Posts Tagged "Vancouver"

10Nov

COVID-19 update for Nov. 10: Dr. Henry nudging northern, Interior communities to adopt vaccine mandates for schools | Exposure warning for 9 Vancouver flights | 500 new cases, 5 deaths in past 24 hours

by admin

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

Article content

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Nov. 10, 2021.

Advertisement

Article content

We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.

Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS

As of the latest figures given on Nov. 9:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 210,203 (4,301 active)
• New cases since Nov. 8: 500
• Total deaths: 2,223 (5 additional deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 426 (up by 19)
• Intensive care: 124 (up by 12)
• Total vaccinations: 4,187,281 received first dose; 3,992,679 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 203,375
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 33

Advertisement

Article content

IN-DEPTH:   Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021 | in 2020


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: B.C.’s vaccine passport is here and this is how it works

COVID-19: Here’s how to get your vaccination shot in B.C.

COVID-19: Look up your neighbourhood in our interactive map of case and vaccination rates in B.C.

COVID-19: Afraid of needles? Here’s how to overcome your fear and get vaccinated

COVID-19: Five things to know about the P1 variant spreading in B.C.

COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool


LATEST NEWS on COVID-19 in B.C.

Dr. Henry nudging northern, Interior communities to adopt vaccine mandates for schools

School districts in northern and Interior B.C. communities are now being encouraged to implement vaccine mandates for staff due to high COVID-19 case counts.

Advertisement

Article content

“This week in the Interior there have been three outbreaks in schools, so yes, we are very supportive of mandates in those areas, particularly because of the risk in that community right now,” Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry told reporters on Tuesday.

But B.C. School Trustees Association president Stephanie Higginson said school boards also have to consider staffing levels and a lack of resources before deciding whether to adopt any mandates.

So far, no school district in B.C. has opted for a vaccine mandate for staff.

Higginson said advice from health officials is one of the most important factors in deciding whether a vaccine mandate is necessary, but she said school boards will have to weigh many other factors to determine the best way to continue to keep schools open. She added that boards are also looking at data that explains the source of increased COVID cases in schools.

Advertisement

Article content

“We are seeing increased cases in schools as the world has opened up. Kids are going to birthday parties or they are on the same hockey team and are not being exposed at school,” she said. “And these boards are asking, ‘Are these exposures in our staff or in students younger than 12? And, if it’s the under-12s, it is worth vaccinating all of our staff?’”

School districts have been advised by the education ministry that they will have to pay the cost of testing to accommodate staff who cannot be vaccinated for health or religious reasons. Higginson said that may also be a factor in whether a vaccine mandate is the best use of resources.

“I have heard that the major issue that we are hearing provincially is that there is a concern with our staff and students’ mental health and well-being,” she said. “So where is the best place to put resources to ensure schools stay open? A vaccine mandate has to be a last resort.”

Advertisement

Article content

Higginson expects districts will be making “very difficult decisions” in the coming weeks.

“It is a big challenge. It’s going to be thoughtful. People want to make sure there are no unintended consequences and health authority advice is going to have an impact on how people move forward with this.”

— Lisa Cordasco

Exposure warning issued for nine Vancouver flights

The BCCDC has issued exposure notices for nine flights to and from Vancouver between Nov. 1 and Nov. 7. They are:

Nov. 1
• WestJet 448, Vancouver to Winnipeg

Nov. 4
• British Airways 85, London to Vancouver

Nov. 5
• Alaska Airlines 2154, Seattle to Vancouver

Nov. 6
• Air Canada 127, Toronto to Vancouver
• Air Canada/Jazz 8827, Chicago to Vancouver
• WestJet 127, Calgary to Vancouver
• WestJet 731, Toronto to Vancouver

Advertisement

Article content

Nov. 7
• Air Canada 553, Los Angeles to Vancouver
• Air Canada 1055, Phoenix to Vancouver

Click here for the BCCDC’s full list of flight exposures.

B.C. records 500 new cases, 5 deaths in past 24 hours

There were 500 new cases and five deaths from COVID-19 reported in B.C. in the past 24 hours, according to a government pandemic update on Tuesday.

There are now 4,301 active cases in the province. That includes 426 people in hospital, of whom 124 are in critical care.

Of the new cases, 152 were in Fraser Health, followed by 121 in Interior Health, 103 in Northern Health, 76 on Vancouver Island and 48 in Vancouver Coastal Health.

Of the deaths, three were in Island Health and there was one each in Fraser Health and Northern Health. The death toll in B.C. from COVID-19 is 2,223.

Advertisement

Article content

There has been one new health-care facility outbreak at Royal Inland Hospital, for a total of 33 facilities with ongoing outbreaks. An outbreak has also been declared at Mar Jok Elementary School in Kelowna.

B.C. set to offer limited number of Johnson & Johnson vaccines

B.C. is expecting to receive a limited number of Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine from the federal government next week, said B.C. provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.

She said the first priority for the vaccine is for health-care workers facing vaccine mandates who are willing to get vaccinated with the single-shot J&J vaccine.

