October 2020 Archives



 Sunday Nov 29, 2020 

Published 8 am


Under her thumb

Power-drunk School Board Chair Reichert acting like a despot

Darrell Furgason PhD, SD33 Trustee/Voice file photo


The Progress omitted the following copy from Trustee Darrell Furgason's letters marked in red.


I wish to respond to Jessica Peters’ article Nov 5, “School Trustee speaks out about harassment” in which she asserts that the 3 of us , Heather Maahs, Barry Neufeld and myself (who are the conservative minority of the Board) are the perpetrators of “harassment”, and have created a “toxic work environment”, while Willow Reichelt suffers innocently. Why would Peters take almost three quarters of a page to denigrate 3 conservative Trustees, without giving any of us the opportunity to give our side of the story? Our email addresses and phone numbers have always been available on the School District website.

So here is my reply to the claims Peters has made;


The truth of the matter is that Reichelt’s constant Left wing political activism, emotional outbursts, denigrating name calling of the 3 of us (“bigot”, “anti-LGBTQ”, “homophobic”, “Islamophobic”, “haters”, “violators of the UN Human Rights Code” etc) and insulting body language and facial gestures while one of us speaks, is by far the major part of the problem with this Board. And what is worse is that the majority “progressive” Trustees have now made her Chair, something I question because she certainly does not have the experience nor capacity to allow, consider and represent the views of the whole Chilliwack community (especially the large conservative part), something that a good Chair should do.

To get the facts straight, just before Barry Neufeld called Reichelt a hypocrite, Reichelt had made insulting facial gestures towards Heather Maahs while Heather was speaking to an issue. I believe this is hypocritical and is also a clear violation of the Trustee Code of Ethics. Peters does not mention any of this. Reichelt is only portrayed as the victim. A censure motion could actually be made against Reichelt because of this kind of behaviour, so it is ironic that Reichelt is quoted as saying that if she was an employee of the District, she could “file a harassment case” against Neufeld because of his comment.

Remember, it was Reichelt who participated in a screaming mob that invaded the Board room before the 2018 election shouting that Barry Neufeld had to go. And perhaps most chillingly, Reichelt wants the Board to have the option “to remove individual Trustees” in a majority vote. Given the current Board majority, this is heading in a dangerous direction, and spells the deterioration of Democracy in the Chilliwack School District. Trustees will no longer be able to represent the views of conservative communities. Does the Chilliwack community really want a dictatorship of the Left on the School Board?



 Sunday Nov 29, 2020 

Published 8 am


Code red

After 2 years, School Board Chair Reichert still has to learn personal grievances have no place at board meetings

Darrell Furgason PhD, SD33 Trustee/Voice file photo


The Progress omitted the following copy from Trustee Darrell Furgason's letters marked in red.


I was not surprised to see the 2 letters to the Editor criticizing me in The Progress November 19, 2020. As a conservative Trustee, I have come to expect media criticism, given the ideological commitment shown by Jessica Peters and Paul Henderson in their coverage of School Board activities. All journalists and editors have political preferences. So, let me respond to the well-meaning (but politically misinformed) assertions expressed in these 2 letters.

The reality of a political appointment is that views of issues will vary, and that in fact is what a Democracy is all about. Let us not forget that School Trustees were elected, which means voters approved the views and positions of the candidates put forward in their campaigns. And those views have varied greatly in the case of this current batch of elected Trustees.

It is no secret that the Chilliwack School Board is a 4-3 split ideologically. In any election, be it Municipal, Provincial, or Federal, there will always be a winning majority, whose views will dominate, and be expressed in policies and actions. That is normal politics. In our local context, this means that a large part of the Chilliwack community has elected 3 Trustees who endorse a conservative approach in education. We have opposed a) the implementation of resources like SOGI123, b) climate “action” protests by students, c) rainbow crosswalks painted on School District property, d) removing dress codes for students, e) the location of the Portal, despite safety concerns expressed by parents & students etc. The 4 majority Trustees have all heartily embraced them.

The suggestion in these 2 letters to the Editor that I, and the other 2 conservative Trustees (we are the minority) are somehow not “serving the whole community” is false. The opposite is true. We are upholding the Code of Ethics by standing our ground for the whole Chilliwack community and all students, not just select minority or vocal activist groups.


 Sunday Nov 29, 2020 

Published 8 am


Brick walls of fluff

Print media narcissists creating great theatre but need a dose of reality

Darrell Furgason PhD, SD33 Trustee/Voice file photo


The Progress omitted the following copy from Trustee Darrell Furgason's letters marked in red.


I was astounded at the deplorable “journalism” illustrated by Jessica Peters in her article Nov 5, “School Trustee speaks out about harassment” in which she shamelessly promotes her close friend Willow Reichelt (talk about bias!) while asserting brazenly that it is the 3 of us , Heather Maahs, Barry Neufeld and myself (who are the conservative minority of the Board) are the perpetrators of “harassment”, and have created a “toxic work environment”, while Willow suffers innocently. What nonsense! Shame on the Progress for allowing Peters almost three quarters of a page to denigrate 3 conservative Trustees, without giving any of us the opportunity to give our side of the story. So here is my rebuttal of this one-sided propaganda piece Peters has written.


1) First of all, I find it very revealing - and if I may say so, a little insulting - that the CTA cannot (or will not?) even spell my name correctly. (Unless it was the Progress, which is just as concerning) In their release you quoted, my name is spelled "Ferguson". I trust you can see my concern here. If the CTA, a partner group who represent teachers (employees of the School District) do not even bother to spell my name correctly, how seriously should anyone take their leadership? I totally support and admire the wonderful teachers in our District. The CTA union leadership, however, have not shown us any respect, and regretfully have weaponized that disrespect via the local media.

2) Given that the CTA has often stated that they want to "dialogue" with the Board, is it not hypocritical to turn against a Trustee so easily, demanding that I be censured? How does this build relationship with Trustees?

3) Unions exist to make demands from an employer for their members. However, not all teachers in Chilliwack would agree with CTA's demand for a 2 week Spring Break, for example, given the great loss of classroom face-to-face time with the continuing COVID challenge. Heather Maahs and I appealed to the CTA to stay in the classroom next year, and agree to a 1 week break so that students could perhaps catch up. Our concern was dismissed. Perhaps it is time that the CTA listened to the concerns of Trustees in regards to student achievement, rather than continue to assert their demands.

The truth of the matter is that Reichelt’s constant Left wing political activism, emotional outbursts, denigrating name calling of the 3 of us ( “bigot”, “anti-LGBTQ”, “homophobic”, “Islamophobic”, “haters”, “violators of the UN Human Rights Code” etc) and insulting body language and facial gestures while one of us speaks, is by far the major part of the problem with this Board. And what is worse is that the other majority “progressive” Trustees have now astonishingly made her Chair, because she certainly does not have the experience nor capacity to allow, consider and represent the views of the whole Chilliwack community (especially the large conservative part), something that a good Chair should do.

To get the facts straight, just before Barry Neufeld called Reichelt a hypocrite, Reichelt had made insulting facial gestures towards Heather Maahs while Heather was speaking to an issue. This is indeed hypocritical and is a clear violation of the Trustee Code of Ethics. Peters does not mention any of this. Reichelt is only portrayed as the victim, despite fact that she has behaved like this towards all 3 of us, without any reprimand from the Left-wing majority. A censure motion could actually be made against Reichelt because of this kind of immature behaviour, so it is ironic - and indeed laughable - that Reichelt is quoted as saying that if she was an employee of the District, she could “file a harassment case” against Neufeld because of his comment.


Remember, it was Reichelt who participated in a screaming mob that invaded the Board room before the 2018 election shouting that Barry Neufeld had to go. And perhaps most chillingly, Reichelt wants the Board to have the option “to remove individual Trustees” they don’t like. This is a dangerous direction, and spells nothing but the end of Democracy in the Chilliwack School District. Trustees will no longer be able to represent the views of conservative communities. Does the Chilliwack community really want a dictatorship of the Left?

With Dan Coulter becoming an MLA and resigning from the Board, I am hoping and praying that perhaps now, in the coming Board by-election, Chilliwack will elect a Trustee who is focused on student achievement, rather than on the political ideology and activism of the Left, as Reichelt is. Chilliwack deserves better than this and I know that the 3 of us who are in the conservative minority on this Board are committed to seeing this Board return to its intended mandate – to listen to, and represent the whole Chilliwack community, and deliver a fact-based, world class education that students and families are asking for.



 Sunday Nov 29, 2020 

Published 8 am


Speaking of slander

CTA president's lawyer calls defamatory comments "in the public interest"

B Neufeld, SD33 Trustee/Voice file photo


The Nov 25-26 online hearing in front of the three judges of the BC Court of Appeal went well. They only allowed a day and a half for it, so submissions were rushed. We don’t know when the judges will hand down their decision.

