2014 Year in Review

A look back at some of this year's highlights in Hope and area

  • Thu Dec 25th, 2014 5:00am
  • News

Teachers in the Fraser-Cascade school district were behind picket lines on May 26 as part of rotating strikes around the province. Teachers camped out in front of district buildings with signs

January

 

The District of Hope welcomes Carolyn Bidwell as the new director of finance. She took over the job at the beginning of December after relocating from Saskatchewan.

 

Three people are arrested in Hope and are facing multiple charges in connection to fraudulent activity throughout the Lower Mainland. When police searched their overdue rental car from Surrey near the Flying J Travel Plaza, they found numerous stolen identifications and credit cards from all over the Lower Mainland, along with high-end items believed to have been purchased fraudulently. A credit card reading device, two laptop computers, and cell phones are also seized.

 

The school year is up for debate in the Fraser-Cascade, with three calendar options being considered by the school district. The first option is to remain with the current status quo with a two-week spring break. The second option is to take a three-week winter break and return to the classroom a week early, on Aug. 25. Finally, the district is considering a balanced calendar which includes two-month long breaks (at Christmas and for most of April) and a five-week summer break.

 

Boston Bar is seeking proposals for a unique development opportunity in the community. The Fraser Valley Regional District has agreed to sell the two historic “highline houses” with the land for a $1 to a buyer with the right plan to restore the buildings.

 

Bee’s Market owner Terry-Lynn Mercer earns the 2013 Super Scooper Award from Nestlé Ice Cream, which recognizes people who go above and beyond with customer service and product knowledge.

 

Less than one month into the election year and two candidates have already thrown their names into Hope’s mayoral race. Lloyd Forman, current Area A director for the Fraser Valley Regional District, and Coun. Peter Robb announce their intentions to run for the town`s top job.

 

Hope atom C2 Wildcats win gold at a 16-team hockey tournament in Penticton.

 

Ed Araki is one of 24 volunteers in B.C. that receives a Governor General’s Caring Canadian Award at Government House in Victoria. The award recognizes people who have made a significant, sustained, unpaid contribution to their community, in Canada or abroad.

 

The B.C. government is considering an appeal of a B.C. Supreme Court ruling that rejects legislation restricting teacher bargaining and assesses a penalty of $2 million plus court costs.

 

Nestlé Waters Canada’s Hope bottling plant receives WorkSafeBC’s Occupational Health and Safety Certificate of recognition for its commitment to raising the standard of worker health and safety.

 

 

February

 

The mayoral contest in Hope is heating up with another declared candidate. Local resident Cindy Young plans to run in November’s municipal election, driven by a desire to see the community prosper.

 

After 30 years as the face of tourism in Hope, Inge Wilson retires as the visitor centre manager. About 65 people who worked with Wilson over the years gathered for a surprise farewell celebration at Owl Street Café. Hope Visitor Centre reopens with a new vision under the management of AdvantageHOPE. The space will serve as the headquarters for Hope`s tourism and economic development services.

 

A new flower shop – Wild Rabbit Flowers + Handmade – opens on Wallace Street in time for one of the busiest holidays of the year – Valentine’s Day. Carli Spielman recently moved to Hope with her two children to pursue a business opportunity that combines two of her passions: plants and natural crafting.

Hope RCMP release a video surveillance image of a man they believe is responsible for a robbery at Blue Moose Coffee House in January. The man walked in and stole a camera and undisclosed amount of money before leaving.

 

Hope applies for intervenor status in the upcoming National Energy Board hearings for Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline project. The district wants to ensure the municipality’s water resources are protected, and in particular the area of Nestlé Waters.

 

Federal Liberal MP Stéphane Dion visits Hope for separate outreach meetings with town council and area First Nations. The goal is to learn and discuss the local issues facing people in the riding.

 

Search and rescue crews from Hope and Chilliwack rescue three backcountry skiers caught in an avalanche near Needle Peak off the Coquihalla Highway. There were no life-threatening injuries but one of the men suffered a broken cheekbone and nose from being slammed against a tree.

Hope Search and Rescue manager Mario Levesque is appointed as the Fraser Valley director for the B.C. Search and Rescue Association.

