Submitted by: Maryka Nichol
Archives for October 22, 2019
Drug Trafficking Operation
Officers with the South Okanagan Similkameen Regional Detachment, successfully nabbed four persons for drug trafficking October 9th.
RCMP officers in Oliver, with support from plainclothes investigators within the Regional Detachment, conducted a joint operation into suspected drug trafficking in the community.
On Wednesday the 9th – members conducted the operation, which led to several arrests, during which a Controlled Drugs and Substances (CDSA) search warrant was executed at a residence in the 7000 block of Highway 97, Oliver.
During the search, officers seized an alleged 1.5 ounces of cocaine, over $5000 in Canadian currency and a loaded handgun. “Four men, aged 34 to 60, located inside the residence, were arrested and later released. All parties are well known the RCMP and are believed to be have played a significant role in the local drug trade”, explained Cst. James Grandy.
Following a thorough review of evidence gathered, all circumstances of the investigation will be forwarded in a report by the RCMP to the Public Prosecution Service of Canada (PPSC) for their assessment of CDSA charges. “Police remain proactive in our effort to prevent illegal drugs and dangerous weapons from being on our streets,” says Cst. Grandy.
The RCMP urges residents to report suspicious activity to your local Detachment, or call Crime Stoppers 1-800-222-8477.
The Osoyoos Fire Department donated $5,000 to South Okanagan General Hospital to help acquire this new trauma stretcher, flanked by nurse Teresa Fortune and Paul Brunner from the Fire Dept. Construction continues on a $1.25-million upgrade to the SOGH Emergency Department due to be completed by late December.
Submitted by SO Medical Foundation
Ah, for the silence of an autumn morning. The election is over.
Time to gather up the paperwork and balloons and get ready for the aftermath.
As predicted it is a Liberal Minority with a strange equation. The conservatives finished second with 122 seats yet they will have less power than the NDP with twenty-five.
There is one vote to watch for though which will be hard for Scheer to swallow. If there is to be a pipeline vote the conservatives will have to vote with the Liberals to get it done. Quite necessary but the optics would be terrible – in a future election.
So what is the view this morning? The Green wave was a ripple, the NDP saved themselves enough to still be a viable force. The Peoples Party of Canada with it’s negative views was rejected. The Liberals have hung on to govern for now.
The biggest disappointment has to be the conservatives. They have a power base in the west and under the present party leadership they can’t seem to expand their base. Alberta lost the most last night followed by Saskatchewan. By voting a solid block of blue they now have no say at the cabinet table.
Saskatchewan had one of the best parliamentarians of all in Ralph Goodale. Again losing a powerful voice at the cabinet table. The result will be less attention for the prairie provinces.
BC on the other hand played a good game they elected a sample of all parties.
Before the vote speculation arose over who should form the next government. The reason most of the parties save one, the conservatives didn’t dwell on it because their own polling showed the outcome was like what we are left with this morning.
A Liberal minority government with the NDP holding the balance of power.
By ROY WOOD
The free local tax ride enjoyed by churches in Osoyoos could hit a snag next year after a council member suggested the tax exemptions be reviewed individually.
Under the Permissive Tax Exemption Bylaw, non-profit organizations and places of worship are exempt from paying local property taxes. What routinely happens is the bylaw comes before council and is approved with little or no discussion.
As this year’s bylaw was about to be adopted this afternoon, Councillor CJ Rhodes interrupted proceedings to ask whether the town has any control over the criteria for gaining tax exemptions.
He was assured by financial services director Jim Zakall that the town does have such authority. However, Zakall pointed out, it’s too late for this year because the Community Charter — the provincial legislation governing local government — stipulates the bylaw be adopted by October 31.
Rhodes said that some of the tax exemptions are worth several thousands of dollars and that “some of the religious organizations are highly profitable.”
The councillor said he discussed the issue with other councillors at the recent Union of BC Municipalities convention in Vancouver, but that it is seen as too controversial and “no one wants to breach it.”
After some discussion among councillors, Zakall agreed that he will bring his report forward earlier next year so council will have a chance to review the exemptions before approving them. He will include an in investigation into what other municipalities are doing on the issue.
In a post-meeting interview with ODN, Rhodes said he would like to “have a discussion on each of (the churches) individually.”
He said his suggestion that some churches are “highly profitable” was a poor choice of words and he meant to say, “Many of them could afford to pay taxes.”
Among the churches listed as qualifying for full tax exemptions are: the Anglican Church; Grace Lutheran; Osoyoos United Church; Osoyoos Congregation of Jehovah Witness; the Osoyoos Christian Centre; and the Osoyoos Congregational Baptist Church. The Catholic Church receives a partial exemption.
Non-profits approved for exemption are: the Osoyoos Curling Club; the Sailing Club; Osoyoos Golf Club; the Senior Centre Association; Osoyoos Museum Society; Osoyoos Nursery School; Osoyoos Arts Council; the Portuguese Canadian Cultural Society; Desert Park; Destination Osoyoos; the boat trailer parking lot; the Grant family for providing a secondary fire hall; Desert Sun Counselling; the Elks Lodge; and the Legion.
92nd Ave project moves on step closer
Despite spirited opposition expressed at a public hearing two weeks ago, council unanimously passed third reading for the six-unit townhouse development in a keyhole property off 92nd Avenue.
One of the issues raised at the public hearing centred on what might happen if the current developer abandons the project and another proposes a higher-density project allowed under the new, high-density zoning.
Councillors brought it up again today, but were assured by planning director Gina MacKay that further approvals, including the development application process, will protect the town from such an unintended consequence.
She also assured council that a storm-water management plan and a detailed inventory of the large number of trees on and near the will be part of the project approval.
MacKay gently reminded council members that much of the area – east of Highway 97 and south of 92nd Avenue – is included in the town’s Official Community Plan as high-density residential.
Music in the Park $19K grant approved
With nary a word of discussion, council approved a 26-per-cent increase in its annual grant to the highly successful Music in the Park program, following a presentation from the Three Amigos committee two weeks ago.
Committee member Debbie Dundas smiled broadly and left the council chamber following today’s unanimous vote.
The grant increase of $4,000 will be used for website improvements, paid promotion on Facebook “and some additional funds for bands.”
Music in the Park runs on summer Friday evenings in the Gyro Park bandshell or at Sonora Centre if it rains.
In a report to council, the committee told council two weeks ago: “A total of 6,347 people attended the 10 concerts, averaging 745 at each of the eight outdoor concerts, and 190 at the two indoor concerts at the Sonora Centre.”
Town renews partnership with Interior Health
Council has approved renewal of its partnership agreement with Interior Health (IH) to “identify and implement actions that will improve health and wellness and reduce risk factors associated with chronic disease.”
The decision came after receiving a letter from IH community health facilitator Tanya Osborne: “We recognize local governments provide much of the essential social and physical infrastructure … to support individual and community health and well-being,” she wrote.
“Interior Health aims to improve health and wellness by working with local governments and community partners to create policies and environments that support good health.”
by Roy Wood