The president of the teacher’s union had used the new Anti-SLAPP law to try and quash my lawsuit against him for defamation. His lawyer admitted that some of their public statements could be considered defamation, but they were made “in the public interest” to protect a vulnerable section of society. My lawyer kept emphasizing that I was critical of a teaching resource, NOT any group of persons. The union president was using the new law to discredit and silence me and others. One should always restrict themselves by attacking the idea, not the person.

At one point, the other lawyer began to say that I was some kind of church official, but the judge stopped her and said: “I don’t know where you are going with that, but religion is not the issue here.”

Recent Supreme Court of Canada rulings on protection of free speech are in my favor. Glen Hansman is taking a big risk here. If he loses this appeal, he has already admitted to slander. If the court comes down strongly in my favor, they may order him to pay costs for this Anti-SLAPP roadblock, which will help me to pay for my Civil jury trial in CHILLIWACK.



 Friday Nov 27, 2020 

Published 8 pm


Early morning car fire

Firefighters extinguished quickly before it spread

Staff/Voice photos


Firefighters inspect the damage.


Firefighters were called out to an early morning blaze Wednesday after neighbours noticed a car was on fire at around 7 am in the 45000-block of First Ave.


By the time fire crews could get there the late model vehicle was fully engulfed. They got the fire under control quickly before it spread to the adjacent home.


There were no injuries to residents or fire crews.



 Friday Nov 27, 2020 

Published 8 pm


Safe at home

Women, family groups open "Willow Reporting Room" Dec 1

P. MacAhonic, Ann Davis Soc./File photo


Patti MacAhonic (l), exec. dir. Ann Davis Soc.


On December 1st, Ann Davis Transition Society (ADTS) in partnership with the RCMP Domestic Violence Unit, Wilma House, Pearl Renewal Society and Sto:lo Women will be opening an exciting and innovative project in Chilliwack called the Willow Room, a safe and supported place for women and children to report domestic violence, sexual or gender based violence to the RCMP. This will have a Crisis Worker for support in a trauma informed, culturally sensitive and supported environment at Ann Davis Transition Society Admin office at 9046 Young Rd. and open 24/7.

By calling the RCMP and asking for this service or by calling 604-792-3116 or one of the named partners to report with you, you or anyone you know can access this service that will provide a trauma informed and timely response, with increased sensitivity, access to knowledge and connection to resources, and offering appropriate follow up that can begin to redefine how we help women report. Working with Trauma-informed response and interview techniques is necessary to creating a trauma-informed reporting room and fostering trust in the community. The room is set up to be culturally welcoming and a truly safe place to report for all women. Kathleen Mosa, Executive Director, Wilma House shares that, “Having a safe trauma informed space for women to report in our community is vital for their wellbeing”.

“The responding officer’s awareness of the needs of victims/survivors], the many dimensions and consequences of crime for victims, common responses to victimization, and the particular needs of distinct victim populations can help the officer avoid a revictimization of victims. Patti MacAhonic, Executive Director of ADTS stated that, “A victim’s/survivor’s disclosure of a traumatic event has the potential to be an affirming or retraumatizing experience.

The Willow room partners that work extensively with women want to ensure that women are heard, supported and not further victimized and this is why this important project has been put in place.”

Learn more at the Ann Davis website.



 Friday Nov 27, 2020 

Published 8 pm


If a tree falls

Old-growth forests need funding to preserve

TJ Watt, AFA/Handout photos


TJ Watt, Ancient Forest Alliance, at the base of a giant cedar.


On a trip to Vancouver Island's Caycuse watershed back in April, I explored and photographed one of the most spectacular groves I'd ever come across.

Wandering through the forest, I was stunned by the sheer number of monumental red cedars, one after another, on this gentle mountain slope. I was also crushed to see that logging had already begun in the 33.5-hectare cutblock.


I revisited the site earlier this month, only this time it would be to photograph the stumps of those same trees. It was gut-wrenching to witness how the spectacular grove, once filled with flourishes of red, green, and gold, had been utterly destroyed.

The BC NDP government has promised to implement all of the Old Growth Strategic Review panel’s recommendations. But without immediate action to protect the most at-risk forests and a significant funding commitment, we'll see few meaningful changes and more talk-and-log.


Connect on Facebook.




 Thursday Nov 26, 2020 

Published 1 pm


Veterans seek recognition

Volunteer medals still missing, why?

Dave Palmer/Voice file photo


As you are aware, many of you are extremely proactive and supportive of this long-standing effort to have our Cold War Veterans honoured, acknowledged and recognized by means of a medal for their active roles in serving during the Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, FLQ, and numerous other things that happened to them on their watch. Things that many Cold War Veterans participated in and were either deployed, working or serving in standby roles in service to our nation.

I must share this with you as fellow Veteran Bob Thomson, CD, has been a staunch and active supporter of the call for the creation of said Medal. A recent effort to once again seek support was not met with the kind of fair and inclusive manner in which one Comrade might expect from another and it was indicated that the present Honours.

They were honoured, acknowledged and recognized by means of a legacy that can be passed on from generation to generation, a medal for their service. Yet with the cessation of the CVSM on March 1, 1947, there has been no medal for our Veterans' and nothing for them as a legacy for their Service.



 Wednesday Nov, 25, 2020 

Published noon


Fraser Institute school rankings

Annual Foundation Skills Assessment list is out

FI/Screen image


Schools are ranked.


Today, the Fraser Institute released its annual rankings of British Columbia elementary schools.

It is the most easily accessible tool for parents to compare the academic performance of B.C. schools. It ranks 931 public and independent elementary schools based on 10 academic indicators derived from province-wide Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) results.

Look up your local school at www.CompareSchoolRankings.org



 Wednesday Nov, 25, 2020 

Published noon


Have your say, take the survey

School board looking for feedback from residents on 2021-2022 school years

SD33/File photo


Former School District Superintendent Michael Audet leaves Rosedale Middle School.


The Chilliwack Board of Education wishes to ensure that parents, employees, community members and partners are aware of the proposed Draft 2021-2022 Local School Calendar Options and is extending this opportunity to provide feedback.


Please note that this survey will be open from 10 pm, Tuesday November 24 to midnight, Sunday December 6.

OPTION 1: A School Calendar that includes a One-Week Spring Break, Six Non-Instructional Days and One Administration Day

OPTION 2: A School Calendar that includes a Two-Week Spring Break, Six Non-Instructional Days and One Administration Day


Thank you for taking the time to provide your feedback.



 Tuesday Nov, 24, 2020 

Published 4:30pm


Gov't lays down the law on masks

State of Emergency extended to Dec 8, ten COVID deaths overnight 

BC Gov't Caucus/File photo



Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, is aligning the Province’s measures under the Emergency Program Act (EPA) with the provincial health officer’s (PHO) guidance that masks must be worn in indoor public places.

The Province is also formally extending the provincial state of emergency, allowing health and emergency management officials to continue to use extraordinary powers under the EPA to support the Province's COVID-19 pandemic response. The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on Dec. 8, 2020.

“We’ve entered a second wave of COVID-19 in British Columbia and additional steps need to be taken to protect our health,” Farnworth said. “Now more than ever, we all need to follow the guidelines of the PHO. Last week, the PHO provided guidance that masks should be worn in all indoor public places. This new order under the EPA will ensure we have the tools necessary to enforce the mask mandate as recommended by the PHO.”

This ministerial order on masks ensures a co-ordinated response to COVID-19. Masks are now required to be worn by all British Columbians, 12 years and older.

Masks may be removed temporarily in indoor public places to identify the individual wearing the mask, to consume food or beverage at a location designated for this purpose, while participating in a sport or fitness activity in a sport facility or while receiving a personal or health service that requires the mask to be removed.


Anyone without a mask in an indoor public place or who refuses to comply with the direction of an enforcement officer, including the direction to leave the space, or who responds with abusive or belligerent behaviour, may be subject to a $230 fine.

Effective immediately, these measures are enacted under the provincial state of emergency, using the extraordinary powers of the EPA in ongoing support of B.C.’s COVID-19 response.



 Tuesday Nov, 24, 2020 

Published 10 am


A growing economy

Shxwha:y First Nations looking for answers on licence to participate in Cannabis industry

Tatianna Ducklow, Argyle Comm./Voice file photo



Robert Gladstone (red)


After months of tireless work from Shxwha:y First Nation to engage with the BC government and secure a license to legally distribute cannabis, the public is stepping up to share their voice as almost 700 signatures have already been acquired in less than a week on an online petition to support Indigenous rights to participate in the Canadian cannabis economy. 


Since filing its application for a Section 119 agreement under the Cannabis Control and Licensing Agreement Act in July, the community has not received any timeline from the provincial government despite repeated attempts to initiate meaningful dialogue. Indigenous communities have been left out of an industry that can help them create a livelihood and fight poverty.  


With only 4 per cent of Canadian cannabis licenses being Indigenous affiliated, it is apparent that not only are BC’s All Nations Chiefs looking to claim the right to participate, but the public is in support of an inclusive Cannabis industry in the province.  


