How a local university soccer player made it to the sport's biggest tournament
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Nov. 22, 2022 | Today: 🌧 High 9C, Low 6C | 7-day forecast

Good Morning, Reader!

As much as we might like it to be otherwise, sports is not a politics-free zone. It never has been, dating back to the Olympics in Ancient Greece. You can’t just wave a hand and ignore the world surrounding the playing of sports. Even on a local, community level, politics plays a role, as any volunteer who has pushed for more facilities can tell you.

All of which is to say that it is important to recognize and talk about the specter of migrant deaths and LGBTQ+ persecution that lingers over this World Cup. Some have called for a viewer (or player) boycott; those calls are important and useful in raising awareness of the important issues. Different people will have different opinions on the morality of watching or not watching the matches.

Qatar landed the games and sacrificed billions of dollars and thousands of lives to build its stadiums in pursuit, largely, of positive press. Because of that, I think  (hope?) that ongoing negative attention that comes from observing and highlighting those will be a bigger penalty than depriving the event of attention altogether. You may feel different, which is fine. The World Cup controversy is not an anomaly in our culture. We are constantly faced with similar questions when it comes to the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the transportation we use, and more. We can make change as individuals and as groups. But the first step is usually becoming informed about the issues at play. A good place to start is with the coverage by UK newspaper The Guardian, which broke many of the stories about the problematic hosts.

—Tyler Olsen, managing editor
Rise of Waterman
Joel Waterman took a unique route to the World Cup.  📸 Vicki Waterman/Facebook; Mark Janzen/ TWU; Canada Soccer/Facebook

Joel Waterman got his start playing soccer in his hometown of Aldergrove when he was five years old. Tomorrow he will make his World Cup debut with Canada.

"I kind of blacked out when I found the news out from [Canada coach] John [Herdman]," Waterman said Monday. "I was just speechless, very emotional."

Just a few years ago Waterman was playing university soccer in Langley. He only started playing the sport professionally a couple years ago. And before this month, he had never played a game with the national team.

"It’s been an incredible journey," he said. "I think it [has] happened quite fast. I’ve had to do a lot of adapting, moving, moving from city to city, and moving up level to level."

After all four teams in Canada’s group play each other, the top two advance to the knockout stages of the tournament.

Canada is scheduled to play three games in the tournament’s group stage. They face Belgium Wednesday at 11am (Pacific Time); Croatia on Nov. 27 at 8am; and Morocco on Dec. 1 at 7am. All games will be shown on CTV or TSN. For those without cable, games can be screened for a fee on TSN’s website.
Need to know

🌲 How an Abbotsford intersection with four corners got erroneously dubbed ‘Five Corners’ [Abbotsford News]

🚒 A Chilliwack family lost their home in a fire early Monday morning; a fundraiser is trying to get them back on their feet [Chilliwack Progress]

👉 Avian flu has been detected at six commercial poultry farms in Abbotsford and one in Chilliwack [Government of Canada]

🔥 Two wildfires near Agassiz are believed to be caused by humans and are now under control [Agassiz-Harrison Observer]

🎄 Vandals damaged a major Christmas light display in a Langley park [Langley Advance Times]

📹 Mission residents can now view cameras to see the traffic (and the weather) at seven intersections [City of Mission]

TODAY’S SMILE: Iranian soccer players made a bold statement in support of protesters in their country yesterday during the World Cup [USA Today]

Abbotsford’s long-term plan for its arenas is highly dependent on the future of a private ice rink that could be redeveloped.  📸 Pressmaster/Shutterstock

Abbotsford has drafted a new plan to lay out how it distributes ice and floor time at local arenas.

But the uncertainty of the future of a major private arena could jeopardize its vision for the future, Coun. Dave Loewen said.

"I would suggest that depending on a private contract agreement does put our access to ice in a vulnerable position," he said.

The city currently rents more than 1,000 hours of ice each year from The Rinks at Summit Centre, which has two ice sheets. A new arena strategy suggests the city rent even more over the coming years to increase local groups’ access to ice time.

But although Loewen didn’t directly mention it, the city’s website shows that the Summit Centre’s owners have submitted an application to redevelop the property. The city’s contract with the facility expires in six months. Recreation manager told council that if the Summit Centre becomes unavailable, the city may have to take "extraordinary measures."

Former Langley City mayor Val van den Broek made a final attempt to clear the air (and her name) over the controversy surrounding her mayor’s gala during the final meeting of the previous council in late October.

Van den Broek had been at odds with the previous council for the past two years.

During the final meeting of the old council last month the former mayor put forward two motions. The first motion called for a governance review "for restoring the balance between the office of the mayor, councillors, and employees in order to fix a broken system." The second, called for an independent investigation about the origins of the claims that harmed the reputation of both van den Broek and the then officer-in-charge of the Langley detachment, Murray Power.

Council had previously requested their own investigations into the actions of van den Broek and Power for the use of taxpayer money and the mayor’s charity gala in 2020. One report left councillors with more questions than answers about how officers who attended the gala paid for tickets. After that council meeting a member of the Langley RCMP wrote to van den Broek to clarify that Mounties purchased their own tickets and did not attend at the expense of taxpayers.

Still, months later Power was reassigned from his role. But no details were ever provided about that decision. In May 2021, the Langley RCMP detachment welcomed a new officer-in-charge.

Neither of van den Broek’s motions were supported by council at the last meeting. Van den Broek wasn’t in attendance and didn't respond to The Current's request for comment.

Around town


👉 Gen Delek will talk and answer questions about her experience as a Buddhist Nnun tomorrow at 10:30am at The Reach Gallery Museum. Free, but registration required.

🗳 The Chilliwack Hospice Society hosts its annual memorial celebration Wednesday at 6pm Vineyard Community Centre in downtown Chilliwack. The event provides an opportunity to reflect and find support from others who have lost loved ones.


📽️ Experience independent film like never before. The Chilliwack Independent Film Festival has now gone virtual until Dec. 4. Grab your virtual screening pass at*
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Province silent on foster parent vetting

After a horrific abuse case, MCFD refuses to say whether it took appropriate steps. Catch up here.

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