Tuesday - March 19, 2024 - BC's increasingly rich cities

☀ High 22C

Good morning!

Every couple years I get sick enough to actually take some of the cold/flu medicine on offer at a pharmacy. And it always makes me marvel at the modern world. It starts at the pharmacy itself, where there is a line of “cold” medicine and line of “flu” medicine all promising the exact same treatments and containing the exact same medicinal ingredients.

Then you take the medicine and feel better. Not good, of course, since the medicine isn’t curing you, but at least your fever goes down. And so you start to feel human. Which is a modern miracle of sorts! (Of course, fevers also have a real medical purpose and so you may be short-circuiting your body’s natural response to best fight your illness but let’s not think about all that!)

– Tyler

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.


BC’s cities and towns are
increasingly flush with clash

Over the last five years, the financial assets of BC municipalities has increased. Tangible infrastructure has not. 📊 Stefan Malloch/Shutterstock/Tyler Olsen

The next time you’re sitting in traffic or waiting for a bus and wondering what the city has done with all the money it gets each year, see if you can spot a bank. That’s where a big chunk sits.

In recent years, BC’s cities and towns have had to deal with natural disasters, a pandemic, and surging numbers of residents. Despite those challenges, though, the bank accounts of BC’s municipalities have never been more flush with cash.

An analysis of the balance sheets of municipalities in the Fraser Valley and across BC shows that over a span of five years, the province’s cities and towns have banked far more of their surplus revenue than they have spent. Much of the money has come not from residential taxes but from developer contributions tied to eventual infrastructure upgrades. But cities have been slow to spend the money, allowing them to earn huge sums in interest even as the value of their tangible assets have declined.


Need to Know

👩‍🚒 Officials are warning of an early start to this year’s wildfire season [Global]

🥗 Food service workers at YVR are preparing for a strike that could go over spring break [The Tyee]

👉️ Former Mission councillor Tony Luck will run for the BC Conservatives in the Fraser-Nicola riding, which stretches from Agassiz to Merritt to Lillooet [Fraser Valley Today]

🚒 Chilliwack Fire Department has named a new chief [Fraser Valley Today]

➡️ Abbotsford MP Ed Fast’s assistant wants his boss’s old job [Abbotsford News]

🚚 A Langley highway was shut down for several hours yesterday after a serious crash [CTV]

💰️ Five Abbotsford housing projects will receive $1.8 million in federal funding [Abbotsford News]

💄 Chilliwack is getting a Sephora [Chilliwack Progress]

🚎 A bus route change in Langley has limited options for a wheelchair user who relies on public transit [Langley Advance Times]

The Agenda

FVC named finalist for National Newspaper Award

The Fraser Valley Current has been named a finalist for a National Newspaper Award for its coverage of the Lytton rebuild—or lackthereof. Current editor Tyler Olsen is a finalist for the E. Cora Hind Award for Local Reporting for its stories on the agonizingly slow process of rebuilding the fire-devastated community. The coverage includes our long feature story, How The Lytton Rebuild Went Wrong, along with follow-up stories on difficulties related to archaeology work, questions about the rebuilding of a health facility in the village, and the prospect for help from a Mennonite non-profit.

The other finalists in the category are Sabrina Bedford of the Brockville Recorder and Times for her coverage of an OPP officer convicted of sexual assault, and a London Free Press team’s multi-story project on the grim legacy of the Sixties Scoop on one family.

The awards will be presented next month. It’s the second consecutive year The Current has been named a finalist for a National Newspaper Award. Last year, we lost.

Good journalism costs money. If you want to support more good journalism, become a Current Member and get access to our full archive of stories and our weekly behind-the-scenes and round-up edition


Farmers of the Future

Agriculture is a crucial part of our local economy, and the Fraser Valley produces half of BC’s food.

That’s why it’s so important that we train the next generation of tech-savvy farmers and food producers and set them up for success right here in Abbotsford.

🔓️ Become a Current Insider for 25% off today and get full access to this newsletter. Every Tuesday, members get exclusive information on events, food and drink, and local deals.

You’ll also get our weekly behind-the-scenes newsletter and roundup on Saturday. And most of all, your contribution will allow us to keep producing all the great journalism you already know and love.

Catch up

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