Posts Tagged "BCs"


These provincial parks near B.C.’s Lower Mainland are still closed despite reopening plan

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While many of B.C.’s provincial parks reopened to the public Thursday, some Lower Mainland parks are still closed, leading to confusion for locals.

Last week, the province announced parks would reopen in time for the May long weekend, but didn’t say in a news release or news conference which ones would stay closed.

A list was posted online, but many didn’t realize the number of parks that would stay closed.

As of Thursday, some local parks – like Cypress and Mount Seymour – still didn’t have an opening date listed on the province’s park website. 

Even so, outdoor enthusiasts began showing up at popular spots in the morning, only to be met with road blocks and closure signs.

Park staff on site told CTV News that neither Seymour or Cypress would open this week because of its proximity to the city.

“Parks that attract large crowds will remain closed until it is safe to reopen at a later date,” says a notice on the BC Parks website.

For parks that are open, front and back country trails, beaches, picnic areas, washroom facilities and boat launches at open parks will be available for day use.

And not all facilities inside the park will be available. For example, some playgrounds, hot springs, halls and picnic shelters will remain closed.

Visitor centres, nature houses and concession buildings may be opened on a case-by case basis.

More than two dozen provincial parks in the South Coast region remained shut Thursday. Some of the popular provincial parks near Metro Vancouver still closed include:

  • Cypress
  • Mount Seymour
  • Porteau Cove
  • Shannon Falls
  • Joffre Lakes
  • Garibaldi Lake

But nearby parks that are open as of Thursday include:

  • Golden Ears
  • Alice Lake
  • Cultus Lake
  • Brandywine Falls
  • Blackcomb Glacier
  • Stawamus Chief

A full list of open parks can be seen on the province’s website. 

Camping to reopen in June

Officials are expected to reopen most provincial campgrounds and back-country camping by June 1. 

Additional spacing between campsites and limitations on the number of guests in campgrounds will be in place to maintain physical distancing. 

BC Parks says communal facilities such as shower buildings will be available with enhanced cleaning protocols. 

But campgrounds that require visitors to use shared cooking facilities and backcountry cabins will remain closed. Backcountry campgrounds in some parks with high day use will also remain closed.

Officials are asking the public to only visit parks that are close to home. They’re also reminding visitors to practice physical distancing and good hand hygiene. 


B.C.’s top doctor advises against travel as 15 new COVID-19 cases and 3 deaths announced | CBC News

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The highlights:

  • 15 more people have been diagnosed with COVID-19. 
  • 3 more people have died in the past 24 hours.
  • There have been a total of 2,392 cases and 135 people have died.
  • 1,885 people have recovered. 
  • 58 people are in hospital, 12 of them in the ICU.
  • No new community outbreaks.
  • No new outbreaks in long-term care homes.
  • 15 outbreaks continue in long-term care homes, 4 in acute care.
  • Superior Poultry Plant in Coquitlam reopens. 

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is asking British Columbians to avoid travelling during the long weekend as new cases of coronavirus continue to appear. 

The May long weekend may be the “unofficial” start to summer but this summer will be different, Henry said.

“This year, with the risk that we continue to have in our communities across this province, we need to look at plans on a much narrower frame,” she said.

“Let’s make this our summer of care and consideration for our families, our communities and our province. A summer for us all to remember to be kind, to be calm and to be safe.”

Although this would usually be the time of year to plan summer activities in advance, Henry said to think of the next couple weeks instead of months as COVID-19 continues to pose a threat.

Instead of travelling to other communities this weekend, she suggests hiking at a local park, visiting a farmers market or having a picnic.

On Thursday, B.C. Parks reopened facilities like front and backcountry trails, beaches, picnic areas, washroom facilities and boat launches for day use.

Campgrounds are set to reopen June 1. 

On Tuesday, the province will enter the second phase of its gradual reopening plan.

WorkSafeBC is working with the province to create guidelines for different sectors, as they prepare to reopen, to ensure staff and customers are safe.

Henry acknowledged that while some businesses and consumers are eager for the gradual reopening, hesitation remains. 

She said the province is “not going to get everything perfect” as it reopens, but that it’s doing everything it can and is learning from other parts of the world during this extraordinary circumstance.

“I think it’s going to be something we’re going to have to work through together,” Henry said. 

“We’re just going to have to take it slowly and err on the side of caution the best we can.”