As this support continues to grow online, All Nation’s Chiefs are looking forward to their virtual event scheduled for Wednesday, December 2, 2020 where stakeholders, public and government can come together to hear ready-made solutions that will enable inclusive and diverse partnerships across the region


 Tuesday Nov, 24, 2020 

Published 10 am


Carole James to step down

BC Conservative leader, Bolin, thanks NDP James for her three decades of service

Trevor Bolin, Leader BC Conservatives/Voice file photo


Carole James and John Horgan in Chilliwack at Decades café in 2017.


“There have been many occasions when we have not seen eye to eye with the policies of Victoria - Beacon Hill MLA and NDP Finance Minister Carole James, however, no one can take away from her dedication to the people of BC.”

Those words were spoken today by the leader of BC’s Conservatives, Trevor Bolin.

James, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s earlier this year, has also been the province’s Deputy Premier. She will now be retiring this Thursday after a long 30-year career of service to the province.

“Today, we take time today to thank her for those many years of commitment to British Columbians, and to wish her well in retirement with her husband, children, and grandchildren.”



 Tuesday Nov, 24, 2020 

Published 10 am


Toxic relationships in song

Candian singer Ley Vara releases new single

Amanda Triumbari & Chrissy Newton, VOCAB/Handout image



Toronto-based r&b and soul emerging artist Ley Vara is excited to announce the release of her sixth single “Red Flag.” Written by Ley Vara and produced by Josh Polasz, from KYNGS, “Red Flag” reflects on heartbreak and being cheated on. The lyrical styling focuses on how there can be various “red flags” within a partner that people often miss because they are in love.

Ley Vara wants to inspire feelings of empowerment within her listeners by giving them a voice in a toxic relationship. In the past Ley Vara has worked with TJ Whitelaw, guitarist, music director and producer from Toronto, on her single “Bestmistake,” garnering over 200,000 streams on Spotify. Upon the release of “Red Flag,” Ley Vara is releasing the official music video on December 1 to bring her melodic vision to life.

Listen to “Red Flag” here or on Distrokid. The single is now streaming on Apple Music, Spotify and more.


About Ley Vara
Singer/songwriter, rnb, pop, has worked with various artists from Canada and the US. Started recording in 2019, released one single over the summer that got over 20 thousand streams with no PR involved. Another single, Bruises, recently dropped to show her variety in sounds that she is able to cover. Starting taking singing lessons when she was 5 after her mother claimed that she was able to sing the ABCs better than most children. 12 years of vocal, piano, and guitar finally paid off in early of 2019 when Ley decided to start recording. Producers at kyngdom studios have helped her mold into the artist she is today, covering a variety of different genres including pop, trap, rnb, dancehall, and whatever else the future holds for her.



 Tuesday Nov, 24, 2020 

Published 10 am


Punk to placid

New album from legendary guitarist

Mavis Harris/Handout image



Mike Hodsall, the bassist of legendary punk band DOA, has released some incredible new music in the vein of Tangerine Dream and Pink Floyd.

A British-Canadian musician with over 25 years of activity as a guitarist, bassist, composer and touring musician - his music has spanned many genres including psychedelic rock, southern rock, punk, instrumental acoustic, ambient and orchestral.

Now based in the mountain town of Nelson BC, Mike spends his time committed to his music, and to nature.

Listen to part one and part two on YouTube



 Monday Nov, 23, 2020

Published 2:30 pm


That's not journalism

Fortunately not everyone is an idiot

Andy Fraser


After reading the rather extensive report by reporter Jessica Peters where School Trustee Willow Reichelt makes some strong allegations against three fellow Trustees, I’m a bit concerned.

I’m not concerned with what the Trustee says. She has the right to say anything she wishes. My big concern is that nowhere in this story do I see where the reporter has made any attempt to question the three whom Trustee Reichelt seems to be upset with, Trustee Neufeld, Trustee Maahs and Trustee Furgason for their side of these allegations.

When a person makes such strong comments about others in a news story it is common practice to give the other side an opportunity to respond. I see no indication that any such effort was made which leaves me wondering why.

This piece is obviously not an editorial, nor an ‘opinion’ piece. It is obviously a one sided account which is not, nor should ever be, the aim of a news story. It is most disappointing.

It comes across as a slanted piece of journalism.



 Monday, Nov 23, 2020  

Published 2:30 pm


For the record 

Barry Neufeld speaks out

B Neufeld/Voice file photo

In no way did I intend to insult developmentally delayed persons. My insult was directed SOLELY at the reporters at the CHILLIWACK Progress who are malicious in their false reporting about my opposition to encourage gender confused children to transition. I am not anti gay. I am not opposed to gay marriage. These are all false assumptions they continue to foist on me.

If some felt I was denigrating special needs children, I am So sorry, but I insist that that was not what I meant.

I am especially concerned about special needs children. I was horrified that medical professionals were transitioning a Down’s syndrome teenager and removing her breasts. I am personally acquainted with Dr. Ken Zucker, who until 2016 was considered the world authority on treating gender dysphoric children. He noted that the majority of children he was treating were somewhere on the autism spectrum. But if gender dysphoric children were NOT encouraged to socially transition, take puberty blockers, hormone therapy, etc, 80-90% of those children grew out of their discomfort.

Ten years ago, Dr. Wallace Wong psychologist at the gender clinic of Children’s hospital had less than a dozen clients. Today, he has over a thousand, most of them special needs with a wide range of mental health problems and half of them are children in care! He has only one solution to recommend: transition of gender! And he encourages his clients to threaten suicide if anyone objects! No one is willing to raise the alarm here on what is happening to these poor children!



 Monday, Nov 23, 2020  

Published 1 pm


For what it's worth 

So what do hurtful and insulting remarks look like?

Kellie Paddon, MLA Chilliwack-Kent with Staff comment/Voice images

Last night, Barry Neufeld attacked journalists at the Chilliwack Progress using a slur that is harmful to people with disabilities.

It’s the latest offensive remark by Neufeld, who has also made numerous transphobic and homophobic statements.

Just this summer, Neufeld encouraged his supporters to become BC Liberal members to support Laurie Throness. Neufeld said joining the BC Liberals would “demonstrate to the Party there is support” for beliefs like his.

The BC Liberals did not publicly reject Neufeld’s support or membership drive.

“These insulting and harmful remarks have no place in our politics. All parties should denounce Barry Neufeld’s extreme and offensive beliefs. I hope the BC Liberals will be clear with British Columbians about whether they accepted his membership application. They should show that Barry Neufeld and his beliefs have no place in their party,” said
Kelli Paddon, MLA-Elect for Chilliwack-Kent in a release Friday.


It's not above local journalists to make harassing, hurtful and insulting remarks such as Progress editor Paul Henderson (below). The following screenshots are from "journalist" Henderson making it difficult to see how he's a professional journalist. It's the pot calling a kettle black. Is this journalism from an acredited newspaper editor? Should people worry about name-calling because they may hurt someone's feelings? What type of person would write these things?


So when Henderson is throwing around ignorant comments, harassing, and making threats, it's important for Kellie Paddon and Dan Coulter and the NDP to keep in mind what he's really like and that it is happening and what his abuse to other people in the community looks like. So it's important not to gang up on Barry Neufeld for some softball comments. (warning very strong language.)


Can Neufeld's comments beat that? There is more here but this gives readers a chance to see how their local newspaper editor operates. He continues his hate-filled crusade to anyone who will listen to his character assassination to this day. That's the way it goes in the news?


 Saturday, Nov 21, 2020  

Published 4 pm


Eating to health 

Chilliwack Prostrate Cancer Support Group meets Dec 3 via web conference

Dale Erickson, PCSG/Website photo

Our next meeting will be on Thursday, December 3rd at 7:00 PM and will be offered by web conference. Our speaker will be Julie Tang, a registered dietician at InspireHealth  and will talk about “Supporting Overall Wellbeing: “Does sugar feed cancer? What is the connection between glucose (sugar) and chronic disease?


She will explore this connection and how to create shifts in your own lives that can support overall health and wellbeing. To register for the meeting please send an email here. Attendees may ask questions on the chat line.

Any questions, call Dale (604) 824-5506.

Dr. Judy Tang is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, where she received a Bachelor of Social Work in 1996 and a Doctorate of Medicine in 2010. Her interest in healing evolved during her seven years as a social worker for disadvantaged older adults in Los Angeles, California. Her experiences in medicine have been accompanied by a deepening sense of compassion and respect for people’s unique capabilities.

Judy is dedicated to transforming the experience of care by promoting and supporting personal empowerment. She is delighted to be a part of InspireHealth’s vision of health and healing.



 Saturday, Nov 21, 2020  

Published 11 am


Dog Poisonings 

Chilliwack SPCA warn of tainted items on trails

Amanda Tipper/Voice file photo


A couple walking their dog in Harrison.

The BC SPCA is warning dog owners to keep an eye out for suspicious-looking substances while walking their dogs in local Chilliwack parks. The animal protection society has received four reports of dogs becoming ill after ingesting unknown toxic substances.

