4745 51 Street P.O. Box 1529 Chetwynd, B.C. V0C 1J0
Karen Boos 250-788-6598
Dan Grodzuik 250-788-6435
Myra Grodzuik 250-788-6365
ECHO FEBRUARY 5, 2014
What lies ahead for 2014 for Mayor & Council?
Alma Walter 250-788-5168
CELEBRATING 55 YEARS IN 2014
Hats off to Success
Julia Nelson 250-788-6707
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Year of the
Chetwynd Chamber of Commerce staff Tonia Richter, Charla Nelson and Wilma Richardson tip their hats in honour of upcoming Civic Night - an evening recognizing the best of the best in Chetwynd. For more Photo by Naomi Larsen on this annual event, see page 3.
MIKE CARTER Chetwynd Echo Reporter –––––––––––––– CHETWYND – As they begin their third year as community leaders, the Chetwynd Echo caught up with mayor and council to ask them what lies ahead for the town in 2014 and what they’ve done so far. Some of the highlights include continuing work to recruit even more doctors to the community, improvements to the sewer treatment facilities effectiveness and ability to meet the town’s capacity and, every councillor it seems is looking forward to the construction of the new town hall which will begin this spring. Here is what else they had to say: Mayor Merlin Nichols – “I have an excellent Council and am most happy to be working with them. Having said that, I will add that Council development is an area that we must never neglect. It does cost a bit but the cost is returned many times over in intelligent work and careful thought. You can quote me on all of that. I won't repeat Council's objectives, but one of the things also dear to my heart that has not been mentioned and that I will continue to work on is the beautification of our hometown. Of all the things that go into the mix to make a community attractive to potential new residents - good housing, schools, health care, competitive taxation, vigorous employment prospects - (and keep the old residents here), an attractive living space has to be near the top of the list. This goes for our private resiBY
Please see "DISTRICT," page 3
South Peace MLA Mike Bernier back to work as 40th session of parliament gets underway in BC
MIKE CARTER Chetwynd Echo Reporter –––––––––––––– DAWSON CREEK – South Peace MLA Mike Bernier is heading back to Victoria to get to work on a number of the legislative changes he has been developing as a member of Christy Clark’s cabinet committee for a strong economy. Next week marks the beginning of the first session of the 40th Parliament in the British Columbia Legislature with a throne speech on behalf of the government read by Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon on February 11. The very next week, on Feb. 18, the government will reveal the 2014 provincial government. The Chetwynd Echo caught up with Bernier to speak about what lies ahead for this government in BY
2014, and specifically, to ask about some of the local impacts we can expect to come out of the throne speech, which will reveal the government’s overall plan for this session ending May 29. With that speech so close on the horizon, there were not many details Bernier could give. Yet, it wasn’t long before themes emerged. A balanced budget and the resulting spending cuts and restraints that could effect the education system, the need for skills training as the demand for skilled labour increases and, the benefits to our region from both liquefied natural gas (LNG) and the forestry sector. Here are some of the things Bernier mentioned in his interview with us that we believe will form the basis of the provincial governments proceedings Feb. 11 – May
29. Each of the themes that emerged will have an impact on us in Chetwynd, and because of that we will be following these big-ticket items closely to see just what the impact will be. Balanced budget It’s no secret that the BC Government has made a balanced budget a priority. But a Supreme Court ruling last week that sided with the British Columbia Teachers Federation (BCTF) in a 12-year dispute over class size and composition may make this a challenge. The BCTF said they would be keeping a close eye on the budget for increased spending on education, which would directly affect the BC Peace Region and our Please see "BERNIER," page 7
Look what’s in this weeks flyer at your local
Prices are in effect from until Thursday February 6, 2014
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Teachers keeping an eye on how government reacts to court ruling
MIKE CARTER Chetwynd Echo Reporter â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“â€“ CHETWYND â€“ BC Teachers in School District 59 are waiting to see how the government will react to a court decision last week that the BC Teachers Federation (BCTF) is calling a major victory. On January 27, the BC Supreme Court ordered the provincial government to restore class size and composition language in the collective agreement that was stripped in 2002, and ordered it to pay $2million in damages to teachers. The decision will force the government to either increase its education funding or else, leave the provinceâ€™s school districts to balance their books through tough financial decisions. â€œThe government has to make a decision, and the decision is whether they are going to rebuild the education system and follow the directions of the court or whether they are going to continue to fight with teachers and underfund education,â€? Peace River South Teachers Association president Lorraine MacKay said in an interview Friday afternoon from Vancouver, where BY
Maybe it goes against some policy they have where they donĘźt support smaller class sizes... IKER
she was attending a BCTF representative assembly. â€œIf they decide to do that, the ones who are really paying the price of all this stripping are students,â€? she added. â€œWhat we're hoping is that the government will in fact implement the decision of the court and certainly, if that takes place than we will see additional funding for education and we'll also hopefully see a commitment by the government to work with teachers and work with the BCTF to reenergize and re-build the education system.â€? Contract negotiations continue between the government and the BCTF after the previous collective agreement expired June 30, 2013. According to
MacKay, last weekâ€™s Supreme Court decision will mean that negotiations will now commence using the 2002 collective agreement language regarding class size and composition as a base. The ruling came on the same day that the BCTF held a news conference to mark the 12th anniversary of the fight over class sizes and composition. â€œChildren who were in kindergarten in 2002 when government illegally stripped class size and class composition from our collective agreements are now in Grade 12,â€? BCTF president Jim Iker said. â€œThe result is those students, an entire generation of BC kids, have spent their whole education in larger classes with less
one-on-one time and less support from specialist teachers like counselors and special-education teachers.â€?
THE 12-YEAR BATTLE OVER CLASS SIZE AND COMPOSITION In 2002, kindergarten class sizes were capped at 20 students, and class sizes for Grades 1 to 3 were capped at 22. The government enacted Bill 28 in that year and numbers in Kindergarten classes increased to a cap of 22, while grades 1 to 3 increased to 24. Bill 28 was ruled unconstitutional in 2011. The government then enacted Bill 22 in 2012, legislation that in her decision on Monday, Justice Susan Griffin called â€œvirtually identicalâ€? to Bill 28. Both bills removed class size and composition clauses from collective agreement language, while also prohibiting the BCTF from bargaining on these issues in future collective agreements. Last weekâ€™s ruling deemed both Billâ€™s 22 and 28 were never valid, thus reverting class sizes and composition to 2002 levels meaning current, ongoing contract negotiations will use the language of the 2002 collective agreement as a starting point. On the class composition side, both bills increased the cap of students with learning disabilities and special needs allowed in classrooms, a move that the BCTF says stretches teachers too thin as they try to spend additional time with those students who need it, and at the same time keep the overall class progressing normally. The issue was compacted, says the BCTF, with a shortage of education support workers due to the consistent underfunding of public education. â€œ[When] those ratios are put back into force it will benefit the kids who are
most at risk. It will help the kids who have special needs and it will also help the kids that have learning disabilities and learning difficulties,â€? MacKay said. BCTF president Jim Iker says they will be looking now for signs that the government is abiding by the ruling as the legislature heads back to work on Tuesday, Feb. 11. BCTF members will eyeball the provincial budget, to be released this month, for signs that the government is committed to increased funding and
...the ones who are really paying the price ... are students. MacKAY prepared to hire more classroom specialist teachers and reduce class sizes. Iker said comments made by Clark that her government is considering an appeal to the decision will be viewed by teachers and many British Columbians as clear signals the Liberals are preparing to continue their decade-long underfunding of education. â€œMaybe it goes against some policy they have where they donâ€™t support smaller class sizes for students,â€? he said. â€œWhere they donâ€™t support that, our students should have more access to specialist teachers, like teacher counselors, learning-assistance teachers, specialeducation-resource teachers, teacher librarians, because thatâ€™s what itâ€™s saying if they appeal this decision.â€? In an interview with
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Kamloops radio station CHNL, Clark said â€œbecause it is our priority to make sure that the education system is working for kids, we donâ€™t feel that the decision that the judge made really reflects that priority the way we think it should. We and our lawyers are looking at it very carefully to really understand it. There seems to be a view at the moment that the likelihood is the government will appeal the decision.â€? In January, Clark said Februaryâ€™s budget would
be balanced. The government says Februaryâ€™s budget is on track for a surplus of about $165-million, but finance Minister Mike de Jong has said balancing the budget has been a difficult job, with the government holding the line on spending and making few spending promises. Negotiations on a new collective agreement between the government and the BCTF are ongoing. Clark has said the governmentâ€™s goal is to achieve a 10-year contract with teachers that offers stability to students and families. Iker said a decade-long deal is too long, but the two sides will negotiate the length of a new contract at the bargaining table. With files from the Canadian Press and the Vancouver Sun.
