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  Monday, March 30, 2020 

Published 6 pm

 

BC government beefs up food banks with $3 million

Small portion of BC's Gaming Grant money used to pay for it

Staff/Voice file photo

 

Don Armstrong is the manager of the Chilliwack Salvation Army food bank.

 

 banks are a cheap form of public insurance. On Monday the BC government announced they're pouring $3 million into the province's pantries. There was no indication of the formula that was used in order to come up the amount.

 

Food Banks BC will be responsible for distributing the "emergency grants". Up to $140 million of the revenue generated is directed into the community through the Community Gaming Grants program that supports about 5,000 community organizations annually.

“During times like these, we need to help each other as much as possible. This community gaming grant will help relieve hunger and provide support for the people in our province who need it most,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing in the release.

The decree removes barriers to business to allow: drive-thrus, larger hampers, increased home delivery capability and removes the requirement to present identification at the Food Banks.

See more at Food Banks BC

 

 

  Sunday, March 29, 2020 

Published 11 am

 

Two escape burning trailer with their dog

CFD and RCMP are investigating 

Staff/Voice photos

 

Fire fighters were quick to put the Second Ave fire out behind the house on the right Sunday morning. Below, a Mountie walks in wearing a respirator and face shield.

 

what was a sleepy Sunday, the Chilliwack Fire Department were called out to a trailer fire behind a house in the 46000-block of Second Ave around 8:30 am.

Reports were that an explosion happened and at one point flames shot up 20 feet in the air.

"There were 2 residents sleeping in the trailer at the time of the fire. Fortunately, they woke up to the sounds and glow of fire on the exterior of the trailer. They managed to safely evacuate with their dog. There were no firefighter or civilian injuries," said Andrew Brown, Assistant Chief, Training in a release later.

According to neighbours the house has been problematic.

"They've all been evicted but they're squatting. I have two kids and I don't want them around this. All the comings and goings at all hours," said a distraught couple living nearby. The police come and look around and then they just leave."

The front door of the house was open revealing an unlivable mess.

Police and paramedics were on hand but thankfully there there were no injuries to the tenants or to any of the first responders.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time and under investigation by Chilliwack Fire Department and RCMP. If anyone has any information about this fire, they are asked to call the RCMP at 604-792-4611 or anonymously through Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or via Crimestoppers website.

 

 

  Sunday, March 29, 2020 

Published 2 pm

 

No room at the inn

Mayor Popove responds to Surrey Mayor Watts' suggestion of relocating Vancouver homeless to Chilliwack

Mayor Ken Popove, Chilliwack City Hall/Wiki photo

 

The currently empty BC Place Stadium in Vancouver is adjacent to Vancouver's Downtown Eastside.

 

morning Dianne Watts made an uninformed comment that CFB Chilliwack could be used as a place to help quarantine vulnerable people from the Downtown Eastside. Immediately after hearing her comment, I called Dianne to see what she was thinking and to let her know that the old base has been transformed into a vibrant community.

She was unaware that the area is now home to the Canada Education Park and the popular neighbourhood of Garrison Crossing. Over the last 13 years we have worked hard through the Chilliwack Economic Partners Corporation to transform the old base into a world class education, training and research facility, featuring the University of the Fraser Valley, the RCMP Pacific Region Training Centre, the Justice Institute of British Columbia and Canada Border Services Agency. During our phone call she agreed to retract her statement and I am patiently waiting for her public response.

While I understand how important it is to protect our vulnerable and high risk population, this isn’t a situation that can be easily addressed by transporting large groups of people experiencing homelessness to a different community. BC Housing has repeatedly told us that people do best when they stay where they have supports already in place.

I have been working hard to ensure Chilliwack’s vulnerable community are protected during this health crisis. My staff have been speaking with BC Housing and Fraser Health in order to find a suitable self-isolation facility for members of our homeless population that are exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms.

I think we can all agree that it is of the utmost importance to make sure people experiencing homelessness have access to a safe space to ensure we stop the spread of COVID-19. I believe each community should work with BC Housing and their local health authority to find a solution that works best without displacing anyone into different communities.

 

 

  Saturday, March 28, 2020 

Published 8 am

Mayor's Message

Praises frontline health care workers

Mayor Ken Popove, Chilliwack City Hall

 

was cautiously optimistic Friday while watching Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister Adrian Dix share the latest modelling information on COVID-19. Their initial modelling indicates a slight flattening of the curve over the next 10 days is possible, showing that following the rules of the provincial health authority is more important than ever.

It has been encouraging to see people following the provincial health officer’s guidelines in Chilliwack. I hope today’s message from the Province will motivate people to continue following those rules in order to help stop the spread of the virus.

We have all been in awe of our amazing front line health care workers. Thank you all for doing such an incredible job during this health crisis. Today, Minister Dix reminded us that we can show them the most support by following Dr. Henry’s rules 100% and I completely agree. Let’s show our support by remembering to practice social distancing, staying home whenever possible, and following all the recommendations and orders from the provincial health officer.

 

  Saturday, March 28, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

FVRD Closure Updates

Vedder campground opening delayed a month

Mayor Ken Popove, Chilliwack City Hall

 

 

health and safety of the public and our staff is a top priority for us. As per recommendations of the provincial and federal health authorities, we are taking further precautionary measures against COVID-19.

As part of our COVID-19 mitigation strategy, FVRD staff are now working remotely. Services remain operational but response times may be slower than normal. See below to find out how can continue doing business with us and who you can contact should you have questions. Thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

Vedder River Campground
The opening of the Vedder Campground has been delayed until June 1, 2020. All existing reservations for dates between March 27, 2020 and May 30, 2020, will be refunded in full and will happen automatically. You do not need to cancel your reservation. Reservations beyond May 30, 2020 are still available at this time. As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we will continue to evaluate our opening date and update as needed.


Regional Parks & Trails
The FVRD's parks and trails remain open for use at this time. However, please note the following operational changes:

• All public washrooms in FVRD parks are closed to the public.
• Events over 50 people have been cancelled.
• The Off-Leash Dog Park and Bike Park at Island 22 are closed to the public. The rest of Island 22 Regional Park remains open and you are welcome to walk leashed dogs there.
• Thompson Regional Park and Cascade Falls Regional Park are closed to the public.
• All FVRD community playgrounds are closed to the public.
• Harrison Hot Springs Boat Launch remains closed to the public.

 

 

  Saturday, March 28, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

City Hall keeps connected

Council meets via web conferencing

Jamie Legatt, Chilliwack City Hall

 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020, Chilliwack City Council participated in a virtual regular meeting of Council to discuss urgent key issues in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

During the meeting, Council authorized the Fire Chief to issue an Order to cancel the remaining portion of the Spring 2020 burning season. The City’s Open Air Burning Regulation Bylaw establishes two burning seasons per year, with the spring season running from March 1 to April 30. Due to the potential for smoke from outdoor burning to exacerbate public health issues during the COVID-19 outbreak, Council has moved to shorten the spring burning season by one month, ending the spring burning season effective April 1, 2020.

“Council needs to find ways to react quickly to ensure we are able to best meet the changing needs of our residents during the current pandemic,” said Mayor Ken Popove. “Having a virtual meeting allowed Council to discuss timely and critical topics while adhering to social distancing requirements. As we work together from afar during this difficult time, Council will continue to look for new and innovative ways to keep the business of the City moving forward.”

Temporary policy amendments proposed by the City’s Finance Department were also approved by Council at the virtual meeting. As outlined in the staff report, “COVID-19 – Policy Amendments, Outstanding Utility Fee Interest Waiver and Service Interruptions”, Council approved several temporary policy amendments, including waiving the interest on overdue utility invoicing (water, sewer and curbside collection), effective immediately, with a reassessment on June 30, 2020.

 

 

  Saturday, March 28, 2020 

Published 8 am

Cannabis Cancer Care

PCSG meeting April 2 will be via web conference

Dale Erickson, PCSG/Nader Khatta

 

next meeting on Thursday, April 2nd will be done by a web conference, all past attendees will receive an invitation to join. Our speaker will be Pharmacy Manager from Pharmasave Health Centre, Nader Khattab, B.Sc Pharm, R.Ph speaking about Cannabis for medical purposes. Attendees may ask questions on the chat line. For meeting information call (604) 824 5506. Visit Prostrate Cancer Support Group to learn more.

 

 

  Thursday, March 26, 2020 

Published 2 pm

 

Coffee community

Starbucks is offering first responders and other frontline health workers free coffee

Staff/Pinterest photo

 

Free coffee is being offered via drive-thrus or delivery to first responders and medical staff at all Chilliwack locations.

 

Chilliwack first responders can take a break with a free coffee courtesy of Starbucks Canada.

Alex, at Starbucks Canada media relations, confirmed that with The Voice Thursday.

 

According to Starbucks website, they've taken generous steps to ameliorate the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on communities.

 

"Starbucks is committed to caring for the health and well-being of our partners and customers and playing a constructive role in supporting local health officials and government leaders. Read about the latest decisions being made by the company and the actions being taken in preparation for COVID-19."

 

Starbucks closed access to its cafés and move to drive-thru and delivery only. Some exceptions will be made for those cafés serving in or around hospitals and health care centers in the company’s efforts to serve first responders, health care workers, and their incredible support staff.

 

Starbucks Canada president, Lori Digulla announced two measures;

 

The first includes extending the 14-day catastrophe pay for scheduled shifts to now include partners who are worried about or are feeling unsafe coming to work, as well as partners who need to stay home to care for children.

 

The second is temporarily waiving the eligibility requirements and documentation for the company’s emergency financial aid CUP Fund.

 

For information on delivery from several Chilliwack locations and menu items, visit their store locater page on the website.

 

 

 

  Thursday, March 26, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

No social distancing

Running yellow light's puts everyone at risk

Staff/Voice photos

 

A two-vehicle high-impact MVA at Lickman Rd and Industrial Way Wednesday evening. Below, one person is helped to a waiting ambulance.

 

The Chilliwack Fire department were called out to a high-impact MVA at Lickman Road and Industrial Way around 5:30 pm on Tuesday. One person was injured but was able to walk to the ambulance with assistance. The other driver wasn't injured. The intersection is a hub for trucking in the city.

 

 

  Wednesday, March 25, 2020 

Published 3:15 pm

 

IHIT looks for leads in Chilliwack man's death

Not random or gang-related

Sgt. Frank Jang, IHIT/Submitted photo

 

IHIT is reaching out to the community for tips into the death of Stuart Schellenberg.

