The Rotary Club of Ladysmith’s Light Up the Night fundraiser brought in almost $6

Ladysmith 2016 Year in Review: January to June

The biggest headlines from the first six months in Ladysmith.

  • Thu Dec 29th, 2016 8:00am
  • News

January

Chemainus Foods, a local business operated by Michele and Greg Riley for decades, announced it was in receivership and closing its doors.

Parents from Ecole North Oyster presented a case to the Nanaimo-Ladysmith District School District of the benefits for a Grade 8-12 French Immersion programs.

Owners of more than 360,000 properties in the Vancouver Island Region were issued 2016 assessment notices, as the average single family resident home in Ladysmith went from $285,400 to $299,300 and $312,000 to $320,000 in North Cowichan.

Ladysmith’s first Community Bookshelf, build by LSS graduate Rob Matson and classmates, opened up at Aggie Hall.

Leaf Compassion Cannabis Dispensary prepared to open its doors at 9750 Chemainus Road – opposite the Chemainus Theatre.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District floated a new noxious weed bylaw that would make it an offense for people to allow giant hogweed to grow on their properties.

Ladysmith town council, with the exception of Steve Arnett, accepted a recommendation by a select committee to raise elected members salaries for the first time since 2014. Mayor Aaron Stone is paid $30,515 while councillor receive $14,475.

February

A jade plant at the front entrance of TD Repairs that’s been in the Thorpe-Doubble family for 125 years bloomed, a rare event that only takes place every few years.

A worker was killed in an industrial accident at the Crofton pulp and paper mill on Jan. 27. It was believed that a bulldozer the man was operating rolled over at 7 p.m. The victim was discovered until almost midnight.

Stz’uminus carver John Marston’s art was chosen for BC’s Ferries’ Salish Eagle. The vessel is scheduled to begin on a route in the southern Gulf Islands in 2017.

The Town of Ladysmith postponed approval of a request by Glencar Consultants Inc. to place 141 upscale strata units on the slopes of the Arbutus Hump. The proposal forms part of the 55 hectare project south-east of the dip in Dogwood Drive.

Town Council agreed to consider the Ladysmith Golf Course as part of the Parks, Recreation and Culture master plan after it was revealed that ongoing costs were a struggle given the declining membership.

Nanaimo-Ladysmith MP Sheila Malcolmson introduced a private member’s bill in the House of Commons on Feb. 4 that would make the Canadian Coast Guard the ‘receiver’ of abandoned and derelict vessels.

A 54-year-old man was arrested in connection with three suspicious fires that occurred between Feb. 14 and 15 in the Cedar and Ladysmith areas.

Locations included the Cedar Valley Memorial Gardens and Green Husky gas station on Highway 1 just north of town.

The Rotary Club of Ladysmith’s Light Up the Night fundraiser brought in almost $6,000 for polio eradication. Thousands attended the second annual event at Transfer Beach and 350 colouful lanterns were released into the night sky.

Ladysmith council agreed to provide $68,000 per year in additional funding so the detachment can boost its complement of support staff from four to five.

March

A 23-year-old Ladysmith resident was killed after being struck by two vehicles on the Trans Canada Highway. He was identified by police as Jake Gunn.

Ladysmith’s had an 11 per cent increase in building permits issued between

2014 and 2015. Included in that lift was a 66 per cent increase in the number of residential permits for homes, secondary suites, coach houses and multi-family dwellings.

Ladysmith skier Sarah Rocque won gold in the Slope Freestyle skiing event at the B.C. Winter Games. The now 15-year-old has aspirations of competing in the X-Games.

The Chronicle detailed Ladysmith resident Don Harrison’s story as the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking class-action certification against the makers of Cold-Fx.  The crux of the allegations were that packaging promised something it could not deliver.

Two men were charged by RCMP after a high speed chase roared through Ladysmith from Nanaimo to Duncan. Four officers were injured, include two from the local detachment, and four police vehicles damaged.