Surgeries being rescheduled 

B.C. has the capacity to test 7,000 people a day and anyone who has symptoms of COVID-19 can be tested. 

It’s still not known how the virus will behave in the future or how long immunity might last for those who have recovered, and B.C. does not have “herd immunity” to prevent transmission of the virus, Henry said.

B.C. has not had any cases of Kawasaki Syndrome that are related to COVID-19. The rare inflammatory illness can be an effect of the body’s reaction to viruses and other infections and has been linked to children’s deaths in the U.S.

Two serology tests have been approved for use in Canada and B.C. is currently validating which test it will want to use, Henry said. 

The province will be closely watching what happens in the next two weeks in terms of the virus spreading, she added. 

Until more questions can be answered through antibody testing or an eventual vaccine, measures like physical distancing will remain in place in some capacity in stores and on public transit, she said.

The number of people in hospital and critical care is coming down, said Health Minister Adrian Dix.

However, the occupancy rate in hospitals has gone up slightly — a sign, he said, that health care resources are being used for needs other than COVID-19.

The province is also working to reschedule 6,883 surgeries that were cancelled or postponed. People awaiting surgery will be contacted, Dix said. 

Several outbreaks over in Fraser Health 

On Thursday, Fraser Health provided updates on several COVID-19 outbreaks in the region.

The health authority rescinded the closure order it enforced on April 24 at Superior Poultry Processors in Coquitlam. An outbreak at the plant sickened more than 60 people, but it has met the requirements of the order and has reopened.

Plexiglass shields have been installed between workers, production has been slowed and PPE is being used, said Dr. Martin Lavoie, chief medical health officer for Fraser Health.

There remain two active cases at Mission Institution, where 120 inmates tested positive for coronavirus. There have been no new cases at the federal prison since May 1.

An outbreak at the Worthington Pavilion Rehabilitation Unit, an acute care site in Abbotsford, has been declared over. Outbreaks have also been declared over at Swedish Assisted Living Residence in Burnaby and Chartwell Cedarbrooke Retirement Residence in Mission.

In April, Fraser Health issued an order for gyms and fitness centres to close. Lavoie said the health authority is considering lifting that order “in the very near future,” but that details on how to reopen safely are still being worked out.

Fraser Health is also beginning to reschedule elective surgeries that were postponed. 

If you have a COVID-19-related story we should pursue that affects British Columbians, please email us at impact@cbc.ca


Applications to open for B.C.’s $1,000 emergency benefit

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Applications for B.C.’s emergency benefit during the novel coronavirus pandemic are set to open Friday.

The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers is a one-time $1,000 payment available to residents whose work has been impacted during the COVID-19 crisis. 

The online application is set to open on May 1, but as of 6:30 a.m., it wasn’t available yet. Later in the morning, Finance Minister Carole James is expected to speak on the opening of the application. 

CTVNewsVancouver.ca will stream the news conference LIVE @ 9:30 a.m.

Announced last month, the benefit is available to those who have also been approved for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Applicants must also be at least 15 years of age and have been a resident on March 15. They also must have filed or agree to file a 2019 B.C. income tax return. Individuals receiving provincial income assistance or disability assistance aren’t eligible. 

“During these uncertain times, we want to get through this together by helping displaced workers support themselves and their families,” said James in a statement about the benefit. 

While a link is expected to be added to the province’s website on Friday, those who would rather apply over the phone can do so on Monday. 

Watch an American Sign Language translation of the news conference on the provincial government’s YouTube page.

With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Kendra Mangione

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.  


Applications now open for B.C.’s $1,000 emergency benefit

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Applications for B.C.’s emergency benefit during the novel coronavirus pandemic are now open.

The B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers is a one-time $1,000 payment available to residents whose work has been impacted during the COVID-19 crisis. 

At about 8:30 a.m., the online applications opened to the public. Later in the morning, Finance Minister Carole James is expected to speak about the benefit.

CTVNewsVancouver.ca will stream the news conference LIVE @ 9:30 a.m.

Announced last month, the benefit is available to those who have also been approved for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit. Applicants must also be at least 15 years of age and have been a resident on March 15. They also must have filed or agree to file a 2019 B.C. income tax return. Individuals receiving provincial income assistance or disability assistance aren’t eligible. 

“During these uncertain times, we want to get through this together by helping displaced workers support themselves and their families,” said James in a statement about the benefit. 

