Vancouver’s airport says it’s doing everything in its power to prepare for more severe weather today. It follows days of heavy snow and extreme cold that have severely impaired operations, prompting the airport to halt all incoming international arrivals until Friday morning in hopes of clearing congestion on the tarmac. Adding grief to those travelling east, a major winter storm is also bearing down on Toronto that Pearson International Airport says could affect operations there too. Environment Canada says Toronto’s storm will begin today with rain or snow followed by plummeting temperatures, a potential flash freeze and blizzard-like conditions Friday.
A tanker truck that crashed in northern BC prompted an evacuation order for about half a dozen properties. The Peace River Regional District says the truck was carrying hazardous material and urged an immediate evacuation of a one-kilometre radius near Tomslake. It says residents should close their windows and doors and turn off electrical appliances, apart from fridges and freezers. The order told those affected to leave with critical items and avoid taking more vehicles than necessary.
While heavy snow and ice have been the main culprits in recent weather-compromised travel, heavy winds are also doing their part on the Coquihalla highway. The highway has been closed between Othello, just east of Hope, and Merritt since Wednesday afternoon. The Transportation Ministry says high arctic outflow winds sweeping through the canyon are blowing away sand applied for traction. It says the section of the highway will remain closed until the winds ease and the maintenance contractor can again establish traction on the highway surface.
The federal government has given the red light to a proposed coal mine near Tumbler Ridge, saying environmental impacts couldn’t be mitigated. The government says in a statement it recognizes the mining sector is an important economic driver in Canada, however, projects can also have significant adverse environmental impacts. It says an assessment found the Sukunka Coal Mine Project threatened Southern Mountain caribou and grizzly bears, and would release mercury and selenium into local waterbodies. The decision does not prevent Glencore or other proponents from submitting new project proposals.
Coastal GasLink says the natural gas pipeline it’s building from northeastern British Columbia to an export terminal on the coast is 80 per cent complete. In a construction update, the company says it’s on track to complete the project by this time next year. To date, it says 490 kilometres of pipe have been installed across the total 670-kilometre route. It says two of eight sections between Dawson Creek and Kitimat are complete.
Energy Minister Josie Osborne says cryptocurrency mining consumes massive amounts of electricity but adds very few jobs to the local economy. She made the statement as the BC government temporarily suspended requests for electricity connections from cryptocurrency mining operations. The ministry says 21 cryptocurrency projects are requesting 14-hundred megawatts, or enough to power nearly 600-thousand homes per year. The government says the 18-month suspension will give the province and BC Hydro time to engage with industry and First Nations, as a permanent framework for the industry is developed.