Ashcroft HUB reopening
The Province has announced that gyms and community centres that comply with COVID-19 safety protocols can reopen, and staff at the Ashcroft HUB are working hard to prepare for a June 1 reopening of the facility. They are assessing COVID-19 risks, creating policies and protocols in alignment with the Provincial Health Officer and Worksafe BC, and implementing them to ensure that people can return to take part in activities at the HUB.
Those activities and services will look and feel a little different due to the current pandemic reality. More details will be provided as soon as they are available; for information, check the Ashcroft HUB Facebook page.
Spences Bridge Community Club
Now that various restrictions are slowly being relaxed, the Spences Bridge Community Club is planning a meeting for Wednesday, June 10 at 7 p.m. at Clemes Hall. Social distancing will be in effect, but there’s ample room for that.
Items for discussion include a town cleanup, a cemetery cleanup, and planning for a grand reopening of the Hall with a show and tell so that everyone can showcase what they’ve been busy with during the last couple of months. Show that COVID-19 has not killed the community spirit in Spences Bridge and come on out to the meeting. Fot details of events in The Bridge as they get going, visit the Spences Bridge Community Club Facebook page.
Connect in Clinton
The Facebook page Clinton Heritage Week 2020 has been renamed, and is now called Clinton History, Heritage and Memories. The page was started to keep Clinton’s Heritage Week alive during the pandemic, as all events had to be cancelled, but now the page will keep going by adding history and memories. Anyone who has a Clinton connection — whether you’re a resident or not — is invited to post pictures and stories and reconnect with others.
Staff are starting to return to the Ashcroft Pool, and are doing some work on the building and grounds in order to get it ready for reopening this summer. No date has been set for when the doors will open, but you can check out what’s happening by visiting the new Ashcroft Pool and Park Facebook page for news, pictures, and updates.
The Ashcroft Legion on Brink Street has now reopened for limited service (Sunday to Thursday, 1 to 6 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 1 to 8 p.m.). Visitors will notice a few differences, with safety protocols in accordance with WorkSafe BC regulations in place for the safety of staff and customers.
Regular events such as Friday dinners and the Saturday meat draw will not be starting up again for the time being, nor will any sport/leisure activities (darts, pool, crib, euchre, etc.). Only 50 people will be allowed on-site at any one time. For updates, visit the Legion Branch 113 Ashcroft Facebook page.
Community Garden is back
The South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society’s community garden, located behind the office on Bancroft Street in Ashcroft, is back for the season and has been planted with a variety of vegetables. The garden welcomes anyone who would like to come down and spend some time weeding, watering, or just wiling away a few pleasant minutes beside the river. As Mother Nature does her thing and produce comes ready, it is available for anyone who needs it.
Be a Weed Warrior and win!
How much do you know about invasive plants? Take the Weed Wizard Challenge now and get ready to taste the sweet smell of success!
The challenge is sponsored by the Thompson-Nicola Invasive Plant Management Committee of the TNRD, and will test your knowledge of invasive plants in a series of eight short, timed, themed quizzes. A new quiz will be posted online every Wednesday for eight weeks starting on May 20, and each one must be completed by noon on the following Friday.
Each quiz will take less than 10 minutes to complete, and the challenge is open to anyone of any age in the TNRD. Players with the highest combined scores after all eight quizzes will receive a gift certificate for a local business in their area (first place $75; second place $50; third place $25).
Make sure to like/follow the Thompson-Nicola Invasive Plant Management Committee Facebook page so you can compete in the challenge!
Free, live coding workshops for kids
From creating online games to building websites, students now have access to free, live online coding workshops through the Ministry of Education website Keep Learning BC.
“Students need programs that will lead to 21st-century careers,” says Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. “With new access to live, weekly workshops from across the country through Canada Learning Code, B.C. students can expand their coding education, while learning from experts through real-time programs designed for specific age groups that will help engage young minds.”
Now available on Keep Learning BC, Canada Learning Code offers free, live workshops that students and educators can access that help students as young as nine years old learn how to code in different forms. This includes creating websites, online games, generative art, and more. In addition, Canada Learning Code is also planning a virtual coding conference that students will be able to take part in this summer.
