New cannabis store now open NEWS 18
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City starting to Shine Bright THURSDAY DEC. 10, 2020
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LOADING UP KINDNESS: Volunteers Tim Dutcher-Walls and Trevor Alexander (left) carry boxes of food to a vehicle at St. Aidan’s Presbyterian Church as part of the Don’t Go Hungry food program, which offers free groceries for those in need every Saturday. For more on this, read our annual Guide to Giving starting on page 15. PHOTO JENNIFER GAUTHIER
Council votes for no increase in police budget Theresa McManus firstname.lastname@example.org
Global calls for defunding the police have made their way to NewWestminster. At a Monday budget workshop, council considered draft capital and operating budgets, which proposed a 4.9% prop-
erty tax increase in 2021. But instead of directing the finance department to prepare a plan that incorporated that increase, council voted 4-3 in support of Coun. Nadine Nakagawa’s motion to send the police budget back to the police board to submit a budget with a 0% increase for 2021.
“This motion came out of a response for demands for justice and for reform,” she said. “Those demands included demands that city councils not increase police budgets in the future and that we look at different ways of doing that work.” While she recognizes the city needs partners from other levels of government
to address police reform, Nakagawa said that work is “years down the road” and she can’t pretend she didn’t hear calls for action. “I cannot support any increase to the police budget, recognizing even if it is the cost of increased wages, etc.,” said Nakagawa, who wanted all police staffing and initia-
tives funded out of its existing budget. The NewWestminster Police Department had a $31.6-million budget in 2020, with a $33.33-million budget proposed in 2021, an increase of $1.73 million.While annual wage increases and benefits account for the bulk of the increase, the draft budget
also included $44,000 for personal protective equipment and Naloxone to address COVID and the opioid crisis, and $90,000 for a position required to support development and implementation of a diversity, equity, inclusion and antiracism framework.
Continued on page 5
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New West Record THURSDAY, December 10, 2020
City reinstating 1% climate action levy in 2021 Theresa McManus email@example.com
New Westminster is reinstating the 1% climate action levy that was shelved earlier this year because of the pandemic. During last year’s budget process, council supported the introduction of a 1% levy to help fund climate change projects and initiatives. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, council removed the levy, which would have shown up on residents’ and businesses’ utility bills. As part of the 2021 budget process, the city’s utility commission and city staff recommended against reinstatement of the 1% climate action levy at this time, in an effort to continue to provide relief due to the pandemic. A majority of council, however, voted in favour of an electrical utility amendment bylaw that includes a 1% climate action levy. Coun. Patrick Johnstone said “there’s always a reason to wait one more year to do these things” but the city can’t keep putting off efforts to tackle climate change. “Even during COVID, the climate crisis has not gone away. It’s here. It’s happening,” he said. “We need to get back to where our vision was.” Johnstone said he doesn’t see a 1% increase in the electricity rate as being a really big barrier to
Solar garden: This is one of the City of New Westminster’s solar power projects. PHOTO CITY OF NEW WESTMINSTER
people, but he does see the long-term costs of climate inaction as an issue. Councillors Chuck Puchmayr and Chinu Das opposed the reinstatement of the 1% levy in 2021. Puchmayr said small businesses and citizens are hurting because of the pandemic. He supports deferment of the levy for another year, saying it would help families and seniors who are struggling. “The climate emergency is an emergency. But this is different.This is a pandemic.This is a global pandemic – a once-in-a100-year pandemic,” he said. “It is taking a while for people to really see the impacts, but when you
drive up a street and you see all the ‘for lease’ signs, you can tell this is going to have some ripples for some time to come.” Das said deferring the levy for another year doesn’t take away from the fact climate action is a priority of the city, but it does consider the health of the people. “The health of the people – I am talking about the physical, the mental and the financial health of the people – have been impacted in a very serious way, and I think we have to take that into account and their ability to pay a climate levy,” she said. Coun. Nadine Nakagawa supported the
levy, saying the city can’t continue to delay efforts to address the climate crisis. She said it is going to be “incredibly expensive” to deal with the impacts of the climate crisis. “The bottom line for me is that the climate crisis is coming,” agreed Coun. Mary Trentadue. “There is no doubt about that. I feel like we are behind. I feel like we are potentially behind in the funding that is going to be needed for the programs that we are going to have to put into place in the next five to 10 years. I feel like it is a responsibility to make sure that we put that funding into place as soon as possible.”
According to staff, the 2.8% increase to the utility rates will add about $42 to the average residence’s annual utilities in 2021, while the levy will add an additional $14.The levy is expected to generate $500,000 in 2021. “At that cost I will be supporting the proposal,” said Coun. Jaimie McEvoy. Puchmayr pointed out that the levy is just one of a number of increases that are coming forward, as water, sewer, solid waste utility rates and property taxes will also rise. Mayor Jonathan Cote said the utility commission and city staff focused on the fact that the people
have had a difficult year dealing with the pandemic. He noted that more of the city’s electrical accounts are in arrears, which indicates folks are under more financial pressure this year. Cote, however, supported the reintroduction of the levy in 2021, saying that continuing to “punt it down the road” makes it more difficult to address climate change and to introduce initiatives related to the city’s “seven bold steps” on climate change. In November 2019, council endorsed a plan that includes seven areas where it plans to address the climate emergency.These relate to: becoming a carbon-free corporation (reducing the city’s overall carbon footprint and striving to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030); becoming a car-light community; having carbon-free homes and buildings; increasing the number of pollution-free vehicles in the city; providing carbon-free energy; creating a robust urban forest; and developing a quality, peoplecentred public realm (including reallocating a minimum of 10% of today’s street spaces that are now serving motor vehicles to spaces for transit or public gathering by 2030).
BC Cannabis Store now open in Queensborough Theresa McManus firstname.lastname@example.org
Metro Vancouver’s second government-run cannabis store is now open in Queensborough. BC Cannabis Stores opened the new store in New Westminster on Dec. 8, becoming the 25th government-run store in British Columbia. Located at the Queensborough Land-
ing shopping centre, the store sells a range of products including edibles, extracts, topicals, dried cannabis flower, oils, capsules and pre-rolls. “The New Westminster BCCS is the last in our network of stores to open in 2020.While we continue our fight against the second wave of COVID-19, we are also focusing on keeping cann-
abis out of the hands of youth and eliminating the illicit market,” Kevin Satterfield, director of retail cannabis operations with the Liquor Distribution Branch, said in a press release. “We are looking forward to serving our customers in Metro Vancouver as we begin a long tenure in the New Westminster community.” The 4,938-square-foot
store will be staffed by seven full-time employees and supported by six to eight auxiliary employees.The store will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays and most statutory holidays. “The store team will also be complying with orders and guidelines handed down by the pro-
vincial health officer with the goal of protecting the most vulnerable, employees, customers and other visitors to the store,” said the press release. “All BCCS employees and customers are required to wear a face mask; exemptions will be made for those who cannot wear a mask due to health reasons or put on or remove a mask on their own. Phys-
ical distancing measures will be enforced, and all common surfaces will be cleaned frequently.” The opening of the BC Cannabis Store at 1110805 Boyd St. makes it the second cannabis retail shop to open in Queensborough (after Queensborough Cannabis Co. on Ewen Avenue) and the third to open in New Westminster.
