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                          DECEMBER 2019 ARCHIVE


 Tuesday, Dec 17, 2019 

Published 5 pm


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from City Hall

Council wishes the best to residents over the holiday season and look forward to serving the community in 2020

Staff/Website photo/Voice file


Left to right: Harv Westeringh, Bud Mercer, Jason Lum, Ken Popove, Chris Kloot, Sue Knott, Jeff Shields. Below, Hanna Ma's tree creation 2014.

fter regular business Tuesday, councillors went around the table talking about their accomplishments in 2019 and personal feelings about what it was like serving on council over the last year and since being elected.

With the exception of Ken Popove, Sue Knott, Chris Kloot and Jason Lum; councillors Bud Mercer, Harv Westeringh and Jeff Shields confided that 2019 was a "learning curve" for them as they saw the inner workings of City Hall. Popove was on his learning curve as mayor as well.

Council wants to express to residents all the best over the holiday season and they're looking forward to serving the community in 2020. The next regular council meeting is January 7, 2020. There are several public hearings scheduled for that day.



 Tuesday, Dec 17, 2019 

Published 8 am


The greatest show!

Featuring coast to coast talent in Abbotsford New Year's Day

Sam Ferrano, Circus3/Submitted photos


Circus3 is a one of a kind extravaganza.


irque acrobats fly high. Balloons fall from the sky. The 7th Annual  Family-Friendly New Year’s Variety Show, now at both the Vancouver Playhouse and Abbotsford Art Centre, promises to be the biggest yet. Appropriate for the whole family,  this New Year’s tradition includes one of BC’s largest balloon drops.  

 Abbotsford Arts  Centre on January 1 at 3 p.m. Tickets from $29 at 604-817-1315 or ​Circus3.com​. Doors open 1 hour prior to show.  Show length is approximately 100 minutes with intermission.

Attendees can ring in 2020 with the show’s comedic host and juggler Daniel Zindler and his  cast of fools, including circus aerialists, a basketball trickster from New York City, and local  favourites magician Travis Bernhardt and the Tim Sars Band.   

What sets this event apart is the flexibility it offers families. With an earlier finishing time, it  gives everyone time to either head home to put their young ones to bed, or continue  enjoying the atmosphere that is Downtown Vancouver on New Year’s Eve. You can catch  our show, and still not miss the midnight fireworks,” says Daniel Zindler.    

Starring: Chinese pole acrobats from Seattle (Duo Straight Up), Basketball Man (New York City), local  circus acrobatic duo Marley Skye and Stephanie Van Dyck (performing contortion, aerial  silks, and hand-to-hand), and magician Travis Bernhardt. Hosted by comedy juggler Daniel  Zindler with the musical accompaniment of the Tim Sars Band.



 Saturday, Dec 14, 2019 

Published 3 pm


Burying the old year: New Orleans Jazz Funeral

Ringing in a new decade

Kevin Yeates, Christ Lutheran Church/Submitted photo


A three-storey home on Southside Rd. was heavily damaged by fire Friday afternoon.


he year 2020 is soon coming to and end. If you are like most of us, as you look back in the year you probably have a few things to celebrate but there are likely other bits of the year you’d like to forget. This mix of delight and remorse is exactly why Christ Lutheran Church in Chilliwack is hosting a New Orleans Jazz Funeral for the year 2019 on January 01, 2020. It’s a chance to have a little fun, “lay down” your regrets, reflect on the past year, and get a fresh start on 2020 while a New Orleans Jazz band swings those old-time hymns.

Sunday, January 05, 2020

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm followed by a light ‘funeral’ tea

Christ Lutheran Church - 9460 Charles Street, Chilliwack

"It’s a way for us to come together as a community, sing some great music to help us mark the end of the old year and the beginning of the new one," said Pastor Dean Andersen, who has been a leader of the event since its inception.

“Those attending the ‘funeral’ will have an opportunity to jot on a piece of paper – which will be kept private - some of the things they would like to bury with the old year.  As the service progresses people will be invited to ‘lay down’ their regrets by placing them in a symbolic memorial box, and those regrets will be “cremated” as the service closes.”

Kevin Yeates, of the Creole Jazz Band explained, “The service has its roots in the New Orleans funeral tradition. In that region a band of jazz musicians accompany the mourners as they make their way from the family’s home to the cemetery. As they make their way to the graveside the band plays slow mournful dirges as they mourn the passing of their loved one. But when they turn to go home the music becomes bright and cheery, as they celebrate hope, freedom and promise.”

"This is a free event and everyone is welcome!” 

For further information please contact bandmember Kevin  at 604 941 6764 or e-mail here. Connect on Facebook.



 Saturday, Dec 14, 2019 

Published 3 pm


CFD responds to pair of fires Friday

Both fires are under investigation

Mike Bourdon, Assistant Chief, CFD/Google images


A three-storey home on Southside Rd. was heavily damaged by fire Friday afternoon.


Greenhouse Structure Fire

n December 13th 2019, at approximately 9:30am the Chilliwack Fire Department was dispatched to a reported structure fire located in the 49000-block of Chilliwack Central Road.

 On arrival, fire crews saw heavy smoke showing from the rear of a single-storey greenhouse structure and immediately determined that the fire would be defensive and called for a 2nd alarm. The greenhouse was used for storage of machinery and tools as well; a small section was occupied as medical marijuana grow operation.

