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Bruce Lantz photo Madison Aitken, 11, left, and Montana Aitken, 10, have a bird’s-eye view of the opening day of competition at the Doig River Rodeo held July 20-21 on the rodeo grounds at the Doig River First Nation. Heavy rain didn’t faze the competitors, who travelled from across BC and Alberta for the event, or the spectators.
BCUC asked to review Site C project By Bruce Lantz A new initiative to block construction of the Site C dam is underway, The FlipSide News has learned. The Peace Valley Environment Association recently filed a complaint with the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) over BC Hydro’s bypassing of the commission’s regulatory requirements. The PVEA is asking the BCUC to confirm its oversight of Site C. Most public utility projects must be certified by the BCUC before it can be built but the Campbell government passed a law in 2010 shielding Site C from the commission’s oversight. The BCUC is an independent body with a mandate to regulate electricity utilities and ensure that ratepayers receive safe, reliable and non-discriminatory energy services at fair rates. The Site C project as it is proposed significantly exceeds what the government exempted from the requirement to obtain a Certificate for Public Convenience and Necessity (CPCN) from the BCUC in Section 7 of the Clean Energy Act. As explained in the complaint, the proposed Site C is not captured by the exemption and BC Hydro is required by law to apply for a CPCN before it begins construction or operation of Site C. BCUC oversight is important, opponents say, because the process for obtaining a CPCN involves the kind of transparent and
thorough investigation and analysis Site C needs. The PVEA is being backed by the Sierra Club of BC and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative in asking Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett and the province for support. Bennett has said he will adopt a get-tough stance with Hydro, which has amassed staggering debt, and has hinted at rate hikes for the utility company. Site C, the proposed third dam and hydroelectric generating station on the Peace River, would require flooding about 5,340 hectares of land and nearly 100 kilometres of river valley along the Peace and its tributaries. This would include more than 3,000 hectares of wildlife habitats, heritage sites, and Class 1 and Class 2 agricultural land to build a dam with an estimated capacity of approximately 900 MW and an annual output of 4,600 GWh of electricity. In the complaint, PVEA lawyer Anna Johnston of Vancouver noted that much has changed since the Clean Energy Act was enacted, “and the Site C that BC Hydro wants ratepayers to back is a much different beast”, she said. “For starters, its sticker price has shot up 58 per cent from the original $5 billion-$6.6 billion estimate. It will take years longer to construct, which means longer before any benefits would be felt, and more time
for additional delays and cost escalations to occur. And in light of BC Hydro’s budgeting track record, ratepayers can hardly be blamed for worrying about footing a much larger bill than $8 billion. The Northwest Transmission Line (which was also exempt from the commission’s review) is currently projected to cost $617 million, a whopping 53 per cent inflation over the $404 million original estimate.” She said the Northwest Transmission Line price has risen 82 per cent from Hydro’s original estimate. If that happens with Site C, “we’re looking at a cost of over $12 billion for a dam we’re not even sure we need”. Johnston also noted the issue of BC Hydro’s debt, which at more than $15 billion is nearly double what it was in 2010 when the provincial government decided to move forward with Site C and is expected to rise to $18.85 billion by 2015. “As a result, the dividends BC Hydro pays to the province will be cut almost in half,” she said. “And who would foot the bill? Ratepayers, of course. As a Crown corporation, BC Hydro’s debt is borne by the public. That’s why the commission must be allowed to probe for holes in BC Hydro’s proposal.” Continued on page 3
Crime strategy needed to battle increased violence No community has ever been immune to crime. And, as shown by recent events, the cities, towns and villages of Northeastern BC are no exception. Fort St. John residents were perhaps surprised recently to hear of reports of shootings in a local apartment building, a motor inn and a local home, along with an incident in which Molotov cocktails were thrown at a house. Thankfully no one was injured, but police are viewing the violence with concern. They believe it’s tied to gangs and their involvement in the local drug trade. Area residents have watched in recent years as evidence of gang activity becomes more apparent. Police have reported that as many as four organized gangs with ties to organized crime in the Lower Mainland are operating here. Those who thought this kind of activity wouldn’t reach this far north were sadly mistaken. It’s perhaps understandable from the gangs’ perspective. The region has a relatively young population that’s somewhat transient, and with high disposable incomes – a recipe for drug use and the crime that often accompanies it. This circumstance doesn’t just mean that crimes are committed by those with drug problems seeking to feed their habits, although that does occur. It also provides an environment for turf wars between the gangs and retribution for those who default on
drug debts. This situation is at odds with efforts by local government to portray the community as one that’s attractive to working families. Considerable effort – and money – has been spent in the recent past on providing the amenities families want. Money has been spent on better facilities, better amenities . . . streets, schools…the list goes on. But how does that sought-after image fit with reports of gunfire and gangs? Not well. Unless something is done, and quickly, such reports will keep the city from being seen as an attractive place to live, work and raise families. As our municipalities approach next year’s budgeting process, and despite their reluctance to risk the wrath of taxpayers, our politicians must face the fact that the RCMP must be given the resources to combat this type of crime - for the sake of those who live here now and those who may arrive in the future. This is a community problem and it will take a community effort to solve it. Pretending the problem doesn’t exist won’t get us closer to a solution. Strategies must be put in place to root out the criminal element and send them down the road. Citizens, police and local government must join together to show the criminals that their actions won’t be tolerated. If we don’t, we can expect more of the same. - Bruce Lantz