 

The Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) is calling on the public to help further the ongoing investigation of the homicide of Stuart Schellenberg in Chilliwack, B.C.

 

On March 19, 2020, at 11:36 p.m., the body of 38-year-old Stuart Schellenberg was found inside his home in the 9400-block of Chapman Road in Chilliwack. First responders determined that his death was a homicide.

 

IHIT continues to work alongside the Chilliwack RCMP, the Integrated Forensic Identification Services and the B.C. Coroners Service to gather evidence.

 

“Stuart Schellenberg’s homicide is not believed to be a random act,” says Sergeant Frank Jang of IHIT.  “There is nothing to suggest it is gang-related.” 

 

Anyone with information is asked to call the IHIT information line at 1-877-551- IHIT (4448), or by e-mail here.

Should you wish to remain anonymous, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

 

 

  Wednesday, March 25, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

BC Nurses sign-off on letter to Trudeau and Horgan

Free hotels and motels for homeless and medical personnel, mandatory business closures and massive social distancing

Will Offley/File photo

 

Dear Prime Minister Trudeau and Premier Horgan:

As frontline British Columbia nurses, we want to join our voices with the Royal Columbian Hospital doctors in expressing our alarm at the insufficient and slow response of the federal and provincial governments to the current spread of Corona-19. 

The doctors’ warning must be heeded; “we need to act now to prevent a catastrophic number of preventable deaths.  At our current rate of spread, our hospitals will be overwhelmed in a few weeks without drastic action.  We must slow the community spread of COVID-19 in B.C….  A community lockdown may seem drastic, but experiences throughout the rest of the world clearly demonstrate how critical it is to act decisively and urgently.”

The measures taken so far have been welcome, but they are not sufficient.  In the last week alone between Monday and Friday, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in British Columbia tripled.  On Monday, March 16, there were 103 cases.  By Friday that had risen to 348.  This means that if they continue to grow at the same rate there could be 9,000 in B.C. by April 1.  28,000 by April 8.  84,000 by April 15.  (*)

That is bad enough, but it actually understates the present situation. The problem is not just that the number of confirmed cases is growing, but the rate at which they are growing is itself increasing. On March 9 there were 32 confirmed cases in B.C. Five days later there were 73, an increase of 128%. On March 15 there were 88 cases.  Five days later there were 348, an increase of 296%.  

Covid-19 in B.C. (and presumably in Canada as a whole) is still spreading exponentially. There is no reason whatsoever to think we cannot become another Italy. If nothing changes radically, we are certain to. The only step that can prevent this is massive social distancing on a scale qualitatively beyond what has been done so far, because what has been done so far is simply not working.

To work, social distancing needs to include a mandatory shutdown of every workplace except those deemed essential –  such as grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies and health care facilities. It needs to include a shutdown of every place that can multiply the spread of the virus. We need to apply the same logic requiring the closure of schools to every similar institution. For example, every construction camp needs to be closed, or we will continue to concentrate thousands of individuals in close quarters, with shared dining halls, bathrooms and bunk facilities, only to have them periodically fly out on leave and disperse across the province every few weeks.  

Social distancing requires that we house the homeless, but in a way that disperses them rather than jamming them into shelters that will only accelerate the virus’ spread. There are thousands of unoccupied housing units, hotel rooms and motel rooms in the Lower Mainland. They need to be accessed.

Finally, we need to make social distancing possible. We need to provide financial supports for everyone who has lost their job. We need to provide guarantees against eviction for non-payment of rent or mortgages. We need to ensure guaranteed supplies of food and medication for everyone housebound due to quarantine, voluntary isolation or mandatory social distancing. We need to resolve the problem of daycare for every class of essential workers (truckers, grocery employees, couriers, firefighters, janitors, healthcare workers) to keep them working. There needs to be free hotel accommodation for doctors, respiratory therapists, nurses, housekeeping, paramedics, security, kitchen staff  so we don't have to fear we will bring the virus home to our families. We also need to be guaranteed adequate supplies of PPE–N95s, gowns and gloves–to keep us at work as caregivers, not patients.

Governments must take every step they can to remove the barriers that force people–especially poor people–to ignore calls to stay at home.  

We are all too aware of the risks we are facing, not only to our own health but to our families as well. We will stay at our posts nonetheless. But we insist–we demand–that you act to implement mandatory social isolation. The measures to date are not working. This is an emergency. We need to act like it’s an emergency.

(*) This open letter was composed before the March 21-23 new case numbers in B.C. were available. On Thursday March 19 there were 40 new cases. On Friday March 20, a jump of 85% in one day. On Saturday however the rate of increase slowed , with 74 new cases. Sunday saw 76, today 48. If this trend continues it may well represent the beginning of a flattening of what has been until now an exponential curve.  Let us all hope that is the case, but not relax vigilance.

 

  Wednesday, March 25, 2020 

Published 8 am

War footing

Let's get Canadians home with 'Operation COVID-19'

Dave W. Palmer, CD, Sergeant Ret'd/File photo

 

 

Hello soon to be Prime Minister Elect, Erin O'Toole, and thank you for this very informative email.

I agree with what you are saying should be done.

A couple days ago, in regard to stranded Canadians, I sent tweets out to CTV and also a message to the Prime Minister saying they should perhaps initiate a Canadian Forces Airlift Operation to bring these Canadians home.

As the subject line indicates, I dubbed it "Operation Covid19 Come From Away", not that it matters what it is called, just do it! Let's get our stranded Canadians home!

Using our C-17 Globe-Masters . . . the flight(s) could do designated circuits to a number of cities overseas to land and pick up stranded Canadians (with valid passports) and bring them home.

A team of a Doctor, Nurse, Medics could be on hand to test and/or assist if anyone has Covid19.

We could publicly announce using all means of media, email, tweets, texts, TV, radio, etc., to advise stranded Canadians when and where these flights would be going so stranded Canadians could make their way to a nearby designated airport.

As a logistics Senior NCO in the military, I believe that this would be worth doing ASAP.

And as usual, on arrival back at Trenton, ON, they would all have to be quarantined for 14 days or whatever other measures may at that time need to be implemented.

Of note: The Canadian Forces should have the necessary Biological clothing and breathing apparatus to use if deemed necessary for such a mission. (Wish they had it to use for Operation "Ou Est Le Beouf" back in the 1980's with the dead Caribou Airlift out of Kuujjuaq on Ungava Bay, Quebec).

 

 

  Tuesday, March 24, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Mayor urges residents to 'do the right thing'

Social distancing directives falling on deaf ears

Mayor Ken Popove/Handout image

 

On  Monday, March 17 (updated March 23), I participated in a conference call with Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, along with many other Mayors across the province.

Their message to local government remains consistent. They have asked us to remind our residents to practice social distancing and follow the orders of Dr. Bonnie Henry, BC’s provincial health officer. While the City of Chilliwack does not have the authority to enforce social distancing at this time, we have been asked to continue to urge residents to do the right thing.

In order to help residents better understand the orders from BC’s provincial health officer, our crews installed signage and taped off over 500 pieces of playground equipment, including skateparks, on Friday night.

Unfortunately, over the weekend many people blatantly disobeyed the direction of Dr. Henry. In Chilliwack, people were gathering together in groups, not practicing social distancing, and removing closure notices at our parks. This reckless behaviour was deeply disappointing to see in our community.

While the Province has not yet told local governments to close parks and trails to the public, they have been clear that people must practice social distancing. They have encouraged people to stay within their own small family group if they go out in public. It is our hope that the people of Chilliwack will start following that direction.

As a municipality, we will continue to take our direction from the provincial government during this health crisis. Together we can share the message to practice social distancing at all times and make a positive difference.

Visit the City of Chilliwack website for more information about the City's response to the coronavirus.

 

  Tuesday, March 24, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Cleaner Shopping

Real Canadian Superstore in Chilliwack is taking extra safety precautions with cashier shields in place

Michelle Cortinhas, RC Superstore/Pixabay image

Superstore staff will be giving a thorough cleaning of touchable surfaces inside the store.

Real Canadian Superstore contacted The Voice via e-mail Monday regarding store cleaning so readers can know what they're doing to ensure their safety during the pandemic. One of the most visible changes at the store are shields between cashiers and shoppers.

"We are reinforcing and increasing our already high standards for cleanliness, food safety and hygiene, to make sure our stores can continue to support our customers’ food, health and wellness needs. This includes thoroughly cleaning high-touch areas like our checkouts, cooler doors, and pharmacy counters frequently throughout the day."

• We’ve introduced safeguards to ensure that our colleagues will not lose pay for COVID-19 related absences. We’re reducing our supermarket hours to 8:00am-8:00pm across the country in order to give our colleagues the time they need to rest.

• We’ve increased sanitation efforts and protocols and communicated to customers recommendations for keeping colleagues and customers healthy.

• We’re reviewing our stores from door to check out and are making thoughtful changes to business practices.

• At a local level, stores have been limiting high-touch departments, encouraging cashless transactions, and other initiatives to reduce contact between people. Today, we are assembling the best of those practices and sharing them nationwide, with our stores and with other retailers.

"We continue to follow the guidance from Public Health and Health Canada, which includes recommendations on the appropriate use of masks and gloves," added Cortinhas.

 

"This situation continues to evolve and we have teams working around the clock to monitor and adjust for customers and our colleagues as needed."

 

 

  Thursday, March 19, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

COVID-19 cases continue to rise exponentially

BC leads the way in Canada with 76 new cases testing positive overnight,1280 confirmed across the country

BC Gov't Caucus/Pixabay image

 

Positive cases continue to mount across BC..

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

“We are announcing 76 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 424 cases in British Columbia.

“It is with sadness that we share the news that another Lynn Valley resident who previously tested positive for COVID-19 has passed away. We offer our deepest condolences to their loved ones and the staff who cared for them.

“Every health region in British Columbia has people with COVID-19: 230 are in Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, 126 are in Fraser Health Authority, 37 are in Vancouver Island Health Authority, 27 are in Interior Health Authority and four are in Northern Heath Authority.

“Additionally, of the total COVID-19 cases: 27 individuals are currently hospitalized, of which 12 are in intensive care, six individuals have recovered and the remaining patients are at home in isolation.

“Until further notice, personal service establishments – like barbershops, salons, nail estheticians, health spas, massage parlours, tattoo shops and others – are ordered to close.

