Year in Review 2011: part two

July 5, 2011

Stampede attendance breaks records

It was a record-breaking weekend at the Williams Lake Stampede.

  • Dec. 29, 2011 4:00 p.m.


July 5, 2011

Stampede attendance breaks records


It was a record-breaking weekend at the Williams Lake Stampede. First the grandstand sold out for Saturday evening’s performance; the next day came the loud-speaker announcement to much applause that attendance over the four-day event had hit the 15, 204 mark — breaking the previous high-attendance marker of 13, 152.


July 7, 2011

Crime down, but violence high


It was both good news and bad that Staff Sgt. Warrren Brown delivered to City council in his quarterly crime report.

The good news was that crime in most categories was down over the first six months of 2011 compared to 2010.

The bad news is that Williams Lake held the dubious distinction of being number one for violent crimes — categorized as assaults, sexual assaults and domestic assaults — in British Columbia communities policed by the RCMP.


July 12, 2011

Wyse acclaimed as NDP candidate


Charlie Wyse will be the candidate for the Cariboo Chilcotin riding for the B.C. NDP in the next provincial election. Wyse had announced earlier this year that he would stand for election for the NDP when the time came. “I’m excited that I’m representing the party in the upcoming election,” he said.


July 14, 2011

Hospital master site plan released



The Interior Health Authority has released its master site plan for the Cariboo Memorial Hospital.

The plan, described as a “road map” proposes key areas for hospital development.

It proposes a new one-storey inpatient unit, an expansion and redesign of emergency and ambulatory care as well as a new build for the pharmacy.


Aug. 2, 2011

City sheds crime capital label


Williams Lake is no longer known as the crime capital of Canada.

The City is now ranked at number four in the country when it comes to violent crime and number five when it comes to non-violent and overall crime severity, according to the 2010 crime severity numbers from Statistics Canada.


Aug. 9, 2011

CRIME program continues for now


The Cariboo Region Integrated Marijuana Enforcement team is nearing the end of its year-long pilot project and will not end on its one-year anniversary, Sept. 4.

Cpl Annie Linteau with the federal RCMP media relations says the team will carry on beyond that date to help advance a second “community phase” initiative.


Aug. 9, 2011

SMG moving ahead


The Spanish Mountain Gold Project near Likely is moving ahead.

The federal and provincial environmental assessment agencies accepted SMG’s project description which means it has entered the pre-application phase of the environmental assessment and permitting process. The company says public meetings on the project will begin shortly.


Aug. 11, 2011

Indoor grass facility turfed


The development of a shovel-ready plan for a proposed community turf facility was pulled off the table last week.

At the Central Cariboo joint committee meeting it was decided to shelve the plan for now in light of the recent costs incurred to repair the Sam Ketcham Memorial Pool and because the plan was more than the budgeted amount of $50,000.


Aug. 16, 2011

Rancher charged with neglect, cruelty


The B.C. SPCA has filed charges against a McLeese Lake area rancher.

Rob Weetman has been charged with one count of causing or permitting to be caused unnecessary suffering, pain or injury to an animal, willful neglect and causing or permitting animal distress.

The charges stem from an investigation by the SPCA in February and March; a search warrant was executed March 17. The SPCA alleges that despite warnings and recommendations concerning the housing and feeding of a herd of cattle of approximately 170 head, nearly 40 starved to death and 130 were severely emaciated.


Aug. 30, 2011

B.C. voters choose to scrap the HST


The HST has been rejected by residents of both the Cariboo Chilcotin and Cariboo North ridings and the province.

The tax that was implemented despite much public opposition in 2010 under former premier Gordon Campbell will be officially turfed. In the Cariboo Chilcotin riding 57 per cent voted yes to return to the PST/GST system while 43 per cent voted to keep the HST.

In the Cariboo North riding 59 per cent voted yes to the PST/GST; 41 per cent voted to keep the HST.


Aug. 30, 2011

New Prosperity proposal moves along


The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has accepted the project description of Taseko’s New Prosperity Mine completing another step in the process that will eventually determine whether the new project will come to fruition.


Sept. 1, 2011

Bass could reach the Fraser


The smallmouth bass continue to be a cause for big concern for regional and provincial governments and residents who live around water systems where the fish have taken hold.

A recent letter from the Ministry of Forests, Land and Natural Resource Operations to the Cariboo Regional District suggests the bass are “moving freely downstream into the Quesnel River and possibly into the Fraser River.”


