British Columbia’s premier is vowing to continue supporting the tourism industry, which was hoping to begin its recovery from COVID-19 just as hundreds of wildfires ignited in the province. John Horgan says the B-C government will build on close relationships it formed during the pandemic with businesses and workers to deliver the help they need. Horgan toured wildfire operations in the Kootenays yesterday as some 300 blazes burned across the province. Hundreds more British Columbians joined the thousands already forced from their homes by wildfires as several local governments ordered residents to get out Tuesday night and Wednesday ahead of nearby fires

B-C officials are in talks with the United States and Australia about potential support in fighting nearly 300 wildfires scorching the province. Premier John Horgan says Australia is under a COVID-19 lockdown but has committed to providing equipment and management personnel. But he says the usual resources from the U-S are limited because Washington, Oregon and California are fighting their own fires. The federal government earlier committed to sending 350 Canadian Armed Forces personnel to join more than three-thousand firefighters and support staff on the fire lines, including crews from other provinces.

Surrey city councillor Brenda Locke is running for mayor in the next municipal election, and opposing the transition to a municipal police force is a major plank in her platform. Locke’s announcement Wednesday comes about 15 months ahead of the Oct. 18 2022 vote. If elected, Locke says she would put an immediate halt to the Surrey Police Service, which has already hired a chief and appointed a board. Loke notes that last month, Elections BC approved a petition that could force a binding referendum on the move to replace the RCMP with the municipal force, and she thinks the public is largely on her side. Mayor Doug McCallum’s spokesperson say that he will be seeking a second term. McCallum had promised the Surrey Police Service would be up and running by Spring of 2021.

 

 

After two people were injured trying to put out a brush fire outside of Langley’s Willowbrook Mall, the city’s fire chief is reminding people how quickly fire can spread amid dry conditions — even on the Lower Mainland. The cause of Wednesday afternoon’s fire is still under investigation, and the people who were injured did not have to be transported to the hospital. Two cars were damaged, but a crew of 17 firefighters quickly extinguished the fire, and it did not spread to the nearby building. The most common cause of urban fires is people tossing lit cigarettes, and Thompson says it’s crucial to be careful even for those who live far away from the raging wildfires in other parts of the province. Those living in semi-forested areas need to pay particular attention to keeping dried leaves, dried pine needles, or any other material that can quickly ignite far away from their homes. The City of Port Coquitlam has elevated their fire danger rating to “extreme,” explaining in a Tweet that “this means that due to the long period of dry/hot weather we’ve had, the forest floor in our parks and along the trails is extremely dry and a fire could start easily and spread rapidly.” B.C. declared a province-wide state of emergency Tuesday. At that time, there were nearly 300 wildfires burning, with many communities under evacuation orders or alerts.

 

 

BC health officials announced 78 new test-positive COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 148,641. In a written statement, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix said that there are 729 active cases of COVID-19 in the province Of the active cases, 48 individuals are currently hospitalized, 16 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation. There have been no new covid 19 related deaths. To date, 80.1% of all eligible people 12 and over have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 146,142 people who tested positive have now recovered.

 

 

BC health officials announced 89 new test-positive COVID-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the total number of recorded cases in the province to 148,730. Of the active cases, 53 individuals are currently hospitalized, 15 of whom are in intensive care. The remaining people are recovering at home in self-isolation. New and total active cases, broken down by health region, are as follows:

  • Fraser Health: 30 new cases, 219 total active cases
  • Vancouver Coastal Health: 18 new cases, 263 total active cases
  • Interior Health: 37 new cases, 244 total active cases
  • Northern Health: One new case, 31 total active cases
  • Island Health: Three new cases, 18 total active cases
  • Outside of Canada: No new cases, six total active cases

There have been no new COVID-19-related deaths, for a total of 1,763 deaths in British Columbia. To date, 80.2% of all eligible people 12 and over have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. In total, 6,118,028 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in BC, 2,605,052 of which are second doses. 146,178 people who tested positive have now recovered.

 

 

A brand new food and music festival is scheduled to take over North Vancouver’s Shipyards District starting later this month. Shipyards Live is an eight-week summer series that will feature live music, food, activities, and vendors. The outdoor event will kick off on Friday, July 30 and host day-long festivals every Friday and Saturday until September 18. Visitors can expect food trucks and live music on each day of the festival, including a wide range of genres like R&B, soul, funk, country, pop, jazz, and Brazilian Samba. Additionally, there will be a number of artisans and artists with their work on display and available for purchase. City of North Vancouver Mayor Linda Buchanan adds that she’s excited about the upcoming event, noting that it’s more important than ever for the community to connect. “I think at some point over the past year and a half we’ve all longed for the large social gatherings we couldn’t hold safely during the pandemic,” Buchanan says in a statement. “This festival is one more way that we are making the City the place to be.” The opening weekend of Shipyards Live will also feature a Pride Variety Show presented by the North Shore Pride Alliance, as well as performances by the Shenanigans and Sambacouver. The event is free to attend and, according to organizers, will be fully compliant with the health and safety guidelines of BC’s COVID-19 restart plan.
Shipyards Live
Where: The Shipyards – 125 Victory Ship Way
Time: Throughout the day until 10 pm
When: Fridays and Saturdays from July 30 to September 18
Cost: Free to attend

 

 

B.C.’s Maple Ridge-born celebrity Jonathan Scott, who is known for his popular show, Property Brothers, has won the Independent Lens award for his documentary. Jonathan Scott’s Power Trip, a documentary exploring why clean, renewable energy isn’t available to everyone, what the obstacles are, and what the benefits are of this alternate source of energy, has won PBS’ Independent Lens audience award. “Tens of thousands of votes later, the results are in and the viewers have spoken. In a very tight race, PBS viewers chose Jonathan Scott’s Power Trip as the winner of the 2020-21 Independent Lens Audience Award,” read the PBS website award announcement. The documentary was part of PBS’ Independent Lens platform that houses independent documentary films. In a tweet, Scott expressed his excitement over the win and said, “Excited to share that my documentary won the PBS Independent Lens Audience Award this year…and it’s all because of YOU. This is such an honor, especially considering how many amazing films we were up against. Thank you to everyone who voted. It means to the world to me.”