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March 7, 2013 - Vol. 10 - No. 10


D.C. sees rise in robberies By Jill Earl

Cause of Suncor blowout revealed - Page 3

Pink Shirt Day meets Bully Buster - Page 9

DAWSON CREEK - It was second nature for resident Rob Peirce to quickly grab the weapon of a 49-year-old male robbery suspect last Sunday at 3 p.m. at Legacy Market. “My initial thought was ‘This can’t really be happening, I must be in a bad movie or something,’â€? said Peirce, who said he was unseen by the robber because he was at an angle. The male suspect entered the store at the corner of 17th Street and 108th Avenue wearing a mask and carried what was thought to be a gun. The male demanded cash from the teller and as he went to retrieve it, he left the gun unattended at which point Peirce took it. The suspect then fled the store and a number of customers successfully chased and tackled him. The suspect was held until police arrived and remained in police custody while awaiting a bail hearing. “I think anybody would have done the same thing‌It was either react or don’t react. I’d prefer to react,â€? Peirce said, adding that he would have done it again. This is the second time Legacy Market has been robbed in the past week, the first time being on Feb. 27.

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“Although I would never ask anyone to put themselves into that situation, I also cannot thank you enough,� read owners Tawnya and Cameron Schulz’s facebook status, who are rewarding Peirce with free coffee for a year and a generous gift to their car wash. The city has seen a spike in robberies recently, with six being reported to the local RCMP in the month of February. Sgt. Scott West of the Dawson Creek detachment said that a few individuals can skew monthly and Jill Earl photo annual averages, and that the detachOn Mar. 3 the Paradise Valley Snowmobile Association held their 2013 ment prefers to look at crime trends. Snow Drags race at their property on Bear Mountain. “We like to look more at the crime usually on hand to contribute to suc- in the cases that we have in front of us, trends and what’s trending upwards over time, and the robberies in Dawson cessfully revealing robber’s identities; with the four that we’ve solved, that Creek, other than this spike, statistics he adds robbery is also dealt with very there’s a component in substance abuse in each one of those,� West said. have been staying fairly normal. This is seriously in the courts. Although West can’t determine the Four of the cases the RCMP solved a spike and we’ve been trying to deal with it and I think we’ve dealt with it as cause for the recent spike, he says sub- last month include the robberies at stance abuse may have been a factor 7-Eleven on Feb. 14, Fas Gas on Feb. effectively as possible,� West said. He reported that four of the six cases in some of the cases they’ve seen last 17, Lothar Triebel Jewelers on Feb. 20 and the Legacy Village Market on Feb. have already been solved, and that no month. “It’s usually as a result of a substance 27. West reported they are still investiother cases were put on the backburner abuse issue that someone might have; gating the home robbery that occurred due to the spike. West explained that robbery is a very they get to that desperate point as of that on Feb. 2 and the break and enter at the risky activity to be involved in because very expensive habit that they have. Pouce Coupe Post Office on Feb. 9. closed circuit video and witnesses are Now along those lines, it’s our belief

LNG major players meet to discuss B.C. potential By Jill Earl

Major transportation cuts - Page 5

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DAWSON CREEK - B.C.’s first international liquefied natural gas conference, held last week in Vancouver, sold out with over 500 people paying the $1,200 price tag for a seat at Fuelling the Future: Global Opportunities for LNG in BC. The conference was hosted by the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Natural Gas on Feb. 25 and 26; while they originally planned for 300 delegates, the ministry had to adjust to accommodate for the large demand. Representatives from the industry’s major players attended to hear discussions on the regulation of the energy supply, B.C. First Nations and community perspectives, skills development planning, business development, industry perspectives on LNG markets, the Canadian Federal perspective and LNG as a transportation fuel. “There were the presidents and CEOs of every major company in the world were there representing and just explaining the importance of LNG on a world market but more importantly stressing how important




it is for the rest of the world that B.C. be a big player,� said Dawson Creek Mayor Mike Bernier, who attended the two-day event. “We have the potential to be a major player so that was good information to hear, we kind of knew that but it was nice to hear the actual business people and not what we see on the ground,� he adds. At the conference Premier Christy Clark announced that the province would provide $120 million in royalty credits to the industry with the 2013 Infrastructure Royalty Credit Program, to stimulate job creation and infrastructure investments. The IRCP was created in 2004 and according to the province has lead to the development of 82 new road-based ventures and 133 new pipeline projects, accounting for more than $1.7 billion in capital investments. The program provides industry with royalty credits that can be used to recover a portion, a maximum of 50 per cent, of royalties owed to government, after a project is complete. “We have a real opportunity to create significant wealth and jobs for British Columbians through con-


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tinued support to our natural gas sector. This program keeps our natural gas sector competitive by encouraging investments in new roads and pipelines, which will help B.C. transition into a global supplier of cleaner energy and a world leader in liquefied natural gas,� said Clark in the press release. Clark believes that the program will help generate growth in the natural gas industry and help bring revenues to the province. The ministry is now offering the program to companies interested in investing in new roads and pipelines and will be accepting application until Apr. 18. “The biggest message that we learned there was that one can’t happen without the other, the LNG plants are not going to happen without the natural gas thriving up in the Northeast and at the same time as we thrive, we need a place to sell our gas. So what I think we need to do is be prepared for if the LNG goes through, which will be great for the province. It’s going to mean a huge impact even more so on our area, that we need to be ready for,� said Bernier.




2013-02-28 5:55


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March 7, 2013

Northeast NEWS

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The Suncor well site about two weeks after the initial incident, located 20 kilometres north of Hudson’s Hope.

Loose protocol, inexperienced workers cause Suncor blowout By Kyla Corpuz

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GATEWAY perspectives Partners for the long term For decades, respect has been fundamental to Enbridge’s communication with Aboriginal groups across Canada. Among other considerations, that means developing sensitivity and an understanding of the values and issues important to them. As discussion about Gateway has evolved and progressed with Aboriginal communities in B.C., one thing groups have told us, in unequivocal terms, is that they wanted meaningful, long-term involvement in the labour force. That’s why we established a $3 million Gateway Education and Training Fund. This is an initiative for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal communities that’s not dependent, in any way, upon Gateway approval. This fund supports training initiatives based in the pipeline, construction, and energy sectors. This isn’t training for the sake of training; it’s focused squarely on employment outcomes. And Enbridge is already connecting industry and community to help create career opportunities in B.C. We’ve already co-funded training programs for surveyors and ironworkers. We’re purchasing seats in existing trades programs, and partnering with provincial and federal bodies to help develop skilled tradespeople in the areas of heavy equipment operation, pipefitting, welding, and construction craft labouring. We’ve also co-ordinated the first of many

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HUDSON’S HOPE – A lack of proper procedures and training were contributing factors to the fire that smoldered at a Suncor well site on March 9, 2012—which continued to burn a week following the incident. The Oil and Gas Commission released a report outlining the technical and engineering investigation into the loss of well control at Suncor Altares, 20 kilometres north of Hudson’s Hope. Had there been appropriate procedures on how to deal with the incident, loss of well control could have been avoided. “...the Commission has determined the root cause of the Suncor Altares 16-12-84-26

blowout was the lack of adequate well control procedures,” reads the report. “The Suncor Well Control Guideline outlined MACP (maximum allowable casing pressure) in general terms, but lacked specific direction and appeared to pertain more to shallow well drilling programs.” There were 20 crew members on site the day of the incident. The driller, the site manager and site representative were all equipped with valid Supervisor’s Blowout Prevention certificates. However, the drilling rig crew did not have significant experience in drilling deep, high-pressure wells, like the one they were working on the day of the incident. The rig was relocated from Alberta, and the drilling crew was primarily experienced in heavy oil wells, found mainly in eastern Alberta. “As the incident progressed, the rig crew’s actions defaulted to their previous training and experience,” states the report.

Story continued on Page 16.

“workforce connections” workshops, bringing together representatives of Gateway equity First Nations and companies with labour-force needs for some meaningful employment discussion. We’ve heard, loud and clear, from Aboriginal communities in B.C. that they no longer want to be bypassed by economic opportunities created within, near, or around them. With the Gateway Education and Training Fund, we’re doing something about it. We’re showing true commitment to community and workforce development. And the opportunities we’re sponsoring are not exclusive to our proposed project or our industry — they’re regional and cross-sector in nature. We want to stay connected to the Aboriginal community because it makes good business sense. But our intentions go beyond basic business: It’s about partnership. It’s about responsibility. And, ultimately, it’s about respect.

Janet Holder Executive Vice President Western Access Enbridge Inc.