Cyclist turns to writing By Bruce Lantz Fort St. John’s Pat Ferris has long been known as the face of competitive cycling in the region. But soon he may be known as something else – an author. Ferris, who has lived in Fort St. John since 1975, recently published his first novel, ‘Gypsies’, a 10-year labour of love (and sometimes frustration) that tells the story of an illegal immigrant woman striving to find her place and love against a backdrop of - what else? - competitive cycling in the US. After finishing his career with Westcoast Energy (now Spectra), Ferris met author Sherril Guthrie in the mid-90s and immediately developed an interest in writing. Ten years ago he got serious and began crafting a book of short stories, improving with experience and eventually seeking advice from a professional editor who “really helped me focus”, he said. “From that process, Gypsies came along and was a couple of years in the making. It was an evolution based on one line in the early work,” Ferris said. “I’m generally happy with it. It’s a fun yarn and people can even learn something about cycling from it.” Stranded in Tucson as an illegal alien, heroine Giselle Barnett was without means or money but her pride would not allow her to return to Trinidad. “She’s a stranger in a strange land,” said Ferris. “She doesn’t match with the locals but she’s trying to make a go of it.” She finds a job in a local bicycle shop and meets an extraordinary group of cycling ‘Gypsies’: top-level cyclists seeking professional stardom, sacrificing everything to that goal. She enjoys the company of the
Gypsies, especially Larry and his happy-go-lucky outgoing personality. Together the Gypsies enter the Tour of the Gila to pit their talents against top European and US competition. “This is their chance to shine,” Ferris said. They’re tested to the limits to see who has the ‘right stuff’ to make it into the big leagues of international cycling, and at the same time the relationship between Giselle and Larry is tested, too. The book draws extensively on Ferris’ own experience as a competitive cyclist. He started racing in 1968 and competed against some “very good” opponents before age took its toll and he focused on local riding and coaching local cyclists, some of whom came close to making it to the pros. Fittingly, Ferris wrote most of the book in his bicycle shop, where he finds the best inspiration. With 200 self-published copies in hand, Ferris is selling his hardcover book for $22.25 plus GST and is currently organizing book signings in the local area. People can contact him through the Gypsies Facebook page or at his business, Ferris Fast Cycles, 250-785-3711. He also plans to re-edit Gypsies and have a second printing, perhaps even finding a publisher to bear the printing and promotion costs. And he already has a sequel in mind. Already in outline form, it’s an extension of the relationship between Giselle and Larry and might even have a murder mystery involved. “I hope it’s easier than the first go around,” he said, adding he hopes to have it done in about six months. “But I’m not quitting my day job.”
Bruce Lantz photo Fort St. John’s Pat Ferris with his first published novel, Gypsies.
Police seek help against gangs Faced with what seems to be gang activity that’s escalating dangerously, Fort St. John police are asking for the public’s help in finding those responsible. In just three weeks in July there were five separate incidents of shots being fired and another in which Molotov cocktails were thrown at a house. Police believe the firearm incidents, at least, are connected and directly related to the drug trade. The RCMP are using every resource available to them, including the Combined Special Enforcement Unit, the province’s anti-gang squad. “Simply put, we want to stop this illegal and dangerous activity before somebody is hurt or killed,” RCMP Insp. Pat Egan said in a press release. “We are asking anyone with additional information about these incidents to contact the police. “We are confident that those responsible will be caught, but with the public’s assistance we can ensure that they will not have an opportunity to endanger others with their illegal actions.” Egan asked anyone with information to contact the RCMP at 250787-8100 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or www.crimestoppersfsj.ca. You do not have to provide your name, address or phone number and you do not have to testify in court. A cash reward of up to $2,000 will be paid for information that leads to an arrest and charges. The crime wave started July 8 when shots were fired through the
back of a home in the 9600-block of 96 St. No injuries were reported. Then on July 15 just after 3 am shots were fired through an apartment door in the Marquis Centre apartment building on 99 Ave. at 104 St. The residence was unoccupied and there were no injures. On July 21, also after 3 am, shots again were fired through an apartment door in the Marquis Centre, but the lone occupant was not injured, and at 11 pm the same day shots were fired into two separate hotel rooms at the Northwoods Inn. One room was unoccupied and the lone occupant in the other room was not injured. Half an hour later, four Molotov cocktails were thrown at a house in the 1001block of 96 Ave. There was no damage to the house and no one inside was injured. On the night of July 27 shots were fired on 101 Ave. but again no one was injured. In the wake of this violence, a daycare located at the Marquis Centre has given notice that it will move from there, and The FlipSide News has learned that the tenants of four apartment units have left. For several years police and civic officials have been concerned about the presence of gangs believed to have ties, at least in some cases, to gangs in the Lower Mainland. While there have been other isolated incidents of violence, including the use of firearms, the recent incidents would seem to indicate an escalation of such activity.