 

 

  Friday, March 20, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

In touch with the community

Chilliwack community services have adapted to coronavirus situation

Brianna Carson/Voice file photo

 

Chilliwack Community Services will be doing everything it can to assist residents.

The Voice has had many notices regarding closures and activities cut back due to the Coronavirus; too many to publish here, however keeping that in mind there is no intentional disregard to companies, business, groups or organizations as being unworthy of notice, there is only so much room in items on the website. Basically, readers can assume that everything but essential services; like pharmacies, and grocery stores have closed or have limited openings.

The following notice is from Chilliwack Community Services  and because it affects so many local residents we thought it prudent to add it here for our readers, Thanks for your patience. Stay safe in these trying times.

Chilliwack Community Services continues to be here to serve Chilliwack during the COVID – 19 situation.  During our 90 year history, CCS has been here to serve our community and we as a community have faced many challenges and met each one with a spirit of cooperation and community service. We are committed to serving the most vulnerable in our community through essential services and we have altered how we are delivering other services to ensure the safety of our clients, employees and volunteers. 
 

We are also committed to making our own contribution to the national, provincial and local efforts to stop the spread of COVID 19 and are following all public health advice associated with COVID 19.  As a result, CCS has made immediate changes in its operations effective March 17, 2020 to September 1, 2020.  Given the fluid nature of the situation, CCS will adjust its approaches as necessary and in keeping with public health advice.  We have been overwhelmed by the community response to those wanting to help and we ask you to check our website for opportunities to donate or help out. 

Chilliwack Community Services will continue to provide essential services including housing through the Village and Meals on Wheels food services in an adjusted manner.  We will also continue to provide individual services using phone, email and other technology by having some employees provide work from home.  At this time due to health advice, we have cancelled in-person, group and classroom programs both in and outside schools. 

The following is information about how we are providing essential services and adjusting others:

• The Village Housing facility that provides housing services to 31 individuals will continue its operation utilizing recommended health practices.  It is important during this time that individuals in Chilliwack have access to safe housing.
• Our Wellington offices will be open for phone appointments and we will work to connect the public with services here at CCS and in the community.  Please contact us at 604-793-4267 or via e-mail here
• Family Services will provide client support over the phone, email and using other technology.
• Therapy Services will provide client support over the phone, email and using other technology.
• Immigrant Services will provide services over the phone or using other technology.  All in- person classes and childcare are cancelled until September 1, 2020.
• While our Starfish Back Pack Program, providing food to children and families over the weekends, is impacted by school closures, we will be working with the food bank to provide access to food for those children and families relying on this service. 
• Senior Services programming is as follows. Meals on Wheels will continue service delivery once a week using a frozen food method.  It is important to us that basic food services be continued to seniors and those in need. We are developing alternative transportation services to those in our community who utilize the Community Drivers Program.
In-person services provided by Better at Home program is suspended until September 1, 2020 but we will be checking in with seniors to make sure they are doing well. 
• Youth Services will provide client support over the phone, email and using other technology.
• Early Years programs including those located at schools that are on closure will be suspended until schools are open again.   This includes Central Daycare and Pre-school, Downtown Family Place, Better Beginnings and Sardis Family Place.  Other Family Place locations will also be suspended until September 1, 2020. Child Care Resource and Referral will move to provide services over the phone and via email.  All workshops, the resource library and in-person services will be cancelled until September 1, 2020. 
• Training and education programs, due in part to the fact that they are located in schools, will have service provision over the phone or email especially where online delivery is possible and we are working on this.  In person classes will be cancelled until schools are open.
• Our Secret Soiree event has been tentatively re-scheduled to September 26, 2020.

We are also looking at emerging community needs and thank Chilliwack for your ongoing support during this time.  We ask that we all join together to support our families, neighbours and our community.

 

 

  Thursday, March 19, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Keeping it clean

Real Canadian Superstore is taking extra measures with regards to the health and safety of its staff and customers

Staff/Pixabay image

 

Superstore is doubling their effort to keep everyone safe.

"We are helping colleagues stay informed and prepared. Most importantly, we want them to protect themselves and in turn protect you. That's why we are retraining colleagues on safety practices and instructing them to stay home if they are not well. We’ve also introduced safeguards that will ensure they will not lose pay for COVID-19 related absences," A Superstore representative told The Voice in a Facebook message.

Last week, the manager at the Luckakuk Way Real Canadian Superstore told The Voice that they were disinfecting inside the store but decline to say how.

 

 

  Wednesday, March 18, 2020 

Published 10 am

 

BC Government declares State of Emergency

Premier John Horgan assures continuity of government during crisis as COVID-19 cases soar another 45 totaling 231 in BC

BC Gov't Caucus/Voice file photo

 

Finance Minister Carole James and Premier John Horgan at Decades coffee June 2018.

I Welcome the news on the border measures announced today by the federal government. We need to limit non-essential travel over the U.S. border, while maintaining our supply chains, so people have access to essentials.

“As we know, more and more people are working contract-to-contract or are self employed in the gig economy. These workers also deserve direct support as they self-isolate or care for a family member or children. Therefore, I am pleased to see that federal government responded to our request for additional benefits for those who don’t qualify for Employment Insurance.

“We will be conducting a full review of the of the federal package announced today, and we will work with our federal partners to advocate for higher benefits so people will be able to afford rent and essentials while staying home during this crisis.

“Our government is working on details of a B.C. plan. Our focus is on supporting services that protect the health and safety of people impacted by the COVID-19 virus. We will expand on the federal government’s efforts to offer immediate relief for people and businesses, and build our longer-term plan for economic recovery in collaboration with the business community.”

The British Columbia government has declared a provincial state of emergency to support the provincewide response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General, made the declaration based on the recommendation from B.C.’s health and emergency management officials, after Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, declared a public health emergency on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.

“Declaring a state of emergency is an important measure to support our provincial health officer and minister of health in swift and powerful response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Farnworth said. “We are working with partners across government and industry to co-ordinate emergency response efforts, and we won’t hesitate to use the tools available to us to keep people safe.”

Declaring a state of emergency allows the Province, through the minister, to implement any provincial emergency measures required with access to land and human resource assets that may be necessary to prevent, respond to or alleviate the effects of an emergency. This includes securing the critical supply chains to make sure people have access to essential goods and services, and that infrastructure necessary in a response is readily available.

 

 

  Wednesday, March 18, 2020 

Published 10 am

 

No need to stockpile meds

Pharmacies will fill regular prescriptions or give emergency supplies without doctor's order

College of Pharmacists/Pixabay image

 

 

Earlier this week, in response to the continuing COVID-19 global health pandemic, B.C. Minister of Health, Adrian Dix and B.C. Provincial Health Officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry announced that patients will be able to obtain refills of their regular prescriptions at pharmacies in an effort to avoid non-essential physician visits and free doctors to treat COVID-19 cases.
 

“We have worked with the College of Pharmacists to advise pharmacies to provide patients with a prescription refill or an emergency supply of their medications if needed. This will give physicians more time to care for patients with acute care needs. British Columbians are asked to respect this temporary arrangement and are reminded that there is no need to stockpile medication,” said Adrian Dix, BC Minister of Health in a release Wednesday/

What this Means for Patients Patients who require a refill of their regular medications do not need to visit a doctor or nurse practitioner for an updated prescription. Instead, a pharmacist can provide patients with a refill or emergency supply of their medications. This also includes controlled drugs and substances such as opioid agonist therapy.

• To help British Columbians stay healthy and avoid non-essential visits to a doctor or nurse practitioner, pharmacists will be providing refill prescriptions for patients.
• This allows healthy British Columbians to practice safe social distancing while also freeing up medical professionals to treat more urgent patients.
• Do not stockpile medications. This is harmful to the drug supply and could put others at risk.
• Pharmacists will continue to practice and are committed to ensuring ongoing patient access - speak to your pharmacist about what an appropriate supply of medications looks like for you.
• Do not visit a pharmacy in-person if you are experiencing symptoms or are self-isolating.

There is No Need to Stockpile Medications Stockpiling medications is harmful to the drug supply and could put others at risk. The College recommends no more than a single month’s supply, but patients should speak to their pharmacist about their personal health situation, and their pharmacist can recommend an appropriate supply of medications.

Patients with compromised immune systems or who have an increased risk of more severe outcomes from COVID-19 may want to refill their prescriptions now so that they do not have to go to a pharmacy or clinic if they do become sick. Avoid Visiting a Pharmacy in Person if You are Unwell or Self-isolating Many pharmacies provide delivery services which can help patients – especially those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 – avoid visiting a pharmacy in-person.

Patients can also arrange to have someone to pick up their medications for them. The situation regarding COVID-19 continues to evolve here in BC, Canada and other jurisdictions in the world. The College of Pharmacists of BC is working closely with the Ministry of Health and other partners to support the response to this new illness as part of BC’s health system. The College is continuing to add information on pharmacy’s role in helping fight COVID-19 at bcpharmacists.org/COVID19

 

 

 

  Tuesday, March 17, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

The family jewels

FV Treasure Hunter scours an area to find locket with a father's ashes

Staff/Submitted photo

 

When there's something missing in the neighbourhood, who ya gonna call? Valley Hunters!

Mark Lewis, founder of Fraser Valley Treasure Hunters said it was an awesome find. "We had a wonderful jewelry retrieval today in Maple Ridge. A lady contacted us to do a Necklace Retrieval from the dyke in Maple Ridge. The Pendant was important to Kristin, the owner, as the pendant contained her Fathers ashes,"

"Needless to say, both the owner of the lost necklace and the hunter Chris Kasper went out today and found the Necklace in the parking lot."

Lost a ring or a keepsake? FVTH are the best way to find it again. It's unclear what their rates are but you can start with a bucket of KFC.

Group hunts are in all kinds of weather. Dress warm and for wet weather. Ladies should wear gloves to protect fingernail polish! Once a while they do the community favours and go through school grounds hunting for sharps and other objects harmful to kids.

The  FVTH always welcomes new members. There's a small club fee but well worth the money.

If you're hunting alone, please put the dirt/turf back over the hole.

For more information and to connect with the group on Facebook for the latest club news, tips and advice and to meet the other members. Also, visit the website and watch Youtube video.

