Seventy-year-old Dave O’Haire, capped in a felt hat with feathers, walks down a side-street in downtown Fernie B.C. He looks up through a tangle of electric cables and transformers to the mountains on the west side of Elk Valley.
“The great thing about Fernie is, whether you walk down a street or an avenue, or an alley, there’s always a view,” he says. “If you go to resort towns, you don’t see anything. In Whistler, you’ve gotta take a chairlift to see the mountains.”
O’Haire shares his story from a desk in the public library – his blue fishing vest illuminated by the afternoon sun. He has the eyes of a young man, even though he almost lost one while forking manure with his brother on the family homestead. O’Haire seems stuck in the sweet spot, somewhere between youth and old age. Continue reading “Stuck in the sweet spot between youth and old age”
Base-metal analysts and tarnished copper miners are optimistic on a potential bull trend in copper amid optimism around U.S.-China trade talks and growing scarcity of the metal that’s offsetting concerns about a Chinese economic slowdown.
Copper hit an all-time high of US$10,190 per ton in 2011, but has been on a roller coaster ever since. The metal, considered a key barometer of the global economy given its various uses, hit a four-year high of US$7,348 last June before plunging to US$5,725 in early January. Since then it has clawed its way back to US$6,426.50 per ton, up 7.7 per cent since the start of the year.
We live in a world that’s getting more fast-paced, hectic and disconnected. Hours blend into days, days into months and months into years. Thank goodness there are still places to get away. Places where it’s ok to live in denial for a few days. Where it snows hard enough to close the highway. Places where the temperature drops and moisture freezes into plates of ice that can snap power lines. Places where people read by candlelight surrounded by impassable mountains. Places where wild fish wait patiently for the insects of summer. Where bears rest dormant under old stumps. Places where you can take the first chairlift of the day and carve your way down through legendary powder. Places where rabbit tracks lead you into a cathedral of white. Where the only sound is that of your heart – or if you’re lucky, a wolf’s howl at twilight. Places where crows and ravens perch in trees waiting for garbage that never comes. Where bundled up people ride fat tired bicycles between Christmas parties. Places where coffee shop windows steam-up with tales of high adventure. Where old stone buildings refuse to fall. Places where great food and drink abound. Where wood smoke hovers like a ghost over homes filled with dreamers and workers. Places you’ll miss when you leave – where loneliness is the grand prize. Places where frozen rivers twist like ribbons, wrapping the valleys like gifts. Where you need to plug in your vehicle, or face a short walk to the shops. Places where live music and live theatre rattle the rafters of an old train station. Places where people smile behind their scarves. Where the stars are bright and the fog is thick. Places with wolverines but no werewolves. Where ski trails outstretch endurance. Places with great hockey teams. Places where you can let go of your cares and fill your battery at the recharging station of life. Places like Fernie, British Columbia.
China’s ban on Canadian canola may be capturing most of the attention, but it’s not the only factor sowing seeds of uncertainty in Canadian agriculture this year.
In a report issued this week, Al Mussell, research lead at Agri-Food Economic Systems in Guelph, Ont., noted that an outbreak of African Swine Fever (ASF) in China is also disrupting the global meat supply.
First Cobalt Corp., the $50-million company, is inching closer to becoming the first producer of battery-grade cobalt to feed the nascent North American electric vehicle market, but there are still plenty of roadblocks in its way.
Teck Resources Ltd. has four operating steelmaking coal mines in the Fernie area, producing approximately 26 million tonnes of steelmaking coal a year. Most of the product is shipped to the Asia-Pacific region via ports on the West Coast.
Standing on the edge of the Natal West pit is like staring into an abyss of other-world-like technical amazement. The hole is 1.5 kilometres across and 500 metres deep. A three-story drill, which looks the size of an insect from above, works at the bottom of the pit, drilling 12-inch diameter holes that’ll be packed with nitrate-based explosives. In a few hours, technicians will blast a large slab of sedimentary rock. Roughly ninety per cent of the rubble will be hauled away as backfill. The rest is varying grades of steelmaking coal. Continue reading “Teck Resources streamlining water treatment”
For six weeks during my first year of journalism school, I was with my mother in Kamloops Hospice. Strange things and beautiful things happened. She was given three weeks to three months to live. Hospice was a large single-level home with gardens and brick patios. From the front yard, you could look west towards Cache Creek ranch country, and east towards the forested Shuswap region.
My mom’s bedroom windows had panoramic views of downtown Kamloops. There were two kitchens and five living room areas at hospice. The place smelled of home-cooked food and lemon essential oil. Over the weeks, I came to associate those smells with death. Continue reading “Editorial: Butterfly patrol”