The St. Patrick’s Day Pace and Pint 5K was one of the few events to go ahead in Quesnel in March amidst concerns about COVID-19. (Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

The St. Patrick’s Day Pace and Pint 5K was one of the few events to go ahead in Quesnel in March amidst concerns about COVID-19. (Sasha Sefter - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)

Year in Review: March

The Observer looks back at March 2020

• Tim Cawdell was hired as the new Quesnel Farmers’ Market manager.“Tim brings years of experience in marketing and event organization, as well as being a strong community supporter,” HARVEST president Paul Zeegers said in a new release.

• Board agendas for the Cariboo Regional District will now include information about the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP).

Chair Margo Wagner said each agenda will include one article from UNDRIP in an effort to bring it to the forefront.

“Several regional districts are doing this,” Wagner said during the regular meeting March 6. “People might not have time to read the entire document, so this another way to help us work with our First Nations.”

• Barb Bachmeier, Cariboo Regional District (CRD) Area B director for Quesnel West and Bouchie Lake, put rural policing resources at the forefront when she presented three draft resolutions for consideration at the upcoming North Central Local Government Association Convention to the CRD board.

Her resolutions call for the reinstatement of auxiliary police forces, increased provincial funding for more RCMP officers dedicated to rural and remote areas, ongoing funding of rural crime reduction groups such as Rural Crime Watch, and funding of rural community policing offices in areas of the province experiencing increased RCMP calls for service.

READ MORE: CRD director pushing for rural and remote area policing resources

• The Quesnel Kangaroos claimed the Central Interior Hockey League playoff championship for the second year in a row after beating the Terrace River Kings 4-3 in overtime during Game 2 of the final series, held in Terrace. The Roos had won 8-4 a week earlier on home ice.

• The City of Quesnel began a floodplain mapping project to assess flood risks, prepare flood maps and develop plans to protect the community from flooding.

The existing floodplain mapping for the City of Quesnel was developed in 1992 and made use of peak flow data that was available at that time. An additional 25 years of data is available to update the peak flow estimates, and the impacts of climate change are being considered now.

• The Quesnel Pride Society launched a new community space in the West Park Mall. The society plans to use the space, which will be open every weekend, to host educational workshops, support groups for gender-diverse people, social gatherings for individuals on the sexuality spectrum, and art classes, as well as movie and game days.

• In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Quesnel announced it would be closing many of its public facilities as of March 16, including the West Fraser Centre and the Arts and Recreation Centre following the recommendation from the provincial medical health officer to cancel all gatherings of greater than 50 people.

• The University of Northern British Columbia and the College of New Caledonia both suspended face-to-face classes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and began transitioning towards alternative delivery models for their classes.

• In mid-March, the provincial government announced all K-12 schools would be suspended indefinitely in response to COVID-19.

Education Minister Rob Fleming said all students who are currently on track to move onto the next grade, or to graduate, will do so and the province is working with post-secondary institutions.

• West Fraser announced it is reducing lumber production at its western Canadian sawmills and temporarily suspending plywood production in Quesnel as it responds to the COVID-19 pandemic and declining demand for forest products. The changes were expected to stay in place until at least April 6.

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Year in Review