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Province’s child care strategy has missing piece: ECE worker By Jill Earl DAWSON CREEK - A local child care provider found a few holes in a provincial strategy meant to create more high-quality facilities for early child care. The Early Learning Strategy was annouced on Feb. 20. Premier Christy Clark said the government will be spending an ex-

Jill Earl photo

On Feb. 25, Canada celebrated National Cupcake Day, benefitting local SPCAs and Humane Societies. In Dawson Creek, Northern Environmental Action Team’s eco-advisor, Kayla Boyd (pictured above), spent six hours on the weekend leading up to the event preparing 95 cupcakes. Boyd sold the cupcakes by donation and her efforts raised approximately $150 for the South Peace SPCA. Boyd and other NEAT workers in Fort St. John decided to get involved in the cause because of their love for animals.

tra $76 million (above the approximately $1 billion government currently spends on early childhood development) in the first three years of the eight year strategy on early years services. Of that $76 million, $32 million will support the creation of new child care spaces, $37 million will support improving the overall quality of early years services and $7 million will support strengthening the coordination of early childhood development programs and child care services. “To build a strategy to improve child care, early childhood development and learning opportunities, we consulted with those who know best: parents and early childhood experts. Their ideas led directly to our provincial Early Years Strategy. It’s about helping parents balance the demands of work and raising a family, and setting children up for lifelong success,” said Clark in the press release. With the committed funding over the next three years the province hopes to create up to 2,000 new licensed child care spaces, and 13,000 additional spaces over the next eight years. Early Childhood Educators of British Columbia member, Katherine Charbonneau, said even though Dawson Creek has 17 licensed providers and two licensed group providers, more spaces are needed. The lack of current spaces for care is a theme heard throughout Canada, she added. Charbonneau is concerned that no focus has been put on ECE recruitment; with the commitment to create more spaces for children in care facilities the province has not addressed the need for more early childhood educators to mind the proposed increase in children filling the available spaces. “There’s not enough trained people coming into our field… you do need to have your Early Childhood Education and not enough people are coming into that field because it’s an unrecognized field and the wages are so low,” said Charbonneau. She said that ECE’s attending post secondary education for two to three years often make wages hovering around the poverty line. Charbonneau also highlights a demand for care providers who are willing to take on infants under the age of two. The Strategy also includes the creation of a Provincial Office for Early Years, which will be responsible for the coordination of policy and service improvements, as well as the creation of a network of early years centres which will serve parents with a one-stop shop for access to a range of child services. The Strategy will also promote the use of school properties for child care purposes to school boards, support stronger links between child care services and programs and create a child care registry to provide parents with more information about availability of spaces in their communities. The BC Early Childhood Tax Benefit is another component of the strategy. Starting in 2015, it will provide $146 million to approximately 180,000 families with children under the age of six. In addition net incomes under $100,000 will receive the maximum refundable tax credit of $55 per month per child. Families earning $100,000 to $150,000 will receive partial payments. “This is an important investment in our children and part of the broader plan to address access and affordability to child care and early years services in B.C. To support parental choice, the tax benefit will be available to all families with young children

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whether they are working or staying at home during their children’s formative early years,” Clark said. The tax credit amounts to $660 a year per child, but Charbonneau stresses that parents pay anywhere from $800 to $900 a month for one child in licensed care. Licensed child care providers charge differently depending on the child’s age and the facility they’re in, but families can expect to pay anywhere between $30- $40 a day, per child, added Charbonneau. “I mean giving families $55 a month is maybe going to pay for one day for care.” She advocates for a universal child care system, modeled after Quebec’s system, where parents only pay $10 for child care, or nothing if they make under $40,000 a year. “To me, the strategy, they’re missing a piece,” said Charbonneau.

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March 7, 2013

Northeast NEWS




“Your Home, Our Project”

KEN DAVIS 250-784-3872 • 1-877-996-7465 • QUESTION: Do hot water heaters have safety issues? ANSWER: Many water heaters have safety issues that are in need of repair for improved safety. The water heater can be one of the most dangerous items in the home if not properly cared for and maintained. Corrosion at the water heater plumbing connections can be attributed to dissimilar metals in contact with each other. The condition is often magnified when there are slight water leaks at the connections. Temperature and Pressure Relief Valves (TPRV) need to be connected to a proper drain line that will discharge in a manner that does not cause injury to occupants. The burner chambers in gas-fired water heaters often produce some “scaling” or rust flakes at the bottom of the water tank the burner should be kept clean and free of debris in order to ensure proper combustion and to prevent clogged ports in the burner plate. The water heater vent pipe and draft hood should have at least 1-2 inch clearance to combustible materials. The ventpipe should also be secured to the draft with at least 3 sheet metal screws, evenly spaced apart. And always seek out a Certified Plumber in the area for the best advise and any questions.

Kyla Corpuz photo

Shell’s contributions to United Way in 2012 was over $100,000. On Feb. 26, Shell celebrated with United Way and United Way’s recipients. Left to right: Shell production superintendent who runs the campaign Dean Freeman, Sarah Palmer, Women’s Resource Centre community outreach coordinator, Emily Goodman, Women’s Resource Centre executive director, Jean McFadden, Literacy Society, Nikie Hedges, United Way campaign officer, Onese Oboh, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. community outreach officer, Joanne, Women’s Resource Centre client, Lori Slater, accessibility advocate and Rej Tetrault, operations manager for Shell northeast B.C.

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non-profit organizations secure funds and services; support in the north is greater than what it is seen in southern B.C. communities. The money from Shell’s fundraising goes into the United Way, which is a hub that connects non-profit groups with financial help or simply a helping hand. It spreads like tentacles to different organizations. Four groups came to the celebration to share how the United Way, in partnership with Shell, has helped develop their community services. “We welcome the vast improvements to our existing outreach program that gives a hand out, and a hand up,” said Sarah Palmer, community outreach coordinator with the Women’s Resource Society. The two prominent services offered at the centre are the outreach store and a networking circle called Women Connect. “The program serves two main functions first it is a poverty relief service … the store is accessed by nearly 200 women every month,” said Palmer. The second service is called the Gateway service. “In addition to acting in the poverty relief service, providing necessary goods to women in need, we are able to build relationships with these women and connect them to additional support and services.” Onese Oboh from S.U.C.C.E.S.S. talked about how United Way helps support their immigration initiatives like the Community Kitchen, where new Canadians come together and cook traditional food from around the world. Oboh said that every dollar donated to the United Way 5 Name Brands ~ Good Quality ~ Best Sale Prices finds its way to impact the Call The Blind Man 250-785-5754 community. Jean McFadden from the 9811-114A ave Fort St John Literacy Society and Lori Slater, an advocate for accessibility, also shared how the funds streamed by Shell into the United Way have helped each of their programs. Hearing the stories of how funds to the United Way have helped various community groups was an inspiration for Rej Tetrault, operations manager for Shell northeast B.C. “I personally don’t think we could have done what we’ve done without you.”

FORT ST. JOHN – Shell’s partnership with United Way northeastern B.C. grew by $90,000 since 2010. In 2012 the Shell Groundbirch team raised just over $100,000. Employees at Shell northeast B.C. celebrated their 2012 fundraising and community involvement efforts on Feb. 26. The employees’ donation to the community also spans into volunteer work: helping the Salvation Army, local SPCA and Abbeyfield House. in “Your connection with United Way runs through every single one of us,” Niki Hedges, United Way community development and campaign officer for the northeast, told Shell employees. She described Shell’s participation within the community as ‘electric.’ Hedges mentioned that the northeast is unique in how

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School District 59 dealing with $750,000 transportation cut By Jill Earl DAWSON CREEK - Parents have a week left to provide feedback to School District 59 regarding changes that need to be made to the district’s school bus system. The district must reduce their transportation budget by 25 per cent, representing approximately $750,000. The board hopes that the public comments will help them make decisions as to service cuts, route changes and any other possible changes that may come with a reduced budget. Secretary-treasurer Gerry Slykhuis said that the district has received approximately 35 emails from the public sharing their concerns, comments and suggestions; district trustees have heard many more comments through their meetings with principals and parent advisory councils. “The majority have been just reminding us of how important the bus service is to the families in this region…a few comments, some think charging for busing is good, some think it’s terrible, some are very worried about cuts to service. A few have just been questions about the process,” Slykhuis said about the comments they’ve received so far. The district hired School Bus Consultants, LLC in January to conduct a review of their system. They were directed to review and consider walking limits, user-pay systems, non-regular riders, school bell times, reduction to route extensions, students not attending their catchment area school and the current configuration of routes to come up with a few suggestions on how the district could cut the $750,000. “It’s so complicated and it’s such a huge amount that we have to cut, we had some ideas but we really wanted some real experts to come in and both validate what we were looking at as well as bringing in some ideas that maybe we hadn’t thought of. Plus, the size of the cuts is really going to impact families and we want to make sure that we do the absolute ... best way we possibly can,” said Slykhuis. He added that the consultants will also consider how they maintain their buses and even how they administer service. The 25 per cent budget cut is a result of a new funding formula initiated by the province, Slykhuis said that although the province added approximately $10 million into school transportation funding, the new formula made it so School District 59 didn’t receive as much as they had in previous years.

