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CITY: Core review of services getting underway A3 Wednesday, January 25, 2012 Northern Health institutes Code Orange ... what does that mean? A3

Newsline 250-564-0005

‘Chaos reigned supreme’ ■ Two dead in Burns Lake sawmill fire

Northern communities rally to provide assistance during and after emergency Rebecca Billard Black Press

A second body has been found in the debris of the Babine Forest Products sawmill, leveled by an explosion and fire Friday, Jan. 20. A specialized team of investigators from the BC Coroners Service identification and disaster response unit travelled to the scene Sunday to work alongside RCMP to locate and identify the two men missing since the explosion and fire. The first body was located on the afternoon of Jan. 22. The search for the second man began at the area of the site where the missing workers were most likely to have been at the time of the blast. Nineteen others were injured. Eight of those have since been released from hospitals while others remain in hospitals in Vanderhoof, Prince George, Edmonton, and Vancouver and Victoria. The community has Free Press been reeling in the wake of the explosion and fire that has destroyed Northern Health instituted one of the town’s major a Code Orange during employers. blaze...A3 Burns Lake Fire Chief City council offers Jim McBride gave a condolences...A5 stark assessment of the Premier Christy Clark situation at a press contours area...A6 ference Saturday. Steelworkers set up fund “I have never seen to help workers...A6 the devastation that I CILA helping contractors witnessed last night,” affected by fire...A6 he said. “When I arrived, the mill was completely engulfed in flames. It was devastation ... chaos reigned supreme.” McBride was joined at the conference by Staff Sgt. Grant MacDonald from the Burns Lake RCMP; Mayor Luke Strimbold; Bill Miller, Area B director from the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako; Burns Lake Band Chief Albert Gerow; and Steve Zika, Hampton Affiliates CEO, which owns the mill. Many of the mill’s employees were gathered at the parking lot when McBride arrived. “I received numerous reports that there was five people unaccounted for. Three were located.” He said the many large buildings at the mill made locating missing individuals a daunting task. The three men were located within 20 minutes of the fire crew arriving at the scene. They were disoriented,


La ur a BLA C K W ELL/ Bla ck Pre s s

The Babine Forest Products mill near Burns Lake smoulders following an explosion and fire that completely destroyed the mill Friday, killing two people. had severe burns and were temporarily deaf from the loud explosion. He said at 3:30 a.m. the fire crew ran out of water to fight the fire. At this time the volunteer crew withdrew its equipment. The fire department was using 2,300 imperial gallons of water per second to battle the blaze. “We had three pumper trucks working at the mill’s reservoir [which holds 300,000 gallons] and would have had an adequate water supply if we were fighting a normal fire.” The explosion severed the sprinkler system, hindering efforts. The Hampton maintenance crew recognized this and shut off all the valves to the sprinkler system. “I couldn’t imagine anything as big as this fire .... you have got to imagine the size of the mill. When I arrived it was engulfed in flames from stem to stern. Our first priority was the safety of the employees. Equipment can be replaced, but individuals cannot.” Gerow, representing Burns Lake Native Development

Corporation, which has an 11 per cent ownership of the mill, said, “Our hearts go out to the families. I spent a number of hours at the Lakes District Hospital and the Margaret Patrick Memorial Hall giving families comfort and there is still hope that missing family members will come home.” Gerow said any reports of a gas smell days before the explosion are hearsay. “There is nothing definite ... our first concern is the immediate welfare of all of the employees.” Asked about the future of Babine Forest Products, which employs about 250 people in the community. Hampton Affliiates CEO Zika said the future of the mill is important to the community and important to Hampton. “The decision to rebuild depends on a lot of factors, but I can assure you we will be transparent with any decisions we make. “There has been a mountain pine beetle problem in the turn to PAGE A6

Prince George Free Press

■ Code orange

Regional hospitals follow emergency call Protocols in place for emergencies such as Babine Forest Products explosion ALLan Wishart

At 10:52 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, Northern Health called a Code Orange in response to the explosion and fire at Babine Forest Products near Burns Lake. Communications officer Steve Raper says the Code Orange is a system they have in place for emergencies. “A Code Orange is when we have an event where we expect mass casualties who will need to be treated. It enables the entire system to respond, meaning doctors, nurses, specialists and other medical personnel report to their hospitals in case they’re needed. We also call in people like child support specialists in case they are needed.” Raper says the call is made by the emergency operations commander and also activates an emergency operations centre at the University Hospital of Northern B.C. “The code gives us the means to call people in who may be off and also keep other people on past the regular end of their shift as needed.” In this case, the Code Orange extended from Prince George to Smithers, with all medical facilities on alert. In Prince George, which is where it is anticipated

the most serious cases will end up, other actions can be taken, Raper says. “Elective surgeries and some scheduled tests can be cancelled. We have to free up the surgery rooms as well as the CT scanner and the X-ray machines.” Other hospitals in the Code Orange area do the same, but, since in most cases they have fewer services, they are affected less. Raper adds it’s not just the hospitals that are affected by a Code Orange. “We also work with the B.C. Ambulance Service, the air evacuation teams, anyone who may be needed to help with the situation.” In the case of the Babine Forest Products emergency, Raper says, “the efforts of our staff and physicians were exceptional.” Code Oranges are rare events, he says, but they have had three in the past six months: two for apartment house fires in Prince George and the Babine Forest Products one on the weekend. The Code Orange was called off late Saturday morning, about 12 hours after it began. “At that point, we didn’t know if there were more casualties comings,” Raper says, “but we knew there would be no mass intake.”

He says it’s important for the public to be aware of the efforts

of Northern Health to plan for emergencies.

“People need to be aware we have these protocols in place.”

Bla ck Pre s s Ph o to

Friends and relatives of Babine Forest Products workers watch as another victim of Friday night’s explosion and fire is brought into Lakes District Hospital in Burns Lake.

Townhouses Going Up Mayor Shari Green, Janine North, Northern Development Initiative Trust CEO, Gordon Bliss, Investgo Ventures and Tim McEwan with Initiatives Prince George pose in front of the townhouses Bliss is developing. The project is the first to apply for the downtown tax incentives and, if approved, will receive about a $200,000 incentive. De Ly nd a PILON/ Fre e Pre s s

Trailer stolen from business

One 25-year-old Prince George man with an extensive criminal record, mostly for propertyrelated offences, and a 22-year-old, also from the city, are facing several charges after evidence pointed to the pair being responsible for stealing a trailer

from the 9100 block of National Place. Daniel Lee Gerow has been charged with break and enter, theft over $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime over $5,000. He was also found to have an outstanding arrest warrant out of Dawson Creek where he is

accused of the theft of a skid steer type tractor. The 22-year-old, Michael Arthur John Ricketts, was charged with break and enter and two counts of theft over $5,000. On Jan. 15 at 10:40 p.m. police got a call from a security company of a theft in progress on National

Place. An employee of the company said a trailer was stolen from the business, towed away by a white Ford F-350. Patrols located the vehicle and trailer, abandoned on Recplace Drive, just off Ferry Avenue. Police found two men walking along Ferry, a short distance away. A police service dog tracked the suspects from the abandoned truck to the area where the pair were located, plus footwear impressions and video evidence from the scene lead investigators to believe the two men were likely responsible for the theft. The white Ford

F-350 was found to be stolen from Pine Centre Mall on Dec. 19. The trailer was confirmed to be the one stolen from the 9100 block of National Place. Both accused men were scheduled to appear in Provincial Court on Jan. 17. If you have any information about a property crime or persons responsible, please contact the Prince George RCMP at 250-561-3300 or anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), online at, or Text-ATip to CRIMES using keyword “pgtips�.

AFGHAN PHOTOS: New display opens at Railway Museum A21

Up Front

The Spruce Kings will become a Lower Mainland team next season A14

BILL PHILLIPS 250-564-0005

Council pauses to offer city’s support ■ Babine victims

Delynda pilon

City council began on a sombre note Monday night, with Mayor Shari Green taking a moment to officially share a message of support with the people of Burns Lake as that community struggles with the tragedy of the explosion at Babine Forest Products sawmill Friday. “The City of Prince George is ready to help and support,” she said. She sent out a special message of gratitude to the first responders as well as the staff at the city hospital, who cared for several patients injured in the blast. One of the most asked questions by residents, she said, is how can we help? Green said there is a Lakes District Tragedy Fund anyone can contribute to at any CIBC branch in the province. Donations are also being accepted at the Burns Lake village office. Coun. Frank Everitt, who is the president of United Steelworkers local 1-424, shared a few words of gratitude for all the support that has been offered throughout the province and the country. Citizens of Prince George have offered their homes to those in need, businesses have offered up facilities and hotels in Vancouver and other cities where patients have been sent have offered subsidized housing to family members.

