Monday - June 10, 2024 - Hope drug death rate highest in valley


☀ High 22C

Good morning!

Oh, the Scholastic book fair. To enter your school library to find yourself in an unfamiliar labyrinth of makeshift shelves with posters, pencils, and books for sale. The thrill of unbridled covetousness was second only to the arrival of the Sears catalogue at Christmas.

How many books had I longed for? One I remember for certain: Sue Nicholson’s Rainforest Explorer. Its richly illustrated pages took readers on an expedition through the Amazon rainforest, teaching readers about the plant and animal life we would encounter on our journey. My sister and I had a monopoly on the library copy of that book, and Nicholson’s slightly less-invigorating Ocean Explorer. I do not remember if we ever bought it from the book fair. But I do recall salivating over its crisp pages on the shelves, much different from the worn copy we had been religiously borrowing.

Sometimes it’s nice to have your own copy of something. But the experience of wanting it can be just as valuable, and more memorable too.

– Grace

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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.


Wanted: Your love stories

In this month’s Perspectives call out, we want to hear your locations of love in the Fraser Valley. 📷 Grace Kennedy

Grace writes: There are roses blooming outside my office window. Pink roses, representing gratitude and admiration—and romantic love. It’s the perfect inspiration for our next Perspectives call out: where to find love.

This month, we want to hear where you fell in love with your partner. Which Fraser Valley locations formed the backdrop for your love story, and where should local singles go to start their own?

Whether it’s stories of engagements, first dates, serendipitous encounters, or silver anniversaries, we want to hear it. This is your chance to share a little piece of your romantic history with your fellow readers—no matter what kind of partnership you are in.

We’d also love to see your photos of romance in the Fraser Valley (although please keep it PG). You won’t be able to send them through the form, so simply shoot us an email at [email protected] with “Perspectives” in the subject line, or just hit reply on this email.

As always, we encourage you to send in your thoughts on other topics as well. There is a section at the bottom of the form for you to do so. As you write, please remember that we won’t be able to publish everything we receive—although we are grateful for all of your submissions.

We will be publishing your responses later this month. In the meantime, you can check out our popular story featuring your suggestions about how to make friends in the Fraser Valley. After all, platonic relationships are just as important as romantic ones.

Read it here:

As political chatter continues about the future of Sumas Prairie, we will be publishing a major explanatory story on the suggested possibility of the return of Sumas Lake. It’s a complicated topic and the story will be one of the largest we have ever published. If you want a preview, Tyler will be talking to Jas Johal on CKNW at 4pm today. You can listen at 980 AM or online here.

Need to Know

🥇 Nominations for Abbotsford’s civic recognition awards are now open [City of Abbotsford]

🎭 Canada’s arts sector is on shaky ground with unstable funding, rising costs, and hesitant audiences [Globe and Mail]

🚨 The body of a rower who went missing on the Sumas River has been found [Fraser Valley Today]

🛠 Sardis Secondary’s electric go-kart was named the best in Western Canada [Chilliwack Progress]

⚖ A Langley woman arrested for human trafficking is set to face trial early next year [Langley Advance Times]

🏀 Agassiz athlete and coach Carrie Watts has been inducted into the Basketball BC Hall of Fame [Agassiz Harrison Observer]

🚁 A motorcycle crash in Mission last week sent the driver to hospital in a helicopter [Mission Record]

👉 Abbotsford’s old Travelodge will become an emergency homeless shelter [Abbotsford News]

🚒 One person was in hospital after a fire in Langley City destroyed a house last Thursday [Langley Advance Times]

👉 An inmate at Kent Institution was assaulted by multiple people last week [Agassiz Harrison Observer]

🚀 A Chilliwack inventor has created some of the world’s most advanced space habitats from his local laboratory [Chilliwack Progress]

🏫 Langley’s Nicomekl Elementary School will be expanded, with space for 200 more students [Fraser Valley Today]

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Six nights of live performances

Mainstage is coming to Chilliwack! Six different plays to see from July 1-6 - a week of entertaining performances as part of the Provincial theatre festival. Each night of Mainstage features a performance chosen as tops in its region - the best of community theatre in BC. Choose the individual shows you want to see, or a full week package; get Mainstage tickets today via the Chilliwack Cultural Centre box office.

Mainstage 2024 also offers a variety of acting and directing workshops, led by professionals associated with the Arts Club of Vancouver.

Mainstage is one of the longest running theatre traditions in Canada. This year’s festival is hosted by the Chilliwack Players Guild at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre.

The Agenda

Three Fraser Valley communities have the highest death rate in Fraser Health because of the toxic drug crisis. 📷 Grace Kennedy

Hope continues to have highest drug death rate in Fraser Health

No municipality between Burnaby and the Fraser Canyon has experienced as high a toll from BC’s unregulated drug crisis than Hope. In the first four months of 2024, Hope has lost three people to toxic drugs—roughly 10 in every 10,000 people. Three people in Agassiz and Harrison have also died, which is roughly 7.6 in every 10,000 people.

Given its size, Hope has consistently experienced the highest rates of drug-related deaths in Fraser Health over the last six years. Eight Chilliwack residents have died due to drugs between January and April of 2024, compared to Hope’s three. But Hope is less than a tenth the size of Chilliwack.

Although Hope has the highest death rate in Fraser Health, it isn’t the highest in the province. Vancouver-Centre North has lost nearly 405 people in every 100,000 residents, more than four times as much as Hope. Vancouver Island North, Prince George, Cariboo-Chilcotin, Greater Campbell River, and Quesnel all also have higher death rates than Hope.

In the Fraser Valley, between January and the end of April, Hope has lost three people to toxic drugs, as has Agassiz-Harrison. Eight people in Chilliwack, six people in Mission, and 17 people in Langley have also died. Abbotsford has lost 36 people in that time—approximately three people every week.


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🤝 Now hiring

Bricklayer helper at Empire Masonry in Langley

Pediatrician at Chilliwack General Hospital

Financial planner at Scotiabank in Abbotsford

Server at Five Forks Bar & Grill in Mission

Campground operator at Kilby Historic Site in Harrison Mills

Hiring in the Fraser Valley? Reply back and let us know!


At ScotFestBC you'll find 4 stages jammed with pipes, Celtic bands, world music, Highland dance, Remax heavy events, and more. While you're there check out the whisky school, Scottish Experience for children, cultural workshops, 20 food trucks, and dozens of vendors. June 14 and 15 in Coquitlam's Town Centre Park.

🗓 Things to do

Farmers’ market: The Market at the Coliseum is back in Chilliwack every Tuesday from 3pm to 8pm. Details online.

Country concert: Clint Black plays at the Abbotsford Centre on Thursday at 7pm. Tickets are still available online.

Fire hall night: Langley's fire halls are open to families tomorrow and Wednesday. Meet firefighters, climb aboard the trucks, and join hands-on demonstrations. Aldergrove, Brookswood, Murrayville, and Otter fire halls will be open from 6:30 to 8pm on Tuesday; Fort Langley, Willoughby, and Walnut Grove fire halls will be open during the same time on Wednesday. Details online.

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Catch up

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