4 THURSDAY, December 10, 2020 • New West Record
CITYPAGE THE LATEST NEWS AND EVENTS IN OUR CITY
RIVERSIDE PLAYGROUND OPEN HOUSE
Date: Wednesday, December 16, 2020 Time: 6:00 – 7:00 pm (presentation from 6:00 – 6:20 pm, Q&A discussion to follow from 6:20 – 7:00 pm) Location: online (reservation instructions below) The City of New Westminster is inviting you to participate in an interactive virtual open house for the replacement play equipment at Riverside Adventure Park. We would like to hear your input on the types of features and improvements park users would like to see in the playground. Everyone is welcome! Please reserve your spot at Riverside-park. eventbrite.com and a zoom link will be emailed to you closer to the meeting date. *Note: The open house will be recorded. For those who are not able to attend, there will be an opportunity to view the recording on your own time and take the online survey at: BeheardNewWest.ca/Riverside-park For more information on the project, please visit: beheardnewwest.ca/riverside-park
SHINE BRIGHT NEW WEST
We are excited to introduce the Shine Bright New West holiday campaign. Residents, businesses, and community organizations are encouraged to collectively light up the city with bright and festive holiday light displays on homes and storefronts. Let’s come together to light up New West! Check newwestcity.ca/shinebright for more details or to register your light display.
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
REGISTERED VIRTUAL DANCE LESSONS
Join us for live virtual dance lessons starting Dec 7! Sign up with a friend and enjoy the class together while apart. Available for ages 1 - 12, via Zoom! Search “Virtual Dance” on our online registration page: newwestcity.ca/register
Saturday, December 12 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Recycling Drop-oﬀ City Works Yard Monday, December 14 6:00 pm Regular Meeting of Council Council Chamber Council meetings can also be live-streamed at newwestcity.ca/council
COVID-19 COMMUNITY RESOURCES
We know that the challenges posed by the pandemic are changing daily. To help resident access reliable information and support resources, we are continuing to regularly update our COVID-19 Community Resources webpage, which can be found at newwestcity.ca / covid-community. Information and resource documents that can be found on the Community Recourses Web Portal include information for tenants, summary of available ﬁnancial supports, a survival resource guide, food resource guide, and trusted links and resources related to COVID-19.
CREATE MEMORIES, NOT GARBAGE
Single-use gift wrap is so last Christmas. Napkins, scarves and reusable bags are eco-friendly alternatives. If you’ve still got shopping to do, try giving diﬀerently this year with sustainable, locally made gifts. Visit metrovancouver.org/christmas for lots of ideas on how to create memories, not garbage.
Subscribe to Citypage Online today, delivered to your email inbox every Thursday. To subscribe, visit www.newwestcity.ca/citypageonline
CHRISTMAS ACTIVE LIVING GUIDE IS AVAILABLE TO DOWNLOAD
Find fun registered programs, reserved drop-ins, ﬁtness schedules, family events and more! All services oﬀered have been modiﬁed to meet current COVID-19 safety requirements and require advanced registration. Registrations opens December 2nd at 8:30 am newwestcity.ca/ALG
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New West Record THURSDAY, December 10, 2020
City ‘This is an attack on systems that are not serving us’: councillor Continued from page 1 The police department’s budget initially included $100,000 for community engagement related to the DEIAR framework. Lisa Spitale, the city’s chief administrative officer, noted that Chief Const. Dave Jansen indicated he has $30,000 in his department’s consulting budget that could be put toward the initiative. Coun. MaryTrentadue said she doesn’t support trying to fit $100,000 worth of work into a $30,000 budget. “This is extremely important work.This is work the city has been trying to do for many years,” she said. “I think that it is crucial that the police are involved in this work.That’s not the solution I am looking for.” Nakagawa agreed. “I think that this work is crucial,” she said. “I guess
it sounds perhaps like I am arguing two sides here. This work is crucial, and we want to get it right.” To get it right, Nakagawa said the external consultants will be needed to do work on behalf of the police department. “I suppose I am asking for savings within the police force,” she said. The police department and the city are working with a consultant on developing a diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism (DEIAR) framework. Jansen said the police department will be relying on the city for a lot of the work being done with this framework, but there are some “very unique things” related to policing. “We just don’t have any funding anywhere else that we can find, short of cutting front-line resources to do that,” he said.
Councillors Trentadue, Patrick Johnstone and Jaimie McEvoy supported Nakagawa’s motion, while councillors Chinu Das and Chuck Puchmayr and Mayor Jonathan Cote were opposed. Puchmayr said the proposed 0% increase is “sort of coming out of left field” as it hasn’t been raised in any of council’s budget workshops. “This one of the most responsible police asks – or lack of asks – that I have seen,” he said of the police department’s proposed 2021 budget. “Also, when we did the survey of our community, this isn’t what they were asking for.There are many police organizations in North America that require something such as this; I don’t see this as a need in NewWestminster.” Nakagawa countered that the request “is not
For someone you know the ﬁght isn’t over yet. Now is the moment to give.
coming out of left field” and builds off of the Black Lives Matter protests that occurred around the world.While it’s “not comfortable” to have this conversation right now, she said she’s heard the call of activists to push this reform. “This is not an attack on individual police officers,” she said. “This is an attack on systems that are not serving us and are not serving the marginalized in our community. … The fact is we need a different model, and this is the way to a different model.” Das said she agrees policing reform is needed, but she couldn’t support the motion without knowing what services would replace those that are cut from the budget and without having a broader discussion about what’s being proposed. “I completely under-
stand where the intentions are coming from; this is about making systemic change. I would be for it if I knew where we were going to make that change toward,” she said. “I don’t see any plan in place … apart from reducing the budget.” Cote, who spoke to the Record following the meeting, said council has never rejected a police board’s budget during his time on council, so he was trying to figure out the police board’s next steps. “As I understand it, this will now go back to the police board, to look to them to consider the budget request that has been made by council. I think the police board will look at options to consider that,” he said. “My understanding is, if there continues to be dispute between police board and city council regarding the police budget,
it would then go to a body in the provincial government to make a decision on the police budget.” If the police board finds ways to bring forward a 0% increase, Cote said the city’s proposed 4.9% tax increase may be reduced, but it’s “too early to tell” what the property tax implications would be. “I think roughly we are looking at around $900,000 that is being requested,” he said. “What that would probably equate to is roughly about 1% in the taxes – ballpark.” As part of its 2021 budget process, the city had planned to adopt its budget by the end of December, as that’s considered a best practice. Cote expects council’s decision regarding the police budget to delay the 2021 budget process.
