Plus: What city councils are set to tackle today
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Tana McNicol

Monday, Jan. 16, 2023 | Today: 🌧 High 7C, Low 4C | 7-day forecast

Good morning, Reader

You likely won’t see a politician door-knocking after they’ve won an election. It’s funny how visible candidates are when vying for a seat at the council table. After an election is decided—not so much. But that’s when the real work begins—when decisions are made and the future of a city is shaped. I went back to view some of the social channels of those elected in October. There are lots of posts before the election, and not close to as many after. I think elected officials have a greater responsibilty to inform residents about when they’re meeting and what they’re meeting about. Wouldn’t you like to hear from your local councillors?

In an effort to keep you informed, we’ve begun including links to all council meetings. (See which councils are meeting today in the agenda section.) You can be in the know about what your local council is making decisions about before they are made.  

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Fraser Valley Current

Build the way you want

Chilliwack and Abbotsford are top destinations for residents leaving Vancouver. 📊 Tyler Olsen // FVC


End of the line: BCers move to Chilliwack, but rarely leave

Chilliwack continues to suck up huge numbers of residents from other British Columbia communities—especially Vancouver.

Indeed, no other BC city—and only one other place in western Canada (Edmonton)—gained more people among in-province migrants between the summers of 2021 and 2022, new figures from Statistics Canada show.

The Abbotsford-Mission area also grew considerably thanks to migration, but gains in those cities were limited by people leaving—often to their western neighbour.

Here are some highlights from our data analysis: 

  • Most net arrivals from other parts of Canada: Vancouver

  • Most net departures to other Canadian communities: Prince George

  • Most net arrivals from other BC communities: Chilliwack

  • Most net departures to other BC cities: Vancouver

  • Most immigrant arrivals: Vancouver

  • Most births, compared to deaths: Fort St. John

  • Most deaths, compared to births: Parksville

Related storyHow Vancouver home prices have driven a surge of migration to the Fraser Valley

Need to know

🚰 Farmland being used as a landfill has Columbia Valley residents concerned about their drinking water [Vancouver Sun]

🐶 Abbotsford police found and returned a stolen dog back to his owners [Abbotsford Police/Twitter]

💰 The City of Mission is proposing a 5.7% tax increase and asking residents for feedback [City of Mission] 

🚔 A man previously convicted for robberies in Abbotsford and Chilliwack was sentenced to prison again [Abbotsford News] 

🍷 Abbotsford’s Seaside Pearl Winery is on the market for nearly $10 million [CTV] 

🐀 A Langley rat breeder is at the centre of a new CBC documentary [Langley Advance Times] 

❤️‍🩹 A daughter of an Abbotsford senior said the local hospital didn’t take her mother’s third-degree burns seriously so they went to a Vancouver hospital instead [Abbotsford News] 

👮 A section of Old Clayton Road was shut down on Thursday while Abbotsford police arrested a man wanted on several warrants [Abbotsford News]  

🚓 Hope RCMP are searching for a missing 58-year-old man last seen in November [Hope Standard] 

⚖️ A 29-year-old man pled guilty in court to charges related to a year-old incident where he stole a semi-truck in Mission that he crashed in Abbotsford [Abbotsford News] 

🚌 Like everyone in the Fraser Valley, transit operators are struggling with rising cost of living. They need a fair deal from First Transit.*

🏫 Communitas invites you to their job fair in Abbotsford on Jan. 19 from 11am to 3pm. Enriching careers available to explore!*

*Sponsored Listing

The Agenda

The province is gathering feedback on a proposed flood strategy. 📷 Abbotsford Police // Facebook

Abbotsford staff unhappy with proposed BC flood priorities

Abbotsford city staff have suggested the initial work behind BC’s next flood strategy needs a serious second look.

The province is seeking feedback on a key document that will set the stage for a new strategy to prepare for and mitigate the impact of future floods across British Columbia. On Monday, Abbotsford council will hash out the city’s response. City staff have suggested the strategy won’t address Abbotsford’s needs.

