Jackknifed semi blocks hwy – news from Kelowna


Highway 33 is closed in both directions, just south of the Big White Highway turnoff on Thursday night, after a semi truck hit the road.

The accident occurred just after 8:00 PM. about five miles south of the Big White Road.

Early reports suggest that a person was injured in the accident, but it is unclear to what extent.

The air temperature in the area is just below the freezing level, and the road temperature is about -2 C.

DriveBC has no estimated time to reopen the highway, and an assessment is under way.


The Kelowna Chamber of Commerce is looking for the top 40 over 40.

BDO Canada LLP is the sponsor of the 2019 promotion, which is in its fifth year and will seek out great filmmakers.

An independent panel will determine the final list.

"We sincerely believe it's a wonderful program that allows us as a community to take a moment each week and step back and celebrate those special individuals in our business community who drive our city's economy and spur positive change," Mike Gilmore , managing partner of the BDO office. said in a press release.

For more on this story or to name someone, visit Okanagan Edge.

It may not be an old story, but the past came to life at UBC Okanagan this week when a 25-year time capsule was opened.

The capsule contained dozens of items that were stored 25 years ago by the staff of the former Okanagan University College.

On Wednesday, Okanagan College President Jim Hamilton and Deputy Deputy Chancellor of the UBC Okanagan, Deborah Buszard, watched the sealed cap of the time capsule be removed.

In 1993, the northern campus of the OUC (now UBCO) was inaugurated.

And during the opening celebrations, the capsule was sealed and placed in the campus library, where it remained unchanged. The only instructions were not to open it until 2018.

Together with newspapers, caps, T-shirts, and a 1993 coin collection since 1963 (the year the OUC began as BC Vocational School), the time capsule also contained a series of videos and brochures for college recruiting, a bus from Kelowna. a calendar, key chains, mugs and two wrapped gifts.

A gift is for the president of the council of 2018, and the second is for whoever is the chair of the council in 2043 – when a new time capsule will be opened.

Hamilton laughed about the changes in technology, shaking VHS tapes and a CD as they were revealed.

He noted the unique history that post-secondary education has in the Okanagan and the collaboration between the college and the UBCO.

"It's a relationship that we deeply value, based on sharing knowledge, ideas and experience," he said. "When I think of the growing number of students and alumni of both institutions, and what they will accomplish in the coming decades, the combined potential of their achievements is too great to be considered."


Whether you call it tax, or the most aesthetically pleasing rate – the average Kelowna taxpayer will pay about $ 40 this year to help the city overcome its infrastructure deficit.

Despite objections from Coun. Brad Sieben that the additional blow is very difficult and very fast, the council unanimously agreed to include the 1.95 percent tax within the city's provisional budget in 2019.

With two other small modifications, this means a total tax increase of 2019 of 4.43%, or $ 88 more for the average homeowner valued at $ 682,260.

"Having gone through a budget process now, for the fifth time … personally, I have a threshold and a tolerance for a general rate, as I think our audience does too," said Sieben, who agreed to the new tax, but in a level.

"Overall, I was hopeful to have a general tax rate of around 4%. What I wanted to put on the table was a 1.5% infrastructure rate, which would be a 0.45% 4 percent ".

Sieben said that even at a rate of 1.95 percent in 10 years, that would add only $ 44 million to the infrastructure coffers, which represents only a small percentage of the $ 500 million the city will need in that period.

The Council examined the entire document with more than 500 pages before tackling the infrastructure tax. Only one item was added – storm drainage modeling software advocated by Coun. Gail Given, at a cost of $ 10,000. An RCMP position, incorrectly labeled as a Priority 2 item, was also added at a cost of $ 34,000.

The balance of the tax increase was 2.48 percent for municipal services, down from the 2.99 percent increase in 2018.

"If not now, when?" asked the Coun. Charlie Hodge's share of budget infrastructure.

"We have other things that we have to worry about in the future … we have the Parkinson Rec Center, maybe the theater (community). We have a series of big budget items coming through the air.

"It will not be easier to make a difficult decision next year or next year."

Mayor Colin Basran said there will always be voices from the public that will not like what the council did, but he says the budget reflects the city's financial reality.

"A third of this $ 463 million (infrastructure) deficit is just to maintain the services we have now in operation.

"It's a real problem, and this board rightly said it's not one we're going to avoid. We want to find ways to deal with it, so that's one rate today."

Basran added that the city will look for other ways to overcome this gap in the new year.

Give money, or give a turkey – and help the Central Food Bank of the Central Okanagan Community.

Students at Kelowna's Willowstone Academy will accept donations on Friday morning to help fill in the Christmas food baskets

Cash donations will buy more turkeys with a goal of 200 gobblers to help put Christmas dinner on the table for the less fortunate.

Children will raise funds from 7 am to 10 am at school on Lakeshore Road.

"Fundamental to the rigorous academic learning that is going on at our school is the inner work our students are doing to find out who they are as individuals and who they are in community with others," says community developer Willowstone Heather Sandager.

"Holding an event such as our first annual Turkey Drive in partnership with the Central Food Bank of the Central Okanagan Community offers our students a rewarding and hands-on experience of giving back to the community in a way that creates a positive impact."

