Family Day early for credit union

Business briefs

Forget about waiting for 2013 for the first Family Day.

First West Credit Union and Envision Financial will give their employees the day off with pay in 2012, a year ahead of schedule.

The provincial government announced in its Throne Speech Monday that the third Monday of every February will be called Family Day, creating a long weekend in the long stretch between New Year’s Day and Easter.

In doing so, B.C. joins Alberta, Saskatchewan and Ontario in giving the mid-winter break.

“There is nothing more valuable to families than time together,” Launi Skinner, CEO of First West, said in a news release.

“First West employees regularly go above and beyond to make a difference in the financial lives of our members and our communities. This is our way of recognizing a talented team that cares about British Columbians and has delivered some of the best financial results in the credit union industry.”

First West is B.C.’s third largest credit union and was formed in January 2010, when Valley First Credit Union of Penticton joined with Envision Financial in Langley.


Recycle old thermometers

Anyone replacing a thermostat or upgrading an HVAC system is encouraged to take advantage of a free collection and responsible recycling event at Canadian Tire stores province-wide next week, while also obtaining a significant discount on safer, energy-efficient models.

According to a release from Canadian Tire, old thermostats contain mercury that, when disposed of in regular household waste, end up in landfills, where the mercury can contaminate the air, soil and water. In addition to taking back old thermostats that contain mercury, the events will also accept programmable thermostats in order to make sure all materials are effectively diverted from landfills and recycled.

These events are a part of Switch the ‘Stat, a B.C. Stewardship Program that is administered by the Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada and delivered by Summerhill Impact.

New thermostats also are more efficient in terms of energy use — saving up to $180 a year on heating and cooling costs.

According to Environment Canada,  one gram of mercury can contaminate an eight hectare lake to the point where the fish are inedible for an entire year.

“By taking advantage of this simple and convenient program, B.C. residents can make a tremendous difference in terms of the quality of the environment both locally and globally, since mercury is toxic, bio-accumulative and can travel thousands of kilometers once released,” says Fatima Crerar, executive-director of Summerhill Impact.


District staff moving on

The District of Maple Ridge is looking to replace two of its senior staff as both have taken new jobs with different municipalities.

Planning director Jane Pickering is heading to the City of Vancouver as deputy director of planning, after finishing up in Maple Ridge this week.

She said she was excited to take on new challenges and listed the district’s new official community plan, the Smart Growth-inspired downtown plan and the Silver Valley plan as highlights of the past decade.

And former municipal engineer Andrew Wood took a new job with Port Coquitlam at the start of the month.

Both had been with the district for about 10 years, said Mayor Ernie Daykin.

“Both of them brought passion, professionalism and dedication to the job. They’re great folks, for sure.”


Does your pooch have right stuff?

Fido is searching for Canada’s top dog to star in a future Fido ad.

Staring on Saturday to Nov. 17, Canadian dog owners are invited to enter their dazzling dog online or in person into the Fido Casting Call in support of a great cause.

Dog owners and dog lovers alike are encouraged to vote for their preferred pooch at

For each vote, Fido will donate $1 to Dog Guides Canada, up to a maximum of $200,000. Dog Guides will use that money to train and place 10 dog guides with Canadians who have disabilities.

Fido Casting Call entry sheets can be submitted on the Fido Facebook page at or in person at a live Fido casting call event in October in six cities: Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Toronto and Montreal.  All casting sheets will be posted for voting on the Fido Casting Call website. Voting closes on Nov. 17.

“We also want to encourage Canadians to unleash their votes to help make a difference in our community.  Our partnership with Dog Guides Canada will support this great organization’s efforts in enriching the lives of Canadians with disabilities,” said Steven Sarfin, with Fido.