Laureen Felix sings in a Splatsin ground blessing ceremony conducted at 200 Main Street in Sicamous, the future home the Shuswap Healing Centre, on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022. (File photo)

Laureen Felix sings in a Splatsin ground blessing ceremony conducted at 200 Main Street in Sicamous, the future home the Shuswap Healing Centre, on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022. (File photo)

Year in Review: The Eagle Valley News looks back at headlines from October 2022

  • Jan. 3, 2023 2:00 p.m.

October

An Indigenous ground blessing ceremony for the future home of Shuswap Healing Centre drew a respectful crowd as well as demonstrators. The ceremony, held on Wednesday, Sept. 28, was conducted by Splatsin members at 200 Main St. in Sicamous. Among the attendees were representatives from the Splatsin and District of Sicamous councils, district staff and members of the public. Shortly after the ceremony’s 4 p.m. start time, vehicle traffic began to pick up on Main Street, some drivers honking their horns as a group of people gathered by the road demonstrated against the centre being constructed at 200 Main St. The district describes the Shuswap Healing Centre as a collaborative project with Splatsin, which addresses Actions 21, 22 and 23 of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada’s Calls to Action. The district says the centre will house the Sicamous Community Health Centre, allied health services, shared community space and a centre for traditional Indigenous healing. Opponents argue 200 Main St. shouldn’t be developed, but instead preserved as a public park.

• Sicamous council approved a development permit for the Shuswap Healing Centre at 200 Main St. At its Sept. 28 meeting, council voted unanimously in support of issuing the permit, applied for on behalf of the district by Scott Builders. The vote occurred after the public information period of the meeting when resident Dawn Backs pleaded with council to delay approval so that related misinformation circulating in the community could first be addressed.

• The BC Prosecution Service (BCPS) said it would not be proceeding with charges, despite direction from the province’s police watchdog, against two RCMP officers involved in a 2020 arrest near Sicamous. In October 2021, the Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO) announced it had filed a report to the BCPS for consideration of charges relating to an April 14, 2020, arrest. On that day, RCMP responded to a report of a suspicious person on a forest service road off Highway 97A near Sicamous. When police located the man, he left in his vehicle before being stopped soon after. The IIO said the man got out of his vehicle and an interaction occurred which resulted in the man sustaining serious but non-life-threatening injuries. The man was transported to hospital for further treatment.

• The mayor and mayor elect of Sicamous were both brimming with optimism Monday, following the Oct. 15 municipal election. Both were back at work on Monday morning, Oct. 17, Terry Rysz in the mayor’s office at district hall and mayor-elect Colleen Anderson at Old Town Bay Marina. “I’m pretty pumped right now,” said Anderson of the election results. In the five-way race for Sicamous mayor, preliminary results showed Anderson received 344 votes or 35.8 per cent of the vote, compared to Rysz’s 254 votes, or 26.4 per cent. Brenda Dalzell received 175 votes (18.2 per cent), Mike Sheehan 124 votes (12.9 per cent) and Larry Emery 62 votes (6.4 per cent). Of the 11 candidates seeking the six councillor seats in Sicamous, elected to council were incumbent Gord Bushell with 581 votes (60.4 per cent), incumbent Bob Evans with 561 votes (58.3 per cent), Ian Baillie with 547 votes (56.9 per cent), Pam Beech with 498 votes (51.8 per cent), incumbent Malcolm Makayev with 487 votes (50.6 per cent) and Siobhan Rich with 473 votes (49.2 per cent).

• The man responsible for the death of a 28-year-old Shuswap mother of four was sentenced in BC Supreme Court in Salmon Arm. Dorian Bell, 34, a former resident of Malakwa, was sentenced on Friday, Oct. 14 to four-and-a-half years in prison, less time already served, as well as a 10-year driving prohibition. Bell had pleaded guilty to dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death, failing to stop when driving a vehicle being pursued by police, and driving a vehicle while prohibited.

•For Deb Heap, it was mission accomplished. The Sicamous Communities in Bloom Committee chair recently received word the long sought after five-bloom designation had finally been achieved with B.C. Communities in Bloom. Sicamous was one of three five-bloom winners for 2022 – what judges recognized as a challenging year in which “recovery and resilience” were clearly on display among Communities in Bloom (CIB) participants.

• A sculpture that’s been turning heads at Sicamous’ Beach Park was formally unveiled in a celebration hosted by SASCU. Artist David Harder, SASCU president and chief economic officer Barry Delaney and Sicamous Mayor Terry Rysz were front and centre for the sculpture’s unveiling on Thursday, Oct. 21. Titled People Helping People, the artwork was commissioned by SASCU for a 75th Anniversary Legacy Project, celebrating the credit union’s 75 years in the Shuswap.

• Election outcomes remained unchanged in the Shuswap following the release of official results. The deadline for the declaration of official results from the Oct. 15 general local elections was 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 19. In the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and the race to represent Electoral Area E (Rural Sicamous-Malakwa), official results show longtime director Rhona Martin re-elected with 172 votes, a four-vote lead over contender Natalie Sorkilmo. Leslie Johnson received 16 votes and Dan Letendre 10 votes.

• Sicamous RCMP were investigating after a 14-year-old youth was sexually assaulted near Parkview Elementary School. Police said the incident occurred around 4:30 p.m., Friday, Oct. 21. The victim and her 13-year-old friend were walking near the school and Parkland Mall when they were approached by an unknown man who asked, “Hey, do you know…?” “Without finishing the sentence, he grabbed the 14-year-old,” said RCMP spokesperson Sgt. Chris Manseau in an Oct. 23 media release. “Both youths began screaming and the man released his grip, allowing them to be able to run away.” Police were looking for the man who was described as Caucasian, approximately 40 years old, no facial hair, wearing a black toque, a black zip-up jacket and sunglasses. Police said the youth did everything correctly by screaming and running away.


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SicamousYear in Review