British Columbia’s Environmental Assessment Office is requiring Coastal GasLink to take more proactive measures to control erosion and sedimentation for all new construction along its pipeline route. The government says the new agreement is needed to address ongoing non-compliance with provincial rules. It says the measures — including enhanced staff training and putting more qualified leadership on site — are intended to protect sensitive wetlands, fish and other wildlife. Coastal GasLink is building a 670-kilometre pipeline to deliver natural gas from northeastern B-C to the L-N-G Canada terminal in Kitimat.
A community still recovering from last year’s wildfires is facing another, with evacuations underway. Rob Schweitzer of the B-C Wildfire Service says the impacts of last year’s devastating blaze on the village of Lytton and Lytton First Nation is front of mind as crews battle a new fire northwest of the village. The fire was located nearly two kilometers northwest of Lytton on the west side of the Fraser River and had grown to at least 75 hectares by early yesterday evening. Evacuation orders have been issued on several Lytton First Nation reserves and for at least 24 properties in Electoral Area I of the Thompson Nicola Regional District.
At least two people were taken to hospital after a rooftop parking lot collapsed into office space below in Vancouver. Assistant chief Dan Moberg of Vancouver Fire Rescue says the incident occurred yesterday afternoon while construction work and drilling was underway on the section that caved in. He says after engineers assessed the damage, crews began erecting structural supports to remove debris and conduct a final search. Emergency Health Services has confirmed that two were taken to hospital, however the severity of injuries has not been released.
RCMP say they have notified B-C’s police watchdog after a man died in an incident near Spuzzum. An officer responding to a report of a man crisis found him driving near Hells Gate, B-C. Police say the man failed to stop, driving over an embankment with a significant drop. Collision analysts have been called to help and the Independent Investigations Office is also investigating to determine whether police action contributed to the death.
The Ministry of Forests and Lheidli T’enneh First Nation have reached an agreement creating the largest First Nation woodland license in the province. A statement from the ministry says the license will give the Prince George-area First Nation greater forest stewardship benefits and exclusive harvesting rights to timber resources in its territories. Those rights will cover roughly 22-hundred square kilometers east of Prince George and the license also supports First Nation decision-making authority over planning, development, harvesting and cultural use of the timber and other values in the area. Forests Minister Katrine Conroy says the agreement marks “real progress toward meaningful reconciliation” and meets the commitment to create new opportunities for Indigenous Peoples.
Police are expected to give an update today on the fatal shooting of a man acquitted in the 1985 Air Indian bombings. Investigators say Ripudaman Singh Malik died yesterday in a residential area of Surrey, B-C, and a burned car was found nearby that they believe is linked. Police said yesterday they were aware of Malik’s background and still working to determine motive, however they believed the shooting was targeted. Malik was one of two men found not guilty in March 2005 of the bombings on two Air India planes that killed 331 people.