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January 2014 Archives

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CBC Television tracks down Chinese migrants deported from Prince George 15 years ago

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"Voyage of the Black Dragon" airs on CBC TV's The Fifth Estate Friday night.

In 1999, a ship filled with 131 Chinese men, women, and children landed on a remote part of Haida Gwaii. They were detained in jail in Prince George, then deported.

15 years later, CBC Television's "The Fifth Estate" finds out what happened to these migrants who were in search of a better life. 

Listen to an interview with Fifth Estate host Lindan MacIntyre about "Voyage of the Black Dragon" at 7:10 Pacific Time on Daybreak North.

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Hibernating black bear killed by mulcher near Fort Nelson

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An oil and gas company is investigating after a hibernating black bear was run over and killed by a mulcher near Fort Nelson last week.  

A contractor was doing seismic work and land clearing for Apache in the Liard Basin, about 100 kilometers northwest of Fort Nelson. Apache spokesperson Paul Wyke says a mulcher ran over a black bear den, killing the bear instantly. 

The Conservation Officer service investigated the death, and calls it an "unfortunate accident."

The company will not face any penalties. 

Apache says it is working with the Fort Nelson First Nation and environmental consultants to develop a plan for identifying bear dens to prevent future deaths. The company says it has stopped work at the site while it conducts its investigation. 


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At Home in the Hood:

At Home in the Hood, Stories from Prince George's Inner City VLA neighborhood

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In a special series starting January 20, Daybreak goes inside one of the most notorious neighbourhoods in British Columbia to get the stories behind the statistics.


We are also holding a free live event with music, food and discussion on January 24.


Find details on our special page dedicated to this series.

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Interviews:

Floating work camp to dock in Kitimat

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Delta Spirit Lodge sails to B.C.'s north coast (Photo Credit: Rio Tinto Alcan)

Workers living in camps near Kitimat, B.C. are about to make a new home on a ship.  Daybreak's Betsy Trumpener speaks with Colleen Nyce.  She speaks for Rio Tinto Alcan.

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Interviews:

Pride of Burns Lake looks to become MMA champion

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Kajan Ragin' Johnson (Photo Credit: ufc.com)

A Burns Lake man is stepping into the octagon and onto reality TV.  Kajan 'ragin' Johnson plans to become a champion in MMA.  He's already won his first match on the reality show The Ultimate Fighter.  Daybreak's Andrew Kurjata speaks to him for more.

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Extra, Interviews:

Greg Matters Coroner's Inquest resumes

The story of Greg Matters.  As the coroner's inquest in Matters' death resumes, our northern reporter Marissa Harvey has more on his life and death. Daybreak's Betsy Trumpener introduces the piece.

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The Story Exchange:

Prince George wrestler becomes Canadian champion

On this week's Story Exchange, we hear from a professional wrestler who hails from Prince George's V.L.A. neighbourhood.  Daybreak's Andrew Kurjata has more on Stuart Brown, aka the Canadian Mauler.

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At Home in the Hood, Interviews:

At Home in the Hood Part Five: The VLA at night, a mother's loss, and hope for the future

All this week, CBC Daybreak North is running a special series called "At Home in the Hood: Stories from Prince George's VLA." The VLA stands for "Veteran's Land Act" because the neighbourhood was originally built to provide affordable housing for World War II veterans. Today, it has a reputation for being poor and crime-ridden. We hope to get people talking about the challenges and solutions for the VLA.

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Street soccer, inner-city boxing, and high-stakes poker: the VLA at night

We've heard nighttime in Prince George's VLA neighbourhood can be dangerous, so We take a walk around after dark and find street soccer, a boxing club for inner city youth, the Predator, and a high-stakes poker game.

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A woman's death haunts a community

One of the main features of the VLA is Hadih House. It's a large home converted to a community gathering place that provides family resources, drop-in hours, lessons in cooking and canning - and at Hallowe'en it's converted into a pretty cool Haunted House for the neighbourhood kids.

It's also a place Alvine Tom hoped to help people heal from the wounds of their past. She struggled with drug addiction, alcoholism, depression and anxiety, but believed she had left the demons behind her. A coroner's report indicates an overdose led to her death- although her family believes she was a victim of violence.

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What is in the VLA's future?


To wrap up our series, we ask people in the VLA what they think is in its future and get predictions from gentrification to safer places for kids to play.

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Find more coverage of the VLA, and get information about our community forum on January 24 on our special page dedicated to this series.


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At Home in the Hood, Interviews:

At Home in the Hood Part Four: Carrots in the garden, detox in the basement, and the neighbourhood watch gets called a snitch

All this week, CBC Daybreak North is running a special series called "At Home in the Hood: Stories from Prince George's VLA." The VLA stands for "Veteran's Land Act" because the neighbourhood was originally built to provide affordable housing for World War II veterans. Today, it has a reputation for being poor and crime-ridden. We hope to get people talking about the challenges and solutions for the VLA.


