2021 Year in Review: Top stories from April to June

With 2021 coming to a close, the Energeticcity newsroom decided to compile the year’s top stories. Each articl…

With 2021 coming to a close, the Energeticcity newsroom decided to compile the year’s top stories.

Each article covers three months of the year and the top five stories from each month. The first Year in Review article was released on Monday.

Here are the top stories of 2021 between April to June:

The Fort St. John RCMP arrested a male after a female was stabbed on April 24th.

At approximately 3:00 p.m., the detachment received a report of a female that had been stabbed at a location on 269 Road.

Frontline officers responded quickly where it was determined that a male suspect had potentially barricaded in the residence with a rifle. The scene was contained, and the Prince George Emergency Response Team was deployed.

At approximately 1:05 a.m., the male was taken into custody by Emergency Response Team members and turned over to Fort St. John RCMP.

Adrian Attachie was later charged with aggravated assault, assault with a weapon, and intimidation using violence or threats after the 10-hour standoff.

The victim was attended to by BC Ambulance Services and transported to the hospital until she was released.

STARS air ambulance was called to a “traumatic” worksite injury near Pink Moutain on April 4th.

STARS said the 24-year-old worker was brought to Queen Elizabeth II Hospital in Grande Prairie after a distant mission. The organization says it had to dispatch a charter helicopter to pick up the patient because of the distance.

STAR-6 out of Grande Prairie was requested around 7:15 p.m. and later rendezvoused with the charter helicopter at the North Peace Regional Airport. STARS landed at the QE II hospital around 10:45 p.m.

Energeticcity reached out to WorkSafeBC but didn’t receive a response.

On the morning of April 24th, at approximately 8:54 am, the Northern Rockies Regional RCMP received a call to assist Emergency Health Services with a man who had been located injured inside a residence in Fort Nelson, BC.

Sadly, the 69-year old man did not survive his injuries.

Due to the circumstances, the residence was secured, and the North District Major Crime Unit took over the investigation.

An autopsy later confirmed the death of the man was a homicide.

“The cause of death will not be released as investigators must strike a balance between protecting key details of the investigation and releasing information. This is done to protect the integrity of the investigation to ensure that this matter can be brought before the courts with the necessary evidence for a successful prosecution,” says Cpl. Madonna Saunderson on May 27th.

No further information has been released since May.

The Liard River Hot Springs and campground reopened to the public with new COVID-19 protocols in place after being closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Old Colony Mennonite Church pastor in Prespatou was fined for violating COVID-19 restrictions after hosting an Easter service.

The Fort St John RCMP received a phone call from a local media outlet on April 3rd, investigating a tip about a church in the Buick area planning to host an in-person service that weekend.

The following day police received a report of a church service from the same media outlet that had located the Old Colony Mennonite Church in Prespatou celebrating an Easter Service. The media outlet provided the RCMP with a video documenting the incident, which showed a parking lot full of vehicles and people exiting the church building without wearing masks.

Front line police officers spoke with the pastor, who was cooperative, on two occasions during the investigation. A follow up patrol was conducted on April 11th, and both the parking lot and the building were empty, compliant with the current health order.

As a result of the investigation, on April 12th, the pastor was issued a violation ticket for $2,300.00 for organizing a non-compliant event contrary to Section 4(1) of the Emergency Program Act.

Northern Health addressed rumours that Fort St. John Hospital staff are neglecting patients.

“We understand rumours are circulating which share the perception that Fort St. John staff are not attending to patients properly. We need to put a stop to this conversation,” said Angela De Smit, Northeast Chief Operating Officer, in a statement.

“Hospital staff are doing their very best, every day, under an extremely difficult situation,” De Smit continued.

The statement came after the Province announced that four communities in Northern Health were identified as high-transmission zones, including Fort St. John.

A motor vehicle incident left one man dead, and another was sent to hospital for minor injuries.

On May 14th, at approximately 11:25 p.m., Dawson Creek RCMP was called to a head-on collision on Highway 97N at Rydell Subdivision after a pickup truck collided with a semi-truck hauling crude oil.

Police said the pickup veered into the oncoming lane, striking the semi-truck; the pickup then caught fire.

“Evidence gathered suggests that the pickup intentionally entered the opposing lane of traffic,” said Staff Sergeant Damon Werrell in a statement.

The pickup driver, a 26-year-old male from Grande Prairie, was deceased on scene, and the driver of the semi-truck was transported to Dawson Creek Hospital with minor injuries.

A Fort St. John woman was found not guilty for her role in a fatal car accident near Charlie Lake in June 2018.

Bailey Grieve-Guenther, 26, was charged with dangerous driving causing death and dangerous driving causing bodily harm after the accident at the intersection of the Alaska Highway and the 271 Road.

