Adam Kingsmill shows his silver medal from the Beijing Paralympics. (Deb Meissner photo)

Adam Kingsmill shows his silver medal from the Beijing Paralympics. (Deb Meissner photo)

2022 Year in Review: March

Telkwa mayor charged for drugs; airport gets $505K; Alex Cuba nominated for Juno

MARCH

SMITHERS TOPS B.C. MUNICIPALITIES IN EXPLORATION SPENDING

Mineral exploration companies spent more money in 2020 in Smithers than in any other municipality in the province. The town topped the list with an estimated $105.2 million according to the Association for Mineral Exploration’s (AME) report.

Other towns in the Northwest that made the Top 10 were Stewart at number 5 ($30 million), Burns Lake at number 8 ($19.7 million) and Terrace at number 9 ($19 million).

FIGURE SKATING CLUB BRINGS BACK SPRING CARNIVAL ON ICE

With a new head coach on board and provincial capacity restrictions lifted, the Smithers Figure Skating Club brought back its spring Carnival on Ice.

The carnival, which is traditionally the club’s largest fundraiser, had been cancelled last year during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to club organizers the kids were very excited to get back on the ice after a long wait of two years to perform once again to a live audience.

ADAM KINGSMILL MAKES PARALYMPIC DEBUT

Smithers resident Adam Kingsmill made his Paralympic debut representing Canada in men’s paralympic hockey in the Beijing 2022 games. The Canadian men’s team ended up playing for the gold medal against their rivals Team USA.

Although they only came away with the silver medal, Kingsmill said, “It was a really tough final, but we saw how well we could play the tournament and we will take that experience with us going forward.”

FORMER TELKWA MAYOR CHARGED WITH FENTANYL POSSESSION

In March, Brad Layton was charged with fentanyl possession. Charges against the former mayor of Telkwa stemmed from a 2021 traffic stop, during which officers observed suspected drugs and suspected drug paraphernalia in the vehicle. Layton was arrested and later released pending charges.

Layton stepped down as mayor in January, after being absent from council meetings for several months.

SMITHERS AIRPORT RECEIVES $505,000 IN COVID-RELIEF FUNDING

Smithers received $505,000 for the Smithers Regional Airport from the federal government. Airport Manager Rob Blackburn said the money would offset losses in revenue covering salaries and wages and help complete capital projects.

These included: Window blinds, a lawn tractor, a new runway reporting computer, new runway line painting equipment and upgrades to the airport WiFi, video and door locking systems.

TELKWA RECEIVES $87,000 FOR REVITALIZATION

The Village of Telkwa made improvements to pedestrian accessibility and cycling infrastructure in the downtown area. The project was made possible by a grant from the Northern Development Initiative Trust. with the funds, the Village purchased three bicycle racks that hold six bikes each, 10 accessible picinic tables along Riverside Trail, and paving of the unpaved section of the Riverside Trail from Hope Avenue to the Dockrill Rink.

TELKWA COAL SUBMITS ENVIRONMENTAL APPLICATION

Reaching a major milestone, Telkwa Coal announced it had filed its Environmental Assessment Certificate Application to the B.C. Environmental Assessment Office.

“While it is 15 months past our original target date, I cannot stress the enormity of reaching this milestone,” said Mark Grey, Telkwa Coal CEO.

If an environmental certificate is issued, the company will be able to apply for its mine and environmental management permits. The current project schedule estimates having those permits by the second quarter of 2024, followed by a year and a half of mine construction with operations beginning in 2026. The company estimates a 20-year lifespan for the mine.

ALEX CUBA ALBUM NOMINATED FOR JUNO AWARD

Alex Cuba’s album Mendó, which means essence, was nominated for the Juno Award for Global Album of the year. Cuba released the album in 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which he said heavily influenced the project. In his career, Cuba has been nominated for four Grammys and five Latin Grammys, of which he won four.

NEWCREST COMPLETES BUYOUT OF BRUCEJACK MINE

Australian mining giant Newcrest Mining completed its acquisition of Pretivm Resources, the company which had operated the Brucejack gold mine in northwest B.C.

Brucejack Mine began commercial production in 2017 and is one of the highest-grade operating gold mines globally. the acquisition was first announced in November 2021, when Newcrest agreed to buy the shares it did not own in Pretivm for $3.5 billion.

LUKE SMITH WINS A NATIONWIDE AWARD FROM SOBEY’S

Local resident Luke Smith won a Sobey’s national award as an employee of Smithers Safeway for his outstanding dedication and work in the community.

“Sobey’s as a corporation has more than 144,000 employees, so for Luke to be nominated and win, makes all of us very proud,” said Stacy Kucheran, Sobey’s operations director for central B.C.

SALTOS BRING HOME 21 GOLD MEDALS

At the inaugural “Over the Rainbow” regional gymnastics invitational meet, the Smithers Saltos Gymnastics Team won 21 gold medals and honourable mentions went to several athletes who scored 9-plus out of a possible 10 points from both the men’s and women’s teams.

 

Passengers debark from the first scheduled flight to arrive at Smithers Regional Airport since the end of March. (Thom Barker photo)

Passengers debark from the first scheduled flight to arrive at Smithers Regional Airport since the end of March. (Thom Barker photo)

(Deb Meissner photo)

(Deb Meissner photo)

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