Tsilhqot'in Nation withdraws from negotiations for Gibraltar Mine

Posted in Williams Lake News

Tsilhqot'in Nation calls for new approach to government-First Nations partnerships for mines: Tsilhqot'in Nation withdraws from negotiations for Gibraltar Mine

The Tsilhqot'in National Government (TNG), along with ?Esdilagh First Nation, have chosen not to sign an Economic Community Development Agreement (ECDA) with the province of British Columbia for the Gibraltar Mine, located less than one kilometre from ?Esdilagh reserve lands, until the Province fundamentally changes its approach to engagement and benefit-sharing with First Nations on major projects. In the wake of the Tsilhqot'in title decision and the recent Mount Polley Mine disaster, the Provincial status quo for revenue sharing agreements with First Nations is not acceptable.

BCGEU welcomes independent Mount Polley investigation

Posted in Provincial

The BC Government and Service Employees' Union (BCGEU) issued a statement supporting an independent third party investigation into the Mount Polley mine disaster today, and urged the expert panel to consider the impact of staffing cuts on the ministry's ability to provide oversight of industry.

"The BCGEU welcomes an independent third party investigation of the Mount Polley disaster," said BCGEU president Stephanie Smith. "The public and our members need to know that the process will be open, transparent and fair.

"We are also encouraged that the dam safety inspections ordered by government will now require an independent third party review process. Until today, there has been no requirement for an independent review of these industry-created safety reports."

Summer outdoor concert series Performances in the Park hosts final show on August 21

Posted in Williams Lake Events

The final performance in this summer's outdoor concert series on features some of the best young performers from Williams Lake.

Robyn Ferguson and guests, as well as Oren Barter, are returning to the stage once again and are sure to entertain.

Sam Tudor is a songwriter originally from Gavin Lake who has spent the last two years playing his haunting folk songs in Vancouver. After a year in Vancouver that was both performance-intensive and full of genre bending musical projects, Sam is back at home, playing songs from his new album.

Performances in the Park in Williams Lake 2014.

 

Gas line compromise blocks local road access

Posted in Williams Lake News

Fortis BC is at the scene of a significant gas line breach near the intersection of Hodgson Road and Terra Ridge which was detected at about 8:45 this morning.

Maintenance crews have roads blocked, including access from Highway 20 to Terra Ridge and Hodgson Drive to Terra Ridge. Residents of the subdivision in that area can access their homes using Wotzke Drive.

Fortis investigating the cause of a large gas main leak in Williams Lake today.

(Photo: Fortis investigating the cause of a large gas main leak in Williams Lake today.)

Quesnel man in custody for stabbing

Posted in Quesnel News

Quesnel RCMP arrest one in stabbing incident on August 17, 2014A 40 year old Quesnel man remains in custody following a stabbing on Saturday afternoon.

Shortly before noon on Saturday, August 16th, Quesnel RCMP were called to a report of a stabbing in the 200 block of Front Street near the footbridge in Quesnel.

Police attended and located a 21 year old male suffering from a stab wound. Investigation determined that the 21 year old had been fighting with another male who pulled a knife during the altercation. The 21year old victim was transported to Quesnel's G.R. Baker Hospital where he was treated for his stab wound and later released.

A 40 year old Quesnel man has been arrested in connection with this crime. He is facing one count of Assault with a Weapon and is set to make his first formal court later today.

One life lost in rodeo Mountain Race

Posted in Williams Lake News

A very serious crash during the mountain race at the Redstone Rodeo on sent three to hospital.

Eight riders began the race, but a tangle ensued. A young man from the Nicola Valley was critically injured, was transported to the local medical clinic, was put on advanced life support and then flown by helicopter to hospital in 100 Mile House where he was to be transferred to another aircraft before being flown to Kelowna General Hospital.

The young man passed while in 100 Mile House.

He was an experienced mountain race rider and had enjoyed some recent successes in the sport this summer.

The other two males were transported to Cariboo Memorial Hospital by ground with as yet unknown injuries.

One horse was hurt during the incident, as well.  A bystander said they thought the horse may have dislocated a shoulder and that it was put back into place before bringing the horse down the hill.

Two years ago a local man received serious head injuries after a horrific crash at the Nemiah Valley Rodeo.

 

Independent expert engineering review launched following Mount Polley dam breach

Posted in Williams Lake News

Two weeks ago today 10 million cubic meters of water spilled into natural waterways including Quesnel Lake. "This was a large and extremely rare breach, and the government is taking it seriously," said Mines Minister Bill Bennett this morning. "We are taking a leadership role internationally to figure out why it happened and make sure it never happens again," he said of the disaster.

