Some longstanding issues resolved in 2011

Several longstanding cases that had been left unresolved finally made their way to the courts.

Looking back at 2011, it was quite a year in Langley.

While much of what The Times covered was necessarily related to the local, provincial and federal governments, due to the fact that there were federal and municipal elections, along with a referendum on the fate of the HST, many other news stories went far beyond the realm of government.

Several longstanding cases that had been left unresolved finally made their way to the courts, and a major fire at the very beginning of the year caused a shift (hopefully a temporary one) in how Fort Langley’s community life takes place.

The fire was at the IGA store operated by the Lee family, at the corner of Glover Road and Mavis Avenue. Early one morning, a break-in attempt led to sparks flying, and fire quickly consumed the old wooden building.

In many communities, loss of one store would mean business for others. But Fort Langley only had one full-service grocery store, so residents were forced to shop further away — many in Walnut Grove or Langley City. This had an impact on village life, as other stores that service local residents felt the pinch.

The loss of the grocery was amplified when Jim Dyck, longtime operator of Frontier Building Supplies, announced he was closing his store. His store closed later in the year, and that left a hole in the community.

Thankfully, a new IGA store is now under construction and it will fill the gap. While it is unlikely there will be another store like Dyck’s, new retail buildings are planned in Fort Langley.

Together with the added residents in the village who live at Bedford Landing, this should ensure a  secure future for the commercial area of Fort Langley, which remains a popular tourist attraction for many people from all over the Fraser Valley and Greater Vancouver area.

One of the most tragic cases that I’ve ever  dealt with in more than 30 years in this business was the mushroom farm tragedy which occurred in September, 2008. Three farm workers lost their lives and two others were permanently injured. At long last, the case was resolved in criminal court in November, with the owners paying heavy fines. While that does not bring back anyone who died, it sends a message that workplaces must live up to the standards that are set by provincial authorities.

An announcement last week that the entire tragedy will be the subject of a coroner’s inquest is good news, because these inquests can often provide some useful ideas as to how to prevent future tragedies.

Another coroner’s inquest which is planned for February will shed more light on the tragic shooting death of Alvin Wright at the hands of Langley RCMP in 2010. The long investigation into this shooting by Vancouver Police, which resulted in no charges being laid, was widely panned by those who knew Wright, and by organizations like the B.C. Civil Liberties Association. The inquest should provide some answers.

On a positive note, 2011 saw the return of the Langley Good Times Cruise-In. The event took place on a perfect day and was as good as expected. Congratulations to the organizers.

Just Posted

Langley hosting high-flying fun at annual gymnastics tournament

Action runs Friday through Sunday at the Langley Events Centre fieldhouse.

BREAKING: Plecas won’t run in next election if legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

Guatemala mission offers hope, health

Peninsula team to visit remote villages, build a home, in Piedra Blanca

Annual Aldergrove Fair announces 2019 theme: ‘Aldy on the Moon’

The fair is gathering space memorabilia as well as some of the people involved in the space program.

Guitar festival host performs in upcoming show

Langley’s Don Hlus is hosting and performing in the Fraser Valley Guitar Festival on Feb. 23.

VIDEO: Canada’s flag turns 54 today

The maple leaf design by George Stanley made its first appearance Feb. 15, 1965

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Prominent B.C. realtor says he doesn’t know how child porn got on his computer

Closing arguments heard in Ian Meissner’s Chilliwack trial for accessing, possessing child porn

Workshop with ‘accent reduction’ training cancelled at UBC

The workshop was cancelled the same day as an email was sent out to international students

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

Avalanche control planned tomorrow on Highway 1

The highway will be closed in the morning east of Revelstoke

Judge rules Abbotsford home must be sold after son tries to evict mom

Mom to get back down payment and initial expenses

Mayors approve SkyTrain extension to UBC

Next step is a business plan and public consultation

Trump officially declares national emergency to build border wall

President plans to siphon billions from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts

Most Read