While a link was added to the province’s website on Friday, those who would rather apply over the phone can do so on Monday. 

Watch an American Sign Language translation of the news conference on the provincial government’s YouTube page.

With files from CTV News Vancouver’s Kendra Mangione

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.  


What is B.C.’s plan for residents on income and disability assistance? Update to come

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The province is expected to provide information Thursday on its plan for residents receiving income and disability assistance.

The minister of social development and poverty reduction will address media at a news conference in Vancouver.

CTVNewsVancouver.ca will stream the news conference LIVE @ 10 a.m.

No details have been provided in the advisory other than that Shane Simpson will discuss “temporary COVID-19 supports and supplements.”

An American Sign Language translation of today’s news conference is available on the provincial government’s YouTube page

This article is developing. Check back for updates.



$300 monthly supplement: Here is B.C.’s plan for residents on income and disability assistance

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The province will provide a $300 supplement each month for some residents who currently receive income and disability assistance.

The crisis supplement will be offered for the next three months, the minister of social development and poverty reduction said.

The $300 a month is for those who are not eligible for emergency federal programs like the $2,000 Canada Emergency Response Benefit.

For those who are eligible for those programs, the province will temporarily exempt federal employment insurance benefits, including the CERB, for the next three months. This is to allow those already getting assistance to benefit from new federal support programs without reductions to their monthly payments, Minister Shane Simpson explained.

The $300 will also be available to low-income seniors who receive the province’s Senior’s Supplement, and those who receive income or disability assistance and live in special care facilities.

The ministry says this supplement will be automatically added to cheques for those who are eligible.

“We are putting in place measures that complement the federal crisis measures to support our most vulnerable populations and ensure they do not fall deeper into poverty as a result of COVID-19,” Simpson said during a news conference Thursday.

“This is a stressful time for everyone, but for those struggling to put food on the table at the best of times, it is important that we ensure there are no additional barriers to get what they need to keep themselves and their families safe and healthy.”

Simpson added that, due to fare suspensions from BC Transit and TransLink, the province will provide anyone who uses the BC Bus Pass Program, and is on some type of assistance, with a $52 transportation supplement for as long as fares aren’t being charged.

The supplement will be part of the next cheque those individuals receive, and will be added on each month going forward.

Those who’ve purchased passes through the program on their Compass Card will not see those passes cancelled, so they don’t need to reapply in the future.

Funding for the initiatives announced Thursday is part of B.C.’s $5-billion COVID-19 action plan, which also includes relief for renters, taxpayers and residents suddenly out of work.


Your rights in a pandemic: What B.C.’s human rights commissioner wants you to know

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Human rights and civil liberties must be balanced against the safety and health of the public during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to B.C.’s human rights commissioner.

“Human rights are never more important than in times of crisis. It is precisely when they are hardest to to fulfill that they are the most important,” Commissioner Kasari Govender said in a video address posted to YouTube.

“It is in these challenging times that it becomes critical for us to know our human rights, for us to understand the scope and protections here in B.C., and for all of us to place human rights in the centre of our decision making.”

Govender released a statement Tuesday saying decisions that limit human rights and civil liberties “must be evidence-based, proportionate to the public health risk, temporary and transparent.” 

“Like any other context, we must be vigilant about how racism, economic inequalities and classism, ableism, ageism and misogyny may all be factors in how people are treated and how people experience the pandemic,” she said.

A comprehensive policy statement from the commissioner and available online is intended to provide guidance to “employers, landlords, service providers and each of us as individuals about how to ensure that human rights are protected and balanced against urgent public health priorities.”

Govender says in the absence of the Human Right Tribunal or the courts being able to weigh in on whether COVID-19 amount to a disability, she says she believes it does.

“The seriousness of this illness – and the potential stigma that attaches to it – make it more akin to the legal protections that apply to HIV than to the common cold,” the policy statement says.

Discrimination on the basis of race, colour, ancestry or place of origin is also prohibited. This means that discrimination against someone who comes from a COVID-19 hotspot, like China or Italy, is prohibited. Restrictions based on recent travel may be considered reasonable, and not discriminatory, based on guidance from public health officials.

Below are just some of the findings of the full report


“Employers cannot make hiring, discipline or firing decisions on the basis of whether a person has, or appears to have COVID-19. However, it is not discriminatory to lay off employees if there is no work for them to do because of the impacts of COVID-19,” the document says.