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Licenses are available at the District of Chetwynd Office, located at, 5400 North Access Road. Prices are: Spayed/Neutered - $12 Non-spayed/neutered - $36 Seniors discount is 10%
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Like the Grammy’s were music’s biggest night – this is Chetwynd’s biggest night Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Civic Night set for Feb. 27 & only one nomination in so far, deadline Feb. 14 NAOMI LARSEN Chetwynd Echo Editor –––––––––––––– CHETWYND –- Civic Night 2014 is around the corner with this year’s celebrations set for Feb. 27 at the Talisman Energy Cottonwood Hall. This year’s theme is “Hats Off to Success.” Chamber of Commerce Manager Tonia Richter says deadline for nominations is Feb. 14. “Please take the time BY
and nominate someone who in your eyes has added to our community in one way or another,” Richter said. “This is the one time each year we have an opportunity to thank those in our community who have made outstanding contributions, volunteering hours of their own time and standout with top notch customer service skills. If you know of anyone deserving of one of these awards and
Citizen of the Year 1963 present
Nelson (Wink) Wheeler 1963 Garry Moore 1964 Mary Robertson 1965 Frank Oberle 1966
acknowledgement tury Citizen of the Year; Here. Nomination forms can be found at www.chetwyndchamber.ca or pop in and pick up a copy. You can also call Chamber office at Please take the 250-788-3345 or email email@example.com. time to nominate Anyone who lives, works or studies in someone Chetwynd can be nomiwho..has added to nated. our community. The event is usually free to the community however this year tickets are priced at $5 per person. RICHTER “Reason being is we have too many tickets please pick up your nomi- Junior Citizen of the Year; going out and not everynation form today.” Volunteer of the Year; one is using them,” Categories for this Business of the Year; Cus- Richter said. “We are only year’s celebrations are: tomer Service Rep of the allowed to seat 200 people, Citizen of the Year; Cen- Year and Heroes Live and with the growing
John Martens 1967 Father Emil Jungbluth 1968 Joan Oberle 1969 Korky Grant 1970 Lorne McQueen 1971 Bunne Hoffman 1972 Ernie Pfanner 1973 Dean Westgate 1974 Irene McClarty 1975 Ed Hoffman 1976 Bob McNabb 1977
popularity we need to charge a nominal fee to make sure everyone gets a chance at a ticket. Also this help off set the cost of food and entertainment.” This year’s entertainment will be comedic magician Clinton Gray. Gray was in Chetwynd last year for the annual Trade Show and was a resounding success with residents and visitors alike. Refreshments and appetizers will be served. A cash bar will be available. The Chetwynd Community Arts Council will also be in attendance with their Calendar in the Buff for purchase as well as memberships.
Marcie Fofonoff 2004 Yvonne Eldon 2005 Pauline Houde 2006 Darcy and Glenda Groves 2008 Lou and Sharon Surerus 2009 Don Hicks 2010 Brenda Maisey 2011 Karen Stewart 2012 Karen Buckley 2013 ???????? - 2014
Tarla Brewster 1989 Jean Hicks 1990 Colette Girard 1991 Marian Hoover 1992 Bobbie Larsen 1993 Pastor Bill Evans 1994 Stu Garland 1995 Shirley Weeks 1996 Dale Phillips 1997 Leo Sabulsky 1998 Pam Bagg 2003
Harold Amundsen 1978 Vera Lekavy 1979 Jim Best 1980 Ian Campbell 1981 Ralph Larsen 1982 A.J. (Bert) McGraw 198 Robert Shirley 1984 Ann Teslyk 1985 Terry Bunker 1986 Mrs. Clara Moore 1987 Barb Shirley 1988
District councillors pleased with progress so far Continued from page 1
dences and outbuildings, litter-free streets and boulevards, well-kept and tidy loading docks, fresh paint on commercial establishments, and all the other things that send a message that we care about looking after ourselves. I will continue to advocate for all this and support Council in its endeavours. Thanks for helping to put together a fine paper another part of a maturing community.” Councillor Alec Brownlee – “In the next few months I am looking forward to breaking ground on the new district office. I'm very pleased with the progress the district has made on infrastructure and want to see it continue as planned. It has been a pleasure to be involved with this dedicated group of people that want to see Chetwynd grow and thrive.”
WESIGER BER Councillor Laura Weisgerber – “It is hard to believe that this is my third and last year of my term as councillor. It has been a rewarding and educational experience. 2014 looks a lot the same, my focus this year will be
BROWNLEE working with Staff and the Province to line up funds for a plan for the work that is required on our sewer treatment plant to meet regulatory requirements and current capacity. I will continue working hard with the Health Services Group, Northern Health and the Medical Clinic to recruit and retain more doctors for our town. The highlight of this year will be the construction of our new town hall, which has been a long time coming and something that Chetwynd can be proud of.” Councillor Bob Nicholson – “I am happy with the Council and its past work. Looking ahead to Council’s work for the future means that the sewer and water services are kept in good standing. The problems that have occurred are being solved and Council is keeping costs controlled. The new city hall will be completed and costs will be much less than anticipated. The museum, with many thanks to the Regional District funding, will be in good shape once the repairs are completed in late spring. All thanks to staff’s work and good Council support.”
Tell us what you think! Wednesday 29
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Councillor Rochelle Galbraith – “For myself, the last couple years on council have been exciting, educational, and productive. They are years I know I will never regret, nor forget. Challenges and obstacles have been overcome and we continue to forge on to ensure the residents of this wonderful community are happy to be here, and want to be here. We have a beautiful little town, in which I am proud to call home. So some of the things that you will be seeing in the next 11 months in Chetwynd: We are continuing to work on the issues of infrastructure repairs, a task that unfortunately is at the forefront of every communities “to do list” across Canada.
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and perseverance has paid off. We now have two new Doctors. But, we are not stopping there! We are continuing our efforts, and working diligently with Northern Health to recruit even more doctors. Our previous council’s clear insight to save for a new municipal hall and with the support from the community at our open house, is no longer a vision, but now is a reality.
Councillor Ernest Pfanner – For 2014, Pfanner plans to work on: Attracting and retaining doctors in Chetwynd, ensuring that the sewer lagoon system is functioning properly and seeing that the new district office is built on time and on budget. Councillor Larry Vezina did not respond by press time.
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This is not always a visual improvement, but is one that is being done. One of the things I said when running for council in 2011, is the importance of more doctors and I would work to try to make that happen. Since being elected, I am fortunate to have been assigned to the Health Services Committee as part of my portfolio. I am pleased to say that our dedication
We anticipate having this new municipal hall started early this spring. Because there are several other committees I sit on in Chetwynd and for our region, it’s hard to pick only a few things that you will see happening in the next 11 months. I am the appointed Liaison for the Chetwynd Seniors Housing Society. They are growing leaps and bounds and working towards their Surerus Place Phase 2. This is exciting and certainly a place that is needed for our senior and assisted living population in Chetwynd. Another Committee I am excited to be part of is the Chetwynd Public Library... there is far too much going on there to report, so I would highly recommend stopping in there when you get a chance and see what is going on! Another wonderful asset to this community.”
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014
It’s time to celebrate Chetwynd and the people in it NOTABLY NOMI :)
kay folks. Civic Night is almost here. It's time to celebrate those people Naomi Larsen is Editor for the Chetwynd Echo. who make our commuContact her at by phone at 250.788.2246 or via email nity an even better place firstname.lastname@example.org to live. Coaches. Business owners. Neighbourhood kids. Friends. Employees. Think about it... who gives selflessly of their time to help make Chetwynd shine? Who goes that extra mile to help make Chetwynd a better place? Who could be considered a role model? Thought of someone? Great. Now go and fill out a nomination form at the Chamber and give them the thanks they deserve. Or log onto www.chetwyndchamber.ca and fill out the form there. Just do it. Civic night is Chetwynd's night to recognize our community and the people who live in it. It's a family event, it's on a Thursday night, it even has free appetizers and awesome entertainment- and the Chamber of Commerce busts their butts to host this party for you - the residents of this town. A civic celebration such as this should be embraced and enjoyed by as many people as possible. It's important for this community to know itself and the amazing people and businesses within it. So go to your calendar, circle Feb. 27 and make plans to attend. It’s a great evening out and it’s worth it. Now onto other pressing issues. Letters to me. The letters to the editor section of this paper is a place for you - the reader - to express your opinions on the issues within these pages and within your lives. It's a place for you to get your voice heard throughout the community, a place to garner discussion, to debate issues, to speak your mind. So my question is ... why are you all so quiet? It's so rare I get a (local) letter that when I do I'm ecstatic. So for the next while I'm eliminating the word count on letters (to a certain extent). That's right folks - you're free to write about whatever you want for as long as you want. All I ask for are these three things: One. All letters must be signed with full first and last name. No anonymity. Why? It's difficult to take a point seriously and it is easily discounted if it can't be attributed to someone. I have no need to print a letter when the person doesn't have the courage to stand behind it. Two. I need your phone number (not for print) so I can call and verify it was you who wrote it. And three, if you are responding to a columnists views or a story don't launch personal attacks. Offer a countervailing opinion. Try to advance the debate so that other readers might join in the discussion in subsequent letters. That's it. Easy as pie. Now get reading and get writing. This is your community newspaper. Be a part of it. Follow the Chetwynd Echo on Twitter Fan us on Facebook
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
There is a need for BCʼs own dementia plan
To the Editor, Nova Scotia's Health Minister Leo Glavine recently announced that his province will develop a strategy to prepare for a quickly growing concern: dementia. As a person living with dementia (I was diagnosed in 2008 at age 57) and as a Volunteer Board Member for the Alzheimer Society of B.C. I am encouraged by Nova Scotia's news.
I am also pleased by the attention the disease is getting here in B.C. Premier Clark's recent comments about her personal connection to dementia have started a valuable discussion in our province. The Premier's support is particularly critical as provincial and territorial premiers prepare to discuss dementia at the Council of the Federation meetings this August. The need for
a comprehensive, funded dementia plan which supports people with dementia and their families is urgent. Please join me in spreading awareness about the need for B.C.'s own dementia plan. Sincerely, Jim Mann Volunteer Board Member Alzheimer Society of B.C
Proposals next step to create real change To the Editor: Canadians want their leaders to come forward with practical solutions to our problems, and they have been clear that the Senate has become one of those problems. It is broken and needs to be fixed. Through extreme patronage and partisanship, the Senate has become an institution that poorly serves the interests of Canadians. Canadians are especially disenchanted with the antiquated convention that sees Senators appointed by one person: the Prime Minister. The Senate is a public in-
stitution. It should not continue to be run like the Prime Minister’s private club. The Liberal Party has taken immediate action to address these challenges. From now on, our national caucus will only include elected Members of Parliament, not Senators. All of our Senators are now completely independent of the Liberal Party of Canada Caucus. Furthermore, if I earn the privilege of serving Canadians as their Prime Minister, I will put in place an open, transparent and public process for appoint-
ing and confirming Senators. This process will be developed with experts and will be modelled after other non-partisan appointment processes, like Supreme Court Justices and Order of Canada recipients. These changes take effect right away, without opening up the Constitution. They avoid a long, rancorous and likely pointless constitutional debate that would distract us from solving more important problems. I am calling on the Prime Minister to do the right thing and match this ac-
tion. As the majority party in the Senate, he could achieve immediate and comprehensive change right away if he decided to. Taken together, these steps represent the most significant and concrete actions to reform the Senate in its history. These proposals are the next step to create real, positive change, but they will not be our last.
