News

A year in review

BELOW FIND THE TERRACE STANDARD’S annual year in review of significant news events of the past year. This contains events from the first six months of 2012.

After a winter’s worth of record snowfalls, Dutch Valley resident Jim Wold asks the Regional District of Kitimat Stikine for flood protection for residents of the Dutch Valley, saying the valley is in danger and rip rap needs to be put along the riverbank to keep water from flooding property and residences.

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ALTHOUGH THE Coast Mountains School District had plans for $375,000 it saved during a three-day province-wide teacher’s strike, the province announces it has its own plans to spend the overall $37 million saved.

Of that, Education minister George Abbott said $30 million will be going to the province’s Learning Improvement Fund and $7 million will be available directly to school district’s for specific priorities.

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THE KITIMAT-Stikine regional district talks with the Coast Mountains School District to keep the Thornhill Junior Secondary School gym open as the school is closing for good in June. The gym is the largest in the area and keeping access is regarded as critical for local sporting groups.

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THE CITY of Terrace announced it’s closing its pilot drop-off recycling depot beside the George Little House in favour of one to be run by the Waste Management firm, for free. The new depot will be located on Terrace’s Southside. This service provides an estimated $50,000 in savings to the city.

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AFTER THE federal government negotiates a new 20-year RCMP contract the City of Terrace confronts an unexpected officer pay hike at a meeting April 10. The city had already anticipated the cost of police services here rising $16,000 but council decides to wait to see by how much that number will climb. After receiving more information at April’s end, it agrees to continue RCMP services here.

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AFTER A months-long effort to renew a two-per-cent accommodation tax on rooms in Terrace and Thornhill, the local tourism-marketing body Kermodei Tourism comes up short of needed support. This signals a future loss of operating revenues.

Carver and former Kitsumkalum chief councillor Clifford Bolton dies April 12. Bolton,  a respected elder who had been ill, produced works of art collected all over the world.

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A KEY player in the effort to negotiate treaties in B.C. says fish aren’t included in Kitselas and Kitsumkalum agreements in principle because the federal government is waiting for the results of the Cohen Commission, which is examining the decline of the Fraser River sockeye fishery.

And while negotiations are continuing without fish provisions, there won’t be any final treaties until fishing rights are included.

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IN MID-APRIL, teachers province-wide voted 73 per cent to fully withdraw extracurricular and volunteer activities in protest of the province’s back to work legislation being created, Bill 22.

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NORTHWEST COMMUNITY College (NWCC) is getting  $839,537 to better train people for jobs in the region. It comes from a federal-provincial program and is a one-time allocation from $10 million being spent on worker training across BC this year..

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SKEENA-BULKLEY Valley NDP MP Nathan Cullen has been named as House leader for the official opposition in the House of Commons. Cullen’s appointment comes with a salary bump, resulting in a pay packet of nearly $200,000 a year.

May

AN ASSAULT trial against a local police officer stationed at the RCMP detachment ended almost as soon as it began when Const. Robert Hull  pleaded guilty May 2. Judge Agnes Krantz adjourned court to fix a date for sentencing. Hull was charged with assault for punching an intoxicated woman when she was in a cell here.

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MINING COMPANY Imperial Metals says it wants to combine efforts with BC Hydro to deliver power up Hwy37 North. The proposal would deliver power to its Red Chris copper mine property and power to residents of the Iskut area which is now served by diesel generators. A new line would link to BC Hydro’s Northwest Transmission Line.

In the mean time, on May 4, the Tahltan Central Council’s Anita McPhee says the Red Chris mine poses an environmental risk, the same day the province gave Imperial Metals a Mines Act permit.

Imperial Metals hopes to convince the Tahltan First Nation that groundwater won’t be affected by mine development.

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FEDERAL HEARINGS into whether or not Enbridge’s Northern Gateway pipeline project should be approved return to Terrace. They’re held at Kitsumkalum community hall for four days beginning the evening of May 7.

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A STRING of vandalism incidents means the city has locked vehicle gates to its cemetery on the Kalum Lake Road. One of the more serious incidents involved holes in the ground at one of the grave sites.Many local residents aren’t happy.

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SHELL CANADA announces a partnership with three Asian companies to build a large liquefied natural gas plant in Kitimat, LNG Canada, May 15.

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NORTHWEST COMMUNITY College has improved its ability to train heavy duty equipment operators thanks to a grant from a federal program.

The $573,380 grant has paid for 11 training simulators, a 32-foot trailer which houses six of the simulators and a truck which will tow the trailer to offer training where and when needed.

An event May 22 at the college attended by Lynne Yelich, the federal Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, showcased the simulators, trailer and truck.

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THE FIRST information kiosk to help tourists find out about Terrace and area was officially opened at the Northwest Regional Airport May 29.

June

AN INVESTIGATION begins into the cause of a helicopter crash that claimed three lives near Terrace June 1.  The Bailey Helicopters’ Eurocopter AS350  crashed onto the back side of Sleeping Beauty Mountain 11 nautical miles west and its three male occupants were confirmed dead hours later.

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ENBRIDGE regards a controversial development deal it signed with the Gitxsan Treaty Society last year is alive and well after it releases a report June 5 claiming 60 per cent for First Nations along its proposed pipeline route have signed on for economic benefits. The Gitxan deal led to the temporary suspension of a chief who negotiated the ir and the ongoing blockade of the treaty society’s offices by Gitxsan who opposed it. Kitsumkalum and Kitselas First Nations say neither has signed on.

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THE PROVINCIAL government announces $540,000 will go toward a program aimed at organizing training programs to provide the kind of skilled workers needed by companies as their projects develop in this region. The plan has a locals-first focus.

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CONSTRUCTION WORKERS have their sleeves rolled up while renovating Skeena Mall, owned by Lower Mainland development giant Bosa Properties. Sport Chek, Winners and Dollarama are await their new locations.

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THE BC Civil Liberties Association announces June 12 it wants an independent investigation into a May 15 incident in which a local man had a spit hood placed over his head by police officers. It says William Watts, 36, received “multiple head injuries and alleges he was punched after he was handcuffed, subjected to racial taunts and had his head put in a bag by police.”

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NEARLY 30 women protested a June 19  Enbridge-sponsored luncheon attended by other women, saying it was an attempt to gain favour for the company’s Northern Gateway Pipeline plan.

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WORLD-FAMOUS architect  Douglas Cardinal touches down in Terrace June 19 to share his vision for Terrace’s former Co-op property.

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CALGARY-BASED AltaGas receives environmental approval June 20 for a second run of river project north of here. The company, which is already building a $700 million Forrest Kerr run of river project on the Iskut River, will now proceed with a $217 million project at McLymont Creek.

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THE KSAN House Society looks for a new place to house homeless people during the coldest months of the year, saying its former “damp” shelter location can’t be used again.

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