A limited amount will be available to the public, said Henry, who estimates there’s “a couple thousand” people who are waiting for the J&J vaccine to get immunized. “We will have some available and we will be providing you with the details next week of how you can access this through a central call-in number,” she said.

Advertisement

Article content

The J&J vaccine is a viral-vector vaccine, similar to the AstraZeneca shot. The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines use mRNA, a different technology.

About a fourth of health-care workers holdouts have received a jab: Dix

About a fourth of B.C.’s remaining unvaccinated health-care workers has now received at least a shot of a COVID-19 vaccine.

During a news briefing Tuesday, Health Minister Adrian Dix said there were 3,071 unvaccinated workers in the health-care system, down from about 4,000 two weeks ago.

Following an Oct. 26 deadline, these workers have been placed on unpaid leave, and were given until Nov. 15 to get their first dose or get fired.

Of the holdouts, 1,032 are casual workers, 989 are full-time employees, 819 are part-time workers, said Dix. Another 16 are not identified.

Advertisement

Article content

Overall, 98 per cent of B.C.’s approximately 126,000 public-sector health-care workers are fully immunized, while 97 per cent are partially vaccinated. Rates, however, vary by region. Interior Health has the highest number of unvaxxed workers.

Broken down by job status, allied health workers which include clinical pharmacists, medical laboratory technologists, occupational therapists and physiotherapists have 420 unvaccinated workers, making up two per cent.

Personnel in emergency medicine, general medicine, and among resident doctors also have a two per cent unvaccinated rate, while unvaccinated workers in internal medicine number 19, making up slightly less than one per cent.

Care aides and workers who work in the community as well as paramedics have a slightly higher unvaccinated rate, at three per cent.

Advertisement

Article content


B.C. MAP OF WEEKLY COVID CASE COUNTS, VACCINATION RATES

Find out how your neighbourhood is doing in the battle against COVID-19 with the latest number of new cases, positivity rates, and vaccination rates:


B.C. VACCINE TRACKER



LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

–with files from The Canadian Press

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

30Oct

New disaster preparedness app coming for Vancouver Island communities | CBC News

by admin

When disaster strikes, minutes can make the difference for people trying to get out of harm’s way.

A new app created by researchers at the University of British Columbia aims to reduce time spent scrambling to get organized by helping households create custom emergency response plans.

The Canadian Hazards Emergency Response and Preparedness (CHERP) app is set to launch in November and will be piloted in a handful of Vancouver Island communities including Tahsis, Tofino, Nanaimo, Oak Bay, Parksville and Qualicum Beach.

After downloading the app to a mobile device, users will be able to input details about their home and who lives there, including pets, and the app will help people create detailed, personalized plans to put into action in the case of a flood, earthquake, tsunami or other major incident.

“You name it, we go through that information and adjust those plans in the app on the fly, protecting your privacy, so that that information is customized to your individual household,” said Ryan Reynolds, a postdoctoral research fellow in the UBC School of Community and Regional Planning, whose team created CHERP.

Reynolds, speaking to Gregor Craigie, host of CBC’s On The Island, said he got the idea after speaking with people in Port Alberni, B.C., following a tsunami warning there in 2018.

He said at least 10 per cent of residents in that community were unsure if they lived in the tsunami zone and another eight per cent thought they did when they were actually not at risk.

Reynolds said it was concerning to him to see such confusion.

Now, people who use CHERP will be able to see if their house is in fact within a tsunami zone. This, he said, is critical because if people who are not at risk evacuate it can cause traffic congestion that could trap people who do need to flee.

The more information you input into the app, the more detailed the plans can be. Considerations can include whether someone menstruates, has anxiety, accessibility issues, is part of the LGBTQ+ community, is hard of hearing, or is a refugee or in Canada on a temporary visa.

Reynolds said the app is in its final development stages and his team has partnered with local governments and regional districts who, he says, will help get the word out in the coming weeks when the app will be publicly available.

He suggests people living in the above mentioned communities look to local government social media platforms for announcements on when they can download CHERP.

On The Island9:14Are you in the inundation zone if a tsunami reaches our west coast communities? We’ll speak with a UBC scientist who will be piloting a new app to provide personalized information on your household risk

Gregor Craigie spoke with Ryan P Reynolds, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the UBC School of Community and Regional Planning. Reynolds team has created the Canadian Hazards Emergency Response and Preparedness Mobile App (CHERP) app, which will be piloted in seven communities on Vancouver Island starting next month. ___________ 9:14

23Oct

COVID-19 update for Oct. 23-24: 649 new cases, 13 deaths | B.C. school boards told to determine their own vaccine policy for staff | Outbreak at North Vancouver long-term care home

by admin

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

Article content

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Oct. 23-24, 2021.

Advertisement

Article content

We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.

Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS

As of the latest figures given on Oct. 22:
• Total number of confirmed cases: 200,898 (5,106 active)
• New cases since Oct. 21: 649
• Total deaths: 2,109 (13 additional deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 365 (down by 12 patients)
• Intensive care: 143 (up by seven patients)
• Total vaccinations: 4,145,426 received first dose; 3,891,058 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 193,325
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 25 (Outbreak at Cooper Place has been declared over)

Advertisement

Article content

IN-DEPTH:   Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021 | in 2020


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: B.C.’s vaccine passport is here and this is how it works

COVID-19: Here’s how to get your vaccination shot in B.C.

COVID-19: Look up your neighbourhood in our interactive map of case and vaccination rates in B.C.

COVID-19: Afraid of needles? Here’s how to overcome your fear and get vaccinated

COVID-19: Five things to know about the P1 variant spreading in B.C.

COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool


LATEST NEWS on COVID-19 in B.C.

Here’s what you need to know about Canada’s new vaccine passports

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced on Thursday, Oct. 21, that Canada will have a standardized vaccine passport, with costs for the document covered through the federal budget.

Advertisement

Article content

But while the vaccine cards for many provinces and territories are already compatible with the federal format, B.C.’s card — one of the first rolled out in the country — is not immediately compatible, and it will take some time to harmonize the two cards, according to provincial authorities.

When will the federal vaccine card be available and how do I get one?

According to B.C.’s Ministry of Health, the federal vaccine card will be available starting Oct. 30 and can be accessed the same way people access their B.C. vaccine card: Using the health Gateway, through the Ministry of Health’s website, by phone or by mail.

Will the federal vaccine card replace our existing one or will we need both (i.e., one for restaurants, one for travel)?

Advertisement

Article content

According to Marielle Tounsi, public affairs officer with the Ministry of Health, B.C. will continue to maintain the provincial vaccine card for non-essential activities in B.C., such as restaurants and sports games, while also offering the new federal proof-of-vaccination card for those who need it to travel.

Read more HERE.

—Nathan Griffiths

B.C. school boards told to determine their own COVID-19 vaccine policy for staff

B.C.’s Education Ministry has released new guidelines to help school boards with COVID-19 vaccination policies, leaving any final decisions up to the respective boards.

The ministry says the guidelines, which include gathering data and consulting with First Nations and employee groups, will help school boards encourage vaccination in their communities and determine whether a mandatory vaccination policy works best for them.

Advertisement

Article content

The ministry says it will also work with schools, public and private, to make sure they have the tools and resources to support the process.

B.C. school boards told to determine their own COVID-19 vaccine policy for staff

VICTORIA — B.C.’s Education Ministry has released new guidelines to help school boards with COVID-19 vaccination policies, leaving any final decisions up to the respective boards.

Outbreak at North Vancouver long-term care home

Vancouver Coastal Health has declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Amica Edgemont Village after a resident and two staff tested positive for the virus.

Edgemont Village is a private care facility owned and operated by Amica Senior Lifestyles. The long-term care unit on the facility’s first floor is closed to new admissions and transfers and all group activities have been suspended. Visits to that unit have also been suspended except for essential care or compassionate visits at the end of life.

Advertisement

Article content

13 deaths, 7 more patients hospitalized

B.C. health officials reported 649 new COVID-19 cases Friday along with 13 additional deaths due to the respiratory virus.

Of the new cases, 281 were people in the Fraser Health region, 61 in Vancouver Coastal Health, 88 in Interior Health, 130 in Northern Health and 89 in Island Health.

There were 365 active cases in hospital, a drop of 12 patients since yesterday, and an increase of seven active cases in critical or intensive care for a total of 143 patients. Since the start of the pandemic, B.C. has reported 200,898 cases. The total deaths are now 2,109.

Although no new health-care facility outbreaks were reported, a total of 25 long-term care, assisted-living homes or acute care facilities remain affected by the spread of COVID-19. The outbreak at Vancouver’s Cooper Place was declared over Friday.

Advertisement

Article content


B.C. MAP OF WEEKLY COVID CASE COUNTS, VACCINATION RATES

Find out how your neighbourhood is doing in the battle against COVID-19 with the latest number of new cases, positivity rates, and vaccination rates:


B.C. VACCINE TRACKER



LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

–with files from The Canadian Press

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

21Oct

Vancouver Police Board approves new interim handcuff policy | CBC News

by admin

Vancouver police will begin implementing a new interim handcuff policy following board approval on Thursday.

According to a report from the Vancouver Police Board, for which it also consulted with an external party, the most notable changes are that it offers direction and documentation on how to safely use handcuffs and states that officers must have lawful authority to use them. 

This comes after multiple complaints to the Board, including one from Maxwell Johnson, who was handcuffed along with his 12-year-old granddaughter when they tried to open a bank account at a downtown Vancouver Bank of Montreal in 2019. 

Another complaint regarding handcuffing was filed in 2021, and in late May, the VPD wrongly handcuffed and detained a retired Black judge.

During a presentation to the police board on Thursday afternoon, Drazen Manojlovic, director of planning, research and audit with the VPD, said a significant part of the policy “entrenches” the fact that officers have the choice not to handcuff people, and that officers should use their discretion when it comes to the severity of the offence, as well as taking into consideration age, Indigeneity, race and disability of the individual.