6 THURSDAY, December 10, 2020 • New West Record
Opinion MY VIEW KEITH BALDREY
MLA gets tricky school role
A few days before he unveiled the first cabinet of his new government, Premier John Horgan told me it was a challenge because his caucus is so large. “I have an embarrassment of riches,” he said. “I’ve got to keep a lot of people busy with something to do.” The election rewarded Horgan with the biggest caucus in NDP history and that meant he has 57 egos to deal with. He has accomplished the keep-them-busy aspect to a degree, although it remains unclear how the dozen or so MLAs with no special appointments are going to fare in the months ahead. As expected, he increased his cabinet by a bit (adding two ministers of state) and boosted the number of parliamentary secretaries to 13. Rookie MLAs are filling most of these positions. In normal, pre-pandemic times, such moves might draw wide criticism as a waste of tax dollars. However, given that the days of fiscal prudence are gone for quite a while, not a lot of noise is being made. In any event, certain cabinet appointments stand out more than others do. For example, it came as no surprise that Health Minister Adrian Dix and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth retained their posts. Both have done standout work during the pandemic and are the two front-line cabinet ministers tasked with guiding the province through this crisis. Likewise, Attorney-General David Eby, Energy Minister Bruce Ralston, Environment Minister George Heyman and Agriculture Minister Lana Popham remained in their portfolios. It was not surprising that Rob Fleming moved
to the transportation post from education. He had been signaling for some time that such a move was desirable. As well, the BC Teachers’ Federation was waging a campaign against the back-to-school plan. New Education Minister Jennifer Whiteside, a rookie MLA from New Westminster, has been given the tricky assignment of dealing with the never-satisfied BCTF, which must realize Dr. Bonnie Henry is still calling most of the shots over the plan. The most important new cabinet appointment is that of Selina Robinson as finance minister. She is replacing Carole James – a large pair of shoes to fill. Robinson will preside over a shattered economy that has cost the government billions of dollars in lost revenue. She does not have a hope of presenting a balanced budget in the near future and perhaps not for the government’s entire four-year mandate. In some ways, not having to adhere to the financial rigors that accompany a balanced budget may free her up to be more creative and expansive when it comes to financial programs to assist people as we continue on the long road to economic recovering. The other critical appointment is that of Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon to the jobs portfolio. The new cabinet also reflects the deep geographical and political divide that exists in B.C: there are only two full ministers outside of Metro Vancouver or Vancouver Island. In any event, Horgan now has his new team in place. A diversified, gender-equitable group with many new faces.The challenges are just beginning for all. Keith Baldrey is chief political reporter for Global BC.
Topic: Enforcing the Dr. Henry’s mask order in stores “ The $15-per-hour staff should not have to police for the police. If this is a mandated order, it should be up to the companies to hire sufficient security/enforcement that can enforce the rule.”
“Note to the public: If businesses don’t enforce the mask policy set out by Dr. Bonnie Henry, don’t shop there.”
THEY SAID IT ...
(This) allows us to bring a bit of holiday magic to children and families. Lynda Fletcher-Gordon, story page 20
LARA GRAHAM Publisher
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Crosswalk called dangerous
City council was told that stepping onto a crosswalk at Stewardson Way and Sixth Avenue was taking a walk on the wild side. “It’s a dangerous crossing to have there,” said Russell Beach. He said pedestrians had a long wait on a small island while traffic whizzed by. Ald. Joe Francis added there was an 80-second wait at the crossing. “Nobody who crosses that street knows what’s going on,” he said. Mayor Tom Baker also called for action on the crosswalk, and engineer Pat Connolly said he would raise the issue with highways officials.
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New West Record THURSDAY, December 10, 2020
I skipped my classes to protest B.C.’s handling of the return to school
Editor: My name is Emma Sullivan-Collins, and I am in Grade 7 from Fraser River Middle School in New Westminster. I participated in the Dec. 1 B.C. Student Sick Out campaign. The reason for this protest is that us students do not agree with the decisions the schools, the Ministry of Health and the government of Canada have been making. These are some examples of the precautions that all schools have not been taking: * Students do not have to wear masks inside the classroom. To achieve this goal we could make them mandatory. * Having the exploratory teacher/music teacher see everyone in the school because if she/he/they/them get sick then the whole school is at risk of being sick. To achieve this goal, we could hire exploratory student teachers to certain cohorts to lower the risk of spreading COVID-19. * We could put the desks six feet away from each other so the students can social distance because not all the students are wearing masks.
To achieve this goal we could lower class sizes. We want to be and feel safe in school. Now some students and teachers may not appreciate these rules because some people do not like having to wear masks inside and outside all the time. Who can blame them? I don’t like wearing my mask, but it’s for the safety of me, my friends, my parents, my teachers and other people in my community. If the school could help solve these problems, or adjust some of these measures, that would help and comfort the rest of the students who agree with me. If these changes are made, parents will feel a lot more comfortable with their child going to school, and teachers will feel a lot more safe in their workspace. Emma Sullivan-Collins, New Westminster
Season’s Greetings THE ROYAL CITY JEWELLERS & LOANS FAMILY WOULD LIKE TO THANK ALL OUR WONDERFUL CUSTOMERS FOR THEIR SUPPORT IN 2020.
Happy Holidays & Best Wishes for the New Year!!
THE NEW WESTMINSTER RECORD WELCOMES LETTERS TO THE EDITOR. We edit for taste, legality and length. Please include a contact phone number. Send letters to: The Editor, #201A–3430 Brighton Ave., Burnaby, B.C., V5A 3H4, email to: email@example.com. (no attachments please) or fax to: 604-439-2694. Letters to the editor and columns may be reproduced on the New West Record website, www.newwestrecord.ca.
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8 THURSDAY, December 10, 2020 • New West Record
Capital City Arcade seeks permanent status Theresa McManus
Adults may soon be able to enjoy a glass of wine or a beer while they’re playing Pac-Man and other games at Capital City Arcade. After operating under a temporary-use permit since February 2018, council has given three readings amendments to the zoning amendment bylaw and the business licence bylaw related to the retro gaming arcade at 457 East Columbia St. The two-year temporary-use permit imposed a variety of restrictions, such as prohibiting the sale of liquor, restricting operating hours to between 6 a.m. and midnight and requiring “age-appropriate” games.