Firefighters responded to a small greenhouse blaze in the 49000-block of Chilliwack Central.

Fire crews had difficulty trying to access the fire within the greenhouse. Once accessed, fire crews were able to ventilate and extinguish a small fire that was burning within the marijuana grow operation.

There were no civilian injuries and or fire fighter injuries. 

Residential Structure Fire

At approximately 3:30 pm the Chilliwack Fire Department was dispatched to a second structure fire of the day, located in the 4700 block of Southside Rd. On arrival fire crews reported seeing smoke and flame from a front window of a 3-storey residential home.

Fire crews immediately determined that the fire would be defensive in nature and called for a 2nd alarm. At the initial stage the fire was stubborn to fight, yet crews managed to gain the upper hand and limit damage to the interior of the home.

There were no civilian and or fire fighter injuries.

The cause of both fires are still under investigation by the Chilliwack Fire Department.



 Friday, Dec 13, 2019 

Published 2 pm


Expanding the mind

Chilliwack to boost school's capacity with 1,500 seats

BCMOE/Submitted photos


Minister of Education Rob Flemming (2nd left bottom) School Board Trustees, Ken Popove, Chilliwack mayor (top left) and other dignitaries and event participants at AD Rundle Middle School Friday morning where the announcement of the new secondary school took place.


amilies in Chilliwack can look forward to more than 1,500 new student seats that will provide the learning environments that students deserve.

“Chilliwack is a great place to raise a family, and our government is working to add new spaces and eliminate portables as fast as possible so we can provide better learning spaces for students,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “As the community continues to grow, we’ll keep making investments that give students the classroom experience that will give them the best chance to thrive.”

The Government of B.C. is providing $15.4 million for a new 600-seat secondary school at the former University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) North campus. In addition, construction is ready to begin on the new, $53.6-million South Side elementary-middle school, which will sit along the Vedder River with capacity for 930 students.

“We’re all very excited about the new schools that are on the way to provide a better learning experience for our students,” said Dan Coulter, chair, Chilliwack Board of Education. “These investments are the result of a positive relationship between our board and the provincial government, and we’re excited to continue working with the Province to add even more new classrooms to our district.”

Minister Fleming and school board chair Dan Coulter “breaking ground” at the South Side Elementary/Middle school site, near Vedder Rotary Trail and Petawawa Road, at the end of Tyson Road.

The new school at the former UFV North campus will be a 600-seat facility for students in grades 8 to 12, and will have an arts and technology focus. The building already features classrooms and an auditorium, with childcare on site, and will be renovated to fit secondary school programming. The new school is set to open to students in September 2021.

The new South Side elementary-middle school is expected to open to students in kindergarten to Grade 8 for September 2022. 

In total, the Province has announced $79 million for Chilliwack school expansion projects in the last two years, which will eliminate the equivalent of about 61 of the nearly 100 portables in the district. A further 690 student seats are under business-case development that are expected to reduce more portables in Chilliwack.

These investments are part of government’s plan to build new and expanded schools in fast-growing communities throughout B.C.

Since September 2017, the Province has announced nearly $1.7 billion in school capital investments, including about $660 million for almost 10,800 new student seats – the equivalent of about 430 portables at B.C. schools.


 Friday, Dec 13, 2019 

Published 3 pm


Pedestrian hit on Spadina Ave

Tips to get home safe while out on foot

Staff/Voice photo


First responders carefully bundle up a woman for a trip to the hospital Thursday evening.


ust prior to 5 pm Thursday, as rain thundered down, a pedestrian stepped off the curb and was hit by a car. The person was seriously injured however their exact condition isn't known.


Heavier holiday season traffic, rain and darkness all work against the safety of pedestrians.


 ICBC Pedestrian-MVI Stats

Click on image for larger view.

ICBC tips to getting home safe on foot;


• Be careful at intersections. Watch for drivers turning left or right through the crosswalk. Drivers may be focused on oncoming traffic and not see you.
• Don't jaywalk - always use crosswalks and follow the pedestrian signs and traffic signals.
• It's hard for drivers to see pedestrians when visibility is poor in fall and winter. Never assume that a driver has seen you.
• Remove your headphones and take a break from your phone while crossing the road.
• Be as reflective as possible to make it easier for drivers to see you in wet weather, at dusk and at night.



 Friday, Dec 13, 2019 

Published 3 pm


Brave Woman Honoured

Carnegie officials met with Callaghan Friday to present medal

UFVRD/Handout photo


Chilliwack resident Julie Callaghan receives the Carnegie Medal for her attempt to save the life of a wheelchair bound man. She recently lost two fingers as a result of her injuries in May 2018.


Presented to Julie Callaghan of Chilliwack, by Carnegie Hero Fund Commission President Eric Zahren, during a ceremony hosted by the RCMP at the Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment (UFVRD) on December 13, 2019, the award recognizes the incredible courage of Julie Callaghan during an attempt to save the life of a disabled pedestrian at a railway crossing in Chilliwack.   


On the evening of May 26, 2018 a pedestrian operating a motorized wheel chair became caught on the tracks while crossing the railway in the 9000-block of Broadway Street.  As the crossing arms closed to stop traffic for an approaching train Julie Callaghan and another valiant motorist scrambled onto the track in an attempt to remove the wheelchair from the path of the locomotive.


The rescuers continued their efforts until the engine of the closing locomotive collided with them. The pedestrian suffered fatal injuries while Callaghan sustained serious injuries to her legs and life altering damage to her right hand. 