“The outpouring of support is certainly something that is appreciated,” he said. The union, through its mem-

bers, is donating money to help those affected, and he said many local companies have offered to match the amount raised.

Nineteen people were injured to varying degrees in the explosion. Two workers were listed as missing, Carl Charlie and Rob-

ert Luggi, and though identities have not been confirmed, two bodies have been found in what is left of the mill.

Kangaroo Cuddle

Isabella gets a hug backstage from Austin the Kangaroo at a meet and greet with the Backyardigans, who performed three children’s concerts on Saturday at Vanier Hall. Te re s a M A LLA M / Fre e Pre s s

Council sets core-review process terms and times Delynda pilon

Council passed two recommendations put forward by the select committee set up to help plan the core service review during Monday’s council meeting. The first accepted the terms of reference the committee put together while the second approved the time line suggested. Coun. Garth Frizzell, who confirmed the core review select committee meetings are open to the public, with meeting times and agendas posted on-line once the times are set, expressed some concern about the resources the committee might use. “This is kind of the big boy on the block and I am concerned it will eat up the resources of all committees,” he said, explaining one lump sum is set apart for

all committees to share in order to cover expenses like photocopying and such. Since the core review select committee has a much larger scope of work than many other committees, and since it has a contingency fund of $350,000, he said perhaps it should be excluded from using resources from the other fund. Frizzell also mentioned he’d like information about all the funds used by the committee to be available to the public as soon as possible, rather than waiting for a report to come back next year, far after the work is completed. “This is a great opportunity to take a lesson from the last three painful years with the transparency issue,” he said. Mayor Shari Green said when they get to the bidding process, the committee will know more in terms of the cost of

the review. She added that, between April and August, while the review is ongoing, the committee will report on not only its status but the cost as well. “We shouldn’t get into micro-management,” Coun. Albert Koehler said. Coun. Cameron Stolz pointed out, with the changes to the governance and structure of committees, something the former council passed in the fall, all members of council can now attend meetings and the public is welcome at meetings as well, unless one is deemed to be in-camera, which can only happen for the same reasons council sets an in-camera session. “So I want to stress all meetings are now open and transparent,” he said. He added there will be an internal and external engagement process, bringing information from elected officials, the

public as well as staff to the table. “From my perspective core reviews are not about bringing taxes down but about spending taxes better,” he said. He added he appreciates the concern about the budget, but $350,000 is a fraction of what the city spends annually. “There is no hidden agenda,” he added. “I think I understand the widespread interest of the City of Prince George in a core review,” Coun. Frank Everitt said. “There is a need for transparency and participation. This is their chance to be heard.” Both recommendations passed at the council table. A motion by Frizzell asking the core review committee be excluded from accessing the fund set aside for select committees did not get a seconder, and failed.

Groups pitch in to help with recovery from PAGE A1

area and timber supply will be part of the equation ... I can’t give any promises about the future.” He said the good news for the company is that the planer mill is intact and the logs and lumber supply is untouched by fire. He said a brand-new sawmill would cost anywhere from $25 million to $100 million. Regarding media reports that some employees smelled gas in the days before

the explosion, Zikia said, “the only reports of a gas smell I have heard have come from the media.” Zika confirmed there had been a small fire at the mill in February 2011 due to damaged electrical wiring, but the wiring had been updated. He could not confirm where the fire and explosion occurred, or the cause. The RCMP maintains control over the investigation. McBride was asked if the response by paramedics was ade-

quate as employees were transporting injured people to the hospital in their own vehicles. “Initial casualties were dealt with in private vehicles. Ambulances arrived soon after the fire department. They arrived from Fraser Lake, Vanderhoof, Burns Lake and Houston .... they did the best they could with the resources.” United Steelworkers Local 1-424 has put out the call to all USW local union operations to make a donation through payroll deduc-

tion to assist members and families. “The results of this disaster have shocked everyone in our union across the country,” said Local 1-424 president Frank Everitt, “The local officers have put together a local team in cooperation with the USW Emergency Response Team members from the International office. Wherever our injured members are sent, a USW area representative will be visiting the member and family to render any support services

needed.” Premier Christy Clark visited the area on Sunday and promised the province would do what it could to help. “I stopped in at the [Lakes District] hospital this morning and some of the people there have been on shift for 36 to 40 hours,” she said.

“Some even came out of retirement, without being asked, to help. The response to this unexpected and terrible tragedy is commendable and I want you to know that the province sends its deepest thanks. “This community is full of people who care deeply about each other. People

have stepped up to do everything they can to care for their neighbours and loved ones. Hope will come back. I know that the community will grieve for some time, but know that your province is behind you and that we will do everything we can to make sure this community recovers.”

CILA getting calls for hiring affected workers ALLan Wishart

who had figured on going to Burns Lake on Monday, was still in her Prince George office Tuesday,. “I talked to our people our there While Babine Forest Products and the United Steelworkers do what and they said it’s too soon to talk to they can for the millworkers affected people about this. Everybody there is still walking around by the explosion and in a daze.” fire at the mill Friday People in Burns lake, evening, the Central she said, haven’t had Interior Logging Assotime yet to think about ciation is looking to help the ripple effects the the truckers and loggers destruction of the mill involved. will have. “The truckers and “We still have probloggers are independent ably a month or two contractors,” execubefore breakup, and tive director MaryAnne then they’re going to Arcand said Tuesday morning. “There is usu- MaryAnne Arcand be off for about four ally two of them to every - CILA executive months. They need to make as much money as one person in the mill, they can between now sometimes more.” Job offers have been pouring in, and breakup so they can still cover their truck payments and other she said. “I’ve already had 15 e-mails today expenses.” The current shortage of operators from contractors willing to take on some of the guys. They’re going to in the north means Arcand sees few have to go to Fort St. James or Mack- problems in getting most, if not all, of the truckers and loggers into new enzie or somewhere else, though.” That’s one of the reasons Arcand, jobs.

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Failing to comply means jail

In Provincial Court in Prince George on Jan. 5: Douglas W. Gibbs was found guilty of two counts Free of failing to comply with a probation order and sentenced to 14 days in jail. Christopher M. Shick was found guilty of operating a motor vehicle while impaired, fined $1,300, assessed a victim surcharge of $195 and prohibited from driving for one year. In Provincial Court in Prince George on Jan. 6: Richard B. Forrest was found guilty of failing to comply with a condition of an undertaking or recognizance and sentenced to one day in jail. James R. Purcell was found guilty of two counts of theft of property with a value less than $5,000 and sentenced to 57 days in jail. Purcell was also found guilty of failing to comply with a condition of an undertaking and placed on probation for three years. In Provincial Court in Prince George on Jan. 9: David L. Franks was found guilty of pos-

session of stolen property with a value less than $5,000 and placed on probation for six months. Press Alfred A. Gunton was found guilty of mischief, p l a c e d on probation for one year, assessed a victim surcharge of $50 and ordered to make restitution of $445.17. Dale E. Kinney was found guilty of failing to comply with a probation order, failing to comply with a condition of an undertaking or recognizance and three counts of uttering threats, sentenced to 68 days in jail and placed on probation for one year. In Provincial Court in Prince George on Jan. 10: Robert Burgess was found guilty of possession of stolen property with a value less than $5,000, assessed a victim surcharge of $50 and placed on probation for one year. Edward J. Desjarlais was found guilty of assault, assessed a victim surcharge of $50 and placed on probation for one year. Brent A. Fulljames was found guilty of

Six correctional officers have been served notice that their jobs at the Prince George Youth Custody Services Centre will be axed. B.C.’s Ministry of Children and Family Development announced Wednesday that female incarceration units within the View Royal and Prince George youth custody facilities will be centralized at the Burnaby Youth Custody Services Centre, starting Feb. 6. The “redesign” of the province’s youth custody services will see $$2.5 million directed to other youth programs, Children and Family Development Minister Mary McNeil said. It’s reflective of a nearly 75 per cent drop in the number of jailed youth in B.C. since 1995, from 400 to 105 in 2011-12. Seventeen workers will also be laid off in Victoria.

The employees will be offered work elsewhere in the public sector, said Alan Markwart, senior executive director of Youth Justice Services in B.C. The news “blindsided” union officials, said Dean Purdy, chair of the corrections and sheriffs component in the B.C. Government and Service Employees’ Union. “We think that with proper consultation and a heads up on this we could have achieved this through attrition and other means months ago.”

