The fire at Canadian Tire turned out to be much bigger than the public realized.

2019 Year in Review – May to August

The Mission Record looks back on what made headlines in the past year

MAY

Funding need backs up new river sewer line

Mission council reported that it needs to find an additional $15 million to complete a sewer line crossing underneath the Fraser River.

That’s in addition to the $7 million in federal and provincial funding that had already been secured for the project. In March 2017, it was announced that the district would build the Fraser River Sanitary Crossing Siphon, for $8.3 million.

The total price was an estimated $11 million. That cost has doubled to approximately $22 million.

Body discovered in car in Deroche

A body was discovered in the Deroche area on the afternoon of Monday, May 6. Mission RCMP said a complaint was received at approximately 2:30 p.m. that day, regarding a black Acura SUV parked in the area of North Deroche Road and North Nicomen Road, not far from Deroche Elementary.

Colourful new entrance

The Mission Public School office on Fourth Avenue got a colourful new look. The entrance to the building got a multicoloured rainbow walkway leading to the front doors. “It’s an inclusion walkway,” said Mission school superintendent Angus Wilson.

The concept was first approved by the Mission school board a few months prior.

Ruskin Dam project complete

The pubic was once again able to cross the road over the Ruskin Dam and Powerhouse.

B.C. Hydro hosted a Bash on the Bridge event to celebrate the re-opening of the road connecting Wilson and Hayward streets in Mission.

The six-year $748 million project was mostly completed in May 2018.

JUNE

Speeding, other infractions an RCMP priority

Mission RCMP focused some of its resources on local traffic concerns, and the results – and tickets – piled up.

Mission RCMP traffic section took to the streets on North Railway Avenue outside of the West Coast Express pedestrian crossing.

In only a few hours, the officers issued more than 30 charges to drivers, ranging from speed infractions to distracted driving.

Among those were two excessive-speed charges – one driver was caught doing 93 km/h in a 40 km/h zone – which resulted in the drivers receiving extensive fines and having their vehicles impounded.

Cannabis is coming – eventually

Cannabis stores were reported to be coming to Mission. Council debated how best to create and implement a new licence-applications policy that would allow both government and privately run retail cannabis stores in Mission. A district staff report outlined how such a policy could look and asked council for direction on how to proceed. Two zoning options were presented.

Canadian Tire fire devastating

It was five months after a suspicious fire destroyed a large portion of the Mission Canadian Tire before the public got to see how much damage actually happened.

During that time, work continued on the rebuilding of the popular retail store, which re-opened in August. Mission Canadian Tire dealer Jim Oliver and his wife Kristi Oliver said it has been a long journey for them and their staff, but they could finally see an end in sight.

“We had no idea it would be to this extent when we first came in. We thought it was only half the store, but the damage was much worse than originally suspected,” Jim said.

JULY

Free naloxone kits available

A new program began providing free take-home naloxone (THN) kits to people living in the rural areas surrounding Mission.

Three locations were established where kits could be picked up at no cost, but they were not located in health-care facilities or government buildings; rather, they were in local businesses.

Kits could be picked up at the Dewdney General Store, Sasquatch Crossing Eco Lodge, and the Chehalis Store and gas station.

Fire shuts down trio of businesses

An early-morning fire destroyed a Mission laundromat and damaged two adjoining businesses.

Mission Fire Rescue Service was called out to Mama Bear’s Duds N Suds, located at 32618 Logan Ave., at about 1 a.m. on July 12. Firefighters arrived to find heavy smoke coming from the building.

While the blaze was extinguished quickly, the business was heavily damaged.

AUGUST

Overdose calls rise

Overdose and potential-overdose calls were reported to have risen steadily in Mission in the past few years.

According to statistics provided by BC Emergency Health Services, paramedics responded to 95 overdose-related calls in the Mission area in 2016. The number jumped to 130 calls in 2017 and 207 in 2018.

Sewer costs rising

The price tag for a new sewer line across the Fraser River hit $32 million, and the District of Mission said it desperately needed more federal and provincial funding to complete the job and avoid a possible environmental disaster.

However, to date, no new funding has been offered.

“It is an emergency for us, but it’s an emergency for everybody,” said Mission Mayor Pam Alexis.

District or city?

The decision whether Mission remained a district or became a city was left to the public.

Council approved a plan to begin the “alternative approval” process at the end of August to seek public input on the change.

The decision to begin the process to determine whether Mission should change from a district to city was approved by council in June of this year.

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