Smithers council decided to let people who are experiencing homelessness to stay in Veterans Park. (Thom Barker photo)

Smithers council decided to let people who are experiencing homelessness to stay in Veterans Park. (Thom Barker photo)

2022 Year in Review: May

2022 Year in Review: May

MAY

Town to allow people to camp near Veteran’s Park

The trailer at Veterans Park housing people who were experiencing homelessness over the winter was taken away but the people residing there were allowed to stay.

At an emergency meeting on May 17, town council decided when the trailer was removed, they will allow the residents to continue camping there.

The ATCO trailer that was there was funded through an emergency winter shelter fund and that funding ran out.

Mayor Gladys Atrill said the town does have a requirement to make some space available for people who are not adequately housed. Council agreed that allowing people to camp at Veteran’s Park is not perfect, but was the best solution at the time.

Coastal GasLink receives second fine for erosion control violations

Coastal GasLink was issued its second fine of the year in May for erosion and sediment control issues.

In a press release issued May 9, the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office said the $170,100 administrative penalty is an escalation of enforcement measures following a previous fine of $72,500 (in February), 16 orders and 37 warnings related to erosion control since the project began in 2019.

Telkwa property owners to see a rise in taxes

If you’re a homeowner in Telkwa, you saw an increase in your property tax bill this year.

In passing first, second and third reading of the Telkwa Five-Year Financial Plan (2022-2026) council voted to increase the property tax levy by seven per cent.

In order to do so, the residential tax rate actually decreased from 4.7 to 3.9 due to a significant increase in property tax assessments.

The residential assessment base increased by more than 26 per cent compared to last year.

This means the average residential property owner saw an additional $103 on their tax bill.

Gitxsan artist waiting for public apology for using her design

A Gitxsan artist was left shocked after two Canadian National Lacrosse League teams used a design that was similar to hers without permission on t-shirts.

Michelle Stoney created an intricate hand with feather fingers and a botanical palm two years ago for Orange Shirt Day. The design used on the fundraising lacrosse shirts was strikingly similar.

The Vancouver Warriors posted a photo of a member of their team wearing the shirt with the design on Facebook last week with the designed credited to another person. The Halifax Thunderbirds also started using shirts with the same design.

Stoney said a member of her team contacted both the Warriors and Thunderbirds. The Warriors quickly removed their photo from their Facebook page.

New Hazelton Doctor recognized at a national level

New Hazelton physician Dr. Danielle Pichie was this year’s recipient of the Rural Community Impact Award from the Society of Rural Physcians of Canada.

Toronto Blue Jays grant Witset $150K for ball field

Witset’s women’s/kids’ ball field got $150,000 facelift courtesy of the Toronto Blue Jays.

The Jays Care Foundation announced in the spring that the Witset First Nation was among the recipients of this year’s Field of Dreams grant program. The program was created by the charity arms of Canada’s only major league baseball team to promote youth life-skill development across the country.

Smithers dojo shines at nationals

Martial artists from the Bulkley Valley came back from WKU (World Kickboxing and Karate Union) Nationals in Calgary with some hardware.

Shogun Dojo’s Kiyoshi Marwan Abu Khadra of Smithers had great success on May 6 and 7 with each of his students medalling and qualifying for the World Championships.

In the adult divisions, Darren MacDonald picked up three gold and Taraq Abu Khadra won two gold.

For the youth divisions, Lando Ball won two gold; Scotia Lancaster won three; Justice Lancaster won one gold, one silver and one bronze; Sarafim Dwyer won one gold and Delilah Souter won one gold and one bronze.

DFO closes Skeena watershed to chinook salmon fishing

Sport fishing for chinook salmon is once again closed for the Skeena River watershed, announced Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) on May 24.

The closure includes the rivers and lakes in the Skeena region except for the Kitimat River and the Nass River watersheds.

DFO expects fewer than 22,000 chinook salmon will return to the Skeena this year which is only about one-fifth of the long-term historical average return, said Greg Knox, executive director at SkeenaWild Conservation Trust.

 

Beautiful murals adorn the stands at Witset ball fields. (Deb Meissner photo)

Beautiful murals adorn the stands at Witset ball fields. (Deb Meissner photo)

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