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School District 59 is considering how to change their current bus service to fit their reduced budget. “What the new formula did was create some real inequities and moved significant amounts from some districts and moved it to others, so some districts got huge increases, and some—like us—got huge decreases,” he said, adding that the district has met with the education minister and his staff to point out the flaws in the new formula. Currently the district provides busing to approximately 1,318 students living in Chetwynd and the outskirts of Dawson Creek, with 35 operating buses in Dawson Creek and another 15 running through a contractor in Chetwynd. Over 7,700 km are driven each day by the buses. Bus services are also used by 130 private school students who are charged a fee to be passengers. Slykhuis expects the consultant’s report to be finished by the end of April, with a decision to be made by the board sometime in May. He believes more public consultations will be held before a final decision is made. “Sometimes you forget how important buses are to the fami-

lies in this area, and even when our consultants came up and started driving around with our transportation manager...they were just shocked at how spread out we are. It’s reminder to us for those of us here how important that is, so if nothing else, it’s been good to get that kind of feedback,” he said.


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March 7, 2013

Time to reevaluate?

Northeast NEWS


While learning all about the wonderful world of journalism during my university days, my studies also included many general courses labeled ‘contemporary studies.’ These courses included anything from statistics to philosophy, global studies, environmental studies and anthropology. While some were very interesting to me, I’ll admit I’ve forgotten most of what I learned. There is one concept I’d like to share, however, that for one reason or another has made an impression on me. Forgive that I haven’t been able to dig up my old textbooks for names, dates and titles, but the essence is that there is a tribe in or around Papua New Guinea; they are hunter/gatherers and their average work week is 20 hours. I just found it ironic that a tribe seen to some as ‘uncivilized’ far exceeds Western standards when it comes to family values. The Western culture puts family on a pedestal. People work hard to support their families, parents want to be able to give their children higher education and anything else they need—or want. When it actually comes to spending time with their families though, this tribe has most ‘average’ Western families beat. Many parents in Western families, as I’m sure you’re aware, need to work a 40-hour work week or more to be able to take care of their families. This is double the amount this tribe spends working; so, in the end these tribe members are spending 20 hours more with their families a week. Think about what you could do with 20 hours! I’m not complaining about our comfortable lifestyle, I just found this tidbit of information interesting and that maybe we need to reevaluate. -Jill

WIDE AS A HIGHWAY Beatton Park bordering Charlie Lake north of Fort St John is a Provincial Park providing many recreational activities to locals and tourists alike. It consists of a campground, boat launch, picnic day use areas, ball park, beach, sliding hill, and a large tract of forested land with stands of old growth forest unique to the Peace Region. The forest is home to Deer, Moose, bear, Birds and other wildlife. These are trails in the forest which have apparently been provided by local Whiskey Jack Nordic Ski Club for close to 30 years. Used by their skiers in winter, the trails also provide excellent opportunity for walking, jogging, nature enthusiasts or other outdoor activities in the summer. They are enjoyed by all users all year round. Since 2005, the Whiskey Jack Nordic Ski Club has apparently had a proposal in place with B.C. Parks to have the existing ski trails widened to 8 meters from their present approximate width of 5 meters, and has also requested clearing of several new 8 meter wide trails to criss cross the park forest area in addition to the existing trails. BC Parks advises the plan is within the management plan direction of the park for “intensive recreation”, and , that after an impact assessment it was felt there would be “ no major impact to wildlife” and “ the old growth trees would be protected as best as possible”. It appears now that their proposal is nearing ap-

proval. Trees slated for removal in the park are already painted red to mark the widening of existing trails and clearing of new trails. The rationale for trail expansion as I understand it, is that the ski Club wishes to re –align the existing trails (make then straighter) and make hills more gradual for beginner skiers, as well as provide the opportunity for skate skiing along with traditional classic skiing with a skate path situated between two grooved classic ski trails on either side The widths of the proposed trail expansion is in excess in my opinion. The average width of a road or highway in B.C. IS 7.3 meters. Do we really need cross country ski trails all through the park that are wider than a highway? The existing trails have been used satisfactorily now for 30 years. Anyone using them currently will see the present widths already provide ample room for skate and classical skiing side by side. To add more 8 meter wide trails to the existing network, in addition to widening of the original trails, amounts to a huge loss of forest in a Provincial Park that is not huge in total size. The trails, new and proposed, cut through old growth stands of Aspen and Spruce, yet bc Parks state the trees will be protected “ as best as possible”. How are they to protect these few remaining old growth trees if the trails cut right through them? Widening and clearing trails will also leave adjacent trees susceptible to wind and root damage resulting in subsequent blown down and

a cycle of continued tree mortality until root systems stabilize years down the road. The 8 meter trails will become 10 meter s or more. Beatton Park is not such a huge forest preserve where this kind of activity will not have an effect. The Ski Club is an interest group that utilizes the Park trails for winter months only, and even then I would say minimally, as a group. The permanency of such physical alteration of the park affects those who wish to enjoy the park in a more natural state during the other half of the year. There is less attractiveness to a forest trail used for walking, jogging, or enjoying nature when it is as wide as a road. If BC PARKS has to concede to the wishes of a public interest group and they approve widening of trails in the park, the 8 meter widths should be limited to one or two of the existing ones already established. Any new trails should be restricted to three meters in width. This would meet demands from the ski club to have some wide trails, some new trails, while creating a network of new summer activity trails that are much more conservative in design. This would accommodate activities of all interested groups for all seasons in a compromising manner. There needs to be more public input before this proposal is finalized. Terry Francis Fort St. John

WANT TO VOICE YOUR OPINION IN PRINT? HAVE AN OPINION YOU WANT TO GET OUT IN THE OPEN? EMAIL YOUR LETTER TO THE EDITOR TO: EDITOR@NORTHEASTNEWS.CA PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR NAME , PHONE NUMBER AND COMMUNITY • 9909-100 Avenue, Fort St. John, BC V1J 1Y4 • Phone toll free 1-877-787-7030 • Phone: 250-787-7030 • Fax: 250-787-7090 Email: • • • • 1509B Alaska Avenue, Dawson Creek, BC V1G 1Z9 • Phone: 250-782-7060 • Fax: 250-782-7066 •

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Letters to the Editor

Not a fan of Regional District permits Dear Editor, RE: the regional district forcing their ideologies on us with all their rules and bylaws is a joke, now farmers must get building permits, even to build decks, retainer walls and sheds. In my opinion these Regional board reps have got a thirst on for power. They are even putting in bylaws re messy yards, unsightly weeds in one’s vegetable garden their stupidity marches on. Even the S.P.C.A. are bringing in bylaws of their own. They insist that horses grazing out in fields during the winter months must have fresh unfrozen water taken to them every day and that they must have access to a shed with four walls and a roof in good repair, again, statements made by the uninformed. If they see horses out in a field in winter with no feed in front of them they assume that they are starving. My horses graze out most of the winter, there is a shed in the field yet they never go in it. There is a unfrozen water trough that they have access to yet they never come for a drink. These horses have no feed in front of them but unknown to the uninformed these horses are walking on tons of nutritious feed covered by snow while foraging so require no water, when I check on my horses they are obese with thick hair for protection from the cold. All I can say is that you bureaucrats stay out of our business. Why do you think we choose to live in the country? It was to get away from the cities with all their bylaws and regulations. We want to get away from sirens, red and blue lights flashing and all the other regulations and restriction that you bureaucrats can think up. I’ll tell you one thing and that is I won’t be getting any building permits. Just stay out of our world you parasites that feed at our expense. Sincerely, Gordon Meek Fort St. John

Dissatisfied water customer Dear Editor, Here is another very, very dissatisfied water customer. Since I refuse to drink poison fluoride water, I called before I dug my well in 1995 the city of FSJ and the government in Victoria. None of them had any objection to dig at a cost of $10,000 my own well to protect the health of my entire body and my hip-& knee from early replacement. Our body absorbs more chemical additives through our body when we shower or take a bath than in what we drink. When my household water is flashed out and arrives in rivers and lakes, it will not harm the spawning grounds of fishes. What makes me seeing red as a bull, seeing a red flag is this: the city over spent $1.5 million in 2011 and $1.6 million despite doubling the cost of residential water. Does the high cost of water help to pay for the many flower baskets we have in the summer on the streets and the Christmas lights which none of them can watch and enjoy due to poor roads and icy streets unless we fall down and wait for the ambulance to pick us up. Another reason for the doubling of the water bill might be that the city has in an accelerating pace to replace water pipes in the ground at a very high cost by ripping of the pavement at the same time, all due to the fluoride in our water system. My monthly water bill from the city is $100, applied for the only reason that I have a water meter. The fact of the matter is that no water whatsoever

March 7, 2013

is flowing through the city’s water meter since I use my own fluoride free water only. I have friends which are being charged only $40 per month for water. Why do I have to pay $100 every month when I don’t even use their water? Do I really have to waste my time and the city’s water to run it down the sewer line to save $60 a month? It seems that despite the cities environmental concerns, they are not interested to save water. Otherwise they would be happy if I use my own water. This leaves me to the conclusion that they are foremost interested to get money from me as to save water with the installation of the water meter. On top of this, the city told me that I have to have a backup valve so my contamination free water would not go into their fluoride contaminated water. Since fluoride has not lowered my IQ, I still have the will and

guts to fight back. After calling to the city administration on this issue, I was told that I use the city’s sewer more than others. I have a gentleman caretaker in the house, one woman and a visitor from Fort Nelson for 2 to 3 days a month. I am 85 years old and I am on oxygen. Smoking in my house is strictly forbidden. That’s why I let them smoke in a little warm building in the backyard to prevent them from getting sick by smoking outside. Combined, this is not more than an average family but smaller than most of them. It sure will be interesting to see with which arguments the city is coming up next on this issue? I am looking forward to hear from other dissatisfied users of out cities water! Dorothy Folk Fort St. John

