February 21, 2013
Chetwynd Site C survey gets ‘disappointing’ results By Jill Earl CHETWYND - After an attempt to find out the opinions of residents in the area, the District of Chetwynd remains clueless as to whether the majority support or oppose BC Hydro’s proposed Site C project. The district sent out 1,440 Site C position papers to their residents, by the end of December (residents’ deadline to submit their opinions) councillors had only received 14 responses so they extended the deadline to the end of January; two responses were received. “I certainly wish the people had shown a higher response rate,” said Chetwynd Mayor Merlin Nichols, disappointed in the number of respondents. Nichols said that the District of Chetwynd was not planning on forming an opinion of the project but that the purpose of the survey was to find out what the residents thought. “As of today, we don’t know,” Nichols said. The questionnaire included five questions: do you support or oppose the project? Should the BC Hydro proposed 34km paved Jackfish Lake Road be open for use by the general public or remain closed for construction? What is your interest in recreational access and view point during and after construction? Are you interested in employment opportunities during construction of the dam? Do you have any other comments? From the 16 returned comments, council found 11 people to be in support of the project and five people opposed to it. Eleven people wanted access to the proposed paved Jackfish Lake Road, three preferred restricted access and two had no opinion, 13 people wanted access to a view point during and after construction and three people did not want a view point at all. Six were interested in employment opportunities and ten were not. Many comments highlighted the positive economic value it could have in the region, while others had environmental concerns. The survey included a project description of Site C and some highlighted concerns of council, which included workforce and transportation impacts and road access and improvements. Council has also expressed the need for a Peace Region Legacy to be created by BC Hydro to provide funds to the impacted communities for recreational, cultural, arts, sports and other purposes. Nichols said that the returned surveys haven’t shifted his thinking on the project, which is mainly concerned with the effects on Chetwynd’s roads and infrastructure. “Well our main concerns in Chetwynd are the effects it’s going to have on our road systems, because the rip rap [materials] for the dam…will be hauled either one way or another through Chetwynd, if it’s by truck that’s going to have an enormous impact on the road system,” he said.
PRRD ADDRESS DAM HAZARDS By Jill Earl DAWSON CREEK - Directors at the Peace River Regional District hope to put more responsibility for emergency planning in the hands of dam owners by approving a resolution to go onto the North Central Local Government Association’s 2013 conference. The resolution recognizes that there are several manmade dams in British Columbia and that they can pose a hazard, further that the general public needs to be informed of the potential risks and impacts they create. Currently dam owners in B.C. must prepare an emergency preparedness plan that describes what actions should be taken in the event of an emergency. It would include contact names, access routes and who should be notified downstream. Owners are ob-
ligated to contact those in immediate danger in the event of an emergency but PRRD staff highlight that in the case of an emergency at one of the dams on the Peace River, only local governments would be notified and not potentially impacted residents or businesses. The resolution calls for the NCLGA to request that the Province of British Columbia enact changes in legislation that would make dam permit holders responsible for preparing an all-encompassing emergency management plan and developing public notification procedures to ensure the safety of the public. Chair of the board, Karen
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School District 60 and NLC unite
Business students visited by local industry Presenters Viril Anderson and Paul Van Steenbergen from Canada Safeway visited NLC’s Management 220 class on January 21. “Whenever private industry shows a desire to enter our classrooms, students not only receive an enriching learning experience in the practical application of management theory, but they also par-
take in an excellent opportunity to network with potential employers,” said instructor Mario Tenisci. The presenters left the students with some interesting statistics to ponder; Canada Safeway employs 10,000 workers in B.C. and 30,000 Canada-wide. In North America the grocery industry does $70 billion worth of trade annually.
North Peace Senior Secondary School students proudly display their Northern
Management 220 class on the Fort St. John Campus.
Goodings, said that the resolution was not particularly made because of BC Hydro’s proposed Site C but has been in discussion for many years. “This is something that’s been long standing for our emergency committee…it’s something that we’ve said that we need to have and it isn’t good enough for us as the directors to say if there’s a problem, BC Hydro will get a hold of the municipalities and the municipalities would do all the work,” she said. This is the first of the resolutions the district has prepared to be submitted to the NCLGA this year.
Viril Anderson (l) and Paul Van Steenbergen from Canada Safeway visited NLC’s
The AVID 12 class at North Peace Secondary School (NPSS) welcomed NLC Student Recruiter Lead, Courtenay Chisholm, on January 16 to learn about the many Academic and Trades opportunities NLC has to offer. “Many AVID 12 students are looking forward to attending NLC in their future, and many are starting next semester as Dual Credit students. We are thrilled to have such a won-
derful post-secondary school with amazing staff in our community,” said Barbara Cook, NPSS AVID Teacher and Dual Credit Coordinator with School District 60. AVID is an acronym for “Advancement via Individual Determination,” an elementary through post-secondary college readiness system that is designed to increase school-wide learning and performance.
Science fun at Alwin Holland Elementary About 140 students from grades 4-6 enjoyed a fun science event hosted by NLC on January 17. The event, organized by NLC’s Academic Chair Lisa Verbisky, and 13 volunteers from the college and community, introduced the students to soil science. Darren Snider, owner of Sharp Environmental
Ltd., talked about various types of soils and their importance as a resource. Students moved through YDULRXVVWDWLRQVWRH[SHULHQFHÀUVW hand how to determine soil colour, pH and texture. Everybody got their hands dirty, had lots of fun, and learned something in the process!
Dual Credit students This February approximately 60 students from School District 60 will be taking universitytransfer courses in a wide variety of subjects, including Biology, Business Management, Criminology, English, Geography, and Psychology. The tuition-free university-level courses count as elective credits toward high school graduation and as post-secondary credits for university degree programs. “In School District 60, in particular, our academic dual-credit program has been highly successful. It enables students to get a feel for university when they’re still at home, and we hope that many of the dual-credit students will return to the college for a full year of study, or two, before heading away to university,” said Steve Roe, Academic and Professional programs Dean at NLC.