Former Ladysmith school district administrator David Mark Street was handed

a conditional discharge, with 21 months probations, by a provincial court judge on Mar. 14.

Three robberies in just over four hours kept RCMP in Duncan, Ladysmith and Chemainus busy on Mar. 16. Locally, the Royal Bank on 1st Avenue was robbed in the early evening.

A 56-year-old Chemainus man was injured when his motorcycle collided with a car on Highway 1 and Roberts Street.

April

Dancers Kayla and Megan Henry travelled to New York City for the Youth American Grand Prix – the world’s largest dance competition.

The Chronicle profiled Harvey Seymour, a supervisor of the Western Forest Product’s Burleith log sort for 50 years.  The sort is located on lands leased from the Stz’uminus and by agreement half the workforce are band members.

Ladysmith’s Rachel Jerome was recruited by Trinity Western University’s track and field team. The Ladysmith Secondary grad is a past medallist at the Canadian Legion Youth track and Field Championships.

Delegates to the Association of Vancouver Island and Coastal Communities conference urged the federal government to release $7.5-million it has promised to upgrade the rail system.

Swimmer Faith Knelson broke the Canadian 100m breaststroke record in the 13-14 year old age group at the Olympic Trials. The record was almost four decades old.

The Silver King was towed into Ladysmith Harbour in mid-April sparking outrage. Officials noted the vessel would need to be cleaned before it was safe for deconstruction.

Ladysmith hired a new City Manager and Chief Administrative Officer Guillermo Ferrero. He started  in June.

The Waterfront Gallery held a celebration for the fourteen artists who made a resolution in January to complete one painting a day for 100 days.

Brittney Webber was chosen by judges as Ladysmith Ambassador, while Morgan McKenzie and Chantal Lofstrom were named Vice Ambassadors.

The Ladysmith Kinsmen Club handed over the keys to Mid-Isle Soccer and Ladysmith Steelers Football for two storage containers at Forrest Field.

May

The Chronicle reported on a story of two young women who were assaulted in Ladysmith alleys in April and reported to police on May 4. One of the victims didn’t want to come forward out of fear.

Ladysmith Family & Friends (LaFF) celebrated 20 years of the organization serving the community. Programming has grown over the years to now being offered five days a week.

Hundreds took park in Ladysmith’s first Tour de Rock 5-kilometre Colour Fun Run on May 14. Participants raised almost $7,000 for pediatric cancer research and programs.

The Municipality of North Cowichan hired Maureen Nadeau to bring environmental workshops in schools for students in Kindergarten to Grade 7.

Derek Descoteau, 20, was killed in a stabbing in Chemainus on May. 20. A 16-year-old Cowichan Valley girl was also rushed to hospital with serious injuries.

Stz’uminus hockey player Darian Harris was part of Team B.C. which captured the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships in Mississauga, Ont.

June

Ladysmith Secondary School’s Senior Girls soccer team finished in ninth place at the Provincial Championships in Campbell River..

The Municipality of North Cowichan sought the public’s input on a proposal to raise revenue by offering the private sector sponsorships and naming rights on municipal properties.

Ladysmith Secondary’s Class of 2016 celebrated convocation on June 3 and gathered at Transfer Beach for a traditional photo.

Seona, a six-year-old Shetland Sheepdog helped lead North Cowichan/Duncan RCMP to her 80-year-old owner, a Chemainus resident, who had fallen in the woods.

Local residents enjoyed a swashbuckling good time at Kids’ Pirate Day at the Ladysmith Community Marina.

A Hundred Women who Care donated $10,300 to the the Ladysmith Family & Friend

Boomer’s Legacy B.C. Bike Ride wheeled into Ladysmith on June 12 for a quick pit stop at Tim Hortons. The ride honours Cpl. Andrew Eykelenboom, who was killed in a suicide bomb attack in Afghanistan.