Sept. 6, 2011

Identity of human remains still unknown


The Williams Lake RCMP are still awaiting the outcome of an examination of a forensic anthropologist to determine the identity of human remains found north of Esler near Williams Lake on Aug. 24.


Sept. 6, 2011

WLIB seeks recourse on mine expansion


A permit by the Ministry of Energy and Mines to allow an expansion of the Mount Polley Mine has the Williams Lake Indian Band considering its options.

On Aug. 15 the ministry issued a permit authorizing the expansion of Mt. Polley’s boundary, the construction of a temporary waste dump site for potentially acid generating rock and the disturbance of 190 hectares of land around the existing mine site, according to a WLIB news release.

The band charges that the province has the duty to consult with First Nations on such a project and has not done so.

Mount Polley couldn’t be reached for comment for this story.


Sept. 8, 2011

Crashes cause injuries


Several people were seriously injured in three separate ATV collisions in the Alexis Creek area over the last few weeks.

One person may never walk again.

There were no major injuries in the first incident, which took place on Aug. 15 when an ATV driver apparently lost control and the occupants were upset from the vehicle, though not thrown.

An incident on Aug. 26, however, left an ATV passenger in shock, with the top of his head bleeding and arms broken.

In the third incident, on Sept. 1, an ATV rolled over on the Anaham reserve.

A male was found in a field with an ATV on top of him.

His injuries appear serious but not life threatening. The male driver’s back was broken in two places.


Sept. 13, 2011

Man sent to hospital with burns


A Williams Lake man is in a coma in a Vancouver hospital after he was severely burned while changing a fuel pump on his truck.

Brent Holm, 45, was working on his truck when static electricity caused a spark. Gas from the fuel line had landed on Holm, who then caught fire.

His face, right arm, shoulder, and back were severely burned.


Sept. 15, 2011

Convicted sex offender released

A man with convictions of violent sexual offences has been released from custody again.

Patrick Rodman was sentenced time served for charges in July involving breaching a condition.

Rodman was released to his residence in Horsefly.


Sept. 15, 2011


‘Carjacking’ suspect on trial


Jonathan Billyboy is in Williams Lake Supreme Court this week facing charges stemming from an October 2010 incident where a person drove erratically though the city before crashing into another vehicle, stealing a car, and assaulting a person who had tried to offer assistance.


Sept. 22, 2011

Complex competes, gym says


The owners of Concrete Fitness are asking the City and the Cariboo Regional District to conduct a formal review of programming at Cariboo Memorial Recreation Complex.

Owner Stefan Hoelzler said his concern is the growth in CMRC offerings that compete directly with his and others’ business, and argued the costs of providing those programs could be better spent on upgrading the swimming pool.

Chief administrative officer Brian Carruthers said the cost to operate the facility is offset by the revenue its programs generate.


Sept. 22, 2011

Youth arrested


A 14-year-old was apprehended by police following an attempted theft of an ATV from a carport on Litzenburg Crescent Sept. 21.

The owner of the ATV discovered the youths in the process of trying to steal the ATV.

He chased them, was able to retrieve his property, and called 911.

Police attended and apprehended one of the suspects.


Sept. 24, 2011

Cop assaulted


A Williams Lake RCMP constable suffered a broken jaw  when he was allegedly assaulted by the driver of a car during a traffic stop on Sept. 22.

The uniformed officer observed a vehicle being driven in an erratic manner and noticed the vehicle was not insured.

The driver was taken to the detachment and detained to appear in court.


Sept. 24, 2011

WL man dies in Red Rock incident


The Prince George RCMP have confirmed that a former Williams Lake resident is dead following an incident in the Red Rock area, of Prince George.

On Sept. 17 the Prince George RCMP began investigating a serious incident that left one man dead and one woman in critical condition in hospital. Investigators say that the deceased man was a 29-year-old former resident of Williams Lake who was residing in Prince George at the time of the incident.


Sept. 29, 2011

Officer accused of assault


A Williams Lake teenager says she was punched in the face several times by an RCMP officer while she was handcuffed in the back of a police car on Sept. 10.

“I know for a fact he punched me more than six times,” says 17-year-old Jamie Haller, whose mother, Martina Jeff, has sent a letter of complaint to the Commission for Public Complaints Against the RCMP, accusing Const. Andy Yung of assault.


