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Back in March city officials decided to close city hall to the general public and began working remotely as much as possible.

Now as the province looks to begin phase two of the ‘restart BC plan’ on Tuesday, May 19, city hall might not be far behind.

“The management team has been working very hard on this. We started with essential services, moved to core services, and now we’re ready to start bringing staff back,” said CAO Scott Hildebrand.

The official date is subject to change, but Hildebrand said they are currently aiming for Wednesday, May 20.

“In order to do that we need to make sure that our orders of safety equipment, safety supplies, and all our procedures and requirements are in place,” added Hildebrand.

When city hall opens it will be for limited hours at first, and staff is designing a safe way for the public to attend to pay bills and take care of other matters.

“We’re making sure we uncover every stone and make sure we have the right precautions in place for a safe and successful reopening strategy,” concluded Hildebrand.


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- Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

"Today, we are reporting seven new cases, for a total of 2,360 cases in British Columbia.

"There are 397 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, and 1,832 people who tested positive have recovered.

"Of the total COVID-19 cases, 63 individuals are hospitalized, 16 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

"Every health region in British Columbia has patients with COVID-19. Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 874 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,124 in the Fraser Health region, 125 in the Island Health region, 180 in the Interior Health region and 57 in the Northern Health region.

"We are saddened to report one new COVID-19 related death in the Fraser Health region, for a total of 131 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to the family, friends and caregivers of this individual, and to everyone who has lost their loved ones.

"There have been no new long-term care or assisted-living facility outbreaks. In total, 15 facilities and five acute-care units have active cases.

"Public health teams are continuing to provide support for community outbreaks in the poultry sector, at the Mission Institution and with those connected to the Kearl Lake plant in Alberta.

"Every person in our province has been impacted by COVID-19 and the effects have been far reaching. Today, a provincewide survey - called Your story, our future - has been launched to hear about your experiences and actions in the COVID-19 pandemic so far. The survey can be accessed through the BC Centre for Disease Control website:


Dr. Bonnie Henry has provided the latest figures of COVID-19 in BC.

(Previous numbers in brackets)

New Cases – 7

Total Cases – 2,360 (2,353)

Patients in Hospital – 63 (66)

Patients in ICU – 16 (18)

Recovered – 1,832 (1,719)

New Deaths – 1

Totals Deaths – 131 (130)

Health region breakdown;

Vancouver Coastal – 874 (873)

Fraser – 1,124 (1,118)

Island – 125 (125)

Interior – 180 (180)

Northern – 57 (57)

More to come.


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(photo is somewhat dated)

The Merritt RCMP are asking for assistance in locating a missing Merritt Woman.

On May 12th at approximately 9:30 am the Merritt RCMP were made aware of a missing female from the Merritt area.  Lalie Honeywell a resident of Merritt was last seen at the Double D Motel (1502 Nicola Ave, Merritt B.C) in Merritt at approximately 6:00 pm the previous day.  The Merritt RCMP are utilizing RCMP Air Services and Nicola Valley S&R to aid their search efforts. 

Lalie Honeywell is 44 years old, 5'3 tall, weighs 150 lb's has short brown hair and brown eyes.  Missing was last seen wearing jeans, purple shirt and a pair of DC shoes.

If you have any information in relation to the whereabouts of the missing individual please call 911 or the Merritt RCMP (250-378-4262).


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The Nicola Valley Institute of Technology and President Ken Tourand have released a statement regarding the upcoming semester and measures being taken to combat COVID-19;

Nicola Valley Institute of Technology students will have the opportunity to participate in socially distanced classroom spaces and/or virtual environments. President Ken Tourand stated, “the health and safety of our employees and students is the first priority. To support safe and healthy learning and working environments, NVIT has enhanced existing technologies and invested in new technology and training to ensure our faculty and staff have the tools and skills necessary to continue delivering quality Indigenous programming and services.”

NVIT faculty are preparing to teach in hybrid environments and student services is implementing and exploring virtual appointment bookings, tutoring services, and proctoring applications. NVIT is committed to delivering scheduled programming and student supports. This commitment necessitates equipping traditional classrooms with technology for hybrid learning while also ensuring access to support services. Through investment in technologies, learners will have access to the student services team, tutors, Elders, and counselling services. “Ideally, students and employees have the opportunity to engage, as per the official academic schedule, on-line or on-campus”, said Tourand. “I do hope the virtual opportunities encourage those Indigenous Grade-12 graduates across the Province to take advantage of NVIT’s Immediate Entry Bursary.” Indigenous grade 12 graduates who plan to immediately enter NVIT this Fall are eligible for a first-year tuition bursary whether they are studying virtually or at either of the Merritt or Burnaby campuses.

With a commitment to the safety and well-being of employees and students, NVIT continues to build a plan for returning to physical campus spaces. Institute plans for Fall 2020 include consideration for:

  • · Monitoring the health of employees and students with clear policies and procedures related to learner attendance policies and employee sick leave. Online reporting processes for employees and learners will be established.
  • · Use of physical barriers, directional signage and wayfinding to limit social interaction and virus contamination in physical spaces on campuses
  • · Procedures for cleaning and sterilization of “high touch” areas in the workplace throughout the day and availability of hand sanitizer stands at entrances.
  • · NVIT’s Elders’ Council will remain off-campus and provide virtual support. Employees and learners with underlying medical conditions and those over the age of 65 will be encouraged to learn and work in the virtual environment.
  • · Through the investment in technologies and training, NVIT will use on-line learning and support to balance social interaction for learning and development.
  • · Until further notice, NVIT employees will not resume work-related travel.


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The Federal Government has just announced a one-time, tax-free top-up payment for seniors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Seniors receiving old age security will receive a $300 payment. Those receiving guaranteed income supplements will receive $200.

The entire program is estimated to cost $2.5 billion and help support 6.7 million Canadian seniors.

More to come


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