Tuesday - July 2, 2024 - New apartment, old house

☀ High 24C

Happy July!

School’s out for summer! For my kids, this means a lot of books and hanging out, and asking what’s for lunch and moaning when they’re told to make it themselves. For us at The Current, it means keeping producing a new newsletter each and every weekday.

I’m quite proud of our output in June. We wrote a lot of big, interesting stories. But I’ve been reminded that I’m going to need to take some of my overflowing vacation time sooner rather than later. So the next month might feature a few more lighter, smaller stories as we try to catch up and, maybe, take some time off to re-charge our batteries before a busy fall—and an election. We hope they’re still fun, useful, and interesting.

Thanks so much to our members, who allow us to continue writing about things like old murders, silly schools, drumming battles, troubled hospitals, and our region’s crazy geography. If you want to support our work, you can become a member for a couple bucks a week here.

– Tyler

Traffic & Weather

🌤 Local forecast: Langley | Chilliwack | Abbotsford | Hope

🚘 Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google, and find DriveBC’s latest updates.

🛣 Click here for links to road cameras across the Fraser Valley, including those for the Coquihalla, Highway 7, Hope-Princeton, Fraser Canyon, and Highway 1 in Langley and Abbotsford.


Nine great things to do this July

Fraser Valley events this month include Shakespeare performances, a skydiving fundraiser, and two Pride festivals. 📷 Bard in the Valley; Mauricio Graiki/Shutterstock; chomplearn/Shutterstock

The Fraser Valley is heading into the height of summer, with lazy, sun-soaked days and pleasant evenings.

Local organizations don’t want you to get too relaxed though. This month is filled with a variety of events to get your heart pumping, including a firefighter splash contest, a skydiving fundraiser, Pride festivals, and dragon boat races. 


Need to Know

🛑 Some Langley residents are hoping they can shut down a stinky farm that makes soil and mulch in Glen Valley [Langley Advance Times]

🚲 Terry Fox’s brother is looking for a Chilliwack welcoming committee to cheer on the 10th annual Terry Fox Ride of Hope this Saturday [Chilliwack Progress]

🔎 RCMP are looking for a Langley woman who was last seen over a week ago [Fraser Valley Today]

🍄 A group of Abbotsford mushroom farm workers are the first BC agriculture employees to unionize in nearly two decades [National Observer]

⚠ A Langley apartment building was evacuated on Canada Day due to a police incident, RCMP say [Langley Advance Times]

🚔 Mission RCMP had two vehicles stolen last week, although they found a different stolen vehicle a few days later [Mission Record]

🚓 A man is injured and a woman in custody after shots were fired in Laidlaw on Sunday [Hope Standard]

🏫 Abbotsford teachers will not need to tell parents if a student wants to use a name or pronoun that doesn’t match their biological sex [Abbotsford News]

🚴‍♂️ A Chilliwack teen became the youngest Sport Bike winner ever in his debut race at the Superbike Championship in Edmonton [Chilliwack Progress]

🚒 No one was injured in an early morning bus fire near Hope last week [Hope Standard]

👉 Homeless Abbotsford residents were protesting at city hall over the weekend for a piece of municipal land to shelter on [Global News]

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The Agenda

Construction of a new apartment building in central Mission will require three century-old homes to be demolished. 📷 City of Mission

Apartment proposal requires old homes to be demolished

Three century-old homes will need to be torn down (or moved) if a proposed new apartment building in downtown Mission is to be constructed.

A developer hopes to build a five-storey apartment building with 56 strata units on 2nd Avenue.

Construction would require the removal of three old homes that a staff report says “reflect the historical nature and value of this area.” One of the homes was built in 1914 and occupied by Agnes Fabry—the widow of the manager of the Bellevue Hotel. It is listed on the city’s Heritage Inventory List. Two other homes slated for removal aren’t on the list but were “built during a similar time period,” according to staff.

City staff have recommended that before demolition, the developer photograph the building exteriors and provide a summary of the homes’ history and design. The developer has agreed to install a plaque with images and descriptions of the demolished homes, and include an homage to the homes in the lobby of the new apartment building.

Council got a first look at the project Tuesday, but they won’t make a final decision on whether to approve the development until a later meeting. Staff have not yet recommended approval or rejection, though a report notes the 56 units would contribute toward increasing the city’s housing supply.

Abbotsford school district launches investigation into censorship of art activism student

The Abbotsford School District announced Friday that it is investigating the circumstances that led to Lexis De Meyer being barred from delivering a speech on accessibility at her school. The Current reported last Tuesday that De Meyer had been told she was forbidden from speaking about the lack of accessibility at her own school during an event for her art activism class.

Originally, the school district had told The Current that it couldn’t comment on specifics because of “privacy regulations,” but that school officials were trusted and empowered to moderate the content at public events.

On Friday, the district did a 180, issuing a detailed press release in which superintendent Sean Nosek said an investigation had been launched into the circumstances surrounding the censored speech.

“This situation is a critical reminder of our commitment to transparency, and moving forward, we will ensure all student voices are respected and heard," Nosek said.

“We are reviewing our approach to handling student speeches and written statements at public events," Nosek added. "We acknowledge that altering De Meyer's speech may have compromised our commitment to open dialogue. We believe in fostering an environment where students can freely express their perspectives. We will develop clearer guidelines to ensure student voices are respected and upheld, preventing similar issues in the future."

The release included a joint statement by school officials saying: "We deeply regret that our actions did not align with this goal in the recent situation involving De Meyer’s speech and artist statement. We apologize for the frustration and disappointment this has caused…We are actively seeking to connect with De Meyer to address this matter and make this right."

De Meyer’s mother, Renee, said they had not been contacted before the release was issued.


That story is about horticulturalist Fenwick Fatkin, but a reader wrote to point out that the accompanying photo is not of Fatkin, but of the reader’s grandfather and uncle, Caleb and Buller Manuel, who were themselves early daffodil pioneers.


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Catch up

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