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Police in Delta are asking for help finding a woman who was last seen leaving her home on Wednesday evening.  Davina Louise McKaig was last seen in the central Tsawwassen area east of 56 Street around 6:30 p.m.  “Her disappearance is very much out of character, and her family and police are really concerned for her well-being,” McKaig is 49 years old, and 5’9″ tall. She has brown hair and green eyes, and was last seen wearing black yoga pants, and carrying a blue and gray backpack with a UBC baseball logo.  Anyone with information is being asked to call police


Nine more people have died from COVID-19 in B.C., as the province records 341 new cases.  On the vaccination front, 82.1 per cent of those five and older have received two doses, while 85.9 per cent have received one shot. Thirteen per cent of people eligible for a booster have received a third shot.  Between Dec. 1 and 7, people not fully vaccinated accounted for 57.7 per cent of new cases. Between Nov. 24 and Dec. 7, they accounted for 63.5 per cent of hospitalizations.


The federal and provincial agriculture ministers will be touring a poultry farm today that was affected by last month’s devastating floods.  They are expected to address recovery and rebuilding efforts for farmers during the visit to Abbotsford.  628-thousand chickens, 420 dairy cattle and roughly 12-thousand hogs died in the region’s Sumas Prairie.


An industry official says that as farmers clean up, some may be looking at a career change with costs piling up.  Sarah Sache (sa-CHEE’) of the B-C Dairy Association says farmers on the Sumas Prairie in Abbotsford were already dealing with low stores of feed because of the scorching summer before the floods.


The Canadian Federation of Independent Business says more than half of small businesses in B-C are experiencing a labor shortage.  With 59 per cent of local businesses reporting the problem, B-C now has the fourth-highest rate in Canada.  One expert says while the pandemic didn’t create the problem it certainly didn’t help– disrupting established relationships between employers and employees.  They go on to say problem is complex — involving demographic challenges, mismatched skills and a lack of applicants in general.


After a lengthy closure due to B.C.’s historic floods, the Coquihalla Highway is now expected to reopen weeks earlier than previously thought.  Transportation Minister Rob Fleming says “Based on the exceptional progress to date and favourable weather … We are confident that it could instead reopen in early January,” He adds the route will initially only be open to commercial traffic.  The province previously expected the route would remain fully closed until the end of January.  Meantime, Highway 3 remains restricted to essential travel only, under a provincial order.


City officials from Vancouver and Whistler are teaming up with area First Nations to form what they are calling a historic sporting partnership.  They are expected to announce later today that they will work to explore a bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics.  Vancouver and Whistler hosted the Winter Games in 2010 and if they decide to make a bid, they would be competing against the current front-runner — Sapporo, Japan.


Canada’s chief public health officer is forecasting a resurgence of COVID-19 this winter — and a huge one if the Omicron (OH’-mih-kron) variant takes over. Right now Delta is the predominant variant. Dr. Theresa Tam is urging a high degree of caution during the holidays and says we have to be more careful when dealing with more transmissible variants. Dr. Howard Njoo (NOO’), deputy chief public health officer, suggests even fully vaccinated people should consider opening windows and wearing masks at indoor gatherings over the holidays.


The City of Abbotsford has lifted the last remaining evacuation orders in the Sumas Prairie except for a few homes. Mayor Henry Braun says residents of the Lake Bottom area can now follow those in three other sections of the Prairie who were earlier allowed to return home after floodwaters receded. Braun expressed concern at a briefing today about a storm forecast to bring strong winds and more rain to the city through tomorrow morning — but says he believes the worst of the flooding disaster is over. He says what’s needed now is more support and funding from the provincial government to reinforce infrastructure in the city. 


Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum has been charged with public mischief after complaining that he was hit by a car during a pro-R-C-M-P rally outside a grocery store. The B-C Prosecution Service says the charge was approved by a special prosecutor brought in after McCallum complained to the R-C-M-P that he was verbally assaulted and his foot was run over by a car. He was elected on a promise to replace the R-C-M-P with a local force and some Surrey Police members are already on the job. The mayor declined in an e-mail to comment on the charge. 


First Nations leaders and the mayors of Vancouver and Whistler are making an announcement this afternoon that’s expected to be a partnership to explore a bid for the 2030 Winter Olympics. What is being billed as a “potential historic sporting partnership” will be unveiled at the B-C Sports Hall of Fame in Vancouver. The Lil’wat, Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh (tSLAY’-wah-tooth) say they would partner with Vancouver and Whistler. Vancouver hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics in partnership with the same nations. (The Canadian Press)


The federal government has announced 8.7 million dollars in funding for four projects to make cargo handling in the Lower Mainland more efficient. Ottawa says 7.4 million dollars of that money has been earmarked for projects led by the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, such as adopting technology to improve management of containers flagged for inspection. The remaining 1.3 million is intended to support the development of a digital platform for sourcing and managing empty shipping containers. The money comes from the National Trade Corridors Fund.


Police in Delta say a search warrant carried out earlier this week led to the recovery of 45-thousand dollars worth of goods that were allegedly stolen. They say an investigation following a report of missing shipments from a distribution centre found an alleged internal theft ring involving multiple delivery contractors, with stolen items being listed on Facebook for resale. The investigation led to a home in Surrey, where police say the search on Wednesday found electronics, appliances, sporting goods and other items. Police say two men were arrested during the search and later released pending further investigation.