Thursday - June 27, 2024 - BC has no plans for Agassiz bridge

🌧 High 16C

Good morning!

I still can’t get over how skin-thinned school administrators told an Abbotsford student that an ‘art activism’ event was no place for a very gentle speech urging her own school to reduce accessibility barriers. The many comments on the story—which you can read here—sum up some of my feelings. I swing between the cynical observation that it shows how quickly institutions will ditch their ideals to save themselves a headache, and the optimistic view that the incident shows how advocates can still make themselves heard.

But one other lingering issue is worth highlighting. The school district refused to say anything about the incident, citing student privacy issues. It’s an example of how institutions use Canada’s privacy laws to avoid commenting on topics that would require them to explain their own actions. And how resistant they frequently are to admitting one of their employees messed up.

That, I think, is a problem. Democracy, for all its messiness, works because individuals and institutions learn from their mistakes—and from people’s criticism. Democracy is built upon a foundation of trust that comes from having power, and still allowing expressions of dissent and dissatisfaction. But instead of accepting that criticism is useful, even if it’s uncomfortable, our institutions have created entire departments to downplay dissent and dissatisfaction. It’s hardly a surprise, then, that they have struggled for the public’s trust in recent years. It’s hard for the public to believe that you will do better, if you’re not willing to admit your own mistakes.

– Tyler

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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.


Your guide to Canada Day in the valley

Canada Day events in the Fraser Valley this year include a pet parade in Harrison, drone shows in Langley and Chilliwack, and many other Canada-centric activities across the valley. 📷 (From left to right) Roberto Galan/Shutterstock; Vincent_Nguyen/Shutterstock; David P. Lewis/Shutterstock

Canada Day festivities will kick July off with a bang, despite fireworks shows being less common than they once were.

The Fraser Valley will be celebrating Canada Day with more than a dozen events across the region. So whether you want to partake in a drone show in Langley, a bannock breakfast in Mission, free ice skating in Chilliwack, or three separate parades in Harrison, there are lots of ways for you to enjoy the day.


Need to Know

👉 Three First Nations have asked Canada to return 300 acres of federal land on the Langley border to their nations [Daily Hive]

Abbotsford council has rejected controversial Tech District plan to build a dense housing and research hub on Sumas Mountain [Abbotsford News]

📦 Chilliwack has become a destination for people moving away from the big city, and that is creating pressure on land, infrastructure, and schools [CBC]

🚑 A rollover crash on Highway 1 near Aldergrove Tuesday involved six vehicles and sent one person to hospital [Aldergrove Star]

🍁 Three Langley neighbours are in a competition to see who can fly their Canada flag the best [Langley Advance Times]

🚓 Abbotsford police impounded 42 vehicles for excessive speeding in two days [Abbotsford News]

🗑 Mission collected nearly 10 tonnes of litter from the city’s roads last year [Mission Record]

💸 A Fraser Valley vertical farming company did not mislead investors when it spent nearly all of its money from share sales on consultants [CTV]

🩸 The Chilliwack School District is surveying parents about their thoughts on free menstrual products in washrooms [Fraser Valley Today]

💾 How journalists are trying to save their online work from the impacts of digital decay and newsroom shut downs [The Tyee]

📸 CURRENT CAM: Our Current Cam was pretty tricky this week! We’ll give you a few more days to figure it out, and if we don’t get any correct guesses by July 2, we’ll share a different photo of the Current Cam location.

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Children's Day at the Harrison Festival of the Arts

A festival in a festival! Bring the kids to the Harrison Festival's Children's Day on July 17 from 11am-4pm at the Harrison Memorial Hall. Bobs and Lolo will perform. Enjoy traditional fiddling, a circus performer, crafts, the climbing wall, a tots play area, mural painting and more, for only $6! More info here.

The Agenda

Residents in Agassiz have been asking about upgrades to the community’s main river crossing for decades. So far, the province has none planned. 📷 Grace Kennedy

Premier mum on future of Agassiz Rosedale Bridge

The clock is ticking on the Agassiz Rosedale Bridge, and there are still no plans to replace, widen, or even seismically upgrade the crossing.

A now-12-year-old report produced for the provincial government declares that the Agassiz Rosedale Bridge will not be able to handle the projected traffic volume on the bridge by 2057, and that seismic upgrades would be needed long before then. Although the government budgeted $25 million dollars and said seismic upgrades would happen in the spring of 2021, nothing has occurred. The province did add a $200,000 bike detection system to the bridge in 2022, but cyclists say it may have actually made the bridge less safe.

The Current asked Premier David Eby what the provincial government’s plan was for the Agassiz Rosedale Bridge during a recent visit to Chilliwack. He turned the microphone over to Chilliwack-Kent MLA Kelli Paddon, whose response was, in short: there is no plan.

“As we grow and as we continue to grow, we need to look at replacing that bridge, expanding that bridge, whatever will be the most feasible plan for that specific place” she said, adding that she has heard many residents ask about the future of the crossing.

However, there are no plans to actually figure out what would be most feasible for the bridge. Although Paddon has said the province was in conversation with the Cheam First Nation about that road, she clarified that they were not discussing plans about the Agassiz Rosedale Bridge. There is no specific timeline for bridge updates, either seismic or otherwise.


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🗓 Things to do this week/end

🎸 Indigenous festival: The Tl'kemtsin Movable Feast Indigenous Music and Arts Festival takes place in Lytton on the third anniversary of its fire. The free event includes music from Laura Niquay and DJ Shub, a hip hop showcase, and local artists, artisans and knowledge-keepers. Details online. (You can read our visitors guide to Lytton here.)

🛍 Night market: The Fort Langley Night Market takes over the park at the corner of Glover Road and Mary Avenue each Friday night from 5 to 10pm starting June 28. The market features 70 vendors, a kid zone, entertainment, and a bar with selections from local breweries and wineries. Details online.

🎭 BC theatre: Chilliwack hosts Theatre BC's Mainstage from July 1 to 6, with six plays in six days. Each day will feature a new play from a theatre group from a different part of the province. Tickets are available for individual shows, or the entire week. Details online.

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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