It goes on to say employers are required to accommodate workers who may have had the virus and precautions must be taken to prevent further spread within a workplace, which could include providing sick leave or letting employees work from home.

Employers cannot discipline employees unable to come to work because medical or public health officials have told them to self-isolate or enter self-quarantine in connection to the virus.

Protections must also be in place for workers with compromised immune systems or the elderly, which could include additional cleaning or allowing employees to work from home. 

“Employers may also need to accommodate employees with increased child care obligations due to the pandemic. Protections related to family status may require employers to take all actions short of undue hardship to accommodate family care giving responsibilities where an employee is unable to cover the necessary care through other means.”

It also says employers should not require sick notes during this time due to the burden they would place on the medical system.

Service providers

There is also direction for service providers, which include everything from health care, to homeless shelters, to food vendors.

The report says “service providers cannot turn away someone seeking assistance or services because that person appears to have COVID-19, unless it is necessary to keep themselves or others virus-free and there is no way (short of undue hardship) to do so otherwise.”

It also places grocery stores and pharmacies should consider creating times for vulnerable people such as the elderly to shop without other customers. That is something that is already being done by many places across Canada and in Metro Vancouver. 

Housing providers

The report says landlords cannot turn away an application, harass a tenant, or evict someone because they have, or appear to have, COVID-19. The landlord is required to take precautions though, which includes cleaning common areas in buildings like elevators to help stop the spread.

Landlords may not turn away or evict tenants that have ties to COVID-19 hotspots (like China or Italy).

The commissioner is also urging landlords (though not required by law) to delay evictions due to non-payment of rent during the pandemic. 

Public impacts

The office of the human rights commissioner is looking for public feedback on how the pandemic is affecting lives in B.C., including details about barriers and discrimination British Columbians may be facing. 



Town Talk: Bob Rennie cues builders on B.C.’s ‘demographic crunch’

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Here readying an at-home dinner for 70 art collectors and professionals, Bob Rennie later addressed building contractors on the “demographic crunch” he said will add “another Vancouver, Burnaby, New West and Coquitlam.”

Malcolm Parry / PNG

CRYSTAL BALLING: Realtor Bob Rennie and his Rennie Group’s intelligence VP, Andrew Ramlo, helped Independent Contractors and Business Association conventioneers digest their bacon and eggs recently. The association president, Chris Gardner, had already told breakfasting colleagues that trade workers’ wages will increase by 5.2 per cent this year, that 54 per cent of contractors can’t obtain enough workers, and that only the Slovak Republic is slower than B.C. among 35 jurisdictions issuing building permits. Rennie and Ramlo’s “demographic crunch” projections included Canadian immigration admissions surging to 350,000 by 2021 (B.C.’s share to be 15 per cent). An aging population and climate change will be the economy’s greatest challenges, they said. Meanwhile, housing the Lower Mainland’s one million more residents by 2040 will require “another Vancouver, Burnaby, New West and Coquitlam.” And though, in constant dollars, millennials’ median household after-tax income exceeds Generation X’s and Baby Boomers’ by 32 per cent, their debt-to-after-tax-income is almost twice as high at 216 per cent. Rennie’s problem: “Twenty years from now, who’s going to be my lawyer, bring my bedpan and pay my taxes?”

Krista Howard chose Railtown as the venue for the Howard495 art gallery-office she’s added to her 14-year business advising global collectors.

Malcolm Parry /


GIRLY RISER: After 14 years as a global art adviser, Krista Howard has launched a physical gallery and office, Howard495, in the Railtown district. Her debut show, titled Girlie Pics, Someone Else’s History, featured work — some of it a little spicy girlie — by mostly female artists familiar to her existing clients. Catriona Jeffries’ influential gallery recently located nearby on East Cordova’s 900 block. The Monica Reyes Gallery has long operated at Hastings-at-Princess. We’ll likely see more.

David Rowntree and wife Leah whose Curious Minds Productions will launch a current-issues mediation podcast called Hungry Mind, Open Hearts.

