Fraser Valley – 2017 was an emotional roller coaster ride. Sadness and tears, anger and frustration, joy and elation.
There will be other stories that we have not mentioned. The list is made up of the stories that seemed to grab everyone’s attention:
For the staff at FVN the general consensus for the top story was APD Const. John Davidson. The shock of a shooting death of any police officer in Canada is troubling, but the support that not only the Valley, but the rest of the country showed for fellow APD officers and the Davidson family, was truly heart warming.
Homeless crisis. Tent cities torn down, cleanup along Gladys and Riverside Avenues in Abbotsford and in Chilliwack at Evans Road and along Chilliwack River Road proved that things are getting worse and resources are stretched thin, even with new “housing” coming on line.
Opioid Crisis. The fentanyl induced death toll keeps charging along with no end in sight.
Chilliwack School Trustee Barry Neufeld and his controversial comments on SOGI 123 in schools as well as the LGBTQ+ community has put an uncomfortable spotlight on School District #33.
Chilliwack (among others) opened their doors and in some cases, barn doors, for people and animals fleeing the record interior wildfires. The smoke from the interior choked Valley residents for weeks.
Abbotsford’s Townline Hill gang conflict continues to rampage through the community.
Snowmageddeon in January and February and the Freezing Rain stacking up in December. Records were shattered in early 2017.
Chilliwack’s 5 Corners stabbing and homicide. One of the victims was a private security guard.
APD’s Ian MacDonald steps away as their Public Information Officer. Media make a point to all law enforcement agencies that MacDonald was the best and should be the benchmark in dealing with information to media and the public.
Highway 1 expansion – plans for relief at Mt.Lehnman exchange and eventually at Lickman Road.
Molson Coors plant in Chilliwack – Shovels hit the ground and the replacement for the Vancouver/Burrard Street facility is rising from the construction site.
Abby 200K – Business Walks through out the community and on line surveys are shaping the future of Abbotsford as the city charges towards a population of 200,000.
Another RFP for revitalizing Downtown Chilliwack. Will there be a concrete plan? This latest request for proposals ends in January 2018.
Chilliwack BIA’s controversy with private security. Griffin and Allegiance.
BC Provincial Election – While the NDP and Green party form an alliance for power, not much changed for Valley voters. The Valley was primarily Liberal.
Abbotsford MLA Darryl Plecas broke ranks and angered Liberals as he became Speaker of the Legislature. That took a seat away from the minority Liberals. The BC Liberals since washed their hands of him.
The NEW Vedder Bridge in Chilliwack opens as we said goodbye to the old one.
Farewell to Sears in Abbotsford and Chilliwack. Another major retailer bites the economic dust.
While the Chilliwack Elizabeth Fry Society is granted an expansion in Rosedale, the Wack’s Ann Davis Society’s plan for a temporary women’s shelter downtown, was flatly rejected by Council.
The Chilliwack Chiefs failed to win the Fred Page Cup although the Wack continues to prepare for the 2018 RBC Cup.
Chilliwack’s (and now New York’s) Bria Skonberg wins the Juno for Best Vocal Jazz Album.
The Honorable Justice William (Bill) Davies QC. The Chilliwack judge sat on the bench for many years although will be remembered for coming out of retirement in 2007 for the inquiry into the death of Vancouver ‘s Frank Paul and how the Vancouver Police handled that case.
Abbotsford Mayor George Ferguson. What more can be said about the legendary politician who was Mayor for over 30 years. Literally, HE WAS Abbotsford.
Grant Ullyot, Chilliwack Broadcaster, Columnist, Agriculture Advocate and a fixture at UFV. Ullyot was a radio legend of the now defunct CHWK 1270 AM. He will be remembered as a Newsman’s “Newsman”.
….and onto 2018…….