Cougar Bingo

Court docket

Girls’ jail to be closed

A llan WISHA RT/F re e Pre s s

Cody Carlson, left, and Shane Pilling of the Prince George Cougars play bingo with Lucy Lange, a resident at Simon Fraser Lodge. About a dozen members of the team visited the lodge Monday morning to chat with residents and take part in their activities. possession of a controlled substance for the purpose of trafficking, sentenced to three months in jail and prohibited from possessing firearms for 10 years. Dean W. Lane was found guilty of posses-

sion of stolen property with a value less than $5,000, sentenced to 30 days in jail, assessed a victim surcharge of $50 and ordered to make restitution of $289.92. Christopher M. Leblond was found guilty

of theft of property with a value less than $5,000 and placed on probation for six months. Leblond was also found guilty of failing to comply with an appearance notice and sentenced to one day in jail.


The Prince George Free Press, founded in 1994, is published every Wednesday and Friday in Prince George by Prince George Publication Limited Partnership. Contents copyright of Prince George Publication Limited Partnership.

Sympathy for Burns Lake O

ur hearts go out to all of the workers and their loved ones affected by the devastating explosion at Babine Forest Products east of Burns Lake Friday. We can’t begin to imagine the heartache many must be going through after two bodies have been discovered. Many of the other 30 or so workers who were on shift were also injured in the fire, some of whom had to be sent to hospital here in Prince George while others have been sent to Edmonton, Vancouver and Victoria. With a population of just over 3,600 people, the entire community of Burns Lake is impacted by this event – not only has the mill been a big employer in the area, but everybody knows everybody in such a small community. But this tragedy resonated throughout the North as emergency services from Smithers to Prince George were mobilized. And the North responded. In such times of crisis we all come together to help in whatever way we can and we will continue to do so as the community of Burns Lake comes to grips with what has happened. In the meantime, we send our warmest thoughts to everyone in Burns Lake, as well as to the rescue personnel who have worked tirelessly to bring people to safety and to all of the doctors, nurses, and medical staff at the hospitals who are caring for the injured and trying to ensure speedy recoveries.

■ opinion

Work six years, then retire Russian roulette


cstasy can kill you. Can that message be driven home any more acutely than it has in communities in B.C. and Alberta? In the past five weeks, the popular man-made drug has taken several lives and is responsible for another that hangs in the balance. The drugs were laced with paramethoxy-metamphetamine. On Nov. 27, Tyler Miller, 20, took ecstasy. He was a gifted Abbotsford musician and student, with great career plans. It’s all over. He was dead in eight hours. On Dec. 19, 17-year-old Cheryl McCormack of Abbotsford ingested ecstasy with some friends – ostensibly as a weight-loss aid. She became unresponsive and, three days later, she died. She was a bright, fun and athletic teen. On New Year’s Eve, a 24-year-old Abbotsford woman engaged in “recreational” use of ecstasy with three friends. By 6 a.m., she was in critical condition in hospital, where she remains. The grief and suffering of the family and friends of these victims is excruciating. In that context, it is such cruel irony, considering ecstasy is known for inducing euphoria and a sense of well-being. It’s chemical Russian roulette. You can feel good and survive‚ perhaps many times. Or, you can end up dead or on life support. It doesn’t take prolonged use or abuse of ecstasy to court disaster. Ecstasy, or MDMA, is notorious for being laced with other drugs, including ketamine, methamphetamine and cocaine. Depending on the circumstances, the physiology of the user and other factors, the mix can be lethal. It seems an insane risk, yet ecstasy is popular among a segment of young people who have so much to lose. Please – parents, teachers, police – speak with your children, your students, your young contacts. Teens, counsel your peers who may be tempted to use ecstasy or are already using it. Give them the cold facts. Implore them to think, to make good decisions. – Abbotsford News

contribute $23 to union members’ pensions for every There is lots of talk these days about the looming dollar the government does. The howls of indignaworker shortage in northern B.C. tion and tough talk would be astounding. The message is get into the trades, there will be However, that seems to be fine for the MPs. plenty of work. But if you really want to make some So how do our local MPs fare? serious coin, become an MP. If you’re young, get Well, Prince George-Peace River MP Bob Zimmer elected now, serve a couple of terms so you can get is a rookie, elected last year. He’ll have to serve until your pension, and you’re set for life. You can then 2017 to be eligible (barring any sanity go on and do whatever you’ve been and guts arriving on Parliament Hill and trained to do. changes being made). The extremely lucrative MP pension Writer’s Cariboo-Prince George MP Dick Harplan is in the news again, thanks to the ris, on the other hand, was first elected Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation, which Block Billphillips in 1993 and was qualified for his pension has been flogging this horse for decades. was Jean Chretien was still in power. Leaders and parties agree when According to the Canadian Taxpayers’ Federation they’re in the run up to being elected, but once in power seem to back away from making any substan- report, if Harris retired after this term in office in 2015, he would be eligible for an annual pension of tive changes to the system that, by any stretch of the $118,236. The lifetime payout is estimated to be just imagination, is pork-barrelling. over $1.1 million. If he stayed on for another term to “In 2009/10, MPs and senators contributed $4.4 2019, he would be eligible for a pension of $119,284 million to both pension accounts,” states the Canaper year with a lifetime payout of just over $600,000. dian Taxpayers Federation report, “while total In fairness, that would be for 26 years of service, expenditures of both accounts amounted to $46.8 which is a long time to spend at any job. million. Therefore, sitting MPs and senators conTo the west, NDP leadership hopeful Nathan Cultributed $1.00 in 2010 for every $10.64 that was paid len, if he serves until 2015, will be eligible for an out to their presently retired colleagues. To summarize, taxpayers contribute $23.30 for every $1 that annual pension of $53,819, with an estimated lifetime payout of $1.7 million. Because he is younger parliamentarians do, but parliamentarians currently than Harris and has served less time, his annual receive $10.64 for every $1 that they contribute.” pension would be less but he would collect it over a We, the taxpayer, contribute $23 for every $1 that longer period of time so he would receive more. MPs do. Astounding. No one is against MPs receiving a pension for What always amazes me is that those who scream their time in office or that the government, like any the loudest about fiscal responsibility are usually employer, contributes to that pension. However, it those on the right side of the political spectrum but they are also often the ones with their hands deepest should be more in line with what is paid in the private sector. After all, isn’t that what our politicians in the taxpayers’ pockets. Imagine if the Public Service Alliance of Canada came to the bargaining table tell us should be the case when the unionized workers want more money? with a proposal for the Government of Canada to

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Deal with road: Nak’azdli

Editor: Last week members of the Nak’azdli expressed their frustration with the lack of response to the road safety concerns on the highway running through the reserve and the unresolved land question in our territory. It was only in November that an 11-year-old boy was killed by a truck passing through the highway in the middle of the Nak’azdli reserve. A blockade in Fort St. James was erected to bring attention to these concerns. Our people have every right to do this if the provincial and federal governments ignore our concerns. Civil disobedience was our last resort as we have raised the safety concerns for years. First Nations have been too kind to share our resources and the result has been a huge influx of people to our lands. The problem arises when the newcomers assume that because they are Canadian citizens and own or rent land in our territory that they have the right to do as they please.

I can only relate what is happening here to the disputes of the deep south in the 1960s. One only has to turn on the truck-to-truck radios, read the online news comments to media stories, or peruse the local Facebook pages to understand how racist things are here. The provincial politicians that live here are very aware of the tale of two cities. Solicitor General and Attorney General Shirley Bond, Jobs, Training and Innovation Minister Pat Bell and Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad all live in this area and no doubt know how bad things are. In fact, when Rustad came to visit the blockade January 12, he witnessed, first hand, an incident. Things have to change and it starts at the top. The provincial government, through the premier, has to show leadership to re-build the new relationship with our people that started with her predecessor, Gordon Campbell. Barry Duncan Tl’azt’en Nation