 

 

 

  Monday, March 16, 2020 

Published 10:10 pm

 

Casino shutters and sports clubs put on hold

Chilliwack community begins to see the impact from the Coronavirus

Staff/File image

 

The coronavirus has changed the way we live, at least for now, and the impact of it on local businesses who are rolling up the rugs and organizations shutting down is beginning to be felt in Chilliwack.

According to Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer said in a statement today that unfortunately three people who had tested positive for COVID-19 have died, all of whom were residents of the Lynn Valley Care Home

“British Columbia’s health authorities are directed to immediately move all hospitals in the province to Outbreak Response Phase 2. This means hospitals will undertake only urgent and emergency procedures and will postpone all non-urgent scheduled surgeries. Hospitals will review operating-room capacity daily to prioritize urgent and emergency cases," she said.

 

ELEMENTS CASINO
Johnny DeFazio, Regional Manager, Stakeholder Relations & Social Responsibility, told The Voice in an e-mail Monday morning that they will be shuttering their doors at least for the interim until the virus has passed.

"All 25 of Great Canadian’s gaming properties across the country will be closed for an indefinite period as of tonight at midnight. We’re hoping to reopen soon, once we receive direction from health authorities," he said.

Other closures are as follows:

 

BC COURTS

The Court requests that lawyers and parties consider agreeing to adjourn matters (criminal, civil or family), scheduled to proceed between now and May 31, 2020 that do not urgently need to proceed. See more.
 

STARBUCKS

Staff told The Voice today that as of Tuesday, the store will be open on a takeout service basis only. Meaning customers can go in order their beverages and then leave. There won't be any inside seating or outdoor patio either. Immediate lay-offs weren't anticipated. It is likely that other restaurants and fast food outlets will be operating in a similar fashion.

 

REAL CANADIAN SUPERSTORE

Late Friday, management defied civic duty and social distancing and brought in an extremely sick cashier who was sniffling, coughing and sneezing. Shockingly, the manager thanked the ill woman for coming in because they were so busy. It was impossible to get out of the lineup once in there with a backlog behind and on an electric scooter. Unfortunately, it's anyone's guess if people were being infected with influenza or COVID-19. We won't know for up to two weeks.

 

After all we've been told: stay home if you're ill or don't feel well, Superstore on Luckakuk Way completely ignored the BC CDC advisories. It was very alarming and deplorable to see this type of thing going on with a corporation. Management told The Voice they were disinfecting the store however refused to say how. On Saturday, Loblaw's apologized and said they would investigate but have said nothing since; such as crediting everyone who went through that particular lineup. It's possible that it may have taken a bad situation and made it worse.


SPARTANS SWIM CLUB
In light of the COVID-19 circumstance the Spartan Swim Club would like to update memberships on our current status. Our executive had an emergency meeting Friday March 13that 5:30pm and the following was decided. We will follow all Provincial Government sanctions as well our own Governing bodies (Swim BC & Swim Canada) recommendations.

What does this mean for our Membership? Due to the cancellation of Olympic Trials and Western Championships all athletes will be given one week rest March 15th-22nd. We plan on running our regular Spring Break training camp for competitive groups March 23rd– 28th. We plan to resume all regular scheduling for all groups March 30th.

We do realize this is a very fluid situation and we will be monitoring it daily with updates to come. Do not be surprised if our planed scheduling has changes to abide with new Government sanctions.

BC MINOR HOCKEY
After much consultation with the Hockey Canada membership, our Chief Medical Officer and public health officials, the Hockey Canada Board of Directors has made the decision to cancel all Hockey Canada-sanctioned activities, including our national championships, until further notice, effective immediately.

The BC Hockey Board of Directors support the leadership shown by Hockey Canada to suspend all hockey operations in an attempt to curb to the spread of the COVID-19 virus and will be following the direction to suspend all BC Hockey games and events until further notice.

The health and safety of our players, their families and their communities is our utmost priority. This is a developing situation which we will continue to monitor closely along with Hockey Canada and the appropriate public health authorities. We will provide further information to our membership as soon as it is made available.

CHILLIWACK COUGARS MINOR BASEBALL
Chilliwack Minor Baseball will be suspending all baseball related activities for the next 7 days.
Effective immediately Baseball BC has suspended all sanctioned in person baseball activity for a period of 7 days.
 

Baseball BC sanctioned activities include but are not limited to, all tournaments, practices, games, coach and umpire education and team building activities. The intent of this suspension is to limit situations of physical contact.
Baseball BC will be providing an update by March 20th. We will act accordingly, with guidance from CMBA Executive.
Please feel free to review the full release from Baseball BC via the below link: www.baseball.bc.ca/suspension-of-play---covid-19-concerns

 

CYCLING BC
In order to support the global efforts to minimize the transmission of the virus, Cycling Canada has also recommended that all cycling events on the 2020 Cycling Canada calendar between March 15th and May 1st be postponed or cancelled. Any events beyond this time frame will be reassessed on April 3rd.

 

CREDIT UNION CONFERENCE

Every year, the Canadian credit union extended family looks forward to connecting with each other at CCUA’s National Conference. It’s an incredible moment for our industry to share, learn and reach out to each other. That is why we are sorry to tell you that this year, due to the growing global COVID-19 outbreak, we have made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person component of our conference. 

Conference fees are fully refundable, and we will share details on our cancellation process in a separate communication.

 

To kick this new approach off, we will also be hosting a virtual session followed by an online version of our annual general meeting. Look out for an invite soon.

 

CHILLIWACK CHIEFS

They were asked Monday morning if team activities are ceasing but have failed to respond as of 10 pm Tuesday.

 

 

  Saturday, March 14, 2020 

Published 6 pm

 

Federal Government outlines Coronavirus  stimulus package

$52 billion in funding established to handle the COVID-19 crisis, assistance also from the Business Development Bank of Canada

Federal Gov't/Handout image

 

Country-wide funding announcement and assistance for Business Entrepreneurs.

 

UPDATE: The Liberals have increased the stimulus package to $25 billion

COVID-19 is a rapidly evolving global challenge. The Government of Canada is working closely with local, provincial, territorial, and international partners to minimize its health, economic, and social impacts in Canada and around the world. We have worked closely with Canada’s trained public health and medical professionals to put in place the plans, infrastructure, and resources needed to protect the health and safety of all Canadians.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today outlined Canada’s whole-of-government response to COVID-19, by establishing a more than $10 billion COVID-19 “credit facility program”. This comprehensive approach includes measures already underway to respond to the outbreak, as well as new investments to limit the spread of the virus in Canada and prepare for its possible broader impacts on our people, our economy, and our small businesses.

In addition to continuing our work to ensure a coordinated response across the country, the Government of Canada is proposing new investments to respond in Canada and around the world. These investments will include actions to:

• Help Canadians make informed decisions and take action to protect their health and their communities by providing $50 million to support the Public Health Agency of Canada’s COVID-19 communications and public education efforts.

• Further support public health preparedness by providing $500 million to provinces and territories for critical health care system needs and to support mitigation efforts as needed. This could include help to support with access to testing, acquisition of equipment, and to enhance surveillance and monitoring. Financial considerations should not and will not be an obstacle to hospitals and health systems making the necessary preparations.

• Provide support to workers in quarantine or who have been directed to self-isolate who will claim Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits by waiving the mandatory one-week waiting period so they can be paid for the first week of their claim. We are exploring additional measures to support other affected Canadians, including income support for those who are not eligible for EI sickness benefits.

To see the full release, please visit the Federal Government website. See also support for Entrepreneurs due to COVID-19 impacts on the Business Development Bank of Canada website. Visit the Canada Public Health website for more information on the Coronavirus.

 

 

  Saturday, March 14, 2020 

Published 2:30 pm

 

Nine more people test positive

BC CDC reminds residents no need to "stockpile food"

BC Gov't Caucus/Handout image

 

Retail supply-chain providers say they have an abundance of supply and are restocking regularly.

Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

“We are announcing nine new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 73 cases in British Columbia. The individuals are in the Vancouver Coastal, Fraser and Interior health regions, and were confirmed positive based on BC Centre for Disease Control testing.

“Five cases are connected to a cluster at the Lynn Valley Care Centre, one case is linked to travel from Portugal and the remaining three cases are under investigation.

“Public health teams continue to be on site at both the Lynn Valley Care Centre and the Hollyburn House Retirement Residence, working to contain potential transmission to other residents and workers.

“From the outset, we have been proactive in our efforts. Our approach has been to get ahead of increasing risks and do all we can to break the chains of transmission, and we will continue to do so.

“We are adapting our testing strategy to respond to the situation here in B.C. to ensure all who get sick can get the testing they need.

“We would like to be clear that testing is available for all who need it, but not everyone requires a test. If you have no symptoms, mild symptoms, or are a returning traveller and isolating at home, you do not require a test.

“We are continuing to test those who are part of an active investigation or outbreak cluster, those with severe illness who are hospitalized, residents of long-term care facilities and health-care workers.

“We ask all British Columbians to be measured in their purchase of groceries and other basic necessities. Our retail supply-chain providers have assured us they have an abundance of supply and are restocking regularly. There is no need to stockpile. See also the BC Pandemic Coordination Plan, the UBCM COVID-19 local government plan, Healthlink BC and Fraser Health for more information.

 

 

  Friday, March 13, 2020 

Published 9:45 pm

 

House fire in the height of winter windstorm

No injuries, unconfirmed report a tree or part of a treefall the cause, CFD investigating

Mike Bourdon, Asst. Chief, Fire Prevention/Google image

 

Fire crews battled the blaze in heavy winter winds Friday. Thankfully residents escaped ubharmed.

On March 13th, 2020, at approximately 6:15 pm the Chilliwack Fire Department was dispatched to a reported structure fire located in the 50000-block of Yale Rd. On-arrival, fire crews reported seeing smoke and heavy flame on the exterior rear deck and exterior wall surface of a single-storey residential home.

Firefighters responded from Halls 1, 2, 4, 5 & 6. Fire crews were able to gain access and quickly extinguish the fire. The exterior of the structure sustained fire damage and smoke damage to the interior of the home.

Occupants were watching television, when they heard a loud banging noise and upon investigation witnessed flames on the rear deck of the home. The occupants safely evacuated the residence and quickly called 9-1-1.

There were no civilian and or firefighter injuries.

The cause of the fire appears to be accidental at this time and is still under investigation by the Chilliwack Fire Department.

