Left to right: Bob O'Neal has been promoted to director of forestry

Left to right: Bob O'Neal has been promoted to director of forestry

New forestry director, fire chief named

Bob O'Neal and Larry Watkinson have been promoted to head their respective departments

The District of Mission has promoted deputy fire chief Larry Watkinson to lead the department as director of fire and rescue services (fire chief).

The district noted in a press release that the appointment comes after “an extensive national search for a progressive and innovative leader to manage the combined paid-on-call and career fire and rescue team.”

Watkinson has been with the district since 2008. He previously served as program director of fire programs/operations at the Justice Institute of British Columbia, and the deputy fire chief for the Regional District Kootenay Boundary Big White Ski Resort.

Watkinson received the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) designation by the Canadian Association of Fire Chief and Institution of Fire Engineers. The association awards the designation to fire officers who have demonstrated excellence and outstanding achievement throughout their professional careers.

In his new role as fire chief for Mission, Watkinson will lead a team in providing fire prevention and education, fire suppression and inspection, and emergency services in the growing community of Mission. He will report directly to the chief administrative officer and is part of the senior management team.

“We’re very pleased to have Chief Watkinson lead our fire and rescue services department,” said CAO Ken Bjorgaard in a release. “His impressive career accomplishments combined with his work experience in the District will provide solid leadership to further strengthen public safety.”

 

Mission appoints new forestry director

The acting director of forestry Bob O’Neal has officially taken over the department’s top position, the District of Mission announced Wednesday.

O’Neal has been a member of the forestry department since 1990. He has served as its deputy director since the departure of former director Kim Allan several months ago.

O’Neal holds a degree in forestry from the University of British Columbia and is a registered professional forester with the Association of British Columbia Forest Professionals.

As the director of forestry, O’Neal is responsible for the management of Mission’s forestry department, including integrating the biological and economic productivity of the local forest while balancing the needs for timber, wildlife habitat, watershed protection, recreation and education.

O’Neal reports directly to the chief administrative officer and is part of the senior management team at the District of Mission.

“We are extremely pleased to have Bob as our Director of Forestry,” said Bjorgaard. “I am impressed by his management style and excellent working relationship with staff and am confident that he will continue to excel in this role.”

Just Posted

Emergency services were on the scene of an apparent stabbing Friday afternoon (June 11) in the 2400 block of Countess Street in Abbotsford. (Photo: Kaytlin Harrison)
Two suspects arrested after apparent stabbing in Abbotsford

Incident occurs Friday afternoon in 2400 block of Countess Street

submitted
City of Mission hosting a virtual and in-person open house to explore Silverdale plan

It’s the first neighbourhood planning area of the larger Silverdale Comprehensive Planning Area

Hutch Hotels Ltd., which owned the former Alder Inn (which was demolished in November 2020), is among the defendants in a lawsuit related to an alleged impaired-driving crash in January 2017. The civil suit also names S & L Kitchen and Bar in Abbotsford. (Black Press file photo)
Two Fraser Valley bars named in lawsuit related to alleged impaired-driving crash

S & L Abbotsford and Alder Inn being sued by passenger in 2017 rollover collision

With a lot of summer traffic expected, RCMP are setting up traffic blitzes throughout the Eastern Fraser Valley to curb dangerous driving behaviour in cone zones. (Submitted by Road Safety at Work)
See orange cones? Better put down your phone!

12 roadside workers died, 207 were injured in B.C. during last 10 years

Stock photo from Pixabay
Abbotsford Police warn about scam phone calls that display their name

Caller claims victim’s identity has been compromised and they need to send money

t
How to tell if a call from ‘CRA’ is legitimate or a scam

Expert says it’s important to verify you really are dealing with the CRA before you give out any info

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps off Vancouver Island

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Chilliwack cocaine trafficker Clayton Eheler seen with a tiger somewhere in Asia in 2014. Eheler was sentenced to nine years jail in 2018, but was released on bail in October 2020 pending his appeal of conviction.(Facebook)
Director of civil forfeiture seeks $140,000 from Fraser Valley drug dealer’s father-in-law

Clayton Eheler’s father-in-law Ray Morrissey caught with money in Fort St. John by B.C.’s gang unit

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

Lorraine Gibson, 90, received a COVID-19 immunization at the South Surrey Park and Ride vaccination clinic. (File photo: Aaron Hinks)
Surrey has had 25% of B.C.’s total COVID-19 cases

Surrey recorded 4,012 cases in May

Most Read