A BC Supreme Court judge is expected to announce the sentence today for a Dutch man convicted in the cyberbullying and extortion of Port Coquitlam teen Amanda Todd. The story of the 15-year-old girl gained worldwide attention when she posted a video weeks before her death using flash cards to explain how she was harassed by an anonymous online predator. The Crown is asking for a 12-year sentence for Aydin Coban, while his defence argues he should only face a two-year penalty. Coban has already been handed an 11-year prison term in his home country for similar offences involving children.
Some farmers are celebrating fall’s dry spell after a wet spring this year. BC Agriculture Council president Stan Vander Wal says as long as farmers got enough cover on their crops before conditions started drying up, the crops should retain enough moisture. Abbotsford farmer Amir Mann says the drought is far preferable to last year’s historic floods, because you can always apply more water but it’s hard to get rid of too much. However, he says those without sophisticated irrigation systems may have a harder time.
The fire department in Burnaby, BC, says it could take three or four weeks before an apartment that caught fire yesterday is deemed safe enough for residents to return. Assistant chief Gavin Summers says the building is very unstable and crews are working with emergency social services to gather tenants’ belongings and make sure they find shelter. However, officials say uninsured tenants will have to make arrangements for themselves after three days until the building is deemed safe. Five people were rescued from the building and two were sent to hospital but are expected to recover.
A consultant with retail analytics platform Kalibrate says plummeting gas prices in Metro Vancouver are the result of the same forces that caused their recent rise. Paul Pasco says the price drop stems from capacity returning to the market due to refineries coming back online after wildfires and maintenance. Gas prices across Metro Vancouver tumbled 35 cents yesterday, bringing the price to a-dollar-93 a litre in most locations. However, Pasco warns that with a limited refinery capacity and no plans to expand it, prices could rise again.
The BC Centre for Disease Control says it’s combining surveillance reporting for influenza, COVID-19 and other respiratory pathogens in a single platform. The centre says the integrated data will be better for monitoring trends throughout the respiratory season. Included in the platform will be COVID-19 weekly hospitalizations and deaths, wastewater data, and a tool that can be used to visualize the disease’s path relative to other jurisdictions. It will also include lab testing and primary-care visit data for the flu.
The Metro Vancouver regional district has issued an air quality advisory for the eastern Fraser Valley due to smoke from wildfires burning southeast of Chilliwack, near Hope, Harrison Lake and Washington state. It says hazy conditions may be experienced in other parts of Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, although concentrations of fine particulate matter in those areas are below advisory thresholds. Stagnant weather conditions are expected to continue for at least the next few days and air quality may not change until the weather turns. It also says smoke concentrations may vary widely across the region.