Oct. 13, 2011

Human remains found


Unidentified human remains have been found on a property near Horsefly.

The B.C. Coroner Service, the Williams Lake RCMP and the B.C. Conservation Officer Service were called to the scene at a rural property in the community Saturday.


Oct. 20, 2011


Man injured in hunting mishap


A hunter sustained serious injuries after being hit by a ricocheting bullet Oct. 17.

A group of hunters attempting to shoot a moose in the Klocut Lake area. One of the hunters came back to the group holding his lower left abdomen stating “I’m hit.”


Oct. 27, 2011

City in red for $19.4M


According to paperwork provided by the City, as of Dec. 31, 2010 the municipality is shouldering a debt worth $19,387,852.

Last year it paid $1 million in interest and made $920,510 in principal payments.


Nov. 1, 2011


Four men stabbed


Four men were stabbed early Oct. 29. The Williams Lake RCMP say that at 1:30 a.m. police were called to the old Poplar Glade School site to a report of multiple people being assaulted with knives.

When the RCMP and B.C. Ambulance attended they found four young adult males who had been stabbed.

All three were transported to hospital non-life threatening injuries.


Nov. 8, 2011

Review panel approved for mine




The Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency has determined the New Prosperity Mine project will undergo an environmental assessment by a federal review panel. CEAA has been charged with determining a process to assess whether the proposal addresses the environmental assessment of the original Prosperity project.


Nov. 15, 2011

Tsilhqot’in launches court case



The Tsilhqot’in Nation has launched a challenge in B.C. Supreme Court requesting the suspension of permits recently issued for the New Prosperity Mine project by the province’s Ministry of Energy and Mines.

According to a press release, the petition alleges the Crown breached its duties to consult and accommodate the Tsilhqot’in.


Nov. 17, 2011

Taseko files claim


Taseko Mines Ltd. has filed a claim in B.C. Supreme Court seeking a permanent injunction to restrain individuals from interfering with the company’s work at the New Prosperity mine site.

According to a court affidavit, on Nov. 6, contractors hired by Taseko attempted to access the Prosperity project site but were prohibited from doing so.

It alleges defendants refused to allow contractors access to the mine site but were prohibited from doing so by having their passage physically prevented.


Nov. 22, 2011

2011 election results


Mayor Kerry Cook has been re-elected.

“It’s pretty darn exciting,” Cook said when the hugging stopped and there was finally a moment for a formal comment.

Councillors Laurie Walters, Sue Zacharias, Surinderpal Rathor and Geoff Bourdon will return for another three-year term joined by councillors Ivan Bonnell and Danica Hughes.

Byron Kemp and Roger William were elected as CRD directors.

Jackie Austin, Sheila Boehm, and Doug Neufeld were elected as school trustees.


Dec. 6, 2011

TNG wins injunction


B.C. Supreme Court Justice Christopher Grauer has granted a 90-day injunction stopping Taseko Mines Ltd. from carrying out any further exploratory work for the New Prosperity mine, pending the outcome of a judicial review of work permits that were issued to the company.

Grauer also said the conduct of individuals obstructing Taseko was ruled illegal and the company has been awarded costs payable immediately.


Dec. 13, 2011

Weapons seized


RCMP seized thousands of rounds of ammunition, 45 rifles, two handguns, and three sets of military body armour at an unsecured, abandoned private rural property in the Alexis Creek area last week.

The cache was located outside and covered in a tarp near Maindlay Road, east of Nasko Lake Provincial Park.

No arrests have been made, but people with connections to the property, are being questioned.


Dec. 13, 2011

Mine forum held

A forum to discussed the New Prosperity mine proposal drew around 120 people Dec. 8. The forum, hosted by the Tsilhqot’in National Government, included a large crowd of people who crammed themselves into the Central Cariboo Arts Centre in Williams Lake to hear firsthand from First Nations Leaders and TNG’s mining manager about their opposition to the proposed gold-copper mine project.



Dec. 20, 2011


Mill fire causes $15-20K in damage


A fire compressor room at Sigurdson Forest Products Dec. 19 has resulted in the loss of a compressor and a small building.

The compressor overheated and the shift foreman immediately called the fire department, but when the employees put their own resources on it, discovered that water system was on the same system as the compressor, so when it burned it took out the full water supply and the employees couldn’t apply water themselves.