Posts Tagged "langley"


139 new affordable rental units open in Vancouver for seniors

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Dozens of new affordable rental units are now available for seniors with the opening of a housing redevelopment in Vancouver.

The new four-storey, wood-frame building will offer 139 spaces including studio, one bedroom and accessible one bedroom units on Vivian Street, near 49th Avenue. 

“This new apartment building means dozens of seniors will be able to stay living in Vancouver in comfortable new homes,” said Mayor Kennedy Stewart in a news release. 

“Partnerships are key in creating affordable housing – our number 1 priority – and we’re grateful to have worked with the provincial government and Fair Haven Homes Society to deliver this project.”

George Chow, NDP MLA for Vancouver-Fraserview, echoed the fact the development will help seniors stay in their community.

“Everyone deserves a good, affordable home, and our government will continue to work with the City of Vancouver and community partners to deliver more affordable housing for people in our community,” he said. 

The building will be operated by Fair Haven Homes Society, a non-profit that’s been offering low-cost housing for seniors for about 75 years. 

“With the addition of Vivian Apartments, and the 145 units that opened last January at the McKay Apartments, Fair Haven is proud to say that we provide homes for more than 600 seniors across Vancouver and Burnaby,” said Joy Parsons, CEO, Fair Haven Homes Society.

Some residents will begin moving in on Feb. 1, including 11 people who had lived in the building that was previously on the Vivian Street site. 

Monthly rent for the units range from $1,038 to $1,508, with some accessible units’ rates depending on whether the tenants are living on a disability pension.


Living near major traffic routes increases risk of dementia and other conditions: UBC study

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People who live less than 50 metres from a major road or less than 150 metres from a highway are at a higher risk of developing dementia or Parkinson’s disease, according to new research from UBC.

Researchers looked at 678,000 adults living in Metro Vancouver between 1994 and 1998, and then followed up with them once again from 1999 to 2003. They used postal code information to assess each person’s closeness to the road and their exposure to air pollution, noise and green spaces. They ended up identifying 13,170 cases of dementia, 4,210 cases of Parkinson’s disease, 1,277 cases of Alzheimer’s, and 658 cases of Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Researchers classified the different categories of roads based on the traffic volume and the width of the lanes.

The study’s lead author and UBC PhD candidate Weiran Yuchi told CTV News Vancouver the research found living near a major traffic route increased the risk of dementia by 14 per cent, and increased the risk of Parkinson’s by seven per cent.

“We believe that the air pollution associated with traffic actually contributes to the onset of these neurological disorders,” she said.

Due to the relatively low number of Alzheimer’s and MS cases identified, researchers were not able to link an increased risk of those diseases to air pollution, specifically. They are now studying information from across the country to try and get a better understanding of any potential connection.

There was one thing researchers found could mitigate the effects of air pollution: living within 100 metres of a green space.

“There could be several reasons,” Yuchi said. “We believe that maybe the visual presentation … actually is one possible reason. Or, you know, people who live near green space, they’re more physically active, and they pay more attention to their health, and as a result they are at less risk of developing certain neurological disorders.”

Increasing access to parks is one of the goals the City of Vancouver set in its “Greenest City Action Plan,” but according to the Park Board, it hasn’t quite hit its stated target of having everyone within a five-minute walk of a green space by this year.

Senior environment and sustainability planner Chad Townsend said in an email to CTV News Vancouver: “99 per cent of people are within a 10-minute walk of a park or green space (80% are within a five-minute walk). However, distribution is uneven and some neighbourhoods are underserved.”

He singled out Grandview-Woodland and Fairview as areas which have less park land per 1,000 residents, comparatively.

Another goal was to plant 150,000 more trees between 2010 and 2020. Townsend said the Park Board expects to achieve that goal by the end of this year.

Yuchi said in light of Canada’s aging population, the study’s authors are hoping that city planners will take their findings to heart and find ways to increase access to green spaces while reducing traffic.

“The number of cases of neurological disorders are forecast to increase dramatically,” Yuchi said. “Neurological disorders (are) actually one of (the) leading causes of death and disability globally, and we know little about the risk factors of neurological disorders, so therefore we think that it’s necessary for people to pay more attention to neurological health.” 


Meghan Murphy threatens legal action if Vancouver library rejects March event

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A controversial feminist speaker who argues against the rights of transgender women says she’ll pursue legal action if the Vancouver Public Library rejects the booking for her next event.

The last time Meghan Murphy spoke at the library, in January 2019, dozens of people turned up to protest her more contentious views – including the belief that trans women should be excluded from various services, programs and spaces shared by cisgender women.

