Brad Vis became the new MP of the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding.

2019 Year in Review – September to December

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

SEPTEMBER

New officer in charge

As he sat behind his office desk, the Mission RCMP detachment’s new officer in charge, Insp. Stephen Corp, smiled, leaned forward and began to explain what his priorities were for battling crime in the community.

“Everything is a priority to me,” he said. He then leaned back into his chair and began to expand his answer.

He said if you ask three different people what the biggest problem in Mission is, it’s possible to get three different answers.

While he hadn’t been in Mission long enough to establish a firm set of priorities, some issues were clear.

“Property crime is huge. People work hard for what they have and they don’t want it taken away.”

Let the campaigning begin

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau officially dropped the writ for a Canadian general election on Oct. 21.

In the riding of Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, Liberal candidate Jati Sidhu attempted to defend his seat against four challengers.

At that time, Conservative Brad Vis, Green Party candidate John Kidder, People’s Party of Canada’s Nick Csaszar and the NDP’s Michael Nenn had all declared.

Students want all their friends to play

It all started with a simple question. Students at Mission’s West Heights Community Elementary School wanted to know why their friend, Kaitlyn Sidhu, couldn’t play with them on the playground.

That question transformed into a school-wide fundraising project to build an inclusive playground.

Kaitlyn, 11, is a Grade 5 student who has been going to the school since she was in kindergarten.

Due to health issues, she has spent her entire life in a wheelchair.

Mission has culture

Mission’s artistic and cultural community was in the spotlight in September as the official launch to Culture Days in BC took place at the Clarke Theatre.

A large crowd gathered to watch cultural dancers, sample international cuisine and participate in a series of workshops and other activities.

BC Culture Days celebrated its 10th anniversary this year and Mission was chosen as the host of the official provincial launch.

OCTOBER

City it is

After seven weeks of collecting responses, the District of Mission could apply to become the City of Mission.

The preliminary count of responses received through the alternative approval process showed 422 qualified electors, or 1.47 per cent of eligible electors, opposed seeking to reclassify Mission as a city.

Vis beats Sidhu

The second time was the charm for Conservative Brad Vis, who would sit in the House of Commons after claiming victory in the Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon riding.

Vis, who lost in the riding four years ago to Liberal Jati Sidhu, turned the tables and was declared the winner by most broadcasters around 8:40 p.m

Although all votes had yet to be counted in the sprawling riding, which stretches from Lillooet to Abbotsford, Vis had claimed around 41 per cent of ballots as of 8:50 p.m.

In the end, Vis reached 19,271 votes to defeat Liberal incumbent Jati Sidhu, who finished more than 7,000 votes behind with 12,022 votes.

NOVEMBER

Council considering 4.99% tax increase

Mission council mulled over a proposed 4.99 per cent municipal tax increase.

That worked out to an additional $101.06 in taxes on an average assessed home (valued at $747,930) in Mission. The proposed budget was also calling for an increase of $19.62 (16.86 per cent) for the drainage levy, $4.80 (one per cent) water fees, $23.40 (5.4 per cent) for sewer costs, $3.30 (two per cent) refuse collection and $2.60 (two per cent) for recycling. The hike was reduced to 4.39 per cent.

Casino in the works

Casinos and gambling were the main topics of conversation at the Mission Regional Chamber of Commerce luncheon as representatives from the B.C. Lottery Corporation and Gateway Casinos were on hand.

Tanya Gabara of Gateway Casinos said the company currently has 27 properties, including Chances Mission, making it one of the largest Canadian gaming operations.

“We are going to build a full-service entertainment destination here in Mission, not just for the people who live in Mission, but for those who we want to come and visit Mission,” she said.

DECEMBER

A burning question

Mission council postponed making a decision on a proposed air curtain burner in the Hatzic area. The deferral came after a long, and often emotionally charged, public input meeting.

The issue at hand was a request for a temporary-use permit, submitted by Triple J Aggregates, to run a burner for a year on a property located at 34980 Lougheed Highway. The owners were attempting to remediate the property – a former lumber mill – and wanted to burn the numerous large piles of wood debris on the site. The applicant estimated the amount of debris ranged from 50,000 to 150,000 cubic metres.

Asphalt plant opposed

A large crowd opposed to a plan to set up a mobile asphalt plant in Steelhead converged on Mission City Hall. The public hearing on the proposed project saw almost every speaker voice their opposition and concerns regarding the plant. Residents of Steelhead raised concerns that included diminishing air quality, smell, noise, truck traffic, environmental concerns and more. A decision was postponed.

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