“We are honored to present Julie Callaghan with the Carnegie Medal for attempting to rescue Matthew Jarvis from being struck by a train in 2018 in Chilliwack.  She saw Mr. Jarvis stuck in a perilous situation and impulsively took action, despite the extraordinary danger to herself,” says Mr. Zahren. “She also offered hope and comfort to Mr. Jarvis, who in his final moments, was not left alone, but with the very best of humanity at his side.  We are honored to recognize Julie’s strength and bravery, her selflessness and resulting sacrifice.”


The Carnegie Medal is given throughout the U.S. and Canada to those who risk their lives to an extraordinary degree while saving or attempting to save the lives of others.




 Friday, Dec 13, 2019 

Published 8 am


Put a medal under a tree

Canadian gov't continues to look the other way on vet volunteer service merit

Dave W. Palmer, CD, KStG/File photo



ouldn't it be absolutely fabulous if the Government of Canada, all Parties would in a most generous and kind spirit offer a legacy to all of Canada's Veterans at this special time of Year, Christmas!

The Government of Canada has on no less than 30 times over 12 years has been petitioned and asked to leave a lasting legacy for all veterans by ensuring that not a single serving veteran who at one time or another voluntarily served in our nation's Armed Forces with a proposed Canadian Military Volunteer Service Medal. Sadly, instead of honouring, acknowledging and recognizing our veterans so that they too would have something to show they once served and to leave as a lasting legacy—a Canadian Military Volunteer Service Medal—the Government of Canada has rejected the pleas and prayers of the Canadian people. Why is this?

The Right Honourable Members of the House of Commons, the Senate, is it truly such a difficult task to respectfully ask that all of you in the spirit of kindness and giving so much to ask that you would work together and in unison to create this proposed Canadian Military Volunteer Service Medal for all of Canada's Veterans and leave them with a lasting legacy? Respectfully and on behalf of the thousands of medal-less Veterans on behalf of all Veterans', I once again respectfully ask that you find it within your hearts to acknowledge and honour the volunteer service of Canada's Veterans with this medal.

Wishing each and everyone of you at this Christmas Season, a Very Merry Christmas, a Happy Hanukkah, a Joyous Celebration of the Holidays and Warmest Season's Greetings and a healthy, safe, prosperous and happy New Year in 2020.




 Friday, Dec 13, 2019 

Published 8 am


Tribute to Dylan

CR Avery play Bozzini's Dec 25 and 31

Mano Asparakis, Bozzinis/File photo



Bring your friends and Join us at Bozzini’s for the last show of the decade!

Saturday December 28
Doors 8:00 Show 9:00
Tickets $ 20 at Bozzini’s, #4 - 45739 Hocking Ave., or call 604 792 0744 to reserve by phone


This is only the second time we’ve done a tribute show in our 14 + years of presenting live music at Bozzini’s Upstairs. Yours truly generally, and with snobbish disdain, turns down cover and tribute acts often. However, when it’s  time to make an exception so join our long time friend CR Avery and his All Star Band as we close out the year with what will surely be not just a “tribute” but a respectful re-imagining and reinterpretation of one of the greatest artists of our time.



 Friday, Dec 13, 2019 

Published 8 am


Panago Pizza looks for excellence in food production

Chicken care the focus of the company's backing

Kenny Torrella, MFA/Website image



anago, a delivery and takeout pizza chain with 200 locations, today committed to new animal welfare standards that will meaningfully reduce suffering for hundreds of thousands of chickens raised for meat. The company becomes the most recent major chain to adopt the Better Chicken Commitment, an industry-leading set of standards that includes the following:

• Ending extreme crowding and providing each chicken more floor space
• Transitioning to using only chicken breeds with measurably improved welfare outcomes, as most chickens raised for meat are bred to grow so large so fast that many cannot walk without pain
• Keeping chicken litter clean enough to prevent eye sores, flesh burns, and respiratory distress
• Improving lighting to decrease illness and disease
• Ending live-shackle slaughter and instead utilizing controlled-atmosphere stunning

Panago currently sources 100 percent cage-free eggs and will also establish milestones to implement improved animal care standards for pigs and cows in its supply chain. In addition, Mercy For Animals lauds the company for offering a variety of plant-based pizza options and plant-based chicken tenders.

The new animal welfare policy will cover Panago’s more than 200 locations across the country. Panago’s adoption of the Better Chicken Commitment follows a wave of similar commitments in Canada from other major chains, including Boston Pizza, Chipotle, Tim Hortons, Burger King, Pita Pit, and Second Cup.

“With this public commitment, Panago has taken a significant step to establish itself as a leader on animal welfare issues,” said Colombe Nadeau-O’Shea, corporate relations specialist with Mercy For Animals. “It is time for other major fast-casual chains, like Freshii, to follow Panago’s lead by adopting the Better Chicken Commitment and banning from their supply chains some of the cruellest practices inflicted on chickens.”

To learn more about Mercy For Animals and its efforts to help farmed animals, visit MercyForAnimals.org.




 Thursday, Dec 12, 2019 

Published 8 pm


Traffic crashes server!

