogt said the union is looking for a fair increase in pay, saying that B.C. teachers have slipped from third to sixth highest in teacher salaries amongst the other nine provinces. “We’ve laid that position on the table since day one and we don’t feel like we need to put an actual number on it when the government comes in with a figure that we’re not even going to talk about because it’s not anything near what we’re asking for,” Vogt said. He said there’s no point in giving an exact number if the government isn’t going to start at a


number they feel more comfortable with. In 2002, the provincial government removed many contract clauses relating to class size and composition, and in 2011 the B.C. Supreme Court declared that legislation unconstitutional. In 2012, the government passed a similar law removing those classroom conditions, but allowed them to be negotiable in future contract talks. In January, the B.C. Supreme Court ruled the revised law was unconstitutional. The court’s ruling found the legislation to be provoking of a strike and subsequently awarded the BCTF $2 million. The government appealed the decision and asked the court of appeal to stay the proceedings until after a ruling on their appeal has been heard, which it granted. The decision on that appeal is expected to be heard in May or June. Fassbender has said class size and composition are on the negoti-


ating table. Vogt said he doesn’t think it’s practical to discuss those issues while they’re before the courts. Prior to 2002, class size maximums from Grade 4 to Grade 12 were 30 students, Vogt said. According to the NicolaSimilkameen School District profile, there is one class in the district with more than 30 students. During the

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‘We’ve already rejected that as a possibility and the government keeps coming back as if it’s a done deal on their side.’

2005-06 school year that number was 16. When it comes to class compositions, the general rule was to have no more than two students of special needs status in a class, Vogt told the Herald. Vogt said there are special needs categories that need to be taken into consideration. “The district and the union don’t necessarily agree now on what those categories are or used to be, so now there’s some contention about what does that mean to have special needs kids,” Vogt said. “We have classes, for sure, in the district right now that have 10 kids with IEPs [individual education plan], which means they have special needs of some sort or other, but the district is arguing that not all of those count as additional special needs kids.” Peacock said there are some IEP students who do not fit the criteria from 2002 required to be considered special needs students.


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Applications for two neighbourhood pubs to be set up in Diamond Vale have been referred to the town planner, Herb Virdi, and to the newly hired community planner for study and comment back to town council following their receipt at the last regular meeting of council. Although they were not on the agenda to be dealt with at the council meeting, Alderman John Bann asked that they be included on the agenda. Aldermen Baird and Brown were concerned about the need for any more drinking outlets in Merritt, noting the reports that Merritt has the third highest crime rate, with most crime related to alcohol, in the province.

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4 • TUESDAY, March 4, 2014


Mayor’s DROP IN SESSION MONDAY, MARCH 10 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. Community Room Downstairs at City Hall.

Come down and meet the Mayor. This is your opportunity to bring forth ideas on how we can make Merritt a better place to live and do business, ask questions about something you don’t understand or if something has transpired that you have not received a proper resolution with.

Open house: tourism plan update and brand presentation Merritt Civic Centre 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, March 12 The City of Merritt and Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association are working together on a pilot project to roll out the tourism plan with a destination branding project targeted to visitor markets. Brand essence statement Country is the essence of Merritt and the Nicola Valley. Its style and flavour permeate practically everything that the area has to offer visitors and residents alike. This new country comes

with new attitudes — a fun-loving attitude, welcoming attitude, can-do attitude, ultimately a prideful attitude — pride in your city, pride in your world and a desire to share that with others. The brand alludes to the notion of a “country” stamp of identity and authenticity — “we know how to do country, and we are the experts” — but it will be a country experience uniquely relative to the evolving realities of the community. This country with attitude appeals to the soul and the rest-

less spirit in us — break out of the ordinary, find your special place or thing to do and go for it. Merritt suits this image of a heritage community with a contemporary lifestyle. Merritt has its own unique culture, heritage, recreational opportunities and environment. These characteristics add up to country with a “Merritt attitude,” a “Merritt personality.” The Merritt Nicola Valley experience is one that you can be proud of. The brand imparts an allover thoroughness to the essence of

being country-oriented. It touches on your architecture, heritage, ranching history, style of music, arts, culture, environment and outdoor recreation and ultimately says come discover us, there is something happening here. To keep up to date on the tourism plan implementation, visit

the City of Merritt’s website. Take the Explorer Quotient test before the meeting at the Civic Centre on March 12 from 6 to 8 p.m. Know your traveller type! For more information, contact City of Merritt Business and Economic Development manager Jerry Sucharyna at 378-8619.


