Jody Verge of Quesnel and her team run the first stage of the 28th Annual Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run Friday, Jan. 24 at Umiti Pit, north of Quesnel. (Lindsay Chung - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Jody Verge of Quesnel and her team run the first stage of the 28th Annual Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run Friday, Jan. 24 at Umiti Pit, north of Quesnel. (Lindsay Chung - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Year in Review: January

The Observer looks back at January 2020

• Quesnel native Mitch Love helped lead Team Canada to a gold medal at the World Junior Championships. As assistant coach, Love was behind the bench when the Canadians came from behind to win the championship game 4-3.

• Council approved the city’s 2020 capital budget for $5,960,764, before capital carry-forwards from 2019. The new Public Works facility was the largest carry-forward from 2019 and was built into the budget at $13 million.

The 2020 budget included a $1.4-million project to renovate the Quesnel and District Museum and Archives, as well as the second phase of the city’s signage strategy, which is budgeted for $448,114.

• Environment Canada issued a special weather statement for Quesnel and the surrounding area in early January, as “an extremely cold arctic airmass” made its way over the area. Wind chill values reached between -30 and -40, and Environment Canada warned residents about the risk of frostbite.

• The Quesnel Farmers’ Market began looking for a new market manager after Paul Dumais retired. Dumais had been manager for about 20 years.

“We, the board, the market vendors and the customers, are all appreciative of the work that Paul has done over the years to make our Quesnel Farmers’ Market one of the best in B.C., for the vendors as well for the customers who come and attend the market rain or shine,” Paul Zeegers, president of Harvest, the organizing body of the Quesnel Farmers’ Market, said in an email.

• B.C. Premier John Horgan stopped in Quesnel Jan. 20 as part of a tour of eight northern communities to hear from community leaders how the province can build on its support for communities that have been affected by the downturn in the forestry sector.

Horgan highlighted Quesnel as being a community that has worked hard to meet the challenges that are associated with a declining forestry industry.

“Quesnel is a hub of innovation when it comes to forestry,” he said, following a tour of the new Forestry Innovation Centre.

READ MORE: B.C. Premier calls Quesnel a ‘hub of innovation’ in face of forestry downturn

• Quesnel boxer Shawn Archer won his professional debut, defeating Jonathan Sanchez in a little over three rounds Jan. 18 in Mexico.

• The Quesnel RCMP attended an early-morning shooting Jan. 22 in the Two Mile Flat area. Several shots were fired, and a home was struck by bullets, but nobody was injured.

“It is believed this shooting was a targeted incident, and it is very fortunate that the occupants of the residence and the surrounding neighbours were not injured,” Sgt. Richard Weseen said a news release.

• The Lhoosk’uz Dené and Ulkatcho Nations signed partnership agreements with the provincial government in support of the recently-approved Blackwater Gold Mine project southwest of Vanderhoof. The agreement commits to share a portion of the provincial mineral tax revenue collected from the planned Blackwater Gold Mine project.

• Rikki Beaudet, the community and Indigenous engagement advisor for Enbridge, provided an update on the T-South Reliability and Expansion Program during the Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce’s Jan. 22 meeting.

She explained five compressor stations along the company’s T-south pipeline, including the Hixon and Australian stations near Quesnel, will be replaced with new units, and the work is expected to take 18 to 24 months.

• A Quesnel hockey player was part of a historic hockey game in late January.

Destiny Bautista was the only Quesnel athlete on the ice when her Northern Capitals took on the Greater Vancouver Comets in the B.C. Hockey Female Midget AAA League’s first-ever outdoor game. The game was held on the outdoor ice at the Ernie Sam Memorial Arena in Fort St. James Jan. 19 as a part of the league’s Winter Classic weekend.

• The weather was great for the 28th annual Gold Rush Trail Sled Dog Mail Run.

Mushers, skijorers, cross country skiers and a snowshoer were sworn in as official Canada Post mail carriers in Quesnel and then carried the mail over three stages to Barkerville, where they were joined by other racers in the Barkerville Dash.

Volunteers filled 22 mail bags with more than 1,700 addressed to destinations as far as Japan, Germany and New Zealand, as close as McLeese Lake, and everywhere in between.

This year’s event also featured a special screening of the short film Shadow Trip, which was filmed in Barkerville and Wells and features many local actors.

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Year in Review