Yours sincerely, Justin Trudeau Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada
Civic Night is Feb. 27. Do you know someone who is deserving of recognition? Email email@example.com or log onto our Facebook page. Your response could be included in our pages next week!
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A different view of the Hudson’s Hope sand dune. Do you have a photo of the Peace area you would like to see featured Photo by Jolene Cupples here? Email email@example.com
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Attending the Resource Forum in PG
The Mayor’s Report
with Merlin Nichols
ast week I had the pleasure and the opportunity to attend the Premier’s Resource Forum in Prince George. No, I didn’t get to spend a lot of quality time with the Premier but I did take a moment to pass on your greetings and best wishes for prosperity in the time remaining in her term and hand deliver a personal invitation to attend the Coal Forum in Chetwynd next October.
It is more than a truism that BC’s prosperity is the prosperity of our home town and we know that our Provincial Government is working hard to ensure that BC prospers. The Resource Forum brought an opportunity to re-establish contact with some of the Ministers and other personalities who possess enormous power to affect the way we live. Our good friend in high places, Blair Lekstrom, now in private business, attended and was a huge asset to Chetwynd even in his new, private role. Of the topics covered, forestry, mining, rail transportation, Ridley Island, and wood pellets are of greatest interest to
Chetwynd. I tried to record a few details to pass on to you. So, here you are: BC exports almost as much softwood as does Russia. Know how big is Russia? I’d have to look it up, too. But Russia is a lot bigger
Web complete with snacks and refreshments. Along with the movie will be other related fun activities. Have you checked out our website lately? I can bet the answer is “no”. Take a look at http://chetwynd.bclibrary.ca and you will find a wealth of “free” information. For example: up pops “Zinnio” and I am sure you will have no idea what that is; It is full digital, downloadable copies of your favourite magazines plus hundreds and hundreds more. You can view these magazines on your computer or mobile device with unlimited access to the entire collection. Better yet…this service is “Free”! All you need is a valid Chetwynd Public Library card, which is also “free”. Also “free” to borrow
are some brand new titles: Joyce Carol Oates latest novel “Carthage” is likely one of the world’s finest postmodern Gothic novel; Sarah Addison Allen’s “Lost Lake” is filled with mystery, magic, and wonderful surprises; Stuart MacBride’s “ A Song For the Dying”….Eight years ago, “The Inside Man” murdered four women and left three more in critical condition—all of them with their stomachs slit open and a plastic doll stitched inside. And then the killer just disappeared; Robin Cook’s latest novel, “Cell” is another top notch medical thriller with edgeof-your-seat suspense. This is just a taste of what we have to offer at your Public Library. For more information on any of the above please call us at 250-788-2559.
So far weʼve had 26 lab confirmed cases in the north.
Library is back Local Library Briefs
t is a new year! New things happening at your Public Library. For the month of February we offer four Preschool programs and two after-school programs for varying ages. Something new for 2014 is our special family event, “Family Sundays”. This will be a monthly event taking place on one Sunday afternoon of each month. Beginning with February we are featuring Sunday, Feb. 23 at 1 p.m. where your whole family can join us for the movie presentation of Charlotte’s
Give them (children) the chance to develop a question and the opportunity to unpack that curiousity in the classroom and the sky is the limit.
QUOTE OF W
- Kathy Sawchuk, Superintdendant SD 59
READER COMMENTS from our Facebook page
THE DISTRICT OF CHETWYND PASSED A SLEW OF FEE-INCREASING BYLAWS LAST WEEK, INCLUDING A NINE PER CENT
SEWER USER FEES.
ING DUPLICATING THE NINE PER CENT HIKE OVER
YEARS, FOR A TOTAL
PER CENT INCREASE IN
RESIDENTIAL AND COM-
MERCIAL SEWAGE USER
2018. WHAT DO YOU THINK? FEES BY
“Everything is going up.” - Liz
“Why should the district be any different than any other level of government. They all seem to think that people have bottomless pockets.” - Susan “Wish I could get a 9 per cent raise, and we where told there would be no increase when the water meters where installed.”
“You better have them check your water meters apparently if they can't get a reading they will charge you whatever they feel is reasonable, usually high from what I - Richard was told.”
“When ( I wonder ) are we Gonna be taxed on the air we breath.” -Debby
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than BC – with a lot more trees in its turf. In spite of mining, natural gas, oil, and agriculture, at 17 per cent to 19 per cent, forest products still make up the largest portion of BC exports. And Chetwynd contributes a significant portion of that massive export volume. Way to go, Chetwynd! Here’s another point that should bring a measure of comfort to your souls while you entertain appropriate feelings of concern for your friends west of the rocks: the fiber supply available to Chetwynd mills is larger than that of any other community in the beetle-ravaged areas of British Columbia. Our fiber supply is sustainable.
While the US market is recovering and exports to the US constitute 50 per cent of all BC timber exports, and while the Canadian dollar is depreciating in relation to the US dollar, don’t forget that the Softwood Lumber Agreement expires in 2015. We could encounter a few bumps in the road ahead. That said, the Asian market is growing and may help to offset volatility in the US market. That’s why we have senior governments and astute business leaders. We’ll live through the volatility. One of our home-town lumber producers, Chetwynd Forest Industries, is a member of West Frazer, the largest lumber
producer in North America. West Frazer is deeply involved in developing of new and innovative ways to use lumber that will help to stabilize the market. Among these innovative uses of lumber is the construction of five to 10 storey buildings out of wood. This would create a new market for up to four billion board feet of lumber. (Each truck going out of Chetwynd is carrying about 40,000 board feet of lumber.) Count the trucks. Disclaimer: The preceding is the opinion of Mayor Merlin Nichols and may or may not reflect the views and/or wishes of council.
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Chetwynd Echo 5016 50th Avenue Chetwynd, BC 250-788-2246 www.chetwyndecho.net
You can email us at email@example.com; mail to Box 750 Chetwynd B.C. V0C 1J0 or drop of your letter at 5016 50 Avenue. All letters submitted must be signed with a return address and daytime telephone number so we can confirm that it came from you. The Echo reserves the right to edit letters for clarity, legality, length and to refuse publication of any submitted material. We may also choose to use a letter as the basis for a story. So, be sure to keep your letters brief and to the point. Letters originating from the Peace region get priority. We encourage new contributors as we attempt to publish a cross- section of public opinion. - Naomi Larsen, Editor
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
TSB calls on regulators to improve rail safety on cars commonly travelling through Chetwynd
MIKE CARTER Chetwynd Echo Reporter –––––––––––––– OTTAWA/CHETWYND – In an unprecedented move, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) and the US National Transportation Safety Board issued strong recommendations to improve the safe transportation of crude oil by rail, singling out a class of rail car that commonly travels through Chetwynd. “In the course of our Lac-Megantic investigation, we found three critical weaknesses in the North American rail system, which must be urgently addressed,” said Wendy Tadros, chair of the TSB. “Today we are making three recommendations calling for tougher standards for Class 111 tank cars, route planning analysis, and emergency response assistance plans.” The TSB recommendations are addressed to Transport Canada, and in the case of Class 111 tank cars, also to the US Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The Board’s first recommendation calls for tougher standards for all BY
The Transportation Safety Board of Canada made an unprecedented move last week, issuing strong recommendations to improve the safe transportation of crude oil by rail. The recommendations single out Class 111 tank cars, Photo submitted like the one pictured above, that frequently travel through Chetwynd.
Class 111 tank cars – not just new ones. In Lac-Magantic, the Board found that even at lower speeds, the older unprotected Class 111 tank cars ruptured, releasing crude oil, which fuelled the fire. Further recommendations called for strategic route planning and safer train operations for all
trains carrying dangerous goods in Canada. The TSB says it wants to carefully choose the routes on which oil and other dangerous goods are to be carried. The last recommendation called for the development of emergency response assistance plans along routes where large volumes of liquid hydrocarbons are being shipped. “The amount of crude oil now being shipped by rail in North America is staggering,” the TSB said in a news release on Thursday, Jan. 23. According to the rail industry, in Canada in 2009, there were only 500 carloads of crude oil shipped by rail. In 2013, there were 160,000 carloads. In the US in 2009, there were 10,800 carloads, and in 2013, that increased to 400,000 carloads. Because North America’s
My own concerns were about the grades into town... NICHOLS
railways are interconnected, the US National Transportation Safety Board recommendations complement those issued by the TSB. Tardos, the TSB chair added, “if North American railways are to carry more and more of these flammable liquids through our communities, it must be done safely. Change must come and it must come now.” In a letter sent to Fire
Chief Leo Sabulsky dated Nov. 15, 2013, Canadian National Railway (CN) acknowledged their responsibility to inform Chetwynd and other communities of the types of dangerous goods that move through their jurisdictions and to ensure that emergency responders have the information and training they need to respond to any rail accident that may occur. “Even though CN was
CHETWYND ECHO STAFF –––––––––––––– CHETWYND – Fog lights on vehicles are very useful when used properly. Did you know that fog lights can only be on when atmospheric conditions make the use of headlamps is advantageous? Fog lights can be very bright and blinding to oncoming drivers. This increases risk of motor vehicle collisions. The Motor Vehicle Act Regulations coveres the instalation and timing of lights in detail. Mechanic shops canassist in aiming lights as they know or ought to know the requirements, says Scott West of the Dawson Creek RCMP.
use of headlamps disadvantageous. They must be aimed so that: 1) at a distance of eight metres from the lamp, the centre of the beam is at least 10 cm below the height of the fog lamp.
not involved in the [LacMegantic] derailment, we are receiving questions and comments about our safety practices involving the movement of dangerous goods by rail through communities, from across the country,” the letter stated. “[Communitues] need to know the types of dangerous goods that move through their jurisdictions, to ensure their emergency responders have the information and training they need to respond to any rail accident that may occur.” And that’s the heart of the issue, according to the TSB. Improvements need to be made regarding how well informed communities are about what is passing through their boundaries by rail. The District of Chetwynd was briefed on a number of safety concerns they brought forward with the rail operator in meetings with CN in January. The three major concerns brought forward by the district were the speed of passing trains, the vibrations caused by passing trains and derailments. Mayor Merlin Nichols feels he left those January meetings fairly satisfied with what he had heard. “My own concerns were more about the grades into town and the potential for a train coming into town uncontrolled,” he said. “The CN folks, assured us that a train parked say, out by [Charlie] Lassers’ is not left with the engine attached. I think now is probably the safest time to have a train going through your town.” The District of Chetwynd council has acknowledged it would like to meet with CN again in the near future.