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Delivering supplies to those in need

It can be difficult for people living in the VLA to get supplies, which is where the Carrier Sekani Family Services soup bus comes in. On Mondays and Wednesday it brings supplies- and other types of help- to those who need it. Patrick Coons started the service nearly a decade ago.

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A safe haven, or a haven for parasitic people?

We round up a variety of perspectives on the VLA. A young woman says it's completely safe, another family moves away after too many break-ins, a city councillor wants to get ride of "parasitic people" who ruin the VLA for everyone else, and a resident uses four-legged friends to make sure all is well.

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The neighbourhood watch gets called a snitch

Lee Stewart is proud of his home in the VLA, but a daylight shooting made him take action. He started a neighbourhood watch in order to "observe and report" everything that happens in his hood- and not everyone shares his point of view. Marissa Harvey shares the story.

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Carrots in the garden, detox in the basement

Derek Joyce is a singer-songwriter and a nurse who decided to make the VLA is home. Along with his roommates, he's changing the house he lives in from a violent gang hangout to a community hangout. Wil Fundal pays a visit.

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Find more coverage of the VLA, and get information about our community forum on January 24 on our special page dedicated to this series.


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At Home in the Hood, Interviews:

At Home in the Hood Part Three: Hood rats, hatchet attacks, mail delivery, and Christmas

All this week, CBC Daybreak North is running a special series called "At Home in the Hood: Stories from Prince George's VLA." The VLA stands for "Veteran's Land Act" because the neighbourhood was originally built to provide affordable housing for World War II veterans. Today, it has a reputation for being poor and crime-ridden. We hope to get people talking about the challenges and solutions for the VLA.

"Just a little old neighbourhood in Prince George"

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To get a feel for Prince George's VLA, we explore the neighbourhood with the mailman, and find out how many Christmas lights it takes to decorate the inner-city trailer park.

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We also spoke to a Jackie Rioux. She used to deliver mail in the VLA, and says residents of "the hood" are targeted by money loans and fast-food flyers.

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Former gang member avoids the VLA

Alia Pierni has seen the darkside of the VLA. As a gang member she was an "enforcer", performing violent acts to collect on debts. She has since left that life behind, and became a national star on the TV show "Redemption Inc." She says that today she tries to avoid the "hood" because of the memories of her former life.

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The senior hood rat

Willow Arune is a former Vancouver lawyer who has retired to study history in Prince George's VLA. She's also a great storyteller: listen to her take on life in "the hood".

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Find more coverage of the VLA, and get information about our community forum on January 24 on our special page dedicated to this series.


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Interviews:

The unemployed are responding to being called lazy


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An opinion editorial in Prince Rupert's Northern View newspaper blamed the unemployed for being too lazy to find work. Daybreak's George Baker digs in to find out more. 

http://www.thenorthernview.com/opinion/240120651.html


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Interviews:

First Nations woman says she was denied housing in Prince George because of her cultural practices

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An image from a smudging ceremony (CBC).


A Prince George woman is speaking out about an unexpected barrier she faced to finding a home for her and her two children - cultural discrimination. Briana Ireland says she was meeting with a potential landlord when she was asked if she was "Indian."

"I explained I was First Nations, and I explained that my children and I, we do hand drumming, we sing, we follow our traditional smudging. From there I was denied the apartment because the property manager said that smudging is problematic, that it's drugs, and she woudn't be allowing that kind of activity in her apartment building."

Smudging is the process of burning sweetgrass and sage as a method of healing or prayer, but that explanation didn't satisfy the landlord.

Reporter Marissa Harvey shares the rest of the story with Betsy Trumpener.

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At Home in the Hood, Interviews:

At Home in the Hood Part Two: A 9-year-old cleans up, a movement is started

All this week, CBC Daybreak North is running a special series called "At Home in the Hood: Stories from Prince George's VLA." The VLA stands for "Veteran's Land Act" because the neighbourhood was originally built to provide affordable housing for World War II veterans. Today, it has a reputation for being poor and crime-ridden. We hope to get people talking about the challenges and solutions for the VLA.

 

Meet the 9-year-old cleaning up the hood

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Clive Keen of the Prince George Naturalists Club considers how to incorporate a downtown neighbourhood and trailer park into an improved Hudson's Bay Slough trail the club is working on.

Even though Prince George's VLA is in the heart of the city, it's still close to nature-- if you know where to look. We explore the Hudson's Bay Slough with naturalist Clive Keen, and Eco-Guardian Raia Patrick-Prince.