“The locations we’ve received reports from include Rotary Trail, Peach Park/Peach Road, Vedder Park/Petawawa Road and Anglers Boulevard – all in the River’s Edge area,” says Eileen Drever, senior officer of protection and stakeholder relations for the BC SPCA. “Some individuals have reported seeing dog food with an unknown powdered substance but we have not been able to confirm this.”

Drever says the affected dogs have experienced excessive vomiting, diarrhea and lethargy.

“If you are walking your dog in these areas, please keep them on a leash and be vigilant about any suspicious substances that may put your pet at risk,” says Drever. “If your pet becomes ill, seek veterinary care immediately.”

The BC SPCA is patrolling the area and urges anyone with information to please call the BC SPCA Call Center at 1-855-622-7722 or the Chilliwack RCMP non-emergency line at 604-792-4611.



 Saturday, Nov 21, 2020  

Published 11 am


Ranch fundraiser 

Zajac planning 2021 special summer camps

Amanda Tipper/Handout images


“Holly Day” at Zajac Ranch is a daytime winter
celebration featuring petting zoo visits, cookie decorating, climbing through the trees on our Sky Net, door prizes, archery, carolling and more. Zajac Ranch for Children’s “Holly Day” will take place on December 12, 2020 starting at 9:30am. Registration is $199 for a family of 4, and $30 for each additional guest. For more information and to
register, visit Zajac Ranch's website.


At the end of a challenging year for all, Zajac Ranch is looking to spread a little joy in the community. Zajac Ranch staff recently took notice that many Holiday events were being cancelled due to ongoing pandemic restrictions, and decided to adapt their Family Retreat cohort model to fit a one day “Holly Day” spectacular. Guests will take part in up to eight different activities over four to five hours, with lunch and snacks from the talented cooking staff included in the registration price.
There will even be a wagon ride and gift exchange. Physical distancing measures will be in place making spots limited, so register soon.

About Zajac Ranch for Children
Zajac Ranch for Children, located on Stave Lake in Mission, BC, is dedicated to giving children and young adults with chronic, life-threatening and debilitating conditions the chance to enjoy an extraordinary summer camp experience.



 Saturday, Nov 21, 2020  

Published 10 am


Second highest BC voter turnout 

Numbers include vote-by-mail

Elections BC/File image



Elections BC has updated its estimate of voter turnout in the 2020 Provincial General Election from 52.4% to 54.5% of registered voters.

The updated estimate is based on the number of registered voters at the close of general voter registration on September 26, and the number of valid votes and rejected ballots cast at all voting opportunities.


As voters in B.C. can register when they vote, the number of registered voters on Election Day (October 24, 2020) will not be known until post-election processing is complete. Once this figure is known Elections BC will report the final turnout rate for 2020.

In total, 1,900,353 voters voted in the provincial election. While this was 86,021 fewer than in the 2017 Provincial General Election, when 1,986,374 voters cast a ballot, it was the second highest total in B.C. electoral history.

A record 724,279 voters requested vote-by-mail packages in 2020, a massive increase from past provincial elections. 596,287 voters returned their package by the close of voting, representing a return rate of 82.3%. This return rate does not account for voters who requested a vote-by-mail package but decided to vote in person. This figure is still being determined, and will be reported on in the Chief Electoral Officer’s report for the election (to be published in 2021). In the 2017 provincial election only 6,517 voters voted by mail, representing 57.8% of packages issued for that election.

This was also the first election in B.C. in which more voters voted before Election Day than on Election Day. The table shows the percentage of votes that were cast at each type of voting opportunity in 2020 compared with 2017.



 Thursday, Nov 19, 2020  

Published 8 am


Food excellence 

Field to Fork Challenge winners

Yana Vishnevskaya, 4-H BC/Handout photo



4-H British Columbia (4-H BC) and BC Agriculture in the Classroom Foundation (BCAITC) are pleased to announce the results of the Field to Fork Challenge! From June to September 2020, dozens of British Columbia youth ages 9 to 19 entered the Field to Fork Challenge by submitting BC grown recipes and cooking videos for a chance to win prizes totaling $3,200.

From Hungry Hiker Skillet to Turkey Stuffed Zucchini Boats to Rhubarb Strawberry Pie, Field to Fork Challenge entrants created recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert featuring healthy, locally grown ingredients. The 20 winners were chosen for their excellent recipe choices, use of BC ingredients, evidence of thorough study, food and kitchen safety, and presentation.


In addition to winning cash prizes, Field to Fork Challenge winners had the opportunity to attend the Field to Fork Virtual Conference on November 7, 2020 to enjoy cooking BC Kale Caesar Salad with Craisins, BC Bacon Penne Alfredo, and BC Apple Blondie alongside BCAITC Celebrity Chef Randle. The young chefs got busy in their home kitchens while Chef Randle provided expert instruction online. Event attendees also learned about apple, cranberry, and pork farming and what it takes to bring these foods from farm to table from agriculture industry representatives. The incredible full-day event also included fun activities like apple tasting, agriculture trivia, and more.


Find the Field to Fork Challenge video featuring clips of winning recipes in action, the Field to Fork Challenge recipe book spotlighting 24 homegrown recipes, and more details at www.bcaitc.ca and www.4hbc.ca.


 Thursday, Nov 19, 2020  

Published 8 am


Where Canada meets the USA

America's Wild Border: Northern Exposure TV series launches

Nicola Pender, Pender PR/Handout photo



MBM TV INC. announced today the Canadian Premiere of their latest series America’s Wild Border: Northern Exposure on November 18th at 9PM ET on Love Nature. The series, filmed along the world’s longest border between Canada and the USA, follows the wildlife that live with one foot in two worlds. Animals walk a tightrope of barriers and conflicting regulations, where one step over the line can mean the difference between life and death. The series follows the challenges of these animals and the politics they face over twelve months.

The Vancouver-based production studio, MBM TV, produced America’s Wild Border: Northern Exposure in partnership with Tamarin Productions Inc. for Blue Ant Television. The series features the extraordinary work of Emmy-nominated cinematographers including Director and DP Jeff Morales. Audiences can view the series in select countries around the world. In Canada, Love Nature's nationwide free preview is available now until the new year. The last series from this partnership, the 4x1 series America’s Wild Seasons also screened on Love Nature in Canada and Smithsonian Channel in the US.

MBM TV President Bruce Whitty said, “We are thrilled to be releasing this next project, that showcases the dynamic range of our team and partners. Whether it be natural history, documentary, scripted or animation; we love what we do. America’s Wild Border: Northern Exposure is a beautiful example of what it looks like when the right partners, broadcasters and people come together to create entertaining television.”


Watch show trailers here.



 Wednesday, Nov 18, 2020  

Published 10 am


EpiShuttles now in use

Safer and faster COVID-19 patient transport

Epiguard/Handout photos



Keewatin Air is now ready to deploy the isolation pod EpiShuttle, for safe transportation of contagious patients. Canada is facing an increasing number of Covid-19 cases, and safe transport is key to handle the pandemic.

We now have operational certification from Transport Canada to deploy single-patient isolation and transport units, called EpiShuttles in our Pilatus PC-12 planes. Keewatin, along with Alberta Health Services fixed wing air ambulance has EpiShuttles in operating, says Janet Busse, Executive Director of Medical Operations at Keewatin Air.


In case of a local outbreak, Keewatin Air can with their EpiShuttles offer fast and safe transport, even from remote locations. The aircraft PC-12, is widely used in the north, where its short takeoff and landing capabilities make it able to service the smallest and remote communities with modest airstrips. This includes missions to Alert which is the most northerly community in Canada and the world at latitude 82 degrees about 800 miles from the North pole. Learn more at Epishuttle's website.



 Wednesday, Nov 18, 2020  

Published 8 am


Aural polychromatic

Kootenay's Jan Van Gold's "New Walking Shoes" debuts

Mavis Harris, Nice Marmot PR/Web image



Jan Van Gold weaves together elements of blues-rock, Texas blues, and electric blues in all their multifarious glory. After a long hiatus, Jan Van Gold comes out swinging with toe-tapping tempos jamming to the heartbeat of her sixth studio album. Get ready 'cause her soundscape is a heady wine with hints of swing-like horns and a smattering of scatting. Notes of upbeat, funk-stylings shine through with crisp panache, topped off by a heavy dose of New Orleans jazz-meets-swamp blues.

Being a lover of the creative workings surrounding multitrack recording, Jan Van Gold touts her chops and indulges herself by personally playing all of the instruments on the album as a one-person powerhouse of musicianship. Yet this joyous ensemble belies the heartfelt outpouring within her Dylanesque lyrics. Poignant poetry aimed at the core of critical issues from today’s world from fracking, to pipelines, to politics. Through her music, Jan Van Gold seeks to enlighten, entertain, and educate by the rhythm in her soul - and get you up and dancing to boot! Listen to new single on Spotify. Visit the Jan Van Gold website.