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‘NO PRACTICAL TALK’ ON SITE C I wish to add and in response of Rick Koechl’s letter to the Editor dated 22nd February 2013 in the Alaska Highway News. It is very false, perhaps even a fallacy that the propose Site C dam would be maintenance free. The word “silt”, particles of rock and soil, are wearing on the turbine propellers of the W.A.C Bennett Dam and have been for well over 20 years with considerable maintenance including continual welding of the propellers, let alone mechanical breakdowns and replacements. Twenty years ago I know for a fact three of the ten turbines were continually out of service for repair, which is the equivalent to approximately three-quarter of the proposed capacity of the Site C Dam. This silt suspended in the water will eventually in less than twenty years and compounded by any soil and claye from the guaranteed embankment sloughs in the proposed new lake area of Site cause considerable wear on these new turbine propellers. These comments by BC Hydro of no maintenance are so false to people who are unknowing of the wear caused by silt. If you ask any farmer if soil and silt are abrasive the answer would be “yes”. The nature of our soils here in north-east are as wearing as sandy soils elsewhere. I know

from my own farm and the custom farming f I have for near fifty years. Soil wears out ploughs, cultivators, disc harrows all earth operated implements and is extremely hard on combine harvester when harvesting in difficult harvesting conditions. Even grain can wear out a combine harvester. Soil and silt can be a hundred times more abrasive. Even the nature of clean water alone flowing very fast will wear metal. If waters of a river are cloudy, as the Peace River nearly always is, with snow melt or heavy rains - that is silt suspended in the waters. There is NO PRACTICAl TALK on this subject and the impacts which BC Hydro and our government must know of

but fail to bring to public notice or scrutiny. I hope. I also wish to comment that BC Hydro already $18 million in debt are proposing with this dam to add to its debt a further $8 billion to build this proposed dam. This represents a personal debt of $6,000 for every man, woman and child who are citizens of British Columbia. Nick Parsons Farmington Nick Parsons, Farmington Area Farmer near Dawson Creek PVEA Director and strong advocate for preservation of the Peace Valley for future food production. I hope this hits home with someone who has more clout than myself and can be investigated. We need to be properly informed and told truths, but we are not.

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Page 8

Northeast NEWS

March 7, 2013

Pick your pay – salary or dividends By Investors Group Submitted article


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• In the past, tax professionals advised business owners to pay themselves at least enough salary to reduce corporate profits below the SBD limit. But corporate taxes have now been lowered to a point where more tax can be deferred by leaving income in the corporation – so it can make sense to retain high tax rate income inside the corporation for investment. To the extent that you require cash on a regular basis, salary is still the preferred compensation choice until corporate income is reduced to the SBD limit.

• Creditor protection – many provinces have rules preventing professional corporations from using holding companies or trusts as creditor proofing strategies so it may be prudent to hold a significant portion of retirement assets in registered IPPs or Guaranteed Income Funds (GIFs). March 11, 2013 2 Addressing compensation issues now will improve your ongoing financial stability and retirement nest egg. Your professional advisor can help make the best choices for you.

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Northeast NEWS

Kids say bye-bye to bullying By Kyla Corpuz FORT ST. JOHN – A super hero visited students at Robert Ogilvie on Feb. 27. She didn’t fly, or shoot lasers out of her eyes. Rather the super hero, Bully Buster, was fully equipped with empowering students to speak up and take a stand against bullying. “Bully Buster really puts a face to [anti-bullying] and gives [students] something to look at almost in awe and look forward to,” said Ashley Prontack, the Grade 3 teacher behind the pink mask and cape. “It just gives them something to relate to and see this as the face [to] not bully anymore and I think it really gets them excited and gets them going.” A sea of pink filled the gymnasium of Robert Ogilvie Elementary. Students, teachers and employees from across the School District, city and country showed anti-bullying pride with pink shirts last Wednesday. While sending messages of how to be inclusive, Prontack focused on a deeper issue. “Kids know not to hit and hurt others, but they don’t realize that the bystander effect has so much influence on bullying as well,” she said. ”And I think it brings attention into the bigger picture of bullying and it really makes them come together as a whole school and really look at what happening here.” At the end of the assembly, the students pledged to a bully-free zone and burst out in a flash mob at the front of the gym. Prontack’s Grade 3 class sang a Robbie Dunn song, Bleed Red. “I think [the students] know right from the get go what good is, what bad is and what they want to be treated like,” said Prontack. Reinforcing those values is not only taught on Anti-Bullying Day but throughout the year, said principal Kathy Scheck. “Part of our school improvement plan is to have students that are socially responsible.” That includes teaching students how to help others out of a negative situation or learning to do the “right thing.” “We do a lot around bullying and friendship,” said Sheck. “And so we want to join with the rest

March 7, 2013

of Canada to stop bullying, but we want to make kids aware and give them strategies.” The school offers parents, teachers and students with resources to combat bullying and learning how to be a good friend. Teachers at Robert Ogilvie recognize students’ good behaviour with ‘Royal Tickets’ that makes a student eligible to win prizes during school assemblies. Numerous schools within the district participated in Pink Shirt Day. The Anti-Bullying/Pink Shirt Day was proclaimed in B.C. in 2008 following a bullying incident at a Nova Scotia high school. A boy was teased and threatened for wearing a pink shirt to school, and bystanders noticed what was happening. The students who witnessed the bullying bought pink shirts and handed them out as a stand against bullying.

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Kyla Corpuz photos Elementary students at Robert Ogilvie stand up against bullying. Bully Buster, Grade 3 teacher Ashley Prontack and her sidekick, lead the school in a pledge against bullying on Feb. 27.

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Northeast NEWS

March 7, 2013

4-H Heads & Tails Communication Day By Jill Earl DAWSON CREEK - On Feb. 26 members of the 4-H Heads & Tails club gathered for their annual Communication Day. Fourteen senior, junior, and “Cloverbuds” member submitted educational displays on a wide range of topics including: the benefits of goats milk, horse grooming, barn safety, shadows,

caring for miniature donkeys and trapping. The top four winners in each category (senior display, junior display, and junior public speaking) will go on to compete in the district’s Communication Day against other 4-H clubs in the South Peace. The top two winners from the district will compete in regional’s against the North Peace, the top two senior winners in each category will compete in provincials.

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Page 11

twists to it—it’s fun music. It’s inspired by a lot of the greatest bands of all time,â€? said Royer, who also goes by the name Rozzi. While they are still working on putting down original tracks, they tend to gravitate to performing songs by their favourite bands. “We love playing covers a lot, people love hearing what they know, you know?,â€? said German. When it does come down to creating their own music the band said it’s collaboration between every member, and their songs exude each of their musical characteristics. “We have a new song called Turn Aloud. It’s completely different; you can hear each of our personalities,â€? said Brooks. Alister Stone currently has four solid tracks inspired by Led Zepplin, Rage Against the Machine and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. The band is currently focusing on playing live shows and rocking out with fans or music lovers in general. “When you get the people out of pop clubs they really know how to rock out,â€? said Royer. “The energy in the crowd levels are just fantastic, it’s been a really cool experience so far.â€? Last week Alister Stone opened for a local band, Big Night Out and on Mar. 7 they will open for a Hamilton-based band, 40 Sons. They are hoping to become more familiar with stages across the Peace, but as for a debut record, it’s a work in progress that the band doesn’t want to rush. “We’re working on writing songs for the album, we’re just writing as many song as we can, it’s hard because we’re dong so many gigs,â€? said Royer. “An album would be great, hopefully, to make an album it would have to be well produced ‌ We don’t want to force it just to have something out there for people. We want it to be what it is and be a true representation of what we have.â€? The boys of Alister Stone are dedicated to their passion. “When you watch us you can really tell that we care about what we do,â€? said Royer. “We’d all rather be poor playing music than rich at a desk. Our big thing is energy performing live—we’re young, we have all that.â€?



Submitted photo

Alister Stone is a Fort St. John rock group emerging in the local music scene.

