A new app will help track moose throughout the province.

Local news briefs: Sign up for Terry Fox Run

Plus a law advocate comes to Ashcroft; a high-tech way to track moose; and an online database of Chinese Canadian artifacts.

  • Aug. 30, 2016 8:00 a.m.

Law advocate in Ashcroft

A poverty law advocate from Kamloops will be visiting the Elizabeth Fry Society office on Wednesday, September 7 from noon to 2 p.m. He can provide free legal information, advice, and representation with benefit, application, and appeal issues under the supervision of a lawyer; he can also offer information on income assistance, CPP, employment, residential tenancy, and debt. Anyone who would like to meet him is encouraged to come down to the E. Fry office (601 Bancroft Street) on the 7th, or call the office at (250) 453-9656 for more information.

Terry Fox run coming soon

The annual Terry Fox Run in Ashcroft will be taking place on Sunday, September 18, and registration/pledge forms are now available at various locations, including Friendship Auto, Irly Bird, and Interior Savings Credit Union in Ashcroft and the Jade Shop in Cache Creek. There is no registration fee, and participants can run, walk, or bike their choice of a five or 10 kilometre route that starts at the Heritage Park gazebo on Railway Avenue. Registration on the day starts at 8 a.m., and the run starts at 9 a.m.

High tech moose management

A new interactive tool is allowing British Columbians to help wildlife biologists monitor moose populations and inform conservation efforts. The B.C. Moose Tracker app, available through iTunes, lets users upload information on the number, sex, and location of moose they encounter in the wild. The information goes directly to an online database, and will help the province monitor moose populations by alerting staff to emerging issues. The app also includes a digital version of the 2016–2018 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis, a searchable, interactive summary of hunting regulations throughout British Columbia.

The app supports the province’s ongoing efforts to strengthen its moose management strategy through the modernization of licensing, inventory, and research methods. Ross Peck, chair of the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation, says that “Hunters hold a tremendous amount of knowledge about what’s happening out in the landscape. They have long supported—and participated in—important conservation initiatives, and this app provides a new means for them to contribute to the sustainable management of wildlife in B.C.”

The app can be downloaded at gov.bc.ca/wildlifehealth/moosetracker.

Support services for adoptive parents

The Adoptive Families Association of B.C. (AFABC) has a new adoption support coordinator for the Interior region. Sarah Gibson brings several years of experience with adoption to the position, including being an adoptive parent herself.

Adoption support coordinators bring a variety of family supports to local communities, including one-on-one support, information sessions, workshops, support groups, and family events for adoptive families, waiting adoptive parents, and people considering adoption. “The ability to provide adoption support that is sensitive to the needs of kids and families at the community level is important, to ensure families stay strong as they grow together,” says Gibson. Families who would like more information can contact Gibson at sgibson@bcadoption.com, or call (778) 789-5713 to discuss program services they would like to see in their area.

Grant for families expands

The British Columbia Training and Education Savings Grant is now entering its second year, and is expanding to include children born in 2006 (it was previously limited to children born in 2007 or later). The $1,200 grant helps parents, guardians, and grandparents kick-start savings for their children’s post-secondary education. Applying for the grant takes three steps: applying for a Social Insurance Number for the eligible child; opening a Registered Education Savings Plan at a participating financial institution; and applying for the grant. All children must be residents of British Columbia, along with a parent or guardian. For more information go to www.gov.bc.ca/BCTESG.

Online database of Chinese artifacts

The province’s first-ever computerized inventory of Chinese historical records and artifacts is now complete, giving easy access to anyone interested in learning more about the rich cultural history of Chinese Canadians in B.C. The Chinese Canadian Artifacts Project (CCAP) contains more than 6,000 culturally significant articles from 16 museums throughout the province. The artifacts include Chinese coins, scrolls, photographs, and historic texts, and the Lytton Museum and the Yale and District Historical Society are among the project’s partners.

The online database was compiled by researchers at the University of Victoria, and features items that are scattered through museums large and small around the province. The database is accessible to anyone, and Ed Coleman, chief executive officer of Barkerville Historic Town, feels it is an outstanding project. “Barkerville has the largest collection of historic Chinese artifacts and documents in western North America. Putting the items online and providing access promotes research and deepens the understanding about British Columbia and Chinese Canadian history.” Visit the Chinese Canadian Artifacts Project at https://ccap.uvic.ca/.

More access to healthy food

Last month the provincial government announced $1 million towards the successful Farmers’ Market Nutrition Coupon program, which helps lower-income families, seniors, and pregnant women continue to have easier access to healthy foods. Each week, program participants receive $15-worth of coupons that can be used at one of the 63 participating farmers’ markets throughout B.C. The coupons are used like cash to purchase local  fruit, vegetables, meat, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, and herbs.

Along with the coupons, participants are able to access free nutrition and skills-building programs that teach them how to use these foods in their everyday diet. The program is expected to support 10,000 people in 2016, and runs through the end of October.

At member markets the focus is on selling locally grown or processed farm-fresh foods, and vendors must either make, bake, or grow the products they sell. The coupon program is in effect at farmers’ markets in Lytton, Kamloops, and  Merritt; for more information go to www.bcfarmersmarkets.org.

Busy season for learner drivers

Summer is the busiest time of year for teenagers learning how to drive. In August alone, an average of 5,500 B.C. teens get their learner’s licence. Although youth injuries and deaths from car crashes are declining in B.C., on average 32 youth aged 16 to 21 are killed and 6,900 are injured every year. That makes it important for teens to start their driving careers by building strong foundational skills that will make them safe and confident.

Parents can help out in a number of ways. Review the Tuning Up for Drivers guide to brush up on the rules of the road, and work on any of your own bad driving habits to set a good example. Begin driving lessons on roads with minimal traffic, and stay calm and focused on the road. Consider signing your teen up with a professional driving school (and note that an ICBC-approved driver training program could take six months off a new driver’s time in graduated licensing). Practice driving at different times of day in the run-up to the road test, in different weather and road conditions; that way they’ll be prepared for whatever conditions they encounter the day of the test.

Teens can find the redesigned practice knowledge test, video driving tips, and the road signs practice test on icbc.com. The practice knowledge test can also be downloaded from the Apple Store.

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