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  Sunday, March 30, 2019  

Published 8 am


No Support for Amended Bridge Benefits

Veterans still see it as a clawback

John Labelle, Veterans CPP/Voice file photo

Dear Mr. Vandal, MP

t is regrettable that as an elected Liberal Member of Parliament you choose not to support Military/RCMP Veterans of your constituency with regards to their CPP Pension claw back.

Bridge Benefit-Canadian Armed Forces Pensions that was modified on 21 Nov 2017 with out a debate or vote in the House of Commons is disgusting.

Many questions on the document are not answered, misleading or false. See more here.



  Sunday, March 30, 2019  

Published 8 am



New supportive housing ready for occupation early April

BC Gov't Caucus/Voice photo


The building is still gift wrapped. Residents will begin moving into the 46-unit building in early April.

afe, warm homes are on the way for people experiencing homelessness as a new supportive housing project opens in Chilliwack.

“Supportive housing does not only mean a safe space, meals and a place to sleep. It also means hope for a better tomorrow,” said Selina Robinson, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing. “We’re fortunate to have such committed partners like the City of Chilliwack to help us break the cycle of homelessness and offer people the support they need to be part of a caring, connected community.”

Located at 45944 Yale Rd., the newly completed three-storey permanent modular apartment building features 46 units, including six units designed for people with disabilities. Each unit is private with a washroom and kitchenette. The ground floor includes a commercial grade kitchen, common dining area and laundry facilities.



  Friday, March 29, 2019  

Published 6 pm


Fire Destroys Industrial Building

Area razed engulfing vehicles

Chief Ian Josephson CFD/Voice photos


Vehicles literally melted from the intense heat. Below, there was nothing left but piles of rubble.


t approximately 10:00pm last night, 50 firefighters from Chilliwack fire halls 1, 3, 4, 5 & 6 responded to a structure fire in the 43000 block of Industrial Way. When firefighters arrived, they found a single story industrial building fully involved with fire extending out of the roof.

Crews immediately went into a defensive mode to contain the fire to one building and protect adjacent buildings and a large propane tank. BC Hydro and Fortis arrived on scene to disconnect hydro and gas services.


The building and contents were completely destroyed. There were no civilian or firefighter injuries.


An excavator was used to tear down what remained of the building afterward so that hot spots could be accessed by crews.


The fire is under investigation by the Chilliwack Fire Department and RCMP.




  Friday, March 29, 2019  

Published 8 am


Warehouse Fire

Firefighters deal with huge blaze

Staff/Voice photo


A fire struck off Logan Dive late Thursday.


t around 10 pm Thursday a warehouse fire was reported on Logan Drive off Industrial Way. CFD pulled all the artillery to fight this blaze. Tires and propane tanks could be heard exploding in the distance. At least thirteen Chilliwack Fire Department trucks were involved. There were reports of a large propane tank.


Early reports indicated the blaze was at Escape Trailers (ETI), however mapping showed clearly it on the west side of Logan Drive and Escape Trailers is on the east side. The police had Logan Drive shut down completely.


This was as big as the Arrow fire a couple of months back and right next door. Flames could be seen shooting 50 feet in the air before crews had a handle on it and eventually had it extinguished at around 11:15 pm.  At that point an excavator was called in to tear down what was left of the structure and put out any remaining hot spots.


Watch here for more details as they become available.


  Thursday, March 28, 2019  

Published 10 am


Goodbye MSP Premiums

BC Gov't announces cut January 1

BC Gov't caucus/Voice file photo


Minster of Health Adrian Dix, announced today that they're eliminating MSP premiums as of January 1.

overnment has introduced legislation that sets the stage for the elimination of Medical Services Plan (MSP) premiums on Jan. 1, 2020, making life more affordable for British Columbians.

“After years of MSP premium increases, our government is proud to be moving forward in meeting our promise to end this regressive tax,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Through this legislation, our government will eliminate MSP premiums in January 2020 and make life more affordable for British Columbians. Eliminating MSP premiums will save individuals up to $900 a year and families as much as $1,800 a year.”

MSP is the provincial health insurance program that eligible B.C. residents enrol in to receive provincially insured health-care benefits. British Columbia is the only Canadian jurisdiction to still charge a monthly health-care premium. More shortly.



  Thursday, March 28, 2019  

Published 10 am


Scam Warning

Park Board alerts community about suspicious activity

CLPB/Voice file photo


Cultus Lake Park Board is alerting residents of a scam. 


he Cultus Lake Park office received a call today from a concerned resident. They were contacted by an individual claiming to be a contractor for the supplier of Cultus Lake and they needed a water sample from their house as soon as possible."

"Cultus Lake Park and the Fraser Valley Regional District both are not collecting water sample from residents at this time. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the water system please contact the Fraser Valley Regional District at 604-702-5000."



  Thursday, March 28, 2019  

Published 10 am


Talking the Talk

TEDxCHilliwack speakers ready for April 13 showdown

Michael Berger/Voice file photo


Former BC Lt-Governor Stephen Point (c) will be one of the speakers at TEDxChilliwack April 13.

EDxChilliwack is readying for their main event on April 13 at G.W. Graham Theatre. Twelve speakers, a handful of entertainers, and a day full of intriguing and entertaining talks will be shared by a large audience in the theatre, as well as interested TEDx fans from around the world, following along live on the internet. 

Eight of the speakers were chosen through an application process that included performing for a selection committee and a sold-out theatre at one of two Applicant Showcase Nights in January. The TEDxChilliwack organizing committee curated four additional speakers. Since then, all speakers have been working one-on-one with a speaker coach, and rehearsing at the Cowork Chilliwack Studio Theatre.

There are five speakers from Chilliwack - the Honourable Steven Point, Dr. Carin Bondar, Natalie Forstbauer, Alyson Seale and Fatima Zaidi. Five speakers from various parts of the Lower Mainland, one speaker from Kelowna, and another from Australia join them. Their topics range from Reconciliation to healthcare to homelessness to agricultural technology and a number of other topics. More details about the speakers and their topics can be found on the TEDxChilliwack website at www.tedxchilliwack.com.

