• A West Vancouver man died from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning aboard a boat moored at Duke’s Marina in Secret Cove. Rodrick Boggs, 58, and his partner were aboard a boat, situated in a small boathouse at the marina, with the engine running when they were apparently overcome by exhaust fumes.
• Details about nearly $1 million of unbudgeted spending at the District of Sechelt came forward with the annual financial statements. Acting chief financial officer Tim Anderson provided a report that talked about four “areas of our operations that are either significantly over budget or unbudgeted.”
• With drums beating, signs held high and war cries echoing through the stone courtyard, more than 300 people gathered outside the Sechelt Indian Band (SIB) office to take part in Sechelt’s Idle No More event.
The grassroots protest, organized by SIB councillor Ashley Joe, started with traditional drumming and singing from the SIB’s Xwamtsut group. Once all were gathered, Xwamtsut performed a war song to start off the march that saw hundreds parade along Highway 101 to the Tsain Ko shopping centre where a large fire was lit to gather around.
• The District of Sechelt was seeking more information about a disturbing dog attack that left Dana Urbanski’s five-year-old Pomeranian Pepper with broken ribs and deep puncture wounds. On the way to the vet, the small dog died of its extensive injuries.
• A piece of living history in Garden Bay was fully restored thanks to the Pender Harbour Living Heritage Society, and a grant from the federal government.
West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky Country member of Parliament John Weston was on hand in Garden Bay to present the society with a cheque for $49,551 to help with the restoration of the Irvines Landing schoolhouse, now to be called the Sarah Wray Heritage Hall.
• For the second consecutive year, changes in assessment meant the District of Sechelt and Town of Gibsons will pay a larger share of property taxes to the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) in 2013.
Total share of taxation rose by 4.2 per cent for the District of Sechelt and 2.7 per cent for the Town of Gibsons, while the share for Roberts Creek (Area D) dropped by 1.4 per cent and other areas saw smaller decreases.
• Volunteers came to the rescue, but despite their best efforts, they could not save two cabins that were destroyed in a fire on Gambier Island.
• The SCRD called for B.C. Timber Sales (BCTS) to immediately cancel plans to allow logging within the McNeill Lake watershed.
The board also asked Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thom-son to address two long-standing issues — why BCTS consistently fails to notify the regional district of timber sales within the SCRD, and why the board’s objection since 2000 to harvesting in community watersheds has been ignored.
• Two aquaculture companies on the Coast were certified organic and producing the only organic sablefish and white sturgeon in the world.
Totem Sea Farm put its first organic sablefish on the market in February and Target Marine Hatcheries had organic caviar and sturgeon meat ready for sale in late January.
• Building on Idle No More’s momentum, B.C. chiefs lined up behind National Chief Shawn Atleo, endorsing the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) blueprint for “fundamental change, remedies and actions required immediately.”
“It’s going to bring light to the communities across Canada,” Sechelt Nation Chief Garry Feschuk said after attending the two-day B.C. chiefs meeting in Musqueam Nation territory on the Lower Mainland.
In a declaration titled “Driving Change for Our Children,” Feschuk and other B.C. chiefs formally endorsed the AFN’s eight-point action list, which Atleo tabled and discussed with Prime Minister Stephen Harper when they met on Jan. 11.
• The majority of Sechelt residents felt life was good in the municipality, according to a survey of 300 random people conducted in late 2012
The District of Sechelt commissioned citizen satisfaction survey was carried out by the Innovative Research Group. Results of the phone survey showed 79 per cent of residents polled rated their quality of life as good or very good. About 68 per cent of those contacted also indicated they were happy with the level of service received at the District, with 41 per cent saying they were very satisfied.
• Sechelt First Nation went to the polls in its third by-election in less than two years, as former councillor Ben Pierre and self-described “alternate candidate” Tim Quinn vied for the seat vacated by Keith Julius.
• Sechelt would build a $22.4-million state-of-the-art wastewater treatment facility that’s the first of its kind in North America, the municipality declared Feb. 5.
Mayor John Henderson said the new facility would provide enough capacity to serve Sechelt for the next 20 years with room to expand. He added the facility would meet the highest provincial standards for water quality, energy efficiency and resource recovery.
• A 51-year-old Sechelt man who drowned Feb. 5 on Hawaii’s northernmost island of Kauai was identified as Mark McLean. The drowning occurred in the Wainiha River, on Kauai’s north shore.
• The Sunshine Coast was part of a nationwide protest against the federal government’s proposed new medical marijuana regulations. The regulations would end the current system that allows licensed patients or their designates to grow medical marijuana, replacing it with a prescription-based system that would shift all production to private companies operating under contract to Health Canada.
• The aim of almost quadrupling transit ridership on the Sunshine Coast over the next 25 years “is ambitious and will require considerable strategic action,” BC Transit said in a report updating the region’s transit future plan.
Authored by senior transit planner Rebecca Newlove and presented to Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) directors, the report summarized the feedback from public engagement sessions and sets draft goals and targets for the future.
• B.C. Timber Sales (BCTS) agreed to withdraw the cutblock closest to McNeill Lake from its logging plans after First Nation and local government leaders raised strong objections during a site visit.
In particular, Sechelt Nation Chief Garry Feschuk was instrumental in convincing BCTS officials to pull the cutblock from this month’s timber sale, said Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) chair Garry Nohr.
• The Town of Gibsons filled the position of outgoing municipal planner Michael Epp with long-time District of Sechelt community planner André Boel. Epp, who held the position since 2010, resigned to take a planning job with the City of North Vancouver.
• Plans for a major residential development in Halfmoon Bay were given a public airing during a pre-application open house by 3L Developments Inc.
The Nanaimo-based developer provided four options for the property, situated on 168 acres (67 hectares) above the intersection of Highway 101 and the north end of Redrooffs Road.
