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Category "Local News"

29Jun

Vancouver man with dementia has been missing for one year

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The Vancouver Police Department has re-issuing a public plea for help in finding a 62-year-old Vancouver man who went missing from his assisted-living home one year ago.

David Sullivan, who has dementia and Type 2 diabetes, was last seen June 27, 2019.

“His disappearance was highly unusual and despite extensive efforts, police have found no sign of him,” said VPD spokesperson Sgt. Aaron Roed.  “We are appealing for the assistance of anyone who may have information on his disappearance. Understandably, his family and friends are desperate for answers.”

David Sullivan, who has dementia and Type 2 diabetes, was last seen June 27, 2019. VPD handout

In a security camera image captured two days after he was last seen, Sullivan was wearing a red-and-white checkered short-sleeve shirt, brown pants and carrying a blue gym bag.

He is described as a white man, bald, and around 5-feet-11 with a heavy build.

Anyone with information about Sullivan’s whereabouts can call the Vancouver police missing persons unit at-604 717-2533.

20Jun

Campaign wants B.C. to keep $300 supplement after COVID-19 crisis ends

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Brent Frain and Sonjia Grandahl, roommates in Langley who both receive the disability benefit, have been independently advocating for the “300 to Live” campaign on social media.

Grandahl said the $300 is changing people’s lives.

“We’re living in a real state of poverty right now and with this COVID, everything has gone up in price,” Grandahl said. “(The supplement has) just helped out tremendously and we would like to keep it that way.”

Frain and Grandahl both said they’ve been able to buy healthier groceries, afford medications and worry less about their rent, which alone accounts for 59 per cent of their incomes.

The $300 supplement has meant people can live with dignity and finally afford accessibility equipment, too, Frain said.

“We want to make it permanent because the rates have been suppressed for so long,” he said.

— With files from The Canadian Press

neagland@postmedia.com

Twitter.com/nickeagland

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19Jun

Vancouver park board votes to ease traffic restrictions in Stanley Park

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“We are joining Stanley Park businesses’ calls to remove uncertainty and restore broader accessibility to the park so customers can return and businesses can begin to recover. Moving forward, there should be a consultative and collaborative approach to working with the business community to improve environmentally friendly and low-carbon options to access the park.”

The Teahouse restaurant, which has been operating in Stanley Park for more than 40 years, has argued against a proposal to eliminate one of the two lanes of roadway and reduce available parking in Stanley Park.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest crisis we’ve faced in 100 years, and we need normalcy rather than uncertainty,” said The Teahouse owner Brent Davies.

“The changes to Stanley Park are being made during an unprecedented time without consideration of the additional impact they will have. Reduced vehicle access and parking will be detrimental to employees and park goers.”

Dr. Bonnie Henry has backed the five members of the park board who don’t necessarily want to go back to the way it was pre-pandemic, saying she would be in favour of encouraging active transportation.

ticrawford@postmedia.com

-with files from Gord McIntyre

17Jun

Detention of former gang associate in special unit at Kent prison declared unlawful by judge

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In March there was a hearing before the warden that confirmed the transfer.

Raju applied to set aside the warden’s decision and argued in court that he was not treated fairly by prison officials, a claim the judge accepted.

“In my view, there has been substantial procedural unfairness visited on the applicant in these proceedings,” said the judge. “Significant disclosure on which the warden relied in reaching her decision was not disclosed to the applicant. Here, I refer to CCTV footage showing some interaction between the applicant and another inmate, said to depict an assault.”

Raj could not make submissions on what was shown on the CCTV footage because it was not disclosed to him, said the judge. The footage shows the other prisoner following Raju into his cell and six seconds later the other prisoner falling backward into the hallway, appearing to put his right hand up to the side of his face before immediately getting to his feet and re-entering the cell, he said.

“There is no way to discern from the CCTV footage what occurred between the two men during the critical six seconds. Because the CCTV footage was not disclosed to the applicant, he could not make submissions about what it did or did not depict,” the judge said.