Tickets for TEDxChilliwack are on sale for just $49, also on the TEDxChilliwack website. There are discounts available for seniors, students or groups of two or four. All tickets include refreshments, lunch, entertainment, and of course, all of the TEDxChilliwack talks.



  Wednesday, March 27, 2019  

Published 8 am


Colours of Community

Culture Days organizers looking for ambassadors by April 22

Nazanin Shoja, Culture Days/Handout photos


Culture Days takes place September 27-29. 


C Culture Days has announced their province-wide invitation to BC emerging artists to apply to their annual ambassador program.


In honour of Culture Days' 10th Anniversary celebrations, ten artists from across BC will receive $1,000 each to act as a Culture Days spokesperson and to present an activity during the weekend September 27-29, 2019.


Culture Days is a national celebration of arts, culture, and heritage inviting the public behind the scenes to discover their own creativity through free, hands-on activities for all ages. See more here.




  Tuesday, March 26, 2019  

Published 8 am


Harmony for the Honour of God

Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra 'We've Got Your Bach' May 4-5 featuring flautist Bernard Blary 

Lynne Preston, Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra/Submitted image


The CSO will be performing the best of Bach May 5 at Chilliwack Cultural Centre. 


he Chilliwack Symphony Orchestra & Chorus showcase an array of joyous J.S. Bach favourites. The CSO brass choir sets the exhilarating tone at the outset of the concert with the stunning Passacaglia and Fugue in C minor.

Excerpts from the Bach Cantata BWV 66 (also known as the Easter Cantata) and the Bach Mass in B minor will be presented by the chorus and orchestra, along with The Chilliwack Children’s & Youth Choir, and Belle Voci, who are also featured in this uplifting performance.

CSO flautist, Bernard Blary, known for his beautiful sound and technique, will play the 3rd movement of the C.P.E. Bach Concerto in D minor for flute and orchestra. Tickets: 604-391-SHOW(7469), here or at the door. Admission: starts at $15-student/$25-general.




  Monday, March 25, 2019  

Published 3 pm


An Ocean of Secrets

Huge cast set for Titanic the Musical April 12-14

Megan Fortune, Laura Ballance Media Group/Submitted photos


Lindbjerg Academy of Performing Arts advanced music theatre students run through scenes for their upcoming production of Titanic the Musical running April 12 – 14 2019 at the James Cowan Theatre in Shadbolt Centre.


ention the name Titanic and most everyone listening could easily recite the legendary shipwreck story and the historic impression it left behind.


Far fewer could likely sing any of the songs from Titanic the Musical – much less envision how a ship could be made to appear as if sinking on stage. See more here.




  Saturday, March 23, 2019  

Published 8 am


If I Only Had A Brain

Popove chooses to cause a kafuffle over FHA sending two people to Chilliwack

Staff, Voice file photos/Wikipedia image


Former NDP leader Adrian Dix, now Health Minister, speaks to reporters on his election tour. Below, Ken Popove during his campaign for mayor.


eports are Mayor Ken Popove soldiered to a meeting with Fraser Health and Wizard Minister Adrian Dix last week armed with taxi receipts so they could hear to his hue and cry regarding the sending of a couple of homeless people to Chilliwack. In actuality, he's just whiling away the hours conferring with the flowers.

Homeless people have their sights set on Chilliwack. Hordes. Hardcore street people from across Canada. Before being elected mayor, Popove complained in council that "it only cost $5.00 to take the bus from Langley to Chilliwack. We have to look at that doing something about it." Popove insinuated that raising the cost of a ticket will somehow stem the tide. He's made homeless people coming to Chilliwack his pet project. But it's a lot like herding cats.

Popove isn't being realistic. Chilliwack isn't an island and he can't throw up barbed wire to filter people like Trump's wall. It's entirely possible that what he's doing is going to have the opposite effect on the community.


Stay with me now. A simple call to Fraser Health and suggest they stop doing it would suffice. Instead, Popove chose to waste time and money and chase publicity instead. How did media find out about it? He told them.

I told him in our meeting that homeless are coming and there's nothing he could do but start prepping.


"We're bringing in power washers," he said at the meeting.


Preparation for dozens of incoming is more realistic than whining about two people. Eventually there will be an "Anita's Place" in Chilliwack.


It's likely Popove spent more money with the Vancouver trip than it cost for the referenced taxi ride.


YouTube clip. I would not be just a muffin', my head all full of stuffin'.




  Friday, March 22, 2019  

Published 8 am


Open Burn Goes Awry

CFD says burn piles need to be attended after fire spreads to cottage and brush

Mike Bourden, Assistant Chief, Fire Prevention/Google images


A Cottage burned to the ground and the fire spread to the brush.


t approximately 4:15pm on March 21, 2019 The Chilliwack Fire Department (CFD) was dispatched to a reported structure fire located in the 4800 block of Sherlaw Rd. Property owner was cleaning his property and burning dead brush on a hill side. Due to the dry conditions the fire from the brush clearing got away from the property owner and quickly extended up the hill side and ignited a vacant structure.  


Firefighters responded from Halls 1, 4, 5 & 6. Upon arrival a single-storey vacant structure used as guest cottage, was fully-involved as well as numerous hot spots that ignited the hillside and grass field below.


Firefighters quickly went to a defensive attack and stop the fire from damaging other buildings on site. Hot spots on the hill side and grass field were quickly extinguished.


There were no civilian or firefighter injuries. The cause of the fire is accidental.


CFD would like to remind property owner’s when burning during open air burning season, to be present at all times during burning and to have a hose, bucket of water, or shovel and dirt or sand nearby to extinguish the fire if necessary.



  Friday, March 22, 2019  

Published 8 am


With A Smile

BC low-income dental care got a $3.6 million boost

BC Gov't Caucus/Voice photo


Sarah Drews speaks with G-Man just before she clobbers him in front of the Museum while filming "Republic of Sarah". Below, two tree props.


wenty-four not-for-profit dental clinics around the province will have their annual operating support from the British Columbia government doubled, helping them provide a mix of free and low-cost dental care to people living in poverty.

The $3.6 million in funding over three years, which includes $2 million to upgrade dental equipment in the clinics, comes just days after the Province launched TogetherBC, B.C.’s first-ever poverty reduction strategy.