Owners Brad and Maryanne Eyers sought the city’s support for bylaw changes that would allow the arcade to operate permanently at the Sapperton location as they want to be a fixture in the area for as long as possible. “We feel we are providing a fun, safe environment not only for adults, but for entire families,” they wrote in a submission to the city. “People who remember playing these classic games when they were kids are being transported back to their childhoods, and they are bringing their children along to learn where all of today’s modern games come from.” The owners report that Capital City Arcade has had “an extremely posi-
tive response” from the local community and has brought people in from all over Metro Vancouver and abroad. “We hope to move forward with fewer restrictions in order to provide our customers with the experience they desire, all while maintaining our goal of a fun, safe, familyfriendly experience,” said the submission. A staff report to council stated amusement arcades became restricted in New Westminster in 1999, in response to a regional trend where municipalities were responding to complaints about noise, hours of operation and nuisance or unlawful behaviour at arcades. To allow the arcade to open, the city approved a temporary-use permit,
and agreed to review the matter near the end of the two years and consider a zoning amendment that would allow the business to operate on a permanent basis and potentially re-
We want to be 100% an arcade ﬁrst and foremost
duce restrictions imposed under the temporary-use permit. On Nov. 30, council supported a zoning amendment bylaw and a business licence amendment bylaw related to the business, which opened in July 2019. The business
won’t have any restrictions on the number of machines, will be able to operate from 6 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. (in alignment with liquor service hours to 1 a.m.) and it will continue to be restricted to having no games with pornographic related content. The city also supports Capital City Arcade’s application to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch for a liquor primary licence, which would allow liquor to be sold and served in the games area. The applicants say alcohol service has been the number 1 request from customers since the arcade opened. “We do not, or have ever, wanted to be a bar. We want to be 100% an arcade first and foremost, but one that allows adults
to have a drink of their choice while here,” said the submission to council. “Our preference would to only offer cans of beer, possibly a glass of wine. We honestly wish the BC Liquor Board offered a ‘beer and wine’ licence as they do in parts of the U.S., but unfortunately they do not. So according to their newly updated rules, we will be applying for a liquor primary licence with family food service, in which minors are not permitted after 10 p.m.” Like many other businesses, Capital City Arcade closed temporarily in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. It reopened in July 2020 with a number of cleaning, payment and social distancing changes.
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New West Record THURSDAY, December 10, 2020
RE/MAX All Points Realty (New West) Top Sales Team 2003-2019 Kellie Vallee
Dave Vallee P.R.E.C.
RECENT SOLDS #316 14 E Royal Ave
For virtual tours, visit TeamDaveVallee.com
414 FIRST ST
205 PHILLIPS STREET
! D L SO Beautiful 9 year old custom built 3,168 q f b oom + den, 6 bath home on quiet street in great family area close to schools, park, shopping & transit. This lovely home features high ceilings on main, kitchen with maple cabinets, island, stainless steel appliances, granite counters, spice kitchen, 3 bedrooms upstairs all with full ensuites, legal 2 bedroom & 1.5 bath suite, double garage, big lot, lots of deck space, 1700 sq ft crawl space, hot water heating, 2 gas fireplaces, high end laminate & tile floors, crown molding & nicely landscaped.
Beautiful circa 1938 family home designed by renowned architect Charles van Norman, sitting on a huge 66’ x132’ lot directly across the street from lovely Queens Park. This bright, spacious three-level home has 4,413 sq ft with 6 bedrooms & 3 bathrooms. Home was extensively renovated & added onto in the late 1990’s & early 2000’s and features large rooms, many windows, high ceilings, crown mouldings, hardwood floors, antique lighting, 3 gas fireplaces, updated kitchen with island, granite counters & high-end stainless steel appliances, double garage, private treed back yard, tons of storage & more. This stunning home features 2 bdrms on the main and 2 bdrms upstairs plus a dance studio/flex room, and basement with 1 bdrm + 1 bdrm suite, plus more unfinished space waiting to be developed.
#501 328 CLARKSON STREET
Fantastic unobstructed VIEWS in this 988 sf** 2 bdrm, 2 bath, SE corner unit overlooking the Fraser river, city & Pier Park. Features laminate floors, updated quartz counters in kitchen and bath, newer SS applcs, Murphy bed with attached storage in 2nd bdrm & full sized washer/dryer. Great layout with bdrms separated & views from every room. Excellent Downtown New West location steps from Skytrain, Quay, shopping, restaurants, parks, schools & amenities. **Measured by Keyplan/Strata plan shows 947 sf.
Designated in Community Plan for 4-6 story redevelopment, this lovely 3 bdrm, 2 bath, 1900 sq ft 1940 character home on 6000 sq ft lot is a perfect holding property. Immaculate condition, big yard, updated roof, furnace, hot water tank and flooring. Located 1 blk to skytrain station.
#110 5 K DE K COURT
805 MILTON ST
Starter home with redevelopment potential. 3 bdrm on main, 1313 sq ft, high ceilings, 2 year old roof, large rooms and unfinished low basement. Convenient location near Skytrain, schools, park & shopping. 33’ x 132’ lot currently zoned RS1 with OCP designation RGO (duplex, triplex, 4 plex, cluster homes, row, townhouse). $
WATERFRONT! Spectacular river & Quay Boardwalk views from this immaculate & substantially renovated 2 bdrm, 940 sq ft, garden level waterfront suite with direct access to outside & very close to New Westminster Quay market, Skytrain station & vibrant Downtown New Westminster amenities. This lovely suite features an open plan, wide plank & high end laminate floors, updated kitchen with quartz counters, stainless steel appliances, Breakfast bar, new bath with soaker tub, new gas f/p, lighting fixtures, baseboards, doors, washer & dryers, covered patio, 2 storage area & more!
604.526.2888 | www.teamdavevallee.com | info@TeamDaveVallee.com RE/MAX All Points Realty Each ofﬁce is independently owned and operated
10 THURSDAY, December 10, 2020 • New West Record
LET US GUIDE YOU HOME
RE/MAX All Points Realty 102-321 Sixth St, New West
Voted Best Realtor By The New West Reader’s Choice For 10 Years! 1104-98 Tenth St.
$639,000 • Elegant & unique condo • 2 bed, 2 bath, 1245 sq. ft. • Tons of high quality, beautiful upgrades done • Wall to wall windows showing SW city & river views • Wide plank flooring • 11 ft custom wall unit in living room • Solar shields, blinds on all windows • Custom drapes • Stunning kitchen w/ breakfast bar • Large laundry room and/or pantry • Great deck off living room • 2 pets allowed • Gym, indoor pool, hot tub, amenity room, pool table
103-711 Breslay St.
316-14 E. Royal Ave.
502-15 E. Royal Ave.
302-25 Richmond St.
$749,900 • 3 bed, 3 bath townhouse • These homes rarely hit the market • Family friendly complex • 2 entrances - back or front • Great patio • Living room w/ fireplace & built in surround sound • New washer & dryer • 2 pets allowed • 2 parking stalls side by side • Locker, visitor parking • Across the street from Queens Park • Steps to Canada Games Pool • Herbert Spencer Elem & Glenbrook Middle Schools are nearby
207-25 Richmond St.
• 2 bedrooms + den, 2 bathrooms, 1132 sq ft • Popular Victoria Hill • Corner unit, surrounded by windows • Large 136 sq ft balcony • S-SW exposure • Bedrooms on opposite ends • Den is an ideal office • Laundry room w/ tons of storage • Hardwood floors, fireplace in living room • Concrete building - outdoor pool, hot tub • Gym, 2 guest suites, lounge w/ kitchen, bike room
• 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1275 sq ft • Riviera is a well run 3 tower strata • Beautiful wood floors throughout • Entryway features a spacious tiled foyer • Master is large w/ lots of closet space • Insuite laundry & large insuite storage room • Situated at the front of the building • Skytrain & train noise is minimal • Gym, indoor pool, sauna/steam room, guest suite & more • 100% rentals allowed & two small pets
225-625 Park Cr.
