Archives for September 3, 2014
DESCHATELETS – Guy Joseph passed away suddenly, and unexpectedly, of heart failure after a period of declining health on September 2, 2014 at the age of 70 years. He is survived by his loving daughter Deanne and her fiancee Peter. Guy leaves behind many family and friends from across Canada and USA. But especially British Columbia, Alberta and Quebec. He will be dearly missed by many. Guy had a giving heart and would do all he could for those around him. He gave of his time for several causes and fought hard for the rights of many in all his years. To those closest to him they will remember his kidding nature and love of golf. But his biggest love was that of his wife Carolyn who passed 15 years before. He is now with her again and is at peace. A Memorial Service will be held at Valley Congregational Church, 4312 Black Sage Road, Oliver, BC on Sunday September 7, 2014 at 2:00 pm. with Pastor Ken Clarke officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be made in his name to Special Olympics British Columbia South Okanagan on-line at www.specialolympics.bc.ca or by mail in by contacting Lee Chic (Local Coordinator) at 250-495-6617. A special thanks to Dr. Steven Evans and his staff in Oliver, all the doctors and nurses at Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria and all other health care workers for their treatment and support.
The B.C. Teachers’ Federation says it has no plans to suspend its strike.
The TF called a news conference following the premier’s address and accused the government of remaining entrenched, inflexible and unwilling to bargain.
BCTF President Jim Iker says the two sides are not that far apart — only one year apart on the length of the contract and only one per cent apart on wages.
However, the government has previously said that when benefits are factored in, the difference is closer to four per cent.
Iker says the teachers are also asking for $175 million to be set aside in a special fund in the first year while the government appeals a B.C. Supreme Court decision stemming from its 2002 decision to strip class size and composition from the teacher’s collective agreement.
“Even the government’s own staff testified in court that the unconstitutional legislation they passed in 2002 stripped about $300 million a year from our classrooms,” he said.
Teachers in the province have been on strike and locked out since June, and there are no talks scheduled to end the dispute that has kept public school students out of classes for the start of the school year.
Boat inspections keep invasive mussels out of B.C. waters
|VICTORIA – A co-ordinated interprovincial response to invasive mussels has resulted in ten small competition sailboats and one Zodiac travelling from mussel-infested Lake Ontario being inspected at the Victoria Yacht Club. Ministry of Environment officials inspected all vessels on Aug. 27, 2014, and found no zebra or quagga mussels.
The Ministry of Environment was notified by officials in Alberta that a trailer carrying sail boats from Lake Ontario was travelling to Victoria. Three of the ten boats were inspected in Calgary and no zebra or quagga mussels were found.
The driver of the trailer, along with a group of experienced sail boating students, were onsite at the Victoria Yacht Club to help unload and decontaminate the boats. All boats coming from suspected mussel-infested areas must be thoroughly cleaned with a hot water pressure wash, drained and completely dried.
Earlier this month, Conservation Officers and government biologists partnered with border guards from the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the East Kootenay Invasive Plant Council to implement a pilot inspection station. A total of 132 boats were inspected and no vessels were found to be transporting prohibited aquatic invasive species. During the inspection 515 individuals were provided information about the risk of aquatic invasive species in new ecosystems. The Province will continue to set-up pilot inspection stations and work with other jurisdictions to respond to any contaminated watercrafts travelling to British Columbia.
It is estimated that the cost of an invasive mussel infestation in British Columbia could cost the Province a minimum of $28 million per year. Zebra and quagga mussels pose a serious threat the B.C.’s aquatic ecosystems, salmon populations, hydro power stations and other infrastructure facilities.
Premier Christy Clark says the real issue that needs to be discussed is class composition, but that cannot be accomplished until the issue of teacher wages is solved.
She said the BCTF needs to come in “at a reasonable level on wages.”
“They are still demanding twice as much as other public sector workers have received,” said Clark. “About 150,000 workers in the public sector, dedicated men and women who serve British Columbians every day, have settled for raises that were fair, fair to them and fair to taxpayers.”
“It’s just not right, I don’t think, to demand a $5,000 signing bonus that no one else in the public sector has received. As long as the TF refuses to get into the affordability zone, and by that I mean a zone that’s similar to the what the other 150,000 public servants who serve British Columbians everyday have settled for, we cannot put all of our attention on the one issue that is most vital to the future of education in British Columbia.”
“I am sure many British Columbians are still trying to understand what’s at the heart of this dispute. For the past year, the BCTF has been saying funding has been cut, the education system is in trouble, and that students are struggling.