Continued from page 1 Johnston said she believes the PVEA stands a “strong chance” of having its request to the BCUC granted, based on the fact that the Site C Dam Hydro now wants to build is a much larger project than the one before the provincial government when it passed a law exempting it from BCUC oversight. “Christy Clark’s Liberal government campaigned on a promise of financial responsibility. A $12 billion debt burden isn’t something any reasonable government would take on without a thorough, arms-length analysis, and certainly not when the
dealing with a Crown corporation that is already deep in the red and facing massive upgrades to aging infrastructure,” she said. “The provincial government has promised to keep hydro rates low. At the same time, it has approved rate hikes that could have ratepayers paying 30 percent more over the next three years. Given that it is potentially facing a $12 billion bill for Site C, it’s pretty hard to imagine that the government would not want BCUC to investigate this project to make sure that it’s in the province’s best interests.”
Across 1. One ___ (form of baseball) 5. “Robin ___” (old song) 10. That, in France 14. Eight: Comb. form 15. African language family 16. Inch or teaspoon 17. “Go!” 19. Gambling city 20. High point for Moses 21. City council members 23. M’sieur’s daughter 26. Boosler of comedy 27. Butterfly, e.g. 32. “___ Mine” (Beatles song) 33. Ghastly 34. State’s #2 executive: Abbr. 38. Make coins and paper money 40. Pluperfect, e.g. 42. Hook’s accomplice
43. Opera house shout 45. Cooks in a caldron 47. Winter hrs. in Bermuda 48. Having notable success 51. Secret matters 54. RFK Stadium player, e.g. 55. Special features 58. Feminine suffixes 62. Snick and ___ (thrust and cut) 63. Veteran Hollywood actress 66. ___-Tass (Russian news agency) 67. Was aware of 68. Auto body corrosion 69. Home of Citta del Vaticano 70. Online birthday greeting, e.g. 71. Cancel a correction Down 1. Amazed expressions 2. 202, to Tiberius
3. Letter abbr. 4. Japanese floor mat 5. Civil War prez 6. Project Patriot org. 7. Forest ox 8. Like slanted type: Abbr. 9. Glider section 10. Seedless raisins 11. Group to attack 12. Sheets, tablecloths, etc. 13. Make up for 18. “Broom-___” (Russell Myers comic strip) 22. Lod Airport carrier 24. Unable to find one’s way 25. Youths coming of age in ancient Athens 27. Branch 28. Kuwaiti pooh-bah 29. Transportation Secretary Federico ___ 30. Mortise’s mate 31. Coast Guard rank 35. Detroit financing co. 36. Platinum wire loop 37. Docs for dachshunds 39. What a news anchor looks into 41. Twelfth Jewish month 44. Chaplin, nee O’Neill 46. Facilitate 49. One in the Corps 50. Rubinstein and Rodzinski 51. Subject of the eddas 52. Totaled, as a bill 53. Dairy purchase 56. Ray who created the McDonald’s empire 57. ___ high standard 59. Carpenter’s metal piece 60. First word in Mass. motto 61. Paving block 64. Sin or win add-on 65. “Kookie” Byrnes’s first name
ADIA ALRIGHT ANGEL ANYTHING ANYWHERE BIG POPPA BLACK CAT CRAZY CREEP DEAR MAMA DECEMBER DISAPPEAR DISARM EVERLONG EVERYTHING FINALLY FOOLISH GAMES HERO I KNOW I SWEAR INFORMER JUMP AROUND JUMPER LAST KISS LATELY LOUNGIN MASTERPIECE MISSING MR. JONES NO DIGGITY NO RAIN
Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
- John Wooden NOBODY KNOWS NOT TONIGHT RUN-AROUND RUNAWAY TRAIN SAVE TONIGHT SAY IT SLIDE SUKIYAKI TELL ME TIME TOO CLOSE TWO PRINCES UNBELIEVABLE WANNABE WHO DAT WITHOUT YOU YOU’LL SEE
Equal opportunity important for Urban Systems, John Urban Systems is a professional consulting firm committed to supporting vibrant communities. This high-profile local office has created a diverse work place by hiring a person with a disability through the Fort St John Association for Community Living (FSJACL). In November 2010 they hired John Coulson and a position was created through a process called job carving. The job description was created by Urban Systems’ staff and our Supported Employment Co-ordinator, taking into consideration some of the tasks other employees were doing that could be done by someone else. This frees up the employees’ time to deal with more urgent or complex tasks. Urban Systems gave John a desk and his own work area, which gave him a sense of belonging. FSJACL staff soon faded out and John began working independently. John shreds paper and will go around to all the offices, where he collects mail to be sent out. He works one day a week, however, he is an asset to the company. John brings character to the office and assists in jobs his coworkers don’t have time to do. The staff at Urban Systems support John with clear instructions and always include him in their day. John looks forward to coffee and
