Mounties say they have opened a file into the possible remains of 215 children found at a former residential school site in Kamloops. Staff Sergeant Bill Wallace, the detachment commander with the Tk’emlups (teh-KUM’-loops) Rural R-C-M-P, says officers have been to the site and are working with community members to discuss the next steps. He says police are looking for the best way to be involved in the investigation, while also being culturally sensitive and respectful of the community. Retired senator Murray Sinclair, who chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, told a House of Common committee yesterday that local Mounties are intimidating people rather than helping them at the Kamloops site.

The number of daily new COVID-19 cases in B-C has slipped below 200 for three straight days for the first time since mid-October. The province reported 199 new cases today, following 194 new cases yesterday and 184 on Tuesday. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry also announced two additional deaths, bringing the total to one-thousand-709. Henry says there are two-thousand-563 cases that are still active with 224 people in hospital, including 62 in intensive care

 

For the second year in a row, the City of White Rock is taking its Canada Day celebrations to the virtual world. The White Rock Virtual Canada Day by the Bay celebration is to kick off at 1 p.m. on July 1 on YouTube and Facebook with the headline show beginning at 7 p.m. Performances scattered throughout the day include country band The Heals, pop duo Fionn and comedy group Hilarapy. An online Canadian Trivia game, featuring a live leaderboard, is to launch at 7 p.m. with prizes going to the top three participants. A virtual photo booth is to be available all day. Leading up to the event, from June 18-21, residents can enter for a chance to win themed prizes, the first 20 entries are to win a Canada Day decorating kit. Mayor Daryl Walkers statement regarding Canada day reads:  “This year’s theme is White Rock Together. Together, we are getting through this pandemic, and finding ways to celebrate safely together online until we can be together again.”

 

The chief of the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc (teh-KUM’-loops sue-WET’-muck) is holding a press conference later today to update last week’s announcement of the discovery of what are believed to be the remains of 215 children at the former residential school site in Kamloops. Rosanne Casimir says the band used the services of a ground-penetrating radar specialist on the May long weekend to make the discovery of the remains of children long believed missing from the school, and as young as three. The band’s announcement of the discovery has touched off nationwide grieving and concern about residential schools and the treatment of Indigenous children. Casimir says the band plans to release a report with preliminary findings about the discovery in mid June.

The body of Shaelene Bell — a mother of two who has been missing since Jan. 31 — has been found, according to the Chilliwack RCMP. Although police did not initially name the woman, they have since confirmed the body found was 23-year-old Bell. Mounties say the woman was found in the Fraser River near Coquitlam on Wednesday. “There is no evidence to support criminal involvement in this death,” says a statement from The Chilliwack RCMP. “The woman’s family has been notified and has asked for privacy as they grieve.” The BC Coroners Service has been called in to “determine how, where, when and by what means the death occurred.” An extensive air and ground search for Bell after she was reported missing failed to locate her, pleas for information and a reward followed.

B-C’s provincial health officer says people who received the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine will be able to choose what they receive as a second dose, starting next week. Doctor Bonnie Henry says the 280-thousand residents who chose to get the vaccine helped limit the spread of COVID-19 during the early spring. She says research has shown it is safe to mix and match vaccine doses. Henry says those who received a first dose of Moderna can also chose to receive the Pfizer vaccine for their second dose or wait until later this month when there is more supply of their original vaccine.

Canada’s unemployment rate in May didn’t budge much from its setting in April but analysts say last month’s 8.1 per cent ranking doesn’t tell the whole story. Statistics show the number of people looking for work in this country nudged up just one-tenth of a point from an even eight per cent in April but economists say the rate would have hit 10.7 per cent last month if it had included workers who have simply quit looking for a job. Statistics Canada says about 68-thousand jobs vanished in May — more than 23-thousand of them in B-C — although officials in this province say most of the affected positions are part-time. StatsCan lists the B-C jobless rate at seven per cent in May, down one tenth of a point from April. 

 

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s deeply disappointed as a Catholic that the church has not taken responsibility for its role in Canada’s residential school system. Trudeau says he personally asked the Pope in 2017 to consider an apology for the church’s role in the schools where an untold number of Indigenous children were abused and many died. But he says it’s still resisting taking part in the grieving and healing, including turning over necessary records. He says it’s time the church to “step up” after the Tk’emlups te Secwepemc (teh-KUM’-loops sue-WET’-muck) First Nation discovered what are believed to be the remains of 215 children at the former residential school in Kamloops. 

 

The provincial government says it’s adding millions of dollars in funding to keep a special COVID-19 business grant program operating until Phase 3 of its re-start plan kicks in. The lifting of group limits on indoor or outdoor dining, as well as the reopening of casinos, nightclubs and bingo halls at limited capacity is expected to begin July 1st. The province says it’s committed 290-million dollars so far in grants to help small and medium-sized business survive the pandemic and expects that to rise to 430-million by the time applications close on July 2nd. It says more than 41 per cent of grants awarded up to early June have gone to tourism-related businesses.

 

The 50th annual Juno Awards will be broadcasted live from Toronto this Sunday, June 6th! To tune in, you can watch the broadcast nationwide on CBC TV, CBC Gem, CBC Radio One, CBC Music, CBC Listen. Or globally on cbcmusic.ca/junos, and live-streamed on CBC Music’s Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube pages on Sunday, June 6 at 8:00 pm ET / 5:00 pm PT.