Snow flies as emergency crews attend the scene of a collision between a small car and a semi truck on Highway 97

Snow flies as emergency crews attend the scene of a collision between a small car and a semi truck on Highway 97

Year in Review 2011: part one

Jan. 4, 2011

A man was charged in connection with the death of a 15-year-old male in a single vehicle collision on Christmas day.

  • Dec. 27, 2011 3:00 p.m.

Jan. 4, 2011

Man charged after fatal crash


A man was charged in connection with the death of a 15-year-old male in a single vehicle collision on Christmas day.

Peter Sandy Loius was charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle causing death, impaired operation of a motor vehicle causing injury, and refusal to provide a breath sample. The charges stem from a fatal car crash that occurred Dec. 25, 2010 on Highway 20, just west of Anaham., in a culvert below the highway.

There were four passengers in the vehicle at the time of the crash. The adult male was uninjured but two passengers sustained serious injuries.

The other male was killed.


Jan. 6, 2011

Property assessments the same or higher in city


Home owners in Williams Lake should know soon how much their property is worth, at least according to B.C. Assessment.

Most homes in the city of Williams Lake are worth the same or more on this year’s assessment roll than they were on the 2010 assessment roll, according to a deputy assessor.

Homeowners can expect to see value changes in the minus-five to plus-15 per cent range. On average, the change in Williams Lake between 2010 and 2011 for residential properties is 3.79 per cent and for business properties is 1.71 per cent.

Property assessments reflect current area real estate sales and other characteristics such as size, age, quality, condition, view and location.  Overall, the city’s assessment roll increased from $1.19 billion last year to $1.23 billion this year.

The City will base property tax rates on the assessment roll.


Jan. 6, 2011

Williams Lake’s first baby of 2011


Priscilla Gilpin and Rocky Harry are doting parents.

They can’t stop smiling as they coo at cuddle with, and stroke their eight-pound, two-ounce bundle of joy dressed in pink with a had of luscious, black hair.

Gilpin’s due date was Dec. 26; however, Macy Julia Justine became  the first baby to be born in the new year at Cariboo Memorial Hospital.


Jan. 7, 2011

Name released in fatal crash


The Williams Lake RCMP have released the name of the woman who was killed in a collision south of Williams Lake Tuesday, Jan. 4.

Patricia Marie Barlow, 55, of 150 Mile House was pronounced dead at the scene on Highway 97, near White Road.

Barlow was heading southbound in her car when she lost control and crossed over the centre line into the northbound lane at about 1:45 p.m.

Police say her car was hit by a northbound semi truck, even though the driver of the semi truck attempted to avoid the collision.

It was snowing with slippery road conditions at the time of the incident.

The driver of the semi truck was not injured.


Jan. 11, 2011

Taseko plans to submit new mine proposal


Ever since the federal government turned down Taseko’s Prosperity mine project in November, there has been a sense that the book was not yet closed on the project.

Taseko Mines Ltd. recently confirmed that it intends to proceed with a revised proposal.

In a press release, company president Russell Hallbauer said, “Although we were extremely disappointed with the federal government’s decision on Prosperity, we accept that decision and we are working to address the concerns raised by the many levels of government involved. We expect to submit a revised proposal to federal authorities which should address the impact that the Prosperity mine would have on Fish Lake.”

Tsilhqot’in National Government tribal chair and Tl’etinqox (Anaham) chief Joe Alphonse was not receptive.

While the draining of Fish Lake was a major stumbling block in the first proposal, a larger issue now is the lack of respect Taseko has shown First Nations, he says.

“Fish Lake is part of the issue but a huge, huge part of the issue is you have to work with First Nations people in today’s day and age and if you’re not willing to do that, so be it. You’ve got a tough lesson.”


Jan. 11, 2011

Recall campaign expected to start Jan. 31


Cariboo Chilcotin recall organizer Eric Freeston insists the recent slow down in signing up canvassers to their cause was due to the season — not a lack of interest — and they are moving ahead in their bid to recall MLA Donna Barnett.

“There was a bit of a slow down in the collection of canvassers,” Freeston says.