Tri-West Contracting is awarded the construction contract for the new community sports park. The local company worked with numerous stakeholder groups in the community to develop the plan for the project, but partners with Hope Pathway Partners, Hope Motorsports Group, and Hope Mountain Centre to carry out the work. The project will see upgrades to the Sports Bowl seating area, new signage, skatepark repairs, and improvements to the picnic area and trails. Hoots Inc. is also hired to build a new bike skills park for beginner and intermediate riders across from Coquihalla Campground.

 

More than 220 people pack into Hope Cinema to watch Canada’s men’s hockey team defend its gold medal against Sweden at the Sochi Winter Olympics. People were lined up outside the theatre at 2:45 a.m. even though the puck didn’t drop until 4 a.m.

 

 

March

 

A semi-truck with two trailers loaded with lumber crashes on Highway 1 near exit 165, shutting down eastbound traffic for four hours while crews clear the roadway of debris.

Another huge sockeye salmon run is forecast to return to the Fraser River this summer, potentially even bigger than the record of 30 million that unexpectedly came back in 2010.

 

B.C. public school teachers vote 89 per cent in favour of giving their union authority for strike action in three stages.

 

The Fraser-Cascade school board votes to retain the current school calendar, following a community-wide consultation that showed strong support for the status quo.

 

Members of the Hope RCMP team up with Hope Secondary School teachers in a fun game against the senior basketball teams. The match, which saw the Mustangs win 43-35, raises 250 pounds of food and $85 for the local food bank.

 

The Hope Fire Department defends its Battle of the Badges title with an 8-6 win over the Hope RCMP at Hope Arena. The event raises about $2,800 for Cops for Cancer, an initiative that helps fund childhood cancer research and support programs.

 

Daya Gill returns home from the B.C. High School Championships with a silver medal.

After months of political discord in Hope, council decides to move forward with a zero per cent municipal tax increase this year. A 2.2 per cent increase was originally proposed but council opted to dip into a $5 million surplus to offset the $153,000 in property tax revenue.

 

Fraser Heath Authority announces that a measles outbreak in the eastern Fraser Valley has largely been contained to the original outbreak area. The outbreak declared in early March originated in a Chilliwack private school with low immunization levels. By late March, there had been 228 cases confirmed.

 

Hope RCMP is looking for the public’s help in solving a series of logging equipment thefts in the area.

 

 

April

 

Hope Golf Club kicks off its 50th anniversary season. Owners/operators Kerry and Claudette Krahn will be hosting several events this year to commemorate the milestone, including a kickoff party in April and homecoming 18 hole tournament and banquet dinner in May.

 

Ringette makes its debut in Hope with about 75 participants from around the province hitting the ice for the Ladies Masters Tournament.

 

Hope Mountain Centre presents the Don Bush Environmental Stewardship Award to Esther Brysch, coordinator of the Hope Community Garden, for her passion and commitment to the environment and maintaining the community garden.

 

HydroRun Technologies is testing its HydroKite, a device resembling an airplane on its side, in the Fraser River near Laidlaw. It works just under the water surface, spinning and creating enough power to run 30 homes.

Hope Search and Rescue members are recognized for their dedicated service to the organization. Certificate of Excellence Awards are handed out to Clarence Kolcun (51 years), Robin McArthur (39 years), Oran Alexander (37 years), Larry Stephens (33 years), and Barry Gannon (28 years).

Hope voters will have an extra question on the ballot when they head to the polls in November. Council unanimously votes to hold a referendum regarding the size of council. Voters will be specifically asked whether they’re in favour of reducing the number of councillors from six to four.

 

C.E. Barry’s Random Readers win the 2014 Reading Link Challenge during a tie-breaker at Harrison Elementary School.

 

Stage one strike action begins across the province, limiting teachers from performing certain duties. Job action includes refusing communication with school managers, arriving no more than an hour before and leaving an hour after school hour, and refusing supervision of students outside class time.

 

Fitness specialist Andrea Peterson is training six days a week and following a strict diet, in preparation for a bodybuilding competition in Fort St. John in June.

 

Former New Democratic Party MLAs Harry Lali and Gwen O’Mahony present Hope resident Marjorie Houghton with a Certificate of Recognition for her lifetime dedication to the NDP during a special luncheon honouring at the Hope Station House.

 

 

May

 

The Fraser-Cascade school district is facing reduced revenues of $283,000 for the 2014/2015 school year. In addition, the district is experiencing BC Hydro increases and cost pressures from inflation.