Thanks for dropping by, we've got you covered

Staff/Voice logo image


Visits today (3254); pages viewed (20,245); hits (34,826 images viewed); and bandwidth used.


big thank-you to Voice readers who visit the website on a regular basis and also to the new folks. Glad you can join us. Some new links resulted in a surge in traffic. The server issue was solved immediately. Visits yesterday were 4,886 and over December should be be well over 15,000. Watch for year-end totals then. Thanks for supporting The Valley Voice News. All the best over the holiday season and looking forward to an awesome 2020 with you.



 Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019 

Published 8 am


Safety first in outdoor cooking

No major fire, no injuries in BBQ mishap

Staff/Voice photo


Firefighters check out the area where a BBQ got out of control on Monday evening.


or safe barbecuing keep your grill at least 10 feet away from your house; clean your grill regularly; check for gas leaks; Keep decorations away from your grill; keep a spray bottle of water handy; keep a fire extinguisher within a couple steps of your grill; turn on the gas while your grill lid is closed; and don't leave your grill unattended.

Happy eating!



 Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019 

Published 8 am


Homeless for the holidays

Remembering people on the street

James Ryan, Bullying Canada/Voice file photo


Homelessness knows no age.


his holiday season join us in sharing some joy with our less fortunate neighbors by sharing greeting cards with those in need. For most of us this is an exciting, happy time of year. Sadly, want is keenly felt this season—lack of close relationships and depression are common among homeless and recovering folk.

In an effort to remind them that society values them, it is our intent to collect greeting cards on their behalf then route them, and any care package donations, to them.

If you’d like to participate: pick one, some, or all of the names and write cards (one name per card, please). Then, send the cards (and any items you wish to have included in care packages) to: Cards for the Homeless. Share the love with: Anthony; Ben; Chris; James; Justin and Morgan


471 Smythe Street
P.O. Box 27009
Fredericton, New Brunswick E3B 9M1

Check back as we update this list until December 18th.



 Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019 

Published 8 am


Joy to their world

Christmas list delivered to Vancouver MLA

APF/Dale Klippenstein Photo


BC Poverty Reduction Coalition members outside MLA Shane Simpson's office in Vancouver.


s people across British Columbia are feeling the charitable spirit this December, a group of volunteers from the Poverty Free Action Team today made a special delivery to the Vancouver Hastings constituency office of Shane Simpson, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction.

“Around this time of year, Canadians are encouraged to donate to support people living in poverty,” says Viveca Ellis, Interim Community Organizer at the BC Poverty Reduction Coalition “The best gift that would truly keep on giving is sustainable support in the form of comprehensive policy change and significantly increased investments through TogetherBC that will improve people’s lives year-round and help lift them out of poverty.”

The Poverty-Free Action Team delivered a gift box of items that represent the policy items they hope will be included as the province rolls out its TogetherBC poverty reduction strategy. The box contained;

• A cutout shape of the province representing Indigenous rights to the land and signifying the importance of affirming these rights in all aspects of TogetherBC
• A basket representing the need for social assistance rates to reach at least the Market Basket Measure within 2 years.
• Coins representing the need to accelerate minimum wage increases to meet the cost of living for all workers, with no exemptions, and to index it to the cost of living.
• A stocking of medical supplies, representing the need for team-based community health centres as well as universal pharmacare, dental care and optical care.
• A caring elf, representing the need to entrench a $10 a day Child Care Plan and to build new publicly owned child care facilities.
• A giant key, representing the need for vacancy control alongside the need to build 10,000 units/a year of social and co-op housing including • A “debt free” graduation cap, representing the need to increase the availability of post-secondary grants for low-income students along the way to free post-secondary education.
• A compass card, representing the call for free transit for children and youth and a sliding-scale transit pass for adults for all transit systems in BC including TransLink.



 Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019 

Published 8 am


Iron Dog

Funding announced for police dog vests

APF/Dale Klippenstein Photo


A  PSD Karma #1903 dog vest will be used.


he Abbotsford Police Foundation (APF) is pleased to announce that it has funded a new AbbyPD initiative in support of the Abbotsford Police Department’s K9 handlers and their partners who work on the Lower Mainland District Integrated Police Dog Service Unit (LMD IPDS) – and benefit the beloved four-legged members of our K9 unit.

"Police Dog Teams are highly valuable assets to policing. There are countless examples of Police Service Dogs that have saved lives, located missing kids and tracked to apprehend violent criminals evading arrest. These vests help ensure our four-legged members remain active and healthy during their service life,” says AbbyPD Chief Constable Mike Serr.


The Abbotsford Police Foundation has announced funding for four lightweight armoured protection vests for the four police dogs that serve with the AbbyPD. The ‘K9 Street Fighter vest’ is used by law enforcement and Special Forces K9 teams globally. The vests cost approximately $1,700 each so the total grant is $6,800.

Abbotsford Police Foundation President Kevin Boonstra says, “We are pleased to announce funding for this important equipment. And on behalf of our board of directors we’d like to acknowledge and thank the Abbotsford Community Foundation and the Mary Victoria Wakefield Animal Welfare Fund* for their generous grant of $3,000 that will go toward the purchase of the K9 Kevlar vests.”



 Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019 

Published 8 am


Women at work

Prospera Credit Union Best Workplace managed by women

Jessica Thiessen, PCU/Handout photo


Sixty per cent of Prospera employees are women


rospera Credit Union is proud to announce that our organization has been named on the 2019 list of Best Workplaces™ Managed by Women.

Prospera received this honour after a thorough and independent analysis conducted by Great Place to Work®.
This list is based on direct feedback from employees of the hundreds of organizations that were surveyed by Great Place to Work®. The data has a 90 per cent confidence and a plus or minus 5 per cent margin of error.

