The coroner’s inquest into the 2015 death of Myles Gray in Burnaby continued today with testimony from a forensic toxicologist. Aaron Shapiro told the inquest an initial drug screening report suggested Gray had the natural psychoactive compound kratom in his system when he died, but follow up testing showed it wasn’t enough to meet the threshold for detection. Gray died after a beating by several Vancouver police officers that left him with serious injuries. When the BC Prosecution Service decided against pursuing charges against the officers involved, it cited toxicology evidence that Gray had ingested kratom, saying it may have been a contributing factor in his death.
The BC Ministry of Environment says a fuel truck rolled off a barge in Chancellor Channel off Vancouver Island last week, leading to a diesel spill. The ministry confirms the incident happened on April 20th, when a truck loaded with 17-thousand litres of diesel rolled off the vessel and into the water during rough weather. The ministry says one of the truck’s compartments is leaking diesel at a depth of about 30 metres. The truck has multiple fuel compartments, but it’s unclear how much fuel has leaked.
The federal government says it’s introducing new rules to protect threatened resident killer whales off the British Columbia coast. Transport Canada, the Fisheries Department, and Environment and Climate Change Canada say several new measures introduced today will protect critically endangered orcas. In a joint news release, the federal agencies announced a host of new measures, including sanctuary zones and fishing bans, and boat speed limit zones. The agencies say one of those zones includes mandatory 10-knot speed limit zones in two areas near Swiftsure Bank northwest of Victoria, a rich feeding ground for the salmon that resident whales eat.
Health Minister Adrian Dix says a settlement has been reached between the province’s Medical Services Commission and Telus Health. Dix says the settlement means the commission has suspended its court injunction application against Telus Health LifePlus program, which accused it of charging for health services covered under the provincial medical services plan. He says since last December when the court action was filed, the two sides have worked together to modify the LifePlus program to ensure it complies with the province’s Medicare Protection Act. The province claimed in court the LifePlus program included fees of more than 45-hundred-dollars that could lead people to believe they would get preferential medical access and treatment by paying for a membership.
Victoria police say they’ve arrested a suspect in a brazen daylight robbery at a jewelry store. They say the suspect entered the store on April 15th armed with a hammer and stole a number of items from three display cases before fleeing. The suspect, who was arrested on April 22nd, is charged with armed robbery, assault with a weapon and breaching numerous court-ordered conditions. Police say after the suspect’s arrest, it was also discovered that he was wanted on six warrants for various other offences.
The BC Green Party says amendments it introduced to pay transparency legislation were voted down by both the N-D-P and B-C United Party. Adam Olsen, MLA for Saanich North and the Islands says the proposed amendments would have made the legislation robust and effective, aligning with what stakeholders called for. Olsen says the province has one of the biggest gaps in pay between men and women in Canada.