Salmon Arm  

Albertan cabin owner says Shuswap plea to stay away an insult

'Insulted' by stay away plea

A Shuswap cabin owner is fuming over the Columbia Shuswap Regional District's public plea for Albertans to stay away.

CSRD chair Kevin Flynn asked Albertans to please stay home over the recent Victoria Day long weekend – and that has left Roger Dunkley steaming mad.

"I am from Alberta and own a cottage on Shuswap Lake. My family has owned that cabin and has been contributing to the local economy of Salmon Arm and Sorrento by paying property taxes, buying groceries, liquor and supplies such as lumber, hardware and paint and hiring local tradesmen since 1974," Dunkley said in an email to Castanet.

"There are dozens of other cabin owners in our bay (who) also come from Alberta. Quite a number of them have owned their cabins since the 1960s and '70s.

"During all those decades we Albertan cabin owners have been coming to the Shuswap, we've been contributing heavily to your economy to the tune of tens of millions of dollars a year and paying more property tax than we do for our own homes in Alberta. And for all that property tax, the people in our bay get almost no services – no water, no sewer, no garbage service, and no fire department.

"So now ... you're saying we're not welcome to go out and enjoy and self-isolate/social distance at our own properties? Thank you for your welcoming words and gratitude. So nice to know how we who contribute so handsomely to your local economy are appreciated and valued."

Dunkley said he will now make every effort to bring everything he needs with him from Alberta, so as not to spend any money in B.C. 

"Henceforth, the only thing I will ever need to purchase in B.C. is gasoline – and I don't mind doing that since that product comes from Alberta," he wrote.

Dunkley says he cc'd the Salmon Arm Chamber of Commerce, mayor and council, CSRD directors and Sorrento Community Association on his angry rant, along with media in Calgary.

"Words and actions have consequences," he wrote, "and these are the consequences of your insulting and thoughtless words."

Boat cruises Shuswap Lake while attached to trailer

Boat on lake with trailer

Warning: The video above includes coarse language

A video of a bizarre scene recently on Shuswap Lake has been viewed by millions of people around the world. 

Rob Winder posted a video to Facebook showing a boat cruising Shuswap while still attached to a trailer.

“Now I have definitely heard of some boat launch fails, but this one might just take all the … cake,” said a laughing man in the video. “I guess he just doesn’t want to bother!”

The Sicamous man also posted the video to Instagram and tagged Shuswap Lake. 

The video has been viewed 6.4 million times on Facebook since being posted on May 16.

Orphaned bear named after Snowbird's Capt. Jennifer Casey

Cub named for Capt. Casey

The last of a trio of orphaned bear cubs has been rescued and will honour a fallen hero.

Affectionately known as the Tappen Triplets, the three cubs were live trapped near the Shuswap community and taken to the Northern Lights Wildlife Society in Smithers.

“The last of the Tappen Triplets was finally caught and is on route to NLWS. It took 18 days to catch him/her. A huge thank you to all involved for not giving up. Dylan and Sumac will be happy to see their sibling again,” said a post on the group's Facebook page Monday.

The final bundle fur to be rescued has been given a name by residents of the area where it was trapped.

“The neighbours decided together to name him or her Casey after Captain Casey from Snowbirds,” said a Facebook post by one of the rescuers.

Cpt. Casey died in a tragic Snowbird accident Sunday in Kamloops, sending the nation once again into mourning.

Angelika Langen, who started the rescue society 30 years ago with her husband, said the bears will be reunited this week and will spend the next year at the facility with limited contact with humans.

“That is the amount of time they would spend with their mother and they need the protection she would offer,” said Langen of the timeline. “We are basically just stepping in and doing that for her.

The bears will then be returned to the same general area from which they were rescued.

“They always go back into their natural population, but obviously not where people are living,” she said.

The society has rescued 550 bears to date along with hundreds of other wild animals.


Shuswap city opening several amenities as COVID crisis eases

Salmon Arm to reopen

Salmon Arm is taking steps to open things up.

City council approved the reopening of several amenities that had been closed for weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

City-owned buildings, properties and hard surface courts, including the skateboard park, tennis courts, basketball courts and pickle ball courts, will be open to the public in accordance with the Provincial Health Officer’s guidelines effective May 15.

Facilities that are operated by independent boards, including the tennis club, RJ Haney Heritage Village and Museum, Salmon Arm Art Centre, the Horseshoe Club and lawn bowling will decide when and how they reopen after May 15 as long as they are operating in accordance with all safety regulations.

Council has also authorized the reopening of all city-owned playgrounds and spray parks effective May 15.

Signage will be placed at playgrounds and spray parks advising the public of their responsibility to practice safe hygiene and physical distancing while using the facilities.

City Hall, the SASCU Recreation Centre, Shaw Centre Arena and seniors activity, resource and drop in centres are not included in this wave of re-openings.

Parks & recreation in Shuswap area open, but running with a limit

Parks & rec opening up

With the May long weekend approaching, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is making some adjustments to their parks & recreation operations.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of CSRD parks, trails, beaches and boat launches did remain open. Playgrounds at all CSRD parks were closed however, and will remain closed until further notice.

Tennis, basketball and other multi-use courts are open, but only a limited number of users are allowed to adhere to social distancing. Vault toilets at all sites are now all open for use as well.

"Citizens are asked to be courteous to others and share the facilities appropriately," says Tracy Hughes, spokesperson for the CSRD. "Signage has been posted on-site to guide the use of these facilities."

Recreational spaces at Joyce Lake and Cedar Lake had previously been closed, but are now opening on Thursday, May 14 for day use only – no overnight camping is permitted. Yard Creek Campground in the Malawalka area will remain closed indefinitely.

