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What's in the budget for each Fraser Valley municipality this year?
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Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Good Morning Reader!
My cat never cared to cuddle during work. Until recently. Before, she would occasionally hop onto my lap but spend most of the work day sleeping on my bed (out of reach of the toddler). But now, she’s spending her days curled up on top of my desk, ideally positioned between me and my keyboard. She is a decidedly unaffectionate cat, so on the one hand it’s kind of nice to get some cat love. On the other hand… Well, if there are more spelling errors in the newsletter then I guess you know who to blame. β€”Grace Kennedy, reporter

Today’s weather: 🌧 5 C
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New squash courts are on Chilliwack's list of proposed capital projects. β€’ 📸 Darren McDonald
What's in the budget?
Chilliwack is set to get a new squash facility, a second pump track, and a wider road over the next year.

Just down the valley, Abbotsford will start building a new downtown bus interchange, create new trails infrastructure on Eagle Mountain, and dump sand at Albert Dyck Park to make the beach, well, beachier. Langley Township will spend more than $30 million to create a new pond to contain run-off during storms, and the Fort Langley spray park also appears to be finally set for approval. In Mission, the 2022 spending list is shorter, with the big ticket item being 7th Avenue Greenway and larger projects coming in future years.

The projects are just a few of a wide range of new amenities and infrastructure projects planned by local municipalities and revealed during recent budget discussions.

We have compiled a longer list of projects for the four Fraser Valley cities here. You can also see how you can add your voice if you live in Chilliwack, where a consultation meeting on the budget will be held tonight.
Need to Know
🤝 Two Mennonite groups are partnering to help Fraser Valley residents deal with their post-flood recovery; the last time they collaborated was after the 2017 wildfires [Mission Record]

🐕 A golden lab named Daisy is now in the care of the BC SPCA after she was run over by a car in Chilliwack [Global]

🚧 Crews are working to patch a number of significant potholes on Highway 1 between Popkum and Hope [Hope Standard]

The Fraser Valley saw approximately $11 billion worth of real estate change hands in 2021. β€’ 📸 Tyler Olsen
The Agenda
2021 HOME BUYING FRENZY
Eleven billion dollars. That, give or take $20 million, is how much money traded hands during 2021’s unprecedented home-buying frenzy in the Fraser Valley. About $4.3 billion worth of homes were sold in Langley, $3.5 billion was spent on homes between Chilliwack and Hope, $3 billion traded hands in Abbotsford, and Mission saw about $870 million in home sales. The figures illustrate the seismic economic effects of 2021’s surge in home-buying. They suggest around $200 million ended up in the hands of the provincial government in property transfer taxes. Even more went to real estate agents: if an average home sale involved commissions of 5%, around $500 million would have been paid in commissions. All those figures are just for those properties between Langley and Hope. Across the Lower Mainland, $84 billion of homes traded hands, according to the figures, which were compiled by The Current from monthly real estate board statistics.

CHILLIWACK SCHOOL BOARD SUPPORTS UNIVERSAL SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM

The Chilliwack School Board is putting its weight behind the Coalition for Healthy School Food, a group calling on the federal government to develop a cost-shared school food program for all public schools across the country. The coalition is currently made up of more than 180 members, including Chilliwack Bowls of Hope, which is a major contributor to Chilliwack’s existing school food programs. Trustees Darrel Furgason, Barry Neufeld, and Heather Maahs expressed reservations about the endorsement, largely because of worries around lobbying and not knowing enough about the program. Maahs put forward a motion to postpone the endorsement, which failed. The endorsement was ultimately approved 4-3.
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Todayί΄s Partner
University of the Fraser Valley
A Phased Approach Toward In-Person Learning at UFV
UFV instructors are teaching online through this week as part of a phased approach to resuming classes for the Winter term.

Learn more about how the university is addressing the challenges of COVID-19.

COVID latest
Yesterday, the province removed the expiration date on the public health order that shut down gyms, bars, and nightclubs. The order was set to expire today (Jan. 18) but is now indefinite. When those businesses will be able to open is unclear. There is a provincial COVID-19 update scheduled for 1:30pm today.

The Current's COVID numbers no longer include school exposures, as Fraser Health is only updating its exposure list with confirmed outbreaks of the virus. The grassroots BC School COVID Tracker is updating its list of exposures with information submitted by parents. So far this year, the tracker has counted 18 cases in Chilliwack, 12 in Abbotsford, 19 in Langley, one in Mission, and two in Fraser Cascade. The listings include the school and the dates of possible exposure to other students.

There are also two new COVID-19 outbreaks at long-term care homes in Abbotsford. Eight residents and four staff have tested positive for COVID at The Mayfair Senior Living + Care, while nine residents and three staff at MSA Manor have tested positive. Outbreaks at The Waverly Seniors Village in Chilliwack and Glenwood Care Centre in Agassiz are now over.


Fraser Health
  • New cases*: 1,884 (3 days) / 767 average (down 39% from last week)
  • 7 active outbreaks at hospitals / 18 active outbreaks in long-term care
  • Test positivity: 22.4 (7-day average)
BC
  • New cases*: 5,625 (3 days) / 2,222 average (down 21% from last week)
  • 819 hospitalizations / 99 in ICU
  • 22 new deaths / 51 last 7 days / 2,490 total
  • Test positivity: 22.2% (7-day average)
*Case figures are less reliable because testing and contact tracing capacity has been reached.
News
Around Town
β˜• Langley RCMP will be at Kooben Cafe today from 10am to noon for Coffee with a Cop, and at Mattu's Coffee and Tea in the Willowbrook Mall tomorrow at the same time.

🧽
The Spongebob Musical is on at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre now until Jan. 23. Tickets online.

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