Introducing: Alister Stone A Fort St. John rock group ready to burst open fingers, break strings and dive into crowds By Kyla Corpuz FORT ST. JOHN – Flashing Beastie Boys and Red Hot Chili Peppers band T-shirts while inspired by the sounds of Led Zeppelin and Guns and Roses is a five-piece band emerging from the local rock scene. “We’re bringing something new,� said lead singer of Alister Stone, Connor Brooks. “A lot of things we do are very different. It’s something that Fort St. John hasn’t seen before and we’re just trying to bring new stuff to a small town who really need some great rock music— who just want to rock out.� Alister Stone is made up of young musicians from ages 17 to 20. Along with lead singer and guitarist Brooks is cofounder of the band Tristen German, who plays guitar and sings as well as Braedan Royer, bassist Garret Sood and drummer Greg Paige. They describe their sound as “organic,� a mix of classic rock and a new age sound. “I would like to say [our sound] is a mix of Led Zeppelin and Guns and Roses. It’s modern classic rock with some fun



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Northeast NEWS

March 7, 2013 File photo

Recruiting physicians up north Are there positive results for the ongoing project to keep northern communities supplied with health workers? By Kyla Corpuz FORT ST. JOHN – Recruiting health professionals to the north has been an ongoing effort for Northern Health and the province. But it’s a task that has seen steady results in the last year with the help of the Northern Medical Program, reports Northern Health. “Northern Health has successfully recruited nearly a dozen Northern Medical Program (NMP) graduates to include in a total of 55 physicians recruited since January 1, 2012 from around the province, country and world,â€? reads a press release. Northern Health believes graduates from the NMP who have not yet found stable positions will likely settle in the north. “Although the Northern Medical Program has been admitting students since 2004, we are only now beginning to see graduates settle in the region and begin to practice,â€? said Dr. Charles Jago, Northern Health Board Chair in a press release. “As physicians complete their residencies and specialties, and as they take the time to determine where they want to practice permanently, we will begin to see more and more settle in northern B.C.â€? Making the north an attractive place to work and thrive is part of Northern Health’s recruiting strategies. “Between the NMP and small community practice, physicians get to experience a very broad range of medicine,â€? said Cathy Ulrich, CEO of Northern Health. “We have attracted physicians with these opportunities to get involved, and to teach and learn.â€? One of the more recent programs implemented at the Fort St. John hospital was a simulation room. It was part of the education and training initiatives to provide state-of-the-art technology to medical students across the province. In addition to Northern Health’s recruitment for medical professionals, the province reeled in 39 physicians to the northern health authority through the Ministry of Health’s BC Health Match in 2012. However, the endeavor to keep B.C. supplied with physicians and medical professionals is still proving to be a struggle in the north. Hudson’s Hope has been vying for a full-time, resident doctor for a “number of years,â€? said Mayor Gwen Johansson. “It’s very difficult to find doctors to come out to small  town and rural areas because   they don’t have the back up   they have in a larger centre,â€?   explained Johansson.   The lack of permanent doc  tors also causes friction in   making the community appeal 

   ing to potential workers and 

     residents. &"  â&#x20AC;&#x153;Not having a resident doc&" 3KRQH tor creates a struggle to attract and retain in other fields be- WK$YHQXH)RUW6W-RKQ%& cause they like to know there is medical care in the communityâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;so thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a real issue in trying to attract families to come here,â&#x20AC;? said Johansson. However, as of recently, the district may be on the verge of securing a full-time physician. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We may have one [physician] weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re hoping, if that does work out for us we would be %DQNVVD\ extremely happy, obviously.â&#x20AC;? In the mean time, Johansson 12WRDORDQ" NO PROBLEM! said a reel of doctors have been /HW)RUW0RWRUV servicing the area. +HOS<RX â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been very fortunate to have Dr. Mike Wright from %DG&UHGLWÂ&#x2021;6ORZ&UHGLW Fort St. John to pull together 'LYRUFH %DQNUXSWF\ a group of doctors to rotate 72,167$17&5(',7$33529$/ $SSO\7RGD\DQG'ULYH$ZD\ through. We appreciate that very much.â&#x20AC;? :H6SHFLDOL]HLQ+HOSLQJ*RRG3HRSOH L OL L Johansson added, though, ZLWK%DG&UHGLW&DOO0DUWKDRU*UHJIRU that not having a resident doctor takes away from allowing 3UH$SSURYDO patients to establish a relation6 9 ; 4 4 6 ; 6 9 : 33; + ship with their doctor. Â&#x2039;^^^MVY[TV[VYZJHÂ&#x2039;(SHZRH9VHK-VY[:[1VOU â&#x20AC;&#x153;[Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s] much preferable to

have a resident doctor because there is continuity of care so a patient has one doctor to go back to,â&#x20AC;? she said. As of last October, over 40 vacancies were still needed to be filled to meet the northâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s medical services mandate. In 2012 the northern region had the third highest number of recruits. Interior Health had 75 and Fraser Health recieved 70. The professions ranged from psychiatrists, anesthesiologists, pediatricians, pathologists, specialists practicing radiology, internal medicine, emergency medicine, hospitalist, gastroenterology and cardiology. Altogether, BC Health Match recruited 268 physicians to B.C. Forty-one per cent of the total recruits were either Canadian-trained or already practicing in Canada before relocating to B.C. Fifty-nine per cent were international recruits from U.K./Ireland, South Africa, USA and other countries.



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Northeast NEWS

March 7, 2013



Make your Awards Gala nominations today at NOMINATION DEADLINE: MARCH 28, 2013 AT 5:00pm

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 | Prince George Civic Centre Conference & Workshops 8:00am–4:00pm | Trade Show Exhibit 8:00am– 4:00pm | Awards Gala 6:00pm–10:00pm

Lunch Tickets ($50) and Gala Tickets ($55) available online at

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Shirley Bond, MLA

Mayor Shari Green

Prince George – Valemount Justice Minister and Attorney General

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Northeast NEWS

March 7, 2013

Page 15

B.C. inspection system means meat security for province By Jill Earl DAWSON CREEK - A new meat inspection system for provincial slaughterhouses will slowly be introduced over the course of the year to be fully implemented by Jan. 1, 2014. The new system, known as the B.C. meat inspection system, will replace the current arrangement the province has with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that has been in place since 1988. The agency is responsible for inspecting all animals before and after slaughter to ensure the safety of meat products. “The safety of meat and food products is top-of-mind for all of us, and this updated provincial meat inspection system will help to maintain and enhance the safety of British Columbia’s local meat supply,” said provincial health officer Dr. Perry Kendall in the press release. Holders of Class A (slaughter and processing) and Class B (slaughter only) licenses will be required to follow new guidelines, which include: the development of an audit program for all Class A and B abattoirs (slaughterhouse operators), and training inspectors to provincial standards with regards to humane livestock handling and slaughter. The province established new guidelines for the system through consultations with ranchers, abattoirs and local governments. Abattoirs will also be instructed to develop food safety procedures for maintaining meat safety, facility hygiene and animal health. The new system will also continue a few policies already in place, such as: the inspection of each animal before and after slaughter by a trained government inspector, a graduated enforcement approach and the use of a government stamp on inspected and approved products. The Peace View Hutterite Colony in Farmington has owned Peace Country Poultry since 2006; they hold a Class A license and slaughter approximately 800 to 1,000 chickens every Monday. Joel Tschetter manages the operation and says that the new system will have little effect on how their business is run. “We’re into that already, we’re into the food safe thing…It



really won’t change, it’s just we’ll probably get to have different people coming out and inspecting,” Tschetter said. As required, Peace Country Poultry’s bags of chickens are given the stamp of approval before the product is sold to local retail stores and dedicated customers. Tschetter says that having their product stamped with their registration number, BC18, makes some customers feel more secure about their purchase. “I think that the people are more comfortable and secure when they see that the government is involved, and I think it’s better. We can see in the marketing end that some people feel more secure when they see it’s government approved,” he said. “Not all people you know, because we get a lot of repeat customers, they know we have a good product and they buy anyways, but there are still some people that like to see the government approval on it,” Tschetter adds. He highlights freshness as the main benefit to buying local meat. “What it is about our chickens is that they’re fresh, the other meats brought in, it takes a long time to freight it in, and it can’t

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Page 16

Northeast NEWS

March 7, 2013

Suncor blowout update Continued from Page 2.

On Mar. 9 sometime between 9:49 p.m. to 9:57 p.m. there was an increase in the pump pressure, which was not detected by the rig crew. “A fast response is critical,” said Hardy Friedrich OGC manager of communications. “Outcomes may have changed had the kick been detected earlier, however the initial pressure increase was subtle.” At 10:04 p.m. an alarm sounded and the kick was detected, two minutes later the well was shut in. However, the build up in casing pressure started to climb past the MACP and a crew member attempted to fix the situation by opening the well. This didn’t relieve any tension and the pressure continued to rise. One crew member sustained minor injuries after being knocked into a manifold shack from the pressure of fluid release. There were two crew members, the first was attempting to change valves, while the second was en route to provide assistance. The report states that a loud bang was heard and fluid release occurred near the main door of the manifold shack. Both workers were able to escape the manifold through a different door. In an initial response by Suncor last March, company spokesperson Sneh Seetal said there were no injuries reported. A failure in the drilling fluid return line is believed to be the culprit in a release of fluid, resulting in complete loss of well control. IN PARTNERSHIP WITH


Tuesday, April 16th, 2013 | Prince George Civic Centre Lunch Tickets ($50) and Gala Tickets ($55) available online at

Awards Categories

Nominate someone who fits the criteria or nominate yourself y Rising Star (Sponsor CNC) This award celebrates the young woman who takes a leadership role in promoting a healthy community and personal well-being or is an advocate for environmental stewardship. This woman is a student of high school or post-secondary education and is a role model for other young woman.

