Members of Team Wark celebrate winning their first provincial title Feb. 3 at the West Fraser Centre during the 2019 B.C. Women’s Curling Championships and earning a place at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. (Observer file photo)

Year in Review 2019: February

The Quesnel Cariboo Observer looks back at some of the stories that caught our attention in February

• Skip Jim Cotter and his team celebrated wining the 2019 B.C. Men’s Curling Championships, skip Sarah Wark and her team celebrated capturing the 2019 B.C. Women’s Curling Championships, and the community of Quesnel celebrated hosting a major event with great success. The Jan. 29-Feb. 3 event saw the men’s and women’s provincials combined for the first time, and there were 34 sponsors, 14 committee heads and 170 volunteers.

• The City of Quesnel approved its capital budget early in February, with the biggest capital project identified being the replacement of the City’s Public Works facility, at a cost of $10.975 million. The project is being funded by debt and the City’s capital reinvestment reserve. The City’s approved capital budget for 2019 is $29,621,361.

• Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes responded to the Speech from the Throne, which was delivered by Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin Feb. 12 to open the 41st Parliament of the Province of B.C., by expressing concern that rural communities were being left out. “I am concerned the roadmap they’ve laid outs really void of support for rural communities,” she said. “It was very urban-centric in their themes, in what they highlighted.”

• During a presentation to the Cariboo Regional District in Williams Lake, Interior Heath (IH) medical health officer Dr. Kamran Golmohammadi noted that overdose deaths in the region have increased nearly 800 per cent in less than eight years. “IH has the highest rate of overdose deaths per capita after Vancouver Coastal Health, and we are hoping with the health of communities and stakeholders, we can make an impact and some progress on this front,” he said, adding that the majority of these overdoses are related to fentanyl.

• The College of New Caledonia announced that Tim Lofstrom, who was principal of Bouchie Lake Elementary School at the time, would begin his new position as the college’s regional principal in Quesnel at the end of February.

• Long Table Grocery was named one of the top five finalists in the Best Community Impact category of the 2019 Small Business B.C. Awards. This category recognizes socially responsible organizations that are making a positive difference int heir communities. Long Table Grocery would go on to win the award Feb. 21 at a gala event in Vancouver.

• Island Mountain Arts announced that it would be collaborating with the Quesnel, Prince George and Williams Lake Pride associations to present the 2019 ArtsWells Rainbow Parade to open the 2019 festival in Wells.

• The Quesnel Maker Space hosted its first Maker Monday workshop Feb. 25 at the Quesnel and District Antique Machinery Park. “A maker space is a bit of a community workshop,” explained Greg Webster, president and founder of the Quesnel Maker Space Society. “It basically allows the workshop to have tools that people wouldn’t normally have at home such as a 3D printer.”

• The Quesnel Kangaroos beat the Williams Lake Stampeders 6-4 at home to win the first round of the Central Interior Hockey League (CIHL) playoffs. The Roos, who won the regular season championship, won the first two games of the best-of-three series to advance to Round 2.

• Quesnel City Council agreed to return the land at Ceal Tingley Park to the Lhtako Dené Nation for the proposed Lhtako Dené Indigenous Cultural Centre project. The Lhtako Dené Nation has submitted an application for an Invest in Canada Infrastructure grant, which provides 100 per cent funding for Indigenous, off-reserve projects like the Cultural Centre, and the transfer of land ownership will occur once the funding is in place for the project.

• Quesnel biathlete Ryan Elden won two medals for B.C. at the Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alta. Elden claimed gold in the 10-kilometre pursuit competition and also won a bronze medal in the 3×7.35km relay.

• Quesnel council recommended to the Liquor and Cannabis Regulation Branch (LCRB) that Non-Medical Cannabis Retail Store Licences be issued to 1412 Holdings Ltd. at 308 McLean St. and to the Liquor Distribution Branch of B.C. at the West Park Mall. The City did not receive any public responses from tenants and property owners near either site.

• The new Quesnel Ambassador Leadership Program candidates were introduced at the Feb. 26 city council meeting. During the meeting, council recognized each candidate and their sponsor, and each candidate was presented with a sash and tiara. This year’s candidates are: Hailey Murray (Willis Harper Home Hardware), Taylor Heaton (Attitude South Salon), Gracie Campbell (Service Electric Ltd.), Nalyssa Runge (Quesnel Lions Club), Sydney Williams (Bliss the Ultimate Grill) and Makayla Squinas (Quesnel Pride Society).

• Quesnel council voted to honour the community’s veterans by dedicating a portion of Kinchant Street as Veterans’ Way. The project, which was initiated by Coun. Ron Paull, includes dedicating the 200 block of Kinchant (the block that includes the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 94) as Veterans’ Way, and it received much support around the council table.

• The Quesnel Fury Special Olympics floor hockey team celebrated winning a gold medal at the B.C. Winter Games in Greater Vernon. After finishing in a three-way tie for first place, the Fury won the gold based on goals scored. The team’s accomplishment was recognized at the Quesnel Kangaroos’ March 2 playoff game.

• The Quesnel Ti-Cats curling team won a silver medal at the Special Olympics B.C. Winter Games. Quesnel athletes Paulette Prosk and Cory Melnychuk also won medals in snowshoeing, with Prosk winning bronze in the 200m and the 4x100m relay and Melnychuk claiming gold in the 5K and bronze int he 100m and 4x100m relay. The Quesnel Hi-Rollers bowling team had a great B.C. Winter Games too, collectively bowling +47 pins over average in six games.

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Greg Webster has spent about a year getting Quesnel Maker Space off the ground. The group, which meets at the Quesnel and District Antique Machinery Park at 3055 Dragon Lake Rd., hosted its first Maker Monday workshop Feb. 25. (Observer file photo)

The Quesnel Kangaroos pose with their 2018-2019 CIHL regular season championship trophy and banner. (Observer file photo)

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