Nov. 28, 2022 | Today: 🌤️ High 5C, Low -3C | 7-day forecast

Good Morning, Reader!

I learned today that the strata I live in doesn't allow live Christmas trees. Which is fair. They tend to catch on fire more often than the fake ones. But the holiday season won't be the same without the annual pilgrimage of chainsaw-wielding relatives on snowmobiles heading to the woods in search of that perfect pine tree.

Do you have plans for a Christmas tree this year? Are you sticking to a tradition, a favourite species, or trying something new?

—Grace Giesbrecht, reporter
More residents, fewer voters, as valley records a staggering drop in election turnout
The number of ballots cast in this year's local elections declined despite an influx of new residents. 📸 roibu/Shutterstock

Langley Township’s municipal election had all the ingredients needed for a high voter turnout in October.

The mayor’s race had four recognizable names, including two sitting councillors and a prominent former provincial cabinet minister. There were two new slates campaigning for votes, raising money, and advertising heavily. There were significant differences about the appropriate path forward for a fast-changing community.

Yet barely one-quarter of eligible voters cast ballots.

That figure was down from 2018, despite the township having a much more competitive mayor’s race than four years ago. But the decline in voting wasn’t just a Langley story. In fact, the township’s 26% turnout figure was the highest of all the Fraser Valley’s larger communities.

Need to know

👩‍✈️ Girls Fly Too, an event that promotes women in aviation, announced new dates after it was forced to cancel last month [Abbotsford News]

💵 Funding for autism support will maintain its current model after proposed changes frustrated families and advocates [Global News]

🏀 The Cheam Recreation Centre in Chilliwack will start charging user fees tomorrow [Fraser Valley Today]

🍜 Food bank users doubled in Mission last year [Mission Record]

🧸 A toy drive run by an Abbotsford wrestler is returning for its third year [Abbotsford News]

📕 A retired Chilliwack high school teacher published his first children's Christmas book [Chilliwack Progress]

🐔 Avian influenza has been detected at Chilliwack's Sardis Park, where dozens of dead birds have been reported recently [Chilliwack Progress]

🚓 An off-duty police officer who struck a pedestrian with his vehicle in Langley will not be charged after an independent investigation [Independent Investigations Office of BC]

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Langley residents protested a plan to replace two midrise apartment buildings with what would have been  the township's highest high-rise. 📸 Vesta Properties/Facebook

Plans for Langley’s tallest tower were scrapped earlier this year, but the new Langley Township council wanted to send the developer a message anyway.

Vesta Properties is developing a massive 74-acre neighbourhood on 200 Street just south of Highway 1. After its plans were approved, the developer returned to council to seek permission to replace two planned low-rise condos with a 45-storey high-rise. Residents, particularly those who had already bought into the community, campaigned against the proposal. (The Current wrote about the project earlier this year. Read that story here.) The developer later told The Current they were withdrawing the proposal.

Now council wants Vesta to know it doesn’t support the tower. Council asked staff to communicate with the developer that the tower “is not in the best interests” of the township. They noted concerns about additional traffic and density in the area. Council asked that Vesta proceed with the original approved plan.

The number of violent crimes reported in Mission increased significantly through the first nine months of 2022.

Statistics presented to Mission council show a 19% increase in the number of violent crime reports to local Mounties. Property crime, meanwhile, is level. Much of the violent crime increase is linked to reports of assaults and specifically domestic violence.

The number of domestic violence cases is up by 41% from 2021, the figures suggest. Although assaults in general are up across the city, the bulk of that increase is attributable to what the report defines as “spousal violence.”

Around town


🌲 The Fraser Valley Conservancy is hosting a workshop on Nov. 29 in Chilliwack about caring for nature in your backyard. Register online.

💡 Christmas decorations will be lit up in Williams Park in Langley until Dec. 18. Find more details online or visit for free.


🎶 Tom Lavin & The Legendary Powder Blues wind up their 44th Anniversary Tour on Dec. 3 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre. Tickets online.

What can a mayor or councillor actually do?

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