Langley is the last Fraser Valley community of its size without second-stage housing
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Chilliwack Independent Film Festival
Nov. 16, 2022 | Today: β˜€οΈ High 9C, Low 1C | 7-day forecast

Good Morning, Reader!

We put a reminder in yesterday's newsletter about the BC emergency alert test, but I think another one is warranted. (If you're anything like me you may have already forgot and will be startled by the alarm.) The test is scheduled for this afternoon at 1:55pm. At that time a message should broadcast on cellphones, radio and the television. Find out more about the system, like who can send an alert.

Also, you still have time to enter a draw for a pair of free passes to this weekend's Chilliwack Independent Film Festival! We have four pairs of all-access passes to give away, along with 10 pairs of virtual festival passes.

β€”Joti Grewal, reporter
Will Langley finally get second-stage housing?
Maureen Berlin (centre) took the reigns as executive director of Langley's Ishtar Women's Shelter last year with the goal of bringing second-stage housing to women fleeing domestic violence. 📸 Grace Giesbrecht

A plan is taking shape to bring second-stage housing for Langley women fleeing domestic violence.

The community is currently the only one of its size without long-term supportive, independent homes designated for women (and sometimes, their children) leaving abusive partners. The survivors' needs are complicated by trauma and, increasingly, the rising cost of housing.

Ishtar Women's Resource Society, a Langley non-profit that operates two short-term transition homes for women, has been highlighting Langley’s need for second-stage housing for years.

Now, the society has its eyes on space in a new Langley apartment building. Construction on the building is expected to begin next spring, and the society hopes to lease 36 units with the help of BC Housing.

The plan is currently in the crown corporation’s hands as it finishes its appraisal.

"We’re extremely hopeful," Ishtar’s executive director Maureen Berlin said.

Langley is the last Fraser Valley community of its size without second-stage housing.

Need to know

βš–οΈ After a third mistrial, charges were stayed against a man accused of raping a woman he met in a Langley bar in 2016 [CBC]

🌊 SemΓ‘:th officials and a UBC professor are working on a study to calculate the cost of buying out Sumas landowners to allow the SemΓ‘:th XΜ±Γ³:tsa to reflood; They estimate the cost to be about $3 billion [The Narwhal]Β Β 

🗓 Today is Louis Riel Day; on Sunday the Fort Langley National Historic Site is hosting an event to raise awareness about MΓ©tis culture [Parks Canada]

🌾 An Abbotsford family reflected on recovering their dairy farm one year since the historic floods in Sumas Prairie [CBC]Β Β 

🗺 The last day to submit feedback to the BC Electoral Boundaries Commission on its proposed electoral boundaries is Nov. 22; The Current wrote about what the changes mean for the Fraser Valley, read that story here [FVC]Β Β 

🎨 The Kwantlen First Nation announced plans for a new plaza and art display near the Langley Events Centre [Langley Advance Times]

🧲 Harrison's outgoing council personally funded two horseshoe pits as a gift to the community [Agassiz Harrison Observer]

🍄 A documentary chronicles the story of an Abbotsford woman who was granted the right to use magic mushrooms in her cancer treatment [Abbotsford News]Β 

🐻 Mission residents raved over a photo of bear cubs at the doorstep of a local home [Mission Record]

☺ TODAY’S SMILE: A Chilliwack veteran's wish to see a navy ship a final time was granted on Remembrance Day [Chilliwack Progress]

The new Langley Township council unanimously supported a motion to consider hiring more firefighters. 📸 Firefighter Montreal

Langley Township will look to hire 40 firefighters within the next four years. Council directed staff to budget for such an addition at its most recent meeting.

"I know that this fire department is grossly understaffed," Coun. Tim Baillie, a retired Surrey fire captain, told his colleagues.

Baillie said the township’s blended system of career firefighters and paid on-call firefighters results in "extreme danger." He listed examples of recent fires where calls were unanswered due staff shortages. Council was unanimous with its support. Abbotsford and Chilliwack also operate systems with both career and paid on-call firefighters. The systems save the municipalities significant money, though their firefighters unions say they result in lower service levels.

Mission expects to need about $2 million more in revenue to make up for increased costs next fiscal year. That would require a 5% increase in property taxes; an owner of a $1 million home (with an assessed value that changed in line with the citywide average) would pay about $121 more in taxes.

Many of the higher costs stem from projects or initiatives began in previous years, including hiring more firefighters and other staff. Much of the rest of the budget increase is the result of a 2.2% increase (amounting to $873,000) in the amount paid to the RCMP.

This year, the city plans to increase transfers to its capital reserves and expand transit service on Sunday (if the province approves).

Experience independent film like never before

Chilliwack Independent Film Festival
The 6th edition of the Chilliwack Independent Film Festival returns in-person Nov. 18 to 20 at the Cottonwood Cinema. The festival then goes virtual from Nov. 21 to Dec. 4.

Watch feature films, documentaries, short films, creator panels, and more, from across BC and the world. With 64 films curated across 15 screenings, there's also food trucks, popcorn, craft beer, and wine. Explore the full program and choose what you want to see.

Get your tickets today at and celebrate the arts in your community.
Each week we showcase a different photo from across the Valley and invite readers to share their best guess for where it was taken.

Any guesses as to where this week's Current Cam was taken? Reply back with your best guessβ€”or with a picture we can use in a future edition.
Around town


🎅🏻 A Christmas craft market with over 40 vendors is happening now at Mt. Lehman Hall until Nov. 20. Lunch, snacks, and coffee are available for purchase. The $1 admission fee will support relief efforts in Ukraine.

🎄 The 15th annual West Coast Christmas Show and Artisan Marketplace is at the Tradex this weekend.

β˜ƒοΈ The Chilliwack Christmas Craft Market will return this weekend to Chilliwack Heritage Park with handcrafted gifts and decor from local artists.


🎥 UFV’s Peace and Reconciliation Centre and the Abbotsford Restorative Justice and Advocacy Association are co-hosting a free screening of Love in the Time of Fentanyl on Nov. 24 at 5pm in room B101 at the Abbotsford campus.

🎟 Abbotsford Children’s Theatre is presenting The Best Christmas Pageant Ever on Nov. 25 & 26 at the Matsqui Centennial Auditorium.

Have an event to tell us about? Fill out this form to have it highlighted in Around Town.
Crime rates

Seven killings pushed Langley's 2021 violent crime rate up, fewer property offences were reported in Chilliwack, and Abbotsford avoided a 2021 rebound. Catch up here.

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