“In the policy it clearly states that the use of handcuffs is a use of force,” he said. 

“Being placed in handcuffs by a police officer can be a deeply stressful event,” the policy states. “Members should, where practicable, seek to maintain the dignity of the arrested, detained, or apprehended person and take such steps as are reasonable in the circumstances.”

The interim policy also says the use of handcuffs must be objectively reasonable in all circumstances, deemed necessary by the officer and proportionate to the risk of harm the officer is trying to prevent. 

A final policy will only be approved pending recommendations that may come from the Office of Police Complaints Commissioner conduct investigation and the B.C. Human Rights Tribunal case involving Johnson’s case.

20Oct

Vancouver family says YMCA after-school program neglected, discriminated against daughter with Down syndrome | CBC News

by admin

A Vancouver family says it has pulled two of their children out of a YMCA after-school program, alleging it discriminated against and neglected their six-year-old daughter who has Down syndrome, and failed to hire a support worker the family had secured funding for.

Katie and Andrew Jameson registered their twins, Kenzie and Wally in a YMCA after-school program at Malkin Park. But they say Kenzie, who has Down syndrome and is non-verbal, was increasingly isolated and neglected by the program, as weeks passed with no support worker.

They made the decision to leave the program when they found Kenzie freezing and alone, not wearing shoes outdoors in October, with mucus running down her face and her hair matted and covering her eyes.

“She can’t say if she’s cold, she can’t ask to have her nose wiped, she can’t ask to go to the bathroom, she can’t ask to have her shoes put back on. These are all reasons that we applied for funding for someone to be in the vicinity,” said Katie Jameson.

“I cried the whole way home because as her parent I was like — what did I just do to her?”

In a statement to CBC News, Roberta Haas, VP People and Child Protection Lead of the YMCA of Greater Vancouver wrote that the YMCA “did not provide an adequate level of care for Kenzie — and failed to meet both the standards expected by Katie Jameson and our own standards. For that, we sincerely apologize.”

Haas said the YMCA has submitted an incident report to the program’s regional licensing authority and will be conducting a formal review of what happened, and that the YMCA will also undertake an independent review by a third-party to assess how it serves children with special needs. 

The Jamesons say they grew increasingly concerned about six-year-old Kenzie’s safety in the after-school program as weeks went by without a support worker. (Katie Jameson)

Katie Jameson said her daughter’s experience reflects those too often faced by children with disabilities, whose needs are frequently not met even in programs designed to be inclusive.

“It’s a learned condition to a parent with a disability — if you don’t care for your kid yourself, they’re not going to get the care they need. Our son was in that program happy and well cared for — her twin. And Kenzie was completely neglected and discriminated against. It’s literal side-by-side comparison.”

Support worker not hired 

The Jamesons said they registered their twins in the after-school program over the summer. Because Kenzie has Down syndrome, the family interviewed for the program, and applied for funding from the B.C. Centre for Ability (CFA) so that the YMCA could hire an additional support worker for Kenzie.

Katie Jameson said ahead of the first day she was assured everything was in place, and she created instructional videos on how to communicate with Kenzie and use basic sign language.

“I basically provided an inclusion program for them,” she said.

But on the first day, she received a call from a staff member saying Kenzie needed to be picked up early because she had gone to the bathroom on herself and no staff member was equipped to assist her.

“I was totally confused because I was under the impression that we had a support person with Kenzie, because we had applied for funding, and the program had accepted the funding, so finding there was no support in place that way was shocking.”

The YMCA told the Jamesons no support worker had yet been hired, but that someone would be by the following week.

But the Jamesons said the YMCA never hired a permanent support worker, and instead rotated in different YMCA staff members.

The YMCA also told the Jamesons that the $17 per hour in funding they’d secured would not be enough to cover Kenzie’s needs, and asked the CFA to provide $24 per hour in funding — which the CFA accepted and provided.

The Jamesons said they were eventually asked to help find someone for the YMCA to hire, which they did — and were surprised to hear that the posting continued to be listed with a wage of $17 per hour. 

Haas’ statement from the YMCA said that “our significant efforts to find a qualified care worker for Kenzie were unsuccessful,”  and that the higher wage was eventually posted after an administrative delay.

Haas said the YMCA never used the funding because the Jamesons left the program before the YMCA could find a dedicated support worker for Kenzie. 

‘Huge safety and neglect concern’

The Jamesons say they grew increasingly concerned about Kenzie’s safety in the program. Katie Jameson said on one occasion she found her daughter with visibly wet pants, and was told she had been stimming under a picnic table for 45 minutes. Stimming is repetitive, stimulating behaviour, such as drumming fingers, or rocking back and forth, that some children with disabilities engage in.

“I asked if she had been able to go to the bathroom and they said no, she was being uncooperative,” she said, explaining that Kenzie needs a stepstool to reach the toilet, and someone to hold her hand.

“She didn’t have access to a stepstool and they very openly told us that staff are not helping her in and out of the toilet.”