To be eligible, patients need to be registered with the Abbotsford Food Bank.

Abbotsford Food Bank Dental Clinic

33914 Essendene Ave. 604 859 5749 ext 24

For more information and to see a list of available treatments go here.




  Thursday, March 21, 2019  

Published 7 pm


In a New York State of Mind

Chilliwack turns into New Hampshire with filming of CBS's "Republic of Sarah "

Staff/Voice photo


Sarah Drews speaks with G-Man just before she clobbers him in front of the Museum while filming "Republic of Sarah". Below, two tree props.



ara Drew is tough. She proved it today when she cold-cocked a G-Man twice her size during the filming of CBS's TV movie called Republic of Sarah starring Sarah Drew and James Lesure.


The movie centers around a small New Hampshire town (Chilliwack) that's thrust onto the world stage when the discovery of a valuable resource within its borders compels the residents to declare themselves an independent nation. What's the valuable resource? We'll need to watch it to find out.


James Lesure (l) and extras wait behind a blind until they're called onto the set. Smile, we're on candid camera.


Some of the filming was done outside the Chilliwack Museum. Crews posted on the corners shouted "rolling" and the camera boom raised. A sound guy with a mic on a long pole hovered it over the actors. Crew  scurried around on the set filled with alien-looking machines.


Later, it's over to the mess tent set up alongside star trailers at the old Safeway parking lot on Main St.


Expect the sidewalks to be closed or partially closed where the filming is being done. The production crew are accommodating businesses. They could be here until March 26. 




  Thursday, March 21, 2019  

Published 9 am


It's Motorcycle Season

Drivers will need to keep an extra eye open for bikes

Staff/Voice photo


A motorcycle went down Wednesday in the 9000-block of Young Rd. It was a minor in nature and no one was seriously injured. Car and truck drivers will need to be aware because of all the bikes on the road now. It's not very often that motorcyclists aren't seriously injured.




  Thursday, March 21, 2019  

Published 9 am


Farming Through the Ages

Attendance to the Aitchelitz Museum rises annually

Staff/Voice photo


Ray Ramey president of the Aitchelitz Thresherman's Village museum made their annual presentation to Chilliwack city council Tuesday.


ay Ramey, president of Thresherman's Assn. spoke to city council Tuesday where he said 2018 was a good year adding that 15,000 people passed through the 60 small engine museum 7 days a week and that volunteers donated 6500 hours of their time.

He also thanked the Chilliwack Foundation for funding to do upgrades and roof repairs and was pleased to work with Tourism Chilliwack.

Councillor Sue Attrill, thanked Ramey for the work they've done raising money for the Chilliwack Hospice Society asking about membership costs and was told that they are $45 single, $55 family and $75 corporate.


The purpose of the Atchelitz Threshermen’s Association (ATA) is to encourage the collection, restoration, preservation, operation and exhibition of Steam and Gasoline Stationary Engines, Steam and Gasoline Tractors and Machinery used for farming as well as the development of a working farm museum. For more information, visit the Threshermen's Museum here.


Other city mentionables: It's been considered, but due to a variety of reasons from parking to prices there won't be a midway with rides at the Heritage Fair this year.


It was announced Tuesday that "The Portal" emergency shelter at 46298 Yale Rd. will remain open until at least August.


Watch for murals on the Vedder Bridge. The electrical kiosk wraps and other murals are graffiti-free as a code of conduct between vandals and artists.



  Tuesday, March 19, 2019  

Published 4:30 pm


Cleanliness is Next to Birdliness

Spring cleanups at Heron Reserve and Thompson Park April 13

Nikki Rekman/Voice file photo


Volunteers clean the parks annually in the spring.


ello from the Chilliwack Vedder River Cleanup Society! This is a reminder about our upcoming river cleanup scheduled for Saturday, April 13, 2019. There are two places you can register.

• Great Blue Heron Reserve, 5200 Sumas Prairie Rd.
• Thomson Regional Park, 48562 Chilliwack Lake Rd.
• Register at 8:30-9:30am
• Return garbage to Blue Heron Reserve before 1pm.

If you have an FVRD Adopt-A-River section above Teskey Rock please email Nikki here at  as soon as possible.

Other details:
• This event goes rain or shine
• We provide garbage and recycling bags, rubber gloves, and some pick-up-sticks.
• Please wear sturdy footwear
• Please bring a travel mug/water bottle to enjoy the refreshments provided by the Chilliwack Water Store and Tim Horton's. We will NOT be providing cups for refreshments.

Thanks to Tim Hortons and the Chilliwack Water Store for providing refreshments. See you on Saturday, April 13th.

With many thanks on behalf of all of us at the Chilliwack Vedder River Cleanup Society. For more information, visit cleanrivers.ca




  Tuesday, March 19, 2019  

Published 1:30 pm


Gritty Bluegrass Comes to the Valley

Slocan Ramblers play Tractorgrease Café March 31

KARI ZALIK, Nice Marmot PR/Submitted photo


The Slocan Ramblers are touring their latest CD "Queen City Jubilee".


n March 31st, the Juno-nominated Slocan Ramblers will be at Tractorgrease touring their latest "Queen City Jubilee" CD. Rooted in traditional bluegrass music, the band is instills both the old and the modern into their creative process.  Influenced by artists such as The Stanley Brothers, Norman Blake and Steve Earle - the band relishes in blending lightning fast / devilishly intricate instrumentals with sawdust-thick vocals.


When: March 31, 7 pm at Tractorgrease Cafe. Doors 6pm. Tickets $12. 

Can be purchased here.


Fearlessly inventive and possessing a bold, dynamic sound, The Slocans have quickly become a leading light of Canada’s roots music scene. With a reputation for energetic live shows, impeccable musicianship and an uncanny ability to convert anyone within earshot into a lifelong fan, The Slocans understand that if you polish up the music, you lose the raw excitement that makes it so vibrant.

With rave reviews from the BBC, and garnering the 2015 Edmonton Folk Fest Emerging Artist Award - the band’s live set is not to be missed. Watch Mighty Hard Road here.