• 2 bed, 2 bath, 1115 sq. ft. • Renovated 12th floor condo • Facing the river - great views • Concrete building - Anchor Pointe • Gorgeous kitchen w/ two tone cabinets, quartz counters, glass backsplash, square pot lights • Striking stone fireplace • Main bedroom has new 4 pc ensuite & walk-in closet • Building upgrades - elevators, plumbing, lobby & hallways • 1 parking stall & 1 locker • 100% rentals allowed • Live at The Quay
• 2 bed, 2 bath, 1103 sq ft • River & mountain views • Desirable side of the building • Overlooking the greenspace • Wrap a d covered balcony W de liv g area, 9 ft ceilings a e b ooms on opposite sides • Large kitchen w/ breakfast bar, gas ve 2 par g all ide by side cker, visitor parking, bike storage • Gym, pool table, social room, guest suite. • 1 dog/cat - no size max • 2 rentals allowed - 2 spots open
• Corner unit, 2 bed, 2 bath • Private entrance - townhouse style • Concrete building built in 2017 • Huge 265 sq ft patio • Great layout, no wasted space • Both bedrooms have ensuite bathrooms • Doesn’t share walls with any of the neighbours • Stunning kitchen • 2 parking stalls side by side • Large storage locker, 15 visitor parking spots • 2 dogs/cats allowed & rentals allowed • Very quiet street, super convenient location • 8 minute walk to the skytrain
702-1245 Quayside Dr.
1204-1135 Quayside Dr.
306-588 Twelfth St.
• 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 1184 sq ft • Ground floor unit • Lots of money spent on upgrades to the unit • High quality laminate floors • Beautiful renovated kitchen • New LG washer & dryer • Master bedroom w/ 5 piece ensuite - double sinks • Living room - gas fireplace & built in shelving • French doors out to large patio • 2 pets allowed, 1 parking, locker • Spacious dining area
• 2 levels, 1346 sq ft • 2 bedrooms + loft, 2 bathrooms • Homes like this are rarely for sale • Huge balcony with river views • High ceilings, gas fireplace • Very bright, lots of windows • One parking stall & storage locker • 2 dogs/cats allowed • Visitor & street parking • Quick walk to Canada Games Pool • Near all of Sapperton’s amenities
802-550 Eighth St.
• Top floor, corner suite in the Regency • 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, 921 sq ft • Sliders off living room to a nice sized deck • Living room has vaulted ceiling • 9 foot ceilings throughout the rest of the home • Updated stylish guest bathroom • Spacious master bedroom w/ 4 pc ensuite • Nice open floor plan • Newer front loading washer & dryer • Parking & locker • Pets are welcome, limited rentals
$369,900 • Sub-penthouse at Parkridge • 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom, 997 sq ft • Corner unit - plenty of natural light • Concrete building, very convenient location • You don’t need a vehicle living here • 2 balconies - one open & one enclosed • Facing west & north • Insuite laundry & shared laundry • Live in caretaker • No pets, no rentals, 19+ age restriction • Parking & locker
RECENTLY SOLD 1420 Nanaimo St.
1201-210 Salter St.
208-85 Eighth Ave.
504-71 Jamieson Ct.
1207-660 Nootka Way
111-9061 Horne St.
New West Record THURSDAY, December 10, 2020
News COVID reporting time starting to improve in schools Julie MacLellan
A Fraser Health effort to speed up notification time around COVID-19 exposures in schools may be starting to pay off. The most recent COVID-19 exposures in the NewWestminster school district show the gap between the date of a potential exposure and the date families receive notification is narrowing, at least in most cases. On Saturday, Fraser Health – which spans the region from Burnaby to Boston Bar, including NewWestminster – announced a new effort to “streamline” the notification process by changing the way it issues notification letters (see below). The change has gone
hand-in-hand with a push to add contact tracers in the region. Fraser Health has been actively hiring and redeploying staff to support contact tracing. As of Dec. 4, it had redeployed more than 100 staff and had trained more than 500 new hires, as well as staff from the Provincial Health Services Authority and Statistics Canada, to help in the effort. Recent NewWestminster school notifications suggest that push is showing results. An exposure at Glenbrook Middle School on Nov. 27 was reported to families Dec. 2. For a Dec. 1 exposure at NWSS, families received an early notification letter on Dec. 6. Another Glenbrook exposure, from Dec. 1, 2 and
3, was reported to families Dec. 7. A Queensborough Middle School exposure from Dec. 2 and 3 was posted on the Fraser Health exposures site Dec. 8 (although that notice also included two earlier dates, Nov. 24 and 25). Those turn-around times show improvement over the previous set of elementary school exposures: Qayqayt, where an exposure occurred Nov. 18, 19 and 20; and Queen Elizabeth, where an exposure occurred Nov. 20. In both cases, families were notified Dec. 2. Gaps of 10 or more days between exposure and notification, in fact, had become commonplace in NewWestminster – as in other school districts in the region. It’s a concern that su-
perintendent Karim Hachlaf brought to the NewWestminster school board on Nov. 17. He said the district had been doing its part to turn around notifications to families quickly once it received word from Fraser Health, but the lag time in getting that word was growing longer. In a Dec. 7 letter to families, Hachlaf said the district welcomes the news of the new hiring and training of contact tracers. “This should mean we’ll start to see a reversal in the growing lag times between exposures and notifications that we were receiving,” he said. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, at a Dec. 2 media briefing, said health officials were working to report school infor-
mation in a more timely sults by text message, they manner. Henry noted dep- may get their own results uty provincial health offiand share them with peocer Dr. Réka Gustafson is ple before public health is leading a team that’s work- even aware. ing closely with the MinShe also reiterated that istry of Educapublic health oftion and school ficials continue districts, particuto look at all the larly in the Fraser data surrounding Health andVanCOVID-19 in couver Coastal schools. Health regions. “It’s still, She said offithough we have cials are “making quite a lot of exprogress” on the posure events issue. where people “Sometimes it’s Dr. Bonnie Henry have been in B.C. health officer a challenge bethe school setcause it may take ting, there still time before somebody’s is very rarely transmistested, before we recognize sion in those settings, and that they’re in a school sitif it is, it’s mostly to one uation, so it is not always or, at most, two other peopossible,” she said. ple,” she said. “We’ve had Henry pointed out that, very few outbreaks, as you because people can now know, and we’re trying to receive COVID-19 test re- learn from all of those.”
Families getting more info in early notiﬁcation letters Julie MacLellan
School COVID-19 notification letters will now let families know whether their child was in fact in a class or cohort with an infectious person. “Early notification letters” have been standard procedure since the beginning of the school year. Those letters alert families that someone who has since tested positive
for COVID-19 was in the school, and potentially infectious, on a particular date or dates. As of Dec. 5, families will now receive one of three types of letters. “Early notification letter – exposed” notices will be sent to individuals, cohorts and classes who have potentially been exposed to the person with COVID-19.The letter informs them to continue coming to school and to
continue to monitor for symptoms daily. “This only means that Fraser Health has identified that it’s possible someone in that cohort was exposed, it does not necessarily mean that they were,” superintendent Karim Hachlaf explained in a letter to families on Dec. 7. “Early notification letter – not exposed” notices will be provided to people whose schedules mean
they were not directly exposed to the person with COVID-19. A third type of letter, “early notification letter – general,” will be sent less often, Hachlaf noted. It will be used in cases where the person who tested positive isn’t directly connected to a specific cohort – for instance, a staff person who works across cohorts. “In New Westminster, any staff person who
works across cohorts has additional distancing and masking rules in place than those who are restricted to a specific cohort,” Hachlaf’s letter says. The change is designed to help streamline the notification process and reduce anxiety for school communities, a Fraser Health press release says. Early notification letters are shared while contact tracing is underway, as health officials work with
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the person and their close contacts. Fraser Health will continue to directly contact anyone who is considered a close contact and provide them with instructions, as needed. Once contact tracing is complete, Fraser Health will then issue a school bulletin to inform the entire school community that their investigation is over.