Contributed photo John Coulson enjoys working at his own desk and contributing to the work Urban Systems does. doughnut time with his co-workers, as he enjoys socializing with the people he works with. They have recently given him a wage increase which John is very proud about. John’s supervisor, Elissa Spidel, says, “We are happy to have John as an employee. He comes into the office comfortable and always contributes to conversation. People might not think it’s important but he is part of our company.” Equal Opportunity in the Work-
It’s a Wonderful Life!
I understand, I understand, I understand By Sue Stark This time I want to remind you not tell you, just remind you - about the word ‘understanding’ - and not even understanding others, or things, just understanding one thing: Ourselves. We want to grow, excel, succeed, be happy, be healthy, have joy, live this wonderful life to the fullest - yet what is it that is missing? What is it that we just can’t seem to get? Yes, we know we must be grateful. Yes, we know how lucky we are with what we have, where we live, all the things . . . We know, know, know, know. . . Ya, ya, ya, we get that. So what is it, that one thing that we seem to miss? It is understanding our self! Living our life to the fullest comes, I believe, when we under-
place is important not only to the people we support but to the businesses that hire them. If you are interested in hiring someone with a disability or just have questions, please call the Fort St John Association for Community Living’s Employment Coordinator, Sheri Ashdown at (250)787-9262, ext 234 or e-mail her at sheri.ashdown@ fsjacl.com. We look forward to hearing from you. together different. We need to change from “I know, I know, I know” to “I understand, I understand, I understand”. We should be looking with understanding, hearing with understanding, feeling with understanding. I love this quote: “It isn’t until you come to a spiritual understanding of who you are - not necessarily a religious feeling, but deep down, the spirit within - that you can begin to take control.” – Oprah Winfrey Understanding is taking control of yourself, your life, your universe. Finally making those changes you want, or deciding that hey, those changes just don’t matter anymore. What matters most may be something altogether different - once you start to understand you. You are wonderful. Enjoy your wonderful week, month, life. Cheering you on. xO Sue
stand our self in it. To know our self, to me, is really to cut our self some slack, to understand that, yes, that is what I do when this happens or that is how I react when that is said and that doesn’t make me bad or wrong. What I need to do is just understand that that is me. That is what I do. It is kind of admitting it, or ‘fessing up to something. It is becoming real, telling the truth about your self. Why do we need to do that? To get to that place of understanding is like saying, “Oh, ok, I get it. Nbd (no big deal). Now that I understand that, I think I could change that.” If we do not understand it, we can never make a lasting change. Knowing we do something is one thing, but understanding and accept- Sue Stark is the owner of Sue Stark ing what we do is something all Consulting.
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DOIG RIVER RODEO ACTION
Bruce Lantz photos Bruce Lantz photo Top photo, Shar Cooper and Wayne Spiers head out after their Despite some serious injuries from a calf in the roping event and, below, snag it fore and aft for a ranch accident, Cliff Shuk gave it his time of 10:34 seconds and the victory. all in the saddle bronc competition.
Bruce Lantz photos Top photo, Shar Cooper and Wayne Spiers head out after their calf in the roping event and, below, snag it fore and aft for a time of 10:34 seconds and the victory.
250-262-9107 or 250-264-8888 for ad info Wesley King Don shows how itâ€™s done in the tie-down roping event.
