Pakistan’s prime minister is denouncing the attack that killed four members of a Muslim family in London, Ontario, as an act of terror rooted in Islamophobia. Prime Minister Imran Khan is expressing concerns about growing Islamophobia in western countries. Police say a pick-up truck, driven by a 20-year-old London man, mounted a curb and struck the family as they were out for an evening walk and then drove away. A nine-year-old boy was seriously injured but is expected to survive. Police have said the family members were targeted because of their Muslim faith.
A new survey finds about three-quarters of Canadians think the government should order a systematic search of all grounds surrounding former Canadian residential schools for unmarked graves of Indigenous children. The online survey of over 15-hundred people by Leger and the Association for Canadian Studies was done about a week after a B-C First Nation reported finding the remains of 215 children at the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. Eighty per cent of respondents suspect what was found in Kamloops is only the tip of the iceberg. And two-thirds of Canadians believe the churches that ran the government-funded residential schools should bear responsibility for the abuses against children.
Banquet halls on the Lower Mainland are gearing up for a busy summer, with gatherings of up to 50 people set to be allowed again starting next Tuesday, June 15. One banquet hall owner says his phone has been ringing off the hook with people looking to book events in anticipation of eased restrictions. Sukh Mann, who owns Crown Palace Banquet Hall in Surrey, says his doors have been closed for nearly 15 months. “We’ve probably had over 300 phone calls over the weekend just of people trying to rearrange dates, get new party bookings, get information. It’s been very overwhelming, but let’s just see,” he said B.C.’s four-stage plan to lift restrictions is heavily dependent on case numbers, hospitalizations, and vaccination rates. Currently, more than 70 per cent of eligible adults in B.C. have received at least a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Reaction has been coming in from around the world overnight to news of Sunday night’s deadly hit-and-run attack on a Muslim family in London, Ontario. A pickup truck driver mowed the family down as they were out for an evening walk, killing a 74-year-old woman, her 46-year-old son, his wife, and their 15-year-old daughter, and seriously injuring their nine-year-old son. Police believe the attack was deliberate and targeted the family due to their Islamic faith. A 20-year-old man has been charged with murder in the attack. Pakistan’s prime minister and foreign minister tweeted their condolences today for the loss of three generations of a Pakistani-Canadian family and their concerns about growing Islamaphobia in western countries. And London, England’s first Muslim mayor, Sadiq Khan, tweeted that London stands shoulder to shoulder with the people of Canada against this hate
R-C-M-P in Chilliwack are investigating two separate stabbings in the same area, one involving an 80-year-old man with dementia. Spokeswoman Sergeant Krista Vrolyk says the seemingly unprovoked incidents are extremely concerning and people should be aware of their surroundings, walk with someone else if possible, and report any suspicious activity. Police says a 58-year-old man was stabbed on a street but managed to walk to a hospital, where he was treated for non-life-threatening injuries. But the elderly man who was stabbed in the same area 45 minutes later remains in intensive care
B-C’s provincial health officer says all signs are pointing toward COVID-19 soon becoming a communicable disease like others that are managed by local public health teams. Doctor Reka Gustafson says the number of infections is declining and 72 per cent of residents aged 12 and over have now received a first dose of vaccine. The province recorded 481 cases over three days, and 12 more people have died, for a total of 1,722 fatalities from the virus. Gustafson is urging everyone who’s received an initial dose of vaccine to register for a second shot, to be administered as early as eight weeks later.
A newly expanded emergency department has opened at Abbotsford Regional Hospital. Health Minister Adrian Dix says the expansion means better emergency care for Fraser Valley residents from Abbotsford and Mission to Agassiz, Harrison, Chilliwack and Hope. Dix says the old E-R was overcapacity and always congested but the new space offers three new trauma bays, 11 more patient exam rooms, a dedicated mental health and substance-use zone, and a renovated triage area with its own examination room. The provincial government paid 15-million dollars of the upgrade’s 16.25-million dollar price tag while Fraser Health picked up the rest of the tab.
It’s official: Surrey Little Theatre has merged with Langley Players drama club to become Langley Little Theatre. The new company’s home stage will be the 80-seat Langley Playhouse, which will be renovated with cash from the sale of Surrey Little Theatre’s building and land, on 184th Street in the Clayton area. The sale closes June 30, according to a newsletter emailed to Langley Little Theatre subscribers. “This gives us very little time to remove the lights and sound equipment, the props, costumes and furniture that we would like to salvage. A work bee occurred on Saturday June 5th. It was great to see so many members in person,” the newsletter says. “We have started preparing the Langley Playhouse for the renovations by removing the seats and storing them in containers situated at the back of the parking lot. More containers will be ordered as necessary for both the Langley and Surrey costumes, props and furniture. We have also secured a temperature-controlled storage site for the lights and sound equipment. Again, help would be welcomed.” Merger talks between the two volunteer-run companies took place in early 2020, and continued as the COVID-19 pandemic shut down live-theatre productions locally.
British Columbia health officials announced 165 new test-positive COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 145,695. In a joint written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said that broken down by health region, 30 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 78 are in the Fraser Health region, 10 are in the Island Health region, 42 are in the Interior Health region and five are in the Northern Health region. There are currently 2,051 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Of the active cases, 203 individuals are currently hospitalized, 57 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people with COVID-19 are recovering at home in self-isolation. There have been no new COVID-19-related deaths, for a total of 1,722 deaths in British Columbia. To date, 74.2% of all adults in BC and 71.9% of those 12 and older have now received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. In total, 3,685,340 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the province, 345,508 of which are second doses. Thus far, 141,879 people who tested positive for the virus have now recovered.
Premier John Horgan says the hate-motivated attack on a Muslim family out for a walk in London, Ontario, is heart-wrenching and horrific beyond words. Horgan says in a statement that the four family members were killed and a young boy seriously injured just because of their faith. He says he understands the hurt, anguish and fear many Muslim Canadians are feeling and everyone must stand in solidarity against anti-Muslim hate in any of its forms. Horgan adds his thoughts are with the family and friends of those killed and all Muslim Canadians feeling grief at this time.