Recent History – 2003
Men fined after wildlife sting
More than $14,000 worth of fines were levied against a pair of area men following a five-month-long sting operation.
Elmer Clair Johnson and Timothy Stiemer pleaded guilty in Dawson Creek Provincial Court to charges under the provincial wildlife act for guiding anglers without a licence.
The men were each fined $1,150 and ordered to each pay $6,000 to a provincial fisheries fund. The court also ordered that all seized angling gear be forfeited to the crown. First-time offenders of the act can face $50,000 in fines and six months in jail under the provincial wildlife act.
Pouce ponders changes to dog rules
Officials in Pouce Coupe worked with the SPCA to address residents’ concerns about dogs.
In February, a group of concerned Pouce Coupe residents said they faced everything from harassment and attacks by dogs to the animals relieving themselves on their porches. They demanded action, warning residents may start taking matters into their own hands if the village council didn’t act.
“We contacted the SPCA and had several discussions,” said Coun. Sandy Hull. “We were meeting with them Monday afternoon prior to council.”
What came out of the meeting was a four-pronged approach to dealing with dogs gone astray. The approach includes proposals for stiffer fines, more patrols, an education campaign and new rules on licensing dogs.
Dahlen ready to declare ‘war on garbage’
Mayor Wayne Dahlen was ready to declare a “war on garbage” in Dawson Creek, but council wanted to give discussion one more chance.
Aside from electing to use Canadian Waste Systems to pick up the city’s trash, Dahlen suggested other ideas to cut down on local garbage. He asked council for a declaration of war on rubbish, calling for innovative means to control what goes into the city’s landfill.
“Is it fair to say we are all in favour of declaring war on garbage?” Dahlen asked council. “If there is a person who recycles and has one bag, why should they be paying the same price as a person who puts out three bags?”
Kootenays support PST study
A further study into reducing the provincial sales tax in B.C. border communities got the go-ahead after it received unanimous support from the East Kootenay Regional District.
Dawson Creek representatives were in Cranbrook to pitch the idea and secure funds for the study. Dawson Creek and the Peace River Regional District have opted to pay half the study’s $120,000 price tag.
“We had unanimous support from their regional district to go forward with phase two of the study,” said Coun. Alvin Stedel. “We are one step closer to offering consumers in B.C. a lower price.”
Golden, a community on the B.C. side of the Trans-Canada Highway, also came to the table with money for the study, Stedel said.
Lard story captures the imagination
Lard mania swept through Dawson Creek in March.
A story about lard sculptures at Northern Lights College in January garnered worldwide response, nearly landing chef instructor Jacquelynne Baran on Late Night With David Letterman. Not only had big U.S. networks caught onto the lard sculpting craze, people from all over Western Canada checked into the college cafeteria to see the fat carvings.
“It just went crazy,” Baran said of the reaction following a Daily News article Jan. 30, 2002 about lard sculpting at the college.
“People would call and say “I’m only in town for a couple of days, are the lard sculptures still on display at the college?’
“Everyone wanted to be part of the lard sculpture hype.”
City to enforce alarm bylaw
City council was trying to buck an alarming trend in Dawson Creek by enforcing a bylaw cracking down on false alarms.
The Fire and Security System False Alarm Fee Bylaw has been on the city’s books since 1996 though never enforced. It calls for fines to be levied for continuous false alarms.
“This just makes good sense,” said Coun. Brent Neumann in voting to approve the enforcement of the bylaw.
The enforcement aspect of the bylaw would see a $50 fine levied against anyone who has two false alarms in one 12-month period. The fine for a third false alarm would be $75 and subsequent alarms calls would cost $100.
A report into enforcing the bylaw came to the conclusion that, “responding to false alarms costs the taxpayers of Dawson Creek in lost police and fire time. It also puts genuine emergencies at risk, as the city does not have sufficient manpower to respond to multiple simultaneous alarms.”
Dawson Creek gets 2005 Games
Dawson Creek was been named the host city for the 2005 Northern B.C. Winter Games
It is the third time Dawson Creek has been named host city for the games. The Northern B.C. Winter Games began in 1975 and came under the auspices of the B.C. Games in 1994.
“On behalf of the Northern B.C. Winter Games Society, it is my pleasure to advise you that the 2005 Winter Games have been awarded to your city, commencing February 3 and running until Sunday, February 6, 2005,” announced society president Gary Schmidt in a letter to city council.
Dawson Creek hosted the Northern B.C. Winter Games in 1977 and 1998. The B.C. Winter Games were held in the city in 1988.
Shopping spree winner gives winnings to food banks
A shopping spree winner at Joey’s PriceSmart wasn’t going to be chowing down on any of her pickings from the store’s shelves.
Bev Dunsmore won the shopping spree after picking up a $2 ticket in support of the Heart to Change the World mission. After winning, Dunsmore donated her gatherings to three Dawson Creek food banks.
“Fun?” She said after the five-minute-long sprint through the store’s aisles. “It was fun and harder than I thought it would be.
“The stuff in shrink wrap was easy, but the cans were hard.”
While on the spree, Dunsmore wheeled through PriceSmart aisles, grabbing every kind of canned good, pasta, pasta sauce, salad dressing and food items she could get her hands on and into a basket.
Brand society gets going
More than 100 Peace River producers, politicians and concerned business people met to brand the Peace at the George Dawson Inn.
The formative Annual General Meeting was held, calling for adoption of bylaws, a constitution and electing the first board of the not-for-profit society. The goal is to label products created on both sides of the border and within the Peace River region to establish a geographical brand.
“I bring a love of the Peace,” said newly elected director Bud Powell. “I have the good of the Peace at heart.”
The Dawson Creek councillor was the city’s representative to run for the inaugural board. The first task of the board will be to name a chairperson, vice-chairperson and secretary-treasurer from those elected.