THE BEST OF THE BEST: Rotary Club president Denise Fiddick (middle) welcomes 2011 Citizens of the Year

THE BEST OF THE BEST: Rotary Club president Denise Fiddick (middle) welcomes 2011 Citizens of the Year

2011 IN REVIEW: January – school closures, Smart Meters

A summary of news and news makers in January 2011 for The Journal's readership area.

  • Jan. 2, 2012 2:00 p.m.

JANUARY

MLA Harry Lali enters NDP leadership race

Fraser-Nicola MLA Harry Lali  launched his campaign to lead the B.C. NDP, describing himself as an anti-establishment candidate who will reverse centralized control of the party.

He was one of 13 NDP MLAs who refused to support leader Carole James last year, forcing her resignation and triggering a party leadership vote set for April 17.

Lali dropped out of the race in mid-February, saying his heart was still in the contest, but reviewing his budget he came to the conclusion it’s not his time.

“In order to run a competitive NDP leadership campaign, one needs to spend well over $100,000, which means one has to raise at least $215,000,” Lali said. “That isn’t going to happen for me.”

 

AES closure may beon the agenda

A report tabled by Superintendent Teresa Downs, based on Community Consultations in 2010, recommended closing George M. Murray Elementary in Lillooet and moving Ashcroft Elementary School into Ashcroft Secondary School.

“We want to consider all options,” said Downs. “If the Board adopts our recommendations, we’ll enter into 60 day process and hear all the options the communities can give us.”

 

Towns agree to new Gold Country tax structure

Gold Country Community Society is in discussions to have its annual funding of $70,000 collected through TNRD taxes while it negotiates with Merrit and Logan Lake, who opted out of the taxation.

Ashcroft and Cache Creek Councils both agreed to it. Previously, GCCS billed the seven municipalities and five TNRD directoral areas directly and equally for annual membership fees.

 

Ashcroft prepares for court services

The Village of Ashcroft is making room for a new provincial Circuit Court in their Council Chambers. Council has been pursuing the return of court services to Ashcroft for the past two years. It is expected to take the form of a videoconference link to Kamloops.

 

MV sending less waste to Landfill

The volume of waste sent to the landfill continues to drop.

Metro Vancouver shipped 39,020 tonnes in November and although that has been the highest monthly figure of 2010 so far, overall last year was the lowest on record with only 296,742 tonnes shipped.

MV recently advised Wastech to divert “sufficient tonnage” to keep the Burnaby incinerator operating at maximum capacity (260-280,000 tonnes), send 200,000 tonnes to the Vancouver Landfill (Burns Bog in Delta), and the rest should be hauled to the Cache Creek Landfill.

For over 20 years, Metro Vancouver has annually shipped an average of about 456,734 tonnes to the Cache Creek Landfill.

 

Hydro’s Smart Meters coming this year

BC Hydro is getting ready to install “smart meters” across the province that will tell customers how much electricity they’re using at different times of the day.

BC Hydro says it still in the early stages of determining its rate structure for the smart meter era, and all rate changes must be approved by the B.C. Utilities Commission.

The smart meter program is budgeted to cost $930 million, including meters, wireless networks and in-home displays for customers.

 

Ashcroft man dies in traffic accident

Daniel East, 52 of Ashcroft, died in the early hours of Jan. 26 after his southbound vehicle veered into the oncoming lane and collided  with a transport truck on Hwy 97 north of Cache Creek.

 

RCMP short on members

Cache Creek and Ashcroft have responded to a shortage in RCMP officers at the Ashcroft Detachment by urging the provincial government to quickly appoint replacements.

In his annual report to the village councils, Sgt. Dave Prentice noted that retirements, transfers, secondment and parental leave have reduced the General Duty side of the Detachment from five officers to three, and Traffic Services from six officers to two for at least the next few months.

Prentice said the three GD officers in the Detachment, which includes himself, are required to provide 48 on-duty hours per day.

Ashcroft Council sent a letter to the RCMP South East District voicing their concerns and asking for assistance.

Cache Creek Council sent a letter to the Solicitor General demanding action on staff levels by requesting either a reduction in policing costs for the Village or a focus on replacing the officers to justify that cost.