Castanet night update for Thursday, December 13, 2018 with Jon Manchester.

UPDATE: 4:45

The lawyer who filed suit against a Kelowna social worker said he would meet with the province to determine the next steps after the Child and Family Development Ministry admitted responsibility for the alleged robbery of the at-risk indigenous people. youth.

"In my view, the next step is that my office and potential members will collaborate with the province to negotiate an appropriate process to assess the harm done to each child and compensate the children in proportion to the harm done," said Jason Gratl. .

The government says in its response to the civil claim notice that Saunders's employment with the province was terminated in May.

"The province admits that Mr. Saunders was negligent … he committed fraud in public office, fraud and violated fiduciary duties due to (children) and still admits that (children) suffered damages as a result," the document said.

The ministry says it has taken steps to review financial controls and ensure that funds are not diverted, and offered support and services, including counseling to children and young people who have been affected since the allegations surfaced.

The government says it will respond "in due time" to separate but related lawsuits that were filed in the Kelowna court, and that its response on Thursday was only for the specific action filed by the public defender and administrator.

The lawsuit alleges that Saunders "engaged in the same and similar illegal and inexcusable activities with regard to dozens of other children in his care, most of whom are Aboriginal children."

Gratl claims that as much as $ 40,000 each was taken from children between the ages of 15 and 19 and that the fraud was going on for at least four years.

The allegations claim that in early 2016 Saunders transferred the children to make them eligible for ministry financial benefits and opened joint bank accounts for each young person.

They claim that Saunders was aware of the vulnerability of young people and aware that he exercised parental control over them.

The lawsuit says Saunders exercised complete control over all aspects of plaintiffs' lives, including where they lived, access to family members, cultural heritage, services, and financial aid.

Interior Savings helped Saunders ask the children to sign forms that opened joint accounts, but did not tell them that the accounts were with Saunders, claim the allegations.

– with files from Canadian Press

ORIGINAL: 12:30 p.m.

The Ministry of Child and Family Development admits "indirect liability" for the actions of a Kelowna social worker accused of stealing money from vulnerable youth in her care.

The ministry filed its response Thursday in the Vancouver Court Registry for a lawsuit filed by Kelowna's former public defender and curator Robert Riley Saunders.

In its response, the ministry also agrees that the general damages and interest ordered by the plaintiff in one of several actions, involving several young people, are appropriate.

"The province admits that Mr. Saunders was negligent, devalued and converted the author's funds, made mistakes in public offices, frauds and breached fiduciary duties owed to the author and further admits that the perpetrator suffered damages as a result," the document says.

He continues to assert Saunders admitted for the conversion of funds in March this year, and steps were taken to ensure the immediate safety of children and young people in their cases. A forensic audit was initiated and the matter was reported to the police.

MCFD will launch a separate review of its hiring and payment processes.

"Since the accusations came to light, the ministry has provided support and services, including counseling, to children and youth who have been affected by the actions of the social worker," the ministry said in a statement.

"MCFD will work with the plaintiffs' counsel to address these issues in a way that will not further trauma the affected individuals."

Thursday's response only applies to the specific action brought by the guardian and public curator.

The ministry says it will respond to each of the other legal actions in due course.

UPDATE: 3:45 p.m.

After a day of debate, the city council of Kelowna landed on a preliminary budget of 2019.

The Council has approved a budget that will include a tax claim of more than $ 141 million. That means a 4.43% tax increase for the average Kelowna taxpayer.

The increase will include an infrastructure tax of 1.95%, despite a link from Coun. Brad Sieben to lower it to 1.50 percent.

The new tax will add $ 2.6 million to the city's coffers in 2019 and $ 5.6 million in 2020 and beyond, while the city looks for ways to raise nearly half a billion dollars to finance infrastructure projects for the next 10 years .

The final budget will be approved in the spring.

UPDATE: 2:55

The City Council completed its review of the 2019 budget and, with the addition of an additional RCMP position, achieved a tax increase of 4.43%.

Before finalizing a preliminary figure, the council will now look at a number of items.

If all items for review are added, the overall increase would be 4.58%.

UPDATE: 2:25 p.m.

The city council will have a full discussion on a planned 1.95% infrastructure tax.

The tax, which would raise about $ 2.6 million in 2019 and double in the years ahead, is designed to help cover the city's nearly half a billion dollar deficit in infrastructure over the next ten years.

While the council unanimously supports the additional tax, the debate will be centered around whether 1.95 is too high.

Coun. Brad Sieben suggested that the new tax be lower and suggested a later conversation.

Coun. Luke Stack, who agrees with the current tax level, says that if multiple Priority 2 items are added at the end of the day, he would suggest cutting the infrastructure tax to keep the proposed global increase where it started, 4.4%.


An administrative mistake added a little less than $ 35,000 to the Kelowna budget for 2019.

An RCMP request for an administrative position was inadvertently included as a Priority 2 item, rather than a Priority 1.

Supt. Brent Mundle said that the administrative position had been filled by an RCMP provincial official in West Kelowna.

This person was being returned, needing a replacement.

Council adopted the amendment.