On one occasion, another parent sent them a photo of Kenzie sitting alone, over 100 feet from the rest of the group, near an unfenced patch of forest.

“All three staff were with the other kids, including Kenzie’s support person, which is just a huge safety and neglect concern for us,” they said.

The day that the Jamesons found her without her shoes on was the last straw, and they emailed the YMCA withdrawing their children from the program. 

The family said they were further incensed when the YMCA sent home a fundraising flyer advertising itself as a program that welcomes families of children with disabilities.

“We are a real life example of a family you claim to fundraise for, open programs for and welcome kids into, and yet we are pulling our kids from your program,” wrote Katie Jameson in an email to the YMCA. 

The YMCA said in the statement its “commitment to review, understand, and improve is sincere.”

“We recognize and acknowledge that we need to improve our processes, our training, and our knowledge in how to better serve children with diverse needs. We are committed to educating our teams and doing better.”

19Oct

City of Vancouver says staff must be vaccinated, but order does not cover councillors

by admin

Fully vaccinated council says legal red tape makes it complicated, but other B.C. cities are considering policies that include both staff and politicians.

Article content

While the City of Vancouver is telling all staff to get vaccinated by Dec. 6, elected officials are not included in the order.

Advertisement

Article content

On Tuesday, city councillors insisted there is no double standard.

Coun. Pete Fry said a vaccination mandate would be a “moot point” as all members of council have voluntarily disclosed that they are fully vaccinated. “We could consider a motion, but that seems unnecessary.”

Instead, council issued a public statement explaining all council members are vaccinated and support vaccination.

“All members of council want to assure members of the public that they are voluntarily following the intent of the policy,” said the statement.

Coun. Jean Swanson blamed a “legal glitch” for the discrepancy. “I certainly think that if staff has to be, council should be as well,” she said.

In a statement, the City of Vancouver said the vaccination policy does not apply to elected officials as there are different legal considerations. “If city councillors, or park board commissioners, wished to impose such a policy upon themselves, the city believes that it is better for them to approve and adopt their own policy.”

Advertisement

Article content

At least two other Metro Vancouver municipalities are considering just that.

A vaccine mandate for city staff is under “active consideration” in the City of Burnaby, said spokesman Chris Bryan. “If we do pursue a mandatory vaccination policy, it would apply to members of city council as well.”

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie said his council will consider the matter at its meeting Monday after discussing it at a closed committee meeting earlier this week. He said he personally supports a vaccine order that encompasses both staff and elected officials. “I don’t see any reason why mayor and council would be any different.”

In Surrey, staff are assessing the merits of a mandatory vaccination policy, said Jeff Arason, director of strategic initiatives and corporate reports. A voluntary staff survey done in September found that 95 per cent of staff are fully vaccinated or had received one dose.

Advertisement

Article content

Coun. Linda Annis told Postmedia she would support a policy that covers both staff and council.

But at least one Metro Vancouver city councillor is speaking out against mandatory vaccine policies.

Pitt Meadows Coun. Anena Simpson called vaccination requirements “plain wrong.”

Since making her views known at a recent council meeting, she said she’s been “inundated” with calls, including one from a single mom with a young child who is afraid of losing her job and a business owner who doesn’t want to be boycotted.

“The way this group of people is being treated is terrible,” she said. “They’re being villainized and dehumanized. In times of fear, people are looking for a scapegoat and they’ll use it to justify anything. I’m gravely concerned.”

Advertisement

Article content

Simpson said people are being coerced into putting something into their bodies by fear that they’ll lose their livelihoods.

Maple Ridge Coun. Anena Simpson.
Maple Ridge Coun. Anena Simpson. Photo by Francis Georgian /PNG

In a statement following Monday’s announcement, Vancouver c ity manager Paul Mochrie said the vaccination policy will offer exemptions for people with a “protected legal ground,” such as for medical or other grounds under the B.C. Human Rights Code.

The provincial health officer has already made it mandatory for hospital or long-term care facility workers to be fully vaccinated, but Dr. Bonnie Henry does not have the power to make orders in non-health workplaces.

However, at her suggestion, B.C. Hydro has mandated vaccination for all its workers at the Site C dam project, while B.C. Ferries will require it for workers, but not passengers.

Advertisement

Article content

The City of Vancouver’s announcement, the first for a municipality in B.C., is in alignment with rules already announced for federal and provincial workers.

Vancouver police, while paid by the city come under the Vancouver police board, so are not included in the mandate. However, the city order does apply to park board staff.

VPD spokesperson Const. Tania Visintin said the department is aware of the “current climate” and is “working on our policy.”

With Postmedia files

gluymes@postmedia.com

twitter.com/glendaluymes

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

18Oct

COVID-19: City of Vancouver and Grouse Mountain join growing list of mandatory vaccination sites

by admin

“Vancouver has one of the highest vaccination rates (90 per cent fully vaccinated), making us one of the world’s safest cities as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart.

Article content

The number of mandatory vaccination orders in place to access venues or keep your job in B.C. continues to grow, with Grouse Mountain and the City of Vancouver releasing their plans on Monday.