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Bonus: a full tour of the Hudson's Bay Slough with Clive Keen

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No car, two kids, and it's thirty below: the reality of life for Prince George's poorest families

When Cathy Wiegand moved to Prince George as a teenager in the 1960s, the VLA already had a reputation. She says gangs, which were then referred to as "pods" had already formed, and her parents didn't like her going out at night.

Years later she returned to help lead the development of the Carney Hill Neighbourhood Centre, to help provide service and childcare to the poorer families of the VLA. One of the people she helped was Toni Carlton, a single mother with few resources. Toni says the centre helped her find a community in the VLA, and when Cathy retired, Toni took over the job of running the centre.

Listen to Cathy and Toni speak about the challenges they see facing the VLA:

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"There's a lot of you need to do this, you need to do that... when you have 15 programs you need to get to in a day and still do a job search on top of that, as well as still pick up your kids by 2:30... why would you want to get out of bed some days?" - Toni Carlton


Panel discussion: is there hope for the hood?

As part of our coverage of the VLA, we held a special edition of our joint review panel. Our guests discuss the challenges facing "the hood", possible solutions, and whether it is fair to call the VLA a "hood" at all.

Catherine Kendall is a community development consultant who has spent many years working in the VLA at the community resource centre Hadih House, Dawn Hemingway is the chair of the school of social work at the University of Northern British Columbia, Ivan Paquette is a singer, songwriter, and youth mentor, and producer MC Philosophy who spent time living in the VLA.

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Listener feedback:



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We are sharing listener comments on our coverage of the VLA, as well. One message reads:

"In 2011 our grouphome for youth at risk received a donation from anonymous residents of the hood that had been collected at a neighbourhood barbecue there. And they said it was in appreciation of all that we did, and we all appreciated their concern and their thoughtfulness. There are people with heart living in that area of town, and they should be applauded."

Val Reimer writes:

"What kind of community is the VLA?  The kind of community where you actually see your neighbor and they dont just drive straight into their garage which leads into the house, the kind of community where you can visit with your neighbor over the fence and ask him or her for a cup of milk."

And Norman Dale comments:

"The VLA... seems to be a place where people who have pretty low income live. No doubt the vast majority of them want the same things everyone else in the city seeks. I think the neighbourhood suffers from stereotyping and that what you (Daybreak North) are doing is an excellent step towards appreciating the place more than most of us do."

Find more coverage of the VLA, and get information about our community forum on January 24 on our special page dedicated to this series.

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At Home in the Hood, Interviews:

At Home in the Hood Part One: Welcome to the VLA

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A daytime shooting


On August 14, 2010 a man was shot and killed in the VLA neighbourhood Prince George. Residents heard the shots ring out and later saw the body lying in the street. We revisit that day to kick off our series.


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Some facts about the VLA:

  • it is home to some of the poorest families in Prince George
  • it has the highest rates of crime in Prince George, the city dubbed "Canada's Most Dangerous" by Maclean's magazine
  • a decade ago, it was found to be the worst in the province for healthy child development
  • the Fraser Institute consistently ranks schools in the VLA near the bottom of its school reports
  • average home prices are less than half than in other neighbourhoods in the city

Reza vs the VLA

As a result of these problems, newcomers to Prince George are often warned not to live in the VLA. However, when Reza Akbari was new to Canada, fresh from his home in Iran, he was given no such advice. Here's his story:

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The occasional bullet

We also wanted to hear from people who call the VLA home, so our producer Robert Doane took a walk around the neighbourhood. He found a diversity of voices and discovered a student who feels like the area is safe, if you don't mind the sound of the occasional gunshot:

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A brief history of the VLA

Finally, we wanted to know how the VLA wound up being Prince George's "hood". It turns out that in order to understand the hood, you have to understand your history- so we get a little help from two students at UNBC who have been researching the area's history: Lisa Krebs and Willow Arune. They take us from the burning of First Nations village to the end of World War II, right up to the end of a once-thriving neighbourhood on the banks of the Nechako River.

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Interviews:

Dawson Creek: Centre of Women's Hockey World?


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... or maybe the universe? Dawson Creek is bidding on the IIHF under-18 Women's World Hockey Tournament.  Betsy Trumpener speaks with Mile Zero city's director of community services Barry Reynard.



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Interviews:

"The safety of the work place lies solely with the employer," -- Jeff Dolan

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The conclusion of a long-anticipated report in to a deadly sawmill explosion in Burns Lake two years ago says it was preventable. Betsy Trumpener speaks WorkSafe BC director of investigations Jeff Dolan 



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Interviews:

Prince George councillors: "PG roads are atrocious."

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Prince George councillors Cameron Stoltz and Brian Skakun might not agree on much, but they both agree that roads in Prince George are in pretty bad shape.  Like long ice rinks, both councillors say these roads aren't drivable. Betsy Trumpener speaks with both. 



