October 2009 Archives


 Voice Report                                         Thursday October 15 2009

$177M Housing Renewal Project        


Chilliwack Left Out In Cold With Social Housing Refit Money

                                                                                                                Craig Hill/Voice





        he federal and provincial governments announced Wednesday that

        they will be pumping $177M into the Housing Renovation Partnership which is a strategy to renovate and retrofit 19 SRO's in downtown Vancouver like the Marble Arch Hotel and the Marr Hotel.


Aside from the downtown hotel refits there will be another 30 manor and lodge renovations in the Vancouver area proper plus work done to an additional 23 buildings in outlying municipalities throughout the Lower Mainland for a total of 81 building refits around the province.


The Through Housing Matters BC program will affect social housing structures in cities all across BC but unfortunately the closest any of this cash will come to Chilliwack is Abbotsford.


The Honourable Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway Stockwell Day was a stand-in for the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Human Resources and Skills Development Canada and Minister Responsible for Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). He was optimistic as any government minister announcing a project of this magnitude would be.


“These renovation and retrofit projects will improve the quality of life for residents by keeping their homes safe and affordable,” said Day.  “It is also a good way to get the local economy moving because it puts construction workers and trades people to work quickly."


Funding for the  program comes as part of a five-year housing-related $2B Canadian Economic Action Plan that sees money put up by the feds matched by Provincial coffers via the BC Capital Infrastructure Program.

Premier Campbell threw out figures which BC Liberals say will help jumpstart the economy.

“Working in partnership with the Government of Canada, we are revitalizing social housing sites in need of repair and renovation in communities throughout the province, extending the life of these homes for British Columbians for years to come,” said Premier Campbell. “The Housing Renovation Partnership will also build on additional investments the Province announced to-date to stimulate the B.C. economy, which in total will create over 27,000 jobs in communities across the province.”

According to the government press release the "Housing Renovation Partnership is part of an overall $14-billion capital infrastructure program supported by the Province that will create up to 88,000 jobs and help build vital public infrastructure in every region of the province."

Apparently the stimulus plan is going to be adding to the affordable housing base in the Lower Mainland but there was no mention of specific projects in the works.

For more information about affordable housing in BC: www.bchousing.org.

© Copyright (c) The Valley Voice



  Voice Report                                       Monday October 5 2009

Purple Light Nights                                   


To Light Even The Darkest Night
Shining A Light On Domestic Violence

Craig Hill/The Valley Voice


The Tree: A Beacon Of Hope
Each year purple lights shine across the US for the month of October as part of the Purple Light Nights awareness campaign against domestic violence which was originally strategized by the Covington Domestic Violence Task Force in King County, Washington.

Their message: "Domestic violence has no place in our community."

On Friday Purple Light Nights came to Chilliwack for the first time and Coun. Dianne Janzen, R.C.M.P. Insp. Grant Wilson Operations Officer, Lee Anne Hanson from Chilliwack Addiction and Prevention Services and members of numerous support agencies assembled at City Hall to switch on a tree covered in purple lights. It's part of a different kind of domestic violence campaign being introduced here. The tree-lighting is symbolic and acts as a beacon of hope to those suffering from abuse and a reminder to others that the community won't tolerate violence in

 the home.


Home is where it all begins. Your home is your sanctuary, your refuge and you should never be scared or fear for your safety there. But for all too many in the community that's not the case and violence in the home is an unavoidable everyday occurrence.

The small, blithe cluster of people who gathered in the twilight around the tree were smiling and buzzing in anticipation of lighting it. They were pleased to facilitate the Purple Light Nights campaign in a high profile location such as on City Hall's doorstep, which will definitely illuminate their cause even more.

One of the biggest problems facing frontline workers is that much of the family violence is hidden, often going unreported until it's too late and tragedy strikes.

Coun. Janzen spoke of how important it was to focus on this issue. "It's like the pink ribbons for Breast Cancer awareness campaign and this (Purple Light Nights) is a good way to bring awareness to domestic abuse and we need to call everyone's attention to it," she said.

When one thinks of domestic abuse you tend to think of a husband and wife scenario but the term also includes violence against children. Even if the kids aren't physically harmed, the psychological trauma of witnessing violence in the home can manifest itself later in the child's life where they might develop abusive tendencies themselves as a result of being exposed to the violence at home in their early years.

"It's a very dangerous model for children to follow and we need to break the cycle of abuse," said Janzen.

Laughter erupted from the upbeat crowd when a fire truck pulled into the parking lot and Insp. Wilson remarked, "The truck is in case there is a tree fire."