Advertisement

Article content

Mayor of Vancouver Kennedy Stewart said that all city workers will need to be fully vaccinated (two doses) by Dec. 6, 2021 or they will not be allowed in the workplace.

“Vancouver has one of the highest vaccination rates, making us one of the world’s safest cities as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic,” Stewart said in a prepared statement. The City of Vancouver has a vaccination rate in those aged 12 and over of 90 per cent, compared to the provincial 83.4 per cent.

“Having all city staff fully vaccinated by Dec. 6 is another step towards building on our success as a community and making sure we put the health of our workers and the public first.”

The City of Vancouver has around 8,000 full-time and part-time employees and is the first municipality in B.C. to make such an order.

Advertisement

Article content

City manager Paul Mochrie said the vaccination policy will offer exemptions for people with a “protected legal ground”, such as for medical or other grounds under the B.C. Human Rights Code.

Meanwhile on Monday, Grouse Mountain revealed all workers and guests will need to be fully vaccinated by Nov. 15, 2021.

The North Vancouver ski resort will have a one-time vaccine verification process for pass-holders, while people on day passes will need to show proof of vaccination (B.C. Vaccine Card) each visit.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry has already made it mandatory for any hospital or long-term care facility worker to be fully vaccinated but she does not have the power to make orders in non-health workplaces.

Advertisement

Article content

However, at her suggestion, B.C. Hydro two weeks ago mandated vaccination for all its workers at the Site C dam project where there had been two COVID-19 outbreaks. B.C. Ferries has also mandated vaccination in its workers, but not passengers.

There are 4,917 active cases of COVID-19 in B.C., of which 360 are being treated in hospital including 151 in intensive care. These numbers are relatively stable.

The B.C. Ministry of Health reported 26 deaths over the past three days. There were 23,500 doses of vaccines administered over the same period, including 7,087 crucial first doses.

Vancouver Coastal Health appears to be benefiting from its relatively high rate of vaccination, coming in fourth of the five health authorities for new cases reported on Monday.

Advertisement

Article content

Despite being the second largest health authority in B.C. — behind Fraser Health — Vancouver Coastal reported 212 cases over the past three days. The significantly smaller Interior Health (322) and Northern Health (212) authorities both reported more, while Fraser Health topped the list at 737 of the total 1,846 cases.

dcarrigg@postmedia.com


G et the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


CLICK HERE to report a typo.

Is there more to this story? We’d like to hear from you about this or any other stories you think we should know about. Email vantips@postmedia.com.

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

17Oct

Single mother fights eviction from Vancouver co-op housing where she’s lived for 10 years

by admin

“I am preparing to live in my car and I can’t let myself think negative — I already have depression.” — Lenlen Aixendora Castro

Article content

A single mother who has a subsidized rental unit in a Vancouver housing cooperative is fighting eviction to get more time to find “safe and affordable” housing.

Advertisement

Article content

If she fails to get more time, she fears she will end up homeless because of extreme rental housing costs in Metro Vancouver.

Lenlen Aixendora Castro has lived at Rishon Housing Cooperative in the Marpole area of Vancouver for 10 years, but was given an eviction notice of Sept. 15.

Castro lost an appeal to the general membership of the 20-unit housing co-op and is now fighting in B.C. Supreme Court for more time to find adequate housing.

A hearing was scheduled for Oct. 14 in court in Vancouver but has been delayed until Nov. 4.

“I am preparing to live in my car and I can’t let myself think negative — I already have depression,” said Castro, who is on disability and works seasonal and contract jobs.

“I just need time to find safe and affordable housing.”

Advertisement

Article content

A lawyer representing the Rishon Housing cooperative in the court action did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Castro believes the eviction notice was precipitated by her planting a garden this spring in a common area without explicit permission, although she noted that some other residents had gardens. Court filings show the request to remove boxes from the garden escalated to a notice of termination in April.

Castro has alleged in court filings that her unit had been entered without consent and that racist messages had been posted on her door in the past.

In court documents, the housing cooperative have accused Castro of “harassment.”

Castro says she realizes she cannot stay at the co-op because the tenants don’t want her there, but is anxious and fearful about finding a home because her search so far for affordable housing shows wait lists as long as two years.

Advertisement

Article content

Castro’s court filings say B.C. Housing placed her at the cooperative housing, which she says happened after she fled an abusive relationship when she was pregnant.

The rent for a two-bedroom unit at the co-op is about $1,000, of which about half is covered for Castro by a B.C. Housing subsidy for a person with a disability.

Castro has moved her daughter, in Grade 7, to her mother’s house so that she can avoid the stress of witnessing the dispute.

Stephanie Fung, an organizer with the Vancouver Tenants Union, said Castro’s situation is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s happening to tenants across the Lower Mainland.

“At a time like this, no one should be forced out of their home. We urge Rishon Housing to cease their harmful actions and give Lenlen time to find safe and secure housing,” said Fung.

Advertisement

Article content

A report released last week by Zumper, an online site that helps people search for rental units, ranked Vancouver as the most expensive rental city in Canada.