“Women represent more than 60 per cent of all employees at Prospera, and half of our member base,” said Diane Dou, President and CEO of Prospera Credit Union. “The best way to lead any organization is to help women succeed. To do that we cheer for each other, we lead with big hearts, inspire each other and encourage one another to find our voice.”

To be eligible for this list, organizations must be Great Place to Work Certified™ in the past year and have a female president or CEO. Great Place to Work® determined the BEST based on employee responses to our Trust Index survey.



 Wednesday, Dec 11, 2019 

Published 8 am


Mysterious Universe

Was Chrystia Freeland "kicked upstairs"?

Betty Krawczyk, Author, activist/AP handout photo


The UN Security Council meets.


es, I do think our new Deputy Prime Minister, Chrystia Freeland was recently “kicked upstairs”. As I understand it, being “kicked upstairs” is a political phrase used when a minister is making a mess of his or her present portfolio but instead of being outright sacked is presented as being given a promotion. And certainly Freeland was a rotten Foreign Affairs minister. As long as Trudeau stays healthy and has excellent bodyguards I don’t think Freeland can continue to damage Canada in her new post as Deputy Prime Minister. At least not to the extent that she was dragging Canada down to meet and even surpass the American contempt for the Palestinian people and the sickening elevation of the Trump-Netanyahu Jewish state over all other considerations.

Perhaps the past election showing Trudeau’s drop of popularity in Canada and with other nations was a “woke” moment for him. How could he maintain Canada’s reputation as a fair and balanced nation with a Foreign Affairs minister like Freeland who refused to even speak to Russian diplomats? What kind of a Foreign Affairs Minister was she when Russia had to withdraw her diplomats from Canada because of utter lack of communication with Freeland? So thank you, Mister Prime Minister, for doing what you had to do to get Madam Freeland out of the Foreign Affairs office. But what is our new foreign minister like?

So far, so good. A new page has been turned. Another reason for ousting Freeland from foreign affairs was that Trudeau wants a seat on the United Nations Security Council. He would never have had a chance for that seat with Freeland representing Canada. But Francois–Phillippe Champagne? Ah, a more reasonable choice for Foreign Affairs. No Russia baiting or Israeli Old Testament bible thumping here. The Centre for International Governance Innovation constructs Champagne as “not an intellectual, but an operator, someone who delivers… He (Champagne) stood out in Ottawa for his good grasp of his files, his interpersonal skills with Cabinet colleagues and his diligence in the House”. That’s a relief. May the gods that be deliver us all from politicians like Chrystia Freeland who think they are - or act as if they are - indeed intellectuals, when actually they are ideologues.

In contrast Champagne is a graduate in international law. He was initially appointed Minister of International Trade with the important responsibility of steering Free Trade agreements with Europe, Asia-Pacific and many other countries.

Time will tell, but I am just so happy that Trudeau, by kicking Chrystia Freedland upstairs, has thus prevented her from further tearing apart Canada’s good reputation for being fair minded and reasonable.



 Saturday, Dec 7, 2019 

Published 6:30 pm


Holiday crunch

No serious injuries in MVA on Yale Rd.

Staff/Voice photo


A firefighter looks at the other vehicle involved in an MVA at Yale and Hoskins Friday.


he holidays season is here and there's going to be more traffic on the road and unpredictable conditions it's drive safely. Watch for lefties at yellow lights and leave lots of stopping distance.

ICBC records indicate that over Christmas holidays and New Year's, 510 people are injured and two people are killed in 1,890 crashes every year in B.C. That's 35 crashes and nine people injured every hour. Don't be one of those statistics and just get home safe.



 Saturday, Dec 7, 2019 

Published 5:30 pm


Holiday favourite on stage

Christmas Presence Dec 21 in Abbotsford



Machholz steals puck from Kodiak forward. Below, The Kwerks.

allery 7 Theatre is proud to partner with Vancouver’s Pacific Theatre to bring the Fraser Valley a unique holiday presentation called Christmas Presence, a highly entertaining and festive collage of seasonal music and storytelling fit for the entire family.

Christmas Presence brings light, love and music to the stage as a group of musicians and actors convene on the night of the show to tell stories, share songs, and celebrate the season. Originally titled First Christmas when it debuted in 1984, Christmas Presence allows local artists to share in the joy of creation on stage. Singers, songwriters, musicians and storytellers sing traditional (and not-so-traditional) songs and improvise together to create a magical, inviting spell.

“This show is so different and unique,” says Ken Hildebrand, artistic director of Gallery 7 Theatre. “With all the hustle and bustle of the season, Christmas Presence gives audiences a chance to sit back, enjoy some outstanding music and listen in on some entertaining stories that gently remind us of the true meaning of the season”.

Affectionately dubbed the un-slickest show in town, Christmas Presence in the Valley will feature musical guests Carolyn Arrends, Garth Bowen, Spencer Capier, Rick Calhoun, Michael Hart, Chris Hawley, The Kwerks, and John Ochsendorf. These talented musicians will be joined by Gallery 7 Theatre’s Artistic Director, Ken Hildebrandt and actor & director Kaitlin Williams, for the story-telling portion of the evening.

Christmas Presence happens December 21, 2019 at 8PM at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium, 32315 South Fraser Way, Abbotsford. Tickets are available online at pacifictheatre.org or in person at House of James in Abbotsford.



