A C-SIS officer who is among a group of whistleblowers raising allegations of sexual assault and harassment in the B-C office of Canada’s spy agency says she hopes their actions can lead to change. The officer says she and her colleagues want to light a match to change what she calls a “dark and disturbing place” where they say they suffered abuse at the hands of senior colleagues. Her comments come after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called their allegations “devastating,” saying everyone should feel protected at work no matter how secretive their duties. The woman says she and her colleagues hope Trudeau’s words aren’t “lip service” and will lead to change at C-SIS.
Politicians left BC’s legislature on Thursday after passing a series of housing-focused laws that opposition parties say won’t change the province’s status as one of the most unaffordable jurisdictions in North America. Housing dominated the political agenda with the next provincial election less than one year away and about three months until the New Democrat government tables its pre-election budget. Earlier this week, Finance Minister Katrine Conroy signaled she will post a multibillion-dollar deficit budget that forecasts economic growth below one per cent. Highlights during the seven-week sitting included four NDP housing-related bills, sharp concerns about the government’s safe drug supply and decriminalization initiatives, demands for carbon tax relief and the presence of BC’s Conservatives, who now hold two seats in the 87-seat legislature.
The lawyer for a man accused of killing a BC teen in a Burnaby park six years ago is expected to finish his closing arguments today. Ibrahim Ali pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in April. The Crown says the evidence shows Ali dragged the girl into a wooded area, sexually assaulted her, then killed her. But Ali’s lawyer has told the jury that the charge against his client hadn’t been proven and their verdict should be about facts, not emotions.
Mounties in Burnaby say they’re investigating reports of shots being fired on a busy street in the city on Thursday. Police say they located a truck riddled with bullet holes when they arrived, but there were no injuries reported following the shooting. RCMP says they’re also investigating whether a vehicle found burning in the city is linked to the shooting. They say the incident appears to have been targeted.
A BC marine scientist says noise in the ocean is the most pervasive, unregulated pollutant. Kieran Cox, a researcher out of Simon Fraser University, says a study commissioned by the Department of National Defence on the noise of weapons can help as Canada prepares a national ocean noise strategy. Cox says the noise under the water can affect everything from small invertebrates to big cetaceans. The national ocean noise strategy was slated to be released in 2023, but Fisheries and Oceans Canada says delays caused by the pandemic mean it won’t be released until the end of this fiscal year.
The BC government says it’s launching a pilot project to support the restaurant industry. The province says it’s putting 380-thousand dollars into a two-year pilot project to help with recruiting and retaining more workers. It says it is partnering with the Chefs’ Table Society of BC, which will evaluate participating restaurants “to inform future program opportunities.” Selina Robinson, minister of post-secondary education and future skills, says the restaurant industry has been struggling since the pandemic and she is hoping the pilot project will help workers grow and thrive in the industry.