Despite most protesters clearing out, some vehicles continue to block a number of roads leading to the Pacific Highway border crossing in Surrey. As of 5:30 a.m. Monday, many of the roads leading to the border remained closed. Images from the areas of 176 Street at 4th Avenue and 176 Street at 8th Avenue show groups of vehicles camped out behind blockades, with some tents set up. A short distance away, a line of police vehicles can be seen blocking off access to Pacific Highway, seemingly stopping protesters from getting closer to the border. R-C-M-P say four people were arrested for mischief this weekend at the protest.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will speak with premiers later today to discuss the ongoing protests against COVID-19 health restrictions that have been causing chaos across the country. Trudeau met with his “incident response group” yesterday to discuss what action the federal government can take to bring the demonstrations to an end. The so-called Freedom Convoy in downtown Ottawa is now in its third week, and has sparked copycat protests at border crossings throughout Canada, Yesterday afternoon, a deal was reached between the convoy and Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, with protest activities to be confined to an area around Parliament Hill by noon today in exchange for Watson meeting with protesters.
Los Angeles Rams fans are soaking up their team’s Super Bowl victory. The Rams defeated the Cincinnati Bengals, 23-20 on home home turf in front of a capacity crowd that included a cavalcade of celebrities. Cooper Kupp, who caught the game winning touchdown for the Rams, was named Super Bowl 56 M-V-P. It’s the Rams first N-F-L title since the 1999 season and their first representing Los Angeles since 1951.
Rams wide receiver Van Jefferson is more than a Super Bowl champion today — he’s also a new father. His wife was due to give birth to the couple’s second child on February 17th, and even posted on Instagram that she was praying her water would not break during the game. However, she was seen leaving the stadium on a stretcher, apparently in labour. She reportedly told team officials not to tell her husband until after the game.
Protesters clogging the streets of downtown Ottawa are now at risk of losing their vehicles and their drivers’ licences. Ontario Premier Doug Ford told reporters this morning there will be serious consequences for protesters who don’t go home. It’s not clear if protesters are going to move their vehicles out of residential areas today. One of the protest organizers tweeted last night that the trucks would be pulling out as part of an agreement with Mayor Jim Watson. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson may have reached a backchannel deal that would see truckers move out of residential streets. But not all protest organizers seem to be in agreement.
A 12-year-old boy in Victoria is making sure seniors at local long-term care homes feel some love on Valentine’s Day. With the help of his classmates at St. Michaels University School, Liam Pope-Lau has made and delivered thousands of valentine cards for seniors over the last five years. Pope-Lau says he believes the initiative became more important after the COVID-19 pandemic began, when visitor restrictions were imposed and loneliness among seniors spiked.
British Columbia health officials announced on Monday that there have been 2,701 new test-positive COVID-19 cases since Friday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 341,286. There were 1,151 cases discovered between Friday and Saturday, 883 between Saturday and Sunday, and 667 between Sunday and Monday. In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said that 803 (-43) COVID-positive individuals are currently hospitalized, and 119 (-17) are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation. There have been 17 new COVID-19-related deaths in British Columbia, for a total of 2,764 deaths in the province.
A statue of John Deighton — better known as “Gassy Jack” — has been pulled down during the annual Women’s Memorial March in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. The statue was previously defaced with red paint and Indigenous leaders have called for it to be taken down and replaced. Critics have said the statue of the former saloon owner in Gastown in the 1860s is a symbol of cultural harm and oppression. Vancouver police say they’re investigating the vandalism and no one was injured when the statue came down.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will provide a 500-million-dollar loan and 7.8 million dollars worth of lethal equipment and ammunition to Ukraine. This comes in the face of the threat of a Russian invasion grows. Trudeau says he spoke with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on Saturday to reaffirm Canada’s steadfast support and he also spoke with other European leaders over the weekend.
R-C-M-P say a suspect is facing an assault charge after an Uber driver was attacked by a passenger in Burnaby last month. Police say the suspect was no longer on the scene when police arrived on January 9th. But they say the assault was caught on camera in the driver’s car and an investigation led to the arrest of a 26-year-old Burnaby man. Corporal Mike Kalanj says in a statement that everyone has the right to do their job without fear of becoming a victim of crime, especially violent crime.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has taken the unprecedented step of invoking the Emergencies Act to try to end anti-government blockades. It’s the first time the act will be used since it came into force in 1988. Trudeau says it’s not the first option, or even the second or the third — but he says it’s time to end the blockades he says are illegal and have nothing to do with peaceful protest. He says the act will be used to protect critical infrastructure such as borders and airports from the blockades, and is creating time-limited powers that do not already exist. Trudeau stresses it does not involve calling in the military. Several conservative premiers have already expressed skepticism — saying they don’t think the added powers are necessary in their provinces.
The federal government plans to hand out millions in benefits in April to low-income seniors.Those seniors saw their income top-ups reduced because they received emergency pandemic aid. The government has set aside 742.4-million dollars to help some 200-thousand low-income seniors recoup drops in the value of their guaranteed income supplement payments. About 83-thousand seniors lost the key income support because the emergency pandemic aid bumped their earnings above the threshold to qualify for the guaranteed income supplement.
Movie fans will get a chance to pick their favourite film of last year and have it recognized at the Academy Awards. The Academy is using Twitter to let people pick their favourite film. Movies like “Spider-Man No Way Home,” which the public voted for with their dollars, could have a good shot. The winner of the fan poll will be announced at this year’s ceremony — thought it won’t actually get an Oscar.