Mountain bluet is an invasive species that is being sold by some retailers in the Thompson-Nicola area. Photo: TNRD

Local News Briefs: Invasive plant being sold in area garden centres

Plus workshops on breathing right and not-for-profits, a baby hat recall, and a Club Med for cats

Breathing problem workshop

Do you—or does someone you know—live with chronic bronchitis or emphysema? Are you interested in learning tools and techniques to make your day-to-day life easier?

Join BC Emergency Health Services paramedics and local pharmacist Jon Wiensendahl for a free workshop to explore how you can improve your health and quality of life. The event will include blood pressure and SPO2 checks; puffer use demonstrations; home health monitoring; and COPD management techniques.

The workshop will be at the Fields mall in Ashcroft (350 Railway Avenue) on Wednesday, July 31 from 10 a.m. to noon.

Not-for-profit workshop

Registration is now open for a free “All things not-for-profit” workshop on Friday, Aug. 16 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Cache Creek Community Hall.

All not-for-profit organizations are eligible to take part. The workshop will cover items such as NFP life cycles; capacity building; governance and succession planning; engaging volunteers; delegation; and engagement and teamwork.

Seating is limited to 25 people, so be sure to register early at

An evening of Outlaw Country

The Ashcroft Legion is hosting an evening of Outlaw Country music on Friday, Aug. 9 featuring David James and Big Country. Come on out and hear country music superstars Johnny Cash and Waylon Jennings in a concert that has been called “outstanding” and “one helluva show”.

The concert—which starts at 7:30 p.m.—is open to all, and tickets are $20 each. To order tickets, stop by the Ashcroft Legion on Brink Street, or call (250) 453-2423. For more information, go to

Learn to fish programs

Youth aged five to 15 and their families have several opportunities to learn a new sport this summer, with the Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC’s Learn to Fish programs throughout the Thompson-Okanagan region. Held in provincial and regional parks, Learn to Fish offers introductory level freshwater fishing instruction as well as hands-on fishing practice. Programs are held on a drop-in basis and are provided at no cost.

This summer, Learn to Fish programs are offered at seven locations in the region, including Logan Lake (on July 27 and August 17). For details, as well as a full list of dates and locations, visit

Children under 16 do not need a freshwater fishing licence. Everyone learns about fish identification and biology; habitat and conservation; proper fish handling; ethics, safety, and fishing regulations; fishing tackle (rods, reels, lines, and lures); and knot-tying. Hands-on participation includes how to successfully cast and retrieve. Fishing equipment is provided, although participants may bring their own, and the two-hour programs run rain or shine. Many of the programs fill up, so early arrival is recommended.

“Learn to Fish is often a first introduction to fishing. In many cases it is the start of a summer, and sometimes a lifetime, of enjoying the sport,” says Jessica Yarwood, Outreach Coordinator, Freshwater Fisheries Society of BC. “We encourage anyone who is curious to visit a program and see if this sport is for them.”

Baby hat recall

Health Canada has issued a recall of various styles of Joe Fresh baby girl and baby boy sun hats in sizes 0–12 months, and 12–24 months, as the loop fastener on the hat may detach, posing a choking hazard to children.

The hats come in a variety of colours and patterns, and approximately 64,100 units of the affected product were sold in Canada between January and June 2019. In Western Canada the hats were sold at Extra Foods, Independent, Joe Fresh, No Frills, Real Canadian Superstore, Real Canadian Wholesale Club, and Shoppers Drug Mart.

For a list of the style codes on the affected products, go to Health Canada says that consumers should immediately stop using the product and return it to any Loblaw banner store for a full refund.

Invasive plant being sold in stores

Mountain bluet (Centaurea montana) is currently being sold by local retailers in the Thompson-Nicola region. The plant can range from 30–80cm in height and produces large bright blue, 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. It is a fast-growing, long-living plant that is hard to manage and has adapted to grow in a wide range of conditions.

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 the PlantWise website.

In B.C., many of our worst invasive species are escaped ornamentals. For example, just six species of invasive plants were estimated to cost British Columbia $65 million in economic losses in 2008, increasing to a projected $129 million by 2020. Prevention is British Columbia’s best and most cost-effective tool for invasive species management, so please choose to plant non-invasive plants in your gardens.

No limits

British Columbians visiting other provinces and territories are now able to bring home liquor products for personal consumption without any restrictions or limits.

Previously, there were limits on the amount of liquor British Columbians could physically bring back from other provinces for their own consumption. There were also similar restrictions from other provinces on B.C. products, creating trade barriers.

Following a commitment made by Premier John Horgan at the premiers’ 2018 summer meetings, the personal alcohol exemption restrictions were lifted as of July 8, 2019.

This change aligns with similar action being taken in other provinces, which may result in increased sales for local producers to out-of-province visitors. Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia recently eliminated personal exemption limits, and Prince Edward Island is committed toward implementation.

Prior to July 8, 2019, residents were limited to bringing in no more than three litres of spirits, nine litres of wine, and 25.6 litres of beer, cider, and coolers from other provinces. There was no limit on wine purchased from a Canadian winery and made from 100 per cent Canadian product.

Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura ( is a website that bills itself as showcasing “Curious and Wondrous Travel Destinations” from around the world. Now and then one of the sites is within striking distance of our region, so travellers might want to check it out next time they’re in the area.

The RAPS (Regional Animal Protection Services) Cat Sanctuary in Richmond, B.C. has been called a “Club Med” for cats. It’s one of the largest cat sanctuaries in North America, and at any given time houses several hundred felines looking for new homes, and enjoying a good life until they find one.

More than a dozen buildings, as well as secure outdoor courtyards and landscaped gardens, provide plenty of space for the residents to roam, whether they prefer living indoors or outdoors. Donations of money and cat food keep the sanctuary going, and it has more than 100 active volunteers.

Visitors over the age of six are welcome, and while there is no admission fee, a $5 donation to the sanctuary per visitor is suggested. Feel free to pat the cats, but be warned: not all the residents are receptive to human interactions. Because of this, band-aids and antiseptics are available on the premises.

For more information, about the RAPS Cat Sanctuary, go to

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Looking to adopt a cat? The RAPS Cat Sanctuary in Richmond has several hundred to choose from. Photo: RAPS

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