The document stresses the needs for communities to adapt and be able to accommodate more flood events while minimizing damage, rather than continually building larger dikes and more infrastructure. But Abbbotsford staff suggest the strategy doesn’t adequately address the economic impacts of doing so in floodplains like those in Abbotsford, where they are home to highly productive farms and a range of transportation infrastructure.

Staff also suggested council reject a request from the province to rank suggested actions in order of importance. They also disliked the written suggestion that British Columbians should “learn to live with feet wet.”

That term, staff wrote, “disregards the significant investments already made in dike infrastructure, the economic value of the agricultural lands to provide for food security, and the protection of vital infrastructure. We suggest this term be rewritten or removed.”

You can read the provincial document here, and Abbotsford city staff’s suggested response here.

Fraser Highway speed limit to be reduced

Abbotsford is set to slash the speed limit on a major connecting route between the city and Langley. 

The 80km/h speed limit on a four-kilometre stretch of Fraser Highway will be reduced to 60km/h. The change has been anticipated for years following new improvements to the road meant to reduce congestion by adding left-turn lanes.

Abbotsford council will be asked to confirm the change Monday.

Packed Abbotsford council meeting agenda

Abbotsford council meets for the first time in nearly a month today. In addition to the above issues, they’ll deal with a range of proposed developments, including a Gladys Avenue apartment building, and small-scale applications for Bakerview Street, McKee Road, Ravine Avenue, and Campbell Avenue. 

You can view the agenda here. 

Langley Township set to talk 2023 budget

Langley Township residents could be looking at a significant tax increase this year. Council will resume today and hold its first budget meeting at 11am where they will consider a 7.29% tax increase. A breakdown of the budget can be found here. 

At its 1:30pm regular meeting, council will consider development proposals, the future of Old Yale Road, updates to its snow removal policy, as well as its election sign bylaw. Mayor Eric Woodward is also expected to ask council to reconsider the Metro Vancouver Regional District’s 2050 growth strategy, which was rejected by the previous council. 

You can view the township’s Monday agenda here.  


Langley City council to consider additional firefighters

Langley City could see more full-time firefighters. During its 7pm meeting today, council will consider the addition of more firefighters in each annual budget for the next four years. 

View today’s council agenda here. 

Amended Lillooet Avenue development proposal returns to Harrison council 

A development proposal for Harrison's Lakeshore Beach Area will return to council today. The developer decided to revise plans for the property on 511 Lillooet Ave. after council rejected the project last summer. 

View the updated plans and the agenda for today’s 7pm meeting here. 


Tana McNicol


What the Home Buyer Rescission Period (HBRP) means for you

The B.C. government introduced the HBRP as a consumer protection measure to give home buyers time to consider whether a purchase is right for them. HBRP gives buyers the right to rescind their offer up to three business days after the offer is accepted. If a buyer changes their mind, they must pay a 0.25% rescission fee to the seller.

See more, by Fraser Valley realtor Tana McNicol.

Views of the Valley

Build the way you want

Before all the weekend rain, Kelly Perrin went for a bike ride with his dog and her best friend near Page Road on Matsqui Trail. Kelly took some beautiful photos in the dreamy twilight. Thanks for sharing with the Current. 

If you have amazing photos for us to share with readers, get in touch!

Around town


😆 Comedy Night at the Aldergrove Legion returns Jan. 21. Tickets online. 

🎨 An Abbotsford art studio is hosting free online paint classes beginning Thursday. Register online. 


💃🏻 Mission's Cedar Valley Church is hosting a free swing dance night on Feb. 4. All skill levels are welcome. Reserve a spot online. 

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

*Sponsored Listing

The paradox of salmon hatcheries 

From June 2022: The goal of hatcheries was to make more fish. The reality is much more complicated. 

Catch up here.

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