- Fraser Valley Current
- March 17, 2023 edition - An illegal rent increase—unless you're a university
March 17, 2023 edition - An illegal rent increase—unless you're a university
Friday, March 17, 2023 | Today: ☀️ High 15C, Low 4C | 7-day forecast
Good morning, there!
One thing that bugs me is how most of the journalism programs are located in large cities. That affects who gets trained to be a journalist and, inevitably, the stories reporters end up writing. It also concentrates talent and know-how in those bigger centres. We need more young people from smaller cities and towns pursuing journalism and reporting on the places they grew up, which is why it's exciting to have been able to welcome a temporary addition to the Fraser Valley Current team: Thomas Wilson.
Thomas, who wrote today's story, is a UFV student who is doing an internship with us. UFV doesn’t have a journalism program (though it does have a great student newspaper), but the great thing about journalism is that you don’t need a license to do it. You just need to be fair, curious, and able to string some sentences together. Thomas can do far more than that, and when we had a story about housing on UFV's campus that needed reporting, he was the perfect fit to tackle the subject. (No, he doesn't live in the housing that is the subject of the story.) Thomas has a couple other stories coming for us in the weeks to come, so watch for them.
Lá:lem te Baker is a student housing residence at Abbotsford’s UFV campus. | Thomas Wilson
UFV set to hike student rental rate by 5%
Whenever Zareen Ahmed bakes her favourite dessert, the hallways of the University of the Fraser Valley’s on-campus student residence are filled with the aroma of red velvet cupcakes.
“Everyone comes in and we socialize together,” she said. “It’s really nice.”
As an international student, living at Lá:lem te Baker is like having a home away from home for Zareen and many other students.
“The dorm really helped me feel a sense of belonging over here. It’s very safe and spacious and pretty much everything a student might need.”
Even in the summer, the dorms aren’t as empty as one would expect. Zareen has been extending her contract since starting her Business Administration degree in the fall of 2021. There are others like her, too. Some students have even lived on campus for four or five years while working towards their degrees. And last summer, more than one-third of the 203 available beds were occupied.
But the cost to live in student housing is rising. This fall, student housing fees at UFV will increase by 5%, bringing monthly rents at Lá:lem te Baker up to $781.
While the rates for on-campus accommodations are generally lower than current market rates in the Fraser Valley, that 5% rental increase at UFV’s main student residence is more than double the 2% maximum allowable increase for most ongoing residential tenancies in British Columbia this year.
Need to know
🧟♂️ Abbotsford is the 10th safest town in Canada to ride out a zombie (yes, zombie) apocalypse based on this very serious study [Rentola]
🐓 BC farms are getting an influx of funding to avoid or respond to animal disease outbreaks from animal disease [BC Government / The Current recently wrote about an avian flu outbreak that killed millions of Fraser Valley birds, find that story here [FVC]
🐦 Another pigeon smuggler was found at an Abbotsford prison, but Abbotsford police aren't providing details [CBC]
⚖️ A Hope man was given a four-month jail sentence for bear-spraying his co-worker in Chilliwack [Hope Standard]
⏰ Two Chilliwack rec centres will be open longer on weekends [Fraser Valley Today] (We’ll have a story on the rec centre hours in an issue to come)
🚒 Firefighters are investigating a suspicious fire at a Langley City apartment complex; a 2016 blaze in the same complex displaced residents for two years [Langley Advance Times]
💰 Fraser Valley programs aimed at reducing gun violence will get $4.7 million of federal funding [Government of Canada]
👮🏻♂️ A man who was arrested for allegedly ‘punching’ several vehicles in Langley with a machete will head to court in June [Langley Advance Times]
💵 A judge awarded $137,000 to an Abbotsford man who was struck by a logging truck in Chilliwack in 2015 [Chilliwack Progress]
👷♂️ An Abbotsford siding company was fined $20,000 for endangering worker safety; the company has been fined six times in the last four years [Abbotsford News] / The Current previously reported on where employee safety is most at-risk, find that story here [FVC]
😷 COVID cases in Fraser Health account for nearly half of the provincial total [CTV]
TOGETHER WITH BC CANNABIS STORES
BC Cannabis Store is now open in Langley!
Join BC Cannabis Stores for their grand opening on Mar. 18 at their newest location in Langley (Unit 150 – 20202 66 Ave). The first 100 people in the door will receive a complimentary tote bag!
BC Cannabis Stores is committed to providing customers with high-quality cannabis products, friendly service, and responsible education. Open every day from 9am to 9pm and Sundays 10am-6pm.
Can’t make it to the store? BCCannabisStores.com is the online destination for cannabis flower, pre-rolls, edibles, oils, and concentrates with varying potencies of CBD and THC. Remember to start low and go slow when consuming cannabis.
Construction on the Aldergrove Skateboard Park is expected to begin next month. | Township of Langley
Upgrades planned for Aldergrove Skateboard Park
The Aldergrove Skateboard Park is getting an upgrade.
Last year, the Langley Township surveyed the public and gathered feedback about a new park design. New plans were approved by council earlier this year.
Construction will begin on the new design in April and take place in two phases. The project is expected to be completed in the summer.
Chilliwack decides how to spend its millions from BC’s Growing Communities Fund
Chilliwack has made its shopping list to spend the millions it will receive from the province’s Growing Communities Fund.
The fund, announced last week, is a one-time windfall for municipalities across the province after a larger than expected surplus. The list, the city writes, may have to shift based on any rules the province attaches to the money later.
Chilliwack’s share will be roughly $16 million. Expanding the wastewater treatment plant’s biological treatment capabilities will cost $5 million, and new racquet sports facilities will cost $5.6 million.
The less expensive (though still pricey) projects are geared towards younger (or older and active) residents. A cycle pump track, game rooms, a spray park, an off-leash dog park, and bleacher improvements in Townsend Park are all on the list—as are several hundred thousand dollars worth of trail improvements in the area.
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH FESTIVAL DU BOIS
Festival du Bois 2023
Gather your pals and say “bonjour” to Festival du Bois, Mar. 24-26 in Coquitlam’s Mackin Park.
Experience brilliant Quebecois, folk, and world music from across Canada, shows for kids, roving performers, food, entertaining on-site activities, and more.
Come for a fun-filled day or the whole weekend!
🍀 The Abbotsford-Sumas Rotary Club is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day party at Bradner Hall on Saturday to raise funds to support the club and its philanthropic efforts. Tickets online.
🎶 Pat Chessel will play a Mission Coffee House Concert at the Clark Theatre on Saturday. Tickets information online.
📘 Abbotsford author Jay Lang will be at the Chilliwack Library at noon on Saturday for the release of latest book Snake Oil. Details online.
👉 The Historical Arms Collectors Society will hold its 51st annual gun show at Chilliwack’s Heritage Park this weekend. Tickets are $5 and available at the door.
🎨 Duke’s Country Pub in Chilliwack will be home to two guided-painting parties (one at noon and one at 5PM) on Sunday. All abilities welcome. More details online.
🐝 Fort Langley National Historic Site is hosting a different community organization each day during spring break. Learn all about the local Bs – bats, bears, birds, bees, butterflies, beavers, and more. Details online.
Have an event to tell us about? Fill out this form to have it highlighted in Around Town.
Want to promote your business to 30,000+ engaged locals?
Have a tip? Email us