The Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce’s Deck the Big Rigs Tour of Lights drive-thru Christmas display drew a great crowd of participants and viewers Sunday, Dec. 20 at the West Fraser Timber Park. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

The Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce’s Deck the Big Rigs Tour of Lights drive-thru Christmas display drew a great crowd of participants and viewers Sunday, Dec. 20 at the West Fraser Timber Park. (Lindsay Chung Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Year in Review: December

The Observer looks back at December 2020

• Quesnel RCMP members collected donations of cash, winter clothing, toys, food and hygiene products for the Salvation Army, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Quesnel and the Seniors Living Society Dec. 5 and 6 outside the West Park Mall in their first annual Stuff a Cruiser fundraiser. The event was a huge success, raising 2,453 pounds of food, more than 500 individual toys, $400 in gift cards and $3,764 in cash.

• The latest inspection of the Johnston Bridge showed the corrosion of the bridge is worse than originally known, as both ends of the bridge have been affected.

Coun. Mitch Vik, chair of the Executive Committee, shared an update on the Johnston Bridge with council Dec. 1.

• The Cariboo Regional District (CRD) completed the alternative approval process (AAP) for the proposed installation of streetlights along Maple Drive Nov. 16, and the CRD board adopted a service bylaw for the streetlights at its Dec. 4 meeting.

Now, the regional district will work with B.C. Hydro to have 23 streetlights installed on existing B.C. Hydro poles along Maple Drive from the junction with Highway 97 to the corner of Plywood Road.

CRD Area A director Mary Sjostrom was successful in obtaining a $12,000 grant from ICBC toward the streetlighting project. The initial cost of installation will be offset by the grant, and the CRD will fund the service through a residential tax to surrounding properties, which works out to $7.31 per $100,000 of assessed property value per year.

• On Dec. 11, Cariboo-Prince George MP Todd Doherty’s motion to adopt a universal 988 national suicide prevention hotline passed unanimously in the House of Commons.

Doherty, who is the Conservative Party’s Special Advisor to the Leader on Mental Health and Wellness, first raised the issue of a universal 988 hotline during the House of Commons Question Period Oct. 22 in Ottawa, and he tabled an opposition day motion in Parliament.

READ MORE: Cariboo-Prince George MP’s suicide prevention hotline motion passes unanimously

• A Quesnel senior had her purse stolen and bank account drained after giving money to a younger couple and giving them a ride.

According to an RCMP news release, the woman was having trouble making an ATM deposit at a local bank when she was assisted by the couple. After helping, the couple asked for money and a ride. When the woman returned home, she noticed her purse was missing, and $400 had been taken out of her account before she could cancel her card. The younger couple was arrested a week later, after police were able to identify them using video surveillance footage.

After hearing about the theft, Quesnel business owners and residents were quick to respond with kindness and generosity, raising $400 to replace the money that was stolen.

• The provincial government announced Dec. 17 that a tender has been issued to rebuild and realign the washed-out sections of West Fraser Road.

The plan is to build 5.6 kilometres of two-lane road on a new alignment on the east side of Narcosli Creek, along with a new bridge crossing. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2021 and finish in fall 2023.

• As part of the ongoing recovery from the April flooding along Baker Creek, Quesnel council decided in mid-December to move forward with a plan to relocate the sewer mainline that was damaged in the spring freshet away from Baker Creek.

• The Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce held a drive-thru Deck the Big Rigs Tour of Lights Dec. 20 in the West Fraser Timber Park, which attracted many, many cars and brought many smiles to many faces. The event was originally planned for earlier in the month, but it was cancelled when new provincial health orders came out. Many in the community expressed gratitude for the rescheduled event.

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