  Tuesday, March 19, 2019  

Published 1 pm


Overdose Deaths Continue to Drop

BC Coroner says 2.9 daily in January

BC GOV'T CAUCUS/Voice file photos


First responders deal with an overdose victim in April 2016.


he BC Coroners Service has released two updated reports on illicit drug overdose deaths and fentanyl-detected deaths to the end of January 2019.

There were 90 suspected drug overdose deaths in January 2019. This is a 31% decrease over the number of deaths occurring in January 2018 (130)The BC Coroners Service has released two updated reports on illicit drug overdose deaths and fentanyl-detected deaths to the end of January 2019.

• There were 90 suspected drug overdose deaths in January 2019. This is a 31% decrease over the number of deaths occurring in January 2018 (130)
• The number of illicit drug overdose deaths in January 2019 equates to about 2.9 deaths per day.
• There were 1,310 illicit drug overdose deaths with fentanyl detected in 2018. This is a 7% increase over the number of deaths occurring in 2017 (1,223).
• In January 2019, carfentanil was detected in 13 overdose deaths. By comparison, carfentanil was detected in 35 suspected illicit drug overdose deaths in 2018 and in 71 deaths between June 2017 (when Coroners Service testing for carfentanil began) and December 2017.
• Fentanyl or its analogues were detected in approximately 87% of illicit drug overdose deaths in 2018 and 82% of illicit drug overdose deaths in 2017.
There were no deaths at supervised consumption or drug overdose prevention sites.



  Monday, March 18, 2019  

Published 3 pm


Gill Bar Cleanup

Volunteer's BBQ and prizes after



Gill Bar cleanup Saturday 10 am to 1 pm.


he long-standing tradition of gathering every spring to clean up the Fraser River began back in 2007, with a small group of volunteers and a big love for our salmon and rivers. Fraser Riverkeeper hosted the first cleanup along the Fraser River in Chilliwack, BC and in the 12 years since, they have partnered with local company Woodtone to organize the event. 

When: 10am-1pm Saturday, March 23. Rain or Shine.

Where: End of Gill Rd.

“Over 125 tonnes of garbage collected from the Chilliwack Fraser corridor over the past 11 years is staggering,” says Woodtone representative Kevin Raffle. “Over that time, the response we have received from the community to get involved has been really inspiring. The growing movement within Chilliwack and the Fraser Valley to combat illegal dumping and the abuse of our watershed shows that the general public cares about what is happening in their backyard”.  See more here.




  Monday, March 18, 2019  

Published 11 am


Viva Commercial Drive

Bella Ciao! April 10 at Vancity Theatre

Nicola Pender, Pender PR/Website photo


Vancouver International Film Fest features Bella Ciao! April 10th.


ommercial Drive Productions is pleased to announce the hometown premiere of Bella Ciao! on April 10th at Vancity Theatre. The film, which had its world premiere at the Whistler Film Festival in December, stars Carmen Aguirre (Endgame), Tony Nardi (La Sarrasine) and a who’s who of Vancouver actors. The film is directed by Carolyn Combs, the Executive Director of Women in Film & Television Vancouver (WIFTV). See more here.




  Sunday, March 17, 2019  

Published Noon


Higher Education

Public schools took a beating in Fraser Institute rankings behind Christian-based schools

STAFF/Voice file photo


According to Fraser Inst. annual rankings, from 1 to 10, Chilliwack public schools struggled to get over 6.


he Fraser Institute released its annual rankings of B.C. elementary schools on Saturday. Some parents and administrators dispute the ranking system and others use it to compare the academic performance of the province’s schools.

In Chilliwack, rankings for elementary schools out of 10 varies from Timothy Christian (Independent) 9.8 to Bernard (Public) Rating of 2.4

Evidently, every independent and Christian-based schools with dress codes outranked public schools. See school rankings here.



  Sunday, March 17, 2019  

Published Noon


Plain Clothes Cops

Reader supports elimination of school dress codes

JB. N Van/Pinterest image


District 33 wants to remove school dress codes. In this chart, girls outfits banned such as mini skirt, tight tops and leggings.


am writing in support of Trustee Reichelt’s motion on the school dress code which was discussed at Board of Education meeting Tuesday March 12, 2019.

I have read the media reports of the meeting and strongly dispute the statements of Trustee Darrell Furgason and Trustee Heather Maahs.

Reasoned opinions for Trustee Reichelt’s wording:

“That instead of having to worry about their clothing, young women should be engaged with their studies, whether or not men approve of their clothes.”

“It’s not up to girls and women to cover their bodies to somehow make life easier for men and boys,” she says. “It’s up to each individual person to manage their own distractions and manage their own desire.”

Were you and your readers aware of news reports from UK, where some young girls are having their breasts literally ironed by their family - to break the breast tissue, to slow/prevent growing of breasts, to not present a distraction or temptation to males? See link here.

I understand the original motion at the Board of Education Chilliwack meeting March 12, 2019 to do away with the dress code, was sent back to staff for review. This motion should be passed with the original intent.




  Sunday, March 17, 2019  

Published Noon


Media Darlings

Reader accuses mainstream media of spotlighting only lefties on the dress code issue

D'arcy Surrette, Chilliwack/Pinterest image



hy does Ash Kelly show a one-sided view of the Chilliwack School Board trustees?

It appears that the left wing school board member Willow Reichelt and her cronies get all the coverage on the issue. Also, left wingers Meghan Reid and Taran Parmar get news coverage about being offended by conservative school trustees comments.

We are offended by the come-as-you are attitude of the left wingers. If they want to wear skimpy clothing, they can do it on their own time. The erosion of rules and regulations by the left wing is undermining what respect society has left.

Shame on News 1130 for their biased coverage. It is little wonder that there is so little respect for the news media.

Back in 1970 Winnipeg, in my junior high class, a young girl aged about 14 was wearing a very short skirt, pantyhose, and NO underwear. Once the word got out, every male in the class was dropping his pen in front of her. The funny thing was that although she saw all these pens fall on the floor in front of her, she never twigged in to what was happening and looked confused.

My wife just reminded me that the reason for school uniforms was so that the children whose family could not afford designer clothes would not feel left out.

