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Valard Construction and the Lower Nicola Indian Band have announced that the Kingsvale Electricity Transmission Line was successfully energized.

The line, south of Merritt, connects to BC Hydro’s distribution line to provide additional power to Trans Mountain’s existing Kingsvale pump station, as well as to a new Kingsvale pump station, as part of the Trans Mountain Expansion Project.

“We are excited about the energization of this transmission line – it marks an important step towards this project being the first electricity transmission line to be majority-owned, operated, maintained, and financed by an Indigenous group in Canada,” said Lower Nicola Indian Band Chief Stu Jackson. “We look forward to the economic benefits this project provides as well as continuing to build a relationship with Trans Mountain and our partner Valard that is based upon on trust, respect, and teamwork.”

Valard and Lower Nicola will be partners in the operations of the line which will provide power to the Trans Mountain Expansion.

“We are very proud of this milestone for LNIBDC, Valard, and Trans Mountain. This has been a very unique partnership, and LNIBDC will benefit tremendously through the operation and maintenance of the Kingsvale Electricity Transmission Line. As we move forward with the Expansion Project, we are proud to be creating partnerships for Indigenous communities and are committed to making a positive impact in the communities where we build and operate,” added Ian Anderson, President, and CEO of Trans Mountain.


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Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.'s provincial health officer, have issued the following joint statement regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia:

"Today, we are providing case updates for three 24-hour reporting periods. In the first reporting period, from Sept. 11 to 12, we had 137 new cases, from Sept. 12 to 13, we had 119 new cases and in the last 24 hours, we had a further 61 new cases.

"This represents a total of 317 new cases, including four epi-linked cases, since we reported on Friday, for a total of 7,279 cases in British Columbia.

"There are 1,594 active cases of COVID-19 in the province, 3,047 people who are under active public health monitoring as a result of identified exposure to known cases, and 5,446 people who tested positive have recovered.

"Currently, 58 individuals are hospitalized with COVID-19, 16 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation.

"Since the start of the pandemic, there have been 2,557 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 3,754 in the Fraser Health region, 195 in the Island Health region, 473 in the Interior Health region, 216 in the Northern Health region and 84 cases of people who reside outside of Canada.

"There have been six new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 219 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Dr. Bonnie Henry has provided the latest figures of COVID-19 in BC.

(Previous numbers in brackets)

New Cases – 317 *Day 1-137, Day 2-119, Day 3-61

Total Cases – 7,279 (6,962)

Active Cases – 1,594 (1,461)

Patients in Hospital – 58 (49)

Patients in ICU – 16 (10)

Recovered – 5,446 (5,273)

New Deaths – 6

Totals Deaths – 219 (213)

Health region breakdown;

Vancouver Coastal – 2,557 (2,419)

Fraser – 3,754 (3,600)

Island – 195 (190)

Interior – 473 (465)

Northern – 216 (204)

Outside Canada – 84 (84)

More to come.

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The B.C. Green Party announced today that Sonia Furstenau has won the party’s Leadership 2020 contest, succeeding interim leader Adam Olsen, effective immediately. Furstenau won 52.4 per cent of the votes on the second ballot. 

Furstenau is MLA for Cowichan Valley and House Leader in the B.C. Green Caucus. She brings a strong record of legislative accomplishments and local governance to her leadership. She was previously Area Director for the CVRD, a teacher, and non-profit administrator. She has been involved in climate and social advocacy for over 20  years. 

“I am so excited to lead the next generation of the B.C. Greens,” Furstenau said. “Our caucus has shown that by following evidence and working collaboratively we can achieve tangible outcomes for B.C. communities, and we’re just getting started. I look forward to working with both our new and long-standing supporters to continue to grow our Party.”

After reopening the leadership contest in June, the party ran a three-month-long leadership contest ending in an eight-day voting period. The contest attracted 5,478 voters from across the province, including members and non-member “supporters”. Voter turnout was an astounding 85.0 per cent.  


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Nicola Valley Smoke

Smokey skies have taken over the Nicola Valley, and much of Southern BC, as wildfire smoke continues to drift north from fires burning along the western seaboard of the US.

The wildfires, which have destroyed millions of acres of land in California, Oregon, and Washington State has also been reportedly blamed for at least 30 dead since the carnage began in August.

Doug Lundquist, Meteorologist with Environment Canada, joined Q101 this morning to provide an update on the situation.

“There is a bit of a system moving in from the coast that might stir things up over the next few days. So, we might see a little bit of improvement today and tomorrow, but the flow goes back south again for Wednesday and Thursday,” began Lundquist.

“We look out towards the weekend or further and it does look like there is going to be some significant improvement by the end of the week,” added Lundquist.

Interior Health is advising people of all ages to limit time spent outdoors and avoid physical activity.

Those with pre-existing medical conditions should take extra precautions to protect their health.

Air quality advisories around the area are currently rated as 10-plus.

“We have a scale of 1-10 for this. And it's way off the charts, it’s way beyond 10, we don’t measure once it goes 10-plus because already it's very high risk and it’s above that right now,” said Lundquist.


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Merritt Flourish Under the Sun

While City Council has returned to the chambers for in-person meetings, city committees continue to be paused.

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, a number of committees were up and running, like the Airport and BC PNP committees, while several others were in their infancy, just created by Council.

Manager of Communications Will George confirmed to Q101 that the committees have not been meeting since the pandemic struck.

“They are not currently meeting. But we are encouraging people to go to the committee page if they’re interested in participating in the future. At this time none are meeting,” said George.

George did mention that the entire structure of city committees is set to be discussed.

“We are going to be bringing a staff report forward so the council will have an opportunity to discuss the committee structure moving forward,” added George.

“Since the 2018 election, Council has created a number of new committees and appointed members to pre-existing ones. Nevertheless, with such limited Committee activity in recent months and the ongoing reduction in activity due to Covid-19, staff believe this is an opportune time to review the role of Committees in Merritt, to ensure they function well and provide value to Council, without interrupting ongoing work,” reads the staff report by Greg Lowis.

That conversation will happen on Tuesday during the regular meeting of council.


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