Bruce Lantz photo
Do you want a mascara-free summer? By Chelsea Toews Imagine a summer without mascara! Sound good? Let me tell you how it is actually possible to have beautiful, long, dark lashes without having to put mascara on them. Itâ€™s called Permanent Lash Extensions. These individual, synthetic lash extensions are applied to your single lashes one at a time, giving them a natural and full look. These extensions can last up to 4-6 weeks depending on the life cycle of your own natural eyelashes and other factors that your lash professional will
review with you at your first eyelash extension consultation/appointment. There are different lengths, thicknesses, curl types and colours. Some even have colored glitter! So whether you would like short and natural or long and dramatic, you can have it. After you have had them on for about three weeks you will need to get the lashes filled to keep them looking fresh and beautiful. Your lash technician will literally fill in the missing spaces (from the lashes that have fallen out due to your natural lash cycle) with new ones and
reapply the waterproof sealant. Mascara can also be worn to dramatize the look - as long as it is waterbased - and you need to remove it with oil-free remover. Lash extensions are very easy to take care of and are very worth the price! There are a couple salons in town that offer this service, so check them out and book your appointment if you would like to enjoy a summer free of mascara. They are waterproof, durable and lovely. Chelsea Toews is the owner of Diamond Cherry Beauty Bar.
PRRD tops $1 million for STARS STARS air ambulance was to unveil the Peace River Regional District (PRRD) logo on a STARS helicopter July 28 at the Fort St. John International Airshow. This unveiling was in recognition of the PRRD committing 1,022,638 to the STARS program. “The Peace River Regional District Board has supported STARS initiatives to be a quick responder to critically ill and injured patients in our region,” said board chair Karen Goodings. The PRRD has committed to funding $510,000 to STARS over three years, which pushed their total cumulative giving past the $1 million mark. “This incredible support helps STARS save lives,” STARS president and CEO Andrea Robertson said in a press release. “Now, when
our helicopter and crew respond to emergencies in the region, we can proudly display the PRRD’s logo for all to see.” The Peace Region is served by a STARS base located in Grande Prairie. The base has operated since late 2006, flying hundreds of missions every year, including emergency responses into BC. STARS is a non-profit helicopter air ambulance organization providing rapid and specialized emergency care and transportation for criticallyill and injured patients. Its doctors, nurses, paramedics, and pilots work with a team of dedicated support staff and community partners to save lives. STARS operates from bases in Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton and Grande Prairie.
Places to find
The FlipSide In Fort St. John
Contributed photos The Peace River Regional District logo is now proudly sported on a STARS helicopter. Bottom photo, a STARS chopper in the air.
Reflections on a river: Paddle for the Peace By Sarah Cox gest remaining wildlife corridor. BC Outdoor Recreation Council. I dip my paddle into the Peace River and we are off. The river surprises me with its strength, swiftly conveying my daughter and me downstream. We bob in the water with hundreds of others: families with small children wedged into Clipper canoes, and a rainbow of kayaks. Grand Chief Stewart Phillip of the BC Union of Indian Chiefs floats downstream in a green canoe. There are even people in wetsuits paddling
On this overcast Saturday, close to 500 people of all ages, from faraway places and different backgrounds, gather with one single determined purpose: to save BC’s Peace River Valley and stop the proposed Site C dam. Site C, now in the environmental assessment process, would cost taxpayers at least $8 billion, at a time when huge cost overruns on other BC Hydro projects are making headlines. Site C would destroy nearly 100 kilometres of picturesque valley bottoms in the Peace, Halfway and Moberly Rivers, to create electricity that is not needed or slated for domestic consumption. Our paddle takes us past a green and yellow Tina Schleissler photo patchwork quilt of some of BC’s best farmland, Hundreds of paddlers joined this year’s all of it scheduled for the Paddle for the Peace. Site C wrecking ball. on surfboards, slick and seal-like. Flooding from the proposed dam Aboriginal drummers send us off would wipe out 52 square kilometres ceremoniously, a steady background of agricultural land . . . including heartbeat for the eighth annual BC’s only Class 1 farmland north of Paddle for the Peace. This year, the Quesnel. At least 78 First Nations’ paddle takes on new urgency. cultural and spiritual sites and burial The Peace River, the largest grounds would be obliterated. Vital waterway in the Mackenzie river wildlife habitat for grizzly bears and system, has recently been declared 19 other at-risk species would vanBC’s Most Endangered River by the ish, threatening the continent’s lon-
