Latest News
Stay up to date with news and alerts for Merritt and the Nicola Valley
The wait for a ruling in a contentious civil trial between the Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club and Douglas Lake Cattle Company could stretch into 2018. 
New evidence has the Nicola Valley Fish and Game Club and Douglas Lake Cattle Company heading back to court, but club director Rick McGowan says its still unclear when that will happen, or whether a final ruling will be handed down in 2017.
"I really don't know. The games lawyers play can get ridiculous. I've been walking this walk for quite a few years, and it seems for four or five months over the summer, and two or three months over Christmas and New Years, lawyers don't do anything."
McGowan is of the belief the new evidence provided by the Nicola Valley Fish and Club following an on-site visit to the Douglas Lake Ranch in May, proves without a doubt that natural water courses flow into Stoney Lake.
Through a counter-claim the club is seeking an order which would declare access roads leading to Minnie and Stoney Lake as public roads, and the fish and fishery public as well.
Pin It
Wildfires scorching an estimated 845,000 hectares in BC so far in 2017. 
That's compared to the record 855,000 hectares of land burned by wildfires in 1958. 
BC Wildfire Service Chief Fire Information Officer Kevin Skrepnek says the province has spent $309-million battling the blazes since the beginning of the wildfire season in April, and costs are bound to go up.
"Given where we are at in the season, that number is certainly going to increase. So, it's safe to say we are on track for the worst fire season on record, in terms of area burnt."
The largest wildfire burning in the province, southwest of Williams Lake, now covers over 212,000 hectares.
Pin It
Min Wage.png
The BC government is planning to increase the minimum wage.
In September, minimum wage in the province will increase by 50 cents to $11.35 an hour.
In addition, Labour Minister Harry Bains says a fair wage commission has been created, and that BC is aiming towards a $15 minimum wage by 2021.
"We've listened to business owners, who have told us gradual, predictable increases are the way to go to minimize the impact on their businesses. And they recognize that the move to a $15 minimum wage is good for retention for their businesses, and good for the BC economy."
Increasing the minimum wage to $15 an hour was a key plank in the BC NDP's election campaign. 
Pin It
highland valley sign.jpg
The future looks bright at the Highland Valley Copper mine.
Untied Steelworkers Union local 7619 President Kyle Wolfe says the mine is expected to be viable until 2040.
"It's fantastic. We're looking at another 23-years of mining out there. The drill core seemingly keeps going, and going, and going."
He also says there could to as many as 600 additional workers at the mine by 2032, in addition to expansion plans.
Last week, workers at the Highland Valley Copper mine ratified a new five-year deal, which runs until September 30th, 2020.
Pin It
MFRD Truck Wildfires.png
Members of the Merritt Fire Rescue Department gaining valuable experience, while aiding other communities threatened by wildfires.
Captain Sky McKeown says Engine 2 and the crew of four it was sent with returned to Merritt Sunday night, after spending the last two weeks battling wildfires near Quesnel, and Clinton.
"It's the kind of experience we are hoping they get once in their lives, and this wraps up, and we don't see wildfires like this again. It's been at least since 2003, since our structural firefighters fought a wildfire like this near Merritt.
McKeown says its not known if the Office of the Fire Commissioner will require additional aid from the Merritt Fire Rescue Department, but with more than 160 fires still burning around the province he says they will be prepared if called upon.
Pin It