Friday - May 24, 2024 - Mission pauses ban on street-side RV homes

🌧 High 15C

Good morning!

If you’ve driven east between Abbotsford and Chilliwack recently, you’ll notice a huge sign on the right side of the highway warning “Use Caution. Barrier Damaged” (or something very close to that—I was driving, not taking notes). You’ll then drive over a bridge on which one of the protective side guardrails bears the effects of a recent collision. Every time I pass the sign, I shake my head at its pointlessness.

The guardrail exists on a laser-straight section of highway. All you have to do is drive straight. If you can’t drive straight over the bridge, a sign asking you to be careful while driving in a straight line isn’t going to help you.

The sign isn’t a big thing. It’s not hurting anything, really. It probably only costs a bit of money. It’s probably there for “legal” reasons. But its meaningless annoys the editor in me. We click ‘accept’ on online disclaimers, we sign waivers that we don’t have time to read, and we spend time sorting through corporate and government proclamations that mostly exist to satisfy the writers’ bosses, not actual audiences. Our world is increasingly full of meaningless words. We don’t need our commutes to be littered with them as well.

– 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.


Abbotsford’s legal costs tripled since 2021

The City of Abbotsford’s legal fees doubled to nearly $6 million last year as the municipality continues to deal with the legal fallout from the 2021 flooding disaster.

The city spent $5.9 million on “risk management” in 2023, according to audited financial statements released last week to Abbotsford council. That’s more than double the amount spent last year and quadruple the cost of legal fees in 2019.


Need to Know

🚗 A large parking lot in Langley is filled with unsold Teslas [Langley Advance Times]

🔥 Fire broke out at a Harrison Mills RV park [Agassiz-Harrison Observer]

🌭 Abbotsford’s most-famous hot-dog seller is hoping to run for the federal Conservatives [Abbotsford News]

🤝 The District of Hope and Chawathil First Nation signed an agreement laying out how the communities will work together [Hope Standard]

👉 Hackers have released company data stolen from London Drugs [CBC]

🚉 A train struck and killed a man in Langley on Wednesday afternoon; Mounties are seeking witnesses [Langley RCMP]

🚽 Two outhouses caught fire at Island 22 Regional Park in Chilliwack [Chilliwack Progress]

🚑 A man who was stabbed on Seabird Island Wednesday night will survive [Fraser Valley Today]

🎤 The provincial government held another media event to highlight highway widening work through Langley [BC Government]


EcoFarm Fest 2024

On June 1, EcoFarm will be hosting their second EcoFarm Fest, a farmer’s market style family-friendly event including local food, music, kids entertainment, and educational opportunities. The event will be joined by additional vendors and exhibitors within our local agricultural community. Join the fun at EcoFarm on June 1!

The Agenda

The use of RVs as homes has become increasingly common as housing costs have skyrocketed. 📷 Shutterstock/Phyllis Peterson

Mission pauses ban on living in streetside RVs

Mission’s council has pumped the brakes on a move that would formally ban people from sleeping in homes parked on public roads.

For years, the city has been mulling new rules to address complaints about RVs used for homes in certain parts of the city. It took the first steps towards changing its bylaws three years ago, following residents’ complaints. But it stopped short of formally adopting those proposed changes after being warned by members of the city’s sustainable housing committee that such a move could have negative impacts on people already struggling to find a place to live.

City staff have since revised its processes to give staff the ability to use their discretion in determining whether a complaint is legitimate and worth pursuing. The policy says that minor bylaw violations that have no actual impact on a complainant may not be pursued. Staff wrote the city has created “an internal operational procedure to respond to complaints using a people-first approach with education and providing resources before moving to enforcement.”

But at a council meeting last week, the city’s politicians asked for more information, and potential revisions, to make clear how the ban would be applied and what would be done to minimize the harm to those with nowhere else to go.

“I am concerned that we would be moving people without them having a place to go,” Mayor Paul Horn said. Horn referenced a New Westminster politician’s warning that governments “need to be careful that we’re not focusing on discomfort at the expense of safety.”

Mission council asked staff for clarity about when and where the the rules would be enforced. Several councillors spoke about resident concerns in certain areas, including around schools and parks. Horn himself said it was important that the roads along the city’s waterfront not become a long-term camping destination.

“The last thing I want to do is take someone’s home away. At the same time, we are faced with some derelict RVs that are parked on our streets that are very unsightly and not safe. But we also don’t want to create—if you go off the highway and see the Bradner [rest stop],” Coun. Angel Elias said. “I don’t know what the answers are for this.”

Council has now given staff three months to return to council with those answers.


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💾 Flashback Friday

The Abbotsford Flyers celebrate a 1977 win. 📷 The Reach Gallery Archives/P23426

For 10 years, the Abbotsford Flyers represented the city in the BC Junior Hockey League. The team is one of a number of junior hockey franchises to have come and gone from local communities over the last century. The Flyers started playing in 1976 and spent a decade in the city before the franchise moved to Delta. Wearing jerseys that mimicked those of the NHL’s Philadelphia Flyers, the club’s best year came in 1983, when they won the league championship. That year they also won the Western Canadian championship, but lost the national title in four games to the North York Rangers. The Flyers moved to Delta in 1985. They were replaced by the Abbotsford Falcons, which played for three more years before folding. The Delta Flyers stopped playing at the same time.

🗓 Things to do

Car seat clinic: Parents of young kids can stop by the Bob Chan-Kent Family YMCA in Chilliwack on Saturday to have their car seat installation checked. The car seat clinic is going on between 11:30am and 3:30pm. Details online.

Rock n’ roll: Rock the Cinema is coming to the Hope Cinema on Saturday. The event will feature live rock music, beer, and burgers. Tickets online.

Plant workshop: Forest Gifts will be hosting a guided hike and plant identification workshop on Abbotsford trails on Saturday. Tickets are $40 and include a take-home gift. Email [email protected] for tickets or more information.

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Catch up

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Tyler Olsen

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