“We’ve reimagined our popular in-person learning experiences to create live online classes that are optimized for project-based and interactive learning opportunities,” says Melissa Sariffodeen, CEO of Canada Learning Code. “At each workshop, there is a team of instructors to help youth discover the power of technology to solve problems and become builders, not just consumers, of technology.”
Keep Learning BC was created to help students and families stay engaged with their education during the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with learning resources, the website also includes helpful guides to maintain routines and stay safe online, giving parents information about how to talk to their children about COVID-19, along with other mental health resources to manage stress or anxiety.
New coding workshops are added each week and can be accessed through the Keep Learning BC website at https://www.openschool.bc.ca/keeplearning/ or direct through Canada Learning Code (https://www.canadalearningcode.ca/live-online/).
Students, parents, guardians, and teachers can find learning resources and information about schools, programs, and educational services, including regularly updated frequently asked questions, at www.gov.bc.ca/SafeSchools/.
For non-health related information, including financial, child care and education supports, travel, transportation, and essential service information, visit www.gov.bc.ca/covid19 or call 1-888-COVID19 (1-888-268-4319) between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m. (Pacific time), seven days a week.
Webinars back by popular demand
Two free webinars designed for small businesses are back by popular demand, but space is limited, so register now!
“Digital Marketing 101” is an eight-part webinar series where you will learn marketing strategies and tools to help you grow your business, find your target audience, and increase customer engagement. Each day will feature discussion of a different topic and explore strategies and tools, see how they align with your marketing plans, and where they fit in the buyer’s journey.
The webinars start at 9 a.m. via Zoom and end after a Q&A session. They take place on June 1, 2, 3, and 4 and June 8, 9, 10, and 11. There are only 10 spots available; go to https://bit.ly/2ZDYWZj to learn more or to register.
“Holy Business Crisis! Now What?” is a two-part workshop that will give you the tools to help your business not only survive, but move forward through crisis. Each session includes strong applications and practical components. Participants will leave with a crisis response action plan, a 13-week rolling cashflow forecast, a crisis communication plan, and a 12-month sales forecast.
The webinars are from 1 to 3 p.m. on June 3 and June 10. There are only 10 spots available; go to https://bit.ly/2TBJSaz to learn more or to register.
Power usage down
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented drop in power demand, causing BC Hydro to take action to avoid potential flooding risks and impacts on the environment and its infrastructure. There has been a nearly 10 per cent drop in electricity since the beginning of the pandemic, and uncertainty around economic recovery means demand could decrease by up to 12 per cent by April 2021; more than double the decline that occurred after the 2008 recession.
The drop in power demand, coupled with high inflows from the spring snowmelt and a limited export market, have created a large surplus in BC Hydro’s system. This has created challenges for BC Hydro, and the potential for its reservoirs to reach capacity, leading the provider to take several steps to ensure the safety of the public, the environment, and its system.
Public consultation on Personal Information Protection Act
The Legislative Assembly of British Columbia has appointed an all-party special committee to seek input from British Columbians on the effectiveness of the Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA).
The act governs how private-sector organizations collect, use, and disclose personal information. It also requires organizations to protect and secure personal information against unauthorized use or disclosure, and grants individuals the right to access their own personal information.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has brought considerable change to how many of us work and communicate,” says Rachna Singh, committee chair. “Our increased reliance on technology makes it an especially appropriate time to review this legislation.”
Dan Ashton, deputy chair, adds “There have been significant developments, including new innovations in digital technology and artificial intelligence, since the last review of the act in 2014. We would like to hear from British Columbians how PIPA could be improved.”
Interested organizations and individuals can participate in the consultation by presenting via tele/videoconference at a public hearing in June or by making a written, audio, or video submission. The deadline to register for a public hearing is May 29, 2020, at 5 p.m. (Pacific time). The deadline for all input is Aug. 14, 2020, at 5 p.m.
The special committee will consider all input and make recommendations to the legislative assembly. To participate in the consultation or find out more, go to www.leg.bc.ca/cmt/pipa.