An abandoned, broken mask sits on Quesnel’s Riverwalk trail near the Fraser River Footbridge. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

An abandoned, broken mask sits on Quesnel’s Riverwalk trail near the Fraser River Footbridge. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Quesnel Year in Review: January

A look back on some of the biggest stories of the year


Dec. 31 (2020): An Quesnel man who was an inmate serving time for murder at Kwìkwèxwelhp Healing Village died on Christmas Day in 2020.

According to a release from Corrections Service Canada, Douglas Cody Terrico had been serving a life sentence for first-degree murder since Oct. 9, 2003.

Jan. 1: The first baby born in Northern Health was delivered in Prince George, to Quesnel parents.

The baby boy, named Kace, was born at the University Hospital of Northern B.C. on Jan. 1 at 4:11 a.m. to mom Jessica Penner and dad Kenneth Wray,

Jan 4: Quesnel RCMP handed out their first fine of the COVID-19 pandemic late into 2019.

Sgt. Richard Weseen confirmed the department handed out a single ticket – a $1,130 fine to a U.S. citizen who was accused of failing to quarantine.

Rules at the time required all people returning or travelling from the US to quarantine for 14 days.

Jan 5: Team Canada, coached by Quesnel resident Mitch Love dropped the gold medal game at the World Junior Hockey Championship to the US by a 2-0 final score.

Love’s silver joined gold medals at the 2020 World Juniors, and previous U17 and U18 tournaments.

Jan 11: After Lindsay Chung left the Quesnel Cariboo Observer in late 2020, Cassidy Dankochik began working as the editor at the newspaper.

Jan. 19: With rising COVID-19 concerns, Nazko First Nation put up a checkpoint and restricted visitors and gatherings in the community.

“We’re making a safe place for our people,” Chief Leah Stump said.

“Not only for our people but our neighbours up and down the valley. We want to ensure their safety in our Nazko traditional caretaker territory.”

Jan 23: The Gold Rush Sled Dog Mail Run was held despite COVID-19. The date was selected in secret to ensure it would follow all public health measures.

No spectators were allowed, and only three teams delivered mail in the run.

Jan. 25: Residents of Dunrovin Park Lodge became some of the first people in Quesnel immunized against COVID-19.

Northern Health nurses gave the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine to nearly 100 people at the senior home, with more clinics held at other assisted living facilities around the region in the weeks following.

READ MORE: Dunrovin residents first to receive vaccine in Quesnel

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Feb. 4: Provincial rules requiring students to wear masks in class to prevent the spread of COVID-19 were expanded.

Students in elementary schools were the only exceptions to the mask order.

Feb. 5: After holding out hope their season could be salvaged, the Quesnel Curling Club shut their doors for the season.

The centre had hoped stricter health rules would relax in time for them to restart their season, but they were extended instead.

Feb. 8: A house on Anderson Drive in West Quesnel was completely burned to the ground. The residents of the home were treated for smoke inhalation, but were otherwise okay.

The house stood on the exact same spot as another fire which took place in Jan. of 1984.

A man was charged with arson in relation to the blaze.

Feb 11: Northern Health earned the tragic distinction of having the highest rate of illicit drug deaths in the province in 2020.

Experts cited rural isolation, stigma a toxic drug supply and inadequate treatment services as causes.

Feb. 12: The district of Wells announced they had detected lead in their water supply.

“We honestly expected some of the historical buildings to have issues, but I did not expect a water main to come up positive as well,” district CAO Donna Forseille said.

The district provided potable water for residents while they investigated and tested further.

Feb. 16: Quesnel’s efforts to host the 2024 B.C. Winter Games appeared to be finished at a council meeting.

Staff revealed they had not secured a key letter of support which would complete their bid, and would not complete it before the deadline for application.

Feb. 20: A local gold miner reported $300K in gold was stolen from his home on the Barkerville Highway.

“They also so lovingly scratched ‘F.U.’ in the TV,” Tim Kleman’s daughter said. “I think maybe it’s a personal matter. They obviously were going there to look for the gold.”

Feb. 23: For the second consecutive year, Billy Barker days was cancelled.

The 2020 Billy Barker Days event was cancelled in early April of 2021.

Feb. 27: The second 2021 Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run took place. Planned as a way to potentially have spectators attend, this run was also made without people watching.

Four teams of dogs and their mushers carried over 2,000 envelopes from Quesnel to the Barkerville post office.

2021 Year in ReviewQuesnel