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This day in history: Nov. 25, 2004

Drug sniffing dogs out at Dawson Creek schools Faced with a potential legal backlash, School District 59 ended drug dog searches at its middle and high schools, the Peace River Block News reported this day in 2004.
history
Then-Councillor Calvin Kruk displays some of his paintings at a gallery exhibit in this 2004 photo. The arts centre in downtown now bears his name.

Drug sniffing dogs out at Dawson Creek schools

Faced with a potential legal backlash, School District 59 ended drug dog searches at its middle and high schools, the Peace River Block News reported this day in 2004.

Drug dog searches were barely a year old when it was discontinued, following court rulings against similar programs in
Ontario.

The previous school year, the district partnered with RCMP to perform periodic sweeps of area schools with a K-9 unit, the News reported. The aim was to identify lockers that contained marijuana, cocaine and other controlled substances.

School district administrator Rob Dennis told the newspaper that the program was working to keep drugs out of schools.

The rulings in Ontario put the future of the drug control program up in the air.

"We're going to dig in," Dennis said. "We may be moving to a circumstance where we will inform students right from the get-go that we are going to be randomly checking their lockers and that their expectation of privacy doesn't exist. That will be tested.

"It was way handier if we had the police dog rather than just going on a fishing expedition."

He said the goal was not to "bust" students, but rather get them into treatment.

 

Weekly paper involved in lawsuit

Two weekly newspapers in Northeast B.C. were involved in a lawsuit, the Block News reported on this day in 2004.

According to a Canadian Press report, the publisher of the Northeast Weekly was suing Northeast News editor and publisher Bruce Lantz for $1.3 million.

Northeast Weekly publisher Rob Ritchie alleged in a B.C. Supreme Court statement of claim that Lantz, a former Weekly employee, had taken advertisers and page templates over to the new publication when he left.

The Weekly alleged the similarity of the products "created confusion in the papers' marketplace," the News reported.

Ritchie sought damages from the upstart publication, or an apology and return of the allegedly stolen property. 

Lantz told the Canadian Press his side was preparing a statement of defence.