Pay attention to recent shipwrecks Editor: I would hope that the huge oil spill of the Exxon Valdez in Prince William Sound in 1989, plus last week’s wreck and sinking of the Italian cruise ship, the Costa Concordia, in the Mediterranean, combined with several weeks of -38 degrees Celsius weather in Prince George will make all sane Canadians everywhere realize just how utterly stupid the proposed Northern Gateway Project by Enbridge really is. It should not come as a surprise that cruise ships, whose cargo are passengers, would have the latest and best navigational equipment and competent crews that money can buy, but they are not. The capitan and crew of the Italian cruise ship, Costa Concordia, abandoned the ship without their passengers and left them to fend for themselves. The capitalistic model of ever increasing profit margins has never been known for paying fair wages to its

workers. The ever-present greed of the capitalists in our society, which comprise approximately one per cent of the population, demands ever increasing profits with the total disregard for our collective input in regards to decent wages and the safety of the 99 per cent that their decisions will impact. We have one of the coldest climates in the world and none of our oil or natural gas should have been or ever should be sold to other countries but kept for our present use and for our future generations, period. The capitalistic model Canada has followed for years of giving away our natural resources for the sake of jobs, is no different than the American alcohol and drug addicts who sell their blood to the blood banks so they can get a temporary fix and buy their next bottle of cheap wine or ille-

gal drugs. Even today, it still irks me to no end to remember that the B.C. Social Credit government, sold Tumbler Ridge coal for a royalty of 10 cents per ton to Japan, and thought it was a great deal for British Columbians. On March 24, 1989 the Exxon Valdez was wrecked in Prince William Sound in Alaska. There were reports that the captain had been intoxicated while in command of the ship. Do Canadians forget so quickly? Yet, Enbridge and both the BC Liberal Party and the federal Conservative Party support the building of the twin pipeline from the Alberta tar sands to the port at Prince Rupert, Why? The Northern Gateway Project proposed by Enbridge must be stopped in its tracks. Andy Kozyniak Prince George

Climate letter based on erroneous info

Editor: Re: Nothing unnatural about climate change, Free Press, January 2010. The writer stated, “In January 201, Mr. Andrew Weaver, one of the most respected and prominent scientists within the IPCC, left them in disgust...” The writer is correct in noting the respect which is accorded Dr. Weaver. However the statement regarding his relationship to the IPCC is wrong. This statement was originally made, and subsequently corrected, by Canada Free Press in 2010. Their public apology to Weaver stated in part, “contrary to what was stated in Dr. Ball’s article, Dr. Weaver: (1) never announced he will not participate in the next IPCC; (2) never said that the IPCC chairman should resign; (3) never called for the IPCC’s approach to science to be overhauled; and (4) did not begin withdrawing from the IPCC in January 2010.”

There is a tendency for most of us to believe, without questioning, information which matches our existing beliefs. Unfortunately the false statement above has been copied and re-posted on several internet sites by individuals who appear more concerned with influencing public opinion, than in honesty. In copying their quotes, the writer appears to have fallen victim to this. Incorrect statements repeated from elsewhere (of which the letter contains several more), should prompt all of us to be more thoughtful about the sources we use when making statements in climate change debates. If theories concerning anthropogenic climate change are correct, serious problems need to be addressed. It would be a travesty if decisions concerning the need for action on such a serious topic were made based on such blatant factual errors as the one noted above. John Vogt Prince George

No weather worries, it will change This winter has definitely been one of the, “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes” ones, hasn’t it? In the past week, we’ve had bone-chilling cold, body-exhausting snow and the occasional sprinkle of rain. So what comes next – or do we want to know? Shall we amble? • One thing I’ve been happy to see this winter on Prince George streets is how few drivers are parking three feet away from the curb. The city crews have done a good job of keeping the roads as clear as possible, Allan’s which means people have the chance (espeAmblings cially on main roads) to AllanWishart park close to the curb, and most people are taking advantage of that. That said, I’m not sure why so many drivers insist on driving five feet away from parked vehicles. I can’t count the number of times this winter I’ve been driving down a street like South Lyon, and seen a vehicle coming the other way, basically in my lane. It seems they’re afraid someone in the parked vehicle is going to open a door, which will spring about five feet out from the side of the vehicle. • Saw a YouTube video last week of a hockey play I don’t recall seeing before. Western Michigan University had a fiveon-three power play against Notre Dame. The Broncos set up three players just inside the blueline, and the player in the middle exchanged a couple of passes with the fellow on the right-hand boards. The fellow on the sideboards then made another pass to the guy in the middle, who would up for a big slapshot – and followed through. Except that he deliberately missed the puck, which then continued across to the player on the left, who didn’t miss his slapshot, and put it in the back of the net. Obviously rehearsed, and it worked like a charm. • I sometimes fantasize about telephone conversations I’d love to hear. Saturday, in the middle of the snowstorm that hit the city, I saw a moron make a left turn onto 15th Avenue from Ospika Boulevard while talking on his cellphone. Here’s the way I would love to hear that conversation play out. “So anyways I’m heading downtown right now and . . . Where’d that little patch of ice come from? Look, I’m going to have to call you back. I have to call for a tow since I just hit a light pole.”

Free Press reserves the right to reject unsigned letters. Letters are edited for brevity, legality and taste. Contact Editor Bill Phillips, 250-564-0005

Coffee with a reporter Stories come to reporters in a variety of ways. News releases, press conferences and phone calls are some. Sometimes you might think whatever story you have in mind isn’t worth a phone call or visit to the newspaper’s office, but is it worth a cup of coffee?

Reporter DeLynda Pilon would like the chance to hear what you have to say so every Friday at 11 a.m. she will be having a coffee break at Zoe’s Java House at 1251 Fourth Ave., and is hoping you will drop by to chat. Or just stop in and introduce yourself.

11 a.m. Fridays at Zoe’s Java House at 1251 Fourth Avenue

Business Directory Forks Over Knives

Northern Notes

EnhancePG in partnership with the Prince George Public Library invite you to a free screening of “Forks over Knives” on January 31 at 7 p.m. in the Keith Gordon Room. All those interested in our local and global food security issues as well as the environmental and health related impacts of pesticide/ hormone, factory farmed and chemical food additives are welcome to this food for thought documentary. Healthy refreshments will be served.

Business Bouquets

A llan WISHA RT/Fre e Pre s s

The sign reminds people that the Centre for the North isn’t finished yet, but construction on the cancer centre is all taking place inside these days.

Signs of the Line

Two signs announcing the construction of BC Hydro’s Northwest Transmission Line have been put up near the Hwy 16/Hwy 113 intersection. One is from the province and the other, reflecting a $130 million contribution to the project, comes from the federal government. The signs are the most recent symbol of a steady ramping-up of the project to build a 344km long transmission line from BC Hydro’s Skeena Substation just south of Terrace to Bob Quinn on Hwy 37 North. Construction is set to begin in earnest this spring with a completion date set for mid 2014.

Virtual Mining Equipment

Nechako region mining students are getting valuable practice on equipment simulators as part of their certification at the College of New Caledonia (CNC). This is helping to turn them out as attractive employees for the North’s many mines that are looking to hire. The simulators, which are portable and attach to campus computers, give realistic experiences to the students, teaching them equipment operation skills, safety training and instilling confidence in the students.

Community Futures Nadina on the move

Community Futures Nadina isn’t closing their doors. However, over the next three months there will be changes to the organization as they relocate to an undetermined smaller office space. Pauline Goertzen, operations and contract manager, said that the employment and selfemployment contracts are being re-shaped into a new model for the province with a new contractor. Community Futures Nadina, said Goertzen, decided they did not have the resources to pursue a contract and declined to enter the bidding process for the employment services contract.

Wet’suwet’en say ‘no’ to pipeline

Wet’suwet’en clans drummed their chiefs into a Smithers convention room Monday and together gave the Northern Gateway pipelines a “resounding no.” Many told a federal panel reviewing the project how they grew up fishing, hunting and gathering food in their traditional territories — a life they say the Enbridge oil pipeline puts at too high a risk.

Potash deal signed

Should Canpotex move ahead with their potash export facility on Ridley Island in Prince Rupert, they now have a deal in place to get the product to the terminal. On January 23 CN announced that it had reached a 10-year deal with Canpotex to transport potash volumes that the Saskatchewan potash company wants to export. The deal calls for CN to ship potash to Neptune Terminals in Vancouver, but also states that “CN and Canpotex will also continue work on the feasibility of a potential new potash export gateway terminal in Prince Rupert”. Right now Canpotex is in the midst of the Environmental Assessment process, with two public comment periods having opened, in an application that includes a road and rail corridor on Ridley Island to better serve the proposed Canpotex terminal and any future terminals that may come.