BC Supreme Court Justice Paul Riley acquitted her of those charges, calling Grieve-Guenther’s driving inattentive but not criminally negligent.

“I am not satisfied the driving conduct here constituted a marked departure from the standard of driving care that would be exercised by a reasonable person,” said Justice Riley. “In reaching this conclusion, I appreciate that the consequences of the collision were tragic, a young woman lost her life, and another was seriously injured.”

Grieve-Guenther was driving up the Alaska Highway on June 15, 2018, when her Honda Civic collided in the intersection with a southbound Ford pickup truck that was turning off 271 Road. The victim, a 19-year-old woman and a passenger in the Honda, were taken to hospital and later died from her injuries. Other passengers involved were treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Court heard that data from the crash was rigorously examined by RCMP to determine the circumstances, which confirmed Grieve-Gunther’s Honda was the cause.

A Federal Court of Canada ruling requires the Blueberry River First Nation council to meet and discuss a petition asking for the Chief’s removal.

The civil claim, filed by three councillors, was discussed over several days. Councillors Shelley Gauthier, Robin Ewaskow and Troy Wolf, sued Chief Marvin Yahey, claiming he had broken his fiduciary duties.

The Honourable Mr. Justice Phelan sided with the councillors, requiring Yahey to hold a Band Council meeting within 45 days to address a petition asking for his removal as Chief. In addition, Merlita De Guzma, the Chief Operating Officer, is required to release a report detailing the call for Yahey’s removal.

The Federal Court ordered the Chief and Band Administrator to hold meetings on May 14th. But on September 2nd, when the three councillors returned to Court, the Chief was sanctioned and ordered to pay costs to the three councillors for failing to hold meetings.

According to the September 3rd release from Yahey and two councillors, the reason for not holding Band Council meetings was a separate lawsuit concerning treaty rights being infringed upon by industrial development.

An election for Family Councillors will take place on January 13th, 2022, and the date for the Chief Election meeting will be the following day, on January 14th, 2022.

Peace-Liard Conservation Officers reminded users of ATV trail systems to use designated motor vehicles on trails after reports of a group of eleven off-road, jeep-style vehicles that caused extensive damage to the trails at the Stewart Lake Recreation Area.

The Conservation Officer Service said illegal vehicles causing damage to the trail system could result in a $575 fine, and it ruins the trails for users.

The Province says it had a tremendously challenging wildfire season in 2021

Those challenges included:

There were 269 wildfires in the Prince George Fire Centre, burning a total of 128,292 hectares.

The fire near Buckinghorse River was one of the biggest in Northeast BC, burning 6,399 hectares.

Two tickets worth $1 million each were sold in the BC. Peace for the June 22nd Lotto Max draw.

A $1 million ticket was sold in Peace River North, and another sold in Peace River South. The tickets were part of the largest lottery prize in Canadian history.

The grand prize, $70 million, will be split between two winners—one in Kamloops and the other in Ontario.

A judge found the province infringed on treaty rights by allowing industrial development in the traditional territory of the Blueberry River First Nations.

On June 29th, Supreme Court Justice Burke said the province is no longer authorized to allow development activities that would impact Treaty 8 rights of hunting, fishing and trapping.

BRFN argued the combined impacts of development like roads, dams, transmission lines, and natural gas extraction have slowly reduced access to natural resources and practices.

Justice Burke said the Crown was allowed to infringe treaty rights by “taking up” land for roads, mines and projects determined to be “for the public good”, but she said there needs to be a limit.

“This power, however, is not infinite. The province cannot take up so much land such that Blueberry can no longer meaningfully exercise its rights to hunt, trap and fish in a manner consistent with its way of life. The province’s power to take up lands must be exercised in a way that upholds the promises and protections in the Treaty,” said Burke.

Once it is determined that a government infringed upon a treaty right, the government must compensate the First Nations. Instead of asking for compensation in the form of land or cash, BRFN only asked for a halt to further development activities.

In October, the Province and Blueberry River First Nations signed an agreement to establish a $65-million fund to begin land and wildlife restoration activities.

The City of Fort St. John notified the public about an event taking place at Centennial Park, which was not given a Special Event Permit.

A post on the City of Fort St. John Facebook page said the event appeared to be in contravention of the current Public Health Orders and was not permitted.

A Freedom Canada Festival event took place on Saturday, June 5th, at Centennial Park without police or bylaw in attendance.

A 32-year-old Fort St. John man was arrested after allegedly inviting several children to touch him for a sexual purpose.

At approximately 10:30 a.m. on June 19, 2021, frontline officers from the Fort St. John RCMP were called to a park in the 11000-block of 96 Street in Fort St. John for a report that a man had tried to solicit sexual touching from two children in exchange for a video game card.

Upon attending the scene, witnesses identified a man in a nearby vehicle. He was arrested without incident.



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