The projected job losses from the closure of the pulp line at a Canfor facility in Prince George are lower than originally feared. Two-hundred-and-20 of about 300 positions slated to be eliminated were union jobs, and because workers accepted early retirement packages or decided to leave, the number has dropped to 90 unionized workers being let go. Chuck LeBlanc, president of the Private and Public Workers of Canada Local 9, says many of those accepting packages are applying to the province’s bridging-to-retirement program that helps forestry workers affected by the industry downturn. The closure is also expected to affect about 80 management and union-exempt staff.
A study says salmon hatcheries in BC could improve survival rates by better timing the release of young fish and letting them go when they weigh more. Hatcheries help stabilize declining salmon populations and keep fisheries afloat, but the study published in the Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences says their success needs to be assessed. The study analyzed data from 21 chinook and 16 coho hatcheries over the last two decades, finding higher survival rates were linked to fry that weighed more when they were released. Sam James with the Pacific Salmon Foundation says as salmon face many threats, hatcheries can set them up for greater success by looking at the potential to optimize their release practices.
Police say the disappearance of a 24-year-old Merritt man last month is now considered suspicious. Miguel Mack was last seen on February 27th and his family reported him missing on March 3rd. A search was launched that included police, their dogs, drones and volunteers, but no sign of him was found in Merritt or the surrounding area. RCMP don’t say why the case is now thought to be suspicious.
Environment Canada has issued air quality advisories for eight districts around BC, warning of high concentrations of dust. The forecaster says the problem is expected to persist until it rains or snows and it’s especially bad near busy roads or industrial operations. Those with chronic conditions such as asthma, C-O-P-D, heart disease or diabetes, along with pregnant women, infants and older adults all need to take precautions. The advisories are posted for the districts of Peace River, Bulkley Valley, Cariboo, East Columbia, Elk Valley, Okanagan Valley, Prince George and Stuart-Nechako.
BC’s provincial court says all those who were expected to attend criminal, youth, family or small claims matters in the Golden courthouse must now go to the Invermere court almost 120 kilometres away. The court in Golden burned to the ground last week, and one firefighter was hurt while fighting the blaze. Police have said arson is the suspected cause, but they’ve released no more details since then. A statement from the provincial court says those who have traffic tickets and bylaw disputes will need to attend the Ramada Golden Hotel.
The City of Vancouver is launching a pilot project next week to protect children by lowering speed limits on the streets of nine elementary schools. Seven of the schools are on busier streets and the speed limit will drop from 50 kilometres per hour to 40 during school hours. Speed limits for two other schools on so-called collector streets will drop from 50 to 30 kilometres per hour. The city says council will look at the results of the safety pilot next spring.