 

 

  Friday, March 13, 2020 

Published 1 pm

 

Easy does it

Please stay safe

Voice staff

Carelessness on the road and in situations where we don't pay attention to what we're doing, or with otherwise avoidable issues, can needlessly expose first responders; medics, firefighters, police, health workers, BC Hydro and Telus crews to the coronavirus.

The coronavirus has changed the face of everyday life. On Friday evening, emergency crews responded to two highway accidents on the Trans Canada; one at Herrling Island where reports were a vehicle struck a power pole and another westbound near the Prest Road onramp.

Wind warning:  Fraser Valley - Chilliwack
Current details 8:30 pm: Strong northeast outflow winds gusting to 90 km/h have developed over the Fraser Valley this evening as arctic air from the BC interior pushes out to the coast. These strong outflow winds will continue tonight and will ease below warning criteria near noon Saturday, but winds will remain blustery. Loose objects may be tossed by the wind and cause injury or damage. High winds may toss loose objects or cause tree branches to break.

For City of Chilliwack coronavirus updates, visit the website here.

 

 

  Friday, March 13, 2020 

Published 1 pm

 

Inundated

BC gov't announces 11 more Coronavirus cases

BC Gov't Caucus/Handout photo

 

11 more test positive in BC as of Friday.

 

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

“We are announcing 11 new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 64 cases in British Columbia. The individuals are all in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and were confirmed positive, based on BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) testing.

“Three cases are connected to a cluster at Lions Gate Hospital, one is a close contact of the previously identified worker at the Lynn Valley Care Centre, five cases are travel-related and the remaining two cases are under investigation.

“The three individuals at Lions Gate Hospital are administrative staff. They have no known link to the Lynn Valley Care Centre, nor do they have regular contact with patients.

“Of those cases linked to travel, patients include two from Egypt, one from Iran, one from the Philippines and one from Mexico.

 

 

  Thursday, March 12, 2020 

Published 1 pm

 

Virus cases doubling every 2 days in the Lower Mainland

'Civic duty to self isolate'

BC Gov't Caucus/Handout photo

 

Dr. Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix..

 

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

“We are announcing seven new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 53 cases in British Columbia. The individuals are in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser health regions and were confirmed positive, based on BC Centre for Disease Control testing.

“Three cases are connected to the Hollyburn House Retirement Residence, three cases are travel-related and one is a community case.

“The three individuals are connected to the Hollyburn House Retirement Residence in West Vancouver include case 48, a male in his 40s and case 49, a female in her 40s, both of whom are health-care workers at Hollyburn. Case 47 is a man in his 90s, a resident. Public health teams are on site and actively working to investigate and contain potential transmission to other residents and workers. The outbreak at this facility is linked to the outbreak at Lynn Valley Care Centre.

“Case 50 is a man in his 40s who returned from travel in the United Kingdom and lives in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.

“Case 51 is a man in his 40s. Case 52 is a woman in her 40s. Both cases 51 and 52 live in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and are returning from a group trip to Egypt.

“Case 53 is a man in his 50s and is a community case identified through laboratory surveillance. He is self-isolating at his home in the Vancouver Coastal Health region.

Of B.C.’s 53 COVID-19 cases, four people have fully recovered and one woman in her 60s remains in in hospital in the Fraser Health region in stable condition. All other individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 are in isolation at home with care and support from public health teams.

“With the increasing transmission of COVID-19 at mass gatherings and events, in addition to the escalating risk of community transmission, we must do our best to slow transmission of COVID-19 and protect our communities.

“Our schools and our workplaces are operating safely, and we want to keep it that way.

“We are recommending against all non-essential travel outside of Canada, including to the United States. Effective today, anyone who chooses to travel outside of Canada will be asked to stay away from work or school for 14 days upon their return. We know that this is a voluntary measure, but it is our expectation that people will follow this direction as part of their civic duty. 

 

 

  Thursday, March 12, 2020 

Published 1 pm

 

Breaking Barriers

Chilliwack receives $49,812 grant for local overdose actions

Staff/Voice file photo

 

An overdose victim is  wheeled out of Salish Park.


all the public awareness campaigns 3 (2.7) people a day are dying of drug overdoses in BC.

 

In September, 2019, Judy Darcy, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions announced at the Union of BC Municipalities that $900,000 in grant money for local community wellness, safety and harm reduction programs will be available in 2020.

 

“Everyone deserves to live in a healthy and safe community,” Darcy said. “We know that when people come together to identify challenges and solutions, we can create vibrant communities that put residents’ wellness first.”

 

Tracey Robertson, Minister of Mental Health and Addictions spokesperson told the Voice in an email that Chilliwack received $49,812 (the maximum grant was $50,000) for its Breaking Barriers program throughout the city.

 

"The project team will develop a peer-led program to help the downtown core respond to growing concerns related to substance use and other social issues, and partner with New Matrix Meals – a project that supports community inclusion, dialogue, and understanding through informal meal-sharing events, that has been active since 2017 – to host several anti-stigma events." said Robertson.
 

 

  Thursday, March 12, 2020 

Published noon

 

Vander Zalm speaks out about Valley rail 

Letter to Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun

Bill Vander Zalm, Former BC Premier/Voice file photo


As best I can, I have been following your comments about the proposed “South Fraser Community Rail.” Your questioning of the work being done by this hard-working volunteer group, which has the livability of the Fraser Valley as its’ primary objective, is welcome, but unfortunately not based on facts. You obviously are entitled to your own opinion, but you aren’t entitled to your own facts.

When I was a teenager, I used to take the 10-cent ride from Bradner to Abbotsford on the B.C. Electric (forerunner to B.C. Hydro as you know) Interurban. B.C. Hydro came to see me in 1987 when I was premier of the province. They had already discontinued the “Tram Service” from Vancouver to Chilliwack in the early 50s, for lack of passengers, and were now wanting to sell their freight division because of heavy financial losses. They needed government approval to sell any of the assets.

My very capable Minister Mr. Jack Davis and I agreed immediately that their request was not acceptable as presented. After considerable research and study the Minister and I concluded that the “urban rail right-of-way”, everything above it and beside it was not to be sold under any circumstance. We concluded that the rails, then used exclusively for freight, could only be leased with renewable options. We further required that the rail line be maintained in top condition, when required for Transit, passenger transportation. The agreement would further state that the successful bidder, lessee, would need to double track, at their cost when demand exceeded capacity. Read the entire letter at South Fraser Community Rail.

 

 

  Thursday, March 12, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Tiller Class Action suit against RCMP

Legal claims will be accepted for review beginning May 10

Janelle O'Connor, Higerty Law/Wiki image

 

 

March 10, 2020 the Federal Court of Canada approved a national settlement in Tiller v. Her Majesty the Queen (Federal Court Action No. T-1673-17). The Court held that the settlement was fair and reasonable and in the best interests of Class Members. The settlement provides compensation for women who experienced gender or sexual orientation based harassment or discrimination while working or volunteering with the RCMP between September 16, 1974 and July 5, 2019, with 6 levels of compensation ranging from $10,000 to $220,000 for a proven claim.


The value of the settlement is estimated to be $100 million dollars, but the total value will depend on how many eligible claims are received. Individual compensation will not be impacted by the number of claims received. Class Members can begin submitting claims on May 10, 2020.


The last day to submit a claim is November 5, 2020. The Federal Court also appointed three female retired justices –the Honourable Louise Otis (formerly of the Quebec Court of Appeal), the Honourable Pamela Kirkpatrick (formerly of the British Columbia Court of Appeal) and the Honourable Kathryn Neilson (formerly of the British Columbia Court of Appeal) - to act as the settlement’s Assessors.

 

The claims process has been designed to be trauma-informed. Women who make claims to the settlement will do so through a confidential claims process. Claims at levels 1 and 2 will be assessed through a paper-based process.

 

Claimants at levels 3 through 6 will also receive an interview with an Assessor. Claimants will not be cross-examined and will not have to testify at a public hearing. As part of the settlement, the RCMP will issue a no-retaliation directive.
 

Accordingly, women can make claims to the settlement without fear of reprisal. Class Members are all current and former living Municipal Employees, Regional District Employees, employees of non-profit organizations, volunteers, Commissionaires, Supernumerary Special Constables, consultants, contractors, public service employees, students, members of integrated policing units and persons from outside agencies and police forces who are female or publicly identify as female and who were supervised or managed by the RCMP or who worked in an RCMP controlled workplace during the Class Period The Class Period is September 16, 1974 to July 5, 2019.The settlement website is: www.rcmpsettlement.ca

For more details contact Angela Bespflug, lead counsel via e-mail , or Janelle O’Connor, counsel via e-mail or Patrick Higgerty Q.C., counsel via e-mail.

 

  Wednesday, March 11, 2020 

Published 8 pm

Epidemic now a pandemic says BC CDC

7 new infections announced today, community-acquired, healthcare workers

BC Gov't caucus/Wiki image

 

Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

We are announcing seven new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 46 cases in British Columbia. The individuals are in the Vancouver Coastal Health, Fraser Health and Island Health regions.

Two cases are connected to the Lynn Valley Care Centre, three cases are travel-related and two are community cases.

Case 40 is a male in 20s living in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, and case 45 is a woman in her 50s living in the Fraser Health region. Both work at the Lynn Valley Care Centre. There are no new resident cases.

Case 43 is a male in his 70s living in the Vancouver Coastal Health region. Case 46 is a man in his 60s living in the Island Health region. Both cases 43 and 46 have returned from travelling in Egypt. 

Case 42 is a man in his 70s from Egypt, who is visiting family in the Fraser Health region.

Case 41 is a woman in her 60s, currently in hospital. Case 44 is a man in his 60s. Both are new community cases, who were identified through laboratory surveillance, and both reside in the Fraser Health region.

Three patients have been discharged from hospital and are now recovering at home. One person is in hospital. All other patients with COVID-19 remain in isolation at home with care and support from public health teams.

We have seen an increase in community cases in the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley in recent days, where the source of the virus infection is not yet known. Public health teams are actively investigating, as we continue work to limit the spread of transmission in B.C.

Today, we are asking British Columbians to take additional care of seniors and people with compromised immune systems. Do not visit them if you are sick. If they are living at home and are sick, consider how you may support them with food and other necessities. If you need to visit a long-term care home or other health-care facility, go one person at a time and limit your visit to the person you know.

We are working with all long-term care and assisted living facilities to implement enhanced prevention measures to further protect all residents.