“That’s to be expected because it’s the biggest holiday of the year. We have some pretty committed volunteers who want to see this take place.”

According to the Fight HST website, the local campaign is scheduled to begin Jan. 31.

Chris Delaney, lead FightHST organizer, expects an application for this riding to be made in mid-February.


Jan. 11, 2011

Cobb: Mixed feelings on store closure

With more than four decades in business Walt Cobb has seen big changes in the retail business landscape.

After 41 years in the men’s clothing business — give or take a few — he’s decided to call it quits.

It wasn’t an easy decision, says Cobb. Tougher financial times — including the rejection of Prosperity mine — meant it became harder to turn a profit and, in order to make money he had to work the store rather than his employees.

That, coupled with the growing challenge of maintaining knowledge of fashion trends, helped Cobb make the decision.

Cobb’s mixed feelings are apparent in his response to a customer’s congratulations.

“I guess it’s congratulations,” he replies. “I’m not happy about it.”


Jan. 13, 2011

RCMP: crime continues to decline


The City of Williams Lake crime rate has declined for a second straight year across the board, with two exceptions: break and enters on businesses and residences.

According to the RCMP statistics, compared to 2009: theft of auto over $5,000 is down 41 per cent; theft of auto under is down 29 per cent; theft of truck over $5,000 is down 33 per cent; theft of truck under is also down 34 per cent; spousal assaults are down 29 per cent; mischief under is down five per cent; robbery is down 36 per cent and false alarms are down three per cent.

Break and enters of residences experienced an increase of 15 per cent; break and enter of businesses increased by 17 per cent. While break and enters are up over 2009, they are down over 2008.


Jan. 13, 2011

City ponders Station House move


City council approved a plan to apply for funding to address the future of the Station House Gallery Tuesday night.

Applying to the Towns of Tomorrow program, the City committed to cover up to 25 per cent of the cost of the $375,000 grant subject to City budget approval.

If the grant is approved, council will have to determine whether and how to proceed.


Jan. 18, 2011

Collisions follow snowfall

One person was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries following a motor-vehicle collision Friday afternoon near Fox Mountain Road and Highway 97 North.

Due to the heavy snowfall, the RCMP responded to a number of minor collisions, including one Friday morning near 140 Mile where a lumber truck went off the road.

The driver was taken to hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Road conditions at the time are suspected to be the reason.


Jan. 18, 2011

Sorley wins byelection


Joan Sorley has been elected Area F director.

Sorley, the former alternate director for the area, won the seat in the Jan. 15 byelection over William Sellars and Charlene Hays.

Sorley earned 184 votes; Sellars came in second with 111 votes and Hays was third with 96.


Jan. 18, 2011

Alphonse re-elected as Anaham chief

Joe Alphonse has been re-elected as chief of the Tl’etinqox (Anaham) community.

The incumbent Alphonse won the seat with 195 votes compared to 70 votes for his closest rival Leslie Stump.


Jan. 18, 2011

Anaham celebrates health centre opening


The Tl’etinqox (Anaham) First Nations community opened a state-of-the-art health-care facility Thursday.

Unofficially called the Sage Building due to its colour, but officially named Tl’etinqox Health Services, opened to much fanfare in spite of the poor weather conditions.

“We were almost on the verge of getting snowed out but we went ahead with it (the grand opening). It turned out the health building and the gymnasium were packed,” says Tl’etinqox Chief Joe Alphonse.

“I think the community was pretty excited.”


Jan. 2, 2011

Pot plants seized


Police seized more than 1,600 marijuana plants from a Williams Lake residence on Saturday.

The Cariboo Regional Integrated Marijuana Enforcement (CRIME) Task Force, with the assistance of the Williams Lake RCMP, used a search warrant on the residence located in the 1200 block of Hodgson Road.

An adult male and an adult female were located in the residence and arrested for production of a controlled substance.


Jan. 20, 2011

Diamonds and Dust suspended

It’s not known if Diamonds and Dust will re-open following a 26-day suspension that comes into effect tomorrow.