The library cited a commitment to free speech and intellectual freedom for the decision to provide space for that event, but the ensuing complaints and controversy prompted the VPL to update its policy on renting out rooms and facilities. That update has resulted in a delay in booking Murphy’s next event, which is being planned for March 21.

A spokesperson for the library told CTV News that staff are “conducting a rental pre-screening and risk assessment,” but could not say how long that might take.

The new policy prohibits events that promote hate speech or violate B.C.’s Human Rights Code, which has contained specific protections for transgender people since 2016.

In particular, the policy bars the “publication, issuing or display of any material that indicates discrimination or an intention to discriminate against a person or group, or is likely to expose a person or group to hatred or contempt, because of their race, colour, ancestry, place of origin, religion, marital status, family status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or age.”

Murphy told CTV News nothing in the library’s policy would justify rejecting her upcoming event, which is being advertised under the name “For females only: Sports, spaces, and safety.”

“Certainly nothing that’s ever happened at any of our other events has constituted anything close to hate speech, not by any stretch of the imagination, or a breach of the Human Rights Code,” she said in a phone interview Tuesday.

Murphy argued the library has an obligation to foster free expression, and said if it fails to allow her event, organizers “will get our lawyers involved.”

Some of the topics she’s planning to cover include concerns around trans women competing in sporting events against cisgender women and being held alongside cisgender women in prisons.

But even if the Vancouver Public Library sides with Murphy, it could face trouble.

If the event goes ahead as planned, trans activist and organizer Morgane Oger said she will pursue her own legal action in the form of a Charter case against the city, which she argued has a duty to prevent the spread of discriminatory views at its venues and meeting places.

“Yes, I have a right as a human being to say whatever I want and to think whatever I want, but I don’t necessarily have the right to be hosted or enabled by the government to do that,” Oger said.

Trans women are part of a vulnerable population, Oger added, and the idea of forcing them to use separate bathrooms and services is comparable to racial segregation.

She argued the VPL wouldn’t have any problem rejecting an event where speakers advocated for pushing a different minority group out of shared women’s spaces.

“They would never allow it, but they allow this,” Oger said. “I think that’s appalling.”

Murphy told CTV News she believes trans women, who she describes as “males,” need to be protected from discrimination, but not if their rights impede those of cisgender women. Oger argued the concept simply doesn’t make sense.

“That is a hierarchy, and she is not entitled to a hierarchy. Women’s rights don’t come before racial rights, they don’t come before religious rights,” Oger said.  


RCMP appeal for witnesses in suspected impaired driving crash

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Burnaby RCMP are asking witnesses to a possible impaired driving crash that sent a 30-year-old motorcyclist to hospital on Christmas Day to come forward.

The crash involved a navy Volkswagen Golf and a motorcycle and took place in the westbound lanes of Canada Way between Imperial and Edmonds streets.

The motorcycle rider remains in hospital with serious injuries. The 30-year-old male driver of the Volkswagen was arrested on scene for suspected impaired driving, according to police.

“Police have reviewed CCTV footage from a nearby home which showed that a number of vehicles slowed and passed by prior to and just after the collision occurred,” said Burnaby RCMP in a statement. “We would ask the occupants of these vehicles to contact us, even if they did not witness the actual collision taking place.”

Mounties are also asking any drivers with dashcam video to contact them at 606-646-9999 or call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477.


These were the top 10 most ridiculous 911 calls in B.C. in 2019

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A too-small parking spot. A bad haircut. Police being “too loud” when responding to an emergency.

Every year, British Columbia’s 911 dispatch centre, E-Comm, releases its top 10 most ridiculous calls that are not an emergency. It’s an attempt to educate the public about when you should – and shouldn’t – call 911.

The 911 service is for life or death situations only, but dispatchers say that this year they noticed an emerging trend of callers who knew their situation wasn’t an emergency, but called 911 anyway to get general information.

At the top spot this year is the caller who complained about a hotel parking spot that was too small. Next is the bad hair styling job, followed by a complaint about a neighbour’s late night vacuuming.

Callers were also upset about a coin laundry machine that didn’t have enough water, asked why traffic is so bad, and asked police to come shovel their car out of snow.

Some people asked questions that are better answered by other public information services, like DriveBC, a website the province’s Ministry of Transportation runs to inform the public about traffic conditions.

Others, like a question about water restrictions E-Comm dispatchers received, should be directed towards municipalities.

The list of top 10 calls was rounded out by a report of a broken ATM, and a complaint about a gas station that wouldn’t let the caller use its washroom.

Even though the calls appear to be ridiculous, E-Comm dispatchers need to stay on the call until they’ve established there isn’t an actual emergency. For example, a woman in Ohio called a 911 dispatcher earlier this year and pretended to order a pizza, when she actually needed police to respond to domestic violence in her home.