 Saturday, Dec 7, 2019 

Published 5:30 pm


Pilots land another win

Machholz peppered with 32 shots in 4-3 win over Kodiaks



Machholz steals puck from Kodiak forward.

fiery first period and a close effort from the visitors made for an exciting hockey game at MSA Arena. The Abbotsford Pilots came out with a win Friday night by a score of 4-3 over the visiting Delta Ice Hawks. Pilots netminder Brock Machholz stopped 39 shots for his second win in as many days. Ice Hawks rookie goalie Hunter Tarves was dealt his first loss of the season, putting aside 28 shots. Despite this, he remains one of the hottest goalies in the PJHL, sporting a 1.97 GAA at the conclusion the game.

It took nearly an entire calendar year, but Pilots’ alternate captain Matthew Dyck finally scored a goal. A shot from the high slot at 4:25 gave Dyck his first of the season, and his first goal since December 8th, 2018. The Pilots continued to put pucks in the back of the net, captain Jared Pitkethly notched his 4th of the season at 14:12 after receiving a drop pass from Alex Beechey and firing it past Hunter Tarves. The Pilots added an additional goal with 13 seconds remaining, a frenzy in the Delta crease resulted in Austin Moar potting away his 5th goal of the year to make it a 3-0 Abbotsford lead.

The Ice Hawks came out of the intermission with a hop in their step and struck twice in the 2nd period. First at 2:38 when Brice Kemp connected with rookie Stephen Chen for his 4th of the season. Later on, an unassisted marker from Mitchell Lavoie at 10:41, his 7th, reduced the deficit to just one. Abbotsford was able to regain a multi-goal lead at 12:02 when Sean McCracken found Matthew Dyck in the high slot and for his second goal of the evening. The home team led 4-2 through 40 minutes.

Delta would once again make good early on in a period with Brice Kemp finding net at 2:59 for his 10th of the year. Despite many efforts by the visitors throughout the duration of the final period, the 4-3 score would stand.



 Saturday, Dec 7, 2019 

Published 5 pm


Lumps of coal for vets

CPP clawbacks and fake Bridge Benefits



eterans regret to inform that during the past Federal election campaign not one leader included their CPP benefit claw back issue in their election campaign platform.

Their Canadian Forces Superannuation Act engagement contract has been breached. The sacred Trust obligation promise made to Our Forces Personnel By Prime Minister Sir Robert Borden is no longer supported by our latest Government Politicians.

The Canada Pension Plan (CPP) was enacted in 1965. Its intention was to provide another source for an "Income Security" program to supplement the Old Age Security Pension Plan. The CPP words Bridge Benefit is a lie! At age 60-65 we pay a 36% penalty for life. There is no bridge! At age 65 their CPP benefit is clawed back on their Force Pension. The fact is that Veterans have over contributed on all their pension benefits. The CPP Plan will soon reach Trillions of dollars surplus.

Canada’s Veterans have been shafted long enough. They have completed many often dangerous tasks with the support of their Families. Canada’s Forces are most worthy of their fully paid CPP Pension Benefits. The lack of support from The Government of Canada now identifies that less than 30% of our Forces recruits now re-engage for another term.

It appears that Forces Personnel must participate in a Union Program, like the Canadian National Railway Union or seek the support of a Law Firm towards a class action lawsuit in order to fight for their well earned and paid for CPP Pension Benefits in their Golden Years. Shame on Canada Political Leaders.

Merry Christmas Politicians!


 Saturday, Dec 7, 2019 

Published 5 pm


November home sales soar

CADREB says this is encouraging sign

Steve Lerigny/File photo



hilliwack and area continues to show a robust real estate market, despite heading into a traditionally slower holiday season for home sales.


A total of 275 sales completed in November, up almost 100 sales from the same month last year. In dollar value, the sales totalled just under $140 million, up substantially from $95.5 million in November of 2018.


While sales were strong in all types of housing, the Chilliwack and District Real Estate (CADREB) President Kyle Nason noted a marked increase in two categories of homes.


“November showed a strong increase in sales of condominiums and townhomes. There were 48 sales of condominiums/apartments, compared to only 19 last November. This is a very encouraging sign, as it tells us that more first-time buyers are entering the housing market”.


Nason added that while the federal “Stress Test” is impacting buyers’ ability to buy homes (as it determines not only the ability to buy a home now but applicants must be able to withstand a future rate hike), buyers are now scaling down expectations while still realizing a home purchase is a good idea.


“REALTORS® are reminding their clients that while they may not be able to get their dream home quite yet, buying a home remains one of the soundest investments they will make, especially with rental rates soaring”.


Of the 275 sales last month, the highest number sold (42) were in the $700,000-$999,999 range, followed by 36 sales in the $600,000- $699,999 range, and also 36 in the $400,000-$499,999 range. There were 7 sales over the $1 million mark.


There are currently 1,191 listings in the Chilliwack, Agassiz, Harrison and Hope areas, representing a wide range of choices. Resolve to get pre-qualified for a mortgage, and make 2020 the year you move into your first home, move-up home or dream home!


The CADREB thanks everyone for their generous contributions to its annual Blanket and Warm Clothing drive, and invites residents to visit its website at www.cadreb.com to check out the listings of great residential Christmas light displays.


The 321 licensed REALTORS® and staff of CADREB wish everyone a very joyous holiday season.



