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The Supreme Court of Canada has rejected an appeal from the BC Government to regulate what can flow through the Trans Mountain pipeline.

The Province wanted the ability to require companies to have permits before shipping heavy oil through the pipeline. Under a permit system, the province would be able to withhold them if a company didn’t show efforts to prevent a spill or polices in which to clean up a potential spill.

Following the ruling political leaders from BC weighed in.

"Clearly, we are disappointed by the decision, but this does not reduce our concerns regarding the potential of a catastrophic oil spill on our coast,” said Premier John Horgan. "Our government takes our responsibility to defend the interests of British Columbians seriously. When it comes to protecting our coast, our environment, and our economy, we will continue to do all we can within our jurisdiction."

“John Horgan and the NDP have continued their losing streak with the courts today after the Supreme Court of Canada rejected David Eby’s bogus legal argument,” said MLA Andrew Wilkinson, BC Liberal Leader. “John Horgan knew the federal government held clear jurisdiction over the pipeline but he spent millions of dollars just in political posturing. When will the NDP stop the political games and let British Columbians get to work on a project supported by a majority of people in our province?”

“David Eby must come clean with British Columbians about how many taxpayer dollars he has wasted on this anti-pipeline crusade to date,” concluded Wilkinson. “British Columbians deserve to know how much has been spent and how many hospital beds or units of affordable housing those tax dollars could have funded instead.”

BC’s attempted appeal is in part what led to Kinder Morgan selling the expansion project to the Federal Government.

 

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Raw Logs

Displaced forestry workers can access direct, hands-on supports at job placement co-ordination offices now open in five Interior communities.

Despite Merritt’s struggling forestry sector which has seen the 2016 closure of Tolko and the 2019 shift curtailments at Aspen Planers, Merrittonians who find themselves out of work will need to travel.

These dedicated offices are in 100 Mile House, Fort St. James, Fort St. John, Mackenzie, and Clearwater.

Each office employs a co-ordination officer who is a displaced forestry worker. These co-ordinators understand what clients are experiencing and are trained to assist others in finding new jobs or training opportunities.

Eligible forestry workers will have their needs and goals assessed, before being connected to government programs or services that match them with other jobs, supports or training. This can include education upgrades, special designations, credentials or certifications ranging from trade tickets to driver's licence classifications.

Part of the assessment will look at other factors, such as a worker's willingness to move to where similar job vacancies are available, or hobbies and skills such as carpentry or cooking, wherewith additional help, the worker can participate in different sectors and trades facing labour shortages.

The job placement co-ordination offices have received nearly 100 job-match forms. Outreach to workers is underway.

For office locations or to apply to the job matching program online, visit:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/forestry/supports-for-forestry-workers/forestry-worker-job-placement

 

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city hall

City Council wants to hear from the public.

A town hall style meeting has been scheduled for Monday, February 24, at the Civic Centre.

The town hall format will give Merrittonians an open forum to discuss the issues most important to them.

Councillors and Mayor Linda Brown have mentioned their desire to hear more from the public and the forum should allow both the public and council to see if their priorities aline.

Further details are set to be released closer to the date.

 

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NICOLA BANDS

For months, School District 58 has been working alongside the five local first nation communities to draft a new local education agreement (LEA).

Previously the Bands had separate LEA’s with the district, but now everyone is being brought under one agreement.

“I’ve got positive feedback from most communities, if not all communities now, that they will be prepared to sign it soon,” said Superintendent Steve McNiven.

“We have all five bands coming together to sign one agreement. The agreement outlines a number of important commitments that both the board and communities are willing to take on,” added McNiven.

Last night the School Board approved the LEA in principle. A date for a formal signing of the document has not been set.

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teck

Teck Resources is venturing into the solar game.

The resource giant, which has projects and operations in Canada, the States, Chile, and Peru, has now purchased SunMine from the City of Kimberly.

Teck, who also owns and operates Highland Valley Copper, paid $2 million for the solar electricity generating facility located on their own Sullivan Mine land.

The City of Kimberly opened the 1.05-megawatt facility back in 2015, but with profits not meeting expectations, residents voted to sell during a 2018 referendum.

“Our involvement with SunMine is part of our commitment to taking action on climate change, advancing renewable energy development, and supporting the global transition to a low-carbon economy,” said Don Lindsay, President, and CEO. “SunMine will help us gain firsthand experience with solar power generation as we advance the use of solar power at other operations.”

Since 2011, Teck has implemented projects and initiatives to reduce GHG emissions at its operations by 289,000 tonnes – the equivalent to taking over 88,000 combustion engine cars off the road – and 81% of Teck’s total electricity consumption is from renewable energy sources.

 

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