 Monday, Nov 16, 2020  

Published 8 am


BC's real history

A non-fictional account of what happened leading up to the Caribou gold rush

Staff/Voice file images



Explorer Jules Maurice Quesnel was the logbook keeper in the 1808 Fraser Expedition


Unlike a lot of pulp in circulation with fake Black Bart-type characters, this is a non-fictional account of the Fraser expedition as written by my great-great grandfather Jules Maurice Quesnel who was the logbook keeper on the expedition. As an aside, his father, Joseph Quesnel, wrote the first opera in Canada "Colas et Colinette", performed in Montréal in 1790 and in 1805 and 1807 in Québec City.


Jules Maurice Quesnel walked across Canada followed later by Quesnel families who worked through the gold rush and after it was over, the tough family of loggers moved to Lumby, BC, and settled and cleared the lands. There are 26 Quesnel headstones in the pioneer cemetery there and my Christian name, Alfonso, comes from the first RCMP constable in Lumby.


Jules joined the North West Company as a clerk and assisted David Thompson in his explorations in 1805 and 1806. He travelled with Simon Fraser on his exploration of the Fraser River in 1808.


A letter to his friend is transcribed below and a logbook page that was printed in the Caledonia News May 1, 1809.


Dear Friend,
I received your Letter from Last Year on October 1 and I was gratified to learn that your good health has continued; that it will continue is the wish that I make to you with all my Heart!


I congratulate you, Dear Friend, on the approval which you have had in Montreal and you do well to benefit from it as much as it is in your capacity. For me, it may be a long time without my being able to have the same approval, my Interests forcing me to remain in the North for a long time.

Since I have regretted having come here, and in spite of the little hope that there is for young people coming to this Country, I am resolved to continue until the end the career which I had the misfortune to undertake, unless it damages my health, in which case I will voluntarily sacrifice my Interests to preserve my health, without which it is impossible to be happy. There are places in the North which, in spite of the disagreeableness attached to the Country in general, it is however, possible to spend time sometimes agreeably; but in this case, there is nothing but misery and trouble.



Cut off from all the world, we do not only not have the pleasure to know the news of other places, we live entirely on sun dried salmon made by the Savages, which is also their only dependence to live on, and as for animals, there are none, and we often live without shoes, if we don’t procure the leather from the Peace River, and, to cap it all off, we will not be making a good return or profit because there are very few beavers.

The Savages, accustomed to living on salmon, are too lazy to work like those of any other place. Thus you can judge without saying more if my situation is agreeable, but I would not look at the misery of tiredness, nor even the bad food, if the salmon with the bad quality of having a very BAD taste, did not also have what it takes to wreck health, because the most Robust Men who have been in this Country 3 Years are already barely able to do their duty, and although I am of an ebullient temperament I already notice that my health is declining.


This is enough on this subject -- I must teach you that I was a Discoverer this summer with Simon Fraser, and John Stuart, whom you met, I Believe.

We were accompanied by 12 men in three canoes, descending this River which up to now was thought to be the Columbia. But very quickly finding the river un-navigable, we left our canoes and continued our route on foot, in the most dreadful mountains, that we would have never have been able to pass if the Savages who received us well, had not helped us.


After having passed through all these bad places, not without a lot of misery as you could imagine, we found the river again to be navigable, and we all embarked in the wooden boats and continued our route with more satisfaction, until the river discharged into the Pacific Ocean.

When we arrived, as we were going ahead of the local Savages, who are very numerous, they reflected opposition to our passing, and it took the greatest godsend of the world to get us out of this bad action, without being obliged to kill or to us all being killed. We were well received by all the other Savages while going back, and arriving all in perfect health in our New Caledonia. The discharge of this river is at Latitude 49 (degrees) nearly three degrees north of the veritable Columbia.

This voyage did not change the direction of the Company, and will be of no advantage to them, this river not being navigable, but we have carried out the goal for which we undertook the voyage, so in this way we do not have any Reproach to make on ourselves.

I am out of Paper, thus I Conclude, and am your sincere friend.
J. Quesnel



 Monday, Nov 16, 2020  

Published 2 pm


Rent freeze extended

End date July 10, 2021

BC Gov't Caucus/Voice file image



The vehicle sitting in the fast lane had major front end damage and was later towed.


Effective immediately, the Province is extending the freeze on rent increases until July 10, 2021, under the powers of the Emergency Program Act and COVID-19 Related Measures Act.

This is an interim measure to provide stability and advance notice for renters and landlords while a new cabinet is sworn in. Increases set to happen on Dec. 1, 2020, are cancelled, along with all pending increases through to July.

“We know many renters are still facing income loss and even the slightest increase in rent could be extremely challenging. For that reason, we are extending the freeze on rent increases to provide more security for renters during the pandemic,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We are all in this together, and it is important for both renters and landlords that people can stay in their homes.”

The Province originally froze rent increases on March 18, 2020, with the ban set to expire Dec. 1. All renters who have received notice their rent was set to increase after the March 30, 2020, ban, including increases set for Dec. 1, should disregard those notices and continue to pay their current rent amount until July 10, 2021.

If landlords or renters have questions, they are encouraged to contact the Residential Tenancy Branch at 1 800 665-8779 or by email: HSRTO@gov.bc.ca



 Friday, Nov 13, 2020  

Published 11 am


Tragedy on the Trans-Canada

Pedestrian hit while crossing highway, police seek additional information

Staff/Voice photos


The vehicle sitting in the fast lane had major front end damage and was later towed.


November 17 Update by Cpl. Mike Haslov: Upon arrival it was determined that a vehicle had struck a pedestrian in the eastbound fast lane, severely injuring the pedestrian, a man in his thirties from the local area. Speed and impairment have been ruled out as causal factors in the crash and the driver remained on scene and is cooperating with investigators. The pedestrian remains in hospital in serious condition.


Paramedics, firefighters and police were called out in a heavy downpour around 6:38 pm Thursday in response to a person struck by a vehicle on Highway 1 eastbound near the Vedder Road on-ramp.


There's no word on the condition of the person who was involved but there was major damage to the front end of the vehicle and the driver needed medical attention as well.



Both sides of the highway are fenced off for safety purposes. Traffic was reduced to one lane for two hours.

Police would like to speak with the driver and/or occupants of a white SUV which narrowly missed the pedestrian who was then struck by the vehicle following the SUV.

Anyone with information regarding this collision who has yet to speak with police, is asked to call FVTS in Chilliwack at 604-702-4039, citing file 2020-47970.



 Thursday, Nov 12, 2020  


Chilliwack election totals

Final counts are in



 Thursday, Nov 12, 2020  

Published 2pm


Neufeld's fight for what's right

Trustee still banned from schools

Barry Neufeld, Chilliwack Board of Education Trustee SD33/Unedited/Voice file photo



In September, the Supreme Court of Canada handed down a decision that will clarify the purpose of so called "Anti-SLAPP Legislation."  Click here for more information.


As you you know, Glen Hansman, BCTF President used this brand-new BC law to argue that he had a right to insult, shame and silence me, because he believed it was in the public interest. Due to his slander, I am still not allowed in Schools. I have never insulted him, I have continued to stress that it is in the public interest that there needs to be more discussion and planning and changes to SOGI 1•2•3 before it is mandated in all public and independent school classrooms in BC. I am happy to say that the Supreme Court struck down two Ontario cases that were similar to Hansman’s arguments. So we proceed to appeal the decision of the BC Supreme Court to deny me my day in court. The appeal is set for Nov 25, 2020. It will be an online hearing open to the public, and I hope you can observe all or some of it.

Meanwhile the Canadian Union of Public Employees was not happy that I refused to accept their settlement offer in their Human Rights complaint. If I had accepted their terms, I would have falsely admitted wrongdoing. I believe that I have set out on a course to protect innocent but vulnerable schoolchildren from a dangerous ideology. My counsel has proceeded with an application to the Human Rights Tribunal to dismiss the CUPE complaint.

Meanwhile the majority of the Chilliwack Board of Education sent out a virtue signal that they were willing to settle with the Union: approving a payout of thousands of dollars to an LGBTQ+ charity, and an agreement to hire the NDP Pride spokesperson to give indoctrination training to the board. But now they are considering making this training mandatory for ALL District staff, to learn the new biology that there are more than two genders! The cost could run as high as a quarter million dollars! CUPE has now filed an amended complaint eliminating the Board of Education but adding several more accusations about me, most of them over a year old. This is clearly an abuse of process–a fishing expedition if you will– and they still cannot come up with the names of any union member who has been threatened by my statements, actions or opinions.

The Chilliwack Teacher’s Association, backed by the BCTF Lawyers still have a Human Rights complaint against me, but nothing has happened since we spent a whole day at mediation in November of 2018. This is a clear infringement of my rights and my right to free speech. In criminal matters, if the prosecution cannot bring the case to conclusion in less than two years, all charges must be dropped.