Kaila Butler, a communications specialist with E-Comm, said the dispatch centre doesn’t recommend callers use ruses like the pizza call, but dispatchers are trained to listen to background noises and ascertain whether something more serious is going on.

That means that each truly frivolous call takes up valuable time when dispatchers could be dealing with actual emergencies.


Man caught on camera stealing coffee shop tip jar, police say

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Mounties on Vancouver Island are investigating the theft of employee tips from a coffee shop.

The incident occurred on Dec. 23 at a Serious Coffee shop on Sooke Road in Sooke, according to an RCMP release.

Police say they received a report that someone had entered the business around 3:15 p.m. that day and taken the employee tip jar off the counter. Security camera footage shows a man carrying the tip jar toward the washroom, police said. The jar was later found in the washroom, empty.

Police describe the suspect as a white man between 45 and 50 years old. In surveillance video, he is wearing a dark jacket and a dark toque with an “Air Jordan” logo on it. He has dark-coloured facial hair, which appears to have some grey in it.

Anyone with information related to the theft or the suspect is asked to call Sooke RCMP at 250-642-5241. Tips can also be provided anonymously via Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.


13-year-old victim of Burnaby hit-and-run speaks out

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The victim of this week’s hit-and-run in Burnaby is now sharing his story.

Joseph Gebreyes was walking to the Edmonds Community Centre to meet up with some friends Monday afternoon just after 5 p.m. when the crash happened.

“I was walking up the road and that was the last thing I remembered,” explained Gebreyes.

The 13-year-old had just passed the intersection of 17th and Humphries avenues when he was hit by an unknown vehicle.

RCMP say the driver fled.

Another driver came across his unconscious body a short time later and called 911.

His mother says she was shocked when she got the call about what had happened.

“I go to my neighbour to ask for a ride because I don’t have control, control of my emotions,” said Milagro Guillen, describing the moment she heard the news.

Guillen rushed to his side, but when she arrived, he was so disorientated he didn’t recognize anything.

“I remember waking up in the hospital and then they told me what happened,” said the teen.

Doctors at Royal Columbian Hospital then described to him the long road to recovery ahead.

“They told me I had a broken femur and that I had to do surgery to fix it,” Gebreyes told CTV News.

He also had a concussion, a fat lip, and major bruising.

“They put pins in my leg,” said the teen as he pointed to full length leg cast.

The recovery time is at least six weeks, but he was discharged from the hospital late Christmas Day.

“I was pretty mad because I couldn’t spend much time with my family because they were just taking care of me in the hospital,” said Gebreyes.

The family’s challenges are just beginning.

The weight of the cast makes using crutches a struggle, and the family’s apartment is not large enough to use a wheelchair.

As a result, Guillen has had to take time off of work to be a full-time caregiver.

The single mom says because their home is no longer accessible, they now have to move.

“He’s not eating because he doesn’t want to have to go to the bathroom,” explained Fevan Mengastu, his aunt, as she pointed to the narrow doorway to his bedroom.

“To heal fast, he has to eat,” said Mengastu, adding that she’s concerned that their current living situation is only adding to his suffering.

RCMP made an appeal to the driver on Christmas Eve, asking the person to surrender to police.

Gebreyes’ older brother Elias says he’s disappointed the driver didn’t call for help.

“It upset me a lot, because he (the driver) didn’t know how he was going to be, if he was dead or live,” said the elder Gebreyes.

“When he hit him, he hit all of them,” said Mengastu gesturing to her family.

She says she’s frustrated that what should have been a joyous occasion was ruined for her nephews.

“This is Christmas,” she said. “No tree, nothing. And in the hospital. And I’m just really mad.”

Gebreyes is a Grade 8 student at Byrne Creek Community School.

He’ll have to take several weeks off to recover and will also be forced to quit the school’s basketball team.

“It’s over,” he said. “I can’t play.”

He’s worried he will never fully recover.

“My leg will never be the same as before,” he said.

Burnaby RCMP do not have a description of the suspect or the vehicle.

They’re asking anyone who saw anything suspicious – such as a vehicle speeding or skidding away – to contact them.

Police are also looking for security camera or dash cam footage from that day.

The public can get in touch with Burnaby RCMP by calling 604-646-9999. Tips can also be provided anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. 


Hit-and-run in Burnaby left 13-year-old boy with broken bones and concussion

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Burnaby RCMP say they’re continuing to investigate a hit-and-run on Monday that left a 13-year-old boy with serious injuries.