Will society be able to eliminate the scourge of domestic violence that rips families to shreds? Probably not but the Purple Light Nights awareness campaign will go a long way to helping some unfortunate Chilliwack residents get to the resources which they desperately need.

RCMP statistics of calls out for domestic violence were not available at the time of writing this however when the Voice has those figures available they will be added here.

Residents can do their part and are encouraged to support the campaign by purchasing a purple bulb or string of lights.

These are available by donation at:
Logan's Home Hardware 45929 Wellington Ave.
Mary's Uniforms & Fashions 45934 Wellington Ave.

If you or someone you know are experiencing domestic abuse then you need to get in touch with agencies who are there to help with any transition that you might need to make in order to get out of a violent situation. For you and your children's sake don't wait. If you wait the results could be irreversible. People are dying every day from this. Don't be a victim. Don't be another statistic.

Local Chilliwack Contacts
Specialized Victims Services http://www.policevictimservices.bc.ca

Chilliwack Community Services http://www.comserv.bc.ca/

Chilliwack Addiction & Prevention Services (CAPS) http://www.pcrs.ca

Xolhemet Transition House http://www.xolhemetsociety.org/

Ann Davis Transition Society www.anndavis.org
Agassiz RCMP Victim Services http://www.policevictimservices.bc.ca
Hope & Area Transition Society www.hopetransition.org

For more on Purple Light Nights see CRIME LINE archive.


                                                                                                 © Copyright (c) The Valley Voice

 Voice Report                                                  Friday October 9 2009

Staff  writer         


15 Minutes With Lisa Caruth
Chilliwack's New Chamber Executive Director



          here's a new girl in town. The Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce

          has a new Executive Director and her name is Lisa Caruth. In September, Caruth beat out 44 other contenders to fill the 2-month old vacancy. According to the Chamber's website, Caruth is "a highly resourceful, detail-driven business professional with a proven track record."

Caruth appeared on StarFm recently and talked about the her new job. In case you weren't able to hear the interview, then the following is a transcription of it. So lets meet Lisa Caruth.

What Caruth Brings To Chilliwack
I think they picked me because I'm fresh, I'm young. I'm going to bring in some great ideas to the Chamber. I want the Chamber to be this nimble business organization that can change with the times. I look at members of the Chamber as being the bricks and the Chamber as being the mortar and that's what we're going to do to make the Chamber successful, to make business successful in Chilliwack. I like that.

On The Chilliwack Business Awards
We are actually in the planning process right now, ah, we're kind of neck deep in what's going to happen January 23rd 2010. The nomination deadlines are Oct. 20th so get your nomination forms in today. Visit our website; www.chilliwackchamber.com and nominate a business.

We have a brand new category this year and it is Entrepreneur of the Year so if anyone out there knows a deserving entrepreneur get their nomination in and it's a great prestigious award and its a good way to be recognized in the community. And also another thing, if anyone is interested in being part of the planning process for the awards this year, give our office a phone call 604-793-4323. This event is an absolute blast.

On the Promontory Solara Housing Project


I have been lucky enough to be asked to speak at the Solara Grand Opening this Saturday. Solar is one of Canada's first renewable energy plan communities and its actually going to be here in Chilliwack up on Promontory.             Example of a solar home with trickle-type hot water    

                                           collectors and photo voltaic electricity panels.     


The  homes in Solara are to be powered by this revolutionary three-source energy supply system and they call this the "Oasis" powerhouse. It combines geo-thermal heating, solar panels and wind turbines. I don't believe it's going to be 100% off the grid. It is fantastic and just to be one of Canada's first communities to have this community is like 'what a coup' for Chilliwack.


The two innovators behind this are long-time Yarrow resident Harry Rempel and Archie Guvi and these guys definitely have their eye on the future and you know I like to think that everyone has the responsibility to reduce the carbon footprint and to see these two guys walk the talk is just phenomenal.

On the upcoming Chamber Luncheon
Our next General Luncheon Meeting is going to be on Oct. 29th. It will be at the Best Western Rainbow Country Inn from noon til about 1:30. Our speaker is Gary Prime from MOSA International and I hear that this event is going to be a sellout. He is going to be facilitating a luncheon workshop on leadership development and he's going to be covering topics like; "What Is A Successful Leader" and "Leading Through Tough Times" which with everything that everyone is going through right now it's going to be relevant.


To pre-register for this event and reserve your seat, either go to the website (above) or call Victoria at 604-793-4323 and she'd be happy to reserve a seat for you.