It’s difficult for me to fathom how we would allow such wild beauty and BC heritage to disappear under a wall of water - potentially just to power one proposed Liquefied Natural Gas plant. Local First Nations recount stories from their ancestors about hunting woolly mammoth in this valley. The Hudson’s Hope museum just upstream has woolly mammoth teeth and locally-discovered dinosaur footprints and bones, and Peace farmers. Site C, to be located just south of Fort St. John, was rejected twice in the 1980s. It was deemed too costly - and too risky in the event of a dam breach. One BC Hydro report says, “Site C would . . . fall into the ‘High’ or ‘Very High’ consequence category as defined by the Canadian Dam Association because of the potential damage downstream in the event of a dam breach and the economic loss as a result of dam failure.” Nobody seems to know if the risk is even higher now in light of climate change, with increasingly extreme weather and flooding events such as those seen recently in nearby Alberta. As I paddle down the Peace, I reflect that something significant is happening in BC’s northeast, where the landscape has already been frac-
A & W , Angelic Light, B&M Glass, Burgers & Brews, Bank of Montreal, Casey’s Pub, Credit Union, Cultural Centre, Esquires Coffee House, Dairy Queen, Fort St. John Hospital, Fort St. John Medical Clinic, Fort City Chrysler, Headspace, Humpty’s Family Restaurant, Jackfish Dundee’s, JD Fitzgeralds, Lone Wolf (Taylor), Mama Panda Restaurant, Mile 54 Cafe, Masterpiece Framing, Mile 36 Cafe (Taylor), Northern Grand, Northern Star, Northwoods Inn, On the Rocks Pub, On the Rocks Liquor, Razors Edge, Redwood Esso (Taylor), Rogers Trucking, Royal Bank, Rudy’s Car & Truck Wash, Systems Secure, Stonebridge Hotel, Taylor District Office, TD Bank, The Shed (Taylor), Tim Hortons (North & South), Quiznos, Urban Thredz, Whole Wheat & Honey
In Dawson Creek Alaska Highway House, A & W, Aurora Inn, Bill’s News, Brass Scissors, CIBC, Dawson Creek Visitor Center, Days Inn Lobby, Dr. Fletcher’s Office, Eljen Clinic, Farmington Store, George Dawson Lobby & Café, Hospital Main, Husky, Lees Restaurant, Rockwells, Stuie’s Diner, Subway, The Lodge, Tim Hortons, TD Bank, White Spot tured by speedy industrial development like the controversial practice of fracking for natural gas. First Nations families and ranching families and farming families are working together to stop Site C: fighting for their land and homes. “There are other ways to generate power that don’t include flooding this valley,” West Moberly Chief Willson tells the paddlers. “No one in the world right now is planning dams. They’re taking them down.” Sarah Cox is the interim executive director of the Sierra Club BC.
Visitable Housing – Part 2: There’s lots we can do By Lori Slater Did I leave you wondering about Visitable Housing and if your home would be considered ‘visitable’? I’m sure you have had to take a second look and realize that most of your homes are not visitable, by definition. As I mentioned there is a fourth principle to consider when building a home. The fourth principle of Visitable Housing is the addition of a main floor (first storey) living space with a living room or bedroom with doorways and hallways that are accessible for someone with a wheelchair or walker. Adding this last principle to a home when it is built allows for anyone to live there or visit. Now what can we do and how can we do it? There is a lot we can do. Like most things, it takes educating and building awareness. We can follow in the footsteps of
other communities that have tackled Visitable Housing. We can use tools and resources available to communities to establish opportunities for Visitable Housing. Communities like Prince George have done an extensive study on the topic. They have formed a Visitable Housing Committee and are working with city council to incorporate bylaws and voluntary design guidelines into their Official Community Plan (OCP). I have worked with our city planners to incorporate Visitable Housing into our OCP. It is my passion and hope to see our community become as accessible, inclusive and visitable as possible over the next few years. We can do it, working together to make our community the best it can be for all. We have taken the first steps. Now we must continue to educate,
dispel myths and remove perceived barriers that surround Visitable Housing. We must encourage positivity around Visitable Housing so that it will become a reality. If you are interested in Visitable Housing and how we can work together to make sure it happens in our community, please don’t hesitate to contact me. “Visitability or Visitable Housing is an essential element that contributes to a more livable and sustainable built environment by addressing homeowners and community needs over time.” -Concrete Changes Lori Slater is an Accessibility and Inclusion Advocate in Fort St. John. If you have any comments, questions or concerns you can contact her through the The FlipSide or firstname.lastname@example.org
Local News Briefs Airport upgrades begin
Who wants to be mayor?
The North Peace Airport Society parking and the water and sewer system construction projects have begun. LB Chapman Construction Ltd. a civil earthworks contractor for site infrastructure and underground utilities has been awarded the water and sewer system tender. The parking tender was awarded to InterouteDGS Astro Paving. Airport officials say to allow extra time when flying out of YXJ. The flow of traffic will be different for a while and parking has been moved to accommodate the work being done. “The window in the North to complete this type of construction is short,” said airport society president Fred Jarvis, “We know it will cause some inconveniences and delays because both projects are being done at the same time. The North Peace Airport Society thanks everyone in advance for their patience.”