The judge directed that Raju be released from SIU to a maximum security federal prison. Since the ruling, he’s been transferred to a prison in Edmonton.

kfraser@postmedia.com

twitter.com/keithrfraser

7Jun

‘What happened inside the hospital?’ Family of deceased Abbotsford man wants answers

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The new guidelines include “mental-health disability” — anyone in crisis or experiencing any mental-health-related issue that compromises decision-making.

The health authority said the revision was already in the works and is unrelated to Uko’s death.

But Nyee believes otherwise.

He said it’s clear Uko needed to have a person with him in the hospital.

“Samwel comes in with mental-health issues. How’re you going to deal with it? It’s not something you can see. It’s not something you can put under an MRI and you will know.

“They need someone to be there.”

Saskatchewan’s chief coroner is looking at the case seriously, but will not decide whether to hold an inquest until the investigation is complete, said a spokeswoman with the Ministry of Justice.

Citing privacy concerns, the health authority said it cannot talk about the case.

Scott Livingstone, head of the health authority, said earlier this week that officials were working with Uko’s family members to answer their questions.

Nyee said that didn’t happen right away.

And the family still doesn’t have answers.

“Did they give him the help that he needed? Did they at least try to do something?

“We want to know what happened.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 7, 2020

28May

COVID-19: New substances used to cut street drugs much harder to ‘reverse’

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“There’s a real lack of skill providers out there and we don’t have a functioning addiction treatment system in B.C.,” she said.

Karen Ward, drug policy adviser for the City of Vancouver, said overdoses and deaths in the city’s Downtown Eastside skyrocketed when COVID-19 measures came into effect mid-March and shut down services and facilities in the neighbourhood.

“That was a lot, all at once, in a very short period of time,” she said. “April … it’s bad but compared to March it’s actually not as bad as I feared.”

Ward said she was heartened, however, to see the coroners report that average daily drug deaths had fallen during income assistance week in April to 3.9 deaths per day, after spiking to 6.6 deaths per day in March. It was the first time she could recall cheque week being less deadly than the rest of the month.

She believes $300 in provincial emergency aid for people on income and disability assistance, along with new banking measures implemented by Pigeon Park Savings and Vancity, played a role in saving lives.

“That (April) was the first time we got our $300 emergency supplements,” she said.

“It’s about poverty. So many of deaths during cheque week are about the fact that the government dumps a huge pile of money in a very small space, on some very desperate people.”

neagland@postmedia.com

twitter.com/nickeagland

21May

Tornado lifts trampoline from Saanich yard, drops it down the block

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The family’s back fence was damaged and some flower pots were destroyed.

Across the street, a motion-activated security camera mounted on Keith Harding’s garage captured footage of the tornado.

Harding was indoors when he looked out the window to see a large cloud touch down, prompting him to tell his children to go downstairs. He could see it sucking up dust and sand from the baseball park.

“I didn’t know what was going to happen.”

Lundquist said it is uncommon to see tornados like this in B.C., which are not like the stronger tornadoes seen at times in the Canadian Prairies. The weaker tornados are caused by weather patterns similar to those that cause funnel clouds over water.

This incident is a reminder to tie down anything that could be damaged or blow away in strong winds, Lundquist said.

cjwilson@timescolonist.com

21Mar

COVID-19: Ministers announce supports for people struggling and poor

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He said they are working closely with about 2,000 agencies and non-profits delivering social services to make sure they have what the need to operate through the pandemic.

The B.C. government will use a “crisis supplement model” to support people in income and disability assistance, and is reducing bureaucracy that slows down the delivery of services, Simpson said.

He said they are also forming a plan for assistance cheque-issue day next week. Drug overdoses and deaths spike on the last Wednesday of each month.

“We know this is a challenging time for all British Columbians,” Simpson said.

“It’s a challenging time around the anxiety that’s created by this virus, and the anxiousness, and that is even more challenging for people who are living vulnerable. For people who are poor, people with disabilities, people who are on the street, the homeless, it’s an extremely challenging time for that population in particular.”

11Mar

COVID-19: Health officials confirm 7 new cases, bringing B.C. total to 46

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Health officials in B.C. confirmed seven more COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, including the first case on Vancouver Island.