Seasonal Public Works Labourer Position Summary The position will be required to perform general labour duties and relief work as required. Current resumes reÁecting applicants’ knowledge, skills and abilities relevant to the position and detailing education, qualiÀcations and proof of required licenses/certiÀcates/degrees will be accepted prior to 4:00 p.m. March 14, 2014 by: For complete posting listing see Carole Fraser, Human Resources Manager City of Merritt PO Box 189, 2185 Voght Street Merritt, BC V1K 1B8 Or by email: For complete posting listing see We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

NOTICE OF STATUTORY RIGHT OF WAY Pursuant to section 26 of the Community Charter, notice is hereby given that the City of Merritt intends to grant a perpetual statutory right of way to Merritt Green Energy General Partner Ltd. over a portion of the City property used for sanitary detention and infiltration ponds and legally described as Parcel Identifier: 012-986-178 That Part of District Lot 126 shown as Lot A on Plan M17853; Kamloops Division Yale District. The portion is shown on the plan below. The purpose of the right of way is to permit the installation of electrical power poles and power lines. The City will be paid $1000 a year for the permission granted.

Any persons interested in further information can contact: Sean O’Flaherty, Planning & Development Services Manager, City of Merritt, 2185 Voght Street, PO Box 189, Merritt, B.C. V1K 1B8.

Next council meeting: Tuesday, March 11, 2014 Council agendas and minutes at

City of Merritt ★ 2185 Voght Street, Box 189 Merritt, BC V1K 1B8 ★ Phone: 250-378-4224

TUESDAY, March 4, 2014 • 5


Grand finale for concert series goes next Friday

BRIGHT SMILES Students at Merritt Bench Elementary collected over 900 books to donate to the Bright Red Bookshelf campaign over the month of February. Any community member can access the books at any bright red bookshelf, which are located in various businesses around Merritt and the Nicola Valley. Submitted


The final concert in the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council’s 2013-14 series takes place next Friday. Blowing into town is French-Canadian folk quartet Le Vent Du Nord (their name translates to “the north wind”). The band formed in 2002 and has earned two Juno awards and one from France for its traditional music. The band’s four multi-instrumentalists will bring their unrivalled stage presence with them, which is a testament to the richness of Celtic-influenced Quebecois music and tradition in their blood. The hurdy-gurdy is one of the instruments that lends the band’s music its distinct French folk flavour. The player cranks a wheel on the hurdy-gurdy, which rubs against the strings and produces a sound almost like a violin, but with a constant pitch that accompanies the melody almost like bagpipes do. Though they perform their fair share of traditional songs, Le Vent Du Nord’s original tunes are a blend

of contemporary and traditional, merging the genre’s roots with more contemporary topics including hockey (La soiree du hockey is a song in three parts, intended to reflect the three periods

of a hockey game) and fracking (Le diable et le fermier, which translates to “the devil and the farmer”). The show will be set up cabaret-style with tables of eight. The

curtain rises on the final concert of the season at 7:30 p.m. at the Civic Centre on March 14 Tickets are available at Black’s Pharmacy, Baillie House and Mandolin’s.


Public Safety Notice – Winter recreationalists and snowmobilers Winter recreationalists and snowmobilers should be aware that construction of the Interior to Lower Mainland (ILM) Transmission Line continues. On-site activities include clearing of the right-of-way; construction of access roads and tower foundations; and tower assembly and erection. The ILM right-of-way continues to be a construction zone with restricted access. Restricted access is required for worker and public safety to avoid risks associated with such things as guy lines, partially constructed foundations, construction materials, or other potential hazards that may be hidden or partially hidden by the snow. Please avoid using the right-of-way for your activities. If you are in the area, use extra care when traveling around the right-of-way. The ILM project is a new 247 kilometre 500 kilovolt transmission line between Merritt and Coquitlam that will expand the electrical system so that BC Hydro can continue to deliver clean and reliable energy to homes and businesses in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island. For more information on the project please visit:

226 athletes from the Thompson - Okanagan competed at the 2014 BC Winter Games bringing home 65 medals. Thank you to the coaches, officials, volunteers, and families who support these growing champions. See photos, videos and results at


If you have any questions, please contact BC Hydro Stakeholder Engagement: 1 866 647 3334 or 604 623 4472 or send an email to