It also approved the addition of six new officers. These employees, at a cost of about $ 1.5 million over the next two years, will be paid with surplus accrued through vacancies.

UPDATE: 12:05

The Board concluded discussions on the capital budget of 2019 and switched to the side of operations.

There were no surprises during the morning of the budget debate – the proposed tax increase of 4.4% did not change.

However, several items not currently included in the budget will be discussed at the end of the day's debate. If brought to the budget, they could add $ 194,600.

The Council paused for lunch.

The prospect of an infrastructure rate of 1.95 percent has not yet hit the table.

UPDATE: 11:20

The city council will discuss the possible addition of up to $ 115,000 to its capital budget for storm drain 2019.

Coun. Gail Given stated that two items, which are part of the 10-Year Capital Plan, were placed as Priority 2 projects.

These include the replacement of containment devices and a storm drainage project in the Lower Mission.

The Council agreed to put the items aside and discuss them at the end of the budget deliberations.

If approved, it would add about 0.10% to the budget.

UPDATE: 10:15 AM

The Council transferred some money to allow the city to apply for government grants to make improvements to City Park.

Earlier in December, the council had approved the team to apply for grants of up to $ 6.5 million for improvements to the park's sidewalk and driveway. However, to do this, the city had to nullify its share of the cost of $ 9 million in the 2019 budget.

To do so, he relocated $ 1.2 million from the Glenmore Recreation Park project.

If the city is unsuccessful in getting the grant, the money will revert to the Glenmore Park project.

The money change did not affect the current tax burden.


The Council will examine more closely a request for the purchase of affordable housing.

During Thursday's budget discussions, Coun. Brad Sieben questioned whether a $ 750,000 application from the city's reserve fund was enough for 2019.

According to the budget document, the city does not currently have sufficient funds in its Housing Opportunity Reserve Fund to acquire land for affordable housing opportunities.

Council will discuss the budget request by the end of the day Thursday.

UPDATE: 9:30 am

City council approved the addition of eight more firefighters. These firefighters will be brought in the next two years, four in 2019 and four in 2020.

"That was very well done," said Coun. Luke Stack.

"We are committed to the eight firefighters, but it is a great success. In this way, we are committing ourselves to the eight firefighters, but in two phases, which complete the expansion of the Glenmore fire department.

The cost to taxpayers is $ 231,000 in 2019, rising to $ 758,000 in 2021.

The item as part of the provisional budget.


City manager Doug Gilchrist calls the 2019 Kelowna budget document "bold and creative."

Gilchrist, overseeing his first municipal budget, said it took discipline in all city departments and senior management to get there.

"I often say that the most important thing we do as a city is to responsibly manage other people's money," Gilchrist said at the start of a full-day debate.

"I firmly believe that fiscal responsibility is the hallmark of any major city. It is critical that we look closely at the existing services we provide and question whether they are needed, whether they are of high value and whether they are delivered as efficiently as possible. "

Gilchrist says the city will continue to review its basic services while looking for ways to save money.

Doug Gilchrist will be on the drivers seat as the city council initiates a Kelowna line-by-line budget debate for 2019.

The 546-page document will be the first to be overseen by Gilchrist since he took office as Ron Mattiussi's city manager in June.

The 2019 budget includes direct expenditures of $ 402 million and a tax claim of $ 141.8 million.

This would result in an overall tax increase of 4.4% over 2018. It includes a 2.45% increase for general operations and a proposed infrastructure tax of 1.95%.

These numbers may change throughout the day.

Castanet City Hall reporter Wayne Moore will be in city councils and will update the numbers over the course of the day. Castanet is also providing a live video broadcast of the budget debate.

An accident is slowing traffic at the entrance of Cooper Road to the Orchard Park Shopping Center in Kelowna.

A compact station wagon and at least one other vehicle seem to be involved in the collision.

The front parts are scattered along the road and the vehicle is leaking coolant.

There seem to be two young occupants of the truck, none of whom looks injured.

UPDATE: 11:52

The owner of the Kelowna Chrysler Jeep Dodge purchased the Greyhound Canada building on Leckie Avenue.

General manager Michael Melenchuk could not disclose any information about the sale, saying there are still conditions that need to be met. Kelowna Chrysler Jeep Dodge is across the Enterprise Way from the former Greyhound property.

HM Commercial Group partner Jeff Hudson said his group had received four offers for the property.


Less than two months after closing, Kelowna's Greyhound site was sold to an undisclosed buyer for $ 5.25 million.

The property has a 9,228-square-meter building on two acres and is "perfectly prepared for redevelopment / densification," according to the HM Commercial Group.

The site is located on the corner of Enterprise Way and Leckie Road, which is in the heart of Kelowna's commercial area. It is surrounded by shops such as Walmart, Home Depot, Mark's Work Warehouse, Michael's Home Outfitters, Canadian Tire, Safeway and Superstore, and is only 1 block from Orchard Park Mall.

Greyhound ended operations in western Canada on Oct. 31. The last bus left Kelowna's Greyhound station at 5:30 p.m. on Halloween.

HM Commercial Group is licensed by Macdonald Realty Kelowna.

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