RCMP say several people have life-threatening injuries after a crash on Highway 93. The head-on collision happened north of Radium Hot Springs, not far from the Alberta boundary. Police say crews were dispatched to the scene in Kootenay National Park at around 2:30 Thursday afternoon. Investigators have not specified the number of people hurt or the nature of their injuries.
The provincial agency responsible for organ transplants says 56 kidneys were sent to people outside of BC last year while the province has only four surgeons who can perform the procedure. Dr. David Harriman, a kidney transplant surgeon at Vancouver General Hospital, says between eight and 10 surgeons are needed in BC so residents waiting for a kidney can benefit from the organs donated in the province. Doctors of BC, the province’s medical association, says each of the four BC surgeons does more transplants and works on call more often than their colleagues elsewhere in Canada. Data from the Canadian Institute for Health Information shows 288 kidney transplants were done in BC last year, a rate of nearly 55 per million people, compared to 730 transplants in Ontario, or 49 per million.
The province’s independent forests watchdog says the government is not doing enough to protect forest lands from the risk of catastrophic wildfires. The BC Forest Practices Board says risk reduction currently focuses on areas near communities, but leaves the wider forest landscape “severely vulnerable” to fire. The board’s report says 45 per cent of BC’s public land, estimated at 390-thousand square kilometres, is at high to extreme fire risk. Forests Minister Bruce Ralston says the report reinforces the need to keep working with partners and take steps to strengthen and expand planning, preparedness and response.
BC Emergency Health Services says paramedics did not care for or transport anyone to hospital after an accident involving a plane at the Boundary Bay Airport. Transportation Safety Board investigators were deployed after the accident yesterday afternoon involving a privately registered Mooney M-20-R single-engine plane. The safety board says in a statement that investigators will gather information and assess the occurrence.
Amnesty International Canada says the extension of BC’s contracts to house immigration detainees in provincial correctional centres is both appalling and unnecessary. Earlier this week, the province agreed to give the Canada Border Services Agency three additional months to find an alternative after originally requiring the practice to stop in July. Ketty Nivyabandi, secretary-general of Amnesty International Canada’s English-speaking section, says people seeking safety and opportunity in Canada shouldn’t have to endure severe confinement conditions simply because the CBSA was not prepared to respect their rights. The organization wants the federal government to ban the practice of immigration detention in provincial jails.
A boil water advisory covering nearly 250 properties in Penticton has been lifted. A statement says after testing and monitoring, the city and\ health authority are confident water quality is safely within drinking water guidelines. The advisory covered properties in the neighbourhoods of Wiltse and Evergreen. It was issued Tuesday after a failed valve caused the Gordon Reservoir to empty into Ellis Creek, creating a water outage.