Burnaby students take part in RCMP training camp

Nine Burnaby high school students have been selected by the RCMP to attend a youth training camp.

The students will join 50 others from around the Lower Mainland for the RCMP Lower Mainland Youth Academy, a training camp that gives students interested in a career in law enforcement a chance to see what it’s like to really train as a police officer.

“The students will be put through different drills and police scenarios,” said Cpl. Rick Skolrood of the Burnaby RCMP detachment. “The same kind of training that they do at the training academy in Regina.”

Skolrood said they would not be releasing the names of the students, however.

“This is a great opportunity for these young people,” said Const. Jessica Andrews, this year’s Academy Training Coordinator, in a news release. “More than 80 per cent of the participants will go on to a career in law enforcement and 100 per cent go on to a post secondary education.”

Burnaby RCMP officer attended training camp

Const. Angela Foggetti of the Burnaby detachment attended the youth training camp back in 1998 and said it helped her decide she wanted to join the force.

“It was definitely the go-ahead to what exactly I wanted to be doing,” she said. Foggetti said the camp is a comprehensive and interactive introduction to life as a police officer.

“These kids are going to be exposed to what the training is about and whether they want to continue on this track.” Foggetti said she’s been involved in helping to run the camp for the last four years.

The training camp will be held this year at Stillwood Camp near Cultus Lake and takes place over eight days from April 3 to 11.  The camp is designed to allow students to experience what recruits endure at Depot Division, the national RCMP training academy in Regina, Saskatchewan.

The 50 students include about an equal number from each of Metro Vancouver’s RCMP detachments in Burnaby, North Vancouver, Coquitlam, Surrey and Richmond.

Burnaby expected to extend RCMP contract for another 20 years

Burnaby still has to ratify a new contract that the province negotiated with the RCMP this year. The current agreement expires on March 31. The new contract would keep the RCMP in the city for another 20 years, and afford the municipality some more decision-making powers.

The city has until the end of April to decide whether to opt-in to the new agreement. If Burnaby decides to opt-out, it would have to establish its own municipal police force.

RCMP have been in Burnaby since 1950, when the BC Provincial Police were amalgamated.


City hall continues to subsidize admission for Burnaby Village Museum

I was glad to read that the Burnaby Village Museum will be free for another year.

The Burnaby NewsLeader reports that Burnaby city hall will subsidize the museum with $300,000 to make up for lost revenue from admissions, but this is less than the $385,000 for last year.

Although the subsidy is less, it’s for a good reason: Revenues were “higher than expected” last year. An incredible 257 per cent increased attendance was recorded in 2011 compared to 2010.

The carousel, gift shop and ice cream parlour also enjoyed hefty increases in revenue.

I have fond memories of the Burnaby Village Museum from my childhood, and I hope that it continues to operate for many decades to come. It’s a terrific place for a family day. It’s relatively small and after visiting you might not be eager to go back again right away, but it’s definitely worth a trip at least once a season.

SFU students pay for stadium seating

Simon Fraser University students will fund seating for an outdoor stadium because the university does not have the money, says the student society.

Students at SFU voted to build a $65-million student union building (SUB) on the Burnaby Mountain campus, with a narrow majority of 54 per cent. The money will also be used to build a 2,500-seat outdoor stadium facility for Terry Fox Field.

Simon Fraser Student Society (SFSS) Treasurer Keenan Midgley said the decision to include funding for stadium seating was made in the best interest of students.

“The university doesn’t have the resources,” Midgley said. “And [the SFSS] thought the stadium was important to promote student community on campus.”

Simon Fraser University is the preeminent post-secondary education institution in Burnaby, and many Burnaby residents are interested in its development.

I spoke with the SFSS Treasurer Keenan Midgley briefly about how the new SUB and stadium would be funded, and especially why it was decided to fund the stadium with student money.

I read about the story on the Burnaby NewsLeader website and noticed a student complaining about the stadium, so I followed up to find out the answer.

It would be interesting to hear from the SFU president Andrew Petter what he thinks on the matter.

Province responds to BCTF – how is Burnaby affected?

Earlier this week, the province of British Columbia took out an ad in multiple newspapers listing their responses to each of the BCTF’s demands and issues.

Among other points, the province states that although the BCTF is saying the government refuses to negotiate, there have been over a year of negotiations and 78 full bargaining sessions.

According to an employee from the Burnaby Teachers’ Association who did not wish to be named, Burnaby has around 1,800 public school teachers. They will all be affected by any future illegal strike.

I’m curious as to SD41’s official response to this latest development. Several school trustees said they were unable to comment but referred me to Chair Larry Hayes, who is not returning calls.

Is this ad adding more pressure to an already tense situation?

I also can’t help but wonder about the timing, with the ad being released the week teachers are away on spring break.

ID and credit card theft operation busted by RCMP

A Burnaby couple faces charges after Burnaby RCMP found they had access to a ridiculous number of identities and credit card numbers (44,000 and 80,000, respectively).

This ID and credit card fraud involved a bunch of items used to make ID cards, credit cards and other information cards.

The only reason Anthony Pavos Stulec and Stephanie Jean Smyth were caught is they had brought in a card printer to a store to be repaired and a fake credit card was found in it. The police were called and they ended up following Stulec home after he had picked it up.

They then obtained a search warrant.

What they found went well beyond what they’d expected.

In addition to the insane amount of identities and credit card numbers, they found marijuana, ecstasy, air rifles, pellet guns and tools thought to be related to break-and-enters.

The RCMP were able to then trace the couple to 80 break-and-enters around the city.

And my favourite thing the RCMP discovered at the apartment: a Canada Post uniform, complete with mailbag.

Apparently the way the couple found at least some of their credit card information was by looking at hotel receipts. Did they go through the garbage at hotels? Guess it really is important to properly dispose of those receipts.

I am wondering how these fake cards would work, in this age of technology…how would those credit cards be swiped? Does that make sense? I’m curious.

Burnaby residence near Metrotown declared a heritage site

Metrotown has a new heritage site.

Well the building is not new of course, but the old Mowat residence near Patterson Skytrain station was adopted by city council as a new heritage site at their March 12 meeting.

The house (seen here: http://bit.ly/xXZEQ0) at 4382 Beresford Street was built in 1913 for a Daniel and Amelia Mowat, who lived there until 1923.

According to an article at bclocalnews.com, city council reported the residence is “one of the oldest surviving houses in the Central Park neighbourhood that, over the past century, has transitioned from an agricultural area to a busy regional town centre.”

The house looks like it’s in good shape, and the plan is to renovate it so it can be rented out as multiple units.

Coun. Calendhino said it will be relocated, but will likely stay “on the same lot.”

Burnaby builder feels he is being targeted by city inspectors

The builder of a Burnaby duplex is concerned that he is being singled out by Burnaby’s city building inspectors.

This was in result to a stop work order he received in October 2010.

A possibly important detail here is that he ignored city bylaws.

Gurinder Mangat recently spoke to Burnaby City Council, which was thinking of filing a notice to warn potential buyers of the duplex of Mangat’s issues.

It seems Mangat is not so much bothered by the fact the city is enforcing the bylaws; he seems to be taking more of an issue about the idea that other builders are getting away with skirting the rules while he isn’t.

Would he have an issue if everyone else was being busted but he was being singled out as the only one who gets away with breaking the rules?

Link to Burnaby NewsLeader story.