The boy was struck by a car at around 5:00 p.m. on Monday at 17th Avenue and Humphries Street, and was transported to hospital with broken bones and a concussion. The intersection is in a residential area several blocks east of Edmonds Statijenon.

The driver suspected of hitting the young boy did not stay at the scene, police say.

Police have no description of the vehicle and are asking the public for help to locate the driver and vehicle. RCMP are asking that if you were in the area between 5:00 and 5:45 p.m. and witnessed anything suspicious, such as a vehicle speeding or skidding, to contact them immediately. Police are also looking for CCTV or dash cam footage.

The public can get in touch with Burnaby RCMP by calling 604-646-9999 or anonymously by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.


‘People think it’s bad. It’s 10 times worse’: residents, businesses want decampment at Oppenheimer Park

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Grace Chen has owned and operated the Ovaltine Café for the last 20 years, but as the tent city in Oppenheimer Park has exploded with campers in recent years, the neighbourhood has changed, she told CTV News Vancouver on Sunday.

“It’s really hard,” she said. “I need to pay more but the price cannot go up, people cannot afford that.”

Chen told CTV News she wants to help the campers, give them good food to eat and a safe place to be, but it’s tough, because she’s regularly kicking people out of her bathroom.

“They sleep there, they do the drug there and they take toilet paper, soap away, so my regular customers, they’re not happy with the washroom,” Chen said.

She also said she doesn’t feel safe when she arrives and leaves work in the dark, because of the violence in the neighbourhood. She’s even altered the hours of her business, closing at 6 p.m. instead of midnight.

“I need more customers,” she said.

A shooting Thursday evening sent a man to hospital in serious condition. It was the second shooting in the area since October. Vancouver police have been warning of a significant increase in weapons, violence and calls for service at the campsite, as gangs compete for territory in the park.

“It’s not a good neighbourhood,” said Don Smeal, who lives nearby. “People think it’s bad. It’s 10 times worse. I stumble over bodies every day, I think. Hard to believe I live here.”

All this has renewed calls for the Vancouver Park Board, which runs Oppenheimer Park, to take action. Last week, park board commissioners agreed to a conditional injunction, which means they will allow the city to move in, once certain conditions are met. Park board staff want a third party brought in to assess the situation. They want the entire process done with principles of reconciliation and in consultation with those living in the park.

Chen said she wants government officials to “do something to help [campers] to find a place to live with winter coming,” adding, “It’s not safe.”

Park Board commissioners have not set a timeline on when they will take the steps towards the injunction.

“Before, the park was so beautiful,” Chen told CTV News. “I miss that time.” 


Just $10 per capita spent at legal B.C. cannabis stores in first year

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OTTAWA – Canadians spent about $908 million on non-medical cannabis in the first year since legalization, but online sales dropped as more brick-and-mortar locations opened, said Statistics Canada.

Canadians spent $907,833,000 on non-medical cannabis between October 2018 and September 2019, the agency said, which works out to $24 per capita.

Canada legalized cannabis on Oct. 17, 2018, becoming the second country in the world – after Uruguay – to legalize the drug. Demand initially appeared to outstrip supply as retailers warned of a pending shortfall of product.

Over the year, demand appeared to be highest in the sparsely populated Yukon where sales per capita led the other provinces and territories at $103, according to Statistics Canada. It was not able to provide data for Nunavut – the only area without a physical store.

Prince Edward Island sales per capita were the second highest at $97, while B.C. ranked lowest at $10.

Throughout the year, Canadians’ access to cannabis stores increased. The number of retail stores jumped from 217 this past March to 407 in July, according to the agency.

Alberta boasts the highest number of stores at 176 and B.C. took second place with 57 stores. Nunavut had the fewest with zero, followed by Prince Edward Island and the Yukon, both of which have four.

Nineteen per cent of Canadians lived three kilometres from a cannabis store as of July 2019. Thirty per cent lived 30 kilometres away and 45 per cent lived within 10 kilometres.

Albertans enjoyed the closest proximity to a store of any province, with half of the population living within three kilometres of a cannabis outlet. That figure rises to 63 per cent for five kilometres and 70 per cent for 10 kilometres.

Ontarians lived the furthest from cannabis stores on average. Nine per cent of the population resided three kilometres from a cannabis store. Eighteen per cent lived five kilometres away and 33 per cent were 10 kilometres away.

As the number of physical stores increased, the share of online sales dropped from 43.4 per cent in October 2018 to 5.9 per cent in September 2019.

“While online cannabis retail ensures access to all Canadians regardless of proximity to a physical store, accessibility continues to improve as more stores open across the country,” wrote Statistics Canada in its paper.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 11, 2019.

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