I think that children should dress age appropriately at school.


  Saturday, March 16, 2019  

Published 6am


Among Friends

Senior's Connect Café group meets weekly for conversation and camaraderie



There was some major chatting going on Thursday at the Connect Café at Homer's Restaurant.


ome recent research studies have claimed that loneliness and social isolation may have a greater adverse effect on our health than cigarette smoking. In England, this has led to the position of Minister for Loneliness as more than nine million people in the country often or always feel lonely, according to a 2017 report published by the Jo Cox Commission on Loneliness. See more here.




  Thursday, March 14, 2019  

Published 6am


House Fire on Evans Road

Residents were asleep in 4-plex at the time of the blaze and managed to escape unharmed

STAFF/Voice photos


Emergency Social Services were there to assist residents.


t approximately 4 am, Chilliwack Fire Department were called out to a reported structure fire in the 7000-block of Evans Rd.


By the time crews were able to arrive, the fire had already spread to the roof of the newer homes and the vinyl siding had melted off in the rear.


"Firefighters responded from Halls 1, 4, and 6, and on arrival, reported seeing heavy smoke and flames venting through the center roof peak of four attached homes," said Andrew Brown, Assistant Chief Training. "Occupants were at home and asleep at the time of the fire. One occupant woke up to strange sounds, smelled smoke and noticed embers outside the rear of the home. The occupant called the Fire Department and alerted occupants in attached units." 


"The fire appears to have started on the outside of one of the center units and travelled up to the soffits and into the attic space. Firefighters set up a defensive fire attack and were able to quickly bring the fire under control. The two center homes suffered extensive fire, water and smoke damage, while the two outside homes suffered smoke damage. Occupants were unable to return to their homes," said Brown.


There were no civilian or firefighter injuries.

The cause of the fire is unknown at this time, and is under investigation by the Chilliwack Fire Department.


The Chilliwack Fire Department wants to remind the public to ensure they have a home fire escape plan. Please follow the link here for guidance on how to make a home fire escape plan.




  Thursday, March 14, 2019  

Published 9pm


Support Your Local Artists

Agassiz presents its best painters April 6

LORETTA DOUGLAS, Agassiz Monday Painters/ Submitted photo


The 58th Anniversary of the Agassiz Monday Painters show is April 6.


hey've been painting longer than most people have been alive and Agassiz Monday Painters are once again pleased to announce their upcoming 58th Anniversary Art Show.


When: Sat. April 6th from 10 am to 4 pm

Where: Agassiz United Church Hall, 6860 Lougheed Hwy.

Admission: Free


Refreshments are available by donation. There will be a free draw for door prizes. 


Come join us & enjoy the talents of the participating artists who work in a variety of media!


The featured artist this year will be Barry Garner who has been a longstanding member of Monday Painters. 


For more information contact Barry Garner at (604) 796 0120


  Thursday, March 14, 2019  

Published 9pm


We Rock!

Chilliwack Team Klebe advances to 2019 BC Women's Masters March 5-10

REBECCA CONNOP-PRICE, Curl BC/Steve Seixeiro photos


Team Klebe: Janet Klebe (l to r), Kerri Miller, Jane Adam and Laurie Shimizu scored four in the first end hold their plaque after winning the BC Women's Masters.


hey started the event by scoring an 8-ender, so it does not come as a huge surprise that Team Klebe secured the 2019 BC Masters Women’s title.


A total of eight master men’s teams and 10 master women’s teams competed in Nanaimo at the 2019 Connect Hearing BC Masters Curling Championships from March 5-10.


An 8-ender, where a team gets all eight of their rocks in scoring position, is rare in league play and even more rare at a provincial championship. See more here.



  Tuesday, March 12, 2019  

Published 2pm

Reflections in the aftermath of Int. Women's Day

On Feminism and Chelsea Manning

Betty Krawczyk, Cumberland/Chelsea Manning, Wiki pic


Chelsea Manning.


n Women’s day I sat down to reflect upon and maybe write a small article about all of the brave women who have dared the risks of making, or trying to make, change in our corrupted world. There were women’s marches on a global scale this year but I first looked at and saluted our own Canadian women.


What Canadian woman could not thrill at the risks Jody Wilson-Raybould and Jane Philpott have taken in their careers to expose the wrong-doing of the Trudeau government in seeking to cover up the sins of a powerful corporation (SNC-Lavalin). See more here.




  Tuesday, March 12, 2019  

Published 2pm


Crash City

Intersections can be particularly dangerous

Staff/Voice photo


Emergency crews attend to an accident in the intersection at Main St. and Princess Ave. Sunday.


his intersection t-bone accident Sunday was minor in nature. Thankfully no one was seriously injured. Reports were an elderly driver had a little pain in her side.


Intersections are a hot zone. ICBC says that almost 60 per cent of crashes happen at intersections.


Just approach with caution and try not to run yellow lights because a vehicle may already be waiting to turn left and you should be okay.


For more information regarding intersection safety, download the ICBC .pdf file here.




  Tuesday, March 12, 2019  

Published 2pm


Helping the Community

SurreyCares invites charities to apply for grants

Karen Young, SCCF/website image


It's grant application time and SurreyCares wants to make sure your group gets its applications in.


ach year in March, SurreyCares Community Foundation opens grant applications to qualified applicants.

SurreyCares provides grants of up to $5000 to charities whose programs and services benefit the people of Surrey. 
Past recipients, just to name a few, include:

• Cerebral Palsy Association of BC 
• SOS Children's Villages
• Down Syndrome Research Foundation
• Arts Club Theatre Company 

"We help families and businesses who have a strong desire to give to the cause they are most passionate about in their own community. We make their generosity support that cause forever." says Board Chair, John Lawson.

"In celebration of our 25th anniversary, we are pleased that several new initiatives will help to increase the number of grants awarded through the year. We look forward to the additional support this will provide to the charitable community."” says Karen Young, Executive Director.

“Our work is really about investing in and supporting the people of Surrey and we've made changes to the application process to make it easier for charities to apply. ” says Grant Committee Chair, Mike Bose. 
2019 grant applications are now available online at surreycares.org. There are 3 main categories: General Community, Special Needs and Youth Initiatives. For more information about the categories, criteria and application process, please visit the website at surreycares.org/grants.

