Canada’s premiers are starting two days of talks in Victoria this morning, and today’s agenda includes a meeting with leaders of five Indigenous groups that are part of the National Indigenous Organizations. The Songhees Nation says it’s the first such gathering on its reserve lands, and will be co-hosted by Premier John Horgan and Chief Rob Thomas of the neighbouring Esquimalt Nation. Horgan says the 13 premiers who make up the Council of the Federation are united in their call for more federal funding for health care as costs soar and staffing shortages plague hospitals. Premiers are calling on Ottawa to pay 35 per cent of health-care costs, up from 22 per cent, but Horgan says Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has not made good on a promise to convene a team to address the need for more funding.
The emergency department in Clearwater closed yesterday for the 19th time this year, leaving the Highway 5 corridor north of Kamloops without E-R services yet again. In a late Sunday update, officials say the department is not expected to open until 7 p.m. today, with Interior Health saying in a tweet that anyone needing emergency care should call 9-1-1 or go to Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops, over 100 kilometers away. The shutdown of the hospital’s emergency room this year dates back to January 5th, with one closure in April lasting 50 hours. E-Rs are being closed temporarily in communities across B-C, and Canada, mainly due to a shortage of nurses and doctors.
Researchers who’ve confirmed the presence of a baby orca on the west side of Vancouver Island have also given it a name. The Washington state-based Center for Whale Research says K-45 is the newest addition to the K Pod, and staff spotted it in a tight group with other family members northeast of Race Rocks. It says it received video and photographs of a possible new calf for the pod in April and June, but now a field biologist was among those who saw it for themselves and took their own photos. The centre says K-45 is K Pod’s first baby since 2011, when K-27 gave birth to a calf called K-44.
The office that investigates all cases of police-involved death or serious injury is probing a fatality in Williams Lake. The Independent Investigations Office says Williams Lake R-C-M-P report they responded yesterday morning to a call about a man who was believed to be armed and in distress. The statement from the office says Mounties report they surrounded the home for several hours as they tried unsuccessfully to contact the man — and found him dead from an apparently self-inflicted injury when they entered the house shortly after noon. An investigation is now underway by the I-I-O as it tries to determine what role, if any, police actions or inactions may have played in the man’s death.
Organizers of a Vancouver beer and music festival are blaming staff shortages for long lineups and faulty wristbands that forced thousands of people to wait in line on the weekend. Kevin MacDonald says he and a friend lost 60-dollars each on what he says turned out to be “a joke” before they finally left. Organizers issued a statement blaming an unprecedented lack of staff and refuted claims the event was oversold. They also blamed new technology for challenges with wristbands, but MacDonald says there was only one entrance so people couldn’t get into the event.