Tuesday - June 25, 2024 - A call for gondola approval

🌤 High 26C

Good morning!

Do you know about the Streisand Effect? If you don’t, it basically describes how trying to cover up a piece of information can end up exposing it to far more people than who would have otherwise taken notice of it. It’s named for Barbara Streisand, who sued a photographer who published photos of seaside mansions. The photographer was just trying to document erosion; until Streisand’s lawyers became involved, the picture had only been downloaded four times. After the lawsuit, needless to say, far more people saw the image Streisand had sought to have removed.

Anyways, you probably wouldn’t be learning today about an Abbotsford’s school’s barriers to accessibility if administrators hadn’t deemed it out of bounds for a student to talk about them.

– Tyler

Support local journalism by supporting The Current. Become a Current Insider member today and help bring local stories to life.

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.


Administrators censored an ‘art activism’ student’s speech about accessibility barriers

Lexis De Meyer’s final project was a painting inspired by her own challenges navigating her school after she broke her ankle. But school officials forbid her from mentioning her experience in her speech and artistic statement. 📷 Submitted

An Abbotsford high school principal censored a student’s speech at a public event because she planned to mention accessibility challenges she encountered at her own school.

Earlier this month, Lexis De Meyer stood in front of a crowd at Robert Bateman Secondary School and welcomed visitors to an exhibition of student art pieces focused around the theme of inclusion and accessibility.

But the speech heard by visitors—including school officials, a local reporter, and Abbotsford’s mayor—was not the one De Meyer had wanted to give.

Instead, it had been re-written by administrators to omit accessibility barriers De Meyer found at her own school and her attempts to call for change.

Officials also censored an artistic statement De Meyer had produced to accompany her painting, which was inspired by the challenges she encountered after she broke her ankle in a rugby game earlier in the year. The original statement closed with a clear—but relatively gentle—call to action.

De Meyer wrote: “I hope the school district hears my voice and supports students in their education by making it possible to independently enter the building, attend class and go to the classroom.”

But administrators told De Meyer’s teacher that a booklet containing the entire class’s artistic statements wouldn’t be distributed unless De Meyer’s statement was scrubbed of any mention of Robert Bateman and her own personal experience.


Need to Know

🚧 Construction has begun on widening Highway 1 in Langley between 216 and 256 streets [Langley Advance Times]

👉 A farm property near Cultus Lake is still full of waste, even though a deadline to remove it has passed [Vancouver Sun]

🍔 A Garrison Crossing burger joint has closed, citing rising costs [Fraser Valley Today]

👏 UFV’s longest-serving employee learned he was hired when his new boss hopped a fence and jumped in front of his vehicle [Abbotsford News]

🚧 Construction has started on a new Mission childcare centre and youth programs facility [Mission Record]

⚖ BC’s Appeals Court has thrown out jail sentences handed to two activists who trespassed on an Abbotsford hog farm; they’ll now serve house arrest [CTV]

🔉 The premier visited Chilliwack to make another pre-election announcement [Fraser Valley Today]

🚓 A sex offender who breached the conditions of his release in Chilliwack last year has been charged with multiple assaults [Fraser Valley Today]

Enjoying our newsletter? Help us make it even better!

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


Learn AI in 5 Minutes a Day

AI Tool Report is one of the fastest-growing and most respected newsletters in the world, with over 550,000 readers from companies like OpenAI, Nvidia, Meta, Microsoft, and more.

Our research team spends hundreds of hours a week summarizing the latest news, and finding you the best opportunities to save time and earn more using AI.

The Agenda

A rendering of the bottom of the proposed Cascade Skyline Gondola shows a parking lot and buildings, including a Sto:lo interpretive centre, on the current Bridal Falls Golf Course. A gondola would take visitors up the mountain to a restaurant or lodge. 📷️ Cascade Skyline Gondola

Cheam say gondola approval delays are disrespectful

The Cheam First Nation’s Cascade Skyline Gondola Project has not yet been approved by the provincial government, a decision that Chief Darwin Douglas says is disrespectful and “the opposite of reconciliation.”

The First Nation’s project envisions the construction of a gondola to connect buildings, including a Stó:lō interpretive centre, at the junction of Highway 1 and 9, to a high mountain restaurant or lodge above Bridal Veil Falls. It is in direct competition with another, more elaborate plan for the area, which would see a full mountain resort built by an independent developer. Last year, the province said it would put both projects in a “competitive bid” process, to see which plan is the best for the area.

At the time, the Cheam First Nation was displeased with the process, saying it was taking too long. They have not changed their tune in the months since.

In a statement issued Monday, Chief Douglas said the provincial government has been “stalling and creating additional hurdles for the past six years.” He said the project has been altered to reduce its environmental footprint and eliminate any “claimed overlap” of the land with other First Nations. Those changes include having only one gondola instead of two and reducing the area by a third so it intersects with fewer other nations’ territory. The Cheam First Nation has already purchased the Bridal Falls golf course that would form the base of the gondola project.

Douglas noted that the project no longer overlaps the area occupied by the proposed Bridal Falls Mountain Resort, and the province should no longer need to choose between the two proposals.

“In the strongest possible terms, we urge the Government of BC to immediately approve our project and allow it to move forward for the benefit of our people, their economic and cultural futures and the benefit of the broader Fraser Valley community,” he said.


You can share this newsletter by forwarding it or copy and pasting this link—https://fvcurrent.com/p/june-25-2024/—into a social media chat or post.

🔓️ Become a Current Insider for 25% off today and get full access to this newsletter. Every Tuesday, members get exclusive information on events, food and drink, and local deals.

You’ll also get our weekly behind-the-scenes newsletter and roundup on Saturday. And most of all, your contribution will allow us to keep producing all the great journalism you already know and love.

Catch up

That’s it!

Thanks for reading Fraser Valley Current today ♥️ 

If you found something useful, consider forwarding this newsletter to another local.

And before you go, please let us know:

What did you think of today's newsletter?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.

Tyler Olsen

Help share The Current

Wouldn’t the Fraser Valley be better if more people had access to local, quality news – and didn’t have to rely on social media? Share The Current with your friends and help us build better communities.


or to participate.