Recent History – 2003
January 17, 2003 – By Kelly Harris, Daily News Staff
Firearm registration becomes law
On January 1st, Canadian gun owners were required to have their firearms registered.
“We’re going to let common sense prevail and work with the public,” said Dawson Creek RCMP Cpl. Perry Penney. “If there are people trying to make a point we’re going to have to confiscate.”
Kin Arena Reopens
After a fire three weeks previous, the Kin Arena reopened Jan. 2.
An explosion rocked the arena in December, blowing the doors of the arena’s ice making room doors.
Temporary wooden doors were installed in the room for the arena’s reopening.
New Year’s Baby born
The first child for the Davey family was the first child for Dawson Creek in 2003.
New Year’s Baby Brice Lee Davey was born at 4:03 am, Saturday Jan. 4, 2003 making the bundle of joy the first child born at the Dawson Creek and District Hospital for the year.
“We walked in and nobody was here,” said proud papa Paul Davey. “The nurse said that ours might be the New Year’s Baby.”
The hospital room was filled with flowers and gifts from community members, the hospital auxiliary and the welcome wagon Monday.
Jaws of Life Rescue Cat
In a twist to the old standby of a fireman rescuing a cat from a tree, the Dawson Creek Fire Department used the Jaws of Life to free a trapped feline from a storm sewer.
The howls of Nutty, the name given by the SPCA to the two-year-old black and white male, prompted investigation Jan. 2 by Calgarian Dave Hill, who was visiting his mother-in-law and daughter in Dawson Creek over New Year’s. For three days he heard the cat-calls yet couldn’t find the furry feline.
On the third day of hearing the howls, Jan. 5, Hill looked in the storm and the Nutty tale began.
MLA meets with seniors
Peace River South MLA Blair Lekstrom met with more than 70 local seniors who were looking for reassurance on health care Jan. 6.
Lekstrom, speaking on his government’s record, assured the crowd at the Dawson Creek Senior Citizen’s Complex that the B.C. Liberals have not only upheld health care funding, but also increased funding by more than $1 billion in the past year.
He said the impression that the provincial government has cut back on health care is not true and comes from the way the province is delivering health care services.
“We re-aligned some of the money,” he said. “What we’ve done (in B.C. with regards to healthcare spending) over the last decade is unsustainable.”
Duke Energy gets pipeline OK
Duke Energy was given the go-ahead to extend their natural gas pipeline from south of Grande Prairie through Tumbler Ridge.
The Calgary-based company announced Jan. 6 that the National Energy Board gave the OK to extend the Grizzly Pipeline 109.5 km. Other than natural gas, the extension was expected to pump millions of dollars into the affected areas through both construction and related services.
High winds whip city, topple tree
High winds gusting to 105 km/h ripped through Dawson Creek Jan. 7, fanning brush fires, knocking out electricity and sending the city’s Christmas tree crashing into a busy intersection.
The 50-foot tree, which stood in the middle of the intersection of 10th Street and 102nd Avenue, began to sway heavily with the high winds. Around 1:15 p.m. the tree could no longer brace itself and the winds snapped it like a twig. It took a pair of light posts with it.
Con artist takes senior for $4,000
A smooth-talking con man preying on the elderly was at work in Dawson Creek in early January, taking a city senior for $4,000.
Cpl. Perry Penney said the man called an elderly Dawson Creek woman telling her he was a representative from the bank and needed her help tracking down people stealing from her account.
“This male is an extremely smooth talker,” Penney said in the RCMP news release.
The man asked the senior to withdraw $4,000 from her bank account and meet him in front of the Zellers Store in Dawson Creek. He told the woman that if the bank questioned her why she was making such a large withdrawal to tell them it was for a family emergency.
“Because of her good heart and her desire to assist, the victim withdrew the cash and went to Zellers and provided the money to this male,” Penney said.
City garbage rates increase
The rising cost of garbage collection meant a garbage rate increase for local residents after a Jan. 13 council meeting.
Increased landfill fees in the regional district led to the cost increase. It is the first time since May 1996 that Dawson Creek increased the fee it charges to collect garbage.
The motion prompted suggestions by some at council to push for more recycling in the city.
“We’re talking about garbage and it is a costly item,” Mayor Wayne Dahlen told a group of elementary school students gathered for the meeting.
“Anything we can do to recycle is a cost savings to your moms and dads,” he continued.
Christmas campaign raises $43,000
The Dawson Creek and District Hospital Foundation Christmas Light Up Campaign shattered projections by raising more than $43,000 for health care in the city.
The foundation had set $30,000 for its goal in the Christmas 2002 campaign. Through the sale of light bulbs and donations, the foundation was able to raise $43,201.68.
“This Christmas campaign certainly was a time of gifts and giving,” said foundation director of development Gloria Cleve. “This campaign continued to grow this year because of the generous support of community sponsors.
“Hundreds of people and businesses contributed their money to the hospital foundation during this hectic holiday season. For this the hospital foundation is grateful.”
DC hit by major snowfall
The first major snowfall of the season rolled into Dawson Creek wreaking havoc on the roads and marshalling an army of snow blowers, shovels and plows onto city streets and sidewalks.
RCMP reported at least six accidents credited to slick and snow covered roads and the city rented a third snowplow to deal with the heavy snowfall.
“There were six accidents contributed to road conditions and driving too fast,” said Cpl. Perry Penney. “People continue driving too fast despite horrid road conditions.”
Regional district commits money to tax study
The Peace River Regional District voted to pay up to 25 per cent of the cost – up to $30,000 – for a study to see if dropping the sales tax in border communities from 7.5 per cent to four per cent would be feasible.
The province will not look at the proposal unless there would be no loss in tax revenue.
“The loss of commerce has hurt the whole Peace Region,” Dawson Creek Coun. Alvin Stedel told the regional district board. “(We need to verify) the leakage… as is often said, we need facts, not fiction.”
The only dissenter to the motion to help fund the study was area D director Albert Erbe.
“Don’t judge me when I say you are chasing a wild horse,” Erbe said. “I still say it is not realistic.”
Airport on the upswing
Despite the lowest passenger numbers in ten years at the Dawson Creek Airport, Ian Darling was optimistic about the future of the city’s landing strips.
In 2002, 11,994 passengers passed through the local airport. That is compared to 16,708 in 2001, the previous lowest passenger turnout at the airport.
“I don’t look at it as a negative,” Darling said. “If you look at the passengers in the last two months of the year the numbers are already rising.”
This article is taken from the Peace River Block Daily News, Dawson Creek, with the permission of the publisher. The Daily News retains all rights relating to this material. The information in this article is intended solely for research or general interest purposes.