Ex-politician arrested for protest at Site C

Artist’s rendering of the $9-billion Site C Dam

Plus, new airline promises cheap flights and B.C. rancher outfits DiCaprio

Protestor charged
Three protestors, including a former Peace River politician, were arrested on Wednesday morning for blocking vehicles attempting to enter the BC Hydro Site C dam construction site. Arthur Hadland, an area farmer who served as a Peace River Regional District director, was charged with mischief on Wednesday. “I don’t want to be a hero,” Hadland told CBC News. “Someone has to speak for the river.”

During the protest, two small groups stood at separate entrances to the site. BC Hydro recently signed a $1.75-billion contract with a consortium of three companies to build the largest components of the controversial project. Construction on these, including the earthen dam, foundation, two diversion tunnels and spillways, has recently begun. BC Hydro says that at the peak of the eight-year contract, 1,500 people will be working on the main projects.

First Nations groups lost a Federal Court challenge to Ottawa’s approval of the $9-billion project, and are currently appealing the ruling. 

NewLeaf’s intitial routes and fares (one-way) include:
Abbotsford-Saskatoon – $89
Abbotsford-Regina – $89
Abbotsford-Winnipeg – $119
Kelowna-Saskatoon – $89
Kelowna-Regina – $89
Kelowna-Winnipeg – $99
Kelowna-Hamilton – $149

Flying over a NewLeaf 
A new budget airline will soon offer low-cost flights from seven airports across Canada, including Abbotsford and Kelowna. Winnipeg-based NewLeaf Travel Company announced on Wednesday that its flights will take off on Feb. 12. CEO Jim Young told a press conference in Winnipeg that one-way flight fees will range from $89 to $149, including all taxes. Extra fees will apply to checked and carry-on baggage, priority boarding, and on-board drinks, and customers will have to bring their own in-flight entertainment. 

Following the model of other budget airlines including Ryanair in Europe and Spirit in the U.S., NewLeaf will fly from smaller airports with lower landing fees, including Halifax, Hamilton, Regina, Saskatoon, and Winnipeg. NewLeaf will not offer its seats for sale on any third-party travel websites, which charge airlines extra fees.

NewLeaf is partnering with Kelowna-based Flair Airlines, a private charter airline, for aircraft, maintenance, and crews. It will use Flair’s fleet of 156-seat Boeing 737-400s.

Big-screen buffalo
A buffalo-hide garment hand-made by a B.C. rancher will grace the shoulders of Leonardo DiCaprio in epic wilderness drama The Revenant, in theatres tomorrow. Rudy Karlen, who owns and operates the XH Buffalo Ranch in 70 Mile House with his sister Francis Ng, told CBC News that he takes almost three weeks to make a hide, and it sells for about $800. The ranchers were contacted by the film’s set director in the summer of 2014, and they sent two shipments of hides and skulls to the crew in Vancouver. The Hollywood movie opens tomorrow, but trailers have already prominently featured the rugged cape that appears capable of fending off the extreme cold and snow conditions faced by central character Hugh Glass. The film also features Vancouver’s Gracey Dove as DiCaprio’s wife.