• A Gibsons man was one of three accused in the high-profile 2011 gang slaying of Jonathan Bacon in Kelowna. Michael Kerry Hunter Jones, 25, of Gibsons and two other men — Jujhur Khun-Khun, 25, of Surrey and Jason Thomas McBride, 37, of North Vancouver — were each charged with first-degree murder and four counts of attempted murder, the Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of B.C. (CFSEU-BC) and Kelowna RCMP announced during a news conference in Delta.
• Coast students sent a strong message that bullying would not be tolerated as hundreds of kids across the Coast sported pink in solidarity and took part in a multitude of anti-bullying day activities.
• Removing the rights of patients and their designates to grow medical marijuana would be a giant step backward for Canada, driving up prices beyond the reach of many people in need and turning now-lawful growers into criminals.
Those were some of the key messages conveyed by about 40 patients and family members who rallied in front of West Vancouver-Sunshine Coast-Sea to Sky MP John Weston’s constituency office in Sechelt.
• BC Ferries would go full steam ahead with a planned 4.1 per cent fare hike for all routes. The announcement came one day after the provincial government released its coastal ferries consultation and engagement report, which identified high fares as the public’s top concern, but contained no recommendations to change the current system.
• The location was selected for the $12.2 million Gibsons Elementary School rebuild- — the north field where the upper playground now sits.
• Shaun Stephens-Whale of Roberts Creek tore up the stairs of the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre Hotel in Vancouver with the fastest time in the annual BC Lung Association’s Climb the Wall: the Stairclimb for Clean Air. And he wasn’t alone in his success, as several members of the Gibsons, Roberts Creek and Sechelt fire departments also took up the challenge and raised hundreds of dollars for the cause.
• After almost three years of waiting, the public was welcomed into the newly completed St. Mary’s Hospital building.
Spacious single occupancy rooms, open sunlit hallways, an expanded emergency department, new work stations for doctors and a plethora of state-of-the-art medical equipment were just some of the highlights residents found when they toured the new $44.15 million facility.
• Well over 100 protestors packed Sechelt council chambers to demand more public consultation before the District signed the final contract to build a $22.4 million wastewater treatment plant on Ebbtide Street.
• The Sechelt First Nation mourned the loss of one of its most beloved and respected Elders. Theresa Mae Jeffries (Sxixaxy) passed away peacefully Tuesday, March 19, surrounded by family and friends at St. Mary’s Hospital in Sechelt. Her celebration of life on March 25 drew more than 500 people who came to pay their respects.
• Sechelt’s chief of innovation and growth Randy Stoyko tendered his resignation after just six months on the job. He was hired for the top District spot on Sept. 10, 2012. His last day of work was April 25.
• About 75 people lined up along Trail Avenue for the official opening of a pump track at the newly created Proctor Bike Park in Sechelt. Spearheaded by Capilano University’s mountain bike operations program, the pump track was hailed as a joint effort.
• By the May long weekend the District of Sechelt planned to drop the speed limit to 30 km/hour in downtown Sechelt, install new angled parking and turn Cowrie Street into a westbound one-way street from Wharf to Ocean.
The changes were identified through the Getting Around Downtown survey the District of Sechelt put out in January. The decision sparked a lot of comments in the community, mostly negative.
• A judge dismissed the third lawsuit against District of Sechelt for bylaws they passed that allowed Target Marine Hatcheries to harvest caviar from sturgeon on site.
• A 24-year-old Burnaby man was in police custody following an altercation at a home near the Sechelt Golf Club. The suspect was arrested after he and another man fled the home after they were interrupted by the homeowner during a suspected robbery. A shot was fired during the altercation.
• The Coast set the stage for the world to celebrate and gain some understanding about autistic people through the International Naturally Autistic People (INAP) Awards Convention and Festival, which was officially kicked off April 2, in honour of World Autism Awareness Day.
• Improved acoustics at the Gibsons arena provided the backdrop for a funding announcement as politicians delivered their speeches over music broadcast during a figure skating event.
The $120,000 acoustic upgrade to the Gibsons and Area Community Centre arena was completed last August, but the April 2 announcement was held to spotlight the federal government’s matching contribution of $60,000 toward the project.
• B.C. Ferries delayed service cuts for another year, officials from the corporation told the southern Sunshine Coast ferry advisory committee. Corrine Storey, BC Ferries’ vice-president of customer services, said BC Ferries had finalized an extension to its contract with the provincial government the previous day, effectively cancelling the June 30 deadline to introduce service reductions.
• The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) endorsed the Yellow Dog Project as an effective, cost-free way to reduce the rising number of dog conflicts in the region.
Designed to prevent altercations between dogs, the Yellow Dog Project identifies dogs that should not be approached, for whatever reason.
• Sechelt hired a new chief financial officer, Victor Mema. Mema comes to Sechelt from Wood Buffalo, Alta., where he acted as the manager of financial planning.
• Runners from the Sunshine Coast crossed the finish line at the Boston Marathon mere minutes before two bombs exploded, killing three bystanders and injuring more than 175 people. A total of five known current or former Coast residents participated in the marathon, and all were reported unharmed after the April 15 incident.
• SCRD directors asked staff for more information before deciding on a request to designate a section of Seaview Cemetery for Jewish burial.
• Facing an overwhelmingly critical reception from referral agencies, Sechelt council voted in committee in late April to delay plans to make Cowrie a one-way street.
• Alumni, students, staff, faculty and community supporters were on hand to celebrate success at the annual awards and community recognition night for Capilano University at the Sechelt Golf Club. The evening was a celebration of many wonderful achievements by students. A total of 12 awards were handed out, and the night was also a chance to recognize the efforts of many volunteer groups and community partners who played significant roles in the university’s success.