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Tennis Champs Doubles 2019

Over the weekend the local tennis club crowned their doubles club champions in a thrilling three-set match.

Taking the trophy in comeback fashion was Amrit Ahuja and Tanveer Bansi. The pair stormed back from one set down to defeat Mo Ollek and Jean Belleau, 5-7 6-4 6-4.

*If you’re on a local sports team, send your results and photo to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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nvit logo

Adults in British Columbia will be able to develop stronger reading, writing and math skills in more than 80 local communities with an investment in Community Adult Literacy Programming.

"Our government is investing in programs that break down barriers to empower people to be more active members in their communities," said Melanie Mark, Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training. "We know that it's critically important for people to have literacy and numeracy skills to complete simple daily tasks like cooking, attending medical appointments and applying for work. I applaud these community organizations that are the unsung heroes that open doors and create pathways for all British Columbians."

Mark was joined by literacy partners at Mount Pleasant Neighbourhood House and Shane Simpson, MLA for Vancouver-Hastings, as she announced $2.4 million to be shared among 94 community adult literacy programs that are run by 69 different service providers.

Post-secondary institutions work with community literacy providers to connect adult learners with the skills they need to build a strong future for themselves, their families and their community. These partnerships support improved learning outcomes and encourage people to transition from community programs to post-secondary studies.

Grants of up to $30,000 per program are awarded to community adult literacy organizations to deliver Indigenous, adult, and family literacy programs. 

NVIT will be receiving funding for its Skeetchestn Community Literacy and Numeracy program. The Skeetchestn Indian Band is in the Savona area, north of Merritt.

More than 700,000 British Columbians are estimated to have significant literacy challenges. A staggering 45% of adults in B.C. have some difficulty with daily living tasks due to limited literacy skills.

Also, 52% of adults in B.C. have difficulty in accomplishing some daily living tasks due to limited numeracy skills.

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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Peoples Party of Canada logo

By law, the writ must be dropped by no later than September 15, but as of now, the election has not been officially called. That, however, has not stopped the candidates in Central Okanagan-Similkameen-Nicola from hitting the campaign trail hard.

Voters in the riding will have a full slate of politicians vying for their votes in October. The Greens, NDP, Liberals and People’s Party have all acclaimed candidates in their hopes of unseating Conservative Incumbent Dan Albas.

The newest Party to join the fold is the People’s Party and their local Candidate Allan Duncan. With the campaign starting to hit high-gear, Q101 caught up with Duncan to discuss the early stages of the race to Ottawa.

“We’re meeting lots of people and our network is growing,” began Duncan.

In terms of Merritt, Duncan has been a few times already, including to take in the Pro Rodeo and hopes to come back soon.

“Talked to a few people, and people knew about us so that was good,” said Duncan. “Organize a team of door knockers and meet people and have some more conversations with people. I’m not sure what that date is, but I want to be in Merritt.”

As the new party on the block, Duncan admitted there has to be an education period.

“People have heard of Maxime Bernier, our leader, so they would call it Max’s Party, but our brand People’s Party of Canada isn’t as well connected with him. So, once we connect Maxime Bernier with the People’s Party of Canada, then people clue in. We’re kind of still branding.”

Duncan did mention that those interested in learning more about the People’s Party can visit their website to read their entire platform.

 

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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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Schools

While teachers are headed back to their classrooms this morning for the first full week of the new school year, they do so without a new contract in place.

President of the Nicola Valley Teachers’ Union Peter Vogt spoke with Q101 about the ongoing negotiations.

“The actual mediation process didn’t start until the last eight working days of August. So, there were eight really intensive mediation days, but they couldn’t come to a resolution,” said Vogt. “They will be back at the mediation sessions on September 23.”

The main sticking points in the negotiation for the teachers’ union are class size and composition, the ability to attract and retain educators, and wages.

“Salary is important for us right now because we find ourselves with the lowest starting salary of the western provinces and the 12th lowest starting salary in all of Canada. And we have the 9th lowest top of the salary in Canada. So, our salary is not in line with the other jurisdictions in Canada,” said Vogt.

A higher salary would be an important step in attracting more teachers to BC. Vogt mentioned needing somewhere in the area of 1,500 new educators.

“Even locally we’ve had situations where we haven’t been able to find enough TOCs (teachers on call), we’ve had people come in, take jobs, then leave because they found things more attractive,” added Vogt.

Vogt, of course, could not comment on the exact conversations at the table or if job actions could be taken but would say the union always consider all of its options.

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TMEP Training

Last week, Trans Mountain was in Merritt with their emergency response team to conduct a pair of exercises, one on the Nicola River, the other on Nicola Lake.

The purpose of the exercises was to test new response equipment, practice Trans Mountain’s Emergency Response Plan, confirm viable spill control points and refresh personnel on the water-based spill response tactics.

“Our goal is to operate, manage and protect the pipeline system so that our emergency response plans are never used while being fully prepared for any type of incident,” says Kelly Malinoski, Trans Mountain’s Director of Emergency Management. “In-the-field training helps to ensure an efficient response in the unlikely event of an incident, and allows us to train together with agencies, first responders and Indigenous communities to ensure that we are fully prepared to respond in a timely and effective manner.”

After the first day on Nicola River, Q101 caught up with Brian Jahnke, Operations Manager with Trans Mountain for the Kamloops Region.

“We’re constantly looking for opportunities for efficiency and new technology that is going to help us in the event we have to respond. So, today was just that, we had our traditional boom as well as a new style of boom that is rapid response, requiring less manpower,” said Jahnke.

Along with the big team from Trans Mountain, some local organizations and groups were involved in the exercise.

“We’re trying to build relationships and enhance our emergency management program. Whether it’s Indigenous communities, Merritt Fire Rescue, all those bodies could be called upon should we have an incident. So, having those relationships is important,” concluded Jahnke.

The team completes in the neighbourhood of 20 training exercises every year up and down the pipeline route.

 

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