Gail Boxeur and her daughter Jessica Lively are the owners of Diamonds and Dust, an exotic entertainment establishment offering stripper entertainment.

Lively says that due to alleged infractions on the liquor licence, the Liquor Control and Licensing Branch has ordered a 26-day suspension for Diamonds and Dust.

Lively says the liquor licence is still held by the former Boot Cabaret owner since the licence has not yet been transferred over to Boxeur and Lively.

As a result, Lively and Boxeur are not able to dispute the allegations since the former owner is the licensee.


Jan. 20, 2011

City: fire hall overrun no impact on budget


The City is considering a framework to help eliminate cost overruns on future capital projects.

The recommendations are being made in light of a deficit on the budgeted $6.5 million fire hall to the tune of $528,034.

As for how the overrun was handled, according to the City, “the project’s initial $300,000 budget deficit was addressed in the 2010 budget and the additional $228,000 for landscaping and other site-finishing requirements were absorbed into the 2010 operations budget with savings in other operational accounts.”

Council discussed recommendations intended to address the oversight of future capital projects.


Jan. 20, 2011

Five injured in crash

A two-vehicle collision on Highway 97 south of the Sugarcane reserve Saturday morning sent five people to hospital.

The accident occurred around 9 a.m. and involved a 2008 Honda Civic occupied by a male and a female and a 2003 Ford Explorer-Sport Trac in which two males and a female were travelling.

The Civic was travelling north when it struck the southbound Explorer that had lost traction on black ice. Both vehicles ended up in the ditch.

The passengers’ injuries ranged from a broken neck and abdominal to soft-tissue injuries. All occupants were transported to Cariboo Memorial Hospital.


Feb.  8, 2011

New shopping centre to be built


A new shopping centre is in the works for Prosperity Ridge.

Platform Properties will be the developer of the approximate 100,000 square foot Prosperity Ridge shopping centre.


Feb. 10, 2011

B.C. Civil Liberties releases report on RCMP


“Misleading and irresponsible” was how RCMP Staff Sgt. Warren Brown characterized the B.C. Civil Liberties Association’s report on rural and northern policing.

The report, Small Town Justice: A report an RCMP in northern and rural B.C, found that while there were some positives exhibited by RCMP, negative concerns were also addressed.


Feb. 15, 2011

Mill to open


For at least two years the Sigurdson Mill in the Chilcotin has sat dormant.

But now the mill, renamed River West Forest Products is being resurrected with the help of the financial investment of four First Nations communities.

Feb. 15, 2011

$50,000 approved for turf design



The City and the CRD have approved up to $50,000 to be spent for design and operational proposals for a turf facility in Williams Lake.

A joint committee has put out a request for proposals that it hopes will provide some direction and a plan for the prospective facility’s future. Earlier, a turf feasibility task force determined that Comer Park was the preferred site.


Feb. 17, 2011

No recall for MLA Donna Barnett



Cariboo Chilcotin MLA Donna Barnett will not face recall, said the lead organizer for the local recall campaign.

The decision, said the organizer, was not unanimous but was made considering the state of other recall campaigns in the province and the recognition of the challenge in meeting the benchmark for a successful recall campaign  and the overall waning of public support.


Feb. 22, 2011

Taseko submits new Prosperity proposal


After months of speculation, Taseko Mines Ltd. confirmed it  has submitted a revised proposal for the Prosperity mine to both the federal and provincial governments.

Under the new proposal the mine’s tailings pond will be located two kilometres away from Fish Lake rather than adjacent to it and the waste rock generated from mining activity will be hauled to a different location rather than be placed on the dry lake bed. Fish Lake would not be drained.


Feb. 22, 2011

Gibraltar to see new jobs


Taseko Mines Ltd. plans to add approximately 140 full-time jobs to its Gibraltar mine workforce once proposed upgrades are completed.

In addition, there will be several hundred construction jobs and indirect positions servicing the mine during the upgrade that is scheduled to begin this spring and continue over the next 20 months.

The growth is due to the company’s board of directors recent approval of the mine’s development plan that will include the construction of a 30,000 ton per day concentrator.

