2016 News highlights: July – September

Take a minute to recall a few of the news highlights in Terrace, B.C. from the third quarter of 2016.

  • Dec. 31, 2016 5:00 p.m.

A city crew was out June 30 painting a pastel-coloured rainbow crosswalk in front of city hall

Take a minute to recall a few of the news highlights in Terrace, B.C. from the third quarter of 2016.

July

The national police force finished reviewing whether or not there was a justified need for an  RCMP inspector in the Terrace RCMP detachment and the position is safe for now. The review started when Inspector Dana Hart retired earlier this year, and now Syd Lecky was promoted to inspector from his prior position as staff sergeant and second in command.

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A provincial NDP policy called the equity mandate means there might not be a white able-bodied male running for the party in the Skeena riding in the May 2017 provincial election after veteran Skeena NDP MLA Robin Austin retires from provincial politics. “The equity mandate is to try and make our caucus reflect the diversity of the province – that the party should find a candidate who is a woman, or a person of a minority, a visible minority, a First Nations person or someone with a disability,” explained Austin.

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The Enbridge Northern Gateway pipeline conditional 2014 approval is overturned by the Federal Court of Appeal. The ruling explains that the government failed to meaningfully engage in significant dialogue with affected First Nations territories. The project is volleyed back to the federal government’s cabinet for “redetermination”.

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President of Terrace Search and Rescue Dwayne Sheppard says the group is closer to getting a much-needed new home after being promised $77,923 from the provincial government. Sheppard expects a lump sum this year and a similar payment in 2017.

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Rio Tinto is applying to appeal its sentence and conviction on harming fish habitat and destroying fish in the Kemano River that resulted in a $200,000 fine. The conviction in supreme court came from charges arising from an April 14, 2011 incident where the company reduced the amount of water being run through its generators which provide the electricity for their Kitimat aluminum smelter. The company did this because BC Hydro said it needed to perform an emergency repair on a transmission line after a “hot spot” developed that could have caused “catastrophic damage” to the power line.

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The Nisga’a Lisims Government fisheries branch is estimating a dismal sockeye salmon return, forecasting 235,000 sockeye will return to the Nass River in 2016, down significantly from the 750,000 counted last year. “The current low return is thought to be caused by poor marine conditions that affected the survival of juvenile fish that went to sea in 2013 and 2014 and are returning as adults this year,” stated a report released by the Nisga’a government.

August

The Ksan House Society bought a $680,000 building on Lakelse Ave. which will become the permanent location of its damp homeless shelter. Ksan takes possession of the McRae building on Aug. 17, which is located at 4444 Lakelse Ave.

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Terrace’s first Syrian family arrives here. Amer and Rahma and their three children Zeinab, 7, Youssef, 5, and Abd al Elah, 4, had been living in a makeshift refugee camp in Beqaa Valley, Lebanon since fleeing the brutal civil war raging in their native Homs four years prior.

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Extensive renovations underway at the Terrace Evangelical Free Church on Park Ave. will address maintenance needs and will also leave the building with an attractive wood-and-stone design. The project includes replacing siding, extending roof overhangs to protect walls and windows, and transforming the front entrance with a vaulted timber frame.

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The man parolled for the second degree murder of a woman here in 1998 is arrested. Christopher Alexander, now 34, was arrested by Abbotsford police in June after a warrant for breaching his parole was issued by federal corrections officials. He’s been in custody since, awaiting either a review of his file by federal parole officials or a full-scale hearing by the Parole Board of Canada. What he is accused of doing won’t be known until a review is done or a hearing is held and a decision on his future is determined and released.

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Two people are killed by CN trains while trying to cross the rail yard within five days of each other. The first person killed is Bernard Romeo Desjardins, 59, of Terrace on Aug. 26. The second victim is Vanessa Harris, 38, killed at 5:30 a.m. Aug. 31, said police.

September

The Terrace and Thornhill landfills are no longer accepting paper and cardboard to preserve space in the new landfill, and businesses are being directed to take it to the Do Your Part Recycling depot in Thornhill. The new landfill opening at Forceman Ridge and the Thornhill transfer station are expected be fully operational by Nov. 1, at which point the Terrace and Thornhill landfills will close.

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Premier Christy Clark chooses Haisla chief councillor Ellis Ross to be the BC Liberal candidate for Skeena in next May’s provincial election. Ross is one of B.C.’s more prominent pro-development First Nations leaders, first elected as councillor of the Haisla Nation of Kitamaat Village in 2003 and elected its chief councillor over two terms since 2011. He has often spoke of the need for a strong and responsible First Nations presence within industrial development.

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The City of Terrace and CN are working on a plan to better fence off the rail yard in the middle of the city following the deaths of two people trespassing on the tracks after being struck by trains. Terrace mayor Carol Leclerc is part of a group which includes CN managers who walk portions of the rail yard Sept. 6, observing sections where there is fencing and where there is not. The existing fencing along the rail yard length is a mixture of sections either installed by CN or private property owners. A statement from CN does not specifically address fencing or a pedestrian overpass but the company said it is in continuing discussions with local groups.

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A  long-awaited extensive renovation of the trades building at Northwest Community College is going ahead, with a total budget of $18.4 million. The news comes Sept. 23 with an announcement of $11.87 million from the provincial government and $6.31 million from the federal government. The college will raise the remainder  of $220,000 through private and other donations. College officials are estimating an approximate two-year completion window, now set at August 2018.

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