2022 Year in Review: February

Crews have been at work building up protection to keep Fraser Canyon Hospital (left) safe from the surging flood waters of the Coquihalla River (right). (Eric J. Welsh/ Hope Standard)Crews have been at work building up protection to keep Fraser Canyon Hospital (left) safe from the surging flood waters of the Coquihalla River (right). (Eric J. Welsh/ Hope Standard)
The aftermath from a fire that broke out sometime before 8 p.m. on 5th Avenue in Hope on Feb. 2, 2022. (Pattie Desjardins/ Hope Standard)The aftermath from a fire that broke out sometime before 8 p.m. on 5th Avenue in Hope on Feb. 2, 2022. (Pattie Desjardins/ Hope Standard)

FEBRUARY

• On Jan. 24, the District of Hope council got an update that flood mitigation will cost an estimated $11 million. Despite this, the District of Hope chose not to apply for the 2022 Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) Emergency Support Services grant. This decision was questioned by the Hope Citizens Emergency Disaster Planning Committee (HCEDPC).

• The Hope Mountain Centre (HMC) received $17,500 in Community Gaming Grant money from the provincial government in 2021. In early February of this year, they reported that $8,500 of that money would go towards the Young Stewards Education Program; $5,000 went towards the HMC’s Citizen Science; $4,000 went towards its Black Bear Committee.

• On Feb. 2, a fire broke out at a mechanic shop — located in a two-storey wooden building in the 1000-block of 5th Avenue. On Feb. 8, the District of Hope Fire Department and Yale and District Volunteer Fire Department were still investigating the cause of the fire. No injuries or deaths were reported.

• The MLA for the Fraser-Nicola, Jackie Tegart, was appointed Assistant Deputy Speaker for the BC Legislature and would now chair meetings as the representative for the Official Opposition. Tegart said, “it is an incredible honour to be entrusted with a position that is so crucial to our political process.”

• The District of Hope received $150,000 from the Cascade Lower Canyon Community Forest (CLCCF). The money would be divided and distributed towards; arts, culture, heritage, and creation; youth and seniors; regional community at large; ‘joint legacy fund.’

• On Feb. 9, Statistics Canada 2021 reported that Hope’s population had risen by 5.72 per cent in the last 20 years. The population of Hope in 2021 was 6,686. In 2001 it was 6,401.

• Hope’s Kal Tire, run by manager Cathy Harry and licensed technician Ian Harry, received a True Service Award from Kal Tire Canada. The Harrys received the award due to the aid they provided during the 2021 floods; they helped CP Rail engines during a landslide, welcomed three stranded travellers into their home, and helped those whose vehicles had broken down.

• Graham Zillwood, who lost his house and all his possessions in the 2021 floods, got his childhood leather hat back after Kami Moore found it on the banks of the Fraser and Coquihalla River. Zillwood got the hat when he was 15 and it’s memory is tied to memories of when he first started dating his wife.

• On Feb. 9, the BC Coroners Service reported that eight people had died of an overdose in 2021, which is an increase from last year. Hope’s death rate for 2021 is 90, which is among the highest in the province.

• In February, the BC government committed $6.26 million for the restoration of Lytton. Lytton Mayor Jan Polderman said part of the funds will help the village replace its records and bylaws, after all its records and backup servers were destroyed during the 2021 fire.

• After eight months, Lytton resident Sam Allaby was finally able to return to Lytton and retrieve his frying pans on Feb. 17. The return was emotional as Allaby’s home and possessions were charred rubble after the 2021 wildfire that hit the village.

• In late February, Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart revealed that she was asked to sign a non-disclosure agreement about the government’s Lytton recovery plans. Tegart said the provincial government was trying to silence her voice and being secretive. The provincial government said they were doing the opposite of that and sharing an unprecedented level of information.

• On Feb. 24 a Community Housing Consultation meeting was held online to get the public’s opinions about a proposed shelter/supportive housing project planned for 7th Avenue. The public heard from BC Housing, Fraser Health, and the Hope and Area Transition Society (HATS), who are in partnership with the District of Hope for the project which includes 15 shelter beds, 15 extreme weather beds, and 52 homes access to support services.

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