Photo #1: Mayor Dave Pernarowksi standing with Kitselas Chief Councillor Joe Bevan after deal signing July 10 deal. Two Chinese delegates meet for the signing: that’s Mr. Yingje Hu (left)

What a year it was: looking back at 2014

Find a round up of notable Terrace Standard news stories from the first six months of 2014 here

  • Wed Dec 31st, 2014 5:00am
  • News

January

A decision from the BC Labour Board comes out the day before the new year in favour of several Northwest Community College faculty members who must be compensated by the college for lost wages after a “botched” round of layoffs in 2012.

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BC Hydro announces it will be upgrading the transmission line from Terrace to Kitimat, and also adding conductors and other capacity boosters to the line from Prince George.

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A local woman charged with illegal drug offences but never convicted loses her house to the provincial government through a claim from the BC Civil Forfeiture Office.

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The city calls out to the public to stop putting non-flushables down toilets as the cost of maintaining the sewage treatment system  rises.

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Local individuals and two environmental groups ask the BC Supreme Court to allow them to challenge Rio Tinto Alcan’s decision to increase sulphur dioxide emissions as part of its $4.5 billion Kitimat aluminum smelter modernization project.

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Robert Wright and his wife Heather Prisk-Wright file a civil lawsuit in Vancouver Supreme Court against former Terrace RCMP Const. Brian Heideman who was transferred to Vernon in 2013. In the civil claim notice, it alleges that on April 21, 2012 Wright was physically abused by Heideman.

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The Coast Mountains School District accepts money from Enbridge Northern Gateway Project to study the viability of a regional trades training centre. The board voted to accept $123,000 from the company at its January 29 meeting. Now-closed Thornhill Junior Secondary is tagged as a possible location.

February

Terrace mayor Dave Pernarowski puts out a call on his Facebook page for landlords to ease up on rental prices after he and other Terrace city council members converse with residents who are increasingly anxious about either finding a place to live in or coping with rising costs amidst an increasingly tight rental market.

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About 49 students drop out midyear from Terrace schools who are part of the Coast Mountains School District because of housing prices’s effect on their parent’s ability to pay for housing. Cassie Hall Elementary on the Southside sheds 29 since December and at Suwilaawks Community School in the horseshoe neighbourhood, 20 students from 14 families have left over that same time period.

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A Nisga’a Nation delegation announces it is going to an international energy conference and trade show in March in Korea hoping to add its name to the list of those standing to benefit from B.C.’s potential liquefied natural gas (LNG) industry.

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Smithers hotel developer Kim Tran announces that his planned Sunshine Inn Hotel is going to be, at five stories tall, the highest wood-frame building in the city’s recorded history.

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Negotiations leading to final land claims treaties for Kitselas and Kitsumkalum are held up by the federal government nearly one year after Kitselas First Nation voters agreed to a treaty agreement in principle and 10 months earlier with the federal government yet to ratify its acceptance of the two agreements, according Gerald Wesley, the chief negotiator for Kitselas and for Kitsumkalum.

March

The city of Terrace and Kitselas First Nation approve the second sale of Skeena Industrial Development Park land since August that will see 66.7 hectares purchased by the Kitselas First Nation’s Kitselas Development Corporation for $1,647,700.

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Kitselas First Nation, Enbridge, and a geothermal exploration company sign a deal that could see a power-producing geothermal plant built in the Mount Layton hot springs area. Calgary-based Borealis Geopower  pays $100,000 to earlier in 2014 for the exclusive subsurface rights.

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Local government reacts to the provincially mandated term change from three to four-year terms beginning with this November’s elections. Terrace mayor Dave Pernarowski said he is surprised to hear that the change would be legislated so soon.

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The northern branch of the Steelhead Society of BC speaks out against Enbridge’s  preliminary project plans for hydro projects on the Clore River and Williams Creek, known for their fishing and kayaking.

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The city announces a $1.25 million sale agreement for 2.03 hectares on the northwest corner of Keith and Kenney on the southside to Onstein Bros. Holdings, the company which owns the city’s Chrysler and Toyota dealerships, a car rental agency and an RV sales business – all located on Hwy16 West.

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Northwest Community College turns down a $15,000 student bursary donation made by Enbridge, the company which wants to build the Northern Gateway Project. The donation, made up of six bursaries of $2,500, was first announced by the college March 3 and 71 applications for the money were received shortly thereafter. Later in the year Enbridge hands out the bursaries independently.