Those extra bright lights on your vehicle could get you fined $109
Fog lamps A motor vehicle may be equipped with two fog lamps, mounted on the front of the vehicle below the headlamps, that are capable of displaying only white or amber light which are mounted not more than 30 cm below the headlamps, and they have to be wired so that they are only operable when your park lights are on instead of headlamps when atmospheric conditions make the
Failure to comply could result in a $109 fine.
2) The fog lamp wiring and switch must permit simultaneous operation of the parking lamps, tail lamps, licence plate lamp and, if required, clearance lamps. “Failing to comply with the motor vehicle regulations could result in a violation of $109 for unauthorized number of fog lamps (two white/amber), improper
height fog lamps, inadequate wire/switch fog lamps or/and improper use of fog lights,” West said in a recent press release. “Police do conduct road checks and road side stops to assure drivers are complying with the regulations.” West said RCMP have received concerns from the public and are continuing to make sure our roads are safe. Off-road lamps must consealed or covered with opaque covers when on the highway.
Shooting in Dawson The Dawson Creek RCMP, North District Major Crime Section and the BC Coroner Service are investigating a fatal shooting which occurred on Jan 22, 2014. The incident occurred on a private rural property in the Dawson Creek Detachment Area. The shooting involved two youths who were related to one another. “Out of respect for the family during this tragic time no further information is being released at this time as our investigation continues,” West said.
British Columbia government to extend mining flow-through share tax credit Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Premier Christy Clark makes an announcement to extend the BC Mining Flow-Through Share tax credit program through to 2014. The program allows junior resource companies to access investment money to aid in exPhoto submitted ploration.
“BCʼs mineral exploration and mining industry is a great comeback story.”
tered the Canadian Income Tax Act 25 years ago. Since then, mining executives and accountants say they have been a tremendous help for junior resource companies. Flow-through share tax credits are also common in the oil and gas industry. Canada’s Income Tax Act says that resource companies can transfer exploration expenses to its investors. That makes a lot
of sense to junior companies who most times, are not yet profitable, and because of that, are in a nontaxable position. Flow-through shares effectively shift the tax deduction from the company to the investors. Companies must spend their newfound exploration dollars within two years. The after-tax cost to investors is low, and the benefits to junior resource
Bernier hopes Chetwynd youth will remain Continued from page 1
local School District 59. “The commitment we have made is trying to control our spending,” Bernier said. “It's going to be interesting hearing from the Minister of Finance on where we are at. We've promised that we are going to be working towards balanced budgets and that’s what we are going to be doing." Skills Training What the government decides to do with education, especially as they continue to negotiate a contract with the teachers union, will naturally affect the success of skills training programs and the ability of British Columbian’s to fill the job projections the BC government has made. “The big thing that we are looking at is our relationship with the training institutions in BC. Not just post-secondary [but] high schools as well,” Bernier said. An announcement last week that Temporary Foreign Workers are being considered to fill some LNG jobs seems to indicate how the government has come to a decision that the demand for labour will not be met in time. But, they are trying, Bernier says. During this session, dual credit programs, such as those available in School District 59 through the Northern Lights College, will be promoted by the government and accompanied with announcements supporting skills training initiatives. Northeast BC: LNG, Forestry to have big benefits for the region The news last year that Canfor and West Fraser would shut down mills in Quesnel and West Fraser shouldn’t be taken as a sign that the forestry industry is still in dire straights, at least if you believe Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Management Steve
companies are high, it’s a win-win the government says. “BC’s mineral exploration and mining industry is a great comeback story,” said Premier Clark. “It’s a vital part of our strong economy, supporting good paying, secure jobs in communities across the province – and the best is yet to come.” The Financial Post reports that $2.5-billion has been raised over the past five years through flowthrough shares. “Until these junior companies hit pay dirt, or find gold, they need money to explore,” Vancouver based chartered accountant Kevin Wong told The Post. “Flow-through shares assist companies that otherwise wouldn’t be able to raise that money.” By taxing the capital
applications are now processed in 55 days on average, compared to 110 days in 2011. Five mines have been permitted or are under construction including Anglo-American’s Roman mine in Tumbler Ridge, and the Red Chris mine located near Iskut, BC. The government estimates these five mines will create 675 jobs. Also in 2013, seven mines have received permits for major expansions to extended their operating life, adding an estimated 300 additional jobs. There are currently over 20 major mines and mine expansions moving through the environmental assessment and permitting process. Premier Clark declared last week, Jan. 26. – Feb. 1, Mineral Exploration week.
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DAWSON CREEK/CHETWYND AREA TRANSMISSION PROJECT CONSTRUCTION Bernier and Clark.
Thompson. Mike Bernier does. “I met with the vice-president of West Fraser in Vancouver yesterday, they were speaking very optimistically around the opportunities in Chetwynd,” Bernier said. “That's great news for the region and the industry.” Bernier notes that the rebound of the United States housing market and a growing Asian demand for BC wood will help us along in that regard. Announcements could be made that will further diversify the market for BC wood products in the upcoming legislative session. That could be good news for Canfor and West Fraser. And of course, then there is LNG. Much of the throne speech will talk about the benefits the industry will provide the province and our region. Locally in Chetwynd, Bernier hopes that means Chetwynd youth will be able to aspire to stay in the region, rather than leave. “I think the whole point [of government] is to capitalize on things like this when they happen,” Bernier said about the natural gas reserves in the region. “It used to be that kids couldn’t wait to grow up and move away from Chetwynd, and now I would argue it is the other way around. It’s a different mindset now.”
Public Safety Notice—Foundation Anchors in Transmission Right-of-Way Construction of the Dawson Creek/Chetwynd Area Transmission (DCAT) Project is underway. Over the next few months, crews will be installing foundation anchors in the cleared transmission line right-of-way. The foundation anchors are clusters of large metal pipes sticking out of the ground between two feet and five feet from the ground. These anchors will be marked with flags and temporary fencing, but with snow and wind these markings may not always be visible. Please use extra care when traveling on snow machines around rightof-way areas as foundation anchors pose a public safety hazard and may not be visible when covered in snow. The DCAT project will help meet the rapidly increasing need for electricity in the South Peace region. The project includes a new 230 kilovolt, double circuit transmission line that will be installed between the new Sundance and Dawson Creek substations. For more information on the project please visit: bchydro.com/dcat. If you have any questions, please contact BC Hydro stakeholder engagement: 1 866 647 3334 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
MIKE CARTER Chetwynd Echo Reporter –––––––––––––– VANCOUVER – Premier Christy Clark announced last week that the BC Government would extend the BC mining flow-through share tax credit program for 2014 to support mining exploration investment. So-called “flow-through shares” allow junior resource companies to pass exploration related expenses onto investors. Investors in turn, are able to claim a non-refundable BC income tax credit equal to 20 per cent of the expenses transferred to the company through the year. The tax credit is estimated to be worth $10million in 2014. Flow-through shares are sometimes described as a “quirky” bit of Canadian tax innovation. They enBY
gains and the work to produce the resource, government’s also benefit. Preliminary regional estimates for exploration expenditures in 2013 are $476-million, which is the second highest on record. Over the past 10 years, approximately $3.5 billion has been spent on mineral exploration throughout the province. “We’re extending the tax credit because junior exploration companies are on the front lines,” said Bill Bennett, Minister of Energy and Mines. “It’s their discoveries that expand the mining sector.” Premier Clark also announced that, due to recent streamlining and regulatory initiatives, mining permit turnaround times have been reduced significantly. Notices of Work permit
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Giants celebrate big win over Peace River Warriors on weekend
MIKE CARTER Chetwynd Echo Reporter –––––––––––––– CHETWYND – The Chetwynd 3NV Midget Giants earned a big win over the second place Peace River Warriors this weekend in the first of two games at the Chetwynd and District Recreation Centre Saturday afternoon. The team played the first place Grande Prairie Knights the following day, losing 4-1. Saturday’s game was the first in over three months that the Giants had all players their back in the line-up after several sat out with injuries and suspensions. Peace River’s Joshua Sylvian started off the scoring with a sweet backhand goal over the shoulder of goalie Rielly Elder-Cherry after he found himself in alone in the high slot. The Giants, who started the game off with a flurry
of action in the Warrior’s zone, picked up the physical play soon after and tied the game up on a goal from Ross McMeekin. They then took the lead just over a minute later on
a goal from Liam Beattie, to end the first period up 2-1. In the second, the Giants came out firing once again and were able to add to their lead on a goal from
VANCOUVER SUN –––––––––––––– SOCHI, Russia - Denny Morrison's main objective at the 2014 Winter Games centres on embracing the underdog role and winning his second Olympic gold medal in long-track speed skating. Politics just aren't his thing. But the Chetwynd, B.C., native hopes to make a personal statement all the same through his quiet affiliation with a gay nightclub called Twisted Element, billed the largest
of its kind west of Montreal. In the process, he aims to make amends to some folks he likely hurt along the way before adjusting his attitude on the matter of homosexuality. "One of my sponsors this season is one of the gay bars in Calgary," says Morrison, a member of the Canadian team pursuit team that graced the top of the podium in Vancouver. "They've supported me, and I think they're great people.