By Emily Wessel


6 • TUESDAY, March 4, 2014

HERALD OPINION Looking at Ukraine after revolution By Gwynne Dyer

From a Ukrainian point of view, the priority is not to throw their revolution away again like they did after the Orange Revolution 10 years ago. But, from everybody else’s point of view, the priority now is to avoid an irreparable breach between Russia and the West. One Cold War was enough. The Viktor Yanukovych era is finished. The former president will not make another comeback. He has killed too many people and the vulgar ostentation of his former palace (whose architect understandably chose to remain anonymous) has shocked Ukrainians, even though they already knew he was deeply corrupt. Besides, Russia will not bet on this horse again. On the other hand, various opposition leaders will have great difficulty in deciding who leads their coalition — if, indeed, they can even agree on a coalition before the promised election on May 25. But, they’ll still win the election because Yanukovych never allowed any plausible rivals to emerge in his pro-Russian Party of the Regions and Russia will not be able to find and groom a suitable replacement in time. This will frustrate people in the Russian-speaking east and south of the country, who did not take part in this revolution and do not share the desire of the Ukrainian-speaking half for closer ties with the European Union (UN). They worry that free trade with the EU will threaten their jobs and it will require much tact to reassure them their interests will be protected. But, they will not split the country as very few Ukrainians want to be part of Russia.

See ‘Let Ukraine” Page 7

Publisher Theresa Arnold production@

Springtime is welcome any time now...

Emily Wessel Merritt MUSINGS There are still about two weeks until the official start of spring. Sixteen days, to be exact, until the spring equinox on March 20. However, I am officially taking a stand against this recent second-coming of winter and am getting in

Production Dan Swedberg production2@

Advertising Sales Katie Ottenbreit sales2@


the swing of spring now. Spring marks a time for renewal, when everything that was frozen comes back to life in a refreshing transformation. From my experience (or maybe wishful thinking), people seem to be in better moods when the mercury starts to rise and the days grow longer. As the blue skies become sunnier, so do many people. It’s hard not to get caught up in that pervasive good feeling with all that motivation to “get things done,” as they say. Go ahead and let that spring into your step. In North America, one of the most popular spring traditions is spring

cleaning. With the season’s sense of renewal comes one of productivity, and the whole “out with the old, in with the new” mentality takes over. In other parts of the world, though, the spring equinox is marked by much more festive activities. In Thailand, the annual Songkran comes just after the spring equinox and marks the start of the traditional Thai new year. Water fights and Buddhist monastery visits typically mark the occasion — with tons of tourists, of course. In India, the festival of colours is called Holi, and takes place just before the equinox on March 17.

Editor Emily Wessel newsroom@

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The ancient Hindu religious festival sees everyone equalized by a covering of coloured powder and water. The day after, some Sikh people celebrate the three-day Holla Mohalla, a festival started to keep martial traditions alive that can feature firebreathing, mock battles and all kinds of daring feats. Nowruz marks the Persian New Year and is celebrated on the day of the spring equinox. Thirteen days of festivities include visits with family and friends, plenty of delicious meals, and acts of goodwill that set the tone for the year. (Spring cleaning

Sports writer Ian Webster sports@

is also part of the ritual, usually taking place before the day of the celebrations in preparation for visitors.) Until spring officially begins, we can start to enjoy longer days when daylight savings hits in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday, March 9. Even though springing ahead means we may feel we have slept in an extra hour, we will get to enjoy more of that golden Merritt sunshine until later in the day. Make sure you change all your time-keeping appliances so you don’t mess up your perception of time and show up late for work — or worse, early.

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

This Merritt Herald is a member of the British Columbia Press Council, a self-regulatory body governing the province’s newspaper industry. The council considers complaints from the public about the conduct of member newspapers. Directors oversee the mediation of complaints, with input from both the newspaper and the complaint holder. If talking with the editor or publisher does not resolve your complaint about coverage or story treatment, you may contact the B.C. Press Council. Your written concern, with documentation, should be sent to B.C. Press Council, 201 Selby St., Nanaimo, B.C. V9R 2R2. For information, phone 888-687-2213 or go to

