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2022 Year in Review: May

The Standard looks back at notable stories of May 2022


• On May 2, the Federal Electoral Boundaries Commission for B.C. announced that that they would be in Hope on Sept. 19 to discuss splitting Hope into two different ridings. The proposed changes would put the main part of Hope into a new riding called Coquihalla — which covers West Kelowna, Peachland, Summerland, Princeton, Merritt, and the Fraser Canyon.

• The preliminary results for the Lytton by-election revealed that Melissa Michell and Ross Urquhart were the councillors-elect for the village. Michell finished with 71 votes, Urquhart received 66 votes, and third candidate Ernie Wagner received 24 votes. A total of 82 ballots were cast.

• On May 5, the eight-day trial began for 44-year-old Hope resident Bradley Michael Friesen, who was once dubbed “the Dr.Frankenstein of guns.” At the time, Friesen was facing four charges of possessing firearm parts while unauthorized and one count of knowingly importing firearm parts while unauthorized.

• On May 9, the Fraser Bridge was closed for 30 minutes as Hope RCMP intervened to stop a potential suicide attempt. The person was taken to the hospital after climbing back onto the vehicle side of the bridge.

• On May 9, the District of Hope adopted a bylaw change to finally allow the retail sale of cannabis in Hope.

• In May, the Health Emergency Management BC (HEMBC) said they would deliver a 20-foot seacan container to Hope’s Fraser Canyon Hospital, filled with emergency equipment. This decision comes after the devastating effects of the 2021 floods and how it cut off Hope from the rest of the province.

• Seven months after the 2021 floods swept away his home and possessions, Graham Zillwood spoke with the Standard about how he had yet to receive a penny from the provincial government, through their Disaster Financial Assistance (DFA) program. The 67 year-old pensioner said he was grasping at straws while he tried to restart his life.

• In May, the District of Hope was questioned over potentially spending $22,000 on security for their ‘Extreme Winter Weather Shelter’ last winter. The Hope Citizens Emergency & Disaster Planning Committee (HCEDPC) said the District didn’t need to be taking money from its own budget and that the Emergency Management B.C. (EMBC) would reimburses them for ‘response costs.’ The District of Hope said that they were led to believe “that no tasking number or support was to be issued” by the provincial government. Having learned otherwise, they were working on recovering the funds.

• On May 21, B.C. Premier John Horgan announced that B.C would provide $100 million in funding through the National Association of Japanese Canadians (NAJC). Around 50 people gathered at the Hope Recreation Centre, to hear Horgan’s announcement. The announcement was livestreamed by the Tashme Historical Society.

• On May 15, Hope residents Mike Keith Gendron and Kathleen Mae Clackett were arrested for kidnapping, along with a number of other charges. They made their first court appearance on May 16.

• On May 24, the driver of an Ford Escape SUV was airlifted to the hospital, with suspected head and neck injuries, after being involved in a two-car crash, with a Hyundai Elantra near Flood-Hope Road. The driver of the Elantra was arrested for Dangerous Driving.