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Extra, Interviews:

Prince Rupert man is outraged by new medical marijuana rules

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Lloyd Doolan's life has already changed twice in recent years. Two bouts with cancer have left him reliant on medical marijuana to cope with the challenges of post-radiation recovery. But with new rules coming in to effect this April for medical marjuana smokers, Doolan fears his life might have to change again. 

Daybreak's George Baker brings us this story. 

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Interviews:

Scottish filmmaker produces Madison Scott film

The Vanishing of Madison Scott Film Trailer from End To End Films on Vimeo.

Halfway across the globe, a Scottish filmamker is helping find missing Vanderhoof resident Madison Scott.  Daybreak's Betsy Trumpener speaks with Steven Scouller about "The Vanishing of Madison Scott."

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For more, visit The Vanishing of Madison Scott.

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Interviews:

Blame the roads, not the driver: BC trucker

Driving down the dark, lonely, and icy roads.  20 people have died this year because of crashes on northern highways. Police warn people ought to drive for the conditions. But Murray Kristoff says the province has also has to better maintain the roads. Daybreak's Andrew Kurjata speaks with him about the dangerous roads.

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Interviews:

Prince George inventor at Consumer Electronics Show

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Invention by Prince George, B.C. man (Photo Credit: Kribbitt)



Have you ever heard of the Kribbitt?  It's something Paul Carmichael is showing off in Las Vegas.  He's at the Consumer Electronics Show trying to push his latest invention to the next level.  Daybreak's Andrew Kurjata spoke to Carmichael for more.

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Extra, Interviews:

Fourteen fatal crashes on northern B.C. roads this winter

Weather, increased commercial traffic cited for increase

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A plough clears streets after a heavy snowfall in Prince George.

There have been fourteen fatal crashes on northern B.C. roads since November 1st, resulting in even more fatalities.

RCMP were not able to provide the exact number of dead, but know that there have been fourteen fatal collisions, some resulting in more than one death.

This compares to eleven fatal crashes during the same period last winter. 

RCMP note that fatal crashes have been declining over the past six years, but are still concerned about this year's numbers.

Sergeant Pat McTiernan is with North District RCMP traffic services in Prince George. He says that there is normally a decrease in crashes following the busy holiday season, but they haven't seen a decline this January. 

"The question was OK, well what suddenly happened this year. Normally January, February, it dies for us. So I said, 'what's different?'

McTiernan believes erratic weather is a major factor. He notes there has been more snow, and that snow can hide ice patches. There has also been unseasonable rain this winter, creating icy ruts that create dangerous conditions.

McTiernan also says many of the crashes involve commercial vehicles. He points out, however, that in many cases it is the passenger vehicle that has come into the path of the truck.

"We see an increase in commercial vehicles in the north. The key now is to educate the rest of the public how to behave around a commercial vehicle, and also educate the commercial vehicle drivers on what they need to do around the smaller traffic."

Among recent fatalities are 27-year-old man from Prince Rupert who crashed with a gravel truck on Tuesday, a 56-year-old man and 79-year-old woman whose vehicle got stuck in an rut before colliding head-on with a tractor trailer unit on Monday, and a 56-year-old man from McBride who died near the Purden Ski hill after colliding with a tractor trailer last week.

For more on this story, Daybreak's Betsy Trumpener spoke with CBC News Reporter Marissa Harvey:

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Interviews:

Williams Lake log homes make reality TV

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Timber Kings promo picture (Photo Credit: HGTV Canada)

Big log homes out of Williams Lake are hitting the big time; Pioneer Log Homes is being featured on the new show Timber Kings. Daybreak's Betsy Trumpener speaks with the general manager Andre Chevigny.

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Interviews:

Rare disorder forces baby to spend birthday at ICU

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Baby Shea Fell (Photo Credit: gofundme.com)

A Prince George baby with a rare skin disease will have to spend his one-month-birthday at the Intensive Care Unit at B.C. Children's Hospital.  Daybreak's Andrew Kurjata speaks to Bryn Fell about baby Shea Fell, and the community's support.

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If you would like to help, you can visit gofundme.com/Babyshea

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Interviews:

19 sled dogs rescued in Dawson Creek

Staff at the South Peace SPCA are now retraining and socializing a pack of sled dogs that were surrendered.  Daybreak's Betsy Trumpener speaks with Wendy Davies, the local manager, for more.

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The Story Exchange:

What would you go through to save a moose?

To kick off 2014, we've picked this story of an animal rescue for our first Story Exchange of the year.  And it's one that has gotten a Fort Nelson, B.C. man recognized by National Geographic and the Global Arctic Awards.  Here's Daybreak's Betsy Trumpener introducing Chris Gale's tale.

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