I got some pushback from what some people thought sounded like a “conspiracy theory” regarding the connection between COVID -19 and Transgender Ideology. But I am absolutely convinced and have been told by reputable politicians that the United Nations and WHO is forcefully ordering governments to pass legislation that they approve of. But if you are interested, CitizenGo has organized a petition to stop the United 0Nations from its ultra-progressive and aggressively antiChristian policies. The United Nations is coordinating an attack on religious freedom by recently appointing a Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief–Ahmed Shaheed, who has chosen to pursue a controversial agenda that includes abortion, comprehensive sex education and LGBT+ rights. The Special Rapporteur accuses people of faith of discrimination if they oppose: abortion, the redefinition of marriage, and the dismantling of biologically immutable sex and gender distinctions between males and females. He does this through a tortured interpretation of gender and gender equality.

It has been a very frustrating and unpleasant first half of my term on the Board of Education. The Chair has called over a dozen in camera (secret) meetings to try and silence me as well as Trustee Maahs and Trustee Ferguson by endless scolding, name calling and censures. Three years ago, Ms. Willow Reichelt organized hundreds of angry protesters outside the Board Office, screaming threatsat me. The School District had to hire security guards for three months to protect me and Trustee Maahs from REAL threats of physical harm and even death. But now Ms. Reichelt felt threatened when I confronted her for scoffing at a serious issue and she has complained that she “Doesn’t feel safe!” In my opinion, Chair Reichelt is the Queen of Hypocrites! As you probably know, Dan Coulter, Chair of the Chilliwac Board has been elected as MLA, so he will be stepping down from the Board of Education.

This will require a byelection. I hope and pray we can elect a social conservative, or at least a moderate centrist with critical thinking skills who can bring relief from this constant animosity! If you would like to help organize the campaign, which will probably begin in the New Year, please let me know. Contact Barry Neufeld via e-mail.



 Monday, Nov 9, 2020  

Published 8 am


Glances of the Denali

Angling in Alaska

Chris Hunt, Trout Unlimited/Chris Hunt photos


The Denali in Alaska is North America's tallest mountain.


Just a glance over the side of the canoe revealed the life swimming in this crystal-clear spring creek situated just off the Alaska Highway about a 100 miles southeast of Fairbanks. Big Arctic grayling—and some of the biggest whitefish I’d ever seen—cruised in the blue-green depths, taunting three would-be anglers.

Delta Clearwater River.


But it just wasn’t to be this day—the reel seat on my 4-weight had somehow worked itself free during transit, and I was left with my tenkara rod, which, while perfectly functional most days, didn’t seem to have the distance I needed to separate me from the educated grayling on this heavily fished stretch of the Delta Clearwater River. My two counterparts, John Nichols and his son, Ted, were fishing with spinning gear and suffering the same results. In fact, when we later met another group of anglers who did the same float we did, we learned we’d all gotten skunked.

I’d come all the way to Alaska and saw more grayling than I’d ever seen in one place. And I didn’t catch a single one from this river.

And I didn’t mind a bit.

Shrouded in clouds.

Around every bend of the spring creek, something new waited to greet me. Golden birch trees and skinny black spruce guarded the river. Some of the most impressive—and some of the most humble—backwoods cabins rested in the timber along the water, giving the setting a summer-camp-like atmosphere, despite the full onset of autumn in the north country. Now and then, through the clouds and the chill of early September, I could see Denali.

I’d been to southeast Alaska a number of times—fly fishing the rainforest might be my favorite thing ever. But, when I first visited the Delta Clearwater, I’d never been to Alaska’s interior. So that morning, as we readied the car for a day on the water, I got my first look at the storied peak, the tallest in North America at well over 20,000 feet.


Read the rest of Chris Hunt's great "Voices from the River" story at Trout Unlimited. Donate or become a member.


Founded in Michigan in 1959, Trout Unlimited today is a national non-profit organization with 300,000 members and supporters dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring North America’s coldwater fisheries and their watersheds. Our staff and volunteers work from coast to coast to protect, reconnect, restore and sustain trout and salmon habitat on behalf of today’s anglers and coming generations of sportsmen and women who value the connection between healthy, intact habitat and angling opportunity.



 Monday, Nov 9, 2020  

Published 8 am


'Organized chaos'

The US election and the Bank of Canada

Betty Krawczyk, Author, Cumberland/File photo


Who or what exactly was COMER and what did they do?


Okay, you’ve probably never heard of COMER. If you have, you may have forgotten about them because they haven’t been in the news lately. Too much to worry about right now to think of something you’ve forgotten all about or never heard of. One might think that whoever or whatever COMER was they must have been losers as they have slipped out of Canadian consciousness. And, and in my opinion, they took the Canadian consciousness of our constitutional rights and freedom as well as a near debt free economy along with them.

Okay, who or what exactly was COMER and what did they do with the collective consciousness of our freedoms and what do we owe to whom or whatever they were?

COMER was and still is, as far as I can tell, short for the Committee on Monetary and Economic Reform. It was established in 1986.

In 2011 COMER, along with a collection of citizens angry about Canada’s growing debt accumulation when to the Supreme Court of Canada. They wanted to draw attention to the The Bank of Canada’s practice acting as a private bank for other European Banks and domestic and foreign corporations, all demanding high compound interest rates.

COMER had a brilliant lawyer, Rocco Galati. Galati pointed out, in no uncertain terms, Bank of Canada Act and a copy of the Canadian Constitution in hand and before the Court, that the Bank of Canada was chartered as a public bank to give interest free loans to the Canadian government’s needs for social and physical infrastructure. Hopes were high. And remained high for the next five years as COMER waged a seemingly endless battle of appeals, court demanded amendments, court dismissals, and court hearings.

It was maddening. To have the Supreme Court of Canada make the final ruling in May 2017 that the lawsuit against privatizing the Bank of Canada was not a legal matter. If it was not a legal matter then what was it?

The Bank of Canada was clearly breaking the law. But no. The judge ruled it was a political matter. How charming. What an opinion. What a gutless opinion. And furthermore, the judge ruled that there would be no further reporting on the case.

The reporters were silenced. The media was silenced. Canadians were silenced. Where does that leave us? Is all hope for a reinstatement of the original mandate for the Bank of Canada lost? Maybe not. There are deep holes in the judge’s ruling that makes his contention that the case was a political one and not a legal one biased, unfair, and ridiculous. And there are supporters in unexpected places. In this time of COVID-19 we need our public bank desperately. Next time.



 Monday, Nov 9, 2020  

Published 8 am


Virtual Mechanics

See what's going on with your car via your cell phone

Tanya Anand, Firestone/Submitted photo


Recording car repairs keeps customers out of the dark.


Digital vehicle reports became standard practice across Fountain Tire locations this month, creating enhanced transparency and understanding for vehicle owners. Technicians take photos, videos and detailed notes during the vehicle inspection process and send them directly to a customer’s phone or computer, so the customer sees exactly what the technician sees. The technology offers customers additional comfort during COVID times, as it allows for improved communication while also supporting physical distancing.

“We think of it as offering a deep look inside your vehicle,” says Dave Deley, Senior Vice President, Stores at Fountain Tire. “Digital vehicle reports allow Fountain Tire associates to show – not just tell – customers exactly what’s happening with their tires, brakes and mechanical systems.”

Fountain Tire’s new digital vehicle report service involves technicians photographing and recording video of their vehicle inspections. The images are combined in a simple, colour-coded report that clearly communicates the condition of each inspected component. This allows the customer to make an informed decision about any recommended repair, while offering added transparency and reinforcing trust between customers and associates.

The new service has shown added benefit for customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly for those who may be hesitant to get up-close with technicians and, as a result, may be avoiding important seasonal maintenance.

The Digital Vehicle Report is complimentary with tire and mechanical service visits at Fountain Tire in Chilliwack. For more information, visit here.



 Saturday, Nov 7, 2020  

Published 8 am


COVID continues to explode across the province

Provincial Health closes down province until Nov 23 as single-day new infections total over 500

BC Gov't Caucus



In the last two weeks, we have seen a rapid increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and outbreaks in health-care facilities centred primarily in the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal health regions.

“These are the result of transmission in people’s homes and in many workplaces, including food processing facilities, retail locations, public venues, as well as with indoor group physical activities.

“We need to keep essential services and essential activities open and operating safely. This is now in jeopardy. As a result, we must now take further action to step back from our restart activities in the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal health regions, to avoid potentially serious consequences for all of us.

“Today, new provincial health officer orders have been put in place for all individuals, places of work and businesses across the Fraser and Vancouver Coastal health regions, with the exception of Hope, the central coast and the Bella Coola Valley.

“The orders are in effect starting today, Saturday, Nov. 7 at 10 p.m. through to Monday, Nov. 23, 2020, at 3 p.m.



 Saturday, Nov 7, 2020  

Published 8 am


Outstanding people

Council looks at the Order of Chilliwack criteria

Staff/Website photo


The Order of Chilliwack medal.