A one bedroom goes for an average of $2,130, higher than Toronto at an average of $1,800. A two-bedroom apartment, the size of unit Castro would need for her and her daughter, is on average $2,900 in Vancouver, according to the Zumper survey.

The Vancouver Tenants Union has been demanding immediate action from the B.C. government to deal with what they call an “eviction crisis.”

The union has called for immediate public release of all data the province has on evictions and the creation of a system to track all evictions in the province while preserving tenants’ privacy. It has also called for the province to implement “real” rent control that ties the cap on rent increased to the unit and not the tenant.

ghoekstra@postmedia.com

twitter.com/gordon_hoekstra

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

16Oct

Single mother fights eviction from Vancouver co-op housing where she’s lived for 10 years

by admin

“I am preparing to live in my car and I can’t let myself think negative — I already have depression.” — Lenlen Aixendora Castro

Article content

A single mother who has a subsidized rental unit in a Vancouver housing cooperative is fighting eviction to get more time to find “safe and affordable” housing.

Advertisement

Article content

If she fails to get more time, she fears she will end up homeless because of extreme rental housing costs in Metro Vancouver.

Lenlen Aixendora Castro has lived at Rishon Housing Cooperative in the Marpole area of Vancouver for 10 years, but was given an eviction notice of Sept. 15.

Castro lost an appeal to the general membership of the 20-unit housing co-op and is now fighting in B.C. Supreme Court for more time to find adequate housing.

A hearing was scheduled for Oct. 14 in court in Vancouver but has been delayed until Nov. 4.

“I am preparing to live in my car and I can’t let myself think negative — I already have depression,” said Castro, who is on disability and works seasonal and contract jobs.

“I just need time to find safe and affordable housing.”

Advertisement

Article content

A lawyer representing the Rishon Housing cooperative in the court action did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Castro believes the eviction notice was precipitated by her planting a garden this spring in a common area without explicit permission, although she noted that some other residents had gardens. Court filings show the request to remove boxes from the garden escalated to a notice of termination in April.

Castro has alleged in court filings that her unit had been entered without consent and that racist messages had been posted on her door in the past.

In court documents, the housing cooperative have accused Castro of “harassment.”

Castro says she realizes she cannot stay at the co-op because the tenants don’t want her there, but is anxious and fearful about finding a home because her search so far for affordable housing shows wait lists as long as two years.

Advertisement

Article content

Castro’s court filings say B.C. Housing placed her at the cooperative housing, which she says happened after she fled an abusive relationship when she was pregnant.

The rent for a two-bedroom unit at the co-op is about $1,000, of which about half is covered for Castro by a B.C. Housing subsidy for a person with a disability.

Castro has moved her daughter, in Grade 7, to her mother’s house so that she can avoid the stress of witnessing the dispute.

Stephanie Fung, an organizer with the Vancouver Tenants Union, said Castro’s situation is just the tip of the iceberg of what’s happening to tenants across the Lower Mainland.

“At a time like this, no one should be forced out of their home. We urge Rishon Housing to cease their harmful actions and give Lenlen time to find safe and secure housing,” said Fung.

Advertisement

Article content

A report released last week by Zumper, an online site that helps people search for rental units, ranked Vancouver as the most expensive rental city in Canada.

A one bedroom goes for an average of $2,130, higher than Toronto at an average of $1,800. A two-bedroom apartment, the size of unit Castro would need for her and her daughter, is on average $2,900 in Vancouver, according to the Zumper survey.

The Vancouver Tenants Union has been demanding immediate action from the B.C. government to deal with what they call an “eviction crisis.”

The union has called for immediate public release of all data the province has on evictions and the creation of a system to track all evictions in the province while preserving tenants’ privacy. It has also called for the province to implement “real” rent control that ties the cap on rent increased to the unit and not the tenant.

ghoekstra@postmedia.com

twitter.com/gordon_hoekstra

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

13Oct

If you mix up these Vancouver political veterans, you will get pranked

by admin

Great friends and political adversaries, Sam Sullivan and Tim Louis love needling each other

Article content

Sam Sullivan and Tim Louis are polar opposites politically.

Advertisement

Article content

“He’s right of Ghengis Khan and I’m left of Che Guevara,” is how Louis puts it.

Both are quadriplegics and get around in a wheelchair. So people often mistake one for the other, even though they don’t resemble each other at all.

“He’s six-foot-two on a poor day, and I may be five-feet on a good day,” said Louis, 63. “He weighs maybe 200 pounds when dry, I weigh maybe 90 pounds wet. I have a beard, he’s clean-shaven, blah blah blah. But people confuse us!”

It happens so often, in fact, they have a little routine worked out.

“We have each other’s cell number,” said Louis, “and if we’re out and about and somebody comes up to us and calls us by the other’s name, we immediately get on the phone,” and get the person they think they’re greeting.

Advertisement

Article content

“This is our arrangement. No matter how busy the other is, they will take the call and then we’ll improvise, having great fun.”

