• The Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce honoured this year’s Business Excellence Award winners with a car parade on Oct. 3.
The 2020 winners are Ted Martindale (Business Person of the Year), Tim Hortons (Community Inclusion Award), Cariboo Keepsakes (Tourism Excellence Award), Dave Jorgenson of St. George Hotel (Tourism Excellence Award), Const. Joshua Nutley (Social Leadership Award), Best Living Home Care (Home Based Business Award), Bliss (Business of the Year — under 10 employees), Aroma Foods (Business of the Year — over 10 employees), B.C. Shoe Repair (Customer Service Award), Sweet and Savory Arrangements (New Business of the Year) and Barkerville Brewing Company (Environmental Excellence Award).
This year, there were 87 award nominations.
• Sprout Kitchen, the regional food hub and agricultural business incubator that was announced as part of the B.C. Food Hub Network in 2019, found a home in West Quesnel.
At its Oct. 6 meeting, Quesnel council authorized City of Quesnel staff to enter into a five-year lease agreement for a 2,689-square-foot space at 101 Marsh Dr. in West Quesnel, the former Spartan Printing building, where Sprout Kitchen will be in the same building as West Quesnel Barbershop.
• Shovels broke the soil to start work on a new school that has been more than a decade in the making.
Planning to build a new Quesnel Junior School began in 2005. Four education ministers later, work has finally begun at the site, right next to the current Quesnel Junior School on Mountain Ash Road.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held on a cold Tuesday, Oct. 20 morning, attended by City of Quesnel officials, school board trustees, students and teachers.
• The Quesnel and District Chamber of Commerce curated questions submitted by residents, which three of the four Cariboo North election candidates answered one at a time during an all-candidates forum that was livestreamed for the public.
The NDP’s Scott Elliott, incumbent B.C. Liberal Oakes and the Green Party’s Douglas Gook were all in attendance, sitting far apart to follow physical distancing guidelines. The B.C. Conservative candidate, Kyle Townsend, was not at the forum.
Over the two hours, candidates fielded questions on a variety of topics, including multiple questions on housing, roads, seniors and outlying areas’ relationships with the Cariboo Regional District.
• Trevor Bolin, the leader of the B.C. Conservative Party, made a stop in Quesnel on Saturday, Oct. 17, making the case for Cariboo North candidate Kyle Townsend during the short provincial election campaign. Bolin was the only party leader to tour the Quesnel area.
• Barkerville Gold Mines Ltd. (BGM), the wholly owned subsidiary of Osisko Gold Royalties Ltd. and future 100-per-cent subsidiary of Osisko Development Corp., has entered into a life-of-project agreement with the Lhtako Dené Nation (LDN) to develop the Cariboo Gold Project in Wells.
“The Project Agreement achieves our common goal to provide Project-related opportunities and benefits for current and future generations of the LDN people and reflects our ongoing commitment to continually strengthen and expand our relationship,” states an Oct. 16 news release from BGM.
• All 55 ballot boxes in the Cariboo North riding were reported just before 2 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 25, and preliminary results showed incumbent B.C. Liberal Coralee Oakes holding a 1,531-vote lead in the provincial election.
With 9,113 votes counted, Elections BC shows Oakes with 4,503 votes and 49.41 per cent of the popular vote. The NDP’s Scott Elliott has 2,972 votes and 32.61 per cent.
Conservative Kyle Townsend has 1,052 votes and 11.54 per cent of the vote, and the Green Party’s Douglas Gook has 586 votes and 6.43 per cent.
Results reported were preliminary results, as due to the pandemic, more British Columbians decided to vote by mail-in ballot than ever before. Election results would not be finalized until after Nov. 6., after those mail-in ballots are counted. An estimated 2,000 mail-in ballots were requested by Elections BC within the Cariboo North riding.
• Julie Fowler of Wells was honoured with a Distinguished Service Award by the B.C. Museums Association for her work with Island Mountain Arts.
The Distinguished Service Award recognizes an individual who has made a unique and outstanding contribution on a regional, provincial or national basis to the museum, gallery, archives or heritage field over an extended period of time.
• Quesnel council supported a key step in the Quesnel Investment Corporation’s plans to move forward with the former C&C Wood Products.
Quesnel Investment Corporation (QIC) purchased the C&C Wood Products plant this summer after C&C shut down its operation May 29, 2020, and filed for bankruptcy June 2.
Representatives from QIC and the provincial Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development were at the Oct. 27 council meeting to provide information about the future of the plant and to request a letter of support for the transfer of a Non-Replaceable Forest Licence (NRFL) from C&C Wood Products to QIC to attach to QIC’s Bill 22 submission. The NRFL has approximately 577,889 cubic metres of volume remaining, and the annual allowable cut is 68,130 cubic metres.
• Mounties were investigating after a woman appeared to be forcibly held by a West Park Mall security guard Oct. 29.
A video of the confrontation shows what appears to be a security guard restraining a woman by placing a knee on her back. As the woman tries to escape, the man keeps her under his knee, while grabbing her arms. The video, which has drawn a strong reaction online, shows the woman lying face down on the ground without a shirt while witnesses attempt to get the security guard to back off.
• Bridges Supportive Housing opened in West Quesnel, providing new housing for 28 people.
Bridges Supportive Housing is a partnership between Quesnel Shelter and Support Society and B.C. Housing. The West Quesnel building began accepting tenants in late October. It has 28 permanent studio apartments, with four temporary units and a host of programming options for tenants.