TUESDAY, March 4, 2014 • 7

YOUR OPINION All fish in public lakes are public Dear Editor, A group of eight people went to Corbett Lake in mid-February and were approached by one of the new owners who came out and told us the lake was a private lake. We told him we knew better and then he said we trespassed to get to it. We showed him that we did not, and then he said he owned the fish. He had us there. He may have and likely did own the fish until he put them in a public lake. We asked him what legal permit gave him the right to put the fish there in the first place but we didn’t get an answer. He left very upset and understandably so, but most were releasing the fish they caught. The fishing regulations allow people to take five fish a day from Corbett Lake, one of which can be over 50 centimetres. Eight people left with three fish. The rest were returned to the lake. A private fish in a public lake becomes a public fish. The fish and wildlife branch stepped back from its obligation to stock the lake with public fish and allowed a private individual to stock the lake. It always was and still is a public lake. Blocking public

access is the only tool they have for allowing exclusive use of a public resource. That is a serious breach of trust in my mind. We trust the elected government to look after our resources, not give them away. The previous owner of the lodge there never refused me access. He always said, “Come up and go fishing whenever you like, mate.” The government seems to think that people are just going to walk away from some of their best fishing holes and let private enterprise take them over. They allow private enterprise to think that they own a public resource. They create hard feeling between friends and neighbours and seem to be proud of it. Then the police and the conservation officers showed up at my house in town after we quit fishing and told us that Corbett was a private lake. The RCMP are not well versed when environmental issues like this arise, but the issue needs resolve and giving away our lakes is not the answer. Telling us the lake is private is also unacceptable. We were very upset with the situation and they can attest to that. The conservation officers suggested we should hold off

Tristan shows off his biggest fish. Submitted

going back there fishing until they decided if we could or not. They are part of the problem, not part of a solution. They know very well it is a public lake. They are the messenger that tells us by their words and actions that the government has no will to keep public lakes and public access for the public. They could have been truthful right there and said that all lakes are public. But no, here is what they did: Just to be spiteful and vindictive, the conservation officer issued a ticket charging one of the anglers with trespassing on Douglas Lake property last year. He was with an authorized person at the time and

the Trespass Act reads: Defences to trespass 4.1 A person may not be convicted of an offence under section 4 in relation to premises if the person’s action or inaction, as applicable to the offence, was with (a) the consent of an occupier of the premises or an authorized person. The conservation officer knew that. A court case costs the public about ten thousand dollars. He was much more concerned about the welfare of the Douglas Lake Cattle Company and made that obvious and added heat to an already heated debate. The ticket could have been written any time in the last four months if it needed to be written. How very unprofessional. What next? Thank you for printing this very important bit of information so the public can start to see what is in store for them and their grandchildren with the attitude of the government and the people they hire to protect our resources. Let’s pray for a change of attitude or maybe demand it — whichever works.


Fiction Alice Hoffman The Museum of Extraordinary Things J.A. Jance Moving Target Alex Berenson The Night Ranger Non-fiction Cycling Along Europe’s Rivers Sleep: What Every Parent Needs to Know DVD Ender’s Game

Ed Hendricks Merritt

Let Ukraine handle Russian interference From Page 6 Who will emerge as Ukraine’s next leader? Yulia Tymoshenko, newly released from prison, is the obvious choice and that would certainly ease matters on the Russian front. She got along reasonably well with Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, when she was prime minister last time, but many Ukrainians who backed the revolution don’t trust her. Tymoshenko is dogged by questions about how she got so rich after the Soviet Union collapsed and she bears some of the blame for the chronic in-fighting that discredited

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Ukraine’s first attempt at running a democratic government after the Orange Revolution of 2004. None of the other potential candidates, however, is acceptable to Putin. Then there is the wild card — what if Yanukovych goes on trial for ordering the killings and the prosecutors get their hands on his secret communications with Putin? It would not serve justice well, but it would be better if Yanukovych and his leading henchmen make it safely into exile, having first destroyed all evidence of criminal acts that would implicate the Russian government. The best that can be hoped for in the short run, therefore, is a cold

peace between Kiev and Moscow, which means the $15 billion Putin promised to lend Yanukovych’s regime will not now be forthcoming. But the money has to come from somewhere and the only alternative is the West, probably in the shape of the International Monetary Fund. It is not clear if the United States and the EU are willing to come up with that kind of money. If not, the upheavals in Ukraine will resume in fairly short order. In either case, Putin will work to sabotage the attempt to entrench a strong democratic system with effective anti-corruption laws in Ukraine. Russians, for historical reasons,

do not see themselves as outsiders in Ukraine (although most Ukrainians do) and they will react very badly to attempts to exclude them entirely. The better and safer path is to support the Ukrainians with trade and aid, but leave it to them to deal with Russian interference in their politics. They are perfectly capable of doing this for themselves and they can also prosper without joining either the European Union or NATO. But they do need a whopping great loan — right now. Gwynne Dyer’s columns appear in publications in 45 countries.