Have a Business Bouquet you’d like to send? Call: 250-564-0005

■ Opinion

Summer and adventure

My dad worked at a lot of logging shows in the Prince George area, and he still knows those old roads, some carved in the 50s and 60s, very well. It was nothing for him to take us out on a long road trip any Life in season except winter, the fat armed with pop, a loaf lane of bread and a chunk of bologna (for some DelyndaPilon reason my dad has a life-long fondness for bologna). We’d head out for a day of driving through mud holes, down byways overgrown with weeds and young willows, along swamps where beaver dams flooded big chunks of the road, and over others that edged cliffs and canyons. Generally we’d come out somewhere on the Red Rock Forestry Rd., or back of Quesnel. Sometimes we’d stop at a lake and spend the day fishing and swimming. Others we’d stop high on some ridge, watching water cascade over rocks while we ate bologna sandwiches, listening to dad as he talked about old logging camps and the men he knew. Sometimes dad would begrudgingly buy wieners instead of bologna, and we’d build a campfire, burn them black, then eat them. Not only were those trips fun, but they were adventures. One time we went out looking at different survival plants north of the Bear. We tried to eat bullrush root that day, which a survival book claimed tasted something like potato. Anyway, after gagging our way through a few bites, we gave up on that particular vegetable (and book) and headed home. It was raining that day, and we got stuck. With no jack (dad was pretty sure someone ‘borrowed it’), we wound up blocking a length of wood under the frame, leveraging the pick up into the air then pushing it over, inch by inch, until we broke free of the mud. By then we were coated in goo, but the adventure wasn’t over. The rain took out a small bridge we crossed getting to that back road. Using an axe, my dad felled a couple of trees and made two tracks and drove our truck across. None of us kids were allowed in the truck on that crossing, just in case. I remember being pretty scared and praying like crazy the truck would cross those two puny looking poles and not crash into the creek. Anyway, I can’t wait to travel the back roads of Prince George again. I can’t wait to go as an adult, travelling this time with both my dad and son. I know some of the stories he’ll be told by heart. But I’ll be happy to hear them all one more time. Hopefully, though, we’ll go long on stories and short on adventures.

COLUMN: Coastal Spruce Kings might work out OK A17


Wednesday, January 25, 2012


The Cariboo Cougars ended up with a split on home ice A16

Alistair McInnis 250-564-0005

Spruce Kings move to Coast next year AListair McInnis

Try associating Prince George with the Lower Mainland. It’s not easy, right? New alignment taking effect in the B.C. Hockey League next season will make Greater Vancouver feel closer than ever for Spruce Kings fans. The team is shifting from the Interior Conference to the Coastal Conference’s Mainland Division. The Chilliwack Chiefs will also switch conferences, joining a fiveteam division with three current Coastal squads: the Langley Rivermen, Surrey Eagles and Coquitlam Express. The Spruce Kings’ move was among a number of significant motions passed by the BCHL at the league’s semi-annual governors meeting in Richmond on Thursday. The league is giving Prince George the option to return to the Interior Conference after the conclusion of the 2013 playoffs. With next season’s shift, Langley, Surrey and Coquitlam – franchises relatively unfamiliar to the Spruce Kings –  will become significant divisional rivals. A few seasons ago, such a move would’ve appeared absurd. But with Prince George now appearing like a desolate outpost with the loss of the BCHL in Quesnel and Williams Lake, it’s more eco-

nomically viable today than it would’ve been in the past. “I guess it starts with the fact that we’re sort of the lone northern team now, and the alignments are things that need to make sense from kind of the entire league perspective,” Spruce Kings president Darcy Buryn said. With the Spruce Kings and Chiefs switching divisions, the Interior Conference will turn into a six-team loop with the Penticton Vees, Westside Warriors, Vernon Vipers, Salmon Arm SilverBacks, Merritt Centennials and Trail Smoke Eaters. The Coastal Conference’s Island Division will include the Victoria Grizzlies, Cowichan Valley Capitals, Nanaimo Clippers, Alberni Valley Bulldogs and Powell River Kings. The league is adapting a full interlocking schedule which will see each squad play teams outside of its division twice, once at home and once on the road. That means the Spruce Kings’ other 34 games, 60 per cent of their schedule, will be against the Chiefs, Rivermen, Eagles and Express. League commissioner John Grisdale stressed that having the Mainland and Interior teams play in each Island city only once was a move made to reduce costs. “(Scheduling would be easier) if we didn’t have water separating some of our franchises, because everything boils down to

New look B.C. Hockey League

Interior Conference Merritt Centennials Penticton Vees Salmon Arm SilverBacks Trail Smoke Eaters Vernon Vipers Westside Warriors

Coastal Conference Mainland Division: Chilliwack Chiefs Coquitlam Express Langley Rivermen Prince George Spruce Kings Surrey Eagles Island Division: Alberni Valley Bulldogs Cowichan Valley Capitals Nanaimo Clippers Powell River Kings Victoria Grizzlies

Prince George Spruce Kings forward Michael Colantone fights off a check from Penticton Vees’ Steven Fogarty while looking up ice for an open man during Sunday’s BCHL game at the South Okanagan Events Centre. The Vees won 3-1 to extend their winning streak to 25 games. For more on the Spruce Kings, check the sports briefs on A12. M a r k BR ETT/ Bla ck Pre s s

the ferries, when they run, how often they run, and it’s expensive.” Each division will have one geographically challenged team: Prince George in the Mainland, Trail in the Interior and Powell River in the Island. “But I think as it was said by somebody from Prince George before, when the team is on the road, probably just like the Western Hockey League (Cougars),” Grisdale said, “you get to Cache Creek, you go left or right. It doesn’t really matter.” Even for a team as remote as the Spruce Kings, the new alignment may result in less travel, since the four Lower Mainland teams are closer in distance than the six southern interior squads. “If we had to go to Chilliwack this weekend to play a single game it would’ve been a shorter trip than what we had to deal with in Penticton, and of course Trail is in that Interior Conference as well,” Buryn said. “We’ve actually eliminated some longer trips by moving into the Mainland Division.” Although no new playoff for-

mat has been adopted, the governors have already been discussing ideas. One suggestion met with support is the increase of Coastal Conference playoff teams from four to eight, with the top four teams in each division advancing to the playoffs. The first two rounds would feature interdivisional series, before the Mainland and Island winners would meet. The Coastal winner would meet in the Fred Page Cup league final against the championship team from the Interior Conference, which would have its own separate playoff draw. “Part of this scheduling will be increasing the number of teams that are in the playoffs,” Buryn said. “Otherwise, it would be fundamentally unfair to have four out of 10 make it on one side and four out of six make it on the other.” With the Mainland teams seeing the Island squads no more than the Interior teams in the regular season, the Coastal Conference distinction may seem irrelevant until the playoffs. “It’s almost fair to call it three distinct divisions,” Buryn said.

Shorter season Governors voted in favour of reducing the number of regularseason games from 60 to 56. With the standard 2012-13 regular season running from Sept. 14 to March 10, fewer games stretched over a longer period of time will reduce the number of mid-week games fans are less likely to attend, resulting in a greater percentage of games on Friday and Saturday nights. “The idea that 54 or 56 games isn’t enough to me isn’t correct because the players need to practice,” Grisdale said. “We don’t need to travel them, we need to think of school and all of those sorts of things.”

Showcase A showcase event will be held from Sept. 7 to 9 at a site to be determined. Each team will play two games at the event which means all squads, except the showcase host, will have 27 home games on their 2012-13 schedule. Any revenue from the event will be split up among the league’s 16 teams.

■ Sports briefs

Cougars tops in junior girls’ hoops event They were the hosts with the most on this weekend. The College Heights Cougars finished first in the eight-team Cougar Classic junior girls basketball tournament on the weekend. In the championship

final, Saturday night at College Heights Secondary, the Cougars downed the Duchess Park Condors’ B team 42-35. Smithers rebounded from a semifinal defeat to the Cougars, taking third place with a 29-25

win over the Cedars Christian Eagles. Cougars guard Morgan Redding, a Grade 9 student, was named Most Valuable Player of the tournament.

Curling The



A lis ta ir M cINNIS/ Fre e Pre s s

College Heights Cougars guard Shelby Lepine breaks into the offensive zone against Smithers during their semifinal game at the Cougar Classic junior girls basketball tournament on Saturday at College Heights Secondary. foursome from Prince George carried a 2-0 record into Day 2 of the 2012 Scotties B.C. Women’s Curling Championship in North Vancouver. Three other teams finished Monday’s opening draw with two wins in as many games: Allison MacInnes of Kamloops, Marla Mallet of Royal City (New Westminster) and Kelly Scott of Kelowna. The Rusnell team met Nicole Backe of Royal City in its third draw on Tuesday morning. Rusnell’s squad includes third Kristen

Fewster, second Blaine Richards and lead Amber Cheveldave. They’re coached by Rick Fewster. The provincial tournament runs until Sunday. Updates are available through the playdowns website at

UNBC basketball The UNBC Northern Timberwolves are coming off another winning weekend in PacWest basketball. The women’s team ran its undefeated reg-

ular-season record to 10-0 with two road victories, 85-38 over the Douglas College Royals on Friday and 11656 over the Columbia Bible College Bearcats on Saturday. With 20 points, they remain in sole possession of first place in the nine-team standings, two points ahead of the secondplace Vancouver Island University Mariners (9-1). On the men’s side, the Timberwolves won 84-56 at Douglas College on Friday and 104-77 at Columbia Bible College on Saturday. At 8-2, the men sit second in the men’s league, two points behind division-leading Vancouver Island University (9-1).

