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Poppy

Every year leading up to Remembrance Day, the Royal Canadian Legion runs its poppy campaign.

The Legion Poppy Campaign raises around $2,500,000 per year for services and support in BC for grants for veterans and their families in need. The funds also support;

o Veteran transition programs
o Comforts for Veterans and their spouses who are hospitalized and in need
o Support to Cadet units
o A network of Branch and Command Service Officers across the province
o Donations for disaster relief
o Promotion and administration of Remembrance activities

“Most Canadians have never sacrificed anything for the freedoms we enjoy. It was given to us by those who came before us. It is now our duty to honour our Veterans and never forget the service and sacrifices they made on our behalf. We also remember…the parents who lost children to war, the dads who never came home, the children and teenagers who grew up far too soon,” wrote BC/Yukon Command President Val MacGregor.

Merrittonians will have a chance to honour the men and women who fought and continue to fight for our freedom on Monday at the Cenotaph during a Remembrance Day Ceremony.

 

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Earlier this week the Upper Nicola Indian Band withdrew their appeal of the Trans Mountain Expansion, leaving the Coldwater Band as the only Nicola Valley First Nation still battling the corporation.

In speaking with Chief Lee Spahan throughout the process, his community has been adamant about getting all the proper information regarding their aquifer study.

“What we want is an accurate study that has the full details, all the data and all the information that is needed. They expect to do it in an expedited fashion. I don’t consider that consultation,” said Spahan.

“We're thinking about what is going to be happening for our future generations and what they have to deal with,” concluded Spahan.

Along with the Upper Nicola, two additional Bands have withdrawn their cases leaving four bands, including the Coldwater, fighting in the courts.

 

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RCMP are continuing their search for suspects they say are allegedly responsible for a string of cross-jurisdictional crimes committed in the North Okanagan, Thompson-Nicola, Nicola Valley, and the Central Okanagan.

On November 6, 2019, shortly after 8 p.m., Merritt RCMP front line officers responded to a fraud in progress at a gas station located on Airport Road. Police were told that an unknown male suspect was allegedly inside the store attempting to pass counterfeit U.S. and Canadian currency.

The suspect was associated with a burgundy Dodge Ram D-150 pickup truck. The responding officer encountered the suspect vehicle, which contained multiple occupants as it fled from the business.

“The suspect allegedly accelerated towards the responding officer, and sideswiped his fully marked police vehicle before fleeing the area eastbound, not pursued by police,” says Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey, spokesperson for the BC RCMP Southeast District.

On November 4, 2019, the same suspect vehicle was reportedly used to utter counterfeit currency at a gas station located along the Trans-Canada Highway in Kamloops. Investigative efforts have determined that the licence plate displayed on the burgundy Dodge Ram pickup truck had been stolen from a vehicle out of the Armstrong area. The stolen B.C. licence plate KK2078 remains outstanding at this time.

On November 6, 2019, shortly after 10 p.m., West Kelowna RCMP was alerted to a hit and run collision in the parking lot of a business located along Boucherie Road involving the same suspect vehicle, which was last seen heading towards Kelowna.

“Kelowna RCMP deployed a spike belt on the east end of the William R. Bennett Bridge in an effort to disable the suspect vehicle,” states Cpl. O’Donaghey. “The driver performed an evasive manoeuver, managed to avoid the tire deflation device and drove over the concrete meridian of the highway. A second motorist’s vehicle was struck, as the suspect pulled a u-turn and proceeded back across the bridge span towards West Kelowna.”

The drivers involved in each collision were reportedly uninjured, and police did not pursue the suspect vehicle.

Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey further adds that “If you happen to spot the burgundy Dodge Ram D-150 pickup truck in your community, we caution the public not to approach the suspect vehicle or any of its occupants. RCMP strongly urge the public to immediately call their local police of jurisdiction or 911 emergency.”

 

Merritt RCMP – 250-378-4262

Crimestoppers – 1-800-222-8477

 

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(For part 1 click here)

Under her mantra of ‘Moving Towards Change,’ Mayor Linda Brown hit on the importance of economic development and fiscal responsibility.

“We have made some major movements in economic development. We’re looking at zoning changes, we’re moving towards looking at our official community plan again to ensure what we’ve got connects with what we’re doing,” said Brown.

The Mayor mentioned having struggles with zoning deferring from the OCP and leading to more changes being needed.

“I’m pleased with the work we’ve done so far but we still have a long way to go,” added Brown.

In terms of fiscal responsibility, the Mayor mentioned a change in mindset from all at City Hall.

“We have a new mindset where managers are also participating in that same process. We’re looking for these efficiencies, and they recognize now that if they make these efficiencies it’s not that their budget is going to get pulled, it’s that we are going to make room for something else to enhance their lives and productivity,” said Brown.

“It’s more of a team approach now,” added the Mayor.

As for what the next 12 months will hold, more of the same says Brown.

“More of the constant go, looking at efficiencies and effectiveness. Working together and partnering and getting this City to be a great functioning City, one that is flourishing. We’re not there yet, so there is a lot more work to go,” concluded Brown.

 

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It was one year ago this week that Mayor Linda Brown along with City Council was sworn in.

Brown ran on the slogan ‘Moving Towards Change’ and highlighted a few key areas during her campaign like flooding, fiscal responsibility and making it easier for businesses already here or looking to relocate to Merritt.

“I think I would grade myself and Council really well,” began Brown. “I think we’ve don’t a lot from when we started. We still have a whole more to go, but I think in what we’ve achieved in the past year we can pat ourselves on the back and say we’ve made some changes and movement for the better.”

Flood mitigation was a headline through Brown’s campaign. While City Hall did take a hit in that department by not be approved for a provincial grant, work has been progressing. In October, Council approved City Staff to apply for a $750,000 grant to help with the Voght Street corner project.

“I think it may have been a little bit naive on my part that I could come in and say we’re going to do this, and ‘boom’ it all gets done,” said Brown. “We had some of the plans in place but it’s not that simple.”

“It’s a huge issue, our watershed isn’t just the little old Nicola, it’s huge,” added Brown.

The Mayor wanted to make it easier for business coming to Merritt and after a year Brown is willing to put a check beside that goal.

“We’re not going to stop there. We want to enhance our business community, we still want to not only recruit new ones but retain our current industry and business,” added Brown.

During the summer the entire business licencing process in Merritt was reviewed and thoroughly reworked. The City has also joined three inter-community business licences allowing more flexibility for Merritt entrepreneurs.

 

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