There are no takers so far for the position of mayor of Dawson Creek. With a byelection set for the Fall, city councillors had two weeks starting June 26 to declare if they would seek to replace former Mayor Mike Bernier. Their candidacy would require them to give up their seat on council. Now the process is open to all citizens. Nomination forms are available at city hall and will be accepted until Aug. 9. If more than one person seeks the position, a byelection will be held Sept. 14. Otherwise, the only candidate will be acclaimed. Voting will take place from 8 am to 8 pm at the Encana Events Centre, with advance polls available Sept. 4 and 11 at city hall. Former councilor Alvin Stedel and Kurt Peats, who ran unsuccessfully in the recent provincial election, are reportedly considering seeking the mayor’s seat.
Waste transfer site closing
Money Stop shut down
The Two Rivers waste transfer station site at the junction for 243 and 238 Roads near Baldonnel was permanently closed July 31 due to illegal dumping. The Peace River Regional District (PRRD) operates several unmanned waste transfer stations in rural areas to collect bagged household waste. The sites are unstaffed, therefore uncontrolled disposal of waste and the illegal dumping of hazardous waste is always a concern at these sites. The Two Rivers transfer station was not scheduled to be permanently closed until next fall but at the June 7 meeting of the PRRD’s Solid Waste Committee the issue of increased and ongoing illegal dumping at Two Rivers was reviewed and the decision to close it at the end of July was made. Area residents are advised to bring their refuse to the North Peace Regional Landfill, located at 7014269 Rd. The landfill hours of operation are: Monday-Friday: 9 am-5:45 pm, Saturday: 9 am-5:45 pm (winter), Saturday: 7 am-7 pm (summer).
Job crunch coming The likely advent of liquefied natural gas projects means 75,000 workers will need to come to BC, a study shows. The provincial government’s new BC Natural Gas Workforce Strategy Committee report says the province would need more than 75,000 permanent skilled workers over time, 60,000 of them during peak construction. Northern BC’s labour force likely won’t be able to meet this demand, increasing the pressure to recruit from other areas while maximizing the employment of local workers.
The Fort St. John lender Money Stop has been ordered to stop its payday lending activity for several violations of lending laws. Consumer Protection BC made the order and levied $9,500 in fines for obstructing an inspection and for operating without a license. The company has been ordered refund more than $4,300 to customers. The company can appeal the decision.
Expansion plan hits bumps Plans by the City of Fort St. John to take about 600 hectares of land into its boundary are meeting with significant opposition from the affected landowners. About 60 residents attended a recent meeting, many of them opposed to the move, which the city says was prompted by requests from other property owners in the potentially affected area who want to get city water and sewer services. The province has to approve any expansion.
Treaty 8 expanding? The Treaty 8 Tribal Association has received a $37,400 grant from the provincial government to redevelop property they recently purchased next to their downtown Fort St. John office at 100 Ave. and 102 St.. The money comes from a $1.5-million government program for renewal of brownfield properties - industrial sites that may contain environmental contamination. Treaty 8 hasn’t decided what they would do with the adjacent property, but hinted that a new office building could be located there, or the current building could be expanded onto the site.
Coming Events Aug. 7-11 - The 91st Annual Dawson Creek Exhibition and Stampede features four days of Agricultural Fair contests and exhibits along with five days of World Professional Chuckwagon and Western Professional Chuckwagon races. Friday includes a Downtown Parade and a ‘Tough Enough to Wear Pink’ Fundraiser. All day every day enjoy West Coast Amusement thrill rides, the Trade Fair, Sound Stage and nightly live band in the Watering Hole. Aug. 9 – Rotary Clubs Fall Fair Parade in downtown Dawson Creek. 8-11 am. Aug. 10 - Fort St. John Killbillies vs Grimshaw Reapers in BEAT IN THE HEAT roller derby action at the North Peace Arena. Doors open at 6 pm, game at 7 pm. Tickets $10 at the door, kids 8 and under free. Come and support the Killbillies and cheer your loudest! Aug. 10 - Come and support local artists at the FSJ Arts Market from 10 am-2 pm. at the Pomeroy Sport Centre. Featuring handmade jewelry artists, photographers, painters, and more! The FSJ Arts Market is always interested in having more local artists so if you’d like to join in, call 250-793-6599 or 250-261-3899. We have a monthly event for the community to enjoy. Aug. 10-11 – Drag racing at Northern Lights Raceway. Come see the loudest and fastest show in the Peace Region. Racers of all ages driving vehicles of all kind down the ¼-mile strip at speeds up to 200 mph! Admission is $10, with kids 12 and under admitted free. Racing begins around 11 am. Aug. 14 – Independent Investigations Office Community Engagement. Noon-1 pm at the Super 8 Board Room, Dawson Creek. $15 per plate. The creation of the Independent Investigations Office profoundly changes the way police in BC are investigated as it is mandated to conduct investigations into police-related incidents of death or serious harm to determine if an officer may have committed an offence. Incidents of serious harm include injury that may result in death, may cause serious disfigurement, or may cause substantial loss or impairment of mobility of the body as a whole or of the function of any limb or organ. Aug. 15-18 - The 7th annual corn roast/music festival is happening at the Tupper Hall rain or shine! Free camping. Admission by donation. To
PRRD starts ‘Community Conversations’ Peace River Regional District Electoral Area Directors are meeting with constiuenmts in communities around the region to discuss the controversial Building Bylaw No.1996, 2011 and other issues important to each community. Twenty meetings are underway and end Sept. 19. “Rural area residents want to talk about the revised Building Bylaw and the directors also want to hear about other matters that are important to rural communities,” said board chair Karen Goodings. “The intent of these conversations is to listen, share information
and continue to increase the Boards relationship with our rural constituents.” A recent building bylaw passed by the regional district sparked outrage among many rural residents who felt they weren’t consulted, prompting the discussions. The Regional Board Directors share a commitment to listen, consider the ideas and suggestions from the community conversations, and gain an understanding of community needs to support and enhance rural communities, the press release says.