Family oriented townhome in Forest Hills 3 bed 3 bth 1716 SF with Beautiful Kitchen Renovations End unit with bay window loads of natural light gas fireplace minutes to park and school, back yard opens on to gorgeous stream
9040 Moorside Pl.
All social distancing and safety protocols in place.
30 years of Successful Real Estate Experience
12 THURSDAY, December 10, 2020 • New West Record
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New West Record THURSDAY, December 10, 2020
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14 THURSDAY, December 10, 2020 • New West Record
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New West Record THURSDAY, December 10, 2020
VOL. IV | ED. III | 2020
Guide to Giving: Here’s how to help this season Theresa McManus
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Westminster’s nonprofits have had to figure out ways of safely offering their much-needed programs and services. Since 1996, the Record has published a Guide to Giving every December to help connect community members to some of the NewWest-based non-profits – some old, some new – that help to make the city a better place to live for all citizens. Here are some of the local organizations in need of your support during the holiday season – and beyond. CENTURY HOUSE ASSOCIATION What it does: Century House Association offers a variety of programs and services to local seniors, including Senior Peer Counselling. Wish list: The Century House Association relies on financial donations. Contact: To donate, call 604-519-1066.You can go to www.century houseassociation.com, click on the Donate Now button, which will give
you a choice of where to direct your donation under the Fund section. DON’T GO HUNGRY What it does: The Don’t Go Hungry Food Program, launched earlier this year, distributes dry goods and perishable food on Saturdays at three sites in New Westminster and one site in South Burnaby. The sites, including Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church in Queensborough, Knox Presbyterian Church in Sapperton and St. Aidan’s Presbyterian Church in the West End are now feeding between 500 and 600 people every week. Wish list: The Don’t Go Hungry food program welcomes donations – $45 can be used to purchase one quality shopping buggy of items; $10 will purchase one hamper for a couple for a week; $20 will purchase one hamper for a family of four for a week; and $30 will purchase a hamper for a large family. Other donations that are appreciated include: new gloves, hats, and socks for various ages; used laptops or iPads; diapers (Size 5 and 6 in particular); fem-
inine hygiene products; and coupons for turkey/ chicken/fish purchases or other festive food for the holidays from local grocery stores. Contact: Visit www. dontgohungry.ca or Facebook/Twitter at Dontgohungry. FAMILY SERVICES OF GREATER VANCOUVER What it does: Family Services of Greater Vancouver works to build stronger families, support youth in overcoming homelessness, end violence against women, children and seniors and develop more inclusive communities through a wide variety of programs. Wish list: Each December, the Caring Neighbours holiday campaign brings together individuals, families and organizations to support New West families and seniors in need by providing gifts and food for the holidays. Family Services has 200 families that need assistance through this year’s campaign. Contact: To make a donation email ceds-nw@ fsgv.ca or visit caringneighbours.ca to make a
HELPING HANDS The Don’t Go Hungry program provides food hampers for those in need. It operates out of four locations, including St. Aidan’s Church. PHOTO JENNIFER GAUTHIER donation. FRASER RIVER DISCOVERY CENTRE What it does: Fraser River Discovery Centre, located at 788 Quayside Dr., is an interpretive centre related to the Fraser River. Wish list: FRDC welcomes donations (of any amount) to help it to provide: fun, interactive exhibits and activities for visitors of all ages; River
School programs for students and teachers; celebratory events like RiverFest; and informative events like Faces of the Fraser and Fraser River Dialogues. Contact: Visit www. fraserriverdiscovery.org or call 604-521-8401. IMPACT PARKINSON’S SOCIETY What it does: IMPACT Parkinson’s Society was created to make
an impact on the quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s and their families and friends by offering programs that focus on mind, body and soul. Its centre had to close in June, but the society continues to offers programs, workshops and events (online or in-person if possible) and to raise funds in support of Parkinson’s. Wish list: Financial Continued on page 16
16 THURSDAY, December 10, 2020 • New West Record
Guide to Giving: How to help Continued from page 15 donations are always welcomed and appreciated. Contact: Go to www. impactparkinsons.com, call 604-525-2631 or email info@impactparkin sons.com. LOOKOUT HOUSING AND HEALTH SOCIETY What it does: Lookout provides a continuum of housing to homeless and under-housed individuals in 15 communities in the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island, including a number of services in New Westminster. Lookout’s services include outreach, Housing First, and
A ctive Living Guide WINTER 2021
VOL. IV | ED. III | 2020
community resource centres that include food security programs and connections to services, shelters, supportive and affordable housing. It also manages I’s on the Street, a cleanup program in downtown New West. Wish list: At Christmas, Lookout gives out more than 2,800 gifts to tenants in its shelter, housing, health and outreach programs.The society relies on new clothing donations such as jackets, pants and sweaters, new socks and underwear for men and women.Year-round, Lookout accepts donations for men and women,
such as new and gently used clothing, coats, blankets, rain gear, socks and scarves, as well as personal care items (such as soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste), bus tickets and items to help folks set up a new home (such as bedding, towels, cleaning supplies, small appliances and kitchen items.) Contact: See www. lookoutsociety.ca or email developmentcoord@look outsociety.ca. LOWER MAINLAND PURPOSE SOCIETY What it does: The Lower Mainland Purpose Continued on page 17
Registration Begins December 14 at 8:30 am A new year for new beginnings. CHRISTMAS & WINTER 2021
PROGRAM REGISTRATION IS OPEN!