Chilliwack Still

Impressed With Linden

Rain Doesn't Dampen Fans Enthusiasm



Fan Tyler Walker of Chilliwack has his framed print signed by former Vancouver Canucks Captain Trevor Linden at CIBC Grand Opening Saturday.


CHILLIWACK The hot dogs might have been soggy but not the spirits of hundreds of determined fans. Those who stood in the pouring rain Saturday at the Grand Opening of the CIBC on the corner of Promontory and Vedder to get an autograph from former Canucks Captain Trevor Linden weren't disappointed. Die hard fans started lining up at 9 am and remained there undaunted until they got one despite the deluges and the block long line-up.


The event put on by the CIBC to raise funds for the Chilliwack Hospital Project and to celebrate the new branch was more than just an autograph session. It was a brush with greatness for many kids and adults alike who had a chance to see a community hero up close and personal. Later it was announced that CIBC made a generous $25k donation.


DJ and emcee Jason Frost tended his gear as the rain thundered down on the canopy overhead. "I come with my DJ gear and try to get everyone hyped-up in this crazy weather we have in the Fraser Valley," said Frost. I live in White Rock and to see this many people show up for this Trevor Linden signing just shows how great of a person 

this guy is."          


Frost had high praise for Linden after having had a chance to get to know the hockey legend while emceeing similar events, referred to him as a "Super Hero."


"Trevor and I have become friends over the last year or so here with the CIBC. All these great things that he does; comes out to these signings and meets all the kids and families. He's a great guy.


Of course the humble ex-hockey player doesn't think of himself as a caped crusader.


"I don't consider myself a 'super hero,' said Linden. "It's great for me to get out in the community. We were in Victoria yesterday and the interior. So we're out to just visit with everyone and say hi."


According to Mayor Sharon Gaetz's Twitter feed, the event was a  success. "Way to go CIBC Vedder! The donation to the Chilliwack Hospital's Emergency Project was over the top - $25,000!" she posted.


Under a canopy next to the main stage, magician Jiri Slovencik aka Magician Yeeri, was having fun as he worked the crowds with some amazing slight of hand. "This is my fifth event (with Linden). People are upbeat and awesome. It's great," said Slovencik.


Volunteers and various branch employees worked tables that included a wheel spin with goodie bags as prizes. Free caricature drawings and face painting were also featured at the event.


So was it all worth it?  "You bet," said 12-year old Randy Jameson who traveled from Abbotsford. "I wouldn't have missed this for anything."


                              For the complete gallery of photos go here


© Copyright (c) The Valley Voice



October 18 2009

Joe Reporter
The Joe Report


 Voice Olympic Report                        Thursday October 15 2009

Staff  Writer         


"With Glowing Hearts"

Vanoc Unveils 2010 Olympic Medals


"You're so square, baby I don't care." Today Vanoc let the public have a look at their medal designs and other than looking like a tractor-trailer ran over them, they look fine.


Adorned front and back with native artwork and described as "undulating" by Vanoc copywriters, the hefty coins weigh in at nearly 500 grams.


Their forms "evoke British Columbia’s mountains, ocean and snow. Their faces are drawn from West Coast First Nations artwork depicting the orca and raven. Their substantial size gives them a significant presence."


The Royal Canadian Mint is going to make 615 Olympic and 399 Paralympics medals for the 2010 Winter Games at their headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario. The Mint began striking the medals in July and will finish the historic task this November. It is the second time the Mint has manufactured Olympic medals; the           Reverse side of Olympic medals.

first time they produced them was for the Montreal 1976 Olympic Games. Teck Resources Limited, a Vancouver-based mining, mineral processing and metallurgical company, is supplying the 2.05 kilograms of gold, 1,950 kg of silver and 903 kg of copper used in the production of the medals. The metals were sourced from Teck’s operations in British Columbia, Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as Alaska, Chile and Peru.

The matte orca or raven design is by laser onto the front face of the medals, and within this design is a delicate wood grain pattern that can be seen up close. Canadian industrial designer and architect Omer Arbel, also of Vancouver, used his extensive knowledge of materials and fabrication processes to create the innovative undulating

                    Paralympics medals.                design of the medals, which

are struck nine times each to achieve the distinctive look as part of the 30-step medal fabrication process. The Olympic medals are circular in shape, while the Paralympics medals are a super ellipse or squared circle.


For more on this story visit: http://www.vancouver2010.com



 Voice Local Flu Report                  Thursday October 29 2009

 Influenza Clinic Today


Chilliwack Flu Clinic Doing Brisk Business Staff Writer


Loretta, at counter, was volunteering at the clinic and was helping people fill out their cards, said it was busier earlier. "We did have a line up to the doors out here yesterday and this morning," she said. "It's slowing down now a bit but we had about 350."