 

More than 75 people come together in Memorial Park to raise $5,570 for the Fraser Canyon Hospice Society during the ninth annual Hike for Hospice. Area B director Dennis Adamson also presents the Society with an additional $3,000.

Dyllan James of Hope helps his Team B.C. to a second place finish at the Canadian Aboriginal Hockey Championships in Quebec. James was chosen from 110 tryouts at 100 Mile House in April.

 

Todd Baiden brings his culinary experience to Boston Bar with the opening of Fat Jack’s Diner at The Mighty Fraser Motel. The property has been transformed into a destination location.

 

The Steve Nash Youth Basketball Program in Hope receives a $1,800 grant from the provincial Local Sport Program Development Fund.

 

Production crews are in town filming the sci-fi Christmas movie “A Christmas Tale” by Ice Capp Pictures Inc. Fraser Avenue, between Commission and Wallace streets, is transformed into a winter wonderland for the film. Scenes were also shot inside Sunshine Lanes and across the street on Sixth Avenue.

 

A dozen Hope firefighters spend six hours battling a truck fire on the Coquihalla Highway, southbound near Othello Road. The cab was fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived on scene and eventually spread to the trailer contents, which were inside a shipping container.

The mother of two missing Alberta girls is arrested in Boston Bar after RCMP issued an amber alert in both provinces.

The Fraser-Cascade school district is considering the closure of C.E. Barry due to the cost of required seismic mitigation for the 42-year-old  building. Trustees vote in favour of pursuing a public consultation process starting in June.

The waste water lift station at east Kawkawa Lake will soon be repaired following the discovery of a malfunction that resulted in the deployment of vacuum trucks to manually remove waste water.

 

 

June

 

A new walk-in clinic opens at Fraser Canyon Clinic on Wallace Street. Physicians and nurse practitioners hope it will provide residents with more access and efficient care.

 

Hope filmmaker Eva Wunderman wins a Golden Sheaf Award for her war documentary *Once Were Enemies.* She took home the award in the history and biography category at the 2014 Yorkton Film Festival in Saskatchewan.

 

A 65-year old Hope man is charged with three counts of drug and firearm related offences. A search warrant was executed in the 900 block of Fraser Avenue and homeowner James McGuire was arrested.

 

C.E. Barry staff and students are moved to different schools for the remainder of the school year. The Fraser-Cascade school district made the decision after teachers refused to enter the building due to seismic safety concerns. Students were sent home as there were not enough administrators to provide supervision.

 

B.C. teachers vote 86 per cent in favour of a full walkout to put maximum pressure on the provincial government. The B.C. Teachers’ Federation announces teacher pickets will target locations where summer school is carried out if they don’t have a settlement by the end of June.

 

The project director of a proposed ski resort in the area is fined $2 million by the B.C. Securities Commission. According to the ruling, Ronald Stephen McHaffie fraudulently enticed 30 people to invest in BigFoot Recreation and Ski Area Ltd. and raised about $642,960 through the sale of shares in BigFoot between August 2007 and January 2012. However, the company never filed a prospectus in B.C. and McHaffie was never registered to sell securities in B.C. The ruling stated that McHaffie used investor funds to pay for personal expenses, not for expenditures related to taking BigFoot public.

The school board votes unanimously in favour of closing C.E. Barry Intermediate School and 5-2 in favour of moving Grade 5 and Grade 6 students to Coquihalla Elementary in the fall, and giving Grade 7 students the option of attending either Silver Creek Elementary or Hope Secondary.

 

A routine traffic stop in Boston Bar turns up more than three kilograms of cocaine and another unknown substance. A 33-year-old Langley man is arrested and released with a court date at the end of August.

 

Hope resident Kay Thorne participates in the B.C. Ride to Conquer Cancer, a two-day ride which started in Cloverdale and ended near Redmond, Washington. Thorne raised nearly $4,000 for the fundraiser, which attracted $9.1 million in donations.

 

Despite a downpour, the charity ball hockey tournament in memory of Janice Carrat and Ronald Young exceeds the expectations of organizer Kevin Misumi. The event in Memorial Park raised about $4,600 for ALS Canada and the Oglethorpes from 100 Mile House were crowned the first annual champions.

 

Check out the Dec. 31 edition of  The Hope Standard for the last six months of  2014 Year in Review.