SurreyCares vision for Surrey is: A giving, connected community. SurreyCares mission is to inspire donors, grow endowments and invest in people.




  Tuesday, March 12, 2019  

Published 1pm


Workshop Fire

CFD says welders should be used away from combustibles

Andrew Brown, Assistant Chief/file image


CFD urges caution when using welding machines which can cause fires such as at this Howard Ave. home Monday.


n March 11, 2019 at approximately 1830 hours the Chilliwack Fire Department was dispatched to a reported structure fire located in a small workshop in the 8000-block of Howard Crescent.

Firefighters responded from Halls 1, 4, and 6 and on arrival, reported fire and smoke venting from the structure. Occupants were working in the shop at time of the fire and called 911 then and began to extinguish the fire. Fire crews setup an offensive attack bringing the fire under control and ensuring no extension to other structures.

There were no civilian or firefighter injuries.

This fire appears to be accidental caused by welding.

Chilliwack Fire Dept. wants to remind the public that sparks and expulsion of molten metal produced by welding and cutting processes are ready sources of ignition that can travel up to 35 feet (10 meters) from their source. Because sparks can travel so far, any combustible material in the immediate area can pose a significant fire hazard. As a result, all welding areas should be free of flammable materials. A flammable material is anything that can be easily set on fire. These include rags, cardboard boxes, paper bags, food, dust, gas cylinders, wood, and cans of paint, solvents, and cleaning products.




  Monday, March 11, 2019  

Published 7am


Shooting Death on Alexander Ave

Man, 32, died on the scene, IHIT says targeted

Staff/Voice photos


Members of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) plan their search the area for evidence Sunday afternoon. Below, victim James Vidal.


ust after 6:30 am Sunday, police responded to reports of gunshots in the in the 45700-block Alexander Avenue.


Emergency services arrived to find 33-year-old James Vidal with gunshot wounds.  He succumbed to his injuries at scene.  IHIT was called in to take conduct of the investigation.

"The victim died on scene as a result of their injuries. The victim, a male in his early 30’s, is known to police. This incident is believed to be targeted," said S/Sgt. Stephen Vrolyk in a release.


IHIT is working closely with the Chilliwack RCMP Serious Crime Unit to interview several witnesses and IHIT crime scene investigators worked alongside forensic specialists from the Integrated Forensic Identification Services to collect physical evidence.  IHIT will continue to liaise with the B.C. Coroners Service and a post-mortem examination is expected to be conducted this week. 


“We are fortunate that no one else was hurt as a result of this careless act,” says Corporal Frank Jang of IHIT.  “IHIT will be aggressively pushing forward on its investigative avenues and we are looking to the community to partner with us in solving this murder.”

Alexander Ave was closed to traffic all day Sunday.

Sunday afternoon, IHIT investigators fanned out in the Macdonalds Restaurant parking lot looking for any evidence like shell casings.

If you have any information regarding this homicide, You're requested to call the Chilliwack RCMP at (604)792-4611, the IHIT information line at 1-877-551-IHIT (4448) or if you wish to remain anonymous, please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).




  Sunday, March 10, 2019  

Published 6:30pm


The River Talks

Ambient sounds out on the fishing trail

Chris Hunt, Trout Unlimited/Website photo


Chris Hunt talks about listening to ambient sounds on a fishing hike.


he late August rain provided the symphony, a tinny drum beat on the camper's roof and walls, while I sat at my "kitchen" table tying up a gaudy pink streamer. 

Parked beneath the bows of towering yellow cedar and Sitka spruce in a lonely Forest Service campground on Prince of Wales Island, I waited out the rain at the vise. I'd fired up the generator to give everything a charge, and I had plugged in a movie for some background noise. But I didn't need it. The rainforest deluge was company enough as I spun bright pink hackle into a workable collar onto a size 4 salmon hook, ahead of a strand of pink chenille and a marabou chaser, complete with some tinsel to add some shine. See more here.



  Sunday, March 10, 2019  

Published 6pm


Nickels to Necklaces

Treasure Hunters name 2018 year-end winners

Staff/Submitted photos


Mark Lewis (l) and First Place Hunter of the year Pete Bifano.


hey're metal detecting enthusiasts. They come from all walks with the draw of the thrill of finding something of value, an old coin or sometimes it's expensive jewellry, a piece of history, or just an item interest to talk about. That's what drives members of The Fraser Valley Treasure Hunters (FVTH). See more here.




  Sunday, March 10, 2019  

Published 5:30pm


Any Dream Will Do

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat  March 22-30

Ron Hildebrandt, Gallery 7 Theatre/Dianna Lewis Photography



Rueben Leonard performs as Joseph with huge cast March 22-30


allery 7 Theatre is thrilled to continue their 2018-2019 ‘Back to Classics’ Theatre Season with the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical sensation, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd Webber. This will be Gallery 7 Theatre’s 100th production in its history, a major milestone for the organization. See more here.




  Saturday, March 9, 2019  

Published 3pm


Robson Street House Fire

No injuries, house a write-off and residents displaced

STAFF/Website images


Firefighters work to extinguish a house fire on Robson St. at Victoria Ave. Saturday afternoon.


his wasn't an abandoned shack on fire. People actually lived in the nice older two-storey at the corner of Robson St. and Victoria Ave.


The call went out just after 1:30 pm but by the time firefighters could get there, the entire roof soffit in the front gushed black smoke blotting out the clear blue sky behind it.


A couple of dozen  people watched as crews went on the offensive to get the upper hand on the fire, but then were forced to fall back into defensive mode to stop the fire from spreading to nearby structures.


Fire Halls 1, 2, 4, 5 and 6 responded.  Thankfully no one was injured in the blaze. According to Chris Wilson, Assistant Chief, Emergency Preparedness, residents weren't home but a dog had some smoke inhalation issues.

A firefighter cranks open a hydrant.


"Fire crews were able to successfully rescue the homeowner’s dog from the home and assisted British Columbia Ambulance crews with providing the dog with some oxygen and water," he said.


