The spring session of the legislature starts today, but Premier David Eby won’t be there. Eby says he is heading to Ottawa today to meet with premiers from across Canada to discuss a potential deal to increase federal health funding as they call on the federal government to boost its contributions through the Canada Health Transfer. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has invited the premiers to meet on Tuesday to try to work out a funding agreement. The premiers have demanded the federal government increase its share of health-care spending to 35 per cent from 22 per cent, with no strings attached, while Ottawa has insisted the funds must come with accountability measures.
Police in Victoria are warning the public about downtown road closures today for the annual throne speech at the BC Legislature. They say traffic disruptions are expected with road closures occurring between 12:30 and 3:30 this afternoon. Police say they have set up temporary CCTV cameras in the area in accordance with provincial and federal privacy laws. They say the cameras are used to help ensure public safety and temporary signs are posted so people are aware of their use.
Vancouver city council is set to review recommendations for a 2.8 million dollar grant for the local health authority to help expand a program that pairs police officers with mental health workers in the city. Vancouver Mayor Ken Sim says 2.5-million-dollars of the new funding will be used to hire 58 new mental health workers. He says Vancouver’s annual grant to the health authority will grow to eight-million-dollars and future phases may include more “proactive responses to mental health.” His party, ABC Vancouver, was elected on promises to hire 100 more police officers and 100 more mental health nurses to address public safety concerns.
Vancouver is one of three Canadian cities where Uber is set to introduce a ride sharing option. The company says the move is a more sustainable and affordable option for customers. It says its new Uber X Share option will launch later this week and will incentivize drivers and riders to choose an option akin to carpooling. Uber says the option could cut costs up to 20 per cent for riders.