The Sicamous municipal building was closed temporarily due to the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)

Eagle Valley News Year In Review 2020: March

The News looks back at some of the stories that made headlines in 2020

  • Jan. 11, 2021 7:00 p.m.

• The B.C. Human Rights Tribunal ruled against a Shuswap woman who said she was the victim of discrimination based on her religious beliefs while working at the Sicamous Askew’s Foods store. According to the tribunal’s ruling, released on Feb. 20, Janet Letendre, alleged that while she was employed at the grocery store as a bakery employee in 2018, she was scheduled to work shifts on Saturday which, as a Seventh-day Adventist, she recognizes as her Sabbath. The ruling concluded that Letendre’s case would not succeed if it proceeded to a hearing.

• It was a local discovery said to rival other underground wonders of the world. “Mammoth Cave is Discovered At Shuswap” reads the headline in the Summerland Review on the day of Thursday, Oct. 4, 1923. The story revolved around an R. Roberts, who shared the tale of his discovery of a cave at Shuswap Lake that would make the region famous. According to Roberts, the cave was hidden by silt and river wash and could only be located by one who had been there before. Roberts went on to say a person named Kennedy found the cave while seeking a homestead. He made an attempt to file a claim on it, but was told that section of the country was reserved for soldiers wishing to take up land, so he covered up the entrance.

Grant funding of about $175,000 will bolster training and wildfire prevention efforts by the Sicamous Fire Department. A Community Emergency Preparedness Fund grant, which totals just less than $25,000, will help outfit the training centre the department is working on in Sicamous’ Industrial Park. The other grant received was $150,000 from the Community Resiliency Investment Program. The funding will bolster the Sicamous FireSmart program, providing education and assistance to homeowners wanting to make their property more resistant to fire, and also reduce forest fuel in key areas of Crown land within the Sicamous boundary.

• The electronic sign outside the District of Sicamous office alternated between a notice that it was closed to the public and a quote from B.C.’s medical health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, urging residents to be kind, calm and safe. The Sicamous response to the pandemic was being guided by Henry’s provincewide strategy and her emphasis on composure in the face of the virus.

“Remember to be kind. I know Sicamous residents are some of the kindest people in Canada,” said Mayor Terry Rysz in a video address. “It is our duty and yours to be socially responsible. Everyone needs to take action to ensure our mutual welfare.”

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