Community Enrichment Award (Sponsor Chamber of Commerce) From the ranks of woman who serve in any volunteer capacity, this award is for the woman who has given selflessly to her community. Although nominees in this category may be salaried in some other field, judging will be based on their volunteer work only.

Influence & Impact Woman of the Year Award (Sponsor CILA) A demonstrated leader who has made an impact in her community, company or industry.

Home Based Business Woman of the Year Award (Sponsor TBC) This award is presented to the woman who operates a viable business from her home. The business activity can either be in the area of professional services or selling product and needs to be her primary source of income.

Aboriginal Woman of Distinction Award (Sponsor Aboriginal Business Development Centre) A woman of Aboriginal decent who has excelled within the Aboriginal community.

Business Woman of the Year Award (Sponsor Investors Group) Recognizing excellence in business, this award acknowledges business success achieved over a two-year period. The woman chosen must be actively involved in day-to-day management and be an owner or a majority shareholder.

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Make your Awards Gala nominations today at NOMINATION DEADLINE: MARCH 28, 2013 AT 5:00pm For more information on how to nominate contact Shirly Prokopchuk at | 250.552.3817

Acuren Group Inc. conducted an analysis of the piping components to see if they could find a root cause to the line failure. The company found there was a pre-existing fatigue crack that made the joint vulnerable to fail with a small bending load. Friedrich noted that the crack could not have been detected by normal non-destructive inspection techniques, but added, “The crack could have been prevented by securing the failed component against movement. It is important to note that the failed piping was not designed or intended to be used during a well control event.” The explosion of the rig resulted in a release of H2S (sour gas) and SO2 (sulfur dioxide). An air monitoring unit was on site by 5 p.m. on Mar. 10. In a further inquiry, it was found that within 24 hours of the incident the maximum one-hour average of H2S on site was 2.22 parts per billion (ppb) and SO2 was 1.42 ppb. On Mar. 11 the maximum one-hour average of H2S off-site was 8.63 ppb (the off-site air quality guideline is 10 ppb for H2S ) and SO2 measured 7.26 ppb, which has a guideline of 172 ppb. Friedrich noted they did not have any off-site data for Mar. 10. The report notes that on Mar. 13 to Mar. 31 H2S and SO2 did not exceed off-site air quality guidelines. The maximum-recorded H2S concentration at the well site was 34.7 ppb at 11 a.m. on Mar. 27. Just over a month after the incident the maximum-recorded SO2 concentration at the well site was 15.3 ppb on Apr. 11. The WorkSafe BC short-term exposure limit for SO2 is 5,000 ppb and for H2S it’s 10,000 ppb. Approximately 325 tonnes of soil and invert drilling fluid residue was brought to the Tervita Silverberry landfill, but the amount that was spilled remains unknown. The OGC keeps a record of drilling fluid ingredients. According to Work Safe BC there are three types of fluid: water-based, oil-based and gas-based. In B.C. the most common type is synthetic or mineral based, with little diesel. Diesel-based fluids are known to cause fires, explosions and health issues. The nearest stream to the site is Farrell Creek, Friedrich said the spill did not go off lease or contaminate the creek. He also said wildlife was not harmed. Friedrich said the incident was a learning curve for industry. “A penalty has not been issued in this case, the purpose of this report is the technical investigation,” he said. “Really the overall goal is full compliance and in this case the operator effectively complied with all of our recommendations. Suncor is responsible for everything on the lease. “They followed the directions that were laid out pretty clearly and that’s a positive because in the end you get full compliance and there’s a learning aspect to this as well.” Sneh Seetal, Suncor spokesperson, said they have passed on what they learned from the incident. “We’ve also shared lessons learned and the key recommendations with staff across the enterprise, and are in the process of sharing these lessons and recommendations with external parties and industry partners so they too can benefit,” Seetal wrote in an email. The recommendations by the OGC were: Suncor shall ensure all wellsite personnel are adequately trained and competent, Suncor shall ensure well control procedures are clear, unambiguous and appropriate and Suncor shall ensure site-specific risks are identified and mitigation strategies are clearly communicated to wellsite personnel. While Suncor was the permit holder it was Nabors 9 who drilled the well. It was licensed as a Montney gas well. According to the report, it was drilled vertically to confirm stratigraphy and depths before it was drilled horizontally.

March 7, 2013

Northeast NEWS

Page 17

Faster Internet hopes to connect rural residents in the Peace By Jill Earl DAWSON CREEK - Residents in Chetwynd, Hudson’s Hope and Rolla will soon have a faster wireless connection thanks to efforts from the Peace Region Internet Society (PRIS). Improving the wireless connection in those three locations is the first phase in the non-profit society’s three-year project that aims to give Peace Region’s rural residents fast access to the Internet. “There’s still a lot of people that use dial-up Internet services throughout the Peace area so we’re hoping to get people off dialup once and for all,” said Brad Melanson, systems administrator at PRIS. “It’s a little bit of expanding our network but it’s also about providing faster Internet services to the rural areas, that’s our focus for the project. Those people in the outlining areas, the farmers and whatnot, we want to be able to provide a faster Internet service that winds up closer to what you can obtain in the city,” Melanson added about the project. PRIS currently provides some Chetwynd, Hudson’s Hope and Rolla residents with wireless Internet but after installing the new equipment that will run on their existing 3.65GHz frequency band the connection is expected to run five to 10 times the speed of their current service, according to Melanson. PRIS will utilize existing poles as wireless access points for the surrounding homes in each area, they hope to have each location using the new system by the end of March. PRIS obtained the permits to use the Industry Canada regulated 3.65Ghz frequency three years ago—with some difficulty. Melanson said that because not a lot of people operate on that frequency there is less interference from other users and that provides faster speeds for PRIS members. According to Melanson, updating their system will also help PRIS manage the high demand on their system during peak hours between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. “The purpose of this is actually providing a lot more speeds to people, ‘cause that’s the one thing that’s hard to keep up with these days, especially with wireless technology. Basically, what we’re seeing is about a 50 per cent increase in data usage every 18 to 24 months, so it’s putting a very large burden on our wire-

less network,” said Melanson. “The new network that we’re deploying kind of addresses that issue to give people more speed so they can download faster, they can download more, they can watch Netflix and Youtube and all those fun things,” he added. After their work in Chetwynd, Hudson’s Hope and Rolla is done, PRIS will move on to installing wooden poles that will act as wireless Internet access points to small clusters of homes in the rural areas surrounding Dawson Creek and Fort St. John. PRIS hopes to install 10 poles in the South Peace and 10 in the North Peace this year with construction beginning in May. Melanson said that PRIS hasn’t decided exactly where their access points will be yet, but hopes to install 20 a year, for a total of 60 throughout the entire project. He estimated that the project will reach 1,000 residences, half of them being existing members. The board of directors of PRIS decided to go ahead with the approximately $500,000-project last year. Melanson said sometimes wireless or satellite Internet is the only option for rural residents because companies offering a wired connection are unwilling to invest in the amount it will take to run a connection to outlining areas. “The main focus of PRIS is to provide Internet connectivity throughout the Peace area, things have obviously changed over the years and people are—especially our members—they’re not

just looking for Internet connection, they are looking for a very fast Internet connection,” he said. The demand has really increased over the last few years and we’re just trying to keep up with that,” Melanson adds.

Pet Photo of the Week My sweet dog, Chiquita! Email your pet’s photo to editor@ for a chance to win a special prize from the North Peace Veterinary Clinic

Dion Girard

1 pet will be chosen each week and will be featured in the Northeast News. Each pet chosen will be entered into a draw for a monthly prize supplied by the

North Peace Veterinary Clinic

Page 18

Northeast NEWS

March 7, 2013

No more charges for one accused in downtown beating By Kyla Corpuz FORT ST. JOHN – One of the two accused in the beating death of Chris Ball no longer has charges against him. On Feb. 26, the judge confirmed, during a preliminary hearing, that Willy Ted Metcalfe no longer faces a charge of aggravated assault causing bodily harm. Crown counsel Margaret Cissell said there was no longer any substantial likeliness of conviction against Metcalfe, who asked for a preliminary hearing to see if there was enough evidence to bring him to trial. In December 2012, a second charge of aggravated assault against Metcalfe was stayed. Late last

year it was also found that Metcalfe was diagnosed with cancer. The other accused, Joel Christopher Marchand, is still facing two charges: one count of manslaughter and one count of aggravated assault causing bodily harm. Marchand didn’t ask for a preliminary hearing, instead he will just be facing a trial by judge and jury. The trial date will be decided on Mar. 11 in a Fort St. John Supreme Court room. Ball was beaten on July 22, 2012 at 100 Street and 100 Avenue in Fort St. John. He was in Fort St. John for work and was originally from Alberta. He was taken to a hospital in Alberta and was taken off life support on Aug. 2.

I was born so far back I can hardly remember and grew up normally, I think I started going on stage at a time when hair like mine was fashionable, and I hung a guitar around my neck to complete the look.