Spruce KIngs The Prince George Spruce Kings were hoping to be the first team to defeat the

Penticton Vees in 25 games. They couldn’t stop the streak, as the Vees’ 3-1 home-ice victory on Sunday marked their 25th consecutive victory. Penticton improved its first-place record to 37 wins, three losses, zero ties and two overtime defeats (37-3-0-2), while the Spruce Kings dropped to 21-17-2-3. Leo Fitzgerald scored the lone goal for the Spruce Kings, who were outshot 33-27. Nick Buchanan, Wade Murphy and Travis St. Denis scored for Penticton. Ty Swabb took the loss in goal, while Prince George product Michael Garteig recorded the win for the Vees. For the Spruce Kings, Sunday’s game followed a home doubleheader against the Chilliwack Chiefs. They split that set with a 5-2 win on Thursday and 4-2 loss on Friday.

Prince George Free Press

Wednesday, January 25, 2012



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Prince George Free Press

Outdoor Hockey

Gladiators player Stewart Lambert pushes the puck through the neutral zone on Saturday afternoon at West Lake during the Northern Regional Pond Hockey Championships. Al i s t a i r Mc I N N I S / F re e P re s s

Cougars still look for goals

The Prince George Cougars’ offensive woes continued on the prairies. An ongoing theme for the Western Hockey League’s lowest scoring team, the Cougars had difficulty scoring in three road games in Alberta last week. After getting blanked 5-0 by the Edmonton Oil Kings on Wednesday, the Cats were on the wrong end of a pair of 5-1 scores, to the Calgary Hitmen on Friday and Red Deer Rebels on Saturday. Saturday evening at Red Deer’s Enmax Centrium, special teams provided a boost to the home team, as the Rebels finished 2-for-2 on the power play and recorded a short-handed goal. Defenceman Mathew Dumba, a projected first-round

selection in the NHL Entry Draft in June, opened the scoring with a short-handed marker 18:24 into the game. Forward Turner Elson’s power-play goal at 15:24 of the second period was the game winner. Elson also assisted on Dumba’s tally and was named the game’s first star with two goals and two assists. Forwards Adam Kambeitz and Chad Robinson also scored for the Rebels, who outshot the Cougars 35-33. Winning goalie Deven Dubyk recorded 32 saves, while Devon Fordyce turned aside 30 shots in a losing cause. Defenceman Cody Carlson scored the only goal for the Cougars, whose record dropped to 15 wins, 29 losses, zero overtime setbacks and two shootout

defeats (15-29-0-2). The Cougars’ well-documented lack of offence has played a prominent role in their losing season, as they’ve recorded only 102 goals, an average of 2.2 per game. With 32 points, the Cougars remain ninth in the 10-team Western Conference. In Friday night’s game at Calgary’s Scotiabank Saddledome, the Hitmen dominated the shot counter with a 44-19 advantage. Winning goalie Chris Driedger needed to make only 18 saves while Cougars’ starter Drew Owsley turned aside 39 shots. The Cougars meet the lastplace Everett Silvertips in a CN Centre doubleheader on Friday and Saturday. For a preview of that series, check Friday’s Free Press.

A lis ta ir M cINNIS/ Fre e Pre s s

Cariboo Cougars forward Brett Harris skates the puck through the neutral zone against the Kootenay Ice during their game on Sunday at Kin 1. The Cougars outscored the Ice 10-2 to win the contest.

■ Cariboo cougars

Coach unhappy with split

AListair McInnis

Cariboo Cougars head coach Trevor Sprague hasn’t shied away from tearing a strip off his players in the past. That noted, his comments regarding his team’s 4-3 homeice loss to the last-place Kootenay Ice on Saturday night might come as a surprise. On paper the game was a mismatch. The Cougars carried a 17-7-4 record into the contest, good for second-place in the 11-team BC Hockey Major Midget League, while the victory was only the third of the season for the Ice (3-22-3). Sprague didn’t only give credit where it was due, pointing at the outstanding 51-save performance by Kootenay goalie Brett Soles. He also said his skaters played well in the Kin 1 doubleheader, which wrapped up after the Cougars hammered the Ice 10-2 in the second game on Sunday. “If you ever want to see a game where your goalie won your team a hockey game, you go and watch that,” Sprague said of Saturday evening’s

game. “You can’t go into a dressing room with the Zamboni not even having to go to the other end of the ice to clean it and say that you played like (crap). We have to capitalize on our opportunities and bury goals. We did not do that.” The Ice sent four pucks past Cariboo starter David Readman on Saturday night, despite managing only 13 shots on goal. Inconsistent goaltending has been an issue for the Cougars this season, and it continued on Sunday. Nathan Warren got the nod, but was pulled at the 8:06 mark of the first period after surrendering two goals on three shots. Readman recorded 18 saves the rest of the way. “We had breakdowns and they capitalized on them. Shots come from everywhere,” Sprague said. “It’s something that I told both our goalies, they probably let in goals this weekend that shouldn’t have been goals just on the fact that if we break down, they shoot. They’re a team that put pucks on net and they don’t usually miss when you give them the opportunity.” In Sunday’s offensive

onslaught, Ryan Gagnon (two goals, two assists) and Brett Harris (one goal, three assists) had four-point games to lead the Cougars offensively. Female goalie Kimberly Newell started Sunday’s game for the Ice. Newell allowed nine goals on 42 shots, replaced by Soles after two periods. “Brett had a tremendous weekend. He was definitely the first star of the game (Saturday), and second star and third star,” Kootenay head coach Mario DiBella said. “He was outstanding and (Sunday) he came in relief in the third period and again, shut the door and played awfully well.” With a 18-8-4 record, the Cougars are eight points in arrears of the league-leading Vancouver North West Giants (21-3-6). This weekend, they travel to Nanaimo for a two-game set against the seventh-place North Island Silvertips (13-12-3). “They’re a similar team,” Sprague said. “They got probably four guys who are top-line guys who they roll over every second shift, and their goaltending is really good and they never give up.”

Spruce Kings to become a Coastal team

As much as things change in sports, similarity is prevalent these days. An ongoing theme in the Western Hockey League this season, the Prince George Cougars struggled to score goals in Alberta last week (two goals in three games). The Penticton Vees just keep winning, running their B.C. Hockey League winning streak to 25 games with Sunday’s 3-1 triumph over the Prince George Spruce Kings. On the hardwood, both UNBC teams defeated the Columbia Bible College Bearcats in PacWest action in Abbotsford on Saturday, outcomes as predictable as a January snowfall in Prince George. So what the heck is new?

New alignment Prince George might operate in Pacific Standard Time, but provincially the city never gets associated as being anything coastal. Understandable, since there’s really nothing coastal about it. That noted, you might be wondering why the BCHL board of governors showed their support Thursday for the Spruce Kings moving into the Coastal Conference for the 2012-13 season. On the surface, it

Buryn noted that the appears like a move league is looking at a to even out the divi12-team sions and playoff reduce ull format ferry in which trips. But ourt the first looking ress two at the impact Alistair McINNIS rounds would be on Prince held within divisions. George, wouldn’t that There are still a few mean more ferry trips major issues which for the league’s northneed to be discussed. ernmost team? But what I like is the Not necessarily, as league giving the pointed out by Spruce Spruce Kings the Kings president option to return to the Darcy Buryn, who Interior Conference said despite the fact after the 2013 playoffs. they’re now grouped with Mainland teams, they’ll visit each Island destination once. The Spruce Kings will play in the Mainland Division with Chilliwack, Langley, Surrey and Coquitlam. Looking at the Spruce Kings’ new division in 2012-13 compared with their conference this season, I can see why people would be in support of the move. The Lower Mainland really isn’t much further than the Okanagan. If anything, those road trips could be better since the four Lower Mainland teams are closer together than the six other Interior squads. The league has yet to determine its playoff format, and governors will also have to settle on a finalized schedule, issues which will be discussed in detail during the BCHL’s AGM in June.


Offensive woes

In the 18-year history of the Prince George Cougars, this season’s squad may be the most offensively futile. For a franchise with a history of mediocrity, that’s saying a lot. Granted, with 46 of 72 games played, there is a lot of hockey left for the Cats this season. They’re threatening to set a new team mark of fewest goals scored in a season.