Get Back to Active Living newwestcity.ca/alg
All services offered have been modied to meet current COVID-19 safety requirements and require advanced registration. newwestcity.ca/rec @newwestrec
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New West Record THURSDAY, December 10, 2020
VOL. IV | ED. III | 2020
The Dentists and staff of Dr. Lovely’s Dental office wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and all the very best in the year to come New Westminster
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Guide to Giving: Ways to help Continued from page 16 Society is a non-profit, community-based, multi-service organization that delivers a continuum of programs to children, youth and families. As part of its 29th annual Christmas hamper program in 2020, it will provide items to more than 110 families in the New Westminster, Burnaby and the Tri-Cities, and will gift 100 bags of necessities and goodies to its low-income and homeless clients. Wish list: Donations of money, gift bag items (such as toiletries, toques, socks, mittens, scarves, small packages of chocolates, individually packaged hot chocolate, canned tuna or meat, cup of soup or other food items that do not require cooking) are appreciated, as are volunteers to help with the door-to-door delivery of the hampers. Contact: To participate in this year’s hamper program, contact hamper coordinator Pam Bloom at 604-937-7163 or p. email@example.com, or Ashley at Purpose’s head office at 604-526-2522. NEW WESTMINSTER
ARTISTS What it is: NWA Society is a non-profit organization managing the New West Artists Gallery on 12th, located at 712C 12th St.The gallery is free to visit Thursdays to Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. Wish list: Support small businesses in New West by shopping local. The gallery offers original art for every budget. NWA is always looking for volunteers. Donations are also appreciated – for $40 you can become a member of NWA, for $75 you can become a friend of NWA or for $100 you can become a patron. Contact: More info is available at newwestartists. com or by emailing info@ newwestartists.com. Donations can be sent by e-transfer to accounting@ newwestartists.com.To book private shopping at the gallery, call Lavana at 604-525-4566 ROYAL COLUMBIAN HOSPITAL FOUNDATION What it does: Royal Columbian Hospital Foundation’s mission is to raise money to help the hospital. Wish list: The foun-
dation has created a COVID-19 response fund to cover the costs of things that make it easier and safer for front-line workers to care for patients – from new medical equipment and initiatives to improve patient and caregiver safety to measures that support mental wellness. Contact: Donations can be made online at www. rchfoundation.com or by calling 604-520-4438. SENIORS SERVICES SOCIETY OF B.C. What it does: The New West-based non-profit agency has a goal of providing local and provincial programs and services to support vulnerable older adults (aged 60 and up) to live as independently as possible. Wish list: The Santa for Seniors program, which is online at www. seniorsservicessociety.ca, allows people to provide grocery gift cards, meals and necessities for seniors in need. Along with financial donations, the society always needs volunteers for services such as grocery shopping. Contact: Call 604-5206621.
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18 THURSDAY, December 10, 2020 • New West Record
News Online learning registration open till end of Friday Julie MacLellan
Online learning is not a “buffet”: you don’t get to pick and choose which parts of it you want to do. That message was delivered to parents during a NewWestminster school district information session held Dec. 3.The session was held to offer details about the district’s online learning option for kindergarten to Grade 8 students. Students who are currently in classrooms now have a chance to opt in to the program for the new term that starts Jan. 4. Registration is open this week only, and any families who want to opt in will need to register by 4 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 11). Director of instruction Maureen McRae-Stanger
acknowledged that some families wanted an option in light of COVID-19 – and the district recognizes that rising numbers during the pandemic’s second wave may be changing some families’ needs. “Many of our parents wanted an alternative to being in face-to-face classrooms,” she said. Currently, there are about 440 students registered in the K-8 program, which is taught by 20 teachers.The district is hiring four additional teachers for January to support new enrolment. But McRae-Stanger warned the program is not for everyone. “Not all of our students actually fit best with online learning,” she said. The online learning program covers the full B.C. curriculum, including both core subjects – such as En-
glish, math, socials and science – and also such areas as music, art and physical education. But McRae-Stanger noted it’s not just like faceto-face instruction put online, so children don’t sit in front of a screen for a full day of virtual classes. Online learning, which is conducted through the Microsoft Teams platform, involves a combination of real-time virtual “classroom” sessions along with independent assignments and projects. The need for independent learning means families need to be involved. “Our program is actually a really important partnership: the teacher, the parent or guardian and the student are all working together,” she said. The level of parental involvement varies depending on the age of the
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student, she said, noting parents are generally most heavily involved in the younger years – kindergarten to Grade 3 – but less required for older students. She noted that students also need to be aware that they’re making a commitment to being in school, with required participation, assignments and projects just as if they were in a classroom. “It is not what I’m calling a buffet,” she said. “It’s not picking and choosing the activities you would like to do.” Students who need extra help from learning support teachers, education assistants or child and youth workers will still get that help from the teams at their home-based school. Families will have the choice to remain in the online learning program
until the end of the school year or to opt back into classrooms in the spring; a window will open up in March for a return to class in April. Students who want to return to classrooms are guaranteed a spot somewhere in the district for the rest of the 2020/21 school year – with the caveat that it may not be at their home school. McRae-Stanger said the district will do its best to get students back into their catchment school for the rest of the year, but that will depend on classroom space. All students will be guaranteed a spot in their catchment school for the 2021/22 school year starting next September. The application form is online at newwestschools. ca/application-to-transferfrom-in-class-learning-to-
online-learning-for-k-8/. If there are more applications than there are spaces in the program, the district will use a lottery system to pick students. Between Dec. 14 and 18, the district will go through applications – keeping in mind factors such as how many students are in each grade level and ensuring families are kept together – and send out welcome letters to selected students by Dec. 18. If there are students who don’t get in, there will be a waitlist for the month of January. For those who get into the program, Jan. 4 to 8, and a full virtual learning schedule will begin Jan. 11. More questions?You can watch the Dec. 3 virtual information session at newwestonlinelearning.ca. See related story page 21.
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New West Record THURSDAY, December 10, 2020
Shine Bright New West lights up the city
Shine Bright New West is adding a bit of sparkle to neighbourhoods across the city. Running until Jan. 3, Shine Bright New West includes holiday light displays, self-guided walking tours, outdoor scavenger hunts, at-home activities and more. “It started with lights. I think the reason it started with lights is that it is accessible. It’s easy for a business, for residents, to put up lights,” said Lisa Kemp, the city’s acting special events coordinator. “It was a good way to connect everyone.Then what happened is it slowly evolved to: how can people celebrate the holidays safely.” Because of COVID-19 restrictions on gatherings, the City of New Westminster had to cancel this year’s Santa Claus Parade, the annual tree-lighting ceremony in Hyack Square and its popular Breakfast with Santa events. “It’s very much a choose-your-own-way of experiencing Shine Bright,” Kemp said. “Some people might not be interested in the games, but they might be interested in seeing a light display in their neighbourhood. Some people might just be excited to see something new in their neighbourhood, whereas some people might want to do every single thing on the list.” Lights are displayed in all parts of the city, including Queen’s Park and Port Royal Park in Queensborough. At the Queensborough Community Centre, the city’s horticulture staff created a holiday train display out of recycled materials. “It’s almost as beautiful as one of the Woodward’s windows,” Kemp said. “It’s unbelievable.” The city’s website includes a map of light dis-
plays, including individual residences that have decorated for the holidays. It also shows the locations of “selfie stations,” including the Queensborough Community Centre, Sapperton Plaza and the plaza outside the New Westminster Public Library on Sixth Avenue. “We really want people to participate and embrace this,” Kemp said. “The most special thing for me is seeing how people have embraced it. People who have never done elaborate displays are doing them.” The Downtown New Westminster BIA has embraced the initiative and organized Shine Bright Downtown, which includes Shine Selfie Stops (a giant star and snowflake) on Columbia Street and the Candycombs installation in Hyack Square. “This new interactive piece was designed to bring some light to the community during a dark time,” said a notice about Candycombs. “They’re bright, they have a fun tropical feel, and they play whimsical music while they light up. Built using 2,000 pounds of steel and sound-responsive LED lights, they’re solid, safe and oh so sweet.” Monkey C Interactive, the creators of the Floralume public art installation on Front Street, created Candycombs. “Shine Bright is exactly what New West needs right now,” said Kendra Johnston, executive director of the Downtown BIA. “I personally can’t wait to grab hot chocolates with my family, wander through our downtown on our nightly walk and experience a little more sparkle.We could all use more of that in our day-to-day.” Angie Whitfield, the Downtown BIA’s programs and events manager, said the BIA is thrilled to partner with the city and host Shine Bright Downtown. “The call to action
is a citywide call to action to shine extra bright this year with us all being trapped at home and not being able to do events,” she said. “Lighting is one thing we can do that is still safe. And we could all use some brightness this winter.” Along with this year’s new pieces, the downtown is home to existing lighting pieces including Wait for Me Daddy in Hyack Square, Floralume and starbursts in trees on Columbia Street.The BIA hopes people will explore the neighbourhood – and support local businesses along the way. “We did an inventory of the lighting that is currently in downtown New West, and we have a substantial amount of lighting.The trees are lit up and there is extra of those little starbursts in the trees. There’s the swag lighting across Columbia Street,” Whitfield said. “There is a lot.” Shine Bright Downtown aims to give people another reason to explore
Sparkling nights: Mila & Paige employees Keira Jang and Janet Sawicki (left) and the store’s Shine Bright Christmas lights. PHOTO JENNIFER GAUTHIER
downtown – and to connect with their community “I think this is a way that we can still connect and do something that brings some joy to the community in a safe way. The more people that
participate and the more people that light up their homes, their balconies, their storefronts, it will make the experience better for everyone. I think it’s something – it’s something for this year.”