If any British Columbian has been notified by event organizers that they may have been exposed to COVID-19, such as the recent Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada conference in Toronto, we are strongly recommending social distancing in the workplace and at home, especially from those most vulnerable, in addition to closely monitoring for symptoms.

Today, the World Health Organization declared the outbreak of COVID-19 a pandemic. As part of the British Columbia Pandemic Provincial Co-ordination Plan, we continue to focus on containment to break the chains of transmission, and we are using all the tools in our toolbox required at this time.

 

 

  Wednesday, March 11, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Aye, Aye Skipper!

Women and girls invited to apply for military exercises on Canadian Navy ship April 4

Kirsten Brazier, Achieve Anything Fdn/Handout image

 

 

The Achieve Anything Foundation has opened applications for an exciting new Operation: This IS You! hands-on experience event aboard a Royal Canadian Navy warship. The ship departs out of Vancouver, B.C., Saturday April 04.

Participants will get a rare, first-hand look into Navy warship operations, hands-on! Activities include exploring ship duty stations, crew quarters and operational equipment; RCAF joint search and rescue demonstration, firefighting simulations, and demonstration of the warship’s impressive manoeuvring capabilities. Lunch will be provided, and the event is completely free. Applications are open to women & girls age 12+.

The event is by invitation only and applications must be made in advance on the Foundation’s website. Those selected must further complete the RSVP process by the specified deadlines in order to be admitted to the event. While there is no maximum age for women to apply, all applicants should self-assess they are sufficiently agile to board and move about the ship unassisted.

The Achieve Anything Foundation is a federally incorporated not-for-profit with a mission to inspire female future leaders from shop floor to top floor in high-tech STEM fields, where women are drastically underrepresented. 

This completely free international event is open to everyone regardless of age, gender or citizenship. It’s held annually in early October in honour of International Day of the Girl, a Canadian-driven UN Observance.

 

 

  Wednesday, March 11, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Infections double almost daily

BC CDC announces 7 more coronavirus cases, including healthcare workers, while residents wonder where to get masks?

BC Gov't Caucus/Wiki image

 

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

“We are announcing seven new cases of COVID-19, for a total of 39 cases in British Columbia. The individuals are in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions and were confirmed positive based on BC Centre for Disease Control testing.

 

 

  Wednesday, March 11, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

NORAD escorts Russian spy planes

U.S. F-22 Raptors and Canadian CF-18 Hornets “intercepted two Russian Tu-142 maritime  

North American Aerospace Defense Command/Facebook image

 

The large Russian Tu-142 maritime recon aircraft being escorted by a US F-22 Raptor on Monday.

North American Aerospace Defense Command F-22s, CF-18s, supported by KC-135 Stratotanker and E-3 Sentry AWACS aircraft, intercepted two Russian Tu-142 maritime reconnaissance aircraft entering the Alaskan Air Defense Identification Zone on Monday, March 9th.

The Russian aircraft entered the ADIZ north of Alaska and remained within it for approximately 4 hours. NORAD fighter aircraft escorted the TU-142s for the duration of their time in the ADIZ. The Russian aircraft remained in international airspace over the Beaufort Sea, and came as close as 50 nautical miles to the Alaskan coast.

The Russian aircraft did not enter United States or Canadian sovereign airspace. NORAD employs a layered defense network of radars, satellites, and fighter aircraft to identify aircraft and determine the appropriate response. The identification and monitoring of aircraft entering a US or Canadian ADIZ demonstrates how NORAD executes its aerospace warning and aerospace control missions for the United States and Canada.

NORAD continues to operate in the Arctic across multiple domains,” said General Terrence J. O’Shaughnessy, NORAD Commander. “As we continue to conduct exercises and operations in the north, we are driven by a single unyielding priority: defending the homelands.

NORAD is a bi-national command focused on the defense of both the United States and Canada; the response to potential aerospace threats does not  distinguish between the two nations and draws on forces from both countries. Connect on Facebook.

 

  Tuesday, March 10, 2020 

Published 11 am

 

Something to be proud about

Federal government refuses to recognize the efforts of volunteers while other NATO countries do

L.W.F. Cuppens, CMM, CD, Lt-General (retired), Special Advisor Advocacy, Cdn Peacekeeping Vets Assn/Facebook photo

 

For years veterans and the organizations that support veterans have requested that the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal (CVSM) be re-introduced and issued to all veterans. This writer has written several op-eds concerning this matter; however, the Government of Canada continues to ignore these with vague responses.  I have previously recommended that Canadians should contact their Members of Parliament and Senators to formally request that the medal be re-introduced.

Canadians continue to join the Canadian Armed Forces and serve Canada, with unlimited liability.  Many of those who chose to serve but leave the Armed Forces before completing 12 years of service do so without a medal that recognizes their service. 

Other NATO and like-minded nations have volunteer service medals and their veterans wear these decorations with pride. Surely our veterans are also deserving of such recognition!

Canadians know that whenever and wherever the military is needed, an appropriate response is rendered. These military members place themselves in harm’s way as may be necessary to fulfill Canada’s national interests and this includes service in war zones, service as a deterrence to the aggression of others, service to search and rescue operations, service in combating forest fires, floods, and ice storms and a host of other types of service. 

Yes, it is true that after many years of requesting, the Government is in the process of issuing service recognition cards; however, a more tangible and visible form of recognition—a medal—should also be presented. All veterans support organizations are unanimous in advocating that the CVSM be re-introduced and their quest continues. 

The common Government common response to the request for reinstating the CVSM over many years has been that there already is a medal which serves that role – the Canadian Forces Decoration (CD) – which is awarded after 12 years of service, with bars at 22, 32 and 42 years. However, what the Government response does not acknowledge is that the CD is given for long service and good conduct whereas the CVSM is intended to recognize the selfless and patriotic act of volunteering for service which has unlimited liability for injury or death, working under extremely harsh and physically demanding situations and having to obey all legally given orders of superiors.

Our military veterans deserve such recognition—let’s make it happen!

 

 

  Monday, March 9, 2020 

Published 2 pm

 

Coronavirus cases continue to climb

BC CDC says one death, added 5 more today,32 testing positive, recommends 'social distancing'

BC Gov't Caucus/File image

 

 

Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

 

We are deeply saddened to announce that a resident of the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver, a man in his 80s who was previously confirmed positive with COVID-19 (case 27), passed away. We offer our heartfelt condolences to his loved ones, and the staff who provided him care, during this difficult time.

 

 

  Monday, March 9, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Intoxicated man dies after being mauled by 3 cops

Pepper-sprayed, tasered, beaten with batons, jumped on

IIOBC/File image

 

RCMP have notified the Independent Investigations Office of British Columbia (IIO BC) of an incident which resulted in the death of an adult male.

On March 8, 2020, Whistler RCMP officers attended a local business after receiving a complaint of an intoxicated male who was causing disturbance. During their interaction with him the attending officers deployed OC spray (pepper), a conducted energy weapon (taser) and used their batons in an effort to gain control of him.

The male suddenly became still and officers began CPR and called emergency health services. He was transported to hospital but was pronounced deceased.

Three officers were treated at hospital for minor injuries and released. Additional RCMP resources have been brought in from neighbouring communities to maintain policing duties in Whistler.

 

As the incident took place in a public space there will have been numerous witnesses. They are asked to identify themselves to the IIO BC as soon as possible so that they may provide a statement. The IIO BC is now investigating to determine whether police actions or inactions are linked to the man’s death. As the matter is now under investigation by the IIO BC, no further information will be released by police.

Please note that all aspects and circumstances of this incident will be the subject of independent investigation and verification by the IIO BC.

 

 

  Sunday, March 8, 2020 

Published 5:30 am

 

100 angels strong

Fraser Valley group strives to make big differences for local charities

Staff/Facebook photo

 

"100 Women Who Care" are looking for new members to join.

 

grand would feel good in your hand.

A newly formed benevolent group of ladies called "100 Women Who Care" have formulated a plan to change the Fraser Valley one charity at a time.

 

This is a group of women you can't say no to. So far the club consists of 60 women, with a view of at least 100 who get together 4 times a year and pledge to donate $100 to the charity of choice that night. The concept is simple: charity recipients must be local and helping out in the Fraser Valley.

 

The charity which receives the most votes walks away that night with an astounding $10,000.00 towards their cause.  

 

"This wonderful alliance model that has been followed 800 plus times around the world and now the Fraser Valley has its own chapter," Tina Shaw, a club founder, told The Voice in an e-mail last week.

 

Shaw, a local  realtor, says she has a debt of gratitude to those who have helped them make an impact on the lives of others.

 

Their Facebook page describes them as local women dedicated "to raise money that goes to helping our local Fraser Valley charities. Women are so busy these days with our families, our careers. Life. We want to know more about what's going on in our community and how we can help."

 

"We want 100% of our donations going straight to the cause. We want to know how our money was spent. We are 100 Women Who Care. And we are making the Fraser Valley a better place for ALL of it's citizens, one charity at a time. Please join this grassroots movement–we are always accepting and welcoming new members!"

 

Important facts people should know:

 

We have proudly donated to Langley Special Olympics, Delta Rotary Starfish Backpack Program and The Gaby David Childhood Cancer Foundation so far. 

 

100% of the money is going to the charity of choice, that means the alliance is simply an organized structure not a business. My time is all volunteer (as are all the members who do extra to make these events happen) 

 

The hosting venue must donate the space as there are no funds to draw from to pay for the events. We are looking for a new Venue to host us!

 

To connect with the group, visit their Facebook, Instagram or call Tina at Macdonald Realty 604 417 9899 Click here to join

 

 

  Saturday, March 7, 2020 

Published 10:45 pm

 

Gold bugs galore

Fraser Valley Treasure Hunters have fun with the chance of striking it rich

Staff/Submitted photos

 

Sarah Preston (l to r) - second place, Jeff Stewart - first place and Sharon Betker - third place.

 

Where do you go when you want to have fun, share some camaraderie with the chance of striking it rich? You go to The Fraser Valley Treasure Hunters (FVTH) of course.

Each month the club gets together at the Langley Legion for a potluck dinner and to show off their best finds and win prizes for Hunter of the Month.

"Had a great meeting last night and some incredible finds for Hunter of The Month," said Mark Lewis, club founder in an e-mail Friday.