Williams Lake Indian Band and the Soda Creek Indian  Band (Xatsull First Nation) signed a letter of understanding with the  Government of British Columbia to work in partnership to address all  aspects of the breach of the tailings storage facility that occurred  at the Mount Polley Mine on Aug. 4, 2014.  The agreement has five components that will be conducted in  accordance with First Nations traditions and scientific knowledge and  recognizes that the health and safety of the public and workers,  including members of the First Nations, are paramount:  1. A principals table consisting of the Chiefs of the First Nations  and the Ministers of Environment, Aboriginal Relations and  Reconciliation, and Energy and Mines will oversee a government-to- government response. 2. A senior officials committee from the three ministries and  designates for the First Nations will be responsible for overseeing  all of the response activities such as assessing impacts, clean up,  remediation planning and decisions related to the future of Mount  Polley mine. They will also address long-term funding requirements to  respond to all aspects of the Mount Polley Mine incident. 3. $200,000 to each First Nation ($400,000 in total) to cover costs  already incurred and future costs related to the tailings pond  breach. 4. The recognition of the important economic contribution of mining  to British Columbia and the commencement of a dialogue about existing  laws, regulations and policies in relation to the mining sector in  British Columbia. 5. Agreement that the entities responsible pay for all costs and  damages incurred in relation to the Mount Polley Mine Incident in  accordance with applicable legislation.   The provincial government and First Nations have been clear since the  breach occurred that finding out exactly what happened, ensuring this  never happens again and moving quickly on remediation plans to  protect and preserve the environment are top priorities.   Earlier this morning, the provincial government, with the support of  the Williams Lake and Soda Creek Indian Bands, announced an  independent engineering investigation into the tailings pond breach  and steps to ensure all permitted tailings ponds across the province  are safe.    The investigation will be led by a panel of experienced geotechnical  experts who will have the ability to compel evidence and witness  testimony. The Williams Lake and Soda Creek Indian Bands will appoint  a liaison to work with the panel.   The panel will provide recommendations through a final report by Jan.  31, 2015. This report will be provided to government and the Williams  Lake and Soda Creek Indian Bands at the same time and will then be  made public.

(Photo:  Chief Bev Sellars, Soda Creek Indian Band (Xats'ull First Nation); Chief Ann Louie, Williams Lake Indian Band; and John Rustad, Minister of Aboriginal Relations and Reconciliation held a signing ceremony to mark an agreement related to the Mount Polley Mine tailings pond breach simultaneous to the announcement by Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett.)

At this point, there is no indication as to what happened. "I have not spoken with anyone who has a leading theory on what caused this, at this time," Mr. Bennett explained.

The Government of British Columbia, with the support of the Soda Creek Indian Band (Xats'ull First Nation) and Williams Lake Indian Band, has ordered an independent engineering investigation and inquiry into the Mount Polley tailings pond breach, and independent third-party reviews of all 2014 Dam Safety Inspections for every tailings pond at a permitted mine in the province.

Shotgun start for RCMP golf tournament

Posted in Williams Lake Events

More than $12,000 was raised during this year's RCMP Charity Golf Tournament in Williams Lake.

The Williams Lake RCMP choose a different charity as the tournament's recipient each year. This year's beneficiaries are the Williams Lake Judo Club, Shogun Martial Arts and the Williams Lake and District Boys and Girls Club. "The RCMP is very active with the Boys and Girls Club of Williams Lake," explained tournament organizer, Constable Simon Courtoreille when asked how the charities were chosen this time. "My own passion for martial arts why the Williams Lake Judo Club and Shogun Martial Arts were chosen," he said, adding what a great opportunity it was to provide opportunities for their young students.

Williams Lake RCMP raise $12K for local groups during annual golf tournament

(Click to view full photo album of the golf tournament.)

Safety features prevent injuries in head-on collision this morning

Posted in Quesnel News

RCMP logoShortly after 8:00 am on Friday, August 15th, Quesnel RCMP were called to the scene of a three vehicle head on collision on Highway 97 South just south of Kersley Dale Landing Road.

Investigation has determined that a car travelling northbound crossed the centre line into the path of an oncoming pickup truck carrying a camper. The driver of the southbound pickup truck with camper saw the car coming toward him and swerved into the northbound lane in attempts to avoid a collision.

The car collided with the rear of the camper sending the car out of control and into the path of another southbound pickup. The car came to rest in the northbound ditch and the second pickup truck flipped and rolled onto its side.