 Saturday, Dec 7, 2019 

Published 4 pm


Requiem for a friend

Long-time child protection advocate passes

Ron Unruh, Author, Artist/Website image



Ray Ferris


t is with personal sorrow that I inform you that Ray Ferris passed away on Wednesday December 4, 2019. Ray was in his 90th year. He and his wife Jeanne lived in Victoria, B.C. News of his passing will be received with sadness by so many people in B.C. and beyond. 
Ray Ferris was my friend and fellow advocate.  Ray was an expert on child protection and specifically the work of the Ministry of Children and Families in British Columbia (MCFD). He was the author of  'The Art of Child Protection.


I met Ray in 2008 when each of us became persuaded that injustice was done to Zabeth and Paul Bayne in the seizure of their children. We teamed to assist them recover custody of their four children from the Ministry of Children and Family Development.


Zabeth was a champion in her own right. Whereas I was the daily online blogger’s voice, Ray was Zabeth’s resource of knowledge about the MCFD, and the legislated ACT that governed it. With Ray’s data, lawyer Doug Christie came alongside the Baynes, and was able to obtain a judge’s decision in favour of the Baynes.


In the years that followed the joyful reunion of the Bayne family, Ray and I have continued to receive requests for advice from parents and caregivers whose lives are torn as children are removed. Ray Ferris’ commitment to helping people to navigate their heartbreaking troubles has been beneficial to so many. I miss him already. 



 Thursday, Dec 5, 2019 

Published 8 am


Council gives the thumbs up to Vedder Rd project

Developer Emil Anderson promises to work with the community to ease concerns

Staff/Chilliwack City Hall image


A view of the Vedder Road mini-mall which will hold a microbrewery, stores and a climbing wall.


he Vedder pub/brewery/climbing wall was up for third reading at Tuesday's evening's City Hall council meeting. There was a good deal concern expressed from various segments of the community. Some gave overwhelming support for the climbing wall, others showed their appreciation for the microbrewery.


There was some consternation from long-time residents regarding noise, traffic, width of the riparian, walking/biking trail, impact to the environment and runoff from vehicles. Emil Anderson attested that they would take everything the community is concerned about and try to work that into the plan.

One person told council they had 800 (redacted screen names) in an online poll against the project. The list, available in the city agenda package, consisted of a long line of comments. Coun. Kloot indicated he didn't hold any stock in online click polls. Many people feel that online mobs tending to gravitate to each other is similar to a social contagion where clicking on something is easy. It wasn't obvious there were 800 clicks against the project when just one person from the named Facebook page was at the evening council meeting.

Regarding project proposals, council always tries to find common ground between the community and developers and strike a balance.

After a 4-hour council session the motion was passed for the project to go ahead. There's no timeline set for development to begin.



 Wednesday, Dec 4, 2019 

Published 8 am


Basketball fix

Teams look forward to North American Indigenous Games next year

Marie Tate, BC Comm. Alliance/Handout photo


Zoe Collinson takes a shot.


othing has been more difficult in Terry Monture’s coaching career than narrowing down the roster for the 16U female basketball team that will represent B.C. at the Halifax 2020 North American Indigenous Games (NAIG) in July.

“I have been coaching for 47 years and that was a tough, tough weekend,” said Monture, referring to the recent BC Indigenous Provincial Basketball Camp for basketball, held at the Richmond Olympic Oval, where he narrowed down his final roster of 10 players plus alternates. “So many players put in the time and effort and I could see it. We only have so many spots and I lost sleep over the tough decision-making.”

NAIG is an international multi-sport event, involving Indigenous athletes (aged approximately 13 to 19 years old) from Canada and the U.S., staged intermittently since 1990. The Games promotes and encourages the cultural, spiritual and traditional values of the peoples it is representing.

Monture said the roster includes a strong starting five and players coming off the bench. For him defense will be paramount during the Games.

“We can beat those teams from the U.S., but we have to play at the top of our game. The calibre of ball players in Canada just keeps going up and I think our whole program in B.C. is very strong,” he said.

Another standout for Monture during the recent camp in Richmond is Zoey Collinson (Skidegate) who helped her team win the Junior All-Native Basketball tournament two years in a row. She was also chosen MVP of the tournament both times.



 Wednesday, Dec 4, 2019 

Published 8 am


All things hockey

Hometown Tour in Abbotsford Dec 14-15

Alex Mitchell, City of Abbotsford/Website image


Food and live music among events at the Hometown Hockey Tour in Abbotsford, Dec 14-15.


ogersTM Hometown HockeyTM Tour presented by Scotiabank and Hyundai is heading to Abbotsford, BC on December 14 and 15 to celebrate more of the game that brings us together. Hosts Ron MacLean and Tara Slone will be on site for the festivities, which include meet-and-greet opportunities with NHL alumni Darcy Hordichuk and Nathan Lieuwen, live local entertainment, and the live Sportsnet NHL broadcast.

The two-day hockey festival begins on Saturday, December 14 at Noon PT at Abbotsford Exhibition Park (32470 Haida Dr.) and will conclude on Sunday evening following the Rogers Hometown Hockey outdoor viewing party. The evening’s broadcast gets underway with a special pre-game show hosted by MacLean and Slone live from the Sportsnet Mobile Studio beginning at 4:30 p.m. PT, followed by a showdown between the Vancouver Canucks and Vegas Golden Knights, on Sportsnet, Sportsnet NOW and NHL LIVE.