The Duty Chief assesses the fire risk and directs his crews.


There is no word on how the fire started but CFD consider it to be accidental in nature.


Crews were in for the long haul so the Salvation Army brought in meals.


Once the community gets over the shock of a major fire it faces additional challenges. The street will be busy, fencing, hauling it off and then later a when a new home is constructed.




  Saturday, March 9, 2019  

Published 4am


Under Fire

Bill 4 'Witness Security Act' is tailor-made for gun and violence crime in BC

STAFF/Website images


MLA Mike Farnworth, Minister of Public Safety tabled Bill 4 that beefs up witness protection.


t's pricey. A million dollars a homicide. But that's what it costs to conduct the average investigation into a death. Sometimes more. Last year in Surrey there were 33 shootings resulting in 15 deaths.


The Legislature Thursday was unanimous in its support of Bill 4 'Witness Security Act', which deals with the protection of witnesses testifying both before and after court, even if it means them taking on a new identity. See more here.




  Friday, March 8, 2019  

Published 3pm


But 'At What Cost'

Women forced to pick up the pieces after wars created by men

JILLIAN SKEET,  WILPF Vancouver/Website image


WILPF supports the mental health and well-being of all citizens.


s we once again mark International Women's Day, a group of Canadian women has launched a project to redefine 'security' from a women's perspective. With a self-proclaimed feminist Prime Minister in office, Canadian women have a unique opportunity to challenge and transform how the term 'security' is defined and understood in Canada. See more here.




  Thursday, March 7, 2019  

Published 5pm


Artificial Intelligence as a Learning Tool

Kids program mini robots at Chilliwack and Yarrow Libraries

BRYAN PEZZI,  Fraser Valley Regional Libraries/Handout image


One of 18 Ozbots available at Chilliwack and Yarrow Libraries.

zobots have arrived in the Fraser Valley, and you can find them at your local library! This month Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL) will launch Tech-Up with Ozobots at seven library locations throughout the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland. Aimed at children in Grades 4 to 6, this program offers a fun introduction to coding and digital exploration. See more here.



  Thursday, March 7, 2019  

Published Thursday 10am


Apartment Fire Claims Life in Abbotsford

Fire Dept says tragic blaze accidental, ladder rescues

SGT JUDY BIRD,  Abbotsford Police Dept


The 2400-block where the fire took place.

n Wednesday, March 06, 2019, at 10:29 PM, Abbotsford Emergency Services responded to a structure fire located in the 2400 block of Countess St.  

Upon arrival, Abbotsford Fire Rescue Service (AFRS) crews found two units of the three-story structure fully engulfed. A number of tenants had evacuated to exterior balconies and were unable to exit further. See more here.



  Tuesday, March 5, 2019  

Published Tuesday 2pm


West Coast Magic

Early Spirit play concert Harrison Memorial Hall March 16, kids are free!

Byran Cutler,  Harrison Music Festival/Handout photos


West My Friend will be playing Acoutsic Emporium March 8.


he Harrison Festival Society will present Vancouver-based Celtic folk band Early Spirit in the Memorial Hall in Harrison on Saturday March 16.

Early Spirit is the latest project of Spirit of the West co-founder, songwriter, and guitarist Jay Knutson. Jay became well known on the Canadian and international folk scenes through his work on the first two albums by Spirit of the West, one of Canada’s most celebrated bands of the past 30 years.

Later, he worked with major Canadian artists including Hart-Rouge and Connie Kaldor. His solo material, a constant throughout his career, draws from jazz and roots music.


As a singer-songwriter, Jay “puts the soul back into music, fun back into instruments, and conviction back into lyrics” (The Chronicle Herald , Halifax). He uses wisdom gathered from over 50 album projects to write for and perform with Early Spirit. Few performers in folk music can combine their experience with raw energy like Jay.


Jay is joined in Early Spirit by a trio of talented young players, Will Chernoff (bass), Gabriel Dubreuil (violin), and Ben Kelly (drums). Ben is son of Spirit of the West and Paperboys member, Geoffrey Kelly, and already a veteran of the Canadian festival circuit with groups such as Fish and Bird. Gabriel is a talented young Franco-Canadian fiddler who attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and writes instrumentals with influences of Darol Anger, Casey Driessen, Jeremy Kittel, and Natalie MacMaster.


Together, these four musicians form a tight and passionate musical unit. Early Spirit’s Harrison performance coincides with St. Patrick’s day, and with the Celtic spirit in the band’s music it promises to make for a fun night out in Harrison.


The show begins at 8:00pm with doors opening at 7:30pm. Tickets for Early Spirit are $25.00 and can be purchased online at www.harrisonfestival.com, by phone at 604.796.3664 or in person at the Ranger Station Art Gallery in Harrison and Agassiz Shoppers Drug Mart on Pioneer Ave.




  Tuesday, March 5, 2019  

Published Tuesday noon


Eclectic Tunes

Acoustic Café features versatile band March 8

VERN TOMPKE,  Acoustic Café/Handout photo


West My Friend will be playing Acoutsic Emporium March 8.

escribed as everything from indie-roots to chamber-folk, West My Friend has an acoustic blend of instruments and three-part harmonies that challenges the conventions of popular music. The band features pure and thrillingly eclectic vocals with catchy arrangements of guitar, mandolin, and accordion that draw from jazz, classical, folk, and pop influences. Inspired by artists such as Owen Pallett, the Barenaked Ladies, Joanna Newsom, the Beach Boys, The Decemberists, and the Punch Brothers, and forged from a sonically adventurous acoustic music scene on Canada’s west coast, West My Friend is proving to be a key part of a new generation of grassroots folk music.




  Tuesday, March 5, 2019  

Published Tuesday 3 am


9 Ways to a Healthy and Sustainable Environment

A letter to Alberta premier Rachael Notely and her response

MYRTLE MACDONALD,  B.Sc., U of Alberta, M.Sc.A., McGill University, Author/Voice file photo

1.  I am not in favor of natural gas produced by fracking.  Earth quakes and sink holes have resulted.

2.  Increasing sale of crude oil overseas is very wrong.  You should quickly taper off sale immediately.  China is making rapid strides at building solar energy and soon will not need Alberta crude oil or coal.  Short term gain is long term pain. See more here.




