As of April 1, all sweetened carbonated beverages sold in B.C. will be subject to provincial sales tax. (Photo credit: piqsels)

As of April 1, all sweetened carbonated beverages sold in B.C. will be subject to provincial sales tax. (Photo credit: piqsels)

No joke: tax exemption on most carbonated drinks ends April 1

Plus School District No. 74 is looking for public input on new strategic plan

Scam calls in area

Ashcroft RCMP have received several calls for service about scam phone calls that people in the area are receiving. The people reporting the calls say they are told that there is a warrant out for their arrest. The calls are automated, and it appears that the callers are using local phone numbers.

If you receive a phone call of this nature, please contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

Tax volunteers on the job

The Community Income Tax Volunteers are now accepting paperwork from qualifying people in the Spences Bridge/Ashcroft/Cache Creek/Clinton/Walhachin/Savona area who want help completing their tax returns. The free service runs through early May.

Residents of Ashcroft, Cache Creek, and area can call Dave (weekdays only between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.) at (250) 457-0491 to arrange a drop-off day/time at the Ashcroft and Cache Creek libraries. Clinton and area residents can contact Yvette (250-459-7725; cell 1-250-212-5506; email or John (250-459-2680; cell 1-250-377-5848; email for paperwork drop-off at the Clinton Library, while Savona and area residents can drop their paperwork at the Savona Library during regular branch hours; it will be collected by volunteers.

School district strategic plan

The Board of Education of School District No. 74 is developing a new strategic plan, and is looking for input from the public. Your thoughts about the future of the school district are valuable to the development of this plan, and the board would like to hear from the public on areas such as:

What should the priorities of the school district be?

What would you like to see in district schools?

What could make education better for students in SD74?

There are several ways to share your input. Email; complete the survey at; write to P.O. Box 250, Ashcroft, B.C., V0K 1A0; call 1-855-453-9101; or fax 1-250-984-0772.

Loon Lake Road

From March 9 to 19, Dawson Road Maintenance crews will be working on drainage management at the red bluff on Loon Lake Road. During daylight hours until March 19, traffic will be single-lane alternating through the work zone. Drivers should obey all traffic control signs, personnel, and posted speed limits.

Art Exposed

The Kamloops Arts Council’s Art Exposed regional exhibition is back for its 11th year, from now through March 13 at the Old Courthouse Cultural Centre in Kamloops.

Art Exposed gives community artists an opportunity to share their work, gain exposure, and get valuable feedback from the panel of jurors. There are also awards in a variety of categories, and at last year’s Art Exposed exhibition two local residents were recognized: Guy Lundstrom won the Artists’ Choice award, while Naveah Hedges was awarded the Youth prize.

Members of the public are invited to view the artwork daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Because of COVID-19 safety protocols, no more than four attendees will be admitted at any one time, and the wearing of masks is mandatory. To avoid peak times, visits during the week are recommended. The artwork is also available to view online; go to for more information.

Smoke from burning near 100 Mile

Over the next few weeks, BC Wildfire Service crews are planning to burn piles of woody debris near 100 Mile House. The work is part of fuel and forest pest management projects, and a decision on when to proceed with burning will depend on weather and site conditions. Burns will only be conducted when conditions are suitable, and firefighters will closely monitor the fires at all times.

Burning will take place at Green Lake Provincial Park (south side of lake along Boyd Bay) periodically until Oct. 31, and at the 99 Mile ski trails and Ainsworth Road (both 1.6km south of 100 Mile) periodically until April 2.

For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures, and air quality advisories, go to

Tax change for soft drinks

On April 1, a planned tax change affecting carbonated beverages that was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic will go into effect.

As of that date, the provincial sales tax (PST) exemption for carbonated beverages that contain sugar, natural sweeteners, or artificial sweeteners will be eliminated. It means that starting April 1, retailers will begin charging PST on sweetened carbonated beverages, a move that is supported by health professionals due to the health costs and impacts of sweetened drinks. The PST will also apply to all such beverages that are dispensed through soda fountains and soda guns or similar equipment, along with all carbonated beverages dispensed through vending machines.

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