The free hockey-themed weekend features games, prize giveaways, fun activities, and live local entertainment for the whole family, including:

Rogers Fan Hub: Celebrate more of the game that brings us together with fun and interactive hockey experiences. Fill out your Fan Profile for a chance to win exclusive Rogers Moments, enjoy autograph signings with NHL alumni Darcy Hordichuk, test your stickhandling with the Infinite Dangles challenge, and grab some free popcorn!
• Sportsnet Shooting Accuracy Game: Fans race against the clock to snipe as many targets as possible before time runs out! A digital scoreboard tracks the best scores from the day, and from the other Tour stops across the country. Players of all ages can show off their hockey skills and see how they match up to NHL stars and alumni with fantastic prizes to be won!
Steve Goodtime Rockin’ Hockey Show: Come see Steve Goodtime, our world-renowned hockey acrobat! Steve performs his incredible family-friendly rock n’ roll hockey show packed with fire, juggling, stunts, and guitar solos. The event will be rocked!
Scotiabank Community Hockey Rink: A family-friendly outdoor hockey space designed to engage hockey fans who can interact with NHL alumni Nathan Lieuwen and celebrate the game. Scotiabank will also be donating $15,000 in support of kids’ community hockey at each tour stop this season.
• Hyundai Drives Hockey: Hyundai displays on festival grounds will feature games and challenges for kids and parents alike. Opportunities to test-drive and interact with the entire range of five Hyundai SUVs will demonstrate how Hyundai is made for those who drive hockey. Fans will have the chance to win on-site giveaways, weekend prizes as well as an overall grand prize for the season.
• Dr. Oetker Giuseppe Pizzeria: Fans can enjoy a complimentary slice of Giuseppe Pizzeria pizza fresh out of the oven, and learn more about the Find Giuseppe contest with many great prizes to be won!
• Playmobil Kids Zone: Fans have the chance to face off against friends and family with the PLAYMOBIL NHL Arena and its lineup of NHL figures. In the zone, fans will also be able to enter to win an NHL playset.
• Sobeys Community Barbeque: Sobeys is proud to support the Community Barbeque through a food donation. All funds raised this weekend will go towards supporting the Abbotsford Minor Hockey Association and Abbotsford Female Minor Hockey Association.
• Live Local Entertainment: Live music featured throughout the weekend beginning with The Whiskeyjays performing on Saturday followed by Kyler Pierce on Sunday. Learn more about Hometown Hockey and the tour.



 Wednesday, Dec 4, 2019 

Published 8 am


Remembering lives lost in Montreal

Community invited to light candles Dec 6

Patti MacAhonic, Ann Davis Soc./File photo


A candle vigil will he held at Five Corners Dec. 6 at 5 pm.


hirty years after that wrenching loss of innocence, many candles have been lit, white ribbons worn and December 6th declared a National Day of Action against violence against women. Today, no one disputes that indeed this was a crime against women.

“Ann Davis Transition Society (ADTS) has consistently held a service every year to mark this crime against women,” says Patti MacAhonic ADTS, executive director. “In the past 3 years we have partnered with the University of the Fraser Valley to further raise awareness not just this horrific incident but the violence against women that continues in Canada today.”

In 1989, twenty-five-year-old Marc Lépine, armed with a legally obtained Mini-14 semi-automatic rifle, shot twenty-eight people before killing himself at the École Polytechnique in Montreal.    

It is chilling  to know that one man had nurtured such a hatred for women seeking to advance themselves in their chosen field, that he strode into a classroom and after segregating the women from the men, shot all nine of the women; accusing them of being feminists and killing 6 of them.  He continued through the school and killed 14 women, injured 10 women and 4 men in total. The gender-selective attack shocked all of Canada and moved Parliament to declare Dec. 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada in 1991.

Locally our violent crime has risen nearly 70%. With unaffordable housing we have the highest ratio of homeless women at 40% in the province, being homeless puts women in an even more vulnerable position and a target for further violence. Domestic violence continues to be prevalent. Come out and be a part of making a difference in stopping violence against women; our mothers, grandmothers, daughters and sisters. December 6th at 5 pm at 5 Corners Chilliwack. Learn about the Ann Davis Society and services offered.



 Wednesday, Dec 4, 2019 

Published 8 am


Hoofin' it to help

First responders fan out across the city to collect items for the food bank

Kathy Laynes, CFD/File photo


Volunteers load boxes for the food bank at Hall 1.

he Chilliwack Fire Department, along with Chilliwack Search and Rescue (SAR) and Emergency Social Services (ESS), would like to thank the citizens of Chilliwack for making the 2019 Emergency Services Food Drive a success.  We would also like to thank Clearway Rentals Inc. for donating the use of a truck to help with the collection of the food donations. 

Approximately 21,000 food items were collected by firefighters, SAR, and St. John Ambulance volunteers, along with Mayor Popove and his wife, during a two-hour period on Monday night.  ESS, 1st Fairfield Scouts, and Chilliwack Midget A1 Jr. Bruins hockey team donated their time to help with packing the food items.  These food items will have a significant, short term impact on the local Chilliwack Community Food Bank reserves. 

Donations will continue to be accepted during the month of December at Fire Hall #1, located at 45950 Cheam Avenue (corner of Young Road and Cheam Avenue), from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, or drop your donation off at the Salvation Army on Yale Road.