Michael Wickstrom leads the charge as 20 hardy swimmers braved the waters of Port McNeill harbour during the annual Polar Bear Swim.

January 2012: Year in review

A collection of the top stories from this month last year.

High winds forced a rare cancellation of Port Hardy’s annual Polar Bear Jump Sunday, but 20 souls braved the waters in Port McNeill’s Polar Bear Swim before onlookers bundled in toques, gloves and rain gear at Port McNeill Harbour.

And one Port Hardy family opted to hold its own impromptu New Year’s swim in the choppy surf of Storey’s Beach after the traditional leap from Seagate Wharf was scrapped.

Heather Jones and daughters Claire and Laura frolicked in the surf in front of their Storey’s Beach home, along with Heather’s sister, Ann Cooper of Vancouver. Claire Jones jumped from the wharf during the 2011 Port Hardy Polar Bear Jump and had been looking forward to a repeat leap before 2012’s jump was called off.

Later in the month, the ‘Namgis First Nation closed-containment aquaculture project slated for constructed near Port McNeill was given an $800,000 boost from the Aquaculture Innovation and Market Access Program (AIMAP).

“The ‘Namgis are people of the salmon, having fished the waters of Northern Vancouver Island for thousands of years,” said Chief Bill Cranmer. “We believe First Nations are particularly well-positioned to embrace this economic opportunity.”

 

Smart meters were also being discussed, appearing on the agendas of all three Tri-port councils as a BC Hydro representative made his rounds “putting out the fires” caused by rumours and misinformation about the wireless devices. There were dissenting voices on the issue too, with Rick Kirkpatrick, an opponent of the meters, appearing with delegation status in Port Hardy and asking council to take another look at the new technology.