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HERALD QUESTION OF THE WEEK To vote, go online to

Do you agree with the government’s changes to medical marijuana access in Canada?

PREVIOUS QUESTION Have recent highway closures in B.C. affected your travel plans? YES: 36% NO: 64%

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

8 • TUESDAY, March 4, 2014


Farnworth first in for B.C. NDP leadership NDP campaign choice to run mostly upbeat advertising to promote a platform with few specifics. “Under my watch, the B.C. NDP will never fight an election with one hand tied behind its back,” Farnworth said in an opening statement released by his campaign. “We’ll be tough on the issues and hold the BC Liberals to

By Tom Fletcher BLACK PRESS

After finishing a close second to Adrian Dix in 2011, Mike Farnworth says he is running for NDP leader to correct the party’s mistakes of 2013. Offering “a progressive alternative that can win an election,” the long-time Port Coquitlam MLA referred Sunday to the

account for their disastrous record, while being clear about what we would do differently.” Farnworth also gave a hint of a more prodevelopment stance for the party, which has opposed oil pipelines and offered lukewarm support to liquefied natural gas development. “Under my leadership, the B.C. NDP

Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth

will stand firmly for a strong and diversified

economy that provides family-supporting jobs and builds shared prosperity,” Farnworth said. Dix won the leadership by a narrow margin in 2011, after several rounds of voting left Farnworth with 48 per cent of participating party members. After a string of newly elected MLAs bowed out, Juan de Fuca MLA John

Horgan has been reconsidering his decision not to run again. He finished third in

2011, and both he and Farnworth had leading roles in the NDP governments of the 1990s.

Roadside suspensions credited for cut in alcohol deaths By Tom Fletcher BLACK PRESS

VICTORIA – Roadside suspensions and vehicle seizures for drivers blowing as low as 0.05 per cent blood alcohol have helped cut B.C. drinking and driving deaths by half, Attorney General Suzanne Anton said last Monday. Government statistics show average fatalities from drinking and driving have fallen to 54 a year from a previous five-year average of 112, since the law took effect in September 2010. Anton said the program is so successful that other provinces are moving in the same direction.

Anton wouldn’t comment on court challenges to the program, which imposes penalties on people who test in the “warn” range below 0.08, where they are subject to impaired driving charges. “If there have to be changes made to it, we will be making those, but the program is good, it saves lives and that’s what’s important,” Anton said. The “immediate roadside prohibition” program replaced most impaired driving charges with administrative penalties, including a three-day driving ban and a $200 administrative fee for those who

blow between 0.05 and 0.08, if the police officer has reason to believe the driver is impaired. For those who blow in the “impaired” range of 0.08 or higher, police have the option of imposing a 90-day driving ban, a $500 penalty and impounding the vehicle for 30 days instead of laying a charge. Towing and impounding a vehicle can result in a $700 bill, and a $1,400 mandatory “responsible driver program” may also be required before the driver’s licence is returned. The government terms the measure “Alexa’s Law,” after

PREVENT THEFTS FROM YOUR MOTOR VEHICLE Here a few helpful hints to help prevent motor vehilcle break-ins: 1 Don’t leave purses or valuables inside vehicles overnight. 2 Lock vehicles when exiting, make it a habit. 3 If leaving valuables in a vehicle; hide from sight. 4 Park in a well lit area. 5 Report any thefts, damage or suspicious persons to police

This message brought to you by

of preventable deaths caused by drinking and driving, as a community we’ve made significant and sustained changes,” said Laurel Middelaer, Alexa’s mother, who has been an advocate on the issue since the tragedy.



PO Box 98 Merritt, BC V1K 1B8

Custom welding and bending. On radiators and mufflers.

894 Coldwater Road, Merritt, B.C.

NOTICE OF SCHEDULED POWER INTERRUPTION FOR LOGAN LAKE AND OUTLYING AREAS Time: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. When: Sunday, March 23, 2014 Where: Logan Lake and outlying areas, including Lac La Jeune, Meadow Creek Road, Tunkwa Road and Hwy 97C We will be making electrical system improvements in Logan Lake and outlying areas on March 23, 2014. To ensure the safety of our work crews, it will be necessary to interrupt electrical service for approximately 8 hours. To prepare for this interruption and protect your equipment from damage, turn off all lights, electric heaters, major appliances and unplug all electronics. For the first hour after the power comes back on, please only plug in or turn on those electronics and appliances that you really need. This will help ensure the electrical system does not get overloaded. We are sorry for the inconvenience. We will restore your power as soon as we can. Prepare for outages and stay informed by visiting or from your handheld device. Please call 1 888 POWERON (1 888 769 3766) for more information. 4156


four-year-old Alexa Middelaer, who was feeding horses at the roadside in Delta when she was struck by an impaired driver and killed in 2008. “After decades of stagnant progress on reducing the number

beachcomber HOT TUBS



TUESDAY, March 4, 2014 • 9

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

Cents to face Vees in the first round of the playoffs Historic rivalry kicks off Tuesday at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton By Ian Webster THE HERALD