                                        Loretta helps seniors fill out their cards in

                                                     the church lobby.


The flu shots being given out were for regular seasonal influenza and not for H1N1. People need to see their personal physician for for Swine Flu shots when the vaccine becomes available. First to get shots are pregnant women, children under 5, and seniors over 65. In approximately 2 weeks the general population will have access to the H1N1 vaccine. The clinic will be open tomorrow.


© Copyright (c) The Valley Voice

 Voice Exclusive                                            Friday October 30 2009

 Jobs Jobs Jobs

Novel Approach to Finding Work, Works               by Craig Hill/Voice

The problem: No temporary employment agencies in Chilliwack.
The solution: Get a sign and get attention in a high traffic area.

        ecuring a job these days in Chilliwack is a difficult task and for some a

        lack of temporary manpower placement agencies in the city makes

        finding work even tougher.

Chilliwack resident and part-time 'job entrepreneur' Fred Burns thinks he has found a solution to getting a prospective employer's attention and not end up being just another resume on someone's desk.

Burns, a fifty-something Vancouver Community college-trained cook, is using a novel approach to the age-old business of finding meaningful employment. He had a sign printed and then he goes to one of the city's busiest intersections with lunch kit in hand. Then he waits for employers to find him rather than the other way around.

"The whole idea is to get seen and be noticed. To be out here and get their attention and meet them in person," said Burns.

This is what Burns is doing and it's working for him. After 5-days standing on the street with his sign, he's managed to find temporary employment 3 times and it's just a matter of time before he finds something more permanent.

Burns says he is ready, willing and very capable. "I'm completely ready this minute for any type of job offered." And he's getting results. "One guy offered me a job selling insurance but I'm not good with that sort of thing. I just thought I'll give it a chance here and see what happens."

Burns was upbeat, well-versed and friendly. Along with the right attitude, he came equipped for any job with work boots, hard hat and safety vest.

Using the web as another one of his tools to reach out to employers, Burns has a website where you can arrange to hire him at a reasonable rate. If you are interested in getting something done around the house or need a semi-truck unloaded or even a chef for a day you can give give him a call at:

604-791-0836 or visit his website and message directly:



© Copyright (c) The Valley Voice

 Voice Flu Report                                 Wednesday October 28 2009

Pandemic News

Another 2009-2010 Flu Threat: H3N2
The H3N2 is going to be a threat to the elderly population


        1N1 (Swine Flu) cases have been doubling each week and a virulent

         strain of H3N2 (Swine's cousin) is coming north from the Southern Hemisphere. The virus may have been largely overlooked by most medical communities as a possible future problem because all available resources have already been directed towards Swine Flu.


The H3N2 virus has mutated into many strains but it has a new variant in it's genome sequencing that can infect birds and mammals and will be predictably more abundant in seasonal influenza. Alarmingly, H3N2 has been the major cause of flu-related mortality from when it first appeared in 1968 and has produced epidemics essentially every other year since.


In July of this year reports started coming out of Brazil where doctors discovered a new type of the H3N2 virus that spawned in South America during our summer, their winter, and that it might arrive here this winter at the usual time other viruses are active in the middle of February 2010. The Olympics.

We should be extra worried in light of the fact that the 2010 Winter Olympics is coming to BC right smack dab in the middle of peak flu season. It could be chaos considering the demographics, ages of the athletes and how the virus attacks young adults and children.

Paul Glezen, M. D., Professor of Molecular Virology and Microbiology Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas says the worst could be yet to come.

"The older population, which usually makes up the majority of people in the excess mortality category seem to be protected against the new H1N1, but for some reason, they have not acquired protection against the H3N2 variants that have appeared since    Paul Glezen, M.D.

1968." says Glezen. "So, most of the mortality – and this is largely in elderly people – that has occurred since 1968 has occurred in years when we have had H3N2 epidemics."

The H1N1 virus seems to attack children and people in their 20s and 30s and the H3N2's new variants could be harder on older people because of a lack of exposure to the virus since it's discovery in 1968.

"There is a good possibility that we’ll have an H3N2 outbreak in mid-winter of 2010. The H3N2 is a threat to the elderly population," said Glezen.

It is important for everyone now to get the seasonal flu the H1N1 vaccine as quickly as they can so they will be prepared for this winter. This potentially deadly virus needs to be stopped in it's tracks.

