Here is a look back at a few of the top stories in the Optimist 2021 Year in Review:
B.C. extends gap between vaccine doses to 16 weeks as rollout accelerates
The province dramatically extended the interval between the first and second COVID-19 vaccine doses in a bid to accelerate immunization plans for British Columbians.
Pfizer Inc. and Moderna Inc. both recommend intervals of three to four weeks between their first and second doses. B.C. had been administering doses 42 days apart since January.
That interval was extended to 16 weeks — or 112 days — with the province citing data that shows vaccines proving to be effective for at least four months after a single dose.
Younger people who would have been scheduled for their first dose in the summer would now be getting their first dose likely in the spring.
The move comes as B.C. hastens its rollout plans as Pfizer and Moderna shipping delays subside, and the province prepares to begin accepting deliveries of the just-approved AstraZeneca plc vaccine.
The province intends to inoculate 415,000 people between March and early April — roughly 10 per cent of the 4.3 million British Columbians eligible for vaccinations (those under 18 years old are not currently eligible).
Delta’s large item pick-up program begins
Delta’s new Large Item Pick-Up Program began this month.
Replacing the annual Spring Clean-Up, it allows residents to dispose of large, bulky items such as sofas, washing machines and ovens.
Residents are to contact Remple Disposal, which has the recycling and waste collection contract with Delta, to schedule a time for collection.
Residents can dispose four items at once, or up to four separate items throughout the year.
The program will accept the same large items as Spring Clean-Up, but also mattresses, which were not picked up in the Spring Clean-Up.
City of Delta appoints new fire Chief
A familiar face has a new role at the Delta Fire Department.
Guy McKintuck, who began his career with Delta Fire & Emergency Services in 1993, was appointed as the city’s new fire Chief.
McKintuck had spent the last five years as Deputy Chief under Chief Paul Scholfield, and before that Chief Dan Copeland.
The fire Chief position became available as a result of the retirement of Scholfield who served with the department for 30 years.
McKintuck became the 10th Chief of Delta Fire & Emergency Services since 1963 when the department
McKintuck said he is excited to take on this new challenge.
“I’m very excited. I’m honoured to take on this role,” he said. “I’ve been working here for 28 years. This is where I grew up. I started when I was 22 years old. I’ve had many different positions within the department, so that will only help me transition into this role.”
Since the beginning of his career with Delta Fire & Emergency Services, McKintuck has made his mark, first as a firefighter, then in emergency planning, and more recently as a leader in progressively more responsible and challenging assignments. He has been instrumental in the department’s training efforts, streamlined the occupational and non-occupational leave process, and oversaw the department’s emergency medical responder program from its inception.
South Delta artists featured in book celebrating Canadian women
Four South Delta artists celebrated International Women’s Day by being featured in a book release that recognizes Canadian women who lead by example in the every-day pursuit of success, happiness and achievement.
Jan Rankin, Kathy Swift, Donelle Clarke and Mary Painter are included in Pursuit-365, a book co-authored by 365 women from the West Coast to the Maritimes.
The idea took shape a few years ago, when the founder of Fresh Magazine, Shelly Lynn Hughes was asked to speak at the UN in New York along with a delegate of fellow female Canadian Entrepreneurs. With COVID-19 putting a stop to all travel over the last year and a half, Hughes was inspired to publish the book, with each day of the year featuring one woman's story.
It’s a statement of what women can do when they collaborate generously and share their stories. The project features Canadian women of all ages, backgrounds, life stages, and interests revealing their personal journey in 365 words.
Contributors include musicians Jann Arden and Bif Naked, along with Mobina Jaffer, Canada’s first Muslim senator and Iranian-Canadian human rights activist Nazanin Afshin-Jam.
A gallery owner approached Rankin and Swift about the project last summer. Rankin then brought Clarke and Painter onboard too.
A decorated NHL run ends for Tsawwassen’s Seabrook
It's the end of a playing career for the most decorated hockey player ever to come out of Delta.
Tsawwassen’s own Brent Seabrook stepped away from the game following 15 seasons as a member of the Chicago Blackhawks. The 35-year-old was attempting to return from recent surgeries.
“Over a three-month period from December 2019 to February 2020, Brent underwent successful surgeries on both of his hips and his right shoulder,” said Blackhawks team physician Dr. Michael Terry. “He has worked extremely hard to recover from those surgeries but has a long-term issue with his right hip that is preventing him from playing professional hockey.
“We have tried all available conservative treatments, and nothing has worked well enough for him to live life as an athlete. We support his decision to prioritize his long-term physical health.”
Seabrook’s career with the Blackhawks included being a three-time Stanley Cup winner. On two of those occasions he was honoured with a parade in his hometown by the City of Delta. He was also a member of Canada’s Olympic gold medal team at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.
The South Delta Minor Hockey Association product helped the Delta Ice Hawks win their first-ever Pacific Junior Hockey League title in 2001 when a limited number of 15-year-olds were allowed to play junior “B.” He led the PJHL playoffs in scoring that year and was named the league’s rookie of the year.
Sidekick players return with Zoom performance
Almost a year to the day that they were shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, local theatre troupe the Sidekick Players were back…virtually that is.
With the Tsawwassen Arts Centre still closed due to the pandemic, Sidekick Players worked hard to get back to presenting theatre to South Deltans in some way, especially for their amazing subscribers, so on March 27th Sidekick Players presented Norm Foster’s Outlaw in a Zoom theatre presentation.
Following the presentation, viewers were encouraged to stay “in the room” and have a chat about the play.
Sidekick Players president and director Carroll Lefebvre said the performers looked forward to connecting with their audience again even if it is just in a virtual way.
“We’re happy to be doing this, even though it will be different. It has been challenging, but it has been coming along great,” said Lefebvre. “The four guys have all worked together before so that makes a big difference and because we wanted to come back, in some way, rather quickly, it just made sense to do it this way rather than a broad casting call, which of course, you just can’t do at the moment.”