The Merritt Centennials are in the 2013-14 BCHL playoffs, and their first round opponents are the muchreviled Penticton Vees. All that was determined this past week in an eventful series of games involving Interior division teams. On Wednesday, the Cents officially locked up the fourth and final playoff spot in their division with a decisive 5-1 home-ice victory over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. It was a must-win situation for the fifthplace ’Backs, who went into Wednesday’s game trailing the Cents by five points and needing a perfect storm in their last three games to have any hopes of making the post-season. The Vees officially became the Centennials’ round one playoff opposition when they defeated the Silverbacks in back-to-back games on the final weekend of the regular season to lock up first place in the division. Penticton and West Kelowna both finished the 58-game regular schedule with 78 points; however, the Vees were given the nod thanks to one more win than the Warriors. The Cents-Vees best-

VS Game 1 Tues., March 4 Penticton 7 p.m. 2 Wed., March 5 Penticton 7 p.m. 3 Fri., March 7


7:30 p.m.

4 Sat., March 8


7:30 p.m.

5 Mon., March 10 Penticton 7 p.m.* 6 Tues., March 11 Merritt

7 p.m.*

7 Wed., March 12 Penticton 7 p.m.* * if necessary

Final BCHL Standings 2013-14 INTERIOR DIVISION Team YEAH, BABY! BCHL playoff hockey doesn’t get any better than a Merritt Centennials - Penticton Vees matchup. The two teams resume their storied rivalry with the first game of their best-of-seven round one series tonight at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton. Games three and four of the series go Friday and Saturday at the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena in Merritt. Puck drop each night is 7:30 p.m. Ian Webster/Herald file photo

of-seven opening round series promises to be an intense one. While Penticton came out on top in the seven regular season meetings between the two teams with a 4-2-1-0 record, it was Merritt who won the most recent encounter, 2-1 on Jan. 17. This year’s Vees are led by high-powered forward Brad McClure (41 goals, 39 assists, 80 points) and the rocksolid goaltending tandem of Hunter Miska (2.26 GAA, .915SV%) and Olivier Mantha (2.27GAA, .912SV%).

Penticton also boasts the BCHL’s top-ranked powerplay (23.5%), penalty kill (86.88%) and plus-minus (+62). Merritt counters with two of the league’s top lines in Diego Cuglietta, Jeff Wight and James Neil (134 points) and Scotty Patterson, Sebastien Paré and Payton Schaefer (129 points), tremendous role players in the likes of Sam Johnson and Daniel Nachbaur and a greatly improved backend led by a pair of Michigan Tech bound scholarship athletes — defence-

man Dane Birks and netminder Devin Kero (2.48GAA, .918SV%). Merritt won its final game of the regular season in convincing fashion, trouncing the Vernon Vipers 5-1 on Saturday. In the 2012-13 BCHL season, the Centennials were the only team in the league to have a winning record (4-2-0-0) against the Vees, including two victories on the road at the South Okanagan Events Centre. The last time that the Centennials and Vees met in the playoffs was in 2011-12 — the sea-

son Penticton amassed a record 110 points in league play en route to winning a national title at the RBC Cup. In that 2012 Interior division playoff final, the Vees knocked off the Cents in five games. Few Merritt fans will forget the turning point of the series when Penticton won 3-2 in overtime in game four to take a 3-1 series lead and never look back. Hopefully, it will be the Centennials who have the last laugh this season. Hang on to your hats, folks, and enjoy the ride.




x Penticton 58 36 16 2 x West Kelowna 58 35 15 3 x Vernon 58 30 18 4 x Merritt 58 31 22 4 Salmon Arm 58 25 24 1 Trail 58 10 42 2 ISLAND DIVISION

