Mountain bluet, which is an invasive species, is being sold by some retailers in the Thompson-Nicola area. (Photo credit: Thompson-Nicola Invasive Plant Management Committee)

Local news briefs: Beware the mountain bluet

The attractive plant, which is an invasive species, is being sold by some area retailers

Essentials of Leadership webinar series

“Taking Care of Business”, sponsored by the Wildfire Business Transition Program and presented by Community Futures, is holding an eight-week “Essentials of Leadership” webinar series.

What does being a leader mean, whether you have few or no staff, work in a family business or in the non-profit sector, or if you are part of a team? A leader is not a title, a job, or a position. It is being an influencer when necessary, being a supporter when needed, and being a listener as required.

The “Essentials of Leadership” webinar series will help you improve your leadership skills, learn about the value of leadership in all roles and the importance of self-leadership, and support others as you lead.

The webinars take place every Thursday morning starting on May 7 with “Being a Leader” (9 a.m. to noon). All other sessions except the final one on June 25 are from 9 to 10:30 a.m., and include such topics as “Engaging Your Team”, “Communication”, “Conflict Management”, and “Managing Change”.

There is no charge for the series, but there are only 20 spots for the series, and registration (go to is on a first come, first served basis. There are also a limited number of one-on-one coaching sessions available after each weekly webinar; book your coaching session by contacting Katie Vilkas at

Clinton CiB wants kids to plant a little sunshine

The Clinton Communities in Bloom committee is holding a “Plant a Little Sunshine” contest for children aged 0 to 18.

Children who want to take part can register to receive a free sunflower growing kit, which will include pots, soil, seeds, and instructions on how to grow and look after the flowers. There will be prizes on offer, in addition to the opportunity to grow some cheerful sunflowers and spread sunshine throughout the Village.

The kits can be obtained between May 1 and 14. To register for a kit, email, or text or call 1-250-212-5506.

Beware mountain bluet

Mountain bluet (Centaurea montana), which is an invasive species, is currently being sold by retailers in the Thompson-Nicola region. The Thompson-Nicola Invasive Plant Management Committee would like retailers and gardening enthusiasts to be PlantWise and choose to grow, sell, purchase, plant, and trade non-invasive plants. A full list of non-invasive alternatives to popular ornamental plants is available at

Mountain bluet was a popular ornamental plant among gardeners. It can range from 30–80cm in height and produces bright blue, large, knapweed-like flowers between April and June. Unfortunately, once planted, this species can easily spread into natural ecosystems. The plant can quickly colonize disturbed open areas, forests, and roadsides. This fast-growing, long-living plant is hard to manage and has adapted to grow in a wide range of conditions.

For more information on mountain bluet or other invasive plants, contact Catherine Tarasoff, Invasive Plant Education and Outreach Coordinator, by phone at (250) 572-2132 or email

Lane closures for bridge repairs on Coquihalla Highway

From now until the end of June, drivers can expect lane closures on Highway 5 (Coquihalla) to allow for repairs at Carolin Bridge, located approximately 25 kilometres north of Hope. Work on the rehabilitation of the 30-year-old bridge includes repairing concrete, resurfacing the deck, and restoring river protection.

Traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction. An additional counterflow lane will be in place over the Victoria Day long weekend from 8 a.m. Friday until 8 p.m. Sunday, with the extra lane for northbound traffic on Friday and Saturday and southbound on Sunday. To accommodate the long weekend counterflow, it is necessary to reduce the width of the travel lanes from five metres to 3.8 metres.

For the month of June, the additional counterflow lane will be in place on each Sunday for southbound traffic. Drivers can expect delays of up to 30 minutes, and are asked to follow signs, obey posted speed limits, avoid driving during peak times, and watch for traffic-control personnel and workers.

For the most up-to-date highway travel information, people should continue to check @DriveBC on Twitter or visit

Changes to B.C. driver licences

ICBC has introduced enhanced security features to B.C. driver licences to ensure people across the province are protected against identify fraud.

Customers who are now applying for a new card or are renewing will receive a card with the new features.

Driver licences are used as primary ID by many British Columbians. Maintaining the integrity of licences is paramount to ensuring the safety of personal identification and information.

While the card design will remain the same, new features will be added to both the front and back of the new card to help further deter fraud and alteration.

Some of the enhancements are microtext on the front of the card; an image of a bear, whale, or bird on the back of the card, to differentiate between the different types of cards issued; and the cardholder signature on the back of the card.

The enhanced security features will also apply to the BC Services card and the BC Identity card. These enhancements are part of ICBC’s standard procedures to protect customers and maintain the integrity of the cards.

Driver licences are valid for five years. There were 3,535,000 active driver licences in British Columbia in 2018, including 560,000 in the Southern Interior.

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