For more information on Shine Bright New West go to www.newwestcity.ca. Details about Shine Bright downtown can be found at www.downtown newwest.ca.
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20 THURSDAY, December 10, 2020 • New West Record
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Purpose Society sets up ‘Santa’s workshop’ downtown Theresa McManus
The Purpose Society is setting up a Christmas hub in the Army & Navy department store. The New West-based society has converted part of the space at 502 Columbia St. into a hub for its annual Christmas hamper program.The society is accepting donations so it can create Christmas hampers that will be distributed to families in need throughout the Lower Mainland. “This is such an important community initiative which allows us to bring a bit of holiday magic to children and families,” Lynda Fletcher-Gordon, co-founder of the Purpose Society, said in a press release.
The society states that all COVID-19 safety directives are being followed, and there’s plenty of space to social distance in the 20,000-square-foot main floor space that fronts onto Columbia Street. The Lower Mainland Purpose Society forYouth and Families is accepting donations from Dec. 9 to 18 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Donations of non-perishable food items, toques, scarves, warm outerwear and personal hygiene products are welcomed. Fletcher-Gordon said the space will be like “Santa’s workshop.” During the year, Purpose Society staff, in conjunction with community partners, identify families who would benefit from hampers. Donors are of-
fered the opportunity to participate in an anonymous act of kindness, choosing items for a small or larger family, after being given generic family information that includes ages, sizes and a wish list. According to the Purpose Society, the Christmas hamper program is in addition to the regular food distribution, which has grown to serve 800 people per week during COVID. The society also operates a health and harm-reduction van, which appreciates donations of cash, mitts, toques, scarves and other items for people who may be homeless or marginally housed and in need of support. For more information, call 604-526-2522.
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New West Record THURSDAY, December 10, 2020
Community Online learning poses challenges for mental health Julie MacLellan
Online learning isn’t just about offering curriculum: it’s also about supporting students’ mental health. The NewWestminster school district is accepting applications this week from families who want to opt in to the kindergarten-to-Grade-8 online learning program that’s running this year in response to COVID-19. Superintendent Karim Hachlaf said the district is aware that online learning comes with an added challenge in looking after students’ mental health. “While we definitely have dedicated staff working hard to support a robust K-8 online program, we also know that it’s having an impact in not being fully connected and having no face-to-face instruc-
tion,” he said at the school board’s Nov. 17 operations committee meeting. “It’s important for us to really recognize that isolation can, in fact, … have a negative impact on our students’ mental health. We know our students need social interaction and play to learn.That hasn’t changed.” Hachlaf said the district is remaining “hypervigilant” about that issue to ensure it’s providing all the supports it can to its remote learners. At a parent information session Dec. 3, director of instruction Maureen McRae-Stanger said the online learning program focuses not just on the B.C. curriculum but on social-emotional learning.When students feel connected to teachers and their peers, they do better academically, she noted.
The program works to keep students connected to each other, to their teachers and to their own home schools so students can maintain a sense of community in the absence of face-to-face learning. Students who need any extra social-emotional support – such as from a child and youth worker – will continue to receive that support from the staff at their own home schools. Pam Craven, the district principal in charge of online learning, said teachers prepare individual learning plans for each student, taking into account their “strengths and stretches” and setting goals for the term. “Teachers are also working very hard to support that social-emotional learning and build relationships,” she said. “It’s much more challenging
Virtually there: Maintaining connections and focusing on socialemotional learning are important parts of the school district’s online learning approach. PHOTO GETTY IMAGES
in an online setting to do that.” Craven noted teachers in the online learning program need parents and guardians to work with them to keep the lines of communication open. “That’s a two-way thing,” she said. “We need you to be reaching out to us.”
At the same time as the district is preparing for a new intake into online learning, the 440 or so students currently enrolled in the remote program are also being given a chance to opt back in to the classroom. Hachlaf said the district’s goal is to have students ultimately return to
face-to-face instruction, where possible. “This online program is intended to be a transition so that when families deem they want to return and feel safe within their context, we are quite supportive and, in fact, encouraging that process,” he said. Families who enter the online learning program in January will have a chance to return to inclass instruction, if they so choose, in the spring. A window will open up in March for a return to class in April. For full details about how to opt in to online learning program, see www.newwestschools.ca/ opportunity-to-considerlearning-options. Applications close at 4 p.m. tomorrow (Friday, Dec. 11). See related story on page 18.
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22 THURSDAY, December 10, 2020 • New West Record
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24 THURSDAY, December 10, 2020 • New West Record
HOLIDAY SHOPPING! Prices Effective December 10 - 16, 2020.
100% BC OWNED AND OPERATED
Local Thomas Reid Organic Whole Chickens
Tasty Cheese for the Holidays! ILE De France Imported Brie Cheese
Castello Specialty Cheddar & Aged Havarti Cheese Wedges
Organic Satsuma Mandarin Oranges from Johansen Ranch in California
Imported Swiss Emmental, Gruyere or Cave Aged Gruyere Cheese
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German Cambozola Cheese
With 80% of our items now ORGANIC!
Fresh Steelhead Fillets Value Pack
Organic Long English Cucumbers Imported from Mexico
4399 6299 20 Pack
Wedderspoon KFactor 12 & 16 Manuka Honey
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