4 5 6 1 8 4

78 78 70 67 59 26





x Victoria x Powell River x Nanaimo x Alberni Valley Cowichan Valley

58 58 58 58 58

15 16 28 28 30

3 2 1 2 2

37 36 27 21 22

3 4 2 7 4

80 78 57 51 50





x Langley x Prince George x Coquitlam x Surrey Chilliwack

58 58 58 58 58

13 20 26 30 37

3 4 2 1 2

37 32 27 25 14

5 2 3 2 5

82 70 59 53 35

x qualified for the playoffs

TOP COPS The Chilliwack Crime Stoppers (left) were winners of the inaugural Law Enforcement Charity Hockey Challenge on the weekend in Merritt, while the Langley Devils (right) placed second. The Crime Stoppers defeated the Devils 5-3 in the championship game on Sunday. A total of six teams from around the province took part in the three-day tourney with all monies raised going to the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. Ian Webster/Herald

10 • TUESDAY, March 4, 2014

Your community. Your classifieds.

250.378.4241 fax 250.378.6818 email classiÀ ADVERTISING DEADLINES WORD CLASSIFIEDS

Tuesday issue noon the preceding Friday Thursday issue noon the preceding Tuesday


Tuesday issue noon the preceding Friday Thursday issue noon the preceding Tuesday


Family Announcements Community Announcements Employment Business Services Pets & Livestock Merchandise For Sale Real Estate Rentals Automotive Legals


It is agreed by any display or classiÀed advertiser requesting space that the liability of the paper in the event to failure to publish an 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 that there shall be no liability in any event beyond the amount paid for such advertisement. The publisher shall not be liable for slight changes or typographical errors that do not lessen the value of an advertisement. bcclassiÀ cannot be responsible for errors after the Àrst day of publication of any advertisement. Notice of errors after the Àrst day of publication of any advertisement. Notice or errors on the Àrst day should immediately be called to the attention of the classiÀed department to be corrected for the following edition.

bcclassiÀ reserves the right to revise, edit, classify or reject any advertisement and to retain any answers directed to the bcclassiÀ Box Replay Service and to repay the customer the sum paid for the advertisement and box rental.


Advertisers are reminded that Provincial legislation forbids the publication of any advertisement which discriminates against any person because of race, religion, sex, colour, nationality, ancestry or place of origin, or age, unless the condition is justiÀed by a bonaÀde requirement for the work involved.


Copyright and/or properties subsist in all advertisements and in all other material appearing in this edition of bcclassiÀ Permission to reproduce wholly or in 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.




Coming Events

Career Opportunities

HISTORICAL ARMS Collectors. Guns-Knives-Militaria. 42nd Antiques Show & Sale. Sat. March 8, 9am-5pm. Sun March 9, 9am-3pm. Heritage Park, 44140 Luckackuck Way, Chilliwack (exit 116 off Hwy 1) Buy-Sell-Trade. For info or table rentals Gord 604-747-4704 Al 604-941-8489. See our website

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Mobile Homes & Pads

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Two 1 bedroom mobile homes. Wash, dryer, fridge, stove, utilities included. Small pets considered. $800 per month 250-378-0887

Houses For Sale

Rooms for Rent

Home and Land Packages Springbank Ave, Merritt

Looking for mature boarders. Furnished rooms, beautiful home. Must be working, prefer contract workers, close to down town core. Not for permanent residence. Basement for 600 hundred, or upstairs room for 500 hundred. Includes utilities, but does not include food. Call Tracey at 250378-8852

GET BACK ON TRACK! Bad credit? Bills? Unemployed? Need Money? We Lend! If you own your own home - you qualify. Pioneer Acceptance Corp. Member BBB. 1-877-987-1420 IF YOU own a home or real estate, Alpine Credits can lend you money: It’s That Simple. Your Credit / Age / Income is not an issue. 1.800.587.2161.

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Business/Office Service

If YES, call or email for your FREE LEGAL CONSULTATION

and protect your right to compensation. 778.588.7049 Toll Free: 1.888.988.7052

Employment Business Opportunities $1000 A week mailing brochures from home! Helping Home-Workers since 2001. No experience required. Start Immediately! Visit us online: GET FREE Vending Machines. Can earn $100,000 + per year. All cash-retire in just 3 years. Protected territories. Full details call now 1-866668-6629. Or visit our website HELP WANTED - Local people needed! Simple, flexible online work. FT/PT. Internet needed. Very easy. No experience required! Guaranteed income! No fees. Genuine! Start immediately. Visit online at: UP TO $400 cash daily FT & PT outdoors, Spring/Summer work. Seeking honest, hard working staff. Visit us online:

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Education/Trade Schools

Denied Long-Term Disability Benefits or Other Insurance?

