Area NDP candidate named

Gina Myhill-Jones will be acclaimed Sunday as the Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo NDP candidate in the federal election set for October 2019.

President Bill Sundhu announced that the party will hold nomination meetings on Sunday, May 26 in 100 Mile House, Clearwater, and Kamloops.

"After an exhaustive search and consultations across the riding, it is clear that New Democrats are placing their trust in Gina to reclaim this riding for our party," said Sundhu in a release. "She is an active community leader and volunteer with a strong background of advocacy and commitment to helping others."

Myhill-Jones worked as Women’s Centre Safe House Coordinator supporting victims of violence and their families and Community Support Worker supporting individuals with physical and/or intellectual challenges. 

She created a Facebook group, Cariboo Neighbours 911, that attracted 5,500 members coordinating up-to-date information during the Wildfires of 2017.


Trudeau debuts Terry Lake

Terry Lake's acclamation as the nominee for the Liberal Party of Canada in the upcoming federal election was a raucous event Tuesday night (May 21).

The former mayor of Kamloops, MLA and provincial cabinet minister had more than a couple of special guests for the event at the Coast Hotel in Aberdeen, none more notable than Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who introduced Lake to the crowd.

Lake, in his speech to the audience, keyed in on a few issues as the reason he's rejoining politics after stepping down a few years ago.

"If anyone knows the impacts of climate change, it's people right here in Kamloops-Thompson-Cariboo," Lake said. "It's like a war zone here, prime minister, in the summer. People leave so they can breathe clean air. People worry, they suffer physically, they suffer mentally."

While Lake pointed to climate change as the primary reason for his candidacy, he also pointed to the opioid crisis as an important issue to tackle.

"The overdose crisis is the worst public health situation we've seen in over 100 years in this country," he told the crowd.

Lake spent time as both the health and environment minister while in provincial politics.

Speaking to media after the public event, Lake elaborated on his reasons for stepping back into the spotlight.

"In a world where we've got so many changes, so much populism and right-wing rhetoric that's flying around the entire world, I think Canada needs to be a safe harbour for progressive, forward-looking policies," he said. "The thing that concerns me most of the possibility of an Andrew Scheer government is the complete abdication of responsibilities, such as action on climate change and helping Canadians deal with the opioid epidemic."

The Liberal Party of Canada hasn't held the Kamloops riding since Len Marchand was an MP and cabinet minister with Pierre Trudeau 40 years ago (incumbent Conservative MP Cathy McLeod has held the seat since 2008). When asked about running for a seat that's not seen a Liberal for decades, Lake wasn't concerned.

While Lake focused on the issues close to him, Trudeau's speech looked at the last few years. He touted some of his government's accomplishments, including getting children out of poverty and the fact the country is at the lowest unemployment rate in decades. He also touched on climate change as an issue that'll affect the 2019 election.

The event attracted some 300 supporters, many carrying signs with the slogan "Team Terry."

Cathy McNeely has been a Lake supporter for years, having worked with him while he was in provincial politics.

"I worked on his campaign when he was on the provincial scene," she told KamloopsMatters. "I knew, from working with him, he was a very capable individual."

A pair of high school students, Thaelo Proctor and Gurneet Singh, came to see Trudeau and get a more in-person idea of who the politicians representing them are.

"I was just interested in the Liberal government, just in learning about politics in general," Proctor said. "It was an awesome opportunity to learn."

The federal election is Oct. 21.

—  Brendan Kergin / KamloopsMatters

More bait for bad guys

The Kamloops RCMP Crime Reduction Unit (CRU) is getting a little sneakier when it comes to catching bad guys.

The CRU has expanded its bait program to include vehicles, bicycles and packages.

And the expansion is already showing results. Over the May long weekend, four people were arrested for allegedly stealing one of the bait items in separate incidences.

The bait items are scattered throughout the city in an attempt to lure thieves to steal them.

What the criminals are not aware of is that the vehicles, bikes and packages are equipped with GPS tracking, which monitors the speed, direction and location of the item.

“We want thieves to know that there are bait vehicles, bikes and packages on the streets of Kamloops. Our hope is that, knowing they can be arrested, it will deter thieves from committing these crimes,” said Cpl. Jodi Shelkie.

Those arrested include a 55-year-old male, a 28-year-old male, a 23-year-old female and a 22-year-old female.

“This project is an ongoing initiative that the Kamloops Crime Reduction Unit will be utilizing to combat property thefts in the City of Kamloops,” said Shelkie, adding people are reminded to lock their vehicles and never leave valuables in their vehicle.



Trudeau to visit Tuesday

The Prime Minister is coming back to Kamloops just a few months after his last visit, this time to throw his support behind Terry Lake.

Lake will be getting the official nod as the Liberal Party of Canada candidate for the Kamloops-Thompson-Caribou riding in the upcoming federal election. As part of the nomination event, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be on hand, according to the Liberal Party of Canada event page.

The event will be Tuesday, May 21 at the Coast Hotel in Aberdeen (where a Liberal fundraiser in January was held) from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. 

On Wednesday, May 22 Trudeau will be in Vancouver for another Liberal Party event.

Lake, a former provincial cabinet minister representing Kamloops-North Thompson and former mayor of Kamloops, stepped back from politics before the last provincial election. In April he announced his return and goal of running for the Liberal Party. He will be acclaimed as the nominee for the party.

-By Brendan Kergin / Kamloops Matters

Fleeing motorcyclist hurt

B.C.’s police watchdog has been called to Kamloops to investigate a motorcycle crash Saturday night.

The Independent Investigations Office says a Kamloops RCMP officer spotted a motorcycle travelling westbound on Highway 1 at high speed around 8:42 p.m.

The officer pulled over the male rider, who drove off as the officer exited his vehicle.