It brings the total cases in the province to 46, up from 39 on Wednesday, when health officials announced the same number of new cases.

B.C.’s provincial health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry, urged British Columbians to come together in this fight …  by keeping their distance from one another.

We must all step up our social distancing,” she said at her daily briefing. “This is not forever. This is for the coming weeks … where we know we have to do everything we can to protect those people who are more likely to have severe illness, and particularly our seniors and elders.”

A day after she noted that health officials were seeing more cases coming from Egypt, the epidemiologist confirmed three new cases among travellers who had been in Egypt.

One, a man in his 60s in the Island Health region, is the first confirmed case of COVID-19 on Vancouver Island.

“I want to assure all Victoria residents and visitors that we are taking this issue seriously and are in communication with provincial health officials regarding standards and protocols,” said Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, in a statement.

Another new case, a man in his 70s in Coastal Health region, returned to B.C. from Egypt with the same travel group. Henry said he is also related to the infected traveller reported on Tuesday.

The third travel-related case is a person in his 70s who lives in Egypt and is visiting family in the Fraser Health region. His family is also in quarantine.

“Egypt is clearly something we’ve been watching,” Henry said at her daily briefing. “Were hearing that from around the world, that Egypt is now a source of exported cases.”

Two are health care workers at the Lynn Valley Care Centre — a male in his 20s who lives in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and a woman in her 50 in the Fraser Health region. Both are recovering in isolation at home. That brings the total to six sick care workers from the home.

There are no new cases among seniors at the care home, however. One person remains ill, while the other became B.C.’s first COVID-19 fatality, on Sunday.

“Things have settled and are still being monitored very closely at the care centre,” said Henry.

Henry also announced two new cases of suspected community transmission in the Fraser Health region: A woman in her 60s who has been hospitalized, and a man in his 60s, who is now in isolation at home.

Two individuals receiving acute care have been discharged from hospital — a man in his 90s and a woman in her 60s who contracted the virus on the Grand Princess cruise. This brings the total of recovered cases in B.C. to four.

Henry pushed back against a fatalistic approach to the spread of the disease.

“It’s not inevitable that everybody is going to be infected with this,” she said. “It’s not inevitable that our systems will be overwhelmed. We do not have to be in that position.”

Asked about closures at several schools in Metro Vancouver and in Greater Victoria, Henry said those schools made these decisions on their own.

“There has been no school that has been closed based on public health advice.”

With more than 100,000 people sickened around the world, including more than 100 in Canada and the expectation of more, the World Health Organization called on countries to mitigate the social and economic impacts while minimizing the disruption to everyday life.

But this is easier said than done. On Wednesday, disruption to everyday life continued apace.

In Italy, where COVID-19 cases has exceeded 12,000 and deaths are approaching 900, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte heightened containment efforts by ordering all businesses except grocery stores and pharmacies to close nationwide.

In nearby Washington, where the Department of Health has confirmed 330 cases, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a ban on gatherings and events of more than 250 people in Seattle and its surrounding areas.

“This is an unprecedented public health situation and we can’t wait until we’re in the middle of it to slow it down,” Inslee said at a news conference Wednesday. “We’ve got to get ahead of the curve. One main defense is to reduce the interaction of people in our lives.”

Henry stopped short of calling for a similar ban on mass gatherings in Vancouver.

“We are obviously very mindful of the community transmission, both here and in Washington state,” she said. “We’re still taking the risk assessment approach for some of these events. But that may change.”

Mass gatherings and spectator events all over the world have been cancelled or postponed in recent days, from the TED conference in Vancouver to major music festivals like Coachella and SXSW.

The Overwatch League, which draws esports players from around the world, has cancelled all matches through March and April.

In Canada, the World Figure Skating Championships set for next week in Montreal were cancelled, just days after the Women’s World Hockey Championships in Nova Scotia were called off.

The women’s world curling championship, set to begin Saturday in Prince George, will go ahead as planned.

Other spectator events have merely cancelled spectators.