Malcolm Parry /


HIGHER LEAH: Raised in a socialist household, Leah Costello sang in a Salmon Arm-based Hawaiian band, sought North Vancouver’s federal Tory nomination, managed Fraser Institute events, produced policy-issue videos, and founded Curious Minds Productions and the Bon Mot Book Club. The latter’s readings featured such diverse authors as former Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf, U.S. vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin, Canadian media meteorite Conrad Black and John Cleese of the Monty Python’s Flying Circus TV series. After shelving that project, Costello married the Highland West Capital managing director and former Douglas & McIntyre book-publishing firm partner, David Rowntree. Now, as Leah Rowntree, she’s planning a podcast titled Hungry Mind, Open Heart to talk about current issues. There’s a Hawaiian song for that: I Hei Anau — How Far I’ll Go.

Architect Michael Green worked on Malaysia’s Petronas Towers when their Star of David-shaped cross-section had to be modified to an Islamic pattern.

Malcolm Parry /


FREE-LUNCH DIVIDEND: Science World’s Lego-skyscrapers exhibition reminds architect Michael Green of his first job. Before designing and advocating mass-wood highrises, Green assisted César Pelli on Kuala Lumpur’s reinforced-concrete Petronas Towers. At 452 metres, the 1996 structures were the world’s tallest until 2004. Green recalls clients nixing Pelli’s original design because his tower cross-sections resembled the six-pointed Star of David. When redrawn with two more to suggest the Muslim Rub El Hizb symbol, and with further facets added, Pelli got the go-ahead. Green has given himself the same for a vegetarian-vegan book based on his lunchtime feeding of Michael Green Architecture’s 65 staff. Its second section will address how “serving food builds culture, connections and collaboration,” and a third “the financial benefits of all businesses giving lunch.” Have your cake and eat it, that is.

Laura Gildner received the $5,000 Philip B. Lind Emerging Artist Prize from its founder at Polygon Gallery where it and others will show to March 16.

Malcolm Parry /


ART START: North Vancouver’s Polygon Gallery was packed recently when Laura Gildner received the fifth-annual Philip B. Lind Emerging Artist Prize of $5,000. “Being an artist is very hard; I admire you immensely,” Rogers Communications vice chair Lind said to prize contenders. Many feel that way about Lind, who survived a 1998 stroke to continue his 40-year guidance of communications entrepreneur Ted Rogers. Gildner’s work, Informer, contains eight life-size video images addressing viewers. Visit the Polygon gallery exhibition before March 16 to see how artists emerge.

Seen here with nurse-practitioner April Stewart (right), retiring gynecological oncologist-researcher Dr. Dianne Miller will now train more Ugandan cancer surgeons.

Malcolm Parry /


GOOD ONE GOES: Hospital staff and patients will miss Dr. Dianne Miller who has completed 30 years as a gynecological oncologist and researcher. She received a Vancouver Coastal Health lifetime-achievement award in 2019 that recognized her “revolutionizing the care and prevention of ovarian cancer for women in B.C. and all over the world.” Miller will now spend up to three months a year teaching gynecological-cancer surgery techniques to Ugandan practitioners.

Rather than costume herself for Beaumont Studios’ Robot Dance Party, artist Noa Ben-Mazia, aka Noya, created an immobile partner named BroBot3E5.

Malcolm Parry /


BOT BALL: Beaumont Studios founder-owner Jude Kusnierz’s recent Robot Dance Party drew participants attired in costumes that could hamper the actual dancing. Artist Noa Ben-Mazia — she goes by Noya — avoided that by creating a life-sized but inanimate robot named BroBot3E5 that, with further tweaking, may master a few dance steps for next year’s wingding.

Despite Disney’s Bambi remake, animator Marv Newland left his Bambi Meets Godzilla unrevised to work on Lisbon-premiering Katalog of Flaws.

Malcolm Parry /


NO DEER: Much-honoured animator Marv Newland won’t follow the Disney studio’s proposed remake of Bambi by updating his own Bambi Meets Godzilla. The Mayne Island resident and International Rocketship Ltd. founder-principal usually pooh-poohs talk of the 1969 cult-classic he made while studying at Pasadena’s ArtCenter College of Design. Newland does have a new movie, though. Containing contributions by 15 global colleagues, his Katalog of Flaws will premiere at the 20th annual Monstra Animation Festival in Lisbon, Portugal, on March 19.

DOWN PARRYSCOPE: My next column will be published March 14.



B.C.’s first baby of 2020 surprised mom and dad with an early arrival, at 12:01 a.m.

