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  • Thursday - May 23, 2024 - Minister says BC will talk to Langley about childcare

Thursday - May 23, 2024 - Minister says BC will talk to Langley about childcare

🌤 High 19C

Good morning!

Tea. Earl Grey. Hot. Famous words spoken by Captain Jean Luc Picard to kickstart the Star Trek: Next Generation food replicator. The replicator may be science fiction, but we don’t have to wait until the 24th century to experience food like the Enterprise personnel.

Take your average Keurig, Nespresso, or other name-brand pod-based drink machine. Picard could get reasonable Earl Grey out of that. And don’t forget bread machines. You put a few ingredients into the box, and presto, four hours later you get a loaf of freshly baked bread.

But those options don’t taste as good as making it from scratch, you argue. Perhaps true. But neither does the Star Trek replicator. The future really is now.

– 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.


FVC Perspectives: May

The Fraser Valley Express is so underfunded and overcrowded, it’s a miracle anyone voluntarily chooses to ride it. That’s the opinion of a bus rider—and driver.

For this month’s FVC Perspectives edition, we’re spotlighting the first-hand knowledge of a local bus driver and FVX rider.

The driver wrote to us following our recent story on transit expansion plans. You can find that story here. (Because he is writing about his employer, we have made the decision to allow him to remain anonymous so we can publish his thoughts without putting him at risk of repercussions.)

We also asked you about your engagement in politics outside of elections, and what could be done to make participation more welcoming.


Need to Know

⛑ Chilliwack search and rescue team helped a hiker who slid 50 feet down a cliff near Radium Lake on the long weekend [Fraser Valley Today]

👉 Thirteen students and community members received traditional names during Seabird Island Community School’s 25th naming ceremony [Sq’éwqel Sq’éwqel Pípé]

👶 A new childcare facility in Sq’ewlets near Lake Errock will have space for 36 kids [Fraser Valley News Network]

⚖ A Trinity Western security guard who killed a suspected intruder will not spend time in jail [Langley Advance Times]

🗨 Mission’s mayor says a councillor’s comments about the city’s industrial park could damage Mission’s reputation [Mission Record]

🐄 Dairy and bee farm employees are among the lowest paid workers in Canadian agriculture, a new study says [Country Life in BC]

 🚓 Mission RCMP dismantled a fentanyl ‘super lab’ on Saturday [Mission Record]

🏀 Mission basketball star Kim Smith Gaucher is heading to the Olympics as the head coach for the 3×3 women’s team [Mission Record]

🎸 A Vanderhoof band that inspired Bryan Adams’ ‘Summer of ’69’ is set to play together again at Nechako Valley Secondary this Saturday [CBC]

📷 CURRENT CAM: Congratulations to Joan, who was the first person to identify yesterday’s Current Cam as the St. John the Divine Church in Yale.

🎵 The Mission Folk Music Festival’s July 26-28 schedule of great concerts, workshops and more is now online! Buy tickets at Early Bird discounts until June 10.*

*Sponsored Listing

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

The Agenda

Harrison’s state of emergency is over after the Ministry of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness asked the village to cancel it. 📷 Kyle Hislop/Shutterstock

Harrison backtracks on emergency declaration

Just one day after declaring a State of Local Emergency, Harrison Hot Springs Mayor Ed Wood has been forced to backtrack by the provincial government.

Wood declared a State of Local Emergency (SOLE) on Tuesday, saying he needed the power to unilaterally sign two wildfire-prevention contracts to deal with the fire threat facing the community. Wood said the SOLE was needed to circumvent bureaucratic delays and buy a fire notification system and hire a fuel management coordinator.

But provincial legislation only gives mayors the authority to declare a SOLE to deal with ongoing, recent, or “imminent” natural disasters. Wood’s declaration appeared to stretch that definition to the breaking point. Multiple outsiders involved in local and regional emergency management warned the declaration was a misuse of the powers granted to mayors.

Provincial legislation also required Wood to try to gain the consent of his council in order to declare an emergency. But Tuesday’s meeting was dissolved after more acrimony around the council table, with Wood attempting to eject opposition Coun. Michie Vidal. When she failed to leave, the meeting proceeded. But when Vidal tried to make a comment, Wood said she was not participating in the meeting. An attempt to abandon the meeting briefly seemed to result in Vidal’s ally, Coun. Leo Facio, leading a parallel meeting, until it all broke down.

The legislation giving mayors the right to declare a State of Local Emergency also allows the Minister of Emergency Management and Climate Readiness to override any such declaration. The Current asked the ministry Tuesday evening if Minister Bowinn Ma planned to intervene. The following afternoon, Wood declared the SOLE over, saying he had cancelled it at the request of the ministry. Whether the fire-prevention contracts were signed before then is unclear.

Minister says BC will have a talk with Langley about childcare

Asked about Langley City’s ban on additional downtown daycares, BC’s childcare minister said the province will have “conversations” with the city about childcare, but avoided commenting on the bylaw itself.

Earlier this week, the Fraser Valley Current reported that Langley City had voted in favour of new rules that would stop new daycares from opening downtown. At a press conference Wednesday, we asked Rachna Singh, BC’s minister of education and childcare, what the province thought about the plan.

Singh said she “just came to know about this bylaw,” and said the province will be working with Langley to see “what are the options for us where we can add more spaces.”

She pointed to the province’s ChildCareBC plan, which was developed in 2018. The plan aims to add 36,000 childcare spaces to the province. Singh noted that new schools will have daycare space as well.

When asked if it’s possible for the government to meet its childcare goals if municipalities limit the creation of new facilities, Singh said:

“We’ll be having conversations … for what are the reasons that these decisions are being made, and how we can help them bring in more childcare spaces in their own communities.”

In her answers, Singh conflated Langley City and Langley Township multiple times. (We asked our question at a press conference about the construction of an elementary school in the township.) At the end of the press conference, Township Coun. Tim Baillie pointed to his municipality’s plan to add new childcare spaces to parks. (You can read our story on the township’s parks-to-daycares plan here.)

“We’re taking action on this, regardless of what other jurisdictions want to do,” he said.


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🗓 Things to do this week/end

Soccer: Vancouver FC will be facing off against Pacific FC at Willoughby Community Park on Saturday. The Current wrote about the Fraser Valley Fanatics and their support for the soccer team earlier this month. Tickets online.

🍓 Downtown market: The Downtown Chilliwack Community Market takes place Sundays from 10am to 2pm on Mill Street. The market kicks off this Sunday, May 26. Details online.

🐝 Bee Festival: Head to Langley's Derek Doubleday Arboretum for a Festival of the Bees on Saturday. Enjoy honey-themed threats, make beeswax candles, and create seed bombs. 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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