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Advertising: Publisher: Editorial: Production: 2090 Granite Avenue, P.O. Box 9, Merritt, B.C.

START NOW! Complete Ministry approved Diplomas in months! Business, Health Care and more! Contact Academy of Learning College: 1-855-354-JOBS (5627) or We Change Lives!

Real Estate

Hotel, Restaurant, Food Services KITCHEN HELPER Queen India Food 2 Go is hiring 1 permanent kitchen helper for its location 3683 Dewolf Way Merritt, B.C. V1K 1C4. Basic English required. Exp. an asset but not required. Duties: Wash, peel, and cut vegetables and fruits, Clean and sanitize kitchen equip. Sweep and mop floor etc. Salary: $10.30/Hourly, Room and Board provided. Apply at: queenindiafood SAMARITAN’S Purse is looking for a Working Chef to coordinate the Restaurant Kitchen, maintain a professional rapport within the community and train junior cooks, in Dease, Lake, BC

Need a Vehicle?

Call the

1 unit available, 1st Áoor unit ideal for seniors

Help Wanted A.R.T ENTERPRISES Ltd o/a Subway at A-2190 Vought St, Merritt, BC, V1K-1B8 is hiring five F/T Permanent Kitchen Helpers. $10.29-$11.50/hour. High School graduate. Duties: Wash & Peel vegetables & fruit. Receive, unpack & store supplies. Remove garbage. Drop-off or email resume: Looking for a full time butcher in Merritt - wage will be based on experience. Email resumes to:, or mail to: Empire Valley Premium Beef PO Box 4281, Williams Lake, BC V2G 2V3

Auto Financing

help and information anytime, anywhere in BC.

Available Jan. 1, 2014

Merchandise for Sale

Misc. for Sale SAWMILLS FROM only $4,897 - Make money & save money with your own bandmill - Cut lumber any dimension. In stock ready to ship. Free Info & DVD: www.NorwoodSaw 1-800-5666899 Ext:400OT.

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STEEL BUILDINGS/Metal buildings 60% off! 20x28, 30x40, 40x62, 45x90, 50x120, 60x150, 80x100 sell for balance owed! Call 1-800-4572206 Visit us online at:

Avail Mar. 1/14 One bdrm for one adult only. N/S, N/P, heat & cable incl. $525/mon. Ref’s. 250-378-2954 Sandpiper Unit 109 2 bdrm w/laundry. $750/mon + Hydro Avail Mar. 1/14. 250-378-8104


Mobile Homes & Pads

Misc. Wanted Coin Collector Looking to Buy Collections, Estates, Gold & Silver Coins + 778-281-0030

3 bdrm 2 bath double wide trailer in L.N. Newly reno, 1/2 acre, quiet spot $975 plus damage deposit. Avail Mar. 1st. Call 250-378-4166

Cards of Thanks

Cards of Thanks

Available 24/7 •

Guaranteed Approvals



Call Steve Today 1.855.740.4112

Houses For Sale

Houses For Sale



for sale. Must be moved or dissassembled by April 1, 2014. Full basement - solid house.

In memory of Gordon Thomas McPhail The family of the late Tom McPhail wish to express their deep appreciation to everyone who offered such kindness, support and messages of sympathy and comfort during this very difÀcult time. Tom will be missed forever, but he will continue to live in our hearts. Warm regards Myrna McPhail and family


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TUESDAY, March 4, 2014 â&#x20AC;¢ 11



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12 • TUESDAY, March 4, 2014

Strategic Planning Website and Survey

School District No. 58 (Nicola-Similkameen)

“wants to hear your voice” We want your opinions on what you think should be a focus for preparing our young people for success in a changing world. Share your opinion by completing the online survey on future priorities in education at between now and March 7th Participate in one of the many partner group meetings taking place between now and April 15, 2014. March 31, April 1, 2, 3 and 7, 8, 9 Partner Groups – Time and location to be determined and advertised. April 14, 2014 – Princeton – Community Voice on Education in SD 58, 6:30 p.m. (location to be determined) April 15, 2014 – Merritt – Community Voice on Education in SD 58, 6:30 p.m. (location to be determined)

School District No. 58 (Nicola-Similkameen) has committed to a broad and extensive public consultation process to determine strategic priorities for the next five years.

For more information and updates be sure to visit our Strategic Planning Website at

Merritt Herald, March 04, 2014  

March 04, 2014 edition of the Merritt Herald

Merritt Herald, March 04, 2014  

March 04, 2014 edition of the Merritt Herald