"There's a quote by Rob Delaney. He's a comedian on Twitter, and he said, 'I love gay people or, as I like to call them, people, because why distinguish them, right?' They're just people with different sexual preferences and it has no real impact on me." The issue of gay rights has dominated headlines along with terrorism threats and security concerns - in the politicallycharged lead-up to the Sochi Olympics. Russia introduced legislation earlier this year banning the "promotion" of homosexuality to anyone under the age of 18. Seemingly in response, American President Barack Obama announced he will not attend the Games, but instead send a delegation that includes three openly gay former athletes in tennis player Billie Jean King, hockey player Caitlin Cahow and figure skater Brian Boitano. Just last week, Sochi Mayor Anatoly Pakhomov told the BBC there are no gay people in his city, in spite of the existence of several gay night clubs in this Black Sea resort town. For Morrison, a two-time world champion in the 1,500 metres, the genesis of the controversy cuts close. "I've lost friends over
Kain Mcmaster works his way out front as he tries to tip in a point shot from Jason Kearns. The shot would need no help, as it found the back of the net, putting the Giants up 5-3 in the second period of Saturday’s game at the Chetwynd and District Photo by Mike Carter Recreation Centre arena.
Cameron Roland and a power play marker Reign Walker. Assists on both these goals went to Liam Beattie and Kain McMaster. But just when it looked
like the Giants were going to run away with the game, the Warriors scored a pair of their own to edge back into the game, making the score 4-3. The teams then traded two more goals, one from the Giants Jason Kearns, followed by the second of the game from Peace River’s Joshua Sylvain. The second period was a true barnburner as the game got blown wide open. The Giants carried a one-goal lead into the 2nd intermission, up 5-4. The third began with Peace River on the power play, a penalty that carried over from the end of the second. The Giants kept the Warriors offense to the outside and although the team had a few good looks at the net, the Giants were able to kill the penalty off. Liam Beattie completed his hat trick in the third with two goals, the second a shorthanded empty netter to seal the game with
just 22 seconds left, and the Giants won 7-4. The next day versus Grande Prairie, the Giants got off to a sluggish start giving up all four Knights goals in the first period. Cameron Roland sat out this game serving a checking from behind major that carried over from Saturday’s game. Jeremy Franklin broke the shutout bid for Grabde Prairie, but that was all the Giants could do against the powerful first place team, losing 4-1. This weekend Feb. 7, 8 and 9 will be packed full of midget hockey action in Fort St. John as the Midget “A” tournament gets underway Friday at the Pomeroy Sports Complex. Check the Chetwynd Echo next week for full results. You can catch last weekend’s game this Thursday between 8:00 p.m. and 10 p.m. and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on CHET TV. David Ashbaugh has the call.
Denny Morrison to be sponsored by gay club in Sochi
Name: Casey Norris Position: Defence Number: 14 Height:5’6” Weight: 120lbs Favourite Team: Chicago Blackhawks Favourite Player: Duncan Keith Favourite food: Tacos Favourite Movie: Macgruber Favourite sport other than hockey: Volleyball Pre-Game Meal: Spaghetti
Norris has one goal and four assists in 29 games played this year. The superstition-less defensemen nick named “Tazz” plays a fearless game, has good vision and hockey sense and is not afraid to battle it out in the corners.
Olympic speedskater and Chetwynd native Denny Morrison says he has an epiphany File photo on gay community.
them becoming gay in my past," he says. "I feel bad about that now. I realize how ridiculous that was. So that's why I think it's neat this gay club took me on." Morrison credits R.J. Fafard, the owner of Twisted Element, for sparking a complete paradigm shift on the matter - for making him realize gay people are, after all, people. "Denny is the next generation," Fafard says. "Hopefully, for anyone who is around his age and growing up now, hopefully being gay won't be an issue. If everyone has the same attitude he has, it's going to
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be an amazing future, right?" As for sponsoring Morrison, Fafard considers the investment money well spent. "Athletes have to commit themselves 100 per cent to their craft," he says. "They can't be going around looking for part-time jobs or anything, because then they wouldn't be good at what they do. When Denny has a free moment, he actually comes in to the club. He's not embarrassed to hang out with gay people. I think it's the perfect fit." The feeling is mutual. "The people who know me and some of the friends
I've lost, they might see this and think, 'how is that even possible?'" says Morrison, a three-time Olympian at age 28. "And it would be interesting to have a conversation with them and half-apologize and half tell them, 'I really feel differently about you now, because I've educated myself on the subject.' He realizes his mistake, and he's taking action. "I think there are two types of people - the ones who sit behind a desk and tell people what to do and the ones who lead by example," Fafard says. "The ones who lead by example are true heroes. Denny is
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Drop-in centre set up in Chetwynd for people suffering with critical illnesses
MIKE CARTER Chetwynd Echo Reporter –––––––––––––– CHETWYND – The Chetwynd Wellness Support Society has taken the initiative to set up an informal drop-in centre for people in the Chetwynd area that are suffering from a variety of wellness issues including but not limited to cancer, acute disturbance in kidney function and chronic kidney disease. “It's just a drop in centre,” said co-organizer Darlene Swanton. “If you want to sit and talk to one perBY
son there is room for that, if they want to have four or five sitting at a table there is room for that. Sometimes people are in there and they are not well and they are not happy so, we all understand that. They can air their feelings here.” The gatherings are held from 1 p.m to 2 p.m. on the third Monday of every month at Mickey’s Place, located adjacent to the Chetwynd Baptist Church on 53rd St. N.W. In the event that the Monday is a holiday, the centre will be open on Tuesday, Swanton says.
“Sometimes people are in
there and they are not well and they are not happy, so we all understand...they can air their feelings here.”
“There has been good communication with those that have come. The treatment part and the information part is more accessible
now, and so with that we thought a sharing time and more informal visit would be the better thing to focus on.”
The Wellness Support Society began in November 2012, spawned from a conversation Swanton had with a local resident who has since passed on from cancer. “He said, ‘you know, I am here in my apartment and there is nothing to do’. We started and he had only been to one visit and the next time he wasn't feeling very well so he didn't come, and the next month he was gone. So then that really left it in my hands,” Swanton said. At first, the group was known as the “Cancer Fel-
lowship”. It then evolved to support people with all types of illnesses. The group’s mandate is to provide a casual environment for social and emotional support and sharing with other who have health or wellness issues. Eventually, the society would like to compile a list of people who are restricted to their homes due to health issues and would like someone to visit with them, and a separate list of people who would be willing to visit people in these situations.
Continuing to clean up the mess
Pictured with OOWH president Alyssa Bond is Blayke and LeLu, one of OOWH’s rescue dogs in foster care.
Chetwynd resident Matt Moman says he’s still cleaning up from last month’s windstorm. Fortunately they have insurance and expenses will be dealt with but he says their house won't be back to normal for at least a month. While Moman’s house isn’t normal, normal winter temperatures have returned with the mercury dipping below 0 for the next few weeks.
For Blayke Jenson's 11th birthday she chose to collect donations for On Our Way Home Animal Rescue in lieu of gifts.
She raised a whopping $480 for the animals! Way to go Blayke, we are all so proud of you and the animals are especially grateful.
RECYCLE THE FOLLOWING ITEMS AT THE DEPOT
Newspaper & Magazines
Paint & spraycans
Aluminum/Bi-Metals Foil Cans, Trays, Steel Tins, Copper, Stainless Steel Boxboard,
Office Paper #1 , #2, #4 & Labels, White & light #5 Plastics Fluorescent colours Milk Jugs
Cardboard All Types Boxes Oil and oil containers
Electronics & computers
RECYCLE IT! Can It, Sort It, Stack It....
Located at 4824 54th Street (behind the Town Plaza) in Chetwynd the Lions Recycling depot is the sole provider for recycling drop off services in the community. They offer many services to keep Chetwynd clean while helping the environment green. Recycling is a lot easier than people think and it is an easy habit to get into. First, get as few as three bins for your kitchen or porch – plastics, tins and paper. Rinse out your yoghurt cups, break down your cereal boxes and wash out those cans. Then bag them up and bring them to the Depot where staff will help you sort. If you are a business call them to have a free recycling box placed outside and for a nominal –and tax deductible – fee
they will come and pick your recycling up. The depot accepts a variety of recyclable items including: • paper (office paper, newspaper, cardboard, boxboard) • tin cans • All hard and soft plastic (milk jugs, yogurt cups, juice boxes and plastic bags) • Electronics (old stereos, computers, photocopiers) • Small appliances • Car batteries • Oil and oil containers • Cell phones • Batteries • Smoke and carbon dioxide detectors • Spray paint cans The depot also utilizes a used paint
Monday 10 am - 4 pm; Tuesday - Friday 9 am - 5 pm; Saturday 9 am - 4 pm.
LIONS RECYCLING DEPOT HOURS OF OPERATION
THIS SPOT COULD BE YOURS !!! INCLUDES HALF
Please be advised that the hours of operation for the Recycling Depot are as follows: Sunday - Closed Monday 10 am - 4pm Tuesday 9am - 5pm Wednesday9am - 5pm Thursday 9am - 5pm Friday - 9am - 5pm Saturday 9am - 4pm
PAGE ADVERTORIAL TO RUN IN ROTATION ...
ECHO DETAILS !
program where residents can drop off leftover paint. The paint is available for others to sign out and use on the condition they bring the empty cans back. They do not accept Styrofoam or antifreeze. Depot manager Sally Paquette requests drop offs be done during the day as the outside bins are strictly for afterhours. “Please come inside and our staff will help your sort your recyclables,” she said, adding there is a security camera on site. Paquette said the Recycling Depot also supports local youth clubs and organizations and will assist and donate space for local bottle drives. Contact the depot at 250-788-1111 for more information.