Soon, the City will be calling for nominations for the Order of Chilliwack reserved for residents who've made selfless and substantial


"The Order of Chilliwack was established in 2001 as an award granted by Chilliwack City Council to exemplary citizens of the community. The Order is granted at the discretion of City Council to persons or groups whose names are put forward by members of Council in the form of a motion. The purpose of the award is to recognize citizens of Chilliwack who are appropriately deserving by virtue of outstanding achievement or long-term contributions to the community."


There was no real uniform criteria as to how someone was nominated for the medal so staff researched other municipalities and presented council with the following recommendations;


(a) Nominations can be made by any individual, group or organization.
(b) The nomination period is one month prior to the nomination deadline.
(c) Nominations will only be considered during the nomination period.
(d) Self-nominations, nominations from immediate family members and posthumous nominations will not be accepted.
(e) To nominate a person or organization for the Order of Chilliwack, nominators must complete a nomination form and submit it to the Mayor's Office electronically or by mail.
(f) Nominations require a nominator and two letters of support.
(g) All nominations are confidential to respect the privacy of the people consulted.

(a) A completed nomination package for the nominee be received during the nomination period.
(b) The nominee is not a current federal, provincial or municipal elected representative.
(c) If an individual, the nominee is either a resident or former long-term resident of Chilliwack.
(d) If an organization, the organization is based in Chilliwack or has contributed substantially to life and culture in Chilliwack.
(e) The nominee has demonstrated outstanding achievement or contribution in any field of endeavor benefiting the citizens of Chilliwack. Fields of endeavor may include arts and culture, business, philanthropy, health care, education, public service, labour, communications and media, science, sports, entertainment and


Evaluation Criteria: The Valley Voice won't ever be nominated but we'll just insert the name here to give some context.

1) How has the nominee's contribution or achievement set them apart from others? The Valley Voice News is a unique alternative to mainstream media. It's community-driven with some help from the certified publisher/editor.

2) Did the nominee's contribution or achievement make a significant improvement to the City?

The Valley Voice operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The news outlet has contributed over 11,000 community stories that took thousands of hours to write and edit and over 110,000 inspiring photos all about the community. It's a tireless job to help any and every community group get the word out about what they're doing. It's always been about the community and giving back to it the best way possible. Free advertising is another way The Valley Voice helps the community.


The website covered almost all afternoon City Council meetings since its inception (sometimes night meetings). To run The Valley Voice you have to have no life and it's hard to describe the effort and time involved and all the things that have to happen to make it go.


For example is its outreach. If you do a search of - BC Crime News, you'll find The Valley Voice ranked third in the province. Also Google - Chilliwack News.


It takes 12-14 hours a day (sometimes more) to write, interview, photograph all over the city at any time of the day or night, in any type of weather; such as the accident at 3:30 am a couple of nights ago, and provide a friendly layout and design in HTML to publish to the web.


Without boasting, the Valley Voice has taken the most dramatic photos in Chilliwack's history. It's about being down in the trenches. Showing the city what happens on their streets. It was out with the police and now out with the great firefighters.


It's never about fame or fortune. Staff is the handle. The website has generated $200 in 13 years.


The cost for hosting and SEO each month with the bills come in amounting to thousands of dollars over the years. It's taken three vehicles, years of gas, admissions cash, long distance calls, several cameras worth hundreds of dollars and all other expenses that have occurred.


It's all in service to the community; 13 years morning, noon and night, every single day serving Chilliwack and producing and publishing one of the top community news sites in BC.


It's been kept working through very serious health issues. There have been many times the towel was almost thrown in, and then e-mails will come in from people who want to be a part and show their support and get the word oout about their group.


Simply put, when The Valley Voice leaves, it will be taking with it over a decade of Chilliwack's history that she can't recover unless there's someone serious enough and willing enough to step up and continue to carry the torch.

3) How much recognition outside of Chilliwack has the nominee generated?

The Valley Voice interacts with outside news sources daily. For example you'll find Surrey City Orchestra under this item. You'll find a few hundred other examples under the "Letters" button at the top of this page.

4) Do their peers view the contributions as unique or distinguished?


4) How long has the nominee been actively involved in serving the community?

Established 1997. (WHOIS)


You could write that. See more on the City website.



 Friday, Nov 6, 2020  

Published 8 am


WWI 75th Anniversary

Celebrate a musical memorial with Surrey City Orchestra's video commemoration

Naresh Sharma, SCO/Voice photos


Surrey City Orchestra has put together feature photos with their music.


The ongoing pandemic has put a hold on live events, and with this being the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII, the Surrey City Orchestra wanted to produce a free concert that follows the traditional Remembrance Day service.



"We wanted to find a way to honour our veterans and all those who fought bravely to uphold our Canadian values. This year with concerts and ceremonies on hold, we decided we would produce a concert that would be free to the public so they can take the time on Nov. 11 to remember those incredible sacrifices and all those lives lost. We couldn’t have made this concert possible without generous donations from the public and support of the City of Surrey. The arts are an incredibly powerful tool to connect us when we are apart, and it’s more important than ever to feel that you are not alone."

32 professional musicians from Surrey took part in creating this concert where they were broken down into three groups, string orchestra, concert band, and a jazz band, and recorded in person while remaining socially distant. The concert begins at the start of the war with the string section playing solemn music, followed by readings from service members, moving to the concert band playing military marches and finishing up celebrating the end of the war with 1940’s jazz dance music. The performance is accompanied by archival images and film.


Watch the incredible 48 minute concert with photos and audio tracks.


Concert breakdown:

String Orchestra
Nimrod from “Enigma Variations” by Edward Elgar
Air from Holberg Suite by Edvard Grieg

Service Members
In Flanders Fields read by Nick Watts Lieutenant-Colonel and Commanding Officer in the Canadian Army Reserves

The Last Post played by Bryan Wielgasz, Surrey Fire Service Honour Guard

Piper’s Lament, Jeff Sim, Pipe Major for the Surrey Firefighters Pipes and Drums

Act of Remembrance & Commitment to Remember read by Anita Huberman, CEO of Surrey Board of Trade, H. Captain (Royal Canadian Navy)

Concert Band
Maple Leaf Forever by Alexander Muir
Second Suite in F, 1st & 4th movement, by Gustav Holst

Jazz Band - Lead by Miles Black
Take the A Train by Duke Ellington featuring Maya Rae on vocals
Little Brown Jug by Glenn Miller
Stompin at the Savoy by Benny Goodman
It Don’t Mean A Thing by Duke Ellington featuring Maya Rae on vocals
Pennsylvania 6-5000 by Glenn Miller


To donate or learn more about Surrey Symphony Orchestra, visit surreycityorchestra.org



 Thursday, Nov 5, 2020  

Published 8 pm


Early morning crash

Minivan plows into Young Rd pole

Staff/Voice photos


Firefighters and police inspect the Young Rd. crash.


Streets were wet but it wasn't raining when a minivan veered off the street and crashed into a pole in the 9000-block of Young Road at Third Ave around 3:30 am.


The accident took place across the street from the Chilliwack Fire Hall.


Everyone got out of the van under their own steam with just some minor bumps and bruises.




 Wednesday, Nov 4, 2020  

Published 4 pm


Why isn't my street plowed yet?

City prioritizes plowing

Staff/Handout image


Click for larger image.


Old Man Winter's coming. The City is ready and has laid out snowplow routes starting with high volume roads. Each year residents ask why their streets haven't been plowed. This explains the way the City operates in clearing streets.


If you're high priority your street will be plowed and salted first. If you're on a fourth priority street then you'll need to wait until the main streets are plowed and the weather has let up.

Highest priority streets are strategic arterial and collector roads such as; major access roads to hillside areas, access roads to fire stations, ambulance stations, police stations and Chilliwack General Hospital.

Second priority streets consist of all the remaining arterial, hillside areas and collector routes and specified gravel roads in hillside areas

Third priority roads are specified local roads of significance within residential areas on the valley floor.

Fourth priority are the remaining residential roads on the valley floor.

City plows don't remove snow from curb to curb so you'll need to dig your car out after the street's been plowed. They won't plow down to bare pavement, or from driveway entrances.

Sidewalk snow and ice removal is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner.



 Wednesday, Nov 4, 2020  

Published 8 am


Asian giant hornets are here

Fraser Valley on alert for the dangerous pest

BC Gov't Caucus/Handout photo



Abbotsford area beekeepers and residents are being asked to report if they see any Asian giant hornets (Vespa mandarinia), following the discovery of one hornet in the 7000 block of Bradner Road on Monday, Nov. 2, 2020.

Though Asian giant hornet activity declines rapidly as colder temperatures arrive, people are encouraged to report possible findings. This can be done through calling the Invasive Species Council of BC at 1 888 933-3722, via the council’s Report Invasives mobile phone app.

Single hornets were found in White Rock and Langley in 2019, and on 0 Avenue in Langley in 2020. A nest has never been found in the Fraser Valley or Lower Mainland.

