The president of the Canadian Medical Association says specialists in all provinces and territories are dealing with a “collective crisis” as millions of patients wait for their services. Doctor Alika Lafontaine says collaboration is needed by provinces and territories to find innovative solutions, like more virtual and team-based care, not merely more requests for funding, which has been increased in all jurisdictions. He has called for an emergency meeting between federal, provincial and territorial governments to create a long-term, sustainable system. This comes after 26 specialists from across B-C sent an open letter — which has since been signed by more than 130 specialized doctors — to Health Minister Adrian Dix, saying they want an urgent meeting with him due to a crumbling health-care system that is leaving them exhausted.
A report by British Columbia’s seniors advocate says the province ranks last in Canada in providing key financial support to elders, with 84 per cent of its low-income seniors sometimes running out of money to buy food. It outlines the financial struggles facing BC seniors, and makes 10 recommendations, including indexing the seniors supplement to inflation, and redesigning the Shelter Aid for Elderly Renters program to reflect rental realities. Housing Minister Murray Rankin did not address B-C’s ranking in the report, but says in a statement that the government had increased housing for seniors since first being elected in 2017. The health ministry says in a separate statement that the province has provided about two-billion dollars since 2017 to improve care for seniors, but notes the report shows there is more that needs to be done.
Merritt’s chief administrative officer says the city’s newly announced four-day work week pilot program comes at a time when it is working to recover from last fall’s floods, which devastated the community and contributed to staff retention challenges. Sean Smith says staff wages won’t change and the hope is the project will enable the city to better compete with other jurisdictions, without affecting the bottom line for Merritt taxpayers. The project will see city hall closed on Mondays, with operational hours extended Tuesday through Friday, with an extra hour and 45 minutes each day. The start date for the pilot program hasn’t yet been decided, but Smith says he expects it will launch this fall.
Vancouver police say they used a beanbag shotgun to subdue a woman with a weapon in the maternity ward of BC Children’s Hospital. Sergeant Steve Addison says the woman was acting threatening towards staff, patients, and other members of the public, and various people sheltered in place and locked themselves in secured rooms during the incident. He says when officers arrived on scene, they found the woman, still armed with the weapon. Addison says officers deployed a beanbag gun during her arrest, but neither the woman nor anyone else at the hospital sustained any serious injuries. The woman’s identity has not been released and police have not yet said what charges she may face.
BC’s Integrated Homicide Investigation Team says a man has been arrested and charged in connection with the death of Cody Mostat. This comes almost six months after the 30-year-old man was found unconscious in a Langley hotel on March 25th. Langley RCMP officers attempted to revive him, but he died on scene. I-HIT says Justin Bos was arrested Wednesday and the B-C Prosecution Service approved second-degree murder charges yesterday.
TransLink has opened a new 62-hundred square foot customer service centre at its Waterfront Station in Vancouver. The company says Waterfront station sees more than 35-thousand people on an average weekday and that more than one million people use it annually. It says the centre is three times larger than the customer service centre at Stadium-Chinatown Station. The new centre will operate between 9 a-m and 5 p-m on weekdays and will be staffed by 30 employees.