"The water spray park at the Sorrento-Blind Bay Community Park is currently closed due to a Boil Water Notice for the Sorrento Water System issued on April 21," says Hughes. "It will open once Interior Health lifts the notice."

Guidelines for safe playground reopenings are expected to be released by the end of May, and the CSRD is waiting on that report before moving forward with any actions in that aspect.

Visitors not welcome in Shuswap this long weekend

Please stay away

Yes it is a beautiful part of the world, but please don't come for a visit.

In a normal year, the Shuswap is a hot spot for tourists looking to take a break from the doldrums of life and spend some time basking in the sun while splashing in area lakes on the Victoria Day long weekend.

But 2020 is not a normal year.

The COVID-19 crisis has changed the way things are done and officials with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District are asking people to stay away.

Officials with the CSRD are reminding everyone to avoid non-essential travel and that includes the trips to the cabin.

“Despite the gradual easing of restrictions, all non-essential travel – even travelling within BC – is continuing to be discouraged by medical health officers. The best course of action is to stay close to home," said Kevin Flynn, board chair of the CSRD.

"This is not the time to pack up the car or RV for a road trip or to head for your cabin. This is the time to stay local and check out all the great things about your home community."

BC's Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry reminds citizens the province is still in Phase 1 of the reopening plan. Phase 2, which will see additional establishments reopen with strict social distancing guidelines, does not go into effect until after the May 16-18 long weekend.

People are encouraged to continue to stay local until the province enters Phase 3 of the reopening plan, which may happen in June, if there isn't a surge in COVID-19 cases.

"We appreciate all the people who, like us, think our region is terrific and want to visit. Telling people to stay away is a very difficult decision," said Flynn. "But we do not want to jeopardize the effectiveness of the sacrifices we have all made over the past two months. If we can stay on track, people will be able to explore our region sooner rather than later."

While CSRD parks, trails and boat launches remain open for use by residents at this time, physical distancing requirements continue to apply.

Citizens are asked to be respectful of distancing measures, especially when more people may be wanting to use these amenities on the weekend.

'Swindler and con artist' sentenced for breaching BCSC order

'Swindler' gets house arrest

A “swindler and con artist” in Salmon Arm has been sentenced to two years of probation and house arrest after being convicted of  breaching an order of the British Columbia Securities Commission.

Richard Good was sentenced on May 5 in Salmon Arm court for engaging in investor relations activities despite being permanently banned from doing so in 2007 for orchestrating a $2.4 million investment scheme.

“In that scheme, Good entered into various investment contracts with promises of generating high returns,” the BCSC said. “Good invested only a fraction of the money he raised, using the rest for personal expenses and to return purported interest and capital investments to some investors.”

After an investigation by the BCSC, Good was charged last year with breaching that order and was convicted in March 2020. Good breached the order when he enticed a woman living with Good’s best friend and brother-in-law to invest her money through him in 2013 and 2014. 

Good promised to use the woman’s money to invest in securities and to provide her with a profitable return. However, most of the funds went to Good’s personal expenses, with only a small portion invested.

The BCSC says the judge who convicted Good found "the breach was deliberate and premeditated,” adding, “in 2007, Mr. Good was exposed as a swindler and con artist. By that time, lying was a way of life for him and there is no indication that he has changed.”

At the sentencing hearing, the judge stated that due to the circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic a suspended sentence and probation order, with terms similar to house arrest, would be more appropriate than a jail term for this offender. Under the terms of the probation order, Good is allowed to leave his house for only one hour per day.

RCMP searching for missing 16-year-old Salmon Arm boy

Search for missing teen

The Vernon North Okanagan RCMP are searching for a missing 16-year-old boy from Salmon Arm.

Dreydon Desjarlais was last seen on May 9 at his home on Salmon River Road. He was wearing a blue hoodie, blue jeans and had a red and black backpack. Police are very concerned for his well-being.

Dreydon is described as an Indigenous teen with black hair and brown eyes, standing at 5'8" and weighing 100 pounds.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Dreydon Desjarlais is urged to contact their local police detachment, or you can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or leaving a tip on their website.

Salmon Arm Walmart employee tests positive for coronavirus

Walmart worker has COVID

Walmart Canada has confirmed an employee at its Salmon Arm store has tested positive for COVID-19.

The employee was diagnosed in late April and was told to stay home and quarantine for 14 days.

“We are in contact with the associate and are keeping them in our thoughts. Everyone at Walmart wishes them a speedy recovery. The associate last worked April 24,” says Felicia Fefer, manager of corporate affairs.

“Out of an abundance of caution, associates identified as being in close prolonged contact have been directed to self-isolate. We also have regular enhanced cleaning in the store and other social distancing measures in place. We have been in contact with public health.”

Fefer did not say what job the employee had at the store or if they were in contact with the public prior to testing positive.

The Fur-Bearers offers $1,000 reward in case of burned bear

Reward in bear burning

A $1,000 reward is being offered for information in the killing – and then burning – of a black bear in the Shuswap.

The Fur-Bearers is offering the reward for information leading to a conviction in the case of the bear, which was found shot, burned and dumped in a gravel pit in Tappen.

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service is investigating the case after a member of the public made the grisly discovery of the decomposing remains.

The dead bear was left whole, in violation of a law that requires hunters to remove all edible portions of an animal.

“It is disturbing that someone is out there believing they can treat wildlife in this way,” says Lesley Fox, executive director of The Fur-Bearers. “We are hopeful that the reward may provide incentive for individuals with knowledge of what occurred to come forward and assist the Conservation Officer Service in their investigation.”

Anyone with information is urged to contact the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 877-952-7277.

Shandy Sim found the dead bear on April 17 in the Skimikin pit.

"I have never really seen a bear before, and to see one like this was absolutely disgusting," she told Castanet. "The blood still looked fresh, I couldn't believe it."

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