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At the March 25 city council meeting a bylaw and community plan amendment is put in place to allow for a maximum of 3,000 workers into work camps at the Skeena Industrial Development Park just south of the Northwest Regional Airport.

April

Chamber of Commerce supports Enbridge Northern Gateway Project after vote from its membership, though some argue that the sample size of businesses that actually voted was too small.

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Anniversary is marked for the arrival of the first passenger train from the east on the then newly constructed Grand Trunk Pacific Railway. The first passenger train to travel through the Skeena Valley came in early April 1914, arriving in Prince Rupert on April 9, 1914. The city holds several functions to mark the occasion.

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Another Historical event happens a few days earlier on April 7, 1914, a ceremony held to mark when the last spike was driven in the last steel rail near Fort Fraser B.C. which meant the tracks of the Grand Trunk Pacific (GTP) Railway were finally joined.

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A project headed by then-director of Ksan Society, Carol Sabo is abandoned. The plan was to boost affordable housing by building a number of pre-fab dwellings on Haugland in the Southside, with Sabo saying that the city would not come far enough in supporting her application. City responds that they didn’t have enough information on the project to commit the land and other help.

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Local fisherman Nick Karol is hailed as hero after saving a girl from falling trees during a sudden squall on Bornite Mountain Road.

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Homeless count April 22 and 23 turns up a swelling homeless population after the city funded project is carried out by Terrace and District Community Services Society.

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A Thornhill residential development plan in a wooded area near the fair grounds is opposed by neighbours who sign a petition speaking against the project, which was applied for to the provincial government by M & M Ventures.

May

LottoMax millionaire Bob Erb comes out with a plan to grow hemp in cleared forestry blocks. His plan would be to use these spaces to create a local economy, making use of the land base once used for forestry operations.

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The work camp company PTI Group whose development by Churchill Dr. was opposed by neighbouring residents tells Terrace city council May. 1 it plans to have a facility that will be a transition camp for LNG operations in the area that might have some temporary housing as well as an industrial laundry facility.

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The ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development announces $1 million to help with studies and projects related to planning for rising population and demands on services by industry on May. 16

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Mayor Dave Pernarowski announces that he will not be seeking re-election in the fall municipal government elections.

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City announces the RCMP is reviving a downtown patrol aimed at curbing public disorder following complaints made by merchants and others. Speaking at a meeting called by city council May 21, Terrace RCMP detachment commander Inspector Dana Hart said two officers will be dedicated to foot patrols during specific times, called a crime reduction unit.

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Teachers strikes begin May 26, in rotating fashion. They eventually become full-time strikes on June. 17 which continues to Sept. 19. Teachers aimed exercise their right to collective bargaining in order to increase their salary on par with other areas in the country.

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Tahltan-Tlingit artist Dempsey Bob received another honour, this time from the University of BC at its Vancouver campus, May 21. Bob was given a degree of Doctor of Letters honoris causa.

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The BC Nurses’ Union (BCNU) stages a Walk With Nurses, Talk With Nurses rally May. 31 at George Little Park aimed at raising awareness around challenges facing health care services because of predicted population growth in the region and budgetary strain at the provincial and federal level.

June

Miners and Nisga’a strike first of two deals this summer of a net smelter royalty of up to two percent between Avanti and the Nisga’a based on molybdenum prices.

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On of several planned hotels in Terrace is in limbo. Details emerge about the huge amount of money needed to pay for the environmental rehabilitation of the Co-op lands that the city purchased for $1 million but plans to sell for $877,000. The city eventually commits $69,000 more to  delineate the hydrocarbon plume to prove it is not on the proposed Superior site.

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Tribal Chief Liz Logan visits Terrace from the Fort Saint John area to urge caution for gas expansion, explaining some of the dangers of fracking that her people are experiencing in Treaty 8 territory.

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TransCanada and Spectra Energy submit their applications for park boundary adjustments to go through the Nisga’a Memorial Lava Beds Provincial Park.

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On June 17 the Federal Government approves the Enbridge Northern Gateway Project pending further consultation. Area politicians including mayor Dave Pernarowski quickly speak out against the decision, saying local opposition isn’t over yet.

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Plans are revealed for yet another hotel, this one in Thornhill for a 93-room Holiday Inn.