  Monday, March 4, 2019  

Published Monday 1 pm


Real Estate Sales Slow Off the Spring Mark

CDREB reminds buyers to register for the speculation tax

STEVE LERIGNY, CADREB/Voice file photo


atience is definitely a virtue heading into the month of spring, as home sales locally continue their sluggish pace. While up 37% from the month before, at 154 completed sales, this number is down 40% from February 2018, which saw 260 sales.

“There is no doubt that the federal government’s ‘stress test’ implemented a year ago has stalled the economy,” said Kyle Nason, the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board’s (CADREB) newly installed President.

The stress test is particularly hard on first-time buyers, as not only do potential buyers need to qualify for a mortgage at existing rates, but they need to prove that they can withstand a potential interest rate hike. For sellers, patience is the key, said Mr. Nason. See more here.



  Sunday, March 3, 2019  

Published Sunday 5 am


Music Program Goes Silent

Kwantlen U cancels programs over fiscal shortfalls



KPU President Alan Davis pictured in front of the Surrey Campus Main building.


y name is Victoria Parker-Poitras and I am a third-year music major at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. I am contacting you because I would like to inform you of the unjust cuts being made to not only to the music program but to other programs at KPU as well. See more here.


  Friday, March 1, 2019  

Updated Saturday 2:45 pm


Victor Street Shooting Now A Murder Investigation

IHIT seeks witnesses to woman's death



The scene last Tuesday after a shooting in the 9400-block of Victor St. See 'Shooting on Victor St.' below for more photos.


he Integrated Homicide Investigation Team (IHIT) is requesting public assistance to further its investigation into the shooting death of a 42-year-old Chilliwack resident.


On February 26, 2019 just after 1p.m., the Chilliwack RCMP received a report of a woman who had been shot in the 9400-block of Victor Street.  Police arrived on scene and found the shooting victim, 42-year-old Christine Denham, who was transported to hospital.  Ms. Denham remained in critical condition until she succumbed to her injuries on March 1, 2019.    


IHIT has taken conduct of the investigation and is working closely with its partners from the Chilliwack RCMP, the Integrated Forensic Identification Services and the B.C. Coroners Service to gather evidence.


Investigators believe this was not a random incident and there are no indications so far to link this shooting to any gang conflict.     


“IHIT detectives are working with the Chilliwack RCMP Serious Crime Unit to identify and interview key witnesses to determine a motive behind Christine Denham’s murder,” says Corporal Frank Jang of IHIT.  “Anyone who knew what Ms. Denham was doing or who she was meeting with on Tuesday, February 26, 2019 is urged to contact IHIT immediately.”


Anyone with information is asked to call the IHIT information line at 1-877-551- IHIT (4448), or by email at ihitinfo@rcmp-grc.gc.ca.


Should you wish to remain anonymous, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).




  Friday, March 1, 2019  

Published at 5 pm


Highway to Help

CBAs help communities from ground zero up — not top down as the BC Liberals have shown

Voice Staff/Voice file photo


Chilliwack MLA John Martin was eating good until 2017 when the NDP grabbed hold of the meat tongs.

ritish Columbia. BC. Bring Cash. That's what the rest of the country says and thinks about the province with the highest costs of living across Canada.


This has been mainly due to years of corporate greed and stressors that favour attracting so-called "big business".


On Friday, Chilliwack riding MLA John Martin and Liberal Labour Critic, demonstrated how far out on thin ice his party is when skating around in the Legislature talking about way back in the 1990s good old days and saying the NDP applied "community benefit agreements (CBAs) that added 38 per cent to the Island Highway Project."

Today, two decades later, the Liberal Party is still diametrically opposed to the NDP spreading around money to starving residents and desperate segments of communities that have been perpetually ignored by them.

In the release Friday, Martin said the NDP is continuing to drive up the price of public-sector projects warning of dire consequences.

“While the NDP estimated CBAs could add up to seven per cent to project price tags, we’re learning these cost increases could be closer to 20 per cent," said Martin. "And if history has shown us anything, we could see these costs climb even further.”


However there is plenty of wiggle room for $50 billion CBAs when shoed into a $700 billion budget.

The day before, on Thursday, the NDP announced the budget includes more money for Community Living BC foster parents, adoptive caregivers, extended family members caring for children with an additional $179/mo to help cover basic necessities for children in their care, including food, shelter and clothing. Effective April 1.

Yesterday, they also put errant parents, mostly fathers, on notice for child support maintenance arrears indicating that any who owe more than $3000 will have their driver's licence's suspended immediately unless they can negotiate a structured repayment plan.

That should have been done decades ago. The Liberals never acted on it and so finally the NDP pushed it through which is going to save the government millions in childcare spending.


Watch airplanes drop from the sky and fishing boats sink.

It's hard to see Martin's logic, much less intelligence, when he states the NDP is costing jobs when in fact they're creating employment with the hundreds of new housing starts across the province. The NDP aren't spending wildly and suppressing employment by putting people to work building those.

Martin has also conveniently forgotten about the new Saint Paul's Hospital which will add thousands of construction jobs not to mention the permanent health positions at the facility and other spin-off employment. He didn't mention the revitalization of Chilliwack and how many jobs and businesses will be brought in.

It's unclear how Martin can flaunt a single Island Highway job example, catering to a two or three hundred people driving black topper machines, and trump thousands of jobs spread around to hundreds of communities where they're desperately needed. It's hard to understand Martin's anti low-income, seniors, supportive care homes stance across BC by his denying something the residents have a right to – money.

“Even the NDP acknowledged community benefits agreements would increase the costs of public infrastructure projects – but now we’re finding out just how much these increases will be,” said Martin.

It's also not clear how Martin can look any BC resident in the eye and expect them to believe this line of rhetoric.


Obviously, the NDP doesn't need to prove anything. Martin is correct,  British Columbians are worth more than 20 per cent.

CBAs help communities from ground zero up — not top down as the BC Liberals have demonstrated for the last twenty years in office.

In summation, swerving around some potholes is of the least importance.