Pregnant women are more susceptible, not because they have a problem with their immunity, apparently they respond to the vaccine quite well but, as the pregnancy progresses and the women come to full term, their diaphragm is pushed up so their pulmonary reserve is compromised . And also their cardio-pulmonary reserve is lower so if they get pneumonia with influenza, they are more likely to die.

"Another thing to remember is that if a pregnant woman takes the vaccine, she makes antibodies that are also passed to her new baby. said Glezen. "It’s of no use to vaccinate babies before 6 months of age, so the only protection the babies can get against influenza infection are the antibodies they get from their mother. So, if the mother is vaccinated during pregnancy, she will not only protect herself, but she will provide some protection for her baby that should last for the first six months of the baby’s life after birth and this time is a very vulnerable period for the baby, too."

For more influenza information visit:  www.gov.bc.ca/h1n1 or www.fightflu.ca  To find a flu clinic near you visit:  www.immunizebc.ca  Also www.fraserhealth.ca for clinic listings. Parents of school age children go here for school closure info.


Chilliwack Flu Clinic

Central Community Church at 46100 Chilliwack Central Rd.


Clinic Times
Wednesday Oct/28/2009 1:00 pm 6:00 pm Seniors only/Drop In
Thursday Oct/29/2009  9:00 am 4:00 pm Seniors only/Drop In
Friday Oct/30/2009 9:00 am 4:00 pm Seniors only/Drop In

 Voice Olympic Report                        Thursday October 15 2009

Staff Writer        


Olympic Torch Relay Update

When Will Chilliwack Know Who Our Torchbearers Are?



We asked around   

yesterday regarding who our torchbearers will be in the relay which will be passing through Chilliwack on February 7th 2010. So far we haven't any torch-bearer's name carved in stone but as soon as we find out we'll be letting our readers know here.


                                                             Photo courtesy of Canadian Design Resource.

    Vancouver 2010 Olympics organizer Jenée Elborne told the Voice that the selection process is ongoing and is no small undertaking.


    "We are very pleased to have begun notifying pre-selected candidates for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Torch Relay. We have 12,000 torchbearers to slot into 45,000 km - as you can imagine, this is a large undertaking and will take us time. Torchbearers will receive final confirmation 4-6 weeks before they run," she said.


    "Our presenting partners Coca-Cola and RBC, have begun making some public announcements about torchbearers across Canada. In addition, we will feature a number of torchbearers in your community on the day the relay visits," said Elborne.


    The Royal Bank of Canada has been releasing some torchbearer names and Jackie Braden said they are almost ready to release the list in it's entirety. "We are working diligently to announce torchbearers across the country," she said.


    Some of the torchbearers names are in pop-ups on the interactive map at the official torch relay website: www.carrythetorch.com


© Copyright (c) The Valley Voice



 Voice Report                                              Saturday October 17 2009

Community Protectors 


RCMP Recognize Long-Term Members At Awards Ceremony

"For Long Service and Good Conduct"

                                                                                        by Craig Hill



                                                                                                                             Craig Hill photos

RCMP award recipients gather at City Hall Friday for ceremony.


CHILLIWACKCity Hall hosted the RCMP Upper Fraser Valley Awards Ceremony Friday morning which brought together dignitaries from around the Lower Mainland to present members with Long-Term Service awards in the categories of 20, 25, 30 and 35 years.


On October 16, 2003, the UN Security Council passed a resolution to rebuild Iraq and Jordan along with a contingent of international countries including Canada, formed a partnership to aid in the rebuilding of the Iraqi police force.

From 2004 to 2008 the RCMP helped provide training to over 50,000 Iraqi police grads using Canadian members whose skill and background in policing was backed by years of service.     


One of the main awards Friday was the Jordan International Police Training Centre Service Award which was given to Sergeant Tim Antcil for his exemplary work in Jordon over a period of 6 months developing strategies that included police academics, defensive tactics, vehicle patrol and anti-terrorism techniques.

According to Cpl. Lea-Anne Dunlop, Communication/Media Relations Officer for the Upper Fraser Valley, Canada's contribution was vital.

"They provided leadership skills and investigative expertise  as well as helped improve the training infrastructure and security plans for the Jordan International Police Training Centre.  Their contributions directly supported the  establishment of more effective police and security forces in Iraq," said Dunlop in an e-mail to the Voice.

Deputy Commissioner Gary Bass told the gallery that each year there are more and more award recipients. "Every year we see our members recognized and last year we had so many awards that there had to be two separate ceremonies."


Bass was also commended his charges about their exemplary work ethic. "I'm honored to be a part of the ceremony and proud of the sacrifices that our members make every day," he said.


For the complete gallery of photos go here


© Copyright (c) The Valley Voice