At the moment, the low mark for goals scored belongs to the 2004-05 squad, credited with a measly 158 goals in 72 games. That’s an average of 2.19 goals per game. This season’s team has averaged 2.22 goals per game. As hard to believe as it may be, that team holding the Prince George franchise mark for fewest goals scored in a season wasn’t even the lowest scoring team in the 200405 campaign. That dis-

tinction belongs to the Swift Current Broncos, who found the back of the net a pathetic 135 times in 2004-05, an average of below two goals a game. And no, I’m not joking here, there was even one other team with fewer goals than the Cougars in 2004-05. The Regina Pats scored 154 goals. It’s worth noting that 2004-05 was the year of the NHL lockout, just before rules were changed in an effort to increase goals.

But back to the 2011-12 Cougars. How tough a time are they having generating chances? Look at it this way. Take away the 10 goals they scored against the Lethbridge Hurricanes in wins on Jan. 13 and 14, and they’ve been outscored 31-3 in seven games in 2012. The Cats have also been outshot in each of the nine games this year and, in total, have been blanked in eight games in the 2011-12 campaign.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

BRIDAL SHOW: Plenty to see and do at annual event A20

Community teresa Mallam 250-564-0005

Photos of Kandahar by Afghan youth are on display A21

Free Press

Playbill Communication

On Wednesday, Feb. 1 there will be a Communication Workshop starting at 7 p.m. at Cafe Voltaire (Books and Company, 1685 Third Ave.). Communication is considered one of the most important competencies to master for your success. For more visit www. or phone 250-564-5191.


Join in for an evening of dinner and comedy to raise funds for Kinsmen Charities. Kinsmen Stand up for Charity 9 stars Simon King on Jan. 28. Roast beef and chicken buffet dinner at 6 p.m. followed by stand-up comedy from local amateur comics and featuring King. Tickets are $40, available at Studio 2880. Event takes place at Kinsmen Community Hall, 777 Kinsmen Place.


On Feb. 25 and 26 bring your antiques and heirlooms to Artspace for Huble Homestead’s Antique Appraisal Event. For $10 per item, learn what your object is, how much it’s worth and more. Furniture can be appraised, just bring photos. The event is a Huble Homestead fundrasier. For more information phone 250564-7033.

■ TNW production

Almost time for The Clockmaker Story spins a tale of mystery and intrigue; runs Feb. 9 to 26 Two men enter a dark room with a long wooden table. One is a humble clockmaker, Heinrich Mann, the other is a mysterious man who has some questions about Herr Mann’s file. It seems Monsieur Pierre suspects Herr Mann of making false statements though he doesn’t say in reference to what. Heinrich is totally bewildered: he can barely remember who he is and how he arrived at the table with Monsieur Pierre. After weathering thinly veiled threats, Heinrich promises to return to Monsieur Pierre the following day to ascertain if he has, indeed, done anything wrong. The next time we see Heinrich, he is working in his shop. A softspoken young woman, Frieda, enters bearing a shattered cuckoo clock and leaves with Heinrich’s heart. Where will this tenuous connection lead? And what of Heinrich’s second meeting with Monsieur Pierre: has the clockmaker committed crime? Or is he about to commit one? The third production of Theatre North West’s 2011-12 season will be playwright Stephen Massicotte’s darkly beautiful The Clockmaker. This enchanting puzzle of a play was named best play of the 2010-11 season in the inaugural Toronto Theatre Critics’ Awards and is also winner of the 2009 outstanding play at the Betty Mitchell Awards. It’s part love story, part mystery, part thriller and part jigsaw puzzle. Bending the realities of time and place, The Clockmaker is a story about the power of love that will keep you guessing right up until the end. The Clockmaker is scheduled to run from Feb. 9 to 26 at Theatre North West in Parkhill Centre. Tickets are available at Books and Company on Third Ave. or by phone at 250-614-0039.

Catherine Cantin paints one of 25 cuckoo clocks for TNW’s upcoming play The Clockmaker. Designed by Hans Saefkow, the clocks were built by Cantin and Rob Dyson. Te re s a M A LLA M / Fre e Pre s s

Using buildings to revitalize commuDelynda pilon

newsroom@pgfreepress. com

Architecture may b e one of the primary keys to successfully revitalizing downtown Prince George. Michael Heeney, a principal from Bing

Thom Architects of Vancouver, visited the city last week and shared his experiences during a lecture at the library about what architecture has accomplished, and what it could do in Prince George. “I believe good

strong architecture can do a tremendous amount for cities,” he said in an interview previous to his visit. He bases his insights on four specific projects, two of which were completed in Surrey. “It is a very interesting place to work,” he

said. “The majority of people live in the suburbs.” Residents of Surrey didn’t have much by way of a downtown area, he said. Then his company erected a university and tower where a declining mall used to be.

By The Numbers

A llan WISHA RT/Free Press

UNBC student James Bahng uses a whiteboard to explain math concepts to highschool students at the Prince George Public Library on Saturday. Bahng was one of the tutors at the Great Exam Cram, a chance for students to do some final studying for provincial exams this week.

“It spurred on all sorts of development, and now the city is investing heavily in the area.” The second project in Surrey was a library. Heeney said another project that comes to mind is a theatre complex in a highprofile urban area of Washington, D.C. He described it as a forgotten part of the city until the complex went in, becoming a focal point and draw for the neighbourhood. In Fort Worth, Texas, city officials tasked the company with a way to build bigger dikes and levees to protect the city from the increasing rise of the Trinity River while optimizing land use. The 600-acre development they came up with is the biggest in North America and houses museums and libraries, and has become a frequently visited area in the evenings, not only making it functional but allowing for a practical and popular use of land. “I do think one of the important things is if you want people to

believe in a city, the city government must believe in it and invest as well,” he said. One of the buildings that would add to revitalizing downtown is a performing arts centre, he said. Heeney said he also strongly believes in having education centres downtown. He said the planned

wood innovation centre is a good example of a building that would be architecturally beautiful, provide an educational element and add to the revitalization of downtown. In fact the company Heeney represents, which prides itself in using natural materials, has already expressed interest in the design

Bridal show a hit

Every bride-to-be dreams of a storybook wedding. There was lots to look at, dream about and plan for at Storybook Wedding’s 2012 Bridal Expo held Sunday at the Prince George Civic Centre. Eighty exhibitors were on hand offering visitors samples and suggestions for the

big day with the latest in health and beauty products, gourmet delights for parties and receptions, flowers, candles, table settings, photography services, travel, music, dance lessons, limousine, jewelry lines, mens’ and womens’ fashions, spa treatments, and fitness centres.

A fashion show featured beautiful flower girl, bridesmaids, ring bearer and bride’s wear from local bridal shops. Another highlight of the show was dance demonstrations by Dance North, Ballroom Dance Club. Indeed, there were lots of door prizes and lots of smiles at Bridal Expo 2012.

Te re s a M A LLA M / Fre e Pre s s

A bridal fashion show featuring gowns from local boutiques was a highlight of the Storybook Wedding presents Bridal Expo 2012.

Teresa MA LLA M / Fre e Pre s s

Casey Castle of The Gallery Bridal Boutique prepares to put back gowns worn in the fashion show at the Storybook Wedding Bridal Expo 2012. Te re s a M A LLA M / Fre e Pre s s

Executive chef Rodney Mansbridge from Crave restaurant serves samples of a delightful dessert Sunday at the Bridal Expo.

■ Railway museum

Photos of Kandahar here Young Afghans show everyday life ALLan Wishart

Allan WISHA RT/Free Press

The pictures in the Kandahar Through Afghan Eyes exhibit show everyday life in the city. The exhibit is at the Railway and Forestry Museum until the end of February.

They are photographs of everyday life. But it is a life few in Prince George will ever experience. It’s Kandahar, Afghanistan as seen through the eyes of young people there. Kandahar Through Afghan Eyes 2010 opened at the Prince George Railway and Forestry Museum on Jan. 20.

