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The BC Liberals say the NDP government is foot-dragging on approving forestry permits and it is leading to mill closures and curtailments provincewide. Forestry critic Mike Bernier says there’s growing frustration in the industry as cutting permit delays lead to supply shortages that force mills to shutter or curtail production. The opposition says recent rallies in Merritt by forestry workers highlight the need to expedite cutting permits after a local mill has been intermittently closing for the last several months. Liberal Jackie Tegart says the province has delayed signing off on permit applications for more than a year.

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen says residents should start preparing now for the spring runoff that could bring flooding to the region. The regional district is urging people to take proactive measures to protect buildings and properties from rising waters. It says people living in vulnerable areas like floodplains or sites of past spring flooding should start preparing now. If need be, the regional district says it will have sandbag centres ready in high-risk areas.

The Yukon government says it’s updating legislation to no longer require employees to swear allegiance to the Crown. The government says the move is aimed at the public service being more inclusive as an employer by removing barriers from its hiring process. Instead of swearing allegiance to the Crown, new employees will swear an oath of office committing to serving the territory’s residents and a pledge to act ethically in their jobs.

Putting an end to daylight time will again have to wait as BC looks to the US to pass a so-called sunshine law ending the practice. Premier David Eby said this week that ending it would be a welcome change, but the province has to stay “in sync” with the rest of the west coast and can’t go it alone. Efforts by policymakers to end the time-change practice have been in the works for years but have stalled on both sides of the border. Eby says the province must stay aligned with U-S states because of close integration with major trading partners.

Online safety experts say predatory companies are using the rise of so called sextortion cases to dupe victims out of money when their intimate images are at stake. Darren Laur with the internet safety firm White Hatter in Victoria says such companies threaten people with the release of sexual images unless a ransom is paid. He says a BC teen’s family paid a company 15-hundred dollars to recover images that were being used against the boy in a sextortion scheme. The Winnipeg-based Centre for Child Protection, which runs a hotline for reporting child sex abuse, says fraudsters are running “recovery scams” with false promises of removing intimate images online for a fee.