The Shuswap Market looks back at some of the stories that made headlines in 2020.
• Two Shuswap- Okanagan organizations planned to bring Canada’s new Fisheries minister up to speed on invasive mussels concerns while arguing more must be done at the federal government level. “To date, we believe the federal government has not taken sufficient action on this issue, nor has it provided equitable funding to stop the spread of invasive zebra and quagga mussels,” read a letter to Bernadette Jordan, the newly minted minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, penned by the Shuswap Watershed Council (SWC) and the Okanagan Basin Water Board (OBWB). Although there are no known infestations of zebra or quagga mussels in B.C. or Western Canada, an introduction would have devastating and costly impacts to water quality, fish populations and habitat, water utilities, hydro-electric facilities, beaches, and property values, stressed the OBWB.
• The Columbia Shuswap Regional District increased tipping fees for mixed loads at its landfills in part to encourage recycling. At scaled facilities, the rate went up from $160 to $240 per ton. At facilities without a scale, the increase was from $25 to $30 per cubic metre.
• Recent storms took their toll in the Shuswap, one casualty being the cabin at Tsútswecw Provincial Park. Two trees came down just after the new year began, landing on the interpretive centre in the North Shuswap park. Adams River Salmon Society president David Askew estimated the building is at least 10 to 15 years old. “Part of the roof is broken where it overhangs,” he said. “It doesn’t look like the tree went through the roof in the centre, but it’s going to be tricky getting it off there.”
• Three men were in police custody after an RCMP emergency response unit assisted Salmon Arm officers with a pair of “high risk” search warrant executions. A Southeast District Emergency Response Team (SED ERT) tactical armoured vehicle was seen rolling into the Salmon Arm detachment just after 8 a.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 7. Around 11 a.m., the SED ERT was deployed to properties in the 400 block of 22nd Street NE and in the 1300 block of 30th Street SE to assist in the execution of warrants. “All three men, a 39-year-old from Canoe, a 28-year old from Salmon Arm and a 27-yearold from Salmon Arm, remain in custody at this time,” said RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey. “They each face potential criminal charges.” The investigation is ongoing as police continue to gather evidence at both arrest scenes.
• Larch Hills Nordic skiers made sure the club was well represented at the season’s first Teck BC Cup. Clubs attended from all over B.C. as well as Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Oregon and Norway. While the sprint racing on Saturday was exciting and the athletes were challenged by multiple loops of a tough course on Sunday, the big story of the weekend was the weather.
The week leading up to the event brought a lot of snow, rising and falling temperatures and wind.
More than 10,000 homes in the Shuswap were without power for hours or days, including the chalet at Larch Hills.
Thankfully, by Friday afternoon, Jan. 3, roads were cleared, power restored and everything fell into place – masking the huge amount of effort by Larch Hills volunteers to put on an event that saw about 500 skiers take to the trails.
• The dream of a safe pedestrian connection between Salmon Arm and neighbouring Indigenous band lands moved closer to becoming a reality. At 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31, representatives from the City of Salmon Arm and the Neskonlith and Adams Lake bands met at Pierre’s Point to sign a memorandum of understanding for the trail’s creation. The city and bands are partners in the West Bay Trail Working Group, which includes the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, Interior Health, CP Rail, local MLA and MP, provincial government, Switzmalph Cultural Society and the Shuswap Trail Alliance.
• Joel de Boer took over as manager for Salmar Theatres. De Boer, who worked with the local Rona store for almost 20 years, helped out at the theatre in the past, standing in when then-manager Daila Duford and staff were at other events.
• Plans were moving forward to bring a new store to Salmon Arm. Bill Miller, executive director of Habitat for Humanity Kamloops, said a ReStore is in the works for the former Safeway site at Centenoka Park Mall. That changed later in the year to the former Kal Tire location.