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Kyla Corpuz photo

Pierre Gregoire and Mae Lorette from the Peace Luthern Care Centre Foundation hand over a $4,500-cheque to Kim Wilson, manager for North Peace Senior Housing Society. The PLCCF used their donated funds to matched grant money recieved by the NPSHS to establish a pilot project called Age In Place. The project is a partnership agreement with Northern Health and United Way. Age In Place will provide non-medical services for seniors like housekeeping—a major component to increasing seniors’ ability to remain at home longer.

Vold, Jones & Vold Auction Co. Ltd.

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Dawson Creek Office: 250-782-3766 VJV Main Office: 403-783-5561 Cattle Sales, Don 301-116th Fessler: 250-719-5561 Fax: 250-782-6622 D C



On Thursday, February 28, 2013, 700 head of cattle went through our ring D1 - D2 Cows 66.00-73.00 D3 - D4 Cows 50.00-64.00 Holstein Cows N/A Heiferettes 60.00-75.00 Bologna Bulls 60.00-85.00 Feeder Bulls 70.00-90.00 Good Bred Cows N/A Good Bred Heifers N/A Milk Cows N/A Cow/ Calf Pairs (younger) N/A Cow/ Calf Pairs (older) N/A

STOCKERS AND FEEDERS Good Feeder Steers 1000 lbs Plus: Good Feeder Steers 900 lbs Plus: Good Feeder Steers 800 lbs Plus: Good Feeder Steers 700 lbs Plus: Good Feeder Steers 600 lbs Plus: Good Feeder Steers 500 lbs Plus: Good Feeder Steers 400 lbs Plus: Good Feeder Steers 300 lbs Plus:

90.00-110.00 100.00-118.00 105.00-123.00 115.00-130.00 125.00-147.00 135.00-160.00 140.00-170.00 140.00-175.00

Heifers Heifers Heifers Heifers Heifers Heifers Heifers Heifers

85.00-105.00 90.00-113.00 100.00-115.00 108.00-121.00 115.00-134.00 120.00-139.00 125.00-148.00 125.00-153.00

Next Cattle Sale - Thursday, March 7th

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Dawso 301-116th Ave. Dawson Creek, British Columbia Dawson Creek Office: 301-116th 250-782-3766 VJV Main Office: 403-783-5561 Cattle Sales, Don Fessler: 250-719-5561 Fax: 250-782-6622 D


Northeast NEWS


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HOUSE FOR SALE 5 Bedroom House, 3 up & 2 down, 2 bath. Separate Entrance, shared laundry, excellent tenants. Keep the tenants or move in yourself on one acre. Bank Appraised Oct $350,000. Price now is $349,000. If interested drive by 6388 Daisy Ave, then call 250-493-1807 02/21 FOR SALE TIMOTHY & ALFALFA SQUARE BALES, STORED IN HAY SHED $5.00 a bale, Contact Margaret & Jim Little. Telephone 250-7855365 Fax 250-785-5353 Cell Phone 250-262-7840 02/28 FOR SALE Large Pails of Honey, Hay Bales, Alfalfa, Brome, Timothy Mix, Tamarack Corral Posts 10 ½, Corral Rails up to 24 feet long. Call 250-719-6142 04/25 MASSAGE FSJ Oriental Massage Deeply relaxing, full body Call 250-261-3923 By appointment only. 03/28 HELP WANTED Peace River Building Products is looking for a sales clerk. Wage starting at $15-17/hr subject to experience. Bring resume to 951185th Ave 03/14

March 7, 2013

Page 19

CAREER OPPORTUNITY GAS LINK INDUSTRIES LTD. Facility ConstrucĆ&#x;on Company Has immediate opening for

PROJECT MANAGER - Minimum of 5 years experience in Oil & Gas Industry - Extensive knowledge of Bidding Facility Projects - Excellent OrganizaĆ&#x;on & Time Management skills & the ability to eÄŤecĆ&#x;vely communicate with people both orally and wriĆŠen - Solid Background in Project Management, QA/QC, Job CosĆ&#x;ng etc. - Valid Class 5 Drivers License, H2S, Whmis, and First Aid - Familiar with Windows XP, MicrosoĹ&#x152; Oĸce, Outlook & Projects If you are interested in being a part of an Aggressive Facility ConstrucĆ&#x;on Company, that oÄŤers CompeĆ&#x;Ć&#x;ve Wages, Company TransportaĆ&#x;on, and Full BeneÄŽt Package, please fax or email resume to:

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Job Board Receptionist / Accounts Payable Clerk: For Dawson Creek Candidates for this position will have some previous office experience and should have a good working knowledge of A/P and Simply Accounting. This is a full time position. Safety Officer: Candidates for this position should have previous experience with safety procedures and practices. Duties will include tracking tickets, conducting safety meetings, and overseeing all elements of the safety program (already in place). Candidates will need a strong attention to detail, good communication skills, and decent computer skills. This is a long term position, Monday - Friday. Knowledge of the transportation industry would be an asset. Administrative Assistant: This is a great job for anyone who likes to be busy and have a variety of duties each day. Duties will include data entry for A/R, A/P and payroll, Inventory management, Administrative Assistant: We have an opening for an Administrative Assistant for a very busy company. Candidates should have very good MSOffice skills and be able to work in a busy environment. Duties will include but are not limited to preparing and attending meetings, recording and transcribing minutes, Typing and formatting, proofing and editing correspondence, filing, setting up and maintaining a paper filing system and other duties as assigned. Experience with SAP is an asset. Temp job to August 2013. Payroll/Payables/AR Collections: The successful candidate for this position will have a good working knowledge of accounts and payroll. Duties will include data entry for invoicing, preparing cheques for payables, collecting data entry of timesheets. Candidates must be very organized and be able to work in a fast paced environment with numerous interruptions. %   !#$!$"#

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March 7, 2013




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Phone: 250-782-7060

Northeast NEWS

March 7, 2013

Page 21


March 2013



Fort St. John • Mar. 7: Price Smart Fort St. John CDC Fundraiser BBQ from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. • Mar. 8: International Women’s Day celebration at the Quality Inn from 7 a.m. to 9.m. Purchase tickets at North Peace Community Resource Society, BCGEU or Whole Wheat and Honey: $5 in advanced, $7 at the door. The morning will feature performance by Twin Peaks and a silent auction. • Mar. 9: The FSJ Arts Market is a monthly event featuring local artists. Our next event is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pomeroy Sports Centre. Be sure to tell your friends and family! Come and support the wonderful artists. We’re welcoming Bob Dyke, published photographer to our group. Mr. Dyke travels the world and photographs beautiful places. All proceeds from his books go to orphanages in North Korea. For more information contact Nina Cazes at 250-793-6599.

Fort St. John • Ft. St. John Parkinson’s Support Group Parkinson Society British Columbia People living with Parkinson’s disease, caregivers and family members are warmly invited to the Ft. St. John Parkinson’s Support Group. Join others in your community to share information and resources, coping strategies, ideas for living well with PD, good humour, social support and more. Last Wednesday of the month at 11:00 am McDonald’s Restaurant 10920 Alaska Road North Ft. St. John, BC Note: there is no meeting in December For more information please contact: Sarah at 250 785 7348 • S.U.C.C.E.S.S. Northern B.C. Newcomers Integration Service Centre is a non-profit organization in Fort St. John. Our Settlement Program provides information, orientation, assessment, referral and service linking, educational workshops and short term adaptation counselling to immigrants. The program also offers assistance with form completion, correspondence between clients and service providers, navigating immigration processes including sponsorship applications, obtaining permanent residence cards and applying for citizenship. Bridging services are provided to a variety of community and government service agencies and organizations. Service is available in English and Spanish. The Settlement Program is located at: #209 10142-101st Ave (Execuplace building). From 8:30-4:30 p.m. Phone # 250785-5323 Ext 22. • Toastmasters International Club of Fort St. John meets from 7 - 8:30 p.m. every Thursday evening at Northern Lights College, Room 105. Learn valuable communication & leadership skills. Contact Claire Seidler at 250-787-9697 or Gayle Wagner at 250785-3991 for more information. • Rocky Mountain Rangers Army Cadets meet at 6:30 PM each Wednesday night at the Royal Canadian Legion on 102nd and 105 Ave. If you are between 12 and 18 years old please drop in or call us at 250-787-5323. • Alcoholics Anonymous - If you think you might have a problem with drinking, come to an AA meeting. Call for times and places or someone to talk to (250) 785-8866. • Fort St. John Multiple Sclerosis support group. If you or anyone you know has MS and have any questions or just need to talk, please call Susie at (250) 785-2381 or Sandi at (250) 787-2652. • Are you tired of the crime? Then do the time. Join the Fort St. John Citizens Patrol. Donate a minimum of five hours per month. For information, call (250)

Complete Locksmith Service We provide locksmith service to the Peace area. Including rekeying locks for your home or business. Repair and install locks, door closers, installed and door adjustments. Wide assortment of Padlocks. Let us be your key supplier.