“We want to encourage these discussions to broaden our collective understanding of what the regional district means to the people we serve,” Goodings said, “which will lead to increased understanding by the board about community issues, leading us to better decision-making that is informed by community input.” The remaining meetings are scheduled as follows: Aug. 1, 7 pm, Tupper Community Hall Aug 6, 7 pm, Hudson’s Hope (TBA) Aug 9, 7 pm, Prespatou Seniors Housing. Aug 13, 7 pm, Golata Creek
perform or for more information call Pat at 250-786-7913 or the Tupper Hall at 250-786-5522. Aug. 16-18 – North Peace Fall Fair. We do not have a beer garden or a midway but we provide family entertainment throughout the 3 days of our traditional country fair. We offer kids games, tractor pulls, horse pulls, talent contests, pet shows, and of course our evening “kick up your heels” dance! Located just 21 km north of Fort St John on Rose Prairie Rd. Family camping is also available, so plan on staying for the weekend! Contact Eleanor Steffensen, secretary/treasurer. Phone 250-261-4899, email: email@example.com. Aug. 24 – First Annual Passion for Life Walk/Run starting at 8:15 am at Northern Lights College in Fort St. John. 8:15 am Zumba Warm-Up from World’s Gym; 8:30 am start for walkers; 9 am start for runners; 9:45 am Yoga Cool-Down from Mark Enriquez Yoga; 10:45 am start for kid’s 1K dash; 11 am award presentation Aug. 24-25 - The North Peace Horticultural Society is holding their annual Flower Show in the North Peace Cultural Centre. Bring your entries on Aug. 23 from 6 pm-8 pm and on Aug. 24 from 8 am-10 am. Open to the public from 3 pm-7 pm on Aug. 24 and 11 am-4 pm on Aug. 25. Refreshments available by donation. Contact Jessie Clarke at 250780-3656. Cost: Adults $10, Students/Seniors $8, Children $12 and under free. Aug. 26-30 – Mad Science Summer Camp. Looking for a way to keep your kids entertained this summer? Enrol them in an exciting and enriching Mad Science Summer Camp! Fun and Hands-on! Uniquely interactive! Operates indoors, outdoors, even in the rain! Join us from 9:30 am to 3:30 pm for our Red Hot Robots Camp at the North Peace Leisure Pool! Learn about the uses of robots in our world and spend time experimenting with super cool, red-hot robots. Experiment with sound-sensing robots, line-tracking robots, amphibious robots, and robots that can even play soccer! Discover the science of circuits and how robots use sensors to explore things around them. Use your skills to build your very own working robot to take home with you! Camps are open to children ages 5-12. Cost: $325 + tax. Register online at http://vancouver.madscience.org. Community Hall. Aug 15, 7 pm, Cecil Lake Community Hall. Aug 20, 7 pm, Montney Community Hall. Aug 22, 6:30 pm, Charlie Lake Community Hall. Aug 27, 7 pm, Chetwynd Rec Centre. Aug 29, 7 pm, McLeod School/ Hall. Sept 3, 7 pm, Cutbank Community Hall. Sept 5, 7 pm, Rolla Community Hall. Sept 10, 7 pm, Tower Lake Community Hall. Sept 12, 6:30 pm, Dawson Creek PRRD office. Sept 17, 7 pm, Baldonnel (TBA). Sept 19, 7 pm, Farmington Community Hall. Summaries of the meetings will be available online on the PRRD website: http://prrd.bc.ca/board/community conversations, or at the regional district offices.