Gold Panning Showdown winner Laurey-Anne Roobenburg holds up her trophy following the event. (Observer file photo)

Year in Review 2019: April

The Quesnel Cariboo Observer looks back at some of the April 2019 stories

• The provincial government announced that it has approved a new road that will provide an emergency exit route to Highway 16 for residents of the Lhoosk’uz Dene (Kluskus) Nation settlement and people in the surrounding area. The road will allow for residents living west of the Blackwater River to evacuate to Quesnel or Vanderhoof in the event of an emergency.

• Students and staff members created a touching memorial tribute to beloved Correlieu Secondary School vice-principal Brian Cullinane under his office window, filling the space with balloons, flowers and messages thanking him for everything he did for them. Cullinane passed away suddenly over spring break, and Correlieu held a school-wide assembly to honour Cullinane the day students and staff returned after the break. Staff also set up a room at the school for students who needed comfort and support.

• Fraser River won its third Forestry Hockey League Lumber Cup in dramatic fashion, earning a 6-5 victory over Serenity in overtime.

• Two hundred and thirty-five roping teams competed at the 2019 Quesnel Team Roping Club Finals at Alex Fraser Park, winning more than $7,000 in prize money, as well as rifles, saddles, knives, blankets and buckles.

• The Quesnel Community Foundation presented $80,4000 in grants to 12 community groups. The Pet Safe Coalition Society of Canada received the foundation’s largest-ever donation, $20,000 for an office trailer.

• The Correlieu Players presented their 62nd annual musical revue April 10-13. New Broadway featured hit songs from the latest Broadway musicals, including Rent, Hamilton and The Greatest Showman.

• The Cariboo Regional District hosted an open house in Kersley to explain the Alternate Approval Process being proposed to borrow money to buy a new fire engine for the Kersley Volunteer Fire Department. The new engine will cost approximately $400,000, and the fire department has $150,000 available in capital reserves to contribute to the purchase. If adopted, the new bylaw would authorize the regional district to borrow up to $400,00 over 10 years.

• ?Esdilagh First Nation council members took it upon themselves to lead the charge against drug use in ?Esdilagh. They have a zero-tolerance policy in place for drug and alcohol use, and all council members took a voluntary drug screening, which came back clean.

• An external review of the Barlow Creek Fire Protection service budgets for 2016 and 2017 showed that while the expenses were typical expenses for a fire department, the purchases were not consistent with the budget outlined. The review by PMT Chartered Professional Accountants LLP was consistent with the findings of CRD staff and indicated “the expenses in the 2016 and 2017 budgets were typical expenses for operating a fire department, but purchases were made in higher quantities and on a more accelerated timeline than the budget outlined.”

• Hundreds of people turned out for the South Mountain Caribou Public Engagement Session April 11, with people spilling out of the main hall of the Quesnel and District Seniors’ Centre and into the front foyer. The meeting was meant to present information about and gather feedback on two draft agreements that have been developed under Section 11 of the federal Species at Risk Act. A common theme throughout the evening was concern that this engagement process was taking place now and not back when the caribou were first determined to be at risk, and many people expressed frustration that they felt the provincial and federal governments were coming to tell them what is going to happen, as opposed to asking for feedback.

• Adventure Charters and Rentals received final approval to provide passenger bus service from the Interior to the Lower Mainland, with plans to offer the first rides at the beginning of May.

• The Quesnel Community Autism Committee hosted an autism awareness gathering April 14 at LeBourdais Park, which featured a beat-boxing session, a group dance, a short march, cake, fireworks, toys and activities, and a chance for youth to share their “news and kudos.”

• Quesnel Acting Mayor Laurey-Anne Roodenburg won the Gold Panning Showdown at the eighth annual Quesnel Gold Show, earning herself a cape and crown after finishing first in the field of 11 panners.

• Premier John Horgan and Health Minister Adrian Dix were in Quesnel in April to announce that the business plan for a new emergency department and intensive care unit (ICU) at G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital has been approved. Once the project is complete, the emergency department and ICU will be approximately three times larger and will share the same space.

• Quesnel hosted its first pickleball clinic April 17, with more than 40 players learning the fundamentals of the game with the help of Brooke Siver and his wife, Elya Postma. River is the owner of Manta World Sport, a pickelball equipment manufacture in Kamloops, and he was invited by the newly-formed Quesnel Pickleball Club to give lessons.

• ?Esdilagh First Nation received nearly $215,000 under the Special Circumstances provision of the B.C. Rural Dividend to develop and maintain a 30-kilometre network of nature trails, as well as design and build a 10-kilometre demonstration trail in the community. Members will be trained to build and maintain the trail.

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Cariboo Regional District Area B Director Barb Bachmeier speaks during the caribou recovery engagement session, held April 11 at the Quesnel and District Seniors’ Centre. Hundreds of people turned out for the meeting, which was standing-room-only and spilled out into the front hallway. (Observer file photo)

Brooke Siver goes over proper grip with beginner Kordula Thompson during the Quesnel Pickleball Club’s first pickleball workshop. (Observer file photo)

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