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Albertan acrobatic team set to tour Chetwynd elementary schools
Public performance at Peace Christian School Feb. 15 7:30 pm BY MIKE CARTER
Chetwynd Echo Reporter –––––––––––––– CHETWYND – It’s been a few years since Peace Christian School principal Darren Shankle was a member of the famous “Acronaires” acrobatic team from the Canadian University College in Lacombe, Alberta. Nonetheless, Shankel, who was on the team from 1987-1994, and was a coach for the ‘94-‘95 season, was thrilled to announce this week that the team, with his old coach still at the helm, will be travelling to Chetwynd for a series of demonstrations in the town’s elementary schools, followed by a public performance at the Peace Christian School. The Acronaires are a performance-based acrobatics team committed to the advancement and progress of gymnastic skills and community development. They tour across the country and around the globe. Along with Principal Shankle, a few other teachers at Peace Christian School were also on the team when they were attending university. In May, the Acronaires team will be off to Kenya for 14 days with the Canadian organization “A Better World.” The trip is part of the team’s 40-year anniversary celebrations. While there, the team will perform and take part in community building and
humanitarian exercises. The team attempts to impact the communities they tour by encouraging a healthy lifestyle and by promoting youth athletic involvement. Their program combines teaching and performance, fostering confidence and competency while cultivating a team culture committed to excellence, service, spirituality, integrity and community as well as safety and social concern. The touring acrobatic program is designed to foster self-confidence in children while developing basic gymnastics techniques. The Acronaires will tour all three of Chetwynd’s intown elementary schools on Friday, Feb. 14, and follow that up with a performance at the Peace Christian School on Saturday, Feb. 15. Admission to that performance is by donation. “I am a little concerned about having enough room,” Shankle said. The Acronaires have visited Chetwynd before, about four years ago. “It's a positive thing,” he added. “Coach knows me, knows that our community is supportive and interested. It’s an interesting thing for our community. It's just an opportunity for the kids to try something new and [with the program] they have the opportunity to succeed right away.” For their 40th Anniver-
The high flying Acronaires from the Canadian University College in Lacombe Alberta will be doing demonstrations all next week at Chetwynd elementary Schools. A public performance will be held at Peace Christian School on Saturday, Feb. 15th. Admission is by donation. The last time this group was in Chetwynd performing was 2010. sary celebrations the Acronaires invited all alumni to Lacombe for a special reunion in November 2014. Shankle was there to take part, along with members
from the original 1973 team. “There was a pretty good turn out for that reunion,” he said. “I was pretty surprised that most of the people who showed up looked
like they could have still be functional on the mats.” He adds that the current team is one of the best they have had in quite a while. If you would like to catch
the show on Feb. 15, the school is located at 6189 Dokkie School Road, off of the Dokkie Subdivision Road which is just off of Highway 97 south.
Embracing Literacy and challenging readers
NAOMI LARSEN Chetwynd Echo Editor –––––––––––––– CHETWYND – In celebration of Family Literacy Day January 27, Windrem Elementary School teacher (and avid reader) Wendy Pohl created a challenge for students throughout Chetwynd to help embrace reading – not just BY
for one day but for every day. Until March 10 , Pohl is encouraging local schools as well as students and families to celebrate reading by visiting the Chetwynd Public Library and taking advantage of all they have to offer. “The library will house a big book at the front counter with a
chart for each school,” Pohl said. “ Every time a student borrows a book from the library, they can color one of the squares that corresponds to their school.” Every week Pohl sends out an email to each school requesting a photo and small statement from a couple of students in regards to what and who they are
reading that week. Those photos and statements will be published in the Chetwynd Echo each week. “As strong supporters of literacy this is a project we are proud to stand behind,” Naomi Larsen, publisher said. “Literacy isn’t just about one day, it’s about every day and the more we can
encourage our youth to read and immerse themselves in books and periodicals and newspapers the better it is – not only for them but for our future.” As of January 31, the total number of books reads for the week was 169. Keep an eye on this spot each week for an updated tally.
The Amazing Book Challenge: Week 1
ASHLEY DYCK, GRADE 8 PEACE CHRISTIAN
Iʼm so excited about finishing my new book, The Hobbit.
CHEYENNE FRANKS, GRADE 7 PEACE CHRISTIAN
Iʼve read so many books from the library I canʼt even count. Thank you so much Chetwynd Library.
ALEX DONKERSLEY, LITTLE PRAIRIE ELEMENTARY “The 3 Little Aliens and the Big BadRobot.” I choose this book because it looked funny and the names were weird.
SHANAE BROWN, LITTLE PRAIRIE ELEMENTARY
“Smile.” I choose this book because everyone in my class said it was good so I wanted to try it out and they were right!
DAYTON, GRADE 7 WINDREM ELEMENTARY
I like reading about myths.
SAVANNAH, GRADE 2, WINDREM ELEMENTARY
I like to read books about big things.
The Weekly Book Challenge is sponsored in part by the Chetwynd Echo
There is still a lot of new learning to do says top education author
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 11
MIKE CARTER Chetwynd Echo Reporter –––––––––––––– CHETWYND – John Abbott paused as he thought about what to say next. He had come to Chetwynd talk about some of the most profound thoughts on education in the last 100-plus years. “When you think about it, the life of a child growing up or a teenager, they don’t just turn their brains on when they go into school and turn them off when they come out. Chances are they do it the other way around in many instances.” Abbott was speaking to a crowd gathered in the Chetwynd Secondary School library in October 2013. He scanned the room to see if the message was getting across. “If the school is doing its job properly, we are actually trying to wean children of their dependence on their teacher so they can go out into the actual world and then know what to do with it.” In other words, we’re born to learn, not to be taught. Abbott is a former teacher and school headmaster (principal) in the United Kingdom. He is the president of the 21st Century Learning Initiative, a global association of educators, policy makers and researchers in the biological and cognitive sciences. He is also the author of the book “Overschooled but Undereducated: How the Crisis in Education is Jeopardising Adolescence,” published in 2009. Abbott’s influence is felt around the world, and here in British Columbia. He has influenced the BC Education Plan, and the province’s adoption of what is called 21st Century Learning. He has spent his time since retiring as a principal travelling the world and working with various governments on behalf of BY
John Abbott is a writer, researcher, former school principal and president of the 21st Century Learning Initiative. He was in Chetwynd last October to talk about the new ideas propelling education in recent years. the 21st Century Learning Initiative. School District 59 brought him to Chetwynd last year to speak about why school systems around the world are changing and how we as a community can play a role. “We've been talking to kids and hearing, why are we doing this? What’s the purpose of what it is we are doing?” School District 59 superintendent Kathy Sawchuk said. “I think for a long time we've been saying things back to them like you need to do this to pass a test, you need to do this to pass the course, you need to do this so you'll graduate. And, to be honest kids aren’t accepting this as an answer anymore. Those responses aren't good enough.” That prompted her to say that school districts across the province, the country, and around the world have reached a time when they need to seriously reconsider what it means to get an education. What should that expe-
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Photo by Mike Carter
...the older people become, school becomes a decreasing part of that influence... ABBOTT
rience look like? What should it include? “Is learning about going through the motions and doing a bunch of loosely connected tasks or are there some deeper understandings that we [can aim] to achieve with kids?” she asks. “I guess the other piece for me is, how do you let kids explore their passions?” The huge shift to alternative forms of education, like inquiry based learning initiatives that force kids to work their way through real-world based
problems, find solutions, and grow in a way that the education system has never yet facilitated, have been met with enormous success in a number of local Chetwynd schools in recent years. Parents and kids rave about these new styles of learning and educators seem to be buzzing with a whole new world – a whole new way of teaching by letting students do. And this is exactly why John Abbott was brought in for the very informal presentation, to exchange his ideas and hear from
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residents on what they thought. He often uses the analogy of a three-legged stool to represent his theory on how the education system should be. “A three-legged stool will balance on any surface no matter how rough it is. But a four legged chair will rock,” he says. The three legs of the stool are the home, the school and the community. We're very much influenced by what happens to us in our own home environment. We're potentially much influenced but what we happen to see in the community. “Really, when you think about it, the older people become, school becomes a decreasing part of that influence,” Abbott noted. He is not spelling out a plan; he is spelling out a mission. The ideas he has don’t form the path to a new education system they only begin the conversation. As educators continue to shift the way they think about education, we could
be in for some big changes. “What we're trying to do is re-write people's script of school,” Sawchuck explained. “That's the hard piece to do. We're re-writing how people think about school, re-writing how people think about learning and we're re-writing what people think about achievement. I think we have to start from the blank book, which means people have to jump in the deep end of the pool.” We’ve only started to curl our toes over the edge. But we’re doing much better in our elementary schools, Abbott notes. And that’s just going to prompt moves into the secondary school system as well. But change doesn’t come easily according to Sawchuk. “As soon as you try to make a small [change] …it's like an elastic band that you are holding tension on while you are tweaking and, as long as you hold that tension there, you maintain that small change. But over time the tension starts to slack and it goes right back to the way it was.” Abbott concludes that if any change is going to stick, the community has to be involved along with educators and students. Put simply, it’s a “hearts and minds issue,” he says. “Because at the end of the day, it’s what people think in their own homes and talk to each other about that actually matters. There's a big job to be done in trying to get the community to understand this: the system itself is so out of sync with how we [as humans] want to do things.” Give a child an algorithm, Sawchuk says, and their mind shuts down. Give them the chance to develop a question, and the opportunity to unpack that curiosity in the classroom, and the sky is the limit.
