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News year in review: July to December

An image perhaps suggestive of the feeling of change running through 2013. Dennis Herbison tends to his garden on McConnell Ave. while machinery tears up the street, for a repave, in the background.  - File photo
An image perhaps suggestive of the feeling of change running through 2013. Dennis Herbison tends to his garden on McConnell Ave. while machinery tears up the street, for a repave, in the background.
— image credit: File photo

More moments that had impact in 2013 ...

July

Summer begins with the installation of new charging stations for electric cars at the Skeena Mall. This green technology infrastructure is for people considering buying electric-gas hybrids or all-electric vehicles in the north. These new charging stations join the two others located at Northwest Community College and city headquarters on Eby St.

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A couple files an appeal against an attempt by the provincial government to keep money seized during a police execution of a search warrant earlier in 2013 for $21,380. This forfeiture case continues over the next few months.

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A murder occurs in south Terrace July 23 and a large investigation ensues. The case is still being actively investigated. 29-year-old Nathan Ward was the man who was murdered.

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Incident of a pilot having a nervous breakdown and shooting holes in his aircraft occurs north of Terrace July 12. This begins a summer of much news coming out of the  Klappan area, mainly related to the proposed coal mine by Fortune Minerals.

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The City announces it intends to sign a contract with Multi-Material BC to join their recycling program beginning in May, 2014. However, other municipalities stall, drawing out the process.

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Terrace RCMP responds to 17 break-and-enter calls in the second half of July. Then in early August they make two arrests, and the numbers of break-and-enters drop.

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Nisga’a Nation takes the province of British Columbia to court over an environmental assessment certificate issued for the proposed Avanti mine near Kitsault. The appeal is filed July 29, and the provincial government scrambles to negotiate a solution.

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Canadian Rock hero Jim Vallance announces that the rumours are true: the old Dogs ‘n’ Suds on Lakelse Ave. was the subject he drew inspiration from when writing “Summer of ‘69” with Bryan Adams.

August

Skeena sockeye run deemed extremely low and all fisheries on the Skeena River are closed to First Nations, after a previous ban was issued for other groups. The DFO estimates that only 408,000 fish have returned, well below initial estimates of between 600,000 and 800,000. The First Nations fishery is closed from Aug. 4 to Aug. 23.

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Meanwhile, Nass River sockeye returned in higher levels than first predicted, meaning the Nisga’a were able to harvest 25,000 more sockeye than anticipated.

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Stewart’s ongoing ambulance services lack gets more severe with the departure of paramedics. A single part-time paramedic remains for a busy long weekend. BC Ambulance promises more training. Local residents appeal for help to local MLAs.

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The city of Terrace finalizes the sale of some of its Skeena Industrial Park land located just south of the Northwest Regional Airport to Global Dewatering Ltd. Aug. 21.

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Veresen INC. announces it wants to build a peaking power generation facility in the Skeena Industrial Development park and signs a memorandum of understanding with the city on Aug. 21.

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Recordings of loud, strange sounds go viral. The noises are heard Aug. 29 and people speculate what it could be, with university experts weighing in. A grader grinding its blade at the Sportsplex parking lot is the source of the noise as told by the city.

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The end of an era comes Aug. 19 as the last of three old buildings at Little Ave. ordered demolished by the city came down. The building once served as a hospital operated by the Red Cross. The other two buildings, 4440 Little Ave. and 4450 Little Ave., a Second World War-era barracks building, were demolished earlier in 2013.

September

September 4: Elders and other activists block a road leading out to the Klappan area marking the beginning of renewed disputes between the Tahltan First Nation and Fortune Minerals that will escalate until the end of the month when Fortune leaves the Klappan area. This begins a series of negotiations between the province and the Tahltan over the ensuing months.

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The Second murder of the year happens Sept. 14. A man is dead and a woman is injured following a shooting in Thornhill.

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Local organizers push for a provincial pot referendum with an extensive campaign helped by Bob Erb. Their goal of collecting the signatures of 10 per cent of registered voters is met in this region, however, not enough electoral districts across the province hit the 10 per cent mark by the deadline in December.

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Former city employee Don Ramsay sues city. He was hired in March 2012, and says his legal statement June 2012 resignation was made under “duress and through misrepresentations” and so is invalid.

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Darrell Genaille, the man who had $21,380 along with drugs and weapons seized in April, files complaint against police for the raid.

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Parents of children enrolled in schools outside of their designated neighbourhood received an unwelcome surprise among the usual notices that came home on the first day of school – a letter from the school district demanding $20 a month or $200 a year in order for their child to take a bus. This change is put on hold after public outcry.

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Terrace residents Ike Murray and Devlin Sabo go missing while mushroom picking on the banks of the Skeena river Sept. 22. A huge search begins with more than 100 volunteers coming out to help Sept. 28.

October

The Long Lake hydro project, a $100 million hydroelectric project near Stewart, powers up. It’s located 25 kilometres north of Stewart on Cascade Creek. This is one of several run-of-river projects currently underway in the region.

