Year In Review: May to July

Forest fuel reduction programs organized by District of Clearwater brought $2.4 million into the community

May

Yellowhead Community Services took over administration and management of the Community Resource Center of the North Thompson. “We are very excited with the outcome of our discussions with YCS, which will bring financial stability and long term sustainability to the center,” said CRC chairperson Ron Hadley.

Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency was making $50,000 available to assist groups and individuals to take part in a federal environmental assessment of the proposed Harper Creek copper, gold and silver mine.

A public meeting discussed the final draft of District of Clearwater’s new official community plan. “If we missed anything, let us know,” said Felice Mazzoni, Focus Corporation consultant.

Forest fuel reduction programs organized by District of Clearwater brought $2.4 million into the community and resulted in 31.4 person-months of employment over the previous two years, corporate administrator Leslie Groulx reported. Domtar accepted 23 B-trains of wood waste but much of the rest was burned, said consultant Wes Bieber.

Dr. Robert Halpenny, CEO of Interior Health, was impressed by the facilities during a visit to Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital. “Kudos to the doctors and all the terrific staff and volunteers, and their commitment to the community,” he said.

Clearwater Times won first place for general excellence in its circulation class from Canadian Community Newspapers Association. It also won first place for best editorial page.

Ron Rotzetter of On Call Towing put on a three-day Wreckmaster seminar, Level 6/7. The seminar covered moving or uprighting of exotic, unusual or loaded vehicles, including end-rolls.

Members of Clearwater’s Wednesday Quilt Group were preparing to ship 12 quilts to Japan for the victims of that country’s earthquake and tsunami.

Flooding was not expected along the North Thompson River at that time but high stream flows could be a problem. TNRD emergency services supervisor Ron Storie advised people to keep children and livestock away from unstable riverbanks.

Clearwater Food Bank held a fundraiser at North Thompson Funeral Home called “The Garage Sale to Die For.” Over $900 was raised for the food bank and Hospice Society to share.

About 50 people attended Dr. Helmcken Memorial Hospital Auxiliary’s second annual Garden Party at Blue Loon Grill. About 34 members and guests attended the Auxiliary’s agm a few days later at Wells Gray Inn. Gail Capostinsky was chosen president.

Les Musselman received a medal for 30 years of service, Guy Holland for 25 years, and Tom Meland and Mark Salden each received medals for 20 years during a ceremony by Clearwater Volunteer Fire Department.

Home Hardware took first place in the business category during the 2011 May Day parade.

The TNRD board approved spending up to $80,000 in federal gas tax funds to upgrade Blackpool Community Hall. “This money will go to roof replacement, insulation upgrades, an upgrade of the doors to energy efficient units and exterior wall chinking,” said Tim Pennell, director fro Wells Gray Country (Area A).

MLA and Minister of the Environment Terry Lake announced the BC Parks 100 Passport Program while visiting the Wells Gray Infocenter. With the passports kids could collect stickers from 180 participating provincial parks, with prizes for every five stickers collected.

June

Construction of a proposed copper, gold and silver mine at Harper Creek would create up to 500 jobs, an open house hosted by Yellowhead Mining was told. Once the mine became operational, about 400 jobs would be created. The mine would be about 10 km southeast of Clearwater.

TNRD moved towards establishing new fire protection areas in the North Thompson Valley for those that were without fire protection.

About 50 students took part in graduation ceremonies at Clearwater Secondary School. Valedictorians were Jonah Timms and Clara Shipp.

Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure was looking at installing a roundabout at the junction of Highway 5 and the road to Wells Gray Park. “The Ministry’s engineers came to us with the idea,” said Clearwater Mayor John Harwood.

Chief Nathan Matthew and other members of Simpcw First Nation took part in the official opening of a small-scale hydro project on Bone Creek north of Blue River. The run of the river facility generates enough electricity for 4,500 homes, said TransAlta vice-president Hugo Shaw.

District of Clearwater chief administrative officer Isabell Hadford announced she was taking early retirement. The District also welcomed its new director of finance, Sheila Thiessen.

Wells Gray Search and Rescue members spent the night with an Australian man after he was injured falling off a horse. He was airlifted by helicopter the following morning.

Clearwater welcomed its new physician, Dr. Mathilde Stuart. She and her husband Chris came from South Africa.

Federal funding to staff the information desk in the Wells Gray Infocenter fell through. Clearwater Chamber of Commerce decided to dig into its reserves to keep the desk operational through the summer.

Payroll expenses for District of Clearwater exceeded $1 million, according to the municipality’s Statement of Financial Information. Mayor John Harwood was paid about $14,000 in remuneration during 2010 plus was reimbursed fro $1,900 in expenses.

Vavenby sheep rancher Ian Moilliet published a book titled A Shepherd’s Heart. He wrote it on little scraps of paper over a period of many years.

July

Clara Shipp was named top senior all-round student during Clearwater Secondary School’s award ceremony. She was one of just six students to have been on the Honor Roll for all five years they were at CSS.

SFU student Samantha Charlton was conducting research into non-timber forest resources with Wells Gray Community Forest and Simpcw First Nation.

Clearwater Post Office resumed full service. The local operation had remained open during a work disruption at Canada Post (different union) but had not accepted mail.

About 400 members of the Society for Creative Anachronisms took part in the fourth annual medieval tournament at Trophy Mountain Buffalo Ranch. The event included demonstrations of traditional crafts as well as mock combat.

Local residents Cheryl Thomas, Carol Fraser and Cindy Wilgosh walked 10 km along Highway 5 as they took part in the fourth annual Walk4Justice. The 4,700 km trek from Vancouver to Ottawa sought to raise awareness about murdered and missing Indigenous women.

Concern abut preventing possible future damage to the environment led Clearwater ATV Club to invite resource compliance technologist Lisa Hudema and conservation officer Mitch Kendall to make a public presentation on the topic. “I counted 55 people there,” said club president John Marlow. “We were very pleased with the turnout.”

Only one comment was received by the provincial Environmental Assessment Office during a 30-day comment period regarding a proposed copper-gold-silver mine at Harper Creek near Vavenby. The first of six concerns from the anonymous comment writer was the proximity of the proposed mine to know uranium deposits.

A semi-trailer carrying acid that rolled onto its side blocked Highway 5 near Raft River Bridge. Two occupants of a van involved in the crash were taken to hospital. Traffic was diverted at Little Fort and Valemount for about 15 hours.

Seven representatives of Mitsui Mining visited Clearwater to familiarize themselves with Imperial Metals’ Ruddock Creek lead-zinc property near Tum Tum Lake.

Communities from Kamloops to Mount Robson should be involved in tourism plan for what he called the “Yellowhead Corridor,” said Blue River heli-ski operator Mike Wiegele. “The North Thompson Valley ahs been left sleeping,” he said. “We have to wake it up.”

Simpcw First Nation declined an invitation to participate in the raising of a Haida totem pole in Jasper because of the lack of respect shown by Parks Canada and the federal government. The band said it had made repeated attempts to engage Parks Canada in consultations regarding Secwepemc Aboriginal title and rights in Jasper National Park.