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Federal government announces large investment into Peace Region Agriculture
Feds to chip in more than $923K
BY MIKE CARTER Chetwynd Echo Reporter –––––––––––––– ROLLA – The federal government has announced an investment of over $923,000 to the Peace Region Forage Seed Association (PRFSA) to help improve seed production and quality. Peace River Member of Parliament Chris Warkentin and Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture and Agri-Food Pierre Lemieux recently made the announcement in Beaverlodge, Alberta on behalf of absent agricultural minister Gerry Ritz. Forage seed producers grow legume and grass seed to plant turf and lawns and to be sold to farmers who use the seed to plant hay fields and pastures. The investment was made through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s AgriInnovation Program, a five-year, nearly $698million initiative that has come out of the agricultural policy framework
Above, Peace River MP Chris Warkentin (far left) and Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Pierre Lemieux (to his right), are briefed on some of the recent research. The federal government has invested more than $923,000 with the Peace Region Forage Seed Association to help improve seed production and quality. Below, Farmers harvest Creeping Red Fescue, the primary forPhotos submitted age seed crop in northeast BC.
plan called “Growing Forward 2”. Growers of forage and grass seeds have to use special techniques to be sure their seeds meet certain standards regarding weed content and seed germination. Several kinds of seeds are grown and harvested in BC, the main ones being timothy grass, clover (legume) and creeping red fescue. “The investment in research makes a big difference, “ said Peace Region Forage Seed Association president Reuben Loewen. “We are grateful for the support, which will help us to improve turf and forage seed crops grown in Canada.” There are about 326,000 acres of land in forage seed production in Canada. Forage seed production in British Columbia is concentrated in the Peace River region, but other centres such as the North Okanagan and Creston also grow forage seed. Much of the provinces creeping red fescue is grown and harvested in an area stretching from Prespatou north of Fort St. John, to Hythe, Beaverlodge and Sexsmith, Alberta. With the investment, Agriculture and Agri-
Food Canada researchers will work with the PRFSA to research a number of specific items, like: how incorporating forage seed production within annual crop rotations can increase value for producers, evaluating the seed yield potential of forage and turf grass varieties in western Canada and examining ways to increase the quality of grass and legume seed crops in Canada. The results of the research will benefit forage seed producers across the country. In total, “Growing Forward 2” is a $3-billion commitment to research, competitiveness and market development announced by the federal government in Jan. 2013. AgriInnovation focuses on investments to expand the sector’s capacity to develop and commercialize new products and technologies. The Peace Region Forage Seed Association was formed in 1995 to develop the forage seed industry in the Peace Region and to prioritize issues among members and industry. Canadian exports of forage seeds average about $280-million annually, with the United States and Europe among the key export destinations.
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Treaty 8 Tribal Association to hold First Nations LNG Summit in FSJ
Wednesday, February 5, 2014 13
MIKE CARTER Chetwynd Echo Reporter –––––––––––––– FORT ST. JOHN – British Columbia First Nations will convene in Fort St. John later this month to further the development of a First Nations LNG strategy by First Nations, for First Nations. The third summit, following two previous sessions held in Prince Rupert and Prince George, will be hosted by the Treaty 8 Tribal Association at the Pomeroy Hotel in Fort St. John, Feb. 17 -19. BY
The latest summit will build on the previous events held in 2013. It will take what was shared and learned in those first two summits and use a series of site tours, talks and practical workshops to
provide First Nations leaders and other interested parties with the information, knowledge and ideas needed to update communities and to make informed decisions. Delegates will include
First Nations leaders from across the province, provincial and federal government officials and proponents of liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects in British Columbia. A press conference will
be held Feb. 18 to discuss the outcomes of this latest summit, as well as the plans First Nations have to move forward informed decision-making with their communities. The summits are part of the overall initiative to work towards a First Nations LNG strategy. First Nations groups involved with the strategy include the Carrier Sekani Tribal Council, the Industry Council for Aboriginal Business, BC First Nations Energy and Mining Council, the Treaty 8 Tribal Association and others from
across the province. The website for the strategy, fnlngstrategy.ca, says that summits like these build on the need created by a lack of information and tools about LNG from a First Nations perspective. The intent is to work collectively to share First nations information and perspectives on LNG and work toward informed decision making, while providing tools to communicate, collaborate and share information about LNG projects from a First Nations perspective.
Work camps are predicted to become more and more the norm as industry booms in the northeast. Photo Grizzco
Regional District takes more steps to better track Worker Camps in the region
TUNBLER RIDGE NEWS –––––––––––––– REGIONAL DISTRICT – It’s almost difficult to come across someone in the north that hasn’t spent time themselves or know someone who has lived in a worker’s camp. Be it for tree planting, mining, oil and gas, construction projects, the need to sometimes have temporary workers living in a camp is a reality. Another reality is the Peace Region has not been keeping tabs on the camps, and last year it came to light. In June 2013, a report was release by the Peace Region Regional District (PRRD) titled, Policy, Communications and Capacity: A Time to Lead – Scoping the impact and benefits of work camps in the Peace Region. This report clearly outlined the lack of communication and information sharing among agencies when it came to the permitting and use of camps in the region. From this, a workshop was hosted on Dec. 10, 2013, to support more effective data sharing. From this meeting, the report compiled by Heartwood Solutions Consulting & W. Beamish Consulting Ltd.
summarizes, “No single agency has a full understanding of work camps, including their locations, size, and impacts on local communities. It puts the region in a very compromised position to effectively regulate industrial work camps and to develop strategies to effectively anticipate and mitigate their impacts on the region.” On top of this, the PRRD states there will be a “significant increase” in the number and size of work camps as a result of the growing interest and plans for new energy and resource projects in the region. The report states, “We need to have an accurate count of transient workers, their locations, social impact assessment and plan for mitigating impacts in communities. Most government agencies lack the resources and the capacity necessary to monitor or inspect camp operations or to ensure compliance with the myriad government regulations or referrals from other agencies.” Though the workshop with the agencies, it was decided that the PRRD and member municipalities have far reaching authority through zoning and building permits and can potentially reach
and share key information with other agencies through related legislation. Dr. Sean Markey, associate professor at Simon Frasier University says, “Company camps, open camps and third party camps report to various provincial agencies for approval and permitting of land tenures, buildings, infrastructure (water, sewer) and operations. This system is based on a 30-year-old model designed for long term forestry camps and is currently managing with a caveat to “build capacity and flexibility’ when necessary. Given the region is now dominated by widespread, short-term oil and gas operations, the development of a new regulatory system is required that can manage a high volume of worker camp applications for camps constantly changing their operational status.” Dr. Markey mentioned in the report that the Peace Region is renowned for a strong regional dialogue and that this collaboration on interagency communication is just another example. The main agencies currently involved in the worker camp applications are Agricultural Land Commission; BC Assessment;
FrontCounter BC; Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations; City of Fort St. John; Ministry of Environment; Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure; Northern Health; GCOGC; PRRD; RCMP. From the workshop, a type of framework was created to help bring some structure to the worker camp permitting process, and to enable better tracking and monitoring of the camps once established. The three central agencies suggested are FrontCounter BC, The Oil and Gas Commission (OGC) and the PRRD. Companies would have to provide information such as the Lease Holder name; Type of Industrial Activity worker camp is for; location; size (footprint, headcount); commission date; anticipated term; active seasons; daily operations; main mode of transportation; approvals required and obtained; decommission date; copy of permit. The PRRD felt one consistent format of data collection for all three key agencies would be most beneficial. With this information, communication can then be made between agencies through e-referral forms, made available
to the provincial and regional operational authorities, including municipalities. Locally, Councillor Caisley is our councilman assigned to the PRRD as a board member and he feels this is a very important topic for the region to be looking at. He says, “It becomes that old topic we have been dealing with, with workers camps, how long should they house transient workers, is vey apropos at the moment. I believe we can glean a lot of information from this report. There is a need for information sharing across the regulatory agencies, and to have a social impact assessment in plan for mitigating impact on communities. That is what we are hoping to be able to undertake and have that information available so we can zone in on what we are entitled to, what we aren’t entitled to, and try to eliminate the overall interpretation of whether transient workers really don’t have an impact, they have a tremendous impact, or anywhere in between.” The next workshop surrounding getting some better data collection and management of worker camps in the PPRD will be held in February.
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Ministry says TFWs will fill a demand but British Columbian's must be first for jobs
MIKE CARTER Chetwynd Echo Reporter –––––––––––––– DAWSON CREEK – News broke last week that the provincial government would be looking to the federal Temporary Foreign Worker program to fill positions within the provinces blossoming natural gas industry. But according to the Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training Shirley Bond and South Peace MLA Mike Bernier, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. The natural gas industry in British Columbia is described as a “generational opportunity” by Minister Bond, one that will spawn a million jobs by 2020. “Even if each and every British Columbian got the skills training they needed and was connected with a job, we would still not have enough people for the expected one million BY
job openings by 2020,” Bond said in a letter to the editor in response to an article in the Dawson Creek Daily News (DCDN). Opposition critic Harry Bains said that even considering Temporary Foreign Workers (TFWs) shows the government clearly has no idea how it will fill LNG positions. “They told the public before the election how LNG jobs will solve all of our problems,” he told DCDN’s William Stodalka. “Then when it comes with filling those jobs they have no plan.” Bains adds that the government should be doing more to train workers. In an interview last Friday, South Peace MLA Mike Bernier said we could expect just that from next week’s speech from the throne. “The number one issue is jobs,” Bernier said referring to his work on the
I have never said no to TFW because I think there is a place for them BERNIER
cabinet committee for a strong economy. “Our main discussions are how do we make sure that we are ready for these that British Columbians can capitalize on the opportunities. There are a lot of different programs that we are starting to implement. There is going be some advancement in skills training.” Bernier added that TFWs would be one of the
options the committee and the government will look at. According to Statistics Canada, there are over 70,000 TFWs working in British Columbia today. Labour groups fear that employers are using the program improperly and exposing TFWs to the risk of abuse. Prime Minister Stephen Harper himself came out last month during a closed
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Join us at the District of Chetwynd – we have an opening for a full-time Engineering Technician II position. This position performs a variety of administration and technical tasks involving water and sewer services, the public works department, drafting and surveying. This position will also be involved with other duties within the Engineering & Public Works department.
