During the 2017 Elephant Hill Wildfire the Fire Hall in Loon Lake was lost. While fundraising to build a new hall has been progressing nicely with money being donated from various sources including the TNRD, there was still some red tap to cut through.
Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart spoke to a bill she’s brought to the legislature floor.
“We also have another bill on the floor, it’s to amend the park at Loon Lake to allow for the Loon Lake Volunteer Fire Hall to be rebuilt,” said Tegart.
During preliminary talks with the Minister it was taught this bill would not hit the floor until the fall.
“Based on my sense of urgency and his response we’ve been able to get the bill on the floor last week, and I believe it will be passed this week, so we don’t miss this opportunity this summer to put some shovels in the ground,” said Tegart.
MLA Tegart also spoke to a concern she raised with during the housing estimates. Tegart was worried about the services that accompany supportive housing.
“They really need to ensure that those wrap-around services have the capacity to serve the people that will be going into those facilities,” said Tegart. “We may have a list of local services but whether they have room on their client list to provide the support that is needed is critically important.”
“The communities are saying we don’t want to turn housing away, we believe people need housing, but we also don’t want to put people into a situation where they don’t have the supports,” said Tegart.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt
Merritt RCMP have confirmed that a Vancouver Island man was arrested for assault with a weapon and mischief to property.
On May 12th, 2019 the Merritt Detachment received a call of a disturbance on Hwy 5 when an elderly man was seen trying to flag down traffic and appeared to be injured.
Members attended and the investigation revealed that a male suspect and his spouse were travelling from Alberta back to Vancouver Island when they got into a fight forcing the woman to pull over on the highway. Their vehicle was being followed by the male suspects 91-year-old grandfather. The grandfather attempted to intervene in the dispute and was allegedly also assaulted by the suspect. The suspect then obtained a pair of pliers and began to damage his grandfathers 68 Mustang.
The accused has a violent history and police are attempting to have him held in custody. He will make an appearance this week in Kamloops.
Mounties have also confirmed how a police car ended up with a smashed hood on Friday. A member of the Central Interior Traffic Services Unit was travelling west bound and going to stop a semi unit for speeding.
The semi truck pulled up to the 97C intersection with the police car behind it. At this point the driver of the semi truck realized he was in the wrong lane, placed the truck in reverse and backed up onto the hood of the police car causing extensive damage to the vehicle.
No one with injured in the incident and the truck driver was issued a violation ticket for driving without due care and attention.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt
Currently the BC NDP Government is looking at changing the Employment Standards in the Province. One of the key changes gathering steam in the public is the change to the working age, raising it to 16-yearsold.
Q101 spoke with Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart to get her opinion on the proposed changes.
“We are certainly hearing a lot from those out in the community around the fact that the Government thinks that they know what the best age for a kid to go to work is and that they think it’s 16,” said Tegart.
Tegart also mentioned that parents and not the government know when it’s best for their kids to start working.
“I think about mowing lawns at a golf course, I think about people pumping gas, I think about the experience of working in a kitchen at a restaurant picking up dishes. I think that every parent knows their child and the fact that a kid can’t go out at age 13 and make some money to buy a bike because the government has made rules. I think it’s a little heavy handed,” said Tegart.
“Kids that go to work at age 14 often pick up a great work ethic, they understand what it’s like to get up in the morning to go to work, they understand the value of a paycheck, they understand being part of a team. So, I really question whether this amendment to the Employment Standards is a bit far reaching,” said Tegart.
“I think the Government needs to get out of the way,” said Tegart. “Yes, there are situations where kids shouldn’t be working in dangerous situations. But I also think we need to consider the fact that we have teachable moments with young people. To think that they can’t go to a daily job before the age of 16, I think about my kids and they worked much younger of that.”
It should be noted that children will be permitted to conduct ‘light work’ at the age of 14, but what exactly defines ‘light’ has not yet been decided.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt
Bowen Island Growers will be making a presentation to council tonight (May 14th). The company that began back in 2013 as a research project has grown into a full research and development company.
The cannabis producers plan for the Merritt area includes mention of two separate properties.
“They’ve just expressed interest in our region generally and want to present to Council and I think get a little bit of a feel for their interest,” said Director of corporate Services Sean Smith.
A portion of their presentation refers to building stratified warehouse units for micro cultivation, production and nursery sites.
“Council has shown to be very development friendly here and that is a welcome thing in this particular industry, where in some communities there has been a lot of roadblocks that have been placed,” said Smith. “No surprise from our end and at the very least it’s exciting to see the interest.”
“Our location I think makes it ideal for a lot of these businesses,” added CAO Scott Hildebrand.
Further details will be available on Wednesday (May 15th) following their presentation to City Council.
Tonight’s Council Meeting begins at 7pm in the Council Chambers at City Hall. As always, the public is encouraged to attend the meeting.
On Twitter: @Q101Merritt
Over one-hundred area residents took full advantage of the TNRD’s annual Household Hazardous Waste Round-up in Merritt on Saturday.
The annual event enabled residents to drop-off household waste that displayed the poisonous, ignitable, corrosive or toxic symbols.
Graham Castleman, a TNRD Environmental Technician explained why it is important to dispose of this material safely at disposal sites.
“When you put these substances into the environment, first of all it affects the soil and then the groundwater,” Castleman said. “Then it effects stream run-off and then it will get into the food chain so it’s a vicious circle.”
Items considered household hazardous waste include gasoline, used oil, paint and paint thinner, pesticides and more. He noted that hazardous waste roundups such as the one held on Saturday also make people aware of the dangers of these items to the environment.
Castleman also announced the TNRD is introducing a new program when area residents can drop off freon filled appliances to the Lower Nicola Eco-Depot free of charge. These items such as refrigerators and air-conditioners once carried a $15 disposal fee.
For more information on this program visit their website at www.TNRD.ca