First Journey Trails CEO Thomas Schoen shows how the new features of the recently completed mountain bike trails are accessible for beginners or skilled riders. (Observer file photo)

Year in Review: October 2019

The Quesnel Cariboo Observer looks back on October 2019

• Cariboo-Prince George federal election candidates answered questions about everything from climate change and forestry to crime and pipelines during an All Candidates Forum hosted by the Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce.

• The College of New Caledonia welcomed its new president, Dr. Dennis Johnson.

• Quesnel athletes put on a great show a the Quesnel Invitational Cross-Country Race at the West Fraser Timber Park. Correlieu Secondary School’s Ruby Nicholas claimed her third straight No. 1 in the Junior Female category, while Correlieu’s Joshua Andres finished in the Senior Male category.

• The Canadian Mental Health Association opened a new satellite office in West Quesnel, where a Canadian Red Cross-funded program will be focused on providing mental health services to individuals impacted by the 2017 wildfires and a second program, funded by an anonymous donor, all provide services related to food security.

• Barkerville Historic Town and Park announced its CEO, Ed Coleman, will be retiring June 21, 2020.

• Consultants presented their draft Housing Needs Assessment, Gap Analysis and Action Plan to the North Cariboo Joint Planning Committee. Some of the major findings of the analysis and assessment for Quesnel and the North Cariboo were a lack of serviced, desirable lands; a rapidly-aging population; declining household sizes; slow population growth; and challenges with local affordability.

• Quesnel’s first non-medical cannabis retail store, Cariboo Cannabis Sales, opened in mid-October. Owner Brad Kotzer — who also owns the Billy Barker Hotel and Casino — was the first person to apply for a licence in the city, back in November 2018.

• Quesnel council voted to move the giant gold pan from its current location on Highway 97 North, at the turnoff to Barkerville, to the BC Rail parking lot across from the Quesnel Visitor Centre and the Quesnel and District Museum and Archives. The decision brought with it much debate about the heritage significance of the gold pan, as well as questions about safety, and sparked quite a lot of online discussion. City staff has estimated it would cost approximately $7,000 to move the gold pan and refurbish it.

• New mountain bike trails in the Wonderland trail complex just east of Dragon Lake were completed, adding to the new trails also completed at Dragon Mountain, bringing the total of new trails built to 12 kilometres.

• Cariboo-Prince George Conservative MP Todd Doherty was re-elected by a large margin in the Oct. 21 federal election. Preliminary results indicated the incumbent MP received 52.8 per cent of the votes for a total of 28,564. In 2015, he received 19,688 votes. Liberal candidate Tracy Calogheros received 10,785 votes, while NDP candidate Heather Sapergia garnered 8,321 votes, Green Party candidate Mackenzie Kerr received 4,920 votes, People’s Party of Canada candidate Jing Yan Lang had 1,184 votes, and Independent Michael Orr received 340 votes.

• The provincial government announced that new supports are now available for contractors, workers and communities impacted by indefinite and permanent mill closures in B.C.’s Interior. A web portal provides access to forest work support programs, while applications are now being accepted for a retirement bridging program.

• The Quesnel Junior Girls’ team won first place at the North Central District Cross-Country Zone Championships. Ruby Nicholas won first in Junior Girls, Claire Nicholas was second in Bantam Girls, and Britynn Carter finished third in Bantam Girls. Caleb Woollends finished third in Junior Boys, while Lucas Arnold was fifth. In Senior Boys competition, Joshua Andres and Christopher Henderson were sixth and seventh, respectively.

• A new Women’s Resource Guide is now available for women in Quesnel and the surrounding area who are looking for help as they try to escape domestic violence or abuse, spearheaded by Kristine Bonenfand at Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes’s office.

• The Quesnel School District hired CHP Architects for the new Quesnel Junior School. “They are the leading architect firm in B.C. for middle school design, so we’re excited to be working with them,” secretary-treasurer Jennifer Woollends said during the Oct. 24 school board meeting.

• Quesnel’s business community celebrated during the annual Business Excellence Awards, hosted by the Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce. Ten awards were presented to businesses and individuals who were nominated by community members.

• Two Rivers Boxing Club protégé Britynn “Hurricane” Carter came out victorious at Beat Down in the Battlefords in Saskatchewan.

• First-year bull rider Eric O’Flynn was named Rookie of the Year at the annual British Columbia Rodeo Association (BCRA) awards night. His brother Matt, who retired from bull riding last year and is now BCRA vice-president, presented the award to Eric, who finished third in the standings and won $6,324 in prize money this year.

• Quesnel powerlifters Anthony Fagiani and Shalynn McCauley both won first-place medals at the World Powerlifting Congress Can/Am Championships.

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Lucas Arnold gives Claire Nicholas a push to finish strong during the Quesnel Invitational Cross-Country Race at West Fraser Timber Park. (Observer file photo)

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