The successful candidate will have certification as a Technologist or a Technician with the Applied Science Technologists & Technicians of BC (ASTTBC), including drafting and surveying courses; be proficient with GIS software with a two year diploma in a related field; be proficient with the use of AutoCad drafting software; possess skills and practical experience as an engineering technician, surveyor and draftsman or equivalent combination of training and experience; have a valid Driver’s License (in BC a Class 5); and be physically capable of performing the work assigned. Preference will be given to candidates with strong computer skills (specifically with Microsoft Office programs including Word, Excel and Outlook) and to those with survey skills or experience. We offer employees tremendous opportunities to apply and enhance their skills in a positive environment. If you are seeking a challenging and rewarding career opportunity, please submit your application by 4:30 p.m. on February 14, 2014 to: Human Resources Officer, District of Chetwynd 5400 North Access Road, PO Box 357, Chetwynd, BC V0C 1J0 Fax No.: (250) 401-4101 Email: email@example.com
He goes on to say that what Canada needs are more permanent foreign workers. A federal government review of the TFW program was initiated last year. So far, the review has brought changes to the program that will no longer allow employers to pay TFWs 15 per cent below the prevailing wage rate for their job, as was previously the case. The review is on going. South Peace MLA Mike Bernier says the program is useful. “I have never said no to TFW because I think there is a place for them,” he said. “Chetwynd's no different. You look at some of your service sector jobs in Chetwynd and if it wasn’t for the TFW program there is companies that might not even be able to stay in business in our region. And so, people need to recognize that.”
door meeting with journalists to say that Canada has “overextended” its controversial TFW program and went as far as saying some businesses are in fact abusing the program. The Huffington Post Canada reports that audio of the meeting with ethnic reporters in Vancouver was provided to the news site 24Hours. “We have seen very blatant examples of companies using this in ways that were not in the interest of Canadians,” Harper said, adding that the government has seen “numerous examples of abuse of this program, outright abuse. Companies importing workers for the sole purpose of paying less than the prevailing wage, companies importing workers for the purpose of permanently moving the jobs offshore to other countries…”
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Wednesday, February 5, 2014 15
The Chetwynd Echo reserves the right to classify ads under appropriate headlines and to set rates therefore and to determine page location. The Chetwynd Echo reserves the right to revise, edit classify or reject any advertisement and to retain any answers directed to the Chetwynd Echo. The Chetwynd Echo cannot be responsible for errors after the first publication of any advertisement. Notice of errors on the first day should immediately be called to the attention of the appropriate advertising department to be corrected in the next available edition. It is agreed by the advertiser requesting space that the liability of the Chetwynd Echo in the event of failure to publish an advertisement or in the event of an error appearing in the advertisement as published, shall be limited to the amount paid by the advertiser for only one incorrect insertion for the portion of the advertising space occupied by the incorrect or omitted item only, and that there shall be no liability to an event greater than the amount paid for such advertising. Advertisements must comply with the British Columbia Human Rights Act which prohibits any advertising that discriminates against any person because of race, religion, sex, color, nationality, ancestry or place or origin or because age is between 44 and 65 years unless the condition is justified by a bondable requirement for the work involved.
FOR THE WEEK OF FEB 3-7
ARIES - Mar 21/Apr 20 Aries, you are inspired to take on the world, but you may want to focus on smaller goals this week. Finishing a long-lingering work project is a viable option.
TAURUS - Apr 21/May 21 Taurus, something does not seem to be falling into place. Take stock of things at home and at work to see if you can crack this nut. A little more investigation many be necessary. GEMINI - May 22/Jun 21 You may be offered a professional opportunity this week that is too good to pass up, Gemini. Despite this great offer, do your best to stay focused on work for the next several days. CANCER - Jun 22/Jul 22 Exercise caution and do not jump to any conclusions at work, Cancer. While you may know what your boss expects from you, it is better to wait to
Fun Darts at the Royal Canadian Legion Saturday’s 7 pm
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hear what he or she has to say. LEO - Jul 23/Aug 23 Leo, you can envision exciting adventures ahead, and those times will be here before you know it. Channel your enthusiasm so you can get a head start on planning your adventure.
continue to work hard.
SAGITTARIUS - Nov 23/Dec 21 You may be tempted to sneak off and play hooky from work, Sagittarius. Just make sure you handle all of your obligations first. Now is not the best time to kick up your heels.
VIRGO - Aug 24/Sept 22 Virgo, you have a desire to be different from everyone else this week. It's good to be original, but don't stray too far off the beaten path or you may find yourself lost.
CAPRICORN - Dec 22/Jan 20 Capricorn, you have so much to do now that your mind may be in a complete jumble. Others will come at you with questions, but take a deep breath and answer them one at a time.
SCORPIO - Oct 24/Nov 22 Scorpio, work figures to put a lot on your plate in the coming week. You can handle everything that comes your way, so long as you keep your cool and
PISCES - Feb 19/Mar 20 Pisces, you have many new ideas about how to get rich quick, but you will probably want to find more sensible ways to earn a living.
LIBRA - Sept 23/Oct 23 Libra, a friend may shock you by doing something really outrageous. You do not know what to make of this change in personality, but do your best to take it in stride.
AQUARIUS - Jan 21/Feb 18 Change is not the best idea right now, Aquarius. It is much better to stick with the status quo for a little while longer. Then you will have enough stability to make a change.
Baby’s Best Chance Pregnancy Outreach Program Drop in : Mondays 10am to Noon. Weekly Group Sessions Tuesdays 11 am-1pm. Located at Kici. Alanon meetings 6:30 pm Tuesdays Mickey’s Place (behind AandW) Chetwynd Society for Community Living Board Meeting. First Monday of each month. 4699 Airport Road Ph: 250-788-4889. Homeschooling Network Thursdays 1 pm - 2 pm at the Chetwynd Public Library
Muskoti Learning Centre Homework Club Mon-Thursday 3 - 4:30 pm Valentine’s Dance Royal Canadian Legion Feb. 14 9 pm.
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KFC OH SO GOOD
KFC Chetwynd 4800 North Access Rd. 250-788-9866
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Growing our own skilled workers
ALASKA HGIHWAY NEWS –––––––––––––– CHETWYND – Attracting and retaining a skilled workforce is an ongoing challenge in northern B.C. and one that Chetwynd Mayor Merlin Nichols and Fort St. John Mayor Lori Ackerman are taking on. A common solution across various fields is fostering an interest among the local population. "I'm hearing a lot from the community that health services in Fort St. John are declining and when I say that, I mean access to physicians, walk-in clinics, the long waits, and that is simply because we've had some physicians leave and they've not been replaced," said Ackerman. Nichols said another major concern is that the local mills are bearing the costs of training and continuing the education of skilled workers, only to have those workers leave for jobs in the energy sector. "Some of the mills train up skilled workers in the trades and they are sucked off immediately into the higher paying mines and oil patch," said Nichols. "This is a major challenge and I think we need to be looking at ways to make this more attractive for these trades people to stay and work within the communities." A resolution was passed
With a shortage of workers to fill a broad range of positions in the north, the need for training a skilled workforce at home is increasingly important. Chetwynd Mayor Merlin Nichols sais fostering an interest among the File photo local population could be the key.
at the Jan. 9 Peace River Regional District Board meeting towards urging a member of the Apprenticeship Branch of the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training to address the board regarding these challenges. "I'd like them simply to hear our concerns that it is an issue here to get qualified trades people," said Nichols. "We want them to come here and talk about how they're going to deal with it."
Itʼs not that the pulp mill isnʼt paying proper wages. NICHOLS
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Nichols said there is as much as an $11 per hour discrepancy in pay for trades people between the mines and the pulp mills. "It's not that the pulp mill isn't paying proper wages," said Nichols. He said it isn't only within the companies that the shortage of workers is being felt. "The residents feel the problem, that's where I felt it. You can't get a plumber, you can't get an electrician, you can't get a carpenter," said Nichols. "The higher paying industries certainly have a big lure and people will go to the higher pay, but if we had enough people around, enough people could be trained." With a BC Natural Gas Workforce Strategy and Action Plan released in July, Ackerman noted that information within that document could be useful to bring back to the region. "I've made arrangements to meet with the chair of that committee so I can bring that information back to the local government here on how we can put that strategy in place," said Ackerman. The Action Plan was developed with funding from the provincial and federal governments, with input from the industry members and associations and provincial ministries. With a goal of ensuring an adequate workforce exists to serve the growing natural gas sector, there are aspects of the plan that could be crucial to some of the challenges faced in the north. Ackerman noted that one area of interest is how community involvement is related to that strategy. "We are a very rapidly growing community but we're not going to be the only rapidly growing community. So when we speak about how it is that we move forward, we have an opportunity to really take a look at how we can create a new healthcare that's focused on partnerships in a rapidly growing community and being leaders on that avenue," said Ackerman. She said those potential partners would be uncovered through a process of taking a serious look at the entire healthcare system. "What we're doing right now is taking a look at how
to develop a strategy to move forward because we want to make sure we speak to all aspects of healthcare, from stem to stern. The reality is you can't have good healthcare services without all attributes being healthy," said Ackerman. "Once we determined what the barriers are to recruitment and retention, then we'll be able to determine who the best partners are to assist in eliminating that barrier." Both Ackerman and Nichols noted the importance of making the needed skills training available within the northern communities. Northern Health chief operating officer for the Northeast Health Service Delivery Area, Betty Morris, said there are a number of strategies for attracting applicants and one of Northern Health's focuses is thinking local. "We think that we have to put some effort into growing our own," said Morris. "We're working really closely with others, whether it's Northern Lights College or UNBC, to see what training programs we can get locally. We think if we can train local people, we'll have a better opportunity for recruiting them." One project Northern Health has used to encourage young people to enter the healthcare profession was taking high school students in Fort St. John on a hospital tour. "We took the kids all over, talked about what the work was, what would be expected of an employee," said Morris. "It seemed to be quite successful and we got good feedback from that." Nichols also suggested the need for relaying the wealth of job opportunities in the region to students. "I think more young people in high school need to be encouraged, the bright young people need to be encourage to get into the trades," said Nichols. "It's pretty hard to lure somebody into the community to take a position like this. I think a person has to grow in the community." Ackerman said that one strategy she has been advocating for some time is developing a registered nurse program in the region. "I believe that northeastern B.C. needs a nursing school here for RNs," said Ackerman. With a licensed practical nurse program already offered through Northern Lights College, she said that having the RN program is an important part of ensuring that the community has the appropriate level of care. "I just think that this is a wonderful opportunity to really take a look at community healthcare and I just hope that we'll be able to deal with it quickly enough because its certainly an issue," said Ackerman. "I'm just hoping that everyone that is a part of this determination of what the barriers are can step up with the facts and determinants that create those barriers and if they have anyone in their network that can provide solutions, we need to do that."