News

Year in Review – July to September

ONE SECTION of the Bitter Creek Bridge east of Stewart was badly damaged by flooding in September. - FILE PHOTO
ONE SECTION of the Bitter Creek Bridge east of Stewart was badly damaged by flooding in September.
— image credit: FILE PHOTO

July

The Terrace Off Road Cycling Association gets $117,000 in provincial job-start grant money, meaning a new bike trail — the Steinhoe trail — is to be built on Terrace Mountain.

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Premier Christy Clark touches down in the Northwest, which includes a two-hour town-hall style session at the Terrace sportsplex. She answers questions about jobs, the proposed Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipeline project, road access for cottagers, education financing, resource exports, poverty, tourism and the track at Skeena Junior Secondary School.

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The grand opening of the Kitwanga Sawmill sees Premier Christy Clark and jobs minister Pat Bell celebrate July 8 what they called a resurgence in the B.C. forestry sector. But, a week-old stumpage tax hike on raw logs leaves mill owner Pacific BioEnergy lobbying to keep from becoming collateral damage. Pacific BioEnergy executives say the mill’s tax hike is unfair because the way it is calculated doesn’t represent what is actually going on in the Kitwanga region, adding lack of historical data and regional representation in policy making are contributing factors.

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A local man who accidentally shot a friend while drunk pleads guilty to four charges in provincial court. Forty-year-old Andrew Collins is handed a seven-month 22-day conditional sentence followed with 18 months probation. He was sentenced for unlawfully causing bodily harm, unauthorized possession of a firearm, careless use of a firearm and breach of conditions.

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A family is lucky to be alive after a July 16 blaze burns down their Thornhill residence. The house, owned by Frederick Mowatt, didn’t have smoke detectors, said Thornhill’s fire chief. Two adults and one child managed to get out of the building because one of them woke up and noticed the fire. There were minor injuries from smoke inhalation and a sprained ankle.

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The Terrace Chamber of Commerce passes around a questionnaire gathering public opinion about two topics: a full-time mayor and whether or not to spend the city’s $375,000 of unallocated money, freed up by a provincial grant, demolishing the co-op or supporting local ski co-operative pioneer My Mountain Co-op. Council weighs in on the full-time mayor question, with most leaning toward no.

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David Eby, executive director of the BC Civil Liberties Association, returns to Terrace to hold a forum July 16 to talk about a report on policing he wrote that included Terrace RCMP. The report indicated that Terrace residents had the most negative comments out of the 14 communities named in it.

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The Sale of Skeena Sawmills was completed, seeing assets transfer from West Fraser to ROC Holdings.

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A helicopter crashes July 31 into the Nelson Glacier near Meziadin, killing the pilot and both passengers. High winds prevent rescue efforts for two days before the bodies of pilot Randy Ken Lambert, and passengers Colin Dionne and Mathieu Lefebre-Masse are recovered.

August

Terrace City Council meets to decide how to spend its unallocated $375,000.  Council decides the money’s top priority is demolishing the old Co-op building on Greig Ave, budgeting $284,000 for the job.  Council also votes not to use the funds for a $200,000 request from My Mountain Co-op to go towards the purchase of the Shames Mountain ski facility. Councillor Bruce Martindale then puts forth a motion to give the group $91,000, which remains from the $375,000. Councillor Bruce Martindale is asked to sit the vote out due to perceived conflict of interest, which is later cleared by a legal professional. Despite community protests, council again votes no to the ski hill group.  The Co-op building’s demolition starts.

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Liquidation World in the Skeena Mall changes ownership — purchased by  American company Big Lots.

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A creative plan is hatched to save a salmon run, helping fish return to their spawning beds. A helicopter lifts cement blocks into the Kwinageese River, a tributary of the Nass River, to raise a pool below a waterfall so that fish can make the jump.

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A series of totem poles are raised at the Kitselas Historic Site east of Terrace, seeing community members gather to lend a hand getting them into position.

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BC Hydro packs up and leaves a job site where crews were beginning work on the Northwest Transmission Line after members of the Lax Kwa’laams First Nation asserted work was happening on traditional territory.   While negotiations are on the table, a firm deal between the two is yet to be reached.

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Forest minister Steve Thompson confirms a deal is in the works between the province and owners of the Shames Mountain ski facility to reduce more than $500,000 in debt owed to two provincial ministries.

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BC Hydro begins to install smart metres — part of a $1 billion program.

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Villa 46, a restaurant on Lakelse Ave., shuts its doors to the public.

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A new portable ultrasound unit is ordered for Mills Memorial Hospital.

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The Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) is to be extinguished after an Aug. 26 referendum, which saw 66 per cent of votes against the unpopular tax.

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The Regional District of Kitimat Stikine votes to give $100,000 to local group My Mountain Co-op for its effort to buy and operate the Shames Mountain ski facility, saying the money must go toward operations, and a plan to make skiing more accessible must be in place.

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Ed Spalding empties an outhouse to find a gold Harley Davidson ring with help from a fellow Harley lover Aug. 28.

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BC Hydro inks its construction and design contract for the Northwest Transmission Line, setting in stone its intentions to have Vallard build, and Burns McDonnell design, the project Aug. 31.

September

My Mountain Co-op puts its feelers out to hire positions for the upcoming ski season prior to securing a deal or reaching its fundraising goals. Terrace city council votes to give the group $15,000 for its operations.

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Massive downpours destroy sections of Hwy 37A, trapping people in Stewart until a collapsed bridge is rebuilt. Some visitors are airlifted out prior. Flooding and slides also close off sections of Hwy 37 North.

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The Tahltan Nation agrees to benefit from another major industry, Alberta-based AltaGas, for two run-of-river projects on its traditional territory.

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An inquest into the death of Rodney Jackson, shot by members of an RCMP Emergency Response Team, concludes. A judge rules his death was a homicide, and 13 recommendations are made that are intended to prevent another death.

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A fine given to the Coast Mountains School District for unsafe asbestos removal was upped to $75,000 after WorkSafeBC reviewed a former penalty of $52,000 and decided the nature of the offence was worse than originally decided.

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Teachers’ Job Action officially begins the first day of school, seeing things like morning recess supervised by administrators before being cancelled altogether.

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Nathan Cullen announces he will enter the federal NDP leadership race after the death of former leader Jack Layton.

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An American retail giant partners with the local Kossler family, opening a multi-billion-dollar plant with plans to process and sell river-wild salmon products internationally.

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