Wednesday, April 17, 2024 - Harrison mayor declares: 'Democracy has failed'

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Three years. Has it really been so long?

Three years ago this week, I joined The Current as Tyler’s first reporter. And although I could wax eloquently on how much I have grown as a journalist, and how wonderful it has been having Tyler as an editor, I want today to be about you, the readers.

In the beginning, we started with a simple newsletter. No website: everything just arrived in your inbox. But that had limitations. So as more of you signed up to read our work, we were able to expand. Adding a website meant we could write longer stories and free up space in the newsletter for things like our Current Cam, our events listings, and Flashback Friday.

And now we have memberships — and honestly, I wasn’t sure if we would have been able to get here without the readers who emailed us in our early days asking to pay for our free product. Many of those readers are supporting us now, letting us work on making an even better newsletter for you to read each morning. If you want to join the ranks of members who make me so grateful to be a Fraser Valley Current reporter, you can sign up here. If you’re one of those members already, thank you so much.

The Current has done so much in the last three years. I can’t wait to see where it goes from here.

– Grace K.

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‘Democracy has failed’

Decisions from a closed council meeting showed Harrison council was almost willing to solve its problems. Monday night, it all unraveled. 📷 Photo illustration by Grace Kennedy

For a moment, Harrison Hot Springs council looked as though it might try to save itself. Then, the moment was gone.

At a closed meeting in March, Harrison council members from both sides of the village’s divide voted to address the allegations of harassment and bullying that have plagued the village for 18 months. But on Monday, as information about that earlier work became public, a brief conflict-filled council meeting dashed those hopes.

Mayor Ed Wood opened the meeting by declaring “democracy has failed” and accused councillors Leo Facio, Michie Vidal, and Allan Jackson of participating in a coup. 

It was a bleak start to perhaps the shortest Harrison council meeting ever recorded—if one considers it an actual meeting in the first place. After 13 minutes, and without the meeting ever being officially called to order, the three accused councillors packed up their things and walked out.

With them went Harrison’s hope for some sort of agreement that could end its bitter and long-standing dysfunction.


Need to Know

🏑 The BC Ball Hockey Association is suspended, partly due to having an alleged sex offender as a director, but Fraser Valley ball hockey is still going ahead [Langley Advance Times]

🐸 An endangered Fraser Valley frog is the face of Canada Post’s newest stamp [Canadian Stamp News]

💧 Corrections Canada says chemically treated water leaking from Matsqui Institution isn’t contaminating farms [Abbotsford News] In March, Canada’s Public Sector Integrity Commission published a scathing report on the handling of the matter [FVC]

📫 The Yale Historic Site is reopening the community post office at its temporary Albert Street location on weekdays [Yale Historic Site]

🚓 Three Abbotsford police officers may face charges after a 2022 pursuit that left two people dead [CTV]

🚲 A cycling education program will be expanding to some Chilliwack and Abbotsford elementary schools this year [Chilliwack Progress]

🍔 A wrestler named Cheeseburger will be making his BC debut at the Abbotsford Agrifair this summer [Abbotsford News]

♿ Disabled tenants are over-represented in evictions, Statistics Canada has found [CBC]

🔥 One fire ecologist says there isn’t much more firefighters can do to fight wildfires better, and evacuations may be more common in the future [The Narwhal]

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The Agenda

Yale’s skateboarders will be getting an updated park, thanks to money from Allen Porter’s estate. 📷

Allen Porter bequest to fund Yale skatepark renovations

Yale’s local skatepark will be getting some upgrades thanks to money from Allen Porter’s bequest to the Fraser Cascade school district.

Back in February, The Current reported on the nearly $40,000 left to SD78 by former Yale teacher Allen Porter in his will. The fund was intended to the local school district’s support cultural programs, like the purchase of a grand piano for Kent Elementary. The next project Porter’s estate will go toward is a slate of upgrades to the skatepark at the former Yale Elementary.

The school, which was closed in 2006 due to low enrollment, is now used as a community centre. It has a covered outdoor play area that was turned into a skatepark when a local parent built a half-pipe. It is one of the few recreational spaces in Yale, which has a population of roughly 160 people. The upgrades to the skate park will include resurfacing the half-pipe, which will make it waterproof during the winter, and adding an adjustable rail, a low manual ledge, a higher solo ledge, and a flatbar. The upgrades are expected to cost $10,000.

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🗓 Things to do

🏒 Hockey: The Abbotsford Canucks host the Calgary Firebirds at Abbotsford Centre April 19 and 20. Tickets online.

😆 Comedy: Very Very Improve Theatre is heading to Langley's Bez Arts Hub with comedy games on Friday, April 19. Tickets online.

🖼 Art: The Mennonite Heritage Museum in Abbotsford will be finishing its exhibition of Lois Klassen's pieced, collaged and quilted textile art on April 19. Details online.

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