“It normally only stays in one location for about a week,” executive director Ranjit Gill said, “but we will have it here until the end of February.” Fifteen students from schools throughout Kandahar City, ages 18 to 24, received six weeks of training on photography, journalism and Pashto literature. Pashto is one of the national languages of Afghanistan, and the students were asked to provide

Spinal injury resource centre opens

The BC Paraplegic Association (BCPA) is opening a spinal cord injury resource centre in Prince George Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Resource Centre. This one-of-a-kind centre will offer northern B.C. residents with a spinal cord injury (or related physical disability) and their families a place to go for information and advice, peer support from experienced

association peer coordinators, and other fun events. Visitors to the centre can also make use of an accessible computer workstation and web conferencing facilities to connect them to peers and partner services across the province. “This is an exciting move for BCPA and, more importantly, for our members in central and northern B.C.,” said Chris McBride,

executive director for the association in a press release. “With over 12,000 British Columbians living with a spinal cord injury throughout B.C. it’s important that we continue to extend our reach beyond the southwestern corner of our province. Prince George is an important hub for connecting with our members in the North, and although we’ve

had an office in Prince George for 34 years, opening our doors to our members and the public means that we can offer greater support through our staff and information resources than ever before.” Pat Harris, BCPA’s Information Services Manager based in Prince George, is also excited about the opening of the centre. “It’s nice to have

somewhere local where we can all meet, share useful information, and inspire one another,” he said. The centre, located at 777 Kinsmen Place, will be open to the public Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

poems or creative narratives about their photos. These were then translated into English and French for the Canadian tour, with every effort made to retain the authenticity of the author’s voice. The photos range from marketplace

shots to harvests and sports. The 20 photos in the display are just a small portion of the hundreds taken by the young people. For more information on the display or to book a tour, call Kathy at 250-563-7351 or e-mail admin@


Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Free Press accepts Datebook submissions in written form only — dropped off, mailed or e-mailed. No phone calls please. Free Press Datebook runs as space allows every Wednesday. No guarantee of publication. Mail to 1773 South Lyon St., Prince George, B.C. V2N 1T3. E-mail

Wednesday German Paint class, Jan. 25, 2 p.m., Senior Activity Centre, 425 Brunswick St. Information: 250564-3287. Potluck, Jan. 25, 5 p.m., Senior Activity Centre, 425 Brunswick St. Communication workshop, Feb. 1, 7 p.m. at Cafe Voltaire, 1685 Third Ave Register at VBphp. Information: www.pgtoastmasters. ca or 250-564-5191. Prince George Healing Rooms - Are you hurting?

Do you have health issues? Confidential prayers Wednesday noon-2 p.m, All Nations Church, 1395 Fifth Ave. Information: 250617-9653. COPD support group meets Wednesday, 1 p.m., AiMHi. Information: Nancy 250-561-1393. Whist, Wednesdays, 7 p.m., Senior Activity Centre, 425 Brunswick St. B.C.Civil Liberties meets every second Wednesday, 6 p.m., Civic Centre. Next meeting Jan. 18. CNC Retirees meet fourth Wednesday, 9 a.m., D’Lanos. Information: Lois 250563-6928. Army Cadet Rangers free youth program, meets Wednesdays, Connaught Youth Centre. Information: Capt. McCue 250565-6993, 250-5649030.

De Ly nd a PILON/ Fre e Pre s s

Donalda Carson with the Hospice House accepts a $5,000 cheque from Larhonda Hildebrandt from Telus while Laurie Bergestad, also with Telus, presents a $5,000 cheque to Dianne Sears, also representing Hospice House. During a two and a half month annual campaign, the top two sales people at the Telus call centre win $5,000 to present to the charity of their choice. This year both winners chose Hospice House.

Thursday General meeting and discussion on the new housing development, Jan. 26, 1 p.m., Hart Pioneer Centre. DayBreakers Toastmasters meets Thursday, 7-8 a.m., Elder Citizens Recreation Association,1692 10th Ave. Information: Heather 250-9649699. NCP workers and retirees meet third Thursday of the month, 10 a.m., Pine

Centre food court. ECRA Forever Young Chorus meet Thursdays, 12:45 p.m., ECRA, 1692 10th Ave. Chess nights, Thursdays, 6-9 p.m., Books and Company. Information: Marilyn 250-562-9580. Prince George Grassroots Cribbage Club registration, 6:30 p.m. play 6:45

p.m., Thursdays, Spruce Capital Recreation Centre, 3701 Rainbow Dr. Information: Gerda 250-564-8561. Tai Chi Classes meets Thursdays, 7-9 p.m., Knox United Church basement, 1448 Fifth Ave. Info: Lister 250-964-3849. Old Time Fiddlers jam, Thursday, 7-10 p.m. Elder Citizens Rec Centre, 1692 10th Ave.

Friday Flamenco for Beginners classes, Jan. 20-Feb. 17, 6:30-7:30 p.m., St Michael’s Anglican Church (1505 Fifth Ave). Information: Live bands, Friday, 8 p.m.-midnight, Royal Canadian Legion.

Saturday African Dance, Jan. 28, 8 p.m.-2 a.m., Art Space. Dance, Jan. 28, 8 p.m. -midnight, Hart Pioneer Centre.

Live bands, Saturday, 8 p.m.midnight, Royal Canadian Legion.

Sunday Meat draw, Royal Canadian Legion, 3-5 p.m. Family dinner after draws. Proceeds to Alzheimer and MS societies.

Monday Northern Twister Square Dance Club meets Mondays, 7 p.m., St. Michael’s Church Hall. Information: Gys 250563-4828 or Reta 250-962-2740. Royal Purple meets meets second and fourth Mondays, 7:30 p.m. Information: Dianne 250-596-0125 or Jeanette 250-5639362.

Tuesday Buddhist meditation class, Tuesdays 7–8:30 p.m., 320 Vancouver St. Information: 250962-6876 or www. Hospital retirees breakfast meeting,

first Tuesday of the month, 9 a.m., Prince George Golf Club. Information 250-5637497 or 250-5632885. Sweet Adelines women’s fourpart chorus meets Tuesdays, 7:30 p.m., Studio 2880. New members welcome. Information: Kathleen 250-563-2975.

Support Groups Prince George Stroke Survivors Group meets Wednesdays, 9:3011:30 a.m., Elder Citizens Recreation Association, 1692 10th Ave. Information: Julia 250-563-3819, Roland 250-5621747. La Leche League breast feeding support group meets the second Thursday of every month 7 p.m. at the Health Unit auditorium. Information: Tammy 250-612-0085. PGRH retirees breakfast, first Tuesday of the

month, Prince George Golf and Curling Club. Information: 250-563-2885. Prince George ATV Club meets third Tuesday of month, 7 p.m. Carmel Restaurant meeting room. Information: George 250-964-7907. Prince George Healing Rooms - Are you hurting? Do you have health issues? Confidential prayers Monday noon-2 p.m. and 7-9 p.m No appointment necessary, located in the Prince George Pentecostal Church, 497 Ospika Blvd. Information: 250617-9653. Free sports and recreation, Wednesdays, 2 p.m., 1160 7th Ave., ages 15-30. Information: 250-656-5278. Children’s choir, Thursdays, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Hartland Baptist Church. Information: 778-415-5000. Parents Together, a mutual/self-help support group for parents of teens, meets Mondays, 7:30 p.m., Intersect (basement entrance). Information: Carmen 250-562-6639. Tuesday night Tops (take off pounds sensibly) 6:157:15 p.m. weigh in, 7:30-8:30 meeting. Everyone welcome. Information: Marvene 250-962-8001 or 250-612-2031. DivorceCare, a support group for persons going through a separation or divorce. To find out if this group is for you, call 250-5646213. Group meets at Artspace, Room 202, Sundays at 5 p.m. Call about childcare. Hepatitis C support group meets second Tuesday of the month, PGRH fourth floor conference room. Information: Ilse or Pat 250-5657387. Thursday Tops (take off pounds sensibly) 10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Knox United Church,1448 Fifth Ave. Information: 250-564-6336 (days), 250-964-4851 (evenings).

The Community Datebook provides free community event listings every Wednesday. Submissions are accepted in written form only – dropped off, mailed or emailed – No Phone Calls please. Datebook runs as space allows, there is no guarantee of publication. Mail to 1773 South Lyon St., Prince George BC V2N 1T3 E-mail

We Believe ... Investing in Northern BC Communities We believe in our community. We believe that its success depends on the people who live in it. That everyone has something to contribute. That everyone deserves respect. That everyone’s potential can be realized. That diversity is vital. That every person has value. That everyone needs help and everyone can offer help. That a safe, supportive community is everyone’s responsibility. We believe in possibility. We believe in our community. We believe that its success depends on the people who live in it. That everyone has something to contribute. That everyone deserves respect. That everyone’s potential can be realized. That diversity is vital. That every person has value. That everyone needs help and everyone can offer help. That a safe, supportive community is everyone’s responsibility. We believe in possibility. We believe in our community. We believe that its success depends on the people who live in it.

We Believe.

For more information on volunteer opportunities and United Way’s impact & activities in your community, please call 250-561-1040 or visit our website:


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Prince George Free Press

Prince George Free Press

Wednesday, January 25, 2012



Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Prince George Free Press

January 25, 2012  
January 25, 2012  

Prince George's independent community newspaper