Survey efforts in the Fraser Valley in 2020 have focused on surveillance and trap monitoring along 0 Avenue with the support of local beekeepers and other organizations, as well as in Nanaimo, where a nest was located and destroyed in 2019.

In October 2020, Washington State Department of Agriculture entomologists eradicated an Asian giant hornet nest following multiple findings of single hornets in the same area of Blaine.

A sting from an Asian giant hornet can be very painful and cause localized swelling, redness and itching due to the larger amount of venom injected. However, the hornets are not interested in humans, pets and large animals. Asian giant hornets hunt insects for food and will only attack people when their nest is disturbed.



 Wednesday, Nov 4, 2020  

Published 8 am


Highway 1 is now safer

Traffic-based congestion signs now up between Chilliwack and Abbotsford

BC Gov't Caucus/File photo



Variable speed limits are in operation on Highway 1 between the Sumas River Bridge in Abbotsford and the Prest Road overpass in Chilliwack to improve safety for drivers.

The speed limits on this section of highway are now adjusted based on real-time traffic and weather conditions.

The new traffic congestion-based system will adjust the speed limit to slow people down before traffic reaches a stop-and-go situation. The purpose is to calm and smooth out traffic to help reduce the high number of rear-end collisions caused by sudden changes in travel speed that occur on this busy section of Hwy 1.

Two “gateway” dynamic messaging signs, one for each direction of travel on the highway, advise drivers they are entering the variable speed-limit corridor. These signs may also post road, weather or traffic-related information.

Along the corridor between the Sumas River Bridge and Prest Road overpass, the speed limit will be posted for drivers on more than 20 variable speed limit signs in each direction (on the shoulder and overhead).

Speed limits along this corridor are set based on data provided by traffic and road weather sensors installed along the highway. Traffic sensors are installed approximately every 500 metres to detect localized traffic conditions and collect traffic data. There are also multiple road/weather sensors that measure parameters, such as level of grip, visibility, temperature and surface status.




 Tuesday, Nov 3, 2020  

Published 6 pm


COVID – the upside

Chilliwack real estate sales boosted by virus

Steve Lerigny, CADREB/File photo



An unexpected side effect of the COVID pandemic has once again pushed home sales in Chilliwack and area to a record breaking October.

The trend to working more safely from home continues to see strong investment in local real estate with increased affordability, more space and an attractive lifestyle being big draws.

In October, there were 391 home sales, once again posting an all-time record. The dollar value reached just over $241 million, almost double of October one year ago. Notably strong were sales of apartments/condos and homes over the $1 million dollar mark, according to
Kim Parley, Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board President,

“What a million dollars can buy you in greater Vancouver versus what you can buy in the Chilliwack area is night and day. In general, with the increasing ability to work from home, a nice home with a yard is attainable to those living in the Metro areas, as is the opportunity to buy that first condo.”

Of the 391 sales last month, the highest number (39) were in the $500,000 - $549,999 range, followed by 34 sales in the ranges just below and above. There were 30 sales of homes over the $1 million mark, including three over $2 million.

What is missing is inventory. With only 811 active listings as of October 31, a number of home sales last month closed at beyond asking price. If you are considering taking advantage of the historically low lending rates and downsizing or moving up, now is the time! There are buyers in the wings for all types of housing.



 Monday, Nov 2, 2020  

Published 8:45 pm


Capella Dance School hit with 26 COVID cases

Fraser Health Public Health scrambles to put a lid on it

Staff/Google image


Capella Dance Academy on Venture Place where 26 individuals have tested positive for COVID-19.



In a release late Monday, Fraser Health Public Health (FHPH) declared that an individual affiliated with Capella Dance Academy tested positive for COVID-19.

FHPH says the dance studio, located at Units #3 & Unit #4, 7949 Venture Place in Chilliwack, voluntarily closed their facility October 28 after 26 individuals contracted the Coronavirus.

Those identified with the virus, and their close contacts, have been instructed to self-isolate.

FHPH says they'll be inspecting the site and will continue to work with the dance academy to strengthen their COVID-19 mitigation strategies.

"We are also working with the Chilliwack and Fraser-Cascades school districts to ensure they are informed of any potential exposure and are working together to ensure the safety of staff and students."

For more information about COVID-19, visit fraserhealth.ca/covid19



 Monday, Nov 2, 2020  

Published 3 pm


Get a drive-thru flu shot for a good cause

Open November 3-4 and 9-10

Fraser Health/Handout image




 Monday, Nov 2, 2020  

Published 8 am


Herring fishery in dire straits

Open letter to Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

David Ellis/MM Stephens


Herring fishing, Prince Rupert Harbour circa 1913.



The total lack of First Nations ability to harvest reasonable numbers of herring eggs is the only science or "stock assessment" that is needed.

Ms. Minister, I hope you will now move to close all commercial herring fishing in the Salish Sea. And then immediately apply the vast scientific resources of the DFO to develop a HERRING ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM. Such a program can and will rebuild this very productive and resilient fish of life, in a remarkably short time.

I have helped document, for two Salish Sea First Nations, the loss of the herring egg harvest, decades ago, for their family and Ceremonial winter Longhouse life (see attached). Their needs and requests continue to be ignored, to facilitate commercial fishing for now tiny but very significant harvests of herring, because this commercial fishing that you are allowing is preventing the First Nations from ever enjoying their culture and full nutrition, again.

You and your staff should know that on November 7, 2019, members of the Pacific Wild NGO brought together representatives from nine First Nations at a historic gathering in Saanich in defense of Pacific herring. The event demanded HELIT TŦE SȽOṈ,ET, which means Let the Herring Live. First Nations Chiefs, Elders and Councillors shared the deep pain and loss caused by local herring extinctions in their territories. Indigenous communities harvested herring and their eggs from their territories for thousands of years before these extinctions, along with the esteemed for food Black Ducks and other fish that followed the herring schools. First Nations leaders also shared how they are excluded from fisheries management decisions in the Strait of Georgia—even though these decisions impact the ability to exercise their rights to fish.

I hope you can now come out to visit one First Nations Hereditary Chief in particular,
Kwick'kanum, Mr. Eric Pelkey,
Hereditary Chief of Tsawout of the WSANEC Nation, who was a featured speaker at this conference.

The Lekwungen ("Place to Smoke Herring village")
First Nations in the Victoria region also face herring extinction, both due to past herring overfishing and now the destructive effects
on herring of the mid water and bottom Super Trawler fleet that sweeps and re-sweeps vast areas were herring is constantly encountered and killed.

The future can actually be bright for herring, which can and will rebuild. Just as former Liberal Fisheries Minister ROMEO LEBLANC started the super successful SALMON ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM, you can and should take the initiative now to start a HERRING ENHANCEMENT PROGRAM. I know many individuals who are already engaged in this in Vancouver and Squamish (successfully) and Victoria and Powell River.



 Monday, Nov 2, 2020  

Published 8 pm


Rings and things

Fraser Valley Treasure Hunters find some very interesting items

Staff/Submitted photo


Mark Lewis (c) won first place this month for his Samurai sword he found while magnet fishing. Fred Dyon (r) won second place with his men's white gold and stone ring. Chris Kasper (l) picked up third place for his men's silver ring.


The Fraser Valley Treasure Hunters (FVTH) is one of the most unique groups on the map.


They're called metal detecting enthusiasts. They come from all over the Lower Mainland for group outings or solo and show their comrades at Hunter of the Month meetings.

Every month members find things like old coins or expensive gold jewellry. Maybe it's a piece of history or just an item interest to talk about.

But the group always has fun and the Mark Lewis always makes the hunts interesting with varied places to go.

The are times when FVTH founder Mark Lewis and the group are called upon to do a special search for lost necklaces or other keepsakes.

This Hunter of the Month was special for the group.

"I think it was the first time we had 5 rings in the bucket, very nice," says Mark Lewis, founder of FVTH. "It is also the First time that a Magnet Fishing item was entered and came in first."


New members are always welcome. See more on their website. Connnect on Facebook. E-mail Mark here. Watch a 3 minute YouTube clip


 Saturday, Oct 31, 2020  

Published 2 pm


Canadian soldier dies

Wainwright, Alberta, live fire training accident

National Defence


A Canadian Army soldier has died as the result of a gunshot wound sustained while training at Canadian Forces Base Wainwright, Alta. The deceased soldier’s next of kin have been notified. The identity of the deceased is being withheld at this time, as we confirm the wishes of the family.

We extend our deepest condolences to the family and friends of our fallen soldier. The Canadian Armed Forces will be there to support the family during this difficult time.

The incident occurred in the CFB Wainwright training area at approximately 10 p.m. on Oct. 30. The soldier was participating in a live fire training exercise when the incident occurred. The soldier was immediately treated at the scene and evacuated to a nearby hospital in Wainwright, Alta. The soldier was then transported by air to a hospital in Edmonton, Alta. where, unfortunately, they succumbed to the injury the morning of Oct. 31.

The live fire training that was underway at the time of the incident has been suspended and an investigation is now underway. 




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