The group also go out on club hunts in various places around the Lower Mainland

"It was also great to see member Bob Glover up and around again" said Lewis. "We also had our newest eager members in the house;  Marianne LewisDesirae Moore and Laurie Brown"

This month prizes went to;

1st Place Jeff Stewart with a great Diamond ring

2nd Place Sarah Preston with a Carved Silver Ring

3rd Place to Sharon Betker for a beautiful Silver chain

Woohoo! All you need is a metal detector available at stores throughout the Lower Mainland and you're good to go. Don't forget gumbo boots and a digging spade to get to the items, many of which have been buried for decades.

Diamonds and silver were the winners this month.

Group hunts are in all kinds of weather. Dress warm and for wet weather. Ladies should wear gloves to protect fingernail polish! Once a while they do the community favours and go through school grounds hunting for sharps and other objects harmful to kids.

The  FVTH always welcomes new members. There's a small club fee but well worth the money.

 

If you're hunting alone, please put the dirt/turf back over the hole.

For more information and to connect with the group on Facebook for the latest club news, tips and advice and to meet the other members. Also, visit the website and watch Youtube video.

 

 

 

  Saturday, March 7, 2020 

Published 10:45 m

 

Coronavirus cases jump in BC

Government announces 6 more infected

BC Gov't caucus/Website image

 

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

On the hour world coverage https://www.aljazeera.com/live/

 

 

  Thursday, March 5, 2020 

Published 10 pm

 

Pandemic Provincial Coordination Plan

BC government warns of 3-4 month sustained outbreak

BC Gov't caucus/Handout image

 

Premier John Horgan (centre) announces plan Friday.

 

The 111-year-old Chilliwack General Hospital is identified as a red zone triage hospital for major incidents. Abbotsford isn't. They're yellow. Below is the gov't release on Friday. There's been no word if new ambulances will be added to the fleet in Chilliwack. 

 

To protect people in B.C. against novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and mitigate the impact of this illness on communities, the B.C. government and the provincial health officer have developed the British Columbia Pandemic Provincial Co-ordination Plan to respond to the evolving outbreak.

 

B.C.’s COVID-19 pandemic response plans include a wide range of planning and preparedness actions to help individuals, local governments, health-sector organizations and businesses to plan for the possibility of a pandemic. The plan focuses on delaying, containing and preparing the province to minimize serious illness and economic disruption.

 

 

Phase 1 of the plan is underway, addressing identification and containment -- continuing strong public health testing and close collaboration with the federal government on border surveillance, to identify and isolate individuals who test positive for the virus and their close contacts. The priority is to delay the onset of widespread community transmission for as long as possible.

 

Phase 2 would escalate cross-government co-ordination to quickly direct actions and resources, as required. It also prepares for the use of emergency powers set out in the Emergency Program Act and Public Health Act. It would ensure provincial business and service continuity.

 

Protecting Population actions would include increasing testing capacity and expanding communication with at-risk groups. It would also enact government continuity plans to prepare for the possibility of high absence rates due to illness, or if employees are absent in order to care for family. It would also provide supports for businesses and institutions to manage the same challenges through a sustained three- to four-month outbreak; including grocery stores, public transportation, schools and the tourism sector.

 

Protecting Vulnerable Citizens actions would include ways to protect seniors in long-term care, assisted living and home and community care, which could include reducing the number of people coming into facilities, screening visitors and increasing testing for illness of residents and health-care workers.

 

Protecting Health Workers actions would include implementing standardized preparedness plans at the local level to support health-care workers to respond to a wider outbreak and provincially manage and co-ordinate supply chains for hospital, community and primary care. It would also bring in additional health-care capacity for specific communities under stress by establishing a list of health-care workers who could be rapidly redeployed for a sustained period. 

 

Supporting Health-Care Capacity actions would use established emergency operation committees across health authorities to assess the ability to plan and respond at a local level to a community-wide outbreak and create capacity, as needed, in hospitals for:

• discharging low-risk patients;

• deferring scheduled surgeries and procedures;

• identifying capacity for new care spaces within hospitals; and

• ensuring bed equipment capacity.

It would also ensure readiness to implement hospital-wide protocols to safely triage and separate anyone presenting with respiratory illness. 

As of Friday, March 6, 2020, the BC Centre for Disease control has tested 2,803 samples for 2,008 people.

 

  Thursday, March 5, 2020 

Published 10 pm

 

Blaze guts Cook St Apartment

Community services assists residents afterward

Staff/Voice photos

 

Firefighters work inside the second floor suite to ensure the fire is completely extinguished. Checks will be done throughout the evening.

 

apartment in the 9400-block of Cook Street went up in flames Friday afternoon displacing residents. This is an example of why it's important to have some kind of home insurance. Fire victims and building evacuees are given three days assistance from Chilliwack Emergency Community Services and then they're on their own.

 

It's also important to have a bugout bag to throw things in on your way out such as; medication, wallets/purses, shoes and anything else that you can grab and go within a couple of minutes and don't use elevators.

 

 

Often people run out in their pajamas and slippers with nothing else to see what's going on and firefighters won't allow them back into the buildings, and in some cases they lose everything.

 

The following is a release from Andrew Brown, Assistant Chief, Training Chilliwack Fire Department.

 

On March 06, 2020, at approximately 3 pm, the Chilliwack Fire Department was dispatched to a reported structure fire located in a three-story apartment complex in the 9400-block of Cook Street.

 


Firefighters responded from Halls 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6, and on arrival, reported seeing heavy black smoke and flames venting from a second-floor apartment engulfing the balcony area and lapping to the third-floor. The building fire alarm had been activated and some residents were evacuating the structure.

Initial arriving crews stretched hose lines to control the fire from the exterior and laddered adjacent balconies to rescue occupants closest to the fire apartment. Crews then set up for an interior attack and quickly brought the fire under control.

Approximately 30 apartment units were impacted by the fire and a school bus from School District 33 was brought to the scene as temporary shelter for displaced occupants. Emergency Social Service were also on-scene to provide additional support for displaced occupants.

 

Chilliwack Emergency Community Services assists building tenants before they were bussed out to hotels later.
 

The apartment of origin suffered major damage, while the apartment building suffered smoke damage. One civilian was treated for smoke inhalation.

There were no firefighter injuries.



This fire is considered accidental at this time, and is under investigation by the Chilliwack Fire Department.

 

 

  Thursday, March 5, 2020 

Published 10 pm

 

Car gets good workout at YMCA

No injuries in strange accident

Staff/Voice photo

 

Firefighters work to de-energize the disabled vehicle.

 

The driver of this vehicle would have had a lot of explaining to police when at about 2:30 pm on Thursday his car smacked into a light standard in the YMCA parking lot. The vehicle bashed it so hard fire fighters had to cut through the hood with a power saw in order to de-energize the battery by cutting its cables to avoid fire. It's unclear how an accident like this could happen but it's possible that the pole moved into the way.

 

 

  Thursday, March 5, 2020 

Published 10 pm

 

A poet and you know it

Catherine Owen tours book with readings May 28-29

BC Gov't Caucus/Wiki image

 

 

Riven: Poems, the sixteenth collection from Edmonton poet, Catherine Owen. This collection will be published on April 14, 2020.


Focusing on nature, grief, and addiction, Catherine Owen’s dynamic collection, Riven, draws on the environs of the Fraser River, the solace for the loss of a spouse, and the unfolding, healing time of grief.

 

She has two events in BC;

Massy Books at 299 Georgia St, Vancouver, BC, May 28 and her Planet Earth Poetry Series at Hillside Coffee and Tea, 1633 Hillside Ave, Victoria, BC, May 29.

 

In 2010, Catherine Owen’s 29-year-old spouse died of a drug addiction. A year later, she relocated to an apartment by the Fraser River in Vancouver, B.C. As she moved beyond the initial shock, the river became her focus: a natural, damaged space that both intensifies emotion and symbolizes healing. In a sequence of aubades, or dawn poems, Owen records the practice of walking by or watching the river every morning, a routine that helps her engage in the tough work of mourning. For more information and to connect with Catherine, visit her website here.

 

 

  Thursday, March 5, 2020 

Published 5:30 pm

Virus cases explode in Vancouver-Fraser Health regions

Eight more people test positive for a total of 21, Bethlehem, Isreal under siege

BC Gov't Caucus/Wiki image

 

Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in British Columbia:

We are announcing eight new cases of COVID-19 for a total of 21 cases in British Columbia. The individuals are in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions and were confirmed positive based on BC Centre for Disease Control testing.

Cases 14, 15, 16 and 17 are close contacts of case 10. They are a man in his 20s, a man in his 30s, a woman in her 50s and a woman in her 60s.

Cases 18 and 19 are a woman in her 50s and a man in his 60s who reside in a single  household. They recently returned from Iran.

Case 20 is a woman in her 50s who frequently travels to Metro Vancouver from the Seattle, Wash. area. She is staying with family in the Fraser Health region.

Case 21 is a woman in her 50s  with no recent travel history who resides in the Fraser Health region.

 4 BC patients have now fully recovered and one patient remains in critical condition in care at hospital. The remaining individuals with COVID-19 are in isolation at home with support and monitoring from public health teams.

For the best COVID-19 coverage, watch Al Jazeera.

 

 

  Wednesday, March 4, 2020 

Published 5:30 pm

 

Community-acquired COVID-19 case announced

80-year-old woman had no contact with any people who have tested positive

BC Gov't Caucus/Pixabay photo

 

Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in British Columbia.

We are announcing one new presumptive case of COVID-19 for a total of 13 cases in British Columbia. The individual resides in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and recently returned from travel to India and Hong Kong.

The individual is a woman in her 80s with no connection to any previously confirmed cases. She has other underlying medical conditions and is isolated in the intensive care unit at Vancouver General Hospital in critical condition.

All precautions have been taken to ensure the safety of other patients and health-care workers, while providing her with the care she needs.

Four B.C. patients have now fully recovered. The remaining previously announced individuals with COVID-19 are in isolation at home with support and monitoring from public health teams.

 

Believe it or not panic buying is happening here. A man went into a local Chilliwack pharmacy last week and bought 200 paper masks. I suggested to them limiting sales to one per person. Australians emptied the shelves of toilet paper. The US government is asking companies to increase supplies of masks and health supplies by at least 40 per cent.

 

We can expect massive quarantines here as in China where all public activity ground to a halt. If and when quarantines happen, food shortages will be inevitable because people won't be able to work.

 

The economy has already begun to dive. The financial graph has gone over the cliff. This thing is on the verge of going vertical. Right now it's cruising along horizontally.