The truth is dramatically different. We now spend nearly $1 billion more each year than we did 13 years ago – and that’s at a time when we have 70,000 fewer students to serve. Per-pupil funding is up by 38% since 2001.
All of the data shows B.C. students are doing better than ever. Graduation rates are up and a range of recent international studies show that B.C. students are, quite simply, among the best in Canada and the best in the world.
In fact, the very students the BCTF claims are struggling are actually those who have made the most dramatic improvements. Since 2000-01, the completion rate for students with special needs is up 76%; for First Nations, it is up 42%; and for English-language learners (ELL), it is up 11%.
Teachers deserve credit for the success our students are achieving. They deserve a raise. But any salary increase has to be affordable for taxpayers and fair to the other 150,000 public-sector workers who have already signed agreements.
The other key issue is class size and composition. It is government’s number one priority at the table. Despite the BCTF’s claims, B.C. does not have large classes. Average class sizes are near historic lows. The student-to-teacher ratio (18 to 1) has been stable and is the same today as it was in 2001.”
Education Minister Peter Fassbender
Penticton resident Elvena Slump, an unsuccessful candidate for city council in 2008 and a frequent letter writer to both Penticton newspapers wants to speak to the press in a different format on the steps of City Hall today.
The Penticton senior claims she’s been accused by the City of Penticton of defamation.
Slump told a crowd of 50 outside City Hall that she was not running for office. She would apologize to senior staff if she was wrong. Councillor John Vassilaki says the letter was news to him and said it was not a council decision. Lots of cheering and booing at this event. Sentiment that the upcoming election will be a hot one.
Councillor John Vassilaki, that the first he heard of this was on Monday night.
“Tuesday we had an in camera meeting and I can’t discuss what was discussed at that meeting. But city council did not vote on this, we did not participate in it and don’t ask me who brought it forward, I have no idea.”
The LRB has ruled against claims by Centre management that its unionized staff is on an illegal strike or that the Canadian Union of Public Employees had bargained in bad faith.
Mark Hancock, CUPE BC president, said he hopes “the United Church will see these latest LRB rulings as a wake-up call to move on from confrontation to collaboration with its Naramata employees.”
The main issue in the dispute is the Centre’s attempts to contract out local jobs as a cost-cutting measure. Due to the walkout, the Centre cancelled its summer programs this year.
“The B.C. teachers’ strike has many parents scrambling for day care for their children”
A statement on major media from the coast.
This summer in Oliver about 60 kids took advantage of Sun Fun –
When a strike camp was instituted yesterday – only 10 children attended at the Oliver Parks and Recreation. That might increase over time. Pool and hot tub open in September.
Where are all the kids? – about 600 primary and elementary students from two schools.
Osoyoos Town Council decided Tuesday to defer a decision to okay a three year lease with the Okanagan Regional Library for space at the Sonora Centre. The ORL pays about $40 thousand a year for rent and utilities on a formula that council believes may be outdated. The regional library service pays about $12 a square foot for rent and all utilities including water, sewer, light and heat.
Councillor C.J. Rhodes indicated that he believed that same formula might have been used previous to 2007 when the last lease was signed.
Mayor Stu Wells instructed staff to bring back a report quickly on utility costs by comparing bills from years back. Wells hinted that he believed that the cost of utilities has risen sharply over the years and to protect the public purse – the Town should not be out of pocket for such increases.
In Oliver – a new lease on the present space (shown below) has not been concluded with a private owner.
A small sample of the food collected for the Oliver Food Bank during a previous BC Thanksgiving Food Drive in Oliver.
The donations in support of the Oliver Food Bank will be picked up on Saturday, September 20th, 2014. Those who don’t receive a bag can drop off non-perishable food donations at the Oliver Food Bank (6047 Station St.) between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm on collection day: September 20th, 2014.
For the last three years, the BC Thanksgiving Food Drive has helped restock the Oliver food bank’s shelves after a busy summer. Our community donated over 5400 lbs. of non-perishable food to the Oliver Food Bank last year. It would be wonderful to reach or surpass that total this year! Thank you to all of our front-door food donors and community partners for their great support. Our community partners this year are the Oliver Food Bank, Sunridge Landscapes, Oliver Alliance Church, Specialty Kitchens and Countertops, Oliver SuperValu, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints and Oliver Dental Care.
For more information please visit www.bctfooddrive.org or contact Jordan Noftle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BC Thanksgiving Food Drive