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Vaping

With youth vaping rates still on the rise, the local school district has been debating what rules and procedures should be in place for students.

Currently, the province doesn’t have any over-arching procedures for schools and school districts to follow, but SD58 Assistant Superintendent Jameel Aziz has been working to change that.

“I hope to have something that I’ll be calling recommended procedures for you at the next meeting in February, giving us a place to start,” said Aziz.

Some of the main questions being investigated are, the age to begin the education phase, a standardized place to access resources for parents and students, and what to do about off property vaping.

Aziz also mentioned that SD23 is now confiscating vaping devices that are seen on school property and then hand them over to the RCMP.

Currently, schools across this district and much of the province are simply falling back onto their codes of conduct to regulate the vaping issue.

 

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snow

Despite the heavy snow that has been blanketing the Nicola Valley for the past few weeks, it seems Merrittonains and their shovels have been up to the task.

The City of Merritt’s Communication Manager Will George discussed the calls coming into bylaw services.

“We haven’t received any influx of complaints, it’s business as usual,” said George.

“We would like to remind people that it’s 24-hours for residential, for clearing in front of their property, and by 10 a.m. following a snowfall for commercial, so clearing of the sidewalks,” added George.

Relief from the cold weather is on the way for Merritt, with overnight lows at minus 4 for the start of next week. Snow, however, is still in the forecast with flurries possibly on the way for Saturday, Monday, and Tuesday.

 

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TMEP3

The Supreme Court of Canada has rejected an appeal from the BC Government to regulate what can flow through the Trans Mountain pipeline.

The Province wanted the ability to require companies to have permits before shipping heavy oil through the pipeline. Under a permit system, the province would be able to withhold them if a company didn’t show efforts to prevent a spill or polices in which to clean up a potential spill.

Following the ruling political leaders from BC weighed in.

"Clearly, we are disappointed by the decision, but this does not reduce our concerns regarding the potential of a catastrophic oil spill on our coast,” said Premier John Horgan. "Our government takes our responsibility to defend the interests of British Columbians seriously. When it comes to protecting our coast, our environment, and our economy, we will continue to do all we can within our jurisdiction."

“John Horgan and the NDP have continued their losing streak with the courts today after the Supreme Court of Canada rejected David Eby’s bogus legal argument,” said MLA Andrew Wilkinson, BC Liberal Leader. “John Horgan knew the federal government held clear jurisdiction over the pipeline but he spent millions of dollars just in political posturing. When will the NDP stop the political games and let British Columbians get to work on a project supported by a majority of people in our province?”

“David Eby must come clean with British Columbians about how many taxpayer dollars he has wasted on this anti-pipeline crusade to date,” concluded Wilkinson. “British Columbians deserve to know how much has been spent and how many hospital beds or units of affordable housing those tax dollars could have funded instead.”

BC’s attempted appeal is in part what led to Kinder Morgan selling the expansion project to the Federal Government.

 

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Raw Logs

Displaced forestry workers can access direct, hands-on supports at job placement co-ordination offices now open in five Interior communities.

Despite Merritt’s struggling forestry sector which has seen the 2016 closure of Tolko and the 2019 shift curtailments at Aspen Planers, Merrittonians who find themselves out of work will need to travel.

These dedicated offices are in 100 Mile House, Fort St. James, Fort St. John, Mackenzie, and Clearwater.

Each office employs a co-ordination officer who is a displaced forestry worker. These co-ordinators understand what clients are experiencing and are trained to assist others in finding new jobs or training opportunities.

Eligible forestry workers will have their needs and goals assessed, before being connected to government programs or services that match them with other jobs, supports or training. This can include education upgrades, special designations, credentials or certifications ranging from trade tickets to driver's licence classifications.

Part of the assessment will look at other factors, such as a worker's willingness to move to where similar job vacancies are available, or hobbies and skills such as carpentry or cooking, wherewith additional help, the worker can participate in different sectors and trades facing labour shortages.

The job placement co-ordination offices have received nearly 100 job-match forms. Outreach to workers is underway.

For office locations or to apply to the job matching program online, visit:

https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/forestry/supports-for-forestry-workers/forestry-worker-job-placement

 

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city hall

City Council wants to hear from the public.

A town hall style meeting has been scheduled for Monday, February 24, at the Civic Centre.

The town hall format will give Merrittonians an open forum to discuss the issues most important to them.

Councillors and Mayor Linda Brown have mentioned their desire to hear more from the public and the forum should allow both the public and council to see if their priorities aline.

Further details are set to be released closer to the date.

 

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