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  • Wednesday - March 13, 2024 - No one is coming to save Harrison's politicians from themselves

Wednesday - March 13, 2024 - No one is coming to save Harrison's politicians from themselves

🌦 High 11C

Good morning!

The next federal election is more than 18 months away, but it already seems like we’re in the midst of campaigning season. Which isn’t great when there’s also a provincial election on its way. One thing that bugs me about all of it is how parties will promise to fix this or fix that. I get that the message works but also… the problems exist because they are, almost by definition, extremely hard to fix! I think of a Barack Obama quote in which he noted that every decision that came onto his desk was, by definition, extremely difficult. If a problem had an easy solution, somebody who wasn’t the President of the United States would have got to work fixing the thing.

All the problems that we might recognize today are deep-seated and complex. Take health care. You can’t fix it by doing one thing. You need to build facilities, address long-term care shortages, and, crucially, wrestle with worker shortages and changing demographics. The housing market is a similar challenge. If, however, there’s one thing these issues have in common, it’s the fact that leaders (of all stripes) have been slow to react to them and acknowledge their development over the past decade, even as they became increasingly obvious. Fixing problems is hard. Seeing they exist shouldn’t be quite as difficult as it often is.

– 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.


The province could fire Harrison’s council—
but probably won’t

Harrison Hot Springs’ council is increasingly unable to even complete its meetings. 📷 Tyler Olsen

Harrison Hot Springs council is undeniably broken, and nobody is coming to fix it.

Last week’s council meeting was the latest to go off the rails and be abandoned—this time sparked by a request that would have been quickly resolved by any other local group of politicians.

The running conflict between Mayor Ed Wood, his ally Coun. John Woods, and three long-time council members has regularly left the municipality’s politicians unable to make decisions, approve plans, or address problems across the community. A provincially-appointed advisor has already come and gone with no obvious improvements.

With tempers running high, some are concerned about the prospect of violence and wondering: If Harrison’s local government is unable to fix itself, can someone impose a solution? The answer is yes—but it’s probably not going to happen.


Need to Know

🚓 Gunshots were fired into a Langley grocery store over the weekend [Langley Advance Times]

🚑 A woman was seriously injured after being struck by a car in Abbotsford early Tuesday morning [CTV]

🚨 A pedestrian in Chilliwack was also injured and airlifted to hospital after being struck on a residential road [Chilliwack Progress]

🛹 A pair of downhill-skateboarding sisters won medals in an international event in the Philippines [Abbotsford News] / The girls were able to make the trip thanks to fundraising; the sisters, who are on their own after losing both their parents, were recently profiled by Global [Global]

👟 A Chilliwack man ran 60 miles to mark his 60th birthday [Chilliwack Progress]

🚔 A man arrested in December after being caught by a group of dads has been busted again [Langley Advance Times]

💰 A local MP says it is taking too long for Fraser Valley communities to receive disaster funding from the federal government [Canadian Press]

👉 The province is planning to dramatically increase fines and penalties for truck drivers who hit overpasses [CBC]

🌋 An offshore volcanic eruption is expected off the BC coast, but only scientists will notice when it happens [CBC]

The Agenda

The Fraser Valley Regional District has created a guide that lays out each rural community’s susceptibility to a natural disaster. (Click image for a larger version)

New document examines rural natural disaster risks

A new emergency management plan for the Fraser Valley Regional District’s rural areas shows some outlying communities are far more vulnerable than others to a potential natural disaster.

The new emergency plan includes detailed community profiles for two dozen local areas, with information on vulnerabilities related to routes, amenities, communications, health resources, fire protection and human resources. The document also plots evacuation challenges and other hazards and issues that may complicate an emergency response.

Most communities are vulnerable in some manner, though many also have certain strengths—for example, some communities, like Cultus Lake North Bend, across the river from Boston Bar, have significant potential access challenges but relatively good communications infrastructure.

You can find the emergency planning document, along with all the community profiles, here. A related report identifying specific risks in each electoral area can be found here.

One of the largest hazards, unsurprisingly, comes from landslides. In the Hatzic Lake watershed, for instance, 55 different landslides have been recorded, including one that killed a farmer in 1961.

Development plotted at major Abbotsford intersection

A new plan has been submitted to build a six-storey building at one of Abbotsford’s most prominent intersections.

Details are still scant, but an architectural company submitted an application for a permit to construct a new building on the southwest corner of the junction of Clearbrook Road and South Fraser Way. Online records show the application was received on Feb. 27.

The site has been vacant for years and occasionally the site of homeless encampments. The intersection sits at the heart of one of Abbotsford’s busiest corridors. But Clearbrook Road and the western end of South Fraser Way have seen relatively little development in recent years compared to other parts of the city.

🤝 Now hiring

Kitchen helper at Cherry Pit Restaurant in Abbotsford

Office administrative clerk at Mission City Wireless

Part-time library services page at the Sardis Library

Bakers at Hope Mountain Café in Hope

Hiring in the Fraser Valley? Reply back and let us know!

📸 Current Cam

Each week we showcase a different photo from across the valley and invite readers to share their best guesses about where it was taken.

Think you know where this week’s Current Cam was taken? Fill out this form.

🗓 Things to do

Condors visit: The Abbotsford Canucks host the Bakersfield Condors at Abbotsford Centre tonight. Tickets online.

Rock or Bust: AC/DC tribute act Rock or Bust perform March 15 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre. Tickets online.

One Gun: 54/40 frontman Neil Osborne performs at Bez Arts Hub in Langley March 16. Tickets online.

That’s it!

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