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city merritt council

On Tuesday, Merritt City Council held a special meeting of council to vote on a pair of potential grant applications and to debate supporting a third by an outside organization.

The first motion was to approve a grant application through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program for the ‘West Merritt Active Transportation Trail’.

Following both Councillor Travis Fehr, and Kurt Christopherson excusing themselves for possible conflicts of interest the motion was approved 4-1, with Melvina White in opposition.

Coun. White felt that the City’s application may affect a similar application being submitted by the Theatre Society. City Staff could not say for a fact whether the two applications would compete and limit the chances of only one passing.

Should the City be approved for the grant, over $600,000 will need to come from the City’s coffers to support the project. It was mentioned however that the City could possibly recoup some, or all, of the money by selling off parcels of land for future residential development.

Council did also approve writing a new letter of support to the Theatre Society in support of their application to the grant stream.

Also, approved by Council was a grant application to a different stream under the same banner to support the Kengard Well Upgrade project.

While the project is still in very early days, a new well could cost upwards of 6-8 million dollars, however, the City is hoping upgrading the current well will be an option. If the current well can be upgraded the costs drop significantly.


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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt

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Councillor Mike Bhangu

A new candidate has joined the race for the provincial seat in Fraser-Nicola.

Merritt City Councillor Mike Bhangu has announced his candidacy for MLA, running as an independent.

Q101 spoke with Bhangu about his reasons for entering the race for provincial office.

“Whichever government it is, I plan to hold their feet to the fire and advocate for the family, the retiree, small business, and those who suffer from mental health concerns,” began Bhangu. “In this day and age, it’s so difficult to establish a family and maintain a family. And for those who have managed to create one, stability is constantly threatened.”

“Too many retirees are struggling and it should not be this way, they gave their lives to the system and they desire better.”

“In my opinion the big parties, they focus too much on helping the big corporations survive and thrive, and too often the little guy is forgotten about.”

Bhangu also addressed the role an independent can play in the legislature.

“Every single elected official has power; they have the power of advocacy. So, if an elected official feels they’re powerless, perhaps they need to look at themselves,” added Bhangu.

“Both these parties, they come, they go, but our hardship continues to grow. A sense of hope is lost and for these reasons, I want to make it to Victoria and hold their feet to the fire,” concluded Bhangu.

Bhangu joins a list of now four confirmed candidates in the riding; Liberal Incumbent Jackie Tegart, Green Jonah Timms, and the NDP’s Aaron Sumexheltza.

Election day is October 24.


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On Twitter: @Q101Merritt


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Orange Shirt Day

Today is orange shirt day across Canada

According to the group;

Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) Residential School (1891-1981) Commemoration Project and Reunion events that took place in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in May 2013. 

The events were designed to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to commit to the ongoing process of reconciliation. 

The annual Orange Shirt Day on September 30th opens the door to a global conversation on all aspects of Residential Schools. It is an opportunity to create meaningful discussions about the effects of Residential Schools and the legacy they have left behind. A discussion all Canadians can tune into and create bridges with each other for reconciliation. A day for survivors to be reaffirmed that they matter, and so do those that have been affected. Every Child Matters, even if they are an adult, from now on. 

Orange shirt day is held on September 30 because it the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools. 

COVID-19 has thrown a wrinkle into the normal ceremonies held by the local first nation communities. 

Upper Nicola will still be doing their walk to remember with some slight changes to comply with COVID-19 protocols. 

Lower Nicola made the choice to limit their ceremony but they will still be handing out orange shirts to the community today.


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Nicola Lake

A good Samaritan is being applauded by Merritt RCMP for jumping into action to help a fellow driver.

“On September 29 at approximately 12:39 p.m the Merritt RCMP received a report that a vehicle had gone off the highway into a lake,” said Cpl. Brock Hedrick.

The incident had occurred along Highway 5A at the Nicola cutoff road.

“The vehicle was witnessed going off the road into the water immediately behind the Nicola Lake dam,” said Hedrick. “A good Samaritan who was following behind the vehicle sprung into action and jumped into the lake, he was able to pull the driver from the vehicle before it sank.”

The driver of the sinking vehicle was transported to the hospital with minor injuries.

“The investigation revealed the collision occurred due to driver inattention. The driver has been charged with Driving without due care & attention under the B.C Motor Vehicle Act,” added Hedrick.

“The Merritt RCMP would like to recognize the good Samaritan for his actions, without his assistance the outcome of this incident would have been drastically different,” concluded Hedrick.


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bc legislature

The Province of British Columbia has formally extended the provincial state of emergency, allowing health and emergency management officials to continue to use extraordinary powers under the Emergency Program Act to support the Province's COVID-19 pandemic response.

The state of emergency is extended through the end of the day on Oct. 13, 2020, to allow staff to continue to take the necessary actions to keep British Columbians safe and manage immediate concerns and COVID-19 outbreaks.

A provincial declaration of a state of emergency allows the Province to implement provincial emergency measures and allows access to assets that may be necessary to prevent, respond to or alleviate the effects of an emergency. This is a temporary measure authorized by the Emergency Program Act.

The extension of the provincial state of emergency is based on recommendations from B.C.'s health and emergency management officials. The original declaration was made on March 18, 2020, the day after Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, declared a public health emergency.

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