All adult cats at BC SPCA shelters can be adopted for half-price from November 24 to December 5.

All adult cats at BC SPCA shelters can be adopted for half-price from November 24 to December 5.

Local news briefs: Bring a cat in from the cold

The BC SPCA is offering half-price adoptions for all adult cats in its shelters between November 24 and December 5.

Toys for Joys Christmas breakfast

Get the festive season off to a wonderful start with the Toys for Joys Christmas breakfast on Sunday, November 27, sponsored by the South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society and Sam’s Diner in Ashcroft. New toys and cash donations are collected, and then distributed to less fortunate children in our community. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to noon at Sam’s Diner on Railway Avenue, and participants are asked to bring a cash donation or a new, unwrapped toy for a child aged 0 to 18. In return, they will receive a pancake and sausage breakfast generously supplied by Sam’s Diner. Santa Claus himself will be in attendance, so bring your cameras!

Support the grads

The 2017 graduating class of Desert Sands Community School will have a table at the Ashcroft HUB Christmas Fair on Saturday, December 3 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.). They will be selling hot chocolate with whipped cream, Christmas tree ornaments, real Christmas trees, and tickets for a raffle basket.

The Christmas trees are hand-sawn, and will be available for pre-sale at the fair for $15 each. The raffle basket would be a great Christmas gift for anyone who loves the outdoors and summer, and contains two Kumsheen Rafting tickets (good for the 2017 season), two beach towels, and a bottle of sunscreen. Tickets are just $5 each, so come out and support the grad class of 2017.

Christmas turkey bingo

The annual Kinsman Christmas turkey bingo takes place on Sunday, December 11 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Cache Creek Community Hall (doors open at 10 a.m.). There are lots of door prizes, and a concession is available during the event.

Christmas food hampers

Applications for this year’s Community Resource Society Christmas food hampers are being taken until Wednesday, December 7. Application must be made in person at the South Cariboo Elizabeth Fry Society office at 601 Bancroft Street, Ashcroft, weekdays between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. (until December 6) and noon to 3 p.m. (December 7). Hampers will be distributed on December 17. Applicants need to bring photo ID, Care Cards for family members living with them (including children), and proof of residential address.

Cash and non-perishable food donations are still being sought, and these can be brought to the E. Fry office (there is also a cart at Ashcroft Safety Mart where food donations can be dropped) before December 15. Cheques can be mailed to Ashcroft and Area CRS/Christmas Hampers, P.O. Box 1137, Ashcroft, V0K 1A0. Volunteers to help sort and pack the hampers on December 14, 15, and 16 from 9 a.m. to noon each day at the Ashcroft Community Hall are needed, as are volunteers to deliver the hampers on the 17th. If you can help, please call Esther at (250) 453-9085.

Turn brrrs into purrs

The BC SPCA has an adoption event running between November 24 and December 5, during which all adult cat adoption fees are 50 per cent off. There are currently more than 1,600 felines in BC SPCA care who need loving, forever homes; and every time a cat is adopted, it frees up shelter space, allowing another cat to come in from the cold.

The adoption fee includes vaccinations, spaying or neutering, permanent ID, any necessary medical care, and internal and external parasite treatment. All cats are microchipped, and for only $12 per year or a $45 lifetime fee, the cat is registered in the province-wide BC Pet Registry (www.bcpetregistry.ca), to help ensure that if a pet is lost it can be found and reunited with its family. Visit www.spca.bc.ca/adopt to search for adoptable animals online.

Winter driving

Interior Roads is advising that while they anticipate more snow this year than usual, warmer temperatures are also in store. This can make driving conditions in the area unpredictable, and drivers are asked to take care on the roads, particularly around snow removal equipment.

A toll-free number (1-800-842-4122) is available 24 hours a day, so that drivers can report any problems they encounter on roads in the region. Drivers phoning in are asked to be as specific as possible regarding the incident and the location, so that crews can respond as soon as possible.

Books and Brews

The TNRD Library System’s next “Books and Brews” event will take place on Tuesday, November 29 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the McCracken Station pub. The theme will be “Books Made into Movies”. The “Books and Brews” club is a non-traditional book club for adults that meets at various lively locations outside the library to discuss books while enjoying food and drinks.

Fishing regulation changes

Proposed changes to the 2017–2019 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis are now available for public feedback and comment. The intent of the changes is to promote the conservation of native fish species and enhance sustainable angling opportunities for recreational fishers.

The proposals include measures such as bait bans, hook restrictions, and changes to fishery opening and closing dates. The opportunity for public comments ends on December 16, 2016. To view a list and descriptions of the proposed regulation changes, go to http://apps.nrs.gov.bc.ca/pub/ahte/.

New advocate for rural health care

A $5 million endowment will establish a new chair at the University of Northern British Columbia to help enhance the delivery of rural health care services throughout the province. Dr. Dave Snadden—the first leader of UBC’s Northern Medical Program in Prince George—has been named as the founding chair, and he will provide academic leadership in rural affairs, establish relevant research, and address rural physician recruitment and retention.

The government will also be providing $350,000 a year over five years to support the development of a distributed provincial network of rural health researchers, and the establishment of a Dean’s Advisory Committee on Rural and Remote Health. The intention is to provide an integrated and innovative strategy to improve health outcomes for rural citizens.

Feedback on health care assistants

The provincial government is seeking public feedback on a proposed new approach to regulating health care assistants, which would see a new registry model established under a newly formed single provincial nursing college.

Health care assistants provide basic nursing care such as personal hygiene, dressing, feeding, and medication assistance to seniors and other adults in a variety of settings, including residential care, assisted living, and in clients’ homes. Some 33,000 health care assistants are registered in the BC Care Aide and Community Health Worker Registry, but concerns about the limited ability of the current registry model to provide oversight of health care assistants have been expressed by the B.C. ombudsperson and the B.C. niors advocate.

The proposed new approach for regulating health care assistants is intended to address these concerns and enhance patient safety. Details about this new regulatory approach are now online, and comments from the public are being accepted until February 7, 2017. To view the intentions paper, and provide feedback, go to www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/practitioner-professional-resources/professional-regulation.

Adoption made easier

The provincial government’s new Adopt BC Kids website offers those looking to adopt children and youth from care to begin their journey online. The government had heard from adoptive parents that the old paper-driven, ministry office-based system was cumbersome and too slow, so Adopt BC Kids has been launched to move the adoption process into the 21st century. The website will allow people to manage their application online and assist adoption workers in more quickly finding the right family match for waiting children.

The website is the first of its kind in Canada, and captures all the foster children available for adoption in one database. Prospective parents can narrow their search using different criteria, such as the age range of children they are interested in adopting or whether or not they can adopt a sibling group. For more information go to www.gov.bc.ca/adoptbckids.