 

China's already bankrupt because their push to be a global economic contender has drained their coffers so this has hit them the hardest. Apparently 40 per cent of their land mass is poisoned by arsenic and 60 people per cent of the population outside cities, or 250 million, have mental issues because of it.

 

Scientists say the virus appears to be a bio weapon designed to be a death knell to economies rather than to kill people. China says the US created it in bio weapons labs. The US says China created this mild pathogen in order to bring the US to its knees economically.

 

The Black Plague killed 30 per cent of the world's population beginning in 1346 and eradicated itself 7 years later in the summer of 1353. So biologists are hoping this virus will be stopped in its tracks sometime in the summer.

 

Some say China will push the US into WW3 with this by 2021. Wars will begin and countries will unleash even more lethal bio weapons.

 

Part of School District 33's virus warning on their website says masks aren't necessary for people who aren't experiencing symptoms because they increase the likelihood of kids touching their faces. But the virus won't emerge for at least two weeks or longer. They aren't exactly sure yet. Perhaps it's a good time to get kids used to wearing them now.

 

Aside from what some people and right wing editorials are saying, this really is something to worry about so being complacent now isn't going to do you or your family any good because the worst may be yet to come and the time to prepare is at hand.

 

 

  Wednesday, March 4, 2020 

Published 8 am

Chilliwack ready for house sales

Large inventory opens doors to newcomers

Steve Lerigney, CADREB/File photo

 

 

With changes to the mortgage “stress test” just around the corner in early April, Chilliwack and area is well positioned to handle the increased number of potential home buyers.

Following months of low inventory, local home listings are getting back on track according to statistics compiled by the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board (CADREB).

 “Both sales and inventory continued to rise last month, and we are seeing indicators that this trend will continue,” said CADREB President, Kim Parley.

At the end of February, a total of 1,521 listings were on the local market, up significantly from recent months and representing a much broader selection of all types of homes. Combined with the pending change in the mortgage qualifier, it could spell a busy Spring.

“The federal government and the federal banking regulator are planning to make adjustments to the mortgage stress test in time for the typically busy Spring home-buying season. By changing the current benchmark used to qualify, it will make it a bit easier for a number of potential home buyers to obtain a mortgage”.

A total of 190 homes sold in Chilliwack and area in the short month of February, compared to 166 sales the month before. Of the total sales, the highest number (21) were in the $650,000-$699,999 range, followed by 19 in the $400,00-$449,999 range and also 19 priced between  $450,000-$499,999. There were 8 home sales over the $1 million mark.

“While condo sales are lagging a bit, sales were strong in the townhome sector, as there are many affordable opportunities in this type of housing. In fact, we even saw instances of multiple offers last month,” added Mr. Parley.

Chilliwack and its surrounding areas continues to maintain stable prices, despite minor fluctuations in the BC economy, and global issues such as the Covid19 virus and the ensuing stock market turmoil.

There is still a lot of demand from people moving to the Fraser Valley, and affordable options for people buying their first home, added the CADREB President.

 

 

  Tuesday, March 3, 2020 

Published 5:30 pm

 

It's a wrap

March 3 council meeting highlights

Staff/City images

 

 

Watch for a new car dealership in the 9300-block of Young Rd.

 

starters it was nice to see the RCMP troops at the afternoon  council meeting session. It must have been a quiet day in Chilliwack and they didn't have enough to do but did manage to have four officers sit in the back watching the proceedings. After 11 years of attending council meetings and not seeing that many at any given time, it's unclear why they were there in such numbers at a run-of-the-mill council meeting. Nevertheless we appreciate them being there to protect us all.

All the councillors were present with the exception of Councillor Jason Lum whose wife recently gave birth to a 6 pound baby boy so he was at home with them. Our congratulations to the Lum family.
 

Greenway

The road projects will provide enhanced safety, better traffic flow and more and safer pedestrian sidewalks and cycling lanes. Residents can expect to see a greenway space from Webb Ave. through to Alder Ave

 

Roads

Bids are open to three companies after being short-listed based on a point system with staff's recommendations to move ahead on four major projects.


Companies are short-listed to a final three based on; a) financial capacity and stability; b) experience and expertise of respondent team; c) engineering experience; d) construction experience; and e) project approach at which point they'll be allowed to bid on the job. Front runners are Eurovia Inc/McElhaney Engineering Services; Jakes Construction INC/ISL Engineering and Land Services; and Emil Anderson/Urban Systems.

Teskey Hillside Connector to Jinkerson worth approximately $7 million. This will include a single-lane roundabout and street lighting.
Spadina Ave and Ashwell to Corbould worth approximately $2.3 million. This will include new pavement, streetlights, sidewalks and a grass boulevard.
Vedder Rd and South Sumas Intersection worth approximately $1 million. This job will include a sidewalk.
Alder St. to Webb connector worth approximately $1 million. See "Greenway".
 

The total for all four projects will be in the vicinity of $11.7 million which has already been set aside in the City's 2020 Financial Plan.
 

New Vehicles

Also worked into the budget, are new vehicles including; upwards of $400,000 for 11 new pickups of various sizes and $500,000 on three quarter ton cab pickups. Additionally, the City will be spending just over $400,000 for four 4x4 extended cabs pickups from Chilliwack Ford, Mertin Chevrolet Buick GMC Cadillac and Metro Motors and Metro Ford won the bidding for a Pickup/dump truck for $90,700.
 

Property Tax

Residents will soon know what the annual tax rates are once the Parcel Tax Roll Review Panel have their assessments done. The rates are set to the property size, water and sewer usage etc.
 

New Apartment

Aside from the construction happening at College and Victoria, council will be holding a public hearing regarding a proposal to rezone land at 9551 & 9563 College Street to facilitate the construction of a a 4-storey, 21-unit apartment with a parkade underneath.
 

New Car Dealership

Council passed a staff recommendation to allow for a new car dealership at 8319 Young Rd. Council wanted to make sure there were plenty of trees and the lots looked nice.
 

No to ALR Land Removal

An application to remove a larger parcel of land from the Agriculture Land Reserve was a no from council. Councillor Chris Kloot said he didn't want to see any more land taken out of the ALR. There have been instances in the past were council has allowed chunks to be taken out like land that's not suitable for farming but not this time.
 

SPCA

At the previous council meeting the SPCA gave a presentation with an overview of what's been going on at the SPCA and what to expect in 2020. At one point during the presentation the topic of dangerous dogs came up and the relevance to bad owners and Councillor Bud Mercer asked if it were the dogs with the mental disorders. He's still flopping around like a fish out of water. We'll see how he looks at the mid-term report card.

 

 

  Tuesday, March 3, 2020 

Published 1:30 pm

 

Add four more COVID-19 infections

Fraser Health says all recently travelled to Iran, count now at 12

BC Gov't Caucus/Website image

 

Black shows the countries where deaths have occurred.

Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in British Columbia:

“We are announcing one new case of COVID-19 in B.C., for a total of nine cases in British Columbia. The individual affected is a resident of the Fraser Health region, unrelated to any previously announced case. The patient is in isolation at home with support and monitoring from public health teams.

“The patient has been confirmed positive based on BC Centre for Disease Control testing. The individual is male, in his 50s and recently returned to Canada from Iran.

“Fraser Health is actively investigating; close contacts have been identified and contacted by public health officials. Those who may be at risk actively monitored for symptoms are in self-isolation for 14 days and being

“We are announcing three new cases of COVID-19 in B.C, for a total of 12 cases in British Columbia. All of these new cases reside in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and have recently returned from travel to Iran.

“Case 10 is a man and in his 60s and case 11 is a woman. They have no connection to previous confirmed cases. Case 12 is a woman in her 30s and a close contact of the eighth case, previously reported on Feb. 29.

 

 

  Tuesday, March 3, 2020 

Published 11:30 am

 

Chilliwack's getting smarter

BC gov't announces major upgrade to Vedder Elementary School

Staff/Website image

 

The BC government announced Vedder Elementary School will be be adding a structure to seat 240.

Vedder Elementary School students and teachers will be a lot happier after an announcement on Tuesday, by Rob Fleming, Minister of Education, that the school will be losing five portable classrooms and gaining 240 seats in 10 classrooms. According to the ministry, the cost of the project is approximately $11.8 million and is expected to be completed in time for the 2022-23 school year.

“Chilliwack is one of the fastest growing communities in British Columbia, which means there is a huge demand for classroom seats,” said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education sid in the release Tuesday. “That’s why this investment – along with recent announcements of two new schools – is so important. We want students to thrive in dynamic, inclusive and safe learning spaces.”

This comes on the heels of another announcement last year of a $15.4 million investment for a new 600-seat secondary school at the former University of the Fraser Valley North campus and $48.6 million for South Side Elementary-Middle school, which will have capacity for 930 students.

“This is great news for families in Chilliwack,” said Dan Coulter, chair, Chilliwack Board of Education. “Thanks to this government's commitment to investing in schools, our district will be able to get 240 kids out of portables.”

In all, 1770 new seats over the next three years will be added in Chilliwack at a cost of $91 million will mean that 70 of the 100 portables will be shelved to ensure there's plenty of room for an expanding population in the burgeoning city.

It's not clear what will happen to the portable buildings, or, if they'll be used as low-income housing around the city.

Budget 2020 includes a $2.8-billion capital investment for new, expanded and seismically safe schools, the biggest capital budget in B.C.'s history.

 

 

  Monday, March 2, 2020 

Published 8 am

 

Roof fire does little damage at school

RCMP arrest pair of troublemakers

Andrew Brown, Assistant Chief, Training/Google image

 

Reports at the time indicated two people were on the roof when firefighters arrived and were subsequently arrested by police.

On March 01, 2020, at approximately 1:30 am, the Chilliwack Fire Department was dispatched to a reported structure fire located in the 45000-block of Watson Rd.

Firefighters responded from Halls 1, 3, 4, and 6, and on arrival, reported seeing light smoke from the roof of a portable classroom structure. Fire crews laddered up the building and extinguished two small fires. Crews then entered the building to check for fire extension into the interior of the structure.

The fire did not extend to the interior of the structure, but did cause minor damage to the roof structure of the of the portable classroom. There were no civilian or firefighter injuries.

This fire is under investigation by the Chilliwack Fire Department at this time.

If anyone has any information about this fire, they are asked to call the RCMP at 604-792-4611 or anonymously through Crimestoppers  at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                    MARCH 2020 ARCHIVE