Russia announced yet another cease-fire and a handful of humanitarian corridors to allow civilians to flee Ukraine starting today. However, the evacuation routes were mostly leading to Russia and its ally Belarus, drawing criticism from Ukraine and others. Russia’s President Vladimir Putin warned that Ukrainian statehood is in jeopardy and likened the West’s sanctions on Russia to “declaring war.”
Canada, Britain and the Netherlands are joining forces to form an International Ukraine Support Group. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says the group will co-ordinate the efforts of the international community to provide long-term and unwavering support to Ukraine now and in the future. He says the three nations will be encouraging others to join. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says the leaders are focused on pushing back against the illegal Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The new Surrey Police Service, which will be taking over from RCMP in the coming months, has signed its first collective agreement with the new force’s union to match wages with the VPD, one of the highest-paid law enforcement departments in Canada. Over the next two years, the pay for SPS officers will have increased three per cent, on top of a bonus for parental leave. According to the collective agreement new constables will be earning just under $84-thousand and first-class constables will earn just under $112-thousand which is a higher rate than most Metro Vancouver departments. There are 26 new recruit positions. and so far the they received 425 applications.
The Okanagan Sikh Temple will be holding a prayer service today for a 24-year-old woman who died after being attacked at the University of British Columbia’s campus in Kelowna, where she worked as a security guard. The Temple president says he remotely attended Harmandeep Kaur’s “gut wrenching” funeral in Squamish on Saturday, and that her family is awaiting more information about a suspect who was arrested under the Mental Health Act. Kaur’s cousin, says the young woman was funny, smart and always willing to help anyone. She says Kaur had recently celebrated her permanent residency status in Canada and wanted to become a paramedic.
The official global death toll from COVID-19 topped six-million this morning. The milestone is another reminder of the unrelenting nature of the pandemic even as some people are no longer wearing masks, travel is resuming and businesses are re-opening around the globe. Remote Pacific islands are just now grappling with their first outbreaks, Hong Kong is battling its worst outbreak and eastern Europe is facing a spike in deaths.
The president of Cypress Mountain has issued a statement expressing condolences to the family of a man who died there while skiing. The 50-year-old man died Saturday after witnesses reported that one of his skis had released and he lost control before crashing into a tree on the side of a run. Ski patrollers were deployed and performed C-P-R before he was transferred to paramedics, but efforts to resuscitate him were unsuccessful.
The Queen met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Monday, the two all smiles at Windsor Castle. It was the 95-year-old monarch’s first audience since she tested positive for the coronavirus on February 20th. A vase of flowers on display appeared to be a message of support for the Ukrainian people. It was a large bouquet of blue and yellow flowers, the colours of the Ukrainian flag.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada is sanctioning 10 more Russian political and business leaders in retaliation for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Trudeau says the 10 individuals who are being sanctioned were identified by Alexei Navalny, the jailed Russian opposition leader who is considered Putin’s main rival. Trudeau announced the new sanctions during a news conference in London, where he was appearing alongside British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.
British Columbia health officials announced today that there have been 997 new positive COVID-19 cases since Friday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 350,941. There were 385 cases discovered between Friday and Saturday, 327 between Saturday and Sunday, and 285 between Sunday and Monday. In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said that 449 (-35) COVID-positive people are currently hospitalized, and 63 (-6) are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.
New cases are broken down by health region as follows:
- Fraser Health: 263 new cases
- Vancouver Coastal Health: 209 new cases
- Interior Health: 242 new cases
- Northern Health: 79 new cases
- Island Health: 204 new cases
- Outside of Canada: Zero new cases
These numbers are provisional due to a delayed data refresh.
There have been 11 new COVID-19-related deaths in British Columbia, for a total of 2,914 deaths in the province.
Police say they’re investigating a fire that caused substantial damage to the playground area at a Delta park as a case of arson. Police say they were called to the fire in Chalmers park early Saturday morning. They say firefighters had already extinguished the blaze by the time officers arrived. Damage to the playground is estimated to be approximately 100-thousand dollars.
R-C-M-P say a 55-year-old man has been charged with second-degree murder in the death of an elderly woman on Vancouver Island. The 80-year-old victim was found dead inside a home in Courtenay early yesterday morning by paramedics who called police. The Mounties say they arrested the suspect at the scene and he remains in custody. They say the victim and suspect were known to each other.
Today marks the start of the first-ever global Food Waste Action Week and a Vancouver-area group dedicated to ending food waste is urging all B-C residents to take part. Jack Froese, chair of Metro Vancouver’s National Zero Waste Council, says wasting food feeds climate change and Food Waste Action Week is aimed at helping people get the most from the food they buy, for the sake of the planet. Analysts say almost 2.2 million tonnes of edible food is wasted each year in Canada, at a cost of more than 17 billion dollars and an environmental impact equivalent to 9.8 million tonnes of C-O-2 emissions — or 2.1 million cars on the road. Froese says many tips to avoid food waste can be found on the social media channels of the Love Food Hate Waste and even small changes, like storing food correctly and using up leftovers can make a big difference.
Surrey’s huge Vaisakhi parade has again been cancelled due to COVID-related issues, for a third straight year. This year, a lack of planning time is blamed for the cancellation of the April 23 Khalsa Day event, along with “sporadic and last-minute changes to the public health orders.” The day-long celebration is among the world’s largest Vaisakhi parades, drawing close to 500,000 people to the streets of Newton every spring. Cancelling the 2022 parade was “a difficult decision,” event organizers said Monday (March 7). “The magnitude and planning of this event takes a full year to complete, and given the tight turnaround between the constantly changing public health order restrictions being lifted and the scheduled date of the parade, organizers did not feel they could responsibly honour the importance and magnitude of the event in this timeline,” said a news release from event organizers, with Gurdwara Sahib Dasmesh Darbar. The pandemic led to the cancellation of Surrey’s Vaisakhi parade in both 2020 and 2021.
The final figures for the latest Batman movie show many more people emerged from their caves to see the caped crusader that earlier thought. The final weekend numbers are in, and Robert Pattinson’s “The Batman” opened to 134 million bucks — still the 2nd best pandemic era opening, and great news for theatres. It’s also a lot more than Christian Bale’s debut — “Batman Begins” took in 48-million its opening weekend in 2005.