CALL 250.787.8999 “Let Us Be Your Key Supplier” Cell 778-256-1685 • Unit 5, 10404 101 Avenue Plaza, Fort St. John, BC

• Jun. 22: Beatton Community 4-H Fun Shoot. Non-competitive courses, concession. BBQ supper with registration, no arrow speed or weight restrictions and wagon rides. Pre-registration: $40, day of registration: $50, Peewee shoot: $5. Shoot starts at 11 a.m. Location: Home of the Taylor Family 13429 256 Rd, Montney. More info: 250-264-7422.

Dawson Creek

• Mar. 9: International Women’s Day Trade Fair 2013: Women of the Peace – Our Greatest Resource from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Kiwanis Performing Arts Centre. Free admission, everyone welcome! More info: • Mar 9: Winter Fun Day for all ages at Matthews Park in Farmington at 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. with pancake breakfast. Admission by donation. Children’s races, hot dog lunch, log sawing competition for adults and youth, tea boiling competition with prizes and frying pan toss. For more Info: Farmington Community Association, Jane at 250 843 7617.

262-4530. • “Butterfly Families – Families Supporting Families” is open to all caregivers of children and youth with Special Needs. We meet the third Wednesday of every month at the Child Development Centre from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., 10417 106 Ave. Does your child have learning, behavior or other complex special needs? Would you like to connect with other caregivers? Child minding available but please call ahead a few days before the meeting. Call (250) 785-3200 for more information. • Pregnancy tests, pregnancy options, peer-counselling and support are available at the North Peace Pregnancy Care Centre. New location at 335-9900 100 Ave. Drop in hours Monday and Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Tuesday from noon to 4 p.m. or to make an appointment call our 24 hour hotline at (250) 262-1280. All services are free and completely confidential. • New Totem Archery hold their indoor shoots at the Fort St. John Co-op Mall every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 p.m. and every Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m. • Come out and join us for an afternoon of play, crafts, a healthy snack, circle time and an opportunity to borrow books from the Devereaux School Library. This is a chance to meet other people from your community and introduce your children to a school setting. We meet from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. every other Wednesday beginning Oct. 20th. This program is geared for three to four year-olds but siblings are welcome to come with their parents. Call Patti (250) 843-7813 for more information.

Dawson Creek

• The Visually Impaired Support Group meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 12 noon at First Baptist Church, 1400 113 Ave. Each month we have a guest speaker and we share lunch. (cost by donation). Anyone who is visually impaired or who cares about someone with vision difficulties is welcome to attend. For further information please call Kathy 7827539 orMargaret 782-3221. • If you know how to visit with a friend, you already have the skills required to be a CASI Friendly Visitor volunteer! There are seniors in Dawson Creek right now who would like to have a friend come and visit them and perhaps take them to doctor’s appointments or shopping. Can you spare an hour or two a week to visit a senior? Call CASI (Community Action for Seniors’ Independence) today. 250-782-1138 ext. 228, email or visit the website at www. • Alcoholics Anonymous - meets Mon., Tues., Fri., &

head space books t hat matter body jewelr y detox 10116 100 Street, FSJ 250.261.6979

Sat., 8 p.m. at Peace River Health Unit. Wed. 8 p.m. Hospital Education Room. All meetings are open. • Mile 0 Al-Anon meets 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. every Thursday evening at the Health Unit, Dawson Creek. • Mile 0 Quilt Guild meets every Tuesday and Thursday at 7 p.m., Studio 10 at KPAC. Come join us for sewing, fun and friendship. Contact Gloria at 250 786 5597. for more info. • Dawson Creek Toastmasters meets every Thursday at 7pm at Farmer’s Advocacy Office 1032 103 Ave (Front door on 11 st.) Contact Heather at 250-7845700 or 780-353-3050.

Fort Nelson

• The Community Market is held at the Westend Campground every Saturday except on long weekends. For more info or a vendor package please contact Jaylene Arnold at (250) 774-2541 or Audrey Reynolds (250) 774-6574. Pouce Coupe • Youth Drop-In at Pouce Coupe Community Church Annex (the old Pouce library). Saturday nights 7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Ages 13 to 17.


• Alcoholics Anonymous meets Tuesday and Friday at 8 p.m. at the Public Library, 5012 46 Street. If you think you might have a problem with drinking, come to an AA meeting. Call for times and places or someone to talk to, phone 788-9658 or 788-1100

Tumbler Ridge

• Alcoholics Anonymous - meeting Thursday. 8 p.m. 115 Commercial Park (Baptist Church). If you think you might have a problem with drinking, come to an AA meeting. Call for times and places or someone to talk to. Phone 242-4018. • Tuesdays: TR Seniors (55+) Drop-In – Floor curling, carpet bowling, card & board games, coffee & cookies. Community Centre Room 5 from 1-4 pm. Small drop-in fee. • Tumbler Ridge’s self-employed women will receive six months of free personal business monitoring beginning this October at no charge. If you are a self-employed woman in their first three years of operation, or partially operate a business, contact Sara Cooper at the Women’s Enterprise Centre at 1-800643-7014 ext. 104 or Mila Lansdowne by e-mail at or (250) 242-3389. Registration is required.


• Civil Air Search and Rescue (CASARA) meetings every second Tuesday at the Taylor Fire Hall at 7 p.m. For information call Bob at 250-789-9152 or 250-787-5802.

Ph: (250) 782-2050 Fax: (250) 782-2060 Toll Free: 1-877-931-2050


Box 930, Dawson Creek, BC, Canada V1G 4H9

Page 22

Northeast NEWS

March 7, 2013

South Peace locals honoured

Jill Earl photos

Pat Pimm, M.L.A.

(Peace River North) Province of British Columbia

Legislative Office:

Constituency Office:

East Annex, Parliament Buildings Victoria, B.C. V8V 1X4 Phone: 250 952-6784 Fax: 250 387-9100

10104 - 100th Street Fort St. John, B.C. V1J 3Y7 Phone: 250 263-0101 Fax: 250 263-0104

Mar. 1, Peace River South MLA Blair Lekstrom presented the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal to Pouce Coupe Mayor Larry Fynn (left) and Lee Trail (right) accepting on behalf of her late husband and past Dawson Creek mayor Bob Trail, who served 26 years on council.


Are you on the voters list? Elections BC is conducting an enumeration and updating the voters list for the May 2013 Provincial General Election. Are you registered to vote? It’s easy. It’s convenient. You have choices. Be ready. Your choices to register to vote or update your voter information are: Online Register or update your information on Elections BC’s Online Voter Registration (OVR) system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at You need a B.C. Driver’s Licence or a Social Insurance Number to use the system. (OVR) By Phone Call Elections BC toll-free at 1-800-661-8683, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Saturdays. In Your Community From March 6 – 23, temporary voter registration opportunities are at hundreds of locations throughout the province. View electoral district voter registration opportunities at:

Is there someone registered at your address who no longer lives there? Call Elections BC or go to to have them removed from your address. Who can register? You are eligible to register to vote if you: . are a Canadian citizen, . are 18 or older, . have lived in B.C. for the past six months. Election workers required: Over 37,000 election workers are needed to work for the May 2013 Provincial General Election. View available postings at

B.C. voters can also register or update their information when they go to vote in the May 2013 Provincial General Election. Elections BC is a non-partisan Office of the Legislature responsible for administering the Election Act, the Recall and Initiative Act, and the conduct of referenda under the Referendum Act .

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Northeast NEWS

March 7, 2013

“Proudly Sponsors the North and South Peace SPCA” THE BRITISH COLUMBIA SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS (BC SPCA) NOTICE OF GENERAL MEETING SOUTH PEACE BRANCH OF THE BC SPCA In accordance with Bylaw 5.15(d), 9.5(b), 9.5(d) and 14 of the Bylaws of The British Columbia Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Notice is hereby given that the annual general meeting of the: SOUTH PEACE BRANCH Will take place on: Monday, March 11th at 7pm At: Super 8 Hotel, 1440 Alaska Ave, Dawson Creek, BC For the purpose of: Electing members of the Community Council for the branch, as well as conducting any other business of the Branch For further information on the meeting or to obtain a copy of the draft agenda, please contact Jenny at or 250-784-5522.

10 Canine Commandments

1. My life is likely to last 10 to 15 years. Any separation from you will be painful to me. Remember that before you buy me. 2. Give me time to understand what you want from me. 3. Place your trust in me. It’s crucial to my well-being. 4. Don’t be angry with me for long, and don’t lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your entertainment and your friends. I only have you. 5. Talk to me sometimes. Even if I don’t understand your words. I understand your voice when it’s speaking to me. 6. Be aware that however you treat me. I’ll never forget it. 7. Remember before you hit me: I have teeth that could easily crush the bones of your hand, but I choose not to bite you. 8. Before you scold me for being uncooperative, obstinate or lazy, ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I’m not getting the right food, or I’ve been out in the sun too long, or my heart is getting old and weak. 9. Take care of me when I get old. You too will grow old. 10. Go with me on difficult journeys. Never say: “I can’t bear to watch it”, or “Let it happen in your absence.” Everything is easier for me if you are there. REMEMBER THAT I LOVE YOU.

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Northeast NEWS

March 7, 2013

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Online Edition of the Northeast News for March 7, 2012