“Shortly after, it was reported that the male’s motorcycle hit a centre median and went into oncoming traffic (eastbound on Highway 1),” an IIO news release states.

The male was taken to hospital with injuries.

Any witnesses or those with dashcam footage are urged to contact the IIO  at 1-855-446-8477.

The IIO investigates all officer-related incidents that result in serious harm or death, whether or not there is any allegation of wrongdoing.

Violent attack drug related

RCMP in Kamloops have several people in custody following a violent attack on the North Shore believed to be connected to the drug trade.

On Wednesday May, 15 at about 3 p.m., police were alerted to a stabbing at the Northbridge Hotel, 377 Tranquille Road.

Cpl. Jodi Shelkie said investigators found a 34-year-old man from Prince George suffering from multiple wounds and bleeding profusely.

First aid was provided at the scene until EMS arrived and transported the victim to hospital. Although the injuries were serious, the victim is expected to survive.

"There were several third party witnesses on this case. When combined with nearby surveillance video, police identified several suspects and their vehicle immediately,” said Staff. Sgt Simon Pillay,

Within nine minutes of being dispatched, investigators found the suspect's vehicle, a black 2013 Chevrolet Avalanche, at a residence on Linden Avenue.

Shelkie said the residence is known to police.

“Shortly after, investigators managed to arrest four suspects in relation to this crime. The three men and one woman were taken into custody without incident,” said Shelkie. “Police have executed several search warrants related to this investigation including one at the residence on Linden Avenue. This is why there was a police presence at the residence overnight and into today.”

Jennifer Manual, 36, Devon McConnell, 39, and Derek Jensen, 33, all of Kamloops, have been charged with one count each of aggravated assault.

Evan Davis, 24, was also at the Linden Avenue location. 

While it is not believed Davis was involved in the assault at the Northbridge Hotel, he was arrested on outstanding warrants.

“In order to advance the investigation, RCMP have released surveillance footage of the suspects and the vehicle used in this crime. RCMP are requesting the public's assistance with respect to any other video or observations that may have been made in this area. If you saw these people or have cell phone/dash camera footage taken in the vicinity of Tranquille Road between 2:30 pm and 3:30 pm please contact RCMP,” said Shelkie, adding the attack appears to be a targeted and connected to local drug activity.

Stolen truck, two arrests

An observant employee help police nab a pair of bad guys.

Thursday morning, May 16 at 8:30 a.m., employees from the Esso gas station on Columbia Street reported a suspicious vehicle was parked behind the building.

“Officers attended and found two men sitting inside of the pick-up truck. When the license plate was checked, it was found to have been stolen out of Saskatchewan. The man sitting in the driver’s seat, 26-years-old, was arrested without incident. The male passenger, 24-years-old, resisted arrest but was ultimately taken into custody,” said Cpl. Jodi Shelkie.

It was found that both men were breaching conditions from Saskatchewan. As well, the passenger had a warrant for his arrest from Saskatchewan.

All information will be forwarded to the British Columbia Prosecution Service who will determine charges.

Stabbing at Kamloops hotel

An unidentified man has suffered what are being called serious injuries following an incident inside a Kamloops hotel.

RCMP Cpl. Jodi Shelkie says police received a report of a man being stabbed inside the Northbridge Hotel on Tranquille Road about 3 p.m. Wednesday.

She says witnesses reported seeing a vehicle leave the scene of the hotel. The vehicle was eventually tracked to a home on Linden Avenue.

"Four people have been taken into custody, three males and a female," said Shelkie.

Mascot loses its head

A short clip of an awkward interaction in Kamloops has gone viral.

The video is of a young boy meeting some of the "Paw Patrol" characters in Kamloops. As he goes to hug the character "Rocky," the mascot's head rolls off, revealing the young woman inside.

In longer versions of the clip, the boy's father can be heard joking that he'll be "traumatized" by the event.

The clip has been shared on sites including the Daily Mail UK, Yahoo! and In The Know by AOL, where it has been viewed more than 200,000 times so far.

Brendan Kergin / Kamloops Matters

Cheeky bistro's bikini theme

Kamloops' only Thai restaurant, Salajai, closed on April 28 – but the new bistro moving in to fill its place will offer an even more unique dining experience.

Teenie Bikini Bistro, slated to open May 25, will offer your standard pub-style menu. Yet as the name suggests, it will differ from other restaurants with a unique dress code for front-of-house staff.

All servers are required to be swimsuit-clad.

“I had been thinking about it for a couple of years,” says owner Leeann McArthur. “I had heard that there was a bikini coffee shop in the States, and then I realized there was nothing even like that in Alberta or B.C. So I just decided to finally do it.”

McArthur is originally from Edmonton, where she operated a hair salon. However, she spent her late teens in Kamloops and still has family in the city, so the move here to launch her dream restaurant just made sense.

While she’s only been working on this bistro for about two months, McArthur says it has come together with relative ease because the previous owners of 542 Tranquille Rd. kept the place in “amazing shape.” She’s also keeping the former Salajai cooks as part of her staff, so that part of the hiring is done.

As for her wait staff, McArthur is still looking to hire more women but says she’s had a good response so far. She notes that she is somewhat flexible on the dress code, but is ultimately still trying to stick with a theme.

“Obviously, it is a bikini restaurant, that’s the whole concept, so I would prefer that they wear bikinis,” says McArthur. “But I do give them the option, if they just want to wear a one-piece bathing suit, I’m completely fine with that as well.”

Having seen the success of restaurants like Hooter’s, McArthur is confident this concept can work as well, and appeal to a wider audience than just men.

“Of course, the more female customers we get the better,” she says. “We want it to be for everyone. We don’t want women to feel intimidated, we encourage them to come.”

Eric Thompson / Kamloops Matters

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