Thursday, September 14, 2023 edition - The political curse of Abbotsford South

Fraser Valley Current

Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023 | 🌤️ High 21C

Good morning!

I’ve been keeping a secret. In addition to working at FVC I’ve also been doing another job on the side: growing a tiny human. This is our first and my husband and I are incredibly excited to expand our family. So at the end of this week I’ll be starting my maternity leave and bidding farewell to you and the team as I learn to navigate the world of parenting.

My time at The Current has been invaluable. I’ve truly experienced the most growth as a reporter working alongside Grace K., Grace G., and Tyler.

Now, if this week was going to end with an extravagant good-bye carnival I would like to think it would go something like this, where Tyler sings a song parody. But I don’t think that’s within the budget. The team does however have plans to meet for lunch. So if Tyler breaks out into song there I’ll make sure to capture it on video for you all.

Come Monday I’ll be joining the rest of you as a FVC reader and watching what the team gets up to. They already have some great stories in the works. Thanks to all of you for supporting The Current and getting it to where it is today. And for the last time: if you haven’t already, support our work and become an Insider.

Catch you all later!

Joti Grewal

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🌤 Local forecast: Langley | Chilliwack | Abbotsford | Hope

⚠️ Here’s the current smoke forecast / Check the BC Wildfire Dashboard here

🚘 Driving today? Check the current traffic situation via Google, and find DriveBC’s latest updates.


How Abbotsford South became a BC United nightmare

Three MLAs for the BC United in Abbotsford South have ditched their party in the last decade. 📷️ BC Legislature

The BC Liberals’ Abbotsford South curse has outlived the party’s name.

On Wednesday, Abbotsford South MLA Bruce Banman abandoned the party now known as BC United to join the BC Conservatives. In doing so, he became the third consecutive Abbotsford South MLA to abandon his party, following in the footsteps of Abbotsford South predecessors Darryl Plecas and John van Dongen.

In an interview with The Current Wednesday, Banman said he was dissatisfied with being told how to vote and having to hew the party line (an almost identical complaint to that made by his predecessor). We’ll have more from our interview with Banman in tomorrow’s Current.

The move will give the Conservatives two MLAs and, vitally, official party status. But while it comes after several polls showing the Kevin Falcon-led BC United with extremely low support since changing its name, the provincial ramifications won’t be clear for years. Some previous floor-crossings have signaled new eras in BC political parties. Others have been blips that seemed important at the time, but which didn’t actually change much.

What is clear is that Abbotsford South remains a baffling headache for the BC United Party. It’s extremely rare for sitting MLAs to leave their parties in BC politics, and yet every Abbotsford South BC Liberal/United MLA in the past decade has left their colleagues.

Related story

Need to know

☕️ Starbucks workers at locations in Langley and Surrey have voted in favour of strike action [Vancouver Sun]

👉️ The young offender who killed Langley teen Carson Crimeni will be sentenced this week [Langley Advance Times]

🌈 Vandals defacing the rainbow sidewalk in Fort Langley were caught on camera [Langley Advance Times]

➡️ Two drivers were left with serious injuries after a two-vehicle collision in Abbotsford [Abbotsford police/Facebook]

👨‍🚒 Firefighters continue to work on the Bear Mountain wildfire as it winds down [Agassiz-Harrison Observer]

🌊 Dikes required repairs long before the floods in 2021, reports show [Abbotsford News] / / Tyler first wrote about this in 2019, and then again after the Sumas dike failed in 2021 [Abbotsford News/Fraser Valley Current]

📷️ Police in Mission are investigating the theft of several street cameras [Mission Record]

🌲 A 35-year-old male pedestrian was killed after being hit by a vehicle on Gladys Avenue in Abbotsford [Abbotsford police/Facebook]

📷 CURRENT CAM: Yesterday's Current Cam was tough! The photo was of the clubhouse at Gladwin Park in Abbotsford. (We hoped the soccer net would have been a hint.) We'll try to make the next one a little easier!

🍁 The University of the Fraser Valley’s new Centre for High Pressure Research is the only one in Canada and will open this fall. Read more about this innovative centre.*

🍻 Advance tickets are on sale now for Brewhalla Chilliwack! Come sample from 30+ local BC craft beverage makers, enjoy live music, food trucks, and more!*

*Sponsored Listing

The Agenda

The new building will have above-ground parking for residents and four residential floors. 📷️ City of Chilliwack

New apartment building planned in Chilliwack

A new mid-rise apartment building on Mary Street in Chilliwack is in the final stages of approval.

The five-storey building will include four residential floors (with 32 units in total) and one floor of above-ground parking. Located near downtown, the building will join several other apartment developments nearby.

A public hearing for the building will be held on Sept. 26.

Accessibility renovations planned for Langley Meals on Wheels building

Langley’s Meals on Wheels Society is getting an upgrade.

The society has been operating out of the Aldergrove Community Station House for more than a year, where it delivers 5,000 meals a month to Langley homes. A $350,000 grant from the province will help the society expand its food services.

The actual house, a former Aldergrove firehall, includes community space used for a wide variety of events and gatherings, is also scheduled for renovations. Entrances and doorways will be redone to make the house to make it more accessible.


Exploring the bounty of the Pacific Northwest: A journey through Whatcom County Farms

On Sept. 16 from 10am to 4pm, 12 farms in Whatcom County will open their (barn) doors for visitors to get a behind-the-scenes look at how farmers spend their days. The Whatcom County Farm Tour is a family-friendly, free event that brings folks from all over the region!

Throwback Thursday

The Fraser Valley Bookmobile had 1,000 to 1,200 books inside in the 1930s. 📷️ Fraser Valley Regional Library

The Fraser Valley Regional Library’s Travelling Branch—or the Bookmobile—rolled its collection of books to rural residents and schools in the valley. It was the first vehicle of its kind in Canada, and is pictured here in 1935.

The bookmobile was established in 1930 with a donation of $100,000 from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. When the funding ran out in 1934, valley residents voted to pay a new tax to keep the library running.

🗓 Things to do

🎉 Pow Wow: The second annual stɑl̓əw̓ Pow Wow will be held Friday, Sept. 15 to Sunday, Sept. 17 at the Langley Events Centre. All are invited. Details online.

🎸 Concert: An ABBA tribute band will take the stage at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre on Saturday, Sept. 16. Tickets online.

🌲 Wetland walk: LEPS in Langley is hosting a guided wetland walk in Glen Valley’s West Creek on Sunday, Sept. 17. Find more information online.

Members get access to our full weekly events listing. Find it here. Become a member here.

Have an event to tell us about? Fill out this form to have it highlighted here.

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