The Columbus Blue Jackets became the first NHL to announce that home games will be played without fans, heeding the advice of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. Other teams are expected to do the same.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said Wednesday that the March Madness tournament will be played without fans, and even American TV talk shows like Live With Kelly and Ryan and The View filmed Wednesday without studio audiences.

with files from The Canadian Press

hmooney@postmedia.com


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11Mar

COVID-19: Health officials confirm 7 new cases, bringing B.C. total to 46

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Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry responds to questions during a news conference about the provincial response to the coronavirus in Vancouver.


DARRYL DYCK / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Seven more people are sick with COVID-19 in B.C., health officials announced on Wednesday.

It brings the total cases in the province to 46, up from 39 on Wednesday, when health officials announced the same number of new cases.

Two are health care workers at the Lynn Valley Care Centre — a male in his 20s who lives in the Vancouver Coastal Health region and a woman in her 50 in the Fraser Health region. Both are recovering in isolation at home.

Three new cases are travellers coming from Egypt. Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, noted Tuesday that health officials were seeing more cases coming from Egypt.

Henry also announced two new community cases in the Fraser Health region. A woman in her 60s has been hospitalized. A man in his 60s is in isolation at home.

The federal government rolled out a $1-billion package Wednesday to help the country’s health-care system and economy cope with what the The World Health Organization has now declared a pandemic.

Multiple health authorities reported a flurry of new positive tests for COVID-19, including one person at Canadian Forces Base Trenton repatriated from a cruise ship docked in California, and a man in Sudbury, Ont., who attended a large mining conference in Toronto.

With more than 100,000 people sickened around the world, including more than 100 in Canada and the expectation of more, the WHO called on countries to mitigate the social and economic impacts while minimizing the disruption to everyday life.

But this is easier said than done. On Wednesday, disruption to everyday life continued apace.

In Italy, where COVID-19 cases has exceeded 12,000 and deaths are approaching 900, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte heightened containment efforts by ordering all businesses except grocery stores and pharmacies to close nationwide.

In nearby Washington, where the Department of Health has confirmed 330 cases, Gov. Jay Inslee announced a ban on gatherings and events of more than 250 people in Seattle and its surrounding areas.

“This is an unprecedented public health situation and we can’t wait until we’re in the middle of it to slow it down,” Inslee said at a news conference Wednesday. “We’ve got to get ahead of the curve. One main defense is to reduce the interaction of people in our lives.”

Mass gatherings and spectator events all over the world have been cancelled or postponed in recent days, from the TED conference in Vancouver to major music festivals like Coachella and SXSW.

The Overwatch League, which draws esports players from around the world, has cancelled all matches through March and April.

In Canada, the World Figure Skating Championships set for next week in Montreal were cancelled, just days after the Women’s World Hockey Championships in Nova Scotia were called off.

The women’s world curling championship, set to begin Saturday in Prince George, will go ahead as planned.

Other spectator events have merely cancelled spectators.

The Columbus Blue Jackets became the first NHL to announce that home games will be played without fans, heeding the advice of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine. Other teams are expected to do the same.

NCAA President Mark Emmert said Wednesday that the March Madness tournament will be played without fans, and even American TV talk shows like “Live With Kelly and Ryan” and “The View” began filming Wednesday without studio audiences.

Trudeau said Canada’s government is considering more measures to contain COVID-19, such as what to do with incoming cruise ships, on which the disease has been known to spread.

He said Canada has been fortunate so far but warned cases could climb. He demurred on when the government would opt for stricter measures like community-wide lockdowns, such as those in China and Italy.

“It’s not about time. It’s about the situation and the facts on the ground. We will closely monitor what is needed to be done to keep Canadians safe,” Trudeau said, flanked by key ministers and Canada’s chief public health officer.

“While we are prepared for a wide range of scenarios, we will focus right now on what needs to be done now and endeavour to make sure that is enough, that we don’t have to take future steps.”

Health Minister Patty Hajdu says the government expects between 30 and 70 per cent of Canadians could be infected by the novel coronavirus if the global pandemic reaches widespread transmission in Canada.

Chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam says of those who become sick, about six per cent would likely need intensive care based on the experience of other countries.

with files from The Canadian Press

hmooney@postmedia.com


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