Grants support a greener B.C.
The B.C. Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program has given grants to several area towns in recognition of their commitment to support a healthier, more sustainable community. The grant is provided to communities that have signed the Climate Action Charter to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Ashcroft has received $7,321; Cache Creek $4,152; Clinton $3,084; and Lytton $694. “Small adjustments can bring about significant change,” says Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart. “When our local governments influence 40 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in our province, every community’s efforts count. Each of these communities deserves to be commended for their commitment to a sustainable future.”
New digital mammography van in town
The BC Cancer Agency’s digital mammography van was in Ashcroft on August 19–20, providing free breast screening for more than 50 residents. The service is provided one or two times per year, but this visit marked the first appearance of the agency’s new digital screening van, which has been on the road since February. Members of the Ashcroft and District Health Care Auxiliary play a crucial role in the clinic by staffing the van when it arrives and handling the administrative work.
The new digital mammography van, with screening mammography technologist Katie Rivard. Photo by Barbara Roden
Film spending up in region
The Thompson-Nicola region is seeing a steady 2016 in terms of film and TV production, with spending up from last year and above average historically, says Victoria Weller, commissioner of the Thompson-Nicola Regional Film Commission. She notes that while television productions drive much of the industry on the coast, the strength of the TNRD is feature films.
This year two movies drove much of the work in the region: Power Rangers and Maze Runner: The Death Cure, the third film in the popular series. Production on the film’s set near Cache Creek had to be cut short when star Dylan O’Brien was injured during filming. The movie’s release has now been pushed back to 2018.
Collector program to include muscle cars
Eligible modified cars made between 1958 and 1974—which includes the popular muscle car era of the 1960s—will be eligible to be part of ICBC’s collector plate program starting in 2017. The plates cost less than regular licence plates, and allow owners of eligible vehicles to drive their cars in or to parades and car shows.
The current collector plates require that a vehicle have a stock engine with no performance enhancements, but the new regulation means that eligible modified vehicles, such as muscle cars, will qualify for the plates. The collector car industry is a significant one in the province, with registered collector vehicles having doubled to more than 26,000 over the last 10 years.
Low Fraser sockeye run
A lower than anticipated sockeye salmon return on the Fraser River means that there will be no commercial or recreational sockeye fisheries on the Fraser this year. Only aboriginal fisheries will be allowed. The Pacific Salmon Commission has downgraded this year’s summer run to an estimated 700,000 fish, which is below forecast for what was already expected to be a low-return year.
A pre-season forecast had pegged this year’s run at an estimated 1.67 million fish. A general decline in sockeye runs has been recorded since 1990, with this year’s run affected by a warm area in the North Pacific Ocean called “the blob”, which has had an effect on marine food.
Heat wave increases electricity use
BC Hydro says that the recent heat wave across much of the province has seen a significant increase in electricity use, as customers turn on air conditioners and fans to try to keep cool. Use generally spikes in the evenings, when more people are at home, preparing dinner, and trying to cool the house down. People can save electricity—and money—during the high heat by keeping blinds down and curtains closed during the day, to block up to 65 per cent of heat; using a ceiling fan; hanging laundry outside to dry rather than using a clothes dryer; and making use of your barbecue to reduce the use of your oven or stove.
Bugs be gone
Health Canada reminds people that while bug sprays and repellants are a handy way to repel mosquitoes and other pesky insects that bite, those using them should make sure to do so carefully. Tips include making sure the repellant you use has been approved by Health Canada (look for a Pest Control Product registration number on the label); following all directions, such as the maximum number of applications allowed per day; only using a small amount, either on exposed skin or on top of clothing; never spraying insect repellant directly into your face; and keeping insect repellant containers out of the reach and sight of children and pets.
Moose tick infestation widespread
An ongoing province-wide study shows that more than 60 per cent of moose surveyed this year exhibited hair loss associated with a potentially deadly tick infestation. A similar study last year showed that 50 per cent of the moose examined showed an infestation of winter ticks, an external parasite found on white-tailed deer, mule deer, bison, and elk, although moose are the ticks’ preferred host. The insects can lead to skin irritation, which causes the moose to rub away its dark winter hair to seek relief, and blood loss.
A severe infestation can cause serious health issues and even death. As with several other insects, such as the mountain pine beetle, the winter tick population has risen recently with warmer conditions. Winter ticks pose no health risk to humans, and the meat of an animal that has been affected is safe to eat.
A moose with a tick infestation has rubbed away much of its winter coat. Photo by Dustin Walsh/BC Government