Four people have been found dead in a Richmond home in what homicide investigators are calling a traumatic incident for the community. Police were called to the duplex on Garden City Road near Alderbridge Way Tuesday night. Police say the shooting actually happened Monday evening around 7 p.m. Investigators believe this was a targeted shooting, however, they do not think it is linked to the Lower Mainland gang conflict. Police have not yet identified the victims but say they they are known to each other.
B-C is reporting 2086 new cases of COVID-19 and 21 new deaths. The Health Ministry says 949 people are in hospital and 136 of them are in intensive care. It says there are five new health-care facility outbreaks in the province. The Children’s Ministry says up to 250-thousand tests will be sent to government-funded child-care facilities throughout the province for use by employees with symptoms of COVID-19.
B.C.’s vaccination rate for kids five to 11 is the second lowest in the country, behind only Alberta. In B.C., 47 per cent of children in the youngest age cohort have received their first dose, behind the national average of 51 per cent. B.C. has been pushing for parents to get their kids immunized since Health Canada approved the use of the COVID-19 vaccine for young children in mid-November, but overall the response has been very slow since then.
The convoy of truckers protesting mandatory vaccinations is expected to gather north of Toronto this morning. The drivers are planning to hold a rally in Ottawa on Saturday, and police there are working with the R-C-M-P and intelligence services to prepare. Ottawa police say the protest leaders have been co-operative and shared their plans, but there are concerns far-right extremist groups that have attached themselves to the convoy could spark violence. Police are planning for as many as two-thousand demonstrators, but say the situation is fluid and changing by the hour.
There’s an effort to rename part of Dewdney Trunk Road in Coquitlam because of the racist history of the man behind it. The road, which stretches across a large part of Metro Vancouver, is named after Edgar Dewdney. He was a politician in the late 1800s who, among other things, was involved in the creation of residential schools. The push to rename part of the route comes from a group of grade 9 students at Charles Best Secondary in Coquitlam, all with the support of their teacher, Megan Leslie.
British Columbia health officials announced on Thursday that there have been 2,033 new COVID-19 cases reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 318,906. In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said that there are 29,556 active cases of COVID-19 in the province. Of the active cases, 977 (+28) COVID-positive individuals are currently hospitalized, and 141 (+5) are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation.
New cases and total active cases are broken down by health region as follows:
- Fraser Health: 685 new cases, 12,351 total active cases
- Vancouver Coastal Health: 378 new cases, 6,614 total active cases
- Interior Health: 539 new cases, 7,669 total active cases
- Northern Health: 165 new cases, 1,147 total active cases
- Island Health: 266 new cases, 1,768 total active cases
- Outside of Canada: No new cases, seven total active cases
There have been 13 new COVID-19-related deaths in British Columbia, for a total of 2,588 deaths in the province.
Canada Post says its employees will be able to wear N-95 masks at work, but only if they wear a disposable medical mask they have provided on top. Canada Post says some employees, for example working in pairs, will be given N-95 masks but they would need a fit test by a qualified professional before they can be worn on their own. Canada Post drew criticism last week for refusing to let employees bring their own N-95 masks to work. The Crown corporation said employees had to use a Canada Post-issued non-medical cloth or disposable medical mask, or they would be sent home
The B-C government says it has provided additional funding for counselling services offered by 49 community agencies. Mental Health and Addictions Minister Sheila Malcolmson says there’s been a 20 per cent increase in demand for counselling since the province ramped up funding in 2019. She says an additional 4.2-million dollars has been provided to various agencies, mostly in rural and remote communities where some services will be offered for free. Malcolmson says affordable options are also available, but she could not immediately provide details on how much someone would be paying for counselling.
The Vancouver Canucks have issued a statement saying they won’t tolerate sexual misconduct of any kind after police announced former player Jake Virtanen has been charged with sexual assault. Vancouver police say the charge relates to an incident alleged to have occurred in 2017 that was reported last year by a complainant who is now 23 years old. The Canucks say Virtanen was immediately placed on leave when the allegations first came to their attention and he is no longer with the team. His agent says Virtanen denies allegations of non-consensual sexual contact with the complainant and looks forward to defending himself at trial.
Vancouver Coastal Health says it has closed the COVID-19 testing site at the U-B-C Life Sciences Centre. It says the site was established as a temporary testing location on December 24th to support other Vancouver-based sites. The health authority says it continues to offer a variety of testing options in Vancouver. It says anyone who is eligible can get tested at any of its active locations, which can be found on its website.
Uber is partnering with the United Food and Commercial Workers Canada union to provide its drivers and couriers with representation in the event of a dispute. The deal does not mean the workers are unionizing. Workers won’t be charged for the representation services, and both the company and the union say they will work to encourage provinces to mandate policies providing gig workers with new benefits and other rights.
The organizer of a controversial Sunwing party flight to Mexico says his group was unfairly abandoned by the airline. James William Awad says Sunwing, along with Air Canada and Air Transat, should be “ashamed” of themselves for refusing to fly his group back to Canada based on videos of the flight that circulated on social media. The 28-year-old says the airlines stranded 154 Canadians in Mexico without knowing whether members of the group could afford to keep paying for hotels and food. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described the group at the time as “idiots” and barbarians.