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The 4-lb., 10-oz. preemie her parents are calling Clarita until they settle on a name interrupted preparations for her parents’ New Year’s Eve party with her entrance by emergency C-section at Royal Columbian Hospital

Arlen Redekop / PNG

Claire Tabuada and her husband, Jhamel thought they had more than a week to prepare for their baby’s birth so delivering B.C.’s first New Year’s baby of 2020 at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday was a surprise.

“We’re tired but we’re happy and excited,” said Claire, about 11 hours after an emergency C-section at Royal Columbian Hospital, as she cradled her daughter in her one and only outfit and answered questions from the media.

The Coquitlam couple have yet to settle on a name — they’re calling her “Clarita,” the pet name Jhamel has had for her since Claire was six weeks pregnant — and the newborn will remain in the natal intensive care unit for a few days because she was premature and weighs only 4 lbs., 10 oz.

As Clarita slept, Claire said the baby’s due date was Jan. 30 and she had a C-section scheduled for Jan. 9 but when her water broke, they dropped preparations for a New Year’s Eve party to get to the hospital.

“She had a planned C-section at 37 weeks but mom’s water broke when she was at 35 weeks and six days so she came to the hospital as she’s supposed to,” said Dr. Kathy Jones, who assisted at the birth.

While waiting for a turn in the operating room, Claire wasn’t thinking about having a New Year’s baby but was instead practising her faith.

Throughout the evening she took several breaks in the washroom “just to pray and (say), like, ‘Lord, guide me what to do.’”

Jones said hospital staff in a maternity ward are aware when it’s New Year’s Eve because “it is extra exciting” but they can’t time a delivery for after midnight because of factors out of their control.

“Everybody is just working at pace,” she said.

Claire’s C-section wasn’t “absolutely urgent” and it was 11:10 p.m. by the time she was brought into the operating room.

But she was bumped by a more urgent surgery and by the time she was taken back in and prepped, it was 11:55 p.m., said Jones.

She noted the time but thought, “It’s hard to know how this one is going to go.”

The C-section went relatively smoothly and Clarita was delivered at a minute past midnight, as captured by a nurse’s photo.

“Had that baby come out a little more efficiently, she might not have been the New Year’s baby,” said Jones.

But she said, “We were all rooting for them” to have the first 2020 baby.

Mom and dad, Claire and Jhamel Tabuada, hold their new born baby girl, born 4 lbs, 10 oz at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday at Royal Columbian Hospital in New Westminster.

Arlen Redekop /


The birth of the Tabuadas’ baby girl is made more joyful and poignant by the fact that the couple’s first child, Jaden, a boy, was delivered stillbirth at 37 weeks about two-and-a-half years ago, and the grief still causes Claire tears.

“Having this in our arms, it’s priceless,” she said. “She’s healthy, that’s all that matters.”

Claire, 39, is on maternity leave from her job at the deli counter at the Great Canadian SuperStore. Jhamel, 37, works as a painter at Coast Mountain Bus Co.

Health officials said they expect Claire and Clarita to go home in the next couple of days.

Clarita will share a Jan. 1 birthday with the first baby born on Vancouver Island at 12:17 a.m. It’s a boy, 8 lbs., 3 oz., born at Victoria General, according to Island Health. He and his family, who were not named, are from Sooke.

And in the Interior, Kelsey and Brian McCune of Kelowna welcomed a baby girl, weighing 5 lbs., 3 oz., at 6:02 a.m. at Kelowna General Hospital, Interior Health said in a tweet.


Report from B.C.’s police complaint review committee shows 38 recommendations

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A special committee of the B.C. legislature reviewing the province’s police complaint process makes 38 recommendations to increase the efficiency, effectiveness and accessibility of the complaint process.

The five member all-party committee held public hearings last June and met with representatives from the Office of the Police Complaint Commissioner and the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General.

Committee Chairwoman New Democrat Rachna Singh says among their 38 recommendations are ensuring supports are available to allow complainants to initiate complaints in respectful and safe environments.

The committee review also recommends the commissioner continue to promote dispute resolution to resolve complaints and it suggests changing the Police Act to ensure a retired judge is the discipline authority for a police chief or deputy chief facing complaints.

The report says audited results from the commissioner were positive with 65 per cent of the complaints filed being completed within six months, compared with 45 per cent in 2012.

The Office of the Police Complaints Commissioner says in a statement it commits to including its expanded complaint resolution and mediation programs into future plans.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 25, 2019.

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