The additional capacity will increase Gibraltar’s annual copper production to approximately 180 million pounds.

It is anticipated to cost the company approximately $325 million for the concentrator and molybdenum plant and $90 million for mining equipment.


March 15, 2011

City budget meeting draws a crowd



The proposed three-per-cent property tax increase generated enough public interest to attract a rare full house to council chambers to hear council unveil the details of its 2011 budget.

What the public heard was no significant increases to the levels of service provided y the city, no proposed increases to the water and sewer rates and no new borrowing in 2011.

However there were additional costs to the city in 2011 including running municipal elections, policing costs, pavement management plan,  salary increases for union staff and salary increases for management.


March 22, 2011

Tolko’s Creekside mill could re-open


Employees may soon be getting back to work at Tolko’s Creekside division.

The United Steelworkers Union and the company announced they had reached an agreement that could see several positions eliminated in the company’s log yard to improve Tolko’s competitiveness with the goal of securing contracts with timber importers in Asia. The idea, said the union, was to combine  Tolko’s log yards eliminating seven positions for a cost savings of $1.2 million.

That could result in 150 to 200 people working at Creekside.


April 12, 2011

Federal candidates list grows to seven



The candidate list in the Cariboo prince George riding has grown longer and al little stranger as two more candidates entered the political fray bring the race total to seven.

Belatedly Independent candidate Jon Ronan and Rhinoceros party candidate Jordan Turner have declared their intent to fight it out for the local seat.


April 14, 2011

Fire engulfs home


The Williams Lake Fire Department didn’t have to travel too far to a fire that engulfed a residence on Moon Avenue.

The emergency fire call came in at 8:15 p.m. according to fire chief Randy Isfeld. And because many department members were already at the hall for the department’s weekly fire practice and others were out in the community alerting the public in advance of a controlled burn scheduled for next week the department was able to respond within minutes of receiving the call.


April 19, 2011

SMG mine construction could start in 2013


Company representatives made a presentation on the Spanish Mountain Gold mine to council.

Company chief operating officer Ron Halas told council the mind could be operational by Jan. 2014.

The company outlined plans to soon submit environmental assessment paperwork to both the provincial and federal governments.

The mine could produce more than 200,000 ounces of gold per year with a mine life of 10 years.


May 3, 2011

Plane crash claims life

A Williams Lake man was killed on Wednesday in a plane crash in Yoho National Park. Ed Fedaj, 59, lived in Williams Lake and was flying home in a 180 Cessna plane with his border collie Rusty when his plane went down.

Police and Park Search and Rescue were notified when the man didn’t show up to his expected location on time.


May 26, 2011

Prosperity Ridge plans move ahead




The City moved one step closer to approving the development permit for Platform Properties Ltd. to develop 10,000 square feet of retail space.

Platform’s development proposal was forwarded to the advisory planning commission for comment.


May 31, 2011

State of emergency declared

The Cariboo Regional District declared a local state of emergency in electoral area J due to flooding and erosion caused by rapidly rising waters in the Anahim and Nimpo Lake areas. The B.C. River Forecast Centre issued a high stream flow advisory for the central interior region in the Anahim and Nimpo Lake areas as well as for the Chilcotin River. Anahim and Nimpo Lake residents affected by high lake levels were using sandbags to protect structures.



June 16, 2011

Locked out


Residents were neither able to return to sender nor tell a loved one the letter is in the mil as Canada Post Corporation locked out its employes.

The lockout affected most Canada Post operations with the exception of those postal workers who operate under rural service delivery contracts which remain in effect.

The local office was officially alerted to the lockout when workers showed up for their 4 a.m. shift and were told they were not allowed inside.


June 30, 2011

Teachers vote in favour of job action


Teachers across the province voted 90 per cent in favour of initiating job action come September. A total of 28, 128 teachers cast ballots in the five-day strike vote held between June 24 and 28.

Joan Erb, president of the Cariboo Chilcotin Teachers’ Association, says the vote is a pressure tactic to get the B.C. Public School Employers’ Association, the bargaining agent for the government, negotiating seriously.