The BC Maritime Employers Association says work has officially resumed at BC ports after a 13 day strike halted shipments at British Columbia ports. This comes after about 74 hundred longshore workers and their employers at more than 30 ports along the BC coast reached a tentative deal yesterday. The union has not commented on the agreement, but the employers association has said workers returned to work as of 4:30 yesterday afternoon. The four year pact is subject to ratification by members of both the union and the maritime employers, and no additional details have yet been released.
BC’s premier has applauded the tentative deal struck between employers and workers in the strike that halted shipments in and out of British Columbia ports for nearly two weeks. David Eby says he is optimistic the agreement “will bring long-term stability to our ports, solidify Vancouver as a world class trade centre, strengthen our economy and provide fairness to workers.” The tentative deal comes after federal Labour Minister Seamus O’Regan ordered a mediator to issue terms of possible settlement earlier this week, but the details have not yet been released publicly. The employers association says work at the province’s ports officially resumed yesterday afternoon.
Alberta Premier Danielle Smith says her province has begun talks with BC on how to expand the reach of Canadian natural gas to more foreign markets. Smith says the provinces are looking at how to possibly use Article 6 of the United Nations Paris Accord, which allows Canada to gain carbon credits for reducing emissions abroad. She says that could create more interest in export infrastructure that would supply Asia. BC Premier David Eby confirmed he’s speaking to other premiers about the LNG opportunity, but says he’s not confident BC is on track to provide enough electricity to move the local industry away from fossil-fuel usage.
Federal Emergency Preparedness Minister Bill Blair says Ottawa is ready to deploy resources if needed to fight wildfires in BC. He says help could include military assistance for airlift evacuations or staff trained to keep blazes from reigniting once they’ve been put out. He said Parks Canada is also ready to help with park firefighters and forest management experts. Bowinn Ma, the province’s emergency management minister, says BC has put in a request for one thousand additional international firefighters to help fight the 350 wildfires burning in all corners of the province.
Record spring heat and below-normal rainfall has plunged BC into a worsening drought situation where some major rivers and lakes are at their lowest recorded levels. Emergency Management Minister Bowinn Ma says BC must take measures to reduce water use. She is calling on individuals as well as industrial and agricultural water users to take conservation measures. Ma says she has yet to consider imposing provincewide water restrictions, but some BC communities have already taken that step.
Mounties in Kelowna are warning about an increase of so-called sextortion targeting boys between the ages of 14 and 17. They say the victims often receive friend requests through popular social media sites, and engage in flirtatious conversations. Police say offenders will then ask for an intimate image of the victim, specifically to include their face, and then, once obtained, attempt to extort them for money. They say investigators think the rise may be due to teens spending more time online during their summer break, and are reminding people that the crime is often orchestrated from foreign countries.