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New funding is being invested in thousands of youth, women and under-represented groups to get the training and support they need for apprenticeships and employment in the skilled trades.

At Sir Charles Tupper Secondary school, Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training, announced that $12.4 million will support seven new programs to help 2,036 women and other under-represented groups access opportunities for pre-apprenticeship training, apprenticeship services, and employment.

Additionally, an estimated 1,300 secondary students throughout B.C. will benefit from access to trades training, with $1.37 million to fund Industry Training Authority (ITA) Youth Work in Trades programs at 51 school districts and several independent schools.

Funding for the Youth Work in Trades programs comes from the ITA's annual youth budget. It is a dual credit program for students in grades 10-12 that allows them to earn credits towards high school graduation and begin the paid work-based training component of an apprenticeship.

"Access to the Youth Work in Trades program gives students a head start on training for a good career by providing real-world experience and high school credits," said Rob Fleming, Minister of Education. "Together with the ITA and school districts across the province, we are ensuring that students have better opportunities to transition into the workforce."

Locally School District 58 Nicola-Similkameen is one of 51 schools receiving a share of $1.37 million for the 2019-20 school year. SD 58 is being granted $20,000.

 

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Pine St Apts

Every weekend Q101 will revisit the most talked-about stories of the week in Merritt and bring them to you all in one place. As well as my favourite story of the week.

This week Merritt was buzzing about the rezoning of 1330 Pine Street, a record-breaking quarter for the Baillie House, and changes to the vaping regulations in BC. 

Pine Street Rezoning Proceeds

During a nearly one-hour public hearing, various groups and individuals spoke to their concerns surrounding the property, most of which revolved around the flood plain.

Apart from the developer’s agent, no member of the public in attendance spoke in support of the change.

Full Story

Record-Breaking Quarter for Baillie House Visitors

For a second consecutive quarter, the Baillie House is reporting record-breaking numbers.

Full Story

Big Changes to Vaping Announced by BC NDP

To further deter harmful behaviour, the government intends to introduce legislation later this month to increase the provincial sales tax (PST) rate applied to vape products from 7% to 20%...

Full Story

My favourite story this week was about work being done on mental health.

School District Receives Mental Health Funding

School District 58 Nicola-Similkameen has received funding to continue its work in the area of mental health.

Full Story

 

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TMEP Pipe2

On November 4, 2019, Upper Nicola Band and Trans Mountain reached an agreement related to the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. This is a significant step forward in establishing a relationship with a strong foundation for addressing environmental, archaeological and cultural heritage concerns that Upper Nicola has about the Expansion Project.

The Agreement provides resourcing to support Upper Nicola being more actively involved in emergency response and monitoring through the life of the Project. The Agreement supports the Parties to work together to avoid and mitigate impacts of the Expansion Project on Upper Nicola Interests and stewardship responsibilities within their Area of Responsibility.

It also supports community members to take advantage of employment and contracting opportunities and benefits.

“UNB negotiating came up with the best deal possible under the circumstances presented. The bottom line is that the Consultation process needs to change” said Chief Harvey McLeod of the Upper Nicola Band. “We look forward to working with Trans Mountain to implement this Agreement honourably and in good faith. We still have several significant issues that must be addressed directly with Canada. We continue to hold Canada to a consent-based approach consistent with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Canada still has a lot of work to do to recognize and respect Syilx title and rights, including our governance rights, and engage in consent-based dialogue with Upper Nicola and with our Nation”.

With Upper Nicola agreeing with the Corporation it leaves the Coldwater Band as the only remaining Nicola Valley First Nation still contesting the pipeline in court.

 

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city merritt council

Earlier this week, Merritt City Council approved a recommendation to apply for $50,000 through the community wellness and harm reduction grant.

Director of Corporate Services Sean Smith outlined the idea.

“It would support various community wellness and harm reduction initiatives in the City,” said Smith. “Primarily, it would be looking at a needle reduction program and cleanup, setting up sharps containers. It would support having a cleaner downtown.”

For Coun. Mike Bhangu, he saw the grant as a first step to tackling the ongoing issue in the community.

“Hard drugs are taking a toll on this community. This grant is a move in the right direction but more must be done,” said Bhangu. “The hard drug problem and the crime related to it is on my radar and it’s also on the radar of every other elected official in this community and we will do something.”

“This is the first step, we organize, brainstorm and find out who in the community can help and how they can help,” added Bhangu.

The grant, if received, is 100 per cent grant funding. Meaning zero local dollars will be used to run the program.

 

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RCMP logo w Bldg and logo

The Community Policing Office (CPO) along with the RCMP Detachment is reminding residents to remove all valuables from vehicles.

“It seems to move around the city, so is not localized to one area,” wrote CPO Coordinator Marlene Jones.

In some cases, vehicle windows are being smashed for even a small amount of change or another item that the owner may not have realized was visible.

“We encourage people to take a moment to clean out your vehicle of any item that may not be required,” added Jones.

Some of the targeted items include shopping bags, tools, spare change, electronics, and briefcases.

“This is a problem in many communities, but we can make a difference if we remove all valuables from sight,” concluded Jones.

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