Leaders of a First Nation on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island want officials from the BC and federal governments to help create a “survival plan” in response to the effects of drugs and alcohol on their community. The Ehattesaht (eh-HAT’-eh-sat) First Nation says six young people have died from drug overdoses in the small village in recent months. It says the nation’s council has been trying to develop a plan to address the crisis, but they’ve had little success finding programs that can meet the desperate needs of the community. Chief Simon John says they have reached the end of their ability to cope.
Former BC premier John Horgan is accelerating his retirement plans and will leave as a member of the legislature, likely by next month. Horgan said goodbye in a sentimental speech to the legislature yesterday, saying he loved every minute of his time there. He battled cancer twice and his latest bout prompted him to quit as premier last year, but he says he’s healthy now. As for what he’ll do next, he joked that he’s waiting for offers from the Canucks, but he was serious when he said that perhaps Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has something for him to do.
The director of Vancouver’s Heavy Urban Search and Rescue Team says the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria this week highlights the importance of crews like his. Justin Mulcahy (mul-KAY’-he) says the magnitude of the quake offers a glimpse into what could happen if a major earthquake were to hit Metro Vancouver. The Vancouver team that operates under the city’s fire department has not been called on to help in Turkey, but it’s in the process of getting international accreditation from a U-N-affiliated agency to allow them to deploy on short notice. A separate volunteer rescue team from Burnaby is the only Canadian rescue team in the quake zone.
RCMP say one person has died and another has been taken to hospital after a crash along Highway 5 near Barriere, northeast of Kamloops. They say it involved two commercial vehicles and a pickup truck. The Mounties say the person who died was driving, while the person taken to hospital was a passenger, but they did not provide further details.
Police in Abbotsford are appealing to the public for information as they investigate three separate incidents that caused damage to a cell tower. They say damage to such critical infrastructure is very concerning because it could potentially affect people’s ability to call 911 from cellphones in the area. Police say the alleged mischief took place on January 1st, 8th and 12th at the same site near a subdivision on the east side of Abbotsford.