Sharon Primeau beats a drum and leads Wet’suwet’en supporters in a chant of “No consent, no pipeline” during a rally in Quesnel Sunday, Feb. 9. (Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Sharon Primeau beats a drum and leads Wet’suwet’en supporters in a chant of “No consent, no pipeline” during a rally in Quesnel Sunday, Feb. 9. (Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Year in Review: February

The Observer looks back at February 2020

• Members of the Quesnel community came together to support the Wet’suwet’en Nation in their resistance of the Coastal GasLink pipeline project. Protesters gathered in front of the RCMP detachment in Quesnel Feb. 9, before marching across Marsh Drive, where they blocked traffic and held a smudging ceremony.

• A detour was put in place along a section of the Riverfront Trail near G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital to accommodate work to prepare for construction at the hospital. Northern Health announced that Early Works will be starting Feb. 12 in preparation for the construction of the G.R. Baker Emergency Department redevelopment and Intensive Care Unit relocation.

• The City of Quesnel was invited to be part of a new Community Forest Agreement (CFA), something the mayor says has been a long time coming.

The provincial ministry of forests, lands, natural resource operations and rural development invited the Nazko First Nation, Lhoosk’uz Dené Nation, Lhtako Dené Nation, ?Esdilagh First Nation, City of Quesnel, Cariboo Regional District and District of Wells to be part of the new CFA.

• Bert de Vink, Destinee Boyd and the late Jack Nelson were recognized and celebrated for their contributions to the community and the many ways in which they inspire others when they became the newest members of the Gallery of Honour.

• The Quesnel and District Community Arts Council presented the Adult Award to Bert de Vink during the Eighth Biennial Gallery of Honour presentation Feb. 12 at the Quesnel Arts and Recreation Centre and then recognized Jack Nelson with the Posthumous Award and honoured Destinee Boyd with the Youth Award.

READ MORE: Community contributions recognized during Quesnel Gallery of Honour presentation

• Quesnel curler Alison Duddy brought home her eighth provincial gold medal following the 2020 B.C. Wheelchair Curling Championships, which were held Jan. 31-Feb. 2 at the Cloverdale Curling Club. The weekend tournament saw four teams hit the ice to do battle for gold and the chance to represent British Columbia at the upcoming national championships. Duddy’s squad, Team Macdonald, beat Team Neighbour 6-5 in the championship game.

• The Quesnel Kangaroos advanced to the CIHL championship round by defeating the Williams Lake Stampeders 9-1 and winning their best-of-three playoff series 2-0.

• A large contingent of Quesnel athletes earned a chance to represent the community at the B.C. Winter Games in Fort St. John.

Quesnel River Archers McKayla Bolitho, Alison Dewling and Jaeana Dumais competed in the event, while Lora-Lee Murray served as their assistant coach, and Stuart Murray took on the role of event official.

Alison Dewling placed second in the Girls Match Play Recurve and Girls Two-Day Aggregate Recurve events, bringing home a pair of silver medals.

Jaeana Dumais, who was competing in only her third archery event ever, took first place in the Girls Two-Day Aggregate Barebow event, along with third in the Girls Match Play Barebow event. Bolitho finished seventh in the Girls Tow-Day Aggregate Recurve event.

Team Woollends, made up of skip Noah Woollends, lead Landon Cherry, second Brycen Trimble, third Kyle Eggert and fifth Caleb Woollends, was set to represent Quesnel in curling with coach Lori Tresierra-Durocher. The team finished runner-up in the consolation round, returning home with consolation silver medals.

The individual event most represented by Quesnel athletes was alpine skiing which saw five athletes — Maggie Beaudoin, Elliot Jarrett, Maya Knauf, Boroka Peter and Beth Turton — hit the slopes. These athletes were coached by Lightning Creek Ski Club alumna Grace Klapatiuk. The Slalom Two-Day Run Female event saw Boroka Peter place 29th, Maya Knauf place 37th, Maggie Beaudoin place 42nd and Beth Turton place 45th, while Elliot Jarrett placed 99th in the Slalom Two-Day Run Male event.

The Cariboo Ski Touring Club’s Laura Balkwill represented Quesnel in the biathlon event, while figure skater Mitchell Dunn of the Quesnel Figure Skating Club competed, and Taylor McGillivray represented Quesnel in ringette.

Dunn went on to win bronze in the Pre-Novice Men event. McGillivray placed fourth with her ringette team, made up of mostly Prince George athletes.

Balkwill won a bronze medal in the Girls Team Relay Competition and placed ninth in the Girls Sprint Competition.

• Quesnel council proposed an almost-seven-per-cent tax increase for 2020, which reflects increased funding for RCMP officers and bylaw enforcement staff and a new snow levy to build up a reserve to deal with winter weather.

Mayor Bob Simpson, who is also chair of City’s Financial Sustainability and Audit Committee (FSAC), pointed out that when this budget cycle started, the City was already $400,000 in the hole because of the loss of the Tolko mill’s tax assessment, and the City had already agreed to boost the RCMP up to 23 full-time equivalents but had not yet really booked the tax implications of that.

The intent of the snow levy would be that any year where there is less than $300,000 sitting in the snow reserve at year-end, a snow levy of up to one per cent a year (approximately $165,000) would be charged to top up the reserve.

READ MORE: Quesnel council proposing 6.7-per-cent tax increase for 2020

• The City of Quesnel received an invitation to bid on the 2024 B.C. Winter Games. Requirements to host include a cash contribution of $55,000 and in-kind contribution of $55,000 by the host community, and the local school district must be an active and willing partner for the community to be considered eligible.

The provincial Ministry of Tourism supplies cash funding of $625,000 to the host community.

The city’s executive committee recommended to council that City staff enter into discussions with the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) and School District 28 about a partnership to host the 2024 B.C. Winter Games and approach Lhtako Dené First Nation to determine if they would like to be a partner in these Games.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Year in Review