Wednesday - March 20, 2024 - Builders and bankers

🌧 High 14C

Good morning!

The human body is a weird and wonderful thing. Eighteen hours ago, I was miserable, my eyeballs hurt, and I couldn’t focus because of the virus that had hit my body. I took some medicine and went to bed fairly miserable. In the middle of the night I woke up suddenly feeling human. My throat still hurt and I wasn’t fully better, but by morning, my head was clear and I had energy that I hadn’t felt for days.

Usually I think of the body like a machine. When it breaks—when I twist an ankle or pull a muscle—fixing it is a slow, gradual process. But there’s so much more going on than we can really understand. Maybe that’s a good thing.

– Tyler

Hey members! Our membership program is turning a year old at the end of this month and this is just a reminder that on Friday, we’ll be holding a Zoom event at 12:30pm where we’re going to look back at some of the stories we’ve done over the past year. We’ll also field your questions about everything and anything else. You can register here.

Support local journalism by supporting The Current. Become a Current Insider member today and help bring local stories to life.

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.


As some cities save, others spend

Last fall, the Fraser Valley’s three largest municipalities’ politicians and financial planners sat down and hammered out their budgets—and what they would build over the coming years.

Langley Township would build a huge new soccer campus, a new concert hall, and an array of bigger, better roads. Chilliwack would build a big new racquet sports facility, potentially a large new south side park, and an array of bigger and better roads. Abbotsford, meanwhile, would repave roads and upgrade water and sewer infrastructure.

If it seemed like Abbotsford’s plans were dwarfed by those of its neighbours, there was nothing particularly surprising in that.

Abbotsford’s bank accounts were once a financial mess. But in recent years, no other large Fraser Valley municipality has socked so much money away in the bank, awaiting the day when the city will stop saving and start finally spending.

Yesterday, we wrote about how BC’s municipalities spent five years bolstering their bank accounts more than building infrastructure for their growing communities. Find that story below.


Need to Know

👨‍🦽 Abbotsford Regional Hospital has a shortage of wheelchairs—it has just half the number it had in 2008 [Abbotsford News]

🏢 The new apartment building at the site of Chilliwack’s old Paramount Theatre will have 58 units designated for seniors in need and eight for youth who had been in government care [BC Government]

🏗 Abbotsford council has approved a spate of large housing projects in recent weeks [Abbotsford News]

⚖ The man charged with murdering Nicholas Ball in Langley in 2022 will stand trial next week [Aldergrove Star]

📱 Meth, smartphones and other contraband were seized at Mission Institution [Mission Record]

👉 A long-time Langley federal Conservative operative is seeking the party’s nomination for the next federal election [Langley Advance Times]

⚖ A Chilliwack physiotherapist charged with sexually assaulting multiple patients won’t go to prison [Chilliwack Progress]

Another Harrison Hot Springs council meeting has been cancelled [Agassiz-Harrison Observer]

🚔 New details—including about the attempted theft of an RCMP vehicle—emerged about a 2023 crime spree involving a string of attempted robberies in Kamloops then Hope [Hope Standard]

The Agenda

Chilliwack wastewater plant set for $36 million upgrade

The City of Chilliwack is getting set to spend $36 million on a vital new expansion for its wastewater treatment plant.

The city recently asked for bidders to replace the plant’s trickling filter, which is more than 30 years old. The system has “been challenged with intermittent effluent toxicity” in recent years, according to a staff report. So the city recently put out a call for companies to upgrade the plant. Two companies provided final bids with Tritech Group/Stantec Consulting’s quote coming in around $8 million lower than its competitor.

Coun. Chris Kloot said it was likely the largest investment in the city’s wastewater plant in his decade on council.

The project will not only replace aging components but “will set us up for 20 years of growth,” city staff told council.

Chilliwack council approved the contract at its meeting this week. The city hopes to wrap up construction on the project by 2026.

Community journalism needs the entire community for it to succeed.

As part of a membership, you get our special weekend roundup of all the things you might’ve missed each week!

🤝 Now hiring

Shop assistant at Wilco Civil in Langley

Part-time police guard at Mission RCMP’s jail

Secretary at BC Cancer/PHSA in Abbotsford

Sales representative at Rollins Machinery in Chilliwack

Administrative assistant at Heritage Inn 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

Local poets: The Fraser Valley Poets Society holds its first open mic reading of 2024 on March 23 at 2pm at the Clearbrook Library (in the community room) in Abbotsford. More details online.

Dracula: Ballet Victoria's Dracula comes to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre March 22 at 7:30pm. Tickets online.

Epilepsy walk: The Purple Day Walk for Epilepsy Awareness takes place at Mill Lake Park in Abbotsford on March 23. Registration is at 10:30. Details online.

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

Catch up

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Tyler Olsen

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