It may boggle the mind of anyone who ever saw them jostling on Vancouver council, but former NPA mayor Sullivan and former COPE councillor Louis have become great friends.

Sam calls Tim “Leon Trotsky,” after one of the leaders of the Russian Revolution. Tim calls Sam “Milton Friedman,” after the free market economist.

They even have “code names” for their spouses: Frida Kahlo for Tim’s partner Penny, Rose Friedman for Sam’s partner Lynn.

The code names came about after Sullivan phoned Louis one day.

“He answered the phone on speaker phone, and had a room full of revolutionaries that were trying to plot the downfall of the government or something,” Sullivan recalls with a chuckle.

Advertisement

Article content

“Then he hears my voice, and I could tell he was audibly uncomfortable, having me on the speaker phone. I figured it out and said ‘maybe I’ll call you back.’ From then he would call me Milton, and I would call him Leon.”

Sam Sullivan and his partner Lynn Zanatta in 2005.
Sam Sullivan and his partner Lynn Zanatta in 2005. Photo by Gerry Kahrmann /Province

They’ve known each other forever.

“I knew of him through disability activism,” said Sullivan, who turns 62 on Nov. 13.

“He was always quite a s — disturber as a young radical activist. He had this long hair that almost went down to the ground behind his wheelchair. We both used to take the Lions Club transit vans, they’d pick us up and bring us to school and such.

“One driver told me there was this guy named Tim Louis who wouldn’t pay his bills because he thought the transit should be publicly provided. Eventually they forced him to pay, and he said ‘you can come in and take the money, it’s inside.’ So they went in and there was 30 or 40 jars with pennies.”

Advertisement

Article content

One of Sullivan’s favourite memories of Louis is from a police briefing in the basement of city hall. At the time, Louis was getting around in an ancient electric wheelchair with a distinctive buzzing sound.

“The police were all there in uniform and everything, and you could hear his wheelchair coming from down the hall,’ said Sullivan. “And I could see all these big guys starting to sweat and get really tense. Then Tim comes around the corner, barely moving, this quadriplegic. It was quite remarkable to see the change in composure of these pretty big guys with guns.

“I thought, ‘wow, this Tim Louis, he strikes fear into all sorts of people.’”

For his part, Louis thinks that while Sullivan’s “politics are abhorrent,” he knows he “would give you the shirt off his back.”

Advertisement

Article content

So they love each other’s company.

They like to needle each other, though.

“I give (Tim) a hard time, because I’m the guy who lives in a rented apartment, and my whole life has been involved in the charitable sector,” said Sullivan. “He owns a nice home on the west side and he has renters and he owns his office. He’s really a quintessential capitalist.”

They have both done well through COVID. Louis has a thriving law practice that he’s been running out of his home, while Sullivan has been making videos of civic history you can see on YouTube. He also put on one of his acclaimed public policy salons a few weeks ago.

Tim Louis at home with partner Penny Parry before they leave for COPE headquarters to await the 2011 civic election results, on Nov. 19, 2011.
Tim Louis at home with partner Penny Parry before they leave for COPE headquarters to await the 2011 civic election results, on Nov. 19, 2011. Photo by Jason Payne /PNG

Their favourite story about being mistaken for one another? That would be a charity event put on by Tim’s partner Penny (aka Frida Kahlo) at the Vancouver Museum/Planetarium a few years ago.

Advertisement

Article content

“We had little nibbles and whatever,” said Louis. “Then Milton and I — code name Leon — decided to wander around. The aisles weren’t wide enough for two wheelchairs, so we had to go single file. I’m in the lead, as I should be, and he’s following.

“In the distance, there’s a woman and she turns and looks at me with this beautiful smile. I’m thinking ‘this is great, a woman making eyes at me, wow wow wow.’

“She walks up to me: ‘Sam! How are you?’ She’s in front of me and Milton (Sam) is behind me. I turn 90 degrees to my left so she is on my immediate right and Milton is on my immediate left. And I say to her without blinking an eye: ‘I’m great! Let me introduce you to my friend, Tim.’

“She comes around and walks up to him and just as she’s about to shake his hand, she freezes, goes white as a ghost, and runs away. And the two of us are howling.”

Who says politics can’t be fun?

jmackie@postmedia.com

Sam Sullivan (left) and Tim Louis in Vancouver, B.C., Oct. 13, 2021.
Sam Sullivan (left) and Tim Louis in Vancouver, B.C., Oct. 13, 2021. Photo by Arlen Redekop /PNG
Sam Sullivan (without Tim Louis) in Vancouver, B.C., Oct. 13, 2021.
Sam Sullivan (without Tim Louis) in Vancouver, B.C., Oct. 13, 2021. Photo by Arlen Redekop /PNG
Tim Louis (without Sam Sullivan) in Vancouver, B.C., Oct. 13, 2021.
Tim Louis (without Sam Sullivan) in Vancouver, B.C., Oct. 13, 2021. Photo by Arlen Redekop /PNG

Advertisement

Comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

This website uses cookies and asks your personal data to enhance your browsing experience.