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IKE MURRAY, one of the two missing mushroom was found on railway tracks Oct. 7 and is brought to Terrace’s Mills Memorial Hospital in stable condition. He directs searchers to the body of Devlin Sabo who died from exposure days before.

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The Province of B.C. announces on Oct. 3 it is kicking in $650,000 for a scientific study to figure out how the area’s air shed will handle emissions from liquefied natural gas plants and other proposed developments.

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Kitsumkalum is honoured with the first visit to a community of the lieutenant-governor’s Black Rod on Oct. 9 in celebration of it and the late former Kitsumkalum chief councillor Cliff Bolton, who carved the piece of jade on the symbolic icon.

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a civil Court battle continues through the fall relating to Cane the dog, with the owner looking for an apology and compensation from the regional district after the court denied the regional district’s request to destroy the dog after a biting incident in 2012. The civil court case is ongoing.

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A Water treatment plant first planned in the 1990s finally opens in Nass Valley in the town of Gitwinksihlkw Oct. 25 with a ceremony held in celebration.

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The local social services society, Ksan, reveals ambitious plans on Oct. 28 to build at least 20 low-income and affordable rental units on city-owned land in Terrace. Director Carol Sabo asks city council Oct. 28 to consider granting it a long-term lease on either one of two city-owned properties.

November

The Northwest Regional Airport hits a milestone Nov. 25 with its inaugural WestJet flight arriving from Vancouver.

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After months of waiting to see if municipalities would agree on terms for a province-wide recycling program, Terrace, which decided to join in July, signs up on Nov. 29. The recycling program is to roll out in May 2014.

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Powerline stringing continues west of Terrace, pole to pole along BC Hydro’s Northwest Transmission Line working towards a spring 2014 completion date.

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Logs in the YaoRun Wood log yard on Keith Ave. get seized by forestry officials Nov. 13 because of non-payment of stumpage fees. The first time the log yard was shut down by a seizure of logs was in October when YaoRun fell behind by $586,000 for outstanding stumpage. The November debt was $150,000 and is quickly paid back, as was the first debt. Work at the yard continues.

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Alcan defends increased sulphur dioxide emissions projected for its modernization project in Kitimat, which would affect the local airshed, saying positives of lowered carbon footprint and other emission reductions outweigh negatives. This was in response to several groups, including Skeena Wild, attempting to appeal the permit change granted by the provincial government allowing the increase.

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Three Terrace residents drown on the  Skeena River on a boating trip that started Nov. 11. Lyle Ray Lukat, 24, Patrick John Hawkshaw, 40, and Nicole Lucy McKay, 23, were the victims. All three were from Thornhill. They were taking a boat across the Skeena to hot springs west of Terrace through rough water.

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A delegation of Terrace and Kitselas First Nations officials go to China to woo investors. The goal is to sell portions of the 2,400-acre Skeena Industrial Development Park located just south of the Northwest Regional Airport. The trip, from Nov. 16 to Nov. 23, results in a memorandum of understanding signed between Terrace and Chinese investors.

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A public forum on LNG (liquefied natural gas) is held Nov. 13 at the REM Lee Theatre, hosted by Skeena-Bulkley Valley MP Nathan Cullen. Panelists from industry, government and First Nations discuss the challenges that the community faces with an emerging LNG industry.

December

Statistics shared by local real estate agent John Evans show a dramatic drop in available homes in Terrace compared to the spring, as well as spiking home values.

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Plans a wood pellet plant are announced Dec. 6. An agreement between Coast Tsimshian Resources (CTR) and Pinnacle Renewable Energy Inc. means the two will work toward the plant’s construction. The location is yet to be confirmed. The plant is expected to create close to 200 jobs.

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It is revealed that representatives from the Kitasoo First Nation and the City of Terrace launched a lawsuit against Kelowna-based Urban Distilleries for using the trademarked Spirt Bear name shared by the two parties. The city reveals that it has defended the trademark several times over the past years, not always successfully.

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A transportation Safety Board investigation into a helicopter crash that claimed the lives of three people near Terrace in 2012 cites sudden loss of visibility as well as a lack of instruments and instrument training as the cause of the crash in its December report.

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A federal housing report shows that it’s more difficult to find an apartment or townhouse to rent in Terrace than anywhere else in the province. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation report issued Dec. 12 shows that, as of October, the vacancy rate for apartments in Terrace was the lowest in B.C. at zero per cent, down from 3.4 per cent last October.

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City council passes a resolution that tax money from future developments at the Skeena Industrial Development Park south of town will go toward lowering both business and residential taxes. They determine that a yearly review will happen to assess exactly what percentage of the tax money will go towards reducing taxes, and how much might be used to tackle capital projects.

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City council also passes a resolution to host a series of LNG forums similar to the one MP Nathan Cullen organized in November to raise awareness about how an LNG industry will affect communities in the north.

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The federal Joint Review Panel gives provisional acceptance for the Enbridge Northern Gateway project on Dec.19. The report sets out 209 required conditions for the construction and operation of the project, and includes “technical standards and requirements for detailed plans, studies, scientific research, consultation, reports, monitoring, and financial assurances,” should the federal government approve the project.

 

 

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Community Events, October 2014

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