A new all-party committee is recommending significant changes to BC's police system, including getting rid of the RCMP.
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Wednesday, May 4, 2022
Good Morning Reader!
When I graduated university and moved back home in 2016, I knew I wanted a cat. So, having moved back into my mother’s basement, I headed to the shelter to see who I could find. I found Minty, a 9-year-old tabby cat who looked aloof, calm, and frankly a little bitter about being in a cage. She was perfect. (And also on sale.) Of course, perfect was an illusion: she had never learned to poop in the litter box, explaining why a middle-aged cat had already been in the shelter twice before. I tell you all this today because earlier this week, I had to put her down. It was hard. I cried. But it was a necessary choice. And really, isn’t that what we promise our pets: to make the hard decisions for them, and keep their lives as comfortable as we can? —Grace Kennedy, reporter

Today’s weather: 🌧 12 C
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A member of the BC Provincial Police stands next to a highway patrol vehicle in the 1940s. The provincial police service was disbanded in 1950, but now a committee is recommending BC bring the provincial force back. 📸 Jack Lindsay/Vancouver Archives
Bringing back the provincial police?

The creation of a new provincial police service in British Columbia could give some Fraser Valley politicians more of a say in how their communities are policed.

Last week, an all-party committee tasked with reviewing policing in British Columbia suggested the province overhaul its Police Act and create a new provincial police service to replace the RCMP.

Currently, the Fraser Valley only has one municipal police department: the Abbotsford Police Department, which is governed by a local police board. The rest of the valley is patrolled by RCMP detachments, including the Langley RCMP, Mission RCMP, and the Upper Fraser Valley RCMP, which is responsible for policing between Chilliwack and Boston Bar.

Today, Grace looks at how the committee’s recommendations could change policing in the Fraser Valley, and what that would mean for our communities.
Need to Know
🗳 Former Abbotsford resident Grant Abraham has been deemed ineligible to run for the Conservative party leadership position [CBC]

🏫 The head abbot at a Mission seminary has resigned due to his "interpersonal relations," which the school says do not include allegations of sexual misconduct; the seminary school is facing two lawsuits from students who said they were sexually abused in the 1970s [Mission Record]

🚒 A large fire broke out at an Abbotsford apartment complex Tuesday morning [Abbotsford News]

🚗 Three vehicles were recovered from the Chilliwack River after November’s storms washed them into the waterway [Chilliwack Progress]

👉 A BC man wanted for killing an Abbotsford gangster while in Thailand died in a plane crash in northwestern Ontario [CTV]

☺ TODAY’S SMILE: Daffodils planted before the November floods survived and blossomed for a class of Abbotsford students [BC Agriculture in the Classroom]

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A sinkhole that appeared next to Young Road in Chilliwack perplexed city engineers until they discovered concrete voids and a rotten utility pole. 📸 City of Chilliwack
The Agenda
In February, a hole appeared beside Young Road in Chilliwack—and its arrival perplexed city engineers. A storm main three metres below the hole was undamaged and didn’t appear to be releasing water into the surrounding area. A month later, city crews were able to investigate the sinkhole thanks to a reduced water table, and they found the storm main wasn’t to blame at all. Instead, voids between underground slabs of concrete and a rotten utility pole were the cause of Chilliwack’s mysterious sinkhole. Crews have since filled in the hole.

After the worst disaster year in BC’s history, the government’s early warning system is being expanded to provide alerts about the province’s most common natural disasters. The province announced Tuesday that its alert ready system would now provide warnings to locals about wildfires and floods. Previously, the system only notified residents about Amber Alerts and tsunami warnings. The Current wrote last July about BC’s patchwork of emergency alert systems, and how many communities had no way to send audible evacuation alerts to residents’ phones. In the Fraser Valley, a handful of municipalities have signed on to use Alertable, an app that provides similar services, but for which residents must actively sign up. Users do not have to opt in to receive alerts through the province’s system.

Harrison’s Tourism Information Centre won’t be demolished—if a buyer can be found for the building. The village council voted to advertise the more than 50-year-old building for sale, with the condition that it be removed within 30 days of purchase. (That vote came during the third council discussion about the future of the building.) If no buyer can be found, the building will be demolished at Tourism Harrison River Valley’s expense. The building must be removed to make way for the construction of a new Sasquatch Museum, Tourism Harrison River Valley office space, and information centre. Potential buyers can view the building on May 9, with bids being accepted until May 13.
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Around Town
☕ A Mother’s Day High Tea is taking place this Saturday at Matsqui Community Hall. Today is the last day to purchase tickets. Details online.

Mission’s Got Drag, a drag show and dinner, is taking place at Scratch Restaurant this Saturday starting at 5pm. Tickets are online for people 19 and older.

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