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Speed Sign

Last night Merritt City Council debated a motion from Coun. Kurt Christopherson about lowering the speed limits in the bench neighbourhood during the Voght Street construction project.

The thought process behind moving the motion was that vehicles will be using the bench as both an official, and unofficial detour around the work being done along Voght.

“My concern is that if we just to do for particular streets, such as Juniper, Parker, and Mountain Drive, people will find shortcuts, maybe not distance-wise but speed-wise,” said Christopherson.

Council did vote unanimously to reduce the speed limit to 30 km/hr on all bench streets for the duration of the construction. Due to the change being temporary, the Council did not have to pass a bylaw to make the change.

CAO Scott Hildebrand addressed a question from Coun. Mike Bhangu regarding the cost of the change.

“It is minimal, Mr. Smith and I have already talked about that, that will be part of the report but I can’t see it being expensive at all given that it’s an important change from a safety perspective,” said Hildebrand.

The change will take effect as soon as City Crews can change the signs in the area.


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bc news


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 announcing 10 new COVID-19 confirmed positive cases and one new epi-linked case, for a total of 2,756 cases in British Columbia.

"There are 172 active cases of COVID-19 in the province and 2,416 people who tested positive have recovered.

"Of the total COVID-19 cases, 11 individuals are hospitalized, five 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 940 cases of COVID-19 in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 1,425 in the Fraser Health region, 130 in the Island Health region, 196 in the Interior Health region and 65 in the Northern Health region.

"There have been no new COVID-19 related deaths, for a total of 168 deaths in British Columbia. We offer our condolences to everyone who has lost their loved ones during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There has been a new health-care facility outbreak at the Maple Hill long-term care facility at Langley Memorial Hospital in the Fraser Health region. In total, five long-term care or assisted-living facilities continue to have active outbreaks.

"There have been no new community outbreaks. Public health teams continue to provide support for the five ongoing community outbreaks.


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

(Previous numbers in brackets)

New Cases – 10 + 1 Epi case

Total Cases – 2,756 (2,745)

Active Cases - 172 (182)

Patients in Hospital – 11 (13)

Patients in ICU – 5 (4)

Recovered – 2,416 (2,395)

New Deaths – 0

Totals Deaths – 168 (168)

Health region breakdown;

Vancouver Coastal – 940 (934)

Fraser – 1,426 (1,420)

Island – 130 (130)

Interior – 196 (196)

Northern – 65 (65)

More to come.


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Quilchena Cannabis

After a process that lasted almost exactly two years, Quilchena Cannabis has officially opened their doors to the public becoming Merritt’s first retail cannabis store.

There wasn’t a ribbon cutting or much fanfare but this morning at 10:30 Steve Hagen was finally able to flick the switch on the open sign, signalling the end of a long journey and the start of another.

“It’s taken about two years, just about to the day, from when we scouted this location,” began Steve.

Steve and April Hagen own the new shop and spoke to wanting to change the way the legal cannabis industry is run, and the best way to do that is from the inside.

Like many businesses, COVID-19 has played a role in Merritt’s newest operation slowing down several processes, everything from licencing to the installation of security cameras.

But as Steve tells Q101, it also led to the delay of one aspect of their store.

“We were going to put in an education area and have literature available, whether they’re marijuana enthusiasts or not, people can come in and learn about the different types of cannabis products and different uses there are for them,” said Steve.

They’ve decided to hold off on putting the furniture in until COVID-19 dies down and the province can safely move into phase-3 of the restart plan.

Quilchena Cannabis is the first shop to open in town, however, City Council has approved three others. The other shops remain and different stages of provincial approval and store construction.


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As graduation week across the Nicola Valley begins, many students are still considering their next steps, especially after the unusual end to their public-school careers.

Locally, NVIT has been forced to make several changes over the past few months in the wake of COVID-19, and President Ken Tourand recently joined Q101 to discuss what students can expect next semester.

“For the most part we are spending the next few months getting the campus ready to go, making sure it’s safe, putting in sneeze guards, and social distancing our classrooms,” said Tourand.

“Our hope is to run a hybrid type of course delivery where instructors will be in the classroom and depending on the number of students, there will be students in class but also some learning from online. Individual students will have individual needs and we’ll be working with each learner to figure out how we can best accommodate them,” added Tourand.

While some programs will be able to adhere to the hybrid model, NVIT also offers various trades programs, like culinary and electrical, which will also be started up again with hands-on learning.

“Very difficult to do those online, so they will be face to face learning,” said Tourand.

Included in the trade’s programs on offer at the Institute is the new renewable energies program.

While COVID has changed many things up at the campus, the immediate entry bursary is still available for aboriginal students from anywhere in BC as well as any student graduating from the local district.

Tourand also confirmed that NVIT will be working closely with students coming straight from grade-12 to ensure they’re prepared to succeed after schools across BC shut down in the Spring.


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During the last School Board meeting of the school year, SD58 Trustees approved the proposed five-year capital plan for the district.

The plan will now be submitted to the Ministry for approval prior to a bylaw being passed to access the funds.

Two major projects were proposed, both at Merritt Secondary. The first was a new section of hallway connecting the gym to the school. The second was to renovate the current science classroom.

Some minor projects, like replacing HVAC systems and lighting at various schools around the district were also proposed.

The district is also hoping to complete some playground upgrades around the district.

The total capital plan is estimated to cost $1.375 million.


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