Thursday - June 20, 2024 - More pipeline construction possible

☀ High 28C

Good morning!

Our lovely Insider Members will have heard about this already, but for the rest of you, we have a special announcement.

Drumroll please.

Next Friday, we will launch our very first FVC History Edition, a monthly newsletter chock full of history stories, old photographs, heritage events, fascinating links, and more. We have partnered with a number of local museums to share a special Artifact of the Month, and we hope to include your personal histories of the valley as well.

This is a project I am extremely excited to share with all of you. Our first story from Tyler examines two century-old murders in Abbotsford—so if you know any true crime lovers who haven’t subscribed to us yet, send them this link so they can get on board.

You won’t need to do a thing to get the History Edition in your inboxes on June 28. But if you aren’t an Insider Member yet, this would be a good time to consider it. Although our first History Edition will be free for everyone, future history stories will likely be locked for Insiders only. You can sign up for a membership here.

– Grace

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.


Eight days in the ER

Lex Smid, a great-grandfather of 15, spent more than a week in Abbotsford Regional Hospital’s emergency department in February. 📷️ Alexis Toews

A 93-year-old man with a serious bladder infection spent eight days in Abbotsford Regional Hospital’s emergency department without ever being admitted to a proper care ward.

Lex Smid survived his visit in early February, but his granddaughter says his care was compromised by the lack of resources in the notoriously congested hospital.

“I don’t blame any of the staff because they look like they’re run off their feet,” Alexis Toews said. “There’s just only so much they could do in their shift. And the one or two doctors I saw, they’re like efficiency machines.”

Although notable for its weeklong duration, Smid’s multi-day emergency department limbo is hardly unique in Abbotsford, statistics show. Abbotsford Regional Hospital’s patient backlog is one of the worst in the entire country, with one in 10 inpatients spending nearly four days lingering in the emergency department.

And it’s not getting better, despite assurances from top bureaucrats.

A year ago, the head of Fraser Health told The Current that emergency room congestion was getting better. But in the 12 months since, the opposite has occurred.


Need to Know

🏳‍🌈 Mission will not hoist a Pride flag at city hall this year [Mission Record]

👉 An Abbotsford man who was charged with pointing a gun at another driver was found not guilty earlier this month [Abbotsford News]

🏗 A proposed mid-rise apartment building near downtown Chilliwack is ‘premature’ for the current density in that area, staff said [Chilliwack Progress]

🧡 The stɑl'əw̓ Arts & Cultural Society marked its 10th anniversary with a celebration in Fort Langley last Saturday [Langley Advance Times]

🚓 Chilliwack RCMP are investigating after motorcyclist was killed in an accident on Camp River Road last week [Chilliwack Progress]

🔧 An Aldergrove church is offering free oil changes to single moms in the community [Aldergrove Star]

⚾ Two Abbotsford softball players will represent Canada on the women’s national team this summer [Abbotsford News]

🔎 Chilliwack RCMP are looking for a man who is wanted on driving charges, and who may have fled to Alberta [Chilliwack Progress]

⚖ A Langley man who killed his wife in 2021 had his deportation to Haiti deferred in 2011 due to instability in that country [Langley Advance Times]

✈ WestJet has cancelled around 40 flights in anticipation of a plane mechanic strike today [CBC]

📷 CURRENT CAM: Congratulations to Mike, who was the first to identify yesterday’s Current Cam as the tractor at the roundabout between Prest and Bailey Road.

🪕 Find Your Folk at Mission Folk Music Festival, July 26-28, Fraser River Heritage Park. Discover worlds of music in the heart of the Fraser Valley.*

*Sponsored Listing

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Become an Insider member and help keep local journalism and storytelling alive in the Fraser Valley.


Menopause The Musical in Fraser Valley

Menopause The Musical® - COME JOIN OUR SISTERHOOD!

Four women at a lingerie sale have nothing in common but a black lace bra AND memory loss, hot flashes, night sweats, not enough sex, too much sex and more! This hilarious musical parody set to classic tunes from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s will have you cheering and dancing in the aisles! See what more than 17 million women and fans worldwide have been laughing about for over 20 years!

It's the Hilarious Celebration of Women and The Change!®

Tickets are on-sale now for Chilliwack and Mission shows! Get your tickets below.

October 4 at Chilliwack Cultural Centre in Chilliwack. Get Chilliwack tickets here.

October 7 at Clarke Theatre in Mission. Get Mission tickets here.

The Agenda

A natural gas compressor station near Hope could get more power, and pipelines near Agassiz and Abbotsford could get more capacity, if an application from Enbridge is approved. 📷 Enbridge

More pipeline expansions could be coming to the Fraser Valley

The Fraser Valley could be seeing more pipeline construction in the region as soon as 2026, if an application by Enbridge is approved.

If approved, the Sunrise Expansion Program would see an additional 137 kilometres of pipeline added to Enbridge’s southern pipeline, including 16.7km of pipe in the Fraser Valley. Those pipeline loops would be added to the existing pipeline system, rather than building a brand-new corridor for gas. Most of the construction would take place between Seabird Island and Agassiz, although a few kilometres of work would also happen near Huntingdon in Abbotsford.

The expansion would also include new compressor units and upgrades to existing compressor stations, to make sure the extra natural gas can actually move through the system. One new compressor would be located near Hope, and require the construction of a new overhead powerline.

According to Enbridge, increasing demand means the province needs to increase the amount of natural gas it can move by 300 million cubic feet each day. The company has already applied to the Canada Energy Regulator for approval, and undertaken environmental and geotechnical studies. If approved, construction could begin as soon as spring 2026, with the pipeline addition in operation by 2028.


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Curious about what City Council is working on that impacts your community?

Check out some of the important work being done by Abbotsford City Council on the new Your Council in the Community web section, which includes Council Briefs, Blogs as well as photos of Council out and about in our city!

🗓 Things to do this week/end

🛶 Sasquatch Days: Sasquatch Days is back in Harrison on Saturday, June 22 and Sunday, June 23. Head down to the waterfront for canoe races, a salmon BBQ, and a Sasquatch procession. Details online.

📚 Book Sale: The Hope Library’s Big Book Sale has returned, with sales continuing Friday and Saturday. Bring a bag and choose from an assortment of children’s, teen, and adult books for $5 a bag. Proceeds go to support library initiatives. Details online.

👗 Indigenous Fashion: Chillcouture: Shxwthit’awkw’ will be at the Shxwá:y Cultural Centre on Friday, June 21, for an evening of Indigenous fashion, music, and art. Tickets online.

CORRECTION: The Chilliwack Pride Festival will be taking place on July 21, not June 21 as stated in yesterday’s newsletter.

Want even more? Insider members get a comprehensive events listing every Thursday, plus a weekly Saturday round-up edition with behind-the-scenes content. Becoming a member costs less than $2 a week and helps support the ongoing production of The Current’s newsletters and in-depth journalism. Become a member here.

Have an event to tell us about? Fill out this form to have it highlighted here.

Catch up

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