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The mayor of Abbotsford says the farming community has come a long way since devastating flooding in November 2021, but recovery is a work in progress and people remain anxious every time there’s a storm. Ross Siemens’ comments came as federal Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair visited Abbotsford to announce an additional 557-million dollars in federal disaster relief funding. That pushes the total for flooding aid past one-billion dollars so far. The federal government estimated last year it could cost more than five-billion dollars for BC to rebuild after a string of natural disasters in 2021 that also included the deadly heat dome and wildfires.

Environment Canada says residents of northern and southeastern BC should soon get some relief from the extreme cold that has settled over many communities. It says wind chill values across the central and north coast along with the Chilcotin, Peace River and Elk Valley regions are expected to rise gradually today. The weather office has added an Arctic outflow warning for Whistler along with a wind warning for Howe Sound, but conditions are expected to ease this morning. Meanwhile, heavy snow is forecast for much of the province, starting later today in the north, then moving south this weekend.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada is applauding the latest federal funding to help BC recover from the 2021 flooding. But the bureau says the federal aid is not a replacement for insurance as Canadians experience increasingly severe climate-related disasters. It says flooding is the greatest severe-weather risk, and because of that the insurance industry alone can’t provide affordable coverage for everyone. The bureau says insurance firms have provided Ottawa with a proposal to create a national flood insurance program for people living in high-risk areas.

The Union of BC Indian Chiefs is calling on Premier David Eby and his government to investigate what it described as racist and sexist harassment aimed at former N-D-P cabinet minister Melanie Mark while she was a member of the BC legislature. A statement from the union says Mark’s announcement this week that she is resigning her seat raised concerns among Indigenous people across the province. Mark who was the first First Nations woman to serve as an MLA told the legislature on Wednesday the institution could feel like a “torture chamber” and she would not miss the “character assassination” in what she called a cutthroat and dysfunctional political environment. Mark says there’s a lot she’s proud of and she isn’t quitting, rather she is putting herself and her two daughters first.

A woman has been arrested for allegedly defrauding two businesses of about 200-thousand dollars. RCMP say the Squamish resident was charged following an investigation that began in July 2019 when a business owner reported a suspected fraud being committed by their accountant. Then, more than two years later, they say a second business owner called after suspecting their accountant of defrauding the business of a large sum of money. The woman has been charged with four counts of fraud over five thousand dollars and four counts of theft over the same amount.